Archive for July, 2005

Patrick Street Fire Juggler

Taken today in Cork city, this entertainer is a fairly common sight around the streets of the city centre these days.

It’s good to see he comes armed with retorts to stifle almost all of the would-be hecklers; that is all but the most idiotic. Given my intense burning dislike for heckling, I felt obligated to batter the loudmouth in question about the head with my camera. I managed to restrain myself from causing GBH on the moron and also managed to take some frighteningly over-exposed images. Hence the B&W conversion to hide the worst of the recovery attempt. More on Flickr.

Killarney National Park

A short trip around Killarney National Park back in May 2004. Muckross House & Gardens, Torc Waterfall and a view over the ring of Kerry also. A couple more on Flickr.

Easter Egg Run 2004

One of the biggest bike runs of the year, the Easter Egg Run used to run from Youghal in east Cork to Douglas street in the city centre. It’s probably one of the best things you can ever hope to do with your Sunday afternoon. Riding your bike in a group of hundreds of other people through the centre of the city is an experience.

Pity, nowadays the final destination seems to be the Vienna Woods Hotel just outside Glanmire. No more city centre? That’s a travesty! More on Flickr.

West Cork by Motorbike

After seeing how much my maxtor external hard drive was suffering under the strain of all the photos, I decided it should return to the function it was initally bought for; to be a backup device. So after installing a 300GB sata drive alongside my existing 250GB, I went through the motions of moving everything over to what will be a more or less dedicated photo drive. When checking if all my stuff was there, I came across a few hundred photos I couldn’t believe I hadn’t uploaded to Flickr with all the rest of my stuff. So, I bring you, blasts from the past. A few sets of photos taken over the past few years.


Full Set

Back in June 2003, the day of the solstice(sp?) to be precise, I decided to put some juice into the ol’ motorbike and take what I presumed would be a small spin. Approx 250 miles and 9 hours later I got home after seeing much of west Cork. I rode country grass tracks, highways and by-ways through many of the region’s towns and villages. I saw a few places I’d never been before and best of all, managed to ride around with a perfectly clear head for the entire day. It’s only when I think back I realise now how much I miss riding my bike every day of the year. More on Flickr.

Riverstown, Co. Sligo

A small town (and it knows it) a few miles outside Sligo on the Dublin road. The kind of town where little happens and locals can smell an outsider approaching. Hatches are closed, music stops playing, children are rushed in from playing in the streets. A local nods at the outsider in a way that makes him almost say “Who be you and what aru doing in me town?” A couple, on Flickr

Strandhill Surfers

A surfer on Strandhill beach; just before he realises he should be standing on the board, not next to it! Also in this set are a couple of the tombolo(?) leading out to Coney Island. Thankfully, the tide was out… A few more on Flickr.

Parkes Castle & Lough Gill

Located in Leitrim (I think) and just a few miles from Sligo is Parkes Castle on the shore of Lough Gill. The communists on the reception desk wouldn’t let us in with the dog so I had to take what opportunity I could to take a few photos from the outside. Nothing too startling, I’m straining to think why I even put these up. A few more on Flickr.

3 Ireland upcoming lauch

TV3 news report that 3 Ireland will be launching at some stage this week, bringing to four the number of operators currently active in Ireland. After a quick scan of the popular thread on boards.ie, it would seem that packages and phones are to be announced tomorrow with some claiming 2pm as a time.

Earlier speculation had put the launch on the 3rd of August but it would appear, even if the network isn’t launching fully tomorrow, that there will finally be some announcement on pricing and phones. 3 themselves were playing their cards close to their chest and wouldn’t give any/didn’t have any dates to give me when I interrogated one of their call centre staff a few weeks ago.

In other mobile related disasterous news, Eircom has successfully bought the Meteor network. Surely this spells the end for low prices, including the hugely advertised 5cent talk or text offer. Free meteor to meteor texts; how long will it take for those to fall by the wayside? Eircom have promised ‘lower prices and greater competition’ in the mobile market. We have to take that with a pinch of salt. They are, after all, advertising their landline telephony services as something along the lines of ‘great value’. Just when I was thinking of porting to Meteor too… I guess 2pm tomorrow may tell which direction thousands of mobile users will be going.

Hello 3, bye bye Meteor.

[edit]

Now that the writing is on the wall (or at least on the website) we can see the pro’s and con’s of going with 3. Some of those which pertain to my own personal usage would be

Pro: €25 for 200 minutes or 100 mins and 100 texts; far cheaper than Vodafone.
Con: Expensive phones; I’d just have to get the Nokia.
Pro: Some inclusive video content, what free content do Vodafone give?
Con: Voicemail access is not free.
Con: No webtext. Furthermore, no solid plans to implement webtext.
Con: Full number portability not possible until middle/end August.
Con: Reletively poor 3G coverage(?), phone would spend most of its time on O2 2.5G.
Pro: I’d finally get rid of my quiet as a mouse Nokia 6600
Pro: Quick delivery of phone once ordered, website quotes next business day.

