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Just Ana October 31, 2006

Posted by Rambling Man in Fatherhood.
7 comments

Thought I’d just post a cute picture of “the young wan” ! My God – we have a young wan !

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Crazy little thing called love October 29, 2006

Posted by Rambling Man in Fatherhood.
2 comments

Well the blogging has certainly taken a back seat in the past few days – I’m off from work on parental leave (God Bless it) and all our time has been taken up looking after our little Anabel …

She had a touch of jaundice when leaving the hospital and has now to be fed on 3 hourly cycles – it takes some getting used to this middle of the night business but we’re getting there – when she just lies there and stares at you it kinda makes up for it.

I ventured outside the house today for the first time since God knows when for a visit to the local Tesco and Sundays are definetly bring your kid to the shops day. In a few years hopefully that will be lilla Ana hanging off our trolley knocking chocolate biscuits into the freezer section as she goes …

PS : It’s amazing how fast you lose your nappy changing inhibitions !

Phrase of the Day #46 October 26, 2006

Posted by Rambling Man in Say it like it is.
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“She has a head like a spat out jelly !”

Explanation : I’m getting tired of insulting ones now – anyone got anything witty ?

Padraig Nally : the right to defend October 25, 2006

Posted by Rambling Man in General Bloggery, Ireland & the Irish.
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I’d like to give my tuppence ha’penny on the Padraig Nally affair. The item has been one of the most prevalent in Irish news over the recent months as the 1 year anniversary of the incident has recently passed.

For those of you who don’t know the background to the story, Padraig Nally is 62 year old farmer who lived alone in the west of Ireland. Around this time last year, he shot and fatally injured a traveller, John Ward who entered his (Nally’s) home unlawfully. He received 6 years in jail. Here is a more detailed background to the story.

When I read a little bit about this case I asked myself two things. Did Nally do wrong and what would I do ? When I thought about it, I realised that I believed Mr.Nally did do wrong but does not deserve to be in jail. It throws up in my mind all the different scenarios of what I would do if my home was being attacked or broken into. We just never know how we will react when our personal safety or that of our family is put into jeopardy by someone threatening to rob your house or who is already inside trespassing inside.

I am by no means a legal expert but without knowing the ins-and-outs of the terminology, the main question I am asking myself (and I’m sure the courts did too) was “Did the defendant use reasonable force to defend himself and his property, or did he use excessive force ?” In the heat of the moment, it would appear that Mr.Nally used excessive force leading to the death of Mr.Ward. Nally shot Mr.Ward twice and then as the burglar was making his way from the scene, went back into his house and reloaded his gun before following Mr.Ward down the street and delivering the fatal shot. That force was excessive. He reloaded. He didn’t just shoot the burglar in his legs to incapacitate him and then call the police – he emptied his gun, reloaded and shot again, causing his death.

Was this wrong to reload and follow him down the road and then dump his body in a field ? Yes it was. Would I have done something similar ? Probably. I have come to the conclusion that we cannot think straight (at least I think I could not) when placed in such a perilous and perceived dangerous situation. Mr.Nally was in fear of his life and tried to ensure that the criminal would not be in a position to threaten him again. It would take a strong, extremely calm and able man not to have done something along the lines of what Nally did (except the reload).

We have a right to defend – but only using reasonable force. But what is reasonable force when there is an intruder in your house threatening you, your property and your family ? It’s easy for me to say the Nally shouldn’t have finished the burglar off but if I was still in fear what would I do ? What would you do ? Surely the courts must take this into account when handing down sentences in these cases … or else we’ll end up like some of these people in the US (read some of the comments after the news story – apparently it’s better if you plain just kill the intruder instead of showing restraint and only maiming him, because then they’ll sue you for maiming them !)

PS : If I am a burglar and threaten someone while breaking and entering, do I not lose my rights ?

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We have a daughter ! October 23, 2006

Posted by Rambling Man in Fatherhood.
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Anabel Sara was born at 8-15 pm, Friday October 20th, 2006 by C-Section.  All good – Dad in bits …

Phrase of the Day #45 October 20, 2006

Posted by Rambling Man in Say it like it is.
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“I’m so hungry I’d eat a small child !”

