Random

2
Jun 16

Hyper-reality

I absolutely love this piece of video art!

Hyper-reality


29
Oct 15

The Secret Life of Waves

This is the best documentary I have ever seen. Waves are very cool, so I expected this to be very cool. I did NOT expect it to change my view on life and death. It might not have this effect on you.

The Secret Life of Waves

It’s not on iPlayer just now but I’m sure you enterprising folks can manage to watch it somehow. And I think that you should.


6
Sep 15

Jim Carrey’s graduation speech is one of the best I’ve ever seen

These are the words of an enlightened chap.

It’s all good, but this links to 10 minutes in where it starts to get proper decent.

Jim Carrey graduation speech


30
Aug 15

The Magic Flute, EIF 2015

The Magic Flute in the Festival Theatre was absolutely incredible.

The Magic Flute

I didn’t expect it to be so funny (but the story is kind of heavy when you think about it!). Totally my cup of tea.


7
Nov 13

My first out-of-body experience

This is the email I quickly sent myself immediately afterwards:

I was falling asleep, on and off, on top of my bed fairly early in the evening. It felt like I had woken up and thought I was walking through to the sitting room but something was odd because there was a door on it [there isn’t a door on my sitting room entrance] and it was closed. Somewhat like a lucid dream.

I turned away from the door and suddenly I was back lying on my bed again, still feeling I was awake, but I could sense someone behind me, spooning me. I was only able to turn around very slowly (and could never quite see my face), but I soon realised it was me, dressed exactly like I was and in exactly the same position as me. After what felt like a minute or so of this, I woke up.

Very cool and very much like sleep paralysis but not scary at all.


22
Aug 07

Gleneagles

Hack outside Gleneagles

So I’m writing this in some rare glorious sunshine in the gardens of the Gleneagles hotel while Sarah is inside getting a Swedish massage. Her birthday treat has gone down rather well. But, of course, how could it not? The whole experience has been as luxurious as you’d expect.

Between playing petanque and croquet, swimming, lounging around in the hot tubs, eating, walking around the grounds and enjoying the lovely room, it has been an awesome couple of days. The breakfast menu said the buffet was an experience in its self and it was right – we spent and hour and a half gorging ourselves. It lived up to the standard set by the lamb and wild salmon we ate last night. The whole thing is a far cry from the climbing trips I’m used to – eating bread and cheese and sleeping under the trolleys outside Morrison’s in Fort William – and I’ve enjoyed it just as much!

Sarah hanging out at Gleneagles

Everything is excellent here (except the enormous price of a round of drinks) – from the bedroom to the flower beds to the staff going a hundred times out of their way to be nice to you and help you out. It’s nice to see how the other half live and it’s a great treat (although I wouldn’t want to pay full whack!).

I’m off to play hacky sack now to a great backdrop. Then we’re going for a drive about to eat pastries and perhaps look at the Fortingall Yew. Magic.


16
Aug 07

Toast

Madness – our managed offices have just removed the toaster from the kitchen because it was deemed to be a fire hazard. Yes, just a normal toaster. The insanity has reached a new level. Euan said it nicely: “A toaster in a kitchen, I’ve never heard of such a thing!”.

As you might have guessed, I’ve just tried to toast something.


30
Apr 07

Heard in the pub

I walked into a pub toilet at the weekend to overhear some guy doing a pee saying this to another punter:

Do you get a lot of people from Papua New Guinea here?

[pretending to be from PNG]: We eat each other, but we’re generally small.

I’m cool with that man – I’m not from Edinburgh, I’m not from Glasgow. I’m from Crieff; small town, big people.

Then he walked out.


14
Apr 06

Trippy cartoon

Pedro showed me these entertaining, often disturbing cartoons.

Salad Fingers and Toast Boy are exceptionally trippy.


4
Feb 06

Cockroach mind controlling wasps

Cockroach mind controlling wasps.

I’m torn between being amazed and a bit minged-out by this one.


20
Jan 06

Nostalgia

Massive sand dune jump near Thurso

I found a couple of old albums the other day so I scanned and added a bunch of photos from when I was growing up. I reckon they’re pretty cool.


17
Jan 06

Studio 24 lives!

Woohoo! According to the Evening News, Studio 24 won’t be closing after all – they have been granted an extended license despite a campaign from local residents. Looks like Edinburgh techno might not be totally screwed after all :)

I can’t link to it since I’m not subscribed, but I’d imagine there will be some information on this site soon enough.


13
Jan 06

See no evil

I went for an eye test the other day because I noticed things like signs were a bit blurry after work. I had assumed that, just like my last eye test three years ago, they’d tell me I was A-OK and that the blurryness was from using a computer all day and my eyes taking a little while to re-focus. Which is why I was gobsmacked when they told me I am short-sighted.

It’s not uncommon for folk in their twenties to need glasses, especially ones who work with computers. It happens all the time – I know that. I just can’t believe that I’m one of them. Arthritis, yes. Back problems, expected. But not my eyes. In fact, all my life I couldn’t picture anyone needing glasses less than me. Which is why my first thought was that the test must be wrong and that I would get another. However, basic “can you read that?” tests with Jason and Karl showed that I’m really not as good at seeing stuff as them.

