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alandooley

alandooley
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Member since: 28.07.2000

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    • Step Aerobics / Discussion / 2 Readings / 23 Ratings
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      11.07.2001 21:58
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      For years I have thought about doing step nearby in the University. The guy who trains them is amazing. He is full of energy and is always in a good mood, and is surely the fittest man alive. Three weeks ago, I decided to give it a go. I'm not shy, so being surrounded by 20 women didn't bother me. Ritchie (trainer) knew me to see, since I have been doing his circuit training for years (we call it conditioning). So in I went and being the ambitious devil that I am, I went straight to the side of the class that were doing the advanced steps. Everyone learns together. He doesn't shout the steps out, but just shows you so you learn by repitition. He doesn't then have to clog the beginners mind with words and actions. It's complicated enough as it is. We started off slowly and he builds the tempo up and down with the music. So your heart rate goes up and down with the music. I picked the steps up pretty quickly. I think I have good coordination, so I got straight on the pace. Ritchie was very impressed. Within a week I was at the top of the class so that others could pick it all up from me, if he was walking around. After the first night, I said to him that the class didn't drive me hard enough, so he said, wait and see, as he was escalating it slowly to go with other peoples fitness. Three weeks in to it, and I am rocking. My heart is pounding for every class and the steps are just so much fun. The hour passes with out my even thinking how cruel it is. Depending on how I am feeling, I push myself harder or not at all. You can push it on by bouncing or making each step more of a dance. There are little things you can add to each step to push that extra little bit harder. What I mean is, do a little hop, skip and a jump between steps to keep pumping. So every other day we alternate between aerobics and step aerobics. I go to both. Both will get you cardio-fit, but try some circuit t
      raining or conditioning to tone yourself. It will all burn lots of calories, just don't be afraid to push yourself. It's all worth it. Why abuse the body now when you're young? Push hard and enjoy the body....loan it out! You _will_ feel better.

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      • Shrek (DVD) / DVD / 0 Readings / 10 Ratings
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        11.07.2001 19:11
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        I had reservations about seeing this movie. my first thought was Shrek = Grinch. For some reason I thought that movies with green monsters would be identical. I didn't like the Grinch really, and so cast my unliking spell on Shrek. So, on Sunday I saw a movie review on Sky. It showed how they made the film and showed some clips. Now generally, clips don't make me laugh, but these clips had me in stitches. I had to go and check it out for real! In I went last night and queued with lots of kiddies and lots of adults. I sat in anticipation of a good laugh. Noone brings out good comedies anymore....why? Another story. The movie started and within minutes we have the gist of what it was about. It's a dig at fairytale characters. Lord Farquad wanted all the fairytalers out of his perfect kingdom. So we get introduced to all the main characters in the first few minutes. Lord Farquad intently is not a King and so the magic mirror from Snow White tells him he must marry a princess, hence the story progresses. Shrek is a big Ogre, that everyone is scared of, and Donkey is not as such a fairytale character, but just a Donkey who talks. A lot. Eddie Murphy is the donkey, and he suits it perfectly. Think of some Nutty Professor characters and you'll figure out what type of witty, wise-ass, pun cracking Donkey this character is. Donkey owns this film. Without him, it would be pretty empty. He compliments every other character quite superbly. He hobbles along full of energy and talks all the time. It's all good though, as most things bounce off him making you laugh. I really don't want to give away any of the story to you, because it is quite simple - Shrek and Donkey go to save the Princess so that Shrek can get his swamp back. Simple. It's full of wise-cracks and witty jokes, aimed at both kids and adults. All jokes are aimed sufficiently high at adults when they
        need to be, and kiddie jokes are, well, they're kiddie jokes. The kids will laugh all the same since it's a big green giant and Mammy and Daddy are also laughing. The animation is ground-breaking. It is so life like. The reality it punches in with flames, and lava, and most amazingly, hair is outstanding. What made the film though was the detail put in to facial expressions. They were so intricate and real that they complimented each and every joke superbly. Not only that, but the characters tended to look like the actor who was the voice. Was this on purpose? I suppose it helped us enjoy the characters that much more. Why Eddie Murphy was a Donkey I don't know!! I'm not going to say much more, but go and see the movie. It's a light-hearted hoot with some brilliant scripting.

