Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Happy Halloween to you and yours!

We're going to take the kids trick or treating, roast pumpkin seeds and enjoy All Hallows Eve to the hilt. Have a fun Halloween yourselves!

Rule Britannia! Britannia rule the waves!

I love this: the band for the Horse Guards greeted the Saudi king with the Imperial March from Star Wars.

Yep--the Brits are still the reigning champions when it comes to the vicious rapier.

God Save the Queen!

Yes, it's turning into Anglophile week here at the blog.

Gooney googoo.

Pennsylvania hunter shoots "bigfoot" pictures.

Looks kinda chimpy to me.


Tuesday, October 30, 2007

Monday, October 29, 2007

BlogPoll: Final Results.

The hymn that makes you want to charge the cantor with levelled pitchfork and torch ablaze:


Gather Us In
39 (31%)

Sing a New Church
20 (16%)

I Myself Am The Bread Of Life
36 (28%)

Gift of Finest Wheat
13 (10%)

17 (13%)

Here I Am Lord
22 (17%)

On Eagle's Wings
18 (14%)

10 (8%)

Total Votes: 125


Far be it from me to dispute the vox populi, but: WRONG, WRONG, WRONG.

1. Familiarity has bred a strong contempt, it seems. As wearyingly banal and overplayed as it is, Gather Us In is far from the worst of the lot. It should instill resignation, not rioting.

"Give us the courage to endure this song...." Gather Us In is to Ordinary Time what The Chicken Dance is to American wedding receptions: a grating but survivable inevitability. As far as music goes, it's somewhat serviceable. It needs a lyricectomy, byt it's hardly alone.

2.-3. Also in the Mostly Harmless category: On Eagle's Wings and Gift of Finest Wheat. Running the lyrical gamut from Meh to Eh. OK, I Guess, these songs are nuked by Muzaky arrangements that suggest they are going straight to an elevator near you. Thought experiment: considered solely as instrumentals, they could be used as atmospherics in commercials by Caring Insurers/Bankers/Tobacco Companies.

4. Of a neither fish nor fowl variety is Here I Am, Lord. It could actually work reasonably well if you forced the cantor, and the cantor alone, to be the Voice of God. "Y'all kindly handle the refrain, folks."

Instead, the Church of Overly-Stroked Ego gets to indulge in a little pantheism--just what we all don't need more of.

Now on to the Most Wanted List, in inverse order of hideousness:

4. Anthem. As the beer commercial famously noted, "there's no 'we' in team." But there are no less than 17 "We's" in Anthem. Join us--we are question! The few, the proud, the quizzical.

3. Sing a New Church. Magnificent tune (lifted from the cosmically-superior Church of God, Elect and Glorious). But the lyrics manage the difficult trick of wedding sedevacantism to the bromides of a mandatory seminar on multiculturalism:

Summoned by the God who made us
rich in our diversity
Gathered in the name of Jesus,
richer still in unity.

Refrain: Let us bring the gifts that differ
and, in splendid, varied ways,
sing a new church into being,
one in faith and love and praise.

Radiant risen from the water,
robed in holiness and light,
male and female in God's image,
male and female, God's delight.


Trust the goodness of creation;
trust the Spirit strong within.
Dare to dream the vision promised,
sprung from seed of what has been.


Bring the hopes of every nation;
bring the art of every race.
Weave a song of peace and justice;
let it sound through time and space.


Draw together at one table,
all the human family;
shape a circle ever wider
and a people ever free

Yes, I know the standard defense: "It's a metaphor."

Here's the thing: it's a crappy metaphor with a room-temperature ecclesiology. Do over.

2. Hosea. Ten (10) votes. Obviously, you people have never (1) heard this one, or (2) read the biblical book after which this one is allegedly titled. Frankly, I call Hosea "Jacques." Why?

Why not? First, the relationship between the lyrics and the title works just as well. Second, Levon was already taken.

