Ireland

Ireland

Wednesday, August 3, 2016

Bafoonery and the Olympic Games.

I was sitting in front of my TV watching President Obama on a stage with the Prime Minister of Singapore as they took part in a joint news conference. I felt proud as my President spoke calmly and humbly, and I could not for the life of me, envision Donald Trump standing there without yelling, tweeting and embarrassing me as a United States citizen.

But I'm scared. At the beginning of this election, when Donald Trump got into the race, I kept saying this was just a passing fad, that he would be dropping out. Now, as we are 90 some days away from the Presidential election, Trump is the Republican nominee, and this race is closer than I am comfortable with.

Trump isn't the one who scares me. It's the massive amount of support he gets even though, on a daily basis he insults one group of people after another. It's the American people who scares me. Just quickly, he makes fun of people with disabilities, he insults Senator McCain, a former prisoner of war by saying he's not a hero because he got caught. Just recently he has attacked some Gold Star parents, because they are Muslim. Any one of these instances would have derailed the campaign of almost any other candidate, but Trump can say or do no wrong, and that is very scary.

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On a lighter note, have you heard, the Olympic Games are about to start?
No, not the ones taking place in Rio, but the virus free Games that will kick off...and end, this Saturday in Machanicsburg PA.

The events have not been made public, which makes it very hard to train, but past Games have had things like, frisky, bocci, water balloon toss and foot races for the family members who are still capable of running.

Results of this years Games are forthcoming. Stay tuned.

Tuesday, August 2, 2016

It's not a dry heat........

I went out on my deck this morning,  a cup of coffee in hand, with the idea of relaxing in the early morning air before tackling the job of painting my powder room.

The problem is, I felt like I needed a Fresh Air Breathing Apparatus to breathe. I looked up the word "humid" in the dictionary and found a picture of my back yard. It did not rain last night, don't let the water soaked leaves fool you.

 It's ridiculous. It's more comfortable in El Yunque, the rain forest in Puerto Rico.

It's nothing like the "dry heat" of Phoenix Arizona, where my youngest daughter Keely was married this past June. ( FYI...my daughter hates this picture, it's not the best one of her, but I look pretty good and it's MY blog, so.........)


Samantha, pictured below is also affected by this saturated air, was contemplating jumping. When I walked outside, she turned her head and looked at me as if to say, "Do you believe this.?
Add caption



Friday, July 29, 2016

Do you have PERMISSION ?


The last time I posted I was getting emails from friends saying that they did not have "permission" to look at the contents of this blog.

I don't know how that happened or why, but let it be known to all far and wide, that they have "permission" from me to look at the contents of this blog. I mean seriously, if you don't have "permission", how can you learn of my very important thoughts about boating, how to make the best coffee,  food or my latest rants about the political climate that now surrounds us.

Anyway, I am stopping here, in case the world still does not have my "permission" to look at this blog. ( I swear I give you my permission)

So, I'll just wait till I hear from someone saying, "yes, Rants and Raves is back."

In the meantime, pictured above are the 4 most important people in my life, the picture taken at my daughter Keely's wedding this past June. Details to come, if you have "permission" to read about it.

Standing by

Tuesday, May 3, 2016

Changes

My first thought after checking in here at this old blog after a month or so is....I need to change my cover photo.
That photo is almost 2 years old.
My wife looks 2 years younger now and I look 4 years older. It's all about keeping it real, you know?

The boat I work on has been in the shipyard for the past 60 days or so. I hate shipyards. Being in a shipyard is like being on an episode of "Fixer Upper" on steroids. They just trash the boat.

The workers in the yard have a job to do and they focus on it with laser like precision, not taking into account that this boat is MY home for 1/2 of my life. Oh well.

Our boat is getting some much needed upgrades, the details of which I will not share only because it would be a very boring read. But I will say it does entail a pretty extensive "renovation," as they would say on Property Brothers. I like to think of it as an "exploratory operation."