Explanation : In fairness, one would want to be very hungry to contemplate eating some of the little f*ckers that live on our estate …

A song for Bertie October 19, 2006

Posted by Rambling Man in Poetry & Humor.
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This is a classic – sung to the tune of Help ! and aimed at our wonderful leader.

——————————————-
Help! I need some money!
Help! Not just any money!
Help! You know I’m not fussy, help …

When I was younger, so much younger than today
I needed random businessmen to help me pay my way
But now those days are gone and I’m twice as self-assured
Why won’t these bloody people respect their overlord ?

Help me if you can I’m feeling down
(Though I’m grateful for McDowell’s coming round)
Why’s that Rabbitte acting like a hound ?
Won’t you PLEASE, please help me ?

Although my life has changed in oh so many ways
And my accounts have seemed to vanish in the haze
I can’t recall, the last time I felt so insecure
Mostly because I’m the original cute hoor

Help me if you can I’m feeling down
I’m razing my own party to the ground
Kenny’s questions have me feeling drowned
Won’t you PLEASE, please help me?

When I was younger, so much younger than today
I was a minister whose hair was much less grey
But now those days are gone and they’re asking I declare
All surreptitious earnings and it’s just not fucking fair!

Help me if you can I’m feeling down
It was only the price of a house in Dublin town
It’s bad when even Sinn Féin make me look like a clown
Won’t you PLEASE, please ….. just forget the Irish Times ever said anything ?

——————————————-

And what are we going to do good people of Ireland ? Vote them all back in of course ! YAY

written by the wonderful Swearing Lady – I’m new to this blogging lark – sorry for not crediting earlier …

Phrase of the Day #44 October 19, 2006

Posted by Rambling Man in Say it like it is.
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“Jaysis lads, it’s as dark as a bag !”

Explanation : Great one liner from one of my office colleagues … and he’s right –  it’s so dark here right now – and it’s not even mid morning !

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PS : Yes, those are lights on in the other building – at 10am !

Parking Gremlins strike again October 19, 2006

Posted by Rambling Man in General Bloggery.
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They’re at it again, those dastardly parking gremlins.  Every day they appear and make people who normally park well abandon all reasonable consideration for other car park users – I swear I don’t have to go hunting for this stuff.  It happens all the time in our small staff car park.  And I know this guy – he usually parks quite well.   But today he thought, f*ck it I can take up two spaces when I want to … and make it difficult for the 3rd space in this row too !

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Phrase of the Day #43 October 18, 2006

Posted by Rambling Man in Say it like it is.
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” She’s as thick as a whale omlette ! ”

Explanation : If one could make omlettes from whales, you’d think they’d be rather rotund.

A spelling gem October 17, 2006

Posted by Rambling Man in General Bloggery.
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Take a look at this spelling marvel I spotted while frequenting a well known chain of supermarket recently. I think whomever it was that’s in charge of sign printing for this chain should be gelded because there was literally dozens of these signs around the place. It’s as if they said “Arra sure there’s nothing we can do about it now !” and printed them anyway.

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Phrase of the Day #42 October 17, 2006

Posted by Rambling Man in Say it like it is.
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“He’s a walking argument for contraception !”

Explanation : Yet another ditty to add to your extensive list of how dumb someone you know is …

Pregnancy for Fathers : Week 35 October 16, 2006

Posted by Rambling Man in Fatherhood.
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So week 35 has come and gone and we’re a few steps closer to the arrival of our little one. I just can’t comprehend that in a few short weeks (hopefully) we’ll have a little person to look after – and if I had a fiver (or even a measly euro) for everyone who said that soon I’ll really know I’d be alive, I could start a college fund to send the child to Oxford !

The nursery is complete but still in its most basic form and thanks to some ingenious cut onions, the horrid paint smell is gone. Remember – water based paint people ! We’ve also been in receipt of several most kind donations from members of our family who have now found homes for their unwanted baby items. That has helped us out a lot. So a big thanks to ‘the sister-in-law’ and ‘the cousin’. We’ve now got sterilizers, blankets, baby clothes, hats and stuff coming out our ears and have spent all of the last weekend washing and ironing these items. I still have to put together a flat pack shelf to house them all …

Symptoms wise, the good wife is still finding it a little hard and every day I feel more useless just watching her. I can’t do anything to make the itching stop or the swelling go down – what little I can do in the line of comforting her is, I’m sure, nothing to what she is going through. Test results for one thing and another have all come back clear and the doctor’s, in so far as they can tell, are happy. This does not take away my hatred of Carpal Tunnel Syndrome, from which TGW is endlessly suffering.

