Friday 29 August 2008

You are my achilles heel

There is a sign in the office canteen that says "Please place all used crockery and cutlery in the dishwasher".

I can't tell you how long it has been since I heard somebody use the word crockery. They are "the dishes" or "the delph".

A "crockery" should be a place where injured footballers go to recover.

The Friday Album Cover #11

Last night I was asked if, as an "up and coming comedian" I would be interested in serving as a patron to a small but important charity.

After I had picked myself up from the floor I politely declined, explaining that I don't feel I have a big enough profile to be in any way beneficial to even the smallest of charities. In actual fact, I don't have any profile - they may as well have asked a man drinking from a buckfast bottle in a brown paper bag if a patronage role would be of interest to him.

Secondly, bring described as "up and coming" (or a "comedian" for that matter) lead me to question if the woman who made the enquiry had herself been over indulging in the nectar of the destitute.

Madness I tells ya!

And now, on with the show...

An easy one I think you'll agree.

Wednesday 27 August 2008

Some people they call me Jack

During a recent conversation with a friend of mine who works in sales, he made reference to "The Seven Habits of Highly Effective People". (Sales - wouldn't ya know it!)

Although I had never heard of it before, he assured me it is an enormously popular self help book. So I looked it up.

The following, in case you are wondering, are the habits or highly effective people:

  • Be Proactive.
  • Begin with the End In Mind.
  • Put First Things First.
  • Think Win/Win.
  • Seek First to Understand, Then to be Understood.
  • Synergize.
  • Sharpen the saw.

I would suggested that the aforementioned habits could be marketed just as effectively as a Beginners Guide to Serial Killing.

Tuesday 26 August 2008

Everybody's Talkin'

Lying in bed last night, the CPF got to talking about the music and works of Thin Lizzy.

She explained why she considers Live and Dangerous to be among the greatest live albums ever recorded.

She marvelled at Lynott's charisma and his incredible talent for writing clever, insightful lyrics.

She compared the beautiful, heart-breaking delicacy of songs like 'The Sun Goes Down', 'Sarah' and 'Still in Love with You' with hell raising tracks such as 'Hollywood (Down on Your Luck)', 'Emerald' and 'Bad Reputation'.

She went to great lengths to outline the influence the band had on other Irish artists.

Just your usual philo-talk really

Running Down a Dream

It's 4am, we're lying side by side in a state of snoozy semi-awakeness....

I just had a great dream.


I was watching a play I have never seen before. I must have literally dreamt it all up. The plot, the characters, their motives, stage directions... everything.

If it was an original idea maybe you could write it. Was it any good?

It must have been - it was on in The Abbey.

Monday 25 August 2008

Its only words

Just in relation to the previous post:

The plural of mouse is mice.
The plural of house however, is houses.

So what's the plural of spouse?

It has to be spice doesn't it?

Strong enough?

There are bits of advice that anybody who has ever used seen a computer will have heard 1,000 times. Titbits so clich├ęd in their overuse that even a mono-syllabic footballing neanderthal should be too ashamed to use.

1. Back up your work every 5 minutes.
Ha! Occasionally I will remember this little golden nugget and think "I'll save this as soon as I finish this section". Of course I am usually 5 minutes of stubbing pointer and middle at the keyboard from the end of the section - and 4 minutes from a power cut. Some people live and learn - I prefer the thrill of living on the edge, never knowing what will happen next.

2. Make sure you use a strong password
Generally this can be paraphrased as "Don't use the name of your pets, children, spouse, favourite football team or any word from the dictionary".

The trick is to use some system that will make your password easy for you to remember but difficult for other people to guess. Generally this involves picking a word or phrase and using a mix of upper and lower case characters and/or replacing some letters with numbers (i.e. 3 for E, 1 for I or 0 for O).

Today I had the pleasure of remotely logging into a client network. The password they had assigned my account was a completely random collection of 20 numbers, letters and special characters. It was certainly a strong password as, short of suddenly developing autism, I had no chance of ever remembering it. So.... I wrote it down.

Doesn't that kind of defeat the purpose?

Is it possible to create a password so strong that is ultimately weak?