Come back to me with all your heart
Don’t let fear keep us apart
Trees do bend though straight and tall
So must we to others call

Refrain: Long have I waited for
Your coming home to me
And living deeply our new life

The wilderness will lead you
To your heart where I will speak
Integrity and justice
With tenderness you shall know


You shall sleep secure with peace
Faithfulness will be your joy

God help us, Refrain

Here's the actual book of Hosea. Synopsis for cradle Catholics: God commissions the Prophet Hosea to call out Israel as the ho she is, a sleazy wearer of push-up bras for Ba'al. No, I'm really not exaggerating. Very specific, explicit threats of judgment for this rotten behavior follow. How in the name of the Almighty the lyricist distilled the above out of the text of Hosea is an even greater mystery than the Trinity. Imagine a prophet of Israel actually trying to call the Chosen People to repentance using the lyrics. He'd be the guy after the Michael Palin in the prophet's row scene in Life of Brian.

Chuck in a syrupy tune that resolutely defies instruments starchier than the piccolo and Hosea is one for the Hall of Horrors. As in, shelve the hymnal and watch the pattern of the ceiling fans.

1. Bread of Life by Rory Cooney. Kudos to 28% of you.

I myself am the bread of life
You and I are the bread of life
Taken and blessed
Broken and shared by Christ
That the world might live

This bread is spirit
Gift of the maker's love
And we who share it
Know that we can be one
A living sign of God in Christ


Here is God's kingdom
Given to us as food
This is our body
This is our blood
A living sign of God in Christ


Lives broken open
Stories shared aloud
Become a banquet
A shelter for the world
A living sign of God in Christ

Oy, vey. A greater confusion between Creator and creature you will never see. Cooney windily and inaccurately defended his work before a queasy supporter, citing "Pauline Christology," specifically the idea of the Body of Christ Um. No. NO.

Nowhere does Paul ever identify himself as Christ, nor does he identify himself with the redemptive sacrifice itself, and no amount of eisegesis can change that. But "I Myself" does, with gusto.

OK--as much "gusto" as the sappy tune permits. "We here at Enron care about you and the community...." IMATBOL is high fructose nonsense, served up at firehose strength. The good news is that I hear it less and less often. The queasy flinch of the sensus fidei is slowly winning out. But it's still the worst of the worst--by a mile.

"The power is in the moustache."

--So spake a waggish and entirely tongue-in-cheek Lions fan in trying to explaining the Motor City Kitties' rise from Leno punchline status this season. "The moustache" is a reference to Matt Millen, whose seven year OJT process as general manager is finally seeing hints of spring.

It's not Harold Snepsts powerful:

but really, whose is?

It's a fine 'stache nonetheless. If nothing else, he has an assured future as a cop. More seriously--he's actually due some credit: the unheralded free agent talent has really paid off this year.

Why are they 5-2? The defense has been, two glaring exceptions aside, much better than anticipated. The offense is (sorry Kev and other fantasy leaguers) getting some balance, with the reemergence of Kevin Jones as a feature back. Perhaps most importantly, the cancerous lockerroom has gotten a dose of Marinelli chemo, with the purging of discontented talent. Tatum Bell is the most recent example, having been relegated to inactive status after complaining about Jones getting "his" carries.

Is this team good? Depends on what your definition of "good" is. Ultimately, no, it's not good. Not in the sense of being a legit playoff vehicle. But it is much smarter, more energetic, more cohesive and flat out unembarrassing to watch than anything we've seen since the Gary Moeller Era. I'll take it.

Friday, October 26, 2007

Depressing beyond words.

I can't fault the decision--the demographics were decisively against the parish. But the lamentable part is that this is a net loss to the Catholic heritage of Detroit. It's not like anyone's building anything like it around here: Bauhaus celebrations of horizontal iconoclasm are still the rage.

At St. John Cantius, they poured their lives into the artistic decoration [all these magnificent pics copyright Ricardo Thomas] and built themselves a true community:

By popular demand!

[Obligatory rough language warning.]

It's that time of year again!

