Saturday, August 26, 2006

hold all my calls...

Let's see - how can I involve my blog readers in my wedding, which happens to be today?

Not enough?

OK - how 'bout I let you guys get an exclusive preview of my wedding speech?

Hi everyone –

Most people who know me are well used to my making horrendous puns for cheap laughs, so I thought maybe I’d show a different side of myself and leave the funny stuff to my best man (no pressure, Ian, honest!).

First, thank you all for joining us on what has been so far an amazing day. There’s no better way to enjoy a great occasion than having friends and family around you, and we’re both delighted you could all be with us.

I’d like to give a special thanks to the Unitarian Church for their wonderful ceremony. We have attended several of their services over the past year, and though I’ll admit I’m not the most religious person in the world, I have to say it’s refreshing to see that spirituality and open-mindedness can go hand in hand.

There are of course those who could not be with us today whom I’d like to mention briefly. First there is my poor grandmother who was sadly not well enough to attend. I know she would have given anything to be here and we can be sure her prayers were with us all the way.

Then there is my mother, who was unable to make the trip from San Francisco mostly due to the fact that she has done so much to help us out with Grandma’s care, and we are both immensely grateful for this and wish she could be here today.

Finally there is my grandfather whose 2nd anniversary happens to fall tomorrow. I know for sure he’s having a pint of the black stuff up there on our behalf!

I also have to mention my father Mark and his lovely wife Vickie, who have flown all the way from Oregon to be with us today. Thank you both so much for coming, you have no idea what it means to all of us that you could make it!

Up to now although I’ve lead a happy life, I’ve always tended to do things with this niggling feeling in the back of my mind that whatever I was doing wasn’t really what I wanted to do. However there are TWO main exceptions to this rule.

The first has been my role as father to my two wonderful children, Rebecca and Christopher. I don’t want to embarrass them too much, but I have to say I’m proud as anything to be their Daddy, and have been from day one.

And then there’s this lovely vision on my left.

I hope you all take the opportunity today to tell Sandra how beautiful she looks, for this could very well be the only day she’ll ever let you! She’s a lot like myself - we don’t do compliments well!

Although it was a bit long, I chose the second reading because it focused on Friendship. I’d love to say I picked up the passage from my extensive reading but I have to confess I actually got from an episode of the TV show Friends!

Anyway – as well as all the clear attraction I have always had for Sandra, I have to say I have never met anyone to whom I feel this close, and she has literally made me feel this way from the very start. We have had our ups and downs, but no matter what we always remained friends. For me, that is what makes us work. It has also helped that I have been made feel so welcome by both Rita and John, and I’m immensely proud to see our families come together today.

Just to warn you folks – I’m going to get a bit corny here, but this is something I’ve been dying to say to her, and she’ll know exactly what I mean, and I guess that’s all that counts!

Sandra, thank you so much for everything you have brought to my life and the lives of my family, and I can’t wait to spend my future with you and together I know we really can reach for the stars.

To Sandra [toast]

Thank you all again.

Still not enough?

Too bad.

See you in a couple of weeks.

Monday, August 21, 2006

bitesize bullets


WEIGHT : It’s starting to look as though my pre-wedding Battle With The Bulge is going to end in a tie. Though it hasn’t gone up since I started measuring a few weeks ago, it hasn’t gone down either. Oh, well.

DISTRACTION: Isn’t it extremely convenient that all of America is talking about a 10-year old murder case when much more important things are happening in Iraq, Lebanon, and most importantly for me, the upcoming elections where Dubya was due to get a pasting. So much for prevalent Liberal media bias.

LINK : Absolutely no contest for my link shout-out this week – fellow blogger Rinceoir kindly included my blogs in his “Why Link?” series. Much appreciated sir! Check out his Tiny Timid Thoughts when you have the chance.

JUSTICE: For all Irish people who presume the 11 people charged for involvement in the recent airport scares, I have two words - BIRMINGHAM SIX. To those who think that makes me sympathetic to terrorism, I say you are full of it, for I believe it makes me sympathetic to justice.

NINETY… : …is my Irish Slang O’ The Week, though it must be used in association with the word “craic” which I explained a good while ago. Basically the term “the craic was ninety” means “we had a helluva good time”. Don’t ask me why.

W*NKERS!: Though it definitely went on for too long, this year’s British Big Brother was the best so far, and congratulations to Pete Bennett for both winning the contest and raising awareness for Tourette’s Syndrome.

LYRICAL : "Beauty i'd always missed
With these eyes before,
Just what the truth is
I can't say anymore.

'cause i love you,
Yes, i love you,
Oh, how, i love you.
Oh, how, i love you."

Who sang that? Check comments for the answer.

FLICK: I recently saw One Flew Over The Cuckoo’s Nest for the first time. As well as Nicholson’s excellence, I was surprised by how many other names were in it that went on to better things – Danny deVito, Christopher Lloyd, and Brad Dourif, aka Grima Wormtongue from Lord of the Rings.

ONE-TRACK-MINDS : There must be something in the water this week – check out the Google phrases of the week! I think I should seriously consider a new title for my blog – the word “shag” has gotta go!

