It is 6 Days till Christmas …

It is 6 Days till Christmas …
by John O’Brien, Jr.

It is 6 Days until Christmas ~ 6 has many prominent places in society; the most prominent, of course, is that “On the sixth day, God created Man,” It was a good day for man! A few others that came easily to mind are a fit to yesterday’s blog, with the 7 notes of the Diatonic scale http://songsandstories.net/…/it-is-7-days-until-christmas-5/ , paired with the 6 strings of the guitar in today’s blog, and my love for music in a previous one.

We take a chance in playing that game of association: so, we have six sides of a die. We have fun on the rise and fall of the die, and the wish to die as you plunge down a rickety rackety track ~ Cedar Point roller coasters, almost everywhere we look, including the six inhabited continents.

The sixth sense tells you to run, to not get on the coaster, or you might meet Kevin Bacon, and we all know about the 6 degrees of that! You could die, and then what happens? You go 6 feet under ~ Coffins are buried six feet underground.

It has its good points and its bad points, but there is 6 points in scoring a touchdown and in the Star of David. If that doesn’t make you drink … there are 6 packs, and, strangest of all, 6 is the number for carbon, which we humans are emitting/creating at an unprecedented and dangerous level.

I love a green Christmas, and a green earth. Last, but most importantly, 666 has no chance at all, for in 6 days, that Star of David, the Light of the World, shines brightest of all.

You Are Blessed:

If you own just one Bible, you are abundantly blessed,
1/3 of the world does not have access to even one.
If you woke up this morning with more health than illness,
you are more blessed than the million who will not survive the week.
If you have never experienced the danger of battle, the loneliness of imprisonment,
the agony of torture or the pangs of starvation,
you are ahead of 500 million people around the world.
If you attend a church meeting without fear of harassment, arrest or torture of death, you are more blessed than almost three billion people in the world.
If you have food in your refrigerator, clothes on your back,
a roof over your head and a place to sleep, you are richer than 75% of the world.
If you have money in the bank, in your wallet, and spare change in a dish someplace,
you are among the top 8% of the worlds wealthy.
If your parents are still married and alive, you are very rare, even in the United States.
If you can hold someone’s hand, hug them, or even touch them on the shoulder,
you are blessed because you can offer God’s healing touch.
If you prayed yesterday or today, you are in the minority, because you believe in God’s willingness to hear and answer prayers.
If you believe in Jesus as the son of God, you are part of a very small minority in the world.
If you can read this message, you are more blessed
than over two billion people in the world that cannot read anything at all.

If you hold up your head with a smile on your face and are truly thankful,
you are truly blessed because the majority can, but most do not.

It came without ribbons

Yesterday marked my 9th Anniversary with the Cuyahoga County SheriffSheriff. I am so proud to know and work together with the men and women in black. Sworn officers, civilians; family. My new book, The Lyrics of Irish Freedom will be out January 1st, it would make a great Christmas gift (www.songsandstories.net), and today I sent off the 9th Anniversary issue of the Ohio Irish American News (www.ianohio.com).

Beannachtaí na Nollaig ~ Blessings of Christmas!

Lyrics_Cover_Web
The Lyrics of Irish Freedom
by John O’Brien, Jr.
Get your autographed copy at www.songsandstories.net
The Lyrics of Irish Freedom by John O'Brien, Jr. Get your autographed copy at www.songsandstories.net
The Lyrics of Irish Freedom
by John O’Brien, Jr.
Get your autographed copy at www.songsandstories.net

You can read all the 25 Days of Christmas at: http://songsandstories.net/myblog/feed/

“Follow me where I go, what I do and who I know:

‪#‎LiveMoreLifeBeMoreIrish‬
O’Bent Enterprises includes:

Ohio Irish American News
Cleveland Irish Cultural Festival
Songs & Stories, my author web and SM sites:

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www.ianohio.com
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www.twitter.com/365Irish
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It is 15 Days Until Christmas …

It is 15 Days until Christmas …

Two weeks from tomorrow!  Can you believe it has come so fast?  I was just being thankful for our service men and women, for the men and women in blue too, at the Greater Cleveland Peace Officer’s Memorial, it seems, right before Memorial Day. A glorious sun filled summer, too short as always but more glorious for the warmth it gave, flashed by.  Dunno WHAT happened to September and October.  Then it slowed down for a second, as Thanksgiving reminders of just how blessed we are got their usual filters knocked off and said “LOOK” to those willing to breathe the free air.

