Passion = Truth? How Jeffrey James Francis Ircink Sees The World? I love when people are passionate about something. That surging of emotion is the one honest measure of what truth is. It's a truthful display of how a person really feels about something or someone at that particular moment. That passion IS truth.

About me...

My photo
Greendale, Wisconsin, United States
Ex-producer of THE REALLY FUNNY HORNY GOAT INTERNATIONAL SHORT FILM FESTIVAL, playwright, actor, singer, outdoorsman, blogger, amateur photog, observer & bitcher, Beach Boys groupie, Brett Favre fanatic, lover of everything Celtic and forever a member in the Tribe of HAIR. Spent most of my life in the Village of Waterford, a small town just outside of the Milwaukee suburbs. After 12 years in North Hollywood, Bel Air and Culver City, Cali, I moved back to Wisconsin in September 2009. No regrets - of moving to LA OR moving back to WI. Have traveled to Belfast, Ireland, Dayton (OH), Manhattan, Seattle, Cedar Rapids, New York, Miami and Sydney, Australia with my plays. Moved back into the Village of Greendale where I was born. Life is good.


Thursday, April 30, 2009

Today. Virgin America. 12:05 p.m. Los Angeles to Seattle. Moi.

My virgin trip to the "Emerald City". Seattle. The 1962 World's Fair. The Space Needle. The NFL's Seahawks. The MLB's Mariners. Birthplace of grunge music, Starbucks and Seattle's Best Coffee. Hometown of Paul Allen, Judy Collins, Jimi Hendrix, Bill Gates, Ann Reinking, Rainn Wilson, Frances Farmer, and Gypsy Rose Lee. And finally - my theater friend from Cedar Rapids, Lisa Bohn.

Ahhhhh....Seattle. Going to see my 'dirty little play', "Pass the Salt, Please", perform at The Little Red Studio's Erotic Shorts Festival and at the Seattle Erotic Art Festival. It was a huge success last weekend. Here's hoping the luck continues.

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Retired future Hall of Famer Brett Favre "released" by New York Jets Tuesday.

At his request, the New York Jets released Brett Favre on Tuesday night from the "reserve/retired" list. Favre’s statement on Tuesday said in part: “Nothing has changed. At this time, I am retired and have no intention of returning to football.”

It's been since last season that I've blogged much about Brett. Check my archives. He's retired. I'm giving him some breathing room. Anyway, I'm a big fan - boycotted the Packers after 44 years and followed the Jets last season. Now that the Jets have cut all ties with Favre, I'm not saying Brett will come back. Odds are this time his retirement is for real. But...he unretired last year, too. And now Brett could sign with any team — the Jets would receive no compensation and would not be penalized if Brett unretired and went to Minnesota.

Minnesota was interested in Brett last year, but the Packers did not want Favre playing in their own division (thus, the clause in the Jets' trade). The Vikings' owner has said they are not interested in Favre "at this time". And "at this time", the Vikings QB situation is very much up in the air.

"At this time" can mean a lot of things to a lot of different people. I've already read numerous sports columns giving Favre shit about his above statement because he said the same thing when he retired from the Green Bay Packers the season before last - "at this time". You never know. I believe Favre can still play ball, especially if he had that torn bicep repaired. Hell, I never would've thought this country's Homeland Security chief Janet "Neapolitan" would've said that crossing the border is not a crime (per se) during an interview about illegal aliens. But "at this time", she did. So if Favre unretired a 2nd time, wouldn't faze me a bit.

If Brett changes his mind, who cares? If he wants to play, so what? And if he's contend being retired, I'm fine with that as well. Let him worry about his legacy. I'm not - ever.

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Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Fax to Puppet Janet "Neapolitan": PS - you truly are an idiot.

Take part in the political process! Speak your mind on topics you feel are important! If you'd like to fax your state representatives regarding...immigration issues, for example, click here to go to NumbersUSA.

You can click on READ MORE! for a fax I shot off to Janet "Neapolitan", our Puppet head of Homeland Security (who doesn't even know the federal laws her agency is supposed to uphold). It's a form-letter fax but it's quick, easy and it gets the point across.

