Wednesday, April 30, 2003

Okay, this is amusing. Yesterday evening I was driving up on the northwest side of town (Ina and Thornydale). As I crossed the bridge over the Canada del Oro wash, there was a couple walking by the side of the road. The man was holding a sign up that said "HONK 4 BOOBS!". The driver ahead of me honked his horn loudly.... and the guy reached down, grabbed his shirt, and flashed him his boobs!

BWAHAHAHAHA! I really laughed at that one. :-)

Tuesday, April 29, 2003

Okay, I'm confused. I just weighed myself and I was at 220.5! That is the least I have weighed since I started trying to lose weight last July. I'm mystified, though, I don't think I've really done anything different. Hmm. Maybe it's because I had just finished my morning walk?

Monday, April 28, 2003

I had the following email from Rain Perry:

Hi, Gordon -

I was searching on Google under my name (which I do sometimes to keep track of downloaded mp3s in Romania!, etc.) and found your recent post about my album. Thanks! I really appreciate that these lyrics continue to mean something to people. Thanks for the support.

I thought you might like to know that I'm working hard on the songs for my next album, which is turning out to be some kind of magnum opus about my hippie childhood - an album/book/performance-piece-of-some-sort. I'll keep you posted.

Take care,

Rain lives and works in Ojai, California. If you've never been there, it's a beautiful place. Rain's music is by turns hard-driving, reflective, thought-provoking, and altogether terrific. Her album "Balance" is available from Check it out, you'll like it.
Tucson's only ice skating rink is Gateway Ice Center, also called the Ice-o-plex. They have skate schools that start every odd month and run for two months. I'm considering taking ice skating lessons in May and June.

Of course, one might argue that a 39-year-old man in only so-so shape has no business taking skating lessons. One might also point out that I took rollerblading lessons last year and I broke my arm (my own fault, of course) and also that I am hardly going rollerblading weekly right now as it is. All I can say in my defense is that I'm hoping over the summer, when I have a lot more free time, that I can make some good habits that I'll be able to carry over into the fall.

Skate school is $12/lesson (8 lessons) Wednesday nights at 7. The idea of being in a nice cold rink during the hot summer has a lot of appeal... I'll let y'all know what happens.
Okay, this is my kind of story -- a guy named Scott who has been wearing a name tag everywhere he goes: 'Hello, my name is' one friendly guy. It's the goofy kind of thing that inspired the name of this blog.
Fr. Greeley... ah, Fr. Greeley. Gotta love 'im, gotta hate 'im. Still, he does have a way with words. Check out Reasons to abandon Catholicism abound. Whatever else one says, he does love God and the Church, albeit in his own way (don't we all, though?). Writing about people's stories why they leave the Church:

But most of the reasons I hear advanced these days are not of this sort.

They are rather tales of what some priest did or said, of what some nun taught you, of what some Rite of Christian Initiation of Adults director tried to impose on you, of some rule that a liturgist said you had to obey, of the moronic failure of the church to deal with the pedophile crisis, of the failure of bishops to speak out against the war, (which they have, of course, though no one hears them anymore), of the pastor who is spending huge sums of money on a church the parish doesn't need. Etc. Etc. Etc.

Sunday, April 27, 2003

Summer is rapidly approaching here in the desert -- it hit 90 degrees today! Unfortunately, with the rising temperatures comes not just summer but also a different kind of season -- "Death in the Desert". Yep, unless something is done it's a fair bet tens or hundreds of people will die in the Arizona desert this summer for the crime of wanting a job in a different country. A group called Humane Borders has been working to try to assist border-crossers with water stations so that they won't die a horrible death under the desert sun. It's a worthy cause. Whatever you think about illegal immigration and border issues, surely we can all agee that when we ask "What would Jesus do?" we find something like this quote from Isaiah:

"They will neither hunger nor thirst, nor will the desert heat or the sun beat upon them. He who has compassion on them will guide them and lead them beside springs of water." Isaiah 49:10
It's been a very musical day. At 3 p.m. I attended a concert of The University of Arizona(tm) Community Chorus, Symphonic Choir and Chamber Orchestra performing Handel's "Israel in Egypt." It was quite a treat, and the church was jam-packed -- I wound up sitting in the balcony, and that was pretty full too. Then tonight I attended the senior recital of two of my friend Amber Lee's friends, Brianna Petty and Laura Nelson. It was a very good recital and I really enjoyed hearing them sing.

