Wednesday, November 30, 2005

CITY Magazine

CITY is a fab style mag for NYC fashionistas... with some cool added value such as regular video Podcast and sweet mixes that can be bought from iTunes. Check out the "must haves" section too... way out my league but still cool in a CAPPIT kind of way.

iPod Cases

I have a wonderfully metrosexual iPod case from Paperchase. It is like the original cases that came with the iPods (up to 4th gen) with the elasticated sides. It is, however, not black. It has loads of vertical lines with every colour imaginable - I always thought it resembled John Snow's ties or Thomas Pink's shirts and ties.

I paid a fiver for it. One of my colleagues has accused me of having too much money while looking at my iPod case (not my iPod). It turns out she thought it was a Paul Smith iPod case. The print is similar to the Paul Smith pattern (see above) but it isn't Paul Smith. It is true that appearances can be deceptive.

My mate, the Soos, has a cool LV cover for his 60gb iPod Photo (like the one above)... other friends have various silicon or leather cases.

Check out CITY mag for other case options: link

Big Pants

American Apparel are pushing their "hot shorts" on the Cool Hunting site. Reminds me of a pair of "gay" pants/trunks I got in Primark that claimed to be large but should have said "smaller than small" - Olly claimed them and rocks them to this day. Moral of the story...
sometimes it is good to experiment and sometimes you are better off sticking to your Calvin's from TK Maxx

Firefox 1.5 has been released

Firefox has been upgraded to 1.5 and has got better: faster with better tabs and improved pop-ups. Check it out.

Cool Hunting's Holiday 2005 Gift Guide

Cool Hunting is a fav blog of mine. It's approach to fashion and things is spot on. Their gift guide is the kind of alternative luxury that I love to explore. I love the Nano with the custom paint job (see above)... or the skull business card holder. Nice. Bit expensive tho' but hey that's the kind of alternative inspirational luxury that CAPPies love.

Wow... Haven't used that phrase in a while... CAPPie -
Consumer of Alternative Priced Products.
It was a term used in the Face (RIP Great mag) to define a social group who dressed in obscure labels (usually Japanese), wore box-fresh exclusive trainers, listened to underground tunes, had the latest tech (at the time of definition it was Sony Minidisc and Audio Technica headphones or the Palm Vx) and went on holidays to exotic destinations for sight-seeing or snowboarding.

I really related to the term... but could never afford the Priced bit. I am more of a CAPPIT -
Consumer of Alternative Products Purchased In TK Maxx
Anyway, check out Cool Hunting's gift guide...

Holiday Humour

Saw this cool post on TUAW about "Holiday" t-shirts that Apple Store staff are wearing. My favourite:
"Sure, the thought counts. It's just hard to wrap"
Check out the list: link

Tuesday, November 29, 2005


RS McColls sells SNAPPLE!!! Just had a "Rockin' Raspberry Cranberry" and it was FAB!!!

I have a real Jones for Snapple... I could safely say I love it more than grande Gingerbread skinny Lattes from Starbucks. Snapple holds great memmories for me and is part of my history.

Snapple reminds me of my Uni days at Napier in Sighthill: My friends and I would head out to Bar Kohl for a night of fun and frolics... They used to sell like one trillion flavours of vodka, various obscure beers like Mickey Big Mouth Beer, Jolt cola (caffinated cola) and all the flavours of SNAPPLE. It would be a great laugh and I respected my friends who would enjoy weird flavours of vodka but yet not hassle me for having weird flavours of snapple. They no longer stock snapple in Bar Kohl...which is a shame! but it also leaves the market open for another snapple bar!?!

Olly has given me bottles as wee stocking fillers and I also remember finding some in Italy when we were on our honeymoon... As I said, great memories!

The inside of the cap had an interesting fact - seemingly women blink twice as often as men...

Thought for Today

Taken from Howies website. Click on the image to read the words in the top left corner - they are so for Olly and I just now...

Check out Howies clothes - they are fresh and cool... but what's cooler is the thought they put into them. Check out their site - - its pretty inspirational.

The Lego Nativity

Love this... Spotted the book in Urban Outfitters in Glasgow and then saw it on the Rock and Roll Advertising blog.

The "Holiday Season" as the Walmart group would want us to call Christmas is a busy time and there are too many Santas and not much in the way of fresh ideas for the Nativity. I think this is great - big fan of lego and kudos to Rev. Brendan Powell Smith for this.

His site - The Brick Testament is SO cool. Rev. Brendan has depicted the Bible using Lego. How cool is that??? Check it out. Check his blog out too where he is quick to point out...
Most ministers, priests, or other religious clerics would not actually use "The Reverend" before their own names, for to do so would be presumptuous and rather vain. The Rev. Brendan Powell Smith is not an ordained member of any earthly church, and is widely regarded as being both highly presumptuous and extremely vain.
Ha Ha Ha...

Warning: Just as the Bible contains sex and violence... there are some scenes illustrated in the Brick Testament that some people might not appreciate, especially in the OT!

Nik & Emma Pears

One of the many highlights of the DFL retreat was to meet Nik & Emma Pears. We have had their worship CD for a wee while now - Olly and I saw them lead worship at last year's Youth Councils. Their music is first class and is amazing to be part of when they are leading worship. Its genuine. Its real for them and that is fantastic.

