Sunday, July 27, 2008

Alleluia!

"The Congregation for Divine Worship reports 'no little satisfaction in arriving at this juncture.'" And the feeling is mutual for many of the laity. It has many of the hot button changes that have been sore spots for those who desired a more authentic translation.
Vatican approves new English translation for Mass
* At the Consecration, the priest will refer to Christ's blood which is "poured out for you and for many"-- an accurate translation of pro multis-- rather than "for all" in the current translation.

* In the Nicene Creed the opening word, Credo, will be correctly translated as "I believe" rather than "we believe."

* When the priest says, "The Lord be with you," the faithful respond, "And with your spirit," rather than simply, "And also with you."

* In the preferred form of the penitential rite, the faithful will acknowledge that they have sinned "through my fault, through my fault, through my most grievous fault.
Of course it will still take time for the implementation. But progress is progress.

Monday, July 21, 2008

What I secretly dread about my children growing up

Guess it isn't so secret if I post it on the internet. But as my kids grow-up, here are a few things I dread.

1. Pulling a "pair" of socks out of gym bag, only to discover they aren't really a pair; but rather one of mine and one of my boys. The latter being eerily close to mine in size, but with the distinct discoloration that comes from running in socks through yard.

2. Body odor. Now I sweat a little (or quite a little, depending on who you ask) and have the accompanying aromas. But those are mine. And as any good alpha dog will let you know, there is only room for one of those smells around here.

3. Being a wrestler, I am pretty sure I will be able to hold my own until they are into adulthood, but pretty soon I am going to have to start using my "veteran" wits more than my physical brawn.

4. Food bills. I think I know what store owners feel like during a riot. Turn your back and everything good is gone off the shelves.

5. As they get older, perhaps they will goof off less, but when they do throw each other around, the damage is likely to cost more. For the doctor bills and the home repairs.

Monday, June 02, 2008

From the goodness of their heart

I am sure this comes from the goodness of their communist heart.
Quake causes China to revise one-child policy
The Chengdu Population and Family Planning Committee, located in Sichuan’s capital, said that families affected by the disaster can obtain a certificate to have another child, the Associated Press reports.
Funny how the God-given right-to-life sounds so different when the state is the one handing out the rights. But alas, the government sponsored procreation isn't all warm fuzzies. As Steven W. Mosher of the Population Research Institute, states
"The natural human reaction to losing a child is to have a make-up child as quickly as possible. But this will not be possible for most of the couples who have lost children to the quake, regardless of what the government policy is. Most women of childbearing age have been sterilized, or their spouses have been sterilized. Unless the government begins offering free tubal ligation and vasectomy reversals to these poor people, there will be no more children."

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

And it begins

Now that I am officially an elected official (albeit at the lowest level possible, precinct committeman) we can say it is all downhill from here. Let the corruption, kickbacks and shady deals begin.

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Tightrope

A poem written by my wife back when our son was going through cancer treatment. Brought back as discussion of Sen. Kennedy's tumor reminded me of watching a loved one go through treatment. Hang on, this one isn't for the faint of heart.


Tightrope

The hour is getting late.
Finally I’m relieved.
I get to go home,
And have some time at ease.

A hallway dimly lit.
A mother badly shaken,
Surrounded by a
Closely gathered few,
To help her in her stress…

Her hand starts to shake
As if in hypothermic cold;
She tries to pour a beverage
Over ice,
Gripping for a steady hold.

“I can see something’s the matter;”
I don’t ask her how she is.
“Is your daughter done with treatment soon?”
She whispered, “Yah, we’re done.”
Her words
Like a bombshell hit.

I stood there in a daze.

There is nothing more to do
For her precious little one;
“I can’t imagine how you’re feeling.”
I gave her a short hug.

They wheeled her little girl by
It’s time to pull out the tubes
Take her home
Love her as she dies.

“We are still fighting!”
My inner voice cries.
It gave me a lot to think about
On the road home that night.

This tightrope we’re all walking
At times makes you hold your breath,
As you place one foot in front of the other
And then with pressure
Let it rest.

Keep looking straight ahead,
Never, never, down
Stay focused, very focused.

Why do these children suffer so?
No answers I have yet.
Too many we’ve seen die.
No answers will I get.

Courageous battles fought by two
With never a complaint;
And suffer…
How they suffered,
Their pains made me go faint.

The agony and length of time
They endured their cards so dealt,
Yet always asking and concerned
About how others felt.

If you want to know the secret
Of our strength while on this rope,
Look into our children’s eyes
Just once…
For life with courage
How they fight!
How can we be weak?
When for such little comforts
They come to us,
It’s our eyes and hearts
They search and seek.

Our strength is not from us
When our souls cry out in pain.
They scream and twist with colors vivid,
But you see outward silence
Still remains.

We don’t share the aches
Like lead weighing in our hearts.
It’d be too much to bear,
Too much to think about…

We come to Jesus broken
Lay our burdens at his feet
When times are at their worst
A word we cannot utter
We cannot take another step
Our balance sure to falter
We come to the altar.

He touches us in ways,
Others can hardly imagine.
Giving Him the load is freeing…
More than most will ever imagine.

It doesn’t mean it’s easy
Losing their babies one by one,
But there’s a prayer
A silent hope
That when their battle is done…
They’ll find the peace the Savior grants
He will somehow let them know…
Their baby is loved, safe, and warm
Smiling down from heaven’s glow.

And as for us still walking
The tightrope of our lives,
Lord, grant us strength, faith, & courage
That our child may survive.

Interesting tidbit on money

As a father of a blind son, I can concur that paper money is difficult for him. He has a little braille device just for labeling bills. But he has to know what they are first and that involves asking.

Court says money discriminates against blind people
The U.S. acknowledges that the design hinders blind people but it argued they had adapted _some relied on store clerks for help, some used credit cards and others folded certain corners to help distinguish the bills.

But the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit ruled 2-1 that such adaptations were insufficient. The government might as well argue that, since handicapped people can crawl on all fours or ask for help from strangers, there's no need to make buildings wheelchair accessible, the court said.
As much as I disagree with the over-reaching aspects of the disability act, that second paragraph is on the money (puns always are intended here). For the government (or Federal Reserve which really is a private corporation) to suggest relying on others to be honest to a helpless, in the realm of paper money, individual is rather ironic. Considering the "Always think forfeiture" slogan of the ATF, would one expect even a government agency to follow that childish advice?

And considering how often the money has been revamped lately, their "undue burden" claim should fall on deaf ears.

Monday, May 19, 2008

Both ways

The question for Obama, does it work both ways? As Obama tells Tenn.'s GOP: 'Lay off my wife', will he pull her off the campaign stumps? Yeah, it is sort of weak going after the spouse of the candidate, but if she is out there campaigning, why can't she be held accountable for it? When she speaks well, is the press and Democrats going to "lay off" those comments?

Yeah it sounds noble to defend his wife's honor, but perhaps she shouldn't be out there on the front lines.

Sunday, May 18, 2008

Answers to questions nobody thought to ask

It's one of those things that having kids brings up. I now know why God didn't give mammary glands to the male sex.

Picture 5 boys talking about having milk producing glands. Now combine that with the concept of a farmer squirting milk into the mouth of a waiting cat. Stir with imagination, and that was our supper conversation.

Thank God for his wisdom in creating us.

Friday, May 16, 2008

Desiring holiness

No really. I do desire to be holy. This can only help.

Catholics like sex. Go ahead and read it. It is clean. And very good. Just one more reason to like my wife. Thanks IC.

All your aliens are belong to ... God?

A bit behind the curve on this story, but as one Catholic middle school teacher said, how cool is it to be Catholic? He said he was gonna stir the pot and talk aliens in class that day.Vatican: It's OK to believe in aliens - Yahoo! News
VATICAN CITY - Believing that the universe may contain alien life does not contradict a faith in God, the Vatican's chief astronomer said in an interview published Tuesday.
...

In the interview by the Vatican newspaper L'Osservatore Romano, Funes said that such a notion "doesn't contradict our faith" because aliens would still be God's creatures. Ruling out the existence of aliens would be like "putting limits" on God's creative freedom, he said.

Thursday, May 15, 2008

Leaves in the wind

So is the faith of many scattered about when a modest breeze scatters them.

Autumn Kelly's cavalier conversion
article
The usual manner of leaving the Catholic Church is to drift away, without making any public pronouncement of it.

So it is noteworthy when it happens, and more so if one does it in order to conform with the constitution of Canada.
As Fr. de Souza aptly points out, why even bother if one's faith means so little.

Sunday, May 11, 2008

Affirmation

For those veterans of the liturgy wars, y'all might enjoy Maureen Martin's latest at Stuff Catholics Like
Laypeople like affirmation

Eloquence

Right down to the last line. Here is an excerpt on what the Democrats don't understand about the small town "fly over" country. (I might add, most Republicans have forgotten this also.)
From thestironline.com
You’re wrong about why small-town Americans don’t vote for Democrats.

