Irish Food Revolution

Irish Food Revolution

The better half (Libby) and I have grown increasingly excited about the burgeoning food scene in Ireland. You can still run across bland, unimaginative fare there; that’s certain. But the Irish are less and less willing to put up with it and there are diners all across the country throwing down their spoons and shouting, “I’m not going to take it anymore, dammit!” (Okay, but it probably has happened at least once.)

Likewise, food producers, bakers and chefs have taken up the gauntlet and are creating some really bold culinary concepts, borrowing ideas from across the globe. And they’re doing it in an unhurried style that is pure Irish. After the collapse of the Celtic Tiger, the Irish took a step back and asked themselves what they had that they could use. And what they seem to have realized is that there was a lot they were already doing right. I’m talking about small farms with animals eating what they were intended to eat, and a new appreciation for the quality food the Irish have always excelled at like hearty breads and slow cooking.

Now cities and towns across Ireland and Northern Ireland are expanding their collective palates and jumping into a new culinary scene with great abandon.

So, to make a longish story short, Libby started a website last year called and since I’ve been helping her out so much, we’re adding my name to the ingredients. We’ll be posting new recipes and collecting information on small food producers and restaurants in an attempt to highlight what we see as a future food destination.

And we hope you’ll join us.

Donald Trump

Future blogs won’t rise to the level of negativity as this one; I’m trying to be more positive. But I can’t think of anything that has ever bothered me as much as the election of Donald Trump, and with his first days at the helm, there isn’t a better time to let loose.

We made a YUGE mistake. A tremendous, tremendous mistake.

First I’ll say that I know and like people who voted for Donald Trump. I don’t care for them any less because of it, but I am baffled. I dislike Donald Trump more than just about any person on earth. I think he embodies the worst traits in humanity and I have never been more disappointed with my country.

If you don’t agree with me, this isn’t for you. If you’re someone who feels the need to tell me where it’s at, stop being so angry. Your guy won; show a little class. For the record, sore winners are worse than sore losers and until his lawyers threaten me with endless litigation because he’s a big baby who can’t take criticism, this is staying up. If you want to put up a Trump love poem or a seething review of Hillary, get your own website.

His gripes and Twitter rants are so frequent and ridiculous that they’ve become background noise for me, like a kindergartner who cries about 80 things a day. I used to read about each one, perplexed that it was an adult writing it and whining like his favorite toy had been taken away or someone had called him a name. But the entertainment factor has worn off for me. He’s the boy who cried wolf and I don’t pay attention to his self-centered ramblings anymore.

He seems to think that every complicated, lingering problem has a simple solution that everyone just missed. I believe that’s almost never the case. Did it actually run through his mind that the Middle East problems could have been solved long ago if someone had just thought to ask his son-in-law? Did he think, “That kid’s a whiz! And boy is he likable! He’ll have the Israelis and Palestinians getting along like white and my cabinet.”

Did Trump wake at one point from a slumber with the epiphany that all we need to defeat the Islamic State is to get tough with them? Does he actually believe that the best way to help the middle class is to cut taxes for the uber wealthy? Trickle down economics was tried. It resulted in rich people becoming richer. On Jan. 16, Oxfam reported that eight men have as much wealth as half the world. And Trump wants to cut their taxes?

And why do Christians like him? I understand he shares their views on abortion, but is there anything else? I was raised Catholic and there are a few really basic Christian ideas where he falls a little shy: Mark 10:25 — It is easier for a camel to pass through the eye of a needle than for a rich man to enter the kingdom of heaven; Commandment #7 — Thou shalt not commit adultery unless she’s impressed that you’re a celebrity and lets you do whatever you want; Commandment #8 — Thou shalt not steal from investors; Commandment #9 — Thou shalt not bear false witness (except on Twitter); Commandment #10 — Thou shalt not covet your employees; Matthew 21:12 — Jesus entered the temple courts and drove out all who were buying or selling there. He overturned the tables of the money changers and the benches of those selling doves and ridiculous red hats.

The great 18th century theologian Jonathan Edwards said, “We must view humility as one of the most essential things that characterizes true Christianity.” Maybe there’s some different way of looking at humility, but I haven’t noticed one jot of it within 15 feet of Trump except when he was meeting with Obama.

Or we could look at the seven deadly sins: pride, greed, lust, envy, gluttony, wrath and sloth. I’ll concede that Trump isn’t a sloth, but I think he roundly qualifies for the other six. I’m an atheist who is — even with my admitted faults — a better Christian than Trump.

