Monday, July 31, 2006

Oh yes, he is!

New Shows

Or new to me at least.

I got into this little gem over the weekend, it is well written, the acting is good, and there is a strong vein of genuine nastiness at work through it all. Being a teenager is such a pain!

Also new to me is this quick comedy sketch show. Some sketchs are less than 5 seconds or comprise of just an image, and it is all over in 10 minutes. And it doesn't so much push boundaries as invade the countries on the other side of the boundaries and nuke them. It is on at midnight on Bravo, I think. We just record and watch later.

Party, party. kinda

I was wondering if people might be interested in a wallpaper scraping beer gathering sometime this week or week? I could supply scrapers, sponges and beer! It is really just the landing that needs doing and I need to a stepladder before I can do the rest of the hall. It's not too hard to do, just that with one person it gets shockingly tedious. And it wouldn't be a late event, what with it being a school night and all.

It's all over!

Top of the Pops is no more. I had heard it was happening but hadn't noted when, then last evening I was doing some channel hopping while waiting for the paint to dry before going back for a second coat and I caught the last 20 minutes of the final countdown. Kind of sad, but then I can't complain too much as I've not really watched it in years. The really diappointing thing is that it means we are entrenching the further balkanisation of music at a much early age.

That said the other part of the problem is the young age of the bulk of the viewers or those the marketplace chooses to target.

Sunday, July 30, 2006

Who is it all for?

Blogging continues to find itself in the news for unintended but perhaps not so unexpected reasons. A young lady in Paris has lost her job as a result of her blog. In which she chatted about her workplace.

An acquaintance of mine, (actually, I'd be imposing to say that, better to say an acquiantance of a friend) posted on this particular issue and appeared to sum up their post with the following "But it really puts things into perspective for people who blog. Be aware that there are repercussions for what gets written. Even when you think you are being clever, even when you give people or places whimsical nicknames, sometimes there are consequences that you never really envisaged." and I thought to comment and share my opinion on the situation of the lady in Paris and the more general issue of consequences that come with our actions.

I was then somewhat surprised a few days later to find my comment deleted, it can hardly be a result of the content which was broadly supportive of the initial post. So can could only be that fact that it was from me that prompted the deletion which is kinda ironic given the nature of the original post. Now, everyone is entitled to do as they wish with their own personal space, blog whatever but it prompts the question, who are blogs for?

For the user primarily, of course, but to serve what purpose - to allow them to address all and sundry or to converse with smaller more selective grouping. Is the blog a broadcast or a localised conversation? Are people really inviting contributions or is it more intended as a personal diary? Should we read from individual postings that they are a note to the self or a warning or admonishment to others to watch their step, or a general rising of the alarm? And is the warning for the poster's benefit or the audiences? Is the intent to threaten the audience or advise them? There is a fine line between talking handsfree and just being another crazy person on the street talking to themselves.

The truth is hard to know, and I'll be honest and admit that I'm somewhat at a loss myself as to why I blog somethings and not others. The writing is fun, and there is some cathartic about putting an opinion or feeling into words. Yet, I'm still not sure who I expect or intend to read it, could it just be for myself? Well, I suppose if it is and I get something out of it then what harm. After all, my readship knows me well enough to mail if they had a problem with something or needed clarifacation on something. And as I don't know the folks I don't know I couldn't say anything about them that would need clearing up.

Thursday, July 27, 2006

Look where you're walking

Sometimes you get the feeling that people just don't get it. There is a new site planned or launched called Utherverse, (no, I'm not going to link to it) that intends to be an +18 version of myspace not that I've looked at that either. I did look at bebo a while back which is allegedly similar to myspace but I find it has odd persistence problems when browsing. And I've got no friends! on it.

