Thursday, December 31, 2009

An exercise in gratitude #5 :: A handcrafted "Starbucks" notebook

Exercise in gratitude_ 005 :: Handcrafted Starbucks Notebook

On the day Borders shut... my friend & colleague Steven aka @myopicaardvark gave me a wee notebook his wife obtained in a crafters' meet. It is crafted with two used (Starbucks) Red loyalty cards... and some blank paper. Its a wonderfully unique wee gift that has "thought" all over it... especially when I was undergoing the trauma of losing "my" Starbucks... and I appreciate that!

2009 has been a fab year for getting to know Steven... and for that I am grateful too.


My thoughts on the "death" of the emerging church movement

"In my opinion, 2009 marks the year when the emerging church suddenly and decisively ceased to be a radical and controversial movement in global Christianity."
Andrew "Tall Skinny Kiwi" Jones

I have a lot of love and respect for Andrew Jones. When he speaks... I tend to listen. His podcast was a highlight for me in 2009.

He's written a piece about the death of the emerging church as a radical movement... and his comments have responded to by a number of folks. Tony Jones, Drew Tatusko and Danielle Shroyer have notable contributions to the discussion.

The gist of their contributions is that the movement isn't dead but transforming... possibly accomplished... and maybe becoming domesticated. I particularly like Danielle's reference to the Suffragette movement:
"When women gained the right to vote, nobody said the suffragette movement was over. They said the suffragette movement was successfully accomplished. If 2009 is an end-date, it’s that our hopes of gaining influence among church leaders and Jesus followers has been rousingly, beautifully, Spirit-infusingly, globally accomplished.
It would be my hope too!

I would like to throw in my tu'pence worth by pointing to this article by David Cushman - it is completely unrelated to the above discussion but, I believe, points to an answer of sorts.

In his post 2020 vision he looks to 2020 and makes these predictions...
But we are embarking on 10 years in which people all over the globe will realise the self-organising power now at their fingertips - and start turning that realisation into the world they want; niche by niche.

Which means everything you know is up for grabs. Everything.

Everything that is organised or mediated can and will be disrupted by this.

That's pretty much every aspect of society, then.
He goes on to declare that...
The self-organised future will begin taking shape, new structures for education, law, government - all the apparatus of the state - will emerge. And as they do the state itself, as a formalised centrally-controlled collective based on geography, will submerge.

This new form of organisation will over-ride more traditional methods primarily because it provides a more effective tool for the allocation of increasingly scarce resources. But also because people like doing stuff together. It's a better fit with the reality of our social selves.

Lowest common denominator models will disappear wherever communities of purpose can self-organise (which is pretty much everywhere and anytime).
Lastly he points to...
In a decade of realisation we move beyond being passive consumers in all aspects of our lives - government policy included.

We won't sit back and wait for the centre's solution. Instead we quietly and determinedly get on with wikifixing our world - collaborating across borders, ignoring the fictional silos the nation state has imagined and attempted to impose.

The impact of the edge on the centre has the potential to be cataclysmic. If change from without happens faster than change from within, something will tear. Fundamental organisational change is hard to imagine as a gentle process.
Please read his whole post... and put his blog in your RSS. I enjoy reading his ideas and find them refreshingly inspirational.

I'm not big on books and I haven't been to seminary or anything like that. I'm just a "fanboy" in this convo.

I personally don't see the emerging church as an entity as such but as a sweeping change in the way we are "church" and express God's love in our communities.

This change and the themes within have guided me... nurtured me... instructed me on the opportunities available... both to me and to "church" if we only open our eyes & see... open our ears & hear... use our imaginations and, most importantly, listen to the quiet voice of the Spirit.

As such... I agree with Andrew in that it has stopped being controversial... but it is only not longer radical for me, because I see it as part of me. It has shaped me. It is part of my makeup.
That doesn't mean it still isn't controversial for folks who haven't followed the conversation. Some people are ahead of the curve and some people are behind it. There will always be folks playing catch up. Change doesn't happen in a uniform manner... but in a life cycle or even cycles.

That said... I also see it within the wider change that's happening to the way we live. This whole emerging "thing" is just one part of a wider decentralisation that's happening just now.

The rules of "catch up" will similarly apply - just as this shift in life is no longer controversial for someone who acknowledges it and seeks to live within it... it will be controversial to those folks who aren't up there... at the front.

The words I use for church when I dream - collaboration... participation... interest-based as well as location-based... person-to-person - are also the words being used to describe the future for our lives.

As we move into the "teens" I see this wider change becoming part of our lives... whether we like it or not.

