Tuesday, 26 April 2011

Keep Singing... Remixed... soon?

Due to some very generous and lovely people I ended up receiving an Ibook and quickly purchased "Garageband" to hopefully help spark off my creativity in songwriting.

While playing with loops, beats and other such fun things I thought I would attempt doing some interesting arrangements of some of the songs I've written. My first efforts have been on my latest song "Keep Singing Of The Cross". Lots of fun and hopefully when i've finished adding stuff/mixing/etc... you might get a full listen.

I'm actually off to Russia for the week so any work (or blog posts) will have to wait til next week. For those of you who are interested here's a 2min peek into what i've done so far (hopefully you'll like what you hear so far...) Maybe i'll attempt an "RFC remix" album some time soon.

See you next week

Monday, 25 April 2011

Monday Football Thoughts

There's not much to say really... another poor performance now sees us in third and seemingly free falling. I guess you have to look back to the Carling Cup final for the root of this collapse in confidence. From challenging to all four competitions to now settling for third place...

I've said all that can be said really... Really just looking to next season now and hoping that we see a new rigid backbone that we desperately need. I used to one of those Arsenal fans who argued that the team just needed one or two players and that's what would make the difference. Yet after once again witnessing the demise of any real challenge for honours, I'm beginning to wonder if there needs to be real change...

Anyways I'm tired of evaluating this disappointing season so a short blog post this week

Hopefully next week I can say something positive!

Wednesday, 20 April 2011


Here's the follow up to "The Social Network Christmas"... seems to simply us Twitter as a model rather than all the social networks... powerful stuff still!

Monday, 18 April 2011

Monday Football Thoughts

And so it would seem Arsenal are out of the title race. While numerically it is still possible for them to snatch the title out of Man Utd's grasp, it just seems inconceivable that a team with such a strong winning mentality as Man Utd can simply collapse...

The 1-1 draw against Liverpool was simply 2 points thrown away, as once again the flaws of the gunners were exposed for all to see... Cutting edge? didn't see it, a solid defence? MIA, the ability to grind out a result when it counts? i've forgotten what that looks like when watching Arsenal...

I'm not quite sure how you can have a penalty in the 8th minute score, and still end up with a draw. I read one description of there seeming to be sheer terror in the Arsenal team when Liverpool got the ball before their penalty and that feels like an accurate description, the players seem unable to simply make the tackle and finish the game off. Instead the one man wrecking ball of Eboue allowed Liverpool to get back into the game...

What else is left to say that hasn't already been said? Yes Man Utd have the potential to slip up in their remaining fixtures, but it feels like Arsenal have the greater tendency to self-implode than Arsenal. Yes we're most likely going to come second and perhaps that shows an improvement, though I feel it's perhaps the capitulation of Chelsea and Liverpool that has allowed us to leapfrog from 4th place.

Maybe I'll be surprised and Arsenal somehow pull the cat out of the bag, but I can't say i'm too hopeful...

P.s. well done to Jack Wilshere on winning PFA Young Player of the Year, definitely deserved, not too sure about Bale though...

Driscoll on Men (and marriage)

On saturday night, the men of RFC gathered for a night of curry, fellowship and some hard hitting truths. Sitho brought along a dvd series from his brother's church on the topic of "Real Men" showing us a bit of a talk by the man's man himself Mark Driscoll. It was a stirring talk by Driscoll and well worth checking out. The talk reminded me of another talk i've heard Driscoll do, which covers some of the same material. I thought I would share it with you. If you haven't heard it, it's definitely worth listening to, a sermon that will definitely challenge me to be the best (future) husband i can be

Saturday, 16 April 2011

A busy week/month/year...

A distinct lack of blogging has been down to a rather hectic few weeks

Highlights include:

Training @Bracknell - with some great sessions on the church, church history, Simon Benham's musings and a brilliant time @Oakwood Youth Challenge... I was made to do 5 press ups during a session on team exercises when I tried to be funny while doing a "get across an acid river" task and commented "well as long as I get across that's fine"... lesson learnt...(humble pie moment 4). It was great that I got to hang out my brothers & sisters for 3 days, what a privilege it is to be part of this group

Recording - we've started and there's now a real buzz about the project, next step is bass/guitars...

Playing bass - filling in 2 weeks in a row may mean that I'm now officially a bassist! or not...

