Friday, July 25, 2008

Right, I'm off to Italy in the morning...

See ya when I get back.


I'll leave you with this classic:


Getting Entertainment For Holidays...

I'm off to Lake Garda, Italy for two weeks on Saturday, so I've spent the night uploading audio books & podcasts to my old Creative ZEN Xtra.

I already have all my music/videos on my newer Creative Vision:M.

Along with a paperback of BLOOD MERIDIAN by Cormac McCarthy, I should be okay poolside, whilst my skin gets toasted (hope I don't get the same colour as the students below!).

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Orange students BANNED...

No,no, this isn't some Orange Order ban that the N.Ireland Executive have brought in.

Seemingly teenage girls are turning up, in school, with "Jaffa fake tans" that they have styled on their role models, .i.e glamour models and wives/girlfriends of rich men (what ambition! does Career Guidance cover these aspirations?).

And one school headteacher has had enough.

In my day a good tanning at school meant a whole different thing.

First things to do when recession looms...

Since the downturn in the Irish economy I've heard the following proposals being put forward [on mainstream media]:

a) Reduce the minimum wage by €1 an hour.

b) For people starting to sign on the dole (because of the downturn), abandon the modern system of their benefit going into their a/c's by direct debit and, instead, make them revert to the old way of having to physically queue up every week for their money.

Good to see we're tackling the luxuries in our economy(!)

Also noticed that our ex-leader Bertie has been appointed to the "World Economic Forum's Council on Negotiation and Conflict Resolution".

In the meantime he's been called back to the Mahon "payments to polticians" tribunal for, ehh, negotiation and resolution of his bewildering evidence to date.

Methinks The World will seem a piece of cake after that!!

Monday, July 21, 2008

Sarkozy gets a "Cead Mile Failté"...

The French President dropped in for a visit to-day.

rte.ie opened up it's website for comments. Here's two of them:

Name: Rita Crampton
Location: Dublin
Mr Sarkozy, Stop playing 'grown-up' games like a good boy and go back to playing with your new toy - oops, I mean wife!

Name: Padraig Murphy
Location: Dublin, South Side
Can I please go back to Paris with you? Things have gone belly up here and I don't want to be the last to leave town. giss a Job!!!

Click here for more.

Au Revoir.

Harrington wins Open for 2-in-a-row...

Just been watching the highlights of Padraig Harrington's British Open win and it again occurred to me how much success/influence this small nation of 3 - 4 million has in the sports/arts world.

Quite extraordinary.

Sunday, July 20, 2008

Ever get the giggles...

I found this on the excellent Graham Linehan blog (link on the RHS):

Saturday, July 19, 2008

The Wire...

I've been reading* rave reviews about the above HBO tv series for the last six months, or so, in various magazines and newspaper columns.

As it was too late to get into the show (series5 starts on tg4 next week) I've been sourcing the 1st series on dvd. I got a great price to-night on eBay of just €20 including delivery (luckily I got a seller based in Ireland, as the postage on these things is usually prohibitive). On the high-street, Zavvi & HMV were selling it for €35.

I was a big fan of THE SOPRANOS and pretty much thought you couldn't get much better tv drama than that, but all the chatter says THE WIRE even surpasses it!

Looking forward to seeing if it does.

* When I say "reading" I never got very far past the first few words in case there were any spoilers in there. I even avoided watching the creator of the show on THE CULTURE SHOW on BBC2 the other night, in case too much was said.

Friday, July 18, 2008

Sorry it's only Friday, and not Wednesday...

Here's Flight Of The Conchords anyway.

Thursday, July 17, 2008

Ageing Rock Stars Saved From Poverty by Charlie McCreevy...

I see here that "ageing rock stars and session musicians will keep receiving royalties for their old recordings for the rest of their lives under a European Union plan".

Whilst this is good news for minor performers, session musicians, bit players etc., the big boys get a hell of an extension to their earnings.

Of course, all this means for us is that it'll "lead to increased costs for consumers, who would be forced to pay for royalties for longer".

Fair play to struggling performers Sir Cliff Richard, Roger Daltrey, Sir Paul McCartney and U2 who campaigned for the move.

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Big Beer...

It just struck me that I haven't mentioned Beer yet on this blog:

I see that Belgian beer behemoth InBev (Stella Artois etc.) have bought out that other behemoth Anheuser-Busch (Budweiser etc.) to become No1 in the beer producing business (SABMiller was numero uno).

Heineken/Carlsberg recently bought out Scotttish & Newcastle.

And then, of course there is Diageo.

I personally try and drink independent brewed beer (had some Indian beer called COBRA on Monday night, lovely stuff). Of course, being Irish, the honourable exception is Guinness (Diageo). I have a fondness for the stuff.

Totally unrelated, here's an update on Ronnie Wood.

Monday, July 14, 2008

Bowie as Ziggy in 1972...

Been listening to the new official release of the previous bootleg "Live In Santa Monica '72".

