Friday, December 28, 2007

Littly Johnny Files a Complaint against Santa & Co.

To Whom it May Concern:

I wish to file a formal complaint against the Santa & Co. who, in my personal opinion, has preformed at a less than professional level and also failed to acknowledge the universal, verbal contract that exists between Santa & Co. and every person in the world that states that the quantity and quality of presents received on Christmas morning from Santa & Co. is directly related to the degree of niceness or naughtiness that the individual has been throughout the previous year. I file this complaint specifically for the violation of said verbal agreement mentioned previously. The behavior I exhibited this past year was clearly Wii worthy: I did not throw spitball at my teachers this year, I only received punish work a total of 2 times, I only got into no school yard fights, I put sugar in the salt shakers only twice this year, I helped mom with the garbage, I helped sis with her math, and I did not break my bat over Tommy’s head this year.

As you can see from the above, I have behaved at a level that is far superior to any of the other kids on my block who, might I add, all received Wii’s this year for Christmas. Unlike the other kinds on the street, I did not do drugs, I did not engage in illicit behavior, I did not do any illegal activity, I did not launder money, nor did I have any of my enemies knocked off. I can only imagine that this mistake might be due to a clerical error, perhaps one of the workers in the main office failed to double check the list to determine that my behavior had improved through the course of the year and was indeed Wii worthy.

To be honest, I am dumbfounded how my behavior was only worth three cans of Spam, a shrunken head, and a half smoked cigar. This leads me to inquire as to whether or not I was even included on the list this year, for the stuff I received makes me believe that my parents were trying to fill in for the Santa & Co. this year. If I was left off the list this year, that would explain the mistake, and I ask you to forward my Wii to the Easter Bunny who should deliver it promptly on Easter Sunday along with Cadbury Cr̬me eggs and a bag of jelly beans Рplease no black jelly beans this year, they are gross.

However, if I was not left off the list and my Wii worthy behavior was not overlooked by a clerical error but was a blatant denial of good, decent, honest, behavior then I will have to seek legal action from the law offices of Dewey, Cheatem, and Howe.

Also, my mother was very upset at the crumbs and footprints your CEO left all through the house.

Thanks you for your time and consideration. I await your reply in a prompt manner.

Sincerely,
Little Johnny

Wednesday, December 26, 2007

March for Life: Help for Teens

It's about one month from the March for Life in DC and high school teens across America are going to have to start asking their parents for permission to miss school in order to march for life. Here are some reasons the teens can give their parents on why they should let their sons and daughters march for life
  1. The babies depend on it.
  2. Not only the babies, but also the elderly, sick, disabled, poor, and over worked.
  3. I am standing up for something I believe in.
  4. For the health of women and awareness of men.
  5. My voice will be heard along with 100,000 + other people who have the same feelings and beliefs as I do.
  6. I will help make a public witness to the governments and the nation.
  7. Civil rights aren't dead, and I should be involved in procuring those rights for all people regardless of race, creed, or age.
  8. I will be actively involved in a good cause.
  9. We will learn first hand media bias when the news fails to report 100,000+ people marching on the capital for life but instead feels more obliged to tell us about Paris Hilton's latest tattoo, sex tape, or other antic.
  10. I can get extra credit in my Social Studies, History, English, and/or Religion class.
  11. To help raise national awareness that life is precious beautiful, and sacred and should be respected at all stages of life.
  12. I will learn new jargon. "Womb to Tomb" and "Seamless garment of life."
  13. I will have the opportunity to hear leading government officials as well as leading church figures speak to the United States and Youth of America on the importance of life.
  14. Because 100,000+ people of all races, religions, genders, etc . . . marching together in a common belief will be an inspiring experience.
  15. I can write about it for my college application process.
  16. Because abortion, euthanasia, and the disposal of the unwanted of our society is unAmerican, and it is our moral, ethical, and political responsibility to raise awareness about issues that are dangerous to the American way of life.
Feel free to add some of your own.

Merry Christmas

Need I say more?

Thursday, December 20, 2007

No Blogging Till After Christmas

In order to get more in the Advent spirit and prepare for the coming Christmas season, I've opted to do an Advent fast from blogging. So to all the readers I will return after Christmas.

Also, I'm leaving today to make the drive from Delaware to New Orleans. Peace, God bless, and have a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year.

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

Repost: Be Charitable this Winter With Random Acts of Kindness

I was thinking that as fall approaches quickly in the Northeast, where I am currently living, and trees are beginning to change yellow, gold, red, and brown, I thought it might be a great exercise in charity and humility to help a fellow neighbor. Here is a picture I took one year while ridding a bus in Chicago. This could be exactly what we need more of in our country. Not to mention, as the prices in fuel go up, it is a way to stay warm without breaking the bank. I wonder if this will pass as my penance for doing three random acts of kindness?.?.

Will the Real Saint Nick Please Stand Up?

Inspired by Caption Contest #40 from the IC.


Will The Real Saint Nick Please Stand Up?
(Set to the tune of Eminem's 'The Real Slim Shady')

May I have your attention please?
May I have your attention please?
Will the real Saint Nick please stand up?
I repeat, will the real Saint Nick please stand up?
We're gonna have a problem here..

Y'all act like you never seen Saint Nick before
Jaws all on the floor like a crook, like John Wayne just burst in the door
and started whoopin him worse than before
they first hitin’ and punchin’, throwin him down the bar (Ahh!)
It's the return of the... "Ah, wait, no way, you're kidding,
he didn't just say what I think he did, did he?"
And Dr. Phil said... nothing you fools!
Dr. Phil’s all in the head, he's on Oprah and on the TV (Ha-ha!)
Everyone loves Ole’ Saint Nick
[*vocal turntable: chigga chigga chigga*]
"Saint Nick, I can’t get enough of him
Look at him, walkin around giving gifts to the world
Givin’ gifts to the you-know-who," "Yeah, but he's a saint though!"
Yeah, I probably got a little jealousy here up in my headless
But no worse, than what's goin on down the street in bars.
Sometimes, I wanna get on TV and just let loose, but can't
but it's cool, did you just see the winter’s flock of goose
"My mom was kissing Old’ Saint Nick, givin a kiss on the lips."
And if I'm lucky, He’ll leave me presents that I can’t miss.
And that's the message that we deliver to little kids
And expect them not to know who that Ole Saint Nick is
Of course they gonna know from CCD who Saint Nick is
By the time they hit fourth grade
They got the Discovery Channel don't they?
"The History of Santa" Well, some of us would prefer to just drink Fanta.
Milk and cookies for the old man Santa
But I wish he would eat some celery
He needs to be around for a long to time, you see.
If hope floats then does he have the antidote.
All the People sing the chorus and it goes,



[Chorus: (repeat 2X)]

'Cause He’s the Saint Nick, yes he’s the real Santa
All you other Saint Nicks are just imitating
So won't the real Saint Nick please stand up,
please stand up, please stand up?

Gold, Frankincense, Myrrh, and Red Bull

Some people have been finding this ad blasphemous. My Italian isn't as sharp as it once was, but I don't seem to see anything outright blasphemous. Hmm this makes me think. If Jesus were to today receive three gifts that represented his kingship, his divinity, and death/priesthood, what might they be? Maybe his picture on a Wheaties box, an Oscar, and his own a clothing line (I'm buying the first pair of Air Jesus Sandals). Then again, I think what the wise men gave would still do just fine. Even if we have nearly lost the understanding of symbols in our culture.

Monday, December 17, 2007

Healthy Messages

Some healthy messages for the holiday season. Also, abstiencedu.com is a real website. It links to the Governor's Program on Abstinence in Louisiana -- I used to work there back in the day.



