Monday, November 7, 2011

Not all who wander are lost..

I often draw comparasions between myself and bilbo baggins at the very start of the lord of the rings. Constantly going over old maps, packing and unpacking as if about to head off on another great adventure. The restlessness and boredom of being stuck at home, in a place where life moves too slow.

Every now and again, my wanderlust kicks in. I find somewhere i want to go or an adventure i'd like to undertake and i put it on the back burner. Yes i'm quiet travelled by normal standards and i go on plenty of adventures but the big adventures, the ones I dream of have yet to come. Each time i come home, my mind wanders to my next trip, my next big adventure. I have a world map that i keep looking at. Its taunting me, teasing me, its calling for me. But "real life" (in particular the lack of money) keeps getting in the way. But one of these days, i'm going to put my rucksack on my back, walk out that door leaving the "real world" behind and see what the world has to offer me

Wednesday, October 12, 2011


Today i was one of 83 UL students presented with the first ever UL Present's Volunteer Awards by Professor Don Barry. In the weeks leading up to today I didn't give much thought to the ceremony. When i applied for the award i was just getting another piece of paper for doing what I do anyway. But listening to Professor Barry, guest speak Tony Murphy (Director of Services, Mid-West Enable Ireland) and the various students interviewed in the videos during the ceremony today, my thoughts changed. In particular I found Tony Murphy's speech on how and why he got involved in volunteering really moved me. I felt quiet honored to be part of this bunch of incredible students who give up their time to help out a diverse group of community organisations.

One of the key points of Tony Murphy's speech was the question - WHY do we volunteer? So I was sitting there thinking about this all day. Yes I love scouting, i enjoy the activities, i enjoy the idea of being involved in something and i love the opportunity to travel the world but the big draw for me is being able to inspire young people and have a positive impact on their future. It makes all the stressful days getting stuff ready, the boring meetings about policy, the bitchiness of some people, the lack of communication from "up top"- it all seems worth for the one moment when you've told a young scout about something you've done and you can see they're thinking that they could do that someday.

It's truly hard to capture the satisfaction of volunteering with young people. I'd truly encourage everyone to volunteer their time to help other people in someway- even if it's one afternoon a year, just go for it.

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Further rambling from the desert

It's hard to believe I'm going home in 2 days time. It's been a strange experience here in jeddah. Overall I think the camp isn't a disaster but a missed opportunity. With rovers from all over the world, so much could have been achieved but instead the saudi's have used this as a pr stunt.

It's not all bad. Making loads of friends (some interesting opportunities for collobaboration coming up), getting to learn about Arab culture and islam and getting to see this amazingly diverse country. Yesterday we went to the king Abdullah university for science and technology (kaust) which is the most amazing place ever (it has it's own cinema and shopping centre). And today we went into the Jeddah city centre which is like a completely different world.

You can watch tomorrow's launch of the messengers of peace here

Thursday, September 22, 2011

hello from saudi arabia

So i've been here almost two full days. Its an odd but enlightening experience here- deffinately a culture shock. The biggest challenge is the heat- it is far too humid for my irish body. The food is a challenge at times, curry at breakfast

Yesterday we went to the beach and played some sports followed by a course on improving dialogue. Today we visited a traditional scout camp and a market. Tomorrow is the Saudi's National Day.

One of the strangest things we've encountered is the tents- huge things with carpets and air conditioning. Very strange compared to what we're used to. At the same time many things are very similar (the song "everywhere we go" seems to be international).

Overall this has been an amazing experience so far and I feel quiet honour to be able to attend.

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Off to a not so good start

So I'm here in dublin airport. It's been an interesting couple of hours since i left home yesterday.
Got delayed coming up when the bus broke down and then had my phone stolen from right under my nose. Thanks to lorcan and moose for letting me crash with them, maire doody for keeping me sane via fb chat, to Andrea for her sympathy and offer of help and to florin, elaine and Garda karen for their help when I found out the phone was gone.

