Friday, April 30, 2004

Those wacky guys at MIT clearly have too much time on their hands -- check out You're In Control:

The You’re In Control system uses computation to enhance the act of urination. Sensors in the back of a urinal detect the position of a stream of urine, enabling people to play interactive games on a screen mounted above the urinal.

Tuesday, April 27, 2004

I went to see the orthopedist today. He is pleased with the way my wrist is healing, and he replaced my splint with a half cast instead of the 3/4 cast I was expecting. It's really nice to have my right elbow free again. I got to see my pins, both when my splint was off and also on the X-rays. It's pretty freaky to look at. I should have the pins out in a couple of weeks and then be back to normal the first week of June.

Monday, April 26, 2004

As some of my readers know, I am a Catholic and a Democrat. Since I am a Catholic first and foremost, being a Democrat is something that requires (rightly, considering the party's reverence for "the sacrament of abortion") explanation and defense. I'm not up to that right now (too much typing!) but I wanted to urge folks to read Fr. Rob Johansen's excellent post on the moral bankruptcy of "pro-choice" Catholics (my words, not his).

Sunday, April 25, 2004

Okay, it may be a little meanspirited, but I thought this was funny as all get out:

Ding Fries Are Done!

Thanks to Amber Lee for the link.
I went to see "Our Town" at Pima College last night. It was a darn good performance; the leads were strong for the most part, especially Emily. It's always been one of my favorite shows.

Saturday, April 24, 2004

The Diocese of Tucson has made some new assignments. My former pastor, Fr. Van Wagner, will be assigned back to my parish; our associate and RCIA leader Fr. Al Schifano has been bumped up to Moderator of the Curia.

It will be nice to see more of Fr. Van. I'm happy for Fr. Al but sad we will lose him from our RCIA team.
The new document on the Eucharist is out -- Redemptionis Sacramentum: On certain matters to be observed or to be avoided regarding the Most Holy Eucharist. Of course there is absolutely nothing new in the document but it will perhaps be helpful ammunition.

Thanks to the lovely Jeanetta for the link.

Thursday, April 22, 2004


My surgery went well. I'm in a bit of pain but it's not too bad. I had no problems with the anesthesia and everything is in good shape. Thanks again for the many emails, prayers and support -- it's very humbling. Thanks.

Wednesday, April 21, 2004

My surgery is tomorrow, and I decided it would make me feel better ( & be a good idea) to go to confession. I called the rectory this afternoon, but unfortunately all the priests were at some convocation this week. I left a message, and fortunately Fr. John called me back later and said he'd be back around 8 and could hear my confession then. So I got home and he called around 8 and I went over and he heard my confession. He asked me if I wanted to be anointed, and I figured, "Sure, why not?" So he anointed me. It was very comforting, and I'm glad he did it. I feel a lot more relaxed about it now.

Tuesday, April 20, 2004

I just posted an update on my skating blog. I'll be having surgery this Thursday. Thanks for all the prayers and support, they are greatly appreciated.

Sunday, April 18, 2004


As posted on my skating blog, I broke my wrist today. Blogging will be light for 5-6 weeks (well, 3 at least) since it's too tiring to type one-handed.


Friday, April 16, 2004

Following the lead of the lovely Jeanetta, I'm posting a Friday Five based on last year's since there isn't one this week:

1. Who is your favorite celebrity?

Hmm. Probably Michelle Kwan :-). One of my ex-gfs used to tease me about Jennie Garth, because I had a huge crush on her when she was on 90210. More recently, Rhona Mitra and Linda Park (from Star Trek: Enterprise) both knock my socks off.

2. Who is your least favorite?

Wow, there are any number of celebrities who I think are whiny and annoying... Paris Hilton comes to mind first. Also the Osbournes, all of them. And anyone who's been on reality TV, except maybe Shannon what's her name from the first "Bachelor" -- she was cute AND feisty.

3. Have you ever met or seen any celebrities in real life?

Sure. I've met Maury Povich (was on the show, it's a long story); also Martin Sheen (in a McDonald's in Oxnard, of all places). I once saw Joel Grey at the opera here in Tucson. I met the governor of Arizona a number of years ago, Bruce Babbitt -- he came to a show at ATC that I was ushering for, and I got take him and his wife to their seat. I think there are probably others I don't remember.

