Sunday, December 17, 2006


It has been a long while since I actually sat down and wrote a song, in fact it's been a very long time since I even felt motivated and creatively inspired to do so.

Fortunately, I recently had the opportunity to put some motivation and creative inspiration to good use and write some music for a very specific and worthwhile purpose. 

I will add very little more about it, aside from saying that it was very enjoyable and inspiring to contribute music and animation to Pam's words. I wish to thank Pam for inviting me to do so.

Without further ado, here is a link to what Pam has called The Kindness Movement.  Please visit, listen, read and hopefully think about the message behind this project:

The Kindness Movement

Thank you.

Posted by Jon at 11:02:56 PM in Musing (23) | Comments (0)

Monday, December 11, 2006

To err is human...

It's part of the human condition that we know we make mistakes - our fallibility is around us and within us all the time as we go through life, joining up with its cousin mortality to make us truly human.  As Alexander Pope's quote suggests, making errors is very much human, but it seems that in some senses to me that we do not deal with this very well. 

On the one hand the notion of fallibility (technically the idea that absolute knowledge is impossible) is very rarely encountered in public life. 

Politicians, sports stars, celebrities etc seldom acknowledge in any direct way that they made a mistake, and yet it happens all the time.   A mistake can take many forms, of course, and doesn't necessarily indicate anything other than perhaps a poor judgment in the face of available information or perhaps a misjudgment based on prioritising the importance of an end  result.   It's not often that we hear an acknowledgment of this, even when it is blatant to all concerned.  So much so that it appears that when we do hear it, it stands out precisely because it is not the norm.   Perhaps we should ask why that is?  Is there something in our culture or society that makes it difficult for people to stand up and say "I made an error" and feel comfortable doing so?

On the other hand, how we deal with our own misjudgments is crucial.  Do we acknowledge them, do we move on from them clearly and with learning, do we hang onto them as mistakes we return to?   How we interact within ourselves on these matters is part of how we then reflect back to the outside world and deal with other people's flaws and fallibility.

Admitting "I was wrong" is still a big hurdle for many people.  If you unhook that expression from associated feelings of regret and guilt though, I think there is potential to forgive oneself, and then freely and openly admit to one's misjudgments.  Whether other people can unhook their own feelings in reaction to a mistake, of their hurt or their disappointment,  is another matter.   But, that is outside of one's control and should not undercut the value of admitting one's fallibility, which is ultimately to acknowledge that we are not perfect, but that in recognising imperfection we are more aware.

So, forgive yourself, and own up to a mistake today.  You know it really truly is the most human of things to do.

Posted by Jon at 10:02:04 AM in Musing (23) | Comments (2)

Wednesday, December 06, 2006

Like Lazarus...

Yes, rather like Lazarus, I return to life from my absence.  Of course, my story is not quite as dramatic as our revived colleague from the New Testament and it could hardly be said to be miraculous. The connection with Lazarus becomes even further tenuous when one considers that Lazarus probably did not have to deal with hundreds of spam comments for online poker, drugs and porn when he came back to life.

"Sorry, I'll be with you in a sec, Jesus, I just need to deal with this damned graffiti first .."

Whatever happened to Lazarus?  You'd think he'd have gone onto big things after such a feat, after gaining such notoriety - but as far as I can tell he's not mentioned again. 

One might think he'd feel so indebted to Jesus that he would hang around, you know, as a sort of show of gratitude for the person who gave him life. Or at least you might think he would go off and do great things on his own account, inspired by his miraculous experience.  But no, alas, it seems not.  He lived. He died.  He lived again. He descended into obscurity, perhaps a late-night slot on Satellite.  Or perhaps he just settled down and decided that was enough excitement for a lifetime.  Or two.

More such meanderings to come... in the meantime let me know your ideas for what happened to Lazarus.


Posted by Jon at 1:03:43 AM in Musing (23) | Comments (0)

Wednesday, March 15, 2006

Some random links to some nice people

I do keep some very varied company which is something I celebrate - further, please visit the following people who I would like to consider friends and colleagues:

Nerve Filter - this is the side project of Assemblage23's Tom Shear and the first CD "Linear" is mightily good too. Tremendous production, captivating  textures and sound palette. Highly recommended for fans of A23 and anyone who likes thoughtful electronic music.

Maha's Blog - the interesting linguistic and spiritual thoughts of a very kind and creative soul called Mahalene Louis who I recently had the pleasure to meet and work with.

