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Archive for the “Thinking” Category

Dynamo is one the UK’s young an bright magicians.. In huge demand for a number of high profile companies, he’s now turned his hand to helping Nokia with their new Nokia Connectors campaign

Both videos feature some nice magic with the Nokia phone’s

It’s nice to see magic coming back into the mainstream again.. and it’s nice to see it’s the UK guys working in conjunction with companies like Nokia to bring it to the public eye..

If you read my blog, you’ll be aware that Dynamo did his first UK lecture last year at the International Magic Convention in London

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Today is our anniversary, it’s also one year to the day since I asked Michelle to be my wife. For the last 365 days I have realised how lucky I am to have her in my life, and how lucky I am she said yes. I have also loved her more with each passing moment..

It seems like only yesterday that we were out in Paris, the sun was shining, and we were drinking wine at the top of monmatre..

A while ago, I gave Michelle a book of things I’d written with her in mind.. One of pages contains this, and I think it probably makes it clear why I’m very happy that soon, she’ll be my wife..

Have I told you today..

That my mind feels quiet when it’s restin on your shoulders..

That my heart beats stronger when its next to yours..

That my breathing matches yours in the middle of the night..

..and that when we are together, it just feels so right..

We’re off to our favorite restaurant tonight.. champagne.. and the best company in the world.. each other.

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Get A First Life353O5TijI still really don’t get Second Life;

Second Life is a 3-D virtual world entirely built and owned by its residents. Since opening to the public in 2003, it has grown explosively and today is inhabited by a total of 3,631,035 people from around the globe.

* From the moment you enter the World you’ll discover a vast digital continent, teeming with people, entertainment, experiences and opportunity. Once you’ve explored a bit, perhaps you’ll find a perfect parcel of land to build your house or business.

* You’ll also be surrounded by the Creations of your fellow residents. Because residents retain the rights to their digital creations, they can buy, sell and trade with other residents.

* The Marketplace currently supports millions of US dollars in monthly transactions. This commerce is handled with the in-world unit-of-trade, the Linden dollar, which can be converted to US dollars at several thriving online Linden Dollar exchanges.

Well I suppose in a way I do get it, I mean I know what it is.. That’s mainly because back in 1998 we came up with an idea called Bomba Dang, an environment centred around a virtual world that you controlled and interacted with, we’d planned on making money from specific advertising around the players interests and behaviour. If only I’d pushed some effort into it I might be worth a bit by now!!

Many people see Second Life as a bit of a waste of space, a place people hide form the real world. Get a First Life is a great parody on second life..

But IBM have pushed Second Life hard, we’ve set up a business unit, even Sams jumped into the virtual world, IBM pushing a $100 million investment into the virtual world to incubate new businesses.

But I’m confused.. mainly because I never got how to actually work it.. I loaded it on the Mac months ago.. I got an avatar, I logged in… and all I managed to do was to take off my clothes and sit in a fountain.. I’m probably still sat there in the fountain, butt naked and being gapped at my other bewildered virtual users.

Of course I took my clothes off purely by accident, and it wasn’t my intent to make my first excursion into the virtual world as some sort of cyber-streaker..

Even us Magishes are moving into Second Life; Sin City has put an open call out for Second Lifers to move into Nevada’s favorite destination and make it just as wild of a place as it’s flesh and blood version is;

Welcome to Ace of Spades, a modern based SL located in the heart of Las Vegas, Nevada. In Vegas, everything and anything goes, and your character has a chance to be a part of it. Just visiting? Vacation home? Resident? Star performer like Siegfried and Roy or the show Cirque du Soleil? Entrepreneur? Part of the mafia? Then you’ve come to the right place. This isn’t your typical apartment style storyline. We’re looking for fun, creative, and active members for this new, up and coming SL.

So what am I missing?? Why cant I see what I need to do, and how to do it? and why aren’t I seeing what other people see?

Maybe I’m being like the people I spoke to when I first got ‘The internet’ when I was about 18.. Their comments were pretty much ‘..well what do you wanna do that for.. it’s pointless its not going anyplace.. I don’t get it..’

