I was delighted to get this Tunnock's teacake apron from Olly & the we'ans. Its my "unique object" from my wee break in Fife.
Its a hand drawn Tunnock's teacake... printed onto a white cotton apron... and i love it. It reminds me of home.
Thanks to my girls for knowing me so well!
Wednesday, September 30, 2009
I was delighted to get this Tunnock's teacake apron from Olly & the we'ans. Its my "unique object" from my wee break in Fife.
Tuesday, September 29, 2009
not a Terrorist!
My thanks to Darrin Reeves for these badges. I love it when someone thinks of someone else and does something rad like this... putting 3 badges in the post with the instruction to only keep one and to pass on the other two.
So I will pass the other two on... if you receive one then please twitpic it and thank Mr Reeves (@darrinreeves).
Just reinforces the thought that when I grow up I want to be as cool as Darrin.
I've kind of gotten out of the way of telling stories of where we've been... thought I'd change that with this.
We stayed here - 5 miles outside Cupar in Fife and right bang in the middle of nowhere... it was pitch black at night_ we needed to put the car lights on just so we could walk the dog before we went to bed.
The cottage itself was lovely... a wee swing and a sandpit for the we'ans... 2 bedrooms... log fire... leather suite and a really bad mobile phone reception. A reception so bad I commented to Olly that it was up and down more often than a whore's knickers to which she replied that I was vulgar... that was an awful thing to say... and she didn't think whores wore knickers for efficiency's sake. I was duly chastised.
On the Friday night... we headed over to Anstruther on the coast. Its a fantastic fishing village with one of the best fish & chip shops in Scotland (if not the world). We grabbed a couple of fish suppers... ate them in the car (cheaper and less time to wait)... then headed out for a donder around the harbour.
I love walking around a working harbour... seeing sights that I wouldn't normally see... unless, that is, I was walking around a working harbour. We had a laugh and took in a great deal of that infamous sea air... which knocked us all out pretty much as soon as the log fire was ablaze and the dog's need to piddle slaked.
The following morning... our room was filled with wonderfully glorious sunlight... the kind you read about and only witness now and again, especially in Motherwell.
We headed out to St Andrews for a donder round the shops. I picked up William Gibson's "all tomorrow's parties" at an outdoor secondhand bookstall and chatted with a Canadian lass who was mightily impressed with my choice of authors. We then had a fab coffee in Beanscene before heading to the beach.
It is the beach where they filmed sequences from "Chariots of Fire"... albeit... this is only important to someone who has seen the film. Playing the Vangelis soundtrack and imitating Eric Liddell only works if you get the cultural reference. Unfortunately, Olly & the we'ans hadn't seen the film.
You could tell there was something magical in the September sunshine because even Dundee looked lovely. That said... the fashionistas were out in force... all looking remarkably like Karen O from the "yeah yeah yeahs". Not a bad thing, I don't suppose, beats Ugg boots and jogging bottoms any day of the week.
Later on... we drove down to Cowdenbeath to spend the evening with our dear friends... Yvonne & David. We went out to their local Indian restaurant for some amazing food. The service & the ambience was second-to-none... they really looked after us which made the night that wee bit more special.
Sunday involved a long walk in the surrounding countryside...
then a wee trip to the coast via some fab backroads that held great visual treats... if you were looking:
We spent our time in Elie wandering around the harbour... the beach and the converted Granary.
We watched a rad kitesurfer catch a lot of air in the blustery wind... and wandered around surfaces that could have been used as the set for Dr Who circa Jon Pertwee.
I then parted company with Olly & we'ans... and went wandering on top of Ruby Bay... where I found the Lady's Tower. I spent so long photographing this fantastic tower that Olly & the we'ans got done what they were doing and joined me.
We then all headed to the nearby lighthouse...
I haven't done that much in Elie before... and was glad to this time. It is a truly beautiful part of the world... even with the high winds.
That night I got a log fire going... we ate pizza & garlic bread... and watched "Annie" on DVD. The girls hadn't seen it before and loved it. Another strong female role model for them. I then succumbed to the sea air again. I intended to finish "Twilight"... coulda/shoulda/woulda, I suppose.
