Drive on…


Today is my first driving lesson in Ireland.  If you read my blog you might recall why I have to go through this shit.  OK I’ll tell you again. My insurance company over here will not cover me because I do not have an Irish driver’s license…and while going through this process they find out that I stay in country illegally for  extended periods of time.

My interrogation at the immigration office went something like this.  “How long have you been staying for three months or more in Ireland?”   I say oh about eight years. “No one every questioned you about this?” No I say. I didn’t want to tell them about some arse hole wanting to send me back to Boston on the next plane after I had just landed in Dublin a few years ago.

Oh ya the driving lesson…

The driving instructor is located about 40 minutes away and to get there you must travel on one of the worst roads in Ireland and I might add there are a few of those roads about. 

I must say they just completed a highway extension to Wexford and it looks great.  The reason for building it was to have smooth sailing to Rosslare where the ferries leave for England and France.  Well guess what, they just shut down the ferry service. 

And speaking of “I’m here from the government to help” this crack down on drinking is gone way too far…the garda are setting up roadblocks in the morning to check alcohol levels in your blood.  Then again where else would alcohol levels be? 

I’m running off to my lesson now and I’ll continue this shit in a few hours.

Not so fast.  No lesson.

Didn’t have the fucking proper documents.  I will attempt to get them tomorrow but you have to understand what “I’m from the government and I’m here to help” really means over here.  You’re just fucked!

Now for something more pleasant…it has been raining solid for two fucking days.  The Derry River in front of our house is flooded and Clonegal is about to be washed away.

Then again I do enjoy a water view.

Any one want to put a few “bob” on some thing gets fucked up.  Oh no …this is the day the country shuts down for a month to celebrate Christmas.  OK it’s not a month but if it snows it would be out of action for at least three weeks.

On to the NDLS first thing in the morning to get my provisional driver’s license and all documents were in order …save my medical report.  It was dated last year when I started this shit.  On to the doctor’s office to get it updated.  Was told I would have to get another exam.  Please, I said, could you run it by the doc and see if he would sign off on it.  He did.  

My appointment is this Monday…any bets?

Seems like every thing is in order and my experience with the agent was actually pleasant.  I will to put these documents in the mail today and hope that during this time of the year they get to the proper place before the summer. 

Now I can begin my lessons.  

Happy Christmas.


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Musings from Ireland and New England …the Book



click on Musings… Book 1


Musings…Book 1


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It’s all about what you like and don’t like…

My sister. Carol Veiga, the artist, is helping me put a “best” of, or maybe some would consider “worst” of, book of these musings. 

I’ve been doing this for nine years and some I like and others were written to keep my streak going.  Maybe I shouldn’t have said that…they’re all great.

To date, the most popular continue to be “The long cock competition” and the “Bone Setter”.  People still contact me  thinking I am the Bone Setter looking to get an appointment and as for the long cock, well …

If you are a regular reader and you remember one that you like, please let me know. 

Some of my favorites are…

Written on or about April 1, Jimmy and Johnny, The wrong violin, A day to confess, Listening, Dancing with pigeons and I’ll stop at that.

…oh ya, I’m going to include some of my other stuff like…

my watch must be broken i seem to lose time, a lot of time and i think it is getting worse every day… i’ve done everything to conserve it but nothing works i guess my watch is broken after all it’s getting old

rabbits in the road, my car seems like it’s chasing them or are they teasing me i’ll go ask alice

…and look at what those rabbits brought me

The foo foo do blonde one is Mae. the little one is Dan, and the big guys are Colleen and Ciaran.  They live in Dublin, Ireland, are visiting and stayed at the beach for a while.

Someone at the beach asked Mae about baby Dan and she said, I might add, very quickly…do you want him?

Give the blonde one a few more years and her stories will blow “Colleen” stories away….aahhh that’s for some other time and they would be called the best of…

What did we do to this woman for her to take the road less traveled?  …and continues on quite nicely.

Whatever it was is still working.  Thank you!









