Sunday, April 25, 2010
Normally, I have ALWAYS kept my comment box opened and let anyone post willynilly - having had few problems with trolls. Well, late March, had problems with two jerks. (Hey, Fr. Blake, your British newspaper "reporters" aren't worth a nickle more than our so called American "reporters" who can't get squat right or attribute correctly, so gee, thanks! ;-D And BTW, I hope John Venables swings! -- okay that last bit was hyperbole. ) --
So I'd THOUGHT I'd turned on "just delay posts which are posted more than 10 days ago" thinking I could just manually nuke the two ba$$ard$ who were getting too out of line myself (i.e. still let anyone post, but just block anyone from posting to stuff that happened way in the past, as I didn't want to have to go back nearly 3 years incase one of these dorks took a shine to ruining things.]
Anyway, I've posted ALL your comments which were all delayed (which would explain a lot as to why "gee, why no comments?) And I'll go fix it now so posts aren't delayed.....unless "dorks" return, but this time I promise to always LOOK to see if anything's delayed.
Friday, April 23, 2010
"There’s a quiet revolution happening on the nation’s school and college campuses. While the students still live in a sex-saturated culture, and while researchers claim that at least 75 percent of college students are part of the “hook-up” generation, more and more students are opting out of the sex scene. It is far too early to declare a new trend, but there are encouraging signs of a new respect for abstinence and dating, instead of recreational sex.
Part of the change of attitude and behavior comes from college students seeing the consequences and repercussions of recreational sex. "
The article notes statistical details of all the fallout students are seeing from their friends who ARE sexually active and are paying for it with incressed depression, low self-esteem from giving it all away to someone who doesn't care, to the STDs students are now frightened of getting --- and the article notes many new books which preach abstinence and waiting for marriage -- with a nod to more healthy dating patterns where one doesn't feel compelled to hop in the sack with every "relationship." The article further notes new "Love and Fidelity Network" outreach programs which espouse waiting until marriage and notes chapters on many US college campuses, including some 2 dozen or so on high profile Universities such as Harvard, Princeton, Notre Dame.
Even younger teens are also starting to get the message, from some in the popular culture - American Idol Star Kelly Clarkson recent had release a song called "I don't hook up." And there are others promoting the same -- there's even a facebook page: Bring Back Dating.
Well worth a read.
Tuesday, April 20, 2010
And check out ring2skype.com -- FREE skype #s.
[Someone remind me to kick myself up the backside for not setting this up a lot sooner. I could have saved a boat load of money over the last couple of years!]
Tuesday, April 13, 2010
If they ever bring back Stepin' Fetchit, I have a likely candidate for the part. But of course, when he's with normal US citizens, zero always has his nose in the air, a la Mussolini.
I don't think he has a snowball's chance against a Chinaman. Was there ever ANY "president" so unversed in simple protocol? It's a wonder half the state department who deals with this sort of thing haven't committed suicide by now. "Listen, duffus. You are a head of state. Heads of state do not BOW to people. Sheesh. Moron. [How many years to retirement?]"
Sunday, April 11, 2010
The article starts:
"In the cruel old China, baby girls were often left to die in the gutters. In the cruel modern China, they are aborted by the tens of millions, using all the latest technology.
There is an ugly new word for this mass slaughter: gendercide."
The article states that China's one-child-policy started officially in 1979.
However, I personally remember that in at least parts of China as early as 1974, the government was encouraging/enforcing this. I remember that in Fall of 1974 when I was a college Freshman, writing an essay about the policy for an English class I was taking at the time. IT was the first I'd heard of it.
Unfortunately, in large parts of India, parents are also chosing gendercide. Not through goverment threats, but of their own volition. Quite some time ago, I'd seen a TV documentary which covered the phemomenon. Sleezy abortion doctors in their Mercedes Benz cars, pulling out their scanners in poor neighborhoods for relatively quite handsome fees to tell parents what sex the baby was -- then parents aborting if it was a girl.
There is also this article which is worth a read -- it goes into more details about India and China. [And it also confirms my 1974 date as to when the use of amniocentisis began to be used for this purpose of sex selection and gendercide.]
And there is also a recent article from the Economist, which points out that often the WORST gender imblance is in the WEALTHY parts of the country.
Thursday, April 8, 2010
Anyone who'd commission a building like this gets all the ridicule he deserves.
Los Angeles also is very earthquake prone. But here's what would happen to such a building in LA.
It's a "signature piece" all right.
Monday, April 5, 2010
Happy Easter to you all! AFtershocks and everything.
Sunday, April 4, 2010
day, on Good Friday, I accompanied some friends up to the Prince of Peace Abbey in Oceanside, Ca. There are about 19 monks in all. No video allowed in the church while services are going on, but afterward I did take a few stills inside
And afterwards went outside to visit the little cemetery. The video below is a short 360 look at the area which is just to the south of the church -- at the end fo the short video that "bright area" just on the horizon is the Pacific ocean.
The Abbey, close to Camp Pendleton, is in a really dangerous area for fire, so the buildings reflect this -- cinderblock construction. The cemetery is really touching. The picture below show 1st Abbot Claude's grave. A simple wooden cross marks it, and there is no name on the cross, as there are on the ones behind his. My friend Michelle, who dearly misses him as her regular confessor, said "he probably wanted it that way." Abbot Claude was so self-effacing. He was nearly 100 when he died. You can read a little more about him here. The flowers on the grave are simple and "drought tolerant." You can see what the grave first looked like, here. Somewhat to my horror[?] and fascination, a huge black beetle like creature was moseying right on the Abbot's grave, no doubt looking for dinner.
