Sunday, September 30, 2007

My friend, Elizabeth, forwarded me this article from the NYT that is related to schools and education. It ties in with the NPR piece that follows a bit:

"Frustration over a $25,000 Catholic School", NYT, 9/29/07:
“At $25,000 I think it just pushes an institution that is supposed to be about community toward exclusivity. But even if I could afford it, I wouldn’t send my son there. It’s unlikely there would be a lot of African-American or Hispanic children.
She's making a big assumption there, at least in theory. But, with only two students enrolled, it's an easy enough statistic to verify.

Just about all the comments were made to the paper on condition of anonymity:
But the members of several religious orders said they wondered why the archdiocese was creating an academy-type school when that kind of educational option exists in the city’s independent Catholic schools.
It's really about raising money to cover these settlements, isn't it?

In my mother's day, I think the schools paid her to attend! I'm exaggerating but it was very affordable through the 50's.
Hey, Cap'n, somebody told me just now that they thought that you believed Tom Robinson's story agin ourn.
You know what I said? I said, "You wrong, man. You dead wrong! Mr. Finch ain't taking his story against ourn."

Well, they was wrong, wasn't they?

You taking his story ...?

What kinda man are you? You got chil'ren of your own.
Mr. Bob Ewell, To Kill A Mockingbird

Last week's Talk of the Nation on self-selected segregation in American neighborhoods and schools was unsettling and a little confusing:
Dr. Brantlinger: By high income, we're basically talking middle class, educated people, many of whom had doctoral degrees and masters degrees. So it's not the elite, it's really, uh, educated middle class.

Interviewer: But people who you would expect, perhaps, to have liberal, progressive views about, uh, about diversity, and about the need and the benefits of integration, for example.

Dr. Brantlinger: In fact, they talked about that on a theoretical level but when it came down to their own child, they worried about a downward trajectory ... So, in spite of their rhetoric about the importance of integration and, you know, the social values of interaction, they choose to push for privilege for their own children.
I guess what confused me was how freely Dr. Brantlinger interchanged race and class in presenting the results of her research. She seemed to be saying that high income whites don't want their children in classrooms with either blacks or low income children of any race.

For my own children, my concern was that the public school would not be diverse enough. I didn't look at any data to determine how diverse the public school is. I simply looked up and down my street. But, as I rack up more years in this crazy little town, it seems likely that the public school may be more diverse than I've imagined.

Now it's a question of class size and resources ...
Lord, may this eucharist
in which we proclaim the death of Christ
bring us salvation
and make us one with him in glory,
for he is Lord for ever and ever.


Saturday, September 29, 2007

She'd gotten it from the library, that's some consolation. She didn't pay good money for it ... 'though the public library did!

She admitted being hooked on those Left Behind novels. I snooped, leaving her tip as she washed her next cut. I placed the money under the book so I could glimpse the spine. Glorious Appearing! She's gone from Dan Brown to this; it's a slippery slope.

There but by the grace of God ...

I chided her too playfully: "How can you read that?!"

"I can't put it down! It's about the end of the world when Christ returns!"

The man in her chair had some affliation with RBC; I thought I had in him an ally. He was as ineffective as I at reforming her.

She's not likely to take me seriously, certainly not when I confessed that I have his reference books. Not his fiction ... well, but I know that his reference books are also fiction.

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Thursday, September 27, 2007

We did all of Mark and Jim liked my answers so much that he used 'em in his summary. That made me happy. Jesus' self-understanding in Mark's gospel: he was sent by God to God's people, to do God's will and to speak for God. That's it: the Marcan mission of Jesus in a nutshell.

And Jim came with that suggestion you hear that Mark didn't know of Jesus' divinity. Fr. Murphy-O'Connor says it of Paul. But tonight I'd heard it enough actually to listen to it ... and I balked at it.

And I said, "Look, you're saying God saved these guys - Saint Peter, Saint Mark - even though they possessed inadequate faith." How do I get in on this cut-rate deal?!

He's a Johannine guy, so I cut 'im to the quick. It's all about faith for him, adequate, sufficient, saving faith. He lives personally by faith alone. But the inspired authors were somehow lacking?

