Tue 15th


This stunning and shocking piece of investigative journalism by 4Corners cast a bit of a pall over my day. It brought back memories of the situations a number of close friends were living with and dealing with, when at 16 I and they were first living out of home. Thankfully none of our situations, and mine least of all, were ever quite so dire, but for grace and so on. I recommend it and I look forward to seeing the system that has festered hidden from public view undergo an unpleasant bleaching in the sun over the coming months.

This piece by Michael Moore helped cheer me up some.


A day with kindergarten has left me exhausted but I aim to do a spot of editing and a little painting too. Dying to cut some more foam but it is not going to happen this evening.

Mon 14th


Completed L’s helmet Sir Vader knight helmet, began the chestplate and gorget. Build video to come.

Printing out a to do list of projects itemised for display above my computer.

Potato quality pics grabbed from footage, just for this.




At work today I these lovely illustrated and encyclopaedicly annotated editions of classic works. They are hard to search for thanks to the generic nature of the edition ‘The Whole Story’ but so far I have found:

Treasure Island, White Fang, Huckleberry Finn, Around the world in 80 Days, Call of the Wild & Jungle book.

They are really very well put together. My father read Treasure Island to me as a child but a lot went straight over my head. With these pictures, diagrams, lithographs and paintings it would have made more sense. I’m thinking I will grab them second hand for my class bookshelf and to read to the boys when they get older.


The Whole Story: "Treasure Island" (Classics in Context): Stevenson, Robert Louis The Whole Story: "Jungle Book" (Classics in Context): Kipling, Rudyard



The aftermath continues. I read this piece on surviving autocracies and this funny collection of ObamaBiden memes.

A choice few:


These memes are saving my sanity #obamabiden #saveme

A photo posted by Whit (@konbanwhit) on

Enough it is Westworld night.



Sir Vader Build Video 01


Still trying to figure out how to add a second piece of music within the Youtube interface.

Lovely Sunday

Painted a card for 3 hours. Really struggling to match style and finish work I am satisfied with. It has been so long since I completed one.

Worked on L’s foam costume. Going to continue editing the first build vid once this post is up and if I get it uploading I’ll share it in the morning.

Constructed another new raised garden bed frame using scrap metal and some of the timber salvaged yesterday.

Cooked a homegrown spinach and feta pie.

Watched ‘Finding Dory‘. Which  not as good as the first is of course but is lovely, clever and occasionally funny all the same.





I’ve spent the last two evenings editing together a build vlog for the first piece of foam costume armour I started back on Thursday. It is still ten minutes too long and thus not done. I have a new found respect for people like Casey Neistat, who are producing a video a day. Presumably you very quickly get in the habit of making shots count, otherwise hours will be spent trawling through footage and making cuts. More experience with Premier is doubtless helpful as well. I’d love to post it but I’m taking a break to paint tonight. Going to apply lessons learned in the filming of the next segments.

Huge outdoor day today. We made a trip to the farm, collected new fencing materials and load of hay. Borrowing a ute, we made two trips to the dump and finally rid ourselves of the pile of rotten timber, metal scraps and crap that has been expanding and blocking up the back corner of the garden since we arrived. Also raided the dump and a town skip for a collection of fresh palettes and a massive pile of cardboard boxes.


Some interesting things are being written in the wake of the Trump election. I am a believer in the long peace. But I acknowledge that the peace is on thin ice both literally and metaphorically. For anyone still struggling to come to terms with the US result I have a couple of recommendations. This surprisingly accurate piece from cracked.com is an excellent start. A breakdown of voter demographics demonstrates that a million less young people voted in this election than in 2012. Pundits will blame many things for this but to me it is obvious; young Americans overwhelmingly backed Sanders. When the DNC screwed him they became disengaged if not outright hostile to Clinton. This was further compounded by pre-polling giving many the impression that Clinton would have an easy win, thus they at least, didn’t have to vote for her.



I’m excited. But by golly it better be as good as it looks.


Captain Fantastic

In the aftermath of the US election result yesterday evening we watched ‘Captain Fantastic‘.

Which I count as easily among the best films of the year so far. At times hilarious, very moving and challenging. Richly developed characters grapple with loss and uncertainty. It was the perfect film for a hard evening and led to some interesting breakfast table discussions about where and how we want to be living long term and what our Cobar exit strategy will be.

Got crafty this afternoon and began foamsmithing together L’s Christmas present by request. I’ve spent the last hour on the phone else I may have made more progress editing together the vlog of the build.



Everything’s Shit

So that gastro bug got me after all. Had to leave work and have a good lie down. No vomiting for me so far fortunately.

I woke to find that 2016 has gone 3 for 3 in bad election outcomes. Yay!


I take no pleasure in saying it. I told you so.

Even a day ago I thought maybe, maybe it is going to be OK. Maybe Clinton will scrape a win and actually show some spine and the dire climate trajectory we are on could be turned around.

But no. Nothing good will come of this.

For me culpability for this catastrophic fecal tsunami falls squarely on the shoulders of the DNC, The Clintons and the media that colluded with them and in turn gave so much attention to the demagogue. They brought a knife to a gun fight. They got beaten by new media, memes and fucking 4chan. This election was about antiestablishmentism and they, through collusion, media blockading and occasional outright fraud selected the most divisive and unpopular establishment democratic candidate of my lifetime. In so doing they shafted the one candidate that could not only have beaten Trump but could actually have led the fight against neoliberalism and climate change globally.

