Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Resolutions I can live with....

I have been in a funk. Call it after Christmas whatever. Maybe I was getting charged up from the DC energy I had wreathed around the Christmas Hats I was wearing from Thanksgiving through Christmas, and now that the forcefield has been removed I'm running out of energy. Who knows....

The past couple of weeks has been very busy as far as the Poetry Scene goes; ...with at least 3 more events up and coming. I may have to miss one on principle alone. Say... "Oh, I can't make it to this one because I have to clean my Bathroom this evening..." ...or something like that.

I don't really know what it is but I seem to need a break. That is partially why I have not blogged as I had intended. I know I said I would post a blog devoted to my "House-Husband- Christmas- "koekies". Sorry Ladies, maybe next year.

I have been reading a book that Jimmy gave me that he had to read for a History Course entitled " The Island at the Center of the World" by Russel Shorto. ("The Epic Story of Dutch Manhattan and the forgotten Colony that shaped America.") (...Thats where the term "koekies" comes from...) ...Dr. Sullivan calls the book a populist diversion. It has been a diversion for me in that it is informative, light, ...and something I can do that takes my mind off of all the things I said I would do but haven't for lack of...well, "Cleaning My Bathroom".

"Cleaning My Bathroom" is something I do when a relationship is about to end, or I am about to start something BIG and NEW. You see, I clean Bathrooms (and other things) for a living at this point, and who wants to do that when you get home after a full day of doing it 8 hours a day, 5 days a week. Don't get me wrong, my Bathroom is not so bad that I am growing Black Mold, but it isn't as Spic&Span as you might expect from a professional at the moment either. What I'm talking about here is a Deep Down Clean with a Toothbrush kind of thing. PURGE is the word that often comes to mind.

So, I feel like I should resolve some thing or other. Its that time of the year after all. It might be time to leave "The Island at the Center of the World" so to speak. Here is my attempt. An attempt at a Populist Tradition:

New Years resolutions I can live with....
  1. I am taking a week off in January to finish up my Videos. Life has just been to busy to complete this project in the timely fashion I had intended.
  2. I will shave off my mustache in the spring and let it grow back again in the fall. O.K. so thats what I do every year but thats what makes it something I can live with! After all I always have....
  3. I will not take in another stray this year... fortunately, I DON'T HAVE THE ROOM ANYMORE! This one is too true, hits close to the heart and needs to be dealt with seriously for once.
  4. I will try not to define myself by the Women I am with. I hereby resolve to find someone with no more baggage than I have. HONEST! I promise Kids....
  5. Perhaps come April Fools Day I will shave off Half of My Mustache that might be fun! I will certainly be an April Fool!
  6. I will focus on turning the outlines for the next five chapters of "O' Wasterly Gale" into actual drafts as soon as the Videos are done. Even at the expense of my poetry if need be. (This one may be the first to be broken as poetry seems to work on its own timetable...)
  7. I will only drink Black & Tans made with "Sierra Nevada Pale Ale". (I think I can live with this one... as long as I'm in a Pub where they actually serve "Sierra Nevada Pale Ale" in which case I may just have to settle for the next best thing... or the second best thing... or...)
  8. I will set up my Bedroom into the "Sanctum Sanctimonious" I have always dreamed of... "No Kittens to knock things over and push things under the black whole neath the Bed allowed!"
  9. I won't fall asleep on the couch watching PBS every night of the week. (...maybe only once or twice a week from now on...)
  10. I'll Love everyone I can and tell them so. Even if I don't I'll try. Even if they are a Kitten named Guinness who knocks things over all day long... (O.K. Sarah?)
Yeah, maybe this isn't fair. After all I'm setting myself up for success and maybe thats not the point of "New Years Resolutions" is it? ...You do it your way, I'll do it mine, I can bet you that I will feel a lot better about myself in the morning when I wake up on the couch!!!


"Smilin' on the inside
And on the outside!"


Thursday, December 25, 2008

Christmas Greetings 2008!

Me, Sarah /Jimmy and Devin.

Merry Christmas
from Our Clan to yours!

I received a Christmas gift today from the Reid Family: Proprietors of Greenmount Lodge!

A transcription of the Poem "Greenmount Smiling Annie" that hangs in their Common Room. The poem is as I understand it anonymously attributed. I share it with you here with all due respect. An authentic slice of life based (as I was told) on real events from the 18th Century in which the Squires son James fell hopelessly in love with a Servant Girl.

Greenmount Smiling Ann

On a summer day, when flowers were gay,

Beneath the sun’s bright beam,

Near to a grove, where lovers rove,

Beside yon silver stream;

There gently strayed a lovely maid,

Her beauty rich to scan:

A maiden fair beyond compare,

Sweet Greenmount Smiling Ann.

Her hair, so fine, waved in the wind

In ringlets bright as gold;

Her figure neat and smile so sweet,

Were charming to behold.

