Your Real Look – Part Two Of The Closet Saga – Cloth Clues

Okay, Inspector – you have the suspects in hand and they are laid out on the bed.

The old dress – the old jacket – the old pair of pants – the old shoes. Worn many times – reached for in preference to others. Shaped like you. These are the duds that you put on when you are unthinking – your mind is comforted by something about them.

They need not be horrible and wrinkled and 50 years out of date – and equally they might be ( so might you, but that’s existentialism for you…).  They may be drab or colourful. They may be matched or disparate. But there is a clue in each one as to what your real look is.

The underwear – if you get the same brand each time and only discard the old stuff when the holes in the cloth do not cover the holes in you…ahem…then you do so for a deep psychological purpose, as well as to keep from snagging on your zipper. You wear the pattern because that is what you want to be. As it is generally unseen, except by those who want to look, you can wear what you fancy. Pass onto the shirt or blouse.

Shirt or blouse covers your upper torso and lets your arms, neck, and bosom move about. If you find you always wear short sleeves because you like to have free arms, you’ll possibly like to wear shorts as well – or at least trousers or slacks that let you move freely. If you have all your comfy shirts as long sleeve formals you may like the more formal skirt or trousers to go with it. What you do with your bosom is generally your own affair, as long as you don’t do it on the train or bus.

Skirt or dress or trousers? If you’ve maintained your weight at a constant – neither up nor down – you’ll have been rewarded by a favourite covering for the nether regions. Chances are it works with the upper garment as well – and may also go with the next covering – the jacket or coat. You will have unconsciously coordinated yourself for years without realising it.

And the top wear – you say most about yourself with this but the truth is no-one listens. Unless you have the good fortune to be RuPaul or a carnival barker, you will probably be stuck with a drab jacket but there is always the chance that you have bought a lime green one while drunk. Screw up your courage and wear it.

As to colours…read tomorrow

The Question Of Race, Including The Pit Stops

It turns out that if a question is poorly asked, it is poorly answered.

Take the business of black and white. Black people and white people… There are some humans who are really very close to black and some very close to white, but they are a very small percentage of those who are described with these two words. Most of us are either pink, tan, or brown, or a combination of the three. Doesn’t quite have the graphic impact of black and white, but is demonstrably true using a Macbeth colour chart…or our own two eyes in the sunlight.

Or the business of conflating two sets of information to describe someone…and making a horrible set of generalisations while doing it: ” Korean – American ”  to describe someone whose parents were born in Korea or ” African – Australian ” to do the same for someone with parents from Africa. The latter is marginally better than the former on  a pure land mass vs country basis, but not by much. It becomes even weirder when we look at ” Euro- Australian ” or ” Asian – American “. If the last-named has any semantic legs at all it should cover the native American tribes as well as all the peoples who eventually pushed on down to South America. After all, we’re not limiting our classifications to last week, are we? Ice Age is ice age…

And can we footle with the words when the air fares are advantageous? There used to be a classification of ” Eurasian ” that was used to be mean to people in both Europe and Asia by making them feel like they were strangers in their own lands. Now that the luggage and the parrots in cages are going the other way, are there ” Asiopeans “? ” Asiamericans “.

How about ” Afropeans “? ” Asiafricans ”

If the Inuit ever take a fancy to move to Madagascar via the West Indies is it all going to go to hell in a linguistic handbasket?

I vote we all do like Morgan Freeman says and just drop the multi-state-continent-race thing and just refer to people by where they live. I’m an Australian. Not a  Caucasian Germano-Hebraic-Americo-Canadian-Australian.

Just plain Australian…I pays my taxes and obeys the law. Nothing much before my emigration really affects me except for my prairie figures of speech and a deadly hatred for Edmonton. And that seems to be common on all continents.

If nothing else, reducing my classification to just one thing will save a bundle on Dymo tapes for the name tag.


Yaller Cat

Forget about the racial overtones of that Yaller Cat title – this is about the hot rod show, yaller cats attract the eye and stand out even in the dodgiest hall lighting.

In fact I have always been a little surprised that our local taxi industry did not settle upon the colour for the fleets of cars here in Perth – oh, there are yellow taxis in Melbourne , but the bulk of them out here are silvertops, black, or the ubiquitous white. I suspect that a lot of times the colour was chosen with an eye to resale of the vehicle…but by the time a taxi is ready to move on, the buyers need to beware of a lot more than the colour of the body. Note that the Japanese use the dear old Toyota Crown to this day.

The entry car for the WAHRS was, of course, a depiction of the yellow ’32 Ford coupe from ” American Graffiti “. Further in was our heading car with a yellow that came closer to Trainer Yellow than to Lemon Yellow. The ’39 Chev was probably somewhere in between, though the Royal Agricultural Society lighting is always a factor in any judgement you make. You’re best to view a colour out in the sunlight before deciding what shade you’re actually seeing – it would be disastrous to pick paint under the artificial light.

The original Mooneyes rail dragster is also probably as pure a yellow as you could get and certainly seems to match the memories I have of the model kits of the time.

And finally, note that yellow may feature a lot in our state’s team colours but it is also popular in Victoria and New South Wales.


The Little World – It All Ends Up As Grey Or Brown

Little World builders – as opposed to Little World collectors – generally end up with a more muted palette for their art.

By that I mean, as they are painting and weathering things, initial toy-like colours that can be put on models in a factory are dulled down and authentic colours get painted on plastic assembly kits from the start. Of course this generalisation goes to the winds when it comes to plastic model car kits and hot rod customisers but otherwise it holds.

I weather some of my die-cast models to fit my own Little World, and I use thinned versions of matte paints and varnishes to do so. It is amazing what a thin coat of acrylic dust can do to bring a shelf model to life. The structures that are built in various scales also benefit from sprayed dirt and dripped ( acrylic wash ) corrosion.

