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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.

Tuesday, May 29, 2007

If Father says it's Pentecost

Written Monday evening:

Saturday evening, for the 4th or 5th year, we went to Mass at a small Parish in Floyd, VA. This Parish shares a priest with two other Parishes in the area, and has been sharing a building with a small Lutheran church. Last year they were talking about getting property and building; this year there were the beginnings of a building across the street. There were concrete walls, ceiling joists and a roof in place, and a floor & a few interior walls marked out for bathrooms, sacristy, confessional, etc. There were painted boards ready for mounting, and canisters for electrical in place.

After our tour (courtesy of the deacon), we walked back across the street to the Lutheran church, arriving in time for the pre-Mass Rosary. Hadn't done that in a while. It was nice.

Just before Mass, Father told folks to turn to page 98 in their Missallettes, in order to teach them the Psalm response. Page 98 was for Pentecost Sunday. Several folks let Father know that they thought he should be on page 97, which had the readings & Psalm listed for the Vigil of Pentecost. (Just coincidentally, the Psalms were identical, so it scarcely mattered.)

Except, that Father decided to take the teaching opportunity. He told folks that our habit of calling Satuday's Mass the "Vigil Mass" is usually incorrect. We are doing the Mass for Sunday. The Vigil Mass would be done after Evening prayer, often in a religious community, preceded by vespers (more here on vigil masses.) We aren't usually doing a true vigil; we are anticipating the Sunday celebration of the feast day, or of the Lord's resurrection.

And besides, he reminded his flock, if Father says it's Pentecost, then it IS Pentecost.

Nuff said. We sang from page 98.

This Parish desperately needs music -- the Psalm verses were spoken, the Sequence was spoken, as was the Gloria. Most of the hymns (and we did use hymns) led by the Padre were sung to other tunes, even if the given tune was familiar. Maybe once they get into their own space, they can grow a cadre of musicians.

We'll see next year.

Tuesday evening addition:

I found this comment interesting from a Catholic Answers thread:

Comment 1: Let's take this opportunity to clear something up. The Saturday evening Mass is in NO sense a Vigil Mass. Since Sunday begins liturgically with First Vespers the so-called Saturday Vigil Mass is simply the Sunday Mass celebrated as soon as Sunday liturgically begins. In contrast, a Vigil Mass always precedes First Vespers or (as with the Easter Vigil) replaces it. With a Vigil Mass the Sunday or Solemnity has not yet started and the Propers of the Mass e.g. the Epistle and Gospel, are entirely different from the Mass of the Sunday or Solemnity. Such is not the case with the Saturday Evening Masses. If you have missals, folks, look them up. You will find no reference to a Saturday "Vigil" Mass.

Comment 2: It's listed as a vigil in the church bulletin. At least they got the times right.

Response: The Saturday evening Mass these days is listed as a Vigil Mass in bulletins all over North America which illustrates the fact the Sunday Bulletins all over North America a quite capable of being wrong, especially if the error sounds nice. More trusty is your missal or even the missalette in the pew. If the Saturday evening Mass is a Vigil Mass then you will find another different Mass (i.e. set of Propers) provided for Sunday Morning. But in fact you will only find one Mass which may be celebrated on Saturday evening, Sunday morning or Sunday evening. It is the Sunday Mass and NOT a Vigil.

I'll be updating the bulletin & website tomorrow. It's nice to learn stuff, even when on vacation.

Best Meal of the Year, so far

(Written Monday PM)

Saturday evening, Oddfellas Cantina, Floyd, VA.

Izzy: Tandori lamb with mango-tomato chutney, saffron rice with fennel, vegetables (he shared the broccoli with me). Bread & dipping sauce. Red wine.

Me: Portabella & shitake mushroom spring roll (with bits of onion and ginger) with lemon-yogurt (& some other green spice) dipping sauce. The spring roll wrapper was lightly seasoned with chipotle peppers. Chipotle infused goat cheese medallion in light cornmeal breading, with warm tomato salsa (jalapeno & cilantro!) and tortilla chips.

Live music. No smoking. Bliss.

Menu changes often -- last year we both raved about the chick pea fries & homemade ketchup. Can't wait to see what's cooking next year!

Tires and Mattresses

(written Monday PM)

Izzy and I sleep on a Tempur-Pedic bed. This means, as I'm sure you know, that we are free to set a wine glass on the corner of the bed and jump up and down in the mattress--secure in knowing that the glass will not spill. In case we'd forgotten, the maneuver was demonstrated several times during an infomercial at the tire store today. I hadn't realized that so many people wanted or needed to jump on their mattresses without spilling glasses of wine, but the Tempurpedic market research must have shown a real need for this capability. Why else show it so many times?

We also learned from the TV that yelling at a comatose patient might wake him up, but only partially, and only at the very end of the program, right before the sands ran out of the hourglass. Also, you can fill more air time (3-4 minutes!) discussing how to get medical attention for said patient when none of the "family" members realizes that help can be summoned via the nurse call button.

