Saturday, December 31, 2011

new years eve

"What can be said in New Year rhymes,
That's not been said a thousand times?
The new years come, the old years go,
We know we dream, we dream we know.
We rise up laughing with the light,
We lie down weeping with the night.
We hug the world until it stings,
We curse it then and sigh for wings.
We live, we love, we woo, we wed,
We wreathe our prides, we sheet our dead.
We laugh, we weep, we hope, we fear,
And that's the burden of a year."

by Ella Wheeler Wilcox

Friday, December 30, 2011

congradulations Mikey

There's never enough time to do all the nothing you want.

Saturday, December 24, 2011

politically correct holiday greeting

Please accept with no obligation, implied or implicit my best wishes for an environmentally conscious, socially responsible, low stress, non-addictive, gender neutral, celebration of the winter solstice holiday(tm), practiced within the most enjoyable traditions of the religious persuasion of your choice, or secular practices of your choice, with respect for the religious/secular persuasions and/or traditions of others, or their choice not to practice religious or secular traditions at all . . . and a fiscally successful, personally fulfilling, and medically uncomplicated recognition of the onset of the generally accepted calendar year 2007, but not without due respect for the calendars of choice of other cultures whose contributions to society have helped make America great, (not to imply that America is necessarily greater than any other country or is the only "AMERICA" in the western hemisphere), and without regard to the race, creed, color, age, physical ability, religious faith, choice of computer platform, or sexual orientation of the wishee.

By accepting this greeting, you are accepting these terms: This greeting is subject to clarification or withdrawal. It is freely transferable with no alteration to the original greeting. It implies no promise by the wisher to actually implement any of the wishes for her/himself or others, and is void where prohibited by law, and is revocable at the sole discretion of the wisher. This wish is warranted to perform as expected within the usual application of good tidings for a period of one year, or until the issuance of a subsequent holiday greeting, whichever comes first, and warranty is limited to replacement of this wish or issuance of a new wish at the sole discretion of the wisher.

If you agree click on "I accept"

Friday, December 23, 2011

Christmass Punch

An Irish Christmas Blessing

The light of the Christmas star to you
The warmth of home and hearth to you
The cheer and good will of friends to you
The hope of a childlike heart to you
The joy of a thousand angels to you
The love of the Son and God's peace to you.

Thursday, December 22, 2011

something different

An Irish Christmas Story

A married couple had been out shopping at the mall for most of the afternoon, suddenly, the wife realized that her husband had "disappeared".

The somewhat irate spouse called her mate’s cell phone and demanded: Where the hell are you?

Husband: Darling you remember that Jewelery shop where you saw the Diamond Necklace and totally fell in love with it and I didn't have money that time and said Baby it'll be yours one day.
Wife, with a smile blushing: Yes, I remember that my Love.

Husband: Well, I'm in the Pub next to that shop

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

See Amid the Winter's Snow

See amid the winter's snow,
Born for us on earth below,
See the tender Lamb appears,
Promised from eternal years.

Lo, within a manger lies
He who built the starry skies

English carol


Sitting under the mistletoe
(Pale-green, fairy mistletoe),
One last candle burning low,
All the sleepy dancers gone,
Just one candle burning on,
Shadows lurking everywhere:by Walter de la Mare
Some one came, and kissed me there.

Tired I was; my head would go
Nodding under the mistletoe
(Pale-green, fairy mistletoe),
No footsteps came, no voice, but only,
Just as I sat there, sleepy, lonely,
Stooped in the still and shadowy air
Lips unseen - and kissed me there.

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Mid December

"A full moon shines
over the morning frost;
the lanes are full of late-fallen leaves;
walking across the mulch
is almost as tricky
as treading over ice.

In town the carol-singers are in
crowding the shopping-mall,
while a group of muffled musicians
play by the outside market.

This year but two robins
on the early Christmas cards;
the squirrel still runs along the fence
skirting our newly-erected shed."
- Gerald England

In Drear-Nighted December

In drear-nighted December,
Too happy, happy tree,
Thy branches ne'er remember
Their green felicity:
The north cannot undo them
With a sleety whistle through them;
Nor frozen thawings glue them
From budding at the prime.


- John Keats

Monday, December 19, 2011

Favorite Christmas Memory

Under the tree was one end of a piece of white string. I can't remember whether there was a note that read "follow me" or my childhood brain just assumed. We grabbed hold and tracked it through the house, out the door, back in again, and finally reached the other end - attached to an upright piano! Dad had "borrowed" a hymnal from church and we learned to play Amazing Grace and Joy to the World.


HAVE you ever heard of the Sugar-Plum Tree?
It is a marvel of great renown!
It blooms on the shore of the Lollipop sea
In the garden of Shut-Eye Town;
The fruit that it bears is so wondrously sweet
(As those who have tasted it say)
That good little children have only to eat
Of that fruit to be happy next day.

