wombat_socho: Wombat (Catholic)
Pope Benedict XVI beatified Pope John Paul II today before more than a million Catholics in St. Peter's Square today.
I can't remember the name of the book off the top of my head, but there was a joint biography of John Paul the Great, Ronald Reagan, and Margaret Thatcher and the important roles they played in finally choking the life out of the Evil Empire that was he Soviet Union. While there were many factors in the fall of the USSR, not least of which were the internal contradictions of Marxist-Leninist economic theory, no serious historian of the Cold War can ignore the renascence of the Catholic Church under John Paul II and its renewed, public resistance to the vile, poisonous lies of Communism. It was John Paul II who helped stiffen the steely resolve of the Solidarity union in Poland, which in turn sent shockwaves through the other captive nations of the Eastern Bloc. It was John Paul II who survived the assassination planned by the KGB's puppets in Bulgaria and their tool the Turk; it was John Paul II who forgave his would-be assassin; it was John Paul II who did not falter in his opposition to evil.

And no matter what the talking heads and the pundits and the revisionist historians say, we will not forget.
The beatification of John Paul II is only the first step.

(h/t Cubachi)
wombat_socho: Wombat (Catholic)

When Pilate saw that he could prevail nothing, but that rather a tumult was made, he took water, and washed his hands before the multitude, saying, I am innocent of the blood of this just person: see ye to it. Then answered all the people, and said, His blood be on us, and on our children. Then released he Barabbas unto them: and when he had scourged Jesus, he delivered him to be crucified.

Then the soldiers of the governor took Jesus into the common hall, and gathered unto him the whole band of soldiers. And they stripped him, and put on him a scarlet robe. And when they had platted a crown of thorns, they put it upon his head, and a reed in his right hand: and they bowed the knee before him, and mocked him, saying, Hail, King of the Jews! And they spit upon him, and took the reed, and smote him on the head. And after that they had mocked him, they took the robe off from him, and put his own raiment on him, and led him away to crucify him.

And as they came out, they found a man of Cyrene, Simon by name: him they compelled to bear his cross.

And when they were come unto a place called Golgotha, that is to say, a place of a skull, They gave him vinegar to drink mingled with gall: and when he had tasted thereof, he would not drink.

And they crucified him, and parted his garments, casting lots: that it might be fulfilled which was spoken by the prophet, They parted my garments among them, and upon my vesture did they cast lots. And sitting down they watched him there; And set up over his head his accusation written, THIS IS JESUS THE KING OF THE JEWS.

Then were there two thieves crucified with him, one on the right hand, and another on the left. And they that passed by reviled him, wagging their heads, And saying, Thou that destroyest the temple, and buildest it in three days, save thyself. If thou be the Son of God, come down from the cross. Likewise also the chief priests mocking him, with the scribes and elders, said, He saved others; himself he cannot save. If he be the King of Israel, let him now come down from the cross, and we will believe him. He trusted in God; let him deliver him now, if he will have him: for he said, I am the Son of God. The thieves also, which were crucified with him, cast the same in his teeth.

Now from the sixth hour there was darkness over all the land unto the ninth hour. And about the ninth hour Jesus cried with a loud voice, saying, Eli, Eli, lama sabachthani? that is to say, My God, my God, why hast thou forsaken me? Some of them that stood there, when they heard that, said, This man calleth for Elias. And straightway one of them ran, and took a sponge, and filled it with vinegar, and put it on a reed, and gave him to drink. The rest said, Let be, let us see whether Elias will come to save him. Jesus, when he had cried again with a loud voice, yielded up the ghost. And, behold, the veil of the temple was rent in twain from the top to the bottom; and the earth did quake, and the rocks rent; And the graves were opened; and many bodies of the saints which slept arose, And came out of the graves after his resurrection, and went into the holy city, and appeared unto many. Now when the centurion, and they that were with him, watching Jesus, saw the earthquake, and those things that were done, they feared greatly, saying, Truly this was the Son of God.
wombat_socho: Wombat (Catholic)
Well, indolence, anyway. Tomorrow it's back to the tax mines for me, and on Saturday the spring semester at NoVa starts. I have a somewhat grandiose essay on last year's win and fail, and what I need to do to secure more win and less fail as I move toward my several goals, and I'm going to post that tomorrow after work, I think.