4. Would you want to be famous? Why or why not?

Sure. I think now that I'm more grown-up I could probably handle it really well, and I'd be pretty motivated to be a good role model.

5. If you had to trade places with a celebrity for a day, who would you choose and why?

President Bush! It would be great to be president for a day :-) Beyond that, I don't really know. I couldn't trade places with Michelle Kwan since I can't do any of those jumps :-).

Thursday, April 15, 2004

The Archbishop of Denver (God bless 'im!) offers some strong words on Catholic "pro-choice" politicians:

Candidates who claim to be "Catholic" but who publicly ignore Catholic teaching about the sanctity of human life are offering a dishonest public witness. They may try to look Catholic and sound Catholic, but unless they act Catholic in their public service and political choices, they're really a very different kind of creature.

Thanks to Mark Shea for the link.
Happy Tax Day! I finished my taxes last night. I'm not alone -- the Star reports that nearly a third of all returns are filed on April 15th. I apparently had a slight goof in my withholding last year when I worked at TCI Solutions, I'd forgotten all about it, but the result is that I had to cough up $199 to the feds. *sigh*

Wednesday, April 14, 2004

Here's a transcript of President Bush's press conference. A friend thought he was somewhat evasive in answering some of the questions, and reading them, I agree there is some degree of evasion. It was most noticeable on the issue of whether he owed an apology to the people for not having prevented the 9/11 attacks. I wonder if there's some legal issue underneath this, that using that term would mean lawsuits against the government? Because elsewhere in the briefing he does say he's made mistakes etc. Hmm. He says:

Above all, the defeat of violence and terror in Iraq is vital to the defeat of violence and terror elsewhere; and vital, therefore, to the safety of the American people. Now is the time, and Iraq is the place, in which the enemies of the civilized world are testing the will of the civilized world. We must not waver.

I think this is really the crux of the issue. I wonder what kind of response you'd get from Kerry if you asked him whether he agrees or disagrees with it. One would hope he would say he agrees; if not he'd be undermining the whole effort. I suspect, though, he'd be just as evasive as Bush was in other areas so as not to commit himself to following the current Administration's line.
My friend Colin sends out a daily email with miscellaneous tidbits. In today's is this quote:

"The truth that many people never understand, until it is too late, is that the more you try to avoid suffering the more you suffer because smaller and more insignificant things begin to torture you in proportion to your fear of being hurt." ~ Thomas Merton

I think that's really true.
Yesterday's excitement was ransacking the house to find my W-2 from STC. My W-2 from TCI Solutions was in my 2003 taxes folder as it should have been but for some reason the STC one didn't make it in. 2+ hours later I found the STC one so I can do my taxes tonight. Yea! Every year I think I'm going to do my taxes early and it just never seems to happen.

Monday, April 12, 2004

I experienced some frustration today in talking with a friend. She is a Gen-Y-er, and though she claims to be a Christian she also says she believes in reincarnation. When I tried to point out that the New Testament explicitly says that we live only once, she claimed that that was because Constantine had removed "Apocrypha" from Scripture.

I meet confused people like this all the time, and I never know how to respond. To me statements like this are like saying 2+2=5; totally illogical. While thinking about this I came across this cool article by Mary Ann Glendon, University Students Today: Portrait of a Generation Searching. (Thanks to Mark Shea for the link). After relating a story about Alexis de Tocqueville, she continues:

Some young men and women, like Tocqueville, may spend their whole lives in a kind of melancholy yearning. Others may start to keep their spiritual lives completely private, in a separate compartment sealed off from the rest of their lives. Still others imitate the chameleon, that little lizard who changes his color to blend in with his surroundings. When parts of their Christian heritage don't fit with the spirit of the age, the chameleon just erases them.

How many of these lost searchers, I wonder, might have held their heads high as unapologetic Catholics if somewhere along the way they had become acquainted with our Church's great intellectual tradition and her rich treasure house of social teachings?
Over at Catholic Light, Eric Johnson has a grudge match: changed Litany vs. Becker Litany. Check it out. I voted for the Becker, myself.