Anyway, back to the Utherverse, while the intent seems to be to protect those underage from dodgy uncles Glitters and the like isn't the real problem with such sites that there are those who are underage who are engaging in various forms of what would be considered in industrial parlance as inappropirate sexual display. (essentially the idea is if you wander about with your bits hanging out you can do your co-workers for harrasment if they touch but not if they look). And they're not the least bit discerning about who is looking.

The dodgy characters in the macks are probably the least of their worries, there are far more lads their own age who are on the prowl, and that would seem to be a greater and more realistic concern for most parents and if they knew better the ones on the sites. Not that they do know any better, and it is not like shutting the sites would negate the problem as there are plenty of school discos and the like for such informal fumblings to go on.

In part, it all hits home at the problems of trust. How can you decide to trust someone you not alone hard know but in the case of the interweb don't even know if they are who they claim to be. At least the boyo at the disco looks to be a boyo at a disco.

Update - July 21st I got this from someone I work with, I mean they sent it to me, I didn't catch it from them.

Wednesday, July 26, 2006

Everyone has a book in them

it just may not be a very good one

Recent media attention has focused on the plight of a lady in Paris who I would tend to agree shouldn't really have been fired off the bat as it seems to appear she was. There is now talk of her getting a book or even film deal, and it makes a person wonder if everyone who generates a certain amount of newsprint will get a book deal and whether we shouldn't think more of the trees.

House warming - warning

I hope to have the downstairs painting sorted in the next week or so, and perhaps even to have ordered a dining table and some chairs. It is also possible that I will have sorted the back garden so as to have some outdoor seating and perhaps a barbie.

So as is common at such times, a gentleman's thoughts turn to the idea of a house warming.

If people had particular weekends that don't suit them over the next 7/8 weeks let me know. I'm probably away the weekend of the 2nd of Sept and Puck will be calling me for the weekend of 11/13 August. Don't all rush at once.

In other news, I deny all involvement and demand a retrial!

Tuesday, July 25, 2006

I'm all a tingle...

or at least my hands are. Removing wallpaper is the devil's work. The repeated jarring motion really makes the hands and fingers sore, not painful or tired per se but just sore. Tenderised even.

This is the hallway wallpaper I'm removing. It is the blue strippy thing above the white wood thingy. I plan on painting the hallway with a white emulsion to brighten it and as a holding colour until I get some idea what I really what to do with it.

Monday, July 24, 2006

Love lectures No. 1

Prompted in part by the fact that someone commented on a recent post (fans!, an audience! someone with discerning taste, possibly someone who was drunk and typed the wrong keys) and also the recent postings of someone else whose situation I think I may had some experience with I thought I might post some bits about love.

Love isn't just the acceleration, it is the come down too. It is not just the rollercoaster, it is the comfort of knowing you are really safe at the back of it all.

If love has a shape it must be round: perfect, unending and in nature found.

P.S. I'm stealing a car this weekend, seriously. I'm being driven nuts I've got about 650 odd CDs and about 200 odd tapes (not counting the 60 LPs at home), and I'm currently making do with about 40 odd in the new gaff. This is not how it is meant to be.

Sunday, July 23, 2006

Can't call it love

if you can't call about the mundane. It is in those calls about the otherwise boring bits that you make it love. The profound stuff is easy, the simple is hard.

Wednesday, July 19, 2006

A night at the Proms.

Strange old night, had part of the Proms on Wednesday night including Clarinet Concerto in A major, Mozart. Young 17 year old bloke on the Clarinat and man how those TV lights must have hurt him. A good piece though. Then there was some special commissioned piece for the Queen's birthday which in all honestly I tuned out of due to simple boredom.

Then it seemed like the night turned into a Juliette Lewis tribute as Gilbert Grape and The Other Sister were on at the same time. And then it not being an evening for turning in early due to the general stickiness I caught some Stargate SG-1 and a bit of Dead Like Me.

