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Thursday, July 31, 2008

10 things I'd like to see in action

I was tagged by Kit on this one:

1. A certain "biology professor" in Minnesota and his entire family converted to the Catholic faith. Particularly his children, whom he has led astray.

2. To attended Fr. Ray Blake's installation as bishop.

3. An English Springer Spaniel springing into my future.

4. Phillip's Isle of Wight, just once before I die. Even though I gather he's been itching to get back to the mainland.

5. Obama admit he is a flaming socialist, Marxist wannabe. And this year may there be NO "blue states."

6. Fr. Erik vanquish those skateboard creeps that make his life a living hell. [Uh, Fr., you DID turn into that cranky "old man" next door. Don't ever change back from not being one.]

7. Jimmy Brennan in anything on stage. [Yo, Tinochky, how's your summer been going?]

8. A big-ass(TMDavidLetterman) winning lottery ticket in my hand, cashed in, and in the bank.

9. To serve Mass for the Sainted Fr. S. in the EF form. We can do it at his house so some of you people won't trip. I'm working on memorizing all the Latin responses. Though he's not a particularly big advocate of that form for Joe/Jane Sixpack (having said that style of Mass for 10 years and noticing that the average Joe/Jane Sixpack was clueless in really knowing/following the same) -- he is NOT exactly enamored of our wet behind the ears clueless bishop informing EVERYONE that they will have to be examined to see if they are "competent." [Uh, Bishop Sparky, I think the fact that you do have some priests in the diocese who said Mass this way for a number of years, would pretty well prove they are "competent."]

10. The return of regular Benediction in ALL Catholic churches. Ditto Corpus Christi processions, May Crownings, Holy Hours etc. "Centering prayer" and its cousins can take a hike.

And please, if you like this meme, consider yourself tagged.

Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Too bad Fr. Sean missed it....

There was a 5.4 earthquake in SoCal today in the Chino Hills area near LA. I really got cheated because I was in Old Town, in San Diego when it happened, and due to the loose soil in that area they don't feel it as much in this particular square mile or two. But my friend sitting over at MCRD, just a relatively short distance away felt it shake their building pretty good. I'd been sorry that we hadn't been able to lay out the "Earthquake Experience" for Fr. Sean when he was out here a few weeks ago. (Hey, Fr. Sean, a 5.4 would have felt roughly like the Sea World arctic ride we went on, probably less exciting.)

Digihairshirt related that a duck and cower cover was in order in her office, and in Cali fashion everyone guessed it was in the 5 pointer range. It was so.

Elsewhere in SoCal, Diane, et al were grooving to the experience....

Monday, July 28, 2008

St Tarcisius, the "professor," and me

It is seldom that I write a 100% serious post, but this one is. It's been in the news and all over the blogosphere re: the militant atheist "professor" in Minnesota who has been blaspheming the Eucharist and urging others to steal a consecrated Host so he could desecrate it.

I've known atheists before who simply could not intellectually believe in God. Many wanted to believe but couldn't. Those people I find easy to pray for and hope that in spite of everything they manage to develop a conscience and do their best to do good and avoid evil.

But what this militant atheist did was pure evil. I hope he can be fired and civil action may be taken re: his incitement of another to steal a Host for purposes not intended and infringement upon the Catholics 1st Amendment rights to practice our worship services without harassment.

Yesterday I assisted serving at Mass. As I was given Communion to hold in my hand just before the priest's Communion, I looked down at Almighty God resting in my hand and tears started to form in my eyes due to the fact that I simply am at a loss to understand how anyone could so hate the Saviour I held in my hand. It is seldom I cry, period. Much less at Mass. I held them back, so I did not draw "focus" but was grateful for once that I did not assist as EM yesterday.

I thought of St. Tarcisius, who as a young boy, died rather than give up the Host to his non-Christian companions. I do not know if the story of St. Tarcisius is much taught to young 1st and 2nd graders today as it was when I was small. But it made a deep impression on me then as it does now, that yes, some things ARE worth dying for, contrary to what this "professor" claims. I would hope that if I were ever put in a position where I had to give up my life or the Host, my choice would be my life. And I hope all my Catholic friends feel the same.

Sunday, July 27, 2008

Need a good laugh?

I really like the following assertion by a certain blogger who has been posting half-assed "History" lessons of how the "evil" "US is run by Free Masons" (JFK? Why, by golly he was probably one of them too, "who knows" for sure!) -- He also rants on and on how the US has "stolen Mexican land." But his panties showed their true colors when he contended:

"Another fannciful[sic] allegory of the belief that civilisation moves westward and so it was the destiny of the USA to kick the Indians and the Spanish off their land illegally, violently and aggressively"

Well, gee, sparky. It's SPANISH land? Not MEXICAN land? How did the SPANISH "own" it? Didn't they rape, steal and plunder it? You claim the evil Yankee did all that to Mexico. Oh. Right. A pope said the Spanish could have it. Was it HIS land in the first place to give to the Spanish that he stole from the Indians?

Can't have your cake and eat it too. Mother Angelica sure has some nuts on EWTN sometimes. I shouldn't wonder why this guy wants to hide under the cloak of anonymity. It would be too embarrassing.

