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  1. Firefly cameo on Castle.

    jake on 2009.10.27 at 12:57 pm

    Castle Logo

    Don’t miss last night’s Castle. Along with the Halloween humor there is a glorious reference to Firefly in the first few minutes.

    Makes me consider “space cowboy” for next year.

    Castle on Hulu

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    Posted in: Holiday · Television

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  2. A "Horrible" Halloween (Constructing Dr. Horrible)

    jake on 2008.11.11 at 06:28 pm

    Dr. Horrible PosterOrganizing a costume this year was a bit of a chore. Especially when the best idea presented was given to me two weeks before Halloween… And a week before a costume party in Salem. However Dr. Horrible was too good to pass up. I relished in the stress of putting the costume together.

    The majority of components were fairly easy to procure online. The only issue was expediting the shipping from so many vendors. Getting everything by Friday made it worth the extra cost. The following is exact pieces.

    The most difficult part was the lab coat. The only (relatively) close Halloween costume out there was a bust, no one had it in stock. After falling short on some custom costume web sites I tried Ebay. Paul Pape Designs was auctioning a good quality replica. It fit perfectly and really brought the look together. They shipped it overnight and can’t be thanked enough.

    Next year hopefully an idea will formulate well before the holiday. But even if I can’t decide I’ll always have the great Dr. Horrible to come back to.

    Posted in: Art · Holiday · Television · Web

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  3. Cashel (Caiseal Mumhan): A Holiday in Ireland

    jake on 2007.12.03 at 12:57 pm

    A slightly interesting occurrence on our trip to Cashel was picking up food at ALDI’s. I never realized they are an international store.

    The Rock of Cashel

    Alternate Text We had evening plans so our visit to The Rock of Cashel was fairly short. Parking in the handicap space for my grandmother took almost as long as our visit. The parking spaces are part way up the hill to the front entrance and right along the path everyone walks to get in. We were lucky someone was paying attention to the car sitting there while people walked right through the parking spaces. He waved people around as we pulled in.

    Family Dinner

    We visited the Laffey’s for the second time on this trip. We weren’t the only guests but there was a miscommunication so we ate before arriving. We simply exchanged stories around the dinner table.

    Sign outside the Ashmore House Once it was only the Laffeys and us I was singled out to “play” by three of the four children. This consisted of turning me into a human jungle gym. Initially it was simply Heather getting a piggy-back ride. Then her brothers decided to come after me.

    This consists of; kicking, punches at my groin, throwing objects, tackle attempts, and hitting my legs with a hurley. As I, the giant, finally succumbed Heather hurt her nose on the way down. She started tunning to tell her mother but doubled back instead to get revenge. Her brothers obviously taught her well, she poked me in the eyes like a cartoon character and hit my nose.

    They continued to jump on my back and wrestle me on the ground. I finally had to stop them when Keane grabbed my necklace. I heal, my necklace does not.

    Heading to Killarney (Cill Áirne).

    Cahir As we head to the final destination of our trip we make a couple stops. Before squeezing in Cahir Castle (Caisleán na Cathrach) we pause to meet another distant relative. Ursula is a horse breeder and lives in a house that’s five-hundred years old. She is quite the character and very spry for seventy.

    Posted in: Holiday · Travel

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  4. Galway (Gaillimh): A Holiday in Ireland

    jake on 2007.10.07 at 04:06 pm

    A scene in Cong, Co Mayo Getting across Ireland wasn’t as simple as we had hoped. The traffic getting out of Dublin and then also into Galway was pretty brutal. Normally this would simply be a little frustrating. But we actually had a show booked for the evening and didn’t have a clear direction of where we were going. Luckily they allowed us to reschedule for the following night so we just had to deal with the little issue of our bed and breakfast not actually booking us.

    Our evening meal in Spiddal (An Spidéal) was highlighted by the abundance of patrons speaking the native language.

    Cong (Conga)

    The following morning we headed west along R336. Straight through Maam Cross (An Teach Dóite) until we found R345 heading toward Cong. This trip was highlighted by signage entirely in Irish.

