Friday, September 29, 2006

T-ShirtHumor.com

Does this ever happen to you? As you assemble your new look for fall, never underestimate the importance of the correct accessories. (Right, Sal?)

Thursday, September 28, 2006

Playing Priest

I used to play priest as a boy. I had an altar in the living room, and I'd cover a set of books with a "chalice veil" made of a table napkin. My chasuble was a homemade quilt. Two pals next door from the local Church of Christ, who had no idea what was going on, were my altar boys. To this day, I see grown-ups playing priest all the time. No, not just on a boat on the river in Pittsburgh. They can be found in virtually every parish in America.

They're called "communion ministers."

(Have I told this story before? Oh, who cares, it still works.)

"I'M JUST HERE TO HELP OUT."

Since I relocated to the DC area in 1980, I've moved from one part of town to another, so I've belonged to eight Roman rite parishes in all that time. All of them but one used lay people to assist as Extraordinary Ministers of Holy Communion. (Did I get the title correct?) And only one of them ever called upon me to do so.

Just lucky, I guess.

And even that circumstance was only due to my being a paid sacristan on staff, and my duties required the careful handling of the Sacred Species at one time or another. So I would have asked for it anyway. But it was during that experience that I learned, for all their pretense, of how unaware people could be of what it was they were handling. I saw the Precious Blood poured into the sacrarium (a practice that ended on my watch). I saw the ciborium being passed from one to another in the choirloft, with people partaking of the Body of Christ with all the reverence of a bowl of potato chips.

Then it got really weird...

Over the years, I've been asked by a priest or a bishop to assist at Communion while serving for him at the altar. I'd get down on one knee and ask for his blessing, and proceed reluctantly. Once I had to stop a woman from dipping the Host into the chalice. "Madame, that is not done. I will explain after Mass." When the time came, she was a good sport. Got lucky there too.

I used to be more or less sympathetic to the idea. As if the above were not enough, several other things turned me around.

First and foremost, was the people who normally do it. Not that there's anything wrong with them. It's just that you get the feeling that it's a lark, a thing to do to "make lay people feel involved." Especially when there just has to be one no matter if only a few dozen people show up, or if four or five priests show up. I have this permanent image of the clean-cut looking fellow in the dark suit who used to hang around the sacristy with that I'm-just-here-to-help-out look on his choirboy face. To think he could have been out helping to park cars. One parish I belonged to put out a call for volunteers, and I made the mistake of signing up. I asked only to take communion to the sick, knowing that this was less popular (and less conspicuous) than putting on the dog in church. Perhaps it was a blessing from the Almighty that I never heard from them again. The people at this parish were really bad at returning calls anyway -- the priests, the staff, the volunteers, on down the line. Something in the holy water, I think. Or in the rectory.

But back to my fascinating story. In the course of writing this piece, I went out on a limb and did some homework.

THAT WAS THEN, THIS IS NOW

First of all, historically, extraordinary ministers of the Eucharist are not unheard of, and not just in times of emergency. Every Catholic school alumnus over the age of fifty remembers hearing the story of St Tarciscus, the Roman boy who was delegated to carry the Eucharist to a remote location, and when stopped by some local pagan boys, refused to disclose what he was carrying, so they roughed him up to the point of death. Some claim that Tarciscus was a deacon, but it is more likely that he was what we would now call an acolyte or subdeacon (inasmuch as he was a mere youth). Through the centuries, deaconesses carried to Eucharist to sick women, and abbesses were delegated to administer the Eucharist in their communities in the absence of a priest, especially in the Eastern churches. Even in the present day, a bishop of an Eastern rite church has been known to delegate a layman to assist in administering Communion, usually a seminarian or diaconal candidate.

