Wednesday, February 28, 2007

Day 3...

I love this view

Yesterday was another heavy day in the office. I say heavy because there is a ton of work to do... but, for some reason, everyone is wired and enthused. Spirits are high and that's a great sign.

By the end of the day... we broke the back of the work and completed the biggest pieces of documentation. We'll still have a heavy day today... but there is a sense of satisfaction that we can do this.

Mall or Cathedral?

Pete and I headed back to the Mall. Didn't want to spend all night in the Pub. When I was here last year... I commented on how this place was like a Cathedral to consumerism... well I still think this is the case. The size of the space and its grandeur remind me of when I say St Peter's Basilica at the Vatican. This place is huge!

Town square or Mall furniture?

What I also noticed as I wandered about was how this space replicated outdoor, communal spaces... such as this town square. This isn't a mall but a total living environment. Its like the sci-fi stories of space stations on the moon or something... self contained... replicating the real world.

Apple Store

That said... I did manage to walk in and then walk out of the Apple Store without spending a penny... even with my lowly iPod Shuffle.

It was cool to wander with a soundtrack of obscure electronica... Olly's playlist... the Bladerunner ost... and the Sleepless in Seattle soundtrack on shuffle. Bizarre mix that somehow worked... made me think of my life back home.

After the mall... where I got some goodies for the we'ans... I went back to my room and worked on a super-secret project for Friday.

Only problem I have... is that my body clock is now on Philly time!

Technorati Tags:

Tuesday, February 27, 2007

Day 2...


Everything is bigger in America... the cars... the roads... the ice! The car was frozen shut yesterday morning. Thick ice everywhere. We are about 5 mins walk from the office... except its illegal for us to cross the road. Crazy. The world... and Americans in general... would be better off if there was more opportunity to walk! This is car world.

View from the Office window

Had a very productive session yesterday. 10 hours. Hard going but with many wee highlights... such as one of the vendor's analysts falling asleep and the food - they brought in Crocodile again! Another highlight is the view from the conference room that we are situated in... Stunning!

Thomasville @ King of Prussia mall

After work, one of my colleagues and I headed over to the King of Prussia mall for a wander. Its an amazing place... and we only scratched the surface of one of the malls within the mall.


Grabbed a Chai Latte in Starbucks... Checked out the books, mags and CDs in Borders...


Windowshopped at Teavana...


And enjoyed a browse in Urban Outfitters... which is far superior to the one in Glasgow. Great choice of cutting edge product. Fab, friendly staff. Reasonable prices... and a fab ambience.

Needless to say I spent some money:


Picked up copies of Giant Robot and Juxtapoz for a read. GR has a fab interview with Hiroshi Fujiwara and Jux has a great spread on Craola.

I also spent some time in five below just browsing... Its such a cool shop with clothes... toiletries... iPod cases... toys... for $5 or less. I got some great stuff the last time I was over... and picked up a tee (see above) and a cool wee orange Ja Ru yo-yo.

Afterwards... we went back to the hotel and hit the pub for some food.

Technorati Tags: ,


From Screendumps

I think its super-fab to be able to see Olly when I speak to her... for FREE!!! I'm must be saving my employer a fortune... I haven't been using my phone while over hear... except for texts.

Speaking of texts... Its great to hear from Alistair and Jon G... but Philly is 5 hours behind you!

Technorati Tags:

Monday, February 26, 2007

The Desmond Hotel, Malvern, Penn.

Outside... with snow

I am staying... with my colleagues... in The Desmond Hotel which is a fab hotel very near the offices we are to work from this week. As hotels go... its not the boutique style that I love... its kind more everyman... or should I say everywoman because there is way too much floral used in decoration. Floral wallpaper... floral sofas... bit mad.


The room or should I say suite is great. Huge bed four poster bed... fab lounge space... nice bathroom.


Only problem I have is lack of wi-fi... I am chained to an ethernet port in the lounge which is kind of weak.

I was, however, able to video conference with Olly last night and hope to catch up with my we'ans and my folks today.

I'll tell you more about the pub in the hotel later... its a cool space. Oh and I might check out the pool too - it'll be like Home Alone 2 except with my beef I'll make a bigger splash than Macauley did.

Technorati Tags: ,

Got here!


We are traveling "Economy" on the way over and "Business First" on the way back. Economy was interesting... we were lucky that no one sat in the middle seat... because we benefited from the wee bit extra space. Leg room was fine for someone like me with short legs.

Stuff to keep my sane

Of all the things to forget... did I not forget my 80gb iPod - its crammed full of new tunes... audiobooks... podcasts... movies... and old favs that I always go back to. Oh and the playlist my life pulled together for me. All I have is my 512mb shuffle and my PSP... I say all humbly because that is still a heck of a lot!

I also brought a few books and picked up Monocle which is a tremendous read. They pitch it as a monthly global briefing and organise their content around "abc" : A for Affairs... B for Business... C for Culture... D for Design... & E for Edits. The content is fab... snippets of great things happening around the world. Its not another trendy clothes-pimp... its more like the Economist for the NyLon crowd. Kept me... with my notoriously low attention span... happy for hours and I'm only half way through.

