Cash Rules Everything Around Me

Graff
[Graffiti on the Quincentennial Bridge, Galway 24-01-10]

The most important thing I’m reading about at the moment is the Nialler9 vs IMRO debacle (link).

Realistically, I can understand the legal principles behind the argument, but if the law leads to a blogger being charged for providing MP3s that were explicitly given to him by the artists, something’s wrong with the law. At the very least, it’s an argument that the fucking record companies (that faceless ‘THEY’) need to be cut out of the music industry. The 10-per-centers, as Bill Hicks called them, really aren’t proactive in trying to get the music industry out of the rut it’s in. Suing some teenager (or his mother) for their entire net worth will not bring back your lost profits, and it certainly won’t endear you to the customers you’re trying to win back.

In other news, Riverfest in Limerick this weekend. I’d link you, but there doesn’t actually seem to be a website. Strange. Anyway, the weekend will mostly consist of booze and rugby, but I’m toying with the idea of bringing down my camera to try get a few shots. If all goes well — if the sun shines, and if I actually get to see anything bar the inside of a pub — I’ll try and stick something up next week.

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Cruel and Unusual

Starlings
[Starlings on the banks of the Corrib, 20.04.10]

So, I’ve had an interesting couple of weeks. First, my internet died. It’s amazing, the effect this has on a twenty-something who’s grown to rely on it implicitly.

Want to know what time the new Gerard Butler romcom is showing at? Ask the internet.

Want to know what’s happening in Thailand? Ask the internet.

Want to know what a stupendously fat person playing badminton looks like? You know it!

It’s my first and last resource; consequently, losing it really messed with my life. Fortunately, it was only out for three days.

‘No hassle,’ you say, ‘Surely you could manage three days without the internet?’ Of course I could. There was no problem. It was sunny — I went cycling, swimming, and generally took the air. Besides, in emergency cases I always had internet access in work. (Emergencies such as being tagged in a photo the day after you’ve been stupidly drunk. Tangent: Is there any worse paranoia than seeing that little red notification icon, ‘X has tagged you in a photo’?)

On Friday afternoon, the UPC guy arrived. He informed me that someone had disconnected us from the main switchboard in the basement, and set us back up again. Sorted.

On Saturday night, I popped open my PC and installed a new 2TB hard drive. My computer promptly failed to restart.

Well, fuck.

After an hour of swearing at it, I gave up. I ignored it until last night, when I realised the stupidly-obvious solution to my problem. I still haven’t managed to install the new HDD, but I do have a functioning computer, and more importantly — access to the internet.

[In other news, I purchased a new phone last week… the oh-so-shiny HTC Desire. It’s my first foray into smartphones, and so far I’m very impressed with it. As a way of celebrating, I decided to sign-up for Twitter. It always struck me as something that should be done from a phone, and now I have eternal internet access to do it with!]

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Be the Death of Me

This shows up fairly regularly as a search that led people here. I think I should change either the title or the subject matter, but I’m not sure which…

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Nipped in the Bud

IMG_0448

I know, I know… I’m really, terribly sorry about the awful pun in the title. Unfortunately, it’s very apt.

This evening, not an hour ago, I arrived home from work early. I was determined to take advantage of the blue skies and bright light — despite the beginnings of a headcold — and even spotted a picture that I really wanted to take as I walked home. Unfortunately, about a minute after I stepped back outside, camera in hand, it started raining, and then started hailstoning. Is hailstoning even the correct word?

Anyway, I managed to get a few quick, boring snaps of the various flowers and bushes outside my apartment building before I had to retreat. And naturally, as I sit here typing this post, the rain has gone. Vehemently so — it’s currently evaporating in twists of steam from the balcony outside my window.

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Visiting

K and K

I was home at the weekend to see my new baby nephew (welcome to the family Leo!) and managed to get out in the garden for an hour or two on Sunday afternoon. The problem with new babies is the sudden lack of focus on the older siblings… cue jealousy, and even more attention seeking than usual.

Consequently, Katie was only delighted to visit Granny and Granddad this weekend, as it meant she had two uncles to play with her while Mammy and Daddy looked after her new baby brother.

