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Messages - Eamonnca1

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1
General discussion / Re: The Palestine thread
« on: May 14, 2018, 10:43:06 PM »
How’s this reported on Fox News?

Probably with the old "using children as human shields" trope.

2
General discussion / Re: The Palestine thread
« on: May 14, 2018, 07:18:50 PM »
As Israel has moved to the right, so too has its US-based lobbying arm. Stands to reason that support for Israel will fall among Democrats.

3
General discussion / Re: Cycling
« on: May 10, 2018, 08:00:48 PM »
It's Bike to Work Day here. Companies set up "energizer stations" at the side of the road where they play music, give out free food, drinks and swag, enter you for raffles if you're an employee. The local bicycle coalition organizes it. I stopped at all 4 of them on my route this morning, including at my own company, and stuffed my bag.  I was still outrunning the rest of the traffic too, even with me stopping.

Lot of riders out there today, which is nice to see, even though our infrastructure isn't exactly at Dutch standards.

4
General discussion / Re: Cycling
« on: May 10, 2018, 06:05:08 PM »
Wheel-straightening is another pain in the neck job. If I had all day and infinite patience I could do it myself (I used to when I was a youngster) but these days I just throw the wheel into the shop and let them do it.

There's probably a course in bike maintenance that you can do somewhere if you want to acquire the skills.

5
General discussion / Re: Cycling
« on: May 09, 2018, 05:55:59 PM »
There's a bike shop around here called Beeline Bikes. They have deals with local employers and tech firms. They'll come around to your company once a month and offer bicycle tune-ups, the company is happy to advertise it around the office since it encourages cycling, and they probably chip in a bit of a subsidy too. The bike boys just bring all their equipment in a decent sized box van, big enough to stand up in with a bit of headroom, and set it up like a mobile workshop. I think you have to email them ahead of time and reserve a spot. Very useful for employees that wouldn't have the time or know-how to give their bike a full tune-up. If you could offer that as well as a cleaning service then you might be onto something.

6
Saw them last night in San Jose. Tickets were about $42. Great value, and a great show. The boys are as talented as ever. Not getting any younger but they're still going strong and producing new material. I tip my hat to them.

7
General discussion / Re: Cycling
« on: May 09, 2018, 12:36:53 AM »
Just trying to gather some opinion. I’ve recently been thinking about offer a bike cleaning service, would people be interested, or reluctant to let another man touch their machine? I was thinking a decent price point might be around £12 for full clean, with drivetrain degrease and lube reapplied. Thoughts?

Not the worst business idea. Cleaning a bike is a pain in the neck, and a clean chain makes a huge difference. Sounds like good value.

8
General discussion / Re: Depression
« on: May 04, 2018, 05:46:53 PM »
I lost my best friend to suicide on the 19th March 2001 and buried my father on New Years Day 2002. Inside 9 months I went from a young cocky 20 year old to being complete mess. Depression was something that never entered my head, in my head I was mourning, it was normal. Then bang on Paddys day 2002, I didn't know but a few of my friends had arranged to come lift me and we were for the local to watch the club finals, they wanted to suprise me so I couldn't back out, as I took my first step out of the house, I froze, I couldn't do it. I made an excuse and went back to bed, cold sweats started and I cried into my pillow, again I told myself that I was mourning. One of my mates had rung a girl who I had been seeing before my fathers passing, he told her what had happened and she sent me a text out of the blue a few days later about having a chat, she was a trainee nurse who had spotted the signs after my best mate died the previous year. I met her for a chat a few days later, she told me what she had thought and how my behaviour had changed throughout 2001 and thats why our relationship had ended in her opinion. She accompanied me to see a doctor who diagnosed me with depression. I was scared and to be honest I was embarrassed but at the same time I felt like my world had changed, I could think clear again, I could look people in the eye without fear of bursting into tears when they asked about me or my family. I spoke to my family and told them what had happened and how I had been feeling, they knew what was happening and only then did it strike me that I was never alone, everywhere I went there was one of them with me, they were scared that I was going to do the same as my best mate but didn't want to say it straight out. Thankfully after a few months of spilling my thoughts out to the doctor, I had got myself sorted and could live again. There has been dark days since but I'm a better place to deal with them.   

