Wednesday, November 24, 2004

i click th3r3f0r3 i sp4m

Just how many different ways will internet pharmaceutical companies find to spell the word "viagra" to beat my anti-spamming measures???

My car badly needed a service, so I wanted to leave it in to Carroll & Kinsella in Walkinstown where I first bought it. They have moved to the Ballymount Road, so I took the excuse to try the new "Luas" line into town on my way home; I got it to Connolly station then got the DART back here. It also gave me an excuse to listen to the new U2 album "How To Dismantle An Atomic Bomb" properly and I am officially a fan. Hopefully my 95Golf is good for a little while longer, I will find out in a matter of hours.

One of Jason's selling points on the upcoming weekend in Amsterdam was the fact that we would be able to get accommodation for round €15 per night. Some internet research proved this to be true, but only in a shared hostel with up to ten other people. My 35 years of age, I feel, puts me in a bracket beyond staying in such establishments, however, and I convinced him that we should instead get a twin room in a 1-star hotel, which I was able to do for €45/night. We are thus all booked in the Travel Hotel on Beursstraat.

Sunday, November 21, 2004

incroyable mais vrai

I've been known once or thrice to get on my high horse about Disney movies, but I gotta admit, this one knocks me clean outta my saddle! The only thing "credible" about "The Incredibles" is the predictable tight family unit around which the plot is based. The rest lives up to the flick's title on a rollercoaster ride that's not to be missed. Go see it, we just did. Even bring the kids if you have to. Toy Story 2, Shmoy Shmory Shmoo!!!

walk of shame

Went for a walk with the kids just now, up to the Shell station at the top of Booterstown Avenue. We go every Sunday when weather permits, for a bit of exercise and to buy their "Sunday sweets". Today when I got to the counter with them and our shopping, I realized I didn't have my wallet. On top of everything, the girl at the till was a cute blonde chick!!! The kids had to offer me their own pocket money, I just about made up the change, and overall looked like a complete fool, and we then looked around the shop for the wallet which I remembered only AFTER we went gave up and went outside I actually left at home, and not ten minutes earlier had put in my breast jacket pocket so I wouldnt have to bring the wallet!

It was not my first scatter-brained episode, and definitely not my last. Naturally I assume that both the cashier and the mother who was with her kids behind me thought I must have been some sort of drunk separated dad out with his kids on a Sunday morning. Actually it was uni-flu not alcohol!!! So anyway for a brief moment as I walked with my kids from the Shell station I felt totally humiliated, until I realised first that they aren't embarrassed by me so why should I be, and second that if I wrote down an account of the incident in my blog I'd see that the whole thing wasn't anywhere near as terrible as I thought. Luckily I was right on both counts!!!

Tuesday, November 16, 2004


Making someone like Condoleeza Rice the Secretary of State of the USA would be like putting Pro-Life campaigner in charge of Abortion clinics. God help us all. At least there's enough of the rational global thinking 49% of Americans in important places to get those real pictures of the behaviour of US soldiers in Iraq to the general public.

Saturday, November 13, 2004

derby o' thrills

The Spurs v Arsenal "local derby" match today did not disappoint the fans. My boys somehow managed the rare achievement of scoring four goals at home and still losing 4-5. The only silver lining was that I had a €5 bet on Spurs captain Ledley King scoring with a header which he did, winning me €85. But five defeats in the last six Premiership games does not make a pretty picture for Spurs.

There hasn't been much to report lately, hence the gaps in entries. I've been doing a lot of work on the 1000 word project though; I now have 14 of the planned 50 chapters done. Plans for tonight involve going to a pub downtown called Ba Misu to hook up with a crowd of Sandra's work mates.

Wednesday, November 10, 2004

glowing report

The kids had their parent teacher meetings this morning, Ruth and I both went, and it was all good. They both seem to be settling into their new schools nicely. As always with these meetings, I didn't see many other fathers there.

Spurs drew Liverpool at home in the quarter-finals of the Carling Cup, won't be easy, but at least we avoided the tricky threesome of Man U, Chelsea and Arsenal.

