Monday, 28 June 2010

Shorts. Are. The. Future.

I created a petition and like your support. What's it about?


We work in offices.

We spend time at our desks.

We want permission to wear shorts.

Please change your business dress code or guidelines to make it happen.

We will respect the need for professionalism when we're meeting clients. And for no socks to be worn with sandals. Ever.

Sign the petition online here:

Thursday, 24 June 2010

You have reached your destination

"Really?", I ask.

"You have reached your destination" chimes the Satellite Navigation again.

"I think you're lying".

How often do we think we've made it. We've cracked it. We can do it.

Then we realise we're nowhere. Or at least not where we meant to be. And we have to re-adjust. I was thinking about the conflict of Maps and Satellite Navigation and GPS. Sat Nat works well when we need to get somewhere and don't have time, but maps let us understand where we're going and why we're taking certain routes.

For the past wee while I've been a little uneasy about work - what am I doing, is it fun (which is important, right?), do I enjoy being there. Just when we think we've arrived, we often find that there's much more to come.

The journey makes life interesting, the people we share the journey with are all the more important.

You share the journey with me and for that, I thank you.

Grace for the road.


Authenticity: Slick

I like things done well, and I agree with Tom's clarion calls for Excellence.

However, slick is not always a good thing.

I think this post by Seth really captures what I am looking for.

"So I guess instead of slick we're now seeking transparency and reputation and guts."

Oh yes, we certainly are. And maybe, just maybe, the way we are behaving will become more and more authentic.

Read Seth's short musing here.

What do you think? How do you see it?

Thursday, 17 June 2010

I never knew you

Isn't it amazing how people are great?

Too often we hear how we're hard done to, cheated out of what we're *entitled* to and generally at the wrong end of the wedge of happiness.

Well, it's not really like that in the real world. We all face challenges, sure, but we are very seldom alone and I'm wondering if we do find ourselves genuinely alone and facing a significant problem, it's maybe because of the choices we've made. Of the distance we've kept from others.

So it's with a grateful heart I say thank you to those who supported us with concern, empathy and basically love over the past few days.

I posted some messages on Twitter & Facebook about us taking the weeWeir to hospital at the request of the Doctor, as well as sending a few SMS messages to close family and friends.

The replies brought me to tears, realising we were not alone.

While we were not on our own, we knew that God was with us through it all, we also knew you were with us too. And for that we can only say

Thank you. You know who you are.

The weeWeir is doing better thanks. We continue to keep an eye on her and see how she does in the days ahead.

can't believe how light it is for 3:30am.

I almost feel like going for a walk in the cool of the morning. Almost.

Posted via email from theweir's posterous

Saturday, 12 June 2010

Don't look at me!

Now, isn't that odd.

People complaining about a service they receive from that Great British tm Telecommunication company - BT - have complained about the company reaching out to them through the very same media that they used to complain.

Imagine that.

People made noise and the company listened.

Okay, so the "facts" are in the Daily Mail's article here. However, we could probably drive a couple of aid convoys through the gaps in their arguments.

People weren't happy that companies were spying on them.

Wait, that means you are spying because your looking at the same internet as the company can. And let's define spying, shall we:

to watch or observe closely and secretly, usually with unfriendly purpose: often without

Is looking at what people post online spying? Then Google is the biggest spy ever known.

The Mail's premise falls foul of the reality that when people post to networks like Twitter and Facebook, they set their own privacy levels (okay, let's leave Facebook out of that bracket for now) but I find it hard to call it spying when anyone can access what you chose to publicly post online.

Okay, the mail does have a point about companies turning Twitter into broadcast, but as many online strategists keep saying, you chose who you listen to on these networks. You can give permission and can remove it as quick as you like.

Oh yeah, and no matter what anyone says, this is all happening in the early days of these tools. We don't know where it's going. Sure, we need to find out soon, but reporting like this doeajt help anyone, except drive fear, maintaining the status quo and generally not adding much to the conversation.

Let's face it, it's clear that the Mail doesn't understand what's happening online.

They are like someone walking past a dog and grabbing it by the ears. They don't help anyone.

Friday, 11 June 2010


I was listening to an episode of Spark the other day and Nora was interviewing Jay Frank. He was talking about how the use of online channels is changing the way that pop songs are written. it's well worth listening to. That's here, if you missed it earlier.

I've been interested in how songs are written for years. I've struggled to write songs for years too. I have, however, been alright at arranging other people's ideas. When part of IndigoEcho, the guys used to talk about how I'd come along and "augment" a simple idea... probably true?!

So, listening to the interview - an particular where Jay talks about the way songs are being arranged to keep people's attention, it got me wondering. I've not been a fan of pop music since the 1960s. I wasn't around in the 1960s, but you know what I mean, right? So I'm not familiar with a lot of pop. I am, however, fairly familiar with a lot of christian music that takes some of it's cues from pop music.