When you 've got to the tree, you would have a hard time
To capture the fruit which I sing;
The tree is so tall that no person could climb
To the boughs where the sugar-plums swing!
But up in that tree sits a chocolate cat,
And a gingerbread dog prowls below--
And this is the way you contrive to get at
Those sugar-plums tempting you so:


There are marshmallows, gumdrops, and peppermint canes,
With stripings of scarlet or gold,
And you carry away of the treasure that rains
As much as your apron can hold!
So come, little child, cuddle closer to me
In your dainty white nightcap and gown,
And I 'll rock you away to that Sugar-Plum Tree
In the garden of Shut-Eye Town.

by: Eugene Field (1850-1895)

Sunday, December 18, 2011

Friday, December 16, 2011

How To Make A Christmas Pudding

Now, little Sophy, come with me,
To make a pudding you shall see;
Now sit quite still, and see me do it;
See, here's the flour and the suet.

The suet must be chopped quite small,
For it should scarce be seen at all;
A pound of each will nicely suit,
To which I put two pounds of fruit.

One is of currants, one of plums
(You'll find it good when boiled it comes);
Then almonds, sugar, citron, spice,
And peel, will make it very nice.

Now see me stir and mix it well,
And then we'll leave the rest to Nell;
Now see, the pudding-cloth she flours,
Ties it, and boils it full five hours.

Author: Elizabeth Turner

Thursday, December 15, 2011

baby's first Christmass

What a precious bundle of joy you are
Cute from head to toe
You melt my heart with your sweetness
Everywhere you go
You're my special gift this Christmas
Descended from heaven above
The most perfect little angel
Sent for your parents to love.

With all my love and best wishes
for your very 1st Christmas

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

yes Santa there is a Virginia!

Santa, your little friends are wrong. They have been affected by the skepticism of a skeptical age. They do not believe except [what] they see. They think that nothing can be which is not comprehensible by their little minds. All minds, Santa, whether they be men's or children's, are little. In this great universe of ours man is a mere insect, an ant, in his intellect, as compared with the boundless world about him, as measured by the intelligence capable of grasping the whole of truth and knowledge.

She rides horses too!

Beneath the Boughs

Beneath the boughs of Christmas passing,
Little feet stumble with tiny hands clasping.
Eyes full wide with colors that bright sprinkle,
Ears dampened from loud toot, chime and jingle.
Among boxes, wrappings, and much gifting,
Marches the new life in a first Christmas lifting.
Wanderings below shelf, door and table,
Explore fresh surface with heights unable.
In clothes not worn but frilly and right,
Hands and face kept cleaned for others’ delight.
Over large slippers both old and humble,
Around big hands that out stretch to stop tumble.
Sips of new drink with bites of sweet crumble,
Flow down from above mixed full with wild mumble.
The new smell of cologne, cream and glass jar,
Hold off old fragrances not found from afar.
In light and darkness long sleep be dismiss,
But naps filled with sugarplums each end in a kiss.
Under boughs of every holiday tree
To each little one, A Merry Christmas be!

jpr" alas the brandy be of fault.

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

December might

TAKE off your cloak and your hat
And your shoes, and draw up at my hearth
Where never woman sat.

I have made the fire up bright;
Let us leave the rest in the dark
And sit by firelight.

The wine is warm in the hearth;
The flickers come and go.
I will warm your feet with kisses
Until they glow.

Author: D. H. Lawrence

Monday, December 12, 2011


"Happy, happy Christmas, that can win us back to the delusions of our childhood days, recall to the old man the pleasures of his youth, and transport the traveler back to his own fireside and quiet home!"
- Charles Dickens

Sunday, December 11, 2011


"At Christmas I no more desire a rose
Than wish a snow in May’s new-fangled mirth;
But like of each thing that in season grows."
- William Shakespeare

Thursday, December 8, 2011

fasting for health

"Fasting is a period of abstinence from all food or specific items. Fluids are consumed in sufficient quantity to satisfy thirst and physiologic requirements. During the absence of food, the body will systematically cleanse itself of everything except vital tissue.

In the fasting state, the body will scour for dead cells, damaged tissues, fatty deposits, tumors, abscesses, all of which are burned for fuel or expelled as waste. The elimination of these obstructions restores the immune system functionality and metabolic process to an optimum state.

Fasting s also rejuvenating and life-extending. These resulting benefits can have lasting affects in your mental and emotional health."

jpr: So say the experts. I had not previously been made aware of this.

