Monday, October 26, 2009

Sunday, October 25, 2009

The Bhoys

Irish Tattoo

Ryan "Darth" Bader - Eric "Red" Schafer

Two of my favorite fighters went head to head last night with Ryan Bader (Wrestling style) defeating Eric Shafer (Ju Jitsu style).
I met a couple of my friends for breakfast this morning. Three of my single friends had been out all night drinking and dancing and hadn't been to bed yet. Two of my other friends are married and we're enjoying a moment of quiet away from their children. The conversation went back and forth from stories of the all night partying to stories of dealing with wound up children. Suddenly my working all day and crashing on the couch at night waiting for Gareth to call didn't seem quite so bad.

Craig Doyle

I've actually had the pleasure of meeting Craig about four times now. Everytime he was a man of class and a real sweetheart. For all those who don't know who he is, he can best be described as TV Presenter. I guess you could call him our version of Ryan Seacrest.


Saturday, October 24, 2009

Knut The Polar Bear

Knut playing with a soccer ball.

Experiencing Shrinkage

October Countryside

An Irish Pasture

Working Weekend

Finally getting over the flu, I went back to work on Friday. I'll be working throughout the weekend and since our season is coming to a close, I'll be spending most of next week working from 6am to 8pm. Even though I mentioned I'm getting over the flu, I still have a bit of a cough. When I'm outside, this cold sea air goes right into my lungs and I can feel my chest getting congested again. I have to make sure I stay bundled up and inside out of that air or I have a feeling I'll be getting sick again real fast. One of the guys brewed some coffee and even though I don't usually drink coffee, it smelled so good that I had to have a cup. Glad I did, it feels good to have a hot drink this morning instead of my usual OJ.

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Clive Owen - Handsome Man

I'm watching a Clive Owen movie. He is one of my favorite actors and very handsome too. Look at that stomach above. Maybe its just me because I like the rough boy types, but that bandage on his nose makes him so sexy to me. Makes you just want to crawl in that tub with him and kiss all his boo boos doesn't it? lol

You're Being Heard!

An article by Daily Mail columnist Jan Moir has resulted in a record number of complaints being made to the UK's Press Complaints Commission.

The article, published in Friday's edition of the paper, the day before Mr Gately's funeral, has so far prompted 21,000 complaints - the highest ever for a single article in the UK.

It was not carried in the Irish edition of the newspaper and the Office of the Press Ombudsman has said it only deals with complaints relating to material published in Ireland.

The PCC says it will write to the Mail to seek a response even if Mr Gately's family did not make a formal complaint. It usually requires directly affected parties to complain before acting.

Police in the UK have also received a complaint about the article.

Some gay rights campaigners said the article, headlined 'A Strange, Lonely and Troubling Death', was homophobic.

Ms Moir has defended herself by claiming that allegations her article was homophobic were 'mischievous' and that the reaction was a 'heavily orchestrated internet campaign'.

In the article, she claimed: 'Healthy and fit 33-year-old men do not just climb into their pyjamas and go to sleep on the sofa, never to wake up again. Whatever the cause of death is, it is not, by any yardstick, a natural one.'

She also wrote: 'For once again, under the carapace of glittering, hedonistic celebrity, the ooze of a very different and more dangerous lifestyle has seeped out for all to see.'

An investigation by Spanish officials found that Mr Gately died of natural causes when he suffered a pulmonary oedema, an accumulation of fluid on the lungs.

Working From Home

Because I have the flu, even though its not H1N1, I'm not allowed to go in to work until I'm completely over it. Because I work on a ship in cold, wet weather, I normally catch a lot of colds and I get the flu a couple times a year. But usually I can take some medicine, get some sleep, and it clears up in a day or two. But I have had this flu for a week now and I'll probably have it a few more days. This is a strong virus going around. Several children in the neighborhood have been out of school over a week now. A few others I work with called off today from being sick. I was even taking precautions, spraying my paperwork and computers with disenfectant, washing my hands, using hand sanitizer in between and still I caught the bug.

Five people have died from swine flu in the Republic of Ireland, the last one on the same day that the first batches of swine flu vaccine were delivered to some GPs.

The HSE says the campaign to vaccinate around 400,000 people in at-risk categories will begin in two weeks.

Around 1,800 GPs have agreed to administer the vaccine but the Health Service Executive says it could be two weeks before all doctors are supplied.

The first round of vaccines will be made available for high-risk groups, which are defined as pregnant women and people with chronic illness aged between six months and 65 years.