He mumbled something back about "faith seeking understanding" and faith being a gift from God and an actual grace, but he's really saying, he can't deny that he's saying, that until Nicaea, orthodox christology was in the minority.

And who can be saved with a less-than-orthodox christology? God grades on a curve?! I mean, I'd like to know, 'cuz the matter likely affects me personally. And I'm not thinking in nominal terms here. Really, I'm not - I'm resisting that temptation.
Jim handed out a review of Benedict's book tonight from NCR ... you can read the review online until, uh, Monday when the free service turns subscription only.

I faltered at the review's first line:
This book is elegantly written ...
... because, uh, the book's a translation.

Is the reviewer cracking a joke?

"Maybe Fr. O'Leary read the original German version," Jim offered. A teacher of English lit in Japan ... uh, no, this is a review of the English version.

Ratzinger has been blessed with able, faithful translators over the years. Fr. O'Leary might here be acknowledging those unsung wordsmiths. Since those few are the last kind words he has to say in his review of the book, there's all the more reason to consider whom he intends to praise.

Jim shamed me somewhat into buying the book. It happened like this: he admitted that he hadn't read it yet and asked me whether I had. No, no, of course not. Secretly fearing I won't understand it. Without reading the rest of Fr. O'Leary's review, I ran out and got it, along with some other conservative books. When in Rome ... or rather Howell.

Then I read the rest of the review and kicked myself. The book is as I suspected. Naturally I avoided it. There's no surprise ending, no plot twist. WYSIWYG. The only thing ... it's way SMALLER than I expected. Thin and small all 'round. Did I buy the Compendium by mistake?! I guess things just look bigger on blogs.

The final sentences from Fr. O'Leary's review:

"If Benedict is right, a whole century of New Testament scholarship will have to be radically corrected and largely jettisoned.

For most readers of Benedict’s book this will be received as an immense liberation, a recovery of the fullness of Christ in every page of scripture, but for critical exegetes and theologians it is more likely to induce gnashing of teeth and the sense of doors being locked."

Deus avertat!

Wednesday, September 26, 2007

- My baby brother -

at his Chief pinning ceremony
with his wife.


Monday, September 24, 2007

I can't attend. I'm inclined to disagree with a discussion centered on an environmental theme anyway. That's not the primary message I get from the book.

The actual "issue" matters less than the overall framework of how "issues" are debated. And that is especially relevant today: the wisdom to distinguish the message from the messenger.

Anyway, I had my say before.

Sunday, September 23, 2007

Where are those all-in-one "communion kits" anymore?

Black for boys, white for girls: mass book with rosary and scapular?

All I could find for him was this corny, flimsy thing. It's got "waited 'til the last minute" written all over it.

Trouble is now, he thinks it's neat. How can I swap it with something more substantial? Besides, anything really real would intimidate him at his age.

... to God our savior,
who wills everyone to be saved
and to come to knowledge of the truth.

I helped him follow along. So many of the prayers aren't in this little book.

I'm trying to appreciate it from his perspective, trying to recall my own impressions from the same age.

On the positive side, he likes singing; he always has.

The closing song is, as I told him, a favorite of his grandma. I've heard her sing it! Very easy for him to pick up, then and there. He sang it as we walked to our car.

He made me promise, for next Sunday, to sit where he can see the clock that hangs on a wall in the sacristy.

And he still asks me to take him back to that Baptist church! He so takes after his grandma ... !

"This little light o' mine, I'm gonna let it shine ..."

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Saturday, September 22, 2007

Most of my hits are for Amanda Mabon.

Some of her race results are online.

The Batavia Steeplechase/Pentathlon/Racewalk Invitational last spring:

Girls - 1200m Developmental Steeplechase

1 Kaycee Ratcliffe Penfield 5:00.9
2 Sydney Anderson 5:06.4
3 Tara Murphy Wilson 5:07.0
4 Doriegn Broady Wilson 5:08.2
5 Kara Engle Hilton 5:11.4
6 Becca List Hilton 5:11.8
7 Devon Kleinback Batavia 5:13.0
8 Natalie Wall Hilton 5:23.1
9 Erin Norris Hilton 5:24.7
10 Sydney Abbate Hilton 5:26.9
11 Amanda Mabon OACS 5:30.6

I don't know what a good time for a 1200 steeplechase would be. I guess she ran a 7:20 mile pace for three laps. How many hurdles, a water hazard? I don't know.