Dead like me why did that end? It couldn't have been all that expensive and it had going somewhere in its own quirky way. I have to wonder it is a mark of getting to be a complete old geezer that series you like just up and die like that. Amongst ones I've liked and watched pass away before my eyes have been the aforementioned Dead like me, Tru calling, and Cupid. And then there is Firefly, Wonderfalls, which I didn't see first time around but have enjoyed since.

And yet Charmed goes on and on...

Monday, July 17, 2006

Supermen lose!

Was down to Cork over the weekend. Brian was having his stag and we economical folk that we are decided that combining it with the munster final replay would make it a more plausible weekend trip.

Prior to that went to see Superman Returns, I liked it, certainly more than I did X-men 3. That said it lacked something, I thought Lois was too mumsy, and the whole 'Richard' issue is a hard one to resolve.

The hotel was great, a good distance out at the airport but when the cost and the taxis were split it was quite reasonable. For one participant it was just perfect, flew in and flew out. no other travel hassles.

The night itself was shockingly wellbehaved. There was considerable alcohol consumed, and many establishments visited but nothing risque, bar the 'if I give you drink, you will sing' moment which I wasn't there for. Very good night.

On the Sunday we got a full Irish at bully's nicely priced at 6.95 though the poached egg on toast for 4.25. would have made some feel a bit done.

The match itself was not the greatest, the football in general in the first half by Kerry was poor. Cork were ok, Kerry improved somewhat in the second half and Cork upped their game too, and to be honest won while pulling away a bit. They showed a willingness to take points from comparatively long range. Gooch (or Grouch or the Grinch as some of our brethern who are living about the heathens were prone to say) had a poor game, fact is his mind is probably not on the game and who can blame him.

There was no real linkage between midfield where we didn't win enough ball and the full forward line. In the first half Cork real crowded the area between haffway and our half back line, they won ball and moved it. We weren't even holding our own in the air. There are rumours of dissension and factions in the camp which is annoying on one level, but there again for guys who aren't paid to play it is hard to demand that they just get on with it and get the job done as it isn't a job but something they do for enjoyment.

Friday, July 14, 2006


Had a little bit of a bug over the last few days. As a result I've been attempting to adhere to what is termed a BRAT diet. Yeah, I hear some of you say, you... a diet...sure ya are. Still, it hasn't been so terrible. I might try bringing a lunch a few times during the week for a while. At least until the coast is clear and I can be more social again.

As a result I'm typing this with a small piece of apple a little ways down my throat which I can't quite move and which I'm not sure but which might be going to move and cut off my windpipe. I tried finding out on the web if my throat and presumably the various fluids in my mouth can digest it but no joy. Came across this while looking though. Interesting yet useless knowledge.

As a consequence of feeling a bit better, last night I took to doing some wallpaper removal in the kitchen. Went relatively smoothly all things considered, there again it was off a painted surface on a block wall. The stairs hallway on plasterboard might be a different matter. I had bought some white paint at the weekend. My intention is that I would paint the entire place white, brilliant white as it says on the tub. (never sure what was so brilliant about being white. Given the climate we send more time being blue or red.) I've not got around to doing any painting as yet as I kind of want to have some covers for the floor to do it.

While doing this I didn't bother to turn on the telly but decided to got Eleanor to play some Spiritualized and some Depeche Mode. My music choices are quite limited at the moment until I get my full stash moved in. I should catalogue them when I do this as I've lost count on what I have at this point. Mgb, I still have your scanner! Sorry about that. To be honest the most recent DM was a disappointment for me. And the software that means you can only listen to it on a PC with the CD in (anti-ripping) meant I left it at home most of the time. It annoyed me enough that I skipped on their concert last month in Dublin as a result. Perhaps cutting off my nose to spite my face but I was quite ticked off. Still being able play what I want whenever is kind of cool.

Thursday, July 13, 2006

Not two sides of the same coin

more like two things that cost of the same price.

It is a lot easier and decidedly more tempting that when you find you can't love person A to put your energies into hating person B. Not that it fixes anything but it can act as a kind of morphine mask.

