Thursday, December 30, 2004

Here's a story that makes you go "huh?" -- Passengers describe extra 18 hours on plane. Here's the part that makes me scratch my head:

Passengers initially had to wait onboard because the Grant County International Airport was not equipped to screen international travelers.

Huh? If it's not equipped to screen international travelers, then WHY IS IT AN "INTERNATIONAL" AIRPORT?

Wow! As if things weren't scary enough -- Obesity Rising Among U.S. Preschoolers. Yep! It's not just older kids, the statistics say a whopping 10% of preschoolers are overweight (2002 statistics), up from 7% in 1994! Good grief!

Wednesday, December 29, 2004

I got lots of good stuff for Christmas, including several CDs -- the "Best of REM", the "Miss Saigon" soundtrack, the new Vanessa Carlton CD, and as a present to myself, Michelle Branch's "Spirit Room" CD. I'm listening to the latter right now. I really like her voice and her style -- she has real talent and a mind of her own, things she has in common with some of my other favorite artists -- Suzanne Vega, Avril Lavigne, Lisa Loeb, and of course Rain Perry.

Tuesday, December 28, 2004

Happy Birthday Colleen!

Colleen is 20 today. I'd link to her blog but I don't want to blow her anonymity... anyway, happy birthday C!
Wow. The death toll from Sunday's tsunami continues to mount -- Race on to save tsunami survivors. ABC's Nightline had some good reporting on it last night. The scale of the devastation is just astonishing.

Monday, December 27, 2004

More on euthanasia in the Netherlands -- Euthanasia . . . or a 'Dutch treat'. If this stuff doesn't scare you, it should.

Saturday, December 25, 2004

Merry Christmas!

Merry Christmas to all my readers. I had a nice celebration. I sang for the 8 p.m. and 10 p.m. Masses last night (I'll post the music when I get a chance). This morning I drove up to Phoenix with my sister to celebrate with my family. We had a really nice time enjoying opening presents and just being in each other's company. Afterward we returned to Tucson, where I went to see my goddaughter Aubrey.

I hope you had an opportunity to spend time with family and friends, and to celebrate the birth of the Lord.

Thursday, December 23, 2004

Wednesday, December 22, 2004

I was at Costco today. I noticed they now are selling complete sets of Star Trek: TNG and DS9 for the low, low price of -- $499.95. $500! For a TV show! Good grief! I'd like to have it but no way am I going to spend that much money. It's crazy.

Tuesday, December 21, 2004

I spent the last couple of days serving on a jury for Tucson's City Court. The case was a DUI. There were two charges, one was driving while impaired to the slightest degree, and the other was driving with a BAC > 0.08. We found the defendant not guilty on both counts.

This was my 3rd time serving on a jury, and my first time in City Court. I now know a lot more about the field sobriety tests, the Intoxilizer 5000, and the mechanics of intoxication. Of course since I don't drink this isn't horribly helpful to me personally, but you never know when it might come in handy.

Friday, December 17, 2004

This is cool -- check out What Are the 'O Antiphons'? Lots of good info here!

Thanks to Lizzy for the link!
In case you think that heroism and self-sacrifice are a thing of the past, read this story -- HERO IN FALLUJAH: Marine Laid Himself on Top of Grenade to Save Rest of Squad.

As Sgt. Rafael Peralta lay near death on the floor of a Fallujah terrorist hideout, he spotted the yellow grenade that had rolled next to his near-lifeless body. Once detonated, it would take out the rest of Peralta's squad. To save his fellow Marines, Peralta reached out, grabbed the grenade, and tucked it under his abdomen where it exploded.

"Most of the Marines in the house were in the immediate area of the grenade," Cpl. Kaemmerer said. "We will never forget the second chance at life that Sgt. Peralta gave us."

I pray to be a man of such integrity and courage. Rest in peace, Sgt. Peralta.

Thanks to Catholic Light for the link.
More amazing results from non-embryonic stem cells -- German doctors use stem cells to repair skull injury.

Thursday, December 16, 2004

I went to see Arizona Theatre Company's production of "Pirates of Penzance" tonight. It was an awesome show! I love Gilbert and Sullivan anyway, and this production was classic. I have seen the show a number of times, and designed lights for it once (back in... 1983?) so it was hard to resist the urge to sing along. I know pretty much every song and almost all the dialogue by heart.

Wednesday, December 15, 2004

I happened to check out Edward Peters's blog (scroll to Dec. 2), and he has some good info on a case of (perhaps thousands!) of invalid baptisms at Catholic churches in Brisbane, Australia. Eeep! It's so easy to "do it right". The priests who did this should face extreme penalties. As Peters points out, the repercussions are going to take a while to sort out since baptism is the gateway to all the sacraments.
I went to the doctor for a followup from my surgery and got my stitches removed. Everything looks really good. He said I should avoid strenuous lifting for a couple of weeks but other than that I can do anything I want. Yay!

Tuesday, December 14, 2004

Here's a nice article on the Firefox browser -- Firefox Passes 10 Million Mark - Eyes 10%. I've been using Firefox for a while, it's a great browser. Once you've used it for a while you'll wonder why you ever used anything else!

Monday, December 13, 2004

Check out Cringely's latest column onthe IBM-Lenovo deal. The brief summary: it's all about access to the Chinese market for IBM, and freeing IBM from Intel's embrace so that they can crush the competition in the server market.

Friday, December 10, 2004

YAY! The long-awaited NetBSD 2.0 Released. I downloaded the i386, sparc, pmax, and vax ports last night. Can't wait to get it up and running on my hardware!
Apparently there's some progress lately -- Fusion: Stepping closer to reality. Thanks to Slashdot for the link.
Bankruptcy update -- things keep getting more confusing. Now the Diocese of Tucson is contesting the Diocese of Phoenix - Diocese: parishes separate.

Tuesday, December 07, 2004

63 years ago today, the United States fleet at Pearl Harbor, Hawaii was attacked by forces of the Empire of Japan. My state's namesake battleship, the U.S.S. Arizona, was sunk with over 1000 souls. May they rest in peace, and may we always remember and be on watch.
At tonight's meeting, I was elected chairman of the City of Tucson Citizens Transportation Advisory Committee. Yay! It will be a lot of work but I look forward to being able to contribute in this way.
The Mozilla Foundation announces that the Thunderbird 1.0 mail client is out! Check it out. I've been using for TBird since 0.6 and I have to say it's really solid. There's no excuse anymore to expose yourself to spam by using Outlook or Outlook Express. It's free, it's solid, what's not to like?
Surgery update. I'm feeling not too bad -- kind of sore, but other than that I'm up and about. Tired, though. I slept 'til noon or so today. I'm not back to work until Thursday so that's good.

I have to say how great the folks at St. Joseph's Hospital were though. From the orderly who wheeled me out to go home, to the nurses and techs, my surgeon and anesthesiologist, they were friendly and kind and reassuring and, clearly, good at what they do. As a Catholic it was nice also to hear the announcement over the PA for noon Mass -- it was nice to know that it's not just a hospital but also a community that joins in prayer, and to know that I as a patient was included in that prayer.

Monday, December 06, 2004

Surgery. I had my surgery this afternoon, and got home around 5 p.m. or so. The surgery went well and I feel pretty good -- a bit sore, but not too bad. Certainly not as bad as I'd thought it might be. I will be off of work through Wednesday, and off the ice until at least the 16th.

Thursday, December 02, 2004

Good God! The Dutch are going deeper down the euthanasia route -- Dutch ponder 'mercy killing' rules. Have they lost their minds, or their hearts? Didn't they learn anything from their World War II encounter with the Nazis? Now they're feeling free to kill anyone with "no free will", in which they include small children and the retarded. Why isn't there an outcry? From here it's a small step to alcoholics and drug addicts, and then probably religious believers. This is insane!

Wednesday, December 01, 2004

I've been looking through my music collection tonight, getting ready to make a sample CD for my skating coach to give her an idea of what my taste is like, what appeals to me. While looking through stuff I came across my Sony Classical sampler CD set ("Great Performances 1903-1998"). One of the tracks on this set (it's 4 CDs) is John Williams's theme from "Schindler's List."

I know many people think of John Williams as some kind of hack, or that he's not original enough, or something. I am a big John Williams fan. I think in many ways he has been the American composer of this era. And when I listened to "Schindler's List", I couldn't help but cry. The power of music...

Friday, November 26, 2004

Arizona Beats ASU!

