Mark Grealish

Cats and wizardry.


2018

January


2017

There’s a sorrow in me, a deep sadness for the hurt I’ve caused, the hurt caused to me, and the toll in joy it takes from us. We all lose something fundamental as we get older. We learn that our intent mightn’t be theirs, that they’ll take what they want. We learn about lies and […]

Wet Run

Storm Eleanor has left the power out in places and half of Galway underwater from the tidal surge. Okay, so my pace despite the weather-I had the wind against me the entire way, and it rained twice-makes me happy, because it continues to be on a downward slope. Sorry for the graph. It’s the result […]

Woodquay at Sunset

We get the best and worst of weathers in a Galway winter.

10k: Done!

More man than man. ᕙ༼ຈل͜ຈ༽ᕗ My goals are to increase my 5k pace, and boost my stamina on 10k runs, both for the Road and Road 10k in Kinvara in March. I have every confidence in myself that I’ll succeed and complete the Road and Road event and reach my intermediate goals.

Big Data

Go running and healthy eating! I’m under 70kg for the first time since I turned 25.

February


#narcieselfie

As I said last night on Instagram, I can’t get over how much my face has changed through my weight loss.

Ninety Degrees Separated

Taken at Usher’s, Dublin on February 8.

Island, Woman, Sky

Taken at the Howth Cliff Walk on February 18.

Howth Narci-selfie

Because I’m awesome and handsome and manly. And hairy and wrinkly. Featuring grey hair. Umm. ᕙ༼ຈل͜ຈ༽ᕗ ?

Intent and Effect

Effect matters more than intent. It doesn’t matter a whit that I tell you what I intended, when the way I affected you has been are the clear opposite. Consequences are asymptotic-they echo on for years and only slowly taper. The foundation of a good life lies in the ability able to balance your needs […]

The Dragon of Parnell Street

Happy year of the dog!

And Two Seagulls

Leonard’s Corner

Taken before lousy Smarch weather rolled in.

March


Nine Days Difference

Taken at Portobello, Dublin.

Storm Emma

Harold’s Cross and Rathmines on the first day of Storm Emma.

White Dublin

Snow around Rathmines and Harold’s Cross on the second and third days of Storm Emma.

Now in this Hush

Taken during the worst of the blizzard during Storm Emma.

I Don’t Get It

Over the last few months I’ve lost a bunch of weight-and continue to do so. At any given point, now will be lowest weight I’ve reached as an adult. Along the way here I learned the fundamental of compassion. With it have been able to reach out to the people in my life and become […]

Snowy Marlay Park

The beauty of transience-green yesterday, green tomorrow.

Majestic Mountain Man

Taken on my way down from Fairy Castle today. Yes, that’s ice. The weather was fucking brutal on top.

The Language of Agency

Given my personal history, how we grant agency has been a topic I’ve wanted to explore for a while. Despite her book’s many other problems, in Why Does He Do That?  Lundy Bancroft shows insight when she describes abusive decision as a function of the abuser’s value system. Each person has a decision structure-their value […]

Marlay Park

Kilmashogue Forest

Ticknock Forest

A Fairy Hike to a Fairy Castle

Yesterday winter came back around to grumble “And another thing…” in the middle of what otherwise should be a well-behaved spring. After Storm Emma I kicked myself that I didn’t get out of Harold’s Cross to see the parks or countryside around Dublin while we had snow. So when I saw snow on the ground […]

Dwejra Bay, Gozo

Home of the (former) Azure Window, Dwejra Bay on the west coast of Gozo is a glorious, beautiful place. The bay manages to convey a sense of serene isolation despite that several towns and villages are within a short march. On Saturday last I hiked from the bay over to the town of Xlendi. Photos […]

On Abuse

I have been an abuser. I committed physical violence against my spouse and children. For the longest time I manipulated and isolated my spouse, played them against their family and friends. Gaslighted and undermined. I attempted to control them by withholding money. I cheated on both my spouse and long-term partner. I’ve been that oily […]

April


Another Notch

Weights and scales and charts and numbers are all well and good, but it’s the new hole I punched in my belt today that’s the visceral sign of losing weight. I’ve used each notch at one time or another.

