Categories
Donncha

The origins of my name

A friend emailed me regarding my post about Dingle signage commenting on Eamonn O Cuiv’s surname and how likely it would be for him to change his name to O Caoimh. His email prompted me to search and I found this interesting titbit.

An Leiriu Shimpli simplified the Irish spelling system by eliminating extraneous letters from a word or surname. Thus, O Seaghdha became O Se and O Laoghaire became O Laoire. However, the only ‘simplification’ in all of the thousands of Gaelic surnames to add a foreign letter (in this case ‘v’ was the adulteration of O Caoimh to O Cuiv, a very recent introduction made within the last three generations.

Irish surnames are the oldest permanent surnames in Europe and O Caoimh is one of the most ancient, becoming permanent by the end of the 10th century.

According to this page the “O Caoimh” surname first appeared in the 11th century and has an interesting history.

O’Keeffe, and Keeffe, are the anglicised versions of the Irish O’Caoimh, from caomh, meaning ‘kind’ or ‘gentle’. The original Caomh from whom the family descend lived in the early eleventh century, and was a descendant of Art, King of Munster from 742 to 762.

keeffe.gif

PS. Thanks Derek!

Categories
Donncha

Such bitterness and anger

A week away from the Internet really desensitizes one to the ranting and raving that is part and parcel of life online. Reading through some of my feeds is a struggle. This did cheer up my morning however!

Does anyone else have good news?

Categories
Donncha

Back from Dingle

Oh wow! We really have a beautiful country here in Ireland! We are just back from a week in the town of Dingle, Co. Kerry (or An Daingean as it’s officially known, why can’t they have both English and Irish names on the signs? It’s silly. Locals stencilled “Dingle” on many of the signs anyway!) and it was both amazing and refreshing. 7 days without Internet access. Could you survive? I admit I was tempted by the local net cafe but I resisted and we wandered the roads and explored the beaches of that rugged coastline instead.

Weather is always a concern in Ireland and it rained and it poured and gales blew for the first 2 days of our stay. Thankfully that completely changed for most of the remainder of the week and the blue skies were filled with white fluffy clouds casting shadows on the distant mountains. Breathtaking.

Bringing a 23 week old baby away on holiday does present it’s own difficulties but Adam enjoyed himself and made a huge impression on everyone he met. He was generally well behaved while out, and I have to thank the kind staff of the Old Smokehouse Restaurant for their patience as we made 2 trips there with him. On the other hand, the grumpy floor manager of the “Happy Garden Palace” up the street didn’t live up to his establishment’s name. Nice Kung Po though.

Photos will appear in time but tomorrow we’re going to head down to Kinsale for a look at Haydn’s Kinsale Gallery where some of my work is on display. Adam’s been down there already and now it remains to be seen whether any of the pieces attracts a buyer or not. Thanks Damien for mentioning the gallery too!

In other news, WordPress 2.3 came out and I need to upgrade my blogs. WordPress MU will need to be synced with the new release but it will also need a separate upgrader. Upgrading one blog and adding 3 tables is simple, but when you need to do tens of thousands (or millions) of them, you don’t want all of them doing it at the same time or your database server will melt.

Oh, and not one person mentioned the All Ireland. 🙂

Update on Sunday: Jacinta and I visited the gallery today and we’re impressed! Haydn’s son was taking care of the shop and I noticed a number of the larger prints had sold a couple of copies. Two of my images are visible behind the door if you look carefully at the second image: Innovative Streets and Rusted and Abandoned.

Gallery ICA

Gallery ICA

Gallery ICA

Categories
Donncha When-in-Ireland

Waterloo Renewal Fundraiser

2007-08-25_img_4345-hs.jpg

Originally I thought we might head to Youghal tomorrow but someone called to the door a few days ago selling raffle tickets to support renewal of the local area. It’s organised by “Waterloo Renewal Group” who have great plans for the local river area and walk. There will be a BBQ at the Waterloo Inn so it looks like we won’t be going far from home on Sunday!

Categories
Donncha

Cork Open Coffee Tomorrow at noon

I’ll try to make it into the the Open Coffee meetup tomorrow in Luigi Malone’s. I confess to knowing little about the business side of startups but as I’ve only ever worked for startups I guess some of it has probably rubbed off on me!

Categories
Donncha Movies

Must be the rain in Cork

Rain spattered onto the windscreen in drops and a light drizzle sprinkled the car as we drove through town on our way home. It was warm today and I was looking forward to getting home, putting the baby to bed and relaxing for the evening. The windows were half down to let the air circulate in the car and traffic was going nowhere fast.

