Monday, September 24, 2007

My beloved home in faith

I'm doing this after being inspired by my buddy Lee. He takes some beautiful pictures of his home parish and posts them. Well, I love my home parish too, and I fancy myself a bit of a photographer so why not?

This is a statue that is not much loved by my congregation I'm afraid. It's very modern in style and our church is English neo-gothic so I suppose I see the complaint. But I've always had a soft spot for it and at certain times during the day when the light shines in just right...


This is in a back corner of the church, the only light is coming through the stained glass. I like the Madonna and child with Jesus entering Jerusalem in the background.

Thanks for the inspiration Lee! I'll do some more soon.


Oh the things I do!

Been busy, run off my feet the last week.

Nothing too profound but a couple things to share:

Went bowling with the Lutheran youth group I work with. Haven't bowled in a LOOOOONG time so my scores weren't too unfathomable (92 and 107) Once I got a feel for the motion again I just didn't have the touch and kept leaving spares. Ended up with lots of 7s, 8s and 9s. Plus the machines were setting the pins strangely so a perfect pocket hit would leave you with three standing. Or pins would just randomly fall down (happened a LOT). But it was fun and the youth had a great time so that's all that mattered.

A couple movies to add to the list:

Pulp Fiction - I'll catch pieces of it on TV but clearly it's a movie you have to see uncut. People had given me the impression that it was incredibly violent but it's really not. The deaths are spectacular but it's very classic Greek theater. They all take place "off stage" and you only see the aftermath. Now as for language! If bad words upset you do NOT want to watch this movie. It becomes funny (at least to me) after a while because they swear CONSTANTLY! For all that it was a really good movie. Visually stylish, amazing dialogue and a cast to die for. Highly recommended.

Rushmore - Man did I go into this one with misgivings. I'd been told "If you liked Napoleon Dynamite you'll probably like this". I hated Napoleon Dynamite. Two hours of my life I'll never get back. But I really like this one. Yes, it's strange. Yes, the main character has a weirdly obsessive personality (as compared to normally obsessive). But it's a neat little off beat story that carries you right along to the end. And you have to love the production values of the main characters stage shows! Worth a look when you're in the mood for something a little quirky.

I went to something new last weekend. It's called Artists Share and it's co-sponsored by a local church and the Arts Council. Literally it's a chance for artists to come together and share/show their work and get some feedback. This month was writing (last month was photography) and it was very cool. I ran into an old co-worker of mine (old only in the sense of jobs neither of us hold any more. She's a fair bit younger than I am!) I now discover that she is a prolific and talented writer! It's just fun to be around folks who are creative again. I think I'll keep coming back. In fact I'm working on a new blog that will be dedicated just to whatever creative pursuits I can produce. We'll see how that goes.

I'm trying one other new thing. I'm in a football pool. Since I don't bet (because I lose)I've never done a pool before. One of my brothers usually does a football pool or two during the NFL season so I've thought about it. This one's great, it's "sponsored" by the youth group of a friend of mine. So there's no money, no prizes, just the glory of winning it all. It's also simple and appeals to me. No worries about point spreads or anything like that. It's simple you pick the winners of the 16 games each week. Then you rank your "confidence" in each pick. For example this week I picked New England over Buffalo (sorry my fellow Bills fans but seriously did ANYONE think they'd win?) and ranked it 16, my highest confidence. Those then turn into points if you're right. Without tonight's game (which has my lowest confidence point total - 1) I'm at 81 points. Not real good, not terrible but not gonna win either. The first week someone picked all 16 games right! How do you do that ON THE FIRST WEEK!?!?!?!?!? This week's disappointments were San Diego and Denver. I picked Philadelphia to win so that felt good. So I imagine I'm still firmly mid pack somewhere. Let's see if I can't do better as the season goes along.

So on the whole a pretty good week. But lots still to do.

So off I go.

Thursday, September 20, 2007

Mystery and Simplicity

I was asked by my home parish to speak during our adult education time this past Sunday. We're doing a series based on the "This I Believe" concept created by Edward R. Murrow (a personal hero) back in the 1950's. NPR has revived it in the last couple years.

We were asked to talk about what we believe and the effect it has on our lives. This is the audio of my bit. I got very good reviews from everyone afterwards so I thought I'd share it with the larger world. That may be a terrible mistake, lol!

Mystery and Simplicity

Check out other presentations and sermons from our great clergy PLUS the coolest logo (created by the rector!) at the blog Voice of the Winged Ox


Back after a brief but busy bit

Wow, it's been a busy week. I've been on the move so I'm a little behind. I mentioned in the last post about my schedule from last weekend. It was every bit as difficult as I expected! Lots of driving but lots of time with some really great people from all over our diocese and province. So it was good but I am TIRED.

Something of note on the trip. I stopped at a rest area and ran into something I've never come across before. In the rest room were the usual blowers to dry your hands. Except these were larger and much noisier. Like a jet engine taking off! And they blew so hard that it made ripples in the skin of my hands! If you remember the films of the jet acceleration sleds from back in the 50's and 60's you remember the guy whose skin gets pulled back in waves from the g forces. That's what it looked like on my hands! Really weird. Didn't hurt but it threw me for a loop.

