Saturday, September 26, 2009

Heart thread - 09/2/2009

Massive Storm Hits Philippines
by Cpt Robespierre

Pacfic Typhoon Ondoy (aka Tropical Storm Ketsana) is the name.

From what we know it sounds like the storm itself may be far worse in some respects than Hurricane Katrina. Yesterday, in the span of six hours, more than 13 inches of rain hit the Manila area, with rain continuing much longer at a somewhat slower rate. Rivers are overflowing catastrophically, much like the breached levees in NOLA. I've been following the mess from a relative there, and she's been posting a lot of videos from people she knows.

CNN reported 41,00 were evacuated and there are at least 50 confirmed deaths reported, but that will certainly rise soon.

Let us pray for those in danger from rains, winds, and flooding.

I ask your prayers for Bp Marc Andrus of California who has surgery this coming Monday.

I ask your continued prayers for the Rev Sandra Bess that infections may be beaten down under her feet and that she may recover strength soon.

For those who depart a "cardinal parish" and for those who remain.

Margaret has lots of prayers to offer and we can join in.

For all churches whose titular saints are holy angels, that their patronal celebrations may be blessed, including St Michael and All Angels, Albuquerque, and San Gabriel, Corrales, NM.

For restoration of legal process for all held at Guantánamo.

--the BB

Yes, I have news

Yesterday Bill and I put down deposits on a trip to Turkey next February.

This tour is 3 nights Istanbul, one in Canakkale, two in Kusadasi, one in Pamukkale, one in Konya, and two in Cappadocia. We are talking two more nights in Istanbul at the end.

To stand in the Great Church of Constantinople - if you know me at all....

To be in the land of the Cappadocian Fathers and Mothers (ain't gonna forget Macrina!)....

To go to Troy....
Arma virumque cano Troiae qui primus ab oris
Italiam, fato profugus, Laviniaque venit
litora multum ille et terris iactatus et alto
vi superum saevae memorem Iunonis ob iram
[That is from memory, learned in 1962; I know more lines but just needed a touch.]

I dropped out of a doctoral program in early and mediaeval Church history; Bill's undergraduate major was Byzantine history. You can imagine. I wouldn't want to take this trip with anyone else. He has been once but it will be different when we do it together.

OK, I will try to settle down now.

--the BB

Home after a long day

Well, not long compared to those who work long days all the time, and I wasn't even working. But I left home this morning and returned about twelve hours later. Long enough.

Rafael de la Cruz (my Honda, aka Ralph, pronounced the British way) had his day at the spa. Got his rotors machined and his pads replaced and he zips down the freeway much happier; no judder when braking. My little trip to the car spa took over four hours and cost more than I had anticipated, which threw the rest of the day into crazy mode.

I was incredibly late getting to our mission's table at the village harvest festival.

I did get to visit with the folks from HawkQuest, most particularly being ensorceled by their male peregrine falcon and female bald eagle. Concerning the latter, I learned her father had been shot, her mother abandoned her, she was blown out of her nest and cared for by people. Which means she imprinted on people and never learned how to live in the wild and hunt for herself. The falcon is the perfect model for the falcon in my first two volumes. I think I can do some rewriting with description now that I have stood next to a live on just a few feet away. He kept eying me, which was either disconcerting or a mystical bond or both or neither. Well, it was disconcerting.

I love birds. At a distance. My reaction to birds physically close to me is like that of some folks to snakes or spiders. Adrenalin city.

I gave a donation, large enough to get my picture taken with a live golden eagle. Imagine! I did not go for it. She is a sweetheart, I know, but I could never have relaxed with a raptor inches away from me. Nor the stunningly handsome peregrine falcon.

Nonetheless, what a treat to meet them.

Potluck with the monthly dinner group. Always nice to see them and wonderful food! Cheese, crackers, grapes, wine; barbecued chicken that was fabulously seasoned; homemade biscuits; pilaf; homegrown grilled vegetables (eggplant, tomatoes, red peppers, red onions, garlic - all in olive oil, salt, a splash of balsamic); wonderful strawberries dipped in sour cream and brown sugar. Yum!

That's my day and I'm sticking to it.

