Friday, December 31, 2004

Archpriest Victor

Today I received a letter from my pastor, the Archpriest Victor of Holy Trinity Cathedral. The cancer has spread from his lungs to his bones. He has lost his voice and he is unable to serve anymore divine services. It must be horrible to be a priest but be unable to sing the liturgy. Please pray for him and his family.

A blog worth reading

Wonder how the worlds largest democracy, with the worlds largest civil service is responding to disaster? Wonder no more.

In other news, I went to spend my Nordstom giftcertificate today. Not one pair of shoes in my size (8 1/2 EEE or 9 EEE), not one shirt in my size (20), not one pair of slacks in my size (46), not one jacket in my size (56R). It was very diapointing. So I used the giftcard to buy sterling silver cuff links and brass collar stays. I had just enough left over to buy the little boy a hand made candy cane.

Thursday, December 30, 2004

Global Warming

Hmmmmm. When I was a kid of about 6 or 7 I remember hearing warnings about global cooling. Now this: Snow in the United Arab Emirates So, come on, alarmist groups, whats it gonna be? I have a wardrobe to buy. Sheesh!

Cue the music..."Young man, there's no need to feel down..."

Right Thinking Girl has posted this story on her blog that just screams out for a Village People soundtrack.

So, lets all sing it together, and hey, remember to do those fun Y-M-C-A arm movements.

Young man, there's no need to feel down
I said young man, pick yourself off the ground
I said young man, 'cause you're in a new town
There's no need to be unhappy

Young man, there's a place you can go
I said young man, when you're short on your dough
You can stay there, and I'm sure you will find
Many ways to have a good time

(Chorus)
It's fun to stay at the YMCA (rpt)
They have everything for young men to enjoy
You can hang out with all the boys

Young man, are you listening to me
I said young man, what do you want to be
I said young man, you can make real your dreams
But you've got to know that one thing

No man does it all by himself
I said young man, put your pride on the shelf
And just go there, to the YMCA
I'm sure they can help you today

Chorus

Young man, I was once in your shoes
I said, I was down and out with the blues
I felt no man cared if I was alive
I felt the whole world was so jive

That's when someone came up to me
And said young man, take a walk up the street
There's a place there called the YMCA
They can start you back on your way

It's fun to stay at the YMCA (rpt)
You can get yourself clean
You can have a good meal
You can do whatever you feel

Wednesday, December 29, 2004

Rain, Mom Update, and a few other things

I'm sure people in the eastern half of North America, or almost anywhere else in the world think this is strange, but we citizens of the Golden State know that water is worth a lot more than gold. Next to the amount of money in the Lotto jackpot the information we all want to hear from the media is the level of the snow pack in the Sierra Nevada range. Everyone over 35 remembers the drought of the mid 1970's.

The rainy season in Northern California is October 15 - April 15. Until this week week we have had only one or two days of rain. Most of the rain guages around the state are well below average. The resevoirs have been going down instead of up. I was getting worried that next summer we might have drought conditions. But in the last few days we have had record rainfall. Right now as I look out the window of my office, I see that the pool is overflowing. Three days ago it was a foot low. Some sewer systems were pushed past the breaking point today and some parts of the Bay and the Ocean have been polluted. We've had more rain fall in the last 3 days than fell in all of October and November. But the important thing to watch is the snow on the Sierra Nevada range. Is it deep or shallow. Is it wet snow or dry snow. Is it dense or loose.

I hope these storms don't drop all their water here, close to the coast. Or in the central valley. (As long as I am on the topic of the Central Valley, I think it is horrible the way the orchards and vinyards are being ripped up to build ugly tract house in a vast suburban sprawl. I hate suburbs. And I don't like air conditioners very much, either.) They need to make it to the mountains. The snow pack will make us or break us next summer.

My mom is still in the rehab center. They are going to put her in traction and try to wean her off some of the narcotics. The side effects of the narcotics are pretty gruesome. There is a fear that the drugs are causing the smooth muscle of her digestive tract to atrophy.

For those who are interested in such things, as I write this I am listening to a recording of Dean Martin singing "Baby, It's Cold Outside"

This is still excellent. James Brown, look out.

Amount of time it takes a two year old to make 6 different colors of Play-Doh into an amalgamated grayish brown: 1/2 hour.

All of you who make an issue out of the "pagan origins" of Christmas should read this.

It has been more than a year since I wrote this:

"I heard about dance halls in Texas in the 1890s-1950s. They were big square barn like buildings with benches around the outside walls, a refreshment stand outside, and wood floors for dancing. They were the kinds of places whole families would go to on a Friday night. Square dances, circle dances, two steps. Warm nights, fiddles, and cold beer, the weak flavorless kind, Texans drink. Kids would run around outside, see adults interact with each other, run around between the dancing adults, fall asleep under the benches, learn to dance, hang out with adults. It sounds like such a great idea. I wish there were some way to bring that kind of thing back. But television is heroin that kills communities. Getting people out of their houses, away from "Survivor" and their video games is not easy. Square dancing takes effort. Teaching children to be social is difficult. Much easier to turn on TV in the parents room, turn on X-Box in the kids room, segregate communities by age, and get fat. When I was a kid I was in a denomination that at one time opposed television. I am not sure why people in that denomination opposed television, but at one time they were also opposed to movies, and bowling alleys. They ended the opposition to movies and television before I was born. They hung onto the prohibition on bowling until I was a teenager. I don't know what evil they saw in bowling, and I don't know what they saw in television of the 1950's; but I see the fruit of television today: a decline in reading, a rise in vulgarity, increased sensuality, rampant violence, inability of youth to pay attention to weighty matters, and the loss of Texas family dancehall culture. It is my understanding that the Coupland Dance Hall is one of the last. If you find yourself in Texas and want to waltz, you better stop by. Who knows when television will kill it."

I've been thinking about ways to counter the effect of television, air conditioning, and suburbs on our communities. Finally, an idea came to me that I think might work.
In Laura Ingalls-Wilder's book "The Long Winter" the people of her town form a literary society. It has nothing to do with a literature but everything to do with people getting together to be entertained by each other. After thje Third Day of Christmas Party it occured to me that there is no reason whjy we can't have our own literary society. We'll have to think up a name, and a program for the first meeting, and send out an announcement. I think this is going to be a lot of fun.

Tuesday, December 28, 2004

4th Day of Christmas

I have been having such a wonderful Nativity Feast! The services have been sublime! During the services I think I heard chanted every prophecy of the Lord's coming. But I noticed that Gen 3:15 had not been read. Then, on Christmas Morning, during the Liturgy of St. John Chrysostom, I heard it in poetry. I do not remember the exact words but it was something like: "Rejoice, O Eve, your sin has been undone by the one born of the Virgin" I loved it. And then right after comunion the letter from Metropolitan Herman was read. In general, his letters seem to me to be pretty boring. But this one moved me to tears. Then as the Cross was being venerated, and while the Prayers of Thanksgiving were being read people in the Cathedral began exchanging kisses and presents and exclamations of "Christ is Born! Glorify Him!"

Last night was the 3rd Day of Christmas Party. Because of intense weather (floods in much of the Bay area) we didn't know if any one would come. But 12 brave souls made it. We had a grand time of it. My wife's Godmother, Matushka Elaine brought a wonderful little children's book that tells the story of the song "Good King Wenceslas". (FYI a good site for western saints in the Orthodox Church is "Orthodox England".) After I read the book to everyone, my friends Jeff and Frances joined me in singing the song in three parts. (I was the narrator, Jeff was the king, Frances was the page.) My great nieces Ava and Adi hung out in my son's bedroom most of the night, playing with toys they had never seen before.
Athanasia made beautiful little cards upon which were inscribed the names of Christmas songs. Everyone had to draw a card and then pantomime the song until the rest of the group guessed what it was. It was much fun.
Jeff played the guitar and we sang many songs. My sister, Rebecca read the story of the writing of "Silent Night" and we all sang that song. I played "I saw Three Ships" on the Soprano Recorder and everyone sang along. We sang "Wassail", "Joy to the World", "Jingle Bells" (Frances played the bells for this one), and others.
The eggnog was yummy. (Dear readers, if the only eggnog you have ever had is store bought eggnog you have been deprived of great joy. Go now and find foryoursef the "Joy of Cooking" egnog recipe and play with it until you have found the tast you like.) I've made better mulled wine, but many people had second and third helpings. Athanasia's ham was amazing. Someone brought a platter of shrimp, and several people brought fancy deserts and candies. My boss came. I was very happy about that, and she seemed to have a good time. Irene (the little boy's godmother) brought a fabulous dessert wine from Russia, and read the story of St. Nicholas saving the three girls from a life of prostitution. Champagne and hot cider flowed like water. The smoked trout and salmon both were much enjoyed. Even Father David drank the eggnog!!!

Our little house was very nicely decorated thanks to Trader Joe's. One of the cool things about being Orthodox is that we do not decorate our houses for Christmas until the Fast is over, and that is not until Christmas day. So, on the way to church on the morning of the Nativity, Athanasia and I stopped at Trader Joes and loaded up the car with a Christmas tree, a bunch of wreaths, holly boughs, ivy, and poinsetias. We got it all for free because it was about to go in the dumpster. I love it! So, now we keep our house decorated until the Feast of the Circumcision of Christ, and then we get ready for Theophany on the 6th of Jan. I totally love the Church Calendar.

Bad news: Father Victor has tumors in both lungs. Bishop of Berkeley and and all the priests in the deanery are going to do the mystery of Holy Unction on him Jan. 9. Please pray for the Archpriest Victor.

Chrst is Born! Glorify Him!


