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 Iarnr√≥d √Čireann 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!

Sunday, 16 October 2011

and here are some blurry pics from a pub!





This is Hogan's pub on George's Street, just a couple blocks south of Dame Street in Dublin.  We met an Irish friend who was recently transferred to the Netherlands for his job.  We started with gin & tonics and traded funny stories about travelling.  I told my story about driving through San Francisco at midnight one evening and not realising it was Halloween.  Imagine my surprise to see a life-size bottle of Jack Daniels running up Van Ness Avenue chasing a life-size Snoopy and an Alcatraz inmate.  Then imagine my surprise to see a group of 6 guys dressed as women... and realising they weren't in costume.  Good times.

Our friend visiting from the Nethrelands told us the Dutch have a few social idiosyncracies that we just don't parse in the Anglo-Celtic countries.  For example, he made the mistake of asking a coworker, "How are you?" one morning and she replied, "My pee pee is sore.  I have a prolapsed bladder!"  Ummmm.... oh kaaaay...  Apparently when you ask, "How are you?" in the Netherlands it means, "Tell me about your health, the state of your bank account, your spouse's sinus infection and all your children's school projects."

Apparently the Dutch get a little pissed off when they ask, "How are you?" and our friend replies with a simple, "hum... not bad," which is a normal response in Ireland.  They think he is being rude and demand to know, "What is this 'not bad'?  What does this mean?"

Also, he mentioned a little awkwardness at the pub because--in Irish tradition--it is considered polite to buy a round of drinks for the folks at your table.  In the Netherlands, buying a drink for someone means you are hitting on them and hope to be doing naughty things with them on the couch later.  And in case you're wondering, yes there was a rather awkward moment after he bought a round of drinks for his coworkers in Maastricht.  One of them was interested.

Anyway, while we were having a nice time talking, there was a little drama outside involving flashing blue lights and emergency vehicles.  We looked over just in time to see a rough-neck teenager being wrestled into the back of a Paddy Wagon.  Yes, they also call them Paddy Wagons in Ireland.  (grin)

After that, we were pleasantly greeted by a representative from Smithwick's who gave us a free pint of Smithwick's Pale Ale.  First of all, thank you Smithwick's Guy!  (Matthiew) and secondly, YUM!  That was good.  They use Amarillo hops which adds both aroma and a spicy citrus character.  It was flavourful and fresh without being bitter in any way.  Matthiew told us that it was made in Killkenny, too.  Way to go Ireland!

Saturday, 15 October 2011

Every girl's crazy 'bout a sharp dressed man



The Best Girlfriend in the World treated me to a shopping spree on Friday afternoon.  In keeping with the ZZ Top song, I'm gonna be a "sharp dressed man."  I couldn't resist the posh allure of Dalvey, where we were greeted by the nicest man who helped me find this awesome dress shirt.  I'm going to look so good at work.  Well, that's not hard; one of my coworkers showed up wearing a spiderman shirt and faded camo cargo pants... on a Tuesday.  So by that standard, it's not difficult to dress better than my coworkers.  I own a shirt with buttons.  (Zing!)

Anyway, the nicest sales associate in the world explained they were having a sale; you get a shirt and a tie for 99 euro.  This shirt really spoke to me; there was a poster of a model was wearing this very shirt at the top of the stairs to the "Bespoke Shirts" department and I was like, "Oh yeah.  That's the one."

My parents can attest to the fact that I'm a little slow sometimes when it comes to making decisions.  Not today.  I was like, "I want that."  The nicest sales associate in the world measured my neck, asked what kind of cuff I wanted, and badda bing.  I got style!

Check out this handmade silk tie.  I love paisleys.  It looks exactly like that one my Dad and I saw in Ermenegildo Zegna for $325.  Dalvey does a good job with selecting quality fabric and providing good workmanship.  One might be tempted to say it is a pricey store, but you get what you pay for.

On to the sunglasses.  I have to admit that I think George Clooney is seriously cool.  I don't usually read these kinds of web pages, but there was a papparazzi page that pictured him driving a Chris Craft boat in Italy, wearing Persol sunglasses.  He looked like the king of cool.  Well, since I don't have his bank account, his Chris Craft or his house on Lake Como, at least I can have his sunglasses.  haha  We found these babies at Brown Thomas.  That's kind of the Saks Fifth Avenue of Dublin.  Nice store.

Like I said, I have the Best Girlfriend in the World.  (happy dance)  Somebody loves me!

Tuesday, 11 October 2011

One does not simply walk into Mordor

My pressssshhiiouuuss!  We mustn't tell the hobbitses.  Shiny things.  We looooves them.  Must buy all the shiny things.

Monday, 10 October 2011

Lemons


Have I ever told you my Thomas Kinkaid joke?  For those who don't know, Thomas Kinkaid is known as the, "painter of light."  His shtick is to have a bunch of prints made up from one of his cutesy cottage paintings and then someone in a sweat shop dabs a bit of paint on it and they call it a Limited Edition Proof Giclee.  Yeah yeah, and the gnome on my lawn is a Michelangelo.

Anyway, my joke is, "Did you know Thomas Kinkaid has a twin brother?  It's Lucifer Kinkaid, painter of DARK, muh haa haa..."

You know, he still paints houses, they just look like something the Addams Family would live in, with gargoiles and cobwebs and spikes and stuff.

Ok, you have to understand, I think Thomas Kinkaid is Masters Edition gold plated Hallmark-card crap.  I had a pretty good laugh when he got picked up for drunk driving in Carmel.  Soon after, the International Thomas Kinkaid Gallery on Lighthouse Ave. in Monterey closed due to his impending bankruptcy.

Honestly there wasn't a person more deserving.  Go read up about this bastard on Wikipedia.  He boasted about relieving himself on Winnie the Pooh in Disneyland, Anaheim, saying, "This one's for you, Walt!"

Dude.  Nobody pees on Pooh.  Seriously, there's something wrong with that guy.  Anyway, I found it fitting that the (closed) Thomas Kinkaid gallery in Dublin is on Lemon Street, and no, I'm not takin' the piss.  (Irish expression meaning BS-ing.)

Sunday, 9 October 2011

Kernel Panic


A kernel panic is a message displayed by an operating system when it encounters a fatal error from which it can not recover.  Alas, Apple has encountered one at the highest level recently.  The man who put Cupertino on the map has left One Infinite Loop.

This photo shows the Apple Reseller in Dublin, where they have created a memorial display in their front window.  There is an iPad in the window, pointing to this page.

Thanks Steve, you made Silicon Valley that much more awesome.