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01
October

Apple Exodus…

Written by m0rg0th. No comments Posted in: General

Well this year has been trundling along despite an inconvenient (to some) Pandemic. Since the decision to drop Apple products late last year, the Exodus has been proceeding in dribs and drabs. At this stage I would say I’m 85% of the way if not more. Yes I’m still using some of their products, but there’s no replacements of an Apple device with another Apple device.

Most of this year has consisted of preparing, from a software perspective, picking up Windows versions of my regularly used software when they’ve been on sale. It’s fair to say that’s 95% complete: I can move over completely anytime now with no down time. All that’s keeping me in the Apple Ecosystem now is my iMac (Late 2013). The older Apple gear was fine, not a single issue with any of the hardware that I’ve ever purchased: it’s all still working as it did the day I bought it. But I’d not replace ANY of it with ANYTHING from the last three to four years of product lines. Unfortunately I can’t say the same about the software side of things. Apple OS / OS X / iOS has been a mess of botched updates and removal of features.

The iPhone 6 has been replaced with a Samsung Galaxy 10. This is probably the single most important replacement based on the fact that it’s the most significant tie to the Apple Ecosystem. As a friend of mine pointed out, once you change your phone you’re no longer invested (from a data management commitment) in their system. The Apple TV (ver. 3) has been replaced with a Chromecast. An excellent Benq Monitor specifically designed for Photography was purchased earlier this year in preparation and the laptop and possibly a windows PC will replace the iMac when it dies.

My MacBook Pro (2014) is still going great guns, but it’s being moved on to be replaced by a Lenovo X1G2 and to be honest I’m not sad. It’s got the best keyboard I’ve ever experienced on a laptop and I’ve had a few over the decades.

01
October

It’s been so long, I know…

Written by m0rg0th. No comments Posted in: Games, General, House

I’m very pleased to hear about a new expansion for Twilight Imperium IV has just been announced: https://www.fantasyflightgames.com/en/news/2020/8/2/prophecy-of-kings/ which has me very interested in chasing it down once released.

12
August

For My Mother…

Written by m0rg0th. No comments Posted in: General

Menzies, Laurel May.
Died 11th August aged 81.

Loved wife of Jim, loved mother of Craig & Sharon, loved grandmother of Geena & Carly.

Thank you for your unwavering faith in me. I’m forever grateful for the gift of a curious and open mind”. Your loving son, Craig.

She died peacefully at Gandarra. Much gratitude to the staff at Gandarra Palliative Care Unit & the staff of Hospice for their care and support to our family over the last month. Thank you to all my friends and family for their support during this time.

08
August

I was commenting in a photography blog earlier in response to the question, “is an Artist born?” I think it’s quite a nuanced answer. Some of the conversation mirrored what I seem to be hearing a lot today: that creatives are artists. I am of the opinion that there’s a difference between being creative and being an Artist (although Artists are certainly creatives).

In my experience almost all people are creative given opportunities, resources and encouragement. Even without encouragement people will still be creative from time to time to get through a situation etc. Hobbies are often an expression of creativity. But, the Artist is a different beast. There is an obsession with theme and process, determination, and long-term conscious and unconscious observation being melded with an insight. All of this manifests in a pursuit of expressing and representing a vision or perspective. Often through alternative processes and mediums.

I posit that for the Artist there is no other path that is not a living death. There is an interesting documentary called “David Lynch: The Art Life” about David Lynch, often known for his surreal filmmaking but is an extremely prolific sculptor, photographer, painter and practitioner of assemblage. It’s very enlightening around this idea without being overly political.

27
July

As is so often the case with the significant and profound relationships or events in a life, the conception is difficult to identify with certainty. The instant in time where Steve first entered my life is lost to my memory now because the impact that he had on my life has been so profound and overshadowed whence it began some 40 plus years ago. What I can say on reflection is that my time with Steve contained the most enjoyable and wonderful experiences I have had in my life to this very day.