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        • Sony DAV S300 / Home Cinema System / 1 Reading / 14 Ratings
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          05.07.2001 18:51
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          For about a year and a half now, I have been in the market for a DVD player. When I first started my search, I was being very picky. I wanted something astonishing for very little cost. Impossible? Yes. I also thought to myself that this player _must_ be multi regional. So time passed and money got tight, so my DVD thoughts had to take a back seat. So, recently I started browsing again and started to think, well, why on earth do I need a multi-regional DVD player? I have a video, and do I ever buy videos?? No. Never, which is reason to believe that I would never buy a DVD movie! Multi-regional requirements out of the way, I wondered, well what do I get for my money, and why do some players cost an arm and a leg, and others cost just a few fingers? It was all a bit mind boggling. Last week though, I went in to a local department store who had a sale on, and, as usual, I was checking out the DVD players. I got chatting with one of the sales guys and he was explaining it all to me. Things started to make sense, and I soon realised that my surround sound stereo system may not be enough for a DVD player, if I chose to buy one. Then he showed me the Sony DAV-S300. This little player had five tiny speakers, a sub-woofer, an amplifier and dolby digital and all those other fabulous things that you get with a player. All for about 200 quid more than I'd spend on a standalone player. I was sold - almost. He explained how I could put the Sky Digital through it, my video through it, how it was a radio and a regular cd player too! Wow I thought. I knew that if I were to buy separates, I'd be paying close to 1000 quid for the bottom of the range equipment, yet here was a fantastic package, all-in-one, for IR£649. To be honest, it sounded a bit much to me, so I said I'd think about it and go check my finances to see if I could afford it. In I went the following week and bought it. I felt a bit odd actually, since I boug
          ht it from a different guy, I just went up to him and said, I'll take one of those, no questions. He looked at me quite oddly. Although it was sold, he still wanted to tell me all about it. Well....it was funny at the time. Home I went and proceeded to undo my original setup, which was the nicam video recorder feeding in to the surround sound stereo. I spent maybe 45 minutes setting the new machine up. The instructions were dead clear on how to set it up and what wires go where. All colour coded and simple. That's not where I had the problem though. I had the digibox and my video to plug in too and Sony didn't supply all the wires. Well even if they did supply the wires, I'd still be stuck. I just couldn't figure out how to put the video through the DVD player and how to put the digibox through it too. So basically, I've left it until I can get some lad with a bit more hi-fi knowledge to sort it for me. Anyway, I did get the picture and the sound of the DVD player, which is all I really cared about at the time. There were some setup functions you had to go through with the player, like set the level of the speakers and tell the DVD player where you have them situated and so on. All very well explained. In goes a DVD disc and I wait in anticipation. Wow. When I bought my Nicam Stereo video I thought the sound was amazing, but it couldn't even stand next to this little machine!! I put in Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon. Not a great effects/sound movie, but at the start there was a little trailer for DVD movies with helicopters flying about and really demonstrating the DVD player's ability. I was blown away. The quality of the sound was amazing. Everything was so clear and crisp and the expert way in which the surround sounds were distributed really had me thinking, "yes, 649 quid well spent!". I don't know why I didn't purchase this sooner. It really is a great pr
          oduct, with supperb sound. Since you get the dolby digital decoder and all the other fancy bits too, definitely go and spend the extra few pounds on it, because to buy a player with as many features and then buy a speaker system that could match, would cost you a lot more. One thing I have been told is that the system would not be terribly effective for large rooms. So for those of you with town hall's as sitting rooms, maybe try something a bit upmarket like a Bose system. But for us regular Joe's, the Sony is the bee's knee's!!

