Tuesday, October 31, 2006

Let the train take the strain


Let the train take the strain
Originally uploaded by despod.

S Bahnhof Westkreuz


S Bahnhof Westkreuz
Originally uploaded by despod.

Five go to Berlin

Well we had an early start this morning for our flight to Berlin. Comfortable Aer Lingus flight where the fry was much cheaper than the similar one on land in the airport.

A sure sign of the intended market were the Polish announcements.

Sch├Ânefeld is a smallish airport and we had to walk in the open air to the terminal building but the Dublin flight got to use an airbridge. Strangely they didn't give is the night immediately but left it out at the same time as the baggage.

Another 400m walk in the open air brought is to the station where to be honest sign posting was poor and easily missed - I was asked for directions by one couple.

Ride into Alex was quick - Ostkreuz looked like very little was done to it in the past 50 years. Also the station announcements were out of sync. Anyway we made it and then changed to U2 after a long walk. A few minutes later and we were at the hotel - Dorint Novotel Mitte - where we were able to check in early for a deserved rest.

Palast der Republik


Palast der Republik
Originally uploaded by despod.

View from hotel Berlin


View from hotel Berlin
Originally uploaded by despod.

Out of use TALGO Berlin


Out of use TALGO Berlin
Originally uploaded by despod.

Arrival in Berlin


Arrival in Berlin
Originally uploaded by despod.

Monday, October 30, 2006

Liquid & Gels restrictions

Now the UK and Yankee ban on liquids and gels in hand baggage has been extended to the rest of us....

Are these rules designed to increase sales in airport shops or what ? On my last trip to I carried everything as hand-baggage (on the outward journey)in order to make transfers easier in Paris but now it might mean having to shop on arrival for shaving gel, toothpaste, deodorant etc...

The only winners in this are the airside shops - no more bringing on drinks for the kids now you'll have to pay top-dollar for them airside. No more buying a nice bottle of wine and bringing it with you...

Cork Airport - Airport Security

Sunday, October 29, 2006

Saturday, October 28, 2006

Limerick's solution to parking on the grass.

Why can't Cork City Council do this ?

"Limerick City Council’s Parks Department wishes to advise that the parking of vehicles on green areas is forbidden at all times. (Yellow) Signs to this effect have been erected in the vicinity of Thomond Park and it is the policy of the department to photograph any vehicles so parked with a view to recovering the costs of any remedial work required to repair damage to green areas, and, to issue fixed penalty notices for parking offences."

Munster Rugby / News Articles

Bretagne in Cork - very pristine looking !

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Bretagne on a rare visit to Cork


Bretagne on a rare visit to Cork
Originally uploaded by despod.
DSC_0533.JPG

Bretagne in Cork


Bretagne in Cork
Originally uploaded by despod.

Web Two Point Oh!

Announcing the launch of my new company. The name has come from a fusion of the best in current and future practice whilst having a nod towards the past and those Victorian values as elucidated by Mr Sloan.

I give you :

Delodient

suppliers of tag-based movies via Ajax (By Royal Appointment, Lever Brothers)

Web Two Point Oh!

Thursday, October 26, 2006

Bad news for families on Ryanair

Buried at the bottom of this press release is a note that families will no longer be pre-boarded on Ryanair flights unless they have paid extra. Really good "service enhancement" Michael (ya langer). If they get Aer Lingus we'll all be reduced to travelling cattle class. We're heading to Berlin next week with Aer Lingus and it's nice to know that our seats are pre-allocated . Scrooge says no to family-friendly policy

Tuesday, October 24, 2006

Wine, vin, wein, vino, gargle.

I went to the Bubble Brothers wine event in the Clarion tonight. Ok so I admit that I had scored a free ticket (unusual for me) but who knows I might have gone along anyway.

There were nearly 100 wines available for tasting. You got your own glass on entry (I saw some naughty people taking them home) and the tastings were around a 1/3 of a glass full - not like the thimblefuls you get in Dunnes(or so I am told).

