Thursday, December 25, 2003

The Twelve STI's of Christmas

The Twelve STI's of Christmas is a reworking of the Twelve Days of Christmas, written by the UK's Department of Health to raise awareness of the risk of catching sexually transmitted infections

On the first day of Christmas my true love gave to me...
a bug that made it hard to pee.

On the second day of Christmas my true love gave to me...
chlamydia, and a chance of infertility.

On the third day of Christmas my true love gave to me...
syphilis, chlamydia, and my testicles are sore and lumpy.

On the fourth day of Christmas my true love gave to me...
genital herpes, syphilis, chlamydia, and a discharge that is hourly.

On the fifth day of Christmas my true love gave to me...
gonorrhoea, genital herpes, syphilis, chlamydia, and the possibility of HIV.

On the sixth day of Christmas my true love gave to me...
pubic lice, gonorrhoea, genital herpes, syphilis, and an infection that was urinary.

On the seventh day of Christmas my true love gave to me...
hepatitis, pubic lice, gonorrhoea, genital herpes, syphilis, chlamydia, and a visit to the surgery.

On the eighth day of Christmas my true love gave to me...
trichomoniasis, hepatitis, pubic lice, gonorrhoea, genital herpes, syphilis, chlamydia, and my groin itches constantly.

On the ninth day of Christmas my true love gave to me...
genital warts, trichomoniasis, hepatitis, pubic lice, gonorrhoea, genital herpes, syphilis, chlamydia, and sores that spread anally.

On the tenth day of Christmas my true love gave to me...
scabies, genital warts, trichomoniasis, hepatitis, pubic lice, gonorrhoea, genital herpes, syphilis, chlamydia, wearing pants with some difficulty.

On the eleventh day of Christmas my true love gave to me...
pelvic inflammatory disease, scabies, genital warts, trichomoniasis, hepatitis, pubic lice, gonorrhoea, genital herpes, syphilis, chlamydia, and I no longer feel horny.

On the twelfth day of Christmas my true love gave to me...
crabs, pelvic inflammatory disease, scabies, genital warts, trichomoniasis, hepatitis, pubic lice, gonorrhoea, genital herpes, syphilis, chlamydia, and no one will make love to me.

Wednesday, December 24, 2003

PC Santa

'Twas the night before Christmas, and Santa's a wreck...
Living in a world that's politically correct
His workers no longer would answer to 'Elves',
'Vertically Challenged' the lads call themselves.
And labour conditions at the North Pole
Were said by the Siptu Rep to stifle the soul.
Four reindeer had vanished, right out of sight
Released to the wild by the Animal Rights
And equality clauses had made it quite clear
That Santa had better not use reindeer.
So Dancer and Donner and Blitzen and Cupid
Were replaced by four pigs (and yez know that looks stupid)
And to show you the strangeness of life's ebbs and flows,
Rudolf was suing over various bits of small print in the deal for the world intellectual property rights to his nose,
And had gone on Pat Kenny, in front of the nation,
Demanding three million euro in compensation.
So half of the reindeer were gone - and his wife,
Who suddenly said she'd enough of this life,
Joined a self-help group in Termonfeckin, she'd left in a whiz,
Demanding from now on her title be Ms
And as for the gifts, why, he'd never a notion
That the lists from the kids could cause such commotion:
Nothing that might be construed to pollute.
Nothing to aim. Nothing to shoot.
Nothing that clamoured or made piles of noise.
Nowt for the girls. Or just for the boys.
Nothing of leather, nothing of fur,
Which meant nothing for him. And nothing for her.
No bogball, no football... the kids might get hurt;
Besides, playing sports exposes childer to dirt.
So Santa just stood there, dishevelled, perplexed;
He just could not figure out what to do next.
He tried to be merry, and tried to be gay
(But yez have to be careful with that word today.)
His sack was quite empty, and flat on the ground;
Nothing acceptable was to be found.
"So f*** that for a bunch of cowboys," he said
"I'm off to the bleddy pub and you can stick this job up yer poxy shopping centre, it's freezing out there, and everybody knows that Santa couldn't have been a bloke anyway, cos most lads I know would rather be dead than caught wearing red velvet stuff, and blokes are terrible at answering their letters too, and there would be no reindeer anyway if Santa was male because they'd all be dead by now, gutted and strapped on a roofrack on the top of the sleigh, amid wide-eyed, desperate claims that the deer hunting season had just been extended by the Department of Agriculture, and they aren't normally interested in stockings unless a nice young lass is wearing them, and I can't stand the customers or their parents, so stuff your lousy job, I'M OFF..."

