Friday, 4 December 2009

calm down

Getting Quiet, the hip new way to quiet your mind, is now out. A single CD, or audio download album will contain the full course.

Independent of religion, belief systems or lucky foodstuffs, it offers a clear simple path to a quiet mind.

www.gettingquiet.com is the place to hear a massive 8 tracks from the full 14 - for free.

Wednesday, 18 November 2009

Wii iPlayer - strange but wonderful

Downloaded the new iPlayer channel for the wii today.

It seems to work very well, a softer picture off the wii than I'm used to for digital images, but no judder, freezing or blocking. Touch wood. (Torchwood).

Isn't the BBC wonderful. Ahh.

Tuesday, 17 November 2009

Goodbye, Cadw Swn

learn Welsh fast with Cadw SwnToday was a milestone. I said goodbye to my Welsh course Cadw Swn. No more packing boxes, duplicating CDs and getting books printed.

Well not quite goodbye. I still have another few CDs to record. But after that I'm handing over the order fulfillment to others. Robots probably.

'Learn Welsh Fast with Cadw Swn' is the slightly rejigged title, of a slightly rejigged course. Older, wiser and a little greener.

The book is out now, the first 3 audio download packs too. The new CDs should start appearing next week, together with a fabulous new website. Audio downloads are a mere £5.95 for a CD's worth, the book a steal at £14.95.

www.cadwswn.com

Wednesday, 21 October 2009

(good) stuff happens

Proof copy of book received today. It seems to have got itself written somehow; stuff happens.

One letter needs changing though, so a hasty re-write (hah) and a week added to production.

No worries.

Tuesday, 6 October 2009

do turkeys vote for christmas?

Would seem to be the theme of the shadow chancellor's austerity cutback speech today. Wage freezes for public sector workers and a raising of the retirement age.

Apart from the above fowl-related question, I wonder if anyone in the Conservative Party has questioned the ability of a Westminster government to deliver on such far-reaching promises now that a significant number of powers have been devolved to the, ahem, regions.

Health and education for instance.

happy

I'm so happy. Napster, the legal music streaming service has now slashed their monthly UK subscription rate to £5. Plus they've included 5 mp3 downloads each month for playing on ipods. (and yes unbranded mp3 players if you must)

So here's the future; download 5 mp3s a month and listen to unlimited streaming music with no ads, then fill in any gaps in your collection via itunes. (or napster if you prefer)

The war between itunes and music subscription services is now over. Can it really be that everybody won?

Friday, 2 October 2009

new book for October release

we live in the spaces between the starsWe Live in the Spaces Between the Stars. A book of silences and spaces, to help facilitate a quiet mind and a fourth state of consciousness.

This is the first product from Getting Quiet, and surprisingly comes before the actual release of the Getting Quiet course.

More news here as it happens.

Wednesday, 23 September 2009

the woman made unconscious by thought

Here’s a story I heard from a friend. One of his co-workers was babysitting her grandchild. She dozed off for a few minutes while looking after the baby and when she woke up the child was nowhere to be seen. She was understandably worried. Luckily she found the child in the house by the front door.


Her son (or daughter, I’m not sure) came by to collect the baby and everyone was safe and well.


However, at this point the grandmother began to think ‘what if?’.
She looked at her front door, it was unlocked.
She looked at her garden gate. It was open, and led onto a busy road.
She realized that the child could have crawled out of the house onto the road. She began to panic.


The child was safe, none of the above had happened, but the lady kept asking herself ‘what if?’.
She began hyperventilating, and passed out. She awoke and managed to see her doctor. She is fine and well.


The point, of course, is that the thoughts of ‘what if’ became too much for the grandmother. And yet these thoughts are not even as real as an image projected onto smoke.


Imagine the everyday harm we do ourselves through worry and anxiety over similar but smaller thoughts. Thoughts which are not even as substantial as light on smoke.