Friday, April 25, 2003

You might want to say a prayer for the lovely Jeanetta, that her computer may soon be healed.

"I am a moron." -- JMT :-)
Fun with periodontis. I went to the dentist today for my first session of treatment for periodontis. According to a handout I have, 75% of adults have some form of periodontis. Sheesh! Anyway, I will have (hopefully only) 4 treatments for this. The first one, today, consisted of three parts:

  1. Michelle the dental hygenist used some kind of funky ultrasound instrument to do a rough root planing and scaling. This is to remove the largest segments of calculus (i.e., tartar that has hardened on your teeth) to get one's gums some immediate relief. She showed me a chunk of calculus. It's pretty gross. My gums bled a lot, which is due to their condition. It was a little painful at times but not too bad.
  2. She then did one quadrant (today, upper right) of detailed root planing and scaling by hand. In future sessions she'll do the other quadrants.
  3. Finally, she used a canulla (sp?) to wash the roots of my teeth with an anti-microbial agent (chor-hexadine?) to kill any bacteria living down there.

I go back next Friday for another installment. In the meantime, I've been told I need to use a different method of brushing my teeth, one that will put more pressure and stimulation on my gums where they meet my teeth. I also need to use a special little instrument to compress and compact my gums around my teeth to help them heal and fill in the pockets that formed around where the calculus was. I'm told I'll probably bleed a bit but it should improve with time.

I didn't have this problem when I went to the dentist last; the problem was that that was FOUR years ago. It's my own fault, and my own stupidity/laziness. Gentle reader, if you've not been to the dentist for a while, get thee hence! It's important. Really.

Thursday, April 24, 2003

I went to watch the Tucson Sidewinders play Tacoma tonight. It was a beautiful night for baseball, albeit a smidge chilly (at least we Tucsonans would say so, it was probably in the upper 60s). It was a fun game, although the Sidewinders got beat 9-3. Oh well!

Wednesday, April 23, 2003

Mark Shea passed along this great piece that he and Amy Welborn (and others) wrote: Loving the Church in a Time of Scandal. Check it out, it's good.
I know nostalgia is usually a good thing, or at least neutral. For some reason, though, I got the urge to listen to the last recording of the Lane Justus Chorale, and it's unbearably sad. It's sad because the music is just so amazing, and it reminds me of what an incredible group it was and what a privilege it was to sing with a group like that. I know that whatever happens in my life, and I'm sure there will be many good things, I'll never again get to sing with a group like that. It's not that we were perfect, we weren't, but wow when we were on, we were really on.

Tuesday, April 22, 2003

If you haven't already, you should check out the Easter Vigil experiences of Will (permalinks not working) and Sean. It's really been great to see their spiritual growth in the time they've been blogging. Please keep them in your prayers still during this period of mystagogy!
Okay, reader, I need some input. We are trying to decide on an offertory hymn for our Living Stones graduation Mass. This should either be bilingual English/Spanish, or *perhaps in Latin*! So, what's your favorite offertory hymn? Let me know ASAP!
Music for Mass
SSPP Combined Choirs
Easter Vigil

Service of Light

Exultet: (Chant)

Liturgy of the Word

Reading 1 Psalm Response: Send Forth Your Spirit, O Lord (Walker)
Reading 3 Psalm Response: Let Us Sing To The Lord (OCP R&A)
Reading 5 Psalm Response: We Shall Draw Water (Inwood)
Gloria: Ss. Peter and Paul Gloria (Schiavone)
Gospel Acclamation: Celtic Alleluia, Easter verses 3-5 (Walker)

Liturgy of Initiation

Litany of the Saints: (Maher, arr. Peter Dodge & Gordon Zaft)
Acclamation after Blessing the Water: Springs of Water (DeBruyn)
Baptism: We Shall Draw Water (Inwood)
Sprinkling Rite: Flow River Flow (Hurd)
Confirmation: Veni Sancte Spiritus

Liturgy of the Eucharist

Preparation of the Gifts: The Risen Christ (Holler)
Holy,Holy: Mass of Creation (Haugen)
Memorial Acclamation: Mass of Creation (Haugen)
Great Amen: Mass of Creation (Haugen)
Our Father: (Yantis)
Lamb of God: Mass of Creation (Haugen)
Communion: I Am The Bread Of Life (Toolan)

