Saturday, July 31, 2010


I went into HMV yesterday to check out the current sale, I had a tenner in my pocket and was hoping to find a movie or cd....Ended up getting a couple of fantastic bargains! 

First up: The Incredible Hulk 2-Disc Special Edition DVD for €2.99. I hadn't seen this yet but watched both discs last night and absolutely loved it. Both Ed Norton and Director Louis Leterrier did a wonderful job ...a true shame Norton will not be reprising his role in the Avengers movies but I wish Mark Ruffalo the best of luck.

Next: "Superman The Complete History"  by Chronicles Books for just €4 in HMV. Its just shy of 200 pages and a super read so far...I'm already learning a lot about the 'Man of Steel' I never knew. 

One particular fascinating image in the book is Supergirls super-cat 'Streaky'. I had obviously heard and read about 'Krypto the Super Dog...but up to this point the existence of Streaky has eluded me. I'm going to have to draw an image of her one of these days.

Thursday, July 29, 2010

Rocky and River Run Wild

My terrapins Rocky and River having a run around outside...beware of the cat at the 2 minute mark!

Sunday, July 25, 2010

Aliens abducted my Mamma!

My opinions concerning extra terrestrial life and UFO's.... The following post is pretty long...if you would prefer to just read the crux of my theory scroll to the end for a synopsis in orange! : )

What’s the point having a blog and airing your thoughts publically if you can’t tackle a few contentious issues now and again. In this case that of UFO’s and the possibility of extra-terrestrial life. I have always been interested in UFOlogy...naturally the more I read, and the older I’ve become my opinions on the subject have too matured. I love science fiction...the art of prediction has always fascinated me. Leonardo De Vinci, although an artist and inventor in many ways can be considered the father of modern science fiction. He spent his life thinking...dreaming...hypnotising. I have huge respect for people who use their minds in such a fashion. Those who dare to think outside the box, but at the same time use science and common sense to back their theory’s. 

Back to the topic at hand. UFO’s. I understand this particular subject is a room divider. I mean the universe is massive. It seems unfathomable and even ego maniacal to assume humans are the only living species in existence. On the other hand the bizarre natures of countless stories of sightings and abductions leaves many a sound mind sceptical to say the least. 

Whether you like it or not Religion and faith plays a huge part in this argument. While at least for the time being I plan on steering clear of Religion as a bloggable subject I will preface my theory by stating for the record my own position. 

I am a Christian, I was brought up a Catholic, although from a very early age I have always questioned and been uneasy with the Church itself as an organization. I’ll leave it at that as I do not wish to insult anyone’s religious beliefs. 

My faith in a higher power however has merely strengthened over the years. I very much believe in a God, and believe the theory of evolution if anything supports the writings of the Old Testament. In my opinion God did not create the world in 7 ‘days’. Life instead evolved over millennia. Humans and apes do share similar ancestry...I take pride in such a fact. Probably because I consider all life of similar value. To me an animal’s soul is of just as much importance as that of a humans. Another contentious point I’m sure but my opinion none the less. 

This brings me back extra terrestrial life. If you are to take as fact Humans evolved from early primates...where to now. I can only assume however slowly we too are still evolving. What changes will both our minds and bodies go through over the next few hundred thousand years? I think another fact we can assume on is humans will eventually take to space. Our planet can realistically only sustain us for so long we will probably have to leave someday...a secondary fact to consider, if we have the technology to explore and learn why wouldn’t we? 

So aliens/extra terrestrials. They have for hundreds of years been described in the following way. Humanoid, large hairless head, bipedal, two large forward facing eyes, slender or in some cases non-existent mouths, similarly small nasal and hearing cavities. Two arms, two legs, fingers however elongated still possessing some form of opposable appendage. Does this description sound familiar yet? 

O.K back to humans. We are, due to climatic and cultural reasons becoming less hairy. Course external body hair is largely for insulation purposes, should we reach a technological period where we have developed a means of completely regulating our environment’s temperature, both body and facial hair will eventually become less necessary. 

A secondary reason for body hair must also be acknowledged. Pubic and facial hair is necessary as an identifying factor in relation to sexual maturity. Genetic engineering may lead to a point where physical attraction/prowess may play less of a role in the area of mating and reproduction. If we don’t need hair to attract a mate....why over generations would we continue to evolve coarse area specific hair follicles? 

