Monday, September 30, 2002
Also, I just got a call from TCI Solutions. They want me to come in Wednesday morning to meet with one of their team leads that I didn't meet before, and then their CTO is going to take me to lunch. This looks very positive. I wish it were tomorrow! Oh well.
Sunday, September 29, 2002
Saturday, September 28, 2002
After the game I followed the band over for their post-game concert on the steps of the Admin building. They've been doing these "victory concerts" for a few years now. They play a few songs and then the bell from the USS Arizona (which hangs in the Student Union bell tower) is rung. It's pretty neat. The band (the Pride of Arizona) bills itself as an "alternative music marching band" and it's true. Tonight they played the Red Hot Chili Peppers. I really enjoy them, they are great. I can't imagine have a marching band that does "ordinary music" after having listened to the Pride all these years -- I guess I'm spoiled.
Update Turkey now says the amount of uranium is far less than previously thought.
When I was outside the house just before noon, I could hear the UA marching band practicing for tonight's halftime show (UA plays North Texas tonight). I really love living close enough to campus to be able to hear them. It just makes me feel good.
Friday, September 27, 2002
Thursday, September 26, 2002
The Raytheon interview at 4 p.m. went much better. I met with 4 of their people, and it was pretty positive. They didn't really ask me that many questions -- I think they'd asked most of them in the phone interview. They did ask a few questions about how I'd handle some sample situations, and they explained a lot about the various groups they have. I should hear from them next week.
When I got home tonight there was an email and a voicemail from TCI Solutions, saying they'd like me to come back in to meet some other folks that I didn't meet on Wednesday. I emailed them back and I'll call tomorrow, I just thought that pretty strange.
Wednesday, September 25, 2002
Tomorrow I have my Netpro interview at 10 a.m. I also got a call from Raytheon today, I have an interview with them tomorrow as well (!) at 4 p.m. So tomorrow will be a busy day! I'm going to see Arizona Theater Company's production of "Much Ado About Nothing" tonight, with my friend Mary. It should be a lot of fun!
O nata lux de lumine,
Jesu redemptor saeculi,
Dignare clemens supplicum
Laudes preces que sumere.
Qui carne quondam contegi
Dignatus es pro perditis.
Nos membra confer effici,
Tui beati corporis.
Tuesday, September 24, 2002
Monday, September 23, 2002
Before rehearsal I walked over to 5:15 Mass at the Newman Center; on the way over I spotted my friend Sharayah stopped at the light at Speedway and Campbell. I said hi briefly and asked her to call me. I called her when I got home from rehearsal and we talked for about a half hour. It's good to touch base with old friends.
After lunch I took myself to the matinee of Good Girl, with Jennifer Aniston. I'm not sure what I was expecting from the previews, but it is a pretty good movie. Aniston is really terrific. It's a movie about life and despair and the crazy things lack of hope can make us do. It's also about secrets and how they can twist and warp our lives, and about knowing ourselves. I recommend it. For myself, though everyone has secrets I try to live a relatively open life (hey, I have a blog after all!). That's not to say I don't have secrets, but they aren't many.
Sunday, September 22, 2002
"...a careful review of the available social science evidence suggests that living together is not a good way to prepare for marriage or to avoid divorce. What’s more, it shows that the rise in cohabitation is not a positive family trend. Cohabiting unions tend to weaken the institution of marriage and pose special risks for women and children."
Saturday, September 21, 2002
Amy Welborn has banned me from her blog!
Yep, apparently she did not like my comments (now deleted) taking her to task on her comments here. Her explanation is here. I sent her the following email:
Dear Ms. Welborn,
You have banned me from commenting on your blog, as is certainly your right. I'd have appreciated a note to that effect. In any case, I'm surprised that you claim that the people you banned were referring to others in personally disparaging ways, since while I certainly disagreed with you (I believe I referred to your conflation of the Cathedral and the Archdiocese's budget troubles as "a cheap shot" and suggested you should have known better) I didn't personally disparage anyone, nor did I intend to. I certainly do apologize if you felt I personally disparaged you, it was not my intent. In any case given your post claiming not to care what people say about you, I'm definitely confused.
