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Below are the 20 most recent journal entries recorded in ebel's LiveJournal:

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Wednesday, July 21st, 2010
11:18 am
Been a while since I updated.

Me and Tom are going to Madrid tomorrow for a few days. Should be nice to get away from the rain.

Me and Tom are taking the motorbikes to Europe (France, Spain, Italy etc.) for 2 weeks in September. A real proper long distance bike tour.

My current job is annoying and unfulfilling.
Friday, May 7th, 2010
1:55 pm
I passed my driving test!
As I mentioned before, I had a driving test, and this time, I passed it! :D I had a different examiner who seemed like a much more relaxed and friendly guy. Maybe that helped.
Tuesday, May 4th, 2010
5:06 pm
3rd time lucky.... (I hope)
Tomorrow I have a motorbike driving test. It's my 3rd attempt, and I hope I pass it. I spent a few hours doing a pre-test today, and I think it has helped. At start of the lesson I wasn't doing well and I thought that it would do just as bad tomorrow and hence fail (again). However towards the end I started to get the hang of it and was doing quite well. Last time I failed cause I wasn't doing all the extra shoulder checks. I've spent time today doing lots of them, so they should be quite natural to me now.

Previous times I've rented a 250cc bike to do the test. This time I'm doing it on my own bike, my new Honda Transalp 650. I should be much more familiar with the bike, so that should help. There are loads of little housing estates in the test route. You have to do lots of turns though them and it can be easy to get bad marks if you cut corners. You have to be very precise. I've started to get the hang of my bike, and moving and controlling it. I think I can now turn in tighter circles than I used to. I have been using my ass (i.e. weight) and counter-steering to turn tighter than before. I had a lot of practice ass-steering while following Tom around lots of country roads recently. It was a necessasity. So, I'm more confident about all the tight turns I'll have to do tomorrow.
Friday, April 23rd, 2010
10:26 am
New bike & Illness
Just a quick note.

I got a new motorbike recently! It's a Honda Transalp 650. It's been restricted to be learner legal. (photos). When I first got it, I was uncomfortable since it was so big and powerful. However that day, me and Tom went for a nice ride through Enniskerry and Kilternan. It was a lovely day and a lovely ride. I started to understand the bike and was able to control it. It made me much more comfortable with the bike.

I was ill recently. Had some sort of winter vomiting virus. Spent a few days in bed shivering and sweating. Twasn't pleasant.

Was in Camara last night. Met up with Ali again who's over. Also was able to fix Gary's laptop.
Thursday, March 18th, 2010
12:38 pm
Moved house again. That's a total of 3 places out of home I've lived in. From living with dirty knackers who steal, to living in a really nice apartment with 2 other lads, now me and tom have our own place in city centre. It's great to be able to walk into town in about 10 minutes (seriously) and it's great to have our own place. We can use the living room, for y'know, living, and storing our stuff.
Thursday, February 25th, 2010
11:09 am
The ebel in 2010Q1
Short update

* After a year in Kilmainham, I'm moving. Right now I'm between houses and staying at my Mum's
* Tom has moved over here. :) We're living together now
* Tired
* Going to Limerick for an Ubuntu Ireland conference at the weekend
* Moving into our new apartment in Dublin city centre next week
* I've been going to a physio regularly for my RSI in my wrists
Monday, January 11th, 2010
12:16 pm
Stranded in England!
I was over with Tom last weekend, and was due to fly back on Sunday night. However the roads were pretty bad and icy, so we didn't want to risk it. As a result, I'm staying in England for the week. I had already booked flights back for next weekend. :)
Sunday, December 20th, 2009
10:35 pm
Fun weekend
Had a fun weekend.

Tom was over. Thursday was the Camara christmas party. At first I didn't know anyone, then some of the old skool 2007 folks turned up. Of course it re-awakens my urge to feck off to Africa. Once again, I think that I should do more for Africa and stuff for Camara. However I left pretty early.

