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Phrase of the Day #150 June 30, 2007

Posted by Rambling Man in Say it like it is.
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“Do not let what you cannot do interfere with what you can do.”
John Wooden

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Poor Paris, my ass June 29, 2007

Posted by Rambling Man in World Affairs.
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The concerned citizens of the great city of Los Angeles awoke with a shock this morning as one of their favourite daughters fell victim to a terrible tragedy of journalism … she wasn’t front page news ! My God, stop the world rotating and let us all beat our breasts in shame !

I refer, of course, to MSNBC’s news anchor – the lovely Mika Brzezinski – who refused to discuss the story of the bedraggled Ms. Hilton’s release from jail and the various associated pedestal putting that society continues to place on this particular person. Ms. Brzezinski thought, and may I add soooo rightly so, that Paris’ release from jail was – wait for it – not headline news and refused to cover the piece. In fact she proceeded to rip up the story and even tried to burn the papers with a cigarette lighter ! How’s that for freedom of speech ? in reverse, sort of !

Quite frankly, it is a pathetic reflection on this particular channel’s views of the world if they lead their morning news bulletin with “Paris Hilton gets out of Jail” which she was lucky wasn’t a longer spell, rather than the carnage and U.S. deaths in Iraq or a political issue in their own country like the recent immigration bill.

Who gives a sh*t about Paris Hilton – she’s just famous for being famous, doing nothing and being in the privileged position of heiress to a great hotel empire … she should treat herself with the respect that this position requires.

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Review : Crowne Plaza Hotel, Dublin June 28, 2007

Posted by Rambling Man in Hotel & Restaurant reviews.
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We stayed at the Crowne Plaza Hotel in Santry during our recent trip to Dublin.  This was our first time staying in an Intercontinental hotel and I must say that the experience was a most pleasant one.

The hotel is located in the grounds of Santry Demense which is a lovely park complete with lake and walks etc. and only 5 minutes from the M50.

The hotel had arranged for our room to be at the back of the hotel in a quieter area because of the little one and the room was great.  Until the air conditioning conked out at about 8pm and the room got very warm.  And so the child woke up because she was too warm.  When we rang reception, the sent a engineer up within a few minutes but he couldn’t solve the issue.  Unfortunately, he never returned with an update so after half an hour we rang reception looking for a fan (which they didn’t have) but then the kind duty manager moved us to another room at the other side of the hotel, which was bigger and cooler.  Not a lot of hotels in Ireland would move you to a better room so we were quite happy.

Everything was fine after that but we didn’t even mind the inconvenience because it was properly dealt with.

The food at this hotel is fine – room service was actually the best part of it – breakfast is the usual fare (hard sausages !) with a chef on hand to make waffles or pancakes and stuff.  They served what looked like tasty bar snacks in the über-trendy bar and lounge and the prices weren’t as expensive at one might have expected for Dublin.

So all in all, a good stay – I’ve even signed up for their members club so the next time we stay we can get access to the member’s lounge, which looked quite luxurious.  All that’s missing is a pool !

Thank you Crowne Plaza for taking real care of your customers – sometimes that concept in Ireland ceases once they make sure you have a bed !

Phrase of the Day #149 June 26, 2007

Posted by Rambling Man in Say it like it is.
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“If people did not sometimes do silly things, nothing intelligent would ever get done.”
Ludwig Wittgenstein

Now that’s what I call shopping ! June 26, 2007

Posted by Rambling Man in General Bloggery, Ireland & the Irish.
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Just look at the quality modern art piece that confronted me on my lunchtime walk yesterday.  Only in Ireland could such mundane items be put together in such a loving and heartfelt way.

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For the record, the contents of this misplaced Tesco trolley were : 3 orange traffic cones and one “No Parking” smaller cone, a green gas canister, a beer keg and a wonderful blue wooden pallet.  The accompanying pink and mangy dressing gown decorated the piece wonderfully.  The whole lot was polished off by being tethered to the nearby railings with red and white emergency plastic rope.

