Archive for the 'Culture' Category

Typically March is one of my favorite times of the year. You get the full gambit of seasons in one month: rain, snow, cold, warmth and the colors begin changing once again.

This March has been brutal, not weather wise but just in general.

We lost a good friend, and military blogger in Carroll LeFon AKA Neptunus Lex in 2012. My whole family was nearly killed in a car accident in the same year. My daughter has been plagued with one sick spell after another. The list goes on and on.

But in the end it is still the seasons, and just plain luck that goes wrong even though sometimes it is fate itself that has turned against us.

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(I first wrote this March of 2012. Each year I try to add at least one new story to my Irish History Celebration posts. I’ve reposted it this month for our Irish Heritage celebration. Enjoy! – BS)

The Famine began quite mysteriously in September 1845 as leaves on potato plants suddenly turned black and curled, then rotted, seemingly the result of a fog that had wafted across the fields of Ireland. I have been told that the cause was actually an airborne fungus originally transported in the holds of ships traveling from North America to England. Somewhat ironic then if you consider how many Irish families in turn fled to North America because of it. Let no one say we Irish have not had a sense of humor in the annuals of history.

In Any event, The Great Famine was a period of mass starvation, disease and emigration between 1845 and 1852. Outside of Ireland it is more commonly called The Irish Potatoe Famine. Within Ireland, and amongst my own family it was referred to as an Gorta Mór or great hunger.

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I originally wrote this in 2010 here. While I try not to add anything to my original posts when I re-post them I do try to correct spelling, punctuation, etc. I also have a bad habit of adding new pictures upon occassion. Otherwise you should find little, to no differences between the reposted material, and the original. – BloodSpite

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Danny Boy is one of over 100 songs composed to the same tune.

The author was an English lawyer, Frederic Edward Weatherly (1848-1929), who was also a songwriter and radio entertainer. In 1910 he wrote the words and music for an unsuccessful song he called Danny Boy. In 1912 his sister-in-law in America sent him a tune called the Londonderry Air, which he had never heard before. He immediately noticed that the melody was perfectly fitted to his Danny Boy lyrics, and published a revised version of the song in 1913. As far as I know, Weatherly never set foot in Ireland.

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(I first wrote this March of 2011. I’ve reposted it this month for our Irish Heritage celebration. Enjoy! – BS)

It’s been said that we Irish are blessed with the “gift of Blarney” or gift of speech. Which is why we make such great story tellers, writers, authors, poets and actresses.

The Blarney Stone, from below

Renowned for such wit and humor as that which came from the likes of Oscar Wilde, William Butler Yeats and others. For we Irish, words and language are so very important…My grandfather once told me that if a picture is worth 1,000 words then it takes 1,000 words to paint a picture.

But this Irish gift of wit doesn’t come out of thin air, so the legends say, but rather from solid stone!

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Editors Note: I wrote this December 2010. As its a current Irish affair laced with some history I felt it could use another look this month. Enjoy!

This really chaps my ass.

There just isn’t a better way of me saying that.

What? Is it friggin’ 1860 again?

We have Hispanics of multiple origins pouring over our southern border that our current Administration refuses to secure and furthermore refuses to address (save for amnesty). The vast majority of them are not contributing to our economy, in fact they are draining it quickly. $65 Million dollars...in just one state!

But if your from Mexico, China or India the doors open! Never mind the fact that Ireland’s migrants have just as much education or experience….the short version is: they are the wrong colour. If your from one of those countries this is a great program, and I applaud the ideal of making it easier to get in to the country legally. However setting a standard as to who should go is not a standard of equality.

Reverse discrimination against the Irish, twice now , has never been so disgustingly blatant. In a age when Democrats are constantly repeating how wonderful immigrants are and how necessary they are to our culture, it apparently only applies to certain immigrants from specific places.

But America has taken it a step further, no longer are they simply saying “No Irish need apply”

Now they simply say “No Irish are Welcome here.”

The Irish have already proven themselves in this country, we have done our time and our hardships. The railroads that criss cross the nation were built on Irish backs, with Irish labour.

Unfortunately the same folks who declared immigration necessary are freezing out a proven group of workers, and opening the flood gates to a group that wants a free ride…versus one that has paid its dues. Again great program from one of those countries, everyone else who is affected though? Not so much.

