Friday, May 27, 2011

Stockyards Rodeo

The Fort Worth Stockyards Rodeo (ro-day-oh, even) runs Sat & Sun year round and has been going for decades. It is unabashed in its catering towards the tourist dollar. Despite having some mean-ass cranky bulls, it does not hold a candle or even a matchstick to the Stock Show. But a few really cool things came out of our recent visit.

1. One of the best pics I ever took with an $85 Nikon from Tar-zhay

2. A bull-rider escaped and charged Fiona (she was saved by a clown)

I also have some unflattering video of two aspiring ranch hands chasing a calf, but since they did not catch it, I will spare their blushes.

(click to enlarge)

Saturday, May 21, 2011


In my school-days, when I had lost one shaft,
I shot his fellow of the self-same flight
The self-same way with more advised watch,
To find the other forth, and by adventuring both
I oft found both: I urge this childhood proof,
Because what follows is pure innocence

- Bassanio, The Merchant of Venice. Act 1, Scene 1

Future Hall of Famer?

Pleased with Roscommon's trouncing of New York on May 1, the next day Kevin and I decided to venture north to Cooperstown, NY, to the shrine of all that is baseball. The origins of our national pastime are in dispute; the game can be traced back to England, but the powers that be in baseball have decided it was invented by Abner Doubleday and was first played in Cooperstown in 1838... notwithstanding that Doubleday was not in Cooperstown in 1838 and no-one ever heard him speak of baseball. Well, the Hall of Fame has to be somewhere, why not a bucolic village smack dab in the middle of New York State?

We once visited there about 20 years ago and I seem to remember more memorabilia, like players bats, gloves and jerseys, no to say that there is not still plenty of that. I also thought the plaques were bigger, but I'll put that down to things seeming more expansive in youth...

Here are some of the highlights:

Kevin with the Babe; Not in the HoF but still Pete Rose has a display

Ted Williams Batting Average by Pitch Placement; Tom Seaver Display

The 1936 First Class (Mathewson, Ruth, Johnson, Cobb, Wagner); The Big 3: Ruth, Beirne, Williams

Doubleday Field; Rangers Fans outside the Hall of Fame

There is already precedent for a Kevin Beirne making it in the bigs (albeit with limited success):

Who knows, maybe one day our budding young third baseman will be enshrined in Cooperstown?

Sunday, May 15, 2011

The Dallas Arboretum

The Dallas Arboretum sits on 66 acres bordering White Rock Lake and is just a couple of miles east of the city. It opened in 1984 and gets over half a million visitors per year. It is simply spectacular in spring when everything is in bloom and the gardens come alive in colors of every hue imaginable. A great place to spend an afternoon (like we did) or even better, to have a picnic (next time).

Quick, name all the flowers here:

The Arboretum has an interesting section on how the white man settled Tejas. The choices for housing on the plains in the early 19th century were limited to the tee-pee or a more permanent mud-brick "home".

To infinity and beyond...

Sunday, May 8, 2011

Rosstafarians on tour

Rossies traveled far and wide to be in the Bronx on May 1 to see the Roscommon Senior team take on their New York counterparts. There was some trepidation entering the game. The Sheepstealers had played very poorly the previous Sunday in losing to Longford. Would the long trip and short time to prepare handcuff the Rossies? Gaelic Park has Astroturf, an alien surface to the visitors. And maybe even more significant: NY were supposed to be even better than last year when they gave Galway a huge scare. More lads had emigrated from Ireland and were turning out for NY.

Kevin and I made the trip from Dallas on Friday night and on Saturday hit St. John's, Yorktown Heights, Carmel and even Southbury. On Sunday we pulled on our new Primrose & Blue jerseys (thanks Aunt Sheila) and despite leaving in plenty of time, missed the throw-in, such was the lack of parking by Manhattan College.
We need not have rushed or worried. The bould Rossies dominated a one-sided affair and were in control from the get-go. While NY seemed bigger and certainly won the majority of the kickouts, Roscommon were quick to win back possession and when they did, moved the ball decisively down the field and were generally accurate in their shooting.

The weather was darn near perfect and there were several thousand Rosstafarians in attendance. Gaelic Park is a unique place to see a game. The seating is all on one side and the opposite side is a yard for the NYC Subway trains. Kind of surreal to see Donie Shine hoisting points on a plastic pitch with silver trains in the background. We need not have worried about the Astroturf. Final score Roscommon 3-21, New York 1-11.

Twelve scorers for Roscommon: D Shine 0-06 (free, 45), K Higgins 1-01, S Kilbride 1-03 (0-01 free), C Cregg 1-01, C Devanney 0-03, I Kilbride, M Finneran, E Kenny, D Ward, P Domican, K Mannion, S O'Neill 0-01 each. How often does the fullback get to score?!!

Next up, either Leitrim or Sligo.