Sunday 31 May 2009

Sorting out an Admin Worst Practices offender

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Just to prove to Coatsie and Bill that the sun does shine in Norn Iron

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A Dog Rose

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May Thorn in all of its wonderful glory

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Saturday 30 May 2009

Saturday Walk in the woods

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Famous Cousin Andy is Playing WOMAD this year

YEAH .. just got the news that my cousin Andy White is playing WOMAD again this year !!!!

KUDOS Cousin!! :-) You da Man!

From the WOMAD Site

Northern Irish songwriter Andy White plays WOMAD Charlton Park, Sunday July 26, before taking the songwriting strand of the WOMAD Summer School at Bath Spa University, July 27-31. At the festival, Andy will preview his forthcoming album 'Songwriter' (Floating World), on release this September.

It's been twenty three years since Andy burst onto the UK music scene with his debut album 'Rave On'. "Yer Man's Brilliant" proclaimed Melody Maker, and the singer the UK press called 'Belfast's Bob Dylan' or alternately 'Ireland's Billy Bragg' was born.

Since then, Andy has become very much his own man. His lyric-driven acoustic rock, which owes as much to David Gray or the Waterboys as Dylan or Bragg, has become more engaging-and his social commentary more relevant-each year.

Andy has been closely involved with WOMAD for a number of years, sharing its core values and appearing at many WOMAD festivals worldwide. In 2000, the WOMAD Select label released 'Speechless', a live performance album featuring Andy's best-known songs and poems.

Lead track on Peter Gabriel's current album 'Big Blue Ball' is 'Whole Thing', a song Andy wrote with Peter, Karl Wallinger, Geoffrey Oryema and others at a Real World recording week.

Andy's career highlights include winning Ireland's Hot Press Songwriter of the Year award, recording and touring as the A in ALT along with Liam O Maonlai and Tim Finn, and working and writing with the some of the great names in the music world-the Finn Brothers, Sinead O'Connor, Van Morrison.

Andy's new album 'Songwriter' was co-written over the past few years with a number of collaborators, and recorded live in the studio in Vancouver, with a rootsy all-star line-up. A shift from the layered textures of his current album 'Garageband' which was recorded in Andy's new home of Melbourne, Australia, and Real World, and mixed by old friend and national treasure John Leckie.

As MOJO magazine said about Andy, "From rage to sage, it's not too late to discover one of our best kept secrets."

Friday 29 May 2009

Blue Sky Evening in May

DSC00663, originally uploaded by DarkRedSpiral.

A Pretentious title for a photo i took on my phone.. and it is just.. well it is just "right" .. well i think so ;-)

Thursday 28 May 2009

BBA - Breeding Bananas for Anguilla

The ravages of the Anguilla Banana Famine continue. I encourage all you folk on the interweb to start breeding Bananas now to ease the suffering

Tuesday 26 May 2009

Two Tribes forever at each others throats?

On Sunday a man was murdered not 5 minutes from where I sit writing this post. His wife was beaten, a neighbour a woman several months pregnant who tried to stop the beating was attacked and another man was beaten so badly around the head that he remains in a critical condition in hospital.

The reasons why this happened are not clear, however it seems that tensions in the area rose when Glasgow Rangers won the Scottish league. For those of you not familiar with the sectarian nature that surrounds some football teams. Glasgow Rangers is regarded as a Protestant team and their neighbours Glasgow Celtic are nominally a "Catholic" team. The management of both teams have done much to try and shake themselves of this sectarian image, however some of their supporters hold tightly to the old ways. If you are a "Prod" (as protestants are known) you support Rangers, if you are a catholic you support Celtic, simple as that, or it is to those people who enjoy beating people with baseball bats because they support the other team.

There will be as is always the case in Northern Ireland a lot of "what-about-ery" as people with vested interests in staying firmly on one side of the sectarian divide try to blame the other side. They supported the "other" football team, they wore the other teams shirts, they flew a flag I am insulted by, they sang sectarian songs, they called us rude and hateful names , they acted in a provocative manner etc etc etc, trotting out the same tired old shite I have heard for my entire adult life from one side or the other.

