Sunday, September 26, 2010

At Cumbernauld Salvation Army

260910_ Cumbernauld #3

Olly and I... with Dayna and Miriam... had the genuine pleasure of spending some time with the church who gather under the banner of the Salvation Army in Cumbernauld. They were hosting a "cafe church" gathering and had asked us to come and do our thing... our thing being Olly singing... Dayna & Miriam doing a duet... and me sharing some thoughts I have had.

It was a fun evening... but that's why we said yes to the engagement on our September Weekend: the folks there are so warm, welcoming, accepting and receptive... its a real pleasure to be with them and to minister to them.

I recorded my thought... which went on too long (as usual).

If you are interested, it can be downloaded here (17mins / 24mb). Let me know what you think.


Songs with words :: Guy Penrod's Every Saint

"He climbed down off that old john deere wiping sweat and I was wiping tears
He saw me coming across them cotton rows, he was 78 and I was 21
Feeling guilty for who I’d become, and then the toughest man I knew pulled me close
He said son no matter what you’ve done, you gotta know

It aint that you fall but that you get back up
Lifes more about faith, that it is about luck
Man makes a living by the work he does
But he’ll leave his mark cause of who he was
My boots have walked that road so son remember
Every saint has a past, and every sinner has a future

See I never knew the cane he raised he was a man of God a man of faith
He said, Let me tell you bout the way I used to be, I run from the law and I’d run shy
I’ve had some bar-room brawls and a shotgun bride,
till one night in a tent revival I hit my knees
then Jesus got my heart and I believed

It aint that you fall but that you get back up
Lifes more about faith, that it is about luck
Man makes a living by the work he does
But he’ll leave his mark cause of who he was
My boots have walked that road so son remember
Every saint has a past, and every sinner has a future

In the pages of the Good book you can read about liars, losers cheats and thieves
Who were changed so there’s hope for you and me

It aint that you fall but that you get back up
Lifes more about faith, that it is about luck
Man makes a living by the work he does
But he’ll leave his mark cause of who he was
My boots have walked that road so son remember
Every saint has a past, and every sinner has a future
Every sinner has a future"
Guy Penrod - Every Saint (Spotify link)

I listen to a lot and I mean a lot of music... and a healthy proportionate of this music is instrumental.

This afternoon... after a morning full of Classic FM... Olly made a comment about wanting to hear songs with words. She'd been listening to the new Guy Penrod album for a wee while now (God bless Spotify) and was raving about it. So I opened up Spotify on my MacBook Pro and we started to listen over a lovely lunch of ham salad sandwiches and hot cups of tea.

The lyrics above are from the third track on Breathe Deep... and they caught my attention.

Yes, its Country... but so was Johnny Cash. There are only two types of music: good and bad ... and this really moved me. I love songs that tell stories and set out profound ideas very simply. This is one such song, in my opinion.

I believe in transformation... and this song reminded me of this.

Thanks Olly.


Friday, September 24, 2010

Love Ninjas

I love this. My Dayna created it.

It reminded me of this verse in the New Testament...
"When you do something for someone else, don't call attention to yourself. You've seen them in action, I'm sure—'playactors' I call them— treating prayer meeting and street corner alike as a stage, acting compassionate as long as someone is watching, playing to the crowds. They get applause, true, but that's all they get. When you help someone out, don't think about how it looks. Just do it—quietly and unobtrusively. That is the way your God, who conceived you in love, working behind the scenes, helps you out.
Matthew 6:2-4 (The Message)

Love Ninjas... using their stealth and their cunning to commit acts of love... doing it quietly and unobtrusively... behind the scenes.

Yeah... I get that. Good job Dayna.


Thursday, September 23, 2010

Communication, Consumption & Creation... the 3 Cs of the interwebs

230910_ my Apple kit (266/365)

Its been just over a month since Olly gave me an iPad. A beautiful shining chunk of 32gb goodness.

Prior to getting it... I was all lust but wasn't entirely sure I needed one. It seemed an extravagance considering I had a MacBook Pro and an iPhone4.

Thing is... I still think it is... but I absolutely love it and wouldn't be without it. Let me explain why:

I see our interaction on the interwebs centre around 3 Cs...
Consumption, and
What we do on or using the interwebs falls within these three categories.

We communicate through email, instant messenger, Twitter, Facebook, Voice-Over-IP (Skype) and within the other social media communities that frequent. We also communicate through blogs, through comments and discussion boards. Whilst varying in time and immediacy... its all broadly communication - 1-to-1, 1-to-many or many-to-many.

