Back to normality again!

Now that the festivities are over, I hope that you all had a peaceful and happy Christmas and you have recovered from it! I had a quiet Christmas, and sure as long as you can spend it with the family, that is the main thing. Many drinks were had, a lot of food was eaten and plenty of wrapping paper was thrown out to be recycled for another day’s use.
On the 24th, the family met up for customary Midnight Mass at 9pm (I’m still not sure why it is called midnight!). After an hour and many a chat with friends later, we ventured over to the local GAA club for one drink and to pass on Christmas wishes. I think myself, my Dad and sister were the only sober souls when we entered the club..and we were still were after leaving too. After a few more drinks at home, we all hit the hay, waiting for the “big man with the beard” to enter the building!
After a very long sleep in on Christmas morning, we eventually struggled out of bed around 11ish..one of the joys of not having children around on Christmas. We were in no great hurry to open gifts. there was no great urgency about it..something that I am very happy with πŸ™‚ After midday, and numerous cups of tea later, the first of the presents were opened. You could say we were all delighted with what we received, some of the items were unexpected or un-needed!
I was given a LCD TV, something I was not expecting but am beginning to love every day I look at it. The sound is amazing, the size of the screen is pretty big too, perfect for dvd’s or tv flicks! It was definitely useful with all the essential TV viewing later on that day. It is the one time of the year where all 5 of us scramble for the RTE Guide to stake our claim on certain televisual delights. Fun indeed! We were treated to Doctor Who, Wallace and Gromit, Top Gear (although it was a repeat) and Blackadder rides again! Unfortunately, I was squeezed out of watching Blackadder..thank God for torrents πŸ™‚ After a delicious dinner and more drinks (!), there was nothing more to do than fall asleep πŸ™‚ I’m not a fan of the whole drama before Christmas and the way, consumerism and materialism has creeped in, pushing away the real meaning of Christmas. I’ll never be an advocate of starting “shopping” in September or October, but It is very hard to knock the Christmas season, no matter how you spend it!
All that was missing was the singing into the early hours..but my guitar is broke πŸ˜‰ Pity!

Happy Christmas to One and All

Happy Christmas

Happy Christmas

So the Christmas period is upon us well and I think it’s fair to say that we will be kept going for the next two days or so. Fortunately, I don’t have to make a visit into the city for last minute purchases, I’ve been lucky in that sense. Everything is wrapped and the routine visits have been made, it’s just a case of having relatives over, having a few drinks etc. And then for some festive viewing on the box..I am really looking forward to the Doctor Who and Blackadder specials on BBC. Those two shows will make my Christmas YAY!!

So before I go, I just want to add this clip to the post..this is probably my favourite Christmas tune sung by the most hillariously dressed band from the 70’s…enjoy! I’ll post again on the 26th!

The Small Hours and Tonight Fm

I have been a listener of Donal Dineen for a while now, right back to the No Disco days on RTE. It’s a pleasure listening to the music he plays. He introduced me to the sounds of David Gray and Sigur Ros so I try and tune in to be introduced to more treats. The downside to this is his show “The Small Hours” is aired at midnight to 2am which is a tough task for any listener or any show. Β The only real means of hearing his set is going to the website and re-listen to the show..fair enough…not a tall order….sure BBC and RTE do it, don’t they? Correctomundo!

Today fm have recently updated their website and I really like it. It looks very up to date compared to the previous blue mess! On this website, you could look at Donal Dineen’s previous playlists which was fine and well and you could listen to the shows after wards (even if there was no obvious link to this). Once the new website went live, the audio archives were somehow deleted and this caused quite a stirr. A listener left the below comment on the website:

Since slot-jacking of ‘Here Comes the Night’ to the anti-social hours, many of us whose ears got opened by Donal Dineen in the late 90’s, have missed out on unending months, nay, years of fresh sounds. Then there was – briefly – an archived section where we could
rightfully reclaim what was formerly ours. And now it has disappeared. Not good news for Today FM’s single most devoted audience. Looks like website has been migrated to ASP.NET, so perhaps everything isn’t in place just yet, but… Will someone PLEASE clarify
this situation? Will the Small Hours audio archive make a return in the near future,Β or are we once again to suffer?

Donal’s Blog > Tonights Playlist .

However I do have to commend the station for making these archives available to stream. It’s just a pity the show can’t be moved to an earlier slot or is this too much to ask for?

Wordpress plugins…and all that jazz!

Ok, so I’m a complete amateur when it comes to blogging and wordpress, I’m the first to admit it and I’m sure a few people out there are thinking the same thing πŸ™‚ But I’ve always wanted to know and work out how wp plugins work..is it difficult to do? is it something you’d ask your “IT consultant” uncle to do? Hmm somehow I’m not sure I was put on this earth to figure that out! But what I’ve decided to do is look into it further, ie scouring through wiki, faqs and other means..
If there are any changes made to the page in the next 24 hours, then you know I have struck gold!

Damien Dempsey @Vicar Street 17/12/2008

dd_seize_1322_image_1After 100 gigs and a year outside of Ireland, Damien Dempsey returned to play to his home crowd last night. He is always most comfortable playing at Vicar Street. He’s guaranteed a good welcome and last night was no exception. Plenty of singing and he and his band put on one of the best shows I have certainly seen. I got the feeling he had been looking forward to this night for a long time. Once on the stage, we are greeted with a welcome we are all familiar with “Howyaz!”, quickly followed by “Party On” from his album “Shots”. From the off, we were treated to music from “They don’t teach…” right up to his latest offering “The Rocky Road”. I haven’t listened to this album as of yet but it contains gems that your parents would know, Irish traditional pieces side by side with Irish rebel ballads. A few I knew but I mostly mumbled the lyrics while looking around at the dedicated fans who knew each and every word inside out. I wouldn’t consider myself his biggest fan but he is gaining more and more of a fan base in Ireland…much better than the MTV pop thrash we are fed on a daily basis.
I arrived earlier as I wanted to catch the support slot. A Lazarus Soul (Official webpage) are an up and coming indiepop act from Dublin who sound a cross between Interpol and Joy Division. Their album “Graveyard of Burnt out Cars” (review) is a great listen and has received alot of airplay especially from Phantom Fm in Dublin.
Damien Dempsey is due to play tonight, the 18th of December, the 22nd of December in the Button Factory, and again on New Year’s Eve. The latter should be one to remember. I really feel that it’s only a matter of time before he plays to bigger arenas!

33 years young!

So today I turned 33…….yep! I’m becoming more of a thirty something every year. Times flies when you’re having fun eh? I have to say I still feel 25, even though it’s very hard to remember back that far! Anyway….I started off the day in the office and after cashing out on a few cakes and general goodies for the guys (it’s a tradition that whoever celebrates must buy the goodies), I got started on what was a very slack day…mainly due to the economic climate but I’ll leave that for another time!

The guys in the office also got talking about Prime Time InvestigatesΒ on RTE last night. Basically, the show tapped into consumers’ frustration at not receiving good customer service, and how various companies deal with dissatisfied customers. The company I work for specifically deals with customers / consumers and I guess we are aware of the high level of expectations that customers wish to receive but it was almost laughable at the levels of bad service some companies provide. And from the few conversations I had with customers today, it seemed the programme made them more aware of what kind of service they should be receiving.Β 

So I got home just after 6, had a bite to eat and dived into watching a dvd, my solitary birthday gift :). I’m so glad it was The best of the Panel. Easily the best programme on RTE. I’m off work now until next Monday..yesssss!