I've used Neapolitan's mug in two previous posts and I'm making myself sick looking at her. So I thought I'd add some color and "tag" her face using Paint. I think the coloring fits.

Mr. Jeff Ircink
4745 Saint Nicholas Avenue
Culver City, CA 90230

Secretary Janet Napolitano
U.S. Department of Homeland Security
Washington, DC 20528

(this is all form shit)

Dear Secretary Napolitano:

I am absolutely appalled by your comments on CNN's "State of the Union" program! Crossing the border without permission is a crime!

I cannot get over the wanton disregard that you and your fellow cabinet members have for unemployed Americans (currently 13.2 million and counting). Not only do you prevent ICE from taking workplace enforcement actions that free up jobs for American workers, now you wish to disregard America's immigration laws. Please, allow me to refresh your memory of 8 U.S.C. 1325(a): "Any alien who (1) enters or attempts to enter the United States at any time or place other than as designated by immigration officers, or (2) eludes examination or inspection by immigration officers, or (3) attempts to enter or obtains entry to the United States by a willfully false or misleading representation or the willful concealment of a material fact, shall, for the first commission of any such offense, be fined under title 18 or imprisoned not more than 6 months, or both, and, for a subsequent commission of any such offense, be fined under title 18, or imprisoned not more than 2 years, or both." 8 U.S.C. 1325(a) does not seem difficult to understand; it clearly states that crossing into the United States without permission is a crime, punishable by up to 6 months in jail.

With this in mind, you should consider retracting the comments you made on CNN. To be honest, I do not believe you are ignorant of the law. Instead, I believe that the law does not suit your political agenda. Therefore, you have decided to misrepresent and, at times, ignore the law. While you may think your aims are noble, your thinking is clearly misguided. Any attempt on your part to prevent illegal aliens from being arrested and deported will have serious ramifications for America's 13 million unemployed. I urge you to look deep inside your soul and determine if you can truly stab unemployed Americans in the back simply to curry favor for your political allies. If so, you are in the wrong job.

Sorely disappointed,
Mr. Jeff Ircink

(this I added - it's not the most intellectual thing to say but she is what she is. the "intellect" part is the law clearly stated above)
P.S. You truly are an idiot.

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"The Stranger" suggests...SEAF in Seattle.

The Stranger is Seattle's free weekly alternative arts and culture newspaper. "Pass the Salt, Please" - which is closing it's two-week run at The Little Red Studio this weekend - is performing at the artists-only gala the night before the Seattle Erotic Art Festival opens.

Is that a briefcase you're holding or is she just happy to see me?

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Those crazy Ruskie bastards.

As of this past Sunday, Russia is banning pork exported from Arizona, California, Texas and Kansas, as well as Mexico, in response to the swine flu that has hit Mexico City and spread beyond that country's borders.

The swine flu is NOT transmitted by eating pork. Psych!

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Tuesday, April 28, 2009

"PTSP." reviewed in Seattle Weekly!

My 'dirty little play', "Pass the Salt, Please.", opened at The Little Red Studio in Seattle this past Friday as part of their Erotic Shorts Festival. Word from the theater powers-to-be and my director, Cherilynn, is it was a BIG HIT, though I have an inkling the reviewer was expecting more from the night as a whole. I'm extremely happy and I can't wait to see it this weekend - it'll be my first visit to Seattle and I get to see my friend from Cedar Rapids, Lisa. whom I haven't seen in 11 years. 11 years??? Read the review below or check out the link.

Regarding the critic's viewpoint that "erotica" seemed to be a missing element from the evening, guess it depends on your definition of "erotica". When "Pass the Salt, Please." won BEST OF SHOW at UNcover - a two night art exhibition with an erotic vibe in Cedar Rapids (March 2007, I believe), my buddy went home and got laid. It was his wife...ha...but they were both turned out - by my play and by the rest of the evening. I look at it this way: whatever I'm looking at or listening to - if my penis begins to swell with blood, that's erotic enough for me.

