The Items We Carry

Over the last few days I’ve been seeing a flickr group called The Items We Carry. I’ve finally contributed my own photo to the group, so you can see what I carry with me, pretty much all the time.

thethingsicarry

I find this kind of thing fascinating. It really interests me what people carry with them, what they need to function each day, the techniques they have to do that. It interested me to see all the little systems that people have, and the more I look at it and think about it the more I realise how irrelevant it is. Instead of focusing on little techniques and systems to help “get things done” instead I and I would imagine many others, should be focusing on God and the relationship we have with him. The time spent looking at establishing little systems that, could and more probably should, be spent on getting to know the big feller, spending time in His word and studying it.

It’s a big challenge, and one which I need to take up with more gusto than I have been, one which I pray I will be able to have the discipline and self control to do. I’ve been listening to Mike Bickle’s “The Power of a Focused Life” and it’s something that I feel challenged about and need to act on.

Missing Potter (spoilers) ›

Jk Rowling has spoken about some of the bits she had intended to include in the 19 years later part of the last book. If you haven’t read it yet, don’t read it, but if you have then go ahead.

Shuffle Roulette ›

I got emailed this little comic strip this afternoon. Thought I would share it with you all.

Shuffle Roulette

Safari Keyboard Shortcut ›

I don’t know if this is purely OS X specific or if it’s purely Safari specific, but I just found a nice little shortcut. Pressing option (alt) and tab takes you to the top of the page, a useful little tip!

My Top Websites

While I’ve been thinking about stuff to write for this place I was thinking about what I like to do concerning the internet. The thing I most like to do is find new websites/blogs etc. It fascinates me what is out there and how they look etc. So I thought it might be an idea to do a little post on my top five most used websites. As I was compiling my five I realised something. There’s nothing new in them, they aren’t really websites which no one has heard about. So in addition to my five most used “popular” websites, I’m going to try and add a few lesser known sites.

Five most used “popular” websites

Facebook
The only social networking service I will use is Facebook. I refused MySpace on the account that it’s flipping ugly! Facebook has the advantage now that all my friends are on it, so it’s a nice way to be able to keep in touch with people who have moved around the country off to various different universities and beyond. It has been MySpaced a little with the addition of the apps, but I’m living with those.

Twitter (via Twitterific)
Twitter has become quite a useful tool for me. I don’t interface much with the website itself but I do use the service through the Twitterific application by IconFactory and QuickSilver, which is why I have included it. I have a few friends from around the internet who use it as well, but it’s main purpose is as my “One status to rule them all”.

The Apple Blog Community
I do use The Apple Blog (TAB) main site, but I mainly visit the TAB Community. It’s a great place to find answers you need help with or find out stuff about Apple in general. I’ve been visiting the place since January and have found many a useful thing. It’s also a great place to hangout if you are ever short of something to do on the interweb.

Flickr
Continuing on the line of “social” websites, Flickr is another regular haunt of mine. It’s one of my first ports of call if I’m in need of an image, and I quite often find myself sat looking through the many design groups that can be found there. An excellent resource and a great way to keep all my photos backed up as well!

BBC News
Unlike all the other sites I’ve mentioned this one is not a community driven place. The BBC News site is however and great resource, for both current news and old news. It’s one of the first sites I open everyday and is a tremendous mine of information.

A few lesser known websites

With those five completed I’ve picked out a few sites I visit regularly that you might not know so well.

MySeries.nl

Myseries.nl

MySeries.nl is the site I use to keep up to date on my three favourite TV shows. Fans of Lost, Heroes and Prison Break can find all the latest episodes available to stream to your computer. The best bit, is that they are mostly in High Definition and can be viewed in full screen modes, so no need to sit and watch a little window on your screen. The site is in dutch, but it’s easy to navigate to find the shows you want to watch and they are all in English.

fsports

Fsports

Now I’m a bit of a fantasy sports team fan and fsports is one of my sites of choice for participating in leagues with your friends. It has a choice of sports from Formula 1 to the Premiership, via the BTCC and MotoGP. I’ve had teams in the F1 and Premiership for the last few years and in the Cricket world cup. A great place to invite your friends and setup a mini league to go up against each other in a bit of friendly competition.

RELEVANTmagazine

Relevant Magazine

RELEVANTmagazine is the final site on my list today. I’m a big fan of the podcast the guys produce and it’s a great resource for Christian articles. Relevant is a magazine based in the US that distributes all over the world, it covers some secular music and films but has articles about relationships and other life issues. It’s not a regular magazine though and all the life articles have a biblical basis and are often quite challenging.

I hope you find something in there that is of interest to you. It would be nice to hear of your lesser known sites that you visit regularly, it’s always nice to discover a new gem of a website that is only just getting off the ground, or that has been around for a while but doesn’t get the attention it deserves.

Official Re-design

I’m calling this version 5.0 of Electric Weekend even though I’ve been through a few different sets of clothes in the past. Although it is not a theme I have coded entirely myself, but a modified version of Depo Clean, I’m still really pleased with it. I’ve altered added and changed a fair amount of things, had to work out how to achieve various different things and really expanded my knowledge of PHP and CSS to the extent where it certainly feels like my own theme and not a stock one.

So why the new skin?

Well, two things caused me to re-do my blog. The first was being hacked and the upgrade to version 2.2 of WordPress. The upgrade broke the theme I had running which was a slightly skinned version of K2, and whilst there was a fix about, I wanted something that I could call mine and was less obviously a WordPress blog. In the mean time I chose a quick theme modded it slightly and you have been seeing that for the past few weeks. That slight mod was always going to be a stand in and as a result I had to really think about re-designing.

The second cause for the re-design was my graduation from Uni. The next few weeks and in fact the last couple as well, will result in me sending off stuff to studios, attending exhibitions and just generally trying to get a job. Now, for quite a while I have been top of the Google search for Phil Bowell, so I wanted my blog to be somewhere that I was pleased to own and that I didn’t mind industry people viewing. With that in mind there are a couple of new bits to the site.

So what’s new?

The most significant new section of the site is the addition of a portfolio page. It currently has two projects on it, but a couple more will be coming in the next few weeks. This has been added for two reasons. One being if people from studios find this humble bit of the internet it has some work on as a confirmation they have found the right Phil Bowell. The second is that until I find a job in a studio I am looking to pick up as much freelance work as I can, so I needed to have somewhere I could show off some of my stuff. I did intend on buying philbowell.com but decided rather than try and drum up visitors for a fresh site, I should utilise the portal I have here, incase one of my many subscribers wants some design work doing or knows of someone who does. As an extension to this I have seperated the about page and contact page, so it’s even easier for people to get in contact with me.

The archives page has also been altered. I used to run the Extended Live Archives plugin on my blog, but for quite a while I’ve wanted to change that. Thankfully I found a much cleaner and simpler archives plugin which isn’t as complicated as the ELA were. Please drop me some feedback about it.

The about page has also received a bit of a revision. I’ve updated the content of it, which to be honest I think has been there for a year and was quite out of date. There is one thing which I want to add to it, a picture of me, but I haven’t yet found a suitable image so I might have to get something taken specially for this place.

Is that everything?

I think that just about covers everything. I hope you like it, I do and I feel quite pleased to finally have something a bit more lasting in place.