The Arizona Wildcats beat Arizona State today, 34-27! It was a most amazing, wonderful, exhilarating, nail-biter of a game. Back-and-forth, back-and-forth. UA's defense did an amazing job, the offense much less so. Still, for the Wildcats to come back after a truly dismal season and take this one away from ASU (if I remember correctly, records coming in were UA 2-8, and ASU 8-2) shows just how wacky this game can be.

A special moment for me came right after the game, when I bumped into two of my brothers in Phi Mu Alpha. They are both teaching in the Phoenix area -- one is a band teacher, the other technology.

Thursday, November 25, 2004

Happy Thanksgiving to all! I had a very nice gathering with my Dad, stepmom and my brothers up in Tempe. Later on my beautiful nieces and nephew showed up too! Unfortunately my sister didn't feel up to coming, but it was a wonderful meal and gathering nonetheless.

Tuesday, November 23, 2004

This Friday is the annual "Duel in the Desert" -- the Arizona-ASU football game. Check out Greg Hansen: ASU vs. UA.
Thanks be to God! My sister had her surgery this morning and it went well. The doctor decompressed the nerve going through her elbow. There was some concern that after doing that the nerve might pop out of place when she moved it, but apparently the doctor is convinced that's not a problem so they didn't have to do anything else with her, which is good. They were also able to do this without general anesthesia, which is always good (especially for my sister as she tends to get nauseous). So she's home and resting.

Monday, November 22, 2004

Of course, today is the 41st anniversary of the death of our first (and only) Catholic President, John F. Kennedy. Rest in peace, Mr. Kennedy.

Sunday, November 21, 2004

Mark Shea has posted a very nice poem by Pavel Chichikov, dedicated to Gerard Bugge (a.k.a. Gerard Serafin). Check it out.

Thursday, November 18, 2004

If you think things are bad in your diocese, read this letter from Archbishop O'Malley of Boston. I wonder how long it will be before such things are happening here in Tucson.
Very sad news. I just read on Catholic Light that Mark Shea had posted (see how things travel through the blogosphere?) that Gerard Serafin has passed away. While I did not frequently read his blog, when I did I always came away edified. His strong love for God and His Church shone in everything he wrote. I often, truth be told, felt a bit shamed after reading his take on things -- his love and tolerance showed so clearly my own often rash judgments and quickness of temper. Rest in peace, Gerard -- and put in a good word for us!

In paradisum deducant te Angeli; in tuo adventu suscipiant te Martyres, et perducant te in civitatem sanctam Jerusalem.

Chorus Angelorum te suscipiant, et cum Lazaro quondam paupere aeternam habeas requiem.

Check out Jack Perry's review of the new Thérèse movie. I've not seen it yet (it showed in Tucson for about 1.5 weeks but I wasn't able to make it).

Wednesday, November 17, 2004

Tuesday, November 16, 2004

Monday, November 15, 2004

Prayer request. My best friend Maria had a rough weekend. First, they had to put down their beloved dog Roadie, and now her mother-in-law is going in for surgery to remove an aggressive cancer. Please pray for Carolyn, her doctors, and the whole family. Thanks.

Friday, November 12, 2004

From David Morrison's blog -- Don't Say Father:

Don't Say Father

Don't Say Father
if each day you do not behave like a son.
Don't say Our
if you live shut off in yourself.
Don't say Who art in Heaven
if you think only of worldly things.

Don't say Hallowed be Thy Name
unless you really honor it.
Don't say Thy Kingdom come
if you have a material outcome in mind.
Don't say Thy Will be done
unless you are ready to accept it when it hurts.
Don't say our daily bread
unless you care about the hungry.
Don't say forgive us our trespasses
if you bear a grudge against someone.
Don't say deliver us from evil,
unless you are prepared to make a stand against it.
Let the words of Our Father sink in.
Don't say Amen unless you really mean it.

Found on wall of a church in Uruguay.

I just talked with the doctor's office, and my hernia surgery is scheduled for Monday 12/6. It will be at St. Joseph's hospital, which makes me happy. I like having these things done at a Catholic hospital.

Thursday, November 11, 2004

Happy Veteran's Day. A big THANKS to all the veterans out there for there service to our country.

Wednesday, November 10, 2004

An update on the Diocese's bankruptcy -- Kicanas outlines financial resources. Claims must be reported by April 15th.

Monday, November 08, 2004

Another poll. This one is about right, I think:

You Are a Conservative Democrat

Frankly, the way most other Democrats behave embarasses you greatly.

You pride yourself on a high level of morals, and you have a good grasp on right and wrong.

It's likely you think America needs to get back to its conservative, Juedo-Christian values.

Why aren't you a Republican then? Because you believe the goverment helps more than hurts.

This isn't quite right, I'll fix it later.

Friday, November 05, 2004

I've been talking about this since the election and now CNN's commenting too -- the big story about the election is what didn't happen. No terrorism, no massive election problems, and despite predictions of massive young voter turnout, the "youth bloc" was the percentage as in 2000 -- while it did increase, so did turnout among all voters.
A good column on why the Dems lost and what happens for them next -- Democratic Party ready for extreme makeover.

Thanks to Mark Shea for the link.

Wednesday, November 03, 2004

I tried to blog on this earlier but Blogger seemed to be having problems. Anyway, the election is over and it's a convincing win for Bush. To his credit, Kerry is taking this gracefully and gave a nice concession speech. Thanks be to God, the popular vote and the electoral college agree this time. President Bush also gave a nice victory speech.

Mark Shea has some interesting (and amusing) insights on the election. I'm glad it's over.

Oh yes, the (second-) best part of the election -- my friend Alex Rodriguez won a spot on the Tucson Unified School District Board! Way to go Alex! I know he will do a super job and make us all proud.

A final quote, and a nice one that should give us all pause to thank God for our country:

... in an American election, there are no losers, because whether or not our
candidates are successful, the next morning we all wake up as Americans.

--John Kerry

Addendum (my original post):

It's all over but the shouting, and even that is dying down. In the wake of President Bush's victory, CNN says Small inroads make difference for Bush. I like this quote:

More exit poll respondents -- about 22 percent -- called "moral values" the
election's most important issue then cited the economy, terrorism or Iraq.
Those expressing this sentiment backed the president overwhelmingly, 79 percent
to Kerry's 18 percent. Bush did similarly well among the 19 percent who
identified terrorism as their top issue.

Tuesday, November 02, 2004

Health Update. I saw the surgeon today about my hernia. He basically told me all the stuff I'd already been told, but also said I should probably be off the ice for 3 (!) weeks. I suspect I will not be able to keep myself off the ice for 3 weeks but I suppose I'll try to be good. Anyway, I've asked for a date the 2nd week of December, which is after our holiday show at the rink. The nurse is supposed to call me and let me know when they've scheduled me.

Monday, November 01, 2004

Jimmy Akin explains just what's at stake in this election. Check it out. Thanks to the lovely Jeanetta for the link.

I have a friend who is, in all visible respects, a faithful Catholic, but is voting for Kerry. I just can't understand how someone who is not, as far as I can see, a cafeteria Catholic can justify voting for Kerry. I just don't get it.

For me, the issue is clear -- John Kerry is morally bankrupt, and therefore unfit to be president. It's really that simple. Any man who can claim that life begins at conception, yet support the killing of innocent life, has no moral compass and shouldn't be elected dogcatcher, much less President of the United States. And it's not just abortion! He's wrong on abortion, yes, but also on embryonic stem cells, and on gay marriage. Not clear on euthanasia. He's wrong on some many issues that are not negotiable because they are intrinsically evil! Why can't people understand that? Is it that they don't think 1+ million dead babies a year are important, or that the economy or the war in Iraq outweighs that? Or do they not think Kerry's serious in intending to only nominate judges who will continue to legislate the Culture of Death from the bench? What is it? I just don't get it. Why is it that a Methodist can speak movingly of building a culture of life in the U.S. but a former altar boy (as he likes to remind us) can't even speak the words, can't even speak for those unable to speak for themselves?

I just don't get it.

Sunday, October 31, 2004

Today was a wonderful day, the baptism of my newest goddaughter! Please join me in welcoming Aubrey Meghan as a new member of the Body of Christ!

Saturday, October 30, 2004

Bishop Kicanas up for USCCB President. The Tucson Citizen is reporting that Bishop Kicanas has been nominated to be the USCCB's President. The bishops will elect their new leader at their November meeting, and he will take office the following November.

