Thursday, January 31, 2008

Philly - day 3

waiting in the waiting room

Today was another long but productive day in the office. There is a real benefit from these sessions being face to face > an understanding that comes from the interaction. There is a lot going on and its hard to keep track of everything... but I'm doing my best.

Today was a good food day... at lunch we had some fab tortillas with chicken fillings... and a tomato salad. Beautiful!

"NY Reuben"

At night I ate with the team and had a NY Reuben sandwich... which was lovely! Meat... sauerkraut... cheese... fries... lovely. I am going to put on a ton of weight while I am here!

the stars n stripes

We stayed in tonight... did some work... ate... had a few drinks... I headed up to my room to watch the Republican Presidential Candidate Debate... which was interesting. I like the concept of the debate... and was interested in their responses to the questions. Mike Huckabee interested me the most and gave the best answers in my opinion... but, if I am honest, I am more interested in the Barak Obama / Billary Clinton debate tonight.

I'm back


You've probably realised by now that I'm back blogging. I was profoundly shocked and deeply humbled by the support expressed with emails, texts and phonecalls as a result of my recent post :: mea maxima culpa :: I don't want to embarrass anyone... you know who you are! You will never fully know how powerful your words of support were [are] to me.

For some reason the content on this blog... the ol' nanolog... resonates with some people and this is something I greatly appreciate. I am just a theological simpleton... a follower of God in the way of Jesus who loves his wife and kids and wants to make a difference... in this life.

I talk about the dull... the ordinary... the everyday... the obscure... the fantastic... because I see beauty in everything. I appreciate good design... great tunes and the kind of experiences that shape a person's worldview... and just want to share these thoughts.

I make mistakes... we all do... but I have always believed in the God of the second chance and have found real mileage in the saying attributed with Confucius ::
Our greatest glory is not in never falling, but in rising every time we fall.
I may fall... but I will rise again! I am grateful for the opportunities that blogging brings and will never seek to abuse them.

I do so now... and I do it in the strength of my Lord... in the strength of my wife and kids... in the strength of all the people who have my back (you know who you are).

I'm not sure what the future will bring... I don't know about ((deep)) or S*N*A*C... but I do know I do not stand alone... and for that I am more grateful than you would ever know.

Rodney Mullen rawks!!!

Thanks to Noah for reminding me how much I used to love watching Rodney Mullen skate. I used to really dig watching the Bones Brigade movies with Steve Caballero, Lance Mountain and Tommy Guerrero skating streets... but I always paid attention when Rodney Mullen did his thing. At times he was very technical and static... its a joy to watch him move. Amazing!

Wednesday, January 30, 2008

Philly - day 2


Work and play... that's pretty much what happened today. Another really productive session in the office... with less looking out the window. Its work but its good fun too > the vendor's team are a great bunch of folk and the atmosphere is light but serious.

After work... we all headed over to the King of Prussia Mall for food and a look/see. I was a total chump and forgot my phone > I hate not having a camera with me! Must be the way things are moving where before I would feel naked not having my phone to make connections... now I hate not having it because I can't record my journey.

GR + beanie

I picked up a few bits and pieces for my girls in the 5 below store... along with the 76ers beanie (all $5 or less!!!) I also picked up the latest edition of Giant Robot which has some fantastic articles on less mainstream culture.

We met up in a seafood restaurant called Legal Sea Foods - I never realised until now that I was eating illegal seafood up until now. The space was lovely... beautifully designed. Kicking myself that I forgot my phone to show pics.

The food was good... not great... but good. I ate a shrimp and garlic linguine... and shared in a good banter with my colleagues.

Later on... after I got everyone home (I am the designated driver) I did some more work in my room (the bar was way too noisy and my battery is gubbed in my Thinkpad) and then crashed at 2230hrs (est).

I fell asleep dreaming of Olly... and the bairns... and it was great to see them at 0300hrs (est) this morning.

