Monday, November 30, 2009

Ocean Fog

We're back to sea for a for days. I'm using one of my crew mates phones to make these posts. Not sure if they'll go through or not. It's very foggy out tonight, like pea soup they say. Stood outside on one of the side decks, stuck my hand out in front of me and it disappeared in the fog.
All I need now is to turn on the radio and hear Adrienne Barbeau's voice on the radio!

Rough Day

Safe Drivers

Ireland has the most law-abiding drivers in Europe, according to a survey released today. Irish drivers were least likely to drink and drive or to use hand-held mobiles while at the wheel, the poll of 8,000 drivers showed.

They were also far less likely to drive without a seatbelt, to speed or jump the lights, according to the survey by insurance company AXA.

As well as drivers from Ireland and Britain, the survey covered motorists from Spain, Switzerland, Belgium, Italy, France, Germany, Portugal and Luxembourg.

Looking at 11 possible driving offences, the poll found that the most law-abiding drivers were Irish, followed by British, with Spain in third place and Switzerland fourth.

The survey showed that just 3% of Irish drivers admitted to driving while under the influence of alcohol against a European average of 21% and a massive 40% in Luxembourg.

Sunday, November 29, 2009

Ireland 15 South Africa 10

Ireland beat the Springboks of South Africa, the reigning World Champions on Saturday at Croke Park, Dublin to finish the year undefeated. They beat South Africa at their own game by playing rough and making punishing tackles.

The Irish coach, Declan Kidney was named coach of the year. Jamie Heaslip said: "It's a great way (to end 2009), the whole year's brilliant. We've learnt a lot, learnt a lot from our mistakes and did a lot of good things and hopefully we'll be in good shape come the Six Nations."

Rob Kearney, above, was named man of the match.

Gordon D'Arcy, saw plenty of ball during the second half of Saturday's 15-10 victory over South Africa at Croke Park. "That goes down to the forwards knowing their job. Gert (Smal) really had our boys fired up for that. The gain-line, that battle, was won by our guys so we did manage to get a good bit of ball on the front foot."


A Little Funny

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Christmas 2009

Westlife turns on the christmas lights for 2009 in Dublin on Grafton Street.

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

More Nice Buns

Speaking of nice buns....

Fresh Bread

I love the smell of fresh bread.

Hoisting The Cup

Gary O'Neill headed an injury-time winner to give Sporting Fingal a 2-1 victory over Sligo Rovers in the FAI Ford Cup Final at Tallaght Stadium on Sunday night.

Sporting, in only their second season, will be representing the League of Ireland in the Europa League next season.

Saturday, November 21, 2009

Bothar Dunta - Road Closed

The rains have come and won't go away causing the worst flooding in the last twenty years in the Southern and Western counties of Ireland. The army has been dispatched to several counties to help with flood control, evacuations, and rescues. Buses, trains, and driving roads between Dublin and other parts of the country have been closed at times, some reopening slowly. We had a temporary break from the rain, but its back again along with strong winds.

It's a mess of a day outside and I've decided to stay indoors. I am actually babysitting two of my friends children today. One is four, one is six. One boy, one girl. They've been good fun, we've had lots of laughs playing and I got to be a kid again being silly with them. My cats are not used to children and their high pitched squeals and shrieks. They've taken to hiding behind the different bits of furniture watching with wide-eyes, what to them are little aliens, running around their house.

Since I'm going to spend the day at home, I've decided to dig out the Christmas decorations and put up the Christmas tree. I talked to Gareth last night and he said he's going to try to come home for Christmas.

Well, I better go, the children we're quietly watching a cartoon together, but now they are hitting each other. Hope everyone is enjoying their weekend.

Friday, November 20, 2009

The Hand Of Fate

More than half of the population of Ireland tuned into the game to watch Ireland try to come back from 1 goal down to beat world power France and make it to the World Cup in South Africa. The Irish came to play and took a 1-0 lead on a goal by Robbie Keane, the famed Ireland captain. Ireland held this lead until the end of regulation winning the game 1-0. The playoff series was even.

