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Irish weather May 30, 2009

Posted by Rambling Man in Poetry & Humor.
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The Irish Met Service have officially declared Irish weather as Muslim.

Sometimes sunny …
ostly Shi ‘ ite

No offence intended to Muslims or rainy days.

The dirtiest dog in Ireland May 29, 2009

Posted by Rambling Man in Ireland & the Irish.
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This is Sharkey – at least I think that’s his name.  He has to be – hands paws down – the dirtiest dog in Ireland.

And far from being a placid dog in need of a wash, he’s the nastiest little f*cker you could happen to walk by – a real terrier.  He sits outside a long since defunct butcher’s shop in the city centre and woe betide the person who gets to close.


I’d love to see what he cleans up like – it mustn’t be nice being this filthy all the time.  But then again he’s been this dirty for the past 12 years or so …

Far in a Western Brookland May 29, 2009

Posted by Rambling Man in Poetry & Humor.
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Far in a Western Brookland
by A.E. Houseman


Far in a western brookland
That bred me long ago
The poplars stand and tremble
By pools I used to know.

There, in the windless night-time,
The wanderer, marvelling why,
Halts on the bridge to hearken
How soft the poplars sigh.

He hears: no more remembered
In fields where I was known,
Here I lie down in London
And turn to rest alone.

There, by the starlit fences,
The wanderer halts and hears
My soul that lingers sighing
About the glimmering weirs.

The End is Nigh May 28, 2009

Posted by Rambling Man in General Bloggery.
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Cool logo of the week !


The only thing wrong with this logo is that there is a fada over the A in FÁILED !

Hat tip : Annie

European Cup Final May 28, 2009

Posted by Rambling Man in General Bloggery.
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I follow a team called United
And ’bout the final I sure was excited
About victory they squawked, but on the pitch they just walked
I’m sure all the Scousers delighted.

Nuff said – United were worse than useless.  I’m awaiting the inquiry into why they just walked, gowled around and looked about as motivated as a FF canvasser …

A letter to Fine Gael May 27, 2009

Posted by Rambling Man in General Bloggery, Ireland & the Irish.
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I wrote the following letter to our friends over at the Fine Gael website in the hope that they would clean up their site a little and allow the ordinary punter to do what I came to do on their website – which was to look up their policies to see if I wanted to vote for them.

No surprises then that after a week I haven’t received a reply … it seems they are as clueless as everyone else when it comes to being innovative and using technology to their voting advantage …

As you’ll see in the letter, the site itself is quote technically proficient, but as regards searching for meaningful content, is like looking into a field of thistles !

So Enda and the lads in FG, here’s a voter that wants to like you and your party and who is on the fence … have the decency to reply (I suppose I am presuming there is a process there for answering and monitoring their email box ?  Or is that too much to ask ?)

Hi there,

As a prospective FG voter in the upcoming local elections, I am a little disappointed in your website.  It smacks a little of blowing your own trumpet and having a nice bells-and-whistles website just for the sake of it.  The voter – and in this case, the propsective voter – are not the website’s central focus.

Where are the calls to action ?  Where are the obvious and needed FG election messages and policies that within 10 seconds should register to someone looking at the site ?  Why the big picture of the politicians – without meaning to be rude, everyone knows what they look like already !

One has to search hard on a crowded screen for policies and issues, search for candidates in your area and the results of any clicking on the menu bar on the left appear half ‘below the fold’ i.e. below the bottom of most people’s visible screens.

I’m disappointed that the party I’m trying my best to want to vote for has a technically dazzling website (BBC take off ?) that ultimately fails to deliver on content and presentation of information to the citizens it hopes to attract … just look at the guys over in FF – not as technically proficient a website but sure as hell their election manifesto is the number one thing you see upon entering the site.

Let your readers do what they came to the website to do ! i.e. find out about policies, find out about candidates, register to vote, get involved, contact someone … all things, it would seem, hidden and secondary to smiling politicians and unnecessary technical bumpf !

Is mise …
Rambling Man

PS : Please do me the courtesy of replying with your thoughts on the above.  Impressions of a party, wherever and by whatever means they are made, do count with undecideds !

The bit that really galls me is the huge posed and unnessary pictures of the candidates and party officials looking like tools while pretending to be of the people … I’m still waiting.

