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