I was deeply touched by the symbolism of the piece.  Then I went and had a sandwich !

A razor isn’t just a razor June 25, 2007

Posted by Rambling Man in General Bloggery.
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When is a razor not a razor ? Well the answer to this one was found out the hard way this weekend.

A razor is not a razor when you have to move hotel rooms and leave your good Gillette Fusion razor behind and don’t think of it until the following morning when you go to shave.  And of course, you badly, badly, need to shave because you’re going to a christening.  A razor is not just a razor when you ring housekeeping and they say they can’t find it. And so they offer you one of their ones – a one blade, blunt but sharp at the same time, plastic excuse for a razor – but hey, it was free and they provided it in a time of need.

It was half way through damaging my face with this emergency blade when I realised that you get what you pay for with razors, so to speak. My Gillette Fusion blades cost a fortune and are exactly the same price in every shop and pharmacy – the blades are the things that make the company money … something like €14.99 for 4 blades.

So it suffices to say that I turned up at the christening looking like I had been dragged through a hedge backwards and a drunk and equally demented cat of some sort had got at my face with a blade akin to cutting a tomato with a kitchen knife. Such was the horribleness of the state of my facial hair – and I’d missed several prominent bits aswell …

So buy proper shaving stuff – even if it costs you – because LIDL razors or cheap €5 a dozen blades with aloe feckin’ whatever still wouldn’t cut butther !

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Phrase of the Day #148 June 25, 2007

Posted by Rambling Man in Say it like it is.
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A collection of silly sayings from this site.

Do slippers make you slip ?
Shouldn’t it be teethpaste and not toothpaste ?
Have you ever tasted door jam or toe jam ?
What does a tree bark sound like ?
Are you supposed to take a nap in a restroom ?

I remember when … the Pope came to Ireland June 24, 2007

Posted by Rambling Man in I remember when ....
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My abiding memory of Pope John Paul II coming to Ireland in 1979, is looking out the back window of my aunt’s car as we drove away from my parents, feeling really upset that I couldn’t go with them. I hadn’t a clue what all the fuss was about – I just knew people were excited and that I wasn’t allowed in on it !

We’re still talking about it. Some people have even written books on the subject. Never has the visit of one man drawn so much attention, warranted and not, and I can remember the days of his visit as if it was yesterday. I can’t remember anything about the actual visit and the praying and all that lark but I remember the excitement more so than anything. I might just as well have been going on a foreign holiday – all I knew was that we were going to Dublin and something was in the air.

Strange then, that I was only 4 years old but I suppose that an occassion of great excitement and activity would burn itself into your memory more so than a trip to the seaside (that ended in your ice cream falling onto the beach and you still attempting to eat most of it !)

The trip ended on a low note for me though, as I now know I never made it to the Phoenix Park. I was landed in my aunt’s care for the day as my parents went off to the park to enjoy themselves … they walked in from Clondalkin ! There’s dedication for you.

When warnings just aren’t enough June 21, 2007

Posted by Rambling Man in World Affairs.
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I’ve just surfed across this blog post, by the very funny Angry Aussie.

I’ll let it speak for itself but the man is right.  As a society, the West is fucked.  This is a post regarding weight loss and what happens when, even though a company markets a pill that it admits will mess you up, it still flies off the shelves.

Hold your breath ! 

Mid Summer’s Eve June 21, 2007

Posted by Rambling Man in General Bloggery.
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Today is the Mid Summer solstice and an excuse for half the world to go stone mad.  Well, the Scandinavians do anyway and since I am married to one, today is no ordinary June day.

The Swedes and the Danes in particular, love a bit of a party on this day.  All pagans the lot of them.  Take a look here at some of the things they get up to – dancing around the sweeping brush, eating dead fish, drinking gripe water and witch burning … nothing like a bit of controlled arson !

