Sunday, 28 June 2009

Magic bin!

Mum just threw two pieces of paper into the bin and they landed... Above it!

So basically we have a magic bin.

Or as a possible alternative explanation... we NEVER go into the lounge now we have a sofa in the kitchen and so a spider has taken the opportunity to move in.

Saturday, 27 June 2009

T-shirts round 2

Thanks to Paul I now have actual computery designs.

Do you prefer lower case...
Or upper case...
Unfortunately the printers can't go right to the sides because their machines are A3 sized. But I quite like the new version. What d'you think?

Wednesday, 24 June 2009

T-shirt designs!

Today was too nice to be inside, so I went out in the garden and designed some t-shirts that I could sell at gigs and stuff. I've been meaning to get some done for ages and just haven't got round to it. Also I'm no good at getting designs onto a computer so I'm gonna need someone's help!

First I'll show you some sketches. I tried to keep them all to two colours to keep the cost down, and because I think it's good to keep them simple.

I thought I might be able to carry on the lines from the guitar and the S's on to the back on this one.

It's not that clear because of my poor drawing ability! It's supposed to be two arrows that would hopefully continue over onto the back, or if that would be too expensive I'd make the design a bit small to fit it all on the front. This one might require a third colour as well, in between the two arrows (above the second s and on the other side on the arm)

4 (star), 5 (stripes) & 6 (other!):

Let me know what you think, which one's you like/dislike, your favourites, whether you'd buy them and most importantly, anyone who can turn these pencil scribbles into something on a computer screen that I could send to a t-shirt printers, let me know!


Road Trip part3: Heading Home

So it just occurred to me that I never finished off what the papers aren't calling 'The Blog Trilogy of the Year!'

I told you about the trip up to Scotland and stopping off at the castle... And about party times on the karaoke bus in Glasgow, so all that's left is the second road trip, which is basically the same as the first but backwards.

This time we decided not to look for another castle because it would never be as good as the one on the way. I noticed that we went fairly near the coast a couple of times, and that there was a beach at Morecambe. So we went to Morecambe.

At first it only appeared to be a pebble beach, which did not impress us. Though we did go down and dip our feet in the Irish Sea... And of course pretend to be crabs for a photo:

Turned out there was a sand beach about 50 yards away. So Morecambe was alright. didn't spend much time there, but it was a nice break.

I have one final thing to show you, a game Dale invented in the car. It's called 'The Wobbly Phone Camera Game' and it basically involves taking photos like this,

By moving your phone all over the place while you take a picture so it... Morphs.

We tried to get some of Sophie, but they all came out normal...

And that was our trip to Scotland... That happened several weeks ago now. I suck at blogging. The trouble is when stuff is happening you're too busy to blog, then you forget, then suddenly you're writing about stuff that happened three weeks ago. Ah well.

I did take some video footage, which I might use as a part of a music video because I have a song that kind of involves road tripping. For now I'm working on a big split screen project to promote my EP... Less than a month until it's out!

So that's all. If you take only one thing away from today, let it be The Wobbly Phone Camera Game. It's genius and you know it. Try it on your friends!


Thursday, 18 June 2009

The Green Out

Yesterday on twitter this sentence came up quite frequently,

#helpiranelection - show support for democracy in Iran add green overlay to your Twitter avatar with 1-click -

and a lot of people's avatars went slightly green.

I thought it was quite a nice idea, so I did it too, but as with most things done on the internet by more than three people, it came with the unavoidable slew of cynicism. So I thought I'd take a second to defend the green out.

The argument against it seems to be quite simple - 'How is making your avatar green going to change anything? What's the point?!' Now obviously this is not going to directly bring an honest democracy to Iran. If it was as simple as pressing a button I think someone would have done it by now. But it's a simple show of support, a way to get the word out and to keep people talking about something important. That's the way the world works - you keep people talking and solutions are at least looked for. If you let things go quietly then they're forgotten about.

I saw one tweet that said 'It won't help etc etc, remember the blackout, did that work?'

The blackout was a similar movement on twitter whereby people just used a black square instead of their usual picture to protest against a new law in New Zealand, which meant people could have their internet cut off if accused of piracy... Not convicted; accused. No trial, no judge, no jury.

