Saturday 7 April 2007

He Is Risen, Alleluia!

A very happy and holy Easter to all my readers... I'm just back from the Easter Vigil! No, it wasn't a four-hour stint, I was waylaid by friends! I shall put up a post or two about the Triduum, but I wanted to declare Mulier Fortis open for business!

Thursday 5 April 2007

Last Post Of Lent

Well, I am about to disappear from the blogging scene for the duration of the Triduum. To be honest, I rather suspected that an Easter Triduum retreat was on the cards... However, as the retreat doesn't technically start until tomorrow afternoon, I thought I'd indulge in one last post...

I was rather annoyed earlier. I had ordered some small placards for the Chrism Mass "demo" (the large placard we've had in previous years has gone walkabout... and it was really too heavy, especially if it was a bit windy. It was also quite an exercise to fit it in the car!) and I had been promised faithfully that delivery would be by courier, and today at the very latest. I had also paid for the courier service as an extra...

I rang at lunchtime today, and was assured that the placards had indeed gone to the couriers. They would be with me this afternoon. I waited. I rang again. Apparently the couriers had "lost" the delivery... they have done this before, apparently... An offer was made to make up the placards again (it was 3pm by this time) and get them to me for a guaranteed pre-9am delivery...

Now, I'm not as green as I'm cabbage-looking. If a courier service "loses" deliveries, one uses a different courier. And Wednesday's delivery had been guaranteed... I doubted that the courier would succeed in getting to me through rush-hour traffic in time... and anyway, I would have left home already. I seemed to have a great deal of trouble getting through to the young man on the phone that tomorrow was too late. I suspected that, as the order was a small one, they put it to one side "to do later" and then forgot. So I pointed out that I was cancelling my order and would like a refund, please. The speed with which this option was accepted (and the blasé "oh, you can keep them!" when I asked what I should do with the original placards if they did turn up) suggests that my suspicions were pretty accurate.

I still needed to get a placard or two. Luckily, there is a Hobbycraft store quite close to me, so I jumped in the car. I looked at card: it was either too heavy (mounting board) or too thin. They didn't do corrugated vinyl/plastic stuff, but I did find foam core sheets. I also found some dowelling suitable for handles. The main problem was how to attach the dowelling to the foam core without it looking too horrendous. I plumped for duck tape, planning to double-up the foam core either side of the dowelling... (and does anyone know why it is caled "duck" tape??)

I couldn't test out pens on the foam, and had no idea what would work, so I bought a selection. As a teacher, I can always use this sort of stuff for display work and so on, so it isn't wasted. But I have now spent the entire evening trying to make placards: frustrating, as I really wanted to get the house straightened out before my retreat.

Oh well... I guess that will teach me not to cross my chickens before my bridges are hatched!

See you all at Easter!

Tuesday 3 April 2007

Tricky Triduum Temptations

I am faced with a dilemma. Each year I make a private retreat over the Triduum period. It starts after the Chrism Mass demo: by the time I get home, I have just enough time to eat, and then it's prayer, spiritual reading and off to the Mass of the Lord's Supper, with watching at the altar of repose until midnight.

I try very hard not to talk in church, so apart from quick "hello" and "goodbye" greetings, time in church is effectively time spent incommunicado. I live on my own, (talking to the cat doesn't really count!) and in previous years I have switched off the television (apart from watching the DVD of "The Passion of the Christ"), ignored the phone, and unplugged the computer... it's not quite a silent retreat, but it's close.

However, this year I went on retreat to Aylesford, and have been back less than a week. Do I make my usual Triduum preparations...?

I find myself wanting to say "No!" I am especially torn by the idea of being without blog, text messages or email... phone calls are easier to resist! I shall run it past my SD, but I suspect, from the strength of my internal "resistance," that I shall be joining the hordes of absentee bloggers... (whenever I feel strongly that I shouldn't have to do something connected with prayer or the Sacraments, it usually means that I should...)

ET Phone Home...

I hear it said again and again: there is more computer power in your average desktop computer than they had when sending the first man to the moon.

I am beginning to think that there might be more computer power in my mobile phone too...

Over a very enjoyable lunch, I was able to explore some more of the capabilities of my new phone... to check out the bluetooth, Wi-Fi and beam functions properly, one requires the presence of someone else with (a) a similar phone, and (b) the same "geeky" appreciation of gadgetry (necessary because of the patience required when pressing various buttons to "see what this one is..."!)

Fr. Tim is much more techno-savvy than me. And he patiently explained (I'm blonde...) that text messaging someone's contact details involved typing out all the information: just pressing "send contact" would send a text to the contact number...

...So you can imagine my delight when I discovered that my phone does allow me to send contact details as a text message to someone else... and his doesn't! Not that I'm competitive, or anything...

Monday 2 April 2007

Kitten Wars

I was going to save this for a quiet news day (or when I couldn't think of anything else to blog) but this is just too cute not to share...

Over at Kittenwar, you get to pick which is the cutest kitten out of the pair that face up to each other. There is a league table of winners and losers.... I never thought that I could ever find an un-cute kitten, but trust me, the loser's page is not for the squeamish!!

