Wednesday, December 31, 2014

Happy New Year

This year I didn't blog!
....that will change in 2015!
In the meantime, have a great and Blessed new year!
Romans 12:20-21...worth dwelling on!

Monday, April 09, 2012

Copperhead Creek

White Oak Road & Creek
The Late "Hissing Sid"
Just down the road from where I live..well about 8 miles White Oak Creek. Tucked away in the center of Brown County, just north of the Capitol Georgetown is this little bend of the (White Oak) river which is also known among some of the older locals as Copperhead Creek...the actual Copperhead creek is a little stream that runs under a bridge just before the bridges new and old that span the White Oak Creek proper. This fellah (on the right), I found dead on the road last year..obviously clipped by a car as he was crossing the road. It wasn't the first meeting I have had with a copperhead and probably won't be the last..I came on another one last May in Butler County when I was on a spin..again the victim of a passing car.  A Black Racer just around from my House made it an "Unholy Trinity" of dead serpents last year
Anyway..went down to the Creek today to see how the new Bridge is coming along....not ready yet but almost there...the old bridge is now out of commission so my favored route to "the South" (Ripley, Higginsport & Moscow) is closed for the time being. 

Waiting for the New Bridge
Just after the Bridge, there is a sadistic little hill which if not tackled correctly will defeat even a Mountain Goat let alone the workaday club cyclist but that is what Hills are be climbed and conquered.

Southern Brown County has some great climbs as the County suddenly slides towards the Ohio just south of Georgetown. No doubt the Ice Age and it's glaciers as they retreated tore out the ravines and canyons that we have today, nothing on the scale of the Alps or Pyrenees but none too shabby all the same for some half decent training or challenging spins.


Great to get out on the Bike at any time but when you have new routes, wonderful scenery and great company, One is in cycling heaven!

This weekend I had not one but two such spins with all the above, my first Cincinnati Cycling Club tour was on Saturday. We enjoyed the famous Breakfast Ride from Goshen to Pleasant Plain and beyond....Yesterday (Easter Sunday) was special though...working our way from the suburbs (Loveland) into the City proper was just wonderful. Fantastic weather helped a bit too!!

Sawyer Point
Some Interesting hills as we traversed the City heading through the rolling Estates of Indian Hills down into Mariemount and Fairfax, along Erie Avenue over the hump and down into Columbia Tusculum and a straight shot via Riverside Drive passing the over-flowing faithful who were at Easter Mass in St. Rose's Church, spinning along into Sawyer Point to the Purple People Bridge where we gathered to look at the Queen City at her finest.
"Black Betty"

Sunday's Group
you couldn't ask for a better bunch of
Cycling Colleagues.

I've put in a decent base so far this year and have to say "Black Betty" is a joy to operate particularly on the hills and inclines of SW Ohio..hopefully it will stand me in good stead for the Redbud Ride in London, Kentucky which I have been aiming at since Christmas.

The Clement weather we have enjoyed these past few months have been a boon no doubt but it is a must to have something to aim for...a life lesson there! Link to the redbud is here...Redbud ride

Many Thanks to Jim & Irvine and Molly and friends for their week the CCC has their Spring opener so that will be fun and hopefully as fun as this weekend.

Saturday, December 17, 2011

Cutting the Holly

Cold and Frigid
like the graves
we trod upon
Indecent in our haste
to leave their mortality behind us
We clamber over the bough and sometimes fence
that divide the living and the dead in Carrig

"Be Still!"
In the quietness
"Can you hear it?"
"Like the running of a bath!"
Our young ears questioning
the sound domestic so familiar
"out here?"
"In the wild?"

Strange looking bushes
with leaves so sharp
as sharp as daggers
and berries so red
just begging to be eaten

"Don't!" warns Dad
as he tips the back of my
small and reaching hand
with a nicotine stained finger..
"poison to us but food for the fairies"

"We're here now.."
all the gang
Cathal & Len & Esther and Barry and Tommy
Reuby too and our Dads
out to cut the holly
for our street doors
....a Wexford tradition

..then I see it
as big as Niagara
and wider still
to my young eyes

Roaring forever into my consciousness
Carrig River
tumbles and falls
upon moss draped rocks
rushes past us on it's way to the sea

desperate like all of us to get away
though we don't know it yet
aching to return....

a Wexford tradition

A pilgrimage from the Republic of Davitt Road South....
I was barely three when I was first brought out to Carrig River by my Dad and Charlie Golden. Jimmy Whelan and Thomas, Jackie Kirwan and Barry as well while our next door neighbours Andy Nolan and Reuby came out too If I was an honour for us "out of towners"..the Kiernans (Dublin) and the Nolans(Kilkenny/Laois)to be included in this Christmas pageant that generations of Wexfordians had done....particularly in the hallowed confines of the Carrig River demense where Mother Nature is at her finest at any time of the year but particularly so in Advent.

