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)