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Phrase of the Day #107 February 28, 2007

Posted by Rambling Man in Say it like it is.
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” Confusion now hath made his masterpiece !” – Macbeth

A nice subtle one this – could be used as an in-joke … ye rotters !

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Weekend events at Croke Park – a reaction February 27, 2007

Posted by Rambling Man in Ireland & the Irish, Sports.
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The recent hype, controversy and in some areas, downright madness that surrounded the recent Ireland v England rugby game at Croke Park, has come and gone in a wave of celebration and hindsight analysis.

It was a significant event in our history, sporting and otherwise but I think the majority of the hype and bumf that surrounded the game and the occasion was a poor reflection on the Ireland of today’s way of thinking. I’d be interested to hear how the build up went in other areas of the country but down here in the south east, a lot of what I came across was positive towards the event, its participants and so on ….

A notable exception was our bin-money-collection-man, who hails from across the water and although he has been here for 30+ years, is still an ardent follower of the men in white. He shocked me at the door the other night when we were chatting, saying that he had given back his ticket for fear of a riot ! It was only then that I began to realise that there were people who thought that something might actually kick off and Ireland would be seen as the first country ever in the world to have trouble at a rugby match !

Having listened to Republican Sinn Fein and their get-out that “they couldn’t help it if people turned up and caused trouble”, I am glad that their paltry protests were drowned out by the 80,000 fans who turned out intent on nothing but a good time. There is a saying that “water will always find its level”, and I feel that these people and their rivers of ignorant thinking have firmly found their level at the bottom of the barrel of Irish society.

At Croke Park itself, I was heartened to see the England team and anthem get the respect they deserved and equally delighted in the fact that we thumped them on the pitch. In the pub where I was watching the match, there was none of the tomfoolery (booing the anthem or otherwise) that was expected.

That however, was almost a secondary for me. The whole occasion showed that the vast majority of law abiding and non-rioters on this island would not be made afraid or controlled by the narrow minded thoughts of the few … It showed the world that, despite past events, modern Ireland has moved on and would no more be seen as passionately anti-English or anti anyone. It showed the great pride we take in sport and whatever our political leanings may be, that we can act as a mature society. I am proud it was such a great occasion.

In this day and age, hatred and violence and intimidation and past bygones are the cause of too many deaths, too many miserable lives and too much sadness … I’m glad we’ve moved on.

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Phrase of the Day #106 February 21, 2007

Posted by Rambling Man in Say it like it is.
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“That ones been married three times and still has the same in-laws !”

Phrase of the Day #105 February 19, 2007

Posted by Rambling Man in Say it like it is.
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Loyal readers will be gald to know that the Rambling Man is on a training course all week and William Shakespeare has been left in charge …

“Hence, horrible villain, or I’ll spurn thine eyes like balls before me; I’ll unhair thy head, Thou shalt be whipp’d with wire, and stew’d’in brine, smarting in lingering pickle.” – Antony and Cleopatra

Thus begins the 5-in-a-row Shakespearean insults ! He had a sharp tongue did young Shakey …

Phrase of the Day #104 February 17, 2007

Posted by Rambling Man in Say it like it is.
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“She’s so thick, she thinks Dom Perignon is a Mafia boss !”

I’d hate to think what she’d make of Schloer !

When You Are Old February 17, 2007

Posted by Rambling Man in Poetry & Humor.
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When You Are Old

by W.B. Yeats

When you are old and gray and full of sleep,
And nodding by the fire, take down this book,
And slowly read, and dream of the soft look
Your eyes had once, and of their shadows deep;

How many loved your moments of glad grace,
And loved your beauty with love false or true,
But one man loved the pilgrim soul in you,
And loved the sorrows of your changing face;

And bending down beside the glowing bars,
Murmur, a little sadly, how Love fled
And paced upon the mountains overhead
And hid his face amid a crowd of stars.

No books in Irish February 16, 2007

Posted by Rambling Man in Ag foghlaim na Gaeilge, Ireland & the Irish.
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Bhíos ag obair i Loch Garman inniu agus chuaigh mé isteach i siopa leabhair chun leabhar nua Gaeilge a cheannach. Bhí úrscéal nó nuachtán á lorg agam ach ar an ndrochuair ní raibh a dhath ar bith ann ! Na bastairt !!

Bhí alán leabhair scoile ann ach bhí úrscéal nó leabhar suimiúil uaim. Chomh maith le sin, thug an cúntóir an ainm “Gaelic” ar leabhair as Gaeilge … Nach álainn é !

