Monthly Archives: September 2012

Master Of My Own Domain

A long time ago, when this site/blog/folly was established, I chose the domain name I liked the idea of the “” domains, and I chose my surname because I couldn’t think of a better name. Stick with the truth and all that.

Since moving to the US, I moved hosting service to one recommended by friends here in the Bay Area. Unfortunately, they don’t register .uk domains, so I was stuck with hosting in the US and domain registration in the UK.

More recently, when Cassie and I got married, we had a wedding website set up at, which at the moment redirects here . In addition, Cassie has her own website at There’s not much there yet, but as she gets back into the filmmaking that she loves so much, it will be her portfolio and news site.

I’ve been consolidating these various sites and domains, and in the process I decided to take the plunge and just take as my main address. At the time of writing, it just redirects to But soon after I post this, this blog will be hosted at, and will no longer exist.

Hopefully, there will be no changes to the site that you can see (apart from the URL). The blog should continue to work. Obviously I will have to go through and fix my internal links, which will take some time. But I’m hoping it should all be pretty seamless. Wish me luck!

Rogier Mekel’s Nautical Parodies


When I was studying in Flensburg in 1994-5, I regularly went to a bar with a shipping and nautical theme. There was a big mural of sailors cavorting on an island beach with nubile natives in grass skirts. Reasonable, being a port town. Once a week they would boil a big bucket of bockwurst, and it was cheap beer night too. You could get a wurst, chunk of bread and dollop of mustard and a few beers for super cheap, so we went every week.

So, what I’m saying is there was a weekly sausage party at a bar frequented by sailors.

Anyway, I remember on the wall there was a big poster, showing a hyper-detailed comical cross-section of a ship. After a few Flens the level of detail would be overwhelming, and I would stand and look at it, noticing some new detail each time.

This image popped into my head again recently, and so I thought I’d track it down. A quick google didn’t disappoint. It turns out to have been created by Rogier Mekel, a Dutch seaman-turned-artist in 1967. I present the image below – just check out the details!

Ship cross-section cartoon

‘Das Schiff’ by Rogier Mekel (click for big)

See if you can spot:

  • The radio operator talking to a seagull (some say this was a self-portrait)
  • The backpacker in the hold
  • The Chief Rev Counter
  • The maids – which would you choose?
  • “Be wise – palletize!”
  • The position of the Plimsoll Line.


I’ve been listening to a lot of The Orb recently, after getting into Soma FM‘s nice ambient and chilled streams. I got a good t-shirt from them recently as well. Picture not to follow – although I should post one, because then they’d show it on their site.

I could wax nostaligc about The Orb. Saw them at Manchester Poly in 1991. Loved Little Fluffy Clouds. Was disappointed by and then really got into The Orb’s Adventures Beyond the Ultraworld (still got the vinyl, actually). Then U.F.Orb and beyond… Anyway, I checked out YouTube for some videos of Orb tracks, and I found this very cheesy remix of a more recent tune off Bicycles and Tricycles.

As I said, very cheesy, but catchy too. Great bassline (can’t go wrong with one note), nice foghorn, and who can resist a rooster? Not to mention the boingy spring noise, which puts one in mind of a new podcast available now… You could almost forgive the autotuned vocals. Almost. The video is great – Japanese comic books, and was that a cartoon of Dr Alex Paterson in there?

Anyway, I found myself whistling the little bleepy tune at 50 seconds in the other day, and Cassie demanded to know what it was. I asked why and she said it was the tune to an old Band-Aid commercial from her childhood.

I can see her point.

Barry Manilow wrote the Band-Aid tune? The tune that the universe decided to insert in a remix of an Orb track nearly thirty years later? At last my tastes come full circle, like the dread worm Ouroboros.

Coiled Spring now up and available on iTunes

My new project, a podcast called Coiled Spring, is now up and running and available on iTunes here. Episode 1 is already available, and I’m working on episode 2 now. It’s a fun podcast, with interesting guests who are attractive and fun to be with, reviews of American cultural artifacts, experiments in spoken word soundscaping, and some other guff.

Subscribe, share, enjoy!

Quick, post somethign

So I’d better get something up before the flood of people sent over here by Matt at The Tool  Shed arrive, take one look around, shrug and leave.

And what better thing to entice them over the threshold than news of my exciting new project, which is tantalizingly close to bearing fruit. My new podcast, Coiled Spring, is being edited down into something palatable, and will be available to download and subscribe to in the next couple of days. I was holding off on telling you this until I actually had something finished to point to, but seeing as Reed has forced my hand, I’m jumping the gun and telling you about it now.

Head on over to to find out a little bit (but not much) more.

If any of you have any advice (beyond, “Don’t bother” – I’m ignoring that particular insistent voice) drop me a line! Technical, content-related, suggestions, offers of help, encouragement, whatever you’ve got, all is welcome.

If you just want to hang out here, that’s also cool. Pull up a chaise lounge, check out the voluminous and yet strangely inconsequential archives, and enjoy.

More Shoes Update

Brannock Device

Behold the Brannock Device

After my disappointment with the recrafting of my black Allen Edmonds shoes, I was told they could be sent back, and I may be able to pick out a brand new pair. Well, I received an email confirming just that. They offered to send a replacement pair, but I asked if it was OK to go to the San Francisco store to get my feet measured and double check the fit. I was told that would be fine, so yesterday I went in and put my feet in the old Brannock Device.

I wanted basically the same shoe, but they didn’t have the Clifton model I had before, so I went for the Fifth Avenue, which is basically the same, but insatead of a blucher, they are a balmoral with closed lacing. The Brannock Device suggested my usual 9.5D (US), but when I tried them on, it became clear that my high arches (from being raised on Clarks) needed a 9.5E.

I let the recrafting department know, and they will send me a pair as soon as they can. I shoudl add that it seems like a long time since I sent the shoes for recrafting originally, but all the delays are on my side – I never have time to run errands like shopping for shoes. Or getting my hair cut – (sorry Cassie).