That Skin-On-Frame Kayak

Update from Bill:

Launched her this morning.  Paddles beautifully and looks pretty cool too!"

Sub zero to me...

Alaskan Skin-On Frame from Perth Show

This is Bill Samson and Sean Gallagher.

If you were at the Paddle 08 Perth show in October, you'll have seen the skin on frame boat Sean started making but was unable to complete before returning to the USA.

Bill has just told me that, three months on, she's ready to launch.  "Unlike most skin-on-frame boats", writes Bill, "this kayak has lots of volume and should be great for touring.,  I'm hoping to try it out in the water today".  (Photos here).

Sean runs kayak building courses in  the US and you can listen to his Podcast here.  Bill's podcast is here and a video of one of his kayaks is below.

If It's Friday, It's Inverness

It's the fourth and final day of my current filming project. Which
means the third and final (for now) B&B breakfast. So for a change I
added some meat.

All the rushes from the shoot are loaded into the computer for a week
of heavy editing.

Lomo Using Video on the Web

Chatting to Mark at Lomo recently he told me how sucessful video on the web has been for their business.  Check out their YouTube Channel.

"We sell online, and customers tell us it's really helpful to see the product on someone before they buy", said Mark.  Seeing the cag moving on someone's body gives a much better idea of what it's like rather than a still photo in a catalogue.  

It's like visiting their store when you can't get to Glasgow.  

Their videos show you don't need fancy gear or whizzy production values.  Although if their used SunartMedia they would be better ;-)

You Never Know Who Is Reading

Sitting in a nice B&B in Elgin on the "nose" of Scotland tucking into
breakfast. Curiously, Radio Wales is playing, albeit a crackly signal.
Very odd.

I'm making a series of films about responses to the economic dowturn
and talking to businesses which can offer advice.

When they agree to take part in filming first thing most do is Google
"Simon Willis". They end up here.

So if I'm seeing you in the next few days then "welcome to my other
life". Feel free to check out the links to other websites I run down
the right-side of this page.

Shoot Video For Your Website

I spent an enjoyable day training an excellent journalist how to shoot and edit video for her website.  Fiona Russell wrote a piece about Cailean and me when we did the Canoe Boys two years ago and she became a friend.  

As a triathlete and climber, Fiona specialises in outdoor adventure articles, hence the name of her website FionaOutdoors.  She shot and edited this video in one day.  If you or your business want to learn about video for the web, you know where to come.

What Are We Missing?

Someone sent me this over Christmas and I've confirmed it's a true story. The link is here but you'll enjoy it more if you don't click it until you've read to the end. Oh - and there's video of the thing at the end too...

A man sat at a Metro station in Washington, D.C. and started to play the violin; it was a cold January morning. He played six Bach pieces for about 45 minutes. During that time, since it was rush hour, it was calculated that thousands of people went through the station, most of them on their way to work.

Three minutes went by and a middle aged man noticed there was musician playing. He slowed his pace and stopped for a few seconds and then hurried on to meet his schedule.

A minute later, the violinist received his first dollar tip: a woman threw the money in the till and without stopping, continued to walk.

A few minutes later, someone leaned against the wall to listen to him, but the man looked at his watch and started to walk again. Clearly he was late for work.

The one who paid the most attention was a 3 year old boy. His mother tagged him along, hurried but the kid stopped to look at the violinist. Finally the mother pushed hard and the child continued to walk turning his head all the time. This action was repeated by several other children. All the parents, without exception, forced them to move on.

In the 45 minutes the musician played, only 6 people stopped and stayed for a while. About 20 gave him money but continued to walk their normal pace. He collected $32. When he finished playing and silence took over, no one noticed it. No one applauded, nor was there any recognition.

No one knew this but the violinist was Joshua Bell, one of the best musicians in the world. He played one of the most intricate pieces ever written with a violin worth 3.5 million dollars.

Two days before his playing in the subway, Joshua Bell sold out at a theater in Boston and the seats averaged $100.

This is a real story. Joshua Bell playing incognito in the Metro station was organized by the Washington Post as part of a social experiment about perception, taste and priorities of people.
The outlines were: in a commonplace environment at an inappropriate hour.

Do we perceive beauty?
Do we stop to appreciate it?
Do we recognize the talent in an unexpected context?

One of the possible conclusions from this experience could be: If we do not have a moment to stop and listen to one of the best musicians in the world playing the best music ever written, how many other things are we missing?

Now watch the video of Joshua Bell playing and read the full story at The Washington Post website.

Attention Bloggers - Are You Legal?

If you write a blog, you might want to check you stay on the right side of the fast moving defamation laws.  Which can also apply to the comments left on your blog.  So I draw your attention to Lucy Trevelyan's article in the Law Society Gazette.

New Podcast- Native Alaskan Kayak Maker

This is Sean Gallagher, a native Alaskan part of the 13th region corporation, and now teaching kayak building classes.  He runs Anayak Kayaks.

It's the last podcast for a while.  If you don't want to miss them when they re-start, subscribe free here.  

You can listen to the Podcast at that link or download directly from the Podcast Library where there's now quite a collection.