Friday, September 21, 2007

Ok now...
Some of you have been asking me to provide you with a sample of some of the wonderful traditional Irish music I have been telling you all about throughout these past posts. Well, here you have it.
It's a video from the YouTube site that features one of the best of the Irish musical groups ever to pick up an instrument. They called themselves "The Wolfe Tones". Named (I suspect!) after that great Irish patriot himself, Emmett Wolfetone.
This is a great sample of the music that we here in Ireland are so proud of.
The song they are singing is a traditional song in the "Irish", as we say. Lovely song, lovingly sung by a bunch of talanted gents as well! Also...there are some wonderful scenes of the local countryside in this video as well.

Hope you enjoy it! Tell me what you think! OK..just press the play button below there on the screen:

Now, before you go asking me....NO, that wasn't your's truly driving the horse cart!! Ha Ha!
As always!

Wednesday, September 12, 2007

God bless anyone who speaks out for an end to war! Period. Nothing else needs to be said now, does it?
I have been reading too much about the wars that are waging all around our world and I'm feeling pretty sad about it all. Iraq, Syria, Iran, etc. There are so many armies (and individual militias) armed to the teeth and commiting murder around the world that I sometimes wonder where Almighty God is in all of this mess?
I apologise for being a bit down in this post BUT death and maiming are subjects I feel are too important to ignore and way too important to not speak out against.
Ahha but what can I do? What can anyone do?
Just last week I was reading a story about the late Mother Theresa. It seems that some private letters she had written down through the years to her "confessor" were recently made public. (Imagine that, will you?)
The gist of her communications to her confessor was that she oft times wondered where Almighty God was in this cruel cruel world?
Mother Theresa! That saint of the streets of India had doubts about the presence of God herself!
God love her...and I'm sure He did...she had doubts just like you and I do. Now...isn't that grand? I'm not being facitious when I say that. Isn't it a wonderful thing to know that a saint like Theresa herself had her feet planted in the same soil of doubt and disbelief as the rest of us? It is. It truly is. I'll tell you another thing as well. That "disbelief" of Mother Theresa was one of the greatest gifts that God could have given to either her or to us.
Now I'll be telling you why that is (so pay close attention!)
They say that God helps those who help themselves. They also say that FAITH is not based on that which we can know for sure but RATHER that which we HOPE for, based upon some type of inner feeling, or some type of inner "light", if you like.
God help me I hope the good Sisters who taught me my catechism in school don't read these scribblings!!
But I think that God gave us a good woman in Mother Theresa and he also gave us a gift of using her "doubts" and "disbeliefs" in order to make her life and her FAITH so much more believable.
When I was in school the good Sisters taught us all about the saints and their holy lives. The only problem was that these sainted men and women seemed to "saintly" to me. In other words, (and God forgive me if this is heresy), the lives and deeds of the saints weren't possible for me to imitate because they were (seemingly) of another "world". They lived lives where God was whispering in their ears and talking to them one to one like you or I might talk to a neighbor over a pint down at the boozer. No. I didn't have God's ear and never would. Ahha but now I hear that Mother Theresa was more like me (and the lads I know)! She prayed to God every day BUT admitted to her confessor that she wasn't certain if God ever heard her prayers at all. She also wondered (in her letters) whether or not God even existed? Heres the thing now...she continued to do her sainted work DESPITE her "doubts". God bless her! She was real just like you and I. She followed that "little light" inside her and made the decision to do the right things in this world in spite of her doubts and her (at times) disbelief! God bless her and God bless all of you who also have doubts and disbeliefs and who continue to do the work of God here on earth.
And pray for me.
All right now...enough said on that.

Wednesday, September 05, 2007

Well,I'm here once again to share some of my wit and wisdom with you!
But first let me take a minute or two to say "Thanks" to everyone of you who was kind enough to vote in my recent poll. (You know the one I mean where I asked whether or not I should continue "blogging".)
The results are as follows: The drum roll if you please...! The AYES have it! Thirteen of you fine souls took time to cast your ballots and not all of you were my relatives and that's for certain, so no worries there as they say!
OK..oh also I want to be sure to say "Thank You" also to those fine folks who have taken the time to leave comments on this blog as well. Nice of you all to do that and I'm more than happy to make all of your acquaintance! off to it before I forget what I was going to say!!
As many of you may or may not know I am a fan of great writing (such as my own!) as well as of fine photography. I've found a site here on the Internet that combines the best of both. It's called The Beauty of Ireland and if you just click on that name you'll be magically transported to that fine site just as quick as you please! I hope you like it...I know you will!!