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Dancing under the moon

Dancing under the moon

Come a little bit closer 

Hear what I have to say

Just like children sleeping

We could dream this night away

But there’s a full moon rising

Let’s go dancing in the light

We know where the music’s playing

Let’s go out and feel the night

Because I’m still in love with you

I want to see you dance again

Because I’m still in love with you

When we were strangers

I watched you from afar

When we were lovers

I loved you with all my heart

On this harvest moon

But now it’s getting late

And the moon is climbing high

I want to celebrate

See it shining in your eye

Because I’m still in love with you

I want to see you dance again

Because I’m still in love with you

On this harvest moon

Because I’m still in love with you

]I want to see you dance again

Because I’m still in love with you

On this harvest moon

It was just the “band” … the three of us and a dog.  We had a few cocktails, leftover hors’ d’oeuvres’ and sat on the back deck to watch the sun setting.  He happened to look out front and there it was just dancing over Buzzards Bay…an orange moon.  We moved to the front deck and were hypnotized by the beauty of this moon and night.

The radio was playing and Neil Young’s Harvest moon began on cue.

He got up and beckon her to join him on the sand.  They danced, laughed and groped one another while their dog, as close to them as he could get, looked up at them with a tilted head in total wonder.

They indeed fell in love again. 

The moon reflected a path towards us.  So real and so inviting.  Could this be the way?

Not tonight.

…because they were dancing under an orange moon and nothing else matter.


 Thank you Neil Young and the person who took this picture and my friends for being so true and for Mary’s love for this song as well

The moon this night was actually a sturgeon moon


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the wrong violin revisited…


The “wrong” violin

Guarneri violin label

Guarneri violin label

You know the days…when everything seems to be going fine and then you get one of those phone calls from “left field”.

Some years ago while in my office at TV58, the receptionist calls me and says your wife is on line two and she doesn’t sound too happy.  “Hello” I say and I got back “You stupid bastard…you took the wrong violin”.  It all went down hill from there.

On March 25 2011, many, many years later, we take the “wrong” violin to be looked at and possibly restored … the rest of the story follows…

James Perry violin

My wife’s father was a publican, gentleman farmer, story teller and musician.  He played the piano, the violin and sang on “special” occasions. He entertained his four children and bride creatively because there was nothing else in those days.  He was a great husband, father and an inspiration to his children, especially my wife.  In that she was the only one of his children to immigrate to America, their relationship was most loving and a “bit” confrontational at times.

Mr. Purcell’s old pub and house

I remember him fondly…and one such memory is about Shep #5.

He wanted to show off his newly trained sheep dog.  He called them all Shep and I think he had about 4 or 5 of them over the years.  I squeezed  into his mini car and Shep got into the back seat, to this day I have never seen a display of unconditional love between a man and an animal as I saw that day.  I will never forget it, Shep knew he had to perform and “Jack” would have accepted nothing less than a perfect show.  That I got, and to this day I love to watch those ESPN sheep dog competitions.  Shep 1-5 would have been a blue ribbon contender.

Jack died  March 25, 1987 and we left for Ireland the next day.

Death in Ireland is a celebration, a time to remember and a time to morn, and we did all.  Our stay lasted about ten days and the day before we were to leave Mary asked me to go into the sitting room and pick out the best of her father’s two violins to take back to the states.  That I did.  I even swapped cases and put what I thought was the violin and the case that was in the best condition aside for our trip back.

The Purcell’s old house is now an award winning restaurant called the Sha-Roe Bistro.

The building has been very sympathetically converted, with many details – an odd little insert in an uneven original corridor wall provides a shelf for a nightlight, for example, and a tiny old cottage window in the back of the dining room has been retained, allowing a peep into the kitchen.

Window to kitchen Sha-Roe

On winter nights, a welcoming log fire burns in the  sitting room and, in the dining room itself, a glowing stove in a big open stone fireplace has wood stacked up alongside ready for refills.

Back to the states and it must have been a year or two later when “that” phone call took place…and the conversation continued…

You do remember there was another violin left behind in the sitting room.  That one was given to Mary’s sister.