Now I am bundled up and ready for battle in small businesses and craft shows; I prefer a peaceful Friday over a Black one. I spent my currency well; completing 4th book.  “The Lyrics of Irish Freedom”, is centered on the music of Irelands rebellions and Troubles, all the songs I grew up singing, who wrote them, why they wrote them, what was going on at the time, as we near the 100th Anniversary of the 1916 Rising.  Remember, Ireland’s rich oral tradition was prolonged and oral history propagated because their was no radio, no TV.  The book comes out Friday, January 1st.

LyricFreedom hires The Cover!

LyricFreedom backcov Back Cover

The Bards were the teachers; historians chronicling the misery and the mission, for a free Ireland.  The 100th Commemoration of the most seminal time and events in Irish history reverberates across the world to the millions of Irish descent, who crossed oceans, built canals and signed a new lease on life, where ever the waters took them. Those in Ireland are figuring out their celebration too, tho it seems a little slower and with a little more rebellion. The book is timed for summer, to kindle learning what we all have seen in small sparks.  Let there be bonfires.

I’m Heavy When Wet
by John O’Brien, Jr.

I love a White Christmas, families gathering and warm smells
How carolers voices, could charm the hinges of cold hearts loose from the gates of hell
Evergreen garland and the lighthouse of the white lights
children’s laughter peeling, and a moratorium on fights (HAha)
Empty trees will turn from scary, frightening on Hallow’s Eve
to breathtaking beauty, covered by a snowstorm’s canvas weave
Won’t be long now; I’ve prepped the hot tub and put away the hoses
winterized the grass and covered up the roses
Lawn furniture put away, taking the shelf space of tree, bells and candles
warm winter boots, when my gnarled feet prefer sandals.
Yet there’s new excitement in little eyes, as Santa’s checking his lists
the love they freely show me, make me gasp and eyes mist
They warm my whole winter, so unexpected, so affirming;
so to wallow in pains embrace, leaves my subconscious squirming.
A Season of gratefulness, another gathering of Thanksgiving
– without it dear friends, life just isn’t worth living.
I too am sustained by faith, urgency in making the world a better place
days with hands of leather, days with hands of lace
For so much I am unworthy, yet God makes no mistakes
I am heavy when wet.

“Follow me where I go, what I do and who I know:

O’Bent Enterprises includes:
Ohio Irish American News
Cleveland Irish Cultural Festival
Songs & Stories, my author web and SM sites: 

www.songsandstories.net
www.ianohio.com
www.clevelandirish.org
www.twitter.com/jobjr
www.twitter.com/365Irish
www.twitter.com/cleveland_irish
www.facebook.com/OhioIrishAmericanNews
www.facebook.com/Cleveland-Irish
www.linkedin.com/in/jobjr/
http://songsandstories.net/myblog/feed/


What is R.A.?

R.A. is Rhuematoid Arthritis, a degenerative condition affecting the joints, caused by the body attacking its own machinery, in mistake. No one really knows why this happens but it is happening for millions across the world. We are fortunate to live in the U.S., where extensive medicines and continuing research are available/ongoing – I know, I have tried them all. Despite their costs, they help millions to lead fairly normal, productive lives, despite the daily discomforts and never knowing whether you will be able to do things; later that day, the next day etc… because of the pain, or, in many cases, the myriad of side effects years and decades of medicines unleash in your body. Adaptive living, born of experience, desperation (most men live lives of quiet desperation, said Yeats) and desire to make the world a better place, for your having been there, force those adaptions, successful or not. Ever evolving, ever surpirsing, ever plan-changing, just like the disease itself.

