Sticky Top Post

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.

Monday, March 31, 2008

Football Stances

I know very little about football, but I know I liked this Robert Ariel cartoon that appeared in The State last weekend (link to this cartoon not yet available on The State's website.)

Click to enlarge and fully appreciate.

Sunday, March 30, 2008

Where does this go?

There were 18 people here for brunch today. Several of the MyFOO families, including lots of kiddoes who thought Uncle Izzy was some sort of climbing apparatus.

At one point, as cleaning up was beginning, one sister asked about a TV tray: Where does this go?

Answered a brother: With the other one.

Saturday, March 29, 2008

I'm 59

(Update at the bottom)

Or so reads the result I got from one of those quizzes to which I was directed (they want to sell you a life plan, I think, so I used one of my disposable Yahoo eddresses.)

Things that make my "real age" younger:

  • Good sleep levels
  • Limited or no secondhand smoke exposure
  • Parents relationship
  • Medication use
  • Happy marriage (or so I claimed on the quiz, smile)
  • Low red meat intake
  • Folic acid intake
  • Daily vitamin
  • Education level
  • Diabetes control
  • Ideal BMI (yay!)
  • Vehicle size
  • Good oral hygiene
  • Safety belt or airbag usage
  • Nonsmoker
  • Alcohol (how much can I have? I want to live lots longer!)
  • Daily breakfast
  • Ideal blood pressure (yay, again)
  • Diverse diet
  • No ovarian cancer in family
  • Maintain total cholesterol level
Amongst the things listed that made my "real age" older, were the following:
  • Low fruit servings
Did I mention the diabetes?
  • Family history of breast cancer
Not the diabetes? Really?
  • Calcium intake
  • Vitamin E intake
  • Vitamin C intake
I couldn't recall how much of these I take each day, and so I guess I didn't get credit for taking them.

and finally:
  • Dog ownership

I don't recall the question. I wonder if (1) I accidentally answered "Yes" to something and thus am losing valuable lifespan for having a dog, or if (2) I lose valuable lifespan for NOT having a dog.

Anyhow, these folks think I'm already 59. That certainly explains the fatigue of late. Maybe I can take my quiz results to the coffee shop or the movies and get a discount.

I tried it again, this time adding in the vitamin and mineral count. Looks like I dropped to 55.4 years old. Still works for the senior discount at Hardees and Belk.

Izzy came out 1.8 years younger than his actual age. He's considering taking up smoking or eating more red meat so as to not outlive our meager savings....They suggest he spend more time riding in a large car. Anyone out there see that happening??

What a week! (or two)

Just a summary, so I won't totally forget. Verb tenses will be all over the place, just so you know.
Choir practice after I arrived home from Atlanta. Discovered that I would be doing one song as a solo that is usually done as a duet, plus two other Psalm solos for the Vigil. I had been practicing the Exultet for several weeks, including practicing it in the darkened Chapel after various evening activities. I'm certainly not perfect, but I'm pretty sure I can get through it.

Holy Thursday:
On call at work, but managed to get away in time to come home, eat a bite, and get back to the church for the Holy Thursday Mass of the Lord's Supper. Not as large a crowd as before -- I think some of our regulars were put off by the announcement that our priest would be washing the feet of twelve men (previous priest washed feet of both sexes.) I understand and agree with his stance (you cannot change the players when you are re-enacting history), esp. since he is following the leadership of our Diocesan administrator. I did find humor last Sunday, though, in the comment of one female parishioner who stated that she could go along with this change is the priest could find the feet of twelve Jewish men to wash.
Same music as last year. Assembly-line footwashing, rather than the priest going to the seats of each washee. It seemed rushed, and I had no idea until told by Izzy (a washee) that Fr. had kissed the washed feet. That, and what felt like a rushed procession to the Chapel of Repose pointed out the decrease in ritual that we've had in the transition. I hope we can reclaim some of that.
I did very much appreciate the bells for the Gloria. We never have bells at the 9 AM Mass. I did OK with the new incense -- didn't get a headache once this year during the Triduum. Yay.
I had to eat a bite during Mass (blood sugar in the 70's -- it feels odd to do so, but I've accepted that I have to be pretty closely regulated.)
Dinner afterwards with friends at a deli.
Home to discover Duke barely squeaked out a win over Belmont. Belmont?

