Sunday, December 30, 2007

Teesway One Nine Nine

the science of spinning and some pre new year humour.

Teesway 1 9 9


Saturday, December 01, 2007

Tom Conti, Naked (Romantic Comedy)

for my birthday, Bulbgirl took me to see romantic comedy, a play directed by, and starring one of scotland's best loved actors, Tom Conti. she surprised me on the way there, as we were supposed to be going to the cinema. calling her bluff i said aww, i was looking forward to american gangster. her face dropped, and i smiled saying only kidding. she's easily fooled that way. i was fooled too, but should with hindsight, have guessed: not once, but twice, in the preceding week did she mention Tom Conti, apparently to find out if i thought he was a good actor. Bulbgirl also told me that she had a secret she wanted to tell me, she's not very good at keeping secrets.

after a quick hot chocolate at starbucks and a detour to the Theatre Royale, instead of cineworld, we found our seats and settled in. no trailers like the cinema, but there was someone in the balcony above rustling sweetie wrappers. at least popcorn wasn't allowed in.

it's been ages since i saw a play, being more used to jumping in to the cinema. what struck me was the american accents, done by all the cast. one or two slipped during the performance, but on the whole were pretty good. it brought back memories of staging end of year musicals at school when everyone had to do an american accent (with varying degrees of success). i think that the play would have been fine with just scottish accents. it must take a fair amount of concentration to keep up an accent when that energy could be directed into the performance, Bulbgirl disagrees.

pretty early on Conti, playing a playwright, makes a naked appearance, but he happened to be carrying a massage table, convering his bits. whether he was really naked, only he and the people in the right hand balcony will know. he later revealed his pasty white legs near the end , and while his body isn't quite as athletic as a tennis player, an in-joke in the play, he's in not too bad shape for a 66 year old.

there was only a cast of 6, and the leading lady, Kate Atkinson did a great job. she is actually australian but i didn't guess. Eleanor David, who plays Blanche, had the best american accent.

unaccustomed as i am to theatre going, it was great that the play was slightly self referential, centred on two playwrights, unsynchronised passion, and what it takes to make a play successful. there was even a line where Conti says that ushers tend not to watch play but just talk loudly in the lobby. i wonder if the ushers at the Theatre Royale will watch the show.

at one point, it seemed that Conti had doubled over in an unplanned fit of the giggles, and it was contagious, the audience started laughing not knowing if he was acting or doing it for real. unless you're watching a documentary, that's not something you can get at the cinema.

which do you prefer?

Thursday, November 29, 2007

It’s My God Damn Birthday!

this worked for another someone i know so i thought i'd try it. :)

32 years ago today, Graham Hill (pictured left) the motor racing driver was killed in a plane crash in England.
32 years ago today, the name "Micro-soft" (for microcomputer software) was used by Bill Gates in a letter on the 29th november (so says Wikipedia).
32 years ago today, Bulbboy was born (don't remember which hour i was born on).

Bulbgirl already gave me a card with a talking Yoda saying "At 900 years of age, look as good you will not."

if you don't leave a comment i might cry.

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Herbal Medicine

it's that time of year when everybody is coughing and spluttering and talking about the bugs and colds that are doing the rounds. most people i know have had an awful cold, but i have managed to dodge it. how could i be so fortunate?

my immune system was quite low a few months back, a midge bit me and my forearm swelled quite considerably, not what you want happening during Scottish midge season. coupled with the usual body pains i get it wasn't much fun, so i went to see a herbalist. even though it didn't fix the rest of me, the unexplained sore skin was alleviated a little. also the herbal medicine treatments that i received seem to have boosted my immune system to ward off the usual bout off flu like ailments - thank goodness.

as well as being a herbalist, Erika also sings. you can hear her sing lion's shadow. i was really impressed.

Friday, November 09, 2007

Help! Apple Powerbook Screen Problems

help! the picture above of my powerbook is not a lovely stripy desktop background, a la Paul Smith but a picture of my wonky powerbook screen. last night while watching a film, labyrinth starring David Bowie, it developed some weird brown stripes, which looked great but gave me just more than a little casuse for concern. the right half of the screen is separated into a light half and a dark half, which changes from time to time. sometimes there are white stripes resembling a spectrum 48k game loading.

maybe it was the goblins, or the Goblin king, but if you have any other suggestions, i'd very much appreciate hearing from you.

Friday, November 02, 2007

The Cat Came Back

Raku's remains were returned to us from the pet crematorium. my sister wanted that done so we can scatter his ashes on the heather where he used to lie. there is still a patch there which he carved, or nudged out for himself. we used to look out the window and laugh to see his little head pop up from the rockery.

i would have been just as happy burying him out in the back garden, with a little marker to say he was there, or even the notion of taxidermy, one of Derren Brown's pursuits, crossed my mind momentarily. you don't see that done a lot, i don't even think i've ever seen a taxidermy shop. but that idea creeps most people out, and the possibility of a taxidermist not getting your pet just right is quite probable, as they didn't know him/her. cremation was probably the right option though, seeing as Raku is the word for a Japanese ceramic firing process.

it's still strange around the house, everyone still misses him and we often think we catch a glimpse of a little black and white face at the window, or under the table. he was a very cool cat as i said before, but it's a little bizarre just how much his quiet little presence is missed. my mother especially misses him so as a birthday present recently i made a sculpey version of Raku to site there quietly. she was very happy with it saying i captured his personality. it is strangely comforting to have a plastic memento of him. here is the sculpture unpainted and baking in the oven.
i don't have painted up pics just yet. will try and get some soon.

this was just my second proper sculpey attempt (first being the Shoemoney head) and i'm quite pleased the way it turned out. the fur was interesting to form.

maybe one day i should take a cast of it and make a proper raku ceramic figure out of Raku.

