mac's world-o-stuff :: a weblog with a bad name

mac's world-o-stuff :: wasting valuable web space since 1999

Friday, August 30, 2002

Friday Five #25:

1. What's your favorite piece of clothing that you currently own?

I bought a black t-shirt today with a Decepticons logo on the front which is pretty cool. I am a child of the 1980's, after all.

2. What piece of clothing do you most want to acquire?

A new pair of jeans since I only have a couple left that don't have gaping holes in the crotch. Now if only there were such a thing as a pair of Wranglers with industrial strength crotch/inner-thigh friction protection.

3. What piece of clothing can you not bring yourself to get rid of? Why?

I don't really hoard my clothes, but I don't think I'll ever throw out my Minutemen t-shirt. It'll fit me again some day.

4. What piece of clothing do you look your best in?

Me being a person of low self-esteem, I don't think I look good in anything.

5. What has been your biggest fashion accident?

I wouldn't know what a fashion accident is, since I'm not a dedicated follower of fashion. I exclusively wear jeans and t-shirts.

[ 11:25 PM | link it | ]


Wednesday, August 28, 2002

np: Jawbox 'Novelty'

I've solved my permalink problem (I had my tags nested wrong, duh!), and I've switched my commenting function back to Enetation. Hopefully they've learned their lesson that it's bad customer service to leave their user base in the dark for so long, even if it is a free service.

I dunno what the hell happened to NetComments. I think I remember reading that the proprietor was going to the Reading or Leeds festival this weekend just past. Maybe some hacker took advantage of his absence and nixed the site.

[ 8:33 PM | link it | ]


Monday, August 26, 2002

I've always thought that Iain Banks lives a wonderful life.

I remember some years ago, I was off sick from school and - as per usual whenever I was off sick - watching Channel 4 Schools (now 4Learning). There was some English programme on - that being English the subject, not the language, nor the nation - that profiled different British authors, their lifestyles, and their thoughts about writing. This particular episode featured Iain Banks.

I remember being surprised to learn that Banks only wrote for three months every year, from October to December if I rightly recall, and spent the rest of the year being a slacker (his choice of word, not mine). I immediately thought to myself, that's what I want to do with my life.

The programme also showed ambiguous dramatised segments from arguably his most famous novel, The Wasp Factory. Quite unsettling indeed, even more so when spliced intermittently with footage of Banks himself whizzing around narrow, winding Scottish country roads on his motorbike.

I never got around to reading The Wasp Factory until late last year, when the days were getting shorter, the nights getting darker and colder. It's an excellent read, though not for the faint hearted.

[ 11:04 PM | link it | ]


The bittersweet tale of a town built on chocolate.

[ 10:39 PM | link it | ]


np: Cave In 'Requiem'

I went to the bank this morning, since I have the day off and it's only a five minute walk from my house. Although it is mighty humid today, and the sun is quite glaring. I was sweating profusely as soon as I stepped outside the house, which doesn't really make for a good impression when you're going to meet the bank manager.

But I needn't have worried. The bank just wanted to suss me out, asking me about my work status and so forth (mainly because when I left work to do my final year, there was no money going in to my main account). It was what I expected, really.

I was asked to bring them my tax credit certificate (which I think I've just found in a bundle of papers on my desk here), a statement from my other account (the AIB one I started at college to keep my grant in), and my latest payslip as proof of address and employment (I'll have to get that at work, I haven't actually picked up any payslips since I went full time - I lie, I actually got two but they were blank, as if someone had forgotten to change my status somewhere along the line).

From what I was told by the assistant bank manager, that should be enough to get me my very own credit card. With a substantial limit, I might add, which I don't actually need but of course would be sweet to have.

[ 6:25 PM | link it | ]


In an update to the post below, the permalinks don't seem to be working. Upon further investigation, there appears to be a bug in Blogger since the anchor tags aren't being generated like they're supposed to. I'm not expecting this to be fixed for at least another few days, since the Blogger team decided to fuck off to Brazil for some 'meetings' and 'press conferences'.

To hell with it. SummerSlam is on in ten minutes, so I'm going to get myself a bowl of Frosties and watch it. Goodnight.

