Hello Blogmuffin readers, I have unpacked and dusted off the old slide carousel.

Here is a quick wrap of my travels, or a lot of pictures of me being an ass. Please enjoy.

It all started between the Tigris and the Euphrates. Whoa sorry about that, I do not have to go back that far.

After suffering through a crappy flight we arrived in Northern Ireland and made it to where were were going to bunk for the next two weeks.

Not too bad. If you think that nice, the people who hosted us were amazing. They were nice enough to have us back. They made us feel more than being at "home", they made us feel like a member of their family. They were so nice, I did not steal any towels or silverware.

We were charged with the task of doing finishing work on two homes.

Here is a shot of the two we worked on in 2002. They are still standing. That shows they have great site supervision, they could overcome me wielding a hammer.

So we worked on a lot of the little things to get this house ready. In fact we were able to hand the keys over to the families so they could come in and start doing some painting. Now here are some actions photos for you:

No, its not me trying to duck working, sadly this was me working on cleaning sewer lines, with tape all over me. The picture we sadly do not have is my hand wrapped in a plastic bag cleaning out bricks, glass, and old Buick Skylark, along with the nastiness that lurks in the pipes, all the while it is hailing.

This is a bad combo folks. I am amazed that this did not end in tears. But surprisingly enough I kicked some ass. You should have seen me miter cut. Oh I mitered cut the bejesus out of some shit. Oh look I have a picture.

Look you can slice cheese with that edge. God I am retarded, but I am still so damn proud of this stupid corner. I was so proud that I went all Jim Hacksaw Dugin afterward. The only thing missing was the American flag. (I promise to find that one and post it)

After they explained it was not a pogo stick, they let open some whoop ass on some beligerent pavement.

Here I am hold up a shovel very nicely.

This is before spending an afternoon shoveling hardening pavement which is such a pleasing way to spend a day. But it was all worth it, especially when we saw one of the future home owners come by with her daughter and show her where her room will be.

Even though we had a small group we got a lot done and with no injuries. I will say that it was an achievement. There were moments that I doubted that this trip was going to even take place. In many ways it all worked out perfectly.

So what did we do while not building? Well we lets see.

We took some time in Belfast as I mentioned before. Here are a couple of highlights

Drinks here

Tour through the trouble spots in a black cab.

First to the Protestant areas.

Then we crossed into the Catholic areas, but first we had to go by the "peace walls".

Large East Berlinesque type walls build to keep the peace, by trying to separate the two communities. Some areas have gates that close at night to keep people from coming in and cause problems. These walls do not insure goodwill. But even with these measures. You still have kids gathering throwing insults, rocks and other items. In a nutshell this is why I keep coming back, so that one day these walls come down, by choice not force. Okay enough of my sappy droning.

Here are some shots from the Catholic areas:

First is the Sein Fein office and the second is Bombay street where this community which was fire-bombed in 69. As you can see that the people living there still are contending with items coming over that wall. They have installed large slanted screen that hopefully allows any harmful items to roll away from the house.

We also stopped at the Clonad Martyrs memorial Garden for IRA members killed and non-combatants who lived in the area.

Also got to see what a rubber bullet looks like, they are not cute and cuddly especially when they are fired above the waist. This was a problem back in the 70's and 80's.

But enough of the bad, let us get back to the nice of Northern Ireland.

Wait I saw this and caught a laugh.

But now back to our program. Even though I was damn ass cold (but as a southern Californian anything under 50 makes me panic), we had great weather. We also took some time to go down to Newcastle and the Mourne's.

It was a great shot till I got my fat head in the shot.

Oh crap I am looking at the clock and I have to go. Well this trip recap is off to a great start. Now if I can finish it before I leave for Chicago to watch the World Champs beat on the Cubs.

Sorry for all the spelling and grammar, doing this on the run.

Well I have made it back to the not so sunny shores of Costa Mesa. Who is messing with the weather?

The epic three week tour is over, and it was great. Now I am trying to get back into the swing of things. I have been so out of it since getting home Sunday. In fact last night I dreamt that I had just done a 2 week trip to the Bay Area and then we were off to Argentina for a two week Habtat build. So when I woke up this morning, I was exhausted.

I am now working on getting back into the work force and getting this blog out of the La Brea Tar Pit of laziness. Knowing me it will fail on both counts.

Well kids sorry I have been busy, just wanted to let you know that I am still alive and well. I know, I know, I can hear some of the groans out there. Saddly this blog still will limp along. We have finished up our building. We had a great time and I even used power tools without injuring myself or others. I know amazing. When I return there will be a slide show where you can see my shame.

Right now it is off to London, I hear it is a sleeply little village that Romans use to hang.

To show that I am fitting in. I am still miffed that Man U could not beat Sunderland Friday night. Then Sunderland gets ripped by Newcastle. What is up with that? I hate Chelsea, I really do. But I do know that the Sox are back in first. Who woke up Jim Thome? He is killing the ball, but sadly so everyone facing Sox pitching except for Contreas one hitter, but does that really count if comes against the Royals?

