Friends — 55 Comments

  1. Well said Grandad, some excellent points there. As you say, it can sometimes be a lot more enjoyable talking to other bloggers than physically-present arseholes down the road. And very true too that if we’re all in the comfort of our own homes we’re more likely to be relaxed and forthcoming. Is blogging any more peculiar than watching completely fictitious soap characters on TV – like Friends?

  2. it can sometimes be a lot more enjoyable talking to other bloggers than physically-present arseholes down the road

    If it weren’t for your flag, I’d say you live in my neck of the woods/mountains! πŸ˜‰

    TV has its place. It can be informative, but generally is a one-way communication that allows you to switch off all mental faculties. Blogging on the other hand can be very informative and stimulating. I know that I have learned more about other cultures, lifestyles and ideas than I ever could have learned from TV or even books, simply because blogging is a two way communication.

  3. Nice.

    I know when I started ‘blogging’, I hadn’t a clue what it was all about. I was dubious about it at best.

    Now I see it as a life saver, I’d be off my rocker by now if I wasn’t blogging.
    I love to write and prattle on (‘no shit’ says you…), I’m engrossed in the subject, and I have made friends.

    A handful of people that have been so generous with time and effort for me & the wife, (last post is a prime example) I wonder sometimes are they for real.

    They are though, well, virtually.

  4. “I have learned more about other cultures, lifestyles and ideas than I ever could have learned from TV” Yes, I’ve found exactly the same. Precisely because it’s a two-way process. And because you get in touch with ordinary people who would never make it into the mainstream media. Though I wouldn’t quite agree about books, they can be very eye-opening and informative as well. Like yours, I hope!

  5. Grandad,
    This is my very first blog entry, a virgin no more. After reading your entry regarding friends and friendship I felt compelled to make my presence known. Thank you for your observations and feelings, my heart feels a little warmer. Maybe with more interaction without false pretense we humans can try to be less suspicious, more open, truthful and god forbid caring?? Thank you for your candor and openness. I look forward to your “Ramblings”

  6. I’m so glad you wrote this Grandad!!! I too feel BLESSED to have made so many REAL friends, from around the world…something that wouldn’t/couldn’t happen if not for my silly little blog…blogging has challenged me on many different levels, and enriched my life greatly…and I have lots of “in the flesh” friends but my blogging friends are THE most supportive & encouraging people I know! πŸ™‚

  7. Xbox – I wouldn’t go quite so far as to say I’d be off my rocker without this site, but I have found that bloggers in general are amazingly generous with themselves and their time.

    Steph – Nice one!! πŸ˜‰ but I don’t think they were thinking of Cyberspace when they penned that one?

    Nick – Don’t misunderstand me.. I’m not knocking books. Far from it [I’m a bookaholic and feel miserable if I don’t have at least one on the boil]. However, blogging is the one area where you can debate and discuss. My book will be the saviour of all those who have run out of toilet paper.

    Prin – All you need is a microphone and speakers. Though a computer and Interweb connection make Skype a bit more versatile?

    John O – Welcome, and I am deeply honoured. It is a long time since I lost someone their v… Oh! Never mind. I completely agree with you. Just look at the flags on the responses here – Ireland, UK, Netherlands, US and there are usually quite a few other countries here too. It is truly a medium without boundaries where anything can be discussed and friendships made.

    Olga – [note to John O – where else can you discuss things with a bra?] You’ve hit it on the head. I too feel honoured by all the people who drop by. When I see a familiar name pop up on the comments, I really feel as if a friend has dropped in for a chat [because, I suppose, they have!].

  8. To Grandad,
    Thanks for the response, the honor is mine to know that you took the time to acknowledge me in this whole wide universe. I watched the shuttle take off yesterday and no matter how many times I see the spectacle I am amazed and realize that even though the world is getting smaller all the time maybe that is not such a bad thing, through cyber-space we can all get a little closer!

