Wednesday, February 28, 2007

still not feeling good >> too much time to think >> NCDS >>

it's only a title so don't worry I haven't reverted to the self indulgence of another blog I ran few years ago, if anything I have too much to write today.

haven't been to proper work just not well enough but have spent some time on the long over due surf98 re-design see picture "big shock work not being done on a Mac!?!"(work on both PC and Mac), the finished website is way off yet I'm still at the illustrator stage.

I/we at home are learning sign language to help ben our eight year old son who is deaf (well hearing impaired if you want to use the trendy term). each Wednesday for the last five a very patient/caring man (mark) has been coming to our house and spending sometimes a couple of hours teaching/helping us to communicate using signing, during this time I have been humbled by the phenomenal visual language used by people who are dismissed by so many. at eight ben's visual recall is amazing but it is only now that we can get close to tapping in to it. ben's drawing and computer use is already surprisingly advanced but he will always be held back in the hearing world as he wears hearing aids and sometimes misses things that are spoken.
anyway just a thought have a look at NDCS and BSL. remember next time you have the chance to tap into a "hearing impaired" persons visual memory give it a go you may well be amazed.

oh yes I took this picture in the kitchen, the daffodil was broken in the strong wind today. I just had to bring it in and include it, as it's so yellow.

Tuesday, February 27, 2007

it has been a >> headache

I wasn't going to post anything today as I have a touch of man-flu (where did that saying originate? please leave a comment if you know), headache, feeling pathetic and tired and annoyingly ill you (know the feeling). even had to miss an important meeting tonight.
so here is a picture of something nice instead. 17" MacBook Pro

oh yes, this is an interesting blog to have a look at (the author got in touch with me) webtechlog

Monday, February 26, 2007

not much time >> surprised to be 46

well I didn't think I would manage to get a blog written tonight been at work and had a whole heap of stuff to sort before indulging myself. I will not be long and very few words of wisdom (nothing new). I did spend a long time today discussing the way that the adobe applications photoshop CS and illustrator CS series software that we have used for ages. are not as intuitive for the students we currently are teaching as the macromedia suite with fireworks as the main web graphic software, but much more of that another time.
I also spent a long time reminiscing today with my line manager/boss bob, about the first few Apple Macintosh's, the Archimedes, and the Amiga computers that I worked with in the '80s. we were both thinking about how we would like the the 17" MacBook pro as it seems a good combination of power and usability and it looks nice! just a bit pricey. that's from two people who have to spend all or most of our time working on PC's.
however it could be all the reminiscing today was because I was thinking about the passing of time as it was my birthday (not that I have an issue at all with age) but I was actually very surprised to realise that I was 46! thanks for all the cards and presents, especially carol.

Sunday, February 25, 2007

cold >> sunday >> board games

I didn't fancy the usual Sunday trip to rugby today the wind had gone to the NW making it cold where the rugby training ground is. I took ben and he loved even had a special trip to the supermarket afterwards.
design theme now, I have enormous respect for anyone who has the patience to play a 'new style' board game never mind design one. I really dislike playing them which is not much fun for my family, and some friends as I don't 'join in' but still. I watched ben and carol struggle with the batman game shown sometimes they even seemed to be having fun. we where only inside because it was so cold!
I apologise (well not that much) if I am offending any (bored) board gamers! I checked a few sites to do with their particular fancy and was even more scared have a look at these?! board game designers forum and prepare yourself to check this one boardgamedesign. I am sure that there are some fantastic designers working in this field and their work is not fairly represented here. if it had not been for the weather I would not have mentioned them at all.

Saturday, February 24, 2007

lazy day >> papers and non-achievement

hardly done anything today, a long (well sort of long) look / read of the newspaper this morning and watched the rugby this afternoon.
so many ideas that I have been thinking of don't as far as design stuff and software stuff have been moved aside by other stuff but they are still in there.
had a nice chat with gabriel today "go with what you will be interested in for two years and remember there will be many boring bits!"

I will have to make some time to get the work stuff done tomorrow.