Tuesday, November 09, 2004

keane to progress

Spurs won, 3-0, with Robbie Keane getting two of them. I was a bit annoyed at the new coach for substituting him with half an hour left, only because I had a bet on him to get a hat trick which would have won me €180!!! I'll take the win though, and look forward to the big one against Arsenal on Saturday.

text of despair

I just got a text from Sandra which read : "I will have to go can not deal with it any more its killing me I feel like I'm going to break down". She is being driven demented by her job which usually entails being faced with a long queue of patients and coping with elderly people who are either profoundly deaf or profoundly ignorant, if not both. She has been having nightmares recently which involve her doing immense damage to herself, like scratching at her legs. She rang me earlier this morning and told me she will see a doctor on Friday, and obviously since been stressed out further in work. I wish there was something I could do for her myself.

As predicted, Spurs named assistant Marin Jol as their coach last night, and he kicks off tonight with a crucial Carling Cup match against Burnley. It's a make or break type of game and it's live on Sky. Not sure I'll be able to watch.

Sunday, November 07, 2004

willo the wisp

I had heard about an exciting new Irish player from Dublin bursting onto the Premiership scene at Manchester City by the name of "Willo" Flood, and was moved to watch their derby game with Man United today to see what he was like. Before the game the Sky Sports cameras were trained as always on the tunnel leading onto the pitch to observe the two teams standing in line before beginning their march outdoors. Immediately I spotted him, not having seen him before. Emerging behind the tall frame of City keeper David James was a scrawny skinny pasty white skinned red haired lad who proved my powers of observation by turning his back briefly to reveal his name Flood and number 44. Why am I writing about this? (a) it was funny at the time cos he stood out like a sore thumb, and (b) I immediately came up with the title. The teams drew 0-0, Flood played ok. Spurs lost their 5th out of 6 yesterday and are in turmoil.

Saturday, November 06, 2004

cutting the act

She took him back, and is out with him tonight. Well fancy that. If you wonder what I'm on about, read the post "cutting the grass that's greener" below, it's quite a story.


From left to right...Suzie (who's boyfriend was caught face licking), Bernie, and Sandra.

Thursday, November 04, 2004

no magical mystery

Got another comment on my writing, this time on the sister blog which has 1000-word pieces on various aspects of my life to date. "Thanks for the interesting narrative. I found it (you?) bit lacking in magic; but honest, interesting and eloquent." I know exactly what he means by the magic thing, I actually thought that myself when I was posting it. I feel it's improtant to go for quantity rather than quality and hope the quality eventually sorts itself out. I heard something on the radio about a "November Novel Challenge" where they suggested prospective writers have a go at a 50,000 word novel by the end of the month. For my Stories Worth A Thousand Words, this of course would mean 50 chapters. I set myself a goal to have them all done by Christmas instead, or at least to try and do one a day.

Poor Sandra is extremely unhappy where she works right now, which is in the Royal Eye and Ear Hospital downtown. They have her making appointments with the patients, the majority of which are elderly and thus head-wrecking. She has constantly asked to move to another department, to no avail. Although she has made many good friends in there, I have a feeling she may be prone to a bit of back-stabbing by some of the girls which won't be helping her. She says the job is "destroying her soul" and I wish there was something I could do beyond give comfort and advice, but of course there isn't.

Wednesday, November 03, 2004

election vigil

No results in as yet. There seems to have been a high turnout, which supposedly favours Kerry. I have Sky News on, waiting for the BBC’s commercial free coverage to start at midnight. I have made a tentative resolution not to visit the USA again until Bush is out of the White House.

[based on projections Bush 39 Kerry 3 so far]
Ohio has just been declared “too close to call”, not a surprise there as it’s a crucial “swing state”, but interestingly Virginia is the same, having been a Bush win in 2000. The two networks I am watching have all their experts banging on, with the Democrat friendly BBC (Beat Bush’s Campaign) on one side, and SKY (Send Kerry Yonder) on the other. The early projection lead for Bush was expected with the big states like California and New York bound to drag Kerry back into the race.