The same invitational:

Girls - Mile Racewalk

1 Olivia Lapham Penfield 8:18.8
2 Melissa Szymanowski WSW 9:04.4
3 Emily Davis Batavia 9:12.0
4 Devon Kleinbach Batavia 9:23.7
5 Amanda Mabon OACS 9:35.0

RIT Invitational from the previous spring:

Women 55 M Dash

37 Amanda Mabon Oakfield 9.20

and DQ'd in the 600 m.

Requiem in pace, Amanda.
Tim feeds the class pet, "Cutie," whom he is babysitting this long weekend.

I'd say it's a black molly.

Friday, September 21, 2007

- Sunshine -
Not a full box of crayons, in the pocket of a boy.

Thursday, September 20, 2007

Tonight's IM, 'round 8ish:
Teresa S. says: (8:02:28 PM)
late night?

Teresa S. says: (8:02:39 PM)
i just missed a call from sampson painting

Teresa S. says: (8:02:53 PM)
that's what happens when i put my feet up

Jake the Snark says: (8:02:53 PM)
almost ready, cleaning up my inbox

Jake the Snark says: (8:03:10 PM)
your feet are up?

Teresa S. says: (8:03:16 PM)
yes, for a few minutes

Teresa S. says: (8:03:23 PM)
i was going through their backpack papers

Teresa S. says: (8:03:30 PM)
with the recycling barrel at my side

Jake the Snark says: (8:03:33 PM)
everyone's in bed?

Teresa S. says: (8:04:10 PM)
kenny's been complaining about the lunches i've selected

Jake the Snark says: (8:05:57 PM)
same food as last year?

Jake the Snark says: (8:05:57 PM)
or, have his tastes expanded?

Tuesday, September 18, 2007

"Room to live, learn, love, and grow in" - Examiner, 9/13/07:
The consensus among students asked to describe the new facility: "It's big."

[T]his year students will not be allowed outside for lunch or recess.

"Once-free project will have to go out to bid: District will have to pay for grading, soil removal at new middle school" - Examiner, 9/7/07:
The Pennsylvania-based Orleans Development Corp. had once promised the board that it would grade the school's athletic fields in exchange for free fill but has now reneged on its offer.

[T]he school district had been fighting with the developer over the issue for nine months.
Grade 2.

Monday, September 17, 2007

This excerpt is funny ...

Splitting Hairs With Stephen Colbert on Mother Teresa - via Mark Mossa, SJ's blog.

Father Martin, SJ is well-known and his latest book, now in paperback, looks quite interesting.

Loyola Press was doing a weekly podcast, now apparently defunct, but old shows are still online and I had listened last spring to Fr. Martin talk about DaVinci or something.

Go, scan the titles and listen to something that interests you.

Sunday, September 16, 2007

The New Orleans picture is from Jeff's flickr collection, honest!

Click on the picture to enlarge.

It's just incorrectly credited on the openDemocracy site.

I'll start calling him "nofrills"!

The picture was taken with "a first generation consumer digital camera" almost 15 yrs. ago, but the low resolution works to the advantage, especially post-Katrina.

Saturday, September 15, 2007

The painters took Thursday/Friday off but worked today. Go figure.

And they worked all day, trapping us in our own home: painting the entryway door open just before breaking for lunch! Convenient for them, perhaps, to let the paint dry during lunch and return for the second coat.

Not so great for us ...

But then, it was obvious that they weren't thrilled about working on Saturday ... after two days off?!

So our schedule was negatively impacted and we didn't look at shower doors together or pendant lights or any of those others things that lovers with four kids shop for.

With the windows open all last week ... from the painting ... and no screens in yet! ... well, we've got more flies than you can wave a swatter at.

UPDATE: screens went in "finished rooms" on Monday.

The plastic film came off most windows as well.

For five months, we've been looking through film-covered windows. I remember when the siding was completed and the outside film was removed. What a difference, I thought!

Now, with inside and outside clear (and clean windows to boot!), well I daresay, the New Jersey landscape just sparkles!

