Tuesday, 29 July 2008

The People vs Quickroute #101

All rise please.

The honourable Judge Judy presiding.

Will the defendant please rise.

Paddy Quickroute of no fixed abode. It is charged that on the morning of Thursday October 5th, 1995, after an extended amount of after-after nightlife in New Orleans, that you did knowingly, willingly and apparently somewhat wobbly, board a yellow school bus at 8:05am with your younger brother of a similar state. When challenged by the bus driver for your school i.d. you both then presented your Irish passports and paid the child fare and collected your ticket (see evidence exhibit A below).

Align Center

Furthermore it is charged that you then attempted to entertain the somewhat confused child occupants with a rendition of 'I've Been a Wild Rover' and finally you asked the bus driver to make an unscheduled stop at your hotel for your convenience.

Judge Judy: How do you plead?

Quickroute: Guilty your honour, very guilty :-((

Tags: New Orleans, late night, school bus



Sunday, 27 July 2008

QUICKSILVER - Stop the Lights

Quiz Master: Quicksilver - Bunny Carr

Take the QUIZ!

I mentioned this show recently to an anonymous Irish blogger who had never heard of it so I've taken it upon myself to educate the world at large to the Irish phenomenon known as 'Quicksilver'.

This quiz show was on Irish TV (RTE) and started in the late sixties with old money shillings and farthings etc. In the seventies the budget was so low the questions started at 2p (= 3 cents approx) and climbed to 5p, 10p, 50p £1, £5 and reached a max top jackpot of £10 Irish punts (currency we used before we sucked the EU dry and before Bertie Ahern starred in that movie/documentary 'Celtic Tiger, Hidden Euros')

Contestants had to answer three questions correctly. They could pass on one question by shouting "Stop the Lights!'' A phrase still used in slang and jest in Ireland today.
Norman Metcalfe who played the organ in an effort to give clues was also a classic touch.

It became a cult hit because it was so bad, it was hilarious. The answers the contestants gave to some questions are still the stuff made of legend.

e.g. Q: Name a famous bridge? A: The Bridge Over Troubled Waters

Now YOU can take the QUICKSILVER quiz below and win 20 Euros!
- just 10 short multiple choice questions..BUT..........

  • Wait for the quiz widget to load below - be patient
  • IMPORTANT: The CORRECT answer in this quiz is what the contestant gave as a response - remember that!
  • When you finish the quiz click 'Send Result'
  • When you finish the quiz - Refresh this page to view answers in the widget.

Competition Rules:
The winner shall be deemed to be the person with a 100% score on the quiz (remember to click 'Send Score') who also emails me via the 'Contact Me' button top right of my site with the correct answers. Payment of 20 Euros will be sent via PayPal - no exceptions. In the event of multiple i.e. joint winners Quickroute will decide the winner by random selection - Good Luck and remember it's a game!

Looking for the Quiz? - It's directly above so scroll up and wait for it to load.
Looking for the answers? - Refresh this page after you take the quiz and you'll see the answers coloured green in the widget.

Have any problems taking the quiz - let me know by leaving a comment

Tag: QUICKSILVER, Stop the Lights, Bunny Carr, Norman Metcalfe, Irish Quiz show,Irish quizzes,
Remember to spread the word and send others over here to try and win the prize!

Tags: RTE Quicksilver TV Quiz Show, Bunny Carr.
UPDATE: I just found some vintage video on YouYube - Enjoy!


Wednesday, 23 July 2008

Bad Teeth

I'm off to the dentist tomorrow for some fillings - ARGH! It's not as bad as the poor individual above and I've had a clear run for several years but last weeks check up didn't go well. I've been doing all the right things like brushing, flossing and rinsing with mouthwash but now I have a broken molar from a previously filled tooth and another two teeth have cavities. I'm not a happy camper.

I am terrified of dentists since I was kid, when a bad butcher of a dentist in Dublin touched the nerve of a tooth while doing a filling and he didn't give me enough pain killer. Give me general anesthetic anyday. In fact the more drugs the better as far as I'm concerned. How the hell did they do this in the ol' days?!!

I have a reasonably high tolerance to pain, but I think the dentist realised the error of his ways when I screamed the most damn awful obscenities at him and his young attractive assistant. She turned quite white and had to excuse herself to go to the loo. I was in agony for 2 days and every time I swallowed it created suction on the tooth and nerve and a jolt of pain shot thru my body.

