Archive for July, 2008

Come Blog With Us

moar.gifWriting for Metblogs has the potential to be the most rewarding experience in your entire life. It’ll make you rich, famous, good looking, will help you lose weight, make your clothes fit better, and get you a super good deal on a new car. It will make you the most well known person on the entire planet. Yes, each and every one of you. Really.

OK maybe not. Actually those are all lies, but it’s fun at least. The truth is Metblogs is the largest network of locally focused blogs on the web, covering almost 60 cities around the world and we’re looking to add a few new bloggers/writters/authors to this fine site. If you wanna know more about us check out this wikipedia entry but it’s kinda boring so I won’t waste time repeating it all here again. If you wanna write for us, here’s the scoop:

  • All author positions are volunteer. That means you don’t get paid.
  • You must live in (or very near) the city you plan to write about.
  • Anything you post must relate to the city somehow. That means you shouldn’t post a movie review, but talking about going to see a movie at a local theater is fine.
  • There’s no requirement for how much you can or should write, but we ask that if we set you up as an author you make about 3 posts a week.
  • You can post about things you love, you can post about things you hate. It’s entirely up to you

Additionally, because of our global network, there’s plenty of options for things you write to be read by people all over the world. Interested? Want more details? Post a comment and we’ll be in touch!

Introducing The Hub


If Metblogs is a city, hub.metblogs is the playground. We kept hearing from people that one of their favorite parts of Metblogs was meeting and interacting with readers and writers from other parts of the world, as well as getting requests for more ways that readers could be involved besides just posting comments. We thought about this for a while and decided that with a network like this, a giant community area where folks from all over the world could hang out, post photos and videos, talk with each other, form groups, play games, send messages, and do about a million other things was probably a pretty fun idea. The Hub is that.

If you have any tech ideas or suggestions join this group and speak up. See you on hub.metblogs!

Day out at Dalkey Island

I have been fortunate to have amazing friends in Dublin, so when one is getting ready to move, it inevitably means farewell do’s, planned by one friend or another. Typically, there would be some sort of final house party (last week), drinks at the pub (last Friday) and dinner amongst close friends (in a few days). Yesterday, a friend also planned for an activity day, which saw us all heading out to Dalkey Island.

Situated just off the coast not far from Dalkey (to the south of Dun Laoghaire), we took the chance that the weather would be decent and decided to go there for a picnic/BBQ. With everyone instructed to bring a little food, and someone in charge of buying the portable BBQ trays, we were pretty much all set.

Getting there was easy. Just grab a southbound DART and get off at Dalkey. From there, walk down Railway Road (I know, unimaginative name) and once coming to a main junction at the village, cross the road, go a little further down and turn right for Coliemore Road. Continue along the road for about 5 minutes and you’ll see the sign for ferry/boat to Dalkey Island by the road. It’s kinda hard to miss. But just in case anyway, here’s a Google Map as guide.

Dalkey Island

It costs €10 per person for return trip to the island, operated by a local guy. There’s no strict timetable and they will operate to/fro throughout the day, depending on demands. Even if there’s just a couple of you, he will take you over. But mind, this is during the summer months. In winter, I am not sure how things are fixed there. (I should have asked I guess)

The island is small enough to walk around, and there are a couple of ruins that you can check out, including a promontory fort. There is also a Mortello tower on the island. When walk around, just pay attention to the rabbit burrows (you wouldn’t want to twist your ankle or something) as well as for thorny plants but apart from that, this island is a little paradise away from the city.

The lovely view of Dublin Bay (especially on a sunny day), seal spotting (we spotted 4 of them), goat spotting (there is a herd of them), bird watching… these are what you can do here, nature wise. We noted a couple people camping there too, whereas we were there for picnic/BBQ. We were very lucky that we caught a break with the weather, and the sun shone for a couple of hours while we were there. Such relaxing setting, was it any wonder that we all had a great time? ;-)

One thing to remember, if you do go there, please do not leave your litter behind. Be responsible. The BBQ may be too hot to pack into bin bag immediately, but if you plan ahead, as soon as you finish cooking, pour a little water over the coal to help them cool quicker. By the time you finish eating and polish off all the food/desserts on offer, the portable kits will most likely be good to go too.