For me it is simple ... no football team, no flag, no song, no injured national pride and no percieved insult to my religion is a valid excuse to beat a man to death, beat another to near death, beat a wife and mother and beat another pregnant woman.

The people that did this are scum.

The politicians that wriggle and squirm and attempt to justify and excuse are scum

Religions that propagate division by claiming their way is the "only true way" and all others are false and thus not even worthy of the hand of friendship are scum.

... and then there is me ... when faced with sectarianism in my life did I challenge it or opt for the way that caused me least problems? I suppose there is scum in me too :(

I didn't know Kevin McDaid, our paths crossed from time to time, Coleraine is not a big place.
My thoughts are with his family this evening and the relatives of the other victims, I hope for their full recovery ... although that I suspect is little comfort.

Perhaps one day instead of two tribes at each others throats, we will be two tribes that can share and become more that the sum of our parts ... that day I fear is still a long way away.

Sunday 24 May 2009

Irish Government, The Catholic Church and abuse

There are paragraphs and links in this post that are not easy to read ...

In Ireland for decades children were systematically abused, physically , sexually and psychologically by agents of the Catholic Church in Ireland. When they did report the abuse the children were ignored, when the complaints got to great to ignore the church simply moved the nuns, priests and brothers to other parts of the world out of the jurisdiction of the state ... not that they would have done a whole hell of a lot about it if they had got their hands on the abusers.

Justice Ryan a senior Irish Judge was tasked with investigating the 1000's of claims of abuse and his report was published this week all 5 volumes of it. The Christian Brothers went to court and won an injunction which means that Justice Ryan's report could not name the abusers in his report even when evidence exists that abuse did take place.

The head of the Catholic Church in Ireland Cardinal Brady, a mealy mouthed useless stream of piss is "saddened and sorry" by the report. SADDENED BY THIS?

from the Ryan Report ...
Physical abuse
More than 90% of all witnesses who gave evidence to the Confidential Committee reported being physically abused while in schools or out-of-home care. Physical abuse was a component of the vast majority of abuse reported in all decades and institutions and witnesses described pervasive abuse as part of their daily lives. They frequently described casual, random physical abuse but many wished to report only the times when the frequency and severity were such that they were injured or in fear for their lives. In addition to being hit and beaten, witnesses described other
forms of abuse such as being flogged, kicked and otherwise physically assaulted, scalded, burned and held under water. Witnesses reported being beaten in front of other staff, residents, patients and pupils as well as in private. Physical abuse was reported to have been perpetrated by religious and lay staff, older residents and others who were associated with the schools and institutions. There were many reports of injuries as a result of physical abuse, including broken bones, lacerations and bruising.

Sexual abuse
Sexual abuse was reported by approximately half of all the Confidential Committee witnesses. Acute and chronic contact and non-contact sexual abuse was reported, including vaginal and analrape, molestation and voyeurism in both isolated assaults and on a regular basis over long periods of time. The secret nature of sexual abuse was repeatedly emphasised as facilitating its occurrence. Witnesses reported being sexually abused by religious and lay staff in the schools and institutions and by co-residents and others, including professionals, both within and external to the institutions. They also reported being sexually abused by members of the general public, including volunteer workers, visitors, work placement employers, foster parents, and others who had unsupervised contact with residents in the course of everyday activities. Witnesses reported being sexually abused when they were taken away for excursions, holidays or to work for others. Some witnesses who disclosed sexual abuse were subjected to severe reproach by those who had responsibility for their care and protection. Female witnesses in particular described, at times, being told they were responsible for the sexual abuse they experienced, by both their abuser and those to whom they disclosed abuse.
The Irish Tax payer is fronting up a billion euros in compensation for their part in the conspiracy of silence over decades of abuse. The prime offenders, the catholic church has managed to find a paltry 128 million euro, obviously the shame of allowing the systematic abuse of children and then covering it up is worth 128 million.