I think I’ll wait a while… For me, the greatest loss would be the 300 webtexts per month. I probably use at most 80-100 of them (and that’d be a busy month) so it’s time for some humming and hawing. I could get over the lack of free voicemail, it’s not like I spend hours on the phone listening to the automated voicemail robot telling me I have no messages. I’d agree with Tom though, 3 Ireland really need a blog or forum to get the all valuable feedback coming in.

[/edit]

A Worrying Sight

Seeing something like this popping up while passing some time googling your name would make the hairs on the back of your neck stand up. Which brings me onto a musical and more puzzling question; “Who the fuck is Alice?”

Red Bull Air Race

Finally, after months of waiting & hoping for tickets, the day arrived and I had my 2 required tickets safely stuffed into the front pocket of my camera bag. Murphys Law came into full effect, it was pissing rain. Keep in mind that in the weeks running up to the event the main worry with many people was keeping out of the sun/heat for fear of cooking ones innards instantly; in a kind of flash-fry style. No no, not today. Fearing that it would be cancelled but hoping otherwise, we hit the road to arrive in Cashel dead on time for the opening of the car parks at 11am. Had I known how screwed up the day would get I wouldn’t have left home until at least noon.


Full Set

We got to the town and it rained. We were standing in a field waiting for the fun to start and it rained. The fun never started. It kept raining. I was laughing to myself about all the people that didn’t get tickets missing this golden opportunity. Standing in a field and did I mention; it kept raining. Eventually an announcement came, something along the lines of “postponed until/if the weather improves”. It appeared that this was the final straw for alot of people and there was a mass exodus from the muddy field back to Cashel town and presumably onto the car park to return home.

We too took the time to get into the town, eat some doughnuts, drink some coffee and buy a change of socks. Some things just can’t be avoided. After some bad information from a member of staff in the shop that the event was cancelled, we got some reassuring news that it was to start at 4:30, about an hour after it was scheduled to start. A very quick summary of the events that took place is below.

  • Sea Vixen flyby – Didn’t happen
  • MacTeo Irish Drummers – Didn’t happen (or at least I didn’t see it happen)
  • MC welcome and Air Race explanation – Might have happened.
  • Aerobatic display by Peter Besenyei – Didn’t happen
  • Introduction of pilots
  • HSV Parachute and base jumping display – Didn’t happen
  • Helicopter track introduction – Might have happened
  • First Round of Red Bull Air Race
  • Second Round of Red Bull Air Race – Didn’t happen
  • Prize Giving – Didn’t stick around to see it happen

Basically, if you turned up late, at around 4pm and wondered what you missed… You didn’t miss a single bit of excitement. After the first round, I stood excitedly waiting for the second round, which never actually happened. People left en masse and we were swept along with them in the crowd of 60,000 people (estimated).




Full Set

I’d like to introduce another oxymoron into my dictionary of rant. “Crowd Control”. Not one of the so called crowd control staff knew what the term means and has an even lower understanding on how to implement it. I’ve come to the conclusion that they weren’t actually talking to eachother either. We were shoved one way by one group of them, then back the other way by another group. Each more determined than the other that come hell or high water, we were not going to stay in their area for long! Add to that the mathematically puzzling computation they had of trying to fit 10 people into the area needed for 1 person. I was astounded as they kept driving us backward without actually bothering to look that there was no more room. Children crying, dogs barking, it was like something from a low budget film with a plotline vaguely surrounding the famine.

The rain eventually stopped and things got underway, or at least as soon as the crew repaired all of the parachute silk ‘gates’ that had either blown away or ripped wide open in the face of the blustery winds.

One of the mishaps provided thousands of people with entertainment however when one solitary crew member was left to wrap up one of the partially deflated gates. He wrangled it awkwardly for several minutes to the guffaws and taunts of the ill-tempered crowd before receiving a less than rapturous round of applause when he finally got the immense balloon packaged up neatly.

Once the flying started it was amazing. The twists and turns, the pilots showing off by performing stunts after their run and almost shaving off the tops of trees such was the low flying required to complete the course. Sadly my noisy, washed out pictures don’t do it much justice but as per usual I’ll blame the truly terrible weather conditions we experienced. Perhaps before I blame the weather however I should see what results Donncha got from the race. That’ll be a good indication as to my abilities (or lack thereof). As always, there are more on Flickr.