Saturday, 6 April 2013


(note I originally composed this entry yesterday, April 5th 2013)

Friday April 5, 2013

Technology seems to be against me lately.

Since my last post, I've worked my first four days at the office. I've also moved into my new home, and I've managed to make several other big steps toward settling down and further establishing the Vances in Ireland. Thursday night Colm carted me around to a couple stores where I was able to get the kids' bunk beds and a bunch of other very necessary household items. Huge relief. Very grateful again for his help.

Some things, like technology, have really put me back. I feel like I have really been sailing upwind when it comes to getting anything tech to work in my favor. Take for instance wireless internet. I sort of need that to keep my channels of communication via email, facebook, this blog, etc open. My cell phone does have limited capabilities in these areas, but when using a keyboard smaller than a post-it note, it makes typing anything longer than a few sentences a real chore.

And that brings up my next point: my phone has really been acting up. It seems to lost its ability to receive or send emails, facebook, anything else for that matter. It does get some web-enabled content, but it's very slow going. I had a sales rep take a look at it he fiddled with it and some settings on his side, and said it'd be fixed today, but so far, nothing has changed.

So I don't have any internet at home, and limited net on my phone. OK, then, first order of business is find home broadband service. Ah! Here we go, email them, setup a call back, and find out they don't serve my neighborhood. OK, second option: they serve my neighborhood but they have to have some sort of prior phone number for this house, which they don't. No number, no service. Third option as recommended by the letting agent, call this guy and he can hook you up. Oh, he says he'll look into it . . . on Monday. So my goal of getting internet in the house before General Conference is a bust. Without internet in the house or on the phone it's also going to be difficult finding anyone in the ward that could potentially give me a lift to the church building to watch it there.

But all is not lost! Just around the corner is a library which I hope has free wi-fi. An hour or two there will really make catching up to the real world a lot easier.

So enough of my technical difficulties.

Work; the whole reason I'm here; how is it? It's grand! And I mean that in a sincere way, too. There's really a lot to be grateful for, some minor, some big, but when I look at the net value, it's a huge positive.

First of all the people at the bank are super nice, much as everyone I've met while here in Ireland. The building where I work is pretty nice, although a bit 'close-in'. That's very typical European style, though really. It has its own restaurant, too, with a pretty good selection and surprisingly high quality. And the work itself? Well, I can tell there's plenty to do, but all in good time. I'm still fumbling around, and and already made my first few 'new guy' mistakes, but no one's yelled at me yet! Next week will really be telling as I will start participating more in some of the key benchmarking and validating work.

Now it's Friday evening and the weekend is upon me. Needless to say getting up and working every day has really put me behind in the housework. Tomorrow I have to start putting away all the clothes I unpacked, throw away a bunch of garbage, and try out the infamous European combination washer/dryer.
Ok, miscellaneous other things. I have found two new food loves: Milka brand chocolate bar with caramel creame. Oh wow, so good. Second, Cadbury Digestives. I have no idea on the name but it's like a chocolate covered cracker. Amazing. I guess while I'm at it I might mention that in a world of expensive food, baked goods like packaged crackers and biscuits (i.e. cookies) are dirt cheap and quite tastey. Another honorable mention is the Scottish full-butter shortbread fingers.

Other observations. Ireland doesn't really have a lot of selection when it comes to soda; pretty much Coke, Pepsi, and 7-Up. And I have yet to find root beer anywhere. There are a few local or regional brands but again, limited varieties and of course, pretty spendy for soda. BUT, many places have store brands and are really cheap, only about .70 or .80 cents for a two-litre. The best part is that it tastes pretty good, especially their 'diet' soda, but better taste overall than US stuff.

More to come!


  1. hope your first week of work went well! I've been in DE for 2.5 months now without home internet service. A bit sad since it is a telekom employee apartment building, we work for the dang company that provides the service! But I'm used to it by now!

  2. When we lived in Luxembourg, we couldn't find rootbeer either! Then someone there told us that Europeans couldn't understand why we liked rootbeer because it tasted just like their flavored medicine. Interesting!