I worked on my PNP recertification test and Izzy worked on a webpage with tix, itineraries, etc. for our Italy & Spain trip. Had we stayed longer or paid more attention, we might have learned how to buy real estate with no money down or sell stuff without having to have inventories.

Why were we at a tire store? We have been in the mountains, at our favorite little cabin on the Blue Ridge Parkway this past weekend. On the drive up Friday evening, just outside of Martinsville, VA, I had a flat tire. For those of you keeping score, that's two flats inside 600 miles (15 days) of the purchase of a set of 4. Same cause -- torn valve stem. This time, a hot (as in overheated) sheriff's deputy came along and assisted me with putting on the donut, and I started calling the warranty people. Given the late hour, I was unable to find someone (1) open, and (2) who had the same brand of tires. Cut to Saturday morning, lots more calls, and we finally found a place in NC that would be open Memorial Day.

I'll skip the lovely dinner after Mass Saturday, and the quiet, peaceful Sunday--more in another post.

Monday, we drove to Mt. Airy, NC. All looked well; they did not have our same tire in stock, but they had something comparable and they called the warranty people to arrange payment/authorization for the tire.

Except, the 24/7 emergency tire warranty people aren't there on Memorial Day. Not. At. All. It wasn't just that the phone went unanswered; the recording said they were observing the holiday. A holiday on which many, many people exercise their hard-won freedom to travel, I might add.

So, we bought a tire and called the people at the local tire store in SC to arrange to exchange it on Thursday. We'll see how that goes.

We came back to the cabin just before the rain and lightning started. I finished my test; Izzy finished his project and writing final exams. We had a lovely stroll after dinner and I'm typing this (Monday PM) while he's reading one of our Rome guidebooks, Neither of us will be trying the mattress maneuver here in the cabin -- the overhead beams seem a bit dangerous and we'd just end up spilling the wine.

Maybe when we get home...

Posts from the Week Off

As I mentioned earlier, I went to a conference last week. I led our section meeting, hosted a discussion on changes in nursing practice, and led a crowd in singing "We Are the World." All 98 repeats of the chorus.

I wasn't able at the time to see that Izzy had posted from one of his favorite books the truth about why people go to conferences. I'm sure that my real reason was to "indulge [myself] in all the pleasures and diversions of travel while appearing to be austerely bent on self-improvement." At least, that's what my boss needs to think.

More on some of our adventures follows (actually, appears above, once posted.) I wrote the posts whilst in the cabin, once I'd managed to achieve relaxation stasis.

Wednesday, May 23, 2007

Dinner & Dial-up

I'm back at the beach for the annual public health meeting. Overall good so far, tho one event inspired a few "bless her heart" comments.

I had dinner two seats removed from (1) Archbishop Tutu's daughter, Naomi. She was wearing a Tennessee T-shirt, and cleverly held up an SC flag (2) in front of herself whenever pictures were taken.

What was discussed during this rare opportunity? World events? Health disparities? Of course not. The table discussed the pseudo drag beauty pageant that was presented for entertainment. Lots of people find those entertaining -- after seeing videos of my cousin in these shows, I'm less inclined to laugh. Sadly, most pageants aren't like "The Birdcage." (3)

In the fun department, I took a nice long walk on a long pier after dinner. (4) The wind over the water was loud, harsh and invigorating - I loved it! I watched the few remaining folks who were fishing, strolled past families, and smelled the salt air. I could do this more often - now to find a way to finance beach-front property with a long pier. (5)

I'd opine more, but the hotel still has wifi only in the lobby, and dial-up in the rooms. Gotta publish before I lose the connection again.

Ye Olde Foote Notations:

1. Is that the same as "with"? it's important for story-telling.
2. There were US state and international flags in the centerpieces. She didn't just happen to have an SC flag handy.
3. For the record, Birdcage: fun. Cousin Chyna: not so much.
4. The other sort of pier walk didn't seem so practical this evening.
5. If I stay up much later, I'm sure I'll find an infomercial that will show me how to finance it with no money down and no credit check. And get a bunch of new knives and a Swiffer sweeper/duster/julienne fry maker as a bonus. Too bad I'mmmm get--ting sleeeeeepy .... sooooo sleeeeepy...

Sunday, May 20, 2007

Dance, Dance, Party

Or maybe Dance, Race, Party.

This afternoon, Izzy and I went to a dance recital, where we got to see several folks from the Parish in a tap number. Gold costumes, glittery fake eyelashes, and they looked like they were having more fun than most of the other dancers in the program. Great job, guys!

We watched the Preakness and I rooted for Street Sense -- the race ended in an exciting photo finish (and no Street Sense victory, alas!) No triple crown, again this year. It was interesting to watch the horses being lead to the starting gate while cars and buses passed by and "regular folks" watched from the sidewalks. Very different from the exclusivity of the Derby.