Saturday, April 10, 2004

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: (Becker)
Baptism: We Shall Draw Water (Inwood)
Sprinkling Rite: Flow River Flow (Hurd)
Confirmation: Veni Sancte Spiritus (Taizé)

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: Behold the Glory of God (O'Connor)

Closing Rite

Dismissal: (Chant)
Recessional: Jesus Christ Is Risen Today (EASTER HYMN)
A nice article in today's Star on the annual Good Friday procession up Sentinel Peak.

Friday, April 09, 2004

I had bought tickets to see The Passion of the Christ today, the 2 p.m. show, in spite of the fact I was concerned whether I would be able to get to the theater in time after the Good Friday service. Apparently God wanted me to see this movie since despite not getting out of the service until 1:40 p.m. and incredibly frustrating traffic, I nevertheless made it into the theater and into the seat saved for me just before the movie started.

I found the movie... incredible. Very moving, very Catholic. I cried a number of times in the movie, but especially at three points -- first, during one of the early flashbacks (Jesus working in the carpentry shop) when Jesus kisses his Mother; second, at Peter's denial as he throws himself at Mary's feet, then runs away; and third, when Jesus's encounter with Mary when carrying the Cross. That last I just started weeping and couldn't stop for some time.

For me some of the high points were the many, many connections with Scripture and the Mass; especially the invocation of the Last Supper, both the Eucharist and the washing of the feet. Seeing it on Good Friday, naturally these connections were especially powerful for me. Another thing for me was turning both Veronica and, especially, Simon of Cyrene into real characters with feelings and lives of their own.

I know there are those who claim the movie is anti-Semitic. I cannot believe anyone who's seen the movie can really think that. If anything the movie is anti-authority, but really, it's just an amazing telling of the crucial (look up the etymology of that word) part of the Gospel. I'm really hopeful they will re-release this movie every Lent, or at least often. I can think of few better ways to powerfully focus one's mind on the reality of Christ's Passion.

The Arizona Daily Star has a nice piece about the Passion today.
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: Crux Fidelis (John IV of Portugal)
O Sacred Head Surrounded
Tenebrae Factae Sunt (Ignegneri)
Our Father: spoken
Communion: Sing My Tongue The Savior's Glory (PANGE LINGUA GLORIOSI)
O Bone Jesu (Palestrina)

Thursday, April 08, 2004

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: Love One Another (Dufford)
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)

One of the "advantages" of blogging this music is that I can note that we sang exactly the same songs this year as last year, except that last year we did Norbet's The Lord Jesus instead of this year's Love One Another (Dufford).

Wednesday, April 07, 2004

It's amazing sometimes what the perspective of a specific time and place can do for you. Here it is, Holy Week, and I happened to be listening, again, to one of my favorite pieces -- Barber's Agnus Dei, the choral setting of his Adagio for Strings. It's a beautiful, gut-wrenching, incredibly emotional piece that I had the privilege of performing when I sang in the Lane Justus Chorale.

It occurred to me for the first time tonight that you can view this piece as accompaniment to the Stations of the Cross -- you can imagine Jesus, the Agnus Dei, slowly, excruciatingly carrying his cross to Calvary and being nailed to the Cross and dying just at the huge crescendo before the end of the piece. If you know the piece or can find it, try this experiment and see what you think.
Communal Penance Service
April 7, 2004

Gathering Song: Amazing Grace (NEW BRITAIN)
Psalm: Create In Me (Psalm 51) (Hurd)
Gospel Acclamation: Lenten Gospel Acclamation (Walker)

We had a very good crowd for the penance service. We had 15 (!) confessors, and when I left at 6:45 (service started at 5:30) it looked like they would be there for another 15 - 20 minutes or so.

Sunday, April 04, 2004

Tonight the University of Arizona® Collegium Musicum performed as part of a doctoral lecture by T.L. Shawn. We performed the Handel Coronation Anthems. The subject of the lecture was authentic performance practice of Handel and how it may be adapted for contemporary ensembles. It was a pretty neat lecture and we were all happy for Terre to have completed so much work. It was a great concert!

Thursday, April 01, 2004

No fooling -- President Bush signed the Unborn Victims bill (aka the Laci Peterson bill) today. Good stuff!

Happy April Fools Day!

So far it's been a fun day in the news for pranks. My favorite so far is probably from Slashdot on developing an open source surface-to-air missile guidance system. Close runner-up is the new NetBSD logo.