Monday, December 31, 2007

2007 - a review

Since this blog is nearing its first birthday, I thought a review of 2007 would save me the trouble of reviewing the first blog year ;-)

One event which hit us pretty hard in January was Hurricane Kyrill, which damaged our roof. The roofer took his sweet time to do the repairs, but fortunately this was covered by our insurance company. January did have its upside though, my sister Fiona had her third boy, Oran, who has proved to be a most agreeable little chap.

In February we attended an assortment of Fasching events including the TraBü Ball and Albertus Saal Prunksitzung. I like to think that I'm well integrated into German society because I can withstand such punishment to my sense of humour ;-)

Skiing was not a family option this year due to pregnancy, but I did manage to get in a weekend with my father in Mayrhofen in March, which was fun. Then over Easter we visited Amsterdam with Hans-Günther, Tina and some other Kurpfälzer Trabanten. This was a lot of fun up to the train home, when Liam got sick after a dodgy sausage. Suffice to say he used up 4 sets of clothing on the way home, and Tina never asked for the towel back which we wrapped him in for the last hour.

Heike and Liam celebrated their birthdays in April. Liam had taken possession of his main present of a Laufrad early, but it was only by about his birthday that he really began to master it. Google "Youtube Liam Laufrad" to find video evidence of his antics.

By the time summer came around Heike was not enjoying the heat. So there was relief as well as joy when Rosalie arrived on the 16th July. The high point of this year for us as well as the traffic on this website.

In August Corina and Christoph got married, and over various weekends Doireann, Aedamair and my parents visited us. Then, after only six weeks, Rosalie's status of youngest grandchild was usurped by Alannah Conneely.

The last few weeks have been pretty busy -we were over in Dublin at the end of November for my 20-year school reunion, then two weeks later the whole Cassidy clan descended on Heidelberg for Rosalie's christening. Then Xmas, which was great for the kids, Liam got the hang of the whole present-opening thing pretty quickly.

These are just the highlights, I encourage you to trawl through the blog for further tidbits.

We wish you all a happy New Year!

Macartan, Heike, Liam and Rosalie

Saturday, December 22, 2007

Rosalie's Christening

From Rosalie's Chr...

Rosalie celebrated her christening last Sunday, and I finally got around to posting some pictures to the Picasa Gallery today, 6 days later. I am a miserable excuse for a parent ;-)

The whole weekend was great, especially as our normal sleepy existence was spiced up by house guests from Dublin, London, Erlangen and Barcelona. In the end 6 extra children, 7 extra adults and one extra dog came to stay. This was all too much for my parents, they wisely decided to stay at the nearby Hotel Heidelberg.

Thanks to all who turned up to help Rosalie celebrate, not least her Irish aunts and cousins who travelled so far. Also thanks to Ralf, who spent his time photographing anything that moved, as Heike and I didn't get much time to use our camera much.

Sunday, December 09, 2007

Do you know this bird?

From A Peahen who ...
This peahen found her way into our garden a few days ago, and seems to have made herself at home. And yes, those piles on the wall are hers. I'm not sure how to discourage her from this behaviour (short of letting Electra into the garden at the same time, and the results of that might be even messier).
Anyone have any advice on how to move on vagrants?

Sunday, December 02, 2007

School Reunion

I've just uploaded my photos of the 20-year reunion from the St. Michael's class of '87, they are to be found in full here. The statistics were good, 50 turned up from the year (of originally 90) and 20 from our class of 30.
I had a great time, and enjoyed catching up with all my old classmates, most of whom I hadn't seen at all in the intervening 20 years. As described in a previous blog post, they have all gone on to lead productive lives, and all seemed in good form.
One culture shock for me were the interminable speeches made by officers of the Past Pupils Union, blathering on about rugby and African missions. Those guys need to stop drinking the Holy Ghost Kool-Aid.

Tuesday, November 27, 2007


I'm halfway through a Capgemini seminar on IPTV, and thought I might sketch my thoughts.