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          • Peugeot 206cc / Car / 3 Readings / 21 Ratings
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            15.05.2001 17:23
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            I picked up my Aegean blue CC about 3 weeks ago. It's the 2.0 litre version I went for, since I had the GTi before it and I didn't want a drop in power - you really do get used to it. I fell in love all over again (bearing in mind that I fell in love with the GTi when I got that too!). This car turns more heads than anything I have ever driven. Some think it's a hairdressers car, other's think it's a girlie car, me, I don't care. I bet they are all just jealous and would like one too! General ******* The CC, standing for Coupe Cabriolet has a 2.0 litre engine lifted straight from the GTi, which as many people may know is a very potent machine. It has 16" wheels with nice 205/45 F1 Eagle rubber. The interior is identical to the GTi, but the plastic trim seems to have been softened. The roof is hard and will fold back in to the boot in less than 20 secs. Interior ******** There are several available trims on this model. You can get leather in black or in black/red, or you can get cloth seats in black/orange, black/blue and black/grey or just black. I ordered the black/blue to match the paint. I couldn't justify the expense of leather. The front seats are very comfortable. They have nice lateral support that fit me just nicely. They adjust forward/back and will also raise/reach. The rear seats, well, read something anyway. They are not huge. They've barely made this car in to a 2 + 2 coupe. There are 2 rigid seats in the rear that will accommodate short people. I myself am tall, and so with my seat pushed back there is literally no room for anyone to sit. I could carry two short people on the passenger side. I would not recommend long journey's for someone in the back though. To be honest, I am not too bothered about the rear space. I generally carry myself and my girlfriend only. I use the rear seats for luggage. The dashboard is the same as any other 206, specifically
            the GTi. There are groovy white dials, climate control, and silver dashings to this and that. The silver gear stick and silver, mock-drilled pedals are a nice touch. Exterior ******** The dimensions of this car are fairly similar to the standard 206. The most notable feature is that the windscreen has more rake making for a lower roof than normal. The rear then has a saloon-type boot which swivels both ways, depending on what you are doing - roof lowering or boot access. There are then the usual features like flared front quarter panels, bi-optic clear lens headlights, chrome exhaust (which burbles nicely) and 16" Ouragon wheels with Goodyear F1 Eagles as standard. This car really is a looker, roof up or roof down. Every one I pass looks at it. People in Porsche's, Merc convertibles and others have almost stopped in their tracks to get a rubber neck view of it. Yes it does impress on looks alone. I have had people come up to me while in traffic or getting fuel to ask me about it. Roof **** The roof really is quite an ingenious piece of equipment. It retracts in less than 20 seconds and is fully electric. All you do is ensure that a blind in the boot is pulled across - this is to ensure that no luggage will intrude on the roof space when down. Then, you unclasp too roof locks on either side of the car, and press the button. It hums and whirs away until it's down and you hear a beep. Do not under any circumstance venture away from this procedure, as you are liable to put the roof out of sync, and it may not work - and you will then curse Peugeot for the usual bad quality. Believe me, this roof works perfectly, if you do things right. Ask your dealer to show you how to put it up and down manually, in case of the worst. It's quite easy. Boot **** The boot is huge! (roof up). There is about 420 litres of boot space with the roof up. In my GTi, I could only carry a few small things,
            and let the seats down if I needed to carry my golf clubs or any more things. Now I can carry my golf clubs, some small suitcases and lots of other travelling junk with no hassle at all! Go somewhere with the intention of dropping the roof and you will be reduced to the space under the canopy which _must_ be pulled out for the roof to go down. This will reduce space to about 120 litres or so. It's still quite impressive. I'd get 2-3 carry-on cases and some small bits in to it still. Performance & Driveability ************************** This has the same engine as the GTi, so I was expecting very similar performance. I knew the car would be heavier due to extra stiffness being added to the car. This engine is still very quick, not as quick as the GTi, but very very capable. I can leave most cars on the road in my dust, if required. It will skip to 60 in about 9 seconds and the more miles you put on it, the quicker it will get. It has fantastic mid range torque. At about 3500 rpm, it takes off and stays going up to the red line. This happens in every single gear, so it does pull hard. The ride is perfect. I found the GTi to be a small bit too harsh. You'd feel every bump along the road. Of course this meant that handling was superb. The suspension has been slightly softened on the CC, so it is a lot more comfortable. It is still hard enough to give a fantastic drive. With the roof up, it's like a regular hard top, with perfect understeer, and nice feel through the steering wheel. With the roof down it is surprisingly rigid. It will give you a lot of extra understeer though if pushing hard through turns. The rake of the windscreen pushes the air over your head nicely, so it is possible to have quite a legible conversation while travelling topless. With the roof up, it is very quiet. The tyres give plenty of grip. They are 205/45's so are plenty wide to hold you on the tightest of corners.
            I have a feeling too that I won't burn out the tyres as quickly as I did on the GTi though, since the car has taken an boy-racer attitude from me, and left me with cruise feelings, so getting there fast is not my aim anymore. Value ***** I live in Ireland and this car costs IR£19400. What a bargain!!! That would be the same price as a family saloon with a nice and economical diesel engine. Who wants that though when you're 24?? No other car comes close for value. The next best thing is the Mercedes SLK, which is twice the price and has less space. This is the poor man's pose machine, but can outstrip the rich man's pose machine easily. Miscellaneous ************* There is no spare wheel with this car. My thoughts were that they were lowering the boot floor so that they could add space to the boot. But no, on inspecting they have left the boot floor as it is and installed a hollow box to which support bars are attached for rigidity. Why didn't they drop this hollow in to the boot to hold a space saver tyre? It doesn't make sense. But they do provide you with 2 cans of tyre weld, which will sort you out so that you can drive and get the wheel repaired. Clean out the tyre afterwards though, it's yucky. Overall ******* Overall, I really really like this car. It is what I have dreamed about having all my life. It is quick, it is a convertible, it turns heads, my girlfriend loves it too and very few people have them so far. I expect the resale value to keep very well also, as there is a huge demand for them. I bet in six months, I could resell my car for the retail price. But I won't. Don't listen to Peugeot bashers who crib about poor quality (I know of many other more popular makes who have worse quality, but noone seems to crib about them) Follow your heart, order one today, you won't regret it