So - oh, the other thing. The reviewer referred to the characters in my play as a "depressed middle-aged couple". My father could be having the time of his life - as happy as a clam - and still look like he's lying on a morgue table. These characters are NOT depressed. Not at all - unless the actors were specifically told to act depressed by the director (which she didn't) or the characters were interpreted to be depressed by the reviewer. But they most certainly are not "depressed".

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Monday, April 27, 2009

"What is 'Coulrophobia', Alex.

A clown in Mexico City. Photo by Marco Ugarte/AP.

NPR featured a story today, "The Infection Is Fear" by Daniel Hernandez, on how Mexico's dealing with the recent swine flu outbreak. Sorry Dan - ahhmmm...I still think it's a fear of clowns. Maybe clowns with masks on, to boot.

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Saturday, April 25, 2009

How NOT to sell your wares: Bethenny from Real Housewifes of NYC.

Bethenny is one of the women featured on Bravo's The Real Housewives of New York City. According to Wikipedia (which I've recently found to not be that accurate), Bethenny:

"...has a burgeoning career as a natural foods chef. She owns her own company, Bethenny Bakes; has a health column in Hamptons Magazine; and is a TV spokesperson for Health Magazine and for Pepperidge Farms' new line of foods. Frankel was the runner-up on The Apprentice: Martha Stewart and starred in the movie Hollywood Hills 90028. She was Paris Hilton's nutritionist"

Fine. But Bethenny can't sell her own wares worth shit. Or give them away. Watch this video - PAUSE the jukebox at the top of the page first though. WTF? I wouldn't sample a free chocolate bar if I were going into diabetic shock. I thought, "this has to be a joke". The video is self-explanatory. Pathetic.

I'll take Kelly on her worst day. Kelly's actually my favorite on the show. "Hi, Kelly!" I don't know her but she returned my email today and we chatted for a second. Very cordial. Returned the email message of a complete stranger - is that not impressive? She gave me hints as to where to hang out in Miami when I attend the Florida premiere of "Pass the Salt, Please."

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BREAKING NEWS! "Pass the Salt, Please." big hit in Seattle!

Kerry via Twitter to me
show details 9:10 AM (13 minutes ago) Reply

"it went beautifully! your play was a total hit!"
Kerry / Chamaileon - actor, director and one of the bigwigs at The Little Red Studio in Seattle

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Separated at Birth? Jennie and Stella REDUX!...with Crystal Klein!

Look at the post below. Now add adult entertainer Crystal Klein in the mix. My first Separated at Birth? menage a trois!

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Friday, April 24, 2009

Separated at Birth? Jennie Garth and Stella Stevens.

Virtual dead wringers, no? Yes. You recognize Garth from Beverly Hills 90210 (I walked by her one day - cute). Stella Stevens is an actress who rocked every man's world in the 60's and 70's, appearing in Playboy and on the cover (above) of Playboy, 50 years - The Photographs. She played opposite Dean Martin in The Silencers, The Nutty Professor with Jerry Lewis, Girls! Girls! Girls! with Elvis, The Poseiden Adventure (the original) and lots of televison.

I remembered that picture on the Playbook book cover but couldn't remember if that was Stevens. Finally emailed someone on Ebay to look inside the book they were selling and find the name. Now if we could only get Jennie to pose like STELLA!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

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"Pass the Salt, Please." Los Angeles rehearsal, Summer 2007.

My friends, Dave and Linda Parke, rehearsing for the "Pass the Salt, Please." show at Drake's Erotic Emporium in West Hollywood, Cali, August 2007.

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I told you there are people out there that like me. "Pass the Salt, Please." opens tonite in Seattle!

Kerry 9:28 AM (6 minutes ago) Reply

:-) I really can't wait to meet you Jeff. It's been fun e-mailing with you over these past months.

This from Kerry, director/actress and one of the "suits" at The Little Red Studio in Seattle where my 'dirty little play', "Pass the Salt, Please." opens this evening for a two-week run in their Erotic Shorts Festival.

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Nancy "Pablo" Pelosi is a liar.

That's besides being a traitor.

Pablo Pelosi said, “In that or any other briefing…we were not, and I repeat, were not told that waterboarding or any of these other enhanced interrogation techniques were used.”