Seeing family - my parents, brother & sister-in-law came to visit which was brilliant. In such a hectic year it's amazing having the fantastic support of my family.

Men's curry night - great to gather with the guys from the church to eat some curry, chat and hear some encouraging/challenging stuff

Doing lots and lots means i'm having to learn how to say "no" and also how to simply rest... The threat of tiring myself out seems very real at times and so I'm having to take big steps on the journey of organising myself and why God gave us a Sabbath.

Exo 20:8-11
“Remember the Sabbath day, to keep it holy. Six days you shall labor, and do all your work, but the seventh day is a Sabbath to the Lord your God. On it you shall not do any work, you, or your son, or your daughter, your male servant, or your female servant, or your livestock, or the sojourner who is within your gates. For in six days the Lord made heaven and earth, the sea, and all that is in them, and rested on the seventh day. Therefore the Lord blessed the Sabbath day and made it holy."

It's times like this i need remind myself i can't do everything, and it's pride that would make me think i can... i need to ensure I rest, and on top of that, rest in my Saviour. I know the danger of burnout is a very real one and i want to ensure it doesn't happen to me. This puritan prayer is something that I want to have on my mind when over this final stretch of my FP year...

I depend wholly upon Thee,
wean me from all other dependences.
Thou art my all, thou dost overrule all
and delight in me.
Thou art the foundation of goodness,
how can I distrust Thee?
how be anxious about what happens to me?

In the light of Thy preciousness
the world and all its enjoyments are
infinitely poor:
I value the favour of men no more than pebbles.
Amid the blessings I receive from Thee
may I never lose the heart of a stranger.

May I love Thee, my Benefactor, in all my benefits,
not forgetting that my greatest danger
arises from my advantages.

Produce in me self-despair that will
make Jesus precious to me,
delightful in all His offices,
pleasurable in all His ways,
and may I love His commands
as well as His promises.

Help me to discern between true and false love,
the one consisting of supreme love to Thee,
the other not,
the former uniting Thy glory and man’s happiness
that they may become one common interest,
the latter disjointing and separating them both,
seeking the latter with neglect of the former.

Teach me that genuine love is different in kind
from that wrought by rational arguments
or the motive of self-interest,
that such love is a pleasing passion affording
joy to the mind where it is.

Grant me grace to distinguish
between the genuine and the false,
and to rest in Thee who art all love

(Taken from ‘The Valley of Vision: A Collection of Puritan Prayers,’ edited by Arthur Bennett)

Monday, 11 April 2011

Monday Football Thoughts

And so it would seem Arsenal becomes the next Premier league team to end up in foreign hands. Stan K looked always likely to be a future owner once he started to become best mates with the Arsenal board...

It's hard to grasp just what it will mean for the club. He's not uber rich so it's unlikely to result it Man City style transfers, nor does it seem like he's going to saddle the club in debts to buy the club... Which leaves potentially Arsenal in the same position as before, which is what Peter Hill-Wood/the rest of the directors wanted. I guess maybe he'll exert some extra pressure on Wenger for results so that it will = profits, but my guess is that Arsenal won't change much because of the change of owners... (though I'm sure i can be proved wrong)... I'm sure the Stan K camp will continue to release "we understand the club", "we too love Wenger" statements which will remain interesting to read for another... well few seconds... anyways we'll wait and see what actually happens as a result of this potential change of ownership

On the actual football side of things, we managed to record and victory against the team with the weakest defence in the entire league... How we weren't up by more than 2 goals i don't know, but yet again the Arsenal defence seemed intent on making things harder for themselves than is necessary. Clichy hesitating on the ball, Koscienly attempting to give away yet another penalty (luckily the ref thwarted Koscienly's best efforts) and for Eboue words "defensive duties" still seem to have no meaning. But a win is a win and hopefully confidence will begin to trickle back into the players... Hopefully the defence will start to be a bit more ruthless with "Mad Jens" screaming at the back again. It's funny how you forget what a difference it makes to have a strong leader within the team again... All credit to him to be able to play in the Premiership at the age of 41... I'm sure he'll give us a few moments over the next few games...

That's all for now, training tomorrow @Bracknell which will be fun... see you next week!

Friday, 8 April 2011

RFC CD - Day 2 of Recording

So yesterday we finished the drums for all the songs, was a brilliant day of working through the songs, trying out new things and a lot of hard work. Loved the end product and looking forward to fleshing it all out now.