The document which officially laid down the guidelines for this practice in the Latin rite was Paul VI's 1973 document Immensae Caritatis. An interesting provision was the order of preference for candidates, in the absence of sufficient priests, deacons, or installed Acolytes: "The fit person... will be designated according to the order of this listing (which may be changed at the prudent discretion of the local Ordinary): reader, major seminarian, man religious, woman religious, catechist, one of the faithful -- a man or a woman." Contrary to what a certain pastor in the Virginia suburbs has led his parish to believe, there is no strict preference for men over women, as a female Religious or catechist could conceivably be chosen over a noncommissioned or unconsecrated male. (Besides, guys who think they're "by the book" should try reading it once in a while.)

More recently, there was a 1997 document Instruction On Certain Questions Regarding The Collaboration Of The Non-Ordained Faithful In The Sacred Ministry Of Priest, which said that among "certain practices... to be avoided and eliminated" was "the habitual use of extraordinary ministers of Holy Communion at Mass." Now, "avoided and eliminated" would seem like saying "no" means "no," right? But the American bishops' conference decided that the implications of an unambiguous term had to be studied by a special committee. Nine years later, we're still waiting for the results.

MITRE AND CROOK

But while we're waiting, I have pondered what I would do with the phenomenon were I ever to be made a bishop -- which, in another set of life circumstances, would be a great idea.

First, upon taking possession of the cathedral, I would (along with a list of other things, the subject of yet another tirade) direct to be given a list of all the extraordinary ministers of the diocese. I would then accept the eventual resignations of all of them. While that is taking place, an assessment would be made by my liturgy office (headed by a "smells and bells" kinda guy, and an impeccable Latinist) of the approximate number of communicants at all parishes. I would issue a call for service among installed Acolytes (normally found among seminarians and diaconal candidates), male and female Religious, other seminarians/diaconal candidates, catechists, and parish nurses or other pastoral health care workers -- in that order. They would all be interviewed by me personally, and be commissioned by me personally, to a term of three years, renewable at my discretion. These would be the only non-clerics commmissioned to assist with Holy Communion under any circumstances. If the lines were slow enough to get the pastors whining about it, the resident priests and assigned deacons would be expected to assist at all Masses.

They would be vested. Men could wear either cassocks with surplices, or (particularly if serving with women) albs. Women would wear veils, or mantillae, or other appropriate head covering.

Oh, then there is one other thing. The whole idea of something being scheduled is that it becomes regular, therefore ordinary. If they show up, they expect to be employed. Since the function we are discussing is, by definition, EXTRAordinary, those assigned to a parish would consider themselves "on call" for a particular Mass. That is to say, they may be used, or they may not. They would be told if they are needed once they arrive at Mass, by which time it has been determined whether there are enough priests and/or deacons available. Besides, they were gonna come to Mass that weekend anyway, right?

If this policy made the administration under both Species difficult, such administration would be expendable, and would be limited to those special occasions called for in the General Instruction of the Roman Missal. This leaves aside the notion of drinking out of a common cup as a disgusting habit under any other circumstances -- no doubt a reason its practice was eliminated in centuries past.

There are those who would say that this threatens the role of the laity in the Church. I suppose it would, if the administration of the Blessed Sacrament were actually the task of the laity. There is nothing in the two millenia of Church teaching and practice, including any document of the Second Vatican Council, that would even remotely support this claim. There is, then, no threat to the role of the laity.

There are others who would say that it would be much simpler to eliminate the practice altogether. In response, one should point out that a critical function of a bishop is to teach. That being the case, to end such a widespread practice requires a re-catechizing of the faithful. This is more easily accomplished by facing the issue up front, and laying out the bad news, as opposed to burying it on the grounds of what would appear as personal perogative. Now, one might disagree with the subtlety of this approach. But I submit that the result would be the unmistakable impression, that not just anybody could do this, but those for whom it is a component of their existing apostolate. In other words, the Eucharist is meant to be touched by the hands of one who has received Holy Orders; that is, a priest or a deacon. Further, the exception to that provision are precisely that -- exceptions. In time, the use of extraordinary ministers of Holy Communion would be seen for what they are -- extraordinary, therefore unnecessary. This bishop (who cannot very well be everywhere at once) would then be reasonably certain that those clerics under his obedience were sufficiently focused on the task at hand on a Sunday morning.

