Hot days melting into one another. Did I catch that dragonfly yesterday? wait what, Saturday!

A bit of painting, a bit of Lego, a bit of unpacking and sorting classroom materials, a fair bit of slowly hand sewing costume parts while watching trash (Sewing machine still MIA) and a lot of swimming have passed the time pleasantly.

There was a death at the pool this morning. A heart attack in the lap lanes and failed resuscitation on the edge. No one we know, a big old fella who swam laps most days. So it goes. Ambulance and pool closing merely a dramatic interlude in our day.

Mortality has been on my mind lately, what with discussing organ donor ship (BTW a resounding yes to the lot, though I doubt they’ll want my lungs or liver), euthanasia (Definitely getting a ‘DNR Please’ tattoo someday), life insurance, wills and funeral preferences (as biodegradable as possible). And on top of all that a new focus on my own health and fitness and general lifestyle sustainability. Privileges I have not previously been utilising well.


I’ve also been wrestling with unfinished projects and trying to get into a space to start pumping out cards again. Foiled at every turn by technology and time management but trying. Today it was tablet drivers, yesterday final resolution on a decision we have been weighing for some time. Replacing N’s barely functioning computer. A hard decision because although every component in her computer is good quality, it has never run well and now at over four years old upgrading is expensive and potentially pointless.



Sat 14th

A days break in the relentless heat allowed for some garden work, path packing, cement laying, wedding and mulching. Our two hens are free ranging and thanks largely to the sheer quantity of mulch for them to scratch, not being too destructive of our garden.

Some good costume progress, straps are now on all but one of the arm and shin pieces. Doing a spot of hand sewing in front of the television this evening as the sewing machine is still in the shop for servicing.

More detail available on instagram

Fri 13th

Calligraphy practise while watching the first of the new Sherlock episodes reveals how dreadfully out of practise I have become. Outrageous heat and Mercurian UV levels have made for a mostly unproductive day. Praying for rain and a break in the weather. Still picking away at After Effects tutorials, still unsatisfied with the results.

The new Sherlock has lost some of its shine, feels overly melodramatic and for shame, predictable. Hopefully the other episodes are better. Once I’ve watched Ep 2 I can watch the new Nerdwriter clip, so there is something to look forward to.


Planning for Planning

New year, new classroom, now stripped of posters and decorations ready to make my own. I now also have a better handle on my planning requirements and suffice to say I have a great deal of work to do. Classroom layout is already developing and I have a number of classroom resources to create in addition to mountains of lesson plans. First among which is a logarithmic time line based on this and this and evolving from my previous classroom time lines that used similar principles but less formally.

This image perfectly captures why Wait But Why is both such an amazing teaching resource and completely unsuitable for use in my classrooms. And no I will not be including the heat death of the universe in my primary school classroom time line. 

Daily or at least, near daily blogging is eating up a lot of my creative energy.  So apart from the occasional verbose rant I am paring back my posting, back to the original intent; a keeping a public check on my creative progress. In particular I am changing the order of the evening and prioritising painting and drawing over post writing with the hope that I can post progress at the end of the evening rather than as has often happened lately accomplished little after writing a post until ten.

N and I started an online parenting course together this evening as we have both been looking for ways to foster resilience and compassion in our sons. So far it is good, the presenter knows her stuff and her activities are meaningful, if to our taste a little naff. Already I am looking at ways I can apply what we are learning in my classroom so there is definitely substance to the methods.



I think we may be about to witness something incredible.

I think Turnbull’s Liberal National government is going to lose their majority.

The scandals and catastrophic failures are snowballing. The latest parliamentary entitlements scandal, the tens of thousands of fraudulent Centerlink debt notices, Brandis’s ever more absurd breaches of legal ethics, Mr potato head’s tropical torture tents, the billion dollars for Adani, Joe ‘Age of Entitlement is Over’ Hockey smoking cigars on budget night ’14, now pulling pension as well as being paid as US ambassador. It is all rolling down hill, gathering speed, growing into a boulder of icy public discontentment, careening towards the most cataclysmic political failure in Australian history.

They really do have a snowballs chance in the proverbial and it will likely be even more impressive than this

Some of the governments ministers have been caught with their hands in the till. At a time when another arm of the same government is doubling down on claiming that the people who actually got off welfare owe it all back.

They have a one seat majority. For crying out loud they replaced Ley* with Sinodinos rather than risk bumping Tony back into play.

