Team KCLR Cycling For Chernobyl

Team KCLR on Day 2
Team KCLR on Day 2 – L-R: Fitzy, Stephen Byrne, Edwina Grace, John Walsh, Myself, John Keane

For the past few weeks, some of the on-air team of KCLR have been prepping for the annual Mary Slattery Memorial Cycle, a charity cycle run each June bank holiday weekend by the Chernobyl Kilkenny Outreach Group for Adi Roche’s Chernobyl Children International.

Having taken part myself the past two years (including the near biblical conditions of 2012), the weather turned terrific for the 2013 outing, kicking off in Cork after the birthday celebrations on Friday night to make it to Dungarvan on Saturday and on to Kilkenny yesterday.

Team KCLR on Day 1
Team KCLR at the first water stop on Day 1. L-R: Stephen Byrne, John Walsh, John Keane, David ‘Fitzy’ Fitzpatrick, Myself. Pic: Edwina Grace

I could have done with a few more weeks on the bike in the build-up but came through both 80+ km days without any real physical or mental difficulties. The longest I’d managed to put in on the bike all this year before the weekend was a 36-ish spin on Friday morning before handing over the bike so squeezing in 160km unscathed over the weekend is a good result.

Also a good result is word that by Saturday evening, the fundraising efforts of the cycle had generated over €37,000 with cards and donations still coming in across the weekend. There’s an auction for two tickets for Bruce Springsteen in Nowlan Park that continues until the end of KCLR Breakfast with John Walsh tomorrow morning and text lines are still open for late donations by texting DONATE CHERNOBYL to 57777 (1.50 per message).

There’s nothing like a weekend on the bike to give you back the appetite you had for cycling. Such is the case with the Cork to Kilkenny cycle and with the grandest of stretches in the evening upon us, it’s time to capitalise on that. Wedding looming and whatnot.

To all involved in making the cycle possible – you’re all stars. Honestly, you can’t find fault or flaw in any of the organisation for the weekend, everyone crossed the line in high spirits, still in one piece (albeit some more sore than others) and more again pledging to join in the craic next year.

Here’s to making it four years running…

Gadgets For Christmas with KCLR

KCLR 96 FMTwo or three years ago I was doing a regular stint in the afternoon on KCLR 96FM talking gadgets and technology. That time has long since gone but this morning I was asked back into studio (handy, given it’s only across the road) for some thoughts on gadgets for Christmas, tech suggestions for kids and adults alike.

For those asking for the list in full of everything that was mentioned on air this morning, along with links for where you can buy them, here you go. Check out the video too, I’d mentioned TikTok in relation to the iPod Nano (thanks to Paul Watson for the tip) but there’s straps already on the market as well from Griffin. (links after the video)

Consoles & Games

  • Kinect for Xbox 360 (available in most gaming retails, some high street shops and supermarkets). Expect to pay in the region of €140-€150 to get you started.
  • Playstation Move – Starter packs including motion controller and camera run from €70, again, gaming shops and high street stores (like Argos) will stock.
  • Game suggestions for Christmas: Call of Duty: Black Ops, Fifa 11, Just Dance 2, Assassins Creed Brotherhood, Gran Turismo (links to Play.com)

Tablets, Cameras, Video

  • Apple iPad (available from 499)
  • Samsung Galaxy Tablet (available from €650)
  • Dell Streak (available from €499)
  • Apple TV (available from €119)
  • iPods – new iPod Nano available from €159. When talking about the watch straps, look for the Griffin Slap as a starting point)
  • Digital Cameras – Nikon Coolpix 1100pj (digital camera with built in projector)
  • Video Cameras – Flip Mino (available from Argos, prices start around the €90 mark)
  • DVDs – DVDs mentioned on the show this morning included Inception, the Toy Story Box set (movies 1-3), The Wire (big seller last Christmas), complete 24 and Lost box sets and The Pacific. All have been seen recently in HMV, Xtravision and are sure to be available in most good DVD retail outlets.