To get to your larger point, I lived in the Archdiocese of LA for 6 years. I can tell you that the Cardinal (even before he was a cardinal) did a lot for the prolife movement in the time I lived there. He also, if I'm not mistaken, served as head of the US Bishop's pro-life committee for several years. He personally led the Helpers of God's Precious Infants in saying the rosary at abortion clinics, and encouraged his auxiliaries to do so as well. So I think you are wrong about him on that point. Furthermore, the money for the Cathedral was raised before it was constructed, and long before the current budget troubles, which as another person noted, are due to the downturn in the stock market. Finally, there is and always has been a big difference between capital budgets and operating budgets. It's one thing to raise a large amount of money for a one-time expense, it's quite another to raise anything approaching that on a yearly basis. I think your criticism is unfounded and unfair, and worse yet, poorly reasoned.
Friday, September 20, 2002
Thursday, September 19, 2002
- true God and true man
- the Christ, the Messiah
- the Lamb of God
- the Word
- the Savior
- the Lord
And several others... it was a good class, and some good questions were asked.
But I think I've been a situationalist since I was a kid. I remember sometime in grade school, I'm thinking 4th grade but I'm not sure, a teacher asking the glass what we would do if someone were to break into our house, and there was a gun near by. Would we shoot the person in self defense and be justified? Would we not shoot the person because killing is wrong? Was there such a thing as absolute law. She then went around and asked everyone in class what they would do and why. This is the kind of exercises you get in class when you're taught by ex-hippie liberals.
I don't remember what anyone else said, but I do remember very distinctly what I said. I told her that there was no such thing as absolutely right or bad, that it all depended on the situation, that there was no such thing as black and white and life was all different shades of gray. I remember my teaching looking at me, and telling me that I was a situationalist.
How I became a situationalist is a mystery to me. When I look over at my education, I was definitely taught from a very young age to always question authority, to never take anything at face value, to always study and learn before making any kind of judgement. That it was my responsibility as an educated person, to use my mind and my intellect to navigate my way through life. Strange huh? Were other people taught this? That education was valuable, that learning was life long process and that one should never stop learning. Blame my idealist, ex-hippie teachers for this.
This is indeed classic post-modern relativism. Not surprisingly I don't believe in relativism, since I believe relativism to be inimical to Christian faith. Relativism's classic statement is "that's true for you, it's not true for me." Such statements are really a denial of the existence of truth, and reduce reality to perception. My thought experiment (alas, I'm too kind to do it in person) would be to punch such a person in the nose. If they object, I would tell them that in my reality it's not a problem.
Seriously, though. How can one claim to accept the teachings of the Bible (for example, the 10 Commandments) if they are situationally interpreted? Is murder wrong for some people but not others? Does God exist and not exist at the same time depending on whether people believe in Him or not? Christ is either present in the Eucharist or He is not; if He is you should adore Him there, if He is not, you must not adore the Eucharist since it would be idolatry.... either way you have a real choice to make.
Furthermore, relativism would seem to undermine, if not deny, the entire notion of Heaven or Hell. After all, if there is no absolute right or wrong, if God's will is unknowable, then we cannot be held accountable for not knowing it. Furthermore, it would be most unfair of God to punish some and reward others for the same actions.
In regard to the last paragraph, questioning authority is an outgrowth of the Protestant Revolt/Reformation and the "Enlightenment." It's ironic since the Church always had a love of learning (the great universities were all founded by the Church!). Questioning authority comes out of the idea that we have to find Truth for ourselves, we can't count on others -- similar to Protestantism's claim that every man should be his own interpreter of Scripture. Of course it is not possible for most people (even college educated ones) to question authority on everything. How many people can deal with quantum mechanics, evolution, psychology, philosophy, theology all at once? No one. There are only three ways to know something: 1) direct observation, 2) revelation by authority, or 3) logic based on 1) or 2). Most of us must take many things as revealed by authority -- for example, all of history. This is perhaps Protestantism's biggest lie, and Achilles heel -- that we should interpret Scripture for ourselves. I know people who've tried to do that. What often happens is that they are intimidated by their pastor into accepting his interpretation, or, they are encouraged to leave. That's part of the reason that there are more than 20,000 Protestant denominations, most claiming to be "Bible based."