Now communication. Whether we are aware of it or not all humans possess the abilty to communicate even on a very small scale telepathically with one another. It’s why so called psychics and tarot readers are so popular. While the vast majority are phoneys a select few probably can pick up on something. Is it the future...of course not. ‘Mind Readers’ merely pick up faint traces of our own internal thoughts, ...and repeat them back to us. It’s not inconceivable to assume telepathy will play some part in the way we communicate in thousands of generations to come. And if this is the case mouths will eventually over time reduce in size and shape given to the fact they are being used less frequently. It is also likely as our brains advance in capability they too will  grow in size.

Visually how are we changing? Well as we’ve evolved over the years our eyes have become larger, more suited to our needs. Pretty safe to assume given our dependency on sight over other once important senses like smell our eyes as instruments will too advance, possibly in size, specialty and ability. Kids these days would be next to useless in a prehistoric hunt. ‘What do you mean you can’t see that caribou, it’s only on the other side of the valley?’ but pop them in a dimly lit room with a computer, television, phone and handheld gaming console and I guarantee you they will demonstrate a level of visual multi-tasking that would stupefy someone from even two hundred years ago. My point being our bodies are changing. They will continue to change according to our environmental and social needs for as long as we as a species ‘live’. 

So back to little grey aliens. If said aliens exist they seem to be interested in learning more about us. Why? If they are that far advanced how much can they expect to learn from such a seemingly un-evolved life form. I mean I doubt you lay in bed at night sleeplessly wondering how South American earthworm colonies are fairing these days!? 

If aliens want our recourses for example, I’m pretty sure they can just take ‘em. They don’t need to abduct and violate our friend Bubba 23 times over a 5 year period to deduce yes we have water and minerals. 

Flying saucers, here one minute gone the next...thousands of sightings yearly but in farness no physical evidence? I don’t know about you but even at warp 8, space travel is still going to be a time consuming past time. Does E.T. really need or want to travel possibly thousands of ‘years’ just to say Hi! If it were up to me I’d probably devise some future method of time and space ‘bending’ for lack of a better word that would allow one to travel without the need to physically move. So UFOS wouldn’t necessary be lumps of metal traversing space but instead portals of light and energy traversing time and space itself. 

Ok lets ignore the science of ‘how’ and ‘why’, and again discuss ‘who’. Let’s say aliens are dropping by to say ‘Howdy, I see your weapons of defence are less advanced than ours, we’ll be having your planet thanks’. Why on earth pardon the pun, would they appear humanoid. I mean we appear as we do because of millions of years of evolution, circumstantial shifts and subtle modifications. Unless circumstances on their home planets have been identical to ours in every single way since the dawn of their respective existence, I’m pretty sure they’ll have evolved an appearance far different to our own. I mean bipedal locomotion is hardly the ultimate form of travel. I personally think dust mites know how to travel in style. Aliens if out there probably look like squidgy balls of light and sound not Marvin the Martian. And more than likely given the sheer incomprehensible vastness of the universe either don’t even know or care we are here. 

So who IS behind all those UFO’s so many have seen and documented, seemingly since the dawn of humanity. If not visitors from a galaxy far far away than who? 

Is it possible that we ourselves, humanity. In thousands or millions of years to come have found a means to revisit the pasts of our ancestors to observe and study without interfering? 

Is it believable to assume that given the basic hypothetical laws of time travel that if it ever does becomes possible, you mustn’t and I repeat mustn’t interfere or change anything. If that is the case you probably shouldn’t walk around. Your best bet at anonymity would be to simply observe from the sky and vanish if seen. (While I do not doubt we/they would have the technology to remain completely unseen, that doesn't mean everyone would opt to. Nor would everyone play by the rules...more than likely many would try to interfere. It would be a flawed and controversial science that would need to be policed.)

Is it tangible to believe that maybe, just maybe our appearances might have changed somewhat as we the human species evolves? Ok class exercise: Grab your Great Aunt Betty,( y’know the bone-skinny slightly kookie spinster you only see at Christmas) and get her to stand in front of a lamp, as the light shines around her squint your eyes, I know she’s blurry but doesn’t she kinda look like a little gray man...possibly from outer space? 