…Phyl wanted her violin fixed up so Des took it to be appraised and for an estimate to restore it… Phyl is Mary’s sister and Des is Phyl’s husband.  Well apparently the man that looked at the violin was so impressed with it that he told Des that he would hold onto it for a while so that he could do more research on it.  Des was not too comfortable with the man and his suggestion and left with the violin…he took it to someone else and then Mary asks me “do you know what they told him?”  I said “No I don’t”  “Well let me tell you Mr. “wrong” violin man…it’s a…his name starts with a ‘G’ and according to this guy some  people consider him to be as good as Stradivarius was.” “Oh” I said and Mary continued “He appraised it for some unbelievable amount and Des told him to restore it.”

Mary called the Boston Symphony Orchestra’s office the next day to ask for a referral to an “expert” on violins.  She then visits with that “expert” and was offered a written or a verbal appraisal on our violin.  The cost difference between the two is substantial and Mary opted for the verbal.  She was told who made it, where it was made, the time frame and the quality of the workmanship.

Our violin maker’s name did not start with a ‘G’ or a ‘S’ but with a ‘P’.  James Perry, the “world famous” musical instrument maker from Kilkenny Ireland.  He is recorded at Back Lane, Kilkenny, in 1790 and 1792 and had apparently been in the city from c. 1781.  His output included violins, violincellos, tenors, guitars, German flutes and fifes.  He is the cousin of Thomas, whose violins sell today for large sums of money.

He was a protege of the Ormond family.  His instruments were generally indifferent and without the slightest pretentious approaching artistic design.  Workmanship quite rough but not entirely unskilled.  Purfling sometimes scratched on instead of the usual inlay.  Often very weak fibred wood, now frequently worm-eaten.  Dark brown varnish generally but occasionally a brown of lighter  shade verging towards yellow.  Remarkably sweet tone but impoverished in roundness and strength.

Our violin is not worm-eaten and yellow.  The thing is over two hundred and thirty years old…for fuck sake.

This “expert” says he could restore it and it would be worth what we paid to have it restored.  She took it home and …

… the “wrong” violin has been buried in our basement for years and it has been only the last few that I have displayed it in our fireplace…yes  in our fireplace.  When anyone asked me about the violin I would then tell them this story.

Fireplace display with violin

…until …

We brought the “wrong” violin to a little Chinese gentleman for an estimate to restore it.  He looks at it and says…not too clearly I might add…”biolin berry, berry old…need lot of work”…and with much difficulty and time he proceeded to tell us what had to be done…and an hour later…I was exhausted before he told us what it would cost and then…he said “when I finish it will be berry beautiful”.

I was sold.

I wanted it done and Mary reluctantly agreed and we left leaving the “wrong” violin with Tuo.

Phyl’s violin is mounted on the wall of their home in Portmarnok, Ireland and it is not for sale.  It has been prominently displayed in their home for many years.

After two weeks, Tuo called … “Your biolin is finished.”

I picked up the “wrong” violin within minutes of the call … and it is indeed, berry, berry beautiful.  I hope to start lessons soon.


the “wrong” violin

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…a sunrise for you

Mix – Jeff Buckley – Hallelujah (Official Video)


Our Irish car is a diesel and returning to Clonegal from Dublin we stopped for petrol (gas for us yanks).  Got out of the car and pumped 72 euros (@$90.00) of petrol (regular gas) into the car.  The cap is clearly marked diesel and somehow I only noticed this when I screwed the cap back on.  In horror, I  knocked on the car window and asked Mary “Car just takes diesel right?” 

We attempted  to talk to two guys in a tow truck next to the pumps and couldn’t understand a word they said…save “don’t dive the car buddy”…Went inside the station and told the manager what had happened and she said that I must have the tank pumped out and don’t drive the car.

In the mean time the two guys pushed the car away from the pumps.  She finds a number to call and she says he’ll be there in about an hour and that I would still have to pay for the gas.

At this point we had already been on the road for about an hour and a half and were a “bit” tired from whatever trouble we caused in the city the night before. 

He arrives and tells us it will cost about 225 euros plus the new gas we would have to put in and it would take about an hour to do.

We were not looking forward to the remaining drive on roads as big or I should say little as your drive way … adding  dangerous curves and Irish drivers that seem to enjoy driving 90 mph on this section of the road.

