My Book of Stories from Ireland is on Sale!

My book (For a Man or a Dog) is on sale at Amazon.com. It doesn’t appear to be on sale at any of the other Amazon sites, but it’s 41% off on the .com site.

I didn’t put it on sale, but maybe Amazon does every now & then? No clue how it works, but if you want a copy, this might be a good time to get it.

Possible appeal to the Irish diaspora, or if you have any interest in Irish life & culture. If the link below takes you to your local site, you might have to go to Amazon.com the hard way.

My Heart is in Ireland

Comfort Food from the Past!

My heart may be in Ireland. But I’d rather my arse was too! ๐Ÿ˜œ

Really, I’m way overdue for a trip home. Haven’t seen our families & friends for years now. I’m seeing more planes in the air recently, but no resumption of direct flights to Ireland yet. The cost is triple what it was pre-covid, & the journey is three times longer with layovers. Aaaarrrrrgggghhh!

That said, even if things were back to “normal”, I’d probably wait for my booster shot before travelling again anyway. ๐Ÿ™„

Along with seeing family & friends, the other great thing about Ireland is the food! I’m not kidding, it’s not all about bacon & cabbage, with boiled spuds, you know. Though that is so amazing too. I think Ireland has the best take-out food on the planet!

Yes, I know, I know, I’m biased. And that’s probably not what it’s known for. After all, it’s got all that natural beauty, the people are lovely, & the history is … well … very historical! But the food leaves all that nonsense in the dirt. As the travel restrictions drone ever onward, I find myself looking up the menus of Irish restaurants online now.

The battered smoked cod & chips is the best. A doner kebab, with extra garlic sauce, reminds me of late night trips home from the pub. Buy an extra one for the hangover breakfast next morning! Speaking of breakfast, the full Irish breakfast! Mmmmmm! Another Irish staple, chicken curry & fried rice is not to be found as good anywhere. Not even in China. Scampi & chips, with Dublin Bay prawns. Mutton. Real bacon. Black & white pudding. Drisheens. Coddle. Boxty. Soda bread. Alright, enough, I won’t go on any more.

Okay, one more … I must mention the fresh, real, cream cakes. Did you know that all dairy products in Ireland are healthier? Yes, it’s true. They’re all made from the milk of grass-fed cows. (What do the bloody cows eat everywhere else anyway!?!) If you go, you can ladle on all the butter you’d like. It’s health food in Ireland. ๐Ÿ˜œ

I love the lobster roll in Nova Scotia, the subs, pizza & poutine in Quรฉbec, the salmon in BC. But I think a big part of my heart, & my stomach, will always be in Ireland. ๐Ÿ‡ฎ๐Ÿ‡ช๐Ÿ‡จ๐Ÿ‡ฆ๐Ÿ‡ฎ๐Ÿ‡ช๐Ÿ‡จ๐Ÿ‡ฆ๐Ÿ‡ฎ๐Ÿ‡ช

PS … The pic shows one of my favourite fast meals from way back … fried onion & baked beans, with a spoon of curry powder. Accompanied by leftover protein & some melted cheddar. Typically rushed together when a night at the pub was in the offing. Though it didn’t have the fancy sprig of basil back then!

Okay, I’m homesick now. ๐Ÿ˜ญ

Still Doing the Work from Home Thing?

Work Wear?

I don’t even know how long I’ve been working from home now, but it feels like a long, a very long, time. Though I really worked from home pre-covid, it didn’t feel like that. Because I got to travel a lot. On the work front, we’ve all gotten much better at online meetings. So many phone calls & email exchanges turn into online meetings now.

We’re all much better at, & more prepared for, impromptu online sessions too. I keep a hairbrush in my desk drawer now, for example. I’ve moved the underwear-laden clothes horse out of my office. And I’ve swapped out the juvenile posters on my back wall with some hoity-toity Venetian masks. They’re a good talking point, while we wait for that important laggard to join the session. It’s all very streamlined & business-like these days!

All in all, the whole work from home thing is far more professional now. Far smoother. It is also quite effective. And very time & cost efficient. If everything went back to normal tomorrow, I think I’d still use the online get togethers. A lot.

But now that things are starting to open up a little more, I recently took the opportunity to go out for a mask-to-mask meeting & to bump elbows. I had to dust off my big-boy pants. I had forgotten that pants had creases. It took me a while, but I managed to dig out a belt that wasn’t a draw-string. Finally, I found a shirt with a collar & more than three buttons.

I was feeling pretty good about heading back into the real working world again. As I was pulling out of my driveway, good job I noticed that I was barefoot & wearing flip-flops!

