Friday, April 29, 2005

Inflatable Pub

Yesterday I found a company website, Amber Iris Ltd, who sell an inflatable pub.

It didn't mention anywhere on their site what the price was so I e-mailed them. I got a reply this morning:

Dear Phil,

Thank you for your valued enquiry regarding the PortaPub. Amber Iris Limited is the authorised and exclusive distributor for the Pub in the UK and Mark John of Airquee has passed your enquiry on to me.

The inflatable pub is a relatively new venture for Airquee and Amber Iris and a great deal of recent interest has been generated in the Pub from overseas and at home.

The PortaPub is being offered at £23,000 and provides a venue unlike anything else in the world for that special event.

Amber Iris is also currently seeking PortaPub owners throughout the UK to establish an exciting and profitable PortaPub hiring business.

However, buying your first PortaPub is just the beginning. Whether you are already running an established business or on the brink of launching a brand new venture, Amber Iris will support you all the way to maximise the success and profitability of your new PortaPub. A Support Services Package is provided and we will be your PortaPub Partners for you for the first 12 months in business … and longer if you wish.

We are close to completion of our new and exciting website and I will inform you when it is available so that you can see the entire PortaPub package only available from Amber Iris Limited.

Once more thank you for your enquiry and I hope to hear from you in the future.

Yours sincerely,

P*** B*******



Result! I know what you're thinking though. Where would you put it? Oh yeah, that and the twenty three grand price tag!
I'm not an expert on infatable pubs but I think £23k is a little excessive.
Well, when they complete their "new and exciting website" I will post an update. Meanwhile I must start looking for the other £22,863.

Thursday, April 28, 2005

Gamespot #14

Here's a great little flash game called Crimson Room.

Can you escape?

Salmon With Spagetti & Red Sauce

Last night Don created a lovely salmon with spaghetti and red sauce meal and his own sherry trifle to boot! It was very tasty indeed. I haven't had sherry trifle since I was a young boy so it was a welcome encore. I would have came back for seconds if there was any left!


Green Butchers

We watched a film called Green Butchers about two hapless friends who work in a butchers and are constantly harassed by their boss. Svend is a nervous sweaty irate man who argues constantly and is on the verge of breaking up with his fiancee. Bjarne is a 20 joint-a-day loser who tries to keep Svend in check. Things come to a boil with their boss and the boys quit to set up their own butchers. On their first day they have no customers and their old boss pays them a visit to rub it in by purchasing their meat to serve his high-brow buddies for dinner so they will no doubt remark that Svends marinade is awful and people will boycott the shop. This is preceded by an unlucky electrician that was accidently locked into the walk-in freezer the night before and dies. Overcome by rage, Svend serves his old boss a dozen fillets from the thigh of the electrician and awkwardly explains the predicament to Bjarne who is less than impressed. Bjarne is also in a quandry of his own as he needs money for the business. His brother Eigil has been in a coma for 8 years and for Bjarne to recieve the families wealth, Eigil must die. After being taken off life support Eigil, instead of dying, wakes up from his coma and relentlessly pursues Bjarne for solace. Bjarne also meets Astrid whom he falls in love with but can he keep the secret? Meanwhile the dinner is a resounding success and when word of mouth spreads people queue outside to get served. How will they ever keep up with demand?
What you get is a witty and humourous film about love and cannabalism. There are some great comedic sequences in the film and a running joke about shin kicking at opportune moments. I would certainly like to watch this again at some point.
I would give this film 4 meat hooks out of 5.



I noticed recently that my cd burner was taking up to 6 or 7 minutes to burn a cd. Then it struck me. What if I upgraded the firmware? It's not something I would usually think about as it's usually drivers or a newer version of software that I think about but I did a search for it and realised I was using version 1.36 when 1.50 was available. I downloaded it and applied it. The burn time went down to 3 minutes. Yay.

Wednesday, April 27, 2005

Filling The Gap

I went back to the dentist yesterday for a second opinion. I was ushered into the room and asked why I was back. I explained that I wasn't happy with the first check up and opened my mouth for a second inspection. He took a little longer than the first girl but still no poking or prodding with the devices. You need two fillings, see you in a few weeks.
I was made to feel like I had wasted time by getting a second opinion but if you're not happy with something then you gotta do what you gotta do. So I'll be back on the 18th May for the final installment.

