Wednesday, August 29, 2007

'Vatican air' passengers' holy water confiscated

I saw a lot of reports in the last few hours on this topic, the link is to Telegraph's take on it. Essentially "holy water" was taken off passengers at airport security.

Where to start...

Firstly, I saw this happen two weeks ago! On Tuesday 14th last it happened in Dublin airport, someone 2 places ahead of me in the security queue was upset that her holy water was taken. In fairness to her, she was not making a fuss, but was quietly waiting post security (air side) while a security person went to check with a supervisor.

Oddly, at the same checkpoint, the person directly ahead of me used each of the following excuses for packing drinks in her Children's bags:- (1) "Nobody told me about this [liquid restriction]" (untrue) and (2) "I didn't think it applied to drinks" (what?!)

I didn't stick around to find what happened in either case. In the second case I hope the guard replied along these lines: "Only liquid drinks, Madam, solid drinks are fine!"

It should be perfectly clear to anyone willing to kill themselves and kill others, including children, is also willing to pretend to be a Christian carrying holy water.

Once security personnel start to use their heads and be reasonable and apply common sense, and then start to make exceptions, there are those who will take note of the exceptions and exploit them to kill us. Hence for security people, in my opinion, you need sticklers for rules. I worry that the Irish ones are a bit too nice sometimes, I think the Americans (TSA) have got it spot on though.

The thing that has worried me about Holy Water, since I was a child in fact, was that in several shrines (Knock is one) you can get it out of a tap. Essentially a priest didn't just bless a big jar or vat of water, a finite amount, but blessed a well or pipe, a potential infinite amount. I remember asking if it had to be renewed weekly. If they can bless a well there isn't any limit to how big a container they can bless, is there? So why don't they get together all the most powerful priests and have a big ceremony to bless the seven seas? Then all our water would be holy, and the world would be blessed.

I had a bigger issue though. I often wondered how you could compel the creator of the universe with some mouldy water. That felt utterly disrespectful to me, As a child I was very faithful, and things like holy water, or even asking God for physical things, like better weather, really really offended me.

Luckily I've chilled out a bit since then.

Saturday, August 18, 2007

Adidas Frank Duffy 10 Mile Race

Another T-shirt for my collection. I managed to finish it in 80 minutes. I'm very pleased with that, I was genuinely thinking it would be about 90, so this was a good result for me. The brother was running also, he had a much better time (72 or so), but then he's more than a decade younger than me. Weather was pretty good, the whole race seemed to miss the rain storms that have marred the rest of the day here. I pity those going to see the Rolling Stones in Slane in this weather!

Wednesday, August 15, 2007

Recipe for Stress

(Originally written offline while on a plane yesterday...)

Here's a recipe for instant stress (but you have to be quite stupid to do this):

  • Book a Ryanair flight for 15:25 (which is 3:25pm)
  • Record said flight in your diary as 5:25pm (which is really 17:45 - see what happened there? As I said, stupid.)
  • Make plans for 2pm lunch in a nice crepe cafe which is on way to the airport. You'll be eating lunch on your own at that time, but that's good for you now and then. (In my case I was hoping to go to Anderson's in Drumcondra).
  • Read your flight ticket at 2pm (1400)
  • Realise your mistake.
  • Panic

To cut a long story short, I made the flight with a lot of running, bad driving, skipping lunch, short-term parking (4 days - oh shit!), and more running.

In fairness, there's no way I could have left the office earlier anyway given what I needed to do today. (That's what I'm going to say when I claim the parking in my expenses...)

Cure For Stress

I think a glass of white wine, a pizza slice, a cup of tea, and a chocolate muffin. And taking time to enjor them.

(The one thing I like about Ryanair, apart from Michael O'Leary being my hero - and I don't need to fly Ryanair to watch the O'Leary show - is the food: (a) you have a good choice of stuff and (b) you get it sooner because only people who really want food will pay for it.)

I'm a bit more relaxed now.

Upcoming news...

I'm on my way to Oslo until Friday. Saturday I have a 10mile race (see prior blog below). Sunday I have flights to Orlando. All day meetings there Monday & Tuesday. Fly back to London Tuesday night, get some sleep on Wednesday. All day meeting on Thursday in London (Crawley). Back home that night. So if you have trouble getting in touch with me, now you know why. Fun fun fun...

Saturday, August 11, 2007

Some Nice Runs Around Dun Laoghaire

This is for anyone into running and in the Dun Laoghaire area (to be honest I don't know anyone in that category, but who knows who might be searching for this?)

The links below map out a couple of nice runs around Dun Laoghaire. 2 Miles along the West pier and back, 3 miles along the harbour side + East pier and back, and 8 miles to Sandymount (Strand Road) and back. The have a fair proportion of tarmac (asphalt), and are mostly off the main roads, the only downside is that they are very flat, but in a few days I'll put up an 8 mile run around Killiney (Vico road) that should make up for that.

(I run these courses myself quite often, I won't post any run I haven't tried a couple of times.)

I just managed to finish a 10 mile run in 88 minutes, I'm quite please with that, I have a race next Saturday (the Adidas Frank Duffy 10 mile) and I've been hoping to finish it in under 90 minutes, so looking good so far.