Wednesday, 31 October 2012

My ninth driving lesson - now with Esmeralda!

Today's route on

I stopped my lessons in early June, after the first eight lessons. That's when I bought Esmeralda, and I was hoping to do loads of practice driving until getting back to driving lessons..

Well, since I'm not legal to drive alone, I haven't had a chance to do much driving at all, and today I had the ninth lesson. We took Esmeralda, instead of the driving school car.

Seafront, Florence Road, Main Street, Vevay Road, Boghall Road (not sure if I marked the correct side road, btw - John asked me to drive there and do a three point turn), Killarney Road, Killarney Lane, Ardmore Park, Herbert Road, Killarney Road, N11, Upper Dargle Road, Castle Street, Dargle Bridge, Seapoint Road & home..

My main problem, at the moment, is just the lack of practice. I might have to just start driving alone, although it means risking a big fine. I know loads of people drive alone on regular basis, with L plates, but I'm generally unlucky with everything, so if someone's going to get fined for it, it'll be me, and I can't afford it right now. But I need the practice.


Well, I wanted to do some driving, before my driving lesson today.. I didn't have anything for breakfast as I gave away my chicken soup, and I only got money last night, so I went to Tesco, at 7am. At least I didn't have to walk, since it was a bit rainy and all.. I may have done it alone again, and I might have done some no-no parking, too..

I was just checking my notes, and I've only been out NINE times with Esmeralda, since buying her! And that includes the tiny bit today - three of those times on my own.. I just can't get enough driving practice until I'm allowed to drive on my own. I only know one person with a full licence, who lives near enough to go driving with me, but it's just not happening.

I need to get a full licence to get practice. I need practice to get a full licence.

Tuesday, 30 October 2012

Annoyed with game/app requests/invites on Facebook? Block those apps!

This is something I've meant to blog about, for a long time, but kept forgetting.. I've just been reminded, so here goes.. =)

Every now and then, I see people posting on Facebook, that they don't want to receive game/app requests/invites, and they may be asking their friends not to send any.

Well, I completely understand them, BUT..

Most Facebook 'gamers' have hundreds of people on their friend list - often because the games might require neighbour activities, help with tasks, gifts, etc.. So, as much as we might like to respect our friends' wishes on not sending them any requests, it's just impossible to remember the individual wishes of hundreds (or thousands) of people! Also, sometimes it's out of our hands as those apps might just send requests without us even knowing..

So, if you are annoyed with requests or invites, please Block the app that is sending them!

It really is that simple. Block it, and there will be no more requests from that particular app.

Here are two easy ways of blocking games/apps on Facebook:

  1. Go to the Requests page in FB app centre.. This page shows you all the incoming requests from Facebook apps. Next to the requests, you have a blue button to accept them, and a grey "X" button to deny them. Hit the X for a request you want to deny, and wait until the request box changes to sort of orange / salmon pink.. In that box, you will see a few links - one of them gives you the option to Block that app. Click on the block link, and you will never receive requests from that particular app again, unless you unblock it. (If you have several requests from a particular app, start by hitting the "Ignore all" link in the request box - then hit the Block link after the box has changed to give you that option.
  2. Go to the Blocking page on FB.. Go to your Privacy page on FB.. Scroll down to see the link that goes to your block page.. (At the moment, it's the very last link on that page.) Click on the link to go and Manage Blocking.. Now, the top option on that page, is for blocking people. If you have blocked any people on Facebook, you might need to scroll down to find the similar option for blocking apps. Start typing the name of the app in the box, and it'll give you options with similar names - pick the one you wanted to block, and hit Enter. You will not receive any more requests from that app, unless you come back to this page and unblock it first.

For example, I really hate poker / slots type games, so I went to the block page, a long time ago, and typed poker in the box, and blocked all the popular poker games from the list of options.. I did the same with slots.. I haven't received any such requests ever since. (If you want to pre-block games, try using keywords such as vampire, mafia, sims, blitz, casino, quest, jackpot, puzzle...)

I only play a handful of Facebook games, and I'm not that interested in others, so if I receive a request from something else, and it looks like something I'm not interested in, I'll just block it there and then, and I never need to worry about it again.

I really recommend using the block option - it takes much less effort than typing a status update asking your friends not to send invites, and the block option actually works =)

(Edited in October 2013, to update the blocking page link & description. I've left the old version as smaller, greyed out & striked through text..)