So muggins here, in a search for something other than “Peig” called into another shop and then another (in a different town !) ach bhí an fhadhb chéanna acu go léir. An bhfuil aon úrscéalta as Gaeilge sa Contae Loch Garman ar chor ar bith ?

An bhfuil fhois ag éinne cén áit a gheobhainn leabhar mar sin ? Ar an idirlín b’fhéidir ?

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Phrase of the Day #103 February 16, 2007

Posted by Rambling Man in Say it like it is.
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“He’s so cheesy, he thinks loading the dishwasher means getting his wife drunk !”

Ah, the dishwasher – best invention ever !

Ireland v England, 19-16 February 15, 2007

Posted by Rambling Man in Sports.
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You heard it here first folks … or maybe you didn’t !

But anyway, a little bit tongue in cheek, Paddy Power’s bookies are offering odds of 66-1 on the score being 19-16, in favour of either team, at next weekend’s rugby match !  I wonder what sort of a reaction that’ll cause amongst some of the more politically sensitive ?

Should someone mention to them that “the incident“, which has been referred to as ‘the last time the English were in Croke Park’, happened in 1920 ?

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Mines bleedin’ bigger dan yuurrss ! February 15, 2007

Posted by Rambling Man in Ireland & the Irish.
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“Oh my !”, is all I can say. Ireland of the welcomes …

Mines bleedin’ bigger dan yuurrss !

PS : Don’t be eating, drinking or in an impressionable mood while reading this story !

Phrase of the Day #102 February 15, 2007

Posted by Rambling Man in Say it like it is.
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“He’s so stingy, his toilet paper has page numbers on it !”

This sort of thing has been the ruination of many’s a perfectly good telephone book …

It’s all I have to bring to-day February 14, 2007

Posted by Rambling Man in Poetry & Humor.
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It’s all I have to bring to-day

by Emily Dickinson

It’s all I have to bring to-day,
This, and my heart beside,
This, and my heart, and all the fields,
And all the meadows wide.
Be sure you count, should I forget,
Someone the sum could tell,
This, and my heart, and all the bees
Which in the clover dwell.

For my wife, on Valentine’s Day.

Phrase of the Day #101 February 14, 2007

Posted by Rambling Man in Say it like it is.
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“That guy is a prime time waste of molecules !”

And I’d say the moles want their cules back !

A wee Irish joke February 13, 2007

Posted by Rambling Man in Poetry & Humor.
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I thought this was funny ! In Ireland, I suppose we’d substitute a Kerryman for Mickey and Tommy …

Mickey meets Tommy one day in his back garden and says to him, “What are you doing Tom ?” Tommy replies. “I’m building a rocket to send to the sun.”

“Don’t be daft!” says Paddy, “Sure it’ll burn up before it gets there.”
“Arra for Jaysis sake Paddy, I’ve thought of that already” says Tommy  “I’m launching it at night !”

Croke Park (heart) cracker February 13, 2007

Posted by Rambling Man in Sports.
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I’ve just about recovered from Croke Park at the weekend. I finally managed to blag myself a ticket (don’t ask how) and made the trip to the home of GAA with great hopes of seeing the first Irish rugby team to perform there come away with the spoils.

Despite the result and the way it happened, I must say I had a great day and the venue is a fantastic place for any sporting occasion. The stands just ooze atmosphere and Hill 16 where I was, didn’t let the noise levels drop all match ! That is, until the last minute French try, when 81,000 people went so quiet that you could clearly hear the French players shouting and roaring in the middle of the pitch.

How close we came to snatching the game. Ireland were poor in the first half and didn’t get their hands on the ball for the first 15 minutes. Still I don’t think that we lost it in the first half – we went in only 2 points down. I think we lost the game in midfield, especially nearing the end when there were more missed tackles than a blind man in a fishing shop. We definitely missed O’Driscoll in the middle of the park. Still, thems the breaks and we still have an outside chance of winning the championship. I don’t think England will be a push over but I fully expect us to do just that – push them over.

I enjoyed the small touches that the associations had allowed happen, such as all 3 of the usual stadium commentators having things to announce and the way some of it was in Irish. The big TVs were great too and aided the atmosphere. Apart from the groans when “that” referee (who we can’t blame because he said he’d ‘do’ us !”) blew early when Murphy broke away.

