JACK, OUR TUXEDO BLACK-AND-WHITE CAT, got tapped by a car accelerating down the Golden Road in Cashel and he died from internal injuries. He had just recovered from a broken ankle a few months ago and was back to his playful self. Unfortunately, cats and kids cannot safely cross the N74 in Cashel because the road's well-maintained surface is made for speed so that's what people do. Few cars respect the 50 kph limit that needs to observed if anyone expects to cross the road safely. We've lost both cats who adopted us in our former home in Kilkenny. Back there, the cats could roam outside and encounter only a cul de sac. But in Cashel, the road just outside our front door is making us seriously consider whether it's worth the convenience of high-speed travel. At this point in time, Jack's death is pushing me into a series of actions that could prod us into moving back into a quieter environment.
THANKS IN PART to a little El Niño action, Ireland's Summer of 2010 feels like the nicest weather since 1995. That's the first summer I spent in Ireland and as I turned into a lobster somewhere near Galway, I wondered what my neighbours were complaining about. A decade of depressing damp Julys showed me the importance of appreciating superb weather when it falls across Ireland and my blog gives me the platform to share the joy with American friends considering ways of getting great value for money. The dollar buys more euro now than in eight years and the brilliant Irish summer is thrown in for good measure.
WHEN YOU HAVE KERRY sunshine, there's no reason to buy the Sunday papers. So I'm sacrificing my normal Sunday routine to bask in the Irish sun for another day. I know my decision may disrupt routines for 120 people who normally listen to my Qik Sunday News clips, so I've recorded a three-minute clip just as the a pot of coffee arrived at my elbow while outside the Parknasilla Resort Hotel in County Kerry, Ireland. I leave the rest up to you.
I LAST ATTENDED a big Nokia gig like the one at left just after the first iPhone hit the market. I remember muffled voices in the crowd who were wondering out loud what Nokia was going to do to head off the iPhone's apparent success. Nokia executives on the front stage weren't worried, suggesting that Nokia innovation was probably the reason the iPhone was such an instant success. In private conversations with Nokia executives, I heard people confidently telling me that Nokia's global market share was dominant and Nokia's ecosystem from the high end to the low margin starter phones forecast sustained success. Based on profit warnings and erosion at the top end of the market, Nokia is losing ground. In fact, I think the company is losing mindshare as developers pull away and start coding applications in the iPhone App Store and the Android market. While I'm still using a Nokia E90 as my primary business device, I know that I'm increasingly isolated by friends who find the iPhone and Android ecosystems so compelling.
PARKNASILLA OFFERS EXCEPTIONAL SUMMER MOMENTS this week, mainly because of the lovely Irish summer that is pushing temperatures one degree Centigrade warmer each progressive day. I like the sounds of the water lapping along the lovely alcoves that are a two-minute walk away from the Parknasilla reception desk. I also like the 3G signal I enjoy all around the hotel--it's giving me seven megabits a second on my O2-Ireland dongle--that's fast enough for Online Meetings using synchronous video conferencing. That said, the technology is a sideshow. The main event is the lovely weather and striking scenery.
VARK ASKED ME, "How do you dial a landline number from a mobile phone in Ireland?" I get all sort of questions about Ireland from Vark nowadays but I used to get a lot more from 43 Places back in its heyday. I tell friends that their cell phones know they're in Ireland so if they want to dial a local number (i.e., a restaurant for a reservation), all they have to do is dial the number on the advertisement. Then I remember that many ads fail to include the city dialing code (01 for Dublin, 056 for Kilkenny) so you should consider firing up Google Maps on your cell to see the exact phone number. But remember, those overseas data packets could cost you a dollar a megabyte. Zooming down to a townland with a Google map might dump 50 MB of data onto your cell phone. It would pay to know the whole phone number of a venue, including its city phone codes.
TIPPERARY INSTITUTE has a vibrant footprint on the grounds of the Watson Estate in Ballingarrane, along the N24 west of Clonmel. I walked from the Rural Development Support Unit towards the old Watson home, thinking about how the Ballingarrane acreage might be used in the months ahead. I hope there's a way to deliver some of my fourth year lectures on the grounds of the old estate. I work in Tipperary Institute, and some day, I hope the grounds in my Qik clip will host start-up companies in an incubation centre.
INTER-CITY TRAVEL in Ireland has become much easier in the past 10 years, helped along by smooth surfaces on motorways, leather bus seats, newer Irish Rail carriages, and near-continuous high-speed internet access in seats. From personal experience while en route between Cashel and Dublin, I know it's possible to hold a continuous data signal. It's often down to the handset's antenna array and the number of connected people traveling along the same route. But I have to say that commuting on Irish Rail or Aircoach for 80 mile trips is much more productive than driving the same distance.
Sent mail2blog using O2Ireland 3G Typepad service in County Laois.
DOPPLR REMINDED ME that I'm in Dublin today (see above for the view in Google Latitude) to look at graduate work in both the National College of Ireland and the National College of Art and Design. I tell American friends that June is one of the best times to visit Dublin because of the graduate art exhibitions on display then. Since moving out of the city, I've failed to get to all the exhibits every year so I'm trying to correct that shortfall this week.
THAT'S SAMANTHA on the cover of my Qik take on the Sunday news from Ireland [6:14 MP3]. Samantha is a love doll built around an articulated framework. The third version of this 21st century companion has artificial speech and vibration technology. You get more about this personal companion in today's Qik look a three Irish Sunday broadsheets.