Saturday, March 28, 2009

Bath face

I Love...


My friend Hamish and I are going out tonight to "mingle with the people" as he says. Gareth works tonight and will be our ride home later, so that means we're both free to drink. Since you should always eat before drinking, we just ate dinner at a local eatery. I don't even know how we ate our food since all we did is laugh at each others stupid jokes and stories. He's great craic after he has a few pints in him.

We stopped back at home for a bit of a rest before going out again later. So I thought I'd take a moment to post something quick. Wishing everyone else a happy Saturday night and may you have many laughs of your own tonight.

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Irish Son

Happy St. Patricks Day

This St, Patricks Day, as millions around the world don their green clothing, those in Ireland will be putting on some blue. Traditionally, St. Patrick wore a blue cloak and hood and the Irish that live here on the island continue this custom.

The "wearing of the green" comes from the practice of pinning a shamrock on your lapel. Centuries ago, wearing a shamrock was considered rebellious and even illegal. In some parts of the world, to say you're "wearing the green" meant you sided with the Irish rebellion against the English rule.

Why the lapel custom? Legend says that in the 5th century, St. Patrick used the three leaf clover or "seamrog" to explain the triad of Chistianity to the Druids. The Celtic religion considered the number three to be mystical and sacred, sometime referring to totality, or the sky, earth, and underworld.

Today, the shamrock is often confused with the four-leaf clovers, but the two have differen meanings. The four-leaf clover symbolizes good luck. Shamrocks, on the other hand, are simply a native plant of Ireland and represent Irish pride and tradition.

St. Patricks Mountain

The Celtic people regarded the mountain as the dwelling place of the deity Crom Dubh or 'the dark bent one'. Although Lugh is prominently thought of at Lughnasah, the harvest festival, the god most associated with the ancient festival is Crom Dubh. The mountain was the focus of the festival, traditionally held around August 1st. The sacred mountain was especially important for women, who would sleep on the summit during Lughnasa to encourage fertility.

Along the path to the top, neolithic art can still be seen on a rock known as St. Patrick's Chair. A Celtic hill fort was recently uncovered at the base of the mountain. According to Christian tradition, St. Patrick went up the sacred mountain at festival time in 441 A.D. After fasting at the summit for 40 days and 40 nights, he banished all the snakes and demons from Ireland. Since there have never been any snakes in Ireland; this is a metaphor using snakes and demons to represent the pagans and their stone idols.

Mt. Croagh Patrick is the most important Catholic pilgrimage destination in Ireland. Nearly one million visitors, most of them pilgrims, climb to the top every year. Almost 30,000 pilgrims make the trek on the last Sunday in July, known as 'Reek Sunday'. For most Catholics who visit Mt. Croagh Patrick, especially on Reek Sunday, the pilgrimage to the top of the sacred mountain is an act of penance. Accordingly, some make the journey barefoot or even on their knees. The summit has a small chapel where mass is held each day.

The full pilgrimage route originates in the village of Murrisk, just outside Westport. The first main sight on the pilgrimage path is a statue of St. Patrick, erected in 1928 by a Westport pastor. Although it is not one of the official stations, it has become a place of prayer and makes a good goal for those not able to climb all the way to the top.

There are three pilgrimage stations on the way to the summit of Croagh Patrick, each of which has a sign with instructions for the proper rituals and prayers.

The stations are as follows:
First Station (Leacht Benáin): Base of the Mountain:1. Walk 7 times around the mound of stones while saying: 7 Our Fathers, 7 Hail Marys, 1 Creed
Second Station: The Summit:1. Kneel and say: 7 Our Fathers, 7 Hail Marys, 1 Creed2. Pray near the chapel for the Pope's intentions.3. Walk 15 times around the chapel while saying: 15 Our Fathers, 15 Hail Marys4. Walk 7 times around Leaba Phádraig (Patrick's Bed) saying: 7 Our Fathers, 7 Hail Marys, 1 Creed
Third Station: Roilig Mhuire: Virgins Cemetery:1. Walk 7 times around each mound of stones saying: 7 Our Fathers, 7 Hail Marys, 1 Creed2. Walk 7 times around the whole enclosure of Roilig Mhuire praying.