The perfidious devils in the church that allowed this to happen and covered it up after discovered are still doing it today! Bishop John Magee supported by three of the senior members of the church refused to resign when an inquiry found his child protection policy inadequate and dangerous after complaints of abuse where investigated. The Bishop "stood aside" from the running of the diocese of Cloyne, although he STILL retains his title and is fully supported by the Vatican in his stand, although it does appear he has his head up his arse if he can't see what is happening around him.

There is shame enough for everyone in this report, for the state for ignoring it under church pressure, the public for thinking "it couldnt be true they are religious" .Both state and public are talking openly of their shame and trying to find ways to make some difference to lives of the survivors (and yes there were many who did not survive) and yet so far the Catholic Churtch through its senior representativea is "saddened" ... well Pope Benedict, Ireland is looking to you as God Botherer in Chief to be WAY more than saddened or "unable to comment at this time" .... get off your fecking arse and do something about it! The buck stops with you!

Have a read at the summary report here the full report runs to 5 volumes... 5 fecking volumes of documented misery all done by the agents of "The Catholic Jesus"

Have a listen to the discussion on Everyday Ethics

The Irish Times
take on Justice Ryan's report.

A rogue pair of FLEX purple underpants have mounted an assault on the yellow-only wash of my lotus web dev laundry

I have been a bit remiss with the Flex series I started a while back and I do apologise for the discontinuity and I have started doing some more examples that I will pop up on here in the next few days.

There is a part of me that is a wee bit ... embarrassed is not the right word ... concerned is perhaps better ... that whilst the movers and shakers in the Domino world are "Doing it" the Xpage way I have veered off into another RIA technology.

I have never been a fanboy of any particular technology I am more inclined to use the tools that I have access to and which get the job done. Now I have had a bit of a play with X-Pages and they are indeed a wonderful if slightly not-quite-there-yet thing. As the new Domino techniques develop I have found myself moving towards a place where Domino is a back end data store, like DB2, MySQL or Oracle

I am not sure quite why I this is happening, but technologies & frameworks like AJAX, FLEX etc do take a fair bit of the drudgery out of coding for the web. I found that it was easier to have a slight dichotomy between the app as seen on the web and the app as seen in the notes client rather than to have to make concessions in one or the other for the sake of conformity.

Taking this approach also means I can deliver web apps for a broader range of server installs. Back to V6.* rather than confine myself to V8.* servers thus giving more of my user base a nice warm feeling of being included in the "new" stuff.

This is not to say that I am leaving all of the tools of Notes/Domino behind. I still use Domino Security, Author and Reader fields and loads of LS and JAVA based agents to provide the data handling facilities.

I suppose that another reason that I am heading in this direction is that Domino does not exist in isolation in my sphere of reference. It exists along side data silos in DB2 and Oracle which in the client we can now leverage with Live text linking to composite apps, widgets and side bar apps in the 8* client, which is of course marvellous for those folk on the Full Version 8 client. In the real world where I code not all my users are on V8 and it will (given the current economic climate etc etc) be some time until some of the non-power users have the tin capable of running the full client to its full advantage. In the interim so as not to exclude these users from the momentum of change, I will use the power of non-yellow-tech then it seems prudent to do so.

In several conversations I have had on this topic, there has been an air of disapproval from some that I am at snubbing all the work done to improve things on the platform in the last couple of years. I do not think that I am , I leverage the best for my users with the tools that I have and the facilities they have to use it, if that appears "disloyal" well so be it. I am paid to service my users not some ethereal dogma of yellow oneness. ;-)

For those of you not yet on Version 8 and perhaps held back by budgetary constraints my message would be that you can move forward if you step outside what some refer to as "the bubble" and look at other methods that will maintain your creative momentum with the tools and servers you have to hand.