Mid-week in work already. It's certainly flown in. Monday always goes fast and Tuesday always drags but yesterday only 5-10 staff were in and all my bosses were away. I finished all my workload on Monday and so I spent yesterday tying up loose ends and playing around on the net. Last week I got XP installed on my 98 machine and it was a nightmare getting everything set up again. You always forget about all the programs, drivers and tweaks that you need to set and personalise your computer. The worst part is that you need Admin privilege to install anything so instead of 30 seconds it takes 30 minutes by the time someone can do it for you and then you fall behind in your work. Then today I come in and my PC has been swopped again. Grr. Everything that I had transferred to my C: drive has gone and I wont get it back. I don't know about you but when I see a funny picture I save it to My Pictures. I had 6 months of quality stuff now vanquished into nothing. I also had to bookmark everything again and set up the short-cuts on the desktop. It's really a pain in the ass.

I'm starting to look forward to the weekend with the BBQ on Sunday. However, I was at the folks yesterday afternoon and the gazebo hasn't been set up yet and there's a 1ft deep pool of water that has gathered on the covering. It means I'll have to go up on Saturday after buying food and set it all up. At least everything will be in the fridge and it'll mean less hassle on Sunday. I'm also worried that the good weather we've been having over the last few days will disappear and I'll be left with scattered showers, grey skies and a fridge full of meat.

Tonight Don is cooking dinner although he hasn't revealed what it is so I'll update tomorrow. What I do know is that it will be washed down with a bottle of vino.

Monday, April 25, 2005

Travellin' Man

create your own visited countries map
or vertaling Duits Nederlands

Tony passed this on to me. It allows you to click what countries you've visited and then it shows them on a world map.

I've visited 17 countries representing 7% of existing world countries. It makes you feel very small and not well travelled. I'll have to pull the socks up!

Halcyon Days

I've been yawning like a trooper all day. It's almost time for second coffee and a game of Flatout. Woke up in Newcastle this morning in a strange bed. I just don't get a good nights sleep unless it's my own bed. You spend months compressing the pillow into head shaped submission and anything else is like a bad trip to the chiropractor. The fact I had consumed a bottle of vino probably didn't help either.
It was a great day on Satutrday. The weather was good, the sun was out and we had the first BBQ of 2005. Ribs, chicken legs, sausages, burgers allwashed down with cold beer. The view was fantastic and I'll post a few pictures when I get the chance.

We cleared up and took a stroll to a fun park to play crazy golf. Everytime I think about crazy golf, I get thoughts of daring shots and loop the loop run ways and then the cold reality sinks in when you're presented with a multi-coloured concrete basin with bumps. My ball spent more time on the grass than on the course. Afterwards the group split and Lou and I take a spin on the swan lake, peddling like mad to move about 3ft in the shallow water. It was fun nonetheless and probably good excercise for the legs. We hook up with everyone else in the arcades and have a go at the dodgems. It's great fun and I wish they would make a faster version for adults. After throwing money away on various machines we grab an ice-cream and go to the park to throw frisbee.
It's late afternoon now and the sun sits majestically in the sky making the haze of light over the forest trees seem like a placid dream and we spread out and throw the frisbee to each other. It's these times that I appreciate. All worries are put aside and the most important thing in your life is to not look like a chump throwing the frisbee to the person beside whom it was intended to go to. Then Keith put his foot in it and kicked the frisbee in some sort of attempt to flick it up and catch it although the flimsy plastci structure was no match for his steel toe-capped boots and it shattered into several bits. We all had a good laugh and it would be a shame to only get 5 minutes playtime in the park. Luckily I had kept a tennis ball that was found earlier and we threw that amongst ourselves until it was time to relax over a pint.
We crossed over to O'Hares bar and sat outside and soaked up the dying rays of the evening sun. It's not often you get to relive your childhood in an afternoon and it added an extra coating of nostalgia to those carefree days.
We headed back to Tonys folks place and drank into the wee hours.
Halcyon days...

