Saturday, October 30, 2010

I found this inspiring :: Roy's Jeans

If you read William Gibson's latest book Zero History... you will be introduced to a "secret brand" called Gabriel's Hounds. As this tweet suggests... maybe this is what Gibson had in mind?

Makes me want to get a sewing machine and make something.



Lost & Found in Como Park :: Kevin Hendricks' new project

Como Zoo Mold-a-Rama Figures

Kevin Hendricks has a new project... and wants your help to write a novel.

The novel is called Lost & Found in Como Park and it will tell the story of John, a 29-year-old computer programmer by night and nanny for his niece and nephew by day. John has a deep connection to nearby Como Park in St. Paul, Minn., and turns there as he's re-evaluating his life.

That's as much as I can tell you because Kevin is writing it during National Novel Writing Month.

The narrative will be closely tied to the real locations and history of Como Park, including some historical asides that are as firmly based on fact as possible. The story will refer to a many of the locations in Como Park, specifically the memorial bricks along the exterior walkways of the Conservatory, as well as the the Mold-a-Rama (see above) and collectible penny machines in the Zoo.

Watch this video for more:

...then go here and back him up.

I've backed him for $15 because (a) I love the idea... I'm a huge fan of my local park - Strathclyde Park - and am eager to see the story unfold; (b) I enjoy Kevin's writing and want to encourage him as best I can; and (c) I really want a Mold-a-Rama ape ;-)

I hope he meets his target.


Thursday, October 28, 2010

Welcome home!

Delighted to see Hayden & Ian home with their parents... our dear friends Laurie & Jonathan Blundell.


PS - 15 inches (the height difference... don't dare pretend you hadn't noticed)

Sunday, October 24, 2010

November 2010's calendar

November 2010's calendar :: Left 1280x800

OK... I'm a week early for November's Calendar/ Wallpaper but I figure I'm going to be busy next week and had a gap.

From New Lanark, November's calendar is based on this pic taken on the 17th October, 2010.

Due to the popularity of October 2010's calendar... I've added a few new flavours. Enjoy.


1024x768 - left (for my Dad's iBook)
1280x800 - left and right
1680x1050 - left
1920x1080 - left (for my dad's new iMac)
iPhone4 - with calendar and without

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

One of my pics was used as artwork for "the last days"

A friend of mine on twitter - Wolfgang aka Fripptastic - has used one of my pics for the album cover for his latest release on Bandcamp.

"The Last Days" is an album full of deliciously-dark and progressive synth-based electronic soundscapes... my first impression of it was like ambient electronica "turned up to 11".

081010_ in the disused railway tunnel #4

I think the image is wonderfully in sync with Wolfgang's fab musical creation... and I am delighted to be associated with it.

Recommended... but then I would say that.

Pay what you can.


Monday, October 18, 2010

Artwork for Cousin Silas' next release :: Complex Silence 9 - Fresh Landscapes

Cousin Silas_ Complex Silence 9_ Fresh Landscapes 01 and memories fade
Image #01 - "... and memories fade"

Recently I have been working with the ambient electronic genius Cousin Silas on the artwork for his next release. He has been working on the ninth release in the Complex Silence series from the Treetrunk Records netlabel... and asked me to contribute with some artwork.

Cousin Silas is a huge fan of my photos and a great encouragement to me... so it was my pleasure to work with him on this release.

The album is due to drop in November and I don't want to steal any thunder from its release other than to say... it consists of 10 wonderfully shaped ambient electronic soundscapes in which you can see, in my opinion, a fab progression from the other work he has released recently.

What I have created is an inlay card, a traycard and 10 individuals for the MP3... the idea being that each track has its own image and when playing on your iPod, iPhone or MP3 player of choice with a screen, you will see the image change when the track changes.

Cousin Silas_ Complex Silence 9_ Fresh Landscapes (Inlay)

Cousin Silas_ Complex Silence 9_ Fresh Landscapes (TrayCard_Outside)

Cousin Silas_ Complex Silence 9_ Fresh Landscapes 05 standedge tunnels
Image #05

Cousin Silas_ Complex Silence 9_ Fresh Landscapes 08 northcoates point
Image #08

Cousin Silas_ Complex Silence 9_ Fresh Landscapes 02 fresh landscapes
Image #02

My intention with the imagery was to use existing photos and recontextualise them to suggest an image in keeping with the track title and the ambience of the track itself... with the objective being to enhance the listener's experience.

The full set is available here. I would welcome your feedback. The response I have received from both Cousin Silas and Treetrunk Records has been very encouraging.

I am grateful to them both for this opportunity and look forward to working with Cousin Silas in the future.


Thursday, October 14, 2010

What! You too? I thought I was the only one...

111010_ 2

"Friendship is born at that moment when one person says to another: "What! You too? I thought I was the only one."
C.S. Lewis (via RobGT)


“What should young people do with their lives today? Many things, obviously. But the most daring thing is to create stable communities in which the terrible disease of loneliness can be cured.”
Kurt Vonnegut, Jr (via Blaine Hogan)


Two quotes that have stood out to me today... that came from disparate sources and yet have a great deal in common.