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

The Rules - blog tag!

Summer blog tagged me for a second time with a meme:

In modern times, the advent of the Internet — and more specifically of email — has provided memes with a high-fidelity propagation medium that enables highly prolific memes to propagate quickly. Chain emails furnish a significant example, and in-depth studies have examined their evolution and mutation based on their differential survival rate. Paper-based chain letters, predecessors to this meme-distribution net, have also attracted study, but they have a lower propagation-rate due to the higher copying effort, and a higher mutation-rate may have occurred due to manual transcription or degraded photocopying, thus potentially reducing their lifespan. It seems plausible that the first email chain letters started when recipients transcribed paper-based chain-letters to email, suggesting that memes can move from one propagation medium to another (more efficient) one.

she posted her rules, well one big rule. here are mine:

1. never say never.
2. don't be afraid to give negative feedback to bawbags on ebay or to scammers on forums to retain your 100% record. that is rooted in fear. chances are they will give you a negative in return. so what? others may follow your lead and the internet will be a better place.
3. write "lol" only if you did.
4. do as you would be done by. yes, even if you are a masochist, have some consistency :).
5. always carry a flashlight.

dem's da rules. now who shall i tag? i know, Mike Dammann (with 2 Ns).

Sunday, October 21, 2007

Annual Hair Cut

barberphobic. i don't know if that's a real word but it should be (quick check on google looks like it's not). fear of barbers is what i would imagine it to be. having not visited a barbershop or hair-cutting-specialist since 1992 (or 91? so long ago my memory has blanked it out) i don't see any reason to stop now. usually once a year i give my self a little trim, but this time i lopped off a little more than's still long enough to tie up in a top-knot or bun, to keep out of paintings, or my eyes when sculpting. it's just above my shoulders now, shortest it's been in over a decade. it's approaching a hairstyle now, i've never really had a style before, i've just had hair.scalp hair has been cut, while face fuzz has been allowed to grow. almost 32 years of age and a proper man beard is just beginning to thicken up. not at the sides though, so wolverine sideburns are probably a long way off. :(

i have imagined going to a barber for a shave though, the old fashioned type, where a cut-throat razor is used for a closer than close finish. i don't like the way hairdressers look at me when i walk passed their windows though, would they know when to stop? wrist clamps might come up from the barber chair, the hot towels would be pulled tighter and tighter around the neck like a terry toweling garrote and they could scalp any hippy they wish. what drives these demons of personal grooming? maybe it's because Sweeney Todd is coming out this christmas, who knows? i predict a rise in bearded men around yuletide.

how can you trust someone who shows you the back of your own head?

Thursday, October 18, 2007 crap hosting

i purchased a lifetime reseller hosting account from via the b/s/t forums on digitalpoint. unfortunately this was on the 2nd march, 7 and a half months ago! i have not received any login details whatsoever, or any service of any kind. what i did receive for my $155.96 is a negative iTrader. iTrader is just like your ebay feedback rating, and just like the ebay system, some don't want to give any negative iTrader for fear of getting it in return.

after waiting over 6 months for a refund from bizoppz (forum name of webberco) i left a negative iTrader stating:
$155.96 US paid on 2nd March. Over 6 months on, nothing received,no refund given.

after such poor service from webberco/bizoppz and waiting half a year for money back, bizoppz responded in about 15 mins. great response time, yes? yes it was quick but only to give me a neg in return and write:

Months after buying he claims he never got info. I have proof details were sent.

ah, that old ebay trick, where you hold off giving feedback until you are sure you won't get a negative. his 'proof' is that the emails he sent are in his sent folder. he didn't seem to take heed of the fact that other people had difficulty getting email from him, so it seems that the problem was on his side.

quote from iamsgf:

ok...... i was probably the 1st person to pay you 2 weeks ago.... i still have not got the estore and now you have dropped the price before you have even given the people that purchased what they want?

Needless to say.... 2 weeks on I am now a very unhappy bunny. It is totally unacceptable to sell something that you do not actually have.

Therefore i want a refund as you have not delivered in want can be considered a reasonable time!

quote from GrassRoots:
Do not buy from this person!

I paid 4 days ago and have recieved NOTHING and I am not getting responses to my emails!!!

quote from resellbargain:
When can I get my $200 back? I bought a resellerstore in february and did not get any of the updates and things you promised me.

I have e-mailed you countless of times but no answer for months.
it doesn't seem to be a very good way of running a business, customers can talk to each other these days and compare experiences via a marvelous contraption called the internet, eg. webberco on

a pm i received from bizoppz gives me the option of shopping at one of his online stores, mostly digital downloads that i am not interested in.

As stated previously, your account was activated and emails WERE sent. I have the "SENT" emails in my SENT folder to back up my statements. The best I can do for you is to offer you some credit at one of my online stores, or you can use the account. Now, I realize I may sound like an ass on this, however, you have to understand my side as well. Since starting the hosting offers, I had many people who would sign up and then ask for a refund.

at least he understand that he sounds like (is?) an ass. maybe the reason why people who actually got to try his hosting asked for a refund, is that they received piss poor service? just speculating, will keep you posted.