Saturday, April 23, 2005

Dead Man's Shoes

Saw Dead Man's Shoes last night. It's directed by Shane Meadows of 24:7 fame. A lot of his films seem to deal with gritty dramatical situations and Dead Man's Shoes is no different.
It's a revenge flick based on Richard, played by Paddy Considine, whose brother died at the hands of small time criminal drug pushers. He returns to his home town to make bloody revenge on leading his brother astray and finally killing him for kicks. There is added depth because his brother is somewhat mentally retarded and there are plenty of black and white flashbacks providing circumstance to explain the revenge element.
Considine pulls off a magnificant ability to really get inside the character and every little facial nuance shows a furrowed brow filled with pain. The other characters are played by seemingly amateur actors and also members of Considines own family but are more than adequate for their role.
However the film appears a little rough around the edges and the acting ability of the secondary characters sometimes lets the film down. Each new revenge sequence begins with the day and time for no apparent reason and, in the end, I found the film largely forgettable.
I would give this film 2.5 flashbacks out of 5.


Friday, April 22, 2005

Gamespot #13

Here's one to tackle over the weekend. It's a crazy little game called Frank's Adventure #3.

You can have a go at the previous games too. Aliens have requested your help in finding 6 nude ladies. Who's gonna argue against that?

So far it's been SFW but I'm not sure what might pop up but you can use the e-mail feature and send it to yourself!

Have a great weekend folks. Catch you on Monday!

Stop Gap

Here's a little something to keep you going until I bring you the afternoon game.
Which Office Space character are you?

I loved this movie and I've probably seen it half a dozen times.

By the way, I'm Lawrence. "Epitome of cool". Yeahhhh!

Thursday, April 21, 2005

Miso Ramen & Onigiri Toasted Rice Balls

Last night Brian created Miso Ramen and Onigiri toasted rice balls. The recipe came once again from the Wagamama cookbook although the links go to other recipes as the Wagamama site doesn't like to share the secrets!

It was all delicious and was washed down with generous helpings of vino of which I am suffering for this morning. We kicked back after dinner and watched some skating videos one of which was called Modus Operandi which was pretty cool although I wouldn't mind seeing more skating videos where the stunts go wrong.

I also tried my camera with the recharged batteries and it worked! Yay! It's funny that both my Sony products became faulty within a week of each other as my mp3 cd player also stopped working before I tinkered with it and got it working again.

I found this story quite interesting. Good news for people who love pies. So if you have love handles, don't worry. If you have love doors, then it's time to put down the fork!

I'm also working on a good game for tomorrow but if you find anything let me know by e-mailing me at the bottom of the page!

Catch you later peeps!


Wednesday, April 20, 2005

Lost And Found

I found this new map feature on Google that is pretty nifty. No need ask for directions anymore!
Just find your location and zoom!

I also found a forum where someone posted the exact same problem that my digital camera is suffering from. I'm currently recharging the Ni-MHs batteries so I will let you know how that turns out.


I went to see Sahara last night with Keith, Heather and the folks instead of going to their place for dinner. It's based on a Clive Cussler novel of the same name and the hero, Dirk Pitt, is played by Matthew McConaughey.
Our trepid adventurer is on the river Niger in West Africa searching for an American civil war Ironclad that was supposedly sailed accross the Atlantic to a watery grave. He saves the life of a W.H.O. doctor, played by Penélope Cruz, who is investigating the sudden appearance of a plague. Their paths are inexplicably linked when they expose the epidemic to be the work of a tyrant and team up to stop the plague from becoming a worldwide catastrophe. Along the way Dirk uncovers the truth behind the Ironclad and has many an adventure on the way.
I was expecting this to be a collossal work of torture to watch but I was very pleasantly surprised.
The film itself is very cheesy but it is self-acknowledgingly so and therefore you can enjoy the lighter side to the film. Dirks sidekick Al Giordino, played by Steve Zahn, provides most of the comic relief and he pulls this off to a tee. If you enjoyed Indiana Jones then you'll enjoy this because you'll have been suspending your disbelief of the subject matter to enjoy a bumper ride of a film.
I would give this 3.5 sand dunes out of 5.