We consume blogposts (as you are doing right now) as well as news articles and the information contained within wiki posts. We read... short posts or long-form articles. We watch... videos on YouTube or Vimeo, or stream live broadcasts from News Sites. We listen... to music on Pandora or Spotify. In this manner... we use the interwebs to entertain and to educate.

Lastly, we create.

We create offline and upload to spaces and places on the interwebs... sharing photos in Flickr or mixcasts, as I do, on this here blog (hosted in Mediafire). We create films for consumption on YouTube or Vimeo. Some talented souls create music and share their creations on iTunes or on Bandcamp.

We create online too... writing blogposts or reposting pictures in our online scrapbooks in Tumblr or Posterous. We can use tools like Picnic to edit pictures online and we can use "the cloud" to store them with apps such as dropbox or

We can also collaborate* directly using google docs or indirectly where content is shared over great distances by folks who have never met - consider my podcast (something beautiful) as an example of this - recorded offline then pieced together by JD in Texas.

How does the iPad fit into this?

Well... all three devices - my iPhone, my iPad and my MacBook Pro - all can and do allow me to communicate, consume and create... but they all excel in their own niches. Let me explain.

I use my iPhone mainly for communication and consumption - apart from phonecalls and texts... I use it for Twitter, Facebook, checking my Gmail and surfing key sites like this blog and my Flickr photos. I also listen to music (not streamed) and podcasts. I also play games on it (I love the PopCap games, for example).

That said, I do use it as a camera and have a few apps that allow me to create with it offline before uploading them to Flickr or Blipfoto.

Whereas, with my MacBook Pro, there is a greater emphasis on creation. I use Lightroom and Photoshop to create images that I then upload to Flickr or Picasa for use in spaces like this blog. I use Garageband to create the mixcasts I produce and recently bought a Blue Snowball to help Olly with her singing. I create blogposts too... preferring actually keys on an actual keyboard.

Don't get me wrong... I do use it to communicate, receiving updates on Twitter via Twhril and notifications of new email via an extension in Chrome. I do also use it to consume content... listening to Spotify or reading RSS feeds in Google Reader. But the main focus is creation.

My iPad is an enabler. It has freed up my MacBook Pro for creation and my iPhone for communication... because it does a brilliant job of enabling me to consume content. Yes, it doesn't have flash and that is a limitation... but it doesn't cripple the device... and with YouTube and Vimeo offering videos in the HTML5 format, it isn't that big an issue for me.

It is designed around consumption of content.

Yesterday, I finished reading my first proper eBook (The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo) and I have stocked up with more (I am currently reading William Gibson's Zero History - this time in iBooks rather than the Kindle app).

Reading blogs in profile is fab... you really see the intent of the page.

In addition, I use apps like Flipboard and Pulse to read RSS feeds in a whole new, intuitive and visually stimulating manner. That said, I use Reeder to read other RSS feeds in a more traditional manner (I am a big believer is RSS and believe it is here to stay). I also use Instapaper (an app I have raved about before) "read later" content, usually longer articles that need time to read and digest.

I have also watched videos on it... like the recent Radiohead fan video. It is a brilliant medium for fab content like that.

I can play games on it too... it is fab in this regard.

I can create content on it... I have a handy wee app called "BlogPress" that I have used to post to this blog. Its not my preferred choice of creating but handy none-the-less. I use "Things" to keep my to-do list in order (syncing it with my MacBook Pro and my iPhone) and have used "QuickOffice" and "SimpleNote" to create wordprocessing documents.

So when asked how I find my iPad... I say I love it and wouldn't not have one. Yes, it is a luxury but then so is a MacBook Pro and an iPhone. They are my vices.

I see it fitting nicely into my life... and my bag too - the idea that it saves space is actually true... I bought "The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo" from Amazon (£2.44) because one morning I couldn't fit the borrowed copy of the book into my bag.

I have probably missed something in this ramble... but I wanted to convey how it has become part of my life.  I believe with the right apps and the right attitude towards it... the iPad is a wonderful device that can add to our lives (regardless of whether we spend our time online or not). What it does well, it does very well.


* Collaboration is, for some folks, the 4th C but I see it within the Creation category... for now.

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Crime, society and community challenges... my fourth guest post > from @scottishpaddy84

300810_ in my neighbourhood

When it comes to crime, the next leader of the Labour Party will have real power to make changes. They’ll have pretty decent freedom of movement in policy making. Compared to economic or public services policy, there are fewer internal structural constraints on the policy direction the Leader can take.

That means the next leader could put the stamp of their leadership on crime, society and community policy more than any other.

What challenges will they face?

First, the government will be keen to cast the debate in terms of distant state indifference versus local power. They will talk of democratic accountability as a way to get the police to focus on what matters, not Whitehall form filling.