Just a thought... 


Aliens and UFO’s are in fact far distant evolved relatives of the human race observing earth and it’s history in the least intrusive means possible. In their case space portal-esue time travel via the skies. Most recorded sightings are fabrications, stemming from media manipulation, scientific and literary coercion and of course our own overactive imaginations, most but not necessarily all.

Aliens are out there. The universe is too big for only one single race but chances are they either don’t know or care about us. They probably have never visited and definitely don’t appear like anything we can even fathom. Defiantly not like E.T or Marvin the Martian.

Saturday, July 24, 2010

Henri Matisse Exhibition

I've been super busy the past couple of weeks...pretty much locked in the studio. I missed the recent Galway Film Fleadh this year...didn't even remember it was coming up until it was over. The Galway Arts Festival too pretty much slipped by unnoticed! However there was one exhibition I have really been looking forward to and nearly missed. An exhibition of original lithographs by French painter, sculptor and designer, Henri Matisse (1869–1954). Matisse was one of the 20th century’s most influential artists. The touring exhibition 'Matisse: Drawing with Scissors' features 35 original lithographs of the famous oeuvre produced in the last four years of his life, when the artist was confined to his bed. The collection is being showcased in the wonderful Galway Museum until tomorrow. The following are a select few of my favorite pieces featured in the exhibition.

L'Escargot - 1952-53

'Nuit de Noel' 1952

'Poissons Chinois' 1951

Nu Bleu - 1952

Friday, July 23, 2010

Play Ball II - The Sequel

Today the kids and I went up to the football field behind their house to throw around the ball, or in this case balls. I brought up the baseball gloves, American football and football. I'ts a really nice spot called Lee Mellows Pitch. It's next to and owned by the Renmore Army Barracks. Ben the dog came too! He loved  chasing the baseball especially. Any time either of us dropped the  ball he immediately grabbed it an ran off drooling and grunting like a grizzly bear! I love Ben, he's an amazing little guy. 

The jerseys the kids are wearing are kits I won earlier in the year as part of a jersey design competition for Middlesbrough F.C. One of the prizes was a team kit made by Italian kit suppliers Errea. I love Errea as a company. they are the only major sports clothing company in Europe that actually design AND produce their kits in house.. Other companies like Adidas and Nike make the most of cheap production costs in countries like China and Taiwan. I have a lot of respect for a company that still hires locally. 

I love these kits a lot, I'm actually wearing mine too...there just wasn't any photos with me in 'em. They remind me of the very first football/soccer team I ever played on. I was five, and lived in Texas at the time. As far as I remember I didn't really understand the rules all to well and spent half the time running up the pitch the opposite way like a drunken bolt of green lightning.  I did win a medal first and based on the skills I demonstrated today it's safe to say my last too!

Play Ball!

After a long day working in the studio I was a bit wired and googily eyed from staring at the computer so I went outside to kick the football around and get a bit of fresh air and exercise. Sora joined me but naturally just sat and watched. It's at times like those I wish I had a dog to either walk or play with. In all fairness she did at least try. I rolled the ball across the garden towards her...she ran after it and duly pounced on it. However when I asked her (jokingly) to bring the ball back, Sora thought I meant for her to come back, she ran across the garden towards me and purred proudly at my feet....

After a half an hour or so Neen came out too which was a big surprise! We passed the football back and forth for a while but it was getting a bit chilly so she went in to put on a jumper. By the time Neen returned I had brought out the baseball gloves, baseball and American football! I thought who knows when I'll have a sporting partner again, might as well make the most of it. I don't know if many of ye have had the opportunity to throw a baseball back and forth given it's a predominantly american past time but it really is super relaxing. It was Neens first time but she was a natural! The American football however was not as big a hit with the missus. We managed to throw the ol' pigskin around for all of two minutes before Neen decided it was not for her so we reverted back to throwing the regular football again. 

Our evening date ended earlier than planned after the football landed in a pile of thorns... Neen thought throwing the ball back and forth over the house would be fun, I on the other hand was slightly apprehensive about the possibility of the ball getting the end it was my fault. I hurled the ball over the house but as I was standing on a mound of gravel at the time the throw went slightly askew, hit the aerial, ricocheted back towards me and disappeared in some briars.