On the Monday morning... we ate up, packed up and headed over to Kirkcaldy for a donder before leaving the Kingdom and heading home. In Kirkcaldy we met my Aunt Anne & her niece Gillian... and thus proved, both categorically and empirically, that it is actually a small world.
We had a wonderful break... were very blessed with the weather... and had a blast. I would recommend the cottage and the Kingdom to anyone seeking an away-from-it-all break. Its done me the world of good.
...after a wonderful break in Fife with Olly, the we'ans, Pippin, 3 cameras & 2 iPhones.
Got a ton to post about... and am feeling nicely refreshed.
Thanks for reading the ol' nanolog.
Wednesday, September 23, 2009
I downloaded the Best Camera iPhone app today and I am mighty impressed... as the video above says... it allows you to shoot, edit and share within the one app. The filters are sweet - warm, cool, high saturation, light, dark etc... and the ability to add a frame or square the pic are nice touches within a really intuitive UI.
It truly is all about the stories rather than the megapixels... and the ability to share your pic there and then... to twitter... to facebook... via email... or to www.thebestcamera.com is very welcome indeed. That said... you can't add any commentary to your tweet which makes for a random, solitary link being posted in your timeline... such as "http://bestc.am/zbNjR"... but I feel this is something that can be developed in time with user feedback.
I took the above pic with the ordinary iPhone 3g camera... then applied the "Bestcamera" warm filter for some added orange. I like the result and intend to do more with this app.
Next up is the camerabag desktop app... which is the desktop version of the fab iPhone app. It allows you to alter any pic on your Mac (sorry... its Mac only for now) using some great filters such as the "helga" which is remarkably similar to the output from a Lomo Holga or the "magazine" which has a great quality to it. It also has a really sweet UI... one that is easy to use for muppets like me.
The following pics were tweaked using the app:
It does seem ironic to spend money on getting a fancy digital camera... then using filters to "cheapen" the image... but I like the aesthetic of film and whilst it may not be the same as shooting with actual film... I think camerabag does a really good job replicating it. It provides options for making your pics more interesting... and I like that.
Spike Jonze is a genius... and I am really excited to see this film. It looks so good.
To be honest... I've never read the book and am jumping on the hype because I'm a huge Spike Jonze fan... but after watching the original animated short (thank goodness for youtube) I am even more excited... the film captures the real essence of the original.
Maurice Sendak is an awesome illustrator as well as storyteller... and I really hope the film ignites interest in his work. I, for one, have appreciated being introduced to his work.
Tuesday, September 22, 2009
I don't normally take pics of people in the street but this chap was different...
I'm walking to a meeting... I'm wearing black shoes & farah trousers... I have a herringbone wool M65 jacket on & a Manhattan Portage DJ bag round me... I have midi (ie not short nor long) curly hair & a beard... usual work "me".
at the lights on the corner of queen & st vincent the above chap stands beside me... he is wearing black shoes & dressy trousers... a herringbone wool M65 jacket & a Manhattan Portage DJ bag round him... he has midi curly hair & a beard... albeit he's ginger (not that I'm gingerist) & about 40lbs lighter.
it was a bizarre moment for me. I am not unique... at least in appearance. I felt it reassuring & equally disconcerting.
I know TWILIGHT isn't everyones cup of tea... but for me & mine, it's a fab story & a well executed film.Like all well executed films... the soundtrack is an essential synergistic element... it helps to create & build the atmosphere of the moment... think PSYCHO & you'll think of the shower scene with the shadowed knife & the screaching strings_ eek eek eek etc. For me CARTER BURWELL's score for TWILIGHT adds to the atmosphere... and I believe it stands on it's own_ as all good scores should_ as an awesome piece of instrumental music. And it's in his choice of instruments that the genius of the score is highlighted_ dark & brooding strings_ guitars_ disembodied vocals_ powerful rhythms_ all come together to create something overpowering in both it's darkness & it's majestic beauty. Whilst you might not "get" TWILIGHT... please do not be dismissive of it's score... it is a work of genius. Tx [Sent from my iPhone]
Monday, September 21, 2009
This pic was taken 4 years ago... and still stands the test of time as being one of my fave photos ever.
