An open letter to Mr Dyson, inventor/household appliance wizard

Dear Mr Dyson,

Your hoovers don’t suck.

And that’s precisely the problem.

Some years back I found myself in need of a Hoover (it’s a kind of rite of passage into adulthood and responsibility).

I was easily seduced by the Dyson ideology that you take ordinary things and make them, not just extraordinary but also beautiful. I was lured in by the fact that yes, it comes in pink and oh look you can see inside it. That means when I Hoover up a spider (which undoubtedly is the hoover’s main raison d’être) I can make sure the little feckers aren’t breeding and starting a colony in there.
Sadly my love affair with the Dyson ended abruptly within a week of owning it when I realised it was designed to do anything but suck up dirt.

Our Dyson came with a multitude of accessories (it’s like a Transformer on steroids) including a snazzy head  with rotating bristles for hoovering carpet. Unfortunately after about 10 minutes of use, the bristles got so entangled with hair that the motor jammed, started to overheat and melted the plastic fixings.

I give you fundamental design flaw #1. I mean most people have hair, with a few notable exceptions (Kojak, Dr Evil, Jean Luc Picard) so surely a visionary designer like yourself could have anticipated this happening. Amazingly after I dissected the head, removed the melted components and defurred the bristles it miraculously started working again. I grant you that much, your machines are damn hard to kill.

So we now have a situation where I have to stop hoovering about every 5 minutes to pull all the hair out of the head. It would almost be as easy to pick it off the carpet by hand. Also the Amazing Rotating Bristled Head Attachment jams if it tries to swallow anything bigger than a 1c coin. So matches, 2c coins, small stones all confound it resulting in a loss of suction, so I have to pick all them up by hand too.

In fact generally all the bloody thing is good for is pushing dirt around the floor. It’s basically a very fancy, very expensive sweeping brush. And it fills up after about 4 uses which means I spend my life emptying the cursed thing.

How I miss the old bag filled hoovers. I could go for years without changing them and they just kept on sucking. So I’m sorry to announce Mr Dyson that I’m breaking up with you and getting back together with Happy Henry!

PS. Your hand driers seem ok but I haven’t had as much intimate experience with them. The jury’s still out on your fan heaters.

Kind regards,

R Mackin

Posted in Humour, Marketing, technology | Tagged , , , , | 7 Comments

Dig your own Cosgrave

Paddy Cosgrave Web Summit

I want to like Paddy Cosgrave. He’s a relatively youthful, successful entrepreneur, putting Ireland Inc on the international map, attracting legions of hipsters, billionaire geeks, veecees, and visionaries to our capital, along with Eva Longoria, Dan Brown and Rio Ferdinand.

Over the past five years he has grown his conference (and let’s be honest, despite the smoke, mirrors and technomancy, it’s still a conference) from 400 attendees to over 30,000, generating an estimated €100m for the Irish economy and, one expects, a substantial amount for himself.

I really do want to like Paddy Cosgrave, but he makes it so damn hard.

He comes across as an entitled, arrogant ass. He’s pushy, aggressive and unapologetic.

Most of the Irish business community appears to have been spammed by him at one time or another. I have never received any unsolicited mail from him, which makes me feel oddly despondent – like never having been injuncted by Denis O’Brien.

He castigates hotels for increasing their prices during the event, yet charges €1,250 per ticket and €20 for a pretty paltry luncheon. Moreover, despite the increasing success of the Web Summit, it has largely been staffed by unpaid volunteers.

While espousing the ideals of entrepreneurship, he expects the Irish state to step in and solve the problems his private business venture has encountered.

And he never, ever stops whining. About the traffic, about the hotel prices, about the WiFi, about the media coverage, about the weather and about the government’s lack of initiative.

So we bid him a hearty Adeus and eagerly await the outcome of his decision to move next year’s event to Lisbon.

Most of what drove the Web Summit’s success was the character of the city of Dublin itself. Its informality, its compactness, its pub scene and its warmth.  And it’s a clear barometer of Cosgrave’s hubris that he fails to recognise this.

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A lot of hot eir

eircom logo  eir logo

One of the most significant rebranding exercises of recent times is the transformation of the indigenous telcommunications behemoth eircom to eir.

The former state owned company started life as Post & Telegraphs and latterly Telecom Eireann before reinventing themselves for the dot com age.

Now in a bid to chase the lucrative quad play market, they have unveiled their new corporate identity.

At an estimated cost of €16 million, branding experts Moving Brands earned their sizable fee by dropping three letters from the brand name.

That’s over €5 million a letter!

Posted in Advertising, Business, Ireland, Marketing, Media | Tagged , , , , , , , | 3 Comments

Thems the Breaks


Sunday afternoon and we’ve all left the kitchen to read books and watch sport and sleep, and to think of the fortune we have in living suburbian dreams . . .