Attention, dumbass: this is not an appropriate Halloween costume for your child. Not on this earth, nor even on the planet where your otherwise useless hatstand frequently dwells. This is really not that difficult: never dress up your children as streetwalkers.

Children? Yes, nota bene: this is marketed by the soulless corporate shitsacks at MGA as a "child costume." Nothing quite like making sure the Raincoat Crowd has an endless masturbatory buffet, I suppose. And yet we're still shocked by the latest Dateline NBC perv sting rustling up rapists rootin' and a'tootin' to get their jollies off preteen girls.

If you'd seriously consider getting your daughter this costume, you're a lousy parent. I'd like to give you credit and say you've been brainwashed by cultural decay, but you can't have a whole lot to wash now, can you?

Do the rest of us a favor by not proving it beyond all doubt by completing the purchase.

Thursday, October 25, 2007

Commit this name to memory: Stanislav Yevgrafovich Petrov.

Why? Because on the night of September 26, 1983, he literally saved the world.

Read it for yourself. No excerpt will do it justice.

If you can keep your head when all about you
Are losing theirs and blaming it on you;
If you can trust yourself when all men doubt you,
But make allowance for their doubting too:
If you can wait and not be tired by waiting...

Ah, yes, The Boy.™

Dale has taken to gaming of late. Especially the Mission Command series of games. Essentially, MC is a reworking of three earlier classics: Carrier Strike, Screaming Eagles and Tank Battle.

[Note, Steve, that these would be ideal for your kids, too.]

We started with the Air Game, and Dale got the first hit on me. Unfortunately for him, I got the next four, including the fatal cockpit hit. "I wanted to win!" he wailed.

"So did I," I explained. I also explained that I wasn't simply going to let him win, and when he finally beat me, it would be earned and legit. He appreciated that. He also appreciated the idea that the game was rated at "8 and up," and he was playing it at only age 4. That sank in.

The next one was the Land Game. Tanks! I simplified it by removing some of the playing pieces and the distance targeting array (which is something like Battleship). Once again, he got in the first blast, knocking my second strongest tank out of the game in a slugfest. I finally won, but it was an endurance match.

Earlier this week, we broke out the Sea Game. In an irritating trend, he smote one of my Hornets during my attack run on his carrier, and ended up trashing one of my destroyers and another three planes before I sank it. He had just launched his first Harpoon, and was probably going to get a hit on my carrier, when his sank.

His tactical approach can be summed up thusly:

1. Ignite hair.

2. Charge!

John Bell Hood would be proud. And like Hood, it almost works every time. Not to mention making the games rather exciting.

He wants to skip right up to Imperium now. Risk first, lad, Risk first.

And Maddie wants to try, too.

Looks like I got the Gaming Club back together, man.....

Yeah, she's my daughter.

The scene: the Price family dinner table/desk, after a pancake dinner.

The task: First grade Catholicism, as taught by Dad.

The student: Madeleine.

The subject: St. Joseph, his role, duties and merits.

The table has been wiped off, but for whatever reason the leftover pancakes have not quite made it to the fridge.

As we sit there, books open and as I expound upon the Patron of Workers' courage, Maddie's hand strays to the pancake plate, but she continues to pay attention to me. Without taking her eyes off either me or the class materials, she begins to chew on the pancake.

I note this, but since she's paying attention, I let it pass. She continues to take bites off the pancake and it is clear that she's not just eating it--she's trying to shape it into something. But she's still paying attention to me.

Finally, I interrupt and say: "What are you doing, Maddie?"

"I'm making a beard." She then puts the shaped remnant of the pancake over her mouth, and yes, it's a passable Van Dyke.

I blink a few times and respond.

"All right."

She was absorbing the material, after all.

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

Eight years ago today.

Our "first kiss," outside Bruske Hall at the 1995 Alma College homecoming. My fraternity was grilling that day. Despite my expression, I didn't think she was icky.