GOOGLING : Latest phrases to lead people here include …

“shag games”

“her first shag”

“how long does a good shag last?”

“instructions on how to shag properly”

“humans shagging”

“horny mother in law”

I hope they all found what they were looking for.

“Google phrases of the week” and “Statwatch” courtesy of

“Irish Slang Word O’ The Week” courtesy of “The book of feckin’ Irish Slang that’s great craic for cute hoors and bowsies”

Friday, August 18, 2006

they must be lonesome every night

And there was me thinking blogging was the world’s most wonderful waste of time.

First we have a bunch of space nerds convening to determine whether or not Pluto is actually a planet. I mean – WHY? Is it for some commercial rezoning purpose so that they can open a Starbucks out there?

Anyway – according to Reuters’ Oddly Enough files, we seem to have something that takes the biscuit. Can you believe that someone is sad enough to be bothered with this?

It's now or never: find Elvis for $3 million

Have you seen the king? As the 29th anniversary of his death passes, a $3 million (1.6 million pounds) reward is being offered for anyone who finds Elvis Presley alive.

U.S. writer, actor and filmmaker Adam Muskiewicz says he and a producer friend set up the website mostly for publicity and to get the public involved in an independent documentary exploring the myth that Elvis is still alive.

"The hoaxing of Elvis Presley's death is the biggest myth in the history of pop culture. Does it have any merit? What are the facts behind it?" the site asks. The film and site aim to explore persistently popular rumours that Elvis did not die on August 16 1977, but may have gone into hiding.

Well, if nothing else, it gives me a chance to satisfy my need to create groan-inducing puns ad nauseum.

I presume if anyone did come forward with an Elvis, the people offering this reward would have Suspiscious Minds, and if you are found out, you may well end up In The Ghetto or at worst, doing the Jailhouse Rock. To those who may consider this, I say Don’t Be Cruel. Although I Just Can’t Help Believin’, and the King’s whereabouts is Always On My Mind, and often has me Crying In The Chapel, even a Fool Such as I wouldn’t believe anyone who claimed to see him, so their correspondence would have to be marked Return To Sender.

Ok I’m done. I guess it was all Too Much. Sorry, but the whole thing has me All Shook…OK! I’ll stop!!!!!

Monday, August 14, 2006

bitesize bullets


RECOVERING : The stag weekend in Westport was perfect in my book. Of course there were a few drawbacks, but I had a blast, and I’m very grateful to the lads who came along and made it so. Tradition prevents me from blogging about particulars, however…

RENTAL: If you liked The Matrix you will enjoy V for Vendetta, though you may need to bone up of the whole Guy Fawkes thing first to get what it’s about. Ironically I saw it for the first time the night all the airport scares were happening.

LINK : For my link shout-out this week I have to thank Phillipa for adding me to her blogroll on her daily News Planet. As you can see I have done likewise.

BUSHBASHING: "Apparently the Dixie Chicks had to cancel 14 shows on their tour, because of slow ticket sales. There's some concern they're losing their fan base. How ironic is that? They finally have something in common with President Bush." -- Jay Leno

MUPPET : …is my Irish Slang Word O’ the Week though I think it is common all over England as well. To make it Irish you’d best stick the word “bleedin” before it. It’s a mildly derogatory term which calls both a person’s intelligence and competence into question.

TUNES: Intelligence, Humour, Musical Talent. All combined in the works of sheer genius Tom Lehrer. His greatest hits adorn my car cassette deck. My personal all-time favourite is “Poisoning Pigeons In The Park”. Guaranteed to cheer you up if you have a slightly demented streak like me!

WEIGHT : Considering I’m just back from a weekend of beer, curry, beer, Pringles, beer and more beer, I’m quite proud of the fact that my weight has stayed the same since last week. I’d very much like to see it start going down as of now, however.

CURIOUS : Conspiracy theorists the world over will be intrigued by the news that NASA have reportedly “lost” the footage of the famous moon landing in 1969, which many people think was contrived to make it look like the USA were ahead in the Cold War/Space Race. Definitely a story worth following!

“But sometimes man it just seems
Everybody only wants to dis-cuss me
So this must mean I'm dis-gusting
But it's just me I'm just obscene”

Who sang that? Check the comments for the answer.

GOOGLING : Latest phrases to lead people here include …

“what does the irish word hooley mean”

“rugby drinking games involving cocktail sticks”

“kim cattral shaves”

“stories of when grandparents embarrass you”

“man who never knew son country music lyrics”

I hope they all found what they were looking for.

“Google phrases of the week” courtesy of

“Irish Slang Word O’ The Week” courtesy of “The book of feckin’ Irish Slang that’s great craic for cute hoors and bowsies”

Friday, August 11, 2006

no more sides

Yet more fear at our airports.

Where will the airline restrictions stop?

Can’t a volatile liquid/detonator be easily concealed within a suicide bomber’s clothing?

Does this mean we have to travel naked or not at all?

Well let me make a few points perfectly clear.

I will NOT hold my tongue when I hear George W Bush make such ludicrous statements as “America is safer now than at 9/11”.

I will NOT let people like him force me to polarize my views to “side” with him in his so-called “war on terror”.