If you want to see a really sick mind in action check out this blog. Talk about a golden sombrero. I thought crack (other than plumber's crack) was illegal in the UK.

Thursday, July 24, 2008

Yahoo! 1st year anniversary

This blog has now been alive and kicking for one year. I'd been reading the Catholic blogdom for about two months prior to my jumping into the fray. Special thanks to both Jackie and Mulier-Fortis who were the first to notice that I'd started blogging, because I wasn't going to mention it and wanted to see how long it would take for it to be noticed. Since then I've managed almost a post a day on average. Oh, and special thanks to Roman Christendom, I thought I'd missed having at least one good flame war in that first year, but he came through just under the wire! "Big up" to you, dude.

And Deo Gratias.

I still haven't conquered parallel parking in real life. I made a 52 point turn just the other day!

What are the odds of this reply by me appearing

in the combox of this post by Roman Christendom?

"Tell me, is it the Napoleon complex, or just the inadequate penis Freudian coming out in you that you hate Americans so much? I've seen your ilk since my first grand tour, and you're not even remotely up to the frothing Frenchmen who loath us for saving their asses from the Nazis. Whatever dude. Who has time to wade through your BS? BTW, good book out by Maria von Trapp re: living out the Catholic year. Your wife might be interested."

I'm betting next to zero.

He can take his anti-Americanism and shove it up alt.nuke.usa.

Uh, Fr. Pio, uh, yeah ... sure... who knew you had xray vision?

I read his herman-
euticalness's funny posting regards Saggy Trousers/Baggy Pants, and MaggieClitheroe mentioned in the combox that St. Padre Pio (1887 - 1968) apparently had it in for women going to him to confession with skirts/dresses shorter than 8 inches BELOW the knee. I wondered if it was a misquote -- but no, another website dedicated to the good man lent support, it quoted from a book by Dorothy Gaudiosi called Prophet of the People:

“Padre Pio wouldn't tolerate low-necked dresses or short, tight skirts, and he forbade his spiritual daughters to wear transparent stockings. Each year his severity increased. He stubbornly dismissed them from his confession, even before they set foot inside, if he judged them to be improperly dressed. On some mornings he drove away one after another, until he ended up hearing very few confessions. His brothers observed these drastic purges with a certain uneasiness and decided to fasten a sign on the church door”

Well, I guess for sure that would have left Jackie Kennedy out, plus most women (99 percent of them, most likely) not dressed all in black a la Sicilian Widow or Burqua queen style. Apparently women had also been changing dresses in church too...otherwise they wouldn't have forbidden it.
My question ... okay, I've been going to confession since I was 7. Behind a grill. When Padre Pio lived 99% of the time he'd have had confession with a grill too. Did he use X-Ray vision to know the women weren't properly dressed? Did he quiz them? How did this drill work?

Female Penitent: "Bless me father, for I have..."
Padre Pio: "Hold it right there, WHAT are you wearing?"
Padre Pio: "I said what are you wearing? I want to make sure you're appropriately dressed."
FP: "Isn't that a little weird, you can't see me....I'm outta here."

Next female Penitent same stuff -- but this time she says:
FP: "A dress."
PP: "You're not some hot to trot vixen in capri pants with bare arms? Are you sure?"
FP: "NO, of course not. [beginning to think he's a bit nuts]
PP: "Does your dress go past your knees?"
FP: "Yes."
FP: "*sigh* well, if you MUST know, I DON'T know."
PP: "Here, take this ruler. You measure and tell me."
FP: "Two inches below the bottom of my knees, I'm a respectable matron."
PP: "The HELL you are, OUT, OUT, OUT, I tell you....." [Now why Padre Pio, an Eye-Talian, would be measuring in inches, when he'd more likely be measuring in froggy style metric, I dunno.]

And what prompted the scandalous indignant outrage regards a skirt 8 inches below the knee as opposed to a skirt 7 inches below the knee? Did he have a dream one night where in he was chased round his cell by some hoyden with skirts that length? Did his momma wear her skirts exactly 8 inches below and because it was his momma he figured that was "pure as the driven snow" but anything above that was scandal, pure scandal I tell ya.

Well, I took costume's a good thing Mary didn't sin, because as far as I know, she didn't wear a bra because those things weren't invented until the 20th century.

And God help him had a man wearing a kilt entered the box.

PP: Get out of here you brazen plaid covered strumpet!!!
Male Penitent: Uh-HUM...I'm like, you know, a dude, Father....
MP: "I'm not wearing women's clothing. I'm a Scotsman. It's a kilt."
PP: "Oh. Well, tell me you're not going commando. Are you going commando?"
MP: Sure am, and I have a purse and a dagger too.
PP: OUT, geeeeeddddouttahere.....before I sic my donkey on you.

The whole thing gives me pause to wonder if perhaps another monk with different standards would have posted the following:

I always had reservations about the Franciscans...this just sort of adds to it. And you may have guessed I was never crazy about St. Paul. But then that tent maker probably wouldn't have liked me much either, so we're even.