[ 12:49 AM | link it | ]


Sunday, August 25, 2002

np: Teen Cthulhu 'The Aquaducts Will Run Red With The Blood Of The Caesar'

Some changes to the features section:

I've compiled a list of links to (in my humble opinion) some of my favourite posts here. It'll serve as a good example of my writing, I guess, and it's also a nice, condensed summary of what this blogging thing is for me.

Also, I've taken my writings section offline for the time being. I've started recoding things, and preparing new stuff I've written. Gimme a week or two and it'll be back online, and looking much smarter.

[ 11:35 PM | link it | ]


np: Rites Of Spring 'Theme'

So It looks like NetComments - hosts of my supposedly good new commenting system - have decided to suddenly go and die on me. That's just fucking great that is. Looks like I'll have to go back to Enetation. Can't be arsed changing my code right now though. I'm hungry and I want dinner.

Doing this blog really sucks sometimes.

[ 9:40 PM | link it | ]


Saturday, August 24, 2002

A collection of random photographic portraits of pedestrians taken at Marble Arch from last summer.

I walked through that very spot - at the corner of Oxford St. and Edgware Rd. - numerous times on my travels between the centre of London and my hotel near Paddington (further along Bayswater Rd., which also leads to that junction) during the first weekend of June last year. Who knows? If I were more photogenic, maybe I'd be the subject of one of these portraits.

(Link c/o

[ 6:59 PM | link it | ]


np: Glassjaw 'Radio Cambodia'

Better late than never. Friday Five #24:

1. What is your current occupation? Is this what you chose to be doing at this point in your life? Why or why not?

I'm a sales assistant at a big music store on Grafton St. I'm working there primarily to save money for graduate school in the near future. It's not a career for me - although I guess I could make it one if I wanted to, but I don't. This point in my life is not the time for me to worry about where I am at this point in my life. I'm still getting there.

2. If time/talent/money were no object, what would your dream occupation be?

Running my own record label slash publishing mini-empire. It's something I want to start soon, just as a hobby, to see if it's for me. But I need to build up some capital first.

3. What did/do your parents do for a living? Has this had any influence on your career choices?


4. Have you ever had to choose between having a career and having a family?

Not yet. Jeez, I'm only 22.

5. In your opinion, what is the easiest job in the world? What is the hardest? Why?

Is any job really easy? Most - if not all - of them are hard for somebody. It really depends on what one likes or is good as, but even then you're still putting effort into it, and 'effort' doesn't go well with 'easy'.
In my opinion, the question should be 'what is the coolest job/suckiest job in the world?' (For me the suckiest is working the concession stand at the UCI. The coolest? See #2.)

[ 6:15 PM | link it | ]


np: Botch 'Dali's Praying Mantis'

I've been busy this morning.

First of all, I've replaced the commenting system. Enetation was just too slow, and it's been offline recently for whatever reasons way too many times for my liking. I gave it a shot, but it just didn't work out. So bye bye Enetation, and hello NetComments. I found this system purely by accident, but I was sufficiently impressed by its usability and customisability. I like it.

Also, I've changed the style sheet just a tad to fix something that's been nagging me for a while - namely, the underlines on the permalink and comment link under each post, which looked bad next to the non-underlined time stamp. Now things look a bit more uniform. Uniformity is good. Just ask Jakob Nielsen.

[ 10:46 AM | link it | ]


Friday, August 23, 2002

np: Interpol 'PDA'

If you can read this, then you're a lucky bastard, 'cause I can't. I can't access any page on my site. Tripod's pop-up ad Javascript is screwy. Tripod are ass clowns. (Update: the problem seems to have been fixed now, but they're still ass clowns.) The sooner I get a credit card the better; I can get myself a proper place to reside on the Web, not like this fucking squat.

Now that I've mentioned it (the credit card, that is), I received a letter from my bank this morning, and it goes a little something like this:

Dear Mr. Conroy

I would be obliged if you would contact me directly at this office in connection with your recent Visa card application.