stolen from

Monday, December 22, 2003

Quotable quotes

"Action is character. What a person does is what he is, not what he says."
-- Syd Field

Friday, December 19, 2003

Merry Christmas

Gentle reader,

I'm off for a while.
I can add entries over the christmas period, but I have no idea when I'll be in the same place a sa computer over the coming weeks. I'll try to keep a diary, but don't count on it.

Anyway have this Christmas tree and have a Merry Christmas.

See you in January,

Do you have a English-Slovakia dictionary

Gentle reader,

I missed this the first time around...

The Minister for Arts, John O'Donoghue, announced that "A Day of Welcomes" will be organised for May 1, 2004, to mark the accession of ten new countries into the European Union. The accession coincides with Ireland's Presidency of the EU, which begins on January 1. Each of the new member states will be officially 'welcomed' into the EU by an Irish city or town. This will involve showcasing local cultural and commercial activity and each town will have a specific Cultural showcase event.

Cork will be welcoming Slovakia.

I think that Dublin gets the fireworks (grumble mumble). But any idea about what a Slovakian Cultural Showcase involves?

take care,


Don't you have any work to do?

Of course I do. This is procrastination!

Thursday, December 18, 2003

The flowers of March

Gentle reader,

Well the Hothouse Flowers are alive and (well I assume but it's hard to tell) well, and coming to Cork. March 27 see them visiting presumably in support of 'Your Love Goes On' due for release on January 16.

They aren't coming to Cork but the Red Hot Chilli Peppers are visiting Phoenix Park in Dublin on Saturday June 12 2004. Tickets, which are limited to six person, go on sale on Monday December 22 priced €59.50. Somehow I suspect it's going to sell out really fast...

And in a Hollywood Reporter article, Nigel Travis president and chief operating officer of Blockbuster Inc. called for an end to regional coding on DVDs. "The extra time on windows created by regional coding is an opportunity that pirates exploit." he said at Perspectives in European Video conference in Marseilles, France. Normally I'd suspect it to be pandering to the audience. After all the pirates hit the non-Region 1 area hardest. However this is the president of Blockbuster... the people more or less responsible for keeping Hollywood in profit. Somehow I suspect they will listen to the money.

take care,

Wednesday, December 17, 2003

Merry Christmas to all

Well thanks be to betsy that it's over

Gentle reader,

I've got a few days to find my life...

It sounds weird, but the shows are over. No more runnning off at a panic after work to get to wither rehersals or the play (and in one case, rehersals for one play followed by the performance of another).

This means that I have my evenings back.

Then on Saturday my life takes a Dublin shaped turn and I have to deal with the most frightening thing any Irish man has to face. The Mammy.

Actually there are far more frightening things, but "The Mammy" knows every button to press on your psyche to get you to do something. Usually self-descruct.

And since this is for the lenght of the Christmas season. Allow me to say "aggghhh" and be done with it.

On the plus side I get to meet a LOT of friends who are unable to or too afraid to leaving the smoke. Last year I ended up meeting a gang in the Gresham in Dublin. Literally if was me sitting there while people showed up, caught up and left. It felt like being in Switzers window (which they don't do anymore).

Oh well. I'm playing catchup with my life in the knowledge that I'm loosing it again the following week, only to play an even more manic game of catch up in January.