Tuesday, January 29, 2008

Philly - day 1

View from the office window

Spent the day in the office... Had the hardest topic to cover and it went really well. I love the vendor's office - the views are awesome. The view touches me every time I see - watching hawks soar on the thermals... watching geese fly in and out... watching a flock of small birds feed then fly off when the hawks get too close. Beautiful.

My colleauges and fellow travellers on this trip

It was after 6pm when we all headed back to the Desmond. It was a productive day with real progress made.

We all headed over to a local bar/diner called Baxter's >> the food is great... and the ambience is honest and open.

The world famous Philly Cheesesteak

I had a philly cheesesteak (when in Rome afterall...) and we all had a good natter. The group I am with are all great folk... real honest and focused individuals. Its a privilege to be in their company.

Shortstop :: My kind of shop!

Afterwards... as we walked back to the Desmond... I noticed a shop for me :: Shortstop - its capitalism just great!

Monday, January 28, 2008

Philly - day 0

Con 017 Y

Flew from Glasgow Airport yesterday morning... to Newark, NJ. Absolutely beautiful flight... apart from some hands in the air turbulence at one point.

We were riding in economy... so the films were pretty bland. The Pink Panther remake is VERY FUNNY without any sound > with sound and its terrible.

Entertainment was provided by my colleagues... No Logo by Naomi Klein... some great tunes (I'll speak on them later) and Bust A Move on the DS.

Looking down en route

Looking out the window was fab too... beautiful desolation below.

The tracks at Newark International Railway Station

Arrived without any hassle... and then headed to the Newark International Railway Station to wait on our AMTRAK train into Philly.

AMTRAK train in 30th Street Station

No hassles on the train either... people we met were sweet although the food wasn't cheap > $1.75 for a bag of pretzels???

30th Street Station

The 30th Street Station in Philly is awesome... harking back to a day when railways were the way to travel. Beautiful decor... blows Glasgow Central out the water.

Philadelphia... from the rental SUV

We grabbed a car > needed an SUV instead of the wee car they offered us > and headed off into Philly (thanks to the GPS) and then onto Malvern.

Trip was sweet - nothing that taxing... just loads of road and a group of Brits trying to work out what stay left, go right means.

Got to the Hotel... dumped our stuff and headed out to explore. It was about 4ish EST.


Ended up in Golf Galaxy (where I snapped this handy device) and Circuit City where I picked up some tunes. We then popped over to the local wawa convenience store for pretzels and snapple > I was gutted when I heard the music wasn't some seventies acid funk boom chicka wah wah guitar sound.

I really shouldn't... but it has bananas in it

Ended the day in the FOX and HOUNDS for a chicken cesar salad... and some ice cream. Crashed about 8pm est

Its good to be here... but I miss my kids and Olly like crazy. Caught up with them on iChat... which is good.

Check out my photos here >> I have my dad's Canon EOS 350D with me... along with my Sony Ericsson K800i > going to be snap happy!

Saturday, January 26, 2008

gathering... this Tuesday

Huge thanks to Laura and Laura for making this happen! Unfortunately I will be in Philly... but will have a coffee and think about all the fab gatherees. Can't wait to see the photos.

If you are in the area... corner of Hope and Waterloo... on Tuesday night... then you are more than welcome!

Thursday, January 24, 2008

mea maxima culpa

I am human. I make mistakes. I fail as often as I succeed. I am not proud to admit it when I am wrong... and I greatly appreciate being challenged / brought to task for things I have done, if offense has resulted from my actions.

In my report on ((deep)) I expressed a personal opinion. That opinion has the potential to hurt / damage / cause pain... not only to the person I express my opinion about but to this person's friends and the wider ((deep)) community.

I will never deliberately seek to hurt the ((deep)) community or tarnish the goals that we seek to achieve... and as result I would like to say... mea maxima culpa! I am sorry for this error in judgement and for any offense I may have caused.

