The Trunnion - Blog of Patrick McBriarty

How to Write a History Book

May 10th, 2018 - By Patrick T. McBriarty

Each author has her or his own approach, but the trick to writing a book is trusting the process.  As Hemingway advised a young writer, “the first draft of anything is shit!” explaining that the real work comes in the revising, rewriting, and reworking of a manuscript as many as forty, maybe fifty times, to get to the finished product. For many writers, myself included, the first draft can be the hardest to complete, even though it is rarely where the bulk of the time lies.  Read More

Being Sisyphus & Leg 2: Bermuda to the Virgin Islands

March 1st, 2018 - By Patrick T. McBriarty

A week on Bermuda did, and did not feel like enough time.  It was enough to get a sense of the island, despite usually spending mornings and early afternoons working.  Blue did homework for his sophomore year of high school via the internet. Brian worked on boat chores, primarily rebuilding a broken daggerboard and bent rudder.  I was doing emails, social media, and transcriptions of research (sadly not much real writing).  Afternoons and evenings we explored Bermuda on rented scooters usually initiated by an errand for boat parts or supplies. Read More

Combing “Soft Gold” from Goats!

January 22nd, 2018 - By Patrick T. McBriarty

Questioning the origins of everyday things saved my a**! Christmas had rolled around again and as usual I was scrambling and out of time.  Thankfully I remembered the dozen or so scarves I had bought while traveling last January, but unsure my niece (age 13) and two nephews (ages 11 & 13) would really appreciate “a stupid scarf.”  My attempted solution (and in the spirit of home made gifts, which were not out of the ordinary when I was growing up) I created the following to go with each gift . Read More

Raise Your Bridge Game!

December 20th, 2017 - By Patrick T. McBriarty

Reprinted from: 2017 Yachting in Chicago magazine published by the Chicago Yachting Association (CYA) Chicago is a dynamic ever-changing city with a rich history closely tied to the Lake, its rivers and canals.  Yet, the bridges crossing our waterways are often over looked and taken for granted unless up for repair or viewed on a river run.  Most boaters know of the bridges, yet how much deeper have we looked at these magnificent structures – beyond their dance of conveyance and obstruction between Lake Michigan and winter storage? Read More

We Became Seafarers!

November 11th, 2017 - By Patrick T. McBriarty

It has been a week since we cleared Bermuda Customs after arriving,”by private yacht.” We will visit Customs tomorrow to clear out and begin sailing Leg 2 to the Virgin Islands. The last week of easy days in St. George’s Harbor has been a nice respite. My typical day started between 6:30 and 7:30 a.m. brush my teeth, wash hands and face, decide whether or not to wear the same shorts again, a fresh t-shirt, and finding a small bite to eat. Read More

The Storm Before Departure

November 5th, 2017 - By Patrick T. McBriarty

So it is Sunday night and Brian, Melissa (Brian’s girlfriend), Blue, and I had a fantastic dinner at the Lobster Trap Restaurant in Bourne, Massachusetts which was a fifteen minute drive to the other side of the bay.  As I write this we are onboard Dragonfly the rain and wind is lashing the side of the boat.  We are tied to a finger dock off in Onset, MA as the wind pushes us against the fenders protecting the boat’s hull from the wooden dock.   Read More

That Damn Guy!

October 26th, 2017 - By Patrick T. McBriarty

I have been anxious the past several weeks and the funny thing is . . . it is probably Mark’s fault. The anxiety is over potential mishaps and fears of sailing a small sailboat on the Atlantic. It has caused several sleepless nights. Looking back on the eve of setting off it has been two months alternating between outright worry and sweeping my fears under a rug of overconfidence and positive thoughts. Yet, most days they creep back, particularly at night. Read More

Patrick….As a Boy

October 11th, 2017 - By Patrick T. McBriarty

At times being a little kid does not seem so long ago. I was curious, loved to play, and lucky to make friends easily. One of my earliest memories is of running through the backyards of my neighborhood in Normal, Illinois (really that was the name of the town) to visit a friend and sprinting backyard to another and another just because I could. It was the beginning of a beautiful summer day that seemed to hold endless opportunities. School was out, sunny, and warm I could feel the grass and the cool morning dew under my bare feet as I dashed along, both excited and afraid of stepping on a bee in the clover. Read More

Do the RAGBRAI!

August 19th, 2016 - By Patrick T. McBriarty

Bicycling across any state, big or small, is quite a feat!  However, the Hawkeye State has turned it into an art form! Every July the Des Moines Register organizes and hosts the Register’s Annual Great Bicycle Ride Across Iowa, better known as RAGBRAI.  Back in 1973 it was the harebrained idea of two intrepid newspaper reporters who rode across the state.  Held every year since it has become an Iowa tradition.  Changing the route year-to-year over the past 44 years it has passed through 800 towns and peddled across all 99 Iowa counties.  Read More

51-year-old Man Shaves Legs!

July 22nd, 2016 - By Patrick T. McBriarty

It feels strange once it’s done, naked and exposed. I hadn’t planned to, although it wasn’t the first time. It has been at least four years. The decision to do it developed over many miles and a-half-dozen weeks. It wasn’t for ascetic or sexual reasons. However, there is something feminine about the look of shaved legs, even on a man. It brings a certain thrill and eroticism. Years ago and again this time, I rationalized it for practical reasons and that “everyone is doing it.” Just why would a middle-aged man (hate that I now fall into that category!) go on and on about shaving his legs? Read More

trunnion

noun   trun·nion   \ˈtrən-yən\

a pin or pivot on which something is supported.

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