Monday, July 31, 2006

bitesize bullets


WEIGHT : I think I offset what gains I had by my diet by over-indulging in beer over the weekend. The scales still have me at X minus four, which means nothing lost this week. I want to see some results fast so it’s nose to the grindstone from now on.

TUNES: How did I grow up missing the Stone Roses for God’s sake??? I got their greatest hits CD in a sale at the weekend and I couldn’t believe how many of the 15 tracks I recognised but never knew it was them. “Fools Gold” was the only one I knew.

“Step down, step down. Watch a heel crush, crush. Uh oh, this means no fear - cavalier. Renegade and steer clear! A tournament, a tournament, a tournament of lies. Offer me solutions, offer me alternatives and I decline.”

Who sang that? Check comments for the answer.

BUSHBASHING: He sent troops into Iraq for weapons that weren’t there, but when Israel and Hezbollah are firing the real thing at each other 24/7 with thousands of innocents needlessly slaughtered, he does nothing. And no, I don’t feel sending Neo-Condi out there to hold selective talks counts as doing something.

KNACKER… : …is my Irish Slang O’ The Week and it can mean either our answer to a hillbilly or our answer to a “homey” or “chav”. A common yet unfortunate term for Dublin’s poorer suburbs is “Knacker-agua”. As a verb, however, to “be knackered” simply means to be very tired.

DEBUT: Don’t say you haven’t been warned…that little movie I published on Sunday won’t be the last production from JLTV studios now I know how to manipulate both Windows Movie Maker and YouTube! The possibilities are endless. Be afraid, VERY afraid folks.

JOKE : Two not-so-clever Eskimos were paddling along the icy river and decided they were even chillier than usual, so they lit a fire aboard their vessel. To their surprise, it sank. The moral of the story is : you can’t have your kayak and heat it too. Sorry.

FLICK: “We accept the reality of the world with which we are presented, it's as simple as that.”
The Truman Show was on network TV last night. Ironically, this was a role that I feel Jim Carrey was born to play, with excellent support from Ed Harris.

STATWATCH : A reader from Chatham in England happened by this blog last week and proved to be my 20,000th hit here since I started the counter in May ’05. Of course, the surfer’s prize is the honour of having where his internet server is located mentioned in my “bitesize bullets” feature.

GOOGLING : Latest phrases to lead people here include …


“eligibility to play for republic of Ireland”

“how long does it take to get from castlecomer to Dublin”

“solitary occupations”

“stealing undies from washing line”

“do I let him shag me”

I hope they all found what they were looking for.

“Google phrases of the week” and “Statwatch” courtesy of

“Irish Slang Word O’ The Week” courtesy of “The book of feckin’ Irish Slang that’s great craic for cute hoors and bowsies”

Sunday, July 30, 2006


Just began messing around with Windows Movie Maker and YouTube. This took me ten minutes to put together. I have to warn you I could be addicted to doing this kind of stuff...

Wednesday, July 26, 2006

croc of old?

Say what you like about people who work in legal circles – perhaps indeed they are on a gravy train born mostly from our misery, but from what little I’ve seen of the inside of a courtroom, its day-to-day running must surely be a perennial snoozefest.

Given that, just imagine how much enjoyment those in attendance at the Liverpool Crown Court would of gotten out of this case, as described by Ananova’s Quirky files.

Crocodile Gran

An 80-year-old woman re-created a scene from the film Crocodile Dundee to tackle a knife-wielding burglar.

Winifred Whelan, from Liverpool, was threatened in her home by a man brandishing a 10-inch knife.

The pensioner grabbed a larger carving knife from her kitchen before shouting: "That's not a knife, this is a knife!"

Mrs Whelan was quoting the famous line from Crocodile Dundee when the film's star Paul Hogan brandishes a hunting knife at a mugger.

She told a newspaper: "I said to the robber: "You call that a knife?" His was around 10 inches long and I had a carving knife measuring about 14 inches.

"I pointed it at his belly and said: 'This is a knife!'"