I had another nightmare experience as an adult, when a wisdom tooth was being extracted by pliars (barbaric as it sounds - it felt worse!) and the tooth broke. It took two dentists an hour to pull what remained of the tooth including the broken pieces out.

Wish me luck!!

Tags: Denist, Dentist Buenos aires, Root Canal, fillings, pain, bad teeth, bad dentist experience, recommended,advice


Tuesday, 22 July 2008

Dunnes Stores, Northside Shopping Centre, Coolock

I worked part time for many years (1981-1988) in a supermarket, Dunnes Stores, Northside Shopping Centre, Coolock, Dublin as a stock control technician and hygiene specialist (ok so I packed the shelves and mopped up spillages.) I dreaded the inevitable announcement "spillage aisle #2" and when somebody dropped a bottle of TCP disinfectant (which they did regularly) it was like tear gas and your eyes and nose would burn.

They had a really cheesy jingle of 'Dunnes Stores Better Value Beats Them All'. It looked more like a prison from the outside and there were no windows, so you didn't see the light o' day from the time you clocked in to when you clocked out but at least your pay helped subsidise the beer & smokes (yes I had vices back then!)

You had to work your way up the rungs of the ladder and my first 3 months were spent doing nothing other than collecting shopping baskets and cleaning spillages at the checkouts. I had a crush on several of the checkout chicas and even dated one or two. Eventually I proved myself worthy of managing a whole aisle, the baby aisle. Nappies, baby food, wipes you name it, I packed it and made sure it was in plentiful supply.

There were a great bunch of people working there, including the managers (mostly from the rural areas) and the social life was massive. I met some of the most alive, honest, funny, hilarious, kind, warm, natural, real people while I worked there. Many a pint down the Sheaf O'Wheat pub or The Blacker (Black Sheep) and regular group outings to Saints nightclub in Howth where we christened our regular seating spot as 'Nuts Corner' because we were (for want of a better word) nuts.

That was the Dublin of the 1980's, the Dublin I loved. But I left for foreign shores as many others did along with me in search of a better future. I went back to visit the supermarket a while back and the memories came flooding back. I didn't recognise anyone as now it's mostly the hard working Polish doing the spillages and packing the aisles. I often wonder where those 'Dunnes' people are today and what they're doing, so if by chance you google this please drop me a line using the 'contact me' link at the top of this site.

Looking for some old Dunnes Stores people then try here

Did you have a part time job when you were at school and if so what was it/how was it?

Photo: Northside Shopping Centre

Tags: Dunnes Stores, Northside Shopping Centre, Coolock, Dunnes Stores Better Value Beats Them All, Sheaf O'Wheat pub or The Blacker (Black Sheep)


Saturday, 19 July 2008

Batman: The Dark Knight - Movie Review

I have never done a movie review on this blog before. I generally can't see the point in adding my 2 cents worth to the thousand other reviews out there. Today I'm making an exception.

I just saw the latest Batman instalment called 'The Dark Knight' which is the first Batman movie not to have Batman in the title. Unless you use one of the alternative titles 'Batman Begins 2' or 'Batman:El Caballero de la Noche' (Knight of the Night) as they call it here in Argentina. Hmm...I wonder if Batgirl is 'The Woman of the Night'? but I digress as usual.

The previous Batman movies were mediocre at best. The majority of the comic book transitions to the big screen (X-Men, Spiderman, Fantastic Four etc) have been entertaining in terms of special effects but pretty average in most other aspects.

The cast is a veritable who's who of Holywood and the movie is two and a half hours long or more exactly 152 minutes that will keep you glued to the screen. The acting is exceptional. The plot is captivating. The special effects are magnificent. The action sequences are dynamite.

I badly needed to pee about an hour in but I couldn't leave the chair for fear of missing something. Heath Ledger (deceased) not to be confused with Keith Ledger (alive and kicking) plays the Joker and is (was) outstanding. I don't hand out compliments for a film/movie that easy but this is gob smackingly unbelievably entertaining stuff. I give it a hugely enthusiastic 2 thumbs up! If you're not impressed, you can kiss my Irish Blarney Stone Arse and I'll refund your ticket.