Yes, yes, Fr. Groeschel not withstanding.... Modesty is one thing, but one has to wonder if perhaps Padre Pio's elevator wasn't getting to the top floor or if the jacks and sixes weren't missing out of the deck. My sixth and seventh grade nuns were MERCILESS with a ruler if they thought anyone was overdoing it. But in the mid 60s, when Padre Pio had this thing posted, even THEY gave us two inches ABOVE the mid knee. They did eventually want us to get asked out the senior prom so most of us would eventually raise good Catholic families and all that jazz, and even THEY knew that most boys are not exactly going to ask the girl with the burqua to homecoming. I'd have loved to have seen the exchange between our nuns and Padre Pio.

PP: Okay, I can barely see your face and hands but WHY do you let your girls go about like trollops?!

No wonder his confession line was short.

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

S & H Green Stamps - No rosaries in the catalog but...

Consider yourself a seasoned citizen these days if you know how S&H Green Stamps worked. I came across a small stash of them recently at the back of a desk drawer. I made a bet with myself that if I took them into work no one 35 and under would have a clue what they were or how they worked - and that everyone over the age of 35 would immediately know. I was right ... except for one clueless guy of 38, who *should* have been old enough to remember, but on second thought given who it was, he was most likely clueless then too.

Seems like you never saved enough books for the pool table, but your dad probably got some tools out of it, the family got dart boards and other sporting goods and camping equipment, mom got some really nice glassware, more than a few lamps and assorted house hold goodies and "extras." The kids saved books for anything from bikes to board games.

The gas station attendants are long gone (are there any hold out states left requiring someone to pump your gas -- and check water, oil, tire pressure and clean your windows?) -- and sometimes when talking to younger generations they look at you like you're from another world. "You mean there was a time where you walked right on a plane and they didn't frisk you and you could have carried a bazooka on and no one would have cared?" "Uh, yeah...pretty much."

Change is inevitable, but I hope it never gets to the point where older Catholics hold up a rosary or holy medal or card for a younger Catholic and have to seriously ask: "Johnny/Mary, $5 bucks if you can tell me what this is." Do what you can to pass on our heritage.

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

And now a word from Nancy Reagan

...just say NO ....

(H/T to for the graphic.)

One Word Meme

(I agree with digihairshirt, who had me pegged to a tee - ONE word? C'mon, get real.)

1. Where is your cell phone? Nightstand

2. Your significant other? Jesus. Sometimes I can get His attention.

3. Your hair? Slightly past shoulder length, golden brown and wavy.

4. Your mother? Deceased ('95) - miss her more than I can say.

5. Your father? Deceased ('01) - I only "understood him" after I was older.

6. Your favorite things? Dogs, books, music, theatre

7. Your dream last night? Don't remember.

8. Your favorite drink? Non-alcoholic - A-Treat Birch Beer - Alcoholic: highball

9. Your dream/goal? Crawl through the gates of heaven

10. The room you’re in? Bedroom

11. Your church? The Catholic church in Old Town, San Diego, named after the patron saint of the United States. And if that sounds unnecessarily cryptic, it's *because* I like the freedom of being under the radar as I'm not overly enamored of a certain person who couldn't do the red and say the black to save his soul. That and the fact he was mean and unjust to his supply priest of the last 30 years. But let me not "go there." [ask me sometime when I need to elevate my blood pressure to a gratifying apoplectic level.]

12. Your fear? Committing a mortal sin, particularly one I wouldn't be sorry for. Oh, that's right, in a word "hell."

13. Where do you want to be in 6 years? San Diego.

14. Where were you last night? San Diego. Friend's house.

15. What you’re not? Placid.

16. Muffins? NO.

17. One of your wish list items? Oil Refinery

18. Where you grew up? Pennsylvania, Roanoke, Va., Nashua, NH, California

19. The last thing you did? Answered the above question. Duh.

20. What are you wearing? Nightie

21. Your TV? Usually off.

22. Your pets? Doggie heaven. Maggie the Wonderdog(springer spaniel), Brian the Setter, gorgeous but dumber than a box of rocks, Taffy the Heinz 57, Mr. Mike the beagle. I harbored no cats, had a few blue parakeets when I was small (they die too quickly!) and watched a few goldfish - but you can't pet those - not and have them live, anyway.

23. Your computer? HP Pavillion Notebook.

24. Your life? Could stand improvement.

25. Your mood? Could use a jolt of energy.

26. Missing someone? Mom, always mom.

27. Your car? Honda CRV SUV, mercifully paid for.

28. Something you’re not wearing? Hosiery. I think it was invented by gay men to torture women.

29. Favorite store? Bookstore

30. Your Summer? Seen better

31. Like (love) someone? What day of the week is this?

32. Your favorite color? Red

33. Last time you laughed? Last night. I'm still sleepy.

34. Last time you cried? Can't remember.

35. Who will re-post this? Mulier Fortis, Monica, and possibly Esther, if they see it.

Saturday, July 19, 2008

Jack Brown Appeal

Possibly my British readers will be familiar, from stories in the Daily Telegraph and elsewhere of the story of a young English boy who is currently in Vermont undergoing treatment for neuroblastoma - a particularly aggressive form of cancer. There has been some success treating children with this disease and it is very expensive to fight. Jack is a courageous little boy who just recently had his 7th birthday.

I have been following Jack and his family's story now for well over a year when I first became aware of it. I link here to a website for Jack. His family are grateful for any donations however large or small you can make. The website can handle donations from the UK and the US. Even if you can't donate, please keep this little boy and his family in your prayers - and all such children and their families.