Posing before the Spirit of Detroit, June 6, 1997 (the day the Wings completed their sweep of the Flyers and won the Cup). Yeah, she's a good one--she indulges my sports obsessions quite nicely. Sometimes, she even shares them.

Thank you, sweetheart, for eight years, each one better than the last.

Courage Man's discovery.

Something about the new decor looking familiar.

Of course, my old set up was white print on a red border, too. Which could mean that he was imitating me, seeing as he didn't set up shop until 2005.

Not that there's anything wrong with that!

Wheels within wheels.

Be that as it may: it's cool, so long as the current set up is considered more Rupert Everett/Stephen Fry than Rip Taylor/Liberace.

"...and statistics."

Marcel Lejeune at Aggie Catholics has a friend crunch the numbers in a Planned Parenthood study and finds that figures don't quite add up.

Take. Read.

America's "Cold Civil War."

I think Mark Steyn is on to something very important in this piece.

A year before this next election in the U.S., the common space required for civil debate and civilized disagreement has shrivelled to a very thin sliver of ground. Politics requires a minimum of shared assumptions. To compete you have to be playing the same game: you can't thwack the ball back and forth if one of you thinks he's playing baseball and the other fellow thinks he's playing badminton. Likewise, if you want to discuss the best way forward in the war on terror, you can't do that if the guy you're talking to doesn't believe there is a war on terror, only a racket cooked up by the Bushitler and the rest of the Halliburton stooges as a pretext to tear up the constitution.

Now it would be unfair to point fingers only at the loony left here. It wasn't so long ago that conspiracy theories involving Bill Clinton were all the rage, with some whack-jobs claiming that the Murrah Building was Bill-deberger's "Reichstag Fire," to name but one in the litany of his alleged crimes (which, if true, would have left him with precious little time for the ladies). The problem is that the fever wasn't cured, it simply shifted to the left temple, with the Semtex Fairy getting a promotion from OKC to NYC.

But that's nothing to celebrate. I have every confidence that anti-Clinton paranoia will return in full flower should Hillary! get elected. Bank on it.

The question Steyn never quite gets around to asking is "Why?"

I have a partial answer: for the more secular-minded, politics is now invested with the religious fervor that used to go into religion. Politics has become a self-contained system of belief, with its own creed, liturgy, calendar of saints and diabolical enemies with sinister plans. And, as a religion, it is not one of Unitarian stolidity. It is a fighting, evangelistic faith. Check the latest Ann Coulter or Paul Krugman books and you'll see what I mean. Kill all--God will know his own.

I'm not exactly immune to this, but anymore I only get really revved up when there's some Catholic intersection with politics. I dislike Mrs. Clinton, but she doesn't bother me like John Kerry did. Or Rudy Giuliani does.

I even have a preferred candidate for President (McCain), but you didn't know that until just now. If he doesn't pull it off, I'm not going to require a mental health day. I don't have that much invested in him. I try to reserve that commitment for my faith. Frankly, I think that trying to approach politics and religion with anything like the same fervor invariably damages the latter. And for those who don't have much of a commitment to the latter, the former becomes unbalanced.

Unfortunately, I think the problem is going to get much worse before it begins to get better.

Shameless, I know.

The blog poll to the left, that is.

Unadulterated traffic solicitation of the worst order.

But it works. And it's fun.

Monday, October 22, 2007

Poll--Final Results.

For those of you keeping track at home:

Which is the most overrated actor?

Nicolas Cage
9 (13%)

George Clooney
18 (26%)

Leonardo DiCaprio
12 (17%)

Brad Pitt
13 (18%)

Robin Williams
17 (24%)

"You can't outpoint a champion. You have to knock him out."

--Scotty Bowman.

The Indians learned that one last night.

Forget the sorta-snafu (I'm thinking it wasn't) by the third base coach--what possessed Wedge to pull Westbrook just as he was beginning to dominate the BoSox? Classic overthinking and refusing to stay with the hot hand. In one fell swoop, Wedge became the Reverse Grady Little.

