Sunday, 25 January 2009
For some reason I woke up at 5 this morning, instead of finishing a book (I'll do it one day) I flicked on Radio 5 live and listened to the news. It's amazing the energy the presenters have so early in the morning. Anyway I found out quite a lot about the great Scot, Robert Burns whose 250th anniversary is today. I've vaguely heard of him before but I had no idea how popular his poetry is and the wonderful celebrations Scotland enjoys this weekend. Of course I'm jealous that we don't have anything like it in Wales, there are many poets but as usual we never make a big song and dance about anything (well, apart from rugby).
It was wonderful to hear an expert on Burn's work share his passion. Apparently Lincoln had a high regard for the poet, and similarities can be made with his speeches and Burn's humanity. The highlight was the reciting of the poetry, hearing the Scots dialect (I always thought it was called gaelic but this makes more sense) was so soothing. Luckily the BBC has all his written works including recordings. Check out these two poems:
Thursday, 15 January 2009
After trying to get my head around the financial crisis earlier, I just got a better perspective on it all thanks to the wonderful Tony Campolo. If you haven't been lucky enough to hear about him (Christian or not) then I hope you can get something from this podcast. Even if you don't believe in Jesus, I hope you can recognise the wisdom.
A little bit of wisdom suddenly came back to me, and I think it's worth posting.
"Hello Dolly!" was on telly the other day and I happened to catch the end of it (I think it's the musical that Wall:E watches so I thought I'd see what it was about). This quote came up that I thought was a real pearl for today:
"Money, pardon the expression, is like manure. It's not worth a thing unless it's spread around, encouraging young things to grow."
I'm no financial expert but it makes a lot of sense. All I seem to know is Monopoly, but it's still a good lesson. Having cash in hand doesn't mean that much (hopefully my brother doesn't learn this lesson so I can have another whole street full of houses).
The UK is an whole heap o' mess with this 'credit crunch'. It's not hard to see where the problems came from, basically all we have here are shops (with multiple credit cards given to everyone) and we don't really make anything. It looks like only now everyone has finally realised that the whole economy is unbalanced.
I can't see how anyone can see everything getting back to normal sometime soon ('normal' wasn't good anyway), especially when we have politicians saying:
"Our debt isn't as bad as America's"
Anyone who has seen I.O.U.S.A. will be very very worried.
Hopefully more people will give the Liberal Democrats a chance, hearing Nick Clegg on Simon Mayo's show (best podcast by the way) was a breath of fresh air, simply because he was honest.
I'm staying positive though, common sense will come back and after looking through the last edition of 'Monocle' there are many intelligent people out there with good ideas, if only they could get the attention they deserve. I'd also love it if we all learned from Cuba through their answer to the problem: urban farming (back to the good old allotments).
I kept my word and ran this morning :)
(not early morning but rain doesn't really inspire me).
2.5miles (4km) doesn't sound like much but I have to start somewhere.
At the end of the workout the great Lance Armstrong congratulated me!
Little design details make a big difference. MiniMe even has some cracking dance moves, how did they know about my skills? :P
Having Dewi run circles round me as I'm struggling does put it all into perspective though, but I'll tire him out one day!
Wednesday, 14 January 2009
Over the holidays I really have let myself go - not checked my weight but for the first time I've got the measuring tape out and... well, I could give pregnant women a run for their money!
I've made stupidly drastic promises to myself a couple times to stop eating, but I just love food too much, even worse I've convinced myself that I can cook, so no wonder I'm in serious trouble.
So how am I going to get out of this?
Exercise is the only way. Luckily my appetite is not in the Michael Phelps territory so I can have a way more modest regime. However with me it never gets to be simple, even though I know simple=best. I've decided to get motivation through the nike+ system for my ipod. It's pretty cool, just add a sensor to the trainer and plug in the receiver and it tracks your distance covered - no need for clicky wheels on sticks from primary school, magic!
(There was no way I was going to buy special nike shoes just for this, I'm a Reebok man :P So I found a nifty little trick to get past this, by slipping the sensor into the tongue of one trainer and sewing it close with some nice orange thread, thanks instrucables!)
Anyway I like the system, but the best thing of all has to be the mini character I got to make through the web application. He's all animated and looks almost as cool as me (my eyes aren't THAT messed up). At the moment he's not to please since I've not kept up the regular routine since last week, but after todays measuring tape revelation I'll make him happy again in the morning. Facebookers can see if I do any better, hopefully friends can guilt me into action if I don't make miniMe happy.
Running on disused railway tracks and up hills isn't an easy start, a nice even flat surface would be nice, but these are the valleys so I'll have to follow Calzaghe's lead, while trying not to lose Dewi in the process.
Hopefully I'll have news of ideas finally sketched for the next post... healthy mind, healthy body (I need to get both in shape!)
Monday, 5 January 2009
Very late but... Blwyddyn Newydd Dda!
(Happy new year)
The wedding was a great success and hopefully when all the photos are in I can show you some of the cool ideas my sis tried out to make the whole event personal and even more special.
Sadly (well only for me) the mini clip experiment was a no-go since they weren't needed in the end. Annoyingly the venue just taped the menus to their own table markers. Hopefully the idea will be of some use in the future.
I've not been up to much lately (apart from piggin' out on mince pies and other goodies) but I've tried to make a productive start to the new year. Starting with getting my room in order (no small task!). I've been sorting through 'work' going back years, and it's sometimes disheartening to see that some of my drawings as a teenager are better than today, but also fun to find old sketches for ideas that I never carried through. Anyways, until I dust away all the cobwebs and finally get to making new sketches I'll leave you with this 'comic'. It's a shame I didn't date it but I think I was 11 at the time, wow.. 15 years ago ('Larry the Punk' even then I was out of date!)
New years resolution: get work done and make this interesing! :)