I will NOT be terrorized by extremists, whether they speak from from a bunker in Afghanistan, the White House, a mosque or Downing Street.

I will NOT allow my desire to give an open-minded appraisal to events be deterred by being dubbed a “conspiracy theorist”.

I will NOT let this bullshit ruin my honeymoon in New York in a few weeks.

I will NOT feel compelled to teach my children to be afraid.

For as long as you call someone your enemy, they will be.

Monday, August 07, 2006

bitesize bullets


WEIGHT : Still no increase, but no decrease either in my bulk. The good news is, I survived a jog last Thursday morning, so hopefully I will be able to make that a habit for the weeks to come which should well help out my cause.

PREPOSTEROUS… : …is defined as “contrary to nature, reason or common sense”, and is a word frequently used by George Galloway in his incredible interview with Anna Botting of Sky News over the weekend. You just simply have to watch this if you have any interest in the Lebanese situation.

LANGER… : …is my Irish Slang O’ The Week as recommended by Dolores McCrumble a while ago (sorry it took so long – I’m working in alphabetical order!). A langer can either be the male reproductive organ or simply an idiot. Either way, not something you want to be called.

RENTAL : Lucky Number Slevin is definitely worth a rental. Good plot, good twists and turns, good performances all round. I still felt something was missing, however, and maybe Tarantino behind the camera would have delivered it.

LINK : This week’s Link shout-out goes to The Rambling Man for adding my Irish blog to his list recently. I was more than happy to return the favour.

DOPES : The Justin Gatlin doping saga is the latest in a long line of scandals that make you wonder if we can ever take the sport of track and field athletics seriously again. Are the gold medals really going to the best, or the best at not getting caught?

“Talkin' to herself, there's no one else who needs to know...
She tells herself, oh...
Memories back when she was bold and strong
And waiting for the world to come along...
Swears she knew it, now she swears he's gone”

Who sang that? Check comments for the answer.

TUNES : The latest cassette to inhabit my car stereo has been Genesis’ self-titled album from 1983, the year I discovered music. Tracks include “Mama” and “That’s All”, but it’s a solid work throughout.

Little girl at her first wedding : “Mommy, why is the bride wearing white?”

Mother : “White is the colour of happiness, dear, and this is the happiest day of her life.”

Girl [ponders this for a moment] : “Then why is the groom wearing black?”

GOOGLING : Latest phrases to lead people here include …

“i am an acrobat swinging trapezes through circles of flame”

“mysterious nashua”

“wart ointment kilkenny”

“hiring ladies wear on qe2”

“sergeant peppers two ibiza spain”

I hope they all found what they were looking for.

“Google phrases of the week” courtesy of

“Irish Slang Word O’ The Week” courtesy of “The book of feckin’ Irish Slang that’s great craic for cute hoors and bowsies”

Wednesday, August 02, 2006

the mother of all battles

I'm never averse to allowing a guest writer on my blog, and today is no exception. I wanted to write about the crisis in Lebanon, but then my mother showed me this piece she wrote and I figured it would be better to share it with you guys instead.

"Lebanon 2006: Déjà Vu All Over Again, Again" by Maura Lee August 1, 2006

A lesson cannot be learned if it is improperly understood, and it seems obvious from everything that’s been written from both sides of this sad and monstrous tale that the powers-that-be just do not get it.

The lesson of Viet Nam was that it is impossible to prevail over an indigenous popular opponent unless the invader/attacker is prepared to kill them all. Period.

That’s it – what part of this is unclear?

Regardless of the force of your fighting machine – whether you are using Fourth Generation warfare, Space Tools from DARPA, or Vulcan Martial Arts – you will fail, unless you are prepared to extinguish the lives of every man, woman, and child in the country you’ve chosen to attack, and unless you are capable of doing so with no exception.

Though they should be obvious, the reasons for this inevitable failure are as follows…

1. Regardless of how these people felt about you before you started to attack them, I guarantee that they’ll hate you once you start.
2. Paraphrasing Yoda, anger leads to hatred, hatred leads to suffering, suffering leads to thoughts of revenge.
3. Every capable native will do everything possible to fight you. This will mean different roles for different people – some will pick up arms, others will nourish the fighters, others will hide them in their home. Their feelings against you will unite them.
4. As much as you attempt to dehumanize them, as many lies that you tell and as often as you exploit the media, your brutality will be seen and remarked upon until one day you find that after fighting that much harder for that much little credibility, your efforts convince nobody but those among you who must also believe.
5. Your opponent has but to prevail to survive.
6. They are already home. It is for this home that they must fight.
7. It is you who must give up and leave.

It is truly frightening that for perhaps the first time in history, a military machine exists that is capable of obliterating an entire nation and with it, every man, every woman, and every child born and unborn.

Will it be used? Will we set aside our squeamishness and “cleanse the soil” so that it can bear fruit? Would we have any reason to believe that this new fruit would be our kind of fruit? Would we be capable, at that stage, of knowing what, exactly, would define our “kind of fruit”?

And yet, what is the point of having such an incomparable projection of power if you’re not able to use it?

What, indeed.