Faith, Reason, and the War Against Jihadism by George Weigel

George Weigel usually has something interesting to say, and it is the case with his latest book Faith, Reason, and the War Against Jihadism. The book has such a title because Weigel looks at the faith in Jihadists and the lack of it in the West and the role reason currently plays in each camp and how the lack of faith in the West and the distrust of reason on both parties feeds the fires of Jihadism. The book is divided into three sections and subdivided through the length of the book into fifteen lessons.

Section one is titled “Understanding the Enemy”. In this section he presents the case that America, and possibly the world, has misunderstodd the enemy. We know not who we fight because Americans have not bothered enough to look into it and have forgotten history enough to realize that the struggle between the West and Islamic Jihadism is nothing new. Weigel does mention the rich philosophical tradition that Islam once had, after all it was the Muslims that preserved the writings of Aristotle and other learners from being forgotten, and points out that at one point in history faction of Islam became distrusting of reason and those factions eventually grew in number until nearly all reason was squeezed from the faith. The basic argument goes that without right reason, anything might be deemed permissible. This would allow for contradictions such as murdering innocents in the name of a God who has a commandment about not killing.

Weigel also points out that the sweeping assumption that the God of Judaism and Christianity is the same God as that found in Islam. He says this is not the case as both groups have very differing views of God. The latter party allows God to contradict Himself, as if God can be both being and not being (and I don’t mean ‘not being’ in the apophatic sense). In other words, Jihadism is the result of poor theology. So the war America is fighting is not so much a war on terror as it is a war on bad theology -- perhaps America should put some theologians on the front lines, if that be the case. I think Father James Schall sums it up well in this interview.

The current struggle with the Jihading Muslims, according to Weigel, is the struggle between Islam and modernity. Islam did not want modernity to invade its culture so they simply ignored it, and like the ignoring of a bad infection it only gets worse.

The second section of the book is called “Rethinking Realism.” I did feel like I was reading a laundry list of mess-ups from America on the war in Iraq because America failed to see the world as it is. Weigel discusses the misappropriation of funds, the openness of Iraq’s boards that allow in more terrorists and therefore more terror upon US troops, and the uncertainty on the part of the American government. Also in this section are the follies of not taking into account another country’s culture and religion when rebuilding the country and allowing for a style of democracy that is unique to a culture and not trying to force an American style of democracy on another country. In this section he mentioned that the war on terror and the war in Iraq are very different than most other wars in that it is not really contained within a state. It is a war without boarders. This is one of the reasons he sees the war going on for much longer than most people want it to, and it would do American good to develop the virtue of patients on this matter.

The last section of the book was titled “Deserving Victory.” In it Weigel was very blunt in his critique of America, other countries, and Islam. He questions how a country can fight a war against an enemy who views both defeat and victory as positive, the need to rethink and overhaul how countries deal with each other, and the necessity of scrapping the politically correct agenda for the safety of the world. Also in this section are suggestions for limiting the funding from America that goes to terrorism. Two suggestions were to go become oil independent and make alternative fuel sources for travel.

Although I do not know where in the book he mentioned it, but the idea that I found most interesting is that Weigel proposes that Bin-Laden wants America in Iraq and to leave prematurely would send a message of weakness, which would then be interpreted by the terrorists as a victory for them. The terrorists then viewing America’s premature withdrawal from Iraq would then result in an onslaught of more terror attacks on America. If America can be defeated once, she can be defeated again. He used the USSR/Russia as his example.

I found the book an easy read and a very quick read, only 157 pages of text. I do recommend the book to anyone unfamiliar on the issue at hand. The book seems more like a quick overview of the topics and often I found myself asking, “Did this book really need to be written?” I did not find the book to be as clear and concise as some of his other writings, as I found it vague at times, and I often found the people he quoted to be more interesting and insightful than what Weigel had to say. The strongest section of the book was the last section where he critiqued a number of different issues: American dependency on oil, indifferentism, and a loss of history. Weigel did not dive as deep into some of the issues as I would like; for instance, I was expecting much more on the relation between faith and reason and the necessity of each and how one complements the other but the text was nearly vapid on the subject.

I do give a word of caution. There were times when I was uncertain as if Weigel was speaking only of those Muslims who practiced a violent Jihadism or if he meant all of Islam. Though he mentioned only Jihadism, I would not be surprised if he meant the latter but bit his tongue out of prudence.


Books is available December 26, 2007.

Friday, December 14, 2007

Thursday, December 13, 2007

Thieves Make off with Man's 'Holy Leg'

Someone should tell these guys that it is only a relic after the person dies.

From Article:
Police in southern India are hunting for two men who attacked a Hindu holy man, cut off his right leg and then made off with it.

Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles and the Church

Mark LeBelle over at the Arrival is doing an interesting multi part series relating the success of the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles on the terms that have been predicated to the animated heros (Teenage, Mutant, Ninja, Turtle) to the terms that have been predicated to the Catholic Church: One, Holy, Catholic, Apostolic. The success of each can be found in those terms that describe the nature of each.

From Essay:
Because in the same way that someone can talk about the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles without fully understanding what those four words imply, one can state their belief in the One, Holy, Catholic, Apostolic Church week after week and not really comprehend the weight of this title. While these adjectives might seem redundant or superfluous, one must understand that the Church is seldom wordy for the sake of being wordy. Like the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, every word counts in the Catholic Church.
The only thing I want to know is if the TMNT were catholic.

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

Send the Pope a Christmas Card

If you were wondering, you can send the Pope a Christmas card by mailing it here:

Pope Benedict XVI
La Citta Vaticana,
Italia,
00120

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

Where are They Now: Christmas Edition

After becoming well known through seasonal songs and movies Frosty went off to the North Pole to spend the warm summer months someplace cold so that he wouldn't melt. For years he would occasionally make guest appearances outside of malls in Canada, Michigan, and Colorado. Also, from time to time he would pose in people's front yards as a lawn decoration just for kicks. It has been a number of years since anyone had spoken to Frosty, but shortly before the release of "An Inconvenient Truth" rumors were swirling that Frosty was seen talking with Al Gore about being the spokesman for his movie as well as global warming. Since then Frosty has disappeared and has been unreachable since the rumors of the Gore and Frosty meeting. Theories have arisen about Frosty's disappearance ranging from Gore attacking him with a hair dryer to further support his global warming theory to him being attacked by rabid polar rabbits.

Save the Planet, Tax the Babies

This is one of the most absurd ideas I have heard. You have to really hate the world, people, and families to think of an idea this crazy. Also, talk about an idea that is unethical. Man, if this isn't unethical then I don't know what is. It certainly is one way to entice people not to have kids. I personally can't wait till there is a yearly bathroom tax, a plastic tax, a walking tax, a breathing tax, an ear wax tax, and a dust tax. Then again, some of those Aussies are a bit ridiculous, so it shouldn't surprise me when a crazy idea is thought up over there. Sometimes I wonder how far are we really from something as serious as Huxley's Brave New World.

From Article:
A WEST Australian medical expert wants families to pay a $5000-plus "baby levy" at birth and an annual carbon tax of up to $800 a child.

Writing in today's Medical Journal of Australia, Associate Professor Barry Walters said every couple with more than two children should be taxed to pay for enough trees to offset the carbon emissions generated over each child's lifetime.


Sunday, December 09, 2007

Not Said by Jesus Sunday


Regifting or God?

Finally, the holiday season has arrived, and you know what that means: standing in line for hours, fighting traffic, and cutting off the old lady who uses a walker to get around the mall from the only parking place left in the parking lot? Well, sort of . . . but not entirely. I’m sure that some of us have attended a few holiday parties playing white elephant, have given gifts and have received presents already in this early part of the holiday season. If you haven’t, then I’m sure you will be doing so soon. My real problem every year at the holiday season is “What the heck am I going to do with all this stuff I’m going to get this year?”

