Tuesday, December 28, 2004


Golf is a great game.

I started playing golf about a year ago, and its been quite an interesting journey. Tiger Woods PGA Tour 2004 on the Xbox got me initially interested in the sport (and gave me some basic knowledge as to what it entails) and then frequent visits to the driving range almost drove me away from the thing all together. It was horrible. I couldn't hit the ball at first, and then when I managed to do so it just rolled rather than soaring like a beautiful golf shot should. I refused lessons mainly because the golf club in Bahrain (yes.. THE golf club.. there's only one.) charges a king's ransom for a handful of 30 minute lessons. In retrospect, one or two lessons would've really sped the development of things.. but hey, no use crying over spilt beer eh?

Slowly but surely I pieced together what now resembles a golf swing, and with visits to courses both in Dublin and Bahrain, I really started loving the sport. I played a round of 18 holes the other day, shot 5 pars and ended up finishing under par (I'm a 36 handicap.. which is pretty bad). This was basically a culmination of practice and pyschology, where I learned to let go of the ingrained idea of hitting the ball as hard as possible and beating my opponent.. and learned to embrace the idea of just going out there and having fun. After all, golf is about bettering your own performance, and not out-driving your fellow golfers for distance.

Alright, enough sounding like some golf motivational manual..

*queue solo piano in the background*
The point I wanted to get across was that maybe for once in my life I've recognized that not everything is a competition.. that fun could be had without necessarily gloating about kicking some other dude's ass in a certain sport or videogame.

*piano music abruptly ends*
Hahaha! That was funny, I almost believed that one myself..!
Videogames and sports are all about kicking ass. There's no substitute to winning. Don't let anyone tell you otherwise.

Sunday, December 19, 2004

Shady Construction

My apartment block is 8 years old. I've been living in my apartment for 3 years now.. nice little place, reasonable rent..

Given that the whole complex has only been up for 8 years, you'd expect the place to be well constructed (1996 might've been a while ago, but they still had the technology back then!).. but the emphasis was visibly placed on aesthetics instead of a properly planned building. Sure, it looks nice.. but how well built is it?

Don't get me wrong, we're not talking about negligence of Egyptian proportions here (buildings in Egypt have a frightning tendency to completely collapse a year or two after construction).. simply Irish short-sightedness we've all come to expect at this point. Example? The pipes are so poorly insulated that all the heat dissipates through the walls and upwards. Being that I live at the very top floor, this provides me with a cheap and non-ending source of heat. I haven't turned on the heating in THREE years.. I don't care how cold it is out there, as long as I'm in my house its completely perfect. This isn't much of a worry, since I'm getting free shit (and I love getting free shit).. but a recent problem has arisen that prompted me to write this post. Apparently the water pressure is too high in the building as well. What does this mean, I hear you (or not) ask? Well, this basically means that the high water pressure attacks my washing machine (for more about my washing machine, refer to my earlier post about the damn thing).

This results in leakage, intermittent function and general anxiety and frustration on my behalf.

Monday, December 13, 2004

Kazaa (or lack thereof..)

I'm assuming everyone knows what Kazaa is? For the uninitiated, its a p2p (person to person) filesharing program. This gives you a plethora of music tracks, movies, computer software and images at your virtual fingertips. I haven't bought a CD in a very, very long time.. relying on kazaa as my main supplier of music (yes, i've got over 1000 illegal mp3 files! track down my IP address and come sue me, please!). Goddamn corporations, don't you have enough money as it is?!

Well, you've won. You officially got me to stop using kazaa.. for new music. Newly released tracks that appear on kazaa for sharing are lost amid a flood of dud mp3 files with the same name. Search for a new track and you get thousands of sources.. except each source provides you with a file made up of 3 to 4 minutes of silence. Its impossible to find a genuine source.. impossible.

But wait.. this only affects new music tracks! Old tracks, images, computer software and videos are still very available. Still though, it pretty much means that i'd have to leave the comfort of my own home to go buy any new music. I HATE leaving the comfort of my own home. I also hate spending money on stuff I used to steal so easily.

Its time to sharpen those shoplifting skills. Old methods for cramming those tapes in my pockets will have to be modified for bigger, more awkward CD cases.

Disclaimer: this blog does not, in any way, condone theft. not CDs, anyway. THINK BIG, THINK BANKS.

Thursday, December 02, 2004


..is the name of an Irish village. As part of my general practice rotation (and as seems to be the case this year), I'm being shipped out to a remote part of the country to "pursue my education". Why do I have to pursue the damn thing? Don't my parents pay enough in tuition fees for the damn practice to come to MY house.. doctor, staff and patients?!

The Irish public transport system has demonstrated to me this morning how weak it really is. The buses run late, the train timings are erratic and totally haphazard, and connections can never be made. I was supposed to get my ass up to a town called Drogheda (droh-eda) and then get a connecting bus to Duleek. The mental stress involved in getting to where I wanted to go was ridiculous. Suffice to say, I made it to the practice quite late and got in what remained of the morning session.

And then there was the break. I'm usually a huge fan of lengthy, two hour breaks.. but not when I'm stuck in a place like Duleek. I decided to take a walk and explore the village, and was back in the Doctor's office roughly 10 minutes later. It took me 10 minutes to walk through the main street, the place where everything happens. It had one shop, two takeaways and a church.

Ended up playing solitaire on the doctor's computer until he showed up for the afternoon session and gave me a disapproving look.