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Howdy. We've moved from Cayce, but St. Elizabeth of South Rose Hill or Lizette de Waccamaw de Sud just don't do it for me.

Sunday, October 30, 2005

Texas Pastor's Death during Baptism

Amazing Story.

Yahoo Link.

WACO, Texas - A pastor performing a baptism was electrocuted inside his church Sunday morning after grabbing a microphone while partially submerged, a church employee said.

The Rev. Kyle Lake, 33, was standing in water up to his shoulder in a baptismal at University Baptist Church when he was electrocuted, said Jamie Dudley, a church business administrator and wife of another pastor there.

Doctors in the congregation performed chest compressions, she said. Lake was taken by ambulance to Hillcrest Baptist Medical Center, where nursing supervisor Pat Mahl said he was pronounced dead.

The woman Lake was baptizing was not injured, Dudley said.

Church's Website.


Sometime back, while looking for who knows what on the net, I came across the site and discovered how simple it would be to put up a blog. That's not an ad, it's just an explanation of how I came to try something on a whim without knowing whether or not I'd have anything to say. I mostly used the email post feature, putting things up to help remember them--sort of like spending the whole year composing and editing your Christmas letter.

I would occasionally hear folks discussing blogging on this or that, but never stating in conversation where their blogs were. I figured that privacy was important to them, so I never asked. So, when in the space of a couple of days I was actually given a blog address and got a new blog launch invite, I started being able to read what folks I knew were writing about. I was also able to answer and, in doing so, let a couple of folks know that I was also doing some writing.

It was about this time that Izzy also found out about the blog--he had made comments about the desire to blog being a generational divide marker...and so the topic hadn't come up. We'll see what happens if/when he reads--if/when anyone reads. I'll email a few folks with invites and otherwise just write away. I have neither the time nor the breadth of resources do be an Amy Welborn, and lack the time to write like Izzy does in his email posts to various lists.

I think that the process of thinking about what I am thinking about in order to write about it (circular epistemology?) may make me a more observant person in the long run. That can't be bad.

I think that this has to become my new Profile photo.

Saturday, October 29, 2005

Clinic Story--Washout

See Long Week, Longer Weekend, 2.

So, at 1 minute, 15 seconds into the story, there is a shot inside the church building being used for the clinic. The entire story became about layoffs at the plant--more about these folks as victims, not about anything being done to help them by state folks. Not one word.

To be fair, there was lots of talk about resilience, and that's good. I guess it doesn't have to be all about us...but how about being HONEST about what story you're here to get?!? Clinic coordinators and volunteers could have commented about on-going support for these folks...oh, well. At least we weren't blamed for the problem, like we were for the lead in the water story.

India in the News

So, I awoke this AM to NPR news, and amazingly, the first three stories were from India.

  1. The train derailment into the river in Veligonda (not the NPR link)
  2. Early reports about the explosions in New Delhi (link is to a later story)
  3. Talks between India and Pakistan about collaboration in Kashmir for earthquake relief.

I know Gashwin will be thinking especially about home as Diwali approaches. I haven't checked his blog since I got home from clinic, but I'm sure these tragedies weigh heavy on his mind.

"Tragedies happen to other people"...but as the world gets smaller, those other people get closer and closer.

Holy Mary, Mother of God, pray for us. Blessed Teresa of Calcutta, pray for us.

Long Week, Longer Weekend, 2

So, Izzy's bike began making some sort of noise today (his call began with: "Do you remember the noise the Hyundai made when it died?") and he ended up not going to Asheville & Mars Hill. He got a ride from an on-line friend at the extreme end of the upstate to the bike shop here. These bikers are great to each other.

B3 and son, B3-1, picked him up and delivered him back to the House of Chez Casa. Doc Watson's audience was minus one fan...

I did the last chlorine follow-up clinic. More people with amazing experiences that they've dealt with using limited resources. Interesting tidbits that are shareable:

  • A mom with worsening asthma was trying to figure out where some of her exposures to triggers were. She mentioned that her husband never smoked in the house...her kids piped up with "yes he does, as soon as you leave..." and lots more details. Her sense of smell isn't so good, I guess...I told her that I hoped she didn't blame the state health dept for her marriage breaking up...
  • Several folks with obvious PTSD.
  • Noticing the amazing variety of shapes and sizes people come in.
  • TV reporter-girl showed up with what appeared to be a pre-written story. She didn't really want interviews of clinic staff, and made several comments that went: "Sooo, you're doing X" or "the patients are from Y..." without really listening to any answers beginning with "Let us explain what we are doing--it may not be all that you are describing it as" or "not entirely..." It looked like a spoof from Journalism 101, but maybe I was expecting NPR style reporting. If they keep the story to a 30 second clip of poor people beng helped, and don't do more, it might be better than a more in-depth story that gets details wrong. We'll watch and see ---- Film at 11.