At the same time, Budget pressure will mean police numbers will begin to fall. We’ll see shorter and fewer prison sentences. If high unemployment is sustained, we may well start to see an increase in crime figures *

In turn, this will increase the salience of crime as an issue. This will present a major political opportunity – as the Government will find it hard to present itself on the side of “Lawnorder” while cutting police budgets and shortening Prison sentences.
So what can they do about it?

The next Leader could choose to foreground punishment, policing and being “tough on crime”. However, I doubt any of them will want to do anything that could be presented as a straight grab for Tory crime policy.

There’s little appetite for that kind of political ruthlessness today. Instead, our candidate’s talk a lot about data based policy frameworks, quite rightly wanting to make good policy, not good sound bites.

So I expect the next Labour Party leader to broadly embrace the opportunity presented by the Coalition to shift the debate on prison numbers, sentencing and policy. If they’re smart, they’ll do this provisionally and on the basis of “What works”, and stressing that what matters is frontline police work, proper funding to prevent recidivism and investment in building community strength, not “Going soft because it’s cheap”

To emphasise that point, I expect our next leader will extend a vision of a “social community” or some such, as a more fleshed out response to the Big Society, by which Labour encourages mutual’s, charities, and councils to localise community services, and especially give communities a bigger voice in crime prevention policies.

Giving people the power to build a good society is an attractive and useful sell. Crime is holistic, after all, and issues from housing quality, to social engagement all affect it. Here, we pause, and stroke our beards compassionately.

Gosh, this all sounds remarkably easy. Let’s just give being nice a try!

A word of warning though.

When it comes to crime and society, there’s a lot of good reasons to embrace localism, rehabilitation and community service, but there’s also a danger of retreating into a kind of soggy loveliness that doesn’t relate to how angry people are about crime, social breakdown and anti-social acts.

I spend my evenings on an estate mixed with private and council housing. It is an excellent estate with good staff, regular cleaning and a strong sense of community. There are problems, as there will be in an estate with vulnerable residents, but the estate management has used local enforcement powers to get rid of a crack den, for example. What I’m saying is that they are good places to live. I’ve never felt unsafe.

Still, about every other night, someone urinates in the street.

I can cheerfully say that if I ever discover the phantom street urinator, my urge will not be to rehabilitate him.

Now, my rage of mine at such a minor piece of anti-social behavior should not get in the way of making good policy. Just because I want to do it, I doubt upstanding citizens should be allowed to take pruning shears to the private parts of street urinators. That would be bad.

But even if my atavistic urges should not be given into, they shouldn’t be ignored or dismissed. Suffering from Crime and Anti-Social behavior isn’t a small issue that can be distracted from by visiting a teenager’s charity and nodding empathetically.

So if the next Labour leader doesn’t find a way to channel the anger people feel about crime and society, they will not get the traction they need to talk about the positive steps they wish to make a stronger community.

This is the challenge for the next leader.

Talk of localism, of community, of the good society, and noble policies intended to bring that rhetoric to life, will fall flat if not accompanied with a clear understanding that people live with a level of unpleasantness, anti-social behavior, rudeness and criminal activity that should neither be tolerated or shrugged at.

Disproportionately, the people affected by the poor behavior of others are the poorest, the weakest, and the most vulnerable. If we are to try to set out policies to support community, to build society, to encourage mutualism, these will so much blather if we cannot also convince people that we are as angry, frustrated and passionate as they are about stopping criminal and anti-social behavior.

Note I have provided precisely zero solutions. I am just trying to set out the challenges.

@scottishpaddy84 aka Gordon Miller.

*Oddly if we cut police numbers, BCS might start going up, while recorded crime falls – esp. if forces are given more discretion in recording crime)

Monday, September 20, 2010

alight here #0002

The best bit about being loaded with a stinking head cold is that I could use what limited concentration I have to finish the latest edition of the alight here mixcast :: alight here #0002.

Featuring independent artists in various genres... I've pulled together some of my fave tunes of the last few weeks into a mix that lasts about an hour.

I hope you like... and please support the artists by checking out their albums on bandcamp or netlabels... and throwing them a couple of bucks, as appropriate.