This is the official music video for the forthcoming release by Thom Yorke_ Directed by Raymond Salvatore Harmon and featuring subliminal imagery appropriated from Bank$y.
I like it.
Sunday, September 20, 2009
Saturday, September 19, 2009
My sincere thanks to notcot #24,982 for switching me onto the awesome work of Dan McPharlin. Have a wee look at his Flickr photostream and you'll see what I mean. Atmospheric & futuristic... ideally suited to album covers.
Thursday, September 17, 2009
Wednesday, September 16, 2009
Religion was not supposed to provide explanations that lay within the competence of reason but to help us live creatively with realities for which there are no easy solutions and find an interior haven of peace; today, however, many have opted for unsustainable certainty instead. But can we respond religiously to evolutionary theory? Can we use it to recover a more authentic notion of God?../Karen Armstrong says we need God to grasp the wonder of our existence :: WSJ
/..The best theology is a spiritual exercise, akin to poetry. Religion is not an exact science but a kind of art form that, like music or painting, introduces us to a mode of knowledge that is different from the purely rational and which cannot easily be put into words.
An interesting debate in the WSJ that I would recommend you read... Karen Armstrong makes a compelling case against certainty and towards wonder. Makes for interesting reading.
I'm was sad enough to take a screendump of the "Clock02" app at 12:34:56pm yesterday. Its now my wallpaper on my iPhone.
Go here if you want it for your iPhone too.
"He had this great ability at the stove, great confidence. He was a natural cook... But his very special talent was he could articulate himself and deliver inspiration with words. He spoke in a way that everybody could understand."Marco Pierre White
I was a big fan of Keith Floyd and am sad at his passing yesterday at the age of 65. He will be fondly remembered as the drunken shambolic chef with a fab way with words... and a fondness for the art and not for the money.
I have to say Marco Pierre White's tribute on BBC News was touching... and I would love to be remembered as having a special talent where I could articulate myself and deliver inspiration with words. It would be awesome to be thought of as speaking in a way that everybody could understand.
Keith Floyd... I will miss you.
I saw this recently and thought "wow".
Graphic designer Lee Crutchley is armed with some £2.79 pens from Asda... a moleskine... and a head full of quotes, lyrics and the like... and above is a fine example of what he gets up to.
Awesome work... well worth checking out here :: quoteskine.tumblr.com... and while you are surfing... check out his blog at :: 20sk.com.
Tuesday, September 15, 2009
One of the pics I posted today was featured in a Flickr gallery for iPhone Pics called iPhone Ixtrordinary... which was a real compliment... especially when you consider the calibre of the folks I am featured with.
Thing is... galleries are new within Flickr and are... imho... a wonderful idea:
For whatever you find interesting, fascinating, or mind-blowing on Flickr, galleries are a way to curate up to 18 public photos or videos of your fellow members into one place. It’s an opportunity to celebrate the creativity of your fellow members in a truly unique way around a theme, and idea or just because.http://www.flickr.com/help/galleries/
Honoured. Thank you ~carie~
1) I am a wee bit OCD about clock apps on my iPhone.
2) If swissmiss mentions an iPhone app I am more like than not going to buy it. I think her taste is pretty impecable.
Anyway... swissmiss features an iPhone app called the "qlocktwo" which is the time in words. Whilst it looks stunning, it's not exact enough for me.
However, whilst searching for "clock02" I found a sweet wee clock that has a simple yet effective interface (shown above) that I preferred to the "qlocktwo". It needs to be seen in action... I like it's idiosyncracy.
What's more... it's free. Well worth checking out.
[Sent from my iPhone]
Monday, September 14, 2009
Many thanks to notcot #24,853 for the heads up to this fantastic DIY paper stand for your iPhone or iPod Touch. This is why I love design... this is so wonderfully ingenious... it leaves my scratching my head at the simplicity of it all.