And for the love of all that is holy, could someone buy him a thesaurus? It seems like he’s only memorized two entries: fabulous, tremendous, great, huge, amazing, best, fantastic, winner, incredible; and disgusting, very bad, pathetic, worst, terrible, loser, stupid, and his all time favorite, sad. In fact, I think I just generated one of his sentences.

Also, not everything is the best or worst; almost everything falls somewhere in between. Oh, and avoiding taxes for 18 years doesn’t mean you’re smart; it means you have an accountant. Don’t take the credit when there’s no way on earth you do your own taxes. And stop saying, “believe me.” It’s a clichéd way for a liar to end a statement.

Here are some words and phrases I think best describe Trump. I tried to avoid using too many that meant the same thing, but some might be similar to others.

• Narcissist
• Manipulator
• Demagogue
• Narrow-minded
• Derisive (expressing contempt or ridicule)
• Stubborn
• Dishonest
• Childish
• Boastful
• Superficial
• Vulgar
• Prostofilya (Russian for patsy)
• Misogynist
• Delusionally self-assured
• Intolerant
• Racist
• Xenophobe
• Simple-minded
• Pompous
• Shyster
• Quick-tempered
• Rude
• Unpredictable
• Credit pirate (a term I coined because I couldn’t find one for someone who takes credit when it isn’t warranted or even appropriate)
• Entitled
• Abuser
• Inconsiderate
• Purveyor of cronyism
• Unfit
• Truculent (eager or quick to argue or fight)
• Predator
• Amoral (lacking a moral sense; unconcerned with rightness or wrongness of something)
• Bully
• Ethically-challenged
• Grammatically-challenged
• Unprepared
• Greedy
• Jealous
• Backpfeifengesicht (German word meaning a face that needs its look smacked off it)
• Aggressive
• Elitist
• Dangerous
• Dunning Kruger type (a low-ability individual who suffers from illusory superiority, mistakenly assessing their ability as much higher than it really is)
• Delusional
• Tasteless
• Belligerent
• Con man
• Vindictive
• Ostentatious (given to pretentious and vulgar displays, especially of wealth and luxury, intended to impress or attract notice)
• Callous
• Resentful
• Arrogant
• Blame artist (“If it’s good, I did it; if it’s bad, someone else did”)
• Careless
• Hubristic (excessive pride or self-confidence)
• Cruel
• Deceitful
• Impolite
• Thin-skinned
• Irresponsible
• Jingoistic (extreme patriotism, especially in the form of aggressive or warlike foreign policy)
• Conceited
• Solipsist (someone who displays egoistic self-absorption)
• Inappropriate
• Exploiter
• Materialistic
• Unkind
• Ignorant know-it-all
• Gaslighter (someone who manipulates another psychologically until that person questions his or her own sanity)
• Obsessive
• Liar
• Disputatious (fond of causing heated arguments)
• Vengeful
• Chauvinistic
• Paranoid
• Smugly ignorant
• Sophist (a person who reasons with fallacious arguments, perhaps attacking the other person rather than sticking to the subject)
• Cocky
• Ruthless
• Supercilious (behaving or looking as though one thinks one is superior to others)
• Antagonizer
• Insolent (showing a rude or arrogant lack of respect)
• Selfish
• Undeserving
• Crass
• Overbearing
• Tactless
• Juvenile
• Condescending
• Brash (self-assertive in a rude, noisy or overbearing way)
• Thoughtless
• Black and white thinker (an inability to perceive nuances)
• Impulsive
• Opportunistic
• Foolish
• Impatient
• Untrustworthy
• Self-serving


I’m not sure there could be a better way for me to open this website than with sincere apologies for mistakes I have made. And so I am sorry to those I have wronged. My regrets have much less to do with the ramifications on my own life than they do with the effects they’ve had on others.

I’ve acted unquestionably selfishly in the past and that disappoints me. I failed people, some of whom I don’t know, others for whom I deeply care. It reveals a flawed individual and for what it’s worth I have drawn lessons from those experiences. As I move forward, I can’t say that I will always make selfless decisions, but I will strive to.

I now embrace the goal of leading a more healthy life. There’s nothing I can do to change the past; I can only learn from it and advance in a new direction. I am a more open person than I was and I believe that honesty is part of being healthier.

My thoughts and beliefs will flow through these pages in the coming months and years. I fully expect that I will change as I grow into a new life, but my plan is to remain honest. If comments offend, please know it was unintentional. If the lessons I’ve learned inspire others to change their lives, so much the better.
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