Tag Archives: Business

The Daily Rant: ON Windfalls.

Imagine you’re cleaning your house or apartment (which is something I do, by the way: I imagine I clean; I rarely do it in real life), when all of a sudden you find some money, money you never knew you had. It’s a substantial wad of cash and it could come in very handy in these times of severe austerity. You’d make use of it, wouldn’t you? Like pay off a few bills and treat yourself to a holiday or other such luxury. In other words, you wouldn’t look a gift horse in the mouth, right?

Due to an accounting error and human error (with the left hand not knowing what the right hand was doing), it appears Ireland isn’t as broke as it was previously thought. We are now richer to the tune of 3.5 billion euro, an amount of money that was found by accident. So what will our government do with this windfall? Wouldn’t it be a wonderful gesture if every tax-paying adult got a little something extra this December in the Budget? Say about €10000 each?

As Eliza Doolittle sang in My Fair Lady, “Wouldn’t this be lovely?”

100 Words, 100 Days: Day 82. On Showers.

One of the things I miss when I’m away (apart from my bed, that is) is my electric shower. You know the type I mean: flick a switch and water comes out, at the rate you want and, more importantly, at the temperature you want. Too many times I’ve had to wrestle with showers that have lives of their own. You know the sort I mean: water dribbles out at a rate snails would be proud of, and at a temperature that would make volcanoes seethe with envy. Is it too much to ask for a little consistency around here?

 

100 Words, 100 Days: Day 57. On Economics.

What I know about economics wouldn’t even fill the back of a very small postage stamp. I can’t tell the difference between hedge funds, trust funds, endowment mortgages and debenture schemes. The only thing I know about defaulting is when the time comes to lay the blame.

Default always lies at someone else’s door (if you pardon the pun). Someone with a bit more knowledge than I suggests that there’s a 98% certainty that Greece will not make its loan repayments within five years.

Default lies with those who gave it to them in the first place. Default was never theirs.

 

 

100 Words, 100 Days: Day 45. On Change.

Most of us have a pocket or purse full of loose change, yet we’ll pay for something small, like a bottle of Coke, with a twenty or larger. In this respect, we like change. We like how it rattles and chings in our pocket.

Most of us call for change, whether it’s of government policies or government itself. We demand change in our living circumstances.

But when change affects us directly, we don’t like it. We are averse to having less change that rattles and chings in our pockets and purses.

How does change affect your life? Or does it?

100 Words, 100 Days: Day 39. On Customer Service.

Being a jack-of-all-trades (and to some, a master of none), when a customer was having problems with predictive text on her mobile phone, she passed it on to me to remove it. I happily obliged, then handed it back to her.

“Would you send a text to my husband?” she asked.

“Okay,” I replied. (She’s a bit dotty, if truth be told.) “What would you like me to say?”

“I love you, pet.”

I smiled, punched in the text and added a smiley face for good measure. All in a day’s work, wouldn’t you agree?

Sometimes the job doesn’t suck.

100 Words, 100 Days: Day 21. On Righteous Indignation.

I’m not much of a Biblical scholar, and the concept of hermeneutics passed me by on its way to deeper intellects; but I know a paradox when I hear one. The Bible on one hand suggests taking an eye for an eye, while on the other it proposes turning the other cheek.

Watching footage of the horrendous goings-on in London and elsewhere in Great Britain, the only image that comes to mind is that of the late great Kenny Everett. His character, General Cheeseburger, had a distinctive way of ending his rants.

Let’s round them all up, put them in a field, and then bomb the bastards.

Amen.

100 Words, 100 Days: Day 13. On Reboots

Rise of the Planet of the Apes arrives in our cinemas shortly. It’s yet another attempt by the moneymakers of Hollywood to ingest life and interest in a franchise that was cut dead by Tim Burton’s 2001 reimagining of Charlton Heston’s classic original.

By all accounts it looks alright – but I still think film producers are lazy. I could bemoan the lack of originality and risk-taking in the film industry but it would take a post longer than 100 words to get my point across.

As it stands, I may or may not go see it. What about you? Do you care?

 

A Portrait of the Artist as a Social Commentator.

Skangers love their Burberry

I’m on the bus, right? The 123 heading to Dawson Street. The usual muppets are on board. The blue-rince brigade with their shopping trollies, getting full value from their bleedin’ bus-passes. Free travel for the over 65s. Who’s poxy idea was that? Oh yeah, Charlie Haughey. Tax cheat he was, and he led our country. Told us to tighten our belts while he wore Van Heuson. Wanker. He’s dead now, thanks be to God. Got a state funeral, too. And these old biddies adore the bastard because he gave them a bus-pass. Bought their votes, if you ask me.

Anyway, the oul ones give you such a look when they want your seat. They’re not having mine. I work for a living and pay my taxes so they can get to travel for bleedin’ nothing. They want a seat? Get a bleedin’ taxi. Sorry, I forgot. You have to pay for a taxi. No discounts for OAPs, thank Jaysus.