And the holidays are meant to be relaxing!

take care,

Tuesday, December 16, 2003


Gentle reader,

Two (well three) interesting gigs in this weeks reminder from the Lobby...

Hazel O'Conor
Thurs 18th. Hazel has recently released her "Best Of - Singular" Collection. Punk icon from the 80's with Cormac De Barra on harp.
Special guest Rob Reynolds. Tickets €13

I keep think that she died. Don't know why.


Niall Connolly
Sat 20th & Sun 21st. Cork singer/songwriter returns to The Lobby for two nights. His second album "As Tomorrow Creeps From The East" has been released to much acclaim. Special guests Ian Whitty and Felix Nobis, Saturday and Elephant and Billy Ramsell, Sunday. Tickets €10

Yeah, this is another artist I like a lot, even though I must admint that I didn't buy his first album off his site. Shame on me.

take care,

Monday, December 15, 2003


"The hair is going. I'll be needing the regain soon"
"That stuff doesn't work."
"Yeah I tried it."
"You know there is only one cure for baldness that works."
"What's that?"
"No. I don't think I could do that. I'm too fond of ping and pong."

Friday, December 12, 2003

Looks like you were right

Dear Mike,

You wrote:
>>And finally, on Fri 19th the fire damaged Waiting Room
>>(w/Schneider TM) – Old Oak, Cork

>but I noticed that the listing for this on is now
>gone - instead, Schneider TM are playing The Redroom (doors at
>10) and there's nary a word about The W.R.

Well I called in to the Old Oak last night, and there is no sign of ANY gig in there on the 19th.

I can't confirm that Schneider TM are in the Red Room (no one is answering their e-mail) but they sure ain't in the Old Oak.

Unless someone arranges a fast one that is.

take care,

Thursday, December 11, 2003

"Everyone has a cell phone"

Gentle reader,

It is only natural that things change. People however, they don't change. Those who have power will abuse it.

Yup it's another legal case.

However this one has a techie slant to it...

Can you see me now?.
...'at least two patrons at a Nov. 18 hip-hop show used their camera phones to document a police car that parked in front of the West Burnside Street club with a stuffed gorilla attached to the car's grill. Because of the racial overtones, the incident became a news story: Some of the photos were printed by the Tribune and shown on several television stations.
Portland police say they've not used cell phone photos as evidence in any cases, but the Independent Police Review Division of the city auditor's office plans to use the Ringlers pictures to investigate the gorilla incident.
"We still don't have the photos ourselves, but since it was in the paper, it obviously establishes beyond any doubt that there was a stuffed gorilla on a Portland Police Bureau car," said Richard Rosenthal, the police review board's director. "It's not an issue that's being disputed by anybody."'

Don't ignore the racial element in this. Remember that the Rodney King Incident (tm by now I'm sure) triggered a riot, a whole bunch of legal changes and, I suspect that dammed trend for reality TV.

Unlike the Rodney King tape, these are still pictures, and the police officers involved are claiming valid reasons for the gorilla incident (read the article, go on). No one is denying that the toy was there, just the how and why it was there.


Such a small word. Such a big issue. But expect camera phone and the soon vaunted videophone to become more eligible as evidence, and even used in broadcast mediums.

take care,

Wednesday, December 10, 2003

More on that legal thing...

Gentle reader,

Well, two interesting things to do with the IRMA / CDWow legal situation have come to my inbox.

Firstly this.
This is either the scan of a flyer, or a flyer meant to be printed out. Since it's headed 'Mary Harney says "shop around!"' you can guess which side of the legal divide it stands. It highlights the price difference between CDWow, HMV and

Secondly, and unrelated is this.
"The Dublin branch of a European consumer group has found that shopping on-line may be cheaper for consumers doing their pre-Christmas shopping this year." Guess which web site it recommends to buy from?

take care,

Tuesday, December 09, 2003


Gentle reader,

No sooner had I written that the Lobby had sent out reminders, when the Triskel one arrived.