Elsewhere, the Irish Medical Organisation has claimed that up to 1,000 GPs have concerns about the HSE's plans to vaccinate people at risk of the swine flu.

Dr Michael Mehigan of the IMO said that while GPs want to support the campaign, an increasing number are unhappy with the legal indemnity issues.

He said it had nothing to do with vaccine safety but that the issues needed to be resolved before the campaign begins on 2 November.

The IMO also said batches of vaccines were delivered to two GPs in the south-east and south of the country this morning, despite the fact that the doctors have not agreed to participate in the vaccination campaign.

The HSE said it would be responding today to queries raised by the IMO in a letter late last week.

The Executive said that it would run a public information campaign and that the onus would be on patients to self-identify themselves to their GP if they were in the at-risk group.

Donal Og Cusack

A man, still playing his sport and very good at it, comes out and states he's gay and the reaction what, keep playing. The times are a changing. Since I personally know he's not the only gay athlete out there, I hope that he and his community who've shown him support, can become role models to others in the same situation. I can also relate to this quote:

"Since I was 13 or 14, I knew I was a bit different. I hate labels though. That's the way I am. I live with it and I am fine with it. People close to me will tell you there were never any tears. There was never agony. I just know this thing.

I've had to say this to people I'm close to again and again. This is who I am. This is what I do. I spend a lot of time trying to work things out but once I know something about myself, I know it. I don't agonise. It's logical to me. I thought about this but never had any problems dealing with it."

GAA stars and hurling fans have urged Donal Og Cusack not to hang up his hurley amid concerns about the reaction to his decision to come out as a gay man.

The Cork goalkeeper was overwhelmed yesterday with messages of support from teammates, Rebels fans and GAA supporters in his native club, Cloyne.

Senior Cork GAA stars including Ben O'Connor, Brian Corcoran, Sean Og O'hAilpin, Tom Kenny, Timmy McCarthy and Cathal Naughton stressed they respected Cusack's decision to go public -- and admired both his honesty and courage.

Cork hurling star and GAA commentator Tomas Mulcahy said he expected Cusack to continue.

Yesterday it was announced that Donal Og will be a guest on the 'Late Late Show' on Friday night.

However, some Cork GAA officials have privately expressed concern about the possible reaction of a minority of fans.

The GAA -- which has proudly led the way with multiculturalism, integration and tolerance within sport -- is now expected to adopt a hard-line stance to any unacceptable reaction from fans.

Fans flooded Cork radio stations 96 FM and Red FM yesterday with calls supporting Cusack.

The only criticisms were from fans worried that his comments about Cork Co Board could reignite the bitter strike by players that ended earlier this year. Others expressed concern that former manager Gerald McCarthy could be hurt by some of the commentary.

The players' strike only ended when Mr McCarthy stepped down as Cork hurling manager amid concerns for his family.

Cusack -- whose biography 'Come What May' will be published on October 23 -- has already been staunchly supported by both Cloyne GAA members and his fellow Cork hurling teammates.

Veteran Cork forward Timmy McCarthy said: "Of course he has my support."

Cork and Newtownshandrum star Ben O'Connor paid tribute to Donal Og Cusack as a true sportsman of great integrity.

"He is a top man. (Donal) is one of the best and most genuine GAA men around. He will be supported by Cork players and all genuine GAA people -- absolutely 100pc," he said.

Others pointed out that Corkonians traditionally stood by their own.

Star forward Cathal Naughton said true GAA fans would remember how much Donal Og had given to the game over the past 15 years.

"We are all fully, 100pc behind him. (Donal) is a great man and has (done) so much for all of us. This won't change anything," he vowed.

Locals in Donal Og's native village of Cloyne also rallied to show their support yesterday.

Tom Canavan, a neighbour and friend of the Cusack family, said Donal Og's courage and honesty should be an inspiration to all Irish people.

"There are 100,000 people playing GAA in this country and he is hardly the only one who is gay. I hope his comments will be a help to other gay sportspeople," he declared.

Others admitted the revelations in his biography left them startled.

"When my son told me yesterday, I was hit for six. But the main thing is he was able to come out," Cloyne woman Kitty Ryan said.

Monday, October 19, 2009

Monday Morning

This weekend went quick. Gareth and I tried to video connect with each other today, but we kept losing the connection. He looks good, lost some weight and has a tan. Of course I'm recovering from the flu and looked like shit and my voice sounds like the cookie monster.