Grattis på Midsommar min kära …

Search Engine trivia # 2 June 21, 2007

Posted by Rambling Man in General Bloggery.
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Some answers to the oft strange questions posed in the search engine terms that people use to find their way on to this blog.

– How do I say “Good Luck” in Irish ?
It’s “go n-éirí leat !” pronounced guh nyree latt

– French phrase of the day
Well the famous POTD is done in English but here’s a French one, just for 195.248.26.22
“Je préfére l’Espagne”

– How to turn Google backwards ?
WTF ? How on earth does one turn Google backwards ? – other than writing elgooG ! Nuts.

– Peeing
The fact that someone would search just for “peeing” is slightly worrying – doesn’t everyone know how to pee ? Maybe they were looking for this post ?

And finally, “I go out drinking 4 times a week”. Do you ? You have a problem !

PS : This just in – “Pressies for a golfer”
Green fees, green fees, green fees (i.e. a round of golf, paid for) at his/her most favourite club. Golfers love free golf ! Failing that, cos you might have to buy 4 green fees cos he can’t play on his own, buy him PRO-V1 golf balls.

A grand, soft day June 20, 2007

Posted by Rambling Man in Ireland & the Irish.
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Tis a grand, soft week day, Tang God !  (Try not to remember this is June !)

There is more water falling from the sky at this moment in time than I have ever seen fall from anything, including a waterfall, a burst drain or even a tap !  To say it’s lashing would be akin to making the Dead Sea sound like a puddle !

It just goes to prove that rain gear in all it’s forms, strengths and protectiveness was simply not built for Irish weather, and rain in particular.  You might as well just lie down and roll around on the street for a couple minutes because you’re getting wet in this kind of rain – period !

As has been said before, “Tid be a great little country if you could ony roof ‘er ! “

Penalty points for littering June 20, 2007

Posted by Rambling Man in Ireland & the Irish.
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The idea has recently been thrown about (bad pun) that those caught littering from vehicles should get some form of penalty points. The new Minister for the Environment, the Green Party’s John Gormley, has said the idea has some merit and they will look into it.

The proposal, which I agree with, intends that anyone caught littering from a vehicle would get 1 penalty point. Good idea – but how on earth do you police such a policy ? The roads are policed poorly enough without asking the poor Gardaí (the poor, poor Gardaí) to catch litter louts.

This story came out at the same time as a report in the Irish Examiner which named and shamed (and pictured) Newbridge and Navan as the dirtiest places in Ireland. I know a few more places that fit that mould, only for the local authorities to do a great job cleaning it up.

Littering is a state of mind – if someone thinks it’s harmless to throw something away then they’ll go it regardless of litter campaigns, points or the thoughts of others.

But back to the story – yes, I say, give the litter bugs a penalty point, if you can catch them ! Don’t have some ridiculous laws which say you must reproduce the actual litter they threw and then fine the bejesus out of them. Hit litter louts where it hurts – in the pocket.

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Phrase of the Day #147 June 20, 2007

Posted by Rambling Man in Say it like it is.
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“My mouth is so dry, it feels like the Red Army just walked over my tongue in their socks !”

Quite akin to how my throat feels of a morning lately … must be getting old !

Groan … June 19, 2007

Posted by Rambling Man in Poetry & Humor.
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Two parrots were sitting on a perch. One said to the other, “It smells fishy around here.”

Scuttles back into the corner …

My “things” June 19, 2007

Posted by Rambling Man in General Bloggery.
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Like anyone, I guess, I have “things”. You know, like what side of the bed I have to sleep on or whether or not I will take an elevator or something.

These are a few of my things … feel free to add your own (not to me, like, but about yourself !)

I can’t use the loo when anyone else is in there.
Especially at work ! There’s nothing worse than hearing someone enter the adjoining cubicle, down trow and start gruntin’ ! This has led me going to all 4 loos in our building, without successfully dropping the kids off at the pool !