Yours sincerely

The Assistant Manager

I'm not sure what to make of that. It's kinda ambiguous, don't you think? Maybe they just want to vet me, take a look at me to see if I'm a worthy credit risk. It'll be an opportunity for me to let them know that, like, I have a degree and stuff.

What should I wear? I've only got jeans and t-shirts. Will that give them a good or bad impression? Should I shave? I mean my beard has been getting kinda bushy lately. Do beards signify a good or bad credit risk? Maybe I should work on my posture over the weekend. I do tend to slouch a bit too much.

But hey, I could be worrying about nothing. Maybe they just want to get me in to sign some papers and then they'll give me my card so I can head straight into town and max out in less than an hour. Yeah, that'd be fun.

[ 11:44 PM | link it | ]


Thursday, August 22, 2002

np: Liars 'Grown Men Don't Fall In The River, Just Like That'

We don't get VICE Magazine in Ireland; the reason being that we don't have any VICE stores here. But I am actually acquainted with the publication, having perused a few copies during my stay in Toronto at the ManHole, so I am writing here from experience.

It's not bad at all, particularly since it's free. Excellent design, some well-written, entertaining articles, and a generally good ear to the musical underground. I liked VICE, and I respected their judgment.

However, they seem to have an unhealthy fixation with The Streets for some reason. So much so, in fact, that they've just started up a record label specifically to release 'Original Pirate Material' in North America.

Maybe it's because he's British, and therefore by default has to be revered. (I mean, come on, Belle & Sebastian? They're twee and fey and shite. Just admit it.)

Whatever the case, I just cannot agree with them. Mark Skinner (aka The Streets) is a purveyor of garage music. With a twist, maybe - and yes, more legitimate musically than the fucking So Solid Crew - but still garage music. And garage music is inherently crap.

I have listened to his album - I have listened to it repeatedly, when I was working in the basement at HMV - and it gets old very, very quickly. He also has a really annoying voice.

Listen up VICE: The Streets is not the future of music. Why don't you kids big-up the Yeah Yeah Yeahs or something? They're not perfect, but at least they're not garage.

[ 12:08 AM | link it | ]


Tuesday, August 20, 2002

np: The Blood Brothers 'March On Electric Children'

Standing at the till yesterday afternoon, after running out of change for the umpteenth time, and fighting the urge to scream if I saw another fucking €50 note, I realised that I just don't want to do this anymore.

Sure, the job has its great points - getting to work with music, sussing out the latest sounds, getting my hands on stuff I'd never otherwise have the opportunity to, and the hours and pay aren't too bad either - but at the moment, all I can see are the bad - the aforementioned running-out-of-change (usually two or three transactions are enough to do it, seriously), the stupidity of company policy and bureaucracy, the sheer amount of idiots and plain rude fuckers we have for customers. The list goes on.

I never really dwelled on how I felt about working there that much until now, considering how great it is in comparison to my old job, but I really do feel like I'm beginning to hate the place. Not the people (for the most part I have no problem with any of my co-workers; I suppose I'm lucky in that respect), just the business itself.

I guess it really came to a head yesterday. I don't know what exactly brought it on, it was a combination and a culmination of things; I wasn't feeling particularly well anyway. I really wanted to break someone's neck or kick someone in the balls or something, just something gratifyingly violent to make me feel just slightly better, slightly less stressed.

I shouldn't have gone to work yesterday. I should have called in sick to flush out whatever I've got. I mean, I could have caught something even worse yesterday - what kind of workplace has a toilet seat that isn't even attached to the toilet? For fuck's sake.

As it is, I called in this morning. I felt like crap, didn't sleep very well last night as a result. As I write this I feel a bit more settled, but I still have a headache. My eyes have been so tired. I'd tell you what was wrong, but I'd probably disgust you and whoever else actually reads this and you'd never come back.

I need to be more regular in my vitamin-taking.

I wonder if Tower are hiring?

[ 6:28 PM | link it | ]


Sunday, August 18, 2002

Ten Tips on Writing the Living Web (c/o frownland)

This is an excellent read for anyone who writes, or wants to write, for the Web. I'm saving it for future reference.