Friday, October 28, 2005

Long Week, Longer Weekend

I've spent many, many hours this week driving back and forth to a heath department right smack dab in the middle of nowhere, plus working long hours in their clinics to help with an outbreak. No matter what road I've taken, it's been 2+ hours each way, giving me lots of time to think of topics that I'd love to write about. If course, this leaves NO TIME for actual blogging.

So, a list of what I'd love to write about (and ultimately include links for):

  • I'm also a 6 day creationist. However, I think origins, both the Creation story and any and all other theories, should be taught in HISTORY class, not science. Ultimately, neither macro process is directly observable. History classes can look at transmission of stories, effects on belief systems, deriving meaning from "prehistory", etc.
  • Who on earth is Scooter Libby, really, and why are so many people soooo determined to get him de-officed? Is is just because of hate for Cheney & Rove?
  • How glad I am not to need to spend time on EHarmony,, and similar sites like several of my co-workers.
  • Is it just me, or are all women with professional jobs on TV wearing boob shirts? How tough must it be to be a chaste guy in places where women take their cues from these shows?
  • It appears that the final version of the statements coming from the Synod of Bishops will be far more reasonable regarding celibate homosexual priests and seminarians than was feared. If we can get SOOOO worked up about things that we have little certainty about, why do people feel the need to ignore warnings about THE STRONGEST HURRICANE EVER RECORDED?
  • Why is the cat afraid of the kitty door we put into her favorite window?
  • I must be seriously hormonal or something, but, when driving home last night, I drove through a small town Halloween celebration, and couldn't stop crying. Hundreds of costumed children and their parents strolled and ran down Main Street getting treats from merchants, carrying balloon, climbing on fire trucks, etc. It was so Mayberry, and I wouldn't have seen it if I hadn't taken a wrong turn whilst looking for yet another shortcut home. I think I was affected by the quaintness and by some jealousy of those parents.
  • Jealousy includes the word lousy. Hmmmm. I need to collect more of the "you can't spell this without that" words. It's my favorite part of the paper, and what I relax with at night.

Anyhow, there's more, but I've got to get up early and work 10 hours of so in a clinic an hour away. Izzy is going to the Ag school for a foreign language competition, then meeting a friend in Asheville for dinner and then off to a Doc Watson concert in Mars Hill. I might go get a veggie burger and hear some praise music at a local live music venue.

Saturday, October 22, 2005


Met a remarkable young man this evening. Can't say much (HIPAA, etc.) but he survived a harrowing experience earlier this year. This lead to lots of changes in his life, including a carpe diem tattoo/philosophy, and another tattoo of the face of the Virgin from the Pieta. Most life-like tat I've ever seen--Izzy says it's because I don't get out much...

Thursday, October 20, 2005

Dangerous Birds (Ostriches vs. Poultry)

Story from Es-spain-ya: (reminds me of "Baghdad Bob" from a couple of years back...)

I received story below as a forward. While looking for the source, I lookd in Google news for "Spain's agriculture minister dismissed fears." In addition to the link below, I got this query: Did you mean "Japan's agriculture minister dismissed fears"?

Looks like there's danger from little birds (poultry with flu) and bigger birds (ostriches come to mind.) (I didn't look at the links for Japan, just jumped to conclusions. Life's more fun that way.)

Bird flu sparking human epidemic is 'science fiction': Spain

Oct 19 11:09 AM US/Eastern

Spain's agriculture minister dismissed fears bird flu sparking a global epidemic among humans as "science fiction", saying the virus currently only poses a threat to birds.

"The idea of a pandemic among humans is something from science fiction," Spanish Agricultural Minister Elena Espinosa said on the private radio station Cadena Ser, as Europe braced for the further spread of the H5N1 strain of the bird flu, which has killed 60 people in Asia
during the past three years.