I can only eat a meal with the plate in the same position as it was placed on the table.
Weird one this … (no shit !) but I tend to enjoy a meal much more if the position of the plate does not rotate at all – you know the way some folks turn their plates etc. Not me !

Oh, and I have favourite cutlery – the fork is one my mother borrowed from an airplane – I always loved it because it has a little picture of a plane engraved on the back. It has followed me all through school, college etc.

I can’t drink from someone else’s bottle …
Unless my life depended on it … think of the back wash ! I share this phobia with my wife.  In fact I may have inherited it from her !

My fellow blogger Knightfall can only eat his toast cold. Stone cold toast. It’s just not right !

That’s all I can think of now but feel free to comment and call me a lunatic tell me your “things”.

Heroes ! June 18, 2007

Posted by Rambling Man in General Bloggery.
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Heroes is our new series !  Watch it ! We don’t get to watch much TV at the moment, due to the rampaging and brilliant 8 month old we have flying around our living room every evening.

So in moments of rare quiet we throw on the DVD of the first series which I acquired from a friend and I have to say we’ve become quite addicted.

It’s pure nonsense when you think about it – a bunch of people around the world who discover they have some extraordinary ability like (wait for it) regenerating from injury, being invisible, flying etc.   Despite all the sci-fi, it’s not that nerdy at all – more like a comic book come to life.

So rent “Heroes” and enjoy it – it’s better than most of the tripe out there now that the Sopranos and Lost are gone … gone I tells ya !

Phrase of the Day #146 June 17, 2007

Posted by Rambling Man in Say it like it is.
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“He’s so mean he had double glazing installed so the children wouldn’t hear the ice-cream man !”

Oh how I laughed !

Greens join Government June 15, 2007

Posted by Rambling Man in Ireland & the Irish.
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So the Green Party have joined government, but at what price ? Their leader, Trevor Sergeant has resigned as he said he would not join a Fianna Fáil led government, and although two of the Green TDs have recieved important portfolios, many issues with which they had a problem remain just that – a problem.

Not the least of these issues is Tara and the whole M3 debacle. For our international readers (all 2 of you !) the Hill of Tara lies directly along the planned route for a new motorway from Dublin to the west coast. And they are going to build it, no matter what – in, through, over and destroying historical sites such as Lismullan not to mention any number of yet to be discovered settlements along the valley. The Hill of Tara with all it’s great history, was said to be the hub of Ireland in the time of the High Kings … and we want to build a road through it. Scratch that – we are building a road through it.

So the halting of the “M3 through Tara” plan was one of the things that the Green Party campaigned on but they then accepted the route as part of deal which would see them join the government table.

They had to weigh up decisions like this one and also the continuation of the Shannon stop-over for dodgy American flights; but they still joined the government. An alarm bell rang in my head yesterday when Labour leader Pat Rabbitte announced that he had parsed the ‘Programme for Government’ and the word ‘review’ appeared so many times, and ‘evaluate’ so many times and so on … nothing concrete in other words.

Only time will tell whether the Greens will be able to stick to their guns – or will their founder member in this country, Roger Garland, be proved right when he called the decision to back Fianna Fáil with all these obstacles still in place “unbelievably bad“.

I guess they think they can do more good inside looking out, than outside clambering to get in, even though now they are the (very) little fish in a big, slimy pond.

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I remember when … June 14, 2007

Posted by Rambling Man in I remember when ....
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I’m thinking about starting a blog series entitled “I remember when …” in which I would outline, to the nodding approval of all my readers, where I was, what I remember or what I was doing on the day that various important and noteworthy events happened.

Whaddayathink ?  Do you remember where you were on September 11th ? or July 7th or the day the Pope came to Ireland ? or when the Berlin Wall fell … Were the events significant enough to always associate themselves in your head with something you were doing – and you can remember them years later ??