  9. John O – If people take the trouble to comment, then it’s only manners to try to reply. It’s not easy sometimes!!

    Next time you go to a shuttle launch, bring a web-cam, and let us all enjoy πŸ˜‰

  10. Ach, it’s all gorgeous and luvly in here today πŸ™‚
    Three cheers for cyber-friends !!


    [That’s another advantage of cyber-friends – you can’t catch colds or flu off ’em!!]

  12. Grandad,
    Great idea about the shuttle launch. I will try to figure out how to accomplish the web cam, I have a lot of friends who can give me the necessary info so even I could do it! I’m one of those that just wants the computer to work when I turn it on< no pun intended, so if I can share with the rest of you I will!!

  13. I have many people online that I would consider friends. I know maybe three people in real life – one is an old rocker who I would trust with any problem I encountered, and the other two are a couple who I chat to down the local when i can get away from the wife (too rare).

    With the Internet, having friends is a matter of writing a blog, entering a chatroom (I’m almost always in the Irish #linux and #phpug IRC channels at, or sending some emails.

    Some people in real-life think I have no social life. The truth is that I know people in places that those real-life people have never heard of.

    Of course, nothing beats a few pints with your mates, but that’s just a bonus – the real meat of my social life is online. I can down a few pints with some friends in Germany, Dublin and China all at the same time without even leaving my chair (I’ve a few cans in the fridge for later for this purpose). It may not be the local boozer, but the craic is still there.

  14. John O – You’ll have to start blogging [Great Shuttle Launches I Have Seen] πŸ˜‰

    If I can do it, anyone can?

  15. I have a lot of acquaintances. I know a bunch of people. I live in the town I grew up in. I can’t go to a shopping center or walk downtown without running into someone I know. I am quite happy to say I have a very small handful of good friends. They are real people whom I have known for years and who know me well.
    Grandad, I am proud to call you my friend.

  16. Grandad, it is an honour, and yes, I mean honour, not honor, to know you. πŸ™‚

    There are a lot of people that know me on the streets but don’t really know me. Heck, a few bloggers such as yourself know me better than my own family. πŸ™‚

    People can say what they want about blogging, but I love it! I would not have met you and your family as well as Grannymar without this whacky interweb. So, I embrace it! πŸ™‚

    My internal clock is still in Ireland! I got up this morning and began cooking a sorry excuse for an Irish Breakfast. Then, I realised that it was still dark out and actually 3:30AM EST. πŸ™‚

  17. Thanks, Grandad! Maybe one day πŸ™‚ I’m all for the group hug though, in the meantime πŸ™‚ Thanks for being an awesome part of the blogging community!

  18. Blogging has opened many doors for us in the last couple of years. I certainly don’t want to go back top pre-blogging days.

  19. Kae – Another advantage of drinking on-line is that you can smoke at the same time, and don’t have to worry about driving home after!

    Steph – No you can’t.

    Brianf – I count you foremost amongst my friends. Would it make any difference if we were in the same room chatting? On the plus side, communications might be a bit more stable, and I might get you to buy a round. On the minus side, you’d be stinging me for rounds?

    JD – You too! Actually, it is quite strange talking to someone in a room when you are used to them being God knows how many miles away. At least I’m teaching you how to spell properly! It’s an honour to know both you and Brian. The two of you have taught me so much about the States.

    Prin – “an awesome part of the blogging community“?? You are mixing me up with someone else.

    Grannymar – It hasn’t just opened doors.. It has exposed a new world. And the wonderful thing about that world is that the people are real and friendly [in the most part!]. What happened to Nancy?

  20. Grandad,
    Sorry for the misspelling of Honour vs honor, but I hope you got my drift. I will try to use spell-check the next time, also apologies to the other friends. John O

  21. John O – What are you apologising for? I just gently educate my American friends from time to time that they cannot spell. It’s an uphill struggle but occasionally I make a breakthrough. Jefferson is one of my better pupils. If you do make an error in spelling, I will put it down to that f**ker Gates and his insistence on using American spelling in his spell checkers. I really must have a word with him again about that.