Its like the bit in "the Incredibles" where the baddy speaks of making everyone super... so that no one will be super.

When we accept that this change is part of our lives... we no longer classify ourselves as "emerging"... it just becomes part of who we are and is no longer controversial. Being a Scot is part of who I am... I don't class myself as being one... I don't run around telling everyone I am one... I just am one.

As such... I see this as transformation... with domestication or solidification the real threat.

At the end of the day... I think Jesus was plenty radical and controversial for me. If I seek to mirror Him then my life will be plenty radical and controversial... even in the midst of the changes that are upon us.


Tuesday, December 29, 2009

New Tunes :: Bella Ruse

Every so often I hear something awesome from the "netaudio" community. This is one of those times!

Bella Ruse have launched their self-titled EP on Jamendo and it is simply lovely. Theirs is a simple sparse acoustic vibe... with quirky female vocals... guitars and keys... that intrigues and attracts like a mythological siren of old. Beautiful.

Well worth checking out for free.

My thanks to @thomasraukamp for the heads-up.


Rev Al & Xena Spooner

Rev Al & Xena Spooner, originally uploaded by Headphonaught.

I check my stats on Flickr now and again ... and noticed this pic received some hits today. Love it!

It was taken during a fab "Murder Mystery" meal at our dear friends Bobbito & Diane's.

I think the collar suits me... and Jean Claude Van Damme... Olly looks good too!


An exercise in gratitude #3 & #4 :: Crumpler Muffintop 7500 & Recycled Camerastrap

Exercise in gratitude :: Crumpler Muffintop 7500_ 001

My folks kindly gave me a Crumpler Muffintop 7500 camerabag as their Christmas gift to me. Its a fab bag... the construction of which is first class with a real attention to detail.

Exercise in gratitude :: Crumpler Muffintop 7500_ 002

The bag has a main compartment for your kit and a small pocket at the front for personal items. I am able to fit two SLRs (my Nikon D60 & my dad's Canon 350D) along with two compact cameras (my Olympus [mju] zoom & my Minolta P's), a couple of rolls of film and my memory card reader in the main compartment ... with my wallet & Moleskine notebook residing in the pocket at the front.

Exercise in gratitude :: Crumpler Muffintop 7500_ 003 (363/365)

Let me stress... this is a camerabag. It doesn't hold all the stuff I carry in my "man bag" and isn't... as such... a replacement for my Manhattan Portage DJ bag.

What it does... it does very well - my kit is well protected from bumps, scratches and the weather... I am very pleased with it because it works with my kind of photography - landscapes & street.

Exercise in gratitude_ 004 :: Souldier Recycled Seatbelt Camerastrap from Photojojo

In addition... I am grateful to Olly for buying me another recycled seatbelt camerastrap from "Souldier" at photojojo - these straps are the awesomeness... beautiful, eyecatching and powerfully strong... kind of like Olly herself.

I got one for my Nikon... and I wanted another one. I hate the corporate straps and like something a wee bit more subtle... if you can call bright green or maroon subtle.

I have it on my dad's Canon 350D at the moment... but will swap it over to my Canon 500N when I finally give the 350D back to my dad.

Thanks to my folks and to Olly... for encouraging my obsession.


I thought this was funny :: kalleanka71's Star Wars mashups


Monday, December 28, 2009

This is way cool :: Lo Mob app

Lo Mob is another fab addition to my iPhone photography arsenal. It offers a selection of 39 fantastic filters that aren't offered in the other apps I have.

Options include:
  • Classic Vintage
  • 35mm Film Experimentation (two examples of this category are shown below)
  • Through The Viewfinder (an example of an AE TTV Satuated Virage)
  • Emulsions
  • Instant Matic Photography (an example of a 6 x 9 Instant Emulsion)
  • Contact Mask Photocards (an example of a Photocard Two)

Nice job. Well recommended. Tx

Miriam - 35mm Medium Format 1

Miriam - 35mm MF Overlapp 1

Posted via email from headphonaught's posterous

Favourite Album of the Noughties?

What was your favourite album of the Noughties? For me it is "In Rainbows" by Radiohead... for three reasons:

1) It got me into Radiohead... who I had arrogantly ignored up until that point. I now have their whole back catalogue and they are my "most listened artist" according to Last.FM (708 as at date of post)

2) Their "pay what you want" approach to releasing their record changed the game... and redressed the balance of power in favour of the artist & the fan.