We don’t vote for Democrats because we’re self-reliant so we don’t like the government trying to “solve” everything for us. And because you tell your rich friends in San Francisco that we’re dumb. And because, each election, whichever one of you is running for president traipses all over the country telling us you have all the answers, that you’re the one on our side, that you respect our way of life. But each time, a little bit here and there slips out — and by the end of the campaign, we can tell what you think about us. And we manage to learn who you really are.

Go ahead, read the whole thing.

Wednesday, May 07, 2008

Followup story

A follow up story on my little Benedict. A just heard this from my wife and didn't witness it, but ya gotta love cute kid stories.

He managed to grab a hot cocoa package at coffee and donuts after Mass. Father was there and playfully asked him, "who said you can have that?" Being 3, he was taken aback until Father relented and told him it was okay. So when he gets to the table, mom asks him the same question, "who said you can have that?" His sheepish reply, "God did."

Saturday, May 03, 2008

33 Benedicts

I can't find the article on their website, but we made the print version of the National Catholic Register. By we, of course I mean our son Benedict got his picture along with 31 other little boys and Pope Benedict XVI. It is on the front page of the Culture of Life section.

Sweet!

Friday, May 02, 2008

Improving the neighborhood

Based on my (limited) knowledge of the differences of these two bishops, I would say the Archdiocese of St. Paul and Minneapolis should get ready for some positive changes.

Pope Benedict accepts resignation of St. Paul and Minneapolis archbishop
Minneapolis, May 2, 2008 / 11:03 am (CNA).- Today the Holy Father accepted the resignation of Archbishop Harry J. Flynn from the Archdiocese of St. Paul and Minneapolis in Minnesota. He will be succeeded by Archbishop John C. Neinstedt.

Thursday, May 01, 2008

Saints among us

Some interesting photos I took at the Falls Park in Post Falls, Idaho. Above is the coat of arms from Herborn Germany. Herborn was the birthplace of Post Falls founder, Frederick Post.

Notice St. Peter with the keys in the center.

Who knew this little town in Idaho had Catholic ties from the beginning?

Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Best interest

In reality, it comes down to who has the best of the child at heart. As a general rule, I would say the parents given their investment. One can always find the exceptions to the rule, there will always be abuse and poor parenting, but I would wonder about the ratio of adequate vs bad parents compared to the foster care system.

My wager is those with more invested come out on top.

I love this quote from former Supreme Court Chief Justice Warren Burger as highlighted on ParentalRights.org

The law’s concept of the family rests on a presumption that parents possess what a child lacks in maturity, experience, and capacity for judgment required for making life’s difficult decisions. More important, historically it has recognized that natural bonds of affection lead parents to act in the best interests of their children.

The statist notion that governmental power should supersede parental authority in all cases because some parents abuse and neglect children is repugnant to American tradition.

Show me a government program that is efficient, effective and under-budget. Then we can talk about the government's role in raising children.

But the government intervention isn't always about the best interest of the child, but more often in the best interest of the state.

Tuesday, April 29, 2008

I'm still voting

For Ron Paul.















looks like this came from deesillustrations.com.

Saturday, April 26, 2008

A standard

Kevin O'Brien of the Plain Dealer marvels that we have apparently found a standard, below which we will not stoop to allow.
Finally, we have a broad consensus that somewhere, someone's "lifestyle" has gone too far.
...
We've picked a battle. Praise be.
He speaks of the almost unanimous outrage regarding the Yearning for Zion's abuse of the young girls. In our culture of sexual liberation and deviancy, they, the leaders of this cult, have gone too far. We won't accept the indoctrination, brainwashing and abuse of these young girls.

But Kevin wonders if it isn't a bit hypocritical?
But how is it that so many of us fail to see - or choose to ignore - the same things befalling young girls everywhere?

Long before they're 18, the prevalent culture in America's cities steers black girls into lives of single motherhood and serial relationships with men who aren't interested even in "spiritual" wives.

Mom took that route. So did Grandma. No stigma. No outrage. It's just how life works.

Or how about girls in idyllic, white, small-town America? The prevalent culture rushes them through childhood, has them dressing provocatively at 12 and involved in "serious relationships" and/or casual hook-ups with potentially life-altering consequences before they're 16.

That's what the appealing young people on MTV do. That's how the popular girls play it.
...
Polygamy or older men marrying young girls? Either may seem weird or downright distasteful to us, but aren't those just different kinds of marriage? If we declare the whole one-man, one-woman thing obsolete, how can we then draw artificial lines by age, sex or number of partners? Besides, who are we to doubt the capacity of two (or more) people to love one another enough to make a marriage work?

Young kids having sex? Aw, they're all doing it. Right? Can't stop 'em. Just issue the girls condoms, explain the plumbing and invite them to make "wise choices." Isn't that how we "empower" girls who don't live in cults?
I think he hits on something here. Given his points about how the media, Hollywood or whatever cultural bogyman we fear treats young girls, why cry foul here? The proverbial slippery slope, Kevin is happy to see something has finally elicited people to dig in their heels and "No, we don't allow that here."

He is right, we, and I emphasize 'we', need to say that more often. It isn't the job of the media or Hollywood to raise our daughters; to say 'NO' once in a while. It is the job of the parents, especially the fathers.

I don't believe the outrage of the media regarding the abuse of these girls. They are just angry that it was not the approved method of indoctrination and sexification of these children. If the polygamist leaders would have been handing out condoms and telling the boys to "be boys" and score as many girls as they could, the silence would have been deafening. If the girls were instructed to "make their own choices" and sleep with whom they wanted, no cry would have been raised. But since this wasn't the "approved method", and it makes news, the media has been all over it.

But the media doesn't control the destiny of our children. Hollywood only has the influence that we give it. But have we already lost that battle? Do we fathers even know there is a battle going on?

Were does our attention turn when Brittany, Paris or the latest pantiless young girl is paraded across the news? What is being spewed from the TVs in our living rooms, the magazine on the coffee tables or the computer in the den? Do we think our daughters are so naive not to notice what gets our attention? Where do girls learn the basics for relationship? From the actions of the fathers. So we can lament the state of the world all day long, but undue those eloquent words with a few simple actions that speak otherwise.

Thursday, April 24, 2008

Quick Q&A

Stopped at the grocery store and one of the boys noticed an ambulance in the parking lot. He asked what would an ambulance be doing at a grocery store?

We got our quick answer. As we were entering the store two male EMTs were leaving. So the answer to the question: What is an ambulance doing at the store? Why, picking up BBQ sauce of course.

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Doing my part

In honor of Earth Day, I did my part. I drove my SUV out into the forest and idled for a while, providing the trees with a little extra CO2. Just my way of saying happy earth day without worshiping it.

Leadership

Leadership: The hard way

Local product, Alaskan governor Sarah Palin just gave birth to her fifth child. Try that while running a state. But the beautiful part, the baby has Down syndrome. Having disabilities isn't beautiful, but the love with which he was welcomed is.

The Palin family issued a statement that read: "Trig is beautiful and already adored by us. We knew through early testing he would face special challenges, and we feel privileged that God would entrust us with this gift and allow us unspeakable joy as he entered our lives.

"We have faith that every baby is created for good purpose and has potential to make this world a better place. We are truly blessed."

Plain and simple, they get it. Children are a blessing, special needs or not.
In a letter she e-mailed to relatives and close friends Friday after giving birth, Palin wrote, "Many people will express sympathy, but you don't want or need that, because Trig will be a joy. You will have to trust me on this." She wrote it in the voice of and signed it as "Trig's Creator, Your Heavenly Father."

"Children are the most precious and promising ingredient in this mixed-up world you live in down there on Earth. Trig is no different, except he has one extra chromosome," Palin wrote.

As for people who think a baby like Trig shouldn't even be born, look around, the governor wrote. Who is perfect or even normal?

God bless this family as they give silent witness to the joy of life in our sorry mixed up world.

Monday, April 21, 2008

Weather news

The only real bad thing about north Idaho getting snow and freezing temperatures on the 21st of April is that the U-Hauls are out of one way rentals back to California.

Sunday, April 20, 2008

Rest in peace

Please pray for the repose of the soul of my wife's grandmother Mildred. She suffered a massive stroke a week ago and passed away yesterday around 4 pm. She was 98 and lived a very holy and faith filled life.

And I don't say that lightly, or without meaning. She bore 16 children and outlived way too many of them. Catholic until the end, even though she was not responsive when they got her to the hospital, she wouldn't let go of her rosary or holy medal.

