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Incoherent Ramblings from Murphy Towers


An Galar Úafasach

Posted by Ruaidhri , 23 September 2012 · 4,070 views

Greetings and Salutions Dear Reader.

One or two of you may remember my name from the dim distant past, before all became dreadfully complicated and I had to lie low for some time. I re-emerge finally in triumph (as would be expected) to clear up any misunderstandings which may have arisen, and clear my name once and for all.

My one avid reader (God bless him/her) may recall that one of my many hobbies is Amateur Medicine and Surgery. Many are the tomes I have read on the subject, and I may say in all modesty, that I am generally considered one of the world's foremost experts on these subjects.
I also, for research purposes, collect diseases and maladies (I won't bore you with the full list).

Some time back I took an interest in cancer (not having had it before), and so developed a fine lump on the right hand side of my face.
I was careful about this because our local photographer Séamuseen Beag Mac an Ridire - he calls himself "Flash", and the feliows in the local public house call him "Oh my Bloody Eyes" - stated definitively that my left side was the more photogenic.
Anyoldhow, the lump grew apace and it was decided that something must be done. This is where things got a little complicated.

Johnson MacSean, our under-gardener called with a bottle of foul smelling unction which he claimed would do the job. I was touched by his concern, but had to point out that it was NOT canker from which I was suffering. He beat an apologetic retreat.

Her Ladyship had been in clandestine discussions with our local doctor and they decided to ship me off to the Royal Victoria Eye and Ear Hospital in Dublin where a Professor Timon would operate and remove the offending piece of Murphy.

I, naturally enough, told them I was quite capable of doing the job myself, and a rather unseemly altercation took place, which ended in my agreeing to at least see this Professor chap.

Very pleasant and knowledgable was he when we met, and he readily (after some hours discussion) agreed to my plan.

The general idea was that I would take a local anaesthetic, in the form of 20yr old Jamesons Whiskey, we would rig up an arrangement of mirrors so that I could operate with my new electric carving tool, while he would oversee in case anything should go amiss.

And now the the awful part:

Shortly after admission the anaesthetist asked me to take a "couple of whiffs of oxygen, to get your levels up".
No sooner had I started than I passed out and came to in my room with staples, stitches, drips, tubes, and half the contents of the hospital workshop hanging from my face. I was LIVID!

Intercepting the Professor on his rounds I made it clear what I thought of his underhanded tactics, and unfortunately things got a little heated.

I must say that the Gardai (our Police) and the Judge were very understanding when they heard my side of things, even to the point of arranging a special room at a private clinic where I could convalesce.

All is well that ends well, they say - but beware! There are some VERY sneaky members of the Medical Profession out there my friends.

Fond regards,


Now, Where Was I?

Posted by Ruaidhri , 17 August 2011 · 2,312 views

Dear me!

Who would have thought the authorities could be so blindingly stupid?

Sorry, Dear Reader. I should make my self clearer, but the last week has been harrowing.

I had intended doing some further work on the History of Murphy Towers, but while researching the subject I came across some data that forced a temporary change of tack.

Up in the Library, browsing through some letters from Johannes Marcus Marci of Kronland (yes, the very same chap!) that Cuthbert had preserved, I came across mention of Ó Murchú Romhair na Prataí (Rotund Murphy of the Potatoes) and his theories about the Irish Pyramids.

The further I read, the more I realised I must investigate - but I get ahead of myself!

Ó Murchú Romhair (we shall refer to him by his given name, Con - short for Conchubhair) had seen sketches of the Egyptian Pyramids, brought back from Foreign by an old seaman, and wondered.
He then spent some time pondering.
Then mulled it over.
After some fifteen minutes of this brainstorming, he came to the obvious conclusion that Ireland must also have pyramids - if only he could find them.

Unfortunately, there the trail ran cold. Except for a nearly illegible pencilled note in a margin: "...town squar..."

Like my predecessor I fell to thinking.
Two pipes, the odd little drop of Guinness (I can't recall whether it was 17 or 19), and a half bottle of port later, it dawned on me!

Town Squares!

I realised that almost every town in Ireland has its town square, and the reason for their existence became so obvious I laughed aloud - they are PYRAMIDS!