3) Its a flippin' good album! "Bodysnatchers" is a brilliant track... as are "nude" & "weird fishes / arpeggi". Oh and I love "reckoner". Yes... it is a brilliant album.

So yeah... what about you? What was you favourite album of the Noughties and why?


Posted via email from headphonaught's posterous

More pics from my Minolta P's

281209_ Minolta P's_ 010

I've just post another roll from my Minolta P's here. I am very impressed with this wee camera.

Check them out.


281209_ Minolta P's_ 005

An exercise in gratitude #2 :: an Elvish love ring

Exercise in gratitude_ 002 :: Elvish love ring

Olly gave me this ring... I've been needing a decent wedding band since my fingers got too fat for my original ring. We saw this ring in Wales and I fell in love with it... Tolkien geek that I am. It is inscribed in Elvish... which is translated as:
"One ring to show our love
One ring to bind us
One ring to seal our love
And forever to entwine us"
I was over-the-moon when I received it as a gift this Christmas. I think its beautiful and I will cherish it forever. Thanks honey!

In a bizarre twist of coincidence... I bought Olly a matching necklace... with the same inscription. I guess that makes us both Tolkien geeks :-) I believe Olly is as chuffed as I am.

For me... value is imparted through the meaning of a gift. This ring is now "precious" because it was given to me with love from "my precious" Olly. It is the thought of the giver and the significance of said giver that make something truly invaluable to me. I don't need fancy labels or expensive whatevers... I just need gifts with meaning... and this is one of those.


Saturday, December 26, 2009

This is way cool :: Adidas x Star Wars

I have to admit... I haven't been this excited about sneakers in a loooong time... but the Adidas x Star Wars collaboration is way cool. Personally faves include the Skywalker (above) and...

ZX8000 "Darth Vader"...

Samba "X-Wing"...

Stan Smith "Millenium Falcon"... and

ZX700 Boat "Yoda".

Some awesomesauce coming from Adidas. I think I'll use the force when I seek out my next pair of sneaks.


An unbelievable coincidence involving Google Maps...

For some reason... last night Olly looked up our house on Google Maps... and found this wonderfully unbelievable coincidence :: the satellite picture taken shows our Table Tennis table out in the back garden. Why is this a wonderful coincidence? ... because we only played ping pong in our garden ONCE in 2009. 1/365 is pretty out there odds.


Posted via email from headphonaught's posterous

My 3,000th post :: Ubuntu

Exercise in gratitude_ 001_ Ubuntu Mug

Over the next few days... I want to exercise gratitude & appreciation for the gifts I received on Christmas Day. I felt this mug would make a fitting start... AND... help me to celebrate my 3,000th post on the ol' Nanolog.

The mug... a gift from Olly... is from in collaboration with everyone's favourite Jedi Samuel L. Jackson and features the philosophy of Ubuntu which is summed up as...
"A person is a person because of other people."
He states that the "love of self leads to the love of all". I get this... albeit... I would tweak it more to "love of the God who loves you leads to the love of all".

That said... I really like how Archbishop Desmond Tutu defines it...
One of the sayings in our country is Ubuntu - the essence of being human. Ubuntu speaks particularly about the fact that you can't exist as a human being in isolation. It speaks about our interconnectedness. You can't be human all by yourself, and when you have this quality - Ubuntu - you are known for your generosity.
We think of ourselves far too frequently as just individuals, separated from one another, whereas you are connected and what you do affects the whole world. When you do well, it spreads out; it is for the whole of humanity.
I believe God... through the Trinity... demonstrates how to live in community. In this... I believe we must follow the example of the Trinity and seek to live in community too.

We are all connected. I am Thomas aka Headphonaught because of my Creator and because of YOU! So in my 3,000th post, I'd like to thank y'all for reading / contributing / participating in this wee blog. The ol' Nanolog is a record, in part, of my journey and you are all fellows in this journey.

So yeah... thanks to Olly for her kind gift. The subterfuge she committed to obtain this mug without me knowing is of French Resistance quality. It is a daily reminder that I am who I am because of others... and I am grateful for this lesson.

Thank you all!


Friday, December 25, 2009

The Bible in Five Statements

My boy Jd Blundell has tagged me in a meme thing... which is to summarise the Bible in five statements. Here are the rules…
Summarize the Bible in five statements, the first one word long, the second two, the third three, the fourth four and the last five words long. Or possibly you could do this in descending order. Tag five people.
So here goes...
gives life
mankind turns away
Jesus brings love here
new life is now possible
Not as eloquent as JD or Stewart... but its the taking part that counts!

