Archive for the ‘Stories of Home’ Category

The Hemingway Cocktail

Its called a number of things. The Hemingway Daiquri. The Hemingway Cocktail.

Story goes that Hemingway drank so many of his favorite cocktails at El Floridita, the Cuban bar where the author spent many days and nights drinking in the 1930s and ’40s, that the drink was eventually named the Hemingway Daiquiri.

Thanks to my friend Devon, the Bartendar at the hotel I stay at in CLT frequently, I have become quite a fan myself.

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The difference seems to be dependant upon which clear alcohol you want to add. If you want the Daiquri you use the traditiona white rum. If you want the cocktail, you use gin. In either case the affect is very much the same: tart, a touch sour a touch sweet with a nice refreshing tang afterward.

Supposedly he could sit and drank 12 or more of these a night. Hemingway said these drinks “had no taste of alcohol and felt, as you drank them, the way downhill glacier skiing feels running through powder snow.”

The recipe is rather pretty straight forward

 

  • 2 oz white rum or gin (The traditional rum was Havana Club I believe)
  • 3/4 oz fresh grapefruit juice
  • 1/2 oz fresh lime juice
  • 1/4 oz Luxardo Maraschino Liqueur
  • 1/4 oz simple syrup 1:1
  • Garnish with a grapefruit twist

    Shake all ingredients except the garnish and strain into a chilled cocktail glass. Garnish with a grapefruit twist.

Kick back with a copy of The Old Man and the Sea and enjoy.

 

 

 

 

Grinding

Spent the last several days sick as a dog. When I first got to CLT I couldnt hold my head up. Yesterday was first day of really feeling almost normal, but after several nights of medicinal induced sleep I couldn’t pass out last night. Don’t know if it works that way for everyone but for as long as I can remember if I take something to go to sleep, if I dont take it the next night I struggle with going.

End result? I got about 4 hours sleep last night and I have a long day ahead. I’d complain but frankly I’ve been working between 60 and 70 hours every week since August short of Thanksgiving and Christmas.

The project I’m on has been a ball buster, but the primary portion is nearly complete. Which means my travel schedule will relax soon and I can spend some time at home. I will stil be travelling until at least June if not July, butnot as much as I have

Have a busy year between residency for school and my reunion. Not sure how I am going to juggle all this.

 

East Coast bound once again

So I’m traveling again this week. Will be the first time I try out 100% blogging via my mobile devices. I don’t blog via my work laptop for security reasons to both me and my employer and carrying two laptops frankly is just too much crap to be humping around an airport, with a lot of liability if something happens to either of them to work and school.

Given the outcome of the SuperBowl yesterday I’m debated declining to wear anything Volunteers related. I’m sure that some folks will consider me a traitorous bastard for that, but these trips are for business not pleasure and I need the folks in Charlotte a lot more than they need me.

Sherlock of the BSI knows when I am leaving, and when he seems my luggage almost immediately begins whining. A 100% daddies boy, I reckon. I haven’t blogged about them much since puppy hood but I’m thinking I will be more so in the near future.

Meanwhile given the amount of travel, and responsibility that has been placed on me in the last 6 months, combined with the amount of hours I’m working I have made the decision that its likely time I explore another employer.

To be clear, I like my job, I love my boss, I like my peers and I am fully cognizant that I may be trading the witch for the devil. However the fact is I need to be able to move up salary wise in my career and the raises they provide versus cost of living actually have me losing ground. Further the bonus program has not been what it used to be in years. My employers has good points and bad points like anyone else, again to be fair I have stayed with them longer than I have any civilian employer, and that was for a reason. But between my qualifications, my experience and frankly the work I have been doing I hate to sound greedy but I need more.

We’ll see what happens. Its not like I have a lot of time to go searching these days anyway.

New age lessons

We play video games with our kid.

We don’t play MMO games, but we do play video games. Largely they are Co-op and of a RPG nature. We three sit down and make it a point to have fun together but just as important to me is that in playing those games we try to listen to each other, work together, and communicate.