Here below is another picture - with the Abbot's grave in the foreground and the ones of 9 monks behind it. It struck me that I'd at least seen all those monks in choir at some time or other -- and that eventually, the monks currently in choir, would one day be next to their brothers in Christ, with yet unseen monks taking their places.
The monastery was founded about in the mid-50s -- it's about as old as I am. The first time I laid eyes on it was in the Fall of 1974 -- during my first few week as a Freshman at the University of California, San Diego. I was taking an "easy" distribution requirement for me. Music History. And where does one start with the History of Western Music? The church! So off we went early one morning to hear the monks chant the office -- and we stayed for their kind hospitality of breakfast afterwards. So the public higher education system in California did more to teach me formally re: Gregorian Chant than my Catholic high school "Kumbaya - Michael Row the Boat Ashore" years did.
Over the years I've gone up during various times of my life, sometimes in crisis, often not. But their little mountain top is a testament to the balanced life they lead - Pray, work, and still take some time off for a little recreation. And I like that they all still work with their hands. The Benedictines seem to have the perfect balance.
All of God's creatures abound. I hope the little fellow below finds that Beetle and EATS it! [Lizards are GOOD!!!!] I've yet to see the snakes, but I've been assured they are "around."
And peace be unto all of you this Easter. I go up tonight again for the Easter Vigil.
Saturday, April 3, 2010
Friday, April 2, 2010
Went to Holy Thursday Mass last night with the Byzantines, didn't have time to go through the video I took -- there may be some usable bits. Just have to find some good snippets between the wailing, whining and running around by two young parishioners. The only thing their parents did right was to take their SHOES off so they couldn't kick anything without hurting their tootsies. [Father P. must have been thinking "this too, shall pass" as he chanted a long lengthy Passion reading of the Last Supper and Crucifixion.]
Off to Stations up at Prince of Peace Abbey shortly with friends. I have to say there are a few advantages to being in a county of close to 3 million souls - you do have an embarrassment of riches as far as "choice" goes. And the "sun has got his hat on" and it rained recently, so there should be a few good pics of the vista from the Abbey to the Pacific ocean.
Thursday, April 1, 2010
I'd put the following status up on my facebook page about an hour ago:
"Karen is wearing a BIRTH CONTROL DEVICE. Relax. Reading Glasses*. I could KILL all those eye docs from age 11 to 53 who NEVER mentioned "oh, for reading get a pair of +1.5 Off the Shelf reading glasses - you, being the nearsighted bat you are, your contacts are made so you can see far and not run into traffic so the rest of us are spared." Bassids. I can see the computer screen like a fricken EAGLE now."
Then I added the comment: "It's true, guys don't make passes at girls who wear glasses. Which is why I gave them up at 17."
Within an hour, I was proven wrong.
Some nice looking guy came up and asked if he could borrow my reading glasses so he could read an official "gubbmit doc" he'd got.
"Hi, could I borrow your reading glasses. I can't read this." He puts them on and says "How do I look?"
Me: "A lot better than I probably do in them!"
He turns to me and says: "Hey, you're not so bad looking yourself!" We both laugh. He asks me to open the envelope for him as he has too short nails (no non-paraplegic male can't open up a letter.) He introduced himself as "Joel" and proffered his hand to shake, then says: "Hey, warm hands too"
Me: "They oughta be...they've been in my pocket!"
Sheesh, maybe if I'da kept the goggles I'd have 20 grandkids by now....always a bridesmaid, never a bride!
[* - 3 pairs including snazzy case for 15 bucks. CVS pharmacy. Get 'em while they're hot, hot, hot.]
Tenebrae was hosted by St. John the Evangelist church in San Diego. A "normal" but orthodox parish - (for the 10th year running! - and I never knew that til last year, when I couldn't go.) The Brothers of the Little Oratory, with a boost from the La Jolla Renaissance Singers Chamber Choir to add some polyphony did the honors. You can see their event link here. The candleholder in the foreground is called a "hearse." Creepy name, hun? The service is essentially 3 "nocturns" (each nocturn consisting of a combination of psalms, lessons, and an Our Father) + Lauds. There are 15 psalms in all, and towards the end of each psalm, one of the candles on the hearse is extinguished. Starting with the ones at the bottom, then working one's way up to the top candle. During the Lauds, the top candle is not extinguished, but removed and "hidden" so it's light doesn't show. Then at the end, there was a traditional banging of books to symbolize the earthquake after Christ died on the Cross. More details about the ceremony in a follow on post.
I did get a fair amount of video and I hope to upload some of it later today after I get some sleep. The service was almost 2.5 hours long, but it didn't feel that way. Event organizers were a little light on booklets to follow along, but I had my missal which had the service, and a friend had brought her Liber Usualis. Afterwards we DID end up having fish and chips.
I remarked how I'd REALLY like to grab the bunnies who'd watered down the catechism and all of the musical offerings etc. post Vatican II watered and denied us having even the option to experience a lot of Catholic heritage. Those goons didn't even TELL us about it -- and gave us junk like "Kumbaya" and "Michael, Row the Boat Ashore" instead. Well, "Quomodo sedat sola civitas plena populo"* indeed, to "YOU people."
[*I won't be a snob and not translate for those who need it: "How doth the city sit that was full of people...." - which starts the beginning of the lament from the prophet Jeremiah, which was the first lesson read. -- I can think of more than a few "kumbaya" desolate churches. And nice to see the verse I saw first quoted by Charles Ryder in context! The article I linked re: Tenebrae above notes that we know of these readings for the office in the 8th century.]