First, a huge thanks to NYRoyal and NHZ for holding down the fort and keeping the content fresh while I was gone. Although I must admit that every 30 hours or so I was anxious to peak in and make sure the site was still running properly, it was a huge bit of stress off my mind knowing that RR was going to keep chugging along without me. I appreciate everyone's patience with the auto-posts and downturn in overflow threads (which didn't seem to be as much of an issue with the losing depressing the number of comments). Honestly, all wedding/honeymoon/life changing issues aside, it was really nice for me to step away from the Royals for awhile, and not surprisingly, I'm more interested, right now, after about two weeks of nothing really, in all American sports, than I probably have been since I was 13.
- I'm not really sure, at this particular moment, the move to universal Wi-fi everywhere is a good thing. Five years ago I found it much easier to casually check email etc. in internet cafes and little computer terminals in airports and hotel lobbies than it is now, when everyone just sets up a (usually very slow/weak wireless network) and lets you deal with it. I really don't like travelling with my laptop and even when I do, I'm usually more frustrated than satisfied with the connection I can get, which usually evokes mid-90s AOL connection speeds. Then again, maybe its just me, the odd internet-lover who doesn't own a PDA/iPhone type device or like carrying a computer around.
- My wife and I were both surprised with how sports-crazy Ireland was. I can't say how representative our TV offerings were at most of the places we stayed, but there was a huge amount of sports coverage on the two primary Irish TV channels, RTE1 and RTE2. The radio was the same way, and while there aren't any definitive sports-radio stations like we have here, there was a consistent level of sports chatter and coverage. Again, it bears noting, the entire country appears to really only have maybe 10 radio stations nationwide, so when two are discussing Gaelic football or hurling at all times, it seems pretty inescapable. Two quick anecdotes: our second night there, RTE showed like a three-hour program "Twenty Moments That Shook Irish Sports" right in the middle of primetime on a weeknight, a week later, on the west coast, TG4 (the Irish-language station) showed at least two hours of live snooker for four straight nights, completed with hushed Gaelic commentary. So, ask me or Mary anything at all about how the Irish did in the Olympics and we can give you a 20-minute summary of each sport, with relevant bios.