The Graveyard is a shrine to our fallen of 1798 and the turbulent and sad history of those times before and since where rebel and yoeman deep in slumber lay, side by side, comrades in death if not in life.

This little brook rushes out to Wexford Harbour just above Ferrycarraig (pictured) many memories I have of this place, all of them happy but now tinged with sadness as the mortality we never dreamt of reaches out to take us home.

Saturday, November 01, 2008

Studs Terkel....."Curiosity didn't kill this Cat!"

So farewell then Studs....

When I first came to this country, I was in Borders & there in the discounted books, I discovered a gem...."Will the circle be unbroken...".

In summary, it was a reflective work. Studs doing what he did so best & so effortlessly- putting ordinary Americans at ease & acquiring their lifetime of insight on the topic in hand...this particular topic was on life, death & we get older we tend to focus on our destiny & ultimate journey.

It was a comment on American Society of that snapshot in time then that such a book be discarded & ignored so easily , to be put in the “marked down” section so soon after publication.

The humanity of Terkel's prose & his ability to let the true America speak....softly, quietly in these pages....away from all the chattering classes & masses, the talk-radio clan - the diatribes, the wingnuts of either side - made me realize and thankful for this country that I am honored to be a resident.

As I began to voraciously read this & his other "tomes"...the Pulitzer prize winner "The Good War", "Hope dies last", "American Dreams", "Working" , "Hard Times"...among others, I found one, "Coming of Age" to be his unbidden was reflections on the 20th century by those who had lived it...It's still a work that I read from time to time...simply for grounding myself & realizing how fortunate we are for the previous generations' toil, effort and sacrifice before us.

We were out (the better half & I) last night - It was our anniversary. On the radio, it was announced that Studs had passed to that "big rally in the sky". As we got out of the car, I said to my ironic that he should go just before the election on Tuesday to see a son of an immigrant, a community activist from his own town of Chicago be on the ballot of President of the United States. As I said this, I felt a chill , not a chill of cold or some eerie Halloween phenomenon but a shiver no a tremor of emotion on the whole import of the moment of his passing in such a time in our history.

The fact that the candidate is of African heritage would be a celebration of all that Studs believed & espoused about this wonderful, wonderful country. Studs was a light to me & countless others in some dark that he is gone, it's time to pick up his torch & lead on. Studs Terkel was a true American superhero.

Leading is not some ego filled pastime but simply to do good in your life & the lives of others. It's time for our generation to do the same as previous ones and work for our kids & grandkids. Ensure that they have worthwhile lives too!

To those of you reading this, read Stud's work, read it & be filled with hope..the hope that good always wins out in the end.
This is a clip from interviews he did on a train ride to Washington DC for a civil rights march. 54 weeks before I came into the world...a fitting finale before next Tuesday.

Tuesday, May 06, 2008

Super Sunday 08 reminds one of the Schalke O4 debacle in 2001 (click here after reading the post)

So the endgame to all endgames happens this Sunday, Chelsea & Man United go into the last day equal on points. Man United having a better goal difference must at least draw if not lose against Wigan (yeah, right!) while Chelsea have to win v Bolton....anyway the following happened in 2001 in Germany, read the following & then click on the link which is the above title.......

Hope nothing like this happens on Sunday...

Last day of Bundesliga season 2000/01.

Bayern 3 points ahead of Schalke.

Schalke leads their game.

Bayern plays in Hamburg.

Hamburg scores in minute 89 for their 1:0.

Schalke is champion on goal difference.

Radio gives wrong information, that the game in Hamburg is over.

Tens of thousands of Schalke fans storm onto the pitch to celebrate.

Pay TV coverage is switched on on the big screen in the Schalke stadium.

Pay TV field reporter interviews Schalke co-manager. Gives his congratulation to the manager. Manager asks "is it over in Hamburg?". Reporter: "Yes, you are Champion". Manager "Thank you, Hamburg."

Another reporters voice from the off: "The game is not over in Hamburg".

The bigscreen switches to the Hamburg game in front of the thousands celebrating on the pitch.

Hamburg goalie takes a backpass to his hand. Indirect free-kick from 10 meters for Bayern.

Bayern scores.

Fans, players, managers in Schalke fall to the ground crying. Rudi Assauer, the legendary Schalke Direktor in tears like a little child.

Bayern go ballistic in Hamburg.

Saturday, March 22, 2008

Keeping it in the family.....


Taken before the game versus Derby County....makes me all sentimental like....the torch is passed to the next generation, another part of the world is forever blue etc, etc!
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Turn a different corner....

No, not the George Michael song...a very interesting interview in Newsweek today.
A message of hope on Easter weeekend!