Good Friday:
Arrived what I thought was 10 minutes early for the 12:30 PM stations, which were, of course, nearly over, having started at Noon. You'd think the person who typed that info in to the bulletin and website would have gotten it straight. I'm off work today. Lunch with friends at a non-smoking fish place.
Back to church early to get warmed up for the 3 PM Service of the Lord's Passion (what it's called in the books), or Liturgy of the Lord's Passion, as was corrected in the bulletin draft. No MC this year -- several missteps, including forgetting the offering -- we can work on this if Fr. asks Parish Council for help for next year.
There was a bit of confusion (let's blame the language thing) and our Novus Ordo Mass (which shouldn't have had any changes in the prayers) had not the NEW prayers for the Jews promulgated for those using the 1962 Latin Mass, but the OLD original prayers for the Jews from the 1962 Mass (but done in English.) We are seriously lacking a liturgist at this point.
Good homily -- I heard it twice, cannot recall the topic right this moment, but appreciated the intensity and depth of caring for the people that I heard. I cried at the veneration of the Cross--I think the only tears I shed this year.
Finished bulletin between services -- back for evening Liturgy. Discovered we were the only place in town having a PM service--good for us. Quite a number of folks there who said they usually have to miss Good Friday. No Tenebrae this year -- one person who had already been to a Good Friday liturgy showed up expecting our annual Tenebrae service -- he headed back home.
Since our priest doesn't sing, he has the choir do some of the sung parts. At 7:30 I sang the "This is the wood of the cross, on which hung the Savior of the world; Come, let us worship" for the three elevations.
Dinner afterwards at a Lebanese place. Yummy.

Holy Saturday:
Music practice (for Easter morning), then the last game of DeMarcus Nelson's college careeer. WVU just seriously out-played us --they wanted it more.
Back to church early for the Vigil. Izzy is resplendent in his custom-fitted suit. He sat at Mass next to a guy (visiting from NYC) with the same first name as our priest. Small world.
Gathered around the fire, I sang the "Christ, Our Light -- Thanks be to God", as well as leading it as we processed inside.
I sang the Exultet with Gashwin's voice in my head. I've had it as my soundtrack for most of the rest of this week. Not a bad piece to have floating through your mind. "O, happy fault..."
Soloed on three of the Psalms, including the perennial favorite (which isn't really a Psalm): The Song of Miriam. "I will sing to God a song of glory; Horse and rider have been cast into the sea." Little kids in the back clapped along.
Izzy read two of the long OT readings. He started up to do the prayers of the faithful, when we realized that Fr. had skipped these and announced the offering. This usually isn't announced, but the people had been told to sit, so these prayers got skipped.
Another issue to fix for next year -- candles remained lit the entire Old testament position of the Vigil. Most had been extinguished, as the program and the Missal stated to do. At one point, Fr. told people to re-light ...I think this was another newbie error. It's hard to follow in the footsteps of someone who has done this forever and to do it without an MC (uber-altar server did a great job, but I don't think he saw orchestration as part of his role.) I will say the extra light made it easier to sing...
We had two baptisms, with a total of five people being received into the Church that night. I'll post pics tomorrow when I update the website.
Dessert after the Vigil (clocked in at 2:20, I believe) and reception. We were joined by the visiting professor who talked about working in an evangelical college in the US teaching philosophy. Not a job I envy.

