Tuesday, December 30, 2008

I heard this story on the news when it aired last week ...

German village turns off street lights - NPR/BBC News, 12/23/08.

I can see a lot of potential for abuse.

Monday, December 29, 2008

Last week's news but I'm catching up ...

Controversial COAH plan gains approval - Examiner, 12/24/08:
Although no public comment was permitted, there was plenty of shouting from the audience as the Millstone Township Planning Board unanimously voted to approve a controversial affordable housing plan Dec. 16.

The plan prepared by Township Planner Richard Coppola would put 85 of the township's 169-unit COAH obligation on a 32.8-acre parcel along Route 33 and Bergen Mills Road, and would require the development of a sewage treatment plant, which many residents in the area oppose.

Kurzman said that Abilheira's alternative plan may have meant building the equivalent of another middle school.
Oh, and we all know what a bad thing that was! Whew.

You get a good sense of the opposition from this letter to the editor:
When I drive down Route 9 or Route 18, I say to myself, "Thank god [sic] I do not have to deal with this anymore."

Before anyone knew it, they were sitting three lights deep in traffic on Route 9 south for 25 minutes, trying to drive a half of a mile past Best Buy and Wegman's at 4:30 p.m. on a Friday to get home to their once peaceful abode, wondering, "Where did it all go wrong?"

Sunday, December 28, 2008

More of yesterday's news ... but it's new to me, as I'm just getting around to reading the local paper ...

Millstone mining co. plans new truck route - Examiner, 12/24/08:
Campo trucks presently go down Baird Road to Millstone Road to Sweetmans Lane east to Woodville Road and Route 33.

In 1999, her company's trucks would go down Baird Road to Conover Road to get to Route 33, but was told by the county that the trucks could not go over the 12-ton limit bridge on Baird Road if they traveled more than 25 miles per hour.

Campo has now asked if the trucks could continue down Perrineville Road to Route 33.

She estimated between 80-150 trucks would take the route to the landfill each day.

Grbelja suggested the trucks go over the Perrineville Lake Bridge when it reopens next month and onto Perrineville Road, but Shafai said the bridge has a 15-ton limit.

Resident Scott Boland, who does not live along any of the proposed routes, said he hopes people who live along the potential routes address the issue, as it would bring "really heavy trucks" into the area.

When asked why the trucks do not take the most direct route, down Baird Road to Woodville Road, to access Route 33, Shafai said the township wants the trucks off its roads and onto county roads as quickly as possible as the latter have fewer residents living on them.
I think Prodelin Way is referred to as Perrineville Road in the article.

We already have "really heavy trucks" in the area; it shocks me sometimes how many trucks, especially during the summer.

Woodville is a county route and Baird to Woodville is the most direct way, but if the trucks can't cross the wee bridge to get to Conover, than they can't get to Woodville that way either. I'm not sure why the spokesperson gave the answer she did rather than mention the weight limit on the bridge.

Get the mayor recommending the soon-to-be-repaired "Perrineville Lake Bridge," as she's dubbed it (the county calls it 'M-49'). We just got Baird Road resurfaced and trucks intend to break it up again?!

Their current route is fine with me and their proposed route is fine. I'm glad the soon-to-be-reopened bridge has the weight limit it does because it doesn't make sense to bring the trucks into town at all. And the roads around the lake are just as windy and twisty as anything on Millstone Road.

How will we get to town? - Teresa's Two Cents, 12/29/07.

Bridge Detour - Teresa's Two Cents, 6/6/08.

Saturday, December 27, 2008

James Stewart and Frank Capra's 'It's a Wonderful Life'? It's a Miserable Life! - NY Times, 12/19/08:
Lots of people love this movie of course. But I’m convinced it’s for the wrong reasons.
I love it for the right reasons, I assure you ...
Here’s the thing about Pottersville that struck me when I was 15: It looks like much more fun than stultifying Bedford Falls — the women are hot, the music swings, and the fun times go on all night. If anything, Pottersville captures just the type of excitement George had long been seeking.
And how ironic that he didn't want it once he actually experienced it.
I checked my theory with Frank J. Clark, the district attorney for Erie County upstate, where, as far as I can tell, the fictional Bedford Falls is set. He thought it over, and then agreed: George would still face prosecution and possible prison time.
It's actually likely Seneca Falls, so Finger Lakes, not Great Lakes, region. We swam at Bedford Beach as kids before it dried up.

