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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.

Thursday, March 29, 2007


This week, the dogwoods and azaleas are in riotous full bloom here. I've decided to use sightings of the trees on my drives, in my yard, outside of our offices, etc., to remind me to pray especially for Dogwood Dell's Mom, who has been experiencing severe health problems this week.

We've been praying for her all week--it just occurred to me that I could use God's gift of Springtime beauty as another prayer reminder. Yet another way the Holy Spirit can help us pray as we ought.

From Roman 8:

26: In the same way, the Spirit too comes to the aid of our weakness; for we do not know how to pray as we ought, but the Spirit itself intercedes with inexpressible groanings.
27: And the one who searches hearts knows what is the intention of the Spirit, because it intercedes for the holy ones according to God's will.

Blogger Help?

Updated, see below....


I know that Google, which owns Blogger, monitors use of their name. I'm trying to get a bit of help with a Blogger access problem--thought I'd catch their attention. (Click on the linked page, scroll down to or Find "things we do well"--they've linked to me before. Scary!)


For the past week, whenever I go to the page in IE Version 6.0.2900.2180.xpsp_sp2_gdr.061219-0316 (what it shows in the IE Help window), I click New Blogger.

I type in my ID slash email address (Note to Google folks out there--I MISS my old user name. I HATE using an email address for an ID. Why couldn't we migrate from Blogger with our user names?) and my password. I click Sign-In and I get returned to the exact same page where I started. If I click New Blogger again, I get directed to use the old Blogger log-in and told I have to use the new Blogger. I would if I could.

So, using the not nearly as familiar FireFox, I can access Blogger. However, unlike my Mac guy, I am not that crazy about FireFox. (Heresy?) FireFox won't do what I need with web-based emails, like batch handling, and it's not as good with the web editing I need to do.

Everything worked well until last week.

Anyone out there have a similar experience?

Anyone help from the folks who took over Blogger--who would they be?? Ah, yes,


Update: If you're wondering why I didn't just use the Blogger Help feature, I'll spare you the tale of woe and intrigue that was my many attempts to get into their help or discussion pages last night.

Found an answer this evening, actually a couple: One involved right-clicking "Click here to continue" which shows up on about the 3rd or 4th "Nope, you're not on your page yet" page (about the time you are ready to do damage to something/someone.) The 2nd involved changing a click in the security setting under "navigate sub-frames across different domains."

Looks like it's working now. yay (low energy cheer for a Friday evening.)

Monday, March 26, 2007

Various, far-ranging

I am fortunate to know a few folks (personally and "literally"*) who write beautifully. Most folks who stop by this blog know Gashwin, who writes well and prolifically, and Pritcher, whose short commentaries are great nuggets of insight. Izzy writes when he gets a chance -- summers mainly, and I love seeing what springs from his mind.

Warren (Ultracrepidarian) is another writer whom folks might not know. Check out his commentary "peeps", especially if you've lost anyone recently.


Calvert DeForest, Larry "Bud" Melman from the old Letterman show, has died. I'd wondered why he didn't appear on the show's recent 25th anniversary episode. If you remember Larry "Bud", hoist some "Toast on a Stick" in his honor. If you don't, check out Larry "Bud" in the first episode of the Letterman show (until someone pulls it.)


Holy Week is coming. I'm getting pretty excited!

I'll be reviewing the instructions for making perfect palm crosses before we head to Mass Sunday morning.


There are some adorable kids in my family.

Adorable Cousins


* How else but "literally" to describe how you know someone whom you've only met through writings?

Attention Battlestar Galactica Writers

The 80's called. They'd like their Dallas plot line back.

Or, perhaps a line from Grey's Anatomy,


We had our usual BSG group, minus Engaged Boy who is off in Texas mopping up someone else's mess, over last PM to watch the finale. There were elements of the steamy soap opera, lots of Baltar as a Christ-figure, Dylan in the walls, a hint of Perry Mason, even a splash of "Mr. Smith goes to Washington." Plus the shark jumps...