Saturday 23 May 2009

In praise of everyday software

Yesterday I was sitting on the bench in our back garden doing what I do best ... very little with a tin of beer. It occurred to me that there is a mindset that values software almost purely on the "OOOO AHHHH" factor it generates.

The thought that a computer's installed software base is considered to be a "gallery" of developmental excellence made me cringe a little. When we as developers type into the blank canvas of a new project, we have in our minds eye the finished package and how wonderful it will be. However time, talent (or lack there of), and budgetary constraints too often blur the edges of that internal paradigm of excellence and we end up with something much more ordinary.

I was then drawn to architecture in my internal perambulations ... take for example a street lined by buildings, but the totality of our experience of that street is defined by the synergy between the buildings and the empty spaces created between them. When Barcelona started its regeneration in the 80's, it was realised by reconsidering and enhancing these empty spaces. There were a few challenging new builds, but around these were placed the new public spaces so envied by other European cities. These spaces are surrounded in the main by "ordinary" buildings. The developemental energy was spent on the actual place rather than the beauty of the new builds.

The suggestion that architects (and I include the software pencil suckers here) should improve their output by engaging in the everyday aspects of people's lives is a bit daunting. Taken to the extreme, it reminded me of Adolf Loos' short story, "The Poor Rich Man". An architect is commissioned by a Poor Rich Man to design and build him a house. The architect not only designs a house but goes as far as designing every detail of the Poor Rich Man's home; he anticipated everything, even the pattern on his slippers. One day, the Poor Rich Man's family offered him birthday presents, but the architect, summoned to find correct places for them in his composition, was furious that a client had dared to accept presents about which he, the architect, had not been consulted. For the house was altogether finished, as was his client: he was complete. This holistic design of an environment might be some architects dream, but it usually becomes other people's nightmares. Accidents and incidents are essential for real life. Building Architects design spaces for people to live in, Software architects design applications for users to work in.

This idea is a bit more interesting, I hope. UIs tend to become attraction parks for programmers to "perform" in. The strength of an architect is to build "good" applications using and playing with the existing context rather than try to create a stand-alone object that looks good and fits only inside an ideal sterilised environment.

Part of the developer's job is to "service the user's need for instant gratification", the "ooooo ahhhhhh" factor of software. but how often have we seen software that looked wonderful but it was functionally shite? (Yes Vista I AM looking at you) On the other hand there is such an unpleasant condescension in separating the users from ourselves as developers and giving them something that we wouldn't consider good enough.

I suppose what I am trying to say is that we should not confuse modesty and mediocrity.

Ordinary software is honest and without pretensions, a simple shed can be far more interesting architecturally than a shed trying to be a town hall or a Greek temple, (ask Grand Master Beetroot Chris Coates)

There can be a real beauty and intelligence in the simplicity of an application, often involuntary, but we shouldn't dismiss it. I remember an insignificant small building in Belfast city centre. It had interesting proportions and clever details. six months after the redevelopment of the big blue Victoria Street shopping centre, it had been "done up" and is now a horrible thing. It is mutton dressed as lamb, it performs the same function and does it as well as it did before. But now where it had been pleasing in its simplicity, now I shiver as I pass it.

... and there is our challenge. Find the beauty in simplicity, join the look and feel to the function in such a way that we don't sacrifice either ...

...and then it was time for another beer

Thursday 21 May 2009

Getting grumpy about R'n'B

This is Howling Wolf ... this is R'n'B

If you say Mariah Carey is R'n'B I will smother you in honey, tie you to ant hill and make you listen to Nina Simone

If you say R. Kelly is R'n'B I will slap you about the head with a large dead mackerel and make you listen to Champion Jack Dupree

And if you have the gall to posit that bootee wobbling trollop Beyoncé is R'n'B WELLLLL i shall get really really inventive!!!!


Sunday 17 May 2009

Wild Garlic, Winkling, Bikes,Beer and other items of mystic significance

Hail assembled geek, nerds and allied trades!

