Archive for July, 2005

July 20th, 2005

The Evil. A user’s guide.

As previoulsy mentioned, Planarity is more annoying than difficult. Particularly after the early stages when it becomes too complex to just visualise the solution and some methodical method must be applied. For different values of early stages, I find I can get to level 6 or 7 before I find it necessary to apply a method, but then I give up after level 8 or 9 as it just gets boring. In any case, here is the method I usually apply; using level 3 as an example.

First, find one node that is connected to only two others. Thse three nodes become the a corner (here the bottom corner). Select one of the bottom corner nodes and find what it is connected to. Arrange those appropriately. Rinse. Repeat. until finish.

This method works quite well even at higher levels. Bit it is quite mechanical and gets boring after a while. And not being able to save the level or high score means starting over and over again just to do up silly examples. Its probably more fun just to mock people!

July 13th, 2005


this is very distracting, not very difficult, but very distracting. Probably for some people more than others

July 12th, 2005

Passing by

My Dad’s bypass was Monday. He was out of surgery at 5pm and noved from recovery to the ICU about 6:30. As far as we know all went well – the nurses seem happy enough. Should be 2 days in the ICU then 8-10 more days Coronary Care for observation. Won’t know more for a while; the surgeon won’t be avilable to speak to us until Wednesday. Which is probably a lot better than having the surgeon actively and anxiously looking for us.

Thanks to everyone for all the best wishes and good thoughts.

July 11th, 2005

Fame, fortune, fencing.

The fencing school was in the paper again, surely great riches can’t be far behind

July 11th, 2005

No Fires…

Nev has a quote that “the best occasions to observe the human heart are weddings, funerals and duels”. I have been to two out of three in the past couple weeks. So if anybody out there getting married soon! Can I come? I promise I’ll be good. Well mostly good, sort of good anyway!

In any case; it turns out that one way you can tell if a funeral goes well (or at least as well as these things ever do) is that there should be a lack of fire, except for cremations I suppose. Where fire should be a good thing.

On that criteria at least. Joe’s funeral went well. Lots of people (I would guess between 600 and 1000) turned up at the funeral home for the removal on Thursday. My Dad wasn’t there, what with being in hospital and all, so for a long time it was just Joe’s sons and grandson and Eddie and I standing over the coffin to receive people. All the women-folk were sitting. None of the other cousins on Joe’s or Lucy’s side turned up until quite late and Mark didn’t know/didn’t care/did a Mark on the whole standing over the coffin thing.

So we had lots of people come in do a preliminary scan of the room: widow (check), widow’s mum (check), grieving women-folk (check), various old crones who seem to be attracted to death and only come out for funerals (check), sons (check), and then some strange men standing in the corner. If Dad had been there I think it would have more obviously been a brother, sons, grandson, Ollie’s sons, other nephews thing.

Because nobody, and I mean nobody introduces themsleves or asks who you are at a funeral. If you are in a suit and standing over the coffin then you are worthy of a ballistic handshake and a “sorry for you trouble” mumbled as low and as quickly as possible. Which is still better than the people who just who just rush around nodding at people or who come in and seem uncomfortable shaking hands with anyone – in particular this was people in their 20s/30s who want to share their condolences with only one or two people and ignore everyone else; older people (who know how its done) and younger people (who have been told what to do) are happy to shake everyones hand – I suppose in your 20s/30s death is a distant concept and they don’t want to face their own mortality. Also annoying are the people who don’t seem to realise that you just can’t shove your hand out and keep it at the same level regardless of whether the other person is sitting, standing, frail, 12 years old and under 5 ft tall or 6 ft.

On the flip side Joe was 68 and so a lot of people coming in to share their condolences were of an age. And most of them seem to have their fashion sense stuck in the early 80s. And I mean early 80s Ireland, so lots of headscarves for the women and brown sports jackets for the men. Not so many punk rock ensembles. There were a few people who were stuck even before trying to hang on to youth with loud shirts and cosmetic surgery. There is such a thing as too much botox and its really obvious when you see it, especially in men over 50.