Having said all this I have to make clear that I'm not trying to knock ElfGirl in the slightest -- she's just being honest about where she is coming from. Furthermore, I probably agree with her more than it might seem from what I've written above in that I firmly believe that education is precious, and that learning is a lifelong process. And it's certainly good to know the biases and background of the authorities that you accept. Also I should make it clear that while I believe that truth is absolute and knowable, I do understand and accept that our understanding of it grows and changes as we progress in our own understanding. That doesn't mean the truth changes, anymore than the Earth started orbiting the Sun (and not the other way around) when Copernicus began to believe it did. A good example of this is the whole "wave theory of light" vs. "particle theory of light" debate that took place in the early 20th century. Many people thought that light was some kind of wave, then further experimentation showed that it seemed to behave as some kind of particle. Many people who've not studied physics much get really hung up on this and want to know whether light is a wave or a particle. The answer is that those are both models that are useful at times, but light is not a wave or a particle, it's what it is and we use whatever model applies best. The truth of the issue has not changed but our understanding has (and may yet again).
I should probably say more but I'm really tired and I'm probably not very coherent, so I'm going to bed. Worthwhile reading by someone far brighter than I am: Pope John Paul II's Fides et Ratio and Veritatis Splendor.
Wednesday, September 18, 2002
|Price of a new Ford||$2,504||$21,000||8.4x|
|Gasoline, 1 gallon||$.30||$1.54||5.1x|
|Bread, 1 pound||$.22||$1.03||4.7x|
|Milk, 1 gallon||$1.04||$2.84||2.8x|
|1st Class postage||$.05||$.37||7.4x|
This is really worth considering. Housing has gotten much more expensive than 1963, and so have cars. On the other hand staples like bread, and milk, and even gasoline have gotten less expensive.
On another note, I went to a job fair down at the convention center this afternoon with one of my ex-coworkers. There was nothing there, indeed, there were only two software companies (Intuit and Misys) and I've already applied at both anyway. Oh well.
Tuesday, September 17, 2002
Monday, September 16, 2002
It would also appear that his RCIA program may be somewhat light on catechesis. That's really bad. Catechumens have a right to be taught the teachings of the Church so that they know what they are getting into. In fact the Rite of Christian Initiation of Adults #78 states:
"The instruction that the catechumens receive during this period should be of a kind that while presenting Catholic teaching in its entirety also enlightens faith, directs the heart toward God, fosters participation in the liturgy, inspires apostolic activity, and nurtures a life completely in accord with the spirit of Christ." (emphasis added).
Correction As was pointed out in the comments, Rose has not actually sued Johansen at this time. He has threatened him with legal action. Thanks to Lane Core for the correction.
On a very encouraging note, when I came home there was a voicemail from a guy at Raytheon that has an IT opening, he wants to phone interview me on Wednesday! I'm psyched! Things are starting to happen... Also a voicemail from my friend Mark, he wants to take a Parks and Rec Spanish class with me on Wednesday evenings. I think I can do this. Way cool...
I had my phone interview with TCI Solutions this morning. I think it went pretty well. We talked for about an hour, I talked with two folks there in a conference call setup. They asked a number of pertinent and relevant questions and refrained from asking stupid ones. Apparently TCI has a QA group of about 15. It looks like they are hiring multiple people. At the end of the interview they asked me if I am looking for a supervisory/management position. I told them I'd be interested in that but that I understand that often folks are reluctant to bring in outsiders straight into that position and that I'd be willing to work as a senior engineer before taking on any supervisory role, they can see whether I'm a good fit etc. That seemed to go over well. I'm really pleased that they seem to be much better versed in QA and process issues than many companies I've known over the years. All in all I'm quite hopeful.
Also this morning I had an email from a guy at Apollo Group up in Phoenix. I was referred to them by Steve Hickman (thanks Steve!). They are looking for a QA Director since their previous one (who emailed me) was promoted. He said they are working out some budget issues but that he hopes he could interview me by the end of the month.