Multiple sources, including recently released Senate committe reports and the Washington Post, say Pablo Pelosi was among Senators briefed on all aspects of CIA methods of attaining information from terrorist suspects - on multiple occasions.

But Pablo Pelosi says this never happened. According to a Rasmussen Report poll released in late March (which I blogged about), House Speaker Pablo Pelosi’s popularity has fallen to a new low for the year, with 60 percent of likely voters now viewing her unfavorably.

With such a plunge in her popularity - I mean, it would be a career-killer to admit she was privy to CIA interrogation methods, right?

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My word "hongo" has offended...Mr. Hongo.

I made up a word when I was a kid - "hongo". I submitted it to Urban Dictionary and they accepted the word and my definition.

Yesterday, someone posted this comment on my blog regarding that definition:

Anonymous said...
Hongo is not a word its a Japanese last name and a very popular one. In fact its my last name and I find it really offensive that you would use someone's name as a slang term.
April 23, 2009 8:31 PM

And I commented back:

Jeff Ircink said...
according to Urban Dictionary, it IS a word - MY word. i'm sure "Kong" is someone's last name too - did you get all bent outta shape about the movie, "King Kong"? get a life, Mr. Hongo.
April 23, 2009 8:36 PM

...and of course, I had to get the last word in:

Jeff Ircink said...
and if your last name was so honorable, why did you post under "anonymous"? you must not be that proud of your name, Mr. HONGO.
April 23, 2009 8:37 PM

...and pour salt on poor Mr. Hongo's wounds:

Jeff Ircink said...
interestingly, should someone with the last name "Cock" get upset because "cock" is a slang word for "penis"? what if your first name is "Dick"? there's another slang name for my cock...i mean, my penis.
April 24, 2009 8:22 AM

I wonder if my needling of Mr. Hongo qualifies as "torture" or "cruel and unusual punishment"?

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TGIF! presents...ESCAPE Radio's "Three Skeleton Key" with Vincent Price (1950).

Old-time radio. Before your face was glued to the television. Enjoy Part 1 of "Three Skeleton Key".

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Thursday, April 23, 2009

Jeff Ircink, Jeff Chandler, Jeffrey Hunter. "When we were 43, it was a very good year."

I was named after these two lugs. Actors - you might not recognize them (your parents or grandparents would). At the heights of their short careers, they were top leading men.

Facebook has quizzes and tests you can take - favorite actors, celebrities you've met, celebs you'd like to meet, favorite musical groups, celebs you'd like to punch, favorite cartoons growing up, etc. Those quizzes made me think about the "Jeffrey's" I was named after.

Jeff Chandler (left) - the one with the prematurely greying hair. Looks like the model for G.I. Joe, doesn't he? Nominated for an Oscar for his role as Cochise in Broken Arrow (a role he played in two more movies). Dated Esther Williams, the swimmer/actress.

Jeffrey Hunter (right) was born in Louisiana but grew up in Wisconsin. He turned down the role of Captain Kirk in the Star Trek television series and starred with John Wayne in what many believe to be the greatest western of all-time, The Searchers.

Both actors died in the 1960's. Chandler was eight years older than Hunter but, oddly, they both died when they were 43. I'm 44, but that headshot of me was taken last year. On second thought, maybe "43" wasn't such a very good year for these Hollywood stars, eh?

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Happy Birthday, Strunk & White!

50 years ago, William Strunk, Jr. writ and self-published dis book - The Elements of Style - containin' da rules of usage and principles of composition, along wit his student, E.B. White., while he was professoring at Cornell. In 1959, a New York Times reviewer says it "a splendid trophy for all who are interested in reading and writing."

I'm referred to dis handy buk multiples of times - in high school when I writen for and editin' the school newspaper, as a journalism major at da University of Wisconsin-Whitewater, while bloggin' an writin' my plays...Don't aks me how I gets along witout it. I learned a lot from it. They're ain't nothin' like it.

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Twain and me woulda gotta along real good.

