Sunday, December 20, 2009

Is this the right attitude ?

From : ". In my books the lad is not innocent. He has not been found innocent by a jury of his peers. They failed to make a decision in this case. (O and Innocent until proven guilty me arse.......he shouldnt be allowed to walk free)" Written by a serving member of An Garda Siochana.

Monday, December 07, 2009

Shame on you Boardwalk.

Yesterday morning I was walking past the Boardwalk (owned/ fronted by that great Cork mouthpiece Neill Blenderville) and I was dismayed and disgusted to see the large number of cigarette butts outside.

I don't know whether this litter is a damning indictment of the clientele or the management but surely Mr Blenderville could take some time off from his beal bocht bleatings and do something constructive.

Go fetch a brush and dustpan Neill.

Saturday, October 31, 2009

Apple - I'm disappointed.

Last night I was downloading podcasts on my iPod Touch.

The downloads all stalled with the error "download error - tap to retry".

Tapping didn't work, tipping didn't work, under-breath mumbling didn't work.

After googling for the error and seeing much disinformation I discovered that this error is often a code for "there's no space on your iPod to download this podcast".

Yes, dear readers , my iPod was full so after deleting some rubbish all went swimmingly.

I'm a bit browned-off that Mr Jobs and Co. couldn't just put up an error message along the lines of "device full" instead of a stupid message which can cover a multitude of ills and woes.

Thursday, September 10, 2009

France and the recession.

Whilst on our holidays I used purchase Ouest-France every morning and read it whilst having my pain, cafe , jus, fromage et jambon. The Ouest-France is a Brittany-centric paper much like the Examiner (but with better proof-reading, less hysteria and no JBM).

One of its themes deals with the lower numbers of tourists around, reduced spending, the failure of restaurants to pass on the VAT reduction (sounds familiar ??) etc.

I read an article about tourism in Saint Malo and one hotelier was interviewed and he bemoaned the reduction in turnover, the reduction in footfall and the poor weather.

That hotel was "Hotel France Chateaubriand". It's a nice hotel, just inside Porte St Vincent and in front of the town hall. Quite old fashioned (in the best sense) and lunch is silver service (they did lovely grilled sardines). We've eaten there a few times over the years.

This year when in St Malo we were looking for a restaurant. It was 2.20 and as we walked along we passed many which were thriving and full of happy customers. We wandered up to the Hotel France and asked about lunch. They grudgingly agreed to serve but only from the "a la carte". Lunch was pedestrian, service was frazzled (even though there were few customers) , the staff seemed to be arguing amongst themselves, the toilets were midge-ridden and all told the experience was not as good as previous years. Whats worse the lovely outdoor area was in the process of being festooned with Coke banners....

So what's the lesson here ?

To me it seems that not all the reduction in turnover is necessarily due to a recession. Maybe as in the case of the Hotel France businesses need to examine their offerings and see if they are in some way falling short.

We won't be back to the Hotel France next year - we'll try out one of the other restaurants.

Thursday, July 09, 2009

Buoy on Granuaile in Cork

Buoy on Granuaile in Cork
Originally uploaded by despod
The Granuaile is an Irish Lights vessel which maintains buoys, light markers etc.

Thursday, June 11, 2009

Dunnes Supplier to Customer - it's tough ? Well that's tough.

I received a response yesterday to an email I had sent Dunnes about their Apple & Cinnamon sausages which turned out to be very tough and, as far as some members of the family were concerned , inedible. Their supplier - Arthur Mallon Foods - sent me the following : "As it is a natural product there may be some variation on the degrees of toughness of the casings. Some casings may appear slightly more chewy than others, however in our experience the variation in toughness is usually not that obvious, however you have now shown this to be untrue." This to me reads as follows - the sausage was outside our usual standards and quality. Goodbye. Thanks Dunnes and thanks Arthur Mallon Foods for such fine outstanding customer service. Oh, just one more thing - the complaint was made on 28 October 2008.

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Yet the large English multiples get away scot-free..

Been to Tesco recently ? I'm sure you've seen plenty of items that didn't have any price.. Been to PC World recently ? I'm sure you've seen a few items with prices. Complained to the NCA about this recently ? I'm sure that you received this reply about how they like to work to persuade retailers etc etc. Are you however a small shop ? If so then you're a wide open target for the NCA as their most recent press release shows.

Sunday, May 31, 2009

All my Ducks in a row.

All my Ducks in a row.
Originally uploaded by despod

Fair dues lads, just two rowing from Crosshaven.


How tired would you be after paddling all the way from Crosshaven ?


The leaders of the Ocean to City race 2009


Cork Showgrounds - soon to be no more.


RIB in Cork Harbour

RIB in Cork Harbour
Originally uploaded by despod

Rowing in Cork

Rowing in Cork
Originally uploaded by despod

Cork Pilots and Haulbowline

Cork Pilots and Haulbowline
Originally uploaded by despod

New Bridge near Cork.

New Bridge near Cork.
Originally uploaded by despod

Bird in Ringaskiddy

Bird in Ringaskiddy
Originally uploaded by despod

"Seven Seas Voyager" in Cobh, seen from Ringaskiddy.


Cork Pilots

Cork Pilots
Originally uploaded by despod

Friday, May 29, 2009

BT Ireland - incompetent overcharging muppets

I started the move from BT in March and by mid-April my voice and data had completed the move. My BT bill was paid up to 23 May 2009. Lo and behold I received another BT bill for rental up to 23 July. I rang BT and they had no idea in the world that I had moved. I informed them that I had logged a query in mid-April to confirm that all was cancelled and they said there wasn't sight nor sound of it. Luckily I had the reference to give to them to help refresh their memory. So the Customer Care guy (who was pleasant and efficient btw) said that they'd have to log a fault but - and here's the killer - he was going on his fortnights holidays and the fault report would go direct to him ! Meanwhile BT would of course have the money. At this stage I decided to log it as a complaint so was pass through to another efficient-sounding guy (who gave me his name and DDI) and a ticket it being raised. I had problems years ago when I moved to BT and am now having problems leaving them. The main theme of all these problems is that I'm out of pocket whilst BT by their monumental corporate incompetence seem to be in pocket. Seems the old BT thievery goes on and on....

Thursday, May 14, 2009

Nokia Music Store - what a pile of crap.

I bought a Nokia 5800 Xpress Music and it came with a voucher for 25 downloads. I've been dowloading these over the past couple of months. I recently had to do a restore of my phone and the songs have now lost their licences and it'll cost a euro a pop to renew them. The PC version of the app can't retrieve the licences either... What a dose of rubbish.