Shifa Al Qudsi was arrested on her way to detonate a bomb strapped to her in Israel. She spent 6 years in an Israeli prison and came to another & braver realisation. The former hairdresser turned "a different corner" so to speak....this is her story as related to Joanna Chen;

Words Over Weapons
A would-be Palestinian suicide bomber explains why she has changed her mind about violence against Israelis

Joanna Chen
Newsweek Web Exclusive
Updated: 6:11 PM ET Mar 21, 2008
In an audiotape released this week, Osama bin Laden urges Palestinians to shun negotiations with Israel in favor of armed resistance. In spite of such calls, however, pleas for talks are coming from unexpected players on both sides of the divide. One of them, Shifa al-Qudsi, recently finished serving a six-year sentence in an Israeli prison for planning to carry out a suicide bombing. Back in 2002 the Palestinian had been fitted with an explosive belt by Fatah's Al Aqsa military brigade but was arrested shortly before carrying out her deadly mission. Since then al-Qudsi, now 30, has undergone a radical change of heart and today insists that a solution can be achieved only through dialogue. NEWSWEEK's Joanna Chen met with al-Qudsi at her family home in the West Bank town of Tulkarem and heard why violence isn't an option and life is worth living after all. Excerpts:

NEWSWEEK: What made you want to blow yourself and other people up six years ago?
I was motivated by all the suffering that was going on around me, and at the time it seemed the right thing to do. Palestinians were getting killed inside their own homes, farmers were unable to work on their own lands, innocent children were being oppressed. All of this created an atmosphere of violence.

What did those years in prison do to you?
It was very difficult for me. I sat there for a long time and came to the conclusion there must be an alternative to this path of death and violence. We have to find a better way to reach our objective.

Was there a certain moment when you realized that blowing people up might not be the right way?
I had the chance to read a lot while I was in jail. I read about Mahatma Gandhi and how he obtained his objective of peace without raising a weapon or throwing a stone. I tried to think of a way to do the same in my own country. I think words can express better the suffering of Palestinian prisoners and the wish for peace between two peoples. I don't need to blast my body to bits and kill other people. Today I believe that words are more powerful than weapons.

Even between enemies?
The reality has already been imposed on us. We can't start talking about getting back historical Palestine, and I'm resigned to the fact that there are two nations who can live on this land. There should be peace and quiet not just for the Israelis but for the Palestinians.

What would you say to people who still think that attacks are the way to go?
Many people before me carried out suicide attacks and others will continue to do so if the situation doesn't improve. However, I tell them now: enough. We have created a lot of problems and a lot of destruction on both sides, and the time has come for us to engage in dialogue.

Would you say that to your brother, who's serving 18 years in an Israeli jail for an attempted suicide bombing?
My youngest brother is in jail because he was caught inside Israel wearing a suicide belt. He was only 15 and a half. I consider this blackmail and exploitation of my brother. He was too young to have been able to make this decision on his own, and so I consider what happened to him a crime from our own side. He should never have been exploited this way. When I decided to blow myself up I was convinced this was right and I was old enough to make my own decision, but not my brother.

Your daughter was just seven when you were sent to prison. How did you explain your willingness for her to grow up without a mother?
We've talked about it a lot. She blamed me for leaving her, although I tried to explain to her that I had bigger issues to deal with. I don't want to say that I regret my former mission, but at the same time I know I should have thought of my daughter more and should have made her [my] priority. What will make an impact is not a suicide belt that I strap to myself but education. A bomb only creates casualties and more violence. If I can equip my daughter with education, that will make a change.

What do you tell your daughter today about Israelis?
The most important message for my daughter is that Israelis are not all carriers of weapons and not all of them want to kill Palestinians. There is a big sector that wants peace.

What are your plans for the future?
The day after I came out of prison I went to register [at] university. I feel like there's no time to waste, and my objective is to study and to be able to give my daughter and other children a better future through education.

Do you think that's going to be possible?
I say it in three languages: yes, ken and aywa. I want to talk, to tell people that I did time in an Israeli jail and learned Hebrew and communicated with a lot of Israelis. I want to continue this communication and also to carry the voice of 11,000 Palestinian prisoners to the world.

Do you think your change of heart reflects a change in the Palestinian people?
I think my position reflects the desire of the Palestinian people for peace. People are tired. They want to live. And they really want peace but are struggling in order to make the world understand.

If you could speak to the Palestinian and Israeli leadership, what would you say?
My message to both is peace. We need to engage in real dialogue. Everybody needs to come down from the tree and to enter into a solid, realistic negotiation. This is the only way.


I fear for this woman's safety...I just hope more & more stand shoulder to shoulder with Peter Gabriel wrote/sang in "Biko";
You can blow out a candle, you can't blow out a fire.