Why the sky is blue ! May 26, 2009

Posted by Rambling Man in General Bloggery.
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Whilst aimlessly surfing I came across this interesting site … I always kind knew it was something to do with light and the atmosphere but this puts it into black and white … eh … that’d be blue and yellow if viewed from Earth then ?

A Pet Day May 25, 2009

Posted by Rambling Man in General Bloggery, Ireland & the Irish.
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Well I just happened to chat with one of my neighbours yesterday which doesn’t happen very often because they are all a bit strange (maybe its us?) and she was saying how yesterday was a real “pet day” !

“Begod” says I, “Nancy I never heard of that one before – what does it mean ?”

Apparently this is an old Irish way of describing a good day during a run of bad weather !

So now !  Yesterday was a real pet day.

The Gravestone May 24, 2009

Posted by Rambling Man in General Bloggery.
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I wrote this one when we were living in New Zealand – it seems like ages ago now.  I still miss it.

From my office window I looked across the expanse of Tauranga harbour and could just about spot a Māori grave marker of some kind.  Nobody in my office seemed to know much about it, except that it was tapu to go near it or past the fence if you weren’t Māori.  One evening as I walked across the old railway bridge across the river (which I frequently did) I decided to take a chance and go as near to the grave as I could … I couldn’t get very far because it was down a lane blocked off by posts and warning signs.  The wind blew up and freaked me out just enough to turn around and come home …. still, every day the grave would twinkle in the distance across my line of vision.  Who knows its story ?

The Gravestone

by The Rambling Man

The gravestone lies quiet, at the end of the lane,
open and looking out to the harbour.  It’s raining.
White and tall stands the monument, adorned with simplicity
It is your sacred place, for I am forbidden to walk there.

Is it a man or a woman you hold ? or maybe a few ?
Is it a warrior, some powerful man of old ?
Alone now it stands, on a misty patch of green
surrounded by fences and unwritten rules.

Are you a chief who once commanded many ?
Or a warrior, the slayer of taniwha ?
Or maybe a poet, a wise old lady, chin adorned with moko ?
All now lying quiet, looking over the water, guarding the Moana.

Maybe you roam between the lane and the harbour, just watching.
Ready to greet this Pākehā with a fearsome haka, sending me on my way.
Or maybe we would share a hongi, breathing the same breath
And sit and share our thoughts.  What can you see from your side ?
What can I not see from mine ?

New Fridge May 21, 2009

Posted by Rambling Man in General Bloggery.
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We just got a new fridge – our old noisy as a ewe in labour, couldn’t keep things cold fridge is no more – well it’s sitting outside our back door, as it happens – the blokes wouldn’t take it with them on the delivery truck.

Aren’t they supposed to dispose of the fridge because of this thing ?

More on this as we argue with them …

A great compliment May 19, 2009

Posted by Rambling Man in General Bloggery.
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My 2 year old has just said “Daaaad ? You are my best blue ever !” Chuffed !

Blue refers to “blue eyes” which is our nickname for her !

Oulwanism May 18, 2009

Posted by Rambling Man in General Bloggery, Ireland & the Irish.
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Oulwanism is a fantasticly entertaining and well known Irish trait permeating the over 65+ , female age bracket !  I mean no offence to anyone who might fall into that category but you’d have to forgive me for laughing considering the scene I saw today in “The Square” (and its not even feckin square – its triangular !) …

So there I was looking for blog material minding “mine own” business (as my kid would say) when I stumble across two blue rinse octogenarians trying to give directions to some studenty types who were obviously not from around this neck of the woods and knew no better than asking Betty and Mildred for advice …

Oulwanism in its purest form presents the witness with a classic conundrum of advice and answers, with a pinch of “too many cooks spoil the broth” thrun in for good measure.

Student – obviously looking for the way to WIT : “So it’s out the N25 is it ?”, motioning the wrong way …

Betty to student : “Well, eeeh yes it might be – I don’t know the numbers on the roads love !”  And then to Mildred “The N20 something or other – does your young fellas’ bus go out there ?” (Never mind the fact that she didn’t know the road – she then turned her attention to identifying the road she didn’t know, in order to find out did she really know it as something else !)

Student : “Could you walk it ?”

Betty : “Oh no, tis too far – well you could walk it like but it’d take you an hour !”  (You could, in theory walk from Cork to Belfast too, but that’d take you ages !  In fact there’s nowhere in Ireland you couldn’t walk to …)

Mildred : “Yes you could walk it, but I wouldn’t !”