I will honestly be surprised if they make it to the first sitting day of the year intact. I don’t know what will happen when they lose the numbers, clearly they will retain minority government but for how long? The pool of buffoons from which they can replace Turnbull is small and tainted. Their characteristic inability to negotiate, the constant repetition of the idea that it is how they are selling their ideas not, you know the ideas themselves, that are the problem, their persistent inability to accept responsibility and blame for the consequences of their actions. All this leads me to believe that unlike our last minority government they will achieve very little at all besides digging themselves deeper holes, and short of a massive terror scare and a herculean effort from Rupert, eventually losing government.

The blistering hypocrisy of their ridiculous sense of entitlement the government holds is the most galling thing about the whole mess. These people who year after year have voted to increase their wages well above inflation, who have voted to increase their pension well above the median wage yet still penny pinch for Cabcharges from the airport to Mal’s place, or a trip to the polo to rub noses with Gina. These same people who think it is OK to charge everyone more to visit doctors, to renege on funding arrangements for public schools, to slash public dentistry programs, to risk driving childcare prices through the roof** (this on top of cutting the wages of childcare workers*** as one of their very first acts of parliament), propping up the ever expanding housing bubble while cutting investments in public housing, to build toll roads while cutting from public transport, to cut from actually profitable renewable investment and invest billions in coal, to undermine our human rights commissioner and keep children in concentration camps, in adult prisons or as a final middle finger to decency send them to countries they don’t even know for failing to meet the standards of the community they were raised in. These people who suck hard on the teat of the fossil fuel industry, fully concious that it’s business model fully intends to burn us all on the alter of quarterly profits.**** These people have the damned pride to claim that they have fiscal or moral authority on anything.

We are entitled to representative government. We are entitled to hold our representatives accountable. We are entitled to expect that corruption in public office when detected is appropriately punished and corrupt politicians are to be removed from office. I demand a federal ICAC with the power to prosecute now.

Until then prepare your popcorn because this is only going to get better.


End rant. Time to paint.


*Even the despicable pond scum in the Murdoch press have smelt blood in the water and are turning, looking to be on the winning side as always. ‘The Australian’ link >> .

**Eww a Daily mail link >> .

*** Item two on the list.

**** Citation no longer required.

Sewing Frustrations & Swimming Successes

L swam independently for the first time on our morning swim today. Admittedly he has trouble keeping his head above water, but he can move through water in the direction he wants to go and he and we are over the moon. This marks four days of extraordinary progress, on Saturday he would barely blow bubbles and submerge his face all while clinging for dear life. Today we did underwater high fives and he propelled himself 2 meters through the water without touching bottom. F is also becoming much more water confident, though he is still taking some convincing not to drink the pool.

Project wise I spent the day wrestling with N’s family sewing machine, which is doubtless older than me and still going strong. Though in this case the area it shows most strength in is tangled bobbins and de-threading needles.

In addition tothe parts of the tabard shown above I have affixed fabric glue points to each end of eight strips of elastic. I have dealt with so many knots that I am going to investigate having the machine serviced or replaced as I cannot continue to work with it as it is.

I’ve also made time for a small and long overdue spot of calligraphy practise.

Last nights video editing turned into an exercise in following After Effects tutorials for title animations. Unsatisfactory results, so now for a spot of painting before bed.


A day spent largely in hiding from the heat, mostly in the local library and pool. Aiming to make the best of the evening cool and create some art. Starting with a spot of video editing.

Recently watched ‘The Perks of Being a Wallflower‘ with N.

I found it engaging and enjoyable, if a bit saccharine and emotionally manipulative. The portrayal of drug use for comedic effect was let down by the obvious lack of experience. It passes Bechdel, it has great music and it treats its gay characters with respect. The depression and mental health problems of the protagonist are treated as acceptable issues for anyone to deal with. I think it is likely a valuable film for it’s target demographic.





Caught up on Ctrl-Paint videos. I have a lot of exercise to do if I want to get as good as I want to be.

Drew, cut and pinned the first fabric elements for the Sir Vader costume. The tabard is now ready for sewing. Wasted a bunch of time looking for patterns online before just making my own. Still fiddling with the cloak pattern. Prepped the elastic and velcro strapping for all foam segments for stitching. Encountered tensioning problems with the sewing machine and had to put it on hold pending tech support.


Continuing tidying the house and yard. Doing daily pool visits building the boys water confidence. L looks like he might be swimming by the end of the week.