The positive first. There's a lot going on in the group with regard to innovative video services. Capgemini has been involved in some ground-breaking work in developing the architecture and business models which are now hitting the European market. Personally I'm a late entrant, I've been involved in the T-Home workstream for just over two weeks, but my employer is well positioned to capitalise on the market demand.

The grim reality second. Everything we're doing is currently "classic IPTV" - more succinctly, a defensive play by telcos to capture back some market share from cable companies who are bringing triple play products to market.

Somehow I find this defensive position depressing. What is the value of a me-too service? I was keen to get an insight into the workings of Hulu, Joost and Miro. Instead I learned that IPTV "requires" the following:
  1. Live "regular" TV.
  2. Streamed and encrypted content
  3. A closed network.
I don't believe these propositions for a minute. Let's take them in turn.
  1. Live TV is an artifact from a broadcasting era. There is no good reason why you and I should both choose to watch "Desperate Housewives at 20:00. Video should be on-demand, any other model is an unnecessary encumbrance. In a model where delivery servers need to scale, simultaneous delivery is in any case suicide.
  2. Streaming and encrypting is expensive. Why bother? Digital content will be copied and pirated regardless of any effort to the contrary, why handicap yourself trying? Instead, we should lower the bar to progressive download a la Apple TV.
  3. A closed network is required to ensure Quality Of Service. A noble goal, one might think. However, turn the tables, and it means that your friendly neighbourhood telco will not give QoS guarantees for a third-party video service. Suddenly your promised 6 Mbit/s bandwidth becomes a number you're guaranteed not to exceed, rather than a goal to achieve. This fails the "Don't be evil" test miserably.
What's the upshot? As I've said before, the digital media market will continue to fragment. Telcos will find their niche, together with the Internet pure players, cable companies and other aggregators/etailers such as Apple iTunes, Walmart, Amazon, etc. The successful players will be those who add sufficient value or advertising, and established telcos will survive by girth alone.

I for one won't be signing up for a repeat of today's television experience, but thankfully I'm not representative of any known target group ;-)

Conservapedia Statistics

Much love to Rebecca Watson for this tip about Conservapedia (here a link to my blog post from earlier this year for those who missed it).

Check out Conservapedia's usage statistics:

Most viewed pages

  1. Main Page‎ [1,953,451]
  2. Homosexuality‎ [1,827,374]
  3. Homosexuality and Hepatitis‎ [518,416]
  4. Homosexuality and Parasites‎ [460,254]
  5. Gay Bowel Syndrome‎ [432,120]
  6. Homosexuality and Promiscuity‎ [422,619]
  7. Homosexual Couples and Domestic Violence‎ [374,478]
  8. Homosexuality and Gonorrhea‎ [332,269]
  9. Homosexuality and Anal Cancer‎ [294,892]
  10. Homosexuality and Mental Health‎ [294,250]
Is it my imagination or do these guys have a bit of a hang-up about sexuality?

BTW, the further invitation to view Conservapedia's description of evolution is a little more depressing. People believe this stuff? And vote? Scary.

Monday, November 19, 2007


Regular readers of this blog will know that we share our humble abode with two Deutsch Drahthaar dogs, Elektra and Othello. Today I'd like to talk a bit about Othello.

Othello's original name was Bandit, and he spent his first 11 years on a farm in Alsace. Here he was kept on a chain outside through the winter, and generally badly treated, so much so that the woman who runs the local animal refuge climbed over the fence with bolt cutters and liberated him in a midnight raid.

Once in the animal refuge, Othello did not recover well from his mistreatment. His fur was frozen off, and he was underweight, so that no-one was interested in taking him on. Through the organisation that had helped us find Electra, we heard of his plight and agreed to take him on for a few weeks. The hope was that he would then look more presentable and be more easily rehoused. He wormed his ways into our hearts, and has created havoc in our lives since September 2002. Despite the initial prognosis of a six month life expectancy, and occasional health scares in the last few years, Othello has always tried to attain the goal set for him by Heike: see Liam into his first day at school.