When you are ready to leave, all you need to do is to be at the steps where the local boat guy left you earlier. He should see you at some point and will come over to collect you. Whistle over for attention if you are able to and getting impatient waiting for him to see you from the other side.

This really is a great way to spend a day away from city madness, so why don’t you give it a go with a group of your friends?

DUB Metblogs on iPhone

You can now access your favorite Metblogs Dublin site on your iPhone / iTouch, just point the mobile safari browser to “” and it will redirect you to the optimized site. And you can leave comments, read full posts and share posts all thru’ the mobile site.


Random Thought

What happened to all the single decker buses in Dublin?

How much ROI?

I was at Eason’s last weekend when this advertisement thingy was dangling and bobbing up and down at me at the cashier. Something about millionaire raffles. Two grand prizes worth a whopping million Euro each. And only 300,000 tickets would be sold nationwide.

What’s the catch? Each raffle ticket will set you back by 20 quids.

So quick calculation. €20 x 300,000 = €6 million. This should generate a really nice profit margin for the National Lottery, isn’t it?

Of course, my friend pointed out, surely there would be more than just two prizes. How about the smaller prizes? Since we didn’t have time nor the inclination to ask for details, we left and when I got home I did a little search on their website for information.

In total, 532 prizes would be at stake, putting each raffle ticket owner at under 0.2% of winning something (a pretty good odd in comparison to normal lottery draws I guess), ranging from €500 (there are 300 of them) to the million euro cheques (only 2 I’m afraid).

Even then, total prize payout would only sum up to some €3.6 million. Total income generated from the sales, as calculated above, €6 million. Taking account of some associated costs in running the promotion etc, there still ought to be a cool 35%-40% of net profit to be made through this little venture.

In the end, who really is the millionaire winner? Not you. Not me. (Well, I don’t have a ticket in any case.) It’s the National Lottery. When their coffers fill up by at least another couple of million Euros.

Sheena’s Friday recommendations!

If you find yourself desperately longing to go out tonight but find your brain needs a little stimulation after a long week/Oxegen then here’s my advice for you: STEP AWAY FROM THE LOCAL BOOZER. Hop on a DART/bus/whatever and head for the city early – or better yet, stay in town after work. Here’s why:

Fight Like Apes play a free instore gig in Tower Records on Wicklow Street this evening at 5pm. Get there early to avoid being stuck at the back entrance to Brown Thomas with the Italian accordian playing mascot. Fresh from thier performance at Glastonbury, Fight Like Apes deliver their unique blend of shouty, high-octane, high-energy punk pop – if this doesn’t sound like your type of thing get yourself down to Bewleys on Grafton Street for a nice cup of tea and a sit down instead.

Fight Like Apes

Tonight also sees Analog 2008 kick off in style with Dublin Docklands playing host to Lou Reed, Shane McGowan, Gavin Friday and Oscar-winning actor Tim Robbins, to name but a few. Rouge’s Gallery is the brainchild of Pirates of the Caribbean director Gore Verbinski and music producer extrordinnaire, Hal Willner. Rouge’s Gallery is a collection of old sea shanties and pirate ballads given a modern day twist by a bevy of accomplished singers/songwriters/producers/etc. Willner’s impressive mish-mash of Hollywood A-listers and music industry legends is enough to get even the most discerning of gig-goers chomping at the bit. Go to see Lou Reed and Shane McGowan share a stage for the bargain price of €50.00 and, if this doesn’t stir up your senses, go to throw your knickers at Tim Robbins. A number of tickets are still available here.

Lou Reed

Dublin’s 20 Commandments

Following up on other metblog cities, LA, OC; we decided to have 10 commandments for our fair city also. Thou as we started discussing about them at our facebook group, soon we realized we need more than just ten commandments and 10 are not enough for Dublin. After rounds and rounds of discussions :), behold and praise, Dublin Metblogs presents the 20 commandments of Dublin city (in no particular order):