We went to a 21st bday party later this evening -- both Izzy and I made a point to wear things older than the honoree. I got introduced by said honoree to a friend of his as "Mrs. [O'Cayce]." I got "Mrs'd!" I guess it's not really the kiss of death, and it's certainly demonstrates that this child was raised properly. I was, after all, the eldest person in attendance. My tee-shirt (from high school) was older than all but 4 of us there...

Our evening is concluding with watching a John Prine concert DVD, from "back in the day" (1980.) Way overdue on the counting pills and applying liniments for the evening. (grin)

I should mention that my day began with an Izzy-modified omelet Lyonnaise made with Vidalia onions. Somebody loves me...

Friday, May 18, 2007

Wasting my 15 minutes

I occasionally check the hit counter I installed as a freebie a year or so ago. I tend to get 15-20 hits a day, mostly very brief. More on days when I post something, but nothing like the circulation of other folks I know. I got mentioned recently at Right Reason recently as an HT in a literary meme (wish it were original to me -- thanks Marlowe!) and got several comments.

So, I happened to check Statcounter today and lo and behold, there were 841 hits! Most brief, but some folks poked around for a while.

The source of all those hits? Well, 99 of 100 of them (all that Statcounter analyzes for free) came from people doing exactly what Izzy and I were doing last night. Looking for Shrute bucks. Izzy has found the dialogue I was looking for and I'll be updating the earlier entry.

3 thoughts:
1. I wish I'd written something more profound.
2. I agree with Izzy that it's a shame to waste my 15 minutes of fame this way, but c'est la vie.
3. Lots of people out there wants themselves some Schrute bucks (or Stanley nickles--either will do.)

Thursday, May 17, 2007

Angry Sandwich

When I got home this evening, Izzy let me know some sad/concerning/disturbing news about a longtime friend of ours. One of those situations where there's nothing we can fix at a distance, and nothing that would obviously be fixed by traveling right now to see this person.

In Mark 9, Jesus' disciples, on their two-by-two mission trips, found themselves unable to solve a problem (in this case cast a demon out of a child.) Jesus commanded the demons to leave the child, who fell into convulsions as they left.

28: When he entered the house, his disciples asked him in private, "Why could we not drive it out?"
29 : He said to them, "This kind can only come out through prayer."

This sort of thing needs time to work itself out. This kind can only [be fixed] through prayer.

I went through the stages of being upset, angry, worried, concerned, etc. as I prepared my sandwich after receiving the news. I realized I was angry as I wielded the scissors to open the Tofurkey slices. As I sliced the cheese. As I slapped the bread onto the plate. As I thought "How awful! How can this have happened?! How [insert word indicating that things are pretty bad here]!

As I found myself assuming that nothing will change from the way it is right at this very moment.

Calmer now, I see how critical that last sentence is. My boss and I talked yesterday about Newton's first law of Motion -- it applies here.

Newton's first law: law of inertia
Lex I: Corpus omne perseverare in statu suo quiescendi vel movendi uniformiter in directum, nisi quatenus a viribus impressis cogitur statum illum mutare.

An object at rest will remain at rest unless acted upon by an external and unbalanced force. An object in motion will remain in motion unless acted upon by an external and unbalanced force.

I tend to think that the way something is now, or the way I perceive something to be, is as it always will be. World without end. This is often true even if I know that things now are not as they have always been.

Things in motion tend to stay in motion...
Things at rest tend to stay at rest...

I tend to forget the external and unbalanced force. The great interruption. What is it that happens when we pray. Why it is that we need to pray.

The KJV version of this passage adds fasting:
28 And when he was come into the house, his disciples asked him privately, Why could not we cast him out?
29 And he said unto them, This kind can come forth by nothing, but by prayer and fasting.

While I cannot do a regular fast, I'll be spending extra time in prayer during lunch tomorrow for our friend. Anyone wishing to add prayers for Izzy & Lizzie's friend is welcome to do so. God will know for whom you are praying.

Schrute Bucks

Dwight: Don’t you want to earn Schrute bucks?

Stanley: No. In fact, I’ll give you a billion Stanley nickels if you never talk to me again.

Dwight: What’s the ratio of Stanley nickels to Schrute bucks?

Stanley: The same as the ratio of unicorns to leprechauns.


The quote will be better once "Schrute bucks" shows up as a Googlable item. (Currently no results.)

I wants me some Schrute bucks. They might motivate me to do my job better.

Updated with dialogue (thanks Izzy!) Friday PM. Apparently, I became a Googlable item.

Wednesday, May 16, 2007


I've done pretty well in my resolve not to have an all-diabetes, all-the-time blog. Click here if you want to see what I have written in the subject.

I thought I'd do a quick update, though, having passed a bit of milestone this AM. I stepped on the scale this morning and my weight was now just over 60# lighter than what I weighed last Spring. Meaning I've lost just at/over 60#. (*) Yippee.

