Lazy Saturday.

Pottering and digging in the garden while the soil is soft from last night’s rain. Scheming with N about what we will do next year, what our response to ‘This Changes Everything’ will be, where we will buy, how long we will stay in Cobar. N is listening to the book now too and is thus feeling increasingly guilty about flying to the other side of the world. Part of my response is that I have resolved that we will do a manual carbon offset on our return planting enough trees to cover our trip and more. We will do this our selves rather than trusting some agency to do it on our behalf.


Sporadic work on the political posters I mentioned recently. Going to do another evolution draft this evening, finished one last night. Perhaps even some castle work. Oh how I want that card finished.


A bit of productivity lost to this frustrating and addictive little game today. Found care of this link. I usually play as CrivenS. For my project’s sake I will quit it for good in a day or two.


A great short read from Wait But Why on our ancestors. All of them.




2 Daily

Daily post separated from my rant.

Yesterday I crashed hard. When the boys finally went down at nine thirty I climbed into bed as well. I have had a productive two days. Yesterday I painted for much of the day. Watched ‘Maru‘ on my second monitor. Made progress on the castle card and some scribblings for evolution cards. A little thought on the logo progression and a bit of tweaking on the first of a set of text and infographic political posters.


Progress is so slow on this card


Today I dealt with my bank to expunge fraudulent credit card purchases from my statement (new card issued no dramas). Tinkered in the back yard. De-nailed a bunch of reclaimed timber. Attached a saw guide to my circular saw and affixed the other saw to a piece of wood with the intention for it to act as the hinge in my saw table. Decided my saw table is too terrifying and as seemingly not a single piece of timber I have is square it will likely not cut straight anyway, I have decided against continuing that build for now. I’m going to go straight to the job I was making a saw table to help with instead. Making a better handle for lifting and moving the chook tractor before we have to pack it and the hens within off to the farm for the duration of our trip to Scotland.

I experimented with filming today, Ill try again when the larger new SD card I’ve now purchased for that camera arrives.

Tonight I’m focusing on finishing an evolution card and watching some tutorial videos from Feng Zhu.


The more I read the more keen I am to see a real longitudinal experiment with a universal Basic Income. A good long form on the topic here.




Sorry Omid



Single layer burning monk stencil 2007. Flood damaged print.


I made a mistake.

When Kevin Rudd returned during the 2013 election campaign and announced the PNG deal including the use of Manus Island I regret to say I thought the plan had merit. I argued the point with friends and family members and I have to my shame since been proven categorically wrong. I thought negating the ‘Stop the Boats’ rhetoric by redirecting boat arrivals might remove the awful political football that refugees have become in Australia from the game. My caveat was that redirections had to be to a relatively safe if not developed neighbor and a sharp increase in our humanitarian intake is required as well. Obviously none of this was not to be. Manus was plagued with problems from the start and Nauru remained a monstrosity from its reopening in 2012. Mr. Abbot was elected and Operation Sovereign Borders declared all on water maters classified. Whether or not the boats continue to come will eventually come out in the now inevitable royal commission some day. But for for those like Omid, declared a legitimate refugee but left to rot and go insane in a tropical goal staffed by private contractors and cut off from the world. There is no adequate recompense our nation can offer. But for goodness sake take up New Zealand’s generous offer and let them go.


I don’t think there is an easy answer to Australia’s political issue with refugees. For a start the argument is rarely based in facts. Few Australians who are not passionate about one side of the argument even seem to know the basics.  We should be taking more people, many more. We are going to have to when climate affected island nations come knocking and it pays to be prepared. There will be no turning them away, they will have nowhere else to go. The fact that we are not doing our part to keep the earth under 1.5ºC of warming will only add to our burden then. The question in the mean time is how many can we take in, support, educate and provide accommodation to? We accepted over twenty five thousand refugees direct from UN camps last year. I personally don’t think it is unreasonable to say we could take twice that, fifty thousand desperate people. Still only a tiny fraction of one percent of our population, a drop in the ocean of present refugees.

What do we do with the people who arrive after that arbitrary number is reached? How much infrastructure can we invest in making these people safe here. Am I asking it backwards? Should we instead be asking what wouldn’t we give to make these people safe. Is there a maximum that our society can absorb without risking creating ghettos and escalating racial tensions? How much help can we offer these strangers before the hypocrisy of how we already treat the poor and dispossessed in Australia causes a social meltdown or a fascist counter movement?

How do we convince people that paying a smuggler and risking a treacherous sea voyage is a bad idea? Until we have an answer to that the political right is going to keep winning this argument and beating the left with prospect of yet more deaths at sea. Until an alternative vision is articulated with clarity the LNP will retain power and the camps will remain open. Clearly shame, christian values or even simple economics are not going to convince the LNP that a humanitarian approach has merit. Only by making a convincing case for an ethical and sustainable humanitarian response is there any chance of removing this issue from the political playing field altogether.

