Tuesday, September 30, 2008

the big draw | starts tomorrow

I know that I am a day early and I mentioned it last year, but thought the big draw worthy of another mention this year.

the ninth big draw runs from 1 to 31 October 2008, with a special focus on saturday 11 october.

locally (to me I mean) this might be worth a visit

Venue: ACD&C Architecture Centre Devon and Cornwall @ The University of Plymouth
Address: Crosspoint / Atrium, University of Plymouth, Roland Levinsky Building Plymouth, Devon PL1 2JYTel: 07791 138012
Event title: A Creative Urban Landscape
Description: The Architecture Centre Devon and Cornwall in collaboration with The University of Plymouth, will host this years Big Draw at the 2008 RIBA award winning Roland Levinsky Building in the heart of the city. Be inspired by the building that features so prominently in Plymouth and help us make a giant creative landscape. Materials will be provided.
Audience: All ages
Date/Time: 11 October, 10.30am - 4pm
Cost: No admission charge
Event: Free

Monday, September 29, 2008


every now and again I find myself getting stressed with stuff (especially, but not solely with work) and have to make a concerted effort to get down to the beach. so on saturday after a good day, even considering I had just watched my favourite professional rugby team loose. I remembered that I hadn't see the sea for a while even though I live less than a mile from the ocean and that I had been running around after myself for a few days being very unproductive. 

so I just took a tiny detour on the drive home to spend some time at the beach at sunset. It doesn't take much to make me realise just how lucky I am to live where I do.

Friday, September 26, 2008

tere >> estonia

I had no idea until first thing this morning when a colleague stuck a speech bubble on me with the word 'tere' on it (tere, a greeting hello or hi in estonian). that it was european day of languages today. so I went to the web site of the national centre for languages to find out more.

The European Day of Languages is:
A Europe-wide celebration of all the world’s languages A day to kick-start language learning A chance to raise awareness about the value of language skills

so as the language I had been given was estonian, I thought I would have a look at some estonian web sites, I was drawn to a particular site for no real reason other that I like the way it looked and worked. I have just spent a while looking at homeart.

Thursday, September 25, 2008

live lounge >> one day like this

I have to be honest I am not a regular listener to bbc radio 1. much as I love music I prefer to have more control over the music I choose to listen to. so its an ipod for me with range of music that I usually listen to shortly before I go to sleep each night. I normally find my radio at home and in the car tuned to bbc radio 4

but yesterday my wife emailed me (while I was at work) with a link to the radio 1 (jo wiley's) live lounge because a band that I have much time for, snow patrol were performing a version of another band I also have lots of time for elbow's song 'one day like this'.

Any way I was very pleased to recieve the link and had a look and listen and was very peased with what I saw and heard, if you haven't already visit this page and click on the one day like this video link

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

does too much information really help?

I had some time today to get together an explanation of a new qualification that will be offered this time next year. it is all very exciting. but I have realised that the way in which I have started to gather, process and present information (over the last few years) is incredibly long winded and counter productive.

instead of reading something, hopefully understanding it, quietly thinking about it for a while then writing the presentation testing it then making any changes or additions then either presenting it or passing it on to some-one else to to it in which ever format suits the idea best. lately more especially today I have found myself reading and scanning through many different .pdf files websites, looking at other opinions, even 'legally' using sections of official comment to reinforce the work I am trying to champion. so in short spending hours on the internet for no reason.

so today I am in the position of having 40 or 50 pages of information (text) some of it very good, some complete nonsense all to produce a 5-10 max minute presentation. is this the information overload that we have heard of or just a form of laziness. we are so geared to finding stuff from wikipedia (as I have for the overload description), using other people web sites and search engines in the belief that others know better.(they often don't). but I, as many others use the internet as our first port of call for everything even the things were are supposed to be specialists in, not a great idea.

luckily I had an enforced break today (I had to teach!) during that time I was able to consider. by watching the way some students process information only listening to the stuff they need, using the software programmes they think fit the purpose, getting rid of stuff that is superfluous. as well as students who were absolutely stuck with more information than they will every be able to process never mind get into an order. it made me think 'forget the many differing internet opinions/text simply present the information clearly'. shame this seems to be the way I find out the bleedin' obvious!