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

Oil Paintings in Studio

here is some artwork that i had on display in my studio just over a week ago. posting them here because i lost my compact flash reader, but now i've found it you can see the oil paintings and polymer clay sculpture in all their miniature glory.

nothing sold but i left my studio open and went round other studios in the building. no artwork was stolen either. i tend to open the door and use the annual open studios day as a social event, seeing other artists and what they have been up to. i find that a lot of members of the public are scared to go into artists studios, especially if the artist is there at the time. one or two just sit there waiting for passers-by to make eye contact and quite honestly it freaks some out. one artist in particular, i'll mention no names, freaks me out (and i know the guy). he's actually a very nice chap but his stare can send would be customers/interested parties onwards onto the next studio. if people really like your work they can always get back to you. leaving your contact details on your door is a good idea.

i've downsized to painting small panels lately, usually i work a little bigger but my wrists have been aching so the small format is easier to handle. included are a couple of light bulb paintings, japanese rice cracker, redcurrants, and sugar-puff paintings. this open day was also the first time i showed a sculpture, my first polymer clay effort. the model was internet marketer Jeremy Schoemaker /Shoemoney (from photos). i posted a pic before when Shoemoney's head was still soft sculpey pre baking. sculpey is easier to use and less messy than regular clay and is a lot of fun to use.

is small the new big? do you like to be dwarfed by a canvas or be able to hold an artwork in your hand? what is your ideal picture/artwork size and why?

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

Flying Squirrels

i came across this amazing basejumping video today. you have probably seen basejumping before and you have probably seen wingsuits before, but have you seen them together? watch these guys skim passed rocks just a few feet away! it must feel incredible swooping at incredible speeds like a huge flying squirrel. .

more basejumping in Norway below by Robert Pecnik. at the end of the vid the jumper glides towards clouds and the camera on the suit mists up just as he enters the clouds. Robert Pecnik is flying with a Phoenix-fly Vampire V-2 wingsuit. it reminds me of one of the final scene in crouching tiger hidden dragon.

in this flyby from the point of view of a parachutist, if you turn up your speakers a faint woohoo can be heard. although it could be wahoo. this might be due to the doppler effect, demonstrated by an ambulance sounding different coming towards you than it does moving away from you. maybe basejumpers should scream "nee-naw-nee-naw" as the do flybys?

it looks really cool and that is what you see most of the time on video sharing sites. of course anyone trying it would have to weigh up the risks for themselves. in this vid something goes wrong, hitting a bridge at 120mph you're going to die instantly.

even though it's risky i fancy trying it sometime. do you?

Friday, October 05, 2007

Rush Glasgow SECC October 2007

my brothers and i saw the best band in the world a couple of days ago. Rush were playing at the Glasgow SECC, we saw them not so long ago on september 14th 2004, but my first Rush experience was april 15th 1992 on the roll the bones tour (also at the SECC).

here is master drummer Neil Peart doing his thing. his drum solo has been evolving over the years, and this time seems to have been changed quite a lot. it has almost ambient elements but towards the end has more industrial sounding elements. in this yt vid, you can't really make anything out but you can hear the gist. there is also a little solo by Alex Lifeson straight after giving Geddy and Neil a rest.

the intro and outro (after song YYZ) features Geddy Lee as a kind of Mike Myers 'Fat B***ard' character in a kilt talking to himself (Geddy).

he must like Scotland, so hopefully it won't be long before they come back.

Leonardo Da Vinci Painting Recovered in Glasgow

an artist friend of my told me her exciting news a little while ago. yesterday morning she happened to see a chap with a case that seemed one of those heavy duty bombproof types for storing important documents. she had seen lecturers and people holding talks using them before. the chap seemed to be struggling with getting it out of a car, but then went into a building in west regent street, Glasgow.

a little while later undercover police seemed to be all over the place, went into the building and fished out the man, his case and a few other people, one with his head covered with a coat or blanket.

what was in the case? drugs?bombs? firearms? no, apparently some artwork that was made by Leondardo da Vinci. the Madonna of the Yarnwinder turned up in the city centre where it's believed it was going to be sold. this painting was nicked from Drumlanrig castle in Dumfries & Galloway, the thieves pretended to be tourists before stealing the valuable painting. it's not the only Madonna of the Yarnwinder though. there are 2 other versions of this painting in private collections but i'm sure it's still worth a bob or two. well, enough to warrant police from 4 anti-crime agencies working at retreiving the painting for 4 years. it even made it onto the FBI's 10 most wanted art crimes list.

other important art news: wasps studios is opening it's doors this weekend. visit our studios in dennistoun and get artwork that is a little bit more affordable than £37 million.

Wednesday, September 26, 2007

My Gargoyle Wings

here is a pic of my gargoyle wings. they protrude more than your average human's. imagine a cat walking along, how it's shoulder bladers slink in an out. mine can do that.

everyone's shoulder area moves to some extent, but these scapula of mine just go a little further than most. now only if they were useful and could grow a little more then i could glide on a windy day, an inbuilt gliding system if you will.

unfortunately the downside to having joint hypermobility, what the rheumatologist thinks i have, is the pain. lately everything seems to hurt, not enough to stop me getting about, but just enough to stop me enjoy getting about. an area of my left ribs has been threatening to pop or move out of place but hopefully it won't as it did before.

having always been a flexible kid i didn't think too much of the little niggling pains that plagued me day to day, but getting older (31 now) everything is getting a bit more pronounced. even if the wrists do get too sore to hold things in the future i'm sure the last thing that will be prised from my grip will be a flashlight. :)

Thursday, September 20, 2007

Raku is No More

sad news. Raku is dead. Raku was bulbcat #2, my flashllight protector, and one of the nicest, coolest cats you could meet. so otherwordly in fact sometimes i'd think of him as a little man in a cat costume. he really was that different. he had such a sweet nature and never clawed at anyone that i know of.

he displayed some breathing problems at the end of August standing with his elbows out. his lungs weren't filling to capacity and not enough air was getting in to his body. the vet determined that an X-ray was needed but to put him under when he was only getting about 10% of the oxygen he should have been breathing was too dangerous. they put him in an oxygen tent overnight before performing the X-ray the next morning and unfortunately found "something" in his chest area that could possibly have been a tumor.

