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Cinnamon patrol

Mr and Mrs Lili Wedding

 

more photos because I know you like them even though I get no comments ever


Had a few rolls sitting on the shelf, so I got them processed and uploaded some albums.

The first is from last year's Frankfurt Christmas markets, the second from the flea (really!) market in Brussels and the third from my alternative wanderings in Dublin.

Peace.

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coffee dublin coffee dublin coffee dublin

Just to make the point to Google. This is a public service announcement after all.

If you're in Dublin you'll know that coffee is generally a burnt means to an unpleasant end, but I think this applies to the British Isles generally - and don't get me started on Belgium - which has no excuse. Did we tell you the story of how Laura ordered a chai latte at the Sainsburys-next-to-Ikea in Belfast? They young lady mixed a latte with chai syrup. Really ew.

Surely Aungier St is now the unrivalled coffee centre of Dublin. The Bald Barista has moved up the road to Avalon House. It's great big space which is kind of shared with the hostel there. They're definitely focusing on coffee - I'm not sure what's happening with the food - there is food, but it's unremarkable - but that's missing the point. There's heaps of tables, a few comfy chairs, wifi (possibly free) and no pretension whatsoever. If this were Vienna in the late 19th / early 20th C, then this is where the action would be. The coffee is strong and lovely. Is there any better place to spend a rather lackluster Sunday afternoon? I'll tell you sir, no.

The old Bald Barista /"Evolving with Darwin" premises is still serving great coffee and is headed up by new barista on the block. Mr Zhang I think. He has credentials - he's just a won latte art competition and he's good, evidenced by the fact the place was packed on this very same lackluster Sunday.

And across the road is "brioche". I had occasion to visit twice on two consecutive weekday mornings and I was impressed. For a measly 2 euro dollars you get a very friendly (suspiciously so for the hour) barista (she could be French, but she's not, but she could be) and a decent creamy and slightly caramelly latte which had no hint of burtness badness at all.

For the sake of completeness I need to mention "NOTO Caffé", on Thomas St not Aungier St, and midway between me and work (a great place to be). What to say about Noto... the staff are about as friendly as the people that beg for money next to ATMs. But you get the feeling they've been made to be this way due to long hours, or bad pay, or both. And if you engage them they will sometimes, begrudgingly, treat you as though they do want your custom, a bit, kind of. No idea where it comes from, but the coffee they use is good, really good. Strong, thick, and not burnt. But a lot depends on who your barista happens to be. There's a couple of lads there that are just excellent, and there's a couple of girls who are incredibly variable. I've received some pretty weird beverages from these girls - in one, the milk and coffee had kind of curdled into a pancake sized semi soft wedge - ew.

On a personal note, we bought little stove-top espresso (pictured) at a kitchen supplies shop in Brussels last weekend (we've been looking for a while) and I brought some of the Bald Barista's coffee ("Fixx") back to the homestead. This should be fun.

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Vancouver in the nature


Sorry for the blog spam. I'm catching up when I should be finishing my packing. I've had a really successful time scanning this evening - thanks to my new adapter, and some clean slides, the scans are sharp and everything is a pleasure.

Please see this set of photos of Vancouver; in the snow and in the park. You should use the slideshow so the pictures as a big as possible.

Okay, packing now. 6.50am flight tomorrow :-(.

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We're cool, we do flash mobs

Paddy's day jig outside the Central Bank.

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Joy


The joy of a slide well scanned!

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Finally, good taste prevails

The company that makes some of the world's ugliest shoes is in trouble.

I don't care what you say, Crocs are ugly. Furthermore, they can be dangerous (all those people getting them stuck in escalators and having gruesome accidents), and they are no substitute for proper Birkenstocks for chefs/doctors/nurses, in part because they don't have the same footbed design.

Ugly, and hopefully not produced for much longer.

Thanks, recession. Now, can you get onto the Uggs please?

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NZ national anthem sheet music


A lot of people have been asking me for this. I tire of the constant bothering so I used my connections to procure this.

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Happy St. Patrick's day!

Remember: there are only two kinds of people in the world: the Irish (for the record, that's me), and those who wish they were (that's ye).

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NZNTM

I'm a big fan of the Next Top Model franchise and, always wanting to stay in touch with the mother country, I was excited to see bits of the first episode of New Zealand's Next Top Model on You Tube.

It's way too early to pass comment, but it was entertaining ,and Brittany's down-home kiwi accent was laugh-out-loud good.

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Ryanair really farcical - this time I mean it - I was wrong about the other times

Anyone familiar with Ryanair knows they are infamous for their "extra" charges and alternative revenue streams - as far as I can tell they are the most budget of any budget airline anywhere on the planet. But, their argument goes, this is all in aid of keeping their air fares low low low.