Two men were jailed at Liverpool Crown Court in connection with the incident, which happened last September.

Judging from the look on her face, she wouldn’t have hesitated to use the damn thing either. I reckon the two men will be happy to go behind bars to get away from her!

Monday, July 24, 2006

bitesize bullets


WEIGHT : So far so good with my plan to reach my goal weight for the wedding- where X is what I weighed last week, I’m currently at X minus four pounds. Still a lot of jogging and pumping iron and dodging delectable dishes left to do!

BUSHBASHING: I was a bit alarmed to hear that there is a possibility that Florida governor Jeb Bush may run for President in 2008. I think twelve years of Bush rule is enough for everyone, don’t you? Jeb was in Dublin recently for a lecture and got a frosty welcome.

JACKS… : …is my Irish Slang World O’ The Week and is a word used mainly in Dublin which refers to the men’s room. While I’m on the letter “J” I will also explain “jar” which means a pint of alcohol. “He’s been in the jacks all day after too many jars”

FLICK: I finally got to see The Da Vinci Code, and I suppose I have to say that Ron Howard made as good a stab as anyone at putting it together. The only drawback, I found, is that there’s no way you could follow it had you not read the book.

STAG : Americans call it a “bachelor party”. This side of a pond it’s a stag party, which over the years has become elongated to a stag weekend. Mine is going to be in Westport in County Mayo in mid August, and there will probably be 11 of us altogether going.

TUNES: In my book the only “I used to be a pretty boy pop singer now please take me seriously” album that every actually worked, George Michael’s “Listen Without Prejudice Vol I” now occupies my car stereo.

ATTENDANCE : The RSVPs are coming in thick and fast for the wedding, and we were delighted to learn that my father, whom I met for the first time only in 2003, will be flying over from Oregon with his wife for the day. My mother, unfortunately, won’t be coming.

Top 3 Reasons Eminem's Wife Filed for Divorce

Sure, he talks and raps like a black man, but when he takes down his pants...

…Would rather end up like Nicole Kidman than Nicole SIMPSON…

...And The Top Reason. . .

Overheard 5-year-old daughter shouting, "Faggots!" while watching Ernie & Bert.

“Let me tell you now
Everybody’s talking about
Revolution, evolution,
Masturbation, flagellation,
Regulations, integrations,
Meditations, United Nations,

Who sang that? Check comments for the answer.

GOOGLING : Latest phrases to lead people here include …

“spider poop image”

“the general starring brendan gleeson”

“the away game socceroos lucas neill brokeback mountain”

“irish shag”

“pampering the rogue country pakistan”

“getting rubber bit guards on”

“scarleh wedding dress”

I hope they all found what they were looking for.

“Google phrases of the week” courtesy of

“Irish Slang Word O’ The Week” courtesy of “The book of feckin’ Irish Slang that’s great craic for cute hoors and bowsies”

Wednesday, July 19, 2006

shot to hell

"...from this day until the ending of the world but we in it shall be remembered. We few, we happy few, we band of brothers, For he today who sheds his blood with me shall be my brother..."

William Shakespeare's 'King Henry V' : Act IV, Scene III

Say what you like about Steven Spielberg.

Whatever about his films, he has always retained an unerring talent for reaching out from his director’s chair right through the camera lens, through your television screen, and right down into your tear ducts, emptying everything inside – a volume of tears you never even knew was there.

A long time ago, since we share a similar taste for TV drama, a good friend of mine suggested I buy the DVD box set of “Band of Brothers". As I watched it unfold I realised it was based on a part of the American WWII campaign very close to the situation my grandfather found himself in when he served in military intelligence.

For some reason, however, despite the family interest, I found viewing the series from start to finish extremely tough going. It is only now that have been able to see the final few instalments, and I was particularly moved by episode 9 where the American batallion first came across a concentration camp in Germany.

I am and always will be a pacifist. If I have learned anything from my past few years of reflection on what it is that makes this life worth living, it’s that once you see a chink of light at the end of the tunnel of your own confusion, you should never take your eyes off of it.

