Friday, September 29, 2006

Tuesday, September 26, 2006

Bad year for the animals?

2006 has been a very bad year for the animals of the Murphy household, with deaths, near deaths and hospitalization. Here is a breakdown: -

1. Rags.
Rags got knocked down earlier this year and was hospitalised for days. Thank God she didn't break any bones, but she suffered severe shock and needed an operation to patch up her legs. Quick, efficient veterinary care was what got her back on her feet, and she is now fully recovered.

2. Muffin
My little baby had been on heart tablets for over a year, but her death in June was still sudden. She was only nine years old and her final illness was sudden, less than 24 hours long and totally unexpected.

3. Janna
Due to poor nutrition and being in kennels, Janna had to be hospitalised for almost a week within a fortnight of joining her new home. She was severely dehydrated and needed to be on a drip for several days. I don't think her illness was potentially fatal, but it was serious enough because of her poor condition. A lot of time was spent visiting the vets and getting tablets.

4. Blueberry
Blueberry was knocked down in July, a near fatal accident, and broke his jaw. After eight years of dodging traffic, you would think he could have managed to avoid cars, but this time he used up one of his nine lives. His jaw had to be wired and he had to be kept inside for 6 weeks. He is fully recovered now, thankfully, but his jawline isn't quite the same as it was.

5. Woozer
Ok, she hasn't been hospitalised or in a near fatal accident, and she got a clean bill of health from the vet, but at 13 years old she is struggling day by day. She has a bulging growth over her left eye, a spongy growth coming out the back of her head, artritis, pants incessantly and her body looks quite saggy. She doesn't truly qualify as having a bad year, but like having a chronic bad couple of years.

6. Cori
Staked himself jumping over a fence on the night of the hurricane. He was very fortunate he didn't die from shock, blood loss or infection, but as he managed to survive all that, he is looking good for recovery. Looking at the hole, it is hard to imagine it will ever heal, but then again, I thought the same with Rags and Blue.

That only leaves Fudge and J.B to have avoided serious injury so far this year. With a couple of months left to go in 2006, should these poor furry things be worried? I am.

Equestrian Up Date

I received shocking news on Saturday. Michele went over to the horses and noticed Cori had a bad cut on his abdomen. She phoned me and I headed straight over. He had a long scrape from the girth back on his left side, which ended in a large, ragged, dirty hole. Michele thinks it happened on the day of the storm (last Thursday) when he jumped out of the field in panic because of the wind. Pictured left is a picture of me and Cori taken earlier in the year. The vet took about an hour to come out. He cleaned out the wound as best as he could, put in a couple of stitches and gave Cori a long acting antibiotic. Cori has been on box rest since Saturday, which he finds quiet stressful, but his best friend J.B is in the stable yard with him to keep him company. Poor Cori, it is a bad wound.

Friday, September 22, 2006


I went to a networking evening in Dublin last night. It was very interesting. There was a very diverse group of people there, and I didn't meet someone with the same profession twice. I think there about 30 people and I didn't get to meet everyone. No agents or publishers, unfortunately, but I handed out some cards to people who might need actors and one to a man who runs a print shop. I don't know if anything will come of it, but the people were very interesting and I certainly feel more confident about the whole networking thing now.

Wednesday, September 20, 2006

Tuesday, September 19, 2006

Turtles are quicker

Stayed up late last night working on a writing related Christmas present, but somewhat neglected Til the Moon fails. *sigh*. Feeling really tired today. Decided to do up a little chart of what I have left to write on this section, don't know if it was a good idea. I hope the green line has increased a lot by tomorrow.

Monday, September 18, 2006

For Cino

My heart has joined the thousand
for my friend stopped running today

From Richard Adam's 'Watership Down'

In Memoriam

Cappuccino 2nd February 2000 - 18th September 2000
I still miss you Cino!
Here is a picture I drew to commemorate her:-

The poem says: - As the life slipped away from her

I could see it in her eyes that she knew

And as the gentle rhythm of her breath stilled

A little bit of me died with her

Friday, September 15, 2006

The X File connection

I loved the first season of 'My Name is Earl'. I thought it was very funny, had a great idea and a fantastic ensemble of characters. However, there was something familiar about it. It reminded me very much of an X File episode from season 7 called 'The Goldberg Variation'. Mulder and Scully investigate the case of Henry Weems, a man with extraordinary luck. Henry survived an air plane crash, in which everyone else lost their lives and he lost his eye. Shortly afterwards he noticed his luck increase, but every time something lucky happened, there would be a terrible reaction of bad luck for someone else. As a result, Henry dropped out of society, hiding away so that his good luck, and resulting bad luck, would never harm anyone else.