Tuesday, April 19, 2005

The Assassination of Richard Nixon

I watched The Assassination of Richard Nixon on Sunday. It's based on a real life incident from 1974 when an obscure fanatic became disillusioned with his own life and society in general and blamed it on president Nixon. He decided to hijack a domestic flight in Baltimore with a view to crashing it into the White House.
Sean Penn gives a solid performance as the fanatic, Sim Bicke who is separated from his wife and children and is desperate to get back together with them although she has moved on and when he sees her with another man the knife is twisted further driving him into a downward spiral. He has problems holding down jobs and when he gains a foothold as a salesman, he feels he is selling out by lying to his customers and taking flak from his boss for being weak. He is a quintessential loser. All this angst is compounded and directed towards a figure who he believes is propagating society to become liars and charlatans. Richard Nixon. In Bickes mind, Nixon must die for his crimes against humanity.
However, despite the well-rounded acting from the cast, it is let down by being simply boring at times and occasionally my mind wandered from the screen. The mediocrity is mirrored in Bickes downward spiral and what should have been a climatic finish when Bicke attempts to board the plane, instead becomes blase and you don't really care what happens in the end as long as it ends.
I would give this film 2.5 nutters out of 5.


Springing Into Action

Well, I've tentatively sketched out my birthday plan. It's on 2nd May but I'm going to have the party on 30th April. A Saturday. If the weather is good I will have a BBQ at my folks place as they will be on holiday in Lanzarote. I will have to help my dad rebuild the gazebo and wait until the last minute for preparation. If I awake on Saturday and the weather is good then it'll be a rush out to buy burgers and sausages, baps and rolls, dressings and salads. If not then I will muster the troops and play pool in the afternoon before the drunken onslaught of a party at my place.
I still look forward to my birthday. I know a few people my age who don't look forward to it but it's a missed opportunity if you don't celebrate. It was my dads 62nd birthday last month and I asked him what he would be doing. He told me he was just glad to be there, that it was celebration enough. In some way he is correct but the fact that he is there is worth celebrating and I appreciate that I still have my parents and they are both in good health.

Today also felt like the first day of spring and I'm not the first person to notice the subtle changes. I read James Lileks bleat every morning:

"The world was made for days like these – not for grim brittle winter or the elderly decreptitudes of fall, or the drone of another summer afternoon, but this: everything fresh and new and warm again. It wakes, it breaths, it grows again. You weren’t owed this; it’s not a debt you’re collecting, a gift that’s overdue, a marker you won in a game. It’s the ordinary yearly miracle."

It's certainly the spring/summer period that I enjoy the most. The late balmy evenings, sitting outside with friends, breathing in the scent of the air and soaking up the atmosphere, knowing that this perfect moment created in your head will soon dissipate leaving only the memory. But what a memory.

See you tomorrow for more.

Monday, April 18, 2005


This weekend seemed to pass pretty quickly - don't they all? At least this Friday is pay day which means you're not looking at your wallet picking through how many pounds you have in loose change. You can begin to set piles of it in strategic places around the house for another 3 weeks until you need them.
Money is a funny thing or I guess it gives everyone a funny quirk. I'm one of those people who doesn't like having anything less than 20p's in the zipper.
It used to be coppers, then they made 5ps the size of atoms and they went too. Now inflation has made 10ps next to useless. Everything is £X.99 anyway so you'll mostly be getting 1p back. The only time I ever seem to get 10ps back is when I buy a pint.

I've been playing a lot of Nowhere Else & Beyond which I talked about last week. It's one of those addictcively crap games where you don't seem to do much, give up and then want to play again about 5 minutes later.

I also found news of Age of Empires III. It's about time they released a new version and this looks like it's been dragged into the 21st century. This will provide a nice distraction until the new Elder Scrolls game is brought out ;)

Coffee time!

Saturday, April 16, 2005

Weird And Wonderful

I found two bizarre flash animation sites that'll shit you up.

The first is Weebls Stuff. The site's been going for a few years but I haven't been to it in a while so I wasn't aware the site was so expansive. Check out the toons for some crazy shiznit.

The second is Fat Pie which is animation by David Firth. This dude is seriously screwed up in the head and his stuff is beyond the line. The line is a dot to Mr Firth. Kudos.

I also found a site called Heavy which has some interesting links that should keep you entertained.

And last but not least Brian I were wondering if there was going to be a sequel to Elder Scrolls 3: Morrowind. And yes, yes there is. It's called Oblivion and the screenshots are mouth-watering.