OOOO what a weekend! It is Tuesday and I am only now returning to a point of what passes for normality. I look for no sympathy as it was all self inflicted and more importantly it was FUN!

Chris Coates was first to arrive on Thursday and after a trip to Portstewart to watch the final practise and have a brisk walk along the prom. He was introduced the culinary joys of Jimmy Lavery's chip van's portions of fish chips and curry sauce. Since we were planning an early start for some touristy things it was off to bed quite early.

Come Friday morning, the sun was streaming through the windows, but the wind was brisk and there was a hint of rain, mind you it is the less-rainy season in NornIron. So Chris and I set out to explore the local. First off was the Mussenden demense and the high point for Chris was the swaths of wild garlic in the black glen. (For those that don't know Chris, he is the Dutch King of Beetroot and Corgettee cultivation.) Although considered a bit of a weed and an "interesting smell" in the glens and forests of the North it is not that common in Chris's stomping grounds.

From there we moved East ahead of a rain cloud that thankfully was slower than my mothers Nissan Micra into Coleraine for a cup of hot coffee in Ground and then off around the coast road through Portrush to Portballintrae were we "Winkled".

Oh please do stop tittering at the back! This is a Winkle

and we spent a hour or so winkling in the rock pools and seaweed of the Portballintrea sea shore. To be honest I havent actually done that since my son was very small and it turns out that Chris hadn't done it since he was very young.

Having collected a bag full of winkles we headed up the road, again a few hours ahead of the rain, to the giant's causeway. Were we had some lunch at "The nook"

a nice wee hostelry at the main gate of the Causeway marred only by a large sign about the open fire that informs patrons that there is "No Spitting Allowed". Chris and I took a pint and sat outside and watched the world (including a very fetching baby pink suzuki 750) go by.

Having seen that we "did" the causeway which was full of tourists. YEAH! for the Norn Iron economy, BOO! for the atmosphere that brings. The silence of the savage cliffs and strange rock formations is kinda diminished by the clatter of thousands of camera shutters.

Off again on out travels to White Park Bay

Where we saw a wild stoat, beachcombed and found a "perhaps" worked flint from the late stoneage.

A quick visit to Balintoy harbour

Where the wee cafe that serves the BEST Rhubarb Crumble and proper custard was full of late middle aged BMW driving bikers. Their bikes were experiencing the first drops of rain in their pristine shop shiney lives.

Or trip ended in Ballycastle where we ended the trip with a visit to Marconi's cottage

Where the aforementioned Mr Marconi (whose mother was a Jameson of the whiskey fame), may or may not have made his first call over water and from there we went back home in the pouring rain which had eventually caught us up.

Chris then boiled and ate his winkles with must relish and marvelled at how much more up and down's there were in Ireland compared to Holland.

Bill Buchan
wasn't due to arrive until 11pm so we adjourned to Yokos Coleraine's only Japanese Noodle restaurant for a nice meal and a few beers whilst we waited for Bill to arrive, which he duely did at 11ish and he bravely attempted to catch up with Chris and I ..... He almost did.

Up early, if a little jaded, breakfasted and down to Portstewart where it was raining so Chris bought a very fetching NW200 paddock jacket to keep the rain off ... the rain promptly stopped. :-)

We waited for the races to start in the balcony bar of the York Hotel, whose owners had opened nice an early for folk like ourselves.

The races started, then stopped then started again and the day developed into a succession of racing glitches, it was cold, damp in places and not terribly exciting from our or any vantage point. Thankfully the day was rescued by the appearance of a friend of Chris's one Martin Presley, whose sartorial bravery knows no bounds in that he was wearing SHORTS!!!! Martin being a sharply dressed and eminently nice chap complimented our party perfectly and we drank beer and talked of the healing powers of herbs, whether I look like Eric Pollard from Emmerdale (a UK soap) and the election of Martin as a GONAD. This continued until my son Niall who happened to be around at the time managed to get his ancient father and his younger but equally confused chums a taxi home. Kudos to the SPROG and thank you Anne the taxi lady.