All in all a very positive day! I also ran a bunch of errands -- got my car's emissions tested, got my Living Stones textbook, went to UPS and sent off some stuff I've EBayed, and did some laundry.
Sunday, September 15, 2002
Prelude: Sicut Cervus (Palestrina)
Gathering Song: Praise, My Soul, The King Of Heaven (OCP #614)
Penitential Rite: Kyrie (Chant Mass)
Gloria: (Chant Mass)
Psalm: Psalm 95 (OCP Respond and Acclaim)
Gospel Acclamation: Chant
Preparation of the Gifts: I Have Longed For Thy Saving Health (Byrd)
Spirit Seeking Light And Beauty (Pius X Hymnal #139)
Holy, Holy: Sanctus (Chant Mass)
Memorial Acclamation: (Chant Mass)
Great Amen: Amen (Chant Mass)
Our Father: Traditional Chant (English)
Lamb of God: Agnus Dei (Chant Mass)
Communion: O Salutaris Hostia (St. Gregory Hymnal #226a)
Tantum Ergo (St. Gregory Hymnal #242f)
Recessional: From All That Dwell Below The Skies (OCP #622)
We had a brand new accompanist today. She did really well! Today we had 3 sopranos, 2 altos, 2 tenors and a bass. We used to have more men than women but now it's gone the other way (one of our basses has gone off to join the Carmelites, God bless 'im). We really could use another bass or two, and a strong alto and another tenor...
Saturday, September 14, 2002
Friday, September 13, 2002
When I woke up on that fateful day, I heard the radio talking about a calamity in New York. I turned on the television and saw what we all saw. Beyond shock, and horror, and incredible sadness and grief, I remember thinking that I'd read once that some historians had labeled the 20th century as "The American Century." I thought that the terrorist act was a definitive end to the American Century.
I started 9/11/02 with the Requiem promptly at 8:46 a.m. It was very moving. While Centennial Hall wasn't full (I'd hoped it would be) it was 3/4 full, and the audience was appreciative. For me it was a sense of being part of something much greater than our (large, 380+) choir, and even our city. And there was a sort of grimness about it, grimness and sadness and mourning and tenderness and determination and supplication all combined. It was something I'll always remember.
A couple of friends had given me birthday wishes the night before; my Dad called me that morning before I left for the Requiem to wish me a happy birthday. Amber Lee and her Dad wished me a happy birthday before we began singing. Later, I had lunch with my sister for my birthday, just as I had a year before. And my brother Gary called me in the afternoon to wish me a good day. My niece Cori called that evening while I was out (we sang some excerpts of the Requiem at a city-sponsored event at the Music Hall that night) to wish me a happy birthday and to say she loves me. I didn't celebrate, other than that. I didn't feel I could. Honestly I don't know how many years will have to pass before I can celebrate my birthday with a party or something.
As I was coming home that night I was thinking about the day and how things had changed, and how many things we won't take for granted for a while, at least. A couple of months ago, I was driving to work down Speedway and for some reason, a jet was flying over us REALLY LOW. I looked up at it and stared at it, beginning to wonder if something was going on -- another terrorist attack. I looked at the car next to me and saw the driver was also staring at the plane, perhaps wondering -- if it came at me right now, could I escape? Eventually it banked south toward the airport. Moments like that reminded me more than most other things that we aren't the same.
I was thinking about all the stuff I'd seen and read that day -- there are so many people who are much more eloquent than I. Then I was reminded of some words of Thomas Jefferson:
The God who gave us life gave us liberty at the same time; the hand of force may destroy, but cannot disjoin them.
I think that's exactly right. Our lives and our liberty are both gifts of God. The terrorists in destroying the first also tried to destroy the second, but they cannot be disjoined.