Easter Sunday:
Mass at 9 -- first people arrived at the Chapel around 8:25 AM. Not anyone I recognized. I've heard it said that there is a definite division between the "we" and "they" at Easter: "We" are the regular church attenders and "they" are ones in our seats.
After the Vigil, Easter Sunday always feels a bit anti-climactic. There's no "Easter Song" or "Hallelujah Chorus" as we had in the Presbyterian Church. It is nice to have the Holy Water and incense -- the bells were omitted. As were the prayers of the faithful.
Lunch at the Dells -- wonderful food, fellowship, and lots of great laughs. Line to recall: "PSA's from the TSA." (courtesy my favorite SLED agent.)
Home to type -- things must be reviewed, meetings must be planned, etc.

We managed to avoid dinner at home the next four nights, making 8 days in a row that we ate one or more main meals out. It's like we were back in Dallas...

Monday: Thai food when Gashwin paid a visit to our own. Drinks afterwards at a real bar (this is only exciting to allergy girl -- Mondays are their non-smoking night and, I think not co-incidentally, possibly their busiest night.)
Tuesday: Fish restaurant after seeing "The Bank Job" with Izzy and B3, who had climbed Table Rock that day.
Wednesday: Soiree for G at the Dells. Viewed Italy pictures. I played with a Wii for the first time. On the bowling game, I got four strikes, four spares, 2 sevens and a nine. I think I might as well retire.
Thursday: Izzy went to the Holy City for a movie and visit/dinner with friends from here. I stopped at the coffee shop for a veggie burger. I also had a flat tire, and a nice visit with family in the early evening. Tire and visit are totally unrelated, except that they both happened on a Thursday. Chivalry is still alive out there -- I had help with the tire pretty quickly. I think the dress blowing all over the place may have helped...

So now it's Friday, and this post I've worked on for two days needs to go up. We had friends over for the Battlestar Clip show, and Izzy fixed a fantastic spinach salad and his signature brie-chutney-crescent roll wraps. We also watched Amazing Grace and I cried when William Wilberforce finally got his bill passed.

Time for bed -- pics and my thoughts on whatever I've skipped later on.

Saturday, March 22, 2008

He is not here...

Joining the rest of the world's vigil as we await the Great Easter Vigil Mass, when our Lord is returned to us and to His tabernacle.


Taken before the Good Friday liturgy.

Thursday, March 20, 2008

Throwing Cliches Around like Bowling Balls

If I've said it once, I've said it a millions times: we need to avoid cliches like the plague.

Having said that, I noticed yesterday two interesting cliches in radio discussion of the Obama speech. (I had a several hour drive in the AM.)

It seems that Sen. Obama threw Rev. Wright under the bus, but threw his own grandmother overboard. No one, to my knowledge, was thrown from the train (OK, maybe Ferraro, but I didn't hear anyone in talkradioland use the term.)

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

Battle of the evil Empires

It's Google vs. Microsoft. I think Microsoft has the edge for a bit.

I'm in Atlanta and needed to call my Grandmother, whom I'll be going to visit in a little bit. I looked her up on while (didn't have the number in the cell), and then thought I'd better get driving directions from my hotel.

The map feature on was created by Microsoft Virtual Earth, which looks to be a competitor to Google Earth. Anywho, I noticed that there was a bird's eye option. It gives resolution down to 15 yards. Yep, that's Grandma's house, all right.

So, gotta check out what this map shows for the House of Chez Casa. I'm shocked, and a bit chagrined to report that it is the first mapping program to get our house at exactly the right place. The bird's eye picture is closer than anything I've seen on Google Earth (though I'll be checking them later on.)

We live a few pixels below the pointer thingie, under the clump o'trees. Probably taken last winter, before the southeasternmost fenceline tree died.

Anybody want to identify vehicles in this shot?

Monday, March 17, 2008

Atlanta after the tornado, day 3

I wandered all over downtown Atlanta late this afternoon, going as far as I could on foot without crossing an interstate or venturing beyond the yellow tape. Almost all of the roads have been cleared of trees and debris since last Friday's tornadoes, although there are plenty of streets still blocked due to danger of glass falling from high-rise buildings. there's also plenty of glass available for crunching underfoot.