My overall view of rugby in Croker – fantastic.  Atmosphere – nothing like it – the sound of Ireland’s Call being belted out by everyone was just brilliant. I have tickets for “the soccer” too which I doubt I’ll enjoy as much but should still prove to be enjoyable.  At least we know we’re shite at football.

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Jesus H. Christ … it’s me ! February 12, 2007

Posted by Rambling Man in General Bloggery.
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Well imagine my utter surprise when browsing through the list of nominees at this year’s Irish Blog Awards, when I came across my own site listed under the “Best Personal Blog” category.

It’s an honour just to be nominated …

So, you know what to do – off with you to the Irish Blog Awards and vote for somebody else …

Phrase of the Day #100 February 12, 2007

Posted by Rambling Man in Say it like it is.
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“I’d get more pleasure from running my nostrils down a cactus than sleeping with you !”

Well if they didn’t get the message from a line like that …

Happy 100th to the “Phrase of the Day”.

The Lake Isle of Innisfree February 10, 2007

Posted by Rambling Man in Poetry & Humor.
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The Lake Isle of Innisfree

by W. B. Yeats

I will arise and go now, and go to Innisfree,
And a small cabin build there, of clay and wattles made:
Nine bean-rows will I have there, a hive for the honey-bee;
And live alone in the bee-loud glade.

And I shall have some peace there, for peace comes dropping slow,
Dropping from the veils of the morning to where the cricket sings;
There midnight’s all a glimmer, and noon a purple glow,
And evening full of the linnet’s wings.

I will arise and go now, for always night and day
I hear lake water lapping with low sounds by the shore;
While I stand on the roadway, or on the pavements grey,
I hear it in the deep heart’s core.

For my uncle and godfather, who’s quite poorly at the moment.  Our thoughts are with you.

Unsung Irish : John Barry February 9, 2007

Posted by Rambling Man in The Unsung Irish.
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John Barry was born in Our Lady’s Island, Wexford in the year 1745. Fifty eight years later, he was the commander in chief of the entire United States navy fleet.

The young John Barry moved to Philadelphia, Pennsylvania in 1760 and having already begun his seafaring career, moved steadily up in the maritime world. His first command was of a merchant ship, aged 21, and he perfected his navigation skills sailing back and forth between Philadelphia and the West Indies. By 1776, now a captain in the Continental Navy he continued to be a prolific annoyance to the British forces, capturing some dozen British vessels during these years. When the Revolutionary Wars ended in 1783, Barry returned to the merchant service for a period of 11 years before being made a senior captain in the newly established United States Navy. During this peace time he led trade routes to Asia, amongst other areas.

Commodore Barry then commanded the 44 gun frigate ‘United States’ in the war with France from 1798-1801 and upon cessation of hostilities brought the ship to Washington where she was laid up. Barry then ended his active service but remained head of the navy until his death in 1803.

Today, a statue stands in Wexford town to honour this man who came from humble beginnings and went on to become Commodore of the United States Navy.

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Irish football ! I give up … February 8, 2007

Posted by Rambling Man in Sports.
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I can take no more. There’s bad and there’s Ireland … we are now the official laughing stock of European football and beyond … and I’ve officially given up all hope …

I can only best explain it like this :

  • Playing badly from time to time is excusable. Every team goes through a bad patch.
  • It is inexcusable, however, not to give your best, concentrate your hardest and continually underperform for your country when you are playing well (and in some cases, very well) for your club.
  • It is neither acceptable nor fair on anyone, for a national sporting organisation (F.A.I.) to bring in a manager from footballing obscurity, who has no relevant experience, who isn’t an inspiring figure, who isn’t a leader of men, who isn’t particularly articulate and who has the gumption of a trodden-on snail and place him at the head of our country’s footballing efforts.
  • It is not acceptable to ignore results, questions, criticism, feelings, attitudes, reaction and plain and obvious bullshit play, stick your head in the sand and act as if everything is OK. 4 year plan my hole !
  • It is definitely not OK for the F.A.I. to be blind in its loyalty to someone who fulfills all of the above because without the fans and the poor eejits who paid a week’s wages to go to San Jaysis Marino to see those muppets in green and white disgrace themselves, the game here would be nothing.

So where to go from here ? We disgraced ourselves against the worst team in Europe and although the score-sheet shows a win and the 3 points, we all know that the situation is now laughable. If Staunton doesn’t cop that the situation is now dire and that he is in way over his head – perhaps through no fault of his own – he shouldn’t even be in a job.