Friday, September 14, 2007

Twin Lights

But my camera can capture only one of the lights! Yes, that is Tim balancing on the discovered "mystery" cannon.

Tim asks why we can't climb up the square light. That's just how it is. Twin Lights of Navesink.

However, we climbed up the round one without any trouble. Getting up is easy.

Bringing them all down? I stepped backwards, carrying Ella, and Chris came down the stairs on his rear end which made him feel safer but also made him faster. He pushed me faster than I was comfortable going.

Tim was fine between Chris and Kenny, and Kenny was proud to be last.

More pictures here.

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I spent an hour on the first two chapters of Mark and I struggled against that nagging feeling, as I always do, that I'm missing lots of important stuff. You know, that significant details were getting past me, going over my head, that my ignorance prevented me from fully realizing the richness of the text. But, that's how it goes. This is why we learn and why we have to start somewhere.

Getting uptight about it or waiting until I know more before starting doesn't solve anything.

So, the Malachi and Isaiah citations evoked for me images of the Exodus. "I am sending my messenger before you ..." makes it clear that this whole enterprise is of God and is in fulfillment of a promise. Through Jesus, God brings consolation to the people of God (Isaiah 40 ff., "The Book of Consolation"). Jesus identifies with the people of God in his baptism, recalling the Red Sea experience and in his wilderness temptation, recalling the 40 years of wandering.

The verse from Malachi is typically applied to John the Baptist as Elijah, the forerunner. But I thought the passage was better applied to Jesus when read in its original Old Testament context (Exodus 23:20), as the messenger or angel who leads the Israelites to the Promised Land.

Some conclusions about Jesus, then, based on Mark's first two chapters and, yes, some of these are redundant, the product of a muddled mind:
  • Jesus is sent by God to God's people
  • Jesus does God's work
  • Jesus is God's promise, God's prophetic fulfillment
  • Jesus is the promised one
  • Jesus is the consolation of Israel
  • Jesus speaks for God
  • Jesus proclaims the gospel of God, the time of fulfillment, the kingdom of God (whatever that means)
  • Jesus taught with authority, heals with authority, has the authority to forgive sins
  • Jesus came to preach
  • Jesus is the Holy One of God, further identifing him with Israel (Daniel 7:18)
  • Jesus is the physician, the bridegroom, calls sinners, interprets the law regarding the sabbath and fasting, teaches in the synagogue on the sabbath
Just a couple of things more.

One, regarding the longer ending of Mark: I had blogged about some trouble accepting the critical text of the New Testament which I guess retains the longer ending out of a sense of tradition? I can't lay my hands on Metzger's textual commentary at the moment ...

For whatever reason, the longer variant is printed and translated in English Bibles and duly footnoted. And a footnote in my Catholic Bibles indicates that the longer ending, Mark 16:9-20, was deemed inspired and canonical at Trent. That alone kinda takes the guesswork out of it for me.

The second point is much less important, but I just wondered whether the leper in fact obeyed Jesus, whether he showed himself to the priests and offered what Moses prescribed (Mark 1:43-45). Because it doesn't seem to me as if he did! The NIV even reads, "Instead"!

He wants us to read Mark as if that's all we know. I'll do it as best as I can, however ...

With appreciation that our individual impression of Jesus is always in need of correction according to the biblical witness, i.e., revelation, as Catholics, we don't deprecate the contribution of human thought. So long as it is in harmony with revelation.

That's the rub, I well know, determining consistency. Be that as it may ...

One of Jim's favorite questions serves as a case in point: What did Jesus know and when did he know it?

Such a question arises from the odd Gospel passage hinting, as the seemingly insignificant line in Luke does, that the Lord Jesus wasn't necessarily omniscient: And Jesus grew in wisdom and stature, and in favor with God and men. (NIV).

By way of an answer, he quoted from Raymond Brown's Jesus: God and Man, which I should try to get a used copy of, in which Fr. Brown speculates with some degree of certainty based on his knowledge of human relationships that Mary told Jesus the circumstances of his conception (the Annunciation) and birth ... when Jesus was old enough to understand such things.

So, ultimately, I would object, I wouldn't be satisfied to end with the biblical portrait of Jesus. But I ought to agree to begin there.