    Part of Cong Abbey Cong and the surrounding area was primarily where they filmed the movie The Quiet Man, starring John Wayne and Maureen O’Hara. We took a tour which brought us to a handful of these locations.

    Language Barriers

    Continuing in the same direction we looped around and headed back into Galway for the evening. After a bit we located a parking garage very close to Shop Street, the main thoroughfare. This is where I went on a quest to locate some books in Irish.

    I decided before embarking to Ireland that I might find some great supplemental material to all the CD’s and general language books you find on the Internet. Works printed in the language and general schoolbooks that the local children would learn from.

    The first stop was Eason’s. After being directed to and selecting a few items in the novels section I tried upstairs where the school books were located. Here I met my first obstacle, teenage girls. They belittled my need for low level school books and with a sly smile made comments such as, “Yeah I’d try there, we’re way too advanced for you.” Eason’s only had higher level books.

    The “there” they were referring to was ABC Books. Within walking distance this bookstore specializes in school material for all ages. The young lady here was much more helpful and not only crisscrossed the store with me but explained her reasoning for every book she suggested. She actually targeted books involving grammar and the building blocks as opposed to the little kids books filled with games (though I’d probably have fun with the games).

    Finally she also pointed me to a third store named Dubray Books where a nice older woman found me some actual children’s stories. Nice and simple, like Dr Seuss or Richard Scarry. Who knows, maybe someday I can read them to my kids.

    Dinner And A Show

    Music At The Crossroads While looking for a place to buy dinner we entered a bar with a live band playing. This was where my grandmother had her first Guinness. And while I was in the restroom my mother was hit on. That was about all that happened there since the kitchen wasn’t open. After locating dinner and being waited on by a random, female Texan we made our way to Music At The Crossroads.

    The show consists of seven musicians and two dancers. Between the seven musicians they play twenty-plus instruments and occasionally trade with each other. Plus the majority of the performers are all, roughly university age. The exception being Michael the fiddle (among other instruments) player who seems to be the ring leader and is closer to my age.

    The whole Galway region was exciting and I would definitely visit the city, and surrounding countryside, again. Maybe next time I’ll even be able to converse in another language with the locals.

    Posted in: Holiday · Travel

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  5. Dublin (Baile Átha Cliath): A Holiday in Ireland

    jake on 2007.09.26 at 12:04 am

    I’ve been to Dublin before. It mostly involved a hop-on/hop-off tour. My brothers and I got soaked on the open, upper level section of the bus. This time it was nothing but sun.

    Meandering Arrival

    The journey into Dublin was my first experience driving. Sadly our directions were a bit oversimplified and I missed the exit and ended up going through the Dublin Port Tunnel. €12 in tolls later we made it to our hotel.

    Dublin Spire The majority of the afternoon was spent having lunch and tea with our distant relative Betty. She told us stories and kept referencing how my grandmother reminded her of one of her sisters.

    After locating a detailed map of the country we moved on to locating a local SIM card for my mobile. Initially I tried the O2 store right off of O’Connell Street but they didn’t have any SIM cards. Before running down the street by myself I inquired with a young lady working at Meteor across the way. She gave me some information and mentioned that Meteor) is Ireland based and owned by eircom, the original state based phone company (sadly I discovered later that eircom is now part of a holdings company based in Australia). I grabbed my SIM and we jumped on a bus back to the hotel.

    St Patrick’s Cathedral and Christchurch Cathedral

    Inside St Patrick's Cathedral St Patrick’s Cathedral was the first historic stop before we departed the city. Surprisingly there are many monuments to influential people throughout the ages. Most notable was Jonathan Swift and Turlough Carolan. Carolan was noted as the last, influential, wandering bard in Ireland.

    Jake in a helmet Based on a tip from our cab driver we headed up the street to Dublinia, an exhibit adjacent and connected to Christ Church Cathedral. There are many exhibits telling of life in medieval Dublin. The arrival of the Vikings. The terrible plagues (including a death cart, ‘Bring out yer dead!’). General snapshots of the past. Definitely a recommended stop for any traveler.