SubZeros - the website for the band SubZeros, featuring long-time friend and all-round "geezer" Paul Miles.

Chrysalid Katrina Relief CD - a compilation CD in aid of Katrina Relief, contributed by the good, the bad and the insane of KVR

Posted by Jon at 12:45:52 AM in Musing (23) | Comments (0)

Saturday, March 11, 2006

Another doodle

Another Project Dogwaffle doodle

Posted by Jon at 1:56:50 AM in Musing (23) | Comments (0)

Tuesday, March 07, 2006

A doodle...

Just a quick doodle using Project for larger version:

Posted by Jon at 11:55:06 AM in Musing (23) | Comments (0)

Sunday, February 12, 2006

Doru RIP

 Doru, thank you so much for all you did and all you were.   It was so typical of you to try to give something to me when I wanted to give something back to you!

Wherever you are... peace and much music. 

Posted by Jon at 1:19:09 AM in Musing (23) | Comments (0)

Saturday, February 11, 2006

Is it time for me... give up on the notion and practice of making music as a "serious" pursuit?

I can't remember the last time I really sat down and was productive with my music.  I still enjoy dabbling with synths and sounds, and have particularly enjoyed my guitar again lately (especially with the Line6 TonePort I recently got), but it's struck me in recent days that perhaps I need to give up on the notion that it's something I can (should?) devote serious amounts of time, energy and money to.  Time is something I don't have much of.  Energy levels often fluctuate in the short-term into lows and have been low in the general sense for a long while now. It's been a rough couple of years, what with one thing or another.  Money is always an issue, but it is even more so now, in what is probably the toughest time I've had since going self-employed more than 7 years ago.

It's a big decision and one I won't take lightly.  If I do take the path which removes music-making as a significant part of my environment, I am sure it won't disappear completely.  I will hold on to a skeleton array of equipment.  Some of that will be forced on me as there are items which are not re-saleable, but I will keep a core set-up just so I have something in case I need that avenue or outlet in the future or if I find some creative sparks igniting in the future.

I need to do some thinking about this question....or at least find some space to assess what all this means.

Posted by Jon at 9:26:25 PM in Musing (23) | Comments (2)

Thursday, February 09, 2006

In other news...

Well, I have been literally inundated with requests that I update my blog.  So, thanks to both of you for your interest ;)

If you missed the last thrilling episode, here's a quick catch-up:

Mike's on-off affair with Lisa has become complicated since her ex-husband returned after being presumed dead following the aircraft accident in which the entire stock of "Marshmallow Bites" was destroyed.  Tim is still in a coma despite the best attention of nurse Sylvia -  who co-incidentally rescued him from the burning wreckage of the Foreman Grill, performed CPR on him in situ, did the brain surgery and is his lost twin sister.  Meanwhile, surely it's only a matter of time before the panto season starts and several of the cast go on holidays - probably to Queensland - or find themselves sent to a prison resembling a strange cross between a Travel Lodge and a PortaKabin (hey, wait, isn't that the same room with just a few things moved around?  Of course, their time in the clink will not be very long, and ultimately it was for something they didn't do, which they will later prove - probably with the help of a small child or an animal - with much relief all around..

In other news, I'm still here.

Posted by Jon at 9:40:55 PM in Musing (23) | Comments (0)

Tuesday, January 31, 2006

A picture masquerading as an update

click for full pic

Posted by Jon at 11:40:53 PM in Musing (23) | Comments (0)

Friday, November 25, 2005

Georgie R.I.P.

Well, I suppose we all expected it to happen.  But now that it has, and George Best is no longer with us, perhaps he will be remembered for all the right reasons.  Of course, Best's name was made before mass pop culture really came into force and before television induced and produced mega stars like a production line.  Best was part of an era where football was played in shirts minus sponsors logos, on muddy pitches in an uncompromising fashion during a time of relative innocence and naivety.  A far cry from the cynicism and commercialism of present-day football.

Best was a true genius when it came to the playing of the game of the football. Greats like Pele thought so, as did many other luminaries from the beautiful game.  Admired and respected and feared by his fellow professionals and honoured by them, Best truly was the first sporting superstar.

Let's hope that the partisan and cynical nature of football gives way to a genuine appreciation of a footballing legend.  It's time to appreciate the joys and triumphs that Georgie Best provided rather than chart the decline  of his career and his becoming a casualty of fame. ...

