Drawing, Docos and Lavish Links

Painting all day. N took the boys to the farm for the day so I sweated it out at home painting digitally, listening and peripherally watching docos. Despite hours of attention the bloody village card is still not done. It’s getting there but my goodness it has been time consuming. Some minor and some significant changes still to go. Had took take a break as my wrist got sore.

village 2

Edit: Finished the bugger.



I watched or rather mostly listened to the following today:

Deep Web The Silk Road story which has a particular focus on the case against the alleged Dread Pirate Roberts user/admin Ross Ulbricht who has been jailed for life in a trial that involved some significant miscarriages of justice in the name of making a statement with his sentencing.  Interesting for a variety of reasons, particularly so for the old law enforcement officers acknowledgements that the online trade has a profound effect in the reduction of violence in the drug trade. Which as the formost stated aim of The Silk Road counts as a success for the market. Also like so many other examples of distributed access as quickly as one is shut down others spring open. It seems that finally the writing’s on the wall for the ‘drug war’. Thanks largely to capitalism and the internet.

The Island President Follows the interesting figure Mohamed Nasheed during his brief time as president of the Maldives as he attempts to convince national leaders from around the world to act decisively on global warming prior to and during the Copenhagen summit. A somewhat depressing film particularly so for the endnotes which told how the Maldives have since slid back under military rule.

Unhung Hero follows Patrick Moote as he recovers from a humiliating breakup in which his penis size is implicated by travelling the world exploring the weird and wonderful field of penis enlargement treatments, almost all of which are decidedly dodgy scams. Occasionally quite touching, mostly annoyingly American, self indulgent and trite.


Playing link aggregate with a few other interesting things from the feed today:

Cool Paper wigs

The tragic glory possible with a D20 

New Potter!

Very much enjoying Rubicon still. This vid is quite timely really, though it shows Roma a few centuries after what I’m listening to. I do wish I had read it before my last trip to Rome.



Three sided solid of constant width

Another great .Gif site this time with good mathematical explanations. 

Pretty fish handbags

Teacher friends who have an actual class of their own this year should totally sign up for this.

Extraordinary Dune poster by Caper Konefal

#Feeling the Bern

Is it the music, the pacing, the intonation or the combination? I don’t know. Got frisson tho.

Delightfully random finish





On Barefoot Shoes

For the past month or so, with the exception of work boots I have been pretty much exclusively wearing two pairs of barefoot shoes from Vevo. I have these running thongs:

and these day wear:

Ra II Hopewell

I never pay full price for shoes.

Both of which have a flexible uncushioned sole not exceeding say 7mm in width.

I first read about the barefoot running movement in a long form article I think was written by Christopher McDougall some years ago. But…

I am not a runner. I keep trying to convince myself that it is worthwhile, with little success so far. That said, I do have cause to run occasionally and since reading that all those years ago I have modified the way I run to avoid heel striking ever since. I have worn what I thought were thin soled shoes in the past, but even the thinest was more padded than these. Actually wearing a pair of barefoot shoes takes some serious adjustment.

N called them my ‘Ministry of Silly Walks Shoes’ in the first weeks. In padded shoes I was putting my foot down hard. Really hard and when I put on these shoes that feel for the most part the same and tried to walk normally I would hurt my feet slamming them into the pavement. I certainly did at times look pretty silly as I figured out how to stride around with no cushioning.

My stride has adjusted and become comfortable if not yet innate. My feet don’t hurt and best of all my back doesn’t either. I am pretty convinced based on my own anecdotal evidence alone that the way I was walking in padded shoes was one of the leading causes of my lower back pain.

I wholeheartedly recommend giving barefoot shoes, which are available from a few different brands, a try.

Vevo shoes tout their patent pending puncture resistant sole, I have had a cat head go through the thongs but I’ve had that happen in boots too so make of that what you will.

Drawing, drawing and more drawing today.




Waiting for NBN Co.

The title has been the name of my wifi network for a number of houses now. Particularly appropriate here where for the privilege of running a surprisingly respectable 5Mbps down I am paying $80 for a mostly symbolic home phone and 100gb a month. I know full well that 5Mbps is incredible in a rural area like this too. I also know that if Labor’s FTTP NBN had gone ahead the figure would likely be closer to 100Mbps.


The mess that the ABC has made of coverage of the NBN has been making some interesting waves this past week. I am deeply dissapointed in the ABC and very curious to see what if anything will come of the revelations following Nick Ross‘s resignation. The fact that Turnbull in his capacity as communications minister made three appearances on Q&A without being permitted to field any questions on the mutli-billion dollar project he is making a mess of should be evidence enough that something fishy has been going on at ‘Aunty’.

I firmly believe AR (2 links there) is going to replace the smart phone in your pocket within the decade, possibly within 5 years. When it does bandwidth is going to be like the weather, a constant background influence in our daily lives. Only a real NBN can cope with these developments. Malcolm Turnbull’s Mess is going to put Australia at a serious economic and social disadvantage over the coming decade, one from which we will take a long time to recover.

No time for long rants tonight there is creative work to be done. Lots of progress made on the chicken tractor today. A detailed photoblog of the build process will come on completion. Progress is so good I am thinking it is time to make an order for day old chicks. I am particularly enamoured of the Double Laced Barnvelders and Plymouth Rocks but we may just go for a plain Isa brown. Who we get the chicks from remains to be seen, that site has nice pictures, reasonable prices and immunised chicks though.