[ 10:17 PM | link it | ]


np: Hex Error 'Deerlodge Prison'

Steve McDonald of Redd Kross has added bass parts and harmonies to the White Stripes' 'White Blood Cells', with the full consent of Jack and Meg. You can download the whole of 'Redd Blood Cells' here, but you better hurry since it's only gonna be online 'til next weekend.

(If, like me, you only really want 'Fell in Love with a Girl', cut out the middleman and get it here.)

[ 9:11 PM | link it | ]


Just saw bits and pieces of a new episode of The Simpsons on Sky.

It was shite.

Come on, Homer bouncing down the street on a ladder? The writers must have been high when they came up with that, because only under the influence of drugs could that elicit a laugh.

The show must be euthanised now, to preserve its previous good reputation for future generations.

[ 7:01 PM | link it | ]


Last night, at short notice, Dave invited me to go see Annie Hall in Temple Bar.

(Here's an interactive map of Temple Bar for those unfamiliar with the area. Think Covent Garden, but smaller and slightly less pretentious.)

I wasn't really in the mood to go out since I had a shitty day at work, but how often do you get to see a movie in the open air? And besides, with all the guys down in a house in Wexford for the week, it was an opportunty to do something cool with a good friend without any conflcts of interest.

We got into town around 10pm or so, weaving through a throng of drunk revellers and Tim Robbins to get to Meeting House Square. Pretty sweet, let me tell you. They had a few hundred seats set out across the square, before a pull-down screen in the wall recess above the Gallery of Photography. I hadn't noticed it before - not that I really explore Temple Bar that often - but with the screen and the opposite projection windows, the square seems to have been purposefully developed for screening movies. Good work.

It was quite a strange experience, sitting in the open air in the centre of the city. Looking at the screen, and looking up at the sky, at the stars. Would have been romantic even, if I wasn't there with Dave (sorry man, you're just not my type).

Before the main attraction they showed a couple of short films, The Milliner (alright, a bit too deliberate maybe), and Give Up Yer Aul Sins, which was nominated for an Oscar earlier this year and deservedly so 'cause it's really fucking funny.

Annie Hall was good too. I'd never sat through a whole Woody Allen film before, but even though I was quite tired and the print was kinda crappy I really enjoyed it.

They've been hosting a season of outdoor movies there for a number of years now, but for some reason I just hadn't been that inclined to go. But hey, it's about time that I start taking advantage of some of the good things this city has to offer, right?

All in all it was a great way to spend a Saturday night without getting pissed or wasting money. I'll definitely be doing it again next summer.

[ 4:43 PM | link it | ]


The Trouser Press website has finally been relaunched (c/o xBlog).

I remember looking for this when I first got onto the intramanet almost four years ago, and being very disappointed to find nothing but dead links.

But now, now, as a sworn music geek, I finally have a shrine at which to worship. As it were.

[ 3:16 PM | link it | ]


Saturday, August 17, 2002

Marianne Faithfull of all people was in my store today.

I guess it's not such a big deal, since she lives kinda locally (Wicklow), but, I mean, she was with Mick Jagger. The fucking Stones, man!

But anyway, she comes up to Denise, at the till beside mine. And then she started doing something that most celebrities tend not to do when they're in public: she drew attention to herself, going on about how her CDs should be on a big display or some such nonsense for a couple of minutes, maybe more. It was pretty surreal. And slightly embarrassing. I mean, this is Marianne Faithfull we're talking about here, not some drunk tramp off the street.

It only occured to me an hour or two later that I should have said something witty, yet bitchy, to shut her up.

Something about Mars bars, maybe.

[ 8:46 PM | link it | ]


np: Cattle Press 'Relaxed Until The Point Of Impact'

I've toyed with the idea of going to see Guided By Voices live, a couple of weeks from now. But they're playing the Ambassadump. And I can just imagine the fecking hordes of music geeks and poseurs who'll be there, just to be there.

I mean, I'm a music geek, but I'm not like them; I don't listen to stuff 'cause it's cool, I listen to stuff 'cause I like it.

Sorry Mr. Pollard, but I think I'll pass.

