Saturday 27 March 2010

Sex, Violence, Courgettes and Server Admin

Yellowverse author hiding his light in the bargain bucket

Thursday 25 March 2010

Thank you Yellow Brothers and Sisters :-)

It happens to us all  , some FUD leaks in around the edges and gathers a momentum before you can react to it. It happened to me today in the form of "Notes is Dying!!!!! lets all go Google" normally it is a question of replying "No it's not, have a nice cup of tea and lets talk about it" and 30 minutes later all is calm and those that refuse to calm down are given a bit of the re-education cudgel  ;)

Today things got a little more out of control and I reached out to my chums in the Notes / Domino community who came back with advice, pointers and brotherly (and sisterly) support :) I got the ammo I needed to launch a broadside of my own and some 30 minutes later all is calm again.

So a BIG THANK YOU to all involved !

It is days like this that the word "community" in phrase "Notes Community" makes so much sense. :-)

Thursday 11 March 2010

New family blog

Just a heads up.. I have started a new non-techie blog for the McDonagh Clan over at
I will keep up the techie particularly Yellow tinted posts here but all the "noise" i was infamous for will now be over on Slightly Doolally, so I might be able to reclaim a certain level of professionalism here ... no perhaps not.. ;)

Ohh my better half has started blogging as an assiociated Admin on Slightly Doolally, so if you do browse over ... please say hi to us both :)

Oh what a difference an S makes

Just comming into my blog and typed this and ended up here.. just my luck..I have a german porn star as a doppleganger and a reglious site as a typo link.. hey ho!

Monday 8 March 2010

My mother helps stop MSDS (Memory Stick Disappearance Syndrome)

We have all been there.. we are in a meeting or are called to a colleagues PC and we feel we really really need to share some file with that user. So out comes the memory stick and into the other PC it goes .. and as soon as the file is copied your prized memory stick just disappears... poof ... gone.

I have a theory that there is a eddy in the space time continium, the memory chips on the memory stick act as a strange attractor and becon the eddy towards the memory stick and once it get close enough it passes the event horizon and several things happen at once.
a) the memory stick is transported into a random person's pocket in Bangalore
b) you totally forget the fact your memory stick is not in your possession for 21.76 minutes
c) for those with good hearing you can hear a faint error of gadgetary smuggness

My ILUG 2009 stick disappeared in just such a manner, the ILUG 2008 stick came back having spent 3 months getting back to Europe by hitching a ride in various pockets until it arrived in our Paris office and rested for a further 2 months in a drawer in the IT desk.

I have tried many things to stop this happening with no great success. However this weekend having had to buy another 8gb stick from Argos I mentioned my problem to my Mother.

My Mother is many things but one of her lesser known talents is that of "Temporal Distortion Rectification Engineer" over the years she has been able to deflect wormholes with soda farls, absorb tachyons with in the meringue peaks of Lemon Meringue Pie and once even stopped an incursion of a pan dimensional tiddly wink contest slipping into our reality by squirting red hot marmalade from a pressure cooker in to rift that had formed in the ceiling.

When I mentioned my problem she knew immeadiately what to do and set to her task with a pair of pliers some jewellers wire and some beads of exotic material she happened to have in one of the drawers in her study. BOFITE, SPERRYLITE and ZINWALDITE arranged just so balances the attractive effect of the memory stick thus negating it's tendancy to vanish, is easier to find in your pocket, and has sort of a hippy chic quaility. As they say on Twitter #WIN #WIN #WIN

Kudos Mother!!!

Saturday 6 March 2010

Is "a" Sandwich a category error and can mayonasie dribble be accurately measured

I was sat in Ground Having the usual excellent Chill, chicken, bacon, roast pepper, cheese and onion panini with a white chocolate Moccha no cream (Well i am on a diet) Now it was pointed out to me recently when you buy a panini you are actually doing nothing of the sort! You are noshing down on a PANINO for PANINI is the plural.

Now it occured to me that a Ground Panino is a foot long and to fit on the plate the very nice baristas cut them in half. Does this not then make the contents of plate Panini ?. Similarly if you make a simple bacon, lettuce, fresh tomato, garlic mayo, onion rings, lardons, sun dried tomato in chili olive oil, roast peppers, parma ham, fried egg, pepper and reggae reggae sauce sandwich and cut it in half, either into a girly triangle or a more masculine rectangle, do you not then have 2 sandwiches?

Is there a definition of a sandwich that actually defines the parameters that makes a single sandwich?

After and extensive 2 minutes googling it would appear that two or more slices of bread stacked vertically (thus making a Big Mac a Sandwich singular) , usually buttered, each layer separated with a filling of meat, cheese a sandwich. So then what IS a slice of bread? Does half a slice of bread cease to be a slice and if it does what becomes of a slice when you cut the crusts off apart that is from becoming "posh" doubly so if the contents of the sandwich(es) comprise only cucumber.