I would, however, like to articulate the following points as I seek to learn from this experience::
  1. I am human and will make mistakes. This is not an excuse or a defense... it is a statement of fact.
  2. I am approachable >> a wee word in the ear would have cleared this all up. Do not be afraid to come to me directly to challenge me / speak to me about your concerns.
  3. This is MY blog and I will express my opinion on my blog. I do not get a penny from this blog and do not wish to. I only represent things I like. This is a forum for my self-expression... and for the expression of the Nanolog Community. If you do not like the opinions raised here then either challenge me on it - show me where I am wrong - or don't read it.
  4. The only person who will censor this blog is me. If I see where I went wrong then I will be big enough to acknowledge my mistake and make amends. I have tried to do this here.
Tonight has been greatly distressing for me and has made me consider what I do/what I am involved in. I will be off the air for the foreseeable future as I seek regroup.

Tuesday, January 22, 2008

Music with interesting stories...


I love music. I'm not musical but I love it nonetheless. Acoustic guitars. Distorted guitars. Ambient synths and glitchy electronica. Choral arrangements. These are the kinds of sounds that keep my soul alive.

Here are some tunes that inspire me with their sounds... and their stories:

First off is my Iowan friend Jake Bouma with a fab EP of acoustic guitar orientated tunes (with the odd bongo drum thrown in). Jake is a pal on twitter >> I responded to a tweet (aka a post on twitter) intimating a post on his blog >> he was (at the time) giving away 20 copies of his EP for free to commentators. I was 13th (I think) and was not alone in being directed to his blog from the tweet (although I do read the blog) >> what amazes me is the immediacy of the whole thing... tweak >> blog >> comment >> EP. Nice - thanks Jake!

Expressive. Free. These are the words that come to mind as I listen to songs like the opener Stuck in my heart and last time >> fiery and spirited performances of self-penned material... love songs for today that drip with sentimentality and ache with real life. The EP shows promise... and I look forward to following Jake's progress.

Next up is a beautiful slice of electronica that I found out about on one of my fav blogs... boingboing >> it has the distinction in that it is...
The first-ever Creative Commons-licensed electronica album that is backed by a collecting society has just been released. This means that the artist will get paid for radio-play and live performance (which the collecting societies get money for), a major breakthrough since many collecting societies have been hostile to CC, telling members that if they adopt CC licenses, they can kiss their radio-play money goodbye.
This is big news for the netlabels I just soak up >> just because it is released for free on the 'tinterweb does not mean the music is not worth anything... if it is used in a commercial setting then Tone gets paid. Who knows... maybe this is the future of the music industry?!?

The album itself >> small arm of sea >> by Tone aka Sofie Nielsen from Aalborg, Denmark; is gloriously bittersweet and melancholic... with ambient electronic soundscapes layered over glitchy beats and other-worldly vocals. Overall it reminds me of the Icelandic band Mum. Wonderfully atmospheric... fab for dark nights in cold climates.

Aerotone have released another fab album... this time it is a series of remixes for the Portuguese band >> Norton >> their blurb on myspace describes them as...
Four young guys who make music for the world to hear. They are from a city in the middle east of Portugal called Castelo Branco and they’re the perfect symbioses between the simplicity of Múm, the soft pop of The Postal Service and the tension of Mogwai.
All bands I really dig.

I don't know their album Kershe but I will check it out after hearing these remixes. An album full and distinctive in its own right with beautifully ambient and glitchy electronica. Artists from all over the world ::
From Iceland with FM Belfast, side Project of Örvar Smárason from Múm, to Malaysia with Muxu, Germany with Corwood Manual, Hidden Letters, Nuuk and Trondheim, Portugal with Loto, Stereoboy and Daily Misconceptions, Sweden with Lost Room, U.S.A. with Cars & Trains and Transient, England with Will, Switzerland with And Me and Netherlands with You Echo.
Love it... good stuff! Each song has its own identity and feeling... expressive and futuristic. The best remix album I have heard since Bebel Remixed.

Check them all out... and support true creativity.

Monday, January 21, 2008

Remembering a hero!