More details here.

Two thumbs Up!

Tags: Batman: The Dark Knight - Movie Review

Tag: Movie Review Dark Knight Batman movie, Best Batman Movie,Batman Begins 2' or 'Batman: El Caballero de la Noche,


Thursday, 17 July 2008

Follow the Yellow Brick Road

How do I get to the wizard of Oz?
Answer: Different approach depending on culture and heritage.

Directions as given by a Dubliner: Keep going straight now until you get to O'Neill's pub, then make a left and keep going until you see Biddy Mulligans, make a right, then continue on past the Guinness brewery until you get to the Nags Head. He's in the house on your left beside Dicks Winebar.

Directions as given by Irish country folk: Well now let me see, you go on down this road here now and you'll see a yellow house with a rusty tractor in the garden. Just ignore that now but isn't it a shocking disgrace all the same that tractor is being let go to waste as some people just seem to have more money than sense but anyways after you get to a bridge you'll see a turn off to the left and you should just ignore that too and you keep going straight till the road ends. The wizards house is on your right hand side. I should probably warn you though it's no longer there as it burnt down 3 years ago (insurance fiddle if you ask me!) - Same fella who owns the rusty tractor is to blame!

Directions as given by a resident of Buenos Aires: First of all gringo, you need a map, but be warned that maps of Buenos Aires have North pointing East because, because.......well I'm not really sure why.

North is East?

But anyway, then you go north on Senillosa Street till you get to {"ahem ...you mean west yes?"} ...oh yeah I forgot about the ol' compass arse backways thing for a minute, so yes west to the end and you turn right onto Chaco Street which for no apparent reason becomes Quito Street and then you go 2 blocks and make a left onto the continuation of Senillosa Street. - Huh??? - check the map below?

Grid Zig Zag Maze System (click above to see larger image)

Ah that's right, here in Argentina we like to take a continuous straight street and rename it at any given random spot e.g. Chaco to Quito. Then we like to keep the same name for a street that's not continuous e.g. 'Senillosa' and is in fact a completely different street. It's called the grid zig zag maze system.

Welcome to Buenos Aires! Anybody got GPS?
Is it any wonder people in general and postmen (I suppose they're people too) get lost here?!!!


Tag: Buenos Aires Map, Directions Buenos Aires,Map of Buenos Aires, how to get around Buenos Aires,Where to go Buenos Aires,


Tuesday, 15 July 2008

Google Funny and Weird Search

You'll no doubt have seen some but hopefully not all of these before (if so skip to the second half of the post). Some are with the 'I'm Feeling Lucky' option, some are not.

Type the following phrases into Google search for some surprising results at the top of the list:

"Google Easter Egg" (with the 'I'm feeling lucky' option) - [or just click here ] - Play with the bunny!

"Find Chuck Norris" (with the 'I'm feeling lucky' option) - [or just click here ]

"the answer to life the universe and everything" [or just click here ]

"Who is a failure ?" [or just click here ]

"Achieving" [or just click here ]

"Search" [or just click here ] - You would expect Google to be higher?

"French military victories" (with the 'I'm feeling lucky' option) [or just click here ]

- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

Roy at Irish Taxi was checking to see what his most popular post was, so that got me wondering about the same thing.

I'm not necessarily top of the search list on google but am in the top 10 for some of these more unusual googled search terms below. When you run the search just scan for "~Irish Expat" in the list. Why do people look for this stuff on google? How do they end up on my blog?

"Irish taking the piss" [or just click here ]

"24 hour delivery" [or just click here ] (and scroll down)

"argentina expat tax evasion" [or just click here ]

"Argentina Leprechaun" [or just click here ]

"Pinapple Face" [or just click here ] (and scroll down - yes I spelt it wrong!)

"Irish tits" [or just click here ] (and scroll down)

"Uruguay tits" [or just click here ]

- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

Don't forget - Doogle - The feckin' search engine of Ireland

Question: If you arrived here via Google or Doogle what did you type?

Question: Any funny words or phrases bringing traffic to your blog?
b.t.w. If you have a blog, you can look at this stuff too with google analytics.

