Saturday, March 14, 2009

Has it reached a crisis level yet?

I refer to the shortage of silliness on this blog. I fear we have had one of late.

To help offset this, I offer herewith my album cover:

I ran across The Album Cover Project at Left Turn at Joy. Her album cover turned out quite lovely, btw. Here are the rules as she lays them out:

Go to Wikipedia. Hit “random” or click
The first random Wikipedia article you get is the name of your band.

Go to Quotations Page and select “random quotations” or click
The last four or five words of the very last quote on the page is the title of your first album.

Go to Flickr and click on “explore the last seven days” or click
Third picture, no matter what it is, will be your album cover.

Use GIMP/Photoshop/MS Paint or similar to put it all together. [I used Word with Word Art.]

Post it to your blog and please leave a comment here so we can see you're creations.

--the BB

Saturday in Lent 2

Jeremiah 5:20-31

20Declare this in the house of Jacob,
proclaim it in Judah:
21Hear this, O foolish and senseless people,
who have eyes, but do not see,
who have ears, but do not hear.
22Do you not fear me? says the Lord;
Do you not tremble before me?
I placed the sand as a boundary for the sea,
a perpetual barrier that it cannot pass;
though the waves toss, they cannot prevail,
though they roar, they cannot pass over it.
23But this people has a stubborn and rebellious heart;
they have turned aside and gone away.
24They do not say in their hearts,
‘Let us fear the Lord our God,
who gives the rain in its season,
the autumn rain and the spring rain,
and keeps for us
the weeks appointed for the harvest.’
25Your iniquities have turned these away,
and your sins have deprived you of good.
26For scoundrels are found among my people;
they take over the goods of others.
Like fowlers they set a trap;*
they catch human beings.
27Like a cage full of birds,
their houses are full of treachery;
therefore they have become great and rich,
28 they have grown fat and sleek.
They know no limits in deeds of wickedness;
they do not judge with justice
the cause of the orphan, to make it prosper,
and they do not defend the rights of the needy.
29Shall I not punish them for these things?
says the Lord,
and shall I not bring retribution
on a nation such as this?

I find here a profound parallel with what we have seen in recent decades. Greed has been given free rein and the financial sector has run wild. What has not been thoroughly corrupt has, at the very least, been amoral, though I would say for the most part deliberately immoral.

It is amazing how a segment of society can collaborate so thoroughly and efficiently to screw over so many people for personal aggrandizement and them ask to be rescued when hoist by their own petard (which should have just blown their flipping asses off). Since we (or our elected representatives) have allowed them to consolidate to the point that they become "too big to fail," we have little choice but to collectively do something to prop them up. It is the classic privatization of profit and socialization of loss that characterizes so much class warfare. And isn't it interesting how "class warfare" (endlessly waged by the powerful against the ordinary citizen throughout history) is dismissed as nonsense unless the ordinary citizens turn around, demanding something back from those who have robbed and abused them?

I am strongly in favor of "de-consolidation" in order to have many flourishing and competing (and some failing, no doubt) industries and institutions once again. I mean, really, who ever thought letting everything fall into a very few hands would be a good idea? Besides the greedheads into whose hands (whose avaricious grasp) they fell?

Given the prominence of the theme of social justice in the Torah, the Prophets, the Writings, and the Gospels, I should think it would not just be right-wing fundies proclaiming divine judgment. We, collectively, have behaved very badly as a society. Karmic reckoning should come as no surprise to anyone.

Grant, most merciful Lord, to your faithful people pardon and peace, that they may be cleansed from all their sins, and serve you with a quiet mind; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. Amen.

--the BB

Friday, March 13, 2009

Forging ahead

In sheer number of pages I am past the halfway mark in revising the second novel that completes the story begun in the first one. In terms of real work to do, I suspect I am nearing the one-fourth or one-third mark.

The tale itself is a journey--the classic hero quest combined with Bildungsroman and touch of picaresque--but writing, revising, and revisiting constitute a journey also. I am having a good time, as I hope future readers will also.

It is interesting to note how detached I am this time around. When writing quite a few passages I wept, and wept reading them or thinking about them. This time I can read them dry-eyed. The reviews of book one from my critical readers are quite positive. Let's hope some publisher thinks the same!
--the BB

Friday in Lent 2

Taking a cue from Jeremiah 3:5a (below), perhaps we may benefit from Lent as a season in which to let go of our deceits and illusions. I believe that is one of its central purposes and greatest benefits.

Grant, O Lord, that as your Son Jesus Christ prayed for his enemies on the cross, so we may have grace to forgive those who wrongfully or scornfully use us, that we ourselves may be able to receive your forgiveness; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. Amen.
--the BB

Thursday, March 12, 2009

Thursday in Lent 2

O Lord, strong and mighty, Lord of hosts and King of glory: Cleanse our hearts from sin, keep our hands pure, and turn our minds from what is passing away; so that at the last we may stand in your holy place and receive your blessing; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. Amen.