The main clue that conference attenders such as myself, might have that something untoward happened in this town is the nearly-absent traffic. You can walk across Peachtree Street (any Peachtree Street, take your pick) without waiting forever at crosswalks. There's really no traffic noise outside my hotel, where I'm sitting with the windows open (10th floor --it's safe.) There are fewer marks for the panhandlers, so they are being a bit more aggressive.

Other than that, this end of town looks normal. Walk a few blocks south and west, and there are cranes, barricades, piles of rubble, lots of plywood in windows, and people working very hard to restore the city. It's quite obvious that they have worked all weekend. Seems like a pretty resilient city.

Picks below from Centennial Park, the CNN center & environs, Westin Hotel, etc. Opting not to deal with the vehicle restrictions, I didn't venture to Cabbagetown, or any farther (further?) out.

Windows at the Westin
(view large to see cool repeating pattern in reflections, plus curtains)

Goergia Pacific makes, sells, and now uses plywood.

Outside the Georgia World Congress Conter

Plywood at the CNN Center

Olympic Torch sculpture in Centennial Park

Ticket or concession stand next to another torch, Centennial Park

Trash in Centennial Park


On Centennial Park Drive, demolition starting



Debris pile. CNN center at far right.


To be fair, I think he looked like this before the storm.

I'll link to the whole set once the upload is finished. Thanks to Brother Mattheus for the call of concern Saturday AM.

Update: Here they are.

Yard of the Month

Congrats to Mom & Pops. More on Flickr.




Cool camera thingie

I discovered last week, when taking pics of Mom's yard (which won Yard of the Month -- go, Mom!) that I could add filter effects to the B&W function of the D80. I'd used red filters back in the day to compose some really nice B&W shots. Not post-processing, but actually changing the photo as it is taken.

Here's a bird bath finial, that looks sorta classical.


An empty plastic planter on a dogwood.


Workgloves drying on the back steps.


Enjoying re-learning the camera!

Friday, March 14, 2008

Pi Day

Izzy's school celebrates Pi Moment, on this, Pi Day (3.14) People there think mathematical thoughts when it becomes 3.14 1:59:26.

I made a chess pie.

I'd be remiss if I didn't quote Izzy, who reminds us that, contrary to the pi-r-squared formula we learned in school, "Pie are round; cornbread are square."

Amazon Recommends

Posting now that I've telecoached the boys in dark blue to a spot in the ACC semifinals.

Got a email titled: recommends "Nikon D80 10.2MP Digital SLR Camera (Body only)" and more

Spiffy. Izzy sez that I should get one, since Amazon recommends it.

What should I do with the one I already have (plus lens, thankyouverymuch)?

Joyful Abandon


From last weekend's thrice-delayed seven-year-old bday party. Sometimes life is just this happy, just this good.


And sometimes it's not... We all need more happy stomping moments in our lives, don't we?


Bday boy.

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

Suggestion for the Bulletin

I'm editing (mainly re-arranging sentences) an article on the Holy Thursday foot washing for this Sunday's bulletin.

Sentence: "Following the example of Pope Benedict XVI ... Fr. (name) will wash the feet of twelve laymen."

Microsoft Word suggests that I substitute for "laymen" the term "non-professionals."

Not all suggestions are helpful...

Monday, March 10, 2008

Bday Greetings

Taking a brief break from being too busy to blog anything lately, I thought I'd post a couple of pics from the 25th bday ice cream party this evening.

Mattheus Mei is 25 (MB_25th_03.jpg)

Many happy returns to my brother-from-another-mother.

Mattheus Mei is 25 (MB_25th_04.jpg)

More at Flickr.

Mattheus Mei is 25 (MB_25th_38.jpg)
(Proof I'm still alive...)

Wednesday, March 05, 2008

Whoa, Nellie!

Yes, the political junkie is still up. I've been editing pics from the borrowed camera, uploading to Flickr even as Izzy, many miles away, is doing the same thing. Makes the photostream look very interesting.

