Monday, October 30, 2006

DAEC Day 2

Well today's keynote from Christopher West was even better than yesterday's. I've bought a few of his books to read. I'm hoping to better understand the whole Theology of the Body thing.

Sunday, October 29, 2006

DAEC Day 1

Ok so today was the first day of the Springfield Diocese Adult Education Conference. This is the first time that I've taken the time to go and I'm glad that I did. The day started with a prayer service that was just awesome. Lots of good music and the Sister that gave the reflection was very insightful. That led into the Keynote by Christopher West. I've heard a lot of things about the Theology of the Body and about him, but this was the first time I'd heard him speak. He is a very charismatic and informative speaker. I'm looking forward to tomorrow morning when he speaks again. The fact that the Theology of the Body is not the stereotypical traditional Catholic line of sex is bad and shameful is very hopeful for the Church.

Due to the morning liturgy going over I missed my first breakout session, but I did go to Donna Dousman's session on marriage and relationships in the afternoon which was very good.

After the second session we had Mass with Bishop Lucas. The music was very good with all sorts of instruments and a full choir. It's always a joy to go to a Mass where EVERYONE is being a full participant. Ah Newman how I miss your Wednesday night Masses. I ended up being drafted as a Eucharistic Minister which proved to be interesting as we had to consume the remaining Body and Blood. One of the other Eucharistic Ministers had a lot of Blood left in the chalice and asked me to consume it. I know in college we used to call it a "party with Jesus" after Mass when we consumed the remaining Body and Blood, but with the amount of Blood left in that chalice I almost felt like I was chugging Jesus. Hmm Maybe tomorrow they'll estimate better. ;-)

The night was topped off with an awesome concert with John Angotti. He's like a Billy Joel Catholic musician. Awesome piano player and great composer.

Tomorrow I'm taking off work to go to the second day of the conference. I think it's definitely worth it. I wish they had more breakout session time slots, but I know they're trying to leave lots of free time to go to the conference floor to see the various vendors. My only other wish is that they had more for liturgists and musicians since they advertise it for both, but most of the classes are either generic or geared towards Catechists.

Well I should get to bed now. I have to be in Springfield tomorrow around 7:30am for the start of the conference.

Saturday, October 28, 2006


If we don't go crazy once in a while, we'll all go crazy. -- Hawkeye


"Ladies and gentlemen, take my advice, pull down your pants and slide on the ice"~Sidney Freedman. (M*A*S*H)

Friday, October 27, 2006


All through life it seems there are milestones that we strive to achieve. When we were babies it was crawling, walking and then talking. As we got older we finally got to go to school. Once we were in school, school itself was full of goals for us to strive toward. What is beginning to bug me is now is that I don't have anything like that any more that I can actually control.

Right now I look at my life and while things are good around me, I'm not happy. At times I'm content, and during certain get togethers and such I'm momentarily happy, but not happy in general. I need something to be working toward that I can actually measure progress on and see my achievements. My real goal right now is to find "the one" and be able to settle down, have a family, etc. The problem is that I can't really control any of the steps toward that goal. I can try and try, but I never know if I'm getting closer, farther or just treading water (which is what I feel like I've been doing for years).

Because of this turmoil, I've been contemplating all sorts of potential changes to try to get where I want to be. Part of me wonders if it's time to leave Dot Foods behind and find a job either closer to Jacksonville or perhaps in another area altogether. There are things that I want to do, but don't want to do until some of the entropy in my life is abated. For example, I would like to buy a house of my own instead of renting so that I could work on the house as I please, but I don't want to tie myself to an area until I'm married and know I'm where I should be.

Ok so for those of you that made it this far, thank you. I've thrown my open questions out into the ether and now once again I wait for God to give me just a little clue.

Monday, October 23, 2006

My Journey from IE6 to IE7 to IE6

Ok for those geeks in the audience here's my take on IE7 that was released about a week ago. I eagerly downloaded and installed it hoping to finally have some of my favorite Firefox features in my work browser. My first impression was that the installer was a much smaller download than normal for an Internet Explorer point release. The install was smooth and as part of it they required that I install all outstanding security patches (kudos to Microsoft on this).

My initial experience with the browser itself was "Hey this is Firefox with Microsoft logos", but unfortunately my elation was soon brought back to reality. The UI is very minimalist which gives more room for viewing pages, but at first is difficult to find common functions. For example the traditional placement of the back, forward, stop and refresh buttons in close proximity has been replaced with having forward and back one place and the other two elsewhere. I also searched high and low and never did quite find the browse history.

Rendering was where IE7 really started showing its true stripes. First I tried pointing it to my Parish website and was thankful for it being able to render my positioning correctly, but some rollovers that work fine in Firefox and in IE6 no longer functioned. My next big test was to use the browser on a day to day basis for work. I quickly found out that several bits of normal functionality in my Altiris Helpdesk were no longer functioning with IE7 deciding JavaScript that has worked in IE6 for years is suddenly not good enough to run. It was because of this that I decided to pull the plug and return to IE6. Thankfully Microsoft made this a very easy and painless uninstall back to IE6. For now I'm sticking with the time tested IE6 with all its bugs and hoping that IE7.01 comes soon... either that or Altiris will rewrite helpdesk to be usable with Firefox.