Wednesday, July 12, 2006

I hate you

There were some reports last week in the print and web media with regard to the release of documents seized during the investigation of the killings at Columbine high school about 5 years ago. Mainly the reports were short and 3rd or 4th order stories.

The interesting aspect for me was the various spins the media outlets put on the documents.
This was CNN, this is the telegraph, it didn't even make the web version of the Irish times and the indo used a truncated version of the telegraph story.

The Daily telegraph and CNN seemed to emphasis the liking for Doom, Charles Manson and the hateful nature of the vast bulk of the writings. The noticeable byu minor difference with the Irish Times piece was, though it was broadly similar, that you got a feeling that while their reaction to their situation in school was wildly off the scale that the situation they were in wasn't and probably isn't all that unusual. They were regarded as outsiders by the 'cool' kids and disregarded for the various collective school activities that go to make up such a large part of a teenagers world. Which parties you're invited to, who you can talk to at lunch and so on. All rather meaningless until you realise that such events were their entire world.

What I noted in paricular in the The Irish Times were references to letters and notes one of the killers had written about how the popular kids excluded them or how one of them had sent a note to girl asking her out and but hedged it by saying it was ok to say no as he'd heard it lots of things before.

Part of what distinguishes adult and childish behaviour is that as an adult you are aware that not every thing is as it seems. The girl in the class with the bad hair, and bad clothes may well be living with parents who are separating or a family friend may be abusing her. The boy with the mood swings may have a sick relative. You learn through personal experience not to judge so easily, and it becomes increasely annoying to find someone who continues to operate in such a manner. It is possible to see how transparent their thinking is 'You're cool, I'll talk to you, I need something from that person, I'll be chatty to them today. Can't see what I'll ever need from her, I'll just ignore her. '

Now there an slight element in all these annoyance of thinking 'who are they to judge' which seems at times to suggest that they aren't to judge but there may be other people who can or you can yourself can judge others. Of course if you've come to realise that judging people is wrong then it is even more annoying to be nudged back down the road of judging others again.

After Columbine so much of the focus of interest was on the so called weird kids, those who were different clothes or liked non-mainstream music, well non mainstream for that area. Yet it occurred to almost no one to wonder if the way the school organises itself contributes(not that it is to blame, mind) but contributes to making some people suffer more through their teenage years than is necessary. Most people but not all learn that diversity is a part of the nature order, people have diffferent skills, strengths and interests. That difference isn't a bad thing. In fact in the longer term it is a decidedly good thing. So, I wonder why would people who know better tolerate such division when they see it around them? I mentioned the example of Carrie in a previous post, and I've often wondered was part of the power of the story that what she did at the end was understandable to a great many more people that we'd like to admit. And that given the opportunity we'd all like to have retribution.

One last thing, with teenagers it is probably the ones that are superficially the most regular looking that are storing up the biggest problems. So, watch out for that child of the minor authority figure who thinks they're a rebel. Especially, if they have issues about their height and their hair.

PS the title comes from a recurring phrase in some of their writings.

Tuesday, July 11, 2006

Bibs and Bobbins

Finally, got around to dropping some spare change to A good few coins collected since the last drop in March.

I was talking to someone recently and it occurred to me that my mother was a seamstress and my father a fisherman (trawler, not rod and line) and yet I can neither sew nor swim. Strange that. There again, my father can't swim either so it might not be so strange after all.

Out with the old, in with the ..

I'm finally sorted for broadband but now the problem of having two later old PCs kicks in. My laptop is about 5 years old and my desktop will be all of 8 years old come late October. It creaks along much like its owner. It is prone to giving the old blue screen of death on an increasing number of applications.

So, I should get something nice and new. Whether to buy a full system or a kit and scavenge a bit from my existing one.

Yet, I should also get a good chair and a desk for working at. Also a nice dining table and chairs would be good. All these things and so little taste.

