A good old fashioned index page of what you'll find here.
The obligatory about me page.
Book reviews, design opinions and other creative field musings.
My contribution to my favourite game.
Writing about bikes and the world of riding them.
Writing about games, movies, whatever.
My adventures in painting table top gaming miniatures.
Making the games we play more fun/interesting/challenging.
Articles about art and design tools.
About my book project.
A collection of images and stuff I find that I like and amuses me.
SCIENCE FICTION, GAMING, MINIATURES, DESIGN, ART, BOOKS, WRITING, WORLD BUILDING, BIKES...
Based on the format of the legendary ‘Panther Science Fiction’ paperbacks from the 70s and early 80’s, whose covers were graced by so many of the greats from the golden age of science fiction illustration, I always found the simplicity of composition, from fonts to image crops, is what made them so captivating.
Tour of a Universe project was my homage to those covers.
EVERYTHING I HAVE EVER WRITTEN.
I have been writing online since 2004, about ‘stuff’ which interests me – work, hobbies, sport.
This is is my collection of articles, some of which are old, some not so much, and all thus far, surviving the dreaded cull…
Go on, click a topic!
Reading Time: 6 minutes Paired with the right chainring (duh!), you just don’t need 11 or 12 gears…→
Reading Time: 5 minutes And hanging there, next to the Zen, it goaded me EVERY. SINGLE. TIME, I pulled the Zen off the rack until, finally, for some shits and giggles, I gave it another go; you know, just for the hell of it.→
Reading Time: 6 minutes I am more than amused about my thinking at the time. Why?→
Reading Time: 3 minutes I called him out on not being sharp enough, and his response was to be rude.→
Reading Time: 5 minutes What better way to mark a sporadic comeback to writing about bikes, than to write about something totally foreign to many in this, the age of 12x gearing.→
Reading Time: 5 minutes Originally I was going to sit here and bash out a piece about my bewilderment of the growing CX (cyclocross) craze here in Australia. As with most things, somewhere in the dark during one of my morning rides I had one of those epiphany things and realised I was looking at it all the wrong way. I won’t deny that seeing my IG feed filled with pics of guys who are clearly ‘dedicated followers of (road) fashion’ (yes that’s a line from a Kinks’ song), trolling up somewhat gravelly dirt roads on their CX bikes all rather amusing – even…→
Reading Time: 5 minutes I had a new lust… a gleaming new Polar ‘device’ that is due out, the V650. A long time fan of Polar, as their HR kit is some of the best going, so the idea of bundling that with a good GPS and barometric elevation tracker was too good to be true. Bliss! Then I thought about it. The past few months has seen me back on the bike in anger. ‘Winter’ was a write off, three months of being constantly sick wiped out any form of riding, so when I finally got back to riding, I said to myself…→
Reading Time: 7 minutes “35 years on tubulars and I’ve never seen one folded the way you did. Share with us the techniques, please?”→
Reading Time: 10 minutes I, like many out there, have been riding for far too long and have always worked to the accepted basics of mileage establishes base fitness and targeted sessions build strength etc. etc. Nowhere, in all those years, did I ever hear or read anyone saying sure, 2 minutes a session is all you need.→
Reading Time: 4 minutes Quite literally when this frame, a pre-production sample, was being welded up, frames for 27.5″ were already in production. That meant at least a year and a half prior, the ‘industry’ had already decided that the 26″ wheel was dead.→
Reading Time: 8 minutes Cycling with diabetes, with cycling being an aerobic activity and all, is high on the list of activities that don’t play nicely together.→
Reading Time: 4 minutes To all those young spuds out there, you probably have never known anything other than ‘grips’, regardless of the shape or form. But back in the early to mid 90’s when mountain biking was making its mark, using bar tape on your bars was not unheard of.→
Reading Time: 7 minutes I thought I’d add my tuppence with this photo sequence of how I wrap mine…→
Reading Time: 6 minutes G’s Note: This is NOT one of the articles that I have written, rather it was penned by my friend Rich. Rich wrote some great ‘how to’s’ for the old company blog, so I’ve put it here rather than loosing it to the ether of time and space. A little while back, my good lady wife’s bike was in need of a spring clean so I took the opportunity to finally cover something I’ve been meaning to do for ages – cables. But this is not so much a ‘how to setup and tune your brakes and gears’ and more like…→
Reading Time: 5 minutes Bicycle ‘design’ is boring and I mean both in terms of visual appeal and in terms of design and designing…→
Reading Time: 4 minutes Does the bike world need another half baked ‘standard’?→
Reading Time: 4 minutes The crisp, fresh smell in the air, the early morning light and knowing that the chance of bumping into any of the interstate interlopers I saw heading in with bikes strapped to their cars would be nowhere in sight.→
Reading Time: 8 minutes Lately there has been a lot of hoopla about the supposed war going on between ‘cyclists’ and drivers…→
Reading Time: 5 minutes Now this might come as a shock to some retailers but I have a theory about just why you might be loosing business. The theory is simple and goes something like this – you suck.→
Reading Time: 6 minutes The sort of stuff I see on a regular basis is a lot more passive but every bit as insidious.→
Reading Time: 3 minutes I started thinking though, why don’t we just (and others with a similar love affair for older bikes) upgrade to something modern…→
Reading Time: 4 minutes I have a question for you – what’s the best way to make your bike lighter?→
Reading Time: 6 minutes The 55 is a great fork but it’s bloody heavy, it truly is. All you have to do is pick up the bike to realise this…. or even just the fork alone. I wondered if I could stick a lighter fork on the front?→
Reading Time: 3 minutes Yet despite this many of today’s adverts tell you that it should be, and is mostly about, victory and winning.
