Ham n’ Bean n’ Tater Stew


This is one of my favorites.  My grandma made it a lot when I was growing up.  I have my own variation.

Ham, Green Bean, & Potato Soup on a Spoon

Ham, Green Bean, & Potato Soup

 

Mine includes beer. Grandma made it every once in a while with cabbage. I suppose you could add carrots and/or onions. Maybe garbanzi beans too?  Becky the awesome cook at camp makes it with noodle-style dumplings (I did try it that way once too), and some people make it wholly and horribly incorrectly with a creamy soup base.  I have no idea why you would do that to this meal.

I don’t know what to call this.  We always just called it “ham, beans, and potatoes” which is somewhat cumbersome… and could be about 4,000,000,000 other soups.  In fact, I don’t even know if this is a soup or a stew.  Both?  Neither?  What is the difference, anyway?

A lot of the time this would be made with leftover ham from Christmas, Easter, or whenever.  When the hankering strikes now, I go to ham steaks with the little bone in.  I don’t have a strict recipe, it’s more of a method.

This time, I put some Ham broth base (which can be a pain in the rear to find in the store sometimes) made slightly weaker than the directions, one cube each of chicken & beef bullion, a bottle of Yuengling Traditional Lager (I have used Straub American Amber for this too), and water in the pot and started it to boil on high.  (Perhaps obviously if I had a leftover ham, I would start by boiling the bone and make the broth from that, add bullion if/as needed.)  I also popped in some minched garlic, onion powder, and season-all, salt, and black pepper.

Then I cubed up 2 ham steaks, added them to the mix,.

Then I washed n’ cut up a not quite a 5 lb. bag of russet potatoes, and added that to the mix.  (I have used Yukon Gold before and they’re delicious, but they seem to break down to starch easier.)

Then, I cheated and popped open 2 bags of microwave/steam ready fresh green beans, rinsed, then snapped/chopped, and added them to the mix.  When i came to a boil, I popped it down to 8 on the burner dial, and let it boil for 20 minutes.

Then, I let it simmer on 2 for another 20 minutes, then I put it on low until dinner time.

Ham n' Bean n; Tater Stew

Ham n’ Bean n; Tater Stew

We served it with fresh baked buttered bread form the local grocery store.  The kids seemed to actually eat dinner this evening too, and they’re rather picky lately.  Sometimes I make it the night before, this is the kind of stuff that’s always better the next day.  I’m not sure if it’s Irish, German, American, or all of the above.

Do you make something like this?  Post your variation(s) in the comments below.

 

 

☘ Flogging Molly, fights, fiddles, friends, family, folk, & fools… ☘


Had a great time last night at Stage AE for the Flogging Molly show!  It was a nice evening out, much closer to home than the last Flogging Molly show that we had to drive to Cleveland for, and we didn’t wait too long to buy tickets this time.  (Last time, we waited too long & it sold out!)  After arriving home from work, Bethany & I headed to Dormont Dogs for a nice quick meal.  (I had the Connecticut Ave. dog minus the onions, it was fantastic!)  We then battled and easily defeated the tunnel monster on the way to the north shore.

We got there early, because I’m generally OCD about getting to shows early.  We lined up outside behind the mob of green & black T-shirts peppered with the occasional tartan patterned kilt or someone who didn’t get the memo about wearing green to a Celtic punk rock show.  There were more people than I had expected.  It was windy, but not unbearable.  We were entertained by the 3 or 4 scalpers passing by asking for extra tickets.  One guy had his leg in some sort of brace or cast, and one guy was on a bike.  They mustn’t have scored any, because I didn’t see anyone selling them.

This was sadly the first time I’ve seen a show with the big room opened up.  I need to get to more shows down there.  (The 1st time I was there was to see Dethlehem and they were on the smaller bar stage.)  It’s a fantastic venue.  You have a nice view all around.  The only thing I’d change is having the floor slightly sloped… but then again I’m just short.  After getting a superficial pat-down at the door, we stopped & said hi to Jeff who was working & not setting any fires.  Then we made our way to the bar where I got a Killian’s Irish Red because I can’t really take too much Guinness.  The wife opted for water.  At a Flogging Molly show?  Water?  She must be the more responsible half.

We joined the pack of Yinzers crowding the merch table as we tried to get a look and get up front.  It was easy to see that the dude wasn’t taking orders from any other dudes… so my wife ordered our shirts and a patch once we squeezed our way to the front.  As I was getting a dollar out of my wallet to pop into the tip bucket, it fell into my beer.  So, dude got a soggy dollar & a dry dollar.  Sorry.  Not that sorry though.  You can still spend it.  I picked up a Devil Makes Three CD too.  I saw them online & liked what I heard.  I asked the merch guy which one he suggested.  He showed me the 1st album & the live one.  He seemed to indicate that the live one was a nice cross-section, so I went with that.

