Crystal Castles @ Cuba, Galway

One of my favourite photos I’ve shot in 2008

Crystal Castles @ Cuba, Galway

The above shot of Alice Glass from Crystal Castles when they played ‘Cuba’ in Galway is one of my favourite photos I’ve shot in 2008. A friend was meant to have a ticket, but didn’t. It was only due to the soundness of one of the door staff I managed to get in at all after arriving late from Dublin.

I wasn’t really even thinking about taking gig shots before hand, I just bring a camera nearly everywhere. I wasn’t even in Galway for Crystal Castles. I had hardly heard of them before hand, but they turned out to be good.

Although I’m still debating the subject (with my self, really), this shot has lead me to think the infra-red / night mode on my Sony H9 isn’t just a gimmick. There’s some other interisting, but mainly just fun shots in my Crystal Castles set on flickr. The above was taken zoomed in while standing towards the back of the room, a bit before columns get in the way.

Other shots taken in IR include: Upstairs on a Dublin Bus double decker bus, my local take away’s sign, the Ambience Affair (a friend’s band), ‘Cape Wrath’ on Four on Demand on my laptop, spying on George Orwell, my bed on a sleeper train which brought me from Warsaw to Bucharest, a few photos in a near pitch dark art instluation a Berlin, one just outside the same, a hallway in pitch darkness, O’Connell Bridge out of focus at night, and ‘happy Holloween’ written on a window (a shot I would have never got otherwise and the IR adds a nice effect).

I’ve went to see a lot more single gigs this year compared to 2006/7 (as apposed to EP etc, which I did not go to this year). I though I’d go to a lot more but when moving up to Dublin, but that didn’t happen at first.

Robert Fisk on Obama talking nonsense

Robert Fisk on Obama talking nonsense, and on broken promises of the past and future, as on Independent.ie:

If reporting is, as I suspect, a record of mankind’s folly, then the end of 2008 is proving my point. Let’s kick off with the man who is not going to change the Middle East — Barack Obama — who last week, with predictably, became ‘Time’s’ “person of the year”. But buried in a long and immensely tedious interview inside the magazine, Obama devotes just one sentence to the Arab-Israeli conflict: “And seeing if we can build on some of the progress, at least in conversation, that’s been made around the Israeli-Palestinian conflict will be a priority.”

“Building on progress?” What progress? On the verge of another civil war between Hamas and the Palestinian Authority, with Benjamin Netanyahu a contender for Israeli prime minister, with Israel’s monstrous wall and its Jewish colonies still taking more Arab land, and Palestinians still firing rockets at Sderot, and Obama thinks there’s “progress” to build on?

Lay Lady, Lay

To me, the video below is quite strange (mainly due to being a Gemma Hayes fan), but I like this version of the song better than Dylan’s (not only due to being a fan of Hayes)…

[Yes, the comma in the headline is completely incorrect compared to the song title]

Dealing with emails

“No new mail! There’s always Google News if you’re looking for something to read.”

…that’s not a message I’m used to seeing. I used to leave email linked to something I needed to do in my inbox, but that’s really a bad way to go about dealing with emails.

I get a huge amount of email sent to my Gmail account daily (secondly accounts are also redirected there), I’ve been trying to work out a “system” for dealing with it for some. But even if you don’t get a massive amount of email, you should try to deal with it better.

One thing which has worked (I cant over state how well it has worked!…) is to set it so that all emails from mailing lists and boards.ie etc are auto-tagged as ‘bulk’ (I’ve just changed this to ‘Can delete?’, as pictured below). So, when such emails arrive in my inbox I know they are likely have a low level of importance and I’m unlikely to want to archive them. Then, with a very quick scan, I can delete them in bulk.

That helped. But still I had high levels. A problem which has got considerably worse since returning to college (again) and becoming a DCU student. With the DCU emailing lists [snip… I guess this subject needs another blog post].

Along with the ‘bluk’ / ‘can delete?’ tag, I also created tags for different subjects — relating to games, tech, emails from contacts etc. But this didn’t really work. Unlike the ‘can delete’ tag, it wasn’t active.

Now thanks to the ideas behind 43 Folders Series: Inbox Zero I think things are going to be a lot better. (And a very lager thanks to Damien Mulley for the link to 43 Folders — in case the people who have told me about the site before are reading, yes you may have told me about it, but links are, I guess, more active).

Go and read the Inbox Zero series. Or watch the video — it says its nearly 60mins but a good deal of that is the Q&A, and anyway it’s really worth watching.

Simply put the idea is to keep your inbox clear.

Delete. Archive. Respond straight away. Or, if you really need to, send mail to a respond later folder. And don’t (as I used to) use your inbox as a to-do list or a diary/calendar — use a calendar like Google’s calendar which you can sent up reminders.

Anyway, I feel this is actauly going to work. Here’s hoping it does… now all I need is to sort out my RSS reader…

December

Haven’t yet listened much to their other songs, but I’m loving ‘December’ by the Brad Pitt Light Orchestra. You can hear it on their Myspace page.

In other breaking news, I’m less sick today. Sometimes maybe it does just takes rest and sleep. So, I’m loving the song, but the month December and all its sickness, I’d prefer to skip. Anyway, have 2,000 words to write…