DoD Identifies Army Casualty
Pfc. Patrick A. Devoe, II, 27, of Auburn, N.Y., died March 8 in Kandau Kalay, Afghanistan, of wounds suffered when his vehicle was struck by an improvised explosive device. He was assigned to the40th Cavalry Regiment4th Brigade Combat Team (Airborne), 25th Infantry Division, Fort Richardson, Alaska.


DoD Identifies Marine Casualty
Lance Cpl. Patrick A. Malone, 21, of Ocala, Fla., died March 10 as a result of a non-hostile incident in Anbar province, Iraq. He was assigned to 2nd Tank Battalion, 2nd Marine Division, II Marine Expeditionary Force, Camp Lejeune, N.C.

DoD Identifies Army Casualty

1st Lt. Daniel B. Hyde, 24, of Modesto, Calif., died March 7 in Samarra, Iraq, of wounds sustained in Tikrit when an explosive device struck his unit vehicle. He was assigned to the 2nd Battalion, 35th Infantry Regiment, 3rd Brigade Combat Team, 25th Infantry Division, Schofield Barracks, Hawaii.

Have you been enjoying The Daily Show - CNBC feud?

I know I have. Just a few more minutes before I watch tonight's show with Tim Cramer facing Jon Stewart. Teehee.

I love YouTube:

Such a principled man.

h/t to mtosner at Daily Kos
--the BB

I promised pictures

And I'm only posting one. The other was not all that hot. But this is a tree viewed from the balcony just off where I sit at work (my real view is the wall in front of me). I took it Monday, a gray and rainy day, but the tree was glorious.

--the BB

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Quick update

The house I grew up in

Just got back from partying in Corrales. Lovely meal and lovely wines.

With so many people going through horrible crises it seems presumptuous to rattle on about my minor issues. Of course, it's never minor to the person whose issue it is.

The doctor seems encouraged by the state of my leg and I don't have to continue taking drugs for it. I can stop lying about with it propped up but I'm supposed to keep wearing the [numerous and highly colorful deleted expletives] support hose, which I hate, hate, hate. (Ladies, rise up now and burn all your panty hose; it's not worth it!) We are moving ahead on other health fronts (such as an MRI on the knee that seems to be a mess of arthritis and possibly loose cartilage that always feels as though it goes in seven directions when I try movement with resistance). As my mother always said: growing old isn't for sissies.

Thanks for so many prayers and well wishes. Y'all are the best.

I'll try to catch up tomorrow (and I have at least a couple of new photos).

The pic above was taken on the California road trip. Why not indulge a bit of nostalgia after a family evening (even if it's my ex's family, it's still family)?
--the BB

Light posting

As you have observed, I have not been posting much. The hours spent with my leg propped up in the evening are hours not at the computer. It's nothing more complicated than that. I feel OK and my leg looks better. Tonight I will be dining with family, so perhaps I can post more tomorrow evening.

--the BB

Tuesday, March 10, 2009


The Statute of Limitations on Bush’s March 11, 2004 Illegal Wiretapping Expires Today

--the BB

Heart thread - 03/10/2009

Our dear Roseann (Being Peace) has been denied a kidney transplant. Please continue to hold her and Gary in prayer.

Please pray for a dear one's family caught in tragedy. Thank you.

As I told David@Montreal this evening, I feel very loved and prayed for. Thank you all.

Pseudopiskie becomes an official 'Piskie. Hooray!

OK, Ralph. It's been two weeks. Come home.

Thanks to Margaret for this today:
The reality is, when we are no longer able to comprehend action or anything else at all--dead to this world, it will not be our faith which saves us, but the faith of him who was raised from the dead which shall save us.
Add your own prayer requests or thanksgivings in the comments.

--the BB

Just wow

This is making the rounds. I ran into it at Mimi's.

Maybe the United States will catch up with the rest of the world some day.

--the BB

Monday, March 09, 2009

Heart thread - 03/09/2009

I ask your prayers for Mike, a coworker, who is in h0spital with blood clots in his lungs.

And for my friend Diane who had a bout of food poisoning yesterday and is now all right but quite exhausted.

My friend Kathy wrote:
I ask your indulgence in starting a prayer among your many readers for my coworker Ranae - whose baby son was taken to the hospital two days ago and hooked up to an IV - failure to thrive. He was born with a cleft palate and is having trouble nursing and therefore thriving. She's a single mom, holding down a full-time job and caring for her son on her own. Perhaps now would be a good time to remind her that she is never really alone at all...