Of course, some of it I will keep – especially if it is something I can use such as the sweater from Granny, the wine from a brother, and a fruit basket from mom. But what about the stuff I can’t use: like the pedicure set from the white elephant party I receive last year from work (I had no idea my pedis needed curing.), or the third copy of Augustine’s Confessions from a secret-Santa last holiday season, or my umteenth Christmas I will surely be getting from cousin Becky?

There is little doubt that some of these presents, particularly the ones I can’t use, will have a second chance as they become ‘re-gifts’ to friends and family through the coming season. A friend of mine prefers the phrase reborn gifts -- she thinks it sounds more Christian. Anyway, I for one am not the biggest fan of re-gift giving, nor do I like receiving re-gifts. We all hopefully remember that episode of Sienfeld where Elaine labels a friend a re-gifter because the friend re-gifted a present that Elaine had given her to Jerry. Heck, there is even a website dedicated to sharing re-gifting stories and practical advice to a re-gifter: don’t re-gift the same gift back to its original giver.

Yet, I am not here concerned with the ethics of re-gifting. I for one think a case stands that God Himself might encourage re-gifting. But before getting into that issue, let us remember what exactly a gift is. I find it quite difficult to remember what a gift is, especially since we live in such an autonomous tit-for-tat culture where if you receive a gift it is almost expected that a gift is to be given in return if not at the present moment then at a later time. How many of us will actually go out of our way to get a small gift for someone because we received an unexpected Christmas present this year?

The trouble with the tit-for-tat mentality is that it turns gift giving into a form of economic exchange – I guess when economics runs deep in a culture it is difficult to keep it from influencing certain areas of life. Be that as it may, what gifting has become is not exactly what it is to be. We aren’t exactly dealing with baseball cards or stocks, and the last I checked there is no exchange rate for gift types. If I give a PS3 what should be given in return? Gift giving or even gift exchanging is not exactly bartering and there is no math formula that will solve for the sum total.

So what is a gift if it is not an economic exchange of goods? A good working definition of a gift might be something freely given or received without expectation or obligation of repayment. The only real obligation of the recipient is hinged on actually utilizing the gift. This understanding is quite different from an economic model. In fact, it is almost contrary to the economic model of gift giving.

Gift giving should always be done freely. There is no obligation set upon any person to give gifts. There are no government laws or documents that requires Americans to give gifts to one another, nor are there any Church statements, papal bulls, or encyclicals which explicitly oblige Catholics (or any Christian) to give gifts. Then why should we give gifts? Because it echoes God when we give freely as it is God who gives freely His love to the world. Why should we receive gifts? Because it again allows us to echo God when we receive freely as it is God who freely receives our love in prayers. In other words, by giving and receiving freely we help allow others to practice true love (or charity), and it brings us and them closer to God.

As far as re-gifting is concerned, if it is done freely with the hope of spreading joy and love I see little problem with it – especially if what is re-gifted is something that the re-gifter cannot use (like a pedicure set). I believe that God actually encourages re-gifting. Does He not give us all a free gift of His love? Does He not want us then to take that gift and pass it on to someone else? In other words, aren’t we supposed to re-gift God’s love to one another? That is, re-gifting is hardwired into the soul. So it is no wonder that many many people not only feel the need to re-gift but actually do re-gift.

Why re-gift? Because gifts need to be used. Just as every bird has a nest, every gift has a proper home. For example, I will never use the pedicure set that I received this year, but I do know a few girls who would put it to good use. Besides, nothing pleases the giver of said gift more than seeing his or her gift being used. Isn’t that why you always take Aunt Sally’s lamp out the closet when she comes over or wear the shirt Uncle Bob gave you when you go visit because they receive joy and love is returned to the giver by using his or her gift?

Perhaps this year I will do my best to look at re-gifting not as getting rid of unwanted junk but as a freely given gift that is once again being freely given in an attempt to spread some joy and love in the world. After all, God does seem to be most regiftable.

Friday, December 07, 2007

How To Introduce a Bishop

Have you ever wondered, "Exactly how do I introduce my Bishop?" Well, I had to ask myself this just a little earlier today, as I was asked to introduce my Bishop tonight for our Advent Theology on Tap series. This is what I came up with in 30 minutes, which was all the time I had to prepare, and a pint of beer-- oh, and feel free to use it on your bishop if you ever have to introduce him.

note*[I called the Bishop only by his first initial below. I used his actual name when I introduced him]

{begin intro}
I feel little need to introduce Bishop S., as he is already well known and liked throughout our diocese. So instead of reiterating the same facts that we have all most likely heard at least three times a piece, I've decided to take a different approach introducing Bishop S. by sharing with you several little know facts about himself. I assure you that all these facts are real as I found them on the internet after doing a quick Google search of his name. So here they are:

1. During the 70's, Bishop S. was an international surf-star and still the only person ever to win the triple crown of surfing.

2. For a short period of time, he traveled the professional wrestling circuit and was known as "The Apostle". His finishing more was called 'God's Hand' (Ask him to show you later, it is pretty amazing.).

3. It is a little known fact that Bishop S. once defeated both Magic Johnson and Michael Jordan in a 2 on 1 basketball game.

4. He studied martial arts and trained under Bruce Lee. It is this reason that certain film studios sought our Bishop out to be the stunt double for Sly Stallone, Jackie Chan, Arnold Schwarzenegger, and other really big, strong action stars.

5. The Character we all know as James Bond. Yeah, well, he has nothing to do with our Bishop.

6.Bishop S. is the only person to climb Mt. Everest twice while wearing nothing but a Hawaiian shirt, shorts, and sandals.

7. Most recently he released a hybrid rap-country-folk album under the pseudonym 'B. Diddy"'

But on a more serious note . . . [then I did the real intro to what he would be doing tonight].

Thursday, December 06, 2007

Interview with God

Over at 100 Word Stories a writer, Dave, wrote a nice little 100 word piece on preparing for an interview with God. Read it here. It made me laugh.

From Story:
Hmmm ... maybe drop the "Problem of Evil" down to #2, move the "Meaning of Life" up -- it's more feel-good -- I hope -- less of a challenge. Ease into things.

Christmas Songs that We Will Never Hear

24 hours of Christmas music makes a person think. What kind of Christmas songs never made the cut to become Christmas songs on the radio? Here are a few suggestions. Feel Free to Share your own suggestions.
1. Santa had a Heart Attack.
2. Santa Needs to Go on a Diet.
3. Frank the Bitter Disgruntle Christmas Elf.
4. Mommy Stood in Line for 13 Hours To Get You This Gift, and Santa Gets All the Credit.
5. Christmas Bankruptcy Blues.
6. I'll Have an Air Conditioned Christmas.
7. Noisy Reckless Holiday Gathering.
8. Uncle Dan: Not Smarter than Daniel the Christmas Donkey
9. Chilly the Cool Christmas Puddle (aka, Have You Seen Frosty Lately?)
10. Jesus Wants Me to Celebrate His Birthday by Overeating, Sleeping, and Being a Lazy Bum on the Couch While Watching the Planet of the Apes Marathon for the 15th year in a Row.
11. Licking Frost Covered Poles is Fun!
12. I'm Dreaming of a Yellow Snowball Fight.
13. All I Want for Christmas is a PS3 . . . and I Don't Care if I Send My Family to the Poor House as Long as I can Blow Things Up in Blue Ray High Def.
14. I Saw Mommy Talking to Santa About Remaining Faithful to Mrs. Clause.
15. Scrooge Was Right.
16. Heaux, Heaux, Heaux, Geaux, Geaux, Geaux, Neaux, Neaux, Neaux (for my Louisiana readers).

Tuesday, December 04, 2007

Decoding Your Christmas Cards

Here is an article I found. I thought it was worth a glance.

From Article:
In the next few weeks, most of us will be receiving an influx of Christmas cards. While many of these will feature cardinals in the snow or a Victorian Santa Claus, many others will be reproductions of Renaissance paintings of the Nativity, the subject that was the origin of the feast of Christmas.

