September 2017

      1 2
3 4 5 6 7 8 9
10 11 1213 14 15 16
17 1819 20 21 22 23

Custom Text

Most Popular Tags

"I don’t know which is worse: that everyone has his price, or that the price is always so low."

(Calvin & Hobbes)
"Do we walk in legends or on the green earth in the daylight?"

"A man may do both," said Aragorn. "For not we but those who come after will make the legends of our time. The green earth, say you? That is a mighty matter of legend, though you tread it under the light of day!"

― J.R.R. Tolkien, The Two Towers
Feast of Saint Bridget of Sweden (old calendar)
Victoria, British Columbia

Dear friend,

We have had technical failures throughout this trip. Always some vital piece of equipment suddenly stops working exactly when we need it to. At the moment, both GPS aquisition and playback are working, so I expect the car to quit now.

Victoria is a city in which one could spend some weeks in a different pub every evening and not near the end of it.

Unlike Vancouver which is (as we have discovered) what happened when a bunch of ex-pat Londoners attempted to build Seattle, Victoria is what resulted when a bunch of ex-pat Seattlites attempted to build London.

It reminds me, for some reason, of this quote from G.K. Chesterton:

I believe what really happens in history is this: the old man is always wrong; and the young people are always wrong about what is wrong with him. The practical form it takes is this: that, while the old man may stand by some stupid custom, the young man always attacks it with some theory that turns out to be equally stupid.

And that's all I have to say about that. Break time is over; back to work.
"The Wombat is a joy, a triumph, a delight, a madness!"

(Dante Gabriel Rossetti)
(Whatever is said in Latin sounds profound)

Two people have now asked me about the use of Latin on my journal.

Since that's a sizable percentage of the readership (possibly half), I thought I'd better address it. Here several reasons. Take your pick.

  • I'm a mediævalist. I like old things.
  • I'm a Roman Catholic. It's our language, even if we don't use it much.
  • I love the sound and elegance of the language.
  • Did I mention I like old things?
  • I am, in fact, a pretentious git.

Is there anything finer on a blustery day than a cup of tea and a good book?

It has been a trying week. On Thursday, I gave a presentation to the Pierce Deanery Principals for which I had been preparing nearly a month. It was just a bit stressful, as Principals are taught in Principal school the fine art of the stony, blank expression.

Only one of them actually engaged, and I later discovered that he wasn't a Principal at all. He was, in fact, assistant superintendent of Catholic schools for the archdiocese. I can't venture an opinion on the Principals, but this fellow was convinced.

To relieve a bit of pent-up stress, I took Friday off and worked on Cruenti Dei. This is not nearly so decadent as it sounds, as I'm only actually paid for 30 hours a week, and I'd passed that mark on Wednesday evening.

The (final) rules draft for Cruenti Dei is done. Now I'm waiting for some illustrations and working on the maps. Stat sheets are next. I'm most emphatically not looking forward to doing those. I'm also studying up on the Little Ice Age. Tremble!

After receiving several earnest inquiries from people (chiefly my relatives) about wedding registries and such, I've added a Paypal button on the right hand side of this journal. There's really nothing we need, of course, but this gives those who wish to give us a gift an opportunity to do so.

(Parenthetically, it also makes it slightly more unlikely that we'll end up with nine mis-matched candlesticks.)

Wedding planning and preparation continues apace. Many details were sorted out last Saturday, and I'm extremely grateful to those who attended. I actually feel like this is going to come off, now. Invites are at the printer, and the various committees have set down to their work. My list, finally, looks manageable.

Yesterday I attended an LMI class at the chancery in Seattle. More on this program and my ongoing formation soon. But not today. The classes are, by and large, utterly fascinating. Reminds me, I need to get some homework done.

In the evening, Francine and I had dinner with Fr. Bryan at Paddy Coyne's downtown. It's the closest thing Tacoma has to a proper pub, since E-9 lost its soul.

I can't go to Paddy Coynes without being reminded of Droyne, for reasons obvious perhaps to several old Traveller hands here.

Somehow, I missed reading Gaiman's "A Study in Emerald" until just yesterday. Ah, what a fool I've been.

Quote of the day: "The very powerful and the very stupid have one thing in common: instead of altering their views to fit the facts, they alter the facts to fit their views, which can be very uncomfortable if you happen to be one of the facts that need altering." (Doctor Who - who can tell me the episode?)
The followers of Nietzsche and Foucault are passionately persuaded that truth is a mere rhetorical device employed in the service of oppression, and say so at length.

What, then, is the status of their saying so? We should give them their choice. Is it false? Or in the service of oppression?

(Ben Meyer)
This is my first weekend since July 21, and I think I might actually be starting to relax.

I just posted the latest progress report to the Cruenti Dei forum. Work is humming along!

Today's plan is more work on CD, a nice long walk, some quick edits on a book project, cleaning up the kitchen, perhaps some weed-whacking in the front.

I think Francine might go grocery shopping.

Ah, the bucolic life!