What had not been considered when poor old Con was being mocked by Academia is that the Irish are, by their nature, a not very pretentious people.

Rather than build huge, ostentatious lumps of things, they had simply used an inverted design.
This had the added advantage that the base, being at ground level would serve as a place for markets, and other such gatherings of the peasantry, the interiors could act as storage facilities, and there would be no problems in later years about interfering with the skyline.

Delving in other manuscripts I found more and more hints-
"....yer average Paddy is only happy laying bricks....." St. Patrick c 437 AD
"....you won't find pyramids in Ireland......" High King Cormac MacArt (my bold)
and many more.

I would appear to have rambled on a bit!
Suffice it to say that when I arranged the loan of a JCB, and started excavations in a town near Dublin, which can't be named for legal reasons, I was set upon by the local constabulary, who thought I was about to "raid the ATM at the bank".
I explained that a) being an Irish bank there was little chance of such a raid being worth the bother, and b) that I was merely trying to dig up parts of the town square.

A €500 fine, and one week in gaol later, I am more determined than ever to get to the bottom of this, if you will pardon a pun.

When I have rested I will get back to the history, and plan a less obvious archaelogical approach to the Pyramid Enigma.

Good evening,


A Brief History Of Murphy Towers

Posted by Ruaidhri , 02 August 2011 · 1,826 views

An email flooded in to Murphy Towers some time back,enquiring about the Organisation, its Aims, its History and its Roots.

There were also a couple of somewhat impertinent questionsabout whether we actually serve a useful purpose! I shall greet that part with the stony silence it merits.

In looking over our records, I also noticed that some of our newer members may not be fully up to speed, as modern day jargon would put it, with our goings on.

To allow my reader some peace of mind, and to enable him or her to sleep without tossing and turning, I will here (and in some later additions,annexes, riders, and corrections) put down what the discerning FPN member needs to know.


Before reading further, my reader is urgently advised to stock up with strong coffee (into which a wee dram has been added) accompanied, perhaps, by a valium sandwich.

To business:

Fadó, fadó in Éireann bhí fear arbh ainm dó

Sorry, I sometimes forget that one of our members doesn't speak Gaeilc, so for he/she (I am sworn to secrecy, such is their shame) I shall continue in the language of our next-door neighbour.

To quote Wikipedia: "In far antiquity the Fir Bolg were the rulers of Ireland".
Should one be so unwise as to study the entire entry, one will find an appalling number of errors (I have, of course, sent them a stiff letter on the subject) – for example, they put forward several erroneous theories for the origin of the name Fir Bolg. They are also quite vague when it comes to dates. I have pointed out that, according to our records here, the "far antiquity" should read "from September 3017BC, according to the Bolgian Calendar".

"Fir" is easy: in Gaelic it means "men"
When we get to the Bolg, however, the scholars are distressingly unsure of themselves, so for their sakes:

The "Bolg" was actually phonetically derived-

The King ofthe Fir Bolg, one Eocaidh (pr. 'ukee') was married to the lovely Mary Bridget O'Shaughnessy, of the Cork O'Shaughnessys,who was known for feeding their warriors with her famous nettle soup, to prepare their minds and bodies for battle. The "Bolg" comes from the sounds heard from the soldiers quarters after drinking the soup.
It should be pronounced with a slight protrusion of the tongue, while leaning forward from the waist clutching the stomach.

Interestingly (?) the fact that she garnished the soup with nettle leaves may also account for the fact that the Fir Bolg warriors were all reputed to speak with a pronounced lisp (Lisp, pr. "Lisp")

"He digresses", I hear the reader mutter.
I digress not, for Eocaigh was a direct ancestor of mine!

It will be immediately apparent that being of my own bloodline, he was a fair and just king. I quote from the Ó Murchú Annals Vol II, Folios 34-37 "he feeded his peasants wythe the fynest of potatoes, each given three mejum syzed potatoes per family member, per week. He also confyned his ravishinge of vyrgins to four days per calendar monthe"

What more need I say?

Unfortunately (make note of that word, for it will be seen frequently) his purity and innocence was to lead to his downfall.