Even with a well scripted, cast, acted and directed TV drama, I could barely come even close to understanding what my grandfather experienced in Europe.

What I do know is that if I can’t make head or tail of his actions since I came into his life, I should learn to let them be. Once fate offers you a future as it has done me, you must first find it in yourself to let go of your past.

Though I have been lucky enough to have avoided it up to now, I would venture a guess that war is something that takes what you previously understood to be reality and shoots it clean to hell.

Sure, the Nazis needed to be stopped. Sure, Saddam Hussein needed to be stopped. Sure, there will one day be a new enemy to fear, to loathe, to conquer. That still doesn't convince me that war has to be the final option without exception.
This subject is particularly relevant today as bombs rain down over Lebanon and northern Israel. For me, each side is as bad as the other, though it sickens me that the international community lends credibility to one side just because they are the military of a sovereign nation. In my book, they're all terrorists.

I suppose all we can really do is ponder the role of Extremism in our lives, and learn to understand it more.

To have an Extremist viewpoint is a human right.

To impose an Extremist viewpoint on others is and always will be a human tragedy.

Monday, July 17, 2006

bitesize bullets


WEIGHT : The countdown to the wedding is nigh and my weight has become an issue yet again. Let’s call my weight this morning X and see how much under that I can go between now and the nuptials.

TUNES: OK this is either totally cool or totally embarrassing. You decide. A while ago I came across my vinyl “collection”, most of which were ready for throwing out, but I did keep the first record I ever owned myself, ABBA the Album, which I got when I was 8.

DOH! : On Saturday on my Irish blog I bemoaned the fact that no Irish station covered the midweek club soccer games, only to be politely informed they did. It’s one of the more embarrassing things that can happen to a blogger. Suffice to say my researcher has since been sacked.

HOOKED: Though I’m not what you’d call a gamer, I do have a PS2. I never dreamed about buying a golf game until I tried the one on my mobile. I have since gone on to buy Tiger Woods PGA Tour 2003 second-hand and I am already a fully-fledged addict.

“My bed’s full of takeaways
And fantasies of easy lays
The pause button’s broke on my video
And is this real cos I feel fake
Oprah Winfrey, Ricki Lake
Teach me things I don’t need to know”

Who sang that? Check comments for the answer.

CATCHUP: I have found a way to keep up with my favourite blogs without swinging around from link to link like Tarzan on speed. If you haven’t already, try Google Reader for size. The only drawback is, if you’re a bit lazy like me, you won’t comment as often as before.

STATWATCH : I have a regular visitor to my blogs whose IP server is based in Los Osos, California. Any chance you’d like to make yourself known to me? If you’d rather preserve the mystery I’d totally understand, but if not you can email me at

Q: How many Bush administration officials does it take to screw in a lightbulb?

A: There is nothing wrong with the lightbulb. Its condition is improving everyday. Any reports of its malfunction are the result of “spin” by the liberal media. Why do you hate freedom so much to ask?

“I… : …WILL IN ME ARSE!” is my Irish Slang O'the Week and basically is meant to convey a person’s intention NOT to do something in particular. For a little extra emphasis that’s also quite a bit more graphic, substitute the word “hole” for “arse”.

GOOGLING : Latest phrases to lead people here include …

“carlsberg text”

“to phone county wexford from london what numbers must I dial”

“boiled shite”

“calcio, cosmopolitan, photos”

“boy’s overgrown larynx”

“people shagging in parks”

“funny keystroke art”

“trust an irishman?”

I hope they all found what they were looking for.

“Google phrases of the week” and “StatWatch” courtesy of

“Irish Slang Word O’ The Week” courtesy of “The book of feckin’ Irish Slang that’s great craic for cute hoors and bowsies”

Friday, July 14, 2006

sprechen sie fußball?

Can you name the countries cheered on by the fans in each pic and work out what way I've organized them? Click the picture for a closer look - the answer is in the comments section.

Though the so-called mainstream media will have you thinking otherwise, I feel my little collage above fully captures the memory which will last the longest from the German World Cup extravaganza over the past month.

