Friday, December 23, 2005
I finally got my hands on an X-Box 360 yesterday. They can't be got for love nor money and I had spent the last week pestering the workers in Game, Gamespot and Smyths in Limerick, asking them had they any available.
I was in Cork yesterday and was delighted to see a sign in Game saying "Back In Stock". When I went i to check though they had apology signs on the boxes explaining the unavailability of the console.
I went up to the desk to complain about the misleading sign outside. However I asked about the availability first and they happened to have two. So, I got one and the person in front of me got the other. I bought Kameo, PGR3 and Call of Duty 2.
Got to try it out last night and the games look great initially. Looking forward to getting stuck into it properly in the new year.
I've signed up for X-Box Live and my profile name is BobTheCorkDwarf.
Monday, December 19, 2005
This scene came up in a discussion at work today:
"There’s an election day scene that amuses hugely even as it demonstrates Sorkin’s fearless faculty for combining controversial ideas, dramatic situations and circular-saw-like wit. The scene, a real showstopper, finds the president stopping in on a White House gathering of radio talk personalities. As Bartlet struggles though a speech extolling the gabbers’ contributions to the airwaves, Bartlet is distracted by the sight of a Dr. Laura-like radio psychologist seated nearby."
BARTLET: It’s a good idea to be reminded of the awesome impact, the awesome impact… I’m sorry. You’re Dr. Jenna Jacobs, right?
JACOBS (obviously pleased to be recognized): Yes, sir!
BARTLET: It’s good to have you here.
JACOBS: Thank you!
BARTLET: … the awesome impact of the airwaves, and how that translates into the furthering of our national discussions, but obviously also how it can … how it can … Forgive me, Dr. Jacobs. Are you an M.D.?
JACOBS: A Ph.D.
BARTLET: A Ph.D.
JACOBS: Yes, sir.
BARTLET: In psychology?
JACOBS: No, sir.
BARTLET: Social work?
JACOBS: I have a Ph.D. in English Literature.
BARTLET: I’m asking ‘cause on your show people call in for advice – and you go by the name Dr. Jacobs on your show – and I didn’t know if maybe your listeners were confused by that and assumed you had advanced training in psychology, theology or health care.
JACOBS: I don’t believe they are confused, no, sir.
BARTLET: I like your show. I like how you call homosexuality an “abomination!”
JACOBS: I don’t say homosexuality is an abomination, Mr. President. The Bible does.
BARTLET: Yes it does. Leviticus!
BARTLET: Chapter and verse. I wanted to ask you a couple of questions while I had you here. I wanted to sell my youngest daughter into slavery, as sanctioned in Exodus 21:7. She’s a Georgetown Sophomore, speaks fluent Italian, always cleared the table when it was her turn. What would a good price for her be?
(Bartlet only waits a second for a response, then plunges on.)
BARTLET: While thinking about that, can I ask another? My chief of staff, Leo McGary, insists on working on the Sabbath. Exodus 35:2 clearly says he should be put to death. Am I morally obligated to kill him myself? Or is it okay to call the police?
(Bartlet barely pauses to take a breath.)
BARTLET: Here’s one that’s really important, because we’ve got a lot of sports fans in this town. Touching the skin of a dead pig makes one unclean. Leviticus 11:7. If they promise to wear gloves, can the Washington Redskins still play football? Can Notre Dame? Can West Point? Does the whole town really have to be together to stone my brother John for planting different crops side by side? Can I burn my mother in a small family gathering for wearing garments made from two different threads? Think about those questions, would you?
(The camera pushes in on the president.)
One last thing. While you may be mistaking this for your monthly meeting of the Ignorant Tight-Ass Club, in this building when the president stands, nobody sits.
(Jacobs sees that, in fact, the president is standing and she is the only one in the room sitting. After a moment, she rises, holding her tiny plate of appetizers. After the president exits, Sam Seaborn sternly approaches a thoroughly belittled Jacobs.)
SAM: I’m just … going to take that crab puff.
(Sam snatches Dr. Jacob’s crab puff, then hurries after the president.)
Discussions can be found at:
The scene was based on an open letter which can be seen at:
Saturday, December 17, 2005
John Spencer who plays Leo McGarry on the West Wing has died.
He's always been one of the better parts of the show.
May he rest in Peace.
As reported by digital spy:
West Wing star John Spencer has died of a heart attack at the age of 58, it has been confirmed.