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

best laid plans

for ages now I have been meaning to re-brand my surf forecast site surf98 because it is something I run pretty much on my own. with a bit of help as far as eye-ball forecasts (wind/weather checks) and photos. but all the design work/web scripting is done my me. luckily the site continues to be pretty well visited but its visitors are really only looking for the surf/wave size and the weather conditions so I simply continue to update those details every day but that is about it. I really would/should like to find the time to move it on but I have so many other things to get done first.

I have never put aside enough time to 're-brand' properly. as with many things that are not money driven, or commissioned by some one else it has been left, as have the ideas to change it. they come and go before even seeing the light of web (never mind day). it is a shame but a reality of the way/system I have chosen to be part of.

I now realise that the next re-design will be a while away but as least I managed to start on the last one. even this one shown above is just good enough, so it's on to the next re-design (in my mind any way).

Monday, September 22, 2008

BSL signing

I have just come back from my first proper sign language class. perhaps it is no surprise to some but the level of concentration required as I found tonight is huge. I thought I was pretty good as far as visual memory but it was stretched today, hopefully I will be able to learn and progress in the weeks to come. it is very odd to learn in a relatively speech free way.

Friday, September 19, 2008

all about basil

I am not really sure how I arrived at these pictures. very pleased that I did, I am not really a big fan of giving cars a name, though I did once have a fiat uno nicknamed buster by a certain designer but that's a different story. back to this land rover it is called basil fair enough check keith.miata for a detailed story. I have a land rover myself, not a defender (a freelander) and it hasn't yet got a name. still I love these pictures, great colour.

Thursday, September 18, 2008

this is what it looked like

strangely self centred perhaps but I thought I would try to show the visual disturbance I experienced yesterday. I had spent far too many hours in front of this screen the night before (well every day really). but yesterday morning when I tried to concentrate through the the headache I woke up with, I could see but my vision was hazed by pink and purple lines I could see through them. the lines were not as clear as this graphic but close. it only lasted for a short time (apparently called an aura) but meant the day was written off as far as anything productive as a migraine took over. 

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

not the best day

didn't get to work today, simply because I went to bed last night with a headache and woke up this morning with a touch of man-flu and a thunderous headache. I am sure I will be OK by tomorrow but I feel good for nothing today. hence no sensible post. man flu its official

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

admitting defeat ..

strange isn't it when you are working for some-one who know what they don't want but hasn't a clue what they want. 
I have been working on a project on and off for a couple of years now and the end product is still not seen the light of day or rather the light of the internet. after yet another meeting today I have decided that the only way forward is to stop giving options or alternatives. I am just going with design 5 or 6 a recent re-working of the of the brief and leaving it at that. instead of giving a choice I am going with it. it is the version I think best fits the brief, and if that is not enough then perhaps its time to walk away. 
sometimes its better to admit design defeat and move on, but I will give it one more try!

Monday, September 15, 2008

a blatant plug >>

I make no apologies,  just thought I would give a plug for cornwall's coolest (not the best name perhaps but still) a social networking site worth a look if you are in the SW. I have to say I don't know much about its creation but like the idea. 
facebook, my space, & the like are fine especially to share pictures with friends and family else where (globally) but I can see a real future in smaller regional social networks, where the chance of actually knowing the people who are contacts, for social and work reasons

Friday, September 12, 2008

one long think >>

it has been a good day so far, mostly meetings. a day to get me thinking which the sort of day I like. a lot of listening. strange if you know me I normally am one who has to concentrate to keep my mouth shut, but I did today.

I actually feel very positive about the way my work is taking me, I am not taking the easy option thats for sure but still here we go.

Thursday, September 11, 2008

wayne coyne >> flaming lips

I still consider the time I went to see the flaming lips live in 2003 as in the top three gigs of my life. it was incredibly intense. wayne coyne the bands front man has an amazing power over both music and the visual nature of the band, much as I really enjoyed the film/images used behind the band on that night it has taken until today for me to even consider any of mr coyne's drawing as anything more than cd covers. but here are a couple for you to look at.

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

god went surfing >> not sure why I looked

I am not sure how I ended up at god went surfing.com you know how it is, one click leads to another. I think the link in came though juxtapoz arts & culture online magazine.