I am a fairly emotional person, and I tend to wear my heart on my sleeve. I suspect it will be a long time before I can see pictures of the World Trade Center as it was without choking up; but that's okay. When I ponder why this event had to happen, and why it had to happen on my birthday, I come to the conclusion that it's something that I in particular will carry with me always, and in that way the memory will continue. That may sound self-centered, but really it's not. I'm not unique in this regard, there must be hundreds of thousands of people in the US who share my birthday. We are a living memorial.
More news!I just got an email from TCI Solutions here in Tucson, asking me when would be a good time for a phone interview... we are set for a phone interview Monday morning at 10 a.m. Also, there are a couple of openings at Netpro that I applied for. Netpro is based in Scottsdale, and the VP Engineering is a guy I worked with at Artisoft. Also, I'd forgotten that they have an office in Tucson as well.
Thursday, September 12, 2002
I think it went pretty well. He explained the sorts of consulting they do and where they are trying to go. We talked at length about my background and experiences in software development, quality assurance, release management, and related sorts of topics. He said there are 3 or 4 opportunities that he would be pitching me for currently. Their current model is that they will bring me on as either a 1099 (i.e. I have do to do my own benefits, withholding, etc.) or a straight W-2 (I'd much prefer that) if they get someone who wants my services. I get the impression my initial experience would likely be a short (3-month) contract that could be extended if they really like me, possibly into a temp-to-hire arrangement if that's mutually agreeable. Benchmark gets a chunk of my offered hourly rate to cover their expenses etc., more if they W-2 me than otherwise, of course.
I asked him for a candid assessment of my prospects and my strength as a candidate for these jobs. He said that he felt I would be a strong candidate but cautioned that with the job market as it is now, a lot of companies are able to get people with lots and lots of experience (i.e., more than me) for what they were spending on getting people with my experience. So a lot depends on factors that are hard to predict. These opportunities are pretty much all in the Phoenix area.
My overall impression is that he thinks I'm a good candidate and will submit me for things that come their way; however, with the market as it is this is just a possibility at this point -- I still need to press on in my job search.
Wednesday, September 11, 2002
Tuesday, September 10, 2002
I don't think it's really hit most of the people in the choir just what we are singing. I mean, we all know why we are doing this, but the emotional impact hasn't really hit. I suspect it will hit tomorrow though, when those great and terrible chords roll out and we basses sing "Requiem aeternam...". I feel a little sorry for those whose theology doesn't allow them to pray for the dead -- what must they think of such a thing, anyway? I know what it means for me, it means just what Mozart understood it to mean. That's part of the beauty of the faith.
If you have not taken part in these memorials, I'd encourage you to do so. For myself I have found it comforting. The depth of the loss and grief of that terrible day can be overwhelming. By wearing my Mercy Band I can do something to remember one person lost, at least. It makes it more personal, which is both more sad and yet more human.
Monday, September 09, 2002
The celebrant for Sunday's Mass was our Nigerian priest, Fr. Sylvester. Fr. Sylvester is a gem. He is as orthodox as they come, and his homilies are first-rate. Admittedly one has to listen closely to get past his accent -- but it is well worth it, there is some deep thought there. If he has one fault, it's probably that he tries to put too many things in his homilies. It might be better for him to stick to fewer points and repeat them more often. That said, like I said, he's terrific.
Big news!I finally spoke with Galon Miller at Benchmark QA. We had a good chat, about 40 minutes or so. The upshot is that he wants to meet with me Thursday in Phoenix to discuss possibilities etc. So that's very positive. The downside is that he's really (as far as I understand it) interviewing me to be included in Benchmark QA's stable of consultants. Once that happens then I can be considered for whatever turns up. The bad part is that that's no guarantee of immediate employment. So it's a very positive step forward but there's still a ways to go.
Sunday, September 08, 2002
In other news, it's a rainy and grey day here in Tucson -- something we experience quite rarely. So I'm going to lounge around and enjoy it.
Saturday, September 07, 2002
Actually the drive was very nice in some respects. New Mexico is really quite pretty -- like Arizona only more empty. Also I stopped in Hatch and bought some chiles for a friend. And, I had the opportunity to listen to almost all (except the last 10 minutes or so) of my 6-tape audiobook of Weigel's biography of John Paul II, A Witness To Hope. I have a hardback copy of it too that I haven't read yet, but I really want to now.