One of those things is making a more consistent effort to get to Mass at Holy Trinity more often. I didn't make it there today, partially because my sleep cycle got badly screwed up over this past week, but I did at least make it to the Ukrainian Catholic National Shrine, which is not too far from the VA and right down the block from the Latin Rite Basilica of the National Shrine, which both my parents were enthusiastic patrons of, even after they couldn't make it to Mass there any more. Anyhow, the UCNS is a humongous structure on the outside, but seems more cozy and not so barn-like on the inside. Maybe it's the gigantic icon of the Blessed Mother and her Son on the ceiling over the iconostasis and altar. I suspect that I'll be stopping in for Mass more often there as the business in the tax mines approaches April 15, since it's half as far away as Holy Trinity, but we shall see.

Speaking of sloth, or more accurately of gluttony, I've been slacking off on the diet lately and unsurprisingly have put on weight - weighed in this morning at 362.8, for those of you scoring at home. December is the first month that I didn't lose weight since going hardcore on the low-carb trip, and it's purely due to not watching what I eat in terms of quantity. Well, tomorrow I am back to work, and will have more structure in my life, and that will make it easier to stay on the diet horse. Also, walking up and down Jordan Street to Foxchase will help flog the metabolism along with doing the legs some good.

The legs are improving. The left leg's wound is almost completely healed, and the right leg is coming along nicely, in spite of the whinging by one of the residents I saw this past Thursday at the VA. Said resident wanted to send me home with a Profore bandage and got snippy when I demurred on the grounds that I had to work and stumping around with clown shoes was not going to fly in the tax office. I told her I was going to stick with the Ace wraps and compression sleeves; we'll see who's right when I come back in six weeks.

Well, time for me to hit the rack. 0700 comes damned early in these parts, and I need to be in the office at 0900.
wombat_socho: Wombat (Happy)
...either way, I am not worthy! P gave me a Kindle and a card to fill it up with. I don't think I've been so pleased with a computer-like device since I bought Cowzilla back in 2004. I'm looking forward to unleashing the full power of this battlestationdevice next semester, since I intend to buy all my textbooks for the Kindle and not spend hundreds of dollars in the school bookstore. Especially since I can't deduct those books from my taxes. >:(

Speaking of Christmas, since I'm hanging out with the Ukrainian Catholics these days, Christmas is apparently on the Old Style calendar*, since the Mass for tomorrow is at 0930 in memoriam, and the Sunday Mass is the Sunday of the Forefathers. As best I can figure out from OrthodoxWiki, we'll actually be celebrating Christmas on January 7.

*No, not the beer.
wombat_socho: Wombat (Catholic)
Pope Benedict, the enigma - USATODAY.com:
Forbes recently named Pope Benedict XVI the fifth-most-powerful person in the world, right between Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin and German Chancellor Angela Merkel and well ahead of any other religious leaders — Iran's top ayatollah (26th) and the dalai lama (39th).

An 83-year-old man, the out-of-touch figurehead of a dying mythological system, is the fifth-most powerful person in the world? How can this be?


Then again, it's Amy Welborn. RTWT.
wombat_socho: Wombat (Catholic)
Or maybe the reverse, I 'm not sure. Anyway...because I had somehow gotten it into my head that the 7th of November was yesterday and not today, I was very surprised to show up for Mass 45 minutes late and find a bunch of people standing around outside, traffic cones all over the place, and a table set up on the porch of the church. I asked one of the people standing around if there was a wedding or something going on, and he looked at me strangely and answered that no, the church was celebrating it's 30th anniversary today and there would be a reconsecration starting at 1 PM followed by a Mass and a celebratory banquet. "But I thought that was yesterday," I replied. He shook his head. "No, the seventh is very definitely today." So, well, that threw a monkey wrench into the day's plans. P and I were planning to head up to Baltimore to see [livejournal.com profile] therevdrnye and hopefully talk to him a little, and our plan had been to meet up in Laurel at 1330 or so, which would allow me to attend Mass and also require that we'd only have to take one truck up to the hospital. Having a consecration ceremony starting at 1300 would be Awkward.