Generally I don't have a problem with them. What they do makes sense: they want to operate as cost-effectively as possible & there are lots of things in the modern aviation industry that are unnecessary, time-consuming and $$$. Ryanair would rather you took carry-on only: makes sense - checked in luggage necessitates a whole raft of expensive equipment and procedures and slows down plane turnaround time. Ryanair would rather you checked in online: makes sense, saves the need for check-in desks, staff, printers...

But with Ryanair it's a very slippery slope, no a greasy slope. Last week they had the idea (actually really) to charge people for using the toilets - and then to fine them if they soiled the plane. No firm plans have been made and I strongly suspect it's just a shock tactic to make their real plans seem more reasonable, but still!

Also, they're planning to abolish check-in desks entirely and to have web check-in only. Seems okay so far. If you have to check-in in person, they'll charge you €20 - okay so that penalising the elderly and others without access to computers, but so be it (if you're elderly I really hope you have the option of not flying Ryanair).

Then today I read this article. To summarise, Ryanair now plan to charge you €5 to check-in online, by which I mean, they plan to charge you for logging into their website, completing the check-in process yourself and printing out your own boarding slip. In their defense a spokesperson said:
"We are providing them with the facility to check in online. Websites don't
build themselves you know."

Oh ho ho. I love this. This is great. Imagine it for any other business in any other industry anywhere: so that'll be €3.50 for your latte plus a 50c fee for you to add your sugar and stir it yourself, sure that "condiment area" didn't build itself you know ... so that's €50 for your gas and €2 for filling the car up yourself, sure these petrol pump gadgets with the hoses and such like don't grow on trees! Farcical, absurd, ridiculous.

And yes I'll still fly them because they are still the cheapest. And I guess that's the problem.

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Rainbow cake deliciousness

Ever wanted a rainbow cake? Check this baby out!

(Kudos to Mariko for this excellent link, and for making her own version!)

Now, if (like David) you aspire to eat super-healthily, and turn your nose up at packaged cake mixes and soft drinks and stuff, you will be grossed out by this.

However, if you like pretty colours in your food, and/or have a deep love for rainbow things (guilty on both charges), you will be able to overcome any aversion to artificial ingredients (and snobbery when it comes to people using a mix when making a cake is stupidly simple) because this cake is both pretty and rainbow-y.

Since I'm determined to make this one day soon, I'm taking submissions on what I could use (as in: available in Ireland) to replace that whipped topping stuff.

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Economy bad but we found a great waffle place

See: Ireland and Italy least competitive of EU states.

The 2009 European Growth and Jobs Indicator due to be published today shows Ireland has slipped from fourth to 13th place in a single year. It notes that economic growth, productivity and the public finances have all “deteriorated precipitously”, driving the country’s overall score downwards below every EU country surveyed, bar Italy.
Just more bad news, but it gives you an idea of what's going on here.

On the positive side, there are lots of indicators where I'd like to be next to Italy: The 2009 Espresso Quality Indicator, The 2009 Neopolitan Pizza Deliciousness Indicator and The 2009 Cities like Florence because Florence is so cool Indicator to name a few. On the negative side, Dublin wouldn't rate too highly on these indexes either.

But we're always top of the Craic Indicator, so who cares.

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Knitting, at long last!

It's been ages since I've posted, and even longer still since there's been any knitting content!

To remedy that, here are a few of my more recent FOs:

Debbie Bliss cabled jacket
My cabled jacket is, in fact, a cardigan. It's lovely and warm, which is ideal for the chilly Irish climate. I used Bendigo Woollen Mills' 12-ply Rustic, which gives great stitch definition, and stands up well to cabling.

Unfortunately, the metal buttons I chose were too heavy, and I've yet to find good plastic replacements, so for now it's buttonless, done up with a kilt pin instead. Ravellers, the details are here.




















Mulberry Bush capelet for Emma
One of my best models, Emma, received this lovely (even if I do say so myself) capelet as an early 3rd birthday treat when we visited her in NZ. Breaking away from the machine-washable yarns she's used to, I treated Emma to a merino/cashmere mix, with mother-of-pearl buttons. After all, she's a young lady now! Ravelry details here.




Emilie's first birthday dress
My other beautiful model, Emilie, received an "Angel dress" in a 4-ply mercerised cotton for her first birthday. She was too busy opening presents to really model it for us, but you get the general idea. (Ravelry link here.)


Up next? A gazillion baby garments for the gazillions of babies due (I love them all individually, but seriously, there are a LOT of babies expected by the people in my life!), and Mum's belated Xmas present, which she knows is dark purple and contains cashmere, but is otherwise a mystery...

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Best parameter name. Ever.

public void SetGaugePosition(int value, bool useWobbling)

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Lesson learnt

Never, ever, take portraits with Velvia.

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