To the floor!  It was still relatively easy to make our way to the center & almost front of the floor.  Things were starting to pack in as we got there, it was pretty good timing & placement. We thought.  Bethany thought she smelled a skunk, and we were too far away from the obligatory dreadlock kid for it to be Patchouli & BO, so it was most likely the extremely pungent weed that we were smelling burning much later. (I bet area Taco Bell locations had a surge of customers after the show.) Our friend Laurel made a last-minute decision to come to the show, so she joined us right as the lights went down…

Brothers of Brazil | Stage AE (Pittsburgh, PA) 05/10/2012

Brothers of Brazil | Stage AE (Pittsburgh, PA) 05/10/2012

The Brothers of Brazil were up first.  Imagine a young Fred Schneider (or Michale Ian Black) on guitar and Billy Idol (or maybe even Johnny Rotten) on drums.  These dudes were quite interesting.  The guitar-work was amazing, & the drummer was quite the showman & very entertaining.  They had this weird samba punk rock vibe… it was odd.  I’d see them again.  I dunno if I’d buy an album.  It was fantastic that they opened & closed with a theme song.  I believe these dudes will do well for themselves.  I don’t think Bethany & Laurel were as amused as I was.

The Devil Makes Three | Stage AE (Pittsburgh, PA) 05/10/2012

The Devil Makes Three | Stage AE (Pittsburgh, PA) 05/10/2012

Up next was The Devil Makes Three.  The crowd stated getting a little more packed in, and a drunken kid beside me ruined the first 2 songs by slurredly “singing” loudly & off-key directly into my ear, until he decided that the crowd wasn’t as into it as he was, and muttered something about us being lame & pushing forward.  These dudes rocked quietly, but they play really well.  They have great melodies & harmonies… even though they were minus their regular bass player.  I have no idea what to call it. Is it folk? Alt country? Blues? Punk? It’s close-to-but-not bluegrass or rockabilly.  All I know is that I like it.  I’m gonna say if you like punk rock, Johnny Cash, Willie Nelson, or old folk or blues stuff… you ought to check these cats out.  They win the award for coolest guitars too.  Cooper McBean played a mean-looking old archtop with what I think was a P-90 mounted in it.  it looked like it had been left out in a sandstorm after someone dumped some paint-thinner on it.  I wanted it.  He mainly rocked the banjo & a tenor banjo.  The lyrics are great.  Check out this comic set to the lyrics of the song “The Bullet”.  I will see this band next time they’re in town!  Bethany really dug them too, being a country fan and all.  I think Laurel was trying to figure them out.

Well, we enjoyed the part of the set that wasn’t ruined by belligerent drunken meat-heads.  Starting at about the same time as The Devil Makes Three, the crowd directly behind us was swaying & getting rowdy.  Oh well, it’s a concert. We’re in the middle of the floor. That’s what happens. Until these testoster-tools behind us start arguing about something.  I heard something about touching or talking to a sister. I’m not sure. Maybe they were bumping into each other, maybe someone was trying to bump uglies. I was trying to pay attention to the blisteringly talented  band on stage. There was arguing, shoving, and a guy getting in the middle. Somebody’s “bro” got in the middle and then calmed things down.  Security was eying them and pointing flashlights from the ramps on the side, but apparently not responding.  Then everything was “cool” and it remained calm, for a song or two anyway.  All of a sudden I hear “oh my god!” and my wife is on the floor on her ass.  I pulled her up and swung around and yelled something to the effect of “Who the [expletive] knocked my wife on to the [expletive] floor?”  Two dudes larger than me in height and girth (one in a kilt as well as a drunken stupor) looked at me with an expression that can only be descried as “oh shit”.  I turned around to ask Bethany if she was OK.  She nodded.  I swung back around to the now large gap in the crowd surrounding the two sweaty ass-clowns and demanded that they apologize to Bethany. They did, looking like a dog that just took a dump on the living room floor, as security arrived to further scold them and ask me if Bethany was OK. Next time how about responding before a bystander gets knocked over?  I guess she saw one dingleberry trying to choke the other dingleberry as she got knocked down.  I would expect this kind of crap at a metal show, but for folk punk?  Way to uphold drunken Irish fighting stereotypes, McPotatoheads.  I don’t know if I would have punched those guys, or what… but apparently my tone of voice or the look on my face told them not to mess with me.  I thought security was going to drag me into it too as he was asking if Bethany was OK.  Later Laurel laughed as she said she thought I was going to swing & she’d end up jumping on the fat guy & throwing punches too.  Maybe we’re all a little too violent?

Finally, it was time for Flogging Molly!  Despite all of the drunken violence, the smell of burning leaves in the non-smoking venue, the guy in front of me repeatedly backing himself into my junk, getting sweat on me from the shirtless guy, and paying $12 for parking, we were having one hell of a great time!

Flogging Molly | Stage AE (Pittsburgh, PA) 05/10/2012

Flogging Molly | Stage AE (Pittsburgh, PA) 05/10/2012

If you’ve never seen Flogging Molly in action, I’m not sure how to describe it.  Seven people come on to the stage and sound like 70.  The crowd really started moving so I pushed Bethany & myself forward & off to the side as we lost Laurel with the first wave.  She found us not too long after that.  Dave King & company ripped through a bunch of hits & some stuff that they don’t regularly do live.  I remember it being a long set & how I liked every selection.  I could have watched them go for many more songs, even after the encore.  I can’t pick a favorite track, I like so many of them.  I really enjoyed “What’s Left of the Flag”, “If I Ever Leave This World Alive”, “Float”, & “The Son Never Shines (on Closed Doors)”, & of course “7 Deadly Sins”.  The inter-song banter keeps things light with songs that can have such heavy lyrical matter all the while to a happy beat.  You get the feeling that they’re all playing right from the heart.  You have this killer group of musicians that can probably between them master any instrument you might have lying around.  Dennis Casey has his hands full trying to compete with & leave room for all of the other instruments.  I was glad he got a spot for a guitar solo of sorts, in with the Guinness chug.  Every time I see a Celtic punk band, I get the urge to buy a Telecaster.  At any rate, Flogging Molly did not disappoint.  We’ll see them next time they’re in the ‘Burgh, Cleveland, or anywhere else nearby.  I know Bethany loved it, I think Laurel did too.  After the show, we ran into my cousin Patience.  Taste in awesome Irish music must run in the family.