The 'Phonaught

Grateful to the Soos for a loan of his Bose Quietcomfort headphones (original 1s) - they do make a difference when flying. Dulls the roar of economy and sound great too with the shuffle and the PSP.

When I started the shuffle on "shuffle"... the first track played was the "I love you" track from Music has the right to children which was a nice wee surprise.

I have to say... however... that the music to Loco Roco doesn't improve with great headphones... but slowly drives you mad. Great game, though!

I did watch some of Tim Burton's Charlie and the Chocolate Factory on the inflight movies which reminded me of my we'ans. Also caught an episode of Everybody Loves Raymond which was particularly funny and reminded me of Olly.

View from the plane

The flight itself was fine. A wee bit turbulent at times but otherwise pretty good. Didn't feel like 7 hours... I have to admit. The visibility from the window was fantastic... and I snapped away a good few view on my digital camera.

View from the plane

The light was lovely... and I was able to get some good shots. Normally all I see when I fly is clouds but I was able to see a lot of land this time. Not sure what the land was... but was glad to see it!

View from the plane

View from the plane

An industrial view of New Jersey

Everything kind of changed as we flew over New Jersey. Everything seemed bleaker... and more brown. Very industrial with lots of amazing shapes... including a faint view of the Manhattan skyline. I need to go there... preferably with Olly.


We landed smoothly and managed to circumnavigate through customs. For a first impression of the US (this is my second) the chap with the gun was pretty grumpy. The chap I met on my previous visit reminded me of Sulu from Star Trek. He was nice.

Newark Liberty is a fab airport. Spacious and clean. Comfortable with some great shops to keep you busy while you are waiting. Can't wait to check it out on the way back.


Picked up a monster jeep from the car rental place. Needed a 4x4 because snow was forecast. Great motor... GMC, I think. The road was pretty straight and easily driven... although I didn't get a shot this time.

Another lasting impression of the US is how bad their radio is. No one brought any CDs... so we had to endure classic rock or cheesy soul ballads all the way from Newark to Malvern. Painful. Best tune of the journey was "Step On" by The Happy Mondays. Fab!

Technorati Tags: ,

Saturday, February 24, 2007

a playlist for my trip

From Screendumps

Olly popped a cheeky wee playlist on the iPod for my trip to Philly. Its slushy... but I don't care... I think its sweet!

Thanks honey. Click on the photo for a better look.

I'm gonna miss you!

Me & Mrs M

I'm going to miss you... Mrs M! I'm not complete without you beside me.

crazeee hair

and I'm going to miss my two wee monsters too. See you all soon... thanks to a loan of The Soos' iSight (thanks bro)

Walking through a bog and other fun things to see and do

On the raised bog path

Spent a few hours at Drumpelier Park in Coatbridge. Its nice and peaceful. We went off the beaten track and followed the path beside the bog. Beautiful in its barrenness... if that makes any sense?

On the raised bog path

I felt it was important to spend some time in nature. The quiet solitude (apart from Miriam) of somewhere secluded. Its also nice to get muddy and hear the birds sing overhead!

Ross, Janey, Olly and my "man bag"

A wee while later... we met up with Roscoe (Janey was with us at Drumpelier) and went for a lovely meal at Nando's. Its the special weekend for our "Young People" in the Corps... and the girls were at a pre-event party.

We met up with them later and enjoyed a programme led by the YP Band and choir. Dayna sang a wee solo which was lovely and Miriam sang with gusto when the Primary kids sang a couple of songs. Nice memories for my trip.

Technorati Tags: ,

24th & 25th March 07

From Screendumps

This intrigued me when I saw it on NotCot.

Shutdown Day is on the 24th March and its aim is as follows...
It is obvious that people would find life extremely difficult without computers, maybe even impossible. If they disappeared for just one day, would we be able to cope?

Be a part of one of the biggest global experiments ever to take place on the internet. The idea behind the experiment is to find out how many people can go without a computer for one whole day, and what will happen if we all participate!

Shutdown your computer on this day and find out! Can you survive for 24 hours without your computer?
I've signed up and hope to do it. Its a Saturday and they do tend to be more family focussed... I am a big fan of the concept of the Sabbath... taking a day's rest... but don't always follow through. Take today for example! It will be hard... most things of value tend to be. But this one will especially hard when we consider that...

From Banners & Stuff

Sunday, 25th March is Freedom Day and we need to raise awareness anyway we can to the evil that people trafficking is.

From Screendumps

I would love to get involved in a 24-7 prayer vigil on the Saturday evening... but not sure what's happening or if anyone would come if I organised one.

Anyone... check out the links and do what you can... both are valuable activities.


my last coffee before Lent

Its been a few days since Lent started and I just realised that I am actually surviving without coffee. Above is a pic of the last coffee I had before starting my coffee fast. It was a cheeky wee latte from Coffee Merchant in the Merchant City, Glasgow (my fav coffeehouse, btw)

What's this fasting thing all about? Well... for me... I want to sacrifice my self. Give up something meaningful for me... so that I think of Jesus' sacrifice whenever I have a Jones for coffee.