    With a quick trip to pick up the car and we were off, a little later than planned, to Galway.

    Posted in: Holiday · Travel

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  6. A Holiday in Ireland: Summary.

    jake on 2007.09.20 at 02:15 am

    I recently returned from a quick and action packed holiday in Ireland. There was actually a fairly quick gestation period between agreeing to partake and boarding the plane. After my mom exhausted all other options she came to me (a second time) and I figured I’d better go. I was now signed up as chauffeur and general practitioner of “guy things,” like moving heavy luggage.

    Driving was not much of an issue. Shifting with my left hand was a little uneasy but I got the hang of it. Though there was a bit of an issue in using turn signals. The lever is on the same side of the steering wheel (the left) so I had to get used to doing one thing and then the other. In The States I usually just reach out a couple fingers to flick the turn signal whether shifting or not.

    The majority of destinations were new to me. And at repeated locations we did new activities. So all around it was fresh and exciting.

    Dublin (Baile Átha Cliath)

    St Patrick\'s Cathedral With our plane landing here early in the morning it logically was the initial destination. The first day was very slow paced. We met our distant relative Betty at The Gresham Hotel and had a long lunch. And after locating some maps and a SIM card for my phone we pretty much called it a night.

    Before heading to Galway we made a stop at St Patrick’s Cathedral. Then based on a tip from our cabbie we also visited Dublinia up the street.

    Galway (Gaillimh)

    After a long drive across the country we hit Galway. Well technically our bed and breakfast was in Spiddal (An Spidéal), a little further west. The first night was largely a bust after the long drive. Plus our B&B fell through but the owner kindly found us an alternate.

    Music at the Crossroads The following day we did manage to get up to Cong in Co Mayo, the region The Quiet Man was filmed. After meeting a nice German couple we got back into Galway for our show, Music at the Crossroads. Also I acquired a large portion of Irish language books.

    Cashel (Caiseal Mumhan)

    Cashel was all about family. Well mostly all about family. Again we visited the Laffey’s for an evening of laughter and abuse (for me), from the kids, all in good fun. And they pointed us to an Aunt who lived nearby and raises horses.

    Killarney (Cill Airne)

    Muckross House Killarney, the final destination, was as touristy as I had imagined. But with visiting the Muckross House and getting Mom and Grandma to have their first and second pints of Guinness, respectively, it was worth it.

    The second day in Killarney was entirely eaten up by a trip around the Ring of Kerry. Very picturesque countryside… and loads of buses.

    Shortly there will be more expansive descriptions of each major destination. There are many stories to tell of the trip. Hopefully I can convey their emotions.

    Posted in: Holiday · Travel

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  7. I can see my house from heeeere... Trip to AU/NZ Part 4

    jake on 2007.02.24 at 03:06 pm

    One of the many activities I participated in while in New Zealand was bungy jumping. I’ve never been averse to intentionally leaving the safety of a bridge but my companion didn’t think I would do it. So like Marty McFly I let that dictate my actions. My mind was set and I walked to the edge and leaped.

    I purchase a DVD of the event and a quick email gave me the permission required to share it. Below is a quick clip I made including some extra, descriptive text. The location is Kawarau Bridge in Queenstown, NZ. It is where A J Hackett created commercial bungy jumping with Henry van Asch.

    A larger version is housed at the site I set up to share some videos that never materialized from the trip. What do you expect? We were too busy having fun. ;)

    They’re coming slow but maybe I can get the rest of my trip up here before 2008.

    Posted in: Holiday · Sports · Travel

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  8. The journey home: Trip to AU/NZ Part 3

    jake on 2007.02.03 at 01:20 am

    Now that I’m home it’s not so easy to find time and motivation to write thoughts down. Probably because the stories are orally regurgitated many times. There are still plans to record chunks of activities in future posts.