[ 8:06 PM | link it | ]


Friday, August 16, 2002

np: Blind Idiot God 'Subterranean Flight'

Methinks I've ironed out my stylesheet problems with my XML music catalogue. Turns out all I had to do was change a colon to a hyphen.

It works in IE and Opera; I haven't tested it in Netscape or Mozilla, and I don't intend to.

[ 7:54 PM | link it | ]


I just found out that The Icarus Line are playing support at the Dillinger Escape Plan show next month. Now I have a second chance to see two great bands that I missed earlier this year.

If I wasn't typing this post right now, I'd be rubbing my hands with glee.

[ 6:59 PM | link it | ]


Tuesday, August 13, 2002

I want to talk about Christian rock.

I used to have a real big problem with it, and I still do to an extent. Especially with crap like Creed and Delirious? around. I mean, why do they have to be so preachy? Whenever I hear them or bands like them, I cringe. They're like the musical equivalent of televangelists. Come on, wave your hands in the air and sing that you love Jesus! On every fucking song! Like he's actually listening to you if he's up there? Hah!

The thing is, thinking like this convinced me that anything tagged with the 'Christian rock' label belonged in the same boat.

"MxPx? They're not pop-punk, they're Christians."

I mean, it's hard enough searching your own self to decide what you believe in without being dictated to by a fucking rock band.

Maybe that was my problem; I was brought up a Catholic in a predominantly Catholic country, but a few years ago I realised that no, I shouldn't believe this just because I was brought up this way. What makes me so special or different from a Protestant, or a Jew, or a Muslim, or an agnostic? After all, if I was born somewhere else, in a different time, I could be raised along the lines of any religious faith, or none at all.

In history class at school - back in the day - we learned about the Reformation, the splitting of the Church into the old-school Catholics and the protestant Luterans and so on and so forth. We read about came such groups as the Calvinists, with their whole predetermination thing - that those who get into Heaven are picked at birth, and get in regardless of how they've lived their lives, while everyone else is fucked, whatever they do. I mean who decided that this was the way? Was it God? Fuck no. Was it Jesus? No again. It was just some guy. How did the Reformation itself come to be? Because of some guy. There was nothing divine or miraculous about any of this; some guys just said stuff, and people believed them.

I thought about this a lot. If it could happen a few hundered years ago, who's to say that it didn't happen two thousand years ago or before? Maybe Jesus wasn't the Son of God, maybe he was just some guy who wanted a better world and got turned into a legend by some nifty spin-doctoring? I mean, the Jews don't believe he was the Son of God, and that just goes back to what I've already said here.

But you know, I felt bad about thinking this way. I felt like a lightning bolt was gonna strike me down and a deep voice would bellow: "How could you lose your faith in me?!" The old cliche of Catholic guilt, I guess.

Studying philosophy changed this for me. It helped me get a better handle on the myriad of contradictions that make up the world we live in. It also affected my attitude to religion. Philosophy is all about asking questions, challenging dogma and what has previously been held to be true, and in a way this is very anti-religion. But most of the world's greatest philosophers were (are) deeply spiritual. Theology and philosophy go well together. It made me realise that I didn't have to junk the whole idea of anyone having faith in a higher power just because I didn't feel the same way. What's my position? I'm not sure what I'd label myself as, agnostic maybe? (Better still, humanist.) But I'd rather not be pigeonholed. All I know is that organised religion is not my thing, and I can't say in my heart-of-hearts that I know there's a God up there somewhere, but I can't honestly rule it out either.

In the meantime - since that's something I don't think we'll ever know for sure while we're still on this mortal coil - I want to live a good life. I say please and thank you. I leave the toilet seat down (and wash my hands after). If I find your change in a vending machine, I usually leave it, in case you come back. If you lend me your stuff I take good care of it. If I saw you get hit by a car, I'd call an ambulance (or at least make sure someone else did).

So what does this have to do with Christian rock? Well not much really, I kinda trailed off that track a while ago. I guess I came to a point where I was comfortable in what I believe in, and comfortable that others believe differently, and as a result I was able to open my eyes just that bit more and see things for what they really are.

