Wednesday, April 26, 2006

This is too much honor

I'm not worthy to unlace her Nikes.

H/T to Theocoid.

Prayers answered!

Some of us here at St. Blog's have been praying hard for Albertus Minimus and his little boy Minimus Minor, who's been in the hospital fighting for his life. He's home now exhausting his parents with boundless energy, and I'll bet there's never been a couple so happy to be worn out. Praise the Lord!

Bonnie Owens, R.I.P.

Story here. Right on the heels of Buck's passing, too. The second generation of country music greats is disappearing fast.

Travel in elephants, Bonnie.

Tuesday, April 25, 2006

I've actually never been south of San Francisco or east of Denver

Displaced Southerner
You are 78% true Southern!
You're pretty Southern, but something is keeping you from being a true Southern Belle or Gentleman. Maybe you've moved, or maybe your parents were Yankees and brought you up without ever taking you fishing or hunting or to Memaw's for chicken and black-eyed peas. You know your Southern facts and culture, but that literature still escapes you. And when you order tea at a restaurant, you expect it to come "unsweet." Yikes.
Next time you have the chance, visit a classic Southern downtown area and spend an afternoon just soaking it in... Montgomery, Birmingham, Jackson, Natchez, Memphis, Charleston, Atlanta, or even New Orleans!

My test tracked 1 variable How you compared to other people your age and gender:
free online datingfree online dating
You scored higher than 39% on Southerliness
Link: The Southern-ness Test written by gwennykate on Ok Cupid, home of the 32-Type Dating Test

A courtly H/T to Fr. Tucker, who actually earned his percentage (85!).

Meanwhile, back at the lie factory

Here's a study you won't be reading much about, at least not until the abortion pushers have a chance to discredit the author. It'll disappear just like the study on abortion and breast cancer.

State pharmacy board sells out Christians

How dare those Jesus freaks push their [constitutional right to follow their own] religion on the rest of us?
Under state law, a pharmacy must maintain a representative assortment of drugs in order to meet the pharmaceutical needs of its patients — but the only drug pharmacies are required to stock is Ipecac syrup, to treat accidental poisoning.

Saxe said the stocking provision isn't intended to give pharmacies an easy avenue to avoid filling certain contraceptive prescriptions by refusing to carry the drugs. Rather, it is intended to keep pharmacies from being disciplined simply because they have run out of a certain drug, he said.

"I think the intent is to make sure that when somebody legitimately has a shortage of product, that they are not brought up for discipline," he said. "I don't see that as the board looking at an out for not taking care of appropriate patient needs."

Translation: I don't care if you do own the pharmacy. You'll sell what you're damn well told to sell.

I don't like to toss the term around too lightly, as it's been misused so much that the original meaning is forgotten, but the word for a system in which property is owned privately but controlled by the state is fascism. Look it up if you like. And you thought the word "uterofascist" was purely rhetorical, didn't you?

Heil Gregoire!

Monday, April 24, 2006

Bless me, Father, for I am a psychotic pretty-boy with placenta on my breath

Tom Cruise in the confessional (with a fake priest, be it understood). I laughed so hard the company may have to replace my chair. Warning: Language alert!
VOICE: I joined a cult, and now I’m helping them persecute unbelievers.

ME: Oprah’s book club?

VOICE: Worse. The Church of Scientology.

ME: Oh, my God. You’re an idiot.


ME: You’re an idiot. How could you fall for that crap? A religion created by a science fiction writer? I mean, Philip K. Dick, I could see. I can imagine a thinking person becoming a Disciple of Dick. But L. Ron Hubbard? He BLEW, man.

VOICE: Are you going to help me or make fun of me?

ME: I’m sorry, kid, but you really sandbagged me with that one. How can you be so stupid? The only people who fall for that crap are high school dropouts and egotistical Hollywood pinheads like that sawed-off, Napoleon Complex runt, Tom Cruise.


ME: That’s going to cost you some Hail Marys.

VOICE: Tom Cruise is charismatic! He’s a groundbreaking entertainer with talent to burn! He’s a sex symbol! He’s a philanthropist!

ME: He’s a bicurious dwarf with an obvious chin implant.

VOICE: Oh, God.