On Saturday, I came down to the kitchen to find Othello on the floor unable to get up. After 48 hours of trying to pep him up, we were forced today to bring him to the vet and have him euthanised. We miss him. Some pictures of Othello are shown below.

Sunday, November 11, 2007

Rail vs Air for Heidelberg to Les Fontaines

I'm off to the Capgemini university at Les Fontaines for a training course in a few weeks, and thought I'd check out the rail option. My thought was, if it's competitive in time and cost, I'd go with the smaller carbon-footprint option by rail.

First up, what's to beat: Last time I drove to Frankfurt, queued for security, flew to Charles de Gaulle, followed by a 30-minute taxi ride, all in all about 4 hours door to door. The costs including mileage to the airport, flight, taxi and airport parking are a little over 500 euros.

This time I'll board at my local S-bahn at 16:06, arrive at Chantilly at 21:42, then a 5-minute taxi ride to the chateau. So at almost 6 hours, I'm definitely over the time budget. However the costs are well under control, my ticket to Paris comes in at 124,30. Although I can't know my local train and taxi prices in advance, I'm pretty confident they won't bring me over about 25 euros each way, giving a total trip cost of approx 175 euros.

Added to that, I have most of the trip on a TGV, which is more comfortable than any plane I've been on recently.

So in this case, I'm happy to take the time penalty and use a little less fossil fuel :-)

Marta's Christening

Here are a few pictures from Rosalie's friend Marta's christening earlier today.

Here she is with her godparents:

From Marta Taufe

And another with mother Wiebke and sister Greta added to the picture:

From Marta Taufe

and finally one with father Thomas:

From Marta Taufe

The fine art of eating

Rosalie has started to eat mashed fruit and vegetables, with mixed results, see the picture.

From Liam and Rosa...

The prevailing wisdom may be that the "messy" phase for feeding children is limited to some time period. The picture below would suggest that this time period extends past two and a half years.

From Liam and Rosa...

Monday, October 15, 2007

Nerdiness measured

This is a fun quiz:

I am nerdier than 82% of all people. Are you a nerd? Click here to find out!

Burg Landeck and Martinsturm

From Martinsturm

The Cassidy family plus neighbour Anne with dog Duke enjoyed a Sunday excursion in the Pfalz yesterday. Burg Landeck near Klingenmünster is a castle ruin dating from the 12th century, and a starting point for a circular walk taking in some excellent viewpoints, including the Martinsturm, a 19th century monastic tower.

Here are myself and the kids (Heike declined to climb the slippery steps) atop the tower, looking out all over the Pfalz:

From Martinsturm

On the way there and back we collected another bag full of chestnuts, as those previously collected in Schriesheim are by now all eaten.

Eight and a half kilometres over 4 hours of walking is a long day for short legs, but fortunately some of us are able to snooze on the move:

From Martinsturm

Sunday, October 07, 2007

A walk up the Margarethenschlucht

We joined the family section of the Heidelberg DAV for a walk up the Margarethenschlucht near Neckargerach. Liam and Rosalie were the youngest participants, but both acquitted themselves admirably - Liam walked and Rosalie slept the whole way.

Here some pictures, which can also be seen in Picasa:

Friday, October 05, 2007

People who create and sell mobile services don't actually use them (Shock!)

See here for the full story.
"among the mobile operator, media player, content owner, developer and retailer execs in attendance, 56 percent said they employ mobile web services on a daily basis, but rarely if ever capitalize on mobile TV and music services."

