As we say above, this is mainly for friends and family. Michael's blog on the Middle East can be found here. Most of our other links can be found below on the right, but be sure to keep up as well with our family website, here. We also have discussion groups for genealogy, links to genealogical information on us, and our (semi-private) Flickr and YouTube accounts for those who are invited. You can also get a quick-navigation guide here.

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

St. Patrick, Moving Worms, etc...

I'm really slow these days. Today (yesterday now; it's after midnight) was St. Patrick's Day. We did Irish on the weekend, at Sarah's request, but I never do on Patrick's day when all the Sassenachs are there. We did chili instead.

This weekend Sarah moved worms. More on that anon.

Monday, March 3, 2008

Dad, When were the Jetsons On? And St. Patrick and such.

Huh? Where does this stuff come from. I couldn't remember when The Jetsons were on; they were a bit after my cartoon-watching time. Wikipedia says 1962-1963, when as a High Schooler I certainly had no use for cartoons. And then there were new episodes in 1985-87. But I'm never sure where Sarah acquires her cultural reference points.

Saturday we did the St. Patrick's Day parade in Alexandria, our largest local St. Patrick's Day parade, though it was 16 days ahead of Paddy's day itself. Alexandria was founded by Glasgow Scots, but has annual Highland games with guys in kilts throwing hammers and tossing cabers and such, which the Glaswegian founders would have found very weird behavior indeed. Somewhere along the way they decided they were Irish as well (and of course we Irish taught the Scots everyting they knew except painting themselves blue and eating haggis*) and this year the Archbishop of Baltimore (an O'Brien) was the marshal of the parade and the master of ceremonies was one Pat Troy, a professional Irishman who runs a pub in Alexandria (though as I look at his site to link it I see he may be trying to sell it) and who has an inordinate and unjustified fondness for the "Unicorn Song," which wears very thin on me very quickly. There are two rival Irish pubs in Old Town Alexandria; the other, Murphy's, has always appealed more to me. Still, when we go as a family to an Irish pub (not often, but it does appeal to part of me) we usually go to Ireland's Four Provinces in Falls Church. Closer, easier parking, more family friendly and less smoky, less noisy, and sometimes has Danny Doyle, one of the few guys who appears locally who sings the old rebel songs (this isn't Boston: most of the Irish pubs do very anodyne stuff or even Simon and Gafunkely stuff).

*UPDATE: This on actual St. Patrick's day. I realized that, historically, I suppose there was one more thing that the Irish didn't teach the Scots, and that was how to fight the English, since the Scots were doing that long before Strongbow. But we've both made it the national sport. Now back to the original post:

And of course I don't go to any of these places discussed above on Patrick's Day. Let the Saxons and the Poles and Italians and everybody else go drink Guinness that day of the year. I'll take my cue from Ireland: it's a saint's day so let's not crowd into a crowded pub. We'll lift our glass at home. Play some rebel songs and talk about that old Briton named Patrick, who once you strip away the snakes and the Shamrocks and the other stuff, still comes through as one of the few people of the fourth or more likely early fifth century who left us anything directly in his own hand. at least outside of Italy. Bad Latin, they tell me (not that I can tell: my Latin education ended in high school). If you've never read it you can find it here and a lot of other places, and there's nothing in it about snakes or shamrocks, But it is a relic of late Roman Britain, roughly contemporary with St. Augustine. It's a better read on St. Patrick's Day than most of the crap that's out there.

Where was I going here? Anyway, after the St. Patrick's Day parade in Alexandria (selections up on the YouTube site), Sarah had a lot of fun at her friend Alisa's eighth birthday party. Sarah turns eight in just about 40 days, so we've got to brace for our own party.

As you've noticed if anyone actually reads this, we've been busy. But there will be more to come.