Home and bed.

Sunday .... well it happened I think .. I know there was a Saturday and there was a Monday so Sunday must have happened. I have vague memories of making breakfast and waving g'bye to Bill and Chris when they left to get Plane and Ferry home.

As a bike racing day, frankly it could have been way better, but those are the chances you take and it is better that we the viewers are bored than risks are taken with the riders safety. One the other hand I had a great time with some great friends both old and new which I would have not missed for the world.

Thanks chaps for comming :-) lets do it again next year !

PS My Mum (in whose house we slept and breakfasted) thinks you are cool too ;-)

Wednesday 13 May 2009

Music that is well worth a listen

If you find yourself feeling a bit down at the mouth because of the credit crunch, the approaching Zombie apocalypse or the perfidy of knitted feet coverings... these too are well worth a listen ... music to chill out to :-)

The Kings of Convenience from Norway

and Scott Matthews who isn't from Norway :-)

Tuesday 12 May 2009


Yes you read that right ... socks are indeed evil. It says much of their devious ways than not many of the human population have noticed the depths of their perfidy!

I am sure you have noticed that regardless of the care with which you prepare your laundry at least one sock with mysteriously vanish (and i can hear a choked gurgled "how would he know" issue from the massed female mcdonaghs). BUT IT IS TRUE, socks vanish, it may seem arbitrarily however i can reveal here and now it is a cunning sockisously plan!

They slip, lubricated by comfort fabric softener (Spring Fresh variety), between the threads of the space time continum and enter the dark kingdom of Los'tlondery (you have to spit at the "t") where the current sock tyrant Angus the Great, the left foot of a pair of Argyle Golf Socks with reinforced heel, holds both sock world and the world of humans to ransom.

Where do you think all the "expense" money for MPs is going? Fixing the Mote? Cleaning the swimming pool or building a helipad ... NO ... MPs have to create these expenses so that they can keep up on the tributes to Angus the Not-Holey ... and it is not just the UK ... look at NASA ... in the 60's and 70's it was trips to the moon every 6 months, now well they have the "wrong sort of clouds" or "the wind is blowing from the south west" and nary a rocket gets off the ground. All that money .. where is it going?.. Simple! It goes to placate Angus so that he does not release his sockly horde of zombie socks into our world where they will suck your brains out as your sleep through a straw!!!!

Angus and his army is getting stronger and stronger with every sock that vanishes, soon it will be too late. Rise up Humanity! Now! Break the chains of sock based tryanny, go commando in your Crocs, slip into your hush puppies au natural or wear your Doc Martins in the buff!

You have been Warned!

Saturday 9 May 2009

Crikey this is frightening - Zombie Celeb DEFCOM 10

This week's competition complete this sentence ...

Jodi Marsh ...
a) you do not look human any more
b) you look like a zombie
c) you are auditioning for the part of "the body on the slab" in CSI
d) you look like you could eat a banana sideways
e) you suddenly have lovely teeth whose are they and wont they mind?

And now.. specially for Bill Buchan .. the winner of the Pole Dancing world championship 2009

Congratulation Felix Crane on your winning winsome slither and gyrate upon the pole of destiny!

More scantimonious dribbling from the Zombies that run the country

It has long been a bone of contention (for me anyway) that Ireland still has a Blasphemy law. Currently, section 13 of the 1961 Defamation Act provides for sanctions, both monetary and prison, where a person might be convicted of publishing a blasphemous libel and this HAS to be enacted since article 40.6.1.i of the Constitution of Ireland imposes an obligation to implement the constitutional offence of blasphemy. Now there is a bit of a debate going on at the moment should we keep it, change it or get rid of it and if it goes would the nun's go on strike?