Anyway, Olly and I got a chance to sit down and talk to Nik and Emma... What a wonderful couple - really on fire and in love with each other, with God and with life. We talked music, got the iPods out and shared songs (listening to - not physically fileswapping... honest!). I really want them to succeed in what they do. Emma is a full time songwriter and I hope to hear a song she's penned on Chris Moyles (only time I listen to pop music) sometime soon. We talked podcasts and viral marketing... Olly talked about backing tracks. It was great.

Check out their album: "people of faith" - its a first class worship CD and ahead of the rest of the pack...and, in my opinion, kicks Graham Kendrick's butt.


This is the website of the chap who did the Kog Cafe website. I think Kog's website is fab and an example of great web design. It is also a very small world... Daniel Chadney, the chap behind pixelmix, is also the lead singer of Five Year Glitch... weird how things all fit together. Anyway, check his work out - its the kind of stuff I'd love to do...

Five Year Glitch

Check these guys out... The bass player is a friend and work colleague. I'm not as big a punk fan as I used to be... I mean punk for me is Jello Biafra and the Dead Kennedys or Bad Brains... and, to be fair, I used to think "emo" was a character on Sesame Street... but I dig Five Year Glitch. They have a raw sound that is fresh. Check them out.

Monday, November 28, 2005

Design For Life retreat...

Olly and I have been away on a retreat weekend run by the Salvation Army called "Design for Life". The premise of this weekend is to understand what you are call to do with your life.

We spent the weekend in prayer, meditation and worship. We also spent time with our close friends Kenny & Sarah, Chris & Lorraine, and Olly's cousin Bobbie. It was a fantastic time to recharge the batteries and take time to think about what I am passionate about, what my skills and values are, and how they all fit together.

We stayed at Gartmore House near Aberfoyle in Stirlingshire. Beautiful, old house in picturesque grounds with loads of space and great food. Some of the rooms desparately needed some TLC and maintenance... but the staff were great and we eventually got a good room.

We focussed on our lives... drawing a "lifemap" to map out the key events in our lives. For me things like Uni or my jobs were important but more important were the people I have in my life such as Olly, the Soos, Roberto, K&S, Janey and Jon... I am blessed and am a better person for them.

Once we drew lifemaps, we focussed on our passions... what really makes us tick. Mine is music and technology, coffee and people, and a real desire to build lasting relationships with people and with God.

This then brought us to our calling. I believe I am called to facilitate / create space for people to develop relationships together and with God. I have a real desire to use my interests - iPod/music/coffeehouses/visuals/podcasts/t-shirts - to aid this goal. I would love to develop a contemporary coffeehouse that becomes a space within the community where you can hang out, express yourself, learn things, listen to great music - bands & DJs. I want a coffeehouse to become church as in the true sense of what church should be - the centre of the community, a place where people can share their ups and downs, a place where people are together, a place where counselling could be sought... A place where a bookclub could sit and discuss their ideas while a DJ plays abstract electronic music and baristas make fab soy lattes for customers.

Anyway, I see my role in this as a facilitator... a "make it happen" guy and I am excited. I don't know when it will happen but I know it will.

I also see my role as a facilitator for Olly's vision - she wants/needs to lead worship - and I want to be there for her controlling the sound and visuals.

I now need to seek a job where these ideas can become projects I can focus on.

Both Olly and I are grateful for the support we have received from our loved ones... Thanks for the calls and emails. Especially grateful for the texts from the Soos and from Big "D" - cheers, guys!

Thought for Today

Taken from the fab blog "Rock and Roll Advertising"

Another "iPod as jukebox" article

Cool article on Wired about folk using the iPod as a jukebox in bars or for "MP3J" nights.

Friday, November 25, 2005

The Kog Cafe

Got a flyer for the Kog Cafe yesterday from a work colleague. They are hosting weekly film nights on a Thursday at 1930hrs with films such as Star Wars, Lord of the Rings & Back to the Future. They are also showing festive films like Elf, Its a Wonderful Life and Miracle on 34th St.

I need to check them out but I love their approach. I have always wanted to do something like this and am glad to see I am not alone. Their approach is relevant and contemporary.

Church is at the coffee house...not the coffee house at the church.

Will report back...

Thursday, November 24, 2005

Think Different

Give Thanks

In the spirit of Thanksgiving... I would like to thank the following:
1) God... for His grace and love.
2) My wife - Olly... for her love, friendship and patience.
3) My we'ans - Dayna and Miriam... for making me feel old and young at the same time.
4) My parents - for their love and support.
5) My in-laws - for not being typical in-laws and for letting me marry their we'an.
6) My extended family - for being themselves and letting me be me.
7) The Soos aka Andy - for his friendship, generousity and world-view.
8) My salsa-dancing mate aka Roberto - for his long friendship and Mac advice.
9) Jon - for his advice on the Journey and all the chats over coffee.
10) Janey & Rosco - for being there.
11) Jojo - for being a friend at work.
12) My mates from Cowdenbiza, Yvonne & Big "D" - for being true confidants.
13) Pauly - for being another friend at work.
14) My officers - Alec & Andrea - and our previous officers/friends - Karen & Gary for all your support and spiritual guidance.
15) My friends in the House Group - for their support.
16) My Church - for the sense of community.
17) Pippin - for being a doggy-woggy.

