Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Meet me bullmastiff Toki

This is it, today's the day I reveal the identity of me bullmastiff Toki. The same Toki I'm always threatening people with if they copy, crop and paste my photographs.  "Now why would ya want ta be doin' that?" ya might ask.  "It's fer a good cause" I would answer.  "It's to provide food fer dogs in shelters with no one to love or care for 'em"

It goes something like this.  Write a post mentioning PEDIGREE Foundation by midnight EST September 3rd and 20 pounds of dogfood will be donated to a shelter. 

Now I can't be taking credit here.  I learned about this from a lovely blogger by the name of Satia at Satia's Journal  For complete details visit Satia's page. (She's listed in me Blogs Around the World over to the right, plain as day. Click on it)

Now on to me bullmastiff Toki.

Now, ya might be noticin' that I lied/exagerated about a few things concerning Toki.

Strictly speaking, Toki's not a dog.  It it's hairs yer splittin' Toki ain't a bullmastiff either. But that's just being picky.

One other minor issue. Toki ain't a he. She's a she.  So ya see, I only stretched the truth a wee bit. If ya squint yer eyes and look sideways, you'll see a bullmastiff sittin' here in this basket.  (If ya drink a keg of Guinness you'll see ten of 'em).

This is what I'm going to do.  I'm travelling abroad and I'm in a place where I don't know anyone at all.  After driving around a bit, I'll park the car, grab my camera and start hoofin' it.  I'm going to walk the streets, talk to people, explain what I'm doing and ask if I can photograph their pets and post said photo's on this blog over the next two days.

I'll be takin' Toki with me.

Toki found me a few weeks ago when I was visiting a friend in the States.  Toki had been put out too young and had to be bottle fed for a week.  She eats solids now and spends most of her time perched up on my shoulder purrin' the day away. I've taken to callin' her me shoulder-monkey.  And yes, I can bring her home to Ireland as long as I follow the proper procedures.

I'm hopin' to come out of this thing with a great lot o' photos and no broken teeth.  Either way, I'll be givin' the blame/credit to Satia for how all this turns out.

All photographs have my signature embedded and are source traceable to my camera.  Copy, crop, paste and I'll send me bullmastiff Toki to tear out yer heart.  She's fierce, she is.

Saturday, August 27, 2011

Anybody seen me knickers?

Yesterday, after putting my Friday blog to bed, a strange thing occurred.  A great mass o' hits started showin' up on me page all at once.  In the space of two minutes 25 showed up simultaneously. Then another 20 hits.  It could only mean one thing for a little bit o' blog like mine.....

Trolls.  The stench of 'em grew thick in me nostrils as the numbers grew ever larger.

So I circled me horses, switched my comments to "After Moderation Only" and manned me stat's page.

They were comin' in fast,  they were comin' from the West and they were all comin' in on Windows.  In the space of 15 minutes 95 of 'em had hit me page. 

Now why ya might ask didn't I think these folks were just comin' in to visit me blog?  Well, I'm Irish, I'd answer.  And the last time we believed that a great lot o' foreigners was just comin' to enjoy the scenery....

We wound up six counties shy of a country.

After it was all over 107 of 'em had swarmed me blog.  It withstood the siege with 'nary a comment from a troll.  However, one thing went missin' from me blog.  'Twas a pair of me knickers, it was.  Gone from me blog so quick I didn't catch sight o' the thief.  My favorite pair, had 'em embroidered special.  If you come across 'em.....

Just turn 'em in at the office.  One of me lad's will see that they get back to me.

And if ya came ta visit me blog yesterday. I'm saying thank you.

The picture of the trolls is not one of mine.  It came from the internet.

All photographs have my signature embedded and are source tracead directly to my camera. Copy, crop, paste and me and the lad's will come after ya on horseback.

Friday, August 26, 2011

Irish Takeaway - 1

As most of you denizens of Twitterland know, I'm away from home.  And some of you also know that when I'm away from home I tend to get a bit of a temper about me, so you don't hear from me as much. 

I'm puttin' together a little series called Irish Takeaway. They'll be short, funny and sarcastic bits about how the Irish are perceived in different countries, the kind of reactions I get from people when I open me mouth and out comes a brogue and I'll even admit to some of me own prejudices as I go along. These will appear in odd places here and there over the next month that I'm away.

Oh and I've been snarky of late, and I'm knowin' it.  The title of the first Irish Takeaway may explain a bit about that.  I call it....

Missin' Home

I'm missin' the field outside me house.

I'm missin' the lane that leads to me driveway.

I'm missin' me garden.

I'm missin' these two terrors.

I'm missin' me boyo.

I'm missin' the heart of me heart.

And when the wee ones ask me what it's like to go abroad, I want to answer "Singular"  "Alone"

All photographs have my signature embedded and are source located to my camera. Copy, crop, paste and they'll be missin' you at home.