☘☘☘☘☘☘

☘ Happy St. Patrick’s Day! ☘


☘ Happy St. Patrick's Day! ☘

☘ Happy St. Patrick's Day! ☘

Some Irish toasts & songs for my blog readers…

☘☘

May you be poor in misfortune, rich in blessings, slow to make enemies and quick to make friends. And may you know nothing but happiness from this day forward.

-☘☘☘-

May your home always be too small to hold all your friends.

-☘☘☘-

May you live to be 100 years, with one extra year to repent.

-☘☘☘-

We drink to your coffin. May it be built from the wood of a hundred year old oak tree that I shall plant tomorrow.

-☘☘☘-

May God grant you many years to live,
For sure he must be knowing,
The earth has angels all too few
And heaven is overflowing.

-☘☘☘-

Here’s to a long life and a merry one.
A quick death and an easy one.
A pretty girl and an honest one.
A cold pint– and another one!

-☘☘☘-

I drink to your health when I’m with you,
I drink to your health when I’m alone,
I drink to your health so often,
I’m starting to worry about my own!

-☘☘☘-

Here’s to women’s kisses,
and to whiskey, amber clear;
Not as sweet as a woman’s kiss,
but a darn sight more sincere!

-☘☘☘-

There are good ships,
and there are wood ships,
The ships that sail the sea.
But the best ships, are friendships,
And may they always be.

-☘☘☘-

Here’s to you and yours,
And to mine and ours,
And if mine and ours ever come
Across you and yours,
I hope you and yours will do
As much for mine and ours,
As mine and ours have done
For you and yours!

-☘☘☘-

May your heart be light and happy,
May your smile be big and wide,
And may your pockets always have
a coin or two inside!

-☘☘☘-

Always remember to forget
The troubles that passed away.
But never forget to remember
The blessings that come each day.

-☘☘☘-

May neighbors respect you,
Trouble neglect you,
The angels protect you,
And heaven accept you.

-☘☘☘-

May you have the hindsight to know where you’ve been,
The foresight to know where you are going,
And the insight to know when you have gone too far.

-☘☘☘-

May the saddest day of your future be no worse than the happiest day of your past.

-☘☘☘-

May those that love us, love us.
And those that don’t love us,
May God turn their hearts.
And if he doesn’t turn their hearts,
May he turn their ankles,
So we’ll know them by their limping.

-☘☘☘-

May misfortune follow you the rest of your life, and never catch up.

-☘☘☘-

May you have food and raiment,
A soft pillow for your head.
May you be forty years in heaven
Before the devil knows you’re dead.

-☘☘☘-

May you have warm words on a cold evening,
A full moon on a dark night,
And a smooth road all the way to your door.

-☘☘☘-

May the lilt of Irish laughter
lighten every load.
May the mist of Irish magic
shorten every road…
And may all your friends remember
all the favors you are owed!

-☘☘☘-

May the road rise to meet you,
May the wind be always at your back,
May the sun shine warm upon your face,
The rains fall soft upon your fields and,
Until we meet again,
May God hold you in the palm of His hand.

-☘☘☘-

For each petal on the shamrock.
This brings a wish your way
Good health, good luck, and happiness
For today and every day.

-☘☘☘-

May the good saints protect you,
And bless you today.
And may troubles ignore you,
Each step of the way.

-☘☘☘-

-☘☘-

Share with me below… your favorite toasts, blessings, photos, music or video with a Celtic influence.  It can be Irish, Scottish, Welsh, or even Japanese.  It can be Celtic folk, punk, metal, rap, rock, traditional, or a blend of all of the above.  I’ll accept anything but U2.

☘✟☘

Concert Stereotypes


Rock Concert!

Rock Concert!

This topic was by my friend Laurel the other night at the Dropkick Murphys Shamrock-N-Roll tour.  I know I’ve had this conversation before with others.  I decided to take it & digitally run with it.  Stereotypes are generally a bad idea, but they sure are funny.  A punk rock show, or really any show… is full of them.  I’ll start a list.  You’ll contribute in the comments.