But most important, it wouldn't be a game. Some things in this world were never meant to be.

Tuesday, September 26, 2006

I don't wanna brag, but...

...mwbh is coming up on a whopping ten thousand (10,000) hits since inaugurating the SiteMeter counter on its fourth anniversary. (See right sidebar below "My Back Pages.") Now, if I can figure out the lucky soul responsible for turning it over to the next digit, they get a prize.

Well???

Nun of the Above

Here's a question going around the Catholic blogosphere today, one that involves a study in contrasts. The first picture is from a meeting of the Leadership Conference of Women Religious, the so-called "progressive wing" living the spirit of Vatican II.



The second is from a new order established in Michigan, The Dominican Sisters of Mary, Mother of the Eucharist, a so-called "traditional" order presumedly stuck in the Dark Ages that were the 1950s or before.



The question is: which demonstrates the future of the Church? One is still hanging in there after all these years. The other has more years upon which to be hanging.

You do the math.

Monday, September 25, 2006

Clinton v Wallace: Smackdown Central

For those who missed The Finger Wagging That Shook The World on Fox News Sunday, our Pinay Jersey Girl Michelle Malkin provides analysis on today's edition of Hot Air's Vent. Allahpundit goes into further depth, including transcripts, THE video, and an answer to one of Clinton's in-your-face claims. Not to be outdone, TCRNews gives what appears to be some opposing analysis -- which in turn appears to be worth appearing to defend Clinton. (Say it isn't so, Steve!)

Crescent Moon Revisited

"Reminding people of the 'devil' afar distracts attention from the 'devil' within." -- The Discalced Yooper

A Centennial Moment

Today is the one-hundredth birthday of the Russian composer Dmitri Shostakovich, who died on August 9, 1975. Any records of that era would have shown him as having been born on September 12, which reflected the Julian Calendar still followed by Russia at the time. His life, including his complex relationship with the Soviet government, is chronicled by Wikipedia, as well as the British site mfiles.

"Don Jim" Was Here

This is a large, Spanish painting at St Charles Seminary in Philadelphia, with the new priest giving his first blessing to his mother after having sung his first High Mass.

Father Jim Tucker, author of the weblog Dappled Things, was the celebrant for the Old Latin Mass at St Lawrence yesterday. A colleague and I had the honor of serving him at the altar. (Sal couldn't get over how young he was. It can happen.)

Anyway, in today's entries, the good Father draws our attention to an animated history of imperial conquest in the Middle East. "I wonder about the last second's speculation about an 'Iranian Empire.' The other 89 seconds are very good, though." Uh-huh. My personal favorite is "The Caliphate" taking over southern Europe. Recent comments from their Islamic descendants might be construed as an inkling to give it another shot. (Ya think???)

Friday, September 22, 2006



I really don't get anime. Can someone please explain how such disparate characters could have hooked up in one situation, other than some post-apocalyptic thing?

Oh, and an essay on the enduring power of heavy metal wouldn't hurt either.

At least he didn't sign up with MySpace...

053006-needham-cardinal-up.jpg

The Archbishop of Boston, Sean Cardinal O'Malley, has a weblog now. So reports the Boston Globe. After all the hoopla for two days (and the usual suspects getting their two cents worth in), he posted his first entry. One gets the distinct impression of his humility, which would have explained his reaction to getting "the red hat" (like he didn't know that was gonna happen when he took over Boston). Other than that...

Well, Your Eminence, maybe we should include you on the St Blog's roster, being a Cardinal and all that. But remember, starting one of these things is easy. The hard part is keeping it going. We don't need any more reprints of sermons around here, I can tell you that. But I can tell you what we could use, and that's somebody telling us just what the h@&& a bishop does all day. You're off to a decent start; just go with it. I guarantee an avid readership -- and, if you're not careful, an increase in sympathy for the mess you're stuck cleaning up after.

But most important, try not to make it look like someone else is writing it for you while you're off getting your picture taken.

We can tell.

We'll stay tuned; you stay in touch.