In a sad twist of irony, Spencer's on-screen character, Leo McGarry, suffered a heart attack during the show's sixth season, resulting in the character giving up his job as chief of staff to Martin Sheen's President Jeb Bartlet. However, McGarry recovered and the character became a candidate for vice president of the United States in the season currently airing on NBC in America.
Prior to his work on The West Wing, Spencer played the role of Tommy Mullaney on L.A. Law. Spencer would have been 59 next week.
Thursday, December 15, 2005
Roy Keane has finally signed for Celtic. This is the club that he always said was the only one that he would leave United for. He said in 2000 that Celtic was the club that he wanted to finish his career at. It now looks that this will be likely as he has signed an 18 month contract which will keep him at the club until at least June 2007.
There has been a lot of speculation over recent weeks over which club United would join. Celtic was always the most likely but for a time it appeared that they would not be able to afford Roy's wages. He will become the highest paid player in Celtic history and apparently part of his £40,000 weekly wages are going to be paid directly by Dermot Desmond, however this was denied by the club.
I know it's easy to say this, now that he's signed, but I didn't really see him signing for any other team. I feel that Keane would certainly not have been happy in another Premiership Club as he would have seen it as a step downwards from United. There also seemed to be some interest from Spanish and Italian teams, however Keane like other players would probably have had a lot of trouble settling in there. According to reports Keane will not be moving to Glasgow and will continue to live in his home near Manchester. Roy said that he will be looking for a house in Glasgow, whether this will be a full-time home or somewhere to kip mid-week is to be seen.
It is hoped that he will make his debut at the start of January.
Of course Celtic isn't an Irish club, but it is probably the most Irish of the British clubs.
Wednesday, November 23, 2005
You know you're a nurse if....
· You would like to meet the inventor of the call light in a dark alley one night.
· You believe not all patients are annoying…some are unconscious.
· Your sense of humour seems to get more warped each year.
· You know the phone numbers of every late night food delivery place in town by heart.
· You can only tell time with a 24 hour clock.
· Almost everything can seem humorous... eventually.
· When asked, "What colour is the patient's diarrhea?" You show them your shoes.
· Every time you walk, you make a rattling noise because of all the scissors and clamps in your pockets.
· You can tell the pharmacist more about the medicines he is dispensing than he can.
· You carry spare meds in your pocket rather than wait for pharmacy to deliver.
· You refuse to watch ER because it's too much like the real thing and triggers flashbacks.
· You check the caller ID when the phone rings on your day off to see if someone from work is trying to call to ask you to work.
· You've been telling stories in a restaurant and had someone at another table throw up.
· You notice that you use more four-letter words now than before you became a nurse.
· Every time someone asks you for a pen, you can find at least three on you.
· You can intubate your friends at parties.
· You don't get excited about blood loss... unless it's your own.
· You live by the motto, "To be right is only half the battle, to convince the physician is more difficult."
· Eating microwave popcorn out of a clean bedpan is perfectly natural.
· When checking the level of orientation of a patient... you aren't sure of the answer.
· You find yourself checking out other customer's arm veins in grocery waiting lines.
· You can sleep soundly at the hospital cafeteria table during dinner, break, and sitting up and not be embarrassed when you wake up.
· You avoid unhealthy looking shoppers in the mall for fear that they'll drop near you and you'll have to do CPR on your day off.
And for a list specific to "ER" nurses look at:
Saturday, November 19, 2005
Congratulation to the Cork City lads. They beat Derry City 2-0 in the deciding match of the Eircom League, at Turner's Cross last night.
This is the second time that City have won the league, but they hadn't won it since 1993.
The teams were:
Cork City: Devine; Horgan, Bennett, Murray, Murphy; O’Donovan, Gamble, O’Callaghan, Kearney; Fenn, O’Flynn. Behan for Fenn 10; O’Brien for O’Donovan 84; Coughlan for O’Flynn 85.
Derry City: Forde; McCallion, Hutton, Delaney, Hargan; Deery, Martyn, McGlynn, Brennan; Beckett, Farren. Subs: McCourt for Hargan 60; Murphy for Deery 67; O’Flynn for Martin 84.
City play in the FAI Cup final on 4th December in Lansdowne Road and will play in the Cahmpions' League next year.
Photos from the night are at:
And I have set up a Cork City Flickr group at:
Friday, November 18, 2005
Roy Keane made a shock exit from Old Trafford today after 12-and-a-half years service with the club.