This definitely rings true with me, although more from an implementor of mobile services than an executive viewpoint ;-) I've been working on various mobile messaging and music services since 2003. Yet I don't use them regularly, for some or all of the following reasons:
  • Price: Why do I need to pay a mobile premium? Full Track Music delivered Over The Air for a 50-100% surcharge? No thanks. Ringtones are a notorious rip-off - up to 3 euros for a jingle I can manufacture myself for free. Even SMS and MMS, although comparitively inexpensive, make me angry because I know that the 15 cents per message is more than 20 times the network cost of transferring the message. I know I'm being suckered, and that modifies my consumption behavour.
  • User Experience: Mostly sucks. Small screen, awkward typing, tinny sound, poor video. These are part and parcel of using a mobile phone for sending messages, taking pictures, and playing audiovisual media.
  • Better alternatives: For messaging, why not use the laptop? Sure it's less spontaneous, but the quality improves (how many times have you read an unconsidered, poorly written, one-line email, and then right below the reason is proudly presented - "sent from my wireless handheld"). If you want to take a picture, why not use a decent camera? For music and video, any digital player is going to beat the available phones for the simple use case of playing a song. Who says that we only want 1 gadget, when 2 use cases are distinct enough to warrant 2 gadgets?
Disclaimer - I should note that I'm not a total Luddite, I do use many of the features mentioned above on my Blackberry Pearl. However the difference is that I use them as fallback features when a proper computer, camera or ipod is not available.

Note - although I've not yet tried out the new GPS phones, I'm suspicious that there too a compromise in GPS usability will be noticeable compared to a pure GPS device. I have separate GPS devices for driving and walking, and I would be surprised if a single GPS device could optimise both use cases, never mind as an offshoot of a mobile phone.

Thursday, October 04, 2007

The unauthorised Windows Vista commercial

is to be found here.
Much love to Fake Steve Jobs for this tidbit.

Wednesday, October 03, 2007

Collecting Chestnuts

Today is the 3rd October, which in Germany is a national holiday to celebrate reunification. The Schwab-Cassidys celebrated by visiting the forest to collect chestnuts. We got about 3 kilos of the buggers, which for me meant sore fingers as the chestnut outer skin is so prickly.


There were some celebrations in Heidelberg on Sunday 23rd September for Weltkindertag. I am informed by Wikipedia that 20th September is the International Children's Day in Germany. International throughout Germany? Anyway, clearly a Sunday was preferred to a Thursday, so the 23rd was chosen.

In any case, below are some photos we took of our kids together with neighbours Anne and Lily.

There was some additional entertainment in the form of African drum music, to which the children happily danced, Youtube video embedded below:

Tuesday, October 02, 2007

Radiohead gets it, apart from the UI

In a move reminiscent of Prince's CD giveaway, Radiohead are selling their seventh album without the help (or hindrance) of a major label. On you can purchase the download version from October 10, or pre-order and pay now, an activation code will be sent by email.

The smart move is to leave the pricing open, i.e. the user chooses the price s/he feels appropriate, plus a 45p credit card fee. I chose £3.33, which is about 5€. The nice thing is that I'm pretty sure that the artists will get my full 5 euro, rather than between 6% and 8% of a 15€ CD.

A box set is also available to be shipped, at a price point of £40.00. This is great for fans, not casual listeners like me.

Not so smart is the website layout. These guys should stick to the day job of making music, and leave website design to professionals.

There is no word on the file format. My assumption is unprotected MP3, if not I'll be majorly disappointed.

This is a great example of artists taking control of their commercial models back from the labels (who have bungled every digital initiative so far). Music as a digital good is not only a saleable product in itself, but also a means to market concerts, physical CDs, DVDs, t-shirts and whatever. Watch out for more.

Wednesday, September 19, 2007

A week on Texel

We were on holiday on the Dutch island of Texel last week (below a visual reminder of location for those who may have missed geography class).

View Larger Map

It was the 4th time we've been to that particular Ferienhaus, and this time we were in the good company of the Seel family. Amelie and Emil are a year older and younger than Liam respectively, and the three of them had a great time together, whizzing about on their Laufräder. Rosalie aged 8 weeks was not quite up for this sort of action, but did her fair share of being cute.

Liam tried his hand at pony riding several times during the week, and absolutely loved it. Here he is with Joep on Monday:

From 09 - Texel

then Filou on Wednesday (no photographic evidence!), Okkie on Thursday:

From 09 - Texel

and finally Alfredo on Friday:

From 09 - Texel

Note: Alfredo made such an impression, that Liam has been calling out his name in his sleep since we got back...