Sunday, July 13, 2008

Harbor Cruise

I took a Harbor Cruise on Friday. Fr. Sean and his friend from Oxford were going to go too, but last minute got pressed into service at an unexpected singing rehearsal for the wedding he went to on Saturday. But I went anyway, tix having been "comped." It was pretty overcast, and the sun only finally broke free late afternoon.

The dayboat cruise ship "Lord Hornblower" is below.

The skyline of downtown San Diego has certainly changed a lot since I moved here in 1971. Back then there were a handful of really high rise buildings downtown. You could clearly see the El Cortez hotel from the Harbor, which was the first building to ever have an elevator on the *outside* of a building. Below is a picture taken of the downtown skyline from on board.

As you pull out of the slip, you can see the USS Midway CV-41 off the starboard bow. Tourists may now go onboard. I'd recommend setting aside a half day, and wear comfy shoes. You'll do a LOT of walking!

Also in the harbor were the USS George Washington CVN-73(left), which for the time being is in port undergoing repairs due to a recent fire aboard. On the right is the USS Nimitz CVN-68 undergoing routine maintenance, having returned from a long deployment. The Nimitz's "sail" is masked, because it is undergoing paint striping and the wrap is to prevent all the chips, etc. going in the bay. It is hard to tell from the picture below but the flight decks of these carriers are close to 1100 feet long and if one stood them on end would be 2.5 times as tall as the tallest building on the San Diego downtown skyline!

The USS Reagan CV-76 is normally home ported here too, but it, along with its battle group, is currently on deployment to the middle east. Normally about 41 ships are home ported here, San Diego is the largest port in the US after Norfolk, Va. These ships are tied up off the north end of NAS (Naval Air Station) North Island (which is technically a peninsula,. Don't ask.) Want a tour? See your naval recruiting office!

Below is a google earth shot of San Diego Bay. It is considered one of the finest natural harbors in the world.

The Bay is home to many critters, not the least of which are Sea Lions and Harbor Seals. Fr. Sean had a hard time telling them apart. But it's easy. The dark ones are the Sea Lions, and the brownish ones are the Harbor Seals. One of them can climb on the red buoys in the bay and the other one can't.

These fellas can be pretty inert, because they have their lazy carcasses hanging out where the fishing boats pull up and load up on anchovies and other bait. They don't have the "weight problem" the 1800 pound manatees have who eat 300 pounds of lettuce a day and the occasional apple or carrot. Talk about sitting around the house, getting high and watching the tube. The original "couch potatoes."

By chance we also saw the USS New Orleans (LPD-18) - an amphibious transport dock - one of the newest ships in the fleet, just commissioned last year. Its profile was designed to make it appear much smaller on radar. It's well over 600 feet in length and the nearby sailboat gives good perspective. It's also covered with "stuff" (highly technical term -- actually it's "Ram") which confuses enemy radar. We later turned and came back up the harbor and followed it a WIDE berth and sole occupancy (except for the idiots in sail boats who didn't "notice" a 600+ foot ship bearing down on them) of the deepest part of the channel.

When I got home and blew up the pictures I noticed the signal flags on the New Orleans. The letters spell out "NOLA" which is the radio "call sign" of this vessel. You can see the close up below.

Here is a picture I took this past Memorial Day weekend of the bay from the vantage point of Ft. Rosecrans National Cemetery, which I wrote about before. The sub base is in the closest part of the bay. You can see the protective ring.

The hangars below are on North Island, not far from the Aircraft Carriers. When we were out we were treated to an F-18 practicing a "touch and go" on North Island. (It has two run ways not far from San Diego's commercial Lindbergh field. Named for Charles Lindbergh. Spirit of St. Louis was built in San Diego.

File photo below of one of the Navy's hottest toys. The Navy, IMO, has the neatest toys.

For those not in the know, a "touch and go" is what a pilot has to do if his tail hook has missed one of the arresting cables on the carrier. You miss? Throttle like hell and hope you have enough oomph to get you back up off that carrier and not off the side. Every landing is a "controlled crash." Somewhere I read where one pilot described it "like having sex in a car crash." I'll take his word for it.

Early parachute test from aircraft were also conducted on North Island, and a lady, Georgia Broadwick, was the first user to jump from a military plane into the water...the men apparently being too chicken. That or "ladies first." Whatever.

A little more of the San Diego Skyline is below. Seaport village and the embarcadero is in front. Lots of little shops and restaurants. There are often concerts by the bay in the summertime.

This nifty bridge, The Coronado Bridge, links San Diego to Coronado, which is at the southern end of North "Island." It has an 80 degree bend in it, because when it was built back in the 60s a bridge needed to be at least 2 miles long to have the feds kick in some funding. Your tax dollars at work. The modern carriers can't pass beneath it, but then they don't "live" on the southeast side of the bay and have no need to go under it. There's a whole bunch of ships that are normally home ported down at the 32nd street Naval Station south of this bridge, but few were in port Friday, many of them having gone off with the Reagan Battle group.

We also saw some Navy teams in the harbor training dolphins (they also train sea lions) in mine detection and "other stuff." I swiped the picture below with the one immediately above from wiki. (We weren't quite close enough for a picture to come out, but we could see them from 1/2 mile away.) Interesting article here about the program.