Like Christian rock. Fuck Creed and Delirious? and all that shit. Most so-called Christian rock bands are just Christians who play rock music. Their brand of faith has about as much to do with their music as Ariel Sharon has to do with Yasser Arafat.

I no longer have a mental block about listening to a band or reading a book by someone with different beliefs to mine, whatever they may be. I guess this makes me a better person now.

Does it?

[ 10:44 PM | link it | ]


Monday, August 12, 2002

As I type this I'm simultaneously watching Fugazi's Instrument DVD on my computer. It rocks.

[ 10:56 PM | link it | ]


Sunday, August 11, 2002

I think this guy is missing the point entirely.

Capitalism doesn't produce inherent ugliness, but such ugliness is undeniably a symptom of the greater capitalist disease.

Wal-Mart and stores of its ilk are ugly. Regardless of the efficiency and functionality of such institutions they are - in an external aesthetic sense - eyesores.

On the other hand, places like Grafton St. or, say, Fifth Ave. - grand temples of, and monuments to, capitalism - can be quite beautiful.

In the right light, of course.

[ 7:46 PM | link it | ]


Thanks to those lovely people at Kill Rock Stars, one can listen to a live stream of the new Sleater-Kinney album, One Beat.

You'll probably need more than a 56k connection to hear it well - I've only heard snippets, but what I have heard is pretty fucking cool; a continuance of the positive vibe of 'All Hands...', but more rocking like 'The Hot Rock'. It'll be well worth adding to my collection.

[ 2:04 PM | link it | ]


Saturday, August 10, 2002

np: Moss Icon 'I'm Back Sleeping Or Fucking Or Something'

We've been playing a couple of new records in the shop this week which have caught my ear.

Like the new album from Ben Kweller. You know, the scrawny kid who was in that shite band Radish? Anyway, he resurfaced sometime last year, with a support slot on Evan Dando's tour. Al told me he was selling his album in the jacks at Whelans, which is kinda creepy, it has to be said, but look at him now - the boy done good. His output is now a whole world away from that Radish toss. The influences may be kinda obvious - Weezer, with a splash of Ben Folds and a twist of Elvis Costello - but it works. His songs are bounce-on-your-feet hummable but not in a throwaway bubblegum sense.

Also, the new Bright Eyes album came in yesterday, and made its way onto the stereo at the end of the evening. When I read that it is apparently a concept album based on The Neverending Story, I didn't quite know what to expect, but I'm pleased to report that it's pretty damn good. It wasn't immediate, but after a few songs I can't deny that I was drawn in. I'm gonna get it next week.

Tomorrow I will be enjoying the sounds of yesterday's staff sale: Scratch Acid, The Shins (thanks Mat for turning me on to them), The Pattern and Moss Icon. Bit of a mixture there. Should keep me going for a few days, at least.

[ 10:55 PM | link it | ]


I'm hoping it becomes fashionable to say something reasonably profound and then immediately launch into an inappropriate non sequitur. For example, a professor at MIT could deliver a lecture on Fermat's Last Theorem, and as he scribbles the final derivation on the chalkboard, he slams down his chalk and exclaims "now check out this Moonwalk."

I don't read fush! that often. I must be missing a whole heap of jems like this.

[ 10:01 PM | link it | ]


Friday, August 09, 2002

Well, this is gonna be a short one.

Friday Five #23:

1. Do you have a car? If so, what kind of car is it?


2. Do you drive very often?

Nope, because I don't have a car.

3. What's your dream car?

I don't have one, because I'm not a car person.

4. Have you ever received a ticket?

See answer to no.2.

5. Have you ever been in an accident?


That was quick, wasn't it?

[ 10:47 PM | link it | ]


Another excellent poem from Ezra.

I'm tired. Dog-tired. I've had 8 hours sleep over the last two nights.

Wednesday night I was up late spending quality time. It was great, but I was exhausted yesterrday morning.