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              06.03.2001 15:48
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              I've had many many experiences with this dealership. They are main Peugeot dealers and operate out of the midlands in Ireland. They are on the main Dublin to Limerick road (N7) just past Portlaoise on the Limerick side. The business has been in existence for about 20 years and almost all of the staff have been there since the start. What makes Dooley Motors Ltd. stand out is their car maintenance service. The mechanics there are arguably the best in the business. They've been working with Dooley's since the start and have been through training courses from many different car franchises (Daihatsu, Austin Rover, Peugeot). My car has been in to them many times over the years and I have never faulted them once on their service. The sales department is looked after by the owner, Joe Dooley. He is a very friendly man who doesn't come across as a "cowboy" at all. He's very honest and is a pleasure to deal with. He has given me great prices for my cars too when trading in! When you are buying parts, you deal with Kathleen, who is the most pleasant woman you could ever meet. She would walk to the ends of the earth to keep you happy. This is a somewhat small dealership, with no huge fancy showroom or lush customer perks. But that is not what they are about. They sell you the car, fix your car and sell you another car and that's it, but at the highest possible level of ease and excellence. I have bought all of my cars there. Dealing with Joe is very easy. If I have had a breakdown, Joe comes out to sort me out. He does a lot of call out work for the AA and so knows the score here. All in all, I highly recommend you consider this garage, if you want the easiest and the best. Remember they are in Ireland.

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              • Temptation Island / TV Programme / 0 Readings / 12 Ratings
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                26.02.2001 20:22
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                I've been watching this show with my girlfriend since it started on Sky One a small while back. I initially started watching it to see how these couples got on with all the supposedly "hot" singles. I was expecting hot sensual viewing. But no. What I, and I'm sure every male who also watched this, was subjected to was a tale of emotional rubbish. The couples picked for the show all seem perfect, with good bodies, good looks, and they are all very photogenic. A bit too manicured for my liking. So are they allowed to have a bit of fun on the island? Of course, but obviously not on camera. They spend the whole time moaning about the other half instead of having fun. Now I am not of the opinion that they should go off and cheat, but what are they on the show for in the first place, unless they had doubts about each other. Some of them are such misery guts when they are on their "romantic" dates. Get on with it people. My real problem with the show is that I have been watching it with my girlfriend, who absolutely loves it. But who turns in to an emotional quiz master half way through it. I blurt out "that's rubbish", she asks "would you do that to me", I say "he should play the game" and she gets mad with me. It would seem to put me under more pressure than the guys on the TV. Maybe I should get the prize money. We all know how much people like viewing other peoples lives and especially their misery. But I think that Temptation Island is delving in to something only a soap opera should do. It probably will destroy all those relationships and for what? Our viewing pleasure? It's not right. But ponder the theory that the couples are all actors? Yes a bunch of plebs we all would be then. Entertainment? Perhaps.....but don't watch it with your girlfriend. Your humorous ridicule of the couples will be met with a backlash from your o
                ther half.

