Posted tagged ‘Ireland’

Shameless Plugs

July 27, 2018

Okay, I thought I would share with some of my favorite blogs and newsletters. All are free and guaranteed to be interesting.

First is NextDraft by Dave Pell. This is a newsletter that contains a cut of the current trending news. It is published most weekdays at about 1pm west coast time. And what’s more it is free. You can subscribe on the main page for NextDraft.com

NextDraft

Next up is “Beautybeyondbones” written by Rachel Mankowitz. Rachel writes about eating disorders and her despair and her redemption. She has written a  book about the despair of eating disorders. She lives in New York City has had two cute little dogs. One of which has recently died. All about life in the big city.

thefadingyear is a blog about Irish history, traditions and folklore. Here is an excerpt from the latest post.

Reek Sunday, the last Sunday in July, is traditionally known for the great pilgrimage to Croagh Patrick, a mountain in County Mayo. Croagh Patrick, or Cruach Phádraig as it is known in Irish, literally means Patrick’s Stack, the site, according to hagiography, was where Saint Patrick fasted for 40 days. For over four thousand years Patrick’s Stack has has attracted pilgrimages, with the site originally hosting pagan gatherings which were gradually to become more Christianised from the time of Saint Patrick.

It’s a bit obscure, but for someone of Irish heritage, I find it interesting.

My brother is a published writer and has a blog about writing. The blog is richardbowker.  By the way, you can buy his books from Amazon.com. Also, I have to buy them on Amazon. No freebies for his older brother, either. Note: He reads my blog, hint, hint. More about Richard.

Richard

Next, is TheClosetAtheist. This is a blog about the daily struggles a young woman has over her beliefs in becoming an atheist and her relationship with her Christian family.

Here is a bit about the author. Click here.

Here is a quote from one of her recent posts:

For the past couple of years, I have felt as though, in this area of my life, atheism itself is all that I’m interested in. I wanted to read books that specifically laid out arguments for or against the existence of God, and I didn’t have much interest in books that were just about religion or just about science. Most people in the atheist community that I have encountered on WordPress and Twitter also have a fiery passion for science.

There you have it. I hope that you find some of these blogs as interesting as I do. I am intending this for some of my friends that no longer do Facebook and might be looking for something different. Enjoy.

TTFN,

Joe

Brooklyn

February 14, 2016

BrooklynTonight was date night. We’ve got to stop going out on Saturday night. Too many people. Too few parking spaces. But this was the day that we were weren’t very busy. So Saturday night it was.

We went to see the movie “Brooklyn” starring Saoirse Ronan (Ellis) and Emory Cohen (Tony). It was directed by John Crowley and written by Nick Hornby.

It was nominated for Oscars for Best Picture, Best Actress and Best Adapted Screen Play. Paula and I both loved this film. I’ll give it 4.5 stars. Go see it while it’s still in the theaters. It’s a great movie to see for Valentine’s Day.

Saorise plays a young Irish immigrant that lands in Brooklyn in 1951.  She leaves behind her sister and her widowed mother to come to America.

Okay, I promise no spoilers in this post. That would spoil the fun. Saorise has the most beautiful blue eyes that I ever looked at.

So she is living in a boarding house of all young single women. She finds a job in a fancy department store. So she meets a nice young man of Italian heritage. They fall in love. Eventually they secretly get married at City Hall. So far, so good.

So Ellis receives a letter from her mother telling her that her sister (Rose) has died. So Ellis goes back to Ireland to grieve with her mother. So she hasn’t told anyone about the marriage. While in Ireland, she meets another nice young man.

So now you’re thinking does she stay in Ireland or go back to Brooklyn? I’m not telling. You’ll have to go see the movie to find out.

After the movie, we went out for dinner. I’ll do a post on the dinner later.

TTFN

Joe

 

 

Star Wars – The Force Awakens

December 27, 2015

Okay, I paid my $6 (plus $1.35 convenience fee) and went to see the latest Star Wars movie. The theaters are packing them in. Our theater was full for the 4:30pm showing. Last night was date nite for Paula and me. Dinner at Taxco Mexican Restaurant after. 

 Okay, Paula liked it, but I wasn’t impressed. Decidedly Meh. For all of the big name talent, I expected more. I kind of expect more from George Lucas and JJ Abrams. I expected a sequel and all I got was a remake of episode I.[my error, Lucas didn’t work on SW-VII]

I had a couple of problems with it. First, it felt like a reimagining of the original Star Wars. Yet another “Death Star”, another evil “Darth Vader”, another “Rebel Alliance”. I mean it was different actors and different photography, but it felt the same.