ME: Did you see him in The Last Samurai? He looked like Cliff Clavin in a silk nightgown.

VOICE: Oh, God.

ME: And for twenty million dollars, he couldn’t drop that gut? All I could think in that last scene was, “that poor horse.”


ME: You’re shitting ME. My son.

Go thou and read it. Now. And a tip o' the hat to Ken S. the Xenuphile.

Sunday, April 23, 2006

Let's get a discussion going here

The Nineteenth Amendment: Was it a good idea, or a bad idea? Yes, it looks like an attempt at fairness on the surface, but what were the long-reaching effects? The two-income economy? The rise of single motherhood? How about the abortocaust? Could the pro-death lobby have sold an all-male electorate on abortion? Discuss.

Friday, April 21, 2006

Say "aaaarrggghhh!"

Would you accept a breast exam from this man?
MIAMI — A 76-year-old man claiming to be a doctor went door-to-door offering free breast exams, and was charged with sexually assaulting two women who accepted the offer, police said Thursday.

One woman became suspicious after the man asked her to remove all her clothes and began conducting a purported genital exam without donning rubber gloves, investigators said.

I've heard of that being used as a barroom pick-up line: "Don't be alarmed, miss. I'm a freelance gynecologist!" I've never heard that it was all that successful, though, unless you define "success" as rolling on the floor in tears clutching what used to be your scrotum.

Still... look at the guy! I'm sorry, but if I were a woman, I wouldn't submit to an exam from someone like this if I had personally witnessed his graduation from med school, and inked the diplomas myself.

Primacy over primates

I'm pretty sure I took this quiz once before, but Miss Cellania posted a link and I couldn't resist trying it again. It's tougher than it sounds.

Monkey Challenge Trivia Quiz
I beat the monkey by 25 points.
Monkey Challenge Trivia Quiz

Thursday, April 20, 2006

Hometown Meme

Tagged by the delightful Miss Cellania, it falls to me to come up with fascinating foursomes of interesting things about my hometown of Moses Lake, Washington. (Miss C. cheated and used her whole state. However, my hometown is about twice as big as hers, so I don't think I can plead that excuse.)

Ya gotta understand, most people who even know where Moses Lake is think of it as a cluster of Stop-n-Rob stores and truck stops on I-90. If you're driving from Seattle to Spokane, you stop to pee and get coffee in Moses Lake, and that's about it. But Moses Lake is more than just the Land of Java and Urine. Here's a few things I'll bet you didn't know about Moses Lake:

Four things about Moses Lake
1. Despite Washington's reputation for rain, Moses Lake gets an average of 330 days of sunshine a year.
2. Interstate 90, which runs through Moses Lake, is the longest interstate in the country, running from Seattle to Boston.
3. Moses Lake made national news when the first of the school massacres occurred here in 1996. I waxed longwinded about it here and here.
4. Moses Lake is a fairly recent development as cities go, even for Eastern Washington. There is only one building over two stories in town, and it's less than ten years old. The oldest house in town was built in 1905. The city wasn't even incorporated until 1938. (And my uncle was the first mayor!) History here is measured "before the water" and "after the water," referring to the Grand Coulee Dam, which brought irrigation in 1952. If your family arrived here after the water, you're a newcomer.

Four things even most Washingtonians don't know about Moses Lake
1. Evel Knievel made his first jump here, back in 1965.
2. Something like three-quarters of McDonald's french fries come from farms around Moses Lake and are stored here for processing. In your face, Idaho!
3. We have one of the biggest airports in America, and the second-longest runway west of the Mississippi. We're an alternate landing site for the Space Shuttle, although so far none has ever landed here. But we can always hope!
4. At one time, the largest brothel in Washington was located in Wheeler, which is now part of Moses Lake. The joint is still there, I'm told, but it's a lot smaller than it used to be. I can't say for certain; I've never been there. Honest.

Four cool things to do around Moses Lake
1. Concerts at the Gorge Amphitheater, just outside of (I am not making this up) George, Washington.

2. Cliff diving at Deep Lake.
3. Staring in awe at Dry Falls. Scroll down and look, but the photo doesn't do it justice. You have to stand at the top to appreciate it.
4. Dining at the top of the Space Needle, shown at right.