Five Years Slimmer

I’m a skinnnnnnnnny bitch now! On the other hand, today’s breakfast was two soluble Panadol, a croissant, a cup of black coffee, and two-thirds of a Dairy Milk. I try.

The Western Way

In December I hiked the Western Way in Galway between Maam Cross and Oughterard. Timing from my phone and FitBit: 00:42:50 + 04:41:38 = 05:24:28 The part of the Way I hiked was 26 kilometres of spectacular rugged Connemara scenery-bogs, forests, mountains, lakes and rivers all in a breath of one another. Being out on […]

My Fortress of Cozy Solitude

It’s a bit of a fail when I have to work from home, but when I do its the cosiest place to be.

Mgarr and Fort Chambray

The town of Mgarr on the southeast coast of Gozo hosts the ferry terminal that’s the main point of access to the island. As Wikipedia will tell you, Mgarr has pubs and restaurants and churches and buses and homes and people. The town shelters a harbour of crystal-clear blue Mediterranean water, and that offers spectacular […]

Mindfulness

I am here, now. Mark now is Mark now. Mark then was Mark then. I’m not him. Last year has gone and next year will come. Everything in its own time. Tomorrow is tomorrow, yesterday is yesterday. Breathe in now, breathe out here. Here is here, there is there. Now is now. Here, now breathe […]

Nicely (and Recursively) Stringify a Hash’s Keys and Values

Works in Ruby on Rails versions >= 4 and in Ruby 2.5. This has really annoyed the shit out of me. I want to stringify keys and values individually, not turn an entire hash or array into a string. def deep_stringify(object) case object when Hash object.transform_keys(&:to_s).transform_values { |val| deep_stringify val } when Array object.map { […]

The Kids, April 2018

More awesome than yours, now and forever.

Running Satisfaction

This has been the high point of my week: a perfect run on a gorgeous spring afternoon.

Malta: The Citadello and Victoria Hills

Food and Journal

Takens at The Grapes wine bar in Victoria, Gozo.

Mgarr ix-Xini Gorge, Gozo

Mgarr ix-Xini is a gorge on the south side of Gozo that terminates at a beautiful sheltered beach. Gozo is…compact. Towns and villages are concentrated onto high ground inland. Almost the entire coast of the island is one big trail because of this, which allowed me to go on remarkable walks along clifftops. The gorge […]

The Mgarr ix-Xini Coast, Gozo

The sea as the gorge.

The (Former) Azure Window and Dwerja Bay, Gozo

Azure Window. Lots to say about here that I’ll fill in later.

Xlendi and Wardija Point Cliffs

Content to follow.

Xlendi Run

On my first day in Gozo I ran from Victoria to Ta’ Ċenċ Cliffs and then back to town by way of Xlendi. This wasn’t my greatest run as far as they go because I didn’t realise the trail Strava said exists was a literal clifftop goat trail; I wound up having to cut across […]

May


Dun Laoghaire Sunset

Took these back in early May on a gorgeous warm evening after a day out in Killiney and Dalkey.

Weekend Runs

Saturday’s run was Tour de Knocknarea. A friend and I spent the weekend in Strandhill in Sligo. We had our own plans made for Saturday morning, mine being to run a loop around Knocknarea. It looked easy on paper, ten kilometres in a circle back to the start. Right? Hah! The southeast side of the […]

This Be The Verse

Poem by Philip Larkin, shared with me by a friend. They fuck you up, your mum and dad.    They may not mean to, but they do. They fill you with the faults they had    And add some extra, just for you. But they were fucked up in their turn    By fools in old-style hats and […]

Pretty Neighbourhood Kitty

He got the scratchies from me. 🐱

Strandhill Snapshots

Well as you could have guessed from the runs, I went to Strandhill last weekend with a friend. My most excellent company aside, it felt so good to be back in Sligo and the northwest for its own sake. I ran, we walked, we got burned under the sun and enjoyed fantastic food and beer […]

Andddddd We Drunk Called Friends

(Sorry Jenny!) At some point I’ll have to blog about Asheron’s Call and its effect on our lives. The AC community, more than any other I’ve known, came together as people in real life. For now, yeah, we had a great time over a couple of drinks in Dublin. :D

factory_bot Email Factory

While hardly a world-shattering bit of code, I’ve found this super useful for reuse. :D FactoryBot.define do factory :email_address, class: String do skip_create transient do sequence(:address) { |n| "factory_email_#{n}@example.com" } end initialize_with do new address if address end end end Call inside a factory thus: FactoryBot.define do factory :foobar do email { create :email_address } […]