There is no justification for this. I am not racist, I have friends of many cultures, and have been to many countries. But this ruling is not just a travesty of human rights, and an assault to basic human respect it’s a sham and a obvious ploy to buy votes by an Administration that is desperate to receive any support it can get even if it means buying those votes through back door legislation.

This action is in a word: disgusting.

This is the third time we have placed such a stranglehold on the Irish community. First in the 1860′s, again in the 1960′s and again now. Furthermore here’s a jaw dropper: The number of people who will emigrate from Ireland in 2010 and 2011 will add up to 120,000. And as the business editor of the Irish Independent pointed out last week, that is the figure given by the last census for the population of Cork City. Compare that to the estimated 10 Million  illegal immigrants in the country currently.

Making it harder for a group who is willing to come here legally, is counter to any sane immigration program.

Want to make a difference?

Legalize the Irish. Contact your elective representative. Sanity needs to be restored.

So its finally March. Usually my favorite time of the year.

As you can see I managed to ensure that the website changed to its typical green hue for the occasion, forests of Ireland a backdrop for something I have done on this website for several years: that of sharing some Irish history, Mythology, lore and my own families history with you.

This year has been crazy, and the last several weeks hectic. Last year our March celebration was marred by the loss of longtime friend and fellow MilBlogger Lex.

I can’t promise you this month will be better. There are things moving in m own life that have me as worried as a long tail cat in a room full of rocking chairs, but I digress.

It’s March. There is still snow on the ground. Spring is coming soon as the last vestiges of winter make their way from our lives for this year.

Smile.

Be Happy.

Be Green!

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This one is a fairly new one, as it was just written in 2010. As with our other March stories we thought we’d share it once again! – BS  2013 UPDATE: Video corrected

Irish history is more than just words on paper. Like so many civilizations past we tend to put our stories, our mythos in to song.

Many have heard the songs of Ireland and found them any array of reactions from distinctive, to beautiful, to addictive. Music is not merely a form of expression for the Irish. It’s a way of reliving our past, and it is probably one of the few mediums in which blood has not been shade amongst ourselves.

The son of the god Lugh and Deichtine, Cú Chulainn was originally named Sétanta . He gained his better-known name, Cú Chulainn, as a child after he killed Culann’s fierce guard-dog in self-defense, and offered to take its place until a replacement could be reared.

This is a story oft told me as a young lad

More on Cú Chulainn after the jump

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This story was first published by myself on March 3rd 2007 at Techography. I republished it here in 2010. – BloodSpite

On Easter Monday, shortly after noon, Patrick Pearse and a band of ill armed and ill prepared poets and romantic patriots rose in rebellion took control of the General Post Office in

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central Dublin and several other strategic sites around the city. The Irish Republic was proclaimed in Dublin, and the insurgent Tricolour suddenly broke upon startled eyes flying from the flagstaff above the General Post Office in the very heart of the Irish capital.

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(I first posted this on March 10, 2007 at Techography.com it has been reprinted here for posterity and your enjoyment)

The Orangemen are a peculiar amalgam of history, anger, controversy, patriotism, and pain.

The Orangemen of Ulster March

It was founded in the same County that my own family heralds from…Armagh. Given Armagh’s heritage with apple’s it’s no surprise that we settled in Ellijay then, the Apple Capital of Georgia. The Orange Order is a Protestant fraternal organization based predominantly in Northern Ireland and Scotland with lodges throughout the Commonwealth, Canada and in the United States.

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I first wrote this back in 2010. I have reposted it for our Irish Heritage Month – BloodSpite

Without a doubt this is my most favored Irish song. It’s not really traditional, having been written in the late 1970′s.

However, the story behind is as saddening as the lyrics.

More after the Jump

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(BloodSpite’s Note: I originally wrote this in March of 2011. I’ve republished here for this years Irish Heritage celebration. I hope you enjoy!)

I’ve mentioned before that my family hails from County Armagh. However, my family does not align itself with the Ulsters. It’s one of the reasons we left Ireland in the 1940′s my grandfather having had enough of the frictions between the North and South, “We were all Irish, dammit.” he would often curse in his latter years with a shake of his head.

This post isn’t about politics however, it’s more about a place that politics happened.

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Phase I is here

Phase II is here

So we finally got the majority of the room complete and we have steadily been filling our shelves with the boxes of books we have had in storage for what seems like eons.

One thing to keep in mind, that while this is a Library room, its also meant to act as a quasi study, a Victorian, or throwback room heralding to our former culture norms, a room that is comfortable and made for relaxing, ready and quiet reflection. We wanted it to be old looking, and old feeling from start to finish, with only a handful of modern conveniences.