So this from Penny Arcade really struck a chord for me, because it has happened with us. Its the digital equivalent of staying the night in jail or cleaning up your room, and whats more is its happened making it all the more funny.

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The Green of March

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!

Easter Rising: The Beginning of the Troubles

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

Click for large version

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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Building a Home Library: Phase III

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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Not Dead, Just Busy

Best laid plans of mice and men they say

I have been extraordinarily busy as of late.

I started a doctoral program back in August and juggling it along with my work as well as my Non Profit time has been challenging to say the least especially when it comes to finding “Me” time such as for this site.

All that aside I have been busy here as well.

The pups are growing like weeds with Sherlock nearly at 40 lbs already.

For the Holidays I am attempting to build the dry bar in the Library finally

Hope your holidays are good and thanks for sticking around!

A Barker St Adventure: The case of the damaged wall

 

It was early morning on Barker Street as Watson coming strolling up to his flat mate.

“I say! Sherlock ol boy! What the devil has happened to your wall?”

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Sherlock looked nonchalant “Well, after consuming a mixture of cocaine and heroin I borrowed your Webley and….”

“Oh, stop it man!,” Watson interrupted. “I’m a war veteran for goodness sake. That wall looks like its been positively eaten! No weapon could possibly do that sort of damage! Miss Hudson will positively have kittens!”

“Mmmm, kittens…,” Sherlock with a delicious look in his eyes.

“Holmes! How could you possibly think of kittens at a time like this!” Watson exclaimed.

“Quite easy really. I’m hungry!”

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The New Adventures of Sherlock Holmes & Gang

(And be sure to hit the Play button for some ambiance!)

With all respect to Arthur Conan Doyle, as well as to Cumberbatch and Freeman, I think I finally found a way to spur my blogging back to normalcy.

Sure the world didn’t end when I started slacking. However, it may experience a momentary lapse in dignity now that I’m trying to begin again.

Ladies and gentlemen allow me to present to you the residents of 221A, 221B and 221C Ba(r)ker St.

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The new guys

I feel a bit sanctimonious posting about new dogs immediately after the loss of Huck.

The problem, unfortunately is more one of a lack of blogging on my part rather than one of poor intent. I’m trying to make it a point of posting more, but where as before I felt inspired, angry at the world in some cases, and otherwise driven to add my voice to deluge of people shouting against the whiles of the world, these days I find myself more often shaking my head in disgust and walking away.

At any rate a more pleasurable topic.

As of yesterday, Sherlock, Watson and Mary arrived at An Dun. It’s hard to say whom was more excited us or the pups. Training has begun, but not in earnest. I need to acquire three cages as the ones we initially procured are not going to be sufficient in anyway. That said we are all extremely excited to have the rug rats

I need to start with a couple of hat tips. First a big shout out got to the Baxter County Arkansas Animal control whose adoption process was not only painless but enthusiastic.  The only downside to their operation is it is a “kill shelter” but I also understand why they don’t feel they have a choice starting with the funding just inst there. They rely on folks like me who want a pet and who aren’t looking for something with a pedigree 90 miles long.

We want a family member, not a paper trail and the staff there was more than excited to assist us. I cant say enough about these folks who I spoke to via phone and E-mail almost on a every other day basis.

Next All Creatures Veterinary Hospital in Mountain Home, Arkansas.  They not only spayed and neutered the new additions to our home, they treated them for worms, distemper, rabies and fleas. They didn’t break the bank doing it either. For someone who wants to adopt an animal the process that Baxter and All Creatures has set up is not just reasonable its a medical god send frankly as your pet has damn near everything you need before you walk out the door without costing you a fortune.

You folks are awesome.

Lastly Dr Sherman at Oak View Animal Clinic.  Dr. Sherman has had the misfortune of being with us through loss. She will now get to be work with us through the good fortune of life. We like her and her staff, the fact they have different payment options in a medical area that’s cost can quickly become exorbitant is beyond helpful and the fact that she is beyond competent is frankly an added bonus.