Samuel Langhorne Clemens. "Mark Twain" as he become to be known as. Author of such masterpieces as The Adventures of Tom Sawyer, The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn, The Prince and the Pauper, A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur's Court, among others, died 99 years this week. If you've never read at least the first two, you're depriving yourself of two of the most important books in American literature. No question. No argument.

Ernest Hemmingway argued that "all modern American literature comes from one book by Mark Twain called 'Huckleberry Finn' ". A new book, "Who is Mark Twain?", has just been released, containing 24 previously uncollected stories and essays.

Tom Sawyer and Huck Finn are Twain's quintessential books, capturing the carefree days of youth, while addressing and masticating over important issues like racial equality and women's rights - issues Twain was passionate about - with a profound sense of humor that Twain had become known for.

As far as government, Twain's celebrity overshadowed his views on such matters. But historians agree Twain was an anti-imperialist and anti-capitalist in his later years, while being critical of too much government.

"The mania for giving the Government power to meddle with the private affairs of cities or citizens is likely to cause endless trouble, through the rivalry of schools and creeds that are anxious to obtain official recognition, and there is great danger that our people will lose our independence of thought and action which is the cause of much of our greatness, and sink into the helplessness of the Frenchman or German who expects his government to feed him when hungry, clothe him when naked, to prescribe when his child may be born and when he may die, and, in fine, to regulate every act of humanity from the cradle to the tomb, including the manner in which he may seek future admission to paradise." - "Official Physic"

"Loyalty to the country always. Loyalty to the government when it deserves it."
- Twain

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You know why I've always hated the movie, "The Running Man"?

It's Arnold's co-star - Maria Conchita Alonso. Yep - Arnold has some pretty crappy lines in the movie as well (which has become a cultish hit flick I believe). But with Arnold, we're used to that. I swear to God, every time I stop to watch this movie, there Alonso Conchita dipshit is, with the whining and the bitching and not listening to Arnold and screwing up everything and yelling while slipping back into her native tongue which has NEVER been done before with a Mexican or Spanish actor/character. Never fails. Every time I see it. There she is.

I know - it's the character she's playing. Wrong. I hated the character Bruce Dern played in The Cowboys - especially after he killed John Wayne. But I love Bruce Dern. I have nothing against a slew of famous actors who played villains and were eventually gunned down by the Duke or Clint Eastwood in their respective flicks. Nothing at all.

I just can't stand Maria Conchita Alonso, that's all. Or Julia Roberts. Or Sandra Bullock. Or Renee Zellwegger. Or Joan and Melissa Rivers. Or Kathy Lee Gifford. I don't know any of them. Maybe it's their acting style or their screen persona. Whatever...when I see them on the screen I flip the channel.

Now Richard Dawson, on the other hand, as the bad guy, game-show host in The Running Man...who doesn't love Richard Dawson? His outtakes and anything else that ended up on the cutting room floor while acting on Hogan's Heroes as Corporal Newkirk were better than anything decent Alonso does in this film.

I just can't stand Maria Conchita Alonso.

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Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Quote of my lifetime! Homeland Security chief puts both feet in her mouth while simultaneously shoving her head up her ass.

(My buddy Tony blogs at Tuesdays. He has a regular blogpost called, "Quote of the Day".)

In an interview on CNN's John King last week, Homeland Security chief Janet Napolitano stated, "And yes, when we find illegal workers, yes, appropriate action, some of which is criminal, most of that is civil, because crossing the border is not a crime per se. It is civil."

You must be fucking joking me. Well - if I wasn't completely certain before, I'm positive now that eventually illegal aliens in the U.S. will be declared legal by amnesty.

(OK - this is where you must envision I'm blogging in Ireland again. I did this once before and it's precious.).

This cunt has already apologized to U.S. veterans for saying that some of them could partake in right-wing extremism acts upon return to U.S. soil (by the way, according to the cunt's own definition, I'm a right-wing extremist; so is my mother). And the cunt's investigating ICE workplace raids - curtailing them in the process - making sure they're necessary and prudent. This - our chief of Homeland Security????