Tags: Google Funny and Weird Search, funny words or phrases google search

tag: google search, weird google search, live search,fun search,google,google bomb, funny strange weird google search results


Sunday, 13 July 2008


I've blogged and ranted about dogs on a few occasions. On one occasion I was venting my frustration at the daily early morning dog howling concert outside my window here which is still going on. I did another rant about the unbelievable amount of dog poop on the footpath here which thankfully I have managed to sidestep with my new found extra peripheral vision skills.

Apparently dog meat in Beijing has been ordered off restaurant menus for the Olympics.

I stumbled upon a blog post today which I think is an excellent compilation of facts, figures and photos about this topic. The visual images in particular were both hypnotic and provoking for me. Don't just skim thru - please take a moment and visit the link below and judge for yourself before you read on.

OK - so you've looked at the link above - yes? - good....So the question is, are the Chinese or any other country to be considered cruel and barbaric for eating dogs? My gut reaction says - "HELL YES!" and I know a few of the commenters here are dog owners and would most likely resolutely agree. I'd be tempted to throw a few of the howling brigade on the barbie but that's just a fleeting thought and rest assured I'd never follow thru.

But let me ask you this - why is it ok to eat a pig or a lamb or a cow but not eat a dog? "Oh come on" - I hear you say, dogs are domesticated pets and man's most loyal servant so you just can't compare. How can you NOT compare?

George Clooney was walking around with his precious pet pig until it went to hog heaven. Gordon Ramsey had a pet lamb and publicised it's slaughter on TV (as a bit of a ratings gimmick in my opinion). Jamie Oliver did a similar stunt before that. Cultural differences are huge with regard to this fact and shocking as it may seem, one man's best friend is anothers favourite dish.

I received the following email from a reader after my post about Argentinian Meat & Veg. I barely gave it a second thought at the time till I read the above dog eating link.

"Dear Quickroute, Just wanted to let you that I removed your blog from my blogroll, as well as another blog.
I'm a very strict vegetarian and prefer not to support blogs with pictures and blogs posts about meat.

No offence, regards,


Quite frankly, I doubt I'll ever become a vegetarian, but if you are a meat eater and disgusted by the photos in the above linked post about eating dogs, hopefully you will have gained, as I have, a better appreciation of the veggie point of view. Our ability to disassociate (a.k.a blank out or simply not care) what we eat and where it came from is somewhat scary.



Thursday, 10 July 2008

Bottling Bovine Burps

Photos courtesy of Reuters

In Argentina, human and animal bodily fluids and gases are put to full use. In addition to utilising the urine of post menopausal women for fertility treatments, scientists are now using cow burps and farts to study global warming. They collect the bovine burps by attaching a large light weight plastic container to the back of the cow and connecting it to the stomach.

Apparently the digestive system of a cow produces a significant amount of methane which is a potent greenhouse gas. Researchers estimate that 30% of Argentina's green house gas emissions are generated by cattle. (they have 55 million head of cattle here!)

One cow can produce up to 1000 litres of emissions each day. The researchers collect and analyse the emissions to see if varying the diet can reduce the amount of methane.

Full article here

So before you make beans on toast or chile con carne , stop and think about reducing your own green house gases!



Wednesday, 9 July 2008

Perito Moreno Glacier Melting

Many of you will have seen the news reports showing the glacier in Perito Moreno, Patagonia, Argentina breaking off into the ocean. I had the great pleasure of seeing this 'natural' phenomenon a while back and it was truly breath taking seeing gigantic slabs of ice, the size of tall buildings, crack and crash into the ocean with a tremendous splash (link here).

When I saw this great spectacle it was January a few years back, which is high summer for the southern hemisphere. This time however, it is occurring in July i.e. winter for these climes.

Global warming is generally accepted as the culprit (unless somebody has been spreadin' a whole lotta salt!) The glacier is melting at an advanced rate never seen before. This is denied by the usual skeptics who claim it's just natural variations in the earths temperature. These are the same skeptics who have a vested interest in not acknowledging this fact i.e. they consider adhering to the Kyoto protocol too expensive.

Penny for your thoughts?


Monday, 7 July 2008

Meat and Veg (Argentinian Style)

Dinner.....Bife De Ojo (eye of beef) with veg

Following 2 photos courtesy of Asado Argentina - FYI: 'Asado' = 'BBQ' in Argentina - Why just throw a shrimp on the barbie when you could throw half a cow instead?
Why stop at half a cow when you could have three cows instead!Every single bit of the cow is eaten hereThymus gland or pancreas known as sweetbreads are surpisingly yummy! More detailed info on the different cuts of meat here. Sorry - NO VEGETARIANS ALLOWED!.. . .


