Monday, 28 April 2008

The Lisbon Assault

Looks like the 'selling' of the Lisbon Treaty is about to begin in earnest. In the coming weeks a booklet will be sent out to every voting household to explain the treaty, though I wonder if there will be enough time left if the booklet is considered biased in one direction or the other!? Me, cynical?

Also a website has been set-up to further help explain what it is all about:

The Lisbon Treaty 2008

This should be an unbiased website designed to help explain the main aspects while also allowing to download the full treaty.

While here is a selection other sites to give you some fun reading:

Libertas
Labour
Vote No
IBEC - Lisbon Reform Treaty
The Socialist Party
MEPs on the Lisbon Treaty
Vote No 2 The Lisbon Treaty

They should give a broad outline on the political arguments for a Yes or No vote. Meanwhile I remain unconvinced by either camp. Thus I shall have to do some further research into this when time allows. Of course my one vote will have little sway in the end, but I would rather choose what I thought was best over being a sheep.

As I have said before, get involved, question & debate this document for Irelands role now is of utmost importance. We decide what Europe does next. This will also be reflected in the history books...sheep or shepherds?

YOU decide.

Sunday, 20 April 2008

Read All About It - The Lisbon Treaty

So how many of you have got your hands on a copy of 'The Lisbon Treaty'?

Well here are 2 links to get you started:

1 - Institute of European Affairs
2 - Europa, Treaty of Europe, Full Text

Both of these links offer you print versions (at a cost) and free download versions. Be warned, it is not light reading and you soon realise why it would be so hard to sell this document to the electorate...hence they are not, well except for our green isle.

Read it, question it, debate it and weigh the consequences of a yes or no vote.

Just Keeps Growing

I just seem to keep expanding on what began as a simple little blog. First I got the Flickr page for all my pictures, soon followed by Last.fm for my tunes. Last week I added a new sections for some motorcycle links that should prove helpful to those wanting information and now...my own You Tube channel.

You can visit it by CLICKING HERE, but the link should be found on the left side permanently. There you shall find video on motorcycles, music and some funny stuff at the moment but hopefully that shall continue to expand.

As always, I hope you enjoy!

8.04 - Just Around The Corner

Hardy Heron is about to land but what should we expect from this new Long Term Support (LTS) version? Well the following link should hopefully be a good start:

Introduction to Hardy Heron

So for me the best aspects will be finally having Evolution and Google Calendar sync ability. Since about November I have relied solely on Google Calendar as it is so useful being able to access your information from anywhere you can access the Internet. The obvious problem being what if you do not have Internet access or just wish to be offline? Well up until now that is something I have had to live with, but things should be changing soon.

FireFox 3 will be the new default web browser. I have been using FireFox for some time now, first with Win-doh's and then when I moved to Ubuntu. Though I have experimented with the Opera and Flock browsers I always came back to FireFox, sure it could look a bit sleeker and with the vast amount of add-ons available you can make it look anyway you like, but it is that fact that it is so stable and versatile that keeps me coming back to it. I can not wait to see the latest upgrade.

A sleek new World Clock applet is on the way, maybe not very important, but I already have "FoxClocks" add-on for FireFox.This is the sort of tool I will find very useful and look forward to seeing in the final release.

Firewall as standard will be included. I currently use Firestarter as my Ubuntu firewall, but you must download it after installing Ubuntu. Now it seems a firewall is included and it should just be a matter of enabling it. Yes, the merits of having firewalls and virus protection in linux is often debated due to it being such a secure OS by default yet I stand by the belief that prevention is better then cure. So a firewall as standard seems to make perfect sense.

Totem movie player will have the ability to search and play You Tube videos directly! This will make things a bit simpler, I do not know if it will be able to integrate into one's You Tube account, subscriptions and so on but those would be nice features to see in the future. At the moment I rely on the "Unplug" FireFox add-on to take care of my You Tube requirements.