He suggested that he was alone in his room and I was alone here, so........but, before he could finish that thought I started sneezing and hacking and coughing and blew my nose a few times, cleared my throat and by the time I finished with that I asked him "You want some of this?" to which he laughed and replied all that I had going on wasn't going to work for him and changed the subject and the doctor in him came out and started talking to me about my medicines. We went on to talk about what has been going on in each others lives and he had some really interesting stories to tell me about things he's seen in South Africa.

At one point I asked him if he was glad to be in South Africa so he doesn't have to hear me whine while being sick. He stated with an almost serious face that he wishes he was here with me to take care of me. I almost believed him until I saw him doing a happy dance off to the side of the camera. I think I'll call him later on this evening and see if I can interest him into having a little dirty talk with the cookie monster.

Irish Garlic Chips (Fries)

Irish Garlic Chips

Serves: 4

3 cloves garlic, minced

2 tablespoons canola oil

3 large baking potatoes, 12 ounces each

1/2-teaspoon salt

1 tablespoon finely chopped fresh parsley leaves


Preheat the oven to 450 degrees F.

Heat the garlic and oil in a small saucepan over medium heat for 2 minutes. Strain the garlic from the oil with a small mesh strainer. Set both garlic and oil aside.

Cut the potatoes into 1/4-inch sticks. In a large bowl, toss the oil, potatoes and 1/2 teaspoon of salt. Spray a baking sheet with cooking spray and spread the potatoes onto it in a single layer. Bake until golden and crisp, about 35 minutes.

Remove potatoes from the tray with a metal spatula. Toss with parsley, reserved garlic, and additional salt, to taste.

Serve immediately. Easy to make.


The Irish Government has despatched the government jet to bring Sharon Commins home from the Sudan after she was released Saturday.

Commins - who worked for the Irish aid agency GOAL - was kidnapped along with a colleague Hilda Kawuki 100 days ago.

They were abducted by an armed gang in the Darfur region on July 3.

Both Commins and Kawuki released a statement saying that they could not wait to gtet home and spend time with their loved ones.

'We are naturally thrilled to be released after such a long period in captivity. We know it must have been a traumatic period for our families especially and for our friends.

'We want to express our heartfelt thanks to the Irish Government, the Sudanese authorities and our colleagues in GOAL, who all worked tirelessly to secure our release. We'd also like to thank everyone in Ireland and in Uganda who offered so much support to our families - we know our families appreciated that very much.

'It was of course, a difficult time - but we found strength in each other and in our friendship.

'We now can hardly wait to get home and spend time with our loved ones'.

Remembering Our Ancestors

Mourners gathered at St. Peter's Roman Catholic Church on Staten Island Saturday to bury the dead, but this was no ordinary funeral. The two coffins contained the final remains of immigrants who died over 150 years ago.

Members of the Ancient Order of Hibernians escorted two caskets - one a small, white children's casket with golden angels; the other larger and pearl-colored - into the church as bagpipes played "Amazing Grace."

The remains represent the thousands of unnamed Irish and German immigrants who came to America in the mid-19th century, looking for a new and better life, but instead ended up in quarantine on Staten Island because of severe illness. Many of those confined never made it out, and were buried in mass graves with little fanfare or record.

Workers found the bones during the construction of a new courthouse in St. George in 2000. At the memorial, attendees from the community, many wearing sashes with the green, orange and white of Ireland's flag, lined the pews along with local politicians, a representative from the German consulate and Irish ambassador to the U.S. Michael Collins. Edward Cardinal Egan, former archbishop of New York, presided over the interfaith ceremony. His sermon emphasized why, more than a century and a half later, it is important to honor the immigrants who had lain neglected for so many years.

Sunday, October 18, 2009

Stephen Gately Funeral

Several thousand mourners lined the boyhood streets for Stephen Gately, of Boyzone, to watch his funeral pass by. The thirty-three year old singer died of natural causes according to the coroners report.

The four remaining members of the band sang and spoke at the service which fans listened to through speakers.

Ronan Keating, Mikey Graham, Shane Lynch and Keith Duffy spent the night at the church with the West End star who they call their brother.
Members of Westlife, composer Andrew Lloyd Webber, Elton John's partner David Furnish and former Taoiseach Bertie Ahern attended the service.

Mr Gately's grief-stricken bandmates last night carried his coffin into the church near the family home in the north inner city.

Sir Elton, who is on tour, sent a bouquet of yellow flowers, which was placed near the entrance of the church. Singers George Michael and Cheryl Cole plus members of Take That were among others to send condolences.