Her lovely eyes might well entice

The heart of any man,

Who gazed upon that matchless one

Called Greenmount Smiling Ann.

The wee birds sang, the woodlands rang,

As she strolled slowly on;

The trees o’erhead, their green leaves spread,

To shield her from the sun,

All nature there was rich and rare,

And beauty o’er it ran;

But the fairest in that lovely bower,

Was Greenmount Smiling Ann.

When the grove she neared a lad appeared:

The old squire’s son;

A charming lad, his smile so sad,

As he greets this lovely one.

For the squire had sworn he would disown

His son from wealth and lan,

If he would decide to make his bride

The Greenmount Smiling Ann.

“O Jamie dear! When you are near,

You’re all the world to me;

But your father’s vow will not allow

That I your bride may be.

Your birch is high, low rank have I,

Yet love e’ermore I can;

I’ll not consent to yur punishment”,

Signed Greenmount Smiling Ann.

“Ah dearest Ann! Look no so wan,

Consent to be my bride;

I love but you, and I’ll be true

Till death doth us divide.

Your love to me more sweet will be

Than rank, or wealth, or lan”.

He gently presses her to his breast –

His Greenmount Smiling Ann.

“I’ll toil for you, I’ll never rue,

For I my love adore;

The world is wide, and whate’er betide,

I’ll cling to you evermore.

We’ll sail away to Amerikay,

And scorn this cruel ban”.

She gave consent, and off he went,

With Greenmount Smiling Ann.


Merry! Merry! Merry!



Thursday, December 18, 2008

...what I expected to find ...

I don't know what I expected to find at Ardboe. What I did find was not what I expected. I guess I was thinking it would be like many of the other ancient places we had seen up to this point, but I was taken aback by the presence of so many recently dead from "The Troubles."

As we were wondering about the sight, which was rather hard to find in the first place, a man walked up to us and started a conversation with Steve. I believe his name was Paul Ryan. He was from Brooklyn. He explained that was here to bury his father and visit the graves of his brother's.

His brother, Peter Ryan was Catholic and a member of the IRA. Acording to the Index of deaths during the conflict he was shot during an ambush by undercover British Army (BA) members, while driving through Coagh, County Tyrone on 03 June 1991 at the age of 35.

Another Grave that he pointed out was that of a hunger striker named Michael Devine who was 27 years old and a member of the Irish National Liberation Army (INLA). Michael joined the hunger strike on 22 June 1981 and died on 20 August 1981 after 60 days without food.


We were shocked when we worked our way around to the back side of the Church Walls, and peered inside at the graves filling the entire foundation. I can't describe it even now. The picture in the Video doesn't convey the reality of being there either. You just have to take my word for it.

It has taken me some time to process my feelings about this location. I couldn't even approach it chronologically when I was creating the first video's so I skipped over it and decided to come back to it later. It's later now and I'm still profoundly affected.

As you read through the Cain website you find that Surnames do not always indicate affiliation with one side or the other. Of the Gilmore/Gilmour's for instance 3 are Catholic and 2 are Protestant. It's always about Religion. Not the teachings of Christ, but the teachings of Christ as two sides interpret it.


Signs of the conflict were visible most everywhere we went; but we went there anyway. I walk as a "Child of Light" as Pastor Brian has said of me and we were in some neighborhoods that people we stayed with and visited would have cautioned us from going in the strongest of language. I never inquired of Alan about his own experiences, I'm sure that as the head of the ER in Derry he must have had some harrowing moments. I didn't think it was polite to inquire for some reason. I guess I was still processing. The conflict and the peace process has pretty much subsided for now. I pray that it is at an end for good.

I LOVE Ireland! North and South. Protestant and Catholic (...of which I am descended from both.) I refuse to take sides and so stand in the middle. A "Child of Light", loving everyone, in spite of themselves. As the Man Jesus would have done.


I couldn't do the spacey new age music in this Video. It just didn't seem right. That may have given some people a more "Thin Place" feel, but it just would have avoided the issue's. I have used as a Soundtrack a song by my favorite Ulster-Scot Musicians: "The Low Country Boys". The Song is their version of Doc Watson's Classic: "Beautiful Golden Somewhere." I saw Doc and Merle preform the same song many years ago at "Lenox on the Lawn" in the late 70's during my "Hippie Day's". When I heard The Low Country Boys do it, it seemed to be connected for me. It summed things up in a way I couldn't.

Again, I hope that they will forgive me for not waiting for permission, (..that poor starving Artist thingie again...) And I hope you will patronize their Web-site as linked in the paragraph above. I give them credit here and in the Video; with much thanks and Peace in Christ...

...Maybe you could even buy a CD or two while you're at it. I received mine when I visited the Ulster-Scot Agency Building in Belfast... but that's another story, for another day....


I wrote this a few days ago, got involved in searching down
Genealogical leads.... I only got the chance to post it now as I just finished the Video.

Sunday 21/Dec/08 2:03 a.m.