We are so familiar with many of these images that we often look at them without really looking. We may note the familiarshepherds and wise men as they surround the Holy Family in the stable, or recognise the star. But as we hold the 4-by-6 inch card printed on heavy paper, sometimes complicated by an embossed gold frame or other enhancement, we may not think about the grandeur or substance of the original painting. We may easily overlook the artist’s purpose and the meaning of the details. We enjoy the beauty of colour and form, the sweetness of the mother and child, and then we put the card on a mantelpiece to be seen by other family members -- and perhaps to remind ourselves to put a card in the mail to the sender.

Monday, December 03, 2007

I've Been Memed!

Ok, so Adrienne over at Adrienne's Catholic Corner memed me earlier today. The first time I got a meme I didn't know what the heck the kid was talking about. I was like "meme, sounds like a disease." Anyway, after learning from my past experiences I now know what to do. Here is the meme.

Rules:
Each tagged person must post 8 random facts or habits about themselves on their blog. At the end of the post, choose 8 people to be tagged and list their names. Don't forget to leave a comment telling them that they are tagged and to read your blog. Have fun!
  1. I love cheese.
  2. I love beer. I love theology and beer together at the same time even more.
  3. I failed English in High School, and I almost failed English two other times. If my teachers could only see me now.
  4. I have a strange liking for traditional music (bluegrass, cajun/zydeco, celtic/irish). I like modern stuff too, but there is just something about the trad tunes that I enjoy -- a certain beat and feel not found in most modern music.
  5. A messy kitchen/sink bothers me. A messy room or office is a totally other story.
  6. I only eat bagels so that I can eat the cream cheese that comes on them (see #1). Believe me, people think it weird when you eat spoonfuls of cream cheese for a snack without putting it on anything.
  7. My last name is not 'Cat', but 'Cat' is an abbreviated form of my last name.
  8. I hate wearing shoes. I enjoy wearing my Chacos. This is troublesome to me seeing that I now live a bit farther north than New Orleans. Delaware just isn't suited for 11 month sandal wear.
People I will now Meme:
  1. The Crew Over at Arrival: The Parousian Weblog.
  2. James over at the Opinionated Catholic.
  3. Stephen our ivy Catholic over at For God, For Country and For Yale.
  4. Michael over at For the Great Glory
  5. Julie the Happy Catholic.
  6. Paul the Catholic Cartoonist at Catholic Cartoon Blog.
  7. Susan our Ironic Catholic.
  8. Andie at Theophany All Over

Sunday, December 02, 2007

A Rant: Shhh it's not a secret

Sorry, every once in the while I have to rant. I apologize ahead of time.

Talk about the bastardization of language. Something I am tired of see and hearing about is secrets. No, I don't mean people telling me their own personal secrets that I in turn am obligated to not speak a word of to anyone other than the person who shared his or her secret with me. I'm tired of people who write books and call them things like "Secret" or "Seven Secrets to Success" or "the Secret Church" or "The Secret Secret that is Secretly Secret that Secretly Everyone Knows but no One Speaks it Because They Think it is a Secret but Share it Anyway Because it is a Secret" or "I Can't Think of a Better Title for my Book, so I'll Just Ruin the English Language a Little more and Misuse and Abuse it by Using Words in ways that They do not Mean." A secret by definition is something that others do not know and are usually not entitled to know. Thus a secret is just that: a secret. Once people start sharing the secret, it no longer is a secret. So in reality, the secret that you are learning isn't really a secret at all. In other words the real 'secret' is so obvious and staring you in the face that if it were a poisonous snake you'd be dead by now.

What I am trying to say here is that we have become so untrusting in our society of others that we think the only way to acquire true knowledge is to not go to the obvious source of the matter but to go to someone who claims to have a secret about the issue at hand. We are so obsessed with secrets that even secrets themselves have lost their meaning. Secrets have become unsecretive (because they were never secrets to begin with), and the people who worship secrets have become boring and unable to keep a secret if they had any.

What people call secrets aren't secrets. It is just information. Maybe information from a person more learned then you, but I assure you, it is no secret. In short, the secret is that there is no secret.

Not Said By Jesus Sunday


The Man and the Birds

This is one of my favorite stories come the holiday season. It always seems to put the incarnation into perspective. It's like having one of those "duh-it's-so-obvious" moments.

The Man and the Birds by Paul Harvey


The man to whom I'm going to introduce you was not a scrooge, he was a kind decent, mostly good man. Generous to his family, upright in his dealings with other men. But he just didn't believe all that incarnation stuff which the churches proclaim at Christmas Time. It just didn't make sense and he was too honest to pretend otherwise. He just couldn't swallow the Jesus Story, about God coming to Earth as a man.

"I'm truly sorry to distress you," he told his wife, "but I'm not going with you to church this Christmas Eve." He said he'd feel like a hypocrite. That he'd much rather just stay at home, but that he would wait up for them. And so he stayed and they went to the midnight service.

Shortly after the family drove away in the car, snow began to fall. He went to the window to watch the flurries getting heavier and heavier and then went back to his fireside chair and began to read his newspaper. Minutes later he was startled by a thudding sound...Then another, and then another. Sort of a thump or a thud...At first he thought someone must be throwing snowballs against his living room window. But when he went to the front door to investigate he found a flock of birds huddled miserably in the snow. They'd been caught in the storm and, in a desperate search for shelter, had tried to fly through his large landscape window.

Well, he couldn't let the poor creatures lie there and freeze, so he remembered the barn where his children stabled their pony. That would provide a warm shelter, if he could direct the birds to it. Quickly he put on a coat, galoshes, tramped through the deepening snow to the barn. He opened the doors wide and turned on a light, but the birds did not come in. He figured food would entice them in. So he hurried back to the house, fetched bread crumbs, sprinkled them on the snow, making a trail to the yellow-lighted wide open doorway of the stable. But to his dismay, the birds ignored the bread crumbs, and continued to flap around helplessly in the snow. He tried catching them...He tried shooing them into the barn by walking around them waving his arms...Instead, they scattered in every direction, except into the warm, lighted barn.

And then, he realized that they were afraid of him. To them, he reasoned, I am a strange and terrifying creature. If only I could think of some way to let them know that they can trust me...That I am not trying to hurt them, but to help them. But how? Because any move he made tended to frighten them, confuse them. They just would not follow. They would not be led or shooed because they feared him.

"If only I could be a bird," he thought to himself, "and mingle with them and speak their language. Then I could tell them not to be afraid. Then I could show them the way to safe, warm...to the safe warm barn. But I would have to be one of them so they could see, and hear and understand." At that moment the church bells began to ring. The sound reached his ears above the sounds of the wind. And he stood there listening to the bells - Adeste Fidelis - listening to the bells pealing the glad tidings of Christmas. And he sank to his knees in the snow.

Saturday, December 01, 2007

A Vision of Today's University Students

Been spending a lot of time on the YouTube. Sorry, just been finding some interesting things.



To affirm some things:
1. I took a class at LSU with 1000 students.
2. about 600 did not go to class.
3. Of the 400 in class, about half were doing other assignments, surfing the web, playing video games or watching a movie.
4. So yes, there is truth in this video.
5. One stat that isn't one the video is how much time the average student works in addition to the other things surveyed.

Friday, November 30, 2007

World's most effective speed bump



Via: Fr. Ryan

It's Perfectly Normal

[YouTube description]American Life League exposes the contents of "It's Perfectly Normal," a book endorsed by Planned Parenthood. Recently, a Washington State Prison rejected a fundraising letter that included censored images from the book for being "sexually explicit" and "obscene."

