failing like never before


So That Was New

If this blog was a child I would be in prison for gross negligence. During my absence, a few interesting things of note have occured. Firstly, my apartment building burned down several months back. Which has lead to me discovering three new things:

  • I should have gotten renter's insurance.
  • Exposing a hard drive to high heat, dropping a roof and bucketfuls of ash on it, and then dousing it with water, will do nothing positive for said hard drive's longevity.
  • Eating pizza and relaxing in front of the dying coals of your burning apartment is a great way to meet the neighbors.

And now, a few pictures.

view from the kitchen

I consider myself lucky, all things considering, in that I (nor anyone else) was not hurt in the fire, and having not owned too much, I lost relatively little. Now as far as potentially life altering events go, having my apartment burn down barely noted as even a slight blip in my day to day life. The day after the fire, I was buying a new toothbrush and some clothes at Target, by the end of the week I had a new place to stay and was allowed to pick through the remains of my apartment, and within a month life had returned mostly to normal, save for the fact that I only owned one pair of jeans.

Although my hard drives gave up the ghost in the fire, the non-moving components of my desktop, choking in ashes, bravely survived for a few more weeks of operation before finally surrending to death with a high pitched squeal. So I salvaged what I could from "wolfgang" and built myself a new computer, based around an Intel Sandy Bridge Core i5, and named it "phoenix" (because it was reborn from the ashes). My trusty IBM x61s (aka 'archpad') also fell victim, although I was still able it's recover the hard drive. In a nice turn of events, I used the fire as an execuse to buy myself a gloriously large 27 inch monitor that now bathes my room with more light than the sun, and a mechanical keyboard (very) vaguely reminiscent of the IBM model M.


My Goodness, My Guinness!

We took a tour of the Guinness storehouse in Dublin, Ireland, last Monday (December 21st). I highly recommend the Guinness tour, as it is great fun, and relatively inexpensive considering that it comes with free beer. Now up until two weeks ago, I disliked the taste of alcohol, and most especially hated the taste of beer. But after having spent some time in Europe, I've managed to develop a taste for various wines, and now even beer. Apparently, all the beers that I've tried previously were cheap and of poor quality, and were therefore not particularly good. While at the Guinness factory, I easily polished off a pint of Guinness draft in record time; a stark contrast to my previous attempts with beer, which usually ended up with me retching after one sip.

After finishing the tour, we went up to the top floor of the storehourse, where the gravity bar is, to enjoy our free pint of Guinness. The bar has glass walls and offers a great birds-eye view of Dublin. We weren't at the bar long however, before we happened to notice that the view behind us was being obscured by huge clouds of gray smoke. We wondered briefly about the origins of the smoke, but being tourists, we quickly dismissed it as probably being normal to Dublin (Maybe someone should tell Copenhagen? I dunno...). A few minutes later, one of the bartenders made an announcement, since apparently several people had asked her about the smoke, saying that everything was under control, that we had nothing to worry about, and that nothing was wrong. She made similar annoucements two more times. After the third announcement, she proceded to lead the bar's occupants in a cheerful Irish song. Now, when a young child vehmently assures their parents that they have done nothing wrong and have been perfectly angelic, the child's parents will imediately start checking the integrity of all breakable items in the house. Much in the same way, we knew something was amiss.

After leaving the factory, we uncovered the truth behind the mystery of the billowing grey clouds: one of the Guinness storehouses had caught fire. Fortunately, it was only an old empty storehourse and nobody was hurt in the blaze, but most importantly, no beer was lost in the fire. Many of the tourguides, bar tenders, waiters, and other Irish locals that we met later on in Ireland, expressed to us their distress of the Guinness storehouse fire. Everyone seemed especially glad that none of the beer had been burned in the fire. I imagine though, that if the blaze hadn't been contained as successfully and had spread to occupied storehouses, December 21st would have attained Sabbath-like importance and would have been remembered in Ireland as the day Guinness caught fire. And then I could have told people, "I was there."