Category Archives: Life

What would Jesus do?

One last call to vote Yes

I won’t be able to vote YES tomorrow due to not being in Ireland. This saddens me. What saddens me even more is the no campaign.

When you take away someone’s rights or don’t give them the same rights as you that seems wrong. It wasn’t so long ago that women weren’t allowed to vote. They also had to give up a civil service job if they got married. Hell black people were kept as slaves and were second class citizens in the US . I mean what on earth!

Same sex sex was illegal in Ireland up until 1993. You know, what people want to do behind closed doors is entirely up to them once it’s legal and doesn’t hurt anyone else. The first time I saw two guys kissing I wasn’t entirely comfortable with it. The first time I saw a guy and a girl kissing hell I wasn’t entirely comfortable with that either as they “ate the face off each other”. You know though you have to change your way of thinking and move with the times. You don’t choose to be gay. You don’t choose to be straight either. I can hold my wife’s hand as I walk down the street. Two people should be able to hold hands without fear of someone saying something about it.

You know if you look at it there are names for a lot of things.

For example if you don’t think women should be allowed to vote? What does that make you? Sexist? A misogynist?

If you don’t think black people should have the same rights as you? Racist?

If you don’t think gay people should have the same rights as you what does that make you? A homophobe / homophobic?

Oh I went there and I said that word.

The thing is I haven’t seen one argument from the no side that is actually relevant in this referendum. They’ve deflected things constantly back to the issue of children. Well guess what! Gay people already have children and by all accounts they are doing a great job of raising them. Hell I know straight couples that probably shouldn’t have kids.

I was raised a catholic … I was married in a church and I made a graphic the other day for those of you of a religious nature.

What would Jesus do?

These are your family, friends and neighbours you’re talking about here and you may not know it because people still have issues with it. If you’re straight a vote yes will have absolutely no impact on your life. You’ll get to know you did the right thing though. You know if our society shows gay people they are accepted maybe there’ll be one less suicide next year as a person who feels different feels more accepted.

So tomorrow when you’re voting and please do vote. I urge you to step back and think to yourself. Am I a good person? Should all people be treated equally no matter their sex, race or sexual orientation?

15 years …

It’s strange you want to mark the occasion in some way but you don’t really want to come across being related to “oh god he’s posting that again” type comments. Still it’s something that deeply affected me. I lost my mom 15 years ago today and to this day I still miss her like crazy. In previous years I’ve felt very down in the month or so leading up to this time. This year … maybe it’s a little bit different I’ve not felt so down. I have a beautiful wife I love to bits and 2 amazing little people who I really wish could have gotten to meet my mom. I see them and I just have to smile.

Mom I miss you always

A Blank Canvas

A new year (2014) and a blank canvas…

A Blank Canvas

Are we meant to write the new years resolution post yet? (RIP 2013)

I don’t really know too many people who keep to their new years resolutions that well. I know for one when I do I always make it a few days and fail miserably. Get sad about it and then go screw it. So this isn’t a here are my new years resolutions post. It’s my new year plans, dreams and aspirations. Someplace I can come back to and think am I keeping on track at all?

You can skip to the last line of the post here if you’d like.

1: I’d like to blog more. Blogging takes time though. I could say I’d like to do one post a day for the year but what type of quality would they be of? I’ve already been trying to do a daily post with some limited success but we fall back into old habits of ug I’ve not done one for a few days so why bother. In December I took steps towards solving that somewhat. I merged my blogs into one. This one. I used have a work site, a personal site, another personal site a food site and so on… you get the idea. They’ve kinda lain dormant though so having just the one place to post should be good.

2: I’d like to fall in love with work again. I’m rather passionate about what I do (At least I’d like to think I am.) I like having a random idea and putting it into play quickly. I’m not sure why but I’ve suffered to stay in that happy place where I wake up going woo hoo a brand new day what am I going to work on today. Maybe it’s all related to life in general. It’s something I plan on trying to address more.

3: I’m going to cook more. I generally do cook quite a bit as it is. If I’m simply cooking for myself however it’s a case of buy a pizza (ready meal) and bung it in the oven. I think the horse meat scandal earlier in the year was a slight eye opener though. It’s not that I wouldn’t eat a ready made lasagne though it’s more a question of what’s actually in there? What are those funny E numbers and do I really want my daughter eating that? (Don’t worry when cooking for Charlotte I rarely if ever think of a ready made meal baring a complete emergency.)  Maybe I’ll blog the meals recipes more, see point 1 above :P

4: I’m going to improve my French. I’ve already taken steps this year and have started doing a course in the university. You’d think after what 3+? years in France my French would be better wouldn’t you, however working from a home office with Irish people doesn’t really help with that. So I’m going to continue on with the French classes and make attempts to write more in French.

