Saturday, 31 December 2011

Be Safe Everyone!

Well I figure I should write a blog post before December is over.  Sorry guys, I've been very busy with the Xmas thing and doing lots of travelling.  My awesomer-half and I recently flew to Amsterdam.  Just wanted to share this with y'all:  The flight safety card we all know and ignore.  Now, if you don't speak Irish, don't fret.  Neither do I... well not very well anyway.  However, these flight-safety cards are totally self-explanatory.  Even an idiot can interpret them, (which I shall attempt to do for you below.)  Please direct your attention to the diagrams:

Behold, the glory that is the Airbus 320.  And by 'bus' we really do mean bus.

Customers in economy seats should note that we can only spare 10 seconds of oxygen in an emergency.  Well... don't complain to ME.  We at Aer Lingus are SORRY you can't breathe.  You should have bought feckin' Business Class instead, shouldn't ya?

Only members of the X-MEN may use electronic devices, such as this hi-tech looking Atari joystick, and 1980's cell phone.

Passengers are reminded that the Airbus 320 is made of Lego.  In the event of severe turbulence, passengers may be asked to rebuild the plane.  We regret any inconvenience this may cause.

The New Math:  The diagram shows that the man on the left is greater than the man on the right, because he chose to fly Business Class.  The lesser man--according to Aer Lingus--is the cheap jerk who bought the economy seat.

In the event that you lose a contact lens, the cabin will fill with smoke for your convenience.

Monday, 28 November 2011

Cherry Bomb!

I have to admit, my blog posts have been a little snarky lately.  It must be the weather or maybe I'm working too hard at my new job.  Maybe I miss taking long walks in Carmel just a little bit.  Maybe I miss flying enormously large kites at the park.  Anyway, what makes me feel better is getting some fresh fruit in winter.  Marks & Spencer to the rescue!

We've had some amazing Santini tomatoes (like cherry tomatoes) grown on the Isle of Wight, Seedless black grapes from Brazil, black figs from Turkey, persimmons from Israel and Pink Lady apples from Spain.

However I could not bring myself to buy the cherries.  Yes, they have fresh cherries in November.  But it'll cost ya pal.

Let's do some math.  Ok, 1 kilogram equals 2.2046 pounds, and each pound is 0.4536 kg.  1 euro is 1.33 USD at today's exchange rate.  At 25.50 per kilo, that means $33.96 per kilo.  Thus, $33.96 * 0.4536 is $15.40 per pound.  Hello daddy, hello mom.  I'm your...  Ch ch ch Cherry Bomb!

Sunday, 27 November 2011


My girlfriend and I were recently talking about people who breastfeed their babies too long.  We watched a YouTube video about a woman in England who breastfeeds her daughters age 6 and 8.  You know, there comes a time when people need to be weaned off the teat.

Speaking of which, there was a Union protest in Dublin yesterday.  The Irish government is going to have to pay back their EU bailout, (and people are surprised about this?)  The government will have to cut spending to do it.  This means fewer benefits:  Allow fewer people on the dole, spend less on public health care, and reduce the number of 'public sector' jobs.  This of course, upsets the Unions, who are angry the government wants to reduce the number of street sweepers, telephone sanitisers and meter maids.  Basically, the Unions are mad they can't milk the government any more.  Wah!  Wah!  Boo hoo!

Yesterday the SIPTU (Some Ignorant People in the Teachers Union) staged a protest that blocked O'Connell street for half and hour.  My bus sat in the same place on the Quay for 1/2 an hour while idiots waved red flags over the Liffey.  And you want to know what I was doing?  I was going to work on a Saturday.  You know, the job I went to college for.

So let me get this straight... Union people are protesting the fact that the government will have to reduce the number of civil service jobs... by stopping people from getting to their legitimate jobs!  Yeah that makes sense.

Or think of it this way, Unions are protesting government's austerity measures by doing something that costs the government thousands of euro to police and clean up after.  Now Dublin has to pay 100 more Gardaí to work on a Saturday, and then run extra street-sweepers to clean up the inevitable public protest litter.  I think if the government wants to save money they should get rid of the Unions.

Sunday, 20 November 2011

Something Rugby Something

I think there was some kind of rugby match in Galway last night.  There were banners strung all about town and flapping Heineken flags over the road.  They even had a giant inflatable football on top of a pharmacy in Shop Street.  We heard the game broadcast on 3 radio stations on the drive home and I heard an announcer say it was the 100th game played by the Connacht rugby team.  The full details are here.  I guess they played Toulouse, France.

To be honest, the only thing I know about rugby is that they wear shirts with rubber buttons, and I used to buy rugby jerseys from the Lands End catalog.  haha  We were talking in the car and my fiancee's mom asked, "Do you like sports?"  I joked that I probably enjoyed eating escargot more then I enjoyed watching sports.  Hey, maybe that's what you need in order to win at rugby; eat some snails.  It must be good for the constitution.  Toulouse beat Galway 36-10.  C'est la Vie.

