How could I forget?

I have frequently extolled the virtues of a crap memory.

There is that wonderful ability to read my favourite books time and time again, having forgotten what they were about or how they ended.

Equally I can enjoy old films having forgotten completely that I have seen them before.

Everyone knows my memory is shite so they don't expect me to remember their names.

There are one or two drawbacks however.

On Friday I went looking for my passport.

I should explain that I have little places around the gaff where I keep important things and other places where I keep my really important things.  Now I class passports as being really important as they are really fucking difficult to get in the first place, so I went to my really important spot.

No passports.

I couldn't understand this as my system is pretty much foolproof.  To be on the safe side I checked where I keep the merely important stuff.

No passports.

I hate losing things as it gets me into a state where I start ripping the place asunder, and even when I take a breather the old head is still mentally searching all those places where the lost item could possibly be.  I can have no rest until the item is found.

I spent Friday evening ripping the house apart.  I checked everywhere.  I checked all the cupboards, all the drawers and the refrigerator.  I checked the old suitcases and the briefcase where I keep my magazines personal papers.  I checked Herself's underwear drawer I was so desperate.  I checked the car out though I knew the passports couldn't be there as I had cleaned the car out not so long ago.  I still checked it though.  Three times.  They weren't in the microwave either.

I woke yesterday still wondering where the fuck two little passports could be hiding.  I had tried everywhere.  I checked the car again, as something at the very back of my mind was telling me that I was getting warm there.

I spent the entire day ripping my junk room office apart because logic told me that's where they had to be.  I found loads of interesting things and while I was at it I threw away half a ton of junk and shredded another half ton of papers that I mightn't want certain people to see.

Still no passports.

There was still that nagging thought that the car was the place to look though.  I don't know why, particularly as I had searched it at least three times.  I searched it a fourth time, and then a fifth.  Did you know that boiled sweets in a glove compartment can get really fucking sticky after a few years?

And then something happened.  A glimmer of a memory had flitted in and out of my brain like a bee flying in one window and out another.  Something about a really neat hiding place? 


There are pockets on the back of the front seats, but they are so well hidden they look like part of the seat.  I owned the car for years before I even discovered them, and naturally I had forgotten about them again.

There were the passports.  I must have slipped them in there the last time we came back from France three years ago, and I have been driving around with them ever since.

You have no idea how relieved I was.  You see, the bloke who made them for me is now in the South of Spain.

And naturally I have forgotten his address.

Time gentlemen please

A BAN on the sale of cigarettes in pubs and clubs has been proposed in a report by the Oireachtas Committee on Health and Children.


Are they scared that all those kiddies who frequent the pubs and clubs will buy their fags there instead of in the corner shop?

It just means that those smokers who do frequent pubs and clubs will have to buy their supplies before going to the pub or club.  Mind you, any smoker who frequents a non-smoking pub deserves to be discommoded – the publicans didn't lift a finger to stop the ban so they deserve the crap trade and loss of business.

They also want to restrict the sale of fags so they can't be bought between 7am and 9am and between 6pm and they-don't-say-when.

Presumably this is to prevent the cheeeeelren buying fags?  If so they have a lot to learn as the kids will just carry on getting them from where they usually get 'em – bumming/borrowing/stealing from their parents/big brother/big sister, or far more likely, from the nice Man with a Van who doesn't give a shite about opening hours or age restrictions.

I suppose it will affect the honest worker who is law abiding [are there any of those these days?] who won't be able to buy his Silk Cut on the way to work any more?  Next we'll have employers complaining that workers are taking "shopping breaks" as well as "smoking breaks" and blaming the smoker when it's really the Anti-Smokers who are at fault?

Let's be clear about one thing – this is not about health.  It has nothing whatsoever to do with health.  It was never about health.  It is solely about making life as awkward as possible for the smoker, and they are doing it just because they can.

I bet they spend their evenings pulling the wings off flies.

The sound of silence

Over the years I seem to have amassed a few audio and video files from various sources.

I have them stuck on an old broken hard drive on a shelf in the back room.  Well, the hard drive isn't broken but its case is so I can't move it without bits [or bytes?] falling all over the place.