""Let freedom ring. And when this happens, and when we allow freedom ring—when we let it ring from every village and every hamlet, from every state and every city, we will be able to speed up that day when all of God's children—black men and white men, Jews and Gentiles, Protestants and Catholics—will be able to join hands and sing in the words of the old Negro spiritual: "Free at last! Free at last! Thank God Almighty, we are free at last!
Rev. Dr Martin Luther King Jnr

I look to the day when we can all be free!

Celebrate the life of Rev. Dr Martin Luther King Jnr today by remembering him as a true hero.

I know a covergirl!!!

I am privileged to know a number of talented people... but, until today, I didn't know a covergirl >> not that I was actively looking to meet one or anything (honest, Olly!).

Jokes aside... kudos to Laura (friend, gatheree and member of the ol' nanolog community) for getting on the front cover of her local free paper. Her trip to Africa was an important step for her and she deserves the coverage on behalf of all those who went.

This is Salt and Light!!! This is "moving into the neighbourhood". Well done!

Read her post [here]

Sunday, January 20, 2008

((deep)) #3 >> what happened...

what remains from the evening...

I feel shattered... didn't get to bed until 1 or so this more. Its difficult to sleep when you've had a great evening.

I know we've only had 3 ((deep)) gatherings... but they are getting better and better. The team are coming together... the band are sounding mighty fine... and the crowd are open and expectant.

3rd ((deep)) gathering

The band led this time by Laura were free and focused... They sounded good with Mog on drums [I love Mog's drumming!] Their progression is noticeable which is a credit to the members of the band.

After worship... Janet Robson spoke on the disciple John >> considering who John thought Jesus was >> shaping her thoughts/feelings on the subject matter into 3 points ::
  1. Words matter! Words can build us up... or tear us down. When God spoke (as recorded in Genesis 1) things happened. Word >> Action.
  2. John Baptizer's job description was... "help people take it in... and take it on." This is our job description as followers of Jesus.
  3. We are, by right, the children of God. It is a right and a blessing. But with rights come responsibilities >> just as "the Word became flesh"... we need to be the "flesh" of the Word in our own circles of influence >> family... work... play... etc. We need to show our people what Jesus looks like.
After Janet spoke... there was a period of reflection and interaction with some vivid prayer stations available for use... from which flowed some awesome testimonies from some unlikely sources. Young folk were talking of about moments in their lives where they had been influenced by others... or had been an influence themselves. I even got in on the act... even though the mike was wired for a 7' basketball player.

It was an amazing evening... completed by some worship and then a further catch-up with pals. People were really using the space/time to connect with each other... and that's about all I could ask for. ((deep)) is a powerful encounter point... that, God willing, will grow in strength and quality.

How many men does it take to fix a vacuum cleaner?

My thanks go to everyone who makes this happen. I am a happy visionary who is content to watch things open up... and hoover up afterwards. My thanks to Tony & Iain for fixing the hoover (Dyson actually) so I could fulfill my calling.

Janet's talk is attached [here (in AAC format)] and some more photos are posted [here]

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Thursday, January 17, 2008

((deep)) #3

Janet and I (FB34)

Been busy and kind of forgot about this weekend... ((deep)) is happening this weekend (Saturday, 19th January) with Janet Robson, the Divisional Youth Officer for the East of Scotland Division, bring her thoughts and experiences to the gathering. I am proud to call Janet a friend... and am looking forward to catching up with her and hearing more on what she's been up to.

We're back in the City Centre Corps in Anderston, Glasgow >> with the Essential Band leading worship and Ninja bringing soulful tunes to complement your coffee and muffin. [Other refreshments will be available if you don't dig coffee and muffins].

I'll see you from 7pm... if you can make it. Door tax is £3 with profits being reinvested into the project.

Moving forward... we are confirmed in the City Centre Corps for the remainder of the year and my thanks goes to the officers/people from City Centre for allowing us to use their space... and to Iain Stewart for brokering the deal.

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Wednesday, January 16, 2008

Heading back to Philly...