On 2nd March 2972 BC, an overcast Tuesday, the Tuatha Dé Danann arrived.

Aside: "How do you pronounce THAT?"
"Thoo-aha Day Dhanawn"

"Oh good, visitors", said Eocaigh.
"Oh **** - INVADERS!", said Missus Eocaigh.

Unfortunately (see note above) while they argued back and forth, the Tuatha Dé Danann captured most all of his lands.

In the aftermath it was decided to hold TALKS.

Firstly both sides formed committees, then arranged (through an intermediary) to have Proximity Talks.

Finally things were settled when the Tuatha Dé Danann sneakily enlisted the aid of an adjacent goddess, The Morrigan, who did a very nasty and terminal thing to poor old Eocaigh.

So impressed were they by the fighting spirit of the Fir Bolg that they allowed them to hold on to a quarter of the country.

Missus Eocaigh, after a desolate 7 minutes of mourning, fell in love with, and married, one of the richer looking members of the invading force, and continued the family line.

That, you will be pleased to hear, is all for now.

Hopefully the next 'episode' will take us lurching towards the present day, but I would ask the reader to study hard - there will be a stiff examination at the end of the series.

Fond regards,


Jumping To Conclusions

Posted by Ruaidhri , 16 May 2011 · 2,368 views

I was chagrined this morning to discover that one of Our Esteemed and Highly Valued Moderators (do not confuse OEHVM with OEIG - one set of people works, the other is a little flawed) was having trouble with his Interwebtube Connection.

Naturally he was extremely upset and rashly jumped to the conclusion that the Electrical Computer Wire and Cable Providers were to blame!
Luckily I was able to throw some light on his problem when I informed him that Ernst had been in his area for the last week, on a field trip with the Irish Turnip Fanciers & Long Distance Crochet Association, and also that he brought a small shovel (samples for the digging of).
Thank Heavens the source of the trouble was identified before our OEHVN Member did, said, or wrote something he would later come to regret.

While, as my Dear Reader will be aware, I am the most modest of men, I have to admit to having a warm feeling after solving yet another of Mankind's mysteries.On a side note: there was a fearful argument between Ernst and myself last evening. As you already know we have just about reached a stage in our researches into Cold Fusion where we are ready for Testing.There had been some small difficulties with the High Energy Potato Collider. I realised (after a couple of wee drams of port) in a moment of astounding clarity that the difficulty was being caused by Quantum Entanglement ("why didn't you think of that immediately" I hear you say - I know, silly me!) between the potatoes.

Having fired potatoes into both ends of the System we found that after Collision, there was only ONE potato!Consternation! Much muttering! Great over-use of exclamation marks!!It finally hit me like a bolt from the blue - both potatoes were occupying the same space and time. What a breakthrough!The row broke out when Ernst insisted that there was only ONE potato! Sometimes he really tries my patience! Further bulletins will issue as we proceed.Regards,Ruaidhrí* In the unlikely event that Irish Turnip Fanciers & Long Distance Crochet Association is unknown to you, I should perhaps add a little of its background:

The Association was founded in the little village of Kinnegad in 1642 by Father Pádraig Óg Blikenstein-O'Flannery and Seán Micheál Bourke (of the West Kerry Sweeneys - a long story).The initial aim of the Association was to "catalogue all ye knowne turnyps of the Realm and Beyond, forminge Ye Mighty Tome of Reference, with ye Crochetted Cover of Great Beauty".

It was later used as a tool of revolution, when Irish Rebels allowed copies of the Ms, cunningly re-titled "Rules and Strategems for Foyling English Occupation" to fall into the hands of the Dreaded Sassenachs.This action had the effect of tying up large numbers of their intelligence staff trying to decode the seemingly cryptic references.

The ruse was finally discovered when Colonel James Worthington-Smythe of the Queen's Own Short Swords and Daggers tried one of the patterns and found it actually was a real crochet pattern.

This had two effects. The first was to free up intelligence staff with the result that Ireland remained part of Great Britain for some time afterwards, the second was that ever since that fateful day, the Queen's Own Short Swords and Daggers wear a small (tasteful) patch of crochet on the top of their berets as a reminder of Worthington-Smythe's discovery.