This is for that dumb cunt Chief of Homeland Security who's apparently not familiar with one of the fundamental laws that her own department is in charge of upholding: the statute reads, “Any alien who enters or attempts to enter the United States at any time or place other than as designated by immigration officers . . . shall, for the first commission of any such offense, be fined under title 18 or imprisoned not more than 6 months, or both.” Is that enough of a crime for you, you stupid, dumb cunt? Send your resignation in NOW!

(OK, I'm back in the U.S. I hate Janet N. Don't be turned off by the language in this post. I AM sensitive to my readers, but here's a woman who does not know how to do her own job while our country is experiencing its worst unemployment in decades. I'm sorry but there's no excuse for it. Besides, I was blogging, in part, from Ireland, where the word "cunt" is used freely in everyday language. "When in Rome...")

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"City on the Hill", a poem by Citizen X.

Conceal your ears and passions,
When the smiling man says,
We will be as a City upon a Hill,
No Ideal lasts outside the mind,
Of the Mad King.

Burn the bridges of that City,
Flood the moats til' bursting,
The Levees drown the fires,
Then hurl your stones ov'r,
And watch collapse with pleasure.

The painting is by Zdzisław Beksiński, a renowned Polish painter, photographer and sculptor who was best known as a fantasy artist. The poem is by Citizen X, a fellow blogger; we both contribute to another blog - Ditalini Press.

If I didn't know any better, I'd swear this poem was commissioned by the Republicans to reflect their attitude toward the Obama administration and its affect on our country.

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The Old Mill, Part Deux.

This photo of an old mill in Co. Kilkenny, Ireland was originally a part of my St. Patrick's Day posts. I contribute to the blog, Ditalini Press, and each month someone's responsible for suggesting a topic for the other bloggers to write about. I had April - my topic was to write a story derived from this photo.

My contribution is noted here.

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For Earth Day - "Pacific Ocean Blue", by Dennis Wilson (1977).

It's Earth Day today. Listen to what Dennis Wilson of The Beach Boys was singing about back in 1977. Get out of the microcosm that's your own world and think about the rest of us who are here enjoying the Earth with you.

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Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Dentist takes umbrage at my rant on...dentists.

i did a post back in January called, "I hate dentists".

Yesterday someone named "Florence" from Riverside Cosmetic Dentists (I assume that's Riverside, California) left on comment on the blog post:

riverside cosmetic dentist said...
So interesting ha?! why all of the patient feel so scared?

by: florence

Dentist-type people are funny.

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How to make maple syrup...Jason Ircink-style.

My brother Jason delved into this process for the first time this year. It's a lot of work, but the pay-off is sweet. Seriously, the pride of tapping a maple tree and making your own syrup harkens back to a day where - unlike the current mindset of the Obama administration - people were rewarded for a hard day's work. If you've got a maple tree nearby, you too can sample nature's nectar. How to make maple syrup. Try it - the satisfaction you gain might surprise you.

The picture Jas took above illustrates the varying grades of syrup, based on the length of boiling time. That's a helluva nice picture, Jas - great composition. Good eye, brother! There's a few more pictures of Jas hard at work - click on READ MORE! and follow his pioneer spirit.

From mid-February to early April is prime time for maple syrup production. Maple producers "tap," or drill a small hole into the trunk of a tree and then insert a spout or spile to catch the sap that begins to collect in the hole. The spout is then connected to a bucket, or to plastic tubing stretching through the woods, to collect the dripping sap.

Jas - master of his domain! This is all taking place on private property somewhere in Wisconsin. Jas' close with the owner - he hunts the acreage. I won't tell you where 'cause we don't take kindly to interlopers. Yeeehawwww!

It takes 30-50 gallons of sap to make one gallon of maple syrup. The faster the sap is boiled, the higher the quality of the syrup. When the sap begins to thicken, take it indoors to finish boiling it on a stove where it is easier to control the heat. The syrup will have the right concentration of sugar when it is 7 degrees Fahrenheit hotter than when it first boiled. At or near sea level, the temperature will be about 219 degrees for finished syrup.

Molly and Zol, my brother's American water spaniels, did nothing to help Jason in his maple syrup-making endeavor. Good-for-nuthin little baaabies. Great dogs, these two.

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Until we meet again, Michael.

