"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, December 26, 2014

My Slow Takes About Ave Maria, St. Stephen and Seekers.

"We're all a little weird and life's a little weird. And when we find someone who's weirdness is compatible with ours, we join up with them and fall in mutual weirdness and call it love." – Dr. Seuss

2. Monday evening our men’s group had a guest speaker. Her name is Katie and she is daughter of one of members, Brother Tom. Katie is attending Ave Maria University. It is located south of Naples, Florida.

“Ave Maria University is a Catholic, liberal arts institution of higher learning dedicated to the formation of joyful, intentional followers of Jesus Christ through Word and Sacrament, scholarship and service, inspired by Saint John Paul II and Blessed Teresa of Calcutta and devoted to Mary, the Mother of God.”

Katie spoke of her decision to attend Ave Maria, her experiences as a student, her friends, professors and the campus in general. It was easy to see that she loved talking about everything. Her talk was uplifting, like a spark igniting our faith journeys. She spoke of discipleship. Of seeing Christ in the faces of others and how they should see the same when they look at us.  

3. If you didn’t read Steve Givens blog on Saturday, here is part of what was written.

“As we arise each day and search for ideas and meaning and insights, as we face empty screens and journals and canvases and sketchbooks, the Word (co-present with God since before the creation of the world) moves around inside us and kicks us like an unborn child aching and yearning to see the light of day. We give birth because of his birth. We create because we have been created.”

4. "Stephen, filled with grace and power,
was working great wonders and signs among the people.
Certain members of the so-called Synagogue of Freedmen,
Cyrenians, and Alexandrians,
and people from Cilicia and Asia,
came forward and debated with Stephen,
but they could not withstand the wisdom and the spirit with which he spoke."   Acts 6:8-10

Stephen was the "first Martyr," his feast day, December 26. Read his story here.

5. Their names were Melchior, Caspar and Balthazar. Three scholars or perhaps kings from Persia, India and Arabian. Traveling together, following a bright star. One that would lead them to Bethlehem in Judea. There they would find Jesus, worship Him and present Him with “gifts of gold and of incense and of myrrh.” 

Kings, scholars and shepherds receiving word that God had sent His son and they were to go and witness our saving grace. A rather odd selection of witnesses, but perhaps a foreshadowing of what was to come. A message that “all” would be able to worship.

here 6. Celtic Woman - “We Three Kings.”

7. "May you live as God intended, in a world at peace and the awareness of His love in every sunset, every flower's unfolding petals, every baby's smile, every lover's kiss, and every wonderful, astonishing, miraculous beat of our heart." 

Have a Blessed New Year.

Friday, December 19, 2014

My Slow Takes About Mary, The Creche and Shepherds.

1. Every year our church presents “Advent Lessons and Carols.” It is a session of readings, prayer and music. Our Director of Music, Pat, coordinates all of this which results in an excellent presentation. This year, in addition to the beautiful music, there was a reading that attracted my attention. “Mary Had a Little Lamb.” It was read by a young girl, not more than ten years old. Her enunciation was excellent. She projected herself as a seasoned reader and held the attention of the audience. The reading was from “Sermons 4 Kids.”   

2. The creche at our parish, Church of the Epiphany.

3. The Celtic Woman, “Do You Hear What I hear?”

4. Libera, “Angels We Have Heard On High.”

5. Bela, Eitan, Kefir and Peresh were shepherds in the fields around Bethlehem. They were “keeping the night watch over their flock.” A normal routine for them. Then, unexpectedly, “the angel of the Lord appeared to them and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were struck with great fear.” They did not hide nor run away, but they listened as the angel spoke, “Do not be afraid; for behold, I proclaim to you good news of great joy that will be for all the people. For today in the city of David a savior has been born for you who is Messiah and Lord. And this will be a sign for you: you will find an infant wrapped in swaddling clothes and lying in a manger.” 
This was good news and they discussed amongst themselves what they had just witnessed. But there was more, “suddenly there was a multitude of the heavenly host with the angel, praising God and saying: "Glory to God in the highest and on earth peace to those on whom his favor rests." The shepherds were startled by this beautiful and vibrant singing. But Kefir was calm and convinced them that they must go and see the child.