Friday, December 24, 2004

Christmas Eve

Bought: a lot of smoked salmon, a 25 lb. ham, panatone
Services: liturgy of St. Basil this morning, Festal Vigil tonight.
Round trips to SF: 2
Trips to rehab center to visit my mother and sing carols to her: 1
Number of different Christmas ties worn: 2
Number of loaves of cranberry-orange bread baked: 20

Still to do today: make salmon mousse, wrap two presents, go to bed.

Thursday, December 23, 2004

Last Night and Happy Festivus

Last night the little boy and I went to church, forgetting that the service had been cancelled for lack of a priest. But we had a nice drive up to SF. I took a different exit off of the freeway than I normally take, so instead of driving through the civic center, I drove by PacBell Park, Union Square, and the Theater District.

Going through Union Square reminded me of this passage from "Of Water and the Spirit" by Fr. Alexander Schmemann:

"The Fall of Man is the rejection by him of this priestly calling, his refusal to be a priest. The original sin consists in man's choice of a non-priestly relationship with God and the world. And perhaps no word better expresses the essence of this new, fallen, non-priestly way of life than the one in which our own time has had an amazingly successful career, has truley become the very symbol of our culture. It is the word consumer. After having glorified himself as homo faber, then as homo sapiens, man seems to have found his ultimate vocation as consumer. And there are people today who see in the defense of "consumer's rights" a bright and heroical vocation! Do we have to prove thjat this "ideal" is simply excludes the very idea of sacrifice, the priestly vocation of man? It is indeed the sad achievement of our age - quite honest in this - that it proudly affirms what preceeding civilizations tried, however hypocritically, to conceal. But the truth is, of course, that the "consumer" was not born in the 20th century. The first consumer was Adam himself. "

In addition to that, today is Festivus. So get your greivences ready. Feats of Strength start at 7:00 p.m.

Wednesday, December 22, 2004

Christians - Oh, yeah, we're uneducated idiots.

I'm sure everyone reading this blog already knows about Andy Rooney's remarks at Tufts University's Fletcher School, that we Christians suffer from a ""a lack of education. [We] haven't been exposed to what the world has to offer."

Hmmmm. Andy, we have seen the world and and felt the death that resides therein. When a smart person smells plague he is cautious about what he touches, what he breathes.

As for Christians being uneducated, I'm shocked that you think that. I won't go into a long list of famous smart Christians as proof that you are wrong in this. Others have already done that. But I do want to point out that the the famous physicist Nikolai Bogolyubov is an Orthodox Christian. (All the lists of famous Christian Scientists usually only include Roman Catholics and Protestants.) With the Jew Matest Agrest, he established an underground theology and Hebrew seminar in the heart of the Soviet Union's nuclear laboratory. (The laboratory had the spooky Cold War name: "The Insatallation". )

So, instead listing a bunch of smart Christians of I'll just direct your attention to this story about the religious beliefs and practices of medical doctors, people who as a class have reached the pinnacle of the educational experience.

The story makes reference to a study conducted by the Louis Finkelstein Institute and HCD Research Inc. that finds:

72% of medical doctors in America believe that religion provides a reliable and necessary guide to life.
58% attend worship services at least once a month.
46% believe prayer is very important in their lives.
37% believe the miracle stories in the Bible are literally true.
73% believe miracles can happen today.
67% belive the Bible was either written by God or inspired by God
67% encourage their patients to pray. Of those physicians, 5% did so for God to answer their prayers, 32% for psychological benefits and 63% for both reasons. 33% did not encourage their patients to pray.

(Editors/Reporters: For more information on the poll, please contact Sherry Kirschenbaum via email shkirschenbaum@jtsa.edu. )

Poor Andy. And I mean that. I'm not being sarcastic. He has been blinded, or even worse, has blinded himself so he can pretend God does not exist.

Oh, okay. Here is a list of noteable scientists who are Christians:
William Phillips -1997 Nobel Prize in Physics
Roy Rustum - The leading materials scientist in the U.S.A.
Francis Collins - Head of the Human Genome Project
Oh, I should give a shout out to my friend and co-parish member, Dr. Karen Relucio who is working on treatments for HIV/AIDS at Stanford University.
There are more, but I have a real life to get to.

Christ is coming! Prepare!

Winter Pascha

Well I wasn't sure I was going to get it done, but I finished Fr. Hopko's "Winter Pascha". Essentially it is a comentary on the various liturgical texts an Orthodox will hear in church from the Feast of the Apostle Phillip in at the start of the Fast in mid-November through the Meeting of the Lord on the second of February. (Is that when candles are blessed?)

There was a notable exception to this commentary-on-liturgy motif; Chapter 11 deals with the repose of Fr. Alexander Schmemman. Also, Chapter 10 is a short biography of St. Herman of Alaska, whom we celebrate during the Nativity Fast.

The book, in addition to helping me better understand the things I hear in Church, also helped me know some people better. For instance, I have read St. John Chrysostom's homilies, and I knew he died in exile. But I didn't know he was surround by so many supporters who are also canonized Saints. The same is true of Ss. Basil and Gregory the Theologian.

The odd thing about my experience with this book is that I was mostly dispassionate while reading it, but when I got to the last chapter and looked at the Incarnation through the eyes of St. Simeon I was so moved I could barely see the page for my tears. But the chapter went on, and Fr. Tom reviewed all the things revealed to us over the course of these Winter fasts and feasts, and all of those things are really one Person, Jesus. And it was almost more joy than my body could bear. O, if I am overwhelmed by a little ink on a page how will I ever be able to see my Lord face to face? I will melt.


Tuesday, December 21, 2004

Meat

When in San Francisco, one should consider buying meat at Bryan's.

Bryan's Quality Meats
3473 California St, (Laurel Heights) San Francisco - Phone: (415) 752-3430
My favorite: your best bet for all meats and sea foods. Call ahead for those special orders (crown of lamb, bones, marrow, etc.).

I just ordered our Christmas ham (whole ham, bone in). I'll be picking it up just before Church on Christmas Eve.

Grades & Pictures

I got my Fall quarter grades yesterday. Straight Bs. Brings my GPA down a little but, heck, if "Cs earn degrees" Bs are better.

I have a new picture blog. I'll occasionally put photos there. I'll always reference them here. The first picture I'm putting there is a picture of my Aikido Class. Can you find me? (Thanks, Mateo, for directing me to image shack)

Monday, December 20, 2004

St. Ignatius

Today the Church remembers Hieromartyr Ignatius, Archbishop of Antioch (He succeeded St Evodius of the 70 who who succeeded St. Peter.) He is especially dear to me. I can not begin to tell of my love for him. St. Ignatius lead me to the Orthodox church through his letters to the churches.

St. Ignatius was a disciple of the Apostle John and might have been baptized by the Apostle Peter when the later was in Antioch. He wrote several letters to various churches during his transport to Rome where he was fed to beasts in the arena.

There were sevral things in his letters that impressed me:

1) His love for the people to whom he was writing
2) His confidence that his impending marterdom was pleasing to God
3) The tone of his letters - To the churches in his region he spoke as a father. To St. Polycarp the senior bishop in another area he spoke as a brother.
4) The very well defined roles of the various ranks of clergy. Even stating that where there is no Bishop and no council of Priests there is no Church.
5) His insistence that he was still learning how to be a disciple.

Yesterday and Today

The little boy and I went to church yesterday. (Cyndi stayed home. She has to study for her real estate exam on Jan 5) I wanted to get there before before the liturgy started so I could go to confession while the reader was praying the Hours. But, the drive from San Jose to San Francisco is a long one and I walked in the door just at the end of Hours... And saw the Bishop of Berkely standing in front of the Altar.

Yesterday's Gospel was Matthew's geneology of Jesus. Now here is why I love Orthodoxy. When I was kid growing up Protestant it really bothered me that the geneology of Luke did not match the geneology of Matthew. When I looked this problem up in books I was told that it was a minor discrepancy and that St. Matthew edited the geneology to make memorization easier. That never sounded right to me. Yesterday, Bishop Benjamin explained the situation. I love how the church tradition, time after time, answers all the questions I had as a Protestant.

After the Liturgy Fr. David heard my confession, the little boy helped blow out the candles and lampadas in the temple, and we went down stairs to the hall for lunch.

After lunch, we walked back to the car and passed a holly bush. I explained to the little boy that that was the bush we sing about the song "The Holy and the Ivy". Then he wanted to see ivy. Oh, well. The thirst for knowledge is unending.

When we got home we took a nap and then Cyndi and I visted my Mom in the hospital. They have had to double the Oxycontin. She said surgery has been scheduled for the 23rd. But I'm not sure she knows things right now.

This morning, lots of fog. The little boy had three bowls of Kashi Golean. (It's the best breakfast cereal ever.) I'm finishing my coffee (Peet's holiday blend Yum.) and listening to the St. Vlad's Seminary Choir sing the music from the Nativity Services... "God is with us! Understand all ye nations and submit yourself, for God is with us... Them that take counsel together, them shall the LORD destroy...Him will we fear...He shall be my Sanctification... through Him I shall be saved, both I and the children God has given me...for unto us a child is born.."

Well, I have to come down from this mountain. The little boy needs a bath and I have housecleaning to do. I hope all my readers have a good day.


