Saturday, January 31, 2009
Took a break from the house today. Olly took the we'ans and I to Lanark Loch for a walk. I took my Nikon D60 and my trusty iPhone - I love the QUADCAMERA app and love this pic of Miriam on the swing. Glad to call this my pic of the day... beats another pic of me with a tee, I suppose. Bit of variety.
Just watched Because of Winn Dixie with Olly and the we'ans... and absolutely loved it.
I don't want to spoil the story for anyone who hasn't seen it... and I bet most of you reading this haven't seen it. Suffice to say... Winn Dixie... the dog... is a bringer-togetherer.
Winn Dixie inspires Opal... the wee lassie played by AnnaSophia Robb... to bring together a completely disparate group of people... to share the joy they are missing.
Its such a beautiful story... and one that has challenged me in the following ways:
- There is such a spirit of unconditional love... both from Winn Dixie and from Opal. There is a real sense of acceptance of where people are at NOW and not where the WERE. The characters are disparate... each with their baggage... but when they come into contact with Winn Dixie and Opal they shine. They shine due to the unconditional love.
- Both Winn Dixie and Opal reach out. They reach out because they are lonely but also because they recognise their lonliness in the lives of the people they encounter. In doing so... they connect with the people they reach out to... sharing stories and times in their lives. It doesn't end there, however, in that they connect the folks together with each other too. Winn Dixie & Opal become "hubs" that connect all the individual spokes together into the wheel. They are bringer-togetherers.
- The "church" as experienced by "The Preacher" (the character played by the fab Jeff Daniels) is twofold - the one he works at (very "one-to-many" with him on the platform) and the one he participates in at the end of the film. Something organic grows from the unconditional love... something starts where the group (who are brought together by Winn Dixie & Opal) come together in the home of Gloria Dump (the blind recovering alcoholic) to share the joy... and its a beautiful sight to witness. Nobody was in charge. Nobody was on a platform. I could go as far as saying it was a great example of an emerging organic church... with the people coming together in Gloria's house... not Opal or the Preacher's.
Personally... I think this old world of ours needs more "characters" like Winn Dixie & Opal. In fact, with hyndsight, maybe you could see the Spirit of God as being represented by Winn Dixie... with him inspiring and creating opportunities for the kind of unconditional love and connectivity that Opal brings. Hmm...
The soundtrack is brilliant too with the likes of the Be Good Tanyas, Leigh Nash and Shawn Colvin. Super chilled and atmospheric Americana... lovely!
Picture posted with LifeCast... thoughts added later.
So how would they themselves describe their music? "I think the words that come to my mind are, like, 'organic', maybe," Birgisson eventually concedes. "There's something quite natural about it, and we think a lot about soundscapes when we are doing it. Basically, when you strip everything away from the music, at its quietest it's normal pop songs; but it's the way that you produce it that puts the meat on the bones of what you do. But it's always hard for us to describe how we sound."Sigur Ros in The Independent
The compilation :: we play endlessly :: has tracks from Með suð í eyrum við spilum endalaust, Hvarf-Heim, takk... and Ba Ba Ti Ki Di Do.
I have mixed feelings about covermount CDs but this is a good example of it done right... it showcases some wonderful music and allows folk to try in a risk-free manner.
They are truly one of my fave bands of now. If you missed it... you can order it here while stocks last.
Picture posted with LifeCast... quote added later.
Friday, January 30, 2009
The latest something beautiful podcast features a real hero of mine Andrew Jones aka TallSkinnyKiwi. Its a fab listen - Andrew's story is truly inspirational and helps to frame him in his world-wandering-Apostolic role.
I also think... for once... both Stewart and I makes some sense in the wrap up... albeit... Stewart always makes sense... it must have been a lucid window for me.
Check it out. Well worth the time.
This is possibly one of my fave shirts... It was a gift from a dear friend who I no longer keep in contact with (long & v. sad story). He picked it up in Miami of all places. I love the simplicity of it, the cut, the colour, and the graphic (don't know what font it is).
I have changed a lot since I was given this tee... and am no longer the Stussy-fiend that I used to be. I still love their stuff though... and yes, this tee is one of my most treasured... because of all the good times it reminds me of.
Thursday, January 29, 2009
Loving this album... and this song in particular. Nice.
Maybe I wasn't reppin' the big JC or say "yo" enough???