Ante-Natal classes are going well and I must say I am finding them very interesting. This week’s one was about the role of the partner during labour and what to expect when confronted with the various scenarios. They usually take the form of 10 or so couples in a classroom with a midwife going through the various points. Our midwife spoke very well and was able to get the point across to us first timers who are basically learning as we go.

So there you have it – not long to go now – so near but yet so far. I feel like I’ve been waiting on this child for ever. Oh and by the way, a good tip for relief from itching is an oatmeal bath. Put some porridge oats in a sock and tie the end and pop it into the water – the starch (or something ?) in the oats releases into the water and is very soothing on the skin …

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Jaysis I’m pieszhen’d October 16, 2006

Posted by Rambling Man in Say it like it is.
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The immortal phrase “Jaysis sham, I’m pieszhend !” was uttered in my general direction this morning when passing the usual plethora of bums and vagrants who populate the south eastern corner of our staff car park.

It take it what he meant to say was “Goodness me my friend, I am poisoned.  Have you a spare euro ?” – probably due to the copious amount of Linden Village cans lying around them, the contents of which had no doubt been heartily imbibed before 8 am !

Phrase of the Day #41 October 15, 2006

Posted by Rambling Man in Say it like it is.
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“She’s a bit of a butter head !”

Explanation : Great body, but her head …

An ould wive’s tale for onions October 13, 2006

Posted by Rambling Man in General Bloggery.
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I used to think that cutting onions and placing them in an area effected by bad smells in order to rid the area of said smell was a bit of an ould wive’s tale. But I have a success story to report.

We painted the upcoming child’s nursery a couple of weeks ago with the wrong type of paint. Now I didn’t know it was the wrong paint of course, having relied on the sure to be gigantic paint knowledge of the spotty sales assistant. Having painted the room and left it to air for a few days we were concerned that the smell wasn’t dissapating. In our worry that the poor child would be choked with the smell of paint fumes, it was recommended to us that we cut 2 onions in half and place them in a bowl in the middle of the room.

Chuckling at the stupidity of the idea I nonetheless did what I was told and was flabbergasted with the results. Within half an hour the smell was gone, leaving only a faint hint of scallion in the air … you heard it here folks – cutting onions will get rid of bad smells !

PS : The phrase “ould wive’s tale” – does that mean that the wives telling the tales are themselves ould, or does it mean that the tales themselves are from years gone by ?

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Phrase of the Day #40 October 13, 2006

Posted by Rambling Man in Say it like it is.
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” She has a face like a pan of well done rashers ! ”

Explanation : You know the story – you’ve seen better features on a Monday morning when you look at Sunday morning’s frying pan …

Review : Hilton Hotel, Dublin 2 October 12, 2006

Posted by Rambling Man in Hotel & Restaurant reviews.
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We recently stayed in the Hilton Hotel located on Charlemont Place, Dublin 2. Having never stayed in a Hilton hotel before (this is part of the Hilton chain), I think we were expecting something a little more than we got. Overall our stay was fine but I’m a stickler when it comes to f*ckology in hotels. We are paying good money to stay there and some of the things that happen to us as customers are just madness. However, this hotel was fine.

Having given them a call en route to get directions to the hotel, we were surprised that our request threw the receptionist off a bit. She didn’t have very good English and instead of asking us to hang on a minute while she got someone who did know, she plain right out said that she didn’t know how to get to the hotel. Eventually we were passed on to the concierge who told us that we were approaching from the wrong side (sorry like !) and would have to drive right up to the hotel and then turn down the next street and do a U-turn, so as to approach it from an angle that we could actually turn. Imagine the impression that would make on an American !

Anyway we found the hotel and the car park (which is €10 a night for guests !) and checked in to our room. The room was your bog standard 3 star hotel room and you got the impression that the Hilton chain has just taken over another chain’s hotel instead of putting their grandiose imprint on this one. The room has all your standard features, has a decent enough room service menu, pay per view films and tea/coffee. No mini-bar however. It was clean and the windows actually open ! You wouldn’t believe the amount of hotels where the rooms are stuffy and musty and the windows only open a fraction.

