"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, March 28, 2014

My Slow Takes about the Prodigal Son, Fingerprints, Elvish names and Buffy Sainte-Marie.

1. Anthony De Cristofaro from “Your Daily Tripod” said that the story of the Prodigal Son is a “Unique story. (Saturdays Gospel Luke:15:1-3; 11-32) He looks at the story as one of waste and excessive spending of money and resources. Something I never thought about but then every time I hear or read the story I learn something new. Anthony asks us to reflect on the gifts that have been given to us. Do we waste them or do we share our gifts with others? 

2. Just in case you're wondering how to tie a “four-in-hand” tie knot. Or, maybe you want to know what a "four-in-hand: knot is.

1. Put the necktie around your neck, so that the wider end is on your right hands side. It has to hang lower than the narrow part of the tie, since some fabric of the tie will be needed to tie the knot. Now grab the broad end with your right hand and move it over to the left going across the narrow end of the tie.
2. Pass the wider part of the necktie around and behind the narrow part of the tie.
3. Now, wrap the wider part of the necktie around the front again and pull it through the left side on your collar.
4. Make sure that you don’t tighten the knot yet. With your left hand create a loop on the front side of the knot, and hold it open. Then, with your right hand, pull the wider part of the tie through the loop
5. Gently tighten the tie knot and center the tie knot between your collars. You are done.

3. Fingerprints are common today but were not always used for crime solving.

“The first fingerprint evidence involving a scene of crime latent print in England was heard at the Central Criminal Court (Old Bailey), London, on the 13th September 1902, when a Harry Jackson was tried after pleading not guilty to a charge of burglary at Denmark Hill, South London, and stealing billiard balls. An imprint of his left thumb was found in dirt on a newly painted window sill during an examination of the crime scene by Detective Sergeant Collins. He photographed the latent and with the assistance of colleagues searched the latent through the relatively small offender print collection and it was identified. By consultation between Henry, the Director of Public Prosecutions, Stedman and Collins, a famous barrister of the time, Richard Muir, conducted the prosecution case, Collins explaining the system and producing photographic enlargements and tracings of both latent and known print. Jackson was convicted and was sentenced to 7 years penal servitude.”

4. There is a website where you can locate you name and translate to Middle Earth Elvish. My name, Paul would be: Nibenon. Pronounced: Nee-bennn-on. Jen, at Conversion Diary, would be: Nimthîriel. Pronounced: Nim-theer-ee-ell.

5. Please pray for Bob, a gentle and kind man who loves fishing and is a wonderful friend. We have missed him at our Friday luncheons. He is in the hospital fighting lung cancer.

6. Prayers are needed for the families of Boston firefighters Lieutenant Edward J. Walsh Jr. and Firefighter Michael R. Kennedy. Both were killed in the line of duty on Wednesday.

7. This is a beautiful song by Buffy Sainte-Marie. A Canadian Native Cree songwriter from the 1960s that continues to introduce new music. 

Read other "Takes" at Conversion Diary.

Friday, March 21, 2014

My Slow Takes about St. Patrick’s Day, Boston, Ralph Waite and Spring

 1. The Richmond Spiders did not do well against the VCU Rams last Friday. Dee invited both Spider and VCU fans to our house for the "Big Game." We enjoyed being together with friends and sharing the excitement of the A-10 Tournament. I even learned the Rams free throw chant; "WHOOSH! V! C! U! GO! RAMS! GO!”

2. On Saint Patrick’s Day we always get together for dinner at our local pub, the Capital Ale House. Plenty of good food and Guinness.

3. On March 17, 1776 the British army evacuated Boston, Massachusetts. They had been besieged since April 19, 1775. 
Watching the ships leave.
4. Ralph Waite, who played Jackson Gibbs on NCIS, died at age 85. His final journey was February 13, 2014. I missed this last month for which I apologize. Prayers for his wife Linda, family and friends. 
The writers at NCIS are working on an episode to honor Ralph which will probably be a season finale. 
Ralph Waite and Mark Hamon
5. The first day of spring, Thursday the 20th. According to the Farmer’s Almanac it started at 12:57 P.M. EDT. I am ready for the warmer weather, flowers and sunshine.

University of Richmond
6. This is one of my favorite Blake Shelton songs, “Some Beach.”

7. John De Terre Neuve from "Wargaming in 28 MM and Sometimes Smaller," has painted two excellent figures from the movie, "The Hobbit: the Desolation of Smaug." Visit his blog for figures from other periods, fantasy and historical.

Radagast and Gandalf

Read other "Takes" at Conversion Diary.