Friday, 4 July 2008

Blogger Suicide

I almost committed blogger hari kari today. No I didn't try and 'top myself', but I completely screwed up my blog template so none of the posts were readable. The rest of this post will probably sound like gobbledygook gibberish unless you have a blog (and probably if you do too!) but here goes anyway.

What I wanted to do , should have been a fairly simple tweak to the blogger layout template and add a few new blogger widgets. I do make backups periodically but haven't done so in a while and I'm sort of a techie geek that should know better. *slaps himself on wrist*

There's a new blogger in-line comment feature which you can enable in draft blogger that finally puts a comment box below the post instead of having to click and launch a separate window or pop-up window.

I like it BUT......

a.) You have to do another code tweak to make it work if you previously tweaked the classic blogger template. This proved frustratingly difficult as the code refused to work "blogger incomprehendable error... blah blah blah!"

Twenty google searches later and tweak, tweak, tweak, like a budgie with bad pronunciation, it finally worked but not before a 30 minute slot where the only thing the hordes of people saw as they dropped by my blog was a small feedburner banner and no matter what they clicked on it just looped back to the same page. To those two unfortunate individuals, I offer my sincere apologies and please do come visit again!

b.) You can't sign up for follow-up comments on the new comment form which kind of sucks if you want to keep tabs on if/when your comment has been responded to (I love/hate this feature in all blog platforms.) I like being notified of a response to a comment I've made, but I hate being notified of 250 other responses i.e. 250 email messages, so I use that feature sparingly! Thankfully Gmail wraps the blog response emails in a cloak of the same conversation so its easier to manage. Hotmail has a lot to learn from the new kid on the block!

I found another hack that lets you add a link to the old comment form so your visitors can comment on either the 'new' or 'classic' version of the form. This worked fairly well except I kept messing up, since I had both the real blogger dashboard and the draft blogger dashboard open at the same time as I modified stuff and one would overwrite the others changes - argh!.

Finally it's working - well sort of - I still have some alignment issues!
... but you can now comment the old way with email follow up (if you have a gmail id) or use the box below the post. Now I understand why people move to Wordpress , MoveType etc!

OK almost the end of techie gibberish post. I've also tweaked the comments for I DO FOLLOW (remove 'No Follow') so you get a little link love from your comments when the Google Spiders come crawling here!



Tuesday, 1 July 2008

FREE BEER! - Yes You Heard Right !

I like (actually I love) to go for a quiet pint every now n' then and just stare into the deafening silence and hear the hypnotysing clock on the wall "tick- tock - tick- tock!" There's something therapeutic about it.

When I want to go out for a pint somewhere with some atmosphere, it gets a bit more complicated. For one thing people don't go out here until LATE, VERY LATE! - They eat late, they drink late, they party late. They go to work late! - A city of vampires if ever there was one!

Bars mid week are empty until 11pm so forget about the after work tipple. If your lucky the bar will get some traffic just before midnight.

Clubs don't open at weekends until 1 am and won't be busy until 3am and wrap up somewhere between 7-10am. Siestas are a way of life and one which I've adapted to....zzzzZZZZZZZZZ!

....Where was I? ah yes....

There is an exception however......

From the same person who brought you 24 Hour Alcohol Delivery comes the true story a local bar that is offering the following:


For Girls : Free beer and free national drinks everyday noon to midnite
For Guys : incredible HAPPY HOUR with free pizza - 3PM-8PM.

Chicas Argentinas
Photos Courtesy of 'El Alamo Bar': Sunday, Monday, Tuesday Night is Bikini Night!

Full Details Here

Address: Uruguay 1175 (between Santa Fe & Arenales), Recoleta



Photos of signs courtesy of Buenos Aires Tours

  • Free Beer for everybody with lunch.
  • Free domestic booze for the ladies until 10pm.

Before I get slapped for being a sexist pig (again) - I am really only doing this as a public service announcement for you thirsty ladies. - SO ENJOY!

Thanks to fellow blogger Julia at Evans Gate for reminding me about this den of inequity.


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