Saturday, December 18, 2004

Harr! This be Iron William Vane's recipe for Christmas Pate

Ingredients
Smoked duck breast – 1
Duck livers – ½ lb
Lean ground pork – ½ lb
Bacon- 1/2 lb
Crushed garlic cloves – 2
Pepper corns - 1 tsp
Salt – 1 tbsp
Ground mace – ½ tsp
White wine – 1 quart
Bourbon from the English colonies up north. Puerto Riccan Rum works just as well. Harr!)– 3 tbsp

Line bottom of loaf pan with diagonal strips of bacon, me matey. Put ground pork, duck liver, remaining bacon, and smoked duck breast into food processor. Grind it up real good. Harrr! Throw all other ingredients into the food processor, else ye’r keel-hauled by the crew. And then, me matey, ye put the whole mess into the loaf pan (or a soufle of approriate size, harr!), and by Black Beard’s pistols, ye put the loaf pan into a bain-marie at 300 (farenheit). Cook until it is done. Let cool to room temperature, then refrigerate. Can keep up to two days. Serve whole on a pretty platter, garnished with prunes and orange slices. Slice up a baguette and bake the pieces to make crostini (learned this from those Venitian dogs. Harr!) upon which the pate can be spread.

It's serious, but that just makes it funnier

I was looking at the Paidea Classics website today and saw a book title that cracked me up: "A History of the Church from Pentecost to the Council of Chalcedon - For Children". It was the "- For Children" that struck me as funny.

It got me thinking about other book titles that might be produced "- For Children"

10. Canonicity in North America: Toward Jurisdictional Unity - For Children
9. Grain Production in Anatolia and the Stability of the Eastern Roman Empire - For Children
8. The Whore on the Altar: The Fourth Crusade - For Children
7. The River of Fire - For Children
6. Issues and Controversies regarding the Dual Nature of Christ - For Children
5. Value: Price Stability and the Inflationary Practices of Central Banks - For Children
4. Ultrasound Process Control for Vulcanization and Polymerization of Organic Molecules- For Children
3. New Calendar/Old Calendar: The Controversy Explained - For Children
2. Against All Heresies - For Children
1. Laboratory Reproduction of Pathogenic Viruses - For Children

Kurds and Castaways

"...the Skipper trades his fish for Ginger's decorative shells, not because he wants shells, but because he knows he can trade them for Gilligan's coconuts. The price of a commodity is its exchange ratio for the most marketable good, e.g., 12 shells per coconut. The value of the shell money is based on the goods it traded for yesterday -- since we can't know what prices will be today. Right now, the Skipper is willing to trade one of his fish for two coconuts, and he knows that Gilligan was recently willing to trade his coconuts for a dozen shells each, therefore the Skipper wants to price his fish at two-dozen shells each: enough to buy two coconuts. "

The above quote is from the best article I've read about the astounding post-invasion growth in the value of the pre-invasion Iraqi dinar. Read the whole article here.

Friday, December 17, 2004

The Company Christmas Party

I want to tell you about how cool God is. I had this company Christmas party to go to. I was thinking I would have to choose between breaking the fast and being part of the party. But no. It was at the Fish Market. I had oysters, clams, and crab! I was so happy! Also, I've needed new shoes for about a year. My black capped-toe oxfords are totally worn out. (I bought them in 1999 and wear them almost every day. Have had them resoled a couple of times.) And guess what I got from my boss for Christmas? A $100 gift certificate for Nordstrom. I already have my new two-tone wingtip oxfords all picked out!

Visited my mom in the hospital. She greatly enjoyed the audio book Athanasia and I gave her a few days ago, so we gave her another one tonight. It is the first volume of the #1 Ladies Dectective Agency series. (Find out more about this series of books in the sidebar.) Mom has been attached to a machine that interferes with the brain's ability to receive pain signals. It seems to be working. It doesn't cure anything, and she still has to take the drugs, but she seems to be getting some relief. Her kidney's are still working. They are weaning her off of the steroids in attempt to get her sugar down to a safe level. She is confident that she will go home from this stay in the hospital. I can't tell if it is real confidence or if she is just trying to comfort my Dad.

Thursday, December 16, 2004

A few days left

Okay, I'm very happy that the Nativity is almost here, but I am also sad that the fast is almost over. I feel like there is still so much work to do and I didn't work hard enough during this fast. It seems that all any of the fasts do for me is help me see my sin a little bit more clearly. But I don't think I sin very much less. Well, Great Lent starts in a few months, maybe I'll do a better job of laying the axe to the root then. God can help me.

Tuesday, December 14, 2004

Pictures, My Mother, the San Jose Police

I was telling Athanasia that I'd like to put pictures on this blog but am unwilling to spend the money. She said, "why not just post a link to some pictures on shutterfly?" I married a very smart woman. Pictures are here. I hope you enjoy them. They are of the events of Sunday night, which are described elswehere on this website.

My mother pretty much fired her cardiologist and her regular doctor and put herself in the hands of the surgeon. My mother said her cardiologist only cared about the health of her heart not about the pain she was in. He kept vetoing surgery and powerful drugs. Her regular doctor just kept doing what my mom called "half-measure cures" and seemed unable to really go after the problem. So now she is pain free. But the drugs she is taking will destroy her heart. She is meeting with the bone surgeon on Friday to decide the best way to do the surgery. No one really expects her to live. But all of her doctors thought she was going to die on Thanksgiving, too. And her blood sugar is so high she should be dead right now. Tonight, while I was visiting with her in the hospital she told me what she wants done at her funeral.

When I got home from the hospital tonight, at about 10:30 I saw a very loud drunken party across the street. They kept screaming. And singing along with very loud Flaco Jimenez tunes. One man urinated in the front yard. I called the police. A little while later four officers arrived. One was carying a shotgun. I couldn't hear most of what they said, but I heard one of them say, "I'm giving you an opportunity .... will be quiet...not disturb your neighbors....come back here tonight you'll ... the county jail...judge tomorrow morning" That was some good policeing. Big show of force, clear statement of expectations, communication of the consequences for not meeting those expectations. All is calm. All is mild.

Monday, December 13, 2004

Yesterday and King Michael of Romania

Yesterday morning the little boy and I took breakfast to my Dad. That evening was my Dad's birthday party. Athanasia and I took him out for Chinese food, and then to the convalescent hospital (The sign out front says it is a "Rehabilitation Center" but it looks like a convalescent hospital. ) dining where my brothers and sisters and some of my parents friends celebrated Dad's 78th birthday.

After the party I drove my dad back to his house. Then Athanasia, the little by and I drove to Palo Alto where we walked up one side of Fulton Street and down the other. We were there late at night, about 11 pm, so there was no car traffic. It was just we three walking down a beautiful street in the middle of the night. As much as the little boy admired all of the lights and decorations, I admired the little 1930's tudor revival houses. I just don't understand why builders don't build more houses like that.

When we got home we did evening prayers and got the little boy to bed, Athanasia began to knit for a little while, and I read to her.

Also, and I don't know how I missed this, King Michal of Romania (the last living annointed Orthodox monarch) received the Patriarchal Cross from Patriarch Teoctist in October. Some say that when he dies the anti-christ will appear. I have no idea, but I tend to dismiss all theories about the appearance of the anti-christ.

And, finally, today is the day of St. Herman. Father Herman, your American flock flees to you for protection. Intercede with Christ our King for your land and its people, peace for the world and salvation for our souls!

Saturday, December 11, 2004

Passions

"When we wish to call the passions by a common name, we call them the world. But when we wish to distinguish them by their special names, we call them passions. The passions are the following: love of riches, desire for possessions, bodily pleasure which comes from sexual passion, love of honor which gives rise to envy, lust for power, arrogance and pride of position, the craving to adorn oneself with luxurious clothes and vain ornaments, the itch for human glory which is a source of rancor and resentment, and physical fear. Where these passions cease to be active, there the world is dead ... Someone has said of the Saints that while alive they were dead; for though living in the flesh, they did not live for the flesh. See for which of these passions you are alive. Then you will know how far you are alive to the world, and how far you are dead to it." - St. Isaac the Syrian

I didn't go to church tonight. Had some presents to wrap, a mother to visit, Athanasia had cakes to bake. Can't go to church tomorrow. Have breakfst to take to my Dad. But I can still work on defeating the passions. It isn't easy. Usually, they defeat me. But I can still try.

Fruited Molasses Balls (Sharing the goodness)

Every Christmas of my life until I was 12 years old and moved to Florida, I went to my Aunt Nettie's house. She always had these amazing cookies set out for us. A few days ago I called my Aunt and asked her for the recipe. Here it is below.

FRUITED MOLASSES BARS
1/2 CUP SUGAR , 2 EGGS, 1 CUP MOLASSES,1 CUP SOFT BUTTER, 2 CUPS FLOUR, 1 TEASPOON SALT, 1/2 TEASPOON CINNAMON, 1/4 TEASPOON SODA, 2 CUPS CHOPPED NUTS, 1 CUP RAISINS, 2 8OZ PACKAGES CHOPPED DATES. CREAM BUTTER, SUGAR, AND MOLASSES, THEN ADD EGGS, THEN DRY INGRIEDENTS. STIR IN DATES NUTS AND RAISINS. GREASE LARGE BAKING DISH AND BAKE AT 350 FOR 20 TO 30 MINUTES. CUT IN TO BARS WHILE WARM, WHEN COOL, ROLL IN POWDERED SUGAR.

There is only one change. In my memory, the bars are spooned into hands and rolled into balls about 1 and a half inches in diameter before they are rolled in the powdered sugar. Stack them on a plate like cannon balls.

(Thanks, Aunt Nettie. I'll be making these to give to the people in my parish after liturgy on Christmas.)