--the BB

Friday, September 25, 2009


09/25/09 AP:
Four U.S. soldiers killed in of Zabul province,
Four soldiers died Thursday in the same small district of Zabul province, including three killed when their Stryker vehicle struck a bomb, said U.S. military spokesman Lt. Robert Carr. The fourth was shot to death in an insurgent attack, Lt. Carr said.

09/25/09 AP:
U.S. Marine killed while on foot patrol in Nimroz province,
A U.S. Marine was fatally shot Thursday while on foot patrol in Nimroz province, said Capt. Elizabeth Mathias, a military spokeswoman.

Why we need to revisit the USA PATRIOT Act - update with link

Only three of the 763 "sneak-and-peek" requests in fiscal year 2008 involved terrorism cases, according to a July 2009 report from the Administrative Office of the U.S. Courts. Sixty-five percent were drug cases.
--Huffington Post

So all this USA PATRIOT Act hoorah boils down to 4/10 of one percent about terrorism.

No wonder Senator Franken had to read part of the Constitution to a Department of Justice lackey.

h/t to MinistryofTruth

--the BB

Thursday, September 24, 2009

Heart thread - 09/24/2009 - updated

I visited Mother Sandra in the hospital this evening. She was in good spirits though her convalescing will take quite some time. She said she feels herself lifted up by prayer and I thank y'all for being part of that. I anointed her and headed home.

Susankay has a follow-up on Molly the Wonder Dog:
Paul -- Molly and I thank you from the bottom of our respective hearts.

And ... since I e-mailed you with the good news, Molly has had two seizures so I need to ring in the prayer posse again.

Love to all.
Continuing prayer for Molly and her family.

Prayers for Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg who felt faint today and is hospitalized.

For JimB and healing for his legs.

Earthbound Spirit writes:
Please keep me in your thoughts ... Friday. Time to meet the ministerial fellowship committee, the folks who decide whether someone is ready to be ordained in my tradition.
Blessings to you always and
May Earthbound Spirit be sustained by the deep peace of God and may mutual discernment lead in the direction for the greatest fulfillment and most effective ministry.

For those who know Robert Whalley, he will be ordained to the transitional diaconate by +John, Bishop of Wangaratta, on the Feast of Nicholas Ferrar, Friday, 4 December 2009 at 11am at Holy Trinity Cathedral, Wangaratta. Rob and I did CPE together. It has been a very long journey for him. Three cheers.

--the BB

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

09/23/09 :
DoD Identifies Air Force Casualty
Tech Sgt. James R Hornbarger, 33, of Castle Rock, Wash., died Sept. 12 as a result of a non-hostile incident in the Mediterranean. He was assigned to the 9th Aircraft Maintenance Squadron, Beale Air Force Base, Calif.

09/23/09 :
DoD Identifies Army Casualty
Pfc. William L. Meredith, 26, of Virginia Beach, Va., died Sept. 21 in Kandahar, Afghanistan, of wounds suffered when enemy forces attacked his vehicle with an improvised explosive device. He was assigned to the 569th Engineer Company, 4th Engineer Battalion, Fort Carson, Colo.

09/22/09 :
DoD Identifies Army Casualties
Spc. Damon G. Winkleman, 23, of Lakeville, Ohio...assigned to the 2nd Battalion, 508th Parachute Infantry Regiment, 4th Brigade Combat Team, 82nd Airborne Division, Fort Bragg, N.C... died Sept. 20 in Zabul province, Afghanistan, of injuries sustained during a vehicle rollover.

09/22/09 :
DoD Identifies Army Casualties
Spc. Corey J. Kowall, 20, of Murfreesboro, Tenn...assigned to the 2nd Battalion, 508th Parachute Infantry Regiment, 4th Brigade Combat Team, 82nd Airborne Division, Fort Bragg, N.C... died Sept. 20 in Zabul province, Afghanistan, of injuries sustained during a vehicle rollover.


09/21/09 :
DoD Identifies Army Casualty
Spc. Michael S. Cote Jr., 20, of Denham Springs, La., died Sept. 19 in Balad, Iraq, of wounds suffered when the Blackhawk helicopter he was in crashed. He was assigned to the 1st Battalion, 52nd Aviation Regiment, Task Force 49, Fort Wainwright, Alaska.

