Sunday, January 30, 2005

Like many people, I suspect, I sometimes get a particular song (or even a whole album) stuck in my head for days at a time. I went through this with Evanescence's album, for example. The latest song to infest my head is Michelle Branch's song Here With Me:

It's been a long, long time since I looked into the mirror
I guess that I was blind
Now my reflection's getting clearer
Now that you're gone things will never be the same again

There's not a minute that goes by every hour of every day
You're such a part of me
But I just pulled away
Well, I'm not the same girl
you used to know
I wish I said the words I never showed

I know you had to go away
I died just a little, and I feel it now
You're the one I need
I believe that I would cry just a little
Just to have you back now
Here with me
Here with me

You know that silence is loud when all you hear is your heart
And I wanted so badly just to be a part of something strong and true
But I was scared and left it all behind

I know you had to go away
I died just a little, and I feel it now
You're the one I need
I believe that I would cry just a little
Just to have you back now
Here with me
Here with me

And I'm asking
And I'm wanting you to come back to me

I never will forget that look upon
your face
How you turned away and left
without a trace
But I understand that you did what you had to do
And I thank you

I know you had to go away
I died just a little, and I feel it now
You're the one I need
I believe that I would cry just a little
Just to have you back now
Here with me
Here with me

Friday, January 28, 2005

Okay, the latest Slashdot Poll is making me feel VERY old. In response to the question, "Where were you when the Challenger exploded?", 39% of respondents are answering "Elementary school". Eeep!

I had justed started my first job out of college, working for the US Naval Ship Weapon Systems Engineering Station. The explosion was 19 years ago today. May they rest in peace!

Thursday, January 27, 2005

For our RCIA class tonight we devoted the session to prayer and questions. We do this a few times during the course of the program so that we remember that we need to pray together, and have a chance to ask/answer questions.

For the Q&A, after some time for questions from the class we devoted about an hour almost to picking a few points from the sessions we've already had and seeing how our class answered them. I was very impressed! The class is clearly getting what we are teaching them, which is very gratifying. Not only do they know the difference between such things as the Immaculate Conception and the Virgin Birth, they even understand what the Church is teaching about the Real Presence of Christ in the Eucharist. All in all it was very satisfying.

After our Q&A we did Evening Prayer from the Universalis site. If you have never checked out their site, it's very cool. We shared one reading from the Office of Readings for today. It's too good not to share:

From a sermon by John the Serene, bishop

Love the Lord and walk in his ways

The Lord is my light and my salvation; whom shall I fear? How great was that servant who knew how he was given light, whence it came, and what sort of man he was when he was favoured by that light. The light he saw was not that which fades at dusk, but the light which no eye has seen. Souls brightened by this light do not fall into sin or stumble on vice.
Our Lord said: Walk while you have the light in you. What other light did he mean but himself? For it was he who said. I came as a light into the world, so that those who have eyes may not see and the blind may receive the light. The Lord then is our light the sun of justice and righteousness, who has shone on his Catholic Church spread throughout the world. The prophet spoke as a figure of the Church when he cried: The Lord is my light and my salvation; whom shall I fear?
The spiritual man who has been thus illumined does not limp or leave the path, but bears all things. Glimpsing our true country from afar, he puts up with adversities; he is not saddened by the things of time, but finds his strength in God. He lowers his pride and endures, possessing patience through humility. That true light which enlightens every man who comes into the world bestows itself on those who reverence it, shining where it wills, on whom it wills, and revealing itself according to the will of God the Son.
When this light begins to shine upon the man who sat in darkness and the shadow of death, in the darkness of evil and the shadow of sin, he is shocked, he calls himself to account, repents of his misdeeds in shame, and says: The Lord is my light and my salvation; whom shall I fear? Great is this salvation, my brethren, which fears neither sickness nor lethargy and disregards pain. We should then in the fullest sense not only with our voice but with our very soul cry out, The Lord is my light and my salvation; whom shall I fear? If he enlightens and saves me, whom shall I fear? Even though the dark shadows of evil suggestions crowd about, The Lord is my light. They can approach, but cannot prevail; they can lay siege to our heart, but cannot conquer it. Though the blindness of concupiscence assails us, again we say: The Lord is my light. For he is our strength; he gives himself to us and we give ourselves to him. Hasten to this physician while you can, or you may not be able to find him when you want him.

Wednesday, January 26, 2005

It's the end of an era -- UA is cutting its nuclear engineering program. UA still has a research reactor. It's pretty trippy to look at. Things like this do make you wonder what will happen when we realize we really do need nuclear energy in some form.
Here's a cool review from AnandTech -- Apple's Mac mini - Tempting PC Users Everywhere. Check it out.

Monday, January 24, 2005

Here's wishing a Happy Birthday to my buddy ElfGirl! Hope it's great Bren!

Friday, January 21, 2005

Here's a kind of neat essay on What You'll Wish You'd Known. Some good advice that I agree with for the most part. And of course a long Slashdot discussion of the article.

Thursday, January 20, 2005

Here's a pretty cool article on the new coadjutor bishop of Kansas City -- A time to learn. I especially liked this quote:

"I think that primarily the vocation of the laity is to transform the world, nothing less. And I think the most significant way that they do that is through their everyday work."

