Saratoga Irish

Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Survived The Weekend

The song "Swimmin in the Sea" by Gaelic Storm sums it up pretty good, Our holidays had come at last They came real slow and went by fast
Just one week, that's all we had
Then back to work went mom and dad ,
OK, we didn't have a week only three days (three and a half, left work at noon on Friday and I know that some of you took Friday off) but you get the point. How much can you pack into so little time. Friday night was Boston and Fenway Park. Red Sox vs The Rays, I wore nothing "Yankee" to the game. We had seats behind home plate, eight rows up from the field level box seats. I have to point that out because in Fenway Park the beer vendors ONLY sell beer to people in the field level box seats. Who makes that kind of a rule! I can get ice cream, Cotton candy, lemonade, pizza and anything else but no beer. Needless to say I missed the top of the first inning (3rd, 5th while Chris missed parts of the 4th and 6th) standing in line for beer at a concession stand, $7.75 for coors light and Narragansett or $8.25 for Heineken. So you know what we were drinking. The Sox took an early lead but it didn't hold up. Rare happenings in the game, a grand slam for the Rays and an eighth inning bench clearing brawl. The crowd also gave a standing ovation to a member of the Massachusetts National Guard who was a guest of the Red Sox, very classy Boston, and for Kyle, seeing that it was not October, I was able to have a Fenway Frank. One more note on Fenway, if you are going to a game make sure you have a sausage and pepper sandwich from one of the street vendors, outstanding. (thanks to my boss Kevin for the heads up).
Saturday started slow, chores and a haircut but then the ride to East Durham for the festival. I got there in time for Shilelagh Law, the band that I wanted to see and was not disappointed. They were great. hung out with brother and sister Hibernians from Albany and Saratoga. A good day with even better weather.
Sunday was a day of relaxing but getting ready for Monday. Memorial Day I was up early and off to Saratoga Springs for the parade. To say the annual parade would be a misnomer, the parade, usually held the Wednesday evening before the weekend had been cancelled. Although many were upset about this, one man, Paul Brisson,  led the fight to revive the parade through social media like facebook and twitter. What he ended up with was the biggest Memorial Day Parade and the best turnout of crowds watching that I can remember. Well done Paul.
After the parade I was invited to Chris and Amy's for a little party. It was a great venue to try out my first attempt at "Irish Car Bomb" cupcakes (awesome). The food was excellent, from Dinosaur Bar-B-Que, we were all feeling well fed when in front of family (his and hers) Chris knelt down and proposed. This, ladies and gentlemen, was the highlight of the weekend. Without getting too mushy, these are two fantastic people that deserve nothing less then true happiness. They opened their home and family when things were very bad for me and that is something I can never repay. I try not to overuse the word friend, people I work with are my co-workers or friends from work (a three word discription), a friend is something much more. The old saying is, "You can choose your friends but you can't choose your family" shows how much more important friends are than even family. Chris and Amy are my friends. Oh yeah, she said yes.