Izzy sez I've been motivated to follow the dietary guidance due to fear of losing toes. I think that's too far into the future to be a good motivator (though it's not a bad one.) It may be more that I know there's another meter reading coming up in a few hours, and that there will be a hemoglobin A1C test in three months. (Imagine a cumulative exam for a class that could actually detect those days when you didn't study the course material.)

So, it still gets frustrating when glucose readings are unexpectedly high, when I've tried hard to do the diabetic math correctly. My MD wasn't as obsessed as I was at my last visit. I looked at a three month chart with 6 high readings (AKA failures); she saw an average of twice a month readings out of range and the rest in range (AKA pretty good control.)

There's some sort of great spiritual illustration in there, about self-forgiveness, and long-term consequences of actions, and our perspective being different from others (God, even) who see a bigger picture. Gotta contemplate it a bit longer.

My goal for this weekend is to get some old stuff out of the closet, to make room for all the new clothes I've had to buy. Fortunately, having always been a bit slow at getting things done, I've been able to access & wear old (10+ years old) clothes that I never got around to getting rid of. It'$ $aved a bit on the clothe$ $hopping expen$e$. Style, schmyle.

(*) The AM weight was of course, influenced by the thorough navel de-linting, etc. that is so critical to an accurate weigh-in. I know it will be a while before the PM weights are at the same number, but it was nice to see it at least once. I also fully expect to go 3-4 days before I see that lower # again.

Monday, May 14, 2007

Friends from Church

When Izzy and I first re-settled here in "The Big Humidity," I assumed we'd be spending most of our time with various and sundry relatives of mine. Surprisingly, even with 24 relatives in a 10 mile radius and another 8 just 3 counties over, I end up seeing family once a week or less. Schedules are really complicated when everyone has beaucoups de children headed to this activity and that.

So, with whom do we spend our time? Some with family, lots and lots with friends from church (FFC) or other church-related activities. Sampling of my evening schedule from a recent period:

Wednesday: Typing the Bulletin

Thursday: ER & ICU with niece.

Friday: Shakespeare in the Park. The classics and dining al fresco with a group of FFC's.

Saturday: FFC's over for the Kentucky Derby. Juleps, Derby Pie and a cookout.

Sunday: Kids Musical at the Myfoo church. Must have been seen to be believed. Darryl Waltrip on the big screen "interacting" with the kid actors. Niece with a solo, another with a speaking role.
(None of my pics of the event came out, alas, so I'll just post the logo and a summary.)
Racing legend Darrell Waltrip joins kids via DVD (with interactive dialogue) to get them on the right track with God during this driving musical. Clever and fun, it's all about understanding that no one should cross the finish line without a saving faith in Jesus Christ. Speedy Cheney and Hotrod Hanson are along for the ride as Hotrod explores what he thinks it means to be on God's team. By the last lap, everybody knows that real champions find power for living from the Holy Spirit.
Watching the kiddies watch the racing and wrecks was something (as in "ain't that .. somethin'?" Or "well, don't that beat all?" It doesn't but that's another post for another day.) BTW: I noticed that in one of the racing scenes, the cars passed a couple of billboards advertising Crown Royal and Bud Light. This on the big screen in a Baptist Church!

Monday: Young Adults, game night and cookout.

Tuesday: Glenn Kaiser Concert, where we sat with more FFC's (OK, from my old youth group, friends I hadn't seen in 26 years. I'm shocked they recognized me.)

Wednesday: Typing the Bulletin.

Thursday: Planned to have lunch with Mom, ended up sitting most of the day in the tire store.

Friday: Sushi with FFC's and some of their friends.

Saturday: FFC's over for bad sci-fi.

Sunday: Met Mom & an FFC for movie "The Namesake." Outing originally organized by FFC, who ended up at the re-scheduled NASCAR race in Darlington. Mom over afterward for salmon & grits w/blueberry chutney.

Tonight: Cards at the Center, nice multi-age group. (BTW: I apparently cannot eat pizza anymore. Blood sugar goes too high. Alas...)

Score for the past two weeks?

Family: 2 planned events, 1 crisis response, 1 plan that didn't work out.
Church -- FFC's: 7 planned events, 1 nice surprise.
Church -- other: 2 evenings of volunteering.

Someone might comment on the breadth of our social life -- it does appear that we've been busy lately. Izzy is so glad to finally have a life this year.

Saturday, May 12, 2007

The Last Sentinel

Wretched movie on Sci-Fi tonight, made better with friends over to share in the pain. Scads of exposition voiced by the lead character's rifle ( in an echo-y room, so most of it becomes completely unintelligible, but maybe that's a good thing.) Lots of shooting. Something about Doomsday. Grey-colored flashbacks, with lots more exposition.

A character just said:

This is bad, unthinkable. This must be stopped.