Betty : “Yes you could walk it”  (But a minute ago you said … too eager to please you see … we don’t like the word NO as a nation … Could you cycle backwards to it ?  Yes, in theory, but don’t !!)

Student  “So it’s out ‘that way’ somewhere ?” pointing in the direction of one of the doors …

Mildred : “Ah love I came in the other door … I live down in Thomas Street !” (great details)

Students – beginning to walk : “So we’ll head out this way … and look for the N25 ?!”

Betty – grabbing some young fella : “Do you know where the university is ?” (Controversial because it’s still an Institute of Technology)

Young fella : “Sorry I Polish !”

So off they went and I forgot in my observation that I could’ve told them where to go but hey, I’m sure they walked it, or biked it, or crawled it or hopscotched it (all of which you could do but wouldn’t !).  Such was the oulwanism and coffuffery, coupled with not actually knowing the destination in the same terms as the lost person, made the answers all the more dificult to come by …

Oulwanism – the confusion arising (on both parts) from the overwhelming need and want to help someone, while using the other person’s terms and points of reference, therefore forgetting everything you know about the subject yourself – all the while not saying no (ever!) causing a less than helpful solution to be arrived at !

Shane Lowry … How are ya ! May 17, 2009

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Shane Lowry – the amateur golfer from Offaly – has just outlasted a valiant attempt by England’s Robert Rock to win the 3 Irish Open at Baltray on the 4th playoff hole. Fair bowls to ya Shane !

I had never heard of him before this week but he led the tournament from pillar to post and deserves it.  He didn’t do the nerves of the nation much good when he missed from 3 feet in regulation for the title but made up for it later when he capitalised on Rock’s over-hit chip and missed putt on the 4th extra hole.

Well done Shane … we’re proud of you ! The only downside is that both RTE and Sky cut away from coverage before the presentation (by Brian someone ?) as the game had gone on so long …

These kids can sing ! May 14, 2009

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Just browsed across this … wow these kids can sing !

Any canvassers out there ? May 13, 2009

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My vote is for sale – well not really but you know what I mean … so far, with only a couple of bare weeks to go to the elections I’ve had just 2 canvassers … 1 a Shinner who I ran out the gate and the other a Fine Gael lady who just literally flung a leaflet into the hall (as the door was open) and went chuckling off down the drive before I had the chance to call after her …

So all you prospective political do-gooders out there – do you really want to get Fianna Fail out of office ? Then come and canvass me and hundreds of people like me and give us a reason to support you ….

Is it any wonder those fuckers have been in for the past 30 years or so … the opposition don’t know how to campaign !

Quinlan handed 12 week ban May 13, 2009

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Munster, Ireland and Lion’s call-up Alan Quinlan has been handed a 12 week ban for gouging Leo Cullen in the Heineken Cup semi-final. The Munsterman (34) learned his fate at today’s disciplinary hearing in Dublin …

This must surely rule him out of the Lions Tour who depart next week for South Africa …

The silly man … what an opportunity to blow !

Why do …. ? May 11, 2009

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All older women have short hair ?

Nothing wrong with it like, but is it a style thing, a convenience thing ? What ?

A Young Lad in America #5 May 11, 2009

Posted by Rambling Man in A Young Lad in America.
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So I’m suffering from a bit of writer’s block at the moment and whilst earlier perusing older entries in my blog, came across the “Young Lad in America” series which, as it happens, only got as far as about Day 6 !

So here goes … we rejoin yours truly, in the guise of an intrepid, fearless (whilst being the opposite), early twenty-something first-time US traveller eager to have the time of his life but not knowing a thing about how to go about it.

Destination – Garden City on Long Island – a rather well-to-do community at who’s top golf and country club I had managed to secure a job.  I can’t really remember how I got there but I guess it was back onto the LIRR (from Montauk) and from the station, I walked.  The road and streets all were numbered just like in the movies but you think I could find out where I was going ?  You still have to know where 1st Street is before you can walk 3 blocks to get to 4th !

Anyway, I remember it was a Monday evening about 6pm by the time I got there and unbeknown to me country clubs and the like close on Monday on Long Island – don’t ask me why … maybe it’s to recover from the weekend ?  So marching right up the tree lined drive, I knock on the front door !  No answer … I walk round the side and look in the window to the bar and tap on the glass … no answer.  So now what do I do ? – it was getting dark, all the doors of my prospective employer were closed and locked.  I was supposed to be living on-site but this place looked well and truly locked up.