6. “Christmas with the Richmond Pops,” is designed to put us in the “Holiday Spirit.” The guests this year were the Richmond Choral Society and baritone soloist Robert Harrelson. Dee and I attended with our son Stephen and his family, including his wife Christina’s parents. The performance was enjoyable and fun. Robert Harrelson led the audience singing, Jingle Bells, White Christmas, Rudolf the Red Nose Reindeer and Santa Claus is Coming to Town.” The granddaughters loved that part the best. 

7. Have a Blessed Christmas. 

Read other "Takes" at "This Ain't the Lyceum."

Friday, December 12, 2014

My Slow Takes About A Patent, Leaves and Fort Niagara.

1. Our local paper, the “Richmond Times-Dispatch,” had the following article on our oldest son Eric. Virtual disks, cloning, BVMs, CVMs and RVDs are things that Eric is excellent at. Dee and I are very proud of his achievements.

Redeploying baseline virtual machine to update a child virtual machine by creating and swapping a virtual disk comprising a clone of the baseline virtual machine; (U.S Patent 8,898,668); Eric Forgette of Mechanicsville and others; NetApp Inc. of Sunnyvale, Calif.: One or more techniques and/or systems are disclosed for redeploying a baseline VM (BVM) to one or more child VMs (CVMs) by merely cloning virtual drives of the BVM, instead of the entirety of the parent BVM. A temporary directory is created in a datastore that has the target CVMs that are targeted for virtual drive replacement (e.g., are to be “re-baselined”). One or more replacement virtual drives (RVDs) are created in the temporary directory, where the RVDs comprise a clone of a virtual drive of the source BVM. The one or more RVDs are moved from the temporary directory to a directory of the target CVMs, replacing existing virtual drives of the target CVMs so that the target CVMs are thus re-baselined to the state of the parent BVM.

2. The Spiders did not get into the next round of the FCS Playoffs. Their season was fun and I enjoyed the games.

3. It’s December and the leave’s have finally stopped falling. Now it’s time to pick them up. A time consuming, but not difficult, task. My tool is a leak vacuum. It doesn’t do acorns, but it’s terrific on the leaves.
Here is an article on why leaves change color from the ESF website.

5. Neil Diamond singing “Silent Night.”

6. More singing from the Minions.

7. Pearl Harbor Remembrance Day was December 7.

Read other "Takes" at "This Ain't the Lyceum."

Friday, December 5, 2014

My Slow Takes About Luke 21:36, Advent, and Christmas Music

1. The Spiders beat Morgan State on Saturday which moves them on to round two of the FCS Playoffs. Finishing at 7-5 this year, the Irish Lads will now be preparing for 2015.

2. “Be vigilant at all times and pray that you have the strength to escape the tribulations that are imminent and to stand before the Son of Man.” Luke 21:36

“Your Daily Tripod,” for November 29, 2014, posses the question, “where do you stand?” Anthony De Cristofaro suggests that we read the post of New Orleans Saints player Benjamin Watson. The post provides his thoughts to the announcement that a grand jury would not indict a Ferguson police officer in the shooting death of a teenager. 

Anthony writes that “When we stand before the Lord, we will account for our faith and what we say and do because of it.  Let us be aware that our hearts do not become drowsy from too much television, Internet, work, play, and other diversions.  We may never all be a CNN hero, but we all can take steps to improve our community one person at a time.  In doing so, we will be nourished by God’s grace as we nourish others so we can nourish still more.”

3. Our granddaughter’s, Hailey and Eryn, were here for Sunday dinner, so I made sure the Advent Wreath was ready. Dee helped the youngest, Hailey, light the first candle. Then we all read the following.

The word “advent” means “coming,” and it refers to both comings of Christ. He came long ago to a manger in Bethlehem, He promises to come again at the end of time.

As we gather around our wreath to begin the celebration of Advent. Let us ask our Father in heaven to fill our hearts with grace.

Heavenly Father, we look forward to the celebration of Christmas and to the coming of the Lord in glory. Bless this Advent wreath and all of us. As we pray daily around it, fill us with your life and strengthen us for our daily tasks. We ask this through Christ our Lord.           Amen.