Two quotes that have really challenged me... and I hope will continue to challenge me.

Two quotes that show me how I can bring God's Kingdom to Earth.

I've been in a spiritual funk of late. I don't fit in at my church community. I've stayed as others have left... and wondered why? I haven't wondered why they left but why I stayed... and why I continue to stay... when things are far from ideal.

I have been unsure of my calling for some time now. I don't fit into the neat uniform mould that my church would like me to inhabit. I'm not big on conforming to their ideals... preferring to conform to my own.

I see in these two quotes the essence of my calling... to be a friend and, in this friendship, build communities that battle the "terrible disease of loneliness".

When I consider the communities that I have been party to building... I seem to gravitate to the "church" ones. I think of S.N.A.C or ((deep)) but don't see, in my woods-for-the-trees myopia, the communities of friendship or interest that I participate in regularly. The conversations over coffee that change me... or the going to places with photogeek chums that I wouldn't dream of going to otherwise on my own.

If these aren't about bring God's Kingdom to Earth then what is?

I consider the Incarnation as being God telling us that we are not alone... that He's in this with us. I find inspiration in this.

There isn't a business model here. This idea won't sell any books or contribute to the Christian-bubble-culture's economy. I won't appear on the conference circuit and won't amass followers on the various social networks.

I've said this before but I believe we should be in this world but not of it. Being of the world means, to me, following the physical, mental and spiritual practices of oppression and depression. Its about destruction, decay and the ways that lead to death. Its about finding joy in the misfortune of others. Its the apathy of turning away. Its about being first and about having more. Its about lonliness and fear.

I love the way Jeff Goldblume describes Heisenberg's uncertainty principle... where he makes the point that whatever you study you also change by way of the fact you are studying it. To be fair, this is more akin to the observer expectancy effect but I guess uncertainty sits better with chaos... seems sexier somehow.

Anyway... imagine if we could, by being salt and light, affect those around us by the very fact that we are salt and light with them... that we are the Incarnation in their very midst. The idea being that people could change because we are with them.

Every. Single. Interaction.

Every time we come into contact with someone... we show them kindness, patience, self-control, humility, honesty, gentleness and... most importantly... love.

For change to happen people must see change is possible... people must believe change is possible... hope, afterall, is simply belief in action.

We are that hope. That sounds grandiose but it isn't. We should be examples of a better way... a way freed from death, fear and loneliness.

The thing is... if we are prepared to reach out... then we must also be prepared to change.

True, meaningful engagement changes all parties involved in that connection. When we come together, we all are changed. Its not a one-way street.

We shouldn't see friendship in the terms of yesterday where we think we can change the person or in the terms of today where we seek to be changed ourselves... but in the terms of tomorrow where we all can be changed. We seek to learn, grow, evolve and be transformed... together.

For when we say "What! You too? I thought I was the only one" ... we are both changed by the knowledge we are not alone... and it is on this awareness that we can build a shared future... together.


Saturday, October 09, 2010

The exhilaration of unfamiliar places


"Thresspassing" by Marc de Ridder

I have a new hobby... one closely linked with my photography: Urban Exploration. That's me in the pic above... entering the disused Kelvinbridge Railway Station. I went there with three of my photogeek colleagues to explore the tunnel.

Heading out through the station

"Heading out through the station" by Marc de Ridder

The place is derelict. Wet, muddy and manky underfoot... with rubble and rubbish strewn all over the place. But in the midst of this decay... there was beauty:

081010_ in the disused railway tunnel #10

The salt-streaked roof...

081010_ in the disused railway tunnel #4

... and the light reflecting off the water-soaked walls.

081010_ in the disused railway tunnel #7

Reflections in the puddles...

081010_ in the disused railway tunnel #5

...and the rust on what's been left behind.

Yes, it may be legally dubious... but the exhilaration of exploring an unfamiliar place... coupled with the fellowship of like-minded people made this trip a great deal of fun... and makes me want to do it again.

Good times!

My photos and Marc de Ridder's photos from the trip.


Wednesday, October 06, 2010

The comfort of familiar things...

061010_ on my desk (279/365)

Took this picture earlier today... I was working from home and had various bits and pieces on my desk in the study (its our spare/computer/craft/library room)... as I worked away.

It got me thinking about why these objects were there. The pens were there for the proofreading I needed to do... but why did I have my Moleskine and my Olympus [mju:] on my desk? The Moleskine isn't my work notebook and the camera has absolutely no connection with my work. I guess I just like them near.

I remember hearing a phrase during my holding... I think I read it in Monocle... about the comfort of familiar things. I think this was about the comfort of the familiar.

I like stuff. I don't pretend otherwise.

I like the way things look and feel to touch... how they work and perform - their form and their function. In this sense, I am a materialist.

I actually feel uncomfortable talking about stuff... its as if consumerism has tainted the honest appreciation of things. Thing is... I don't think this is the same as consumerism, however.

Consumerism is all about the next thing... its rampant neophilia... the desperate need to fill our lives with stuff and never feeling/being fulfilled.

