Wednesday, March 26, 2014

Drop Some Lead on 'em!

Finn came home from sea for a few days, before heading back to college in Cork, so we decided to finally have a go at the great Christmas present her boyfriend gave me: Battleship with chocolate pieces! (Inspired.) He knew I loved the film but didn't know I had also played the game as an Officer Cadet wayyyy back in the 1970s in the Gunroom of the HMCS Cape Breton, fondly called "the Fred," docked in Esquimalt, B.C. (Note: Wardroom for senior officers, Gunroom for midshipmen/officer cadets). At first I was really pounding Finn, getting those chocolates fast as I took her battleships, cruisers, patrol boats and aircraft carriers. I had cleverly figured out that she was calling out spaces for me which were, in fact, near her own positions. But once she copped that, I was back to guessing. Suddenly she took off, nailing my positions and blasting me out of the water. Ship after ship sank like a stone. And I couldn't fathom how I was missing her. There were huge areas of empty sea on her side. When my last ship was lost with all hands on board, she revealed her strategies, my brilliant daughter. Firstly, she had set up her fleet in periwinkle formation, the majority clumped together in one spot with just a few random vessels here and there to keep me from realising that the bulk of the fleet was together. Ingenious evil marine scientist thinking. And how did she get me? She assumed I had gone for "random" placement - which I had - and she knew this meant I would avoid straight lines and place my pieces diagonally. Apparently and crazily this is what people think is random. Once she got a hit, she struck out diagonally and I was creamed. Evil scientist daughter.

Tuesday, March 18, 2014

St Patrick's Day 2014

Belated Happy St Patrick's Day. LA FEILE NAOMH PHADRAIG SHONA DHUIBH! My little cat-daughter Emma died yesterday so I wasn't in the mood for posting. Will put up a photo and memoriam later for those pet lovers who understand. Meanwhile, this is a video posted by Fáilte Ireland (the tourist board) to celebrate our national saint's day. Enjoy!

Monday, March 10, 2014

Anniversary of 1959 Tibetan Uprising

Went into Dublin today to help hand out leaflets about the March 10 uprising in Tibet in 1959 against the Chinese invasion and occupation of that country. That was the year the Dalai Lama had to flee for his life. Thousands of Tibetans were murdered, thousands imprisoned and tortured; and the oppression and torment continue to this day. The West will not stand against China as they all do business with the Chinese. Money takes precedence over morality. We were happy with the response on the street, especially from young people who came up to ask us what it was about. A 21 year old girl said, "so you are asking that we be aware of what is going on there and that we not forget the Tibetans?" Exactly. For more information you can go here:

Tibetan flag and Dublin Spire, O'Connell Street (Photo credits: O.R. Melling)

Wednesday, March 05, 2014

My Daughter, the Marine Scientist

I'm sorry, I can't help myself, being a proud mother. Finn (appropriate name for a marine scientist, eh? short for Findabhair of course) is setting sail tomorrow on this amazing research vessel, the Celtic Explorer, Ireland's finest, for two weeks work on cold water coral. She's doing her Masters of Science in NUI Cork after getting her B.Sc. Honours in NUI Galway. There have been some rough weather warnings, so she may be in for big swells, but she is her mother's daughter and has sea legs and stomach. We were talking about the day the two of us took a small ferry from Inisheer after eating big fries for breakfast at 7:00 am. When things got hairy on the ferry, with Spanish students throwing up over the sides, we were fine. A bit green, but otherwise fine. (What on earth were we thinking? A 'big fry' in Ireland means bacon, egg, sausage, mushrooms and tomatoes. Sometimes blood pudding and beans but we didn't go there.) Fair winds and following seas, m'girl!