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Where to Buy or Review My Books

Evin O’Keeffe - Tue, 10/04/2022 - 14:36

Thank you to everyone who purchases my books and knitting patterns. Your support means so much to me as an independent publisher and knitwear designer.    I have been thinking about my first book a bit more lately as I...

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Falling in Love With Maths is Fun – Or At Least it Should Be

Evin O’Keeffe - Thu, 09/01/2022 - 14:10

Today, I’m sharing a guest post by Jon Goga, math tutor and founder of BrainySpinach Math because Jon shares my family’s love of mathematics!   Not every child is born a Maths genius that can calculate crazy problems in their...

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Over 40 places to brunch in Cork City every day of the week – Autumn 2022

Evin O’Keeffe - Tue, 08/30/2022 - 14:31

We compiled a list of over 40 restaurants serving breakfast & brunch in Cork city. Seriously, it would take you six weeks to work your way through this list if you ate brunch in Cork every day of the week. Challenge...

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Stuck indoors on a rainy day – activities to coax your children away from the iPad

Evin O’Keeffe - Tue, 08/16/2022 - 14:22

Isabell Fisher, co-founder of Little Hands Learning, wrote today’s guest post listing ideas when you’re stuck indoors on a rainy day. She shares 10 activities to coax your children away from the iPad. It doesn’t matter how many fingers you cross,...

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Where are we getting nails in tyres

Bernie Goldbach - Tue, 08/16/2022 - 09:53

WE PLAN to deal with a flat tyre every two weeks. What can I do to figure out where the nails are coming from?

Fortunately, there isn't much to complain about with our rock-solid Skoda Yeti.

Previously, we had a big adventure with our Nissan Qashqai.

[Bernie currently owns a 2013 Skoda Yeti. It has exceptionally strong resale value.]

Another Maker Using Micro.blog

Bernie Goldbach - Tue, 08/16/2022 - 08:59

by Bernie Goldbach in Clonmel.

I'M IMPRESSED by the people using Micro.blog infrastructure because a wide cross-section of them are makers and thinkers. I plan to use a recent github repo to enhance my own presence at topgold.micro.blog with the Paper theme. I've copied the installation steps below.

-- The theme is compatible with Hugo 0.91 which is available as a setting on Micro.blog.

-- Uninstall any theme that you have installed as a plugin.

-- Set the current theme to blank and Hugo Version to 0.91 in the design section of your blog.

-- Make sure there are no other conflicting custom CSS configured for the previous theme.

-- Install the "Paper theme" plug-in from the directory.

-- Once the theme is successfully installed, you can configure the social icons displayed in the header by modifying the available options as plug-in's settings.

-- Additionally, you can also configure parameter to display full post content on homepage or not to display categories on archive page.

[Bernie Goldbach started using the microblog infrastructure in July 2022 and hope that his current blog pushes content from Typepad to Microblog.]

Going Local with Young Voices

Bernie Goldbach - Wed, 08/10/2022 - 19:00

by Bernie Goldbach in Clonmel

DYLAN IS REFINING his podcasting skills by seeking out people in places he enjoys. He's using our Rode Wireless Go microphones when interviewing people he has met in various local venues, such as Sylvia in Martin's Fruit and Veg.

Listen to "Finding Martin's Fruit and Veg in Clonmel" on Spreaker.

I hope to train Dylan to handle all the workflow behind the vox pops he's creating. He knows how to scout a place, run down a willing participant, record with safeguards using Voice Record Pro on a broken iPhone, and then upload the recording to Google Drive where I edit the clip. The finished clips, normally no longer than four minutes, drop into A Little Bit of Tipp podcast. Some will be uploaded onto the Youth Media Interviews playlist on YouTube.

Within a year, I think Dylan will be proficient enough to train his friends in primary school so they can produce short clips for local radio. Those audio segments might be powerful enough to convince dozens of Dylan's extended family to visit Tipperary instead of choosing the standard Dublin-Kerry-Dublin route so many of our friends select.

[Bernie Goldbach trains teens who are part of Ireland's Youth Media Team.]

How to recognise truly sustainable ingredients (and not get fooled by greenwashing)

Evin O’Keeffe - Tue, 08/09/2022 - 14:06

Today, I’m sharing a guest post by Holly Taylor, chef and co-founder of Kindling Restaurant in Brighton, on how to recognise truly sustainable ingredients (and not get fooled by greenwashing). When you do your food shop, there are a variety...

