2021 – Week 7

Quiet start to the week, aside from having to rush my mother to the hospital, which kindof dominated the week’s events.

Picked up my remade glasses, and they’re unusable in a different fashion. The edge highlight is now converging lines, and they’re “blue blocking” which means they completely wreck the colour calibration of my displays.

Received an email from a Kickstarter project I backed in early 2019, for a product that was supposed to ship in September 2019, which I’m still waiting for, and for which part has been cancelled – the company was offering store credit for the part they weren’t making.

Suffice to say, I wasn’t interested in anything else they made, so sent off a stern email. They’ve agreed to refund at least part of my order. I’m hoping they’ll just do the whole thing.

Surveying the catastrophe.

If there is one trend that is clear, it’s that a greater and greater percentage of economic “value” will be concentrated into fewer, and fewer people and companies. Automation will destroy more jobs, and concentrate more economic extraction to fewer individuals, than new industries will produce.

It begs the question, why a political party would base their campaign on providing “jobs”, rather than providing income? “We promise to keep you busy with tasks” – hardly the most inspiring of messages, is it?

There is too much that too many people do, which requires more skill and more time, than people have money to pay for it to be done.

UBI, at a level considerably higher than the current unemployment rate, is inevitable – large economic extractors (including wealthy individuals) are going to have to pony up radically higher taxes, and that money is going to have to go directly to people, because through Covid we’ve seen both the future of what happens when too few people have enough, and how effective “just giving people money” is in blunting that catastrophe.

So again, IF you were a political party hoping to win government, why would you double down on an obsolete paradigm?

2021 – Week 6

Spent time trying to fine-tune the air conditioning – it’s a little too powerful due to being in a 2 story home, so we had to redirect the pressure overflow to the bathroom. Overall the solution seems to be working.

Heard back from the coolsuit people who were following up the problem with the bladder in my coolsuit backpack. They were checking the other ones they had in stock, and all of them had perished in the same way on the shelf. So, at least I didn’t have to convince him that it wasn’t user-error. We’re waiting to hear from the manufacturer as to what spare parts they can supply.

2021 – Week 5

Teeth re-cast. The local town is quietening down as holidays end, and schools start.

Friday, we finally had the new air-conditioner installed. Of course they arrived at 7am to start work, so hooray, 4 hours sleep. They finally left after 5pm, and we have a new climate system – with separate sensors and temp adjustments in different rooms. Damn thing’s unnervingly quiet, but finally, it’s cool enough to think clearly again.

2021 – Week 4

Took glasses back to the optician to have a look at, went back to the dentist to get the work checked, and get cast for a tooth guard to wear while I sleep. Found out a few days later I have to get it recast next week for some reason.

If there is one thing that most stands out in the move from Sydney to Regional Qld 5 years ago, it’s that finding good optical and dental care here is super-hard.

Weather-wise, iIt’s been cool, verging on cold even, so taking things slow to make up for days of missed sleep.

Friday I tried setting up my coolsuit – only to have the water bladder burst as soon as I tried adding water. The rubber had perished, so the plumbing points where the inlet & outlet tubes connect just ripped out, and the seams split.

Called the vendor, and they’re going to try to organise me a replacement.

FML.

2021 – Week 3

Picked up new glasses, hey had a problem with refracting light inside the lens. Had some work done on my teeth, not entirely thrilled with the result.

That’s more or less it for the week.

2021 – Week 2

An auspicious start to the year – chipped a tooth.

Picked up a new wireless backup drive  to copy files off camera while traveling. Also managed to get the power adaptor to let me charge up the battery for my cold-suit.

The drive charged up, and configured correctly, the power adapter charged the cooler suit OK.

Brisbane is back in snap-quarantine, as the even more horrific British Plague 2.0 makes its sinister appearance.

2021 – Week 1

Plague is spreading again – as anyone with a clear head could see, Christmas and New Years were super-spreader events, and now the dome descends once more.

The second attempt at NYE pool movies was an interesting engineering exercise. I built a truss from PVC, that could be threaded on a support rope, and would allow the screen to be hung over it without corner knots (which create diagonal wrinkles in the screen).

Sadly, the weather didn’t cooperate – we had cold (23c) windy conditions, with rain showers, so called it off and watched films indoors.

2020 – A Wrapup

What a year.

Things were going ok for the first ten or so weeks – I bit the bullet an began gearing up to do some welding, to finally make a push to get some sculpture done. I was offered another arts residency, which would be a wonderful expansion of Noosa Mnemonic, in cooperation with the local regional art gallery…

…then the plague hit, and hit HARD.

By week 12 we entered a kind of non-time, in which things drifted and became unfixed. Public events went away, my residency was cancelled. So I ploughed ahead with my home welding setup, and designing the Studio-in-a-box.

I received an Arts Qld grant that covered my costs for the Studio-in-a-box, which was also a nice little notch to add to the artist’s cv. A big part of this year was figuring out quantity surveying for materials, and mapping out cut-charts for steel lengths.

There were some big upgrades for my protective clothing kit this year – with a new powered respirator welding helmet, and an (as-yet untested) powered water-cooling suit. When all this stuff is combined, I should be kitted up like an astronaut, and able to work safely and comfortably in more or less any conditions.

I solved a problem of flakey power supply during the storm season, by dropping a bunch of cash on a honking great UPS.

In photography my processes had some issues to overcome, adapting to a new photo processing / management tool. It produces better images, but has worse management features. So I’m effectively now working in two apps. I also updated my monitor configuration for my workstation to 3 screens. Sadly, these changes really didn’t work out too well – 2020 is definitely the year I fell out with technology. I have to learn to not allow anyone to provide an “ecosystem” to me, and instead build one myself.

I finished an update to The Metaning, which frees it from Apple Books, and a European publishing standards group released an Ebook reader for Mac, Linux & Windows that can read the fixed-layout EPUB format, so that clears the way for me to ditch Apple for selling my books, and move to direct sales.

The other major thing this year, was 15 minutes of fame, after a tweet thread I started about my time in high school was picked up and retweeted by a bunch of folks. Had a lot of people relating to me their childhood horrors from the same school.

Overall, 2020 was a year in which a lot of long-term plans and strategies played out, and produced results that weren’t all I’d hoped. Of course, across everything hangs the pall of Covid, so it’s hard to put the achievements of the year in any greater context of where I thought I’d be by the end of it.

2020 – Week 52

It’s been so hot, that doing anything has been questionable. I did manage to order a coolsuit. For less than half the retail price (because it’s a discontinued model), I was able to get 2 pairs of pants, a vest and a hooded shirt, the backpack for the water reservoir with 2x icebricks, the pump, battery and charger.

It’s affordable enough, that even if it doesn’t work out, all the parts are there to build upon and modify.