I know. Long post, but I haven't done a San Diego one in a while. BTW, the first European sighting of the harbor was done by Juan Rodriquez Cabrillo in the mid 1500s, a Portugese flying under the Spanish flag.

Sea World Clips

I put a few of these together. We could have sat in the "splash zone" but an inner voice said "are you nuts?!" AND YOU PROBABLY WANT TO TURN YOUR VOLUME DOWN UNLESS YOU ARE DEAF.

I must say for all my camera complained about "low battery" it had just enough to get me through Sea World and a Harbor Cruise. Oh, and someone got some outstanding video here. It's well worth clicking on a few of the vids that come up when this one is over.

Meme: Quick - what's your computer "wallpaper"

I tag everyone who wants to play.

No cheating!

Saturday, July 12, 2008

Blogger convention at Sea World

...too bad most of you missed it! Through the auspices of a good friend of mine I was able to score a couple of passes to Sea World yesterday. (If you're goofing off at work, you may want to mute sound before clicking the Sea World link.) Fr. Sean of Valle Adurni has been visiting San Diego this last week and between jumping through a few hoops for the Latin Mass people out here he's had some time to do some "normal tourist" things. See his blog for details regards his take on baseball, booze, free refills, La Jolla, all the different trees we have out here, etc.

(Actually, my hair is kinda long right now, which is why it's tied back. A few penguins in the background to go along with the emperor and empress penguins in the foreground.)

Yesterday was a nice day to go, the weather being slightly hazy. We still got perhaps a little more sun than we thought we would - him more so than me - I had a base tan, he didn't have much of one. I was a bit amused that father was initially going to go in his clericals and after the preliminary how-dee-dos I jumped on his host (we'd spoken briefly over the phone before) and I said something along the lines of "DUDE, did you tell him about the possibility of getting wet and how hot it is there?" And Fr. Sean said "you mean I shouldn't wear my clericals?" To which I said "you will be hotter than Hades in that." So he quickly changed into mufti. And off we went. We parked near a "guard tower" which I'm sure Fr. Sean will upload. He was a little stunned by the fingerprint reader at the gate, and so was I, Having checked my camera bag for "dangerous items" I still managed to waltz in with my mini Swiss Army knife. Whatever, I think I could have had a bazooka down my pant leg and they'd have been none-the-wiser. I *think* the fingerprint scanner was for people with annual passes so they don't "lend" the pass to friends...but who knows? We weren't asked to use it at any rate.

Shortly after entering, I stopped to pet a batray. Ugly thing that looks like a B-1 bomber in miniature. It felt very smooth and slick. Much smoother and slicker than I'd have thought. Then we hot footed it over to Cirque du Mer ... for which I later bitched out my friend for recommending. "WTF were you thinking?" I asked her that evening. Waaayyyyy too "French." I kept praying for a killer whale to pop up and eat one of them. Didn't happen. Then we stopped for lunch and Fr. Sean treated me to chicken jumbalaya. My chicken was dry, his veggies were hard...the rice and jumbalaya was good by both accounts. But it was still fun because of the conversation. We topped it off with watermelon. And if you think we talked about you during lunch we probably did. ;-D

We also hit the sky tower which gave a nice panoramic view.

The manatee rescue was awesome...can't figure out why they weigh 1800 pounds, eat 300 pounds of lettuce a day and have hefty waistlines and small fins and they do constant 360 spins whilst swimming. Fr. Sean said it "just goes to prove diets don't work." We saw some gluttonous sea lions and Harbor seals. Fr. Sean couldn't tell the difference, but I could. But then I'm a local.

We did the shark encounter which was really eerie.

(Sharkus attacki: Good Lord, look at the eyes on that thing!)

And you could also walk through the tank with them swimming right by. Well, like they say in JAWS "the shark is an evolutionary marvel -- it swims, it eats, and it makes other sharks, and that's it."

(Clergicus Anglicus Rubercus Probiscus: Good Lord, look at the red nose on that thing. Why don't sharks eat liturgists? Professional courtesy.)

He looks like he's concerned with getting that picture. I think he's concerned about the tank breaking. I was.

We caught a show with whales...and other thangs, had a really neat penguin encounter, saw some polar bears, Clydesdales, and pets which did some fun tricks, including a cat who walks on high wire.

We also rode the Star Tours like ride that made you feel like you were in a helicopter going over the arctic. It had the obligatory "death star run" through glacial cracks. We also buzzed some polar bears. Hope Fr.'s back is okay, but he didn't bitch me out afterwards, and he didn't hobble back to the car.

Fr. Sean had to be back at his host's at 6 for a rehearsal, so he didn't get a chance to see Shamu (for some dumb reason in the summer he only comes out at night - must be a good whale union) and he didn't get a chance to go on a combo roller coaster, splash ride, Journey to Atlantis that was AWESOME. I went back and did both after I dropped him off.

We had a whale of a good time, wish the rest of you could have been there too.

Update: Fr. Sean's take is here. And I was right. He did post the guard tower pic. If memory serves the funny bird is from Uganda and is a great crested crane.