I've mentioned some of these before but... in order... and all at the Triskel Arts Centre...

Annette Buckley (is there a working site for her?)
Friday 12 December
One of the finest Cork vocalists and singer-songwriters of her genre. 8.00pm. Tickets €12.00 (€10.00 Concessions)

How the Mice Saved Christmas
Saturday 13 & Saturday 20 December
A beautiful piece of festive Puppet Theatre for children.
2.00pm & 3.30pm, €7.00,€5.00

I suppose it makes a change from the evil Rat King (or King Rat) in the Nutcracker (which thanks to Barbie [tm or I'll sue you] every little girl knows about).

The AM
Sunday 14 December
Former band mates of the late great Jeff Buckley. The AM channel gritty mysticism and wide-eyed innocence into the sound of new rock. 8.00pm, €10.00

North Cregg
Wednesday 17 December
Irish music guaranteed to leave a smile on your face! Debuting their new album "Summer at my Feet". 9.00pm, €15.00 (Advance €13.00) (Concessions €12.00)

A music celebration (Fundraising event)
Thursday 18 December
Enjoy a night of music including latino, melodic rock and much more. In aid of the Hope Foundation. 8.30pm. Tickets €10.00

Soweto Kinch
Sunday 25 January
One of the UK’s most exciting and versatile jazz saxophonists today, his sound is rich, energetic and dynamic. Simply explosive. 8.00pm, Tickets €18.00

That's it so far,
take care,


Gentle reader,

The Lobby has sent out it's usual weekly reminder, and they have some good stuff.

Fri 12th Maria Doyle Kennedy Singer/songwriter/actress. Maria was recently behind the album entitled Sirens which featured some of the most original and independent female artists on the scene today. Special guest Terrance O’ Connor. €10

Sat 13th & Sun 14th Mark Geary.
Following on from the success of 33 1/3 Grand Street Mark returns to Cork for two very special acoustic concerts in The Lobby. Special guest Ian Whitty. €10

Personally I'd like to see this pair in action. Most of you know why (look down below) I can't. Still, there is always next year.

take care,


Are zombies legal?

Monday, December 08, 2003

Something for the season...

Gentle reader,

Are you having toruble getting that special little something for that special little (or not so little) somone? Well take a look at Dave Barry's Christmas Gift Guide! Here you can find such thoughtful Christmas gifts like...

SOFT CLAWS COLORED NAIL CAPS FOR CATS... "These are little plastic deals that come in a variety of unnatural colors; you simply fill them with the supplied adhesive, slip them over your cat's claws, and there you are! Bleeding profusely!"

PRESIDENTIAL ACTION FIGURES ... "As Americans, we respect, honor and revere our presidents. But, for security reasons, we cannot take them home and play with them"


Anyone Can Build a Tub-Style Mechanical Chicken Plucker, by Herrick Kimball... "As the title suggests, this is a sweeping epic novel of love, lust and betrayal. No, seriously, it's about plucking chickens."

All available online. Send one of these gifts to that someone and you need never worry about them stalking you again.

take care,

Headline news....

"Transvestite potter wins Turner art prize"

The Yahoo news link is here.

Is this the new J.K. Rowling book that no one wants to talk about?

take care,

Friday, December 05, 2003

Forgetting heros

Gentle reader,

Oh, I just found out... Supporting Mark Geary
at the Sirius Arts Centre, Cobh on Friday 19th are Brendan O'Shea and Saucy Monky. I'm not too sure how well a mix it's going to be, but it's going to be fun.

Other bits and pieces, are Mickey Harte's return to the Cork Opera House after his sell out performance, for a concert on December 6 (Yup tomorrow). The ‘You’re A Star Winner’ & Eurovision Contender (their words) returns with his number 1 album and single under his belt and a new hit single on the way (again their words, but since I haven't heard it I'll stay stum).

take care,


Damm, I was so busy looking at the TG4 weather girl, I forgot to pay attention to the weather.

