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Sunday, February 25, 2007

I guess I've not mentioned one of the biggest events in this big city. It's the livestock show and rodeo. Trail riders still trek hundreds of miles on their horses and wagons to this city for this event. The rodeo parade was Saturday morning: horses, riders in jeans and cowboy hats, horse- pony- or mule-drawn wagons, floats and bands. All these marching bands know about coming up after the horses and having to trod over the horse puckey. This city also has a mounted police force. We also have bicycling and motorcycle police force, but it was the horse-mounted force that was in the parade.

Kinda interesting...there are groups of "white" cowboys, and then groups of "Mexican" cowboys, then groups of "black" cowboys. I say cowboys but there are also cowgirls. And please forgive the lingo...I am grossly simplifying.

It just about always rain on this parade, and this morning was no different. Our newscaster joked that the humidity was high, so high in fact that the humidity is coming down on them. Nonetheless the folks turn out to line the streets.

This livestock show and rodeo lasts for roughly a month. Aside from the usual cowboy and livestock fare, there are also concerts and festival rides. The show also raises money for scholarships and gives a chance for the kids to show off their livestock. The high school by our house has a livestock barn just down the street; I bet they have entries. I don't usually go to the rodeo, but I was there once. I am most entertained by the rodeo announcers' commentaries; they exemplify "color commentary."

Yeah, it's another one of the big events that I don't go see. There are lots of big events, but I think the livestock show and rodeo is the biggest.


Thursday, February 22, 2007

Wishing all a most blessed Lenten season. Hopefully you had a great kick-off on Ash Wednesday.

just checking in

Monday, February 19, 2007

Huh? What? February is almost over? And Lent is starting in a day or so? I guess I won't be doing much planning as to what to do for Lenten penance.

I don't remember much of last week. So that recaps that.

This past Sunday I was able to sit down and chat with one of the Dominicans. Poor Sister, she didn't see it coming. It was impromptu. I guess I failed to emphasize that it was no emergency and that I was just in the neighborhood and needed to while away a little time. Being the giving person that she is, she agreed to meet with me on the fly.

I also learned that my volunteer duties were a bit more extensive for this upcoming weekend. That was a surprise. I have a Dominican dinner date for the upcoming Sunday. If all goes well, the volunteer event won't run into the Dominican dinner.

I went to an organ concert. This was in support of a friend who went in support of a friend. Organ is not my favorite instrument. On top of that, this particular organist's music taste does not gel with mine. I've heard wonderful organ solos, but these didn't make sense to me--it was just a bunch of sounds. I can't remember any of it. If they were to be played again, I'd have no chance of recognizing them.

Oh, yeah, Chinese New Year was a surprise too. Happy New Year to all. And belated Happy Presidents' Day.

BTW, it looks like Sr. Steph has returned to blogging.

fire extinguisher

Tuesday, February 13, 2007

I stopped by a restaurant on the way home to get dinner. I placed my "to go" order then left to run a quick errand. When I returned, the order was still not ready. The counter person greeted me then left to enter the kitchen. Some yelling in the kitchen ensued. Maybe the yelling is just how they communicated. I stood there and watied. With nothing to do, my eyes wandered. Behold: in the corner, on the floor, tucked behind a large planter is their fire extinguisher. The plant itself is not leafy and the fire extinguisher is easily accessible in between the four trunks of the plant.

When she came back with my order, I tried to tell her in a low voice that it's not good to have the fire extinguisher where it was, that it needed to be on the wall near the kitchen entrance, and that they might get ticketed if inspected. She didn't understand (they were of foreign descent). So we went the pointing route ... not that, not that, not the plant ... yes, the thing in the corner! Yeah, it should be here on the wall.

Ok, so maybe the issue is not that they might get ticketed; rather, it's that the fire extinguisher should be readily accessible. They're usually mounted on the wall both so that they can be seen and also so that things on the floor won't block their access.

Here is the actual NFPA wording:

The employer shall provide portable fire extinguishers and shall mount, locate
and identify them so that they are readily accessible to employees without
subjecting the employees to possible injury.

And here is the OSHA recommendation:
To prevent fire extinguishers from being moved or damaged, they should be
mounted on brackets or in wall cabinets with the carrying handle placed 3-1/2 to
5 feet above the floor. Larger fire extinguishers need to be mounted at lower
heights with the carrying handle about 3 feet from the floor.


women, unite

Monday, February 12, 2007

Women, unite! Or at least network.
85 Broads is a network for women. Check them out.