To be fair... I didn't reciprocate the follow. I'm a wee bit tired of folk "broadcasting" the Gospel... and am quietly content doing my bit under the radar... one relationship at a time.
What it does show is an annoying pattern of tweeps following people just for quantity (numbers of follows) not quality (interesting / relationships). I follow tweeps because they are either interesting or I have a relationship with them... mostly its a "both" scenario with my core group of tweeps being people I am deep friends with whose lives interest me.
Maybe that's what it means to be in this world but not of it...
Screendump posted with LifeCast... thoughts added later.
First up... David Cushman says "Trust can't be broadcast". In his post, he talks about deteoriation in trust - trust in banks... trust in the media... and makes an insightful comment:
Peer-to-peer recommendation however, of the kind we see inspiring purchases of products and services every day in social networks, in conversations between friends, is not interruptive and it is trustworthy.I love it when folks express the thoughts on my heart... its all about the trust. Nice.
The 99% Conference looks really inspiring and is something I would love to attend... if I had the ways and means. It would be awesome to spend time at the feet of folks like Seth Godin and the founders of Threadless. I also think some hints and tips from the Behance gang would be very worthwhile.
Speaking of worthwhile endeavours... it was so cool to see Mark Berry on the BBC News Magazine yesterday. Mark is an inspiration to me and someone I hope to start a conversation with for the something beautiful podcast. As we say up here... "G'on yersel, Mark!!"
Now to something different... I'm loving the quad camera for the iPhone. Its a nifty wee app that adds yet another dimension to the iPhone's camera. Take 2x2, 4x1, 4x2, 8x1 pics in either portlait or landscape and Colour or B&W in short succession. Watch this demo for more...
I'm inspired by how third parties are really making the iPhone a fab photographic tool. Its not about the megapixels anymore. Nice!
My thanks to Chris Hoskins for posting my quote on community. He's a twitter friend and I responded to his question [ can community be online? ] with something more lucid than normal for me...
community isn’t a physical thing anymore. its a collective ideal. its the sharing of & participating in something beyond usRead his full post. Makes great sense to me and adds to my understanding. Nice one, Chris.
Next up is an important reminder that God Hates Shrimp - an irreverant but extremely insightful look into arguing faith.
Boing Boing are running a post regarding an alleged murder and the t-shirt protesting it. While I am deeply saddened by the death of the man involved... I am inspired by the T-shirt as a vehicle for peaceful protest and the raising of awareness. I hope justice is served... and healing happens... in this situation.
Second last for today's links is this e-book from Kevin Beck. My boy, JD, sent me a link to it and I am intrigued... albeit... a wee bit tentative about it. It makes an awful big claim in its title. Maybe its something we can cover on the podcast. Hmm...
Last up is fab article from psfk that talks about the psychology of sharing...
At some point the anonymity of the internet transformed into a social networking clearinghouse of daily minutiae and most of us willingly opted in, choosing the ease and comfort of virtual intimacy over a lonely existence of real world disconnectedness. And these communities blossomed, starting with close friends and family then expanding to include co-workers and long lost childhood chums, finally welcoming obscure acquaintances and total strangers with whom we’ve never had a face to face conversation. We decided that to know and be known was a good thing, but never really thought it through../Insightful... if somewhat different to my experience where I have gained so much from sharing and participating in the communities I call my own. Personally, I don't think sharing is creepy... I don't feel bad for consuming other's content... nor do I feel vain for my Twitter/Facebook/blog thing. Its all about building trust... imho.
Its been a week since I got out of hospital... and I am only now feeling a little like myself.
This experience has been deeply humbling for me for a number of reasons... but the one I'd like to focus on for now is the practicality of love.
My wife is awesome... in so many ways... but this week she has demonstrated her love for me with her practical caregiving.
Don't get me wrong... Care is an essential part of any relationship and Olly has demonstrated her care before - she listens and advises... she slaps me down when I get too big for my boots or too "red-misty-eyed"... she puts me to bed when I exhaust myself.
I have been so humbled by her selflessness... she only started to let me do stuff yesterday, if you consider making a cuppa and helping clear up "stuff". She has been so attentive... keeping me fed & watered, clean & tidy, dressed (both wounds & clothes)... and well happy.
