Well, Christmas time again. Anyone who's known me for any length of time will know I'm completely anti-religion. Christian, Druid, Muslim, New Age, Buddhist, Jew, Jedi or whatever - all equal misguided and deluded in my opinion. The only true religion should be to have no religion. That don't mean you can't have a sense of right and love for mankind, it just means you do it for yourself, not because some human has made up a set of rituals and rules in response to the things that irk them and brainwashed / threatened / scared / drugged you into believing them.
It always makes Christmas a fun time, and no doubt will lead to some interesting conversations with Elis, and at a time any of the schools he's likely to end up in. Do I feel a gaping spiritual void? Nope. Do I treat others with respect and consideration? I try. Do I think Christmas is a celebration of the birth of Jesus? To be honest, nope and could care anyway.
Everyone knows the origins of this grim mid winter festival of light and happiness, so I won't go into my annual 'damn Christians ruining Christmas with all that Jesus nonsense' rant, as I've done it already. I'm sure. I could rant about how the best of it came from the Pagans, but I won't as they were as deluded as the rest of 'em.
So for me, its time to enjoy being with the people I love. This year I've tried to get away from the commercial rush with gifts of a different kind (no mention just yet.) I see it more as a tradition to enjoy - that's how I always enjoy this time of year. It's great because Elis is getting to enjoy it as well. I've had him today as Mrs Dio is working, we've had a ball already and I'm looking forward to the rest of the weekend. Kick back, cwtch up and have a nice weekend, whether you are celebrating or not. Happy whatever.
One domain and one google ranking at a time, well. Not quite, but I did finally get me hands on a lovely top level domain for myself, www.david-lloyd.co.uk. Don't know how long its been available, but when I saw it, I snapped it up. No prizes for spotting its a very similar format to diobach.com and co.uk.
An errant and unlabelled fuck has gotten Wal-Mart into trouble for not labelling their Evanescence albums with parental advisory stickers [they still have them?!]
"The complaint, filed Thursday in Washington County Circuit Court, seeks an order requiring Wal-Mart to either censor or remove the music from its Maryland stores. It also seeks damages of up to $74,500 for each of the thousands of people who bought the music at Wal-Marts in Maryland." [DEAD LINK] Full Story here.
Shit, $74,500! That'd almost make it worth listening to such piss poor, blander than MacDonalds, pseudo-Goth, shit fest dirges as perpetrated by pop band Evanescence.
Thanks to Boing Boing for that... oh yes - and that.
We got the bulk of the Christmas lights and decorations up last weekend, I meant to post these but haven't got around to it. I used to be a real stickler for the old 12 days of Xmas tradition but recently, given the amount of hassle it is to get them up, I've been happy for them to go up early so as we can enjoy them for a longer time.
Elis has gotten into it this year, and I grabbed a few pics of him enjoying playing with decorating. I bought some battery driven plant pot lights from Habit, they are shaped like flowers, which is why Elis is trying to shove them into his nose for a good sniff.
And being the experimental type, I tried making some Christmassy style images by waving same said lights about and trying to photograph Elis as well - to varying blurry effect. I have a nice one as me wallpaper, and here's another for ya.
Took elis to St Fagans for a late lunch and a quick stroll today. Not really in a snapping mood, but I squeezed a few in, mainly concerned with the gorgeous December sunset. Missed the best of the light, but the trees got the best of it. Nothing outstanding, but worthy of sharing.
And as we were leaving, I took a few snaps of the captive toys, looking eagerly out at the freedom and early setting sun. Sheep and dragons, favourite cliché. Sorry. Icons of Welsh culture.
Chance would be a fine thing for me, but Duane Keiser is doing just that. In oils no less. And they are pretty damn fine as well.
Inspired by this I shall set up a new blog for my own attempt at this sort of thing. It will be called A Painting A Blue Moon, just don't check back too often.
You looking at my beard?
Mummy? Why is Santa doing that to Santa? His beard's gone all red... :(
Oooh. Spooky, today me Google ads are all about writing wills, yesterday it was a memorial site. Prophecy of doom or has it recently caught up with the last time I remember mentioning death which was a few weeks ago?
Do-do-dodo do-do-dodo... [Twighlight Zone].
With the mighty Google Robots in mind, a revamped my review of my favourite tunes from last year and added it to the blog site here. Must mean its almost time to start on the 2004 round-up. Been a good year :)
I've been having a listen to the forthcoming Mercury Rev album, The Secret Migration. There's some good stuff on there, but more in the Deserter's Songs mode than the earlier and more satisfying work. I took 10 minutes out to write a full review for the updated review site, you can read the full gubbins here.
Just spotted Silver Mt. Zion were live in Bristol (less than 40 miles away) this evening. Also, they are in London on the 13th. Odds of going to see them? About zilch. Sickening realisation of the year. Memo to self - Must moan to Constellation records to add Cardiff to any future European tours.
Cripes, been a long old week and no updates. I think the major essay size of the last post took it out of me for a wee while. Been a hectic week, Elis has been unwell, full up with cold and a chesty cough - so we've had a nasty old week of not sleeping and been tired and craggy. On top of that I've put my head down working on a major upheaval of my various sites to optimize them for web searches and to try and make one big network of referring sites to shoot me up the rankings (with the aim of earning more advertising revenues.)
So far I've finally put a nicer front page to Diobach.com and added some feedback capability. Also, I got myself Diobach.co.uk and added a similar front page there (note - now forwarded). I've completely gutted and rebuilt my sub-domain at [DEAD SITE]Blog @ Diobach.com where I store lots of old reviews and pieces of writing. There's not much there at the moment, but I plan on adding a lot more as the old site did some quite good business. As there are now lots of broken pages in Google, I also finally got around to making some custom error pages for the people who followed dead links. It'll take a month or two for Google to re-index everything and sort itself out, but when it kicks back in there should be some good stuff going on.
We had planned a break to Cheltenham this weekend, but ended up cancelling because of Elis' illness and our fatigue. Elis was due to spend a couple of nights with his granma and granddad, but in the end he is up there tonight and we have taken the opportunity to some stuff before he gets back tomorrow. The added bonus is I'm now enjoying my first drink for almost a month.
And in one fell swoop, I've practically cleaned up the Xmas shopping. This morning I had two presents, now, I have only a few odds and sods to pick-up. One quite afternoon in town, lots of carrier bags and a good stint online and its practically sown up. Result.