I’ll only give my seat up for a pregnant woman, but only if they’re over 18. Anyone under that can stand. It’s not my fault they didn’t use a johnny and find themselves up the spout. You’ve got to take responsibity for your actions in this world, if you ask me. Spongers, that’s what they are. Taking their ‘mickey-money’ first Tuesday of every month and blowing it in the boozer on vodkas and coke and 20 John Player Blue. Slappers!

There’s this bloke behind, giving it loads to his missus on his mobile. He’s calling her every toe-rag name he can think of. He’s not much better himself. He’s drinking from a can of cider, and the smell off him is something fierce. Hey bud, take a bleedin’ shower once in a while. Can’t do you any harm. He’s off the phone to his “beloved’ and is now talking to his supplier, giving out about the last lump he got. Pure shite, he says. Couldn’t make a decent roll-up from it. His mates were banging on about getting a new supplier, he says. Doesn’t matter that there’s not a lot of it around. Where there’s a will, there’s a bleedin’ way. Hash is hash, at the end of the day. I leave him to it, difficult to do when his voice is louder than his football shirt.

I look out the window and see ‘pyjama city’. Young ones and oul ones walking around in broad daylight wearing poxy pyjamas. I dream I’m a sniper, perched on the roof of the GPO, taking every one of these lazy fuckers out. They’re a blot on society. At least the homeless have the good sense to dress for the outdoors. Scumbags.

Right, here’s my stop. I’m off. This is Dublin. My Dublin. Like it or not, I live here. Like it or not, I love it.

(c) James McShane

The Wednesday Whack-Job: NAMA

NAMA: (definition) The National Asset Management Agency (as opposed to the Nicely Arranged Models Agency); a body created by the Irish Government in 2009 as a response to the Irish financial crisis and the deflation of the Irish property bubble.

In a nutshell (a):  NAMA will function as a bad bank, acquiring property development loans from Irish banks in return for government bonds, primarily with a view to improving the availability of credit in the Irish economy.

In a nutshell (b): It hasn’t and will not work.

FOR THE LAYMAN:

Hello Mr Bank! You look sad.

Hello Mr Nama! I feel very sad.

Why are you so sad, Mr Bank?

Because I did a swap, Mr Nama.

A swap!  Oh, I like swaps!

I like swaps too, Mr Nama.  I swapped 100 jellybeans for this box of broken  Lego.

Ooh, that’s a lot of jellybeans, isn’t it, Mr Bank?

Yes, Mr Nama. It certainly is.  I want my jellybeans back.

I have an idea, Mr Bank.  Why don’t you swap again?

I tried that, Mr Nama, but nobody wants to swap 100 jellybeans for a box of broken Lego.  All I can get is 30 jellybeans.

That’s not many jellybeans, is it Mr Bank?

It certainly isn’t, Mr Nama.  I’ve lost 70 jellybeans and all I have is a box of broken Lego.

Never mind, Mr Bank.  I have an idea.

What’s that, Mr Nama?

Well, I can’t give you 100 jellybeans for your box of broken Lego, but I can swap you 70 jellybeans.

Thanks very much Mr Nama. I didn’t know you had so many jellybeans.

I haven’t, Mr Bank.  I’ll take them from Mr Gobshite when he’s not looking.

But Mr Nama, how will you give Mr Gobshite his jellybeans back?

I’ll tell him we can swap the broken Lego for 100 jellybeans next year.

Yuk yuk yuk, Mr Nama.

Yuk yuk yuk, Mr Bank.  Game of golf?

Certainly, Mr Nama.  Yuk yuk yuk.

Images and text courtesy of Bock The Robber.

Ten Things Writers Need To Do Before Editing

  1. Ensure that there’s an actual manuscript to edit. The book in one’s mind  and imagination doesn’t count. The one on paper or saved in a computer hard drive does.
  2. Owning a copy of Strunk & White’s The Element’s of Style is a prerequisite to the job of editing. If you don’t have one, get one. Now. Before you read the rest of this blog.
  3. As well as S&W, a copy of Stephen King’s On Writing should be ever-present on your writing desk. Follow The King and you won’t go far wrong.
  4. Ensure enough time has passed between completing your manuscript and starting the editing process. A month or so should suffice. Any longer and you’re being lazy. I should know. I’m the lazy one.
  5. Read up on your chosen genre. Get tips from your favourite writers. Even better, get tips from your favourite writer friends.
  6. Make a deadline and stick to it. Procrastination works only in plays by Shakespeare. To write or not to write. To edit or not to edit. It’s a no-brainer really.
  7. Stock up on your favourite legal drug of choice; i.e, caffeine, chocolate, cigarettes (filthy habit) or gobstoppers.
  8. Play your favourite music if that’s your thing. I prefer silence when I’m writing and editing my novel and stories. But when I blog, a little music gets my juices flowing.
  9. Have a plan of action. Rushing in wearing hob-nail boots and causing untold mayhem will only result in an unreadable “masterpiece” (which is fine if you want to be postmodern) and a shattered confidence in one’s ability.
  10. Most important, this one. Run out of excuses not to edit. I did – and now I’m editing.

Good luck!