Fuck. Looks like I’m going to join the speccy twot brigade. Right, time to learn about vision.


17
Dec 05

Paul and Nodds…

…you are a pair of twots.


13
Nov 05

I love going clubbing

Because sometimes you get photos like this:


30
Oct 05

Reason not to fart in public

I was going to call this post “Another reason not to fart in public”, but I realised that saving them up for this is the only good reason not to.

Today I discovered that you can make some excellent noises if you fart when skooshing your arse with the shower head.


29
Aug 05

Partying

I hadn’t partied much this year until a few weeks ago and had forgotten how good it tastes. The last three weekends have seen three brilliant parties and a couple of really good clubs. These days though, going clubbing just seems like a warm up for going to a party, which are much more fun when you’re with the right crowd. I’ve met some exceptionally cool people and had a silly amount of fun winding people up, climbing along couches with Sarah while laughing uncontrollably and generally arsing about in fine style.

At one stage this weekend my mate Paul said,

“Mark, I think that you are Jesus Christ”

Any party where someone tells you you’re the son of God then later suggests that you get cloned for deployment in warzones and nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize has just got to be good, right?


18
Jul 05

Girly magazine sillyness

I read a girly magazine that my flatmate left on the table while I was eating my breakfast today. Check out some of this crap (direct quotes), from an article titled His date moves decoded>

“His hands cover his crotch = he’s indecisive and wants looking after.

He looks away to the left while talking to you = he’s thinking of his past – could be one of his exes!

He looks away to the right while talking to you = he’s imagining something. If he’s facing you, he could be fantasising about you.”

“He is lying back in his chair = he’s letting you know how great he’d look in bed.”

“If the tongue pokes out of his mouth, he’s signalling disapproval, or even disgust. You’re probably not the date he was looking for, but don’t take it too personally – this man is just telling you you’re not his ideal.”

“A raised eyebrow is a signal of active interest. The initial signs would appear to be very positive.”

Well, if hell ever gets cold enough and I actually manage to get a date with someone who reads this, I’m going to be completely and unfairly fucked (not in the good sense). I do all of this stuff all the time – I must have an active interest in every single person I meet, fantasise about everyone on the planet, be disgusted at everything, think I’m great in bed and be very indecisive all the time.

What a load of guff. A complete bag of nonsense. I’m just restless enough to move around all the time – I certainly don’t signal all my mates that I’m great in bed, that I’m interested in them and that I want looking after (yeuch!). I’m telling you, it’ll be just my luck… :roll:


18
Jul 05

News sillyness

I heard on the radio today that the NHS maternity conditions in England and Wales are very poor. Now while this may well be a very valid point, the quote on the radio made me laugh enough to nearly spit out my sandwich. It went something like this:

“After such a terrible time in the maternity ward, I decided to have a home birth. The conditions were awful: I spent several hours in a room with white walls and lots of complicated and scary looking medical equipment in it. I mean, really, how am I meant to relax in such a place?”

Where do they find these people? Medical equipment in a hospital – whatever next? The white walls must’ve been the final straw though, I’m sure.


18
Apr 05

Some wee things

A few wee snippets from my life, in no particular order:

  • Leaves appeared on the tree outside my window almost overnight.
  • I’m trying out some new hosting (not on any live sites yet though – I have learnt from past mistakes!).
  • My radiator is damn hot – I scalded my testicles on it yesterday.
  • I’ve been programming loads recently, but that would (will) fill at least another post.
  • I have discovered Tesco Crunchy Oat Cereal with Tropical Fruits. This is a big deal – I’ve always loved the look of these sorts of cereals, but this is the first one I’ve found without nuts and I’m loving it.
  • I’ve been having injury management issues lately, mostly stemming from old broken bones – occasionally sore back, sore ankle (out of nowhere, after four years in retirement!), tendon in my finger, tweaky knee… I’m falling apart!
  • We’re just about to break into some great weather – I know it.
  • I’ve been to the pub in Haddington the last two weekends, but I live in Edinburgh – not sure what went wrong there.

15
Mar 05

Spring is in the air

There is no better time than spring. Recently I’ve been out on a couple of days that definitely qualify as spring time, even if just by the skin of their teeth. March is a crap month. I’m fully bored of the so-called winter and just want some light and energy to return to the country. It feels so close, yet there are still a couple of weeks to wait yet. To add insult to injury, it’s always a wet couple of weeks. Enough already, let’s get on with some of the good life. I’ve had a couple of good days out recently with Andy W – early doors up at the N3 singletrack heaven – and Dave and Karl Blundell, an old X-Teamer who we’ve not seen for years. Neither days were particuarly summery, but they did show hints of those perfect days and they’ve got me hyped to the max.