Can't say I disagree. (I'm sure the Execs at the Sci Fi channel may be thinking the same thing.)

From an IMDB comment:
This may be an alright title.... for an episode of Mystery Science Theater 3000. It's lower quality than a "B" movie. Don't waste your time or even consider watching it unless you're drunk or high and have a bunch of friends over.

Looks like we did the right thing (the friends, not the being high or drunk.)
Even then, they'll probably shoot you. ... Please, think of your brain cells. The plot may be summarized in 2 lines: Shooting spree to kill a cyborg army that looks like a bunch of stormtroopers. There's a cheesy "love twist" (if you can call it that) and lame attempts at script. It would have been better as a silent movie. The special effects are blatantly obvious and it's just one big excuse for making 90 minutes of firing guns.

BSG Fan alert: I don't think Katee Sackhoff will be getting any awards for this one.

I'll close with what the little army kids are being instructed to do:
Slash, Stab, Slash, Slash, Recover.
Slash, Stab, Slash, Slash, Recover.

Everybody join in & sing along...

Friday, May 11, 2007

Friday Night Lite

Izzy's in here quoting a line from the Monk episode we've just been watching:

There's no heart so black as the black, black heart of the phony leper.

Tru dat.

Nice gathering tonight with folks from the Parish at a sushi place tonight (yes, I found stuff I could eat, imagine that!) I left a bit before the rest of the group. You know us old folks -- we have to get home early to start counting out our evening pills, and applying liniments.

Looking forward to possibly seeing the pic of a group newbie "eating off the menu" (Izzy's coinage, of course.)

Thursday, May 10, 2007

Childhood Reading (re-purposed post)

I recently comment in a friend's journal about "not having had the patience needed for fiction" when I was a child. I read mostly true stories, and little fiction. My friend asked for an explanation of what patience was needed for fiction, and if my parents had limited my reading.

My reply, which may say a lot about my childhood (pasting here, so I'll be able to remember what I wrote):

Fiction only requires the patience of time -- time that I seemed to want to spend on true stories, or kids novels books like Prairie Princess or Treasures of the Snow that showed the triumph of the believer over adversity.

My parents bought us Dr. Seuss books; I memorized Green Eggs and Ham before my 2nd birthday (Mom was convinced I could read, since I even knew when to turn the pages), Little Golden Books, & I had my own Subscription to Young Pilot.

I read art books, an old algebra book, the Lincoln Library of Essential Information, the New Book of Life, an annotated biography of Pontius Pilate, etc. I also read Mrs. Piggle-Wiggle and Goldie the Doll Maker, bios of Edgar Cayce, and commentaries by Herbert W. Armstrong. (My Dad had wide-ranging interests, and full book cases, and I read what he collected, even though most 4th graders might not be interested in the foundational beliefs of the Worldwide Church of God.) I was always reading, and never imagined that I missed anything.

I recently blogged about my first exposure to dark fiction:

Vonnegut first gave me the gift of dark fiction with insight, quite a change from the missionary stories I read at home. In high school, I grew to appreciate the value of subversiveness in fiction as a means to incite questions about the status quo.
I read that sort of book for a while, until I got hooked into (1) true crime stories, and then (2) royalty history. I'm sure I'll hit other phases later on.

One other revelatory bit of my history: I first heard about Santa Claus ( as best can be ascertained) while in Kindergarten. Santa just never came up in the Bible College setting, or if it did, I never tuned in since I figured out early on that gifts came from my parents. (There are no Santas in the old slides of our Christmases...)

Anyhow, to get to the point, my parents told me about Santa and how some families liked to pretend that there was someone who came down the chimney and brought gifts. There were a few things left out of this explanation: Pretending is a fun game people play; some kids really believe what families pretend; you shouldn't contradict other people's families, etc.

The deficits came to light just a few days later when my parents were called by the kindergarten teacher. Apparently, kids went home upset after I told them all that their parents had lied to them about Santa Claus. Lied, pretended, I apparently had
no distinction...

Long enough reply. Izzy loves fiction, I like history, and it works out well for us to be puzzle pieces, rather than a matched set of bookends.

Wednesday, May 09, 2007

Derby Pie

Izzy posted on the pie we used, along with mint juleps, to celebrate the Run for the Roses last weekend (great afternoon/evening with the Dells and Slim's Driver.)

Read all about making Derby Pie (I'll be looking it up again next year) then poke around to read about old-fashioneds.

Unexpected Things

First, as Dogwood rightly points out, no one does expect the Spanish Inquisition.

Or, having had the late afternoon that I did, remembers it...

Thus, unexpected thing the first is that Mrs. History Buff her-own-self forgot about the Inquisition special. I'll have to tape it when it repeats next week in the early AM.

Unexpected thing the 2nd: Moving out of my office for a bit. Whilst in another colleague's office, our discussion was interrupted by another colleague informing me that there was Niagara Falls in my office. Sure enough, there was water coming through and between the ceiling tiles and bouncing up onto desk papers, books (expensive medical references, of course, not the training manuals), pictures, diplomas, etc.