Some of you like a fine joke so before I forget here's one for you now:
An Irishman from the country was invited to take a helicopter ride by his cousin who was a pilot in the Air Force.
Well, after he got in the helicopter and they were way up in the sky he said to his cousin, the pilot: "Ah, it's awful cold in here!"
He then said: "Oh, no wonder...someone turned on that big fan up on top there. I'll just reach up there and turn it off"! :)

Did you here about the old rebel who decided to go to confession?
He said to the Priest: "Bless me Father for I have sinned."
The Priest said: "Now then my son...tell me your sins."
The old rebel said: "Ah Father I feel awful sorry...I've blown up 25 miles of British railroad track!"
The Priest said: "Oh now, indeed that's awful...for your penance go back and do the stations." :)

Here's one for my American relatives:
Did you know that your man Lincoln was Jewish?
Sure he was! It says in every history book that John Wilkes Booth shot him in the temple!

Here's one more for you, (and I hope my wife isn't reading this one!)
As some of you might remember a few years back the British Isles had a "mad cow" disease scare.
Well, during that time a man decided to take his wife out to the local restaurant for a fine meal.
When they sat down to eat the man's wife kept saying to her husband: "I don't know what to order...I don't know what to order!"
Well, when the waiter came over to take their orders the man said: "Just give me a big steak."
The waiter said to him: "But what about the mad cow?"
The man answered: Oh just bring her anything at all...she'll never make up her mind on what to eat!"

All right now...that's enough of them for now!
I hope you got a big laugh though!! I do indeed. You look like you need one!

Well...I'm off tonight to hear some fine music and to "pull the cork" as my hard working daddo used to say.
So...until I talk to you always,

Sunday, September 02, 2007

Well good day to all of you once again! I'm sitting here looking out my parlour window and the sun is actually shinning and there isn't a hint of rain anywhere in sight. A miracle I might add given the soggy month of August we just have been enjoying!
Well, you're in for a change and, I might add, for a treat today!
Today I thought that I might share with you all a bit of news about one of my favorite subjects: traditional music!
As some of you might know there is an annual traditional Irish cultural festival held every year. This year it was held in Tullamore, Offaly during the week of the 19th thru the 26th of August.
In Irish the name of this week long festival is called Fleadh Cheoil na hEireann.
Now, in the Irish that translates (roughly) as a "Festival of the music of Ireland"
If you ever have a chance I would highly recommend to all of you that you attend this festival at some time in the future. The finest of traditional musicians from all around the world perform during the week the festival is held and your ears will be in for a treat.
I heard that it has been held annually for the past 56 years but I wouldn't swear to that. I do know that it has been going on for quite a few years now and that it attracts music lovers (like me) from far and wide!
Here is the official web site however where you can read all about this year's event and get a better idea of what this festival is all about:
What is so amazing to me is that at this year's festival a record was set! I just read that 2,700 musicians performed together in Tullamore. Now I don't know about you BUT to me, this is what I would call a record!
The only question that I would have is "Was anyone out of tune?" :)
Now...on another note...pardon the pun as they say...Ive tried to upload a short video of my own son Conor who, as some of you may know is a championship Irish step dancer. Now...I don't want to brag but I wouldn't be lying if I told you that although he gets his musical talent from him mother he does get his good looks from me!
Enjoy the video and until we meet again,


