Heat & Exhaustion

Everything is hot and dry.

The breeze is hot, the cold tap runs hot, not warm, hot! and hot for minutes, all surfaces, seats and belongings are hot.

We switched on the air conditioner for the first time this evening, we fear ghastly power bills. It accomplished very little, possibly needs servicing, possibly it cannot actually cope with reducing air temperature from its intake point next to a radiant hot brick wall. N was given two evaporative cooling fans for her birthday and Christmas gifts which have been helping somewhat.

L’s first lesson went swimmingly, 9 more to go. Pool water was warm of course.

Finally won the battle with the wheelbarrow wheel by getting the new tire and tube put onto the old rim. The wheelbarrow is back in action with an extensive list of jobs pending.

Some links to share:

Great short film about art and motivation seen over coffee this morning:

The Long Game Part 3: Painting in the Dark from Delve on Vimeo.

A delightful procedural toy, the download of which works best.tiny world

Plodding away at a few pieces of art, struggling with exhaustion in the evenings and responsibilities, jobs and heat during the day.


Vale Bowie.


Fabulous and extraordinary human being.


.gif by Helen Green

More Force & Stuff

A number of people have noticed my lack of commentary in review over the similarity of ‘The Force Awakens’ to ‘A New Hope’. I maintain the new film did almost everything it needed to. It could have drawn from some of the best of the Expanded Universe novels but to do so would have required a recasting of Luke, Leia and Han which would not have been an acceptable outcome.  it could not in the wake of the prequels do anything other than hark back to its roots.

Two relevant links:

JJ Abrams himself responds

Captain Phasma & Boba Fett

Enough about Star Wars, I’m keen to get back to my book and I have more drawing to do prior. I’m trying to knock out the first complete terrain card. Probably not going to make it tonight.

It’s been another stinking hot day, greatly limiting what can be accomplished during the heat of the day. Some paving done this afternoon, that slab is all but done.

L starts a 10 day class course of swimming lessons tomorrow with me as the parent helper.


Hot & Wheeled

Mantid live approx. 120mm #macro

A photo posted by @liatach on

Fought with a wheel barrow tire.


The one I ordered to match the specs on the wheelbarrow, doesn’t fit. Axle size is wrong and although the wheel itself looks identical, has all the same markings it is bigger. Fortunately the space can accommodate it. The axle is a pain, the new wheel is supposedly 20mm but a 20mm rod won’t fit. The wheel is instead more like 19.5mm, infuriating. Will try for a return on Monday whe the store reopens anyway.

No creative work accomplished. The heat has been barbaric today. Accomplished some yard work and continued to plow through ‘Seven Eves’, which is gripping.


More of the mantid. #macro

A photo posted by @liatach on











Tutoring flyer complete

Paving is backbreaking hot and unpleasant labour, but my oh my the results are pleasing.

We’ve made good progress on the areas between the laundry tank and washing line as well as plotting out a looping path through the orchard for bikes.

So much more work to do.

Tonight I’ve finished my tutoring flyer. Channeling some early playbill style. Some information redacted for web display.tutoring-flyer-for-web


Booked a First Aid & CPR refresher in Dubbo for Feb 2nd. It has been a while since I have had to pay for my own, schools usually cover the group’s cost. This course is going to bite for the cost of accommodation the night before as well as travel. Still better than letting it lapse and needing to do the whole two day again.

About to kick card production to another level. Here begins the first week in which I try and bring to completion multiple whole cards.


Quick Garden Update

A fresh photosphere to show progress in the yard. The first phase of paving is complete, now moving into the second patch surrounding the nearest garden bed tank. After which a widening of part of the path and addition loop for the boys to ride bikes and scooters on through the orchard will be added.

Both garden bed tanks have been edged with poly for safety. Each will be filled much higher with a nice mix of manure, earth, straw and compost when the wheelbarrows replacement wheel on order arrives. Each tank bed is also getting a poly framed shade cloth cover to reduce the intensity of sunlight through the heat of the day.

Thanks to some good thinking by N the big metal frame visible among the brick piles is going to form the primary frame for the chook tractor. Rolls of chicken wire and star pickets will be used to create barrier fences to stop little ones going out front to rattle the gates and to close off nasty rusty metal piles.