American Life League releases video report on children's sex book

Be mindful of what your school and public library has. I remember having a "health" class in 5th grade where we learned the basics like where do babies come from, personal hygiene, and a few other topics, but in no way was the class inappropriate. This book is WAY over the top. Below is an email from the American Life League (ALL).

WASHINGTON, D.C. · November 19, 2007 / PRNewswire / – "Parents need to know what Planned Parenthood has in store for their children and this report is an excellent starting point," said Jim Sedlak, vice president of American Life League. "The book 'It's Perfectly Normal' is obscene and offensive to Christians."

American Life League's second video report exposes the contents of the book "It's Perfectly Normal." Recently, a Washington State Prison rejected a fundraising letter that included censored images from the book for being "sexually explicit" and "obscene."

American Life League released the report as a part of its continuing effort to educate the public on Planned Parenthood's activities.

"This video report is just the beginning," said Sedlak. "We will continue to use this new media to expose the nation's largest abortion chain and we call on Christians across the nation to join us in putting a stop to tax payer funds for Planned Parenthood."

For the truth about Planned Parenthood, check out these related links:

Protect Your Children - exposing Planned Parenthood's war on childhood innocence:
http://www.clmagazine.org/backissues/2006mayjune_30-33protectyourchildren.pdf

Sign our petition to end tax funding for Planned Parenthood:
http://www.stopplannedparenthoodtaxfunding.com/
Get the Wednesday STOPP Report:
http://www.all.org/stopp/report.htm

Help us continue with these releases:
https://secure.entango.com/donate/L28th6e4EnB

See the ad information that a Washington State Prison rejected:
http://www.all.org/db_file/1050.pdf

Thursday, November 29, 2007

Can we Dance in Church or WHAT?: Cardinal Arinze on Eucharist, Dance, and Music

The Cardinal answers questions on the Eucharist, Liturgical Dance (Can we do it?), and Music (Can we sing secular hymns and rock music at mass?). Watch below to hear (and see) what he has to say.

Babies

Ok if you haven't heard, planned parenthood of America is holding a T-Shirt design contest based off the theme Safe is Sexy. Jeff over at the Curt Jester has a couple of designs that he is submitting. I borrowed his T-shirt template (I hope he doesn't mind) and made a few of my own designs. I hope they catch on.







Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Automated Confession

Maybe we should beef-up our prayers for vocations so that this doesn't happen. Personally, I can't wait till we can use Super Soakers during the sprinkling rite. . . just kidding.

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Dehydrated Water


You can impress your friends with this neat gift this Christmas season. Here.


I wish I would have thought of this.

Sunday, November 25, 2007

God's Gym

A friend of mine is leading a confirmation retreat soon. This is how she is promoting it.


Thanks: Skip "the" Bacon

Not Said By Jesus Sunday


Preparing for Fatherhood

I took my 6 year old cousin out to lunch the other day. Here is part of the conversation that occurred.

Me: What are you asking for Christmas?
Cousin: An iPod.
Me: An iPod? Don't you already have one of those?
Cousin: No, that's my sister.
Me: Oh yeah, you're right.

[Moment of silence]

Me: You should ask for a Wii. It's really cool. My roommate has one. It's a lot of fun.
Cousin: My sister is asking for that.
Me: Then you should ask for World Peace for Christmas.
Cousin: What's world peace?
Me: ummm Ask your mom.
Cousin: Awww what's world peace?
Me: I can't tell you. You have to ask your mother.
Cousin: Awwww come on what is world peace?
Me: It's a secret and you have to ask your mom. I told her I wouldn't tell.
Cousin: WHAT is World Peace?
Me: So what are you learning is school?
Cousin: Subtraction.
It's never to early to start defering to mom. Oh and kids give people a reason to act like kids.

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Ladies Night a form of Sexual Discrimination

In a recent LSU editorial, Donald Hodge, questions whether or not 'Ladies Night' is a form of sexual discrimination.

From Article:
"You know they have ladies' night because women make less than men and therefore need the discount," claimed one male friend. He may have had in mind a 2003 U.S. Department of Labor study that found women on average make 78 percent of men's wages. I doubt, however, bar owners are concerned with women's wages when pushing drink specials for ladies.

"We deserve discounted booze - do you know how much effort we have to put into going to a bar - the hair, makeup, outfit, shoes," a female friend asked. In essence, she claimed women have earned the right to cheap liquor as a result of vanity. This may have been true in the past, but in this day of metrosexuality where men are sometimes more concerned with their appearance than women, the argument holds little weight.

. . .

In the words of a friend who embraces the ideas of feminism, "these drink specials are our reparations, we have been discriminated against throughout history, and this is one small way for us to have an advantage just for ladies."

This made me chuckle a little.

Preparing for Christmas Part 3: Preparing to Shop

As you continue readjusting your body for the early morning hours you can also begin working on building your tolerance to the extreme weather conditions you are likely to encounter come Black Friday: rain, snow, sleet, cold, extreme cold, hail, hurricanes, tornados, squalls, nor’easters, floods, tsunami, and volcanic eruptions. This is just the reality that any brave soul must endure if they want to get the hottest deals and be able to out last his of her opponent and fellow shoppers. If you listen to this advice I assure you that when others head for the car to ‘get out the weather’ or get out of line to get a hot beverage, you will still be standing strong and will waver not in the most sever conditions, as you will surely be able to give frost the bite.

First, start taking cold showers several times a day. Don’t be a sissy and start with hot water and slowly turn off the hot water till the water is cold -- cool and lukewarm water should not be considered. So just start off with cold water. This will not only help you prepare for the hours you will be standing outside in the cold humid pre-sunrise hours, but you will actually save on your energy bill (as you won’t have to use hot water for showering), cut down on water consumption (even three cold water showers uses less water as you will spend less time showering), and have more time throughout the day as you will take very fast showers. Showers at this point are purely functional: to build tolerance and to clean one’s self. Showers are not for enjoyment during the holiday shopping season. You can enjoy your showers 11 other months out the year.

Second, once your body has become used to cold showers, take an old aluminum wash tub fill it with ice and water and stand in it beginning with 10 minute intervals and working your way up to one hour. You can practice this at home, at work, or at school. People will not understand why you are carrying a large aluminum wash-tub with you or why you are standing in ice water. You will likely receive many strange looks, but don’t let that bring you down: they don’t understand the seriousness of the holiday shopping season. Plus, after their children get beat up at school for not having the newest and coolest toys after Christmas, they will likely be asking you for advice. Fell free to pass along the information you learn here. If you haven’t realized it by now, this exercise will prepare your feet for standing in the snow. If it isn’t snowing it will most certainly be cold and raining, which will soak your shoes after standing outside for hours waiting for the stores to open. Cold wet shoes are not a pleasant experience, especially if you have to wear those shoes all day, so this exercise helps prepare your feet.

Third, after completing the feet exercise, begin working on your total body. That’s right. Full body ice baths. Progress in the same manner as with your feet. This will prepare your entire body to brave and tolerate the most extreme weather conditions that you will encounter on Black Friday.

Fourth, this final exercise is perhaps the most difficult. Have your friends sneak up behind you and dump buckets of ice water over you multiple times through the course of the day (Think of the NFL and the Gatorade baths that the coaches get after winning the Super Bowl.). It is best that your friends surprise you at multiple times of the day: at the water cooler, in bed with your spouse, driving your kids to school, etc . . . This will teach you to, like the Boy Scouts, always be prepared. No sudden weather change will catch you off guard.

Now, if you follow this advice that I pass on here, I assure that you will be able to out last Jack Frost himself, be able to climb Mt Everest wearing nothing but flip-flops and a Hawaiian shirt and shorts, and be able to help old ladies cross the street. I guarantee that the advice given above is trust worthy and that it does work if you don’t short change your preparation. I am not only the writer but also a practitioner of the above exercises.