Friday, March 14, 2014

My Slow Takes about Father John, Mommy, Blake Shelton and A-10 basketball

1. We were blessed to have Bishop John Baptist Kaggwa celebrate Mass with us on Sunday. He is Father John’s diocese Bishop from the Masaka Diocese in Uganda. The Bishop’s homily was excellent and everyone enjoyed talking with him after Mass. Father John was beaming with joy as he shared our Epiphany family with the Bishop. 

Father John and Bishop John
2. St. Paul’s writings are inspiring and thought provoking. Sunday’s reading from Paul’s letter to the Roman’s reinforces the impact that Jesus’ sacrifice had on us. A single man changing history and providing redemption for all of us. This one line emphasizes how important one person can be to others. All we have to do is love one person. Either through talking, giving or helping. It doesn’t have to be grandiose and know one has to know. 

“For just as through the disobedience of the one man
the many were made sinners, 
so, through the obedience of the one, 
the many will be made righteous.” RM 5:19

3. Our dear friend Pam was over at out house the other evening. She brought an article written by Megan Morton entitled, “Mommy, Somebody Needs You.” This is worth a few minutes to read. It will make you laugh, cry and want to go hug your children.
4. On March 9, 1862 the history of fighting ships was changed. The battle of the first “ironclad” ships, the Merrimack and the Monitor fought each other in Hampton Roads, Virginia. Read about the battle at Civil War Trust.

5. Dee and I watch “The Voice” and enjoy the new talent that the program presents. The humorous entertainment comes from the “judges.” This season is one of the best with Shakira, Adam, Blake and Usher. They are all talented and we enjoy watching them have fun while they work. The video I’ve chosen below is Dee’s favorite by Blake. “The Baby.”

6. Wednesday evening we attended a concert given by The Salisbury Presbyterian Church Chancel Choir. Our friend Roger is one of the tenors. The singing is done a cappella and was beautiful. My favorite song was “Ubi Caritas.”  A beautiful hymn sung in Latin. It was like listening to angels, all blending together praising God.

“UBI caritas et amor, Deus ibi est.
Simul quoque cum beatis videamus,
Glorianter vultum tuum, Christe Deus:
Gaudium quod est immensum, atque probum,
Saecula per infinita saeculorum. Amen.”

("Where charity and love are, God is there.
And may we with the saints also,
See Thy face in glory, O Christ our God:
The joy that is immense and good,
Unto the ages through infinite ages. Amen.")

The choir performs at the Washington National Cathedral on March 16.

7. The Richmond Spiders won over Duquesne in the first round of A-10 basketball. Tonight they face the VCU Rams. This is a big rivalry between the two colleges and will be an exciting game. Dee decided this is a good night to get together with our Spider friends.

Read other "Takes" at Conversion Diary.

Friday, March 7, 2014

My Slow Takes about the weather, Lent, a song from 1964 and choices.

1. In the early hours of the morning he sent forth his minions, Isen and Klad. They would freeze the ground and the air preparing the land for the snow storm that Ymir would bring. When Ymir arrived he spread his white cloak blinding anyone who was outside. Those that could not get back to their homes wandered helplessly and soon succumbed to the bitter cold. He placed layer after layer of white crystals burying anything smaller than a rain barrel. Hour after hour he ravaged the countryside, howling and laughing at the villagers huddled in their homes. As darkness approached he tired of this game. Gathering his henchmen together they headed back north. He knew that his adversaries Sol and Eir would not abandon the people. They would come and bring the warmth of day. There would be the healing of despair from the ravages of winter. Soon there would be the bright colors of spring. Assorted greens, violets, yellows, reds and blues. New life will stir in the forests and the brooks will sing their melodies as they cascade from the melting snows of the mountains.
The cold and dreary Monday morning seeps into my mind creating fantasies of winter as I patiently wait for spring.    

2. I have a cold this week. When I was a young lad my Mom always made sure I had chicken soup. The old adage, “feed a cold, starve a fever” always comes to mind. Chicken soup “may contain a number of substances with beneficial medicinal activity.” All I know is that Mom always made it for me and it contained love. 

I’m one of those who feels better when my stomach is full. Eating helps keep “your nutrient levels up” while you’re fighting a cold. So it works for me.  

3. Today is Ash Wednesday, the beginning of Lent. This is a favorite time of year for me. It is a sign that spring is coming. The flowers and trees coming to life like the resurrection of Jesus. It is a time of prayer and Scripture reading. A time for repenting and fasting.
4. My brother Tom’s favorite song by the Animals.