Random Songs & Symphonies

Novels are not songs, they are symphonies – big, brawling, sprawling critters that leave room for characters to develop’ struggle, flail. and sometimes suceed” – J Sydney Jones (author of Time of the Wolf).

Short stories, poetry, verse and prose, they all tell a story, but they don’t tell THE story, the symphony and the novel are the only two forms that do; the best leave a little bit of desire, for a little bit more – the sequel.

John

Digital vs. Analog Hearing Aids

What’s the difference? Analog is the basic model, pre-technology, really. It gives a lot of feedback and lacks real clarity of sounds, especially for someone hard of hearing, where the soft or high sounds are routinely missed. Digital is a computer, much more powerful, adaptive and able to capture many light, soft or high sounds. It has a computer and allows you to include directional amplification. For example: Mine has 3 programs, accessed by toggling a small button on the aid – one for normal amplification, two for amplifying just what is in front of you, and killing any sound to the backside and back of you, and finally, three, for use while on the telephone, so you don’t get the high pitched squeal from the aid, when the air passage is blocked. You can also just turn it off – which makes a great ear plug for silence and focus (or to ignore that special someone).

I have 50% hearing loss in my left ear, and 75% in my right. I always had analog, from the age of 6 until the age of 38. I resisted Digital because of the cost ($2000 each, I wear them in both ears), plus I’m too comfortable in my silent world. I read lips very well, which can be great fun for spying, but now that I have digital, I can’t recommend them enough. Night and day compared to analog – I can hear so much more, when I want to, and now see how incredibly much I was missing before. I now hear things I never knew existed and find “new” sounds, at least to me, to be a daily lift in my ever expanding world. People no longer think I am ignoring them, rude, am a loner or just too quiet. I can now join in in conversation and actually know what they are saying to each other.
Music never sounded so sweet, my nieces and nephews so smart, and the sound of the rain so comforting – or terrifying, depending on the strength of it all.

Other than the cost, I have not found any negatives to digital so far, in the two years I have had them. A whole world, that always existed but I never saw, is now open to me. You too.

My Favorite lines:

Had I the heavens, embroidered cloths

Enwrought with golden and silver lights

The blue and the dim and the dark cloths of night

And lights, and the half light

I would spread the cloths under your feet.

But I, being poor, have only my dreams.

I have spread my dreams under your feet.

Tread softly, Because you tread on my dreams.

Who said it? What did they mean? Any parallels?

Thanks,

John

Is there a hotter hotbed of Irish Music in the States than Cleveland?

Well, Cleveland’s got New Barleycorn, Brigid’s Cross, Brace Yourself Bridget, Kevin McCarthy and Morrison & McCarthy, Callahan & O’Connor, Pitch the Peat, Mossy Moran, Lisa Spicer, Wally Franz … who else am I forgetting? I think Francis Quinn has a group going now, but I am not sure. Tim Benson? Brendan Carr? Others?

I get so many requests for info on bands, I always give out these names, to start. Who else is missing and how do we get a hold of them, so we can tell others about them too? I’m going to put up a contact page on the website for Cleveland bands, help me out with the contact info (Band name, contact, number and website), if you can,

Thanks,

John

Internet celebrates 15th Birthday

Did you know that the internet celebrates its 15th Birthday this year? Despite Al Gore’s claim that he founded the Internet, it was actually founded by Tim Berbers-Lee, initially as a way to organize his own files, then expanded to organize and link all files, worldwide.

Happy Birthday!

John

My Favorite lines

Books show me places, people, things, ideas that I could never have imagined without them. How else would I know of the America, or the Ireland, of long ago? Know of my ancestors, what they struggled with, and how I became what I am, thru them and what they became, thru living?