A working mother of two needs help... and she hasn't once moaned about me being unable to help out. She has even turned a blind eye to the wee table with my MacBook on it and the bag with all my stuff (books/headphones/iPod/cables etc) in the livingroom with me.
So yeah... thanks honey for everything you have done for me... and continue to do for me. Your practical demonstration of love is inspiring.
Wednesday, January 28, 2009
Loving me these ringtones from RCP tones - recorded with vintage synthesizers but designed as mp3's for the latest mobile phones... or a special wee pack for the iPhone. Sound really special... and unusual.
What's more... they are promising a second volume later this year featuring the Moog Minimoog, ARP Odyssey, Casio CZ01, and more. Can't wait.
Thanks to notcot #18,455 for the heads-up.
Fifty People, One Question: Brooklyn from Crush + Lovely on Vimeo.
I saw this on shape+colour... loved it and wanted to share it with you all. I think I've viewed one of their previous videos on swissmiss or something before.
I'm excited that the folks behind the vids [ Crush+Lovely ] have created a standalone-goto-site for these vids called fiftypeopleonequestion.com. Its going into my bookmark folder.
Check it out.
My good friend Robert popped round to visit me today. He is my first "official" visitor (my folks and Roscoe don't count... they are family!!!) and I was glad he stopped by on his way to work.
We had a real deep blether about visiting folks... which was really inspiring.
The thing is... I have a degree of empathy just now for "house bound" people because I am technically "house bound". I can't do what I am accustomed to doing... and have a new routine based on Olly and how I feel.
I see visitation as being vital to any physical community for 2 reasons:
- Connectivity - keeping in contact... keeping connected with the community.
- Participation - keeping actively part of the community.
Whats more though is the sense of participation. I no longer associate community with something solely "physical". I am part of online communities that consist of people I haven't ever met. The something beautiful podcast started as a conversation between two folks who have never physically met... and yet it is a thriving expression of community.
I see community as being about a shared something... about connectivity and about participation. Visitation allows people to participate in the community. Robert prayed with me for healing... this deeply humbled me but also show me a means in which I could participate. I could join Robert in prayer. Visitation will provide other opportunities for participation... the house bound individual is given the opportunity to contribute their thoughts and ideas... they are enabled to pass on their experience, their prophetic inspiration, and even their physical "stuff" if it may be used help others.
I think we miss this opportunity to enable participation. We see visitation as coffee and a catch up when it has the potential to be so much more. It has the potential to become a relationship of real meaning... one that we may lose out on because of other priorities being deemed to be more important.
My sincere thanks to Robert for his visit!
Picture posted with LifeCast... thoughts added later.
I'm loving this album and I not really able to explain why. Its a total all-encompassing-electracoustic-phsycadelicambient-headtrip that seeps into the soul. Its something that just gets better and better with each play.
It reminds me of Pet Sounds with a wee hint of Yoshimi Battles the Pink Robots... but these are just brief flavours within something so breathtakingly new and original.
Best I can do is to suggest you check it out... I love it and would go so far as to say this album gives me hope for music in 2009.
Screendump posted with LifeCast... thoughts added later.
Tuesday, January 27, 2009
Admit it... you want the kit to make your own records too?!? I knew it. Nice.
I must be starting to miss my work...
I probably shouldn't have posted this... but I felt like the need for continuity was important. You would have thought that my gallbladder would have weighed *something*!?!
Its not like I'm snacking... apart from the odd wee chocolate. Its more about not doing anything... and I am so sick of not doing anything.
Picture posted with LifeCast... thoughts added later.
Monday, January 26, 2009
Taken from News Roundup by Bob Lefsetz.
There is a real wisdom here... that can and should be taken and applied to pretty much all elements of our lives.
Bob talks about honesty, trust, value, and quality... as values essential in a relationship. In this case between the consumer and the producer... but I believe them to be values essential in all relationships.
When it comes to church and our expression of faith... I think Bob makes an extremely strong point.
/..The music business focuses on explosions. Arena shows are spectaculars. They’re like all those unusable features in Vista, or the craplets loaded on to a Dell machine. The purveyor says they’re added value, to the end user, they’re a headache../We are all about seeking to be noticed... we demand attention (even though we don't deserve attention). We expect more and more... bigger and better... louder and grander. Thing is... this is all for us and not for the people we are seeking to attract! We are the producers who have loaded the "craplets" onto Dell machines... that no one has any use for.