I couldn't agree more.
Here's a story that really resonated with me -- When free ride of youth ends: "For the youngest boomers, those who just turned 40, this year marks what Lodge calls 'the end of the free ride of youth.'

He explains, 'Every year after 40, your metabolism slows a little more and you have to work a little harder just to stay in place.' "

I have to say that's really true. I'm glad I started making changes in my lifestyle when I did, but I wish I'd done them earlier. And of course there is still more I can and should do.
Here's the transcript of the President's inauguration speech -- Bush: 'No justice without freedom' - Jan 20, 2005. I think it's a good speech.

Wednesday, January 19, 2005

David Morrison says that Recent Developments Among The Lutherans and Episcopalians are "morally incoherent." And that's the nice way of putting it.
This is very cool -- apparently OpenVMS is still alive and kicking. Check out An Interview With Mr. OpenVMS Himself .
Okay, I'm really curious what this guy actually said... Spain Church OKs condoms for AIDS. You gotta know there's more to the story than we are seeing.

Update: More discussion on Catholic World News. Thanks to Amy Welborn for the link. Also some updated info on Jimmy Akins's blog. As usual, things aren't what they seem at first glance.

Tuesday, January 18, 2005

CNN reports a Four-week wait for iPod Shuffle. What is more interesting to me is this little blurb at the end of the article: "Ipod sales accounted for 35 percent ... of Apple's total revenue" for the last quarter. 35%! What this says to me is that Apple has pretty much made the transition from being a "computer company" to being a "media company". Apple's strength, in my mind, has always been in its design, especially consumer design. The new Shuffle is a case in point. It's not necessarily any more flexible than any of the other flash-based players on the market, but it looks nicer, and from what I can see, is easier to use. It's the design.

Saturday, January 15, 2005

Viva Las Vegas! I just got back from a company meeting in Las Vegas. Had a good time for the most part. We stayed at the Treasure Island, and my room on the 33rd floor had a stunning view of the Strip. It was pretty cool. Las Vegas is a strange place though. I spent a little time Thursday driving around -- wow! The traffic was really terrible, and I'm not just talking about the Strip. The freeways and surface streets were majorly crowded. Yuck.

One of the fun parts of the trip was driving over Hoover Dam. I had not been that way in quite a long time. Now in this post-9/11 world, there is a security check before you get anywhere near the dam, and they are hard at work building the bypass road. There are several huge bridges already in place for the bypass, standing in isolation high in the mountains. It's kind of eerie. The dam itself looks the same, of course, except that the water level in Lake Mead is down quite a bit so there's a definite "bathtub ring" around the lake. Still, the dam itself is of course impressive. Maybe it's the engineer in me, but I've always found it a thing of beauty.

Wednesday, January 12, 2005

I'm alive, really I am. Just very busy!

Apple announced a couple of interesting things today. First, a $99 iPod that is flash-based. It's tempting, but I already have a 256MB flash player that works great. If I didn't have that I'd be sorely tempted since it the new iPod will play mp3s and my iTunes as well.

The second is the Mac mini. This is really tempting since it's actually reasonably priced. I already have a USB-based KVM at work (my personal property), so I could take this puppy in to work if I wanted and use it there. Something to think about. I usually allow myself one "splurge" from my income tax refund. It was going to be a digital camera but now I'm thinking maybe it will be a Mac. Of course the sensible side of me says the last thing I really need is yet another computer...

Tuesday, January 04, 2005

USC Stomps Oklahoma!

I'm not a USC fan, but I couldn't help but smile to see that USC had stomped Oklahoma in Orange Bowl. 55-19! Maybe now the PAC-10 will start getting some respect from the East Coast.
Terry Mattingly reports on Passionate news in 2004. His top 10 religion stories of 2004:
  1. Re-election of George W. Bush
  2. Release of Mel Gibson's "The Passion of the Christ"
  3. Gay marriages in Massachusetts
  4. Controversy over John Kerry's Catholicism
  5. "Anglican sex wars"
  6. Church-state conflicts in US -- Pledge of Allegiance etc.
  7. Religious groups conflicted over war in Iraq
  8. UMC's struggles on homosexuality
  9. Catholic sex abuse scandal and bankruptcy for Portland and Tucson
  10. PCUSA dis-investing in Israel

Check it out.

Saturday, January 01, 2005

Happy New Year!

Happy Feast of Mary, Mother of God!

Best wishes for a healthy, happy and prosperous 2005!

The Virgin

Mother! whose virgin bosom was uncrost
With the least shade of thought to sin allied;
Woman! above all women glorified,
Our tainted nature's solitary boast;
Purer than foam on central ocean tost;
Brighter than eastern skies at daybreak strewn
With fancied roses, than the unblemished moon
Before her wane begins on heaven's blue coast;
Thy Image falls to earth. Yet some, I ween,
Not unforgiven the suppliant knee might bend,
As to a visible Power, in which did blend
All that was mixed and reconciled in Thee
Of mother's love with maiden purity,
Of high with low, celestial with terrene!

-- William Wordsworth

I've looked over my New Year's resolutions for the last couple of years, only to discover I've failed miserably at most of them. Still, I have to say that despite a broken wrist, two surgeries, and some other issues, 2004 was a darn good year, and I have high hopes that 2005 will be even better. So -- no New Year's resolutions here (although I'm sure I'll have some on my skating blog)!