Although I rank as a non-rabid fan, I still felt that the ending (or maybe most of the episode) reflected writers who realized a few hours before air time that they hadn't figured out what to do in the next season.

Spoiler link (don't click until you've seen the ending, G.)

Not sure what we'll do late on Sunday nights without BSG plotlines to dissect.

Saturday, March 24, 2007

Tire Treads

Treads are awfully important. Riding with a full complement is generally preferred to riding on a tire looking, say, like this one...

Another view:

NC_<span class=

Recognize the bike?

Pics are from a ride today from various points in SC & NC that converged in Lake Lure and headed to Black Mountain for lunch. Izzy loves BBQ and this place is worth crossing state lines.

Izzy was taking the bike through serious twisties on NC 9 when he first noticed a wobble in the front end at low speeds. He suspected a loose bearing, never guessing we'd lost half of the tire's tread on the ride between Lake Lure and Black Mountain.

He discovered the problem at the end of lunch, where, fortuitously, the discussion had centered around the merits of various brands and styles of tires. The sort of conversation one should be having right before one discovers that one needs to purchase a new tire.

Camaraderie and chivalry still live: I was placed on another bike and we all rode to south Asheville to a bike shop, from which, just under two hours later, we rode off with a new tire. The group changed their ride route ("we don't leave anyone behind") and tonight they are emailing pics of the tire that various ones took.

Ask Izzy, when you see him (and I'll bet this trip ends up on his blog) about the brisket he had for lunch. That was the reason for the trip, and not a bad 2nd or 3rd most interesting memory of the day.

NC_<span class=

More photos from today's 400 mile ride on Flickr (starts near the bottom of this page.)

Izzy's great description of the day.

Friday, March 23, 2007

Geography Jeopardy (TM)

The answer is: Rome, Florence, Madrid, Algeciras and Tangiers.

Question: Where will the O'Cayces be visiting this summer?

Tickets are bought, hostel reservations made, train tables pored over, etc. Izzy is just about beside himself; I'm slowly getting more excited as details fall into place.

I even ordered a book on traveling with diabetes (plus I ordered one of those "I have a disease" necklaces that I've been avoiding getting.) We're committed.

For those keeping score, this will be our 1st trip outside of the US together that involves an overnight stay. 24 years of marriage--it's about time.

Now to wait for the questions and advice...

Ave Maria Update (updated)

Izzy and I visited friends at AMU last December, staying in the cabana/pool house right across from this doorway (click to read the name.)

I saw last evening in Open Book (but could not get Blogger to open -- sigh) that Fr. Fessio had been asked to resign and leave AMU immediately.

There's plenty of speculation out there (plus Fr.'s own words) about what led to this. I hope that this does not mean a diminution in the original vision of AMU as a place for vigorous scholarship in a faithful community. I'm sure parents who are helping their juniors and seniors with finalizing applications are watching closely.

Update 3/24:

From comments at Open Book. Looks like he'll get to keep the cabana.


From: Nick Healy
Sent: Thu 3/22/2007 6:22 PM
To: Fla-Faculty; Fla-Staff; FLA-Students
Subject: Father Fessio - update

We expressed yesterday that the separation of Father Fessio from the University’s administration had nothing to do with our shared commitment to our mission as a Catholic university ex corde ecclesiae. As a sign of our esteem for his great gifts and abilities, we have asked Father Fessio and he has agreed to continue a relationship with us. This will include the following:

(i) He will be designated a theologian in residence and maintain a room on campus.

Saturday, March 17, 2007

Eating good at the House of Chez Casa

Izzy's school has a March activity they call Winterim. High Schoolers spend a week doing something interesting (there were trips to Europe, the Dominican Republic, internships at the State House, etc.)

Izzy, as a newbie, got assigned to Cooking School at our local mondo university. The students learned a few skills, including practicing evacuation of the building (twice!) when the fire alarms went off--the revolving-restaurant-topped building has 18 floors and they were occupying the 18th. They may have also learned some cooking techniques -- I heard during the week about this or that developing mad chopping skills.