I have played around with the Firefox browser a bit downloaded/updated some of the new add ons. I like it, really useful stuff (it's cross platform so works as well on Linux, Mac and Windows) oh dear! I am even beginning to a bit too geeky even for me. must remember that it is the design and usability that is important. I will just have to think 'cow gum', to make me get things back it to perspective!

Friday, February 23, 2007

couple of things >> yesterday & tomorrow

carol and ben went in to the pictures today and out of interest (mine) I asked if they well carol could get a picture of the interior of the McDonalds with the green outside from yesterday. as you can see upstairs where this was taken, makes no reference to McDonalds at all. not that it was a question but the place that I went to yesterday with the nice coffee was M&S.

looking through the surf sites as I do I found that London will soon be getting its own wave. an huge indoor surf park boasting machine-generated waves is being planned. called the Surfdome, the first of its kind in Europe, will feature a 75m long pool recreating perfect surfing waves. apparently able to create breaking waves up to 8ft high. I have been to a few places in europe with an artificial wave machines and they have been a bit rubbish. lets hope that this one is good as it will keep the London hordes away from cornwall! (joke) as a full time resident of cornwall it can get a bit crowded in the water with summer surfers. they should come down this weekend with the waves we have currently 8ft and some, water temperature is 10C and air temperature about the same. I am not really a cornish independence protester but I was reminded of the cost of living down here when the water bill came this morning, the highest water bills in the UK by far!

late again >> dress it up >> coffee >> colour

I have been giving myself a deadline to get this blog finished by 12 o'clock midnight each day as I have my surf forecast site to do and other work stuff as well. I am writing this is for Thursday so I missed it once again, hey just checked the clock and I made it.
nice day if a bit long, no real work done whatsoever another day in the city (with ben and carol). as you can see I have not been using a real camera just the mobile. do you believe the quality is in the photographer or the photographer and the camera? I think I need all the help I can get so I will try to use a better camera when ever possible. I have been looking up and walking slowly as usual and noticing that is matters so much how things are dressed up. maybe it's country wide I am not a McDonald's fan but the branding / I-D for one of the branches has changed / changing it's not my area if specialty so I might be way out of date. I think it is still selling the same stuff, I didn't go in but it looks nice especially the chairs. Starbucks has a better image and is a comfortable environment very soft sofas even space to work sometimes, sells fair trade coffee and usually my coffee stop of choice. however today I took a risk and tried a different (coffee) cafe. not somewhere I would like to think to be aimed at people like me but I found out the coffee was really very good indeed, can you guess the cafe just from the colours outside (the last picture) hardly difficult but still. after so many years of looking (up) at colours shapes and stuff, working in the industry, even currently teaching business and enterprise trying to get students interested in the importance of colour in selling an image, product or service is not easy. unless you are one of us many people don't seem to realise or care what is happening to them every day.

Wednesday, February 21, 2007

nice day but

I had such good things planned for today, we went to the beach had sometime playing in the sand even contemplated going for a surf (surf was a bit small). I had even decided on a kind of design theme to show you. I documented the day with a new camera I have been testing for work since Friday, but you have guessed it the camera has gone wrong so all the pictures are waiting to be retrieved and all I can show you is one taken on my phone!

memories of art school came back as fresh as ever after reading the Cow Gum story on davidthedesigners blog. some 27 years have passed since leaving as a fresh faced rather unrealistic designer but something like that on david's blog happily brought it back.

I hardly ever promote music but I was contacted by the reels and have to say I am happy to put up a link to them as I think they are worth it, 'Emergency' is my current favourite.

late >> long day > fruitful?

funny the day has just got away from me I had so many things planned for the time. I did them but never imagined that at 12.45am I would be doing this and I still have my surf site to update yet. I spent over three hours working on a work colleague's wireless network at his home. trying to get the same application running on two computers. I got it sorted in the end, but as carol (my wife) says 'why don't I do the bit at the end that sorts it rather than waste all the time fiddling around first' very clever, that is after she has asked me if I have turned it off and on again! so we went shopping and I was so struck by the colour of everything. having some time off this week has made me slow down a bit. I'm sure the staff at the supermarket thought I was a little strange as I was staring as the fruit enjoying the colours. did have time to check a few sites/blogs for work next week here a just three; rwillustrator, blogs.adobe and creative boy.
so it's fruit that I like to look at tonight.

