Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Watching...The Big Bang Theory Season 4

Neen and I picked up the fourth season of The Big Bang Theory over the weekend and watched the whole thing, all 24 episodes Monday on our day off...

The fourth season is great easily as good if not better than the previous three... Haven't seen the show, stop what you're doing and go out and buy the 4season box-set! You won't regret it!

Sunday, September 11, 2011

The High Kings LIve in Salthill

I brought the missus to see one of her all time favourite groups 'The High Kings' when they were playing in Salthill Saturday night. There was minor concern that the inclement weather would hamper crowd numbers (we nearly blew away walking the promenade out to Salthill) But by the time the act went on stage the ol' ballroom was packed. 

We were a motley crew to be honest. Fans from 16 to 60 braved the elements to see the visiting musicians.  I'm a firm believer that its well worth being uncool and turning up as early as possible to get a good seat, so we were the first in the doors and had front row seats...The High Kings were great...very talented musicians, great showman and nice guys to boot. 

They weren't the only musicians performing that night. Before the show we were treated to a number of songs from 4 young fans sitting in the balcony section...One of which was even invited to sing one song on stage with the group later in the night. The official opening act was young Mark Boylan - another under-age talent who has had the opportunity to open for a number of recent HK shows. Even at such a young age Mark had great stage presence as he sang a number of covers and a couple of his own songs too. A definite rising star.

Neen was really hoping to get a photo with the group. After a missed opportunity before the show we assumed a precious chance was missed - but luckily and quite generously the group announced at shows end they would be signing autographs and selling merchandise immediately after the show. So Neen bought their brand new CD, 'The High Kings Live in Ireland' and had it signed by the entire band. Not only that but she also got photographs with each and every member. The guys were wrecked and drenched in sweat but were true gents with their adoring fans, and gave 110% to everyone who waited after.

If you like traditional Irish music, make sure to pick up their new album in stores now... 

Thoughts and Prayers...

Da Tang Noodle House

There is  great Chinese restaurant in Galway called 'Da Tang Noodle house'. Neen and I have often passed by and commented we'd love to try it out. Saturday we finally did and boy were we impressed. I absolutely loved it. Food was fantastic - the nicest Asian cuisine I've ever had. Service was suburb and the ambience idyllic. It was a quiet enough period when we were there and the waiting staff were having their own lunches at the opposite table - always a really good sign. I honestly can't recommend the place enough. If you find yourself in Galway be sure to drop by...

Da Tang Noodle House - Middle Street - Galway, Ireland

Friday Night Lights

Friday was a pretty big day for Galway United. We finally broke our 23-game losing streak after securing a point against Dundalk FC at home in Terryland Park. Fair play to the team for a gallant and Brave performance...

Photo by Vinny O'Connor SR.

Photo by Vinny O'Connor SR.

We also had a number of very special guests visiting the club Friday. First and foremost the Korean Ambassador His Excellency Mr. Chang Yeob Kim and his party. Galway United are the first professional footballing outfit in Ireland to field Korean players. We were joined mid-season by South Korean natives Yob Son and Jin Gu Kim and they have played an integral part in the development of the new team... The Korean ambassador, a football fan was eager to meet his fellow countrymen as well as the rest of the Galway United family. I only spoke with him briefly, but the Ambassador was a very nice man and I hope we have the opportunity to meet again.

Neen and Michael D.

Also visiting on the day was presidential candidate Michael D. Higgins. Michael D. is also the honourary president of Galway United FC and will I'm sure be getting all our Galway United votes come the Irish presidential election in October. Michael D. is a true gent. Neen and I chatted with him for a bit at the VIP after-party and we wish him the best of luck for the rest of his campaign.

(Also in attendance on the night were Foundation FC, local sponsors/patrons, Board Members and representatives from the Galway FA and LOI.) My congrats to my fellow Management Commitee members and all the countless other volunteers who worked hard to make the day the success it was.

Friday, September 9, 2011

Great Scott! 2011 Nike Mag!

How cool are these...any billionaires out there feeling generous...I wear size 13US! : ) LINK Such a great idea and cause...I hope MJ Fox make a bucket load for his charity.