I do not pretend to understand just how complex the situation in the middle east is but this site (blog) and the film it describes became very interesting to me. I am taken by the idea of life in israel and gaza, which is by all accounts (as I say I have never been so cannot be completely objective) a war torn area of secular hate. however within that area people still surf.

Tuesday, September 09, 2008

elbow >> winning the mercury music prize

just a short post to say that I am very pleased to see that elbow won the mercury music prize today tuesday 09 sept 08 for their album 'The Seldom Seen Kid' . very well deserved.

Monday, September 08, 2008

ecuador >> hammocks & balsa surf boards

while wonder where to hang my ecuadorian hammock. brought back from south america my carol last month. I happened to be looking at things hammock online and fond a really good site selling balsa surfboards as well as hammocks (sounds like my kind of dream). rather than take it from me have a look at balsasurfers, some good stuff.

Friday, September 05, 2008

lifeguard hoodies & stuff | sign the petiton against them

more of a serious moan than a normal blog post, but I have to do something this topic actually makes me angry. a while ago I joined the facebook group BAN NEWQUAY LIFEGUARD HOODIES AND ALL SIMILAR MERCHANDISE & today I became the 93 person to sign a petition to restormal borough council (cornwall) in support of this ban.

apart from the very obvious danger it creates (they really are pretty tacky pieces of clothing). if you surf or swim in the ocean even use the beach and have any common sense you will want to sign the petition here to get this banned. after all it is illegal in the UK to impersonate a policeman, a paramedic, a fireman, why should lifeguards be different. any way enough moaning, have a think and then sign it electronically here

Thursday, September 04, 2008

go2 >> the september issue

I know it's not cool to promote your own work but I am sort of pleased with the article (for a change) I wrote for the september issue of go2 magazine so after thinking about it for a while decided to promote it again here. what is so good about go2 as far as I am concerned is that editor viv twornicki and deputy editor rachel weightman are totally behind the magazine and believe in their work fully, but still have the confidence to let me have control over what I write, very rarely changing anything. not the same experience I have had with other publications.
if you can't pick up a copy in the SW of the UK because you aren't in the SW, visit the go2 web site and download an issue or two.

Wednesday, September 03, 2008

channel 5 >> surfers >> read on

every now and again I get emails from people in broadcast media, probably because I write a bit for print/web based media on surfing stuff. a while ago I got asked to do the channel 4 programme 'wife swap', luckily my wife carol refused to have anything to do with it!

yesterday and today I got lucy contacted by lucy lane at channel 5 (or working for a production company princess productions working for channel 5). I said that I would help her with her search.

this is what lucy emailed me this morning make of it what you will.

"I am working for a TV show called Generation Sex and we are looking to speak to male surfers about how much female attention they receive. Do you have female surf groupies who watch you surf or like to hangout with you? Do you find more girls are attracted to you because you surf?

We also want to speak to females who find male surfers attractive. Ladies is your ideal guy a surfer?"

if you are interested in getting involved get in touch with lucy mention that david george sent you her email: lucy.lane@princesstv.com or call her on 0207 9851725

I have to add as a surfer this has never really happened to me!

Tuesday, September 02, 2008

finisterre care (st. agnes, cornwall)

for ages now I have been meaning to post about the st agnes (cornwall) based company finisterre. there must be something about st agnes that makes people think in an environmentally friendly way, as some years ago now SAS (surfers against sewage) was founded there in the late 80's early 90's.

anyaway to finisterre I am pleased to be able to post a blog about a company that don't seem to bow down to the high street's surfing stereo type.  providing real quality clothing products in a eco-friendly way. working with natural fibres that are pretty much completely recycle-able materials. winning an observer ethical award earier this year, amongst other awards.

have a look at their site even just as good bit of understatment, as compared to the surf wear big boys.

Monday, September 01, 2008

glass / frames / stuff >>

today I noticed as while shopping for a new pair of shoes and a mini DVI to VGA adaptor for my macbook. just how much time I spend looking at stuff through glass. perhaps a silly statement as we all do it, but windows frame stuff without you even noticing. from a few pictures I have taken over the last week (on my phone) I found my little notion underlined.
from the shopping centre (while the glass roof was being) and the airport (while planes were landing) some accidentally framed pictures. I got some shoes and the DVI-VGA cable by the way