Caption Competition Opportunity

I spotted this on Fr. Jay's blog - it's hard to believe that a better caption than the one he provided can possibly be found, but feel free to try... (Fr Jay doesn't have comments on his blog, so I'm not really stealing his thunder!!)

"Hey, who do I have to excommunicate around here to get a tall decaf no-foam skim latte?"

Motu Mania

Hmmmn. Only a few more days to go before the next "deadline" passes.

Watching for the release of the Motu Proprio reminds me of some of the people who used to pray the rosary at the Padre Pio bookshop in London: they were absolutely sure that the world was going to end in 1998. It was in Scripture. And in the messages from Medjugore. Or somewhere. 1998 came. No sign of the end of time... so then it became the year 2000...

They were lovely people, and very devout and prayerful. I did suspect that they were a trifle unstable... perhaps just a tad...

Anyway, I digress. Amy Wellborn has put up the following summary of all the gossip. One person has apparently been told "May" ! Others still hold out for Maundy Thursday...

...I think you pays your money and takes your choice on this one. In the meantime, for anyone who is completely in the dark as to what the heck this Motu Proprio thing actually is, Amy has prepared a helpful "Tip Sheet" for her fellow journalists.

Food For Thought

Dymphna (over at Dymphna's Road, not the one at Dymphna's Well) has the following thought-provoking post on how we behave like Peter did when Jesus was arrested. I would really recommend reading it: it brought me to the verge of tears.

Check it out HERE.

The Ten Suggestions

In the Combox of the Cafeteria Post I wrote about below, there were the following "Commandments" for Liberals, which really deserve an outing...

Liberals' version of the Ten Commandments:

1. I claim to be God. I'd like it if you had no other god but me. I don't want to offend, so if you don't want to, I understand. Worshipping inanimate objects is kinda dumb and makes you look ridiculous, but who am I to judge.

2. Since you are Constitutionally guaranteed the right to freely express yourself, I'd appreciate it if you'd not use my name in vain. It's common courtesy

3. Try not to work at least one day of the week. But you gotta do what you gotta do.

4. You should be nice to your parents. But I understand that in the interests of self-expression you don't, at least not in public.

5. You shouldn't kill people who are productive to society. But the unborn, the infirm, and the elderly are fair game. The only exception to this is violent criminals. You are commanded to leave them alone. They are victims too.

6. You shouldn't commit adultery, or, at least don't be public about it. In any case, its good to have a prenup just in case.

7. You shouldn't steal. That is the government's job, and they hate competition.

8. You should not bear false witness against your neighbor, unless it give you political advantage, then its fair game.

9. You shouldn't covet your neighbors stuff. It will tempt you to steal it, see suggestion #7.

10. You shouldn't covet your neighbor's wife, but his girlfriend, boyfriend, or the wife or husband of someone who is not your neighbor are all in play. See idea #6.

Score 10 on the "Yuck" Factor !

I spotted a rather disturbing post over at the Closed Cafeteria: a 14-year-old boy taken to gay events (and I don't mean "happy"!) by his father ! The last lines made my skin crawl...

"They crowned me with a tiara and sash, and I walked around the room waving," he recalls. "I was still this shy 14-year-old in braces. I hadn’t reached my socialness yet, and everyone was cheering.

"I was the future. Most of the men were middle-aged or older, and to see this 14-year-old out, they loved it. They were so happy."

...uhuh! I'll bet. I'm afraid the phrase "fresh meat" comes to mind.

Sunday 1 April 2007

Kitty Post

Yes, I have to do a kitty post...

First up, the Dúnadan has another tale from the Catican: Berrydict has been getting into hot water (or, to be more accurate, into a vase of Palm Sunday palms!)

And secondly, I have discovered a site called "Random Kitten Generator." Here's an example:

Palms For Palm Sunday

The Curt Jester has been having fun: he resurrected an old post and added to it. In view of my recent gadget acquisition, I thought it was rather appropriate:

Further To My Last Post...

...I spotted this cartoon by Dave, and it seemed rather apt!

The Marvels Of Modern Technology

I am becoming more and more enamoured with my snazzy new phone. I have succeeded in dowloading the doobrey-whatsit needed to convert Calendarscope to HandySync so that I can avoid transferring everything to the dreaded Microsoft Outlook just so that my phone's diary function works.

Fr. Tim mentioned on his blog that he'd had the same problem, but resolutely refused to give any advice, claiming that he "didn't do tech support..." However, when tackled over a pint in the parish club, he did relent and told me that I would need to do a registry hack. I'd spotted this already on the blog post, so it wasn't much help... especially since I had no idea how to do a registry hack, or what the registry was... or where... (apart from "on the phone" - hey, I'm blonde! What did you expect??)

I emailed the software support team for Calanderscope, and pleaded incapability due to hair-colour. They sent me the idiot guide to registry hacking. It worked. First time! My diary is now up to date. Now all I have to do is remember to use it...

How To Induce Heart Failure...

The Dúnadan was up early this morning, and landed a major scoop in the Catholic Blogosphere. It really is worth checking out HERE.
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