Monday, June 27, 2005

My parish celebrated its 75th annversary on Saturday, with a Mass with Bishop Kicanas and a wonderful dinner afterward. I'll have to back-post the music from Saturday, and also from Sunday. It was a wonderful celebration -- the church was packed, and so was the hall for the dinner. All our (living) former pastors were in attendance along with a number of others -- 10 priests and one bishop in all! The Tucson Citizen had a nice article about the anniversary.

Saturday, June 25, 2005

I'm in a strange mood... I've been cleaning, cleaning, cleaning, and throwing out stuff in a truly amazing fashion. Those who know my house, however, will know that I'll have to keep this pace up for several weeks to really have accomplished something. Still, it's a start. Anyway in the course of all this I've come across all kinds of amazing stuff -- old letters, of course, but also more obscure stuff like my high school grades (!), a gift certificate (still good!) for $20 at Trinity bookstore, wedding invitations, and much more. I've been fairly ruthless but there are some things that are truly hard to part with, even now.

One of the more interesting things to find is various scraps of poetry I've written at various times. Lesson #1 -- when scribbling dates on things, include the year! I found one that said "12/22" and I'm guessing it's from 2000, but it's hard to be sure.

I've been blessed in many ways, and all this poking around is a good reminder that I've had a lot of kind, interesting, and nice people cross my path over the years. It's hard to let go of that sometimes, in a world that can be cold. I'm working on it.

Friday, June 24, 2005

Marie's imminent arrival in Tucson (she's coming on Tuesday) is inspiring me to do a lot of things I've been meaning to do for a long time. So far:
  • Fixed the hall closet light
  • Fixed the diverter in the bathtub
  • Fixed the drain in the kitchen sink
  • Trimmed trees in the front yard
  • Purchased two window AC units for the house
  • Thrown out huge amounts of stuff
  • Cleaning, cleaning, cleaning
It's really inspiring. Yea!

Thursday, June 23, 2005

Wow, this is amazing. I had an autopay charge on my checking account that I didn't understand and I finally (FINALLY, as you'll see) got around to inquiring what it was. It was for a credit card I'd had. I was mystified since I thought I'd paid it off and closed it a long time ago. After some research at my bank and the credit card company, I discovered that a) I had closed the account in June 1999, but that when I moved to my current address in December 1997 they had not gotten my change of address correct, and so after a few months of statements being returned they had stopped sending them. It also turned out that while I had closed the account, I had not paid it off and in fact I've been making the minimum payment for all this time and STILL owe them $400 or so. Questions that come to mind:
  • Why did they get the address change wrong?
  • Why the heck didn't I notice?
  • Why didn't they get the correct address when the account was closed?
  • Why was I so asleep at the switch on this one?
Anyway... sheesh. See, I even blog about stupid things I do! Have to get this resolved. They corrected my address and are going to send me some back statements so I can see some of what was going on.

Tuesday, June 21, 2005

Bad News -- it was 110 degrees AGAIN today! Aaaaaaah!

Good News -- I went back to Best Buy (but to the other Tucson store) to double-check the price on the portable AC unit I was looking at the other day. I found what I've been looking for for years -- a window AC unit that should fit my incredibly small casement windows, and for only $90! I went home to double-check the size of the windows and yep, it looks like it should exactly fit. I'm going back tomorrow to buy the unit. Yea! Then I just need to get it installed. If it fits I'm going to get a 2nd one for the other bedroom.
Happy first day of summer! In Tucson we celebrated by posting record-setting heat yesterday -- 110 degrees! Eeep. Today's high should "only" be 107.

Sunday, June 19, 2005

Happy Father's Day!

Happy Father's Day to all the fathers out there, and especially to mine!

Saturday, June 18, 2005

I have not forgotten about this blog! I have been travelling. Last weekend I was in Las Vegas to meet a girl that I met on the Internet. We have really hit it off! It's very encouraging. She will be coming to Tucson soon, which will be awesome.

Monday to Thursday I was on an Opus Dei retreat. It was a good experience, as they always are. This one was at Thomas Aquinas College, which is an amazing place. The weather was great, and it was a lightly attended retreat so it was more intimate than if we'd had a larger contingent present. Friday was a frantic day at work, trying to catch up on a zillion things that were going on before I left.

I've been pricing portable AC units for my bedroom -- I've decided my swamp cooler just won't cut it for another Tucson monsoon season. For those not from around here, evaporative coolers don't work well once the relative humidity climbs, which is exactly what happens in monsoon season. I found an 8000 BTU unit for $300 at Home Despot, and a 10000 BTU unit for $380 at Best Buy. 10000 BTU is kind of overkill for the bedroom (it's not THAT large) but it seems like a good deal so I'm considering the larger unit. Plus, the larger one is a Whirlpool and the smaller one is not a name brand I recognize. They both have 5 year warranties though.

I'm also considering chucking Qwest+Dakotacom for Cox, mostly because for about $35 over what I'm paying now I can get faster Internet, phone with 60 minutes free long distance, and digital cable so I could actually watch UA football AND ISU figure skating competitions. Something to think about! Also they have a promotion where there's a rebate for the cable modem.

Wednesday, June 08, 2005

I've always maintained that President Bush, whatever his failings, is not dumb. One of the themes of the 2004 campaign seemed to be "Kerry smart, Bush dumb." Yet now that Kerry has finally (!) released his records, it turns out his college grades at Yale were about the same as Bush's! Hmmm.

Sunday, June 05, 2005

A nice editorial in today's Star by the founder of Humane Borders. HB is a group that puts water stations in the desert to help keep border crossers from dying of dehydration. Why is it that such humanitarian aid is controversial? Hundreds die every year trying to cross our border!
Sorry I have not been posting much. Life has been pretty hectic lately and I'm not getting to write as much as I'd like.

The subject of gnosticism came up in a conversation I had recently, and I was rolling it around in my head a bit. Generally speaking gnosticism seems to come from the perspective that you have to have special knowledge, not available (or perhaps not comprehensible) to the average man. In thinking about this, I wonder if gnosticism is not inherently elitist. I don't know how you can get away from that; but I'm not an expert in gnosticism. Catholicism is pretty much the opposite of elitism since it says that God loves us all equally, king no more/less than pauper, and that we are all called to holiness and have hope of salvation. The Church is sent to all (thus the name "Catholic"!) regardless of their gender, race, class, or intellectual ability.


Thursday, June 02, 2005

As probably everyone knows by now, the identity of "Deep Throat" (Woodward & Bernstein's source on the Watergate coverup) has been revealed. Check out this cool article by Woodward about it.