Thursday, 28 February 2013

I pulled a leg muscle - again.. And I want cake!

Last week, when I was going to the shops, it was a cold day, and I was walking uphill, then stopped on top of the hill, waiting to cross the road.. As I started crossing the road, I felt a muscle snap in the back of my right leg.. It was quite painful, and made me limp for a few days..

Well.. Today, it happened again - at the same spot! I forgot to be careful as my leg wasn't sore anymore.. This time it was MUCH more painful, though. I considered turning back, or even phoning D to come and give me a lift home as walking was extremely painful, and almost impossible.. But I needed to post a letter, collect my meds, and buy food, so I just had to get on with it. It was slow going, but it actually started to feel a little bit better, eventually..

It's still very sore now, so I've wrapped my biggest woolly scarf around the leg, keeping it warm.. I can't really find a comfortable position to rest it, though, because I've no furniture, just the drafty attic floor.

I'm just disappointed that I didn't get cake! I was browsing miniature cake pictures, last night, on Facebook, and really wanted some creamy cake, like a coffee slice or such.. But they didn't have anything nice at Dunnes, and I was too sore to limp to Tesco =/

I really, really want cake..

Wednesday, 27 February 2013

Free language support pack (Gaeilge)

Irish / Gaeilge - family language support pack
This is a free Family Language Support Programme pack, from the Community and Language Division of the Department of Arts, Heritage and the Gaeltacht. (Visit the linked page to read more about it, and see how to obtain the support pack, if your family could use one.)

Obviously, I have no family, but there is at least one little person who will hopefully benefit from this, eventually =)

Now, where did I put my course notes..

Irish / Gaeilge - family language support pack   Irish / Gaeilge - family language support pack

Irish / Gaeilge - family language support pack   Irish / Gaeilge - family language support pack

Buying Facebook game credits by mobile payment - false advertising, massive fees..

Mobile payment fees on purchasing Facebook game credits
I have written about this before (in January, for example), but here goes again..

SimCity Social (Facebook game) is currently having Diamonds on sale. Diamonds are game credits, which can be used for various things in the game - you usually get one free Diamond when you level up, and you may have certain buildings that give you daily Diamond/s. You can also buy Diamonds, if you wish to get them faster and use real money..

There are various payment methods for buying Diamonds. One of them is Pay by Mobile, which is the one I use, whenever I buy Diamonds. (Generally, I wouldn't spend money on Facebook games, but the way my current phone credit deal works, often leaves me with unspent phone credit, which I sometimes spend on game credits.)

As you can see in the first screenshot (above), sale prices are clearly marked on the default payment method, which is credit card. The same goes for paying with Facebook Credits or PayPal, although I didn't take a screenshot of those options. However...

Mobile payment fees on purchasing Facebook game credits
As usual, there are no sale prices for Pay by Mobile. In fact, I have played this game for as long as it's been available, and I have never seen sale prices for mobile payment..

Well, nothing I can do about that, so I thought I'd get 45 Diamonds for €10 (as selected in the screenshot, above)..

Mobile payment fees on purchasing Facebook game credits
But wait! Once I continue from the previous screen, the deal has changed, and I'm suddenly just getting 43 Diamonds for €10. That's two less Diamonds than what I was promised on the price list..

Mobile payment fees on purchasing Facebook game credits
When I click to select payment with my mobile phone, I get a drop-down menu, offering me various deals around that price range.. The original deal is not there, but they have now cleverly "softened the blow" by offering various tempting deals, and since I did really want some Diamonds, obviously, I picked the most expensive one, which is the best deal, at this point..

Mobile payment fees on purchasing Facebook game credits
At least there are no more changes, when moving on to the next screen..

Mobile payment fees on purchasing Facebook game credits
Here, the shop has sent me a text message about my pending purchase, including the total cost I'm about to spend - I could still leave it, but if I decide to make the purchase, I need to reply to that text message with "PAY".

As I wanted my Diamonds, I replied, and soon got four confirmation text messages - 2 x €5, one €2, and one €1. After that, the game added the 57 Diamonds to my account, which already had 3 Diamonds;

Mobile payment fees on purchasing Facebook game credits
Screenshot after the new Diamonds were added..

OK, you are kept aware of the actual price, during the process, but it still pisses me off that people who use mobile payment, always seem to get the crappiest deal. No sale prices, constant false advertising with the price deals (and it's never a pleasant surprise when you start the process - the deal is always worse than what you were promised), etc..

Mobile payment fees on purchasing Facebook game credits
It's not just about SimCity Social, either. Above, a screenshot of Jigsaw World puzzle shop. Another Facebook game.