Wednesday, July 9, 2008

Tuesday, July 8, 2008

Go to plan B seems Madam Clinton has been foiled again. Obama's campaign plane had to make an unscheduled landing in St. Louis due to flight difficulties. ABC did a fairly straight forward report which you can see in full here.

But what kills me is the last line of the story which I quote in full:

"This was not Obama's regular campaign plane, which is being overhauled. It was a loaner, having previously been used by Sen. Hillary Clinton, D-NY."

Arkancide lives!

You can't make this stuff up. I bet the reporter laughed himself silly when he put that tag line in.

Time for the anti-Obama forces to pull out plan B. Have Uncle Ted drive Obama home one night.

So long, but I hope not farewell

...last Saturday evening I made a special point to make sure to catch the Conroy family before they soon scatter to Germany. Dad is a patent lawyer and his company really wanted to keep him ... so they said "what will we have to do to keep you with us?" And he wanted to head up the company's new office near Munich. They will be there for at least a three year stint. Catherine was actually born there when dad was there on a Fullbright scholarship. They will be returning to the same parish (English speakers mostly - St. Patricks) Catherine was baptized in and I advised if she could get confirmed over there, by all means do it...that way if and when she gets married those records will be in the same place.

Catherine will be entering the secondary school system there - a special gymnasium program where foreign children are taught half in German and half in English. There is an international school she could have attended for exceptional children - those kids on average have an IQ of about 120.. but they told her parents that they'd like her to try the regular gymnasium program first as she'd be more challenged. Catherine's IQ is well up in the genius range, as I guessed when I picked her "out of the crowd" to learn to serve Mass. The kids that are "bored and looking around" at things are often the brightest and not challenged enough. Such a pleasure to teach her to serve. And if "the unexpected" sometimes happens at Mass -- if there was something "out of the box" that didn't normally happen, it was ALWAYS fun to watch the little gears turn as she'd figure out "which principles applied" and she usually came to the right conclusion. Always the quick questions. Never had to tell her anything more than once. Great kid. She was the one who last year decided the Blessed Mother would probably enjoy sun glasses.

The parents, Lauren and John are quite excited as they quite liked their student time over there. And Lauren is ecstatic Catherine will not have to go through the bitchiness of female puberty in a US Jr. High. We both told Catherine "Hey, if you're a jerk over there, no worries, you can come back here and be somebody else and no one will be the wiser." She gave us a "dubious" look. Her younger brother Liam is going to turn out to be every bit the pistol Catherine is.

We have small parish boundaries so it's always a great loss to us when we "lose" even temporarily a family like this. I sent her off with a copy of "Where Angels Go, Trouble Follows" the sequel to "The Trouble with Angels" which I'd given her for Christmas. I'm sure she'll be "scathingly brilliant" wherever she goes.

(Yes, that is the pastor on the left. Yes, he is wearing a white clerical shirt with collar. He and a pastor emeritus now living in the parish have moved over to white clerical shirts this summer. Can't blame them. It can be sweltering.)

Monday, July 7, 2008

Don't miss Monica's Bear

....Monica has a hilarious post regards her family's recent close encounter with a bear kind over the 4th of July holiday week end. Don't miss it. Apparently bears don't normally go on peninsulas as a general rule of thumb. This bear seemingly was out for a beer and honey the day the rest of the bears were so informed.

I guess she's lucky not to live in Alaska, where these encounters are a little more common....

Sunday, July 6, 2008

Six Degrees Redux

...I've long been fas-
cinated by the concept of "Six Degrees of Separa-
tion." Tonight, my good friend Michele R., who'd given me the heads up on the Martin story (below) wrote me further about that story. She told me something I did not know, but was delighted to find out. The late Abbot Claude of the Prince of Peace Abbey was also a real fan of the Martin family. It turns out that sometime in the late 40s or 50s he'd gotten to visit Lisieux and also got to stay in the Martin home overnight. It further transpired that he was lucky enough to say Mass for the Carmelite nuns, AND had also given Holy Communion to Celine, Therese's older sister. It charms me to know that both Celine (who I always thought a real live wire in the family) and I had both received Communion from the same priest.

It turns out my friend Michele also know a friend of Fr. Sean Finnegan of Valle Adurni. Fr. will be visiting San Diego next week. I think we Catholics are often more closely connected than even we realize!

It's very reassuring to read the Catholic blogdom. When you check on websites that have links to their parish bulletin, no matter what country the bulletin's in -- we see the same types of items, and realize that parish life, though with different flavors and twists to be sure, is not that dissimilar to own's own. It's a nice comfort to know that people around the globe can often share the same Catholic values that one was raised with.

No parish is perfect, everyone has a wart or two there. And there is no such thing as the "perfect" or "typical" Catholic family - even the "holiest" Catholic family has its black sheep and prodigal sons and daughters. And somehow, that's reassuring too. Everyone has similar ups and downs in life.

(This photo of the Abbot was taken two years ago on the occasion of my 50th b'day - Michele and I had visited the abbey that day. Fr. Stephanos belongs to the same Abbey. Fr. Claude was nearly 100 when he died last year.)

Saturday, July 5, 2008

Have Terrorists...