Friday, October 29, 2004

My best friend sent me this link -- Quin Hillyer on John Kerry & Religion on National Review Online. It's an interested read. I agree with most of it although I'm not sure of some of the details of his argument. Saying "what Protestants believe" is always somewhat problematic; saying "what Catholics believe" somewhat less so; at least, the teaching of the Church is readily available and usually fairly clear.

This article by Rich Lowry explains why Kerry's Catholicism is confused at best.

Thursday, October 28, 2004

Cool! The Cassini spacecraft is sending back images of Titan that are puzzling and fascinating astronomers. Of course, many of these astronomers are based here in Tucson at The University Of Arizona®.

Wednesday, October 27, 2004

I watched "Nightline" tonight -- one of my favorite shows. They had two top guys in the Bush and Kerry campaigns on. To me one of the most telling things about these campaigns came out clearly in the 45-second "closing statements" from each one. The Bush guy talked about the President, how people know where he stands and what he stands for. The Kerry guy talked about how bad Bush is and how Kerry would be better. And there it is. If Kerry has a real vision, a real message other than "Bush is bad and I'm not him," I've not heard it. Kerry doesn't inspire, and that's why so many of his supporters would seemingly have supported anyone running against Bush.

BoSox Win!

I'm not much of a baseball fan, but even I have been energized by the dramatic victory of the Boston Red Sox. I just wonder if the lunar eclipse had anything to do with overcoming the Curse of the Bambino?
Sometimes you have to wonder about headline writers. In an article about the upcoming "Restoring the Family to Christ" conference, the Star says Lightning- rod cleric will speak in Tucson. The "lightning rod cleric" is his eminence Archbishop Burke of St. Louis.

Tuesday, October 26, 2004

Health update. Good news and not as good news (no bad news, really):

  • overall cholesterol is 189! That's below 200, which is the goal.
  • "good" cholesterol is 32; should be over 50 but when I talked with my doctor about this number a long time ago he said a lot of it is genetic and the fact that I've raised it significantly in the last two years is excellent.
  • "bad" cholesterol is 121 (should be less than 130).
  • Glucose is 92 (range is 65 - 120)
  • Triglycerides are 218 (should be less than 150).
So the numbers are really quite good except for the triglycerides. I don't know how to balance this with the glucose number except to say that it looks like I've staved off pre-diabetes, but the triglycerides could lead to atherosclerosis. I assume it's mostly a diet thing.
Touchstone has a very enlightening piece -- The Godless Party by Rod Dreher. Dreher examines how the media portrays Democrats and Republicans, with statistics to back him up. The conclusion is not surprising, but some of the facts are. For example:

But their most striking finding was the near total lack of editorial and news
coverage devoted to the increased importance of secularists to the Democratic
Party versus the role of traditionalists in the GOP. The numbers are
mind-boggling: 43 stories on secularist Democrats, 682 stories on traditionalist
Republicans. In 1992, the Times alone published nearly twice the number of
stories about Evangelicals in the GOP than both papers did about secularists
among the Democrats for the entire decade. The bias is even worse among
television journalists, who filled the airwaves with stories about the
"Religious Right" and the Republican Party, but who didn’t file a single
story—not one—about the Secular Left’s relationship to the Democrats.

Thanks to Mark Shea for the link.

Monday, October 25, 2004

I'm in an insanely great mood tonight. It's a couple of things... first, at choir rehearsal tonight the conductor looks at me and asks me to intone the chant part for a piece we're doing, which means I get to intone something like 4 different chunks of this piece. Yea! And since it's Monday I had a skating lesson today and made some good progress toward learning my waltz jump. This is a major milestone for me. Also, I got a really good night's sleep last night. Finally, I got my USFSA membership card today, which also is a milestone for me.

It really doesn't take much to make me happy.

Saturday, October 23, 2004

Eeep! The UA Wildcats played nationally-ranked Cal today. It was grim, and Golden Bears cleaned our clocks pretty thoroughly. Final score was a shutout, 38-0. *sigh*

Friday, October 22, 2004

A really cool article from New Atlantis on cell phone usage and how it's changing society -- Our Cell Phones, Ourselves. Check it out.

Thanks to A Saintly Salmagundi for the link.

Tuesday, October 19, 2004

As so often happens, Maureen Dowd shows how when it comes to Catholicism, she's an idiot -- Maureen Dowd: Catholic bishops blur line between church, state.
Health Update. I went to the doctor today, and got good news, news, and bad news.

The good news: my blood pressure is 110/60, and my weight a mere 218. I'm in generally good shape. I need to go get my blood work done again to see how I'm managing my cholesterol etc.

The news: what I thought was hives is actually shingles. Fortunately I have a pretty mild case, and it's already healing, so I should be fine in a week or so.

The bad news: I have an umbilical hernia. It has not been bothering me (actually, I'm pretty sure I've had it for quite some time), but my doctor thinks that due to its size I should get it evaluated and probably repaired since it won't get any smaller. I tend to agree since I'd rather get it fixed now while I should recover well etc., than have to deal with it when I'm 60 and it will be more of a hassle.

Sunday, October 17, 2004

After David E. Kelley's The Practice ended its run, I thought I'd be able to wean myself from Kelley's products. Alas, it's not so, as I now find myself hopelessly addicted to Boston Legal. I find the show to be a curious mix of Ally McBeal (a show I loved) and The Practice. It's quirky but fun, and James Spader is excellent. Of course, I have to admit that having the incredibly beautiful Rhona Mitra on the show doesn't hurt either...
Did I mention that the Amphi Panthers whomped previously unbeaten Sabino on Friday night to take the lead in the 4A Kino division? Go Panthers!

Saturday, October 16, 2004

Mark Shea's mother-in-law passed away today. Please pray for the repose of her soul, and for all the family. Rest in peace, Patricia Humiston.

Friday, October 15, 2004

Somehow I managed to miss that astronaut Gordon Cooper died on October 4. Mom always said I was named after him. Rest in peace, Mr. Cooper.
Tonight is the long-awaited dedication of the Large Binocular Telescope.

Thursday, October 14, 2004

A great interview with Archbishop Chaput of Denver. Apparently the NYT did a hatchet job on the interview so they've posted the whole transcript. Way to go! Denver folks are very blessed to have such a strong bishop. A quote:

A lot of Catholic Democrats, whether they are clergy or laity, have used the “seamless garment” as an excuse to sideline the abortion issue, making it one among many others. And, we can’t do that.
Thanks to Catholic Light for the link.
Hives. I seem to have developed a small case of hives. Of course it took me a while to figure out what it was. It seems to have arrived sometime Monday or Tuesday. It was quite painful Wednesday but it seems to be better now. In the meantime, though, I also seem to have succumbed to some flu-type bug, so I stayed home today and slept most of the day. I still feel like a truck hit me, but I'll be okay.

Wednesday, October 13, 2004

Tuesday, October 12, 2004

Check out the Apostolic Letter Mane nobiscum Domine on the Year of the Eucharist.

Thanks to Catholic Light for the link.
Another person stands up for his conscience --Pharmacist says he feared 'spiritual pain'. Of course the "pro-choice" people won't support *this* choice...

Monday, October 11, 2004

Happy Columbus Day!

These days, Columbus gets a bad rap. People apply today's standards to behavior then and lay all kinds of things at his feet. In my book, Columbus was a hero. Of course since I am a member of the Knights of Columbus you'd probably expect that! See how the Knights celebrated today.

Saturday, October 09, 2004

I got to watch the presidential debate tonight. I was pleased to see Bush being so strong and unequivocal on the pro-life issue. It's embarrassing that Kerry can claim to be Catholic, on the one hand, and then be so uncommitted to the moral teachings of the Church. I can only assume he's some kind of relativist. I also thought Bush's closing remarks were encouraging, optimistic and hopeful, something the nation needs right now.

The CNN fact check is pretty interesting. All in all Bush seems to come out better on that part.

Friday, October 08, 2004

More news on the Diocese of Tucson bankruptcy -- Deadline set for diocese abuse claims. The deadline for filing claims for compensation is April 15, 2005.
I just finished re-reading the W.H.D. Rouse translation of Homer's Odyssey. Wow. It's a great book. I last read it in high school, so that was "a while back." For some reason it seemed like a longer book at the time (I guess grad school changed my perspective :-)), and I'd forgotten how much of the book is written as a flashback. Good stuff.

Wednesday, October 06, 2004

There's been a lot written lately around St. Blog's about Archbishop Burke's pastoral letter on voting. Read it for yourself!
On this day in 1898, a group of music students at the New England Conservatory of Music met to discuss how they might band together for mutual support and encouragement as men and musicians, and Phi Mu Alpha Sinfonia Fraternity was born.

