Wednesday, June 21, 2006


Well folks, it's official.

I hate and I won't be coming back (unless...well...ya never know).

I'm going to keep this site live but only to direct you to my new, more expansive and welcoming home at

Thanks for visiting but bookmark my new home, would ya?

I'll see ya there!

I'm Sorry...

I'm sorry

It just isn't working out.

Oh, I know we've both tried's not me, it's you.

Really? You're surprised by this? You didn't see it coming? Well, it all boils down to the fact that you're never there when I need you. I'm even in a different time zone than you when you claim you're being "updated". It should be convienent for me to work to your schedule, being all the way over here in Ireland...but yet... you're always busy.

You don't have time for me.

You never want to hear what I say.

So, I guess what I want to say is, "Goodbye".

No, there's no chance that it'll work out. I'm fed up and I'm moving on. Cry all you want. Boo-hoo! It means nothing to me.


(and good riddance.)

Tuesday, June 20, 2006

It Might Be Time For Something New

Hey everyone,

As you know, I've been increasing pissed off and underwhelmed by's performance. I've lost posts, been unable to log in and when I do, it won't upload pics. They layout is for shit (mostly due to my lack of patience with HTML) and everytime I want to change the template I lose all my links.

So, for the rest of this week, I'm moonlighting over here! CLICK HERE! CLICK HERE! CLICK HERE!

At this point, it's not a permanent move (though it's looking more and more that way).

Let me know what you think of the new site and we'll take it from there.

Monday, June 19, 2006

Blogger Blows


Blogger officially blows. I gotta sort this out. I've been trying for the last half hour to upload a pic and nothing.




I'm really annoyed.

Saturday, June 17, 2006

Rome If You Want To (Part IV)

Just a few quick pics to kill of the remainder of my lackluster attempt to capture the splendor of one of the most beautiful cities in the world (despite the graffiti that is everywhere--everywhere, that is, I was pleased to discover, except on important ancient ruins. Also, I lie... I'll probably post more Rome pics later on this week).

These are random, non-essential shots but they'll hopefully give you a taste of what touring around Rome is like (not like the boring, staged postcard type crap...we'll see...)
This is where you would sit if you wanted the Pope to shout at you and tell you that you were going to Hell. Thankfully, while we were here he was in Prague telling the locals that they were going to Hell. Luck break for us!
This is what you can and cannot wear into the inner Holy Sanctuary.
No, I don't quite get it either...Does the Pope hate purple and orange??? Or does he only hate purple and orange swimming suits? Your guess is as good as mine.

Man! I'm deep in thought! And at the top of St. Peter's! High and deep at the same time! It's like Holy Drugs!
If you want to make yourself sick, I suggest you climb ALL THE WAY TO THE TOP of St. Peter's. When you get to the steps around the dome it totally screws with your mind and sense of balance. And the lighting makes your head look bald. It's so totally weird!This is the view from the top--after you've pushed aside the crazy tourists, that is. The second after I took this pic I was shoved to the side and kicked severely in the groin. That's the price you pay for adventure tourism...that and 4 Euro.
This is the toilet on the top of Vatican. (There's a 'Holy Crap' joke here somewhere...)

Friday, June 16, 2006

Everybody's Stupid Except Me

This week I've learned that everybody is stupid.

This shouldn't have come as a surprise to me but it did. I've suspected it, I've exposed it but yet I've let it pass for some reason.

This massive stupidity check came--well, I can't disclose the circumstances because...well, just because.

From now on when my Stupid Alarm trips I'm going to say the following:

"That's fucking genius!"

I'll know what I mean but others won't (and will probably get a quaint, smug buzz from it) and I'll feel better and maybe not want to slit my wrists and jump in front of a train.

I'll sleep easy knowing that everyone is stupid except me.

Now that's fucking genius.

Tuesday, June 13, 2006

Ceiling Cat Caught!

This will come as a great relief to many, if not all, of you.

It seems that the infidel 'Ceiling Cat' has been caught and apprehended.

You may all go about your business as usual.


Hey everyone,

I've gotten some comments and emails from readers saying they're having trouble with my pics loading.

Not being a very tech-y type of guy, I don't know what to tell you. I use Firefox at home and IE at work and I'm not having any problems but please let me know if the problem hasn't resolved itself and I'll try to find somebody who knows what they're doing to help me sort it out. (I will also add that I've just about had my fill of bloooger. com-- lots of issues recently-- and I'm looking into a new service. Any suggestions?)

Sunday, June 11, 2006

I'm Probably Going to Jail

'Dear IRS, please find enclosed my pathetic return. You owe me $79. If I owed you, you'd be charging me a 10% fine but it seems the same doesn't hold true for you because you owe me. Double standards... but I guess that's how you work. Send that pittance to us soon. I'm craving Chinese.'

This is my tax return that should have been mailed off a couple of weeks ago.


