Category Archives: 08_brynn

Saturday surf blogging…!

This weekend’s surf blogging is a short clip, but feel free to watch it over and over again, because it certainly warrants it!

Or, if you want to see a longer clip of the same ride, go watch the unembeddable version at YouTube.

The break is Teahupoo, (pronounced Cho-pu or Te-ah-hu-po), a world-renowned reef break off south-east Tahiti in the southern Pacific. And the surfer is local Manoa Drollet. Continue reading


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Michael Reardon hasn’t been found….

In case any of you were still wondering, they still have not found famed climber Michael Reardon.

More details are in, and I still have trouble wrapping my head around what happened. It just seems so damned random, unexpected and capricious, especially considering all the risky feats this guy had attempted and pulled off with panache in his life.

“It was just another day of climbing on Atlantic sea cliffs in Ireland with Mike,” photographer Damon Corso said. “Mike took me around the bottom of Wireless Point to an inlet merely 15 feet above the roaring Atlantic.”

Corso told the Times Rearden he “was waiting on an algae-covered platform for the big swells to pass by so that he could walk back over to me on the opposite side of the inlet. A rogue wave came into the inlet and curved rightwards as it crashed into Mike.

“He tried to stabilize himself on the platform but the water was too powerful and sucked him in.”

(From here.)

Another report said the two were able to communicate verbally after he first got pulled in and Corso tried unsuccessfully to throw Reardon a line before climbing back up the cliff to summon help.

Given Reardon’s level of conditioning and the fact he was described as a strong swimmer, I can’t help thinking that he must have felt confident he’d be able to swim to safety.

What happened?

For some reason–maybe the fact that I’ve spent so much of my life on rocks and cliffs near the sea or in the surf–this story haunts me.


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Pedophilia and the RCC

I was going to comment on Bill’s post about the Vatican’s most recent apologia on child abuse within its clerical ranks. But my comment kept getting longer and longer, so I decided to publish it as a post instead.

It was Oddjob’s trenchant observation that NO ONE else even remotely approached the level of evil that was the Archdiocese of Boston that set me off.

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Friday cat blogging: “Adopt Me!” editionfound a new home…!

[I moved this up so people would know: the kitty has found a home. See comments for more.]

My ex found this incredible young cat last night on the mean streets of East Harlem. She’s trying to locate a no-kill shelter for her but what she really needs is a loving home as soon as possible.

The kitty loves to be held and cuddled and played with, purrs readily and will jump up into your lap and curl up to nap. She’s petite and young – probably 9 or 10 months old – with unusual tabby markings, spots on her belly, a long expressive raccoon tail, and copper eyes. (!!!)

Any Shakers in NYC who could shower this little furry sweetie with all the tender loving care she so deeply deserves?

If so, email

(More photos after the fold….)
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More on Michael Reardon….

The news isn’t good. American climber Michael Reardon still hasn’t been found.

I must say, I’m shocked at how different the story of what happened is from initial reports. Reminds one of how all news reports should be taken with a shaker of salt.

Mr Reardon, who was 36, was due to return to the United States today. He had been in Ireland for the past month along with a photographer who was taking pictures of him climbing for an American magazine.Con Moriarty, whose house Mr Reardon was staying in, said the famous climber was just standing on a ledge, west of Valentia Coast Guard Station when he was hit by a wave and then slipped.

He had completed a short climb just before he was struck by a wave. The alarm was raised shortly after 5pm yesterday. Mr Moriarty said he was unable to get himself out of the sea.

Mr Reardon’s wife Marci and his 13-year-old daughter are on their way to Ireland and are set to arrive here tomorrow morning.

I’m very sad for them.


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Saturday surf blogging…!

This week’s Saturday surf blogging will highlight once again the great Mike Stewart.

This clip illustrates why the man is a surfing—or more precisely, bodyboarding—legend. If you’ll notice, he maximizes the possibilities of every single wave he takes. Off-the-lips, aerials, 360’s, floaters, it’s like the man and wave are one, there’s no separation. Like the spray, Stewart’s simply a further manifestation of the wave’s energy.
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One Republican presidential candidate accepted the NAACP’s invitation to the GOP candidate’s forum yesterday.


The NAACP invited all 9 Republican candidates to the forum, but only one showed up: Tom Tancredo. All the Democratic Presidential hopefuls showed up for their forum.