Wednesday, September 20, 2006

There Oughta Be A Law

Thankfully, there is, and the average Joe can probably find it, according to today's entry at REFDESK:

"FindLaw is the highest-trafficked legal Web site, providing the most comprehensive set of legal resources on the Internet for legal professionals, businesses, students and individuals. These resources include Web search utilities, cases and codes, legal news, an online career center, and community-oriented tools, such as a secure document management utility, mailing lists, message boards and free e-mail."

This site is not a legitimate substitute for competent legal representation. But persons contemplating renegotiating child support, planning their estate, or determining their civil rights in matters of housing and elsewhere, will find this a valuable resource.

Tuesday, September 19, 2006

Whistlin' Dixie Revisited

Okay, so you've read the previous piece on Gregorian Chant, and you're chompin' at the bit to infiltrate your parish with what Vatican II intended all along...

Remember one thing: this doesn't happen overnight. Expect to spend as much as a year in collaboration with others, before even setting foot inside the parish church with the likes of this. In some ways, singing in unison is a greater challenge than singing in harmony, as many voices must synchronize as one voice. Not as easy as it sounds.

And another thing: if you're not going to do it right, don't do it at all. I've had a part in such efforts that were half-baked from the get-go, usually because the pastor's "full support" was little more than lip service, as well as the misperception that a casually celebrated Mass in the vernacular can persist in remaining casual with the introduction of plainchant.

In the meantime, you'll want a primer on reading and singing Gregorian chant. Our friends Arlene and Jeffrey have come to the rescue again, with an earlier piece from Crisis magazine entitled "An Idiot's Guide to Square Notes." Download that sucker and give it a good read.

While you're doing that, you will have already ordered your educational material in the mail. The late Doctor Theodore Marier devoted his life to the preservation of Gregorian Chant in the post-conciliar era, before it was the post-baby-boomer-type-kewl thing to do. With the collaboration of the good Sisters at the Abbey of Regina Laudis near Bethlehem, Connecticut, an excellent tutorial with recorded disc has been produced. "A Gregorian Chant Master Class" is available to order from their website.

Monday, September 18, 2006

That Ain't Whistlin' Dixie

In the past year, mwbh has reported on the rumored decree of a "universal indult," by which the Holy Father would decree the unlimited use of the 1962 Missale Romanum (the "Tridentine Mass") by anyone who desires it. First it was gonna happen by Easter, then by October, as part of a post-synodal exhortation on the Eucharist. Now the latest word on the street is pushing it toward November, albeit still as part of a larger document explaining Pope Benedict's overall schema for the future of the Roman liturgy.

If you're like most people, you simply assume that in order to restore the sacred to your parish liturgy, the Pope has to do nothing less than use a big stick to whack your bishop/pastor/liturgical-know-it-all-in-residence on the head. As much as the profit margin might be for selling tickets to such an event, it's not that simple. Nor is it necessary. Just ask anyone whose ever been involved with genuine liturgical preparation -- as in choral rehearsals or training for altar service, as opposed to the usual busybody crap -- and is honest with themselves.

In other words, you don't have to wait for the big stick.

Last month's issue of Crisis magazine had a great piece on starting a chant schola, entitled "How to Start Your Own Garage Schola." It was authored by Arlene Oost-Zinner and Jeffrey Tucker, who have been doing some great work down in Ala-Good-Time-Bama with the Saint Cecilia Schola Cantorum. A more detailed outline of establishing a plan of action can be found at their website, entitled "The Blueprint: Sacred Music in Your Parish."

One more reason "I wish I was in Dixie."

Darkness 'Neath A Crescent Moon

Columnist Joseph Sobran writes of how, seventy years ago: "Hilaire Belloc reminded his readers that only Islam had ever come near to destroying Christian civilization and that it had done so fairly recently (while the English were settling in America); and he warned that it might yet revive and renew its assault."