The good news in this sadness. My wife was able to return to North Dakota in time to see her and pray with her. Grandma recovered to the point of being aware who was there and able to look at them. She also got to see our 4 month old daughter for the first time, our daughter who bears grandma's middle name Victoria.

So remember Mildred Victoria in your prayers and also my wife's family who have lost a two in the last 8 months or so, a maternal grandfather last fall and now the end of the generation on the paternal side.

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

Strange happenings

Last evening is sort of fuzzy, and now I know why. Seems I got a good slap upside the head (courtesy of the Ironic Catholic) in anticipation of the Pope's arrival.

So if I start acting a little strange... uh check that. If you see any behavior not normal typical for me, just know whose fault it is.

Obscure Papal Trivia *redux*

Thought I would trot out this item in honor of our Holy Father's visit.

Some little known facts about our Holy Father's likes and dislikes:

Favorite programming language: C. Not C++. Just C. There is no need for pluses when you sit on the Holy C. There is none higher on earth and the throne in Heaven transcends programming.

Truck manufacturer: Peterbilt of course! Not quite as durable as the Church that Jesus built, but coming in a close second.

Season: Winter. One might consider springtime, but remember red looks good in heavy garments. And since the Holy Father usually has several layers on, summertime is definitely out.

Operating System UNIX. Some would argue Mac, but there is always that ancient problem with apples. LINUX is more Protestant in its recent creation and frequent spin-offs. Plus it has no visible head, everyone can make up their own rules. So why UNIX? Because Jesus said there are those that become so for the sake of the Kingdom.

Monday, April 14, 2008

Needing support

My daughter and I have determined there is a great need, a need all good Christians in the Ivory Coast should fill. There is a need for a support group in the country, specifically at the Kuwait embassy in Abidjan Cote d'Ivoire. Not sure if that is in the Ivory Coast or Kuwait, but where ever it is, please help these poor people.

Seems there are lots of widows there that are suffering immense tragedy. Yes, they are rich, having several million US Dollars in the bank there, but what good is money when such tragedy hits a family? It seems that a support group for these widows would be well worth the effort. They all have recently lost their husbands to a brief illness. They don't have the support of family as they are recent converts to the Christian faith (evident by their liberal use of the Bible verses).

Not only have they lost their beloved spouse, but all are suffering from cancer and stroke sickness (?) that has them not lasting "for the next eight months". And in the face of such trauma, I applaud their fortitude and courage to "not to remarry or get a child outside my matrimonial home". As of course, that sort of behavior goes against the teachings of the Bible. Not sure about the remarriage, but getting children outside the matrimonial home is for sure.

The good news is these women have all found God, and for a modest sum promise to donate their millions of US Dollars to a charity of your choice.

One would think with them all being from the Kuwait embassy in the Ivory Coast, they might have already shared stories, but I think this is not the case. At least I haven't received an email from their support group yet!

Thursday, April 10, 2008

A sucker

I am a sucker for tweaking the looney environmentalists. Cross that with proclaiming the gift of children, and we have a winner here from Promo Presto




















Those "carbon footprints" are going to be funding your social security.

And since plants need CO2, we can look at it as "Saving the rain forests, one breath at a time."

via Creative Minority Report

Wednesday, April 09, 2008

We can agree on one thing

Seems American's can agree on one thing, Bible is America's favorite book:
"Finally, they may not agree on candidates, but one thing that brings together partisans is their favorite book. For Republicans, Democrats and Independents, the top two books are the same -- the Bible followed by "Gone With the Wind."

The second place book wasn't as firm as the Bible, as different segments of society varied more widely.
"Gone With the Wind" was number two in the southern and midwestern United States while easterners chose "The Lord of the Rings" and westerners opted for "The Stand".
Men also preferred the LOTR over the romantic "Gone with the Wind" chosen by women. I find the regional breakdown more fascinating. The romantic south, independent west and the good taste of the midwestern. Not sure how the easterners came up with the best #2, but hey, even a broken clock is right twice a day.

Thursday, April 03, 2008

No good deed

goes unpunished, as the saying goes. Red Cross refuses blood donations from homosexuals, Thai human rights group threatens lawsuit

I have donated blood, that is one of the questions they ask. But the question is, does Red Cross or the blood banks have a right to screen their applicants? Funny how on critical issues such as blood supply, this "discrimination" has yet to come up. Until now.

Wednesday, April 02, 2008

Signs, signs, everywhere the signs

Signs are good. They point us to our destination. In Christian typology, signs point us toward the greater good. So why, to continue robbing from the Tesla song, would I find they are "clogging up the scenery, cluttering up my mind"?

Well it is simple really, signs point to a greater good. They are not the good, they just help us find it. So if the sign holders get disordered, they can actually cloud the view of the destination. Imagine so many signs along the roadway that you miss the exit. Okay, enough analogies, how does this apply to us.

The ultimate good in the eyes of a Christian is Christ. Being connected with Him, having a relationship, knowing and loving Him. For Catholics, the ultimate connection with Jesus is receiving Him; Body, Blood, Soul and Divinity in the Eucharist. All Sacraments point towards this ultimate Sacrament. The priesthood was given so Jesus could continue offering Himself to us at every Mass. Confession washes in the blood of the Lamb and reminds us that we are indeed forgiven, reorders our lives to better receive Him in the Eucharist.

The Eucharist is the ultimate good, the most Awesome connection we have to Jesus on this earth. Many signs point to this. Marriage is a prominent sign or type of the Eucharist. Type being something that prefigures or points to the Anti-Type. Adam, Moses and Elijah were all types of Jesus, Jesus being the Anti-Type. Eve was an type of Mary. The union of marriage points to heaven, our ultimate union with God. Without going to heavily into Pope John Paul's Theology of the Body, our earthly marriages should point to the marriage supper of the Lamb.

A quote I am going to work in here by Fr. Euteneuer of HLI, "The marriage bed is the altar of the domestic church." God intended our marriages to bring life to others, to bring love to the world. A good marriage requires sacrifice. "Husbands, love your wives, as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her." Ephesians 5:25. That is the basis for the e5 Men.

So marriage is a sign pointing to the Eucharist, to Christ's love for all humanity. Where does the clutter enter? Many of us have a passion for liturgy, we do our best to right the wrong and pray when we can't. But abuses can happen from any angle. It is an abuse when the Rainbow Sash people try to make Pentecost about themselves. It is also an abuse when the Marriage Encounter people twist the sign to point to themselves.

Perhaps you are not familiar with the practice of the husband and wife receiving Communion together. It seems to be gaining ground in our parish and it needs to stop. The husband and wife walk side by side to receive the Eucharist and wait for each other. Then when receiving the Blood of Christ, the wife takes the Cup first, and then hands it to her husband as a sign of their unity and love.

What could be wrong with standing up for good marriages, you ask? When you are in the presence of God Almighty, the signs shouldn't get in the way.

Think about it. We are at Mass to worship God. Any demonstration that draws attention away from God probably shouldn't be there. What is greater, the sign or the destination? The creature or the Creator?

***Update***
Thanks to Frival in the comments for correcting me on the Type/Anti-Type reversal. It is fixed in the article now. And for those dealing with this, feel free to use the article to help your case if you act on this.

Tuesday, April 01, 2008

Fun for a day

April 1st is a day to enjoy. Thanks to the INSERT COIN trick, my printers have been talking back today.

Best result so far, NEED ICE CREAM

Until I pulled this one out late in the day.

Monday, March 31, 2008

Silver linings

Yeah, more people treating their dogs like kids. The good news in this, when a pet gets spoiled and acts out, the animal can be put down. So the majority of these people aren't screwing up kids (that they would have named Apple Orchard or Cinna Bond.New Names for Dogs Miss the 'Spot' - AOL News
Spot is out and Max is in. In fact, in a recent survey of the 10 most popular dog names in the nation, names more fit for humans are finding favor over more traditional dog names like Buddy and Buster.
Money quote here,
"It's an interesting contrast that, in a country where there's still child neglect and child abuse, people are spending so much time and effort on dogs," says psychologist and author Eleanora Woloy.
Yes that family down the street can't afford heat this winter, but Sir Max (the rottenwieler) needed ACL surgery.

The silver lining for these folk, the dog probably won't be in charge of their nursing home care and won't withhold food and water just so the Will gets implemented earlier.

Thursday, March 27, 2008

Follow up on deaf priests

Looks like we have an answer to the question about the ability of a deaf man becoming a priest.
(CNA).- A Cuban priest who works on the Spanish island of Tenerife has been named an honorary Prelate by Pope Benedict XVI. Father Saturnino Agustin Yanes Valer is 80 and is deaf.

Msgr. Yanes, as he is now referred to in his diocese, received the honorary title after 50 years of pastoral service to the deaf in Spain.