I received confirmation today that I will be part of a working party heading out to Philadelphia on the 27th of Jan for 2 weeks. As I will be spending a weekend over there... the intention is to spend time in New York.

I'm stoked at the possibility and extremely grateful for the opportunity. I will miss Olly and the girls terribly... but this is something I can't pass up.

Saturday, January 12, 2008

Commitment Sunday

Tape Cross

Tomorrow is Commitment Sunday within the Salvation Army and I thought it beneficial for me to communicate my commitments, as I see them ::
  • I am a follower of God in the way of Jesus (a phrase that Brian McLaren uses in Everything Must Change) and, as such, I am committed to bringing His kingdom to Earth. I believe the message of Jesus is one of good news for everyone and I am called to relay His grace in my words and, most importantly, my actions.
  • I am committed to my wife > as a husband, partner and friend to my wife and soul-bride Olly.
  • I am committed to my lovely daughters Dayna and Miriam > as a father and guide.
  • I am committed to the work of the Salvation Army in the West of Scotland and beyond. I believe the Army is where I am meant to be... within the glorious and varied tapestry that is the Christian Church. I am committed to the movement whose Founder, William Booth said these words ::
"I saw that when the bible said “He that believeth shall be saved”, it meant not only saved from the miseries of the future world, but from the miseries of this also. That it came with the promise of salvation here and now; from hell and sin and vice and idleness and extravagance and consequently very largely from poverty and disease, and the majority of kindred woes."
  • I am committed to fresh, authentic, relevant, and adventurous expressions of "church" and the emerging church conversation > I do not commit to anything that gets in the way of God and Jesus such as tradition, politics, gossip, and consumerism. I will seek do my part to promote a purposefully inclusive, generous and graceful expression of faith... wherever I am.
  • I am committed to my friends > the people I connect with / relate with / share with... either physically over coffee or food, in my home, at ((deep)), at S*N*A*C or at my desk [or] remotely over the nanolog, facebook, IM or skype.
  • I am committed to my physical neighbourhood... and want to shine my light where I call home... in Motherwell, Scotland.
  • I am committed to those I do not know... and acknowledge their intrinsic worth and humanity as beings created in the likeness of God.
  • I am committed to my employer in my role as a Business Analyst > I will seek to be trustworthy, reliable and open in all I do in this role.
  • I will continue to passionately explore all things that are true, noble, reputable, authentic, compelling, gracious—the best, the beautiful - things to praise, not things to curse... especially great beats, rich coffee & innovative design... and use the ol' nanolog as an outlet for anything I find.
I hope this makes sense > its not really in any order... other than the first 3, I suppose. I will seek to express my commitment in the quality of my inter[action]!

Rather than tag individuals... I will ask an open question... who/what are you committed to?


I forgot to say... I am committed to my parents as their son and to my extended family as an active participant.

Great tunes for a lazy Saturday

Its been a good week for tunage in the ol' Headphonaught household...

First off... I have Olly to thank for the heads-up on onerepublic > the girls bought their new album [dreaming out loud] for Olly's Christmas. Olly has been raving about their song "apologise" which has been released in the UK as a remix by Hip Hop beatmaster Timbaland.

The album is deeply interesting > its rock but more than... The singalong choruses are there along with the riffs and beats... but there is more depth > strings, percussion, synths, harmonies, piano, inspiring lyrics > big songs and strong ballads. In fact, there isn't a weak song on this album.

Stand out tracks include "Come Home" which is a strong piano-based ballad with some powerful lyrics ::
I get lost in the beauty
Of everything i see
The world ain't as half as bad
As they paint it to be
If all the sons
If all the daughters
Stopped to take it in
Well hopefully the hate subsides and the love can begin
It might start now..Yeahh
Well maybe I'm just dreaming out loud
Until then
and "Prodigal" which grows with intensity ::
I'm on the road
To who knows where?
Look ahead, not behind
I keep saying
There's no place to go
Where you're not there
On your rope, I hold tight
But it's freeing
I am loving this album and well recommend it... truly something special!