While the car was being pumped I spent sometime talking to the manager and she told me she had just returned from a wedding in New York.

At the wedding her husband got violently ill and was rushed to the hospital and is now in a Dublin hospital awaiting a bone marrow transplant and is going through chemo and she is not sure if he is going to make it.

At this point the 90 dollars in gas, the 270 dollars in pumping, the new gas put back and the wasted 5 hours in time was just so dismissive and minor that we looked forward to the remaining drive ahead.

I lead with Jeff Buckley’s version of 


for this reason…I wish this woman’s husband and family well.


Jeff had so much going for him when he drowned in May 0f 1997.

and may a sunrise in your life open your eyes and soul for others that are going through a difficult time.


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just thinking … again

there is a commercial for a diet company  that touts …buy into the program and get two months of food for the price of one…that’s like getting the second month free…


got questioned by a police officer at 3 am leaving the beach … interesting conversation but I almost told him to fuck off…that’s almost, I’m older and wiser now.

got questioned by the Irish emigration  authorities about my illegal stays in Ireland…moi… wanted to tell them to fuck off…

still looking for my cannabis farmer from Northern California that I met at a bar when my car broke down on Easter Sunday…great story…Julian my man…lost your number.

I admit I am a fair weather fan of the Bruins…WTF

I will not discuss politics unless

Finger pointing

When it comes to the news…I frequently move on to Family Guy reruns…

I am writing this 3o minutes before game 2 of the Stanley Cup finals … 

BOSTON, MASSACHUSETTS – MAY 27: Torey Krug #47 of the Boston Bruins checks Robert Thomas #18 of the St. Louis Blues during the third period in Game One of the 2019 NHL Stanley Cup Final at TD Garden on May 27, 2019 in Boston, Massachusetts. (Photo by Patrick Smith/Getty Images)

It is no wonder the rest of the country hates Boston sports teams and their fans… if the Bruins win 

excuse me ….

the stones “Gimme Shelter”  just came on

…it’s just a shot away…

I’m  painting a lot and I think I’m getting better at it.  It is like fishing …your mind is at ease … but I have to get back to my fiddle and mission …

by now you have gone on to other things and said “he has lost it”

I have and I’m looking for it … can you help

can’t understand what happen to the the Celtics…

 RIP Hondo…Bill Buckner…

the Bs lost in overtime…

Ya know I have been on skates just once in my life…never been skiing … didn’t watch Game of Thrones once … not sure if this is the show they are all talking about.

I promised myself that I would never watch a series again after the Sopranos.

Can you believe these kids making thousands of dollars, yes one made over a million, on youtube.  I just love it…their entrepreneurial  spirit that is.

I love kids…they are the future…and I am about to become a grand dad to my second any day now…the first one is ….

a Beatles fan and can sing yellow submarine…

She calls me Papa Dan … counts, sings and speaks in Spanish and English…I haven’t detected an Irish accent yet…

Just had to show this again…I love it

Oh ya then there is six degrees of separation…

Will close now with an appropriate picture of our spring…wait till August the beautiful green lawn we all have will be brown.

Go Bruins!!!!!

While doing this came across my favorite Mark O’Neill painting…

O’Neill’s Band of Brothers


and remembering Henry…


God bless America

God bless America

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Easter Sunday and the cannabis farmer

After four months in Ireland, my old BMW started right up upon returning to Milton.  Unfortunately every light on the dash board was lit up but it didn’t stop me from driving it.

I was invited to join my sister and and brother in law for Easter dinner  at a restaurant in Westport and thought it might be a good idea to have the car serviced before I went.

Drove it home and all was good to go.

Easter Sunday came and off I go and as I got to the Braintree split all the lights came on and I lost power.  The traffic was heavy and cars around me were not pleased with my car’s performance.

After an extended wait, AAA came and towed my car to the shop that just worked on it.  Once the car was dropped off I asked the driver to drop me off at a restaurant/bar in East Milton.

The restaurant was packed with well dressed families out for Easter dinner but no one was sitting at the bar.  After several beverages a guy comes in and sits next to me.  To say he was not dressed for Easter dinner would be kind.  I said hello and we started talking.  He had just left a restaurant on the next block because the bar tender was ignoring him and he suspected it was because of the way he was dressed.  A certain homeless look, you might say.

