Sunday, July 30, 2006

Flickr Issues

Flickr is having one of its usual tizzies in relation to posting pics automatically to this blog. It happends every now and then and suddenly resolves itself. Seeing as the pics have made it to Flickr it's not a problem with VF or my own settings. So if this blog looks a bit barren then head over to my flickr page for the pics.

Wednesday, July 26, 2006


This post gives an idea of what it is like reporting from the Lebanon- if you're sho t at make sure you say it's the Israelis trying to protect you.... Here ya go - Israeli protection in action

Ireland in Lebanon

For a quick short note on Irish involvement in Lebanon have a look here >

When will the Israelis stop ?

If they weren't supported by Dubya would this be allowed to happen ? The Israelis and their allies have killed more Irish soldiers than anyone else. Source: Begin quoted article:
Israeli bomb kills UN observers
Israeli strike in Khiam, south Lebanon
Israel had hit Khiam a number of times earlier on Tuesday
Four United Nations peacekeepers have been killed in an Israeli air strike on an observation post in southern Lebanon, the UN has said.

A bomb struck the post occupied by the peacekeepers of the Unifil force in the Khiam area, it said.

UN Secretary General Kofi Annan said he was "shocked" at the "apparently deliberate targeting" of the post.

The attack came as Israel said it would control an area in southern Lebanon until international forces deployed.

The force will be discussed at crisis talks to be held in Rome on Wednesday.

US Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice will be at the talks after ending her tour of the Middle East on Tuesday.

More than 380 Lebanese and 42 Israelis have died in nearly two weeks of conflict in Lebanon, which began after Hezbollah captured two Israeli soldiers in a cross-border raid on 12 July.


The UN in Lebanon says the Israeli air force destroyed the observer post, in which four military observers were sheltering.

It said the four, from Austria, Canada, China and Finland, had taken shelter in a bunker under the post after it was earlier shelled 14 times by Israeli artillery.

A rescue team was also shelled as it tried to clear the rubble.

"I am shocked and deeply distressed by the apparently deliberate targeting by Israeli Defence Forces of a UN Observer post in southern Lebanon," Mr Annan said in a statement from Rome.

Unifil has been operational in the border area since 1978 and is currently 2,000 strong.

Tuesday, July 18, 2006

Are Renaults crap ?

Back in 2004 I bought a Renault Scenic II. It was the first MPV to have 5 stars in the EuroNCAP tests for safety and it fitted my requirements perfectly. I was happy with the car and banished to the back of my mind the usual tales of Renault woe. My first piece of trouble was the day the car wouldn't lock. Nothing major. Just wouldn't lock. After fluting around with the fuses and doing a reset all was ok. The next pain was the boot lock - soemtimes it wouldn't close and you'd have to poke around it with the end of a penknife to get the lock to work. The delaer looked at it and said it was fine. Not a big deal I suppose - it only failed about every 3 months and once you remembered to keep a penknife happy and maybe not open the boot in the rain then you could live with it. The the sunroof gave trouble - failing to close. The reset procedure (clever renault designing a reset procedure) would only work after about an hour. It failed a few times but the dealer said there was nothing wrong with it that a reset couldn't cure (even though it took them a day to reset it). It was in to them twice. So really once you kept a penknife with you and made sure that you didn't open the boot in the rain or the sunroof at all I was sorted and spared. At this stage the warranty finished (in fact the last look at the dodgy sunroof was in the final week of warranty) and I was getting worried. Then the sensor on the clutch pedal went. This sensor showed that the clutch was depressed so you were then allowed to start the engine. But hey pressing the brake pedal did the same job so as long as I had a penknife.... After a while I looked at this sensor and was amazed - the sensor switch was mounted on the moving clutch pedal (rather than the body) and the wire was incredibly thin. SO thin that removing the switch broke the other wire. I fixed it anyway and life was back to normal. At that stage I decided that we didn't need two big cars so I traded in the Scenic. The day before I traded it in I got a recall letter from Renault informing me that the car was being recalled as there were issues with the seatbelt mounting (yes in a supposedly very safe car). For the gas I rang them and they said that there wouldn't be a replacement car supplied whilst my car was in being repaired to ensure that it was at the standard that it was supposed to be. I passed on the recall notice to the new owner. Today I got another recall - nothing major this time - just the brake pedal needs to be checked to make sure it's within specification ! So for 2.5 years the car has had a dodgy brake pedal and potentially lethal seat belts - well done Renault.