Also Mentioned…

Also mentioned this morning were

  • Digital Photo Frames – depending on where you buy, expect to pay from €20 upwards, have come down in cost something fierce in the last year or two
  • Limited Edition Streets of Rage Megadrive Handheld Console – 18 games for the retro gamer including Sonic The Hedgehog, Streets Of Rage, Golden Axe 2 and more. Clocks in around the €32 mark via Play.com.
  • Polyscience Food Smoker aka “The Smoking Gun” – Tipped from @avillagepantry this morning, this kitchen gadget lets you smoke your own food – chicken, spinach, drinks, anything goes. Handheld food smoker for those who don’t cook over flame or have wanted to try woodchip flavours like hickory, maple, apple wood, cherry etc in your cooking. Retails online from US$99.

The links above go out to Argos, Play.com, Pixmania and CuisineTechnology.com though you may find items mentioned above cheaper at other local / national stores. No affiliate links are included.

Gerry Adams On Music (and his iPod)

KCLR96FM are a great bunch. They’ve had me on the air countless times over the last three years to promote everything from Kilkenny Music to the Blog Awards, PodCamp to Devious Theatre and beyond. I’ve had guest slots on shows on the station (used to do a regular gadget slot with them) and more recently was on air with Sue Nunn talking up the evolution of the mouse. So when I heard that Sue was going to have Sinn Fein President Gerry Adams as a guest on her show yesterday I thought I’d ask him a question – or have them ask a question for me.

I missed the majority of the show due to this week’s PodCamp Podcast and was amazed to hear him still on the air about 11:50am, having gone live just after the news at 11.

Anyway – the question was posed to him “from Carlow Music and KilkennyMusic.com was simple and completely (one would hope), non-political. “What’s your favourite band”.

In his own words, here’s Gerry Adams talking up his favourite band, music and his new iPod, the clip provided to me by KCLR96FM. You can listen to On The Record with Sue Nunn Monday to Friday from 10am to 12pm, streaming live via KCLR96FM.com.

[audio:http://www.kenmc.com/wp-content/uploads/2009/02/kclr_gerryadams_music.mp3]

The War Of The Worlds Airs Tonight

The War Of The Worlds

The last few weeks have shot by in nothing but a blur. Work life is changing and evolving, music is moving, I’ve been involved in another festival, thrown a bunch of gigs and managed to pull off my third theatre production of the year, again donning one of the producer hats available from The Devious Theatre Company’s hat box.

It all comes down to tonight.

The Devious Theatre Company (of which I’m involved in running and have been since May 2006) proudly present our own version of H.G. Wells’ classic ‘The War Of The Worlds’, airing tonight on KCLR96FM. You can pick up KCLR in Carlow, Kilkenny, south Kilkenny and areas of Waterford and surrounding counties. If you’re well outside the range or would like to listen in from foreign soil, you can do so by hitting the station’s website on KCLR96FM.com.

Fitting it should fall on the 70th anniversary of the original broadcast by Orson Welles, October 30th 1938.

We’ve been working on the show solid for the past 2-3 weeks with many a late night had in the recording studio (including this Tuesday gone) in the buildup to handing over the finished production to the station yesterday.

As a company we’ve built up a nice reputation in Kilkenny. War Of The Worlds marks our fifth production (fifth new production as we brought one show back for two further runs in 2006 and 2007) and our first foray into the world of theatre for radio. We’ve concentrated so much on the visual – sets, costumes, lighting, makeup, props, the venue, our advertising, promotional photos, posters but this show turns it on it’s head.

The Bigger Picture

Taking a step back to look at the bigger picture, I have to hand it to the lads, and ourselves as a company. We’ve come through two tough productions with Trainspotting (June 2008), Smitten (August 2008) and with little or no break we ran straight into The War Of The Worlds, writing an entirely new script, casting, scheduling, sourcing sound effects and learning to concentrate on everything you don’t see. It’s one thing producing a piece of work for an audience who will sit and watch you, but another thing altogether in producing a piece of work for an audience you want to sit and listen to you.

