Wednesday Mar 31, 2010

All my pictures seem to fade to black and white

Tonight we head into town for a few beers, to commemorate the untimely passing of Sun Microsystems Ireland Limited, some 17 years after Sun's operations began in Dublin, and a little less than ten years after I joined.

Tomorrow, at 10.30am sharp, and likely with a few sore heads, we become inducted as employees of Oracle Ireland. See you on the other side.

Monday Dec 15, 2008


Every day on my drive into work, I arrive at this junction near the office, and sit in the filter lane at the lights, needing to turn right.

The sequence of the lights varies depending on the time of day, but there's generally a cycle where the straight-ahead filter is green, and the right-turn filter is red. (Sometimes, when the right-turn filter is red, the pedestrian light is also green, but only if a pedestrian pressed the button.)

At least once a week, when the straight-ahead filter is green, but the right-turn filter is red, some cretin (usually a lorry driver) will honk his horn at me if there's a gap in the oncoming traffic, until the right-turn filter comes on and I move off. (Today it was a lorry driver and a Nissan Micra full of Dublin's finest.)

If I'm particularly lucky, they'll then follow me down that road to the lights at the Business Park, where I need to make a left turn. At those lights, there's a similar sort of setup with a straight-ahead filter and a left-filter. But there's no dedicated filter lane at this one, so the left lane is for both left-turning and straight ahead traffic. Of course, when the straight-ahead filter is green, and the left-turn filter is red, that gives them another chance to honk their horns, if they were too thick to realise that I was indicating to turn left and they probably ought to have moved out into the right lane as we approached the lights so they wouldn't have to wait.

It does my head in. That is all.

Thursday Jun 12, 2008

Après Match 2008

If there's one thing that always brightens up RTÉ's coverage of the big fitba' tournaments, it's the Après Match team's piss-takes of the Irish TV pundits, which are usually shown at the end of the live coverage or highlights programmes. They remind me a lot of the early Only an Excuse? sketches from back home.

I'd missed most of AM's Euro 2008 efforts so far, so I was happy to find out tonight that they're online here[1]. I presume the site will be updated as they do more throughout the tournament.

Naturally they're much funnier if you're familiar with the Irish TV stations' football coverage, although the targets include the likes of Graeme Souness, Liam Brady and Frank Stapleton who are familiar enough to viewers in the UK and elsewhere. That said, they actually started with a Sky Sports send-up this year—just a pity Gary Cooke's impression of Andy Gray is one of the poorest I've heard any of them do, especially as Risteárd's Richard Keys is right on the money!

[1] RealPlayer plugin required, and doesn't seem to work with Firefox, I'm afraid

Monday Mar 10, 2008

Moon on a stick

In an odd twist of 90's nostalgia fate, I had the opportunity to see (and, indeed, briefly chat to) both Stewart Lee and Richard Herring live in Dublin in the past couple of weeks... older readers on this side of the pond may remember they used to be a double act in the BBC TV shows Fist of Fun and This Morning with Richard Not Judy (some of which are archived on Stewart's website). More recently, Stewart Lee co-wrote Jerry Springer-- The Opera.

Enjoyed both their gigs, but Stewart Lee was probably a bit more to my rib-tickling taste-- then again, he is the 41st Best Stand Up Ever. (Julie was rather pleased to get a kiss off Richard Herring, though!)

Tuesday Feb 19, 2008

Tech Pro

After completing the Painting With Light photography class last year, I've just started Cheryl's Tech Pro Masterclass. Part of the prep is to choose a theme for the "visual diary" you have to keep, and I've decided to run with "Architecture and Geometry". We'll see how it goes. Here are a couple of shots from my first weekend's snapping (straight from the camera, so as yet uncropped and untweaked.)

Tall ship Jeannie Johnston IFSC apartments Chequered building, Docklands

Wednesday Aug 22, 2007

Meteorological Apology

We're having summer in Dublin today. Apologies to anyone who will have missed it by visiting on any other day of the year.

Wednesday Jun 20, 2007

Busy old month

First up, the main part of Julie's belated birthday present from me was a spa weekend at the Johnstown House Marriott over in County Meath, still one of our favourite retreats when we want to spoil ourselves. That was supposed to be followed by her even-more-belated Christmas present the next day-- a trial flying lesson up near Belfast-- but it was cancelled for the second time this year due to poor weather. (It's rescheduled for this weekend, but the signs don't look good so far...)

On Bank Holiday Monday, Julie again joined 40,000 or so other women in the Women's 10km Mini-Marathon. Lack of training opportunities meant her time wasn't quite as good as her last outing, but she still raised a tidy sum for the Niall Mellon Township Trust.

Following that, the other 'big bit' of Julie's birthday present was tickets to see George Michael at the RDS outdoor arena in Dublin... not especially my cup of tea musically (I enjoyed Sophie Ellis-Bextor's warm-up set more than I was expecting though-- and not just because of those legs!), but there's no denying he knows how to put on a show, and the weather couldn't have been better. Here's hoping it's as good on Friday for my birthday day out to see Peter Gabriel and Crowded House in Marlay Park, but as it's been tipping it down and blowing a hooley all week so far, that looks unlikely to say the least...

On the geek front, pretty much every gadget I own has given up the ghost this month. First my camcorder, which fortunately was repaired under warranty. Then it was the turn of my ageing Minolta S414 digicam, whose CCD has thrown a fatal wobbler. (I luckily have a bit of birthday money to replace that... price and feature-wise, I'm looking at something along the lines of a Finepix S5700, but I'd prefer the proper image stabilisation and the form factor of a Lumix-- suggestions welcome!) My PS2's optical drive then proceeded to expire noisily; cue a quick trip down to Game to get one of the new slimline jobbies. (And another trip back next week armed with WEEE documentation to take my old one back for recycling again, since they refused the first time.)

Finally, the video cable on my PowerBook G4 has failed to the point of uselessness, after creaking a bit for a few months... 'fortunately', the five-year-old Dell Inspiron 8100 that I was using as a home server also suffered yet another hard disk failure the other week, so the PowerBook can take over those duties when my new MacBook Pro arrives :)


I am a Principal UX Engineer in the Systems Experience Design team, working at Oracle (via Sun Microsystems) since the turn of the century. I currently work on sysadmin user experience projects for Solaris. Formerly I worked on open source Solaris desktop projects such as GNOME, NWAM and IPS.


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