Tuesday, December 6, 2011


“Ordinary riches can be stolen, real riches cannot. In your soul are infinitely precious things that cannot be taken from you.”
Oscar Wilde

“Nothing can cure the soul but the senses, just as nothing can cure the senses but the soul.”
Oscar Wilde

“You don't have a soul. You are a Soul. You have a body.”
C.S. Lewis

Sunday, December 4, 2011

Shakespeare's Grave

Monument to Shakespeare in Poet's Corner, Westminster Abbey

The Cloud capt Tow'rs,
The Gorgeous Palaces,
The solemn Temples,
The Great Globe itself,
Yea, all which it Inherit,
Shall Dissolve,
And like the baseless Fabrick of a Vision
Leave not a wreck behind.
The Tempest (IV.i.152)

Friday, December 2, 2011

frosty appalachia

Through long December nights we talk in words of rain or snow
while you, through chattering teeth, reply and curse us as you go.
Why not spare a thought this day for those who have no flame
To warm their bones at Christmas time?
Say Jack Frost and the Hooded Crow.

Now as the last broad oak leaf falls, we beg: consider this ---
there's some who have no coin to save for turkey, wine or gifts.
No children's laughter round the fire, no family left to know.
So lend a warm and a helping hand ---
say Jack Frost and the Hooded Crow.

As holly pricks and ivy clings,
your fate is none too clear.
The Lord may find you wanting, let your good fortune disappear.
All homely comforts blown away and all that's left to show
is to share your joy at Christmas time
with Jack Frost and the Hooded Crow

by ?????

Thursday, December 1, 2011

student answers!!!!!!

The inhabitants of Egypt were called mummies. They lived in the Sarah Dessert and traveled by Camelot. The climate of the Sarah is such that the inhabitants have to live elsewhere, so certain areas of the dessert are cultivated by irritation. The Egyptians built the Pyramids in the shape of a huge triangular cube. The Pyramids are a range of mountains between France and Spain.

The Bible is full of interesting caricatures. In the first book of the Bible, Guinesses, Adam and Eve were created from an apple tree. One of their children, Cain, asked “Am I my brother’s son?” God asked Abraham to sacrifice Issac on Mount Montezuma. Jacob, son of Issac, stole his brother’s birthmark. Jacob was a partiarch who brought up his twelve sons to be partiarchs, but they did not take to it. One of Jacob’s sons, Joseph, gave refuse to the Israelites.

Pharaoh forced the Hebrew slaves to make bread without straw. Moses led them to the Red Sea, where they made unleavened bread, which is bread made without any ingredients. Afterwards, Moses went up on Mount Cyanide to get the ten commandments. David was a Hebrew king skilled at playing the liar. He fougth with the Philatelists, a race of people who lived in Biblical times. Solomon, one of David’s sons, had 500 wives and 500 porcupines.

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Leanan sídhe

A fairy that takes the human form of a beautiful woman. Romance with a fairy may be fatal.

Tuesday, November 29, 2011


"Wisdom gives not only light to know the truth, buy also a remarkable power to impart if to others."

St. Louis-Marie DeMonfort

e.e. cummings - flotsam and jetsam

flotsam and jetsam
are gentlemen poeds
urseappeal netsam
our spinsters and coeds)

thoroughly bretish
they scout the inhuman
itarian fetish
that man isn't wuman

vive the millenni
um three cheers for labor
give all things to enni
one bugger thy nabor

(neck and senecktie
are gentlemen ppoyds
even whose recktie
are covered by lloyd's

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

the deer family

You'll see the whole bunch in the apple orchard this time of year...antler's and all.

Monday, November 21, 2011

november wildflowers

Found below the frost line for sure!

Friday, November 18, 2011

november facts

1. November is one of 4 months in the Gregorian Calendar that has 30 days
2. November comes from the Latin word root “novem”, which means nine. It was originally the 9th month in the Roman Calendar.
3. In Finland they call November “marraskuu” which translates as “month of the dead”
4. November is National Beard Month
5. John Kennedy was assassinated
7. U S President Abraham Lincoln gave a famous speech in November 1863 that became known as The Gettysburg Address
8. The infamous Berlin Wall began to come down on November 9, 1989
9. The flower that represents November is the Chrysanthemum.

Thursday, November 17, 2011

jack Frost


A pretty brook was running at play
With little Jack Frost on a cold winter's day.
It stopped to rest at the foot of a hill
Making a pond all quiet and still.
"Aha!" said Jack Frost, "Now isn't that nice?"
And quickly he turned the water to ice.

Author Unknown

jpr: The native american's refer to jack frost as the old man that brings winter. His arrival is always a surprize.

Wednesday, November 16, 2011


Saw me four rainbows in a row up in the Manoa Valley in Hawaii, but the brighest rainbow seen was over the Mongahela river in Pittsburgh.

Saturday, November 12, 2011

lena headey

300 Spartans and Lena with a few obvious tattoo's.

Friday, November 11, 2011

EPL news flash

Several distinguished EPL'ers have concluded that the works of Shakespeare were penned by the Mrs while William filled tankers of ale in the nearby tavern, "Hogs Hole". These fine fellows are living up to EPL's motto "Knowledge through invention"!

