Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Photos for Peoples Photo

I got my first set of prints for Peoples Photography 2010. God I’ve got lots of work to do. I think I selected the incorrect dimensions with the online printer which didnt help the cropping but leaving that aside only one image seemed acceptable straight away. Two or three others are close and the rest are probably beyond any hope of making it into the exhibition.

I've managed to get a nice one of the Ha'Penny Bridge and a couple of Guinness photos, plus one old one from Ballymun that I liked. A couple of ones on the bubble are a canal photo and a photo of a row boat on the Liffey. Ones that made the probably rejected pile are of the Central Bank and one of the Fusilier arch which I kinda like but looks a little too over processed. Maybe I can fix that. I fear however that I'm going to have to reuse photos from last year. I didn't want to do that but with 8 months ruined by business travel I've afraid I'll have no choice.

Monday, June 28, 2010



A couple of weekends ago I went to the annual Street Performance World Championship in Merrion Sq. A weekend of street performers from around the world competing for votes, and of course cash from the audience. One of the stages was in front of Government Buildings and I was there watching Dr Kaboom set off fireballs within sight of the Taoiseachs office. I couldnt help but wonder if Cowen was inside looking out at the fireballs and wondering how long it will be before the smoke and flames are more serious. I bet when Cowen dreams of fireballs outside his office he doesn't picture the Gardai standing by and applauding, at least not yet.

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Kenny Lives

I cant believe Fine Gael didn't get rid of Enda Kenny. By an apparently slim majority the parliamentary party of Fine Gael passed a vote of confidence leaving some of their brightest stars on the scrap heap in favour of a man who seems doomed to lead them back into opposition or junior partnership after the next election.

Fianna Fail were the big winners last week with the focus switching from Brian Cowens incompetent management of the national finances when he was Finance Minister to Enda Kennys incompetent management of the Fine Gael party. Both survived but Labour leader Eamon Gilmore must think all his dreams have come true as he now eyes a real shot at becoming Taoiseach after the next election.

The big looser is the country. A Labour-Fine Gael government would be strange enough but we'd probably survive but if the last poll is to be believed we now face some insane possibilities like a Labour-Sinn Fein government in 2012. Sinn Fein would give anything to be in power for the 100 anniversary of Easter 1916 in 2016 and Labour would give anything to finally have a shot at the big seats. God help us all if that happens because I don't see there being a single job left in the country outside the civil service after 5 years of that government.

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

They Are Killing Kenny

The leader of Fine Gael Enda Kenny looks like he is on the way out with Richard Bruton finally plucking up the courage to stand against the bland one. Kenny's supporters are quick to say that Enda has been a wonderful party leader (arent they all until the end) and has led the party back from the brink of anilation. Sure, in the aftermath of Michael Noonan Fine Gael were in serious trouble but Kennys great feat of leadership was to restore Fine Gael the main party of opposition back to being the main party of opposition. While Fianna Fail were destroying all around them and leading the country into an economic melt down was Kenny really leading or was he a passenger on the Fine Gael boat as the tide turned and lifted all the opposition parties? The latter I suspect.

Fine Gael should have won the last election, Fianna Fail were on the ropes and on the way out until Kenny debated Ahern and the country realised that Kenny was as two dimensional as his Southpark namesake and somehow managed to say fewer meaningful words than that anoraked faceless mumbler, cartoon Kenny I mean, not Ahern. Fianna Fail won the election and in hindsight that saved Fine Gael from being in power during the economic crash that followed. That wasn't leadership either. Enda cant take credit for that as a piece of political strategy, unless his performance in the debates was one worthy of a life time achievement Oscar. He was in it to win it and he lost it. That was the time Bruton should have said, enough is enough lets get some leadership. Instead Enda managed to lead a triumphant return to opposition, the Irish tradition of glorious defeat lifting him to new heights of leadership.

His next big adventure was into celebrity management. George Lee, economic wonder kid of RTE showed up on the Fine Gael ticket and won a by-election. Lee was a man on a trajectory to political stardom so Kenny started Lees political apprenticeship with a stint cleaning boots in the dressing room of the Fine Gael finance team. After less than a year of Kenny management Lee was on his way out of the Dail and back to RTE. Of course that wasnt Kennys fault either, Lee should have stuck it out. Lee was being childish. Lee should have been happy to learn while others led. Maybe, but surely Enda could have put his arm around Georges shoulder on a couple of occassions and said "George my son, one day this will all be yours, but not just yet".

So I believe Kenny instead of providing the great leadership his supporters worship was just tagging along for the ride. Fine Gael should have had the courage to look for a strong innovative risk taking leader instead of one who kept the ship on course for a steady second place. But is Richard Bruton the best person for the job instead? Who knows, but one mark against him is the fact that he has waited this long to fix the biggest problem in Fine Gael. Did he think Kenny would come good, win over the public and smash Fianna Fail leaders one after another until Fine Gael could stroll into Government Buildings? Did he think Kenny would see the light and step aside? Run for President and hand Richard the reigns of power?Either way Bruton also damaged the Fine Gael cause by waiting so perhaps his chance has gone along with Enda.

Sunday, June 13, 2010

iPhone 4

All I can say is I REALLY want one of the new iPhone 4s. I have had an iPhone since they first came out in Ireland, my old original iPhone is still going strong as my fiancees phone. I upgraded to a 3G when they came out in Ireland and loved the 3G data, the GPS and the new black design. When the 3GS came out I didn't bother with that since it was too similar to my 3G for me to justify the upgrade. Now my 3G is over 18 months old and I'm entitled to a gold upgrade with O2, maybe business travel isn't so bad.

Just on schedule Apple have announced the new iPhone 4 and it looks the business. People called the iPad a large iPhone, I think the opposite is true, the iPhone 4 is a small iPad and then some. The A4 chip, better battery, multi-tasking, HD video, video calling, 5 megapixel camera. I am worried about the glass front and back which may be prone to shattering if some reports are correct and I'd have liked a 64GB version but those two complaints aside this looks to be the phone I want. I only hope I can get it before I go on vacation, the camera and HD video would be great.

Business travel sucks

I've been traveling a lot recently with work and while it might seem like a great thing but business travel gets old very fast. It means I haven't had much time for blogging or photography but hopefully now as the summer goes on things will settle down and I'll be able to get back to life in Dublin.