Watch the video then go to dessine moi un objet to download the template.
Nice one Julien Madérou!
Olly's band are releasing their fourth CD... entitled "Diversity"... with a launch night at the Bellshill Academy.
Sunday, September 13, 2009
Every-so-often an album comes along that knocks me off my feet... because it is so "now"... so exactly what I want to listen to right now.
This is what I feel when I consider Nic Bommarito's album Harp Fragments (released on 12rec.net). It has post-rock soundscapes interspersed with glitchy ambient electronic moments... which combine to create a vivid atmosphere of now. There is a real vitality to this album... its something almost tangible... so refreshingly alive.
As the blurb on the website says...
Tender and fragile parts change with fuzz-soaked, shoegazing noise passages that never let miss melody and bliss. Everything is tight and dense, and although the production is not always hi-fi Nic found the perfect form for his beautiful, emotional music.It is truly beautiful and emotional music... just right for now. Thing is... I have a feeling it will sound just right tomorrow too.
Check it out for free... and support netaudio.
I've never posted a soundcloud before. This one is particularly special. Its the DJ set from beneathusthewaves who was the first DJ on at the Glasgow Twestival.
Enjoy... and if you know how to download it to your iPod/iPhone_ please let me know.
I really like this video... featuring stop-motion photography... for the second single off Grizzly Bear's superb album, ‘Veckatimest.’
(via notcot #24,829 & the jailbreak with thanks)
Saturday, September 12, 2009
I had an epiphany of sorts recently... I found, or at least I think I found, the root to some of the dissatisfaction that I have felt to date.
Two things have been attacking me of late_ envy and insecurity_ and I want to consider them for a moment or two.
First things first... I am the enviable position of being surrounded by people to envy. I realise that may sound oxymoronic but its true... I greatly appreciate the people I am surrounded with but the downside of being surrounded by so many great and wonderful people is that I envy what they have.
This isn't an envy of material things... it used to be... I used to get hung up about having the “right” things but then got to a point where I could afford/obtain what I determine to be said things.
I started writing this post on a brand-spanking-new MacBookPro... whilst listening to tunes on a 5th gen iPod and checking tweets on my iPhone 3g... sat in Starbucks with a tall Sumatran (coffee not person) on my lunch hour from a well paid job.
I'm now back home... where I have a wonderful diy-obsessed wife, 2 fab Jonas Brothers-obsessed we'ans and a robust family/friend network (you are where you were).
You are probably wondering what I have to be envious of... but the thing is... this is where the lie comes in.
I am not dissatisfied with the above... by no means. I am dissatisfied with me.
I am surrounded by wonderfully talented and creative people: musicians... visual artists... photographers... bloggers... podcasters... designers... theologians and philosophers... activists and carers... readers... contemplatives... and I want to be like you all.
Consider the church tradition to which I subscribe: the Salvation Army. What was once a powerful movement of the Holy Spirit has become a church that over emphasises music... and their particularly unique and insular form of music (brass bands)... to the detriment of everything else. Not only do we have a clergy/laity split... we have a bando/laity split too. I am surrounded by musically talented folk... really gifted folk... and I have nothing to contribute. I am the heretic... the prophet who doesn't do music.
Do you know how frustrating it is for someone who has a deep love of music and has no musical talent whatsoever..? Or someone with a deep love of thoughtful design... but has no talent in that area either?
I am envious... I want to be like you all.
I realised this when I tried to paint a picture and the finished picture was ruined in a freak accident that involved a moving toilet and a model sail boat. Fortunately Miriam, who was sitting on said moving toilet seat, wasn't hurt in the accident... but my painting suffered a stab wound that would make a Glaswegian ned proud... though it is doubtful that any Glaswegian ned has been stabbed with a model boat's main mast... but then, it is Glasgow.
I was painfully aware that for me to recreate the painting would involve a great deal of angst and effort because I'm not naturally gifted as a painter... and arguably very little talent.
As I realised this... I started to question what I am actually gifted at. It is so hard for me to see myself objectively. I only see myself through subjective envy-coloured lens. I secretly define myself by what I can't do... or in terms of comparison - “i'm not as good at (x) than (y)”.
