Saturday, November 30, 2002

So I attended the annual Big Game yesterday. For those not from Arizona, that's the annual day-after-Thanksgiving slugfest between the Forces of All That's Right and Just (aka the University of Arizona(tm) fighting Wildcats) and the Forces of Evil (aka the Arizona State University Sun Devils).

The Arizona Daily Star headline sums it up: Season's Grievings. It's been an awful season for the Wildcats, going into the Big Game with just one PAC-10 win (against Cal). The team lost 34-20 in a game that started out as a back-and-forth tussle that was pretty even until the fourth quarter, when the Cats started making mistakes that they couldn't turn around. Arizona fans have seen this too many times: the Wildcats too often are not able to play a full four quarters. It was just a sad game to watch. The Wildcats finish the season 4-8, their worst showing in 25 years. Star columnist Greg Hansen is insightful as always, check it out. The only bright spot of the game? Actually there are two: first, UA senior receiver Bobby Wade became UA football's record holder for receptions, a well-deserved honor. Second, unlike some nasty behavior in the past, UA and ASU fans and players behaved themselves.
I know I've blogged about it before, but I was just checking out Joe Convert's Blog. It's worth checking into from time to time -- he's a bit sporadic but his posts are worth reading. Here's a sample:

My journey into the Catholic Church isn't just an ecclesiastical change of address. It's a stark and not at all comfortable call away from practicing a form of Christianity that for me has felt safe, predictable, and not at all taxing for a long, long time. Christ invites us to partake in his suffering, to feast at his table, and to be with him in Paradise. It's all one thing; we can't pick and choose. Our adoption as sons and daughters of God is the fellowship of Christ's suffering. I still feel a closeness to God I've never experienced before, and I look forward to the day when I will know Him intimately through the Sacraments. I also know that to whom much is given, much is required. I can't pretend I don't understand what that means, and I can't un-know it. The Lord's call is not just to go to mass on Sundays and Holy Days of Obligation, say a Rosary or two, and call it good. It's the same radical message that offended the religious people of his day, as well as some of his own followers; to die to ourselves, to partake of His suffering, and to know him intimately. From the standpoint of our flesh, I suppose that's the bad news. The good news is that He's leading us on, not pushing from behind:

"For we are God's workmanship, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do." Ephesians 2:10

Friday, November 29, 2002

Thursday, November 28, 2002

I cantored for our Thanksgiving Day Mass today. Hope you all have a wonderful Thanksgiving!

Music for Mass
Thanksgiving Day, Cycle A

Gathering Song: For The Fruits of This Creation (OCP)
Penitential Rite: Recited
Gloria: Recited
Responsorial Psalm: Psalm 67 (Respond & Acclaim Option 2)
Gospel Acclamation: Celtic Alleluia (w/verse of the day)
Preparation of the Gifts: All Good Gifts (OCP)
Holy,Holy: Mass of the Pilgrim Church (OCP)
Memorial Acclamation: Mass of the Pilgrim Church (OCP)
Great Amen: Mass of the Pilgrim Church (OCP)
Our Father: Yantis
Lamb of God: Mass of the Pilgrim Church (OCP)
Communion: Gift of Finest Wheat (OCP)
Recessional: Thanks Be To God (OCP)
Here's a really interesting article on The failure of "free love" by Frederica Mathewes-Green. She dissects how various "free love" movements have gotten our society to where it is today, and where it might be going.

Even when contraception is used, it isn’t always effective, as indicated by the other half of abortion customers. As Maggie Gallagher points out, if contraceptives properly used are 95-percent effective over a year, a sexually active woman who uses them faithfully over a 10-year period stands a 43-percent chance of getting pregnant at least once. Her chances jump dramatically if she uses them with less than exacting care.

Wednesday, November 27, 2002

This is amusing... I subscribe to the Nightline daily email, which gives a heads-up on the topic for that night's edition of the ABC Nightline news program. The email for today was titled: "NIGHTLINE: Is It Deja Vous All Over Again? " Some time later I received the following followup email:

Apparently, there are a lot of you who speak French and spell it very
well. Somewhere my high school French teacher is cringing.