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                • Delta / Airline / 0 Readings / 12 Ratings
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                  15.01.2001 20:18
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                  Just before Christmas, my girlfriend and I travelled from Ireland to the US for a holiday. We were going to New York, then Washington D.C. and then Denver before we came home. We travelled with Delta all the way purely because they gave us the best price. Now, overall their service was only average. There were a few instances, which I will detail below, which tarnished their otherwise good service. Our first problem was with the seats on the transatlantic flight. Our travel agent assured us that she could not prebook seats on the flight. Yet, even after we arrived at the airport before everyone else, most of the seats were already taken. We are both fairly tall people and so would have preferred exit seats. All of these were gone, obviously prebooked. On the plane towards the back, Delta had cleverly added some extra long seats for taller passenegers who request them. I thought this was a great idea, and of course was expecting some gigantic big tall man or woman to come in and take those seats. So we waited to see what giant would take these four seats. The giants just happened to be a woman of about 5'4" and three kids no more than 3-4' each. What a disappointment. And what is worse is that she checked in after me! These seats were manual version of the first class seats. Huge things! So we put up with economy cramps for the next few hours. Our second problem was with our baggage. On each of our flights, international and internal, at least one piece of luggage was damaged. So some baggage got damaged over and over again. I was thinking they'd drop the baggage from the sky before they land or something! I was disgusted. I have since been in contact with Delta and they have assured me that all baggage repairs will be covered by them. Next on the list was staff friendliness. They were about as friendly as a pack of lions on the prowl for some meat after missing dinner for the last week. Ye
                  s I though they did a good and timely job of handing out dinner and duty free, but their manner left a lot to be desired. They didn't make me smile once with friendly service. Of course this complaint could only be confined to the particular crew I dealt with. Everything else on our flights was good. They fed us fairly well. On the atlantic crossing they had on screen a little plane showing us where on the world we were and how fast we were going, which I thought was a nice little thing. We saw two movies going over and two coming back. If you could be lucky enough to avoid the problems I had, then go with Delta, but be aware!

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                  • Horse Riding in General / Discussion / 0 Readings / 9 Ratings
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                    15.01.2001 16:47
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                    Yesterday I participated in my first hunt. It was a drag hunt (so no fox), and the route was predetermined. I had been told that it wouldn't be that difficult, and that for every large ditch jump there was also an easier one. How wrong they were! I got the loan of a mare (~15hh) for the day. I had never ridden this horse before so, the first 30mins was a learning experience. She was very fresh and mad to go, so once we got to the field she took off like a mad thing. Trying to slow her was almost impossible, negotiating the first few fences was hair raising to say the least. She jumped messy enough at the start so nearly threw me off before getting in to a gallop with me holding on with one stirrup and try to hold her back. Tough work! So she quietened down then, which gave me a chance to actually ride her and not have her take me whereever. After about 1hour in to it, there was a back log of horses around a ditch and none of them would go over. Of course it started that 1 horse got unnerved and then the rest did. No horse would go to take a lead. So we got stuck for about 20 mins. We had to pull the horses over. We went on, got over some massive ditches (oh, and there were no smaller ones, liars), and got stuck again. It seemed strange to me that the ditches they got stuck at, were a lot smaller than others we had just cleared. We were held up there for another 20 mins. Most of the hunt got through here except for about 10 of us. Finally 3 of us got over and the rest went home. We went on, at this stage we were well behind the hunt, but because it was a set route, we could follow the hoof marks and some of the markers. Overall, the land we crossed was tough. The ditches and dykes were really big and it proved to be a very tough challenge for me. but I managed it! We finally got home after about 4 hours in the saddle. And boy was I stiff and sore. I really enjoyed the riding though. It was very tough,
                    but I am glad that I started on a tough one, so that the next ones will be more manageable. But I survived. I didn't fall off once. I got to the end of it and after thoroughly enjoying it. Now, I can't wait for the next one. I must get a better horse though, not saying that this horse was bad, but it was just a bit rough and ready.

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                    • More +
                      28.11.2000 17:00
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                      Frank Sinatra, a legend before he died. It's such a pity I didn't start liking his music until after he died. Story of my life really. I've only started appreciating the greats after they die (namely Queen). So this is a man who can sing great harmonies with great orchestra's with great ease. His musical talent was endless. Granted he didn't write many songs, or maybe none at all, but he had great ability to sing and improvise with the band. The music he sang along to, did not always have a steady rythm. He sang to a melody and sang the words where he saw fit. Watching some of his videos you'd see the music start and Frank strolling out to his spot on stage. He'd get there at exactly the time he had to start singing. His musical timing was excellent. I love listening to his music. I sing out loud when his songs come on the radio. Have a listen and do enjoy it.