Each year, as many as one million pilgrims and visitors make the trek to the top to pray at the stations of the cross, participate in mass, do penance or just enjoy the spectacular view.

An Early Celebration

Gareth's family had a pre-St. Patricks day celebration last night for their family and friends since they will all be scattered around today. There were many different kinds of beer and whiskey to be had along with a huge assortment of Irish foods.

While I had one beer during the night and was the designated driver, Gareth proceeded to drink alot and this morning is nursing one big hangover. I'm sitting next to him in the bed as I type this post and he has proceeded to pull the pillow over his head and growl at me that my typing sounds like a jackhammer.

We're both scheduled off work today and Gareth is now in the process of telling me that any normal person would still be sleeping on their day off. My reply to him of when was I ever normal brought a quick lift of his head from under the pillow with a stern look on his face that told me that I better stop teasing him and let him sleep. So its off to the couch for me. Be back soon.

I Love Ireland

Monday, March 9, 2009

Lick Me, I'm Irish

Back To Sea

It's back to life on the sea. Part of me has gotten used to being at home and seeing Gareth every day and my cats and having a family life. Still, the other half of me is ready to get back to sea and all the adventures and discoveries that await.

People ask me all the time if I'm scared to be at sea and have something happen. With the recent drownings of the three football players from the states, its brought out this question many times this past week. All I can say is yes I'm aware that is a risk, but we are surrounded by risks all the time and you can't live in fear of what might happen.

I don't know why I like being at sea as much as I do. Ever since I was able to speak I wanted to be two things, an astronaut or a sailor. Most people would choose to be a sports hero or a musician or actor, but not me. Not having perfect vision told me at an early age I would not be an astronaut, so I prepared for a life in the Navy. I had enlisted in a Navy cadet training program through middle and high school and loved everything about it. I was going to join when I graduated, but my parents both got sick and I had to stay and take care of my family.

Even though other things called me to a different path in life, I often thing about what my life would have been like had I made a career out of the Navy. With me being gay it probably wouldn't have been something I could have made a career. Not with the living in silence of who I really was. That is why I am really big on Obama opening up the military to allow gay people to serve their country and be open about who they are. So that other gay boys and girls who want to serve their country can do so openly and with pride. This is already allowed in Ireland and the UK and several other European countries.

We all have a part to play in life and the path I took was probably the better one for me to follow. It has led me to where I am now doing a job I really love, with a great guy at home and I wouldn't trade it for any desk job in the world.

Standing on the deck of the ship on a clear night, with only the sound of the ship moving through the ocean and more stars than you've seen in your life shining above you is as close to heaven as I've found on Earth. See you in a few days.

South Dublin Pier

Winters Last Moon

Saturday, March 7, 2009

Jon McLaughlin-Human


You Stood Up

We all have someone in our life that we loved at one point in our lives, but you drifted apart. The one that could have been, that you couldn't live without, the one you couldn't wait to see or hear and share some laughter with, the one that you will always remember. I was sitting here tonight thinking of someone just like that wondering what he was doing right now. Is he happy, sad, what is new in his life. Time and life move on, but there is a little bit of our past that we carry in our hearts everyday.


I got an email today from someone asking me if I want to try their penis enhancer equipment and then give it a review. Has Jen been talking about me again? lol

Before I get spammed about this, let me say I don't need Viagra either.

Night Ferry

Distant Lights

Reason 9,465 Why I'm Gay

Everyone, you have Ing to thank for this image. She shared it with me and I thought, why should I suffer alone, so I'm sharing it with everyone here. LOL

Monday, March 2, 2009


New Adventures and Weekend Shopping

Gareth and I went shopping on Saturday and we actually spent some money on ourselves instead of the house for a change. Gareth bought a new pair of shoes and sneakers and a new set of headphones. I bought some Lacoste cologne and a new pair of sunglasses.

This weekend I enrolled myself into a beginners Tai Chi class and I will also start studying the Wing Chun form of Kung Fu. I saw Wing Chun demonstrated and got to practice it a bit this weekend and I really liked the style which is fast, agressive and attacking. I like how physical Wing Chun forces you to become and its very well suited for smaller guys. I go to sea next week for the new season and my schedule will be grueling between being at sea and fitting in my matrial arts, getting ready for Africa and having a home life. But I'm having the best time of my life.

A Cozy Place