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Reflections on being blessed with a new sibling at age 39

Mixed with all of the happiness, joy, and love is an odd feeling that comes from being able to objectively watch your parent in the act of parenting someone else. I sometimes find myself trying to remember what he was like when I was a little kid - comparing this new reality with all of my memories. Seeing him this weekend, still recovering from back surgery, in obvious pain, walking with difficulty, a slow feeling of sadness came to me. Not just that he was having a hard time, but that this energetic little brother of mine could not enjoy him at his prime. For my father was the tallest man that most of my friends had ever seen, he ducked under doorways and grazed ceilings with his head. When the conversation on the playground turned to who's dad could beat up who's dad, no one ever questioned who would be at the top of the heap. I danced with him by standing on his feet. I could grab his hands, climb up his legs, and flip over, "skinning the cat." He made his bed an island and he would lift and dangle us over the edge, threatening to drop us into the "boiling oil" (pronounced "boilin' erl"). We had endless wars with rolled up newspapers as weapons. He would chase us with each pointer finger extended yelling "two finger killer karate!", tickling us until we collapsed laughing so hard we could barely breathe. As I think of all of these memories, I can't help wishing for my brother that he could experience this part of our father.

Wednesday, November 9, 2011


jpr: This image recalls the mixed scent of Cheerio cereal with morning newspapers. Oh yah...where's my cup of hot coco?

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Irish blessings and curses:

A Celtic tradition which survived long into Christian times was the belief in blessings and curses. There are ancient stones, called bullaun stones, which were believed to lend power to a blessing or a curse - if the person saying the words was touching a bullaun stone at the time, their words were thought to come true. With the coming of Christianity to the island, the tradition of curses gradually dropped away due to its potential to be associated with black magic, but the tradition of Celtic blessings continued in Christianized form and has produced many beautiful blessing-prayers.

Monday, November 7, 2011

some Irish

May you have warm words on a cold evening,
A full moon on a dark night,
And the road downhill all the way to your door.

An old Irish recipe for longevity:
Leave the table hungry.
Leave the bed sleepy.
Leave the table thirsty.

Moderation is a fatal thing-- nothing succeeds like excess.
--Oscar Wilde

May the blessings of each day
Be the blessings you need most.

Sunday, November 6, 2011

Wisdom 6: 12 - 16

Wisdom is radiant and unfading, and she is easily discerned by those who love her, and is found by those who seek her.
She hastens to make herself known to those who desire her.
He who rises early to seek her will have no difficulty, for he will find her sitting at his gates.
To fix one's thought on her is perfect understanding, and he who is vigilant on her account will soon be free from care,
because she goes about seeking those worthy of her, and she graciously appears to them in their paths, and meets them in every thought.

Mother Seaton

"This union of my soul with God is my wealth in poverty and joy in deepest afflictions."

Saturday, November 5, 2011

"The Book of Cells"

In the 1920’s in Mountjoy Prison in Dublin a diary was kept for the last words of condemned Irish republican prisoners

The words of Liam Mellows, written Dec. 8, 1922, the day Mellows was executed by firing squad with three others: "God bless you boys and may he give you courage, fortitude and wisdom to suffer and endure all for Ireland's sake."
Patrick Hennessey wrote on Sept. 1, 1923: " ... I am leaving my cigarettes to be divided among the Clare section ... a cigarette to each one will go a long way. I forgive my enemies ... from the bottom of my heart. ..."

Friday, November 4, 2011

Thursday, November 3, 2011

Irish humor

Charles P. (Harlem) Gallagher was in a pub in Charlevoix, Mich. some years ago. A fella down the bar leaned over and said, "Hey, Gallagher, what's the population of Beaver Island?" Charlie leaned out and said, "Oh, mostly beech and maple".! True story!!

Padraic Flaherty came home drunk every evening toward ten. Now, the Missus was never too happy about it, either. So one night sh hides in the cemetery and figures to scare the beejeezus out of him. As poor Pat wanders by, up from behind a tombstone she jumps in a red devil costume screaming, "Padraic Sean Flaherty, sure and ya' don't give up you're drinkin' and it's to Hell I'll take ye'". Pat, undaunted, staggered back and demanded, "Who the hell ARE you?". Too that the Missus replied, "I'm the divil ya' damned old fool". To which Flaherty remarked, "Damned glad to meet you sir, I'm married to yer sister."

Paddy was driving down the street in a sweat because he had an important meeting and couldn't find a parking place. Looking up to heaven he said, "Lord take pity on me. If you find me a parking place I will go to Mass every Sunday for the rest of me life and give up Irish Whiskey"
Miraculously, a parking place appeared. Paddy looked up again and said, "Never mind, I found one."

bits of humor

Do not argue with an idiot. He will drag you down to his level and beat you with experience.