  • That” guy.  Formerly known as “the guy that wears the shirt of the band he’s going to see”, but shortened to “that guy” because that’s a mouthful.  I’ve been that guy.  I bet you’ve been that guy.  Somehow it’s sometimes seen as cool… and sometimes not.  This is probably more acceptable/expected at a Misfits or ICP show than anywhere else.
  • The “Windmill” Guy.  Generally, he’s in a college hoodie, maybe even with his Greek letters on it.  He’s visibly drunk, and probably double-fisting when not in the pit, flailing his arms around in an effort to be cool and badass by totally missing the point of slam-dancing or moshing by trying to hurt people… and take as much punishment as they can get.  You can also spot them by the off-kilter fitted cap, thank Fred Durst for these toolbags.
  • Old Creepy Guy.  I’m rapidly becoming this guy.  I’m cool with that.  The recent Shamrock-N-Roll show saw a really diverse group of concert-goers.  There were grandmas & grandkids all over the place!  Generally though, at smaller shows… there’s a lone dude just hangin’ out that doesn’t seem like he’d be into whatever’s going on at all.
  • Your new best friend.  Cat comes up & starts talking like you’re old buds.  No big deal right?  You’re obviously both fans of the same band, you’re both there.  What’s the harm?  The conversation turns way too intimate or inappropriate quite soon.  You have no escape.  This guy’s probably drunk.  Hopefully, anyway.  He has no concept of personal space, and is telling you all about the band/joke/logo on your T-shirt.
  • The “Stuffed Sausage”.  Generally a petite-in-height but not in girth young lady with self-esteem issues.  Most likely she started as quite an attractive curvy woman, but donned about 3 lbs. of makeup, pushed up and bared most of her boobies, hung some butt cheeks out of a tiny skirt or shorts… and all of her clothing is about 2 sizes too small.  I’m not hatin’, I’m just sayin’.
  • The nearly blind-drunk guy.  There’s always a stumbler ambling through the crowd that’s just there for beer.  At $30-$50 for a concert ticket without TicketBastard fees, and $7-$9 per tiny draft beer… the whole concept is pretty ridiculous.  This guy generally looks like he doesn’t belong anyway.  He squints to see, walks sideways while looking straight ahead, and smells like the floor of a brewery.
  • The militant lesbian.  I’m not going to say much here, for fear of getting beat up.  The partially shaved head and camo pants are a sexy sexy combo that’s always in style.
  • Lookatmytats. This dude or dudette has spent thousands of dollars & hours under the needle, so they wear as little clothing as possible in order to bare their epidermal canvass.  I would too were I all inked up, I think.  Generally this is accompanied by gauges or other “non-traditional” piercings.  Not to be confused with Lookatmytatas, who needs no explanation.
  • Wikipedia Guy.  This one is always directly behind or in front of me at concerts where you have an actual seat… also prevalent at Pens games.  Wikipedia guy isn’t here to be entertained, he’s here to wow the people with him & anyone in earshot with his knowledge of the band’s formation, various lineups, demo material, and complete discography including various pressings and formats.  I’m in danger of being this guy, and it’s so annoying.  I love my music & trivia… but try to only spout when asked, & not broadcast it.

That’s my starter list.

I know I’m missing more than a few that I see regularly, but I’m hoping someone else will think of them too… so I’m not all alone here.  What about the kid with headphones?  The super-fan?  The crying girl?  The PDA couple?

Please, leave the name of your concert-going stereotype in the comments section below.  If you’re feeling creative, how about a description too?  If you have landed here via Facebook or Twitter & you’re still logged in there… you can comment below with no hassles.  You can also just comment w/o logging in.  WordPress just asks for a name & an email address to go along with your comments, with the option of a URL.

What stereotype are you?  Which one do you love?  Which one do you hate?  Which one are you?  Which one am I?  Have any comments/additions/corrections to the ones I’ve already listed?

Perhaps I’ll compile another blog with all the results, perhaps they’ll just live in the comments section… but I need your help making the list!

Younz / Yunz / Yinz


So, I saw a tweet this morning that grabbed my attention:

http://twitter.com/#!/AiXeLsyD13/status/23021991858544640

I’m always fascinated by Pittsburghese or Yinzer-Speak, so of course I had to check out this article:  Expert says fewer folks use Pittsbughese? Git aht!

I always felt like I was saying “younz” more than “yinz”, but then again, I grew up in the ‘burbs, not the city proper.

I know I’ve heard that it was a contraction of Scottish/Irish origin… a merging of “You ones” (…or “you’uns” neither of which is exactly proper).   I think when I was little “Younz” just seemed like a better differentiation between “You” plural, and “You” singular.  With “you’unz” there was no confusion!

Other fun Yinzer-Speak websites:

And, you need to see this if you find the accent at-all amusing:

☘ Éireann go Brách ☘


Beannachtaí na Féile Pádraig oraibh!

I’m told that means “Happy St. Patrick’s Day” or more accurately “Blessings of St. Patrick’s Day upon ye!”.  I hope that’s right.  Today, we celebrate Irish heritage.   How the holiday’s become that, I have no idea.  I’d like to share with you some Irish toasts, blessing, song, & food.  If you’re not of Irish descent, well… we’ll forgive for just one day.  As long as you forgive me for skipping the Guinness and sticking to the Smithwick’s.

Irish toasts & blessings…

A family of Irish birth will argue and fight,
But let a shout come from without and see them all unite.

Always remember to forget
The troubles that passed away.
But never forget to remember
The blessings that come each day.

An Irishman is never drunk
as long as he can hold on to
one blade of grass and not
fall off the face of the earth.

As you slide down the banister of life, may the splinters never point in the wrong direction!

Bless your little Irish heart — and every other Irish part.

From the great Gales of Ireland
Are the men that God made mad,
For all their wars are merry
And all their songs are sad.

Grant me a sense of humor, Lord,
the saving grace to see a joke,
To win some happiness from life,
And pass it on to other folks.

Here’s a toasting to his health.
But not too many toastings
Lest you lose yourself and then
Forget the good Saint Patrick
And see all those snakes again.