Next up is another fantastic compilation from MOJO Magazine > [ok_computer] > an electronic music compilation that gives a knowing nod to radiohead. Its a tremendous compilation that is fitting for folk new to the genre as well as big, fat electronic music geeks like me.

Its the melding of old and new together to make a soundtrack for now that is so inspiring... Tracks from the human league, gary numan, farley "jackmaster" funk and tangerine dream sit nicely with new artists like the knife, matthew dear, fujiya & miyagi, and cLouDDEAD. There are artists on the 15 track CD that I haven't heard before... which is brilliant.

Its a well curated compilation... which is the norm for MOJO... and sits well in anyones collection.

On Hogmanay, Radiohead webcast a live performance of their new album along with some interesting soundscapes and spoken word. I missed the performance and the follow up on Current_tv > settling for a replay on current_tv and then on YouTube. Its very good.

So good, in fact, I used GetTube [sorry, mac only] to download both an mp3 and an mp4 version > I listen to the mp3 version at work... and have watched the performance on my iPod on the train / in bed.

Radiohead impress me > their music and their passion towards their music and their fans inspires me. This performance and, more importantly, the free distribution via web2.0 tech is awesome.

Lastly... I am a big fan of Krista Tippett's [Speaking of Faith] radioshow/podcast. She uses a lot of great music on her show as contextual soundtracks and she's listed 25 tracks on her website. Standout tracks include Dali's Car (a short-lived musical experiment featuring Peter Murphy of Bauhaus and Mick Karn of Japan), Moscow Church Choir, nanolog community favourite Derek Webb, Adrienne Young, Mahalia Jackson, and Leonard Cohen. Well worth checking out... as is the podcast itself > an hour well spent.

Wednesday, January 09, 2008

The Legend of Cliff Young

The whole nation thought he was a crazy old man to undertake an almost impossible feat. Most feared that he would die trying. But this humble old man proved all the critics wrong. Cliff Young, at 61 years of age, participated in 1983’s Sydney to Melbourne race. Considered to be the world’s toughest race, with the distance of 875 (543.7 m) kilometers and took at least 5 days to finish, Cliff Young entered the race against world-class athletes. Read how he achieved the unthinkable and inspires the whole nation.
The Legend of Cliff Young

Cliff's story inspires me... to do my own thing... do it my way... with what I have... and with humility. Read his story and be inspired too!

Monday, January 07, 2008

Introducing "Everything Must Change"

...The couple hundred thousand people who have read my previous books seem to find in them some hope and resonance with things they've already been thinking and feeling, including a suspicion that the religious status quo is broken and a desire to translate their faith into a way of life that makes a positive difference in the world. They share my belief that the versions of Christianity we inherited are largely flattened, watered down, tamed... offering us a ticket to heaven after death, but not challenging us to address the issues that threaten life on earth. Together we've begun to seek a fresh understanding of what Christianity is for, what a church can be and do, and most exciting, we're finding out that a lot of what we need most is already hidden in a trunk in our attic.
Brian D. McLaren >> Everything Must Change p3.

I am one of the couple hundred thousand people who find hope and resonance with Brian's writing... and am pleased that I am not alone... but also that his latest book will be our first book to take on our bookclub journey.

Let me know if you want to participate... afterall, this thing is exclusively for everyone!

Tunes for a blue Monday

I saw this T on threadless recently... and thought about all the obscure music I listen to. I don't do it for some pretentious oneupmanship or anything... I just love finding new music. Here's some I've found recently:

I am a bit of a Blade Runner geek... and I want to complete my collection with this wee oddity that cost me more for the postage than I paid for the disc itself. In 1982, for some reason, Vangelis didn't release his fab soundtrack to the film... so the New World Orchestra were brought in to record an alternative "sound-a-like" soundtrack. Purists won't like it... but I do... it is more than a muzak version and has its own identity... and soul. It only has 8 tracks... but it captures the vibe of Vangelis' original nicely.