It wasn't all pony riding, we braved the elements every day for a spell at the beach. Some days the weather was kind, and other days, well, it reminded me of all those childhood summers in Ireland :-) Here are myself, Liam and Rosalie enjoying the fine weather, shortly before Liam waded in to his neck in the North Sea:

From 09 - Texel

Here we are with Seels in a bit of a breeze, trying to explain to the kids that it's okay to have sand blow in your eyes:

From 09 - Texel

The great thing about the adverse weather was that Liam got to model all of his cool Finkid gear. This range of clothing is designed for a Finnish winter, so was well able to cope with a Dutch summer.

From 09 - Texel

The weather did improve occasionally, and a bit of paddling in the sea was possible, even for those not as hardy as Liam:

From 09 - Texel

Liam tried his hand at sand-castle balancing:

From 09 - Texel

The dogs were also with us of course, Elektra carried her frisbee everywhere:

From 09 - Texel

and Othello showed himself to be adept at extreme-relaxing:

From 09 - Texel

Monday, September 03, 2007

Bundestrojaner given short shrift by Register

See here for the Register's take on the German government's plan to conveniently forget about civic liberties.

From the article,

"Interior Minister Wolfgang Schaeuble is seeking police powers to harness malware in upcoming federal security laws. AP reports that snoopware would be developed by the German government rather than existing commercial software. Using malware to spy on terror suspects would "cover a serious and scandalous hole in our information that has arisen through technical changes in recent years," according to Stefan Kaller, a spokesman for Schaeuble."

The mechanisms proposed are as laughable as the principle is draconian. For example, government departments are supposed to send out deliberately tainted emails to terror suspects. Presumably they already have a mailing list with entries like There's probably little danger of terrorists using cryptic email addresses, right?

Anyway, as the Register points out, "Would-be terrorists need only use Ubuntu Linux to avoid the ploy". Darn it, those terrorists are just too clever!

Given this approach, perhaps it's a good thing that the current CDU-SPD coalition have no time to do anything about health, education and unemployment.

Powered by ScribeFire.

Sunday, September 02, 2007

Rosalie has a younger cousin :-)

We woke this morning to read a long-awaited text message from Davnet and Paul that their daughter Alannah Roisin Conneely was born on 1st September at 22:00. Although it seems to have been a rather dramatic entrance, mother and daughter (and presumably father) are reported to be well.

Those who know Paul will understand when I say he is a man of considerable stature. Therefore it is perhaps no surprise that Alannah weighs in at a respectable 10 pounds and 5 ounces, or 4.67767132 kilograms for those of us with trouble understanding imperialistic measures. Funnily enough, this is only marginally less than Rosalie's weight last week aged 6 weeks :-)

Congratulations to the Davnet and Paul, I hope to see some pictures of my new niece soon.

An afternoon in Obervolkach

We spent yesterday afternoon visiting Heike's relatives in Obervolkach, a charming village in the Franken (Franconia) area of northern Bavaria.

Rosalie posed for photos with her various cousins and great-aunts, some gallery excerpts here...

From Obervolkach

From Obervolkach

From Obervolkach

Meanwhile Liam was thrilled by his great-uncle's mini-tractor, and was inconsolable when we couldn't bring it home.

From Obervolkach

From Obervolkach

Thursday, August 30, 2007

Civics 101

Hmmm, I just read a very interesting post on the Spiegel website. For those with difficulty reading the German text, the essence of the story is that from now on, EU and Swiss citizens resident in Germany may acquire German citizenship without giving up their original citizenship.

There would be two advantages to me in taking this step:
  1. I could vote here
  2. I could travel with a credit-card-sized Ausweis rather than a bulky passport.
There don't seem to be any disadvantages that I can think of, apart from the admin effort plus fee that will be inevitable.

And yet I am still unsure that this is a step I want to take. Previously I was quite sure that German citizenship was not for me, because I want to remain an Irish citizen. Now I could have both, and I'm still not sure. It seems that I am carrying more emotional baggage with regard to my nationality than I had supposed.

Has anyone else undergone a citizenship transplant?