Wednesday, August 29, 2007

Before I begin with some thoughts I wanted to throw before you I wanted to be sure to point out the fine picture to the left. That's your man himself rowing a boat on a fine summer's day. Yes, no need to tell me I already know that there's a fine healthy brain just churning with thought below the fashionable hat atop the lad's head.
Well, enough said on that.
Well, I decided to share with you all just a few more of my thoughts on the subject of dear old Saint Francis and of religion in general. I hope no of you will take offense.
Some time ago I heard it said that there is a difference between a person's religion and his or her faith. As I recall the telling of it, the traditional way and place where a person might find himself worshiping is dictated by their "religion". The way in which that same person conducts their everyday affairs dictates their actual "faith".
Now, take your man Saint Francis for instance. He was a true enough member of the Roman Catholic church as was just about everyone else in Italy during his day. Correct? Sure enough you can't disagree with me on that point, can you now? But...and here's my point so please pay attention...he lived his life so differently than did the other Catholics of his time that he was considered a "radical" and somewhat of a "rebel" for his time! To hear tell of it the Pope himself didn't quite know what to make of Francis and his "strange new ways". From what I've been reading and from what I learned while on my visit to Assisi, Francis was often quite at odds with the established meaning of what it meant to be a "good Catholic" at that time in history.
He never left mother church mind you. He always remained a Catholic but he lived his life...his FAITH mind you...according to what he truly and personally believed to be the way in which God wanted him to live.
OK, am I boring you yet? Bare with me folks I'm getting to my point.
Jesus himself was, by birth, born into the tribe of David. His religion was Jewish. Ah but, like Francis himself Jesus followed a different drummer so to speak, didn't he now? Jesus's faith was a wee bit different than that of many of his fellow Jews of that time. He too followed a very personal faith life BUT continued to worship in the temple as a member of the Jewish religion.
I don't know if I'm making any sense to any of you out there but this matter has me thinking a bit more about my own faith and my own religious traditions. Sure I'm a Catholic like many a man around here. I'm not about to go out and become a Mormon an Anglican or one of those Hari Krishna people who dance around at the airports and bus stations. I have nothing against any man or woman of another faith mind you. Don't be misunderstanding me now. I just mean that I'm a Catholic by birth, by tradition and, I guess continuous choice. That's my "religion". My faith though, well that's another matter (almost) entirely now, isn't it?
God help us all be better people.
Anyway...just a thought I wanted to share with the rest of you good folks out there in the rest of the world.
On another still have a few more days to vote in my one-of-a-kind poll!
So far there has been two voters, God bless'em! I know I'm one, and I'm highly suspicious that my wife cast the other vote. As for the third voter, well, I don't know who it was BUT whoever took the time to cast that ballot, thanks!
Alright now, I'll be off for the night.
Tomorrow I'll try to focus on less heady matters. Maybe we can commiserate on the price of tea in China or the cost of petrol or some such thing. I was going to share my opinions with you on why the Pope was a Nazi but, well, lets let bygones be bygones, shall we?
Best to you now...I'm off!
As always!

Tuesday, August 28, 2007

Well, I'm back. For better or for worse I'm back with you all once again. all might be wondering where I've been for the past two years (since my last "posting") and I'm about to tell you.
First off let me do my best to dispel those rumors about me that have been floating around the internet for the last few years.
No. I've not been arrested.
No. I've not been on a boozer, at least not for any great length of time! :)
And NO...I'm not dead yet!!
I've been busy around the house here and I've also been busy traveling around Europe and the US.
I didn't win the sweepstakes although God knows I deserve it and it would be a big help. As it turns out my lovely bride of many a good year decided it was time for us to travel some and also to visit some of the family who saw fit to move over the water, as the old folks around here like to say.
I've been to Rome. Believe it or not I got to see the Pope himself. I didn't shake his hand or anything like that but I did get to see him up in his window waving to us all down in the plaza below. Too bad he didn't know I was down there. I think he might have been one of the folks who have been reading this blog. (If not he should have been!)
We also went to Assisi. For all of you pagans let me tell you straight out that that is where Saint Francis, the man himself is from! If you look at the top right hand side of this page you will see a picture of St. Francis. Notice he is playing a fiddle made out of little sticks? He was a lover of fine music like myself. Thats a fact and you can look it up.
Now heres the thing about St. Francis. In Assisi Italy there is a wonderful cathedral built in his honor. I can't for the life of me figure out why a man dedicated to simple living and to a life of poverty would have been buried inside a massive and gold filled cathedral? I don't know. Next time I'm in Rome I'll ask our man the Pope that very question. Something tells me that he might find himself scratching his head over that question just a bit. more thing.
Since my absence I noticed that this "blog" has changed. What I mean is that the place where I write this stuff looks a lot different than it used to look.
There are a lot of new instructions on how to add new things and a lot of different tools that let me add pictures and the like.
OK...I'll try to figure this all out and maybe my writing will be all the better for it.
I'll post this now because I want to see if anyone remembers me and IF I'm pushing the right buttons on this computer so that this actually gets online as they say. me if you like. Tell me you're glad I'm back (or NOT as the case may be).
I'll also try to get these old postings tucked away in the archives IF I can figure out how to do that. can now add comments to my blog if you so desire.
Just look below the latest posting and click on the word comment. Be kind and, if you can't be kind at least be sober when you leave your comments. That has been known to temper the outrage somewhat.
Oh yes indeed...another thing for you all before you take your leave.
Notice over there on the right there is a little vote I am asking for you to partake in?
I need your help deciding whether or not I should continue with my blogging.
Vote once, vote twice or, if you're from Chicago or New Jersey vote as often as you wish!
Thanks in advance for your participation in my poll!
OK...I'm off.
As always...