Friday, December 12, 2008

...Being Happy all the time CAN REALLY PISS SOME PEOPLE OFF!...

I've always been happy for the most part. Optimism is what has carried me through much of the hard times in my life. I seem to be able to fall on my face and pick myself up with a smile and say: "...I meant to do that!..."


I've said it before, I'm the person who people hide from first the thing in the morning before they have their first cup of coffee because: "I'm so chipper!"

Apparently since I came back from Ireland I have been unbearably happy! More than once in the past few weeks someone has frowned at me and said:

"...don't you ever turn off?" "How do you do it?" "You're driving me crazy!"


As anyone who works in Retail knows, in America, in most stores, Christmas Carols begin at 12 midnight Thanksgiving night. After all the Turkey is absorbed, when you are still drugged up on the mythological "Tryptophan"... BANG! They hit you with five versions of "Santa Baby" and the latest Plop-Star's version of "Rudolph the Red Nosed Wino!"

The next thing you know, it's "Off we go!" 8 Hour's a day! ...on a 28 day Magical Misery Marathon Tour of Christmas Cheer!

By the time we make it to Christmas Eve with a screeching HALT! ...THE DREADED HUMMING BUG has bummed you and everyone who works in the Store out!

(...Well, almost everyone that is...)

You see, some of us come prepared to the FUNHOUSE! Some of us even belong to the FUNHOUSE on purpose! We enjoy belonging so much that we bought season tickets for life intentionally!

Here is my Membership Card, believe it or not, I ware it on my head:

I call this one: "Frosted the Snowman!"

AND... I have more than one too!

This one is "Rudolph-O'dúid~"

Most times he's simply referred to as "Rude-ee!"

"Whats up hot-stuff! ...Can I guide your sleigh tonight?"
"...Wanna see if you can make my nose light up?"

...Now you know why he's referred to as "Rude-ee!"


(...2 degrees in Art and what do I do? ...I make Silly Hats! ...Go figure!)


There is this old curmudgeon who comes into the store every day. When I see him I greet him with: "How are you doin' today! ...are you having a good day?" Invariably he responds with: "Lousy! ..I'm having a rotten day." or something derogatory like that.

Today I made my normal chipper greeting, something like: "How's life treatin' you pal?" ... but today was different. Today he looked me right in the eye and said: "Why do you always ask me that Mark?" To which I responded: "Well Pal, I know that you're a bit of a pessimist, and I have always been an optimist, so I just naturally believe that one of these days you are going say: "I'm Happy! Life is Good!" ...and it will make my day!"

...and again he looks me right in the eye's and deadpan as you please he says:

" why would I want to do that, it would ruin my day..."

I was dumbfounded. On the one hand it was one of the funniest things he had ever said! On the other it was one of the saddest....

Then he winks, and cracks a smile!


"...I may never turn off!" "...I don't know how I do it!" "...and I just love driving you all crazy!"

"...Some days being happy all the time makes me even happier still!!!!"


...and you know, you might not admit it, but thats what you love about me! isn't it?!


Sunday, December 7, 2008

Orienteering the Glebe Home....

Killaloo Townland circa 1840, showing Alexander Gilmour's tenancy
along what was then the Oughgath Road,
before the A-6 bisected the center of the Townland.

O.K., so I' don't sound like Walter Cronkite, and I need to stop choking up on the Mic... The next one shouldn't take quite as long and I hope it will be more fun to make as well. This one was fun yet frustrating in a challenging sort of way.

But, I finally managed to do it! I still have some problems with recording issues and managing the soundtrack to perfect, but I think I did a passable job with my skill level. We upgraded our Ram and I tweaked all the settings in the program as much as I can tweak; saved after EVERY change (whether minor or major) and here you have it...

Writing dialog, dubbing narration, doing animation and editing without a million dollar studio... Who would have thought it possible even 20 years ago! It's romantic to dream of living in the past but I love living in this future! Even if I don't yet own a Jet-pak or live in the sky like George Jetson...



Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Some but not all of the Blessings I am Thankful for!

Hey this is my 100th Posting! To celebrate this milestone and Thanksgiving Day I thought I would attempt to list 100 people and things in no particular order that I am thankful for!


My Family! Mom and Dad, Kevin & Linda and Sean. Jim & Kathy, Jackie & Mike and Phillip, Megan (and her daughter Katlin) and Ethan, My children: Devin and Sarah, and my Lil' brother Richard!

Jim, Jackie, Mom, Me & Richard

Our Dad: "My Ol' Man."

James Gilmour O'Brien in Ireland.

Our deceased Brother: My Confirmation Sponsor and Devin's Godfather.

Kevin James O'Brien.

My best friend: Steve & his finance Lynn and their children!

Steve at The Beaghmore Stone Circles.

The Every Other Thursday Night Poets!