This is a lovely jigsaw puzzle game, which gives you ten free coins per day (as long as you launch the game, even just to collect the coins), and you get a few coins on completing puzzles as well. So, it IS possible to collect enough coins for free, to buy more puzzles.. You can also complete the old puzzles again (which I find boring), or you can make puzzles using your own pictures, and swap them with friends. But you'll only get more coins on completing new puzzles, which were made by Jigsaw World.

As you eventually DO run out of puzzles, if you don't want to wait for a few weeks to make enough coins to get the next set, you might want to spend some money (or mobile credit) and buy coins.

Above, you can see that the cheapest deal is not so much. 1200 coins for €3.98. That's enough coins for at least two sets of puzzles, or more, if you haven't yet bought the cheapest sets - I have..

Mobile payment fees on purchasing Facebook game credits
I wasn't even going to buy coins as I already knew about the massive mobile payment fee - I was just going with this, to take screenshots..

I selected the cheapest deal, €3.98..

Mobile payment fees on purchasing Facebook game credits
But as I moved on to the next screen, €3.98 had suddenly become €8.33!!! That's an INSANE fee on a mobile payment!

Mobile payment fees on purchasing Facebook game credits
They have the drop-down menu here as well, with other deals, and suddenly, €8.33 has become €8.50..

Mobile payment fees on purchasing Facebook game credits
To rub it in, they show you the €8.33 price, which would buy you 50 Facebook credits - making you feel so special, now that you're about to spend just a little bit more, and get 51 Facebook credits.. But at the end of the day, it'll still just get you those 1200 Jigsaw World coins, which you were promised for €3.98..

No, I did not buy the coins. As frustrating as it is to wait, sometimes for several weeks, to make enough coins for more jigsaw puzzles, I would rather wait than pay those insane surprise fees.

Tuesday, 26 February 2013

No milk version of the penne dish

Yes, I've been making variations of this pretty much every week, lately, because it saves money and effort, and I might never get tired of it =)

Earlier entries;
Penne dish with mince - more late night cooking..
Easy penne dish (variation of a Finnish macaroni dish)
(also, check out the tags - for example, cooking, recipe)

So, yesterday, I was out of milk, but I wanted to make my weekly penne dish.. I had a 500g jar of Bolognese pasta sauce, so I thought I'd use it instead of milk. As my recipe for the large oven dish, takes one litre of milk, obviously there wasn't quite enough liquidy stuff, so I watered down the sauce, to make almost a full litre. I have to say, it didn't look pleasant, and I had doubts.. LOL (I still included the four eggs and everything else, btw..)

Also, I thinly sliced two large tomatoes, and layered them (uncooked, which is why I cut such thin slices) between the other layers (see my earlier posts, which I've linked above, to see what I mean about the layers..).

The result was actually very nice! =D I might do this no milk version again..

* * * * * * * * * * 

Last week - and I probably didn't mention this in the blog yet - I didn't have any tomatoes or peppers, but I wanted a little bit of colour as penne, fried mince and onions, would have looked a bit bland.. So, I fried one large thinly sliced carrot, with the onions and mince. (Sliced thinly, because I just wanted to fry it quickly and make sure that it wouldn't still be all crunchy, by the time the dish was baked..) It was also really nice!

If I had some more storage space in the kitchen, I'd love to do a mixed veg version with no meat..

Saturday, 23 February 2013

Equally left / right brained - this is true

You Are 50% Left Brained, 50% Right Brained
The left side of your brain controls verbal ability, attention to detail, and reasoning.
Left brained people are good at communication and persuading others.
If you're left brained, you are likely good at math and logic.
Your left brain prefers dogs, reading, and quiet.

The right side of your brain is all about creativity and flexibility.
Daring and intuitive, right brained people see the world in their unique way.
If you're right brained, you likely have a talent for creative writing and art.
Your right brain prefers day dreaming, philosophy, and sports.

Friday, 22 February 2013

Only Love Survives - Ryan Dolan - Malmo 2013

Ryan Dolan - Only Love Survives

My favourite won the Irish Eurosong, tonight =D So, Ryan Dolan will represent Ireland in the Eurovision Song Contest, in Malmo (Sweden). Woohoo!

PS, doesn't he look like young John Travolta?!?

[later addition]

Eurosong 2013 Winner: Ryan Dolan - Only Love Survives

This is the actual performance, on the Late Late Show..

[/later addition]

Since it's almost St. Valentine's Day..
*Happy fan* =)

Lordi was great as well! (Guest performance on the Late Late Show..)

Thursday, 21 February 2013

I hate her..