Monday, February 19, 2007

hours in front of computer screens ends in pictures of fins

strange isn't it I have spent so many hours in front of different screens today. testing software, running and evaluating new applications. looking at endless websites, blogs and virtual spaces and in the end I have to find something real to touch and look at and hold it happens to be a surfboard I mentioned a few posts ago when I was talking about the twin fin, this is a quad fish and it's is mine I love the look of it and setting the fins in a formation such as this really does make the board very fast as there is no central drag. it was made in byron bay, australia by ex-world champion david parkes a master when it comes to making surfboards that work.
so rather than write about stuff I have spent the last 12 or so hours looking at I will list some of the good stuff I have seen today + open office 2.1 + russell davies + + chocolate and vodka + my flickr + + + 1-2know +
I won't go in to the 'educational' stuff that I have been trawling through for work as I want to stay awake a little bit longer. don't worry I will save that for another day.

Sunday, February 18, 2007

I didn't go to the beach

I didn't go to the beach but ben and the others did, when he came back he had brought me this stone. I thought he had found a TV remote as we find all sorts of stuff washed up. so we made it in to one anyway. he insisted that it had a button for subtitles, coincidence then Robert Adler the co-inventor of the TV remote died at age 93 today. I think it looks like a rune stone or something any way that's about it really. funny it seem I do less the more time I have!

Saturday, February 17, 2007

saturday >> shapes & colours

must have be to eden 25 times perhaps more each time I see new things I don't mean their events but shapes and colours that are always there. it was a cold day and not crowded it made interesting as I could see the buildings and the shapes of the structures rather than the people. I do like eden, it usually looks better in very bright light but today it was dull and things glowed rather than being bleached out by the sun. I love the colour of the tables and chairs in the right hand picture, it was starting to get dark when I took this one. I do realise that it carries is own message about sustainability, and eco-friendly living that is not lost on me, however colour, shape and form have an important place in living. get this for a change the coffee was very really nice today.

Friday, February 16, 2007

this weeks >> end >> my twitter >> open office

I have been doing a lot of this this week I don't mean creating documents (i do that every week) but making sure every thing is in place, to say the stress has been on would be an understatement. I am sure that others involved will say that I didn't have to do much but it is all about perception. I now have a week to reflect and prepare for the next challenge, it is really odd that the enjoyment of a stressful situation is after it has happened.
I have been testing open-office for the environment I work / teach in and have to say it is pretty good so far, will be testing it more this week but would love to hear from anyone who uses it in a network situation. finally set up a my twitter account, not sure why, it is not like I don't have enough to do! will be out visiting things tomorrow.

Thursday, February 15, 2007

kneeboard surfing >>

this such a good picture of richard smith the current world junior-pro champion I had to post it. you can see the speed he has generated from the trail his board has made through the wave.
should be great waves on the north coast of cornwall (where richard comes from) on friday 16/feb/07. for forecasts check surf98 and a1surf.
pic credit DarcyM

Wednesday, February 14, 2007

thing of beauty? >> twin fin fish?

you might not agree but I think the pictures on this post show a thing of beauty, a 'new' old school (retro-shape but I don't like the term) twin fin fish surf board the link takes you through to the forum pages of surfer magazine where it is discussed and more pictures shown.

there is only one board shape (& set-up) that I think is more pleasing to the eye and that is a quad (four finned) kneeboard surfboard. I am lucky enough to have one and it is a case form really following function. the board looks great and surfs like a thing of beauty. pictures will follow soon.

Tuesday, February 13, 2007

not designing / thinking / looking enough

just a short one today I have been a bit busy with other stuff but still I seem to be getting drawn in to looking at surf sites and surfers and photographers blogs only to then trace back who is designing the stuff I am drawn to and like, I always think if I like a lot then I am not designing / looking / thinking enough. do you know that is probably true. all the same I do have to mention these people clark-studios as I just like what they do and it is very different to the minimalist stuff I am usually so drawn to.