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                      • Toyo / Summer Tyre / 0 Readings / 15 Ratings
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                        28.11.2000 15:03
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                        About 500 miles ago I changed my tyres. I did have Pirelli P6000s on my Peugeot 206 GTi, but was sick of the road noise they produced. I researched for weeks on what tyre I should be to replace them. Yes, this definitely was a tough job. It seems that every tyre dealer is a gangster, spinning you every yarn under the sun trying to convince you that the tyre the specialise in, is better. I was taking none of it though, because each dealer said the other dealers tyre was useless. So, I was left with no choice but to find out on my own some unbiased opinions on what to buy. Afterall, I thought that tyre choice was very important, seeing that it's my only contact with the road! I had heard some comments about Toyo's new T1-S tyre. Mainly US customers had written comments on a website. They all rated them very highly. The road noise was low, the grip was high in both the wet and the dry and the wear was reasonable. Well to me, this is exactly what I wanted! So, I then went about finding peoples opinions to match what I've read, just for some proof. I got to talk to people who had tested the tyre elsewhere and some said that they slide a lot on cornering and others again said they are not good in the wet. What am I to do! Really, in the back of my mind, I was going to buy these Toyo's, because I could get them for a good price, but I just wanted reassurance. So yes, I did buy them. I fitted them about two weeks ago and have been amazed by them. The first thing I noticed is that the road noise is very very low. Long distance travelling is no longer irritable. The initial grip in the wet was not great, and in the dry, it was acceptable, but I had yet to run these tyres in. I have since completed about 500 miles on them, and the grip just gets better and better! The tyre has amazing grip. I fitted 195/55 R15s to my alloys. There are nice features on the tyre like a rim protector. The tyre does not tram
                        line like the P6000s used to and it glides through standing water effortlessly. What I'm trying to tell you, is that this is a great tyre in a price range lower than your Bridgestones and F1 Eagles. Definitely give them a go. You won't regret it. Oh, and it has a killer thread pattern too!

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                        • More +
                          23.10.2000 23:39
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                          Buying a car for a lot of people is a big deal. It is a lot of money that you hand over for a lump of metal that will transport you from A to B in a manner that pleases you most. What pleases you most? For every driver it would be different. The unassuming young woman would like an accessory. Something she would look good in, a little Ka or a Bug or anything so long as it's lilac. The seasoned mother doesn't care what she has so long as it will carry all Saturday's shopping and ship the three and a half kids to and from school without costing a fortune in petrol. The revhead young man wants something with street cred. Something that's fast or at least looks fast, has great handling, will attract attention. The young poser wants a coupe or a convertible. The middle-aged business man wants a status symbol with big engines and leather interior and the rich kid wants what noone else can have. We all want different things, don't we. So why not put some thought in to what you want. You are, afterall, spending lots of hard-earned cash on something you will use a lot! Buy the car that suits you. Try to list out what you want from a car. Do you want good handling, good acceleration, large luggage capacity, lots of room for kids, off-road abilities, good looks, nice interior, all of the above? What do _you_ want? Don't let the salesman force you in to anything. Definitely listen to his story, and make note of anytime he mentions one of your must-haves. Oh, and compare. Drive them all, and chose what you believe is the best. Do you want second-hand or new? Well that's up to you. Personally, I would go for a new car. The probability of things going wrong is less than on a second-hand. Yes, things do go wrong on new cars, but that happens all cars. Don't listen to other peoples horror stories. The best opinion, is one you can build for yourself out of true facts. Ask lots of people if they h
                          ave had trouble with their Mondeo or their Astra. Do your own survey. Remember, you are buying a car that you want to feel happy with for a couple of years. Getting bored of your car after 2 months would signal to me that a bad choice was made. When buying a new car, there isn't a lot to worry about. You have to take it at face value. There is no history. Buying a used is a completely different story. Below are some things to look for on your "new" used-car - in no particular order of importance. I'll list them as I think of them. - Always ensure there is a full service history. This means that the service book should have all the dealer stamps in it. This is important because it should reduce the chance of unexpected problems. Generally, dealers know best how to service the car. You could be lucky and find a great privateer mechanic, but the ratio of good to gangster leans towards gangster. Stick with the dealer history. -Listen to the engine. Rev the car freely and have a look to see if there is blue smoke coming out of the tailpipe. This indicates that it's burning oil. Black/white smoke is ok, this indicates fuel/water respectively. -Check all the panel fittings. Make sure they align. Check for overspray on the inside. Lift the boot mats for this. Check for any odd wrinkles in the body work. -Check the tyres. There should be a good set of tyres on it. If not, ask the seller to put some on, or give a discount. -Oh and drive the car of course. Does it meet your expectations? Any rattles or noises? What are they? -Check the interior. Does it look valet clean or naturally clean? This could mean the difference between a car that was filthy coming in or a car whose owner looked after it. -Leave the car behind if it's had way more than average mileage for it's age. -Check for rust. -Ask the salesperson lots and lots of questions. Ask for the previous owners phone
                          number so you can contact them to find out about the car. -Basically, be very thorough. It's your dosh you're spending. If you haven't a clue what you'd look for, get the AA to do a check on it. It'll cost you, but you'll get piece of mind out of it. It's a tricky business, and there are a lot of cowboys out there, so be sensible. *************** UPDATE *************** Just recently I sold my Peugeot 206 GTi, to make room for my new 206 CC - hasn't arrived yet :(. But in the meantime, my Father loaned me a Peugeot 406 1.9 turbo-diesel. It is a '96 model. This is a fine car by any standards and I would highly recommend. But one thing that bothered me about it was it's mileage. It was a very busy car. It has over 130k miles on it now. If I was in the market for a diesel 406, I would be turning on my heels as soon as I saw this car. But I had no choice. It was this car or no car, so off I went. And was I surprised! The car is perfect! It drives just as well today as it did 100k miles ago. My point is, that don't be afraid of high-milers. If the car has had the right owner, like this car, then it will be in great condition. You will save a lot of money buying a high-miler. Although you have to make sure that you check all the other parts of the car (using my checkpoints above). The saving you get from extra high mileage is about £60 per thousand miles over the average. It can work out quite nicely for you! One point I would make, is that petrol high milers can be prone to problems when approaching 100k miles. A diesel is your best bet when searching for a car like this. I saw one Peugeot 205 diesel about 10 years ago with 313k fully service miles and the car was running like new. So you will be able to find what you need at the right price. Just bring a bit of knowledge to the forecourt and you'll come out a winner.