4. On December 5, 1933, Prohibition ended with the 21st Amendment.

5. Carrie Underwood - “Oh Holy Night.”

6. The Minions 

7. Our first Christmas gathering of 2014 is Friday evening. Friends will come together in Farmville, Virginia at the old train station. It was built back in 1930 and served as a N&W passenger station up until about 1979. It has been remodeled and is available for small weddings, receptions and other gatherings.

Read other "Takes" at "This Ain't the Lyceum."

Friday, November 28, 2014

My Thanksgiving Slow Takes About Plymouth Colony, Berkeley Plantation and Casablanca.

1. Writings about the Plymouth Colony. Both Edward Winslow and William Bradford were senior leaders. These writings and more history of the Plymouth are available here.

“And God be praised we had a good increase… Our harvest being gotten in, our governor sent four men on fowling, that so we might after a special manner rejoice together after we had gathered the fruit of our labors. They four in one day killed as much fowl as, with a little help beside, served the company almost a week. At which time, amongst other recreations, we exercised our arms, many of the Indians coming amongst us, and among the rest their greatest king Massasoit, with some ninety men, whom for three days we entertained and feasted, and they went out and killed five deer, which they brought to the plantation and bestowed on our governor, and upon the captain and others. And although it be not always so plentiful as it was at this time with us, yet by the goodness of God, we are so far from want that we often wish you partakers of our plenty.”

Edward Winslow, Mourt’s Relation: D.B. Heath, ed. Applewood Books. Cambridge, 1986. p 82

“They began now to gather in the small harvest they had, and to fit up their houses and dwellings against winter, being all well recovered in health and strength and had all things in good plenty. For as some were thus employed in affairs abroad, others were exercised in fishing, about cod and bass and other fish of which they took good store, of which every family had their portion. All the summer there was no want; and now began to come in store of fowl, as winter approached, of which is place did abound when they came first (but afterward decreased by degrees). And besides waterfowl there was great store of wild turkeys, of which they took many, besides venison, etc. Besides, they had about a peck a meal a week to a person, or now since harvest, Indian corn to that proportion. Which made many afterwards write so largely of their plenty here to their friends in England, which were not feigned but true reports.”

William Bradford, Of Plymouth Plantation: S.E. Morison, ed. Knopf. N.Y., 1952. p 90

2. Some Virginians claim that the first Thanksgiving was held at the Berkeley plantation, November 30, 1619. Thirty eight settlers sailed on the ship, “Good Ship Margaret.” The leader of the expedition was Captain John Woodlief. Details about the adventure are here.

“Then, at a command from Captain Woodlief, with which they were profoundly stirred to comply, the homesick men knelt on the dried grass to pray.

As instructed by the London Company, Woodlief prayed: “We ordaine that this day of our ships arrival, at the place assigned for plantacon, (meaning plantation) in the land of Virginia, shall be yearly and perpetually kept holy as a day of Thanksgiving to Almighty God”.

America’s first official English speaking Thanksgiving had just occurred, one year and 17 days before the Pilgrims landed in Massachusetts and almost 2 years before the pilgrims held a 3 day Harvest Feast with their Indian friends, which is referenced in some materials today as the First Thanksgiving.”

3. I have always heard that Ben Franklin had suggested we use the turkey as our national bird. However, an article by Jimmy Stamp, explains this myth. Mr. Franklin did question using the eagle and explains his reasons. The following is from a letter to his daughter.

“For my own part I wish the Bald Eagle had not been chosen the Representative of our Country. He is a Bird of bad moral Character. He does not get his Living honestly. You may have seen him perched on some dead Tree near the River, where, too lazy to fish for himself, he watches the Labour of the Fishing Hawk; and when that diligent Bird has at length taken a Fish, and is bearing it to his Nest for the Support of his Mate and young Ones, the Bald Eagle pursues him and takes it from him.

With all this injustice, he is never in good case but like those among men who live by sharping & robbing he is generally poor and often very lousy. Besides he is a rank coward: The little King Bird not bigger than a Sparrow attacks him boldly and drives him out of the district. He is therefore by no means a proper emblem for the brave and honest Cincinnati of America who have driven all the King birds from our country…

“I am on this account not displeased that the Figure is not known as a Bald Eagle, but looks more like a Turkey. For the Truth the Turkey is in Comparison a much more respectable Bird, and withal a true original Native of America… He is besides, though a little vain & silly, a Bird of Courage, and would not hesitate to attack a Grenadier of the British Guards who should presume to invade his Farm Yard with a red Coat on.”