I want to die peacefully in my sleep, like my grandfather.. Not screaming and yelling like the passengers in his car.

We live in a society where pizza gets to your house before the police.

The early bird might get the worm, but the second mouse gets the cheese.

Why do Americans choose from just two people to run for president and 50 for Miss America?

Sunday, October 30, 2011

Oxyrhynchus Hymn, 3rd century AD

Let it be silent
Let the Luminous stars not shine,
Let the winds and all the noisy rivers die down;
And as we hymn the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit,
Let all the powers add "Amen Amen"
Empire, praise always, and glory to God,
The sole giver of good things,
Amen Amen

Earliest known . hymn with music and words (Greek)

Friday, October 28, 2011


"Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg has been named Time magazine's Person of the Year. They said he has single-handedly changed the way we waste time at work." –Jay Leno

"Facebook now has 500 million users. The previous record holder was heroin." –Jimmy Kimmel

"Google is now developing a Facebook rival, a product similar to Facebook. They say their goal: so you never have to see your friends in real life ever again." -Jay Leno

Tuesday, October 25, 2011


Death is a road our dearest friends have gone;
Why with such leaders, fear to say, "Lead on?"
Its gate repels, lest it too soon be tried,
But turns in balm on the immortal side.
Mothers have passed it: fathers, children; men
Whose like we look not to behold again;
Women that smiled away their loving breath;
Soft is the travelling on the road to death!
But guilt has passed it? men not fit to die?
O, hush -- for He that made us all is by!
Human we're all -- all men, all born of mothers;
All our own selves in the worn-out shape of others;
Our used, and oh, be sure, not to be ill-used brothers!

by James Henry Leigh Hunt

Experimental Philosophy Lab exclusives

Astronomers are rethinking universal gravity waves in favor of EPL's large wave pool!

EPL is now partnering with the Criminal Ornithological Institute for a final solution to the bird problem... internment camps.

Monday, October 24, 2011

An Angel in the House

How sweet it were, if without feeble fright,
Or dying of the dreadful beauteous sight,
An angel came to us, and we could bear
To see him issue from the silent air
At evening in our room, and bend on ours
His divine eyes, and bring us from his bowers
News of dear friends, and children who have never
Been dead indeed,--as we shall know forever.
Alas! we think not what we daily see
About our hearths,--angels that are to be,
Or may be if they will, and we prepare
Their souls and ours to meet in happy air;--
A child, a friend, a wife whose soft heart sings
In unison with ours, breeding its future wings.

by James Henry Leigh Hunt

Saturday, October 22, 2011

strip mining in appalachia

The land is supposed to be reclaimed.

“Song of the Witches” by William Shakespeare

Double, double toil and trouble;
Fire burn and caldron bubble.
Fillet of a fenny snake,
In the caldron boil and bake;
Eye of newt and toe of frog,
Wool of bat and tongue of dog,
Adder’s fork and blind-worm’s sting,
Lizard’s leg and howlet’s wing,
For a charm of powerful trouble,
Like a hell-broth boil and bubble.
Double, double toil and trouble;
Fire burn and caldron bubble.
Cool it with a baboon’s blood,
Then the charm is firm and good.

Sunday, October 16, 2011

Come, Little Leaves

"Come, little leaves," said the wind one day.
"Come over the meadows with me and play;
Put on your dresses of red and gold,
For summer is gone and the days grow cold

Soon as the leaves heard the wind's loud call,
Down they came fluttering, one and all;
Over the brown fields they danced and flew,
Singing the sweet little song they knew.

"Cricket, good-bye, we've been friends so long,
Little brook, sing us your farewell song;
Say you're sorry to see us go;
Ah! you will miss us, right well we know.

"Dear little lambs, in your fleecy fold,
Mother will keep you from harm and cold;
Fondly we've watched you in vale and glade,
Say, will you dream of our loving shade?"

Dancing and whirling the little leaves went,
Winter had called them, and they were content,
Soon fast asleep in their earthy beds,
The snow laid a soft mantle over their heads.

by George Cooper

Song used by St Patrick

An Even-Song

May Thy holy angels, O Christ, son of living God,
Guard our sleep, our rest, our shining bed.
Let them reveal true visions to us in our sleep,
O high-prince of the universe, O great king of the mysteries!

May no demons, no ill, no calamity or terrifying dreams
Disturb our rest, our willing, prompt repose.

May our watch be holy, our work, our task,
Our sleep, our rest without let, without break.

Saturday, October 15, 2011

Confederates to Brazil

At the end of the civil war thousands of southerners migrated to the southern Atlantic coast of Brazil where their descendants yet live.