I thought I'd give Bob Dylan's new album [Modern Times] a wee listen when I saw it in the library recently. Its growing on me > its very trad blues... but kind of special with Bob's lyrics and vibe.

I also picked up The Decemberists' 2006 album [the crane wife] for no other reason than I was curious... I'd heard of them... and I was glad I borrowed it. Its a nice blend of acoustic guitar-orientated folk rock... a pleasant album full of quirky, soulful and inventive tunes. An alternative soundtrack for the cold, grey days of a Scottish Winter.

Continuing the folk vibe is a lovely Hebridean singer called Julie Fowlis with her beautiful album [Cuilidh] which is Gaelic for sanctuary or secret hiding place. Its a precious album of guitar-orientated folk music > fantastic Gaelic songs that give me hope for modern Scottish folk music. Maybe I'm getting old but I am falling in love with folk music... its feels fresh, authentic and relevant as an alternative for a world full of commercial manufactured "pop" music designed for the lowest common denominator.


Saturday, January 05, 2008

Headphonaught's Bookclub (part 2)

Thanks to everyone who has shown an interesting in getting involved... especially JD over in Texas and Dan in Glenrothes for their encouragement and support!

OK... so this is where we are going with this >>

1) I have set up an "invite-only" Facebook group > the admins (JD, Dan & myself) will invite people who have expressed an interest in being part of this journey. Facebook gives us the tools to do this >> invites / discussion posting etc >> and encourages community - you have to be a member of Facebook and your identity is known to the group (no nicknames etc). This will make us more honest and accountable >> key prerequisites for an egalitarian community.

2) We are considering a number of books... but a couple of front runners are THE TIPPING POINT [Malcolm Gladwell] and/or EVERYTHING MUST CHANGE [Brian D. McLaren]. We can run multiple discussions, if desired... this can be as linear or non-linear as we want it to be.

3) One thing I am interesting in... as well... is meeting up with folks in Glasgow for f2f conversations. Ally & Jay have expressed an interest in this too. I would encourage you to look at this option in addition to online.

4) Using Facebook will, I hope, allow us to get know each other a bit better. Hooking up and conducting one on one conversations is encouraged.

I hope this makes sense... I don't want to exclude folks not on Facebook... but the tool is the best one we have. If anything, you now have a legit reason for joining up.

I you want to join up... leave a comment, drop me a note or hook up with me, Dan or JD on Facebook.

Wednesday, January 02, 2008

Books I read in 2007 + Headphonaught's Bookclub

The spoils from a day hunting...

JD tagged me to find out how many books I read in 2007. Unfortunately, I never managed to read any of the books shown above. That's one of my problems... I consume books... pick them up with noble intentions... and then they sit on my book shelf.

Anyway... I did manage to read the following:
  1. Angels and Demons > Dan Brown
  2. Flowers for Algernon > Daniel Keyes
  3. 15 ways to a more effective prayer life > Selwyn Hughes
  4. A flame in my heart (St Aidan for today) > David Adam
  5. Digital Fortress > Dan Brown
  6. Dark Saber > Kevin Anderson
  7. Sex God > Rob Bell
  8. Walk On (The U2 story) > Steve Stockman
  9. A Generous Orthodoxy > Brian D. McLaren
  10. The Secret Message of Jesus > Brian D. McLaren
I also started the following... but haven't finished them yet:
  1. The Emerging Church (Vintage Church for New Generations) > Dan Kimball
  2. What's So Amazing About Grace > Philip Yancey
  3. No Logo > Naomi Klein
  4. Snow Crash > Neal Stephenson
  5. We Can Build You > Philip K. Dick
  6. The Silmarillion > JRR Tolkien
  7. The Imitation of Christ > Thomas A Kempis
I want to finish them... at some point this year.

To this end... I would like to ask for some help from the Nanolog Community > my pal RobGT suggested that I create some form of virtual book club for anyone interested in reading and discussing some books together.