[based on projections Bush 94 Kerry 78 so far]
Only the safe states have declared so far, still nothing for Ohio. I’m starting to nod off for long periods. Many feel this could go well beyond tomorrow morning, early indications make this seem bang on.

[based on projections Bush 172 Kerry 112 so far]
Still no surprises. The gap still looks wide, but don’t forget California and New York should go to Kerry and represent about 100 between them. About seven or eight states are too close to call. I just noted that New York has already come in for Kerry. I’m starting to care less about the whole thing with every passing hour. Analysis of the 3 key states have Bush ahead in FL and OH, Kerry ahead in PA.

[based on projections Bush 197 Kerry 112 so far]
It’s not looking good for Kerry. Still nothing decided in the 3 key states and it seems clear now that these will decide the outcome. I’ve been up and about the past hour. Jesse Jackson is now talking to the BBC, still upbeat. Of all the states that have called one way or another, things are as you were since 2000, though that may change when New Hampshire declares, their 4 votes could go to Senator Kerry.

[based on projections Bush 211 Kerry 188 so far]
One of the BBC’s panellists, a black friend of Condoleeza Rice, kept saying the word “mature” with a hard “t” which really bugged me. Also bugging me is the fact that Kerry’s chances are extremely remote. Florida is definitely gone, and Ohio is also looking bad. Also confirmation is through that both houses on Capitol Hill have gone to the Republicans.

[based on projections Bush 246 Kerry 206 so far]
The Ohio vote so far has Bush ahead by 129,000 votes, which is fascinating since there is apparently a dispute about that many votes in the state, something about people voting that were unsure if they were registered, called “provisional ballots”. This could all get ugly again, especially since New Hampshire and possibly Nevada swinging to Kerry. Having said that, reports have Fox News calling Ohio for Bush, and their campaign headquarters is claiming four more years.

[based on projections Bush 249 Kerry 217 so far]
Ohio’s 20 votes will virtually clinch it for Bush. At 269 Kerry can still tie, but the casting vote will go to the Republican House of Representatives, so go figure. Time to go to bed methinks.

Tuesday, November 02, 2004

voter anarchy

Today is polling day in my country of birth. It fascinates me how a nation that prides it self on democratic principles can have a voting system that is anything but fully representative. Electoral college? I don't care what the intentions of the founding fathers may have been; what the Americans of today are left with is a format whereby the duopoly of political parties get to greatly minimise their campaign spending by simply concentrating on the so-called "swing" states, leaving over half the population of the country constantly ignored by the prospective candidates right up to polling day. I read an article about possible change in the "middle ground" states, with apparently Colorado leading the campaign to have these states award all of their electoral college votes to the winner of the NATIONAL popular vote, rather than that of within its own state. I would be fully in favour of this. Should ten or more states agree to do it, the donkeys and the elephants in Washington may finally prick up their ears.

I received an envelope over 2 weeks ago with a sample ballot, shortly followed by a confirmation card saying that I had been registered. Pity the actual ballot itswelf never arrived in time for me to cast my vote. Bloody Schwarznegger-led administration!!!! It's not so bad, though, as I am reliably informed that California is a lock for John Kerry, who would have of course been my choice.

Monday, November 01, 2004

shaggy dog story

Well, I slept on it. Still in a quandry. The evidence doesn't add up, she's just not that stupid. If she is, then what am I letting myself in for. She says she came back from the toilet and stood in the wrong place for half an hour. She has been in that pub dozens of times. There's a guy Michael that has been chasing her, and I have a theory that she saw him there and was afraid to have me see him because I would think she went there on purpose to meet him. Truth is, I probably would have thought that, cos I'm a serious paranoid android. So what now???? Tonight I am committed to dinner in her mum's house, then bringing her dog Jesse to Sandra's animal grooming class to be used as a guinea pig. I need to go through with that, and see how I feel when I'm with her. Then I think I should stay away from her until Friday, when we usually do something. I don't need this bullshit, torn between fear I'm being made a fool of and a fear that I'm making a fool of myself.