Thursday, October 13, 2011

The Rock and the Bubble by Louisa May Alcott

Oh! a bare, brown rock
Stood up in the sea,
The waves at its feet
Dancing merrily.

"But be like the rock,
Steadfast, true, and strong,
Yet cheerful and kind,
And firm against wrong.

Heed, little birdlings,
And wiser you'll be
For the lesson learned
To-day by the sea.

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

St. Manchan of Offaly's Poem: about 450A.D.

Grant me sweet Christ the grace to find---


A little house where all may dwell
And body's care be sought,
Where none shows lust or arrogance,
None thinks an evil thought.

And all I ask for housekeeping
I get and pay no fees,
Leeks from the garden, poultry, game,
Salmon and trout and bees.

My share of clothing and of food,
From the King of fairest face,
And I to sit at times alone,
And pray in every place.

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Storm at Sea... reportedly an old Irish poem

The vernacular literature of ancient Ireland is the most primitive and original among the literatures of Western Europe.

Anbthine mór ar muig Lir,
Dána tar a hardimlib;
at-racht gáeth, ran goPoin gaim garg
co tét tar muir mórgelgarb;
dos-árraid ga garggemrid.

O do-chuir in gáeth an-air
menma tuinne tarcabair;
dúthracair dul tarainn síar
cosin fót fris fuinnen graín
cosin glasmuir ngarglethain.

jpr: looking form an English translation

Monday, October 10, 2011

Some irish

The Irish ignore anything they can't drink or punch.

You've got to do your own growing, no matter
how tall your grandfather was.

The longest road out is the shortest road home.

Saturday, October 8, 2011

COI Exclusive

COI agents have discovered that birds in the Arctic nest along cliffs in order to entice curious and unwary creatures to their death.

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

The Hurricane

Lord of the winds! I feel thee nigh,
I know thy breath in the burning sky!
And I wait, with a thrill in every vein,
For the coming of the hurricane!


And shedding a nameless horror round.
Ah! well known woods, and mountains, and skies,
With the very clouds!—ye are lost to my eyes.
I seek ye vainly, and see in your place
The shadowy tempest that sweeps through space,
A whirling ocean that fills the wall
Of the crystal heaven, and buries all.
And I, cut off from the world, remain
Alone with the terrible hurricane.
William Cullen Bryant (1854)

Monday, October 3, 2011

Great Appalachian Storm of November 1950

It came in as a large extratropical cyclone which moved through the Eastern United State dropping heavy rain or 50+ inches of snow. Climatologists are calling for a similar winter in the northeast this year.

Sunday, October 2, 2011

The End By A. A. Milne

When I was One,
I had just begun.

When I was Two,
I was nearly new.

When I was Three,
I was hardly Me.

When I was Four,
I was not much more.

When I was Five,
I was just alive.

But now I am Six, I'm as clever as clever.
So I think I'll be six now for ever and ever.

Friday, September 30, 2011

Heredity by Thomas Hardy

I am the family face;
Flesh perishes, I live on,
Projecting trait and trace
Through time to times anon,
And leaping from place to place
Over oblivion.

The years-heired feature that can
In curve and voice and eye
Despise the human span
Of durance -- that is I;
The eternal thing in man,
That heeds no call to die

Thursday, September 29, 2011


Thanks to a COI follower, the bird of interest in Chicago bakery burglaries has been sighted out side Dom's Eatery, Old Town stuffing donut holes.

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Write-in Question

Dear J.P. and Mikey,

Every night before bed, I prepare bottles for the baby's night time feeding. Although the instructions clearly state that the water should be poured and measured into the bottle before adding the appropriate amount of formula, once mixed it only lasts one hour. Therefore I have been measuring the formula and adding the water when ready to feed. My lovely husband and I are in a long-standing argument regarding the best way to do so. The side of the bottles are marked with lines at each ounce. Even though the proper ratio is 2 ounces water to 1 scoop powdered formula, with the powder already in the bottle I fill to the 3 ounce line to make up for the volume of the formula powder. Nonsense! says the husband. He insists that I should still only fill to the 2 ounce line because that's how much formula I am supposed to be making, and thinks that because the powder will dissolve the level should remain the same. I know I should be able to figure this out, but I was an English Major. Please help.


Paranoid Mommy

Monday, September 26, 2011

knocknarea mountain ireland

Red Hanrahan's Song About Ireland by William Butler Yeats

The old brown thorn-trees break in two high over Cummen Strand,
Under a bitter black wind that blows from the left hand;
Our courage breaks like an old tree in a black wind and dies,
But we have hidden in our hearts the flame out of the eyes
Of Cathleen, the daughter of Houlihan.