Dennis Sullivan, Beverly Osborne, Tom Corrado, Edie Abrams, Art Willis, Alan Casline (all seated); Paul Amidon, Mike Burke, Tim Verhaegen, (Me), Barbara Vink, Philomena Moriarty

My friend Alan McKinney of Killaloo and his Wife Anna!
They welcomed us as if we were old friends. Thank You Again!

Beekeeper Extraordinaire: Alan McKinney.

My Monday Night Bible Study Group!

My Church Family! Everyone in our congregation including past and present Pastors!


My 3rd Cousin Barb! Who sent me this:

This is the first time it has left my pocket since I put it there
the day she sent it to me. Its back in my wallet already.

Everyone I met in Ireland! Ian Bartlett of St Columb's Cathedral, Henry at Greenmount Lodge, Gillian Gilmore at the Ulster Scot Agency, Ann Carson at Carnglass Farmhouse in Ballybogy, Andy at Cornerville on Howth. The random guy on the street who gave us directions in Dublin... and everyone else who did likewise every other time we looked lost! I know I'm leaving out people here so please forgive me....

"obeedúid~" Reclining on the Causeway.

All the Women I have Loved! Ann (The unrequited love of my youth), Christine (The never requited love of my youth!), Gail (I still remember you eating baby food on break with great abandon, it was cute and so were you.) Anna; (My ex wife; though we no longer speak we shared more than 15 years together and brought two wonderful kids into the world despite ourselves, had a mostly good life while it lasted, and I still remind my kids there were some good times that need to be remembered too.) Cheri (The unrequited love of my middle age. With whom I learned that patience and self-sacrifice in the service of others (Mostly other peoples kids) can have a lasting effect for good in their lives.) Shelley (I miss your smile, and your three girls too! Thanks for understanding we had different paths) Jennifer (You taught me that a nieve, trusting open loving heart can be taken advantage of repeatedly... I learned a valuable lesson, Alcohol IS A DEMON that can destroy lives, especially those who are trying to help.) Dawn (I know you let me go for my own good and I will always remember you and your boys through the fondness of rose colored glasses...)

All of my Kids from VUMYF! ...over the years (You know who you are!) (...and you always will!)

Boy Scout Troop 73: and the Scouter's and Scout Leaders who have been and still are my Mentors. Tom Roe I miss you so!

My Faithful Doggie!

Duet. "don't drink from the Toilet you Dumbhead!" O'Brien

The Kids I took in who took me into their hearts! Matt (The first of Devin's buddy's who needed a place to stay and a bed to crash on.) Cameron/"Tweeter" (The second of Devin's buddy's who made my old couch his home. I was proud to be your friend and I am happy to know that you eventually reconciled with your Father.) Amanda (My other daughter, who never forgets me on Dad's Day!) Robert (I know that someday you will bottom out and begin the journey back up again, and I pray that you will be forgiven by yourself.) Michael (What can I say, I hope you and Herbie are happy, I hope your Mom will someday be happy and I was proud to be your Dad for a while!)

My Trip to Killaloo!

Me in the Gilmour's/Glenn's Field at Killaloo.
Killaloo Ord. S. 22 :Alexander Gilmore
Location 5-B :House and small garden :10

This Fortune Cookie I got last night!

... no duh...!

The 99 other people I work with at "Hannaford of Voorheesville"... I love my job and working with you all everyday, Thanks! makes working easy when my work place is enjoyable!

My Readers: From 56 Country's and Every State in the U.S.!

My 101st blog! Which will take place in Killaloo! ...well we were there when we filmed the video anyway... !

I could keep going but I know I'm way over 100 and... me tired... need go sleepy bye now....

oh... I started thinking about this on Tuesday, thats why the date is set that way at the top of the blog.... Its Friday A.M. now so ignore that please....


Thanksgiving Day 2008

Sunday, November 23, 2008

...Dream Mapping....

Many things happened this week, not the least of which was as I was coloring the maps with colored pencils and crosschecking my Griffith's Data with them. Some pieces came together in my mind that only time and perspective seems to provide.


The Griffith Data Sheets (not the Maps) were labeled as: "Printed Tuesday, January 26, 1858."

The Plotted map is very confusing. So as I was poring over it I realized that James Glenn was actually located right where I originally speculated he might be in the first draft of the novel two years ago. (Imagine that!) ...guess I'll have to go back and readjust things a little...

Brackfield Ord. S 22 :James "Glynn"
Location 8-e :House and small garden :10


Matthew Glenn was located just up the street from the Glebe House within yards of where the "Scribe Tree" would have been located between the two Townlands. (Imagine that!) As one letter indicates that "Uncle James lived at the "Scribe Tree" (1865 letter) and yet another indicates that "Matthew is home and looking for a place to live..." (1861 letter) If in fact James Glenn lived at the "Scribe Tree" in 1865 as indicated, an emigration and changing of locations took place that may also be researched.