Boring update

Yesterday, I was mainly watching / listening to The Weather Channel coverage on Sandy, on Youtube, while crocheting / doing virtual jigsaw puzzles / facebooking.. Today, I might do the same..

I was hoping to do some driving before my lesson tomorrow, but haven't had a chance to do that =/ I think I have two lessons left, before I can take my driving test, and I don't feel ready for the test, but I'm going to have to just take it and hope for the best, because I won't have a chance to do more driving until I can legally do it without dragging anyone else along.

Saturday, 27 October 2012

Birthday mock mini pizzas

Birthday 'pizza'
After buying myself a present, yesterday, I couldn't afford to order a birthday pizza today, so I improvised..

white bread
Heinz ketchup
Knorr vegetable stock pot
cooking oil
garlic powder
sliced ham
German salami
green pepper
stuffed green olives
Old Irish Creamery Irish Porter cheddar
Old Irish Creamery Seaweed cheddar

(=whatever I could find in the fridge and cupboards.. white bread could be replaced with actual pizza base / tortilla / naan bread / other type of bread.. sauce and toppings could be whatever you're prepared to eat on a 'pizza'..)

I baked these for maybe 12-14 minutes in the oven, gas mark 6. That's 200C / 400F. If you like the cheese all bubbly, bake it a bit longer than that.. I just wanted the cheese melted and the bread crispy.

I started with the sauce.. I didn't really have anything else than ketchup, and I thought I'd add some garlic powder.. Then I happened to see the vegetable stock pot, and decided to get experimental! =D However, I decided to put it on just two slices of bread (I 'pizzatised' four slices), in case it might actually taste horrible on a 'pizza', and do the other two slices safely with ketchup. Eventually, the veggie stock pot sauce was actually NICE, but.. As I'd used one for only two mini pizzas, the flavour was perhaps a bit too salty.. Had I used one for all the four slices, it would have been perfect, and it could easily have stretched for even up to eight slices, methinks.. Just mix it well with Heinz ketchup (or whatever ketchup or tomato puré you might have), using as much ketchup as you need to cover all your mini pizza bases.

Funny as well; when I was mixing the veggie stock pot with ketchup, I meant to add just a little bit of garlic powder, but ended up having an "oops" moment.. =D It tasted great, though! I think that you can add "too much" garlic powder without actually ruining things, whereas if you use fresh garlic, it'll taste better, but if you use too much, it can be a disaster..

So, I started by spreading the sauce on white bread, then I added half a slice of ham per a slice of bread (in thin strips), one slice of German salami per a slice of bread (thin strips as well), enough chopped scallions, green pepper and stuffed olives, to cover the slice of bread, and finally some sliced cheese to top it all - actually, for the last two slices, I put the cheese before the green stuff..

I'd planned to eat my Old Irish Creamery cheeses on their own or with Finnish rye bread, but I had no other cheese, and even a mock pizza certainly needs SOME cheese, so.. I wasn't even sure if they'd be nice on a 'pizza', but they were.

Birthday 'pizza' Birthday 'pizza'
These first two mini pizzas were done with that veggie stock pot & ketchup sauce, and the cheese on top.. (The above pictures were taken before & after baking.) The left slice was with Irish Porter cheddar, hence the darker colour. All the other slices were with Seaweed cheddar.

Birthday 'pizza' Birthday 'pizza'
These two mini pizzas were done with ketchup & (a little bit of) cooking oil sauce, with the cheese under the greens..

Birthday 'pizza'
At this point, I'd already eaten one mini pizza while the other two were in the oven.. I had the last two slices a bit later, when they'd gone cold already, and they were still nice, although the middle part of the bread base had gone a bit soggy as they were on a plate. But I have to say, these mock mini pizzas were quite nice!! =D

Get some lovely background music for your day

Grim Fandango OST - Full Official Soundtrack

Grim Fandango is one of my favourite games, but even if you've never heard of it, you can still enjoy the soundtrack.. I've just listened to it in the background while facebooking and doing other things online =)

Friday, 26 October 2012

I was at the Ideal Home Show today

Ideal Home Show, RDS, Dublin
I'd printed out a free ticket, so I dragged myself to RDS Simmonscourt, and got there just when they were about to open for the first day of the Ideal Home Show.

Above, the show house. I didn't take interior pictures of it. The interior was pretty nice, but slightly boring, and you could see that it was an impersonal show house. The 'small details' were just too calculated.. Still, there was lots of nice stuff in the house, and it was worth seeing.