Closing Rite

Dismissal: (Chant)
Recessional: Jesus Christ Is Risen Today (EASTER HYMN)

All in all it was pretty nice. The Maher Litany was not really written to be a liturgical litany and required pretty extensive revision to be appropriate. Some people really liked it though; personally I'd have rather done the Becker Litany which is less monotonous, has twice as many saints, and has a much prettier melody. Oh well.
Okay, I know I still haven't posted the music for Easter Vigil, I promise I will do this tonight. I called in sick to work yesterday. Today I went to the dentist and got alarming news -- I have "moderate to severe periodontal disease". The good news is that if I do what they tell me to do everything will be fine. This is, I suppose, partly my fault for not having been to the dentist in 3+ years. *sigh*

Update: . Here's some info on periodontal disease which mentions that genetics can play a part in it. Thanks, Mom. *sigh*

Sunday, April 20, 2003

After much wrangling, it's official -- Piestewa Peak gets state OK. I've blogged about this quite a bit in the last couple of weeks. I'm really glad that the state has decided to do this.

Happy Easter!

I'll blog more later about the Vigil, etc. Christ is risen!

Saturday, April 19, 2003

Over on Catholic Light, Bryan Baldwin posts about going on an Opus Dei retreat, and Pete Vere blogs about it as well. Check it out. Pete provides some good links to read.
I meant to blog about it yesterday but got distracted... anyway, I hope y'all marked yesterday as being the 228th anniversary of Paul Revere's Ride!
Music for Good Friday
SSPP Latin Schola

Responsorial Psalm: Psalm 31 (OCP R&A)
Gospel Acclamation: (OCP R&A)
Gospel: (English chant)
Veneration of the Cross: O Sacred Head Surrounded
Sad Is My Soul (M. Haydn)
Were You There
Our Father: spoken
Communion: There Is a Balm In Gilead

Friday, April 18, 2003

Music for Mass
SSPP Combined Choirs
Holy Thursday

Gathering Song: Lift High the Cross(CRUCIFER)
Penitential Rite: spoken
Gloria: Ss. Peter and Paul Gloria (Schiavone)
Responsorial Psalm: Our Blessing Cup (Joncas)
Gospel Acclamation: Lenten Gospel Acclamation (Walker)
Washing of the Feet: The Lord Jesus (Norbet)
Preparation of the Gifts: Jesus You Love Us (Walker)
Holy,Holy: Mass of Creation (Haugen)
Memorial Acclamation: Mass of Creation (Haugen)
Great Amen: Mass of Creation (Haugen)
Our Father: (Traditional Chant)
Lamb of God: Mass of Creation (Haugen)
Communion: The Supper of the Lord (Rosania)
Procession of the Eucharist: Pange Lingua/Tantum Ergo (Traditional)

I'm not particularly fond of "Supper of the Lord." While it's certainly possible to interpret the lyrics in an orthodox fashion, it would be better (IMHO) to sing Eucharistic songs that are unambiguous.

Thursday, April 17, 2003

My e-buddy ElfGirl has blogged about living in San Francisco and supporting the war. Here's an article indicating she's not alone: Left Coast more pro-war than some like. A quote:

After all the blather about how the Bay area is a haven for anti-war sentiment, it was especially delicious to read in the San Francisco Chronicle that the Field Poll found that even the liberal Bay area supports "military action in Iraq to remove Saddam Hussein from power"- to the glorious tune of 63 percent.
The Arizona Daily Star weighs in on a proposal to rename a peak near Phoenix for fallen warrior Pfc. Lori Piestewa -- Honor Piestewa. I've blogged about Piestewa before. I tend to support the proposal although I don't want to in any way undervalue the sacrifice of the other Arizonans killed in this war.
CNN reports that San Francisco-based Bechtel wins Iraq contract. I'm sure the conspiracy theorists will be out in force on this one. I'm admittedly biased, since my Dad worked for Bechtel for many years, as did my stepmom. Still, anyone who is at all familiar with Bechtel's track record and capabilities has to admit they are a logical choice for such a task. Bechtel has an enviable record of engineering accomplishments including BART, the Hong Kong airport and Hoover Dam. Check out Bechtel's press release on the contract.
Pope releases encyclical on the Eucharist. Pope John Paul II has released an encyclical on the Eucharist, Ecclesia de Eucharistia. What a beautiful present for the 2003 Triduum! Check it out. Here's a gem from paragraph 52 (note the penultimate sentence):