It's upsetting to see some reactions to news of George Best's passing. In particular, in mentioning George Best's death to several people today and reading some internet postings I have come across judgements about how his transplant was wasted on him or how he should not have been allowed the chance to live.  It's easy to judge such a person ((unknown and unconnected to us as they are) and cast a negative opinion, especially when tabloid newspapers are inclined to feed that very viewpoint.  I would just say in response, if it was your father, your brother or your son would you be the one to tell them that you were going to deprive them of the opportunity of life?  Would you be the person to tell a doctor not to undertake that chance?  If one were to extend that further surely someone involved in a drink-driving incident would be deprived of treatment, someone who took part in dangerous sports would be left uncared for, and those who through any of their life choices put themselves ar risk would be untreated.  I don't think that is feasible.  In George Best's case his alcoholism was an illness and a disease in itself.  No amount of pathetic jokes about it can deny that George Best's alcoholism was part of his ill-health, physical or mental and therefore he deserved treatment. .    .

Posted by Jon at 2:12:45 PM in Musing (23) | Comments (0)

Tuesday, November 22, 2005


To say I am tired would be an understatement of a significant order.  Extremely tired would do my feelings some justice, but it would not be quite the full story.

You know you are really tired (or tired-looking) when people you don't know well or only meet on a casual basis (e.g. out walking their dogs) tell you that you look tired - in the middle of the day.  People who never see a person outside of daylight hours probably have substantial authority to determine that a person is genuinely fatigued, rather than simply tired.  And so it was, as I dragged myself and Sophie (my black labrador friend) around the muddy lanes and tarmac pavements of the village, that my tiredness was recognised and pointed out by a fellow dog walker.  It's funny how people close to you can miss such things, but a more or less complete stranger homes in on it with laser-guided precision.  Sad, though, that the first follow-up question was a line of enquiry involving a suspected cause of that tiredness. Parties and socialising.  Not quite the case here.

Working up to a tight deadline can be a nightmare for all parties concerned, but particularly for the person or persons actually "doing the doing" so to speak.  Anyone who works in the design or publishing business will no doubt concur and shudder with an instinctitve recollection of such circumstances.  It is under such conditions that I have been working these last few days.  Such is the lot of a web designer, scraping to make ends meet without meeting an end... [ see what I did there... totally seamless ] .

There are worse occupations, of course. And there are even worse ways to earn money, full stop.  I'm sure a lot of it is down to me, perhaps I expect too much recognition for jobs well done, or appreciation for the work I do.  I certainly don't expect too much financially, that is for certain.  That is something I need to work on.  When you don't get much in the way of thanks or consideration or a sense of being valued, somtimes you have to filter out that part of your brain which responds to those things and concentrate on providing yourself with the means to allow other parts of your brain to respond positively.   Which means money, so that the parts of your brain which worry about bills and about getting some respite are compensated accordingly for the lack of "warm fuzzies" in the part of the brain that deals with value and appreciation.   It's a bit like telling one part of your brain to look away whilst you feed another part of it.  Or something like that...

Ah, value and value. Being valued - thanks and appreciation for efforts, knowledge and expertise.  A valued being - the financial rewards for the same.  An internal market of exchange rates and currency fluctuations.  Are there traders in this market I wonder?   What's the current exchange rate between the "being valued" currency and the "valued being" currency?

I am not sure myself at the moment.... I wonder if my internal currency market crashed a long time ago a la Black Wednesday.  Still, at least unlike the real traders I don't have to wear a silly waistcoat.  Yet.

Posted by Jon at 10:27:19 PM in Musing (23) | Comments (2)

Saturday, November 19, 2005

A Winter's Walk

Honestly, you can keep your hot Summer days, as nothing comes close to a cold, bright Winter's day such as we have had this week around this part of the UK.  Air so cold and so still, and so fresh it feels healthy just breathing it in with gasping mouthfuls.  The perfect medium within which sound waves travel.  The perfect medium also for me to travel.   Every sound is as clear as the light around you.  Every slight rustle of a frosted leaf falling comes to your ears.  Each drop of water hitting the ground, deposited from a thawing tree branch lit by blue and golden shards of sunlight.  Each crunch of the frozen earth and the cracking of twigs underfoot.  Yes, even the sound of distant traffic or a buzzing electricity pylon is borne swiftly to you on a cold and crisp day like this.  But it cannot spoil the calmness and serenity of walking - your breath visible to you as you make your way through dew-laden grasses - through the white-dusted countryside surrounded by the sounds of nature. Nor is your walk spoiled by the return to civilisation, to traffic and to noise of a different kind.  Instead, as the door closes behind you on your cold environs, there comes a new feeling of warmth.  And the welcome return of the feeling in the tips of your ears..        