Brendan talks about The Plans. He’s right, there’s no better time than spring to get dreaming of what this perfect summer will entail. He is talking about biking in between jobs and I must confess to being rather jealou, although I hope he has a great week of biking or whatever he gets up to. This year I’m planning on getting a load of biking done in Scotland. I want to be fit, but I don’t care about events. I just want to be be plenty fit enough to do big rides in the hills without worry and be able to ride all the trails I want. This year my focus will be ‘soul biking’ (or whatever) – I’m going to find the best piece of six inch wide technical singletrack in the county and ride it with my friends until the grin consumes my entire face. And then I’m going to find another best piece of six inch wide singletrack in the country and ride that. Fuck yeah! Bring on the summer, I can’t stop day-dreaming about it.


25
Feb 05

Turbo update

After returning from biking in Spain (photos are coming, honestly) I moved flat to the other end of Edinburgh, installed Gentoo on my computer (takes ages), took on loads of freelance work, got excited about kiting, decided I want a new laptop, nearly let Dave get my bike stolen, arsed about some more with Gentoo, finally sorted out a net connection at the flat, pulled an all-time great wind-up on Andy, got offered a job, did some really good biking in the Gallies, did some more coding, signed a non-disclosure agreement and now I’ve got pink hair.

Well, it wouldn’t be a turbo-update if all the details weren’t in one big sentence. I’d love to have enough time to write something decent for this site!


27
Jan 05

Holiday time

Just in case I’ve not wound anyone up about this – I’m going off mountain biking in Spain for a week with Dave and Peter. Enjoy damp Scotland people…

See you in a week! :)


21
Jan 05

stuff

Extreme sleepover champs

I’ve just received this exclusive photograph of Stuart, our man at the Extreme Sleepover Championships. Stuart, in his quest for new adventure sports, took up ‘sleepovering’ after a knee injury meant that he had to stop playing women’s netball and ‘creepy diabolo’ (also pictured). He soon realised that he had a talent for it and shot through the ranks, quickly gaining the title of “Queen of the East”. After just a short time competing at the local level, Stuart became a member of the British squad and is now hoping to attend the World Sleepover Championships in the summer. Until then, you can catch him at any of the National Points Series events or at any of the “Sleep Camp” training weekends this year.

Stuart perfomed very well at the champs and narrowly missed out on first place, getting pipped at the post by a young whipper-snapper who made a mean cup of hot chocolate and put on the best midnight feast the judges had ever seen.

Well done from everyone at Wind Things.

Freaky diabolo boy

Stuart – remember it’s my birthday, so you can’t remove this post… :)


20
Jan 05

Appleball

Here are the rules of Appleball, a game that Brendan, Pedro and I developed while wandering about in the Garleton Hills when I was recovering from an injury. The game first came about by throwing apples, but these were soon replaced with juggling balls due to the rather short life span of the apples. I recommend 120g JAC juggling balls, available at Wind Things. Balls that bounce or roll too much won’t work. The game is equally at home in Tesco’s car park as it is in the hills, as some rather confused Czech boys, who we managed to convince to play the game, will be able to tell you.

I’m releasing the rules under a Creative Commons licence. Utterly pointless, of course, but it sounds cool. OK, here are the rules (almost certainly incomplete – I’ll tweak them as I remember them!):

Appleball requires three players or more, but is noticably better when played with just three players. It is a tactical, turn-based ball game that involves throwing your own ball to try to gain points. Points are gained by either hitting another ball or by hitting the current target. The winner is the first player to fifteen points.

Setup:

  1. Play stone-paper-scissors to decide the initial order of play.
  2. The first player selects the first target and throws his ball first, as far or near as he likes. No points are scored if the target is hit by the first player on the first throw.

Throwing rules:

  1. The person farthest from the target throws, unless he has just thrown.
  2. A throw must finish closer to the target than where it was thrown from. If this is not the case, the thrower misses an entire throw.
  3. Throws must be made with one foot where the ball lay and the other foot not closer to the target than the first foot.
  4. If a ball hits an opponents ball, the thrower gets a point and gets to throw again. The same opponents ball cannot be hit twice in a row, even if the throwers ball lands behind it.
  5. If a ball hits an opponents ball and rolls/bounces on to hit another opponents ball, the points are doubled (four points awarded for two balls, six for three…).
  6. If a ball hits the target, the thrower gets a point and everyone collects their balls and moves to the target. The thrower who hit the target selects the next target and throws first. Again, no points are scored if the target is hit by the first player on the first throw. The thrower who was next closest is second, etc.

Some thoughts:

  1. Location – although I imagine you could play the game in all sorts of places, try to pick somewhere with plenty of space. A smattering of obstacles keep things interesting. Woods are probably bad and groups of neds are worth avoiding.
  2. Target selection – entirely up to the thrower, although something too close or too easy to hit isn’t that great. Fence posts, lamp posts and small signs work well.
  3. Attitude – remain focused and deadly serious at all times. Appleball is the reason for life itself. Don’t lose sight of that in favour of taking the piss out of your mates. Never play Appleball under the influence of alcohol. Not even strange Czech spirits…
  4. Tactics – the good part of the game is working them out for yourself :)