So were I to make a claim that Mr Cowen current "TeaShock" and chief of the Zombies that currently run the country not only had problems with Onanism but has a face like the back end of the donkey that carried the holy family to Egypt shortly after Christmas 2009 odd years ago, a special arm of the irish police "the Be'Jaazus Squad" would appear at my door and drag me off to face a nice big fine and a term in Jail for taking the name (or arse in this example) of a holy donkey in vain.

Were the changes being discussed enacted, hundreds of thousands of euros could be raised by the "Be'Jaazus" squad were they to hang around all the parents of teenage sons in Ireland ready to slap a 5,000 euro fine on any parent that intoned the phase" Jesus, Mary, Joesph and the wee donkey too!" when their offspring came home with their tongue, eyebrow and foreskin pierced.Ireland would be free from the pecuniary effects of the credit crunch!

What annoys me most is the "special treatment complaint" proposal which would ban speech where:

the material be grossly abusive or insulting in matters held sacred by a religion; that it must actually cause outrage among a substantial number of adherents of that religion; and, crucially, that there be an intent to cause such outrage

How fecking daft is that? Lets take the word “religion” out of that phrase and put in “sport” or “political party”. No one would suggest that politicians or football teams get such protection, although it would appear that Chelski need it. If you were just generally making comments that caused outrage amongst the 4 or 5 people that make up the enitre congregation of the Church of the sacred bleeding turnip of Ballymunn in the back bar of McNulty's gin palace on a wet Tuesday in May would it be okay given that I have just outraged then all?

Now I suppose on the face of it that doesn't sound like a bad idea, pluralism and all that, lets be nice to each other and just get along. However as an atheist this fills me with a certain amount of foreboding. For a god botherer could say that my position of total rejection of the sanctimonious bollocks that dribbles diarrhoea like from the pulpits, prayer mats and gospel tents of Erin's green land falls under the remit of "causing an outrage" (quite frankly I can't find the face that fecking cares whether they are outraged or not) But ... if it becomes law I will HAVE to be nice and polite to these people or face the legal consequences. Should this be enacted in law they can continue to spout their deluded crap but with protection under law from people like me who laugh at their frankly dangerous ramblings. For example when Pope Bendydick comes out with a statement Condoms Make Aids Worse that claims sacréd authority for his Pythonesque view that "Every Sperm is Scared" and sex is for "Procreation not Recreation" [isn't it odd how the Pope and the Arch Demon of Proddy rhetoric the Rev Ian Paisley agree on the sins of the flesh] . Obviously his senile ex cathedra pronouncements are fact because they are backed up by the words of talking camel that once took a crap on Moses's doormat on the instructions of an angel

And then there would be me ... I could no longer say that he is a child molester protecting, delusional old fecker who believes he eats the flesh and drinks the blood of his god every Sunday and not only should he be ignored but should be locked up under the mental health act. Well I can .. but can I afford the 5000 euro fine and the up to 7 years in jail?

BAH HUMBUG! Why give one section of society a right to ban the speech of the rest on grounds that they are offended when reason and rationality point out they are daft?

Poetry and modern music - is it still there?

I was having a discussion the other day with a chum and we were in full "grumpy old fart" mode over the lack of lyrics like there was in the olde days. However in retrospect having listening to a broad spectrum of music on the iPlod since then there is a surprising amount of inventive lyrics hidden behind the flash band synth and driving beats of modern dance music.

Although there are many to choose from, i posit this as one of the best.. from British dance band Faithless ...

"We Come 1"

All the subtle flavors of my life
Are become bitter seeds
And poisoned leaves
Without you

You represent what's true
I drain the color from the sky
And turn blue
Without you

These arms lack a purpose
Flapping like a humming-bird
I'm nervous 'cause
I'm the left eye
You're the right

Would it not be madness to fight
We come 1

In you the song which rights my wrongs
In you the fullness of living
The power to begin again
From right now, in you

We come 1

I'm unafraid
Never never scared
Worries washed
Pressed air
I am the left eye
You're the right
Would it not be madness to fight

