Thursday, September 14, 2006

Gone

I'm off for two weeks from the end of today. I doubt I'll post much.

My 'proper' holiday plans fell through but I'm making my way up Ireland's west coast next week ending with my good friend Dermot's stag in Donegal, then going to Germany for a week for Oktoberfest.

Anyway in the meantime, let me introduce you to a couple of my new favourite websites:

NationMaster - Every stat you could hope to need to win an argument or at least bore people daft.

American Creationists - Forever walking the knife-edge between sniggering and despairing at the stupidity of mankind, I get to laugh at loud at this bunch.

I had an argument with a girl last night after a comedy gig in Clonakilty. She was annoyed that Colin Murphy had taken the piss out of Reiki (i.e. massage without actually being touched). She told me that she figured we were arguing because our respective star signs are known to clash. I replied "That must be it so, I'm a Gemini and you're... an idiot?" The conversation didn't progress much further. I have a way with the lay-dees!...

Apropos of nothing; I had been looking forward to a particular match for a number of months. I was fairly sure I wasn't fit for the standard required but I figured that if I really put in the work, showed a bit of patience and impressed enough in training that I might get a shot at the real thing. Basically I have been Roy Keane's mantra "Fail to prepare, prepare to fail" personified. Anyway yesterday the day finally came to step up to the mark and... I crashed and burned in the first round, getting red carded before I even had a chance to get into my stride. I is depressed...

In the meantime onwards and upwards for The Town, The 'Pool and my favourite team since I was knee-high to a grasshopper, Sundireland. C'MON THE MACKEMS! I'm buying my Champions' League 2009 tickets and accomodation this week...

Wednesday, September 13, 2006

Beautiful Day

As soon as I saw the teamsheets for 'pool's Champions League match in Eindhoven last night, at about 7:30, I rang Paddy Power and stuck 20 quid on a 0-0 draw at 13/2. That's €130 for me, thank you very much. That midfield was neither going to give up many chances or create many. Still a good game though.

Meanwhile, at the other end of the football spectrum, Dundalk are still top of Division 1 after a good win in Stab City. Thirteen unbeaten now! Technically, however, Dundalk may not get promotion even if they win the Division. I'll save the rant for a darker November day...

By the way, the other thing bugging the crap out of me is spam stock-market emails. They're a new thing, right? Anyway they're getting through the spam filters at the moment and they're clever yet sinister. Persuade any amount of people to buy some obscure (usually American) stock and it will rise enough for the spammers to cash in. The companies probably don't even exist or are basket cases. Gits.

Tuesday, September 12, 2006

Numb

Things bugging me right now...

Someone was using my office chair and it's all warm. And it's a different kind of warm - a warm that tells me that it wasn't my ass in the chair. And I'm squirming.

Why is the nicest cup of tea always the one you're in a hurry to finish?

I had to give the infamous Lenny a lift to work this morning. But he, being a lazy git, didn't show for his lift 'til 8:30. I'm normally at my desk by 7:30 but I got caught in the school runs and feel like I'm way behind in my day's work already.

Speaking of school runs, wtf is the story there? Traffic is horrendous! I let one guy out from his house this morning and he drove less than a quarter of a mile to his kid's school! Walk you lazy bastard!!

Back to Lenny. We work on the same project but he, being a lazy git, spends more time dossing, talking inane rubbish or thinking of ways to advance his career than anyone else I know. As a result, despite the fact we've been on the same project for the same length of time, I'm fielding non-stop phone calls from the guy about the most basic aspects of the application we're working on and I genuinely mean basic. Clown.

Speaking of clowns, Eamon Dunphy is a fecker. 'Muppet' was my favourite term of abuse pre-Saipan 2002 until it was robbed by Royston Keane and his legion of half-wit Leeside supporters. Therefore I made the strategic move to using 'clown' and what happens? That bitter, twisted, wizened old git has appropriated 'clown' on me. Damn...

What's the story with former rugger-hugger Glenda Gilson and those ridiculous eyebrows?

Just found out the Spinto Band are doing a Dublin gig. On a Tuesday. I have to move.

Liverpool are going to fuck up tonight. I can feel it.

Monday, September 11, 2006

Hate And War

I suppose on the day that's in it you would do well to ignore the events of five years ago. I hope that none of the following statistics read as uncaring or callous or anything else negative, because they're genuinely not supposed to (and I'm trying my best to be careful). I wouldn't even dare pretend to comprehend what it must be like to be a real victim of what happened that day.