I consider it my duty, therefore to appeal urgently that the liturgical norms for the celebration of the Eucharist be observed with great fidelity. These norms are a concrete expression of the authentically ecclesial nature of the Eucharist; this is their deepest meaning. Liturgy is never anyone's private property, be it of the celebrant or of the community in which the mysteries are celebrated. The Apostle Paul had to address fiery words to the community of Corinth because of grave shortcomings in their celebration of the Eucharist resulting in divisions (schismata) and the emergence of factions (haireseis) (cf. 1 Cor 11:17-34). Our time, too, calls for a renewed awareness and appreciation of liturgical norms as a reflection of, and a witness to, the one universal Church made present in every celebration of the Eucharist. Priests who faithfully celebrate Mass according to the liturgical norms, and communities which conform to those norms, quietly but eloquently demonstrate their love for the Church. Precisely to bring out more clearly this deeper meaning of liturgical norms, I have asked the competent offices of the Roman Curia to prepare a more specific document, including prescriptions of a juridical nature, on this very important subject. No one is permitted to undervalue the mystery entrusted to our hands: it is too great for anyone to feel free to treat it lightly and with disregard for its sacredness and its universality.

Wednesday, April 16, 2003

Music for Communal Penance Service
Gordon Zaft, cantor

Gathering Song: Remember Your Love (Ducote/Daigle)
Responsorial Psalm: Psalm 51: Create In Me (Hurd)
Gospel Acclamation: Lenten Gospel Acclamation (Walker)
A big sigh of relief for Catholic organizations in Arizona -- House OKs expansion of birth-control Rx rule. The Legislature agreed to exempt faith-based organizations from having to pay for contraceptives as part of health care coverage.
Also from the Lady of Shalott, a column by Canadian David Warren. Some good commentary on the effects of the liberation of Baghdad on the Arab world, and elsewhere:

The reality is that in the Arab world, a vast audience that has been told and has been living in a lie, a fantasy about reality itself, has nowhere to turn. Vast numbers of people, who live in much closer-knit communities than we do, are suddenly left to think and rethink everything they know, and all by themselves. This is an extraordinary, collective, psychic disaster.

Also, regarding Russia:

They know what their army does to Grozny, in Chechnya, and how little thanks they get for it. The Russian military brass had moreover been telling pan-Slavic TV audiences that the Americans only do "non-contact" wars, that they are sissies who rely on technology and get locals to do the icky ground fighting for them, as in Afghanistan. I've seen the same message repeated endlessly in Russian media Web sites. Imagine the shock, for people accustomed to this view, of now seeing plainly the U.S. on the ground, in Baghdad, taking fire, with very low casualties -- and in charge, after barely three weeks of war.
An excellent article at National Review -- Victor Davis Hanson on War & Iraq. Hanson looks at media bias and how so many in the left were anxious to bring defeat (or at least dishonor) out of victory:

... I had been expecting at least some interviews about bridges not blown due to the rapidity of the advance. Could someone tell us how special forces saved the oil fields? How Seals prevented the dreaded oil slicks? Whose courage and sacrifice saved the dams? And how so few missiles were launched? Exactly why and how did the Republican Guard cave?

Thanks to the Lady of Shalott for the link.

Tuesday, April 15, 2003

CNN has a good story on the rise of type 2 diabetes in children -- Ominous rise of adult diabetes in kids. Unless American society starts to emphasis a healthier lifestyle -- more exercise, less fast food, healthier diets and lower caloric intake -- we are going to see an incredible epidemic of type 2 diabetes in all areas of society. It's a really serious problem.
So recently on the NetBSD -current mailing list, there was a long tangent about word usage. The specific topic was use (or disuse) of hyphens, e.g. in words like "coordinate" vs "co-ordinate". When I was a kid I remember that words like coordinate and cooperate usually had a diaresis mark (looks like two double dots) over the second "o". One participant in the discussion gave this quote:

"The Columbia Guide also says:

A dieresis (the plural is diereses; diaeresis/diaereses are the usual British variants) is the diacritical mark (¨) placed over the second of two consecutive vowel letters to indicate that it is to be given full syllabic force; thus each of the two contiguous vowels in naive is to have a syllable to itself: nei-EEV. Today American editors frequently specify a hyphen rather than a dieresis in some words (co-opt instead of coopt) that might otherwise confuse; in others, they often drop the dieresis and let context distinguish (naivete or naivete; reenlist, re-enlist, or reenlist)."