I don't see how he can be prosecuted when the sheriff tears up the arrest warrant. He might not be much, but he's still sheriff of Macomb County, and Bob Yule fell on his knife Bedford Falls and that's his contribution to the collection.
Not only is Pottersville cooler and more fun than Bedford Falls, it also would have had a much, much stronger future. Think about it: In one scene George helps bring manufacturing to Bedford Falls. But since the era of “It’s a Wonderful Life” manufacturing in upstate New York has suffered terribly.

On the other hand, Pottersville, with its nightclubs and gambling halls, would almost certainly be in much better financial shape today. It might well be thriving.

I checked my theory with the oft-quoted Mitchell L. Moss, a professor of urban policy at New York University, and he agreed, pointing out that, of all the upstate counties, the only one that has seen growth in recent years has been Saratoga.

“The reason is that it is a resort, and it has built an economy around that,” he said. “Meanwhile the great industrial cities have declined terrifically. Look at Connecticut: where is the growth? It’s in casinos; they are constantly expanding.”
I don't want an economy based on sin entertainment. Whenever I return to upstate NY for a visit, I'm shocked by how much gambling has seeped into everyday life there.

Friday, December 26, 2008

Alright, alright, Christmas haul ... I'll just mention the books:
  • The UBS Greek New Testament: A Reader's Edition by Barclay M. Newman
  • Against the Protestant Gnostics by Philip J. Lee
  • Rereading Paul Together: Protestant and Catholic Perspectives on Justification by David E., Aune
  • Finding Common Ground: How to Communicate With Those Outside the Christian Community While We Still Can by Tim Downs
  • Blessed Are the Hungry: Meditations on the Lord's Supper by Peter J. Leithart
  • Letter & Spirit, Vol. 2: The Authority of Mystery: The Word of God and the People of God by Scott Hahn
  • Honey from the Rock: An Introduction to Jewish Mysticism by Lawrence Kushner
Does each one have a story? Just about. I can't explain the first two, but Fr. Fitzmyer has an article in the third one.

The fourth one is by a CCC guy whom I heard speak in Philadelphia twenty years ago exactly. I still have the cassette tapes of his four addresses delivered that weekend. I started reading this book because it's the thinnest and I just wonder whether a daughter he mentions in the Intro is the same as he told us about that weekend. He writes fiction now. His website.

The fifth one I haven't received yet. A strange thing happened - this book was an Amazon gift from a family secret Santa but Amazon sent the Kushner book instead (listed last above). I contacted Amazon and they are sending the correct one. The next book in the list has an article by Pablo Gadenz and ... I just noticed ... a lead-off one from Fr. Dulles. So I might read this book after finishing Downs's book.

And the last one was sent me in error, as I said. It wasn't even on my wish list. It seems to me that I almost bought a commentary on the Torah by Kushner ... or maybe I did buy one! ... but Kabbalah isn't of interest to me.
Jeff got one good picture of her last night, on her second birthday (and third Christmas) that he posted at Flickr. She just wasn't in the mood for pictures.

Thursday, December 25, 2008

Flickr Photo Set: Christmas Morning 2008.

Since I'm home already, you can guess he didn't last long.

But we drove over to St. Greg's for a midnight service and arrived just as the choir was starting, as usual, at 11:30. I sat us almost directly behind the choir in an effort to keep him awake. On the way over, he asked me to tell him all the lies associated with Christmas.
"Which 'Christmas,' the religious Christmas or the Santa Christmas?"

Dumb question.

"Oh, you know, Jesus probably wasn't born in December or in the year 0, that sort of thing." I told him that I didn't know any lies about the Santa Christmas. I mean, really, where does it end?

After twenty minutes of listening to the choir, he said he wanted to go home, after walking around the church once. So, we did that and left. On the way home, he asked whether Santa might have arrived already. I said not until he's gone to sleep. He said that we have so many presents under the tree already and, "when Santa comes, he'll bring even more!"

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

every year we rejoice
as we look forward to this feast of our salvation.
May we welcome Christ as our Redeemer,
and meet him with confidence when he comes to be
our judge.

Opening Prayer, Christmas Vigil

as we keep tonight the vigil of Christmas,
may we celebrate this eucharist
with greater joy than ever
since it marks the beginning of our redemption.