The recent comments of the Holy Father that have inflamed the Muslim world were, in part, the quotation of a 14th century Byzantine emperor who said: "Show me just what Mohammed brought that was new, and there you will find things only evil and inhuman, such as his command to spread by the sword the faith he preached." Those who pledge allegiance to the faith of Mohammed should not be surprised that the Successor of Peter does not defend their beliefs or their way of life, and only a fool would believe that a conversion to keep one's head on one's shoulders can possibly equal that which comes from the heart.

The Pope has nothing to be sorry about. Those who prove the very thing he was saying do.

In a word to Muslims everywhere -- GOTCHA!!!

[UPDATE: From various sources in the Catholic blogosphere, we learn that the Holy Father did not say he was "deeply sorry," as was reported by some English-language news outlets. Rather, he was "vivamente rammaricato" or “greatly distressed" -- no doubt in response to the death of an Italian nun in Somalia, as well as to other acts of violence by proponents of "the religion of peace" against Christians. So the little troll who wrote that long and stupid comment trashing Holy Mother Church can kiss my @$$! Nobody picks on Mama at this blog. Got it, shorty?]

Thursday, September 14, 2006

Fashion:
A despot whom the wise ridicule and obey.

A king there was who lost an eye
In some excess of passion;
And straight his courtiers all did try
To follow the new fashion.

Each dropped one eyelid when before
The throne he ventured, thinking
'Twould please the king. That monarch swore
He'd slay them all for winking.

What should they do? They were not hot
To hazard such disaster;
They dared not close an eye -- dared not
See better than their master.

Seeing them lacrymose and glum,
A leech consoled the weepers:
He spread small rags with liquid gum
And covered half their peepers.

The court all wore the stuff, the flame
Of royal anger dying.
That's how court-plaster got its name
Unless I'm greatly lying.

- Ambrose Bierce

Wednesday, September 13, 2006

One Man's Oktoberfest

Contrary to popular opinion, the German custom of "oktoberfest" does not wait until October, but begins in late September.

As such preparations are underway in its land of origin, the Holy Father is currently visiting his homeland of Bavaria, the predominently Catholic region in southern Germany. Yesterday, he was a guest lecturer at the University of Regensburg, where he spoke on the subject of "Faith, Reason and the University: Memories and Reflections." It is a fascinating talk, full of reminiscing, and reflections on critical issues facing the world today. (Tip of the Black Hat to Gerald Augustinus of The Cafeteria is Closed for finding this one.)

Regensburg is familiar territory to the man once known as Father Joseph Ratzinger, as he was a professor there in the 1970s. Among his students was a young Jesuit by the name of Joseph Fessio, who later went on to establish Ignatius Press, where he continues as Publisher, and who also serves as Chancellor of Ave Maria University in Naples, Florida.

Tuesday, September 12, 2006

Going Public

Public houses. That's what they used to call them. In later years they were known as "pubs." A man could revel in the company of his brethren, and depending on their station in life, discuss the condition of the harvest that year, or engage in lively debate on political and/or philosophical issues of the day.

Back in Cincinnati, there were two such favorite places for me. One was Arnold's Bar and Grille, located downtown on Eighth Street. The other was Hap's Old Irish Pub, which was uptown in the Hyde Park neighborhood. I'd be at the former on Friday or Saturday nights when I knew the guys in the band, or the latter for similar occasions, not to mention St Paddy's Day.

Here in Washington, the idea of a friendly neighborhood pub appears to be sort of a lost cause. Oh, they have all the appearances from the outside, and the furnishings are just so. But the music from the local radio station is too damned loud, as if to expect people to get up and start the previously-scheduled Disco Swing Party. Yeah, right. And before long, the place is reincardinated as yet another coffee bar, or clothing boutique for people with arcane tastes, or another one of one too many such institutions.

The closest thing to the real thing I've seen in recent years, at least in this neck of the woods, is Chick Hall's Surf Club, a roadhouse on Kenilworth Rd in Hyattsville, Maryland. Most of the zydeco acts that appear in the DC area find their way there -- God forbid that particular musical genre should shake things up in Virginia these days! -- and life got easier there after they enacted the "no smoking" ordinance. The place has it's share of regulars, an assortment of friends, acquaintances, and comic-relief strangers who think they're more charming and better on the dance floor after a few pints (although Sal would beg to differ).