The title of today's Nightline email was "deja vous all over again,"
quoting the great Yogi Berra, who probably doesn't spell French very well
either. The proper spelling should have been "deja vu."

Thank you to all of the many, many, many of you who emailed us to point
out this spelling error.

Can we now say:

"Ça suffit. Nous avons bien reçu vos messages. Merci. A bientôt. ."

Sara Just and the Nightline staff
Washington bureau
Before I go to bed, I would like to ask for prayers for my former coworker, Carol. I had dinner with Wayne, a friend and former coworker, and he mentioned to me that Carol has been diagnosed with a devastating triple whammy: lupus, fibromyalgia and chronic fatigue syndrome. Please remember her in your good prayers. Thanks.

Tuesday, November 26, 2002

Check it out -- Rod Dreher on Mary Stachowicz & Hate Crimes. Mary Stachowicz was a 51-year old Catholic woman who was brutally murdered in Chicago.
Aristotle Esguerra has blogged about communion hymns, and specifically about this article in Adoremus.

I think the article is a bit biased, although I agree with some of her points. For example, the author writes:

But in this hymn, we have only a symbol:

Welcome the symbols
Feasting and telling;
Signs of thanksgiving,
Signs of indwelling
(James Hansen: "Bless the Feast". Text © 1988 Oregon Catholic Press [OCP] Publications).

Welcome the symbols? Surely this is more than a symbol.

The song is, if you look at it, an entrance song, not a communion song. The lyrics are:

Welcome this moment, this day of sweet grace,
Welcome and enter this gathering place.
Welcome these symbols, feasting and telling;
Signs of thanksgiving, signs of indwelling.
Welcome a privilege, sister and brother,
Sharing this inbreaking light with each other.
Welcome the stranger beyond and above;
Here only friends, here only friends and beginning of love.

So the song is talking about gathering. While in the great scheme of things there's a lot to complain about this song, it is not a song primarily about the Eucharist, but about the gathered community and why it's gathered. Next...

Yet in another hymn we find only a meal, and symbols yet again:

We bring the bread and wine to share a meal
Sign of grace and mercy
The presence of the Lord
(Marty Haugen: "We Remember". Text © 1980 GIA Publications).

A sign of the presence of the Lord. Is that all there is?

I agree that the song is weak, but the author is once again looking for the worst. The lyrics say that the bread and wine we offer and share are signs of grace and mercy, the (real)_presence of the Lord. What does she want, a discourse on the theology of transubstantiation? Next...

Similarly, in "Bread, Blessed and Broken" we find no reference to Body, Blood, Presence, or sacrifice:

Bread, blessed and broken for us all
Symbol of your love, from the grain so tall
(Michael Lynch: "Bread, Blessed and Broken". Text © 1978, 1979 Raven Music; published in OCP Publications).

The author doesn't mention that the next lines of the refrain quoted above are:

Bread, blessed and broken for us all,
bread of life you give to us,
bread of life for all.

Which sounds pretty Eucharistic to me -- or is 'bread of life' not sufficient? Next...

The aspect of symbolism is now enlarged upon in some current hymn texts. The bread is a sign not of Christ, but of something else entirely, as is the wine. For example:

Here we will take the wine and the water
Here we will take the bread of new birth
Give us to drink the wine of compassion
(Marty Haugen: "Gather Us In". Text © 1982 GIA Publications).

Bread is re-birth, wine is compassion?

But the full lyric is "Give us to drink the wine of compassion, give us to eat the bread that is You." That sounds a bit different than she makes it sound. And again, the song is not meant as a communion song or a hymn to the Eucharist, but as a gathering song. Next...

Bread is re-birth, wine is compassion? They may be something else again, as in this hymn:

You are the bread of peace
You are the wine of joy
(Bernadette Farrell: "Bread of Life". Text © 1982, 1987 Bernadette Farrell; published by OCP Publications).

Joyful wine?

Of course, that is the first half of the very last verse. The last half of the verse:

broken now for your people,
poured in endless love.

The refrain is better:

Bread of life, hope for the world,
Jesus Christ, our brother;
feed us now, give us life,
lead us to one another.

Although why we need to be led to one another beats me; we need to be led to Christ.