  1. Star of Delhi by Tundra Vole from the album Epictorials
  2. Edison by The Sonic Scientist from the album Laboratory Experiments
  3. Green Tea by Paul Kwitek from the album Qualia
  4. You Catapult by Frank Riggio from the album Symmetric Human Door
  5. Cup A' Coffee Rock by Abraham the Poor from the EP The Pumpkin Patch Cabin EP
  6. Lake Man by Matt Stevens from the album Ghost
  7. Motion Picture Soundtrack by Alex Schaaf from the album Radiohead's Kid A : Re-imagined
  8. 2 by Lowercase Noises from the album Ambient Songs
  9. Beside Me Today by Good Weather For An Airstrike from the EP Signals
  10. Toad Song by Cousin Silas from the album The Snow Imposed Silence
  11. A New Life by The Echelon Effect from Leaving It Behind
  12. Cape Columbia in Summer by Tundra Vole from the album Epictorials
  13. The Breaker Anointing by Shekinah from the album The Wind Lost Its Breath And The Sea Became As Smooth As Glass

Sunday, September 19, 2010

Some photos from Laura's 21st

180910_ Olly #1

I had fun last night at Laura's 21st. I spent the evening hunting for some nice "in-the'moment" portraits... and I think I got a few. I'm particularly chuffed with the ones I got of my Olly (above and below).

Go here for the full set.


180910_ Olly #2

Saturday, September 18, 2010

I love you

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPad -

Other people

Maybe I am happy to
read books written by other people
view the exploits & achievements of other people
watch films shot & produced by other people,
staring other people,
about other people

Maybe I am happy to
read blogs written by other people
listen to stories told by other people about other people
listen to songs written & produce by other people,
performed by other people,
about other people

Maybe it is time to
write the words read by other people
film the videos viewed by other people
tell the stories or sing the songs heard by other people

Maybe it is time to
participate in the lives of other people
enter into the stories of other people
mix the songs of other people,
into something new
for other people

Maybe its time to
but then
Maybe it's time to
but then
Maybe it's time for both


- Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone -

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Inspired by... the Pope's visit #2

"...Finally, I would like to say a word to you, my dear young Catholics of Scotland. I urge you to lead lives worthy of our Lord (cf. Eph 4:1) and of yourselves. There are many temptations placed before you every day – drugs, money, sex, pornography, alcohol – which the world tells you will bring you happiness, yet these things are destructive and divisive.

There is only one thing which lasts: the love of Jesus Christ personally for each one of you. Search for him, know him and love him, and he will set you free from slavery to the glittering but superficial existence frequently proposed by today’s society. Put aside what is worthless and learn of your own dignity as children of God.

In today’s Gospel, Jesus asks us to pray for vocations: I pray that many of you will know and love Jesus Christ and, through that encounter, will dedicate yourselves completely to God, especially those of you who are called to the priesthood and religious life. This is the challenge the Lord gives to you today: the Church now belongs to you!..."
Pope Benedict’s homily at Bellahouston as quoted in Scottish Christian

Inspiring words... not just for young Catholics in Scotland but for everyone... everywhere.


Inspired by... the Pope's visit

I'm working from home today because the Pope is in Scotland... and approximately 80,000 of the faithful are heading to Glasgow. I, for one, didn't want to be hassled trying to get to my work.

Whilst I disagree on Pope Benedict XVI's stance on a number of things: contraception, equality of women and homosexuals, celibacy of the Priesthood etc... I do welcome his visit. Not sure it can be rightly entitled a "state visit" but I do welcome him.

One thing that particularly interested me were these two logos/themes:

The top one - heart speaks unto heart - is the main theme of the UK visit... whereas the bottom logo is for the Scottish leg of the visit and speaks of "the hope which never disappoints is Jesus Christ".

I like them both.

Personally, I believe in the hope that is Jesus and the grace He offers. I have been disappointed by people many times... but I haven't been disappointed in Jesus. I think this is a great reminder. I also think its a timely reminder that the focus of the Pope's visit should be on Jesus and not on him.

I also strongly believe that connecting with people in true community should be on a heart to heart basis. We should look beyond the labels we use to stereotype folks and pigeonhole them: Catholic... Atheist... Muslim... Gay... Straight... Celibate... etc and focus on them as people... with a heart.

It shows that with an open mind you can find inspiration in places you would not normally look.


Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Five from bandcamp #5

More awesome tuneage from bandcamp...

First up... we have my fave ambient electronic wizard... Cousin Silas with an album entitled "Adrift off the Islets of Langerhans".

Released as a free download and as a CDR on the Earthrid netlabel ( ... it is an album of majestic, brooding mood music from Yorkshire’s master of ambience. The atmosphere ranges from the menacing to the pastoral, from the joyous to the serene.



Containing existing faves: Beneath us, the waves and Good Weather for an Airstrike... this compilation from Hawk Moon Records is simply divine.

Atmospheric soundscapes that soothe and inspire. Powerfully evocative yet subtly ambient... this is a very engaging and cohesive release. Recommended.


Streaming only... no longer available for download.

Following on from Hawk Moon Records's compilation... is a release from one of their artists... the multi-instrumentalist inachus with a self-titled release that is coherently described as "very atmospheric and experimental".  He mixes an instrumental hip-hop vibe with post-rock soundscapes and glitchy nuances to create something wonderfully unique and entertaining.