Prayer over the gifts, Christmas Vigil
Making the "This is the reason I married you" dinner:

I picked up most of the ingredients fresh on Tuesday and was tempted to also buy the noodles. Only to be on the lazy safe side. Because I haven't used the twelve-year-old pasta maker1 since the remodel, that is, in my new kitchen.

Would it still work?!

Moreover, I had used up all the flour making Christmas cookies.

Well, I got more flour last night and decided to give it a go. And the pasta maker works great, just like always. And the noodles came out great, cooked up tender and smooth.

Even though he didn't come right out and say, "This is the reason I married you," I know he was thinking it. :-)

1 Cusinart Deluxe Pasta Maker

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Crown of thorns and all ...

Church Members Dress Like Jesus to Protest Secularization of Christmas - FoxNews.com, 12/23/08.

Jeff said they ought to be politely told to put on a headscarf ...
Works for me ...

An Amillennial Eschatology Chart - Jollyblogger, 12/8/08.
Can a Christian Deny the Virgin Birth? - Albert Mohler, 12/23/08.

If Dr. Mohler had left off all the cheap potshots leveled against liberals, his post would be one word: "No."

Monday, December 22, 2008

Five found guilty of plotting to kill Fort Dix soldiers - CNN.com, 12/22/08:
The defendants were acquitted of attempted murder charges but face life in prison.

The jury found one member of the group conducted surveillance at Fort Dix and Fort Monmouth in New Jersey, Dover Air Force Base in Delaware and the U.S. Coast Guard facility in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, the U.S. attorney's office said in a written statement.
A crazy, crazy scheme.

Making Christmas Cookies.

I made a double batch of dough from a recipe at Cooks, online. I cut butter into the frosting recipe because I'm used to doing it that way. And added too much milk as a result, so only the bowl of green frosting didn't dribble off the cookie.

A bottle of green food coloring was in a box labeled "Red Food Coloring," so I was surprised when I poured it in. I didn't have red at all, so I had to use the yellow. Chris helped me pour the yellow in, too much. It was a "Gumball Yellow," if you know that shade, that turned mustard yellow after some refrigeration. We had vials of NEON food coloring / egg dye that didn't seem appropriate!

Tim wasn't very interested in working with dough. He rolled and cut out one batch and had had enough. We coaxed him back out for frosting ... and tasting. Kenny got quite good at rolling his dough but tended to use too much flour. Typical. The fact that I have very little flour worked in our favor, to a degree. But since I want to make lasagna for Christmas, I need more flour ... and fresh ricotta, fresh mozzarella, homemade tomato sauce and fresh italian bread ... about the only ingredients I have are the eggs and meat!

It's probably obvious that the boys just got their hair cut. Boys' hair is so easy. As easy as their clothing.

Sunday, December 21, 2008

Meaning you have to be among Forbes Top 10 to shop there, I'm sure ...

Red Bank store on Forbes Top 10 list - Asbury Park Press, 12/21/08.

Tim wants a science kit ... I'll see what they have after Christmas.
Vote due on curbing control of jobs - Asbury Park Press, 12/21/08:
Republicans say the new code can revamp the county's so-called spoils system, which historically has allowed the controlling political party to hand out government jobs to campaign supporters.

Democrats have questioned the motives for launching the initiative and say it's interfering with their transition plans.

At stake are approximately three-dozen patronage positions reserved for department heads and directors. Except for those with multiyear appointments, the current holders of those well-paying jobs have uncertain immediate futures, and Republican Freeholder Lillian G. Burry said she is unable to assure employees that they won't be replaced by Democratic loyalists in the new year.
Even my husband is disgusted by this.
Family of church shooting victim clings to hope - Asbury Park Press, 12/21/08:
Silvy Perincheril gave James a place to stay after she decided to leave her abusive husband and move to New Jersey to pursue a nursing career, according to relatives.

The close-knit community and interwoven family connections are common to the Knanaya, who largely hail from the state of Kerala on the southern coast of India. They practice endogamy — or marrying within the same social group — to preserve ancient bloodlines they say trace back to 72 families that traveled from the Middle East to India around A.D. 345 to do missionary work.