One of his most recent projects is the blog http://www.pastoraldelsordo.blogspot.com, which offers the readings of the Mass in simple language and a Sunday homily in sign language.

Msgr. Yanes was born in Havana, Cuba on February 26, 1929. His parents, natives of Spain, returned to Tenerife when he was only seven months old. At the age of five he was diagnosed with an illness that left him deaf.

He has several brothers who are also priests.
Source
I would say getting an honorary promotion by the Pope would be a sign there isn't a problem with it.

Funny, but not really

Found this bit of irony, well, ironic.
Easter is an annual festival observed throughout the Christian world. The date for Easter shifts every year within the Gregorian Calendar. The Gregorian Calendar is the standard international calendar for civil use. In addition, it regulates the ceremonial cycle of the Roman Catholic and Protestant churches. The current Gregorian ecclesiastical rules that determine the date of Easter trace back to 325 CE at the First Council of Nicaea convened by the Roman Emperor Constantine.
source
Using the new "all things free of Christianity" notation of Common Era rather than AD to discuss the date of Easter.

And yes, I am back. After a break for Holy Week and some serious home renovation lasting into the wee hours of the night, I hope to have time for a couple bigger articles I have been wanting to write for some time.

Just a teaser for those who dig this stuff, one will be "Is the sign greater than the destiny it points to?" This will point out the foolishness of the wrong practice of receiving the Eucharist as a couple, especially the Blood of Christ where the wife passes the cup to her husband, typically promoted by the Marriage Encounter couples.

Sunday, March 16, 2008

Horton hears a what?

A who, of course. Took the kids to see the "Horton hears a who" movie tonight. They all throughly enjoyed it. A positive 12 thumbs up from the 6 kids who went.

Funny thing, this is the first time I have seen or read Horton. Never read the book myself or to my kids. It definitely had that pro-life theme that I have heard about.

I guess the only bad thing I can report about the movie (other than one little snide comment at the expense of homeschooling) was the sour kangaroo and her speech at the end when she rallies the "people" of the jungle to seek out Horton and destroy the speck. What was wrong with it?

The sour kangaroo and her diatribe reminded me of Hillary Clinton. "For the children" they scream as they try to crush the innocent. Disturbing. Perhaps fitting. If only Hillary would be offered a cookie.

Define: Unblogged

I would suspect the definition is somewhere close to "grow in holiness". I too will join the IC for the Love of God.
The Ironic Catholic: Holy Week Unplugged, I Mean, Unblogged

Friday, March 14, 2008

Let em

If they can't figure out how silly they look, then let em, Rainbow Sash Movement Plots Papal Protest
March 11, 2008 (LifeSiteNews.com) - The Rainbow Sash Movement, a homosexual activist group, announced their plans to protest Pope Benedict XVI's opposition to homosexual behavior during his April visit to the United States.

The RSM plans to throw ashes at the Pope, because "ashes are an ancient and appropriate greeting for a sinner who has caused the Church so much division and pain," stated the movement.

Yes, ashes are ancient and appropriate for sinners. That is why Jesus went around tying sinners up in sack cloth and dumped ashes all over them.

But I wouldn't worry too much, if they can't figure out how hypocritical that statement is, they probably will try throwing ashes from down-wind.

The worst kind

These are the worst kind, And no, I am not talking about the quality of donuts, although I have eaten some bad ones. Adam's Ale breaks down some Modern heresies via the Curt Jester For example;

DONUTISM – (Not to be confused with old heresy known as Donatism) Donutism is the propensity for some Catholics to leave their parish and join a denomination based on the quality of the donuts and coffee that that is served before, after, and during Sunday services.

Now, I have been known to practice the secular workplace Donutism and find significant workload in the departments with better donuts. But never does that transfer into the religious Donutism. In fact, our parish weeds out the Donutists during Lent by removing them and offering pretzels instead. Helps the parishioners to stay through the closing hymn also. And now my offerings.

 

Pelagasusism: An offshoot of the more well known Pelagianism, where "believers" believe in their ability to save themselves through their own merit, namely reading popular fantasy novels.  The ability to see Harry Potter* as a Christ-figure and develop a world-view based on the latest best seller, spending inordinate amounts of time at book release parties, seclusion from the world while reading the latest release and playing made up fantasy games identify these devotees.

*no, I am not opening that debate.  Just a bit of humor

 

Blogarists: Typically faithful Catholics that are led astray by the Wicked World Web.  Starting out as a simple outlet for frustration or venue to discuss the liturgy can soon turn into the full blown heresy of Blogarism.  These fanatics tend to shrink every homily into a blog-sized bite of catchy wisdom, or worse an unending gossip session about the priest, bishop or choir.  Blinded by the thought that they are "helping", these are the most difficult to bring back to the fold.

 

Spearianites: Normally affects the younger generations and is typified by non-stop obsession with the most recent pop-stars, especially as the pop-star tends to head down the tragic spiral of media obsession and drug-use.  Devotees gather wherever there is a TV set tune to a "news" channel.  Large congregations can be found in airport terminals.

Perhaps he can help

Perhaps he can help reverse the low attendance numbers in Minnesota. Pope visiting Minnesota
No, not that pope. Derrick Pope, a LB who played for the Miami Dolphins. According to Scout.com, Pope is visiting with the team through Thursday. Vikings VP Rick Spielman drafted Pope in the seventh round, in Miami in 2004. Pope started in place of Zach Thomas nine games last season.

He finished the season with 64 tackles, intercepted two passes and recovered a fumble. In addition, Pope is also a good special teams player.
Oh, you were expecting the Other Pope. No, he could probably help out the Church in Minnesota, but I doubt he has much influence on the Norsemen.

P.S., he signed today too. Another reason to cheer for the Vikings. "Honey, what are you doing?" "Not much, just watching the Pope on TV."

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

Relief?

Could it be? The Oil Bubble About to Pop? via Jimmy Akin Another chunk of our life being controlled by the bankers, brokers and gamblers. I agree with my dad more and more every day. He despised speculating on futures. What they were buying wasn't real according to him, and whats more, it creates terrible effects on the lives of the people buying the real item.

I would love to see oil futures take a dive. It won't just remove the pain at the pump, but groceries and many other commodities depend on the trucking industry. With diesel near $4 a gallon, anything that has to be trucked is affected.

Tuesday, March 11, 2008

Stop right there

Don't need to see anymore. McCain should absolutely not receive the conservative vote. McCain scolds Obama, Clinton over NAFTA.
Sen. John McCain said Tuesday that proposals by Democrats Barack Obama and Hillary Rodham Clinton to use pressure tactics to renegotiate the North American Free Trade Agreement could undermine U.S. trade relationships with other nations.
Umm, what relationships? Oh, did he mean the hostile take-over bid relationships?
If that threat is made, McCain asked, "What are the other countries in the world going to think about the agreements we've negotiated with them?"
They might be stunned that the U.S. was veering off its suicide course. Of course Clinton and Obama aren't really thinking about reversing NAFTA, but merely catering to Big Labor in the heartland.
Clinton said her plan includes "telling Canada and Mexico that we will opt out unless we renegotiate the core labor and environmental standards." Obama agreed: "We should use the hammer of a potential opt-out as leverage to ensure that we actually get labor and environmental standards that are enforced."
See, the former president Clinton worked hand in hand with McCain to get NAFTA passed. Both parties support destroying our nation, it is just a difference in the language they use based on whose votes they are buying.

Pot, Kettle, Kettle, Pot

Seems this woman has forgotten her place. (kidding of course, but you get the point.) Ferraro? Who the %&^ is she?
Ferraro told the Daily Breeze of Torrance, Calif.: "If Obama was a white man, he would not be in this position. And if he was a woman (of any color) he would not be in this position. He happens to be very lucky to be who he is. And the country is caught up in the concept."
Funny how those who play the minority trump card end up whining about it later. Of course Ms. Ferraro supports Hillary, she is a woman. And that makes Hillary absolutely qualified in her eyes.

Funny how the uber-tolerant turn out to be the most racist of them all.

Monday, March 10, 2008

forests and trees

To paraphrase the old adage about forests and trees, they can't see the point because of the agenda. The article (via Ironic Catholic) does hit on some points, but makes sure there is a definite green slant.

Take for instance,
In recent months, Pope Benedict has made several strong appeals for the protection of the environment, saying issues such as climate change had become gravely important for the entire human race.

Under Benedict and his predecessor John Paul, the Vatican has become progressively "green."

It has installed photovoltaic cells on buildings to produce electricity and hosted a scientific conference to discuss the ramifications of global warming and climate change, widely blamed on human use of fossil fuels.
Read that last line, it makes it look like the Pope is blaming fossil fuels.

The article does at least give credence to the main subject of the "new sins".
Asked what he believed were today's "new sins," he told the Vatican newspaper L'Osservatore Romano that the greatest danger zone for the modern soul was the largely uncharted world of bioethics.

