Packing, paperwork and pointless pre-assessments.

Spent the day preparing for the Dubbo trip tomorrow. Preparing paperwork for local teaching registrations and fiddling with card templates. Got around to completing the online pre assessment for my first aid. Supposedly four hour online course… Nope 85% on first attempt 100% on second. I got three wrong on the first attempt due to ambiguous wording. In fairness I have done a LOT of first aid courses the five + hour refreshers are usually entertaining provided the trainer is interesting.

Accomplished many things on the list for today but far from all. Trying to get some digital painting in this evening while my stamina lasts.

And because I shared it with somebody else already today, I give you…

Adam Savage’s Ultimate Duck Army!


Painting and Shmoozing

Painted the hen house a lovely dark chocolate brown today, as that was the colour of exterior primerless acrylic we have in abundance. Chicken wire and a few fittings remain. Present wheels are as I suspected too old and are buckling under the weight and will need replaced. Close enough to finished that we have begun contacting hatcheries.

Attended the local primary schools pre term staff drinks by invitation to say hello this evening.

Doodling a couple of evolution cards and going to try my hand at a fully digital work flow post preliminary sketch for the next batch. Also planning to knock out a colour sketch mockup of one of the board books over coming days.

Tomorrow will be spent preparing for the trip to Dubbo on Monday morning. We are leaving the infants with their grandparents for the night so that we will have room in the car for a very big shop and also so we can have a date night. I’ll spend Tuesday in a First Aid course and then we will drive back to the farm and probably stay there to come home early Wednesday morning. Posts maybe intermittent Mon-Wed nest week.

Playing a game with N this evening. The Humble Sale has been taunting me and SpaceBase looks such a perfect match for N’s and my own recent reading material that I couldn’t pass it up.


Three interesting links.

From my daily politics newsletter care of The Monthly and of particular relevance to Mister Rabbits comments over the weekend: What will future generations condemn us for?

Based on actual events. See the authors comments below. Scenes From The Emu War

American Politics. “If you’re a Democrat, and “it’s easy to imagine” neoconservatives advising your choice for president, then you’re not truly a Democrat. You’re a Republican on foreign policy, but enjoy spreading disparaging memes on Facebook representing your viewpoint of socially backwards conservatives.” 



New Printer

Splashed out and bought a new printer today. It is going to pay for itself many times over I hope. My old one, a Brother laserjet is still working fine though in need of a new drum sometime. The new one is very similar mono laserjet with one key functional difference; it has a document scanner. An urgent and key requirement for the lodgement of important docs and for my sanity in the creation of artwork.

On the chicken tractor I completed the roof, attached wheels, sanded and ground down sharp and prickly edges. It is looking very nearly complete. We will paint it over the weekend and I’ll wire the cage over coming days.

Planning to watch a film tonight so keeping this very brief. Just knocked up an updated draft evolution card template based on discussion. Thinking I may doodle a bit during the film.



Pounding the Pavement for more Paperwork


Today I visited all three schools in the Cobar district and met with the principals at each. The outlook is positive I have 2 weeks for the end of the term locked in at the catholic school for the end of the term in addition to days and short contract prior. The State School and High School have both assured me there will be work available in the interim. I have a nineteen page Cath Ed application pack to fill out and I have discovered that I am short one aspect of NSW registration. I have the Working with children check, I have BOSTES registration I do not have NSW Department registration which requires the others and involves an interview. Paperwork will consume my evening from here on out.

N’s Path remains very close to finished, less than 2m left. I’ve been waiting on the paths completion to do a bit of concreting before I start yet another patch of paving myself.

Progress made on the chicken tractor, I was hoping to have the roof done today but it like every other part so far has proven more involved than anticipated. I’ve been inconsistent on my photography but I think I have enough to show a pretty thorough development process photoblog of the build once complete.

Tasks remaining in the build:
Attach the tin the roof frame (Frame and insulation completed today, tin cut).
Attach wheels.
Attach the roof to the tractor with hinges.
Put a door on the roost.
Add clasps and locking mechanisms to a number of hatches and openings.
Add a ramp to the roost.
Paint the roost inside and out.
Affix chicken wire and shade cloth around the frame.


Found some seriously amazing drone + photoshop photography work in my feed:

Istanbul Inception: Warped Turkish Cityscapes by Aydin Büyüktas



Gardening and card work

Spent the day as primary carer, N went to work.

A huge shipment of live plants arrived from Green Harvest, all a bit the worse for wear, having no doubt sat on a shelf somewhere for the public holiday in addition to the weekend. They couldn’t have arrived to better planting weather though as we had an amazing storm this afternoon. This evening I planted all but the mint and lemongrass which I still need to prepare places for.

I managed to start some sculpting while the boys were occupied with playdoh this morning. I had to put it aside in short order though.

Finished three very rough evolution card mockups. Nothing, fonts, textures, proportions or decorations is final, just trying out some different looks.

Some florid and pretty calligraphy would be required in the first. The second is going for a more manilla folder like look and the third is grungy and torn all over. Texture is carrying through the image in two of the three.



I also did a side by side test of textures for all cards, prior to adjusting the green. Its a subtle but important addition to the images. I know which I like best.


Revisited the first downs card, adjusted the greens and removed the pond.

Downs 1 In template fix
















Altered the green in the first lake card to match.

Lake 1 in template fix
















Computer is struggling, system setting show only half of the ram is online. Installed Sketchup last night, planning on using it for a bit of perspective help in creation of village and castle cards.