Stay tuned for the first installment in the next few days … “I remember when … London was attacked”

Phrase of the Day #145 June 14, 2007

Posted by Rambling Man in Say it like it is.
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“She’s so hungry, if she found a plaster, she’d cut herself !”

Another use for the very funny “Hungry” analogy …

U.S. Open week June 13, 2007

Posted by Rambling Man in Sports.
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For me, the biggest golf tournament in the world takes place this week in Oakmont, Pennsylvania. The U.S. Open ! What a tournament to win … I can only imagine what golfers must be thinking, standard on the divots of giants, as they tee it up on what is sure to be a super tough and tricky U.S. Open course.

For those of you as mad about the little white ball as I am, check out their website – U.S. Open.com – go to the video section and see what winning the tournament meant to the likes of Hale Irwin and Payne Stewart.

My tip of the week, if any of you fancy a punt, is Vijay Singh at 8 /1 in some places. My heart hopes Colin Montgomerie will break his duck …

And before I forget, best of luck to Pablo Martin Benavides – the only amateur ever to win on the European Tour !

Peeing on the street June 13, 2007

Posted by Rambling Man in Ireland & the Irish.
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Not for the first time my lunchtime walk has been disrupted by the unpleasant sight of a mother standing over her child, hurridly chastising him or her into finishing their pee – on the middle of the street, square or sidewalk.

It might be acceptable in some cultures, but here it is not !  So please, don’t pee in the road – go into a nearby café or something …

Ireland fall again in FIFA rankings June 13, 2007

Posted by Rambling Man in Sports.
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Ireland’s continuous slide in the FIFA rankings continues apace.  We are now ranked as 38th in the world, (stuck between Paraguay and Egypt) behind some countries that a good schoolboy team would give a game to (Scotland !).

Not that the FIFA rankings are or were ever an accurate picture of the game or a team’s ability – but they do play a part in seedings for the World Cup and European Championship draws – Ireland could possibly be in pot 5 next time !  

Lovely …All together now … there’s only one Steven Staunton … 

A quick sporting bulletin June 12, 2007

Posted by Rambling Man in Sports.
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Not much happens usually at this time of year. It’s before the GAA really gets going, the football is over, the rugby tours have ended … or so we thought ! There’s loads of sports happening all over the place and I thought the following stories made for interesting reading …

Trevor Brennan, who I am not a fan of, has had his lifetime ban reduced by an independent appeals committee. He will now, from 1st June 2007, serve a 5 year ban from rugby of any sort, either playing or coaching. He also cannot participate in any capacity in the European Cup, as it was in this tournament that he entered the crowd and repeatedly beat a “fan”.

Elsewhere it appears that David Beckham will, after all, go to LA Galaxy at the end of the Spanish season. There had been some doubt about the move with Real Madrid anxious to keep him after improved recent performances and a reappearance in England colours. Manchester United should never have let him go but I guess Alex Ferguson and a flying size 10 boot thought otherwise. LA Galaxy, as it happens, are managed by good old Alexei Lalas (remember him ?).

Golf wise (remembering I am obsessed with golf), the Howler – David Howell – has had to pull out of this week’s US Open at Oakmont because of a wrist injury. He will be replaced by first alternative Luke List, who while still a senior in college, is making his 3rd US Open start !

The European U-21 Championships have started in Holland, with England drawing with the Czechs in their first match. Leroy Lita missed a penalty in the final minutes for England. Only 8 teams have made it through to the finals with some great matches in prospect.

Congratulations to David Gillick, who set a new Irish 400m record in Geneva this weekend, while preparing for the World Athletics Championships. They will be held in Osaka, Japan, later in the year. Gillick is the European indoor 400m champion at the moment, so hopefully he and other hopefuls like Derbhal O’Rourke and Joanne Cuddihy can do us proud.

And finally our thoughts are with the family of ex-Derry GAA manager Eamonn Coleman, who passed away this week. Coleman was Derry’s manager when they made the All-Ireland breakthrough in 1993.

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