So I walked around the back and found two caddies in varying states of slumber – or was it inebriation ?   I had delusions about being a caddy also – and explained to them my story.  One of them shinned up what looked to be a drainpipe (more on this glorious entranceway anon) and soon appeared back with a fearful looking Mexican chef, covered in flour and not knowing what to do with his newly arrived charge.  And so that’s how I met whateverhisnamewas … I honestly can’t remember – it was something simple enough like Ernesto or Aurelio or something but hey, it was over 10 years ago !

In I went and was shown where I was supposed to stay which as it turns out was an upstairs hole in the roof dorm type bedroom – it was actually pretty cool.  But – no mattress, no sheets, no nothing – obviously the guys arranging this job for me thought I’d have the sense to stay away until Tuesday – not me however – I turned up on the only day of the week the place was closed and deserted !  So I set about exploring a high-end country club on my own, looking for bed sheets, blankets and some food.  If anyone official had been there or had arrived back at the club, I’m sure I would’ve been arrested and deported … walking around the changing rooms and looking forlorn.

I remember the Mexican playing something on the piano as I ate the sandwich he threw together – first time I ever had pickles – and when he went home, that was it – just me and a country club !  I didn’t even have the sense to go to the bar, pull myself a drink(s) and turn on ESPN – nah I spent the next hour or so on the payphone in the corridor yelling long distance to my Mum about how I wanted to come home and there must be some mistake !!

Well turns out it wasn’t a mistake but those months in that club … well they were hard … and fun … and I’ll tell you more later …

YouTube – Bill vs John vs Graeme vs Eamon May 6, 2009

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YouTube – Bill vs John vs Graeme vs Eamon.

Absolute classic !!!  Eamon Dunphy is God … end of story !

The Loner May 4, 2009

Posted by Rambling Man in Poetry & Humor.

The Loner
by the Rambling Man

A laughing scar adorns his face – this man
smiling a grudging smile that his mouth does not show;
his eyes cast down upon his dreams, gathered close around his feet.
Where a broken cup saves the shrapnel coins of annoyed passers-by,
but there still sits the loner.
alone but for his thoughts –
And the looks that friendly eyes might throw.

I was once like you, you know.
you upright man with a fine coat
and more worried about the rain than about a bed.
or thinking how to face another day in the crowded desert of this town;
its walls that once gave me comfort long torn down;
The roof that shelters me is not my own.
on a friday night you laugh and drink your cares away …
I do the same and cry.

My remorseful thoughts diminish with every further step,
and soon the loner enters not a notion.
until again we meet, three hours hence for me
and longer space of time for him.
for all that he sits, his reason still below his feet.
His eyes meet mine and tell at once a story,
of a man once like me, you know.  speaking reems with every
silent moment that passes like the damp air between.

I remember you, kind man, from the eyes that glanced before
with smirk of sorrow and the muted words, as you went along your way.
for the coins you found and fumbled, i give you thanks;
they less good to me as a connection, however brief.
For it is the small reminders, that i was once like you, which allow
the ounce of hope to smoulder that i might be again.  i feel like saying
there good sir but for the greace of god go you
but this burden is mine to keep, for as long as i must.
For those are not dreams that lie at my feet but stones that do not judge.

I always wondered if it was true ! May 3, 2009

Posted by Rambling Man in General Bloggery.
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Most Irish sentence ever ! May 2, 2009

Posted by Rambling Man in General Bloggery.

OK, so I’m taking submissions about the most Irish sentence ever !  You know, the typical shite that most people come out with from time to time that makes foreigners just stare or laugh, or both …

Stuff like “Well I wouldn’t start from here anyway …”  or “That’s a grand bit of ham!” and things like that …

My personal favourite of the moment is “Tid be a grand little country if you could only roof  ‘er !”

Leave your efforts in the comments led thoil

The Worried Well May 1, 2009

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the “worried well”

via Thousands Face a Balancing Act Over Flu Fears – NYTimes.com

I think I might be one of these … more out of concern for my chesty cough prone daughter than myself … and some colleagues are mid-air on the way back to us from NYC as we speak !

I trust in the HSE to fully manage the situation as competently as possible however – they did after all, take the master step of …. wait for it …. putting up posters in the airport !

Dang God !

Groupthink May 1, 2009

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Spot on sliabh … spot on !