Began looking at my planning, seems I don’t have one of the key tools required so I’ll chase that up over coming days.


I don’t game very much anymore. I love to, but I don’t often allow it the time. I indulge in a little when L is keen to play with me, today we squeezed in a little time with BUD. In the past year I have only really played The Witcher 3, which as I am nowhere near complete, so that will keep my occasional gaming fixes covered for some time to come. I’m saving a review of that until I have at least completed the main storyline which still seems a way off. Suffice to say it is good, easily the most mature and well written game I have ever played. As a result of all of this I only bought one thing in the Steam winter sale:

ABZÛ  which I purchased for myself and a cousin at the $5 price point entirely on the basis of the studio’s previous game ‘Journey‘.

I know I covered some of this a little over a week ago but I hadn’t yet finished the game then and wasn’t in review mode, if you missed it the linked post includes a playthrough video of Journey.

ABZÛ is a lovely thing, but less of a game and more of a interactive cinematic experience. There is no failure mode and there really is no challenge, the path is linear, the storytelling is minimal but my oh my is it beautiful, at times breathtaking.

Alas it is never as moving or sublime as the studio’s previous masterpiece Journey which thanks to its innovative use of multiplayer, meditative narrative form and stunning beauty I would buy for PC in a heartbeat and play again. I will return to ABZÛ again to show off the schooling simulations and sense of scale they have achieved but I doubt I will ever again play right through it as I have repeatedly in the case of Journey.




Maybe the week before Christmas wasn’t exactly the best time to try and adopt mindfulness habits and healthy eating. Better than on January first I guess as I actually achieved my goals for a number of days straight before heading into the Travel and Festivus nosedive. We are emerging out the other side now, re-accustoming ourselves to our Cobar home and the thousands of little jobs needing addressed around the place. One day back and it is a bit overwhelming.

Today we put up calendars, made lists, cleaned, sweated and swam. I have a little under three weeks until work starts as we start term 1 late in the Western district and it is going to be a very busy time.

For now I’ve read, watched and enjoyed a couple of good things over the last week, here are a few to share:

I have been slowly updating my security settings and now habitually use a VPN, as should you. I am still sometimes surprised by how exposed I am: What every browser knows about you.

Somehow I missed this hilarious re-dubbing of one of the Star Wars films which does not exist, using as script; the English subtitles on a pirated Chinese DVD. Contains the origin of the ‘Do Not Want’ meme.

If you follow UK media, which I do vaguely but with some extra exposure this year, Charlie ‘Black Mirror’ Brooker’s 2016 Wipe is an entertaining hour.

Wait But Why on how much time we have.

Finally I don’t want to come off all news hipster or anything but I have been following the Centrelink debts fiasco since mid November when the first stories about false debts from as far back as 2011 began surfacing on r/Australia. Mostly out of worry for myself and my friends, a number of whom have gone on and of student payments in that time frame. For those not following Centrelink has introduced a spiffy new algorithm wherein they compare your taxable income as reported by the ATO and look for as many ways to issue a debt based on that as possible, including but not limited to dividing the total by 26 fortnights even if you were only on a payment for a tiny fraction say one fortnight of the tax year.

Anyway I didn’t write about it then, and now, well now bloody John Birmingham has just written such a face melting burn of the whole malignant mess and the myopic machiavellians orchestrating it that it simply cannot be topped.

Yes I subscribed. 



Happy New Year

From this delightful Sesame St clip with the help of Giphy

Yesterday we spent the morning feeling disillusioned about the fate of humanity in Sunshine Plaza shopping center Maroochydore. Politics and global ecology can wait though, because then we went and saw ‘Moana‘. Marking F’s first cinema experience and L’s second. Moana is a good Disney, one of a number lately. Well balanced, without romance or princes, a good strong female lead and an entertaining though very stupid male sidekick oh and a pretty funny demigod. Some touching moments, treatment of Hawaiian culture felt respectful, a good hero’s journey all round. Other adults in the party went to ‘Rogue One‘ and ‘Fantastic Beasts‘. We followed up with a dip in the ocean/estuary at Cottontree and a barbecue before the long drive back to Crystal Waters.

N and I stayed up for midnight local by watching the altogether rather fun ‘Edge of Tomorrow‘  I almost forgot I was watching Cruise for a minute or two in the middle of the groundhog day war.

Today we took a dip in pebble pond and hid from the heat as best as possible. Tomorrow we head back to the city for a few nights before returning home to western NSW.