Long hot days, sunburnt today despite a double application of spf 50+.

Finally got around to watching the last episode and a half of Jessica Jones this evening. A satisfying finish to what was a very mixed first season. managed to get a little drawing done, nothing finished.




Thoughts on the force awakens

So The Force Awakens opened a while back. N and I saw it in 3D at Southbank the day prior to the big move. Life has been such a blur since that, until now there really hasn’t been opportunity to record my thoughts on the film.

I can’t talk properly about this film without spoilers, if you haven’t seen it yet I suggest passing over this post for now.




You were warned. Also be advised that this post contains TV Tropes links proceed at your own risk.



The prequels were such a steaming pile of shit that I really don’t think they can be redeemed. Although I have downloaded a fan edit or two, which supposedly remove the most egregious problems,  I have never yet gotten around to giving them a shot. For this and many other reasons I am now very glad Lucas passed the IP on.

I entered the cinema with very low expectations and I was on the whole entertained, impressed and occasionally even surprised, I would like to see it again so that I can watch for missed details and with a more critical eye, but that’s not going to happen prior to dvd.

I have in the past questioned whether JJ Abrams had been given to much power and I maintain that giving one man the mantle of reinvigorating both Star Wars and Star Trek seemed risky. His Star Trek reboot was fun but flawed, fortunately he did a better job with my more beloved of the two galaxies. That they have chosen to use a separate director for the next two films is a concern but we will just have to wait and see.

I do want more, I’m curious and even a little excited about the forthcoming standalone film Rogue One.

I enjoyed the reprisal by the classic characters and I found the new leads, supports and droids engaging and likeable.


.gif playback not working for some reason.

I am so grateful to have a Star Wars that passes Bechdel. As both a teacher and a parent I find the lack of female character agency in most hollywood storytelling very disappointing. 12 minute TED talk about this.

I love that our heroine is not sidelined in the final battle, the moment when she takes Luke’s saber is fantastic.

There is a moment in this film, a ‘will he, won’t he’ character turning point. Some of the audience gasped, I would have been genuinely surprised if he hadn’t. I suppose the great advantage of storytelling for children is that cliche only registers after repeated exposure to the trope.

Harrison Ford and Carrie Fisher clearly enjoy stepping back into their roles. The killing of Han allows Harrison to bow out with style, hopefully Carrie will get more screen time in the films to come.

There are a few editing and storytelling choices that have bugged me. Chief among them is the way Chewie walks right past Leia on his return, this just seemed completely inadequate to the length of their relationship.

The other is the flippant service given to the annihilation of an entire solar system, or maybe the worlds were supposed to be further apart than that somehow. It really wasn’t very clear who was being targeted or to what end beyond showing off the big gun and there wasn’t even a real disturbance in the force moment in response to what must surely have been billions of deaths.

The action sequence with ‘Beholders’ aboard the junk ship was to my mind an unnecessary diversion in which some more exposition or character development would have fit equally well. Every film in the series has had some kind of beast moment though, so perhaps the filmmakers were just checking that off the list.  Finn’s plot armour in this scene bordered on the absurd.

The old trope of a ‘one biome planets‘ has always kind of irritated me, but that is hardly new to this film.

Overall I’m pretty happy with the new installment and I intend on initiating L in the joys of the Star Wars galaxy before to long.



A long day spent around the house. Unpacking seems endless. We are down to the last oddments that don’t yet quite have places they belong. We have pushed a wave of order out through the living spaces room by room. Some things in the storage area in the front of house sunroom still need repacked and sorted. 

Our desk is now set up with some pretty impressive cable management even.

My computer is working again today. Further dusting and driver updates seem to be paying off. Though I haven’t tried it on any strenuous tasks yet. 

Outside the garden beds and chook tractor are my next priority task. More paving is required to use up the bricks and render more areas safe from the cat heads.

Paid work is a key priority, tonights creative efforts are being put towards a tutoring advertisement notice for the message boards around town.

Tomorrow we will be making a trip to the farm to feed the dogs and collect building and garden supplies.