Ideal Home Show, RDS, Dublin Ideal Home Show, RDS, Dublin
I absolutely loved the garden pods! What a brilliant idea for the Irish climate, and they were surprisingly small as well, so you could have one in a pretty small garden.. They looked so cosy.. I want one! (And a garden for it, lol..)

Ideal Home Show, RDS, Dublin Ideal Home Show, RDS, Dublin
I love architectural miniatures..

Ideal Home Show, RDS, Dublin
This is not from the show house, but the colour scheme was not far from its interior, although this 'room' is a bit colder and in a different style.

Ideal Home Show, RDS, Dublin Ideal Home Show, RDS, Dublin
Hallowe'en and Christmas stuff..

Ideal Home Show, RDS, Dublin
I should have taken this photo from the other end of the line of sinks - they went from small to large, and reminded me of the tale of Goldilocks and the three bears.. =)

Ideal Home Show, RDS, Dublin Ideal Home Show, RDS, Dublin
Top right, a SodaStream flavour chart (although not nearly all of them are available in Ireland, at least yet..). The guy at the SodaStream stand was very good at selling! =D So good, that I went back later, and bought myself a SodaStream Genesis.. (More about that, later..)

Ideal Home Show, RDS, Dublin Ideal Home Show, RDS, Dublin
I could totally live with that cosy sofa, on top right.. The only comfortable seat in my life, is in my car. I sleep on the hard attic floor, and I sit on it during the day, so I'm always sore. I need a comfy seat, and a house for it.

Ideal Home Show, RDS, Dublin
This looked so nice, but I'd tasted gorgeous cheese, earlier on, and really didn't feel like having anything sweet, so I didn't even have the free tasters.

Ideal Home Show, RDS, Dublin Ideal Home Show, RDS, Dublin
On top right, the Old Irish Creamery stand. I bought two blocks of Irish Porter cheddar, and one block of Seaweed cheddar - I'd tasted both of them, earlier on, and they're absolutely gorgeous.. (In fact, I'm gonna go get some more now, from the fridge, after posting this.. LOL) The price was €10 for three blocks (€3.50 for just one, and they had other deals available..).

Ideal Home Show, RDS, Dublin
Back to the SodaStream stand.. They had three different models available - white, red, and stainless steel/chrome. The white Genesis was the cheapest, and actually looked the nicest as well, so I bought one. It wasn't really a whim as I've dreamed of getting one, ever since the 70's! I'd actually recently discussed them on Facebook, and sort of thought about getting one, but I thought they'd be too expensive.. However, they were selling the white ones at €49.99 (normal price €79.99, apparently), and I just happened to have enough money on me, so I thought I'd never see a better deal for it, and bought one =) I know I'll actually use it, too, and now I don't need to buy fizzy drinks.

It took me an hour and a half to walk through the whole area and have a look at everything. I'd thought of having lunch there, but then I'd already used my money on the shopping, and it would have been awkward, anyway, since I was carrying it all.. So, I just came home and had some Finnish rye bread (thanks to my mam who recently sent loads of it) with the Irish Porter cheddar (mmmmmm..), and the freebie coffee sample from my goody bag, which was nice as well.

Ideal Home Show - SodaStream Genesis
My new toy =D A birthday present for myself.. I'll keep it in the attic, to protect it from grease and smoke.

Ideal Home Show - SodaStream concentrate Ideal Home Show - SodaStream concentrate
The two flavours I picked.. (Included in that same price..)

Ideal Home Show - cheeses Ideal Home Show - cheeses
So, SO good..

Ideal Home Show goody bag contents Ideal Home Show goody bag contents
Goody bag contents..

Ideal Home Show brochures
(I had emailed the Ideal Home Show to make sure that photography was allowed, in case anyone's wondering.. It was.)

Thursday, 25 October 2012

Stello's Tea =P

Customise a Barry's Tea box with your name, with their Your Name, Your Tea app. You can even buy tea with your customised box, if you want to pay €10 for an 80-pack.. =) The app allows for max. 8 letters, so if you have a long name, you're fucked.

The nicest birthday surprise!

FIVE Bobo comics - the best birthday surprise!
I got two (Finnish) Bobo comics, back in 1979, and always loved them.. I still have them, and I must have read them a million times by now.. I never saw any other issues, but I've blogged and facebooked about them, over the years..

Today, I received post from a Finnish net friend.. There were FIVE Bobo comics, all of which were new to me! =D They're from 1978 - 1982.. I actually felt like Sheldon =)

FIVE Bobo comics - the best birthday surprise!