Raku and i

100ml of chyle (a milky fluid) was removed from his lungs and he seemed to perk up, although he'd initially alternate one bad day then one good day. Raku then appeared to be on the mend and the family started to get their hopes up. even last Saturday i was thinking that maybe we should let him out again (he was kept inside since the trip to the vet). he was jumping on to the front window ledge and even playing games with our other cat Pushkin.

sadly my beautiful boy was unable to roam free again, he developed major breathing difficulties on monday morning and was rushed to the vet by my father and younger brother to be put down. we had the option of trying to drain his lungs again, but that would have been just a selfish motive. of course we wanted to keep him but we knew his days were numbered two weeks ago. we were just fortunate to have had a little more time with him and thankfully his suffering was mercifully short.

Raku with shaved patch behind right elbow.


Monday, September 17, 2007


Bulbgirl and i went to a talk on zen buddhism on saturday, although we did turn up a little late. there was a traffic jam on the road into Glasgow, it's a bad sign when your bus driver gets out of the bus to take a look, multiple times! a lot of people were getting agitated and Bulbgirl said more than once "this is ridiculous." if there was anyone who needed a spot of zen meditation then, it was her. having rushed out of the shower after painting the hall, then managing to get paint on her new shoes as we exited the flat, she tried to rub it off with leaves as we waited for a bus. not a happy bunny really.

i on the other hand felt like the "calm little centre of the universe". once you are late and can't really do anything about it, why worry? realising that we were going to be late i phoned my brother who was coming to the zen meeting also. as it turns out he was in a car a few metres behind the bus we were on. another friend who was also coming along was a stuck on a bus a little ahead, but within sight of ours. we jumped out of the bus and got in the car, enabling us to be slightly less late than we would have been once the traffic started flowing.

getting to hillhead library approximately half an hour late we turned off mobile phones and things that may make a noise, as we snuck into the hall just as the audience finished a meditation practice. luckily we weren't there moments earlier or we'd have disturbed them.

the zen buddhist priest was from Sweden and was funnier than expected. her name was Sensei Kanja Odland, from Sweden. she was an artist and cared for the elderly, before working full time in zen since 1995. she talked about her not really planning to be a buddhist priest and how it's not for everyone. it's not really like there are courses out there on how to become a woman buddhist priest. taking time to meditate each day was the focus of the talk (even though we missed the first bit), to consciously slow down and place your awareness on something as simple as your breathing.

meditation is supposed to have beneficial effects on a body's health, although Kanja Odland said she had not taken part in any scientific trials. talking with her after i likened the effect of meditating to 'spacing out' in a flotation tank. her husband had tried it, she said but she herself had not. zazen means sitting meditation, i wonder if there is a word for floating meditation?

Saturday, September 15, 2007


bizarre, but after posting about blogrush and posting it, blogger gave me the message:

Your blog post published successfully!

Blog anzeigen (in einem neuen Fenster)

Need to change it? Edit post | Create a new post

i don't speak much German but wondered if this is something to do with the interconnectedness of blogrush. who knows? maybe it will flip you for real? =)

here is Benicio del Toro who plays Fenster in the Usual Suspects (warning rude language):

Blogrush, Internet History?

just added the Blogrush widget to the sidebar. have you heard of it? if you haven't i'm sure you will soon. John Reese (of feels that he and his programmers are making internet history. sounds like internet marketing bull, you may think, but this is from the guy who made over a million dollars in one day. i know it is sometimes difficult to believe anything that comes out of a marketers mouth , but this could be the real deal.

what da ya think?

Friday, September 14, 2007

Naked Picture of Vanessa Hudgens


who is Vanessa Hudgens? i had no idea until she set some pulses racing on some blogs. nude photos of her appeared online, and she has since apologized for this 'lapse in judgement.' that sound a little premeditated. she appears naked in a picture, doing nothing much at all, just standing naked as millions of lifemodels have done before her.

what is special about this case is that she has made a film (high school musical) for the disney channel, and could possibly tarnish disney's good name. does anyone really care though?

was the lapse in judgement an ill conceived marketing ploy, to get her name known by every blog and tabloid reader, or was the photographer an ex-boyfriend? there were some suggestions she released them herself just to boost her career.

they could have been taken with a self timer but i very much doubt that. most myspacers, beboers, and facebookers don't seem to know how to take a photo of themselves with a self timer, preferring the obligatory "shooting themselves in the mirror while showing the camera in hand shot," sometimes accompanied by flash to wipe out a lot of the image. the naked pic in question though looked like it was taken by someone else though, but for what purpose? a romantic evening for two? a lifemodel for a nude study? no one except Vanessa Hudgens (and of course the photographer) can answer that one, but she did try for a nice ambience. have a look at the string of light above the curtain:

the warmth of the glow suggest incandescents rather than leds. just like strings of christmas lights, they may not heat up very much but you still have to be careful. make sure any strings of lights near fabric (curtains, over beds) are securely fastened so there is no fire risk of burning your bedroom, bra or booty. think about having them on a timer so you don't fall asleep with the lights still on.

a mirror is a good idea to bounce light around. it doesn't have to be huge, or wall sized, but can aid to open up the space a little.
the candles suggest a romantic interlude, being a very delicate source of illumination. don't leave them unattended as they present a more direct fire risk. the play of light through glass and items such as plastic water bottles can be attractive especially with the delicate flickering of candlelight. a bottle of water could also serve to out (small) flames in the event of a fire but never be tempted to throw water on a candle if it melts down onto a wood surface. remember: wax and water don't mix. put candles on suitable candle holders, as spraying water onto a mushed candle might only exacerbate any flames (use a damp dishtowel as you would in a flaming fryingpan scenario).

one more thing: don't trust a bawbag with naked photos of yourself.