... deducant te angeli.

At long last, another chapter completed!

As [the sun] sank at last behind Mount V., conflict halted and all sides took stock of the day, noted their dead, wounded, and lost, and turned to the tasks of evening. Singers hailed the evening star, bodies were tossed upon pyres, healers moved about bringing such help and comfort as they could, meals were prepared, and mortals longed for rest.

The next day there will be more fighting. And the day after that. And after that.

In the annual procession through the heavens the zodiac sign of Grandmother W., goddess of wisdom, shifts to the season when the Veiled One, goddess of death, is prominent. The people embroiled in this civil war and those affected by it all know this for the constellations are their deities, the sundry manifestations of The One.

The countenance of the Veiled Queen is said to be loving and gracious but none can see it until the moment of death. Her lullaby, the song at time of death, begins with the words "Come my children, and do not fear...."

Indeed, as one sets out on the star path, the anxieties and terrors of life are laid aside. It is time for feasting and rest.

Sweet dreams, my oleaginous owls!

--the BB

This site does not speculate on the relationship between wise birds and Wesson parties. There are places the mind need not go.

Molly the Wonder Dog

Paul -- for all those who prayed for Molly when we were told early this year that she had a severe heart problem that would lead soon to her death from an aneurysm. Thanks to you all. I'm not clear about prayer but it would appear that it works with respect to our animal companions. Latest word from the vet is that it all has gone away. I may be forwarding prayers from him soon -- he is amazed.


And Molly the Wonder Dog is a lovely dog!

Let us also remember Babs, who received her golden tail today, and all who love and miss her.


Hail blessed Laika,
bless all us dogs
and make us brave like you.

--the BB

Obama Administration and state secrets

I am not at all pleased with several things under the Obama administration. One is their reluctance to let go of the executive power accumulated under Dick Cheney.... And wasn't that his intention: to restore executive power and take it further than ever before so it could never be undone?

You may read three articles from emptywheel today on the topic of state secrets and the administration's policy (or continuation of Bush's policy):

Obama’s New State Secrets Policy Is Reaffirmation Of Bush’s Policy
by bmaz

More on Holder’s “New” State Secrets Policy by emptywheel

“New” State Secrets Policy “Smoke and Mirrors” also by emptywheel

The concept of state secrets is legitimate but it must have very careful constraints put upon it in order to preserve checks and balances, transparency, and accountability in government. Tyranny of every form is to be opposed.

--the BB

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Slow going

The man who stood before her, clad in white and marked with ashes, had vacant eyes that opened to nothing. ... She wondered if the future of F. stood before her or merely one stanza of a very long song, a stanza sung and quickly forgotten.

It has been over a week and I have only half a chapter written. For fast-paced narrative in the first draft, this is slow for me. At least I am getting my mind back into it.

Sweet dreams, my chortling woodchucks!

--the BB

I say give Canaan back to the Canaanites.

Obama drops demand that Israel freeze settlements
CNN - Elise Labott - ‎1 hour ago‎
NEW YORK (CNN) -- Prodding Israel and the Palestinian Authority to restart talks aimed at a permanent resolution of their decades-old conflict, President Obama dropped a demand for an Israeli settlement freeze, US, Israeli and Palestinian officials ...

Obama Urges Compromise as Settlements Stymie Mideast Talks Push

There is no excuse and no justification for the settlements. I'd use our economic clout by cutting off every damn shekel until the expansion of settlements stops. Then the Israeli government could make their choice. Settlements or US aid? Otherwise we are supporting an injustice that will fester and undermine everything.

That does not mean I accept or condone attacks on Israeli citizens. I don't. No attacks on innocents is acceptable, no matter who commits them, including the United States. But then Palestine is not noted as one of our global allies; Israel putatively is. What I say about the settlments means I condemn the settlements and nothing more.

* The headline is witticism. I am quite serious about the rest.
--the BB

Monday, September 21, 2009

It's here

The spring winds scour the landscape of New Mexico and I can hardly wait for them to be over. Life in a sandstorm, even a minor one, is not much fun.