Oh, and I was sent this footage of Red Sox closer Jonathan Papelbon getting ready in the locker room before and during the game:

Best bud and Sox fanatic Bryan pointed this one out. Admit it, Sox fans--Papelbon does remind you of the post blanket party Private Pyle.

Dispatches from Lungerville.

Everybody, save (very ironically) yours truly, has some variation of croup or asthma. Doc Holliday had nothing on my kids.

As a result, the visit to the apple orchard went by the boards.

Me? I have what appears to be a sleep disorder of some kind. Tests will occur after Thanksgiving (the earliest they could get me in). I'm "asleep" for 7-8 hours, but not really. The upshot is that I am a zombie far too often. I recommend against acquiring one. Apnea? Possibly, but I don't have any of the symptoms: snoring, breathing interruptions. Instead, I feel like someone is pumping fog into my brain right behind my eyeballs several hours a day.


Zach Frey Update

Bottom line: all is well.

Our families were supposed to meet at an orchard Saturday to collect a couple bushels of sauce apples, but no. More about that later.

Friday, October 19, 2007

Y'all are forgetting one roots-country scion.

Hank the Third.

His debut is especially good.

I don't have a problem with the different country stuff (excluding yodeling), but a lot of what shows up on our stereo sounds an awful lot like power pop. And I listened to Rush and Zeppelin growing up.

I'm just sayin'.

Oh, and another thing: not one of you mentioned George Jones. Not a one.


Come on, people: the man's a legend.

A Picture of Me Without You, White Lightning, The Grand Tour, These Days I Barely Get By, to name but four eternal classics.

Drove a lawn tractor to the bar one night after his wife hid the car keys, too. What more can you want from a country singer?

Great Pictures from Franklin's Wedding.

Are right here.

Again, congratulations to the happy couple!

Note also that Jim and Jessica Cork make appearances, too. Friendly advice to both: don't get too stressed about retirement planning. Liam's going straight to the NFL.

Thursday, October 18, 2007

"Oh, no, no, no, no, no,, no, not at all. I- I- I just think that the.. uh.. their appeal is becoming more selective."

Voice of the Faithful's dynamism is unmatched:

The two-day event, featuring more than 30 workshops and talks by such luminaries as the Rev. Richard McBrien, a theologian at the University of Notre Dame, is expected to draw between 500 and 700 participants, according to the group’s president, Mary Pat Fox.

The number is only a fraction of the 4,200 who turned out for Voice of the Faithful’s first convention at the Hynes Convention Center in 2002, but organizers say that should not be seen as a decline.

* * *

But with a membership that has expanded to 150 affiliates and 42,000 registrants across the country, leaders say the group no longer needs to look to mass meetings to push for reform. Rather, they are engaged in the more difficult and less glamorous task of trying to ensure every parish and diocese has an active pastoral and financial council.

* * *

Topics to be explored in more than 30 workshops: strategies and tactics the laity can use to protect their parishes from being closed; priesthood in crisis, a strategy for collaboration and starting a conversation about issues affecting the priesthood; the election of bishops; dealing with anger and examining ways to transform it; and best practices for preserving parishes in a time of fewer priests.

* * *

Catholic University sociologist William D’Antonio has conducted a study on the Voice of the Faithful and has found them to be an extraordinary lot: their Mass attendance is twice that of other Catholics; they are more likely to be lectors, religious education teachers or Eucharistic ministers. A third of them are also members of the Knights of Columbus, 70 percent went to parochial school and 57 percent attended Catholic college.

Besides Father McBrien, who will deliver a keynote address Friday night, other featured speakers include poet, theologian and writer Edwina Gateley, and Judge Michael Merz, the chairman of the national review board set up by American bishops to help them monitor their response to sexual abuse.

Ah, so now that the rage has been harnessed, people are signing up in droves to set up parish bureaucratic structures.


Naturally, this goal of institution-building is superbly facilitated by having Fr. McBrien in to rant for the 43,208th time about the betrayal of the spirit of Vatican II and Edwina Gateley to...discuss whatever it is she's going to talk about. Not that Gateley's oeuvre appears to be germane to the big gear-up Ms. Fox claims is in progress.