Sunday, September 09, 2007

Déjà Vu

the explanation given by Trinity in the matrix as to why we experience déjà vu, is one of the best i have heard.
a déjà vu is usually a glitch in the Matrix. It happens when they change something.
Neo explains that he saw a black cat go by, and then he saw another one go by that looked just like it. when asked was it the same cat, he says it might have been, but he wasn't sure.

the same feeling happened to me, but replace the black cats with spiders. sitting watching an episode of the X-files, i heard a scuttling across the floor, right beside the skirting. moving, at quite some speed was one of the biggest spiders i've seen of late. he stopped when i eyeballed him and was promptly caught in a glass. this did not please him, as he was one of the angriest little arachnids i have come across. usually they move a little under a glass but this one was repeatedly having a go at the edge trying to budge it! he was placed outside and the x-files continued.

fast forward 2 nights. sitting in the same seat, at the same angle, watching another episode of the x-files, there was a scuttling sound. in the same location, as before moving at pretty much the same speed was another spider of roughly the same size, running in the same direction as the one two nights previous. that feeling of déjà vu, swept over me (understandably) and i wondered was it a glitch in the matrix, and if it was what had changed? possibly it was watching too many x-files, a rift in the space-time continuum had opened which allowed creepy crawlies to quantum leap wherever they want (probably not as the spider would have then quantum leapt form underneath the glass). the most likely explanation though was that loft hatch was open as i had been doing a bit of diy up there.

the spider ran into Bulbgirl's shoe. now back from Barcelona, Bulbgirl, was happy about sharing her footwear with something that had seven more legs than herself but not before i snapped a couple of photos of him, before depositing him safely outside.

reading about digital tv

hands up if you're a creepy crawly!

Thursday, September 06, 2007


Bulbgirl returns from Spain today. in a few hours she will be back in Glasgow. where was she? Barcelona, doing a language course and learning new stuff. that's what she does, she teaches English. meanwhile i've been plodding along slowly but surely with diy, and catsitting bulbcat #3, Gizma (originally Bulbgirl's cat) and looking after bulbcat#2, Raku who is pretty poorly.

Raku had an x-ray taken and it looks like he has some kind of tumor in his chest, so says the vet. his wee lungs were getting enough air into them and he had to be put into an oxygen tent so that he would be strong enough for the x-ray. the vet thinks his days are pretty much numbered which is really sad for all the family, but he seems to be having one good, then one bad day. he should last until Bulbgirl gets back from Spain, and hopefully a lot longer. as long as the poor wee thing isn't in any pain, we'll continue to look after him.

he's people after all.

Saturday, August 11, 2007

Unexplained Sore Skin

normally humans don't hibernate, but that's what i feel i've been doing of late, the last 4 weeks to be more specific. 4 weeks ago was when i was at a friends house, learning to play cribbage of all things, and over the course of the evening a tickly cough started. over the following few days my body started to ache a little more than normal, and a heavy cold developed. it never quite reached flu stage but was the weirdest cold i have ever had. there were definite stages of soreness, then a few days of smelling something weird, then sneezing for a few days, then losing my sense of smell, then various hot and cold temperature fluctuations.

preceding that my skin on the right side of the body was the sorest it has been in a while. a burning sensation as though a UV flashlight was left on in my pocket (before you ask, no i didn't). unexplained sore skin doesn't quite gel with the rheumatologist's diagnosis of joint hypermobility, but it seems to have passed now. i've been feeling low of late and not been online as much, for those of you wondering where i was.

Thursday, July 12, 2007

Shoemoney Head Sculpt

being primarily a painter, sculpting doesn't come too naturally to me. the first thing i made from sculpey was a baby head so i thought i'd continue with a head with no hair. working in 3 dimension requires more than one photo of a subject so i thought i'd use Jeremy Schoemaker, a.k.a Shoemoney, as a subject for my second head sculpt. Jeremy has a shaved head so that deals with the hair problem, and there are a lot of photos of him online so that helps with the 3d aspect. plus he has pretty cool ear shapes.

it's difficult to work on such a small scale. goodness knows how the toy sculptors do it. i imagine they end up cross eyes before long. :)

unfortunately the eyes are not very well worked in, as all of the pics of Jeremy have him wearing glasses. any sculptors out there with help when your subject has specs?