Speaking of coffee bars, I suspect they are to be the "pubs" of the future. They are conducive to good conversation, they generally don't allow smoking (and let's face it, a cigarette doesn't have the comforting aroma of a good pipe), and if they have music, it won't blow you out of the place. One such innovative establishment is the Jammin' Java in Vienna, Virginia. Were I residing out that way, I suspect I'd drop in more often.

If any of my DC area readers wish to contribute an endorsement of a favorite haunt, they are free to do so here.

Don't all respond at once.

Aftermath Plus Five

Around the blogosphere...

Irish Elk has a number of tributes and reminisces. Mr Sullivan is always good for this sort of thing.

Dawn Eden was a Red Cross worker near Ground Zero that day. She gives two accounts; one of Planned Barrenhood's bizarre response (after all, while the buildings are falling around them, women are gonna be lining up for abortions, right?). She also provides a guest post in a similar vein entitled "Choice 9/11."

"Don Jim" Tucker recalls a 2005 Popular Mechanics article devoted to "9/11: Debunking The Myths." One of those half-baked theories is that the Pentagon was not hit by a passenger jetliner, but by some sort of projectile secretly launched by our Government, in an attempt to provide a pretext for invading Iraq. This would be news to at least one captain in the Arlington (Virginia) Fire Department of whom I'm aware, who had to go into the wreckage that day, to discover the bodies of passengers still strapped to their seats. He and many of his brothers-in-arms had to undergo counseling afterwards in the face of witnessing such carnage. It wasn't for risking their lives for a figment of the imagination.

That is not stopping at least one inhabitant of the Catholic blogosphere from perpetuating this theory, among others. In so doing, if only with respect to what occurred at the Pentagon, he calls into question the good character and integrity of those brave men and women in my adopted hometown, who at one time or another, were there when I needed them.

I take this opportunity to plead with this gentleman, to cease and desist from perpetuating this nonsense. He knows who he is, and where to find me.

Monday, September 11, 2006

"They live in chaos, and chaos can't sustain itself."

Nine Eleven Plus Five


Video clip courtesy brain terminal.

In the days that followed the tragic events of September 11, 2001, the stories that begged to be told filled the airwaves and inundated the cable news channels. Among them was an interview by CNN's Larry King, of the man who built the securities firm known as Cantor Fitzgerald, which was based in the Towers. But it obviously wasn't the business for which he mourned. Here was a man who had a vision, and had the cameraderie of those who worked alongside him, to create that which would be larger than themselves, something that would be a testament to their labors, and provide for the well-being and security of their families. But here in this interview was a man who had lost all who were dear to him, his faithful comrades. How could he face these families who lost their loved ones; indeed, how could he face his own?

1213.jpg

Among those who worked shoulder-to-shoulder with him, who shared in this vision, was the senior vice president and chief financial officer, Jeffrey Grant Goldflam, forty-eight years of age, from Melville, New York. Goldflam was in the Towers at the time they fell, and is among the list of 2,996 people confirmed dead.

For this writer, little can be ascertained about the life of this man. But someone, one Robert Kayton, was kind enough to leave this testimony:

"When I was in college, Jeff gave me a ride home to New York City when I really needed one. He was really easygoing and friendly and helpful. I did not really know Jeff -- except for those five hours I spent with him on the way home to New York City. I got to know Jeff a little in those five hours riding home, and I could tell he was a really good guy. I never forgot the time I spent with him and a few other students going home that day. I would run into Jeff on campus and he always said hello. That was almost 30 years ago, but I never forgot that trip I took home with Jeff (at the wheel). We all had such a good time. We even stopped and had lunch at a restaurant -- as though we had all known each other for years. We all had such a good time joking around about college and life in general. It was the most enjoyable ride home I ever took. That's why I remember it. Jeff went out of his way to make everyone feel welcome... I hope his family is doing okay, but I do not think any of us are okay after Sept 11th."