Cf. From Bethlehem to Nicaea from Dr. Jim Bridges
This was announced last night, from St. Peter's, from their church bulletin:
The disclaimer at the end seems to be borne out of past experiences, past confrontations.

Thursday, September 13, 2007

This qualifies as a developmental milestone, doesn't it?!

Butt up!

Wednesday, September 12, 2007

The two closer schools, sure ...

"Half-solved busing issue not good enough for some: Parent says district didn't exhaust all efforts to get kids a ride" - Examiner, 9/7/07
Has this ever happened to you - a favorite credit card warps from being inside a hot car?

Increasingly, merchants' card readers had difficulty retrieving data from the magnetic strip. Several asked me whether I put the card through the washer and dryer.

No, I'm not a man, I don't carry my wallet in my back pocket, thank you.

I called Citibank for a replacement card which they promptly sent.

Within a day of being in my car, the new card also melted, not as severely but a merchant has already had trouble swiping it.

Two things I can do ...
  1. wait until the weather cools off before requesting a second replacement card ... if they'll even honor that request! ... and
  2. insert this card magnetic strip down (iow, upside down) in my wallet so it's less likely to warp when it gets hot.
Universal Cards especially, they just don't make 'em like they used to!
I owe the bishop money.

It could be worse ... he could owe me money.

Yes, that would be worse but that's not the case.

And it isn't as if I have the money I promised him.

I'm usually good about these things, not getting in over my head. But I have a history of supporting his annual appeal, that's what the girl on the telephone told me. And she's right, a three year history.

Somehow, I gotta scrape together his money because he already sent the donation acknowledgement for the IRS!
"Penn State asks, Who ya gonna call?" - Examiner, 9/7/07
In each episode, parties ranging from the Catholic Church to ordinary families - who are all troubled and sometimes even terrified by unusual events - contact the Penn State University's Paranormal Research Society for help.
Runs the gamut: the Catholic Church at one extreme, ordinary families at the other.

Monday, September 10, 2007

I couldn't find this online, so I typed it in ... a letter to the editor of Christianity Today:
Like Professor Beckwith, I too will cast my lot with Rome ["Leaving for Rome," July].

Protestantism's weakness on the role of tradition, ... and the cumulative arguments of Catholicism add up to a more complete Christianity.

I shall always value my evangelical heritage, but after reading Joseph Ratzinger's latest book, Jesus of Nazareth, and Yves Congar's The Meaning of Tradition, one is compelled to be Catholic as the fullest expression of the Christian faith. - Henry Flood, Aventura, FL
Those same editors affixed the dubious title "A Fuller Christianity?" to his letter.

"To cast one's lot" is an apt way to describe it; I imagine such a switch carries mixed emotions. Note his care to refer to Benedict in completely "lay" terms, even though the book in question was published during his pontificate.

And wasn't Congar on the wrong side of things at one time? Now he's making converts.
Kitchen, before and (not quite) after.

If I'd waited 'til morning to take the picture, I would have gotten more light.

Countertop to be installed next Tuesday. Appliances are already on site.

We need to get lighting and some furniture, you know: tables, chairs, counter stools. Oh, and tile backsplash - I meet with the designer at "the tile place" in the morning. And one of these days, Gruber will come back and finish the floors.

Don't even talk to me about window treatments! Jeff wants to leave the windows as they are. That's a tempting thought. The housekeeper thinks that's a good idea! The question on my mind is whether it will be ready for Thanksgiving!

Anyway, they painted today and return tomorrow to do the trim.

More color pictures at flickr. Color's a nice thing. Jeff teases I can get by with sheetrock on the walls and plywood on the floor - and he's probably right - but it's nice to be flirting with civilization again.

Sunday, September 09, 2007

We skipped the open house yesterday afternoon because, like, we were, uh, real busy.

"School With Class: New Millstone facility draws raves", Asbury Park Press, 9/9/07:
looking forward to the start of school on Monday morning when she and 624 sixth-, seventh- and eighth-graders begin the 2007-2008 school year in the district's new $34 million middle school, located on 110 acres
Now, gentlemen, in this country, our courts are the great levelers.

In our courts, all men are created equal.

I'm no idealist to believe firmly in the integrity of our courts and of our jury system.

That's no ideal to me. That is a living, working reality!