I have one of my Imeem jukeboxes playing in the background and the first song to play is "Any Other Name", by Thomas Newman. You might recognize it if you were listening - it's from the movie, American Beauty. Fitting song for a blog post on my cousin Michael, who passed away suddenly last week and was buried yesterday in Wisconsin. It's melancholy and reflective.

As I'm in California, I was unable to attend my Michael's funeral yesterday. Obviously I would've liked to have been there for my family, particularly my Aunt Ruth and Michael's brother, Tom. It hasn't hit me that Michael's gone. He passed away five hours before he would've turned 40. Of the 15 grandchildren on the Ircink side (I'm the oldest), Mike is only the 2nd to leave us - my cousin John passed away at 11 months...oh - 20 some odd years ago. Life goes on, though no one ever said there wouldn't be moments that suck. my Uncle Bob's annual Pierogi Feast this past December. From left to right, cousins Michael & Tom Waite (my dad's middle sister's kids), Joe Nowak, my brother Jason with the fake looking goatee that isn't fake, and Paul Nowak.

I was outta the picture for most of the last 16 years or so (5 1/2 years in Iowa and 11 years in Cali) and when I was home the reunions were joyful but quick. I talked to Mike only a month or so ago on the phone but I hadn't seen him in years. Mike, Tom, Jas and I were particularly close growing up as we were closer in age and all boys. Whether it was shenanigans during the 4th of July in Greendale (shooting bottle rockets at each other in the woods behind their house), helping out Uncle Jerry (Mike and Tom's father, now deceased) on his ice cream truck, or just chumming around at Grandma and Grandpa Ircink's in Muskego, it was always a hoot when the four of us got together (and a yell-fest for Uncle Jerry and my mother). :)

I wish I had seen more of Michael over the years. Regrets are of little consequence now. Part of that was me being so far away; part of that was Michael. When we were younger, we thought the Ircink clan was infallible. That's not such an unusual thought really. Then my Aunt Mary (my dad's oldest sister - dad being the oldest sibling) died of breast cancer, then Cousin John (Uncle Fran's first boy, dad's youngest brother), Uncle Jerry (Aunt Ruth's husband), Grandma Ircink, Grandpa Ircink, then Uncle Tom (my dad's middle brother, the two being a year apart), and finally, Michael.

Michael was a great artist - I'll put some of his stuff on my blog sometime. He's probably doing a portrait of the Ircink clan in Heaven as we speak. Good luck with that - between the laughter and kibitzing and partying, he'll be lucky to get them all to sit still long enough. Course - he does have eternity, after all.

I leave you and my entire family with Welsh poet Dylan Thomas' poem, "Do Not Go Gentle Into That Good Night" (1952). Perhaps his greatest work.

Do not go gentle into that good night,
Old age should burn and rave at close of day;
Rage, rage against the dying of the light.

Though wise men at their end know dark is right,
Because their words had forked no lightning they
Do not go gentle into that good night.

Good men, the last wave by, crying how bright
Their frail deeds might have danced in a green bay,
Rage, rage against the dying of the light.

Wild men who caught and sang the sun in flight,
And learn, too late, they grieved it on its way,
Do not go gentle into that good night.

Grave men, near death, who see with blinding sight
Blind eyes could blaze like meteors and be gay,
Rage, rage against the dying of the light.

And you, my father, there on the sad height,
Curse, bless me now with your fierce tears, I pray.
Do not go gentle into that good night.
Rage, rage against the dying of the light.

Do not go gentle into that good night, Michael. I love you. Always.

- Cousin Jeff

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Monday, April 20, 2009

Obama shoots his wad; releases CIA documents to the world.

President Obama fully acknowledged that the CIA has to protect the American people and American soil against people who don't play by rules when interrogating their prisoners and who would willingly kill innocents and die for their cause. Then he releases classified CIA documents written by George W. Bush's administration detailing methods of extracting information from al-Qaeda prisoners.

Say one thing. Do another. "I understand that it's hard when you are asked to protect the American people against people who have no scruples and would willingly and gladly kill innocents." Really? Do you REALLY understand, President Obama? I don't think you do.

