Jubilation and merriment the passports have finally arrived!

We almost bought tickets on the spot, only really restraining ourselves thanks to transfer wait times between banks.There is much final debating about routes and timetables underway but we will likely be locked in within coming days. Currently still favouring Qantas & BA flights via Japan and over the pole. I was going to hyperlink the word Japan with this, but it seems they’ll be closed during our visit anyway. Oh woe and misery.

I have secured the next four days as day relief at the local Catholic. Tomorrow for a year 3/4, Wednesday with Kindergarten and Thursday, Friday with a 5/6 class. This in addition to at least one client for tutoring everyday. Pretty thrilled to have work flowing again.


Distracted myself for half an hour this morning beginning an illustration of a Canteloupe as I have always pictured them, globe like and proud with horns and hoofs. the rest of the day got in the way, this evening I’m back at the tablet and focused on the castle. Cutting this post short so I can get some painting done and have an early night.


A ‘Greats of Science’ pixel art combo fighter is in the works. I can’t hardly wait to spend ten frustrating minutes with it.


Hey Big Spender


A couple of big purchases today. Having searched far and wide over the past week, comparing many, many systems I have chosen this computer with the memory bumped up to 24gig. While I was at it I found a decent looking multiport usb charging and connection hub. For sanity and self preservation I must now avoid looking at computer advertisements or sales for a period not less than six months, preferably a year. I have absolutely gotten the best I could afford, in the end it came down to a choice between the MSI and a custom build from this company. Both were of very similar specs, ultimately I opted for the established brand over the custom architecture.

Now begins the tense anticipatory wait for delivery.

I also bit the bullet and purchased this legal contract for the formalisation of my agreement with Half Monster Games. The agreement is likely to be useful for multiple projects so it is an investment in future income.

And to cap off the ludicrous spending spree I ebay’d some swimming goggles after swimming 550m breaststroke today. In addition to my standard 75 kettlebell swing workout.


Small progress on the castle card today. I’m feeling a bit anxious to finish some projects, chicken tractor, paving and a few partial cards are all weighing me down being so close yet so far from done.

This evening I have delved into the legalise, enough to know I won’t finish that tonight. I’m now trying to get some more painting done. To help give you a picture of what I am working towards Jack has been doing some play testing in tabletop simulator and has produced an example layout of the terrain cards using the limited number I have so far completed. The terrain deck will, with shuffling create a new playing surface each game. The evolution or ability deck will add spice to the gameplay.



More bugs


Pill #millipede #macro #arthropod approx 15mm

A photo posted by @liatach on

More Pill #millipede #arthropod #macro

A photo posted by @liatach on

Unknown #moth #lepidoptera #insect #macro approx 40mm

A photo posted by @liatach on

Fox Baiting


Spent last night at the farm so we could do a job that requires working in both the evening and the morning.

Baiting feral predators with 1080 is not pleasant work. Boring, smelly and ultimately rather sad as it is not a pleasant way to kill. It involves driving along slowly dragging a scent trail using a very fragrant carcass and stopping every two hundred hundred metres or so to bury a bait in the trail. In the morning we collected the untouched baits, about half of the total laid out were undisturbed. The bait we were using is engineered to be particularly attractive to foxes. By the spoor found this morning we think foxes took quite a few though it’s always possible one fox ate a few in a row, it looked like a pig maybe took a couple and a goanna made off with another. The lizard should be fine, the pigs and foxes not so much.  

In the process we did witness one one of our target species, a fox, harrying a flock of sheep and lambs. Still not comfortable with it.

This morning I also helped to butcher a lamb. Well mostly I held the trays and scrubbed the equipment down afterwards. The body had been skinned and quartered and was semi frozen so cutting was done with the butchers band saw. It was quite fascinating, like a 3D MRI revealing the connections between the lumps of meat we buy. Our freezer is now full to bursting of family raised lamb and it is kind of curious to think we will be eating that one animal for weeks to come.

The HDD hasn’t saved my computer. Freezing and bluescreens have become common. I’ve finally reached a decision and have opted to use a small inheritance to replace my laptop. The hunt is now on to find a suitable replacement in budget. The tyranny of choice applies here, I know from experience I need to narrow selection down to two or three options at maximum so that I can be happy with my purchase.


Still looking for a suitable premade contract. Hesitant about putting to much effort into painting on this computer at the moment as it is locking up pretty often.







Quick daily

Second day in catholic education. Three more to come next week.

Very quick post as we are off to spend the evening at the farm.

No creative endeavours so far today. Putting some effort into trying to decide on a contract with which to formalise the card project. This is still the best I know of and at $75 it is relatively cheap for a legal doc. Even so I’d love to find cheaper.

Still considering replacing the laptop. It is not really portable, has crashed twice this afternoon and it would be very nice to have a modern computer again.

Time to go.

One link for the road: A very cool looking stop motion project in the works.


Cath Ed


Delivered my first ever religion lesson today, on the 5 senses and why they are a gift from God. Also participated in a number of prayers. All new experiences for me. I’ll share my thoughts on the differences in the education systems someday, but likely not any time soon.

The school I am at has no nuns, maybe it did at some point in the past, not anymore.