So I guess some how in my onward journey in IBM I should get my head around exactly what’s happening with Virtual Environments and Businesses ?

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IMG_5559.JPGSo 2006 has almost certainly been an amazing year, its been almost certainly the most life changing and enjoyable year I’ve had for a long time.

Even new year was pretty much the best one I’ve been at. We used the farm in Wales again to have a party weekend (more a chilled weekend) from Friday through to Monday. Friday was pretty chilled, getting up there mid afternoon, we had pizza and settled in for the weekend. About fifteen of us were up there this time, and it was a great number. Saturday was chilled (after late night hot tubbing) with most people getting up just before lunch time, New Years Eve itself, the sunday, we decided to dress up in black tie (I had myself a nice little collar and cuffs for the hot tub as well). I actually spent most of sunday afternoon playing with my new toys, Traktor Studio 3, and a Audio Kontrol One unit for the MacBook. I used to DJ many many moons ago, and always wanted to get back into it. Traktor and Kontrol One let me do that directly from my MacBook, and after a few hours in the kitchen at the farm I was almost getting back to being reasonable again.. thankfully when I did the evening bit we all decided to hit the hot tub and things rather than put me through the horror of having to carve up tracks in front of people…

I even got to play some magic the weekend as well, giving the Third Degree Burn a quick outing, a bit of Green Unshuffling of a shuffed deck, and my own Respelt a dusting off..

The only downside is coming back with some weird chest/sinus/head infection that’s had me in bed since Monday evening, but the New Year weekend itself was just great, but I think the thing that really hit home that weekend is just how different my life is now than it was before. I don’t think there’s been a single month where we haven’t gone away for the weekend, or more than a week when we haven’t gone out and done something, or seen friends. Just on the subject of friends alone.. I have probably more people in my life now that mean, and I really mean, mean something to me than ever before. I feel very comfortable just being me, enjoying the things I love doing and the things that make me happy, without having to worry about what people think or what people assume, the people around me like me for me…

I can look back over a amazing year…

Fantastic Trips away, like Oasis, longleat, Wfest 06, the Halloween Ball, attending Fism for the first time, having more people at our birthday than I have ever had, an amazing valentines present of heading down to Cornwall to see Jeff McBride and seeing the sights of Cornwall, perfect nights in, amazing nights out. wonderful company, and probably most importantly enough smiles with the woman I love to last a lifetime

its been a great year, and a lot of that’s been down to meeting and being with Michelle, I hope I have many more excellent years, and my collection of smiles gets much bigger…

..Resolutions?? To try and make each day special for me and Michelle, to love her more than yesterday and less than tomorrow, to never take for granted what I have, and to always remember how lucky I am…

Happy New Year

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   Its been one of those weird starts to the week again, something of a nothing after you get over the excitement of the weekend. It probably didn’t help this morning having forgotten a number of quite important items when leaving the house, most notably my headphones. Its somewhat useless having your iPod loaded up with all the podcasts for today, and having no way of listening to them..

   So all this by the by, move on with the day and look at the tasks in hand. The one thing keeping me going this week is really the lady. Its amazing how just the smallest things can flavour the day with nice relaxing feelings that can help you cope with all the unimportantance that lands on your day.

   I was thinking this morning as I was scrabbling around for my wallet (and finding it wasn’t quite where I left it) about the idea of Ladies, Gentlemen, Friends and Enemies. It used to be an line in someones stage act, and I’ll need to hunt out and work out who it was.. “Ladies, Gentlemen, Friends and Enemies, I present to you.. A spectacle of wonder and amazement..

   So what is the spectacle of wonder and amazement? Sometimes I thnk its my life.. I’ve done more in the last five months than I’ve ever done before. I have more friends and people that care about me than I ever used to have. In some respects this is down to that mix of who I’ve had around me in my past, both good and bad.. The bad always enforcing the good things, the positive things, and framing the fact that life is actually quite good.

