Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Ryanair in-flight phone service suspended

My new job requires me to travel. The first few months were mostly spent in Italy, back and forth every week. I cant complain, it's a job, many people dont have one, and the travel has reduced a bit lately, less training and more Irish customers.

Unfortunately the days of fancy business travel are long gone so I was on the Ryanair cattle truck. Scrambling for seats and hoping on a Friday night to not be sitting close to the stag parties being fed booze by the cabin crew.

On several of the flights we were supposed to have the in-flight phone service. The one that allows you to make calls and send/receive SMS. It is xpensive but the gadget nut in me wanted to try it out and send a message from the plane to tell my fiancee I was on the way home. Unfortunately I never got it to work. The signs were lit up, the announcer would tell us that it was available on this flight but my iPhone never connected or even saw the network.

Now I hear that Ryanair have terminated the contract with their supplier and are seeking tenders from other companies. I'm not surprised. If people cant connect it's just a chunk of useless hardware eating up some of Michael O'Learys jet fuel.

Despite wanting to play with it I hope they never get it fixed. It might be novel and worth trying, just once, but the idea of sitting on a plane for 4 hours with a stag party behind me sending txt messages and some business man beside me shouting down his blackberry over some contract or sale sounds like my idea of the lowest level or Ryanair hell.

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

The Reshuffle

Brian Cowen reshuffled his cabinet by well changing noting. Does it matter? Probably not. My initial reaction was "is that all they can do"? Then I thought, if Cowen had scrapped two of the useless departments would that have changed anything? Not likely, after all the civil servants in the scrapped departments would just get moved into the remaining departments and end up doing less work. New ministers? That would just be more ministerial pensions to pay in years to come. In fact the less false change the better in my opinion. Why spend millions for the appearance of change when no real change can happen under the current government?

All we can do is hang in there until the next election and hope for a large scale clear out of the existing and washed up TDs. It's clear now that Fianna Fail have no fresh ideas or talent left so what would be the point of a large reshuffle?

Sunday, March 21, 2010

Papal Letter

I went to mass this morning and got a copy of the Papal Letter to the Catholics of Ireland. The priest didn't bother to read it out. He said is was 22 pages long (it's 12 but maybe he was reading the directors commentary version or something) and he would summarize the ideas for us since he had read it once and almost finished reading it a second time. Somehow I got the impression his heart just wasn't in it.

The most interesting thing was the choice of gospel. In either a comic coincidence or cynical timing todays gospel, printed on leaflets well in advance of the papal letter being announced, was "let he who is without sin cast the first stone". I wonder if the idea was let the cleric not linked to abuse or the cover up of abuse throw the first sermon.

St Patricks Day in Dublin

This years St Patricks Day parade in Dublin was a great success with huge crowds in attendance once again.

Paddy Drac
B&W (&Red) Paddy Drac

North Carolina State Band

Flags at the ready.

More of the photos I took on the day can be found here.

Clondalkin Youth Band


Update 2: More photos of the Clondalkin Youth Band can be found here.

Tuesday, March 02, 2010

Bonner the Grand Marshal

This years Grand Marshal for the 2010 St Patricks Parade in Dublin has been announced and it’s Packie Bonner. The former Republic of Ireland goalkeeper is a national hero for his save in the penalty shootout against Romania during Italia 90. I think we can say the parade is in a safe pair of hands this year (oh God did I really just say that?)