I will refer briefly to the head-butting incident. At first, I was relieved that such an action was not rewarded by ultimate victory. Then, I was disgusted that simple taunting actually could be. Now, I am relieved to hear that FIFA will be investigating what Materazzi supposedly said to Zidane – though in a way they have to, since “Kick Racism Out Of Football” is quite rightly one of their banner campaigns this weather.

As for the match itself, I thought the bloody thing kicked off at 8pm my time. I had it all organised – my kids were with me, and we were going to get a Chinese dinner from the take-away across the road. I ordered it at 7:15, and went to collect it fifteen minutes later, only to discover to my horror that not only did it start at 7 but I had missed two goals!

Alas the rest of the game was not to amount to much as a football contest, but considering what was at stake, it was tense right to the end. Taking the entire night’s action into account, even without Zizou’s folly, the Italians were worthy winners overall in my book. And I suppose if any outcome was going to make the third place playoff worthwhile, a German victory was just the thing.

But enough of such nonsense. This tournament went above and beyond what I expected it to be. My kids loved every minute, from the opening ceremony right up to Grosso’s final penalty in Berlin. They now know the flags and the location of 32 nations, and what’s more, they have a keen interest in the world’s most popular pastime.

And what about that support from the fans? Each and every nation proudly represented, and my picture only depicts the fans of those who actually qualified – thousands upon thousands of fans from the 167 nations who failed to reach the finals made the trip to the sporting mecca bearing their colours as well.

This four-yearly event is not just about some guys kicking a ball around a park. It’s not even about being proud of where you come from. I ask you – how else would countries like Mexico and Iran, or Togo and Switzerland come together but in a World Cup finals encounter? It is a celebration of humanity’s diversity more than anything else.

And what better place for diversity to be celebrated in the next instalment than in South Africa in 2010.

You can be sure I’ll be blogging every step of the way.
Pictures courtesy of

Monday, July 10, 2006

bitesize bullets


STATWATCH : First thanks to whoever reads my Irish blog from Granby in Canada (or should I say Quebec?), for they provided it with its 10,000th hit last week. I also recently surpassed 30,000 hits since May 2005 between all of my blogs. Go me.

CALCIO: I would like to wish the Italian soccer team all the best as having won the World Cup they of course now go on to take part in the Solar System Cup where I expect they will run rings around the Saturn champions in the first round. Boom boom.

Scientist1 : “Hi - I’m from the lab across the hall– we were wondering if you can spare any remains from your rodent dissection program – we are particularly interested in the back half of the animals.”

Scientist2 : “I couldn’t give a rat’s ass.”

Scientist1 : “Sorry I only asked!”

TUNES: Using the Cure’s “Just Like Heaven” for my lyrical bullet the other week inspired me to stick the album from whence it came, Kiss Me Kiss Me Kiss Me, in my car stereo, which time-warped me back to the age of 16 when it first came out.

HOOLEY ... : this week’s Irish slang word and simply refers to a party, which of course being in Ireland would involve the consumption of an alcoholic beverage or twenty. For example – I bet there was some hooley on the streets of Rome last night!

FLICKS: No rental movies this week, so we dipped into my DVD archive one night after the football and Big Brother were over and stuck on the first Lord of The Rings movie, “The Fellowship of the Ring”. Can’t go wrong watching this one – you notice something new every time.

“If dreams are like movies then memories are films about ghosts
You can never escape, you can only move south down the coast
Well I am an idiot walking a tightrope of fortune and fame
I am an acrobat swinging trapezes through circles of flame”

Who sang that? Check comments.

WHY?: I guess I was a big fan of the whole thing when I was younger, but nowadays I can’t help but think that pouring so much time and money into a Shuttle that has bits falling off of it 24/7 is quite literally a waste of space.

LINK : This week’s shout-out goes to Bock the Robber who was kind enough to put a link to my Irish blog on his site with the original description of my good self as : “Some Dublin fucker, but I like it.” I suppose I’ve been called worse!