Thursday, September 05, 2002
I realize my opinion -- that the majority of priests do not lead exemplary celibate and chaste lives -- is just my opinion, but there are three main reasons why I believe as I do: personal experience, public proof of infractions and knowledge of human nature.
Basically, she's using her own anecdotal evidence, some published instances and the fact that some people will always be unfaithful to their promises and vows to say that we should give up on the whole shootin' match. Somebody said "modern heresy begins in the groin" and there's definitely something to that (although this is not, strictly speaking, heresy).
She seems unable or unwilling to go the extra distance and draw the obvious conclusion. She says that priests can't be faithful to Christ, they will "cheat", so we shouldn't require them to be celibate. The obvious next step would be to observe that since so many laymen cheat on their spouses we should not require them to be exclusive, either, but should allow people to sleep with whomever they choose.
Of course, she can't say that (pesky Ten Commandments gettin' in the way). But it follows. The answer to human frailty and sinfulness is not, has never been, and can't be to just throw up our hands and say "we give up, then." The answer is to continue to hold out the ideal to be reached for, knowing that some will always fail. Christ said "Be perfect, as my heavenly father is perfect." He didn't say "it's too hard so never mind about perfection."
Wednesday, September 04, 2002
What has happened is shameful, because a small cadre has decided -- not by dint of persuasion or by choice of most of the English-speaking Catholics, but by ecclesiastical force -- to roll back the work of a host of bishops and scholars who labored for more than three decades.
What these folks seem to have forgotten are a number of important points, to wit:
- The "small cadre" are bishops, successors of the apostles, to whom the role of governing the Church has been given.
- The liturgy is not decided upon by a majority vote of Catholics.
- It's hardly "ecclesiastical force" for the bishops to decide on something. That's their job.
- ICEL is supposed to be a body that does translations. Somehow that little detail seems to be forgotten with ICEL running around composing new prayers out of whole cloth. I guess translating is just not interesting enough for the "host" of bishops and scholars.
When I got home there was a voicemail from the guy at Benchmark QA apologizing profusely for not calling me this morning, there was a scheduling mixup and he had written me down for Thursday (probably because of the Labor Day holiday). Hopefully we will be able to sync up tomorrow.
In other news, my friend Travis sent me a link to this job. Wow, I am so qualified for this it is scary, and it's even in Sierra Vista. I applied faster than you can knife a goat.
That's the good news. The bad news (or not-as-good news) is that I was supposed to have a phone interview this morning with the guy from Benchmark QA at 8 a.m. but he didn't call me and still hasn't as of now. I called and left him a message on his office phone.
I went to the movies last night with Jenn and we saw Blood Work. It's a Clint Eastwoof flick. I enjoyed it a lot, lots of suspense and action.
Tuesday, September 03, 2002
After that I went to a gathering for Collegium Musicum at Dr. Brobeck's house. It was nice, good food, good conversation. Most importantly I got to talk to Carolyn McCarthy's husband Don, who works at Steward Observatory -- one of the places I've applied for a job. I got some helpful info from him, and some good advice.
The final stop of the evening was Requiem rehearsal from 7:15 to 9:15. It's coming together pretty well, I am very encouraged.
Tomorrow I need to go mail out some stuff I've sold (see below) and then I have a CTAC meeting at 5:30. After that I'm going to the movies with Jenn. YAY! It will be fun to get out and see a movie.
Spending time with my old classmates put me in a very good mood. It was also kind of amusing to look at pictures from the past, especially from junior high. It made me very thoughtful and reflective about how I view myself and where I am going. It's hard to put into words, but basically what I am getting at, I guess, is that it reminded me that we tend to put ourselves in boxes as we get older. A box that says "this is the way I am" and "this is what is possible for me"... I guess I'm aware, especially at this time in my life with the job change and everything, that I can be anything I want, and I shouldn't limit myself. When I look at myself at age 14 or 15 the future was an open book -- and the truth is, it still is an open book. It's as open as I want, as open as I'm willing to be. Really, the sky is the limit!