The US is deporting people to Haiti. That can't be the right thing to do.
The US is deporting people to Haiti. That can't be the right thing to do.
Well, it's time for a mini-cooking marathon around here, with makings for chili, tacos, baked bean casserole and the tomato sauce that's good for pizza and spaghetti and ravioli taking time on the stove today. The sky is lowering, so it's a heart hamburger skillet dish tonight. One of my friends thinks of it as hamburger helper without the help. We think of it as tasty, unlike what's being served up weekday afternoons to sports fans dialed in to FM.
This week I heard some yahoo who was allowed airtime on 104.3 The Fan (no, not Mike Evans; this was a yahoo who called in) refer to University of Oregon as "Phil Knight University". There are an awful lot of folks who can't bear Oregon's ascendance in the football polls. Anyway, I thought: Yahoo, you don't know a bit about Oregon (he said he "know[s] people" who live there) or U of O. When it comes to that, you don't know Bill Bowerman, the next thing to diety Oregon ever will be able to claim. (Wikipedia has a decent article on him, but without the emotion of the previous piece.)
Surely Mike Evans is about past his sell-by date in the one-to-four, post-JR spot. At least Scott Hastings has reasons for what he purports to think (it seems like this is all pretty tightly scripted, although the dead air is sometimes... rather.... dead.... Looking for notes, fellas?). But Evans seldom gives much evidence of prep. I guess you could say he sounds like he's phoning it in. His rant last week about why the Peyton Hillis trade was relevant to the show is classic. Hey, bud, it's your show. If you say it's relevant, it's relevant until station management tells you otherwise.
Likewise for the stupifyingly inane chatter. JR does off topic well. Local guys, no, but apparently station management likes it. The riffs on some network TV show that sports fans are unlikely to watch don't sound unscripted. They sound scripted... badly scripted. Management, if Evans is making up his stuff, he would do better if you were scripting him. If he's scripting himself, he needs a better writer. If you're scripting him, you need a better writer.
I listen to 104.3 because of a late-developing interest in sports. It seemed like Sandy Clough became more and more curmudgeonly until he was made to go play by himself on the evening shift. I've always liked Alfred and Stink is great.
But an unhappy reality is that 104.3 is an outpost of sexism which, by their support, has the imprimatur if not the nihil obstat of advertisers such as McDonalds. Wanna know what McDonalds thinks of women? Take a look. The Facebook and Web pages drip with the drool of the 20-something males who tune in to turn on to 104.3's "contests" about which women are "hotter". Didn't we get over that in, oh, about 1973?
And how often does a woman make it across the call board? Seen, but not heard. Yeah, that's how 104.3 likes women. C'mon, advertisers. If you won't balk at the sleaze, at least let them know that sportscasting moved into the twentieth century at least five years ago.
This started out about cooking and I'll get back to that now. After dinner, there will be time to make another run at banana bread. Last week's experiment seemed to get good enough reviews from the taste testers, but there was room to improve. Time to go back to the simmerings on the stove.
Yesterday was not encouraging. Still no pelicans, but today there were two. The weather was filthy, so I was pleased that one sailed out to give me a good look. Although their usual hangout is in the recently vacant cove, perhaps there are a few more in the reeds.
The local paper is reporting that the number of attendees was 40,000. If each of them dropped $17.50 in Longmont, the mayor can make good on his claim that the event would bring $700,000 to the city. However, friends had no trouble being seated in restaurants on Saturday. The mayor isn't a big numbers man, AFAIK, so it's doubtful that he'll ask for a proper accounting of the impact on the local economy.
The paper is also reporting that the event kept things under the permitted 85 decibels in Longview (a nearby subdivision). Who was measuring this and at what intervals and at what place: didn't make it into the T/C coverage. The T/C likens the sound to "heavy traffic" and fails to mention that it is the level at which hearing loss becomes an issue.
Did we get our money's worth for a hotel stay out of town during this event? You bet. Someone who lives not far from chez nous says that they couldn't sleep even with all windows closed, because of the noise. Neighbors who complained were told by the city to mind their own business. Funny, because I think people trying to sleep are doing exactly that: minding their own business.
The city made a huge investment in this event. People who attended were happy with it, some people were hurt by it, some are annoyed that the Times-Call seems to have sponsored this event, and some are pretty sure that fees were waived for this event that would not have been for other gatherings.
Myself? I'm just glad to have seen a couple of pelicans return. They shouldn't have had to leave, but then again, neither should I have had to.
No more bird photos will be posted at this blog.