We need to take control of our thoughts. We need to get quiet.


www.gettingquiet.com

gwynfyd

Picture 1is Welsh for bliss, nirvana, enlightenment. The state of mind which comes when your mind is silent.

Hence www.gwynfyd.co.uk, a companion site to www.gettingquiet.com, but yn Gymraeg. More news there, soon.

Monday, 21 September 2009

jumping for joy

colblog2Thanks to everyone who sponsored my parachute jump on Sunday. The weather was great, the people were fabulous and the jump was an experience I'll never forget.

After a short flight in what I can only describe as a dodgy shoebox I had one of the most surreal experiences of my life. The hardened parachutists jumped out of the door without so much as a geronimo.

colblog1

As I perched out of the aircraft looking down I realised that this was without a doubt the stupidest thing I'd ever done, but also one of the most fun too. I'd recommend it.

If you'd like to give some money to cancer charity Tenovus you can still do so by following this link.

Wednesday, 16 September 2009

Newyddion Pwysig - Important News

It's been nearly 10 years since Cadw Swn was formed. In fact next year will see the dengmlwyddiant - tenth anniversary of the course.
As you might expect from the title of this blog entry, Cadw Swn will be undergoing radical changes between now and next year. I've been working hard on them, and feel that it's only fair to let people know what we're planning.

For a number of reasons we've always been tied to selling the course as a 10-CD unit. That will change.

I'm currently in the studio re-recording sections of the course over some new classical music. No great changes in the stories, but the new music license will allow us to sell CDs individually. I hope that a lot more people will feel able to 'dip their toe' in the water when they only need the course book and one CD.

We'll also make the audio available as downloads. I have no doubt that this is the future of music. It's green, instant, and will allow us to make the recordings available very reasonably worldwide. We're working with a great company to handle the downloads simply and easily, more news on that soon.

Finally, to tie in with these changes, the course will be retitled 'Learn Welsh Fast with Cadw Swn'. This should help with catalogue searches and search engines.

I hope to have the first of the new CDs and downloads available next month, along with the rebranded course book. Then I'll make individual CDs available as and when they're finished.

Friday, 28 August 2009

warm glow

Like to feel a warm glow knowing that you've helped someone? Yes, that's right.

If so please click the justgiving button below to sponsor my foolish parachute jump this September.

Diolch yn fawr.

Friday, 31 July 2009

silence is the new rock and roll

I may have used that phrase before, but just to let those of a consciousness-raising nature know that my new website www.gettingquiet.com is up and running. 

A new system of quieting the mind will soon be on offer, independent of belief systems and dogma.

Is there a fourth state of consciousness? If there is you should be in it.

www.gettingquiet.com

Friday, 17 July 2009

Feng Shui tips

Always place doors in a convenient place to enter and leave a room.
Make sure that all windows face outwards.
Never place a toilet in the lounge.
If you often fall out of bed, try positioning your bed next to the wall.
Try to sleep in a horizontal position, with your head facing the opposite direction to your feet.

Monday, 6 July 2009

my new cupboard

Ooh, space. The final frontier.
Dropbox, an online storage space for your digital whathaveyous has a free account with 2gigathings.

Why should I mention this here, you ponder?
A fiendish viral campaign by the boxers means that for every being who opens a new account using this link:
this link to dropbox

I get an extra draw in my online cupboard, so to speak. No money changes hands, you understand. I think that the person who opens the new account gets extra wardrobe space too, but you'll have to check that one out.

The important thing is that it seems to work nicely between my mac and pc. Time will tell if it spells the end of my dotmac account.

Friday, 3 July 2009

Thursday, 4 June 2009

filter me out

I'm all to familiar with spam filters, and how they can screw-up your mailbox. Today I had my first experience of a filter which looks through the emails you send to a company and filters out what it thinks they don't want to read.

So, an email to a very well-known website company resulted in an automated response message telling me that my email would not be read and did not appear to be relevant. I obviously didn't include the right keywords for their filter. 

Isn't progress wonderful?