   Could I have gathered up 25 people to go out with on a friday night six months ago? Definately not! Could I have been struggling to keep up with my social life and trying to remember the next free weekend when I’m not doing anything? Absolutley not! Could I have switched off and forgotten about the real world and relaxed and enjoyed time away from home? Almost unheard of..

   So what’s changed? To be honest probably nothing has changed as such, its more a case of becoming the me that I think I’ve always been, but has just been suppressed. Theres an entry on my blog from the Spice Christmas Ball, and I think thats really the time when all this started to happen, the real me started to emerge again. I like this me, and certainly will try and rise over any difficult enemies to keep that me

   Someone on the train this morning was asking about me handwritting this blog entry on my TabletPC, and we spent a little bit of time discussing how neither of us really could manage without a tablet. It was odd, and when he left the train he wished me a good day, and said he’d enjoyed listening to me and what I’d said.. Maybe everything I say isn’t meaningless..

   Oh and the final thought.. Chocolate… Nigel Slater said that the best mid morning pick me up is Bread and Chocolate..

“It seems the oddest of all combinations, bread and chocolate. But a light airy bap, one of the flat ones with a little flour on top, is quite delightful as a snack when split and eaten with squares of fine chocolate. I didn’t believe it either till I tried it. If the fickleness of fashion has had your baker swapping his floury baps for holey ciabatta, don’t worry, it will work just as well.”

I believe this is something that I will need today and tomrrow to get through the week.. So.. Ladies, Gentlemen, Friends and Enemies… enjoy your day.. and all it holds for you… (Chocolate included)

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I’m listening to the new Corinne Bailey Rae album that arrived yesterday morning as I sit on the 7:12 from Reading to Waterloo, lifes pretty good right now. I think I’m starting to finally see that, and understand the things I have around me, that are just worth more that I can put into words.

I’ve come to realise that perspective on life sometimes needs to be turned on its head to really see the complete, and correct picture. That the small things are sometimes the most important and biggest things.

I’m seeing and experiencing things that I haven’t experienced for almost five or six years, and as I have said in previous posts, I’m probably surrounded now by more friends than I’ve ever been before in my life, these are friends I think that are more genuine and honest about their intentions than previously. We all learn lessons from whats past, and I guess we should always be grateful for the slight bumps in the road of life that make the other parts of the journey better.

There have been serious bumps on my road over the last 33 years, some more major than others, and some that still hurt intensely, constant reminders of things that have passed, Deepak Chopra once said Every decision I make is a choice between a grievance and a miracle, I relinquish all regrets, grievances and resentments and choose the miracle. I guess the thought for the day is simpley just that..

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“Wisdom consists in doing the next thing you have to do, doing it with your whole heart, and finding delight in doing it.”

Meister Eckhart.

I was reading through my email this evening and found a note from Mark Forster.. He was writing about having a method of only accepting new commitments to which you can say a whole-hearted ‘yes’ to.

He was talking about physically asking yourself the question; ‘Can I say a whole-hearted yes to this?’; is this something that I can with my whole heart say yes to.. its a simple rule really, probably something most people don’t even think about doing before we leap head long into something new..

There’s nothing wrong with actually saying ‘No’ to something, and its a good measure to see if its something you will be able to put your whole heart into..

How many things have we done where the initial excitement or commitment to it has fizzled out, or not been something that was as successful or completed as we’d wanted?

We often use the phrase ‘My heart wasn’t in it’ as a cover for really attempting to do something, or commit to something that we didn’t really want to do, even if we felt that we should do it, maybe because it was expected of us..

When we talk about our heart, not in the organ sense, we really are talking about a combination everything that really makes us up, our minds, our bodies, our intellect, feelings and emotions. Really our ‘heart’ is the core of who we really are, and if the core of who we are is not committed to doing the task in hand… We’re never going to be successful at it..

We have many many reasons why we end up in the situation where we really don’t have our heart in the task, or commitment we’re taking on. It could be something else is more important to us, and we’re really only sharing time between that situation or task, and this one. In these situations both suffer, and we end up in effect spoiling both.