Thursday, August 25, 2011


Okay, so yesterday I hinted that today's blog would have something to do with the bit about the Lord's Prayer.  It doesn't.  Now, put away yer truncheons, it's not me fault.  The photo's for that blog require extensive editing and I found myself in the middle of a storm from the bowels of hell itself.  The heat here got up to over 100 F/37.7 C and when it broke, it broke hard, leaving me little time to muck about on the computer.  So yer stuck with this blog instead.


Whenever I travel to a new place, I make a point to take a walk down alleys.  Poking about in the things that are kept "in back" can prove to be interesting, weird and quirky. 

Aren't ya wonderin' what's at the top of the steps?

Don't turn yer nose up at it. With the economy in the shitter, this could be yer flat one day.

One of the advantages of prowlin' through alleyways is that ya can see what other people get up to when they're alone.  The bloke in this place was watchin' the telly in his boxers. 'Twas an American bloke it was.  See the eagle?

One day ya might be able to afford to put somethin' this nice in yer fixer-upper. 

Now, I'm all fer plantin' yer own food. I do it meself. But since this thing is in a pot, don't ya think the bastard could of moved it into some shade?

Now these folks seemed to have a wee bit more knowledge about growin' in the alleyway.

Don't eat these, their poison.  The leaves are edible if eaten when the plant is young.  And NO, I'm not tellin' ya what the name of the plant is.

Saved the best for last, I did.  Yes, it's a piece of earth movin' equipment in a back yard.

Yes, I'm knowin' this is a sorry ass blog, but I'm droppin' in to tweet with ya later, so I'm hurryin' this thing along.   Miss you guys!

All photographs have my signature embedded and are source traceable directly to my camera.  Copy, crop, paste and I'll have me boyo's drag ya out into me back alley.  They'll never find yer body.

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Yer either orange or yer green.....

There was a saying about when I was a child. "Yer either orange or yer greeen, 'cause there's nothin' in-between."  Some say it still and "mixed marriages" can still set some tongues to waggin'.  Our own Dara O'Briaian has a little something to say on the matter.  (If you watch the whole thing, he does a bit on the Lord's Prayer.  It may figure into my next blog). 

Now aren't ya glad ya know the proper way ta be sayin' the Lord's Prayer?

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Jeff Beck - Live at Ronnie Scotts

This is an excerpt from Jeff Beck playing live at Ronnie Scott's Jazz club at 47 Frith Street in Soho in 2007.  

The Band:
Jeff Beck-guitar
Vinnie Colaluta-drums
Jason Rebello-keyboards
Tal Wilkenfeld-bass

Rollin' and Tumblin' featuring Imogen Heap on Vocals

Monday, August 22, 2011


Seeing the title of this you might be thinking "Holy Christ, Anne's arrived at her in-laws and is about to give her mum-in-law the what for."  The answer to that is "No" to the first, and "Not yet, give it time" to the second. 

I was bitten, by a venemous creature whilst out trying to have some fun.

Now had I been bitten by the honey bee, there'd have been no problem. I'm not allergic to them and they don't sting me anyway, preferring to buzz about me head happy to be livin' in the garden I built for them. 

This may be species profiling, but I'd swear the bastard that bit me was a spider.  "Holy Mary, Mother of God", I screamed feeling the sting just as I reached into the wood pile to grab another log.  What ensued can only be described as "trippy"

My hand began to swell up and things began to look a little weird. 

"The vines are eatin' the fire hydrant" I said to no one in particular.  As we're visiting with a friend of my husbands, whom I had never met before, this was not a good thing to be sayin' aloud.  "Ahh, those Irish are mad. Must be in the blood"  I could hear them thinking as they looked quizzically in my direction. 

"Yer wife's arse is almost as big as yer dog's nose" I nearly shouted. But then I realized all of what was transpiring, was taking place only inside my head.  It was the venom from the bite that was doing this to me.

Chemicals were at work here.

"What are you on about?" my husband asked from what seemed like a looong ways away.  "Get over here ya lout (term of endearment) and take a look at this will ya.  I've been bitten by a spider fer fucks sake."  I shouted back from my place on the bench, which seemed to be growing larger.

"Saint's preserve us woman, why didn't ya speak up sooner?" my husband asked. After 22 years of marriage, my yank/American, Protestant husband has learned the value of calling on the saints in times of crisis.  So they piled me into their SUV, and took me to their home.  (Really, you guys should ride in one of these SUV's aka people carriers, their huuuuuge. Fuck, I could put all of Ireland in the boot of this thing.)

I spent the rest of the weekend, taking antihistamine for the swelling, ibuprofen for the fever, and rum for the hallucinations. 

All photographs (except for the one of the spider) have my signature embedded and are source located to my camera. Copy, crop, paste and I'll have my friend Harry lay some larvae in yer hair.

10p goes to the quiz master that can tell me the name of the chemical that caused my hallucinations.

Sunday, August 21, 2011

Scotland - aaargghhh ya mighty men ya.