Sorry for the long post but even though its been 16 years I still feel like pressure is being released with every letter I type in this post. I told my story to a youth team within my club recently and one of the young lads came to me after and asked if he could speak to me, he was going through the same as he buried his Dad last September. The manager is good friend of mine and asked if I'd speak to them group about mental health and how its ok not to be ok. The lads mother rung me a few weeks ago to thank me for the effort I've put in with him. I'm not saying that I'm an expert or looking praise but if I can help one person then I've achieved something.

Have a word with somebody folks, no matter how trivial you think it is, you need to talk.

I can absolutely relate.

About eight years ago friend once organized a singles meetup dinner thing in a nearby city, mainly for my benefit because she knew I wasn't well and needed a bit of company in my life. I was nervous but drove there anyway. When I got to the restaurant there were about ten other fellas and eleven women, all single and ready to mingle. I felt the anxiety building. They were making the seating arrangements at a big long table and I just felt a wave of terror wash over me. I went to the restroom and hid for a while, then came back out and made my apologies to my friend, saying "I see you're a bit short of seats, I don't mind leaving." I got back in my car and cried on my way home, then texted my friend saying "I'm really sorry. I just can't do this right now."

I felt awful because she'd gone to a lot of trouble, but she was very understanding. It's always okay to talk about it.

9
General discussion / Re: Arlene's bigotry shines through
« on: May 03, 2018, 07:14:30 PM »
Good analysis.  The SDLP fatally misread the result of the GFA Referendum.  They thought that a resounding "Yes" from nationalists (North & South) meant that support for a UI was on the wane amongst nationalists.  They started to talk about "post-nationalism" and occupying the "middle ground" in partnership with the UUP and started to become "green-lite" very quickly.  A lot of their supporters scratched their heads and concluded that the SDLP had no interest in working towards a UI and thus voted SF.  Also they didn't cotton on that Unionist support for the agreement was lukewarm at best and that Trimble & Co only accepted it as the least worst option and had little interest in making it work.

There's a lot of truth in that. I have nothing but respect for John Hume but I think he spent so much time in Strasbourg that he ended up losing touch with what was going on on the ground. That "post-nationalist" stuff was baffling to me at the time and it's baffling to me now. The nationalist aspiration and "this is our land" mentality is as strong as ever, and rightly so in my opinion.

10
General discussion / Re: Eighth Amendment poll
« on: May 02, 2018, 12:08:40 AM »
Can't vote but would vote yes.

I'm queasy about abortion and it can't be a nice experience, but I'd hate to be a woman in that situation. At the early stages of pregnancy there's not yet a central nervous system and nothing approaching sentience, so there's no such thing as a "baby" to begin with. But this is all academic since the principle is bodily autonomy.  If someone's life depends on me donating a kidney or donating blood, no doctor has the right to cut me open, interfere with my body, and make me do something with it that I don't want, even if another life is at stake. Bodily autonomy. It's not negotiable and it should apply to everyone, including pregnant women.

What you describe there, “body autonomy”, is tantamount to unlimited abortion with no restrictions as to age. If the primary reason you believe in voting yes is because no one can force you to support a life inside you because it is your body and hence your choice then you can have no rebuttal for a woman who chooses to abort her baby a day before delivery or even an hour before delivery, because as you say it was her body and her choice.

That’s not something I could fathom but that’s just my opinion.

I agree, it's a very difficult topic and there's no easy answers. I'd just like abortion to be safe, legal and rare. The Dutch (who seem to get so much right) seem to have figured out how to reduce the number of unintended pregnancies, and they didn't do it by listening to religious instruction.

11
General discussion / Re: Alcohol - Minimum price per unit
« on: May 02, 2018, 12:03:19 AM »
How late do coffee shops stay open in Ireland? Are they a place you can go to in the evening or are they a morning / daytime thing?