Aikido, Gingerbread, Suffering

"Long periods of well-being and comfort are in general dangerous to all. After such prolonged periods, weak souls become incapable of weatheringany kind of trial. They are afraid of it. Yet it is a fact that difficult trials and sufferings can facilitate the growth of the soul. I know there is a widespreadfeeling that if we highly value suffering this is masochism. On the contrary, it is a significant bravery when we respect suffering and understand what burdens it places on our soul."-- Alexander Solzhenitsyn (Today is Mssr. Solzzhenitsyn's birthday)

Yesterday, I was trying to say something like this to my Dad. He has been so negative. I was really surprized by it. But I shouldn't be surprized by it. I was raised in that Pentecostal/Charismatic "theology" which is pre-occupied with "getting the victory", receiving blessings (usually in the form of a trouble-free life), and always being happy. Just think "PTL" or Benny Hinn without the conspicuous wealth. So, when my Dad says "I just don't understand why God would let His servants suffer like this" I know where it comes from. It comes from a lifetime of a deficient theology that ignores verses like 1 Peter 1:7 and James 5:10.

How is my Mom? The pain in her shoulder is much reduced but the steroids are causing her blood sugar to go through the roof. Last night her blood sugar was at 600. Most people slip into a coma around 500. So, it looks like she won't be able to stay on the steroids. On Monday she will get a shot directly into the nerve that is supposed to anesthetize it.

While I was taking my Aikido final (a very grueling 2 hours. Every muscle in my body is aching today.) last night, Athanasia and the little boyvisited my mom in the hospital. After wea all got home, Athanasia and the little boy made ginger bread angels and ginger bread teddy bears for my sister and my Dad. We got the little boy into bed about 11 pm. (Way way too late.) then Athanasia knit Christmas presents and I rolled yarn into balls for her until about midnight.

It was a good day.

Friday, December 10, 2004

WOW! amazing things.

Okay, update on mom: I moved her from the hospital to a convalescent hospital today. She will be there for one week. The shoulder pain is caused by two pinched nerves in her neck, the result of spinal surgery she had in the 1970s. Treating it with steriod shots. It seems the kidney failure and cariomegaly was her body's response to the terrific pain.

Update on my dad: In all the worry about my mom, he forgot to take his blood pressure medicine and his potassium. Result: Sky rocketing blood pressure and racing irregular heart beat. It almost scared him to death. I had to spend the night with him last night.

Now: Off to class to take my lat exams of the quarter.

Thank you all for your prayers. They have helped.

Thursday, December 09, 2004

Recent happenings

The physicians say my Mom does not have cancer. That's good news, but they still do not know what she has. I am continually amazed at her good cheer. The little boy and Atanasia visted with her in the hospital while I was taking my Clinical final. My Mom enjoyed the visit.

The math final was hard. I worked on one problem for 1/2 an hour before I realised that I had the right answer in five minutes. I knew the answer had to be a real number, but for some reason I got it into my head that the answer was supposed to be an integer. So I did the problem 5 or 6 times using different strategies each time, that expressed the value in different ways. Finally, I re-wrote the problem and realized all my attempts to solve it were correct but my understanding of what I was looking for was wrong. I worked on the exam from 7:45 to 9:45. It seemed like only 5 minutes. I left three questions unanswered. It was all that wasted time on that one problem that killed me. Oh well, it was a 200 point exam and those three questions were only 8 points each.

The contractor who has been slow in getting his part of the remodlw done just told me that he can't finish the job. So now I have to ring in another contractor, and reschedule the carpet installers and the painters. This is costing the owner of the property a fortune.

We just fed a couple of handfuls of pine nuts to the squirrel that lives in the tree outside our door. I think it likes us. I pray for her sometimes. I worry that a cat will catch her.

As soon as the Sun sets, the little boy and I are going to go for a walk and look at all of the Christmas lights.

I am so glad my Mom does not have cancer. I hope the doctors figure out what is wrong with her and are able to fix it.


Wednesday, December 08, 2004

Update on my mom and other things

Today we are supposed to find out exactly how bad it is. The doctors have already decided to operate in an attept to relieve pain. They say Mom will probably die during surgery. But she will definately die without surgery. The pain is causing her blood pressure to rise to extremely dangerous levels. The amount of morphine she is taking is lethal, but still the pain is unbelievable. I know it must be intollerable. Her whole life she has been sick but I have never heard her complain. Not when she underwent heart surgeries, not when her neck bones had to be fused, not when her foot was broken, not when she was diagnosed with dibetes, not when she began to lose her sight. I just can't imagine the pain that now makes her cry out in agony.

I've been in communcation with my priest. He reminded me that because of the resurrection there is no more death. I've felt much better since reading his message. It is startling to me, but it shouldn't be, how a priest can speak into your soul and dispell illusions.

I took my chemistry final last night. I did very well. However, I did forget the the formula for the Ideal Gas Law. Thankfully, I only needed it for 2% of the questions. The exam took me 1 hour, 42 minutes. Today I have final exams in Clinical Procedures (3 p.m.) and Math (7:45 p.m.) Friday at 8 p.m is my Aikido final.

My siblings cancelled the annual family Christmas party on the 12th. My and Athanasia's 3rd Day of Christmas party is still happening.

The little boy is having a lot of fun. He loves Christmas decorations. All we have up is a sible pine wreath (Gift from sister-in-law. She said "I made a Solstice wreath for you. But you can call it a Christmas wreath if you want.") but all of our neighbrs have lights and garlands. The funny thing is that our first neighbors who put up decorations are very devout Hindus.

On the eve of St. Nicholas Day I delivered cigars to my brothers. The little boy put both pairs of his shoes and his slippers outside. In the morning he found candy in them.





Monday, December 06, 2004

Saturday, December 04, 2004

Singing Songs

Athanasia, the little boy and I have been having a lot of fun in the envenings. We've been singing Christmas songs. Some silly, some sappy, some stupid, some serene, some sage. An interesting thing to do is comparing the events of the Nativity as recorded in the Bible with the events of the Nativity as reported in songs such as "I Saw Three Ships" and "O Little Town of Bethlehem". But the Christmas song par excellence is It's a Marshmallow World. (It helps one to sing this song if you can imagine a tumbler of whisky in your hand, and Dean Martin, Shelly Winters, Buddy Hacket, and Frank Sinatra singing along with you. Or maybe all one needs is a real tumbler of whisky.)

In other news, we finally got the invitations to the Third Day of Christmas party designed last night. They are being printed today. Hopefully, we will get them in the mail on Monday or Tuesday.

The little boy and I are going to Christmas in the Park in Downtown San Jose today. It is your typical faux victorian village. But it is a nice way to get out of the house.

Friday, December 03, 2004

The Holy Prophet Zephaniah (Excerpts)

Well, today is the day of the Holy Prophet Zephaniah. Try reconciling this with
"Merry Christmas, Baby"


"Wail ye inhabitants of Maktesh [re: the place where the Jerusalem marketplace was located]; for all the merchant people are cut down, all they that bear silver are cut off." (1:11)

"The great day of the LORD is near, it is near, and hasteth greatly, even the voice of the day of the LORD; the might men shall cry there bitterly. That day is a day of wrath, a day of trouble and distress, a day of waste and desolation, a day of darkness and gloominess, a day of clouds and thick darkness, a day of the trumpet and alarm against the fortified cities, and against the high towers. And I will bring distress upon men, that they shall walk like blind men, because they have sinned against the LORD; and the blood shall be poured out like dust and their flesh like the dung." (1:14-17)

"Sing, O daughter of Zion! Shout, O Israel! Be glad, and rejoice with all the heart, O daughter of Jerusalem. The Lord has taken away thy judgements, he hath cast out thine enemy; the King of Israel, even the LORD is in the midst of thee. Thou shalt see not see evil any more. In that day it shall be said to Jerusalem 'Fear not'; and to Zion 'Let not thine hand be slack'. The LORD thy God in the midst of thee is mighty; he will save. He will rejoice over thee with joy. He will rest in his love, he will joy over thee with singing." (3:14-17)


Thursday, December 02, 2004

This day

My mom is still in quite a bit of pain. They won't give her morphine for home use so she is on Oxycontin (sp?). I understand their reasoning but it makes me nuts. I am not happy about U.S. drug laws. God gave us morphine and it is the best pain killer we have but.... Well I'll get off this horse now. I'm happy she can at least have the oxycontin.

Today is the last day of academic instruction. Studying up on chemistry. While the little boy is snapping I'm enjoying a stein of Duvel and a fine Nicaraguan cigar.

Athanasia said she wants to have a smaller 3rd Day of Christmas party than we had last year. I'm fine with that. Last year was was Way way way too many people.

One contractor is messing up all of my carefully laid plans for the apartment remodel.

I got the go-ahead from the owner to re-plaster the pool. Unfortunately, it devestated the landscaping budget. Oh well.

Tuesday, November 30, 2004

Surgery: Needed but not possible (and other things)

They sent my mom home from the hospital. All of her doctors agree that surgery is needed but none is willing to go forward. An operation and she would not get up off the table. Surgery to fix her shoulder would put too much stress on her heart. Not fixing her heart puts stress on her kidneys. Solution? Drugs to help the heart and kidneys. (they won't cure but might keep problems from getting worse.) Drugs for pain in shoulder. She is also going to be living with severe limits on her physical activity. I don't know if she can tollerate that. But I thank God, and all of the holy unmercenary healers who prayed for her that her kidney function has been normalized.

In other news, Athanasia (Cyndi wants to be known by her baptism name from now on) lost a cashier's check for a tenants deposit yesterday. We prayed to St. Amborse, St. Athanasia, St. Jude, St. Herman, St. Patrick, St. Nicholas, and St. Matthew. God heard the prayers of his servants. The money was found this morning.

I just registered for the winter quarter at school. I wasn't able to make the chemistry class I need to take fit into my schedule. I'm a little bummed by that. It really sets me back. But I am going to be able to take enough units to keep getting financial aid. So, you want to know, what is the schedule?

Trigonometry Mon & Wed 6-8:10 p.m.
Statistics and Probability Mon & Wed 8:20-10:30 p.m.
Hematology Tuesday 2:30-8:10 p.m.