But everyone pulled it together, that’s what we do when we’re working as a proper functioning theme. You’re an actor, but you’re also the producer, the director, the driver, the one that goes for food, the one that remembers to bring biscuits and tea, the one that stays up all night mixing – we’re all of those. So while it’s a brilliant move for the company, it’s a brilliant show of teamwork as everyone had a part to play and everyone played it so well.

Not only that, but they managed to wrap it into a neat bundle that airs tonight around 9:03pm and runs for 53 minutes and 57 seconds. And we did it all without any external technical support. We were offered the use of the radio station for production but we opted to carry the can ourselves knowing we’ve got the ability to pull it off.

I’ve held back from listening to the finished version (we’re having a listening party tonight) though initial feedback from the station calls the show “absolutely fantastic”. Fingers crossed.

I’ll be on the radio later this morning (just after the 11am news) talking about the show. You can listen in live via KCLR96FM.com.

To those of you who are listening in tonight, thank you very much. From myself and all at The Devious Theatre Company I really do hope you enjoy the efforts of the group as much as we’ve enjoyed producing it. If it all goes well then maybe we’ll gun for another one next year. Our thanks too go out to all at KCLR for their support and in giving us the opportunity and airtime to develop another original production.

For those of you who can’t listen in tonight then don’t despair, we’ve something nice in store for you too.

I’m Going To Destroy Kilkenny And Carlow

Alone
Creative Commons License photo credit: fdecomite

As Damien mentioned earlier this morning and I blurted out on Twitter yesterday, I’ve finally been able to announce my current project, albeit almost a week past my original October 1st deadline.

Myself and a few of the other deviants are taking on HG Wells’ sci-fi classic ‘The War Of The Worlds’ in a production to be broadcast between 9pm and 10pm, Thursday October 30th this year on KCLR 96FM. While we won’t be doing an actual live performance, we’re taking on all the production (as usual), both pre and post for the show. Just when I thought my evenings were coming back to me and all…

If you want to listen in online, you’ll be able to do so by visiting the KCLR 96FM website. For those who miss the live broadcast, we’re going to look at making a podcast series out of the production (perhaps four mini chapters as well as a full-length release) for release from DeviousTheatre.com in the day or two after broadcast.

I did manage to squeeze off a QIK of the announcement yesterday, in doing show highlighting the new DeviousTheatre.com (relaunched) along with matching top and pants for the MySpace and Bebo.

So why destroy Kilkenny and Carlow? Well, we figured the station Orson Welles so gracefully attacked back in 1938 has already been done and given we’re getting nice airtime on local radio, we thought we’d localise the production, also coinciding with the 70th anniversary of the original broadcast that rocked the US at the time of its release.

Castlecomer will fall, Kilkenny City will lay in ruins and poor Carlow just won’t know what hit it.

Is this a first for Irish theatre as well? Podcasting productions in that manner? I’d like to think it is but should really do a bit more looking into the subject.

That’s enough coming up for air… back to the real world for my Tuesday evening.

KCLR Tuesday 8pm

I’ll be on the Culture Club with Jenny Nolan (KCLR96 FM) tomorrow night, Tuesday. The show goes out between 8pm and 9pm and you can listen online. Though not certain, I reckon I’ll be on the air shortly after 8pm as is the usual case.

There’ll be talk of the One Take Sessions, whose 2008 lineup continues to grow with some plugs in for CreativeCamp and the Irish Blog Awards amongst other things. Or at least as much as I can fit into the slot. If I can grab a recording I’ll bring it back here or it will possibly end up at my staff blog at KilkennyMusic.com.

The gadget segment seems up in the air since January but you never know…