5: Make more friends. You know when you reach a certain point in your life and you’re kinda stuck with the same group of friends and it rarely changes? I’d like to try changing that some more for the better this year. The age old oh you should join a club or do this or that is the common suggestion people make. Add in busy schedules and it’s not always that easy. 2 nights a week gone on French Class. Minding Charlotte another night or two and suddenly there isn’t a lot of time for going making “football” friends!

6: Take better photos. I guess this goes without saying for me. I love taking photos. Sometimes a completely crappy photo will make me happy. I’d like to reduce the crappy photos get more manual and get more used to using flash for photography ( that probably means I need to buy a flash right … *sighs*.

7: Cut out the crap from my diet. It’s a vicious circle in my life. I drink coffee to wake up. I drink coffee to excess. I grab a beer in the evenings to chill out and relax. Repeat. Throw in some nibbles of some sort and hey presto it’s pretty bad for you. While it’s doubtful I’ll be able to cut everything out ( and well why would I want to ) I plan to try improving things.

8: Learn more. I love learning. I’m constantly learning. In the last year I started using illustrator more. Playing with video in the form of After Effects and Premier and a whole pile of other applications. While I’d love to get modeling stuff in 3D I have to realise I just don’t have the time anymore. There are only so many hours in the day.

9: I want to spend less time on the computer. (He says on a holiday at 22:41 at night in his home office) I like a lot of people spend a silly amount of time on the computer. I don’t sit in front of the TV much at all. ( At least I don’t think I do )

10: Work on one programming project for fun. I seem to have excuses / excuses for not working on personal projects. I managed to get a few hours over the holidays and it really rekindled my love for programming. I need to map out time to play with personal programming projects. I suspect I have an all or nothing attitude going on in my head which means I won’t do 20 – 30 minutes on something as I simply say what’s the point. ( Maybe I end up doing a bit too much of that sort of chopping and changing at work … graphics / content writing / programming / marketing / design / talking … maybe it’s reflected in not doing this.)

So to sum up … I’m going to be better this year. Spend more time with my little family. Happy 2014!

James and Val the Beginning

10 years ago … I met a girl …

James and Val the Beginning

I met my wife ten years ago today. Like many people who meet their wife for the first time they don’t really realise she’s going to be their wife. There have been good times, bad times, great times and it has all gone by just a little bit too quickly for my liking. They do however say time flies when you’re having fun and I’d like to think we’ve had a lot of fun.

We live together, we work together and we’re bringing up our daughter together and she is the most beautiful and wonderful person I’ve ever known(Val not my daughter :P though my daughter is pretty great too even if I do say so myself). I’d say I love you on here but that’s be weird cus I love her :)

ps: yeah even when being serious I have to be silly!

Feeling down? Have a look at this…

This video isn’t one to cheer you up but rather make you think.

It’s a rather simple but rather powerful video from the World Health Organisation. I think I’d come across it when it was first released but I’d since forgotten about it until someone went and posted it again this morning.

I had a black dog, his name was depression.

I’d say it’s safe to say everyone at some stage in their life goes through moments of sadness, anxiety and depression.

I know when my mom passed I did. I’ve seen a few people pass away in recent days. The grandfather of one friend. An old work colleague who had been battling cancer for a while now, other friend’s friends. It’s kinda funny ( no not ha ha funny ) that I’m seeing all these updates via Facebook?

How Do You Feel

How do you feel?

I took this lego photo a while back and it strikes a cord with me every time I see it. Yes I know it’s just some little minifig but it’s always got that more serious edge to it as well. What face are you going to display to the world today?

How Do You Feel

Personally I’ve been feeling a bit fed up and unmotivated not to mention tired don’t think the grey weather helps. November has been a rough month!  Still it’s December now and I’m trying to get into a more positive place.

A friend a few days ago posted a rather raw account of something major that had happened in his life a while back and I just thought wow I never realised this.

What face do you show the world and how do you really feel?