Reaching out

People who have forgotten what church is about are doing "outreach".

Update

My mom is still in the hospital. Kidney function is returning. She is still in much pain. Morphine is not working very well. Many tests. Still no diagnosis. They can not give her diuretics to get rid of water because of her kidneys not being able to function properly. That means they have to limit her water intake to about 20 oz. per day. That includes the water she gets in food. Her mouth is so dry. She is so miserable.

I went to math class tonight and was surprised to be taking an exam! YIKES! These last few days have got me totally off-schedule. I didn't do very well. I forgot the formula for discovering the value of "K". And that really sucked because I needed to know the value of "K" for about 20% of the problems.

Much work here at the apartments. Doing a major remodel of one of the units. Dealing with many contractors. Big hassles. Still can't get one landscaper to give me a bid for what I want done. They always include a bunch of stuff I don't want. All I want are australian tree ferns and a few sword ferns. But i keep getting bids for ferns and irisis, ferns and ivy, ferns and lantana, ferns and jasmine.... I think I'm just going to wait until this school quarter is over, and then I'll have the time to plant the ferns myself.

The little boy reached the light switch today for the first time. It was shocking. I can not believe how fast he is growing. I asked him today if he is going to be a giant. He said that he is.

Saturday, November 27, 2004

My mom

My mom has several new health problems now that are responsible for her current hospitalization:
Cardiamegally - cause unknown.
A sticky heart valve.
Kidneys that are only doing 30% of their job - This is caused by about 25 years of diabetes.
Scar tissue in her lungs that impares her vascular function - Caused by the flu she had two weeks ago.

In addition to these new problems are dibilitating artharitis in her spine, diabetes (which is causing her to slowly go blind.), high blood pressure, anemia, clogged arteries, bi-pedal neuropathy, and a few other things. She has born all of these diseases without complaint and good cheer.

It doesn't look good. Her doctors (5 of them) are in disgreement about how to treat her. Every option pts her at great risk.

Good news: I got to go to confession tonight.

Thursday, November 25, 2004

Thanksgiving

3:30 pm My brother-in-law read the Thanksgiving Proclamation from 1789
3:33 pm I read the 13th ode of the Akathist to the Lord Jesus "Glory to God for All Things" (If I remember the name correcttly.) followed by the Our Father.
3:36 pm We began eating.
3:39 pm My mother said she couldn't pass the gravy.
3:43 pm My mother said she couldn't bend to the table (I noticed that her face looked swollen.) so we moved the table closer to her.
3:45 pm She got up from the table to sit in a rocking chair. She looked worse.
3:50 My Dad and I took my mother to the hospital.
10:30 I came home from the hospital. My mother is still there. The physicians do not know what is wrong with her. They think she might have had a heart attack. They know her kidneys are not working. Her lungs are full of fluid. She is in horrible pain. She has received all the morphine she can have that is consistant with human life but she is still in terrible pain.

Where is death's sting? Its right here in my heart. For several years I have been watching my mother die. It is horrible.

Tuesday, November 23, 2004

Give Me Oil For My Lamp

Some of my Roman Catholic friends have discovered Huw's blog via Mama Fred's film review at NRO. They write to me, "Matt, do you read this guy?" I say "Read him, Heck! He's my son's Godfather."

This just in from the childhood memories department.... When I was a little boy, 2nd-5th grades, I went to Vally Christian School. Every Wednesday we had a chapel service. During that chapel service we sang...

Give me oil for my lamp keep me burning for the Lord
Give me oil for my lamp, I pray.
Give me oil for my lamp, keep me burning, burning, burning.
Keep me burning 'till the break of day.

Of course, being little kids we also asked for "wax for my board" (for surfing till the break of day), gas for my Ford (for truckin'), and a bunch of other suff.

Today, I ran out of oil. Really. Now that I am Orthodox I keep a lampada lit all the time. It is infront of the Icon of Christ Pantocrator in my kitchen, right next to the shelf of cook books. I usually have to tend the wick and replenish the oil 2 or 3 times a day. But this is Advent so I haven't bought any oil in while. Today I ran out. It reminded me of the song, above.

Back then, I thought all I had to do was ask for oil and I would keep burning till the break of day. (e.g. the Lord's glorious and terrible second comming.) Little did I know that keeping a lamp burning would require such constant attention and planning.

When my friend Chris was Baptised on Sunday, the priest told him that he has now entered into war against Satan; he will experience little else but hard work from now till the judgement. While I was listening to those words I thought of the Church in the catacombs, hiding and surviving in the Roman Empire, under the heel of the Muslim, during the bloody days of the Communists. And I remembered that Yes, God is our Savior, but he saved us not to relax on the beach, but to storm the beach. To move from the beach to the bluffs. To move inland into enemy controlled teritory, to assail the gates of hell; to lay the axe to the root of the sin in my life. God isn't on vacation. Neither am I to be on vacation. I'm a co-laborer with God. He doesn't do it all for me so I can kick back with a Pina Colada with my toes in the water. He doesn't tend my lamp for me. He expects me to tend my lamp and be ready when he comes. I'll have to go buy more oil.

But I also have a house to clean in anticipation of having people over for thanksgiving. And a bucnch of homework to do. (Papers for Chemistry and Clinical Procedures.) I'm glad the quarter is almost over.


Saturday, November 20, 2004

Wine, divorce, cinnamon

The day started out nice. Slept in till 7. Cyndi left to go get some papers signed. While she was gone I cleaned the bathroom and the kitchen. Then, I made gluvein (but just one big mugfull. It morning after all.) for me and mulled apple cider for the little boy. It was cold so we both needed something hot inside us. We sat on the porch and drank it. Breakfast for me was tuna sandwiches with dijon mustard and olive oil. The little boy had cinnamon toast. We were out of gound cinnamon (the little boy poured it down the sink last week) so I had to grate some cinnamon sticks. The little boy helped me and we had a good time doing it.

I wrapped the books I bought for my older boys (the one's who don't talk to me) and readied them to mail with their Thanksgiving greeting cards. The little boy asked who they were for.
"Your brothers."
"Billy and Devon?"
"Yep."
"Where are my brothers?"
"Far away."
"What are they doing?"
"I don't know"
"My brothers coming here?"
"I don't know."

(Editorial: Divorce is evil. I am very happy with my life now, but a decade of misery and estrangement from my two oldest sons was a heavy price to pay for marrying against all advice received. So, let me repeat this: Divorce is evil. Avoid it by preventing it. Marry right and be humble. )

I bought them W.E.B. Griffin books. For my oldest son, 16, I bought this book. For my middle son, 15, I bought this book. Each is the first book in a series. I read both series when I was between 17 and 19. I think they'll enjoy them. I hope they do.

Well, gotta sign off now. Festal Vigil for the Entrance of the Theotokos is tonight.

Thursday, November 18, 2004

Christmas Music

I was in Barnes And Noble today. They had a display of about 50 different Chrstmas CD's. I almost bought The Brady Bunch Christmas album but I was able to resist temptation. While looking through the CDs, I noticed that it is the same songs on every CD:

Jingle Bells
I'm Dreaming of a White Christmas
Silver Bells
Silent Night
O Little Town of Bethlehem
The Christmas Song
Winter Wonderland
O Come All Ye Faithful
The Little Drummer Boy
Hark the Herald Angels Sing
Joy to the World

Less popular but appearing on several of the CDs
Rockin' around the Christmas Tree
Santa Baby
Rudolf the Red-nosed Rein Deer
An instrumental medly of three songs to which no one knows the words: I Saw Three Ships , the Holly and the Ivy, Good King Wenceslas (Regardless of what the site I linked to says, St. Wenceslas is Orthodox.)
Mary, Did you Know?
Feliz Navidad!
O Holy Night
Frosty the Snow Man
Baby, It's Cold Outside

Now I am not kidding, there were CDs from at least 50 different artists (if you count Alvin and the Chipmunks as 4) but every CD shared six or more songs with every other CD on the display shelf. It was amazingly sad. Is any other evidence required to prove that Western Culture is in deep decline, yea, nigh upon its nadir; the most amazing thing in the history of the world, that God became a man, can not inspire new music from artists, can not cause the audience to crave better music.

But having read those lists of songs, how much happier I am going to be when on December 25 I get sing these words:

"How is He contained in a womb, whom nothing can contain? And how can He who is in the bosom of the Father be held in the arms of His Mother? This is according to His good pleasure, as He knows and wishes. For being without flesh, of His own will has He been made flesh; and He Who Is, for our sakes has become that which He was not. Without departing from His own nature He has shared in our substance. Desiring to fill the world on high with citizens, Christ has undergone a twofold birth."

But before that day I have several other days. I realized today that so far, I have given more thought to Thanksgiving than to the Entrance of the Theotokos into the Temple.

Wednesday, November 17, 2004

Advent

I am so digging Advent, or Nativity Fast if you prefer to call it that. So much of it is about food. I sometimes think it is weird that ever since I became Orthodox I give so much attention to what I eat. But this morning while praying I noticed that we ask God for food even before we ask Him to forgive our sins. My personal favorite Advent meal, aside from crab, (And isn't it wonderful how crab season in San Francisco begins during Advent? More proof that God loves the people of San Francisco, even if many hate Him.) is the lunch I am eating right now: Bubbies kosher pickles, Acme sour bagguette, Haig's hummus, black coffee, and carolina cole slaw. (the slaw contains veggie oil, so ask your priest if it is okay for you.

If you are looking for recipes for this season you might want to look at this website.


Tuesday, November 16, 2004

Feast of St. Matthew (aka my name day)

Holy Apostle and Evangelist Matthew

One of the Twelve, St. Matthew became a martyr in A.D. 60 while preaching in Ethiopia. He wrote the Gospel which bears his name. He is a great intercessor.