Four people I'm tagging with this: Pilgrim, Scott (that one ought to be interesting!), Hindu, and Patrick. Except for Hindu, they all live in bigger urban areas than I do, so there should be a lot more material to choose from.

Tuesday, April 18, 2006

False witness

My Lovely and Brilliant Wife has already alluded to this revolting business in kind of a general way, but now that it's gone out on the AP wire, I can talk about it a bit more specifically. On Good Friday, we had a substitute priest, one that's come out from Yakima in the past while our pastor was sick. He read aloud a letter from Fr. Morse, explaining that he had been recalled to the Jesuit provincial headquarters in Portland pending an investigation into accusations that he molested a child. The allegations are three or four decades old, and at a parish in the Spokane diocese, next door to ours. Apparently, the claim was filed in the last two hours before the deadline for new claims against the Diocese of Spokane, under the terms of the diocese's bankruptcy.

I'm pissed off on so many levels about this. First, there's no doubt whatsoever in my mind that Fr. Morse is completely innocent. None. I know Fr. Morse fairly well. He's not only my pastor but the only pastor I've ever had. He baptized my daughter, convalidated my marriage, and received me into the Church. He loves children, likes people in general (although he's a bit shy), and most importantly, treats his vows with the utmost seriousness. I could, if I stretched my credulity as far as it could go, imagine him having done something despicable 35 years ago. Unlikely, but conceivable. Everybody sins. But if he had, he wouldn't be denying it now. I know, that sounds naive of me, but it's true. Fr. Morse's nature is such that he would no more hide from the consequences of sin than he would dance on tables at a truck stop waving his winkie to the rhythm of "I Want Your Sex." Just wouldn't happen.

Let's consider what-all we know about the accusations themselves. There's precious little information available, but we do know that the claim was filed at the last minute. There's been a plethora of advertising and publicity about the deadline; I know, because my paper ran ads for it, as did just about every paper in Eastern Washington. So what excuse is there for not filing until two hours before the deadline? Obviously the vermin didn't just glance at the calendar and say "Woops! I forgot to sue the Church!" It looks a lot more like a last-minute attempt to take the money and run.

Second, notice that the claim refers to Fr. Morse's time at Omak as a parish priest. I don't know the dates for certain, but as I understand it, Fr. Morse spent a lot of his career teaching high school in Tacoma, and I think elementary school as well. If he were a pervert, that would have been like the Happy Hunting Ground. Yet nobody has ever suggested that he behaved improperly at a school. A parish priest, however, deals with altar boys, which is much more in keeping with the stereotype this person wants to play on. And schools are much more regimented than parishes, with more chances to check reccords and see whether an accusation is even possible. A parish isn't so organized, and so makes a softer target.

The last piece is the one that burns my ass the most. Fr. Morse, now in his 70s, has cancer. Leukemia. When the substitute priest filled in for him last year, it was because he was having treatment in Spokane for it. Given the speed with which things progress in Church lawsuits, it's not at all unlikely that Fr. Morse simply won't live long enough to be exonerated. And it's a lot harder for a dead priest to defend himself than a live one, increasing the chances that this lying leech will collect money by default.

Between Fr. Morse's character (I'm hesitant to use a word like "saintly," but it fits) and the questionable aspects of the allegations, this whole thing stinks like a waterfront brothel the morning after payday. I don't know what there is to do but pray for him annd vent on the blogosphere. May God grant the good father enough time to see himself exonerated, and treat the SOB who accused him... well, with more mercy than I would if it were up to me.

Thursday, April 13, 2006

The gory details

I don't understand the female need to discuss so vividly the blow-by-blow of the birthing process. I've been present for four of them, and it always seems to me to be just a jumble of blood, yelling, and eventually a baby. The actual details are kind of grody, I've always thought. But if you're the sort that's fascinated by them, my Lovely and Brilliant Wife has them up here.

Uriah: a Heep big stud

I couldn't resist. Michael at Adventure Faith has some thoughts about the only person in the whole David-Bathsheba debacle who acted honorably. I'd never really thought much about Uriah the Hittite before, but Michael apparently has.

