Friday, March 31, 2006
Thursday, March 30, 2006
cold. It actually snowed at one point.
On the second weekend of my visit to Ireland my friends and I took a quick trip to London. London is anything but quaint.
We stayed in one of the greenest and prettiest parts of London, just outside of Kensington Gardens. Because of our tight schedule we didn't get to explore the gardens, or neighboring Hyde Park, or any of the nearby museums. Still, we dipped into Kensington Gardens briefly to get some pictures.
Pigeons. Yes, we have pigeons at home, but these are London pigeons!
After this brief interlude in the largest patch of anything approaching nature in London, we were off to find an open-topped tour bus for a day of sightseeing and tourism. But that is a story for another entry.
Wednesday, March 29, 2006
More than anything else, Cork is a city of people. University students and shoppers bustle through the downtown at midday; cars choke the streets in gridlock; stores form a solid mass in the shopping district, while houses crowd the surrounding hillsides.
Tuesday, March 28, 2006
If you, like me, felt that the premiere episode of South Park's 10th season,"The Return of Chef", was a little (well, a lot) hard on Chef and, by extension, Isaac Hayes, you may take heart in this article from Roger Friedman at FOX News* (found by way of this Wikipedia article):
As close friends told me over the weekend, he did not resign from "South Park" or issue any kind of press release to that effect. Although headlines like "Hayes Gives the Shaft to 'South Park'" are funny, they are inaccurate.
Here’s the problem: Hayes is no longer managed by Bruce Garfield at Avenue Management. All of the communication from him comes through a woman named Christina "Kumi" Kimball, a fashion executive for designer Craig Taylor, another Scientologist.
Before the public and the media buy this whole brouhaha, I beseech everyone to take a step back and see what actually went on here. Many times, things are not as they seem. And that is definitely the case with this story.
The only good news in this story is that Isaac, according to friends, is doing very well. He’s attending to business and getting back on his feet. Hopefully, he’ll be dishing up Chef like a gourmet again in no time.
*Normally I wouldn't trust anything from FOX "News", but in this case this is something I want to believe. And if that's good enough for our Maximum President, it's good enough for me.
Sunday, March 26, 2006
Who is that charming and handsome long-haired guy in the tux? Damn, I would do me. This was in May 1989, right before our Senior Formal. I kept the hair until 1998.
As I mentioned last Monday, our washing machine broke just before I got home. The washer is from 1999, and by today's standards we've gotten our money's worth out of it. We're getting a new one tomorrow, and to make delivery and installation possible I've had to move a tremendous amount of stuff around. During the course of this great shuffle I came across an old photo album that covers the years 1989 - 1990.
These were fairly eventful years: my senior year of college, a visit from Rindi, my one-and-only semester in grad school, my exile in Delaware, a visit back to Scranton, my friends' engagement party, a visit from a now long-lost friend... I am relentlessly reminded that the people in these photos were just kids, ranging from 17 to 22. We were all so young back then.
I think I'm going to have fun with these photos. Some of them - photos of me - I will publish here. Others I may travel around with for a bit of reminiscing - and more than a little blackmail!
Saturday, March 25, 2006
The bridge in the distance is the major bottleneck between Cork and Dublin - until the Fermoy Bypass is completed, all traffic between Cork and Dublin must pass over this bridge. (The bypass is currently several months ahead of schedule, so it may be completed sometime this year.) Backups can stretch for miles in the afternoon. On the other side of the bridge on the right-hand side is the main business district for Fermoy, including a bookstore that doesn't seem to have any books and a chipper (fast-food place) called The Humble Spud that sells good and huge fried fish.
Based on where we were and where we were heading, these mountains could belong to several ranges, including Macgillycuddy's Reeks, Derrynasaggart, and Boggeragh.
Thursday, March 23, 2006
Camilla has a sexy new design and a new webcam server that isn't updating any of the cam image sites that she's listed under. So now I can only see one image of Camilla at a time, and if I miss one, it's gone forever. Which I suppose is a good incentive to visit regularly.
Sammie's sdfsdf.wox.org is offline and has been since at least the 15th, which was the last time I got to check while I was in Ireland. I actually had someone come to my site yesterday using the search phrase "what happened to sammie's site from australia?" I was able to get in touch with her yesterday by e-mail and she's still around, but her site is experiencing a technical glitch which is keeping it from appearing online. She's working with several parties to get this resolved, but it sounds like they're all pointing their fingers at each other. I hope this gets resolved soon - I'm having Sammie withdrawal!
Update, 5/4/2006: Sammie's new site is coming soon!
Sammie's deviantART site (April 30, 2006 - a link to an update by Sammie herself!)
The Blogger Buddy System (April 14, 2006)
Interlude 2: Three weeks without Sammie's sdfsdf.wox.org (April 5, 2006)
I've tried to catch up with Adam Felber's Fanatical Apathy, but as always there are about a gazillion comments that I need to read, too. I have said in the past that Adam's site can be looked at as a sort of "group blog", where he seeds the discussions and his readers take the ball and run with it.
SuperG's My Distractions In This Modern Age has been most helpful in keeping me updated on political developments while I was away. In Ireland the RTE news was primarily about local and national Irish events with a little international stuff thrown in, mostly about Iran. Almost nothing on Iraq, very little about the U.S. It's good to be able to catch up. SuperG has shut down The Hurricane's Eye, his non-political non-controversial blog.
Chloe's Watermelon Punch hasn't been updated in months, and she still gets two to three times as many visitors as I do each day. There ain't no justice.
Lauren over at Please Make Rice, I Love You has gone through some changes in the last few weeks. She is still having the problem with the hives, but it sounds like she's finally seeing some doctors who are trying to treat her.
Gort's Gort42 has been very helpful in keeping me up with local political developments. This was one of the few sites I was able to check regularly while I was in Ireland.
And if it weren't for Mr. H.K.'s "and I quote blog", I wouldn't have known that Jack Wild (Jimmy from H.R. Pufnstuff) died.
Wednesday, March 22, 2006
Maybe these are both features of the southern areas that I have visited, in and around County Cork. The colors and the trees combine to give the illusion of being somewhere along the shores of the Mediterranean - although the cold and the rain tend to dispel this illusion.
Someone who goes to Ireland expecting rustic thatched-roof cottages will be in for a shock. There are many earth tones in the building finishes, but there are also plenty of bright, saturated colors.
The palm trees are a little more disconcerting. No one I spoke to was able to identify them. They never appeared to be naturally-occurring, but always seemed to be planted landscape specimens. Still, healthy and long-lived landscape specimens.
(These are the same trees as in the previous picture, seen from a different angle. I think.)
So, if you should find yourself in Ireland - or even find yourself watching a movie or TV show about Ireland - keep an eye out for the palm trees!