Hmmmm I really do think that sandwiches need to properly defined.. we also need a name for the stuff that dribbles out of the side of a sandwich and splats over your shirt/tie just before your first bite, this really really needs a proper recognisable name and a SI unit to define the quantity of the same stuff that leaves. We can send people to the moon straped to a domesticaled bomb using the computation power of a Casio calculator so this should be dead easy peasy lemon squeezy .Who, I wonder will step up to the plate on this one?

Good Music, company and craic in the 90's @ the Beflast songwriters festival

Having spend the last 10 weeks in the purgatory that is the post Christmas anticlimax I decided that a bit of fun was in order. So I booked SWMBO and myself into the Dukes Hotel in Belfast for the weekend of the 6th Annual Guinness Belfast Nashville Songwriters Festival now that might sound a little bit too country and western for my taste and yes there was some C&W but we managed to avoid it :-)

I have to say that although I travel all over the world  it is seldom I feel I have to mention the quality of a hotel and Duke's wins hands down! Friendly and attentive without being intrusive staff, decent food, drinks at sensible bar and not arm and leg hotel prices, big well decorated and well though out room design. There was even an iPod dock with full surround sound speakers and a nice big well positioned flat screen TV with DV Recorder should you just not be able to miss Friday's edition of Emmerdale. Oh and a bathroom that has one of those automatic closing lid toilets and a monsoon shower of quite stunning efficiency!.

Anyway the festival - my famous cousin Andy White was one of the headliners and I thought it would be good fun to take a trip down and heckle from the front row as it transpired Val, myself my sister Janet her partner Mike my other sister Ruth, a close friend Carmel and my cousins Cathy and Allison and her partner and Andy's parents (my aunt and uncle) were in the front row @ the Black Box on Friday night.

Andy was supported by two other singer song writers John McGurgan from Omagh (who looks a wee bit like Jesus)  and Gavin Mee from Dublin (who doesn't look like Jesus) both of whom are excellent and well worth making a detour if you are near by any of their gigs. [Val wants me to add that Mr McGurgan is exceedingly good looking not that in any way should colour your judgement!]

The family duly gathered and Andy took the stage to much applause and some gentle heckling from the front row, well we had to get our money's worth didn't we? Now I have to come clean and admit that I have seen my cousin perform 3 times, once in the early 80's and then twice in the last 3 months, so I have been somewhat remiss in following the musical progress of my talented cuz .. mea culpa. He was all I was expecting and much much more :-) a fantastic gig, well done Andy!

Post gig as in the nature of these sort of events I got a talking to "non family" and i managed to get the email addy of a passing poet to join in Jonvon's circle of wordsmiths in will be interesting to see what she brings to the anvil of our creativity.

Falling into a taxi we headed back to the hotel with a minor detour to the festival performers post gig session in the Madison hotel. There various adventures followed some that will remain secret for the moment but may involve an act of community creativity .. we shall see. Now come a bit of name dropping ... we had a chat with Ralph McTell (over whom Val went a wee bit girly) nodded at Charlene Carter, said hi to Nanci Griffith, bout you to Iain Archer. Patted Henry McCullagh on the back and made some "interesting" plans with Anthony Toner it did seem that we were for once the odd ones out.. we were famous for not being famous :-)

Twas in the wee hours we made our way back to our own hotel and fell into the enormous bed.. ( That was Val and I doing the falling.. the aforementioned musicians were not invited, it was a big bed but not THAT big )

Up an about the next day, we had no plans so got up late, breakfasted and went for a dander into Belfast City Center. We ended up in St. George's market and spent a glorious couple of hours picking through the stalls, drinking coffee, avoiding eating from EVERY food stall and listening to the musicians playing in the "town square" in the centre of the pavilion. Fantastic and I STILL want to try the Nepalese potatoe, cauliflower,chickpea and broccoli curry so a return visit is definitely on the cards!

We wandered back to the Hotel  for 4pm so we could watch the Irish beat the English in the 6Nations rugby which was very very satisfying ! Shower Shaved and fed we went to another of the Belfast Festival gigs in a very nice pub called the John Hewitt This bar is unique in its ownership as it is owned by The Belfast Unemployed Resource Centre. The Resource Centre's managers had always relied on various grants to fund its work, when in the mid nineties, they came up with the idea of generating some of their own funds by going into business... And why not a pub! John Hewitt, the late poet, socialist, pipe smoker and Freeman of Belfast officially opened the Resource Centre on Mayday 1983, hence the name of the bar and if you are every in Belfast well worth a visit.. good beer, good food and a stream of good events.