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Once Upon a Time . . .


I look though the glass to our green garden and itz orange flowers and remember living elsewhere, another time another place i guess, and i find eyem surprised as to how i came to reside inna jazzy house with two loud bitch beagles and a loving, wonderful wife named Moo Moo . . . there was no plan, i suppose i took a Right Turn in mah twenties and ended up in fairyland.

. . . and here the four ones are; myself inna small dining room typing nonsense onto a narrow screen as Moo Moo reads a paperless read by the bay window with our two small September Gurls for company, and i know if eyed planned this present in my teens eyed find myself in fiasco.

* * * * *

“But how do you get there?” asked the child. “Do you get there by walking to the hills and going over? 

“That is what no one can tell you,” said I. “If people knew how it was done everybody would do it, but the whole point of losing your way is that you do it by mistake. You must be quite certain that you have not lost your way or it is no good. You walk along, and you walk along, and you wonder how long it will be before you get to the town, and then instead of getting to the town at all, there you are in Fairyland.”

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Guilty as Charged?

I used to like weekend radio on RTE Radio One, especially Sunday mornings, although eyem changing my mind as there’s just too much misery porn being peddled on the shows, and this weekend was a great example, as Marian Finnucane began her show explaining to her listeners that the new superstar of Ireland 2.0, Jonathan Rachel Clynch, would not be appearing alongside her, revealing heez “gender fluid” as he didint want The Irish Daily Star, the paper of record (and who revealed the news to a delighted nation), to “dictate when he would or he wouldn’t talk about himself” and thank Caitlin he didint as eyed be subjected to the usual cant relating to the lack of diversity and equality and plurality and tolerance and blah blah blah and who are we to judge C.R.A.P. although myself and the Irish listeners got something much, much worse; Roisin Ingle, explaining her need to tell her abortion story.

And this morning as i drove to the supermarket of Real Food for Real People i listened to Sunday Miscellany, as Alan Keely read his lines and remembered how tough it was for his father raising two boys alone in grim nineteen seventies Ireland and i thought; can we just give it a freakin’ rest, this constant maudlin outpouring of public acts of confession is far too much for any person to take, itz wearin’ me down, man . . .

We currently live in an overprotective, liberal fascistic society, which in order to maintain itz dominance, denigrates our parent’s past by encouraging the heretics of yesteryear to continuously cheerlead for a fanciful future, one, where we all exist, but do not live . . .

. . . no matter what the new priests of the present proclaim

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“Some people walk in the rain, others just get wet” Roger Miller


I woke up this morning to find the rain had passed, and i was disappointed as i had high hopes for yesterday’s deluge, i had a plan.  As i returned home from work yesterday evening, taking the scenic route by the mountains, my thoughts turned to that evening’s entertainment; a front row seat in the dynasty room, with a beer on the table anda pizza in my hand and eyed watch the shower of cloud water fall onto our garden and shout to Moo Moo beside me;

“RUTH! RUTH! Would you look at that rain!”

. . . and she wouldint listen as sheed be playing word dash on her phone, but the weather cruelly hadda different plan, the serious rain was not to pass over Firhouse, only light rain would arrive, and disenchanted i moved to the living room and watched Sarah Conor escape with her male friend from the future, fromma machine determined to ruin her week, and i thought of my rain and how it had ruined mine.

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It’s not easy being Green . . .

The Green Party is a sham, a charade, a party of charlatans who spout platitudes to the unbelievers, urging them to buy into their principles and believe me, The Green Party have none.   A group who “recognise and celebrate our interdependence with other species“, and an association who “oppose the destructive processes which are destroying our planet“, is something to admire, but when it comes to the nitty gritty, The Green Party leave their doctrine at the door.  Their basic philosophy establishes; “The impact of society on the environment should not be ecologically disruptive“, and that “we have the responsibility to pass the Earth on to our successors in a fit and healthy state“. . . TOSH, that is; The Greens are like any other political party in that they believe in power and how to attain it; either locally or nationally.

The Green Party and their watermelon class colleagues, who say one thing at the front door and something else at the back, are in favour of destroying green spaces in areas they believe to be “middle class”. Sinn Fein “The Peoples Party” whose beliefs in abstracts such as community, are in fact actively seeking to undermine “an important voice in Irish society” by implementing measures that directly affect those they wish to court.

* * * * *

The drive to establish secular Educate Together schools in Ireland has shifted a gear and if we are to believe The Irish Times, the demand for non denominational schools in Ireland outstrips supply, however, i believe this reporting to be political and not factual.  It is clear, that in the Firhouse area there is considerable opposition to the imposition of schools which will be built on green space in order to facilitate a doctrine of inclusivity, a concept that should and does exist presently within those schools that are Catholic, and to suggest otherwise is a misrepresentation of an ethos which has existed in Ireland for over a millennia.

