05 March 2010

Checking in

Just thought I'd add that while a good friend of mine didn't have the best experience in Heuston Texas, I at least rather liked the well laid out giant George Bush Intl. Airport!
Although that probably had something to do with the sheer excitement at seeing Erin again for the first time in eight months.

I'll post up some sort of entry about my time in Oklahoma some other time, I just felt that I should make some reference to it.
Incidentally- everything went really smoothly. No trouble through immigration, or security. In fact, Dublin airport was way more stressful than Newark!! I know this probably had a lot to do with the quiet time of year, but it was still a really relaxed experience.

I can say that it was worth the long, long wait.
I can say that :)

06 February 2010

If all goes as planned...

I'm a bit conflicted at the moment.

On the one hand, I'll be departing springtime Ireland for springtime America, which is duly fantastic in its own right, but at the same time there is much running around to be done before then. I'll admit, I'm not the best organised person in the world... There are a few outstanding things to be taken care of first, one of the most important ones being a 4,000 word essay.

This is usually the part where I reveal that I've gotten no books out and that I've less research done than the Irish nuclear weapons programme....
But, sorry, I've been working away at it in bits and pieces for some time now. Damn. I even have highly relevant sources lined up and all... My bibliography isn't full by any means, but I have a decent head start. The plan is to start writing on Monday and hopefully by Friday I'll have it mostly finished.

While things on the academic side are under control, I must admit I still have to book my train to Dublin and sort out an airport hotel. I swore to myself I wouldn't put myself through trying to sleep in the airport again after the insanely long day of travel it took to get to Prague. Great holiday, but I cannot function without sleep. At all.
I also have my ever concerned mother's suggestions about getting travel insurance...

This is essentially my last proper week to get all these things done and dusted as I'll be in Dublin airport before I know it and knowing my luck, I'll have forgotten to pack underpants.....

While it'll be great to go and see someone I haven't seen since last May, I have to ask whatI did in a past life to deserve a three flight journey on a strange continent with the most paranoid security apparatus in the western hemisphere. I'm not complaining, but it is an awful lot of travelling to do in one day, and I just hope I can keep myself suitably well fueled throughout the day in order to tackle it. I'm taking this seriously and approaching it realistically at this stage, because there are a number of things that can go wrong. It doesn't mean they will go wrong, mind you.

I'm fed up of being accused of looking for things to be paranoid about, or for things that will scare me, but quite frankly, I'm being just being coldly realistic. I am not one for going into a situation blind, and I'm rather irked when people think I'm just being pessimistic.
I refuse to allow myself to get into a situation where something goes wrong because I didn't do my research or homework properly. I just don't see what's so bad about having a guarded attitude to the longest solo journey I've ever undertaken to a country that I've only been to once, where I will be largely cut off from any help if, God forbid, something goes awry.
There's nothing wrong with looking at the world through clear lenses.

By considering all potential pitfalls that I can easily avoid by being aware of them, I put myself at ease. I hate being poorly prepared for travelling, and this journey is too long, and too important to fuck up purely because I was too lazy, or too dumb to get things properly organised.
I have been looking forward to this way too much to allow anything to get in my way.

May 2009 to February 2010 is far too long a time, and it's begun to tell in some ways. This trip is my first priority right now, as it provides a much, much needed reprieve from months of wishing I was somewhere else. And not just for me.

[I just realised that nobody reads this blog, so I can pretty much say what I want. Cool and faintly depressing at the same time]

06 January 2010

Where does he get those wonderful toys??

I love electronics.....

I really do. I know feck all about them, and how they work and what all the different numbers, digits and Z's and X's on them mean... but I love them. Shiny plastic and metal, cool whirring noises, clicking, flashing lights... I'd take LSD and play with an MP3 all day long if I could.

Must be a by-product of being raised on a diet of Bond movies, but god damn but gadgets are great! :D

I never thought I'd bother with a laptop. I realyy didn't think I needed one for a long time as I could (supposedly) easily access UCC's own computers.

And then I went into third year. When every piece of ram was dedicated to just turning the computer on and eventually logging in after 10 minutes of standing around like a complete tit.

And then there was the small matter of being up very late on the family computer and a few incidents of waking other inhabitants of the house...... Not to mention the dog never went to sleep if I was up... Which was most nights...

Those who know me will kow why I was up so late so often. Heck, I still am.
Let's just say 6 hour time difference and a mild dose of wanting to talk to someone as often as possible....

I love this laptop to bits. It's a Toshiba Satellite 450 Pro. Nothing fancy but it's light, cheap, and reliable. Sure, the ram could be better, but so could the world, right?
It is ostensibly for college work, and indeed, it has saved my bacon repeatedly so far in it' short service history... But mostly I use it for pissing around on the net and also chatting with people who are obscene distances apart.

A quick run down of what I am amassing in the electro department. The Lappie, or laptop to the uninitiated; my G-Shock watch (which updates itself every night from signals it receives from an atomic clock in London or Berlin, depending on signal strength); my trusty if somewhat now useless mp3 player (which was great until I lost the bloody software and as we have a new computer all the music saved to the old one is lost, along with the ability to chop and change what I have on it), and last but not least in my growing family of silicon-based progeny....

My new Fujifilm Finepix Z35.
Why Z? Why 35? Did the other 34 not quite make the grade? Were the cast from on high by techno-priests from Mount Fuji during an ancient ceremony uttered entirely in binary?

Well, probably not.... But it sounds cool, and that's what's important, right? If it sounds awesome, then it probably is.

Well, no. That would be pretty bloody stupid. In this case,however, I am delighted to report no problems, no snags, no missing USB cable and in general that it's the best digital camera I've ever owned.

Not that hard when it's also your first, but considering the diminutive size,10 million pixels, user friendly interface and free SD card.... well, what's not to like?
Plus it outs a box around people's face when you have Face detection so, if like me you're a fan of Fallout 3, you can pretend you're using the VATS aiming system and just about to blow their heads off.

Man..... my Xbox usage really should be cut down! Godamn that wonderful machine and that wonderful Assassin's Creed 2.....