Here’s to a sweetheart, a bottle, and a friend.
The first beautiful, the second full, the last ever faithful.

Here’s to you and yours,
And to mine and ours,
And if mine and ours ever come
Across you and yours,
I hope you and yours will do
As much for mine and ours,
As mine and ours have done
For you and yours!

Here’s to a long life and a merry one.
A quick death and an easy one.
A pretty girl and an honest one.
A cold pint– and another one!

Here’s to the land of the shamrock so green,
Here’s to each lad and his darlin colleen,
Here’s to the ones we love dearest and most.
May God bless old Ireland, that’s this Irishman’s toast!

Here’s to women’s kisses,
and to whiskey, amber clear;
Not as sweet as a woman’s kiss,
but a darn sight more sincere!

Here’s to women’s kisses,
and to whiskey, amber clear;
Not as sweet as a woman’s kiss,
but a darn sight more sincere!

I drink to your health when I’m with you,
I drink to your health when I’m alone,
I drink to your health so often,
I’m starting to worry about my own!

I have known many,
and liked not a few,
but loved only one
and this toast is to you.

May God grant you always…
A sunbeam to warm you,
A moonbeam to charm you,
A sheltering angel, so nothing can harm you.

May good luck be your friend
In whatever you do
And may trouble be always
A stranger to you.

May joy and peace surround you,
Contentment latch your door,
And happiness be with you now
And bless you evermore.

May misfortune follow you the rest of your life, and never catch up.

May neighbours respect you,
Trouble neglect you,
The angels protect you,
And heaven accept you.

May the face of every good news and the back of every bad news be towards us.

May the good saints protect you
And bless you today
And may troubles ignore you
Each step of the way

May the grass grow long on the road to hell for want of use.

May the hinges of our friendship never grow rusty.

May the leprechauns be near you,
To spread luck along your way.
And may all the Irish angels,
Smile upon you on St. Patrick’s Day.

May the lilt of Irish laughter Lighten every load,
May the mist of Irish magic Shorten every road,
May you taste the sweetest pleasures That fortune ere bestowed,
And may all your friends remember all the favors you are owed.

May the luck of the Irish
Lead to happiest heights
And the highway you travel
Be lined with green lights.

May the lilt of Irish laughter lighten every load.
May the mist of Irish magic Shorten every road…
And may all your friends remember
All the favours you are owed!

May the road rise up to meet you.
May the wind always be at your back.
May the sun shine warm upon your face,
and rains fall soft upon your fields.
And until we meet again,
May God hold you in the palm of His hand.

May the rocks in your field turn to gold.

May the roof above you never fall in,
And those gathered beneath it never fall out.

May the saddest day of your future be no worse than the happiest day of your past.

May the winds of fortune sail you,
May you sail a gentle sea.
May it always be the other guy
who says, “this drink’s on me.”

May you be in heaven a full half hour before the devil knows your dead.

May you be poor in misfortune, rich in blessings,
slow to make enemies and quick to make friends.
And may you know nothing but happiness from this day forward.

May you get all your wishes but one, so that you will always have something to strive for!

May you have food and raiment,
a soft pillow for your head.
May you be forty years in heaven
before the devil knows you’re dead.

May you have the hindsight to know where you’ve been,
The foresight to know where you are going,
And the insight to know when you have gone too far.

May you have the hindsight to know where you’ve been,
the foresight to know where you’re going,
and the insight to know when you’ve gone too far.

May you have warm words on a cold evening, a full moon on a dark night, and a smooth road all the way to your door.

May you live as long as you want and never want as long as you live.

May you live to be 100 years, with one extra year to repent.

May you never find trouble
All crowdin’ and shovin’
But always good fortune
All smilin’ and lovin’

May you taste the sweetest pleasures that fortune ere bestowed,
And may all your friends remember all the favors you are owed.

May your heart be light and happy,
May your smile be big and wide,
And may your pockets always have
a coin or two inside!

May your home always be too small to hold all your friends.

May your home be filled with laughter
May your pockets be filled with gold
And may you have all the happiness
Your Irish heart can hold.

May your mornings bring joy
and your evenings bring peace…
May your troubles grow less
as your blessings increase!

May your pockets be heavy—
Your heart be light,
And may good luck pursue you
Each morning and night.

May your pockets be heavy—
Your heart be light,
And may good luck pursue you
Each morning and night.

May your right hand always be stretched out in friendship and never in want.

May your troubles be less
And your blessing be more
And nothing but happiness
Come through your door

My friends are the best friends
Loyal, willing and able.
Now let’s get to drinking!
All glasses off the table!

Saint Patrick was a gentleman,
Who through strategy and stealth,
Drove all the snakes from Ireland,

That the tap may be open when it rusts!

There are good ships,
and there are wood ships,
The ships that sail the sea.
But the best ships, are friendships,
And may they always be.

We drink to your coffin. May it be built from the wood of a hundred year old oak tree that I shall plant tomorrow.

When we drink, we get drunk.
When we get drunk, we fall asleep.
When we fall asleep, we commit no sin.
When we commit no sin, we go to heaven.
So, let’s all get drunk, and go to heaven!

Wherever you go and whatever you do, May the luck of the Irish be there with you.

Here’s to cheating, stealing, fighting, and drinking!
If you cheat, may you cheat death.
If you steal, may you steal a woman’s heart.
If you fight, may you fight for a brother.
And if you drink, may you drink with me. … Slainte!