Friday was my work christmas party. I had to be in at stupid o'clock (8:00) for a fancy breakfast. Then dinner was at a Thai restuarant in Dundrum. Then we went to a pub in Dundrum, which apparently is full of dodgy pubs. Strange considering how posh it is. I stayed too late there, then it was off to PantiBar for a few with Tom and fractal_rainbow on the grounds that herself had finished another set of college exams.

Saturday afternoon a few of the Zambia folks (James, Mairead, Dee, Aideen and Dave) were up for lunch, so met up with them. Tom got to meet them in a proper setting. Afterwards we bumped into Peter and went for a coffee, which was nice.
Wednesday, December 16th, 2009
1:24 pm
A collection of updates on the state of the ebel
This is a collection of updates of things I have been doing. Twitter and Facebook have ruined me and I don't think I can stomach writing a big essay.

  • Tom is awesome. Just in general. On gay male terms we've been going out 18 years. In lesbian terms we're not on our second date yet (since we haven't started living together yet)

  • Motorbike has been going great recently.

  • I'm definitly getting RSI, the black lung for hackers. Wrist and arms are frequnetly sore. I'm going back to the doctors tonight. I'm not sure what the medium term solution is

  • Job is going fine. I changed jobs in the summer cause I thought the old company might be in trouble. Now they are letting people go

  • Had a good time at the TOG Social Night last night. Lotsa geeks around, and a lot of German and talk of Germany

  • Work XMas party this Friday

  • Camara XMas party on Thursday, I'm looking forward to seeing some old faces.

Monday, December 14th, 2009
10:13 pm
Meme from kelemvor. (Although I'm beginning to think he thinks I live in Catholicistan :P )

1. What's the best thing about growing up in a Catholic country?
Can't really think of any good things. A generation ago ireland was a different country. Right now it's as if the country has woken up from a massive bender with a splitting headache, has seen the damage (e.g. Ferns Report, Murphy Report, Ryan Report, etc.) and is has intentions to change.

The following are things that only became legal in my lifetime: Divorce (1996), Gay Sex (1993), Condoms (without perscription) 1985.

Of course it means Fr. Ted is a fantastic satire of Irish life. Here are some examples:

1. The Holy Stone of Clonrichert
2. The Lovely Girls Competition
3. Bishop Len Brennan and his son (another example)
4. The Dancing Priest

2. Has the euro made things better?
Dunno. It made it easy to see we're being ripped off compared to Europe. And gave the shop keepers the chance to put the prices up. It does mean there wasn't a run on our banks, so we're not Iceland Mark #2 just yet. However I'm not sure if that's a good thing in the long run.

3. What's your favourite meal to share with T?
Pizza. Usually good Italian/French Pizza. Although I tend to get defeated.
4. When's the grand house warming? :P
Lease on my place expires in Mid Febrary, so after that. Looks like Tom'll be over here then. So, yeah big old house warming then :D
5. Which would you prefer - religious power in a secular state, or political power in a religious state?
Meh, either way the power will be abused by those in power. There's enough example of either side being abusive.

And here's the obligatory viral bit...

♦ Leave me a comment saying "Resistance is Futile".
♦ I'll respond by asking you five questions so I can satisfy my curiosity.
♦ Update your journal with the answers to the questions.
♦ [Optional] Include this explanation in the post and offer to ask other people questions.
Monday, November 16th, 2009
10:31 pm
On gloves
Riding a motorbike is mostly a pleasure to me. Sometimes after a long, frustrating day at work, I call it a day and head home. The feeling of riding my bike home lifts my spirits and I enjoy myself. By the time I get home I feel refreshed and unstressed.

It's quite a physical sensation, and can be influnced by lots of sensations. Recently I was driving home from work. I was wearing new gloves, and didn't have them tight enough, so my fingers felt clumsy, I had just picked up the bike from the garage, so it felt like things were off, I was just back from 1 week with Tom, so I had a weeks worth of clothes and stuff weighing me down. It just didn't feel right. I had left work with a decent attitude and riding the bike home totally soured me. Nothing felt right.