Atticus Finch, To Kill A Mockingbird

I'm spot-reading Piper's What Jesus Demands from the World.

Spot-reading is ok, Rev. Dr. Piper encourages it in the "Suggestions for How to Read this Book" on page 15.

Then, with the author's explicit permission, I jumped to sections on justification. Why not?

And the Rev. Dr. Piper says what one would expect1. Still, I tend to read it another way ...

First, the author's words, emphasis in the original:
The word "justified" and the word "righteous" are built on the same word in the original Greek.

The verb means to "declare righteous" the way a judge does in a courtroom.

He does not make a defendant righteous. He recognizes and declares him as righteous.

This is the way the verb is used in Luke 7:29. "When all the people heard this ... they declared God just [literally, they justified God]."

Justifying God cannot mean making God just or righteous. It means declaring him to be righteous.
What Jesus Demands from the World, John Piper, page 157.

John Piper responds to a person named Don Garlington, who reads these texts as I tend to, by first giving Garlington's position: "this does not mean God credited anything to Abraham which he didn't have, but that he regarded him as what he was. ... 'Abraham was regarded as a righteous, that is, covenant keeping, person ...'"

In concluding his response, John Piper writes, "On exegetical and doxological grounds, I remain persuaded that the imputation of Christ's righteousness is not an alternative to union with Christ, but the result of it."

1 He concludes with this, "Our own righteousness, even if produced by God's grace, is not a sufficient foundation for vindication in God's holy presence."

Friday, September 07, 2007

During the first thirty minutes or so of Jesus, Du weißt, I thought I could enjoy the language, as it's all in German with subtitles. But my German isn't sharp enough ... even with subtitles!

Then I thought I could enjoy the film for the images, but, you know, the religious images on display in these Austrian churches are grotesque! Church architecture? The little bit shown is incredibly antiseptic.

In a way, the film slides the viewer into the position of a confessor1, albeit without any preparation, to evaluate where these people are in their faith journey.

Praying aloud, alone, can be a challenge for Catholics. When the subjects were silent, listening and not merely working out what to say next, those were the moments of possibility, when God could break through to them.

I tried to make sense of their prayers ... and soon, in revulsion, I found myself praying to God that
I don't sound this way! Luke 18:11

Yes, more than a few intentions caused me to cringe. Undoubtedly, Jesus weiß alles, but it still seems improper to remind Him of the private detective you hired to follow your unfaithful spouse or to threaten Him with your access to poison for the purpose of getting even.

One lady seemed to be reading her prayer from a cue card. It may still have been her personal prayer, composed and recorded beforehand, to facilitate shooting her scene. Nevertheless, her darting eyes were a distraction, whenever I managed to glance up from the subtitles.

Nary a prayer book or a Bible as an aid to prayer. Statues and the Sacrament of the Altar served. ( And rosaries 2 ) That's bold.

So, with the perspective of a spiritual director, I first struggled to decide whether the subjects' relationship to God was genuine or imagined. I took their interpersonal relationships as an indicator ... and none of those featured2 seemed supernaturally warm or loving. 1 John 4:7-8.

Non-Catholics could very easily think this film discredits Catholic prayer and spirituality in ways not unlike the film Jesus Camp discredits someone like Ted Haggard ... oh, wait ... well, you know what I mean. One reviewer remarked at the convenience of the huge, empty European churches, so conducive to filming.

Most of the film is forgettable but tiny bits are provocative.

1 No review I saw detected the possibility of such a classic point of view.

2 The Hail Mary in Various Languages - University of Dayton.

3 The circumstances of the Catholic married to a Muslim reminded me that my aunt married a doctor from Turkey. We called him "Yavuz" but I can't say whether this was his real name. She brought several Turkish souvenirs to us but the most memorable one from my childhood, long before I knew anything of its significance, was a photo album embossed in copper with an image of Hagia Sophia.

Film reviews:
  • Village Voice, Halter gets it:
    Seidl has expressed the goal of depicting "the average believer," but such a creature today rarely steps within spitting distance of a Eucharist, ...