"(Within bioethics) there are areas where we absolutely must denounce some violations of the fundamental rights of human nature through experiments and genetic manipulation whose outcome is difficult to predict and control," he said.

The Vatican opposes stem cell research that involves destruction of embryos and has warned against the prospect of human cloning.

I love the last line in regards to Catholics no longer attending confession.
20 percent felt uncomfortable talking about their sins to another person.
Well duh, that is called guilt and a good part of the reason Jesus setup the Sacrament in the first place. Human nature would rather not talk about sin, repress it and never deal with the guilt it causes. Then after years of this, we pay a therapist to assuage this guild and reaffirm that we are a "good person."

Phil at CWN has a good summary of the media missteps.

Saturday, March 08, 2008

Succinct

Some brilliant work by Paul at Alive and Young. Campaign Summary
McCain: I was a prisoner of war, served in the military for 20 years, I'm a politician, vote for me.

Obama: I'm cool, I'm hip, I can speak well, I'm a politician, Change, I'm black, Vote for me.

Clinton: My husband was president, I'm a hero for staying with my husband even though he repeatedly cheated on me, I'll cry if I don't get my way, I have a calculated response to everything that makes me seem like a robot, I'm a politician, I'm a woman, Vote for me.
I think they should publish these as voter guides and donate the rest of the campaign money to charity. Oh and perhaps add this line at the end of each, "And I will continue the ruin of this country."

Friday, March 07, 2008

My blog

If I spoke like I was from North Idaho. via The Dialectizer

All your offspring are belong to us *update*

To borrow from the old Japenese gaming phrase Looks like those without are looking to raise the children they weren't willing to have. Call me cynical, but overcrowded public schools overrun by the children of illegal aliens just doesn't strike me as in the "best interests" of the child either. The Credentialed teachers there spend most of their time trying to maintain control, enforce discipline and in between silent day for homosexuality, possibly teach a little.

The story in the LA Times.
**UPDATE**
Looks like there is some debate whether this is what the Times sez it is.
** thanks for the tip Jeff **

Tim Jones reacts.
A California state appellate court judge has said "Parents do not have a constitutional right to home school their children.".

We don't need it, you idiot. We have a natural right to home school our children. We hold this truth to be self-evident. the Constitution, and specifically the Bill of Rights is not anything like an exhaustive list of the rights of individuals, but is meant as a modest hedge against oppressive government encroachment like the nonsense you are trying to pull. You can't expect the founding fathers to list everything that people have a right to do.
Matthew at CMR wonders about the future of homeschooling.

Me? I say brace yourself Idaho for the onslaught of Californian emigrants. And I agree with Tim Jones, we don't need a constitutional right. If the government gave us these rights, they could take them away. But God bestows children, not the state.

If only

Ha! If only it were true. The Pope Is Out to Get the Yankees
Turns out Pope Benedict XVI is coming to Yankee Stadium to say a mass on April 20th, which required that weekend's series with the Orioles to be flipped from New York to Baltimore. Since schedules are apparently incredibly delicate things, MLB didn't flip any other series to accommodate the Yanks. The result is a schedule that requires them to be in Tampa on the 15th, New York in the 16th, and Baltimore on the 18th. That's a bad week.

So the Pope is messing with their schedule, the Red Sox have won two World Series in the past four years, and Hank Steinbrenner is in charge. There's only one conclusion to draw from this whole scenario, really. God hates the Yankees.
Of course even if the Pope were to dislike the Yankees (a reasonable proposition) it wouldn't rise to the level of infallibility. It may seem to deal with faith as some sports fans have a religious devotion to their team, but no, this is a different type of faith.

Thursday, March 06, 2008

Just a few more...

Cool news here. Seems Alaska Governor Palin is Expecting Fifth Child Not only are we talking a large family in the spotlight, it is positive press rather than the typical "look at those nutcases" fare. But even better, this has a local connection, graduating from the U of Idaho.
JUNEAU, Alaska (AP) — Gov. Sarah Palin and her husband are expecting their fifth child in May, she announced Wednesday.
Congrats and good for her.

Vending machine logic

I know we aren't in a recession. Many important, powerful people have told us that much.

But some still persist in their insistence. Take the vending machine guy. A notice posted on our machines at work tell us the cost of food has risen 5.5 percent. I know that isn't inflation, cuz that would mean a recession and we aren't having one of those, you know.

But the cost of food is going up fast, according to the guy whose job it is to KNOW this information. But we aren't in a recession according to the guy who is supposed to TELL us this information.

All I know at this point, I am likely going to be spending my "economic stimulus" payment on a "carbohydrates and protein" package.

On kids, homework and nation building

The history lessons from our homeschooling curriculum prompted quite a discussion this week.  One of the benefits of homeschooling is the ability to digress into a topic that the kids find fascinating.  Such was the case this week.   

Discussing the constitution and the founding of America led into the subject of nation building.  The boys were adamant that we should depose every dictator and right every wrong.  In their minds, they had trouble grasping what could go wrong with that plan.  Wouldn't everyone be happy being free like we are?

Reminds me of those in charge of our great nation at the present.  What could go wrong?  We deposed an evil dictator didn't we?  They will welcome us with open arms.

Talking with a co-worker in the lunchroom, I surmised that is exactly the case.  Our nation building ideals are juvenile in thought.  Idealistic, but not based in experience.  How many dictators must we depose, how many Shahs must we prop up, how many civil wars must we create before we learn the lesson?  Freedom can not be imposed.  It must be earned, even won; paid for in blood. 

My co-worker related it to trying to give one's children happiness and prosperity.  How many children are given everything only to squander it.  Just as Jesus can't make us love Him, so we too must learn the path to happiness... freedom... prosperity.  To think otherwise would be, well, childish.

Swords and the spirit of ceremony

Well, well. I am not sure I would want anyone with this mentality to be carrying a sword anyway. The Sikhs bear their disapointment and unsheath a press release. via Patrick at CMR
WASHINGTON (AP) — Sikh representatives will not participate in an interfaith meeting with Pope Benedict XVI during his U.S. visit next month because the Secret Service won't allow them to wear a ceremonial dagger that members of the Eastern religion must carry.

Sikhs had been invited to join other religious leaders for a 45-minute meeting with Benedict on April 17 in Washington to express a shared commitment to peace. But the Secret Service would not allow the Sikhs to carry a kirpaan, which resembles a small sword or dagger.

The kirpaan "represents the Sikh commitment to resist oppression and injustice" and is to be carried "only in a defensive posture and never to initiate confrontation," according to the World Sikh Council-America Region.

"We have to respect the sanctity of the kirpaan, especially in such interreligious gatherings," Anahat Kaur, secretary general of the Sikh Council, said in a statement. "We cannot undermine the rights and freedoms of religion in the name of security." [emphasis added
I am for the right to bear arms, but any sane person can recognize the need to check your weapons at the door for an important meeting. Even the wild and wooly west followed this rule.

But this is about a sword of another type. We went to a neighboring parish last week and at the end of Mass, the priest was presented with his honorary lifetime membership by the Knights of Columbus. (I think all priests are honorary members of the Knights.) After the presentation, the priest monologued about the honor that this was, how he always wanted to wear the cape and sword. But alas, priests are restricted from carrying weapons.

Then he went on about how his grandfather (I think) was a 33rd degree Mason and how he now had the sword. And if hearing this story about Masons and swords wasn't bad enough, he finished his monologue off with the comment that the Masons and Knights were practically the same except for the patch on the shoulder and the cape.

A man can stomach many offenses and often the Mass today is an occasion for gritting one's teeth and carrying on through the chicanery. But for a priest to equate the fidelity of the Knights with the subversion of the Masons... well let say it still is a sore spot five days later. Hopefully the knights are up to defending their honor.

Wednesday, March 05, 2008

Good bishops

I love reading about good bishops. This one gets an A+ for focusing on what's important (the Eucharist), and for having the guts to speak up. I also agree on the tongue versus hand stance. Bishop Athanasius Schneider addresses Communion
“Therefore, here is not a question of some 'right,' but here is a question of-- we are dealing with the Lord Himself, and therefore we cannot be silent, especially I as bishop, and say 'OK, it's all OK.' It's not all OK. When we love our Lord, we have to strengthen this moment in order that it become more sacred in order to educate the exterior sign of adoration, which is also an education of faith."

He referred to the common formal gestures used to greet a president, a king, or a queen, saying comparable respect for the King of Kings was necessary.

"It is not a question of ritualism,” he said, “but a question of faith and love for Our Lord, Jesus Christ."
"It's not all OK." I love that line.