  22. Grandad,

    This is off the top of my head, so ignore it if it incoherent

    I think there are some very subtle changes going on, which worry people who are attached to ideas about social standing and status.

    Since Victorian times there have been ideas that certain modes of dress or certain possessions grant one standing in the community. Of course, on the Net, none of those things count for anything; driving a Mercedes or BMW cuts no ice if you are an insufferable bore with nothing to say. I think what is happening is not necessarily new but a reversion to former times where contributing something to the life of the community gave you standing and where there were few, if any, material possessions that would impress anyone.

    The “virtual” appellation to friends is, of course, a nonsense, we are not avatars in some game (well, I’m not anyway, maybe my congregation wish I was!). We are actual friends who communicate electronically, which is no different from phoning Mrs Jones for a chat.

    I think you have someone rattled πŸ˜‰

  23. Jaysus Ian, you kick started my brain this morning….

    Could you look at the emergence of online relationships (friendships, not necessarily the bodily fluid swapping types) as a reaction to the superficial guidelines we are force fed which tells us what we should look like or posess, and indirectly who we should then be associating with.

    Humanity seeking out a way to weed out the irrelevance, using our most basic of skills and instinct to form friendships, online.

    Back to basics as it were, via cutting edge technology.

    I need to lie down now.

  24. Here’s one for the mix. The thing that worries me is that sometime in the future, we will see no need for interaction outside our homes for we will have everything we need right at our fingertips. It sometimes gives me a great amount of comfort to think I will never have to personally interact with another a** as long as I live. But then I think about what that will do to me. My own selfish tendencies would abound and this tendency applied to the entire world really worries me. Can you imagine an entire world full of narcissists? Some would say that we are already there. I don’t think so but we are dangerously close. Since I have devoted my life to helping those less privileged than me
    this scenario would certainly do me out of a job, or would it? I think it would certainly make my job as a social worker next to impossible to implement. I guess that what I’m trying to say is that even though we derive a great amount of comfort and satisfaction from what we do online it is still a good thing that we have to step away from the computer regularly and go about our daily lives in the outside world. Keeps the perspective intact. πŸ™‚

  25. I’d cry if it wasn’t for the Botox injections, my complete lack of empathy, and the fact that you did not mention Jennifer Aniston even once in this post.

    Congrats on getting the first full draft of your book finished, mind! πŸ™‚

  26. Grandad,
    It seems as if a “caucus” has formed and the discussion as to what is “friendship” is now being put under the microscope, great craic!

  27. Xbox,

    I think what’s happening is an undermining of traditional social hierarchies – trying to be a follower of a First Century itinerant Palestinian preacher who enjoyed nothing more than debunking pompousity and eroding barriers, I think that the loss of those hierarchies is a good thing, but, as Grandad, has found some people do not like such things happening – what is the point of the shiny new German automobile if no-one is taking any notice of you?


    I spend the majority of my time in flesh and blood interactions with people in the parish, but those interactions are very structured by convention. I meet the owner of this blog for coffee from time to time for anarchic conversation!

  28. My cat was my friend. I used to hug her a lot too but then she died. Not cuz I hugged her to hard (she’d have taken me face off!). No, she was just old. So she died and I lost a friend – and then I started blogging (?)
    Nice post Gandad!

  29. Ian – I think, when you analyse it, that the Interweb has reduced friendship to it’s most elemental form – that of the relationship between intellects. As most of us never meet, we are unaffected by appearance, posessions, even accents. Here, a person is judged solely by what they have to say. It is utterly irrelevant if a person is living in a one bedroom flat, or a chateau in France. Everyone can be wearing Armani suits, or sitting stark naked – it doesn’t matter [unless you have a web-cam πŸ˜‰ ].

    Once you have a computer, you can join in the International community. It doesn’t matter a squat what you are or what you own. Appearances count for nothing. It is therefore the ultimate place for the meeting of minds, for the mind is the only thing that counts in this arena.

    Xbox – It’s not a reaction – it’s a progression. A progression back to the fundamentals, if you wish!