So it cant get any worse can it? My Saudi adventure is about to kick off.

Friday, September 16, 2011

Counting down the days...

So there's only 3 full days till I leave and I still have no idea what to pack - seriously, what do you bring to a Peace Camp in Saudi Arabia??? Come 2pm on Tuesday they'll be no more time to worry- just better go with the flow.

Its been a strange experience trying to tell people why I'm going to Jeddah. I usually have to follow it up with "yes, I'm serious". I get a mixture of "how strange", "congratulations" or (the most common) "you jammy ****". The best response I got was- "If anyone else told me they were going I would believe them but it's you"

Thursday, September 15, 2011

Going for gold!

One of the reasons for restarting the blog will be an attempt to record my attempt to get the Chief Scout Award for Rover Scouts and the Gold Gaisce Award (Due to an agreement between Scouting Ireland and Gaisce, work done for the Chief Scout Award can be counted for Gaisce). These are two awards I've wanted to attempt for a while and i'm finally going to get my act together and get it sorted.

So what am I going to do? Here's a run down of my activities for the CSA

Personal Skill: Many of you who know me will know my love for photography but I'm by no means an expert. My aim is to take lessons in advance photography and improve my skill over time.

Community Involvement: Well as I'm already a leader in my scout group so this is a no brainer really. However to make it challenging, I'm going to agree a project with my group leader to improve the group.

Physical Recreation: I'm not the most sporting type but I do love mountaineering and orienteering so I'm hoping to build up my fitness in this area by going for weekly walks/runs/hikes with the aim of being able to a) complete my expedition and b) compete in a provincial orienteering competition.

Environment: to be decided. Possibly organizing something to do with Leave No Trace or Recycling for Jamboree 2013

Adventure Skills: My aim is to reach level 8 in Hillwalking and level 7 in Camping and Backwoods in the Adventure Skills.

Expedition: for my expedition, I hope to take on an ambitious challenge of spending 4 days in the Scottish Highlands trying to "bag" as many Munros (Scottish mountains over 3,000ft) as possible.

Residential: this has also to be decided but i'm hoping I'll have an idea for a project after i come back from Saudi Arabia.

I'll be posting more about each individual area as time goes on. My aim is to record my progress through this blog (alongside the required portfolio) through writting, photography, videos etc.

Monday, September 12, 2011

back on the road again...

Ok here we go - another "I promise I'm going to update you more" blogpost. One of the reasons i'm doing this is Sinead is heading off down under for a while and wanted to be kept up to date on my adventures (I've agreed as long as she does the same for trip).

Another reason was the beaver patrol blog. I was over in Sweden this summer at the World Scout Jamboree and I tried to keep a group blog. Unfortunately I didn't get to update date it as often as i liked but it rekindled my interest in blogging and with another trip abroad coming up I guess I should give it another go. (you can read the beaver patrol blog here)

So what's this other trip? Well this morning I found out that I was chosen to represent Scouting Ireland at the International Peace Camp in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia. I applied a month ago not thinking I'd get selected but what do you know. So i'm off in 8 days time which isn't that much time considering I have to sort out my visa, pack and do some research about Saudi Arabia. This is going to be insane. Oh and I'll be turning 24 while I'm over there.

So what else is going on. Well I finally completed the project phase for my woodbadge (Scout leader training) and that's been submitted so I'll hopefully getting my woodbeads soon. I'm also going to be getting the UL President's Volunteer Award (Gold) for logging more than 60 hours of community work (in my case the Scouts) on October 12th. Got a nice message from the Chief Scout congratulating me on that. In the meantime i'm trying to find a job and pick a new Final Year Project title (easier said than done).

Yesterday was my Grandmother's 80th birthday and we had a lovely family dinner in the Woodlands in Adare. Four generations of the family were represented with my Grandparents, my mother and her brothers/sisters, myself, my sister and our cousins and (i think i have this right) my first cousins, once removed (i.e. the children of my cousins). This included James Byrne, my cousin Christopher's son, who is only 10 weeks old today.

