Showing posts with label Auld Sod. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Auld Sod. Show all posts

Dec 21, 2014

From my drystone hut

I woad my pistol with blue bullets and dream of the gentle Celtic maiden.

(The Solstice is an unpropitious day on which to announce yourself as an Angle. Or Saxon.)

Feb 10, 2013

Storm Nemo and the Runway Set

A diminutive and lovely American woman in a smart Connecticut home sat out Nemo with her elderly parents. Among other things she waded through deep snow to find and clear furnace vents; she used a pole to shake snow from her service electrical lines and nearby trees.

I wasn't there, more's the pity, but there's no doubt in my mind that she needed no last-minute dash for milk and toilet paper, meaning she was no candidate for a dramatic feature story on the horrors of being  suddenly trapped in her car in a storm well-advertised for days.

With preparations made and immediately necessary actions taken, she seemed to  enjoy her little break from the outside world, laughing and joking her way through white Armageddon, warm, secure, properly fed and I confidently guess, properly wined. After all, she bears an honest Irish surname.

Meanwhile, a million less sentient northeasterners suffered --  out of Perrier, down to the last pound of lox, the electric teevee won't work, that sort of deprivation. Never mind the frantically punched wireless devices seeking word on how much they might get from FEMA as a result of living in a place where it snowed.

Still,  the Irish girl and her like represent a useful cadre of citizens, people with at least a modest ability to see more than two commercials ahead and plan for survival in comfort when nature does what it routinely does.  Their existence suggests a remaining hope for America, even in the age of Mommy Dotguv on whom all  happiness depends. (Please, Your Ineptness, make the Republicans stop causing blizzards.)  It is a cozy thought, so you shouldn't screw it up by reading the news.


At New York's Fashion Week, women tottered on 4-inch heels through the snow to get to the tents to see designers' newest collections.

Feb 8, 2013

'tis the same old shellelagh...

...that my friend Bill picked up for me a few years ago. It looks neat and would make an effective backup weapon in some circumstances. Still, I don't use it much. It is primarily a decorative fashion accessory for which ever wall seems barren to me at any given time -- or sometimes as a place holder in one  gun rack or another.

Lately it's been living on its own dedicated nail in the spot handiest to the desk and used from time to achy time in the wake of an aviation accident.

The wheels-up landing from the second step of shop entry stairs scared me for longer than I like being frightened, about 60 seconds, crookedly prone on ice and frozen crushed lime pebbles. That's the time it took to inventory the parts and determine the extent to which the usual processes had been modified by percussion. Inventory complete, I hobbled to the quarters, in fact with part of the kindling I'd just cut cradled in the left arm. The right was busy steadying  this veteran carcass on whatever was handy along the way -- a tree, a vehicle, the big garbage can and, finally, the hand rail.

I built the fire, popped some ibuprofen and settled on the couch. To ER or not ER, that is the question. The answer was "not yet, anyway."

That was all a week ago tonight. The bruises have cleared up, the questionable knee again dependable and the elbow fit for lifting. What's left of the mishap is some sort of torn or pulled or otherwise disheveled muscle or tendon. If I were to describe it clinically, scientifically, I'd call it "like, y'know, a charlie horse." 

It yields to five count-em-five ibuprofen every morning and, when I'm walking a lot, a little assist from the Irish persuader.  I would carry it all the time in hopes of eliciting sincere sympathy. Unfortunately I don't travel in circles like that. ("Humph. Old fart ought to be more careful.")


If the reader believes this post is primarily for the purpose of relating a personal mishap, he or she is somewhat mistaken. Like all TMR communications, it is intended to edify. In this case on the matter of Irish weaponry and Irish history.

My shillelagh is phony, pure Midwest Brand X, like a Pakistani pocket knife.  It is the stem of a scrub cedar whereas it should be  blackthorn or, even more traditional, oak.

In the glory days of Hibernia, no Irish gentlemen would have set out for the pub without his oaken stick. Then came the bloody British looking for women prettier than their own and lumber for their ships.  They found both, captured a few our women and all of our trees. This accounts for  the blackthorn, the occasional attractive English person,  and the fact that many of you have heard of a sailor named Nelson.

Jan 24, 2013

The TMR as TV Guide

Reluctant to go do real work, I return to the teevee, still on C-Span 3. The scene shifts to Dr. Rhona Mahony in Dublin. She's a big cog in the Irish medical machine. She is talking to Irish lawmakers about abortion laws.

Relax, I'm done commenting on complicated political issues for the morning. I simply wish to illustrate that there are exceptions to P.J. O'Rourke's dicta on women of the Emerald Isle: "You don't want to see an Irish girl in a bikini."

Besides, there's a certain comfort in knowing that frustration with legiscritters is not exclusive to my country. Across the world, apparently, such people require that information be presented to them slowly, in short words, brief sentences, and, preferably, accompanied by stick-figure pictures.

Jan 21, 2013

Travis McGee at the Inauguration

Nothing short of new dance routine by Chookie McCall could have lured Trav to The Dubliner on any day of any year -- particularly this morning  when his gnarled elbows would have brushed a gaggle of self-styled journalists. MSNBC chose to, ahem, "cover" the inauguration from the place.

Wouldn't they just.

How they love high-polish hip and the beautiful people who make it glitter, especially in a contrived ethnic atmosphere, in this case Irish. My ass. It's as Irish as lutefisk.

I grant The Dubliner one point. It's five o'clock girl flock tends toward sleek young loveliness whose chatter sounds -- from a distance --  enchanting. Closer, you learn that it concerns shopping.  Let it pass. Step away, sigh at the waste, and recall your Bierce; ...all too human to impute unlikely virtues to the cute.

The men, so to speak, put you in mind of a 10-year fraternity reunion attended by Countess Mara neckties attached to those alumni whose MasterCard's would still bear the expense.


Did you ever notice that Travis didn't often use vulgar words?

Thrust into that crowd, I think he would have made an exception. Four letters, maybe 11. Then he'd have backed out the door, turned, and walked no more than 15 strides to the next-door Irish Times.

Hugh's place is a little seedy, but its political ops and hustlers tend to have honest Irish surnames and, often enough, fresh brogues. Among the still sober, conversation is generally a witty and bipartisan exploration of why things are still so FUBAR. The unsober (due to fairly priced Guinness and Jamison) tend to say hardly anything, at most a cynical grunt. That's a rhetorical approach a guy can quickly learn to love.

Besides, The Irish Times often features semi-talented (at worst) live Irish performers. They do rebel music with a loud flourish suggesting that disdain for the goddam English usurpers is alive and well. So tell me Sean O'Farrell where the gatherin is to be .. with me PIKE upon me shoulder at the RISIN' of the MOON.

The other place gives you something like a tape of  Mel Torme singing Danny Boy. I'll bet Mika swoons.