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Thursday, April 29, 2004

The fine weather continues: looking forward to getting down to the Burren this coming weekend ...

Monday, April 26, 2004

A very fine sunny weekend: lots of work done in the garden - the boules court area got fully mulched and the grass got cut. M & J from next door dropped by for a chat.
Sunday evening we caught some rays on the deck and bbq'd some burgers. First weekend of summer ...

Friday, April 23, 2004

A Slate journalist, writing from LA, has a good insight drawn from his background as a food reviewer in both London and LA. The ritzy restaurants in London are far better than their LA equivalents. On the middle ground - solid food at solid prices - America beats the UK hands down. And the UK greasy spoons are faaaar worse than the LA equivalent (the diner end of the spectrum).
His local kebab shop in London "would shame the back streets of Cairo" and if it opened in LA, "Schwartzenegger would send in a SWAT team."
From this he draws the interesting if obvious conclusion that America is essentially a middle class society, while the UK is still run on class lines.

"My views are one that speaks to freedom." Yes, it can only be George W. talking. There's a frequently updated list of Bushisms here.

Monday, April 19, 2004

First sighting of RFID technology in luggage handling. 25 cent per RFID tag is a lot versus 1 cent per bar code tag, but the people at Jacksonville Airport (Florida) believe they can recoup the cost by losing fewer suitcases.

Anyway, beats putting subdermal RFID chips in homeless people, as recently spotted on Slashdot: "The miniscule RFID tags are no larger than a matchstick and will be implanted subdermally, meaning under the skin. Data from RFID tracking stations mounted on telephone poles will be transmitted to police and social service workers, who will use custom Windows NT software to track movements of the homeless in real time."

This experiment verifies what I believe most of us knew already: people hate other people yakking on mobile phones. Interesting usability methodology, nonetheless.

Informed comment is one of the best sites I've come across on the Iraq situation. Juan Cole really knows his stuff.

Wednesday, April 14, 2004

Dog Soldiers: the rise of unofficial armies (contracted muscle supporting the colaition, protecting oil routes, etc) is an ominous development.

Tuesday, April 13, 2004

This well-argued essay discusses (and hails) the mainstreaming of geek phenomena such as LOTR, the Internet and Dr. Who - but voices concern at the prospect of the geeks actually inheriting the earth.

Finally ran out of gardening steam last Friday and on Saturday went down to Wexford for the day with Ais. We had a walk round Lady's Island (strange place) and a fine seafood meal at the ever-reliable Lobster Pot. Sunday, C. and S. dropped by for the evening, and we had a walk followed by pints at Macreddin on Monday.

Saw "Ocean's Eleven", the remake, last night - surprisingly watchable. Followed by Tavernier's "Round Midnight" - suitably bleak for the doleful night-before-going-back-to-work blues.

Reading "Into the Blue" ("Boldly going where Captain Cook has gone already") - a Severin-like re-visiting of the various places Cook discovered. He sure got around.

Wednesday, April 7, 2004

Spuds went in today: Cara, Belle de la Fontayne, Duke of York, Nicola, Cara. Onion sets later today - that's the years major planting well under way. The fine gardening weather continues, Lord be praised.

Tuesday, April 6, 2004

Massive tillage operations going on in the garden. Off work, and really getting some excellent weather to turn the weedpatch back into a vegetable patch.

Liveline today, hosted by Derek Davis, is all devoted to Maureen Potter, who passed on peacefully to the celestial stage, where I'm sure she'll have them in stitches. I never knew her at the panto stage of her career, but she had a radio show when I was a kid that was, like the Archers, Eine Kleine Nachtmusik and Friday Night is Music Night!, part of the landscape of Radio Days - the pre-JFK years before TV landed in every Irish household.
She had this son called Christy, who was always getting in trouble, and she had a particular exasperated way of calling him - Kerr-IS-teee-yeh!!! - in a rich Dublin accent, which I will always recall.
Dim were the days ...

Monday, April 5, 2004

In the battle of Microsoft vs. Mankind, Sun throws in the towel. Read + weep.

Working on my dictionary of isms, I was crestfallen to note that one of the very first entries, abolitionism, is such a huge topic. And we can't quite retire it from the dictionary just yet, as this news from Mauritania shows.