Next: Decorations and Media

Coffee Talk in New Orleans

I'm back in NOLA for Thanksgiving. I'm currently in a local coffee shop to do some reading for my classes. If you ever wonder what the old guys who sit in the coffee shops all day talk about in New Orleans here are a a couple of reoccurring topics.
1. Hilary Clinton wanting to be president again.
2. Fake republicans v. Real republicans.
3. Hurricane Katrina.
4. Starbucks Sucks.
5. Community Coffee is better.
6. The price of coffee before Hurricane Katrina and the price after (it has gone up about $0.45 a cup).
7. Deer Season.
8. How the world would be perfect if people only listened to them.
9. Who makes the better po-boy in town and the best way to boil (berl) crawfish.
10. The 'mountains' in Northern Louisiana. -- really just some small hills, but large by Louisiana standards.
11. Religion (Catholic)
12. LSU, Les Miles, Michigan, BCS, Bowl games.
13. Blanco Sucks.
Seriously, these guys crack me up.

Monday, November 19, 2007

Preparing for Christmas Part 2: Awaking/Rising

By now you should have already made it out to the malls and made all the preparations for driving and parking come the holiday season. If you haven't, don't worry. There is still time as long as you act quickly.

It is no surprise that if you brave the crowds on Black Friday that you will need to be in the utmost physical condition. Exercising, dieting, healthy eating, and taking vitamins are all a good way to get into peek physical condition necessary for surviving the holiday season intact complete with no missing limbs, digits or broken bones -- bruises, gashes, stitches, and mental health are another issue all together and will not be discussed in these posting. However, there is one issue to the holiday shopping season that is too often overlooked and that is the issue of morning awaking and rising. This is key, for without awaking and rising in the morning then you can't actually get to the stores each day to secure the hottest deals. So this is the most logical place to start in regards to shopping.

These days, stores are opening at increasingly earlier hours each year in a way that only seems to grow ever more exponentially. Just the other day I heard of a store that will be opening at 3 a.m. this year. These new hours certainly are ridiculous. So to help you, the shopper, to prepare for these early hours, I have developed a plan.

First, you need to be focused on shopping. Put all other things aside. You can worry about that religious stuff and your family later. After all you are shopping for your family and for Jesus Birthday. Anyway, focus on shopping the entire time. Do not focus on anything else but shopping. Your mantra should be, "Shop till I drop. Then shop some more." or "The early to rise get their kid a surprise." Make about 1000 copies of each and post it in every place you will be throughout the day: bathroom, purse, wallet, rear view mirror, etc . . . I suggest tattooing it on your forehead -- that way it is with you at all times. Failure to do so will result in your child not getting the cool new toy for Christmas and then getting beat up at school for not having been given the cool new toy for Christmas. You don't want your child getting punched in the stomach, head flushed in the toilet, and laughed at simply because you couldn't focus enough on shopping so as to acquire the brand new Wii complete with charging stations and Mario Galaxy.

Second, go to the nearest store and buy a number of alarm clocks and kitchen timers – 13 or 14 of each should do fine.

Third, place all the alarm clocks and kitchen timers in ever room of the house and in your office at work.

Fourth, set those clocks and timers to go off at three-hour intervals. It is important to have all the clocks synchronized to Greenwich Mean Time (GMT) to insure all biological rhythms are kept in pace, so you might need to implore the help of a friend to accomplish this task. By doing this, your body will eventually become accustom to awaking every three hours, and you will easily be able to shop at any time of day. Wal-Mart starts a sale at 1:30 a.m.? No Problem, you will be ready. Also the pattern you are establishing will help you make the most efficient use of your time during the holiday season.

Fifth, when any alarm sounds, regardless of the time of day, you must practice doing dry runs of what you will do come shopping day. So, whatever you are doing, drop it, and run to the shower, get dressed and be in your car ready to pull out of the driveway in ten minutes or less. It is crucial that you be able to leave your residence in exactly 10 minutes in hope of acquiring the best holiday deals. Failure to do so will result in a very unpleasant Christmas morning.

Next: (Part 3) preparing for shopping day continued.

Friday, November 16, 2007

Preparing for Christmas Part 1: Parking

The Christmas season is approaching fast, or what most people call the Christmas season which is really the Advent season. This means that there is much preparation to do with only a very limited amount of time. In this multi part series, I will be working you through some of the finer points of preparing for the holiday season. This part is dedicated to parking and how to prepare for doing it on Black Friday and beyond.

First, learn how the car you will be driving to the mall performs and how fast it can go from 0 mph - 60 mph. This bit of information will help you in determining whether or not you can out gun a fellow shopper to the recently exited parking place on the near by row. After having the above information, practice pulling in and out of your garage at extremely high speeds. The garage provides the perfect testing ground for simulating a parking place at the mall. The narrower your garage the better, as it will get you more comfortable for the initial run. I recommend doing a fast lap or two around the block so as to build up to max speed and get practice at leaning into the turns and high velocities. Learning to make tight turns at high speeds is key to acquiring any parking place at the mall during the holiday season. Also, it is encouraged that you become comfortable with weaving in and out of traffic and stopping on a dime, for this is a useful parking lot skill. For those people who are daring, I highly recommend learning how to use the power-slide to parallel park. It is quick, efficient, and will almost certainly secure you a parking place. Remember, how you practice is how you will perform when it matters most, so don’t skirt or short change your self on the practice runs.

Second, after learning how your car handles, go to the malls that you will be shopping at through the holiday season. Map the layout of the lot. Are there parking garages that you can use, a roof that you can park on, or a near by street? You should also consider the lay of the spaces themselves: are the spaces parallel to each other or are the all angled so that you can only enter the spot from one direction? These are things to consider, as they will make the parking experience the more efficient. Also, it is of grave importance to calculate how an asphalt parking lot handles differently than a regular cement lot, so practice all you high speed maneuvers to determine how to react come shopping time.

Thirdly, come shopping day, do not be afraid. Fear is your enemy and a weakness. Provided that you have done the necessary practice and learned the parking lots of the malls at which you will be shopping, you should be fine and have nothing to fear. You have even less to fear if you drive a large SUV, as you can easily intimidate any smaller vehicles that are in the lot searching for a parking place. Intimidating other drivers is crucial in obtaining the most coveted of spaces, most people believe that acquiring a parking place is not worth wrecking their car. Use this against your opponent. Be sure to show your teeth while going up and down each isle – even more so when you pass a fellow shopper looking for a place to become free. Growling and grunt is a necessity. I also suggest caring packets of Alka-Seltzer and chewing on a couple of tablets as you drive in the parking lots so as to give the impression of a crazed rabid person in search of prey. This is highly effective, as it will stop drivers in their tracks, which will give you the opportunity to jump ahead and pull into the recently vacated spot. Lastly, do not be afraid to shake your head neurotically and let out a deep yaoup as if you are Xena or William Wallace. Every bit helps and increases your possibility of puling into a parking place with ease. Remember, do not fear, the other drivers can smell it, and if they smell it then you have already lost and will most likely spend hours in search of a parking place.

Lastly, if for whatever reason you cannot find a place to park simply pray “Hail Mary full of grace / help me find a parking place.”

There are several movie you can watch that will help you get a feel for high speed travels, sudden stops, and tight turns: any James Bond movie, The Blues Brothers, Days of Thunder, Talladega Nights, Cannon Ball Run, and the Fast and The Furious. There are also a couple of video games you can use to help get you in the mood for the holiday parking lot experience: the Grand Turismo series, Spy Hunter, and the Mario Kart series.

Stay tuned for advice on preparing for the shopping experience.

Thursday, November 15, 2007

NOT THE JACK!

Authorities are speculating dumping some 2,500 bottles of Jack Daniel's some of which are vintage (100+ years in age). Here for more.

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

Writer's Block

You ask me what it is to have writer’s block. Listen to me. Here I am, a seasoned veteran and a professional on the subject.