Sunday, September 4, 2011

New Terrapin Tank

Neen and I bought the terrapins a massive brand new tank yesterday...I still have to sort out a couple of little bits (enlarge the land area slightly and add a couple more plants) but they love it. They really really enjoy their swimming and the water level is about twice the dept of their old tank...

It took friggin' ages to install. But it was totally worth it I love seeing them so happy!

Guess what I can do with a banana!

Saturday/Sunday mornings I usually wake up - feed the pets and grab a banana and some fresh air. Standing in our front doorway I finish the banana and throw the skin into the overgrowth behind the house for the wild animals (I don't know what eats them but someone does 'cause by the next day they are always gone...

Well this Sunday I had my usual banana and while barefoot, standing in the open doorway I threw the banana skin straight into the garden and look where it landed...

In a million years I don't think I could ever manage to throw it that distance and have it land on the clothes line again...a silly story I know but it made me smile! : )

Maureen O'Hara you still owe me €3

Years ago, when I was acting as assistant Events-Controller during the Galway Film Fleadh I had the opportunity to meet Maureen O'Hara. Myself, Events Controller Dave Coyne and a couple of representatives from the Fleadh and the Town Hall met her at the door and brought her through the back entrance away from photographers and fans. Maureen was an extremely nice woman, very friendly and chatty...Well during my brief spell in the green room (I glamourously spent the rest of her visit acting as personal security more than anything) Maureen asked if anyone had hair spray. No one did so I offered to go buy her some...I returned 10 minutes later, gave Mrs O'Hara her spray - she's doused herself in a cloud of it and went onstage...

Well Sunday last Neen, my parents and I went out to Cong, co Mayo for the day and visited Ashford Castle. We were delighted to find out 'The Quiet Man' festival was on. As we walked through the gates of the Castle we noticed a procession of bagpipers coming towards us so we pulled in to let them pass. I was filming the bagpipers and noticed a vintage Emerald car pulling up the rear. None of us noticed  until it was directly infront of us that it was Maureen O'Hara herself...The first thought that popped into my head was..." She still owes me three quid! : )


I recently came across a great paper on this recently dicovered Stegosaur, Miragaia. The paper by Octávio Mateus, Susannah C.R Maidment and Nicolai A Christiansen outlines in good detail what exactly we can ascertain about this fascinating creature from the newly discovered remains...

Here is a short excerpt from the paper:

"Stegosaurian dinosaurs have a quadrupedal stance, short forelimbs, short necks, and are generally considered to be low browsers. A new stegosaur, Miragaia longicollum...from the Late Jurassic of Portugal, has a neck comprising at least 17 cervical vertebrae. This is eight additional cervical vertebrae when compared with the ancestral condition seen in basal ornithischians such as Scutellosaurus. Miragaia has a higher cervical count than most of the iconically long-necked sauropod dinosaurs...."

I think it's an absolutely beautiful species and has rocketed right up there as one of my favorites. The figure above is one I just bought on Ebay. Produced by Wild Safari LTD in Conjunction with the Carnegie Museum is a wonderful little sculpt. I'm planning to do a large watercolour of Miragaia shortly...I already have a couple of preparatory sketches drawn...just waiting for couple of free studio days!

Thursday, September 1, 2011


I love my gadgets...and after a lot of contemplating...research, dropping into phone stores (sorry Neen) I finally upgraded my phone. I contemplated getting an iPhone 4 for a bit, I even thought about waiting for an iPhone 5...but in the end decided I'm not really an iPhone kinda guy. Iv'e used Nokia's my whole life so decided to stick with the Fins...

In the end I opted for the Nokia N8, and boy am I happy I did. What swung it for me is the camera. It's easily the best on the market (12MP camera, Carl Zeiss optics, Xenon flash, HD Video)... It' actually takes better shots than my own personal camera...when I heard that a major firmware update for the camera was soon to be released I knew now was the perfect time to get it. When I sat down and asked myself what exactly I was looking for in a portable device, the camera, OS and build quality were the most important factors for me. (I don't really care about novelty apps, or games.) The N8 is rock solid. The new Symbian Anna operating system is superb and like I said the camera rocks so I'm delighted.