In latter years the Association has gone back to its roots as a scientific group of people, happily travelling the world recording their turnip discoveries, and competing in full contact crochet tournaments on an international basis.


Answers To An Age Old Question

Posted by Ruaidhri , 10 May 2011 · 2,183 views

While this question was asked down in the bowels of the Forum Leaders' Discussion area where our Moderators have their tea breaks etc., I thought it was of such importance that I shold post the answer here, where at least two people would be able read it.The QuestionSo...how DO you check a pen's gender? Inquiring minds want to know!(For some unknown reason there a rabbit - or possible hare - dancing beside this)The AnswerWhile it is a recognised fact that only those versed in the most esoteric pen lore can deal with your question, I shall give some basic pointers.From a purely scientific point of view, there are a number of simple tests that can be performed to determine the gender of one's pen. The important thing to remember is that the Male Pen is identified by a process of elimination - it is far simpler to spot the Female.To work!.The researcher will need (as well as a selection of pens of unknown gender) some Test Equipment -
  • a ruler
  • chocolates
  • pictures of eg. Brad Pitt, George Clooney, Paul Newman, Colin Farrell and Johnny Depp (whoever they are).
  • some pieces of shiny jewellery
  • several bottles of good quality perfume
  • an ironing board
Procedure (this should be performed several times using each of items 2 to 6 sequentially):
  • Using the ruler, place the pen to be tested 6" (several millipedes if you are a Metric Person, or 1/3 cubits if older) away from the test sample.
  • Note the distance carefully in your notebook.
  • Leave for approximately 1 hour.
  • Remeasure and repeat with next test sample.
Analysis of ResultsIt has been found empirically, that there is little reaction from a Male Pen - although in many trials it was found that the distance will have increased when using Test Item 6.In the case of Female Pens it will usually be found that there is a marked decrease in the separation, indicating some affinity for the test objects - with the exception of Test Item 6.Please bear in mind, Dear Reader, that these are preliminary test results only. According to Cuthbert, there are references in one or two arcane mss in the Library which run contrary to the above.Further research will be needed, but I grow bored, as I am sure you do yourself, and am now off to have a small drop of port.Fond regards,Ruaidhrí


Further Complications - Of A Happy Sort

Posted by Ruaidhri , 03 May 2011 · 1,965 views

Good Gosh, what a week!Ernst came rushing to the Laboratory this morning. Quite breathlessly he told me "Master, wot it is is wot Fluffy has had her din din and de other men is at the gate".While I wouldn't say I was nonplussed, I certainly wasn't completely plussed either. I really do detest interruptions when I am at work, particularly as just at that moment I had inserted the turnip into the Cold Fusion Apparatus, and was looking forward to some interesting results.At the Main Door, I found our butler in somewhat heated discussion with two chaps wearing natty suits and sunglasses.What was even more unusual was that they both suffered from the same infirmity, which caused them to raise their arms when they spoke. It looked to the casual observer as if they were talking to their cuff links!They seemed innocent enough chappies (even if they were wearing sunglasses in Ireland!) so I naturally invited them in for a few pints of Guinness, and a cup of tea and a scone.Over refreshments the whole story gradually became clear.It would seem that that young O'Bama fellow (from Foreign) had heard about E II's impending visit, and had decided it would be super if he could come along as well. He has his people contact OEIG, who informed them that it would be better to contact me personally, as they have little input into our affairs - and so these four emissaries were dispatched.Munching happily on their scones, they told me they were (are) members of the Secret Service and had come to inspect our security!Ernst butted in, in a rare flash of perspicacity, "wot it is wot yiz are not so sekrit if i nose you".I have to admit to being just the tiddliest bit miffed, and was forced to add -
  • "No invitation has, as yet, been issued, so this is a little premature
  • "NOBODY checks my security
  • "I see you have met Fluffy
  • "Yes, I would be delighted to have Him stay
  • "Does He eat Coddle?
  • "There can't really be a funeral - Fluffy eats bones and all
  • "Security will be dealt with by my own staff, thank you very much*
  • "Do either of you know anything about the correlation between turnips and Cold Fusion?
  • "Would you like another scone, and a pint?"
After a most convivial visit the two chaps departed, and I informed Her Ladyship of developments.You, Dear Reader, can imagine what a spanner this threw into the delicate workings of my research timetable!I can't stay here nattering, must away to the Laboratory and try to get some work done.Fond regards,Ruaidhrí* Note to self: Remember to inform Ghost Plane and Griz of this, and ask them to make the necessary arrangements.Remember to buy new banjo strings (a seisiún will be almost mandatory)Remember to contact Philip re New Hat for Her Ladyship