The bimbo secretary who keeps popping up mid-game, forcing you to reload The Sims Social.. And now, not even letting you play at all! Grrrr.. Die, bitch, die!

Wednesday, 20 February 2013

(At least temporarily) happy elephant

The Happy Elephant

Some sad info in the comments, though.. =/

Shouldn't there be just ONE international adoption search database?

As I spend loads of time on Facebook and various other social media sites, I occasionally see people looking for their birth parents, or children they've given up for adoption, for one reason or another.

Those posts always make me think that there should be a website with one huge database, covering all such searches internationally. Just out of curiosity, I googled to see if such website exists.

It seems that there are loads of websites for this purpose! Some cover a certain country, some are international, some are mainly portals with links to other adoption search sites, as well as information on how to go about such search, and whether it's a good idea or not, etc..

Adding to that the individual sites and social media profiles covering just one case, I think that there are way too many sites sharing that cake. They are simply making it even more difficult for children and birth parents to find each other!

Imagine if there was just ONE huge international database for this purpose..

(Regional websites could exist, with different language versions, but using the one central database.)

Everyone who's looking for a child or a parent, would fill in their info;

If you were adopted..
Name (and birth name, if you know it)
Date of birth
Place of birth
Looking for birth parent(s) / siblings / close relatives / all
Optional other info about yourself / your reasons for the search..

If your child/ren was/were adopted..
Your name
Name/s you gave to them, if any
Date/s of giving birth to them
Place of giving birth to them
Optional other info about yourself / your reasons for the search..

...and various security measures to try and filter out headcases who might like creating fake profiles, etc. (trust me, there are always people like that, unfortunately..). Also, some smart way of getting in touch through the website, rather than people posting their contact info in public.

It would be so handy to just go to this ONE place, and search by country / age / etc..

If the other party was looking for you as well, you'd find each other in no time. If not, at least you'd have left your info - maybe they will look for you someday, or maybe they are no longer alive, but some other family member might find you and  tell you about them..

I realise that such database will probably never exist, for many reasons.. The existing sites don't want to let go of their business, there would probably be some legal issues as to what personal information can or can't be stored, and where to store it, etc, etc, etc..

But if people really wanted to find each other, I think that would be the obvious way to make it as easy as possible, no matter where you are.

Craving beats Glorious - what were they thinking in Germany?!?

Saint Lu: "Craving"

They could have selected Craving (above), to represent Germany in the Eurovision Song Contest..

Instead, they went with a Cascada filler;

Cascada - Glorious (Official Video)

I don't hate Cascada - I've heard some really catchy tunes from them, in the past, but this is just a lazy filler. I can't believe they picked this, when they could have picked something that's actually good, like Craving!

Sunday, 17 February 2013

In memory of Pedro - Animal SOS Sri Lanka

Pedro has died. I read the sad news, just a few hours ago.

I never met Pedro, but I followed his life on Animal SOS Sri Lanka page on Facebook, ever since he was rescued as a tiny puppy, from a road where his siblings were killed.

In many ways, Pedro was a lucky dog. Unlike many other rescue animals, he never experienced cruelty, and he never suffered from painful injuries and neglect. No - Pedro was rescued before he had even opened his eyes, and he was lucky to spend his whole life in the Animal SOS Sri Lanka sanctuary, which is not a bad place at all! Unfortunately, he got a parvo type illness, which took his life =( RIP Pedro..

I had meant to blog about ASOS-SL, anyway, since they kindly gave me permission to use their photos for this blog entry. You can click on these pictures, to see larger versions of them.

I follow many animal rescue (and such) pages on Facebook, but I have to say that theirs is my favourite! These people really are miracle workers.. Many of the rescue cases look like there's no hope for the poor animal - there could be horrible injuries or illnesses, and often the animal has sort of given up, just waiting to die.. But if they are lucky enough to get rescued by ASOS-SL, it's very likely that their condition will soon start improving, and once they feel better and realise that they are now safe in a place where they get food, love, and medical care, happiness and joy will return to their eyes. It's always heartwarming to see!

Of course, it's not possible to save every animal, but miracles do happen, at ASOS-SL.. For example, there's Godfrey - pictured above. His "before" pictures were some of the worst I have ever seen. You could actually see the bone, in some of the open wounds, his back legs were paralysed, he had given up, and it just didn't look like there was any hope for him anymore.. But after medical care, hydrotherapy, lots of love and care, Godfrey has kept improving, he can already stand on his own, and even take a few steps, and best of all, he is HAPPY! He is enjoying life - maybe for the first time in his life!