...or teenage kids in Pakistan been screwing with the NIS servers today? For the last few hours I've been getting constant page load "can't find these websites that have been up since the dawn of time" "errors" today. If there's nothing that would make me want to get up and rip someone's lungs out, it's hacker activity.

Is it just me today?

St. Therese of Lisieux's parents to be beatified

...from Zenit:

"VATICAN CITY, JULY 4, 2008 ( The prefect of the Congregation for Saints' Causes is expected to announce the date for the beatification of St. Thérèse's parents at celebrations marking their 150th wedding anniversary. According to Bishop Pierre Pican of Bayeux-Lisieux and other Church leaders in France, Cardinal José Saraiva Martins will attend the anniversary celebrations set for July 12-13 in Lisieux and Alencon (where the Martins married on July 12, 1858). Benedict XVI recognized Thursday a miracle attributable to the intercession of Louis and Marie-Zélie Martin. It involved the healing of Pietro Schiliro of Monza, Italy. Pietro was born in 2002 with a fatal lung malformation. Italian Carmelite Father Antonio Sangalli suggested that the child's parents pray a novena to Thérèse's parents to receive the strength to endure their suffering. However, Pietro's mother decided to do the novena to ask for her son's cure. When Pietro regained his health, he and his parents went on pilgrimage to Lisieux to thank the Martins. On July 13, Cardinal Saraiva Martins will preside at a Family Day in Lisieux, during which he will bless a statue of St. Thérèse."

What's interesting to me was that at one point Louis had wanted to be a priest, but his Latin was terrible. Mme. Martin was quite an enterprising business woman, with her own lace firm which she had established when she was still single. When she married Louis for the first year or so they lived as "brother and sister" until a confessor had advised otherwise. I'd read that in several of the books written about the family. One gets the impression it was Louis's idea to begin with! Thanks goodness at least one of them got frustrated!

"Uh, Louis, if you think I'm just going to cook your meals and wash your socks....DUDE."

Fred Says it With Firecrackers

(usually we see this one around Christmas's nice to see it when you're supposed to!)

Friday, July 4, 2008

So I'm good with dates

You Passed the US Citizenship Test

Congratulations - you got 10 out of 10 correct!

[H/T to Monica who "only" got 9 of 10 :-D I expect she read one of them too quickly or balked on the year the constitution was written.[

Enjoy - 1776

....this clip is from the Ed Sullivan show of the OBC. It includes the powerful Molasses 2 Rum [which I referred to previously in the Music quiz last month.]

Happy 4th!

The Vicodin Fairy

And I have been resting comfortably together this last hour and a half after a long day. I saved 800+ bucks by doing the extraction under a local, rather than a general + a possible bone graft. Yes, I am a trouper and not a total wuss. The oral surgeon said after it was over there'd be enough bone left in case I wanted to do an implant rather than a bridge. I'd wanted to save my pennies for the implant rather than be down the half grand for the general today so I lucked out. After yesterday's visit and todays, I was only out of pocket 15 bucks for the antibiotics, 11 bucks for the Vicodin Fairy and another 8 bucks or so for some sort of nifty mouth rinse I get to use for the next week.
Dental insurance sure helped!

Throbbed like hell for about an hour after when the novocaine or whatever they give you these days wore off...but the ibpro held just enough for me to drive home to pick up the Vicodin Fairy where she was lying in repose for me at the the pharmacy. We're kickng back writing this item...and we're wondering if you can put a steak in a blender or something...might have to settle for pudding or spaghetti tonight before we take a hike to visit lala land. I think we might head over to Jack in the Box to grab a meaty breakfast burrito now. Decisions, decisions.

I guess that 1st communion pic will have to stay on ice a little longer with the gap where #13 used to be. At least that gap is not something in the front!

Thursday, July 3, 2008

Okay, look, if I should die...

...while undergoing the oral surgeon's knife tomorrow (Thursday) for a tooth extraction from a nasty abscess ...use this picture of me for my holy card in case I make it to saint. St. Therese of Lisieux already is doing the "rose" thing as a sign. If I am so lucky to crawl through the gates of heaven, I'm going to send English springer spaniels as my sign. I want to be the patron saint of people whose patron saints are overloaded with requests. St. Polycarp too busy? Ask me. St. Anthony backed up on lost key requests? Ask me. A Jill of all trades. I'll probably sail through okay, but, just in case, okay? And say a prayer the viocodin fairy gifts me too.

Wednesday, July 2, 2008

How to get "bounced by Z"

....first what you do is not toe the party line. My comment are as per "Jill of the Amazing Wolverine Tribe" -- I've always posted that way on "Z's" blog -- not really "hiding" i.d. as readers of my "com" box have figured out. Here was the following colloquey. My comments in white. His in red:

  1. “[Hardly. The “I’m taking my ball and bat and going home!” approach is not necessary. However, I would rather people not post if they are going to drag entries down endless rabbit holes of bickering. – Fr. Z]” [This was in regards someone else's post who wasn't buying the party line.]