We come 1


Friday 8 May 2009

NW200 only a week away - any Noterati around join us for some beer and bikes

Well it is only a week away.. this time next week 100,000 -> 150,000 people will either be on their way or will have arrived in Coleraine for the 80th anniversary of the North West 200 road races. The NW200 is one of the premier motorcycling road racing race meetings, along with the Isle of Man TT the Ulster Grand Prix, Manx Grand Prix and Macau

The main differences between the NW200 and say the British MotoGP or World Superbikes is that the NW200 is that it is (a) run on public roads and (b) is free to attend. The race supports itself with sale of programmes, admission to the pits , car parks and sponsorship. Sort of open source motorcycling. ;-)

The NW200 course is one of the fastest racing circuits in the world .. on some of the straights speeds in excess of 200mph are captured in the speed trap.

The first practice sessions start on Tuesday, and if we get half the racing we got last year it will be a brilliant day!

This year Chris Coates and Bill Buchan are joining me and if there are any Notesy/Domino in the area on Friday or Saturday, drop me an email (my address is on the left) and lets get together for a beer.

Here is a taster of what to expect.. this is the first superbike race from last year.

Interesting Survey from the Pew Group on support for torture

The PEW group recently released the results of a survey done in the USA where they asked this question:
Do you think the use of torture against suspected terrorists in order to gain important information can often be justified, sometimes be justified, rarely be justified, or never be justified?"
Looking at the figures the of the White Evangelical Protestants 62% said torture was OFTEN or SOMETIMES justified with 5% saying NEVER.

At the other end of the scale are "Those that seldom or never attend services" where 42% said torture was OFTEN or SOMETIMES justified.

The sample size for each group was nearly the same and those questioned were questioned within a few days of each other.

So it would seem that the more you go to church the more likely you are to accept that torture is OK particularly if you are a White Evangelical Protestant.


Draw your own conclusions, I know I did.

Wednesday 6 May 2009

Friends Reuinted's mail bots have been smoking aardvark poo!

After well over 18 months of silence .. the robots at Friends Reunited sent me an email and this was in it ....
Why not indeed? Well ...
[1] I have no fecking clue where Puxley is, somewhere in Englandshire I would imagine.
[2] The Coleraine High School was and establishment for young Ladies
[3] The Irish Society Primary School was on the other side of the river, and we all know what they get up to over there!.

But the last two.. EH? Have they been smoking aardvark poo? Do I look like someone that would drive a Tank? Where on earth did they get that from? Coleraine is not well known for all the tanks and tankophiles within it's borough limits. Infact when a tourist remarked only last week, "were the feck are all the tanks?" I had to disabuse them of the idea that the Coleraine Saturday Farmer's market was more likely to be replete with culshies (rustic types) than awash with tanks.

I think I may sign on once again to Friends Reunited and start a new location just so that it can randomly appear on peoples "why don't you join...." list.

Perhaps the

"1st Coleraine cadre of the Illuminati"
"The 3rd Irish Battalion of Military Chiropodists and Altletic Support cleansers"
"The society for people who giggle when you mention Philip K Dick"
"St Justinians Primary school for the indigenent children of parents who can't pass a dandelion clock without blowing it"
"The Ulster Enormous Cock (stop tittering at the back we are talking of male chickens) society"

Other suggestions gratefully received.

France Beats the US at eating and sleeping!

France Beats U.S. at Eating and Sleeping - yes really!

I notice Ireland is not on the list :(

Running iNotes 8.5 on a really OLD pc

Just as an experiment to see if it would, and YES I know the OS, Hardware and just about everything is "Not supported" but you can quite happily use iNotes Lite on a Intel P2 350MHz running Windows 98 SE in 192Mb of memory inside IE 6 SP1.

It takes about 15-20 secs to load the client post sign-on and between 3-5 seconds to load a 2000+ All Docs view.. and 3-5 secs to load a 3Mb message (no attachments but did have inline images)

So there you are... I wonder will it run on Win 95?

Disqus for Domi-No-Yes-Maybe