Thursday, July 29, 2004


This evening, around 9pm, I sat on the balcony, drinking a beer, reading a book and watching this sunset.

The picture doesn't do it justice, what's the best way to photograph sunsets?

Sunday, July 25, 2004

New Camera

We got a new camera, a Canon PowerShot A80, from 4 Megapixels, 3x optical zoom, regular 4 x AA batteries, CompactFlash memory, 180 + 270 degree swivel viewfinder, automatic and manual modes, sound memos, 640*480 video, macro function, etc.

We are very pleased!

Here are our first photographs. The camera replaces our prior model, the Kodak DC3400 responsible for the majority of pictures on these pages up to now, a total of 3,146 pictures in it's 3 year life time. We're only starting to experiment with the new one.

Thursday, July 22, 2004


What is a kilo? It is a type of restaraunt that I think is unique to Brazil. You select buffet and freshly cooked food (often includes sushi, and beef streight from the barbecue), and they weigh your plate as you go back to the table. You return as many times as you like. At the end you pay by the kilo (hence the name).

Admitedly these places vary in quality, though even the worst is several steps above the street cafes and McDonald's. Fellini in Leblon, pictured below, is the best of them all. Everything here is fantastic, and at BR$35 per KG it won't break the bank.

(click for larger image)


Rua General Urquiza, 104

Leblon, Rio de Janeiro

Tel: +55 21 2259 6230

It has nothign to do with the fact that we live right accross the street, but I eat here a lot when I'm in Brazil!

Monday, July 19, 2004

Tijuca Forest Jeep Tour

Last Friday I finally got my tour of Tijuca forest! A Jeep and one good tour guide from Greyline tours, myself and Andrea, and three tourists from other parts of Brazil. See the pictures here:

Saturday, July 17, 2004

Coming Home

Today we leave for Ireland. We arrive tomorrow, aroudn 1pm. I think this journey will go a lot better, we aren't going to miss our long haul flight due to a mis-connection (since the British Airways flight to London departs from Rio), so there isn't really anything that can go wrong. Looking forward to in-flight movies...

Friday, July 16, 2004

The Irish Pub

I've come to Rio on and off for over five years but never went to any of the Irish places, "get enough of that at home", at last I managed to check one out today.

The Irish Pub, on Praça General Osório in Ipanema is the real thing (or as real as an Irish pub can get when it is 25 degrees outside). The Guiness costs BR$15 a pint, about €4 or $5, more or less the same as it costs in Ireland. It comes from Dublin and it tastes great, even after a hot day in Rio. The food is excellent also. Home away from home! The manager is a Cork man so I'd expect nothing less. When you can't be there in person check out the web page.

The Irish Pub

R. Jangadeirsos, 14 A

Praça General Osório


Tel: +55 21 2513 3044

Hello Kitty

Andrea loves Hello Kitty, that annnyoingly cute Japanese cartoon-character-without-a-cartoon that appears on stationery and ruck sacks all over the world. She buys tons of that stuff, don't know how it gets used or even where it all goes. Maybe there's a room in the apartment I don't know about.

It got me thinking I could come up with an arch rival called Goodbye Kitty. Cute but suicidal. Unfortunately somebody already has, just search for "goodbye kitty" in Google. However, the kitty pictured on the David & Goliath T-shirts is quite unlike the Sanrio one. Probably to avoid getting sued. I did find one very brave one on though:

Wednesday, July 14, 2004


Not listed in Hotel Facilities, three rubber duckies sitting on bath

Not listed in Hotel Facilities

Thistle London Heathrow, Bathroom, 2nd July 2004. You don't often see these in a hotel room. We stayed here due to missing our connection on the way to Rio.

Learning Python

My ISP ( support Python and Perl scripting, so I decided to update my Unix scripting skills and learn Python. Good way to spend a few relaxing days on holidays, learn a programming langauge. (Nerd!). I was able to write a simple contact form (purpose: you can send me or Andrea emails but our email addresses aren't publised), see There's even another little script in an IFRAME to display your IP address and reverse DNS. (Ah! NERD! AHHH!). At around this point I got bored with Python. I doubt I'll be putting it on the CV, never got my head around "list comprehensions".

Monday, July 05, 2004

Mobile in Brazil: +55 21 8192 3723

I couldn't stand being without a mobile phone, so I bought a pre-paid SIM card for Brazil. I'm beginning to regret it, the service is confusing to use and you need to dial 041 or 0041 in front of every number! So every time I dial I have to edit the number, remove the international code, add that nonsense, and redial.

Anyway, for what it is worth, it is quite easy to recieve calls so here's my number:
    +55 21 8192 3723
("+" means "00" in Ireland/UK)

P.S. the bags arrived, intact and in one piece!


Apparently WorldTracer, the world wide system that airlines use to track lost and late baggage, is down. Wait 'til I find out what company runs that system....

oh... right, well never mind, quick change of subject...

We spoke to BA again in Rio and it turns out that the bags are now in the airport, and have been handed over to Iberia. When we got through there they said they were waiting for the courier company and we'll get them today. Hopefully in one piece. Panick over. My GBA charger is in the suitcase.

Sunday, July 04, 2004

Journey to Brazil

Not a good trip!

A two hour delay in the Aer Lingus flight from Dublin meant that we missed out connection in London. Several hours of going from Billy to Jack around Heathrow ensued. We got booked on Iberia to Rio via Madrid for the next day because the next British Airways flights were already full. British Airways couldn't book us a hotel though, saying we were Aer Lingus' responsibility, and by the time we got back to Aer Lingus they had gone home and abandoned us. So we had to find our own hotel. We got three hours sleep. Went to the airport good and early, got to Madrid and eventually onto a flight to Rio. More rushing around Madrid too!
At least we got here, only 10 hours late and exhausted and with no luggage.

We are about 250 euro down due to hotels and meals and taxis but we can apparently claim that back off Aer Lingus.

Impulse Buy

To top it all off I made a stupid impulse purchase in Madrid just before getting on the plane. It was a GBA game I was looking for called "Sword of Mana". Unfortunately I didn't check the languages, this cartridge only supports Spanish and Italian! Also, unlike advertised, it is not the sort of game you can play without reading the text. I thought it was one of those sword hacking jobs, but it's a bit more complex than that.

Anyway, I'll sell it half price, 20 euros, any takers?

On to more pleasant things...

Now I'm relaxing in Brazil. I can't drink any caipirinhas for about four days as I need to finish another course of antibiotics (keeping the pneumonia in check). At least I'll have good weather, good food, no work, a change of scene, and good company. We'll see how I take to Rio without alcohol, the acid test for any city! To be honest this is one test Dublin never passed.