Well, there was nothing for it but to hang out and wait for P's call, and meanwhile take lots of pictures of a procession of cute Ukrainian girls in traditional costumes, hunky Ukrainian guys (ditto), icons, gonfalons, and bringing up the rear, our pastor and the Metropolitan, both of whom were decked out in liturgical regalia that would have made Elvis slack-jawed with amazement. I'm not sure even the Pope has vestments this flashy. Makes me wish I'd brought a real camera, but then if I'd remembered to bring that...ah, never mind. P didn't call until after the Metropolitan had blessed the cornerstone, so I got to see that, at least. (Pics posted on Facebook because this totally happened.)

And so I motored over to Laurel, met up with P in the parking lot across the street from [livejournal.com profile] digex' office and Warehouse of Holding, and proceeded up 95 to Baltimore with her. We were somewhat surprised to find about a dozen of Richard's friends from gaming and other fandoms/businesses there along with his father; introductions were made, and redone shortly afterward when [livejournal.com profile] therevdrnye's hosts Tad and Carrie showed up. Eventually P and I went in to visit, along with his father, but unfortunately [livejournal.com profile] therevdrnye was unconscious. Not too surprising, given that they had been at him with tubes and hoses for a good part of the morning. I'd like to think he knew that we were there for him.

By then it was about 1500, and we escaped just in time to miss most of the traffic from the Ravens' game. Not early enough to stop by the fabulous Laurel Meat Market, though, which was disappointing; we wound up doing dinner at the Japanese Steak House off Route 1 instead, being very careful to inquire about sauces and to decline the rice. Very good food! Got home ~1900 and have been putzing around on the internet since.

Yup.

Nov. 6th, 2010 10:20 am
wombat_socho: Wombat (Politics)
Kathy Shaidle explains why that "Coexist" bumper sticker is evidence of shallow, wishful thinking. I mean, some of those people still haven't forgiven us for shit that happened 500 years ago. Whiners.

Via POWIP
wombat_socho: Wombat (Catholic)
"I went to my niece's wedding at the pastor went off on some rant in his sermon about marriage is between a man and a women and anything else is wrong... I about wanted to punch him in the head. REALLY? at a wedding, not the time or place to preach that crap."

Well, um...where else are you going to preach that message? Aside from the usual Sunday sermon, of course. I excerpted this from a Facebook comment stream stemming from a friend's post that "you can tell it's an election year, even weddings are getting political." Me, I think somebody's confused about the difference between morals, religion, and politics. Preachers gotta preach the Word, preferably in churches but sometimes not, and let's face it, if you don't belong to the congregation, you get no say in what the preacher says. For that matter, if you don't belong to a Protestant church or Jewish synagogue where the minister/rabbi is an employee of the congregation, you don't get even that much say; us Catholics have to sit there and put up with whatever the priest wants to dish out on Sundays.

And if you're just there for the wedding, hey, feel free to ignore what the preacher is saying. It's not your church and not your preacher. So really, what do you care? Unless, of course, you're one of those narcissistic fucks who thinks everything in the world should be done to suit you.
wombat_socho: Wombat (Catholic)
That's how I feel about Epiphany of Our Lord Byzantine Catholic Church (which is really Ruthenian, but let's not go there). It's a very nice bunch of people, a thriving community of Slavic Americans with a lot of stuff going on, and it doesn't feel right to me. I'm impressed that they use a lot of Old Church Slavonic in their liturgy, and the fact that the rest of it is in English certainly makes it easier to follow along, but...I don't think it's the place for me. Bizarre as this may sound, I'd rather drive further to take part in a liturgy I don't completely understand and have trouble following -because my Russian is rusty and Ukrainian's not quite the same anyway- and I can't quite put my finger on why that is. Part of it is the language, of course. I like the challenge of adapting my Russian knowledge to Ukrainian, and it's in a good cause. I also like being part of a smaller parish. Chances are more than good that as I become a regular member of the parish and make a habit of showing up, they'll miss me when I don't, and I think that's something I've been looking for in a parish for quite a while. We'll see how it works.