Gamespot #12

This week it's hot shot "supper" Johny Rocketfinger!

Interact with his environment and solve crimes by being a total bad-ass.


Friday, April 15, 2005

Sin City

I've been waiting a few days to watch this since I've been reading a little about it and Sin City did not let me down.
The film is essentially in three parts. The first part revolves around Marv, played by Mickey Rourke. He's on a mission to find the killer of a girl that screwed him over in the past. The second story revolves around Dwight, played by Clive Owen. He is on a mission to save the girls of Old Town from being taken over by the police and the mob. The third story revolves around Hartigan, played by Bruce Willis. His story spans quite a few years and is split between the start and end of the film where the other 2 plots weave through and often touch. Sin City is a small but dirty city full of characters. It's an adaption from Frank Millers comic of the same name and, unlike other comic adaptions where it's watered down, Frank served as a co-director and what you get is a faithful version.
It's shot in a semi black and white film noir and there's no more than 5 colours used in the entire film which gives it a certain quality that suits it perfectly. The film is certainly worth return visits to find out exactly what you've missed the first time around and it could even reach cult status of Pulp Fiction standards and it deserves it. Tarantino even guest directs a scene but it's the main director, Robert Rodriguez, who has made his masterpiece.
I would give this film 4.5 colours out of 5.


Thursday, April 14, 2005

Something Fishy Going On

Last night was Tonys turn to cook and he turned in a fine effort of trout based on a Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall recipe. It flaked off the fork and was tasty as hell. This was finished by peach melba. Mmmmm. The preparation was really easy, notably because I was in the pub and turned up a few minutes late for duties, and I'll have to get the recipe from him.

Hugh also has his own River Cottage website which is quite interactive and has a good recipe for nettle beer - ready in 1 week!

Unfortunately I woke up this morning feeling sweaty and nauseous with a sore head to boot. You know that kind of sore head that feels like it's gone and then you move around and it's back again with avengeance?
Well, I made it into work, nearly vomited over my desk and then decided I shouldn't have come in. Slouched back home and fell into bed. Awoke around 11am and lay there for a good 15 minutes feeling sorry for myself. Decided to put my being home to productive use and filled in a job application for the Northern Ireland Film & television Commission.

It's now lunchtime but I'm not sure I can handle anything so I think I'll opt for a slice of toast and see how that goes. Lou told me yesterday that the router should be arriving today so at least if it does it'll keep me out of mischief!
Catch you on the flip-flop folks.

Wednesday, April 13, 2005

Running Out Of Steam

I left work at 3pm yesterday for a dentist appointment. They seem to have the same environment as a doctors surgery - supplements from papers you never knew existed and if they are then they're 3 months out of date. I thought I spied a copy of the Economist which would have provided some light relief but it was a copy of last years shoe catalogue. I'd even settle for a old Beano. Anyway, after 15 minutes of waiting my name was called.

It took 2 minutes between hanging my coat up and putting it back on again and she reckoned I needed 2 fillings. I was gobsmacked. All she did was move the mirror along both sets of teeth and called out the number of the tooth, it's condition and what, if anything, needed doing to it. No probing with the long nail-like device, the scraping, the pushing, would I like a polish? She asked the assistant if she could do the fillings now and was told that there was no time. The whole procedure was more rushed than squeezing the Godfather into a 30 minute film. I phoned them back this morning and explained the above and could I see another dentist please? So I have another appointment at the same time with Vic, not Olga. I guess if service is equal to forename then the service wasn't bad but it cuts no dice with me. No one is putting fillings in my teeth after an inspection lasting as long as it takes me to pee. I take good care of my teeth. Good brush in the morning, chew gum in work and brush again before bed, mouthwash included with the occasional flossing. I don't eat sugary foods more than I should and I haven't needed a filling since I was a teenager.
The next appointment is 26th April so I'll keep you posted.