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Spiced Nuts in the Air Fryer

Evin O’Keeffe - Tue, 08/02/2022 - 14:23

Crunchy, savoury, sweet, and packed with protein? It’s spiced nuts, Union Square style. You know since 2014, I’ve been hooked on my variation of Union Square Spiced Nuts so I thought I’d update my last recipe post with how to...

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Happy Axolotls

Bernie Goldbach - Fri, 07/29/2022 - 04:24
By Bernie Goldbach in Clonmel

I NEVER EXPECTED to experience serenity with a fish tank but something about the slow and plodding Mexican walking fish in our kitchen takes me to a quiet place. I'm enthralled by our two Axolotls.

[Bernie Goldbach teaches creative leadership at the Technological University of the Shannon.]

Why Shoe Size Matters

Evin O’Keeffe - Thu, 07/28/2022 - 13:06

Today, I’m thrilled to share a guest post on Why Shoe Size Matters by Christophe Champs, PODO Clinic and Workshop Unless you have only bought one type, make and brand of shoe—which is super unlikely—you will know that the size...

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Seeking Just Transition with Climate Change

Bernie Goldbach - Thu, 07/28/2022 - 10:33

By Bernie Goldbach in Clonmel.

ALTHOUGH IT IS THE SILLY SEASON in Ireland, a time when items worth discussing wait until September, strong opinions are being aired about whether Ireland can achieve any of its meaningful climate change goals.

Any initiatives proposed by the Irish government will collapse if back benchers resist approving government plans. Many of the initiatives will affect constituents in their pockets, at supermarket cash tills, or in terms of lifestyles.

Fighting Climate Change is Costly

We've looked at ways of reducing our carbon footprint at home. Every one of the intervention strategies requires personal expense. We can find the funding we need for insulation, solar panels, a heat pump, and a wood pellet burner if we cut back on short breaks and holidays. I know people who would need to cancel at least three summer holidays in order to save the funds to retrofit their homes with some of the things we're considering but it means sacrificing family fun to combat global warming. It might be impolite to ask people if they're willing to make that kind of sacrifice.

Instead, more people expect the government to step up and offer generous grants to improve insulation and home heating standards. When I ask my friends to prioritise where the funding for these grants should rank, they put climate change grants below housing, health care, support for child care, and enhancement for small rural communities. Both housing and health care are red line issues in Ireland because politicians can lose their seats if they fail to deliver robust challenges for these two priorities. It's unusual to see local politicians slated for failing to embrace meaningful climate change initiatives--perhaps because they realise how isolated their position will become with local voters.

Making Changes in the Supermarket

I believe supermarkets can play a big part in helping customers see how their choices in food can affect climate change. It would be easy enough to offer advertising campaigns that identify the meat, cereals, bread, pasta, dairy products, fish, produce, vegetables, and canned goods that generate the greatest carbon footprint. Customers should be told that beef generates more methane than pork. It should be easy to color-code items on the shelf that come from Ireland and offer a contrast to products flown or shipped in from other countries with higher carbon footprints.

Supermarkets could be lobbyists for vegetable producers, explaining the increased costs of irrigation and fertilizer to customers. Newspapers, television shows, and radio hosts could ask their foodie experts to offer tips on the preparation of colourful vegetable offerings to accompany promotional spots about recipes for meals. As a parent, I'm trying to encourage my 14 yo daughter to add stir fry skills to her daily diet of beef-flavoured noodles.

Real change to lifestyles

Within a few weeks of moving to Ireland in the 90s, I realised that if Irish people don't respect a law or if they don't agree with the logic of a rule, they simply ignore it. Decades later, I watch customers park their cars on double yellow lines while making short stops in town to pick up things they need. I've seen drivers without insurance disks waved through Grada checkpoints with a polite warning. Close friends I know will keep cutting their own turf for their fireplaces or using inexpensive soft coal to heat their homes. Some of these behaviors might change if people got some community commentary about their lifestyle choices. I don't think it's my role to be the bully in the pulpit.

Instead, I'm trying to do my part by cycling more to work and to the shops to get fresh eggs, bread, and milk. Since we live in town, I'm trying to get my 14 yo daughter to ride to school at least once a week. I'm trying to reset my day to complete some of the school runs with a two mile walk home. I'm also trying to figure out a way to save money in the credit union so we can get the most favorable rate for structural work involving insulation, heat pump, and charging station for an EV we don't have. 