Before we take on anything, be it a job, a task, and commitment or situation, we should always ask ourselves; ‘What is my heart saying?’

I will be the first to admit, sometimes my heart isn’t in a lot of things, even if I think it is, like many people I tend to be frightened of the answer to that question.. ‘What is my heart saying about this?’ I know that’s its always better to face up to things, rather than bury them. That frightening answer may be that you need to make a fresh commitment to the situation, or possibly that you need to remove yourself from the situation altogether and walk away from it..

‘What is my heart saying?’ is probably the most powerful question you can ask yourself, because our heart encapsulates everything about us, it really is the single mirror of truth on everything we encounter. If i ask myself ‘what is my heart saying..’ about anything in my life, it provides a small stop gap, a second of thought to really understand how the core of ‘me’ feels about what I’m committing to.

If you heart says no, then you can never fully commit to that task, situation or decision, and if you did, you would start a something you know full well you cannot commit you whole heart to.

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“If you change your mind, I’m the first in line

Honey I’m still free

Take a chance on me

If you need me, let me know, gonna be around

If you’ve got no place to go, if you’re feeling down

If you’re all alone when the pretty birds have flown

Honey I’m still free

Take a chance on me

Gonna do my very best and it ain’t no lie

If you put me to the test, if you let me try”

So I’m sat early in the morning in bed on the laptop listening to Whatever from the album Seaside by Max Melvin, thinking about the evening I’ve just had out. It was an evening out, that somewhat opened my eyes to my life and how I’m living within it.

I realised a number of things this evening. I realised that I can sit talking with people because they want to talk to me, because I’m me…

I realised that I can go and do stuff on my own, and enjoy doing it, because it pleases me, and not anyone else…

I realised that I am a special person with a lot to offer those that want to be with me, and be part of my life..

I realised that I’ve not always told people what I really feel, and how important they are to me, I’ve never found the right words to describe their importance to me, and ended up making them feel like they were just ‘someone’ to me, when in fact they meant more than everything in the world, I just couldn’t express or convey that to them, I regret with my whole heart I’ve never been brave enough to do that, that I’ve lost special things to me because of that, and I wish I could turn back the clock and tell people what they meant and how important they were to me and my being…

But I did realise that no matter what in the world I am, I do have a quite wonderful life, and those that wish to share it with me are quite lucky to do so, in that I will treat anyone in my life with the up-most respect and value, as if they are one of my family, that they will embark on a journey that will not only enhance mine, but their own life as well..

I wish some people could take a chance on me, and dig slightly deeper on who I am, and what I can give them, that they would see the real me, and the depths that I have, depths that are discovered over time, depths that I don’t think anyone has really yet found, or experienced.. and I wish sometimes I could bring some of those qualities and depths to the surface sooner, rather than hiding them deep within my soul..

I’ve also realised that I shouldn’t have come home with the traffic cone or the road works sign.. and that somehow I believe I left my shoes on the dance floor and my sock are wet… This however is all part of being ME..

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Dance like no one is watching,

Sing like no one is listening,

Love like you’ve never been hurt,

Live like it’s heaven on earth.

Mark Twain

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You left me and went your way

I thought I should mourn and grieve

Over my loss

For time is short.

Youth wanes year after year

Spring days are fugitive

Fragile flowers die for nothing

And the wise man warns me

Life is but a dewdrop

On a trembling leaf.

Should I neglect all this?

To gaze after you

Who has turn her back on me?

That would be foolish

For time is short.

Therefore come to me

My rainy nights, with pattering feet.

Smile my golden autumn

Come, careless April

Scattering your kisses abroad

And come, you too my lover.

We are mortals

And it is wise

To break your heart

For the one

Who takes your heart away

For time is short

It is sweet to sit in a corner

And long for you

Who is my world

You have my sorrow

I wipe away my tears

And change my song

To one of laughter

For time is short

Deepak Chopra

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