I’ve also written a new board book called ‘Belly belly bum bum’ today. Got to get onto trying to get one printed soon.

Downs/Grasslands card complete. Going to need to revisit this one but calling it done for now. Downs 1 In template









On iOS v Android.

I can in no way claim to be fully impartial, I’ve been with Android since the beginning of the smartphone age and with Nokia, Sony and Motorola prior. I’ve never even used a blackberry. This iPhone 4 is the first apple product I’ve owned since an ipod video almost a decade ago. I am not an Apple fanboi and I although I have at times tended to the rabid opposite. I no longer identify as such. iPad’s have finally received the upgrade that would have prompted me to buy their first generation in a heartbeat, their laptops and computers are rock solid (if limited when it comes to gaming) and their phones are undeniably sexy pieces of technology. All that aside I still fall firmly in the ‘if you can’t open it, you don’t own it camp’ for computers and phones alike.

I have also in truth not been giving the iPhone exclusive use, partially because it is very slow, partially because despite not functioning as a phone my Gs4 is still fully functional as a mini tablet loaded with my audiobooks, comics books and a superior camera. My stories and their bookmarks pretty much ensure I need to keep the Samsung with me. I am also aware that the iPhone 4 is a full generation older than the Gs4 and so not fairly comparable for performance and specs.

The Good

The parallax is very shiny.

The bottom swipe up app drawer is excellent.

The kind of perky, bouncy nature of everything in the OS is sweet, but not to my taste.

The top swipe notification tray does all that it should, though old hat on Android.

There are a number of iOS exclusive apps I’ve been enjoying. In particular ‘Camera +’ and the extra instagram apps ‘Boomerang’ and ‘Hyperlapse’ I have also tried out a whole bunch of other random crap that hasn’t made it over to android some good, some rubbish, some absurdly expensive.

Siri is cool and very comparable in accuracy to google equivalent, neither can do what hound can:

The Bad

So small, for dainty little hands maybe, this one gives me cramps.

Updating this phone, which had to be done, none of the google apps would even install without the update, has reduced its speed considerably. Is this an example of Apple deliberately slowing down an older product to encourage a new purchase or do they simply not care to tailor their software to the old architecture?

The home button on this phone is on its last legs, repeated presses are required for any action using it and I’m more likely to end up with siri than my home screen. I’ve resorted to using the onscreen home button to counter for this. It seems this was a really common problem with this generation which is a shame.

Lack of a physical back button drives me bananas. It would be all very well if there was some uniform system wide on screen action that would perform this function but even that isn’t present. Most but far from all apps include this function as an on screen button. I honestly do not understand how people put up with the lack of this feature. To those of you who are iOS lifers, Android phones, in addition to the power/lock, volume and home buttons typically have a back and a menu button on either side of the home. The menu button is falling out of fashion being replaced by system wide standard ‘swipe in from the left for menu’ function. But ‘Back’ is for now at least, here to stay. I have encountered and witnessed people being confused by the buttons behaviour. All it does is if possible go back to the previous screen or action. It can go back through a number of screens or actions this way usually depositing you back at the home screen after a couple of presses.

The phone doesn’t display the number you are calling, only the contact name.

iTunes is almost as bad as I remember on PC. It slides its tentacles in deep, cannot be removed from background operation completely and is generally a cumbersome and irritating program to use. By comparison the Gs4 behaves like an external hdd when plugged in and is fully accessible. Prior to rooting I could not write to the SD card this way without removing it and plugging it in separately to my computer thanks to a google mandated security update.

The Verdict

Really the bulk of my issues with iOs come down to customisability. My Gs4 always had Nova installed so even though a few months ago I finally got around to Rooting it and installing Cyanogen Mod installed it is functionally and visually identical to what it was before, with the exception that I have superuser write access allowing me to bypass a few of the annoying restrictions in Android.

These are my Gs4’s two home screens, current background image is the camera obscura image the lounge room curtain gap makes on the wall in the middle of the day. Everything I need is on my home page, all other apps live in the app draw which shares the button with Nova themes settings, red button bottom centre. My icons are a custom set, labels would normally be switched off, but I haven’t bothered since the factory reset done while trying to diagnose the sim problem. I use signal the crypto messenger as my default sms client with the added bonus that if both I and the recipient are using signal and on WiFi the messages are sent that way instead.

My iPhone looks exactly like everyone else’s. The icons aren’t customisable, the spacing grid alignment isn’t customisable, icons don’t expand to fit low volume folders, every installed app populates neverending visually indistinguishable homescreens. There are no widgets, seen below a clock and weather widget with custom skin and on the other homepage a custom skin for a calendar widget. Bloatware apple apps are irremovable.

Android wins for me for now at least.































Discovered this wonderful site via someone being effusive about Elon Musk. Very pleased to with this discovery.

Horizontal History

This post has taken way longer than it ought. Back to work inking a card now.


Unknown #aranae #daddylonglegs #spider. Body approx. 25mm #macro phalangioides Pholcus

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More #daddylonglegs #araneae #spider #macro phalangioides Pholcus

A photo posted by @liatach on