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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
January 25th, 2016 - By Patrick T. McBriarty
To begin 2016, I spend most of January in an empty hotel on Mackinac Island. r-e-d-R-U-M, R-E-D-R-U-M!! As a Chicago author and avid sailor the opportunity to visit in the winter was simply too unique and tantalizing to pass up. Having participated multiple times in the Chicago-Mac Race, I was quite familiar with the island in high-season — when the primary means of transportation is by bicycle, wagon, or carriage. Here this more than 100 year-old way of life has been preserved, and except for emergency vehicles, no automobiles are allowed on the island. Read More