I met Steve through music. As I said I don’t remember those initial specifics anymore, but what did matter was that when Steve, Gary and I played together that first time, it was a case of the whole was greater than the sum of the parts. We immediately knew that there was a special connection between us that operated at a level of consciousness that was beyond speech. Our creative processes complimented each other. Over the years of our playing together other band members or guests came and went but the nucleus was always the three of us. No one else we played with offered the same experience of being able to either preempt or immediately respond to a creative choice while playing or composing. The musicians out there will know what I mean when I say it’s a unique find. The ability to collaborate unconsciously, bounce off one another creatively with respect, assuredness and with consistency is an aspiration few bands achieve.

We played gigs together, split briefly, realized that what we had together was not to be had easily then rejoined. We recorded together, but it was performing live that we really enjoyed the most. In fact we didn’t record it if we couldn’t repeat it live. At that time we had dreams, hopes, a lust for life and friendship that I recall with envy now as the passage of time has eroded my dreams, hopes and life of lust.

As our twenties hit, life pulled Steve, Gary and myself along different journeys, but Steve would reach out to me every so often over the years and attempt to recapture that musical magic. Unfortunately my journey kept steering me away from people who cared for me and burned my musical bridges. In the 1990’s Gary died and along with him so did a little bit of Steve and myself. At that point we both realised that we’d lost something unique in our lives. Still it was not until the 2000’s that our friendship flourished again. What is amazing is that we could just pick right up again even after some years apart. But that’s true friendship: with solid honest foundations and respect, friendship will survive a drought. Interestingly we had yet another creative cross over, independently we’d both become interested in photography. So kindred spirits are kindred spirits in more ways than one.

When I think of Steve these are the words that come to mind. Genuine, authentic, loyal, extraordinary, creative, enthusiastic, respectful, kind, loving, paternal, dedicated, perfectionist, passionate, audacious, effervescent and absolutely a man of integrity.

Dear Steve, I think of thee with kindness, with kindness I think of thee.

Until later “big buddy”, ever your friend, Craig.

Lately I’ve been experiencing a renewed motivation in my photography. Much of this is with the encouragement and support of an artist friend for which I’m very grateful. She’s encouraging some collaborative projects and regularly suggesting trips and subject matter that she thinks will inspire me to create more works.

Much of her work has been either in Sculpture / Assemblage or Charcoal, rather than in photography. So it may seem there’s not much overlap; but the cross pollination and discussions around the ideas and inspirations for the subject matter and interpretation is stoking the fires of my creativity.

Knowledge is both the Parent & the Child.
I Will Not Be Swayed.

Above are two of the works that came out of a project earlier in the week. Human Portraits are not my usual fare, but we were both very happy with what we came away with from the afternoon’s session.

03
February

The Art Life…

Written by m0rg0th. No comments Posted in: Art, Film, General, Work

I’ve been watching The Art Life, a documentary about David Lynch and “The Art Life”. It’s such a different picture of David Lynch than I’ve previously had, so much so that I was wondering if there are two David Lynch artists, the Director and the Artist. By that I mean literally separate human beings. But it’s one & the same. That aside it’s provoked some interesting thoughts. So food for thought.

Some of his inspirational “mottos”:

I’m so glad he’s refused to be part of the “hollywood establishment” because it’s inspirational to know that people can make it in their own way.

03
February

Raindrops keep fallin’…

Written by m0rg0th. No comments Posted in: Dreams, General, Health

Lately I’ve been pondering the origins of my love for the rain. Just when I started to be come enamoured of listening, being caught in, going out in, and generally just experiencing rain is something I’m unable to put my finger on, although some of my earliest memories are of enjoying rain.

Memories such as looking out the window on a rainy winter day and enjoying just listening to it and watching it fall. Others are of being out in it under a tree, waiting for it to lessen enough for me to be able to walk in it without getting drenched through. Or dashing through it when I was only 10 or 20 metres from my destination and the excitement of getting out of it, yet not. For me the rain seems only to have positive memories.

Rain just revitalises plant and animal alive.

During the day or during the night, inside or outside walking in it. Yes there are times it’s cold and miserable if there’s a howling wind, but despite all else it still tells you that you’re alive.

Beautiful and mysterious.