Dumbest Thing I've Done

pencil drawing

selling 70 artworks in one night is the dumbest thing i've done. you might think to yourself: wow, 70 paintings in one night, that's pretty good. no it wasn't. noticing that self-representing artists didn't seem to do so well on ebay, i thought that people had to really see fine art in front of them, and appreciate the quality before it sold well. also i had read an article on selling well online, saying that 1 penny auctions did much better and therefore attracted more bids. whereas those with a high reserve did not fare so well.

so a couple of years ago i did an ebay style auction but in a physical gallery, and started the bidding at...yeah you've guessed it...1 penny. big mistake. it cost me about £1000 to stage the event including framing, hiring of the gallery space, printing and sending out flyers etc. and after selling 70 paintngs, i made roughly ...£1000. not a good night. it's a cliche when they say artists don't have the best business sense in the world, i had no business sense.

oil on canvas
some friends told me i was mad, that i should put a reserve on things, but then it would be like any other art auction. this was going to be different. such amazing works starting off at 1 penny! unheard of. of course i have a biased viewpoint. the idea was to get more people through the door, who might not normally come to an art auction,

the worst part of it was i trusted people to bid what they thought the works were worth rather than trying to get them for as cheap as possible. i was right there watching after all. imagine spending hours and hours of time on a pencil drawing, then spending £55 on a frame for it, and then imagine watching someone bid £5 and winning it. that's what happened to the pencil drawing of the melon and frog at the top of this post.

oil on canvas
not having a huge mailing list of potential buyers i tried to get some publicity in the local press. i wasn't looking for a major picture spread, not even a little picture spread. all i wanted was to get a little mention in the what's on this weekend section, but it never happened. my reporter contact let me down. instead of taking 10 mins to send out to his contacts (he had all the info about the show) he contacted another reporter friend who phoned me when i happened to be sleeping and never left a message on the answerphone. they obviously didn't really want to do it. what kind of reporter doesn't leave a message? i had to sleep sometime and although i was only getting about 3 hours a night in the run up to the show, it was better sleep than this disturbed pattern. result: i don't trust reporters now. i was actually helping him move furniture about 3 days before my show, expecting a little help in return, but what are you gonna do?

another thing that hurt was overhearing an extended family member saying i'm not bidding that, that's too much. the worst part was that i knew they had money, what they were considering too much was just covering the frame, and i also knew that they had invested in (crappy) art in the hope that it would rise in value. one consolation i can think of is that they don't know anything about painting technique.

oil on linen
do you have any super abilities? i have the ability to devalue canvas by applying paint to it. think i'm joking? look at the image above. it was painted on a stretched and primed linen canvas that is 100cm x 80cm. to buy that blank could cost you up to £80. final bid at auction was £30. not counting the weeks of work in that, you'd have thought that the stretcher and linen would go for more. i had sold a couple of A3 prints for more than that. oh, well.

all in all i sold half of ten years work for basically no money. what's the dumbest thing you have done?

Saturday, June 30, 2007

First Floatation Tank Experience

my first floatation tank experience was at willow trading near the botanic gardens in Glasgow. my sleeping pattern the previous week was dreadful, but it has been a little better since my flotation experience. a little better is an understatement, much better would be more of an accurate description. i can sleep a whole night! this might not seem much to you but if you've suffered sleeplessness or insomnia, you'll know what i'm talking about.

after being given a brief tour of the tank and what to do, i was left to it. the flotation room had a shower a couple of benches and a door leading in to the flotation tank which is 4 feet x 8 feet, and the flotation tank was 7 feet high. the water is not very deep, only about 10 inches. in the water there is 1000lbs of salt, epsom salt. as well as making you float the epsom salt is supposed to be very good for your skin, and draw out toxins from your body. i was too tired to notice if any toxins were being drawn from my body, and just relaxed floating like a cork.

having not slept the night before, my body temperature was a little on the cool side and i was a little shivery after a quick shower. the water was quite warm getting in though, and when i closed the door the air temperature rose a little as well. earplugs are given to you; as you float your face remains dry but your ears are under the water. music is piped in but soon fades out. the light outside the door fades out too. lying there looking up i noticed the light coming through the door rim, and thougth oh well, not total darkness, so i closed my eyes for a few minutes. the next time i opened them it was totally dark, which was quite disconcerting for a second. just bobbing there, arms floating lightly out to my sides and staring in to a warm, black nothingness was dreamlike but quite unlike anything i had experienced before. i was very tired but seemed strangely alert and wondered if i would sleep in there.

a slight fear was that i wouldn't wake up and the staff would fish my naked floating body, out of the salty water (you can float naked or wear a swimsuit, it's up to you). this fear was unfounded as i did fall asleep, but awoke to the sound of the gentle music being piped in again. if the music doesn't wake you, after a few minutes a water pump gently stirs the water near the edges of the floatation tank to encourage you to get up.

i was still tired as i left for home, but felt a little rejuvenated and trippy also, and of course looking forward to flotation session number 2.

Wednesday, June 27, 2007

I'm Tired

i am very tired. the picture to the left is a diagram of my sleep pattern over the last week. each square is an hour block, red represents a more full sleep, and the chequered blocks are broken, unsettled sleep. white is hours awake.

feeling like a zombie isn't good. to top it off some of those waking hours have been put towards trying to get a refund from a chap from whom i bought hosting (nearly 4 months ago). the seller was on DP forums and had positive feedback (itrader rating) but very poor communication when it came to dealing with myself. usually it's customary for a try out period of 3 months, his was only 7 days (apparently). technically i have not had a trial period as my log in details/account activation details were never emailed to me.

this comes under the heading of poor customer service, or say it with me now, bawbag. how difficult is it to admit your mistake and refund a customer? what is galling is he knows he is in the wrong, saying:

Now, I realize I may sound like an ass on this...
how can one reason with an ass when it knows that it is being an ass?

my body is definitely in need of relaxation, and on friday evening it should get it; i've booked a session in a floatation tank. hopefully this will help alleviate the pain in my muscles and joints. will let you know.

Q: Have you ever been scammed online?