Scientists have found a lake (Lake Vida) buried beneath Antarctic ice which may contain a completely different ecosystem to the rest of the planet. There a good piccie with the piece of a robot keeping an eye on things on the surface.

Went to Limerick at the weekend to visit Dad. We had our first meal out post smoking ban: what an amazing improvement to the quality of life.

Wednesday, April 1, 2004

There was a piece on the radio this morning about Dublin Zoo "floating" on the stock market - with the aim of building the world's largest marine park. Bells began to ring when the over-chirpy PR lady started going on about underwater fencing needed to keep the killer whales from breaking out into the Liffey ("I mean, we are talking about *killer* whales here"), and it got even more obvious when she spoke about the deal having to have the approval of an "Animal General Meeting". Nonetheless, not everyone checked the date: some spokesperson from Friends of Dublin Zoo rang in to say they were annoyed at "not having been consulted" re the scheme :-)

Went to the local lake at lunchtime and nabbed two nice trout - about 2.5 pounds apiece. Had trout for dins with new spuds, mayonaisse and capers. Mmmmm ....

posted by A Seeker after Knowledge 7:13 AM

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Living somewhere near here:

Lough Dan, Co. Wicklow, Ireland.
Click the piccie for a bigger version ...
Blogs we like
Blogcritics: news and reviews
William Gibson - he's back.
Dervala is a thought-provoking read.
William S. Lind military .... AND intelligent.
She's a Flight Risk ... and on the run.
North Atlantic Skyline: the West's awake
Informed Comment from an expert on Iraq
Karlin Lillington is on the move.
Quondam Confederate: Mark is in Malmo
Banana Republic Daze: is pithy and topical
Oblomovka in California
Textism: rarely updated, but succulent.
Melanie - this really is a blog.
Meanderthal Man - in search of the Missing Think.
Tom Chi making music in Seattle.
The Homeless Guy - out and about.
Babblogue is quirky.
The Agonist - somewhere in Texas (when he's not touring the Silk Road).
SlashDot - geek central.
BoingBoing - a directory of wonderful things.
Bernie Goldbach - is under way in Ireland.
Ideas Asylum - for insanely good ideas.
D2R - for tech talk.
Last Daze of Eamo - for an eye on the comics.
Tom Murphy - has a PR angle.
QuantumBlog - for scientific updates without all that Slashdot attitude shite.

Dept. of War-blogging Just to keep an eye on these guys and be reminded that the neo-cons aren't going away any time soon ...
Den Beste - good on engineering topics, rabid on everything else.
John Robb - war-blogging from the armchair (which is the closest to a war-zone most of these guys get).
Instapundit - for breaking news, and a right-wing take on same. "If you've got a modem, I've got a (bigoted) opinion".
Andrew Sullivan - a right-winger who writes well.
... and if you want to get the taste of these guys out of your mouth, visit: Press Action

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Just in case they ever come back to life, and to remind one of the perils of hiatus ....
Where is Raed? used to blog from Baghdad
Ilonina - was random.
Paulianne was diarying in Diois
Eric Raymond - an individual, but one who doesn't keep his site updated.

I live in Ireland, in a lovely part of the country called Aughrim in the county of Wicklow. I work in South Dublin - it's a long commute - but 2 days a week I work from home. Whenever possible, I walk with my dog Scooby (Scooby's a feisty Glen of Imaal terrier with loadsa character) under beautiful Croghane Mountain.
About the name Mulqueen Mulqueen is a Clare sept, first recorded as a bardic tribe in the annals of the Dal Cais in the 10th century. I'm from Limerick originally myself, and the name is mainly found in south Clare, North Tipperary, and Limerick East. The name is O'Maolchaoin in Gaelic - the "Maol" (as with all the many Irish surnames beginning in "Mul") means "bald". It doesn't mean there were a lot of hair-challenged gents back then! The tag refers to "tribes wearing horn-less helmets" - it wasn't just the Vikings who wore horns, many Irish tribes did too. The "chaoin" means "gentle" in the sense of well-bred (the sense that survives in "gentleman" or "gentility"). Presumably the bardic (poetic) activities are referred to here :-) Anyhow, some of us are still writing - there is a disproportionate number of Mulqueens working in Irish journalism. Heraldic elements in clan history generally tend to be much later additions, but for the record the Mulqueen coat of arms holds a lion and a heart, and the motto: "Fortiter et fideliter" - brave and true.
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