The club's official statement:
Manchester United has today reached agreement with Roy Keane for Roy to leave the Club with immediate effect.
The agreement allows Roy to sign a long term deal with another club to enable him to secure his playing career beyond what would have been the end of his contract at United in the summer.
The Club has offered Roy a testimonial in recognition of his 12 ½ years at Old Trafford.
The Club thanks Roy for his major contribution to the Club during his years of service.
However, RTÉ are reporting things slightly differently:
RTÉ sports editor Tony O'Donoghue claimed that the decision was far from mutual, and that Keane was forced out in what ammounted to a sacking.
According to O'Donoghue, Keane turned up for a Manchester United reserve game last night only to be told that his services were not needed. When he enquired further he was told to take up the issue with Alex Ferguson, and following talks today, his exit was announced. (http://www.rte.ie/sport/2005/1118/keaneroy.html)
RTÉ have a nice summary of his career at:
I think the East Terrace website summarised it well:
Risk of global spread of rugby union successfully prevented
The leading rugby unions of the world have successfully staved off a dramatic attempt to spread rugby union around the globe by stopping Japan from hosting the 2011 World Cup.
In a tense stand off at the International Rugby Board headquarters in Dublin, the founding members of the IRB managed to repel the Japanese delegation that were striving to claim the chance to host rugby’s most prestigious event.
The rugby world had been rocked over the past few months as Japan, a country not renowned for its rugby, threatened to host the 2011 World Cup and risk spreading the rugby union gospel to the Asian world. There were even rumours that the Japanese insurgents had managed to recruit support for the Japanese coup from various famous ex-players from the major unions and a sizeable group of rugby supporters throughout the planet.
However, the IRB councillors managed to hold firm and successfully handed over the legal rights to the New Zealand rugby union. The Kiwi delegation then escaped the premises moments after by helicopter.
And for those who are interested, tickets are currently available for the 2007 World Cup in France at http://www.france2007.fr/ticketing.php
Thursday, November 17, 2005
This man is badly in need of some Media Relations Officers.
From the Irish Independent (http://wwww.ireland.com):
Minister for Defence Willie O'Dea holds an automatic pistol during an exercise at the Curragh Camp, Co Kildare.
Tuesday, November 15, 2005
RTÉ have started podcasting. RTÉ (Radio Telefís Éireann) is Ireland's Public Service Broadcaster.
The show Quantum Leap is broadcast on Thursday evenings on RTÉ Radio 1 and it is now available as a podcast. (http://www.rte.ie/radio1/podcast/podcast_quantumleap.xml)
From the website (http://www.rte.ie/radio1/quantum/) :
"This new series looks at the latest work done by Irish scientists and reports on science stories from around the world. Over the course of the next three months, listeners will get an understanding of the science that underpins our lives, as well as an insight into what Irish scientists (at home and abroad) are working on. The series will be travelling throughout Ireland to report on scientific work, as well as recommending places to visit, events to attend and interesting new books, films and plays that have a scientific link."
Tuesday, September 13, 2005
Three weeks in NZ gives you a good deal of time for sightseeing. If you're hiring a car I'd hire it for the three weeks, get a company that is based in Christchurch and Auckland and you can leave it Auckland when you're leaving.
Christchurch is only worth a couple of days really. There is much more to see in the rest of the country and you need to save time for later. It is worth a wander around the town though. You can get a walking tour pamphlet at the tourist office in the main square which will take you around the main sites.
From Christchurch I would head south to Dunedin. The Moreaki boulders are on the way and are worth a look, to break up the trip. Dunedin is the main city at the bottom of the Island. Another walking tour is available here, from the town centre tourist office. This is another self guided tour which takes a few hours and will give you a good taste of the city. It is also worth getting out to the Otago peninsula, where you can see New Zealand's only castle and go penguin watching. Dunedin like Christchurch is probably only worth a couple of nights.
From Dunedin your next site to visit should be Milford Sound. I'd go here via Invercargill, which isn't very interesting, but the drive there along the Caitlin's is nice. The drive takes you near to Slope point, the Southern most point of the South Island and it also shows you what the unpaved roads are like in New Zealand and why the W.R.C. drivers rate NZ as one of the top spots for rallying. The road is rough but wide and very safe. You can stay in Te Anau and then head to Milford Sound the next day. (There are bus trips from here with a cruise included and this is probably the best way to see Milford Sound).
