Irish

Poor Sportmanship all round!

Back when I was liberated, I felt as if a great weight had been lifted. Then, some currently website-less supposedly multi-national crowd come in and swipe my domain name! Shocking stuff indeed. Whipped it right out from underneath the very hairs on my very nose. Shocking lack of sportsmanship there Brian old bean. Theft? From a supposedly reputable web development company too.

GoDaddy weren’t much help either. Passed from one department to another and never emailing the same customer service rep twice. Again, shocking stuff. So unlike my new friend Brian in Screendragon (whom I will no doubt visit in the near future to discuss some business with), I choose to be graceful and dignified in defeat. No resorting to mud-slinging or other displays of similarly ungentlemanly shenanigans. Away to you vile domain name, and never darken my door again!

But alas, all is not well. No longer than 48 hours after it was pinched from my own GoDaddy account, some vile internet prankster has well and truly hacked the ex-website. This must be a shockingly poor tasted display of those “internet hackers” Liam had always referred to. I never once believed until now. I imagined that hackers, as depicted in many Hollywood films, were consigned to folklore in the 1990′s. Not so it would seem.

The vile sleeze-merchants have only gone and re-directed the once reputable domain name lynchauctioneers.com to some aged lady brandishing her breasts for the viewing delights of all and sundry. Truly dispicable! Yet another show of bawdy sportsmanship and true lack of proper upbringing if ever I saw it. I can only imagine that the parents of the scoundrel are crying into their cornflakes.

Before I resort to some truly poor language and a show of utter tomfoolishness, I can only register my utter disappointment at the treatment that www.lynchauctioneers.com has suffered. Truly, Lynch & Co did not deserve such ill-mannered treatment. I feel I have to retire to my bed as I have taken ill and a queer shade of green with the sight of that site.

Once again, curse you, internet hacker…. Wherever you are…

150 million reasons to do a quick pick on the way home…

Ahh one hundred and fifty million euro’s. Enough to completely ruin one persons life, enough to change 150 peoples lives forever, still enough to set 300 people up comfortably for a long time. Enough even to allow 600 people to get onto the property ladder almost debt free. Enough to allow 1200 people to be debt free and put Eddie Hobbs (almost) out of work.

Alot of money, too much for one person… With that in mind, I’ll have to remember to pick my lucky numbers on the way home!

If you like what you see…

nominate me! The very first Irish blog awards are up & running courtesy of Damien Mulley and it’s time to get nominating your favorite blogs. Like a politician around election time, I’m out beating down the virtual doors in efforts to get votes…

But eh, no. What I will say though is if you like what you see here on any kind of regular basis don’t be afraid to send in an ol’ message. I might yet win something (if Damien comes up with prizes in time :P )

If you wish to nominate me, send an email to irishawards [at] gmail [dot] com stating you wish me to win the best photo blog category! If not for me, do it for your country!

Edit – 6/2/06
Voting is now open for the Irish Blog Awards. I’m nominated under two categories, best photoblog for obvious reasons and best blog post for my mega-rant on my driving tests. If you like my blog, vote for it here by filling out the form. While you’re there, vote Munster Pubs for best group blog.

Also, to whoever nominated me for best blog post… cheers :)

I’m kina sorry now that I didn’t stick myself in for best personal blog too.. Rats!

Conduire a What?!?

Conduire a WHAT?

Several weeks ago, I spotted a rather odd sign while driving out of Cork airport. It appeared to be advising English & German speakers to drive on the left side of the road, whereas French speakers should drive on the right! Since first sighting the piece of genius signage, it has provided me with chuckles every time I drive out of the airport grounds. I’m not the only person to spot it though. Damien also raised the issue which prompted me to finally get a photo of the sign this afternoon. Several boards users have also made the discovery.

I can only hope it wasn’t the cause of several preventable rental car pile-ups on the airport roundabout…

The new gadget

It’s been a while since my trusty Nokia 6600 arrived onto the scene and lately it’s really been starting to show it’s age. Slow menus, dropping dialling attempts, missing the odd call and getting phantom voicemail. With that in mind, I went into Carphone Warehouse this afternoon and bought myself a Sony Ericsson (sp?) W800i. A nice bit of kit by all accounts. Good camera, good music player, an RDS radio (hurrah) and all the other related whatnot.

