In my single, young adult life St. Patrick’s Day was the biggest excuse for a party of the year. I’d dust off the green and tweed and trot out the Irish ancestry (William Taylor, the ship Earl of Donegal, County Antrim, etc., etc., etc.), and purchase large quantities of the chosen poison for the evening, whether Jamison, Guinness, Bailey’s, or some green concoction. It didn’t help that my usual partner in crime back then, Bob Donnan, celebrated his birthday on March 17. I remember a couple of particularly epic parties (barely.) It was also about the only time I’d listen to Celtic music.
Fast forward a few decades and my St. Patrick parties are much less epic, if they occur at all. Since this year’s celebration was on a Saturday, there was the potential for more epicness. While the actual date was celebrated quietly, it was a weekend full of Irish music, including the good, bad, and ugly. Continue reading “The Good, The Bad, and The Irish”
Skagit Valley seems progressive compared to Greenville, but there are some areas where that’s not the case. One place switch taxation. They don’t have a state income tax, but instead, they have a very regressive, high sales tax. This shows up in the way services are provided (or not provided) to citizens.In Greenville County we … Continue reading Skagit County Library Dilemma
Say the words “drinking songs” and what pops to mind is probably a group of swaying revelers, mugs in hand, slurring away off-key in an Irish pub or German biergarten. Asked to name a drinking song, most could probably only come up with “99 Bottles of Beer on the Wall.” Lately, though, a new phenomenon seems to be popping up – drinking beer while singing hymns. Sounds kind of strange, a bit sacrilegious, and right up my alley. Continue reading “Beer and Hymns”
That term has been tossed about quite a bit during this election cycle. As I understand it, it’s the tendency to only listen to those things that support your preconceived notions, and to disavow any evidence to the contrary. I’ve certainly seen that happen, and the speed of media has simply increased the divisiveness created by such echo chambers. Even so, I’ve decided to create my own echo chamber, and here’s why… Continue reading “The Echo Chamber”
I get really, REALLY mad when people steal my work. I just now came across another example on Facebook. Apparently someone visited my post about the cursed Robintation Tree, downloaded the images, then posted them to a Ghost Towns discussion group as her own. However, not only did she steal my photographs, but she copied … Continue reading RandomConnections on Lockdown
I’ve had it happen before. I get so far behind with blog posts that I don’t know how I’ll ever get caught up. Usually this happens when I’ve been traveling and haven’t had Internet access. However, this time it was different. We’ve had two solid weeks of nasty weather, normally a perfect time for hiding in my studio with my computer and getting some writing done. Yet, for some reason I’ve had massive writer’s block. I stare at the mound of data, research, and photos I’ve collected, and don’t write a damn thing. I get distracted by everything else under the sun (or lack thereof, in this case.) Continue reading “Blog Existentialism”
We were on our way back from Ireland, waiting in the Philadelphia airport, when we got the news about the massacre in Charleston. It was a sobering, shattering reminder of the world to which we were returning. Ireland had seemed idyllic. Everywhere you looked it was green and peaceful. Everyone we met was so friendly. … Continue reading Reflections on Charleston and the Confederate Flag
Reports from the BBC are that Top Gear presenter Jeremy Clarkson is to be sacked today for getting into an altercation with producer Oisin Tymon. Apparently Clarkson punched Tymon when Tymon provided Clarkson cold cuts instead of steak after a long day of shooting. I’m sure there’s a much larger backstory there, but we’ll … Continue reading And on that bombshell…
WARNING – weight-related, fitness rant ahead. I promise not do do this often.
There. I said it. I’m fat.
That’s a hard reality to admit out loud. I’ve always hedged a bit by admitting that I’m a bit overweight, but it’s time to face hard facts. I’ve got to lose fifty pounds to get back down to a comfortable weight, and even then I’ll STILL be on the heavy side.
Here’s a comparison. The photo below shows two images of me and Laura. The one on the left was taken in the mid-1990’s. The one on the right was taken this past December.
So, you see, I wasn’t always this way. I know people gain weight as they age, but this is not good.
For most of my early life I was so skinny that people got worried. This photo from the early 1980’s shows how skinny I really was. Continue reading “I Am Fat”
One nice thing about having a VERY common name is that I’m harder to track down online. If you do a Google search for my name I’m fairly far down on the list. Throw in a couple of variables, such as kayak, photography, or music, and it might get you a bit closer, but you’re … Continue reading The Anonymity of a Common Name