Posted by Jon at 1:37:53 PM in Musing (23) | Comments (2)

Thursday, November 17, 2005

Paperweight, and wait and wait

"Not much to say today" - quite frankly those are not ideal words to begin a blog entry with.  And a split infinitive is not an ideal follow-up either.  But I am tired - it's been a long, hard day trying to get a web site prepared for a very tight deadline, so I feel rather emptied out.  I noticed tonight, however, and this is the reason for writing, that the paperweight I had intended to put on eBay a couple of weeks ago is serving a good purpose despite its impending relocation.  Put to one side, ready for photographing and listing on eBay it has found a niche for itself - as a paperweight.  Still in its presentation box, no less.  There's something poetic about that, but then again, I am easily entertained and distracted particularly when tired.  I am looking for the bigger philosophical meaning which can be gleaned from the paperweight finding a niche for itself.  I am sure there is one, probably involving intent, purpose and disposal, but  for the life of me it cannot be pieced together .  So, for the time being at least, the paperweight will have a stay of execution in lieu of its beneficial properties as an unintended paperweight. 

So, as I said... "not much to say today".

Posted by Jon at 1:52:44 AM in Musing (23) | Comments (3)

Tuesday, November 15, 2005

Colin McRae Rally - Senior Edition

 Just a bit of fun...(click to view)

Posted by Jon at 5:05:37 PM in Musing (23) | Comments (0)

Monday, November 14, 2005

What am I good at?

This question has been bothering me a for a little while.  I am not sure quite what it was that caused this little menace to infiltrate my brain, but it is there now and it seems to have bought clothing and supplies suitable for an extended stay in my cerebral region.

So, what am I good at? 

Well, actually the simple answer is that I am quite good at quite a few things. See how deadening and deprecating the use of the word "quite" was there?   You see, I'm not great at anything, it seems.  I'm proficient and logical enough to do some programming - sort of.  I'm dextrous enough to play guitar reasonably well -  passably, anyway.  I'm literate enough and nimble enough to have a reasonable wit and do cryptic crosswords - sometimes.  I'm creative enough to do some design work and eke out a living from it - just about, anyway.   I'm imaginative enough to get some songs written and recorded via computer.  I'm intelligent and resourceful (or perhaps able to play the system) enough to have gone through a total of almost 19 years of almost continuous education.

Behind the facade of that simple answer, however, lies a complicated backstage area inhabited by an answer which is rather more shadowy.  The problem is that I don't feel that I have really gor any "gifts" or "skills" or "talents" that truly stand out in any kind of definite way or which I feel are hooks onto which I could hang some baskets (with eggs in, of course).  Perhaps I should be happy that I don't have that burden to bear or be relieved that I have avoided some kind of one-dimensionality.  But, at times, and recently in particular, it has begun to prey on my mind that there is really not a single thing that I could honestly say that I have a special capacity for or capability to do.  

Are you in the same boat as me?  
(if so, I'm quite a reasonable sailor, but not great at it)

Posted by Jon at 1:32:15 AM in Musing (23) | Comments (1)

Friday, November 11, 2005

Comfort Food...(serves one right)

You will need:
- an appetite (healthy)
- cold weather or some kind of difficulty in your life (optional)
- a large baking potato (unbaked)
- some mature cheddar cheese (grated)
- a small onion or half a large one (shredded)
- butter (optional)

Part-bake your potato.  I'll rephrase that - put ALL of the potato in your oven (you can start it off in the microwave if you wish, but you'll need it to be crispy when finished not soggy and limp).  Whilst the potato is baking, mix up about 90% of your grated cheese with your shredded onion.  Don't do anything with this just yet - no, I must insist on that.  Now, go and do something else for a while. Not for too long, just long enough to pass some time before your potato is almost done.   Tidy your room or something.

