Thursday, February 17, 2011

When no rashers grease your pan.

Thursday, Dublin Ireland

Made it North to Dublin with just enough time for some pictures at dusk.  The area around Dublin is a hideous nightmare of urban sprawl and industrial wasteland.  Downtown, however is beautiful!
The river Liffey on my way down to Bar Temple, the art, antique and restaurant district. 
There's actually a reason for Bar Temple becoming the arts district (and tourista bliss) that it is.  The gov. planned a transportation hub there and in the process devalued all of the properties.  While they dicked around trying to figure out whether it would be bus or rail a bunch of artists moved in, snapping up real estate at bargain prices.  10 years later, the mass transit plan was abandoned and a new hip district had evolved.

To the East the river flows out to the Irish Sea.

The Porterhouse is Ireland's original and largest microbrewery (c. 1996).  I was turned off of bangers and mash my second week in MK.  Enough time has passed, lets give it another try.  Locally produced pork and Stout sausages, mashed potatoes (over here they're "tayto's) swimming in onion gravy in a huge Yorkshire pudding.  An Brains Blaster, a Christmas style ale with Fuggles is a hearty accompaniment. Well worth the wait.  They've got a great beer guide / brewery history booklet on the table which I nicked (stole).

This is the area you want to avoid in every town.  The best bars / pubs / restaurants are a couple of blocks on either side of the Hard Rock, or behind it.  Ask your bartender where he goes for a pint. In every town this place sucks.  BTW - The cigarette smoke in front of the lens isn't mind, that's how many tourists (mostly French) are around.  Another good reason to get the hell out of Dodge, fucking surrender monkey's!

On the opposite side of the river is the Jeanie Johnson Tall Ship and Famine Museum.  Doesn't sound like fun, looks cool though.

In the distance the Samuel Beckett bridge is named after the writer who was a student assistant to James Joyce (the writer not the perfect game stealing Jim Joyce).

Dinner done it's time to get things together at the hotel.  Tomorrow is a work day after all...

Over the last 2 months I've lost: wool slacks, a belt, several pairs of socks, pens, memory sticks, notebooks, dignity and 6 US to UK converter plugs!  Understand also that I have a laptop, camera and 2 cell phones to charge every night.
It's not as easy as you think to run out and get replacements either, there aren't any Best Buy's and few hardware stores.  Add to that the fact that every shop downtown closes around five, right about when I get back from work.
In Cork I ran out to Boots Pharmacy twice to pick up 3 adaptors in total.  2 basic 3-plug to 2 plug and 1 universal adapter.  The universal adapter doesn't work with US plugs, at all.  The basic adaptors are designed for shavers and have a 1-amp fuse.  You know where this is going don't you?

Take the foil from my Boot's brand Omeprazole (Prilosec for you heartburn sufferers).

Sleeve the piddly 1-amp fuse, re-install and call it a day.  Even the laptop only pulls 1.5-amps so I think that we're within acceptable limits.  

You've seen those vintage Guinness ad's, "Guinness is good for your health".  That campaign was part of a larger campaign that included a poem from Dublin author Brian O'Nolan. 

The Workman's Friend

When things go wrong and will not come right,
Though you do the best you can,
When life looks black as the hour of night -
A pint of plain is your only man.

When money's tight and hard to get
And your horse has also ran,
When all you have is a heap of debt -
A pint of plain is your only man.

When health is bad and your heart feels strange,
And your face is pale and wan,
When doctors say you need a change,
A pint of plain is your only man.

When food is scarce and your larder bare
And no rashers grease your pan,
When hunger grows as your meals are rare -
A pint of plain is your only man.

In time of trouble and lousey strife,
You have still got a darlint plan
You still can turn to a brighter life -
A pint of plain is your only man.

Before I forget, the show Human Planet is awesome and the following video of helicopter herding is sick!

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