Sealing the coffin is a depressing bit, so I’ll skip over that. Myself and Eddie carried the coffin from the car into the church – the first time I had to do that. About 150-200 people turned up at the church. After the brief ceremony and a decade of the rosary (all hail the pagan Catholics praying to Mary) I went back with Ger and Joseph to talk to the priest and to pick up a reading for Friday. The priest was quite sympathetic and was asking for salient points about Joe to build a sermon on. In the end they all boiled down to Family, Sport and Work, which isn’t a bad list if you think about it. Afterwards we adjourned to the Unicorn where Mark and Denis (a cousin) managed to simultaneously ask after each other while at the same table!!!

The Funeral mass was Friday morning. The priest did a good job of weaving the stuff we told him abut Joe the night before into his sermon, even if he did ramble a bit. I did one of the readings (Romans14:7-9) and again carried the coffin, out of the church. I also took holy communion for political reasons (the first time in years), and was quite surprised when the earth didn’t just open up and swallow me there and then, maybe there is nothing to this religous stuff after all. Various cousins did the other readings and prayers and gifts and stuff and Ger did a nice eulogy for his Dad, which had everyone crying again!

So off to the cemetery. There was an honour guard from Young Munster Rugby Club and they carried the coffin the last few hundred metres. Mungret Cemetery is the newest one around the city (not to be mixed up with Mungret Graveyard which is attached to Mungret College and is quite old). Its really VERY new, none of the graves are more than 1-2 years old, and when you consider that some of the other graveyards in use in the city have headstones nearly 200 years old and give off a general aura of age and neglect and overgrownedness then Mungret doesn’t seem like a proper cemtery at all. And its right in front of the cement factory so there are lots of big electricty pylons ringing the cemetery. The types of pylons you aren’t supposed to get to close too in case you get cancer, or electricity or an attack of explosive amnesia or whatever. Not that that should bother any of the residents!! It looks like the type of place where zombies come from, to tell the truth, – all industrial and electric. How does one fight off cement encrusted zomibies. I suppose they can’t move very fast and we have a big river nearby (and they come pre-shod in cement shoes!) so that should keep us safe!

After the funeral we went back to Young Munster’s club house for some beer and lunch.

July 6th, 2005

llma llma truck

daleks and llmas and lost oh my!

July 5th, 2005

stab ya!

The Limerick School of Arms was officially opened in its new (and permanent) premisies in Catherine Street, Limerick by Mayor Diarmuid Scully. As well as club members, we had visitors and well wishers from Brighton, Wales and Cork as well local supporters and the usual assortment of hangers on and ne’er do wells.

We got a small write up in De Examiner, with hopefully more in the Leader this weekend. And as usual, there are photos.

July 5th, 2005

kerb your enthusiasm

It has recently been brought to my attention that I hold nothing sacred in my blog.

In that spirit lets play guess the conversation. Your job is to examine the following completely random piece of text, and from that guess the topic of conversation, the method of converstaion, the parties involved in the conversation, how much (or not) the parties in the conversation were laughing and how much trouble I am going to be in for doing this…

hit the curb on the way out of the test centre (fail), hit the curb doing my reverse around the corner (fail), stalled the car several times including 3 times at one junction (fail, no control over moving off) slowed for corners, junctions and roundabouts but didn’t change down a gear so took all like a race car driver. Reverse into a parking space a tthe end was perfect

Good Luck everybody (especially me!!!)

July 4th, 2005

The red thing’s connected to my… wristwatch.

My dad went to hospital last week with heart trouble and he is currently awaiting transfer to Dublin for a Triple Bypass. Probably on Wed or Thurs this week.

Last night he was joined in coronary care by his brother who has heart, lung and kidney trouble.

I wonder if there is a family package or group discount we can organise!!