Patterico's Pontifications


Happy Birthday to My Dad

Filed under: General — Patterico @ 6:00 am

As I have done every March 17 since I started this blog, I am wishing my Dad a Happy Birthday.

It is a tradition to note my previous similar posts on this special day.

He would have been 91 today. I’ll be celebrating by popping open a bottle of Knappogue Castle Irish whiskey.

Happy St. Patrick’s Day!

58 Responses to “Happy Birthday to My Dad”

  1. God bless his memory, Patterico.

    nk (dbc370)

  2. I’m sure he’d be proud of your family and touched that he’s remembered as a tradition at this point.

    Dustin (2a8be7)

  3. May I ask why 91 is a special milestone?

    In any case, may he be a good advocate for you and yours. Lechaim.

    Milhouse (87c499)

  4. Hope you are wearing the shamrock bowtie too.

    JVW (9e3c77)

  5. Hoist one and toast your dad, “May the Lord keep you in His hand, and never close His fist too tight.”

    Steve57 (08b8c6)

  6. @93, it isn’t like 91 is a special milestone. He remembers his dad every year.

    Steve57 (08b8c6)

  7. @Milhouse…

    Steve57 (08b8c6)

  8. I have no idea how, but somehow I read it as “this anniversary is special because he would have been 91”. That’s the part I didn’t understand, but of course that’s because it only existed in my imagination.

    Milhouse (87c499)

  9. It’s Ok, Milhouse. There’s nothing wrong with a good imagination.

    Here’s to the wine we love to drink, and the food we love to eat
    Here’s to our wives and sweethearts, may they never meet
    Here’s to champagne for our real friends, and real pain for our sham friends
    And when this life is over, may we find peace


    Steve57 (08b8c6)

  10. As you know, Patterico, I will soon be losing my own father.

    I will drink a toast to your father, if you will drink a toast to mine.

    Fathers cast a long, long shadow—which carries great emotional weight. But we can bear it for our own children.

    Simon Jester (c6d575)

  11. SJ, I respectfully disagree. What we learn from our fathers is how to bear up under the weight.

    So they’re hardly a burden. Quite the opposite. Thanks to our fathers the load is lighter.

    Unless I misunderstand what you mean by “carries great emotional weight.”

    Steve57 (08b8c6)

  12. And bearing it for our own children.

    Steve57 (08b8c6)

  13. I have been writing quite a bit about my father as he worsens, Steve. Patterico can point the essays out if you are interested. I do my best to wear the shoes he is leaving for me, but I sadly lack his much-missed swagger.

    Simon Jester (c6d575)

  14. A toast to your father and happiness and cheer to you, your wife and family, Patterico.

    Colonel Haiku (2601c0)

  15. SJ, my condolences for your impending loss.

    I meant nothing more than when I was at Aviation Officer Candidate School, and the DIs were abusing others into dropping right and left like flies, and I’m thinking, “why are they dropping?” and it dawns on me the old Senior Chief did his job. He got me ready.

    Thanks, dad.

    He made my burden ligher, SJ.

    Steve57 (08b8c6)

  16. I think you would have liked my father, Steve. He was a firefighter, not military (though he was Naval Reserve).

    But he always seemed darned military to me. And in his years running fire stations, he never lost a single firefighter on the job. Not once.

    Simon Jester (c6d575)

  17. SJ, I’m sure I’d like to meet you.

    We have a lot to live up to, don’t we?

    Steve57 (08b8c6)

  18. Another Irish toast for Pat to consider, on this day.

    “May the most you wish for be the least you get.”

    Steve57 (08b8c6)

  19. Indeed. Kind of you.

    Simon Jester (c6d575)

  20. A nod to your Dad. Lost mine in 1999. As time goes by, the memories of all the good times grow.


    DCSCA (a343d5)

  21. I’m afraid I’ve done a great deal of damage to the point of this thread.

    Steve57 (08b8c6)

  22. Milhouse,

    It wasn’t your imagination, sorry. I copied and pasted much of last year’s thread, including one sentence that didn’t fit this year. When I saw your comment at lunchtime I took it out.


    I did wear the bow tie. Thanks for remembering!


    Lifting a glass of Irish whiskey in a toast to your dad as we speak.

    Patterico (86c8ed)

  23. I’m also munching on Irish bangers which I got at Trader Joe’s on the way home.

    I’ll try to get up a picture of the bangers and the whiskey in a sec here.

    I feel like chatting if anyone else is in this thread.

    Patterico (86c8ed)

  24. IMG_1964

    Patterico (86c8ed)

  25. Not sure why the picture is on its side. Anyhoo that’s dinner. Or part of it anyway. Will have some baby spinach as well.

    Patterico (86c8ed)

  26. In the mail: Virginia’s American Revolution: From Dominion to Republic, 1776-1840 by Kevin Gutzman. Ordered last night. Here now. The miracle of Amazon prime.