Friday, May 25, 2012

First Weekend Of Summer

I'm at a loss. As most of you know I always start this blog off with a video. Well not always, since blogspot allowed youtube videos, before that it was lyrics to a song that began each posting. As you already surmised, this post is starting with out either. I have written blogs that have pushed my imagination to find the right song or video but that is not the problem here. The thing about today's blog is that I am writing about Memorial Day weekend and I have too many things to write about. First and foremost it's Memorial Day. The one day a year when we remember the people that have servered our country and have passed away. Veterans day you say, but I always feel that veterans day is for the living. Either way, it's kind of sad that we only think about our military personnel on two of 365 days. So I should have started with a patriotic song. Whitney Houston's version of the Star Spangled Banner. Maybe a nice Sousa march, very military. Since most of us will be forgetting the reason behind the day and focus on a three day weekend some other music might go just as well. Since Memorial Day is the unofficial start of summer how about a little Beach Boys. Here's the question about that, do kids today still think of The Beach Boys as summer music? Since 1978 the Irish Festival in East Durham has been a main stay of the Irish community from New York City to Syracuse and beyond. Great and some not so great bands have played the stages in the little town in the "Irish Alps". So a video from one of the bands might go well. A video of The Brothers Flynn, or Shilelagh Law is always a nice touch, I am leaving for Boston this afternoon to go to a Red Sox game. Yes, you read that right, a Red Sox game. I am a baseball fan, Fenway Park is the oldest baseball stadium in the country, some of my best friends are Red Sox fans. maybe if I keep giving reasons I will talk myself into liking the idea. Seriously, I have been to Fenway before and it's a great place to see a game. I am going with a few friends and it will be a great night of fun and laughs. Most importantly, GO RAYS!!. So what music? Carley Simon has a fantastic version of Take Me Out To The Ballgame, and she's from Boston, I think. Neil Diamond's Sweet Caroline bum bum bum (read This song sucks) would be appropriate. I'm leaning towards Dropkick Murphy's Shipping Up To Boston, I mean it was good enough for Scarsese it should be good enough for here. So......what should I do?

Monday, May 21, 2012

Classic Tunes That Everybody Knows

Let me take you back to a time when a transistor radio was considered a marvel. A time before cable TV, no MTV or VH1. A time when there was only AM on your radio dial. In the Capital District we had WTRY and WPTR for rock and roll music, with dj's like Boom Boom Brannigan. Television only had three channels and , wait for it kids, no computers, no video games (pong was still in the future) no mp3 players. What made me think about this you ask, well yesterday I went to see local musician Frank Jaklitsch  and he was working on the old Eddie Arnold song, Make The World Go Away. Frank knew the chorus, as well as everyone else in the bar. So the question I'm asking is, how did we all know the song? This is not the only song like this, think of King Of The Road, I know you can do this. Trailers for sale or rent. Rooms to let.....fifty cents. No phone, no pool no pets. ...................Yeah I heard you. How do we know these songs. I think it's too easy to say that it was a  simpler time. I think it's more of families spent time together. You watched TV together and the variety show was a main stay of 1950's and 60's television programing. On February 9, 1964 when the Beatles made their American television debut on The Ed Sullivan Show, besides seeing the Beatles the television audience also saw and heard the cast of Oliver sing I"ll Do Anything For You and Georgia Brown sing As Long As He Needs Me from the same show. There were also three different comedy acts including Frank Gorshin (who went on to be "the Riddler" on the TV show Batman). So you see, without even knowing it you were exposed to Broadway show tunes. Most verity shows were like that, something for the kids, something for the parents. I can remember getting our first record player one year for Christmas. (my first records, Soundtrack from Hard Days Night and The Music Man) it was a mono so you couldn't buy stereo records. I think my parents may have bought an Eddie Arnold album but how does that explain King Of The Road? Another popular show was Sing Along  with Mitch, staring Mitch Miller. Just follow the bouncing ball, and this was decades before Karaoke. A quick look at an episode shows the songs Down By The Old Mill Stream and Stormy Weather (I know your doing it, Don't know why, there's no sun up in the sky, Stormy weather). Other classic variety shows include Red Skelton, Carol Burnett, Sonny &Cher and The Smothers Brothers. This is not suppose to be a history of the variety show it's just to show you that if you spend time with your kids and expose them to music you enjoy maybe, just maybe, someday when a singer says, "I'm working on an old tune can you help me out?" your kids will be able to sing , The screen door slams, Marys dress sways. Like a vision she dances across the porch as the radio plays. Roy Orbison singing for the lonely. Hey that's me and I want you only.