All I'm trying to do is to put into perspective the climate of fear that has been engendered on the backs of the 9/11 victims' murders. This climate of fear is, in my humble opinion, out of all proportion to the realities of life in the West (even now, despite the attacks in Madrid and London and the uncovered plots). I believe we are still 'safe' and that peoples' fears are being stoked up and abused on a daily basis.

That's not to say that the threat is not real - it clearly is - but is simply to say that the chances of being a victim of terrorism are so much lower than what's perceived. Therefore you have to question the motives of those who play up the threat rather than simply admitting that, while the determined terrorists cannot be thwarted indefinitely (the old "you have to get lucky everytime, we only have to get lucky once" line), the number of perpetrators and victims will always be statistically miniscule.

It's estimated that there were at least 16,400 people in the towers when the planes hit and that approx. 2,000 WTC employees perished, so that's a 1 in 8+ chance of being killed if you were in the building that morning. Even that statistic is misleading as nearly nobody survived above the impact zones, whereas the majority below the impact zones survived. Therefore, despite the spectacular nature of the atrocity, the fact remains that the chances of being killed in New York on that day fade to zero within yards of the attacks. As for the potential to be a victim in upstate New York, for example, or the Mid-West...

Similarly, current figures (and it's reasonable to assume figures in 2001 were in the same ballpark) show that US airlines make 11 million flights per year (domestic and international) with approx 700 million passengers. The chances of being on a plane that is hijacked or destroyed by terrorists are lower than the chances of winning a lottery. The poor unfortunates who were on the planes that day fell victim to random, unlikely, dumb, bad luck as well as terrorist atrocity.

What gives terrorism its 'terror' is the fear of what might happen to you instead of what has already happened to others. As emotional beings we are unable to rationally and objectively judge risk. For the vast majority of us our own bad health, lifestyle choices or stupidity are going to do us in, not Islamic fundamentalists. Yet the focus remains on the latter, understandably, but somewhat absurdly.

RIP

After the the drowning tragedy in West Cork eight days ago, the body of Jonathan Herlihy has finally been found. This is one of those numbing stories that makes you aware of your own mortality far more than terrorism or crime, for example, or even car accidents or accidents at work (because it never occurs to anyone that they could be the next statistic).

But this was different. *Anyone* could be going for a walk on a beach in summertime and see someone in trouble and anyone could be faced with the decision to risk their own lives to help others. That's different to being the victim of a murder or a car accident - you would do everything you could to avoid those situations if you knew they were about to happen.

It's easy to forget the power of the ocean when you're swimming, or whatever. I know those beaches well and, on a nice day, they are very inviting. An email went around on Friday with bank details for a fund to keep the search going as the authorities were going to wind it down. Thankfully the body was found. There, but for the grace of God (or random chance), go I. RIP.

Thursday, September 07, 2006

Mothers Of The Disappeared

Normally I wouldn't give a toss but a) Scientology, Kaballah and all the other rubbish subscribed to by your average American celebrity quarter-wit hack me off; b) Cruise is a twat and c) Katie is kinda cute (dumb, but cute) and is wasting her time with that lunatic, so I'm mildly interested to hear that the child-that-does-not-actually-exist, aka Suri Cruise, may in fact exist after all...


*That is one seriously ugly, and quite a bit scary looking, child*

Well I'm not buying it. Katie bangs on about "the stuff they say about Suri" in an interview. Well, yes, that's because she doesn't exist, obviously. Now go give that kid back to its real mother - you know, the lizard queen.

Wednesday, September 06, 2006

Should I Stay Or Should I Go?

Fucking shit wank bastard... Aaaaaaaaarrrrrgggggggghhhhhhh...

So, after missing an apparently excellent Electric Picnic, I discover that Tapes 'n' Tapes, one of my favourite bands of the year, have announced a date in Dublin - 9th November. A fucking Thursday. A fucking Thursday one week AFTER I'm taking two days off for other gigs. I am far from amused right now.

Monday, September 04, 2006

You'll Never Walk Alone

Hard to know what to make of Saturday's game:

Plusses
Shay Given is a truly world-class 'keeper.
Back four, including fatty Carr were excellent.
Kevin Doyle could become a great front man.
Hard work and no slacking from start to finish

Minuses
Damian Duff's form.
Total lack of a midfield.
Lack of options to change a game.
Kevin Kilbane continuing to get his game.

Still, it was nothing like the Dutch friendly, thank God. Stuttgart 1988 was the start of something for Ireland as a nation, never mind Ireland as a football team. Perhaps Stuttgart 2006 has sprung the shoots of renewal from the withering of the last few years and the ashes of the Dutch game in particular...?

In the meantime I've been listening to The Immediate for the last week or so. Best Irish album since Achtung Baby I'm beginning to think.
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