The quality was great - I sampled some wines that I wouldn't usually do - here are some of my notes:

Meyer "Tokay Pinot Gris" was nice and light but I felt their Gewurztraminer had too much hint of lychee for my liking. The wines from Domaine Rimbert were presented ny the man himself and were good value and tasty. I tried a Cascatel Fitou which had a strong nose of port - it was a tad heavy for me. Spain was ably represented by "Bodegas Pingon" and he progressed me through his three wines - the Roble (4 months in casks) was very nice and no tannins, the Crianza had 18 months in casks and was nice whilst the Reserva got a very good from me.

I usually prefer French wines but I took the opportunity to taste the Australians - Mont Langi had a few bottles. I liked their Cliff Edge Shiraz which comes from a few vineyards with youngish vines - quite tasty; their Blue Label Shiraz comes from one vineyard with older grapes and around 800 cases produced this was nice too and quite filling. Little Yerings pinot noir was also a cracker (I quite like Pinot Noir anyway).

I finished with sweeter/dessert wines. The Mas Amiel Maury was sweet and red whilst the Mas Amiel 6 yr old Maury had port overtones and a light colour - both would make nice after dinner wines (or indeed cold evening drinks). Also took the opportunity to have my first taste of Marsala- lovely.

I also met Donal - this was the first time I've met a Cork blogger and it was nice to meet him. He was accompanied by the lovely Celine (I told you I'd be nice) who does a magnificent impression of the voiceover from Arthur's Mailbag (do a google if you've no idea).

Needless to say Julian from the Bubble Brothers was there and I took the opportunity to thank him for the ticket. Have to admit that the BB are not stuffy wine merchants but have a good solid sense of life.

All in all a nice evening and Lord knows if you wanted to you could drink your way into the arms of Bacchus...

Fw: Bubble Brothers Gewurztraminer


Fw: Bubble Brothers Gewurztraminer
Originally uploaded by despod.

Bubble Brothers Big Wine Event

The Bubble Brothers wine event is on at the Clarion tonight. Looking forward to heading in and hope to pick up a nice bottle of Gewurztraminer (after innumerable tastings obviously). Bubble Brothers - Cork wine merchants: Bubble Brothers Big Wine Event

Monday, October 23, 2006

Is the Data Protection Commissioner a useless weakling ?

Damien Mulley got his response to his complaints against spammers Thinkhouse - he was basically told to feck off because the nice people at Thinkhouse had made an honest error and they had held a meeting and had reminded themselves of the need to not get caught , I mean not do it again. Our wussy Data Protection commissioner said right , no probs. Just like when I complained about Tesco - so the professionals are allowed to not adhere to the law and when caught can just apologise. Damien Mulley � Blog Archive � DPC ruling on Mulley V Thinkhouse PR Strange they said the same when I complained about Tesco

ODCA privides guidelines for consumers who wish to change phone service providers.

This cracks me up. The ODCA refuse to deal with individual issues (cf the BT billing debacles) and refer people to Comreg who refuse to deal with people (where possible). Another toothless organisation who claim to be helping the consumer but in fact are only offering a withered figleaf of protection against the rapacious telcos. ODCA Top Ten Page

ODCA prosecutes Dunnes

This is a strange one - I had mean similar compaints about Tesco but the ODCA said that there was nothing wrong with them selling unweighted bags of apples which meant that the price per kilo was unavailable. I wonder was it because the ODCA doesn't have the gonads to take on the really big boys ? ODCA Top Ten Page

Damien Mulley V Thinkhouse PR

Over on mulley.net is an article regarding Damien's complaint about an Irish PR company who he claims spammed him despite being asked not to. What's interesting in his letter to the Data Protection crew is the phrase: "I wish for the Data Protection Commissioner to investigate this and carry out a prosecution if needs be. I am willing to travel to Dublin, I am willing to make a written statement and I am willing to testify in Court if the need arises." What annoys me is that in order for a complaint to be made we the consumer have to include that phrase - I had to do the same when I complained about Smart pestering me by phone. This means that Joe Consumer has to go through hoops in order to stand up for their rights. Joe Consumer shouldn't have to make such a weighty declaration in order to stand up for themselves. Mr Big Spammer can hide behind his corporate shields (and go bankrupt and restart if necessary) but the consumer has to have a worry that the whole thing could go wrong and he'll be exposed to legal costs or whatever. Yet another example of our pathetic Data Protection laws being stacked against the consumer. Have a read of Damien's article anyway Damien Mulley � Blog Archive � Open Letter to Thinkhouse PR - As promised