In the meantime, for those of you who are local, Epiphany of Our Lord is having their 36th Annual Slavic American Festival next Sunday, and I am given to understand that there will be a small mountain of holubki and kielbasa there which can be consumed in air-conditioned comfort for the benefit of one's low-carb diet. I'll be going to Mass at Holy Trinity, but I don't think they'll run out before I get there. :)
wombat_socho: Wombat (DC)
On the recommendation of Holy Trinity's pastor, I'm trying a different parish today, Epiphany of Our Lord in Annandale. He said that it was Ruthenian, as opposed to Holy Trinity which is Ukrainian, but I'm not sure the difference is really pertinent unless you're an old and bitter Slavic Catholic type, as Wikipedia hints of historical/political hoo-ha relating to the messy history of Poland and Ukraine. Me being a Southern Catholic Black Irish redneck Jew, none of that really matters to me. The big question is whether they do the liturgy in Ukrainian or English or some other language, and whether it's another mega-church like Blessed Sacrament. If it is, then I'm going to commit to the weekly hegira to the other end of the Washington suburbs and continue to hone my miserable Ukrainian skills. If not, well, it still feels a little slothful to only be driving ten miles to Mass.

Thanks to Smitty for the quote and link in today's Rule 5 post, which by the way I recommend to all my Loyal Readers who like them some cheesecake. Or beefcake, if that's how your tastes run. Anyway, if you're dropping by here from The Other McCain for the first time, come on in and have a look around. This is mostly a personal LJ, though I do pop off about books (mostly SF and history), the occasional movie, and other cultural stuff like wargames and music. I also have the occasional opinion about foreign policy, the military, and why you rotten little kids need to get the hell off my lawn life in God's Country. Use the tags, feel free to leave comments, but be aware that anonymous comments are moderated thanks to an influx of spammers, /b/tards, and other idiots a while back, so leaving your name or some other identifier in your comment will increase the chance of said comment actually being posted and/or replied to.

Time for me to scarf up some quick breakfast-like foods and head off to Mass.
wombat_socho: Wombat (DC)
Still feeling a little out of it after this weekend's experiment in sleep deprivation & deficit repair, so I didn't really get anything done - except getting Intuit to get their sticky fingers out of my checking account, which they were about to hit up for $78 worth of fees for a service agreement and online storage, neither of which I'm interested in. I might still go out tonight to get some half & half, because frankly, coffee tastes like shit without it.

I'm continuing to plow through a low-carb diet thread on the Something Awful forums. It's full of interesting stuff as well as the inevitable trolling and stupidity. I'm not learning anything new, but it's still interesting.

Oh yeah, I also read some books... )

I have started parish-shopping again and this past Sunday made a drive practically to Columbia (Maryland, not South Carolina) to attend Mass at Holy Trinity Particular Ukrainian Church. I'll have to post pix after next week, since the church is rather unique, even for an Eastern Rite joint, but for now it feels right to me and I have the feeling that once I've been showing up for a few weeks people will start missing me if I'm not there, since it's a pretty small parish. Also, studying the liturgy will give me something besides accounting to keep my study habits fresh for next semester.
wombat_socho: Wombat (Catholic)
An Episcopalian, an Atheist, and a Jew Walk into a Catholic School. . . . - Philanthropy Roundtable:
Robert W. Wilson speaks with a calm, almost gentle, voice. With his wire rim glasses and closely cropped gray beard, Wilson could easily be mistaken for a senior professor at a small liberal arts college. But Wilson is not an academic. He is a legendarily successful Wall Street investor. Retired since 1986, the 83-year-old Wilson now devotes much of his time to philanthropy.

Among his many achievements, Wilson is the single largest benefactor of Catholic schools in the Archdiocese of New York. Since 2007, he has donated over $30 million to inner-city Catholic education.

He is also an atheist.


Pretty interesting. RTWT. (The Corner)
wombat_socho: Wombat (Catholic)
Undermining the Catholic Church - latimes.com:
Catholic priests alone are mocked as ecclesiastical Lypsinkas in the media and elsewhere when they dare to wear the traditional garb of their calling. There is a reason for that. The latest round of abuse allegations, only one of which can be said to have occurred on Ratzinger's watch, aren't really about supposed Vatican cover-ups of sexual exploitation of children by clerics. They are yet another effort to discredit the Roman Catholic Church wholesale by people whose beefs with Catholicism rest on entirely different grounds — namely that it forbids abortion and homosexual conduct, it doesn't allow women to be priests, and it requires men who enter the priesthood to remain celibate.


