Friday, January 10, 2014

Assorted Irish Observations

Despite being a committed EU member, Ireland seems to be dragging its feet a little on one particular EU common standard: the metric system. Oh, they go along with the letter of the law, but the spirit seems a bit weak. All the speed limits are in km/hr and liquids come in litres, like they should, but I've noticed that butter is sold in units of 227g - also known as half a pound. I imagine the unit standardization board being confronted by a gang of angry housewives in frilly aprons and pearls, armed with very solid rolling pins, who wanted to keep using their grandmas' recipes. You don't want to mess with those ladies. And then when you're talking about weights of people it's all in stones, which even famous metric holdout Americans find baffling. Old habits die hard, I guess.

Can we talk about The Big Bang Theory? I got the cheap(er) cable package so I don't have that many channels, but somehow, at any given moment, at least three of them seem to be playing reruns of The Big Bang Theory. It's a great show, one of my favorites, but still, that's a lot of nerditry. Is CBS giving it away free in syndication or something? What's the deal?

Deadly. What does this word mean, aside from "fatal"? If something is deadly, is it good? Is it bad? Is it so bad it becomes good again? I've mostly seen this word used to describe Christmas sweaters - or "jumpers" as they are known in these parts - so you can see where the confusion comes from.

Everyone in Dublin walks faster than I do. Like, a lot faster. Even when I'm in a hurry, which I rarely am, small children and little old ladies are still passing me all over the place. Where are they all in such a hurry to get to? I'd follow one of them to see what's worth wearing out that much shoe leather for, but I couldn't keep up anyway. Maybe it's a side effect of living in a habitually cold and rainy place that makes people walk like they're trying to outrace a tornado even when the weather's fine. Ireland should really look at developing an Olympic speedwalking team if they don't have one already. They could just pick random people off the street.

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