Next up we have the truly awesome Charlene Kaye with two wonderfully intelligent and foot-tappinly entertaining releases: the brilliant eyes ep and things I will need in the past.  I love intelligent lyrics, a great voice and well structured orchestration... and you get all three with Ms Kaye's music. She's in the same school as Regina Spektor... and that is a compliment. Recommended.

Pay what you can - minimum $0.40 per download.

Last up... we have my boy JD Blundell's High School band all natural. According to the blurb... the tracks were recorded over a span of three years (1995-1998) and are finally being mixed down from a 4-track cassette to digital to share them with the world (or at least for our wives and mothers).

They are pretty rough... but they do show potential... especially on the track "a place in memory" which needs, imho, an accordion.  Their sound reminds me of Graceland-period Paul Simon.


Pay what you can.


That's me for another wee while. I'm not sure how long these recordings will remain free considering bandcamp's decision to charge. I'm in two minds re the charging... I want bandcamp to remain ad-free and make a profit... but I also like free stuff :-)

At the end of the day, I will support awesome musicians and love the bandcamp concept. As such, I ain't going anywhere.


Fascinating :: music videos by Music Animation Machine

I am totally obsessed with these videos by Stephen Malinowski aka Music Animation Machine. I am fascinated by how he *sees* the music... and can really relate to his creations.



Monday, September 13, 2010

A question, if I may..?

Here's a question for you, if I may..?

What is your key piece of kit..? what do you need to do what you do..?

For me, it's my iPhone and Moleskine 2010 planner.

I think my Nikon D60 is up there... with my nifty 50mm lens... but I don't use it for work.

My iPad is creeping in too. I think it may replace my planner / notebook at work as well as at play.

So yeah... what's your key piece of kit?


My Project365 :: 181 - 224 (excluding 195 - 197, 199 - 200, 202, 207 & 222)

My Project365 :: 181 -

I have a dilemma. I have 8 missing days in my Project365... all of which are from this batch:

  1. 195
  2. 196
  3. 197
  4. 199
  5. 200
  6. 202
  7. 207
  8. 222
I'm not sure what to do from a completist perspective... but I do know this, I'm not giving up.

Here's this batch of 36:

1. 300610_ Provins #37 (181/365),
2. 010710_ Paris #11 (182/365),
3. 020710_ Olly (183/365),
4. 030710_ Futurist (184/365),
5. 040710_ Donkey Concession (185/365),
6. 050710_ Miriam #1 (186/365),
7. 060710_ Scarborough Castle #10 (187/365),
8. 070710_ my family #2 (188/365),
9. 080710_ jellyfish #7 (189/365),
10. 090710_ swimmer #2 (190/365),
11. 100710_ me in the morning (testing Miriam's headphones) (191/365),
12. 110710_ Olly & I (192/365),
13. 120710_ the trees at the Pavillion (193/365),
14. 130710_ On Argyle Street (194/365),
15. 160710_ Pippin (198/365),
16. 200710_ Marc with his Nikon FE (201/365),
17. 220710_ Nathan Solo #1 (203/365),
18. 230710_ the look of love (204/365),
19. 240710_ self portrait (205/365),
20. 250710_ Pippin & Olly (206/365),
21. 270710_ me (incredibooth'd) (208/365),
22. 280710_ NoMo is a welcoming place, yo! (209/365),
23. 290710_ beauty in the midst of desolation (210/365),
24. 300710_ chicken fajitas (211/365),
25. 310710_ green bowls #1 (212/365),
26. My new DAB radio & the joy of other peoples' choices (213/365),
27. 020810_ road closed (214/365),
28. 030810_ Headphonaught (215/365),
29. 040810_ behind the bars (216/365),
30. 050810_ Merchant City (217/365),
31. 060810_ new image (218/365),
32. 070810_ Dayna (219/365),
33. 080810_ In Olly's garden #3 (220/365),
34. 090810_ reflections in the puddle #1 (221/365),
35. 110810_ Dayna (223/365),
36. 120810_ chimney (224/365)