Killaloo Ord. S. 22 :Matthew "Glynn"
Location 1-g :House and small garden :10


The Gilmour Tenancy was along the now defunct Ougtagh/Oughtagh Road (all that is left is a Hedgerow between Fields) running North and South. (Spelled variously depending on which sign on which side of the road you're looking at....) I also realized that there was an Access Road between Tenancy's and a little section of ground that may have given the Gilmour's access to Glenshane Road via this easement. There is a structure indicated there and it may well have been their house.

Killaloo Ord. S. 22 :Alexander Gilmore
Location 5-B :House and small garden :10

I believe now that they would have done their Coopering at or near that Glebe perhaps in an outbuilding that exists on Alan McKinney's property. On site as it were. The Group of buildings in the lower left corner of the map was the main hub of Killaloo and from what Alan told me contained a Post office and perhaps a Store. Today it is where the Orange Hall is located. Glenshane Road runs through this hub and as you will see in the next Map: between the Church and the Glebe House on its way to Claudy.


George McGonigle's Father James was in the lot across the street from the Glebe and his property bordered the Church of Ireland: Church of the Trinity where James Gilmour was Baptized. This is where the Glenn's; and their descendants were buried as well.

Killaloo Ord. S. 22 :James M'Gonigle
Location 7 :land :1. 10 shillings

This Map also shows the Apple Orchard across the street from the Church at what is now the end of Alan and Anna's driveway where a Private residence is currently located.


Now here is where the time and perspective thing comes in. As you will see there was yet another spelling for Ougtagh/Oughtagh Road.... We realized this when we were inspecting the graves with Alan but it wasn't until I was sound asleep dreaming and walking around the maps in my head the other night that I realized the significance of its placement on the Tombstones.

The Sign on East side of road.
At the intersection "Wasterly" of the Gilmour Tenancy...

The Sign on West side of road.
Directly across the same intersection
Looking West in the direction of Londonderry.....

The spelling on the tombstones is: "Aughtagh" this phonetic in origin or Welch? (I shall have to research it further at a later date.)

Tombstone in Cumber Parish:
Holy Trinity Church: Killaloo.

Since the Gilmour's all emigrated, someone had to have acquired their land, either by sale or gift. Logically that would have likely have been next of kin who remained behind: the Glenn's. By proximity of the Gilmour's land to the Ougtagh/Oughtagh/Aughtagh Road, it is my firm belief that when I unearth later Griffith Data that this will be the case.


So here is Part 5: Arrival in Killaloo. Two minutes and 30 to 40 seconds seems to be the limit of my memory/programs and equipment at this time. That being the case I have had to cut down things and plan for further breaks in the series. There is a title that I overlaid on this one that was slower in the original Movie Project file, but I was forced to run it at a slightly faster pace when I created the Video.

Feel free to "pause at will..." ... ;)


Wednesday, November 19, 2008

...The process of simplification...

I spent last Sunday after Church from Noon to about Seven in a PANIC! I couldn't find the major find of the whole trip! The map in the middle, the missing link, the Rosetta Stone of Ordinance Survey Maps.... The one with Plots and Tithe Amounts scribbled on it.

I ripped the house apart, I called friends and relatives, I ripped the house apart again! It is a Xerox and I have a tendency use things like that as book marks so I flipped through books. I flipped through books I haven't read since before our trip! Then I sat down to watch some PBS in exasperation. After the show I was watching was over I stood up and looked down next to the couch at my Computer Bag. ...the one place I hadn't looked. Sure enough, I had placed it there the day I returned from Ireland and guess what... DAH! The only thing in there was THE MAPS! ...I hate it when I do that! I was even writing a pathetic Email in my head to the Migration Center to see if they would send me a new one. I also composed an even more pathetic Email in my head trying to explain to everyone in my Family Tree just what pathetic thing I had done. ...I hate it when I do that too!


I had intended to come home after coffee hour and start to work in earnest at scaling my maps so that I could begin the animation necessary to make how I located the Gilmour and Glenn tenancies easily comprehensible.

[I LOVE MAPS] ...I mean: I LOVE MAPS! its not that hard for me to place them all together in my head in chronological order, but the only way I have been able to get people to make sense of it, how I was able to cipher it, is to lay them over one another on my light table, flip them back and forth until it becomes apparent how they go together; showing how much the terrain has changed since 1831.


I used to be a Graphic Artist so I used to do things like this all the time. Back in the day before Computers. It should be easier now but its not. If I owned a CREA Computer it might be simpler, but believe it or not I am currently using an 8 year old Gateway that I haven't yet dumped into the Waste-stream so some Chinese Child can melt the toxic waste off of it. I'm holding onto it as long as I can. Thats probably not good for our economy right now, but thats just what I'm doing. Regale me with all the TV ads you want, I'm not buying a new VISTA. I can only hope that if Vista is as bad as everyone says: Microsoft will go under along with GM. (...that one was for you Shawn...)

