guess whose feast day it is!

The Magnetic Fields song "All My Little Words" on a Gameboy


First I decided I had writer's block. Then I started thinking about beautiful my home environs is. So I thought I would post a picture and have done. But the more I think about my home, the less able I am to remain silent. It is in my personality to cling with fierce loyalty to that which is familiar and loved. I prefer my house to all others, my street to all others, my county, my state, my region of the country, and so on. However, I think even laying aside my natural bias, there is a strong case to be made here. The Pacific Northwest may be the most beautiful place in the world. I remember flying over the Willamette Valley as I came back from Michigan from the summer and actually catching my breath as the color hit me. Your eyes almost refuse to believe that anything could be that green. After months spent in the Midwest, it was all I could do to stop myself from believing my home was, in fact, enchanted. I don't deny that Michigan has a beauty all its own, but in comparison with Washington or Oregon it is staid and almost bland. There is something exotic and eerie about the forests and waterfalls here; something that makes you wonder if you aren't toeing the line between this world and the land of Ireland's Sidhe. I grew up surrounded by woods and water, bounded by the Ocean and in view of three massive volcanoes. Mountains were my horizon and I could smell the freshness and mystery of the sea with every breath. So I started google imaging the Pacific know, to post a picture. I had to cut myself off. There were just too many. As you can tell.


A Canticle Resung

The first book of the summer for me was A Canticle for Leibowitz. It was the second time around, and definitely intensified upon the rereading. While before I was distracted by the strangeness of the setting and trying to figure out why a creature of primal innocence was frolicking in the wreckage of a nuclear disaster at the end, this time I was blown away by the power of its Catholic core. It is one of the most Catholic novels I have ever read, and were I to create a list of best Catholic novels ever written, it would go in my top three. It is an extraordinary work that masterfully propounds the Church's position on human life and man's relation to God. It also is the reason I first became intersted in the Wandering Jew, who is far and away the most memorable character of the story. The first time I read it, I did not catch how clearly he is supposed to be Lazarus (I don't know how I didn't notice--it's pretty blatant) and it prompted me to look up the Wandering Jew story on Wikipedia. It sounds like an interesting Medieval tale, and I'm very interested to further explore its relation to the Joseph of Arithemea Arthurian legends. I also found a Wandering Jew plant in Shorty's and have since found references to him in all sorts of literature.


you ain't no kind of man...

...if you ain't got land. So spake Danny Glover's character in Silverado. I think he was right, at least in part. To me, wealth in the land you own is infinitely more valuable and defining than hard cash or stock options. Which is why Eminent Domain makes my skin crawl. Sure--the government will reimburse you for your loss. Sorry there's a highway running through your orchard, but here's a few thousand to ease the pain. This is, methinks, a pretty clear case of someone knowing the price, but not the cost. How can money mend the heartache of seeing something you've known and loved taken and changed unalterably? Memories cannot be bought, love is not purchasable. When you grow up or grow old with the land, the loss of it is beyond price. At that point, the idea of someone thinking they could make good the loss is almost insulting. There is a country road just two miles from my home that is going to be turned into a four lane highway sometime soon. Apparently our good representatives in the State legislature felt that the convenience of four lanes just couldn't be passed up. So those who live on either side of that road will bid farewell to ancient apple trees, blueberries, and other irreplaceable landmarks so that the devilishly impatient denizens of Battle Ground can whiz along to the freeway with even more reckless abandon. And don't worry! Not only will this be more convenient, the land "owners" whose land is being appropriated by the Department of Transportation will be compensated in full. I don't think the good folks in charge of this project have the faintest idea of what the cost will really be. In the words of the fantastically sarcastic Dirty Harry: "Marvelous."

This American Life

For those of this blog's readers who are fans of This American Life (as I am), there is a nifty way to download any episode you like. Just type in to the search bar with EPISODENUMBER replaced with the episode you want. (1-382 currently). For a list of the best episodes to try, go here



Love bade me welcome, yet my soul drew back, Guilty of dust and sin. But quick-ey'd Love, observing me grow slack From my first entrance in, Drew nearer to me, sweetly questioning If I lack'd anything. "A guest," I answer'd, "worthy to be here"; Love said, "You shall be he." "I, the unkind, the ungrateful? ah my dear, I cannot look on thee." Love took my hand and smiling did reply, "Who made the eyes but I?" "Truth, Lord, but I have marr'd them; let my shame Go where it doth deserve." "And know you not," says Love, "who bore the blame?" "My dear, then I will serve." "You must sit down," says Love, "and taste my meat."
So I did sit and eat. by George Herbert


University of Florida mascot terrorizes neighborhood

You see? This is why I love Star Trek. Captain Kirk is whisked away to an asteroid to fight a man in an alligator suit with diamond eyes and what looks like a bullet hole in his head. There just so happens to potassium something and sulfer and a conveniently shaped piece of bamboo...Kirk turns into McGyver and makes a cannon with home made gunpowder from the aformentioned chemicals and some handy diamonds for projectiles. He then shoots and subdues said alligator. This is the best show ever.

French manners

So France did not feel obliged to invite the Queen of England to the 65th anniversary of D-Day ceremony being held this June. Intriguingly enough, this means that of the major countries involved in the D-Day convention (France, England, and America), England, the country who lost the most during the invasion, does not get a special invitation. So Barack Obama and Sarkozy, neither of whom were even alive when this happened, will no doubt have a field day with the press and photographers while the Queen, who is literally a veteran of World War II, does not merit an invitation. Interesting. It is tragic to note that this has become a state function with little to no memory of just what it is commemorating. This should be more than a Kodak moment for politicians who are eager to appear in touch with history to their constituency. Their neglect has made all too apparent how ignorant and boorish they really are. This is supposed to be a memorial, not another red carpet event for Barack Obama that Sarkozy can sidle in on to bask in his glow. I'm not asking for Pericle's funeral oration or the Gettysburg address here; but is it too much to expect a basic understanding of the significance of the event and the people who were involved? Granted, neither Sarkozy or Obama have enough class to be rubbing shoulders with the Queen of England, but that's beside the point. I think the dead who are buried there will mind very much that they are denied her presence in favor of a couple of self congratulating and morally bankrupt politicians. But maybe that's just me.