Calm Restored

Posted by Ruaidhri , 02 May 2011 · 2,075 views

Well Dear Reader, it looks like the threatened storm has passed.This morning I had a telephone conversation with Queen Elizabeth - she of the next-door neighbours. I had dreaded this call, and had expected a right royal (sic) rí rá agus ruaile buaile, but she was in stitches laughing over the whole thing. I had forgotten her sense of humour, and it also appears that our past collaborations stood me in good stead."Good Heavens" she said, "What sort of an eejit are you at all at all Murphy?""Mutter, mutter", I replied." Philip and We were helpless with laughter when we saw your letter"."Liz", he said, when We saw you hadn't responded, "begob I think Murphy is pulling a Brian O'Driscoll - surely he isn't playing a match too!""No chance", chuckled We, "Her Ladyship would kill him". "True" chortled Philip.Not for the first time I was relieved I haven't got one of these new-fangled EYE-phones which would (or so I am informed) have allowed them to see my blushes."Anyhow", said ER, "We will be coming over for a visit shortly, and will pop in for a quick mug of brew, if you are at home"."Excellent", I replied, "Her Ladyship shall have a chance to wear her new hat after all"."Oh, by the way", she added, "for God's sake lock up that bloody bodhrán of Ernst's before We arrive"On that friendly note the call ended.Ernst called OEIG's Department of External Affairs to put their minds at rest (at the cost of only one life *) and we retired to the Study for a well earned glass of port.Regards,Ruaidhrí* apparently when Ernst informed the chappie at External Affairs that I had been chatting with ER, the chap got the wrong end of the stick entirely, and decided to end it all by jumping from a first floor window. This did NOT kill him - that happened because, suffering no more than a sore ankle, he decided to brush his jacket off, not noticing the Number 72 bus. Silly fellow. We have, of course, sent flowers.


An Unfortunate Mix Up

Posted by Ruaidhri , 01 May 2011 · 1,827 views

Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth of Great Britain was due to visit Ireland in the near future.

I must inform my reader that the visit is now somewhat uncertain, as I may have quite accidentally caused the tiniest little Diplomatic Incident.

Her Ladyship and I were making our travel preparations for The Wedding over the last couple of weeks.
Last Wednesday young Philip Treacy popped around to make the final adjustments to Her Hat, arangements had been made to feed Fluffy, and Ernst and Cuthbert given strict instructions on what research needed doing while I was away.

You can imagine my irritation when the invitations never materialised :D

Her Ladyship was more miffed than I have seen in a long time (since we lost the East Wing last December to an error in one of the Cold Fusion equations) and retired to her boudoir with two bottles of gin and much stamping of feet, followed by crashes and other loud noises, which quite unsettled the servants.

Extremely annoyed myself, I put pen to paper, and wrote Her Majesty quite a snitty letter explaining the hurt and humiliation she had caused to someone who has been of considerable assistance to her in the past (I am sworn to silence on this).
In my anger, I expressed myself more forcefully than is my wont, but, I thought to myself, "enough is enough!"
Ernst hurried off to Sean Bán Ó MacAnRidire, our local Postmaster and posted the letter.

So far, so good, I hear you think. Quite so!

The real trouble started the following morning when Ernst asked "Master, wot it is wot I did leave your leters in de drawer in de Laboratory. Didded you get dem?"

With the blood draining from my face I hastened to the Laboratory to find the expected invitations thrown in a drawer along with a flyer from Lidl and some junk mail asking if I wished to buy an Irish bank for €13.

One of my Loyal Staff, known to you as Ghost Plane (but to us as our Little Princess) rushed to the Post Office, where she made valiant attempts to retrieve the letter*, but too late!