Had an altogether pretty lovely day and am very happy to be back in the classroom. I have another day with the same class tomorrow and days with the neighboring class next week. Also squeezed in an hour of tutoring making it easily the best paid day of work since the move.


Rushing this post out so I can put some time into the castle card this evening. I also need to do some handwriting practice.


N shares this link to a free collection of Art Ebooks from the Met. Hard to top openlibrary though I just wish the had audiobooks too.

Fun, Real skiing staged reactions and set pieces obviously:








Such Great Heights

I have a collection of videos that make my palms sweaty, make my heart race, leave me gasping.

No you filthy apes!

Videos like this:

and this

and this


Videos that make me question why on earth would anyone do something so indescribably stupid?


I’ve got tons more.

The comment I make, concerning particularly the latter type involving pointless self endangerment, is that at no point in my entire life have I had such confidence in my own body.

Upon reaching the conclusion that it is that which I enjoy about watching these vids, I have set out to develop such self confidence by degrees.

Rest assured I will never be doing such patently stupid stunts. I do want to feel sure that I could hang one handed and recover. I do want to feel sure that I could precision jump a gap, or balance on a bar if I ever needed to and hell I definitely intend to never need too. This is one of the reasons I set about working out all those months ago. I have made progress but I am not even nearly done.



Success, the laptop lives again. But for how long we know not. I am hoping it will survive through Europe after which I can build a desktop worthy of the now traditional name for my computers: Hex.

I have two days work with year ones at the local Catholic school starting tomorrow. Feeling rather excited to get back into the classroom.


I spent what little time I had off from children today getting the computer going. Transferred working files over from N’s computer, the castle card progress is intact, unfortunately storybook progress has reverted somehow, hopefully a more thorough search will find the current working version, if not yesterday’s labours need repeated.


Two more things to share today.

A redditor takes other peoples photographs and turns them into movie posters. Movie posters so good people are probably pitching them already. The comment thread here has even more.

This link and the discussion around it nearly took top billing for tonight’s post. Automation will wait for another evening, Boston Dynamics latest bot will not.




On Homophobia


A workout, another trip to the NSW transport office as they forgot to photocopy the licence they cut a hole in yesterday and a lesson for two brothers this afternoon.

The new solid state hard disk arrived with the morning post. So far three attempts to clone the old drive have failed due to system restarts. A few more tries are necessary before we give up. Investigating things for my ‘Best Man’ responsibilities this evening.


An hour or two each devoted to the Castle card and my story book today. Found reference images for every illustration page of the book. Sorted out the line weight issue and fixed an area as well as making progress elsewhere in the image.


Watched ‘What We Do In The Shadows’ last night. It was certainly quite funny at times, but I was hoping for better. Maybe I just don’t find that kind of thing as amusing anymore. Plenty of the gags rely on the gruesome nature of vampiric survival and lots of those fell a bit flat with N and I. The rolling set fight scene was pretty impressive and the characters were very well realised. Maybe earlier in the vampire hype train it would have been better received.

Up to episode three of ‘The man in the high castle‘ judgement reserved for now.


Homophobia is looming large in the media this afternoon as our prime minister has made the deplorable decision to give into the lunar right in his party and initiate an investigation into The Safe Schools Coalition.

I was bullied in school. Specifically I was called ‘gay’ from year 6 until I left to attend Tafe after year 10. That was a pretty miserable time and although I no longer bear a chip on my shoulder about them I have little desire to know or rebuild relationships with many of my high school peers. I know others who still bear the emotional scars from high school decades later. The fact that I am not and have never identified as gay didn’t help matters any at the time. Nor for that matter did the fact that thanks to my upbringing I didn’t consider being gay as in any way wrong, I had gay relatives and family friends after all. The bullies found a label that worked and stuck to it. Nothing, even obvious evidence to the contrary swayed their opinion of me. Bullying wasn’t at the time even acknowledged as a thing schools should be acting on, this was pre-columbine after all. The pendulum has certainly swung on that one. Though having done quite a lot of reading on the topic the best management strategy I know of is “The Method of Shared Concern“. Like many such issues prohibition and punishment doesn’t solve the problem.

Homophobia is still rife in Australian education systems. There has certainly been a growing acceptance and permissiveness for bi, gay and lesbian students within the cities, trans and other students less so. However even at the primary level it is not yet accepted as ‘normal’ and children so desperately want to be just that. Rural areas are seemingly a few years behind culturally.

I now take it as a practical law of nature that the more rabidly homophobic a public figure is the more likely they are to be compensating for an insatiable lust for buggery. I have zero problem with politicians having wild kinky sex in a manner that fulfills them. But I take deep issue with hypocrites who use their positions to hold back social progress and actively limit the rights of other citizens. Someday I feel sure, Senator Bernardi will be exposed and I will toast his downfall.

Suicide is the leading cause of death for young men in Australia. Attacking the organisations working to foster mindfulness, inclusion and acceptance in our schools is shameful behaviour.

But then what else could we expect from this government (Sally McManus’s page came down under a sustained DDOS).

Turnbull is after all selling the same policies as his maligned predecessor, he’s just a better salesman.