1 + 1 = 1 Week Down

2 Kilos Down

The title image will quite possibly be lost on a lot of people unless you’re Irish of course. I grew up in a house where mom used make lots of Jams and Marmalades as such there were always 5 – 10 kilos of Sugar in one of the presses. The Siúcra 1 Kilo bag has become how I describe a 1 kilo weight. Well I weighed myself this morning one week after starting my diet and I’m on 90 Kilos. 2 Down from last week and I’m feeling happy. I was going to try the Durkan Diet attack phase which basically means only protein in your diet. I found that a bit restrictive though so while I cut out carbs mostly from my diet I wasn’t very strict about it all. Monday – Friday I was good pretty much and steered clear of the carbs. Friday evening I caved and ended up having a few beers to relax. Saturday I ended up going out and having a HUGE mashed potatoe bake with ham / chorizo and yesterday I pretty much said screw it as well. Today I’m starting into the diet again properly for the week and I’ll see how I get on.

It’s pretty amazing for me to think that one week ago I was carrying around an extra 2 bags of “sugar”. This week it’s going to be more of the same diet wise. Low carbs, no fizzy drinks / beer and no sweets and I’ll see how I get on. I did keep on drinking coffee last week and I’m hoping to cut that down / out this week. I replaced sugar in my coffee with honey at any rate. Breakfasts were Scrambled eggs twice. Cereal (All Bran and Oat Flakes as well as a few weetabix). Lunches were a mix of fish with veg. A savoury mince. Dinners were burgers … steaks … fish … savoury mince. All in all I didn’t really miss bread too much apart from the day I go into the bakery and the smells drive me wild ARGH. This morning as I went in to get some bread for Val I had a strong craving for bread.

Ah well .. so starts week two. I’d expect less of a loss this week though if I get through the weekend without over indulging myself who knows.

( Last weeks post /2011/07/19/diet-on-diet-off/ )

Diet On Diet Off

Diet Blog Post Header

Seems like these days everyone is getting healthy at least my social media streams are constantly being updated by gym visits … diet tips and all sorts of links. Well I’ve been trying constantly the last few months to kick start a diet and well it hasn’t been working. Hence I’m about to make this blog post get it out in the open so to speak and make me realise I need to just do it.

It’s not really a case that I’m exactly unhealthy I get a lot of exercise at least I got for a few km of a walk every day. I am however prone to sitting in the home office day in / day out and when stressed this leads to all sorts of food being consumed. A can of coke here (though in my case it tends to be a 2 litre bottle) a pack of crisps there .. and I’m talking the 100 – 200gramme variety … being a bit too busy to cook properly or just to cook for myself and I’ll end up throwing on a pizza. A pizza it should be noted has pretty much all the calories I should be having in a day and I’ll happily polish one off for dinner. Living above a bakery doesn’t help either and it’s very easy to go grab a butter laden pastry or another baguette.

So I’m finally putting this blog post online. I need to cut out the crap and get back to eating healthy. From a few of the meals I post I really should be eating healthier. For me it’s mainly going to be about cutting down on the coffee with sugar .. red bull or similar energy drinks and all the other crud I pack into myself. Thinking about it I’ll generally relax with a beer or two in the evening to boot add in a few more at the weekend and ouch!. Definitely not a healthy mix at all and it’s all pushing up my daily calorie intake to a constant putting on weight mode.

I’m currently at 92 Kilos and I feel bloated … around the tummy especially some pants feel a bit tight not to mention my suit and while I’d love to think they’ve just shrunk in the wash I probably can’t blame it on that completely.

So no doubt there are lots of diets out there but the one I’m going to try for now is http://mydukandiet.com/dieting/attack-phase.html. Basically the first week is about cutting out carbs (for 5 – 10 days in the attack phase) and having lots of protein and well I think I can live with that. I’ll give it 5 days at any rate.

I should be on 2600 calories a day. Immediately by giving up having 2 beers a night = around 300calories each so that’s 600 calories which = wow … just wow. A pizza looking at the boxes is anywhere from 1500 – 2500 on the ones I’m seeing at any rate and I probably do that one day a week.

Sugar in my Coffee … that pastry … bottle of coke (1.5litre) seems to be 600 calories … those biscuits or that bar of chocolate … EEK .. I’m starting to think I should be dead or something with what I’ve been putting into myself :D

So it starts … ( well it started yesterday with a pretty low carb diet )