When the music fades... when the event is over... what is left? The relationships we have built up. The sizzle has sizzles and the artifice has been pulled down... but the connections we have made... together... will last.
Truth is... I don't remember the sermon from the last time I gathered with my physical church... but I do remember the well-wishes. In fact I am surrounded by the relationships I have built up in the form of cards and the regular *ping* of tweets. I have been bowled over and seriously humbled by all I have received. This will encourage me to play a more significant role when I get back on my feet... because I know I am part of this greater whole.
So then... how should we seek to get attention? By deserving it... by living the values of trust, honesty, value and quality... by living authentic lives... by seeking to lift people up instead of weighing them down with the "craplets" that we add on.
Screendump posted with LifeCast... thoughts added later.
Thought this was a great pod from Current_TV and Death Cab For Cutie. Been loving their 2008 album Narrow Stairs for a wee while now. Enjoy.
I remember seeing this chair when I was walking in Greenwich Village... and just loved it.
Its for when a park bench is just not classy enough. All this sitting on my bum reminded me of it. Sweet memories... nearly 1 year ago.
First up is this fab post on Boing Boing that talks about stickers on laptops. I'm not one for stickers on my tech... apart from my work's IBM T41 that has an Apple sticker on it like the old powerbooks. Kind of quirky... and slightly rebellious.
As I said... I'm not a big fan of stickers on laptops but my etsy find for today could persuade me otherwise...
I really like this graphic. I connect with it as I sit here with headphones beside me watching the birds at the fatballs and seeds at my front window. All good design should encapsulate meaning... and this does for me.
This brings me to some fab iPhone wallpaper via Smashing Magazine (thanks James for the heads-up). Some fab resources here... I knew about poolga and Pixelgirl but this post highlights a number of other sites for keeping your iPhone presentable. My personal fave [ so far ] is the Star Wars one... but then you knew that.
On a music tip... I am loving Jesse Somfay's mix for allez-allez. Its more a collection of great tunes than a fancy mix... kind of like the stuff I used to do for Orange Noise Radio a while back.
The mix is one of five volumes... the other 4 are available here albeit the pipe's pretty slow (or maybe that's just me).
Another music thing I'm really excited about is http://www.tentracks.co.uk/ where for *ONE POUND* you get 10 tracks from some sweet indie labels to enjoy/sample/make into fab compilations etc. Labels like one little indian and soma have some fab tunes available. The Soma one features some seriously super techno/electronic goodness such as Vector Lovers, Slam, Silicone Soul and Funk d'void. Its a fab way to hear new music. I hope it catches on.
Speaking of catching on... I spent a while on nyctaper last night. Downloaded shows from Sigur Ros, Death Cab for Cutie, Deerhunter and Mum. Haven't listened to them yet. Got a bit carried away... like a kid in a sweetie shop.
Thing is... the site has seen some serious bandwidth since they posted the Animal Collective gigs and are struggling a bit, to be honest...
The problem of course is that the drastic increase in volume crashed the server on Wednesday morning. We allocated more memory (at more cost) on three separate occasions on Wednesday and Thursday and finally just moved the Animal Collective files to archive.org. The high volume of visits continue and more downtime resulted today. Ultimately our host server responded with a virtual shrug of the shoulders. We paid extra for a private server, but apparently this kind of traffic is not even something that upgrade can handle../The long and the short of it is... they need donations and a "white knight" sponsor... so if you enjoy what they provide... send them a wee something... and hope, as I do, that their "Prince Charming" will come along and give them what they need.
Once last thing... I thought this article on trendland was pretty special... all about "transparent design". I hope its something else that catches on.
That's me... if I haven't accredited you for a link then I'm sorry. Enjoy.
Sunday, January 25, 2009
[ Weird Fishes ] by Tobias Stretch
[ Reckoner ] by Clement Picon
[ Videotape ] by Wolfgang Jaiser and Claus Winter
[ 15 Step ] by Kota Totori
Truly creative awesomeness...
My etsy find is this "WE" necklace. I love its simplicity and yets profound message. Its about the collective not the individual... and this can even be displayed on something so deeply individualistic as jewellery. Nice.