And that’s where I have an issue.→
Reading Time: 11 minutes Unless you have been living in a large hole of late, there is a new wind blowing through the mountain bike world…→
Reading Time: 6 minutes Put up your hand if you remember what it was like to ride a mountain bike in the early to mid 90’s. Remember all those must have, lust worthy boutique parts?→
Reading Time: 3 minutes I think it’s one of those things that every one who’s ever ridden a mountain bike has→
Reading Time: 8 minutes How it started was one of those strange stories, perhaps best left for another post about how the internet works. What happened though was I found myself working in the bike industry (in a way I had not before, just to clarify) and for one of the great names in the annals of Mountain Bike history.→
Reading Time: 18 minutes Marketing departments like to tell you how bikes work. This is how they REALLY work…→
Reading Time: 6 minutes After putting them on the bike though, my elation turned to confusion as it seemed they were to softest wheels known to man.→
Reading Time: 5 minutes I’ve never done unchallenging and I am not about to start.→
Reading Time: 5 minutes The prototype bike came off the line, ended up in a box and was in my hands within a day. A few days later I was out riding on it, working out all the little things that needed correction – hardly anything.→
Reading Time: 2 minutes When it’s wider, it just feels better.
Got your attention you dirty minded folk, haven’t I?→
Reading Time: 6 minutes The frame was called the San Andreas and was the first true mountain bike full suspension frame. With a solid background in designing MX machines for the likes of Kawasaki, Reisinger applied a thinking to his design, that up until then (and even now to some extent), was foreign to the bike world.→
Reading Time: 4 minutes I’ve often wondered where do old Mountain bikes go? We’ve all owned bikes only to sell them and sometimes wish we hadn’t. The thought had crossed my mind a few times as to how some of these classic old bikes would stack up today.→
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ART + DESIGN
Reading Time: 4 minutes ‘The Art of Direction’ Ron has put together what I’d consider to be one of those books that should, and will, become a must have items on the shelf.→
Reading Time: 3 minutes If you are a fan of Macross and box art, then Macross Package Art Collection is a book you need to have.→
Reading Time: 3 minutes The Art of Ron Cobb is more than a catalogue, it’s a tribute to the creative brilliance of one man.→
Reading Time: 2 minutes The large format hardback is, if nothing else, a fabulous archive of Huxley’s work for the two decades he produced work for the Matchbox line of model kits.→
Reading Time: 11 minutes Even in the future when, if, it becomes a normality, the craft we will use to traverse the void will look nothing like the myriad of designs we have become so used to seeing on screen.→
Reading Time: 3 minutes If you like, study, or practice art in some way or form, then undoubtedly there will be a piece of art that you will keep coming back to.→
Reading Time: 2 minutes If you like thinking about things far beyond our own mortal concerns, and you like science fiction art, this is a short film well worth your watching.→
Reading Time: 4 minutes A strong use of negative space with an almost sketchy, yet controlled line work, Wilson’s panels are dynamic pieces of art.→
Reading Time: 3 minutes There is no doubt, other than Foss, Peter Elson was a powerhouse of the heyday of science fiction illustration and books with his covers always got my attention.→
Reading Time: 3 minutes Unlike most books on the subject, which are either pictorial or voluminous in nature, World War II Infographics takes the interesting approach of interpreting the mountains of statistical data compiled after the war→
Reading Time: 3 minutes Homer: The Iliad & The Odyssey, as presented by Cross and Packer can not be recommended enough→
Reading Time: 8 minutes I was hooked instantly – hard not to be, as what it held in its pages was so far beyond what I had seen elsewhere; partly because Manga was a fully matured and accepted form of publishing in Japan.→
Reading Time: 6 minutes But what’s best about these books? What would make me track them down, and pay a premium, so many years later?→
Reading Time: 4 minutes Up to three decades old in places, Yokoyama’s sketchbook reflects a distinctive style and stance that is so difficult to find these days.→
Reading Time: 4 minutes I don’t find it easy to describe just what it is about Shaun Tan’s work, both literary and illustrative, that I find so enchanting.→
Reading Time: 7 minutes Shapes, forms, colours were diverse, often soft, organic, and the visions of the future, in paint and ink, were as varied as they were interesting.→
Reading Time: 3 minutes I instantly recognised why his work at the time was so magnetic – it has that ageless ’something’. While I can’t put my finger on just what this something is, Huxley’s Matchbox art has it in spades.→