    Prin – I don’t think that the Interweb can ever replace human contact. We still have that primeval need to meet people face to face. A forum such as this can never replace the good old heart to heart conversation. I am unlikely to discuss highly personal matters in a public forum, and that is where the human contact comes in. I would be lost without human contact , as conversation does require so much more than the printed word.

    Good Grief!!! This was a throwaway post that I wrote yesterday morning, and I didn’t think there would be any reaction to it. It looks like I have started something. Even as I type this reply, more comments are coming in, outdating what I have already typed πŸ™

    L Oz – I deliberately didn’t mention JA. The sight of her throws me into a conniptic fit. I cannot stand the woman. I don’t know why. And thanks πŸ˜‰

    John O – That’s what it’s all about.

    Geri Atric – I enjoy blogging, but I would be utterly lost without my dog, Sandy. She is sitting laughing at me now, as I type.

  30. The sight of her throws me into a conniptic fit. I cannot stand the woman.

    Will know not to go there again so! Although, accidents do happen…

  31. I guess I am most concerned about people that might have a reason to shut out the world, like victims of violent crime, domestic abuse, mental disorders, but that need appropriate socialization more than anyone. It would be so easy for them to only have a virtual life and never have to be responsible for day to day living, loving, friend making. Now they can even make money from home without ever having to leave their computer.
    I’m not trying to be antagonistic or get away from the original gist of this post. I am so grateful for my “virtual friendships” and have made any friends that I have never met but consider them as close as any of my local friends.
    It only worries me when I think of it in the context of “what if everyone did this and took it to the extreme. πŸ™‚

  32. Blogging is endlessly fascinating. Viva blogging! Truly a remarkable new medium.

    And meeting fellow bloggers you’ve got to know online is simply amazing.

  33. You could well be right Grandad when you say progression rather than reaction.

    I can see it as cyclical though, and in time to come, people moving away from this type of interaction again, before coming back, before moving away etc etc

  34. Back again. Blogger is down…grr…. Server Error 502 (most of the day actually) so I’ve been busying myself wandering in and out of some of the blogs shown here on your site Grandad. Hope no one minds. Just trying to be friendly – and it’s been fascinating!

  35. Steph – No you can’t.

    L Oz – Just don’t involve me in that accident!!

    Prin – For those who seek isolation, it can indeed be a problem. This is where your job is safe. However, you must admit that for those who’s isolation is forced upon them, by ill health or general lack of mobility then it is a tremendous boon. Nearly everything has its positives and its negatives, and I think in this case, Interweb contact certainly wins out.

    Sam – That’s what I meant about the Blog Awards! Meeting all the people I had been in contact with was a very strange experince. What I found strangest was that the majority were exactly as I imagined them. Even Twenty!!

    Xbox – I would not disagree. Fads are like the length of women’s skirts! Internet communication is here to stay though, just like the telephone, though letter writing has taken a bit of a hammering.

    Geri Atric – Serves you right for being on Blogger [I hate it!!]. Feel free to wander my links. That’s why they’re there. One of these days, I must update them, as that lot date back about a year, and I have a load more to add.

  36. Yes I can!

    Yes I can!

    YES I CAN!

    Only problem is, I can’t remember what it is we’re supposed to be able to do? πŸ˜‰

  37. Ah yes, blogging certainly helped keep the loneliness at bay when we first moved here…finding you was a great coup grandad, some of your posts made me laugh when I wanted to cry. Now I am happy in all aspects of my life, my blog sometimes gets a bit neglected but i still pop in and visit my old faves regularly. πŸ˜‰

  38. “On the minus side, you’d be stinging me for rounds?”
    Nope, When I vist Ireland next I’ll bring a bottle of good Kentucky Bourbon, probably Woodford Reserve Single Barrel since it’s made in Versailles Ky. and made by a former neighbor of my Aunt and Uncle. That and I’ll pick up a bottle of Jamesons so we can finally put to rest our on-going disscussion of Kentucky Bourbon vs. Irish Whiskey.