5. The Flawed Disciple, his posts have been few over the last couple of years, but when he writes it is with a simplistic yet powerful message. On Wednesday he wrote about being free, changes we face and commitment to God. Please take a moment to read as you reflect on Lent. 
6. Our son Todd was invited to speak at the Rocky Mount Preparatory in North Carolina. His talk, delivered to the students spoke of choices and heroes. Please take a moment to read his message at “Voice & Scholarship.”

7. Sunday, at 2PM, starts "Daylight Saving Time.” Spring forward by moving your clocks one hour ahead. There is an interesting article by David Dickinson at “Universe Today.”

Read other "Takes" at Conversion Diary.

Sunday, March 2, 2014

Much To Do About Nothing

Any resemblance to William Shakespeare and his writings is purely coincidental. This is the seventh day post and I have run out of ideas. I’ve searched my database on ideas but nothing was there that I felt strong enough to write about. So where does that put me on this beautiful sunny day with temperature already at 72. It’s real easy to go for a nice walk in the neighborhood and see who else is taking advantage of the warm weather. But if I do that this will never be completed.

I could write about the outdoor hockey game last night. It was played in Chicago with snow falling so fast, the rink had to be shoveled off during stoppage of play. The score was one sided, the Blackhawks winning over the Penguins. Hm, something like Batman triumphant over the Penguin.

Another possibility is to write another snippet on my short story ideas. The problem is that I have nothing ready. That area requires more work.

There is another snow/ice storm heading across the country, but everyone is already aware of that. Our local grocery stores are already filling up with people getting as much bread and milk they can carry. The theory is if we are snowed-in or iced-in they would have enough bread and milk for a week. No, I don’t do that. My wine inventory is sufficient for the storm.

Today’s activity is our normal Sunday family gathering. Dee’s homemade sauce, salad and a delicious desert afterward.

I vaguely remember a certain comedian who came up with a sitcom which had no plot, nothing. It was very successful and I’m amazed at how interesting that nothing was. So, maybe this post, the last in the series of seven, is okay. Thank you for reading and please return when I have something to write about.

Read other blogs at Conversion Diary.

Saturday, March 1, 2014

My Slow Takes about post-a-day, beer, Mash and Cat Stevens

1. Jen’s “7 Posts, 7 Days” is a challenge for me. I like it because it forces me to think and then to write. Although this time I mixed up Saturday with Friday. So my post for “My Slow Takes” is a day off. A minor issue that is easily resolved.

2.  Cheers, “where everybody knows your name,” was a great sit-com. I watched every episode and then the repeats as well. Two of my favorite characters were Cliff Claven and Norm Peterson. Cliff new something about everything and was always educating those around him. My favorite anecdote was his explanation of the effect of beer on the human brain.

"Well, ya see, Norm, it's like this.. A herd of buffalo can only move as fast as the slowest buffalo. And when the herd is hunted, it is the slowest and weakest ones at the back that are killed first. This natural selection is good for the herd as a whole, because the general speed and health of the whole group keeps improving by the regular killing of the weakest members! ; In much the same way, the human brain can only operate as fast as the slowest brain cells. Excessive intake of alcohol, as we know, kills brain cells. But naturally, it attacks the slowest and weakest brain cells first. In this way, regular consumption of beer eliminates the weaker brain cells, making the brain a faster and more efficient machine! That's why you always feel smarter after a few beers."

3. The Contilia Retirement Group, located in Essen Germany made a calendar with some of their seniors. This is my favorite, a reenactment from “Easy Rider.” The seniors are Walter Loeser, age 98, as Peter Fonda and Kurt Neuhaus, age 90, as Dennis Hopper. 

4. On February 28, 1983 the final episode of “Mash” aired. I remember that I watched it while in Roanoke, Virginia. I was calling on customers in Virginia and stayed at a friends house. Gerry and his wife Rose went out that night and I agreed to babysit. The final episode was well done. It even brought tears to my eyes as each person said their farewells.

Here 5  “Moonshadow” by Cat Stevens, from his album “Teaser and the Firecat.”

6. Dee and I watched The Lone Ranger” with Johnny Depp. The film is great and I enjoyed the humor. The representation of Tonto was different from what Jay Silverheels portrayed in the television series. But, the character fit well with Johnny Depp. It was a different kind of Captain Jack Sparrow.

7. The woodpecker has returned. He was last sighted in April 2012 and was successfully chased away by the Hawk. It’s time to bring the Hawk out of retirement.

Read other "Takes" at Conversion Diary.