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                            23.10.2000 18:00
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                            This is an old pub on Denmark St. with two very distinct settings. It has been around for as long as most locals remember. The original part of the pub is small and very quaint. There is sawdust on the dark wooden floors, with dark wooden walls and some pictures scattered around the room of various things. There's even one of Nancy herself and her husband. Sometimes you see Nancy around still. The new part of the pub is called the Outback. It is mainly a beer garden with two small bars out the back. The ground is cobbled, which causes interesting scenes when you've had a few too many. If it rains, canopies slide over to cover you in and if it is cold, there are heaters that should warm the coldest of hands. The Pint ******** The pint here is good. I drink Guinness and it's good here. One of the best pints in the city. The pints of beer here are supposedly very good here too. The price of the pint is very good too. I think the Guinness is about £2.10 or so. Well I actually can't remember. I rarely ask or check my change to find out. It can get depressing when you figure out how much you drink in a night. So best leave it for the pocket monsters. The Service *********** The service here is good. There is plenty of friendly staff who are prompt with their pint serving. They also have plenty of glass collectors to clear up your empties quite quickly. Ashtrays are replaced frequently too. The Entertainment ***************** In the Outback it's generally CDs that play, but on occasion they have some bands in which are very good. The music selection is great though out there. In the front bar, there is generally Irish traditional music. That is played Sunday through Wednesday. The other days have no live trad because the place is too packed. Sunday night is the best night for the trad. So check it out - okay I might be a bit biased, because I play there on a Sunday night.
                            Cleanliness *********** The toilets are always kept clean. The floors don't matter much since they are covered in sawdust.... Clever people! The glasses are being constantly collected and ashtrays frequently changed. Clientele ********** The bouncers on the door are fairly strict. You won't get if you are a bit too drunk, or are under age. General age group there is 21 to about 30. There's a good mix of men and women. Oh, and just a point for the men, the women here are fantastic looking. Sorry Ladies, I cannot comment on the men. Basically, there is plenty of fun here. So call in.

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                              23.10.2000 17:35
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                              This is a nice TexMex restaraunt on O'Connell St. in Limerick. It's venue is in the basement of the bar they own at street level. As you walk down you notice how the place is completely decked out with cowboy and indian memorabilia. The basements in all the houses in this area all have lovely small redbrick stone work with lots of arches and little cubby holes. Whatever section you sit in, there will be no more the 3-4 other tables there. Setting ******* The lighting and decor is very soothing. There are shelves full of wild west artifacts. The lighting is very low giving somewhat of a quaint atmosphere. Food, Drink & Menu *********** The food is a mixture of american steaks and chickens plus mexican foods like fajita's and burito's. There is a wide selection there, with the fillet steak and the fajita's being my favourites. They also have lots of chicken items, plus the odd pasta and fish dish. But don't come here to try those. You come here for the steak and mexican things, so don't expect much more. The wine list is quite good here. Most of their wines are not that expensive. But there is a good variety of them so that you'll find at least one that suits your palette. They also serve draught beer and bottled beer plus spirits. Service ******* I would not highly commend the service here. I think it depends on the size of your party. I've been there numerous times and the service has ranged from outstanding to quite slow. The quality has always remained, but the speed of their service sometimes just isn't there. Don't let that put you off though. Pricing ******* The pricing is reasonable. You'll pay up to IR£17 for a 12oz fillet steak. Overall Impression ****************** I like this place a lot. The only complaint I have is about the service. It's not always great. I like the setting, the food and t
                              he drink. Definitely go though and try it out.

