Thursday, September 29, 2005


Today's Blogcabulary word* is chironomy.

I enjoy finding new words** in unexpected places. I found the latest this morning on the MusicaSacra site via the Confessions of a Recovering Choir Director site. The blog entry is about a workshop entitled Teach Children Gregorian Chant: A course of instruction for Parents and Teachers, Musicians and Non-Musicians, which by the way is something I can definitely get behind but I'll save my screed about the children of the Church being robbed of their rightful patrimony for another time.

So I found the word as part of the email address of the Director ( of the Ward Center of San Antonio which in collaboration with the International Center for Ward Method Studies at The Catholic University of America is offering the workshop.

*words learned while reading blogs.
**new to me

Wednesday, September 28, 2005

My New Hollywood Career

Well, having watched E-Ring the other night I've figured out what my new career is going to be. I'm going to go to Hollywood to become a Military Salute Consultant!

Let me explain. I don't have too many pet peeves but one thing that ruins a movie or a tv show for me every time is a bad salute! And it seems that whenever there is that final scene where the guy salutes the gravestone of his fallen comrade or salutes the guy who he hated at the beginning of the movie but now has learned to respect because he helped defeat the evil alien or whatever, the actors never get the salute right and I'm reminded that I'm just watching a stupid movie or tv show as my suspended disbelief crashes to the ground and the moment is ruined.

Now I know there are more important things to be worried about but having spent four years in the U.S. Army (no, I didn't kill anyone and there were no conflicts during my enlistment) and learning the proper way to salute on pretty much the first day I don't see why it is so hard for actors to learn how to salute correctly. And I know tv and movie producers are paying big bucks for military consultants to help get all the technical aspects of warfare right so why can't they get somebody to teach these actors how to do a proper military salute? I'll be more than happy to teach them for airfare, hotel, and a daily stipend of say $1000. Oh yeah and there's a special discount if they can introduce me to Jody Foster.

But anyway, here you can find the proper way to salute. All actors reading this please practice it in front of a mirror until you get it right. Your viewing public will appreciate it. Well, at least I will.

Here's a good example of how to salute both with headgear that has a brim and while in a beret.

Monday, September 26, 2005

Mind Field Wanderings

Driving into work this morning my mind wandered to the chief weapons of the Spanish Inquisition. (Those wishing to understand how I got to this node in my stream of thought can email me for a complete listing of my thought process.) Anyway, so one of the chief weapons of the Spanish Inquisition is ruthless efficiency. And while contemplating this fact I wondered, for the first time in my life, if the definition of ruthless was actually without ruth and if so, what the heck did ruth mean, because I've never heard ruth used as anything but a name. So, as soon as I arrived at work I quickly consulted and found that yes indeed, ruthless is basically the opposite of ruthful with both words being based on ruth which means a feeling of sympathy and sorrow for the misfortunes of others. So don't let anyone tell you that Monty Python isn't educational.

I might turn this into a regular feature as I seem to have these strange thoughts quite often when driving the high schooler to school and then heading to work.

Tuesday, September 20, 2005

The Pope Has A Posse

I really need to resist the urge to explain myself all the time. I've found over time that most people aren't listening, anyway. So here, check out the St. Mundain Shop and gigoCorp's latest Popular Culture of Life items. Hey, I think I'm gonna trademark that! Yeah, that's mine, I call dibs. Popular Culture of Life (TM)/Pop Culture of Life (TM) are trademarks of gigoCorp. And once you buy up everything at St. Mundain's, go visit gigoCorp's other shops and buy stuff there. My kids aren't going to private Catholic schools for free you know. You'll be glad you did, and so will I!

Scrutinies: I could spend all day...

Scrutinies: I could spend all day...

I just tried to post a comment to Scrutinies and found out I wasn't a "Team Member" and only "Team Members" can post comments. How do I become a "Team Member"? Did I miss out on requesting that Secret Decoder Ring? And I can't email Anonymous Teacher Person because she doesn't have her email address anywhere on her blog.

And it was a really interesting and well thought out comment, too, about the creationism/evolution/ID debate/quandary/quagmire. But it is lost now because I copied over the clipboard before I decided to post it here.

But all is not lost. At least I got a post out of it and learned about the Blog This! button on other Blogger blogs.

Friday, September 09, 2005

Mensa Schmensa

Every so often the Happy Catholic posts a Mensa test on her blog. Since I believe I'm smarter than empirical evidence would suggest, I find these little puzzles a lot of fun, especially when I don't have to cheat to get the answer.