Would Australian funded UN camps in Indonesia be enough? Would offering low cost flights to an onshore processing centre?  I don’t know.

I do know that system as it stands is abominable.

I’m sorry Omid.

I am sorry our government are such spineless jobsworth wankers. I am sorry that our press has used your fate and that of those like you as a bogeyman for illiterate bogans and as a stick for beating politicians they don’t like.

I am sorry I haven’t campaigned harder for the release of all detainees. Online petitions and the occasional rally that was convenient for me to attend don’t amount to much. I’ll be contacting my local National MP in person if possible for all the good it will do.






Where to invade next

Where to invade next‘ is great fun, a tremendous film. Clearly I am not the target audience, being neither american nor ignorant about the success of socialist humanitarian policies in Europe. But I sincerely hope it gains a large audience in Moore’s homeland America as if nothing else this film underscores how far behind and seemingly barbaric many American social policies are.  It glosses over all of the latent problems and social problems in the countries Moore visits of course. But there is a very limited length of time given to each and many topics to cover. Michael Moore has clearly aged hard in the past decade, he now has a shuffling gate and the wrinkled and jowly appearance of a bitter old frog. His humour is still fierce and well targeted and there are number of quite poignant moments in this documentary. Highly recommended.


A working tour of the school. I spent an hour or so each in four different classrooms within the local public today. Hopeful of some random call ins over coming days.

I’m very happy to have another place of employment available to me even though our departure date is creeping up on us.


Completed the first evolution sketch card in a week or two last night. Thinking I will revisit the castle or do another evolution card tonight.

ValleyEvo22Humanoid DRAFT SKETCH


Links & Bio

Super cool junk birds and insects by artist Edouard Martinet, who uses no welds or soldering in his works. via Colossal 1 & 2




Simply incredible macro insect photography by Levon Biss in conjunction with the Oxford Museum of Natural History. Also Via Colossal.


If only…

Anyway two of my captive caterpillars are undergoing metamorphosis. A third I found the other day has just today developed some small but unhealthy looking black spots and may be about to undergo some awesome alienesque wasp larvae chest busting.

Back in public


It’s good to be back in the public system, the difference in staff dynamics is subtle but significant. Today was a pupil free day and a great opportunity to get to know the local staff while completing cumbersome mandatory online training modules. I have another day in the state school tomorrow, likely with some time on class and a couple of days lined up at the Catholic next week. Tutoring was back in full swing today as well and kept me out of the house from 8 until 6:30. A long day by local standards.


The first episode of GoT season 6 was quite the little ripper. Very nice to see them wrapping up loose ends from the books and forging wholly new story lines for others. There is really no telling how the story will play out now that the TV versions is freed from the books.

Started listening to ‘The Long Utopia‘ last night because ‘Religion for Atheists‘ error’d, hopefully repairably for me. I suspect this last Long Earth book is Pratchett only in name and is in fact wholly Baxter’s work but for preparatory conversations between the authors. But it is nice to have at least one more ‘Pratchett’ to listen to all the same. I have thus far greatly enjoyed and been frustrated by the long earth series. The concept has been well developed though I find the well realised consequences of humanities spread across the breadth of the parallel earths discovered on ‘step day’ quite sad. The very believable spread of the extractavist capitalist mindset into the infinite earths is quite upsetting. As exciting as the world they have written is, I’m glad it is just fantasy.


I have accepted that Sanders has lost his bid for the democratic candidacy. I don’t think that means he should just bow out though and articles like this make a very strong case for him staying in until the convention in June.


As expected nothing much completed last night. Starting late but aiming for a sketched evolution card this evening.

Do doo d d doo d d doo


ANZAC march this morning. F was particularly impressed by the horses.

We went to the local ANZAC march and service this morning. In recent years I have been a bit disturbed at the subtle (or maybe not so subtle) shift towards ANZAC day as a celebration, rather than a commemoration, but there was none of that this morning. For me it has always been a pretty solemn occasion and I usually tear up for at least part of the time. I feel a great sadness that so many men and women sacrificed and were sacrificed, I feel for the families of those who served and never returned, and for those, like my great grandfather, who did return but were never again whole in mind or body, I feel sadness at the horror they witnessed, the horror they were required to commit and that which was committed against them. I am reminded right to my core that war is neither glorious or noble and above all else I think lest we forget.

A photo posted by Nadine (@nadinemmitchell) on

We had to leave the service as F became well at truly out of sorts. I think N has above expressed pretty succinctly our feelings on the ANZAC tradition.

