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.