Friends, if for some reason you're "wildly" interested in what I'm up to, please friend me on Flickr and I'll reply with something to give you access.
Want to subscribe to something on genealogy.com, the uglier little bro of ancestry.com? I don't actually wantto, but I need to for an ongoing project. My habit is to check the license or terms and conditions any site sets out before signing over as much as $14.99.
I wasn't best pleased to discover this:
While we make all reasonable efforts to protect the security of your credit card information (please see our PRIVACY STATEMENT for details), we cannot ensure or warrant the security of any information you transmit to us, and you do so at your own risk.
In other words, step right up to the ol' Caveat Emptorium.
Sunday, very early in the day we met in the Eucharist the mystery of Divine Mercy. Later, I was a slacker. I did only a little homework.
An hour before sunset, DC and I drove the 5 minutes or so it takes to get from our subdivision over to the reservoir (lake, reservoir: here in Colorado, it comes down to a legal definition, not a sensible one). Grebes doing their mating ballet, muskrat love, elegant herons, squawking coots, lots of black-winged blackbirds and a yellow-headed one, too, pelicans aplenty, robins and killdeer, gulls - without consulting my list, this roster of attendance in less than an hour we were at the lake is bound to be incomplete. There's a light visible at left in the bottom photo. Our house is less than a mile SSE of that light.
When you look at the photos, can you possibly see why it could be terribly wrong to let "Heaven Fest", which the sponsors describe as "A Huge Colorado Christian Music Worship and Arts Festival", use Union Reservoir for a day?
Either the city is lying or organizers lied in saying that the expected attendance was 20,000 - 23,000 people. Now the organizers, who are entirely opaque, say that the site will accommodate more than 50,000.
I'll tell you venues in this state that will accommodate 50,000: Invesco. Coors Field (the way they jammed 'em in for the Series, anyway), Folsom. But no. They couldn't "conform to the world" by emulating Woodstock if they took it downtown. If it's a matter of spreading out performance stages, rent a fairground.
I am sickened at the thought of these people demanding a "right" to show up on my doorstep where an encroaching bedroom community sprawl has an already uneasy truce with wildlife. Their conservation ethic -- probably about as rigorously considered as their theology -- consists of little more than picking up after themselves.
After having my comment rights suspended on their fan page, I used an immoderate choice of words in describing how I see their relationship to Christianity, which is heresy. My preconception is that they are not the kinds of folk who would understand that, in calling them heretics (which is actually a fairly moderate criticism), I am not calling them apostates. I don't know for a fact that they're that far gone. But heretics, they certainly are.
I do not think it was accidental that in one stroke my commenting rights were revoked and in the next one of their folks bitched about how hard it is to get Catholic support. Well, folks, guess what? Well-catechized and well-informed Catholic parents are not about to send their kids off to you for the day, where they'll be proselytized about "accepting Jesus as their personal savior" and, oh, by the way - "Did you know there's a youth group in your neighborhood that can help you grow in the Lord?"
To someone who cares about the creatures down the street and about purity of doctrine (you can find yer red hot Catholic doctrine right here), this is an offensive event. One of their supporters suggested that the birds "go somewhere else for the day." I think that just about summarizes their ecological awareness. Their expectation that Catholics jump on their bandwagon, hellbent for election, similarly expresses a theological naivety that, historically, has often run to apostasy.
Heaven for whom? Not the creatures. And, potentially, not for the souls misguided into this event.
right: detail from stained glass at the V&A, 2008
A quick look at the missalette this morning confirms it: Oregon Catholic Press does not have any truck with "Crown[ing] Him the Lord of years..."
But there's more! The "compilers" -- that's all of themselves they'd care to identify -- don't hold with "Crown[ing] Him the Lord of love". No, sir, that stanza has been edited.
That fits for me with the homily by which we were all edified this morning. It was based on B-16's recent speech to the Rota, that merry few with whom rest final appeals of marriage cases such as this one. It's official: too many annulments out of the United States. Things have tightened, as of about five years ago (the amount of time I would bet that the Denver Tribunal is behind on cases). As of tonight, the speech appears not to be available in English on the Vatican site, so you'll have to soldier through the Italian. Do not, do NOT! crown the Lord of love; we're busy denying annulments.
A couple of things here annoy me to the point of infuriation. First, today's homily hit enough hot buttons for divorced people that it would have been easy for them to infer that people who are divorced are automatically denied the Sacraments. That's simply not what Canon law says. Divorced and remarried without having the new marriage blessed: that's another story (but do keep reading for my own view on this).