There's Rupert, who was rescued as a poorly puppy, but grew up so healthy, handsome and confident.. =)

There are cats as well (and other animals, occasionally), like Kitty and Betty Boo. Visit ASOS-SL on Facebook, and explore their photo albums, to read more rescue stories past and present.

You learn some interesting trivia as well, from ASOS-SL updates. I had never known, that dogs like coconut! But it seems that they really do! Apparently, it's a toy and treat in one =) Here's Estelle, enjoying a coconut treat on the beach, after hydrotherapy session.

Leila is the most recent rescue dog, to be featured on the ASOS-SL page. She was rescued by tourists, who brought her to ASOS-SL, and we don't know yet what will happen with her, but I am hoping that she will become one of the happy miracle cases as well..

As you can imagine, even with lots of voluntary workers who give their time for free, to care for these rescued animals, it still takes money to run the place. There's medical care, food, transport, other running costs.. If anyone would like to help with a donation (even a small one), here's the ASOS-SL donation page, which is on their actual website.

There are many different ways to donate money, and if you look at their Wish List, you can see that they would be happy to accept item donations as well, such as bandages, wound dressings, wormers, collars, leads, toys, surgical instruments, etc.. Note: If you are not actually in Sri Lanka, and would like to send them something, please make sure that such items can be sent by post.

See also, the little "More..." link, in the footer of the Wish List page.. There is a list of Clinic Equipment that they need, which I'm quoting here;

X-ray machine, Developer and viewer
X-ray cassettes and film

Basic Ultrasound scanner

Anaesthetic machine, Breathing circuits – T-piece, Baines, Parallel Lack, Magills and anaesthetic gas (Isoflourane), Oxygen masks


Basic blood testing machine, Centrifuge (blood spinner), PCV Reader

Refractometer and Urine Dipsticks

I especially remember them mentioning the need for the x-ray machine, many, many times.. Because they don't have one, whenever an x-ray is needed, they need to take the patient for a long road trip, to the nearest x-ray machine for animals. When you have a patient with possibly horrible injuries, this is not something you want to do as it's extra painful for the animal, and the delay in treatment might even kill the poor animal.

So, I would really love to see them get that x-ray machine!

Maybe this is something that you could mention at your local veterinary clinic, no matter where in the world you live.. That there is an amazing animal rescue centre in Sri Lanka, that desperately needs an x-ray machine, and could use some help towards getting one.. (Also, they do accept second hand, reconditioned, short dated and unused veterinary items / instruments / drugs, which is worth mentioning as well..)

Hope to see you on the ASOS-SL Facebook page!

(All photos in this blog entry, are originally from ASOS-SL albums - used with permission.)

Friday, 15 February 2013

The Harlem what now?!?

The first time I ever heard of the Harlem Shake, was Wednesday or Thursday (a Sam & Cat clip, posted on Facebook by iCarly - yes..). Suddenly, the interwebs is full of it!

I think it's shyte, to be honest. The above video is the only one I've seen, which is kind of funny - and that's because it reminds me of some funny army stories that my late dad told me, a few years ago.

Bring back Gangnam Style..

Added later; *sigh*, OK.. This one is a winner:

Added even later; No, Grumpy Cat is even better:

(I hate the ad in the end, though!)

On his way out, it seems..

When the Pope made his resignation announcement, I thought, well, he still has time to die before the end of February.. Not that I would want that to happen, but I thought that wouldn't it make things so much more convenient, for the church..

Having read some more related articles (which I won't be linking to this entry as I'm not familiar with those websites, so can't be sure how reliable their articles are/n't), it's starting to look like he really might not have much time left, in general.. If there was to be a sudden illness, an accident, or such, I would not be surprised.

Whatever happens, this will be a total church-shaker.

Thursday, 14 February 2013

Listen to your heart

Source: via Stella on Pinterest

Things I hate

I absolutely - fuckin' - HATE - people who kill other people's joy, just for the sake of it. Like, if someone's having fun and laughing out loud, and some pathetic cunt can't stand it, so they'll yell "SHUT UP!", in a really nasty tone. I hate that. The world would be a better place without such pathetic cunts.

I hate people who always need to find someone to blame, when something goes wrong, when they can't find something, etc. Usually, those people don't even care whether whoever they blame for stuff, has actually anything to do with what they're being blamed for, or not. In fact, they often blame others for their own fuck-ups, and they know that extremely well. I hate narcissistic cunts like that.

I hate people who piss and shit all over the toilet seat (/ floor / walls..), and don't bother cleaning after themselves. Such filthy people often leave the toilet unflushed as well, and if they drop some rubbish anywhere, they won't pick it up. Such people seem to imagine that they're somehow better than others, so someone else will clean their "royal" mess.