I don't know how to make a diaresis in HTML. Anyone?

Monday, April 14, 2003

I've been doing some research on the web, and in the process I came across the Archdiocese of Seattle's Implementation of Holy Communion Norms page. I'm a little confused about this issue though:

"The entire assembly is to stand from after the Great Amen through the distribution of Holy Communion, and everyone should remain standing when they return to their seat until all have received and the presider is seated. At that point, a period of religious silence is to be observed and each individual has the option of sitting or kneeling for this. "

I'll have to do more research on this. Comments from the peanut gallery?

Update: Okay, I checked out the new GIRM. The relevant points from paragraph 43:

43. The faithful should stand from the beginning of the Entrance chant, or while the priest approaches the altar, until the end of the Collect; for the Alleluia chant before the Gospel; while the Gospel itself is proclaimed; during the Profession of Faith and the Prayer of the Faithful; from the invitation, Orate, fraters (Pray, brethren), before the prayer over the offerings until the end of Mass, except at the places indicated below.

They should, however, sit while the readings before the Gospel and the responsorial Psalm are proclaimed and for the homily and while the Preparation of the Gifts at the Offertory is taking place; and, as circumstances allow, they may sit or kneel while the period of sacred silence after Communion is observed.

In the dioceses of the United States of America, they should kneel beginning after the singing or recitation of the Sanctus until after the Amen of the Eucharistic Prayer, except when prevented on occasion by reasons of health, lack of space, the large number of people present, or some other good reason. Those who do not kneel ought to make a profound bow when the priest genuflects after the consecration. The faithful kneel after the Agnus Dei unless the Diocesan Bishop determines otherwise.

So apparently the bishop has decided they won't kneel after the Agnus Dei. That's too bad. I still don't understand the directive to remain standing until all have received though, and I've certainly never seen it done that way. It seems to me to be a hardship, particularly in large congregations where those who received at the beginning could remain standing for 20 minutes or more.
Yet Another Blog Quiz...

You are Ratbert.
Your goal is to make people love you, but you only
succeed in making a fool of yourself as you
try. You're the butt of everbody's joke, but
that's ok : you can take it and still be

Which Dilbert character are you ?
brought to you by Quizilla

Sunday, April 13, 2003

Uh-oh! Slashdot is now reporting that AOL is refusing email from SMTP servers sitting on residential DSL. There's a brief mention of this on AOL wary of Comcast, Road Runner mail. This is a real problem.
So, I FINALLY got my taxes done. It really doesn't take that long with TurboTax. I've been using TurboTax for many years. This year I was pleased to see that in spite of the fact that I was out of work for 9 weeks or so, my charitable deductions were about the same and I was still able to itemize even though I don't own a house. YAY!

Saturday, April 12, 2003

Friday, April 11, 2003

Pete Vere has posted a picture of me from his visit to Tucson, as well as some kind words. Thanks Pete!
I was surfing the web tonight (when, of course, I should be sleeping) and came across a good site on the Keirsey Sorter, which is a personality typing test like the Meyers-Briggs (they are not the same, but produce more-or-less similar results). I am an ENTJ, dubbed "The Fieldmarshal". Okay, but I'm a nice fieldmarshal! And hey, I am half-German, after all.

Wednesday, April 09, 2003

Here's some good analysis of the war from the New York Times via CNN: Push to finish the job. The thing that most concerns me now is that with the Iraqi resistance crumbling and the Iraqi leadership, presumably, running to Tikrit, the battle for Tikrit could well be a dangerous and desperate one. The only good news about that is that Tikrit is a much smaller place, so at least the 4.5 million residents of Baghdad will be spared the kind of house-to-house fighting and destruction we were fearing only a few days ago.
Lunch, Lunch! Yesterday I had lunch with the aforementioned Pete Vere, canonist/writer/blogger, of Catholic Light and other places. We had a delightful lunch at Micha's (authentic Mexican food, yum!) with his wife and daughter, as well as Tucsonan Mike Mohr who is involved in the Tucson chapter of Catholics United for the Faith. Poor Pete was suffering from a nasty cold but gamely came out anyway. Thanks Pete!