Its a barnstorming gig from Bowie/Ziggy's first tour of the U.S. backed up by The Spiders From Mars, with a tour-de-force performance by the late Mick Ronson. Highly recommended.


Here is a review from Rolling Stone.

Yeah, it's Monday but try sitting still to these...

don't fancy yours...




digital with a capital D...



Hey Ebo!..Ebo-nettes





This guy is just showing me up...




my memory has just been sold...




Have a great week...

Saturday, July 12, 2008

The Irish Weather...

Another miserable, wet, grey day here in south-east Ireland.

When I was driving home this morning, from nightshift, a public-funded ad came on the radio saying not to use too much water if you're hosing the garden or, better still, to not hose the garden at all.

Are they 'aving a laugh?


Btw, if you see Ronnie Wood around Ireland tell him to phone home.

Friday, July 11, 2008

New Sherlock Holmes Movie...

A new Holmes movie is great news*

That it'll star Robert Downey Junior is great news.

That it'll be directed by Guy Ritchie is ....well....we'll see.

Some details in Variety.

* Not to be confused with the new Sherlock Holmes comedy starring Sacha Baron Cohen.

Thursday, July 10, 2008

Wedding ATM...

I came across this story to-night:

http://www.rte.ie/news/2008/0710/weddingatm.html


Why didn't I think of that on my wedding day?

The Focus Group: Last Night At The Fair...

Thanks to lead singer Steven for alerting me to the fact that the lads put up a montage of their (previously mentioned here) Enniscorthy Strawberry Fair capers on youtube; backed up with their new song.

Lovely stuff:

Sunday, July 6, 2008

Handy Dandy...

The song Handy Dandy from Bob Dylan's UNDER THE RED SKY album was performed live for the first time on 27JUN08 in Spain. This now means that every song from this under-rated album has now been performed in concert.

I've always picked this song in the predictive song-list parlour game Dylan pool (now at http://www.theneverendingpool.com/) in the hope it would get played.

The subject of this opaque song has always been a mystery with everthing from Prince(!) to Jesus(?) (under HANDY DANDY here http://www.alilyamongthorns.8m.com/cgi-bin/framed/3228/frarticles.html ) getting a mention.

Anyway, thanks to a kind dude, here is the released version and that new live one:




Peace Out.

Friday, July 4, 2008

Enough by John Naish...

I'm currently reading the above book by the above author.

It's basically about how modern life has fooled our brains into wanting more and more when we already have enough "stuff".

Anyway, here's a practice that is going on that I wasn't aware of before I read it in the book.

There are high-security garages that offer a service of minding your top-of-the range Ferrari, Rolls Royce etc. An owner of one of these garages tells the author that people leave them there for fear of the car getting robbed, damaged, vandalised etc. For the same reason they very rarely drive them. As an example, there is one guy who comes 'round most Sundays and takes the car for an hours drive and then brings it back and leaves it there for another seven days. Other people sometimes don't even drive their motors at all. They just come around at weekends and sit in them (in the garage) appreciating the "feel" of them, the smell of the leather etc.

Part of the service that these garage owners provide is to move the cars so they don't develop "flat-top tyre"; and also to start the engines so that they don't seize-up!

Ker-azy!

Thursday, July 3, 2008

The new Irish Times website...

I see The Irish Times have launched a new website having left the old ireland.com one.

First impressions are pretty good, nicely laid out, plenty of substantial reading etc. but of course the news doesn't change much; with the economy getting most of the attention what with tax receipts down by €1.45 billion, and the exchequer in the red to the tune of €5.9 billion.

It really is the 1980's all over again. Pint of Furstenburg anyone?

After listening to economists (who seem to get more media attention than pop stars) predicting a downfall for the last 15yrs now feeling vindicated at last, it'll be amusing to see which of them will be first to predict the recovery.

Lets just hope it doesn't take as many years for them to be right!

Also noticed that Murraymania ended yesterday with the shy retiring "muscle bound" British player being beaten by Nadal ( http://www.irishtimes.com/sports/other/2008/0702/1214949336690.html) .

The news never does change...

Tuesday, July 1, 2008

"I Won't Lie To You, Bryn..."

Just noticed that RTE2 are showing the BBC3 comedy series Gavin And Stacey, from the beginning, this Thursday (03JUL08) evening at 9pm.

This has been one of my favourite tv programmes of recent times and, if you've never seen it on the BBC, now is a great chance to start looking. It's not "zany", "nasty", or "in-your-face", just good fun.

It's written by the two co-stars Ruth Jones (of Saxondale, another personal favourite) and James Corden.

If you want to get the full jist of the set-up, you can read about it here. Otherwise, just dive in blind like I did.

What's So Great About Bob Dylan...

BBC Radio4 show asking, a pretty good cast, what the hell is so good about the great man. 30 minutes of an enjoyable, distracting nature, if there's nothing on the telly.


Click on this: http://www.bbc.co.uk/radio/noscript.shtml?/radio/aod/radio4_aod.shtml?radio4/whatssogreat

and then just click on the green "launch bbci player" button.

Please note that this link is only available until this Saturday morning.