GOOGLING : Latest phrases to lead people here include …

“george galloway lions quote”
“dear diary I lost my virginity”
“what does a.e.t. stand for in soccer?”
“where can I find the irish word for grandmother?”
“nicotine stains moustache”

I hope they all found what they were looking for.

“Google phrases of the week” and “Statwatch” courtesy of

“Irish Slang Word O’ The Week” courtesy of “The book of feckin’ Irish Slang that’s great craic for cute hoors and bowsies”

Friday, July 07, 2006

sprechen sie fußball?

And then there were two…here’s my take on the quarterfinals and semifinals which led to this Sunday’s fascinating climax between the Italians and the French.


GERMANY-1 ARGENTINA-1 aet [Germany win 4-2 on penalties] – One memory I will always have from this year’s World Cup will be the sight of German coach Jurgen Klinsmann as his side got their equaliser in this game. As the ball sat up for Miroslav Klose to head in his fifth goal of the finals, Klinsmann willed on the header by doing his own mock version. It was a goal that the Argentinians deserved to concede, for they made a grave error in judgement by electing to sit on the 1-0 lead they gained on 49 minutes rather than go for the jugular. Then their playmaker Riquelme was gone and they were forced to endure the lottery of a penalty shoot-out where Arsenal goalie Jens Lehmann reigned supreme [see pic]. Apparently there was quite a serious bust-up between the two squads after this game and there may very well be reprisals for all concerned once FIFA has reviewed the footage.

ITALY-3 UKRAINE-0– To be honest, the former Soviet republic were never ever in this one at all, and they will be happy to have gone this far. Interesting comparisons can be drawn to Ireland’s adventure in 1990, when we too won our second round game on penalties after a 0-0 draw only to go and lose to the Italians in the quarter-finals. I feel the Ukranians’ pain, and I will have a Chicken Kiev in their honour. It’s always a relief to see a team’s pre-tournament predicted star shine in at least one match, and Luca Toni did just that [see pic] on the night here to see the Azzuri safely through to a semifinal with the hosts.

ENGLAND-0 PORTUGAL-0 aet [Portugal win 3-1 on penalties] – The picture shows the moment England’s hopes ended and Rooney’s face says it all. I reckon it was a harsh decision to award a straight red card for what had to be more of an accidental collision between his studs and what I now refer to as The Groin Of Gelsenkirchen. It’s even more of a kick in the crotch that the same ref has been rewarded with a gig officiating over the final. England played admirably with ten men after that and were actually the better side, though they never really looked like scoring. Portugal had their game plan to unsettle their opponents and it worked to a T, and it’s unfortunate that this tactic has been proven to work so well. Once it came to a shoot-out, Ricardo’s superior experience in the situation won the day – despite the fact that his teammates were unsuccessful with two kicks, they were missed rather than saved by the clearly-out-of-his-depth Paul Robinson. All in all a sad way for Eriksson to end his England stewardship and Beckham his captaincy, but to be honest, they never lived up to their pre-tournament billing.

BRAZIL-0 FRANCE-1– Much like England, the holders Brazil got this far without being properly tested, but my God, did the French make up for that in this game and then some. It should have been at least 3-0. Zinedine Zidane gave his illustrious opposition a masterclass in how to command a ball at his feet, and his teammates rose to the occasion with him. In the end it was his first ever assist to Thierry Henry [pic] that won the day. It was a delight to see Les Bleus return to their 1998-2000 form when they were virtually unbeatable – this was something that few experts predicted going into this tournament. If they play like this the rest of the way, they will be adding a second star to their jerseys for sure.


GERMANY-0 ITALY-2 aet – It’s not often a neutral observer would actually want a game to go to penalties, but I have to admit it would have been interesting to see Lehmann and Buffon go head-to-head. At least there were two stunning goals right at the death for us to savour, most notably Grosso’s sweetest of sweet strikes to break the host nation’s hearts [see pic]. Del Piero finished it off with a well taken effort shortly afterwards, and though the result does not reflect the contest, the Italians deserved their place in the final when all is said and done. One of the biggest disappointments of the tournament has been the form (or rather the lack of it) of German skipper Michael Ballack. Had he ever managed to play like he has in the past for Bayern Munich, they could have gone all the way.

