Time on my Timeline

Brutally hot day and the pool was shut for a memorial service. Terrific storm this evening has washed the heat away, likely to be worse tomorrow though.

Made my classroom time line and labels to laminate and attach to it.

Lots more labels to make, once you get started it is hard to know where draw the line. A small sampling below.


After a good meditative start and a nearly 6k run the rest of this day simply evaporated into meal times, naps and swimming. A little work related reading and housework and continuation of the parenting course with N.

I experienced my first print failure due to the existing spool holders inadequate movement.

But got the Spirograph made yesterday working properly:

I’ve been avoiding comment on the orange man’s inauguration. But I do want to share the immense pride at the vast numbers of women and their supporters who have turned out to marches globally to denounce Trump and all he stands for as well as celebrating diversity and resilience.


I also need to address the large number of really heartfelt ‘Thanks Obama’ memes being shared around and while he has been without doubt the most progressive American president of my lifetime I am concerned that the rose coloured glasses shouldn’t rapidly become opaque.

A lot of the Obama legacy will be dismantled or used as a tool of oppression in the coming years and some of the responsibility for that rests firmly on his shoulders. The fact that Trump is even in the White House now is still to my mind very much the fault of the DNC with whom Obama also has a very close relationship.


Sunburned Toes

And other joys of life in Western NSW.

Our ongoing war with cat heads on the property progresses.

For now only a small area remains afflicted until next week when another thousand will appear. A spot of extra fencing to stop the hens going under the house is responsible for the burnt toes. The sun is brutal before nine at the moment and woe betide those who step out unprepared.

We have the sewing machine back, cleaned and repaired. Sewing is a whole lot more fun with a machine. Hoping to finalise the costume within the week now.

I finally started the day with a 6AM run and swim. It feels good, now I just need to keep it up every other day for a while. Other habit tracking is going remarkably well and likely due a post at some point soon.

Spent the heat of the day sorting super and health insurance technicalities. It seems one of my super accounts was charging double the required amount on insurance because I hadn’t identified my risk status to them.

Exploring Thingverse looking for some useful trinkets to try as my test prints. Enjoying scouring youtube for wonders and peculiarities. Like the Exceptional Reggie Watts:





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.



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.


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.


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.



Days slipping by in Festivus. Lots of Lego, lots of painting, bubble making, a little carpentry and plenty of swimming in the river has occupied our days. I’ve been reading a preview copy of my father’s new novel and Steven Pinkers Style guide. We watched the sadly too long and quite disappointing Christmas special of Sense 8 and I’ve treated a cousin and myself to an on sale copy of ABZU. Which is a delightful aquatic adventure by the creators of one of my favourite games of all time:

Today we are off to the Folk Festival for the afternoon and evening, care of Christmas tickets and babysitting provided by my mother.

A small sampling of our output over the last few days:

This last playing with my new carbon ink Japanese brush pen. Lovely thing.



Rogue One

Last night we spent N’s birthday gift of Gold Class tickets to the cinema seeing that latest film in that galaxy I like.

Fortunately there was nothing else particularly compelling competing with it as the conversation went as follows:

“Which film do you want to see and why is it Rogue One?”

First impressions only this evening.

Put simply it was a joy. Everyone who has seen ‘A New Hope‘ (1977) knows how this film ends. The challenge and the art of it is in giving us a bunch of characters to care about and in making the audience believe that the stakes were high and success in the mission is not guaranteed.

Image result for rogue one images

The characters are engaging, easily empathised with and at times quite moving. The aesthetic and style is absolutely nailed throughout. Hair, costume clothes it fits in right before episode four perfectly.

There are some genuinely wonderful cameos. The reconstructions of some actors are distinguishable as CG but barely and on the whole are an extraordinary achievement. It even has for my money the best cinematic villain of all time showing exactly why he is such an infamous character in fantastic style.

Image result for rogue one images

This shot is not actually in the film. But it looks cool enough to include.

There is none of the pompous ponderous exposition that characterised the prequels. It felt well paced throughout. It is a war movie and for N’s taste it is a little heavy on the battle scenes. That said I think it probably has the best Star Wars space battle to date. The action is compelling, well choreographed and entertaining.


The cinema we went to allowed us to see Chermside shopping centre in full pre-Christmas glory. Packed to the gills and pumping at 11 O’clock at night with more people flooding in as we left, totally bizarre and apparently to be open all night. I’d love to have seen the 3AM wasteland.

Today for N’s birthday we had a scrumptious breakfast out, went swimming and had ice cream at Southbank. This afternoon with just the two of us we pushed our physical limits at Bounce. Which is amazing, if I lived closer I would need a membership as I haven’t had so much physical fun in ages.

Tonight we get to play the Santa game.