Families of students and the two faculty were invited to a Friday night dinner prepared by the students. The kids made everything except the Bananas Foster (I don't think the school wanted them stirring the flaming bananas), and the meal was pretty good. There was a really neat onion appetizer that I thought might go well with brie. Turns out Izzy agreed, and he created the dish for last Sunday's small pre-Battlestar Galactica dinner.

I just learned today that Izzy been saving some recipes (some are his, others are ones he's learned) on his blog space, where he puts other quotes and info he doesn't want to lose.

Check out:

Great commentary, too. Gashwin, you might want to stop by when you get back this way...

BIt of excitement on our street

1st the good news: the driver appears to be fine, if a bit shell-shocked.

Izzy and I were sitting here in the living room; I was reading some recipes that Izzy put on his blog space for safe-keeping (he's been doing a bit of that lately, plus storing Eco quotes--check it out) and Izzy was doubtless doing something in Latin.

Insert into the quiet a loud metal and plastic crashing sound.

We jumped up, went on the porch and looked around. Izzy saw it first -- a small SUV on it's passenger side and on fire in a front yard across and down the street. We both took off running--Izzy hollered to me to call 911, but I could hear the lady next door calling them.

We got to the vehicle at the same time as another neighbor, who basically ran into the house where it happened and got a fire extinguisher to put out the engine compartment fire. I called to the driver, who said she was OK and alone. There was no way for us to open the driver's side door (and no way to get her out if we could open it), but I got lucky and the back hatch was unlocked. When I opened the hatch door, smoke flowed out. I could hear, but not see the driver, who was unbuckled (I didn't ask if she was that way pre-wreck.) Looking through the car at the house's porch lights, I was able to see the driver. Turns out, it just took moving the speakers and the vehicle lights came on and she emerged. Izzy helped light the way out with the flashlight he had gone to retrieve. The driver stepped out, and asked for someone to call her husband. A neighbor obliged with a phone. I reached in for the camera and phone I could see, but didn't try to retrieve her purse, which was brown and not visible in the dark.

About this time, we began hearing sirens and seeing lights. When the police arrived, Izzy and I headed home to clear the area (passed neighbors showing up to watch as we walked home.) On the walk home, Izzy noticed I was in my stocking feet. Sometimes you just don't take time to put on shoes...

As I type now, close to 25 minutes after the event, there are 5-6 police cars and 1 firetruck still on the street. The car is a goner, and the wrecker is just arriving to clear the vehicle from the yard. There are lots of voices in the road, though I think folks will be heading in soon.

I'm pleased to see how good police and fire response times were. Under 5 minutes, maybe under 3 1/2 for the first police car. Glad it wasn't any worse on the driver; the neighbor's tree and sidewalk will need serious help, though.

Ta-Da! Ixnay made it to the OED

Along with virtualize, pre-boarding, wiki and, of course, ta-da.

Brief info on these additions is available on the OED News Page.

Something lite for St. Patty's Day.
Update: Should have looked more closely at the OED site. This page has more March 2007 updates, with scads of new terms beginning with pre- (pre-born is one I'm glad to see gaining currency), and lots more words and word-phrases added.

Lexophiles enjoy!

Ones that caught my eye: Pre-K, presto changeo, pretendress, preferred provider organization (PPO), premenstrual syndrome (if it's in the OED, will my PPO pay for meds to treat it?), presumption of innocence, price buster, prim and proper, undelete, whole enchilada, claymation, fricking, and my new favorite entry: tighty-whities.

There's plenty more, including ones not suited for a "family blog", but they're there.

Thursday, March 15, 2007

One and done

Duke is out of the Big Dance. 77-Duke, 79-VCU.

1st loss in the 1st round since the awful 1995-1996 season.

I'm sure Richmond Boy will be happy. (Ah, I see he is.)

Izzy & I will have to find other things to scream at on the TV, while we wait 7 months (7 months! that's a lifetime!) for roundball season to begin again.

Yes, begin again; it's basically over for us. I'll keep track of my bracket picks for a bragging rights contest on a email list I'm on, but I'll probably only watch a few games. I DO plan to watch Florida defeat UNC in the Championship game.

