The Feel of The Day

Landscape Oil Painting - The Feel of the Day

Waking up today and seeing the grey, overcast sky reminds me of working on the farm. The feeling of what the day would be like out in the the weather was tangible. What the wet grass, the frosty gate latch and crossing the ice on the wooden foot bridge would feel like. 

Wet dogs, finding a horse for the day in the dark before breakfast. Cracking the ice on the water troughs that never thaw out in the shade of the wool shed, so the dogs can have a drink.

The chill of the morning pine plantation that becomes a stifling heat in the afternoon in those woollen trowsers and working boots. 

...different to the days now, with office tower, fluros and computers. I can go a whole day in 21 degree air-conditioning without knowing what it's like outside.

Apple Address Book - Snow Leopard - One Step Forward Two Steps Back

Apple Address Book screen shot

Apple have updated Mac OS X in all sorts of great ways in their latest Snow Leopard update 10.6 but here's a backward step - in fact a backward step from what was a pretty weak starting position.

The Country field in the address book has for a long time had the somewhat-lame and counter-intuitive auto-fill feature where you could type Option Escape to be presented with a list of options to auto fill from.

This has always been an odd pair of modifier keys to me - in fact why not just offer the drop down items automatically as the Google search field in Safari does or any number of other examples. The Escape key seems like a poor choice to me.

That aside, when using Option Escape a list of countries previously entered in the address book would be offered in the drop down. In Snow Leopard it now seems to offer words from the dictionary as showing in the image - what bloody use is Aubergine or Auckland to me in the Country field?

Update: 2009-09-12

I've been moving this blog from Blogger to Movable Type. The following comment got caught between technologies...

Anonymous said... "The best part is it does that for every field. I put in S and then option-esc and I get S., S.'s, S.Dak., etc. You have to scroll before you get to a word. I used to use it all the time to keep my entries the same across people to make the smart groups work well. While I agree option-esc is probably a poor choice, especially since it really isn't documented anywhere, this is definitely a step backwards."

Update: 2009-09-12

On thinking about the address book a little more I can see that the drop down list has benefits. It allows me to populate items that are not pre-existing in my address book. I guess its coming from some system wide clean-up and I will learn to appreciate it - I guess.


Luther In My Lounge Room

Painting Luther in my Lounge Room Martin Luther was a bit of a prick really, I never did like having him over to stay. He was so fucking impatient, always banging on the bathroom door while I was trying to back-one-out in peace and quiet. I was glad to see the back of him when he moved out... The full title of this oil painting is Luther In My Lounge Room. Continued...

Cutting Corners

wood block puzzleThis puzzle was hours of fun as a kid. A box of wooden blocks with pictures stuck on each side. There was a bus, car, plane, ship, a steam train and a second newer train. After a while we worked out that once you got one image correct, you could flip a whole row at once to see the other pictures. It wasn't quite the same thrill as working it out from scratch but it taught us to cheat and cut corners early in life and that was a valuable lesson that served us well from thereon in. See the different pictures...


Life Tips for the Risk Averse

A few life tips for the risk-averse, things I have picked up along the way that you may find useful:

  • Assume all car drivers want to kill you when you ride a motorbike
  • A tractor wants to kill you every second you are around it, even when it's off - remain conscious and deliberate in your actions
  • When sliding out of control down a wet hill on a tractor, resist the urge to apply the brakes or jump off - accellerate into the slide to regain traction
  • Never look up if someone talks to you when you are using a power saw - remain conscious and deliberate in your actions
  • Treat all electrical wires as if they are live - even if you know you turned the main off
  • To avoid jarring the wrist when digging in rocky ground always let go of the spade at the last moment
  • The right tool for the job - a boot is not a tool
  • Don't climb fences with a rifle - pass it through the fence first
  • Don't piss on electric fences



iPhone, WiMAX and Unwired - a love in?

Apple Newton

Okay, finally I think apple have caught up with themselves with their new iPhone. I may have to officially retire the Newton. Although I'll be fully convinced when I can use a WiMAX iPhone on the Unwired network in Sydney. Let's see how long that takes. By the way the image on the screen of the Newton is a drawing I did at the Singapore airport of a weary traveller with his head in hand.

Drawing on Apple Newton of a man at Singapore airport


Oil Painting Medium Recipe

I just mixed up another batch of the medium I use for oil painting. I seem to always loose or forget the recipe so I decided to store it here for safe keeping. This is a simple recipe with damar resin, stand oil and gum turps. I don't bother with dryers or other ingredients, too lazy.

You can of course buy a ready-made medium but they generally don't tell you what's in them and also I find something meditative about preparing my own. It's a method of procrastination that feels as if you are doing something art related - anything but actually face the risky business of painting.

The recipe for the medium I use is in the proportions 1:2:5. That is, one part damar varnish, two parts stand oil and five parts refined turpentine. This gives me the base mix and I pour some off and add a little more turps for the lean underpainting as required.

See the full recipe here... and feel free to let me know if you have a variation on the theme.


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