Ireland

Ireland

Tuesday, December 16, 2014

Christmas trees and drywall dust.


As you can see
The New London Pennsylvania Finucane's
are ready for Santa.

We have our 3 girls 
and their 3 guys descending upon us
for the Holiday's.

The house will be full of people
and laughter
and stories
and food
and
fun.

So
why did we just decide
today,
to begin
demolition on our master bath
on Monday?

This Monday.

Why not?
It will make a crazy week
just a little bit crazier.

Here's hoping you all have a crazy great week.

Thursday, December 11, 2014

Down time.

My wife is working.

Rosie and I were discussing the possibility of going to the Mall

vs

going on Amazon.


We chose Amazon.

Monday, December 8, 2014

Top Chef

"It's all about the presentation,"

I chide my fellow crew members

as they jam their hand into a bag of chips

before jamming that same hand into their mouth.

A simple 3 cheese sandwich on rye
nestles up next to two
of my special dipping sauces.

Simple things.

Nothing says Christmas like a 3 cheese sandwich.


We are not savages.

My fellow crew members are convinced I'm nuts.

***

Christmas time is here.
Time to spend quality moments with family and friends
and friends of families
and friends of friends
and
"White Christmas"
and jingle bells
and
stockings and gifts
and cheese sandwiches
and trees and lights and tinsel
and tinsel all over the house.

Let the stress begin!!

Friday, December 5, 2014

Almost there.....

Heading down the Mississippi
towards the Gulf of Mexico,
then a 2 day trip to Houston
when I will then start counting the days
till I get off this boat.
I need to get home.

I have a Christmas tree to decorate.

Have a great weekend !!!!

Thursday, December 4, 2014

Protest correctly please.

Do you know who the happiest person is in the world tonight because of the protest going on as we speak, in Times Square over the Eric Garner decision? The Mayor of Ferguson.

Now, I don't know what happened that terrible night in Ferguson, other than the fact that a child was killed. Did Michael Brown attack the cop? Was he an innocent victim, another statistic from the result   of a another rogue cop flexing a bit too much? I don't know. There wasn't a video of the shooting.

There was a video when Eric Garner was apprehended by 5 N.Y. cops. As they say, the tape don't lie.
I'm not surprised at all by the outcry I'm witnessing on CNN, the thousands of people protesting in the streets around Times Square. ( I'll get back to that subject in a minute. )

Eric Garner was murdered by a N.Y. police officer. I saw it. I sat there and watched it. Just like I know if a team scores a touchdown, because I'm watching the tape replay. As sure as I am that the Philadelphia Eagles are in first place, that cop killed a guy. They say the choke hold, which killed Eric Garner, has been disallowed in that police force for some time. Then other idiots chime in and say, no, the choke hold with your elbow pointing DOWN is outlawed, the choke hold with your elbow pointing UP is ok. Seriously. How about asking Eric Garner's wife what her feelings are on the "Elbow UP technique.

I don't give a rats ass what Eric Garner was saying to the cops that made them think it was ok to jump him, and then KILL HIM. Since Eric Garner was not pointing a gun at that cop, there is absolutely no reason what so ever for that cop to have MURDERED HIM. 

Eric Garner wasn't selling crack. He was selling single cigarettes to smokers who think the $15 a pack price tag is a bit high, $10 of that being taxes that help pay the salary of the cop who killed Eric Garner.

Now, to my rant on the protesters in New York. Last night as I watched I thought to myself, ok, this is good. A truly peaceful protest, these New Yorkers are going to show the folks in Ferguson, who looted their own stores, how to do a protest. 
That was until I turned on the news tonight. First thing I see is protesters being arrested. And hey people, it ain't the cops fault. Yes, we have the right to protest peacefully. No, we don't have the right to shut down major highways. We just don't. If the police say, "You can't walk down this street, but you can walk down these others streets, then go walk down those others streets. To many young people don't fully grasp the concept of a peaceful protest.

The people who were being arrested tonight, were young people sitting down in front of cars, on a road that the cops wanted to keep open to traffic. Sitting down in the road and singing? Laying in front of cars? They SHOULD be arrested. Some think that PEACEFULLY PROTESTING means I CAN DO WHAT EVER THE HECK I WANT. Hey, stupid people, NO IT DOESN'T. Enjoy your jail time.

On a lighter note

Our Charlie Brown tree on our boat looks awesome.





Wednesday, December 3, 2014

Some thoughts....just because.

Endless chatter on TV about the possibility
of Hilary Clinton running for President.