Plagued with writer’s block, I sit and stare at blank paper for hours trying to find words to write. After a period of time, I finally begin. Not liking what I write, I start over. Then, I start over again and again and again, until I’m frustrated and can think no more. If I were smart, I’d take a break, but I’m not that smart, so I continue trying to write some assignment or project in hope of pleasing a teacher or satisfying an editor.

By now, my frustration has escalated and reached a new level. I start to hate writing. I make irrational ejaculations: “Who invented writing anyway? I’d like to punch him in the face!” I mock my editor or teacher in a whiney squeaky voice, “ ‘This will make you a better writer,’ she says.” If I were smart enough, I’d take a break and cool down a bit; however, I continue as if on a mission, and as I shake my fist angrily at my pen I think to myself, “I will finish this damn project! Even if it kills me,” so I write some more.

I crumple the pages of my old ideas. I crumple the pages of my new ideas. I crumple the pages of ideas yet to come, and I wish all paper would disappear. After hours of crumpling, I have collected enough bad ideas to torch a small town.

Still plagued by writer’s block, my frustration spills over into the ‘No Zone’. Now, I wonder if writing is the invention of the devil, and whether if I’m in one of Dante’s rings.

In a desperate attempt to make the project disappear, I perform an irrational act: I rip the project page in half. Then, I rip those halves in half. Then, I rip those halves in half again and again, until all I am left with is confetti. I stab my text and hope to kill it. I hurl my note book at the wall and stomp on it. I curse the discovery of writing and the invention of paper.

I pray to God that this is just a dream, but deep down, I know it’s not a dream. I pray that my teacher or editor does not show up for work. I explain to God, “Nothing serious, maybe diarrhea or an alien abduction.” Then finally, I quit writing and take a long-needed break. Only to return the following the day and complete the assignment without an ounce of trouble. This is writer’s block.

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

John Chrysostom on Marriage

I love the quote in the Catechism of the Catholic Church.
St. John Chrysostom suggests that young husbands should say to their wives: I have taken you in my arms, and I love you, and I prefer you to my life itself. For the present life is nothing, and my most ardent dream is to spend it with you in such a way that we may be assured of not being separated in the life reserved for us.... I place your love above all things, and nothing would be more bitter or painful to me than to be of a different mind than you. (§ 2365 CCC)

Some Toilet Humor/News

If you have ever replied "where ever he wants" to that old joke, "Where does a giant go to the bathroom?" you will be happy to know that is no longer the answer. I'm assuming that this will be one toilet not filled with poop . . .

From Article:
SUWON, South Korea — Sim Jae-duck has made his political career as South Korea's Mr. Toilet by beautifying public restrooms. Now he's got a home befitting his title: a toilet-shaped domicile complete with the latest in lavatory luxury.

Monday, November 12, 2007

Death by Powerpoint

Some practical advice for all you Powerpoint users.

I Ban You, Pikachu!

Here is a list of some of the hottest video games and the places and people that either banned them or want them banned. You will never guess who made the list: Pokemon! Click here for more.

Stories like this always raise the same old questions that surround video games and other media: exactly how do video games affect our society and what kind of effect is it?

Not Said By Jesus Sunday (Monday)


Back from NCYC

Back from NCYC. Post on it later. Today is catch up on school work and rest. It was very tiring.

Thursday, November 08, 2007

On the Road Again . . . to NCYC

I'll be out of town for a few days. Helping with a bus trip to the National Catholic Youth Conference from our diocese. If you are going maybe I'll see you there. Peace.

Tuesday, November 06, 2007

Breast Feeding Found Beneficial

Breast Feeding Found Beneficial.

In other news, water discovered to be wet . . . again.

Writers Guild

Random thought while at work today. Since the Writers Guild is on strike now would be a great opportunity for some good solid catholics to make their way with their funny, ironic, intelligent and not morally crass writing to Hollywood. Just a thought.

I'm ready for my chance Mr. Spielberg.

Monday, November 05, 2007

Wall Street Journal and Saint Joseph

The Wall Street Journal has an Article about burying and praying for intercession from Saint Joseph to help people sell their house. This seems like a real catichetical moment.

From Article:
Cari Luna is Jewish by heritage and Buddhist by religion. She meditates regularly. Yet when she and her husband put their Brooklyn, N.Y., house on the market this year and offers kept falling through, Ms. Luna turned to an unlikely source for help: St. Joseph . . . "I wasn't sure if it would be disrespectful for me, a Jewish Buddhist, to co-opt this saint for my real-estate purposes," says Ms. Luna, a writer. She figured, "Well, could it hurt?"
This article makes me think of a few things:
1. I guess Saint Joseph doesn't discriminate.
2. If Buddha couldn't help you sell your house and meditation didn't work and you abandoned your Jewish faith and the one thing that does work is prayer for the intercession of Saint Joseph to sell your house and it works, wouldn't that mean that God is bigger and better along with the saints than Buddha and any mere regular meditation?
3. I guess Catholics should become Realtors. It's in their spiritual make up.

Cigarettes for Life: An Idea So Dumb Only Congress Could Think of It

Buy a pack or a carton of cigs and save a child's life. I've always said that here in America if something makes sense we are obligated to do the contrary.



Sunday, November 04, 2007

Plan A

Seems to me that people should be relying more on Plan A than on Plan B.

Plan Abstinence till marriage.

Super Villian Makes Suggestions to God on Creation

Super Villain Makes Suggestions to God on Creation.

Graduate Writing

Ever wondered what graduate students in theology write about when not blogging or working?
Currently in my American Catholicism class, which has a moral theology emphasis, we are reading "We Hold These Truths" by John Courtney Murray. My assignment is to write a five page paper on some aspect of Murray's writings. I'm planning to write 5 pages on this sentence: "And in the end every structure of moral doctrine and decision rests on a concept of the nature of man" (Truths 284).

Easy right? Well, not when you have to link it to the American culture and keep it to only 5 pages. I chose the sentence because Murray never discusses the nature of humanity in this book, now he might be acting under the given that the nature of man is that which is promoted by the catholic church, which would explain this lacking aspect of this book. Also, the nature of man is a very vast topic that can span volumes of books and Murray only has a limited about of space. More specifically I chose the topic because he says three things about moral doctrine and decisions. First, that there is a structure to moral doctrine and decisions. Second, that the nature of man and how he and God relate and interact with each other is crucial to that structure. Finally, It is important to have a proper understanding of that nature.

I'm not seeking to define the nature of man, only how having an improper understanding of the foundation of moral doctrine and decisions affects the structure of moral doctrine and decisions.

Not Said By Jesus Sunday

I've recently decided to begin a regularly occurring feature on the blog. It will be things NOT said by Jesus. There was much feedback from readers on here and on other blogs that linked to mine that I thought it would be fun to do a weekly feature on the subject. I'll do my best to archive them under one post on the "Original Posts" section. I hope to have it up later today. I will also try to post one (or more) Thing not said by Jesus on Sunday or Monday. It just depends on how busy I am and whether or not I'm in town.

Friday, November 02, 2007

Today in Drivers Ed . . .

what not to do. This is good for a laugh.

Colbert Update

Well, looks like Colbert did not make it on the South Carolina democratic ticket. That's OK. Come election time, I'll be wielding my pen with a write-in for Colbert. Personally, I don't think either party should be worried about a Satirical News Personality running for president. Meaning it is kind of like the tooth fairy running for the presidency. It is not Colbert himself that would be running. It would be his make believe TV personalty running. Besides, he himself did say that he just wanted to run for president, and that he doesn't want to be president.

New Potter Book?!?

It's her first book written after Harry Potter series, but its not about Harry or his friends. However it is a tie in to the Potter series. Also, good luck getting a copy. There are only 7 copies in print. One is being auctions in December with a starting bid of $62,000.