The destruction of our landscape is not a preserve of ‘the Right’, i would argue that the destruction of our outlook has been perpetrated by ‘the Left’, be it in our urban scenery or our country prospect and this railroading of their monument to “learning” in South County Dublin is just another example of the authoritarian streak existing within the polarizing attitude of liberalism.

But acquiescence does not equal support – wherever new schools are being established, at primary or secondary level, the level of desire among local parents for non-religious education becomes very clear – as evidenced by the preponderance of school start-up groups around Ireland aligned with Educate Together“. Ivana Bacik, The Irish Times

Posted in Catholicism, Education, Ireland, Travel | Tagged , , , , | 2 Comments

School for Scandal

It must be election time. Our public representatives are all scrambling to issue the usual specious promises about schools, roads and manna from heaven. And all in spite of, or contrary to, the actual wishes of those the purport to serve.

Our neighbourhood – Firhouse in South Dublin – doesn’t have a lot going for it. It’s got poor public transport links, no true village centre to speak of and our only local restaurants comprise of four greasy chippers.

But what it does have is an abundance of lush, verdant green space and a glorious, uninterrupted view of the Dublin mountains.

But what is that against the march of inexorable progress? There’s an election to be won.

Directly behind our estate lies an expansive parkland, with wild hedgerows and a venerable 200 year old oak tree.

The space is used daily by local residents, dog walkers, strollers, children and a nearby football club.

However, South Dublin County Council recently voted to allow the construction of two temporary school buildings on the green space (which is currently Zoned F as a natural amenity and parkland). The schools – a Gaelschoil and Educate Together facility, have taken a large bite out of the parkland, however much of it has been left intact. For now.

This month the Council are poised to take another vote to demolish the only just constructed schools and replace them with two storey edifices and a large enclosed sports pitch which will take up the majority of the remaining public greenspace.

There are already three primary schools located in Firhouse, all of which have spare capacity for more students. As Firhouse is a mature area, most of the local children are now attending secondary school or college. There is simply no need for two further primary schools in the area. To the point that most of the pupils expected to attend the schools will be ferried in from outside the catchment area.

So why build the schools in Firhouse, on a stretch of land explicitly not zoned for this purpose? Why, because there’s an election coming, and schools are vote winners – especially such right on establishments as a Gaelschoil and an Educate Together jamboree.

What’s most galling is the hypocrisy of our local political figures – only recently Sinn Fein Councillor Cathal King, admonished that “there will be no green spaces left in places like Firhouse, Tallaght or Clondalkin” and yet Sinn Fein are backing the development. Likewise, Green Party Councillor Francis Noel Duffy, who could be reasonably expected to oppose the destruction of public parkland, publicly announced his support of the proposal for the erection of the permanent structures.

Local Resident Associations, Sports Clubs and private individuals have vociferously voiced their opposition to the development but their objections appear to be falling on the deaf ears of politicians with an election clearly in their sights.

It’s a travesty that the desires of local residents are being callously disregarded and the development of schools that are wholly unnecessary and unwanted is being railroaded through in the name of electioneering.

And therein lies the rub. Since the redrawing of the local electoral boundaries in 2014, and the merging of Firhouse and Tallaght into an unwieldy electoral union with Terenure, Templeogue and Rathfarnham, the 8,000 or so residents of Firhouse simply don’t carry enough weight to matter to local politicians.

And so we are faced with the prospect of everything that makes Firhouse unique slowly being sacrificed for short term political avariciousness. And we, the local residents, will have to live with the consequences for many years to come.


In the meantime our stalwart oak tree stands in solitary silence waiting to be overwhelmed by the remorseless tide of progress.

Posted in Dogs, Heritage, Ireland, Politics, Travel | Tagged , , , , , , , , | 4 Comments

ekhm! . . . the dog days are over . . .

what did we do wrong? . .

. . . is what eyem asking myself these days as we contemplate the loss of Delaney to another family on the far side of the city, who may love her, and cherish her . . . and exercise her or who may allow her to get fat.

i know the sensible thing to do is; get rid of the Bitch, causer of fights so savage, she turned our hopes of lucrative contracts with dog modelling agencies, to despairs of financial ruin. I know that life may be better, both for herself and her saintly sister, Bonnie, and yet eyel miss her, eyel miss her mischief and eyem sure eyel cry over her . . .


i remember the Sunday afternoon i first saw her, hiding behind a bag of dry cement as her sister played for a home with Moo Moo, and right there i thought; thatz mah dogg.  And she is my dog, the bond i have with her is strong and she recognises me as her master and now within the space of two weeks i must decide whether to leave her with a family from Blanch.  I dunno what to do . . .

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