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                            • The Sixth Sense (DVD) / DVD / 0 Readings / 11 Ratings
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                              16.10.2000 21:16
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                              This film is purely amazing. I was gripped by it's thrilling story all the way through, right until the very end, and I mean the very very end! It's basically about a child psychologist (Brice Willise) who gets shot and goes on to try and cure a kid who sees dead people. Well cure isn't the proper word is it? How about he tries to help this kid who sees dead people and what should he do about it. It ends up that he talks to them and helps them out so that they can go away in peace. Generally the dead person (ghost) will come to this boy because they have unfinished business. They don't believe they are dead and see only what they want to see. After some events, Willis figures it all out and decides that the only way to help this kid is to get him to face his fear. He has always been afraid of them. I can't really tell you much about this movie without ruining the plot. It is a terribly clever movie with a plot that leaves you guessing. Just remember some things while you watch the movie. Remember that ghosts see only what they want to see and do not realise they are dead. Notice how it's cold and figure out why it's cold. I'll leave the rest to you, because to ruin the plot would be very unfair to the virgin sixth senser. As soon as I saw this movie, I watched it again straight away. I was amazed at the accuracy and attention to detail this director had. Nothing has been left to chance. I've seen it 4 times now and I still love it. You should too. I would not recommend this movie to kids because it's a little bit scary. For those parents out there, I am sure you like your sleep at night, so keep your kids away from this movie. It is chilling.

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                              • Yahoo! Messenger / Communication / 0 Readings / 16 Ratings
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                                12.10.2000 18:04
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                                If not, why not? I found Yahoo Messenger a good while back, but had noone to write to. At work we used to always use email to have a chat, but of course, this had it's pitfalls. The SysAdmin's would see your email usage skyrocket because of your daily chats with friends. I had often meant to write a small program that would allow real-time chat over a TCP/IP network, but never got around to it. Maybe I was hoping that someone else would come up with something that would work well and may contain some features. My prayers were answered. Yahoo! Messenger (YM). I am sure you are all aware that there are several types of instant messengers around. I haven't used any of the others, so I can't really comment in depth about them. But I will say that since my introduction to YM my email usage has been sizeably cut down. Initially, none of my friends were on Yahoo, so I sent them around invitations to sign up and get their Yahoo email accounts. Over the years I've grown to somewhat trust Yahoo. Their website has always been pretty reliable and their email has not, to my knowledge, been the object of hackers abuse. So to use it then, you add each of your friends Yahoo! ID's to your YM. You can see when they are online or busy or offline or gone to lunch. You can set your own status to state this. To chat then, just send a message to your friend. They will receive it instantly, regardless of where they are and can reply to you in real time. There's no mesing with mail servers or anything like that. Your message is sent straight to the friend. So you can chat away then as if your friend was right beside you. Great! I don't use all the features of the YM but of all of them, I use the messaging and conferencing service the most. Conferencing is exactly what you are thinking it is. You can invite all your friends to a virtual room where you can all chat in real-time again. <
                                br>As for the rest of the features, you have: :Public Chat Room Conferencing :Search for new friends, using any search criteria :Read news headlines :Get stock quotes :Get the weather :There is a calendar :It will inform you when you have new email on Yahoo :It will tell you when your friends log on/off :You can send files :There is voice chat plus if you live in the US, you can make free phone calls. :What else? hhhmmmm.... :Oh, you can ignore people annoying you :You can be invisible (be logged on, but noone can see that you are on :It works if you are stuck behind a firewall too! Lots of little features. I'll let you figure them out for yourself. Overall, it's a fine communications tool. I couldn't do without it now. If you don't want to call someone and email is too slow, this is your saviour. So, go to http://www.yahoo.com and download the new version of YM today!

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