Finished listening to the third, well really 2.5 book in the Old Man’s War series today. Still hooked diving straight into the next, I’ll report on the lot when complete.



A little fun to finish




Australia Day

Very profane vid follows.

I spent Invasion/Survival day at home working in the garden and listening to the Hottest 100.  N took the children to the farm and did some work there.

A friend has recommended I check out HitRecord which although I had heard of I had not really paid attention to before, joined it to explore today.

Made some progress on children’s board books at lunch time. Found a digital rhyming dictionary which is helping with the Giraffe’s Shoes. Dictionary is produced by this interesting character.

Trying to get more card work done tonight so leaving it at that for now.




A night off

Taking an evening to enjoy some audiovisual entertainment with my loved one.

Progress on chicken tractor, path and children’s board book.

A visual treat for those that are tuning in anyway.

Mild sunburn, Big progress

Blank template


Much progress on the Chicken tractor today. A design and perspective shift around midday undid an hour or two’s work but has resulted in a far better overall build. Photoblog will await completion which is likely still a day or two away. I’ve begun scheming a cubby/ treehouse based on a similar design, provided more of the motorcycle crates are available for free which I believe to be the case. N’s orchard path is on the home stretch and her wee patch of lawn is now positively verdant. Even requiring mowing with scissors today.

Working on colouring the lake card I drew yesterday this evening. I need to find an unwanted scanner locally as I spent the first hour of the cleaning up the image issues in my photo of the linework.  My plan is to then put all four of the terrain cards I’ve done so far side by side and do a consistency check.

Edit. Having finished the Lake card I’ve decided I’m unhappy with the grass palette, which of course will directly affect yesterday’s Downs card. consistency-check

Viewing the consistency check above I remain unhappy with the Downs card at left. The first I made ‘Mountains 1’ has very bright trees and not enough line weight variance.



Listening to these two while I work.

Stan Grant’s Speech

Hot damn that’s a good one.

Lessons from a study on happiness


Peter Pan and the Red Pill Right

So we watched the first half hour of the 1953 Peter Pan which has frankly amazing amounts of overt sexism and racism. This got me thinking about the bizarre and alarming reactions so called Men’s Rights Activists (MRA) have had to films, games and books over the past year or so. I pictured the comical scenario in which guided by misplaced nostalgia Peter Pan was re-released to the big screen and the gigantic kerfuffle which would inevitably result between RedPill keyboard warriors and true believer Gender Feminists. This got me thinking about The Blank Slate(PDF Chapter link) again and I even began mentally composing a long form piece of the curious similarity between the two extremes in gender politics.

But… then N tagged out of a contested bedtime. Our beautiful progeny fought sleep until well past nine and all my aspirations beyond making art crumbled.

Speaking of my beautiful progeny. My firstborn A has been accepted into Law at Griffith!
Unfortunately not his first preference but a very good law school all the same. He may find he can transfer into his first preference with relative ease later if he still wants too.

L has finished 10 days of swimming lessons with huge gains in confidence and comfort in the water. He was uncomfortable getting his nose wet at the start. As he has taken a shine to the coach we are planning on getting him another 5 half hour 1 on 1 lessons over the coming month.


F has started expanding his vocabulary dramatically in the last week. This morning he said ‘Pterodactyl’ while playing with the toy.

We made minimal progress outside today as we spent most of the day at the farm for a family lunch. I have managed to knock out two cards though colouring on both and a revisit of yesterdays will happen tonight and tomorrow.

Fangs, which has taken more than its fair share of drafting, reference from bear teeth used in the end.


And now in colour! Not helped by my Wacom tablet drivers mysteriously malfunctioning. There are a couple of fixes to try but after trying one with no luck I persevered as is rather than get involved with restarts and reinstalls.



First lake terrain card.




Waiting for NBN Co.

The title has been the name of my wifi network for a number of houses now. Particularly appropriate here where for the privilege of running a surprisingly respectable 5Mbps down I am paying $80 for a mostly symbolic home phone and 100gb a month. I know full well that 5Mbps is incredible in a rural area like this too. I also know that if Labor’s FTTP NBN had gone ahead the figure would likely be closer to 100Mbps.


The mess that the ABC has made of coverage of the NBN has been making some interesting waves this past week. I am deeply dissapointed in the ABC and very curious to see what if anything will come of the revelations following Nick Ross‘s resignation. The fact that Turnbull in his capacity as communications minister made three appearances on Q&A without being permitted to field any questions on the mutli-billion dollar project he is making a mess of should be evidence enough that something fishy has been going on at ‘Aunty’.

I firmly believe AR (2 links there) is going to replace the smart phone in your pocket within the decade, possibly within 5 years. When it does bandwidth is going to be like the weather, a constant background influence in our daily lives. Only a real NBN can cope with these developments. Malcolm Turnbull’s Mess is going to put Australia at a serious economic and social disadvantage over the coming decade, one from which we will take a long time to recover.

No time for long rants tonight there is creative work to be done. Lots of progress made on the chicken tractor today. A detailed photoblog of the build process will come on completion. Progress is so good I am thinking it is time to make an order for day old chicks. I am particularly enamoured of the Double Laced Barnvelders and Plymouth Rocks but we may just go for a plain Isa brown. Who we get the chicks from remains to be seen, that site has nice pictures, reasonable prices and immunised chicks though.

I’ve also written a new board book called ‘Belly belly bum bum’ today. Got to get onto trying to get one printed soon.

Downs/Grasslands card complete. Going to need to revisit this one but calling it done for now. Downs 1 In template