I asked him if he was new to the area and he said he was in Massachusetts for business and was renting a house in Stoughton.  He was commuting weekly from Northern California and every other week to Columbia.

And what business are you in I asked.  “Cannabis…I own a 24 acre farm in Northern California and came to Massachusetts to establish a base.”

Would you happen to have any with you now, I continued.  He then opened his jacket vest and he must have had 20 containers in individual pockets.  He picked one out and gave it to me and I said how much do I owe you.  Nothing… and we continued to drink.  

He came around to ask me what I did and I explained that I no longer worked and that most of my career was in the television business.  I added that I paint and attempt to play the fiddle on occasion .

The fiddle is 236 years old…check out my blog about it.

He  asked if I had any pictures of my paintings and I showed him what I had recently painted.  He pulled out a roll of cash and said he liked two and that he would give me $500.00 to hold them for him.  I said no, he should see them in person before he bought them. 



We continued to drink.

He gave me his cell phone number on a card and asked me to call him so that he could pick up and pay for the paintings.

We continued to drink.

I finally left him at the bar and stumbled home.  I was not used to walking that distance in cowboy boots.

The next morning got up and immediately looked for the card.  I must have ripped the house apart.  

No card, no money…no grass.

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Rocky, Rake and Gideon’s Bible

Rocky Raccoon checked into his room
Only to find Gideon’s Bible
Rocky had come, equipped with a gun
To shoot off the legs of his rival
His rival it seems, had broken his dreams
By stealing the girl of his fancy
Her name was Magill, and she called herself Lil
But everyone knew her as Nancy
Now she and her man, who called himself Dan
Were in the next room at the hoe down
Rocky burst in, and grinning a grin
He said, “Danny boy, this is a showdown”
But Daniel was hot, he drew first and shot
And Rocky collapsed in the corner

The second night back from Ireland at around 2am I heard noises from the attic and initially thought it was mice.  The noise got much louder and I thought…could be rats.  The noise got louder and louder and I finally decided to investigate.  I opened the attic door and focused my flashlight toward the noise.

Rocky Raccoon was now my tenant.  I must say Rocky was well fed and was the biggest raccoon I have ever seen..  He looked at me and said I’m out on the town for awhile and I’ll be back so keep the doors open.

Rocky returned the next night and next and sleep was nowhere to be found.  The battle was on.

Fortified the vents, kept the attic lights on with radio blasting. I opened the attic door just to see Rocky leaving for another night out… he turned toward me and smiled.

The next night it was pouring rain, it was 3am and I heard him trying to get in.  I jumped out of bed ran outside in the rain and yelled, made noise and flashed lights on him.  He came down and sat on the gutter and looked at me saying Hey dude it’s raining out and I want to stay dry.

I immediately went to the attic and made a barrier that Godzilla couldn’t get through.

Opened the back door to look up and there was Rocky sitting on my grill on the back deck.  I picked up a heavy log and threw it at him. Missed and dented the cover of my grill.

Please let me revisit my bat story.

Home alone and Mary had hired a woman to clean the house every other week.  I came home after a few beverages and ended up in bed. Sometime in the early morning hours I was awakened by a noise sounding like a toy jet flying around the room.  I put my glasses on and a bat was heading right for me.

I jumped out of bed and room and closed the door.  Went into the garage to get a rake and then returned to the bedroom.  No more bat.

The next morning I went to work and left the rake on the bed.

Just so happened the cleaning lady showed up the next day.

My wife returned weeks later and asked her if things went well.  She said fine but she couldn’t understand why I slept with a rake.

It was only starting to get strange when I started to take Rake drinking with me.

He said, “Rocky, you met your match”
And Rocky said, “Doc, it’s only a scratch
And I’ll be better, I’ll be better, Doc, as soon as I am able”

Now Rocky Raccoon, he fell back in his room
Only to find Gideon’s Bible
Gideon checked out, and he left it, no doubt
To help with good Rocky’s revival

Will Rocky return tonight or has he met his match.

Rocky Raccoon by the Beatles

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