4. “Play it, Sam, Play ‘As Time Goes By.’”
“Round up the usual suspects,” 
“Of all the gin joints in all the towns in all the world, she walks into mine,”
“Here’s looking at you, kid,” 
“Louis, I think this is the beginning of a beautiful friendship.”

These are some of the famous lines from “Casablanca.” It premiered on November 26, 1942 in New York City. Starring Humphrey Bogart and Ingrid Bergman.
A good friend of mine said Casablanca is a movie that is so good, it needs to be seen once a year. I try my best.

Bogart and Bergman
Humphrey Bogart
5. Harry Chapin, “Cat’s in the Cradle.”

6. Last Saturday’s football was not so good for the Irish Lads. They fell to the Louisville Cardinals, 31-28. They are at 7-4 as they travel to face USC on November 129.   

Post game notes from Spider Football.
“With the 34-20 win at No. 19/22 William & Mary, the Spiders have now won the Capital Cup for three-straight seasons and have come out the victor in “The Oldest Rivalry in the South” in eight of the last 10 games.”

The Spiders y play Morgan State at home for the start of the 2014 FCS Playoffs.

7. Photos of friends. 

Me, Tony & Jack

Dinner With Friends

Friday, November 21, 2014

My Slow Takes About Musicals, A Veteran Tribute, and Prayers.

1. “Oh, somewhere in this favored land the sun is shining bright;
The band is playing somewhere, and somewhere hearts are light,
And somewhere men are laughing, and somewhere children shout;
But there is no joy” … for the Spiders and the Irish Lads each dropped another game.
Okay, so it doesn’t rhyme, but you get the idea.

2. More Minions this week. The following is from the blog, “Par la bouche de mess canons.”

3. Our granddaughter, Ekaterina, was in the musical, “Stage Struck The Story.” Dee and I went to the Saturday night performance with our son Todd. Ekaterina sang in the children’s choir and of course was terrific. It was her first "StageStruck" performance. 

4. Pam and Tony invited us to join them for “An Evening with the Richmond Pops.” It was held at the newly renovated Richmond’s Altria Theater. The music was presented by the Richmond Pops Band with Joe Simpkins, Director. The evening included The United States Army Voices, “Pershing’s Own.” Beautiful voices that joined the band in a tribute to our Veterans.

5. The evening included a selection of songs from World War ll up to Desert Storm. One of the songs I enjoyed was from the musical “Paint Your Wagon.”

Harve Presnell “They Call the wind Maria.”

6. Although this was not one of the songs, I’ve added it because Vaughn Monroe was part of the Big Band Era, Swing and World War ll.

Vaughn Monroe “Ghost Riders in the Sky.”

7. Please pray for Joan Keenan, her husband Bob joined our Lord 11-20-14. Bob was a good man and my friend and brother in Christ. He fought the battle of lung cancer for the last twelve months with Joan at his side. 

Also please pray for the family of Leighton Fuller. His father, Dorsey Wayne Fuller joined our Lord on 11-09-14. He had been battling cancer for the last several months.

 Read other "Takes" this week at "This Ain't The Lyceum."

Friday, November 14, 2014

My Slow Takes About Fair Trade Bazaar, Moby Dick, and Minions.

1. Well, not all Saturdays are delightful. My Irish Lads fell to Arizona State putting them at 7-3. The Spiders lost to Maine moving them to 7-3.

2. We held a Fair Trade Bazaar at Church of the Epiphany. (This is our church.) Dee and I worked the 8:30 Mass and were pleased at the results. The items we offer benefit farmers and craftsmen in other countries. We don’t use the bazaar as a means to raise funds, we sell the goods at cost. There were also hand made baskets from Uganda that one of our parishioners, Barbara, brought in. Once again, no profit, sell at cost.

Coffee, tea, chocolate, jewelry, scarves and more!
The basket area. Barbara is the one on the left, drinking coffee.