I have been a Sinfonian since 1983, and I can truly say that associating with this group of men that I'm privileged to call "brothers" has been one of the best things that ever happened to me.

The Object of this Fraternity shall be for the development of the best and
truest fraternal spirit; the mutual welfare and brotherhood of musical students;
the advancement of music in America and a loyalty to the Alma Mater.

So let it be for Sinfonia!

Tuesday, October 05, 2004

Victor Lams usually writes fun (and funny) music... but now he's written a piece about Michael Schiavo - he is Not A Great Man. Check it out, and then say a prayer for Terri Schiavo and her family.
This is very disturbing -- Catholic charity loses birth control appeal. The Supreme Court refused to hear a case involving Catholic Charities of Sacramento; the California Supreme Court upheld a law requiring CC to provide contraceptives as part of its health plan to employees. It's not clear what will happen now -- presumably CC's choices are to drop its prescription coverage, sell out (hopefully that is not really an option), or go out of business. Cases like this show once again that coercion by the left is often as bad or worse than coercion from the right.

Thanks to Catholic Light for the link.
In an often depressing world, it's nice to have some good news once in a while. How about this -- SpaceShipOne opens final frontier. Yep, the plucky folks at SpaceShipOne have won the X Prize by getting their craft into space twice in five days. Good work!

Saturday, October 02, 2004

I didn't get to see the debates Thursday night, since I was teaching our RCIA class at the time. I'm still plowing my way through the transcripts -- they are very illuminating.

Wednesday, September 29, 2004

I just discovered my friend Rae's blog -- Confessions of a Pauline Cooperator. I've known Rae for *ahem* quite a long time... Anyway, check it out. She's a thoughtful person with a lot to say.
Wow! A really cool LifeSite Special Report - Denying Holy Communion - A Case History. This is by Bishop Rene Gracida, the Bishop Emeritus of Corpus Christi, TX. It's a very illuminating report on how the bishop placed a pro-abortion politician under interdict. Would that all bishops had that much concern for their flock!

Thanks to Catholic Light for the link.

Tuesday, September 28, 2004

Greg Hansen has some good thoughts on the state of Wildcat football -- What a difference a year makes.

Monday, September 27, 2004

Fr. Rob Johansen reminds himself and us to throw off our complacency about abortion. Check it out.

Sunday, September 26, 2004

Lest I forget, yesterday's Wildcat football game was an exciting game to watch -- unfortunately, the Star reports that Victory in hand slips out of grasp.

Arrgh! We should have won, but once again we grasped defeat from the jaws of victory. Oh well. Greg Hansen's column is, as usual, enlightening.
Another response to "Harold". My original post is in italics, plain type is Harold, and both my original post and Harold's comment are indented. Hopefully that's clear.

Bishop Moreno has said he made mistakes, and I think that's true.

Coming from you, that's some admission.
That's an amazingly offensive thing to say. No wonder you don't post your full name, an email or a webpage. Figures.

People seem to fall into two catagories:

1. "We have to trust in God, and I think God will pull us through any crisis like this, said parishioner Richard Hook.


2. Father Geral Boyer--he was our priest--held a weekday mass. He asked me to stay after and talk. He proceeded to undress me and to just rape me. He held my face down, and then (see the link if you care to read the rest...)

Perhaps one problem here is that people are using euphemisms like "abuse" as opposed to rape.

You don't think it's more than a little simplistic to lump everyone together? We're either one of the victims or we have some hope of getting through this? I don't know what point you are trying to make here. As for abuse being a euphemism, it's not. Abuse is a more inclusive term that includes rape, but also includes a number of other things that happened in many of these cases that, strictly speaking, isn't rape. For example, the behavior of some priests who got kids drunk. That's not rape (it often led to it), but it is abuse.

With regard to the perverted criminals and the administrators who enabled them, my friends who attend S.S. Peter and Paul have the attitude, "They're only human."

What's more astonishing is that the kid who experienced Fr. Boyer's "talk" was issued a gag order by his own parents, but then again, that seems to be the prevalent attitude forty years later.
I'm confused. You have friends who go to SSPP? What parish do you attend? And who claims that the abusers were "only human". I don't see anyone claiming that, as if it excuses their actions.

At the conclusion of Manly's deposition, Moreno once again exhibited repentance.

"As you sit here today," Manly asked Moreno, "is there anything with ... any of the other cases that you would do differently, if you could turn back the clock?"

Moreno stumbled a bit, then said, "Well, I wish we could have avoided them as much as possible. I wish they had been the holy priests they're supposed to be. Perhaps I could have been more strict in that. I don't know."

Moreno is not, was not a well man before these depositions. Obviously he feels he could have, should have done things differently. So are you criticizing him for feeling that way? I don't understand you other than that you are angry and lashing out.

What's odd is that we seem to be willing to give a pass to rapists when the offenders are associated with our spiritual and moral authority, but when it's some pervert off the street, it's time to throw the book at them.
Maybe you are giving a pass to rapists, but I am not. They should be in jail. All of them. Oddly enough, though, when these things happen in other groups (teachers, for example) no one gets so excited, and the lawsuits don't flow. Why is that? Are others giving a pass to rapists among teachers, or Protestant ministers? For that matter, statistics show that most abuse comes from fathers. Are we giving them a pass?

Do you think paying money to the victims and their lawyers will save their souls?

No but settlements can buy counseling that the Diocese has shown to be incompetent in adminstering. Furthermore, given the years of denial and arrogance which met claimants, for the church to lose their money seems to be the only consequence which gets some attention.

It is my understanding that the Church has offered counseling to victims. Are you disputing this, or do you just dislike or disagree with the way it's being done? Anyway, your crack about "the church [sic] to lose their money" is absurd, because that money isn't the Church's, it's mine and my fellow Catholics that we gave for any number of reasons which don't include lining the pockets of lawyers or allowing people seeking vengeance to feel vindicated. Vengeance doesn't solve anything, but you seem to be too bitter to see that.

Talk about unexpected sources -- columnist Melinda Henneberger on MSNBC explains the problem with the Kerry campaign -- It's About Abortion, Stupid.

Thanks to Catholic Light for the link.

Friday, September 24, 2004

Fr. Rob Johansen has a statement from Terri Schiavo's parents about the recent court ruling. Please pray for Terri and her family!
I promised to reply to a comment from Tuesday. The comment is in italics, my comments are not.

Thanks for the reply, "Gordon". In several statements made such as, "...we came close to bankruptcy then too.", do you purport some formal capacity with the Diocese, other than just being a parishioner?

I had put "Harold" in quotes because you did not put an email or website, so I have no way of knowing if "Harold" is your real name or a pseudonym. It was not meant to be derogatory. Since I really am Gordon Zaft, you don't need to put quotes around my name.

To answer your question, I have no formal capacity with the diocese. I am a parishioner, I volunteer in several capacities, and I am a graduate of the Living Stones lay ministry formation program. Beyond that, as it happens, I happen to know the former chancellor, the moderator of the curia, the rector of the cathedral, and a vicar general. Not because I'm special, but because they all are or were assigned to my parish (Ss. Peter and Paul). Of course, these opinions are mine and not theirs, and I don't speak for them in any way.

Don't be too hard on the lawyers. They are also lining their pockets to help mitigate liability of the Diocese. This bankruptcy move is only one strategy. Additionally, it wouldn't be surprising to learn the recent formation of the DIOCESE OF TUCSON CHARITY & MINISTRY FUND has a mitigating effect.

I don't know whether you are a Tucsonan or not. The "Charity and Ministry Fund" is the corporation that was formed last year to take over what had been called the Bishop's Appeal (now called the Annual Catholic Appeal). This was a good move, since if they had not separated the Appeal, undoubtedly many, many people would have chosen not to give a cent to it, which would have hurt a lot of people who depend on the services provided through the fund.

Kicanas JUNE 16, 2004 : "I do not believe that a declaration of Chapter 11 by the Diocese will lead to any adverse financial impact on our parishes and schools."

That is the hope, but the truth remains to be seen, doesn't it? No one can say for sure.

The Bishop said it himself. This is merely a bump in the road for Diocese finances.

I think that's trivializing something that is far from trivial. Besides the impact that this will have on the Diocese as a whole, it's going to have a very bad (IMHO) effect on the relations between parishes and the Diocese, and it's also going to affect how parishes relate to each other.

For fun, review the annual reports and other Corporate documents of the Diocese. (I did a word search on 'Diocese Tucson', no quotes)

I've looked at the Diocesan financial report before, thanks.

