Winner: Cheesy Website of the Year, 1999.
You can Translate this page...
(the English to French translation is particularly amusing, I thought)
Drink Different: My fave beer, Beamish, recently (OK, well, 1996 :-)
voted the "Best Stout in the World." Yum! The section on Cork slang is quite good (it's even got voices!)
The much-coveted turly Book/CD/DVD/website/thingy of the Month ("turlymate") Some of these links may take you to amazon.com.
Hey, it keeps the repo man from my door.
October 2001: I returned home to Cork, Ireland, after just under two years in Silicon Valley.
I much prefer it here, though Cork has changed somewhat, and not necessarily for the better.
Still, it beats Cupertino. Protracted experimentation adjusting my blood-Beamish levels ensued -- all in the interests of science, you understand.
Attended some of the Guinness Cork Jazz Festival.
September 2001: I think the less said about this month, the better. Y'know what? Some people suck.
August 2001: Went hiking in "The second Yosemite",
Hetch Hetchy. Great views, pity about the dam
[which provides the water for San Francisco and surrounds], but there ya go. It must have been some
sight prior to the dam, though. An interesting history can be found here.
July 2001: Spent a pleasant few days in balmy Minneapolis carousing with a few buddies (Dave, Jim and Brian)
who I showed around Cork a few years ago when they were touring England and Ireland
(q.v.). They swore revenge, and so I
obliged. Minneapolis was a bit too humid for my liking the first few days, but finding a few
good air-conditioned bars (one of which even served draught Beamish .... mmmmmmmm) solved that
The downtown skyway system was pretty remarkable.
Did all the usual touristy things (saw bits of the rather large university, the capitol in nearby
St. Paul, the Foshay Tower
the history centre,
the mills, the paddleboat cruise, the lock at St. Anthony Falls, the
Summit Brewery tour (yum!)...)
I stayed at Wales House, a "home-away-from-home" located
very close to Dinkytown. Highly
I also went to a Minnesota
Twins ball game at the Metrodome, their covered stadium. To be honest, I found the entire affair
to be a bit antiseptic, probably due to the overly commercial nature of the thing. ("This game is
brought to you by your friendly Dodge dealer" grates a bit after hearing it 20 times.)
By contrast, tailgating at Midway Park
across the river at the
Saint Paul Saints was a much more entertaining experience. From the smaller, more intimate
stadium (4000-odd versus 48000+ capacity), the beer and hot-dogs sitting in the car park before
the game, the banter with the beer and hot-dog vendors, the sardonic and deadpan comments by
the stadium announcer
was my favourite, announcing the passing of a goods train and eliciting cheers from the crowd),
the ribbing of the opposing team ... it was great! This is how I will remember baseball.
The obligatory pub crawl on Friday night covered:
Pracna on Main,
Nye's Polonaise (featuring the world's most dangerous Polka band),
Jitters, who had some very tasty espresso martinis,
errr, ummm, ... alas, at this point my memory for pub names fades..., but we ended up at a local institution,
Whitecastles, home of the bite-sized burger. Yum!!
Mondo thanks to Dave P. for being a tour-guide par excellence, not forgetting Brian, Jim and Susan.
That break was just what the doctor ordered. I didn't even touch a computer
all week. Thanks muchly, lads -- see yez in Munich for Oktoberfest sometime!
Aug-6-update: Dave has posted some of the photos he took from the Foshay Tower
June 2001: Glyn Maxwell's
The Breakage is one of the best poetry collections I've read in recent years. For tech-heads,
Koenig and Moo's Accelerated C++
is a well-written intro to C++ that gets you using the standard template library straight away rather
than as an afterthought as with most C++ books.
As far as programming languages go, however, I'm slowly coming to agree with Anon's
description of C++: An octopus made by nailing extra legs onto a dog..
May 2001: Ah no, the years O! Is it just me, or is this year gathering speed?
This months turlymate is Georg Lichtenberg's
The Waste Books. Lichtenberg was an eighteenth-century German polymath, the "waste books" were where
he scribbled his thoughts and observations over a 40-year period. These pithy little apothegms reward
both assiduous readers and casual browsers like me. It's aphorism heaven, I tell ya! Here's a couple:
Courage, garrulousness and the mob are on our side. What more do we want?
This entire doctrine is worthless except as a subject of dispute.
France is in fermentation: whether the product will be wine or vinegar is as yet uncertain.
See this or this for more.
RIP: Douglas Adams.
RIP: Mick O'Neil.
April 2001: A cool weblog called Robot Wisdom.
It offers "hot news-links updated continually".
Kewl, as we say in California (though not for much longer!)
Also, click here for one of
RobH's "Memorable moments" from Fawlty Towers.
March 2001: March's entertainment was provided by Apple finally releasing
OS X. Luckily, they ship 9.1 in the same box :-)
February 2001: Whoa! Lots of stuff here this month. Let's start with the most
bizarre album I've heard in a looooong time: Cornbug's
Spot The Psycho. Memorable songs
include Pigs are people too, Dust and Bones, Box a' hair, Old Bill and many
here. Every so often I can be caught humming "Box a' hair, Box a' hair, that's all that's left of Mommy and Joe..."
I'm not sure what this says about me, but it's probably not good.