I first ran across Michael's blog while I was looking for information about his grandmother, from whose books I learned Bible stories in a way I would never have otherwise. She had a way of bringing the stories to life in a way that made you realize that they had happened, not just to some sort of Biblical archetypes, but to actual people. Michael seems to have a touch of her storytelling gift.


Don't you just hate when people bore you to tears with pictures of their insufferably homely offspring? I do too. I find it really hard not to embarrass them by reminding them that their little spawn can never compare to my own flawless little gems. So to anybody who is hurt by this reminder of their genetic inferiority by looking at these, I'm really sorry.

Nevertheless, here are the pictures I promised last week. Behold and marvel!

Mona looking like the smart-elbow I have no doubt she'll grow up to be.

From a slightly different angle, making her nostrils look downright cavernous. You could smuggle illegal immigrants across the border in those critters!

And just so he won't feel left out, two-year-old Dai trying to fill his older siblings' shoes.

Wednesday, April 12, 2006

All quiet on the blogging front

But not at home, alas. The new baby sleeeps a lot – during the day. She gets all her activity in at night, like any newborn. Meanwhile, the two-year-old has been like Satan in Pampers, what with new-baby jealousy and his natural rambunctiousness. And my Lovely and Brilliant Wife is a little more mobile (enough so to get to the bathroom from the bedroom in less than fifteen minutes) but far from up to coping with the kids and the house.

I started back to work at the Greatest Newspaper in the Northwest™ today, just in the afternoons for the time being, so I can stay home until the young 'uns start trickling in from school. So between catching up work, taking care of Christina and fighting the urge to stuff the toddler into a coffee can and have him shipped seventh-class to Madagascar, I've fallen behind at blogging lately. I'll try to get back in the swing of things in the next few days.

Friday, April 07, 2006

She's here!

I have to get back to the hospital, so I'll do this quickly. Mona Grace Martin was born at 10:13 yesterday morning, in a last-minute C-section. Christina's other labors have been fairly long (the last one was 33 hours), and she was scheduled to be induced yesterday anyway, which is why we figured there was time to stop and blog. That, and we're hopeless addicts.

Statistics for the ladies: She weighed 10 lb. 7 oz. (yes, you read that right) and was 20 inches long. Mother and baby are doing fine. Christina will probably be coming home tomorrow, although it could be tonight. Thanks to everybody who prayed!

(Obligatory photo coming as soon as some family member brings a camera to the hospital.)

Thursday, April 06, 2006

And awaaaayyyy... we go!

Looks like this is it. Since labor kicked in with a vengeance at about 3 in the morning, this had jolly well better be it. Actual post with cloying, badly-taken digital photo to follow.

Wednesday, April 05, 2006

Abortion icon

You have to read the explanation here to really absorb this. I'm a sucker for Eastern icons in general, but this one just takes my breath away. The abortionist feeding babies into the jaws of Moloch is an especially nice touch.

Akubra tip to Mark Shea.

The moving finger writes...

... and having writ, moves on. Just don't watch the "second hand" too long; it'll give you a headache. H/T to Pentha.

Preemies feel pain. So what?

It turns out that unborn babies can feel pain as early as the 24-week mark. WorldMagBlogger Aaron Earls thinks this may be a blow to the abortion lobby. Alas, Aaron is overoptimistic. The pro-death crowd will never let a little thing like somebody else's pain stand in the way of their almighty selves. The baby's suffering is, frankly, irrelevant. So is viability. "It's there, I don't want it to be, that's all that matters."

What we need to come to grips with is that no amount of evidence that a baby is human will make the slightest difference to the uterofascists, nor will any amount of evidence that they feel pain. These people simply don't care for anything but themselves, and can't understand why anybody else would care about anything but them, either.

And while we're on the subject, check out this from the Queen of the Pro-Life Bloggers. Can anybody honestly say they didn't see this coming?

Happy Blogiversary to me!

A year ago, I started posting everything I could think of, to an audience consisting mostly of my Lovely and Brilliant Wife. Today I can't keep up that pace (as David predicted), but at least there are a few more people reading what goes up. Thanks to everybody who ever clicked in, and double thanks to everybody who came back again!

Adre'Anna Jackson update

Remember the little girl who disappeared last December? She was in my sister-in-law's fourth-grade class. Well, they've found some remains and it doesn't look good.