So, I'm up late enough that I've actually seen CNN call Texas for Sen. Clinton. They seem pretty excited about it. Maybe it's the prospect of prolonging the horse race (i.e., more viewers for them), maybe it's true what Rush used to say about them being the Clinton News Network. In any case, pretty surprising to me.

I watched the Huckabee concession speech with Mom & Pops. All of us are pretty sure we haven't seen the last of him. We all liked him as a candidate, but not enough to think of him as a better president than McCain for a dangerous world. Interesting discussion, which we hadn't had much time for back before the primary. Turns out, most of us in the local family, minus a couple of "Fred Heads" felt about the same.

So, CNN and the cast of SNL are probably just beside themselves. The rest of us will continue to watch and wonder what this year's "October Surprise" will be.

Sunday, March 02, 2008

One more thing for Izzy

Dunkin Donut commercials - this link opens my current favorite: Fritalian.

Doing Things is What I like to Do (Izzy's fave) -- this is the 59 second version.

Steps (to the Municipal Building.)

Left Loosey.

They Might be Giants mixed with John Goodman mixed with caffeine and sugar. Can't miss!

Lots more available from the 1st link, which, strangely, also has a 45 minute making of Sgt. Pepper documentary.

I'm posting these so Izzy can inflict them on the students this week.

Izzy's Travels

Izzy is tickled that the Leanabago passed 100,000 miles yesterday. He'd driven to Brevard, NC yesterday early to pick up a motorcycle jacket that a rider friend was passing along to me. He got back, picked me up and we took a tour of the Wateree area on the way to the SCISA girls 3A state basketball championship. (Our girls just weren't up to the challenge of their opponents -- who won their fourth consecutive championship yesterday.) Good game, anyway.


Anywho, during the ride, on a very pleasant afternoon, the bike crossed 100,000 miles. Izzy took pics at 99,999 and 100K. For those keeping track, it took about 62 months to get there.


Izzy left this afternoon for a week-long trip with a group of high schoolers. They will be visiting several colleges in the Florida, Georgia and Alabama. Izzy, who hates driving "cages", will be driving a soccer-mom style minivan (his description) filled with teenage boys.

He taught several of these guys last year. At some point, they learned that they could induce him to cringe by singing Afternoon Delight ('70's hit by the Starland Vocal Band.) They did this with great regularity...

As he was preparing to leave this afternoon, I heard the bink that indicated that the computer in the other room had finished burning a CD. "What's on the CD?," I ask. "50 minutes of different versions of Afternoon Delight, " he responds gleefully. He's planning to play it for as much of the 1100 miles as it takes to exact his revenge.

And that's the sort of field trip no one will ever forget. Wish him luck.

Sunday Night Catch-up Varia

Izzy is on the road, more on that later. I'm avoiding finishing real work for a few minutes.

1. A friend mentions on his blog that he has a new standard formula for naming bands. Previously, the recent trend has been "The [Plural Noun.] Now he suggests [Present Participle] + [Proper Noun.] My suggestions (which I'll have to figure out how to relate to my country-folk song-writing style...) are:

  • Being Monday, or
  • Forgetting Absalom or perhaps
  • Testifying Cabrini Green.
2. The camera is back!! 6-8 weeks turned into 12. Let's see if we remember how to use it...

3. The Saturn spent the week in the shop and I only ended up owing $42 (fixed dripping around hinges.) There are still a few problems, including reverse light issues (problem with some sort of wiring harne$$), a brake rotor "out of round but safe" and odd valve noises "way deep in the engine." The shop looked at, then opted not to spend more than the car is likely worth to make repairs. I'm looking at cars -- looks like this Spring or Summer will be the time to buy. Right now I'm leaning toward the Toyota Yaris (I think I like the pirate-sounding name.)

4. The cat is looking for Izzy. I think she noticed the suitcase in the hall earlier -- I've used it a lot lately, so I'm not sure she associated it with his trip. She'll figure it out by the end of the week.

5. Another week of teaching, trainings (those are different), meetings and failing to catch up. Back to it now...