Last night I went to see Steamboy as part of the Belfast Film Festival. It's about a boy whose father and grandfather work in America for a corporation that manufactures military steam contraptions, while the boy himself shows promise with more a benign form of steam machinery back in Manchester, England. After a mysterious steam contraption arrives for the boy from his grandfather, he gets caught up in a dilemma between his disfigured corporate controlled father who makes steam weapons of war and the boys grandfather who does not want to see the ultamite steam contraption used for war.
As a kids film it involves some fairly grand ideas of morality in selling arms to countries for purposes of starting a war or using the products to further mankind. I was trying to come up with a summary of the film when I found a review that said it for me. "Essentially, Steamboy crams too many action set pieces and grand ideas into a story too lightweight to fully support them, and the plot suffers because of it." It certainly seems to waver and mid-way through the film my attention span was wavering. Then came a full solid hour of action. The problem though was that the action revolved around steam, faulty pipes and a ridiculous machine called the Steam Tower. There was also a girl called Miss Scarlett whose presence in the film was never really justified more than a comedic overblown side piece.
Steamboy was nice to look at but after the steam cleared [hur-hur!] there's nothing left but condensation.
I would give this film 3 boiling kettles out of 5.

Tuesday, April 12, 2005

Gamespot #11

Slight change of plan this week as I'm opting for a more labour intensive game recommended by Don. It's called Nowhere Else & Beyond and it will require a quick and painless sign up.

At the minute I'm level 2 and getting my ass kicked in about half the battles. Unfortunately I'm having some problems running it on Firefox in work although it runs fine on the same browser at home. I ran it on IE and it was a bit slow and I wasn't able to evade my enemies. Any handy hints and tips welcome.


Monday, April 11, 2005


The above picture is of Mount Muckish in Donegal. Unfortunately it was the last one that my camera took before deciding it would no longer be functional. The camera itself has sentimental attachment because I bought it in the Sony tower in Tokyo when I was in Japan in 2002. It had just been released and it cost me Y50,000 (about £250). So you can see why it's concerning. There's no way I can afford a new one but there's no reason it should have stopped working in the first place as it's only 3 years old and in great condition. I'll have to leave it into a shop and it'll probably cost me an arm and a leg. Still, Lou and I are hoping to tour the south this summer and I will definitely need it then.

So after examing my camera for the duration of the journey, we arrived in Dunfanaghy. The weather was typically mixed and we unpacked the car, lit a fire and ate lunch as the rain decided to come down in true Donegal fashion. After several hours the rain cleared and we got a chance to walk on the beach. We were all alone save for a man walking his dog on the other side of the beach and a few kids playing with a kite behind the huge sand dunes. The feeling being on that beach is overwhelming to my senses. It's a feeling of isolation surrounded in immense beauty that's conflicting but satisfying.

We sat in front of the fire and enjoyed a few glasses of vino and watched Constantine. It's a Keanu Reeves film based on a DC comic about a supernatural detective whose investigation leads him to the world of demons and angels. It's pretty blasé and not surprisingly Keanu couldn't act himself out of a paper bag. I would give this film 1 halo out of 5.

After a nice lie-in on Saturday, I looked out the window. Rain. Typical. I remade the fire and tidied up. Coffee and a biggety B and I was feeling much better. The rain had stopped and it looked to be clearing up. We made breakfast and left the house. We drove to Falcarragh and just got on the beach when the rain came upon us like rapists in the night. God-dammit. Would we ever get a break. We ran back to the car and sat there steaming up the windows until the rain eased off. Our cursing session must have paid dividends because the clouds cleared into a bright and cheerful afternoon and we set off through Gortahork to Bloody Foreland. We then drove in the opposite direction to Ards Forest Park. We have never been here before and there are plenty of walks. We took the yellow route and it led us around twisty paths onto a beautiful sandy beach. It is definitely a place to come back to for a day out with a picnic and some swimming. We got back early afternoon and after a lunch we rested for a while and then went for a long walk on the beach. Fantastic.

That evening we watched The Machinist starring Christian Bale. The producers of the film claim that he dropped from about 180 pounds in weight down to about 120 pounds in weight to make this film. They also claim that Bale actually wanted to drop down to 100 pounds, but that they would not let him go below 120 out of fear that his health could be in too much danger if he did. His diet consisted of one can of tuna and an apple per day. His 63 pound weight loss is said to be a record for any actor for a movie role. It certainly shows. He is a very gaunt figure indeed and at times very hard to look at. He plays a character who hasn't slept in a year and strange things begin to happen (duh) that makes him question his own sanity. It starts well but slips into 2nd gear about 30 minutes in and doesn't really recover. Bale obviously spent a lot of effort on his character and he plays it very well but is let down by script problems. Nevertheless I wouldn't mind watching this film again to see if it improves with a second view.
I would give it 3.5 sleepless nights out of 5.