May you be poor in misfortune, rich in blessings, slow to make enemies, quick to make friends. But rich or poor, quick or slow, may you know nothing but happiness from this day forward.

May you live as long as you want, and never want as long as you live.

May the strength of three be in your journey.

May the sound of happy music, And the lilt of Irish laughter, fill your heart with gladness, that stays forever after.

Here’s to me, and here’s to you,
And here’s to love and laughter-
I’ll be true as long as you,
And not one moment after.

There are many good reasons for drinking,
One has just entered my head-
If a man doesn’t drink when he’s living,
How the hell can he drink when he’s dead?

May you always have walls for the winds,
a roof for the rain, tea beside the fire,
laughter to cheer you, those you love near you,
and all your heart might desire.

May you have love that never ends,
lots of money, and lots of friends.
Health be yours, whatever you do,
and may God send many blessings to you!

May the sun shine, all day long,
everything go right, and nothing wrong.
May those you love bring love back to you,
and may all the wishes you wish come true!

May you have:
A world of wishes at your command.
God and his angels close to hand.
Friends and family their love impart,
and Irish blessings in your heart!

May you have warm words on a cold evening,
a full moon on a dark night,
and the road downhill all the way to your door.

For each petal on the shamrock.
This brings a wish your way
Good health, good luck, and happiness
For today and every day.

May the embers from the open hearth warm your hands,
May the sun’s rays from the Irish sky warm your face,
May the children’s bright smiles warm your heart,
May the everlasting love I give you warm your soul.

May you always have work for your hands to do.
May your pockets hold always a coin or two.
May the sun shine bright on your windowpane.
May the rainbow be certain to follow each rain.
May the hand of a friend always be near you.
And may God fill your heart with gladness to cheer you.

May your thoughts be as glad as the shamrocks,
May your heart be as light as a song,
May each day bring you bright, happy hours,
That stay with you all the year long.

May joy and peace surround you,
Contentment latch your door,
And happiness be with you now,
And bless you evermore.

May the saint protect ye-
An’ sorrow neglect ye,
An’ bad luck to the one
That doesn’t respect ye
t’ all that belong to ye,
An long life t’ yer honor-
That’s the end of my song t’ ye!

May good luck be your friend
In whatever you do.
And may trouble be always
A stranger to you.

May your blessings outnumber
The Shamrocks that grow.
And may trouble avoid you
Wherever you go.

May your troubles be less,
And your blessing be more.
And nothing but happiness,
Come through your door.

And some Irish song…

This one’s from Seamus Kennedy, you need to check him out if he’s ever on tour in a pub or a festival near you!


And, of course, here’s some Flogging Molly

Terry Griffith is another good one to catch at a renaissance festival or pub near you…


Porter & Stout are always amusing… although maybe more Pirtaes than Irish…

Of course, we have the Dropkick Murphys


And Johnny Cash with Jimmie Rodgers

Some additional links themed for the day…

Please share any more toasts, blessings, songs, or recipes that you may have in the comments below!


Also, I can’t resist…  “Where the Gold At?

Saint Patrick was a gentleman,
Who through strategy and stealth,
Drove all the snakes from Ireland,
Here’s a toasting to his health.
But not too many toastings
Lest you lose yourself and then
Forget the good Saint Patrick
And see all those snakes again.

Under the Golden Arches?


Wow, I think I got a reply from this faster than I was in line the last time I went through the McDonald’s drive-through.  You can read the original message with yesterday’s “O’Ffended“, or see the full text below included in their reply.

from McDonalds.CustomerCare@us.mcd.com
to world.and.lunar.domination@gmail.com
date Tue, Mar 9, 2010 at 5:24 AM
subject Message from McDonald’s USA

Hello Eric:

Thank you for taking the time to contact McDonald’s.

We appreciate your comments.  I apologize for your dissatisfaction with our company.  Please know that I have immediately forwarded this information to the appropriate personnel for further review.

Again, thank you for contacting McDonald’s. We hope to have the opportunity of serving you again soon under the Golden Arches.

Jessica
McDonald’s Customer Response Center

ref#:6711209

————————————————————————————————————–

Please do not “reply” to this email response. No “replies” can be received through this mailbox. If you wish to contact McDonald’s Customer Response Center again, please visit our website at http://www.mcdonalds.com

————————————————————————————————————–

McDonald’s now has FREE WiFi at over 11,000 U.S. locations! Find out more at http://www.mcdwireless.com.

You wrote:

Hello friends, You may not know that “Mick/Mic/Mc” is listed in the Racial Slur Database as “Irish | Many Irish surnames begin with ‘Mc’ or ‘Mac.’ Many Irish are also named after the famed Michael Collins, making Michael (Mick) a very common name. Not as derogatory as Paddy.”  I was wondering, in an ever-increasingly politically correct society, why you would continue to use the “Mc” prefix on your items and promotions?

As an American of Irish and Scottish descent, I can’t hep but wonder if I should feel celebrated, or offended?

I mean, the Shamrock Shake is indeed awesome.  Who can get angry about those?  (Except maybe Grimace, who’s no longer around to promote them?)

I realize that the original brothers were named “McDonald”, but why the “Mc” or “Mac” in “McNuggets”, “McCaf??”, “Mayor McCheese”, “Big Mac” or any other McWord? ie – http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/McWords

Do you feel any responsibility for the Mc-inization of the USA?