My Project365 :: 145 - 180

My Project365 :: 145 -

1. 250510_ motherwell bridge (145/365),
2. 260510_ photosafari #7 - broken (146/365),
3. 270510_ Dayna #1 (147/365),
4. 280510_ Family Goose (148/365),
5. 290510_ Nathan Solo #3 (149/365),
6. 300510_ Dayna & Olly (150/365),
7. 310510_ pine #1 (151/365),
8. 010610_ ball (152/365),
9. 020610_ wooden tunnel (153/365),
10. 030610_ Poppy #2 (154/365),
11. 040610_ financial district #10 (155/365),
12. 050610_ sculpture (156/365),
13. 060610_ flora #2 (157/365),
14. 070610_ Pippin (158/365),
15. 080610_ Mike's iPad #2 (159/365),
16. 090610_ Along the Clydeside at Erskine #2 (160/365),
17. 100610_ Jason Dukes & I (161/365),
18. 110610_ Pure #3 (162/365),
19. 120610_ Olly #2 (163/365),
20. 130610_ Nathan Solo #2 (164/365),
21. 140610_ Lupins (165/365),
22. 150610_ Acceptance (166/365),
23. 160610_ in Olly's garden #5 (167/365),
24. 170610_ In Olly's garden #4 (168/365),
25. 180610_ in my pockets (169/365),
26. 190610_ Chained #3 (170/365),
27. 200610_ Amy #2 (171/365),
28. 210610_ from Ross (172/365),
29. 220610_ self (173/365),
30. 230610_ Dayna #2 (174/365),
31. 240610_ Olly (175/365),
32. 250610_ overnight in Maidstone #8 (176/365),
33. 260610_ at the campsite in Touquin #6 (177/365),
34. 270610_ Parcs Disney_ 060 (178/365),
35. 280610_ Musée du Louvre #8 (179/365),
36. 290610_ Tour Eiffel #6 (180/365)

Saturday, September 11, 2010


Today... 9 years ago.
Today... the day that changed the World forever.
Today... the day that changed me forever.
Today... I remember the dead.
Today... I remember all who died on that day.
Today... I remember all who have died as a result of that day.
Today... 9 years ago.

Only love wins... Thomas

Friday, September 10, 2010

Pocket Personality... my third guest post > from @timlukejones

They say you can tell a lot about a woman from the contents of her handbag but not being a woman or the carrier of a handbag (I can't find one to match the Commissioner's overalls) this doesn't really work too well! I do carry keys though, and these can illustrate my pocket personality - who I am...

  • Lacie iamakey USB stick - I am a geek - in fact this could easily be renamed iamageek, for that is what I am! I carry a USB stick for quick data transfer of pictures, music and documents on the go - wherever I am.
  • House keys - I am a housemate. I share a house with another person who works in the public sector. Our home is one filled with laughter and fun a lot of the time but has also seen many deep, wholehearted and genuine conversations in its short life as our house.
  • Drum cupboard key - I am a bandsman. It would be easy to get into 'that' discussion about Salvation Army bands but I know for certain that some wonderful mission opportunities have arisen from the playing of Christian music over the past 18 years or so. I know it isn't totally relevant so I'm under no illusion there, but I also know it's not totally irrelevant.
  • Regent Hall key fob - I am a Rinker. Since arriving in London as an innocent 18 year old student of German and Scandinavian Studies the Rink (Regent Hall Salvation Army) has been my home church! It has supported me through some happy times and some sad times, highs and lows, God loving and God loathing times. It provides a great stopping point on Oxford St, right in the middle of the world's busiest shopping street.
  • HMV loyalty card - I am a film buff. I own too many DVDs. I have 42GB of movies on my iPod. I have a Cineworld unlimited access card and usually watch 3 films a week (on average!). There's rarely a genre or style of film I won't watch - from Hollywood blockbusters to Brit films to films about Cold War German life to Icelandic comedy to Korean horror! Movies are a great release from real life but also a great insight into it.
  • Handcuff key - I am a police officer. A rozzer. A pig. The fuzz. The PoPo. It's my job and it's one I take so much pleasure from doing. I am young in age and service but can already see the impact my work has had on people. I deal with some of the people on society's margins, seen as the dregs or the dross but I do it gladly. Not just for the money but because it's my vocation and calling.
  • Drum key - I am a drummer! Always tapping on something or somebody (usually myself!) the rhythm got me at and early age and has stuck with me. I play a variety of shaky, hitty, noisy, clinky, swooshy things, both tuned and not. I can often be found playing bass drum LOUDLY on the Rink open airs and marches and do this gladly!
  • Mum and Dad's house key - I am a son. To my parents, oddly enough! I was born in Suffolk and grew up in Cambridgeshire, Gwent, Glamorgan, Lancashire, Essex, Middlesex and Surrey (and I'm still growing up). But through my parents have seen lots of the UK and will be ever grateful for my upbringing.
  • North Wales Police keyring - I am a judo champion. Last October I travelled to North Wales to compete in the Police National judo championships. I won my weight category and got my tail kicked quite unceremoniously in the open weight! Nonetheless this was enough to strike fear into the hearts of the people I knew (although it may have been a widespread case of heartburn). I love putting my gi on and training and fighting for the pure enjoyment of it!