Sunday, October 22, 2006

FON - the largest wifi community (la fonera)

I set up my 5euro (atucally 17.40 including TNT shipping) FON router jobby this evening. The good points are that itis a nice small discreet unit. It runs a bit warm but not as hot as previous linksys units I had. It is sort of straight-forward to setup but I have issues connecting to the "private" ssid - this is the one that is available to only me (or people I give the WEP/WPA/WPA2 key to [you can setup your choice of encryption]). This seems to be a known bug and hopefully a firmware upgrade may turn up. Its a good idea - to be able to share out a self-chosen portion of bandwidth to other people and to be able to access the web for free from other locations. I look forward to seeing how it works out - I added myself tothe rather sparse Cork map anyway. FON The Irish Rep

As long as its someone elses tree who ca


Park on our grass why dont ya..


Park on our grass why dont ya..
Originally uploaded by despod.

Friday, October 20, 2006

Amsterdam 2 Cork

On the plane home now. Interesting to hear a Dutch announcement with a pure Irish accent.

The method of doing the security check at the gate certainly is different and they were scrutinising passports without a doubt.

After landing from Luxembourg we seemed to be taxiing for ten minutes or so - maybe they should have out the airport closer to the runway.

Flight seems to be quite full which is good news for all those Aer Lingus shareholders ....

Schipol airport


Schipol airport
Originally uploaded by despod.

Thursday, October 19, 2006

Road to victory


Road to victory
Originally uploaded by despod.

Beer

Interesting statistic in Luxemburger Wort - local brewery Bofferding brews 200,000 hectolitres of beer each year whilst Bitburger brews 8,000,000 ! Of course I think that in Luxembourg Battin beer is nicer and this bar is 1euro cheaper per 0,3 glass ... And gives me free nuts.

The Wort is a strange paper - most articles are in German but some are in French and the death notices are in Letzenburgisch !

Hotel de Ville


Hotel de Ville
Originally uploaded by despod.

Lux


Lux
Originally uploaded by despod.

Lux building site


Lux building site
Originally uploaded by despod.

Wednesday, October 18, 2006

Battin beer


Battin beer
Originally uploaded by despod.

Trier

Its quiet in Trier. Unless you are one of the Polizei catching people cycling in the pedestrian zone !

Town is nice, has some nice monuments around the main square. Bit grotty around the station but that's normal.

Currently sitting across from the Dom waiting for a beer. I resisted the lure of the golden arches. It wasn't hard.

Luxembourg

Got an earlier flight from Paris (by the skin of my teeth) so arrived here few hours earlier than planned. Missed the city bus as I didn't realise that the stop had moved and there weren't a whole lot of signs advertising the fact.

Hope to go to Trier later on and make it 4 countries since 11.00

Off to Paris

Just boarded my flight to Paris. Rather appropriately its reg is EI-DES !

The full Irish in Cork airport is now 9.75 and no longer includes coffee :(

Its misty up here but you could see the airport fire service practising putting out a fire across the field.

Tuesday, October 17, 2006

The genesis of the Ipod

An article that describes the roots of the ipod which shortly celebrates its 5th anniversary. Wired News: Straight Dope on the IPod's Birth

Do Taxis follow any rules ?

On Saturday night I was outside Le Chateau for around 45 mins. During this time 5 different taxis broke the lights coming from Academy Street (and 1 along Patrick St.). Straight through the red light and green man without a care in the world. Did I miss the part about the Rules of the Road not applying to them ?