Monday, February 12, 2007

gilbert lee >> pure simple designs

I am going to have to stop looking as I am distracted by so much. I should be working on some important stuff for me tonight but I had to mention gilbert lee the designer behind PlainSimple, a company focused on providing simple and easy-to-use software for team collaboration. I am impressed by the simplicity of his journal/blog some really pure images and photographs.

beach bum introduces me to ed fladung

Life's A Beach...: Indoboard, Balance 360 and all that jazz

well for those who want to stay surf fit, I suppose it is a good thing an indo board I mean. I am happy to give advertising as it was through beach bum's blog I came across quality a blog set up by Ed Fladung a graphic designer currently living just north of Puerto Vallarta, Mexico. I have to say I love the art work, and his blog has some good stuff in its archive (especially in the architecture section). I will be sure to put up more of Ed stuff in weeks to come.

Sunday, February 11, 2007

big waves >> maxed out ?

the excitement of the previous day was tempered by the rain, the very strong wind, feeling tired and cold, not to mention anxiety caused by the forthcoming week. so we didn't travel very far to check the waves relying instead on photographic feeds from surf98 team members. just have a look at the picture of South Fistral, Cornwall provided by moby. the beaches near me were very similar to that. that is the thing that makes surfing so difficult to follow. you don't just turn up and surf. the conditions have to be right it will normally take all day. have another look at the picture and imagine trying to paddle through all that white water.

little face

these two pictures had to be shared, they are not connected except in time. I was checking my email some pictures from moby were coming through. one of which was moby walking out into the surf last week, when a little face appeared on the other side of the room.

Saturday, February 10, 2007

surf obsessed, me?

really windy~ a long wave period (the gap between waves) ~ the promised huge waves didn't arrive on our coast today. by the sound from the bay tonight (Saturday) it has got bigger so we will be out hunting for the big ones tomorrow (Sunday) just to watch. an obsession with surfing and following the weather is something that creeps up on you. I didn't realise I was quite so driven to get to the ocean if things were going on. So many weekends, holidays, places to live, even friendships, have been made, changed even lost because of surfing and waves or worst still the lack of waves. it's just a shame that the back/shoulder problems I have at the moment are stopping me from getting in the water as often as I should. having said that I would probably give it a go if conditions were right. maybe not tomorrow as it looks likely to be huge. the surf forecast and the computer driven wave height charts are predicting some big stuff. north coast getting it full on but the south coast may well get a better a shape and still be big. I will be sure to tell you tomorrow.

ob·ses·sion (n)
1. Compulsive preoccupation with a fixed idea or an unwanted feeling or emotion, often accompanied by symptoms of anxiety.
2. A compulsive, often unreasonable idea or emotion.

Friday, February 09, 2007

kitchen & bathroom >> tiles

I was sent this link, it's well worth a look.

nothing to do with the link but I have to show a picture taken in my hallway, the story is that a year ago almost to the week we decided to get the kitchen and the bathroom done. well the kitchen is sort of finished the man who came to do it went months ago but it still isn't completely finished. I should have done it all myself but you know work and it is better to get a professional in? anyway I had a few issues with the way it had been done I am a bit/very fussy in that things have to work and look right, and they don't well not as I had planned but it is very nice and I spend lots of time there, its where my coffee machine is!
back to the picture it is the tiles for the bathroom, you see when we bought all the stuff for the kitchen at the same time as we bought most of the stuff for the bathroom. well we asked another man to do the bathroom if we did the design stuff and got all the materials. he came round gave us a quote which we liked and said we would ring up to arrange a time to start but he hasn't and the tiles are still in the hall the old toilet doesn't flush properly the shower doesn't work and the new bathroom suite is all wrapped and boxed in the loft. for about 10 months it was in the hallway too! oh yes the new shower is in our bedroom still in its box. I am sure he will ring this week?

Thursday, February 08, 2007

no snow in this city

we didn't have any of the snow today that the rest of the country seems to have had. these 3 pictures show parts of my day. it was a day away from work because of two important hospital appointments but instead of talking/moaning about them like I would have done. I thought I would show in pictures 3 things/images that I noticed. that have nothing to do with the reason for the trip! the car is nice and clean now.