No, I don't think many of us will be. This testimony closes with a poem from the one who loved him the most, Rise Goldflam:

Jeff, my love, my life....
we miss you so very much.
you are forever in our hearts.
your strength and love carry us through each day.
we will never be the same without you.
thank you for the love, wisdom, and honesty
you shared with us.


+ + +

The above was prepared in cooperation with 2996, a collaboration of volunteer bloggers who are paying tribute to victims of 9/11, under the kind direction of D Challener Roe. At 9:37 this morning, this writer will join his fellow-employees in the center lobby of the Federal building where he works, in the shadow of the White House, for a moment of silence.

We will never forget...

Friday, September 08, 2006



This week, as part of our Moment of Whimsy to end the working week, we introduce a series of alternate endings of recent films, courtesy of YouTube, and some guy named Daniel Baxter. Never heard of him. He's never heard of me either I'll bet.

We begin with a proposed scenario for Superman: The Movie. Save me the aisle seat...

Wednesday, September 06, 2006

Top Ten Revisited

Yesterday we featured CNN's Kyra Phillips because of that little accident in the little girls room, right? Well, not to be outdone, ScrappleFace has come up with a top ten list for CBS's Katie Couric, who according to the report, asked viewers what would be a fitting closing line to her nightly broadcast, which premiered last night. Walter Cronkite had "and that's the way it is." Dan Rather had "Courage." Here's a selection for the latest fresh face of the MSM:

10. “Well, there’s 22 minutes of your life you can never get back.”
9. “News pH balanced. We report. You admire.”
8. “I hope to see you tomorrow night, because all I see tonight is the TelePromTer.”
7. “I’m Katie Couric, and that’s the way it is at the DNC.”
6. “That’s the news and I mean it. Does anybody want a peanut?”
5. “I’m Katie Couric and this is one sweet gig!”
4. “If you stand up for a few minutes now, you won’t get so many sofa sores.”
3. “Now you know what to think. But you don’t really have to.”
2. “Why read the news online when I get paid millions to do it for you?”
1. “What makes a muskrat guard its musk?”


Smile, Katie.

Tuesday, September 05, 2006

While I was out...

• I was in Johnstown, Pennsylvania over the weekend. There will be a separate piece on that experience later today, tomorrow at the latest.

• By now, newswatchers know about the whole Kyra Phillips thing, where the CNN reporter was overheard conversing in the little girls' room while her microphone was on. There are three links here that relate to the snafu: first, the clip of President Bush's press conference where the conversation was overheard; second, a transcript of the conversation with (huh???) analysis; and third, Ms Phillips comes clean on CBS's Late Night with David Letterman. Good girl.

• A priest in Texas is moved to share the following: "On the Titanic, a group of three musicians decided to remain on the ship playing their beautiful music as the ship went down. They could have jumped ship with many of those who were able to get into the life boats, but they decided to remain and keep playing their music. They remained and played 'Nearer to God to Thee.'"

• If I had more time, I'd comment on the untimely death of Steve "Crocodile Hunter" Irwin yesterday. But Larry King will be talking about him tonight, and you can e-mail your questions in advance.

Friday, September 01, 2006

T-ShirtHumor.com

My computer experience appears to have come down to the above for the moment.

The Macintosh G4 at home crashed on Wednesday night. Attempts to run a diagnostic with Norton Utilities have failed, as the computer won't recognize the disk. Then I put in another one for the upgrade to 10.4, and it recognized that, but it won't locate the startup drive. So unless I can get my hands on the latest version of TechTools in the next week, It's either a service call, or salvage the hard drive for data recovery and move on.

I start school next month at the Art Institute. The class is "Intermediate Scripting Languages," and it involves code, and since I haven't done serious coding in over a year, the next few weeks are gonna be a crash course.

And speaking of moving on, Sal and I are headed to Johnstown PA today for the FolkFest, so we'll be bringing you a full report upon our return. Comments submitted may lie dormant for a few days unless I can get brief access while I'm up there. Then again, maybe I can cut the umbilical cord for once, eh?

Stay tuned, and stay in touch.