The walls in the hallways are bare, finished brickwork which gives a nice impression – the hallways are a little narrow however so maybe the effect of this feature is diminished by that. The odd huge vending machine sitting in the middle of corridor is a trend that seems to be catching on in hotels these days but one that I personally don’t like. Location wise the hotel is great – far enough outside the city centre to be nice and quiet and on the LUAS line, 5 minutes and 3 stops away from Grafton Street (€1.40 pp).

Breakfast was included in our rate and the restaurant serves until 11am on weekends which is good if you’ve had a few too many the night before. The breakfast was very good with a large selection of freshly made food – it hadn’t been sitting there for ages. Not just your usual fried Irish stuff either – there were also waffles, pancakes etc.

Overall we were just about satisfied with this hotel and apart from a few things like being over charged for the car parking and the odd staff member who just hadn’t a word of English (including a waitress who brought somebody toast when they asked for coffee) it was fine. I would love to stay in a proper Hilton in a higher star rating category, just too see. An interesting fact was that on the hotel review website Trip Advisor , all the Europeans are satisfied with it and all the Americans are not !

Rambling Man rating : 6.5 /10

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Phrase of the Day #39 October 12, 2006

Posted by Rambling Man in Say it like it is.
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” I’d say he’s as slippery as a butcher’s mickey ! “

Explanation : A lovely descriptive phrase to use when needing to convey the dastardly nature of someone …

Irish football in a state of chassis October 11, 2006

Posted by Rambling Man in Sports.
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By no means is yours truly an authority on sport or on Irish football but I have been going to Lansdowne Road for quite a few years now. In any case, I know enough to know that what we saw on Saturday last was shite and unacceptable.

But the players and the manager know that – tonight is their chance to start to put things at least a little bit back on track. We’re decimated by injuries with virtually a whole team out of action for one reason or another. There are fellas in the squad that nobody has ever heard of and possibly, with everyone fit, will never hear of again.

If Ireland lose tonight (and the odds are against them) then Staunton should resign, himself – he should see the wood for the trees and realise that he will become a figure of ridicule and anger and I don’t think any “real” Irish football fan would want that to happen to our most capped player and one who appeared in 3 World Cups for us. The muppets at the F.A.I. need a wake up call too – maybe it’ll hit them when only 15,000 turn up in Croke Park and they need 40,000 just to break even … will the real Irish football please stand the f*ck up !

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Phrase of the Day #38 October 10, 2006

Posted by Rambling Man in Say it like it is.
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“I’ve a head on me like a carpenter’s thumb !”

Explanation : (a) because your spouse hit you with a frying pan, (b) because you’ve had one too many libations or (c) you’ve an extremely small thumb shaped head.

Ryder Cup : A Marshal’s Review #2 October 9, 2006

Posted by Rambling Man in Sports.
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So back to my Ryder Cup marshal’s experiences.

So having initially stood around and up-ed and down-ed the rope when the players and carts were coming across from the clubhouse to the range, we eventually had a meeting of sorts when the teams had gone out on the course. It started to go downhill from there really as we quickly realised that the majority of the marshal’s in our section all had done this before, were all on first name terms and seemed to have a pretty good idea of what was going to happen.

I personally was a bit wary of the head of our section who started giving out jobs left, right and centre and really looked like he didn’t have a clue either. As it turned out later in the week he was actually a nice chap and fairly clued in – as clued in as you could be when the teams didn’t really release their schedules and the mini-schedules they did release, didn’t keep to because of a number of factors. One got the feeling that we had to be standing within the bosses eyesight in order to get the good jobs when they haphazardly came up. That said, our main job was player transport. Nice !

Before that, we had to man some road crossings because the payout of the K Club meant that the 9th green for example, was a good 150 yards across a road and up through the practise range away from the 10th tee. At this early stage there were no barriers or ropes present and it was a very ad hoc situation. The marshal’s quickly realised that we would need barriers etc. for the players to cross the road but the organisation at that time was appalling. Enter Tiger Woods and Jim Furyk, having just played the front 9. Consternation ensued because there was no dedicated walkway for the across the road where they could safely get to the next tee. We were hurriedly instructed by the US security guys accompanying the team to go 2 in front and 2 behind each one so every available marshal goes with Tiger ! Furyk turns to me and say “4 years of planning and all you guys have organised is this ? It has to be improved!” With that he walked over the fence into the practise area and made his way to the tee unaccompanied. How embarrassed was I and I wasn’t event at fault – looking around of course there was no senior marshal to be seen so a few of us got together, found some rope and made sure that the same thing didn’t happen again. Of course it did the following day, when there was no dedicated walk way from the practise range to the 10th tee for the European players. I had to drive Woosnam through the crowd towards the tee and when we couldn’t get any further because of the crowds (despite blowing the horn !) he had to take his life in his hands and run for it.