Saturday, October 21, 2006

Smoking Ban

"The right to swing my fist ends where the other man's nose begins."
-- Oliver Wendell Holmes

Ok so Springfield, IL has had a smoking ban in all public places and businesses in effect for a few weeks now. Of course the local businesses, especially bars, are now whining that that they're going to go out of business because of it. Last night I went to a local bar in Springfield to listen to my friend Don's Dixieland Jazz Band. Amazingly there were more people there this month with the ban than there was the month before without the ban. The only change I noticed was that I could breathe and not smell like smoke afterward. Yeah!

Wednesday, October 18, 2006


For animals, the entire universe has been neatly divided into things to (a) mate with, (b) eat, (c) run away from, and (d) rocks.
--Terry Prathcett

Tuesday, October 17, 2006

Autumn Leaves

I've been meaning to write this for some time and always forget by the time I get to a time that I can write. Every day for work I drive around 70 miles round trip through the Illinois River valley to get to work. I've been making this drive for almost four and a half years now and I've noticed a trend. Every fall it seems that either I mirror the valley, or the valley mirrors me(I haven't figured out which just year.).

As the farm fields start to turn brown and are harvested leaving the barren browness across the valley, I tend to start withdrawing. Like the falling leaves my hope starts to fade and I start reminiscing about the year that's been, what has been and what didn't happen like I would like. It's like I go dormant just like the Earth. I wish it wasn't like this, but it just seems to happen. The days get shorter and I seem to get gloomier. Just once I wish I had something to look forward to in the fall and winter.

Maybe it's because things like hay rack rides and curling up on the couch during the winter watching a movie are more fun with someone to share the moments with. I guess the root of things is that as the natural world dies off I feel more alone.

Lyrical Thought #31

It Was a Very Good Year
Frank Sinatra

When I was seventeen
It was a very good year
It was a very good year for small town girls
And soft summer nights
We'd hide from the lights
On the village green
When I was seventeen

When I was twenty-one
It was a very good year
It was a very good year for city girls
Who lived up the stair
With all that perfumed hair
And it came undone
When I was twenty-one

When I was thirty-five
It was a very good year
It was a very good year for blue-blooded girls
Of independent means
We'd ride in limousines
Their chauffeurs would drive
When I was thirty-five

But now the days grow short
I'm in the autumn of the year
And now I think of my life as vintage wine
From fine old kegs
From the brim to the dregs
And it poured sweet and clear
It was a very good year

It was a mess of good years

Monday, October 16, 2006

Miracle in the Desert

I'm still not exactly sure how they did it, but the Bears went from 20 down to winning. Really they deserved to loose, but man it was exciting at the end.

Monday, October 9, 2006

Lyrical Thought #30

Keep in mind that this song was written during the Cold War, but after last night's test by North Korea it seems to be appropriate this morning.

Who's Next
Tom Lehrer

One of the big news items of the past year concerned the fact that China, which we called "Red China," exploded a nuclear bomb, which we called a device. Then Indonesia announced that it was going to have one soon, and proliferation became the word of the day. Here's a song about that:

First we got the bomb, and that was good,
'Cause we love peace and motherhood.
Then Russia got the bomb, but that's okay,
'Cause the balance of power's maintained that way.
Who's next?

France got the bomb, but don't you grieve,
'Cause they're on our side (I believe).
China got the bomb, but have no fears,
They can't wipe us out for at least five years.
Who's next?

Then Indonesia claimed that they
Were gonna get one any day.
South Africa wants two, that's right:
One for the black and one for the white.
Who's next?

Egypt's gonna get one too,
Just to use on you know who.
So Israel's getting tense.
Wants one in self defense.
"The Lord's our shepherd," says the psalm,
But just in case, we better get a bomb.
Who's next?

Luxembourg is next to go,
And (who knows?) maybe Monaco.
We'll try to stay serene and calm
When Alabama gets the bomb.
Who's next?
Who's next?
Who's next?
Who's next?

Saturday, October 7, 2006

Lyrical Thought #30

Where Everybody Knows Your Name
by Gary Portnoy and Judy Hart Angelo - Cheers Lyrics

Making your way in the world today takes everything you've got.
Taking a break from all your worries, sure would help a lot.

Wouldn't you like to get away?

Sometimes you want to go

Where everybody knows your name,
and they're always glad you came.
You wanna be where you can see,
our troubles are all the same
You wanna be where everybody knows
Your name.

You wanna go where people know,
people are all the same,
You wanna go where everybody knows
your name.

Full Lyrics never actually aired

Making your way in the world today
Takes everything you've got;
Taking a break from all your worries
Sure would help a lot.
Wouldn't you like to get away?

All those night when you've got no lights,
The check is in the mail;
And your little angel
Hung the cat up by it's tail;
And your third fiance didn't show;

Sometimes you want to go
Where everybody knows your name,
And they're always glad you came;
You want to be where you can see,
Our troubles are all the same;
You want to be where everybody knows your name.