    Patterico (86c8ed)

  27. $29 is as much as I have paid for a paperback in a while. But I have a feeling this one will be worth it.

    Patterico (86c8ed)

  28. My mother was a Hickey and I married a Flannery.
    So our four children are half Irish and all were required to dance.
    My mother never got to see them dance. Miss her.
    Will toast your dad today.
    “May he have walked into Heaven before the devil knew he was dead!”

    Kobeclan (04a945)

  29. Chatting and about books,
    knowing that few people are going to get a liberal arts education founded in the best of western civilization
    perhaps at Hillsdale and ???where else
    how about a set of maybe 8 books,
    2 for every summer
    that could give a solid foundation for the high school student of slightly above average ability
    to not be snowed by the prevailing winds and refute

    I don’t think we can expect most people to do a double education,
    but how to give enough econ, philosophy, history, logic, literature classics
    to fine tune the ever necessary BS meter

    MD in Philly (at the moment not in Philly) (1681fe)

  30. MD in Philly,

    Once Trump is the nominee, and I largely stop blogging about politics, I’ll probably start blogging a lot more about the books I have been reading.

    Which of course will mean that the blog will become less popular.

    Fortunately, I don’t do this for a living and really don’t give a crap.

    Patterico (86c8ed)

  31. I think your children are a little younger than my youngest,
    who is surrounded by a sea of people who think bernie sanders and free college are all the rage

    I don’t think anybody who can do well in high school should be cowed by the intellectual elite,
    but they do need sound fundamentals
    to have confidence to stand against those who think they know but don’t

    MD in Philly (at the moment not in Philly) (1681fe)

  32. Have you ever read “The Mote in God’s Eye”?
    Best Sci-Fi book ever.

    Kobeclan (04a945)

  33. for example,
    it should not take a post-doc education to look at a graph concerning climate change,
    see the size of the error bars of the data,
    and realize the “conclusions” are totally unjustified
    I though I learned that in high school chemistry

    132 +/- 50
    1.0025 +/- 0.01

    MD in Philly (at the moment not in Philly) (1681fe)

  34. MD in Philly,


    I warn my kids all the time about the intellectual onslaught they will face soon enough. And I try to give them the tools to combat it.

    The argument that really seems to appeal to my daughter, which has the advantage of being factual, is the undeniable fact that communism has killed many many more millions of people than Italian fascism or Nazism ever did.

    Patterico (86c8ed)

  35. “the tools”- primarily through your own discussions with them?

    MD in Philly (at the moment not in Philly) (1681fe)

  36. I am normally a scotch guy, but in your dad’s honor, and on your recommendation, tonight I picked up a bottle of the Knappogue Castle 12 year Irish Whiskey. It is very nice. Thank you for the recommendation. I lost my father about the same time you lost yours. Happy birthday to your father tonight. Happy St. Patrick’s Day to all.

    Nine-headed Caesar (e14684)

  37. The argument that really seems to appeal to my daughter, which has the advantage of being factual, is the undeniable fact that communism has killed many many more millions of people than Italian fascism or Nazism ever did.

    That’s largely because it had more time, and more people available to it, and also because “communism” covers more ideological territory than the other two. Had the Third Reich lasted as long as the USSR their respective death tolls might have been comparable. Had it ruled over as many people as the PRC it might have rivalled that too.

    But ultimately these comparisons are irrelevant, because they were all subsets of the same ideology. Fascism was a Marxist heresy, and National Socialism was merely a reworking of the same principles in a different context. The toxic ingredient in all of them was the same. The differences between, say, Hitler’s socialism and Stalin’s aren’t much greater than those between, say, Mao’s and Pol Pot’s, Castro’s and Ho Chi Minh’s, or Allende’s and Kim’s.

    Milhouse (87c499)

  38. “the tools”- primarily through your own discussions with them?

    Yes. I can’t get them interested in doing any reading or listening (to podcasts, history lessons, etc.) on these issues. But I do talk to them about them.

    Patterico (86c8ed)

  39. I am normally a scotch guy, but in your dad’s honor, and on your recommendation, tonight I picked up a bottle of the Knappogue Castle 12 year Irish Whiskey. It is very nice. Thank you for the recommendation. I lost my father about the same time you lost yours. Happy birthday to your father tonight. Happy St. Patrick’s Day to all.

    I didn’t intend it as a recommendation, exactly. I got it at Costco a few weeks back to have some Irish whiskey for St. Paddy’s Day. But I have had it tonight and enjoyed it — and would recommend it. So I’m glad you got it and enjoyed it as well.

    I am normally a Scotch guy too. Or bourbon. If you look at my liquor cabinet, it’s several bottles of Scotch and bourbon, the one bottle of Knappogue Castle, and red (mine) and white (Mrs. P’s) wine in the bottom portion. That’s it. (Clear liquors are for rich women on diets. — Ron Swanson.)