It was really fun though, and I got the ball out eventually it was just a bit thorny...I really hope we can do it again soon!

Wednesday, July 21, 2010


Sora is ridiculously hard to photograph, she always ends up blurry, pulling a face or with snotty eyes! This one however turned out pretty O.K.

Fur Ball

I don't know how Hope manages to wrap herself up into a perfect ball like this, maybe only having three legs helps somewhat!

Monday, July 19, 2010

Hope and Morgans Super Magic Day of Fun

Last Sunday, it was a beautifully sunny day so I grabbed my camera and went into the garden to photograph some of the local wildlife. I was hoping to spot a couple of interesting insect species and if lucky a frog or native lizard.

I wasn't finding too much so instead I decided to explore an area of overgrowth behind our house...Easier said than done. The area in question at this time of year has up to 8 feet of thorns, nettles and briar's. I cannot stress this point enough everything in this overgrown patch of land has thorns.

It was extremely difficult to make my way through in places and I was resigned to the fact that I was going to get a fair few scratches and bites! About a half an hour into my adventure Hope our three legged cat turned up. She had obviously followed me!

We eventually reached a clearing. Chopped slabs of limestone lined the ground and there were sparce scatterings of low lying shrubs and wildflowers.

This small area of land is home to thousands of this particular species of caterpillar, Cinnabar Tyria Jacobaeae. I've noticed they mostly congregate on Ragwort plants (Buachalán Buí) but only in quiet spots. The plump fellow below is a bit of a loner and instead found himself a giant leaf of some sort to munch on.

Another species I found, but were tricky enough to shoot were these spiders. They are quite brazen, and didn't really act in any way fearful of either me or Hope. Anytime I inadvertently disturbed one of their hiding spots (while rummaging through chunks of limestone) they bravely stood their ground. I imagine they are a quite territorial species.

Hope came over and sat on my lap for 15 minutes or so while I rummaged through small chunks of chopped limestone for fossils. I found quite a few...mostly petrified leaves and wood. For the most part however Hope just chilled on her own, enjoying the quiet warm summer breeze.

After a few of hours in total we made our way back home. I traveled the same path that had brought me to the clearing, Hope went the other way and followed her quicker cat friendly route. When we arrived back at the homestead after our 'Big' adventure neither Neen or our other cat Sora had budged from their respective spots.

It was a lot of fun and although I didn't really take any decent shots, 'Hope and Morgans Super Magic Day of Fun' was a day to remember.

Friday, July 16, 2010

Paloma Faith Live in the Iveagh Gardens

Yesterday my sister Milo and I went up to Dublin to see Paloma Faith play in the Iveagh Gardens. I mentioned in an earlier post that I won the tickets on 2fm's Rick O'Shea show and had been really looking forward to the gig. Rain, thunder and lightning were expected but when we arrived in Dublin we were greeted by a blissfully sunny day. To kill a few hours before the concert we did a bit of window shopping, had a couple of rootbeers in Eddie Rockets and then a pizza picnic in St. Stephens Green. I also managed to track down a wool store and picked my wife up a funky ball of yarn.

Gates opened at 18:30 but we wanted a good spot so we got there early and played Scrabble outside on our DS's while we waited. Milo and I were the first into the venue had claimed our spot, center stage at the very very front. Iveagh gardens is a really super location, very relaxed and chilled. We sat against the barrier and had waffles with maple syrup while the stage-hands finished setting up.

The legend that is Candi Staton made a special appearance and played a great selection of her hits! In particular I loved 'Young Hearts Run Free', 'In the Ghetto' and 'Suspicious Minds'. Candi was supported by a super band and equally talented backing singers. As the rain began to fall it's also worth mentioning Paloma herself could be seen stage left dancing it out to Candi's entire set, which was really cool! Milo and I were lucky enough to get hold of Candi's set list as it blew off the stage as it was being cleared!

