"Never be in a hurry; do everything quietly and in a calm spirit. Do not lose your inner peace for anything whatsoever, even if your whole world seems upset." Saint Francis De Sales

Friday, August 30, 2013

My Slow Takes (Vol. 111)

1. “Unfettered” is a collection of short stories featuring the following science fiction and fantasy authors. Terry Brooks, Robert Jordan, Brandon Sanderson, Patrick Rothfuss, Jacqueline Carey, Naomi Novik, R. A. Salvatore, Peter V. Brett, Mark Lawrence, David Anthony Durham and Shawn Speakman. 

Buying the book is an opportunity to help Shawn Speakman. He has accumulated a large medical debt from treatment of Hodgkin’s lymphoma. Terry Brooks offered and donated a short story that Shawn could sell to help pay his medical bills. Through Terry’s suggestion, Shawn asked other authors if they would donate stories. What came together is an unusual selection of stories all in one book. 

I loved the book because it put together some of the best fantasy and science fiction writers into one place. It was an introduction to different worlds, different times, adventure and surprises. Most important it shows how friends come together when help is needed.

2. My nephew Matthew has enlisted in the United States Navy. He scored high in the testing part of the enlistment process. That allowed him to choose his area of study which will be the nuclear program. He is my sister Kim’s oldest and we are all very proud of him.

3. The Richmond Spiders start their season this Saturday. They will be playing VMI at home.

4. My other favorite team, Notre Dame, also start their season this Saturday. They will be playing Temple at home.

5. A photo of JJ's Tiki Bar from our wine tasting gathering last Friday.

6. “As long as you notice, and have to count the steps, you are not yet dancing but only learning how to dance. A good shoe is a shoe you don’t notice. Good reading becomes possible when you do not consciously think about eyes, or light, or print or spelling. The perfect liturgy would be one we were almost unaware of; our attention would have been on God.”  
(C.S. Lewis)

7. The 4th Independent Maryland State Troops, 1776. The unit took part in the following engagements. New Jersey 1777, Defense of Philadelphia, Defense of the Carolina's, Yorktown and Greene’s Campaign. One of the reasons I painted the unit was the unusual purple color of the dyed linen hunting shirts. Figures are Old Glory Miniatures

Read other "Takes" at Conversion Diary.

Friday, August 23, 2013

My Slow Takes (Vol. 110)

1. My favorite historical fiction book is “Last of the Mohicans” by James Fenimore Cooper. The novel centers on the siege of Fort William Henry which occurred on August 5, 1757. The first time I read it was in high school. It made a positive impression on me that encouraged my love for North American history.
Painting By L. F. Tantillo
2. I did not see the original viewing by these talented people. It is a moving choreography of shadow dancing.

3. Our son Stephen and his river crew. They rescued a man and his dog from the river.

4. Microsoft Windows does provide some alternatives to missing files.

5. Dee and I took the granddaughters to the Science Museum this week. The highlight of the visit was the iMax theatre which showed an excellent film on dolphins. The girls had never been to an iMax viewing before and the youngest, five years old, asked Dee, “Are we moving?”  Afterward we spent time in the exhibits, many of which were “hands on” fun stuff to do. It was a great day.

Me and the girls at iMax
6. Thursday was my ministry of taking communion to the sick at Brandermill Woods. It always humbles me that I am blessed to be able to do this. The men and women enjoy the daily reading and always thank me. 

7. Tonight Dee and I are attending a wine tasting. She enjoys a white wine occasionally so I get to have two samplings of all the red wines.

Read other "Takes" at Conversion Diary.

Friday, August 16, 2013

My Slow Takes (Vol. 109)

1. Deacon Charles gave his first Homily on Sunday at St. Paul’s Catholic Church in Richmond, VA. It was a beautiful Homily and Dee and I were blessed that we were able to attend the Mass.

2. Father John’s 10 year ordination celebration was last weekend. There was a reception after each Mass. He was surprised and happy that the Epiphany Parish honored him.

3. Vacation Bible School was at our church last week. An annual event that brings children closer to God through song and scripture. This year’s theme was “Kingdom Rock.” The artwork, photos, teenage group leaders, and many others were volunteers that made the event successful.

4. A tribute to Johnny Cash by Alan Jackson released in 1999 on the album “Under the Influence.” The song was recorded by Hank Williams, Jr. in 1980 on his album, “Habits Old And New.”

5. August 16,1780 was the Battle of Camden fought in South Carolina. It was a humiliating defeat that marked the end of General Gates as head of the American forces in the South. Details of the battle, participants, maps and much more can be found here.  

"Battle of Camden, Death of De Kalb." August 1780. Copy of engraving after Alonzo Chappel. Credit: National Archives and Records Administration.
6. Some interesting news from the “Outer Banks Sentinel.” If you are traveling to the Outer Banks, head over to Jennette’s Pier in Nags Head. On Tuesday August 20 and Wednesday August 21, the “Reptile Wrangler,” Bruce Shwedick will be performing. 

7. The World Pipe Band Championships begins Saturday, August 17. There will be live coverage on Saturday here and Sunday here.