Outbreaks of the H5N1 strain have been confirmed in Romania and Turkey, while further tests are being conducted on a suspect case in Greece.

Currently the bird flu is "solely and exclusively a veterinary problem," said Espinosa.

Human infections in Asia were "in very specific poultry raising situations where the families lived with the chickens and infection was due to constant inhalation," Espinosa said.

While H5N1 currently does not spread easily between people, many scientists fear that it may combine with seasonal influenza in humans, mutating into an easily transmissible form that could kill millions like in the 1918 influenza pandemic.

However, Espinosa announced increased surveillance measures and that the stockpile of bird flu vaccine for chickens would be doubled to 10 million doses.

She said a quarantine would be set up around any suspected bird flu outbreaks, with poultry in nearby areas receiving vaccinations.

The Spanish government decided Tuesday to buy six to 10 million doses of anti-viral drugs for groups most at risk for human flu.

Sunday, October 16, 2005

Ch'rismatic Links

1. Great Scott, Qathi & Idabeck in one Photo.

2. Went to this guy's ordination. (Ok, not the guy elevating the host; but the guy whose church this website is for.) Does his church's site look like Anyone else's site? How'd they get away with this?

Chili Recipe

So, I'm finishing up I've started responding to as few friends' blogs and, in doing so, had to reveal the heretofore secret identify. Figured I'd better get around to adding some old draft posts to the blog. In doing so, I've also been re-reading those drafts.

Anyhow, in one recent post I mentioned my internationally famous (eaten and appreciated by folks from the US, the Netherlands & Haiti), Prize-winning (1st prize in the 2001 Haiti Hoedown Chili Cookoff, 2nd place in 2002) Vegetarian Chili recipe.

Here's the recipe, as I sent it out after the 1st cookoff. (If I can ever make the picture upload feature work, I'll post a "Before" picture of the ingredients.)
Subject: Haiti Hoe-Down Chili recipe, as best as I can reconstruct it
Date: Sat, 22 Sep 2001 22:12:29 -0400

I'm sending this recipe to [Izzy] to pass along to folks who might be interested. I will say that I am floored at having won a chili cook-off without using meat!-- but my strategy of bribing the judges must have been successful.

All measurements are incredibly inaccurate and approximate. I was in a bit of a hurry and mostly dumped in spices and ingredients until things looked right. Just like you cannot step into the same river twice, you can probably never make the same pot of chili twice--there will never be the same combination of left-overs and ingredients in the kitchen. [Note: this might look a bit green owing to the broccoli and the colors imparted by the curries and turmeric.]

"Vegetable"-tarian chili
Sauté together in 2 Tbsp. Extra-virgin Olive Oil until onions are tender:

  • 1/3 cup minced garlic
  • 2 large onions, finely chopped
  • Sprinkle over these 3-4 Tbsp. Boston Kitchen brand Cajun Seasoning

Pour into crock pot:

  • 28 oz can Progresso tomato puree
  • ~1/2 cup mild salsa (Taco Bell brand, left-over from Taco Bell taco-kit.)
  • 2 15 oz. cans El Ebro Frijoles Negros (Black beans, available from Mexican stores)
Heat at medium setting.

Cook in large pan or Dutch oven in 1-2 Tbsp. Olive oil until well-heated:

  • 3/4 cup finely shredded carrots (or any amount left-over in freezer)
  • 16 oz. package frozen chopped broccoli (make sure to chop it small if all you have are just broccoli "pieces". You want the broccoli nearly unrecognizable.)
  • 6 thawed and crumbled Garden Burgers (***I've now tried the meatless crumbles. Tasty, but they don't soak up the liquid as well.)

Put all vegetables into tomatoes and bean mixture in crockpot. Add spices, 2-3 vigorous shakes at a time, stirring and tasting until blend seems right. It helps if you misplace the chili powder and then compensate by adding curry and other spices to get the flavor right before you finally locate the chili, and then go ahead and add the chili powder after all. Spice measurements were extrapolated from looking at what was left in the jars. Tbsp. _does_ mean tablespoon; it's not a typo.