“85 Broads connects women across geographies, generations, academic institutions, and cultures. We are more than a community of 16,000 women. We are the women who will lead companies, win the Nobel peace prize, dance on the Broadway stage, find the cure for cancer, and invent new technologies. We will accomplish everything we ever wanted to accomplish in life by sharing the best of what we have with each other.” Janet Hanson, Founder, 85 Broads

I heard about them on CBS News.

bumper sticker

Seen on a black and white bumper sticker some days ago:

"What would Buddha do?"

ha ha


I did take sick leave today. Slept almost until noon. Got up, ate lunch and popped some pills then slept again (sitting up this time) until 4:30. So I slept the whole day just about. I do feel better. The headache is largely gone, though I feel as if it's still on the fringes with the possibility of coming back. I don't feel a hundred percent; that my just be due to all the sleeping. But I do feel capable of functioning now.

Thanks, T.O., for the well wishes!


Sunday, February 11, 2007

I don't feel so good. I took two Tylenols and a Mucinex Friday night. Then again Saturday morning. Then again Saturday afternoon. I refrained from taking another dose on Saturday night. Sunday morning I peeled myself out of bed, went to mass, did my volunteer thing, then ran some errands, came home to eat lunch then was back out again. I filled up the car and picked up dinner then I'm home for the day. I took an hour and a half nap. My head was really bothering me and I didn't want to get up. But I managed crawl out of bed, took two Tylenols and two Mucinex this time, then hopped in the shower, then I ate dinner then washed the dishes. I've more stuff to do but I'll just get up super early in the morning to take care of it. I sure want to call in sick tomorrow, but I doubt that it'd happen. If I feel this crappy tomorrow, then I'll reconsider.


Wednesday, February 07, 2007

This past Saturday I was at an ordination ceremony for 32 permanent deacons. Cool. The mass was 4 hours long.

Announced on Sunday at all masses: the order which runs our parish will be pulling out of the region. Starting next Summer, we will have new leadership for the parish. It was a difficult announcement to make; I'm sure our pastor would've preferred to just have to make it once, but he did it at every mass.

I'll post further thoughts on the matter only if there is any expressed interest.

Revelation: training wheels on a bicycle do nothing to help the rider learn to ride a bike.

Lisa Nowak. It's a sad story. But it's good that no one got maimed. I pray for the well being of all involved. Our astronauts are people who are "cream of the crop," "pick of the litter." They have credentials and accomplishments that would make anybody's head spin. Much is asked of our astronauts. They are among our national heros (heroines). Let us not be disrespectful.


Friday, February 02, 2007

Natty has raised my awareness of depleted uranium, or DU for short. If this is true, it is a catastrophy of horrendous proportions.

nothing new under the sun

Thursday, February 01, 2007

While the battle still hung in the balance, the crusades, introducing a new method and color of thought from the East, and the general diffusion of the teaching of Aristotle, injected a new element into the struggle, and one that was hostile to the spirit of feudalism. The new spirit triumphed; schools multiplied, scholars abounded, universities sprang up and numbered their students by the thousands. The whole age was marked by rapid and radical changes, great ideas and mighty movements, many of which have endured with undiminished influence to the present day. It was altogether a forceful, impetuous and chivalrous age, possessed of a giant's strength and a child's discretion. Indeed, the thirteenth century's tireless quest of truth has often been likened to the persistent inquisitiveness of a precocious child.

But this intellectual revival was not without its disquieting element. Human reason, fostered and developed under the guidance of the Church in the middle years of the twelfth century, dazzled by the consciousness of its own power, began to take on an overweening arrogance towards faith and authority. From this time on it asserted its absolute and undivided supremacy in the realm of knowledge, human and divine. It undertook to measure all truth by the capacity of its own understanding. Faith was impugned, dogma challenged, and even the mystery of the Trinity was held to be not beyond the reach of scholastic analysis. It placed its own judgments above God Himself, and demanded that they be accepted as the infallible criteria of truth. St. Bernard thus describes how generally this spirit had permeated the times: "Along the streets and in the squares people dispute about the Catholic Faith, about the child-bearing of the Virgin, about the Sacrament of the altar, and about the incomparable mystery of the Trinity." Of course, this license in human thought could have but one effect, and that a disastrous one, on the souls of men and the cause of truth alike.
hmm... sounds like today, actually

Saint Dominic and the Order of Preachers