I'd go on, but this is long enough. My main point is not that there are not some weak and even objectionable songs (there are), but rather that the author's lyric quotations are sometimes misleading and unfair at times.
A nice article about St. Blog's on Catholic Exchange -- Got Blog?.

Monday, November 25, 2002

Interesting polling data on abortion... .

Nationwide, one-third of people ages 18 to 29 said abortion should never be legal. That contrasts with about 23 percent for those ages 30 to 64, and about 20 percent for those over age 65.
Okay, I've been holding off blogging about this until I had a little more time, which more or less seems to be now. Last week I became aware (in the course of a casual conversation) that a(nother) parish here in the Diocese of Tucson is postponing First Confessions for kids coming through their sacraments program. Specifically, they do First Communion in 1st grade (or maybe 2nd) and First Confession not until 4th grade (!). Oh sure, there's some disclaimer that if parents really want their kids to make their First Confession prior to First Communion that Arrangements Can Be Made. Still, everything I've read says that the norm, the default, the standard practice is confession and then Eucharist. Duh. These are the same people that then go on to wonder why people don't go to Confession anymore. It's because the kids don't make the connection because they've not been prepared adequately!

My question is, what if anything should I do? I asked a friend in the diocese and she advised me to leave it alone as nothing I can do will make a difference anyway. She's probably right about that -- it seems a bit much to assume that our bishops are ignorant of the situation, and the pastor presumably either wanted it this way (seems most likely) or aquiesced (possible, but from what I know not likely). So, dear reader -- what do you think? A letter to the pastor? A letter to the bishop? Nothing? Well, prayer at least I suppose.

Followup: I found the following helpful collection o' documents. In particular, I'd forgotten that this is in canon law:

Canon 914. It is the responsibility, in the first place, of parents and those who take the place of parents as well as of the pastor to see that children who have reached the use of reason are correctly prepared and are nourished by the divine food as early as possible, preceded by sacramental confession; it is also for the pastor to be vigilant lest any children come to the Holy Banquet who have not reached the use of reason or whom he judges are not sufficiently disposed.

Maybe a canon lawsuit is in order? St. Joseph Foundation, come to my aid?! Hmmm. Also, another helpful document by Cdl. Wright on the Vatican website.
Mark Shea is a treasure. Check out his post on press bias toward the Church. I particularly like this:

What strange power the Church has. It cannot keep the world from committing promiscuity and fornication and homosexual acts on a daily basis, but by some weird magic, all the people doing these things are petrified of using a condom because of the Church. Meanwhile, the only serious way to avoid infection is (surprise!) the way the Church urges: by heeding its teaching on sexual morality and drug use.

Sunday, November 24, 2002

Last night I went to the UA Opera Theater production of "Die Fledermaus." DF is one of my favorite operas and UA's production was pretty good. In particular, the 3rd act was probably the funniest I've ever seen, bar none. The audience was just rolling in the aisles, it was so good.

The male lead (Eisenstein) was played by Todd Strange. He was excellent. After the show I got a chance to greet and congratulate him. Todd is a brother of mine in Phi Mu Alpha Sinfonia, a men's music fraternity founded in 1898. It's good to see members of our fraternity living out our values in the work they do. I think he will go far; he is very talented.

Saturday, November 23, 2002

Dan Shanoff has a strange fascination with Anna Kournikova. Check out the CopacabAnna.

Friday, November 22, 2002

This one really requires no comment -- Scientist burns penis with hot laptop.
While looking up online versions of the General Instruction of the Roman Missal, I came across an article from Adoremus on the current status of the translation of the 2000 version of the Missal. Not surprisingly it's been delayed while Vox Clara takes over for the now-discredited ICEL.
Happy St. Cecilia's Day!

In honor of St. Cecilia, the patroness of musicians, here's Dryden's famous poem (1687):

Song for St. Cecilia's Day

FROM Harmony, from heavenly Harmony
This universal frame began:
When Nature underneath a heap
Of jarring atoms lay
And could not heave her head,
The tuneful voice was heard from high,
Arise, ye more than dead!

Then cold and hot, and moist and dry,
In order to their stations leap.
And Music's power obey.
From harmony, from heavenly harmony
This universal frame began:
From harmony to harmony
Through all the compass of the notes it ran,
The diapason closing full in Man.