The latest puzzle is a math puzzle which is not my favorite but I think I came up with the right answer within the allotted time limit. The puzzle previous to that I found quite enjoyable because it had to do with words. In fact it was reminiscent of a type of visual poetry (if it wasn't in fact visual poetry). And since I haven't put up a profile yet it would probably help you to know I have a passing fascination with visual poetry and other visual/verbal art forms. I'm sure I'll blog more about that later.

Anyway, I liked the word square puzzle so much I made up my own. It actually didn't take too long. I did it in about three tries so either I'm really, really smart, or it's not as hard as you would think. So, here it is:

If you stack the words that match these definitions, you will have a word square that reads the same across and down.

1. To brood or sulk.
2. Alone in kind. Sole.
3. A ballet movement.
4. Organs of vision.

Since I'm sure I don't have as many readers as the Happy Catholic you can send me your answer via my email address ( - replace the AT with the @ sign) and I'll tell you if it's right or not. And just to make it interesting, anyone who sends me the correct answer by the end of the month will be entered into a drawing for a single song mini-CD from the Archdiocesan Boy Choir of Philadelphia. My son was in the choir for the last four years and we have a few of their single song Christmas Card CDs left over that need new homes. I suppose I'll have to come up with more contests too so I can spread the ABC love around. Don't forget to tell your friends to try their luck!

By the way, I've turned off commenting on this one so no one inadvertently gives away the answer.

File this under...

...they got a word for everything!

Learned a new word today which I found on Amy Welborn's Open Book and then looked up on my favorite dictionary site.

theodicy n : the branch of theology that defends God's goodness and justice in the face of the existence of evil

Not sure what that says about my vocabulary but still, I always like learning a new word.


Some of the stories coming out of New Orleans about the chaos in the initial aftermath of Katrina and the flooding remind me of the book by Jose Saramago entitled Blindness. It's a story in which all but one person in an unnamed city is afflicted by sudden blindness and how they react and how the one who can see becomes a guide and protector for a small group that can't see. I think I'll add it to my reading queue and bump it up to the top.

From the review on Amazon: Blindness is in many ways a horrific novel, detailing as it does the total breakdown in society that follows upon this most unnatural disaster. Saramago takes his characters to the very edge of humanity and then pushes them over the precipice. His people learn to live in inexpressible filth, they commit acts of both unspeakable violence and amazing generosity that would have been unimaginable to them before the tragedy. The very structure of society itself alters to suit the circumstances as once-civilized, urban dwellers become ragged nomads...

Tuesday, September 06, 2005

Katrina Fundraiser

I was thinking about how my offspring might be able to show some leadership at school in regards to coordinating fundraising for the victims of Katrina and came up with what I later found out was not an original idea, but what must be a good idea, because others have thought of it, too.

The basic idea is this:

  1. Decide which charity assisting in the recovery you want to support.

  2. Order a crate of 720 Mardi Gras necklaces from Mardi Gras Outlet for $30 plus s&h. (Depending on how fast you have them shipped each strand of beads could cost somewhere between $.06 to $.12 a piece.)

  3. Organize your school or church group to sell the beads at $1 a pop in support of the victims of Katrina. Get permission to sell them outside local businesses or in high traffic areas. (Pedestrian traffic, not cars.) Make signs about showing support for New Orleans and the Mississippi coast by displaying the beads around necks or rearview mirrors, etc. Of course always follow safe fund raising practices. Make sure an adult is in charge of the money and it is kept secure. Always fundraise in groups. No door to door fundraising. (And none of that passing the can in the intersection stuff, that's just plain dangerous!)

  4. Once all the beads are sold deposit the cash into your organization's bank account and have your organization write a check in the amount raised (it should be at least $720 and probably more) to the chosen charity and send it on it's way.

  5. Feel good about what you've done.

  6. If the beads flew out of your hands, order another crate and raise some more money for the victims of Katrina.

And it turns out that this helps the area in two different ways because the Mardi Gras Outlet is in Baton Rouge, LA. They were spared the worst of Katrina but supporting them will help support the region's recovery.

Sunday, September 04, 2005

Pope Benedict XVI's Bumper

You'll probably recognize the above photo from Pope Benedict XVI's elevation. But in all the excitement nobody noticed this bumper sticker (below) on the back of the papal conveyance.

If you can't quite make it out it says:
Don't Blame Me! I Voted for Arinze!