Tuesday, March 13, 2007

Catholic Content Catch-up

I see from Gashwin's blog that "something major" has been released. I see from three feet long entries at Open Book that this "something major" is going to affect liturgy and practice. I'm looking forward to reading with time to digest this weekend. By then, all of the commentary will have been written, and I can look about for folks to explain the nuances.

In the meantime, for me and others who might feel they have frittered away time that they had planned to spend during Lent to improve their spiritual status, I'll share what I heard Sunday.

We had a visiting priest who gave a short homily that focused on the 1929 Rose Bowl Game. A California player -- Roy Riegels -- runs the ball 65 yards the wrong way on a recovered fumble. He was finally tackled at the one yard line -- this lead to a safety for Georgia Tech.

Halftime exchange between Riegels and head coach Nibs Price, as later reported by Riegels:

"Coach, I can't do it. I've ruined you, I've ruined myself, I've ruined the University of California. I couldn't face that crowd to save my life."

"Roy, get up and go back out there — the game is only half over."

Fr. Guest Priest was pointing out to us that Lent was only half over, and that we should re-commit ourselves to what we'd said we'd do this season. The fig tree got one more chance and so have we received grace to try again.

Sounded great, and I appreciated the encouragement.

Question: Does discovering that Georgia Tech went on to win the game 8-7 mess up the analogy? Is it important to know who won, or that the player came back out for the 2nd half? I think the story of courage may be better for me than one of triumph -- courage I can ask for--insisting on triumph as the only acceptable outcome may lead me to not try at all.

More to think about this Lent.

Do you know...?

I looked up one evening a couple of weeks ago and asked Izzy: "Do you know how they're going to make the decision to close schools if we have an influenza pandemic?"

"No," he sez.

"I do," I said and went right back to typing.

I have minions!

One day a couple of weeks ago, I commented to Izzy as I briefly perused the blogs of friends, that I had no time to say anything that was important to me, in the midst of all the work typing.

I hollered as he was exiting the room: "I have opinions!"

Which he heard as "I have minions!"

Has I these minions, they could have worked on the Epi Conference. I'd have had time to blog and then I'd have had to comment on Anna Nicole Smith or Scooter Libby, etc. Maybe it's OK that we've been short-staffed.

Back from Typing Purgatory

Remember that list? Of all the stuff that had to be done NOW!

I got the last bit of it done this afternoon, which, of course, frees me up for everything that has to be done next. While I feel that all I've done is stay late at work, only to come home and occupy a chair until all hours (few bedtimes before 2:30 AM in the past 3 weeks), I've actually done quite a bit.

  • Provided training on disaster preparedness to several hundred student nurses.
  • Provided training on disease reporting and outbreak response to two other groups of student nurses.
  • Provided intensive training to new members of our local epi teams.
  • Worked with small team to put on three day infectious disease/epidemiology conference -- I gave three presentations and facilitated another session, plus assured continuing education credits for nurses who attended. The application for continuing education credit (151 pages!) was nearly the size of the participant notebook!
  • Revised and adapted curriculum for more disaster preparedness training for more nurses.
  • Completed a major revision of the school and childcare exclusion policies (as in "if your child has this condition, please don't send him to school")
  • Spent scads of time coordinating development of the school closure plan for pandemic flu.
  • Answered calls and worked outbreaks...This week I'm filling in as the Peanut Butter Queen -- and yes, we're still finding more cases...
Most of what I do is to assure that other people are prepared to respond to outbreaks, disasters, emergencies, etc. All of it is important -- all of it is, we hope, academic.

Had I more time to think, I'd ponder that this is what good catechesis should do, in addition to teaching us the basics of our faith. We need to know how to respond to the things that come our way that are out of the expected
--The unexpected illness or death of someone we love.
--Set-backs in what we think should be our health / financial / family / mental, / entitled status.
--Occasional disappointments and disillusion that comes as we really get to know people (no one can be as good as his press packet)--and then working to develop mature relationships.

There's probably more incomplete theology rattling around my brain -- we'll see what gets freed from the blog jam of the past few weeks.