I'm also listening to the stories of like-minded people who share what they're doing to make the world better for their grandchildren. Do you have ideas?

[Bernie Goldbach teaches creative leadership for the Technological University of the Shannon. He snapped the top photo while aboard Irish Rail in County Kilkenny.]

Finding My Feet… and Comfort

Evin O’Keeffe - Tue, 07/26/2022 - 12:07

After an injury in 2018, I learned the hard way that supporting my feet was important to my entire body’s health and well being. I went from being able to wear any shoes I wanted to needing to only wear...

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Summer Clear-out with Minimalism

Bernie Goldbach - Tue, 07/26/2022 - 08:10

FOLLOWING A 90 MINUTE conversation with Larry Maguire, author of Sunday Letters, I've reset my goal of executing a meaningful clear-out of digital services this summer. I'm afraid to admit the extent of my usage of digital services. Fortunately, there are several proven strategies to help me dial down digital services.

Larry Maguire suggested several strategies I've considering. And I also have the help of Cal Newport through two books he has written.

My first method of downshifting involves better better usage of my standard journals. I keep good written journals and just need to adjust the frequency of my usage of them.

[Bernie Goldbach teaches creative leadership for the Technological University of the Shannon.]

Chevron Rainbow Appliqué Kids Tee

Evin O’Keeffe - Thu, 07/21/2022 - 14:07

Into each day a little rainbow shall shine through the clouds to brighten things up. And if the weather doesn’t cooperate, I’ll sew something! This chevron rainbow appliqué kids tee project is being shared today because this weekend marks the...

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Activities to Boost Your Child’s Learning Skills

Evin O’Keeffe - Tue, 07/19/2022 - 13:16

This week, I’m sharing a brilliant guest post by Alex Hasell, co-founder of Little Hands Learning, with activities to boost your child’s learning skills. How a child learns is more important that what they already know when they start school....

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This socialist agenda needs to be reeled in

Bernie Goldbach - Tue, 07/19/2022 - 11:31

BECAUSE I TRY to understand people who have political viewpoints very different from mine, I let myself fall into rabbit holes where some of my family get their political values. I remember my grandfather at the kitchen table in the 1960s telling me that "some people want to have a government that gives them everything" and once that happens those people keep voting to keep the socialists in office. But as all gun-carrying Americans know, socialism runs counter to American values. In the minds of some people, an armed citizenry needs to rise up to protect American values.

So that's why military garb and assault rifles are in the crowd with veterans who defend the American constitution. That's why Open Carry is being normalised across a wide stretch of America. The backwoods training has moved to on-the-streets activism.

In places like Republic, Washington, sheriffs have declared towns as "sanctuary cities" for the Second Amendment (the right to bear arms). In those sanctuary cities walk people who understand the erosion of American values. People who have gun leadership in their lives. In Portland, Oregon, marchers who don't walk with their guns often bring slingshots, tasers, sledgehammers, saws, knives, and explosives to the streets. All Lives Splatter.

Force. Intimidation. Belligerence.

I watched this sentiment course through the Trump Presidency. A sentiment laced with strong support of white nationalism, white separatism, and white supremacy.

During Congressional hearings concerning the insurrection on January 6, 2021, I listen to Trump's call to action, "Take back the Capitol". People waved Trump flags on the streets below where their defeated President stood. They heard the call and set out to find and hang the treasonous Vice President. The crowd was going to reel in the VP.

But those details don't enjoy coverage on conservative media outlets. Instead, I hear the clarion call: "This socialist agenda needs to be reeled in" as members of the US Congress discuss how to reduce the cost of prescription medicine or plan for a carbon-free future.

[Bernie Goldbach teaches creative leadership on the Clonmel campus of the Technological University of the Shannon.]

On Clonmel Quay with Fetch Coffee [Flickr]

Bernie Goldbach - Fri, 07/15/2022 - 12:19

Bernie Goldbach posted a photo:

Stopping by with Dylan (11)

Sunny visit to fetch some coffee [Flickr]

Bernie Goldbach - Fri, 07/15/2022 - 10:49

Bernie Goldbach posted a photo:

Well-deserved five star reviews for Fetch Coffee.

Chris Enns [Flickr]

Bernie Goldbach - Fri, 07/15/2022 - 07:40

Bernie Goldbach posted a photo:

The microblogger Chris Enns.