I don’t want to sound too pessimistic but at this point I honestly think another American civil war is not out of the realm of possibility. Not straight away, but when the lists start forming and the camps begin filling, when the little injustices and the overt bigotry begin to grate on people a year or two down the line. Things may get very ugly indeed.

Anyway western civilisation we had a pretty good run. It is a shame but I have had a saying for years now;

“If we can’t convince our democratically elected leaders to change, we probably deserve to go extinct

It’s just a pity we will take so much of the biosphere with us, but hey evolution has time for a few more experiments before the sun expands.





Nasty Bug

Arrived home today to find all three of my family members vomiting and miserable on the lounge room floor. Whatever vile virus has struck them down has skipped me so far, fingers crossed it stays that way.

Anyway, all my best intentions of a productive evening painting were dashed. We ate jelly and watched a ‘Secret Life of Pets‘ (silly and predictable but amusing) . I was inspired to go looking for a jelly mold but the only one I really took a shine to is a bit out of my price range…


Last night was Westworld E06 and E03 of Black mirror. Late to bed. A full episode by episode review of Black Mirror in the works.

Doing a spot of painting now.

To share

The exquisite and bizarre sculptural works of Yoshitoshi Kanemaki  (Also here & here)



A morning in the sun, finished the wicking/ self watering garden bed. I filmed the process but struggled with poor battery life in my main camera throughout. The new garden bed will need to settle for a week or two before we plant a fresh crop of seedlings.

I spent the afternoon fighting with software. What I had intended to be a simple hour or two’s editing was derailed by Premier inexplicably deciding not to recognise the audio from an odd assortment of the clips I was using, all shot with the same camera, on the same day. Having gone deep down the rabbit hole of settings alterations, refreshes, restarts, system file alterations and many other possible fixes besides, the trick that finally solved it was as simple as renaming the files from .mp4 to .mov. Hours later I have not finished editing that brief vlog together as I was quickly derailed again by the obtuse interface of that unfamiliar adobe app. I have a working project file to return to now at least.

This evening was spent at a family barbecue and following up on loose ends and odd jobs around the house and online.  Some things taken care of, other tasks thwarted by lack of knowledge and time. A big week at blue school ahead.


On Politics

I have participated in two elections this year. I voted remain in the UK and Green in the Australian federal election for both houses. Both of those elections were close and extremely disappointing. Obviously the AU Greens were never in with a shot at many more seats in the house of reps but the LibLab battle was a close one. The depths of my dissapointment in the Australian electorate cannot be overstated. Yet another three to four years of corrupt, visionless, selfinterested nincompoops in charge.

As for Brexit… Well lets just say that I’m glad my UK passport is via Scottish heritage. UK Labor continues to shoot themselves in the foot and seems willing to spend decades in opposition rather than, you know, listen to their constituents and represent some progressive democratic socialism.

I obviously cannot vote in the US election.

Earlier in the year, back during the primaries I watched with bated breath as Clinton and Sanders battled it out. Even as a Clinton Candidacy became a forgone conclusion I predicted vocally that if it became Clinton V Trump, Clinton would lose.

I really, really hope I was wrong.

I backed Bernie and I think it is one of the great tragedies of modern politics that thanks at least in part to malfeasance within the DNC we didn’t get to see Sanders actually wipe the floor with Trump.

Depending on where you look the US presidential election looks either a sure thing for Clinton or scary close.


Until recently I  honestly wasn’t sure who the worst candidate was. It is very much a Beast vs Smiler affair and there was not an immediately apparent least worst option for me. Don’t get me wrong, I am saying that I don’t like either of them with fairly equal vehemence. Clinton is a neolib a warmonger and firmly represents the status quo, she has deep social and fiscal ties with the fossil fuel industry and the banksters. She will perpetuate some of the worst elements of American foreign policy through the next decade. Worst of all I have absolutely zero confidence in her willingness to act decisively on climate change, which is now beyond urgent.


Trump though, Trump is a monster. He has clearly outed himself as the worst option. He is perceived as an outsider candidate, to paraphrase Michael Moore, he is the Molotov the poor, disillusioned and disenfranchised can lob into the parliaments that have failed them. He will of course, if elected, fail them in new, interesting and spectacular fashion. The fact that he was and is even given the dignity of attention represents a failure of the media globally. I mean this is a man who managed to bankrupt a casino, A Casino! That shouldn’t even be possible. He should be treated like the repugnant prolapsed sphincter that he is and forgotten.

The status quo is not good enough, but it is nowhere near as bad as a Trump presidency could be for everyone on earth.


The link that got me started:

“Also, the large number of people that was unable to interpret our tool as anything but an effort to support or oppose a political candidate — and that was true for both liberals and conservatives — speaks to me about an ineffective public sphere. And that’s something I think we should all be concerned about. This polarization is not just a cliché. It is a crippling societal condition that is expressed in the inability of people to see any merit, or any point, in opposing views. That’s a dangerous, and chronic, institutional disease that is expressed also in the inability of people to criticize their own candidates, because they fear being confused with someone their peers will interpret as a supporter of the opposing candidate. If you cannot see any merit in the candidate you oppose, even in one or two of the many points that have been made, you may have it.”


Discussing this tool: https://clinton.media.mit.edu