But not everything I am is summed up on my keyring. I am happy, saved and free. I am a Christian. I am loved. I am blessed. I am handsome. I am funny (see previous point!) but most of all - I am me...


Thursday, September 09, 2010

I love music... my second guest post > from @jaredmente

090910_ I love music

I’m probably like most of you – I love music. I can remember as a young boy when I first discovered real music, you know, something other than the theme songs to my favorite cartoons. I was rummaging through my older brother’s room (why did I do that so much?) and found U2’s the Joshua Tree on tape and decided to pop it into the deck. I put on the headphones and started to listen. I was immediately immersed in the beats and rhythms and melodies. This was awesome! I started singing along with the catchy hooks, not quite keeping up with Bono’s screeching high notes…then suddenly my brother barged in and turned on the lights (why was I in the dark?) and proceeded to berate me for being in his room without his permission. But he was too late – I was hooked.

Life continued on with piano lessons from my mom, trumpet lessons from school, singing in the choir, guitar lessons from…well nobody, etc etc – I’ve been surrounded by music my whole life. So, when I decided to start making my own music it just felt like the natural progression. At the time, I set out to create music that I would like to listen to, because I couldn’t find anyone else making exactly the same type of music. I would just fill that void myself. That was before the days of such great sites like bandcamp and soundcloud (at least I think it was, I’m no history buff in terms of the internet). By the time I was finishing up my first album, Assorted Ambience, I looked out across the web and discovered that there are actually quite a lot of people making this kind of music, or similar. There is a myriad of musical choices out on the web today and I love it! I am at the heart, after all, nothing more than a music enthusiast.

So I added my contribution to the musical world and immediately began working on my second album. I get bored unless I’m creating something – an itch that my day job certainly does not scratch – so I feel compelled to make things, be it music, videos, or what have you. I think my creative level improved with my second album. I will openly admit that I’m no expert in making this music of mine, I’m learning on the job. I feel like it’s evolving and getting better with each take. I hope that if you give the two albums a listen that you will agree. The second album, Unseen, I am particularly fond of and worked quite hard on. But, that wasn’t enough – a third album is currently in the works. And, by the way, I’m bored with my current home on the web and am in the midst of creating a new website for my musical persona.

I’m an addict of the melodiously strange and interesting world that is today’s popular (and more usually unpopular) music. I still drive in my car with the tunes turned way too loud while singing along at the top of my lungs – still unable to hit those really high notes. There’s just something so great about music that allows you to be pulled in, to be something greater than what you are, to be somewhere you have been before. I love music.


"Unseen" on Bandcamp

Wednesday, September 08, 2010

This is cool ::

My friend Thomas L. Raukamp has a fantastic blog called audiovoltaics... it is very visual and presented in a magazine style that makes it a joy to consume.

Thomas has compiled short video interviews with key artists that really help to express the soul of the music... the inspiration from the artist... which really adds to the music itself.

He has also embedded tunes to let you hear them... words only say so much... you have to hear the tunes.

If you are into netlabel music then I would recommend you bookmark his site... his recommendations are usually on point.


Macro... its where I want to go next

Thanks to my dad for sharing this video.

Macro photography is where I want to go next... along with taking portraits. Easier said than done, though... considering the price of fixed lenses.

One day.


Story... my first guest post > from @myopicaardvark

020910_ on the wall in Mitchel Lane


It's all about story for me. Doesn't matter whether it's books, telly, gaming or music. If it doesn't tell me a good story, it's not for me.

I play games a lot - sure, I've got things like Peggle which is fairly simple, but it's got a slight story hanging on it (slight as it may be).

When I play City Of Heroes, I play stories that I've seen hundreds of times over the last six years. You play them again and again and you end up knowing them by rote. But it's how each character reacts to them that makes the story. It's how my perfect hero reacts to something or how my villain laughs maniacally as they steal some books from orphans (true story - the most evil arc in the game).

And I listen to my wide range of soundtrack music, both while gaming and whilst walking, and sometimes in work too. The crescendo of the music changes each part of my journey as I run the notes through my head. I'm constantly reinventing the same scenarios based on the music , visuals and all the things which influence them.

When a good movie comes out or a good book, it'll colour the story in my head. So when Transformers came out, the music led to robot attacks, profound speeches made by voices with deep gravitas and lots of explosions (fun when you're walking along Argyle Street).

When something Star Wars related occurs (so wait until The Old Republic is released next year), there are honourable foes and despicable villains having sword fights across my synapses).

And when I return to my typical comic book hero pasttimes, I end up seeing heroes around town, doing similar acts to whatever the current story arc is in the comics, I do live in the real world, but my imagination colours it to tell a story that I don't get in normal circumstances.