When I got home, I dumped all the stuff in my bag, leaving just my laptop, and put on my old gloves. I rode down to the hackerspace. This ride (5 minutes later) was completely different. I was much more free, I was in control, I was in a good mood, I was flying. It was a wonderful feeling and totally improved my mood for the rest of the evening.
Friday, October 2nd, 2009
8:54 am
In which I fail another driving test & Funeral
So two weeks ago I had my car driving test, and failed. Last Tuesday I had my motorbike test, and failed aswell. :( I got a similar result to the car test. 1 grade 3 error and 10 grade 2's. Once again the grade 3 was from a bad right turn. I got lots of grade 2's from the 'failure to progress'. Most likely me being a bit too cautious at junctions and not going as soon as I possibly could. Oh well. I should re-apply for that test.

The day before the test, I had 3 hours of pre-test lessons. I have a Honda Varadero 125cc. If I did my test on that bike I would only get an A1 licence, whereas if I did it on a larger bike I'd get a full A licence. With an A1 licence you can only drive 125cc bikes, max. [more info]

I did the lessons and the test on a Honda CBF250, which technically is twice as powerful as my 125, but it was physically much smaller than my bike. I felt all crouched up and small on it. After doing 3 hours of pre-test lessons on it my arms were aching from riding it. When I returned it and rode home on my bike, my bike felt strange and unusual. It felt large, and heavy. It felt like I was driving a truck. The CBF250 was small and light, so it was easy to move around and turn. My bike felt big and heavy.

However after I rode it home, picked up my laptop, I had to ride it into work. However this time my bike felt much more familiar. It was a much more pleasurable ride. My bike felt tough and strong. The little CBF250 felt like a frail fragile little bike. It felt like everything was some sort of delicate spindly antenna. My bike felt like a touch tank. Like you didn't have to worry about it getting damaged while using it normally.

Yesterday was Leu's funeral. :( He was a friend of Tom's from university. I'd met him a few times. The ceremony was a humanist, non-religious ceremony in a creamtorium. It was nice, and sad, as funerals always are.
Wednesday, September 16th, 2009
4:49 pm
Driving test :(
I had my car driving test yesterday. I failed. :(

I almost passed. I got 10 grade 2 errors, and 1 grade 1 error. Max your allowed to have is 8 grade 2 and 0 grade 3. Oh well. I haven't re-applied yet. I did it in Rathgar, Someone told me that Chruchtown has a higher passing rate.
Sunday, September 13th, 2009
3:24 am
Rory has been drinking again,
Whenever I've been drinking (ie now, look at the time this was posted), I fondly remembering good memories and experiences, I suppose this is a good thing.

Of course half the time that makes me think I should quit my job and move to africa for a while.
Wednesday, September 9th, 2009
10:14 pm
What I'm going to be doing for the next few weeks.
Last few weeks have been tiring. I've been working lots.. I started a new job recently.

Got my car driving test next week, and my motorbike test at the end of the month.

I'm going to be speaking at the next OSSBarCamp in a few weeks.

I really need a few weeks off.

Current Mood: tired
Tuesday, September 1st, 2009
9:59 pm
Blackberries picked and musing on bike riding
Today after work I went and picked blackberries at a nice spot I discovered recently. I then dropped them off to fractal_rainbow. Hopefully I should get some tasty treats. :)

Today at work I bought some shopping, and took them home in my backpack on my motorbike. My bag was quite full and heavy, which caused a strange change to my riding. I had my bag straps quite tight, and hence it made my sit up quite straight, I couldn't lean or crouch forward. The bag was able to rest on my pillion seat, so it wasn't a weight. But it felt like I was more rigid, as if the base of my spine was fused to the bike. This changed how I rode. I seemed to go slower, but also be less stressed while riding. I also had to make the whole bike lean, as opposed to moving just myself around the bike. It was quite a pleasurable and relaxing way to ride.

