All roads lead to Rome...

All roads lead to Rome, but...

 to where do all Rudds lead?



Go away Sarah Palin

Any or all of the following can be included in ways of telling Sarah Palin what you think:

(a) Ignore a private citizen who governed 700,000 people for half a term.

(b) Show Sarah Palin two photos, one of PSY, and one of Kim Jong Un. Ask her which of them is the North Korean dictator, and which of them is the South Korean rapper. Then hold her eye and ask: "Aren't they - in fact - the same thing?"

It is the SAME! PERSON!
(c) Continue this line of questioning on foreign policy. Ask her "Which of these would you regard as a friend? From the North or the South...or the North? Is it...what?" Look at her quickly. Then ask:

" Which is correct: 'Is Iran our allies?', or 'Are Iran our ally?' "

Pronounce the terrorist organisation ISIS like iz-iz, before saying "Is ISIS causing friction, or closer contact, between Iran and the United States?" (Then, while she is waiting for extra words, run away.)

9d0 Ask her if she can use the shift key to create brackets, coz you're finding it a struggle.

(e) Any Republican delegate or representative of any kind might run into Sarah Palin. They should shout the word "SQUIRMISH!" as soon as she is in earshot, and hit the deck.

(f) Ask her if she has any items of furniture in her home that she could class as "non-food items".

(g) Point out that she was in charge of a region with a population of fewer than 800,000 people, for less than three years, that some argue that she didn't do a great job, that her advisers when she was running for VP were shocked at how shallow her knowledge was, and that she is a bulldog with lipstick on.

Cats and Quality Time







Taoiseach accused of Garda Commissioner wipe-away

As the latest season of the Dáil kicked off, there were knives out for the government leader.

An Teeschlock Him Very Self, Inda Kinny, faced a series of tough questions after allegations emerged that he had sent a hitman to the home of Garda Commissioner Martin Callinan the night before his resignation.

The Garda Commissioner had tendered his notice subsequent to a kerfuffle caused by the novelist Alan Shatter, who made claims that the commissioner shared privileged information about a loudly-shirted surfing-enthusiast lookalike and phone-user.

However, it was the bugging of conversations among Gyardai at police stations across the country that proved the Commissioner's undoing. Loudmouth Shatter also walked away at the time.

But the canny Inda threw water on the fire by telling everyone there's going to be a date on which the next general election is held.

Well done Inda!

Listicle: Irish Labour Leaders that bear similarities to other TDs

Irish Politicians exposed in Hearing

On first hearing, former Labour Minister Pat Rabbitte sounds similar to Sinn Fein's Caoimhin O Caolain.
The soundalike revelations were exposed recently when they were both listened to by people who noticed the similarities in timbre and delivery. On second and third hearing, the similarities were confirmed.

Pat Rabbitte - former leader of the Labour Party - didn't comment on the soundalike allegations. Since the news broke, further questions have been raised about the similarities between Irish politicians.


For example, Sinn Fein's Caoimhin O Caolain - recently revealed as sounding like former Labour leader Pat Rabbitte - is also the spitting image of another former Labour Party leader, Ruairi Quinn.

Claims Caoimhin O Caolain could characteristically call Quinn a closely congruent counterpart is a consonant conclusion all the more apposite with an added assonance.

Ruairikins, as he's sometimes known, refused to answer to the allegations.

But a side-by-side comparison of the two politicians addressing the Dáil hints beyond all possibility that they could have been separated at birth - and a few years - by an over-eager parish priest following a crisis pregnancy, and a subsequent pregnancy due to the priest's licentiousness and taking advantage while giving his instruction to the very woman he had relieved of the first baby, the half-brothers being placed a few years apart in Catholic orphanages where they may have been frequently assaulted as infants before being adopted.


Meanwhile, the current Labour leader, On Tawnishta Miz John Bruton, has a similar sing-song sort of tone - in name if not in policy - to former FG combover advocate and royalist stalwart, Mr Joan Burton.

The Quantum Eavesdropper: What my Work In Progress is about

The hero (a Dublin detective working under a UN mandate in a dystopic 2094) is amongst a select few world citizens to travel into space on the first faster-than-light interstellar expedition.

Ultimately, he finds himself alone on the vessel, stranded on the lip of a black hole with his faster-than-light engines just powerful enough to keep him stuck there, rather than sucked in. He finds he can communicate with people on Earth, from the vessel, throughout modern history, using his quantum entanglement communications technology - so he can talk to pretty much anybody with a cell phone today, a landline in 1925, or whatever technologies we'll have three hundred years from now. With this comes an implied ability to alter the past and/or the future.

His qualifications include former membership of a shady NSA-type surveillance unit in which he started his police career, and from which he consistently requested a transfer coz deep down he's not a bad egg. As the least-scientifically-qualified member of the four-person crew, however - and having suffered personal tragedy prior to his trip into space - he makes a mess of things trying to save loved ones alongside the rest of the world.