However, Gateley does something that VOTF hasn't--she's actually lived her faith in the world. Specifically, she established a center in Chicago which rescues women out of prostitution and supports them as they rebuild their lives. While there's plenty to be dubious about with respect to Gateley's theology, she deserves great credit for this work.

At one point, VOTF did useful work for survivors of clerical rape. But that's a dwindling fraction of its mission these days.

Now, VOTF is focused on grasping at the levers of ecclesial power--the dread clericalization of the laity which changes "kiss my ring" to "genuflect before my degree." In Rich Leonardi's memorable phrase, it's "the sanctification of the parish basement, not the world." Look at the workshops highlighted in the article: with one exception, it could be the agenda for your local priests council or USCCB meeting.

Here's the complete list. The subliminal message: the clergy are the Church. Despite all the claims to the contrary, VOTF says the crozier's where the action is. Nothing else counts. Living your faith in the world? Pfft. That's for evangelicals. And if you can't smell the northeastern/midwestern mindset, your sniffer's out of service--look at the focus on parish closings. That's a front burner issue in Boston or Detroit. Dallas, Raleigh or Los Angeles...not so much.

VOTF, you're at minute fourteen. And the Church in America doesn't have a constituency for one Call To Action, let alone two.

Gobineau's grandson.

James Watson is in hot water again for his racial theorizing.

Yes, again.

Here's a fun experiment for those inclined to use evolution as a truncheon against religion in general and Christianity in particular: refute Watson using only evolutionary theories. No sanctimonious moralizing, please. Regardless of whether or not such invocations are derived from blathering about Middle Eastern sky deities or other pre-Enlightenment notions of "morality." Keep your philosophy off the good professor's body, please.

[H/t to Mark.]

[Update: Let me be clear: I believe that Dr. Watson can be refuted by Sola Scientia. But that's a sterile, inhuman response, isn't it?]

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

Happy Blogday toooo meeeeee........

Yes, the high colonic/medicinal Everclear/Irish pub fight/_____________ of Catholic blogs turns five.

It's still not toilet trained, but give it time.

What's important is that you make sure to have a slice of Meat Cake before you go:

[Weird synergy: October 16 is also the day John Paul II was elected.]

Who knew that underneath that pretty red hair was a red neck?

Heather used to be into Bon Jovi, Depeche Mode, Cyndi Lauper, Duran Duran. Still is, to some extent.

Over the past year, though, my wife has been bitten by the country music bug.

Her current favorite non-Toby Keith song features these lyrics:

She thinks my tractor's sexy
It really turns her on
She's always staring at me
While I'm chuggin along
She likes the way it's pullin' while we're tillin' up the land
She's even kind of crazy 'bout my farmer's tan
She's the only one who really understands what gets me
She thinks my tractor's sexy


It's still better than Tim McGraw's "Indian Outlaw," which is a stench in the nostrils of God.

Monday, October 15, 2007

OK. So what happened to David Morrison's blog?

As I continue the painstaking process of rebuilding my blogroll, I was about to add Sed Contra. However, it's not there.

Anyone? Anyone?

Perpetrators of racially-motivated kidnapping get probation.

It's often useful to see what a slight perspective change will do to a story.

Geraldo Rivera, Al Sharpton and Kim Gandy were not available for comment.

Friday, October 12, 2007

Meet the Deacon!

I received one of these in the e-mail. Alas, as I told him, travel to Massachusetts would cause me to develop a case of Tourette's. Or at least sound like I had developed a case.

Congratulations to one of the Company's newest deacons! Mark has plenty of photos and details here.

Thursday, October 11, 2007

Test one for the Gipper.

Relatives successfully petitioned for the exhumation and DNA testing of Notre Dame legend George Gipp's body.

I didn't know he was buried in Houghton County.