But it need not be so. You really have to look into your own soul and discover what rings your bell. You might be the person who dearly loves Disney colours on your models and would be sad and dispirited if they all had to look used. If that is the case, paint them as well as you can, but keep to the bright colours that please you. It is your Little World after all, and you may be a cheery as you want to be.

For the grubby brigade, we soon discover that whatever we do, the world gets dirtier. It does so with brown dust or grey dust – and there are very few other colours of weathering. Oh, the wet portions of the Little World may get mouldy, which can be somewhat green, but you’ll rarely see blue, red, or yellow as a predominant wash. Of course small plumes of industrial contamination can run to vile colours for specific highlights…but you are always still better off with a dark wash of grunge.

I have even seen instances of people using real dirt and degradation to weather their models, and there is certainly something to be said for the uneven nature of nature as it erodes and fouls things. If you can point it in the right direction you need not buy bottles of Tamiya acrylics for $ 5 each. Just don’t wipe your eyes after handling the model…


A Visit To The Artless Gallery Of New South Wales

I expect howls of outrage from the artists, as well as from the patrons of the Art Gallery of NSW, but as I am now on the other side of the country and have hunkered down into a safe position and adjusted my sights, I can begin sniping.

My target is not the makers of the art as such. I admire them for their skills – some at painting, some at sculpting, some at mulcting the public purse. They have managed to get their art into the gallery, been paid for it, and have gotten far enough down the road before the wraps came off to effect an escape. That’s better than John Dillinger or Bonnie and Clyde were able to manage and I take off my hat to their success. If the man who signs the cheques for the art gallery loses his fountain pen they are all in trouble.

Note: Sad art about sad subjects is sad. Bad art about bad subjects is bad. Non-art is just not…

Okay. That’s the creatives done – now for the curatives…the people who spend public money to show off the stuff they bought with public money to the public…who get to see it for free. Free if they are not NSW taxpayers.

Is there a Bunnings handy? Or an IKEA? Or a GEC showroom? If there is, why not pop down there and have a look at the new light bulbs. They’re good value, and if you put electricity into the back of them and point them at the walls, people can see the art. With a bit of luck, some of the light bulbs will have a colour temperature higher than a glow-worm and the colours that the artists actually put on the canvas will be visible.

Or you could persist with the remnants of the ceiling skylights and a few yard lamps and let the whole thing look like a 1975 French film shot on old Ektachrome. Most of the artists are dead anyway, and apart from the occasional haunting, you probably won’t have any problems.

Worried about the colours fading? I got news for you – most of the canvases you have on the walls are painted in brown and brown lasts.

On a brighter note, the galleries that have windows do have colour, and the shop and café are well-lit. Otherwise you couldn’t see the price tags.

Tiki Love Truck


I am tempted to post the pictures taken of the Tiki Love Truck here and not add any commentary, as there does not seem to be anything superlative to say that is not encompassed by the images. However, a brief summary:


It was encountered in the Powerhouse Museum in Sydney in January 2016. It formed the centrepiece of an exhibition that dealt with objects that had been used for political protests. I believe it was made to protest something in the southwest of the United States. I’m sorry that I cannot say what that might have been, but it certainly seems an unusual and artistic way of howling.


Good taste and bad taste have little to do with art. Indeed they sometimes have little to do with hot rods or utes, either. You may like or loathe it at your leisure and you will be perfectly correct in either attitude.


I am just glad that I got to see it. It may not have the art deco appeal of a Hispano Suiza 1936 limousine, but it does at least stay in the memory.







Gentlemen, I am here to state the case for bi-chromatic exterior anti-oxidation coatings. For duo-tonal art. For the two-tone car paint job. The Toot.

Too long has this form of art been laid aside. Generations of car buyers have been denied their rights. Innumerable viewers have been depressed by monotony on the roads. It is time to redress this!

In the heading picture you see Miss Joanne Armstrong and Mr. Richard Stein who are engaged in beautifying the Toyota land Cruiser owned by Miss Armstrong’s fiancé, Mr Craig Spittles. The vehicle is a 4WD rough-duty device that Mr. Spittles and Miss Armstrong take out into the bush and bash through forests to reach the coast. Presumably after they have done so they bash through more forests to return home. The trail of destruction they leave behind them must be tremendous. Leaving said devastation  aside, the car is wonderful, but dull. Toyota have released it in a sort of metallic dark green that neither excites nor satisfies. Miss Armstrong and I determined to right this, and with the help of a couple of tins of acid-based paint from the shed, we were able to do so. We initially quarrelled over either the red should go on the right or the left, but maritime law prevailed and we decided upon the scheme you see.

The photograph was emailed to Mr. Spittles at his workplace – up on a mine site in the remote reaches of our vast state. I believe it was the high point of the week for him – I know it was for Miss Armstrong and I.

Now there are other people who feel the same. Witness the wonderful paint job seen at the recent Rods ‘n Rust show in the Swan Valley. Green and gold are the the official colours of Australia’s Grand Prix racers, when we have them, and as they are free to all who would employ them, who better than a man with a hydraulic-lift agency and a 1955 Chevy pickup. I am entranced with the result, and would follow his lead if I had the courage.



Not all Toots need be as bright. Here are two repaints of factory schemes. Classics in their own right. Both make the cars more desirable than any metallic, flamed, scalloped, pinstriped, or panelled version could ever be. If it is working…let it work.



And finally, just as we can always over-egg a cake, we can sometimes overpaint a car. My daughter’s young man had an old Toyota and I thought to amuse him by devising a suitable paint scheme for it. I regret showing the image to him, as the following hour with the defibrillator and smelling salts was distressing…