Thursday, December 04, 2003

News and missing gigs

Gentle reader,

More news I'm afraid

Bell X1 start their Christmas Irish tour this week. They're racing at a frantic pace around the country taking in Limerick, Sligo, Waterford, Dundalk, Galway, Clonakilty and Cork. They will also be involved in the recording of the next series of "Other Voices" due for broadcast on RTE in February 2004. The Cork date is Sat December 13th in the Half Moon.

Bell X1 will also feature as one of two Irish representative at 2004’s Eurosonic Seminar in Groningen, Holland in January. Thanks to 2FM it will be possible to experience a flavour of the event via a special 3 hour programme on 8th January that they will be broadcasting including live songs from the band’s show on the night. The fact that I've never heard of the Eurosonic Seminar I'll attribute to a US / UK / AU bias in my news sources.

The Frames are the other Irish entry.

The Frames along with Woodstar play Cork Opera House tonight and tomorrow. The Frames' bout of homeland touring takes them all the way through to a climactic New Year’s Eve show in Dublin’s Olympia Theatre (directly after an all-ages show in the same venue) by way of Ennis, Galway, Cork, Limerick, Killarney, Belfast, Derry.

Woodstar are in the running for album of the year on Red FM’s Green On Red Listeners Poll for their début Life Sparks which was released in April.

Mark Geary starts his Xmas tour at the beginning of next week coming hot on the heels of a special seasonal EP. And he's spending a lot of it in Cork:
Sat 13th - The Lobby, Cork
Sun 14th – The Lobby, Cork
Mon 15th – The Blackbird, Ballycotton, Cork
Thurs 18th – De Barras, Clonakilty
Fri 19th – Sirius Arts Centre, Cobh, Co Cork

His double A-sided “It Beats Me / America” (Independent Records) features re-recorded tracks from the 33 1/3 Grand Street album as well as backing vocals by the inimitable Gemma Hayes. Bonus tracks on the e.p. are the previously unreleased “I'm Tired”, and live favourite “Christmas Biscuits”. An extra treat is the inclusion of a live video “It Beats Me” from Whelan's earlier this year where Mark is joined onstage by none other than Glen Hansard.

David Kitt, who plays the Opera House in Sat December 20th, found time to sneak down to Dingle to participate in the recording of a new series of “Other Voices” due for broadcast on RTE in February 2004.

Meanwhile he is gearing up for an onslaught on the UK in the New Year to tie in with the international release of his current 3rd album, Square 1, which topped the charts here on release and achieved Platinum sales status after only 3 weeks on sale (all 3 weeks at No 1 in the album charts).

Square 1 will be released in the UK in January (the usually time for quite launches) and will be preceded by the horn-fuelled single, “Me & My Love”.

And finally, on Fri 19th the fire damaged Waiting Room (w/Schneider TM) – Old Oak, Cork

take care,

Wednesday, December 03, 2003

S481 Extended to 2008 in the Budget

"The Minister for Finance, Mr Charlie McCreevy TD has extended S481 to the end of 2008, with an increase in the cap to €15million. "

Gentle reader,

I hear you say "wha?".

There were threats to close/cancel/abandon the tax breaks for making films in Ireland. Well the threats were unfounded, so Rodger Corman can keep filming in Galway.

Actually, why aren't there more "locally" produced films from the Galway based TG4?

take care,


Well, more told...

Will, remind me to every ask you to explain you thought process again.
-- twenty minutes in to how the conversation jumped from the politician Mary Harney to why it's a good idea to convert the entire CIE fleet to run on cooking oil.

take care,

Tuesday, December 02, 2003

Gigs and bits

Gentle reader,

Some, but not all gigs and shows, since I haven't gone through the December lists yet!

So in no particular order...

The Lobby and Ork (not a typo) stuff...