Audrey Hepburn Painting

when i quit my day job, and left where i'd worked for nearly 6 years, i auctioned off 3 paintings for a good cause. when Christine died she was cared for by the staff of the southern general hospital's neurology ward. another colleague, Katrina, ran a half marathon and donated the money to them, so that gave me the idea to post an auction just for staff to say goodbye, to remind many of the staff how young Christine was, and do a good karma thing.

there were 3 paintings, one Jimi Hendrix image, black on gold background, a black on white Brando godfather image, and one black on beige 30"x40" Audrey Hepburn image. the first 2 raised £230, but the bidding sheet for Audrey went missing so it looks like i'll have to run that again.

Thursday, June 21, 2007

The Longest Day

here a few pics, taken 12 hours apart, today on this longest day of the year.

7am towards the east.

7am towards the east.

7pm towards the west with thunder rumbling.

Sunday, June 17, 2007

I made a Baby!

i made a baby.

not a real one, goodness no. i can barely take care of myself let alone another human being. cats are my limit. they kinda take care of themselves anyway, or just tell you what they want (sit by the food bowl, sit by the tap).

after thinking i'd try my hand at sculpture i ordered prosculpt from eBay to try modelling a few figures or suchlike. prosculpt is a plastic modelling clay just like super sculpey or fimo that you can model with. unlike using regular clay, instead of firing it in an kiln for hours, you can 'bake' it at home in your oven. it's also a lot less messy than using regular clay.

bulbgirl and i visited my family home, 4 of us sat around quietly playing and having fun with this fantastic stuff. more than an hour must have elapsed as i sat trying to model a baby head (trained as a painter not a sculptor). everyone should try it. time whizzes by as you get into it.

my dear old dad came into the house and checked out what we had been up to. he had barely touched my model when it fell from his grasp (in slow motion of course) and splatted on the floor. "my baby!" exclaimed i, but he just laughed. hopefully he was a little more cautious when i was a bairn. to suggest a sore cheek i quickly fashioned a hand and joined it to the head which he found funny.

"ooyah, my face hurts"

not sure i should give him a father's day present now. =P

Saturday, June 16, 2007

Wet Dreams

i want them. wait a minute, let me explain.

today for most of the day i was up a scaffolding tower helping out a friend to de-moss some roof tiles, and fit new soffits and fascias just below the tiles. my friend did the heavy lifting but it has still taken quite a bit out of me, getting up and down ladders.

having had only 46 mins of sleep in the past 40 hours doesn't really help matters much. my sleeping pattern is out of whack again. what did help when back home, after dusting the spiders from my hair, was lying in a bath soaking, just relieve some of the strain of gravity, and then it hit me.

last week i finally managed to watch DareDevil, the movie with Ben Affleck, and there is a short scene where he sleeps in an isolation tank/floatation tank to shield himself and his extra sensitive senses from noise. i'd heard years ago that one hour of floating is equivalent to more rest than an hour of sleep. having checked a few websites it seems that you can actually sleep in them. i wonder if i could make one myself?

Q:anyone out there tried a session in a floatation tank or water therapy?

Friday, June 15, 2007

Gemma's poem

someone asked what Gemma's poem was. it was called (a little melodramatically) The Agony of Losing a Yellow Shirt with Character. here it is.

Never did I leave your presence in a dull way,
You brightened up everyone's day,
With a knowledge that thrilled,
You leave a space that can't be filled,

You had a rota of your own,
With you a different name was prone,
With everyone you've left a mark,
Your own magic spark,

I'll miss your nonsense,
That actually made sense,
You shared with us the knowledge of your years,
Your hopes, dreams and fears,

What a wacky personality,
To have known you was an unbelieveable opportunity,
A person with such charm and charisma comes once in a lifetime,
I feel privileged that that lifetime was mine,

To better things you progress,
For you I wouldn't want anything less,
So to your life without a yellow shirt I wish you the best of luck,
Even though for me it's going to suck,

May you continue to leave a spark in everyone's life,
And where ever you go keep bulbboys our of strife,
To you we say a sad goodbye,
As we lose a yellow shirt with character we'll surely cry.

what do you think, girl's got talent? it moved me.

Friday, June 08, 2007

not a spam blog (officially)

does this look like a spam blog to you? well it officially is not. who said so? Google did. that's right, big G. they emailed me this:

Your blog has been reviewed, verified, and cleared for regular use so that
it will no longer appear as potential spam. If you sign out of Blogger and
sign back in again, you should be able to post as normal. Thanks for your
patience, and we apologize for any inconvenience this has caused.

The Blogger Team
yes i'm back. i have not been able to post while my blog was being investigated for spam. Steve Rubel quotes a Microsoft study that states 75% of blogspot blogs are spam. my ramblings are obviously in the other 25%. maybe Google are cracking down on the other ne'er do wells. what is a spam blog i hear you type? according to big G:

As with many powerful tools, blogging services can be both used and abused. The ease of creating and updating webpages with Blogger has made it particularly prone to a form of behavior known as link spamming. Blogs engaged in this behavior are called spam blogs, and can be recognized by their irrelevant, repetitive, or nonsensical text, along with a large number of links, usually all pointing to a single site.

Spam blogs cause various problems, beyond simply wasting a few seconds of your time when you happen to come across one. They can clog up search engines, making it difficult to find real content on the subjects that interest you. They may scrape content from other sites on the web, using other people's writing to make it look as though they have useful information of their own. And if an automated system is creating spam posts at an extremely high rate, it can impact the speed and quality of the service for other, legitimate users..

well posting at an extremely high rate is not something i'm sure i could be accused of, but maybe i will post more soon as am jobless. more on that later. for now i'll leave you with this (anti) spam monty python advert made by Matt Beightol and Tor Pedersen of the academy of or art university in San Fransisco.