Pretty interesting to see the Catholic cemetaries 2003 net profit of $570,000. Yet, this income probably won't be touched as well as the $56 Million in real estate in Pima County alone, as reported on the KOLD TV website.

You may not be aware that the cemeteries were sold to the Archdiocese of LA in the late 80s/early 90s in order to cover part of the debt from the TV station, and were only repurchased in the last few years (2000?). Personally I would expect that the cemeteries will be sold, only this time not to someone as friendly as LA. As for KOLD's claims of $56 million in real estate, I never saw a list. I'm sure there is some vacant land that was bought to support new parishes, and that will undoubtedly be sold. I have no idea where or what the rest is, and I rather doubt that the Diocese as such really owns $56 million in real estate. The Diocese doesn't even own the bishop's residence any more, as far as I know -- it was sold along with Regina Cleri. If you have other facts about this I'd love to hear them.

I like the leadership Bishop Kicanas demonstrates. However, some feel Bishop Moreno and others let the abuse happen. This is because after incidences of abuse were exposed, the result was some Priests were transferred to other parishes. Recall that some abuse cases go back twenty years.

Yes, most of these cases are pretty old. The only exception to that that I am aware of is the Yuma case. I am also aware that Bishop Green, and probably Bishop Moreno transferred priests who had accusations against them. Bishop Moreno has said he made mistakes, and I think that's true. It's quite a step to say that he did so with an intent to cause harm. But yes, he screwed up.

With the teams of professional management staff, (review membership of the officers of the CATHOLIC FOUNDATION FOR THE DIOCESE OF TUCSON) there is no doubt that the Diocese will overcome its difficulties.

I suppose it will, eventually. It will really hurt our efforts as a church for decades to come, though.

However, what about the victims difficulties? And more importantly, what about their faith? There are souls at stake.

Do you think paying money to the victims and their lawyers will save their souls?

Incidentally, you might want to read the Bishop's remarks to the employees of the Diocese.

Addendum: Check out this editorial in the Arizona Daily Star.

Thursday, September 23, 2004

A little late, I know, but I just posted the music for Mass from June 13th (Corpus Christi) and June 26th (Feast of Ss. Peter and Paul). I still have to post Assumption and last week's music.
The ruling is in -- Fla. Court Nixes Law Keeping Woman Alive. Apparently if the judicial branch wants you dead, dead you will be no matter what the exec and legislative branches want.

Wednesday, September 22, 2004

After Elf Girl posted a while back about wanting iTunes on her new laptop, whether it's an Apple or a Dell, I wound up downloading it myself. Man, this thing is dangerous. The ability to buy just one song that you want, immediately, without having to buy a whole album... wow, that's dangerous. It's like crack. I've bought probably 10 songs now. Right now I'm obsessively listening to Josh Groban's "Oceano". Good stuff.

Just to give you a sample of the weird taste I have, here's what I've bought:
  • Josh Groban -- Oceano
  • Good Charlotte -- Boys and Girls
  • Bowling for Soup -- Punk Rock 101
  • Daniel Bedingfield -- If You're Not The One
  • Britney Spears -- Lucky (yes, I admit it)
  • Chris Isaak -- Wicked Game
  • BBMak -- Back Here
  • Sixpence None the Richer -- There She Goes
  • Maroon 5 -- She Will Be Loved
  • Fountains of Wayne -- Stacy's Mom
  • Liz Phair -- Why Can't I
If anyone has any hints on how I can get this stuff on my Samsung Yepp-55 MP3 player I'm all ears.
Here's an update with more info on the Diocese's bankruptcy proceedings -- Diocese set to split with its parishes.

I'll respond to yesterday's comment in a separate entry.

Tuesday, September 21, 2004

It's always good to go to primary sources -- here's the Transcript of Bush's U.N. address.

I ... urge all governments to affirm a basic ethical principle: No human life should ever be produced or destroyed for the benefit of another.

I just wish Kerry would do the same.
Here's local coverage of the Diocese's bankruptcy decision -- Diocese files bankruptcy. Also a related story on victims of abuse.

Monday, September 20, 2004

Diocese of Tucson declares bankruptcy. It's official, the Diocsee has filed for bankruptcy. The diocese set up a web page with Diocese of Tucson Chaper 11 information. Here's the letter from Bishop Kicanas.

Update: Here's an AP story on the bankruptcy.

Addendum: Commenter "Harold" asked what my thoughts are on the bankruptcy. Well, I'm not thrilled. The diocese has been in a very fragile position for the last 16-18 years due to a failed "experiment" in running a TV station; we came close to bankruptcy then too. We were able to sell off some assets and borrow money and get support from other dioceses, most notably the Archdiocese of Los Angeles (Thanks, Cdl. Mahony!). We had just gotten back on more-or-less a stable basis about 2000. The Diocese has about 350,000 Catholics spread over 43,000 square miles. It's never been "rich." Now with our current circumstances, I have to agree that bankruptcy seems like the only real option. I'm worried about what may happen to the parishes. I think Bishop Kicanas is right that it would not be right to settle the current cases for some exhorbitant amount and have nothing left to pay future cases which could be filed. With the changes in the statute of limitations that were made, there's no way to know how many cases might be out there.

It's not a good situation. I feel sorry for Bishop Kicanas, who inherited this mess. I feel sorry for Bishop Moreno, too; I think he genuinely did what he thought was right and best. I feel sorry for those who were abused. I do not feel the slightest bit of sympathy or good feeling for the lawyers who have pushed this to this point, though -- they have shown themselves, in my opinion, more interested in lining their own pockets than in justice, or truth, or healing.

Saturday, September 18, 2004

Wisconsin 9, Arizona 7. I attended the UA - Wisconsin football game today. It was one of the most enjoyable games I've ever seen Arizona play.

The game started just after 1 p.m., with hot weather. As the game wore on it turned into a defensive battle, with Arizona's defense playing brilliantly and our offense struggling. With 6:13 left in the second quarter, the powers that be evidently decided they could no longer ignore the booming thunder and flashes of lightning approaching the stadium, so they suspended the game and asked everyone to take shelter. The rain came down in buckets! After almost an hour and a half, play resumed under a steady, driving rain, and the Wildcats scored a touchdown. Alas, that was to be our only score of the game.

Both teams had agreed to skip halftime and just keep playing. Early in the 4th quarter Wisconsin scored a touchdown but missed the extra point. Finally, a few series later they drove very close to the goal line but were unable to get a touchdown, and they scored a field goal. With just under 4 minutes left to play the Wildcats began a drive toward the Wisconsin goal, getting to the 25 yard line. A false start penalty drove them to the 30, and from there they attempted a 47 yard field goal as time expired. It was wide right and the game ended.

Of course, it was disappointing to sit through a game in the rain and see our team fight so hard but still lose. Nevertheless, I was really impressed with their play and their heart, and I think it bodes well for the season. I had to laugh at some of the Wisconsin fans, celebrating as if they'd won a great victory. The truth is we nearly won, and their team is not nearly as good as they thought. Our team fought like Wildcats! They made us proud.

Friday, September 17, 2004

Archbishop Myers hits the nail on the head in discussing pro-choice candidates and Catholic voters. He gets to the heart of what "proportionate reasons" really means.

Thursday, September 16, 2004

A re-review of The Passion of the Christ -- The Passion of the Michael. It's interesting to see how someone who didn't "get it" now "gets it". I never understood how someone could not see (Gibson makes it so plain) how the Eucharist and Christ's sacrifice are related because -- duh! -- they are the very same sacrifice; but then I'm a Catholic and I knew that already. I suppose non-Catholics would wonder as Coren did why those intercuts were there.

Wednesday, September 15, 2004

Another example of how "pro-choice" advocates aren't really pro-choice -- 'Conscience clause' grows in health care. Planned Parenthood et al are such hypocrites to claim to support "choice", yet when a doctor or pharmacist exercises their choice to not perform or support abortion or contraception, suddenly they don't have a choice? How absurd!
Scientific difficulties for the Latter Day Saints -- LDS and DNA. Apparently DNA testing does not suport the Book of Mormon's claim that the ancestors of the American Indians came from the Middle East.

Thanks to Mark Shea for the link.

Tuesday, September 14, 2004

Yet another lawsuit.... Another lawsuit has been filed against the Diocese of Tucson. Bankruptcy here we come...

Sunday, September 12, 2004

Here's the transcript of President Bush's remarks on the anniversary of September 11th.