Apart from one rather shirty telephone call from the Department of Foreign Affairs I have heard little, but I wait with trepidation.

Enough of my cares. I am sure you, Dear Reader, have enough of your own to worry about.

Fond regards,

* You may be pleased to hear that the Local Fire Brigade succeeded in extricating her arm from the post box after only five hours.


Finally Back On Track

Posted by Ruaidhri , 26 April 2011 · 2,390 views

What a hectic few days they have been!

As anyone who noticed the mutterings of my assistant will have seen, I more or less ran into a plate glass door over the whole thing about my Cold Fusion notes.
I still maintain he should, at least, have checked what they were before....

Not to worry - water under the bridge, no use crying over spilled milk, worse things happen at sea 1

I digress!!

Yesterday, with some assistance from Cuthbert and Ernst, I was trying to recall as much as possible about the experiment.
So far all we can remember is that it was vaguely along the lines of the Fleischmann–Pons Experiment - but not as screamingly unsuccessful.
Ernst insists that somewhere in the apparatus there was a turnip, and (surprisingly) Cuthbert concurs.
Personally I suspect they are confusing this with a potato clock I made for one of our grandchildren, but I remain worryingly unsure.

A further fly in the ointment presented itself when I was informed by one of the servants that Fluffy had a fur ball lodged somewhere in her innards.
After much heavy hinting, and a complete disappearance of most of the staff, the delectable Xxxxxxxx (known on this interwebcybertubeboard as Ghost Plane) offered to arm herself with the Fluffy Pole (the hooked one) and enter the Moat to sort things out.
Cuthbert quickly snatched up an adjacent pair of binoculars and rushed up to his lofty lookout spot in the Scriptorium.
For some unknown reason he always does this when she mentions wet suit.
My own opinion is that at 97 years of age, he would do better to take up knitting, but who am I to interfere?

Where was I??

Oh yes!

Fluffy sorted and fed, we returned to the job in hand, and it is with some relief I can inform you that we have just about solved the conundrum.

It was the turnip after all.

Nothing much else to report Dear Reader, other than that Father O'Houlihan Flaherty Doyle called around last evening to discuss the results of the Easter Long Distance Egg and Spoon Race (an annual event we hold for the village children).
Having been reliably informed that young Padraic Fintan O'Rourke-Sullivan, had won the under 8 race (having been seen 63 miles away, with bloodied feet, but still clutching spoon and egg), we awarded him the prize for that category - a handsome potato of his very own!

Thanks to a confidential informant of Father O'Houlihan Flaherty Doyle's we now believe the little cheat hopped on a bus!!

This needs investigating.

As you can see nothing unusual at all here - I don't know why I bothered writing!


1 These and other banal sayings are from my latest publication"1001 Things You Should Not Say When Granny Falls Down the Stairs" MT Press 2011, €35 in all good bookshops now.


A Really Irritating Day

Posted by Ruaidhri , 21 April 2011 · 2,076 views

As my Esteemed Reader will be aware, all my Research is done in an effort to lighten the burdens carried by Mankind.

You will understand, therefore, how overjoyed I was late last night when Cuthbert and myself finally cracked the knotty problem of cold fusion.

Two bottles of our finest port were cracked open, and we retired to the Study, where we enjoyed a pipe and a well-earned glass (or more). Final notes were carefully jotted down and we retired for the night.

At six thirty am I awoke, to the song of birds and the sun streaming through my bedroom window. I (not surprisingly) loosed off two rounds from my 12 bore, slammed the shutters tight and went back to sleep.
Refreshed, and looking forward to finalising what would be a huge breakthrough in Modern Science, I awoke again at the more civilised hour of 11.

SHOCK! Followed by horror, bewilderment, worry, and several other things I simply can't be bothered to look up.
Nowhere could I find my notes. I called Cuthbert, to discover he was in the same distraught state.

Finally Suspicion reared its ugly head.


"Yes, Master"
"Did you see papers on the table in the Study?"
"You did, didn't you?"
"wot it is dat they are all gone - down de toylette"

I'm sorry. I can't continue this. I am far too upset.....................

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