Killaspugbrone, Strandhill, Co. Sligo

June


Race Report: Kinvara Rock and Road 10k 2018

Hey, my first road race went great! Per the chip time results: Time: 00:52:37 Distance: 10.00km Pace: 00:05:16/km Place: 143/432 (33/100 normalised) The full results from Rock and Road are pretty cool to go through and cross-reference! This is the first indication of where I fit with other runners because of how I prefer to […]

Man and His Best Friend

Taken at the Salthill promenade in Galway.

Withered Galway Skies

The two of us sat there hour with coffee as the storm bit by bit consumed the world.

Baily Lighthouse and the Irish Sea

The new workplace in all its summer glory. :)

Slidescan Panorama of Dollymount Strand

Taken on my way home from work in the rain last Wednesday. The effect came out great.

Dwerja Bay, Gozo

I’m missing Malta today. :( Hope to go back for a week in September.

Replace Odd Numbers of Spaces Only

Stolen from Stack Overflow, this bit of regex matches odd numbers of spaces only. Last week I retabbed a work project, but didn’t catch that I replaced \t with \s instead of \s\s. Whoops. gsed -E -i -e 's/^\s(\s\s)*/& /g' src/**/*.* Per the SO link, x(xx)* will match odd numbers of x. It works.

First Cycle Since…2008?

The first cycle-cycle, that is, because trips to and from town in Galway don’t count. Back in Vegas I used to cycle to work: take the bus part way, cycle the balance. I stopped (no bicycle) after I got back to Ireland, so I’m looking forward to the route to Howth. There are few words […]

July


Set Zsh Tab Title Automatically Based on Folder

My current task at work sees me rewriting an old application from scratch. A good part of this involves me going back and forth between the old and new project folders-call them “wigwam” and “spaklepony”-to compare code. This can be difficult to keep straight in tabs as a terminal user. A quick walk of Stack […]

Coffee is Good

Currently writing a client < => server HTTP service and added some test code along the lines of “When the application starts, please GET a list of all records from the server. After you receive them DELETE the first item in the list.” Promptly forgot about it. Why ever, I wondered ten minutes later, does […]

August


East and North and West: Three Runs around Galway

These are three days of fantastic, vitalizing runs around Galway back in July. The first day, I got off the bus, popped on my gear, and ran a fast loop out to Renmore on back. The second day, Saturday, I ran an easy route out to Menlo and home again before dinner with friends. The […]

The Kitties of Harold’s Cross

Lookit the lil whiskers! 🐱

Dublin Bay Cloudscape

Although the sky around the sun got blown out to fuck, I’m really happy with this spectacular cloudscape from over Dublin Bay. Going to work in the Baily Lighthouse has become a high point in my career. Every day something about the job lifts me up, like on Friday when we spotted a porpoise on […]

Race Report: DLR Bay 10k 2018

Time: 00:47:07 Distance: 10.00km Pace: 00:04:43/km Finished: 223/1229 (18/100 normalised) Previous race: Kinvara Rock and Road 10k 2018. In comparing my experience on the DLR Bay Run with the Kinvara Rock and Road, I get the feeling of being prepared. For the DLR Bay Run I followed a running schedule, watched what I ate, and […]

August Skies

I’ve seen mountains and deserts and lakes and forests and ice caps and snow, but nothing in this world soothes my heart like the sea breeze, the cry of gulls and clouds hung low o’er the horizon.

Thoughts of Murder

Breaking 20k

My last running goal was a nonstop 20k, which I convinced myself I wouldn't manage until I went out and did it.

My Happy Face

I can't get over the difference between me then and me now.

September


Cycling is Great

I love cycling.