Saturday, September 11, 2004

For my September 11th remembrance, I played my recording of the Mozart Requiem that was made from the Rolling Requiem concert of September 11, 2002. I spent some time praying for the repose of the soul of John Badagliacca, and for his family. The passage of time has resulted in some healing, for there were no tears; just a dull ache.

Friday, September 10, 2004

I had the following letter published in today's Arizona Daily Star:

Sacraments' status remains the same
I was saddened to read about Audrey Dunham's problems receiving Holy Communion because of her celiac disease ("Tucsonan can't eat wafer in holy rite," Sept. 7). The saddest part, though, is that she wants the church to change what cannot be changed, rather than adapting herself. This is pride.

Dunham is quoted as saying she did not want to receive from a separate chalice because "I was just too shy. You walk up there and you feel singled out."

As a sufferer from celiac disease, surely she has felt "singled out" every single time she dines. Even if it were possible for her to receive a gluten-free host at Communion, would she not still feel "singled out" since she would be the only one doing so?

I hope Dunham avails herself of the opportunity to meet with Bishop Gerald F. Kicanas and pray that he may be able to help her understand why the church is not at liberty to change the sacraments.

Gordon Zaft

Thursday, September 09, 2004

A rather eye-opening article on W's military service: Before you fall for Dems' spin, here are the facts. I didn't realize this stuff.

Thanks to Catholic Light for the link.

Tuesday, September 07, 2004

Apparently Barbara Nicolosi inadvertently "outed" the (in?)famous Nihil Obstat -- Pay no attention to the man behind the curtain!.
Audrey Dunham shows that New Jersey isn't the only place for people who don't understand the Eucharist -- they're in Tucson too. Check out the Star story -- Tucsonan can't eat wafer in holy rite.

We have a man in my parish who has this disease; he has a separate small chalice that is consecrated just for him. I think it's a wonderful example of the Church reaching out to people.

Monday, September 06, 2004

Fellow Sinfonian Sam Rabourn is going to bike around the US. Coming soon to a community near you!

Sunday, September 05, 2004

The University of Arizona® Wildcats whupped NAU last night, 21-3, in the first game of the Mike Stoops era. It was a fun game in spite of some bad weather just before the game. Check out Hansen's column on why Wildcat fans should be encourage.

Saturday, September 04, 2004

Grrr! I am still sick. It's been a week now. It's moved down to my chest but it's still hanging on, making me just miserable enough to be uncomfortable but not so miserable that I cancel all my other plans. Grr.

Friday, September 03, 2004

Here's the text of Fr. Rutler's homily from yesterday at an ecumenical service where President Bush and a bunch of high mucky-mucks were present. Fr. Rutler is an amazing speaker and writer.
I finally found the transcript of President Bush's speech last night. I didn't get to see it but it seems like a pretty good speech.
I was watching a bit of "Jimmy Kimmel Live" last night, mostly because the luminous Julie Delpy was on to plug her new movie, Before Sunset. Of course, Ms. Delpy was beautiful and charming. Kimmel had not even seen the movie! What a twit. He was totally unprepared for Delpy and came off like stereotypical Dumb American. *sigh*
Last night we started our 2004-2005 RCIA program at my parish. We have 6 or 7 people in the class this year. We had a good discussion. The opening night is always just introductions and an overview of the process. Next week the meat of the class begins.

Thursday, September 02, 2004

If you haven't yet, you should go check out the St. Blog's Parish Hall. It's a pretty cool forum for discussion.

Monday, August 30, 2004

I didn't get to see it, but John McCain's speech at the RNC was very stirring. He'd make a damn fine President himself.
Grrr! I've had some kind of cold/bug since Friday evening. Mostly a sore throat (geez, maybe it's strep?) and a very runny nose. Not enough to quite stay home for, but enough to make one miserable. Bleah!

Sunday, August 29, 2004

Yea! My friend Tom has asked me to be godfather for his new arrival, daughter Aubrey! Aubrey was born July 14th. Aubrey is my second goddaughter and 5th (!) godchild. God is good!

Monday, August 23, 2004

Novena for Terri Schiavo. Please read Fr. Johansen's blog and offer up some special prayers in this matter. It's important.
My buddy Eric Ewanco has a nice writeup on the latest St. Blogs issue -- The Scandal of Deal Hudson In Context. Check it out.

Saturday, August 21, 2004

When I was at the rink this afternoon, the DJ played John Mayer's song "Your Body Is A Wonderland." It made me think about our society's view of love, sex and the female body, and it occurred to me a better analogy might be "Your body is like Disneyland!" After all, it's expensive and there are long lines at all the good rides.

:-) ;-) Okay, I know it's "scandalous" but I thought it was very funny!

Friday, August 20, 2004

In yet another sad case of the sort that seems to come up every few years, another mother of a child with celiac disease displays her ignorance of Church teaching on the Eucharist -- Wheat sensitivity bars girl from communion.

I particularly love this:

"This is a church rule, not God's will, and it can easily be adjusted to meet the needs of the people, while staying true to the traditions of our faith," Pelly-Waldman wrote in the letter.

So this woman thinks the matter for the Eucharist is arbitrary and not divine will? And why for the love of Pete (as my grandmother would say) can't she just let her little girl receive the Precious Blood?

Catholic World News has a nice explanation and rebuttal.

Thursday, August 19, 2004

A side note to the gay marriage debate -- in Massachusetts Judge upholds 1913 marriage law. This means that couples who come to MA hoping to be married can't be if the marriage would not be legal in their home state.

Wednesday, August 18, 2004

Okay, it looks like deleting some of the comments out of the template has fixed the immediate problem, now it's just that the Blogger navbar is taking over the header.

Tuesday, August 17, 2004

There's something strange going on with the blog, there is a template problem. I've reported it to Blogger but nothing so far. Hopefully it will be fixed soon.

Monday, August 16, 2004

Sunday, August 15, 2004

Carlos Valencia was laid to rest yesterday. It's amazing the impact this 16-year-old had on our city. I attended the rosary Friday night; the cathedral was pretty full, about 800 people. Many, like me, never met Carlos but were inspired by his story, his faith, his courage. Rest in peace, Carlitos.
Lest we fail to notice, Lichtenstein has a new ruler!

Thursday, August 12, 2004

It's starting to get real -- the Star reports as Parishes meet with lawyers. This was a meeting held yesterday so that there could be more feedback and discussion on what could/might happen with the parishes and their assets if the Diocese files for bankruptcy. There's also a mostly laudatory editorial about Bishop Kicanas.
Even in California, reason sometimes prevails -- S.F. same-sex marriages voided. It's encouraging that the court realizes how far Newsom overstepped his authority. Unfortunately I don't know if there is a way to punish him for what was, to me, criminal behavior.

Tuesday, August 10, 2004

Monday, August 09, 2004

Tucson's favorite teenager has passed away -- Carlos loses leukemia battle. Carlos Valencia touched many lives and engaged an entire community in his struggle. Rest in peace, Carlos.

Saturday, August 07, 2004

Happy Blogiversary!

Today is the 2nd anniversary of the founding of this here blog :-). It's been a wild ride (I got laid off 11 days after I started the blog), but all in all having a blog has been a lot of fun -- I recommend it. Check out my first post.

Thursday, August 05, 2004

The Diocese of Tucson announced today that two priests who have had "credible" accusations of abuse against them have been laicized by the Vatican. Of course the news coverage says they have been "defrocked". I don't know why they insist on using that term -- I've never seen a priest wear a frock, have you?

This is really good news because it's been a long time coming.
Bad news. My niece Chelsea was in a car accident yesterday. Her car was totalled and she was taken to the hospital. Good news. Chelsea's airbag went off, which helped. She did go into the windshield though (it was a head on collision in the center turning lane) and received numerous cuts on her face (some of them quite deep) and broke her right wrist. It could have been much, much worse though, which is why this is good news.

Wednesday, August 04, 2004

Peter Kreeft is a national treasure. Read his explanation on why Human Personhood Begins at Conception.
More bishops taking a stand -- the bishops of Atlanta, Charleston and Charlotte have issued a joint statement: Worthy to Receive the Lamb: Catholics in Political Life and the Reception of Holy Communion. In it they say:

Because of the influence that Catholics in public life have on the conduct of our daily lives and on the formation of our nation's future, we declare that Catholics serving in public life espousing positions contrary to the teaching of the Church on the sanctity and inviolability of human life, especially those running for or elected to public office, are not to be admitted to Holy Communion in any Catholic church within our jurisdictions: the Archdiocese of Atlanta, the Dioceses of Charleston and Charlotte. Only after reconciliation with the Church has occurred, with the knowledge and consent of the local bishop, and public disavowal of former support for procured abortion, will the individual be permitted to approach the Sacrament of the Holy Eucharist.