Rev. Lahayil said Knanayan churches worldwide — from Australia to the Middle East — have added special prayers to every service for Perincheril's recovery. Parishioners at the Clifton church were planning a full day of fasting and prayers for her survival on Saturday.
And I'm reminded that my friend Michelle is headed to India today for a couple of weeks.

Saturday, December 20, 2008

Imagine making the bed with these two tumbling and rolling on it!

Yet, I managed to work around them without any trouble at all.

And we had fun, everyone.

Chris even helped a little.
On the way to the barber shop, we drove through Roosevelt.

This shrine is behind the public school.

Tim asked me several times to confirm FDR's middle name because he said his teacher doesn't know it:
"She just calls him 'Franklin D. Roosevelt.'"
Hmm, is she younger than I?!

Well, it was colder than a dead president out there so we didn't linger. But before leaving, Tim said he was sure that he saw a bees' nest inside the hole at the nape of the neck.

Of course he did.

Borough website.

Roosevelt, NJ: Visions of Utopia, 1983 documentary (Wiki)

Thursday, December 18, 2008

This one got under my skin ...

The Hidden-Purpose Driven Presidency - First Things, 12/18/08:
... what, then, to make of his decision to have Rick Warren pray at his inauguration?

... does it really indicate a willingness to meet social conservatives halfway?

One must also ask a question about Rev. Rick Warren: Why did he accept?

... prudence suggests that this would have been a very good time for a little Christian witness.
In other words, Warren should skip it. Eh.

Who knows, maybe they're friends? Maybe they hit it off during the Saddleback Church forum.

Warren cannot retreat from his calling as a minster to those with serious misunderstandings on moral issues. No, advocating degrees of separation among Christians - right? among Christians - isn't the way to go.

Neither is it seemly to question one's decision -Egan's case regards a senator, not a president-elect - to respond affirmatively to a request from the president-elect.

And, like Bush quoting Mother Teresa after speaking at Bob Jones, no one is likely to mistake presidential symbols for substance.

Please don't think that I care for Warren, because I do not. Simply put, the more I read the original, the more it comes across as someone's final column before the year-end holidays. It has a catchy title.
Letters: Christmas Cards - NPR, "All Things Considered," 12/18/08:
Because more and more, even devout Christians have been replacing Jesus, Mary and Joseph with themselves.

When choosing your Christmas cards this year, think more Jesus and less you. Or, more Virgin Mary, and less Virgin Islands.

- the omnipresent, omniscient Fr. Martin, SJ
Not a faux pas we've been tempted to make. But came close with last year's offering, a picture of the house. Forgivable, right, considering the renovation?

Well, it was a terrible picture. I mail my cards out late so they don't sit on anyone's mantel too long.

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

The title says it all ... so don't read the title and just click through ...

Barack Obama Defeats Barack Hussein Obama - The Onion, 12/17/08.

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

She said she was cleaning out her library and believes she must have picked this up when she was in seminary and wouldn't I be interested?

I joked, "Who's the latest listed?" and she speculated someone from the 60's.1

I was happy to take it and, as we all sat down to a pot luck, I placed it face-down on the table, explaining to her that I didn't want to put it on the floor and I didn't want to offend anyone.

Would a table of Presbyterians be put off their appetite by a book of popes?

Now, I've browsed the book a bit since the meal. I haven't delved into the text, the individual biographies, yet,3 but the images are remarkable. Some are drawn from other histories of popes but many are taken from art: the Sistine Chapel and other Roman churches.

So, my initial reaction to the breadth of material is that a tradition clearly deemed the remembering of this lineage as important. I mean, perhaps my gift-giver thought the book would embarrass me or even cause me to question4 the tradition and practice. But, I'm afraid, at least initially, it's had the opposite effect: I respect it more for its trouble.

1 It's actually 1959, so John XXIII.
2 It was all I could do not to flip it open at table when the luncheon conversation turned stale. Oh, but the food was great. Presbyterians can cook, I've said many times.
3 But the writing seems top-notch.
4 Change of heart can come about reading an author within one's tradition - when all the holes hit square between the eyes - just as easily as reading an author outside. I usually encourage people to read scholars within their tradition.
Joining three senior women in the Same Day Surgery Waiting Room this morning, my daughter's antics got them talking about their children's children, usw.
"My granddaughter has named her daughter the most unusual thing. She spells it X-A-R-I-S."
Oooh, aaaah, unusual.

