Monday, June 30, 2008

Regurgitation Recollection

Given that it’s been a slow month for a blog that primarily serves to chronicle the odd happenings in my life, and my montly target of five posts was looming, it seemed like a safe enough bet that my brother’s stag party in Poland would be a safe bet for blogging fodder.

The flight to Krakow was scheduled at the rather painful time of 7.30am, and we showed up at Dublin Airport at around 5.45am – other than a curiously relaxed security screening that failed to find the 150ml canister of deodorant (a banned substance for the past year or so) that one of our group had in his carry-on luggage, there was nothing unusual about the beginning of the journey.

I was looking forward to taking a nap on the plane, as I had only slept for 2 hours the night before, but despite being absolutely knackered, I couldn’t slip into a gentle slumber. All of a sudden, my eyes opened, my mind snapped into to full alertness, but my energy levels utterly vanished. I mumbled something to my brother, who was seated to my right, about not feeling good and then frantically began searching for a sick bag. Upon finding one, I immediately retched into it, much to the delight of the gentleman seated to my left, and very much within the splash zone, should things get messy. It took immense effort to keep the bag held up to my mouth, as all my strength had immediately dissipated.

Despite making a fuss, nothing actually materialized in the sick bag. My brother put his hand up to my remarkably sweaty forehead and pronounced that I was “stone cold”. Within a few moments, my energy came back and I wandered up to the bathroom, in case another wave struck, clutching my sick-bag should the queue prove too taxing. After a minute or two of sitting in the tiny toilet, with nothing happening, and the cold-sweat gone, I began to feel a little silly – not to mention ignorant towards my fellow passengers. I sat back down and fell asleep.

I awoke shortly after in a cold sweat, again lacking in energy drained. The sick-bag was still clutched in my hand, which was fortunate, as I had it quarter-filled in a few seconds. During – and before – the episode, I wanted to get up and make my way to the toilet, but my legs were a dead weight. Within a minute or so of the purge I managed to drunkenly stumble towards the front of the plane and sheepishly ask the stewardess where I should dispose of my breakfast. She responded with a surprising amount of sympathy, and told me to use the bin in the toilet – where I took up residence for a few more moments. Once again I dawdled for a few moments, but left after nothing happened.

After stepping out of the tiny room, I was greeted by another stewardess, who lathered me up with sympathy before asking if I was “sick from last night, or food poisoning”. She offered me some Motillium and told me to sit in the much-coveted exit row while she dug out the stomach-settling pill. She sat opposite me and ran through the symptoms – “clamminess, nausea, vomiting” (yup, yup, yup), then gave me the pill and a glass of water that she repeatedly told me to “sip slowly” with exaggerated gestures in a kindly manner.

I held out another two hours or so until we got to the hotel, then sunk into my comfortable routine of sleeping, waking up in a cold sweat, then regurgitating as I swore at the porcelain. In between bouts I imagined a contraption for people in similar quandaries, who have to use both “ends” at once, and don’t want to have to “hotswap” whilst on the toilet. Prototyping begins this Autumn. You heard it here first.

Moral of this story? Aer Lingus stewardesses: keep up the good work! Soho Coffee in Dublin Airport: go fuck yourself.

€9.45 for food poisoning? Bargain!

Sully's Blog: Inedible Truck Edition

Every now and again, when I'm in the States, I'll witness something that I generally wouldn't expect to see back home. Here are a few examples that I managed to get on camera (click for larger view).

I generally don't expect to see my fat head from the side - not least when I'm driving a car with a steering wheel on the opposite side to what I'm used to

Thursday, June 26, 2008

Scraping the blogging-barrel

Shame on you, Electronic Arts/MTV Games for: screwing European gamers over. Whereas the yanks got it in November, the music-rhythm game Rock Band didn’t release in Europe until six months later, and cost more than double what those privileged States-dwellers paid. Regardless, I shelled out for the game and a drum-peripheral, but when I set it up I noticed something upsetting about the drumsticks:

They clearly say “ROOK BAND”! I’ve played the game in the States, (which convinced me to buy it), and whereas the drumsticks feature a similar design, the C in “Rock” is clearly rendered (proof is but a click away). It’s more likely that the print on the European sticks is just of a poorer quality, and the C has smeared into looking like an O, but at this rate, it’s like spitting on the European fans after you've kicked them while they're down.

Shame on you, Tesco for: crimes against basic literacy.

“DVD’s” – seriously? Tesco, made £2,550,000,000 profit last year, and yet they can’t afford to hire a person who understands basic apostrophe placement to write their signs? This should be a cause of embarrassment to the entire company... I blame the media. This picture was taken in the Tesco in Arthur’s Quay, Limerick, and the signs in Roxboro’s Tesco had the same moronic error.