God bless 'em! Thanks to Catholic Light for the link.

Tuesday, August 03, 2004

A very encouraging story -- A New Breed of Priest. This pretty much matches my own experience; most of the priests of the "JP2" generation -- for the most part they are orthodox, joyful, and well-balanced.

Sunday, August 01, 2004

Now this is interesting! A Pennsylvania court has ruled that sperm donors can be responsible for child support. While laws differ from state to state, it looks like people are starting to realize that there are real children involved who have a right to know where they came from, and to be supported by both their parents.

Thanks to David Morrison for the link.
A nice discussion on slashdot on automated software quality assurance of large apps. Check it out. This stuff is often discussed (like the weather), but actually doing something about it is harder.

Thursday, July 29, 2004

Here's a story you won't see on the news -- GetReligion: "Kill the Nazi!" and other examples of offensive free speech. Many on the Left think that "they" are "tolerant" and the Right is not, but they are no better.

Wednesday, July 28, 2004

Fr. Rob Johansen gives an excellent analysis of the Church's teaching on persistent vegetative state (PVS) in a response to Commonweal magazine.
The woes continue --Sex-abuse lawsuits vs. diocese rise to 20. I don't see the diocese avoiding bankruptcy now.
Please pray for the repose of the soul of Norma Shea, Mark Shea's sister-in-law, who passed away last week.

Sunday, July 25, 2004

Cheers for yet another bishop speaking out. Check out this column by Bishop Galeone of St. Augustine, Florida:

“Can an avid proponent of abortion-on-demand be at the same time a Catholic in good standing with the church?” I answer that question by asking another: Can an avowed racist be a member in good standing of the NAACP? For similar reasons, there are some positions so extreme that they would bar one from being considered a good Catholic, not because a specifically Catholic teaching is being denied, but because a basic tenet of the natural law is being trashed. As members of the human family, we must obey the natural law, written on our hearts: “You shall not take an innocent life.”

God bless 'im! Thanks to Fr. Rob Johansen for the link.

Saturday, July 24, 2004

Yay! The Star is reporting that In-N-Out Burger will be opening a location in the Tucson area next year. This could be dangerous to my waistline!

Friday, July 23, 2004

Okay, maybe only geeks like me are interested in this stuff. Today's Star has a neat article on wastewater treatment: Going with the flow.

Tuesday, July 20, 2004

35 years ago today ... "One small step for man, one giant leap for mankind." It was probably the first "news" event that I can remember well. CNN says 'Giant leap' opens world of possibility.

Monday, July 19, 2004

Over on Slashdot there's a good discussion on a $1,000,000 coding error and its effects. Since I work in the software biz and manage a QA group, such issues are of great interest to me. The Slashdot discussion is perhaps more telling than the news story. Generally when problems like this come up, there's no one person to blame -- so having the development lead, or the QA lead, or whoever "fall on his sword" (as some in the Slashdot discussion suggest) doesn't really accomplish much except make the customer and/or upper management feel better. Usually these things are the result of multiple failures -- process failures and the failures of individuals. Fixing those is difficult but it can be done.

Sunday, July 18, 2004

Music for Mass
SSPP Latin Schola 
Sixteenth Sunday of Ordinary Time, Year C

Prelude: Tu Es Petrus (Palestrina)
Gathering Song: I Heard the Voice of Jesus (KINGSFOLD)
Penitential Rite: Kyrie (Chant Mass)
Gloria: (Chant Mass)
Responsorial Psalm: Psalm 15 (Dominican tones)
Gospel Acclamation: Chant (Dominican tones)
Preparation of the Gifts: Sicut Cervus (Palestrina)
I Have Longed for Thy Saving Health (Byrd)
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: Ave Verum Corpus (Chant, St. Pius X Hymnal #38)
Meditation: Ave Verum Corpus (Byrd)
Recessional: I Sing the Mighty Power of God (ELLACOMBE)

Thursday, July 15, 2004

Another Episcopal Spine Alert -- Denver Archbishop says those who Support Abortion "Rights" Cannot be Catholic: "He then became more blunt. 'It's not a religious principle; we're not against abortion for religious reasons. We're against it because it kills babies. No one should tell us to be quiet about that any more than we were quiet about segregation. It's very important that we're active; we encourage our people to vote their conscience. That's not interfering with the government.' "

Thanks to Mark Shea for the link.

Wednesday, July 14, 2004

I came across an interesting blog today, Deus Volent. Check it out. The author is going to be a freshman at Thomas Aquinas College, one of the best Catholic schools in the country (if not the world).
An interesting article -- The Empy Cradle Will Rock. The author claims that the Democratic Party's support of abortion (and, more importantly, abortions by Democrats) cost the party the 2000 election and will cost more in the future. It's an interesting analysis.

Thanks to Fr. Johansen for the link (he thanks Mark Shea).

Tuesday, July 13, 2004

Another instance of what Mark Shea calls Episcopal Spine Alert -- New bishop conforms to strict Catholic law. The new bishop of Richmond is cleaning house, God bless him.

Thanks to the
lovely Jeanetta for the link.
Today is the 20th anniversary of my mother's death (July 13, 1984). Rest in peace, Mom. I love you & miss you.

Sunday, July 11, 2004

There's a big article in today's newspaper on the Diocese of Tucson's potential bankruptcy. The diocese claims that the parishes' assets don't count as diocesan assets, but of course the abuse attorneys think they are. If they are counted as diocesan assets we are all in a world of hurt, as the Church in Tucson may wind up grinding to a halt. It's scary.

Friday, July 09, 2004

This is interesting -- there's an uproar from some lay ministers in the Diocese of Baker, Oregon concerning this document from Bishop Vasa. Not surprisingly the dissenters are mouthing the usual platitudes that it's a "litmus test" and "unpastoral", blah blah blah. It makes perfect sense to me that those who are catechists should accept the Church's teaching! There's an article here on the dissenting reaction.

Thursday, July 08, 2004

An interesting discussion on Slashdot -- VAX Users See the Writing on the Wall. It's in reference to this Computerworld article on how VAXen are slowly being phased out. I have been using VAXen since 1982 or so, and still own several of them. The hardware (and OpenVMS, the OS) are terrific. VMS is a very powerful, elegant, well-designed system. It's one of those examples of how to Do Things Right.

Wednesday, July 07, 2004

On Thursday my coworker Frank Riley set off on his bicycle. Destination: Iowa, and the annual RAGBRAI. Now my company's website is documenting the Life of Riley.

Monday, July 05, 2004

Short stuff..

I paid off my car yesterday. YAY! It's a good feeling. I have lots of other things I'd rather do with the money..

I have to catch up posting music from 6/13, 6/26, and 7/04. I'll back-post it and post a pointer for those interested.

Friday, July 02, 2004

When you thought you'd seen it all -- check out theamazing bar code clock. Something only a geek could love!

Wednesday, June 30, 2004

A really cool essay by Beverly Taylor on becoming a conductor. Lots of good food for thought there.

Thanks to Catholic Light's Richard Chonak for the link.

Tuesday, June 29, 2004

I had my follow-up visit with the orthopedist today. He looked at my wrist and had me move it around, etc. He says my prognosis is excellent; I have 90% of my range of motion back already. It's still a little weak, but he says that will pass with time. I need to continue my exercises (up to a 10 lb weight for wrist curls), but he says other than the occasional twinge I should have no long-term problems. I'm really pleased. I will probably continue to wear my wrist guard while skating for a couple of weeks or so until I feel I could do a push-up without it hurting too much.

Monday, June 28, 2004

In this week's Monday Memo, Bishop Kicanas provides an update on possible bankruptcy for the Diocese of Tucson. In it he reminds Catholics that the buck stops at his desk:

Ultimately, it is my responsibility as your bishop to respond to the sin and betrayal of trust that happened here.

Also, five parishes were notified of allegations of sexual misconduct by two priests and a deacon.
This is pretty cool -- Scans uncover secrets of the womb. Just looking at pictures of the fetus yawning made me yawn too! It's great how technology can help people's understanding. Jn 8:32.
So the US has handed Iraq its sovereignty back -- U.S. returns sovereignty to Iraq. Handing it over 2 days early was, IMHO, a pretty smart move -- first of all if the terrorists had special plans for 6/30 it makes them moot, and second it gives more credence to the new government.
A cool article from Nature: Tunes create context like language: Maths shows why tonal music is easy listening. See also the Slashdot discussion.