  39. To Brianf,
    I know Jamesons, I don’t “know” Woodford Reserve Single Barrel? Would you recommend a taste test, but what would I use to cleanse my palate? What would Grandad say??

  40. ooo ooo that reminds me of my younger days πŸ™‚ But I do prefer Southern Comfort. It’s a good sipping whiskey. I don’t drink anymore but there is a bottle of, I guess 15 year old now, Southern Comfort way up in the cabinet…for medicinal purposes, don’tcha know. Although I can make some awesome cough syrup with Jack too. SC is just smoother.
    Grandad I do certainly agree with you, I just wish I could figure out how to make money online doing social work…maybe one day πŸ™‚

  41. Steph – NO YOU CAN’T! [remember, I mean]. It’s old age. The memory is the first to go. Learn to live with it. I have.

    Natalie – I’m delighted to hear that [that this cheered you a bit]. You’ve been posting away quite a bit lately? I read every post, but I’m crap at commenting. I can rarely think of anything appropriate to say πŸ™

    Brianf – That’s fine. You can drink your gnat’s piss, and I’ll drink the real whiskey.

    John O – Stick to Jamesons. You can try Bushmills or any other Irish whiskey, but any other will destroy your taste buds [and probably your teeth].

    Prin – For a start, stop wasting money on bourbon!!

    Isn’t it typical of this site that I start talking about friendship and inevitably the conversation turns to drink?!

  42. Too many comments to read, but I have a comment like yours. When I started, I had no idea where it would go…

    Lets just say I am all the more richer, in my small part.

    Thank you for being part of it πŸ™‚

    Why do I have “My little Horse” going through my head… damn Father Ted !!.. arrggggg

  43. Oh Geez!
    Maybe there is no teaching an old dog.
    Nonetheless I am determined to carry a fifth of Woodford county’s finest to try and try again to teach these semi-evolved simians what a good glass of…..
    Nevermind. I’m not convinced that these neanderthals would know a Islip from a Highland much less a blended Canadian from (A GOD awful)Tennessee from a real and true Kentucky Bourbon.

    John O…..I live in Pa, Wherever you might be try Ezra Brooks for a low priced yet really good Bourbon. There is ‘Old Ezra’ if you can find it but, “Woodford Reserve”, is a GREAT single barrel Kentucky Bourbon that is somewhat commonly available all over(just not in Ireland).
    BTW a fifth of Woodford Reserve here in Pa is $55 a fifth!!!

  44. Anything you can do…

    I can do better.

    I can do anything…

    better than you!

    (Oh, yes I can!) πŸ˜€

  45. Eeekkk…my posts are so BORING… but I have to keep the family in the loop with life o’er here…did nto realise u were keeping an eye on me…yes I have been posting more lately, and I also do not always know what to say on your posts, so I certainly do not leave a comment EVERY time I read or visit your blog!

  46. What a lovely post. I have also made so many ‘virtual’ friends over the years. One that I will meet this year when I visit Spain, but many that I am happy to share some wonderful times with knowing that we will never meet.

  47. Grandad,
    I felt that I could look to you to keep me on the straight and narrow right from the get-go: because an Irish man of letters can always be trusted; never will I stray from the true water of life, Irish whiskey!!!!

  48. -did I offend someone or are we through? Read your latest, literary self-consciousness, what? I thought this was about being your self and sharing and caring, not how well you can speak, write, spell, but rather sharing thoughts and opinions and enlightening one another, maybe I’m wrong? I am just too simplistic???

  49. John O – You are confusing me? At my age that is easily done. Or maybe it’s too much whiskey and Guinness?

  50. Grandad,
    I guess I was being a little confusing, I apologize. When I wrote the blog I had a little too much of the Jameson and I was feeling a little like the new kid on the block that everyone looks at waiting for a screw-up. I enjoy your insight, keep them coming and I will try to behave myself. Hope you are well, and I will try to watch how much uisce beatha I’m having!! Slainte’

  51. John O – That is the best way to write πŸ˜‰

    Please don’t try to behave – it spoils the fun.

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