Thursday, November 30, 2006


Casino Royale

I went to see the new Bond film ‘Casino Royale’ about two weeks ago and I thoroughly enjoyed it. When I went to see it I hadn’t heard that many reviews for it, in fact I had purposely avoided listening to or reading Casino Royale reviews because I wanted to go in with an open mind. Of course I had my expectations, considering that I have been watching Bond films for years and I’ve seen most of them. I wasn’t sure what to expect with the new Bond, Daniel Craig, but I think he did a good job. A liked the bit at the start where he is chasing a guy and the guy does all this cool jumping buildings stuff (I think it’s called Parkour) and Bond is crap, he keeps falling and has to use various props to keep up with the guy he is chasing. This Bond has a few rough edges and is not as smooth as the ultimate smooth Bond, Mr. Pierce Brosnan. I liked the fact that this Bond wasn’t perfect and seemed to make some mistakes. The banter between Bond and Vesper, played by Eva Green, was great. I particularly liked the line uttered by Vesper while in a discussion with Bond that goes something like, ‘I’ll be keeping my eyes on the Treasury’s money and off your perfectly formed arse’. This has to be one of the better lines uttered by a ‘bond girl’. Also having a villain whose eye bleeds of its own accord, I mean how can you top that in terms of freaky creepiness? I’m already looking forward to the next bond film featuring the Blonde Bond; I presume that they have him locked in for a couple of films.

Wednesday, November 29, 2006


BellX1 Tonight

BellX1 are playing in the Savoy in Cork tonight and I can’t wait. I did have a mild panic attack last night. I decided to pull out the tickets before I went to bed and when I went to get them they weren’t where I thought I had put them. I’m temporarily living with my sister at the moment so I spent a good ten minutes rooting through bags that I haven’t got around to unpacking (and probably won’t unpack if I am honest about it). In the end I found the tickets and was able to put them in a safe place ready and waiting for collection prior to the gig this evening. I haven’t seen BellX1 play since the end of January and severe withdrawal symptoms have started to set in. I’m hoping that Paul will be in good form tonight and provide us with some tourettes dancing with the corn on the cob shaker. I hope that Dave plays the banjo and the harmonica with gusto. I hope that Brian wears his ‘Human Beatbox’ t-shirt and …ok I’m going to stop now before I get arrested for stalking from afar.


Ray & Jenny's New Baby

Congratulations to Ray and Jenny on the birth of their baby daughter Kate. I had a day off on Monday and got to listen to some of the Ray D’Arcy show which I never get to do anymore. It was great to hear Ray sounding so happy about his new daughter. I hope Ray, Jenny and Kate will be very happy and who knows maybe they will have a Ray Jr. in a couple of years.

Tuesday, November 28, 2006


Driving Along in my Automobile

When I’m not consumed with road rage I actually quite like driving as long as I have some music playing. In fact music tends to have a pretty good calming influence on me when I’m at the wheel of a car. At the moment my top three driving songs are:
1. Crosstown Traffic – Jimi Hendrix
2. Drive – Incubus
3. Sweet Home Alabama – Lynyrd Skynyrd
What can I say about ‘Crosstown Traffic’ except that it kicks ass. There is nothing better than zipping along an uncongested road (within the speed limit) while listening to this song. ‘Drive’ is another good car song, a bit more mellow than ‘Crosstown Traffic’ but it still has oomph. ‘Sweet Home Alabama’ always makes me think of long drives when you need a good upbeat song to keep you going. All of these songs have the essential sing along quality that is crucial for a good driving song.

Thursday, November 23, 2006


Quote of the Week

The brain is a wonderful organ. It starts working the moment you get up in the morning and does not stop until you get into the office.

Robert Frost
US poet (1874 - 1963)


Get Smart

No, this has nothing to do with getting dodgy broadband or a really small car. I got an email today from someone saying ‘Good Thinking 99’ and it sparked off a wave of nostalgia for ‘Get Smart’. I used to love this programme when I was a kid. I think it was on a Saturday morning but I’m not sure. Get Smart was a satire of the secret agent genre and was made in the sixties, but I’m pretty sure it wasn’t shown in Ireland until the eighties! The show had two main characters - Maxwell Smart, also known as ‘Agent 86’, played by Don Adams and Agent 99 played by Barbara Feldon. Maxwell Smart was a bumbling secret agent and 99 was his competent sidekick, together they worked for CONTROL (a secret US Government spy agency) against KAOS headed up by the original ‘Mr. Big’. I remember some of the gadgets on the show in particular the shoe phone which was hilarious. Max would be standing around in a trench coat trying to be inconspicuous (and failing miserably) when his shoe would start ringing and he would have to try and answer it discreetly. I also remember the end of the opening credits (or was it the closing credits?) where Max would be in a red phone box and would duck down out of sight just before the music stopped. I wonder if RTE would consider showing repeats of this programme on a Saturday morning again.

Tuesday, November 21, 2006


Birds on a Beach

I was in West Cork about a month ago and as I was driving back towards Bandon (on a road overlooking a beach) I spotted lots of birds congregating on the sand. I stopped the car on the edge of the narrow road and wound down the window to take this photo. The weather wasn’t that great and I was kind of blocking the road which thankfully was quiet at the time. The tide was very far out and the birds looked like they were gathering with intent, I can only presume that there was something interesting or nutritious in the sand to draw the attention of these birds.