Last night was a party at the Groves household. I was shattered after work but I went anyway since I haven't seen Grover in ages. I must have been the only one not drinking - as per usual nowadays - so I felt kinda out of the loop, so to speak. Saw some people I haven't seen in a while; Daire offered to burn me a copy of the last Sunn O))) album, which is cool - I like Earth, so I'm thinking I might like that. Dave arrived around midnight and we went to get chips. I left sometime before 2am, got home shortly after, but didn't get to bed untuil after 4am for some reason or another.

Today in work I felt horribly hung over, even though I hadn't been drinking (I mean, I stopped drinking partly because I don't like feeling like that). Maybe it was because I'm sleep-deprived.

I'm gonna rectify that tonight. Actually, right now.

[ 10:40 PM | link it | ]


Wednesday, August 07, 2002

I've just posted a catalogue of my entire CD collection - as is - to the site. It's a raw XML file, but it's quite readable in IE thanks to the default XSL stylesheet.

(If you're using Netscape or Opera, I wouldn't bother looking.)

[ 7:14 PM | link it | ]


Tuesday, August 06, 2002

We were playing this new compilation CD in work yesterday caled Rock Monsters. One of those RAWK!-type comps that someone might stick on at a party for an ironic laugh, but then get drawn in and realise that, deep down inside, they actually like it.

Now it goes without saying that this particular album is by no means perfect (the edit of Soundgarden's 'Black Hole Sun' cuts out most of Kim Thayil's main solo, while Blue Öyster Cult's 'Don't Fear The Reaper' is butchered beyond belief, with the whole breakdown and solo section removed) but there are a couple of jems.

Ram Jam's 'Black Betty' for one. I'd never given it much time before, but there's some neat time-changing going on there that reminded me of the Dillinger Escape Plan. Seriously.

But even better than that was an infectious rocker that seemed like four songs blended together. I was mesmirised. It was fantastic. I checked the track number on the CD player against the inlay card.

It was 'The Spirit Of Radio'.

My lord, I'm still humming it in my head right now.

Is it really so wrong to like Rush?

[ 12:48 AM | link it | ]


Sunday, August 04, 2002

Gig news:

The Dillinger Escape Plan are coming back to Dublin at the TBMC on September 8th! This'll make up for missing their show with Nasum back in May.

Not only that, but Fugazi finally rescheduled and are playing the Red Box on October 25th. The Red Box kinda sucks, but this is Fugazi we're talking about - they'd make a latrine seem like a good venue.

I have a huge grin on my face right now.

[ 8:45 PM | link it | ]


Saturday, August 03, 2002

np: Red House Painters 'Waterkill'

I've just made a few subtle improvements. Damn, this site looks good!

Back to work tomorrow. At least it's a Sunday; only a seven-hour shift. Same on Monday too, since it's a bank holiday. And bank holidays are triple-time for full-timers. So I guess it's not all bad.

[ 11:31 PM | link it | ]


I had a few hours to think about it, and I decided to redo the layout a bit, shrink everything down to one table. It looks almost identical in both IE and Opera (I haven't checked Netscape or Mozilla because I don't have either anymore: they're clunky and slow and I don't like them). I've changed some of the site links around - see the features section if you think I'm missing something - but the pages haven't moved so there won't be any problems with dead links.

[ 9:10 PM | link it | ]


So, I remove the XML declaration from my site pages, but lo and behold! My layout - which looked pretty damn good in IE - is now fucked. Not only that, but my fancy coloured scrollbar isn't fancy or coloured (what the XML declaration has to do with a CSS hack like that I don't know).

Oh sure, I'd like to do my whole layout in CSS, but I just don't have the time or the patience right now (let alone the know-how - I'd rather have a book here to practice with).

So what am I gonna do? I just don't know. Gimme a few hours to think about it.

[ 12:00 PM | link it | ]


Friday, August 02, 2002

It appears that I was not alone in having browser problems with my XHTML code.

Maybe I wouldn't have been pulling my hair out all week if I had known that the XML declaration was optional. First thing tomorrow it goes.

[ 11:52 PM | link it | ]


This is gonna suck since I'm not American, but for completion's sake I'm doing it anyway.