I have created an invite-only google group for this purpose and I need some pals to help me get it off the ground. You can help in the following ways:
  1. Ask for an invite > I'm keeping it invite-only until its a proven concept. Send me an email or leave a comment with your email and I'll hook you up.
  2. Suggest some books > I'm thinking of tackling between 6 and 10... along the lines of 1 a month. They don't have to be just Christian books... but they have to be culturally important books > think Velvet Elvis or No Logo for an idea.
  3. Get involved > I'm looking for some honest commitment and a fair pinch of common-or-garden enthusiasm - we will be journeying together... examining some meaningful material... I need people who are will to read and participate... not spectate from the sidelines.
  4. Help out > I want to journey with you... not lead > I need to feed as much as I want to encourage you all to get fed. I don't want to be the only facilitator.
If you are up for it... let me know and we'll get kicked off soon.

William "Bill" Stockwell > gone but not forgotten!

It is a bittersweet day for Olly and I as I acknowledge the promotion to glory of William "Bill" Stockwell who left to be with His Lord in the early hours of this morning.
  • We are sad that this comparatively young man [aged 62] has finally succumbed to the cancer that had blighted his life for the last 22 years.
  • We are sad that he leaves Nancy, J (a member of the Nanolog Community), Stephen and Andy behind.
  • We are sad that Glenrothes and the Kingdom of Fife has one less follower of Jesus and insurgent of love to do His work and bring His kingdom to Earth.
  • We are sad for we are reminded of our own mortality.

And yet...
  • We rejoice that death no longer has any sting.
  • We rejoice for 62 years he was here... shining bright... and the 22 years he bravely fought his cancer with his dry wit and loving nature... in the company of his family and friends.
  • We rejoice because of his promotion... and have faith to believe that this isn't the end!
  • We rejoice because Bill now can enjoy a new version of "the Hallelujah Chorus" in the company of the Messiah himself.

Bill... you were a great friend to my parents and an inspiration to me. You maybe gone... but you will never be forgotten! I dedicate this song to you...


Now playing: Bill Conti - Gonna Fly Now (Theme From Rocky)
via FoxyTunes

Tuesday, January 01, 2008

Plans for 2008


For my 1,778th post on this ol' Nanolog... I thought I'd look to the future and let you in on some plans I have for 2008. I don't set resolutions as I don't subscribe to the all or nothing nature of them > once broken... that's that etc.

I try to plan for the incoming year with some goals / objectives / [insert preferred term here] fully aware that I will achieve them only if God wills > conscious that life is what happens when we are busy making plans.
  1. Prioritise time with Olly >> Marriages / Friendships / Partnerships need work.
  2. Share more with Dayna & Miriam >> read / play games on the DS / walk with them etc... you know, what a dad should do!
  3. Read widely and read regularly >> I only read 10 books in 2007... this must improve.
  4. Exercise body, mind and spirit >> I need to improve in all 3 areas. Grow. Develop. Build stamina.
  5. Develop some existing projects
    • ((deep)) >> take ((deep)) mainstream... build on the momentum we have.
    • S*N*A*C >> focus on quantity and further participation.
    • gatherings >> because they are fun.
    • Nanolog >> think about ways to make the ol' nanolog a quality experience.
    • Podcast >> Bring the B'hill SA podcast back online.
  6. Start some new projects
    • Bookclub >> maybe something with the gatherings... learn/discuss/debate together. I need this.
    • Photography >> I need a hobby... and it makes sense to develop my photography.
  7. Develop as a Business Analyst >> I have a confirmed role in my work... its now time to bring this role into the whole of me.
  8. Further appreciate what I have
  9. Look for better not more
  10. Continue to make connections... physical and virtual
I will need your support to keep me accountable for these plans... feel free to ask me at any given opportunity. I will be printing them out and adding them to my new moleskine 2008 planner (thanks Mum & Dad Taylor!!!) as a regular reminder.

Here's to fresh starts.


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