Friday, June 10, 2011

Introducing Mini Baz

This is Mini Baz -my new avatar. Why did I create an avatar? I wanted to create a fun, friendly visual identity for myself online.

The username BazKennedy is like a personal brand. I use it across several mediums (Facebook, twitter, my website, boards, blogger etc). It allows people to recognise me online. In the same way, mini baz is the same concept.

Sure it won't have a major impact but as tesco say- every little helps.

You can create your own avatar on

Monday, May 23, 2011

Why the Obama/Queen visits really mattered

Last week we had the Queen, this week Obama. Forget all the economic and tourism boosts. The visits, along with the Leinster victory and Jedward's performance in the Eurovision, did something much better. In a nation that over the past three years has been so negative and gloomy, a nation without hope, a nation obsessed with banks and bondholders, these past few weeks, we had something else to talk about. It took our minds off the negativity and let us enjoy some rare positivity.

Today Obama came to College Green and gave a speech. This visit probably won't yield as many ecomonic benefits as Enda Kenny would tell us but it was the first time in a while we heard a politician speak of hope and we could believe it in.

Why the super injunction backfired

How many people care if a celebrity is cheating on their partner. Normally only the readers of the gossip pages of the Sun or readers of Hello or OK! Beyond that, I would argue that most people don't really give a s...econd thought to it. That is, until the celebrity goes out of their way to make it one of the number one stories this week.

And so we come to a certain footballer who we shall refer to as Brian Biggs. Brian allegedly cheated with some other minor celebrity and the story got out. So Brian's lawyer went off and got a judge to gag the media which is all well and good but he also tried to gag social media. The problem is social media isn't like old media. Its a bit more wild and those who use social media like it that way. These people like the freedom of expression and when this freedom is threatened they get annoyed.

You see Brian, had you left it the way it was this would have died down, no one would remember in a week. But by angerying the world of twitter you've made this a bigger story, one that won't simple go away. Because now this isn't just being talked about by celebrity gossip lovers, its been talked about by anyone who cares about internet freedom of speech and that's alot more people. And these people know how to make a story spread. Social media moves a hundred times faster than old media and you sir, are now trending.

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Upcoming work

I'm going to be quiet busy of the next couple of weeks. I've a number of projects lined up. Next week and the week after I'll be doing the CISCO CCENT and CCNA courses as well as going to the Dot Conf.

I also hope to do some more android development including working on finishing Pothole Mapper, the automated pothole reporting app that i was developing for my final year project. I've a few other ideas including some work with QR codes and the twitter/foursquare APIs.

I'm also going over some tutorials on using Flash and GIMP and also revising java, PHP/MySQL and linux terminal commands. All of this will be done while drinking copious amounts of tea and a lot of tweeting.

Updates of what I'm doing can by found on the blog, my website or on my twitter account

Monday, April 25, 2011

Website finally running

Finally finished work on the website today. Its now live on Still a slight issue with the domain (won't work with out the www) but I hope to have that resolved soon. The idea is that i can use the website to show off some of the work I've done, in particular apps and websites I've created.

I'll hopefully be updating the blog a bit more as well to discuss the various projects i'm working on and my random thoughts.

Saturday, January 22, 2011

New Photos: Mountain Bike Trek

Yesterday I went down to see the UL Mountain Biking Club's new track on campus. The track is located down by the boathouse. I took the opportunity to try out the different settings on my camera. Got some great shots and some not so great shots.

Mountain biking track

Friday, January 21, 2011

New Photos: International Students first night in UL 2011

Yesterday saw the latest bunch of International Students arrive in UL. They include students from America, Spain, France, Germany and Canada. Last night, they went to the Stables Club for their first night out in UL.

International Students' first party 2011