Tuesday, March 04, 2008

Awaiting the fun

This should be fun.
Galileo statue to be placed on Vatican grounds
I can only imagine the consternation of the "religion" reporters as their computer's crash when they try to merge the "Catholics and Science" and the "Worship Statues" templates.
Vatican, Mar. 4, 2008 (CWNews.com) - A statue of Galileo will be placed in the Vatican gardens, outside the apartment where the astronomer was lodged while he awaiting trial on heresy charges in 1633.

The placement of the statue, underwritten by private donors, is intended as a tribute from the Pontifical Academy of Sciences. Nicla Cabibbo, the president of the Academy, explained: "The Church wants to close the the Galileo affair and reach a definitive understanding not only of his great legacy but also of the relationship between science and faith."
Perhaps the mangled mess following the merging of those two templates will actually be coherent. Imagine alternating words from each. "The Vatican condemns worshiping science or placing statues above reason, Galileo assents to teaching of Church."

Join in the fun, give me your best headline for the confusion this is going to cause.

Monday, March 03, 2008

no-landing zone

It was an impressive recover as Pilot Averts Possible Plane Crash. The question might be, why try to land if there are 155 mph wind gusts.

Watch the video as he comes in at about a 30 degree angle to the runway. Think any prayers were said in that landing attempt?

Friday, February 29, 2008

Good news on the vaccine front

For those following the tainted vaccine issues, here is some great news from Children of God for Life.

Biotech Firm To Provide Ethical Alternatives to Aborted Fetal Vaccines

(Seattle) In a victory for pro-life families around the world, AVM Biotechnology LLC (AVM Biotech) today announced their decision to provide ethical alternatives in the fields of biotechnology, pharmaceuticals, and vaccine development.

Dr Theresa Deisher, AVM Biotech Research and Development Director and founder stated, “We will be working to bring commercially available, morally acceptable, vaccines to the US market and to use existing technology to produce new morally certified vaccines. Revenues from the vaccine business will also further the research, development and commercialization of morally certified therapeutics in other areas of medicine as well.”

The announcement was an answer to years of hard work and prayers for Children of God for Life, a pro-life organization that has battled to bring moral alternatives to aborted fetal vaccines to the US market for nearly a decade.

“There are no words sufficient to express our deepest gratitude to Dr Deisher and AVM Biotech”, noted the group’s Executive Director, Debi Vinnedge, who was also named to AVM Biotech’s Advisory Board for vaccine development.

While most vaccines and medicines are produced in an ethical manner, several are manufactured using cell lines derived from aborted fetal tissue with no competing ethical products available. Vinnedge noted this has left concerned pro-life families in both a difficult and unjust position.

“For too long parents who want to protect their children without compromising their deeply held pro-life and religious beliefs have been coerced into an unnecessary and unjust moral dilemma,” she stated. “No one should be forced to choose between these two fundamental human rights.”

Both organizations hope that the news will spark members of Congress to move forward with their Fair Labeling and Informed Consent legislation, a bill that would require full disclosure from the pharmaceutical industry whenever aborted fetal or embryonic cell lines are used in medical products.

“Every consumer, whether pro-life in philosophy or not, has the right to know if human fetal cell contaminants are present in the drugs they receive”, noted Dr Deisher. “Consumers should be informed and empowered to make the best health care choices for themselves and their families. Surely, if we have the right to know what is in our fast food, we should also have the right to know what is in our medicine."

AVM Biotech intends to further assist in this effort by certifying that its therapeutic products are not discovered, screened, evaluated, produced, or tainted in any way by the use of electively aborted human fetal material, human embryonic material, or any other unethically obtained materials.

Thursday, February 28, 2008

Old law, meet the new guard

Just have to highlight this Item at CMR. Patrick post on an article from the Guardian

The item? "Home-schooling has been illegal in Germany since it was outlawed in 1938." It still is illegal. Christianity , I mean, Unlawful indoctrination has this dangerous concept of freedom. Can't allow for that in a police state.

Sins of omission

This is not the first time I have disagreed with Fr. Pavone. I respect his work to defend the un-born, but he gets in over his head when he veers into politics. His latest column, And What I Have Failed To Do is a good example. He doesn't come out and say it, but I believe he is advocating a vote for McCain. Anything less would be a sin of omission.

Thankfully his is a priest. In charge of hearing confessions, not telling us what we should confess. A vote for McCain is a vote to destroy the pro-life plank (as well as many other conservative ideals) in the GOP platform. I think his eventual nomination is already the death knell of the Republican party. Who needs another liberal, fiscally irresponsible party. The Democrats have that base cemented in (see Obama's reaffirmation of the party only unchanging plank.)

Me? I won't call any vote a sin. I don't know anyone's heart or conscience. But I know I can't vote for anyone that supports abortion. That narrows the field considerably. I am not confident of McCain's stance on that issue, but he claims to be pro-life. So I look at the other issues. And I won't vote for him based on those issues. Pro-nation building. Pro-big government. Anti-freedom. Pro-amnesty. That is enough for me to still vote Ron Paul. He may not win, but the GOP can look at all the votes they "could" have had.

Reaffirming

but not reassuring. Obama must need to reaffirm his ties to the death eaters. Or as Jill Stanek puts it,
Terri Schiavo should have been a horse His biggest legislative regret?
He said he wished he had spoken out when Republican lawmakers tried to stop the severely brain-damaged woman's husband from removing her feeding tube in 2005.

"It wasn't something I was comfortable with, but it was not something that I stood on the floor and stopped, and I think that was a mistake.''
Jill finds Obama's compassion much greater for the furry four legged creatures
It's really too bad Terri wasn't a horse....

As both state and U.S. senator, Obama either supported or co-sponsored measures to stop horse slaughter, particularly since there is a horse factory in IL.

Terri would also have been better off a dog as far as Obama is concerned, because he has supported a legislative crack-down on dog fighting.
Yikes! Scary material for our future president.

We became saints

The Ironic one once again shows us why she is one of the best theological bloggers of the day.
Humor? Got it.
Profound wisdom? Got it.
That wisdom hidden in simple readable writings? Got it. (and I don't mean simple as in plain)

In her Dear Communion of Saints column, St.Teresa lets us know the proper response to
Who should I blame this week about Catholics leaving the Church?
We became saints.
Read the rest and come away much wiser. I think the 'C' in I.C. stands for Chesterton.

Tuesday, February 26, 2008

Danger

Remembering the great line from the Incredibles, "Public?  My evening is in danger!"

Today my lunch was in danger.  Seems as though being a witness may be hazardous to one's health.  At least to a peaceful lunch.

I try to pray before each meal, even when eating out.  I don't make a big show of it, it is done for my benefit, not for anybody else's.  Still, being Catholic, prayers begin and end with the Sign of the Cross.  As I sat down and started crossing myself I bowed my head.  But not before I caught a glance from an elderly lady facing me from a few booths away.

As I finished my meal, I looked up to see her husband approaching.  He mentioned noticing the Sign of the Cross and asked if I was Catholic.  I assented but then his next question perked up the senses that he wasn't really Catholic. 

"Did I go to church around here?"

"No." and I mentioned my parish.  Funny thing is my parish is St. Pius X.  Which can be mistaken for the Society of St. Pius X, which is not Catholic but schismatic.   And in a tell-tale confusion, he tried to distinguish between following Rome or being from the Society?  Finally after mentioning "the pope" and Rome, he finally asked if I followed Benedict.  I said I was from the Roman Catholic Church, not the schismatic society. 

We had a nice chat, or should I say I listened, objected a few times and eventually gave him my address so he could send me some material.  (more so that I could research his theme and send HIM some material.  For God desires that all be saved.)  He wasn't part of the Society, but following his own little pope here in the northwest.  Of course this pope was a secret and very few know about him.  I can't wait to find out who he is.  And I will be watching the mail.

Moral imperative

It would seem obvious to the enlightened that this is a moral imperative, someone must be corrected.

Monday, February 25, 2008

Sage tech advice

Some sage technical advice for people with computer issues,
How to find a good computer repair person.

1) Don't flatter them and tell them how smart they are, or how lucky their wife/family/dog is to have a computer guy in the family.
2) Don't laughingly demean yourself in front of them and shyly admit that you know absolutely nothing about how a computer works. I mean, would you tell a plumber you don't know how a tap works? A mechanic that you don't know what makes it go vroom?
3) See #2. Every call I have been on, I feel like telling the person to stop demoralizing themselves in front of me. It's like hearing someone tell you how fat and ugly they are and that this is why they will always be single. Just say what the problem is. Period.
4) Seriously. If your machine is ten years old, don't pay me $90 an hour to open it up and look at it. You have already broken most records for hard drive life and power supply life. Live it up and buy yourself a new computer. Pay me for an hour to help you set it up and be happy that you probably won't need me for a few years.
5) Google. Google your problem. Your question has been asked a million times and answered a million times. If you can fix it, great, if not, at least you will know what you are talking about when the tech arrives.
I can definitely agree with all of those items. Especially the last one. Google it. Phrase your problem in different ways. Even us geeks use this solution when WE don't know the answer. Most people that know the answer probably do some writing about it on the internet, we are geeks after all.