Sure they brought the original characters out of retirement for a cameo. We’ve got Princess Leia now General Leia. We’ve got Han Solo and Chewbacca back in the same old Milennium Falcon. I was amazed they didn’t have to call AAA to get a jump start. The only cast member missing was Yoda. Sure we have a new heroine named Rey (played by Daisy Ridley), and a new hero named Finn (played by John Boyega)

So it’s been almost forty years since the original Star Wars hit the silver screen. You’d think that they’d be flying new space ships, by now. But no, same millennium falcon, same rebel fighters, same trooper uniforms. What Air Force is still flying the same aircraft 40 years on?

Even the new Death Star has a vulnerability just like the Death Star of episode I. It’s the capacitor. Wasn’t it Scotty in Star Trek complaining about the “flux capacitors”?

Spoiler Alert.

The last scene where they finally find Luke Skywalker was filmed on the Skellig Michael Island, off of the southwestern coast of Ireland. The idea was that Luke had fled to the far off reaches of the Galaxy to escape the reach of the empire. It would be hard to find a more remote looking place on this earth than the Skellig Islands. Paula and I got to see them from a distance during our tour of Ireland in 2012. It’s hard to believe there was a settlement of monks living here.

 The Skellig’s can only be accessed by boat and I believe you need special permission from the Irish government. The monastery on Skellig Michael Island was established by monks some time in the 8th century and operated until the 12th century. I would assume that George Lucas paid the Irish government a ton of money to use the site.

I give it 6 stars out of 10.

Shepherd’s Pie

March 19, 2014

Last night was our weekly family dinner night. In honor of St Patrick we had Shepherd’s Pie, not corned beef. I despise corned beef. And seeing as it was my turn to cook, we decided to do Shepherd’s pie.
 
 So hear is my recipe. It’s mostly in my head. It is not one of those meals that I need to work from a written recipe. There are many variations of shepherd’s pie to be found on the internet. This is just my variation on the theme.
 
 

 Ingredients
 
 1.5lb ground beef
 2 c Fresh mushrooms
 1 med onion, chopped
 1/2 of a 16oz. bag of frozen peas and carrots. Generic store brand is fine.
 2 bags instant mashed potatoes (I use the “just add water” variation for about 4-6 servings)
 1 c shredded cheddar cheese
 1 jar brown gravy (12 oz. Heinz or equivalent) Some recipes suggest using cream of mushroom or cream of celery soup. My preference is the gravy.
 1/2 tsp ground pepper
 1 tsp salt
 
 Directions
 
 Sauté the onions and mushrooms in a couple teaspoons of olive oil. Then set aside. [Last night we skipped the onions because Theresa is sensitive to onions.]
 
 Brown the ground beef. After the ground beef is cooked, drain the fat. Add the mushrooms, onion, peas and carrots and the gravy. Add the salt and pepper. Simmer for a few minutes. You might not need the whole jar of gravy. Judge for yourself how “soupy” you want it to be.
 
 Pour the ground beef mixture into 7×13 casserole dish.
 
 Prepare the mashed potatoes as directed on the package. Spread the mash potatoes on top of the ground beef.
 
 Sprinkle the cheddar on top.
 
 Bake in 350 oven for about 20 minutes (cheese should be melted and gravy bubbling on the edges.)
 
 Variations: Some folks use either green beans or corn. Not my preference though.
 
 Also, best served with Guinness beer and Irish Whiskey.
 

 Jonathan seemed to like the concoction. Though, I think he mostly liked the mashed potato part, less so for the hamburger.
 
 Joe
 
 – Posted using BlogPress from my iPad

Day 6 Connemara

July 21, 2012

I’m at the Hotel Meyrick in Galway. This time we had a real nice view out of our window. Our room faced out on to Eyre Square (aka John F Kennedy Square). Here’s the view at dawn.


First stop on yesterday’s tour was the Connemara Crystal factory. One of the craftsmen did a demo carving of a small bowl. Then we learned about the process of making leaded crystal. Beautiful stuff.


Every once in a while we would stop for a photo op. Finally got to the town of Clifden for lunch. It seemed that the joint was loaded with tourists.

Next stop was the Kylemore Abbey. Didn’t have enough time to tour. But just enough time for a couple of pictues.


Every once and a while we would stop for a photo op.

Here is a statue built be the good people of Recess in County Connemara for no apparent reason.


Finally, we did a cruise on the Connemara Lady on a fjord in County Connemara.


More later. Time for breakfast. Then on the road to County Kerry.

– Posted using BlogPress from my iPad

Location:Countess Rd,Killarney,Ireland