This is our local pipe and drum band. Although they will not be in Scotland this year, they are the Champions of Richmond, Virginia.

Read other "Takes" at Conversion Diary.

Friday, August 9, 2013

My Slow Takes (Vol. 108)


1. Someone in the crowd said to Jesus,
“Teacher, tell my brother to share the inheritance with me.” 
He replied to him,
“Friend, who appointed me as your judge and arbitrator?” 
Then he said to the crowd,
“Take care to guard against all greed,
for though one may be rich,
one’s life does not consist of possessions.”

Then he told them a parable. 
“There was a rich man whose land produced a bountiful harvest. 
He asked himself, ‘What shall I do,
for I do not have space to store my harvest?’
And he said, ‘This is what I shall do:
I shall tear down my barns and build larger ones. 
There I shall store all my grain and other goods
and I shall say to myself, “Now as for you,
you have so many good things stored up for many years,
rest, eat, drink, be merry!”’
But God said to him,
‘You fool, this night your life will be demanded of you;
and the things you have prepared, to whom will they belong?’
Thus will it be for all who store up treasure for themselves
but are not rich in what matters to God.”     LK 12:13-21     

Father John’s Homily Sunday morning made me more aware of the point Jesus was trying to make to the crowd about greed. His answer to sharing the inheritance is not pleasing to the one who asked. I’m sure he was expecting Jesus to tell his brother that is proper to provide what is due him. The son doesn't seem to have any concern for the departed father, only the importance of the property.

In the parable, the word “I” is repeated six times. The word “my” is repeated three times. There is no sharing, no thought of other, just self. Possession of food and drink built into a personal treasure. Jesus wants the crowd to know and understand the importance of the sinfulness of greed. The parable provides the lesson; if they choose to listen. 

2. Here is an easy and simple way to test your batteries. I never knew this.

3. This an excellent video of the Battle of Bushy Run which took place on August 5-6, 1763. It is done in miniature.

Bushy Run by Don Troiani
4. We are holding an election for a new Governor. Our current Virginia elected official is Bob McDonnell. His term is ending and the two individuals running for office are Ken Cuccinelli II, Republican, and Terry McAuliffe, Democrat. Their campaign focuses on each one telling how bad the other one is. It’s hard to tell what good either one of them may be able to accomplish. A campaign of “Frick and Frack.” Just my 2 cents, but read what Frank James writes at NPR.

5. Hiawatha was a real person made famous by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow’s poem, “The Song of Hiawatha.” He was an Onondaga Indian and was instrumental in forming the Iroquois Confederacy, sometime between 1450 and 1600. There was no written history of this but was orally passed from generation to generation. It was said that the founding father was possibly a Huron named Deganawida. He traveled from tribe to tribe, Mohawk, Oneida, Onondaga, Cayuga and Seneca, preaching the “Good News of Peace.” During his travels he met Hiawatha, Ayouhwatha, an Onondaga. Together they convinced the tribes to be at peace and the Confederacy of the Five Nations was formed. 

A nation that encompassed most of what is today New York State, but reached into Canada and Pennsylvania. The Iroquois Nation played an important part during the French and Indian War as well as the American Revolution.    

The Iroquois Museum website has excellent information and provides a complete story and reference list.

Hiawatha Belt by Ken Maracle, Cayuga Indian, 2006
Northern Iroquoian Nations 1615 by Jennifer Birch

6. This is a fruit bowl that was at a baby shower Dee attended last weekend.

7. This is an ad that has me contemplating trying their product.

Read other "Takes" at Conversion Diary.

Friday, August 2, 2013

My Slow Takes (Vol. 107)

1. My Dad was a fan of the historical Chrysler De Soto. I learned to drive and took my road test in a 1958 De Soto. It was big and quite different from cars that my friends fathers owned. So, I was surprised when I found a photo of a De Soto concept car. Dad would probably not care for the design, but I think it was rather interesting.

1954 De Soto Adventurer II
1958 De Soto, Dad's was blue.
2. This is a photograph of photojournalist Jessie Tarbox from the 1900s. The camera has evolved dramatically from what Jessie is using. Women photographers have changed their attire as well. 

"You've come a long baby."
3. We have finished season three of Downton Abbey and I enjoyed it. Dee is not pleased with the ending episode. I explained that sometimes things may not be as they appear to be. She was not convinced.

4.  James Gallagher reporter at BBC, has an interesting article, “Alzheimer’s blood test edges closer.” This is another positive step in the understanding of Alzheimer's disease. The more we can learn the closer we can come to a cure.

5. “Rain, rain go away, come again another day.” This has been an unusual July with rain levels running higher than normal. August is starting off in the same direction. Some days I feel a little bit like Charlie Brown.

6. The bumble bees came back. I knew where they were and worked my way around them so I wouldn’t get stung. Keeping the lawn mower between them and me I slowly cut around the nest. When I finished I pulled back to continue the rest of the lawn. Then, just when I thought I was safe, some lone assertive scout bypassed the lawn mower and stung me in the foot. Bee’s 2, me 0.

7. Cote de Pablo will do her last episode as Ziva next month. I will miss her and wonder what type of character will join the team.
Read other "Takes" at Conversion Diary.