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Head is Melted

Freezing Galway (18 of 20)

Title says it all; I’m a bit fried after a heavy and enjoyable weekend. I went up to Dublin for the Passion Pit gig in the Olympia on Saturday. Of course, it was also Rugby Day so I got up nice and early to could head to my friend’s house for an afternoon of drinking, eating, and shouting at the Welsh beforehand.

Fun was had.

This photo is an oldie; I took it on a stroll back during the cold weather in January. I was happy enough with how it turned out, though the composition isn’t great and the dog could be a bit more interesting…

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When the Kids Go Home

Swing

Hmm, where to start with this…

I’m not happy with this photo — it was taken with the theme of ‘urban’ in mind, for a challenge that’s going on in work. It’s one of the first I’ve taken with my new 7D, and while I’m pretty happy with the quality of the shot, the composition leaves a lot to be desired! There was minimal post-processing; just some desaturation, curves, and white balance adjustment.

I think I’ll go back and try to reframe it; I’m undecided as to how to do it though. I’m not sure if getting the swing centered vertically will work or not… I was mostly concerned with getting more of the graffiti and less of the bin in the background! Guess I really should have shot it on the night, just to check.

Another lesson learned (or more accurately, reinforced): shoot first, delete later.

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More from Mutton Island

IMG_5336

With an evening like there was today, you’d be a bad person not to get out and enjoy it. I didn’t go anywhere new, but sunset in Galway is always worth taking the camera along for — especially when walking along the Claddagh and out the Salthill Prom. It was a fairly profitable evening, with a handful of shots that I’m pretty happy with. I even took my first steps into the world of wildlife photography. Having nothing but the 18-55mm kit lens with me made getting close shots of birds difficult, but it was interesting to try out. I’ve picked out a spot that I’ll definitely return to with my 70-300mm and a tripod… I want to see what I can do with a bit more range.

Looking through the shots I took, there’s one fairly definite thing I’m noticing: the sharpness (or lack thereof) of the kit lens is starting to irk me. It’s pretty good at times but there’s a few places where I just find it lacking. It’s irritating, but also gratifying — I’m obviously learning something about this whole photography lark. I’m also glad to see it for another more selfish and gadget-freakish reason. Last week, I decided to treat myself to a birthday present, and placed an order for a Canon 7D and an EF-S 17-55mm f/2.8 IS USM lens to go with it. It was expensive, yes, but what can I say? I’ve come to terms with my idiotic compulsion to buy new toys, and I’m resigned to slavery underneath it.

Feck it, I’ve nothing else to spend it on but hookers and crack.

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New RSS gizmo

I’ve just changed my RSS feed thingy over to Feedburner. I don’t even know if anyone’s subscribed to this, but if you are, you might have to re-subscribe to the new one (on the right) —>

I’ll be honest, I’m putting this in so I can actually get an idea if anyone reads this blog 😀

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Goldbär

Goldbear

Wow, I’ve been busy as hell lately, and haven’t had the time nor the inclination to go taking photographs. Actually, that’s not true — the days are getting brighter, and I’m delighted to be able to go out and take some shots in the evening. However, work has kept me so exhausted that I just haven’t bothered. This has got to change.

It’s not been a total loss, though. A couple of weeks ago, myself and my friend Kev travelled to Bonn to visit our friend Toby. Toby’s a mate from years ago, when we were all foreign exchange students studying in Scotland. We got along great, and spent most of our three months over there drinking cheap, awful beer (8 cans of Carlsberg for £5 in the off license! Bottles of XXXX for £1 in the club!) and lusting after Scottish indie girls with their amazing accents.

Since leaving Scotland, I’d only seen Toby once — he visited Ireland while I was on J1 in Chicago, when I didn’t get a chance to see him, and he visited again last summer, when I did. That made two visits from him, while we’d never returned the favour. We considered the situation, and deemed it time to go to Germany.

The fact that Bonn is only half an hour or so away from Köln, and that it was Karneval, was a mere detail…

After a day in which we spent 14 hours drinking across various bars, restaurants, two apartments, and a street, we recovered by visiting the Haribo flagship store in Bonn. The thing is the size of Lidl, and full to the brim with sweets. I was actually paralysed by choice, and couldn’t decide what to get for a good half hour.

They have gummi Arnold Schwarzeneggers.

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