Classical fun fact: Laurium, Michigan, was named after the Greek city where silver was discovered just before the death struggle with Xerxes. That silver was crucial in building the Athenian fleet that would defeat the Persians at Salamis, one of the most decisive battles of all time. To subreference one more time, Harry Turtledove wrote a chilling short story, "Counting Potsherds," about a world where the silver was not discovered, and the Greek city-states were destroyed by the King of Kings.

Great idea!

Because we all know what a colossal failure the English common law system has been worldwide. Sharia: a sure-fire remedy for the twin scourges of ordered liberty and prosperity.

All right, but apart from the sanitation, medicine, education, wine, public order, irrigation, roads, the fresh water system and public health, what have the Romans ever done for us?

The before/after aspects would make for an interesting sociological experiment, but for the horrific human cost. Coming soon to a metropolitan area near you: Chinese and Indian Malay refugees.

Oh, and it's being touted as an anti-colonial initiative? So I guess Islam originated in Kuala Lumpur?

Zach Frey could use your prayers.

My good friend is undergoing a medical exam on Friday to eliminate concerns about a potentially serious problem. I'm being deliberately vague, as permission to post this was reluctantly given (but his sensible wife helped). He's also battling some nagging ailments attendant to his profession.

He's also a Michigan State grad who has to go to Ann Arbor for the exam, so remember he'll be under extra stress as he enters the belly of the beast.

Wednesday, October 10, 2007

The easiest job on the planet right now?

Being Kevin Federline's attorney.

I could bounce around the courtroom on a pogo stick.

I could attend garbed in a "Kiss Me--I'm Welsh!" t-shirt, powder-blue leisure suit pants and a derby that looks like it was made out of the fuzzy dice hanging in a '77 Firebird.

I could write my motions entirely in Esperanto.

I could use a horn to object to Spears' attorney's arguments.

And I'd still win. In a walkover.

chun-ga chun-ga chun-ga

"Your Honor, we believe that the custody arrangements are unfair to Ms. Spears--"

chun-ga HONKHONKHONK chun-ga chun-ga


chun-ga chun-ga chun-ga

"Dankon, Jugi!"

chun-ga chun-ga


I've always been more of a Pap Thomas fan myself, but the unbalanced part makes sense. We also apparently patronized the same barber tradition at various points.

Sherman was an average tactician at best, but he understood that industrialized warfare, for all its formidable destructive capacity, is actually an integrated and fragile construct with numerous sinews that can be cut. He chose to cut them with a hammer.

[H/t to Marse Shawn for the find.]

Tuesday, October 09, 2007

Time for a welcoming party.

Two more refugees from the wreck of the Episcopal Church: the Bovina Bloviator and HokiePundit. Prayers for both, especially the latter as it seems he's facing serious flak for the decision.

Conversion to Catholicism isn't all beer and skittles. In fact, in most cases, it usually isn't. Often loved ones and beauty are left behind, with all the pain that entails.

Sam Harris finally does something constructive.

Along with Salman Rushdie, he co-authored this eloquent plea on behalf of Dutch activist Ayaan Hirsi Ali, again in peril of her life.

Hirsi Ali may be the first refugee from Western Europe since the Holocaust. As such, she is a unique and indispensable witness to both the strength and weakness of the West: to the splendor of open society and to the boundless energy of its antagonists. She knows the challenges we face in our struggle to contain the misogyny and religious fanaticism of the Muslim world, and she lives with the consequences of our failure each day. There is no one in a better position to remind us that tolerance of intolerance is cowardice.

Here's the typically soft-spoken Hirsi Ali in action, effortlessly smiting some smarmy twit from the CBC who reminds me how happy I am to live north of Canada:

It's early October. That means it's time for another Bronx Bombers playoff stinkbomb.

When A-Rod is smelling/
And Steinbrenner's yelling/
And Jeter's in teeeeeears/

It's the most wonderful time of the year!

Good job, Cleveland. [H/t to AP for the song lyrics.]