Reading Time: 4 minutes Themes of youth alienation and anti-establishment, military power and government corruption are handled cleanly and powerfully, balanced with the core theme of the super natural powers that drive the pivotal characters.→
Reading Time: 8 minutes Like the Matchbox art of Roy Huxley, which for me proceeded gaming, I was always captivated by the artwork adorning boxes of many games.→
Reading Time: 5 minutes Foss’ visions are those of an industrial space and scale, where the craft are purposeful, work is hard, mechanical, and space unfriendly for people.→
Reading Time: 3 minutes It was one of those strange waterfall of events, one of those where one decision leads to another and another and before you know it, you are somewhere else entirely.→
Reading Time: 6 minutes I want to believe but I fear I might need to step out over a bottomless shaft to find the control that lets me…→
ART KIT & GEAR
Reading Time: 5 minutes With any luck, now that it’s sailing under its own sails, and backed by people who really love it, it is only going to keep getting better…. which is kind of a big ask!→
Reading Time: 6 minutes Yes, I know I said, and I quote myself, “I love ink pens – fountain pens and old skool Roting Isographs; the line quality just can’t be beaten. But they suck. Messy, temperamental and expensive, both in time, money and sanity, to keep running.”→
Reading Time: 4 minutes I needed something to save my thumb and XP-Pen’s Star G640 came to the rescue.→
Reading Time: 5 minutes As much as I like pen and paper, having endless sketchbooks or loose sheets pile up, or worse, inadvertently end up in the bin, was a pain.→
Reading Time: 7 minutes Say what you want about Apple, they are seriously deluded if they think I am going to fork out 7k+ (local) to entertain the idea of acquiring an iMac Pro.→
DIARY of a SPACE PERSON
Reading Time: 4 minutes So what’s changed? How’d Battletech go from ‘ponderous’ to ‘a go to’ in one fell swoop?→
Reading Time: 5 minutes Whether you realise it or not, the amount of ‘valuable’ time you loose to social media apps is completely bewildering. I needed, wanted, a way out.→
Reading Time: 5 minutes I’ll admit it. I am properly late to the whole Gundam thing…→
Reading Time: 6 minutes I have always been interested in the design of aircraft, being of the opinion they represent the ultimate expression of the maxim – form follows function.→
Reading Time: 4 minutes I used to think, like everyone else on the planet, that if I had something going on, then I had to use Facebook to reach my ‘tribe’, as Jeff Goins likes to term it.→
Reading Time: 5 minutes In the west it’s near impossible to pick up a newspaper or turn on the boob tube and not see some sort of military action. Visual reference to the military has become part of everyday life, desert tan, woodland cammo.→
Reading Time: 6 minutes Game flow is nice and simple, broken into 5 phases with the last one, ‘tagging’, being the crux of the game. The first player to tag a building with four ‘holotags’ gets to demolish it – demolish four, and you win. Simple, eh?→
Reading Time: 4 minutes The problem about writing a review, or opinion, about Valerian is where to even start? I write this after only having watched it once and thinking about it still leaves me swimming in its vast ocean.→
Reading Time: 4 minutes Hands down, ‘Alpha’ is the best interpretation of the original Manga to date.→
Reading Time: 3 minutes While it definitely has it’s moments of ‘goodness’, Ex Machina is more a film for true Anime geeks…→
Reading Time: < 1 minutes We accept, somehow, that at the flip of a switch and push of a lever, Han Solo can push the Millenium Falcon into hyperspace.→
Reading Time: 5 minutes If you never have, try and check Rez out. You might not click with it right away but when you do, and you will, it will all make sense.→
Reading Time: 6 minutes Don’t let that fool you though, this is an incredibly difficult game to win (where the Space Marines are the ones that win or loose), and very quickly the Space Marines player will start experimenting with ways to actually survive more than 10 minutes!→
Reading Time: 6 minutes “I always felt like there was a complete disconnect between things that were fun and entertaining to watch and things that were more thoughtful and philosophical.” Peter Chung→
Reading Time: 5 minutes Big walking tanks whomping the bejeezus out of one another. That’s the basic premise of Battletech, a game with its roots dating back to the mid 80’s.→
THE UNAUTHORISED KENDO DIARIES
Reading Time: 3 minutes As Darren sensei likes to say, slower IS actually faster.→
Reading Time: 3 minutes If there’s one thing for certain is that things change. Even Kendo, a staunchly traditional martial art changes over time.→
Reading Time: 3 minutes One of the first things you learn about Kendo is that it’s something you do with other people.→
Reading Time: 2 minutes Halfway through my lunchtime workout I thought to myself “this is a bad idea”.→