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...