  • 3 Tbsp. Mild Indian Curry Powder
  • ~4 Tbsp. Hot Madras Curry Powder
  • 1-2 Tbsp. Ground Turmeric
  • 2 Tbsp. oregano
  • 2-3 Tbsp. Valle del Sol (Whole Foods brand) Chile Powder (***Chipotle powder wasn't readily available when I made my first batches of this. It's an OK substitute, but far less is needed for "general audiences".)
  • 1/3 cup raw minced garlic-added at the last minute (***just before serving or driving to the chili cookoff) to minimize the time the garlic gets cooked.
Add 1/4 to 1/2 cup water since the Garden Burgers soak up lots of liquid. Heat chili to hot in crockpot, and then simmer at medium setting until ready to serve.
(Note from bitter experience: If you make it ahead of time, don't leave chili cooking in the Crockpot over 6 hours--it can get a burnt taste.
***2010 Update: It's OK to leave in a large crockpot, especially one with a "warm" setting, versus an older, smaller pot with only High and Medium settings.)

Serves 5 judges (1 Dixie cup each) and a line-full of Haiti Hoe-Downers. I don't know if it freezes well, since there weren't any left-overs.


Recipe (c) House of Chez Casa, Durham, NC, 2001.

Friday, October 14, 2005

Friday Night

So, we're watching a Daily Show re-run--it's from just before Rita hit and John Stewart addressed the Almighty with "What part of 'God Bless America' don't You get?" (Maybe John didn't do the capitalization, but I'll keep it.)

Izzy made "Greek omelettes" tonight--feta cheese and garlic-stuffed green olives. Zingy! We'll be headed off the the Tempurpedic soon so we can get up early in the AM. Izzy is taking a group of high schoolers to do home rehab for the poor and I'm going to go watch children pet animals and then not wash their hands...

Jon Gore and Lindsay Brooks just had to get their hands in there. The two recent Winthrop graduates from Columbia were among the many hanging out with the animals at Commerford and Sons Petting Zoo.
“You don’t see llamas and zebras every day,” Gore said. “If it were cats and dogs, it would be different.”
For her part, Brooks was after the soft touch.
“The llama was my favorite because it was the soft one. If they weren’t that soft, I moved on.”
The petting zoo can be found on Academic Avenue.
Don’t forget to wash your hands after your visit.

New corner office this week--door and a window! After 2 years and 10 months, I'm finally back out of a cubicle! Still in the Looney Bin, though.

Tuesday, October 11, 2005

Back to It -- Next Sunday's Readings

Well, almost done with the revisions to the STM website-taking up much of my time, along with whatever it is I actually do for work.

Looking at the readings for next Sunday (Cycle A, 29th in Ordinary Time),

Isaiah 45:1, 4-6 -- God tells Cyrus that HE put Cyrus in place, HE is responsible, HE is using Cyrus to accomplish HIS plans.

Psalm 96 -- The Lord is King, HE governs the peoples with equity.

Matthew 22:15-21 -- Render unto Caesar (KJV language.)

There's been some young adult group discussion on government and morality of same lately...This should be interesting if the right mix of folks come to Bible Study tomorrow to discuss.

Similar passages: From Proverbs 21:1 "The heart of the king is in the hand of the Lord; He turneth it withersoever He will." (again, KJV language is so gorgeous) Also from Romans 13:5 -- "Pay your taxes."

Steliz--works for the government, and really is "here to help you."

Tuesday, October 04, 2005

Link for Story on altar desecration

Pretty amazing. I think I’ve been to home church meetings (back in the ‘70’s) with these folks, or their cousins.

Sunday, October 02, 2005

Duet, a capella

Doc was ill this AM--2nd a capella Sunday this Fall. Here’s my note to him on how it went. (Just wanted to have a place to keep this memory, in the event I need to recall it someday...)

Glad to see you've rejoined the living. If you need your sinuses cleared, you could come by our house--I'm cooking my internationally famous, prize-winning vegetarian chili, to be served at the Yactoberfest on Monday.

About this morning, I think it went OK. The acoustics in the room worked well for two treble voices, and Izzy even said that, at one point, A. and I sounded like just one voice. That's hard to do--I'm so glad we were doing stuff we had done before(!) (There was one blip/off-note in the Psalm--I think I went down when I should have gone up or something like that, but otherwise we clicked on just about all cylinders.) We had identical timing, phrasing and (I think) good communication on entrances and starting notes (though having the guitar and another voice would sure have made the sound better!) The congregation sang well--Fr. Pentiss (sub priest) even commented on it--I think they were trying to support the "girls with no accompaniment."