A shiny new NSW license is making its way to me through the maze of rural bureaucracy. The local office can’t actually issue them, they do the paperwork, take the pic and send it all away. The card will come sometime within the next month. Until then I have a nice official looking piece of paper as my ahem, licence (they cut a hole in my QLD card). Transferring the car rego is going to be a different level of complicated. Apparently transferring rego to NSW involves initialising the vehicle in their system. That means a new blue and green slip and surrender of plates for a refund of the remaining rego, minus a fee of course.

Taught two children today for an hour each, primarily handwriting and maths today. I need to work on improving my handwriting too, going to be putting some time into that this week.


Finished and posted the two handmade cards both of which are quite late.

Planned some unrelated stuff. No card progress today though.


Started listening to ‘Three Body Problem‘ shortly after finishing Rubicon a day or two ago. A couple of hours into the former and it is engaging but getting a bit weird. If it is good at I’ll have to recommend it to a friend with a background in hard physics to see what they make of it as it is playing with some big ideas.

Rubicon‘ was amazing, I wholeheartedly recommend it. I was absolutely enthralled by Tom Holland’s telling and I am grateful to have dispelled so many of my knowledge gaps and misunderstandings about ancient Rome. I for instance did not know that Brutus was considered to have likely been one of Gaius Julius Ceasar’s bastards, nor had I, despite even reading some Cicero ever really understood how the Roman Republic had been shattered and replaced. I am now avidly seeking some more similar audio books.




Calling Saul


Paving continues, nearly completed one section. Went for another swim and managed 250m today.  The season pass has been so worth it, with L’s lessons plus other visits it has now paid for itself. But one of the best benefits is that we feel the need to use it, rather than balking at the cost of visiting the pool it is an imperative. Updated my voting registration this evening as a snap federal election is seeming more and more likely. Planning on getting my licence localised tomorrow too.


Finished line work and cutting for two occasion cards to be posted tomorrow. I’ll post pictures when I am sure they have been delivered. Planning on some more drawing this evening.


Finished ‘Better Call Saul’ season one last night. Really impressive television, very moving, very attitude shifting. The principal character and Mike both play very important roles in Breaking Bad. The stories they tell in this season cast them in a very different light. I wonder how far back they were planning these parts of the characters stories. The episode about Mike’s son was particularly impressive and although they telegraphed the outcome of the climactic legal battle rather early it was gripping to the end. Although I desperately want to dive into season two, I’m going to hold off until the season finishes so we are not stuck in the week by week limbo.


This review shows the best view I’ve had yet of a game I don’t intend on playing anytime soon.

For something more cheerful, Adam Savage makes a puppet:




Post Format Changed

Source unkown.


Risked heatstroke for some garden labour. Preparing to finish off the paving under the washing line and begin laying the second path.

Wiring continues on the chook tractor. One piece at a time. There was a lull as we were struggling to find anyone who would sell us some point of lay hens locally, as it happens today we hear there is the possibility of some available in a fortnight. I have had to replace the wheels I found on the farm and attached, as they were too old and had collapsed under the weight. The new wheels found at the dump presented a engineering challenge as they will require a very different axle. I think I have figured out what to do and it will involve my first ever welding job. I’ll have to get help with that.

Went for a swim, L has improved in leaps and bounds, still cannot swim independently though. I pushed myself and swam 150m breath stroke today, despite significant increase in muscle mass over the last few months, my actual fitness still has a long way to go as that slaughtered me.

Experimenting with splitting my posts up a bit using headings, if they are still feeling jumbled I may start seperating the dailies from the thoughts and reviews.


Managed about an hour on the castle card today. I’m struggling to find the right line weights and I will need to redo some of what I have done to match once I get it just so. Working on some neglected and now late cards this evening.


Accidental selfy while cleaning lens. Post swim hair.

A photo posted by @liatach on


Drowned beetle found at the pool. #macro #coleoptera #insect

A photo posted by @liatach on


More drowned #beetle #macro #insect #coleoptera approx. 35mm

A photo posted by @liatach on


Powering though ‘Better Call Saul‘ season one. Likely to finish this evening. A couple of very powerful episodes so far. N and I took many, many years to finish ‘Breaking Bad‘ as N was understandably reluctant to return to the show after season three and again at a later break. We ended up watching the very first episode of ‘Better Call Saul’ directly after the last ‘Breaking Bad’. It was too much and we only returned to it this past week. It has been pretty impressive, so far.

We finished season two of ‘The Almighty Johnson’s‘ last week and to be honest felt that they had kind of written themselves into a corner. Season one was a lot of fun and season two had its moments.It is possible that we will return for season three sometime but honestly it had lost a lot of the charm and humour of the first season and descended into a fantasy soap. When they introduced the Maori gods mid season two I was pretty annoyed that they had chosen to portray their main god as such a dickhead then I recognised that in fairness the whole show was about doing just that with the Norse gods.


While on the topic of NZ media. I came across this hilarious looking film today. From the director of the splendid film ‘Boy‘ which I rate very highly indeed.

That got me onto a bit of a trailer binge. The best of the rest I watched was the new Coen’s