What passion cannot Music raise and quell?
When Jubal struck the chorded shell
His listening brethren stood around,
And, wondering, on their faces fell
To worship that celestial sound.
Less than a god they thought there could not dwell
Within the hollow of that shell
That spoke so sweetly and so well.
What passion cannot Music raise and quell?

The trumpet's loud clangor
Excites us to arms,
With shrill notes of anger
And mortal alarms.
The double double double beat
Of the thundering drum
Cries, "Hark! the foes come;
Charge, charge, 'tis too late to retreat!"

The soft complaining flute
In dying notes discovers
The woes of hopeless lovers,
Whose dirge is whisper'd by the warbling lute.

Sharp violins proclaim
Their jealous pangs and desperation,
Fury, frantic indignation,
Depth of pains, and height of passion
For the fair disdainful dame.

But oh! what art can teach,
What human voice can reach
The sacred organ's praise?
Notes inspiring holy love,
Notes that wing their heavenly ways
To mend the choirs above.

Orpheus could lead the savage race,
And trees unrooted left their place
Sequacious of the lyre:
But bright Cecilia raised the wonder higher:
When to her Organ vocal breath was given
An Angel heard, and straight appear'd—
Mistaking earth for heaven.

Grand Chorus

As from the power of sacred lays
The spheres began to move,
And sung the great Creator's praise
To all the blest above;
So when the last and dreadful hour
This crumbling pageant shall devour,
The trumpet shall be heard on high,
The dead shall live, the living die,
And Music shall untune the sky.

Thursday, November 21, 2002

Robert Cringely's latest column talks about the PC upgrade cycle and why people are not upgrading their PCs. I've been saying for a long time that most computers nowadays are a lot faster than most people need for what they are doing.

Wednesday, November 20, 2002

From the Seattle Times, a look at what happens when Catholics go over the edge. It's kind of sad really. I've known some folks with traditionalist leanings, and I can see how one could get to the point the folks in Washington did. It's important, though, to distinguish between a love/desire for more traditional expressions of Catholicism (such at the Tridentine Mass) and going over the edge. I've noticed that the key factor seems to be whether you keep your trust in God and your belief in the Petrine ministry. If those go you are in big trouble. Thanks to Mark Shea for the link.
Sports Illustrated rates Arizona Wildcats #1. Bear Down!
Check out the Slashdot Review: Behind Deep Blue. This book is by the father of the Deep Blue project (I blogged about it here). He talks about the design of Deep Blue and how the project migrated from CMU to IBM. Good Stuff.

Tuesday, November 19, 2002

Over at Catholic Light, a great post by Peter Vere on teen courtship. Check it out. Also, check out Vere's Seven Rules of Advice for Teen Dating. Summarized, they are:

  1. Don't Date
  2. A Single Warning Suffices
  3. Have Adult Supervision
  4. Zero Tolerance for Violence
  5. Just Say No
  6. No Pornography
  7. Jesus Loves You
  8. Go Dutch

Yes, that's really eight rules, not seven. Anyway, check out the article to find out more.
It's always been exciting to me to live in a place where the frontiers of astronomy are being advanced all the time. Here's the latest -- UA has key role in supertelescope. UA scientists working with scientists in Europe and at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology have created a radio telescope that is theoretically as big as the Earth. Also check out the Astronomy Magazine story for a more detailed look at VLBI.
A discussion on Wired about BugTraq's posting of the latest IE exploit -- How Much Hack Info Is Too Much?. Also a good discussion on Slashdot. Some think it was irresponsible of BugTraq to post the IE exploit, but others say that the exploit was already publically known anyway, so publishing it just puts more pressure on Microsoft to fix it.
Interesting stuff -- new studies suggest the Atkins diet may work well after all. Compare the San Francisco Chronicle's slant to the Associated Press. Another example of how the same story can be reported differently.
So I've now had my cell phone for a whopping 2 weeks. Usage stats:

Anytime minutes used: 70 (out of 300/mo)
Night/weekend minutes used: 195 (unlimited)
PCS to PCS minutes used: 649 (unlimited)

Yes, that's over 10 hours spent yakking to my PCS-equipped phone friends. Sheesh. That's a lot o' time.