Friday, 29 May 2009

ten thousand nothings

it means nothing coming from me, of course. but ten thousand nothings make a big something, rather than a big nothing.

some people don't get to feel the sun on their skin today. some people don't get to feel the wind in their hair. some good people.

add your tweet, add your words. find out about and help free Aung San Suu Kyi here.

Tuesday, 26 May 2009

twittering on

You'll see from the box to the right that I'm now putting the twit into twitter. I've never been a big fan of facespace or mybook, but twitter is, currently, urm fun.

Ignore the marketing twits, the pr twits and there do seem to be a number of interesting twits written by real people (famous or otherwise). Of course the term is tweets, but you know what I mean.

And of course twitter doesn't tell me that I have no friends. I know that already. www.twitter.com/coljones

Wednesday, 20 May 2009

file under stupid

we do not like what we don't understand.

Not amusing, but puzzling, is the AsdaTescoSainsburyMorrison supermarket decision to ban an album cover, deemed 'inappropriate'.

Journal for Plague Lovers has some of the finest music released this year, and an equally fine cover painting by Jenny Saville. No guns, naked bodies, sexism or racism, but a painting of a face which looks to some blood-splattered, to others birthmarked. 

A preemptive strike in case a customer actually thinks something about something and god forbid, does something.

Don't think.

Friday, 15 May 2009

favorite things

favorite nut - macadamia
favorite group of the week - the killers
favorite food of the week - enchiladas
favorite word of the week - yes

Monday, 11 May 2009

nineninenine and the ghost of john lennon

9.9.9 is the date of the remastered beatles catalogue release. God bless the beatles of course, they have brought peace love and understanding to millions, but I can't help but wonder how many people will be shelling out for music they've already bought before. It's not inconceivable that the majority of buyers will be buying the music for at least the third time. Vinyl, CD, now remastered CD. 

Not to mention the ghost of John Lennon. My evening nap in front of the tv was interrupted by a badly-spliced voice over a dodgy clip of the great man himself. Laptops for every child may be a worthy cause, but does anyone have the right to put words into a dead man's mouth? He may, if alive, have argued that clean water for all is a bigger priority - we simply don't know. Press play and weep...

Friday, 1 May 2009

skinny latte and fries

The phone rings. "Hello, Mr Jones? This is just a quick courtesy call from -"

The switch in my mind flips from open interest to here-comes-a-sales-pitch. 

Imagine my surprise then, to receive a real courtesy call from my garage this week. Was the work carried out, did the wheels fall off later, were you harassed /insulted/attacked by the staff, was the coffee poisoned? etc etc. Not exactly the questions asked, but should I have been poisoned by a skinny latte and fries I would have been able to raise the issue.

Desperate times indeed.

Wednesday, 29 April 2009

permanent spin cycle

Don't forget to worry.

Remember the millennium bug? Airplanes were going to fall from the sky, lifts were to fail between floors, and washing machines everywhere stick in a permanent spin cycle.

Then there was mad cow disease. Only the veggies would survive. Not to forget Salmonella in our eggs and chickens. 

This product will be hot after heating. These nuts may contain nuts. This coffee machine will produce hot coffee. I could go on.

Now we are assured by Welsh PM Rhodri Morgan that the country has enough anti-virals for the SWINE FLU PANDEMIC to cover 50% of the population.  "I think everyone can be confident that we are ready for this to get worse, if it does get worse." he said.

That's all right then.

Monday, 20 April 2009

the perfect thing

It's been a month since I took delivery of my napster-compatible music streamer, and I have to admit that it is the most perfect thing. It plays all my itunes music stored on an external drive and lets me listen to what must be the equivalent of the music collection of a millionaire at the touch of a whim. 

Dreamy.

Wednesday, 1 April 2009

slightly magic



1991. One of my last games, it still holds a certain charm. Here in the UK games consoles were closing in, computer games were to become video games, and a corporate mindset was  busy infecting the timeslot.