I also got this e-mail today:
Kathryn, Parish Administrator of St. Michael and All Angels, asks for prayer for her sister, Janet. Janet is in ICU with complications from oxygen deprivation. Kathryn asks that as we hold her sister before God we pray for the best and highest possible healing for Janet and ask that the time remaining in this earthly journey be one of quality and joy.

Continuing prayers for Sister Ellie.

For the repose of the soul of Catherine, daughter of Bosco Peters.

For Jane R's friends P and B.

For Kirstin, and for Ian and Lisa, and Fluffy, and a safe return from journeying for TCR.

For Clara and Olivia.

And for my own leg which must be healing but it is sooooooo slow. I skipped Russian class, came home, proppped it up on the end of the couch and let the television run for hours. Finally came upstairs and am now headed to bed.


Let your Spirit, O Lord, come into the midst of us to wash us with the pure water of repentance, and prepare us to be always a living sacrifice to you; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. Amen.

--the BB

Sunday, March 08, 2009

Hear thread - 03/08-2009

Lisa has an update today on Ian. Things seem to be stabilizing and gradually improving but it remains dicey. You may read it all here (and send a note of caring if inclined).

h/t to MP at OCICBW, of course.

My great-grandnieces, Clara and Olivia, were serenaded by a harp. Here on earth. At the hospital. How cool is that? You can read about it, with photos, here.

--the BB

Sunday in Lent 2

St Paul works himself up to a rather glorious affirmation in 1 Corinthians today.

For all things are yours
and you belong to Christ,
and Christ belongs to God.

This could be taken in a disastrously anthopocentric and imperialist manner ("if everything is mine I can do what I want with it") but the affirmation that all things are ours is tempered in the reminder of whose we are.

I choose instead to view it as gracious gift and profound reality. We are part of all things and all things are part of us. On the physical level alone we know of nothing in the universe that did not come from the same infinitely compressed seeming nothing that burst forth in the Big Bang. The farthest reaches of galaxies beyond galaxies and I came from the same "place" and "moment."

When we speak of God's creative action ("and God said... and there was"), we speak of that creative Word by whom all things were made and in whom all things subsist. Each portion of creation is interrelated, yet we go further in faith to affirm that all parts of creation are given to each other as gift. The world is given to us and we are given to the world, as gift, as trust.

Clearly, with that gift comes responsibility. So that which is given to us is not just "ours" to use and abuse at our whim. It is also, and always and ultimately, God's. As are we.

It's all rather amazing to contemplate.

Here is Jesus on family values:

The criterion in this passage is not my dogma but my doing what God calls me to do. Micah 6.8 and the Summary of the Law (from Leviticus and Deuteronomy) combined with the New Commandment pretty well sum up what it means to do the will of God. This is all wrapped up in love.

Notice how Jesus' family description sounds like a single-parent family too. Very sloppy of him. Doesn't he know it takes two parents of opposite genders?

O God, whose glory it is always to have mercy: Be gracious to all who have gone astray from your ways, and bring them again with penitent hearts and steadfast faith to embrace and hold fast the unchangeable truth of your Word, Jesus Christ your Son; who with you and the Holy Spirit lives and reigns, one God, for ever and ever. Amen.

--the BB

This morning at the Mission San Gabriel Árcangel

A core of people have gathered at San Gabriel to explore sacred arts together. This is a spinoff of the Icon Guild at our mother church Saint Michael and All Angels, but the plan is to begin with icon writing and then expand into other areas. It's all very exciting. We are blessed with artists and creative people.

I took a few photos this morning after Mass.

One of the icons of San Gabriel
(in front of the Altar)

The Altar and Cross
with black & violet veils

over the retablos of the saints

Icon of San Gabriel
in front of the Ambo

--the BB

View from the supermarket parking lot

The Sandias

Another view, just to the right of the one above

--the BB

Just watering on a beautiful day

The dust storms have calmed down for the moment, so when I got back from Mass I headed out into the yard to give the plants a nice deep watering.

The daffodils above are little miracles. I had bought some daffs a year ago last fall and not planted them. When I left for New Orleans at the end of April, my neighbor said she'd toss them into the spot where I had peppers growing the year before. They were already sprouting and she had never planted daffodils before, yet lo and behold, here they are! The little spot of green on the right is Italian parsley, a volunteer from the parsley that survived through an entire winter and all last summer.

Here is new growth on my Golden Shower roses.

New growth on one of my potato vines (which I hope will cover vast amounts of wall this year).

And another shot of Santa Rosa plum blossoms. The two plum trees were in full bloom this last week, during the strong winds. I don't know if insects even had a chance to cross-pollinate them. Time and chance happen to us all.

I loved the scent of wet cedar bark rising to my nostrils as I watered.

All the roses from previous years have new growth on them and one of the new iceberg roses has some too. I look forward to a beautiful summer of roses.
--the BB