That big hole in the side was not there when we arrived. The overhead light is a light in one of our staterooms.


This space used to be our galley area before angry welders and burners had their way with it.


The engine room was not spared either. Here they're cutting a hole in the engine room overhead so they can remove large equipment at their leisure. 


Those big lumps that stick out on the side of the boat was the main purpose for our visit to the yard. They will provide us with a way to be semi-permentently attached to the barge that we haul around. She sits here with a new paint job, which hides the mess inside. Can you say Curbside Appeal?


Tuesday, March 1, 2016

A Broken Church


I received a call from my sister today. She informed me of the news, local to her area, that a grand jury report has been released by the Pennsylvania Attorney General stating that more than 50 Roman Catholic priests and religious leaders have raped and abused HUNDREDS of kids for over a 40 year period.
It's all right here.

My first thought was, are you TRYING to piss me off before I am even finished drinking my first cup of Starbucks Breakfast Blend coffee?

I would have thought that those sicko's could have made much better use of their time, doing stuff like.....you know......PRAYING and HELPING THE NEEDY????

Right on the heels of "Spotlight" winning best picture the other night at the Oscars, the community of Harrisburg, Pa has been rocked. I'm sure they've wondered, especially since Philly, Boston and many other big cities have been besmirched because of abuse scandals.

But now the ugly truth of Catholic priest abuse, not only is knocking on their preverbal front door, it is now sitting at their kitchen table. The spokesman for the Diocese said, "they are saddened and shocked." Really? I'm saddened, but I'm sure not shocked.

This 2 year investigation shows that the Diocese had a "secret archive" that gave details of abuse, rape and coverups. Is anyone else just sick to their stomach yet? TWO BISHOPS WERE AT THE FOREFRONT OF CHILD ABUSE COVERUPS. SERIOUSLY?

This "sickness" that Harrisburg is now dealing with is NOT just a another little isolated problem.
107 cities in the United States have been infected with this disease and many many countries have cities where their Church spokespeople are "saddened and shocked."

As a person who was raised Catholic, went to catholic school for 12 years, was an alter boy and all that, I am confused as to how ANYONE can walk through doors of a Catholic church today.
 If it works for you...........

In 2007 an out of court settlement was reached between the church and a victim. Before an announcement could be made, the 64 year old priest jumped off a bridge.

That works for me.




Thursday, December 10, 2015

Presidential Legacy

I was watching the TV series "The West Wing" last night.
No, you're not mistakenly reading a post from 1999 when the showed premiered on TV, today is the 10th of December, 2015.

I'm just slow like that.

I was recently looking around a second hand store in one of the many desert towns in Arizona and I noticed on a shelf the complete series of "The West Wing" for sale. The owner proudly told me I could have it for $35.
I proudly handed him $35. I am now the proud owner of the complete series of one of my favorite TV shows....EVER!!!

What brings me out of blogging semi-retirement today, is a "special feature" I watched after season 3 of TWW last night. They were interviewing various people who had worked in the White House for real, and they were explaining, or trying to, what it was like to actually work there and how on point the creators of this show were in depicting life in the White House. They interviewed 2 former presidential aides, a couple of people that held the position of White House Counsel, a couple of Presidential spokesman, and 2 former Presidents, Clinton and Carter.

Some of these people served in Democratic White Houses and some in Republican. I swear I got chills watching them speak. They all conveyed one thing, they made it very clear how proud they were to have served in that big white house.

And that got me thinking. How did we end up here, where we are now, the Presidential politics of today? Have we sunk really really low, or is it just my imagination? So I got thinking back as far as this 60 year old can. I'm sure there has always been in fighting between the 2 party's, but I get the impression they were more civil about it back in the day. I was 8 when President Kennedy was murdered, so I don't remember much. But from what I have read I understand there were many people who hated the fact that he was a catholic. But I never got the sense while reading about him, that the hatred was so strong that it fractured the country like it is today.