It’s nice to have An Dun filled with the sounds of canines again.

 

The Story of Huckleberry Finn: The orphan dog

January 2002.

My soon to be wife and I were driving from Buffalo, NY to Avoca, AR looking to get a new lease on life.

I hadn’t been out of the Army long and a string of bad luck, and troubles followed in my wake. I needed a change before I changed the path on which I was traveling.

My mom and her husband had just closed on a house, and were moving out of a place that they were renting, a single wide trailer. It wasn’t much but the landlord agreed to transfer the lease to us.

While cleaning the place preparing for our arrival so they could move, my mother had hit a Burger King for lunch and was eating it in her truck. It was then she heard a whining sound outside her drivers window and turned to find a Rottweiler puppy outside her door.

So began our journey.

Huck, The Uberdog

Huck, The Uberdog

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The Last Confederate Surrender

I wrote this just before my wedding. June 12, 2004 at our sister site of Techography.com. I’m republishing it here both for posterity, and because this weekend is my wife and I’s eight year anniversary. I look back now and I can see a visible difference in my writing. I can also see a difference in myself. That’s for another time, however. Bear in mind this was written several years ago so the phrasing is appropriate. I did not post that weekend. I will not be posting this one. Somethings are worth celebrating privately. -BS

Me, Circa 2004 taken by one of my best friend (and best mans) wife during our wedding.

 

History tells us that that June 23, 1865 was the date the last Confederate General Surrendered his command.

I”m afraid its just not so.

The real date is June 12, 2004.

Thats the date I surrender (I”m a former 18th Georgia Infantry Re-enactor) my freedom to a Northern born individual, a former Union Re-enactor for the 155th Irish of Western New York.

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Building a home Library: Phase II

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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Building a home Library: Phase I

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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Lex: End of line

I wrote this in March of 2012 once it had finally settled in to my brain on the passing of Neptunus Lex. Brother in Arms, Brothers in Ink, Milblogger, and a man I’d like to consider a friend. I think it needs to be reposted as its that time of the year again.

It is Ireland’s sacred duty to send over, every few years, a playwright to save the English theatre from inarticulate glumness.
Kenneth Tynan, Observer, 27 May 1956

We didn’t send him to England. But really, for an Irishman there really isn’t much difference between death and Ireland.

For me, it didn’t really click until this morning.I had an eval with my current employer, I sat in front of my laptop at 4 o clock this morning with my coffee, and on impulse clicked Lex’s blog link from my bookmarks. My nerves akimbo. I wanted some peace.

Over the years the people I have known via websites have waxed and waned. When I first started writing on line back in 1995, there was one other site I visited with regularity. In 2000, there was eight. In 2002 twenty two. In 2007 almost 52.

Now? 17…and of those fully half are inactive links. Its a testament to my love for Lex’s work that I kept him on my book mark list. The others I liked and I keep hoping that they will update. I have been reluctant to remove the inactive ones from my bookmarks for this reason.

As I clicked his link, and the page loaded the hot coffee turned cool against my lips as I was reminded by whisper…he’s gone. His words will not grace us any longer, save for works in days gone by. His thoughts of previous days left to haunt us in the present.

I set my cup down and wondered. This digital snap shots in to our lives. Where will they go? What will happen to them. For many, when the costs come due our families will shut them down, turn off the lights, and our words will vanish in to the ether at some point.

Our words left unread by those in the future whom may read them. It is one advantage our print and media brethren have over us. Our archives are only around as long as someone wishes to pay for it. There are no libraries whom receive our subscriptions, no history scribes whom will hallmark our work and words. It is up to us to find ways to back up these works, save them, and distribute them in some fashion for others to hold dear.