    The uncommonly obsessed genuflectors showcased in Jesus, You Know come off as desperate for a more fulfilling human connection—something, perhaps, which better approximates their idealized relationship with God, that ever ready listener, who is as silently supportive as a divine lapdog, and cheaper than therapy.
  • "'Jesus, You Know': Faithful or fanciful?" - Boston Globe, 5/6/05
  • TV Guide
  • Movie

Thursday, September 06, 2007

What does it say when adults watch children's shows after the kids have been put to bed?

"Clint Eastwood directed this episode," Jeff said. And, as usual when he jokes, I believed him. Pale Rider and High Plains Drifter came readily to mind as I watched the opening scene.

I've enjoyed other episodes more. This one was more visual.

Mark Hamill guest starred as Zuko's father; Star Wars fans that the kids are, this pop-cultural reference would be lost on them.

For the ones who have outgrown Blue's Clues and Little Bill, I recommend, without too much reservation, Avatar: The Last Airbender.

Wednesday, September 05, 2007

"The oven's not working."

"You don't say?"

"Weren't you the last one to use it?"

"Probably. I do most of the cooking ..."

With the new oven waiting in the wings, or more accurately, waiting in the garage ... since last Friday with the other new appliances.

It ought to be entertaining watching these appliances get put in place. If I were a betting person, I'd wager that the contractors shirk it.

Word is, they are supposed to paint Monday and Tuesday.

Ho, I'm getting excited ... for the first time in weeks.
I bought them new socks.

I ordered them Tuesday, they were supposed to arrive Friday, they came yesterday and I washed them last night.

They are wearing them today, to school.

This photo is inspired by MzEllen and her dirty hiking socks.

I thought I could one up her. I even put two pairs together in a feeble attempt.

I'd like to believe that if you could feel these damp, dingy things, you'd agree that my kids' dirty socks top hers.

I should have snapped the picture of the socks in the trash because that's where they are now.

Without the ability to soak them in chlorine bleach (what has happened to cotton?), I can't get them clean after a summer of hard fun.

But, tell me, I put a dozen new pairs in the dryer and eleven pairs come out. Seriously, no kidding.

Tuesday, September 04, 2007

"Teacher asks board to keep focus global: Educator advocates for older schools in light of new school opening" - Examiner, 8/23/07
MILLSTONE - Pearson said she has been attending board meetings for the past year and a half, asking questions about the playground.

"It's now August," she said. "The trailers are still there. Do you have a date or a timeline?"

[Superintendent of Schools] Donahue said she did not have an exact schedule for the removal of the trailers. She also said that the playground equipment, ordered in May, has not yet been delivered.

At that point, Pearson made a statement about the board's lack of focus on the older schools.

"The board should think about what needs to be done," she said, citing the need for updated lighting as one example.

She continued, "All children deserve a state-of-the-art school."

Pearson told the board that third-, fourth- and fifth-grade students are sorely lacking in some of the things that the new middle school will offer. She added that she has not seen any real renovations done to the older schools.

"The board needs to look at making this a place where we all want to be," she said.
This came by email from the ladies at St. Greg's about a talk at St. V's ...
Our talk this month will be on the "Roles of Christian Men and Women" and will be given by our special guest speaker, Father Bill Halbing, Pastor of St. Antoninus in Newark and frequest guest here at St. V's.

I hope that you can join us!

There will be a love offering taken up at this gathering to give to Father Bill - please be generous!
But there's nothing at St. V's web site to corroborate this announcement.

In fact, it would seem that St. V's webmaster is on vacation. Maybe the web site will be updated tomorrow or the next day as classes resume.

The talk itself doesn't sound particularly interesting.
With back-to-school on our minds:
Non-Catholic students find welcoming environment at Catholic schools

ROCHESTER, N.Y. (CNS) -- Brooke Smith fell in love with Irondequoit's Bishop Kearney High School even before she enrolled. She looked into the school at the recommendation of her pastor at St. Luke Tabernacle Community Church in Rochester and knew it was the right place for her.

This fall, she will be a senior at the school -- officially called Bishop Kearney High School: A Golisano Education Partner because of its recent partnership with business entrepreneur, B. Thomas Golisano.

Religion classes, liturgies and prayer are a regular part of life for Bishop Kearney students, but Brooke said she doesn't feel awkward about being a non-Catholic in a Catholic school. "Not at all, because not everyone there is Catholic," she told the Catholic Courier, Rochester's diocesan newspaper.