With each side now having won a game by a 1-0 score, they went to extra time, sudden death, to determine who would win the spot in the World Cup. But sudden death it was for the Irish in the 120th minute, Frances Thiery Henry, guides the ball with his hand into the Irish net.

With Ireland frantically calling for a handball or offside penalty to be called, the referees instead signal game over. No offsides is called, no handball is called, and no replay is allowed to determine the correct call. The French start the celebration as the Irish leave the field in tears and shock. Henry of France even tells the referee the ball hit his hand and should not be allowed, but the referee tells him, "You are not the ref!"

The Irish went through the preliminary rounds undefeated, but they were still huge underdogs to the powerful French team. But against all odds and apparently some tainted referees, the Irish lads showed their spirit and if not for an own goal in Dublin and a handball score in Paris, they would have pulled off one of the greatest upsets in Irish sporting history.
"It's cost a lot of us our dreams - as a boy I used to dream of playing in the World Cup, and now I'm not." said Shawn St. Ledger of Ireland. "I don't understand why we haven't got replays in this day and age. You can get replays within 10, 30 seconds and it would have helped today."

The Swedish referees were vilified in their home country. Swedish newspaper Aftonbladet laid the blame squarely at the official's door. "There are approximately 80 million Irishmen around the world. We guarantee they all feel pretty bad today. But I sincerely hope there are three Swedes that feel even worse. They are Martin Hansson and (referee's assistants) Stefan Wittberg and Fredrik Nilsson."

They concluded by adding: 'There will be no World Cup for Ireland and I assume that Team Hansson has also forfeited it's right to continue to take charge of major international matches. Anything else would be a further insult to the Irish nation."

According to The Guardian website, FIFA has confirmed that there is no chance of the game being replayed, refering to Law 5 in the official rules of the game which states that the referee has 'full authority to enforce the Laws of the Game in connection with the match to which he has been appointed,' and that 'the decisions of the referee regarding facts connected with play are final.'

For the French, this night was about continuing their World Cup dreams. For the Irish, their World Cup dreams at an end, this night will be forever remembered for the courage and the heart they showed. Even in defeat I have never been more proud to be Irish.

Sunday, November 15, 2009

Autumn Evening

After a late night out, having lost my voice at the game and drinking way more than I should have last night, I've spent the day sleeping and watching television. Havn't heard from Gareth in a couple of days and got to missing him. So I took too playing the message he left on my phone a few days ago. I played it a few times, just to hear his voice when I suddenly realized how sad and pathetic that was. So I tried to do some things around the house, but grew bored. I decided to go out and do some shopping and get a haircut. Thought about having a workout, but I've had a cough since I got over the flu and decided to skip the workout and take a nice drive instead. Now I'm back home, getting ready to settle down for the night. Getting hungry, so I'm going to go raid the fridge and see what I have for a snack.

Irish Rush Hour Traffic

Look at the one on the right tailgating. You're supposed to maintain a safe distance.

Andy Lee Defeats Affif Belghecham

France beat Ireland last night on the field, but the Irish we're given something to cheer last night when Irishman Andy Lee defeated the European Union Champion, the Frenchman Affif Belghecham 99-92 at the University of Limerick.

France leads 1-0

The Irish side went down 1-0 against France in front of a roaring crowd of around 75,000 on a crisp Autumn evening at Croke Park, Dublin after allowing a late score. After suffering their first defeat in the qualifying rounds. the odds of making the World Cup in South Africa are firmly against them for the second leg of their World Cup play-off with Les Bleus. Robbie Keane said "We have to be confident for Wednesday and believe we can win the game. There's no question we can do it on Wednesday," the captain told Sky Sports 1. "We've been to big teams like Italy and got results, so we know we can. It's not going to be easy but we have to believe. We need to believe that we have to go there, we have to get a goal and hopefully we can get two and not concede." Kevin Doyle, Irish man of the match after leading the line bravely, echoed his skipper's thoughts. "We have to score to win game." he said. "We go to France needing a goal. If not two goals, then one to get into extra time and then we'll see what happens. It was so close tonight. Their goal was not even a half chance, it was a lucky deflection. We had a few chances we made ourselves but just couldn't score. It's half-time and we have another game to go in Paris. We have gone to Italy against the world champions and we got a goal so why not in France?"
France forward Thierry Henry refused to celebrate his side's win too hard, instead choosing to focus on the return leg. "We have seen the Irish are a difficult team to beat and they didn't lose a game in the whole qualifying so what we did today is nice." he said. "There are still 90 minutes to go so it will be a tough game for us in Paris. We wanted to play in the first half but you have to give the Irish team credit, they didn't give us any room to play our game. You can always improve and hopefully the crowd in Paris can be like the crowd the Irish had tonight."