There's much more, of course, but if you want to hear it, get in touch. 

How to Remedy Strange Cat Activity...

This list is not of normal cat behaviors. Many cat "behaviors" are - in fact - entirely imagined. We have a tendency to anthropomorphise our pets, and to attribute decision-making to them where none exists. 

The expected behavior is in bold, and beneath is a brief explanation, solution or remedy for your cat's behavior:

1. Your cat is making a plaintive, begging noise.

Your stomach is actually making the noise because you drank too much coffee on an empty stomach; your cat is not in the room.

2. Your cat brushes your foot with its tail.

Your dressing gown cord brushes your foot. Your cat is not in the

3. You hear rustling from a plastic bag in the kitchen. Is it your cat looking for food?
In this instance, the carton you put into a plastic bag two hours ago has fallen to the bottom of the bag. It's been ready to slip off the top of the other cardboard in the bag since you binned it. Your cat isn't in the room.

4. With your phone on vibrate, you receive a text message from your cat.
You didn't receive a text message. You received a phantom message - an imagined vibration - from the cigarette packet in your pocket. It says "SMOKING CAUSES CANCER". In fact, your phone is in the other room. With your cat.

5. According to your phone's call log, the last number you
Cat attempting to sneak out of room with phone charger.
dialed is a strange number you don't recognize. You call the number to discover that it's the local pet store. They inform you that your order is on the way. 

Twenty minutes later, an express delivery of cat nip, a high end cat tree too big for your home, and trays of luxury cat food arrives at your door. 

The only adequate response in this instance is to revoke the cat's technology privileges - and in a timely fashion, so that it knows why it's being punished. Your cat shouldn't be ordering anything over the phone, but taking away its phone privileges is necessary in this case. Remember too, it means limiting the use of the computer. Cats are usually more adept at ordering products online rather than over the phone - note how they can't speak particularly well. 

So keep your credit card out of the cat's reach. If he orders any further deliveries, he may have memorized your credit card details. In that case, you will have to cancel that card and order another. Remember - even if he ultimately destroys your credit rating putting through his frivolous orders - you must always tell your cat that you love him, that he's a great little guy, and that he's a very handsome chappy.

A List of 10 Concepts I Currently Like in Writing

Concepts I Like:

1. Paring things back
Tell the story in as few words as possible. Exceptions include building atmosphere, but even then, keep it short.

2. Avoiding Description so judgement is left to the reader
For instance, use fewer subjective adjectives like "satisfactory", "awe-inspiring". Who finds it satisfying? Who's being awed? Opt for (seemingly) more objective terms like "sufficient" or "extraordinary". Even then, superlatives are NOT good. It's like when people sign off with Best Regards. Are your regards actually the best I can receive, from anyone? If you're telling me that the palace is resplendent - even if it's through the eyes of your narrator, you have not yet blown my mind.
Writing bridging.

3. The idea that the biggest problem with good writing is the written word
The more words you have, the more error-prone your writing, Shirley?

You don't want to alienate a readership because they don't like your turn of phrase.

You don't have to be minimalist and sparse; be descriptive if you choose, but get to the point ASAP.

4. The removal of the filter
This speaks to the last point. If a character sees something that happened, then it happened.
"He watched her walk across the street"? 

Unless it's really important, just "She walked across the street" or "She crossed the street." How about that?

5. Fits and Starts

People don't begin to pack a suitcase, or start their car and pull out.
They pack their suitcase. They drive away. How often do you unnecessarily say "Andy started to compose his email, keeping an eye on the door for his lunch date"?

Cut down on the starts and the begins, and the "what appeared to be"s too. It's bet-hedging and ass-coverage. Commit to the act, rather than doing it in fits and starts. Run a search for begin and began and start in all its forms in whatever you're working on. Then start to ask yourself if you need them.

6. Omitting anything the reader doesn't need to know, as Tobias Wolff suggested in an interview one time. Not always, perhaps. It's nice to inform character through the little things.

7. Applying one verb to two clauses, and omitting conjunctions
Melissa is forty years old, and John is forty-two.

You don't need the second is, nor need another need here. So stop being
Writing is... like a river
needy! Issy needy? Yes he is!

8. Entering scenes late and leaving early
Does what it says. Here's where omitting things the reader doesn't need to know might come into play.

9. Using your imagination
Write what you know? Okay. Fine. But also write about frickin' brain surgery when you're not a frickin' doctor, á la Ian McEwan in Saturday. Fiction is sophistry. Convince as many readers as you can of something that isn't real. There's as much nobility in the act of writing as there is in a blueberry. You can mush it into a frenemy's beautiful white dress or you can feed a child a superfood.
10. Learning the Phwackin' Basics
Before all that, one might have used loathe instead of loath, or complement instead of compliment, had problems with apostrophes, or omitted an M in accommodate. Learn that stuff too.