I can't stand people who will never ever help others, when help is needed, because their stuff is always more important - yet, when they need help, they expect others to drop everything, right there and then, and rush to assist them. Selfish pricks.

Happy St. Valentine's Day

I took this photo at the St. Valentine's Shrine in Dublin, during St. Valentine's Day Mass in 2008. You can see all my photos from that day, in this public Facebook album.

Monday, 11 February 2013

Papa Ratzi

Wow. Quite some resignation news today!

Now, who will be the next Pope..? Maybe they should get someone young, from Poland.. =)

(According to my Facebook feed, it'll be Fr. Dougal, though..)

New toy =P - Custom comment codes for MySpace, Hi5, Friendster and more

To be honest, I wasn't that impressed with the stuff that's available on that website, but I've only had a quick browse of the photo frames and one or two other categories.. Still, fun =)

What's with Pinterest tonight?!?

Source: via Stella on Pinterest

Earlier on, and again just now, I tried to pin something from a website, which allows pinning. I selected the category, wrote the caption, and hit the button, but instead of getting the usual box where you're told that your pin has gone through, and would you like to see it now, I just got the previous box again - where I'm supposed to select the category and write the caption.

I've tried pinning again from that (which just causes a neverending loop..), closing it and starting again by hitting the Pin It button on my browser toolbar (the same thing happens..), relaunching the browser, etc, etc.. Nothing works, the pin is not going through, and the same weirdness just happens again and again.

I'm wondering if there will be several copies of that pin, tomorrow.. Grrrr..

Also, I noticed that when you go to Pinterest now, to the main page, you won't get the usual feed anymore - instead, you get your own profile page, showing your boards! WTF?!? I don't want my profile page when I go to Pinterest! If I need to access it, I'll just click my name on top right. I want my feed on the main page.

Anyone else having these Pinterest issues??

Saturday, 9 February 2013

Penne dish with mince - more late night cooking..

Penne dish
I had another late night cooking session as I like to have the kitchen to myself.. This time, I made another variation of the penne dish, using mince.

Penne dish
I mentioned the Finnish recipe fridge magnet before - here's a picture of it.. I have a large oven dish, so I always double that recipe, and then eat the same stuff for a few days.

Penne dish
See my earlier entry for my recipe variation, and just add mince, if you want to try this version. Also, this time, I used mild white cheddar as I didn't have any Emmental. I didn't use a veggie stock cube, but seasoned with Spicy Herbamare (herbal salt), black and white pepper, and I fried four crushed cloves of garlic with the onions..

While I was boiling the penne, I first fried the onions, garlic, and mushrooms (adding a little bit of sugar in the oil), then fried the mince separately (just because it was easier that way), and finally put the onion / garlic / mushroom mix back on the pan, mixing it with the fried mince.

Penne dish
This picture just shows the layering.. Penne, cheese, mince, milk & egg mix - and the same again, and a final layer of cheese. (That crunchy top is just the BEST, mmmm..)

One hour in the oven. I started with gas mark 6, then turned it down to 5, after the first 15 minutes or so..

Let it settle for a while, after taking it out of the oven. I find it's actually much, much better the day after, when you nuke some from the fridge =)

Friday, 8 February 2013

ECCO GTX boot challenge (looking for a 2006/2007 pair)

ECCO boot (from ca. 2006 / 2007)
If anyone happens to have a pair of ECCO boots exactly like the sample one in these photos (only less worn), size 46 or 44, please get in touch, if you'd like to sell them. It would be fantastic, if they were unworn, but they can be a little worn, too. Size 46 would be ideal, but 44 is OK as well. They are probably from 2006 or 2007, and here's the most important part;

ECCO boot (from ca. 2006 / 2007)
They absolutely MUST have a sole / grip like the one pictured here (only less worn!). If you have a pair that's otherwise identical, but with a different sole, then I'm not interested.

ECCO boot (from ca. 2006 / 2007)
Here's a sketch of the (left boot) sole as it was before it got all worn out. Newer ECCO boots have a different sole pattern, so they won't do. It must be exactly like this.

ECCO boot (from ca. 2006 / 2007) ECCO boot (from ca. 2006 / 2007)
A few more snaps.. You can click on them to see them bigger on Flickr.

ECCO boot (from ca. 2006 / 2007) ECCO boot (from ca. 2006 / 2007)
I have emailed ECCO, and browsed through online listings of older ECCO models already, so I don't really need link suggestions or such - I'm just posting this, in case anyone happens to have a pair of boots just like these, in the right size (46 or 44). If you do, email me =)