I really do love rain.

21
May

So it’s back to the drawing board for me. That old devil and I just couldn’t reignite the old flames enough for me to be able to hang in there when it was getting tough. To be fair it wasn’t anyone’s fault particularly.

I was into my third week of the commute to Melbourne. Training had technically finished but there was still no work in my designated region therefore it was a situation of going where the current work was: Melbourne suburbs and CBD. At that time I came down with what I refer to the cold from hell. It knocked me flat for the best part of three weeks, I didn’t have a hope while trying to commute. The two times I tried to go back to work during that period I was a heap on the floor by the end of the day. I was physically and emotionally exhausted. Getting up at 05:15 and getting home at 19:00 each day just weren’t going to allow me to be able to fight it off. Anxiety and Depression were having a field day with me, they may as well have been pre-emptively dancing on my grave.

To top it off, around the middle of week four, Tiggakat decided to go for a walkabout without consultation. I was shattered. She returned about 22:30 on the fourth night after she’d disappeared, thankfully as healthy as I could expect being unharmed, simply hungry and thirsty. Clearly she had a story to tell me but I was just too human to understand. She has been quite chatty since her return.

By the end of week five I had to resign. There was still no clear deadline for a regional handover of work, and I couldn’t face another commute. Even if I’d been able to pick up regional work immediately at the start of week six, I was basically too much of a physical and mental wreck to even be able to accept and manage it. They couldn’t give me a timeline and I couldn’t in return give them a timeline on my health improving. End of a chapter.

There were a few small positives out of the experience: I can say without a single doubt now that I for one am unable to physically or mentally (in particular) deal with a commute to work of that type day after day. It’s beyond me now. Additionally I did receive some money before winding up, so I’ve managed to close off a couple of large bills. So at least I’m heading forward on the basis of zero again rather than a negative position immediately. Something to be pleased about and to have brought out of it all.

It was a grasp at an opportunity that just didn’t pan out for me but I guess needed to be accepted and seen through as best I could. Now it’s regroup, get healthy again and just move on.

25
March

Remembering Old Blues…

Written by m0rg0th. No comments Posted in: Depression, General, Work

It’s been over two and a half years since I left my last full-time position and quite regularly I’m left scratching my head some days how I’ve managed to survive it. The reality is that I wouldn’t have survived it without family & friends. I’m extremely grateful to all concerned.

It seems that an old devil has reeled in my soul again for another run and I’ll be starting paid employment again in a couple of weeks. There’s a number of feelings racing about in my head over the last week as a result of that news, not all of them good by a long shot. However it is income better than I’ve had and will help me get back on my feet. I probably still won’t be able to afford to put shoes on my feet but I will be able to afford to stand up!

A positive aspect of this role is that my record must have spoken for itself given that no referees were required. Perhaps that is a thing now, because to be honest if I was employing unless the referees were internal I’d consider them a waste of time and unreliable: from an employer’s point of view. I’m certainly not saying that I think that about any of my referees. It’s simply that if you’re picking referees that aren’t painting you in the best picture, maybe you should be rethinking your referees strategy.

What I am desperately focussing on are the mental health benefits of not having to worry about how I’m going to be paying the next bill that rolls in every week. That in itself should provide a huge positive in my continuing struggle with Depression. It’s definitely been escalating in a downward direction the last six months particularly despite the fact it was my cheaper season of the financial year. After all there’s only so much you can cut from costs before you’re at basically ground zero and homeless. Thanks to all my friends and family I’ve not slipped into that cadre since that’s clearly extremely difficult to escape once in it.

I’m going to have to continue to focus some efforts on generating extra income from my photography. But at least the pressure will be off to try and generate it via subjects and means I’m not really interested in pursuing from an artistic point of view. I won’t be able to get ahead with the money coming from this new role, but I aim to use it as a “floatation device” while I work on the photography and writing. It has certain benefits too given that I can avoid having to deal with Office Espionage and Politics as it’s a fundamentally solo role placing me outside the office 100% of the time. As some have pointed out, perhaps that is best for me these days from an emotional point of view.