Second, if the Big Vee wants to rag on too many annulments having been granted, roll on with the apologies to the many adult children of people whose annulments should not (or should, for that matter) have been granted. Many believe that the Church's declaring their parents' marriage invalid is also a declaration that the children are illegitimate. That's not true, but it certainly is not a point well made. If the American church has been wrong, surely there are reparations to be made. I don't look good enough in blue to hold my breath.
Here's the biggest problem I have with all this. The Church should not be in the annulment business, at all. Take a leaf out of the Orthodox manual and trust confessors. For all the protests I hear about the "healing process" effected by the annulment business, overall it seems not only to tear off scabs but actually to rip into scar tissue.
So thanks, men, for this latest bit on annulments. For myself, I simply do not believe that Jesus was any less serious about millstones than he was about marriage. After you get done with the millstones, we'll talk.
Do you remember (no, of course you don't) the first Lysistrata Day in the United States in the summer of 1970? Nothing came of it, but the organizers' idea was that women should simply not work for the day in order to show the extent to which women's work made the world work. Maybe Catholics who have been divorced, whatever their standing with the Church now, should choose a Sunday to take together as a sick day. I would be among them, in case you wonder whether this is personal.
The debate has been over on other topics, too. Take, for instance, the fabrication and falsification of Ward Churchill's research about the US Army contaminating blankets with small pox in order to kill Native Americans. But on many topics -- the Shoah is not among these -- surely thoughtful people continue to collect and evaluate evidence, and allow their views to evolve accordingly.
Who got to decide that the debate about global warming is over?
Having to work through those infernal phone trees is one reason I prefer doing almost all my business online. But occasionally, "If you want to find out [blank], press [blank]" is unavoidable.
Emily Yellin's Your Call is (not that) Important to Us documents some interesting aspects of customer service, such as cost comparisons of calls taken by "live agents", outsourced (i.e., offshore) providers, and automated responses ($7, $2.50, and $0.32, respectively).
Yellin mentions the site comcastmustdie.com, a site which has now "declared victory against Comcast, a vast, greedy, blundering, tone-deaf corporate colossus which, in one short year, has seen the light" and is thus launching Customer Circus, "where other infamously arrogant corporations will be subjected to power of aggregated rage."
Wow. Read more about Yellin's book. above, right: Edvard Munch's Skrik, of course: trite, but dreadfully on point
By the way, there is an actual site called Customer Disservice.
Tragic, funny, and entirely, entirely believable. Click through to the YouTube; the blog embed doesn't pick up the 16x9.
Amazon's "Mechanical Turk" is a great way for first world folks to learn what it would be like to work for $0.04/hour, but occasionally a two dollar job turns up. How about getting paid two buckaroos for reviewing someone's rather lame personal finance blog on your blog? Just don't disclose...
Why not disclose that people can get paid to mention your blog? Maybe I'll try it: two cents sounds about right. You know, putting my two cents in your pocket. Heh.
Sometimes I feel very sad about the passing of the Web as it was.
Tonight I see that the person with the blog whose "Ash Wednesday" comes up ahead of cptryon.org says that the ashes image is "everywhere" (or words to that effect) on the Web. Every image I've seen is, to the pixel, identical to images I put on the Web in 1997 and then again, in a revision of cptryon.org/prayer/season/ash.html.
It makes me want to take a tour back through the old hard drives, because I unfailingly noted sources, even from clip art. Did this comes from a source available to others? I can't say for sure, although it certainly looks like what I've done elsewhere. I'm not excited by the "everyone is doing it" implicit in the response to the comment I left on the blog (not the Catho-blogging woman I mentioned yesterday, but the blog above).
And it reminds me to be diligent about watermarking every damn thing I put on the Web these days. Including, yes, the image above. I'll be trudging back through things here and elsewhere, dammit.
In case you missed the comments, one Jack Maloney somehow found his way to this blog to comment on the blog entry On (not) being a shill at Amazon.
A few days ago I met some friends who belong to a rural parish north of here. Their new administrator, a priest from a mega-church in the city, has decided that only "youth" music may be used at the 7 PM anticipated Mass on Saturday nights.
Accordingly, to lead music for that Mass he has hired two young people from a college 25 miles away. During a recent Saturday night liturgy he told the community present -- mostly empty nesters -- that if they don't like the new music, they can go behind the storage shed and scream.
Unless we have to move. There was yet another removal notice when I returned to the apartment today. Apartment Services promised they'd take care of everything, but it doesn't seem like they have. The notices, they assure us, always come to nothing, but it's not THEIR electronics and clothing and other things in the apartment. I don't think they get that these notices are serious and intimidating.