Next up was Paloma herself, she started at about 21:15 and from song 1 blew every one away. By this stage it was pouring buckets but the crowd of 1500 didn't care. As Paloma herself commented we all looked 'like lemmings'...soaked and crowded together! Even a minor sound glitch obviously caused by the rain couldn't hamper moods. Paloma sang for a minute or so unaware the speakers were temporarily down...but the sound was soon restored and Paloma simply laughed it off and continued her set confident and unperturbed.

Paloma sang her entire debut album and even a couple of truly magnificent covers...'Everybodies Gotta Learn Sometime' in particular was breathtaking. I absolutely loved 'Play On' 'Do You Want the Truth or Something Beautiful' and my favorite track on the album 'Upside Down'! 

(apologies for the photo quality, they were taken with my phone.) 

Paloma's past stage experience really made for a spectacular show. She invigorated and dazzled the soggy motley crowd with charm and raw talent. Never once stopping or uneccesarily changing costumes. Both she and her band gave it 100% to the very end. The concert closed triumphantly to Palomas extraordinary version of Etta James's 'At Last' (my wife and my selfs wedding song I might add)

I suggested we wait a few minutes for the crowd to dissipate before we made our move. We chatted away with one of the security officials and he very gracipously located for us the last of the gig set lists! A perfect end to a perfect show. 'Do you Want the Truth or Something Beautiful' was a fabulous experience. I highly recommend both Palomas Live show and beautiful album to any and everyone! 

Epilogue: Milo and I left the Gardens buzzed and soaking wet. We had a couple of hours to kill before our late night bus back to Galway and needed to get dry. We set up camp in Mc.Donald's dried off and had a cup of tea while we waited. At about 1a.m. we ran back through the rain across the Liffey to the bus stop to wait. By that stage we were wet...again. But the bus came on time...we boarded and enjoyed a nice warm journey home. We made it through our front door for about 4:00a.m. after a really great day out!

Sunday, July 11, 2010

Baby Snails

I found this little snail outside yesterday...she/he(garden snails are hermaphrodites) is obviously a's shell was covered in maroon and white paint from last summer when we had the house painted before the wedding. I picked it up to check if it was just an abandoned shell or living snail...the snail was fast asleep but alive. Undernearh about an inch in the ground were translucent white eggs it had recently laid.

I put the snail back were I found when I checked again the snail had completely filled and covered the hole and was now gone. This particular spot is obviously a bit of a snail nursery, as climbing up the walls directly above the unhatched eggs were a few dozen snail hatchings from another litter.

Even at such an early age these garden snails are quite curious...any that I photographed although initially weary all stared into and reached out to touch the camera lens.

I saved a bee!!

This morning while making some breakfast in the kitchen, I found a bumble bee drowning in a bucket of water outside the back door. I scooped him out, placed him on the window sill and very lightly blew on his wings in a desperate attempt to help dry them out...I then left him alone to finish drying in his own time, all the while keeping my fingers crossed that he'd pull through. Luckily after a half an hour or so he had dried off sufficiently and flew away...

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Shay Carl and the Shaytards Song! by Nicepeter

I Absolutely love this song! Youtubes nicepeter really created one of the catchiest and cleverly written songs on the web! If you love it as much as I do it can be purchased on iTunes!

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

I Won....Twice!

I've been so lucky this week! A few days ago I won two tickets for Paloma Faith's Iveagh Gardens Concert next week in Dublin. A text of mine was chosen as the best of the day on 2fm's Rick O'Shea show! AND Just now after a solid month of sending in any code I could find on promotional cans of Coke I just won a World Cup Adidas Jabulani football...I'm so happy!

Listening to...Paloma Faith

Monday, July 5, 2010

What do you recommend?

O.K. here's the deal...we all have books, songs, and movies we'd all recommend to a friend in a heart beat. So what do you recommend? Feel free to answer any or all! Would love to hear all of your opinions and insights! Feel free to leave links if you'd like too! 

2.Television Show
6.Artist/Art Piece
7.Place to Visit
9.Video Clip

1.Movie 'The Bird Cage' (1996)

2.Television Show 'The Big Bang Theory'

'What are you doing' by Tomioka Jiro

'Door' by Tomioka Jiro

7.Place to Visit - Krakow/Cracow, Poland

8.Game 'Big Bang Mini' on Nintendo DSi

9.Online Video Clip (Youtube,Vimeo etc)