Thurs 4th JUUTE Cork four piece whose short career has thus far been attracting the attention of many in the Irish music press and promoters. Featuring Vickie Frahill, vocals; Pat Scanlon, guitar; Jean Michael Cavallo,
drums and Johann O’Toole, bass. Special guest Paul Casey. €7.

Not actually son of Cyclefly, but I'll like to see them just on principal.

Fri 5th RICKY WARWICK A native of Newtonards, North County Down, Ricky was the rhythm guitarist with New Model Army. He then went on to front the very successful rock outfit The Almighty who opened the Monsters Of Rock Festival in Donnington in 1992 and played with Metallica in the Milton Keyes Bowl also that year. Ricky recently release his debut solo album ‘Tattoos & Alibis’ (just look at his arms to explain the title) this past few month to much critical acclaim. + Stewart Agnew.
Tickets €10

Read a Hotpress interview with him. Interesting guy. Also knows his stuff. Wouldn't mind seeing (or at least hearing) him in action.

Sun 7th CHARIS Following on from the release of their debut album Desert Dark Sky, Galway based band make a welcome return to The Lobby. €7

If you aren't sure, download and listen to the MP3 at and decide for yourself. It's a really old one by the way.

Tomorrow, FRANCES BLACK in The Opera House. You either like her or not (not that I've any intention of going).
I'm not going to Ann Scott 'cause I won't be in Cork. It's like my problem with Namiee Coleman shows. I'm always wither too late or in the wrong part of the country every time. And since it's in my inbox.. JOSH RITTER THE CORK OPERA HOUSE SATURDAY 14th FEBRUARY, 2004.
Now that is PLENTY of notice.

In the Triskel...

THE AMSunday 14 December
Former band mates of the late great Jeff Buckley. The AM channel gritty mysticism and wide-eyed innocence into the sound of new rock. Not to be missed! 8.00pm, €10.00

Enjoy a night of music including latino, melodic rock and much more. In aid of the Hope Foundation. 8.30pm. Tickets €10.00

And so to shows...

UCC Drama & Theatre Studies 2nd Year BA Students present FOODSTUFF
(The Restaurant at the End of Time)

a new piece of physical theatre Directed by ANDY CROOK at GRANARY Tue 2nd Dec - Sat 6th Dec at 8pm

I have no idea what it's about, but the combination of food and physical theatre is slightly scary to my mind (and a little messy too).

And finally... the CAT club.

Actually finally for the CAR club, it's being knocked in the New year...

December Wed 10 - Sat 13 Raise Little Bird which includes yours truly...

December Sun 14 "possibly the last ever quiz at the old cork arts theatre" at 8pm to fund raise for cancer research. and there is a Christmas show by Alleycats on Monday December 15.

take care,

I am 90 going on 91...

Gentle reader,

From Publishers Lunch (no I can't find an URL)

Elderly von Trapp Draws Interest for Memoir

Agathe von Trapp, eldest daughter of the famous singing family (as in "I am 16 going on 17"), is bemused that a self-published memoir has brought her considerable attention now, at age 90. ''It's very strange for me,'' she says. ``I've been living a very quiet life. All of a sudden, these people want to see me.'' AGATHE VON TRAPP: Memories Before and After The Sound of Music, was financed by von Trapp’s doctor and her doctor’s husband. Reuters reports, "She has a literary agent now, and even is thinking of letting a traditional publisher take over so the book can be more widely distributed."

Also a few mistakes were made in the movie...

... The nun who became her stepmother was not a governess. She was a tutor for one of von Trapp's sisters...

...the von Trapps did not cross the Alps to escape Austria. They crossed the street to a train...

take care,

You've got to NOT look IN THIS DIRECTION (Part 3)

Gentle reader,

IRMA responded... not to me but to Hotpress

It was 24 hours ago, and I'll stick to IRMA's statement (this is after all a matter of copyright)

IRMA Chairman also Irish MD of Universal Music, Dave Pennefather, has confirmed to that the organisation is pursuing legal proceedings against to force the operation out of the Irish market.