Troparion in tone 3
With zeal, you followed Christ the Master,who in His goodness, appeared on earth to mankind. Summoning you from the custom house, He revealed you as a chosen apostle:the proclaimer of the the Gospel to the whole world! Therefore, divinely eloquent Matthew, we honor your precious memory! Entreat merciful God that He may grant our souls remission of transgressions.

Kontakion in tone 4
Casting aside the bonds of the custom house for the yoke of justice, you were revealed as an excellent merchant, rich in wisdom from on high. You proclaimed the word of truthand roused the souls of the slothfulby writing of the hour of Judgment.

Monday, November 15, 2004

Abortion

They said it would only kill little blobs of cells (aka babies) but RU486 kills women, too.

Advent Reading

I just ordrered "The Winter Pascha" by Fr. Tom Hopko. I have a conflicted opinion of him. On one hand it was a video of a lecture he gave at St. Vlad's that did more than anything to show me that the Theotokos is not an exception to humanity, but is the goal of humanity. On the other hand, it was a talk by him at Holy Trinity Cathedral about the Feast of the Entrance of the Theotokos into the Temple that made me wonder why he was allowed to be a priest. If I understood him correctly, he said something that disagreed with the literalism of St. John of San Francisco, which, to me, is the only view that makes sense. But, maybe, I misunderstood what Father Tom was saying. I often misunderstand what people say.

I also ordered "Of Water and the Spirit" by the venerable Alexander Schmemann. I read this book when I was a catachumen. I think it is time for a re-read.

So, that is my scheduled Advent reading. What are you reading during Advent?

Sunday, November 14, 2004

Weekend Update

We got a new table and four chairs yesterday. Two things happened that caused us to make this purchase: Cyndi had to set up an office in our house and we are hosting Thanksgiving dinner. Our old table, an aluminum topped plywood table from Ikea is now covered with office stff. Our new table, heavy oak, sturdy construction looks very nice in our kitchen. We found it on Craigs List. So we drove to Saratoga and took a look at the table.

The seller wanted $250 for it. I was shocked. I had looked at new tables and anything comparable, with six well made chairs would have been $800 - $1,000. But Cyndi thought the $250 was too much and insisted that we pay less. The seller and I settled on $225. I love the free market system.

Well, once the deal was struck we went to U-Haul to rent a truck. The price was $19.95 plus milage. I talked them down to $9.95 plus milage. (Ha! I love this country!) Then we drove to the sellers house got the table and brought it home. Getting that table up the stairs was not easy. It did not help any that the little boy jumped in between Cyndi and I just as we were beginning the ascent. As we reached the top of the stairs, Cydi began to lose her grip, or suffered a loss of confidence or something, and I wound up bent over with a very heavy table balanced on my upper back and shoulders. The little boy was frightened. There was much yelling. "Is he okay? Grab the table! Don't let it fall on you! Hold it! Hold it!" But everthing was oaky. When it fell it was caught by the railing and did not hurt the little boy.

By the time all was done we didn't have time to go to San Francisco for Vigil. So I went to St. Stephen's in Campbell for Great Vespers. There was a priest available to hear my confession. It was good.

The little boy has a cough. Ever since he had the flu a few weeks agoo he has been going back and forth between good healthy days and days with coughing and runny nose. I guess he got weaked by the flu and now every little bug takes advantage of him. Anyway, his cough was too bad to take him to church this morning. Cyndi stayed home with him and I went alone.

I don't know why, but I was very sleepy. I nodded off during the Gospel reading. Almost fell over. I didn't really wake up until the Creed. There is a new family at church. The husband and the son were baptised a couple of months ago. The wife is slowly being assimilated (resistence is futle.) ; she lit a candle in front of an Icon today but I don't think she is ready to be baptised. Anyway, the father had not ben there in a couple of weeks and I noticed that he and his sone were not going to Communion. I figured that he hadn't prepared and offered to take his baby up to the chalice. Wow! I had never seen two people so moved by the smallest thing. Both of the parents were so thankful that I was a little bit embarrassed. Just goes to show you that our actions often mean much more to others than they mean to us.

When I got up to the chalice with the baby the priest and the subdeacons seemed a little bit confused. I was up there with someone elses baby. The look on their faces was funny.

We have a new altar boy. He looks to be about 7. He's really cute. The stricherion is so long on him that he has to hold it up with one hand as he walks. After communion he was standing in front of the ambo while Father was reading some announcements. He sneezed on to his gold broccade sleeve. And them looked at the sleeve with a look of horror on his face. It was very funny.

Nativity fast is starting. Very happy. I've just about killed my arteries eating up all the meat and dairy these past few days. I probably have more animal fat in my blood right now than W.C. Fields had booze in his.

Well, I have math homework waiting for me. I need to get to it.

Friday, November 12, 2004

My poor parents

My dad has pneumonia. These have been three pretty bad years for them, healthwise. It is very sad.

Thursday, November 11, 2004

Chemistry and School Problems

Well, passed the chemistry test with a 78%. I ran out of time and left 6 % of the questions unanswered. But I still passed. And as we know, "Cs earn degrees."

I'm trying to put my schedule to gether for next quarter. I have three classes I have to take. I need the next class in the math series, the next class in the chemistry series, and hematology. Problem: The classes all conflict with each other. I can only fit two of the three into my schedule. This screws things up for me so badly. It pushes my clinical year back a whole year. I don't know what to do. I'm thinking about dropping out of the program. It is so frustrating.

Tuesday, November 09, 2004

A few Little Things

Just got home from school. Whew! I passed my chemistry test. I don't have the official score as I only took the test tonight, but I know I got enough questions right to pass. What a relief. I just haven't been doing enough studying. I'm still pulling As in phlebotomy and math. No idea how I am doing in Aikido. I've never taken a PE class before. I never had to do PE because of my time in the Army, colleges always credited me 5 units for PE. Consequently, I do not have a feel for how grading is done in a PE class.

I'm working on the agenda for my extended protestant family's Christmas party. I have a feeling that it is going to be my parents last christmas together on Earth.

Anyway, here is how I've put it together so far. It doesn't include food plans. Traditionally, we have curried chicken. My parents have 35 descendants (counting the spouses of their children, and spouses of grand children)

A Opening Prayer (my dad)
B The First Reading: Matthew 1:1-16 (me)
C "O Come, O Come, Emanuel" (All songs lead by my eldest brother or second nephew)
D Blessing of the Food (brother-in-law)
E The Readings during the Meal
E1 Second Reading: To Be Selected By Reader (sister)
E2 Third Reading: To Be Selected By Reader (middle brother)
F Crafts for under 7s (my wife, manager)
G Carols sung during crafts
G1 "Come, Thou Long Expected Jesus"
G2 "What Child Is This?"
G3 "Hark the Herald Angels Sing"
G4 "Silent Night"
H Opening of presents for under 12s (middle brother, manager)
I Final Reading (my mom)
J Final song: "Joy to the World"
K Closing Prayer (my dad)

Okay, I know you must be thinking that I'm nuts for planning a christmas party like this. It seems more like a church service. I suppose it is. But, I figure, that is what Christmas celebrations should be, so if I can weave a church service into a party, I'll feel like I've done my bit.

Hollywood moment on the battlefield.

While reading up on the Battle of Falujah, I came across this excellent quote in a Chicago Tribune report:

"Your mortars--they are on the freakin' money!" a jubilant Lt. Col. Will Buhl, the Marine commander, shouted around the stub of a Montecristo cigar as the 2-7's leader, Lt. Col. James Rainey, screeched to a halt in a Bradley Fighting Vehicle. (Read the whole article here.)

I am so proud of our men. They are doing such a great job. I know that some people think of war as a lesser evil. I don't think that is the correct way to think of it. I think it is a lesser good. Ideally, there would be no war, and someday that will be the case. But if many of the saints waged war, if the angels wage war, if even God wages war, how can we say it is an evil? It is, sometimes, a good response to evil.

The problems we have with war arise from the fact that fallen and sinful men are called upon to wage war, even good wars. Motives get blurred. Shooting combatants can quickly become shooting surrendering soldiers. Artillary kills combatants and non-combatants alike. War interupts commerce and destroys the means of production. Famine follows on the heels of war. This is part of the reason why war is a lesser good. War can be good because it establishes order and justice. It is a "lesser" good because it is a response to sin, and many people suffer when it is waged.

Pray for our men, not just that they will be kept safe from bullets and bombs, but that they will be protected from blood-lust, and carry out their duty efficiently and without passion. Pray for them because they have powerful weapons and are very dangerous.

Monday, November 08, 2004

Two years

Yesterday marked two years since we were taken in to the Church. They sang "Many Years" for us. We cooked for the them: Cioppino We used this recipie as a guide. But changed the fish to scallops, crabs, grouper, bottleneck clams, shrimp, and mussels - and multiplied everything by 10.

Thursday, November 04, 2004

Drizzly Day

Cold and drizzly today. Last night as I sat in my math class there was thunder and hail. We get thunder maybe once every three or four years. I don't know when we ever had hail. I know it snowed once, back in 1977.

I was 7 years old. The weather was cold and rainy, like it is today. I told my parents that I was going to pray for snow. They were worried that my faith would be damaged by an unanswered prayer, and told me I should pray for rain instead. (It was already raining!) That if it rained in the South Bay, then it would snow in Sonora, where my parents had a cabin. I said "No, God can make it snow here." Sometime in the middle of the night my mom woke me up to see the snow falling ouside my bedroom window.

The next day at school when I shared with my class that I had prayed for snow and God made it snow I thought everyone would be excited and want to know how to pray. I was wrong. The teacher then explained how snow is frozen water vapour and how no two snow flakes are alike.