Tomorrow, we've got to tackle some wedding projects. And laundry.

I'd like to share something I read recently:

In King Lear (III:vii) there is a man who is such a minor character that Shakespeare has not given him even a name: he is merely "First Servant." All the characters around him -- Regan, Cornwall, and Edmund -- have fine long-term plans. They think they know how the story is going to end, and they are quite wrong. The servant has no such delusions. He has no notion how the play is going to go. But he understands the present scene. He sees an abomination (the blinding of old Gloucester) taking place. He will not stand it. His sword is out and pointed at his master's breast in a moment: then Regan stabs him dead from behind. That is his whole part: eight lines all told. But if it were real life and not a play, that is the part it would be best to have acted. (C.S. Lewis, "The World's Last Night")

I've been ruminating over this for a couple of days now, and the idea appeals to me as a framing device for a story of this servant's life. Of course, if you buy the argument that Shakespeare was an underground Catholic, the life and death of the "First Servant" takes on a whole other light.

(... and therefore I believe the President and Vice President of the United States must be impeached.)
"It is a paradoxical but profoundly true and important principle of life that the most likely way to reach a goal is to be aiming not at that goal itself but at some more ambitious goal beyond it."

(Arnold Toynbee)
This bit of news from Bloomberg caught my eye:

Philanthropist and retired hedge-fund manager Robert W. Wilson said he is giving $22.5 million to the Archdiocese of New York to fund a scholarship program for needy inner-city students attending Roman Catholic schools.

Wilson, 80, said in a phone interview today that although he is an atheist, he has no problem donating money to a fund linked to Catholic schools.

"Let's face it, without the Roman Catholic Church, there would be no Western civilization.''

Now there's a quote.
Things I've heard or read today:

I'll take a lunatic over his therapist any day.

Whenever somebody tells you that you're a great judge of character, they're lying. Or think they are.

Nothing noble is ever done solely for the sake of its usefulness, but if nobility has a use, then it is in that bloody-mindedness that withstands even those things that one has been seduced into believing are inevitable.
"The Legislative Branch has no oversight responsibility over the White House." (Tony Snow, White House Press Secretary, 22 March 2007)

I confess myself disappointed - this is perfectly ludicrous. Certainly they can come up with a less feeble response than this?

Or perhaps not.

Edited to add: Wikipedia on Congressional Oversight.

And if that's too complicated for the President, perhaps he should check out the US government's site for children, Ask Ben: "One of the most important implied powers is Congress’s authority to investigate and oversee the executive branch and its agencies, such as the Department of Defense and the Department of Justice."
If we are mark’d to die, we are enow
To do our country loss; and if to live,
The fewer men, the greater share of honour.
God’s will! I pray thee, wish not one man more.
Read more... )
This story shall the good man teach his son;
And Crispin Crispian shall ne’er go by,
From this day to the ending of the world,
But we in it shall be remember’d;
We few, we happy few, we band of brothers;
For he to-day that sheds his blood with me
Shall be my brother; be he ne’er so vile,
This day shall gentle his condition:
And gentlemen in England now a-bed
Shall think themselves accursed they were not here,
And hold their manhoods cheap whiles any speaks
That fought with us upon Saint Crispin’s day.

(William Shakespeare, Henry V: Act IV, scene iii)
"Tradition means giving a vote to the most obscure of all classes, our ancestors. It is the democracy of the dead... Tradition refuses to submit to the small and arrogant oligarchy of those who merely happen to be walking about. All democrats object to men being disqualified by the accident of birth; tradition objects to their being disqualified by the accident of death. Democracy tells us not to neglect a good man's opinion, even if he is our groom; tradition asks us not to neglect a good man's opinion, even if he is our father."

(G.K. Chesterton, Orthodoxy)

In other news, I jammed my back pretty darn good just stepping off a curb this morning. Ouch.
“Every dream you have ever had is possible.” (Feedback)
Go here: and pick five quotations that you think represent or appeal to you:

Where all think alike, no one thinks very much. - Walter Lippmann (1889 - 1974)

Out of thine own mouth will I judge thee. - Bible, Luke xix. 22.

The world is not yet exhaused; let me see something tomorrow which I never saw before. - Samuel Johnson (1709 - 1784)

Our generation is realistic, for we have come to know man as he really is. After all, man is that being who invented the gas chambers of Auschwitz; however, he is also that being who entered those gas chambers upright, with the Lord's Prayer or the Shema Yisrael on his lips. - Viktor Frankl, "Logotherapy in a Nutshell" Man's Search for Meaning (1959, 1962, 1985)

It's kind of fun to do the impossible. - Walt Disney (1901 - 1966)
Soon there will be coffee and walking down by Commencement Bay. Then writing. And stuff.

Snarky quote of the day:

If you cut out all the passages in the Bible where Jesus talks about the poor, you'd have the perfect container to smuggle Rush Limbaugh's drugs in. (Al Franken)
Our lives begin to end the day we become silent about things that matter.

(Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. of blessed memory)