"A court order has already been given in Germany, an action is underway in the U.K. and we have one pending here," ... "It's taken a while because of the difficulty we've had contacting the principles in the operation – but it is happening. As far as we're concerned, what they're doing is illegal."

"From what we can gather, they're sourcing the stuff in sweatshop economies, where salaries may be no more than 10 euro a week. They are buying CDs in countries where product is cheap, and they're selling it into Europe without paying VAT. They're also avoiding paying import duty. Of course it's hard for legitimate retailers to compete with them on price."

Denis Woods of Warner Music.

"They don't pay VAT. They don't employ Irish people. They don't contribute in any way to the Irish economy," ... "There is no way that you can legitimately compare them to people like HMV and Golden Discs, good retail operations who have been coming under a lot of unfair criticism from the likes of Joe Duffy on RTE over the past week."

In relation to price differentials [Woods}
"On the contrary, the fact that prices are different is a good thing," ... "That's the cut and thrust of a competitive market at work. Sony may do a deal with a retailer one week, that allows them to sell their product cheaper. We'll do a different deal with another retailer. That's the way it works because we're all fighting for market share and for sales. It amazes me that people comment on the radio about these things who seem to have so little understanding of how retailing works – they're just totally ignorant about it but they still feel free to pontificate."

"I also wonder why it's always CDs that people focus on," [he adds, Hotpress' words]... "Why not cameras? The prices here are dearer than they are in the US, often by as much as 50%. They also vary widely from retailer to retailer. If I see a Canon G5 on sale for 900 Euro in one shop and 1,000 Euro in another, I don't think the guy who's charging more is ripping anyone off. I know that the guy offering it at the lower price has been able to deal based on volume or marketing spend or whatever. That's the way retailing works, whether its clothes, watches or any consumer product. And it's the same with CDs and DVDs."

"Besides, if prices were all the same, we'd be accused of operating a cartel. I can assure people that HMV are not ripping people off, or Golden Discs. The truth is that, at the moment, retailers all over the world are going to the wall because margins are too tight. There is no rip-off."

Sorry about all the "..." But I don't know how the original statements were broken up.

Just to comment on the statement...

VAT. VAT is a "local sales tax". Tourists can claim back VAT when they leave. I don't know that the Hong Kong equivalent of VAT is, but I assume that either the Hong Kong sales tax is paid OR since it is due to be refunded to the customer outside of Hong Kong, it's not included. I don't know the financial situation when it comes to Hong Kong. Any readers care to offer a shot, please e-mail me.

Import duty. Yup this should be paid. However, I know that from my purchases for the US and Japan, no customs agent has ever tried to get me to pay (and I buy quite a lot of stuff from Japan. I assume that there is a minimum price barrier from which they won't bother (10% of $12.00 is 12 cent. Not much point in bothering). Again I'm not an expert, so if someone is willing to wade in with an e-mail please do.

There is one thing bothering me.... If I buy a book on or a Transformer from Hobby Link Japan I'm not getting express authorisation from the European copyright holder. Which means that every single purchase made outside the EU of any copyrighted material (CD, Books, games, toys, paintings, sculpture, brochures, leaflets, magazines etc) is illegal.

If the court case is found against then a whole bunch of retailers will effectively be banned from ever selling to an EU customer (until changes in the EU legislation occur... so that a minimum of 12 months!).



Quotable... Huh?

"Reports that say something hasn't happened are always interesting to me, because as we know, there are known knowns; there are things we know we know.We also know there are known unknowns; that is to say we know there are some things we do not know. But there are also unknown unknowns -- the ones we don't know we don't know."
-- U.S. Defence Secretary Donald Rumsfeld's "winning" entry for the the "Foot in Mouth" prize by the Plain English Campaign

Monday, December 01, 2003

Seeing how the elections in NI went...

Divide and rule, a sound motto. Unite and lead, a better one.
-- Johann Wolfgang von Goethe (1749 - 1832)