Saturday, 19 November 2011

Scenes from an Irish music shop

There is no doubt about it; the Irish love their music stores.  More importantly, they love to rock!  Check out the Homer Simpson wanna-be-Hendrix flaming guitar.  You know you want one.  (Matches not included.)  Or, for the Raffi and Ringo crowd, check out this yellow ukulele and Spongebob kid-sized guitar.  Be the most popular kid in your class!  Get invited to all the cool parties at Bikini Bottom!  Annoy your parents!  Now if that's all just kid stuff, and you really want to rock, check this bad boy out:   Cherry Bomb Red Garvey accordion with a Black Sabbath instructional DVD.  "I am Iron Man!"  Duh duh dun nun nuh....  For those of you who hung out by the back of the school and wore a lot of black in the 80's, we have a totally awesome Yamaha keyboard for you.  If you ever danced to Depeche Mode, wore a Cure t-shirt or (you are truly rad) you know who The Bubblemen are, this is the instrument for you.  How much MIDI can you handle?

Sunday, 13 November 2011

Ha'penny at Night

We crossed the Ha'penny bridge one evening about 8:00 PM and stopped for a photo.  It's funny we never noticed how much the bridge vibrates.  It seems so solid when we walk over it.  However, placing your camera on the railing and trying to take a slow-exposure still shot when people are walking by tells another story.  That bridge is rather flexy!  Anyway here is a calm November night.  Usually there is a sad-sack beggar perched at the bridge's apex, where the wind scours the bridge coldly.  With barely a whisper they mumble a "please help Sir," as tourists tromp by.  I've only given money to the beggar with a bunny in his lap.  You see him around town sometimes.  He has that concentration-camp thinness and bony fingers.  He lovingly strokes a well-fed bunny and seems like a lost soul.  He will give you a wide-eyed startled look when you drop a euro in his cup.  Poor fellow.  He's the only one I really feel sorry for.

The other beggars in town are stumbling skangers looking for alcohol money.  Don't believe their bullshit; they are not looking for, "two euro so I can get home on the Luas."  Two euro will get them a can of cider with 50 cents to spare.  That's the dirty side of Ireland they never print in the glossy tour brochures.  The travel companies will sell you on thatched roofed cottages, tin whistle music and images of the burren.  The reality is Buckfast bottles laying next to the wall, and Dubliners from council housing with their ugly nasal accents.  It really is the worst accent in the world.

What does the Dublin accent sound like?  hmmm.  Imagine that Cockney accent you hear on East Enders, got it?  It's a little bit like Eliza Doolittle from Pygmalion.  Ok good, now imagine all the actors on East Enders have bad head colds and the director has told them to pronounce the letter 'i' like 'oy'.  Then imagine they have all been gene-spliced with Donald Duck.  THAT is the Dublin accent.  There is even a cartoon on RTÉ Two that pokes fun at it.  The cartoon is called Dotzy about a little twerp on social welfare, who lives in council housing and would rather play video games than get a job.  The sad thing is, when you walk down O'Connell Street you really see people like that.  Sigh.  They wear the latest Adidas track suits and brand new Puma trainers.  I always get a laugh when these asshats beg for change out in front of a Centra (like a 7-11) because you know they only want money for liquor.

Perhaps I am a heartless bastard, but when baggers in Dublin go, "spare some change?" I have been known to reply with, "Pay my student loan?"  They've got some balls asking me for money.  If anything, those bastards owe ME money.  My taxes pay for their wasted time, regular methadone doses and free emergency room visits.  You're welcome.  If I were king, people on the dole would be out there doing public service, earning their keep, not sitting around smoking and drinking soyder (aka. "cider").

Thursday, 10 November 2011

Bing Crosby is Rolling Over In His Grave

Arnott's has outdone itself this year.  Their Christmas display is enough to make Elton John wet his pants and scream like a little girl.  Let me guess, this is supposed to be their interpretation of Would You Like To Swing On A Star?

The manikin in the suit sitting on the star looks like he's taking a dump.  The girl on the flying pegasus unicorn pony looks like she is having some kind of sexual experience, and ohmygod, is that horse sh*tting pink light out its ass?  What in the hell was their marketing department thinking?  Guys, Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas was not meant to be used as a handbook.  Lay off the mescaline and for God's sake put down that bottle of ether.

Bing Crosby must be rolling over in his grave right now.  I bet the geeks in Arnott's marketing department were wasted off their butts in the board room, singing:

Would you like to sh*t on a star
carry moonbeams home in a jar
and be better off than you are
or would you rather be a flying pegasus unicorn pony?

A flying pegasus unicorn pony is an animal with a girl on his back
he's got pink lightning shooting out his crack
His back is brawny but his brain is weak
he shops at Topman twice a week
and by the way if you hate to go to school
You may grow up to be a Topshop fool. 

(with apologies to Bing Crosby)

Monday, 31 October 2011

Galway Graveyard

This is the graveyard around St. Nicholas' Collegiate Church in Galway.  It is an Anglican / Episcopal church.  The names on the headstones are mostly English.  Some of the headstones were so old they could not be read anymore.  I'm guessing they were from the 1600's.  The earliest grave marker we could read was from 1743.  Some of them were quite sad; one child's grave said "aged 11 weeks," and another was only 14 days.  It seemed like many people died quite young.  There were many markers whose owners passed away in their 40's.  Only a lucky few got to their 70's.  Well, all I can say is:  Enjoy the time you've got.