More here.

Update: Yep, it's her all right.

Tuesday, April 04, 2006

A promise made is a debt unpaid...

I promised Pastor Paul last week that I'd link him, so he's in the sidebar under "Prods." Sorry for the delay!

Paul's a youth minister, and a really good one. He's kind of new to the blogosphere, but I'm expecting great things from him. Welcome, Paul!

God is good

And He has an impish sense of humor! From the divine Miss C.:
Alice Grayson was to bake a cake for the Baptist Church ladies' group bake sale in Tuscaloosa, but she forgot to do it until the last minute. She remembered it the morning of the bake sale!

After rummaging through cabinets she found an angel food cake mix and quickly made it while drying her hair, dressing and helping her son Bryan pack up for Scout camp. But when Alice took the cake from the oven, the center had dropped flat and the cake was horribly disfigured. "Oh dear, there's no time to bake another cake."

This cake was so important to Alice because she did so want to fit in at her new church, and in her new community of new friends. So, being inventive, she looked around the house for something to build up the center of the cake. Alice found it in the bathroom -- a roll of toilet paper. She plunked it in and then covered it with icing. Not only did the finished product look beautiful, it looked perfect!

Before she left the house to drop the cake by the church and head for work, Alice woke her daughter Amanda and gave her some money and specific instructions to be at the bake sale the minute it opened at 9:30, buy that cake and bring it home. When the daughter arrived at the sale, she found that the attractive perfect cake had already been sold. Amanda grabbed her cell phone and called her Mom.

Alice was horrified. She was beside herself. Everyone would know, what would they think? She would be ostracized, talked about, ridiculed. All night Alice lay awake in bed thinking about people pointing their fingers at her and talking about her behind her back.

The next day, Alice promised herself that she would try not to think about the cake and would attend the fancy luncheon/bridal shower at the home of a friend of a friend and try to have a good time. Alice did not really want to attend because the hostess was a snob who more than once had looked down her nose at the fact that Alice was a single parent and not from the founding families of Tuscaloosa, but having already RSVP'd she could not think of a believable excuse to stay home.

The meal was elegant, the company was definitely upper crust old South and to Alice's horror, the CAKE in question was presented for dessert.

Alice felt the blood drain from her body when she saw the cake, she started, out of her chair to rush to tell her hostess all about it, but before she could get to her feet, the Mayor's wife said, "What a beautiful cake!" Alice, who was still stunned, sat back in her chair when she heard the hostess (who was a prominent church member) say, Thank you, I baked it myself."

Alice smiled and thought to herself, "GOD is good."

Catholic Carnival XXIII is up

Release the pigeons! Let the festivities begin to festiviticize!

Monday, April 03, 2006

Mea Culpa, Kyrie Eleison, and Hosanna

(Note: Once again, I'm recycling a column I did for a local Christian magazine, mostly aimed at an Evangelical readership. So if it's a little elementary for Catholics, that's why. Since tomorrow is the last Catholic Carnival we'll be having before Palm Sunday, I thought I'd dust it off and run it one more time.)

I’ve always found it a little odd that Palm Sunday falls during Lent. Palm Sunday is the celebration of Christ’s triumphal entry into Jerusalem, a time to rejoice, whereas Lent is all about mourning our sinfulness. Until recently, I chalked it up to coincidence. Lent ends at Easter, and Palm Sunday is a week before that, so I figured it was just the way the calendar worked out. This year, though, I’ve come to think it fits perfectly.

First, a little background for those who aren’t familiar with the liturgy:

Anybody who has ever been to a Catholic Mass, or to a liturgical Protestant service, will know that the liturgy begins with a Penitential Rite, a generic group confession of sin. (In the Mass the prayer of repentance is called a “Confiteor,” for “I confess.” I don’t know what other denominations call it.)

In the Confiteor, we say, “...I have sinned through my own fault...” (emphasis mine). The old Latin form said, “Mea culpa, mea culpa, mea maxima culpa,” or “Through my fault, through my fault, through my most grievous fault.” It’s repeated to make the point that the confession is our own. We can’t pin the blame on somebody else. And it’s through my most grievous fault. It’s not a minor thing, it’s not shared; my sin is a big deal, and it’s all mine.