I am also grateful for the following blessings:
1) Freedom... of expression... of worship...
2) My home
3) My Apple kit - G4 iMac / G4 iBook / 4th gen iPod / 2nd gen iPod
4) Broadband
5) Living in Scotland / next to Strathclyde Park

I am grateful!

My iDog...

My wife and 2 girls (6 & 4) use Macs... It turns out that my dog, Pippin, rocks the Mac too...

Wednesday, November 23, 2005

C O N G R A T U L A T I O N S ! ! ! Part 2

I've have seen the ring and it is braw... Single diamond with a platinum band (not white gold - that's so last year) and setting... Sweet!

In addition, I have been asked to be Rosco's Bestman!!! They are giving me the responsibility of ensuring Rosco gets to the Church on time...

My wife has been asked to sing two songs at the wedding and my girls will be Janey's flower girls. Rosco's sister has been asked to be a Bridesmaid. Cool.

So, as it sinks in, being the Bestman will be really cool for the following reasons:
(1) I look fab in a kilt (assuming its kilts)
(2) I get to dance with Rosco's sister
(3) I can say whatever I want about Rosco and Janey
(4) I am responsible for the stagnight which may lead to Ross getting stripped buck naked in the middle of Talin or another suitable Eastern European city.

Nice! Oh and my wife will look fantastic too... and her songs will be one of the talking points of the day.

Who knows... they may let me DJ too... It's going to be good.

C O N G R A T U L A T I O N S ! ! !

Our good friends Rosco and Janey are going to get married!!! They have been going out since the start of this year, after Olly and I kind of got them together... and we are absolutely delighted. Not sure if they'll wait for a while or leave for Vegas tonight... CONGRATS!!!

"Buy Nothing Day - 25th Nov 05" - Article on Wired

Not big on the whole Thanksgiving Day... I celebrate with gusto "Harvest" at our Church and think its fantastic to have a holiday to say Thanks but don't really know much more about the States' holiday.

It turns out, however, that the Friday after Thanksgiving is a HUGE shopping day in the States. It is also a day to protest against shopping: BUY NOTHING DAY

I like this concept and will buy nothing on Friday. Read the article from Buy Nothing Day's founder, Kalle Lasn (see link in title) and join me in celebrating this anti-holiday.

Another flippin' list... The Wired News Buying Guide

Yes... another list of things I MUST have... this time from the WIRED news team.

Still... its not as good as my list.


I think this is a great story (link). A Scots electronic band put out a few albums... Xerox use one of their tracks in an ad and the band make a mint. In turn, they promise to put more tracks on the web. Check out their site (via link in title) for 3 MP3-EPs. Well done!

MacWorld Gear Guide

What is it about Christmas and lists??? First Oprah and now, from MacWorld, a guide to everything a Cult of Mac devotee will want/need...

Please, Please, Please, Please! is coming soon...


Here's a cute wee site... Children's stories in iPod-ready audio book format... with Podcasting rolled in!

My oldest daughter is working her way through the Lord of the Rings radio play, the Nutcracker Suite (narrated by Prunella Scales) and a cool Dr Who radio play... This will appeal to her... and to my youngest who just loves a good story but has a tiny attention span - you have to pitch the story to her.

Oprah's Fav Things...

Oprah's released her list of favourite things...and guess what, the 5th gen iPod is one of them. Sweet. Although, looking at the list, you'll need Oprah's wages to afford the list!

Coming Soon... The Headphonaught's List of Fav Things (aka) Please, Please, Please, Please!!!

Monday, November 21, 2005

Sarah Luneack

I did a mix for a prayer time a while back (link) and I was listening to it again prior to my annual appraisal... Sarah Luneack's song "More than just enough" came on and it feels so right for where I am just now. So I googled to see if I could get some info on her. Click on the title above and follow a link to read where the song came from.


My boss dropped off an article on a chap called Thomas Power which has a number of insights that I hope to understand and circulate shortly. They key message in the article is friendship - in that it is secret when building a business. Friendship is the basis of trust and trust is the basis of trade. It makes sense when considering my old boss asked me to do the presentation work for his recent awards ceremony - he knew me and could trust me.

Anyway, here's a link to a speech Thomas Power gave with regards to networking - it makes sense... Link

Sunday, November 20, 2005

Why I love my wife...

Been in tonight watching the we'ans while my wife went to church and then went to work for a couple of hours... Olly works for the Salvation Army in Hamilton and they had a Christmas Fayre yesterday. When she returned, her arms were heavy laden with goodies that other, possibly saner, people didn't want. Within this bundle of goodness was the 1985 Motown release by King Stevie Wonder "Love Songs - 16 classic hits" ON VINYL!!!

OMGoodness... I can't wait to rig up my deck to listen to this slab of goodness... although I have to say the last time I checked "Blowin' in the wind" was not a love song (side 2, track 5).

Appreciate the pic says "20 classic hits" and I said "16"... well I couldn't find the EXACT graphic and thought nobody would notice.

A Christmas Star at Costa...

