The Trunnion - Blog of Patrick McBriarty

Post COVID!

May 4th, 2020 - By Patrick T. McBriarty

So, if you read my last blog post you already know my experience getting knocked down with Coronavirus (now officially, SARS-Cov-2).  My original reaction to Corona hit on Monday, March 23 with serious fatigue.  I found out later from a doctor’s comment it was symptomatic of becoming hypoxic – like the altitude-sickness experienced by mountain climbers.  However, they plan and train for it as part of the climb.  I was in my third-floor condo on the couch, a mere 620-feet above sea-level.  Read More

Mmmm ma My Corona!

March 30th, 2020 - By Patrick T. McBriarty

I am not going to get all “soap-boxy” about what should have been done to combat this pandemic.  Plenty of that can be found elsewhere, but suffice it to say face masks are a good idea.  In Czech Republic they have used them quite successfully to curb the spread of the Coronoavirus (COVID-19). In my case, I believe (without readily available tests, still unconfirmed) I came down with Coronavirus last Monday (3/16).  I have no idea where or how I got it.  Read More

2020 the Push-up Resolution

March 17th, 2020 - By Patrick T. McBriarty

So New Year’s Resolutions . . .  Have you broken yours yet?  So far, I’ve both broken and mostly stuck to mine, as we humans love contradictions. Normally I am not a New Year’s Resolution kind of guy, but this year I felt the need for something different.  I had been cycling the last couple years with a group that became a team with uniforms, sponsors, and an executive board last fall.  Composed of late-20s and mostly 30ish-year-old riders I enjoy trying to keep up.  Read More

A New DECADE? Who… What… How… did that Happen?

January 8th, 2020 - By Patrick T. McBriarty

HAPPY NEW YEAR and 2020 no less! It’s hard to believe an entire decade has just slipped by.  Reminds me of shampoo.  Not the 1975 movie with Warren Beatty.  Of course, now I have completely dated myself, even though I did not see it in the theater, rather on TV a few years later.  Anyway my point was, losing a decade is like shampoo because it slowly sneaks up on you, using a little each day, then seemingly all of a sudden… Bam!  Read More

German Takeaway

September 24th, 2019 - By Patrick T. McBriarty

Three weeks ago, relief at arriving in sweet home Chicago turned to frustration and boiled over into anger.  I was traveling light, without checked luggage, just a carryon, so you’d think getting home should have been easy, right?  Sure, my tolerance for foolishness was not high having awakened at 6 am in Germany (11pm CST) for a 2-1/2 hour train ride and nine-hour flight to Chicago.  Landing at O’Hare I was excited to be almost home – or so I thought. Read More

It’s Finally Summer in the City!

July 11th, 2019 - By Patrick T. McBriarty

Hope you are enjoying your summer!  It seemed to take forever to get some consistently nice weather here in Chicago!  And then BAM!  Someone turned a switch and it’s full on Summer! Of course living less than a score of blocks from Lake Michigan’s cool water in the spring definitely makes for chilly and foggy days that extend into June.  In addition, all-time high-lake water has made boating more dangerous with submerged jetties and barely visible break walls — even the lake shore bike path is half underwater near Oak and Olive Street Beaches! Read More

Midwest Name Calling

June 11th, 2019 - By Patrick T. McBriarty

In creating a podcast on Chicago history, co-host Christopher Lynch and I have discovered quite a few place and street names with origins reaching deep into the city’s past, often going back to Native American people and languages.  These fascinating tidbits were sprinkled into the podcast to spice up our storytelling. This adventure began by learning about the word Chicago, or as the French recorded the Algonquin pronunciation “Chicagoua” which means “skunk,” and was also used to identify the wild onion growing in the area known as ramps, and detailed in the first episode of the podcast.  Read More

The Next Challenge… Rewriting History

September 14th, 2018 - By Patrick T. McBriarty

These days it is unusual for someone to take on large, long-term projects, particularly, in an age of short attention spans, churning news cycles, and quarterly business returns.  Yet, this is my predilection.  Most people find it unwise, ridiculous, or even crazy to spend months, let alone, years developing an idea to see if it will work.  Hmm… have I stumbled on the definition of a creative (or worse yet, a dreamer)? Regardless, there is something in my DNA that propels me through long slogs of research, explorations of the unknown (at least to me), and vaguely envisioned, time-consuming ideas.  Read More

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

trunnion

noun   trun·nion   \ˈtrən-yən\

a pin or pivot on which something is supported.

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