Sunday, June 03, 2007

Thunder and Lightning, Very, Very Frightening

friday the 1st June was my last day in the lighting department. i had been with the company for nearly 6 years. time flies when you are having fun. it wasn't a full time job, my hours varied from week to week. sometimes i would work full-time (over 40 hours), and others i would only work a minimum of 12 hours. 99% of the time i would be in the lighting department, but now and again i would help out and work for other areas of the store. the second best place to work was in the plant area. orchids were possibly the nicest thing in the store.

over the past 6 months i was not there as much due to my health (fibromyalgia, chronic fatigue, joint hyper mobility, whatever the hell i have). it was sad to leave on my last evening, but it's time for a change. Nic made me a "lightsabre of creativity", creatively fashioned with acetate and cardboard, along with a lovely card made from "recycled bits." Jaclyn went around the store with a notebook asking many of my coworkers to write a mention and cheerio. Gemma went to all the bother of writing me a poem for goodness sake. i was quite moved.

working with certain people, and interacting with the general public are the memories i will take with me. companies change over the years. people come and go and the atmosphere changes. Seth Goding speaks of "the vibe" of your company and asks "could it be better?"
hopefully i contributed to the vibe of the place while i was there.

on the way to work that day was a torrential downpour, even for Scotland. the rain that comes down so hard it bounces back up into "upwards rain." lighting flashed across the clouds, and thunder roared. i haven't been out in weather like that in quite a while. it cleared up by the time i got to work but maybe it was the Great Flashlight in the sky saying "so long" too? at least that's how'll i will remember it.

Tuesday, May 22, 2007

Becky, Lever and Family

thinking of you at this time.

Monday, May 14, 2007


animals are nice. i feel quite calm usually in the company of animals. this evening Bulbgirl and i jumped off the bus one stop early, and went to see some horses in a field near home. we fed them some grass mostly to the very large stallion who called the shots in the field. as twilight fell, we spent a little while with them before moseying on back to the flat. i didn't show them grass lit by flashlight as Bulbgirl was a little nervous about them stampeding.

here is a picture of Bulbcat #1. she is called Pushkin. it's about time i put up her pic after showing you Bulbcat #2 (Raku). she was a stray and came to me one night and decided to stay. small or big animals have individual personalities just like humans, so it was with dismay i found this PETA video introduced by Trent Reznor, which made me sad to be human.

it was put on youtube over a year ago, and i wonder how many animals have suffered since then.

Wednesday, May 09, 2007

Bulb Changing

i handed in my notice and resigned today. the HR lady asked if it was something nice as i handed over the envelope. "that depends on your opinion" was my response, and left her to read the message. every bulb has a lifespan and mine has been just over 5 and a half years in the same job (albeit part-time). my last working day will be on 1st june so it's time to look for something new.

why am i leaving my job? mainly health reasons is what was written in the letter. here's my full (nearly) full rundown of reasons for changing jobs:

  • i am worth more
  • health (my body hurts)
  • poor environmental policy
  • did i mention i'm worth more?

i need a change, and leaving the security of a job may be a little scary, it's one of my goals for this year: to scare myself. don't worry, i'll still be Bulbboy, whatever i do. what will i do? i plan to paint pictures. will that make money? we'll see.

Saturday, May 05, 2007

Scottish Election Results 2007

Scottish Parliament results:

SNP: 47
Labour: 46
Tories: 17
Liberal Democrats: 16
Green: 1

i hope everyone voted.

Thursday, May 03, 2007

No Mortgage, Cash Purchase Only

today Bulbgirl and myself went to see a flat slap bang in the middle of Glasgow. we want to move there, and leave the lovely view of the Erskine bridge behind, but need to sort out financing first. the problem though is that it looks to be a cash only purchase. does this flag up warning bells to you? the selling agent said that was only one surveyor's report, and another surveyor might think differently.

the property we were looking at does needs some work, actually quite a lot of work. its been empty for a few years and is in a state of considerable disrepair. this is all the more appealing to me. Bulbgirl is a little more cautious though. taking on a project like this would mean being a lot more physically active, can my aching joints keep up? yes it would be a lot of work of work and my health isn't always the greatest but to have a focus, a goal to motivate oneself, is something doctors don't really recommend. they tend to just offer paracetemol.

i loved it. there is running water and electricity, what more could you want? a roof over your head, it has that too, although there might pigeons in the loft space. we never got access to that so can't be sure about it. there is an old safe, from the times when it belonged to a family of jewellers. the selling agent said that there was a rumour of diamonds buried under the floorboards. whether this was a ruse to get us on board is unknown, but i like the romantic notion of it.

i didn't measure it but workroom one is much bigger that the tiny house i posted previously. workroom two, i thought was a kitchen; it had a sink with running water, but was actually the sulphur room we were told. how cool would that be? naming you kitchen the sulphur room? i like places to have a little bit of history, and as you can see from the pic above it has bags of history. check out the little notes stuck to the wall, it's like a movie film set. there was even a reception (the most finished room in the flat).

a couple of gents who were also viewing the property were giving the selling agent some strange looks, mainly because he had make up around his eyes that hadn't been totally taken off. this was because he was also a jobbing actor and had a gig with mischief la bas before showing us around the property. the gents found it difficult to take their eyes off his 4-tones-darker-than-skin-colour makeup, as they didn't hear the story about what else he got up to. this can only go in our favour methinks.

we'll try and work something out and see what happens. if there are any lottery winners out there who wouldn't mind dropping £100,000 in our laps, feel free to do so. Bulbgirl and i would definitely put you up if you ever need a place to crash in Glasgow. :)