Big day tomorrow, first day at the local public, mostly doing mandatory trainings I believe. Two client afternoon as well.

Finished listening to ‘What If‘ By Randall Munroe which was great fun but unfortunately read by Will Wheaton. As an actor and celebrity sometimes I really like him, as an audio book narrator he drives me bananas, not the first book I’ve listened to read by him, hopefully the last. Started listening to  ‘Religion for Atheists‘ By De Botton. I read and enjoyed about half of this as a library hire early last year, returned it unfished and overdue and am already glad to have picked it up again.


I disassembled and cleaned one of the circular saws I bought for $2.50 each at auction. Began preparing pieces of ply and timber with which to fashion myself a temporary saw table.  In order to use the Skilsaw for this purpose I had to remove its blade guard, a benefit of having done this is that it will likely allow the 7 1/4″ saw to take a slightly larger blade.  At some point I plan to invest in a new saw and a Triton or similar saw table.

Speaking of Triton tools, I’m pretty happy to have scored an older model of this for $5

Last night I completed a terrain card sketch and retired early, as for tonight well, there is this thing I want to watch…




An awesome thing.



Super Party


L’s early super hero birthday party went swimmingly. Limited party games, a huge costume box, good food and lots of cousins.

N acted as primary photographer and I’m sure some images will be shared socially soon.

Costumes, cooking, activities and eating consumed the day.

Edit: Including this shot from N’s Instagram


By far my favourite political cartoonist at the moment David Pope.


I got nothing done last night, in the end I almost fell asleep at my keyboard watching Youtube instructionals on how to make a saw table. Aiming for some sketch progress this evening, right after part two…




N’s uncle’s retirement shed auction today. A really amazing collection of tools and oddments auctioned off over about 6 hours.
I missed out on a couple of the key items I was hoping for, but I did grab a couple of bargains. My $35 haul below includes a portable saw horse vice, two circular saws one Black & Decker of pre logo update vintage and one Skilsaw (bundled for $5) a saw guide/mitre attachment an old wood plane in need of a sharpening and a set of traffic alert triangles for the car boot.



I had my eye on a drill press, electric plane, board thicknesser, Angle grinder and a whole lot of Lego that went in a big lot with highly sought after tin toys all of which went for good prices beyond what I was allowing myself.


A lot of cut and pasting later the Spiderman pinata is ready to be beaten to a pulp tomorrow. I should have documented the build as I was pretty happy with the wheatpaste mix I made and the resulting mache has good structure.



I kind of doubt we will get this kind of response. But if we do I’m prepared to resort to brain surgery out of sight of the children to retrieve the sweets.

Working on the logo or the castle card tonight.


Edit: Should probably make mention that it is Earth Day. Not much of an event locally but still one of the more important such ‘events’ in the year.


Show Day

Two rather expensive and kind of socially required trips to the local show.

A rather impressive fire work display this evening.

Party preparations continue, paper mache this morning and honey joy’s baked this afternoon. Though I will need to make another bath of them tomorrow because ah yum…

Best in show. #chicken and clearly uncomfortable #duck highlights of the #Cobar show.

A photo posted by @liatach on

The boys rode expensive mini trains and L has his first ever show bag. L has been really getting into Gonoodle which is great.  Side effects include having had this mind worm stuck in my head all day.


Speaking of paper mache, I found this incredible paper mache dragon blog while looking for something today. I am pretty sure I had a book by him as a child, Gremlins, Gargoyles, Goblins or something.

Everything looks like a screw

#blue #paint reflection selfie

A photo posted by @liatach on


After many errands and $900 down the family car is finally registered in NSW. Going to have a hectic couple of days ahead of us. Our nephews are in town until Monday so we have decided to have an early birthday party for L while his cousins can participate. He wants a ‘Super Hero Party’ in keeping with his ongoing obsession of course. Pinata, costume and honey joy production will consume much free time prior to the event on Sunday morning. We also have social obligation to fulfill in attending the local town show tomorrow as well as a relatives shed clearance sale at which I must restrain the desire to buy all the things on Saturday.

Massive gear upgrade arrived for me today. Early present from my father who has looked with disdain on my drill for too long. My recent projects have been build entirely with a single 18v Milwaukee drill. No longer will I ever have to swap bits every time I want to drill a pilot prior to sinking a screw.




Put the second coat of enamel paint on the bird bath dish today. It has come up lovely but needs another to be called done. Progress on the logo design

Basic font with kerning adjusted

vale monstrum logo progress

Cleaned up and solidified

vale monstrum logo progress4

A little bit more tweaking still to do before the next phases. I’ll be making two semi final drafts based on combinations of yesterdays ideas and the cleaned up vector work I’ve done today.


My google alert for Magic Leap finally yielded something more interesting than investment news.