We began grabbing things and trying to disentangle computer cabling. It didn't seem that bad until the first ceiling tile burst from the weight of a whole lot of water. By the time that a third of the ceiling was gone, we'd gotten most of what was valuable out of the room. At the same time, another crowd was grabbing computers, 800 MHz radios, papers, etc. from my boss's half of the office suite (he'd left for a meeting across town) where water was coming in over the corner of the room.

In an interesting turn of events, today was SC State Employees Appreciation Day. I skipped the Appreciation weenie roast & dessert fest down the street, to work on other projects. I felt appreciated as the upper echelons of the agency adminisphere not only showed up while the water was pouring in overhead, but actively moved books, boxes, computers, etc. They were quite concerned that I was OK (I'd gotten really wet when one tile burst) and were very helpful. Nice when it goes beyond just verbal expressions of appreciation, as it did here.

One other interesting tidbit: Employees had been encouraged to wear blue jeans for our Appreciation Day. I'm not sure why wearing blue jeans makes people feel appreciated, but I DO know that people wearing jeans are much more likely to crawl under desks, climb on chairs to grab boxes, etc. Worked out well for us. (I haven't fit in my jeans for quite a few pounds, so wore a denim dress. I still crawled under the desk--little stops me from responding in an emergency.)

When I left at nearly 7 PM, building services and the roofing contractor (yes, on a day with only a light rain, my office was soaked just under the very area where the roof was being worked on by subcontractors -- sound like anything else that happened this week last year, folks?) had tarped files and shelves that couldn't be moved and were securing all our things that had been dragged out into the halls.

Interesting, if not potentially mortifying item from this afternoon: Ladies, you know those person items you keep in the cubbie right above your desk for emergencies? Sometimes, if someone is rapidly removing the contents of your office, various little emergency items may spill out and roll down the hall in full view of colleagues, contractors, etc. You just pick them up and find a new emergency location...

Finally, unexpected thing the 3rd: Izzy and I went to see Glenn Kaiser last night at a local coffee shop. We were standing outside waiting for the shop to open after the sound check, when I heard my name called -- a couple who were in my high school youth group were there with their 12 year old daughter. I hadn't seen these folks since the Christmas after I first went off to college (let's just say Carter administration...)

We had a great time catching up and he was genuinely interested in hearing about how we came to swim the Tiber. In the let's-all-feel-old department, the husband was a grade behind me in school -- they have a 23 year old and a nineteen year old. The wife's younger sister, I think my age, has a 26 year old. We have an almost 11 year old cat. Hardly compares...

Three unexpected things in 24 hours -- that's enough for now. I'm planning to celebrate Confederate Memorial Day tomorrow by contributing to the southern economy -- getting an oil change and maybe looking at getting some new jeans to wear on Friday (when we're once again asked to wear them so we'll feel appreciated.)

And so it begins, 2007 version

From the Government, who is here to help us:



Anyone headed to Florida this week? Charleston today? Expect some rain and winds.

Tuesday, May 08, 2007

One does not do that to One

After he began his gaffe by starting to state that HM Elizabeth II had previously visited the US in 1776 (she doesn't look bad for someone born in her own Great-great-great-great grandfather George III's reign), our very own President George III made this attempt to recover:

Which was greeted thusly:

Excellent response, Ma'am.

One imagines Barbara Bush doing much the same.

Monday, May 07, 2007

Inquisition: Programming Note

Saw this earlier today and found the link again. PBS is presenting a four-part series (4 hours) on the Inquisition.

Altogether now:
"I didn't expect the Spanish Inquisition!"
"Nobody expects the Spanish Inquisition..."

Programming info here: Secret Files of the Inquisition. I have no idea what to expect, but it might be interesting.

It starts Wednesday at 9 PM in our area.

Beckwith Reversion, or what we really believe

Like lots of others, many a bit angry and a few more confused about Catholic doctrine, I followed a link from Open Book to Dr. Francis Beckwith's discussion of his return to the Catholic Church of his childhood. I noticed, as did many others, the venom directed at Dr. Beckwith, former President of the Evangelical Theological Society (ETS) in the nearly 300 comments.

The ETS statement of faith, pretty minimal, does actually seem to be something that most Christians would be able to support. If it was meant to exclude Catholics, they didn't do a good job setting it out exclusively enough.
(Points for an against this argument are debated between the "Congrats, Welcome Home" and "How could you, you heretic?!" responses to Dr. Beckwith's announcement.)

