The communication of woe. Are we just going round in circles?

Can we think our way out of the mess we are in? Are we really in such a mess? Is the world really going to hell in a hand basket or are we just better at communicating our woes? I seem to be devoting a significant amount of energy to these questions and so I shall try and put some meat on their bones.

Can we think our way out of the mess we are in?

Yes. This is something I really want to believe in. Even Vanilla Ice is trying to do his bit “If there’s a problem YO! I’ll solve it, check out this hook while my DJ revolves it.” But seriously, we humans a ridiculously smart. Far too smart some may say. Whatever challenges we are faced with somebody somewhere will come up with a solution. Then, not long after this others will expand on it thinking up more and more elegant solutions, simplified processes and on and on spawning new generations of answers. Then some of us will head down those back alleys and side streets of thought processes that I hold so dear and find all manner of related answers and questions for us to solve.

Are we really in such a mess?

I am going to thrust a flag into the top of this rampart and say no. NO. We are not sliding down a slope slippery, nor plunging headlong into the fiery abyss.  I can only remember back within my own lifetime and then not even the entire time but I can listen. Listen to our elders and the voices left by our forebears. Factories closing, investment down, crime up, living costs through the roof, predators lurking on every corner. Watch out! Arm thyself and be staunch, watch thy neighbor with suspicion and contempt.  Has there ever been a time when the shit was not about to hit or was in fact hitting the fan? We are so fearful, we, yes your humble narrator included. Scared of the future, the present, ourselves. It is constantly pumped into us. But there is hope. A very dear friend of mine once told me that he and his partner had chosen not to live in fear, and they don’t. Inspiring. They both are. Not going to succumb to the fear mongering.  I am yet to master that. Although of late my sword has stayed in its scabbard more often than not lately so I am making progress.

The communication of woe.

This idea will need to be fleshed out later, the reo is calling, work beckons. Can somebody continue this post for me?


Terry The Terrible Troublesome Trolley Training Tramp aka The T7 Project. Chapter 4

The wind and nothing else.

It blew as I sat carrying away all those parts of me that were not chained down. Bringing with it new ideas that built up like snow drifts against the walls in my mind. I struggled against their weight but it was of no use. They did not collapse, they were smothered, buried, gone. Not a clean slate but a fresh one, funnily enough as pure as the driven snow.

I felt a presence beside me and turned to see Terry standing there.

“Come, the journey continues.”

“Wait! Hold up there Mr Mystery Man. How about a little less ‘Ah grasshopper, there is no try only do’ and allot more ‘what the fuck is going on?'”

“OK, I if pleases you, let us explain what is happening”

“Let us?”

“Yes, think my young friend, you do like to think don’t you? I’m calling bullshit on your thinking until you start using your brain.”

Before I could protest and/or punch him on the nose he continued.

“Where were you coming from before we met? What were you doing?”

“I was walking home from uni.”

“Good keep going”

“We had had group reviews that day. Yeah and I remember sitting there trying to contribute something to the discussion but was being distracted by a really strong smell in the air.”
“Good, what was the smell”

“Bullshit! That’s right I remember now. There was a strong smell of bullshit in the air that I had never noticed before but once I did I couldn’t get my mind off it. Once the review finished I left and headed home not to my studio as I normally would. I just wanted to go home and take Saddy for a walk. Then I found you, no, met you. I didn’t find you by chance did I?


“What, are you some psycho stalker or something?”

“Do you want me to be? Where did you work after you left school?”


“And what did you do”

“Fruit and Veg boy”


“Collect trolleys”

“From where?”

“The car park”

“Nowhere else?”

“Yeah I used to go out and hunt for them sometimes, up the pines over in the Don and in the creek”

“The creek? Think about that”

“Um, I pulled one out that had been in there for a long time. It was rooted.”

“Then what did you do”

“Took it out the back and cleaned it up, or at least tried too. It was pretty rooted though.”

“Yes you said that”

“I get it! That was you wasn’t it?”



“It was my brother”

“Yeah that makes sense he wasn’t that heavy”



Shed Work.

Had a big day in the shed yesterday. Spent the day developing and designing some jigs to help speed up the process while still allowing for uniqueness. Worked all morning only to come back after lunch to redo everything.  Allot was learned in the process. I ended up with some good work.  When all that was done I thought it was high time for a play and had a go at a rams head for the first time.  How do you think it came out?

My Dad came down from Melbourne and turned me up this handle on his lathe. Turned (ha!) out great. Has anyone seen wooden handles on fire pokers before?

Look what they’ve done to my post, ma

My local ABC radio station 100.7FM has a segment each week called “Wedding Songs” in which a guest chooses four songs based on the theme of: something old, something new, something borrowed, something blue. Yesterday I caught the tail end of it so I didn’t get the name of the guest, only their final song choice. Which was, “Look what they’ve done to my song,ma” by Melanie Safka.

I have always got one ear open listening for a nice turn of phrase. One of the lines of the song is “I wish I could find a good book to live in”.

Have a listen to the song I think it’s great. What do you think?

Some people call me the space cowboy

Dodecahedron in bronze. Suspended over a mica/shellac composite light-box. One of my all time favorite pieces. 3rd year at uni, circa 2005.

In the background are some early explorations into using gunpowder as a medium. Was both shattered and blown away when I found Cai Guo-Qiang about a month after I began the experiments.  I actually wrote him fan mail, and asked if I could hang out with him if I was ever in New York. His staff wrote back and said I was more than welcome.