Wednesday, February 07, 2007

not me

just to make it clear the picture on the right is not me I was playing with some old line drawings I found it, messed with it a bit and liked the biege-ness of it. he looks like a slightly sleazy david hockney, a secret lemonade drinker or a design technology teacher from the late 70's. made me consider so many things can be cool if you use a different eye to look at them. I still don't get why the BBC programme 'Life on Mars' is apparently so popular. the colours, web and printed imagery are very nice, it is the series I don't get (well I get it I don't like it).

Tuesday, February 06, 2007

surfing >> blogs

looking round a few different blogs I came across matt thornton's blog, I remembered him from somewhere then realised he is a part-time surf photographer as well as a number of other things then it clicked (excuse the pun) matt has a link up from my web site surf98 to his photo page (temporally offline) so check his flickr gallery well worth checking some really worthy pictures.
he has a lot more to say about the surfing type if there is one, just thought I would add this as he has a link to surf98. so thanks matt hope you keep adding to your depiction of the surfing fraternity even include the brand of surfing some of us prefer kneeboarding.
while on the subject of surf blogs and I don't really want to bore you all with a long list I must just mention bloggsd. A surf school an intersting topical blog and so much more some great photos and some interesting personal views from the gower, wales.
photo darcyM, surfer chris 'bro' diplock

nice here isn't it >> 3 month test

I have just had a really strange conversation with a colleague about why they they have come back to the south west from seemly a better position further east. many excuses were made about, well is because of the new baby and family support much as they are valid. I think it is just because it is nice here isn't it. the Cornish have a saying that if you stay in Cornwall for 3 months without crossing the Tamar that you will never leave. they don't mean you'll never cross the river again but that you will always live or want to live here. I kind of agree, and I am not saying it's because of anything in particular it's just that it is a great place to live.

Monday, February 05, 2007

mind hacks

recently I have returned to reading from paper not just newspapers but books for a change. so much of the reading for the real work I do now teaching (rather than surfing) is web based and loads of .pdf files given to me on geek sticks that I tend to scan rather than read. even the ICT school course work is handed in to a shared area for me to mark, we very rarely print anything at school anymore.
back to the reading I have dug out the O Reilly 'mind hacks' proper book (ISBN 0-596-00779-5). it's great I feel that I am learning stuff rather than absorbing it and enjoying words on paper again.

friends >> davidthedesigner

I have been looking at loads of blogs and was pleased to find longtime friend david hyde has been publishing stuff for a while. david, a very successful designer and a really good man is posting the sort of things that would interest me any way, so I count myself lucky that I can call him a friend. the link and words from his site are just a bonus. check out his article hanging out with the surf dudes while you are there have a good look round so much good stuff to read and see. thanks david, it would be nice to meet up sometime soon.

Sunday, February 04, 2007

coastal journey

after rugby beautful trip from Penzance up to Perranporth checking all the beaches for surf, good solid clean waves (not big) enough to get the crowds out. Cornwall can be so scenic, plenty of daffodils, ocean & blue sky.
my car is so dirty. picture (dg 2007)

sunny sunday

doesn't it make a difference when the sun shines. early start and off to Penryn 3 games of rugby to see. ben played in the first 2. they won both. it got a bit hectic, but they will have to get used to powerful teams.
picture (dg 2007)

Saturday, February 03, 2007

kneelo >> karl

as a kneeboarder I really like this picture, it is not me and was not even taken by me. it is karl ward in the world championships, santa cruz, california jan 07. taken by skye, courtesy dunc. BKC

another try

this is my third or fourth time, I am inspired to try again by the standard of blogs I have seen in the last few weeks.
creating a blog a couple of years ago lead me to a quiet little life reading my own silly little thoughts it became so depressing!
I am sure this new blog will do the same but still.
saturday and february sunshine isn't that nice.
teaching can be so rewarding and also so time consuming, I don't have the energy to be get back to the beach today (its very close) and to go surfing.
the excuse is a good one helped by the fact that I have a nasty old problem with my back and right shoulder, more hospital trips over the last year than sessions surfing, you'll hear more about that I am sure.