So, what has this got to do with 'My Name is Earl', I hear you ask? Well, at one stage Henry buys a lottery ticket. He wants to win $100,000, so he buys a scratch card and wins that amount. However, he needs the $100,000 up front, and the scratch card pays the prize in installments. Disgusted, Henry throws the scratch card in to the bin. Another man in the shop is horrified and picks the scratch card out of the bin. He is so overjoyed to have won the lottery, he dances out into the road waving the ticket, where he is knocked down by a bus. The ticket floats away and lands at the feet of the owner of the shop, who saw the whole thing.

Now, the whole premise of 'My Name is Earl' is that Earl has led a bad life, and Karma isn't going to let anything good happen to him until he starts righting the wrongs he has committed. To do this, Earl has made a list of all the bad things he has ever done and is systematically working his way through the list. If Earl neglects his duty, Karma reminds him by turning his plans for happiness sour. And how is this like the X Files? Because Earl's epiphany came when he bought a lottery ticket in a shop, won (I'm not sure, but I think it was $100,000) and danced out into the street in his happiness, only to be knocked down. This made him realize that anytime something good happened in his life, something really bad was sure to follow and blamed Karma for catching up on his sins.

I think it would be cool if Earl was inspired by the Goldberg Variation, and there are too many coincidences if it wasn't. I haven't seen it mentioned anywhere before, so that is why I am telling you. What do you think?

Thanks to Chris at DVD Screen Captures by Chrisnu for his great screen captures of the X Files Episode, The Goldberg Variation

Thursday, September 14, 2006

Futurama is back!

The details vary - will it be a movie, will it be 4 movies? Is it 13 new episodes, is it 16? - but the good news is that Futurama is definitely back on our screens in one form or other. The bad news, I am afraid, is that it won't be back until late next year, early 2008. :(

I have mixed feelings about this piece of news. I LOVE Futurama, and I've watched the episodes so many times on DVD that the crew of Planet Express are like my friends (well, Leela, Bender and Fry are my friends, I don't think I want to know the rest), but it has been a while since the last episode was made, and it ended on such a high. In 'The Devil's hands are idle playthings', Fry composes a holophoner opera for Leela, child of the stars (holophoners are the most difficult musical instrument to play in the universe, but they are cool!). He is only able to do this because he has the Robot Devil's hands. Before the opera is over, Fry has to give the hands back in order to save Leela, and loses his holophoner prowess. Everyone leaves, complaining, except Leela who wants to see how the opera ends. Fry, without skill, plays a simple tune where cartoon Fry and cartoon Leela kiss and walk hand in hand into the sunset. It's great! :)

Futurama ended on a high note, leaving the fans wanting more. I wonder though, should it have been left that way?

I'll still be watching/buying the new episodes/movies though! :)

