Thursday, June 30, 2005

This last weeks has been so busy. Basically filled up with working, cycling and eating. Really, that's about it!

Last Saturday I went back to one of my old haunts on the bike. Basically it's about a 18 mile loop with about 3400 feet of climbing. You start off down by the Stevens Creek reservoir then cycle along side the San Adreas Fault line to the top of Black Mountain. The city of Mountain View (were Google lives) was named so because it had a good mountain view. It was a lot of fun and my bike skills have come a long way since two years ago. After biking around some of the trails in Ireland these trails seem to be paved in comparison.

On Sunday, myself and Kieran headed out to do the Coastal Classic bike ride. You basically start in Palo Alto, go over the mountains down to the Pacific and then back over the mountains at a different place and back to Palo Alto. It was the longest (distance wise) bike ride that I went on a road bike and was a lot of fun. The road rides that were around 30 miles seem to small and pesky now :)

Mel is still doing great – she's currently up by Brisbane and going kayaking, 4x4ing and camping over the next few days. It's well for some! ;)

Saturday, June 25, 2005

Back in California

So the flight over to the US was grand. Same as ever I guess. It was funny, the girl sitting next to me on the flight from London to San Francisco lives (or at least, was brought up) about 10 miles away from my home in Monaghan.

The place we are staying in is actually really nice. There is a distinct feeling of community about the place and I think I'll enjoy staying here over the next while. (It really reminds me of going to basketball camps when I was younger) There is pool, basketball courts tennis courts, and best of all, a hot tub. It was quite surreal last night, me and my colleagues sitting in the hot tun (it fits about 25 people) just chatting watching a lovely evening go by. It is really nice to catch up with the guys as it's about 5 weeks since I had seen some of them. I'm so lucky with the group of work mates that I have! We get on so well.

Tomorrow morning I'm going to go off and bike along some of the trials that I covered two years ago when I lived here. I can't wait to get up to the top of Black Mountain and see the view over the valley. Oh, and on Sunday my brother was talking about doing the Coastal Classic with me. Basically, you start in Palo Alto, go over the mountains down to the Pacific, turn and go back again. I don't know if I'd be able to hack to long runs back to back yet... I'll see how I feel tomorrow...

Thursday, June 23, 2005

The Grudge

I just finished watching The Grudge (no spoilers) and OMG – it scared the hell out of me! It was brilliant. Few movies ever scare me and the only notable ones over the last few years are Blair Witch, The Ring and now this one. (Two Japanese ones...). I remember hearing the reviews for The Grudge (wasn't that good 5.8 on IMDB!) so I gave the film a miss in the cinema – then tonight I just happened to have the DVD sitting around so I watched it.

The suspense was great but I think my surroundings helped the movie along. Pitch black room, surround sound, by yourself and on a huge screen. I recomend everyone seeing this with a few conditions.

  1. You are either by yourself or with someone who wont talk through the movie and willing to only concentrate on the movie

  2. It's late at night

  3. You are in a dark room

It was great – I could feel good adrenalin rushes :)

Oh, and I realise that anyone who has already seen it is probably saying “It was crap...” that always happens with this kind of movie. I guess tonight I was in the right mood for it and my surroundings were perfect.

In other news, I've finished packing for flying out in a few hours. Wasn't difficult, N t-shirts + M shorts + bike stuff and that's about it.

I was talking to Annie about Electric Picnic which is on on September 3rd and 4th in Laois... I'm probably going so if anyone else is interested, let me know... (Have a look at the line up, there is something for everyone – not just dance heads)

Friday, June 17, 2005

Nothing to report

Another week, another few movies, a few more bike rides and a week closer to holidays :)

Nothing much happened this week.

Our company, Edgespace took on our first employee. He will be our summer intern working with us until the end of September. It was good to have another person around the office while everyday else is away. This last week and next week will be spent training him in and introducing him to our work environment. Nothing he can't handle :)

Mel is doing really well in New Zealand. When she arrived in Auckland, she spent a day in the city and then started a (I think) two week journey around the North Island. Her stories are just amazing and I'm really jealous that I'm not there with her. Today she went on a mad 5 hour bike ride through the mountains without taking any food with her! Crazy girl!!! :) She will be in NZ for another 10 days, then onto Australia for about two weeks, when I'll be meeting her in Bangkok for the leg of her holiday that we will be together. I really can't wait to go on a proper holiday. The last proper (as in not Christmas and more then a few days) was last June. I notice that I can't concentrate as well at the moment and my productivity at work has gone down. Hopefully the change of scenery next week will make the last weeks before my vacation a little easier.

I met a nice group of people last night when I was biking. I went up Three Rock for my usual post work bike ride and when I was on the way down I met EPIC mountain bike club people out on their Thursday bike ride. My legs still felt fresh so I tagged on with those guys. I picked up a few new single track trails from them that I hadn't been on before and the banter was pretty good. The ride was cut a bit short when one of the guys rear wheels decided it had had enough – it was unfortunate but at least he was going up hill and not down hill when it happened. For me, there are tons of good things about going on group rides and one bad thing. The good thing is that there is safety in numbers and that I can be a little more aggressive on the downhill since there is people to watch my back. The banter is always pretty good too! The only bad thing is that there tends to be a lot of regroups on the uphills (I need the regroups on the downhills) When I'm climbing I tend to enjoy getting into it and not stopping until the climb is finished....

Tuesday, June 14, 2005

Internet is going down for cleaning

Yeeah! is working again (not that there is anything there). The people at blackknight were really friendly (unlike their website) and helpful and fixed the problem quickly. I also renewed gobuckmad (my old going out photos web page) for the next few years...