On Sunday we cleaned up our filth and after a strong coffee we packed everything up and went for a final drive along the coastal route. The weather was excellent and the view over the cliffs into the Atlantic Ocean were breath-taking. The beaches looked idyllic in the distance like a hazy dream of a long forgotten summer holiday and it was a pity we couldn't linger. I wish I could have taken photographs of the scenery but I know I will be back in the summer and I will certainly have a working camera to soak up the views.

Thursday, April 07, 2005

Prawn Cocktail, Stir-fried Chicken with Lime & Coconut and Rich Bread & Butter Pudding

Last night I made Prawn Cocktail, Stir-fried Chicken with Lime & Coconut and Rich Bread & Butter Pudding.

I was pleased with the starter and pudding but the stir-fry lacked a bit of oomph which is explained because I couldn't find any fish sauce. I also had to use turkey instead of chicken.
I think next time I will opt for a casserole or something involving king prawns or duck.

It was a good night overall and we watched an episode of Garth Marengi's Dark Place which I haven't seen in ages and I wish they would release it on DVD. I can't even find an internet site about it. Great comedy is always overlooked and great walls of crap like Little Britain get acclaim thrown at them but it doesn't stick for me. I must get around to finishing Cobra Squad: Ignite!

I'm off to Donegal for the weekend so I'll post a game a little later to keep you entertained tomorrow.


Wednesday, April 06, 2005

The Best Things In Life Are Free

That's the saying and it's especially true if the beer is free.

Once again the Beer Posse(TM) was out in force. Last night the venue was Morrisons. The mission? To clear the palette using half a pint of lager P49 before perusing 4 other pint lagers with ubiquitous names and jot down what we think of them on a questionnaire.

To the untrained gut, this seems like an easy task but drinking 4 1/2 pints in 90 minutes isn't as easy as you might imagine. The problem is that you don't know what you're drinking and also that you're mixing your lagers. In one case I couldn't finish a particularly strong lager that had more ale qualities and was more filling than fish pie. In another the beer was mildly offensive to my tongue. The other 2 slipped down like old people on ice.

After collecting our £25, Don and I met up with everyone else at Lavery's for some pool. I'm not sure my game suffered under the intake of alcohol because my game is pretty damn awful anyways. I won then lost against Don and then lost against Jenny. The white ball spent most of the time on the floor so I guess my game was in the gutter. There was also plenty of exercise because they were renovating the taps and you had to go down and up 2 flights of stairs to get served.

Needless to say I'm feeling the effects of last night this morning and it'll be around 11am before I wake up properly. Speaking of which, I hear the coffee calling...

Tuesday, April 05, 2005

Falling On Deaf Ears

Musical taste is like marmite.

In work we have a cd/tape/radio player. 90% of the time it's on Radio 1. 90% of what Radio 1 plays is putrid ear cancer. Every now and then we get to bring it up a notch and bring in our own cds to play. BAM. My compilations are usually given the rough treatment because it's not standard pop nonsense. Today is no expception. Below I have set down the tracklist and, where possible, have linked a sample[song link] or a review[left link]. Let me know what you think.

Tommy Guerrero - Rusty Gears, Lonely Years
Mr Scruff - Ug
The Shins - Kissing The Lipless
The Stone Roses - Don't Stop
The Negro Problem - Is This The Single?
Yeah Yeah Yeahs - Maps
Sun Kil Moon - Pancho Villa
Tricky - Over Me
The Tea Party - The Bazaar
The Smashing Pumpkins - 1979
Cinematic Orchestra - Channel 1 Suite (Fourtet Remix)
The Decemberists - July, July!
The Delgados - Past That Suits You Best
The Postal Service - District Sleeps Alone Tonight
Weezer - Pink Triangle
Windsor For The Derby - Emotional Rescue
Yo La Tengo - Let's Save Tony Orlando's House
Wilco - War On War

Gamespot #10

Logjammin'. That word always makes me laugh. This game is called Log Runner. It's based on the 80's arcade game Frogger. Should keep you going for a few rounds before you go back to the tickle game...