Some of the songs required extra work with making distinct drums parts and was really interesting realising how we often do just everything the same usually in a song. Definitely needed to be on our creative best and hopefully we've managed to make the songs sound individually unique... I guess those who buy it can tell us if we managed it!

Well done the two drummers of Jethro & Rob, Grae for bearing with us and the Del Rios for once again being fantastic!

Here's a clip of yesterdays recordings... can you guess the song?

Drum Recording from Josh John on Vimeo.

There's another clip here... but it's a ridiculous size...

Next stop Electric/Bass/Synth/Piano... etc....

Tuesday, 5 April 2011

RFC CD - Day 1 of Recording

So a big project for my FP year was to attempt producing a CD of some of our home written songs. There was some ground work done from the year before but it's a big new venture for the church.

We're hoping to release a 7 song EP sometime around Aug/Sept. It will contain some of the songs that we sing regularly at the church which we have written ourselves.

It's going to be a great blast trying out stuff and letting rip in terms of creativity

Over the past few weeks/months I've been deep in budgets, track lists, thinking of titles, arrangements, pondering what's the best way to distribute the product and so on. So it was brilliant that this Monday we started actually getting it recorded.

The first step has been tracking the drums. After a bit of setup we started with the new song "Keep Singing" where Jethro had a few fills he had come up with. It sounded fantastic and I'm looking forward to hearing how the song develops. On thursday we'll be trying to get all the other drums done (with both Jethro and Rob)...

Big thank you to Jess & James Del Rio who have been amazing in helping us attempt this project, Grae who's producing it all, and Matt Sales for helping us out with some equipment... Looking forward to letting you know the continued progress and maybe giving you some video clips of what's going on!....

Yesterday/Monday Football Thoughts

And so the title race is no longer in our hands, 2 disappointing draws have meant that we've fallen quite far behind Man Utd and now can only hope that they slip up in the coming matches. The 0-0 draw against Blackburn only showed how far our confidence has fallen and why no one really fancies us to win the title anymore. This wasn't Barca, Man Utd, Milan or some other team of significant calibre, it was Blackburn... AT HOME!... Perhaps one win will give them the vital self belief boost they need for this frantic end of season.

The team seems emotionally/physically drained as well a void of any urgency in their play.  We got the ball, passed around a bit and then proceeded to let the Blackburn team get organised and simply punt away any chance. We had 11 attempts on goal and only 3 on target... that's pretty shocking from a team that prides itself on attacking football... Why did Wenger wait until the very end to bring on Chamakh and Bendtner who seemed like they could actually get on the end of one of the many crosses... I'm still a bit perplexed why we attempt crosses with VP as lone striker... Well done to Nasri for playing with that gigantic bump!

I've moaned about the failing of Arsenal since pretty much I decided to start making monday, a football blog day... so I'll leave it with this, please start shooting, start to have some urgency and please please get a win... (surely we'll beat Blackpool at the weekend)

In other football news, Crewe beat Cheltenham 8-1 (a crazy score no matter what division), Rooney decided to tell a camera what he thought of it, and this little Japanese kid tries his best Messi impression...

i don't know whether it would be more frustrating playing against the kid, or being on his team (I don't remember seeing him make a single pass)...

Until next time...

Friday, 1 April 2011

April Fools... some highlights

So April fools descended upon us. There have been some brilliant April fools pranks on the web...

The "gmail motion" was a fantastic little clip. You can find the full video here. I think the "sending mail" motion of licking a stamp and putting it on was my faveourite.

Following closely behind, the "playmobil apple store2 made me giggle a fair bit... miniature ipads, how amazing...

I enjoyed the spoof of Mark Driscoll's latest release, the chapter on "cowering" would have made for some interesting reading no doubt...

utest (a market place for software testing) setup a pretty hilarious dating website for software testers... (website) if you're a wookie looking for a droid that's the website for you... techcrunch has compiled a list of some other brilliant April fools gags (list)

There's plenty more which i've missed (such as the youtube 1911... BMWs Royal themed car etc...) but there's only so much i can blog on, do let me know if there's a spectacular one i've missed tho!

So all in all a pretty successful day, if you want to hear what we as interns concocted transfer yourself over to Sean's blog where he's listed the pranks we pulled (and the failed attempt).... you can find it here

So happy April fools hope you had fun