Wednesday, September 13, 2006

Penalty Points

The Irish Government has gone mad on thinking up ways to penalize the Irish citizen. One of these ways is awarding penalty points to drivers. There are 36 different driving offenses that can result in points on your license and if you clock up 12 in 3 years you are banned for six months. Some of the points are obvious, like no insurance and speeding (although driving while under the influence of drugs and alcohol is not on the list) but others are more bizarre -
1. Driving a HGV or bus on outside lane on a motorway - does that mean they can't overtake? What if the car ahead of you is going at 10 miles an hour? Does the poor HGV or bus driver have to stay behind them for fear of getting a penalty point?
2. Failure to yield - to yield to what? There are already penalty points for 'Failure to yield right of way at a yield sign/ yield line' and 'Failure to comply with mandatory traffic signs at junctions' (which surely covers failure to stop at a stop sign, which is also listed) so what is this failure to yield you are going to get points for? Failure to yield to the government and hail the EU as your new god?
3. Driving without reasonable consideration - So if you curse at the person who has just driven out in front of you (failing to yield), you are going to get points? Maybe you haven't let anyone out of a side road, or smiled at the other drivers as you drive along. Is that being unreasonably inconsiderate? Seeing how they classify stopping in about ten different ways (failure to stop at stop sign, failure to stop for Gardai, failure to stop for traffic warden, failure to stop at junction) I am sure they could have thought up another ten reasons for being unreasonable - and giving points for it.
4. Driving a vehicle when unfit - What has physical aptitude got to do with this? So, you puff and pant a bit climbing the stairs, doesn't mean you can't drive perfectly safely! Oh, wait, maybe they mean a different kind of unfitness - like tiredness, mental or emotion disturbance, drugs, drink - but no! they would have said that if they meant it, wouldn't they?

Another thing that really bugs me is that in the ads on TV they say you get points for using a mobile phone (you don't, it is an offense to HOLD a mobile phone while operating a mechanically propelled vehicle) and for your passengers not wearing seatbelts, which again is untrue. You are responsible for the front passenger to wear a seat belt and for all back seat passengers under 17, but if you are driving someone over 17 then you can't get the points. It is ridiculous!

Barry: I have a moral objection to wearing a seatbelt and I will not wear the 'Man's' harness while traveling in your back seat.
Anne: Sorry Barry, I can't take you in the car then because I might crash it, and you would fly through the front window like a charging elephant and kills us all - which would be your fault - and to crown it all, I would get penalty points on my license.
Barry: Don't worry, I'm over 18.

Anyway, as this country is going to H**L, I thought I would offer some of my own suggestions for new penalty points: -
1. Listening to the radio while driving
2. Talking to passengers while driving
3. Well, gosh darn it, they are so annoying not wearing seatbelts, killing people in crashes and being distracting, let's make it an offense to drive with passengers in the first place!
4. Taking your eyes off the road
5. Putting on make up in your car
6. Driving in your pajamas
7. Driving in a good mood
8. Driving in a bad mood
9. Driving after eating (on a full stomach)
10. Driving without eating (on an empty stomach)
11. Honking your horn at dangerous drivers
12. Driving too slow
and lastly, my favorite...
13. Displaying 'baby on board' or other vacuous stickers on rear windows of cars (must be an incitement to road rage at the very least).

Check out the National Safety Council's (ha!) website for all the penalty points. It is a laugh.


According to the Simpsons, everyone needs a nemesis. I don't think I have one, certainly can't think of anyone to fill that role. Do things count? So, if anyone out there would like the job, or would like me to become their nemesis, just drop me a line.

Monday, September 11, 2006

Mulder and Dogget say...

Another one bites the dust

Just finished section three, more or less this minute. It ran a little longer than I had planned, but that is the way it goes sometimes. I am pleased with it, and I am looking forward to starting section 4 tomorrow. I had planned on starting it today, and taking two weeks to write it, but as I have been delayed I am going to count the two weeks from tomorrow.


Saturday, September 09, 2006

High Tide

It was supposed to be the highest tide in 20 years last night, so I headed down to Blackrock to have a look. There were lots of sand bags out on the promenade, and outside front doors on the village sea front, but the sea was very calm and didn't look particularly high, although it was a full tide. No seeping out onto the road or anything like that. The water looked really beautiful with the moon shining on it. At 8.30 the moon was huge and yellow, but by 10.30 it was somewhat smaller and whiter. It looked magical.

Wednesday, September 06, 2006

The book I am reading at the moment...

'A mix of Lord of the Rings and Buffy the Vampire Slayer', Kevin J Anderson proclaims from the back of this book. Sounds exciting, doesn't it? Well, it's not. Not so far anyway. Long winded, rather boring prose. Hasn't grabbed my attention so far.

Tuesday, September 05, 2006

Silence is golden?

Wasn't feeling well last week and I am very tired this week, so I have been neglecting my blog. The good news is, I'm slogging away on section 3 and I'm quite happy with it. I hope to get most of it written this week. I'll try to get back to regular up dating, but it might take a few days.