Met up with my mate Pauly from work... He is kindly taking my Lacie harddrive back to the shop I purchased it in Leeds. When I got the medio Mocha that I had ordered, I got a lovely suprise: a Christmas Star... or at least thats what I thought it was... maybe its just a common Star. It was special for me though because it reminded me of the Star of Bethlehem.

Anyway, had a great chat with Pauly. His project is in the User Acceptance Testing phase and he is doing silly hours to ensure the job is done. He also needs to sync with a team in Australia, so he has been doing some way early mornings... In fact, he is flying to Leeds tonight and is planning to be in work for 0400hrs!!! I'm lucky if I've had 3 hours sleep by then :-)

Pauly is someone who I have only know for about a year but I feel I have known for longer. Thanks for taking the hdd down - saved me some postage!

My mate from Edinburgh's Flickr pics

The Soos... My mate from Edinburgh who works for Rockstar has posted some really cool pics to his Flickr a/c. The shots from his holiday in Bali are first class. Check them out...

Destiny Church, Edinburgh

I met one of my pals today at church who I hadn't seen for a while... Her mother is a real strength to my wife and myself, and always involved in Alpha or the House Groups... She's a real "go-to" person... Anyway, my pal lives in Edinburgh and is attending the Destiny Church. I was so encouraged when she said that their membership has grown from 60 to approx 250 over the last year or so...and that they've went and hired additional premises for their Sunday AM meeting... premises that can easily house 600.

I think this is fab and a real testimony to the Church and their vision. Check out their resources page - it has sermons to download.

Well done!

Sesame Street wav files...

Found this last night... Having a laugh about noisy eating and the Cookie Monster... I now have the Cookie Monster as my text alert...  COOKIE!!!

Please note - the link no longer works
Tx (18/10/2010)

All will be well...

Had this tremendous sense of peace today... We sang a song at church today - the last line of the song was "You know I love you... All will be well"

I don't know what the Lord wants me to do... I don't even know if I am worthy of a role... I have peace with regards to the future and that feels good.

Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire... 2

My wife and I enjoyed the film... Both my girls enjoyed it too, although the youngest did fall asleep.

Story wise its a bit disjointed... you are introduced to some characters that you don't want to know like the journalist and don't get to know much about other characters, like the Tri-Wizard champions...

All in, its a good film and one the girls will get on DVD and watch, no doubt, ad naseum... but I don't know if it was as good as the Prisoner of Azkahban.

Friday, November 18, 2005

Set iPod to shuffle... part 2

Here's the next 20 tracks from my iPod while on shuffle:

21) Broadcast
22) Clannad
23) Coldplay
24) Tinkabell - Taken from Ulrich Schnauss' website.
25) Mondo Grosso
26) Interpol - "Untitled (Velapene Screen remix)"
27) Doug Horley - Doug does fab worship for kids and teens... My girls love his stuff. I think its pretty fun and there is even a track with Vanessa Freeman on vocals!!!
28) Hybrid
29) Joseph Arthur
30) A-HA
31) LCD Soundsystem
33) Quantic
34) Money Mark - "Maybe I'm dead (Cornelius remix)" - Fantastic remix by King Cornelius
35) Charles Webster
36) Audioslave
37) Felix da Housecat
38) The Isley Brothers
39) Alpha Worship - a track from the backing worship CD that we use for Alpha. I want to explore doing "live" worship instead of using the backing CD.
40) Nuyorican Soul

Life is truly random... Happy with what my iPod thinks I need to listen to...

the iGun

Its been out for a wee while now but I love this strip from wulffmorgenthaler Its almost biographical.
caution - some of the content on the website is a wee bit rude

the lion, the witch and the wardrobe...

Great article on the BBC website about CS Lewis' classic Narnia tales: Link by Steve Tomkins (who wrote "A Short History of Christianity"). I am looking forward to the first film and am eager to share the story with my 2 girls.

Set iPod to shuffle...

Have the iPod on shuffle this morning... Here's the first 20 tracks:

1) Kings of Convenience
2) The Prodigy
3) Basement Jaxx
4) Mary Mary - "Praise you" - On when I received the text about my b-i-l's dad.
5) Waldeck
6) Athlete
7) Golden Sun
8) Dave & Ansel Collins
9) Rick Astley - "When I fall in love" - Arrgghhh!!! My wife has used this for a wedding iMovie and I haven't unselected it. Personally, I prefer Nat 'King' Cole's version - can't be bettered!
10) Schindler's List OST
11) Emanuel Podcast
12) Jack Johnson
13) U2
14) DJ Shadow
15) The B-52's - "Good Stuff" - Taken from Tokion's "Rockin' Mammoth" CD. Such a great track - Have the album somewhere...
16) Royksopp
17) Stereophonics - "Have a nice day" - taken from a chill out album I have... Not a big fan of theirs but do love this song.
18) Radiohead - "Pyramid Song" - taken from the LateNightTales CD that the Flaming Lips did. Have never real got Radiohead. I rate them but don't have any of their stuff. Good track.
19) Alison Krauss & Union Station
20) The Black Keys

As I have mentioned before, my iPod is a broad church that even has room for Rick Astley...

Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire

Going to see the new Harry Potter film with the munchkins and my wife... Its getting some good reviews... Can't wait!

Condolences to my Brother & Sister in Law...