Monday, April 04, 2005

Tickle Me Pink

I found this amusing "game" where the object is to tickle the beautiful lady to make her react.
I'm not sure there's actually a point to it but it sure is fun.

I should mention that this game is 3MB so it takes a moment to load. It's also probably not safe in a uppity workplace - there's no nudity or anything, just a writhing giggling lady.

Wireless Connection

It was a social heavy weekend this time around with plenty of partying to go around.

On Friday evening I was gaming at Keiths place with Brian and Bert. I'm playing a Half Orc-Human called Squish Brenning who often masquerades as Sir Lord Brenning of Constantinople due to his incredible wealth and penchant for the finer things in life. Why run into battle with a breast plate when you can stand about in a nobles outfit preparing to rage?

On Saturday, Don and I made our way across town and had lunch on the Dublin Road at a café called F E A S T S. I had an apple and elderberry drink and a ciabatta sandwich of brie, avocado and bacon. Very Oh-Ooo. Very tasty. It was a beautiful day and sitting out in an enclosed terrace with the sun beating down on your back in Belfast is rare, especially in April.
Afterwards we had another go at the wireless router with no avail and Ian popped over to assess the situation. He thought it might be the router and so he took it away for testing. Meanwhile Lou cooked up a storm in the kitchen and produced some top notch tortias for dinner.
It was Lou's cousin, Grainne's, birthday and we were heading to Tatu that night. There was a huge queue outside and it was jam-packed inside. Luckily everyone was sitting in a reserved area so the only pain in the ass was getting drinks spilled on the way back. They should equip all new drinks with the beeping noise on reversing trucks and people can move out of your way. We stayed out until 2am and had a night-cap in Wandas before taxiing back home and chatting for a while before crashing out.

On Sunday we had a very relaxed affair and once again Lou cooked up a kick-ass fry and unfortunately had to leave to work at the library. This gave Don and I an opportunity to play some Age of Empires before Ian arrived around 4pm to diagnose the router. It does seem to be the problem so I've boxed it up ready for return. I hope this doesn't turn out to be a problem but I can't help feeling like this item is going to cause some concern. Fingers crossed!

Later that night, Lou and I watched a Brazilian film called Carandiru. It's based on the real life prison of Carandiru, Brazils largest prison. The real Carandiru prison was demolished in 2002, it will be transformed into a park with arts facilities. One block (#2) was left intact to be used as a museum. The film was the last thing they used the prison before demolishing 90% of it.
It's a very well filmed prison-drama full of characters and horrific situations with the reality of situation deeply embedded in each scene.
I would give 4.5 months of solitary confinement out of 5.

I'm looking forward to this week as I'm off on Friday and Lou and I are heading to Donegal for a well-deserved break. Gamespot seems to be all over the place recently so I think I'll post it later today for you. Keep it safe, keep it sigh-fi.

Friday, April 01, 2005

Pork Chops

Don was cooking last night. We created Pork Chops with noodles in a peanut sauce. It really hit the spot. It was also the first day of the year that felt humid although still cold by Summer standards. Everything was washed down with a cold Bass. Lou and Jenny also joined us which was great and there was more of an atmosphere that goes with a larger group. The dishes also took a shorter time to clean.

We finished the night by watching Mystery Men. It's a great film and I wonder why Ben Stiller bothers himself with Rom Coms when he's better suited making an ass out of himself.

The wireless devices also arrived this afternoon so it's going to be a busy night of networking. My PC is in serious need of an overhaul. A new graphics card would be great and I could give Lou mine and buy her some RAM too as her PC is slower than mine even though she's got a nice Athlon 2100 CPU, possibly due to the 256 RAM she has...

Glad today is Thursday too. I don't think I could have done a full week. I'm pretty busy in work these days but I still feel the need to break out and find something more challenging and worthwhile. I'm also getting itchy feet and the desire to start planning the summer vacation is fast approaching. We've decided to tour Ireland this year so it's time to buy the Lonely planet for Ireland! Big ambitions, shoestring budget!


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