I read somewhere that if you live outside the States that you have an extra two months to file so fingers crossed...(no, I'm probably screwed).

I'm gonna mail this (or 'post it' as they say over here) soon.

Maybe tomorrow.

Hopefully tomorrow.

Better be tomorrow.

Ah, jeez... I'm screwed.

Saturday, June 10, 2006

Rome If You Want To (Part III)


After each and every incredibly long day spent traipsing through the vast city of Rome, it was my want to come back to the hotel room and see what kind of 'televisual' entertainment was at my beck and call on Italian cable TV.

30 some odd channels to choose from and here are the most enlightening examples I could find
(sorry, I couldn't get my camera out fast enough to photograph the topless woman promoting (presumably) plastic surgery and breast enhancement. Maybe she was advertising milk...I honestly don't know.).
This was from a show that took place entirely in front of a fish-eye lens...the camera never moved. I think it was supposed to be something about 'water-cooler talk' . There was no laugh track so I'm only assuming that it was a comedy. It sure didn't seem funny to me.
Who want's to be a millionaire? SHE DOES!

Evidently, the Italians are big into Sprite Zero... or cross-dressing...

Thursday, June 08, 2006

Rome If You Want Too (Part II)


Behold the beauty of digital snapshots taken of postcards! I call them the Digi-Dead.

I found it suprising how we weren't allowed to take photos of the crumbling corpses but the caretakers/patrons/oogie-boogie people that run the place let themselves not only harass you on entry ("Donations...Donations...DONATIONS!!!!") but ultimately demand that you purchase creepy photographs professionally taken and produced before you leave the creepatorium. (By this I mean you should buy the postcards before you leave-- not that some guy rushes ahead of you and takes the pictures and develops them before you're done. That would be creepy.)

I found the experience quite enlightening if not somewhat weird smelling. For the rest of the day I was convinced I could detect the smell of bone dust wherever we went.

"I smell death," I said to my wife.

"No, you don't," she said.

Anyway, enjoy this absurd voyeuristic journey via the magic of crappy postcards photographed with an even crappier camera:
I particularly enjoyed the 'Grim Reaper' plastered to the ceiling in this shot. It kind of gave the whole atmosphere a certain dignity that I felt was lacking. I mean thousands of bones from thousands of monks? Come on! Show me the money!

Ah, death. Ain't it grand?

Tuesday, June 06, 2006

Signs of the Apocolypse

It is now early morning here in Belfast and the first signs of the end of the world are all around me.

The temperature today is forecasted to be 25 Celcius -that's about 80 or so in real temperature- with approximately 347% humidity.

I feel that I am already in HELL! (The temperature is the same anyway.)

Monday, June 05, 2006

Just in case

I know many of you are probably concerned that the world is going to end tomorrow, what with the date being 666 and all.

Well click here and find out how you can take part in the "violent worship and praise" being planned by my distant Dutch relatives over in the Netherlands. I'm not sure what violent worship and praise entails exactly but since this is taking place in the land of legalized drugs I'm sure it will involve horrific retching and mass pizza consumption.

Groovy man.

Saturday, June 03, 2006

Rome If You Want To...(Part I)

I'm having trouble beginning.

Begin at the beginning, they say.

OK. Here goes then...

Bare with me for a moment here...

(clearing of throat)

strumming of fingers

(...gotta pour myself a stiff drink...)

thinking. thinking. thinking. thinking. thinking...


The thing most people warned me about when I told them that I was going to Rome was that the people there would try to rip us off.

This did not surprise me-- not because I have some inherent bigotry toward the Italians. I got nothin' against the Italians (they look like they can take care of themselves in a brawl). It didn't surprise me because every single tourist trap I have ever been to (which is many) is full of people wanting to dip a little deeper into your glorious tourist pocket and shower themselves in the disposable income you've scrounged together through whatever means necessary. In our case we fell victim to the Olde Cabbie Bait 'N' Switch.

It happened innocently enough. We landed at the Ciampino (no, I don't think that's how you spell it but I don't really care) Airport and mumbled our way through the interrogation process of finding out how much it was going to cost us to take a cab to the hotel we had booked online. The general consensus was that since we had booked a hotel outside the city limits the fare would be unregulated and would therefore be fairly pricey. The quote we got was 15 Euros each for a journey of 2.5 kilometers (approximately 1 to 37 million miles as far as we knew).

"Bullshit!" I exclaimed.

"Surely we can find a cheaper way! Join me, sweet wife, as we extract some Monopoly Money from the unfound ATM machine and barter our way to a sweeter deal!"

The problem here was that there was no ATM machine anywhere near the Arrival Lounge (which was roughly the size of a postage stamp. There wasn't even a toilet handy as far as I could tell.). So we dragged our luggage to the Departure Terminal where we finally found a "Hole in the Wall" and I took out 100 Euros (which is about 60 Pounds or $110).