As sure as I am putting up a Christmas tree this year
Hilary Clinton will be running for President in 2016.
So there.

Louis Head, Michael Brown's Stepfather,
issued a statement about his angry reaction to the Grand Jury decision in Ferguson.
He obviously disagreed with the decision
when he chanted, "Burn this bitch down......burn this bitch down."
What followed was the citizens of Ferguson
burning their own town down. 
Hmmmm, maybe they should have thought that through a bit more.
Reading the apology Louis Head issued to the media today ....
as sure as I am putting up a Christmas tree this year,
that dude didn't write one word of that statement.

Martin Luthur King once said,
"Riot is the language of the unheard."
I'm a big MLK fan, but I disagree in this case.
No matter what decision the Grand Jury was going to make in Ferguson,
those citizens were going to riot.
They were primed.
They were not "unheard"
they were stupid.

Charles Barkley was interviewed on CNN today.
The subject being Ferguson, race and a host of other hot topics.
As sure as I am putting up a Christmas tree this year
Charles Barkley made more sense and spoke more honestly in a one hour interview
than all the politicians who have been puking verbiage in front of camera's
while visiting Ferguson over the past weeks.

Almost forgot,
the "experts" say
every blog post should be accompanied by a photo.

Here's some applesauce. 


Happy Hump Day




Tuesday, December 2, 2014

Yep, Longwood again

When I was home last hitch, my wife and I headed over to our local little piece of heaven
at Longwood Gardens, because the Chrysanthemum's were on display. I'm not a huge fan of
any flower that I need to research on Google for the correct spelling, but I'll tell you, Longwood Gardens is crazy about these little devils. 













 I guess this guy didn't get the memo. It's a Crisan....chrysamt.....Chrysanthemum Display.


Anyway, I wish I was there.....rather than here.

Monday, December 1, 2014

Christmas and bombings don't go together.

You may have heard, Christmas is right around the corner. 

Have you ever worried about getting shot while out searching for that perfect Pollyanna gift?
Do you wonder if you'll be able to get through a day of shopping without hearing the sounds of a bomb going off in a nearby place of business?

If your lucky like me, the answer to both those questions will be no.

Eimear O'Callaghan wasn't so lucky. I know this because I read her diary. She doesn't mind. It's in book form on Amazon.

Eimear is about the same age as I, possibly the exact same age. She kept a diary during the year 1972.
As I read it, I kept thinking about where I was and what I was doing during that time and comparing my life in peaceful Pennsylvania to hers.
There is no comparison.

She grew up in Belfast, Northern Ireland and the year 1972 wasn't Northern Ireland's or Ireland's greatest moment. Just one month into the new year a massive military operation in Derry's Bogside ended in the murder of 13 unarmed civil rights demonstrators and the wounding of 15 others.
That day will forever be known as "Bloody Sunday" and is the day "The Troubles" began, which lasted decades resulting in thousands of lives lost. In a nutshell this conflict was between Protestant Loyalist's and Catholics. The Catholics wanted Northern Ireland to become part of the Republic of Ireland. The loyalists did not.

Below is the Bogside, the site of Bloody Sunday as it looks today.


On January 30th 1972, the British Military rolled down that street in the foreground pictured above and killed and injured innocent unarmed protestors. ( This is now a proven fact, as of 2010 when the BSJC ( Bloody Sunday Justice Campaign ) announced the results of the latest inquiry. The British government actually issued an apology, which was a surprise to many.

 The author of the book, "Belfast Days" documents what it was like to live in West Belfast during the year immediately after "The Troubles" began. She was in High school at the time and her account is both riveting and terrifying.


 As I read her diary, I was astounded that she could write about mundane things like going to school, maybe doing some shopping and then, oh yeah, there were 2 explosions and a shooting today. Her entries are in this a matter of fact style that is both impressive and scary all at once. I asked myself, how could this young girl write about these atrocities that were happening daily in her neighborhood with such normalcy? How could she live with such fear?

Well, obviously, this was her norm. There were over 350 people killed during that year. In one 24 hour period there were 28 bombs set off.

Her entry into the diary for Friday, Dec 1st really hit home for me. She writes,
"Dad didn't get home till 6:15. We were all scared stiff with all the assassinations of Catholics, one never knows the next victim."
"Watched Miss World, won by Miss Australia. Then came the news. 2 bombs exploded in centre of Dublin. 2 dead, more than 70 hurt. A Catholic shot in Antrim."