How are you doing, as you transition back to the new normal?

You’ll have to cut me a little more slack on the weight-loss front though. I’ll come clean on that soon! ๐Ÿ˜œ

Dishwasher Art

Thermaquaformed Cellar of Salt!

Many of us are getting better at the whole work-from-home thing these days. Some of us are picking up new hobbies along the way too. I’m struggling along trying to add a few words of French to my very limited vocabulaire, for example. I’ve also become a part-time DIY investor. There seems to be some sort of correlation between my portfolio & when the market is going up. I might be on to something here (๐Ÿ˜œ)!!! And while my diligence with my writing is nothing short of horrendous, I have had an occasional artistic success.

In case you’re in search of a new hobby, I’d like to share one of those successes with you …

Dishwasher Art!

I know, I know, it sounds a bit silly, doesn’t it? But have you seen the money some of our art galleries have paid for a few big stripes of leftover paint on a sheet of drywall? What about your man that used to dance all over the canvas on the floor like a mad thing, while splashing paint all over the place. What was his name again? It escapes me for the moment, but if I ever get to have a pint with the guy in the hereafter, I know I’ll be ROTFLing with him. He’s probably got abs from laughing so hard at the money people were willing to pay him for using up the dregs in the leftover paint cans in the basement.

Well … Dishwasher Art is even better than this. You don’t need an art studio. There is no mess & no cleanup. In fact, you can do it while the dishwasher does the dishes. Anyone can take on this new artform, but only a few will rise to the top of what might become a new art niche. If it works out for you, remember who told you about it first!

A little while back, I bought this big tub of pink Himalayan salt. I got it because I thought the pink salt looked kinda cool. It was all odd-sized granules, more natural & elemental, very artisanal in fact. But some of the grains were too big & they blocked the holes in every salt cellar I owned. My salt cellars were all made of glass, or ceramic, or of some bloody material that I couldn’t easily run a drill bit through. To enlarge the holes, you see. I thought of going into the forest to hew down an oaken limb, so that I might sculpt an artistic salt cellar, for my artisanal salt. No, I shaggin’ didn’t, are you out of your mind? That’s way too much work! LOL

I went hunting in the press (cupboard!) for a nearly-empty bottle & I found one with a few whole peppercorns, balling about the bottom of it. Dumped those into the pepper mill & then, I had me a salt shaker in the making! Whacked a hole through the center of the plastic screw-on cap & tossed the nearly-finished ensemble into the dishwasher to excoriate the piquancy of the perrercorns’ piperine. I like pepper but I didn’t want the peppers’ pungency contaminating the olfactorius magnificence of the Himalayas on me. ๐Ÿคช

While lesser mortals were decrying my daring, insisting that my simple cellar should not see the light of day in the company of visitors, I forged ahead regardless. Creating the masterpiece in the pic above.

Dishwasher Art! ๐Ÿ˜œ๐Ÿ˜

PS … There’s no truth to the rumour that pink Himalayan salt is a miracle weight-loss cure! ๐Ÿคช

You Think What!?!

Covid Questions?
Are you Seeing Double, Blindsided, or Enlighted by Hindsight?

Are introverts really enjoying lockdown & all this working from home?

Are some people secretly delighted not to have to travel for work?

Should we continue to support local small businesses if they suck?

One year on, knowing what we now know, would putting up with a hard, one month, 100%, total lockdown really have been so bad last year?

Or would enough people still break the rules, that it wouldn’t work anyway?

Ever get the feeling that we missed a really big opportunity to learn how to handle pandemics better?

What if the next one is far more serious? More deadly?

Would we react differently if the death rates were far higher?

Or if a virus targets our children more severely, rather than the sick & elderly?

Or are we collectively that stupid that it wouldn’t matter? Maybe don’t answer that one! LOL

What about a virus that targets liberals or conservatives? ๐Ÿ˜œ

Which country did the best job containing the pandemic?

Which one is doing best deploying vaccines?

Are the rest of us capable of learning anything from them? Maybe we shouldn’t answer that one either! ๐Ÿ™„๐Ÿ˜œ๐Ÿ˜

Have you wondered if you’re one of those people susceptible to believing conspiracy theories?

Why don’t we give the real ingredients to the @#&$heads out there making fake vaccines?

Should we look at improving our country’s healthcare system?

Do we only worry about the less well-off countries after we take care of ourselves first?

What are the chances that we all answered all those questions the same way?

Is there anything we can agree on? ๐Ÿ˜‰๐Ÿ˜

Stay safe out there all. ๐Ÿ™