The excuses given by the Republican campaigns mostly had to do with scheduling conflicts–just too busy to make it.

The resulting photo of Tancredo–standing on a stage of empty podiums–sums up the Republican party’s commitment to civil rights in America: the only Republican interested is the guy running to deny immigrant workers their rights.

One has to wonder why this photo was not the lead on every morning show and on the front pages of every morning newspaper in America.

That would be one question. Another would be why does anyone with a brain vote Republican.

Story here. (H/T to Crooks & Liars.)


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American rock climber missing in southwest Ireland….

I just heard on the radio that this guy has fallen into the Atlantic while soloing on a cliff in southwest Ireland and is missing…

The missing man is 32 year old Michael Reardon, from Connecticut… one of the world’s leading Free Soloists…that is… rock climbers who climb without the aid of any safety equpment. He and a friend had just climbed the scenic spot Wireless Point, on the north side of Valentia Island, when Mr Reardon slipped into the water… aplunge of 70 feet. Mr Reardon is also a well known filmmaker and writer in the US.

They’ve called off the search for the night. That seems like bad news, if the guy is in the Atlantic.

I send good thoughts his way. Hope he makes it.


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Real men don’t fight….

It’s weird: while the Irish are generally by far the most bicycle-friendly folks I’ve ever lived among—bus drivers routinely give way to me on my bike, as do most automobile drivers!!—the one thing that seems to drive Irish people crazy is bicycles on sidewalks.

I don’t know why.

Now, I don’t often ride my bike on the sidewalk—or “footpath” as it is known here. But I’ve been cursed for walking my bike on the footpath! More than once. A friend of mine was deliberately “clotheslined” by a guy who used his arm to knock him off his bike and if he hadn’t been young and agile, could have been badly hurt.

And then there was this evening.

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Three years ago on July 9th, 2004 (it was a Friday) I said farewell to the love of my life to date, she went off to work in Manhattan and later that morning, I left for JFK and said goodbye to New York City, taking with me just what I could carry (or roll). I flew via Philadelphia to Paris first, where I spent a week at the home of my grown daughter. Then I boarded a Ryan Air jet with even less luggage due to their ridiculous baggage limits and flew the hour-and-a-half to Dublin, landing and busing into the city on the evening of July 16th.

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A study of people’s reactions to avatars has supposedly shown that androgynous avatars are trusted less than ones that are clearly either male or female.

The two researchers, Kristine Nowak and Christian Rauh of the University of Connecticut, said it also seems that people typically extend this impression to the person behind the avatar. And from this they conclude, that “avatar design and behaviour may have a range of unforeseen psychological influences and that such virtual personas need to be carefully designed to make the right impression.”

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Kitties of the world united…!

Came across this cool factoid in the New Scientist magazine today:

A NEW feline family tree gleaned from DNA shows that cats were domesticated from local wildcats in the region that extends from Turkey down into Mesopotamia.

Carlos Driscoll at the US National Cancer Institute in Frederick, Maryland, and colleagues studied DNA from 979 domestic cats and wildcats from across Europe and Asia. The wildcats broke down into five groups, or clades, of the wildcat Felis silvestris: the European wildcat, the southern African wildcat, the central Asian wildcat, the Chinese desert cat and the Near Eastern wildcat.

All of the domestic cats – from fancy breeds to feral tabbies – fell within the Near Eastern wildcat group (Science, DOI: 10.1126/science.1139518).

(The photo is of sweet, devilish little Percy, passed on it will be two years ago July 24th.)


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Saturday surf blogging…!

Okay, Shakers, ready for another kind of “surfing”? Welcome to a new weekend feature, “Saturday surf blogging” in which every Saturday I or whoever’s in the mood will post photos or videos of radical waves and/or surfers from throughout the world, along with personal stories about waves, surfers, or wev, as long as there’s a surf angle of some kind.

I’m going to kick it off with a clip of bodyboarding legend, Mike Stewart, surfing his local break—which just happens to be Banzai Pipeline.

Continue reading


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Friday cat blogging…!

Friday cat blogging…!

My ex in NYC sent me some mobile phone videos of our kitty, Jaqi, the “Miracle Cat,” about whom I commented in one of Litbrit’s threads a while ago (which I can’t find right now to link to! Sorry.)