  1. Thou shalt not vomit and piss in the street no matter how much you’ve drunk
  2. Thou shalt not patronize the intelligence of men by trying to make them believe that is your actual skin tone you orange faced tramp
  3. Thou shalt not go to to same club or bar week in week out but complain there’s nothing to do in Dublin
  4. Thou shalt not steal something just because it’s not bolted down
  5. Thou shalt acknowledge Ross O’Carroll Kelly is satire and not to be emulated
  6. Thou shalt bring an umbrella and/or a raincoat all year round. 365 days. No exception.
  7. Thou shalt bring a blank cheque with you when house viewing in order to beat the others from putting a deposit in for the place
  8. Thou shalt know the location of the nearest chipper or kebab shops or hotdog stands for your post-drinking evening supper
  9. Thou shalt book “free” flights with Ryanair, and bitches about all the extra charges you have to pay. What free? Then proceed to moan about the distance of its airport terminal – who had the idea of putting it in Timbuktu?
  10. Thou shalt always have some sort of festival to attend during week-ends
  11. Thou shalt not drive a Land Rover unless you are a farmer. Or have land to eh, rove
  12. Thou shalt not expect roadworks to be carried out at a convenient time ie; NOT rush hour on the Red Cow roundabout
  13. Thou shall recognize that Dublin Airport is NOT at the forefront of cosmopolitan international travel and that the DAA fuck up, a lot. Allow adequate time for journey to airport and inevitable row with brainless check-in staff over:
    a) Baggage allowance
    b) Charges relating to same
    c) Check-in time
    d) all of the above
  14. Thou shalt not name your children Meadow, Serendipity or Beau. Issabella is pushing it. You’re from Crumlin, sit down and behave yourself
  15. Thou shalt not plan an outing with the kids to Dublin Zoo. It will rain (yes, despite the recent ‘heatwave’ we’ve been having), The tigers will be at the vet, the penguins will be hibernating or something and the elephants will be off doing a nixer at Circus Vegas. It will not be a ‘fun day out’. You’ll be lucky if you don’t run over a deer in the Phoenix Park on your way there
  16. Though shalt only ride a bike when you are brave enough
  17. Though shalt only drive a car when you know how to do it and have shown so in an independent test
  18. Thou shalt be over-polite and if crossing a person even with a good 5 meters of distance thou should apologize for being in their way
  19. Thou shalt hold your umbrella well over your head so as to avoid jabbing people in the face with it. And just don’t even bother on windy days
  20. Thou shalt remember that service employees are human beings too

.. contributed by Lil, Tom, Chloe, Sheena, Frauke & Michael .. thanks everyone

If you think if we missed something, leave us a comment and we might even have an updated list with another 10!

gobsmacker of the day

Seen in Donnybrook Fair, Baggot St (just before I left, empty-handed and vowing never to return). For our American readers, it converts to $13.10 for 8.818 ounces. That’s some pricey rice…

That’s not very nice, Pres S…

The vote on Lisbon Treaty had been carried out and it was rejected. How a “mere” 1.5 million Irish had made such decision that affects some 490 million Europeans. Post referendum analysis showed misinformed voters who voted No for a myriad of reasons that most had nothing to do with the Treaty itself. Now, that, was really unfortunate.

Quoting a friend who was frustrated with the outcome “If anyone voted No as a protest to the current government, or other equally childish excuses, I will call him/her a stupid muppet to his/her face. I have no problem with people having different political views from mine, but I have major bone to pick with someone who can’t get their facts right and vote in accordance to the issue.”

Nonetheless, the majority of the half of the country that bothered to come out and vote wants their voices to be respected. Regardless of the reason behind their ticks on the ballot paper.

What’s next? Well, that’s what everyone would like to know.

There had been this axe hanging across the neck of Ireland, of potential exclusion from an unified European Union. The Taoiseach had been asked “to come up with a solution” but of course time is needed to plan things through. Too hastily declaring something would undoubtedly put the voters on the defensive.

Step in President Sarkozy.

Even before he took over the presidency, his reaction to the No vote had been swift and antagonistic. I understand he is anxious over the uncertainties, and he is keen to make his mark during this presidency, but surely there’s a more diplomatic way to go about this?

Perhaps not in his world. Instead, from where he stands, “The Irish will have to vote again“. Just like that. Ouch, not a nice nor conductive remark in the strive for a solution. His team of staff has no choice but to work on damage control. Playing down the implication of his comment. Respin it as “The Irish will probably have to vote again“.

Ah politics…

(Yes, I am a major sceptic when it comes to trusting the nature of politics, regardless of who’s right and who’s wrong, or even where is the middle ground for everyone. Let’s see what’s next in this unfolding saga.)

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