Monday, 22 October 2012

As it's my birthday this Saturday...

...feel free to give me one (or all) of these:

 Totoro bed.. (via)

Stella scooter.. (via)

12 x kitteh plates.. (via)

 Lego-esque Freddie.. (via)

Thank you! =P


1909 animation movie

Princess Nicotine; or, The Smoke Fairy (1909) - J. Stuart Blackton

I find this fascinating.. An animation movie from 103 years ago! (The actual animation part comes later, but the clever beginning is cool as well.)

To think that only one of my late grandparents was born, at the time! (Or maybe two - I can't remember my maternal grandfather's birth year as he died before I was born, so I never knew him..)

Saturday, 20 October 2012

I had a bit of an 80's/90's evening

P posted The Power of Love (by Frankie Goes to Hollywood) Youtube video on Facebook, which got me started.. =D (I haven't embedded it here as it may have embedding denied, so you'd still have to go to Youtube for it.. I'm only guessing, though, because it didn't give a proper thumbnail on Facebook..)

As you probably know, Youtube lists other (often similar / related) videos on all video pages, and those were just so good tonight.. I ended up listening to loads of (mainly) 80's music, and some 90's stuff as well - I shared most of it on Facebook. See this public post and its comments, for the list of videos =)

Wednesday, 17 October 2012

The one-eyed Squeaks..

I don't have a decent picture of Squeak, after one of his eyes had to be removed (some years ago), so here's a 2005 photo of him when he still had both his beautiful eyes..

Squeak is a feral cat whom I've been feeding for years, but whom I hadn't seen for a long time (1-2 years or so), until just the other night. I did get a very poor quality mobile snap, but I've only shared it on Facebook - will upload to flickr someday.. I had assumed him dead as there was no sign of him in such a long time, but there he was again, as if he'd never been away at all =) It was so good to see him! I gave him food and a cuddle..

Anyway, to the actual topic..

Just two days ago, Wicklow cats / Debbie mentioned on Facebook, that they're taking care of a feral kitten called Pipsqueak, who is about to lose one of his eyes (=can't be saved, unfortunately). I commented about Squeak, as it was such a coincidence to have "two Squeaks" with one eye only.

But here's something strange; I was just browsing my Facebook feed, tonight, when I came across a one-eyed cat called Squeakers! :O

Isn't that mental!

Now, if you want to protect your cat's eyes, it might be a good idea to avoid "squeak" in the name.. =D (Of course, cats are still gorgeous, even if they only have one eye, and it doesn't seem to cause them trouble, either, so it's not the end of the world.)

Monday, 15 October 2012

Post from the past

I got email from myself, from five years ago.

My first reaction was utter disbelief that it had been five years from the moment when I wrote that email for "future me". It felt like it was only yesterday!

As for the message itself, it's for my eyes only, but it was a little kick I needed. I have just sent my future self some more email!

Saturday, 13 October 2012

Any excuse to post Monty the motorist picture..

I was in Ashford again, yesterday morning (same route). I left a bit later, this time, just after five, so there was some more traffic heading that way as well, but not much. And it was a clear morning, which was nice. I didn't bring tea, this time, considering what happened with it the morning before - LOL.. So, energy drinks instead. And the charged phone.

I burned a bit of rubber on Dargle Bridge, coming back.. Just stopped in the lights, behind a bus, and some other traffic behind me, and Esmeralda stalled. Tiny panic moment there, but it was OK =) (N11 was busier than the morning before, too, but it was grand..)

Oh! Oh! I almost forgot to mention - there was a cute fluffy fox at Cullenmore bends =D I love that road, anyway, especially in the dark and driving alone.. There's a bit of a horror movie atmosphere, which is great.. And then I saw the fox.. Awww..

I went out, later, got my phone back, etc. Good times.

Thursday, 11 October 2012

Morning spin to Ashford, head check, and shopping

It had been six weeks and a day (!!!) since I'd done any driving, so on a cold, dark and rainy morning (today), I thought I might as well do a Saxon tea run to Ashford and back =D Most of that tea ended up on Esmeralda floor, though, LOL..

I may have been driving on my own, which would have been a total rush =D (This reminds me - must book those driving lessons I still need, before I can take the test..)

Got my spare phone back as well, with some Saxon photos =)

Driving back, I was surprised to see that morning rush hour started way earlier than I'd imagined.. :o I was OK, though! I actually find it much easier to drive when I'm on my own. Most people intimidate me. Can't wait to get the full licence..