Driving a buggy around the K Club with Phil Mickelson or someone of that ilk in the front with me was a most pleasant job, I must say. I got to meet most of the players but didn’t personally drive Tiger around. He looked like he was having a bit of a hard time with the crowds and always travelled on the back of the buggies while the caddy rode in front. Our routine was whatever the player’s routine was and I enjoyed having to suddenly drop everything and take someone to the other end of the course or take an official or wife to somewhere. Sometimes it did get frustrating because we never knew what we had to do and there was, as one might expect, a wee bit of rivalry between marshals when the system didn’t allow each one to have a fair turn. That said by the end of the week, myself and my cousin had been treated fairly well (despite the €8 we got per day to feed ourselves at kiosks where everything was way more than €8 !) and had a good but tiring experience.

Phrase of the Day #37 October 9, 2006

Posted by Rambling Man in Say it like it is.
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“I could eat the leg off the Lamb of God !”

Explanation : Such is your level of hunger that you’d eat your own feet … for the non-religious among us, the Lamb of God is one of the titles given to Jesus in the New Testament.

Jury duty October 6, 2006

Posted by Rambling Man in General Bloggery.
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I think doing jury duty is a bit unnerving. At least it was for me and I didn’t even get selected to go onto the actual panel. As far as I can ascertain, the jurors selection process is roughly the same all over the country, whereby names are taken at random from the Register of Electors and a jury service order sent to the individual who is selected. Then you turn up in the courthouse on the selected day.

There normally will be up to a hundred ( yes 100 !) other potential jurors given notice at the same time depending on the amount of cases etc. that might be in court that day. It is likely that you and your fellow potential jurors will be called to assemble in a courtroom an hour or so before proceedings begin. A roll call will be taken and names are noted of people who are not present. Then a member of the court may or may not point out the various different areas of the room and explain what is going on. Down the back, of course there is the usual plethora of wannabe ould fellas who don’t particularly take the thing seriously and stand holding up the rear wall, arms folded talking in loud whispers about GAA or the weather … I also had a fleeting conversation with a jury selection veteran who told me, that if called, a good excuse was to say “Sorry, your Honour, I know the defendant to see !”. This was sure to get you off the hook …

Then it starts to get interesting … into a crowded room packed with potential jurors come the lawyers with robes and wigs and after them with Garda escort comes the defendant. Yes that’s right, the defendant is marched into the room with the 100 or so potential jurors right there and plonked in the middle of them. Our room was so crowded he didn’t even make it to the stand. So the alleged criminal is standing there and they begin to randomly select the jury in his presence and then calling out the names and addresses of selected members of the public. Imagine the face of the defendant when he hears “OK, no.35, Joe Bloggs, 5 Main Street, Ballygobackwards” and Joe has to stand up and face the defendant (who is noting all that is going on). You are right there with the alleged offender and he hears your details and so do his numerous cohorts who are by now bustling and pushing to get in the door of the room.

That unsettled me greatly – it wouldn’t be beyond the realms of possibility that a defendant or one of his supporters would note the names and addresses of the jurors as they were called out … this could lead to all sort of things.

If you get called, it is your duty to go along but I, for one, was thankful that I didn’t get selected because I didn’t want to become that involved with the people I would have been judging – it was too close for comfort …

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Life is a Rollercoaster October 6, 2006

Posted by Rambling Man in Fatherhood.
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Thanks to Gerry O’Sullivan for letting myself and the good wife know about this interesting pregnancy related website,  rollercoaster.ie

It’s an Irish run site (which makes a change) and has lots of invaluable information and advice about what your partner or wife might be going through as well as the solutions to some irritating probems. The title is also very apt – pregnancy is a bit of a rollercoaster for us at the moment … 4 weeks today … Jaysis !