Our K8 gave me an old XBox 360 some years ago and I discovered I could plug the XBox into the television and into the hard drive as well so I was then free to listen to all my music and enjoy all my films at my leisure.

The other day the fucking XBox broke.

I think they call it the "Three Lights of Death"?

Three little lights flashing on the front of the box apparently means major trouble anyway.

I toyed with the idea of getting it fixed but then I had a brainwave – maybe I could use a bashed up old laptop instead of the XBox?

I had a bashed up old laptop as it happens.  The last time I used it was an age ago when I copied all my LPs into files.  I dusted it off, removed the family of mice and wiped the hard drive.  I installed Linux.  I then rummaged through my boxes of junk [all that stuff you know is going to come in handy some day] and actually found the correct cables and wires to connect the laptop to the television.

I set the whole thing up so the laptop only displays on the television, but I can control it from my chair using my real laptop.  Fucking brilliant!  I can now watch films, play music, play DVDs or stream YouTube videos or whatever the hell I want to do.

I'm a genius.

Last night we settled back to watch a film.

The fucking laptop blew up after an hour.  It was so hot it damn near melted.

Anyone got a spare old XBox they don't want?


Be careful what you wish for

There is an old story about the lame man who prays for a miracle.

He has one good leg, and one badly distorted leg as a result of some accident or other.

He hobbles up to the altar and beseeches God to make both his legs the same.  In a blinding flash his prayers are answered and he ends up with two badly distorted legs.

That is a rather nice illustration of what our illustrious Minister for "Health" is doing to the Health Service.

At present we have a hopelessly dysfunctional Public Health System where there are massive queues for essential operations, people having to sleep on trollies in Accident & Emergency Departments, and God help you if you need an ambulance – you'd be quicker walking.  Money is being drained away by this system faster than a wino pissing in the gutter.

On the other hand there is the Private System.  Here people take out private health insurance and if you need some medical procedure you will get it more or less straight away in the best hospitals around.  This system is outrageously expensive but it works, and if you place any value in yourself it's the system to opt for.

Now Reilly reckons he is going to do away with this two-tier system and make it a one-tier system, whereby insurance is compulsory for every man woman and child in the state, mostly paid for by taxes [i.e. you and me again].  

Under UHI, everyone will have equal access to a standard package of services. Health insurers will not be allowed to sell products that provide faster access to these services.

Why do I have a horrible feeling we are going to end up with two badly distorted legs?

James ReillyHealth Minister or Temple Bar Wino?
I'll let you decide.

An eye on the future

Life has become somewhat "interesting" lately.

There is a comfort in routine and predictability.  While not boring, the days have a familiar feel about them like footsteps on a well worn path.  There is a certain comfort in knowing that next week will be just like this week, except for those things we choose to change.

Of late though, the Chaos Theory seems to have taken hold somewhat and the future has become an unknown land where our paths seem to taken on a random quality.

It all started of course with a simple eye test.  It was a test I had been putting off for no other reason than indifference.  My sight was fine, but I just felt that maybe there could be a little improvement, and one afternoon I made the appointment, simply because I had nothing else planned for the following day.  Herself said she'd tag along more for the drive than anything.

Since then, we have had a string of appointments, clinics, visits to opthalmologists [or whatever you call 'em] and eye consultants.  Herself has to go for some extra special eye measurements in the imminent future is is already booked in for surgery next month.  In the meantime, my simple eye-test threw up some questions that concerned them and I have to head off for an in depth eye-exam today.  And seeing as they are poking around in my eyes, I won't be able to drive after which adds another "interesting" dimension.

What concerns me is not any thought of potential surgery but the whole rigmarole starting again where I become the victim of the whirlwind of consultants, clinics and eye specialists.  I hate appointments.  They chain my free spirit.

So if anyone is wondering why my posting has been a little erratic lately, and why my attention to comments is leaving a lot to be desired, it's because I have been somewhat distracted.  That's the problem with Chaos – even on the days it doesn't affect me directly, it affects me indirectly.

I think I need a holiday.