Thursday, January 29, 2009

They might be having too much fun...

My eldest brother and sister-in-law got JKY an awesome present for Christmas: Here Come the ABCs by They Might Be Giants. It's a kid's CD, but made by a 'proper' band. 

Most CDs aimed at toddlers start to turn you mental after hearing them for the hundredth time, but for some reason, it's different listening to HCTABCs over and over. You don't seem to mind, and soon start singing along with childish glee.

The band members have obviously got to the stage where they have kids of their own, and figured they could release something better than what was currently available. It must be lots of fun putting something like this together - you don't have to worry about 'pleasing' your audience, coming up with meaningful and insightful lyrics. You just let your imagination run riot and have a blast. 

I particularly like 'The Alphabet of Nations', 'Flying V' and 'Who Put The Alphabet In Alphabetical Order?'-  suitably random but catchy tunes. My only gripe is that they say 'Zee' for Z and not 'Zed' like in the Queen's English, but - hey! - what can you do? They're American, bless 'em!

So, if you can't think of what to get your nephew/niece/son/daughter/grandchild, I thoroughly recommend this CD (alternatively, you could get it yourself to please your inner child). 

Also, check out Snacktime by the Barenaked Ladies. I haven't heard it, but it's a similar concept and knowing the BNLs it should be damn good fun, too!

Nation X

If I were to start a new country, it's name would begin with the letter 'X'. There is no country that begins with the letter 'X' and I think there should be.

Some suggestions...


Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Surfing Prez

Last night I dreamt about Barack Obama (weird, because I don't think I've ever had a dream containing any head of state, past or present). We were supposed to go surfing together but he was too busy. 

I was a bit disappointed, but he did say he'd reschedule.

Thursday, January 22, 2009

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Skater boi

My little brother (who's not so little - he's 20) has a tendency to ask random questions in the middle of a conversation (they usually crack me up and can be a timley antidote to awkward silences).

A few months ago, at lunch around the clan's table (mum, dad, two brothers, Wifey, nephew and JKY) he asked me out of the blue 'Why don't you become a skater?' My reply was: 'Because I'm 33'.

Whilst the thought of me hanging out with kids half my age wearing baggy jeans and causing mayhem in the high street sliding across park benches is laughable, the fact that he thought I had the potential to be a skater cheered me up no end.

Friday, January 16, 2009

Men are from Mars...

Over the Christmas period, we visited family in Oxfordshire and on one occasion we visited the local town and popped into one of the oldest antique shops in Britain (apparently).

All year we've been on the lookout for anything bronze that we could get for our 8th (Bronze) wedding anniversary, and by chance Wifey came across two bronze statuettes. Not exactly my cup of tea, but Wifey liked them and at least we had found something before the next anniversary (which is Pottery by the way). As we continued browsing, I noticed another bronze item for only a fiver which was more to my taste and we snapped that up as well.

Here is Wifey's choice of bronze anniversary item...

And this is mine...

I think it says a lot about men's and women's mentality, don't you? She chooses a pair of dainty dancers, I choose a big, pointy, heavy lump of bronze. How manly of me! Rarr! 

Now I just need to work out exactly what the hell it is...

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Petrol pumps can stress you out

I pity the poor saps who approach the petrol station (that's Gas station for all you Yanks out there) and for some reason seem terrified of the prospect of filling up at the side that is furthest from the petrol cap.

OH NO! You have to drag the nozzle around the back of the car...and it might be too short...and you might look stupid...flammable liquid everywhere...the universe implodes.

I don't care. The pipes are more than long enough. I do it all the time. It means I can fill up quicker and be on my way. Hah!

Saturday, January 10, 2009

Funeral for a Friend

Today I attended the funeral of a good friend who was only 32. Mandy died of cancer which had been preceded by a long-term condition she had endured for most of her life: growths on her spinal column that often caused her discomfort and pain. It is weird to think that she is gone and that I will never speak to or hear from her again for as long as I live. It was also strange to see her body carried in a wooden box down the aisle to the front of the chapel and then disappear behind an automated curtain at the end of the serivce.

I was deeply moved by the short address that was given by the headmaster of a special needs school. Working as a volunteer for 17 years (yes , seventeen!) Mandy was tireless in her efforts in supporting children who needed significant levels of care. The picture he painted was of a dedicated young woman who was more interested in getting things done - being there for the kids - than receiving any recognition for it.

Humbling indeed.