That takes care of my cheering for the Indians for the decade. Here's a little somethin' somethin' for the ride home:

Go BoSox!

Busy with family type stuff things.

I mowed the lawn, tossed out our mouldering aged couch (with the help of Shelly's Brian, many thanks), bought a new to us (read "estate sale depot") recliner, borrowing Brian and Shelly's van for delivery (again, many thanks), cleaned the floor, made dinner and taught Maddie religion and geography and probably took care of other stuff that doesn't register right now.

And I lost in fantasy football to a twerp who started Brady Quinn. Mull that for a moment.

Oh, and I'll remove the air conditioner from the bedroom window (we experienced record high temperatures this weekend) and take out the trash today.


Thursday, October 04, 2007

So, how do you like the health plan now, Mr. and Mrs. Parsons?

The American Academy of Pediatrics: Helping the issue bellyfeel about reporting their parents' doubleplusungood ownlife since 2007.

Just imagine the possibilities when universal health care is instituted.

This means absolutely nothing to most of you.

But I got this for $5.00. Complete and almost pristine:

Yet another in the pile of games to thrash the children in. And, of course, eventually be thrashed. But I'm slowly advancing them up the line. They like Dungeon, where they get to smite monsters for treasure (The Boy™ actually beat all of us in the last game we played, and Maddie came close to winning), but Imperium is a little abstract. Plus, I have to teach the lad that a paper football is not a shuriken.

Tuesday, October 02, 2007

I didn't see this, so I'm willing to reserve judgment.

That, and it's coming from an advocacy group. Apparently, the most recent episode of Cold Case brought long-overdue attention to the growing problem of Christian abstinence groups stoning the backslid.

Again, I didn't see it. I've never been impressed with Cold Case, being especially irritated by the pat music video-style endings. Frankly, Medium is more believable. And Patricia Arquette has a helluva lot more range than the tousle-haired Keebler elf who fronts CC. Shatner had more gravitas in T.J. Hooker.

If it's as bad as the report indicates, well--so what? It's cheap hackwork by bad scriptwriters. Pick an easy villain, toss in a shock crime (yeah, we all read The Lottery in high school, champ--you're so clever) and titillate the perv segment with a little carrot cuffing and a heaping helping of hypocrisy. Christian hypocrisy, natch.

It's the safest formula in the world. It's common, too--Law & Order does it every season. The folks who do it are risking almost certain applause from their peers.

Shrug it off--remember, this is the sort of "courageous" religion puncturing done by a network that refused to air the Muhammad cartoons. Reward it with the bad ratings it deserves.

Oktoberfest is upon us!

Leave it to the antlered one to find the ideal picture and link to Bavaria's ultimate festival.

Beer--especially Hofbrauhaus Munchen--is Deutschland's greatest cultural gift to the world.

Wagner? Pftthpppt.

Give me a liter fresh from a Bayernische barrel, right outside the HB tent any time.

Enough said:

By the way, I found a case of HB at Costco. Almost as good as I remember it. Like bottled Bavarian joy and sunshine.

With alcohol.

Happy Birthday (belated) !

Steve Stirling turned 54 on Sunday.

This is where I usually would make some clever comment about obsolescence, but, unlike Jay Anderson, he has a grasp of martial arts that can still render me into quivering, sentient goo. Discretion, valour, etc.

Ad multos annos!

Monday, October 01, 2007

Watch out for the Sandmen, Jay.

I'm just sayin'.

Looks like someone's got a case of the Mondays. Remember, you're only as old as you feel.

Went to the Renaissance Festival yesterday.

We enjoyed the joust, soup in a bread bowl, buying expensive bric-a-brac, and our meeting with Philip II of Spain. The girls got to dress like princesses and for some reason I thought it was a great idea to get The Boy a wooden sword with a two foot blade. His shield is pretty cool, though.

Pics will be uploaded upon development.

A rough stretch.

  Forgive the vagueness and ambiguity, but I am going through a tough patch at the moment. July was full-stop awful, and August, while bette...