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

Weeknotes #488-493

Some highlights (and lowlights) of the past few weeks:

  • My commute to work in the mornings takes me over the old Broadstone rail line, of which only the trackbed remains. I’ve got a thing for disused rail lines (maybe it stems from wanting to be a train driver as a kid) so I’ve been thinking a lot about it lately, and wondering how one might go about walking the stretch from Broadstone to Liffey Junction, where it abuts the current Sligo line. Without breaking any laws, of course. Seems such a waste to ignore the space; Dublin’s own equivalent of the High Line, perhaps?

  • Reading again lately: some great, some not so much. Moneyball definitely falls in the former category: as I wrote in my Goodreads review, it’s not just a book about baseball stats and economics. It’s a book about people – individuals being appreciated for their talents rather than how they fit into preconceived notions of what a ‘ball player’ is supposed to be. It’s also genuinely moving at times; I find it hard to remember the last time a book made me really feel anything other than annoyed.
  • Speaking of which – Chronic City made me want to shout bad things at Jonathan Lethem, a writer whose earlier work I’ve enjoyed. The characters in this one, however, are so unlikeable and one-dimensional that I didn’t want to spend any time with them. The joke was on me, though: it was only towards the end that I remembered reading a synopsis of his previous novel and imagining the same fate. Now I need to read something good to get the bad taste out of my mind.
  • I didn’t think it would ever happen, but Bee finally got me interested in cricket during the recent World Cup. I know! Only the highlights, mind you; a full day test match would leave me catatonic. And anyway, baseball season is back now so I’ll be watching the Mets lose instead. Worst start to a season in years.
  • Two recent gigs: Grant Hart at The Workman’s Club (just him solo with guitar; lots of Hüsker Dü songs; gave this Mould fan a new appreciation of his tunes) and Estel at The Lower Deck (only got to see them for five minutes as the Nitelink beckoned). One missed gig: Oneohtrix Point Never (was looking forward to this one and all, but got stuck in work). Coming up soon: Keelhaul, Emeralds and the Meat Puppets. It’s a good time for live music.
  • All this guff about cloud computing I keep reading about – y’know, Google Apps, Spotify and the like, and now the Amazon Cloud thingy – it seems to me everyone misses one teeny little point: that if your internet connection drops (like ours has done for the best part of two whole days recently) then you’re pretty much screwed. I’ll be keeping my data local for the time being, thank you very much.
  • We’ve only watched one hi-def movie so far on our new Blu-ray player but if they all look as good as that, I’m converted. Any recommendations for home cinema experiences? Comment below or hit me up on Twitter.