Nineteen percent of Bishop Kearney's student population is Christian but not Catholic, and another 3 percent come from non-Christian faith backgrounds, according to Paul Cypher, the school's vice president for operations.
Catholic News Service, 8/16/07

Monday, September 03, 2007

I watched Witness for the Prosecution a bit last night on WHYY.

I can never remember who dunnit.

It seems that ultimately and rather ironically, she doesn't perjure herself but tells the truth on the stand.

Throughout, Tyrone Power comes across as so credible. Old adages spring to mind, judging books by their cover, und so weiter.

Sir Wilfrid's patient gift is studying people, letting them do all the talking. He reserves his words, mostly disparaging ones, for women: his nurse, the defendent's wife. And he hasn't a kind word to say about Germans or das Vaterland, as you'd expect in what could still be considered a post-war film.

The film shows the ugliness of prejudice.

In the end, the barrister's won over, to women, even a German woman, because each person is unique and garners respect on their individual merits, not as a member of this or that group.

Sunday, September 02, 2007

I wasn't even going to bother with this month's issue of Christianity Today because there's like, an old-fashioned football guy on the cover. Taking a closer look, he's a statue, fittingly so, because the cover story is about idolizing football. Not a vice of mine!

But a catholic deacon in SLC
(I can transliterate Gk. easily enough to come up with his blog title) ... references an article and got me past the magazine's cover. And I shall read that article as Augustinianism is en vogue today, what with Reformed Theology making a comeback and BXVI's pontificate.

There is an article of interest on Saint John's Bible. I blogged about that project and actually saw a couple of books, what's available now? Gospels/Acts, Psalms ... in the NRSV, why?! ... in a retail bookstore, almost $70 a piece.

But the article that I really appreciated is the editorial on Israel, "What It Means to Love Israel":
Mainline Protestant partisans of Palestinian "liberation" frequently dismiss Christian support for Israel because of its association with dispensationalism. Yet dispensationalists make up only 10 percent of America's 52 million white1 adult evangelicals ...

The key complaint offered against dispensationalists is that they talk as though God had separate plans for saving Israel and the church. And contemporary Reformed Christians2 are accused of having a "replacement theology" in which the church takes the place of Israel, inheriting all of God's promises with no remainder for the Jewish people.

Gentile Christians do not replace the Jews, but are joint heirs3 and wild branches grafted onto the Jewish olive tree.

The need to learn how Judaism and the Jewish people understand themselves.4
Hey, I've been in love with the Holy Land since our trip there, not because it figures into my eschatology.

1 I don't even want to know!
2 Pre-conciliar Catholicism, more than just accused.
3 "New Perspective on Paul" comes in handy.
4 Easier said than done, but I'm on it.

Saturday, September 01, 2007

"Jersey Freeze may give way to Olive Garden", Examiner, 8/23/07:
Blackmore said he wanted to keep Jersey Freeze where it is and is disappointed that he is not able to do that.

He said the Olive Garden representatives wanted the restaurant to be able to be seen from the highway and that means Jersey Freeze has to be demolished.

Blackmore said he will seek a new location for Jersey Freeze.
It'd be great if it moved closer to our house! Lots of land out this way!

Jersey Freeze really is tucked away off the highway. If you don't know it's there, you can't necessarily find it except by accident.

So Olive Garden will need to do more than knock down the Jersey Freeze building to improve visibility.

They'll need to clear out a forest of scrubby, Jersey brush.
Another car accident with less serious results ...

"Jeep ends up in pool; two aboard injured", The Buffalo News, 8/30/07:
OAKFIELD — A 2000 Jeep ended up submerged in a backyard pool Tuesday night in Oakfield after the driver failed to negotiate an intersection at Route 63 and Fisher Road.

... failed to observe a yield sign at the intersection with Route 63.

... continued going west into the yard of a home at 7456 Lewiston Road, crashing through a fence, striking a picnic table and then plunging into the in-ground pool, which measures about 20 feet by 40 feet.
That would be Hamm's farm, I guess.

That yield sign ought to be stop signs, one on each side of the road.
Just some thoughts inspired by recent shopping trips for toys: