Jun 232011
 
Umbrella with raindrops

Image via Wikipedia

Summer in West Cork tends to follow a familiar pattern – occasional brief periods of glorious sunshine when you really wouldn’t want to be anywhere else in the world, but for the most part soggy, wet dull… and bloody cold!

There’s a song that could easily be the West Cork summer anthem. Its pretty much perpetually stuck in my head from the end of May until mid-September. As soon as the familiar scattered showers of spring elongate into the protracted solid periods of unrelenting rain that are the hallmark of a West Cork Summer, it’s there.

I guess I should at least be thankful that the song is bearable.

Here Comes The Rain Again by The Eurythmics–could this be the ideal West Cork summer anthem.

I LOVE living and working in West Cork… and feel very privileged to do so… but please, please, please can we have a little bit of sustained sunshine, and some slightly warmer evenings. Lighting the fire at the end of June because you’ve got frostbite in your extremities is frankly no fun at all!

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Feb 032010
 
Procrastination Meter

Image by Emilie Ogez via Flickr

As words go procrastination has to be one of the best. I like the way it rolls around on your tongue, taking, as you might expect, a little longer than necessary to get itself out. It’s a word that lingers, without really knowing why.

Putting things off is something most normal people do as a matter of course. Unless a task absolutely needs to be done now we’ll typically set it aside and do it later, focussing instead on what we feel is more immediately compelling. Psychologists, as is their wont, weave a complex tapestry of theoretical meaning around people’s very natural tendency to defer things until tomorrow. They call it procrastination, and describe it as a mechanism for coping with the anxiety of making a decision or starting any task.

But who in their right mind pays much attention to psychologists? They’re masters at taking perfectly natural human behaviour, sticking it in a box, adding a fancy label and attributing it to potentially serious underlying mental health issues. They’re so good at it because they spend an awful lot of time doing it… time they could easily allocate to more productive work, but choose not to. Sounds very like procrastination in action to me.

According to the psychologists then, procrastination stems from issues of anxiety, a low sense of self-worth, and a self-defeating mentality; too much of it, they maintain, can be a symptom of underlying mental health conditions like depression or ADHD. What a load of old cobblers!

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Aug 112009
 

So there I was on a remote West Cork headland, chucking a line into the water on the off-chance of picking up a couple of passing mackerel. On the nearby pebbly beach the rest of the family were waiting eagerly for the barbecue to heat up.


View Great spots in West Cork in a larger map

Showing an insensitive, but I have to admit well founded lack of faith in my fishing prowess, our friends had brought along some fresh mackerel, just in case. We’d also packed a supply of emergency sausages, so we wouldn’t go hungry.

The fish weren’t biting, so I decided to switch the mackerel lures for a spinner and try my luck at that. As I turned I saw two people looking out to sea, obviously scouting the location for some reason.

One of them asked if I’d caught anything… which was fair enough. The other asked “Is your name Calvin?”

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Feb 102009
 

A very talented software developer I used to work with way back when — Walter Higgins (@walter on twitter) over at Cork based Sxoop Technologies — has developed a cool little application that builds a clickable photo-montage of all your twitter followers’ avatars.

People are already putting the resulting Twitter Mosaics on their blog posts, desktop wallpaper, mugs, T-shirts, bags, business cards… you name it. The application has evolved somewhat since I first looked at it — and now lets you selctively delete avatars from the resulting mosaic and even order printed products. It also presents you with the HTML code to embed the mosaic on your own website or blog post.

So if you’re on Twitter, why not check out your own Twitter Mosaic.

Great work by Walter and the crew at Sxoop, and proof, yet again, that when it comes to Twitter application ingenuity Ireland in general, and perhaps Cork in particular, is leading the charge.

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Jan 072009
 

Some things in life just make you smile.

Normally I abhor channel surfing with a passion… but tonight my wife’s antics with the remote control yielded unexpected dividends: Fraggles!

It was an obscure free-to-air satellite channel called “POP TV“, and we’d caught the Fraggle Rock opening credits. Magic!

When you’re ploughing through your adult life, trying to make ends meet, busy with work, family, and the myriad challenges, pressures and distractions of the world we live in, it’s all too easy to forget about the lighter side of life. But them something small (like Fraggles :-)) will help put things back into perspective.

I used to watch Fraggle Rock with my sister and brother in my “Nain’s” house (Welsh for Grandmother) after school. Happy, carefree days, long gone, but thankfully not forgotten.

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Oct 212008
 

Picked up a link to this photo on Twitter (click on the image for the original image on Twitpic) it’s a shot taken by @clodaghkelly at her local SuperQuinn.

Superquinn do their bit for the over seventies :)  on TwitPic

Sums up the government’s medical card fiasco so more eloquently than anything I could write… no further commentary required!

Sep 052008
 

Tomorrow is our 11th wedding anniversary and a card arrived from my parents with these stickers in:

DSCN7769

Thanks Mam and Dad!

The worst thing about it is the fact that it’s absolutely true. God I hate conforming to a stereotype.

The girls of course think it’s a great skit – and are going to make us wear the stickers all day tomorrow. Can’t wait!

Aug 132008
 

Thanks to Walter at Sxoop for highlighting this priceless flow chart of chit chat with a web designer via Twitter.

small_talk.gif (GIF Image, 742×914 pixels) - Scaled (69%)

 

Sums it up nicely really. I’m a writer, not a designer, but as soon as anyone finds out I do some website stuff… or I’m in any way involved in internet related work, this is almost invariably the way the conversation pans out!

Does this resonate with anyone else out there?