But I can wait to tell you all about Dublin, Belfast, operating a jack hammer, and my fight for the Danish throne.

Well time to head to the future George Best Airport.


Well I am back. The last two days have been wonderful, cold but wonderful. We have been seeing the sights for the last two days. Which was nice, but one of those days we were supposed to be on the sight but we got bumped. It's a long story, but it is probably because they want these house to get finished so if they can keep me away. We took in the lovely seaside town of Newcastle and then off to the Mountains or Mourne. Where we stopped and enjoyed a nice stroll around the picturesque Silent Valley. The only problem was our van was attacked by ferel mimes.

Today it was up to Belfast to tour the HFH office and run through the city. Did some site seeing. I got some great shots of me at the Belfast City Hall. They let me put on a ceremonial robe and release the badgers it was great.

So far I have not harmed myself or others on the road. Right now I am very thankful to Ford and their beautiful Ford Galaxy. Hey, it is automatic and it has heat, so for once I am happy to be driving a mini Van.

So far this is the longest I have been this cold. I would die if I lived anywhere with snow. But still it is so great to be back here.

Tomorrow we get back to it and I will try to not impale or shame myself. Then Saturday we are off the Dublin. I hope to have some photos to prove I am not sitting in my car hiding in Fontana.


The Sox are out of first place. It had to happen.

the Boski Blog o' Fun.

Greetings kids, sorry I have not written, but I have been a little busy.

Well I write to you from a wonderful manor house here in lovely County Down, in Northern Ireland.

Wow the band sounds great doesn't it? . . Oh that's right you all can't here the music or voices in my head. Well it is for better.

Before I start I would like to start off with

That was the only thing that sucks about this trip is missing this.

I really would have loved if the flew a second one at Wrigley, to remind those punks that they still get to wallow in the misery. So go and enjoy your beer and Ivy. The rest of the White Sox Villagers and myself will take this.

Hey has Jim Thome's homer landed yet? Sorry everyone I have to enjoy this as long as I can. I know as soon as they lose one I will go back to the "sky is falling mode".

So it is UCLA vs Florida, hmmmm. I say Florida

Well enough of that, today is the end of day number three and our first day on the site. Friday was a travel day which sucked. Even with the surprised upgraded seats on British Airways (the not quite coach, but not quite business class) I had a miserable flight. Other than watching "Breakfast on Pluto" it sucked. Had a screaming kid in our section, but he came a distant second. The cold I decided to pack and bring on the flight was a great idea. It made the 10 hours go by like it was 50. My head hurt and I was so tired and run down that I wanted to sleep, but sadly I could not. Oh I tired, but I could not get more than 15 minutes. I was too tired to watch another movie of listen to music. So I sat there in a stupor. It got to the point I sat and started to hit myself in the head. My hopes were to either, crack my head open so all the pretty stuff in my head would run out, or to knock myself silly. Sadly I was too tired to even get that done.

I was able to finally get some rest at Heathrow as we waited to connect to Belfast. I would have gotten some more, but I had to spend a half and hour cleaning my toiletry bag since the Nyquil (which I should have taken before getting on the plane) spilled all over it. But as I awoke my wife had to get a chuckle since half of my face had the imprint of the sweater I was napping on. The flight to Belfast was uneventful other than the plane being struck by lightning. So now I can cross that off the list.

The rest of Saturday we spent crashing and getting acclimated. Thankfully, I did not do any crashing of the car. Yes, my group has put me behind the wheel. Fools!

Sunday, went into Belfast, to pick up our last team member. Grabbed a pint at the Crown. Then took a black taxi tour of Belfast (the Political edition) Even though I had been on a tour like this one last time, it is still sobering and chilling to see it. Standing in parts of town that my grandfather and his family would have never even think about venturing to. The tour guide was great even though he painted a very bleak picture, with very little hope of things changing. To me I don't feel that way. If I did I would not be here doing this. Sure there is a lot that still has to be worked out and this crap is entrenched pretty deep, but this is not hopeless.

Monday we got out to the work site and I can say I had a shitty day, but not in a completely awful day. Well I started on framing doors, but the site supervisor, who is a great guy asked me to help with a problem with porta-john. Next thing I know I have plastic bag around my hand removing debris from the toilet line. Things like glass, parts of brick, huge wads of paper towels. big ass spiders. You know common things. It made be realize that the day a company I worked for made me go on the roof was not that bad. But in a weird way I had good time. The Site Super and me filling buckets, shoveling refuse and snaking lines, all while it was freezing (including a solid period of hail). But I was just glad to be there and helping and doing something that helping someone. After we finished and I was deloused. We returned to our "home" and spent an hour and half throwing around a rugby ball with the youngest son of the family who is housing us. That and having a great dinner and drinks made this a great great day. I made all the headaches and problems we had trying to get this trip off the ground worth it.

Well it is now 1:30 AM GMT. Must get some sleep.