My brother-in-law's father died today. My condolences to my brother & sister-in-law... and to my two nieces and nephew.

Take comfort in your family and friends... and remember death is not the end but the start of something new.

Powerpoint tips...

If you, like me, love to create and present using Powerpoint then you'll need to check out these hints and tips: link

Its important to keep things interesting and engaging for the people you present to. We have become so accustomed to presentations using Powerpoint that we switch off and go into "viewer" mode rather than becoming an active participant in the discussion.

I personally prefer the role of facilitator in a discussion rather than presenter to an audience - this works better in church especially.

Thanks to Lifehacker for the heads up on this.

Santa has a blog...

Need to tell my girls... Santa has his own blog and podcast: link

This should keep them busy in the run up to Christmas!

Create a shrine to the iPod...

Gizmodo one of my fav tech blogs are running a comp to create a shrine to the iPod. This works with the theme of recent posts I have made with regards to my personal iDolatry of the iPod and all things Apple. Seems kind of fun though... I know I subscribe to the Protestant ethic of no shrines/rituals etc but, hey, maybe I could learn something... Who knows? Link

Check this out too... found a link to this cool livejournal page about iDolatry... Its cool although it does contain some sweary words: link

Thursday, November 17, 2005

Positive feedback...

My old boss loved the presentation / scene-setting loop / mix-CD that I did for his awards ceremony:
Everything went really well with much comment (favourable) on the loop and the presentation itself. Thanks for your input and helping make the night a success
Presentations for sale... Get your presentations here...

Mr Bird's Make Your Own

I have been made aware of a new lunchtime dining experience...
Mr Bird's Make Your Own Its an Australian concept the revolves around the freshest of ingredients. Basically, you make your own sandwich/wrap/thing to take away. Link

On one hand this seems crazy - why pay to make your own sandwich? Get up earlier you lazy boy!!! but then it kind of sinks in - its about taking an interest in what you eat and being responsible for your own nutrition.

Seems mad but makes sense... oh and there's one in Bellshill!

My wife and I

Taken a wee while back at the Riverside Club in Glasgow. Love you, honey!

Idea: No Wax

Had this idea for a while but thought I'd blog it... I really fancy hosting a NO WAX evening for the young folk in the Church/Division... Nothing heavy... Just a gathering of young people to develop relationships and networks with like-minded folk.

Wednesday, November 16, 2005


Had an idea for the name of my visionary coffeehouse experience while studying today... I thought noWHERE was pretty cool...

I liked the idea of noWHERE - NOWhere in that before you arrive its "nowhere" but when you get there it becomes "NOW HERE"

...and the take away will be called noWHERE-2-go

I like it... What do you think???

PS - I know Nigo has a chain of a bathing ape stores in Japan called "nowhere" but I really doubt folk will get confused... although I would love to meet someone who has been to "nowhere" in Tokyo!

D*I*R*T*Y Mixes

Came across this website: yesterday while surfing and think its pretty fab. There are a ton of mixes by folk such as Air, Jazzanova, Four Tet, Susumu Yokota and Smith & Mighty; for your listening pleasure. The Air mix is great - they've mixed some classic C&W songs together with a couple of their own tracks and the seminal Sebastian Tellier track "Fantino" (used to good effect in Lost in Translation

I used iRecord Music to record the Air show so I could listen to it on my iPod. Works a treat!

The rest of the D*I*R*T*Y site is pretty cool - videos from Air & Cornelius... sweet photos and desktops... the "textes" page has some cool interviews but for some unknown reason they have a couple of pics there that are not suitable for work (NSFW).

David Lanham

Check out David Lanham's website... His art is wonderful and the goodies are great.


Intelligent Design vs Evolution... part 2

Had a thought with regard to ID vs Evolution... What came before the Big Bang? What came before God?

What is the answer? My belief says God but that stems from faith. I can't imagine a world without God - He is the same, yesterday, today and tomorrow; It is a irrelevant question to me... in essence, there is no "before God". He is that He is.

However, a similar answer will be given by the Evolutionist... in that what came before the Big Bang is irrelevant. Is this the crux of the problem? Is this the point at which we disagree? We do not and can not agree on what the catalyst was...

I believe the catalyst was God... but then that's my belief. You may believe that the Big Bang just occurred... but then that's your belief. Sometimes we just have to live and let live... and wait the answer out. What is important is now. What is important is what we do with the time we have... we can seek the answers to questions no one is asking... or we can deal with things of importance like homelessness, addiction, hunger, AIDS, poverty, war...


My mate rekindled my love for Wipeout when he brought his PSP over at the weekend. My wife and I have been playing Wipeout 2097, Wip3out, and Wipeout Fusion like maniacs since then.

I know I shouldn't but I really want a PSP to play Wipeout on... I have to control my covetousness...but it would be sweet.

Wipeout 2097 persuaded me to buy a PS (after I got a special bonus at work)... Wipeout Fusion was no1 on the wish list when I got a PS2 (gift from my parents)... Need to wait until I get my VS for a PSP, me thinks...

A DVD for Atheists

Still off...

I have a bark... not a rottweiler's bark, nor a chihuahua's... just a Heinz variety mongrel bark... work don't want me in, so I am trying to finish the credit skills course I got roped into a while back. I also have a couple of books by Selwyn Huges to finish...