And on #4. When you get a computer, find that trustworthy geek and ask him to spend an hour setting up the computer with anti-virus, firewall and anti-spyware software. An ounce of prevention... will keep the computer healthy for a lot longer in the hyper connected world of today.

Thursday, February 21, 2008

Oh yeah

I love G.K. Chesterton. And this is vintage.The Ironic Catholic: Friday's Chesterton QOTD
When such a critic says, for instance, that faith kept the world in darkness until doubt led to enlightenment, he is himself taking things on faith, things that he has never been sufficiently enlightened to doubt. That exceedingly crude simplification of human history is what he has been taught, and he believes it because he has been taught. I do not blame him for that; I merely remark that he is an unconscious example of everything that he reviles.

--G.K. Chesterton
Kinda reminds me of the "scientists" saying the global warming debate is closed because they have "consensus." As if that would pass the scientific test. Isn't science about forming a theory and then doing everything you can think of to break the theory? Or is it now to form a theory and get grants to perpetuate the theory and publish your theory so you get more grants?

Wednesday, February 20, 2008

Standard questions

In terms of investment, how much gold is enough. Richard Russell provides a practical answer in the Dow Theory Letters.
No, in practice, you need dollars. You need dollars to live. There's no getting around it. Furthermore, you've been taught not to put all your eggs in one basket. And that applies to gold. Sure, based on the charts below you should probably have all your money in gold, but that 'feels too risky.' You just don't feel comfortable with it. So if you're a subscriber to Russell's writings, you buy some gold -- as much as you feel comfortable with, and you tell yourself, 'Well, I've got more gold than 99% of the rest of the poor fools in America, and maybe that's enough.' Of course, it isn't, but that's what you tell yourself."

Monday, February 18, 2008

precisely

Matthew at CMR catches another Hollywood type endorsement, you know the type where the candidate probably wishes they would just shut up and donate. Susan Sarandon Endorses Obama. The money quote...
So I think he definitely has convinced people that he stands for change and for hope, and I can't wait to see what he stands for.
I think we are all waiting for that. The scary thing is we will probably find out after he is elected.

Thursday, February 14, 2008

As expected

The destruction of the GOP must go on. Mitt Romney will endorse John McCain.

Oh, this was supposed to be a good thing. The unity of the party and all that. So they can be certain to defeat those evil democrats. Of course. Even McCain would be better than Hillary or Obama.

Not so sure on that. McCain is the masculine version of Hillary and that is about where the differences end. So Romney senses that he isn't going to win the nomination after spending mega millions on the campaign. Rather than go to the brokered convention and make sure his "fiscal ideals" are represented, along with Huckabee's stance on life and Paul's stance on freedom; he bags it all and backs the one opponent he can't stand. Making sure that Huckabee and Paul supporters are silenced. How's that for party politics?

But party politics makes the world media go round, right. Take this review of "conservative" talk radio. She makes the claim "Rush and Coulter are causing a rift in the GOP". Why? Because they are SO far right and dare to bash McCain (last great hope against Hillary).

Sorry, but Rush is a party man through and through. Has been for years. Coulter is blonde with a big mouth and a propensity to attack those disliked by the GOP. Splitting the party? What party? The GOP tent was chopped down long ago and now McCain is carrying the GOP backpack. Leaving Ron Paul and other conservatives with no where to go.

This Romney drop out and endorsement reminds me of a lame sitcom script. Perhaps the hollywood writers aren't on strike after all. They just moved into political news reporting.

Wednesday, February 13, 2008

Wonder what He said?

Wow, maybe He insulted Zeus. Rio's statue of Christ survives lightning hit
Rio de Janeiro, Feb. 13, 2008 (CWNews.com) - Lightning struck the famous statue of Christ the Redeemer overlooking Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, on February 12.

The giant statue, which was last year voted one of the Seven Wonders of the World, survived the lightning bolt, apparently unscathed.

The statue of Christ the Redeemer, which dominates the Rio skyline from a nearby mountain top, is made of reinforced concrete. At 130 feet, it is the world's tallest statue of Christ: a commanding figure accentuated by its location at the top of a 2,300-foot mountain.

Tuesday, February 12, 2008

Another fine finish

Going to have to allow a proud dad to brag just a bit.  Another Pinewood derby is in the books.  Three boys building cars, the two younger brothers doing their best to "help".  I thought this was Cub Scouts not Adventure Scouts.  But yes, quite another adventure.

The boys did quite a bit of the work this year, they designed their own cars.  I did my best to sculpt the block of wood to their specs using Japanese Carving Chisels.  They had to do the sanding.  Then they got to do the painting.  They helped polish the wheels and I did the final assembly.  We talked about the critical items on the car, aerodynamics, good finish, but the most important is the wheels.  Get them straight and the race goes well.  Any issue on the wheels will probably lead to poor results.

So how did we do?  I had to scramble to get the weights on hours before the race, and after setting the bar real high last year, I wasn't optimistic.  Last year the eldest son got second at the pack and 14th at the district.  Son 2 got fifth at the pack and just missed going to districts.  An awfully high bar considering it was our first year and I see more value in them trying and failing than have dad do it all so they can win.  Couple that with trying to put more of the responsibility on the boys this year, I didn't expect doing as well.

But the good Lord be praised, my eldest son had another fine showing.  He was running well, not winning every heat, but he must have been more consistent than the others.  Watching his brothers tell him where he finished was entertaining.  Then I would tell him his time and/or the winning time for each heat.  I let him calculate the numbers.

He could hardly contain himself as the top 4 were announced.  Afterwards I told him he needed to work on being more humble when he won.  He told me, "I'm trying dad!" in his most subdued excited voice he could manage.  Good for him.  For a boy that trails his younger brother in many things, I like to see him win once in a while.

The other two did well, 6th and 9th respectively.  And they are already planning improvements for next year.

Sunday, February 10, 2008

Today's readings

I alway wonder how the "health and wealth" type of preachers would deal with today's Gospel?

Jesus' refusal to turn stones into bread flies right in the face of the whole "name it, claim it" philosophy. Man does not live on dough ($ or otherwise) but on every word that comes forth from the mouth of God.

Then there is the not putting the Lord, your God, to the test. Ironic that Satan quotes scripture here to justify his position. How easy it is to use a verse out of context to justify whatever we desire.

But the last temptation is the most difficult to harmonize with the popular feel good idea of being Christian means being a worldly success. "All these I shall give to you, if you will prostrate yourself and worship me.”

Worldly success can bear a high price.

It is also tied together nicely today with the juxtaposition of the fall of Adam versus the triumph of Jesus over the Tempter. Adam was in a beautiful garden surrounded by the best of foods. He failed to be obedient even with everything going in his favor. Yet Jesus had fasted for 40 day in a desert, surrounded by heat and barren lands. But when he was tempted, he drew his strength from scripture. Not with a phony proof text to get what he wanted, but with actual context to do the will of the Father.

Friday, February 08, 2008

If only we had a little more time

Some humorous news here, The Russians think they have invented a time machine. The kicker, they just need a bit more time. 3 months to be precise. I'll wager that time never come.

But working on the invention is a good anti-time machine, you will never get that wasted time back.

via Alive and Young

Hearing the Call

Father had Benediction after the Stations of the Cross tonight. Our poor two year old was rather confused when Father said it was time for Benediction. He headed for the altar. I grabbed him and asked where he was going. "He called me" was the answer. I am sure it doesn't help that is also the nickname Father has given him.

Let's hope he hears the Lord's call as clearly.

Thursday, February 07, 2008

Just what the doc ordered

yeah, I know, I mentioned possibly giving up blogging during Lent. Notice the "possibly" part. I decided rather than completely stop, I would try to bring it into correct order. Meaning it is behind my vocation (husband, father, employee...). I am not a professional writer, I don't make any money off it (notice the lack of ads) but I do enjoy it. So, perhaps I will write less often, link to less other posts, but write better stuff. Again, notice the decidedly non-committal "perhaps".

Down goes Fraizer

Well, it isn't quite as monumental as that fight, but

Down goes Romney. (via Huckleberries) I would say it was a surprise, but not really. Bush-Romney-McCain-Huckabee are all made from the same dough. Just rolled in a different topping, Romney had the financial sparkles, McCain is the crusty old glaze, Huckabee is the sugar topping for the shallow evangelical type.

Romney's step back is just proof that it isn't about conservative values, but about being "Republican". Not that the name means much anymore, but as long as they can fool the voters and the media keeps up the the "Republican vs Democrat/Conservative vs Liberal" reporting, no one will realize how they are part of the same party. The ruling class party. As my wife succinctly put it, sounds like an "Establishment" type of move.