The game was voted one of the Top 100 Games of All Time by Your Sinclair readers you know.

Music by Allister Brimble, graphics by Keith Ross. Ian Gray handled the Amstrad CPC and Commodore 64 programming. The ZX Spectrum, Atari ST and Amiga versions were programmed by myself.

A finished, but unreleased sequel was 'Slightly Spooky'. Don't ask me why.

Tuesday, 31 March 2009

20 years on - I blinked

Twas Easter 1989 - or 1988, I can't be completely sure without checking with the Foolscap Boys - and a series of remarkable things had happened. 

I had been given a considerable sum of money, and something even more valuable - total creative freedom - by young millionaires Richard and David Darling, founders and then owners of Codemasters Software.

Why? Well I'd approached them with an idea for a rockstar management game, but a management game with a spin. This one would be totally irreverent, original, and (ahem) funny. And so it was to be. 

Looking back they took considerable risks, legally as well as financially, with a game that was so different from what they - or anyone else for that matter - was producing. Richard and David were great, they found a fine young artist from Liverpool - Chris Graham - who was an excellent caricaturist, and basically let me get on with it.

They even went along with the title I wanted - A Rock Star Ate my Hamster. 

Allister Brimble provided a mind-boggling piece of music mix and match for the game and everything was going to plan. 

The first version was released for the Easter holidays, everything was set. Expectations were high.

Then Good Friday came, and the game was removed from the shelves. Throughout Britain, by at least two major chain stores. Comprehensively and stupidly.

A couple of jokes were found offensive by a store who sold gun magazines and porn. Another store jumped in nervous reaction. I checked with my local stores, and they confirmed that the game had been pulled. They didn't know when it would be back, but one offered to sell me a copy under the counter. Pah.

We lost Easter and the game peaked at number 2. You can see the offending material here.

Happy days though. And the game is still a cult today. Which leads me on to a decision I recently made. After a self-inflicted absence of around 20 years - give or take - from games writing I've decided to do it again.

Am I excited? Yes. Nervous? No.

Everything's changed of course. Will I be retro? Who knows.

Yes, everything's changed. But actually very little has. I left the industry knowing that a new form of computer entertainment would soon grace our screens. A better, more original entertainment beyond shooting, jumping and sports simulations. For every media throughout history has developed and blossomed into a fantastic field of creativity hasn't it? Comics, films - they all grew far beyond their original form and produced fabulous, breathtaking works.

So take a look at your kids. What games are they - and you - playing?

20 years. I blinked. And absolutely nothing changed.

Monday, 30 March 2009

the medium is the massage

Napster, and a few other suppliers, now supply quite legally a subscription-based music service. I can now pipe my choice of six million tracks (and counting)  into my living and dining rooms for slightly less than £10 a month. As many tracks as I can listen to from the worlds finest artists - bar a few notable exceptions to prove the rule of course. 

Last week in my house the world changed. Last week the world in my house changed. What do I do with the space where my CD collection used to be? What do I listen to next? 

Ah, but is the bitrate/compression ratio/voiceprint technology of hifi quality, I hear you ask?

Who cares, I reply. 

A dream came true that I never even knew I'd dreamt.

Friday, 27 March 2009

goodbye joomla and thanks for all the fish

Techheads only will be interested to know that this weblog thing has now been transferred away from Joomla and into Wordpress. Joomla's great, but just too slow, unwieldy and confusing for my needs.

Astute readers will notice a timeslot lapse since the previous (movable type) entry. Yes, a few blog entries got mislaid along the way, but to be honest you haven't missed much.

Friday, 6 March 2009

lightness

Lightness, what a lovely name. I think so anyway. And a fine way to get back into software.

It struck me one morning when I was typing an email that it was easier for me to write using my email program than it was using my word processor.

There was simply less to get in the way.Six months and a few skinny latte with fries later, lightness is born. Wonderfully simple, elegant and light.

Pick up a free trial today. Go to www.infinitycafe.com