Wednesday, 16 June 2010

The importance of context

I've watched this several times over the last couple of weeks and it seems very worth sharing. I talked about David Byrne's book The Bicycle Diaries a while back and the same sentiment of thought and linked ideas comes though in this video.

Get right back on the horse

The roses in the picture above show that since I posted this in March I have neglecting to write. However, it seems like the best way to make out you've never been away it just to keep on going where you left off. So that's what I'll do.

Friday, 19 March 2010

Austin Texas Day Two

A round of Wataburgers later and it's time for bed again. Today was one of those that feels like two or three days fitted into a single 24 hours. Exhausting but pleasing at the same time.

I'll back up a little. Here is the house I'm staying in with the bands and the other label folk. Unlike most things American it doesn't look big from the outside but, like most things America it is enormous on the inside.

This morning I caught the No.37 bus for the ten minute ride into central Austin. Nothing here is designed for walking, so the gentle morning stroll to the bus stop became a exercise in not being run over. Once in Downtown it's all a little more chilled out, especially as it's festival time. Many of the streets are blocked of for vehicles so people are left to stroll freely around about 5 blocks. This is an aerial view from the Orion hotel where I had a lunch time meeting and it looks down over the many music venues.
The collective hubbub of bands is incredible and to take a walk along any road is like having a indecisive fidget in control of the stereo. Each frontage you walk past presents a new blast of sound.

Some things I like liked on my travels today. There is this out door solar powered charging station for mobiles made to look like an old style gas station. I love it all the more because it's clearly a permanent feature and not shipped in to make the conference feel better.

Then there's this tower which looks as if it has a cathedral sitting on its roof. I'm going to try and get up there tomorrow.

More on day two in the morning.

Thursday, 18 March 2010

Austin Texas Day One

This is a simple introduction to proceedings hazed in tiredness. It's 1am local time in Austin (6am body clock time) after flying in earlier today.

I loved these huge swathes of empty check in desks in New York, plus SO many staff all doing menial jobs - plenty of them doing the job of a directional sign, and often doing that job in front of the actual sign.

That's how the government here deals with social support - make up jobs. I can't figure out what is better for both the person and the state. On the one hand people are "doing" something so are in theory more fulfilled than simply collecting a dole payment. But on the other hand what they are "doing" is so menial and demeaning that I question how fulfilling it can be. Obviously the state wins as they would be paying the money out any which way so they may as well keep their unemployment stats down.

My final picture is from the moving cab window on the way from Austin airport to Downtown Austin. The plan tonight was to get to the house I'm staying at, head into town, register at the conference and then go on to see a couple of bands. Thanks to a slightly delayed flight, the onset of tiredness and some sensible thinking on my part, the reality was much calmer. Eating pizza on the porch step in the warm air, a couple of beers, then bed.

Talking of bed...

Wednesday, 10 March 2010

Roses are red... and yellow and pink and white and cream

Outside the office is a pretty Square. It's a Round really. Over the last two weeks all the spring bulbs have been popping up painting a yellow and purple carpet around its circumference. It's hard to believe that only a few short weeks ago the whole place was covered in thick snow, peppered with snowmen, snow women and for almost a week a snow armchair. With spring here the city gardeners are out and have planted this lovely circular bed of roses. I'm going to try and capture it in each stage of growth through the summer and will post the results up as we go along.

This is the first time in years I have had the luxury to even think about watching something as simple as a rose bed grow and change over the seasons. I've always been moving on or working away or just too blinkered to notice. It's been a long time coming and hard work to get to the happy place I'm now, where simple pleasures like this come first but it has been so so worth it.


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