I do miss it... the smell of espresso... the foamy goodness of a good head on a latte. Its not the same hanging out with people and drinking tea... although Chai Latte does appeal... I don't want to simply replace one love with another.

It might seem trivial... but it means something to me... and it works!

What have you given up..? and why..?

Technorati Tags: ,

Live to Tell

Daniel & Olly

There are many things that I love about my life... but I'd only like to focus on one within this post: her voice. I love my wife's voice. She's been singing since I have known her and her voice and style has broadened... matured... developed into something, IMHO, wonderfully rich and unique.

Live to Tell

Her latest side project is a vocal trio with her talented sister, Caroline; and brother-in-law, Daniel; I don't sing - we have more chance of a reunion tour by the freshly resurrected Elvis than we do of the 'Phonaught singing!

They sing in a kind of fresh Southern style old and new gospel songs... in a manner similar to their inspiration: lordsong. I love it when new talent sings old songs with new feeling... resurrecting the soul of the song for new ears to hear. This they did with My Jesus I love thee which was awesome... and greatly appreciated by the folks at the Whitburn Pentecostal Church.

Aunty Cath... Beat Poet

Sharing the programme... was Aunty Cath whose poetry is pretty amazing to experience. I say experience because its like watching Yoda fight Darth Sidious - this frail person finds strength and vigor as she retells her stories. Fascinating.

Olly's thought on the Jesus and his disciples caught in the storm was well thought through and expertly executed... just at the right level for the folk who were there... and not too long either :-)

It was a great night and hope to see them develop their trio... incorporating more funny stories and accordion interludes (you can never get enough accordion... they are the new banjos!)

Olly & Stevie

It was great to see our friends Stevie and Mary... Bobby & Janette... and all our friends in Whitburn.

How tech'd up are my we'ans?

Lastly... with Dayna playing Loco Roco on the PSP and Miriam watching a film on the iPod... how tech'd up are my we'ans?

Great night. Thanks to all involved in making it what it was.

Thursday, February 22, 2007

Goin' back to Philly


I fly out on Sunday for a very busy schedule at our vendor's in Malvern, Pennsylvania. Not sure what I'll see or do outside work... but, hey, you know me... I'll find something sweet to report back to my peeps in the ol' Nanolog community.

Fly back on Thursday night... in Glasgow for Friday morning... catch a few hours kip then off to Edinburgh with my life for some fun and games.

I'm glad it all worked out. God is good!

Technorati Tags:

February's Gathering

Laura & John
Laura & John

February's gathering was a great success! For more... go here

Thanks to everyone who came along and contributed!

Technorati Tags: ,

February's Gathering

(L to R) Matthew, Kenny, John, Paul & Alistair

Another successful gathering took place last night... couldn't blog about it straight away - needed to catch up with Olly. What a great evening of conversation with 13 folk coming and going during the time allotted.

I was unfashionably late - preparing to fly out to Philly on Sunday and has busy. Got there at 1700hrs to a group of folk waiting... which was sweet.

Laura, Jonathan, Matthew & Chris
(L to R) Laura, Jonathan, Matthew & "Big" Chris

Conversations varied from the "thing" Julie is doing tomorrow (ie tonight) with her breakfast group. They want to do something "spiritual" but not "religious" - they connect with Jesus but have disconnected from the Church - this is a fantastic opportunity that I will keep you posted with.

Laura & John
Laura & John

It was great to catch up with Laura Lou and connect her again with folk she knows from her home town... like John.

Julie & "big" Chris
Julie & "Big" Chris

I was sweet just to witness folk talking... conversing... sharing... Made it all worthwhile.

Mr & Mrs Ede... and Julie
The Ede's and Julie

There were a few new faces... including Paul's wife, Esther... and one embarrassed face - mine! I forgot Ester's LTJ Bukem CD.

Had a great chat with Paul around ((deep)) and some options we may have for an alternative venue. He is also well connected with promoters and the like... and he could connect me with some much needed new talent.

It was also fab to hear for the band Alistair and John have formed. Will be watching out for them.

Dan, John & Alistair
Dan, John & Alistair

Afterwards... 5 of us headed over to Wagamama to carry on the conversation. The food was good, as always, and it was fab to just keep blethering about stuff

Me and Matthew
Me & Capt. Bennett

This was the first time I had actually met Matthew Bennett (one part of the Officer duo from Kirkwall) and it was great to catch up.

Good times... thanks to everyone who came and hung out and contributed. Here's to the next one in March.

Tuesday, February 20, 2007

PDF mags :: an idea...

From Screendumps

Had another idea... I've always wanted to create a zine. Something underground and special... a newspaper for my community... my culture.

For more... go to my hardthought blog.

Technorati Tags: ,


Related Posts with Thumbnails