Thursday, May 17, 2012

Man Candles

So Yankee Candles has a new line of candles just for men, "man candles". What's better than the fresh aroma of cut grass( Riding Mower) or sawdust (2X4)to make your home smell nicer. I understand it but I don't get it. Does Yankee Candle think guys buy candles to enjoy themselves? I thought the idea of candles was to mask the "man" aroma already present. Maybe the idea is for women to buy the man scents for their homes to make guys feel at ease when they come over. As much as I like the smell of a fresh cut lawn, I don't need a candle for it. I like to have a pine scent candle during the Christmas holidays because I prefer a fake tree. Light up a chocolate chip candle when you open the box of store bought cookies when you want to impress a woman with your baking skills. As you read this I'm sure you are thinking of many different candles that might be in Yankee Candles next line. A lot of what I am thinking of have to do with food, bacon would be one, BBQ smoke would be another. So how does a candle company come up with new smells? Do they have someone or a group of people sitting in an office yelling out their favorite smells? Let's try that, new leather, (get your mind out of the gutter) nothing smells as good as the smell of a new baseball glove. Just ask any guy and watch his eyes glaze over in memories of being young and putting that new glove over your face and taking a deep smell. A candle called "Aunt Martha", smells like moth balls. Anyone who played sports in the 70's will know this scent, "Heat", smells like Ben-gay on steroids. "New Car", needs no explanation. "Coffee" (can't believe they don't have this one already), the smells people love to wake up to. "Burning Leaves", remember the fall smell in the air when everyone was out burning leaves. I have a whole list also of smells that would never nor should ever be made into candles. "Genny Cream Ale" is the first one that comes to mind and I'm not talking about the smell of stale beer. "6 Month old Sneakers" aahh just put your nose in and inhale. "Flipper", makes the room smell like a fishing boat. And the list goes on and on. So what makes your list?

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

There's an app for that

So I have a new phone and I have moved up to a phone with apps. Now I feel I have a duty to fill this phone with apps. Looking at what I have chosen I see that some are useful and some are fun and some, well lets just put it this way, are completely unnecessary. I have a kindle app, love it. I have read about ten books on it already. The imdb app, can't live without it, (if you are a movie or TV buff you must have this app or the website at the ready), A couple of youtube apps, the regular one, one that allows you to download the video or just the audio from youtube, and one that finds videos with lyrics so you can use it as a karaoke machine. I have game apps, bowling, solitaire, spider solitaire, word (came on the phone and I never use it). I down loaded shazam, it's an app that listens to music and tells you the song and artist. Then I have the stupid apps, one that makes noises, bongo drums, a drum pad, piano keys, a candle (in case the flashlight app fails), a music app that tells you the top songs in countries all over the world (Number 1 song in Spain this week, Yo Te Esperare by Cali & El Dandee). There are also many, many apps that even I find to useless for my time, angry birds is the first one that comes to mind. I just read about an app called, The Ugly Meter Pro for iPhone and iPads. So you take a photo of yourself and this app gives you a score that tells you if you are ugly or not. Like I need a phone to tell me I'm ugly, I thought that was what women were for. Now this is how the app is marketed but in real life, I can see guys taking photos of women in bars and laughing at the results (I'm sure women would do it too but I will put them above such shallow behavior). So how many useless apps do you have on your phone? More importantly, what apps do you highly recommend?

Monday, May 07, 2012

We Were Mooned


Tuesday, May 01, 2012

The Future is Hear

So I don't have a flying car but you are reading from the land (or space) of the Jetsons. My company has put blogs on the same list as porn, Facebook, and YouTube.the list of internet places that waste the time of the American workforce. Therefore I am forced to blog from my phone. Aaaahh I remember the days when a phone was a phone. I remember my Aunt had a partyline, that was one step above Sheriff Taylor picking up the phone and asking "Sarah " will you get me Wally's filling station. Not only were we forced to remember phone numbers we also needed to know a word introduction Ivanhoe 3-4567. Now I don't even know my kids phone numbers.I programed them into the phone and now I just touch their name and the phone calls them (my phone has an audio option where I would only have to say the name and it will call them but that's over my head) . So now I use my phone to....listen to music, play games, text, I have a kindle app so I read books on it, I watch TV both live and on demand. Now I. Blog. My flying car must surely be just around the corner.