I have to admit to a certain voyeurism... I love watching people make stuff on makezine.tv/. I am completely useless at making the kind of stuff they make... but thought this article on installing Mac OSX onto a Netbook to be intriguing. Anyone want to spot me £300 and I'll give it a go? If you've got the money... I've got the time..! Anyone???
Next up is a video from Shepard Fairey on the art of beautiful mistakes (part of psfk's LA conference). He makes some excellent points including this one:
I think almost everything I’ve achieved has come from me perusing what I felt really strongly and passionately about and not second guessing my instincts and trying to have a level of authenticity.Inspiring!
My thanks to Gurdonark for giving me the heads-up to Isabella Gardner Museum and their classical music podcast. Some awesome live recordings all released with a Creative Commons licence to enable folks like me who'll probably never enjoy a live concert at the Museum to get something too. Nice touch folks. Oh and some of the podcasts feature the word "Baroque" which is word that gets my dad all geeky.
Keeping on the music tip... nyctaper has recorded the recent Animal Collective show at the Manhattan Center Grand Ballroom. Downloaded it but haven't listened to it as yet... haven't picked up Merriweather Post Pavillion and want to listen to the originals first.
Speaking of Manhattan... I really, really like this bag. Sorry... that just kind of came out. It is a nice bag.
Coming back to the AC tip... allez-allez.co.uk have a mix by Josh Deacon from Animal Collective. Its a fab 30 minute meander. Lovely.
Still on a music tip... DJ Earworm has a new mashup out that features Maroon 5. On his site he says...
I commend them on their spirit of experimentation, especially since they opened up their entire archive for me to interpret! I basically had the Pro Tools digital recording sessions for all their songs, so I could go in and grab whatever instrument or vocal I wanted. This is the first time I’ve gotten such a depth of data to work with.I commend them too... and thank DJ Earworm for another supernice track.
The Global Hunger Epidemic from Oxfam America on Vimeo.
Speaking of commending musicians for their actions... I would like to commend Sigur Ros for donating their track Með suð í eyrum for OXFAM America's latest campaign. Please support OXFAM. I do.
Picked this tee up for £5 in Urban Outfitters in late 2008. Its a repro of an old Return of the Jedi sticker series (of which I have one of the stickers) and I just fell in love with it. Its a "L" so I had to lose weight to fit into it. TBH its this tee that's been the motivation for me losing 12lbs - not the somethingbeautiful comp or my cholesterol :-)
Saturday, January 24, 2009
I don't know whether or not you saw this tweet? I sent it from my iPhone at 1637hrs on the 21st... not long after I had regained consciousness from my op and was back in my wee room. I wrote it in response to a message on Facebook... a dear friend was surprised I was back on Facebook so soon after my op.
Whilst in the hospital I had the need to feel connected... to feel part of something bigger... to be surrounded by my loved ones - family and friends - and to be, essentially, not alone.
At times I wasn't physically alone... when Olly was visiting or when the nurses were in... but, for the most part, I was alone.
Psychologically, I didn't feel alone or at least I didn't feel the destructive despair that comes with lonliness... because I was able to connect... able to reach out to folks or respond to their love and best wishes.
So when you ask me why I twitter... or why there is a constant stream of consciousness on Facebook... or I always seem to have my face in my iPhone... I think you'll understand a wee bit more.
I'm not saying that this form of remote, passive intimacy can/should replace more immediate, physical forms of intimacy... but I am making a case for its importance and consideration in more holistic worldview.
Never underestimate the power of a simple "hi... how are you?" on whatever medium you choose... if it comes from the heart and you are prepared to follow it through.
So yeah... thanks for all the tweets, FB messages, phonecalls, SMS', visits, cards, emails etc... it does mean the world to me!
What do you do when someone comes in... rips you off and totally recontextualises your initial idea? I know there is no such thing as an original idea but this just annoys me.
I am annoyed that the wee organic, word-of-mouth thing we have going in our small niche in the twitterverse has been co-opted by folks that are, imho, too busy speaking to listen... too busy broadcasting to actually hear what's going on... to actually build up meaningful relationships with diverse people.
Maybe I'm being too hard and over reacting (as I am prone to do) but I feel this shows a complete lack of regard or sensitivity to what we've done and where we could have gone with this.
Oh and I hate the use of textspeak in tweets too!!!
Ah well... it could be worse. It could be co-opted for commercial gain... I can imagine the originators of the flashmob will be beelin' at this: