Some things I've learned....

(1) An Engineer can do with 10 cent what a fool can do with a Euro.

(2) "Puff" - unimportant; insignificant; unworthy of study by engineering students; waste of time

(3) It's better to keep your mouth shut and let people think you're stupid than to open it and prove them right!

(4) Blockwork people and concrete people can never work on the same site... Apparently they don't like each other....

(5) It's official; I'm fantastic!

Tuesday 27 March 2007

Grinds My Gears!! - Issue 6

This Issue of Grinds My Gears is all about something, which I think it is more than fair to say, affects all of us. Practically everyday it affects us, unless of course for some reason you don't ever watch the TV. I'm talking about those annoying adverts/commercials. Not the good ones....I'm talking about the bad ones!

Originally I wanted to do like a "Top 10 Worst Ads", but as I started to research for this Issue, it became all too apparent that there were so many terrible ads out there, all equally as bad as the next, and I realised that it would be impossible for me to put them in some kind of table. As such, I will give each ad a 'Broken Gear' rating (out of 10). The more gears get grinded, the easier they break. The more 'Broken Gears', the worse the ad. So...let's begin!

Crazy Frog

Without a doubt THE MOST ANNOYING thing (no pun intended, that's his official name!) ever to hit our screens. Thankfully nowadays the Crazy Frog hype has much defused, but I'm told he's still selling records. For some Godforsaken reason, he was number 1 across most of Europe at the time, as well as New Zealand and Australia. How many times was that motherfucking ad on the TV???? I honestly can't tell you. Obviously not enough because even the hallowed Discovery Channel showed it. Right in the middle of an American Chopper ad break!!! Did you know he had three albums? It is simply beyond words how much I hate this character. Did you know he also has merchandise? Toys and video games? And to top it all off, there is talk of a TV series?!?!?!?!?! Sticking with this topic, ANY ad from Jamster or similar companies do my head in. "No, I do not want a Vicky Pollard impersonator as my ringtone, nor do I want a ringtone that simulates an actual phone ringing!” Does anyone actually buy these things? If you do, I will have to shoot you.

There's just too much on this single topic alone, and I couldn't be bothered to go name and shame each one of these mobile companies, just buy one of the cheaper tabloid, they're full of them.

Ad Rating: 10 Broken Gears....simply awful.


Now you might be saying: "Hey! There's nothing wrong with Frosties!!!” And I'd say "Yes, you’re absolutely right". They are a great cereal, but let me draw your attention to a few things in the ad. Here are the song lyrics:

They're gonna taste great (x3)
I can hear the sound of Frosties hitting my plate
They're gonna taste great,
With Tony ma mate
Everybody knows Frosties taste great
Even ladies who wait or a pi - rate
And your teenage brother who’s out on a date
If you live in Aus mate
Or the Empire State
Even ladies with person-o-listed number plates.
Or a bloke in a crate
Well he knows they taste great.
They're gonna taste greeeeaaaaaat (x4)

1. Just because 'plate' rhymes with 'great', don't shoehom it into a song about a cereal that is eaten from a BOWL.

2. The irritating kid in general. The haircut, his orange top, blue shorts....nice try, but a Bart Simpson he is not I'm afraid.

3. The hand movement Tony the Tiger does all the time. What is that? He almost makes Tim Westwood (host of Pimp My Ride UK) look know what I mean.

4. There seems to be some kindof anti-women feel here, with reference to the 'person-o-listed number plates, and those who wait (?). Honestly, I really don't know what they're at there.

5. The lyrics are simply god my God...just LOOK at them!!!!

The real question is how long it will be until “Greeeaaaaaat!” is replaced by “Grrrr88888t”!

Ad Rating: 6 Broken Gears...not annoying...but God awful.

Shelia's Wheels

What's wrong with this ad? Well...the fact that in the ad they don't wear seatbelts or even hold onto the wheel. Or would it be that at one point they have a squirrel driving the car, which I'm pretty sure can't reach the pedals or see over the wheel. Or MAYBE it's the fact that they are sitting in the backseat for a good portion and are looking directly behind them. As an ad "For ladies who insure their cars..." it's a pretty bad example. They'd want to start fucking insuring their cars if they are going to drive like that. My bet is that they wouldn't get cover...unless it was for Sheila's. They must rack up a couple of claims everyday.

Ad Rating: 7 Broken Gears...simply stupid and that annoying song.

Lynx Ads

Normally I wouldn't complain about Lynx ads, but the whole thing in the new one is just....I mean the woman in it is totally un-sexy. It’s some Spanish/Mexican bullshit that doesn't seem to translate at all into our culture. I'm fully aware that older men are attractive to some's all just wrong. And now everyone is doing the Bom-shicka-wah-wah thing. It's just plain annoying. It also seems evident that Lynx are more into advertising the new way their cans work as opposed to what the deodorant smells like.

Ad Rating: 6 Broken Gears....what were they thinking?
New Maltesers Ad

I'm sure you've seen it. The woman complains she doesn't feel naughty enough after eating the Malteser so she flashes some fella. Because people eat chocolate to feel naughty, obviously. And she doesn't even flash him, she just shows her bra, and the guy goes all psycho jumping over the desk like he's never seen a pair of breasts before and they're something terrifying and new?!?! Sticking with Maltesers, do you know the one where they're all jumping around the city on those red balls....I couldn't find it but sources tell me it was advertising that Maltesers are good for weight loss....what I could remember is that all the women...yes no men were in it....were all in good shape. Are Maltesers trying to hint that they are a women only chocolate??? Bring back the one with the packet on the dashboard or the straw thing...please.

Ad Rating: 5 Broken Gears...not too bad, just asks questions??

Irish Pride Ads

Just a quick mention of these. Am I proud of this brand of bread? No. Is anyone proud? I doubt it. These are the ads where they have attendants carrying the bread out to the car in the rain under an umbrella so they don't get wet. Yeah...those ones.

Ad Rating: 5 Broken Gears....there's only a few of them, but they make us look stupid.


The ads for constipation and all that crap. Or even the one for Danone Actimel. The one I'm talking about is where the two ladies are discussing being bloated.
"How are you Sarah?"

"I'm feeling a bit bloated."

Who the hell says that? I ask you. Plus, the idea of two people discussing being bloated is kindof off putting for an ad anyway. And then your one robs them at the end!!! If I was the other one I'd grab that bitch, layeth the smackdown and rockbottom her though the kitchen table!

Ad Rating: 4 Broken Gears....weird and undesirable.


The biggest problem with me for these ads is that they are dubbed. Dubbed VERY badly.
Notice how the Kinder (which literally means Child AFAIK) children always look like the result of an Aryian eugenics programme. What do you think? There's also another one where there's this Hippo, and he crashes in on a family's quiet afternoon in the museum. At some point he tells the kids the world is flat....I won't go on.

Ad Rating: 7 Broken Gears....badly dubbed, and just stupid.

The Debt Solvers and Personal Claims Ads

First thing: there are far too many of these ads going around, both the ones that claim to solve all your debt problems and those that make you get money for an accident. They always show them on music channels...which begs the question, why?! People watching music channels are generally younger and don't really care about consolidating their loans and credit card bills into one manageable account with a interest rate higher than the moon. Do we care about Timmy O'Toole’s claim after he fell on a wet floor after having not read the signs? And I'm sorry, but I have YET to be in ANY kind of building where they don't put up 'Wet Floor' signs.

Notice the fact how all these money ads are raises a question...doesn't it?

Not entirely related but also money matters, our own TV license ads. Simply stupid, not believable, etc. Not to mention the acting is terrible, but the 'embarrassment' seems very artificial. And the actual TV license inspector? Seems like he failed the Chief Inspector exam more than one time.

Ad Rating: 7 Broken Gears....too frequent, all say the same thing.

These last few are just a list of ads that are silly, repetitive, annoying, etc.
Those bloody Vauxhall ads with that annoying pug faced child. I'm sure he knows THAT much about cars, he is after all about 10.

Cilit bang!!!!!!! The remix is top notch ;)

The “Kandoo” adds, "I can do it too with Kandoo", where a frog wipes his ass!!!! Hilarious!

The Meteor ad with the cats. Like obviously they have such a select group of friends that they ALL are on Meteor AND they ALL have bill-pay. Now that’s very handy indeed.

New Ad for skin care treatment with Jessica Simpson. On every break on MTV, about 4 minutes long. Painful viewing. Go make a cup of tea while its on.

The HB ads with the Goths. I'm not really sure where it's going, like HB is trying to be more with the times.....

That blasted Budweiser ad where those idiots drag a whole heap of crap behind them on their way to a BBQ. It's just stupid. And the newer one with the guy me please.
Needless to say, anything that advertises Big Brother in any way, shape or form gets an automatic 10 Broken Gears.

If there's any ad that Grinds YOUR Gears, please leave it in a comment.

Repairing my Gears for the next installment!

~The Damo

Monday 19 March 2007

Grinds My Gears!! - Issue 5

Today's (...or rather this week's) issue of GMG is all about something which is a topic close to my Gear Grinding mechanism. I was also encouraged to write this after discovering that I was in fact not on my own on this matter. I am of course talking about Apple Inc., their iPods and their Mac computers!

The iPod Franchise
I'm not too sure where exactly to begin on this topic. Yes, the iPod was the first of its kind, offering a compact, handy yet not too robust experience of listening to music. The arrival of the iPod took the world by storm, with everyone (most people not including me) buying one. It didn't take very long for other companies to produce similar devices which in my opinion FAR surpass the iPod.

One such company which I stand by is Creative. By far the most durable music devices on the market. I have dropped, stepped on, crunched and God knows what else and it still works. Can you do that with an iPod...hell no. Also, Creative stayed through to the word of a music player. That's what it is. A device that plays music! So why do we need an iPod at almost double the price for some models that stores videos and photos. I use my Creative for listening to music while I'm walking somewhere or on the bus or whatever. I don't suddenly feel the urge to want to watch a film while I'm walking or decide that I would like to look again at the pics from the party I was at last week. Honestly, these devices should only play music. That is what I don't like about the i-pod. It doesn't play songs any better than any other mp3. In fact I found that the speakers provided are pretty crap. (My Dad has an iPod, hence how I know).

The other thing that annoys the hell out of me is iTunes. Quite possibly the most awkward music handling software I have ever been forced to use. Windows Media Player 10 wipes the floor with iTunes. Now many people are attracted to the idea that you can buy songs cheaply from iTunes. One: the songs you buy can currently only be played on an iPod. And two: you can get songs free that work on ANY device from Bearshare, AND it's legal. Also sticking with Apple software, Quicktime video is simply atrocious. I just cannot describe it. Any other video player is better. Full stop.

Back to the iPod itself, I just don't trust a machine that looks like I could snap it in two with my hands. Also, whats the deal with all this extra gadgets that you can buy for the iPod, like a shuffler, as if the machine couldn't do it for itself, or for some models a radio adapter, where these are standard features on other superior brands. Why are there so many accesories? An iPod Dj Deck, a surround sound system...come on like!

Now, ladies and gentlemen, we are entering an era of another abomination to swarm the globe. The iPhone. Yes, just in case you hadn't heard, Apple are releasing a phone. It is both an iPod (surprise surprise!!), a phone (no really, I'd never have expected that!) and an internet device.

All the information can be found here:

I'll leave it up to you, as if we need our phones to be a music player, and IF I feel the need to suddenly browse the net walking down the street...whatever bobs Apple's apples.

Mac Computers
The slogan goes: "Go beyond Vista, It's time to get a Mac". As bad as Vista is, I still wouldn't get a Mac. "Why?” you say. Well, whilst Mac pc's do look very fancy, keeping in style with the iPod, Mac computers are quite wait...ARE the most incompatible systems on the market. They don't use the standard connections for printers, projectors, scanners, etc. They can't use the same software as Windows systems, they can't use the same discs as fact everything is just fucked up. It's all well and good that they use a fancy user interface a different name for Internet Explorer, but the actual functionality of a Mac is no better than Windows, its worse.

Similarly to the iPod, the Mac comes with features that aren't exactly necessary for the computer; the laptops come with an inbuilt camera and very fancy photo booth type software. That's all well and good, if only they'd spent more time making their systems more compatible with everything else! Even certain files that are saved on a Mac can't be transferred to a Windows system. I had to do a class presentation for Structures, and one person had certain images saved on the Mac, and the finished slide show had to be put on a Windows because the Mac couldn' plug into the port, and all the images that had originally been on the Mac wouldn't show up on the Windows.

Just imagine having to use iTunes as your default music player and Quicktime as your default video player if you had a Mac......awful is too light a word.

That's it from me, Cass stole my next Grinds My Gears idea, so I'll see what comes up over the next few days.

Hugs and that.

There's no time for pussy footing around, there's metal to burn and sparks to fly, cause the next Monster Garage challenge is just..around..the bend!!!!!

~Mr. Kelly, Technical Drawing Teacher Extraordinaire

Thursday 8 March 2007

Fast Food - Yum! or Yuck??

Fast food. Do you love it or hate it? Healthy or Unhealthy? Necessary or Unnecessary? Clever or laziness?

There does be a lot of debate over fast food, whether its the fact that McDonalds used to use animal fats for cooking their fries or that someone found a cockroach in their burger, the world of fast food is a divided one.

In recent times (in this case months), for some reason I have greatly gone off fast food, be it the relatively high standard of places like McDonalds or Burger King, or the not-so high standards of the local take-away...which near me actually burned down last week.....

Perhaps its the grease or the smell or whatever, but I just cannot seem to stand sitting (or worse standing) in these places. Some more so than others, and the type of fast food restaurant also plays a huge part. It's easy to say: "Well..if you like chicken, go to KFC, or if you like Pizza, go to Pizza Hut"...well obviously yeah...duh! It is true to say that they dominate their respective areas of food, Harry Ramsdens would cover fish for example. From what I remember, these places were fairly high quality, can't really complain much about the actual "food", though there were other problems. For instance, the service in Harry's is shockingly terrible, the people at the tills in KFC can't understand you nor can you understand them, and Pizza Hut is disgracfully expensive.

Where you go to eat is purely your own preference, Eddie Rockets for example dominate the "American Style of Eating" sector uncontested. Their food is unique, tasty though fairly expensive. There are things there that you can't get anywhere else. Spur Steakhouse is the same. In fact, it's the only steakhouse chain I know of in Ireland. Very high quality, very select, but expensive.

The problem with me and fast foods hits the fan when it comes to McDonalds and Supermacs. (Note that I haven't included Burger King anywhere for the simple reason that I think Burger King is the best). On one hand we have a company that very much encourages healthy eating - which is a good thing - and has a hand in many aspects of food, of which I think desserts are their best. On the other hand we have a company that tries to venture into every aspect of food, and as a result, has in my opinion a very low standard. The latter being Supermacs. Whatever it is about the place I just can't stand it. I wouldn't even go in there just to take a piss. They don't dominate any aspect of the fast food trade like every other restaurant does. Supermacs without a doubt falls into the "Yuck" category for me. Given the choice I would gladly pay nearly double the price for stuff in Eddies than in Supermacs.

Keeping with "Yuck", I can't go on without mentioning the worst of the lot. Any guesses? No? Well its the one place where you only get a 'can' for your drink and the food is prepared in the most sloppiest of manners. Got it? Well its Abrakebabra. My definition of "shithole" when it comes to food. Everything is wrong with the place. Service - bad. Food - terrible. Dining experience - painful. Afterwards - sick street. There tends to be something about seeing a cylinder of "beef" or whatever the fuck it is rotating around, and then seeing them cutting off strips to put into the kebabs, that are slopped together with sauce and filling. The burgers have thick grated cheese on them, not slices like anywhere else. The chips are soggy, the drinks are tiny...and the place...well...just messy. This isn't a Grinds My Gears, but I strongly recommend you avoid Abrakebabra at ALL costs. Even Supermacs is better. And I'm dead serious too. The local chipper ranks higher than that kip. And its cheaper.

YUM Places - McD's, Burger King, KFC, Eddies, Harry's, Spur, Pizza Hut, Spud 'u Like.

YUCK Shitholes - Supermacs, Abrakebabra, White Castle, Wimpy.

Am I right people? Will there be a day when Abrakebabra tastes nice? Will I take a piss in Supermacs. Will White Castle open up here in Ireland?

Not likely.....

Wish you were here?

~The Damien

Wednesday 7 March 2007

Grinds My Gears - Issue 4

This one is going to tackle the abomination of the modern world, Medusa's hair, the paper cut you get from a fresh 1000 page Physics book, the lumby bits in vomit, the spam in your inbox, the bits of onion you find in a roll from the Kokonut, the stuff you get in your eyes when you wake up in the morning, the lint from your bellybutton.....aka Paris Hilton.

I'm not sure where to begin really, there's a lot of material to go on, so I'll do my best to try and explain to you why Paris Hilton wears by abrasion my assembly that performs a specific function in a larger machine; or Grinds My Gears for short.

Okay then..Paris Hilton: according to wikipedia, she is a singer, actress and fashion model. Unofficially she is also of course a stupid spoiled whore (South Park), an unlicenced porn star and many more. Why is she famous? Much like Jade Goody, this illudes the best of us, she is an heiress to the share of the Hilton Hotel fortune and the real estate fortune of her father. What did she do? What merits her stardom? Nothing. She has done nothing. Much like Jade Goody, she has a "career" which she shouldn't have. It's only because of the fact that she has a lot of money that she is an "actress", "singer" and "fashion model". I use the inverted commas there because as we all know, she is in reality none of these.

Like Big Brother, her popularity stuns me. People seem to like her...and idolise her??? What are they thinking? South Park hit the nail on the head in the episode featuring Paris Hilton. Everything was perfect. In Sweet 16, there was one girl who (like Paris Hilton) will be an heiress to a fortune, and wants to be (and I quote): "Just like Paris Hiltion". Honestly. Will she release "stolen" sex tapes too? I'm pretty sure it's illegal for 16 year old to do that anyway.

Her music career. Well...she has one only because she has a lot of money....and wants to make more. Like all female popstars, little girls want to be just like them. Britney and Christina had the same thing for a while, but I'm pretty sure that most sane girls don't want to be like Britney anymore....unless they want to have two babies one after the other, marry a nobody, get pissed, go commando and shave their heads.....But anyway, this is about Ms. Hilton. Her acting the music one, she only has it because she has money, and if people see that she stars in a film, they'll go to see it...because everybody loves Paris Hilton. I wouldn't go see a film just because she's in it. Now Sarah Michelle Gellar....definitely...that's the only reason I agreed to go see Scooby Doo!! Her TV career was inspired by her sudden fame for her inheritence. Starring in The Simple Life for four series I think alongside Nicole Richie. Needless to say I didn't watch any of it. I would sooner watch Celebrity Love Island...well....maybe. It fits into the character of 'cancer' for TV, whilst I'd say Paris herself is close to AIDS status.

Now the interesting bit. It seems that when Paris isn't in the news enough, she needs to get into the news. This usually happens in three ways. One: get drunk, get pulled over and make sure people see it happen. Two: go out clubbing with her best mates Britney and Lindsay, making sure they are wearing no underwear so the cameras can get a nice and clear worms-eye view of you know where. Or Three: release a sex tape. Sorry. Did I say 'release'? I meant, have one stolen. I'm sure that when (or more so if) someone breaks into Paris' house, they go to the big press marked: "Secret Sex Tapes" and steal one or two. As far as I know there are only three stolen ones: the one with her boyfriend and nightcam, the lesbian one, and the new one featuring some dude, Paris and a bathtub. To further increase the popularity of these sex tapes (and there is no doubt that they are popular), Paris will try to steal one from some video store. In one of VH1's "Celebrity Scandals" or whatever its called, they showed a clip of Paris stealing one video from a shelf, where the entire shelf was full of them. I'm sure the clerk would've given it to her for free if she needed to see herself in action.

Other interesting areas include Paris' phone...that was....guess...stolen. Including 100's of Celebrity numbers and what not. Now that was entertainment. To make matters better, the numbers contained in the phone were uploaded to the internet. Also included in the phone were pictures of her naked and I think a few others aswell. She obviously had forgotten what her breasts had looked like from the time she got dressed to the time she got into the car. Though with Paris she probably goes a few days without changing given that she's such a party gal. But she would need to get undressed to have video taped sex with all those men....or maybe she doesn't get un-dressed for them at all......

What else could Paris still do? Well I think she's covered the sex industry quite well enough, I'm not sure whether there's anything left for her to do there. Maybe do some directing?

I guess the only thing she can do now is star in Big Brother. If sooo many people love Paris and sooo many people love Big Brother...I would be incredible...and not 'incredible' in a good way. The AIDS of the Celebworld hand-in-hand with the AIDS of TV.....the media....I would be a massive tidal wave of sex, scandal, bitch fights and everything. And what's worse is that her "career" would probably still be intact after being on Big Brother...and everyone would still love her. She needs to be terminated.........soon.

Over and out from the DIA Dungeons.

~The Damo Volcano