... to David O'Doherty who picked up this year's if.comedy award (formerly the perrier) at the Edinburgh festival for his show 'Let's Comedy'.

O'Doherty is the 4th Irish comedian to collect the award - joining the elevated ranks of Sean Hughes, Dylan Moran and Tommy Tiernan in doing so.

Rhod Gilbert, who you may remember from previous posts such as 'Handle With Care', was also among the nominees.

Wednesday 20 August 2008

Cuts like a knife...

I am not a blood donor. Its not because I have no social conscience or have an irrational fear of needles or even that the BTSB consider me an unsuitable donor because I answered one of their questions incorrectly. (Have you ever paid for sex? Does 12 bacardi breezers count?). It's just that I am too bad at shaving and don't feel I can spare the haemoglobin.

I have extremely sensitive skin. You will hurt its feelings if you question its parentage- and it cuts easily. My morning shaving ritual should really see a Gillette Mach 3 razor in one hand and a sword in the other - to defend myself.

The first wet razor I ever had was a Gillette Sensor , given to me by Black Tie when I collected a suit for my debs. "Wow!" I thought - for I had seen the adverts and I knew that a Gillette Sensor was the razor to have at the time.

It made perfect sense - two blades would be better than one. It would work just like the TV adverts promised. The graphics clearly showed that single blade razors failed to remove all the stubble - they left bits behind. But a Gillette Sensor? Well clearly that was different. The first blade would cut the hair then, the second blade would come along, right behind it, to handle anything that remained. Between them, both blades would remove every last nanometer of every last follicle, providing a perfectly smooth shave that would make attractive women want to stroke my face. However did men get by with just the one blade before this?

Then along came the Gillette Mach 3. With 3 blades. And Gillette produced an advert to promote it. An advert which told us that the Gillette Sensor hadn't really provided as close a shave as we originally thought. Apparently it too, left small bits of hair behind. Bits of hair that required a third (and apparently more expensive) blade to take care of. "Honest" they said (somehow keeping a straight face).

Being neither naive or susceptible enough to believe the hype, I didn't buy one. In fact, I refused to buy one based on a belief that every unit sold brought us one step closer to a razor with a 4th blade. So beginning a never ending cycle - until men the world over were shaving with something resembling a window blind.

It was only when my Gillette Sensor was literally falling apart and some batty old aunt presented me with a Gillette shaving kit for Christmas (my third that day) that I began using the Mach 3.

Then Gillette produced the Fusion razor - with 5 bloody blades on the front. AND A 6th ON THE BACK! "No" I said, "You will not catch me buying one of those yokes". But that was before I forgot to pack my razor when heading off to Mammy and Daddy Ambassador's country residence last week. It was also before the local supermarket was selling them at a lower price than all other non-disposable razors. (Me using a disposable razor would be akin to suicide).

Its not bad as razors go. It performs about the same as the Mach 3 - but I won't be using it ever again. You see it comes with a battery in the handle and a button. Pressing the button causes the razor to vibrate. And when you have skin which cuts as easily as mine - well something that makes the your hand shake is the last thing you need.

Friday 1 August 2008

The Friday Album Cover #10

The home fires are once again burning - although I doubt it will be long before somebody finds me sitting in a corner, curled up in the foetal position, slowly rocking back and forth, muttering 'Just when I thought I was out... they pull me back in'.

Don't expect normal service to resume right away however, for this evening the doors of Ambassador Towers will be chained and padlocked, the staff sent home and the milk order for the next 2 weeks cancelled as we head off for a bit of a summer break. We won't be heading anywhere sun-kissed or exotic - there is a wedding to plan and these things cost money. Not serious money mind. Not the vast quantities of money that would really be put to better use paying a chunk off your mortgage. But enough that every piece of unexpected expenditure is measured in terms of tangible wedding day items - One of your parents has to go without dessert, you'll have to have a smaller bouquet or I'll only be able to wear the one shoe

Still - the big holiday next year should make up for it. We have a couple of ideas in mind but suggestions are always welcome.

And finally, to today's album cover. I bet you never thought all that time you spent learning semaphore in scouts would come in useful. Well prepare to eat your words (or not) as I give you....

Answers on a postcard to the usual address!