On our way out we were practically tackled by cabbies who would have you believe that they were on the verge of starvation and if we didn't enlist their services they would soon be shrivelling up in the street clutching their bellies and fading into oblivion as their mortgages went unpaid and their children volunteered for scientific testing just to keep a stale loaf of crusty bread on the table.

Finally, we agreed to Alphonzo or Vito or whoever the fuck that we would let him take us to our hotel.

"Itsa longa waya," he said. "Mighta be-a kinda pricey!"

"Just go," I said.

Vito drove us through the streets sweet talking my wife and I and telling us humbly how he wasn't so good with English and whatnot but making it VERY clear that our hotel was a LONG ways away but that he would do his DAMNDEST to get us there quickly via the shortest route humanly possible.


To make a long story short, we finally arrived at the hotel, paid the guy (he tried to charge us 70 Euros even though the meter clearly said 59 (the "5" looked like a "6" he claimed)), checked in, went to our room and discovered this:This is the view from our balcony.

Look closely.

Yes, that's a yellow airplane sitting on the runway of an airport in the not so distant distance. Our airport. Less than 2 miles away. $80 for a cab ride a distance we could have walked semi -comfortably in shitty shoes with large stones chained to our necks...


Anyway, we took this in stride, wrote it off as a "learning experience" and tried to laugh it off. Which we found impossible to do. We did, however, manage to make our way to the city center (roughly 12 miles away) free of charge for the next 4 days, so it's all good.

Join me now as I lay off the bullshit exposition and dazzle you with my low-res photographic stylings:
Here ya go, folks! My first view of Rome when coming out of the train station.
I have sooooo many phrases to describe my feeling about this but I'll leave it to your imagination (they rhyme with "Cheese and rice" and "Duck Me" and "My Little Pony")...

It was election day in Rome.
The crown on Guy Number One is a classy touch and I hope he did well...however, I do feel the gal in the wheelchair demands special attention. It is unfortunate that her lackeys decided to paste her posters, literally, on the streets... (Unfortunately, I didn't get a pic of the guy holding a spot-colored rose between his teeth. It was spectacular, in every sense of the word...)
Everyone loves the Da Vinci Code!

Friday, June 02, 2006

Home again, home again, jiggity jig...

Hey folks,
I'm back from Rome (or Roma as the locals call it--freaking foreigners). Oh, I'm gonna come up with some KILLER postings in the days to come but for now I leave you with this:

Dunno what exactly a "mass intention" is but rest assured that our trip was outstanding and uber cool.

I'm sad that we're back in Belfast (not that Belfast is a bad place, mind you) and not still grabbing free train rides into the city where "Christianity" was "supposedly born". (OK, we broke the law but I'll explain all that later...)

Oh man, it was a trip to remember (no sarcasm...seriously) and I promise I'll try to do some justice to it.

Our trip was awesome and great and fun.

Time for sleep tired....

Sunday, May 28, 2006

The BEST Airport

I'm having trouble tonight with or or whatever. The formatting has gone to shit and I don't have the patience to deal with it cuz I'm in the middle of packing for our trip to Rome tomorrow morning. (If this turns out legible it's a complete have been warned.)

Part of me is thinking that if family members see this blog and find out we're going to Italy for a week they're going to think to themselves, "Self, how come Wayne and Ruth can afford a trip to Italy and not a trip to Wayne's dusty, windy, shitty hometown to visit his family?"

The answer is quite simple: for the two of us it's only costing around $700--that's flights, room and breakfast. To fly back to the States would cost us around $1000 each--just for the goddamn plane tickets. We simply do NOT have that kind of money and if we did, we'd be using the extra money to choke competing house buyers by jamming small bills down their throats so that we can get ourselves a nice run-down house for less than 3 Billion dollars.

Anyway, I'm getting the death stare from my wife that says, "If you don't pack your own bag you're going to be running around naked for the next 5 days." However, I have just countered with my, "Oh, yeah? Maybe I will run around naked for the next 5 days," look.

She knows I'm not bluffing--I have won.

To make her feel better I'm going to make dinner. That's just the kind of guy I am.

(Oh, yeah... I mentioned in this week's podcast at Letter To America that I would post a pic of the new splediferous George Best Belfast City Airport... well, here it is.

(Ain't this one fucking glorious sight? I still think it looks like a fast food restaurant chain.)

Unfortunately, we're not flying out of the 'Best Airport' tomorrow. We're flying out of Belfast International in Aldergrove... I guess that makes it the second best airport-- I just don't know. (Or Care! Whooo--hooo! I'm outta here!)

(Update: It appears that Blogger has posted this in a legible format. Thank goodness for small favors. Talk to you all on Friday. Hopefully, I'll have some decent photos to share when I get back and I promise I won't make them too boring and make you feel like second hand friends/family sitting through a lame slide show. Post many, many comments so that I feel missed. I'm quite needy that way.)