General impressions: Having a cell phone has given me a little more freedom. For example I was finally able to stop playing phone tag with this guy at Checker Auto. Also since I have a headset I bought, I can talk on the headset and still do stuff around the house -- for example I was able to make my bed etc. while yakking with ElfGirl the other day. And finally, since I have free long distance and free PCS calling, it's helping me stay closer to far away friends; for example, I have talked to Maria (who lives in Dallas) 5 or 6 times in the last two weeks, instead of a more likely once or twice pre-cell phone. That's well worth it I think.
When you thought you'd seen it all, those wacky Italians are at it again -- Scantily-clad Madonnas upset Church.

Monday, November 18, 2002

I was at Costco on Sunday and noticed they had some Casio AP-25 digital pianos for sale for $800. The list o' features is:

  • 88-Note weighted keyboard (hammer-type action); 3 levels of touch response.
  • 64-note polyphonic
  • 8 tones: Grand piano 1/2; piano 1/2; harpsichord; vibraphone
  • Reverb (room, stage, and hall settings) and Chorus effects
  • Real-Time Memory - 2 songs, 3000 notes
  • Transpose and Tuning Control
  • Metronome function
  • 8 demo songs, one highlighting each tone
  • MIDI IN/OUT jacks; 16-Channel Multi-Timbral
  • 2 Headphone jacks plus Stereo Line Out Jacks
  • Sliding key cover
  • Attractive wood Cabinet with wood stand (includes modesty panel)
  • 2 pedals included (Damper and Soft/Sostenuto)
  • 2 Speakers audio system with 15 watts power per side
  • AC power only (power cord included)

Anyone know if this is a good price? I'm very tempted as I've never owned a piano and I'd like to have something to learn on. The action seemed pretty nice as far as my relatively untrained fingers could tell.
The New York Times reports on how the Success of Cellphone Industry Hurts Service. Same old story, success is killing the goose that lays the golden eggs.

Sunday, November 17, 2002

So last night I took my friend Amber Lee to see Arizona Opera's production of Hansel and Gretel. I have to say I'm somewhat of two minds about the whole thing. On the one hand the sets were very nice, and the lighting was nifty. The singing was good and overall the production values were worthwhile, and I enjoyed it. On the other hand I was expecting and hoping for a somewhat darker production. I have only seen this opera once before, back when UA Opera did it in '83 or '84. I seem to recall it being a bit more... substantive... than this production. Instead it seemed to mostly be presented as a children's opera (and there were a lot of children present).
Gloating Time... I just thought I'd share that today's high in Tucson was 81. The overnight low Saturday night was 47.
Music for Mass
SSPP Latin Schola
33rd Sunday in Ordinary Time, Cycle A

Prelude: Ubi Caritas (Pius X #16)
Gathering Song: Where Charity and Love Prevail (OCP)
Penitential Rite: Kyrie (Chant Mass)
Gloria: (Chant Mass)
Responsorial Psalm: Psalm 128 (Dominican Tone 6)
Gospel Acclamation: Alleluia (Chant Mass)
Preparation of the Gifts: Lord of All Hopefulness (OCP, traditional Irish melody)
Holy,Holy: Sanctus (Chant Mass)
Memorial Acclamation: (Chant Mass)
Great Amen: (Chant Mass)
Our Father: (Traditional Chant)
Lamb of God: Agnus Dei (Chant Mass)
Communion: I Have Longed for Thy Saving Health (Byrd)
All Good Gifts (OCP)
Second Collection: Sicut Cervus (Palestrina)
Recessional: O Bless the Lord, My Soul (OCP)

I had never done Lord of All Hopefulness before. Like a lot of Irish melodies, though, once you hear it you feel like it was always in your bones. It's beautiful.
There's a lot to blog about today -- opera, Mass this morning, other stuff. I'll get to that later, but for now I'll content myself by mentioning that I was flabbergasted yesterday when I went to church for Confession and noticed that there are security cameras on the outside of the church now. I'm not sure when they went up. I asked my pastor about it and he said that there have just been too many breakins in our parking lot. I know what he's talking about since one of our catechumens had her SUV broken into last year while we were in RCIA. Still, for some reason it really disturbs me.