Now for me that is about it! The other major upgrades are important and certainly add to the versatility of Ubuntu, but for me the above give Ubuntu more user-friendly features. I have already been won over and my friends often comment on how impressive the OS is. Yet they shy away though I am not 100% why, some may say it is because it is a whole new OS, but these same people would happily swap their win-doh's for a Mac! That probably has much more to do with image.

There is a third way which is established and becoming more welcoming with every release. Most OS users want "plug and play", "Point and click" & GUI. I still need to open a terminal window to dial up to the Internet with my USB modem and none of my games seem to work just yet under WINE. Those are are relatively small issues though considering just how much is gained.

Ubuntu...Linux for human beings!

Friday, 11 April 2008

Extending My Perception

I have been riding around for the last two weeks with the official Kawasaki mirror extensions for Karma (my ER-6F/Ninja 650R). So, what do I think of them?

These are just a extra piece of metal fitted to the base of the mirror stalk, normally where the stalk would meet the fairing. They were fitted by my dealer, did some basic adjustments so I could see behind me then headed home. My initial impression was clouded by the fact that they were not set up right so I waited until I got home to start getting them perfect.

On the way home whenever I slowed down to stop the left mirror would fall forwards! Which would require me to get it back into position before I moved off. The right had side did not budge though...in fact once I got home and tried to adjust it, it still would not move! After some time, effort and digging out out the rubber mallet she did finally surrender to me. While the problem with the left hand side was fixed with adding another washer. Good thing they had not charged me for fitting!

After those trials and a few test runs I have finally got them how I like them. Normally I would have to tuck in my arms like Casey Stoner if I wanted to see behind me, with the extra 4cm there is no need for that anymore. Just a quick look and the world behind is shown in all it's glory...more often then not a grill of a vehicle way too close for comfort!

Well worth getting if you do not have them already and quality seems fine. If you are charged for fitting them just make sure the do all the adjusting before you leave!

Keep the rubber side down...

Sunday, 6 April 2008

AAI 2008 Mini Fun Run


Well, I feel much better now having just taken part in my first 'ride out' of 2008. The weather may have been better, with us having to brave rain, hail stones and snow but it was well worth it!

The organisers of the Annual Across Ireland (AAI) event put this on for 2 main reasons. The first was to make up for the lack of a motorcycle show this year (No RDS & No BSB at Mondello) which leads on to the second and most important reason. This was the organisers opportunity to 'meet & greet' those who took part in the AAI previously and those who are new to the event, like myself. So today we had the opportunity to register early for the main AAI event in August, get sponsorship packs and other bits and pieces.

So we all met up at the Coachman's Inn Pub for registration. From what I heard, over 100 bikes had registered before we set off just after noon, though there were plenty more then that. Many registered after arrival in Trim as well.

There were a large number of marshals taking care of us on the roads and who did an excellent job of getting us all there safely. While the Garda Traffic Corps provided us with an escort out of the city. The whole event seemed to be very well organised and went very smoothly. Though I did here that one motorcyclist came off at a roundabout, though that is all I heard!

The photos I took should show the varied amount of bikes that took part, the only thing not there was a trike! There was a Ural side-car outfit present which became a very popular talking point!

While on the road we looked liked a huge snake sliding through the city, then slicing through the green countryside. Riding in pairs with the marshals leap frogging to the front after getting us safely through each intersection. There was even a support truck behind for any problems that may have been encountered.

On arriving at the Trim Castle Hotel, we all parked in the underground car park then upstairs to a conference room that had been booked. There we had complimentary tea, coffee & biscuits and the bar was open, while big projector screen had WSB and BSB showing live. After which the organisers gave a brief thank you to everyone involved and a raffle took place!

All in all a very enjoyable afternoon and an excellent preview for what is to come in August. Now I just need to get out there and start raising money! For more information or if you would like to take part yourself please visit the AAI website by CLICKING HERE. While you can find a few pictures from the event by CLICKING HERE.

Keep the rubber side down