Interlink Express on the other hand.... :(

Sunday, June 12, 2005

Damned domain registration...

My damned domain ( expired yesterday and I didn't notice. (Well, Mel told me that she went to a strange page when she went to my web page yesterday but I didn't realise...) There is a long cool off period (which I know all to well when I was waiting for so I'll be able to renew the domain easily on Monday. It scared the hell out me me though because lots of people send me emails through that address...

I think I'll just renew it for 3 or 4 years this time...

Saturday, June 11, 2005

Requiem for a Dream

Mel left for her travels yesterday. She left Ireland at 4pm and will arrive in Auckland 36 hours later. A pretty long trip! Since the house is empty apart from me, and Reetta in the other place, I've gotten a ton of films out from Xtra-vision, one of the films was Requiem for a Dream. All I have to say is, OMG. A horrifically shocking movie. I remember Trainspotting been called a romanticism of drug use/addiction (Which I think is crap. Personally I don't want to crawl through a toilet looking for a fix.) I don't think anyone could say that Requiem, in any way, romanticises anything. It's shocking enough that I watched a light comedy after it before I went to bed. All said and done, it's a great movie and worth the 8.4 it has on IMDB. The night before Mel left we watched 28 Days Later. It was pretty good, Mel being the scientist, had to poke all the holes in the plot – but hey – it was fun. The next three on my list are Platoon (because I'm going to Vietnam in a few weeks :)), The Insider (because it was one of my old house mates favourite movies) and The Secretary.

Summer weather

Finally, some summer has arrived in Ireland. Yesterday and today we have seen beautiful blue skies. This is the view from my house this morning :)

Thursday, June 09, 2005

Broken bed...

Not again...

For the second time in a month my feckin bed broke. The hooks that hook into the head board just snapped! I was so annoyed when I had to sleep on the floor. (Trying to fix a bed at 1am is something that I don't do!) I now have to figure out how to take it apart and rebuild it. (Alan did this for me the last time it broke but he is now in California) I love my apartment, the location, the view, the space but some times these things really piss me off. They did so well building all the stuff and then skimp on finishing the job off.

The meal went well last night. Although we did arrive at the house to start cooking at the same time as our first guests so the cooking was a bit stressful. I now know that myself and Mel can work well under pressure. Lots of wine was consumed and I think a good time was had by all.

Wednesday, June 08, 2005

The long weekend :)

This last week has been a bit of a rush from place to place. Mel finished her exams last Thursday and since then we have been running around organising stuff before she leaves on Friday for 3 months of travelling.

Over the weekend we went down to Monaghan and then on to my sisters. It was nice and all of my family (that was in Ireland at the time) was there. My sister Nicola and her husband Shane put on a big BBQ at the riverside deck at their new house. It was really nice and much less of a building site (although they are still building) then the last time I was there.

I found out today that I'm cooking for 10-12 people tomorrow night! I've cooked for more then that before but it was usually mostly family, this time Mel's friends (and some of mine) and lots of people that I probably have to impress with my culinary talent. (Lets home I don't burn everything!) I'll probably play the menu very safe. Chips, dips etc... Some sort of curry from scratch and then probably strawberry cheesecake. (There is a special on strawberries on in Tesco :))

Today, after work, myself and Mel went out to Bray Head. We climbed up to the top and grabbed a few pics. (Blogged earlier) It was a beautiful evening after been grey all day and I even scouted some new mountain biking trails. Some of them looked a little steep to take a bike up (or down!).

The view out over Bray from Bray Head today. Posted by Hello

Tuesday, June 07, 2005

My nieces and nephews...

Four of my five (Ellen is also expecting) nieces/nephews. This photo was taken at Nicola's BBQ at the weekend. Left to right it is Alex, Jack, Cara and Chloe. The girls are wearing their Monaghan Gaelic jerseys, fortunately Monaghan lost to Derry earlier in the day...

Projects page

I should really get around to making a projects page somewhere... I think I have a few useful (and a few less useful but fun projects that I should put on the web) I wrote a script the other evening that I found so handy for backing up music onto DVDs, basically, you tell it when you last backed up and it grabs all the new music since then and puts it into and iso ready for burning. When you have a large collection, backing up efficiently becomes annoying, even with DVDs backing all that up.

Wednesday, June 01, 2005


The house has been quite with most of the guys gone so I've been using this time to catch up on a few movies. Sunday was the twice yearly showing of Donnie Darko. I think this is the 6th or 7th time that I saw this movie, I think it's amazing – quite different from the usual crud. Mel thought it was good too but I don't think she loves it to the same extent as me.

On Monday after work, myself and Mel went for a walk and some how ended up in Extra Vision. I quickly found the thing that we keep me busy over the next few weeks. They have a 5 dvd for 9 euro for 7 nights deal on at the moment on non new releases. Their definition of “not new release” is actually quite decent although their selection is pretty crap. So, last night kicked off with “back to the old school” nerdy movie Sneakers. It was actually really enjoyable! I think that one thing that has helped the movie age (it was made in 1992) reasonably gracefully (in a genre that looks old after a year) was that it didn't take itself to seriously.

Tonight I watched Thirteen. Basically about a 13 year old girl that gets into drinking, drugs, sex, self mutilation (I'm referring to cutting herself and not piercings... :)) and petty crime. All I have to say is that, in comparison, I was a saint at 13! The cinematography was excellent and the acting was great. Get this one out!

For the next few nights I've got, The Crow, Eyes Wide Shut (Mel hasn't seen it ;)) and Confessions of a Dangerous Mind. I'm looking forward to The Crow as I can't really remember anything about it.