Wednesday, January 30, 2008

Web Heroes

The Internet is so brilliant, especially in David versus Goliath situations. Canon have a built-in obsolescence trick in their printers where, after a certain length of time or useage, their machines send up an "Ink absorber almost full" and then "Ink absorber full" message. If you ring them about it, they tell you to buy a new printer. Meanwhile, if you go online, all these great fixit guys tell you how to reset your printer and get it working again. Hurrah for the little guys and boo to the corporation! I've just done it and I'm back in business with a perfectly fine printer. (As you can tell from the post below I am having techno difficulties these days. It was a lot easier when I just worked on a typewriter, but then again, a lot slower.)

Tuesday, January 29, 2008

Security Warning: Norton!

I've just wasted three days trying to download an extra Norton product - Norton Security Works - which they don't warn you involves uninstalling your entire Norton Security system first! And despite various efforts to do the latter, even with technical advice from their chat lines, I did not succeed. So finally I requested a refund for this useless item and they tell me, no, you can only have a refund for the whole thing, i.e. your renewal subscription and the useless thing. That, of course, was the last straw. So I've cancelled all of it and I am going McAfee. Not that I ever wanted Norton in the first place. I requested McAfee when I purchased my Dell computer but I guess they have some arrangement with Norton. Right now, I am pissed off with all of them.

Thursday, January 24, 2008

Golden Eagle Chick

Here it is, a pic of the first golden eagle born in Donegal in over a hundred years! And the first sign of real success for the Golden Eagle Reintroduction Project in Ireland: The golden eagle was hunted to extinction in the 19th century. Apparently they were bred for a time in the 1950s, then disappeared again. This project, now 7 years old, has been bringing young golden eagles from Scotland to live and breed on the great cliffs of the Donegal coast. I've named the project as the environmental group which will receive prize money from the Green Earth Book Award. (See my Book Blog for more details.) This little dote was born in December 2007. Here's hoping more chicks will be born in 2008. (Photo: Lorcan O'Toole)

Sunday, January 20, 2008

St. Germain - Rose Rouge(live)

Sometimes you have to kick over the traces and go wild, just to remind yourself you are alive! Went dancing last night at the Bel-Air Hotel in Ashford, then off into the mountains for an all-nighter, partying like a madwoman till dawn. We were celebrating the wrap of Kathleen's first film as director. GO, WOMAN! Here's some of the music we were dancing to. Love these guys.

Tuesday, January 15, 2008

Me Brains are Freud

Here's an interesting little tidbit a friend passed on to me. Apparently Sigmund Freud said this of the Irish: This is one race of people for whom psychoanalysis is of no use whatsoever. Now is this a compliment or no? And what exactly does the good doctor mean? Do we blather too much for 'the talking cure'?

Monday, January 14, 2008

Post Christmas Post

Haven't blogged much lately. It seems to take ages to get the house and head back in order after Christmas. But all is almost running smoothly now and I am working away on the new book. Saturday night saw me trance dancing in Newcastle. That's not as wild as it sounds. The newly formed Wicklow Dance Co-operative is a collection of odd sods and bods who love to dance, but can't stand the noisy clubs full of cider-crazed youths. Yeah, we're old and new hippies. But the music is fabulous, the lighting is candles, we start in a circle and say hello to everyone, then dance as we wish. People take turns being the DJ. I'm waiting for Edwin's playlist. It was amazing.

Tuesday, January 08, 2008

Pullman, the Movie

Went to see The Golden Compass on the weekend. I was very excited about going and anticipated a visual feast after the trailer, but must confess to being disappointed. Yes, it was beautifully produced with some gorgeous scenes, but the patchy all-over-the place nature of the story-line worked against the production values. There was a dreadful amount of exposition - always a sign of poor scripting and even worse direction - and far too many bald one-liners to keep the viewer up to scratch. When the umpteenth one was expressed I thought, "oh for godsake, we aren't that slow!" Is it the nature of the book or the movie-maker that makes this such a poor film? Difficult to know. Certainly Pullman's work involves more philosophy and intellectual breadth than Lord of the Rings, though both are of equal epic scope. Perhaps it simply couldn't be translated properly. Let's see how the second one goes.

Tuesday, January 01, 2008

Athbhliain Faoi Mhaise Duibh

That's Happy New Year to ye's in Irish. Count the consonants. Here's how you pronounce it: aath-vleen fwee vawsha dee-uv. And here's a kind of ballparkish translation into English from my Gaeilgeoir daughter: "change of the year under blessings to you." And in keeping with my own little blog tradition, here are my resolutions for 2008:
1) support Finn through her Leaving Cert (barbaric Irish rite of passage)
2) take night courses in Digital Camera and Tai Chai
3) get down to business with new book
4) do the wonderful thing I can't talk about yet (see Book Blog where I can't talk about it also)
5) spend another small fortune on my teeth
6) have more fun
7) get ready to move to the West of Ireland - wa-hoo!
*Oh and check out my new website design on!*