At the end of the service, the four remaining Boyzone members helped carry the coffin out of the church. Each also bore a tattoo with the dates "76 09" to honour Gately. They spent Friday night holding a wake at the church in the working-class neighbourhood where Gately grew up.

His parents, Margaret and Martin, brothers Mark, Alan and Tony, sister Michelle and his civil partner Andrew Cowles had also visited the church for a private prayer vigil.

An Autumn Day

Dublin Docks Rainy Day

Scottish Brothers

Naked Rugy Studs Max and Thom Evans

You can thank Hamish for this video.


Just got back from sea, its early morning Sunday. I have a fever and in the middle of having the flu. It's so good to be home. I'm going to get a hot shower, drink some tea, take some medicine and crawl under the covers. They actually quarantined me on the ship and one of my shipmates printed out this photo which basically sums up my week.


My friend Anthony sent me this, thought I would share.

Friday, October 9, 2009

John Duddy - Irish Boxer

Fighting in Madison Square Garden this Saturday. One of the things I've wanted to do since coming to Ireland is work on my family tree and trace my roots. I've being working on my family tree shortly after moving here and found out recently John is a cousin of mine. I need to finish that family tree, but its hard to get past the 1860's with any information. Now that I have some free time with Gareth being gone, I'm going to get back into this project and see what I can find out and maybe meet some of my family living here now.

I'm Back, Go Ahead, Be Thrilled

Just got home, early morning, still dark. Threw my duffle bag by the front door, took my shoes off, dropped my clothes in the bedroom, took a nice warm shower, put a tshirt and shorts on, drank a glass of milk, fed the cats who I think are as happy to be back home as I am and now its time to get some sleep. To those just getting up, sucks to be you. lol To those just going to bed, have a good sleep and sweet dreams. Hamish if you ring my doorbell this morning, I will kick your ass. Love you.

Sunday, October 4, 2009

Autumn Stroll

Don't Answer The Door

Even though I made it clear (or so I thought) that I wanted to spend the weekend alone just relaxing around my flat sitting in my underwear, snacking, sleeping, and watching the telly I was awakened from my sleep by the sound of my doorbell ringing. I tried to ignore it, but someone was continuously pushing the button. The sound startles my cats and sends them flying around the room and pouncing on me until I get up and open the door and let out a pissed off "What the hell?" At this point I realize I answered the door in my underwear, but it turns out it was only Hamish and thankfully not some little girl scout selling cookies.

Did you ever have one of those friends that just won't go away? Well, that is Hamish. As I crawled back under the blanket on my couch to go back to sleep he sits in the chair nearby talking of what he wants "us" to do today. I quickly reminded him that 'us" isn't doing anything today because "I" am already doing what I want to do for the day. No sooner had I finished stating this, my doorbell rings again. Hamish answers the door and I watch as our friend Jillian walks in with two of her guy friends. They just walk right in talking and laughing as if its the middle of the afternoon.

Apparently they have been invited to meet at my place because we're all doing breakfast. At this point I'm barely awake, very tired, and now pissed off as they begin to question Hamish on why I'm not ready. To which he replies I'm just running late and I correct him by stating I'm not going.

Ignoring all of this, my friend Jillian sits on the couch next to me and starts talking to everyone about this guy she met last night. As she mentions this, one of her guy friends squeals with delight and the other wants to know the details which she happily tells. I quickly realize they are not only friends of Jillian, but friends of Dorothy as well if you know what I mean. Now, I like Jillian and normally would be supportive of her and listen to her story of last night, but its early morning, my space has been invaded and I'm just staring at Hamish thinking what the fuck? Just minutes ago I was sound asleep.

Noticing my irritation Hamish says something about how he promised Gareth he wasn't going to let me mope around the house being depressed. I told him I'm not moping and I'm not depressed. He replied oh yeah, you ate half a pan of brownies since yesterday, that's depressing. Not feeling like arguing about my mood and the thought of brownies actually made me realize I was hungry, I wrapped the blanket around me and got up from couch and headed to the bathroom. As I walked by Hamish I told him I hated him and that I was changing my phone number so he can't call me anymore. He calmly replied in his Scotch-Irish accent "Jest make sure ye shave when ye take a shower, you look like a terrorist." So much for growing a beard.

Now, I'm back home, alone. Breakfast was actually fun, we had some good laughs. I even got my dishes washed by Jillian and Hamish as I got a shower. Although I did notice they ate most of my brownies! Now I can crawl back under the covers and relax and enjoy a peaceful, sleepy Sunday afterall.

Full Moon