Phone Repair

So it turns out that being a programmer also means I can repair phones. :p

Cast Any Value as an Array in JavaScript

Another stupid little thing. In JavaScript you can use Array.from() or the spread syntax to create a shallow copy of an array or other iterable object, e.g. Array.from(foo) // [foo] [...foo] // [foo] However you can’t perform this with simple values: Array.from(9); // [] [...9] // Uncaught TypeError: 9 is not iterable The good old […]

I Haven’t Been Kind to Myself

When you put shit in, you get shit out. At last, today, it occurred to me that I haven’t been kind to myself over the past month. Two years ago I learned that I only know when I’m stressed or angry or upset are in the ways I express them. Like that I eat junk […]

Grey, Speckled With Light

Grey skies overhang Grand Canal Dock in Dublin at sunset in early September.

Git Alias to Flag Files Unchanged

Inspired by a question on Stack Overflow, “Can I get a list of files marked –assume-unchanged?”, this alias allows me to glob mark files as unchanged (or changed) from the command-line. [alias] unchanged = !git ls-files -v | grep \"^[[:lower:]]\" thaw = "!git update-index --no-assume-unchanged $@" freeze = "!git update-index --assume-unchanged $@" As an example […]

I Wish I Were Lost

With Storm Helene due to make landfall over Ireland tonight, I went up and out on my bicycle around the south city out as far as the foothills.

The Baily Lighthouse

The Baily Lighthouse in Howth as Storm Ali rolls over the Irish Sea.

Harold’s Cross, Early Autumn

My neighbourhood looks gorgeous as Autumn rolls in. 🍂🌞

Of Faith and Reason

Through reason, sanity.

October


The Calm before the Storm

The Baily lighthouse in the rain before Storm Callum rolls in.

Sólheimajökull

I have to start somewhere with the Iceland photos!

Lonely Home

Taken in the Southern Region, Iceland, near Skógafoss.

SSE Airtricity Dublin Half Marathon 2018

Date: 2018-09-22 Time: 01:48:45 Distance: 21.1km Pace: 00:05:09/km Finished: 2579/6674 (39/100 normalised) Previous race: DLR Bay 10k 2018 The 2018 SSE Airtricity Half Marathon was both my first half marathon race and a major personal milestone. As I write this post in late October it has been a year since I took up running as […]

Hjartadagshlaupið (Heart Day) 2018 10k, Reykjavik

Date: 2018-09-29 Time: 00:46:52 Distance: 10km Pace: 00:04:39/km Finished: 57/188 (30/100 normalised) Previous race: SSE Airtricity Dublin Half Marathon My chip time for the run makes this run a new personal best, beating out the DLR Bay 10k finish by 15 seconds! The Hjartadagshlaupið (Heart Day) run seems to be an annual community in Reykjavik. […]

Gaelforce Howth Summit 10k 2018

Date: 2018-10-13 Time: 00:56:55 Distance: 10km Pace: 00:05:40/km Finished: 103/496 (21/100 normalised) Previous race: Hjartadagshlaupið 2018 10k, Reykjavik And this a whole different kettle of fish. Gaelforce runs are off the road, over the hill and somewhere far off by the sea in a league of their own. Where I enjoyed a flat and even […]

Decay and Renewal

Taken at Keem Beach, Achill Co. Mayo

November


Majestic Mountain Mannishness

What's a mountain for except a quick selfie? Taken on Croagh Patrick in Mayo, October 27 2018.

Skógafoss

Skógafoss waterfall in the South Region of Iceland. Taken October 1, 2018.

Seljalandsfoss Cloning Before/After

In my post about Skógafoss, I mentioned that I spent a few tedious hours in Photoshop cloning out tourists. This led to some questions from my friend Duncan about the time I put in to remove the tourists, which in turn put it into my head to upload this. There really were a million of […]

Seljalandsfoss

Another waterfall, another whistle stop tour, this time at Seljalandsfoss, right down the road from Skógafoss!

Esjan and Þverfellshorn

On my second day in Iceland I climbed the gorgeous Mount Esja near Reykjavik!

Clontarf Half Marathon

Date: 2018-11-17 Time: 01:42:29 Distance: 21km Pace: 00:04:53/km Finished: 366/1605 (23/100 normalised) Previous race: Gaelforce Howth Summit 10k Went well. Flat course. Ran long and hard. Yesterday I applied the lessons of the Phoenix Park half marathon: I wore warm clothes. Beanie, gloves and an over layer. I found my desired pacer in the starting […]