12
General discussion / Re: Alcohol - Minimum price per unit
« on: May 01, 2018, 10:20:25 PM »
One good thing about the states is the coffee culture. Caffeine might not be the healthiest thing to ingest but it's a lot easier to deal with than alcohol. Coffee shops here provide a good place to mingle without feeling pressured to buy an alcoholic drink.

Did I ever tell you about the time I was at a GAA meeting one time in Boston? I was having lunch at the bar in Canton and I got a glass of wine to go with it. The lads showed up and asked me what it was. I told them and before I knew it there was another one sitting there. I told them I didn't want it, one was enough for me, and everybody (including the barman) laughed like I was joking. When they saw I was serious and didn't touch the second glass they asked me what I drink besides wine. I told them G&T, but don't be buying me any. They tried to order one and I had to intervene and tell the barman not to pour it.

There's times when I've been at an Irish function and they'll ask me what I want to drink. If I've already had a drink I'll say "soda water." They say "Och I'm not asking for soda water! What do you want?!" I had to force the issue and demand they respect my wishes.

The peer pressure to drink can be fierce.

13
General discussion / Re: Eighth Amendment poll
« on: May 01, 2018, 10:08:51 PM »
Can't vote but would vote yes.

I'm queasy about abortion and it can't be a nice experience, but I'd hate to be a woman in that situation. At the early stages of pregnancy there's not yet a central nervous system and nothing approaching sentience, so there's no such thing as a "baby" to begin with. But this is all academic since the principle is bodily autonomy.  If someone's life depends on me donating a kidney or donating blood, no doctor has the right to cut me open, interfere with my body, and make me do something with it that I don't want, even if another life is at stake. Bodily autonomy. It's not negotiable and it should apply to everyone, including pregnant women.

14
General discussion / Re: Alcohol - Minimum price per unit
« on: May 01, 2018, 07:44:54 PM »
Surely the cost to the NHS has to be balanced against the reduction in pension payments and late-stage nursing care costs that is accrued from heavy drinkers dying younger? Or is it taboo to discuss untimely deaths this way?

Personally I believe the Scottish government need a toe in the hole. We live in damp, miserable islands, and having feck all else to do is the single biggest contributing factor for our drinking culture. Governments intervening in nature’s plan. No need.

1 - Dying of alcohol abuse takes a long time. Look how long it took George Best to drink himself to death. That means a lot of resources spent on treatment over a period of years. And to answer your question, yes, it is taboo to talk about premature deaths this way. We should be trying to increase life expectancy and I thought this was self-evident.

2 - Alcohol related illness costs the NHS a fortune, I've seen figures ranging from £3 billion to £3.5 billion per year. The Americans have adopted a system of "let the sick stay sick and die if they can't afford treatment" in the belief that it's cheaper, but it turns out to be more expensive.

3 - Alcohol is a depressant. There's plenty to do besides drink. By law every local authority in the UK has to provide leisure facilities, so go to your local leisure centre and have a workout or learn a martial art. Go out for a run. Ride a bike. Take up swimming. Read a book. Take up painting. Get some artists gathered up and paint a nice mural on some boring wall that's been blank forever and overlooks some car park. Coach some underage sports team. Make yourself useful. The idea that "there's nothing to do but drink" is the attitude of the lazy and unimaginative.

Christ.

15
General discussion / Re: Alcohol - Minimum price per unit
« on: May 01, 2018, 07:34:45 PM »
Improved education about its effects, increasing prices, social stigma, reduced availability, and reduced public places in which you can smoke have all combined to reduce tobacco consumption to the point where I could see it going the way of snuff and becoming so rare as to not being a problem.

Drink is a bit different in that it's more revered in our culture. There's no smoking equivalent of the pub; apart from a very small number of cigar bars there's not really a space where people go specifically to smoke. Drinking's more sociable than smoking, so I'd say increased prices, better education and reduced availability would be the weapons of choice in reducing binge drinking. If there's going to be any social stigma it's going to have to be around drunkenness, but we're a long way off that.

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