Thank you for your time, I can’t wait to hear from you!

-Eric

I wonder who the appropriate parties are… and what do they mean by “under the Golden Arches”?  Is that where Jimmy Hoffa is buried?

O’Ffended


Heh.  You can blame this one on my cousin Melynda.  She encouraged me to write to McDonald’s to try & get free shamrock shake coupons.  I have no idea if this will do the trick or not, but it sure was fun.

Submitted via webform, some links added for your convenience…

from McDonald’s <DoNotReply@mcdonalds.com>
reply-to McDonald’s <DoNotReply@mcdonalds.com>
to world.and.lunar.domination@gmail.com
date Mon, Mar 8, 2010 at 12:33 PM
subject McDonald’s Web Site Comment or Question

Thank you for visiting McDonald’s website. Below is your email which has been submitted to McDonald’s Customer Response Center. While replies to this e-mail cannot be received, should you need to contact us again, please feel free to contact us through mcdonalds.com. Thank you.

Title: Mr.
First Name: Eric
Last Name: Aixelsyd
Mailing Address:
City: Pittsburgh
State: PA
Zip:
Day Phone: 412-555-1212
Evening Phone: 724-555-1212
Contact Time: email only please
Your E-mail Address: world.and.lunar.domination@gmail.com

Comment: Hello friends, You may not know that “Mick/Mic/Mc” is listed in the Racial Slur Database as “Irish | Many Irish surnames begin with ‘Mc’ or ‘Mac.’ Many Irish are also named after the famed Michael Collins, making Michael (Mick) a very common name. Not as derogatory as Paddy.” I was wondering, in an ever-increasingly politically correct society, why you would continue to use the “Mc” prefix on your items and promotions?

As an American of Irish and Scottish descent, I can’t hep but wonder if I should feel celebrated, or offended?

I mean, the Shamrock Shake is indeed awesome.  Who can get angry about those?  (Except maybe Grimace, who’s no longer around to promote them?)

I realize that the original brothers were named “McDonald”, but why the “Mc” or “Mac” in “McNuggets”, “McCafé”, “Mayor McCheese”, “Big Mac” or any other McWord? ie – http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/McWords

Do you feel any responsibility for the Mc-inization of the USA?

Thank you for your time, I can’t wait to hear from you!

-Eric

Also… just to clarify to everyone out there who asks why I get so upset at  various companies, or why I do this…  most all of the posts in the W(aL)D category are just facetious in nature, or at least they start out that way.  I don’t know why I need to explain this, or if I even should… it may be funnier if you think it’s real.  Ha ha ha.

Man, I can’t believe I forgot to mention Uncle O’Grimacey!

McReadverspamtismentply


You may remember, a while ago I wrote to McDonald’s about the sandwich-which-can-not-be-named.  I got an envelope in the mail the other day from my McFriends, and I thought “Sweet! A reply about the McGang-Bang!  A real letter!”

Well, I was wrong.  It was some sort of reply/advertisement/spam all rolled into one.  I was very disappointed.  Then, I noticed that the letter wasn’t to Mr. AiXeLsyD, it was to Mr. Carroll… it must have been about the McDonald’s on West Liberty Avenue’s disgusting restroom?  They never did follow up on a local level like they said they would.  Instead, I get this advertisement for the Mac Snack Wrap and the breakfast dollar menu?  Seriously?

At least now I have a contact name.  I’m going to have to resort to snail mail to get a response for a real live person, I believe… anything other than the stupid “we can’t take unsolicited ideas” form letter would be awesome.

Oh well, the advertisement letter & a scan of the two coupons is below… I popped a “void” on them in hopes that Photobucket doesn’t delete the damn things.  They’ve removed old coupons on me before… I usually always blur out any numbers or barcodes that might make them usable.

McDonald's Letter from Salena M. Scardina

McDonald's - Mac Snack Wrap Coupons

Wow, I’m so honored to be contacted with such an auspicious reply!  I’m glad that my contact in 2009 gave them an opportunity to better understand my needs and expectations!  …that were never properly addressed.  I’ve already seen the Mac Snack Wrap commercials and billboards, so I’m now sure how this letter makes me among the first to know… perhaps there are some people in Appalachia and in Alaska that aren’t familiar with the concept of snacking on “a whole new level”.  I’d like to see some sort of chart on the levels of snacking.  Are they the opposite of Dante’s levels of hell?  Or, perhaps… one in the same?  [Insert your own joke about gluttony here.]  I”ll perhaps have to address this in future missives.

In the mean time, I’m making a call to all of my readers… if you can make me a chart of the levels of snacking, it would be greatly appreciated! I’d love to share it with everyone.

Maybe next time, I’ll go with the angle that I find the proliferation of “Mc” to be disturbing to those of us with Celtic heritage…

The Mythical Magical McGangbang


You’ve heard of the McGangBang, right?  For the uninitiated, there’s a world out there of fast food items not listed on the menu that are available for your dining pleasure (and most likely for your digestive displeasure) if you’re in the know, and if the employees are in the know.  This list from McDonald’s alone is pretty impressive.  There are many others out there.  My friend Andy used to apparently get a “Volcano” from Taco Bell, which was described to me as a burrito with everything in it.  Now that they have volcano tacos & burritos that are something else entirely, that might be an ordering issue.  If you’ve got time to kill or your interest is piqued, it’s definitely worth Googling.