One another note, Ron Paul did well in my native North Dakota. He actually won the district caucus that my parents are in. By 5 votes. My parents, sister and her husband and their son.

And to think my parents were die hard Bush fans not that long ago. They might not admit it, but they are coming around. And rather quickly.

Tuesday, February 05, 2008

Class of 08

I was listening to the Saintcast on the ride home and this thought struck me. As the podcast covered news on some saints about to be canonized, I remembered how many expected Pope Benedict XVI to slow down the process. As if there were to many holy men and women being raised to the altars.

I initially agreed with this concept, perhaps Pope John Paul II had been a little too aggressive in inducting them into the Eternal Hall of Fame. But that is where reconsidered. Sainthood isn't like the Hall of Fame. On earth, we are limited. In going to the HOF, we can only take in so much. So adding more and more members sort of drags down everyone. Everyone is special, so nobody is really special.

But being raised to the altars of Sainthood is different. First, heaven isn't limited. We will have eternity to take in all the HOF members. (perhaps surprised at some that were included, as they will be of us.) So there is no reason to jealously guard the exclusivity of the club.

Second, I haven't ever been to any HOF. Perhaps for many it is seeking out the favorites, from one's favorite team or favorite memories. And often that is how sainthood is looked upon. The local cult is what drives the initial process. (learned that from the Saintcast) So just as you may look for members of your local team, the nation or area has a saint to emulate and look up to. Or one can always find that connection that may bring you to a patron saint.

So here is to a big EHOF class of 2008.

Something fishy

Jimmy Akin breaks down everything you might want to know about Lent. One in particular struck me as hilarious about the Fish industry hoax claiming the Pope mandated eating fish to promote the Italian fishing industry. The distance some people will travel to find a conspiracy is amusing.

Jimmy gives that rumor a good beating, and my two cents is that fish was the food of the poor. Since the abstinence from meat was supposed to lead to greater concern for the poor (perhaps giving alms instead of spending the money on meat) it was deemed improper to include fish and put a greater burden on the poor.

What are you giving up?

I love it. The Ironic Catholic brings us this newsflash, Local Catholic To Give Up Presidential Election For Lent
“I’ve been very interested in what’s going on, but I think that I need to take a break. Really, with Super Tuesday and Fat Tuesday coinciding, it’s like God himself is telling us to gorge on CNN Tuesday but then take a six week break. The way these people are going at it, you’d think that the salvation of the world hung on the latest endorsement or poll or something.”

Me? I am seriously considering a fast from blogging. Would be good for humility (funny how one can become so proud of so little), would be good to spend more time on my vocation (family, odd jobs and the fix it list that need so much attention.)

A bit scary though, I have worked so hard for the small readership. But we should be ready to throw it all away for His sake, right?

Thursday, January 31, 2008

Kooks and crazies

We braved the weather with all the other "kooks and crazies" to go see Ron Paul in Spokane. About 1000 people there by my estimation, 300 chairs were filled and the other half of the room was standing room only. And filled to the back. We got the last chair, given to the nursing mother of course, while the other two of us stood behind the chairs, pretty good "seats" as we could see well.

The message was outstanding, only disappointment was that Dr. Paul had to hustle out right after his speech on his way to another stop. My wife would have loved to shake his hand, perhaps a picture with him and our little girl (in her "Ron Paul didn't deliver me, but it isn't too late." onesie.) I will analyze the speech a bit more this weekend, but it was mainly on a financial tone. And he gave a solution to our financial woes. More on that later.

Wednesday, January 30, 2008

White confiteor

What a hoot, the The Ironic Catholic thinks Minnesota has Confiteor weather.
it was cold. -12 and windy. I suppose the wind chill was about -250 or so), it came to me.

This is Confiteor weather.

Don't get me wrong. I love singing the Kyrie Eleison in Mass, which often replaces the Confiteor. But something about the Confiteor (printed below, if you don't know what I'm talking about) fits here. My sin. Weather that can kill you. Walking to the bus stop as walking through the valley (or weather) of death. Desperate seeking for shelter and warmth. It's all connected somehow.

Personally, I don't think I can say the Confiteor enough. If this weather reminds me of that, well, that's a blessing. So as a Minnesota transplant, I can finally embrace winter. It's High Confiteor season.

Feel free to say it with me:

I confess to Almighty God,
and to you, my brothers and sisters,
that I have sinned through my own fault:
In my thoughts and in my words,
In what I have done,
and what I have failed to do.
And I ask Blessed Mary, ever Virgin,
all the angels and saints,
and you, my brothers and sisters,
to pray for me to the Lord our God.

Amen.
Amen indeed. Not that bad here, but I can relate. Plenty of time for prayer as we slowly commute to and from work.

being judicial

In anticipation of Ron Paul's visit tomorrow, I will leave you with some wisdom on Politics and Judicial Activism — Ron Paul 2008

Tuesday, January 29, 2008

Book it

Looks like Ron Paul headed for Spokane. Get the babysitter Ethel, Dr. No is coming to town.

Republican presidential candidate Ron Paul is expected in Spokane Thursday evening for a speech at the downtown Double Tree Hotel.

Local organizers of the Paul campaign said the candidate -- who arguably has the most visible support in Spokane if that can be judged by yard signs -- will be come here after a stop in Seattle.

The visit it timed to help build support for the Feb. 9 GOP precinct caucuses and the Feb. 19 primary.

The event is free, with doors opening at 5 p.m. for the rally and speech.


Monday, January 28, 2008

Chrism Cologne

Yesterday was the joyous day of our daughter's baptism.  I can hardly think of anything more beautiful that welcoming another son or daughter as a child of God.

One tricky part having a large family is finding the Godparents.  (friends reading this, please understand this is supposed to be humorous.)  The last time around the couple we chose mentioned how honored they were to be asked, I said, well consider that we had six children, so they were the sixth couple we had asked...  So no offense to the seventh set, we just didn't know you back with the first few.  And why do I mention the esteemed godfather?  Because this post was inspired by his love for the spicy smell of the Chrism that the newly baptized are anointed with.  He mentioned he would love to be able to smell that all the time.  Perhaps market a Chrism Cologne.  So here it is.

 

Introducing the newest in the line of the Catholic Essentials; Chrism Cologne

tiara3  Smell as good as the day you were baptized!

Oh the odor of sanctity, no whiff of despair or tinge of angst.  You may have to beware of strange Italian guys infringing on personal space for a hit of this Balsamic Beauty.  But with the limited edition papal tiara bottle and lifetime membership in God's family, no child of God will want to be without this item.

The bottle plays sounds of running water and with this fragrance, it may just take you back to a better time, a time when your soul was washed clean in the Blood of the Lamb.*

For a Limited Time only, leave an indelible mark on your aroma.

*Cologne does not remove sin, please check with your priest for the Sacraments.

Now we get the picture

Of why he was such a maniac. Hitler was a cowboy fan, had to eat at him every day.
*text profanity alert*


via Rod Dreher's Crunchy Con

The ever present question

For those with big families is "you have how many?"

Well, Sherry at "Chocolate for your brain" has 50.  Responses, that is, to the questions.  Some of my favorite

43. Creating my own voting block for when I run for President.

38. Q: Don't you know how this works? A: Well yeah! (I always say this with a big smile)

36. With such good looking intelligent offspring, it seemed selfish to limit ourselves.

32. I can drown out anyone in an argument with pure sound. (Surround sound)

29. Defense in depth. (something about meeting the enemies at the gate)

19. Exiting Car is an event. (quite a spectacular event by the looks of the spectators.)

9. Never have to worry about being corrupted by too much wealth or material things. (there still is the issue of grandparents...)

1. Said we'd accept children lovingly from God. God took us seriously. (amen!)

And my own?  I don't have quite as many.  I have plenty of reasons, just not as quick on the wit.

10. Its all about the corporal works of mercy.  I get plenty of chances to feed the hungry, clothe the naked... without leaving home.

9. Yeah I have a basketball team of boys, but I am really a fan of football.

8. Still hoping to get it right.  Enjoying the practice.

7.  (for when I don't have all of them, and sometimes the kids beat me to this one) Yes, all mine, but not all of mine.

6. Once we hit three, they had us out numbered.  So beyond that, what difference did the number make?

5. My brothers are chiropractors, they can help you with that whiplash.

4. (for the obnoxious women that don't catch the first clue) Watch out, I am potent.

3.  Yeah I know what causes it.  And I still happen to enjoy it.

2. And so does my wife. (that is like the upper cut that closes the slack jaw from the previous response.)

1. And from a Marie Bellet song, "Can't you see these eager faces are the best of me."