...and the sun is shining!

Tuesday, November 15, 2005

What I am listening to today?

I've been listening to the following today...

(1) Confessions on a dancefloor by Madonna... Loving Stuart Price's (Le Rythmes Digitals / Zoot Woman) production on the album...especially the Abba sample on Hung Up. I'm not a huge Madonna fan - we only clicked on Ray of Light but I am loving this album. It has a nice 80's feel to it. Oh and Madonna is hot! especially for 47!!!

(2) Plat du Jour by Matthew Herbert. I loved the Big Band CD and I really got him live with the band... especially doing the live sample thing with the china cup and saucer - genius! This album is challenging, especially the liner notes, but is enjoyable. It has a unchartered territories feel about it... like we've never been here before. Love it.

(3) The Campfire Headphase by Boards of Canada. A present from my mate from Rockstar... it is lovely and lush in their usual style but has the added benefit of guitars and strings. Their sound gets better and better. BOC rock!!!

(4) Express Rising by Express Rising. Another pressie from my mate from Auld Reekie. The soundscapes contained within this album remind me of DJ Shadow. Intricate... but powerful. Great head music.

(5) The Understanding by Royksopp. Saw them live when they were promoting Melody AM and really enjoy the show...even though it was in the Garage in Glasgow. There was a lot of expectation when this album came out and I think it lived up to it. My fav track is Alpha Male for the way it builds from something simple to something powerful. Great album that gets better the more you listen to it. Must be something in the Bergen water or something...

Ambience part 2...

As part of my recouperation, I've been working on an ambient iMix. Collecting various tunes to make more of a soundscape CD.

1 Lake Nocturne by Vector Lovers (taken from "Vector Lovers")
2 moifsee by Ulrich Schnauss (taken from "Far away trains passing by...")
3 Always Returning by Brian Eno (taken from "The Best Chillout Ever")
4 As the Moon Spins Around by Manual (taken from "Ascend")
5 You Were There with Me by FourTet (taken from the fab album "Everything Ecstatic")
6 Damask Rose by Vangelis (taken from the soundtrack to "Bladerunner")
7 foetus by Pressure Drop (taken from "Elusive")
8 Everything About You Is New by Massive Attack (taken from the "Danny the dog" soundtrack)
9 Different Light by Redshift (taken from the now out of print album "Halo")
10 Alone In Kyoto by Air (taken from the "Lost In Translation" soundtrack)
11 a perfect solitude by Golden Sun (taken from "manual & syntaks")
12 Lower Your Eyelids to Die with the Sun by M83 (taken from their fab album "Before the Dawn Heals Us")
13 Elysium by Hans Zimmer & Lisa Gerrard (taken from the soundtrack to "Gladiator")
14 Autumn Leaves (Irresistible Force Remix) by Coldcut (from the site "")
15 one perfect sunrise by Orbital (taken from the "Blue Album")

I appreciate that the Orbital track isn't ambient and is very lively but it frames the iMix... its almost like a soundtrack for the last hour of darkness before the dawn...

All mixed using Jam... ironically, in my jammies...

Off work with the sniffles...

I am trying not to be a man about this... I am not dying!!! I have a head cold and don't want to pass it to my colleagues (or should I say my colleagues don't want me to pass it on them!)

Missed the first part of a three week session on Spiritual Gifts at the church last night... which is a shame... but I'll catch up.

Monday, November 14, 2005


Had the opportunity to back a prayer time in yesterday's evening meeting... First real chance to demonstrate the power of ambient music as an aid to prayer and contemplation. I only had 7-8mins and had to make them count... I mixed, using Jam, the following playlist:

(1) "Danger of Hell" by Thomas Newman (From the Green Mile soundtrack)
(2) "Agnes' Theme" by George Fenton (From the "In love and war" soundtrack) and
(3) "Monastry at La Rabida" by Vangelis (From the "1492" soundtrack)

It worked well... although, the meditation went over the planned 7-8mins and the chap responsible for the PA never repeated the CD. We shouldn't be scared of silence and the couple of mins after the CD finished were electric.

My wife chose the track from "in love and war" for its simplicity and lovely orchestration. Good choice, honey!

This is something I am eager to develop in two directions:

(1) To expand my range of ambient music for use in contemplative settings
(2) To expand my collection of Gospel music for pleasure and for public consumption

Two albums that I am eager to get my grubby paws on are "76:14" by Global Communication and "King Britt Presents Sister Gertrude Morgan [Remixed By King Britt]"

76:14 has a wonderful reputation for the kind of glorious ambient soundscapes that I am eager to experience.

King Britt's remix of Sister Gertrude Morgan's one and only album interests me... I think King Britt is a fab DJ and have some of his work on the iPod...but I am also intrigued by Sister Gertrude's gospel music. The write up on the Ropeadope site is fascinating: link Thanks to Johnny Baker for highlighting Sister Gertrude.

I am excited to take this forward...

Sunday, November 13, 2005

This Weekend...

Had a pretty busy weekend... My friend from Edinburgh who works for Rockstar North came to visit. It was great to see him... he is great with the girls and always generous...