Sunday, July 09, 2006

Travelodge - avoid if possible

never be tempted to stay at the travelodge! Unless you're in a large stag group and can pack 5 in a room.

The place in Galway is not where it is indicated to be on the google map on the travelodge Galway website. It is about a kilomotre further along and on the other side of the road.

They demand that you pay in advance. though there is no mention of this on their website.

They quote a lower price to those booking on the same day, so you're at a disadvantage by booking early.

And you can hear the fan or extractor from other rooms unless you keep the door on your own bathroom closed tight.

You can't just use the phone, you have to buy a prepaid phone card like a topup for a mobile but when I asked for one they were out of them at 7.30pm in the evening. I was told to go to the Statoil up the road, I went there and got a €10 one for the only provider they sell called National Spirit. When I got back to the hotel it turned out the hotel uses some Century card crowd. So my €10 appeared to be wasted, however I did get it to work eventually. That said it refused to called a 1892 number which is the code for my ISP and so I couldn't use the internet. Well, you could if you had a wifi setup and wanted to payu their charges.

The breakfast which was nice enough is charged for separately.

They tell you if you want to reuse your towels to leave them on the rail but they still replace them.

And they have posters referring to Northern Ireland and Southern Ireland! How very quaint.

All in all, not a great experience. I'll be glad to be out of the place.

Dance with them what brung ya.

Had an interesting and I think quite fruitful week in Galway researchwise. Can't really go into details due to the nature of the work.

A part of that I had a quite negative experience with regard to the accommodation. Worthy of an entire post in itself as it does not suffice to say that the Travelodge sucks.

I was reminded of another post I had half written and not completed about the perils for some sections of the engineering community. Have to finish that and throw it out for consideration.

Saturday, July 08, 2006

Use cases

Was away with work in Galway much of the week so not much chance to blog. When I got back I thought I would avail of the city centre hostipality and grab a chance to say 'hi' to some friends of the book keeper who were visiting.

While there, we were given some more insight into the methods and mentality of the choirboy. There are those who think they are in an Amy Lee mode when they have more in common with one of the WAGs on parade in Baden Baden. Arriving with your hands hanging to an event is something I've done myself from time to time and isn't a crime in itself. Yet to do so and then indicating repeatedly that you're purely there to kill time while waiting for cooler people (who strangely didn't get you into their event) to be free is the kind of thing we'd expect from the Vicky's or Chantelle's of this world. There again it is a mistake to presume that access to an education would improving the manners of some folk.

Generally, most people would think that if you go to something that you've been invited to and then bring nothing, neither food nor beverage and send your entire time waiting and watching for people who appear to be at a much more thrilling event that for some reason you are not able to attend yourself, it would reasonable that when you do decide to depart that you don't try to sabotage the occasion that you've contributed nothing to.

Deciding to invite some of the hosts along while excluding others present so that the event will have to come to premature end as those not invited will have to push off home is beyond even the realms of just being rude and moves more straightforwardly into being malicious.

Now being self centred is something we are all guilty of, however even the more cynical of us take care not to delibrately insult those we bum lifts or money or assistance with work off by suggesting surprise that they are benefit to anyone. Of course, this may be all due to they realising how little time their colleagues actually have for them and with their time together drawing to an end their own disdain is unavoidably prone to popping out from time to time.

What astounds me is the continuing tolerance of such behaviour from their colleagues which I would suspect is down to the peculiar world of academia. Truth be told it is the rather insular and overly careful world of academia that allows such behaviour to thrive. In the big bad world of employment, colleagues will, irrespective of legislation to protect people from victimisation, ensure that such people are dumped with all the unpleasant work and left to their own devices.

Needlessly to say there is a special place in hell for such folk and it is very solitary indeed.

Sunday, July 02, 2006

Heading West

Have to head to Galway for a few days with work. not that Galaway is entirely 100% west of here but saying I'm heading slightly north and west would be just too messy.

Hopefully, I will get some other bits done while there.