I butted in to remark that that's a Greek word meaning "grace" and it's a beautiful name.

Not to be denied her one-upmanship, the great-granny retorted,
"But who knows that sort of thing?!"

Sunday, December 14, 2008

Timmy's chain, counting down to "Vacation."

At least it's red and green.

I tallied the remaining links the other day and noted that there are too few: he'd run through them well before the 23rd.

He is, thankfully, an untidy packrat, not bothering to discard removed links in any meaningful way.

So, I stole in with a glue bottle, under the unlikely pretense of making his bed, and replaced three links, to see him through.

He was none the wiser.

Yet another thing I gotta keep tabs on ...

Saturday, December 13, 2008

Tonight's IM:
Jake the Snark says: (10:49:28 PM)
when the depression gets bad and we need to downsize

Jake the Snark says: (10:49:29 PM)

Teresa S. says: (10:49:43 PM)
across from Skip's
Um, wow, I hadn't heard about this ...

My-T Acres barns engulfed in flames, The Batavian, 12/4/08.

Video footage - The Batavian, 12/6/08.

via Dave George and OACS Alumni.
Listening to The Housemartins.
Parents may allow kids to get vaccines linked to abortion - Catholic News Service, 12/12/08:
The human cell lines used to cultivate the production of many vaccines used today come from tissue derived from two human fetuses aborted in 1964 and 1970.

Because the abortions occurred so long ago, Bishop Sgreccia said a parent's consent to use vaccines associated with those cell lines does not reflect any form of cooperation with the evil of the original abortions.

There is no risk of causing scandal either, he said, because using such vaccines in no way encourages more abortions.

While parents are not obliged to vaccinate their child, they do have a duty to protect their child's health, he said.

Some governments and schools, however, do mandate that children be inoculated in efforts to stop the spread of certain infectious diseases, he said.

For this reason, national health systems must "change course" and substitute controversial vaccines for alternatives so Catholics will no longer be forced to act against their consciences, he said.

Bishop Sgreccia said effective vaccines that are not derived from human embryos or fetuses are being produced and are on the market, but that they are not always available in every country.
On Charlie Rose ... An interview with Avery Dulles

Watch the whole thing.
I just love old movies ... with happy endings ...

via Fr. Z.

Friday, December 12, 2008

I'm crying ...

Cardinal Avery Dulles, Theologian, is Dead at 90 - New York Times, 12/12/08:
A conservative theologian in an era of liturgical reforms and rising secularism, Cardinal Dulles wrote 27 books and 800 articles, mostly on theology; advised the Vatican and America’s bishops, and staunchly defended the pope and his church against demands for change on abortion, artificial birth control, priestly celibacy, the ordination of women and other issues.

His task as a theologian, the Cardinal often said, was to honor diversity and dissent but ultimately to articulate the traditions of the church and to preserve Catholic unity.
Our Lady of Guadalupe - Ora Pro Nobis.

Today's Readings

Thursday, December 11, 2008

The story on NPR lately has been NPR, cutting programs, like Day To Day.

I listen to Day To Day if I'm in the car at that time, but it's mostly stuff gleaned from somewhere else. It isn't irreplaceable stuff. Maybe NPR will fill the hour with classical music.

TV became an around-the-clock medium during my lifetime; I wonder whether it ... along with radio ... will return to spending some wee hours off the air.

Listening to the hourly news this evening, it could have been that Simon & Garfunkel song ... (someone beat me to it).

Christmas at Allaire Flickr photo set.

On Sunday afternoon, I took Timmy and Chris over to Wall for a couple of hours to tour the Historic Village at Allaire. The cold wind was strong so I'm glad I didn't plan to spend too much time outdoors. And it is mostly outdoors, even the Bakery didn't offer any indoor seating. You'd think you'd get some accommodation for your $2 cookie!

We sat about 30 minutes in the rear pew of the Allaire Chapel for a reenactment of a mid-1800's Christmas service. There were carols and hymns and a spirited version of the 12 Days of Christmas. Whenever my kids asked to leave, I reminded them of the strong, cold wind outside and isn't it nicer in here? They agreed but grudgingly.