Right now I'm reading Jupiter's Travels by Ted Simon. Riding like that makes me feel like I'm on one of those long tours, with my bike laden down with gear and not a care in the world.
Saturday, August 22nd, 2009
1:17 am
Pig Death
Damn. So Tom was supposed to be coming over this weekend. However he has the flu. The NHS's pig death site said he had swine flu. :/ I'm gonna miss him this weekend.
Saturday, July 18th, 2009
3:07 am
I have lots of memories.
I feel old. I have lots of memories and my life keeps changing in lots of different ways (partially my own doing). And I'm only 25. I feel like a lot has happened in the last 3 years. I hope life keeps being this interesting for the next 30 years.
Wednesday, July 15th, 2009
10:03 pm
Not going to Africa this year
Regular readers to this blog might have noticed, I've been silent on one topic recently. Africa. Usually by now I've mentioned where I'm going in Africa. However I'm not going away with Camara to Africa this year. Not that there's any bad blood there, I'm just taking a break. I've done it 3 years in a row, I'm having a summer at home this time.

However I've been reading things like White African (twitter) and Hackers for Charity, and it makes me want to go back to africa!
Tuesday, July 7th, 2009
3:53 pm
London Pride
London pride was on last weekend.

I flew over on the Friday night, and had to get up early in order to drive oodles of miles most of the way into London. I got to go on the 6 lane M25. It's big. I suppose. We found kelemvor's house much quicker than syniqal thought. And after seeing Kelemvor's house, I feel much better about how cluttered I think my room is. After getting some coffee in the sleepy Illarane, we got the train to Marble Arch. It wasn't hard to spot the gang. Got to meet jamiethegrey (metamoof's boy) for the first time, who I'm sure (judging my the amount of clothes he had on) was glad at how hot it was.

After some waiting around for Tom and Richard to appear, we headed towards the parade. We stopped roughly near the start. One can hear the drums from a distance. Some randomer asked if we knew what the event was. You'd think the pink union jacks would give you a hint.

The parade itself was different from the Dublin one. It was much more offical. At the start of the parade was the Army and Navy people marching in a rigid formation. (As one of the lads said, you can guarentee everyone of them will pull tonight). There also was lots of floats from various government departments. It was cool that the state was so supportive of things. But it made you feel like you weren't as much a part of it. Perhaps that's just cause I didn't actually march, I only looked. But it was different from the Irish Pride.

Walked aaages in the heat through hyde park. Meet up with some friends of friends. Sat around for about 6 hours in the lovely hot sun drinking and having a picnic. In the UK you are allowed to drink in public, unlike Ireland. That was kinda cool.

Briefly went back to Retro, a funky little gay bar. Think Pantibar feel, but with a bit more of an antique feel to it. However Kelemvor had returned from big journey across the wilds, so we went back to ~Kelemvor after 2 pints. Few drinks and then early to bed. Turns out the blow up bed he bought didn't include a pump. But Tom and I were able to improvise a bed with some cushions and quilts, so everything was fine in the end.

I'd seen the UK news and heard about the heatwave, but this was unreal. Myself and Tom slept with both windows open and a fan on permanently, and I was still waking up in the middle of the night drenched in sweat. As a result I didn't sleep very well.

Next day we (me, Tom, Kelemvor and Illarane) went to a swimming pool. It was nice. It was great to get into the pool on such a nice day. It was quite empty and it was fun to splash around in the pool. I got a new laptop (which I'm typing this on now), but it was delivered to Tom and was back in his flat, so we had to drive all the way back to Cheltenham from London to get it, and then drive back to Bristol, where my flight was from. That's basically a big triangle. My flight was later than normal, so I didn't get back to my house till 1am. Tired Rory was Tired.
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