PORTUGAL-0 FRANCE-1– For the 90 minutes it was a drab dull encounter, but anyone with even a passing knowledge of football would have been rooted to this contest throughout nonetheless. Zidane was on a yellow card and since he was to retire from football altogether after the World Cup, you were on tenderhooks whenever he went for a challenge hoping it would not end that way. Luckily it didn’t and he proved the hero in the end, showing the English how to take a penalty against Ricardo by coolly slotting it home with minimum effort after Carvalho fell for Henry’s trickery and brought him down. I was glad to see the Portuguese fall at this hurdle – they played as though they felt they had done enough by getting past England, and in the end it was yet another fruitless campaign for their so-called “Golden Generation” – I wonder how long it will be before we see them go this far again.

all photos courtesy of

I don’t want to predict the score of the 3rd place playoff on Saturday night between Germany and Portugal because it is quite possibly the most pointless high profile contest in any sport. It’s a throwback to the origins of this tournament from back in the 30s when they modelled the event on the Olympics and thus felt compelled to award a bronze medal. Nowadays the Greek festival comes a poor second in popularity to the World Cup and perhaps a charity match featuring players from all of the 30 nations that did not make the final or maybe even a celebrity challenge match could take its place. My prediction for the final is 2-1 to France aet.

Wednesday, July 05, 2006

unsung heroes one and all

Shaggy XIII > hermione2001uk

Towards the end of last year I did one of my “Lifeslice” posts about the teaching profession. I wish I had read this month’s Shaggy award winner before I wrote it.

Just what is your definition of a hero when it comes to their career?

A fireman or a doctor because they save lives?

A lawyer because they save your hide when you’re in trouble?

A preacher because he saves your soul?

A successful businessman because he saves money for himself?

It will never cease to amaze me how we take the credit when our kids succeed in school yet we villify their teachers when things go wrong. And what’s more, someone who gets rich by selling something like peanut butter or life insurance ends up with a better standard of living than someone who is expected to deal with our little angels while we are out pursuing those comparatively pointless careers.

I’ve missed a month or two with these posts, so that’s about as much further ado as I can stand, so to avoid any more, I’d like to present the Thirteenth Shagadelic Contribution To Blogland Award to hermione over at “Moaning And Shit” for her post “Who’d Be A Teacher?”

Since she doesn’t appear to have indiviual sites for her various posts set up on her blog, I feel compelled to copy/paste the winning contribution here, but please by all means check out her site.

Who'd be a teacher?

I had one of the worst days of my teaching career today.

Each year a fair comes to town and the kind people of the fair close it to the public for a couple of hours and open the fair just for the 4 special schools in the town. As you can imagine, the kids get sooooooo excited (I work in a school for MLD/EBD kids Year 3-Year 11). We use the fair 'carrot' to encourage them to behave for the week leading up to the fair. Invariably, there are always going to be a few who don't make the grade and have to stay back at school on health and safety grounds. Twelve kids had to stay back this year, 6 of whom were from my form. Only 2 from my form were actually allowed to go. Three of the boys were fairly blase about not going (they're Year 10s and probably think the fair is 'gay' anyway)the other boy pretty much 'lost it' (I'll come to that in a moment). The two girls who weren't allowed to go were devastated. I'm very fond of one of the girls, she's just like a big boisterous puppy really, all bark and no bite. Sure, she can be very gobby but ultimately, she's easily tamed. She sobbed and sobbed. She was supposed to be meeting her mum and disabled brother there and had no way of telling her mum that she wasn't going to be there (the kids were only told 30 mins before we were due to leave). The other girl has very complex problems - disasterous homelife and a growing dependence on alcohol and drugs. She's very very vulnerable. She took this not being allowed to go incredibly personally - reinforcing the fact that her life is complete shit. So, I had them to deal with all morning. Then, the boy I mentioned before completely lost it and I ended up doing my first ever restraint which wasn't much fun I can assure you. Anyway, after a while we managed to calm him down and he and I went and kicked a ball around until he was ready to go in for lunch. So, there we were, he and I quietly sauntering back into school when we were approached by another Year 10 girl (not in my form) also with a terrible homelife. She was waving a couple of photos around. One of the photos was of her niece who had died a couple of weeks ago of cot death. Yes, she was going around school with a photo of a dead baby. The picture was really gruesome, I can't get it out of my head.