Okay, here's the tricky bit.  Take your potato out of the oven, carefully ensuring that the temperature of the potato in contact with any part of you does not cause any ill-effects.  Halve your potato without completely reducing it to two parts.  I'll leave it to you as to whether you do it longtitudinally or not.  Scoop (you don't need a scoop for this, it's just a good verb to use)... scoop out the potato and blend it with your cheese and onion mix.  (At this point, you can also add a little butter for that creamier taste or if your potato needs a bit of softening up).  Then scoop it back into the somewhat sad-looking shell of a partially-baked almost-halved potato.  Mush it in a bit - you'll need to because what you took out is less than what you are trying to put back in now.  Remember, you added cheese and onion didn't you?  Okay, now garnish the rest of the cheese on top of the two halves.  You did take notice of that bit didn't you?  Ok, put the whole thing back in the oven and let it finish off baking the potato and allow it to render the top a little crusty and brown. 

Serve with anything, really.  Coleslaw is good.  Beans are good.  Both is probably a bit greedy.  But, up to you...this is comfort food after all.

Posted by Jon at 7:35:24 PM in Musing (23) | Comments (1)

A slow and painful...

My pack of rolling tobacco reliably informs me that "Smoking can cause a slow and painful death."  Undoubtedly true, but it got me thinking what products should have a similar corollary.  That is to say, a warning about a slow and painful life?
Some suggestions:

D.I.Y products.  Reader's Digest.   Boneshaker bicycles.  Tortoises with feet prone to blisters.  Police cars which escort wide loads. 

What else?  .

Posted by Jon at 12:37:29 AM in Musing (23) | Comments (2)

Thursday, November 10, 2005

Confession Time

Okay, I admit it. I don't know what I am doing.  This is not something that will come as a surprise to some of the people that know me, as it seems to be a perspective shared by many on me.  But in the sense of blogging, I confess I don't know what I am doing.  I had this problem the last time I started a blog some five or so years ago.  Surfing around other blogs with their extremes of expression guided by the Muses Polemic and Minutae, I struggle to find a niche and wonder what it is that I offer and can say.  Nothing new there, either, but perhaps it's important to really have an idea of what your blog is about?  Perhaps?

It's not that I don't have things to say on various topics and don't think I can't be even a little bit entertaining at times.  It's just that the vast morasses and masses of the blogging community just about have it all covered, veneered and varnished.  My rational side counters with "Ah yes, but they are not you and your prespectives are unique because they are yours", to which my cynical, self-critical side retorts, "Yes, and you think that makes it worthwhile?". 

But then I realised that probably someone else out there in BlogVille, BlogLand has undoubtedly had the same conversation above, posted about it on their blog, and now I am no longer worried or burdened by it because let's face it, it's not worth it.  [what a waste of two paras]. .

On a lighter nots, a comedic situation in Wilkinson's today.  Vic and I both needed to buy glue (me for my aforementioned lost sole - Joy Division anyone? - he for a broken somethingorother) which resulted in a conversation about how it looked quite bad that we were both buying super glue at the same time and that it might raise some eyebrows.  My punchline?  Well, of course it had to be..."But Vic, surely they know that friends stick together".

Anyway, more later perhaps after a quick sojourn to the pub...

Posted by Jon at 9:30:42 PM in Musing (23) | Comments (0)


A strange perversion of the trickle-down effect seems to be happening around me.  Trickle-down being the principle that actions at a macro level have knock-on effects through a system at increasingly finer scales.  It's a term usually applied to such grand things as macroeconomics or to environmental systems.  However, it seems possible that the current large-scale troubles and upheavals in my life have induced their own particular form of trickle down to the domestic scale.   Perhaps it is payback time but the fates are all out of dramatic events so it's the mundane stuff for me.

Note, the sole of para boot coming loose when out walking in the mud - at the furthest point from home, of course, and naturally when followed all the way home by other people.  You try walking when it feels like you've got a boot on one foot and a flipper on the other.. in the mud... with a dog...

Note, suddenly proclivity of the bathroom light "pull" not to work when pulled in the customary perpendicular fashion - oh no, it has to be at about 25deg from the vertical and away from you in order to work now and even then it's hit and miss.  

Note, desktop light choosing to flicker every once in a while in poltergesit-style fashion.  Not simply going off.  Not simply flickering.  But more like a kind of Swan Lake dying scene routine... and then several moments later, it is back to life again.

But still,  I am sure there are rational explanations for all the abovc, most likely involving the words "old", "need" and "replacing".  Sounds familiar.

On a brighter note, snooker is going well...

Posted by Jon at 12:26:09 AM in Musing (23) | Comments (0)