At any rate, while I have raised a legitimate issue with McDonald’s, and I have gotten one response so far… I decided to use my W(aL)D email address to address a ridiculous issue with them.  So, off to the McWebform I went!  Sadly, you’re forced to pick a category… none of which exactly fits my query.   I think I posted to “McDonald’s U.S. Marketing, Promotions, and Advertising“, but it seems like my answer was brought about by the “Unsolicited Idea Policy“.  Perhaps I’m getting ahead of myself.  On to the emails…

My original submission (via McWebform):

Hello Friends,

I was wondering if you are aware of the mythical magical McGang-Bang, and if at any time in the future, you man be adding it officially to your menu?

I believe it to be a McChicken sandwich stuffed inside a Double Cheeseburger, the new 99¢ McDouble, or even a Big Mac.  The exact specifics are a subject of hot debate, as this is a rare creature, like Bigfoot, el Chupacabra, or the Unicorn.  There is also debate on whether to discard an extra bun or down it whole.

If you do plan to offer this in the future, what would the proper spelling be?  McGangBang, McGangbang, McGang-Bang, or McGang-bang?  I could see how all options would be acceptable?

I’m not sure where the name comes from, but it sure is catchy.  (Much better than “Arch Deluxe”, no?)

I’d like to be able to go into a McDonald’s and order a McGang-Bang without being looked at like I’m crazy when it’s common knowledge among certain circles.

Thanks for your time, I can’t wait to hear your thoughts on the matter!

-E.

Their “we got it, we’ll get back to you” reply:

From: McDonald’s DoNotReply@mcdonalds.com
Date: Thu, Dec 10, 2009 at 10:38 AM
Subject: McDonald’s Web Site Comment or Question
To: world.and.lunar.domination@gmail.com

Thank you for visiting McDonald’s website. Below is your email which has been submitted to McDonald’s Customer Response Center. While replies to this e-mail cannot be received, should you need to contact us again, please feel free to contact us through mcdonalds.com. Thank you.

Title: Mr.
First Name: ERiC
Last Name: AiXeLsyD
Mailing Address: ____ _______ _____ ____ __
City: Pittsburgh
State: PA
Zip: _____-____
Day Phone: 412-555-1212
Evening Phone: 412-555-1212
Contact Time: None.  Email please.
Your E-mail Address: world.and.lunar.domination@gmail.com
Comment: [What you just read above…]

Their “real” reply:

From: McDonalds.CustomerCare@us.mcd.com
Date: Fri, Dec 11, 2009 at 5:08 AM
Subject: Message from McDonald’s USA
To: world.and.lunar.domination@gmail.com

Hello ERiC:

Thank you for contacting McDonald’s recently with your idea for a product or service that you believe would be of interest to us. We appreciate your interest in McDonald’s, but it is our company’s policy not to consider unsolicited ideas from outside the McDonald’s system. We have retained an electronic copy of your submission solely for our records.

It’s not that great ideas cannot come from people outside of McDonald’s. Each year, however, McDonald’s receives thousands of unsolicited ideas and proposals for products and services from individuals as well as companies. Because of the volume of unsolicited ideas and the difficulty of sorting out what is truly a “new” idea as opposed to a concept that has already been considered or developed by McDonald’s, we must adhere to a strict policy of not reviewing any unsolicited ideas that come from outside the McDonald’s family of employees, franchisees and approved suppliers. We realize that we may be missing out on a few good ideas, but we have had to adopt this policy for legal and business reasons.

As a result, we must decline your invitation to review your submission and hope you understand the reasons for this decision.

Again, thank you for thinking of McDonald’s.

Jessica
McDonald’s Customer Response Center

ref#:6525973

————————————————————————————————————–

Please do not “reply” to this email response. No “replies” can be received through this mailbox. If you wish to contact McDonald’s Customer Response Center again, please visit our website at www.mcdonalds.com

————————————————————————————————————–

Are you finished with your holiday shopping? Even the person with everything gets hungry. An Arch Card makes a great holiday gift. For more information visit your local McDonald’s restaurant or our website at http://www.mcdonalds.com/archcard.

You wrote:
[You just read it above…]

Well, apparently my idea went to the wrong department, or someone that’s absolutely no fun.  I didn’t submit an idea!  I asked about a secret menu item…  Hopefully, as we’ve learned with most other web-forms, we submit again, and we get a different person responding.  Although, this looks curiously like a form letter.  Perhaps I should try again in a different category?  Should I ask for the email address of a real live person?  Perhaps I need to Google some names of high-up important McPeople and try to figure out the syntax of the company email addresses.  This worked with great success for me in the past with Boston Market.  Ha ha ha.

Also, I wondered on the Beat if putting a “Mc” in front of everything could be construed as racist?  As an American of Irish and Scottish descent, perhaps I should be taken aback by the flippant use of “Mc” in front of everything?  (By McDoanld’s, and even my own shockingly casual use.) It is after all, listed in the Racial Slur Database and in Wikipedia’s list of ethnic slurs.  Perhaps this is an idea to addressed in the future.  Dave was quick to point out though, that nothing is more racist than 365Black.  Wow.  Just…  Wow.  (…or McWow?) Also… What about leap day?  Is that a day off?

Find any of this amusing?  What’s the next step?