But I digress... :)

The first thing I have to do is scale them all to the right size. Then, by cropping and editing, and transitioning with animation, progress through the maps from 1831 to the present. If I have lost any of you here you now know why I am attempting to do this in a way that hopefully make things visually simplified. Like my Ol' man used to say: "The process of simplification is oversimplified." ...or was that WC Fields???

Anyway... that is what I'm working on, and it will hopefully occur in an upcoming video. Part Six or Seven I should think.


Here is Part Four ...I call it my "Benny Hilly Sequence" but it's real name is: "Over the Sperrin Mountains."


Friday, November 14, 2008

...I am not yet fluent; but I have faith...

Did Ireland change me or did it set me free? Am I different today for having gone there than I was before? If it set me free, does that mean that I have changed?

When I first returned home I had a few days of travel-lag. I was glad to be back home, not disappointed, but unsure as to what had actually happened.... We managed to accomplish so much, yet left many things undone. I don't think any of us would have stayed on longer though even if we could have.

Yeah, we didn't get some of the "Ancestral Tree" information I would have liked to acquire, but the connection to place, knowledge of self, feeling of rightness I have now, direction and knowing when I think of how to proceed; are immeasurable.

I walked where I was meant to walk. I found what I was intended to find. This time. I say this time because I know I will return. And when I do unsolved mysteries will complete themselves in the manner they were meant to be completed next time.


On Friday October 10th we went to the Ulster Heritage Park, but we didn't do the touristy trap bus-load-o-fun stuff... It was raining, and we had spent the previous several days flying, landing, flying again, landing again, jumping in a car and learning to drive in a completely new way, heading North on a time schedule and, and, and, ...finally driving in the dark and the rain until we stopped for the night in Greenmount Lodge.... WOE!


We needed a slow day. A slow day that passed with a fully engaged mind at the Migration Center on the same premises as the Heritage Center. I can imagine that it might have been pretty boring for my brother Richard; while Steve and I messed with Computers, Microfilm and Maps... ...but when we went to the Heritage Center, it was not with the intent to see the "Period Stuff" with the "Re-enacted" "Period Acting". Don't get me wrong, I would have liked to do the "Period thingie" too... but, HEY! I got some really cool stuff there.

I was able to match my Griffith Data to their maps. AND, as I suspected, there was an overlay to the basic map, that combined the Griffith Data, made it possible for me to locate the Gilmour Tenancy, and two Glenn Tenancy's!


...I'm getting ahead of myself here. Suffice it to say, with map(s) in hand, on the morning of the 11th of October, we began to drive to drive towards Killaloo; with a fixed destination.


We stopped first at the Ardboe Cross, on Lough Neagh; but that however, is also a tale for another day. What follows is what followed at The Beaghmore Stone Circles... and that as they say, follows:

According to the NI Tourist Website, The Beaghmore Stone Circles were: "Discovered during peat cutting in the 1940s the site at Beaghmore consists of 7 stone circles. All of the rings are associated with cairns and a stone row runs towards these cairns. It is possible that Neolithic occupation and cultivation preceded the erection of burial cairns and ceremonial circles and alignments: some irregular lines and heaps of boulders resembling field-fences or field-clearance may predate the ritual structures. At some stage peat started to form over the site, and it may conceivably be that the cairns and rows were erected in a futile propitiatory attempt to restore fertility to the soil by attracting back the fading sun."

Wikipedia also has a very in depth couple of pages as well, with a number of good links that may be of interest.


The Beaghmore Stone Circles experience was less academic for me, more "I am old, very old, and you are but a briefness, so soak up the energy and be..."

I hope I conveyed some of that in this video. I am trying to find the "Poetry of Video" it's a new language for me, I am not yet fluent; but I have faith, and I know there is poetry here. With practice I will hone and refine.


Wednesday, November 12, 2008

"Pappy" ...a worthy name to bare.

People tell you it will happen. But you don't believe them. If you live your life well, at some point you will be happy. In your life you will reach a place where you're happy with your self. Content.

You'll become patient with others. You'll cut people slack. There is less stress in your life. You made good choices even when you didn't know you were making them. You laugh with your kids because they turned out alright after all. Even with everything you and your Ex did to screw them up, they aren't bad people; and you know it. They make good choices, based on the sound advice you have given them over their lifetime; and the values you hoped to instill in them are there even if they don't always admit it.

Remember how you worried about them when they were hanging all over you at the Supermarket when they were tired and wanted a cookie, a nap, the toy on aisle 3? Now they are adults!

It's really neat to have your grown children love you and want to hang out. All those days, weeks and hour's of loving them pays off! Life IS GOOD. You are your parents son. Cut from a similar cloth and guess what...?

It happened. You're happy. In spite of everything, because you shared your life, love and values with your children their friends and every kid you ever met who needed to be cared for for some time of his life, for however long or short a time necessary, you shared because thats the way you were raised. Someday, they may remember you for that. Sometimes, some of them actually do. That's what really matters. The STRESS of Youth, Mortgage, and New Toys were not, and never will matter to you.