We watched "Batman Begins" (which I have to say was fab... really enjoyed it... total package was first class!) and hung out. I did a lot of updating to his PowerBook... and he gave me some new tunes.

We spent some time in Glasgow (my folks took the girls - my wife went to Glasgow with her mother and sister for their annual mad shop) Went to wagamama for food then did a bit of shopping...

We talked music and work and faith and movies... It was great. I like my friend's perspective of me... he identifies and understands my ways. He sees my need for exclusivity as an expression of my identity and not arrogance... and I appreciate that.

Thanks for your company... and a shot of your PSP!

Friday, November 11, 2005

What's on the iPod... more?

My iPod is a broad church... in fact its very broad! Been listening to:

(1) "Homogenic" by Bjork. Love this album for its futurism... Its the kind of thing a pedestrian in LA circa Bladerunner would have been listening to. Hunter is such a fab track because it has an excitement about it and uses an interesting use of the cello.

(2) "Sweetback" by Sweetback. I have loved this album since it was released. Sade's backing band (keyboardist Andrew Hale, bassist Paul Denman, and guitar/sax man Stuart Matthewman) have crafted and structured beautiful audio textures, using soul music and dub as a foundation. Amel Larrieux, Maxwell, Bahamadia and Talvin Singh are involved. I have tender memories that this album reminds me of, and for that it will always be important.

(3) "Shield of Thorns" by Shawn Smith. Big fan of Shawn Smith, although I'm not big on the whole rock thing just now. I love his voice and rate some of his work with Satchel and Brad highly. This is an album that I got a while back and it kind of got lost on the iPod... buried under other more urgent stuff to listen to. I have rediscovered it and am enjoying it. It feels older than it is... kind of acoustic and bluesy. Nice.

(4) Nicola Benedetti's first album. I'm not a big classical fan but I love lush orchestration and strings... Nicola expresses herself beautifully and makes her violin sing. Some of the tracks sound like backing to movies I have never seen and that fascinates me.

(5) "Medula" by Bjork. This is a hard album to listen to but it does capture my attention and create an other-world. Her amazing use of the voice as an atmospheric tool is a credit to her. It lacks the accessiblity of "Homogenic" but will stand the test of time.

One more word...

Received an email from my good friend in Edinburgh - the chap who works for Rockstar North:
Just read your blog. Enjoyable as always! Like your one word name game. My one word for you is 'Obsessive'. It's Apple or iPod now, but I've known you for years and there's always been that special something that consumes a huge part of your life. Apple and iPod have made a huge impact on your life, but I still remember how important Stussy was for you, and let's not forget your Calvin Klein pants faze!

Thanks pal... One of the things I love about a good friend is that they keep you accountable for your actions. They remember when you have conviently forgotten. They challenge you when you are wrong and take the mick when you act silly.

I am obsessive... Its part of my nature and I agree its a fitting word to describe me. I did accumulate a rather large collection of Calvins for my honeymoon... yeah, like I look like Marky Mark!!! Thanks

Thursday, November 10, 2005

What's on the iPod..?

Presently enjoying the following...

(1) "Irony" by ACO. This is an amazing piece of sound sculpture from Japan. My friend from Rockstar gave me it a while ago and I love it. It is so otherworldly and etheral and different from the norm.

(2) "The Night Garden" by Waldeck - Love this. Picked it up for £2.00 in the Carbon Records bargin bin in Urban Outfitters. Had a couple of Waldeck's tracks from - this album is fab... vocal electronica with dubby influences that remind me of Massive Attack. Fine!

(3) "Far away trains passing by" by Ulrich Schnauss. Had this album for a while now and love it - the sound and atmospherics are mellow yet challenging and engaging. The album has been reissued with a bonus disk that I want to check out. Have one of the tracks via a download from My wife loves his work too - her fav track is "Knuddelmaus".

John Peel & The Salvation Army...

This is a wee bit old but I am glad to see that the Salvation Army will benefit from the profits of the John Peel compilation CD. Thanks John, Sheila and the family!

I rated John Peel and kind of regret not listening to more of his broadcasts. He was a visionary and true "broad"caster... as opposed to the "narrow"casters that focus on one or two genres.

I have to say that Worldwide and the Blue Room continue to rock and kudos to the BBC for these shows... Glad its not all about the ratings.

Picture is from a T-Shirt that the Big Chill have commissioned Sweetlife to create to commemorate John Peel. Its sold on the Big Chill site and all profits made will go to a charity of John's wife, Sheila's choosing. Well done, Big Chill!

Intelligent Design vs Evolution...

One of my fav blogs is Geek Culture. They publish the Joy of Tech - cartoon that parodies the Tech world, usually related to Apple.

To my suprise I found this fab forum on the ongoing debate on Intelligent Design vs Evolution and I thought I'd link to it here.

My two pence worth... Intelligent Design is Creationism but doesn't state who the Creator is...and is a belief. Evolution is a theory, which is in essence a belief too. Creationsim looks at the "why" whereas Science looks at the "how" and "what". I do not see these points to be mutually exclusive.

I believe in a Creator. How He created the world is something Science can observe and theorise on. If creation is observed through Darwin's theory then great... but if is not then why can't we debate it/challenge it?