Sunday, June 27, 2004

Ha! The German government is warning Germans about the consequences of a falling birthrate. Of course MSNBC puts it in a context of "have more sex."

Saturday, June 26, 2004

Music for Mass
SSPP Combined Choirs
Feast of Ss. Peter and Paul

Gathering Song: For All The Saints (SINE NOMINE)
Penitential Rite: (spoken)
Gloria: Ss. Peter and Paul Gloria (Schiavone)
Responsorial Psalm: Psalm 34 (Dean)
Gospel Acclamation: Celtic Alleluia (Walker)
Preparation of the Gifts: Only This I Want (Schutte)
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: On Eagle's Wings (Joncas)
Meditation: Tu Es Petrus (Palestrina)
Recessional: God, We Praise You (NETTLETON)

Wednesday, June 23, 2004

With summertime here, I've been reading more, and watching more videos. I watched my DVD of It (Stephen King), then of course I had to re-read the book. I'd forgotten what a good (and long!) book it is. There is so much that's not in the movie that is in the book. And of course the book is much, much scarier than the movie. I do have to say that in many ways I liked the young set of actors better than the older ones. My favorite was Emily Perkins, who played the young Beverly Marsh. Wow. If I'd known a girl like that when I was in 5th grade... okay, maybe not. I was pretty clueless about girls until 7th grade or so. But wow. If I'd known a girl like that in 7th grade I'd have been head over heels, no question.

I also re-read the 3rd Harry Potter book (Prisoner of Azkaban) in preparation to go see the movie... one of these days!

A friend lent me the box set of My So-Called Life, which is one of my all-time favorite TV series. I've been making my way through it, and wow! I'd forgotten just how good it was. Not perfect, but darn good. It's not just the luminosity of Claire Danes's performance, it's the amazing quality of the writing. Awesome.

Finally, another friend lent me the Veggie Tales movie, Jonah. I've always loved Veggie Tales ever since my best friend introduced me to the series. The movie was terrific, good fun, very funny, and with a good message too.

Friday, June 18, 2004

End of an era! Today was the last day that the last of Tucson's reversible lanes was in effect. At the peak in the early 80s, Tucson had four streets with reversible lanes, all running east-west: Grant Road, Speedway Boulevard, 5th/6th Street, and Broadway Boulevard. The so-called "suicide lanes" were never popular with businesses, but they did move traffic. The reversible lanes were in effect 7-9 a.m. (running westbound) and 4-6 p.m. (eastbound). I drove the length of the Grant Road suicide lane today at 5:45 p.m. to relish for the last time that giddy, heady feeling of zipping down the center lane up hill and down dale, at 50 mph. I made it from Stone Avenue to Swan Road (about 5 miles) in a bit over 6 minutes. I know many are glad they are gone, but I'll miss it.
The Arizona Daily Star is reporting that the Diocese of Tucson is inching closer to bankruptcy. There's a letter from Bishop Kicanas dated last Wednesday:

JUNE 16, 2004


Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ Jesus:

My primary goals over the past year and a half as your bishop have been to restore trust and to heal hurt as our Diocese has continued to experience the tragic consequences of the sexual abuse of children by priests.

Of important concern has been how to respond to needs of victims of abuse, including those who have sought the remedy of civil suits against the Diocese.

You may have become aware this last week that the Diocese went into court to ask for a continuance of one of the multiple suits being litigated against it. The intent in asking for this continuance was so that the Diocese can do the proper consultation necessary to begin what now appears to be the only option for the Diocese, pursuit of Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection under Federal law.

Clearly, this is not the preferred option of the Diocese. It has been and continues to be our desire, interest, hope, and preference to mediate these cases.

Currently, however, settlements within the means and resources of the Diocese do not seem possible, and our efforts to mediate the demands have been unsuccessful. As you know, we are a mission diocese with few resources. Previous settlements have severely limited our ability to respond to the present demands.

Our government offers Chapter 11 as a relief for organizations that find themselves with debts beyond their capacity to pay. It is the mechanism our government has established as a way for organizations to continue their primary mission while meeting their obligations such as debt or legal settlements.

Over the past year I have been in consultation with many people, both in and outside the Diocese. I have sought their counsel and advice. Locally, I have talked with our Presbyteral Council, our Diocesan Pastoral Council, our Diocesan Finance Council, and with many of our Catholic laity. They have supported the further consideration of Chapter 11 as a way to best continue the mission of the Diocese while responding to legal demands and the needs of victims.

In considering this difficult option, several factors are being weighed.

First, it is vitally important that the Church be able to continue its ministry.

I cannot allow our parishes or schools to be constrained in their ability to extend their pastoral care and outreach to our communities within the Diocese.

In addition, Chapter 11 allows for a more just response to those who have been harmed than would be possible in the current situation. Clearly it is likely that additional suits could be filed against the Diocese. At the time of the major settlement in 2002, it was hoped that would be the end of claims. In fact, it was only the beginning.

Beyond those who bring legal suits, there are other victims who have needs for counseling and spiritual support that in justice should be addressed. Finally, we cannot forget the important work to prevent the possibility of any future abuse. An effective safe environment program at all our parishes and schools also requires resources.

If the Diocese files for Chapter 11 protection, it would be based on the conviction that this decision is the best way for our Diocese to continue its mission while responding to the needs of victims.

I assure you that I will do everything in my power to ensure that the monies that you have so generously given for the missions and ministries of the Church will be devoted only to those purposes. I do not believe that a declaration of Chapter 11 by the Diocese will lead to any adverse financial impact on our parishes and schools. Likewise, I am confident that because agencies like Catholic Community Services, the Catholic Foundation, Catholic Cemeteries and the Charity and Ministry Fund (Annual Catholic Appeal) are separately incorporated entities their assets are not involved in litigation against the Diocese.

I also assure you that I will continue to do everything in my power within the resources available to meet the counseling needs of those who have been harmed, whether they have sued or presented themselves to us outside the legal system, and to maintain our multi-faceted program to prevent such harm from occurring in the future.

I welcome your comments and suggestions. Please send them to me by e-mail ( or by letter addressed to me at P.O. Box 31, 111 S. Church, Tucson, AZ 85702.

Let us pray together that what is decided will be best for those who have been hurt and for the mission of our Diocese. Be assured that we will continue with the mission entrusted to us by Jesus Christ.

Sincerely yours in Christ,

Most Rev. Gerald F. Kicanas

Bishop of Tucson

Wednesday, June 16, 2004

An article from CNN on the current flap re: "Catholic" pro-abortion politicians- Battling the bishops.

What's interesting to consider is that this whole big stink started, really, because one bishop had the guts to stand up and say "this is wrong." It proves that people are listening, if the teachers will just teach.
*sigh* The Arizona Daily Star is reporting that the Diocese of Tucson is considering bankruptcy. I knew it was bad (the Diocese was in precarious financial shape long before it was hit with the sexual abuse lawsuits. Still, this is not the kind of history the Church in Tucson wants to make.

Tuesday, June 15, 2004

Arizona is home to the largest nuclear power plant in the US. Thus it's very disturbing that all three units of the Palo Verde Nuclear Generating Station shutdown Monday due to an as-yet undetermined electrical failure elsewhere in the grid.

What I've not found out is how the system was able to compensate for the loss of almost 4 GWh of generating capacity.

Monday, June 14, 2004

Whoo-hoo! The University of Arizona® Wildcat baseball team is heading to the College World Series! This is their first trip since 1986.

Bear Down! Go 'Cats!
The lovely Jeanetta has posted an important prayer request. Please check it out and offer some.

Sunday, June 13, 2004

Music for Mass
SSPP Latin Schola
Feast of Corpus Christi, Year C

Prelude: O Esca Viatorum (St. Gregory Hymnal #228a)
Gathering Song: Soul of My Savior (ANIMA CHRISTI)
Penitential Rite: Kyrie (Chant Mass)
Gloria: (Chant Mass)
Responsorial Psalm: Psalm 110(Dominican tones)
Gospel Acclamation: Chant (Dominican tones)
Preparation of the Gifts: Ave Verum Corpus (Mozart)
Ave Verum Corpus (Byrd)
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: Let All Mortal Flesh Keep Silence (PICARDY)
Meditation: Pange Lingua (Pius X Hymnal #48)
Recessional: At the Lamb's High Feast (SALZBURG)