3. The Kingston Trio - “M.T.A.” 1994

4. Quotes you may not have been aware of.

"If God wanted us to vote, he would have 
given us candidates."
~Jay Leno~ 

"We hang the petty thieves 
and appoint the great ones to public office."
"If we got one-tenth of what was promised 
to us in these State of the Union speeches, there wouldn't be any inducement 
to go to heaven."
~Will Rogers~ 

5. “Moby Dick,” written Herman Melville, was published on November 14, 1851. The publisher was Harper & Brothers of New York City. It was not a popular novel.

6. Last week I presented my Minion Pierre. This week is a list of “named” Minions at "Who's Who Minions." Dave, Stuart, Jerry, Jorge, Tim, Mark, Phil, Kevin, Bob and Jon. Dave does look like Pierre, but is about 10cm shorter. 

7. During the darkness they approached the village. Sen and Klad, the harbingers of winter. They freeze the ground and all things that grow. The winds no longer calm but increasing in velocity. It is their time to rule the earth. All through the night they wander the countryside. Stealing through the forest and over the fields of harvested crops. They wait for morning but are thwarted from their objective. The morning brings the warmth and bright skies of their adversary Sol. There is no snow, not today. Perhaps later.
I awoke to temperatures in the low 30's. It will warm up to the mid 40's and the sun is shinning. Winter is trying to sneak in, but not yet.

  Read other "Takes" this week at "This Ain't The Lyceum."

Friday, November 7, 2014

My Slow Takes About Space, Marty Robins and Healthy Food.

1. Saturday was a great college football game day. Yes, both my teams won and both games were close and enjoyable to watch. 
The first game was the Spiders versus Villanova at 3PM. Spiders over Villanova, 10-9. That puts them at 7-2.
Then at 8PM the Irish Lads faced the tough Navy Midshipmen. Both teams played hard in an engagement that tested the abilities of all the players. Notre Dame 49 and Navy 39. They are now at 7-2.

2. November 3, 1957 the Soviet Union launched the first animal into space. The dog, named Laika, traveled in the spacecraft “Sputnik 2.”

3. We have bluejays drinking water out of the birdbath that sits on the back deck. Dee took this photo, with her telephoto lens, through the family room window.

4. Marty Robins sings “El Paso.”

5. The AARP put together “16 Foods for a Long, Healthy Life.” This is the list with my vote for each.

Coffee - Yes, I enjoy my “Brazilian Breakfast” blend and also Panera Bread “Dark Roast.”
Thyme - I thought the ancient Egyptians used it for embalming.
Wild Salmon - Yes, a delicious fish.
Kale - I like spinach better.
Avocado - Nope, they use to make guacamole, which I don’t eat.
Basil and Mint - Yes and maybe.
Olives and Olive Oil - Yes, my wife, Dee, is Italian.
Walnuts - My favorite nut, especially with wine.
Green Tea - I enjoy it, but drink more coffee than tea.
Sweet Potatoes - Dee cooks them a lot and I’ve learned to like them.
Dark Chocolate - CHOCOLATE, YES!
Asparagus - Nope, I keep trying, but it has no taste.
Pomegranates - You’ve got to be kidding.
Garlic - See Olives and Olive Oil.
Yogurt - Yes, but only with fruit.
Blueberries - Yes, especially in yogurt.

6. My very own minion, Pierre.
7. Next Tuesday, November 11 is Veterans Day. Hug a veteran, pray for a veteran, tell a veteran, thank you for all you have done. 

My Dad, Paul

Dee's Dad, Frank

Read other "Takes" at Conversion Diary.

Friday, October 31, 2014

My Slow Takes About Silence, Time and Martin Luther.

1. The Richmond Spiders are now at 6-2. They face the Villanova Wildcats this Saturday at home.

2. I found this music character at “HmusicK.” I like it.

3. Simon & Garfunkel “The Sound of Silence.”

4. Old time, new time no matter how you look at it, daylight saving time comes to an end at 2 AM, November 2.

Do you know what movie this is from?
5. Please remember to vote next week. 

 6. October 31, 1517 Martin Luther posts his 95 theses on the door of the Castle Church in Wittenberg, Germany. The beginning of the Protestant Reformation.

7. Happy Halloween.

Read other "Takes" at Conversion Diary.