Beannachtaí na Féile Pádraig

Supposedly, that's Irish Gaelic (which I'm allowed to rock thanks to my 13th century Kilpatrick heritage, yo)... So, yeah, it's St. Patrick's Day and it's snowing like a bitch this morning. Luckily the roads stayed mostly clear, and we didn't get anything near the high end of the 4-8 inch predictions.

Nevertheless, I am pleased that I was able to get my celebrating out of the way this past Saturday with Brozovich at the "Lazy J Ranch" of one John Croghan. John pulls together a nice little crowd of good people, so it was an excellent laid-back time. Plus he had a keg of Guinness. Hard to go wrong there. (Hell, I didn't even bother to check if it was carbonated or nitrogenated. No need to be rude in the man's house.)

By the way, John is doing his country crooning thing in Olde Town Arvada on April 4 at the 12 Volt Tavern. He's guessing he'll go on around 10pm or so. I'm definitely going to be there. If I'm lucky, John might even sing my request. ;)

In other music performance news, The Aggrolites are playing in Denver this Wednesday. I love those boys. We saw them open for Madness in Los Angeles a couple years ago and have since collected all of their stuff. Well worth the $13 ticket, I'm thinking. (Here are some YouTube samples for you. Oh, and The Wife's favorite track.)

Oh, there's also roller derby on April 5. The Wife was asking about derby last night, so we'll probably try to hit that, I think. Derby's always worth the $13 ticket.

That's all I've got, but that's way more than usual, so I'm fine with it.

Lexicographic Smackdown

Having spend a number of years in/around Boston, I can testify that it becomes increasingly believable that the Irish may have invented the world. Perhaps this tendency isn't only a Beantown phenomenon, as illustrated by this NYTimes article about tracing a large portion of the modern slang dictionary to the Irish Gaelic tongue. The book, for which the article is basically an advertisement, is actually called How the Irish Invented Slang.

Like I said, though, it's kind of easy to fall for these types of hypotheses (for whatever reason). Luckily, the intarwebs are full of differing opinions on just about any subject you could imagine. In this case, the counterpoint is solid:

In January 2005, I challenged Cassidy to present all of his evidence. I told him that I’m the descendant of three strains of Irish, four strains of empiricist, and the son of a bluster-catcher, and I said he was going to have to do better than trot out the same-old “they’re all against me!� argument of every perpetual motion inventor.

To date, what he’s provided as evidence is flimsy and fouled by scholarly incompetence.

Just fair warning, if you're at all like me and tend to fall for the various romantic myths of the various Celtic peoples. Besides, everyone knows the Scots invented everything! ;^)

Here's tae us Wha's like us Damn few, And they're a' deid Mair's the pity!


Track o' the Post: Erin Go Bragh from Dick Gaughan's Handful of Earth. (Dick Gaughan, it's worth noting, is a Scot and something of an internet geek. Nice!)

All Hail John Smeaton!

This guy is not only a riot, he's a good egg to boot... The baggage handler who tackled terrorists

BAA worker John Smeaton told reporters how he had helped a police officer to restrain the suspects after a burning Jeep Cherokee, which was doused in petrol and packed with gas cylinders, crashed through the window of the departures lounge on Saturday.


Demonstrating the "have-a-go" attitude typical of Glaswegians, Mr Smeaton continued: "Glasgow doesnae accept this, if you come tae Glasgow, we'll set about you."

How fantastic is THAT?! He is deservedly rising to a sort of stardom, too. Check the tribute blog and the YouTube action.

My favorite quite from the (less excited) CNN footage:

"He's a behg boy and no' for bein' shubdude."

It does me proud (as someone who claims Scottish heritage).

(Thanks, Garret!)

Hypersensitive Much?

I have some friends who are of Irish descent, and I come from mostly Scottish roots myself. I seldom pass up a chance to rag on the English for historical misdeeds perpetrated on my Celtic ancestors. That said, though, I have to call bullshit on all the uproar caused by Ben & Jerry's naming a flavor "Black & Tan". They were just copying the name of a drink, ferchristsakes. And don't give me the "half & half" nonesense. For one thing, it's a different drink, and more to the point, most people wouldn't recognize that name as readily as they would "black & tan".

Yes, the Black & Tans of the 1920's were right bastards, but you know what? It's time to let go. Besides, before it was a drink and before it was a nickname for the Royal Irish Constabulary Reserve Force, a "black & tan" was a dog.

Kilt Controversy

Board: Principal wrong to ban student's kilt

The controversy sparked an international debate about personal freedom and cultural dress. Thousands of people from around the world signed an Internet petition seeking an apology.

In a written statement, school superintendent Dr. Ron Anderson said school officials had no right to bar the student from wearing a kilt to any school function.

Quote of the article: "Scots are very touchy about their kilts."

If anything, you can bet a high school senior who is interested in wearing a kilt to a dance probably isn't going to cause much ruckus. Unless, of course he's going "regimental" underneath. ;)

Here's a bottle and an honest friend!

Happy St. Andrew's Day

There's nane that's blest of human kind, But the cheerful and the gay, man, Fal, la, la, &c.

Here's a bottle and an honest friend! What wad ye wish for mair, man? Wha kens, before his life may end, What his share may be o' care, man?

Then catch the moments as they fly, And use them as ye ought, man: Believe me, happiness is shy, And comes not aye when sought, man.

Thanks, Bobby.

This combination of drink and poetry riminds me of my college days. Boston University has a private pub (in the basement of the Castle, no less), and at said pub they have what they call a "beer quest". You would get a card on which the bartender would make a mark for each of the many different beers they had available as you consumed them. Once you, the drunkard, completed the quest, he would be inducted into an exclusive group known as "the Knights of Gunnungagap". You would be dubbed with a silly title ("Sir Tainly a Slacker" at your service) and given a glass mug which they kept for you behind the bar.

The highlight of my own poetic attempts was when I composed a toast for a friend of mine, which I read at his "knighthood" ceremony. That toast became the official induction recital for at least one of the bartenders at the BU Pub and lived on for an indeterminant amount of time after my graduation. I wonder if it still is...

The knighter reads from a plaque on the wall about the Quest to the new knight, who kneels down upon one knee.

I doubt that's the toast, but I don't recall a reading from a plaque in my day.

Six Nations, One Soul

I've said it a million times before: The Scots, the Irish, and all other Celtic types are basically the same, but now I have new evidence specific to my own family:

The Colquhouns originated in Ireland. In the early thirteenth century the founder of the clan, Humphrey Kilpatrick, was granted a charter for the barony of Colquhoun on the western bank of Loch Lomond.


Slainte to all my Kilpatrick cousins! ;)