On the plus side, we had a fun run in the afternoon and I won the teachers fancy dress :-) What a day!

Bravo hermione and all in your profession, take a collective bow.

Previous Winners :

I > Shandi – “Who says you can’t have the fairytale?"

II > Dol – “Corporate Whore!

III > Buffalo – “Bangkok

IV > Mike Todd – “Et tu, Mike?

V > John - “You Are Not Alone, I Self Harm Too

VI > Michèle - “Toyota Pickup vs. The Monte Carlo

VII > Shan - “Panic Stations

VIII > Red Mum - “The Last Time I Saw You

IX > Paige A Harrison - “Education Is Such A Pain In The Back

X > Alan - “52 Movies, 52 Weeks - 5. Munich

XI > Omani - “Our Lady of Lourdes : Institutionalized Contraception

XII > Knackered Kaz - “Nigella Lawson I Ain’t!

Monday, July 03, 2006

bitesize bullets


RESTORED : Not having broadband sure wreaks havoc on the sanity of a blog junkie, I can tell you. Luckily I’m now back in action with my new wireless connection, so stay tuned for a resumption to regular postage. Net cafes are just not my bag, baby.

FOURTH: The most yankee-doodle thing I will do on the 4th of July this year is go for a meal in TGI Fridays to celebrate my son’s upcoming birthday. Funny how “Hamburg”ers and “French” fries are considered American! Best wishes of the day to all (both?) my stateside readers.

GAS… : …is my Irish Slang O’ The Week and simply means something amusing. “How was the party?” “Ah, yeah, it was gas!” Now in case my American readers think that’s a bit strange, just remember you guys call the stuff you put in your cars “gas” even though it’s a liquid…

CANCELLED: One of the BBC’s longest running shows, Tops of the Pops, which is similar to American Bandstand, is soon to be taken from the air, finally succumbing to the pressures of the MTV generation. I’m not exactly gutted, but I do have some fond memories of the show.

Switch off your shield
Switch off and feel
I'm working on loving-yeah
Giving you back the good times
Ship it out-out
I'm working for the black gas

Who sang that? Check comments for answer

TUNES: The sleeve cover may be gross, but Pearl Jam’s “Vs.” is hands down my favourite album from the grunge era, with tracks like “Daughter”, Rats” and “Rearviewmirror”. I saw them live here in Dublin about ten years ago, though the Point Depot was a bad choice of venue for them.

JOKE : How many surrealists does it take to screw in a lightbulb? [check comments for the answer]

RENTAL: I finally got to see Joaquin Phoenix’ portrayal of Johnny Cash in “Walk The Line” last week. Er – yeah, it was a good flick, but I tell you – if Reese Witherspoon’s performance is considered Oscar material, competent though it may have been, then God help the future of Hollywood.

ONGOING : The most frustrating aspect of the trouble in the Middle East for me is the way all Israeli military action is considered “legitimate self-defence” by the West but any Palestinian equivalent is labelled “terrorism”. For me, all extremist action is unjustified no matter what way you package it.

GOOGLING : Latest phrases to lead people here include …

“dr cox’s best rants”
“turn close your eyes setanta”
“how to give a good shag”
“rugger bugger”
“drunken english supporters photos”
“jason mcateer cosmopolitan”
“what does aet mean in world cup”

I hope they all found what they were looking for.

“Google phrases of the week” courtesy of

“Irish Slang Word O’ The Week” courtesy of “The book of feckin’ Irish Slang that’s great craic for cute hoors and bowsies”