Love is what matters. You can go at any time now... or live until you're 96, its all the same to you. You can have a beer when you want. You can live life the way you want and need to, with no regrets.

You were the "COOL DAD" when your kids were growing up. Sometime in the future you expect to be the best "PAPPY" that ever doted on a Grandchild! ...And you will pass on the same love and values that your Parents, Grandparents, and GREAT Grandparent's passed down to you.



Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Veterans Day and My Dad's Birthday:

Honor Thy Forefather's: Part One 11-Nov-08:

Strange thing this. We booked our tickets to Ireland six months in advance. The bookings changed a few times over the course of our planning and the actual embarkation of our trip. A day or two before we left I looked at the tickets and realized that we were flying to Dulles outside of Washington D.C. I looked up Dulles on the map and I was not surprised when I found that it was centrally located on the same ground where James Gilmour was stationed, fought and eventually died during the Civil War. So we were leaving from where he died, and going back to where he was born. The unplanned plan again. Hand of God? Stranger things have and continue to happen.

I don't exactly remember when I first heard The Furey's with Davey Arthur sing "My Old Man." but I remember how I felt. I cried. Most guys will at least admit to chocking up but I'm not most guys.

Since that day it has pretty much remained the theme song for my life. When we went to Ireland we bought 3 tickets to see the Furey's with Davy Arthur at the Alley in Strabane. During the intermission, as we sipped the 3 Guinness's that were waiting for us in the lobby, ( this is the way to see a Concert!!!) we purchased 3 CD's, and 3 T-shirts. We bought the tickets and payed for CD's and T-shirts because we support and appreciate the Arts.

The song was in my head the entire flight, and in our CD player the 2 weeks that we were there. It was therefore a natural thing for me to want to include it in my Travel Movie's. If you like The Furey's and Davy Arthur as much as I do please BUY their CD's & DVD's. If you get the chance: SEE THEM IN CONCERT. It was a Highlight among Highlights and I can't wait to see them again someday.

It is my sincere hope, that if they ever see this series they will understand that by adding it to my movie, I do so with love and appreciation for their craft. And that if you too come to feel as I do you will also support them by buying their music as well.


Thursday, November 6, 2008

In the mean time....

My Dad's Birthday would have been next Tuesday. Veterans Day. He would have been 82 years old. I am currently working on a blog that attempts to include all the best of our trip to Ireland. I plan to post all or most of on next Tuesday in his memory.


In the mean time I offer you all this photo:

Greenmount Morning.
(This is really nice as a desktop background....)

And to my Siblings and Cousins I submit this:

Speculating on directions for future research:

Traditional Old Irish and Scotish Naming Patterns:

1st son was named after the father's father.
2nd son was named after the mother's father.
3rd son was named after the father.
4th son was named after the father's eldest brother.

1st daughter was named after the mother's mother.
2nd daughter was named after the father's mother.
3rd daughter was named after the mother.
4th daughter was named after the mother's eldest sister.


The birth order of the Alexander Gilmour and Jane Glenn's children were as follows:

Robert: 1833 or 35

Eliza: 1838

Anne: 1839

James: 1840

John: 1842

Alexander (jr) 1846


It appears that for the most part Alexander and Jane followed the traditional pattern for naming their children with the obvious exception of John and Alexander. If I were to do some speculating based on this data, perhaps there was an Alexander who died in childbirth and they named the next male son after Alexander's Father's eldest brother? This seems the most likely scenario to me. Having fulfilled the requirements thus far they would have been free to name the next male again after the Father: Alexander.

Assuming that the pattern holds at least partially true, Alexander's Father's name should be Robert, Alexander's Mother's name should be Anne. Hence: Jane's Father's name should be James and Jane's Mother's name should be Elisabeth.

There was no 3rd or 4th daughter so we can not assume any information from here.

Assuming that Alexander S. was in reality a 5th son, then we can postulate that John was the name of Alexander's Uncle John, who would have been named for Alexander's Father Robert's Father. Making the speculative Robert's Father's name John?

There is a Samuel Glenn in the Lower Cumber Church Graveyard which would account for Alexander "S" and I will speculate very broadly here that it may mean that Jane's Father's eldest brother's name may have been Samuel making it possible that Jane's Father's Father may also have been named Samuel.

This may or may not help in future research. these patterns were not locked in and should at least be kept in mind as a flexible rather than hard and fast rule.

"Smilin' on the inside
And on the outside!"


Monday, November 3, 2008

...hours of FUN!

Well as this post attests I am finally up and running again. No thanks to Verizon. They apparently reset the main password to a secondary account... It took painstaking hours of FUN online with a Techie (who actually spoke English this time) to sort things out. UGH!


