Wednesday, September 30, 2009
Tuesday, September 29, 2009
Monday, September 28, 2009
Friday, September 25, 2009
Thursday, September 24, 2009
Wednesday, September 23, 2009
Monday, September 21, 2009
Sunday, September 20, 2009
Thursday, September 17, 2009
Wednesday, September 16, 2009
If you need further proof.
Tuesday, September 15, 2009
Albert Einstein once said, "Two things are infinite: the universe and human stupidity; and I'm not sure about the universe." Here's proof...
Sunday, September 13, 2009
Thursday, September 10, 2009
Like much of America I watched the President's speech last night on health care reform and, like most of America, I was appalled by the disgraceful behavior of Congressman Joe Wilson who screamed out “You lie!” in the midst of the speech. Leaving side the fact that the President did not lie and that, in fact, the proposed reform specifically states in perfectly clear language that the proposed health care will NOT be available to those in this country illegally, his behavior showed utter and complete contempt and disregard for the Congress and all its members present and for the President of the United States.
Tuesday, September 08, 2009
Monday, September 07, 2009
moral void, even where conscience and morality is invoked.
This country is nuts.
I've been reading an excellent book on Gandhi, compiled by John Dear, S.J.. Gandhi himself prayed two hours every day, and he concluded that prayer was nourishment for the soul, even as food was for the body, that prayer engendered the essentials of faith and humility, and that prayer, sincerely done, was more valuable than any action.
The following occur to me as worthwhile subjects of prayer.
- that we disarm our hearts and our society
- that the Holy Spirit subvert, stalemate, and expose preparation for the invasion of Iraq
- that God intervene in the ecological crisis as Lord of Creation, because we refuse to change our abuse of the earth
- that Americans begin to understand and resist the three-pronged aims for the Bush Administration: the trashing of civil liberties, perpetual war, and world domination
- that the swindle of "foreknowledge" by the Bushites of 9/11 be fully disclosed
- that the "crime" of 57 years of nuclearism, and its consequent wasting of our lives and planet be revealed
- that Americans grasp that war is our #1 business; that we are violent, killer people, and that we know virtually little of the nonviolence of Jesus and the Gospel
- that the scourges of abortion, euthanasia, and the death penalty be ended
- that the U.S. withdraw all economic and military aid from Israel
- that the global war against children be lifted
- that the rich west contribute medication and food to the global victims of HIV-AIDS
- that each of us become people of fidelity, nonviolence, and justice
Thanks for reading.
Sunday, September 06, 2009
Friday, September 04, 2009
Tech Tip: LOSE THAT CABLE NEEDLE!
My current project in Kathleen's Knit-a-Long—the Central Park Hoodie—is a cable pattern, and I'm saving tons of time doing the cables without a needle. In the fall 2009 issue of Interweave Knits there's a Beyond the Basics lesson on this technique, and I thought I'd present it here, too. I don't recommend this method for use with slippery yarn or with big cable crossings (crossing more than four or five stitches over each other), but for most of your cabling needs, it's magic!
On a cable crossing row, work to just before the full cable group. With the yarn in back, slip all the stitches from the group purlwise to the right-hand needle to loosen them.
For a cable crossing right (standard instructions: hold the cable needle to the back of the work), bring the left-hand needle to the front of the work and insert it into the fronts of all stitches that need to be held (Figure 1). For a cable crossing left (standard instructions: hold the cable needle to the front of the work), bring the left-hand needle to the back of the work and insert it into the backs of all stitches that need to be held (Figure 2).
Between the left thumb and forefinger, pinch the base of the slipped stitches firmly. Pull the right-hand needle completely free of all the slipped stitches (Figure 3; half will be on the left-hand needle; half will be free for a moment) and maintaining front/back position as established, quickly reinsert it into the free stitches. Make sure all the stitches are seated correctly on the needle; if they’re held firmly, the stitches won’t have twisted or moved at all during the time that they were dropped.
Slip stitches on the right-hand needle back to the left-hand needle. The stitches are now out of order and will be crossed when they’re worked (Figure 4). Work as directed.
Tuesday, September 01, 2009
Russell does a wonderful job in the first couple chapters of the book in refreshing the reader's memory. Our hero, Emilio Sandoz, is a broken man and, because I was totally in love with him in the first book, it was painful to find him still so crushed but, with the support of Fr. Candotti and Brother Behr --- and in a tough-love kind of way, the Jesuit Father General Guiliani, characters from the first book, plus some new characters (not the least of which is a guinea pig named Elizabeth) --- he begins to heal and find joy... and love. Then --- POW! He gets clobbered again.
I'll admit I got a little restless through some of the longer chapters about life on Rakhat in the aftermath of the first expedition. I missed some of the old characters, of course, especially D.W. But I knew he couldn't be in this one due to his untimely demise in The Sparrow. But there were some new Earth characters introduced including three more Jesuit priests, Daniel Iron Horse, Sean Fein (an Irish-Jewish priest!), and the absolutely mesmerizing Joseba Urizarbarrena, a Basque ecologist, that I just wanted to know more about. The Lakota Fr. Iron Horse ("sorry...no braids, no shades, ace"), especially, as the leader of the second expedition, deserved more character development, I thought, because his decisions and manner of executing them were so critical to the story. But there was a lot of material to cover in 436 pages.
I won't go in to detail but one of the things that we learn is that no matter what we think is the truth, we are almost always in for a surprise. Yes, Emilio was utterly devastated by what happened to him but when we discover why, and especially the misunderstandings that lead to the why, it is crushing --- the intentions behind it were completely the opposite of what it seems. And, ultimately, we and Emilio Sandoz are faced with the difficult-to-accept truth: God's ways are not our ways. The moral of the story might well be: God is a Big Picture Guy, deal with it.
It was also interesting to be reading this book between watching the many tributes to Senator Ted Kennedy following his recent death --- tributes and virulent criticisms from some. The big question that both The Sparrow and Children of God asks is, “What is the nature of redemption? Are there offenses so great that they cannot be redeemed, even if not forgiven?” In the end even though Emilio may never forgive what he believes God did to him, he is faced again and again with the redemptive beauty that his unique and exceptional character inspired in the citizens of Rakhat --- and on Earth, too. For me, one of the most gorgeous moments was when he learns that the beautiful, lush gardens that are now all over the planet are not called gardens by the people of Rakhat, but rather “robichaux” in honor of Fr. Marc Robichaux, the botanist who was Emilio's final companion on the first expedition. Emilio Sandoz is an outstanding character --- he suffers much but then, at least in Catholic tradition, our heroes tend to do that. Early in the book, when one of the other priests tries to comfort Emilio by comparing his suffering to that of Jesus, Emilio tartly replies, “Yeah, well, he only had to endure it for three hours.” Whew.
One of the allures of Emilio is his amazing sense of humor and there is an excellent moment toward the end of the book that I loved. Upon his return to Earth many years later, he is being debriefed by a Father Patras who, we learn, wrote his doctoral thesis on Emilio. At the end of the debriefing Fr. Patras tells Emilio that the Jesuit Mother General is waiting now to speak with him. Emilio, flabbergasted, replies, “Mother General?? You're joking!” Patras admits that he is. Emilio asks him how long he has been waiting to use that joke and Patras replies, “Fifteen years.” The Jesuits might be progressive enough to shoot scientists into space, discover new planets, and embrace new life-forms but a Mother General? Perish the thought.
Well done, Ms. Russell, very, very well done.
Thanks for reading.