Later on, I went to get my head examined - LOL.. (I banged the back of my head really hard against a trailer, last Friday, and it's still sore, so I wanted to make sure that there's no damage.. I'm fine - just some swelling, which is not dangerous. I got paracetamol on prescription, which was nice as it's so feckin' expensive to buy..)

I bought some Euro shop stuff for Esmeralda (a car bin, a set of screwdrivers, and a torch), and lots of foodies.. Yum.


Source: via Stella on Pinterest


Sunday, 7 October 2012

Colour collage from the dollhouse

Värikollaasi #095 - Lundby -nukkekotiremontti (Finnish)
This was my entry to a Finnish 'colour collage' challenge, this week. (The dollhouse IS the collage, this time..) You can see the colours below;

Värikollaasi #095 - viikon värit (Finnish)

It's also a Lundby update as I glued the partition wall in place today - not really a wall as such, but I plan to add a lush climber plant, if I can find or make one.. Now it's finally time to make some furniture..

Saturday, 6 October 2012

On the Lundby scale - 1:18 / 1:16 / 1:14...

I was sort of thinking that Lundby (dollhouse) would be 1:16 scale, but couldn't remember for sure.. So, I've finally googled it.. Turns out that it's 'officially' 1:18, but that would make the doors about 240cm high in real life scale, so 1:16 would actually look better, with the doors being about 215cm high, if it was a real house.. SOME stuff could even be 1:14, and look OK in a Lundby house..

I was thinking of the dolls I'm probably going to have to make as I can't find proper ones in the right size.. I'm going with 1:16, and a few mm extra height, to make them look right when compared to the door sizes, but not WAY too tall for the low part of the kitchen or the low bathroom..

The dolls are not on the top of my list of things to make, but I might do cardboard cut-outs, just to size the furniture I'll make.. I've decided to go by eye, rather than following a scale as it will end up looking better that way.

Friday, 5 October 2012

The Ice Cream Girls - money for nothing

The Ice Cream Girls - extra day in Greystones The Ice Cream Girls - extra day in Greystones
I missed on an extra day chance on The Ice Cream Girls, on Monday, because I had a hospital appointment, but I was booked for today, which was the very last day of their six-week shoot.

D gave me a lift to Greystones, in the morning. I couldn't have made the 7:30am call time on the DART or bus, and as tempting as it would have been to drive myself there, I really don't want to risk getting fined for driving on my own (on a learner permit)..

The Ice Cream Girls - extra day in Greystones The Ice Cream Girls - extra day in Greystones
They always do this to my hair.. (Photos by Linda, I think? I'm crap at remembering names..)

The Ice Cream Girls - extra day in Greystones The Ice Cream Girls - extra day in Greystones
Before lunch, we were on location (Whitshed Road / St. Vincent Road / Burnaby Road), just waiting around.. A lot of the time, we got to stay in J's mini bus, which was fun - J was very entertaining =D

The Ice Cream Girls - extra day in Greystones The Ice Cream Girls - extra day in Greystones
The UK cops weren't real (obviously) - the gardaí were =) ... With all those shopping trolleys and stuff, it was a bit of a traveller camp..

The Ice Cream Girls - extra day in Greystones
Lunch today was fantastic - especially the starters / salads! OMG.. I had tomato, brie, grapes, salmon, crab, and shrimp for starters.. Sole with white sauce, chips, and peas for main course.. And Baileys cheese cake with warm custard for dessert.. Bliss.. And another piece of brie to kill the sweet aftertaste.. (I took that picture after everyone had eaten, but you might still get the idea.. That was just the salad table..)

The Ice Cream Girls - extra day in Greystones The Ice Cream Girls - extra day in Greystones
A bottle of whiskey was dropped.. (I stood there for a while, enjoying the fumes, lol..)

The Ice Cream Girls - extra day in Greystones The Ice Cream Girls - extra day in Greystones
We'd really made it when they gave us a trailer, haha.. However, we weren't actually used at all! Still, we're all getting paid, we had a really nice lunch for free, and had pretty good chats during the day (plus, I did some crocheting), so no complaints!

I actually banged the back of my head really hard, in that trailer, while waiting for being signed out.. :o The SOUND of it was feckin' SCARY!!! It didn't hurt too bad, though, and it's still not sore, about three hours later.

The Ice Cream Girls - extra day in Greystones Snack stash =P
I was waiting for the bus for ages, but once I got on it, I got some great news on the phone =) Oh, that last photo - my freebie snack stash =D