I think it is so amazing that God answers the totally selfish prayers of a 7 year old boys. But, when my little boy asks for something, don't I give it to him if I can? God always can.


Wednesday, November 03, 2004

That fabulosity

Just ate my last olive. THe martini is gone. Just heard that the President has gone to bed. Still don't know who the next president is going to be. Hawaii has just been painted blue. Hmmm. A tie would be fun. If I weren't so sleep deprived and full of martini I'd try to figure out if that is possible. When was the last tie? I think it was back when grown men wore powdered wigs and velvet knee-britches. It would be cool. I'd love to see the House of Reps choose the next president.

Well, if bed is good enough for the president, it is good enough for me. Goodnight.

Tuesday, November 02, 2004

Gosh, How long is this going to take?

NPR has the EV count at Kerry-224 to Bush-249 (They still won't call Ohio until the matter of provisional votes is setteld.) Foxnews has the EV Count at Kerry-238 to Bush-269 .

Just heard the Dem's Veep nomineee (whatsh his name?) say they are going to count every vote. Uggghhh! I hope they don't try to do that tonight. Maaaybe need another martini.

I have a crack in my heel. No noit my shoe. My heel. Technically, it is a fissure. Painful. Just appeard today. Haven't been diligent in removing calouses. or maybe it is weight related. Don't know. man it hurts.

WOOOOH! HOOOOH!!!!! NPR is reporting that EVEN OREGON (can you believe it?) has banned gay marriage!!!!! WAY TO GOOOOOO DUCKS!!!! I love you, man!

I think I need a hamburger.

Election

Just got home from school. Called my Mom. (She is probably the reason I am a Conservative. Also, she is the reason I am a Christian, and though she is Pentecostal, she is the reason I am Orthodox.) She is so excited about the GOP Victory (according to most news sources Bush has 269 right now.) Listing to NPR on Streaming (they still haven't called Ohio for bush). Watching FOX News website (They've called Cuba, New Zeland and Alberta for Bush.)

Drinking a doubler martini: 2.5 oz Gilby's, 1 oz Gallo extra dry vermouth, 1 dash of bitters, shaken, poured into coctail glass, two spanish queens skewerd on my silver tooth-pick. (FYI Gallo extra dry vermouth has two advantages over all other vermouths: 1) Cooks Illustrated rated it as best vermouth in the world, and 2) it is the least expensive vermouth on the shelf. Munching on a bagguette and little pieces of fabulous cheese.

Ohhhhhh!!!!! I just heard that Daschle might go down!!!!! Truly fabulous!!!!!!

This Day

I was up till four this morning doing homework. Slept in till nine. (thats when the little boy jumped on me. Kind hard to stay asleep with a two year old jumping on my chest.) Morning prayers. Followed by breakfst of canadian bacon, scrambled eggs, toast with peanut butter and jam, coffee.

Had to deal with some plumbing problems. Read some books to the little boy. Did a little cleaning up around the property. The plumber says that to fix all the problems the right way will cost about $135,000. I don't think the owner will go for that.

The bow ties I ordered for the little boy and I arrived today. Unfortunately, there was an error in the little boys tie; I had to mail it back to the company. But the people there are so nice. It was all cleared up on the phone. They are fedexing the correct tie today.

Cyndi came home around noon and we went to the polls. She had forgtten to register so wasn't able to vote. I voted for the Constitution Party (In California : The American Independant Party.) for every office for which they were running a candidate. If no Constitution Party candidate was running, I voted Libertarian. If no Libertarian, I voted Republican. For non-partisan elections (I really hate non-partisan elections.) I voted for the person who was not the incumbant, and/or the person who was not currently a government employee. (I heed the advice of Lord Acton.) Voted "NO" on all issues put before the voters, except one to fund public libraries in San Jose; the people need easy access to the laws that govern them. All the others seemed to be written by murderers and thieves. Oh, I declined to use the electronic ballot, and voted on a paper ballot. Democracy: Better than civil war.

Even though Cyndi couldn't vote, she went in with me. We always go to the polls together. But she is a socialist so our votes usually cancel each other. The little boy went, too.

The little boy is taking a nap. I think I will join him.

Monday, November 01, 2004

What? Me worry?

In about 24 hours we will have elected a President, 1/3 of a senate, and a whole House of Representatives. I'm not very pleased with any of it, but I'm not worried about it either. My Lord is unelected.

Praise the Lord! Praise the Lord, O my soul! While I live I will praise the Lord; I will sing praises to my God while I have my being. Do not put your trust in princes, Nor in a son of man, in whom there is no help. His spirit departs, he returns to his earth; In that very day his plans perish. Happy is he who has the God of Jacob for his help, Whose hope is in the Lord his God, Who made heaven and earth, The sea, and all that is in them; Who keeps truth forever, Who executes justice for the oppressed, Who gives food to the hungry. The Lord gives freedom to the prisoners. The Lord opens the eyes of the blind; The Lord raises those who are bowed down; The Lord loves the righteous. The Lord watches over the strangers; He relieves the fatherless and widow; But the way of the wicked He turns upside down. The Lord shall reign forever-Your God, O Zion, to all generation. Praise the Lord!

Saturday, October 30, 2004

CCRM

Today I took my CCRM exam. The hardest part was the laws on evictions. But I think I did very well. I am so glad it is over. I know I passed the exam, unless I was confidently wrong. In 30 days I should get my test results back from Sacramento and then be able to apply for my certificate. But the best thing is that now I have my Saturdays back and can catch up on homework for my MLT program. Oh, speaking of the MLT program, I can do urinalysis now. Its kind of fun, as long as you don't think about what you are handling.

Its a good life if you don't tire.

Thursday, October 28, 2004

Absolute disgust

For 20 years, since the day I heard President Reagan give the Evil Empire speech in Oralndo, I have been a Republican. I gave money to the party. In philosophy classrooms I argued Locke against any professors Rousseau or Mills. I helped raise money for the Contras. I enlisted in the Army to help win the war against the communists. At cocktail parties I quoted Von Mises and Hayek in opposition to Keynes and Marx. I always believed that the Republicans were the party of Life; that a Republican President and a Republican Congress would be the end of legalized abortion in America. I always believed that the Republicans were the party of ancient Virtue; that Cato and Cincinatus would be most comfortable in the GOP. I thought balanced budgets were what the Republicans wanted. I thought Morality and Decency were what the party was trying to bring to America. I was wrong.

For almost 4 years Republicans have controlled both of the political branches of the Federal Government. This is what it has got us:

1. The national debt is greater than ever.
2. Abortion is still a legal even though, ss every eigth-grader knows, the Congress has the power to remove abortion cases from the Court's jurisdiction and override Roe v. Wade. Yet we have had a republican Congress for several years and the abortion rate is higher today than it was four years ago.
3. The Republican governor of California is trying to get the voters to approve state funding of embryonic stem cell research.
4. The Republican Congress passed a huge prescription drug benefit law (signed by the President) that robs collective Peter to medicate individual Paul.
5. Every pork barrel project known to man has been written into the federal budget.
6. We still have a graduated income tax.
7. We still have inheritance taxes.

And now the President has changed his mind on homosexual marriage.

I am through with the Republican Party. I've given them my vote in every election at every level of government since I attained of the age of majority. But no more. If Bush wins California it won't be because of my vote. I'm voting for either Peroutka or Badnarik. (I don't know which one yet.)
But as Matthew of Oregon reminds us, St Ignatius of Harbin (Aug. 3) said, "What began in Russia will end in America." So maybe, for whom I vote doesn't matter a hill of beans; The King is coming, and the time of our stewardship is drawing to a close.

Tuesday, October 26, 2004

Ties and thanksgiving

Yesterday: Mailed the invitations to Thanksgiving dinner. Our place is so small we have to limit who we invite. I hate that. In Heaven the tables will be big.

Today:Ordered matching ties for me and the little boy.

Sunday, October 24, 2004

Catching up.

Well it has been a few days since I've posted and I have a lot to write about.

I think I have come to a decision that I am going to work a little less hard at school and just accept the fact that my GPA is going to have to slip. (my GPA from many years ago was 3.78). I used to live in fear of a "B". I just don't have that much time for homework anymore. My new motto: "C's earn degrees".

Aikido is kicking my butt, rather, my shoulder. Although the instructor says I have natural ability and thinks I should train at a real dojo and not in a collge PE program, I'm not sure I want to pursue aikido. Every time I go to class I get hurt! I am very good an flowing with my opponents, avoiding their attacks, and dropping them; I am really bad at falling, which is how I keep getting hurt. I weigh 270 lbs. That is a lot of mass to have to direct into a safe fall. Oh, I still don't know about all of this "Ki" stuff, either. I think its bunk. I think it is just balance. However, I do know that when I pretend I am dropping a heavy medicine ball on my opponents chest in one technique they go down really hard. When the instructor asked how I was doing it and I told him about the medicine ball, he said most people imagine dropping the Sun (which is Ki) on their oponent but that if a medicine ball works for me, keep doing that. But I don't think that is Ki . I think imagining the medicine ball just helps me maintain balance and move more forcefully.

Went to church last night and this morning. It was good. I love it. There is nothing like getting to go to confession on Saturday and then Communion on Sunday. If I were still in advertising I'd probably write something like: Two Days! Two Mysteries! Don't miss this chance to be transformed! Bring the wife! Bring the kids! This Saturday and Sunday only! Be there be there be there!

A new member cooked the meal after church today. She also made kolyva in memoroy of her father Dimitri. (Memory Eternal!) Nice woman. Only in town for a couple of years while she goes to dental school.