I feel somewhat guilty, however, that I don't feel sadder than I do. I spent plenty of time with her, but she wasn't my closest of friends and she wasn't family. I think perhaps what is stopping me from being overwhelmed by her loss is that I know she is no longer in pain and in a much better place. She gave her life to God many years ago, and in that I am assured of where she is now (as much as I can be about anyone). In Heaven, her body and mind have been renewed and she is with the Lord - dancing, laughing, singing and smiling with utter joy.

I am happy for her and, to be honest, I'm slightly envious. I can't wait to be in Heaven - to be close to God and experience indescribable peace, joy and contentment - but I know it is not my time yet. I have a family to look after, and I am sure there are a number of things God wants me to do before I go.

What did sadden me, though, was seeing her family was mourning the loss of a precious daughter, sister and auntie. They will miss her so much more than I, and when I think of that it genuinely makes me sad.

Funerals are a stark way of reminding us of our mortality - of the fragility and uncertainty of life. That is why I am determined to make more of an effort with people I care about. I know that I am pants at keeping in touch, offering a shoulder to cry on or knowing when to encourage another- but what today has shown me is that rather than shy away from these things, I need to at least try.

So long, Mandy. It was great to know you. You were a good friend and an inspiration to us all.

Tuesday, January 6, 2009

I have arrived!

I always wanted to be like those hip and trendy creative types who would be sitting in cafe, clacking away on their Apple laptops, sipping latte and enjoying the relaxed atmosphere.

This is something I had always wanted to do - even though I alway regarded those people as ponces, I envied their bohemian-yet-trendy lifestyles.

Earlier today, I was sitting in the Juno Lounge clacking away on my Apple laptop sipping a latte and enjoying the relaxed atmosphere. 'At last!' I thought 'I have arrived!' I have finally become a ponce!

Sunday, January 4, 2009

Mr Anonymous

Call me paranoid, but before I started this blog, I decided I would keep things as anonymous as possible. Not least because I fear those evil phishing webmonkeys would gleam enough from my entries to be able to fleece my credit card...oops! I've said too much!

I don't even have a credit card. Or a bank account. In fact, I keep all my money under my mattress. Hmm - you might come round and rob my house. Actually, er, I only accept payment in livestock, fruit, vegetables or lint. So don't bother. It's simply not worth it. Go and steal from that Richard Branson guy, he's LOADED.

So if you're wondering how I'm going to do this, I will explain. Are you sitting comfortably? Good. I will always refer to myself as JC. I won't tell you why, but if you know me already then you will know. My friends aren't gonna rob me. I am married with a toddler son. My wife I will simply call Wifey and my son JK. I live in Cardiff, the capital city of Wales, and I like food. That's all I'm going to say about my personal details.

Ha! Try and find out who I am now, evil phishing webmonkey riffraff!

Saturday, January 3, 2009

Oh no! Not another flippin' blog!

Well, I've finally gone and done it. After months of planning, preparing and chickening out on numerous occasions I have finally set up my personal blog.

I realise that about seventeen billion blogs have been set up since the idea began a few short years ago - most of them abandoned after just a handful of entries - but I have to say I'm not too bothered about how many people read them. My reasons for going 'bloggy' are purely selfish.

If anyone happens across my random mutterings they are more than welcome to join in the fun, have a cup of tea, munch on a jammie dodger or two and tell me how wrong I am...but it won't matter to me if no one reads it. You see, I'm writing this because I'm trying to improve my writing skills, and that can only be done by regular stints at the keyboard.

My self-discipline is appalling sometimes, but I'm hoping that having a blog will spur me on to write more often than I have been of late. Even if it's two or three sentences, I still think it helps.

So what will I write about? Oh, well, just about anything and everything: observations about life, God, jokes, interesting photos, other websites I've come across, random thoughts. Fatal, I know. I'm sure one of the first commandments of blogging is to stick to a subject rather than try and cover everything, but like I said I'm doing this for me, not the internet community at large. Plus, I have two other blogs on the go already (whoa there! I hear you scream, you're taking on too much in one go - slllloooowwww ddddoooowwwwnnnn!) but they are a lot more specific (and require very little writing- hurrah!).

The first one is a blog of all the videos I've produced lately (FarSight TV), and the other (FarSight's Video Vault) is postings of videos I've come across on the 'net which loosely come under the banner of corporate videos, TV ads and PR films. The reason for these blogs existing is that anyone who's anyone in the media (that includes me, now, apparently) has to have a blog. It also helps you with your Google scoring or something...

Well, I think I've justified myself enough for one entry. Thanks for reading, and if you have any comments, please feel free to send it to me at the usual.


By the way, read this. It almost convinced me not do it.