Shame on you, Harvey Norman for: knowing how to do something right, but being too cheap to do it!
At least Tesco are consistent. Exhibit A: The Harvey Norman slogan, hanging outside their Unit at City East Business Park, Limerick, which reads “We Won’t be Beaten on Price, Range or Service” Exhibit B: A banner hanging inside, with the same boastful mantra, sans apostrophe. If you seek apostrophes inside the store, you will be left wonting. Har-Har...

Moving swiftly onwards, shame on you, Limerick’s Christ Church, for: crimes against making sense. Far be it for me to be the kind of chap to criticise a religious institution, but look at this picture:

Now chew on it for a bit... “better than broadband – immediate access to God”... I’m sorry... what? This is simply so wrong on so many ways – are they insinuating that people are trying to find God online? And what the hell is the celestial hand holding? An improvised explosive device? And why do the arms seem to belong to Mr Fantastic? I’m not one to use expletives unless the situation calls for it. But that shit is fucking nuts. I will never understand the non-logic that the theistic mind revels in, and I’m sure that at least one person walked past the sign today and thought that it was very clever. I’d have no qualms if the ad read “Cheaper than broadband – waste time by talking to yourself”, but that’s just me.

While I’m in a wrist-slapping mood, I may as well address the dearth of updates around the blog. It’s not that I’ve been busy, but quite the opposite (as the last 450 words will attest, I’ve not been up to very much lately!) Watch this space though, as I hastily try to make my commitment of posting 5 entries a month by pooping out ill-conceived drivel!

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Lisbon igNOrance

I generally try not to write about political matters here, as there are people far more talented and interested than I catering to such needs, and it wouldn’t quite gel with the other content on here. Regardless, I present you with this old news. Irish readers will have to forgive me for how broken down things are, but there might be yanks reading!

Last Thursday, the people of Ireland voted on whether the Lisbon Treaty would be ratified; a document that outlines how the European Union is going to conduct its bureaucratic undertakings now that it’s grown to a bloated 27 member states. Out of all 27, Ireland was the only country that handled things in a democratic fashion.

The people of Ireland responded with a great deal of confusion. “Why ask us?” They pondered aloud. “What’s this about? Why wasn’t anybody else asked?” That’s where their inquisitiveness ended. Despite the vast majority of politicians assuring the good people that the treaty was something that would benefit the entire of the European Union, the Irish were more compelled by the claims of tinfoil-hat wearing independents who simply made shit up.

After getting caught up in the hype, and deciding I needed some information, I read about the treaty, and kept track of all the things that I was concerned about, all the things I was happy about, and all the things I was ‘meh’ about. I determined that the only think remarkable about the Lisbon Treaty was how such an unremarkable document could drum up such intense controversy, given all the ‘meh’s on my page of notes.

One of the worst things about the referendum was talking to people about it in the weeks up to it. Nobody seemed to feel any shame in expressing their ignorance, and even tried to present this ignorance as a valid reason for voting “no”! These were the same people who didn’t read the concise information pamphlets sent out by the neutral Referendum Commission, which had a strong TV, radio, and web presence.

I present to you a product of this paranoia: on the day of voting, I got into my car and drove to the end of my village to find that somebody had spraypainted “NO” onto the road four times in fifteen metres. Five miles down the road I saw the same thing.

Here's the video, complete with rockin' soundtrack (that'll be promptly removed, more than likely), recorded from my phone (hence the assy quality).

It’s a shame that the treaty wasn’t ratified, so we could retrospectively laugh at the prophecies of the new Ireland, in which all the men have been drafted to the European Army and sent to battle the US, all businesses have been taxed out of existence, and the footpaths can’t be seen for all the aborted foetuses that litter the streetscapes.

Sunday, June 15, 2008

Policing YouTube: ur doing it rite

Less than a month ago, one of the videos I had hosted on YouTube fell victim to the Scorpio Music group, who were eager to protect their intellectual property, and removed it from the interwebs, never to be seen again! (Until I uploaded it to MegaVideo, at least).

That same e-mail from YouTube advised that the rest of my videos that infringed on some copyright (which consists of any of the decent ones) were also at risk. Imagine that sinking feeling when I saw the subject heading of this e-mail:

I glumly opened the message, expecting the worst, and what I read actually made me quite happy!

Your video is still live because UMG has authorised the use of this content on YouTube. As long as UMG has a claim on your video, they will receive public statistics about your video, such as number of views. Viewers may also see advertising on your video's page.

That's more like it! Rather than scrubbing any trace of the video from this fine series of inter-connected tubes, UMG are happy to let it live on, so long as they can avail of a little more web real-estate. I've checked on it a few times, and my video is quite happy to share a page with Toyota commercials! I find it even brightens up the place a little!

If UMG are happy to do this, why aren't Scorpio Music? I'd have thought that the people who own the rights to The Village People's back catalogue would be less uptight than those who own Blink 182's... Just goes to show you, I guess.

From now on - I refuse to dance gaily to YMCA in overpriced, poorly ventilated nightclubs - my friends will have to find another tall person to fill in as the 'Y'.