Haven’t got there yet. One day.

With a sense of wonder.

Yesterday I wrote (albeit very briefly) about children’s farms. The reason for asking those questions is that I have been thinking allot lately about how I see the world around me.  I have been trying to step outside myself to gain an objective view through my own glasses. Is this even possible? Perhaps through some sort of philosophical process such as:

Transcendental perspectivism is a hybrid philosophy developed by German-born philosopher, Professor Werner Krieglstein. A blending of Friedrich Nietzsche‘s Perspectivism and the utopian ideals of the Transcendentalism movement, Transcendental Perspectivism challenges Nietzsche’s claim that there are no absolute truths while fully accepting his observation that all truth can only be known in the context of one’s own perception. This is accomplished through an appreciation of the emotional relationship between two perceptions (the “perceiver” and the “other”).

Thanks Wikipedia for the above quote.  This transcendental perspectivism may go some way to explaining what I am trying to achieve. Maybe, but I can see a back alley approaching and feel a strong temptation to duck down it. (Stop. Focus. Will yourself to say on target – see earlier post entitled “Just what do you think you are doing young man-don’t you know you’ll go blind?”)

I feel a sense of childlike wonder when I move through space.  A constant state of amazement.  WOW!  Curiosity about how things work, what make them tick, why? WHY?  I want to explore everything and get lost in the process.

Can this state of being be harnessed? Focused and directed? Or will that negate the very thing that makes it so enjoyable.  It’s a constant battle. Should I “go with the flow” or do I need to use some type of rudder?  I found the pine cone in the above photo while I was walking around in the pines near home, I was supposed to be taking the dogs for a quick walk then on to the renovations at home. This quick walk took about 4 hours or half the working day and what did I achieve? Well I now know I great deal about that block of pine trees, all its hidden nooks and crannies, that it has a least two clearings that get full sunlight at ground level (a rare thing in a pine plantation) and that a road drain runs into it and this turns into a small creek when it rains and this in turn has eroded the soil to the point where several trees are in danger of falling down.

Question: Is this useful information? Was it a profitable use of my time?


The pleasures and sorrows of work.

Some people love their work. Lucky? Maybe but more than likely they worked hard and made many sacrifices to get where they are. I tip my hat to them.

Am I one? No. But I am working hard and making sacrifices in order to join those ranks. It is a slog, a daily grind and constant battle. My swords are sharp, I have faith and see glimmers of light flickering on the horizon. I will get there.

How about you? Do you bounce out of bed each morning full of energy for the day ahead? Or do you trudge slowly down the road, head bowed? For those of you who identify with the former, go on you good thing. For those who are more inclined to identify with the latter this is for you.

5 reasons to love your job.

  1. You have a job. This means you can pay your bills, keep a roof over your head and feed your family.
  2. You have a job. This provides you with many opportunities to learn new skills. Look for them.
  3. You have a job. Some don’t. Think about how you would achieve #1 if you were unemployed.
  4. You have a job. As much as it chaffs us to think about our hard earned money being taxed to support those “dole bludgers and welfare cheats. You also support sick kids in hospital, provide shelter to those in real need, pay the wages of those who protect and look after us. Nurses, police, firefighters, Ambulance officers.  The list go on and on. Teachers: shouldn’t forget them. Sorry to those I missed please add in comments.
  5. You have a job. You are a road warrior. The tools of your trade slung proudly over your shoulder. Marching off to work with your chin held high. You are a warrior. Go you good thing.

All due respect and credit is to be given to Alain de Botton who wrote the book whose title I used for this post.  A great book well worth a read.

Polished Concrete Trial update

Tried a new technique the other day.  Didn’t work out as I’d hoped but does anything? Still quite happy with the results. Not going be useful for the bench-top project due to the indentation.  This can easily be ground out, but the lines are far to crisp to ruin. We are going to have a heap of cool paving stones by the time this project is done.


The trial continues.

Struggle Town motivations

As I was driving through Struggle Town the other day I noticed some billboards that had pearls of wisdom on them.

Some say they can, others think they can, I know I can.

Have a concrete pill and harden the fuck up!

Display some fucking adaptability.

Just when you think you know the answers, I change the questions.  

Every rose has its thorn, just like every cowboy sings a sad sad song.

Crude and a little harsh but well worth meditating on.  Go forth fellow humans, ride, ride, ride!

A poo wrapped in a bow!

Yesterday I was going somewhere with my post but reading it back today I think I missed the mark or at least got wildly off topic.  I’ve been writing down ideas for posts with pen and paper during the day, then using that as a platform.  The draft is scrawled, barely legible but angry and funny too. Most of this I cut out because I think maybe its too rude or not terribly nice.  Should I?

Constructive criticism. Is it so bad?  I once knew a group of people who were lovely. Really nice people. Full of praise and supportive of each others endeavors.  If someone made a sandwich it was an amazing sandwich.  Painted a picture, fantastic, wonderful.  Made a bracelet, awesome, you should sell those. I heard this praise continually. Good vibes bounced about, positive energy shining. But I got the feeling that someone could take a shit, wrap it up in a bow, place it on the kitchen table and it to would be received by a rousing cheer, trumpets would sound, WOW that’s fantastic, AMAZING, BRILLIANT. No doubt upon closer inspection would be declared the greatest shit ever and declared certifiably organic too.

How do we know if what we are doing is really any good if everything we do is the best thing ever?