Why? Because Intelligent Design is NOT scientific! It goes against the broad Scientific dogma. It seems to me that both camps (ID vs Evolution) are just as fundamentalist and dogmatic as each other... and this is why we will continue to go round in circles.

Thats why it comes down to belief. I look at my daughter's hand and think "what a great design"... I don't look at it and think it was the most practical means of fulfilling a role and that's why it hasn't changed.

In closing, I quote Dunninger...
For those that believe, no explanation is necessary. For those that do not, none will suffice.

Tuesday, November 08, 2005

A meditative playlist...

Held dinner at the Church followed by a prayer and contemplation session last night... Thankfully it was reasonably well attended.

I wanted to create a meditative atmosphere with music, so I mixed the following playlist on a CD using “Toast and Jam”:

1) “Danger of Hell” by Thomas Newman (taken from the Green Mile soundtrack)
2) “Monastery at La Rabiba” by Vangelis (taken from “1492: The Conquest of Paradise”)
3) “Rachel’s Song” by Vangelis (taken from the Bladerunner soundtrack)
4) “The Shimmering Wake” by Golden Sun (taken from “Manual & Syntaks”)
5) “When I survey” by Iona (taken from “Journey into the Morn”)
6) “It is done” by John Debney (taken from the Passion of the Christ soundtrack)
7) “More than just enough” by Sarah Luneack (taken from “In the wind”)
8) “God moving over the water” by Moby (taken from “Everything is Wrong”)
9) “A living prayer” by Alison Krauss & Union Station (taken from “Lonely runs both ways”)

The selection works well... although the piano loop on Moby’s track is a wee bit repetitive to new listeners. I’m going to develop this idea of backing meditative time to music and am looking for beautifully atmospheric ambient music without beats. Any ideas?

iPodification of Glasgow...

Apple must be targeting Glasgow, big time! The Debenhams building on Argyll St has a new iPod billboard. Previously there was a huge iPod Nano billboard - there is now a new iPod advert and it is MASSIVE!!!

Ongoing iDolatary... It puts the statue of Nebucanezzar in the shade.

Sunday, November 06, 2005


The sermon today at Church today was on the 10 Commandments...

I couldn't escape the whole iDolatry that I've been contemplating of late... Do I put Apple/iMac/iBook/iPod in front of God? If I do, then I'm in trouble!

Spent most of today fixing my iMac and updating my iPod - cut a long story short: my LaCie harddrive is being a nuisance - it turns itself off when faced with a complex piece of work (kind of like me) which renders it pretty useless for iMovie. It was bearable for iTunes but not for iMovie. My father has lent me the funds to buy a Freecom USB2 harddrive (he is going to take charge of it once we get the LaCie fixed) for which I am grateful. I have taken all the important files off the iMac and am upgrading it to Tiger to be the same as my iBook.

So, all in all, it looks like I've broken the "Sabbath day holy" commandment too...

Saturday, November 05, 2005


It seems kind of silly for the UK to celebrate, with fireworks, the work of a Catholic Terrorist... but we do. Guy Fawkes and his gunpowder plot...

Watched the fireworks at Strathclyde Park... Fantastic... Really powerful and awesome...

I always feel kind of guilty when I watch fireworks because they are such a waste of money... They instantly gratify you then they are a memory. When you think of the silly money spent in the UK for tonight, it would horrify you.

I wonder how much my council spent tonight putting on a great show? There are people in Kashmir dying of the cold after surviving an earthquake... and we a literally burning our money away.

Oh and Pippin had to be given a pil to chill her out... She was hyper!

Friday, November 04, 2005

More responses from the "One Word" game...

Since the last post I have received the following responses:

short / apple / buddha

I am short... Certainly shorter than my wife... but I feel that's not an issue. My pal at work thinks it is for some reason.

Another colleague had an "epiphany" and decided I look like a happy, fat buddha. Thanks for that, mate!

The most interesting response was "Apple" from my wife... I hope she thinks I am the "Apple" of her eye...but I feel she too thinks I am an obsessive Apple Fanboy. More fuel for the fire, if even my love thinks this.

Wednesday, November 02, 2005

The "One Word" description game...

Got sent this wee game from a pal today. I'm not one for silly email games - they are a waste of time when you are trying to productively waste time... but this ones pretty good:

One Word

Describe me in one word - just one.
Send it to me (only me), then forward this email to your friends
and see how many strange things people think about you.

Reply it's fun!
I sent this out to a few friends at work and, so far, I have received 4 responses:

iPod / honest / farter / complex
I think these responses are fascinating and I'm going to extend the reach of the game.

I am pleased with the honest comment. I try to live an honest life and with this friend, I have been brave enough to tell her things she maybe didn't want to hear but did appreciate once she heard them.

I am not pleased with the farter comment... People will forget your good deeds... sometimes your bad deeds will be forgiven... but fart once and you're an outcast FOREVER!!!

Complex is cool - there are many strings to my bow.

However, iPod is the most interesting one. I am an evangelical iPod user! I am a huge Apple fanboy and obviously this has made an impression. It also shows what is first in my life (or, at least, what is apparently first) and that's a wee bit embarassing. Why? It would appear that I am more gung-ho for Apple than I am for my faith. Does this mean that Steve Jobs is my idol (should that be iDol???) instead of my Lord?



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