It’s my second cautious journey away from the shores of Nokia, first time was back with the ill-fated SE P900 with the truly crappy battery. In fairness though, that was a one off fault, not a design flaw. After playing around with the w800i though, it seems all could be rosy when I get to turn it on after it’s maiden charge tomorrow morning.

To sweeten the deal some more, I also managed to get around €50 off it thanks to outwitting some mobile phone shop staff. The first shop I went into were having none of it; I was putting forward the sceal that Meteor shops were selling the phone for €199, whereas carphone warehouse were looking for the unreasonable sum of €229. Of course, Vodafone are demanding €299 for the same package but we all know they are bandits. I should say, meteor shops will be selling this phone for €199 when it is eventually available to them in a few weeks time…

Carphone warehouse make a promise to match any price but the first guy was having none of it. “Only phones that are available now” or some guff like that. Thankfully, the manager of the second branch was not so hard-nosed. Not only did I get it for the reduced soon to be meteor price of €199, I also got a further €20 off for trading in an old phone. Err, an old phone that didn’t even work. Another triumph over rip-off Ireland!

I also moved to Meteor, but that’s a story best kept for another day. Finally away from the cruel beast which is Vodafone.

Des Bishop in the Opera House

I went to see Des Bishop last night in the Opera House. How glad am I that I booked tickets well in advance? Anyway.. Outstanding show, it even justified the wearage of brown pants as I almost soiled myself several times with laughter. The first half of the show revolved a lot around taking the piss out of the people in the front couple of rows (there had to be a reason I booked seats at the back of the room) and the second half dealt with his upcoming TV show (or have I missed it already?) “Fitting In”. Hearing the stories from some of the most troubled spots in the country, both north and south of the border, told in an absurdly comic manner was lighthearted yet still managed to drive home an important message…

.. but I’m not going to bother with that now.

If I could change only one thing, I’d have had him sing the rebel song at the karaoke night in the loyalist bar in north Belfast. Not because I secretly want Des to be buried alive by ‘the enemy’, but because it would have been his last brave act as a comic genius. Go out with a bang… or several bangs followed by a thud… and alot of swearing. If anyone hasn’t already seen this show (and if it’s not too late) go see it now. It’s hugely entertaining.

I only wish, given the fact that I’m an obsessive compulsive photographer, that I’d managed to sneak in my camera and a couple of lenses to get a few shots. Ah well…

Hotel Broadband

Perhaps all too an ironic subject to rant on given that I am writing from a hotel room but I feel it is worth a rant nonetheless. I sometimes travel around the country for work and normally take my laptop with me so I can catch up with emails, blogging, reading various photography websites while I’m away (and of course to break the monotony). However it would appear, to my eternal dismay of course, that access to acceptable internet services while staying in hotels is like getting exclusive access to a golden fleece.

In all the hotels I’ve been in (even only in the last year or so) I could count the number on half the fingers on one hand that have dedicated internet access for residents. Dedicated internet access sounds like such a hugely technical term but it need not be. One standard broadband connection, be it wired or wireless is sufficient to provide a small to medium hotel. With that in mind, is it excusable for any hotel, no matter of it’s size, and located in a broadband enabled area to ignore the notion of granting access for guests? Am I waffling yet?

It seems all too easy a solution for the chain hotels to bring in the likes of BT or Eircom to provide a hugely expensive pay-as-you-go solution. If I wanted to quickly check my emails or write a few, should I have to pay an extra €20 or so on top of the €90+ I have already paid the hotel for the room?

This morning over breakfast in a Navan hotel, I overheard two American’s comparing internet speeds they had gotten the previous evening. One quite rightly scoffed at the idea of actually dialing up and being subjected to surfing at 26k/sec. It’s insulting that with all the hype surrounding broadband at the moment and the huge amount of marketing the Irish telcos have put into informing the public about the broadband rollout, it still somehow manages to pass over the heads of hotel owners.

