Monday, March 28, 2011

March Beer Post

Sorry Folks
Haven't been many beer posts in a while. I have been drinking I just haven't been posting due to laziness!
So let me make it up to you!
Weissenofer Bonator
The find of the pack by far, beautfiul Brown colour, Caramel, chocolate and pine, smooth with no bitter after taste. 8.2% hit me pretty hard!
Helvick Gold
From the Dun Garvan Brewery, Unfortunately I don't have many notes on this one, cloudy in the glass with a slightly citrusy flavour, worth a look, not least because its Irish

Goose Island - Christmas Ale
Wonderful flavour in the best Winter beer tradition. Dark but not black in the glass, Strong flavour with rich caramel tones.

Youngs Double Chocolate Stout
I had expected this to have either a bitter black chocolate taste or a smooth creamy milk chocolate taste but I was wrong on both counts. The chocolate flavour is mild and a bit watery in the finish. If you're expecting a hot chocolate I wouldn't go for this. If you find something like that, let me know!

Sunday, March 27, 2011

Fuel Economy and Driving to work

In a moment of idleness last week I started working out how much my car was costing me per month. I’m thinking of trading up next year; hopefully get something more fuel efficient.

For the most part I drive about 750 miles a month, which is made up for trips from my home in Drumcondra to Cherrywood. Some months I drive about 600 miles (when I travel abroad) and when I have to work in Limerick the number can go up to 900 miles. My car gets about 6.5 miles to the litre, or 390 miles to a full tank, which hardly makes it a green-mobile. At €1.50 a litre I’m spending about €173 a month on petrol. The drive to and from Cherrywood is about 25 miles round trip.

Fuel is not the only cost I incur though. My insurance is about €600 euro a year. My car tax is €324 a year and I also have the AA at €210 a year. I expect to spend around €300 on maintenance and repair over the year as well.

There is one more cost that is less straight forward. Strictly speaking the cash isn’t going out every month. In fact the cash has already been paid out. Its an opportunity cost; what I could have done with the money if I hadn’t tied it up in the car. I know this sounds like a fuzzy concept; I’ve already paid the money right? But here’s the thing, If I sell the car right now I might get €4000, but If I hold on to the car till next year like I plan to it might be worth €3000. In a way I am renting the car or slowly surrendering value day by day. I figure that the car is worth about €1000 a year. If I had a more expensive car then it would be worth more.

So having worked out all these costs I can look at the three scenarios and work out how much money I’m spending a month. I can also calculate a proxy for “convenience” i.e. The value I am paying to have the car for average use. I can then compare this to my utility value – How much I am willing to pay for this privilege. If my utility is greater than that of convenience then I should keep using the car but if its less then I should use substitutes I.e. The DART, where they exist.
The easiest way to summarise the options is with a table.

As you can see the more miles I do the lower the total cost, but it also shows that the cost of having the car under each scenario is way over the cost for the same trip to Cherrywood on the train.
In reality I'm paying an average of a 61% premium or €7.67 to use the car on my round trip to and from Cherrywood.
I know I said I'd calculate my utility value but I actually haven't a clue how to (If anyone wants to suggest how to do this I'm happy to try it) I just know that a 61% premium feels too high for me though. I suspect that if it was raining when I got up I'd prefer to take the car but with the summer coming up hopefully I'll think of my pocket and take the train!

Sunday, March 13, 2011


Not a major post for the weekend.
Two things that stand out.
I've been resisting shaving / growing a goatee for the last two weeks with mixed results. Amazingly there is a lot more grey and a lot less ginger than the last time 10 years ago, I'll try to put up a photo to compare shortly.

The other thing I did was to put up a shelf for the LAK. It was a cheap one from Woodies, but it put me up against the 2 years of selling DIY to actually prove that it was easy to do.
What was bizarre is that the 2 supports were definitely not level and yet the shelf is!

Friday, March 4, 2011

No Posts for a while!

Afraid I've been lazy the last 2 weeks.
Actually I've been sick with the man flu for the last 4 days, and was at a stag party the week before. (I see no connection!)
I have been active though so expect some bursts of updates next week around beers, Prague and Politics

As for the Election:
The outcome was easily predicted. All of the posturing now is disappointing and I am a little concerned by the looks of smugness from FG are worrying. Like I said before. The 25% vaccum of votes left by FF had to be filled somehow. As for the Wipeout, FF will be above 20% next election and in danger of becoming a real coalition option next time round.
I feel sorry for the independents. They fought hard and have won...nothing. No real power, no legislative authority. I think many of the new ones will do a George Lee and quit because they are frustrated by the glacier like pace of change.

FG Labour
Lets see what happens. I have a feeling the departmental briefings are going to scare some of them and there will be a lot of "look at what FF did the country". This will fly for a while but eventually they will have to start solving the problems in front of them. Because if they can't make a dent themselves then they aren't any better  than the outgoing administration.

Thats all for now, The virus is still at work and my mind is not using english properly