Next stop is Queenstown. Haven't been there during the summer, but in the Winter it is very busy, with some great skiing. It should be a bit quieter in the summer. If you're up for it you should do the "Thrillogy" bungee jumps (http://www.ajhackett.com) . They are fantastic. The 4x4 tours are interesting as well and you should also do the Shotover river jet boat (http://www.shotoverjet.co.nz) . One activity that wasn't really available in the winter there is white water rafting. Again worth it if you're up for it. Also definitely worth taking the gondola ride to the top of the hill and look at the lake and while your up there I would pay for five runs on the Luge.
You could spend a few days in Queenstown, allowing you to relax a bit after the driving so far. From Queenstown I would head for Franz-Josef Glacier. This is the better of the glaciers. When I went, we weren't able to get the heli-hike tour due to terrible weather, but it should be more reliable in the summer. This needs to be booked a few days in advance. If you can't get a helicopter to take you onto the glacier then a hike up the front of it is worth doing as well. On the way to the glacier you could stop in Wanaka, at The Puzzling World of Stuart Landsborough (http://www.puzzlingworld.co.nz) . This is an interesting stop with a museum style set-up dedicated to puzzles and optical illusions. If you have a bit of time it's also worth trying out the 3D maze there. I managed to do it in less than thirty minutes and then had to lead my parents to safety.
After hiking on the glacier I would start heading towards the North Island. The Tranz Alpine is a great train journey, between Greymouth and Christchurch, but it might be better to hold onto the car and cross the mountains that way. North of Greymouth is Abel Tasman Park, which is also supposed to be nice, but given the time constraints it will probably need to be missed.
When you get back on the east coast I'd start heading north again, maybe stopping on the way in Kaikoura to do some whale watching (http://www.whalewatch.co.nz/) , before getting on the ferry for Wellington. You can take your car if you want (http://www.interislander.co.nz) .
You can also do the first part of this trip in the opposite direction from Christchurch if you want. Start with the glaciers and do Dunedin last.
Wellington, as the capital of New Zealand, is worth a few days. The Botanic Gardens is nice and you can take a tour of the Parliament building, if you are there early. You can also sit in on a session. The National museum, Te Papa, is also definitely worth a visit. It's massive and worth getting a guide book which will give you a route to the highlights (http://www.tepapa.govt.nz).
Now it's time to see the North Island. From Wellington I would head for Napier, which is famous for it's Art Deco architecture. Another self-guided walking tour is available here and will give you insight into the rebuild of the city post a large earthquake. From Napier you can then head to Rotorua, via Lake Taupo. Skydiving is available at Lake Taupo and on a clear day it is a great view. The diving is done in tandem and is great fun (http://www.skydivetaupo.co.nz) .
Rotorua is based in a region of volcanic activity and here you'll see bubbling mud pools and geysers. There is also a pervasive smell of sulphur which takes a bit of getting used to. Other things to do here are the Farm Show and Rainbow Springs trout farm, which are worth a visit (http://www.rainbowsprings.co.nz/home.asp) . You can see a kiwi here, a bit artificial as it's in captivity, but they're very hard to see in the wild. If you didn't do the luge in Queenstown then there is another opportunity to go up the gondola to look at another lake and do some lugeing.
From Rotorua I would start heading towards Auckland, taking in the Waitomo Glow Worm caves on the way (http://www.waitomocaves.co.nz/home) . Plenty to do in Auckland, but if you have time left I would head North first towards the Bay of Islands. I would stay in Paihia. Keri Keri is a small town nearby accessible by ferry and it is one of the oldest towns in New Zealand. It's worth spending a few nights here to do the Cream Trip cruise around the islands (http://www.fullers-bay-of-islands.co.nz) , as well as a day trip to the North Cape along Ninety Mile beach (By bus, or if you're still flush with cash by plane, or if you have a couple of thousand burning a hole in your pocket by helicopter). You also need to visit Waitangi Treaty Grounds, where the treaty was signed and New Zealand was born. You'll be able to learn loads about the treaty and the difficulties surrounding it in Te Papa, Wellington.
Then it's back to Auckland. There's loads to do in Auckland. Kelly Tarlton's Antarctic Experience and Underwater World is a top attraction (http://www.kellytarltons.co.nz/home) . Also recommended are the ferry trip to Devonport and the Wild West Coast beaches, especially Piha. Then time to dump the car and leave the country.