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

Weeknotes #510-516

Thanks to Twitter for helping me remember the following:

4/7 — I find a hole torn in the back of favorite plaid shirt. Annoyed. Proper, durable (non-fashiony) plaid shirts are hard to come by round these parts.

Later in the day, the beginnings of a bad week of hayfever-induced sinusitis. Ugh.

13/7 — Markham sent me an invite to Google+ a couple of days ago. First impressions? It’s like Facebook, but more Twittery in its de-emphasising of symmetrical relationships. But at the same time, it’s kind of boring without my friends there. I don’t feel the same way about Twitter, funnily enough.

16/7 — Made up a batch of my tomato, carrot and onion soup. The secret ingredient is habanero sauce. Yum.

17/7 — Watching Sunday morning wrestling. Zack Ryder has a QR code on the front of his shorts. Genius! Although I’m not sure that’s what they really meant by the Internet of Things.

18/7 — More wrestling: I set my alarm for 5am so I can watch Money in the Bank before work. I’m a mark for CM Punk, so the end result is satisfying. I like where they’re going with this angle (it even made me watch a John Cena match) but I can’t escape the feeling that it’ll end up nowhere. I may have some more thoughts on this.

21/7 — Watched news footage of the last space shuttle landing. I was almost a year old when the first shuttle went up; I’m 31 witnessing the last come down. Lots of memories in between.

30/7 — Roast for dinner. I even ate carrots. If you know me well, you’ll understand how big that is for me.

31/7 — An impromptu visit to Farmleigh to check out the farmers’ market. What a lovely place to spend an afternoon.

2/8 — WeightWatchers meeting tonight, and I’m 3lbs down on last week. I’ve lost more than a stone-and-a-half in three months, which is pretty good going. Treating it like a game has made it interesting for me, and good results keep my motivation high. At the same time, I’m trying new foods and varying my diet so I don’t slip back into snacking on carbs all the time. Moderation in all things is the key.

5/8 — To Galway for the day, ostensibly to attend my friend Dáire’s art opening (go see — and buy — his stuff if you’re there) but also to enjoy a nice day out in a different city for a change.

Dinner at Oscar’s Bistro with Bee and it’s a big step for me, as I’ve never eaten fish before. I ease into it with fish croquettes (which are mostly potato really so it’s kind of cheating) but there’s no backing out when the main course of battered codling and chips arrives.

I brave a bite — and you know what? It’s nice. Doesn’t taste at all like I expected. Can’t say I’m crazy about it, mind you, but I’d definitely have it again. To be honest I’m more relieved that I made the leap of faith to try it. It’s important to me.

8/8 — It’s been a year since I started keeping these weeknotes. I’m still not sure what value they have, if any, but it’s keeping me engaged with the blog after years of neglect, and I suppose it’s always good to have an aide-mémoire. Says the guy who can’t remember anything without writing it down.

9/8 — My new bicycle arrived today. It’s a Raleigh Oakland hybrid, just for cycling around the neighbourhood, and hopefully to and from work (provided the route I’ve planned doesn’t have too much traffic).

13/8 — An afternoon with Bee at the Science Gallery to watch stuff explode — lots of fun! The gift shop has much to recommend it, too; Bee’s very taken with the Arduino boards. I think I see a new project on the horizon.

Good food today as well: brown bread ice cream at Murphys on Wicklow St; and teriyaki chicken stir-fry for dinner, inspired by a recipe in one of the cheap cookbooks we picked up at Hodges Figgis, and hacked a little to suit our tastes. Big thumbs up from me. Tomorrow it’s chicken burgers on the bun with spiced and steamed baby potatoes.

Later on, we start watching Millennium from the beginning. I’m sure I saw most of the first series back when it was originally broadcast, in 1996 or so, but I can’t remember any of it, which is weird because I still recall random X-Files episodes from the same period. It’s doubly weird because this show is really fucked up, the kind of thing that should really have left a lasting impression. Anyway, Lance Henriksen is the best. I wish he was in more stuff.

14/8 — New shoes for walking in. Less than €40 so they’re almost guilt-free. My feet thank me.

15/8 — SummerSlam didn’t leave much of an impression, probably because there were only six matches. The one exception was the main event, but not necessarily for the right reasons. In hindsight it was messed-up booking — in the moment, I was willing to accept anything other than John Cena winning — so the angle from here on in needs to be very good for it to be worth a damn.

16/8 — Saw Captain America this afternoon. Really enjoyed it, has me pumped for The Avengers now. Dare I say it’s even better than X-Men: First Class?

WeightWatchers meeting in the evening. I’m just 4lbs away from the 2st mark. I’m feeling good!

18/8 — Walked half way to work this morning: 5km in about an hour, which isn’t too shabby, especially after a sleepless night (think it was something I ate). I could do with more of this.

In the evening, computer problems. The desktop on my MacBook won’t rebuild properly, and the system’s getting slower and slower. When I attempt a backup it fails, reporting an input/output error. Frustrating! But I refuse to panic, and decide to sleep on it.

19/8 — First step to recovery: booting from the OS install disc and running Disk Utility to verify and repair the drive. Success! But the desktop is still wonky when I reboot. So I return to Google and discover how to delete the DS_Store file. Success! But now I find I’m still getting an error when I try backing up. However, the logs point directly to an errant system log file as the cause of the problem. Time to fire up Onyx and wipe out all those ancient logs and system caches. Success! She’s not quite good as new, but I’ll take her.

20/8 — There’s a lost dog at the Blanchardstown Centre bus stops: a Jack Russell, lovely little fella, doesn’t seem too anxious but he’s obviously looking for someone to look after him. He has a collar, but no visible tags. The stupidity of some people! I can’t take him home, we don’t have the space; I try ringing the DSPCA, but their ’emergency’ line is closed on weekends, and I’m redirected to a mobile number that no one answers. Bloody typical. When I get home I ring the local Garda station, and they say they’ll do what they can, though it’s probably not much. I’m sad. I hope the little fella’s OK.

21/8 — First proper ride on my new bike, just on the roads around our house and to the shops, 5km in all. Other than needing the seat a little higher and being a bit wobbly with the hand signals, it’s a nice ride. Not very comfortable cycling in traffic yet; more practice will ease those worries.

In the afternoon, we finish watching Gone With The Wind after spreading it over a few days. You know, it’s not the film you’d think it is. Much like Casablanca, I’ve no idea why it’s portrayed as some kind of Mills & Boon romance slush when it’s really anything but. How many other movies am I missing out on because the popular view is completely inaccurate?