And that's where I got to thinking about how much of our contemporary music in churches has become formulaic. There's a point in the interview where Jay says that at 1:45 in a pop song you need to do something different to keep people's attention. So it is in many contemporary christian songs. It's got a standard, A-B-A-B-C-B structure. And invariably, the most engaging part of the song will be the C-section.

Perhaps it's the artist in me that finds this utterly bewildering. Why would I want to intentionally use a formula to create music. I think that's why I've struggled to write as I find it hard to do anything original!

Now, I'm not saying that all *those guys* who write these songs are following a formula. Neither am I saying it's wrong. I just find it hard to think that this is how we have to do it. There's more. And we're doing more.

We move beyond the song. We push past the boundaries of familiar lyrics and start to sing the songs that speak of where we are at - of how we are living. It's there that we can breathe more authenticity into what we're doing.

I completely understand where Jay was coming from. If you're trying to make engaging songs that will sell - and make money for the label, then go for your life. If you're trying to express your heart, your soul, your song. Forget the formula and see where you end up.

You can keep your world cup...

I've not had the most enjoyable week at work for reasons I can't quite get my head around. Am I bored? Not really. Do I feel like I'm not working hard enough? Possibly.

Whatever the story, it's done now.

The perfect antidote to it all, after a headwind-tactic bike ride home, was making tea for the weeWeir, getting almost as wet as she did without actually being in the bath and then drawing fish, sharks and crabs for half an hour before bedtime.

You can keep your world cup, just let me play.

(PS, I have nothing against sport or the world cup, I just enjoyed un-mediated interaction!)

Tuesday, 8 June 2010

That's no moon

Yesterday, @headphonaught wrote about the ADIDAS/Star Wars Cantina advert. You can read his post here.

I commented:

From watching it on my Desire, the clip looks really well made. That's a good thing. I'm with you in feeling slightly uncomfortable about it though. For long enough, the Star Wars universe was a mystery. It was hard to watch the films as there were limited runs of VHS tapes, and very seldom shown on network TV. That air of mystery added to the experience of actually watching the films.

In recent years as George Lucas has opened up, and as culture shifts online and more of the visual media we consume is remixed then this kind of thing is inevitable. Sure, it may cheapen the experience a little, but we call that progress, don't we? It's almost like you including a bit of classic Miles Davis or Herbie Hancock in a crazy mixtape!

Funny I enjoyed the
Chad Vader sketches more than this - Maybe because it was more original?

Today, I came across this (via JD Walt). It's way lower budget, but somehow seems to capture the intent of Star Wars more than the Adidas short.

(on YouTube here)

Maybe, it's because it's faintly ridiculous, but clearly made with a lot of love. Maybe it's because it's about sustainable farming. Maybe it's just 'cos I'd like to make fun stuff like that. Whatever reason, there's many many worse things to do with five minutes of your life.

What do you think?

Saturday, 5 June 2010

War. What is it good for?

Getting things, done, apparently.

We all face challenges in life as we deal with *stuff*. I've felt a little more Resistance than usual over the last few months, with situations at work, the selling and buying of houses and a few other things. Sure, none of them are ending the world, but there's a sense in which they do impact how I live.

Some things I've read recently - and thoughts in moments of quiet and reflection - have encouraged me to keep going in the face of adversity.

I'm not a fighter. Never been much good at it. To be honest, I don't do conflict very well. However, there's got to be times where we stand up for what is right. What we believe in. What we hope for. If we don't, we're as well bowing down to the nearest collection of dust particles and pledging our allegiance.

God speaks. God breathes. God is light, life and hope in the midst of death. Those are not glib words, but the tear-soaked reality of experience. You know how that feels.

So I found this post on Lateral Action, featuring Steven Pressfield utterly compelling.


We face it. Either from not releasing the hand brake in the car, or by believing that we can't do something.

What do I do in the face of Resistance? Give in and satisfy the temptation or press on towards the goal. To stand up for what we believe in and see it through.

It's hard work.

But that's okay. We're not afraid of hard work, are we?

Or we're not afraid of a little discipline, are we?

I found the story of Collette a little harsh for our modern mindsets - but the discipline of limiting our media consumption really chimed. Challenged by something Clive wrote a while back, I try and take shabbat from consumption regularly, but would value becoming more disciplined on this front.

So war is good. When you are fighting Resistance...

How about you?

What Resistance do you face and how can we help each other over come.

Friday, 4 June 2010

Things wot I learned on holiday #4

Sometimes its good to stop and watch the water flowing.

If it's in a burn, a river, the sea or from the sky. Just watch the water.

(img source: me)

You're just like...