Talked to Father David about helping him with a bond issue for Raphael House. They are looking at starting a for-profit real estate holding company to sustain their non-profit activities. Currently, they have a tiny endowment and are 90% current-doner-funded.

After Church today we drove south along Hwy 1 from San Francisco to Half Moon Bay. Stopped at a farm to buy pumpkins. We don't celebrate halloween really. No dressing up. No trick or treating. But it is fun to make jack-o-lanterns. Too bad about all the spooky stuff. Heard lots of stories about the origin of halloween. Don't know how true any of them are. But even if none of them are true, I don't like the celebration. I know that in my dark days I used to sin a lot on halloween. Costume parties and liquor. Bad combination. Nevertheless, pumpkin carving is fun. And it was fun being on the farm where pumpkins are grown, watching the little boy walkiing around the field, picking out pumpkins. Eventually, chose three a little larger than softballs. But he liked sitting on the big ones.

After that we drove to my sister's house in Sunnyvale for my great niece's 4th birthday party. It was a lot of fun. But the little boyu got spazzed on candy. Also, he was a little bit afraid of the pinata. But he had fun. But he was so tired that when we got home he said "evening prayers." so, eventhouugh it was still light outside we changed him in to his jammies and he went to bed.

Tonight, Cyndi made something very yummy. Two things, actually. One was Carolina Cole Slaw. The other was her own recipe. I could have eaten much more of it but I am really trying hard not to be a glutton anymore. (Pray for me?) Anyway, here is the recipe. I highly recomend it.


Cyndi's Butternut Happy Dish. (That's my name for it. She just calls it Squash and Rice.)

Ingredients:
4 cups organic chicken or organic vegitable broth
2 cups organic whole grain brown rice
1 tsp organic cumin
1 peeled and cubed (1/2 in to 1 inch cubes) organic butternut squash.
Organic raisins.

Add all ingredints (except raisins) in a large non-stick pan, cook on stovetop until rice is tender. Do not stir too much or the squash will fall apart.
At the end, when the rice is done, stir in 1/2 cup or more raisins.


I think we are going to have this on Thanksgiving, too.

Thursday, October 21, 2004

Kyoto, Kyoto, Kyoto! It always about Kyoto!

I really do not know what to think about global warming. But I do know that every socialist, and every America-hater I know (Yes, some are even my friends. Don't ask me how.) is sure it is happening and that it is the fault of human beings. This little article sheds some light on the subject. (Hint: the UN is involved.)

School, family, politics

I had a chemistry quiz tonight. The last 1/2 of the quiz had to do with molecular geometry. But in order to do molecular geometry, you have to be able to determine the number of electrons in the highest orbital. Well, that is pretty easy. In fact, except for lighting the bunson burner, it is the easiet thing in chemistry. But I totally blanked. I mean I sat there for half an hour trying and failing to remember how to do it. As soon as I turned in my quiz, and walked out the door I remembered how to do it. ARRRRRGHHHH!!!!!


Everyone in my family is over the flu. My mom came home from the hospital today. She is weak but the flu is gone from her.

Check this out. I think it is interesting that Kerry comes from the more aristocratic branch of the family.


I'm not the Patriarch of Alexandria, but if I was I'd give this guy a call and ask him to join the Orthodox.

Statement on the Windsor Report 2004 from the Primate of All Nigeria

I welcome the sincerity and hard work of those who have prepared ‘The Windsor Report 2004’. After an initial reading it is clear to me that the report falls far short of the prescription needed for this current crisis. It fails to confront the reality that a small, economically privileged group of people has sought to subvert the Christian faith and impose their new and false doctrine on the wider community of faithful believers. We have watched in sadness as sisters and brothers who have sought to maintain their allegiance to the “faith once delivered to the saints” have been marginalized and persecuted for their faith. We have been filled with grief as we have witnessed the decline of the North American Church that was once filled with missionary zeal and yet now seems determined to bury itself in a deadly embrace with the spirit of the age. Instead of a clear call for repentance we have been offered warm words of sentimentality for those who have shown no godly sorrow for their actions and harsh words of condemnation for those who have reached out a helping hand to friends in need of pastoral and spiritual care.

Why, throughout the document, is there such a marked contrast between the language used against those who are subverting the faith and that used against those of us, from the Global South, who are trying to bring the church back to the Bible? Where are the expressions of deep concern for the men and women whose witness is jeopardized and whose lives are at risk because of the actions of ECUSA [Episcopal Church of the United States of America]? Where are the words of “deep regret” for the impact of ECUSA’s actions upon the Global South and our missionary efforts? Where is the language of rebuke for those who are promoting sexual sins as holy and acceptable behaviour? The imbalance is bewildering. It is wrong to use equal language for unequal actions.

The report correctly notes that the Episcopal Church and the Diocese of New Westminster have pushed the Anglican Communion to the breaking point. It rightly states that they did not listen to the clear voices of the Communion and rejected the counsel of all four Instruments of Unity. Therefore it is surprising that the primary recommendation of the report is “greater sensitivity” instead of heartfelt repentance. Already the Presiding Bishop of ECUSA has stated that he sees no need to halt welcoming practising homosexuals into all orders of ministry! In addition, the bishop of New Westminster has indicated that same sex blessing will continue. Thus they are hell bent on destroying the fabric of our common life and we are told to sit and wait.

We have been asked to express regret for our actions and “affirm our desire to remain in the Communion”. How patronizing! We will not be intimidated. In the absence of any signs of repentance and reform from those who have torn the fabric of our Communion, and while there is continuing oppression of those who uphold the Faith, we cannot forsake our duty to provide care and protection for those who cry out for our help.

The Bible says that two cannot walk together unless they are agreed. The report rightly observes that if the “call to halt” is ignored “then we shall have to begin to learn to walk apart”. The Episcopal Church and Diocese of New Westminster are already walking alone on this and if they do not repent and return to the fold, they will find that they are all alone. They will have broken the Anglican Communion.

I am disappointed that an important report that was requested by the Primates who gathered at Lambeth Palace last October was not submitted to us for prayerful consideration. Instead it has been released to the entire world as if it were the final word on this troubling matter. However, before the next meeting of the Primates in February, I will now take it to the All Africa Bishops Conference that will gather in Lagos from October 26th-31st and we will have further opportunity to speak of the crisis created by the North American Church.We commend the future of our Communion to the hands of almighty God and the prayers of all.

+ Peter Akinola
Primate of All Nigeria
October 19, 2004

Wednesday, October 20, 2004

Update

My mom and dad are still sick. Cyndi, the little boy and I are pretty much back to normal.
School was pretty rough tonight. I think I might have failed a math test. A certain point is reached when one has written an expression in just about every way that makes sense, but none of them is really better than any of the others, so one just picks one and gives it as the answer. I'm glad the quarter is 1/2 over.

Tuesday, October 19, 2004

Bad News

Remember how on Saturday night we were too sick to take care of the little boy? And remember how my parents took care of him that night? Well, they caught it from him. This morning, at 4 a.m. my parents were taken to the hospital in an ambulance. This is such a horrible disease. No word yet on how they are doing. My sister is there with them. Please pray for them.

In other news, the little boy has an orange traffic cone. At this moment, he is using it as a megaphone and is singning the Trisagion Hymn.


Monday, October 18, 2004

Illness update

Still sick but feeling better. Cyndi is the most well of all of us. The little boy seems to be the worst case. Nevertheless, we are all doing better. I managed to eat last night. I ate a lot today.
The little boy can't get enough pedialyte popsicles. He eats one right after another. We've all lost weight. I've lost 6 lbs. I don't know how much cyndi and the little boy have lost but I can see it in them. I think God that this is almost over.

What is this all about? I have no idea. http://random.yahoo.com/fast/ryl It's easy to see what it's doing. But why? Who would want something like this? I'll not sleep now, wondering what this is for...(by the way - press refresh/reload and it changes)...


Oh, this is funny. I have a thing for this kind of 3rd grade humor. I just wish I had a list of all of the "Elephant hiding in the cherry trees" jokes.

Saturday, October 16, 2004

More sickness

I thought I was through with being sick but during class this afternoon I began feeling very badly. Now I have a fever (101.7 F). Bad pains in abdomen. Cyndi is very sick, too. Cant get out of bed. The little boy is staying with grandma tonight. No church today or tomorrow. If anyone is reading this blog before church tomorrow, please light a candle for us.

Friday, October 15, 2004

17 for the Gallows

AP reports mutiny and cowardice. Thank God the men of the Big Red One and the 101st and the free Polish Armored Brigade didn't put their personal well-being ahead of orders on D-Day. These 17 have brought shame upon the 343rd Quartermaster Company, the United States Army, and the American people.

Sickness

Up before dawn today. The little boy(oh, he told me yesterday that he in not a little boy anymore. He says he is a big boy.) has been sick for two days. vomitiing and runs. He is better now. But now I am sick. Oh, man. What a bad time for me to be sick. I think I got an A on my chemistry test last night. I have great difficulty with the instructor. Often he is not clear or consistent in his use of nomenclature. For instance, it is only last night that I figured out that when he says "common isotope", "nuclear mass", "atomic mass", "mass number" that he is always refering to the number of protons and neutrons in any given atom. His usage of these words is not consistent with the periodic table or the textbook. It has been very frustrating. Nevertheless, I think I got an A on the test. Well, I am sick and need to lay down. Oh, I can't I have the little boy to take care of.

Thursday, October 14, 2004

Wednesday, October 13, 2004

My blogging schedule

Sorry for the infrequent posts. Super busy right now. HAve tests in chemistry, clinical procedures, and math this week. Lots of homework too. was up until 2:30 this morning doing it. The little boy is having fun looking at old Martha Stwart Kids magazines while I work.