Leon Panetta, President Obama's CIA chief, and four most recent former heads of the spy agency, asked Obama not release the memos as this might damage national security and demoralize CIA operatives. But Obama knows more about U.S. covert operations than FIVE CIA chiefs so he just ignores them all. Chief of Staff Rahm "I-don't-have-to-pay-property-taxes Emanuel, defended the decision to publicize them, stating that it had "enhanced America's image abroad" and deprived al-Qaeda of "propaganda tools".

Excuse me but do you honestly believe - Rahm - that releasing those documents will deprive al-Qaeda of its propaganda tools? Seriously - what a fucking joke. Talk about naivete. The President already acknowledged that al-Qaeda and other terrorist groups don't play by the same rules as the U.S. They shoot their captives. They behead their captives. Our methods (waterboarding, for one) are effective - we obtain the information we need and the prisoner is still alive. Whoever said anything about international cloak and dagger games being fair?

Just like Speaker of the House Nancy "Pablo" Pelosi compromised the effectiveness with which ICE (Immigration and Customs Enforcement) can deal with illegal aliens in the U.S. by referring to it as "un-American" , by releasing previously classified CIA documents for the world to see in an effort to "enhance America's image" our country was just made weaker than it already is.

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Separated at Birth? Mel Gibson and Jason Ircink.

It's the eyes. My brother's eyes definitely look like Mel Gibson's. Not all the time, but at certain moments. Jas has got that Braveheart look here, that's for sure.

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Suicide in Paradise?

I read an article in the new magazine, Singular Los Angeles, titled, "Eden", about a trip a daughter and father took to Tahiti. There was a line in the article that struck me.

"Moorea (located in Tahiti) has many fatal traffic accidents, a high rate of alcoholism and a high suicide rate...'You're basically stuck on the island for your entire life," he (tour guide, Herve) said with a shrug, "so yes, it's beautiful, but there aren't a lot of options. People can get depressed."

I've been asked by people, regarding my move back to Wisconsin this July, why? Why would you opt to leave sunny Southern California for 4 months of winter in the Midwest? Herve's comment reveals that no locale is immune to life's realities. Family and friends, the job market, traffic, overcrowding, your passions and pursuits and the perceptions you have of where you're living have a great affect on one's psyche.

Southern California or Tahiti. Makes no difference.

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Dr. Chuck and Heather git hitched!

Dr. Chuck Nowak and his bride, Heather, and Heather's four children (left to right) - Stuart, Joel, Amara and Clayton. It really was a gorgeous day and a gorgeous Santa Barbara, California wedding. If you'd like to see more pictures from the wedding, click on READ MORE!

Jas testing out his camera settings on me before the ceremony.

Chuck and Heather exchanging vows at Ledbetter Beach in Santa Barbara.

Jas, Uncle Bob and me. Aunt Ev stayed home as we had unexpected death in the family - my cousin Michael.

It was a gorgeous day for a wedding at Ledbetter Beach in Santa Barbara.

Mrs. Nowak, the groom's mother, relaxes at the Frog Bar & Grill at the Glen Annie Golf Course.

The Nowak clan. The only sibling that wasn't in attendance (of the 8) was Rick. My Uncle Bob is on the far right.

The outdoor reception area.

Dinner was chicken and shrimp. Presentation AND the food were excellent.

"Momma's Juicebox". The star of the night. Well...behind Chuck and Heather, of course. A concoction of the bride and groom's. We had quite a few of these little tummy warmers. It's got cranberry juice, cranberry vodka and some other stuff. Very cool and refreshing on an 80 degree Santa Barbara day. Chuck said they have a tendency to creep up on you and bite you. Ours didn't.

The bride and groom dancing.

My brother Jason, Mark Aldecoa (married to Laura, my Uncle Bob's youngest sister) and their son, Mark.

Me and Bev (Nowak) and Carol (Nowak).

The Ircink boys! On our way to the bar for more Momma's Juiceboxes...Juicebox's. Where's our drinks?

Jas and Bev.

The wedding cake.

The bride and groom off to celebrate at Fess Parker's Doubletree Ranch. one's supposed to know.

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