You hear some horror stories about the way people are managed or lead in the workplace. I mean, some really nasty, vindictive stories of how people treat other people.

I've been blessed by having good relationships with my managers almost since the day I started working. I think some of that was personality of the people I've worked for, but often its been through working hard (some of the time, at least), being reliable and showing some ingenuity too. It's helped to find ways to express the talents/gifts that I have in the work I've been doing.

I got a fright the other day when I realise that I've been working for 16 years. More than half my life. That's just slightly concerning.

Come July I'll have worked for my current employer for 12 years. Jings. In no one year has my role at work been the same though - and that's a very encouraging thought!

Funnily enough, when I was at school my ambitions were clear: I don't want to work in an office. Seems that I didn't fulfil that one. I think that's because my Dad was never *really* all that happy at work, and so I didn't want to be like that. I equated the unrest with the office, but it really wasn't because of that.

How about you - how did your childhood influence your choice of work?

Thursday, 3 June 2010

Denial of loss

If we can explain it, then maybe we don't need to be sad about it.

Maybe we don't need to lament.

Following what I wrote last night here, I found this video with Walter Brueggeman about pain, lament and a safe place really interesting.

It makes me think that we (media, public and every else!) are quick to look for reasons, rationale and restitution at the expense of the lament.

Stopping to cry is no bad thing.

I wonder if the reason for some belief systems requiring people to be buried within 24 hours of dying is to focus the attention of those grieving on that - rather than on vengance? I don't know, but it's a thought.

Either way, we lament the killing of the innocent.

Things wot I learned on holiday #3

Got speaks through Sat Nav.

Really, He does.

We were travelling into Belfast to visit some friends last week and following the instructions from the helpful Tom. Tom said turn left at a particular junction - and it didn't seem from the signposts that it was the right one for us, but we took it.

At the top of the hill on this junction was a elderly gentleman with his stricken BMW 3-Series. The clutch had packed in. And his mobile phone wasn't working, so he couldn't phone anyone for help. And he wasn't physically able to walk to the nearest house.

So, we got him on the phone to his wife and to the car dealership and that was that. We left him happily waiting on the recovery lorry and re-joined the main road.

If we'd been following a map, I guess we'd have carried on past the junction. Sure, someone else may have taken that road eventually, but I'd like to think we were put there to help the guy in his hour of need.

So listen to the Sat Nav and see what happens*.

(img source: TeamPolizei, it's not our car.)

*use common sense when applying this advice next to cliffs, power stations or walls.

Wednesday, 2 June 2010

Not a fan of complaining for the sake of it...

...but I just submitted this to the BBC and Ofcom...

First off, let's be clear. I have nothing against the BBC. No axe to grind. I'm also no fan of News Corporation, but that's no reason to let insensitivity on the BBCs part be unchallenged.
Catching the 10 o'clock news today, I was shocked by the events in Cumbria today. I appreciated the timeline laid out and the initial reports of the what had gone on.
I was then a little disturbed when the use of the phrase "hunted down" was used in the second report to describe the actions of the gunman today. We don't know if he intentionally hunted down all those people he killed. It's wrong to even suggest that. We simply don't know (as other BBC correspondents admitted).
While my thoughts were with those who were in mourning and those victims still alive and possibly fighting for their lives (no news on them?) I understand that many would be asking "why?" and using that to channel their confusion, anger and frustration at what had taken place.
Then in the third report... there was an interview with a member of (excuse my ignorance and lack of the organisations correct name) the Gun lobby saying "don't do anything rash, we might not be able to host the Olympics again".
There's 12 people DEAD because of a licenced gun and we give a monkeys about staging the Olympics again.
Come on.
No-one has said guns will be banned tomorrow so do we really need to hear about this kind of thing right now? Now, I get that the BBC want to be seen to be balanced. I understand that.
But there's people grieving and there was little if no effort to bring those people to the minds of your viewers. I'm not talking about having tearful widows on camera.
Just have some respect. Please?
The general tone of the whole section was more balanced than some other news outlets, however, can we have some consideration for those who have lost loved ones.
Can we have some marking of the moment, rather than rushing to find answers that will come in the fullness of time? I hope I am not alone in this.
I look forward to hearing from you.
Did you see the News at Ten on the BBC tonight? Did you agree with what I wrote? It'll be on iPlayer here.

Feel free to contact the BBC here. And Ofcom here.

And pause a moment to remember those who died. Those injured. Those who have been affected by today's events.

Lord, have mercy.

Things wot I learned on holiday #2

It's entirely possible to read a book over the course of 6 months and still learn loads.

(and I'm glad I folded down corners to remind myself of important bits to go back to)

Tuesday, 1 June 2010

Things wot I learned on holiday #1

That using mouthwash 18 months out of date might not be the best idea on the planet.

(img source: me)