Thursday, August 23, 2007

GEZ Censorship

Those of you who live as I do in Germany will have had occasion to be upset by the Gebühreneinzugszentrale (GEZ). These people are officially there to ensure that everyone pays their licence fees, but are known for their use of tactics more appropriate to the Stasi.

I was shocked to see this article in Golem, describing how the GEZ want to take's Tips and Tricks section on GEZ offline. They have threatened legal action for use of false terms like "GEZ-Gebühren", "PC-Gebühr", "Gebührenfahnder", "GEZ-Anmeldung" or "GEZ-Abmeldung". This is laughable, as these terms are in common use, and not as perjorative as the GEZ deserves.

To be clear - have been offering legal and legitimate advice to protect consumers from overpaying. They have now taken down this legitimate content, awaiting a legal review. See their current site explaining the takedown.

My suggestion to those who care about defeating censorship is to take advantage of Google's caching function to locate these GEZ tips, and keep them in the public domain. For example:
This may seem like a trivial example, but if German authorities can censor this sort of material, it won't take long before they take more examples from the Chinese government.

Wednesday, August 22, 2007

Blogmusik is now Deezer

One music service which I've been impressed by recently is France-based BlogMusik. The design is funky, there's a fair amount of music available, and it's pretty damn fast, especially considering the graphics they're using on the site.

My assumption was that the site was bordering on illegal, and would be closed down soon enough. Today I was pleasantly surprised to find out on Techcrunch that BlogMusik is renaming to Deezer as part of a transition to legitimacy.

Deezer has a charming widget feature, similar to those from gbox and, which I previously blogged about here and here respectively. Below is the widget for a playlist which I put together (note - this may not display in an RSS Reader, click through to the blog itself). The great thing is that you can play this list as is, no 30-second previews or DRM.

free music

Alternatively, you can share individual songs, via IM, or embedded HTML as below.

free music

Another nice feature is the Smart Playlist, given a track, Deezer cycles through a playlist of tracks which are similar.

So how does Deezer make money? The streaming rights and bandwidth will doubtless come at a hefty price. Set against that will be some advertising revenue from banner ads, and a kick-back from iTunes (each song has an iTunes icon, so you can click through to buy). I doubt that they're currently covering their costs, but in the Web 2.0 world growth is much more important than revenue ;-)

I rate Deezer as a pretty good service, and I hope the impending legality won't kill the innovative charm they've displayed thus far.

Tuesday, August 21, 2007

Aedamair visits her niece and nephew

My sister Aedamair dropped by at the weekend to see her new niece and old nephew. Here she is with Rosalie:

and then with Liam:

We spent Sunday in Luisenpark, where Liam ate his customary half an ice cream (parents are there to take care of leftovers, right?)

then Aedamair was kind enough to take this picture of the family, illustrating nicely my thinning hair:

Wednesday, August 15, 2007

Science in an Age of Endarkenment

David Colquhoun has an excellent rant at new Age crystals, homeopathy, credulous politicians, creationists and general pseudoscience here, also available in slightly edited form on the Guardian's science website.

I used to consider most of the above targets to be in Douglas Adam's words "mostly harmless". I recall with some fondness the laughs we had in our school at Father Soffe, the creationist religious teacher - I don't believe he managed to convince anyone of anything other than his own barminess.

However this article illustrates that the problem is a serious one. The insidious nature of many of these "beliefs" are a genuine cause for concern, especially when politicians and universities start to condone and spread them. A recent example of wacky belief in German politics was provided by the Hessian Culture Minister Karin Wolff, who has suggested discussing the biblical version of creation within Biology class, "in order to avoid confusing the children". Ms. Wolff is clearly very confused herself, and should be excused from office.

Comparison of gBox widget with

After posting about the gBox service, I though I'd offer a visual comparison with a service I've been using for a while: Below is my "recent tracks" widget, which also handily slides into Facebook.

I've got to say, my preference is very clearly for the app for its clean design. What do you think?