Nixon screwed up bad with the taping system he had installed in the White House, that ultimately made him resign as President of the United States. President Ford pardoned him, which caused a stir for a few months, but I don't remember the out and out hatred that exists today.

I don't remember Kennedy or Nixon saying things like "I WILL BUILD A GREAT GREAT WALL!"

President Reagan once said, " Peace is not absence of conflict, it is the ability to handle conflict by peaceful means." Sounds like a sensible man to me, no matter what side of the isle you are on.

Ben Carson once said, "I mean, America is very much like Nazi Germany........"

Bill Clinton said, "Promising too much can be as cruel as caring too little."

Do you see a pattern here? It has nothing to do with Democrat or Republican. I just feel that for the most part in years past, excluding a dingbat or two, politics were more civil, the players a little classier than this bunch of circus freaks we have today in our political arena.

I don't think history will shine a very favorable light on these recent political times.

I wonder if when interviewed years from now, workers in today's West Wing will feel the same pride that was felt by others in years past?




Tuesday, September 1, 2015

A Journey to Kenya's Slums

What strikes me about these photos
of my daughter and her film crew in Kenya
as they film a documentary about Kenya's runners,
is these kids.

Look at the smiles on their faces.
The same smiles that are on the faces of kids in Philadelphia,
or San Diego, or Tampa.

The conditions they live in......

just unbelievable.



More photos of this project are right here.

Sunday, August 30, 2015

Slum Runners

As I sat at my dining room table the other day talking to my daughter on Skype as she sat in a hotel on the outskirts of Kibera, Kenya I thought, I LOVE TECHNOLOGY.

She and her crew have been on the ground about 7800 miles from my dining room, filming her documentary that she has planned for the last 8 years or so.

I can't say how proud I am of her for following her dream.

https://www.facebook.com/slumrunnersfilm/timeline

Monday, August 17, 2015

Trumpsteria



Every time we join our boat for our 3 week hitch, inevitably someone says, "I hope we get some anchor time this hitch."
As the saying goes, be careful what you wish for. Today is day 17 of either being anchored or being tied to a dock. Some hitches go by quicker than others.....this is NOT one of those hitches.

With so much "down time", I ventured back into the world of twitter. I was prompted by the non stop coverage of one Donald Trump by the news media. I had a feeling twitter was blowing up.
It is.

What a character this guy is. I love watching him on TV. Would I vote for him to be the President of the United States. NEVER. Would I like him to land that chopper in my backyard as he attends my vegetarian cookout and throws down a couple of beers? Yes.
If he was the only one running I would vote for me. If he ends up winning the election, I will move to the Dingle Peninsula of Ireland before he can say one word at the swearing in ceremony on the Capitol steps.

With that being said, I don't think he has a chance in hell. Once we get down to the nitty gritty where he actually has to answer questions with more substance than just saying, "I'll fix everything. I hired plenty of mexicans over the years."

Mark my words, Trump is just like a traveling circus. If the circus stays in town too long, people stop going. This lead he has in the polls will start to wane as the months goes on. This Trumpsteria reminds me a lot of the Sarah Palin circus that took place. And we know how that worked out.

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The views, comments and opinions are my own and do not represent the views of Genesis Energy.


Wednesday, July 1, 2015

This and That.

I admit it, I am not a cook.
Never have been.
Tried following various recipes a few times.
It never works out. 

The other day while on the boat I had a hankerin for eggs.

I enjoy over easy...or over light eggs.

But I can't flip those babies without the inevitable breaking of the yoke.

So I cheated and went sunny side up.
I think my plating skills are second to none. 

I was so proud of this plate
that is so simple to most people,
I of course took a picture
( don't we all?)
and sent it to my wife ( foodie )
and my daughter ( foodie )


And then the boob jokes started.......
I don't get it.

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Below is either the most unimaginative company name
or the best ever.
The jury is still out.

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Right before I left home
my wife called to me,
"get your camera, get your camera."

So I did.

Happy Hump Day.