As a result of this envy... I am starting to believe the second lie... that I have nothing to offer... or what I have to offer isn't up there with what others can offer. This is feeding my current insecurity... that I ride on the coat-tails of others... that I am, at best, mediocre and ordinary.
Before you click on the “comments” button and tell me your thoughts... please let me finish... this isn't a cry for help nor is it an attempt to bolster my ego.
I acknowledge both lies. I am working to understand what I am good at... and working to get better at that. I am focussing less on others.... on trying to do everything... trying to be like (x) or (y)... and aiming to be more specific about what I do.... about being the best “me” I can be... being unique. I am also considering what I feed on... what I consume... to ensure it builds me up without perpetuating these lies.
I have something to offer. You all have something to offer. Its maybe easier for you... if you are a musician... a visual artist... a photographer... a blogger... a podcaster... a designer... a theologian and a philosopher... an activist and a carer... you know what you can offer. However, for folks like me... this will take more thought, introspection and intention... as well as a huge chunk of prayer and consideration of where God wants me to be.
The key is to acknowledge the lie of envy and to stare-down the lie of insecurity.
You see... I believe this lie has formed the heresy of clergy/laity split – the idea that only some people are worthy of coming close to God. We are all capable of coming into the presence of God – we do not need a Priest to do it for us... neither do we need to “set apart” people for God's work because we are ALL on a mission... we all have our role to play.
There is no creative/”laity” split either. The creator God has given us all a sense of His creative spirit... we all have our “thing” and just need to work out what that “thing” is. There are very few people who are good at everything they do.
I am secure in my faith too... because I wholeheartedly believe Jesus came for everyone... not some exclusive subset of people. God doesn't just love musicians... visual artists... photographers... bloggers... podcasters... designers... theologians and philosophers... activists and carers... readers... contemplatives... to the detriment of the rest of us. Neither does he only love white, American, middle-class, heterosexual, evangelical Christians.
God loves us for who we are (even white, American, middle-class, heterosexual, evangelical Christians) and for what we have to offer... in fact, God loves us despite who we are... sees beyond it and acknowledges what we truly have to offer... the stuff buried down deep by envy, insecurity & our addictions.
The point of this post is not to seek pity or, as I said earlier, to bolster my ego... but to demonstrate that everybody hurts... everybody suffers from the lies told to them... and that just because we look fine doesn't mean we are fine. The point is whether or not we choose to accept the lies told. I, for one, no longer do.
When the sutemos netlabel drop an album... their quality is usually set to 11. The new Stockfinster album is particularly excellent... an album that imho pushes their quality bar even higher than usual.
Atmospheric ambient electronica with flavours of euphoric post-rock and sampled voices... it is truly sublime. The perfect wake-up album for a Saturday morning. I have a feeling this will be in my top-ten of 2009... and on my iPhone for a long time.
Check it out... for free!
Thursday, September 10, 2009
I thought this video was really sweet. Go to shape + colour for the details.
Wednesday, September 09, 2009
In the morning I was on my way to work... I was walking passed one of my fave buildings on Argyle Street listening to...
one of the Cousin Silas tracks from Uncertainty that was inspired by one of my pictures. How freaky is that?
Then this evening... I was walking Carolyn, one of the Soup Van volunteers, back to her car... and I grabbed this pick of GoMA...
Tuesday, September 08, 2009
I thought this video for DVS Shoes was simply awesome!
Directed by Colin Kennedy with photography by Marc Ritzema & a fab soundtrack by Air Castles... it has taken my breath away with its ingenuity.
Monday, September 07, 2009
a volunteer "number partner" at a local Glaswegian Primary School today.
I love doing new things... stuff that challenges me and takes me out of my comfort zone. I also love giving back to my local community. This let's me do both... for 1 hour per week I get to play special boardgames that teach/encourage the kiddiewinkles to count.
The four boys I had today were really sweet... and so eager... reminded me of the seagulls in "Finding Nemo".
Good fun... and another new string to my bow.