[Update: If like me you use Google Reader, you'll not see the widget. Click through to website to see this post in it's full glory]


After the news that Universal is experimenting with DRM-free music downloads, I thought I'd have a look at one of the platforms where this will be available: gBox.

Opening in Firefox is not (yet) possible - though using the IETab extension works. Once the user agent is sorted, the interface is fairly attractive and responsive, although search and browse are currently pretty poor. The teasered songs were not very extensive, and the alphabetical list of artists is far too large to skim through (give it a go yourself)

Although gbox is partnering with Google on this, the "g" does not denote Google, rather insinuates that the site is used for "gifts". The current setup is essentially a glorified music wishlist. Purchasing music for yourself is certainly permitted, but seems to be an add-on functionality!

Once registered and logged in, I was able to create this list of desired tracks:

Get your own gBox
Gift Me

The HTML code snippet may be simply cut and pasted anywhere (although it doesn't fit in the right sidebar on this template). Now readers of this blog are free to give me music pressies :-)

There seem to me to be a few usability and compatibility problems with this service, we'll see how long it takes to get them sorted. However the wishlist widget is pretty funky, and may gain traction in the wild.

My concern is that by ruling out Apple as a partner for this experiment, Universal are losing a control factor, namely the comparison of DRM and DRM-free sales where usability is the same high quality. We'll see how this turns out.

[Update: If like me you use Google Reader, you'll not see the widget. Click through to website to see this post in it's full glory]

Tuesday, August 14, 2007

Corina Schwab's Wedding

Heike's niece Corina married her long-time boyfriend Christoph last Saturday, and we were there to help celebrate. Below is a picture of the happy couple together with their remarkably cute daughter Celina at the registry office.

From Corina Hochzeit

And here's Celina together with our two:

From Corina Hochzeit

After the registry office we enjoyed a glass of sekt on the Hauptstrasse, and inevitably this attracted the camera lenses of more than one Japanese tour group.

After that it was on to the reception for a slap-up meal, and some transgender entertainment...

From Corina Hochzeit

Check out our Picasa gallery for further pics.

Tuesday, August 07, 2007

Auntie Doireann meets Niece Rosalie

My sister Doireann dropped by on her way from Basel to Dublin last weekend, ostensibly to visit Heike and me, but the ulterior motive to meet her goddaughter-to-be was clear.

From Doireann

BTW, I have discovered that it is a mistake to introduce someone as "Auntie" Doireann to Liam, as the title becomes incorporated in the name. We have yet to convince him to drop the formal title, and D is retaliating by calling him "Nephew Liam".

Original meets Upstart

My parents visited for a very brief but pleasant couple of days last week. Here's a picture of the "original" Rosalie Cassidy meeting the young upstart Rosalie Cassidy. They got along just fine

From Parents Visit...

Monday, July 23, 2007

Rosalie gets photographed with various relatives

During the past week Rosalie has been photographed in the company of various luminaries:

her uncle Hans-Günther
From Rosalie Wilma...

her great-aunt Hilde
From Rosalie Wilma...

her big brother Liam
From Rosalie Wilma...

her cousin Corina,
From Rosalie Wilma...

aunt Ilona and cousin-once-removed Celina
From Rosalie Wilma...

She even had herself photographed in front of the flowers sent by her grandmother, the "original" Rosalie Cassidy.
From Rosalie Wilma...

Not to be outdone by his little sister, Liam had himself photographed with a motorcycle helmet on his head (don't ask why).
From Rosalie Wilma...

After all this photographic action, a little rest was in order for both kids and their father.
From Rosalie Wilma...

