Lots of driving, a tip run which yielded a much more limited supply of timber than hoped and some more unsatisfactory carpentry. I didn’t finish the second sawhorse today. Borrowed an old saw and wood plane from the farm today hoping to achieve cleaner cuts. Instead although finer the saw cannot cut straight and the wood plane needs new handles, disassembly and sharpening before it can be used, reverted to my own tools and am facing the same assembly stability issues as on the first, at least I am not having to do it squatting on concrete though.
We are eyeing up the creation of a fence dividing the front from the back yard so we can allow our hens to free range more and stop our youngest F from bolting straight out the front to rattle the gate whenever he has his boots on. The hen house needs a better handle for moving it because at present the mover has to be very close to its wall which is awkward. The dump has again furnished me with the timber required for this modification. I find the tip a terribly depressing place it is all so wasteful, the wall of green waste which could be enriching the local parched soils, the mountain of mixed metals and the disgusting fly blown scree of plastic is disgusting and filthy in more ways than one.
Finished ‘Career of Evil‘ while taking a crowbar to palettes and crates at the tip. It stumped me in the end as with the others. I was about half way though by the time I got around to googling Blue Oyster Cult lyrics from which are used in every chapter heading and elsewhere throughout the book. I was half convinced they were fictional as if I have heard before I have no recollection of it.
Immediately began a book which has been on my need to listen list for months now ‘This Changes Everything‘ Naomi Klein. It is of course infuriating but very, very good. I downloaded it after reading this excerpt last year and have postponed or as she says ‘looked away’ since then. I am self assessing my own political complacency in recent years already so we are of to a worthy start only an hour or two in.
Noticed that one of my former teachers and generally cool person Dr. Kristen Lyons has recently announced as The Greens federal candidate for Moreton. An area I have lived in repeatedly, getting the candidacy seems unlikely at this point but not impossible. As always I will be encouraging everyone I can in both left and right politics give their first preference to the greens or minor parties as I don’t believe either of the majors deserve the $2.50 in campaign finance a first preference is worth to them.
Began colouring the castle last night a little preemptively as the ink layer needs another pass. But it was cathardic to see such progress on a card that has taken such a long time already. Update picture soon.
Wrecked my back making many of the final cuts for the saw horses in a half squat today. Lack of work outs over the past fortnight must also share the blame. As usual as soon as I allow muscle tone to slip my back starts twinging. Assembled the first sawhorse today but I am not calling it finished as once I have assembled the second using it in place of the low to the ground wood planks I used as a workbench for the first, I plan to disassemble the first and reconstruct it with more care to the tightness of leg joins. All in all I am quite pleased with the design I came up with. I just wish my woodworking skills had more finesse. Some better tools would help but only so far.
This guy I am not.
Attended a local and rather disappointing town street party and in violation of our rules we ended up spending close to fifty bucks on food and drinks.
Attended my first mass today. Church is church, they sang some songs, children fidgeted and ritual cannibalism was practiced.
What struck me though, was why is it that Australian churches are so ugly?
Maybe I’ve been listening to too much DeBotton but the construction and layout of a space is very important to how we treat it and how we feel within it. Australian churches are from my admittedly limited experience overwhelmingly ugly. Resembling as they so often do, municipal amenities buildings with ‘modern’ pipe framed steeples, or fiberboard 70’s spaceships dropped from considerable height. I have been in a generous estimate maybe fifteen Australian churches in my life and maybe to or three times that many elsewhere in the world. Perhaps my visits have not been characteristic but they are my anecdotal experience.
The Church I was in today is a lovely red brick classical nave with white crenelated turrets and a vaulted wooden ceiling. But… everything within it was shabby, kitch and often fake. Clearly the church has in the past had a wealthy and active congregation. These days however the impression is of hastily completed repairs and half measures, dodgy AC units sitting out of plumb on walls whose paint is marred by the cord marks and paint chips left by the removal of the previous and the the sagging conduit lazily tacked on to provide power. The tacky and now probably half a century old electric votive candle stand. The mishmash of Christ imagery. Here a screen printed British medieval madonna and child on a one piece vac formed plastic frame and canvas. There are poorly painted three quarter scale plaster of Christ offering benediction luridly painted but for his alabaster skin in a manner that recalls the recreation of how the Greek classical sculptures may have looked. The signs of the cross hung at uneven spacing around the hall. The whole set dish cast in waxy green/grey resin. All of left me kind of saddened at the state the building has been allowed to wallow into. Where is the glory?
It is not fair to compare the local church with far more impressive European equivalents many centuries older than the local but I still found the whole experience underwhelming. Compounded no doubt by having to repeatedly shush impatient and bored seven year olds around me.
I am looking forward to some days back in the secular system in term two. As grateful as I am for the work I’ve had and the days I’ve already locked in at the catholic for next term. I am very clear that religious education is not my home.
A reminder that the game I am working on as well as some others from the mind of Jack will be available for playtesting this weekend at this event.
No creative output so far today other than designing a new art activity off the cuff in class this morning. The plan called for colouring pre-printed .jpg artifact ridden grey mandalas during religion time. I had students draw their own by tracing around the edges of interesting shaped objects within the classroom in black marker to make mostly radially symmetrical patterns which they then coloured in. Some pretty results though I didn’t think to take photos unfortunately.
Straight into ‘Career of Evil‘ and hooked. Disappointed that the supporting female Robin is being put in jeopardy but it was bound to happen again eventually.
