Tuesday, September 27, 2005
Monday, September 26, 2005
In this article Beattie talks about the frustrations he has encountered since switching to a Mac. Some of them sound acceptable and some are definitely valid. Others seem to be more due to the culture change from the PC-world to Mac-land. Go have a read anyway..
Tuesday, September 20, 2005
I decided to drop in on lizzie but she was out playing queen so I ended up sitting outside having my tea which was a slice of rabbit pie from selfridges. Feels abut strange looking across st a building which for so long held a large and ominous part in our history. Its swarming with police and men in redcoats and funny furry hats.
Loads of tourists around with the obligatory sprinkling of Japanese with the latest thumb sized digital carmera.
Went to the apple store earlier just to drool and boy to buy. Wow the nano is really small and so thin that you'd feel worried that you would break it. Its a real shirt pocket player and light as the proverbial feather. The place was full of black clad Steve jobs acolytes and wannabees. But also it was a good chance to test the kit including sound systems. Be a nice addition to cork !
We landed at 9.25 and I was pb the train in time for the 9.45 when we landed they announced that we were ahead of schedule. It struck me that that flight is nearly always ahead of schedule which would imply some padding in their timetables thus enabling high punctuality statistics ... Weather mild but looks like there's some drizzle
Sitting here in Cork airport its quite nice looking out at the morning sun striking the pale fuselage of the parked jets. Makes a change from the son waking me up in the morning.
The airport is quite busy and you can see the need for the new terminal which is beginning to near completion and looks very impressive though I'm sure O'Leary probably thinks its too posh having toilets and seats and all that.
Not that I'm a Ryanair basher any more. It has done great job of opening up travel and giving people expectations of cheap fares. It has shown that people don't mind rural airports ( which may often be more convenient for your final destination ) and that they don't mind having few frills. Strangely though, and this shows human nature , they haven't yet managed to fully deal with the contradiction of people wanting to pay no-frills fares but have full-service customer care eg no charge to change bookings, get out on other flights if you're late etc. I suppose that is the human condition to want everything whilst paying for nothing.
Sunday, September 18, 2005
An article in Air and Business Travel News relates that the US wishes to stop the use of one-way tickets as a potential security risk. This means that anyone with a one-way ticket will be viewed as a risk despite the fact that they might be going back with another carrier or indeed another means of transport.
What benefit is this to anyone (other than the airline industry?) ? So now the budget for potential terrorist activities will have to be raised to cover the cost of a return ticket. So that will be that and as far as the Americans are concerned it will be a great blow in their so-called war. Yeah right.
Also in the UK Times yesterday was an article about another great US plan. Now travellers arriving will have to have the exact name and address of their accommodation - no longer will "The Marriott" suffice. So yet again to get around this complex requirement a terrorist will have to learn off an address. Wow. That's going to make the world such a safer place and make it more awkward for those folks who like to live on the edge and get their hotels when they arrive.
At the rate the US are going it will have been easier to get into Communist Russia than the Land of the free...
Friday, September 16, 2005
As can be seen from the photos we went to Fota ( www.fotawildlife.ie )today. Not a whole lot of people there at all which was great as the children could be let run wild without fear of losing them. It's handy having the annual pass as it makes the decision to visit easier.
Fota have changed their catering facilities this year and have trumpeted this at every opportunity but to be honest it looked much the same and was a bit unwelcoming. It was hard to tell if hotfood was actually available to order or just around on weekends. They did have a decent range of sandwiches though but why does everything have to include chicken ? It seems to be well nigh impossible to get sandwiches with a meat other than chicken. Their ham sandwiches looked a bit like the ones we all remember from our pre-Celtic Tiger childhood.
Still Fota is a great place for the children - fresh air and exercise and the chance to learn new things and ask questions.
Daniel Liebeskind has an installation in neighbouring Fota House which I meant to go and see but well it passed out of my mind..
Coming back home we noticed two small French Navy ships (nice to see that other navy's have ships even smaller than ours) docked at the Custom House Quays. One is called the Panther but didn't catch the other name. They are "twins" and the second one has a massive Irish tricolour draped along the stern - they must have forgotten the small courtesy flag. That's another nice thing about Cork - the quays come up into the town so visiting ships are easily seen and add a "continental touch ;-)". It would be nice if they got the Tall Ships back again.
Thursday, September 15, 2005
Tesco's latest 24hr store in Mahon point has been open for a good few months now but is plagued with problems and inefficiencies. Tonight they hadn't any milk as their fridge was "getting warm". This has happened before . It is not uncommon to go in on a Sunday and find that they are out of bananas (Yes we have no bananas) or even spuds (!!).
Their management team is invisible - actually I'm wrong - I saw the manager one day sitting on someone elses car in the Parent & Child parking and having a fag. Their wine section is hopelessly organised with no attempt to put - for example - Eastern European bottles in the section that is labelled "Eastern European". You can find French bottles in the New World section - it's hopeless. Their shelf edge labelling can be downright misleading and they still hate to give you the proper price-per-kg or price-per-unit measurements.
Their other joke is the sign that says that if there is someone in front of you they will open another checkout - yeah right. I was there on a few evenings when the place was heaving and 2/3 of the checkouts were closed..
Why do I go there if I know I'll never be able to get anything ? It's convenient to work/creche and so easy to just swing in. Its easy to swing back out as well when you realise that they don't have what you want.
Sometimes it appears that you can't beat Dunnes and you wonder how Tesco can be so large or is it just their Irish stores that they mismanage (Douglas once ran out of nappies !!) ?
Wednesday, September 14, 2005
Monday, September 12, 2005
The PSP is a dinger. The large screen makes it very much a viable personal viewing device. One of the games I have is Midnight Racers - it is excellent - one of the feew racing games that I have "clicked" with - the graphics are excellent (at the cost of longish load times) and the controls seem to work just right. Quite a few times I have found myself ducking and diving to get the car around a corner. It has an excellent cruise mode where you can explore the city without having to participate in any races.
Mercury is another game - it basically (!!) involves manoeuvring a blob of mercury around the palce. The mercury can be made to split or change colour (or even recombine) depending on what has to be done. Really its a game that has to be played to fully understand.
Herself got "Untold Legends" which is a role playing type game and finds it excellent if not a little bit addictive !
Battery life watching videos is good.
Useful site is www.pspdrive.com - you can download content directly to your psp.
(Haven't written here for a while)
Well it's Monday. Cork won the All-Ireland yesterday. Limerick's minors lost to Galway.
Beautiful day here today - sunny, warm and clear. Like a summer's day really.
Work much the same as ever. Busy busy busy.
Bought a PSP the week before last . Excellent device with a magnificent screen. For test purposes I ripped a DVD (the Pianist) and popped it onto a memory stick - works a treat.