Friday, July 20, 2007

Update to Class of '87 Post

Here's an update to my post on the St. Michael's Class of 1987. after some great feedback from Rob, Alan and Garrett. Errors in my original post are stricken through, updates are bold.
  • Alan Healy: After spells of investment banking and South Afican brick factory founding, Alan is now an author of a sci-fi book, Tommy Storm. I attempted to purchase it here, but the webshop wasn't feeling good that day. I have a sourcing order in with, (4-6 weeks). Alan tells me that he's in discussion with distributors for a re-launch which should ease the ordering situation. Update: Books can be bought no problem from the Eason website which is linked from Alan's website - & all their data is correct. As regards a "relaunch", a UK publisher will relaunch the book with a decent marketing budget next spring & are demanding a sequel - which means the current crop of books will be rare first editions! Alan is based in Dublin with his American wife and baby daughter.
  • Barra Faughnan: Barra's a barrister, see his professional credentials. He also gets link love from Wikipedia for winning the 1991 Irish Times National Debating Championship individual title.
  • David Ganly: According to Google, David could be a used car salesman or fund manager or Arizona realtor. The jury is out on this one. Update: David is an actor based in London. He recently appeared at the Abbey Theatre, Dublin in Cavalcaders by Billy Roche, but does most of his work in the UK. he's married to an English actress. See David's Voiceover profile here.
  • David Kelly: Unfortunately David's GoogleJuice has been hijacked by the unfortunate weapons inspector who was hounded to suicide by the vast right-wing conspiracy. There may be more info hidden in the about 75,600,000 results, but I was not that diligent in my search.
  • Edward Gleeson: No data available
  • James Kelly: Film-maker and founder of independent production company Feenish. The site looks good James, I'll look out for your productions in future!
  • Kealan McCowen: not recognisable from Google results. Update: Kealan McCowen is working as a trader with CSFB in Tokyo. He's married to a German woman & they have 3 kids.
  • Kevin Reynolds: Actuary (this I know because I met him a couple of times between 1987 and 1998). Picture number 14 in this link.
  • Macartan Cassidy: Played at being an industrial mathematician, then became an IT consultant. Has a 2-year-old son and a heavily pregnant wife newborn daughter. If you're reading, then you probably know enough about MC.
  • Mark Caffrey: works for Ulster Bank and keeps a low profile online.
  • Mark McKeever: works for Tesco, and any Google results he may have are masked by a football player of the same name.
  • Michael McCarthy: Not sure. If he's there, then he's swamped by other results.
  • Neil Brady: Hard to say. There are 6 Neil Bradys on LinkedIn. He might be one of those, or not.
  • Raymond Donegan: head honcho in the Re-union organisation activities. Very professional Internet presence here.
  • Robert Reid: Became an accountant, and worked at several companies to judge from the various legacy email addresses I've had from him over the years. Was living in Delgany at last count with wife plus 2 kids. Update: it turns out that Rob's son Harry is 2 months younger than my son Liam, and his daughter Zoe is 3 months older than my daughter Rosalie.
  • Stephen Duffy: Pilot with CityJet. Shares name with a host of other people. I bumped into him in Turin airport in 1998, and he seemed to be doing well.

My previous take on these biographies was that there is more than average creativity visible. The new info from Alan suggests a pattern for non-Irish spouses...

If anyone else has further info, please comment.

Tuesday, July 17, 2007

Mother and daughter come home

Yesterday was a long day. To get out of bed at 3, have a new daughter at 5, and get home by 7:30 was hard enough. Then to get Liam and dogs organised, text messages sent, blog updated, errands run etc. was enough to keep me busy till lunchtime.
A big thank you goes out to Ralf and Ute, who took Liam in the middle of the night, and subsequently lent me their daughter Anne to keep Liam amused in the swimming pool yesterday afternoon. Anne came with myself and Liam yesterday evening to pick up Heike and Rosalie from the hospital, here are all 5 of us sitting on the hospital bed.

From Rosalie Wilma...

Liam was very happy to finally meet his new sister, and proudly sat her on his knee...

From Rosalie Wilma...

We passed by Heike's brother Harald on the way from the hospital, finally getting home at about 21:00. The neighbours came out in force for an impromptu Sektempfang, which was great.

From Rosalie Wilma...

Eventually we managed to get to bed at about midnight, having been on our feet for 21 hours. Here are the kids finally asleep...

From Rosalie Wilma...

This morning there was time for another couple of pics:

From Rosalie Wilma...

and here are the happy siblings together

From Rosalie Wilma...