Our children may not come of age knowing our works, or what motivated us without these very lines I type. How we thought and the people we sought to be, in the end are portrayed here, in black and white and sent to you in hi definition on 1,024 x 768 pixels through a OC48 pipe from one coast to another.

Lex is gone. That much is final. His words may one day slip in to obscurity. Like my other blog friend triticale whom we lost in 2007, or Acidman whom we lost in 2006, their websites stand testament to their sentiments, themselves, and their values. Digital monuments.

But one day those digital monuments can and will fail. Companies get sold, servers crash, people move on, costs become exorbitant. For me a culmination of almost two decades of writing belong on two websites…the thought crosses my mind…what will happen if? I have no regular blog partner with keys. My wife has no interest in these things, and no interest in voicing her own ideals. It will simply become like my coffee, cold, and one day to vanish in to the electronic ether.

Maybe I am bleak because a little light has left this world. Because one who continued, with others fell to the way side, to provide us with measured, rational doses of words, wisdom and work. Who shared with us his day to day experiences, struggles and life.

Maybe I am bleak because how many of us, in that former profession, had those narrow misses? Those brief glances in to our future? that feeling that all we knew and had was about to change in a single instance….and once he was past that point he chose to go back to it, willingly, knowing the costs at stake? Only to be snatched at the last possible instance mere feet from safety?

It seems incomprehensible really. But the Banshee does not care about prose, wit, or talent and at some point when she calls to us to warn of us of An Bás, the time to prepare will be over.

I prefer not to think that those engines final whine were the cry of the Banshee for Lex, although fitting it may be.

When An Bás came calling, I choose to think that someone, up there….just wanted a good debriefing on how life is down here these days. And to keep it interesting he picked the best writer we had.

Ar dheis Dé go raibh a anam
May he rest on peace

The Starvation Orders: The Greatest Generation?

(Editors Note: I first published this at the beginning of 2012. For March, I thought it was a good story to bring back up and republish. Enjoy!)

The Irish and the British will always have issues because the British never remember, and the Irish never forget.

It’s a hot button issue in Ireland.

At the time, and now to an extent, many feel that the over 5,000 Irishmen who left Ireland to fight against Nazi Germany in World War II were  and are criminals, or deserters.

They left the Irish Army, leaving Ireland who was neutral, to fight to stop the Nazi’s in World War II.

Today, there is a possibility they may be pardoned.

The Starvation Orders were the orders to blacklist those 5,000 troops upon their return. They could not get jobs, welfare, pensions or any assistance what so ever, some of them made a go at it. Others left the country yet again. Whats more the orders extended beyond just the individuals, but their families as well. It’s how my own family ended up in America.

Five thousand Irish soldiers who swapped uniforms to fight for the British against Hitler went on to suffer years of persecution. They were formally dismissed from the Irish army, stripped of all pay and pension rights, and prevented from finding work by being banned for seven years from any employment paid for by state or government funds.
One of them, 92-year-old Phil Farrington, took part in the D-Day landings and helped liberate the German death camp at Bergen-Belsen – but he wears his medals in secret. Even to this day, he has nightmares that he will be arrested by the authorities and imprisoned for his wartime service.

“They would come and get me, yes they would,” he said in a frail voice at his home in the docks area of Dublin.
And his 25-year-old grandson, Patrick, confirmed: “I see the fear in him even today, even after 65 years.”

Mr Farrington’s fears are not groundless.

 

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Hunting. Or Searching.

I’ve been going hunting again.

I have not been in years. Up until about 1999 I was an avid hunter. But traveling as much as I did after that point made hunting a logistical nightmare and practically a impossibility.

So I quit and just did fishing instead.

I do some walking, and and some deer stand work. Nothing fancy. I’m not in to outdoor channels nor do I drool when the next camo pattern shows up in stores. I usually wear jeans when I hunt. Its more about being quiet, good and the creature not smelling you. Everything else falls in to place after that.

However truly I don’t care about the hunting.  I prefer the peace.

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Radio Intercepts
Translator
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