This particular entry resonates with me because there is a really good chance, that when Eimear was watching Miss World that particular day after fearing for her Father's life, I was doing the same in a place seemingly a world away, the difference being I knew my Father would be coming home safe and sound. There would be no explosions or gunshots. A tradition at our house while I was growing up would be for the family to gather around the TV when Miss USA or Miss World was on. We would all have our paper and pen and we would keep track, score the contestants ourselves and see who would choose the winner at the end of the night.

She writes that as 1972 rolled on, "Terror, fear and despair were frequent."

Happily, Eimear O'Callaghan is alive and well today. Her family made it through that terrible period without the worst happening. I guess she was lucky.

If you're looking for a interesting read, pick up "Belfast Days." I recommend it.

Wednesday, November 12, 2014

Polar Vortex.....AHHHHHH

I spent this beautiful 68 degree day chasing leaves around my yard.

( Note to self )
When the wind is blowing 15 MPH
just let nature take it's course.

Because the POLAR VORTEX ( AHHHHHHH)
is heading my way
I felt it prudent to relocate some wood
from here....

..to here, inside the garage.

I felt that with the POLAR VORTEX (AHHHHHHHH)
coming my way
I didn't want to be walking the 20 steps
out to our wood pile
in the middle of a POLAR VORTEX (AHHHHHHHHH)

I'm not sure what a POLAR VORTEX ( AHHHHHHH) IS
but I have a feeling it's going to get cold.

I love, I mean hate how these news stations
have these scary phrases i.e.
POLAR VORTEX.....GLOBAL WARMING.

If I remember correctly
when I was a child
in the winter time
it got cold.

In the summer
it got really hot.

I don't remember being scared when I was a child and ducking behind my sofa
because the POLAR VORTEX ( AHHHHHHHHHHH)
WAS COMING. 

I believe the weather man 
used to say
"it's going to be cold the next few days."
That was before the weather men
turned into 
meteorologist.
Now, the POLAR VORTEX is coming.

It hasn't come as of this writing.
My day ended with this sight.

And yes, the birds are still feeding
even though
THE POLAR VORTEX IS COMING.

Sunday, October 26, 2014

Some Observations, Thoughts and Poetry


 Some observations:
The photo above is a picture I took in Ireland of some crab pots sitting on the dock.
It has absolutely nothing to do with anything in this post.
I just like em.

I dropped my camera a few weeks back and broke my lens.
So I came back to work armed only with my smart phone camera.
I know there are many people who just swear by the iPhone.
After spending the last few weeks on the boat using my phone.......sorry people,
NOT EVEN CLOSE. I want my camera back.

I saw Monica Lewinsky recently on TV giving a speech.
Why are her lips moving and what is she saying?

I called Sprint customer service the other day. I was put on hold.
For 18 minutes  I listened to a recording that said in part, "We value your time...."
Imagine my frustration every time that recording repeated itself.

The longer my hair gets....the bigger my forehead gets. It grows up !
First thing on my to do list when I get home?
Haircut.


I spent some time recently in this bookshop. I like book stores. Especially old ones.
I bought a biography of Patrick Kavanagh. Previous to me entering the bookshop I had never heard of him. What he was, was an Irish writer/poet/journalist.
He gathered with other Irish poets in coffee shops and pubs in the early 1900's.
His life, like many Irish citizens during that time, was not easy. I'm finding the book pretty darn enjoyable. 

Anyway, you know what's coming don't you? That's write, a poem. From me. After reading about a poet for the last 2 weeks, I'm getting my poem on right now. 

This poem, my first, is about my visit to my Grandmothers house, or what's left of it, in Newmarket, County Cork.

Ahem.....

"I arrived at her gate
I made no mistake

Did Grandma jump this rusted steel
as she headed  to Queenstown
to make a deal?

How did she get to
that dock and that ship?
Did she travel alone
was she scared just a bit?

I jumped that same gate
all rusted and worn
what was I feeling
I was a bit torn.

So glad to be here
so sad at the state
of this crumbling ruin
of grandma's estate.

I stood in her kitchen
what decisions were made here
Is this where Mary bid farewell 
that much isn't clear.

Did grandma look out
this same window pane
She was only a child
did she feel any pain?

Walking the grounds
and touching the walls
not a peace but a calm
I'm sure glad I called.

So farewell Mary Shine
and rock and rubble 
I'll be back to be sure
It's really no trouble."

Ok, it does sound a bit more Doctor Seuss than W B Yeats.