Friday Five #22:

1. What is your lineage? Where are your ancestors from?

Being from Ireland, and having Irish ancestors, means that my answers to these questions aren't going to be as exciting as I know it's going to be for, say, you Yanks, who seem to revel in your heraldry and genealogy because you only have 300 years or so of your own history. But I digress; what is my lineage? On my paternal side (Conroy), Irish - but the name seems to have originated in Spain at least 1,000 years ago. On my maternal side (Ellis), originally English, specifically Anglo-Saxon - although the name is said to have been derived from Elijah, which in turn is a variation of Jesus, so an argument could be made that I'm descended from the Son of God. So there. But this is all going back hundreds of years. Unfortunately my grandparents didn't come here from Europe to escape the Nazis or anything historically interesting like that. Although my late Grandad John Conroy did run errands on his bicycle in the Dublin Mountains for the IRB back in the day. That's history for you.

2. Of those countries, which would you most like to visit?

Since I live in one, and the other is just across the water and I've been there so many times, this question is kinda irrelevant for me.

3. Which would you least like to visit? Why?

See above.

4. Do you do anything during the year to celebrate or recognize your heritage?

No, since I'm not an emigrant. The Irish usually take Ireland for granted, unless our team happens to be doing well in an international sporting competition.

5. Who were the first ancestors to move to your present country (parents, grandparents, etc)?

My lineage has been settled here for too long to really answer this question. However, my maternal grandparents had planned to emigrate to New Zealand a many moons ago. If they had, their vowels would be all messed up (sorry Wendy, just kidding!) and I most likely wouldn't be here (a metaphysical conundrum that I don't want to get into). I told you this was gonna suck.

[ 6:53 PM | link it | ]


np: The White Stripes 'Fell In Love With A Girl'

I've been so caught up with technical stuff this week that I completely forgot to mention some of the good things that happened:

  • I spent more than a few hours improving the linkage page. I think you might find it quite useful now.
  • I went to town on Tuesday morning with my mum. It's good to hang out with your parent(s) once in a while. We had a light lunch at The Clarendon (would've preferred a proper meal but we would've had to walk all the way to Scruffy Murphy's on Mount St. for that). We did some shopping and I got myself a great jacket, normally €200 but I got it for half price. It's super-light - perfect for the mild, humid weather we've been having - and crease-proof. Brilliant. I also got a new wallet, much lighter and more slimline than my old one.
  • I got the latest issue of National Geographic in the post a couple of days ago. There's a great piece about Mount Fuji. Those who know me might know that I've set my heart on visiting Japan before I turn 30. Two of my uncles have been there (Pearse about 20 years ago when he was touring with Echo & the Bunnymen, and Jim a few weeks ago when he was on assignment for the World Cup) and they both had an amazing time. I'm gonna climb Mount Fuji before I die, I promise.
  • Continuing the Japanese theme, I got the new IFC programme yesterday with details of a week-long Akira Kurosawa season they are hosting at the end of this month. I feel ashamed to admit that I still haven't seen any of his films, so this is my chance to make up for it. Rashomon, Seven Samurai, Yojimbo and Throne of Blood are on my list. (I know there's more to Kurosawa than samurai movies, but those are the ones I want to see.)
  • While I'm talking about movies, I walked to the UCI on Wedneday morning and saw Goldmember and The Crocodile Hunter in a row. A double-bill, if you will. Both had their moments. Goldmember would have been better without the actual character of Goldmember (who seemed to me simply thrown together just to fit the title). And it goes without saying that the Crocodile Hunter movie would have been perfect without the crappy crashing-satellite plotline - why didn't they just make it a documentary?
  • And one more thing: I've fallen in love.

[ 6:13 PM | link it | ]


Thursday, August 01, 2002

I think everybody who hasn't been under a rock for the last month has been reading this, but I thought I'd post this anyway for the benefit of those readers of mine who aren't hip to the whole blogging thing. Enjoy. (Is that the right word, considering the context?)

[ 11:15 PM | link it | ]


A thoughful and articulate piece about the World Youth Day in Toronto (sorry, Accordion City) last week.

[ 9:42 PM | link it | ]


random linkage:


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