Guinness, god bless their dark stouty loveliness, paid for the artists and the gig was free, so for the princely sum of £0.00 we saw, heard and enjoyed Sean Rea, Guy-Michael Grande, Paddy Taylor, Brett Perkins, Madeleine Slate, John McGurgan (OOOOOOOO he is soo tasty ! adds Val)  and The Corncrakes. All of whom came sang, introduced the next session and then joined the crowd for the craic. I spoke to most of the performers and to a man and woman they were all good people :-) I recommend all of them if you are nearby.Another late nite came to an end and we wandered our weary way back to the hotel.

Sunday - up and about late (again) and I had eggs Benedict for brekkie, now me and the pope don't get on but his brekkie is lovely! ;-) There being a few hours to kill before our next gig we hit the Ulster museum which has just had a major facelift and boy have they done a good job! Oddly the museum's Egyptian mummy has a northern Ireland name "Takabuti" which as any northern Ireland native will tell you means "Do have a sandwich" and that is a very very odd name for even an Egyptian mummy!

Post a light lunch and culture feast, it was down to St. George's market where the local Indian community was celebrating the Festival of Holi or the festival of colours. There was seriously good banghra music and lots and lots of people of all ages throwing vivid poster paint powder over each other.
After a quick supper in Wetherspoons, we dived across the road to the Ulster hall to be totally entranced by Newton Faulkner and his support Sharon O'Connor (a young lady we are BOUND to hear more of!)

After a brilliantly smooth and well carried off performance from one so young The main act took the stage and for the next 2 and half hours just blew the audience away.. This was a big concert with the feel of an intimate gig and the uninitiated were immediately converted. A fantastic night and a fantastic end to a weekend away that left both Val and I refreshed and revitalised!

Monday 1 March 2010

If curling were easy it would be called Hockey

T'other nite I was chatting to Duffbert about the fine art of Curling
Which  rests vampire like in the popular consciousness for 4 years and
then explodes on the moonbeam of publicity that the winter Olympics brings.

All of a sudden the media is full of "houses", "Skips" "Stones" and "Ends"
However as my chat with the bold Mr Duffbert illustrated most people are
almost entirely ignorant of the noble game of Curling.

Curling was invented by the Scots, why it was invented is lost in the Myst's
of time, however any story you hear about the accidental tossing of a stone
pie case at a annoying child by old mother Kurl is a entirely the invention
of Alan Lepofsky.

The first recorded mention of Curling is in 1006 BCE in the Annals of Laird
Hector of Upurchufftery where he writes "I dinnea ken wut all the fash is a boot
yon was nay a burned stone in da sixeth end"

Twas at the 3rd synod of Niwanbyrig in the winter of 1232 BCE that codified the
rules of the game that would eventually become Curling. Initially it was called
"Fox's hat". It is said this was because the rings at each end looked a fox's hat
It has to be remembered that around this time there was a plague of foxes in the
lowlands of Scotland so King Ourwilie III decreed that all foxes should be caught
and made to wear a hat to give Scottish chickens a fighting chance.

It is recorded that this name fell out of favour after the priests complained to
the Pope about the skip's screams of "Where in the Fox's Hat?" during morning mass
on Sundays. Most of these priests were French and they misheard these screams and
rather than the polite enquiry the skip was making as to the placement within the
rings the priests heard an exhortation of disgust after a particularly bad shot.

The Niwanbyrig synod also made it a requirement for all players to be naked under
the playing kilt. This was to ensure that their ... errr.. dangley bits dragged on
the ice, thus making it much harder to be accurate. Dragging ones dangley bits on
ice is quite difficult and can only be achieved by getting really really low and
arranging ones legs in the now well known "curling crouch".

Scottish men then as now were usually gifted with a covering of coarse matted hair
the name "Curling" comes from the side effect upon the public hair of dangling
ones family jewels on the ice of the moat in mid winter.

Needless to say the longer you slid the longer your bits were in contact with the
ice. The best players could stay down for a long time and where known as "Hard Men"
hence the now traditional yells of the curler who manages more than 10 feet of
"HARD! HARD! HARD!" in doing so they are strutting their stuff and drawing attention
to the fact that they can stand the deleterious effects of the cold.

The brushing in front of the stone is to ensure that non of the previous opposition
players accidentally or deliberately dropped any pubic hair on the ice during their last throw. It is said the now legendary "Big Hard Mac" McMagillicuddy could shed his coarsest
scrotal hairs merely by thinking of his cousins prize pig Matilda. Which incidentally
is the reason the two black lines before which the stone must be released is called
he "hog" line.

Talking of lines .. the HACK is the starting block from which a curler pushes himself
off when taking a shot. It is called a HACK after the noise a curler makes when his
"bits" first touch the ice when the full crouch is assumed by the player.

It is not that uncommon to hear the word "tight" mentioned .. this comes from the
involuntary reaction of the body when bits are exposed to minus temperatures.. the
stone is "tight" when the thrower cannot suppress this reaction and tenses as he

I hope you enjoyed this historical introduction to the noble art of curling

Keep your brushes well stacked and your stones clean until the next time!

Disqus for Domi-No-Yes-Maybe