The Bible alone, and the Bible in its entirety, is the Word of God written and is therefore inerrant in the autographs. God is a Trinity, Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, each an uncreated person, one in essence, equal in power and glory.
After folks have had a weekend to think about Dr. Beckwith's reversion, this appeared on Mission Territory: A papist in Dixieland. It's Edmund C's list of answers to lots of the mis-informed anti-Catholic writing that appeared over the weekend. I'm posting it here, so as to not lose the great summary of what we as Catholics actually believe, plus FAQ answers.
Discover for yourself that the old myths about Romanism and Popery aren’t true. The evidence is all there, if you just take the time to look:
  • We don’t believe in salvation by works. We believe in salvation by the grace of God, which will be manifested in good works. As St. James put it, faith without works is dead.
  • We don’t pray to saints in the same way we pray to God. We ask the saints, who are in heaven, to intercede for us to God, much as we ask friends to pray for us here on Earth.
  • We don’t worship the Blessed Virgin Mary in the same way we worship God. We honor her for her example, for her purity, and for her constant intercession with her Son, but we know that she isn’t God.
  • We can’t buy our way into heaven with indulgences. Indulgences, which can’t be bought or sold, are means of reducing time in purgatory.
  • And speaking of purgatory, it’s simply a place beyond space and time where we who are saved will be cleansed before entering Heaven. Nothing impure can enter the presence of God, and a snow-covered dunghill is still a dunghill.
  • Indulgences are earned by actions that increase our purity here on Earth, therefore reducing the amount of cleansing needed.
  • We don’t re-sacrifice Christ every Mass. We re-present the one Sacrifice.
  • Infallibility doesn’t equal impeccability. The pope, unless he’s declaring something of faith and morals, in a specific manner, is just like you and me. he’s a sinful human being.
  • Yes, we’ve done bad things in the past, but we’re sinful, too. It may not have been a good idea to burn Protestants at the stake, although if you take heresy as seriously as we do–and by your comments, I know you do–then to keep someone from infecting others with their salvation-denying views is perfectly understandable. There were bad popes and good popes, there are bad Bishops–lots of ‘em. But, that does not take anything away from the preaching of the Gospel.

I could go on and on, but I think you get the point. Please don’t bother reading some hysterical anti-Catholic to learn what Catholics believe. Ask us. We are not the members of a vast conspiracy designed to preach a false Gospel; we were preaching the Gospel before the Canon was set.

Finally, Open Book also pointed to this comment left at the Boar's Head Tavern on Catholic converts from Evangelical Protestantism. I'm copying it to here since it does seem to ring true from some of the dissatisfaction that I read in St. Blog's:
Meh. I have this theory that a large plurality of evangelicals who become Roman Catholics think they’re becoming Lutherans. I mean, a lot of them think they’re getting a historic liturgy, ancient practice, and an evangelical understanding of grace with a sacramental package providing assurance. But what they’re really getting is crappy Marty Haugen rites, medieval novelty, and dogmatic doubt. I mean, you almost never see evangelicals swimming the Tiber because they’re really excited about being able to get indulgences, sacrificing Masses to get their grandmas out of purgatory, or doubting whether they’re in the state of grace.

Yikes! True?

Friday, May 04, 2007

How do you explain...

... when bad things happen to little kids? And then happen again?

It's Friday night, late, and I'm finally able to post on yesterday's occurrences. My middle sister called me yesterday afternoon just before 5:30 and asked"have you heard the news?" in that particular voice that lets you know the news won't be good.

From an email Izzy sent to friends after Dogwood activated the prayer chain:

Today, while waiting in the carpool lane to pick up the older boy, the young daughter (J; the one whose eye has just opened back up) jumped out of the open van door just as van was about to move forward in the line. J was run over by the rear wheel.
It gets mighty hot sitting in the carpool line and kids go in and out of mini-vans to play in the grassy area. plenty of moms pull forward once the line starts moving without shutting the passenger side door -- I think far fewer will at this particular school.

I work pretty close to the hospital and got there fairly quickly. BiL and his parents were in the room; Sis was talking to the police who had followed the ambulance. This branch of the family has been through an awful lot in the past few years; I imagine few things, though, will equal the trauma of running over your child. Nothing the officer could say equalled what I am sure was being said in my sister's head...

As a nurse, I was expecting to see spinal compression, broken bones and kidney injury. The first thing I saw when I entered the room (I'm trained to look for this sort of thing), was the clear, straw-colored urine in the catheter tube. Deep breath -- this is very good. Spontaneous movement of the toes. This is also good. Upon awakening from the sedation needed for xrays, she complained of itching, demanded apple juice, and told us about the accident. Her memory was that she jumped.

Deep breath again...this is good, she has her memory intact. Long look at sister, who is going to re-live over and over the thumpa-thump she heard during the accident--"are you going to be OK?" and knowing that some things may never be back to normal, completely, if you look below the surface.