Experiencing the comfort of familiar things is different... its not about the next thing but the right thing... right here, right now. Its the feeling of throwing on your favourite tee-shirt or listening to your favourite song on your music player or phone of choice. Its about appreciating what you have and how it enrichens our lives... making the most of what we have.

Do you remember the stories connected to the stuff you have? I look at the Moleskine I use as my journal and remember the shop I bought it in in Jesolo near Venice... or the Olympus [mju:] that I bought for a couple of pounds on eBay after seeing one featured on Tokyo Camera Style. I think of how I came about the MacBook Pro that I am typing this post on... or the adventures I have had with her (she travels well). I consider the places and spaces I've been with my Nikon d60 and remember the weekend that encouraged us to get it... with a cheeky wee smile on my face, may I add.

I do believe the world doesn't need more stuff to throw away... but I do think the world needs more stuff that folks can't throw away. Stuff of such high build quality... or meaning that we want to retain. Stuff that meets our specific needs.

I collect cameras... and have been very fortunate to be given some special pieces. I love my dad's Praktica TL3 manual 35mm SLR that was built in West Germany before the Wall came down. I also love the Voigtlander Vito CL that I inherited from a lovely couple in my church... who wanted to pass it on to someone who would cherish it after their son refused it because it wasn't digital.

Ask yourself this... will you keep your current digital camera for fifty years and seek to pass it on to the next generation? If not, why is that?

I think we need to think more about our possessions... we need to take responsibility for what we buy. We need to move beyond the instant gratification today / throw away tomorrow attitude of consumption and move towards the comfort of familiar things.

I can't get the minimalist lifestyle. I deeply respect folks who can exist with everything they own on their laptop and "in the cloud"... but I'm not that kind of person. I appreciate good design and thoughtful form/function... and enjoy having things around me... that do what I need them to do for me.

I do think there is an ideal that we can both get behind... that less is more. What backs this up is an appreciation of what we have... and looking beyond the hype to the actual need.

Don't get me wrong... I never thought I would need an iPad but I am glad I have one and understand why I need it - what it does for me that my other things don't or, at least, don't do as well. In essence, I appreciate it. I appreciate the gift, the thought behind it and I appreciate what it brings to my life.

I think that's the point of this rather rambling post... we need to appreciate more what we have. To do this, we need to think more about what we purchase. I don't believe the world needs more stuff... but I do think the world needs better stuff.

That's what I think anyway...


My Project365-8 :: 225 - 260

My Project365-8 :: 225 - 260

I continue on in the vain hope I will finish my current Project365 (which is now "Project365-8"). I haven't missed any more days to date.

Below are the direct links if you want to see one of the pics in more detail... enjoy.


1. 130810_ On the way home #2 (225/365),
2. 140810_ Olly (226/365),
3. 150810_ the afternoon sky (227/365),
4. 160810_ Miriam & Dayna (228/365),
5. 170810_ sleep tight Nathan Solo (229/365),
6. 180810_ Magic Mouse + Rhodia "mousemat" (230/365),
7. 190810_ Towards the arch (231/365),
8. 200810_ Olly (232/365),
9. 210810_ a happy accident in yellow (233/365),
10. 220810_ my new watch (234/365),
11. 230810_ me & my iPad (235/365),
12. 240810_ Zenit EM "Moshva 80" (236/365),
13. 250810_ sunset from my window (237/365),
14. 260810_ My MBP (238/365),
15. 270810_ in the Lighthouse #3 (239/365),
16. 280810_ Miriam (240/365), 17. 290810_ Jim playing the piano (241/365),
18. 300810_ Robert in the Elephant House (242/365),
19. 310810_ Olly's Blue Snowflake (243/365),
20. 020910_ my photogeek chums (245/365),
21. 010910_ redyellowbluegreen (244/365),
22. 030910_ Olly's Pavlova #4 (246/365),
23. 040910_ Pink #4 (247/365),
24. 050910_ what's in my bag? (248/365),
25. 060910_ The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo x 4 (249/365),
26. 070910_ apple (250/365),
27. 080910_ Evening Sky Panorama (251/365),
28. 090910_ I love music (252/365),
29. 100910_ another evening sky panorama (253/365),
30. 110910_ Irn Bru #2 (254/365),
31. 120910_ a study of light with a green glass bowl #2 (255/365),
32. 130910_ my daily "stack" (256/365),
33. 140910_ Joy (257/365),
34. 150910_ Good Morning,
35. 160910_ on my desk (259/365),
36. 170910_ Lyons Maid Ice Cream Sandwich ... FTW!

Saturday, October 02, 2010

October 2010's calendar

October 2010's calendar :: Mac 1280x800

Day late... but hopefully an image you'll dig. In the usual flavours:

Mac :: 1280x800
Windows :: 1280x800
Mac :: 1024x768 (for my Dad's iBook)

If anyone wants other sizes (iPad / PSP / larger screen etc)... please let me know.


I have been asked for a 1680x1050 Windows version... Windows :: 1680x1050

I have been asked for a 1680x1050 Mac version (which I've renamed "left" as one of the requestors doesn't have a Mac)... Mac/Left :: 1680x1050


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