Iain Cameron's Diary
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2006-11-07 - 4:44 a.m.

The first mince pies of the season.

James sent a text to say that he had won the St Anthony’s Hallowqueen cross-dressing competition and asking whether this was really any accolade? Given that his outfit was the creation of Kazak-UK collaboration in the Russian language in the local Oxfam and he has to pass a Russian language test to get into the second year of his MPhil, I would think so. Another post-Borat triumph.

I had been able to pass on a tip on cross-dressing competitions – so good when a father’s experience of direct benefit to a son. I have only ever managed third prize and my line always used to be that I would only cross-dress on official business. The secret of any success I have ever secured in this area was in gesture rather in fabric or make-up and it was in this respect that I got a lot of the ‘technical vote’. Impossible to say at this stage whether James was able to leverage the tip.

Meanwhile elsewhere on the post-soviet front Mike and I sketched our pitch for key partnerships with central and eastern European countries to our senior management colleagues yesterday morning. He had a one page picture of the process we propose and I had roughed out a couple of pages of bullet points on the UK spearhead. Today there is a 10 nation automotive cluster conference at the Birmingham Chamber of Commerce which we will both be attending in predatory collaborative mode.

I also found some useful global RnD recently published by the Commission via a rather strange free mag which I get sent and usually has an above average share of inside info. The data shows that within global automotive European companies spend more than 40% of the total RnD investment – whereas they produce less than 40% of the global volume of cars. Cars made in Europe are relatively research intensive – because they tend to be at the premium/luxury end of the range. Within our local region the foreign sourced RnD mainly comes from the USA and Japan however.

Stephen and I have been looking at the North East region’s relative productivity record – he has been on the board of a major productivity driver in the region. The data looks at the trend 1998-2004 in a number of engineering sectors. At aggregate level there is an improvement and the region progresses from being below to being above the national average. I have sent the stuff to a contact in our region in support of a project we are trying to secure.

I have made some alterations to post project evaluation which we are redrafting to make it less auto-centric. It looks as if I am going to get paid for this which is cheering at this point in the year..

I have been thinking about diminished chords again – quite an old idea in terms of their potential to facilitate quite large scale modulation – but for some reason it seems to make sense on the guitar. Minor seventh chords a minor third apart – the set of four – and rapid progress from one to another each time via the diminished chord they share a close relationship with. I had been drawn to diminished chords as a base – adding a couple of extra notes on top – but this usage is much more conventional. Nonetheless it might be worth trying on the flute.

I looked at the new longer vid and thought it was OK. I am gradually getting into You Tube – I sent James a link to something called Latvia Parkour which reminds me a bit of the skateboarding videos he liked when he was younger.

Listening to the B52s – I have ordered a Cybotron retrospective. I have a Detroit remix of Mespotamia and I thought it would be fun to go deeper into the history. The earliest track on the retrospective is 1983 and so it will compliment my Chicago House 86-91 triple set and my Hacienda triple. I started using computers for music seriously in 1989 which on this timescale doesn’t look too bad. The way I see it is that the computers came in as soon as I gave up the Sardana band. I am hoping to hear some Sardana in Valentia.

I have also ordered a late Ben and Jason CD. I met them at the premier of A Skin Too Few in Amsterdam about 5 years ago and I enjoyed their company. I bought their first CD on the strength of that meeting – it has a Robert Kirby arrangement on it. You can see now that they are part of a burgeoning of songwriting in the 90s in the wake of Jeff Buckley in particular.

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