From Article:
LONDON - J.K. Rowling has completed her first book not to feature teen wizard Harry Potter an illustrated collection of magical fairy stories titled "The Tales of Beedle the Bard." . . . "It's not about Harry, Ron and Hermione, but it comes from that world," she told BBC radio in an interview broadcast Thursday.

Facebook: More Popular Than Porn

From Article: (my comments in Red)
Perhaps a more interesting — and more accurate — way to figure out where college students are going online is to assess which of the 172 web categories tracked by Hitwise get the most hits from 18- to 24-year-olds. Here's a shocker: Porn is not No. 1. I've actually been puzzled by the decrease in visits to the Adult Entertainment category over the last two years. [What exactly is there to puzzle over? Is porn so deeply entrenched in our society that it is difficult to think that people might be interested in doing something else? I don't think it is something to puzzle over. I almost think it is something to celebrate.] Visits to porn sites have dropped from 16.9% of all site visits in the U.S. in October 2005 to 11.9% as of last week, a 33% decline. Currently, for web users over the age of 25, Adult Entertainment still ranks high in popularity, coming in second, after search engines. Not so for 18- to 24-year-olds, for whom social networks rank first, followed by search engines, then web-based e-mail — with porn sites lagging behind in fourth. Why do I have have the strange sense that the writer is lamenting porn not being number 1 in people's lives? If you chart the rate of visits to social-networking sites against those to adult sites over the last two years, there appears to be a strong negative correlation (i.e., visits to social networks go up as visits to adult sites go down). It's a leap to say there's a real correlation there [No, correlation is correct. There is certainly a relation between social network visits and adult site visits as you have pointed out in your investigation. This correlation might be a mere coincidence. Like the strange correlative statistic that says when ice cream sale increase so do armed robberies. Now this too is a correlation, but it is not a causation. Ice cream is not causing armed robberies. The question the writer is asking is one of causation and not correlation, as he wants to know whether or not the increase in Social Network visits is causing the decrease in porn site visits. I would think so.], but if there is one, then I'd bet it has everything to do with Gen Y's changing habits: they're too busy chatting with friends to look at online skin. Imagine. [Yeah, imagine. People more interested in communicating with one another instead of using one another. Go figure.]

Thursday, November 01, 2007

Litany of the New Orleans Saints

Happy All Saints Day. Here is a litany of a different sort.

Shean Paton, Hear us.
Tom Benson, Hear us.
Mickey Loomis, Hear us.

Saint Brees and Saint Martin, Throw some touchdowns
Saint Marques Colston, catch the ball.
Saints Moore and Meachem, catch the ball.
Saint Copper and Saint Henderson, catch the ball.
Saints Bush, break through the line.
Saint Stecker, break through the line.
Saint Thomas and Saint Karney, break through the line.
Saint Deuce, get healthy.
Saints Owens, Johnson, Miller and Ronnie, block the rush.
Saint Faine, snap the ball.
Saint Goodwin, snap the ball.
Saint Grant, stop the run.
Saint Smith, stop the run.
Saint Simoneau, sack the quarter back.
Saint Fujita, sack the quarter back.
Saint Mitchell and Saint Simmons, sack the quarter back.
Saint Thomas, cover your man.
Saint McKenzie, cover your man.
Saints David and Craft, cover your man.
Saint Young, cover you man.
Saint Bellamy, do your thing.
Saint Reis and Saint Bullocks, do your thing.
Saint Kaesviharn and Saint Harper, do your thing.
Saint Mare, through the uprights.
Saint Weatherford, kick it long.

All you athletic men, play well.
All you talented men, play hard.
All you professionals, play fair.


Here is a link to the REAL Litany of the Saints.

Tuesday, October 30, 2007

Don't Miss the Harp Solo

Dear Wormwood

Just a little exercise I decided to do the other night. I don't have my copy of the book with me and I don't remember Lewis' jargon from the book. Anyway, I hope you enjoy.

Dear Wormwood,

You are right in being concerned in your soul discovering the truth of things. Truth in general is a dangerous thing to our cause and will likely set you back many days or months if not handled properly.

Without a doubt, combating the truth is an exhaustive and monumental task, which I have learned through many follies of my own that ended in more harm to the cause than anticipated. Some lessons are best learned the hard way, but in the dealings of true things this is not one of them, for an encounter with the truth can leave even the strongest of us tired, exhausted, and useless for sometime after the encounter. Even Legion has proven weak against it.

The fact of the matter is that to fight truth is as futile as trying single handedly to change the flow of a river in a moments notice or trying to draw closer the moon to the earth. In other words, it cannot be done. But that does not mean we must surrender and bow to the truth, if such a things happens then we would be no better than those whom we fight.

Here, my young Wormwood, I share with you in ease what I learned through strife and struggle, so as to save you from the anguish of losing souls and to further the cause. Your first task should be aimed at guiding your objective to things that makes him think and feel as if he is discovering truth. There are many unread ‘classics’ that will serve in this measure and at the same time help to promote pride -- as he will feel as if he is reading truth and better than others for reading those unread truths. Second, if your objective does discover a truth, hold it up before him and convince him that the reason he has never heard of this truth is because it isn’t relevant. If it was something relevant it would be known and practiced by all.

Lastly, since truth is what it is, the best technique for guarding against the truth of things is to simply convince your objective to ignore those things which are true. By ignoring what is true your objective will have a sense of bliss as by ignoring there is no engaging and no combat to endure.

Nephew, I share this with you as I learned it the hard way how exhausting, how monumental a task, and how easy it is to loose a soul to the truth if one does not heed to the side of caution when confronted by the truth. Do not be discouraged and continue to fight for the cause.

Your Uncle,
Screwtape

Monday, October 29, 2007

Buying From Spam

Ever wondered what happens when you actually make a purchase from spam? Well, Mark Wade over at the CA Security Advisory Research Blog wondered. So he did some reasearch and wrote about his encounter and experience with spam in Operation GreenDot, Follow the Spam.

From Article:
Our journey begins outside of Washington, DC. I am sitting at my desk, going through my SPAM filtered email, when I see one that catches my eye, “Dreams can cost less repl1ca w4tches from r0lex here”. Sounds interesting I thought, and I could use a new watch. Knowing the harmful effects of opening unsolicited email,I decided to open the email in a controlled virtualized environment. Below is the content of the email:

Sunday, October 28, 2007

Roman Missal Command

VATICAN CITY -- After the introduction of Vatican Air and Vatican TV, the Vatican has recently announced a new gaming division: Vati-Game Inc. The first game unveiled this past weekend at VatiCON, the official Vatican sponsored media conference, is called Roman Missal Command. The game objectives are simple. Defend the churches and the liturgy from certain liturgical abuses, which come in the form of clown rockets, by using the Roman Missal as your counter to the clown rockets. Roman Missal Command is receiving full backing from the Pontifical Office of the Liturgical Police. Father Ronson, Director of the Liturgical Police, says that "the Game is just what our age needs. Wholesome. Theological. Biblical. Catholic. There isn't anything more a person can ask for in a game." Opponents of the game have been calling it unecumenical and have been attacking it for its lack of emphasis on social justice and questioning whether or not it is a just war-game. Blow is a screen capture from the game made available from the Vatican gaming division. Game is due some time in the Spring.


Beauty

A nice argument examining the beauty of churches in the thomistic style from our friend Stephen the Ivy Catholic at the blog For God, For Country and For Yale. Watch out for those $5 words he uses -- you gotta know these things if you wanna talk to smart people or at least how to look them up.

15 Most Creepiest Places on Earth

Go here to see some of the creepiest (not scarriest) places on earth.

Places not appearing: under your bed, in your closet, the basement, and old man Whithers' place.

Places that are appearing: Manchac Swamp, Easter Island, Whinchester Mansion, and others. Click on the link to find more.
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