Now, not living in New Zealand I didn't really follow the story, but in answer to the question 'did the blackout work?' You have answered it yourself - it worked because you remember it. The point of the blackout was to spread the word and gain support, not so the PM of New Zealand would check his twitter and say 'Oh shit, look at all these blacked out avatars, I better not pass that law!' Just like the regime in control in Iran are unlikely to hand over power based on some pictures being tinged green, but that doesn't mean it's worthless.

The green out is a minuscule part of what's going on, but it took five seconds and cost me nothing, so why moan about it? Here's something else that makes no difference - going to a protest in the street. If you lived in Iran and you had to decide between staying at home and going out to a protest, you would know that your decision alone would not affect anything, it's far too small a choice. But a lot of people made that choice and this was the result.

Sorry if you don't care about this, it just annoys me when people hate bandwagons whatever they're about. I heard someone say once they weren't going to get an organ donor card because it was just another bandwagon. Never mind that that bandwagon could save lives. Mental.

One final thought - it's nice to see the generation of people politicised during the last US election following through and talking about the election in Iran, which is far less cool because Barack Obama isn't involved.

EDIT: thanks to Laura for mentioning in the comments, another thing you can do to help is change your twitter time zone (in settings at the top) to GMT +3:30 Tehran, the idea behind this is that it makes it harder to identify those actually twittering from within Iran. I must confess I have no idea how effective this is, but I've done it myself because why not?!

Monday, 15 June 2009

Road Trip part2: Glasgow.

I know I said I'd do this 'tomorrow' and that was about two weeks ago but lets move on. Quit living in the past!

We got to Glasgow. Shit it was so long ago I can't remember what happened. Ok, I got it - the first night we got there pretty late because of the castle vidit, we just hung in Sinead's garden with a drink or two and her parents' crazy friend creeped us out but it was all good.

then the next day it was John's birthday (And Ginge's after midnight hence the double celebration) and the KARAOKE BUS DAY!

Calm down ladies, it's only a picture.

Basically this bus drove around Glasgow for an hour while we drunk champagne and sung karaoke. It's pretty much the best idea ever. I'd love to have been there when whoever it was thought, 'Wait a minute... Buses. Karaoke. Put them together and... I'M A GENIUS!'

I think Liam was recreating that moment here.

Ah, found a shot of everyone:

Things I notice: 1) Doog has an admirer. 2) Jemma despises the cameraman. 3) the guy behind me is too tall to stand up straight. 4) Ginger Chris is already (this is about 7pm) needing help with the whole standing up thing. 5) Liam and I would make a pretty good couple. Just saying.

After the bus we went to a place they had hired out and Sophie demonstrated her ability to be normal and smile for the camera...

Here's Chris sporting the t-shirt Dom bought him for the occasion, which is one of the best photos ever:

One last picture, the cake!


Thursday, 4 June 2009

Road Trip part1: Castle!

This weekend it was Mr. John Cox AND Mr. Ginger Chris' birthdays so a few of us had a little road trip up to Scotland land to celebrate.

It would have been good if I'd had the time/technology to blog during the weekend because now it seems like too much to fit in, so I'm going to split it up, keep it brief and use pictures!

So here's part one - the journey. Basically we decided to do something on the way so it wasn't just 5 hours in a car. The night before we were talking about going to a castle, so I had a look on Google maps and found one that was just about a mile off the M6 that we'd be going up. The internet says it's called Brougham Castle, but I'm sure the sign just said Brough. Ah well, either way, here it is:

It was possibly the best thing EVER.

It was a little bit shut when we got there, but we decided since we had come so far we'd have a sneaky look anyway... Hopped a couple of fences and invaded. (/walked in)

Turns out it's way better after hours because there's nobody to stop you exploring and climbing on the walls. Well, apart from this sign...

I know, I'm such a rebel it's unreal.

We did do some pretty good climbing! I got in here:

... From the wall on the right. There was actually no way in there from the other side. There would have been a room in front of me in centuries past but now it's just floating there, a little hole in a wall, 20 feet up in the air.

This shot is from pretty much the top...

We were there for a good couple of hours and could have stayed all night, but with the sun setting and friends waiting for us north of the border we decided to get going.

(from left: Dale, Sophie, Ian, Doog and me.)

Part 2, which I'm fairly certain will be subtitled "Glasgow!" should be along tomorrow with some karaoke bus action. After that I'll introduce you to the wobbly phone camera game.