The man who had the role of Episcopal minister reminded us how observance of Christmas was illegal in the US until just before the Civil War, even later in NJ. But Mr. Allaire gave his workers the day off and provided entertainment in the form of square dancing and some sort of feast. There was a man dressed as an Episcopal bishop seated up front, off to the side, with his miter and crozier. His observer status struck me as odd because I've never met a Catholic bishop who could refrain from running whatever show he's at.

Between the tickets and the cookies and the cotton candy, I was short on cash towards the end but the boys wanted to ride the Christmas train. There was a final departure at 4pm and only five tickets left for sale. I didn't have enough money for three but she gave them to us anyway. Santa rode the train with us but I couldn't get a picture because the boys had me holding the uneaten cookies and cotton candy, plus we were all in one seat because no one wanted to sit outside.

The train made three loops which was one loop too many for me. But, how often does a boy get to ride a real, 100-year old steam engine? Less and less often these days.
"Doing Fine in Buffalo" - NPR, 12/10/08:
I live in Buffalo, NY. Buffalo has been rated as one of the best places to ride out a recession.
'Cuz Buffalo has been in recession for 40 years.

"Recession? What recession?"

Saturday, December 06, 2008

Always looking for an excuse to duck into a church ...

I guess you could say we double-dipped seeing Santa tonight.

The town's tree lighting was at the firehouse at 6pm. We left there after seeing Santa an hour later and drove past the UPC. Kenny noticed the lights on and I told him they were holding a book and gift sale this weekend. He wanted to check it out so, even though I bought something there on Friday, I took them inside.

There were a few families inside, decorating the church. The congregation doesn't have many families1 so, for all I know, most of the members were on hand. Reverend Pike came over and greeted us right away. We picked out and paid for four books, totaling $20. The lady who made the sale said, "I don't know how much these books cost, so I might be cheating you" and I said that so long as the proceeds go to the church, it doesn't matter to me.

Then she whispered that Santa was due to arrive at any moment and wouldn't we like to stay? I felt a twinge of guilt seeing how we just saw Santa across town but as they seemed small of number, why not supplement the modest turnout? It gave me more time to visually snoop around while the boys sat in a pew reading their books.

The pipe organ fills the wall at the head of the church. The pulpit is front and center with a piano off stage left. The kitchen is in a room behind there and a dining room seems situated in a mirror image. Unless the rooms adjoin, that could be. An almost-to-the-ceiling Christmas tree was up front to our left, decorated in white, gold and silver.

When Santa entered, my kids did not hesitate to join the other children up front. He talked with them for quite a while and they answered his questions. As he visited with other children, I noticed Kenny and Timmy getting up on the platform behind Santa and even approaching the pulpit which had a large book open on it. I had told them not to go up there but since other kids were doing it, they couldn't resist.

Santa had them sing a couple Christmas songs and pose for a photo by the tree. Then he was off and we left too, to be surprised by the falling of light and fluffy snow. I'll see whether we might fit one of their Christmas Eve services into our schedule this year. I think Presbyterians have very cozy Christmas Eve traditions - perhaps we'll see.

1 At the rear of the church are small cubby holes marked for each family ... this is common in small churches ... and in several I noticed a box of church envelopes ... from the same company that produces ours.

cf. St. Nicholas
In my mind, Claus von Bulow will be always Jeremy Irons ...

Sunny von Bulow dies after 28 years in coma - CNN, 12/6/08:
Von Bulow was subject of one of the nation's most sensational criminal cases during the 1980s.

On the morning of December 22, 1980, family members found Martha von Bulow unconscious in the bathroom of the family's posh Newport, Rhode Island, home. She never regained consciousness.

Prosecutors accused Claus von Bulow of twice attempting to kill his wife by injecting her with insulin.

Friday, December 05, 2008

Sleevefacers Become The Album Cover - National Public Radio, 12/1/08:
British DJ Carl Morris was just "horsing around," when he held up a Paul McCartney record to his face, grafting the famous Beatle's head to his body.

Since then, he's perfected the art of "sleevefacing" or melding one's body with an album cover. His little experiment has flourished into a Web site and book that includes photos of people sleevefacing across the world.
cf. Sleeveface update - NPR, 12/3/08.

I can guess what McCartney cover he means as I bought this album when it was released. I could probably still sing most of the songs by heart. I remember McCartney performing "Waterfalls" (mp3 from vinyl) in SNL. It's a decent song and I struggled diligently as a kid to love the rest of this album that I'd spent my hard-earned money on.

