We bought the MR2 from George a month ago, and it’s a lovely car. Red, targa-roofed, and 2.0 of 4 cylinders giving about 160 bhp in a 1 tonne body – gives lots of fun! Also a real looker – you have to like poppy-uppy lights ;)

I’ve started ‘sorting’ it, with a few little fixes and tweaks here and there:

  • improving the speakers and the stereo,
  • making the foglight work again (though I have to re-aim it down a little bit),
  • waxing the car a bit to stop the lightening of the paintwork,
  • adding an induction kit for a bit of extra noise under acceleration,
  • Fixing the aerial allowing it to go up and down again!
  • Brighter white LED park lights

Future ideas:

  • Quad light conversion with 4300k HID dip setup and decent halogen fulls,
  • 3000k HID foglights,
  • 50% tint allround,
  • Bright red under-car neons ;)

There’s a timing belt due in a few thousand miles, and I’m considering some engine work while the block is out for the belt/tensioner and water pump replacement. Possibly some valvespring replacements to allow higher revs, maybe a higher lift and longer duration pair of camshafts, and maybe even some forged higher-compression pistons for a bit more power. Maybe even adding in a tuned tubular manifold and a proper quiet tuned exhaust. A stroker kit would be a bit too much though, as would a piggyback ECU. That’s just too pricey.

All in all, it’ll be kept pretty much stock, as the cost of doing things will be too much. It’s a future classic and I hope I’ll be having fun in it as a driver and a passenger for some time to come.

IRMA proving they are idiots..

Yep, lets show our ignorance in technical matters by blanket-bombing FUD-filled letters to entities that cannot perform what they are said to be able to within that letter. Blacknight are not an ISP, so IRMA shouldn’t have sent them a letter…

Rant titles

I’ve been accused in the past of having ‘favourite’ rants – so here are a few of the titles of the common ones :)

  • Microsoft and how their business practices make for bad products, making more work for me.
  • Microsoft and how they make it so hard to interoperate with, even with non-core items .
  • Apple and the attempt to control such things as iPhone jailbreaking. My phone, my choice.
  • EULAs and how they are absolutely meaningless.
  • RIAA and *stupid* business methods, and their perversion of justice.
  • MPAA being idiots with filesharing. It’s free advertising you muppets.
  • Attempts to restrict free access to the Net – see Eircom rolling over for IRMA.
  • Fianna Fáil and their continuing to drive this country into the ground (again), taking a lot of value with them. Get out of the way and stop being part of the problem!
  • Road cameras in private hands – <sarcasm>Yep, this will make the roads safer <\sarcasm>. Be more precise about the blackspots..
  • The state of the roads in the country, you’d swear we haven’t had a cent to put towards infrastructure recently (see previous rant about Fianna Fáil)
  • The overuse of txtspk or IRC abbreviations in out-of-context situations e.g. web forums.

There are a few essays’ worth of stuff there, for another time perhaps..

Clutch :(

My car decided to throw its springs out of the Dual Mass Flywheel, making me a poor boy.

It’s the first time that the car has let me down, but I can’t complain. The extra torque that the engine delivers coupled with the 143k miles on the clock didn’t help. The car did give me warning that it would go with some squeaking and some strange clanking on under and overrun, and fun sounds at idle.

I was overtaking a car and a slow articulated truck when it went *clunk* leaving me to idle down in speed, and gentlpull over at the Ballydine bar between Ennis and Crusheen. I got recovered with my comprehensive insurance to the house in Galway, and Dave with Mike’s trailer was really nice and brought my car to Bansha where it was fixed.. €1000 lighter, I’m happy to havethe car back.

Now to investigate that little clunk from front right…

New years!

Not the standard new year’s celebrations. Myself and Sarah were up in Achill for the new year, staying Chez Hayes. The rest of the usual crew made it up too, staying in holiday homes at the foot of Sliabh Mór.

There was cycling done, up the Deserted village path and back, and from Chez Hayes via Sliabh Mór holiday Homes to Keem Bay. Then a bit of a climb to the coastguard station at the top of the hill to the west, back down and cycling to Keel and Chez Hayes again for a quick coffee. Still looking for more punishment, it was up to the deserted vilalge and up to the top of that track and back again. Legs were not happy, the body was though..

A day off and rest followed.

A hike was suggested by DaveBrady, to start at the deserted village and climb to Croaghaun, at the western end of the island. The Trooper dropped us off at the bog road, and we trekked across frozen bog along the spine of the island, and heading for the large seacliffs. The air temp was about -5, and the winds were 40+ km/h.. from the east! Ready to blow us over hte 600m high cliffs if we weren’t careful. Most of the party turned back at the cloudbase, as those wearing jeans weren’t dealing well with the cold at all. That left myself, John and DaveT to yomp up the last little bit, through the screaming cloiuds to reach the top in good form. We caught back up to the others, though DaveBrady and wench were on a time pressure, so they headed off ahead. I learned the advantage of the Quechua trekking pants over a helly-hansen thermal layer but thermal underpants are the way of the future in the future..


I’m in possession of probably the best little laptop that you can get – after a collaborative effort from my wonderful girlfriend and my parents, for Christmas there was a new toy in my hands.

White, 1gb memory (upgraded recently to 2gb for €30), 160gb harddrive, Asus EeePc-1000H, Linux preinstalled. I installed Ubuntu with the eeepc packages, and I installed XP as well (transferring a license from another computer I retired here). It plays most of the games that Ilike – including Q3 and UT, as well as some that I have yet to play like GTA-VC. It has fantastic battery life of well over 5 hours of good use, and I have a lot of TV shows to play on it as well – it’s perfect for a frequent traveller!


Hmm. It’s been a while..

Concussion? I spent 14 hours waiting to be seen by the A&E in Galway Regional. Never again! They couldn’t even tell me at 7.30am after my presenting at 18.00 the previous evening, whether I was going to be seen at all – just told ‘keep waiting’. Well with a headache and a swimmingly sense of consciousness, I decided to buy some proper medical care as the standard emergency medical care system failed me. Pfft. At least the Galway Clinic were professional about it, for 40% more cost and a saving in time and effort..

Mary Harney – I’m pointing out your incompetency here.. Get your act together, or step aside and leave someone that can do the job, do it.

Ebay feedback back to 100%!

At last after that disastrous ebay transaction involving that deceptive unhelpful idiot (hid4u) that failed to complete their end of a transaction jsut over a year ago, I am back up to my usual 100% feedback.

The failed transaction was for a set of HID bulbs for my car. The seller advertised them for $35, with $60 shipping and $5 insurance. However, they had contacted me privatly looking for another $30 to ship them. This wasn’t part of the finalised transaction that they were bound to by the Ebay TOS so I complained them, to be given retaliatory negative feedback and a lot of hassle. Paypal refunded my payment, and all was sorted out – the seller went to great lengths to try to get me to remove the negative but seeing as he wouldn’t ship as per the original agreed sale, I said pretty much ‘screw that’.

His negative feedback is visible to all, and the story really reads bad for him. Now, 12 months later I got better bulbs from a better seller who deserved my money!

hids4u, you can go and screw yourself for your poor site setup, and your agressive aftersales lack of service.