    Click

    Jake posing on Fox GlacierIt also doesn’t help that I took 500+ photos. I sifted down to 260 and just today completed tagging and organizing all of them on flickr. One thing that’s always forgotten is that while the scenery and locations are exciting and new the people are also a large influence. I never take enough photos of the people surrounding me. I had a phenomenal traveling companion and the group we went through New Zealand with was great. There’s no issue with the pictures I returned with. I only would love even more shots of the people involved with the trip.

    Maybe someone else who took some more people pictures will upload theirs.

    Another 48 Hours: The return home.

    Leaving the lovely company and the lovely weather was very difficult. Even more so than the extra traveling. In the past I’ve always had issues with planes. Now a little anti motion sickness medicine and my hang ups have disappeared.

    A short hop to Sydney and I was off for the states. A couple hours after take off, and shortly after I became accustomed to the little boy flailing his elbows around, the captain comes over the intercom. The sensors indicate a fire in one of the cargo holds. Stand by for more information.

    Within five minutes he has returned with a new message. There did not seem to be an actual fire. Safety required him however to fire the extinguishers. And that required an emergency landing. Passengers in American Samoa TerminalHello American Samoa…

    Our luggage will be left behind. We sit and wait for eight hours. I read a bit. I try not to sleep since I’m going to be dealing with jetlag when I do finally get home. This is made more difficult by the hot, humid weather and lack of air conditioning.

    Onward to Hawaii we go. Our captain informs us that a drunken police officer whining about customs held us up a couple extra hours. Things are now becoming less eventful. After calling Kate to fill her in and my parents to let them know I won’t be in New York as scheduled I go information gathering. I also started making friends with my fellow refugees which relieved some stress.

    I find out that there will be no more flights that day once our new crew and new 747 arrive in San Francisco. Instead I will stay overnight and fly out at 6:10am first class. Now that doesn’t sound so bad.

    In San Francisco I finally get to shower and I hang up my clothes to air out. Three hours of sleep later I’m back on the shuttle and off to New York first class. First class was fairly disorienting. My day old clothes did not mesh with all the passengers who paid for their tickets. The thing appreciated the most was the personal DVD player that allowed me to pick a couple movies I actually wanted to see. Thank God I didn’t have to sit through The Guardian again.

    My dad picked me up at JFK, almost as planned originally. And based on the return time it was roughly 7am back in Hobart. Considering I was sent off on a shuttle at 8:25am. That meant just about two full days of travel.

    In the next installment I will be going back to the beginning and moving a few days at a time with each new post. At least theoretically anyway.

    Posted in: Holiday · Photography · Travel

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  9. "Cyber Monday" just as fake as last year.

    jake on 2006.11.27 at 05:39 pm

    I have to keep this short to prevent my frustration taking over. Today does not seem to be any different form any other Monday. And yet the news is making reference to the fake shopping day of “Cyber Monday.” Created by a marketing group last year. Thankfully not everyone is falling for it. Black Friday at least became a nickname for something that already existed and grew.

    Here’s a list of rational people.

    I’ll add any more I see in the near future…

    Update One: Added one more.

    Posted in: Holiday · Service Announcement

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  10. I hope you're having a Happy Halloween

    jake on 2006.10.31 at 03:38 pm

    It is very difficult figuring out if this is an awesome Halloween or a crappy one. I’m stuck at home sick today. This means I don’t get to dress up later and play Frisbee. It also means I get to watch scary movies all day and keep up the spirit in my Halloween pajama bottoms and a Halloweeny t-shirt.

    Being healthy and playing Frisbee is probably the optimum choice. Especially since it’s a typical cold that lends itself to being feverish and sporting a scratchy throat. If anything I write today sounds silly, just assume it’s the cold medicine.

    Here are some more Halloween themed links for any last minute preparations you might have.

    Have a Super Spooky Halloween!

    So everyone have a wonderful day. Now that The Price is Right is over I can concentrate on relaxing and trying to scare myself.

    Posted in: Art · Cool Info · Holiday · Recent Events · Web

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