Friday, November 15, 2002

If you ever wonder what academe thinks is worthwhile of time and attention, check out this story: Funding, UA locales put focus on sex fest. If ever you needed evidence that town and gown are miles apart in their morals and outlook, here it is. Also there's coverage from the Arizona Daily Wildcat. Does this sound like your values?

This year the festival has progressed from its inception. The celebration includes not only films, but performances, parties, lectures, readings and workshops. One of the most controversial workshops is on fisting. Fisting is when a male or female cups his or her lubricated hand and slowly inserts the fist into the rectum or vagina of another person as a means of sexual stimulation. The festival features live demos of a female anally fisting a male.

If you want it straight from the horse's (or someone's) mouth, check out The Sex Worker Arts Festival.

Thursday, November 14, 2002

The next time one is tempted to think that all of the priests that have been accused of abuse must be guilty, or that no one makes false accusations in child abuse cases, you should remember this article. Thanks to Mark Shea for the link.

Wednesday, November 13, 2002

The big news today was Coach Mackovic's apology to his team for inappropriate conduct. Or perhaps I should say, the big news was the rumor mill that went around from about 1 p.m. when UA announced Coach Mac would be holding a press conference, until about 4:15 or so when it actually happened. Of course the speculation was that Mackovic would resign since the team hasn't won a Pac-10 game yet this season.

Tuesday, November 12, 2002

A very scary story on drug-resistant bacteria -- Germs develop a deadly defense. Doctors have been warning about this for a long time but unfortunately little has been done to curb the overuse of antibiotics that brings about this kind of problem.
So I've had my Sprint PCS cell phone for a week now (it seems much longer). My usage statistics for one week are:

Anytime minutes: 19 (of 300 monthly)
Night/weekend minutes: 66 (unlimited)
Sprint PCS to PCS calling minutes: 159 (unlimited)

So it's about what I expected. It looks like this plan is going to work out well for me. The PCS to PCS calling is mostly to Amber Lee and Maria since they both have Sprint. Whee!
Here's the Arizona Daily Wildcat's coverage of the 10th Annual Student Showcase I blogged about before: Teacher showcases third-grade studies.

Monday, November 11, 2002

My annoyance for today... I went to order my business cards at work today. I wanted them to say "Gordon Zaft, MSEE". No biggie, right? Wrong. Apparently company policy is that advanced degrees don't go on your business card. The really stupid thing is that if I had an MCSE they would put it on. So basically they are saying that a stupid MCSE that a trained monkey could get is more important or relevant than my hard-won master's degree in electrical engineering from The University of Arizona(tm).

Words can't describe how much this p*sses me off. I know it's really a small thing, it's just that it's a bad attitude that doesn't bode well.

Sunday, November 10, 2002

Hmm. Greg Popcak at HMS Blog reports that the St. Joseph Foundation has petitioned Cardinal Maida for canon law sanctions against Governor-Elect Granholm of Michigan. While this is an interesting application of canon law, I strongly suspect that it will have no good effect, and probably no effect at all. After all, if Granholm really respected what the Church teaches she wouldn't be supporting abortion to begin with. On the other hand it might make people more willing to believe the the Church means what she says.

Saturday, November 09, 2002

I was a judge today for the 10th Annual Student Showcase sponsored by The University of Arizona(tm) graduate student government, the Graduate and Professional Student Council. This is a truly awesome event where about 100-120 students, both undergraduate and graduate, exhibit their research and compete for cash prizes. The breadth and depth of the exhibits, the intelligence, dedication, and enthusiasm of the students, and the support of faculty and staff are truly an inspiration. If you are in Tucson, I encourage you to attend tomorrow from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Showcase is located in the big tent in front of the Main Library, on the UA Mall. You'll come away enthused about the University's role in our community and hopeful about the future of our country with such future leaders in it.

Friday, November 08, 2002

Here's the text of the U.N. Security Council resolution on Iraq. It's a good first step, but it's a lot less firm then the President wanted or than I think is needed. I guess we'll wait and see what happens. The resolution was passed unanimously, which definitely is a good thing. Here's President Bush's response.

Events like this remind me of one of the best things about the Web; namely, the opportunity to read such things for oneself. Before the Web we would have had to wait for the text to be published, probably in some obscure journal that's not easy to get, since most newspapers probably wouldn't publish the full text. It's nice to read for ourselves what the UN has decided instead of having it filtered for us.
Okay, this doesn't matter to anyone unless they are running their own nameserver (like I am) but ... from Slashdot -- the Root Zone Changed for the first time in 5 years. What's the root zone, you ask? Why, the top level nameservers that tell everyone where everything else is.

Thursday, November 07, 2002

The Wall Street Journal writes about online dating. The amusing part of this is how many people are reluctant to admit that they met their bf/gf online.

"Online dating seems so blatant. So predatory, almost," says Vanessa VanderVelde, a 33-year-old attorney from Minneapolis who met her fiance online on Labor Day and has yet to tell her parents the truth. "I personally always like to imagine that my special someone was out there waiting for me and we would meet in some very serendipitous, romantic way," she says.
Last night the Diocese of Tucson held its annual Red Mass. The Red Mass is a Mass of the Holy Spirit that is held for the legal community every year to pray that they will be guided by the Spirit in pursuit of justice. As usual I sang with the Diocesan Chorale. This year's turnout was light, unfortunately.

Music for the Red Mass

Entrance: One Spirit, One Church (Kevin Keil, OCP)
Penitential Rite: Kyrie (Chant)
Responsorial Psalm: Send Us Your Spirit (David Haas, GIA)
Gospel Acclamation: Celtic Alleluia (O'Carroll/ Walker, OCP)
General Intercessions: Oyenos Mi Dios (Hurd/Alstott, OCP)
Presentation of the Gifts: All My Hope -- Brubeck
Sanctus, Memorial Acclamation, Great Amen: (Haynes)
Agnus Dei: Jesus, Lamb of God (Haynes)
Communion: Blest Are They (David Haas, GIA)
Communion Meditation: God Bless America (Berlin)
Recessional: Envia Tu Espiritu (Bob Hurd, OCP)

I could have done without God Bless America, personally.

From today's Arizona Daily Wildcat, a brief discussion of a presentation given at the Newman Center -- Catholic researcher says some stem cell research acceptable. Before you get excited, the acceptable kinds of stem cell research are not fetal tissue stem cells.
Another link stolen from ElfGirl. If you liked the movie Rudy, you'll love this. Read the Detroit Free Press's story on Jake Porter's TD.

Wednesday, November 06, 2002

Bill Bennett has some hard things to say about the Democratic party. I have to agree with him that the party's behavior at Wellstone's memorial service was, well, reprehensible. I am a registered Democrat myself but, as I explain to those who seem shocked by that, I consider myself a Democrat in the Hubert Humphrey model (he is one of my heroes). Bennett says a lot of nice things about Humphrey. It's a shame the Democratic Party hasn't followed Humphrey's (and William Casey's) example instead of Clinton and Gore's.
Blatantly stolen from ElfGirl, it's the latest quiz. I must say I'm pleased with the results.

Football is not the only sport where players occasionally die on the field. Leslie Dawley from Bowling Green State University collapsed on the field during a soccer match on Tuesday. How sad!
Here's a story that should be a challenge for all of us who call ourselves Christians -- Victim's mercy averts prison time for DUI.

So I finally joined the 21st century. Yep, yesterday I went on down to Sprint PCS and got myself a cell phone. Whee! For $40/month I get 300 anytime minutes, unlimited nights and weekends, unlimited calls to other Sprint PCS phones, free long distance, free roaming, and free wireless Internet. Such a deal! I got the way-cool LG 5350 phone. YAY!
Thanks to The Lady of Shalott for this British take on George W. and how he's not as dumb as some people like to think.
In my copious (ha!) spare time I've been working on bringing up my backup gateway machine running OpenBSD ( I blogged about it here). Anyway, if you are interested in building firewalls, learning about packet filtering, etc., check out these cool, helpful and infomative articles over at's BSD DevCenter.

Tuesday, November 05, 2002

I had lunch with my friend Amber Lee today. As we were eating she noticed I didn't touch my dill pickle spear, and she asked me if I disliked pickles. When I told her I never liked pickles, she shared her Theory of Pickle Compatibility (reason #257 why she could never date me :-) ). The TPC says that pickle lovers should date other pickle lovers and non-pickle-lovers should date only other non-pickle-lovers. Apparently every non-pickle-lover she's ever dated has been a disaster, but the pickle lovers have worked out very well. I'll leave it up to you to decide if you agree or not. For myself, I guess I'll be trying to remember the pickle preferences of every girl I ever dated.

On a side note, I'm now experiencing that weirdness that comes about when you type a word a lot and it starts to seem misspelled to you. The word in question is, of course, "pickle". Why isn't it "pickel"? Or "pikel"? Or....
From Slashdot, a review of the famous Design Patterns book. If you are a programmer and you've never read it, you should! Check it out.

Monday, November 04, 2002

The Arizona Daily Star has reprinted a piece that Cheryl McGaffic wrote after 9/11 last year. McGaffic was one of the victims of the shooting at the College of Nursing a week ago. Cheryl McGaffic: Professor's love of nursing, compassion shine in her words

It is 2 a.m. I cannot sleep. This has happened a lot since 9/11. Just like everyone around me, I go on with my daily life, but in the back of my mind I know that the world has been forever changed and that my world has been forever changed.

If you weren't moved by the situation before, I don't know how you could read this and not be moved.
If you've not checked it out yet, head on over to Envoy Magazine's blog. Patrick Madrid and his pals have joined St. Blog's and I'm sure it will never be the same!

Sunday, November 03, 2002 reports as NASA Celebrates Station's Second Anniversary of Operations. 100 years from now people will look back and be amazed that it took so long for us to build Space Station Alpha. It's one of the most significant technological achievements of the last few years, and probably one of the least noticed in the public eye. It's too bad, because the space station will be the launching pad for many things that come after.

Saturday, November 02, 2002

I know my buddy ElfGirl will be disappointed -- CNN reports NYC beats out San Francisco to be U.S. nominee for 2012 Olympics. I suspect that sentiment had a large part to play in this.
Tonight I went to the SAI Alpha Beta Chapter Open Mic Night. Well, there was no microphone, actually, but it was a lot of fun. I sang one song that I had done for my voice lessons oh so many years ago. It was a lot of fun. It was a very talented and enthusiastic bunch. I hope they'll do more in the future -- it's good to make some music :-).

Friday, November 01, 2002

From the Washington Times -- Avery Cardinal Dulles says the Second Vatican Council reaffirmed papal rule. Of course, he's right, but many people in the Church today seem more enamored of the so-called "spirit of Vatican II" than with what the Council actually said. Thanks to Aristotle Esguerra for the link.
OpenBSD 3.2 was released today. I've already downloaded it and I even made my own bootable ISO and burned it to CDR. This is the first time I've done that; usually I order one from CheapBytes or cough up $ for an official OpenBSD CDROM. Mostly I wanted to see if I could do it. I've only tested that it boots and finds the install. Later tonight or over the weekend I'm going to upgrade my backup gateway to 3.2. My primary gateway is still running ClosedBSD, which is a special version of FreeBSD designed to provide a diskless firewall/gateway.
Happy All Saints Day! To celebrate, check out Mark Shea's article at Catholic Exchange on Are Saints "New Revelation?" — An All Saints Day Reflection.
Another "feel good" story from today's Arizona Daily Star -- Realizing a dream. Here's the blurb:

James Molina understood that he wanted to play college football, and he understood that he wanted to play for Arizona. What he did not understand was the word no.

I sit next to one of Molina's high school teachers at the football games. She has told me he's a very motivated, dedicated young man and she's very proud of him. Having seen him kick, I have to ask -- why the heck wasn't he a starter to begin with?! The kid can kick!
From today's Arizona Daily Star -- 'Joe' is in the pink; color him busted. Here's the blurb:

PHOENIX - If you saw someone wearing a brown shirt with a Department of Public Safety patch, a tin sheriff's badge and a "Smokey Bear" hat, would you think he was a police officer?

This is yet another example of Maricopa County Sheriff Arpaio throwing his (considerable) weight around. Whether you support Prop. 201 or not (I don't), this is just absurd.