As we waited I heard the slowly increasing beat and volume of loud music from behind. A car drew alongside us and the cheering and laughing faces of the guys in it were clearly visible and their music blared into the evening. Their exuberance was catching and we were soon smiling and laughing with them! I think God must have heard their music, because suddenly the heavens opened and the car almost shook with a torrential shower of rain. We all looked at each other and laughed again. Why? Click play and you’ll find out!

Continue reading “Must be the rain in Cork”

Categories
Automattic Donncha

Someone in London loves my luggage

On my way out to San Francisco my luggage was delayed in London and in similar fashion, when I got into Cork Airport it was again delayed in London. For all I knew my luggage was lost! I wouldn’t mind except:

  • Once per trip is enough, please British Airways, keep track. It’s simply not fair.
  • My flight from San Francisco arrived at 1pm, flight to Cork was scheduled for 2:15pm. It’s cutting it a bit tight but I’ve been in this situation before and my luggage came through. How close before? Let’s just say we had to sprint from one terminal to another in Heathrow to catch the next flight!
  • My flight to Cork was delayed for over an hour. First the flight captain fell ill in Cork and had to be replaced, thus bumping the boarding time to 3:15pm, then we actually started boarding at 3:25pm, before waiting on the tarmac for at least 40 minutes because repairs and tests had to be made to the plane. I finally arrived in Cork at 5:20pm.

Don’t you think British Airways could have moved my luggage from one plane to another in 2 hours? Not a chance. Thankfully it was delivered this afternoon, almost 20 hours later by Aer Lingus staff.

I guess someone in British Airways has a fetish for luggage with pink and blue ribbons. Yes, I bet it was the ribbons.

Categories
Donncha

Roaming in America

One of the problems with traveling is the cost of calling home. I enabled roaming on Meteor, but it’s a bit pricey at €1.39/minute or €0.32/sms. I checked roam4free as well but that appears to be more expensive yet at €2.50/min.

Enter Skype where I can buy credits and call an Irish landline for €0.02/min or Irish mobile phone for €0.184. It’s great as everywhere in San Francisco I’ve traveled to has WiFi access. This morning I roamed about the house with my laptop in hand, headset on and spoke to my wife Jacinta for over 18 minutes and it cost me less than €4. That’s pretty cool and it was great to hear her and baby Adam.

It’s not quite the same sort of roaming but WiFi is fairly ubiquitous in the United States, so Skype on my laptop is painless, and very cheap.

Later … Out of curiosity I checked how much it costs to ring a mobile phone from an Irish landline. I use UTV’s service and Skype is cheaper at all times except for the weekend. Crazy stuff!

Categories
Donncha

Congratulations Donal and Celine!

I can finally reveal the good news that totally made my day yesterday. My brother Donal asked his girlfriend Celine to marry him and as he said, “She said yes!”

I want to pass on my congratulations to them both and I’m looking forward to seeing them when I get home, and to the big celebration party!

Categories
Donncha

I'm not the only one to love the Alfa 147

This evening I watched an old Top Gear where Jeremy Clarkson put an Alfa 147 GTA through it’s paces and compared it to a VW Golf and Ford Focus.

Despite the fact that it will break down, something will fall off, and it’s slower than the other two cars, all three presenters would still buy the Alfa. If you’ve ever owned or driven an Alfa 147 you’ll know exactly what they mean. I read a review of the Alfa 147 in a paper and then months later had the opportunity to test drive one. I fell in love immediately. How could I not buy it? It was a love/hate relationship almost from the start.

The famous Alfa build quality made itself known early on:

  • My Alfa’s dashboard died for absolutely no reason while driving to work one morning. I had to pull over, switch off the engine and start her up again to get things working again.
  • The ABS or Traction Control kicked in going over small potholes. If you know Irish roads you know there are a lot of potholes.
  • Three of the bulbs in the headlights went at exactly the same time and had to be replaced while I was away from Cork.
  • There were other problems with it and I had to bring it back to the garage several times.

I wouldn’t trust it as far as I could throw it but would I buy another Alfa? I’d be awfully tempted..

Here’s what the Top Gear guys think and judge for yourself. Sheer lunacy?

What car have you absolutely adored? What car made your blood boil with passion to drive? What car would make you enjoy a long drive along bumpy roads? Mine’s the Alfa Romeo 147, what’s yours?