Friday, November 17, 2006


Quote of the Week

The most exciting phrase to hear in science, the one that heralds new discoveries, is not 'Eureka!' (I found it!) but 'That's funny ...'

Isaac Asimov

Wednesday, November 15, 2006


Autumn Colours

I took this picure a couple of weeks ago because I love the Autumn colours. It is November now and it looks like the end of Autumn with lots of fallen leaves but in Ireland isn't November considered to be part of the winter season? I think in national school we were taught that Autumn was from August to October, but sometimes it feels like August is part of Summer and February is part of Winter.


How Clean Is Your Handbag?

For those of you that regularly carry a handbag (and the few that might have a manbag), if you are like me then you probably haven’t given that much thought to the germs and bacteria that lurk in said bag. I have seen a piece on morning TV, read an article online and received an email about handbag cleanliness all in the past week. It turns out that depending on your lifestyle you could be carrying around a feeding ground of nasty bacteria. Some examples of the type of bacteria you could be chauffeuring are as follows:
• E coli which infects you with food poisoning
• Salmonella which causes diarrhoea
• Influenza virus that causes flu
• Bacillus cereus that infects you with diarrhoea
• Superbugs, including MRSA
• Herpes that cause cold sores
• Staphylococcus which causes conjunctivitis

When you think about it, it makes sense that your handbag might pick up the odd bug or two because it gets carted all over the place and put on the floor in public toilets etc. Apparently people with kids tend to have dirtier bags than people without kids except for those that frequent night clubs; they have the highest levels of contamination. So it might be an idea to clean your bag regularly and keep it off surfaces were food is either prepared or served, this should lessen your chances of playing host to some of the germs mentioned above.

Friday, November 10, 2006


Quote of the Week

Man invented language to satisfy his deep need to complain.

Lily Tomlin
US actress & comedienne (1939 - )

Thursday, November 09, 2006


Up Front Job Vacancy Ad

I spotted this about two weeks ago on Winthrop Street and I liked the straightforward approach to the ad ‘We need staff otherwise it’ll be rubbish'. If all companies took an honest and humorous approach to their job advertisements maybe more people would end up in jobs they really liked. There is nothing worse than starting a job and then gradually getting that sinking feeling that no this isn’t really what you had signed up for.

Tuesday, November 07, 2006


The Cake Sale

A group of Irish musicians have come together to produce a 9 song CD to support Oxfam’s Make Trade Fair campaign and their overseas programme work. The songs on the album have been written by Paul Noonan, Dave Geraghty, Emm Gryner, Glen Hansard, Ollie Cole, Damien Rice, The Thrills and Matt Lunson and performed by Lisa Hannigan, Nina Persson, Gary Lightbody, Gemma Hayes, Glen Hansard, Josh Ritter, Conor Deasy and Neil Hannon. The Cake Sale album went on sale on the 3rd of November and it’s definitely worth the €16.99 that it is selling for in Virgin at the moment. The Cake Sale website is excellent if you want to get a taste of the music on the album and learn a bit more about the charity. You can even have a look at the video of ‘Some Surprise’ on a YouTube link on the website. ‘Some Surprise’ was written by Paul Noonan (BellX1) and the male vocal for the song is performed by Gary Lightbody (Snow Patrol) but the weird thing is that Gary sounds incredibly like Paul on this song. There is a strong BellX1 presence behind this Charity CD. Brian Crosby is one of the main organisers (he produced the album), both Paul Noonan and Dave Geraghty have contributed songs and Dominic Philips plays on some of the tracks with Brian and Paul.

Monday, November 06, 2006


A Good Year

This is a film that I was supposed to see during the film festival but I couldn’t go to because I was working late. I went to see it last night and it’s a lovely way to end the weekend, sort of a good distraction from the Sunday night blues (if you suffer from that). The film made me want to go to Provence, drink lots of superb wine and eat yummy food; it even made me want to speak French – something I have never been able to do. This is definitely a film that I’ll be recommending to A, because she is heading to the South of France on her honeymoon next year and anyway she has always been a bit of a Francophile.

Friday, November 03, 2006


Quote of the Week

The individual has always had to struggle to keep from being overwhelmed by the tribe. If you try it, you will be lonely often, and sometimes frightened. But no price is too high to pay for the privilege of owning yourself.

Friedrich Nietzsche
German philosopher (1844 - 1900)

Wednesday, November 01, 2006


The Departed

I heard some great reviews for this film a couple of weeks ago and thankfully I wasn’t disappointed when I went to see it. The film has a good story line and the acting is great. I’m not a big fan of Leonardo DiCaprio although he has played some good roles in the past. However this is the first film where I have felt sympathy for a character played by him. Jack Nicholson was scarily good as the vicious bad guy; you really believe that he is evil at heart in this film. My own personal favourite, Martin Sheen, plays a small role in the film as the head of the undercover department. He plays a good father figure to Leonardo and Mark Wahlberg is pretty amusing as Sheen’s sidekick. Let’s just say that his character in the film has a mouth like a toxic waste dump. If you haven’t seen this one already then I’d recommend it as a good cinema pick as long as you don’t mind a bit of blood and guts. If you aren’t that fond of violence you can always hide behind your hands like I do