It's a hassle -- oh, it's a hassle, all right -- to move, but this really can't continue.
Is that about keeping up attendance? Propping up the the Everlasting Arms? Strong-arming rich congregants into Doing Something About Their Will in order to provide future financial sustenance for the church?
But what the hell. Someone who can craft a sentence like "Values, mission, vision, will, creativity, spirit, feelings, experience, hopes and the capacity for participation are qualitative realities that shape the quantitative dimensions of a project" probably can talk the wheels off common sense.
This isn't my first rodeo with this fellow and it probably won't be my last. I tediously unsubscribe every damn address he harvests or buys; he harvests or buys every damn address again or, in an obsequious bow to going green, recycles.
The irony, which might be lost on those without dozens of email addresses on the Web, is that there is only one project of his at which he has demonstrated sustainability to me: spamming.
(Aside to the United Methodists: I would have done a lot to avoid the .sht file extension for a hymn, but that's just me.)
I'm about ready to launch a "list of authors whose Amazon reviews appear to have been solicited." I see no need to publicize titles. Grrrrr.
First off, no one is trying to rob our mud at gunpoint.
Our Richmond American Homes built house is in a subdivision less than ten years old. When we bought this house seven year ago, it was a year old.
The photos above show the problem. The floor of the garage has sunk as much as two inches in places (its level was scribed in red by the home inspector we hired). The driveway has sunk as much as three inches; without the SUVs we each drive, we would not have been able to park in the garage for months. Snow and rain cause deep puddles in the garage.
Some refer, more benignly it seems to me, to concrete such as this to having "settled". Settled? That's what the pioneers did. This is flat out sunk.
Maybe the driveway and garage were poured in winter, when frozen ground expands and it takes extra attention to compact properly the soil. Maybe the builder did a bad job of checking the cement quality. Whatever, today I will be paying about $1000 to have holes drilled at strategic (we hope) places so that a mixture of crushed stone and cement can be injected to lift the slabs. The process is guaranteed all of a year.
A number of builders in Colorado warrant big issues like this on their houses for ten years. When I contacted Richmond American, who returned my call less than a week later, I was told shortly that their warranties are for one year, period.
A problem like this is unlikely to arise within a year, so here's my advice. If you're looking at a house in an old Richmond American subdivision, look at it hard, but chances are good that the owners have already had to address the problem for you. If not, the home inspection is likely to turn it up.
A new Richmond American Homes subdivision is a place I'd never buy a house, and here are some reasons why:
- more about driveways;
We have Eagle Mudjacking on the job today. Obviously it'll take a while before I have an idea of how well their work solves the problem.
I do: Men who explain things.
No jail for a businessman who downloaded and sent child pornography - I truly do not understand Androscoggin County Superior Court Justice Donald Marden's decision to answer this admitted child pornographer's prayers. That Regis F. Lepage gets to serve his sentence in a jail he "created" for himself, in the words of the judge, seems quite a lot less just than the legal consequences seem to call for.
It occurred to me to wonder what the judge was thinking and then I realized: I don't care. "Let it not be said"? Well, it's going to be.
A small wiki I work on seems to have attracted someone who assigns himself (I don't reckon it being a "her", somehow) a six character user-name jumble of upper/lower/#s. He edits one article, often maliciously, and then disappears... until a "new" user pops up with a six character user-name. *sigh*
When he didn't keep his promise to term limit himself, I guess it was a lead pipe cinch that it was going to end in this foolishness. We're saner and smarter than this, people. Do NOT judge us by Tom Tancredo and Diana DeGette.
Comes now email wondering where the rest of the meditations and prayers for Easter are: I have recently found your website and have appreciated your reflections for all the Sundays during Lent. We send these prayers and reflections every month to the homebound parishioners... Your reflections and prayers are a vital part of this ministry.
Somebody let me know if I'm hallucinating about this, but I swear there is a copyright notice and a link to the permissions policy on every single page at http://www.cptryon.org/prayer/season/sunday-lent/
Over at a scrapbooking site, I found this explanation of why the site owner decided to remove items she had previously made available free on the Web.
Google alerts give me a heads up about all kinds of comments about Francis Cardinal George, including the facile judgments of bloggers who think themselves in a position to judge the Church. So this morning, when such a blog came through, I popped over and observed in a comment that it seems unlikely that this blogger would bother to offer any factual analysis to support his/her judgments. So... Comment moderation has been enabled. All comments must be approved by the blog author.
Why take the chance on an honest question appearing while you're saying your prayers, right? :-)