But there's little here that's genuinely any good.

Thursday, December 04, 2008

Couple say rosary, prayers helped them survive ordeal at Mumbai hotel - Catholic News Service, 12/4/08:
From under the bed, the couple could hear terrorists move down the hallway, pound on each door and use an explosive that sounded like a grenade. "They would blow the door open and start shooting everyone inside," Stadelmann said.

Beyond the explosions and the gunmen going door-to-door, the greatest danger to the couple was the fire, he said. "There were 1,000 rooms in the hotel, so I figured our chances were pretty good. But, the fire was really something. A fire will find you."

When help arrived, it was a team of six Indian Army special forces soldiers dressed in black uniforms with black bandanas on their heads, he said. "They had everything, guns, knives and radios. They were the real deal."

Stadelmann said those rosaries and the prayers of his friends and family back home were the reason they lived through the ordeal.

Wednesday, December 03, 2008

Conservatives expected to split Episcopal Church - New York Times, 12/3/08:
"Why is England still considered the center of the universe?”

“It’s certainly going to be deplored by one part of the Communion and hailed by another,” Professor Steinmetz said.

"There are so many possibilities and geopolitical differences, it’s really hard to predict where this will go.”
I don't know where Bishop Ed Little is in all this.

via First Things.
Picture this ...

Jeff holding his iPhone running Shazam inches from his laptop and within 15 or 20 seconds, it identifies obscure songs,1 like "I Don't Know How to Love Him,"2 "Common People," "Spill the Wine" and "Just Can't Get Enough":
"What's really amazing is it stores a sample of the song, sends it over to China where someone listens to it, identifies it and sends the answer back."
There's no humor like tech humor.

1 Can't be too obscure with Wiki entries.
2 A long-time favorite of mine!

cf. iPhone Shazam Commercial - YouTube.
Kenny had me watch this episode ...

via Crunchy Con

I suppose I'd mostly disagree with this comment:
"Yes, Apple people/NPR people/Quakers/Unitarian-Universalists/humanities & social science grad students/vegans=the Venn diagram pretty much is one circle."
Unless it's a progression over time, and I'm already past the first two ... or two and a half.

Monday, December 01, 2008

A while back I asked a question1 and might have just now gotten an answer ...
Although Tobit in the Revised Standard Version of 1957 was translated from the short version of the manuscripts Alexandrinus and Vaticanus, the New Revised Standard Version of 1991 presents the longer version of Sinaiticus, supplemented by the Vetus Latina.

So the revision of the New American Bible will be the first Catholic Bible with the text of Tobit governed by these Semitic texts from Qumran.

- Fitzmyer, more than ten years ago.

1 "My concern with the RSV is, being an older translation, whether it is sufficiently based upon the latest editions of original language texts."
All day Saturday, this was the scene in our kitchen. The stove stopped working on Friday evening while making dinner. I finished the cooking in the microwave. The stovetop still worked. Jeff was on the web instantly, following reset procedures, to no avail. The dealership wasn't open on Saturday, so Jeff rolled up his sleeves, got some printed directions and took the thing apart.

In the end, it was a simple matter of the selector having fallen apart behind the scenes. Not knowing this in advance, he admitted to taking just a bit more off than needed. And to ordering a $30 part online, also not needed as he was able to put the selector back together himself.

So by last night, I was cooking with it again. He claimed to have saved us $400 in a service call and repair. The thing is a few months out of warranty but I just wouldn't expect a stove like this to fall apart in just over a year. I'm very glad he got it repaired but I see now he had some help!

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When I moved to my laptop about two months ago now, I didn't realize that the junk mail filter was more aggressive. Even though lots of junk still gets through, I just noticed tonight - how often do you think to go through your junk mail folder? - that haloscan comments were going there along with photos I had emailed myself with my phone.

Like this picture ...

Taken at the Manasquan Reservoir more than a month ago. I took the boys there this past Saturday after tennis, all three of them. And I thought about snapping a photo of them with my cell phone, if I could get them to stand still, but then I was like, "Why, I haven't any luck lately emailing myself the pictures afterward."

Yet another mystery solved. Yup.

Chris loved the education center or whatever its called there. It's a cool place - I hope the county can afford to keep it open. Every time we visit, the boys find something different, something more "advanced" to appreciate about the natural environment of Monmouth County.