Lunch today was an "alumni" lunch of present and former employees of NewMonics. We had 16 people turn out for a nice get-together. It was great to see everyone. Apparently not too many places do this kind of thing but it's pretty common among the circles I've moved in.
Slashdot has a cool discussion on VisiCalc, the original spreadsheet for the Apple ][. Check out this article on implementing VisiCalc. For the purists among you, you can download VisiCalc for your IBM PC compatible.

Tuesday, April 08, 2003

The saga of A Mountain draws to a close, at least for now... Tricolor 'A' will stay, says council. Yep, after all that hoo-hah and back and forth, our City Council has finally weighed in on the momentous and pressing issue of the day, namely, should our nearby mountain's "A" be painted in patriotic colors or not. Our tax dollars at work!

Update: The Arizona Daily Star weighs in with an editorial.
I still haven't done my taxes!

Monday, April 07, 2003

Kewl! Pete Vere from Catholic Light (and elsewhere) is visiting Tucson. We've arranged to have lunch tomorrow. I'm very psyched to meet a fellow blogger!
Here's one of those stories that gives one hope -- Teen mother wakes up, after year in coma. I always say, don't pull the plug too soon! Seriously, though, I'd be interested in knowing what her brain function looked like during the coma and whether doctors told her mom to stop feeding her.
Okay, the smoking gun (assuming it's confirmed, which these days is always something you have to ask) U.S. Finds Missiles with Chemical Weapons.

Sunday, April 06, 2003

A followup on Lori Piestewa -- Tuba City mourns soldier killed in Iraq. For reasons I can't explain this makes me very sad.

Eternal rest grant unto her, O Lord, and let perpetual light shine upon her.
May she rest in peace.
May her soul, and the souls of all the faithful departed, rest in peace.
Gaah. Since I am cheap and don't have Blogger Pro, and since the free Blogger is stupid, I had to reset my time zone setting. See, unlike most parts of the US, Arizona does not participate in the massive fraud known as Daylight Saving Time. After all, the last thing we are after here is to spend more daylight hours awake. It's bad enough as it is. In the summer we are usually waiting for sundown so we can go do things. Anyway, all that is by way of explaining that this is actually posted on Sunday evening, just like the Music for Mass posting.
Music for Mass
SSPP Latin Schola
5th Sunday in Lent, Cycle A readings for RCIA

Prelude: (instrumental)
Gathering Song: Parce Domine (vs. 5)
Penitential Rite: Kyrie (Chant Mass)
Responsorial Psalm: Psalm 130 (Dominican tone 3)
Gospel Acclamation: (Chant, Domincan tone 11)
Preparation of the Gifts: Voce Mea ad Dominum Clamavi (Pius X #32)
Sicut Cervus (Palestrina)
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: O God, Accept My Heart This Day (Pius X #283)
O Sacrum Cor Jesu (Pius X #13)
Recessional: Lord of All Hopefulness (trad. Irish melody)

Saturday, April 05, 2003

I'm very discouraged. I got my latest blood work results back, and my cholesterol is up again. I had gotten it down to 196, which is good, but this latest test shows it at 227! And my triglycerides are high too. I have to make an appointment with my doctor, I suspect he's going to put me on something. I so do not want to be a person who has to take pills every day, but it looks like I'm headed that way. It's very depressing.
Very sad news. CNN reports Pfc. Lori Piestewa's body was found at the hospital where Jessica Lynch was rescued. I blogged about it on Monday that I know someone who is a friend of hers. I don't know what I will say when I see her Monday.

Friday, April 04, 2003

David Morrison writes eloquently (as always) on the real cost and value of love.

Christ’s ennobling and terrifying message for people living with same sex attraction is that we are created, loved and responsible. It ennobles us because it sees in us the reality of our Creation as human beings in God’s image. It terrifies us because it puts the ball firmly into our court. Christians who may not know the Gospel might try to tell us that God doesn’t love us because of our same-sex attraction, but we know that’s not true. God doesn’t base his love on what temptations we have or don’t have. Others might try to tell us that acting out our sexual desires, particularly with someone we feel we love, is also not wrong, but we know that’s not true either. Love doesn’t give itself away in half-measures or objectify its subjects. No, the hard truth is that love dies to self and gives itself away. Love is the Cross.
Aristotle Esguerra has been reviewing the new GIRM, specifically the parts that relate to music, on his blog "Confessions of an Accidental Choir Director". Check it out, there's good food for thought there.
This op-ed piece by the Houston Chronicle's Mike McDaniel asks, Is TV showing a sanitized war?. Sydney Schanberg, former NYT correspondent, is quoted as saying:

"If ours is truly a democracy, the people should be told and shown - even if they wish to turn their eyes away - exactly what is being waged in their name," he wrote in the Village Voice last week.

I wonder if he'd agree to showing pictures of exactly what happens in an execution or an abortion. After all, those things are being done "in our name". I suspect he'd agree on the first but not the second. Hypocrisy!
Arizona Daily Star columnist Bonnie Henry comments on the A Mountain flap (which I've blogged about several times) -- 'A' - that's for 'absurd,' this mountain of nonsense.
YAY! FreeBSD 4.8 has been released. I've been waiting for this update for some time, as I have a couple of machines I want to install it on. I grabbed the .ISOs last night from a mirror -- fortunately, I got the email before Slashdot posted the announcement, otherwise I'd have never gotten through. Check out the release notes.

Thursday, April 03, 2003

From CNN's coverage, this scary bit of info (as of this afternoon):

Checkpoints around the capital are closed and Iraqi civilians are not being allowed to leave Baghdad, a source in the city told CNN.

However, Iraqi government vehicles were going through neighborhoods near the airport and ordering residents to leave their houses and walk toward the airport. A number of people were complying with the order, the source said.

This looks to me like either a) massive "human shield" or b) massacres by the Iraqis that will be blamed on us. I hope I'm wrong.

Wednesday, April 02, 2003

The new General Instruction of the Roman Missal (GIRM) has finally been promulgated!
A neat piece from Peggy Noonan -- We Can Take It. Thanks to Catholic Light for the link.

The world will be reminded that America still knows how to suffer. In a county as in an individual, the ability to withstand pain--the ability to suffer--says a great deal about character. It speaks of maturity and courage, among other things. The world knew half a century ago that America will absorb pain to reach progress. It is not all bad that they are seeing it again.

Tuesday, April 01, 2003

It was a strange day. We had a layoff today at work, which included three people from my department. I'm not entirely sure why I wasn't among them, but there it is. The irony is that I also received a bonus check today since we made our numbers for 2002 (clearly, we are going to have a problem doing that for 2003). Still, I'm glad to have been spared.
While I was driving last week I wound up tuning in a country station, something I rarely do. While I was listening, I heard Darryl Worley's song, Have You Forgotten. I liked it a lot, and the words resonate for me:

Have You Forgotten?
I hear people saying we don't need this war
I say there's some things worth fighting for
What about our freedom and this piece of ground?
We didn't get to keep 'em by backing down
They say we don't realize the mess we're getting in
Before you start preaching
Let me ask you this my friend

Have you forgotten how it felt that day
To see your homeland under fire
And her people blown away?
Have you forgotten when those towers fell?
We had neighbors still inside
Going through a living hell
And you say we shouldn't worry 'bout Bin Laden
Have you forgotten?

They took all the footage off my T.V.
Said it's too disturbing for you and me
It'll just breed anger that's what the experts say
If it was up to me I'd show it every day
Some say this country's just out looking for a fight
After 9/11 man I'd have to say that's right

Have you forgotten how it felt that day
To see your homeland under fire
And her people blown away?
Have you forgotten when those towers fell?
We had neighbors still inside
Going through a living hell
And we vowed to get the ones behind Bin Laden
Have you forgotten?

I've been there with the soldiers
Who've gone away to war
And you can bet that they remember
Just what they're fighting for

Have you forgotten all the people killed?
Yes, some went down like heroes in that Pennsylvania field
Have you forgotten about our Pentagon?
All the loved ones that we lost
And those left to carry on
Don't you tell me not to worry 'bout Bin Laden
Have you forgotten?

Have you forgotten?
Have you forgotten?
Wow, a great post on Summa Contra Mundum, it's Athanasius' Guide to Latin in One Easy Lesson. Good stuff! Thanks to The Whys Guys for the link. Also check out yet another example of why ICEL was slapped down.
Since I was a Department of Navy employee for over 6 years, I still have a soft spot in my heart for the big gray boats. Here's a nice piece on the USS Constellation (CV-64), on her last deployment before decommissioning.