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

In Flanders Fields

In Flanders fields the poppies blow
Between the crosses, row on row,
That mark our place; and in the sky
The larks, still bravely singing, fly
Scarce heard amid the guns below.

We are the dead. Short days ago
We lived, felt dawn, saw sunset glow,
Loved, and were loved, and now we lie
In Flanders fields.

Take up our quarrel with the foe:
To you from failing hands we throw
The torch; be yours to hold it high.
If ye break faith with us who die
We shall not sleep, though poppies grow
In Flanders fields.

— Lt.-Col. John McCrae (1872 - 1918)
- click here to go to the "In Flanders Fields Museum" to learn more about the sacrifices made on this sacred ground and take a moment to remember.

World Cup Playoff Fever

This Saturday, the Republic of Ireland is scheduled to play France in Croke Park, Dublin as part of the playoff round to qualify for the 2010 World Cup in South Africa. It will be a "Green" out at the stadium as everyone is being asked to wear green and be loud to show their support.

I will be in attendance cheering loudly for the boys in green to pull a major upset of the French side. Even though Ireland comes in undefeated and finished second in its group, it will still be a tough task to upset a major power such as France.
The French manager has pissed off many Irish fans with his evaluation of the Ireland team as “nothing more than the England B team” since a majority of the Irish players play in the English leagues.

Kevin Doyle said, "We're feeling confident we can win although other people will feel we don't have much chance."

Shay Given, considered one of the best goalkeepers in the world will be the key to keeping Ireland in the game.

Playoff schedule:
Ireland v France
Portugal v Bosnia-Herzegovina
Greece v Ukraine
Russia v Slovenia

Ireland v France, Sat 14th November - Croke Park
France v Ireland, Wed 18th November - Stade De France

Sunday, November 8, 2009

Chelsea VS Manchester United

John Terry - Chelsea

Wayne Rooney - Manchester UnitedToday, two of my favorite football/soccer players are going head-to-head when Chelsea takes on Manchester United. They are the two best teams in the league and their rosters our loaded with star players including John O'Shea below.
I have a couple friends over to watch the game, a mixture of Irish, Scots, and Welsh lads and ladies and each team has their supporters here, so its quite loud right now. We're making blueberry pancakes, ham slices, scrambled eggs with onions and green peppers, and homemade bread. I'm a bit knackered from last night, so I am ready to get some food in my stomach.

Have to get back to the game, my cat is saving my seat on the side of the couch right now. He's not doing it because he's loyal, he's only waiting for me to come back because he knows I'm about to have some ham to share with him. Gonna get some food and get back to the game. Hope you're all enjoying your Sunday and since today is Remembrance Day, take a moment to remember those who sacrificed all so we could enjoy days like today. They may be gone, but they'll never be forgotten.

Remembrance Sunday

Commemmorations to mark Remembrance Sunday have been taking place in Limerick and across the North. In Belfast, over 60 wreaths were laid at the cenotaph at City Hall and a two minute silence was observed.

Wreaths were also laid on behalf of the governments of the United States, Canada, France and Poland.

The President Mary McAleese is due to attend the Royal British Legion rememberance service at St Patrick's Cathedral in Dublin.

Almost 50,000 people throughout Ireland were killed in World War I, while more than 5,000 Irish volunteers died in World War II.