After the confession comes the Kyrie Eleison, which is Greek for “Lord, have mercy.” It’s a simple prayer, usually, acknowledging the saving power of God, and goes something like this:
Priest: You were sent to heal the contrite: Lord, have mercy.
Congregation: Lord, have mercy. (Or “Kyrie eleison;” either form may be used)
P: You came to call sinners: Christ, have mercy.
C: Christ, have mercy/Christe eleison.
P: You plead for us at the right hand of the Father: Lord, have mercy.
C: Lord, have mercy/Kyrie eleison.
P: May almighty God have mercy on us, forgive us our sins, and bring us to everlasting life.
C: Amen.

So what does all this “I confess” and “Have mercy” have to do with Palm Sunday? Well, let’s look at how Palm Sunday started.

The scene was Jerusalem, during Passover week. Jesus was famous, loved, acclaimed. Hordes of people turned out to welcome the Messiah, the King, to His capital city. As He rode into the city on a donkey, the people threw palm fronds in his path and shouted “Hosanna!” which means “Save us!” They loved Him, and were ready to follow Him when He set up His kingdom.

Now, I don’t know about you, but if I had been in Jerusalem on that day, I probably would have been out there with palms, too. I would have been swept up in the hoopla. But the tide was about to turn.

We all know the story from here. On Thursday night, Jesus was arrested, and the crowd that had acclaimed Him as their king four days earlier was now shouting for His death. Now, we’d all like to believe that if we had been there, we wouldn’t have wanted to see Him crucified. No, sir! Not me! I would have recognized Him as the Savior, and I wouldn’t have shouted “Crucify Him!”

But that’s hooey, and I know it. If I’d been there, I would have followed the crowd. Why? Because I’m a sinner. I would have been guilty of crucifying the Lord, of killing God, just as those people were. And I couldn’t have blamed it on the crowd, or on the heat of the moment, or any of that. Mea maxima culpa. Kyrie eleison.

I would have watched as Jesus was beaten into an unrecognizable pulp. I would have called out for Barabbas to be released. I would have wanted nothing more than to see Jesus die. Christe eleison.

Even if I’d been one of His followers, I would have run and hidden. Peter was a better man than I am, I’m sure, and he chickened out. I have no doubt I would have, too. Kyrie eleison.

And He died alone, only one disciple and His mother still with Him. Shout “Save us!” to a Man Who couldn’t even save Himself? “Hosanna?” Yeah, right. What a joke.

But on Sunday, only a week after He entered Jerusalem to a throng of fair-weather supporters, He proved that He really was the king we had taken him for, and then some. He rose from the dead, walked out of the grave, and showed the cowards and turncoats like me that He had the power to save not only Himself but the whole human race. Now we see all three phrases together. I have rejected Him, through my most grievous fault. I come crawling back to Him, although I don’t deserve another chance. “Lord, Christ,” I say, “have mercy.” And I know now that He really is the Savior of the world, and I can say with less pride and more honesty, “Save us! Hosanna!”

And on Palm Sunday, it makes more sense than ever to remember that Christ came to save us, even though we had sinned deliberately and shamefully. He will “have mercy on us, forgive us our sins, and bring us to everlasting life,” if we only ask for it. Our “most grievous fault” is no match for His mercy. And in the midst of the penitential season of Lent, that’s worth rejoicing about.

Sunday, April 02, 2006

Yes, our quiver runneth over. Wanna make something of it?

Check out the shirt my mother-in-law got for Christina. Kind of sums up what we keep telling people. Even Catholic friends who know we take it seriously can't understand why I haven't had the middle-aged snippage done. Might save us a lot of breath explaining ourselves.

I have to admit I have a little fun playing up to the stereotype of Catholics as people who reproduce like rabbits on crank. Ours is a blended family (she had three, I had two, now we've had two more), so we didn't actually build up this tribe from scratch. But now that we've got them, we might as well enjoy having out-spawned the Brady Bunch. Take that, culture of death!

(By the way, no baby yet. Yesterday was the official due date; now she's on borrowed time. At this rate, the stubborn little cuss might be ready for a driver's license before she comes out.)