Typically I don't blog on a Sunday. This is a special post, dedicated to the people of Scotland.  For yer pleasure, The Scottish National Anthem. 

Wishing you all a happy Sunday.

Friday, August 19, 2011

Appalachia: A Photo Blog

"What the hell were ya doin in the Appalachians?" you might ask.  "Visiting a friend of mine from Dublin who is completing his residency at Ruby Hospital in Morgantown, West Virginia" I would answer.  Morgantown is a densley populated college town, so after a few days I told Paul "I have to get the hell away from here.  It's too fuckin' crowded."  So we headed up the mountain to Masontown, a picture postcard of what one thinks of when hearing the word "Appalachia"


West Virginia was settled in large part by the people of Scotland during "The Great Migration".  Between 1600 and 1776, it is estimated that 400,000 Ulster Scots left Northern Ireland for America.  The music and the character of the Appalachians is indelibly imprinted with the influence of both Scotland and Ireland. 

Masontown, like most of West Virginia knows poverty deep down in its' bones.  Primarily a coal mining state, there is little in the way of hope or employment for her people.  (This is where you turn on the video "Not My Cross To Bear" that was posted in yesterdays blog).

I recognized the look on these faces as I intruded with my camera.  It's the look the people of my village give to folks who "aren't from around here" when we catch one nosing about in our business.  It's the look that comes from a people who have had the shit kicked out of them for far too long.


It wasn't until I edited this photo that I realized just how close to a shit-kicking I was at that particular moment.  But, being Irish, we walked over the them, stuck out our hands, opened our mouths and talked them into not killin' us.  After a couple of beers.....

I offered to take a picture of the baby and returned the next day with prints and a case of beer in hand.

It's not all gloom and doom.  People know how to have fun there.  They go to the park....

And they go fishing, and white water rafting, and biking and hiking and skiing in the winter.  The fried catfish is excellent and  goes great with a cold brew and live music.

This picture seems to metaphorically sum things up.

All photographs have my signature embedded and are source located to my camera.  Copy, crop, paste and I'll send those two lads to pay ya a visit.

Thursday, August 18, 2011

Not My Cross To Bear

When I just don't have time for anything, there's going to be music. This particular song will have some bearing on what I post tomorrow, so keep that in mind.

"Not My Cross To Bear" from The Allman Brothers Band (album)

Released: 1969 by Alco Records
Producer:  Adrian Barber

Duane Allman:  slide guitar and lead guitar
Gregg Allman:  vocals and organ
Dickey Betts:  lead guitar
Berry Oakley:  bass guitar, backing vocals
Butch Trucks:  drums
Jal Johanny "Jalmoe" Johanson:  drums, congas

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

The Laundromat at the End of the Universe

String Theory implies that there may be multiple dimensions existing simultaneously. 

According to the Bosonic Theory there are 26 spacetime dimensions.

The Superstring Theory claims there are 10 dimensions.

Maxwell's Theory or the "Theory of Everything" states rather pompously that there are definitely 11 dimensions.

Riddle me this Batman.  Where in the hell are my socks?

All photographs have my signature embedded and are source traceable to my camera. Copy, crop, paste and you'll wake up with yer head in one dimension and yer arse in another.

Monday, August 15, 2011

You Tweet?

Recently, I spent the weekend with a friend that I hadn't seen in some years. 

We sat out back as the sun went down behind the house and decided to play chase-the-worm  while we talked.

When you get to be a "certain age", drinking conversations change somewhat. Reliving the old days, well not so much. Solving the worlds problems after 10 shots of tequilla, easy.  We're talking about world events when out of my mouth comes the words "Yeah, one of my twitter-buddies said....."   "You tweet?" she asks.

Maybe it was the tequila, but suddenly I began to feel disoriented.  "You tweet?" sounded like "You fuck goats?"  And then she asks "What's it like?"

"What?"  "Fucking goats."  "I don't fuck goats."  I hear myself shout from down the rabbit-hole. I am in a weird place now and anything I say now will only make things worse.  You see, in my real life, there are no tweeters. My husband doesn't tweet, my friends don't tweet, my kids don't tweet. Christ, no one in my village seems to tweet.  

I am a lone tweeter. And I'm faced with that question that only a non-tweeter dares ask "Why do you tweet?" Do I give her the usual spiel about how difficult it is to distill a complex thought down to 140 characters?

Or do I tell her the truth?  As I'm already fairly well pissed, I blurt out/opt for the truth.

It's fun, play in the mud fun. There's talking cats and bunnies and badgers and dogs.  And they all cuss. Cussing animals, fuck who doesn't love that. And then there's all the other make-believe characters with different personas and avi's. Shit, it's like walking into a James Thurber novel I tell her.  By the end of the night, I had caught the worm....

I named him Harry.

Now don't ya wish you were a tweeter?

All photographs have my signature embedded and are source located directly to my camera. Copy, crop, paste and I'll have Harry lay some larvae in yer hair.

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