Hello, world. I’m MacDara Conroy, and this is my blog.

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Bloomsday Notes

So today was the 100th anniversary of Bloomsday, the day on which the events of James Joyce’s Ulysses take place. And it completely passed me by, as I had other, more pressing matters at hand.
But I feel that I’ve already done my bit, and more than others. Regular readers will recall my personal challenge to read the book in question late last year (I wrote about it here, here, here and here) and to my surprise, I actually enjoyed the experience, which has since given me a smug sense of superiority over literature-phobic philistines and pompous academics alike.
And if I can do it, you can do it too! Starting today, you can subscribe to Ulysses: One Page Every Day, an RSS feed of the text in its entirety as sourced from the Project Gutenberg collection. (Thanks to Matt Webb for the linkage.)
Isn’t that a wonderful use of technology? Maybe one day, RSS will become the de facto format for reading more difficult works.

Burnett & Hilda

Corner of Burnett and Hilda in Hatfield, Pretoria
A somewhat glary shot from the shade at the corner of Burnett and Hilda in Hatfield, Pretoria.

The Other Brooklyn

A residential street in Brooklyn, Pretoria.

No, it’s not _that_ Brooklyn. It’s the _other_ Brooklyn; the one in Pretoria, South Africa.

LUAS on Abbey St.

One of the new LUAS trams parked on Middle Abbey St.

I happened to be in town running errands on Friday afternoon while one of the new LUAS trams was parked on Middle Abbey Street for a ‘safety awareness day’, presumably in preparation for the opening of the first phase (St. Stephen’s Green/Sandyford) later this month.
As it was raining at the time, and I was in a bad mood for some reason or other, I neglected the opportunity to step onto the tram for a closer look — meaning this crappy photo will have to do for now.
But rest assured, dear reader: when the Abbey Street/Tallaght line opens in August, I’ll take a trip out to The Square and do a proper job of it.

The Voting Conundrum

Yesterday, polling stations across Ireland were opened for a triple-header of local council elections, European Parliament elections, and the citizenship referendum.
And for the first time in my enfranchised life, I’m ashamed to admit, until I got my ballot papers I had _no freaking idea_ what or who to vote for.
Call me apathetic if you will, but you’d be wrong. It’s not my fault I have a distaste for pretty much every political party and/or politician in this country, and I would rather not have to settle for the lesser of all evils whenever voting time comes around, thank you very much.
Oh I’ll do it anyway, because I always do it, even though it feels like a waste of a vote. But since I’m not about to start spoling my vote, because that’s even more wasteful, what else am I going to do? Start my own party?!
Hmm…

AIDS/LifeCycle

This week, Mat Honan (the man who got me into weblogs back in the day) is participating in AIDS/LifeCycle, a seven-day-long bike ride organised to help beneficiaries providing services to people — people just like you and me — living with HIV and AIDS.
The ride begins tomorrow in San Francisco, and concludes in Los Angeles next weekend. That’s almost 600 miles, people! And it’s for a great cause, so please consider making a donation to help Mat reach his fundraising goal, and more importantly to improve the lives of those affected by this horrible disease, not to mention their friends and families. Go on, help make a difference.
(And by the way, if you happen read this Mat, good luck with the ride!)