Also tried two episodes of season one of ‘Agents of Shield‘ as N was feeling out of the loop on L’s present obsession. Now I had heard that season one was a bit dodgy prior to the big Hydra reveal in ‘Captain America 2‘ but oh my goodness that was bad. I felt embarrassed for everyone involved in its production watching that poorly scripted, terribly choreographed, cliched mess unfold. We being suckers for punishment are going to try jumping ahead and giving it another chance before giving up on the idea completely.
Another leg for the sawhorses cut this evening and another sketch card close to completed last night. I realise I haven’t been sharing progress her very much, I just not happy enough with sketch level work to put it on public display without finished work accompanying.
This set of photos from Thatcherite Glasgow slums has shown up all over my feed and has a couple of striking pictures.
N and I were discussing the Galbraith pseudonym over dinner yesterday. I have just devoured the second in the fictional authors Cormoran Strike series ‘The Silkworm‘ in 17 hour audio book form in a matter of days. I think it is a bit of a shame that the game was up on the real authorship a little to early on, I suspect Rowling may have intended to keep the character at work for quite a bit longer had the secret have been kept.
Would I so gladly have dived into the first if I hadn’t known it was Rowling? Certainly not.
Would I have enjoyed it in ignorance? Absolutely yes.
I am not going to speculate on the significance or lack thereof of a male pseudonym but I do take at face value the idea that Rowling would like to have received genuine criticism of her work and would no doubt have enjoyed watching the work develop an audience all of its own. So sod whichever cad gave the game away too early.
They are very enjoyable whodunits. Each of which has kept me guessing until the end, particularly so in the second book. I have always detested authors tricks in mystery novels where by some fleeting brilliance the protagonist is able to divine the true killer using a clue or piece of evidence that was never or not clearly provided to the reader. There is none of that here Fair Play Whodunits both. Keep your wits about you though, there are a few MacGuffins and more than a few red herrings in each.
I intend to dive into the third book this evening while painting, to which I am about to devote my energies having failed altogether to create anything yesterday.
Tuesday is a bugger of a day in my current schedule. Good earnings but at a cost; Two clients in the afternoon and early evening on top of a full day in the classroom leaves not much left for loved ones and home work.
I suppose that is hardly surprising given the very challenging nature of some characters, relationships and sex scenes to heteronormative audiences and the occasional brutal violence. Having now finally gotten around to watching the complete first season. As I only joined N in watching it about half way thorough last year and just this past week went back to catch what I had missed. I can confidently state that it was by far the best TV I watched last year.
There are some simply extraordinary moments in this series, most memorably the two episodes involving births and the two involving shared musical experiences. Episode ten ‘What is Human’ being at the centre of a venn diagram of those two repeated plot points. The Wachowskis filmed actual births for use in the series though it was glaringly obvious in which few cases they did not or were unable to.
There are some moments in this series that far from being easier to watch than on the first viewing, were much much harder the second time around.
The series is not without its flaws, there are some rather contrived circumstances, the motivation of the big baddy is far from clear and the compatibily of the sensate group hasn’t really been pushed. All of these aside I cannot wait for season two and I heartily recommend this to all who haven’t yet watched it.
I was tempted to bring the criminally underrated ‘Cloud Atlas‘ and the very disappointing ‘Jupiter Ascending‘ into this but I’ve left it too late.
I really hope the Wachowskis can maintain momentum and deliver a second season to the same standard. As they have only recently begun filming it will be some time before we can see for ourselves.
We tried tiring the boys our with ‘The Good Dinosaur‘ before bed tonight. No luck the little one still fought until well after nine thirty. It is now nearly eleven and other than making two cuts with a saw I have created naught today. Glad that I got a draft card done last night.
Little else accomplished today but playing with children and commencing work on my saw horses. Speaking of, I have concluded that I do not have the requisite carpentry skills and tools to produce a pair of quite this level of functional beauty.
Though I have taken some inspiration from their design to include in my own more traditional pair.
Set up both phones tethering to take advantage of Telstra’s free data day. Noticed two hours and one tenth of the monthly quota too late that one computer, despite showing connection to the its phone was still using the home internet. Curses!
Managed another sketch card last night, now more than half way through that set. Aiming to have the rest of those and the castle card done within the next three weeks. More to do tonight.
F took a nasty turn and spiked a fever up to 39°C with Panadol and water it has mellowed and he is now sleeping relatively smoothly. Anticipating a rough night.
N’s computer has taken a turn for the worse lately, despite the new brand new power supply. Going to try a network card based on a recommendation but it seems unlikely given the nature of some of the glitches and crashes we are experiencing.
A devastated L had his daily time limit on Lego super heroes cut short.
Short of a new CPU or motherboard there is not much else I can try save for rebuilding the machine. The graphics card is less than 2 years old, the primary HDD is brand new, the RAM shows no errors, brand new and bigger powersupply, extra fans, an upgraded CPU fan nothing has worked. Very frustrating.
The school Easter hat parade was this morning. Some lovely homemade entries but ‘crafp’ was as ever with these things a dominant feature. store bought disposable plastic hats with glitter covered Styrofoam eggs, plastic paper shreddings and synthetic and plastic puff ball chickens abounded.
The ‘crafp’ life cycle:
It has crept into art curriculums nation wide. Insidious easily assembleable craft with no skill development, no creativity, no artistic merit, just disposable shiny busywork. It is particularly prevalent in activities which require parental involvement because it is often sold directly to parents as an easy way of meeting the expectation of involvement.
Going to have to face the music and make some art tomorrow. Heading to bed early tonight.