Tuesday, October 10, 2006

AIB - Press Releases

Years ago I had an AIB creditcard which has since been closed. Back in August I got a letter from them telling me that they had falsely debited interest from me and I was due a refund. The refund was 7cents and they wanted a bank account number in which they could pay it. Being an awkward so-and-so I wrote back (using their freepost envelope) and asked them for a cheque. I forgot about it all until I read the article linked below and was amazed that they weren't going to take any disciplinary action. I rang them (freephone) to remind them that they owed me money and got a bit of a runaround. I eventually got some Customer Care bod and explained that I knew they were probably busy doing refunds (after all 60 million is a lot of money to have to give back) but they had promised the money before august. Today I got the cheque. It probably cost 20 times its value to print and mail it but what the heck. A petty victory in the little guys battle against the bank ! AIB - Press Releases

The Jazz Cruise - Brittany Ferries

Once again Brittany Ferries are holding a "jazz cruise" around Cork harbour on the Pont Aven. This year it's on the 21st October (the weekend before the Jazz). Last years trip was enjoyable (couple of bands on board) and gave an opportunity to stockup on wine ! Brittany Ferries can be contacted at 021 4277801 (it's not on their website). Wake on Flickr - Photo Sharing!

Friday, October 06, 2006

Bubble Brothers WIne Event

Strangely enough for me I managed to read this article early enough to actually get a ticket. It looks like an interesting night and an ideal chance to prove that not all the wine I buy is in a box or from "Red Cash" ;) Bubble Brothers - Cork wine merchants: Blogtastic

Thursday, October 05, 2006

Garda cars

Saw a focus hatchback screaming along Dame St a few minutes ago. As soon as it hit College Green off went the lights and siren and back it was as an unmarked car.

I imagine that it wasn't just in a hurry back to base...

Cork Airport

Heading up to Dublin today and I have just gone through security in the new terminal for the first time.

My initial thoughts were that surely they could have the escalators working - its not a great sign when you have to climb up to the second floor !

The terminal itself is fine - Eircom must be top busy disconnecting Smart to connect their own payphones. The place is glossy and clean but a bit soulless .

Pity that there is no public viewing area like the old terminal - this used make the airport very homely and the new bit of a view through the food court is not the same.

Security only had one body scanner working which seemed silly seeing as they had two x-rays on. Still who knows the deeper workings of the Cork Airport Authority.

Seating seems to be a nutg sparse .

Wednesday, October 04, 2006

Apple and their followers

I use a Mac Mini at home and have an Ipod and the very useful Airport Express (airfoil is a must have additional piece of software) but yet I can't read articles such as this engadget one without wondering why does Apple seem to have such a fanboy following who even believe that having a box that is white _inside_ is copying something that "His Jobsness" first discovered. Zune unboxed on camera - Engadget

Flickr & Moo Cards

I received my free Moo Mini-Cards this morning. They are small - a bit wider than a stick of chewing gum but the quality is excellent and they do look nice (probably the excellent choice of photos..) I see from their site that the free offer is over but they are worth a look at. MOO | Share your contact info and your flickr photos

Sunday, October 01, 2006

Mahon Point and Ignorant drivers and - of course - Tesco.

For my sins we went to Mahon Point this afternoon. Drove up from the South Ring and went into the correct lane as usual. Needlezss to say this being a busy Sunday a number of people decided that they would not be bothered joining the queue but instead would try and force their way in. This being Ireland there were enough morons around to willingly allow these ignorami in front of them.

So Mr. Liam Power Electrical van driver - thanks for skipping the queue. So Mr. 06 C Silver Skoda Octavia driven by a grey haired geezer thanks for skipping the queue and indeed holding up traffic as well. And a quick hello to the LS regged corolla hatchback.

On the way out we nipped into Tesco to get milk. It being Sunday this dreariest hole of a Tesco didn't have any Tesco milk and indeed sweet all of other brands. The shelves were generally barren and reminiscent of shops in Communist countries. Why can this supposedly successful company not succeed in having fully stocked shelves ? Why are managers never around (in comparison to Dunnes) ?