Now we have the autumn winds. They are not as fierce but the night before last I could feel my house being hit by gusts and hear the wind whipping about. Each evening as I leave work I feel them blow. Leaves have begun to turn, though the trees are still mostly green. The wind knocks the leaves off branches and sends them scuttling along the ground.

I love autumn. It is a season when the blood quickens after summer's lethargy.

A blessed autumn to all in the northern hemisphere, and a blessed spring to our friends on the other side of the equator.

--the BB

The world is too much with us

I am getting frustrated and cranky. I need to take charge of my own life again and take off my crankypants.

Just put these up at facebook:
Paul has less and less ability to play extravert. Wayyyyy too much people time this weekend.

Years ago I ran across a saying that I carried in my wallet for decades. Needed to remember it at work today. "Being mad at stupid people doesn't make them bright."

I kept my cool on the phone but a string of muttered obscenities followed when the phone was hung up. I took a break and stretched my legs, stretched muscles, took some deep breaths.

My usual mode is rather patient with people, meeting them where they are. But not always. Endless repetitions of something one has just told me and I have noted do not endear the speaker to me. Rambling halfway around the globe when I am trying to get some focus on what the issue is and how to resolve it efficiently, effectively, and amicably gets on my nerves. I just wanted to scream STFU. And when the phone was cradled I did say it loud enough for the people nearest to me to hear (but not their callers). I realize part of my job is to let people vent. With isolated instances I can usually handle it. This was a frequent caller who drives us all up the wall.

My last vacation larger than a long weekend was a year ago. The next planned one is five months away. I think I need one.

Knock me over with a feather. Who knew?

I'm shocked, shocked to learn this!
The CIA's harsh interrogation program likely damaged the brain and memory functions of terrorist suspects, diminishing their physical ability to provide the detailed information the spy agency sought, according to a new scientific paper.

The paper scrutinizes the harsh techniques used by the CIA under the Bush administration through the lens of neurobiology. Researchers concluded that the harsh methods were biologically counterproductive to eliciting quality information because prolonged stress harms the brain's ability to retain and recall information.
Pamela Hess of the AP reports on a new paper by Irish professor and researcher Shane O'Mara.

h/t to bmaz at emptywheel where you may read the short version.

--the BB


Were he still alive, today would be my Dad's 101st birthday.

--the BB

Sunday, September 20, 2009


09/20/09 AP:
3 US troops die in Afghanistan, 1 in combat
Military officials say three American troops have died in Afghanistan, including one killed in combat in the country''s east...two of the Americans died Sunday in a noncombat-related incident in the south...The third American died in fighting on Saturday.

Heart thread - 09/20/2009

My grandnephew BJ and his wife are new parents of a girl names Makayla Hallie. Hallie was my mother's name and BJ was born on mother's birthday.

Mother Sandra continues to improve but her healing will take quite a while.

MP let us know that today is the 23rd wedding anniversary of TheMeThatIsMe and Petty Witter. TheMe has a wonderful comment by Robert Farrar Capon on marriage at Conscientisation.
To be born, to love a woman, to cry at music, to catch a cold, to die – these are not excursions on the narrow road of logic; they are blind launchings on a trackless sea.

And the lovely bride writes eloquently at Pen and Paper.
...I can still honestly say that Neal is the man I love, my rock, the person I look to before all others, the person I feel safest with, the person to whom I'd trust my life and, just as importantly, the person who I know loves me because of/despite me being me.
[I love mush. Much happiness to them in the years ahead.]

Mimi's gone and wrenched her ankle but that is not stopping her from celebrating "four birthdays and the one anniversary that fall in September." One of those birthdays is Mimi's.
Happy Birthday, Grandmère. We loves ya!
My sister Shirley has days when she can keep nothing down.

We continue prayers for Myron and for Roseann, for Elizabeth's brother John, and for so many on our hearts.

Welcome back, Jonathan. I miss you when you're out and about.

In another week I see the dentist for more of the needed fillings. What distresses me is that I still feel pressure tenderness on the tooth with a crown that just had its SECOND root canal. And guess what I just read in my mail? Cigna denied any payment because it is a "duplicate procedure." I will try to fight it but looks like I am out $1000. Imagine my joy.

Pray for civilized health care in this barbarian nation.

--the BB