The wind has bundled up the clouds high over Knock- narea,
And thrown the thunder on the stones for all that Maeve can say.
Angers that are like noisy clouds have set our hearts abeat;
But we have all bent low and low and kissed the quiet feet
Of Cathleen, the daughter of Houlihan.

The yellow pool has overflowed high up on Clooth-na-Bare,
For the wet winds are blowing out of the clinging air;
Like heavy flooded waters our bodies and our blood;
But purer than a tall candle before the Holy Rood
Is Cathleen, the daughter of Houlihan.

Sunday, September 25, 2011

Feast of Our Lady of Ransom

24 September, a double major, commemorates the foundation of the Mercedarians.

On 10 August, 1223, the Mercedarian Order was legally constituted at Barcelona by King James of Aragon and was approved by Gregory IX on 17 January, 1235. The Mercedarians celebrated their institution on the Sunday nearest to 1 Aug. (on which date in the year 1233 the Blessed Virgin was believed to have shown St. Peter Nolasco the white habit of the order).

Our Lady of Ransom is the principal patron of Barcelona.

In England the devotion to Our Lady of Ransom was revived in modern times to obtain the rescue of England as Our Lady's Dowry.

Saturday, September 24, 2011

Poem by Alexander Pope

Epigram Engraved on the Collar of a Dog Which I Gave to His Royal Highness

I am his Highness' dog at Kew;
Pray tell me, sir, whose dog are you?

Epitaph on a Lap-dog by Robert Burns

In wood and wild, ye warbling throng,
Your heavy loss deplore;
Now, half extinct your powers of song,
Sweet Echo is no more.

Ye jarring, screeching things around,
Scream your discordant joys;
Now, half your din of tuneless sound
With Echo silent lies.

Thursday, September 22, 2011

Sonnet 37:

As a decrepit father takes delight by William Shakespeare

As a decrepit father takes delight
To see his active child do deeds of youth,
So I, made lame by Fortune's dearest spite,
Take all my comfort of thy worth and truth.
For whether beauty, birth, or wealth, or wit,
Or any of these all, or all, or more,
Entitled in thy parts, do crownèd sit,
I make my love engrafted to this store.
So then I am not lame, poor, nor despised,
Whilst that this shadow doth such substance give
That I in thy abundance am sufficed
And by a part of all thy glory live.
Look what is best, that best I wish in thee.
This wish I have; then ten times happy me!

jpr: Good man John!!

Cradle Song by Lord Alfred Tennyson

What does little birdie say
In her nest at peep of day?
Let me fly, says little birdie,
Mother, let me fly away.
Birdie, rest a little longer,
Till thy little wings are stronger.
So she rests a little longer,
Then she flies away.

What does little baby say,
In her bed at peep of day?
Baby says, like little birdie,
Let me rise and fly away.
Baby, sleep a little longer,
Till thy little limbs are stronger.
If she sleeps a little longer,
Baby too shall fly away.

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Sunday, September 18, 2011

Stabat Mater from the 13th Century

At the cross her station keeping,
Mary stood in sorrow weeping
When her Son was crucified.
Mary, fount of love's devotion,
Let me share with true emotion
All the sorrow you endured.
Virgin of all virgins blest!
Listen to my fond request:
Let me share your grief divine
Be to me, O Virgin, nigh,
Lest in flames I burn and die,
In His awe-full judgment day.

jpr: It's been a long time since this poem crossed my path.

Saturday, September 17, 2011

ancient Irish warrior

sculpture of mythical leader Cuchulain carrying  his dead lover

Friday, September 16, 2011

Irish Newborn Traditions

One tradition starts at the Irish wedding with the ‘magic hanky’ (Gaelic: ciarsúr draíochta an phósta). The ‘magic hanky’ is a charming custom which involves having the bride carry a special hanky that, with just a few stitches, could be turned into the christening bonnet for the first baby. This bonnet can then be turned back into a hanky to be handed down and once again incorporated into the child’s wedding.

The Irish whiskey cake, which is very rich and sweet, was traditionally thought of as a ‘fertility’ cake and was believed to help the newlyweds to quickly start a family. Irish custom held that at the end of the wedding reception, the top tier of the wedding cake (Cáca Bainise le Fuisce Éireannach) was saved for the christening of their first child. The newborn’s parents serve the cake at the christening reception and sprinkle crumbs on their baby’s head as a symbolic wish for a long and prosperous life. Today this Irish tradition has been upgraded, and a bottle of Champagne is usually saved from the reception and so it can be used to ‘wet the babies head’ at the christening.

Another Irish christening custom is to give your baby its first silver coin at the christening. The new parents place the coin in the baby’s hand before the ceremony begins to ensure a prosperous future.

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

The Celtic Crane

The crane has a remarkable position in Celtic lore.

The crane is believed to be the messenger of the gods and to have a high degree of wisdom. The crane represents higher states of consciousness. In addition, both the male and female crane incubate their eggs and protect their young. For this reason, they are also symbolic of parenthood.