Downtime has had its advantages though.... I have been doing much needed reading. Here is a Satori that accrued over the weekend:

In a stack of discarded books about Ireland that BV gave me I found these entries in a book entitled Irish Family Names, Arms, Origins and Locations by Brian de Breffny:

This surname, with its less common variant
Gilmour, can derive either from the Irish Mac
Giolla Mhuire or Mac Giolla Mhir. It was
brought to Ulster, where it is commonest
settelers from Scotland, where the name exists
with the same Gaelic origin.

...see Lesley, your Irish ancestors were Scotish after all!...

And then of course I found this on the same page:

Glynn families descend usually from the Mag
Fhloinn sept which had its territory in Co.
Roscommon, near Athlone, although
a small minority may descend from Welch
settlers who
quite separately brought the
Welch surname
Glyn(n) from Wales. The Irish
family name is preserved also in the name
of a Co. Roscommon lake and town of Loughglynn,
a region where Glynn families still reside.

So I read this and the Light bulb went OFF!

We are Ulster-Welch as well as Ulster-Scot?!


"How's 'bout ye!"

Thursday, October 30, 2008

..just checkin'

I'm currently logged in at the Library on the free wireless and sitting by myself somewhere over in the Fiction section between "How Green Was My Valley" and "Moby Dick"....

Why you may ask? ...Because after we had a Verizon Tech at our house for most of the day yesterday we still don't have internet. ARGH!

So... I'm just checking my E-mails today and hopefully I will be able to post again sometime this weekend.


Only one day left until Halloween and I don't know what I'm going to be!

Maybe I'll be a Irish Poet.... Anyone have a Meerschaum Pipe I can barrow?

I do have an old clay one my father gave me, but I'm afraid the spirits about may break it....


Saturday, October 25, 2008

How can you not love a cat named Guinness...

Since I've been back I have been kicking back. I spent yesterday with the bIRD filming the last segment of my videos, hanging out and working on the cover for his latest poetry book and attending a poetry reading by Dan Wilcox.

Today I made Chili for the store wide Chili Taste Test at work, and gott my pics and videos loaded onto my backup hard drive so I can begin to work on the travelogue. I went for medium hot on the Chili so I don't expect to find myself in the winners circle, I did represent though!


saraH has wanted a new cat since Mooshee died. So when I left for Ireland I made a deal with my her; if she cleaned up the Laundromat while I was gone she could get a cat while I was away. My idea was that the cat would bond first to her and not me. It was a good plan but somehow flawed.

Guinness has bonded to me and I to him as well. How can you not love a cat named Guinness, he even has a nice foamy head on his chest.

"Guinness the Cat"
Even the Dog likes him.


I'm not going to say just when the first travelogue will be posted. Some information and notes that I took were mailed home, because I had accumulated so much, that it was either mail something or leave something behind. After I post this blog I will begin writing the first one. I may post it tomorrow, or I may post it next week. Obviously I don't want to leave anything out so I am taking my time and cross checking my facts.

"How's 'bout ye!"

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Doctor! You've parked the Tardis up against a fence! are we ever going to get out of here?

We made it home safe late last night; Jaffa Cakes and all...

The PuddleJumper from Boston was not fun... The Pilots up front were giggling as we drifted right and left, the right and left again. I was doing the "Our Father Mantra" from the moment we took off until the moment we touched down safely.


The Blackthorn Shillelagh that I brought back for Mom came in handy as we dragged our "lagged" butts from one end of the airport to the other weighted down with baggage and souvenirs...


In response to a comment left while I was en route and/or unable to connect to the net: bBird, I had intended to be less obscure but time and internet was limited. Also, you know perfectly well who the "Mystery Guest" is.... to let the rest of you in on some of it: The "Mystery Guest" sent me a note before I left which I post here:

I think those of you who know the "Mystery Guest" can make the connection here. ...but if I gave away his true secret super hero iDennisity he wouldn't be the Mystery Guest now would he... :)


With the exception of a few deliveries of Jaffa Cakes, I will be spending the next few days acclimating; then I intend to begin the travelogue that I had intended to write, before i realized the internet connections were going to be as sporadic as they were.


P.S.: Devo gave me my first tastie of "O'Beez Raw Honey-Ale" when I got home! " mmmm!

Monday, October 20, 2008

"Sláinte Mhaith, Mystery Guest!"

We visited my establishment in D4 last night. I'll be handing out business cards. The guys who keep following around and smoking my Cigars were there too! (How did they know I was going there?) Even the "Mystery Guest" showed up and bought me a Guinness with a double shot of Paddy's on the side!

"Sláinte Mhaith, Mystery Guest!"


We saw the Book of Kells today and visited the Guinness Storehouse. I bought "Guinness the kitten" a Golf ball and I bought a Rubber Rugby Ball for "Duet the dogie" so they will have souvenirs too.


Believe it or not, we are ready to come home. I miss my own shower and my cold morning coffee with real cream. (...if theres one thing I can't stand its suspended whey...)


"If I could find a Tardis around here some place we would be home right now...."

"Ahhh, Doctor, which one is the Tardis?
...and how do we get back home?"

"How's 'bout ye!"