I'm all for keeping it simple... stripping away the verbosity and getting down to the nitty-gritty... and this exercise has really helped me to focus on what the Story is all about.

I believe the Bible is a living... breathing... story of which I am a part... and its important to remove all the guff that bogs it down... and get to the core of what it is all about.

I'm going to break with the meme... by asking anyone reading this to give it a go. Leave a comment and if you have a blog... post your five statements there too.


Merry Christmas!

Merry Christmas!, originally uploaded by rainbowpromise.

something beautiful :: christmas nines :: 2.46

The latest episode of the Something Beautiful Podcast is another celebration of the Nativity Story.
It’s that time of year, when all our listeners are invited to join in and help us celebrate the birth of our Savior.

thanks to everyone who joined in with a reading or sharing their Christmas thoughts, reflections and wishes!

we hope you enjoy listening and are able to share it with your family and friends this holiday season.

we look forward to many more great stories and episodes to come in 2010!
Take some time out to consider the birth of a child.


Merry Christmas Everyone :)

Merry Christmas Everyone :), originally uploaded by catzi.

Thursday, December 24, 2009

Albums of 2009 :: My "top ten"

Calm before the storm (19/365)

It doesn't get any better than a spicy chai latte and some fab tunes... and the following 10 albums were really "up there" quality-wise for me this year.

Please Note: Links will take you to the album on Spotify... except for the Cousin Silas link.

In at number 10 is an awesome album from a band I have grown to love since their last album lit up my ears... Noah and the Whale's album "The First Days of Spring" is a wonderful progression from "Peaceful the world lays me down" - it has a denser instrumentation that is slower... more deliberate... than the previous album.

Love it.

Next up is The Mars Volta's "Octahedron" - an album that is refreshingly progressive and no-holds-barred awesome-rock-ness. This album got me into the band... big time... and reminded me that every iPod needs some prog!

If I were to say this album sounds like a wonderful netaudio release... you may get the gist. Jonsi and Alex's "Riceboy Sleeps" is wonderfully pastoral and atmospheric... its like Jonsi has taken the ambience of his band - Sigur Ros - and turned it up to ELEVEN. Beautiful!

In at number seven is possibly the best pop album I've heard in a very looooonnng time. Phoenix's "Wolfgang Amadeus Phoenix" is simply awesome. Catchy. Quirky. Singalong-tastic!

Imogen Heap's "Ellipse" is one of those albums that just gets better and better. She has an amazingly unique voice and a refreshing approach to her craft. I really dig her obsession with sound... and the layering she uses is mesmerising. This album will be around for a very long time.

I am a big fan of Moby... especially his more ambient work. For me "Wait for me" is a return to form... a wonderful selection of downtempo soundscapes. Beautiful!

"Vectimest" by Grizzly Bear really captured my attention. Its indie aesthetic really energised me... inspiring me to seek out their back catalogue and inspiring a renewed fondness in guitar-orientated experimentation. Lovely!

2009 was a good year for So Elated... coming off the back of their fab 2008 Christmas album "The Bewildering Light" they brought out their "proper" self-titled debut "So Elated". It is a wonderfully honest album filled with heartache, inspiration, celebration and joy. It is what "Christian Music" should be... awesome music written and performed with openness and sincerity... about experience and not about "my boyfriend Jesus". I look forward to their next album with anticipation.

Cousin Silas is someone special. I find his music... the soundscapes he creates... uplifting and nutritious. They feed me and inspire me as only the best music can. His latest release - "uncertainty" - is just awesome... and is a prime example of how good netaudio music can be. Yes... I have a vested interest in this release considering a couple of my pics inspired a couple of the tracks... but I would still love this album if I didn't. This should be the dictionary definition of "ambient electronica", imho.

Last up is possibly one of the most beautiful albums I've heard in a while... Animal Collective's "Merriweather Post Pavilion". I have been listening to it almost constantly since its release. Its swirling post-rock psychedelic soundscapes have provided the soundtrack to my life throughout 2009. I haven't gotten sick of it... and find something new everytime I listen to it. Its my definition of awesomeness.

So yeah... that's me. My thanks to each of the artists / bands listed.

Now... over to you... what albums made your "top ten"? Have I missed any of worth? Let me know.


Albums of 2009 :: Runners Up :: Second 15

Here are the next 15 albums that touched me in some way... I was particularly pleased with the netaudio output this year:

I'll post my "top ten" later... but its kind of a pointless exercise because all forty albums have meant something to me and will take a considerable bettering before they'll be shifted from my iPhone.



Related Posts with Thumbnails