With that in mind lets be off!

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In case you missed somehow, Phase I is located here.

So once the room basics were in place it was time to get serious.

First we had to take the sofa, the fireplace, my humidor and the lamp out of the room.

Then using some left overs from putting in the floor, came the fun part. Fun being used here in total sarcasm.

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So the Domestic 6 and I decided to build a home Library. Its been something of a labour of love.

We’re old fashioned sorts, and I wanted to do something more with a Victorian/Steampunk feel.

We were inspired by some of the old Sherlock Holmes movies with colours and a lot of pictures of old Victorian libraries thanks to Google.

For fun and since I haven’t blogged anything in a coons age I figured I’d post what we did with a few how we did it’s.

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With The Armorer finally going dark there aren’t too many folks from the heydey of blogging still around.

 

So whose left?

Well John DuMond of Nobody Move is still writing, and doing so with much more regularity than myself. I’m a frequent lurker there and rarely comment but I still like his work, especially his true crime pieces.

Harvey too, is also still running over at Bad Example. Again I lurk but do not comment often. Mostly because I have a hard time finding time to do much more than quickly read any more with work and school.

Laughing Wolf has been much more creative than I posting quite regularly.

Stephen Sherman aka The Commissar still runs his Ace Pilots page, but his Politburo Diktat is long gone.

Teresa and Technicalities is still alive and kicking

Doc at DocInTheBox also posts occasionally.

T1G of Drunken Wisdom is another sporadic like myself.

EricSWG of StraightWhiteGuy also writes sporadically, and well as always when he does.

The Conservative UAW guy last posted in May.

Nidonemo is still active thankfully.

The Ministry of Minor Perfidy is another who has not posted since May

Slobokan has been silent since April

All of the Northwest Arkansas Bloggers are gone save for myself.

With the exception of a few holdouts such as Blackfive, Grims Hall, This Aint Hell and Murdoc Online most of the old groups are gone.

Since I started writing online back in 1997 I have seen the web undergo a lot of social changes. From mIRC to OTC sites such as Tripod and Geocities, to the MySpace and Blog Heydeys.

All the folks I have listed above, for the vast majority I interact with via Facebook with regularity. They get tired of the spammers, the Chinese hackers, the internet drama, and the “Take this down or we’ll sue you!” crowd.

Its hard to blame them. I’ve been threatened with at least 4 lawsuits in over 15 years of writing on line. I’ve gotten more hate mail than I can shake a stick at. Its one reason I have rarely if ever used my real name online: the fact is there are just some plain old fashion sick people out there.

But I have also met some fabulous people, made great connections. Been introduced to some legends, and people who I consider friends today.

Blogs may be going to the way side, and one day it is entirely possible that this site too may go dark (though I have no immediate plans to do so) but until that time its much like digital cave drawings. People have evolved, maybe not for the better, but their digital social culture has definitely swung towards the instant gratification world of Facebook and G+. Even I use them.

But I can’t put down my keyboard, not entirely. I feel like if I do, a little piece of me might die with it.

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If you are wondering what the difference is between all the different types of cigar wrappers out there, this guide will help to bring you up to speed.

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Current vote tallies are as follows.

An Leargaidh The Slopes    2 Votes
An Dun Hill Fort   2 Votes
Monadh Liath Grey Mountains  1 vote
Cair Ceann Tulaich  Fort of the hillock 1 Vote

And lets not forget an honorary mention for Caisleán Critter 

Don’t forget to check here for the full list.

Vote tallies will end the morning of Saturday April 20th.

As for me? I’m trying to maintain decorum. Of course inside I’m screaming.  5 and a half hours and it will be all over.

So here’s something to set the mood. Caoineadh Cu Chlainn, probably one of the prettiest songs I know of, as performed by Bill Whelan and played on a Uilleann Pipe.

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For Dr. Burton of MSU

I’ve done a lot of things with my website over the past several years. When I first started at Techography.com back in 1995 we wrote tech articles in layman’s terms for people. There are a lot less laymen today than there were in those days and the need for what we did I think is not as great. We slowly have veered away from it and split the sites in to two sites with different focuses reflective of ourselves as we have grown older as well, one with a more tech face (that we really haven’t focused on or bothered with any degree of dedication whatsoever in probably 5 or 6 years) and this one which is mostly my playground.

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