Sunday, August 23, 2009

Lions and Tigers and Fionn, oh my!

We all went to the zoo yesterday, zoo yesterday, the zoo yesterday...

The weather suddenly remembered it was August and the sun scorched down from early 'til late, and the place was absolutely thronged. Only my second time there, Fionn's first, and he was absolutely thrilled. Big hit for him: the tortoises (although he insisted on calling them turtles); big hit for us: watching the elephants taking a shower on the Kaziranga Forest Trail. We also managed to get him take a nap in his buggy (a rare occurrence) which meant we had a whole day out and about. It makes such a difference not to have to plan to go back home for his nap, it feels like you have such freedom :)

He also had plenty of opportunity to find his feet, so, for the hardcore Fionn fans, a real treat lies below:

This is especially for the Grandad's who haven't yet seen much walking action from Fionn: Grandad Greg in particular is so enthused about walking that it inspired him to bring forth the following creation:

Thirteen months of growth.

Another epic journey,
A definite mile-stone,
When baby goes bipedal
And starts to walk alone.

On more than one occasion,
A single step, no more,
You’ve taken since your birthday,
But now you’ve taken four.

The date of this great journey
For historians to quote,
Was on Monday, July twenty,
After thirteen months of growth.

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Irish Government on Twitter

I'm compiling a list of Irish government agencies/departments/semi-states/whatever on Twitter (surprised nobody has done this before?). Specifically looking at organisations here, rather than individuals (although I might make some exceptions). Anyway, so far I have:
Welcome any suggestions?

Updated: added a few more, with thanks to @caseyorla

Updated again: added another, thanks to @ruralnetwork. I may create a wiki for this, seeing as I have all this new-found free time on my hands ;)

Monday, August 17, 2009

On your marks, get set, get set, go...

So the thesis is ready for printing, and should be signed, sealed and delivered by the end of the week, which can mean only one thing: holidays!

The family are upping sticks and heading once more for la belle France, itinerary is below:

View grand_tour_sept_09 in a larger map

Thats 544 nautical miles (fun site for calculating shipping distances), 1,898 kilometres of motoring, and 18 days of sunshine :)

You can all start feeling jealous now...

This is what we will look like having fun in France:

Saturday, August 15, 2009

Harnessing the Power of Online Marketing

I recently wrote an article for the August/September issue of The Market magazine, Enterprise Ireland's briefing on international market opportunities for Irish business (disclosure: if you weren't aware, I am an employee of Enterprise Ireland).

This article is drawn in no small way from my soon to be submitted dissertation, "Is Social Media Marketing a cost-effective tool for Irish SMEs?". I'll be publishing some of the results from the study here on the blog so stay tuned.

The Market26 Online

Friday, August 14, 2009

A sailor's life for me

Fionn and I took a dander out to Dun Laoghaire this afternoon to see what we could see: and we saw this:

Photo © xia08

Check out the guy standing on the dock at her bow to get an idea of how insanely big she is. She's the Cinderella IV out of Zwartsluis, en route to the Monaco Yacht Show and she is so amazingly amazing I think I'd like to steal her...</zaphod>

Anyway, good times were had on the West Pier. I tried taking some photos of the yacht, but the camera on the BlackBerry Pearl is woefully inadequate, although I did manage a few nice ones of the boy wonder, just to prove we were there.

Thursday, July 2, 2009

Give me some time, I just need a little time...

Almost a month to the day since my last blog post, sign of the times. As per my previous post, my days are feeling a little full recently. This is coinciding with what has been Fionn's most intense period of developmental growth to date, so I'm forcing myself to take some time out and document it - this is the stuff you don't want to forget!
  • He's started using his index finger to point to objects we're talking about - his vocabulary is insane: fish, cat, ladybird, trouser, cup, train, bus, bath, duck, bubble... The list goes on and on...
  • His first spoken word was probably 'fish', or 'down'. He has since added 'purple' and 'tractor' to his repertoire.
  • He has developed a skill we call 'speed-crawling' - Fionn realised that by pushing a flat object (e.g., a book, DVD, Wii game) along the carpet and crawling behind it (with either one or two hands) he can get around much faster :P He's also smart enough to flip the object over if there's less friction on the other side - go science!
  • He has a wonderful range of animal noises: kangaroo, horse (hooves), duck (i.e., all birds), dog, snake, monkey.
  • Most recent trick: walking! He has taken independent steps on a few occasions since his birthday, but he's much happier toddling and wobbling along beside you holding on to one hand. I'll try and get some video up of him on two feet as soon as I can convince him to perform on demand :)
There's obviously loads more, but there's no point putting it all down here, as he'll most likely do ten brand new things before breakfast tomorrow anyway. It's been a wonderful privilege to see him develop and grow his personality, and he's so engaged and attentive to the world around him that sometimes you would swear you were having a conversation with him. As these photos will attest, he's a real little boy now: our baby is all grown up :')

This one is just for you Foley-san...

Thursday, June 25, 2009

Ode to a grandson

Almost a week late, but been busy with the thesis, work, life, the universe, everything and all the fish...

Anyway, first of a few posts related to Fionn's first birthday last Saturday, here's his birthday poem from sean-athair Greg:

Fionn's first - June 09

Pictured on your daddy's blog before being one week old,
Celebrated journeys penned in verse,
Video recording of your first attempt to crawl,
Two steps forward one step in reverse.

Giving voice through baby sounds at barely three months old,
Sounds like you were really trying to talk,
How we marvelled at the lengthy stories that you told,
Wondered could we teach you how to walk.

Getting in the swim of things while suited like your dad,
Twelve month anniversary of birth,
Family and friends around you showering you with praise,
Celebrating your first year on Earth.