Sunday November 25, 2018 – Train from Dublin to Shannon, Ireland

On the train now, heading back to Limerick where hopefully my rental car is not clamped or towed or stolen.

Good day yesterday for the most part. I found myself irritable for some reason. Not sure why. Little things seemed to bother me all day. Here I was walking around Dublin with no hurried agenda, time to kill, beers to be drank, pub food to be eaten with rugby on the tv and a ticket in my pocked for field level International rugby match of USA versus Ireland. Anyway, I will examine my irritation later in my own time.

I walked to and from the stadium yesterday from my hotel in Kilmainham. The Dublin Hilton Kllmainham. Nice hotel and I slept amazingly well for me. My total walk yesterday on the old hard brick roads of Dublin was around 8 miles, so that helped with the sleep. The walk took me right through Temple Bar so I had an early dinner there at an Italian place where I have eaten before and then went to a pub for a couple of beers and watched England beat Australia. This is the same week where Ireland beat the All Blacks—so Northern Hemisphere rugby seems to be strengthening in the build up to World Cup.

The match went about as expected. Ireland beat USA 55-14 with was what most likely their 3rd team. But as always, the energy of rugby is infectious and it’s impossible not to enjoy the time. The crowd was fun and I had an amazing seat.

I have a little work to do this afternoon when I return to the hotel. My boss is looking for some 2019 budget numbers so I have some clean-up to do and make allowances for some change orders the past couple of months. Not thrilled about the weekend work and find myself increasingly unhappy in general with this job. Perhaps, likely even, the source of my irritability.

Now going to sit back and read a little when not distracted by the Irish countryside rushing by at 150mph.

‘Becoming’ is reminding me of Obama’s campaign against John McCain in 2008. Like so many others, I was inspired; contributing for the first (and only) time to a political campaign. But what strikes me now, as Michelle describes the rallies and political events of that time, is the stark difference between the energy and enthusiasm of the millions of supporters Barack inspired and the Trump supporters who would follow 8 years later. Where Barack’s supporters were positive and enthusiastic and embraced a notion that a country could come together to create a rising tide for all Americans, Trump’s message was and remains dark and based on hateful rhetoric and promises of regressive policy. His constant lies about phantom dangers of immigration, his refusal to accept climate change as reality, his lack of tolerance and empathy and his all encompassing ignorance about everything is so monumentally opposite to Barack’s intelligence, sincerity and articulate campaign that it’s impossible to reconcile the idea that this is the same country.

To the delight of his base, Trump has spent the first two years making rash and indiscriminate decisions that have no basis or even pretense of being good for the country—he simply wants to undo everything that Obama’s administration pushed through.

Trump’s mental retardation, or whatever informs his worlds and actions, is doing a lot of damage and taking us back in time.

Ireland’s Garry Ringrose, left, is tackled by USA’s Cam Dolan during their Rugby Union International at the Aviva Stadium, Dublin, Ireland, Saturday, Nov 24, 2018. (AP Photo/Peter Morrison)

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