Other music: Ladytron's
604. Good-in-parts retro-80s electronic pop. (Though their
Commodore Rock EP isn't quite as good.) Dreadful lyrics, but the orchestration is pure 80s "Electronica".
Giya Kancheli's Lament,
as performed by Gidon Kremer, was a minor hit at Turly Towers this month as well. Must be something
sombre about the month of February or something, 'cos I also liked
Gorecki's Symphony No. 3, Opus 36 "Symphony of Sorrowful Songs". Soprano Dawn Upshaw does
a great job here.
On a lighter vein, the books I read were
It's a Magical World : A Calvin and Hobbes Collection, which was stupendous (alas, this is the last of the
C&H books. I still miss 'em!), and the amusing
Exercise With Alcohol : The Ultimate Fitness Guide for Today's American Drinker. Ha!
Previous turlymates now have their own page as this one was getting too crowded.
After recently being accused of being a Manchester United fan (shudder), let me here
declare my allegiance to Liverpool F.C, the greatest football ("soccer")
club in the world!
You'll never walk alone at the fairly entertaining KopTalk site,
Note: You probably have to be "into" football to appreciate any links off this item.
The Irish Curse Engine will have you cursing
fluently as Gaeilge. It's an easy three-part menu system. For example,
English: May the malevolent hedgehogs satirize your manly part.
Irish: Go n-aora na gráinneoga cealgrúnacha do bhall fearga. Thanks to The Register for this one!
Personally, my fave "real" Irish curse is Scona bliana ort! (loosely:
wishing diarrhoea on the victim ... for a year.)
The Bastard Operator From Hell is a series of tales
about the humdrum life of a computer operator (helpdesk - support - sysadmin) and his efforts to better serve
Newgrange, Ireland's oldest monument
(and apparently the oldest surviving "building" in Europe) was on TV here 22 and 23 December 1999 as the midwinter solstice
sunrise illuminated the inner chamber (the only time it does so.)
The inner chamber holds only 20-odd people; us common plebs get to put our name
down on a 15-year waiting list, while that shower of
chancers running the country can get in
on the act for free.
Dave's Picks, home of old drinkin' buddy Dave Polaschek,
is updated weekly with weird and wonderful stuff.
Dave and some of his buddies recently
visited Ireland; I showed 'em around Cork
and surrounds. Not to mention the insides of a number of public houses. I think I converted
'em all to Beamish by the end of their 3 days, though :-)
UK-based The Register is the Private Eye of IT. Scurrilous. Irreverent.
But quite entertaining, what with the travails of Chipzilla and the Great Stan of Mobile Phones.
DouglasAdams.com is the famous Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy author's website.
He has an interesting take on the millennnnnium (yawn) controversy here.
Peruse (and download) the latest Info-Mac uploads from the MIT Hyperarchive
A source of some excellent Mac-related deals -- save a few quid!
Jack Vance page.
Vance is one of the best English-language stylists I've come across.
My favourites include Emphyrio, Showboat World, Big Planet and the
Demon Princes and of course the famous Dying Earth series. His short story collections are also well
worth checking out.
Even on his off-days, Vance is well above average. Go read him!
John Foxx: The former Ultravox frontman's
The Golden Section and
The Garden remain on of my all-time favourites list. The official
John Foxx site is here.
Some Ultravox stuff is quite good too --
the raw and vibrant Ultravox! and Ha Ha Ha! from the 70s Foxx-era Ultravox!
(sadly all that's left in print is a compilation called
The Island Years,
a reference to their then record label),
and the more orchestrated Vienna,
Rage in Eden and
from the 80s Midge Ure "synthpop" era.
Red Meat has to be
one of the most bizarre cartoons it's been my pleasure to stumble on.
My personal faves were called Live bait in your Underwear and
Industrial Mishaps at the Fun Factory, but they don't appear to
be listed on Max's site now. Never mind, try
this, or if your sense of humour can take possibly the sickest cartoon
I've seen since a certain college ragmag (circa 1983),
The Irish Times,
a reasonable Irish newspaper -- if you can ignore the twee upper-middle-class blathering which
sometimes fills its pages. Speaking of which, The Irish Tiger
is an excellent piss-take of their site...
The Examiner, formerly The Cork Examiner or in local parlance
De Paper is my local rag. Its sports coverage is fairly good.
Got any spare CPU cycles? Check out the distributed
Bovine RC5 Decryption effort.
Clients available for most OSes. If you win, how about donating your $1000 prize
money to Project Gutenberg,
who turn books into digital text for all to read.
Fellow Mac-user Doug Fairchild's paintings
look mighty fine, to use an American turn of phrase (I learned it from TV!) His subjects are the amazing
nautural landscapes in the beautiful Sierra Region.
Fancy a guided tour to what's probably the only piece of world-class architecture
we have here in Cork? (and I'm certainly not talking about the Apple plant!)
See St. Fin Barre's
Church of Ireland (Anglican) Cathedral.
The Unofficial Guide Fawlty Towers --
this must rank among the finest sitcoms ever made. The classic exchange between Manuel, the Moose
head and the Major never fails to leave me in stitches. "I speak English well... I learn it from a book."
The script for Monty Python and the Holy Grail,
one of my fave flicks. It's been well over 10 years since I've last seen it, but certain scenes have stuck
with me. "I told him we already got one" ... "Fetchez la vache!"