Sunday, 30 October 2011

Shop Street, Galway

Shop Street is is quite a busy place on a Saturday afternoon!  It is a pedestrian arcade of stores and restaurants.  We went into Easons book shop and discovered the church next door through an upstairs window.  It had an intriguing graveyard with very old looking headstones.  We left the book store and walked over to explore.  More on that tomorrow...

Saturday, 29 October 2011

Scenes from a Train

We took the train from Heuston Station in Dublin to Galway on Friday after work.  I had to take two buses to get there, and the first one didn't come when it was scheduled (thank you Dublin Bus) but it finally worked out and I got there.  Woo hoo.  We had a cup of coffee in the train station before embarking.

The Irish train system is called Iarnród Éireann and they have a whole new fleet of quiet, well mannered trains.  They are nice and quiet.  They don't even go clickity-clack over the track like those old electric-diesel dinosaurs operated by CalTrans (in California for the non-Cali-folks reading this.)  We have a track by our house and when the train goes by it sounds more like a 20 ton washing machine on spin-cycle.  Wooooosh.

On the train, they have a tea cart where you can purchase snacks.  I like Lyon's tea a great deal, so I got a cup.  Later (on my way to the restroom) I noticed a few little things about the train.  The "Nappy Changing" sign was in the restroom, which I found amusing.  Americans know what Nappies are but we don't really use that word.  Also, on the rear wall of every train car there is a manufacturer's sign.  This car was made by Hyundai in 2008.

Friday, 21 October 2011

Yo! Sushi

The most awesome girlfriend in the world and I bought dinner in town this evening at Yo! Sushi.  They are down Clarendon Street, near the Tower Records store on Wicklow Street.  I love this neighbourhood, all the streets are cobblestone and while they allow cars, they are typically narrow in European fashion and are pedestrian friendly.

The other sushi restaurant we go to is across the Liffey near Jervis Street.  That restaurant is called Kokoro sushi.  I have to say the sushi at Kokoro tastes a little bit more authentic.  However, Yo! Sushi on the south side of the river does quite a nice job.  The ingredients are all fresh, and the food is generally good stuff.

The restaurant interior looks like it came out of a 1970's Japanese fashion magazine.  I love the chrome globe lights, the house plants and the groovy use of orange everywhere possible.  They have a line of tables set up with Sushi boats designed by the Jetsons going around them on a little conveyor belt.  They look like little UFOs.  Its all very Space Age.  We will come here some time and have a real sit-down meal.  Then I will post some photos.

Tuesday, 18 October 2011

Eddie Rocket's didn't suck!

We had lunch at Eddie Rocket's on O'Connell Street on Saturday while we were in town doing our shopping.  This time I didn't make the mistake of ordering their chicken-mc-nuggets monstrosity and got a proper hamburger instead.  Correction:  I got a bacon burger.  As any denizen of the Interwebs knows, everything goes better with bacon.

My other half ordered a Moby Dick and before you get any weird ideas,  that's a fish burger.  I ordered the Kama Sutra, and before you get any weird ideas... haha just kiding.  Nuyk nyuk nyuk.  (I'm such a dork sometimes.)  We also got a side of garlic fries, which came in a cereal bowl and was soaking in some kind of garlicky cheesy white sauce.  Even though the presentation was not appetizing--seriously the only thing served swimming in a cereal bowl should be cereal--we succumbed to its cheesy goodness.  It was messy.  It was greasy.  It was good.  I think psychologists must design the menu here.  There is some kind of innate guilty pleasure we feed by ordering food like this.  Of course we got Cokes, and thoroughly enjoyed our burgers.

Lo and behold!  While we were eating, the Johnny Cash song that I put 20-cents in the jukebox for back in May finally came up.  Well, good things come to those who wait.  I finally got to hear One Piece at a Time with my meal.  Still no Ring of Fire but I expect that will come up if we return next March.  All in all it was a good meal and we will be back.

Well, I left Kentucky back in '49
An' went to Detroit workin' on a 'sembly line
The first year they had me puttin' wheels on cadillacs.

Every day I'd watch them beauties roll by
And sometimes I'd hang my head and cry
'Cause I always wanted me one that was long and black.

One day I devised myself a plan
That should be the envy of most any man
I'd sneak it out of there in a lunchbox in my hand
Now gettin' caught meant gettin' fired
But I figured I'd have it all by the time I retired
I'd have me a car worth at least a hundred grand.

Monday, 17 October 2011

a nice bit of Wensleydale

Check out my Supa-Socks!  We picked these up at Boots pharmacy.  They also had a Wallace & Gromit radio and a pair of Wallace & Gromit slippers which I've got my eye on.  Later we got cracking and went to Superquinn where they stock a nice Wensleydale.  Mmmmm.  Cheeeeese, Gromit!