Best link today: The Edge Question.




Back online

A mixed day,  with some moments of frustration, loss and futility and some great success and serendipity as balance. .

Today was the first business day of the new year for many businesses intown.

My mother in law came off her farm bike just after Christmas,  twisting a knee rather badly in the process.  She is as tough as nails and so driven to work she won’t sit still.  She had an MRI in Dubbo prior to new years and has been waiting for the local GP to reopen for results. Called for an appointment at nine and got no answer,  tried again a few minutes later to be told “no appointments today”  and  “we are so busy we are not taking appointments for days in advance”.  Some bloody triage. We are thinking N may have to go wait outside the office in the morning to secure an appointment by polite force of will.

We missed the bloody bin day.  I don’t even want to talk about the complete lack of recycling.

The hardware store in particular I have been hanging out for. It turns out that their prices on timber are so preposterous that the chook tractor I want to build will have to wait for a trip to a big box store in Dubbo.  The local’s shelves are more than half empty and they only had two of the five things I went in for. You very much get the impression that they have given up and are just trying to empty their stock before the end.

We joined the local library today and I’m pleased to have the first local hire of the new Neil Stephenson.

F has effectively toilet trained himself since arriving. Today we’ve had to introduce some baby sign for 1’s & 2’s as he can’t yet say what he needs. The end of nappies looms,  hooray.

I dug a trench,  carted bricks to cover the conduit with, fought with and eventually fed the phone cable from a coil on the water meter back into the house. Throughout all this thinking that it was likely wasted effort. When at nearly ten o’clock tonight I managed to get dial tone I was delighted. When the modem connected,  ecstatic.

But…  My laptop is dead again.  Froze up after login this morning and hasn’t made it past the password screen without crashing since. I have backed up all important docs and both hard drives are likely in working order but the machine itself is currently irreplaceable. Spending $1200 on a desktop that can’t travel or $2k+ on a laptop that can prior to May isn’t very realistic. I seem to have found at least a partial stability fix for N’s really very good desktop at least.

The iPhone my  cousin found for me arrived today. I’m so grateful to have a working phone again but I want my Samsung fixed. It’s interesting trying out the other dominant os for the first time. There have been some hurdles so far, none of the Google apps maps,  chrome,  mail,  keep etc would install without an ios update which I’d been avoiding as I’ve heard it slows down older phones like the jesusphone 4 I have been given. Also the update is a gig and a bit and until the internet came good I was struggling to think how I would achieve that. All working now though I’m still wondering how people survive without the back button.  I’ll try for a fair comparison in a week or so as this phone is of about the same generation as my now limited samsung. 

Creative out put limited to hanging some art.

Macro plus

We’ve spent the last two days at the farm for a family gathering. The six boy cousins (3 infants, and another 3 aged 3 to 12) had an amazing time.
There were epic meals, dangerous fireworks, late nights chatting and more drinking than is strictly healthy.

I’ve squeezed in a bit of drawing each day, first pass at card thumbnail roughs are ready for review.

This afternoon I finished the first piece of paving under the hill’s hoist. Some work remains securing the edges, and locking the gaps on the curve with gravel.

Brought my laptop back from the dead again today, it overheated the night before we left for the farm and had been refusing to get past the windows loading screen. dusting and checking connections worked for it. I also brought N’s computer back to life, it had been dead on arrival as there was a loose cable inside. Her comp is still frequently randomly restarting with no error message. The work of a friend at attempting to reolve the issue prior to departing Brisbane doesn’t seem to have been a complete success unfortunately.

I’ve taken time to have a play with my $3 macro lens .
I have been stabbed, pricked, scratched, gouged and shockingly surprised by these things since arrival:

Unknown local Gecko. Approx. 10cm #macro

A photo posted by @liatach on

Living specimen black ant locally called a ‘meat ant’ 15mm

A photo posted by @liatach on

Petrified blue wasp 15mm

A photo posted by @liatach on

20mm mantid

A photo posted by @liatach on

So sticky. Approx 15cm long phasmid

A photo posted by @liatach on

Mummified mud dauber wasp. Approx. 45mm in total length

A photo posted by @liatach on