A nice way to stay in touch with loved ones, and a convenient way to share my opinions without having everyone just walk away...wait a minute, where are you going? I wasn't finished..

Sunday, November 28, 2010

Often one player, or one play, becomes emblematic

to fans of a sporting event. For Notre Dame fans the fouth quarter scoring drive which put ND ahead to stay was a thing of beauty for several reasons, partly because that scoring drive featured several runs by fan favorite Robert Hughes. Maybe I'll post a little more on that subject later.

Just now, I'd like to express admiration and appreciation to the Notre Dame defense. All the USC scoring came off ND turnovers, interceptions or fumble, within ND's own 40 yard line and the Trojans' only touchdown was scored after recovering a fumble on the 2 yard line, and took 4 plays to score. The defense never looked shaken by the repeated turn overs, they appeared resolved to deny Southern Cal the benefit of those take aways, holding them to field goals in the three other instances.

There were heroics from the offense too. Michael Floyd leading the first scoring drive, and blocking downfield for runners when not catching passes, Cierre Wood running 28 yards on a draw play with 30 seconds left in the first half to set up the second score, and freshman quarterback Tommy Rees who might have made mistakes contributing to those turnovers, but never looked shaken or uncertain in the face of a very good USC defense. And of course the unsung heroes are the offensive linemen, oft maligned but, like the defense, firm in their resolve last night, and playing their best game of the year.

But this is the image most Irish fans will recollect when they think of last night's game:

Sunday, November 21, 2010


It may not surprise you to read that I like Irish songs, most all kinds, brave defiant songs of rebellion, sad songs of lost love and pretty girls, and uniquely Irish silly songs like this one, which I just linked on Facebook and thought I'd post here so you can see what makes me smile.

The Irish Rover


On the fourth of July eighteen hundred and six
We set sail from the sweet cove of Cork
We were sailing away with a cargo of bricks
For the grand city hall in New York
'Twas a wonderful craft, she was rigged fore-and-aft
And oh, how the wild winds drove her.
She'd got several blasts, she'd twenty-seven masts
And we called her the Irish Rover.

We had one million bales of the best Sligo rags
We had two million barrels of stones
We had three million sides of old blind horses hides,
We had four million barrels of bones.
We had five million hogs, we had six million dogs,
Seven million barrels of porter.
We had eight million bails of old nanny goats' tails,
In the hold of the Irish Rover.

There was awl Mickey Coote who played hard on his flute
When the ladies lined up for his set
He was tootin' with skill for each sparkling quadrille
Though the dancers were fluther'd and bet
With his sparse witty talk he was cock of the walk
As he rolled the dames under and over
They all knew at a glance when he took up his stance
And he sailed in the Irish Rover

There was Barney McGee from the banks of the Lee,
There was Hogan from County Tyrone
There was Jimmy McGurk who was scarred stiff of work
And a man from Westmeath called Malone
There was Slugger O'Toole who was drunk as a rule
And fighting Bill Tracey from Dover
And your man Mick McCann from the banks of the Bann
Was the skipper of the Irish Rover

We had sailed seven years when the measles broke out
And the ship lost it's way in a fog.
And that whale of the crew was reduced down to two,
Just meself and the captain's old dog.
Then the ship struck a rock, oh Lord what a shock
The bulkhead was turned right over
Turned nine times around, and the poor dog was drowned
I'm the last of the Irish Rover

So much going on - where to start?

The big news lately has been our move around the corner to the first floor of a big house from the second floor of a bigger house. We may have given up a hundred+ square feet of living space, a LOT of closet space, and our precious little roofed porch, but somehow we seemed to have gained living space, and our lives are becoming more integrated since we have a more comfortable living room where we spend time together.

I commented previously, maybe here, maybe on Facebook, on how many Knights of Columbus activities required participation in the last couple months. At the last meeting the secretary announced he'd taken a job out of state and asked me to succeed him. The grand knight said I could but we'd have to obtain a letter of resignation from the other fellow and then accept nominations and have a vote. He asked me if I would mind continuing in my current post as well as assuming the new responsibilities. Fortunately someone pointed out that an officer can only hold one job at a time. Thank you very much. Yesterday I called Louie to check and see if the pancake breakfast was scheduled for today, because I had signed up to serve for a couple of hours. I was relieved and embarrassed when he told me the pancake breakfast was last week. More relieved than embarrassed.

I also have to think about registering for a tax preparer identification number this month before testing becomes a requirement. Doing so will so will exempt me from testing for three years, by which time I should have obtained sufficient continuing professional education credits to get my CPA license, and continue exempt from testing.

The cigarette saga continues. Cigarettes go for $7 per pack at Kane County gas stations and more at the Cook County stations, Janett and I each smoke more than a pack a day. I have philosophical objections to spending more on cigarettes than on groceries. I just can't justify spending over $20 a day on cigarettes. But rather than quit we look for economies. (Readers will please recall that I started smoking in high school when a pack of Camel straights cost $0.25.)
A couple of years ago, at the time of a previous tax increase, Janett and I availed ourselves of the option of buying our cigarettes over the Internet from an Indian tribal reservation outlet in upstate New York for $27 per carton. Then, this option was closed by part of last year's health bill. So we began to buy the economy brand at a Speedway gas station for $3.75 per pack, but weren't happy.
This week we got a call from the distributor for the Indian outlet who told us we can buy a different brand for $13 per carton, because this brand is wrapped in tobacco leaf (or brown paper?) and is classed as a cigar but still has filters and menthol flavoring. So we ordered a couple cartons to try them out. I'll let you know how this works out, although I do worry about the excise tax police googling cheap cigarettes, finding this blog and uncovering my machinations.

PS re the dark Irish as Celts. A wiki article yesterday acquainted me with a volume of Irish legend that that recounts the invasion of Ireland by Celtic people from the Iberian penninsula. This contradicts my inference that the Celtic people were originally more widespread over Europe and were pushed to the remote corners by other tribal invasions. I still believe the Celts at one time to have been spread over more of Europe, but I'll have to look further into it.

PPS Regarding airport procedures, how many bombers have been caught by the TSA procedures that have violated the privacy of, humiliated, and delayed millions of travelers. Zero? Not a very good trade off, not a bad jobs program, though. As always we'd like to follow the money, and learn who had the friends in congress to persuade the government to buy these screening machines which the GAO had previously rejected. The TSA rep on TV in response to Kathy Crowley's questioning whether, since airline bombers have all originated oversees, imposing these searches at American airports while not imposing them on travelers boarding flights oversees seemed reasonable, could cite only Israel as a foreign country that engages in such stringent measures, letting slip that Israel uses profiling, presumably exempting Jews and targeting Muslims. OK, there's a model to emulate, except of course, that it's illegal.

Friday, November 05, 2010

Careful what you wish for

An article from the Christian Science Monitor.

Otherwise things are going OK with the move. We have a list of things to call the landlord about; furnace hasn't shut off for 12 hours but has been blowing cool air into the apartment, and at 33 degrees out we need more heat, and there was a sewer gas odor emanating from the basement yesterday. Then a few smaller things, we need someone (he or we) to call the city for garbage cans, we need a shower curtain rod, and would like to know when the washer and drier will be delivered.

Got to go. I'm going to pick up Mom's friend Carrie, who has volunteered to help.