    Patterico (86c8ed)

  40. Hmm, I’m neither rich, nor female, nor on a diet (though I should be) but I can’t stand the taste of whisky so I’m mostly a vodka drinker, though I like a shot of tequila now and again.

    Milhouse (87c499)

  41. Ugh, tequila. Ugh ugh ugh. Awful.

    Patterico (86c8ed)

  42. Milhouse,

    Pour some of the stuff into a glass with NO ice and NO (or VERY LITTLE) water and sip it.

    I tried Scotch on ice because that’s how my dad drank it, and never developed a taste for it. Then I had it neat. And bourbon, neat. Oh, man. What a difference.

    Patterico (86c8ed)

  43. Following up the Knappogue Castle with some Woodford Reserve. Neat. Heaven. What a great St. Patrick’s Day.

    Patterico (86c8ed)

  44. Patterico, just finished Goldsworthy’s bio of Cicero.

    SPQR (a3a747)

  45. Love the taste of scotch, just don’t taste it anymore. Scotland for golf and scotch in my younger daze.

    mg (31009b)

  46. Patterico, just finished Goldsworthy’s bio of Cicero.

    No reading books. This is not allowed in today’s political discourse, SPQR.

    What reality shows have you watched lately? That is the important thing.

    Patterico (86c8ed)

  47. Rereading Paris 1918. Wilson was a piece of crap.

    mg (31009b)

  48. Sorry, Patterico, I’ve never tried it any way but neat, and I just don’t like the taste. I’ve tried Scotch, Irish, bourbon, Canadian, single malts, blends, at some point you conclude that it’s not a specific kind that I don’t like, it’s the whole category. I drink vodka neat, and can tell the difference between different brands. Whiskies just taste like whisky to me. Tequila isn’t something I drink regularly, but once in a while it makes a nice change. Peppery. Not that I drink very much in the first place. The bottle of vodka in my freezer has been there for about five months and is still half full.

    Milhouse (87c499)

  49. Wilson was a piece of crap.

    That he was. Which is why I agree that Princeton should take his name off things. It’s not as if he donated money. But when universities remove the names or emblems of people who donated money, then I believe they should be forced to return the money, adjusted for inflation, to the donors’ heirs.

    Milhouse (87c499)

  50. SPQR, Adrian Goldsworthy?

    I wasn’t aware he had written a book about Cicero.

    Steve57 (08b8c6)

  51. Steve57, you got me. Anthony Everitt. I got confused because I have Goldsworthy Punic Wars here too.

    SPQR (a3a747)

  52. I hope you had a day full of memories of your Dad.

    DRJ (15874d)

  53. SPQR, I wasn’t out to get you.

    I’ll have to check out Everitt’s work on Cicero.

    Steve57 (08b8c6)

  54. 48. …I drink vodka neat, and can tell the difference between different brands…

    Milhouse (87c499) — 3/17/2016 @ 10:34 pm

    As you say, you drink it neat. You don’t drown it in mixers.

    One of my pet peeves, back in my dating days, were the women who had to have a call drink. It couldn’t be rum and coke. It had to be Bacardi Gold and coke. Or not whiskey and coke. It had to be Crown and coke.

    Naturally I’d say, “We don’t need to wait for the server to come by, I’ll just got to the bar.”

    Where I’d order whatever rum or whiskey was in he well, and she was none the wiser.

    Steve57 (08b8c6)

  55. Ladies, I’m not applying a double standard here. I could order a 7 and 7. Or, whatever whiskey is in the well and whatever lemon lime soda is on hand. Or I could order a Jack and coke. Or whatever is in the well and, what have you, Pepsi or Safeway cola.

    I wouldn’t know the difference either. If you’re going to drown it…

    Steve57 (08b8c6)

  56. Many decades ago, when I were a wee one, I removed an empty bottle of J&B from the table, took it to the kitchen, refilled it with Johnny Walker Red Label, and put it back on the table. Then watched the “connoisseurs” drink it and remark on its fine qualities. Ah, fun times.

    Milhouse (87c499)

  57. Sorry, Milhouse, I lost focus. When someone says “Johnny Walker Red” anywhere near me I first think of the group grope of traitors.

    Steve57 (08b8c6)

  58. …when I were a wee one

    You’re a day late to be getting your Oirish on, Milhouse. Get. With. The program.

    Although you do bring up an important point. You don’t need to drown the liquor in coke or seven up to reveal the fact that most people have no idea what they’re drinking. But they pretend to have strong opinions about it. It reminds me of my favorite ad for a local brewer.

    Tree Frog Beer! It don’t taste real good, but it’ll git ya there

    Boone’s Farm, Night Train Express, Mad Dog 20/20, OK, you sink that low they’ll notice the difference. But short of that put it in a carafe and I think you can slip it by them.

    Steve57 (08b8c6)

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