So do the decent thing Stan – we know nobody would turn down the offer of managing their country but enough is enough. You’re not able for it !

Mr.Delaney and the F.A.I. – please, for the sake of Irish football, listen to what your fans are telling you and reach into your deep pockets and pay for a good manager with the necessary experience and gumption and knowledge and get us, to fuck, once and for all out of this mess and into a major championship.

I think I speak for most Irish fans when I say AAAAARRRRGGGGHHHH !

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Phrase of the Day #99 February 8, 2007

Posted by Rambling Man in Say it like it is.
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“When I want your opinion, I’ll rattle your cage !”

Plenty of uses for this one … the ladies would probably find it useful for telling those hangers-on in dodgy bars to get lost …

A brief sports outlook February 7, 2007

Posted by Rambling Man in Sports.
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As Ireland face the mighty San Marino again in tonight’s European Championship qualifiers, I thought I’d take a look at a few sporting stories happening around the globe. While we sit and hope that the idiots boys in green will do us proud (cough !) and come away with the 3 points, we must bear in mind that Irish football has come full circle. It’s not unreasonable to expect us to finish in second last place in this group. Oh, how the mighty have fallen …

And starting with the potential banana skin that are the gallant San Marian Maronia Marinites, young Shane Long from County Tipperary starts his first game for the senior Irish team tonight. Good luck to him – the first Tipp man ever to play football for Ireland. What would be a good result tonight ? 0-3 ? 0-5 ? Just don’t act the planks lads because Pat Kenny, Bertie Ahern and the two fellas that sit on the balcony in the muppet show would beat San Marino !

I am however, glad to see that the once mighty Liverpool FC have been taken over by a couple of American investors. Here’s hoping that they change the name of the team to the “Merseyside Mud Devils” or something and call the new stadium something suitably dumb … oh, wait – there won’t be a new stadium because once the first row of bricks go down, they’ll be nicked !

In golf, a young lad from Norn Iron called Rory McIllroy has moved to the top of the world amateur rankings having made an impressive display at the Dubai Desert Classic. He is only 17 years old and one to keep an eye on … well done Rory.

Next Sunday will see the first “foreign” game played in Croke Park … well, not if you include American Football, boxing or that hybrid fighting game sometimes involving a ball that Ireland and Australia play every year. What the GAA really mean by foreign games are the games of soccer and rugby. I only hope that there won’t be shenanigans going on in the home of Irish sport like booing the English national anthem.

In more rugger news, Tana Umaga – the Kiwi centre who along with Keven Mealamu never touched Brian O’Driscoll on the Lines Lion’s Tour – is back playing for the Wellington Hurricanes after a spell out. Incidentally the Hurricanes side contains the younger brother of All Black, Rico Gear. Hosea – what a great name for a rugby player ! Let’s hope himself and Tana don’t get dropped on their heads …

And finally … a quick prediction for tonight’s football matches …

San Marino 1 Ireland 3
England 0 Spain 0

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Phrase of the Day #98 February 6, 2007

Posted by Rambling Man in Say it like it is.
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“If you stand close enough to him, you can hear the ocean !”

There’s plenty of people around here that if you hold them up to your ear, you could hear all sorts of things …

Vee haf vays off makink you talk February 5, 2007

Posted by Rambling Man in General Bloggery, Ireland & the Irish.
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The LiDL grocery chain is one of the fastest growing retailers in Ireland with new stores popping up all over the place.

Two things I don’t like about LiDL.

1) All the stores are the same and all the items in all the stores generally run along the same lines … call me old fashioned but I like a bit of variety and choice when it comes to shopping.

2) They blatantly take the piss with their marketing and packaging and colour schemes. Shampoo is a classic example – they have one in exactly the same tin as a leading “mainstream” brand.

Don’t get me wrong … I am not unaccustomed to buying the odd bag of messages shopping from the store and to my mind the sugar in my tea or the paper in my bathroom is all the one. There are certain areas where the quality doesn’t deviate much … open to debate on that one … oh and they’ve got nice chocolate.

And another thing – it’s German and so is pronounced LEE-DL and feckin’ definitely not Liddle, Lie-Dl, Liddles or whatever you’re having yourself. It’s 4 letters long FFS – deal with it !

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Phrase of the Day #97 February 5, 2007

Posted by Rambling Man in Say it like it is.
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“If you don’t leave me alone, I’ll hit you so hard your kids will be born dizzy !”