If you had a small hotel of say 20 rooms, putting a single wireless access point in the middle of the hallway serving these rooms would, with perhaps a little signal loss, serve all the residents. Two access points would in all likelyhood give each user quite a strong, reliable signal. Hold on though, there’s no need to go that far. Many hotels will already have several CAT5 cables already running to each room over which internet could easily be provisioned. I’m currently in the Marriot Johnstown House Hotel in Enfield and to my delight, there are no fewer than 3 phones and 2 computer connections in my room. There may even be a third computer port in the bathroom, but that’s just inviting woe onto my already dying laptop. Add to this an Eircom wifi network which I can also pick up (at a stretch) from my room, although this is a pre-pay service which requires a user to purchase a voucher. Finally, a hotel with decent internet access for residents!

Is there a serious opening in the hospitality industry for an individuals or companies that setup wifi networks? From my experience so far in Irish hotels, it seems to be a wide open niche…. Unfortunately.

Ferns Clerical Abuse

Listened to “The Last Word” this evening on TodayFM where Matt Cooper & guests discussed clerical abuse in the dioces(sp?) of Ferns in the east of Ireland. The horrifying events recounted by an abused person really put the notion of wholesome Catholic Ireland on ice.

What struck me in particular was one incredibly accurate point that the guest had. Priests were seen as infallible and therefore anything they did had to be right. After all, they are God’s representatives on earth! Family members scoffed at the idea of a man of God doing anything remotely like what was being reported and indeed responded with physical violence and yet more exclusion. It truly boggles the mind…

I have mirrored the first hour of The Last Word for anyone that wishes to listen to the interview. Be warned though; it is graphic. It’s in windows media format too by the way…

Us

And so the preparation enters a hurried phase. Batteries for digital slr and point & shoot cameras are being charged, memory cards are being emptied, lenses are being cleaned and sensors are being brushed. For the 24 hours of Saturday I will be carrying a camera in one form or another, concealed somewhere about my person. That doesn’t include the phone camera either, which lets face it isn’t really a camera anyway…

Have I finally gone fully mad? Why no cherished reader, I went mad several years ago. It’s all in aid of Ray D’arcy’s “Us”. Think of the “day in the life of” series. 24 hours worth of memories post processed, compressed, resized and sent via email. Thousands of likeminded people (although granted many not as eccentric) all sending their photos to TodayFM in the hope that in the coming months they’ll have a book with their ugly mug’s in it. Not that I’m any different. Perhaps this, among all other events, is the single best chance of any regular Joe getting a photograph published in what will no doubt be an international selling publication.

Tomorrow is going to be a very long day. I’m quite excited…

Westlife creates news!

Forgive my scepticism, which I hope will not be picked up as anti-homosexual propaganda, but the announcement that Westlife’s Mark Feehily is gay strikes me as odd. Is there always one gay one? Is that the secret to boyband success? This generations Stephen Gately has stood up and spoken of the love that dare not speak it’s name.

Did Boyzone sell anymore records when Gately came out? A nation of mothers, previously scornful of his crafty dance moves and presumed alterior motives suddenly loved him. Good old ‘safe’ men, eh? Teenagers.. well, they’re teenagers. They don’t know what the hell to think even at the best of times. Will Westlife sell more hamfisted cover versions and touchy feely albums off the back of this announcement? Are they even still together? I must admit at being out of the boyband loop somewhat. I wonder if I came out, would I get paid more at work? Hell, I’d wear a sequin dress and call myself Gobnait for a few grand extra per annum.

In what had to be a very badly advised interview with The Sun, he commented;

I am gay and I’m very proud of who I am. I’m not asking for any sympathy or to be a role model to anyone else.

Sympathy? Is he gay and dying? Role model? Is he gay and dying and a superhero? This is the most confused I’ve been so far today!?! If that truly is what he said, which would be a first for The Sun, it’s a very Bushesque remark. If it’s not just a Louis Walsh type plan to extract more cash from teenyboppers parents I’m glad for both him that he’s gotten what was no doubt a weighty secret off his shoulders. In the greater scheme of things however, I don’t see how this is news. Must be a slower than usual day in the offices of The Sun.

Hold on… by blogging this I’m perpetuating the myth that it is news! Damn my hypocritical mouse clicking finger! Damien points out that all the signs were there. Anyone that was paying attention probably noticed all these things already.

The main surprise surely is that some people were surprised. He’s young, loaded and classed as good-looking, that he didn’t have some cute and clever young girl riding him to the altar is a big hint that he’s gay.

I’ll have to try to keep up with the celebrity lifestyles in future. Ah screw it, I’ll pay someone to research and give me the summary.