It's not a bad way to live and I'm quite happy with it.

So how do stories influence your day to day existence? Are they small scale distractions or do they have an effect on how you react to everything? I think I'm somewhere in the middle (as per usual). Where are you?


Tonight's sky

080910_ Evening Sky Panorama

Tonight's sky... built up from two separate pics and stitched together using Photoshop.


Anyone want to guest on the ol' nanolog?

Anyone want to post as a guest contributor on this ol' blog?

No real restrictions. You can talk about anything you want... as long as it's clean, inoffensive and doesn't use comic sans as the font.

Talk about faith or design or music... whatever.

If you do, please leave a comment or send me a tweet and i'll make it happen.


- Posted using BlogPress from my iPad

Monday, September 06, 2010

a compliment...

I should have shared this a while back... but sat on it. It did, however, make my day. Grateful to @myopicaardvark for his kind words and the fun blethers on a Friday.


A stroll to Chatelherault

040910_ Pink #4

On Saturday... Olly, Dayna, Miriam, Pippin and I took a leisurely stroll from Strathclyde Park to Chatelherault Country House in Hamilton.

I took some pictures... that can be seen here.

Memories are made up of days like this. It was lovely.


040910_ on the Clyde Bridge

040910_ dying leaves

040910_ Miriam #2

A question... if I may? #1

If you had an extra hour in the day... what would you do with it?


The answers came in thick and fast from Twitter, on Facebook and in the comments.

Answers included sleeping, reading, doing homework, play games, spend time with the significant other, and having fun. Oh and probably complaining that we don't have enough time.

My cousin Boyd who is currently in exile in Austin, Texas; would...
"...I'd put on ma kilt and glengarry then play my bagpipes whilst looking out the window at the saltire rippling in the lack of breeze dreaming of eating a fish supper...and don't forget the Irn-Bru."
Where as my dad made a great point...
"...I suppose it does not matter how long a day is we would just fill as we do at the moment. Perhaps it is just takes a bit of discipline rather than more time?"
Personally... I would read more and spend time with Olly.

Thanks to everyone who answered the question. I'll ask another one soon.


Friday, September 03, 2010

A photosafari to the Lighthouse in Glasgow

020910_ my photogeek chums

Yesterday I went on a photosafari with my photogeek colleague chums. We headed back to the Lighthouse in Glasgow for more skyline goodness.

Memories are made of days like this!

Full set on Flickr


020910_ Glasgow Skyline #4

Olly's pavlova

030910_ Olly's Pavlova #4

Olly made strawberry pavlova... and it was good!

030910_ Olly's Pavlova #2

Thursday, September 02, 2010

alight here #0001

Its been a while in coming... but alight here #0001 is finally here. I've taken the conscious step of only featuring independent musicians from bandcamp, netlabels or directly from the individuals themselves.

Whilst my previous mixtapes gave me the opportunity to display talent in all its many guises... indie and corporate... this gives me the chance to really promote music that may get overlooked or doesn't have access to the kind of clout the labels have.

In doing this, I feel I am doing my bit to support their music... as well as exposing you to some truly wondrous and joyous music.

Please support the artists featured by clicking on the links below and downloading their material:
  1. Ascension from "The Wind Lost Its Breath And The Sea Became As Smooth As Glass" by Shekinah
  2. Flies in the basement from "Echo" by Matt Stevens
  3. Good morning from "Arms Legs Feet" by JDH
  4. The brightest skies from "Start loving the robots" by Dep
  5. Entanglement theory from "Beats in Rhythm" by Russ Sargent
  6. A passing from "Canaveral Dreams" by Cousin Silas
  7. Seeing The Sun Through Their Eyes Part. 2 from "As We're Both Just Standing Still" by Good Weather for an Airstrike
  8. Sawney Hill from "Canaveral Dreams" by Cousin Silas
  9. Teo from "Movement" by Ambienteer
  10. The National Anthem from "Radiohead's Kid A : Re-imagined" by Alex Schaaf
  11. Epic Problem (Fugazi cover) from "Of All The Things We've Made EP" by JDH
  12. Memory Drain from "You Don't Exist" by Ghost Bike
  13. What makes us so uncommon from "Mosaic" by The Echelon Effect
  14. How deep the father's love from "Marshall" by Lowercase Noises
Enjoy... and thanks again to the awesome musicians who appear here and have made my live richer through their music.


Wednesday, September 01, 2010

September 2010's calendar...

September 2010's calendar :: Mac (1200x800)

A wee bit late... but hopefully something you'll dig. In the usual flavours:




Related Posts with Thumbnails