Roll out of bed, Mr. Coffee's dead;
The morning's looking bright;
And your shrink ran off to Europe,
And didn't even write;
And your husband wants to be a girl;

Be glad there's one place in the world
Where everybody knows your name,
And they're always glad you came;
You want to go where people know,
People are all the same;
You want to go where everybody knows your name.

Where everybody knows your name,
And they're always glad you came;
Where everybody knows your name,
And they're always glad you came...

Friday, October 6, 2006


Tonight after the KC fish fry I was out behind the building burning the grease laden cardboard since we can't recycle the stuff with oil on it. As I was standing there watching the fire I started to think how important fire has been to me in my life. And also how it's been a source of comfort and solitude as well as a source of fellowship and fun times.

I remember as a young scout always volunteering to be the fire builder in the morning for my patrol. I usually got up early any way so I figured I might as well do it. Ok so I'm also a slight pyromaniac, but let me rationalize here. Those early mornings were usually slightly chilly with dew on the ground and just the sound of nature besides my walking and breathing. First I would gather my wood and kindling into the fire ring and get things laid out just right. My goal was always to try to get the fire going using only one match. Many times I succeeded, but not always.

Once the fire was started I would just sit there and stare at the fire. I would watch the flames as they devoured the wood and the smoke slowly rising into the morning air. Many times it would almost be a spiritual experience just sitting and watching the fire in the silence.

Another time later in my scouting career I was tasked with staying up all night on a Vigil while tending a fire that I built. The goal was to spend time in silence pondering life and such while also staying awake and keeping the fire going. Through the night the fire would grow and then burn down as I'd neglect it while reading or thinking or dozing off (oops). I would always get it back to roaring again, but it was like a cycle. Symbolically looking back the fire really could represent my faith life. It seems like God is my fire tender. He makes sure that the spirit is burning in me, unfortunately sometimes I don't feel it or shut it out and the fire through my neglect gets weak, but whenever I need it and turn to it for warmth God makes sure that it's ready for me.

I need more fire in my life right now. I used to feed off of the fire of those around me in college, but now unfortunately I feel like a lone candle a lot of times. Back in college our flames came together to make a conflageration. Now I feel like one small flame that could easily be extinguished.

Thursday, October 5, 2006

Lyrical Thought #29

Tick Tock
Chris Rice

Got our heels dug in
But time is draggin' us toward
The time when time won't matter anymore
They say life is but a vapor
Just a blip on a radar screen
Not the dates on your tombstone
But the dash in between
There's just today, that's all we got
There's just today, that's all we got

Tick-tock, the past is locked
The future's far away
You can't go back, you can't hurry it up
You gotta learn to live today
Tick-tock, it's now o'clock
The little hand is ours
The second hand sweeps us around
And the Big Hand has the power
The Big Hand has the power

Well am I livin' or am I dyin'
Will the world get another day?
I hear a baby cryin', and I pluck out another gray
I'm always talkin' about a change
But talkin's all I've done
I'm gonna start tomorrow
But tomorrow never comes
There's just today, that's all we got
There's just today, that's all we got

Tick-tock, the past is locked
The future's far away
You can't go back, you can't hurry it up
You gotta learn to live today
Tick-tock, it's now o'clock
The little hand is ours
The second hand sweeps us around
And the Big Hand has the power
The Big Hand has the power

Always runnin' late
Don't procrastinate
Leavin' in a hurry
Life is rollin' on
Give me just a second
Wait another minute
Sleep another hour
See another day dawn
Call you next week
See you in a month
Celebrate a season
Now another year's gone
Well there goes a decade, a century, millenium
And here comes eternity, eternity, eternity
Here comes eternity, eternity
What's up with eternity?

Tick-tock, the past is locked
The future's far away
You can't go back, you can't hurry it up
You gotta learn to live today
Tick-tock, it's now o'clock
The little hand is ours
The second hand sweeps us around
And the Big Hand has the power
The Big Hand has the power

Quote of the Day

"God's in control, I'm going to bed." Pope John Paul II

(inspired by JoAnn's away message)

Tuesday, October 3, 2006

Hijackers Protest B16's Comments on Islam's History of Violence

Does anyone else find this a bit ironic that they're protesting Pope Benedict's comments by an act of terror? You can read about it on Fox's website. Perhaps a nice old fashioned protest march would have been a better choice?

Monday, October 2, 2006

I'm Proud to Be an American

You Are 80% American

You're as American as red meat and shooting ranges.
Tough and independent, you think big.
You love everything about the US, wrong or right.
And anyone who criticizes your home better not do it in front of you!

Stress Level

I thought it would be higher...

Your Stress Level is: 52%

You are somewhat prone to stress, especially when life gets hard.
When things are good, you resist stressing over little problems.
But when things are difficult, you tend to freak out and find it hard to calm down.

Sunday, October 1, 2006

Could you pass 8th Grade Science???

You Passed 8th Grade Science

Congratulations, you got 8/8 correct!

Da Bears

Baseball? Who needs stinking baseball. Da Bears! Oh and for you Cardinal fans out there, congratulations on losing your way into the playoffs. Go Bears Go!