Happy birth to Addison Lila Carey. Congratulations to Kristen and Tyler, parents of a second daughter as of this morning.

Addili, if you're reading this years from now (probably on a computer so large and so expensive that you'll have to borrow it from one of the five richest kings in Europe), I apologize that you'll have to share billing with certain lesser events. I've been busy.

Last Thursday, during a UWA Staff Leaders' Conference, I visited PNC Park in Pittsburgh, the ninth major league ballpark I've been inside. Since Olympic Stadium is obsolete, the Dodgers got rained out when I was there (what are the odds?), and the strike prevented me from seeing a game in Toronto, I still have 24 stadiums to go. National League baseball is a sad excuse for a professional sport (the Pirates and Marlins combined for 7 errors and 11 walks), but the park is as gorgeous as advertised.

The previous weekend, Eric and Shayna were married in a near-perfect ceremony on a perfect day in Saratoga. I was honored to hold the new Schroecchione bling, speak briefly at the reception, and grace the new couple with a surprise tap dance. I only made one enemy in the process.

My kickball team, Rick is 21, which I don't think I've mentioned in this space, is still 1-0-1 after a field-scheduling conflict postponed last Thursday's game. I never would have guessed we'd be undefeated going into week four.

My Babe Ruth team, CPort Credit Union, is still 1-1 after a "wet-field" postponement on Sunday. Our entering week four with only one loss is equally miraculous.

That is all.


Problem Is...

Upon our arrival in Dublin, Jill and I ask two friendly trash collectors to point us toward Rob's apartment, near Gonzaga College and down the street from McSorley's pub. "Problem is," the less leprechaunly one says in an accent that melts Jill's heart right through the stench of morning trash, "your friend lives in Ranelagh, and you're in Donnybrook". Thinking we're in the wrong part of town entirely, and not thrilled about the prospect of calling Rob from a glass case of emotion at 6:30 am, we look at each other in despair.

"The good news is," says the same bloke, taking a step to his left, "if you walk down this street about two hundred yards (conveniently converted to American football measurements!) and take a right, and go another twenty-to-forty yards, you'll see your friend's place."

He's wrong on more than one count, but what better welcome to the Emerald Isle than an early-morning brogue chauffering us from terror to relief and back to confusion in a matter of seconds?

If I had the time and the energy, I'd take you through every moment of our five-day trip, but with all the planning that lies ahead for this weekend's Schroecchione union, it may be best to cut to the web gems.

A quick debrief: In Ireland, Coke and Pepsi are called "Guinness" and "Murphy's". Tom Cruise and Meg Ryan are called "James Joyce" and "Oscar Wilde". The dollar is called "sixty-four cents".

We visited the Guinness Brewery (maybe the highlight of the whole trip) on Sunday, the Murphy's Brewery (now Heineken Ireland, and not open for tours) on Monday, and the Jameson distillery (maybe Jill's highlight) on Tuesday. I hiked the cliffs of Howth with Rob and Jill on Saturday and Dublin's south shore with Rob and Rodrigo on Tuesday. We took a bus to Cork on Monday for my introduction to the green part of the country, a disappointing visit to Murphy's, and an entertaining couple of pints with Claire.

Tuesday night's literary pub crawl brought our total "pubs visited" count to 17. We did not count pints consumed, tips inadvertently left for said pints, Y*****s losses celebrated in the wee hours, or Irishwomen ogled, shattering my concept of Irish girls as homely, pale-skinned redheads. I suppose it would be most appropriate (by which I mean, incredibly lame) to end this post with a hearty