Last year, Jaqi suffered from sudden onset, unexplained severe kidney failure and almost died. She was hospitalized for an entire month, on an IV the whole time. Luckily, my ex was able to get her into the Manhattan Humane Society Pet Hospital. Otherwise we would never have been able to afford to pay for her care and probably would have been forced to put her down.

As it was, she lost a huge amount of weight, becoming skin and bones and looking so pathetic. One of her vets was shocked at her blood work, saying she’d never seen such results other than on a deceased cat.

When she pulled through, she became known as the “Miracle Cat,” to some of the hospital staff. And to me and my ex.

It was only when the melamine pet poisoning scandal broke not long afterward that we began to wonder. Jaqi’s food was among the tainted brands. One of her vets is convinced that it was melamine that almost killed her.

But here she is, just last Tuesday, fit as a fiddle, playing with a piece of paper string. Don’t you just lover her?!!!

[Ok, the resolution is so bad she looks a bit scary…I’ll post a couple more videos for anyone who wants to get a better picture of her after the fold.]

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Question of the day….

At first, I was just going to ask if you have any tattoos, and if so, what’s the story behind them. But why limit it to tattoos? Do you have any body modifications that are considered edgy by your family, loved ones or mainstream society?

I’ve got two tattoos–Calvin on a surfboard, designed by my ex-girlfriend and I on my left upper arm; and a dark green (almost black) Celtic abstract design that snakes from my right mid-thigh up to my belly-button.

The latter is a cover tattoo, and there’s a story behind it. Continue reading


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Say it ain’t so….

Howling wind and rain here in Dublin and temperatures predicted to drop below 10 degrees C tonight. What a lousy summer! The wettest June on record in parts of Ireland–which is saying a lot! Only the second wettest on record in Dublin, however, which is staggering for this transplanted Southern Californian to contemplate.

Of course, when they say wettest, they’re basing that on how many inches of rain have fallen, not over how many days. I’ve heard people say that this is the 9th straight week with rain falling every single day in Dublin.

I haven’t kept count, but that sounds about right to me. And they’re predicting it will keep raining through August.


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I joined the Green Party….

I attended my first meeting of the Southeast Dublin contingent of the Irish Green Party last night. There were maybe 35 to 40 people there, of all ages with a surprising number of people who looked over 50. I’d been thinking for some time to join but what convinced me last night was the appearance of John Gormley, the member of parliament from my district.

My first-preference vote helped Gormley defeat the Right-Wing TD (member of parliament) Michael McDowell to win the last seat in my district. And now, since the Greens did go into coalition with Fianna Fail, Gormley has been appointed the Minister for the Environment, Heritage and Local Government.

And how’s this for democracy? Gormley, coming straight from a late session of the Dail, sat himself down a foot away from me at the meeting. For more than an hour, we were all able to address questions and concerns directly to him, in some cases we were able to argue with him on his answers.

As an American who was unable to get a single lowly aide of Senator Hillary Clinton to come down from her New York City offices to talk with a Move-On contingency before the Iraq invasion, Gormley’s accessibility blew me away!

So, I paid my 15 Euro and joined up.


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This sent a chill down my back and brought tears to my eyes.

H/T to C & L.


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More on Irish transsexuals….

Hey, Shakers, I’m back after being MIA these two weeks from Shakesville. I’ve missed everyone!

So much has been happening in Dublin, I’ve been running myself ragged in my “free time” and haven’t had a chance to stay fully caught up on things around Shakesville, much less the news.

It all started to get busy after the decision by the Irish State to re-issue the Leaving Cert of an unnamed Irish transsexual in her new female name.
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Workers of the world….

01.06.2007 – One of Ireland’s biggest technology employers Dell has revealed that will be laying off 10pc off its staff worldwide, amounting to 8,800 job losses in total.
Some 450 Irish jobs are expected to go.This brings to 1,800 the number of job cuts announced this week, following similar decisions by Eircom and O2.

Although 450 Irish jobs are expected to go in Ireland over the next year, CEO, Michael Dell, in a statement made last night, said that no final decisions had been made as to exact numbers.

Dell employs 3,000 people in Limerick plus a further 1,000 in Cherrywood in Dublin. (Article.)

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