Never expected to see something this fair to the Church in the LA Dog Trainer & Birdcage Liner. RTWT. (NRO Web Briefing)
wombat_socho: Curly W (baseball)
I vaguely remember hearing about this a few months ago as I was surfing through various website, but I see Aaron Gleeman has followed up on the Grant Desme story. Desme, a well-regarded prospect in the A's system, walked out on his baseball career and decided to join the priesthood. More detail in the San Jose Mercury News, whose article by Mark Emmons is what caught Gleeman's attention.

Don't think I've seen an intersection of religion and baseball like this since Bill James teed off on the Padres some years ago.

Speaking of baseball stuff, it's not too late to get involved in the Suburban League's first season. There's three teams doomed to robotic indifference unless you step in! Draft is tomorrow morning, but you can get involved any time.

Also, Eri Yoshida got signed by the Chico Outlaws of the independent Golden League.
Also also, Josh Beckett's marrying a rocket scientist.

On an unrelated topic, today was fairly peaceful at the tax mines despite there being only six days left in the tax season and a full schedule of clients on the schedule. I'm thinking this weekend is going to be crazy, so I'm not making any big plans aside from tomorrow's draft in case I get called in. I've already made arrangements to get some backup next week over the lunch hour, when it gets extra-special crazy busy.
wombat_socho: Wombat (Happy)
The Gospel according to Matthew .

As an additional dose of Easter "awwwwww", I submit these links to Lileks' Bleat:
Heat on the street. Also, the Gnat discovers old Russian guys on the Internets. (This will sound very familiar to all parents with kids who grew up with the Internet and don't remember when there wasn't one.)
Memories, and our old pal Reddy Kilowatt in his Easter finery.

Usual Sunday icon replaced by the smiling face of Victor Von Doom. Because. :)
wombat_socho: Wombat (Catholic)
liturgical bitching follows )
wombat_socho: Wombat (Catholic)
Cut to spare the f-list )
wombat_socho: Wombat (Catholic)
Going to the 2 PM Spanish Mass at Blessed Sacrament was a big mistake. I left early, during Communion, and I never do that.
Moderate to severe alienation follows )
So as for today...I suppose technically it fulfills my Sunday obligation, but it doesn't feel that way to me.

Usual Sunday icon not used; it would be wrong.
wombat_socho: Wombat (Catholic)
Well...in some ways life got easier as a result of tonight's confession, and in other ways it just got a lot harder.
Would you like to know more? )
wombat_socho: Wombat (DC)
Last night the new vacuum for the vacuum dressing arrived, and today the visiting nurse came by to install it. Surprisingly little pain; I was half expecting to need some Percocet, but this proved not to be necessary. So, now I have this hose in a sponge in my wound, and every so often the pump burbles and draws forth some fluid. No blood or gunk so far, but I'm dubious about how this is going to play at work. The pump is battery powered and I'm going to plug it in tonight while I'm asleep so it'll be all good to go tomorrow.

Speaking of work, today was kind of choppy since I went to see one of my parish priests in the morning. This is part of the ongoing attempt to kick-start my spiritual life and get right with God again, and I think it's going to go well. The meeting was very cathartic and productive. There's a lot of things going on at the parish, and I expect I'll be getting more involved in some of those things, in addition to doing a little Eucharistic Adoration and showing up for Mass like I'm supposed to.

I was going to dump my (altered) career plans in another post, but this is as good as any a place to note that I'm going to abandon the teaching career path. It just doesn't pay well enough to justify the additional class work I'll need to finish off a teaching certification. The same goes for continuing to look for entry-level bookkeeping/accounting jobs; these also don't pay very well and I'm brutally overqualified for most of them. Fortunately, the Virginia CPA exam isn't as big a ball-buster as it is in other states, but it looks like I'm still going to need some additional coursework first, since they don't count OJT toward the scholastic requirements. I have offers to help me with the classes, and maybe I can count some of my Cardinal Stritch MBA classes, if I can pry a transcript loose from them.

That's about it for today.

Currently reading: The Player of Games, by Ian M. Banks.

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