Otherwise the week went very well. It's good to be home though.


Thursday, September 13, 2007

A Full Weekend

So that you may be suitably impressed with how hard I work:

Saturday - Diversity training (I'm co-leading) in East Aurora
Sunday - Speaking at Adult forum at 9AM in Jamestown
Helping out at D House Open House 11-1 (Buffalo)
Youth Commission 2-4 (Orchard Park)
Niagara Deanery Youth group meeting 5-7:30 (Burt)
Monday - drive to Binghamton for a Province II meeting, spend night,
Tuesday - drive home.

I'm exhausted just thinking about it.


Tuesday, September 11, 2007

Today I remember

I saw that my buddy Lee had done a Sept. 11 post (I also stole this image from Lee too. More on that in a minute).

So I thought I'd put a link to the my post about 9/11 from back when I commented on it.

I never have. That surprised me as I looked back over the last 4 years of posts. Of all the things I've talked about I've never written about that day.

I remember it clearly. There was a staff meeting that day so I'd driven up to Buffalo (an hour and a half drive)for the 9 AM meeting. In fact I had turned off the radio just a few minutes after the first plane hit at 8:46 AM. We had just gotten settled into the meeting with the sliding doors closed when there came a banging. Two members of the office staff came in, one in tears. The only TV in the building was with us and they needed to check the news. Something had happened at the twin towers in NYC and they had a friend who worked there. So we turned on the TV...

You know what we saw. And you know how we felt. It is a shared moment for our nation. I remember thinking in those first few moments "It's not an accident, it's a terrorist attack". For several years after college I'd been fascinated by terrorism and how we respond to it. What I saw and what little we knew at that time just screamed terrorism.

And then the second plane(9:03AM)

and the report that a plane has crashed into the Pentagon (9:37AM)

and the FAA grounds all planes (9:45AM)

and then the south tower collapsed(9:59AM)

and then another plane crashes in western Pennsylvania (10:03AM)

and then the north tower collapsed (10:28AM)

Sometime shortly after that we were sent home. We prayed for everything and everyone and Divine protection and went home in a state of shock.

The diocesan offices are not too far from the airport so you see a fair number of planes if you look. I remember driving home thinking that there had never been a day in my life like this one. When virtually NOTHING man made was in the air above me. It is one of th strangest and most enduring feelings from that day.

When I saw the photo Lee was using I knew I was going to steal it. We need to remember how horrible that day was. We must never forget. But not as just as a goad to our fear and self interest. We must remember as a call to all that is good in our nature. It must serve as a call to make the world a better place rather than only a safer place. A better place WILL BE a safer place. A safer place is not always a better place.

Today is a day to remember.

Monday, September 10, 2007

Silly Stuff

This is all Deneice's fault:

Your Brain is Blue

Of all the brain types, yours is the most mellow.
You tend to be in a meditative state most of the time. You don't try to think away your troubles.
Your thoughts are realistic, fresh, and honest. You truly see things as how they are.

You tend to spend a lot of time thinking about your friends, your surroundings, and your life.

What Veggie Tales character are you?

Oh yes, and


Go Steelers!

Tuesday, September 04, 2007

Husband Day Care

Now this would make me feel better today!

Husband Daycare - The best video clips are here

Thanks to Gman

Rotten start to September.

Well September is off to a rip roaring start! Nothing but me being stupid and other bad news.

First me being an idiot. What you see on the right side here is the new logo for youth ministry in the diocese. It was designed by Bryan Sharry one of no less than TWO very talented design students from this diocese studying at the Pratt Institute in NYC. Pratt is one of, if not THE best design school in the country. So I was very happy when Bryan took the challenge on. I think the final product is great.
So much so that I wrote an article about the logo and Bryan and submitted it to the diocesan newspaper. When I opened the paper this morning I realized I had a problem.

I'd sent the wrong logo.

Bryan did several, I chose one, we tweaked it and voila. One of the old files was still lurking about (NOT ANYMORE!!!!!) and I sent it in.

I feel badly for Bryan, for the editor of our newspaper but mostly I feel like a complete and utter idiot. I did the article in the midst of camp, trying to get things out of the way.

Rule #1 - NEVER DO ANYTHING DURING CAMP SEASON!!! My brain is just too fried.

So I've sent the proper logo with appropriate grovelling to my friend, the wise and wonderful, forgiving person that she is, the editor in hopes that her opinion of me doesn't slide too far. (She once compared me to Moses. Silly woman. Of course it did take Moses 40 years to get to where he's going)

I'm very angry with me.

Next up is this headline from Yahoo news:

"Who" fans face two-year wait for new season (article)
It seems that David Tennant, the actor who plays the BBC's scifi icon "Dr. Who", has decided to take a little time off. Season four will air next spring but season five will have to wait till 2010!

Why, you ask?


I ask you, where are people's priorities these days?

Tennant has been wonderful as the Doctor, really revitalizing the franchise once again. I got sucked into the whole Who world with the fourth doctor Tom Baker, saw a few Jon Pertwee (#3) and some Peter Davidson (#5). Baker is still my favorite although Tennant(#10) and Christopher Eccleston (#9)are right up there.

But really. An actor turning his back on television to do the stage?

I love David Tennant!