Cranes avoid direct confrontation whenever possible, and exhibit a complex array of threatening behaviors when necessary to prevent battles. Thus, they are symbolic of peace-keeping.

Monday, September 12, 2011


“The only source of knowledge is experience” Albert Einstein

early burial rite

During an earlier period of Christianity, the priest used to place a pass to the next world on the chests of those who had died in the faith as they lay in the coffin. Such a pass also provided the deceased person's Christian name, the dates of birth and death, and a certificate of baptism, piety of his or her life, and a testimonial that the person had taken the sacrament of communion before death.

Sunday, September 11, 2011

the traditional Irish home

May the roof above us never fall in
And may we good companions beneath it never fall out.
~Irish Blessing

Saturday, September 10, 2011

Lisdoonvarna, Ireland

Matchmaking is one of Ireland's oldest traditions and, for the last couple of hundred years, a good deal of it has taken place in Lisdoonvarna during September and early October.

jpr: It seems a dance to good music and a stout drink can get you married!

Friday, September 9, 2011

And for sure the poteen is to their liking!

Irish adults have the highest consumption of alcohol and highest degree of binge drinking in Europe (European Union)

Average alcohol consumption (according to alcohol statistics done in Ireland in 2002) was 9.3 liters. Twice as high compared to the statistical levels reported in most of the European countries.

Thursday, September 8, 2011

an Irish beauty

She's available Mikey!!!!!

The Irish Moonshiner

I've been a moonshiner for many a year
I've spent all me money on whiskey and beer
I'll go to some hollow, I'll set up my still
And I'll make you a gallon for a ten shilling bill

I'll go to some hollow in this count-er-y
Ten gallons of wash I can go on a spree
No women to follow, the world is all mine
I love none so well as I love the moonshine

Oh, moonshine, dear moonshine, oh, how I love thee
You killed me old father, but ah you try me
Now bless all moonshiners and bless all moonshine
Their breath smells as sweet as the dew on the vine

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Irish Poteen

Poteen is made from barley which was soaked for a day in a large barrel of water. The grain was spread on the floor near the fire to dry and ripen. When it first began to bud, it wad dried and ground, and put into the mash (or wash) barrel. Some brewers would add yeast, while others would let the natural yeasts do the work. After two to four weeks, the batch was ready for the still. The heady liquid was siphoned off and put into the pot. The fire was built up and the water was started running on the condenser coil. The first bit to come over contained all the fusel oils, which are highly toxic. For this reason, the first "noggin" was always dumped out on the ground… for the Fairy Folk, or so it was claimed. The remainder of the batch was tapped off into bottles and tightly corked. These were then hidden.

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

oh Danny boy

Oh Danny boy, the pipes, the pipes are calling
From glen to glen, and down the mountain side
The summer's gone, and all the flowers are dying
'Tis you, 'tis you must go and I must bide.
But come ye back when summer's in the meadow
Or when the valley's hushed and white with snow
'Tis I'll be here in sunshine or in shadow
Oh Danny boy, oh Danny boy, I love you so.

And if you come, when all the flowers are dying
And I am dead, as dead I well may be
You'll come and find the place where I am lying
And kneel and say an "Ave" there for me.

And I shall hear, tho' soft you tread above me
And all my dreams will warm and sweeter be
If you'll not fail to tell me that you love me
I'll simply sleep in peace until you come to me.

I'll simply sleep in peace until you come to me.

by Frederic Weatherly in 1910

Monday, September 5, 2011

Under the Harvest Moon

Under the harvest moon,
When the soft silver
Drips shimmering
Over the garden nights,
Death, the gray mocker,
Comes and whispers to you
As a beautiful friend
Who remembers.

Under the summer roses
When the flagrant crimson
Lurks in the dusk
Of the wild red leaves,
Love, with little hands,
Comes and touches you
With a thousand memories,
And asks you
Beautiful, unanswerable questions.

by Carl Sandburg

harvest in appalachia

Apple pie, pumpkin pie, just lots of deliriously tasty treats.

Sunday, September 4, 2011

It is well with my soul

But, Lord, ’tis for Thee, for Thy coming we wait,
The sky, not the grave, is our goal;
Oh, trump of the angel! Oh, voice of the Lord!
Blessed hope, blessed rest of my soul!

And Lord, haste the day when my faith shall be sight,
The clouds be rolled back as a scroll;
The trump shall resound, and the Lord shall descend,
Even so, it is well with my soul.

It is well, it is well, with my soul.

by Horatio G. Spafford, 1873

Saturday, September 3, 2011

Friday, September 2, 2011

appalachian swimming hole

It's all good as long as you don't land on a trout, turtle or snake.

Wednesday, August 31, 2011