Our first impressions, based on initial scans and xrays led to this email:
Her pelvis is broken in two places, but there are no signs of internal injuries. She will be in the hospital for a couple nights, and then will be sent home in an immobilizing cast. But it could be a whole lot worse.
J drank some GI dye (mixed in the apple juice) and we went up to the Peds ICU to await further xrays of her gut. Per her doctor, who was looking at the scrapes and tire marks, "I've just got the think that there might be damage there" (Points to abdomen.) BiL's family had taken home one son, the neighbors had another. BiL, after getting locksmith assistance from long-time friend of the family (we always called him"Dad's favorite son"), took off to get the van, clothes for the overnight stay, etc. Mom, I, and two brothers ended up taking turns being with Sis in the PICU until he returned.

Parents of injured children look for someone to blame. BiL experienced this all week after the previous accident which left little J with a hugely swollen eye and fractured cheek bone. Blood is often thicker than wedding rings, and both parents turned to their families of origin for support, venting, validation, etc. They'll need lots of prayer and support to help them turn to each other to get through this.

I sent this out earlier:
Thanks to all for your prayers and expressions of concern for my niece.

Despite her doctor's opinion as he looked at J's scrapes and bruising, certain that there would be damage in her abdomen, scans and xrays showed only small fractures on pelvic bones that won't interfere with the growth plates. There was no internal bleeding, no renal damage, no neurological impairment in her extremities or vital organs.

When I visited the hospital early this afternoon, we walked to the playroom where she played in a chair and one the floor with her Daddy. She wasn't willing to climb into the chair, and held one leg a little stiffly as she walked, but her gait was otherwise even and walking was unlabored. She figured out how to feed herself cereal despite her right hand being immobilized for the IV. She figured out how to color. When she wasn't really willing to give up a toy, she figured out that she could offer to share to get more time with it -- not bad reasoning.

She was discharged to home directly from the ICU: no cast, no wheelchair, no catheter...

There will be some pain, lots of medical follow-up, etc. There will also be lots of processing of what happened in her 3 1/2 year old mind, which was composing a sing-song of "Mommy ran over me" followed by giggling,

Those with kids can imagine how this will affect her parents. Those without can still offer prayers for this little girl and the extended families who, we hope, can support this couple as they work to turn to each other for comfort and strength.
Thanks to those who've followed links or responded to emails and offered prayers. The explaining may take much longer and address much more than the recovery process.

Wednesday, May 02, 2007

Mil Blogs Ending?

Saw this in my end of the work-day news round-up:

Army Squeezes Soldier Blogs, Maybe to Death

Noah Shachtman 05.02.07 2:00 AM

The U.S. Army has ordered soldiers to stop posting to blogs or sending personal e-mail messages, without first clearing the content with a superior officer, Wired News has learned. The directive, issued April 19, is the sharpest restriction on troops' online activities since the start of the Iraq war. And it could mean the end of military blogs, observers say.

Military officials have been wrestling for years with how to handle troops who publish blogs. Officers have weighed the need for wartime discretion against the opportunities for the public to personally connect with some of the most effective advocates for the operations in Afghanistan and Iraq -- the troops themselves. The secret-keepers have generally won the argument, and the once-permissive atmosphere has slowly grown more tightly regulated. Soldier-bloggers have dropped offline as a result.

The new rules (.pdf) obtained by Wired News require a commander be consulted before every blog update.

I know a few of you out there have military family / friends / connections. I have a nephew with a myspace account (used mainly for IM'ing buddies and fiancee') and wonder how this will affect him. Opinions?

Derby Day is Coming!

Izzy posted one of his favorite Walker Percy essays: "Bourbon," from Signposts in a Strange Land. Great southern writing...

A snippet:

1935: Drinking at a football game in college. UNC versus Duke. One has a blind date. One is lucky. She is beautiful. Her clothes are the color of the fall leaves and her face turns up like a flower. But what to say to her, let alone what to do, and whether she is “nice” or “hot”—a distinction made in those days. But what to say? Take a drink, by now from a proper concave hip flask (a long way from the Delta Coke bottle) with a hinged top. Will she have a drink? No. But that’s all right. The taste of the Bourbon (Cream of Kentucky) and the smell of her fuse with the brilliant Carolina fall and the sounds of the crowd and the hit of the linesmen in a single synesthesia.

1941: Drinking mint juleps, famed Southern Bourbon drink, though in the Deep South not really drunk much. In fact, they are drunk so seldom that when, say, on Derby Day somebody gives a julep party, people drink them like cocktails, forgetting that a good julep holds at least five ounces of Bourbon. Men fall face-down unconscious, women wander in the woods disconsolate and amnesiac, full of thoughts of Kahil Gibran and the limberlost.

Go read the chapter and be sure to finish with the recipe for “Cud’n Walker’s Uncle Will’s Favorite Mint Julep Receipt.” We have it every year on Derby Day.

(yes, we'll have to make some sort of diabetic alteration to the recipe -- horrors!)

FYI: Izzy will be bringing home the "hoops machine" and we'll be viewing the Derby on the big screen. Let us know if you'd like to join us. We'll powder some more ice.