    Fr. Z. with all due respect you do not “call” people who buy your party line when they get out of line. [You must have an image of me sitting at my computer, repeatedly hitting the refresh button so that I can analyze every comment. Nope.] For instance (just to pick one) AnAnonymousSeminarian can say deprecating things like “girl altar boys” and that’s just hunky dory with you. [Well.. I don’t personally have too much problem with that, since I don’t think the service of girls at the altar is a good idea, but I can see why some people might say that it shouldn’t be put that way.] You have said in the past on another post that “the discussion needs to go ‘x’ way.” It’s quite one thing for a practicing Catholic to be expected to toe the party line on actual doctrine. But just because something is a custom, doesn’t mean that in some cases the custom is now counterproductive. If there are enough seminarians around to serve Mass. Well and good, they should. But in parish churches there simply aren’t. Either “the laity” are equal, or they’re not. [Sure they are “equal” in terms of dignity, but they are not “identical” in their roles, either as men or women nor with the clergy.] I never notice people whining on your blog re: women helping take up the collection, or count it, or locking up when needed … all traditionally jobs of the porter. But we’ll NEVER see a comment about “all those evil misguided women helping count the collection.” Nor will we. The minor orders are simply GONE as per ‘69 or 70. Get over it. [FYI… this whole strand in this thread is now over. Rabbit hole. I am now finishing with someone griping about how unfair my blog is. Go start your own and run it the way you want.]

    In my growing up years girls were NON-EXISTENT as far as most priests were concerned. [So, we are back to someone’s personal experience being made the standard for the Church and the perspective on girls everywhere. Okay.] One of the few whose name I remember was Fr. Krimm, a Redemptorist of late and happy memory, in the parish of Our Lady of Perpetual Help in Salem, Va. in the mid-1960s. He did allow the girls to do what they could when the NO came in. He let the sodality girls bring up the gifts especially once a month. The man spent time with us, leading our sodality meetings and didn’t treat as as junior washerwomen in training. He looked after our SPIRITUAL formation. Is ironing the altar cloths a labor of love? You bet it is, and I’ve done that chore too. But it’s not the best way to attract a young girl when she might get the idea that a priest only sees women as being the only ones doing the scut work. In other words, there is nothing particularly inspiring when Fr. says “Johnny, come here while I tell you all about why incense is used and how to use it – oh, Suzie, not you, go iron with your mother.” [That’s the way it goes, I guess. Would you feel better if he made the boys go iron too? Would that have solved the problem?] [Notice it hasn't occured to him, that gee, Suzie might like to know the WHYs and WHENs even if he's not going to give her the secret handshake. Yup. It would kill him! ;-D And yeah, Maybe if Johnny took a turn at the iron, he'd appreciate what a time consuming job that is!] Fr. Krimm will forever be in my prayers for realizing that the girls had some brains and were worth spending time with too. He treated us like Mary instead of Martha. Martha is needed too, but Mary chose the better part, and some of you are denying her. If Jesus had treated women like some of you do, I don’t think I’d have kept the faith.

    Yeah, singing in a choir for girls can be nice, but not all can carry a tune. And quite a few of your posters would even deny the ones who can sing. God knows why, there being a shortage of castrati.

    [Altar girls were introduced as a liturgical abuse. Thus, it was an act of injustice against the girls. They were instrumentalized to violate the Church’s law. There are also good practical reasons why the service of girls at the altar, permitted now by law, should only be applied in very narrow circumstances and why boys should always be preferred. Furthermore, the Church’s guidelines on this stress the importance of the tradition of male service and that it is to be preferred. That’s just the way it is. Sorry. If I were pastor of your parish, you might see that I have a somewhat broader understanding of the role of women in the Church, but this is a blog, not a parish. I won’t let it be derailed.]

  2. [interesting, never a thought that maybe the girl herself felt it was an injustice...nope, musta been some evil feminazi "instrumentalizing" the girl. sheesh. If the pen isn't two inches away from the notepad perfectly parallel some people go nuts. Yeah, only one way to skin a cat.]
  3. Comment by Jill of the Amazing Wolverine Tribe — 29 June 2008 @ 5:24 pm
  4. Okay… that’s it. The last comment, now deleted, got personal. The poster is now gone from the blog. I am shutting down the combox.

    Comment by Fr. John Zuhlsdorf — 29 June 2008 @ 6:43 pm

The humorous part was this wasn't what got me bounced it was the follow on comment that he said was "personal" not that many people got to see it, but what I said was along the lines of this:

"But which parish HAVE you been the pastor of? [I further stated] The church has need of the priests in the ivory tower too. But sometimes you forget that real people would be hurt by your decisions."


So, no "F" bombs. But let's just say I have an extremely high regard for those actually IN the trenches. Even some like Fr. Blake, who don't use female servers. He, at least, has been tearing his hair out with WHAT to do with them, and knows "ironing is not the answer." And for sure he hasn't sounded the weensiest bit misogynistic.

So for anyone who's wondered, as someone else has on Fr. Ray's blog "why can't I see "Z"s blog" you've either said something like "where have you been pastor?" that he got peevish over....or he just blanket jammed your whole URL address and you just got swept up. Tant pis. For such a technowhiz I'm a little surprised he doesn't seem to realize there are infinite ways around his kludge of a lockout. My theory is, given that's the case, why bother? Whatever. I realize this post is bound to offend quite a few "Z" fans, but, "oh well" - an inquiring mind wanted to know....

Somewhere in my collection there's a recording of Pete Seeger singing "Little Boxes."

I feel a song coming on.

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