Sunday, January 29, 2006


Give me a moment to pick my jaw up off the ground, I have just witnessed the best performance I have ever heard from Bonnie Bishop and the Bonnie Bishop Band. The sound was great, the vocals were off the hook, and Bonnie and Allison proved once again that their band is prettier than any other band in Texas.

A tip of the hat to Bonnie, Allison, Rob, Greg, and the two new guys on drums and guitar.

There is just something in their music, it's what I'd like to say if I had the talent to do so. Though my writing has picked up in recent months. Which it tends to do when I get anxious, nervous and worried...hmmm- sounds like the last few months in a nutshell after the squirrel hid it in the crevices of the stone wall.

Anyway, I am off to sleep. Where I will think about how to get some more of her shows. February 24 in Ft. Worth might be doable and give me an excuse to go visit Andy, the 26th and 28th may also work. March is a ways out, but the 4th at the Saxson in Austin and the 7th in Houston at the Duck might work too.

Yes I know, that's a lot of shows. But the music they make just speaks to my heart and soul. Whatever they're doing, I get it on some level. I understand what they want to say, what they want the listener to feel. And I love them for that.

Thursday, January 26, 2006

January 28, 1986-January 28, 2006
Twentieth Anniversary

Address to the nation on the Challenger disaster Oval Office January 28, 1986

Ladies and gentlemen, I'd planned to speak to you tonight to report on the state of the union, but the events of earlier today have led me to change those plans. Today is a day for mourning and remembering. Nancy and I are pained to the core by the tragedy of the shuttle Challenger. We know we share this pain with all of the people of our country. This is truly a national loss.
Nineteen years ago, almost to the day, we lost three astronauts in a terrible accident on the ground. But we've never lost an astronaut in flight; we've never had a tragedy like this. And perhaps we've forgotten the courage it took for the crew of the shuttle; but they, the Challenger Seven, were aware of the dangers, but overcame them and did their jobs brilliantly. We mourn seven heroes: Michael Smith, Dick Scobee, Judith Resnik, Ronald McNair, Ellison Onizuka, Gregory Jarvis, and Christa McAuliffe. We mourn their loss as a nation together.

For the families of the seven, we cannot bear, as you do, the full impact of this tragedy. But we feel the loss, and we're thinking about you so very much. Your loved ones were daring and brave, and they had that special grace, that special spirit that says, "Give me a challenge and I'll meet it with joy." They had a hunger to explore the universe and discover its truths. They wished to serve, and they did. They served all of us.

We've grown used to wonders in this century. It's hard to dazzle us. But for 25 years the United States space program has been doing just that. We've grown used to the idea of space, and perhaps we forget that we've only just begun. We're still pioneers. They, the members of the Challenger crew, were pioneers.

And I want to say something to the school children of America who were watching the live coverage of the shuttle's takeoff. I know it is hard to understand, but sometimes painful things like this happen. It's all part of the process of exploration and discovery. It's all part of taking a chance and expanding man's horizons. The future doesn't belong to the fainthearted; it belongs to the brave. The Challenger crew was pulling us into the future, and we'll continue to follow them.

I've always had great faith in and respect for our space program, and what happened today does nothing to diminish it. We don't hide our space program. We don't keep secrets and cover things up. We do it all up front and in public. That's the way freedom is, and we wouldn't change it for a minute. We'll continue our quest in space. There will be more shuttle flights and more shuttle crews and yes, more volunteers, more civilians, more teachers in space. Nothing ends here; our hopes and our journeys continue.

I want to add that I wish I could talk to every man and woman who works for NASA or who worked on this mission and tell them: "Your dedication and professionalism have moved and impressed us for decades. And we know of your anguish. We share it."

There's a coincidence today. On this day 390 years ago, the great explorer Sir Francis Drake died aboard ship off the coast of Panama. In his lifetime the great frontiers were the oceans, and a historian later said, "He lived by the sea, died on it, and was buried in it." Well, today we can say of the Challenger crew: Their dedication was, like Drake's, complete.

The crew of the space shuttle Challenger honored us by the manner in which they lived their lives. We will never forget them, nor the last time we saw them, this morning, as they prepared for their journey and waved good-bye and "slipped the surly bonds of earth" to "touch the face of God."
-President Reagan
Dispelling the Rumors of the Catholic Church
Part 1 of an Ongoing Series: Papal Infallability

The idea of Papal infallibility scares many Protestants. The idea that a Church based on the teachings of Christ would claim any man to be infallible is mind boggling. However, that fear is greatly misplaced due to an incorrect misconception of the Catholic doctrine.

Let's start out small. The Pope can not change doctrine. The office of the Bishop of Rome has since the days of the early Church held a primacy, respected and turned to by other Bishops of the Church for corrections and clarifications of Church teaching. It was held in higher regard than Antioch and Alexandria, though all 3 were based on Apostolic founding. The Pope is regarded by Catholic teaching as the guardian of doctrine, with no power to change doctrine. Their task, like those who followed Peter is to pass on, in its integrity the whole of Catholic teaching.

Now the Pope can change Church customs, such as celebrating the Mass in the vernacular as opposed to Latin (though I prefer the Latin).

A rule of thumb that I think is helpful to understand this concept is that doctrine is what is believed and customs are the way things are done. No Pope could ever state that the resurrection was only symbolic, or that the body of Jesus remained in the tomb on the 3rd day. The Pope could instruct that priests celebrate Mass in tuxes with tophats and tails, which though amusing and a visual disaster, it is possible.

infallibility also does not mean the Pope is correct on everything. He is a sinner, just like you and I (and as had been the trend of recent Popes, takes the Sacrament of Reconciliation on a weekly basis). You could not go and have an audience with the Pope in March and ask for the winners of the Kentucky Derby, Indy 500, World Cup, World Series, NBA Playoffs, and Stanley Cup and get the right answers. Sure you might get an answer, but to not head to Las Vegas or Monte Carlo and place bets on his answers. As is evidenced and history and defined in Vatican I (one must note that most Catholic Doctrine is not seriously defined until heresy's and false teachings arise against it) and taught in Vatican II, the Pope can only teach infallibly when "he proclaims by a definitive act some doctrine of faith and morals." So even if he were giving a lecture on history and got a date a wrong that's ok. The definitive act means a formal, public statement.

infallibility is not limited to the Pope or to papal decrees. The bishops of the Church when united with the Pope in an ecumenical council (something that has been practiced since the first councils) also teach infallibly on matters of faith and morals. There have been 21 ecumenical councils and almost all of them have issued some decree on faith and morals, these decrees are infallible. Most Protestants will quickly take a stand against the Council of Trent being ecumenical, however Protestants Reformers were invited, but chose not to attend. Now Protestants will protest up and down on Trents decrees, however if they read the documents as a whole, there is nothing in there that they can disagree with, though their biases will hamper those attempts.

There is still a third mode of infallibility, which I thing is very much assumed, but it was defined anyway. The popes on their own are infallible whenever the reiterate what the Church has always taught.

The Pope is not Superman, he is not perfect, he is a man, placed in a position of great responsibility. He doesn't know everything nor is that claim ever made. The only area of infallibility is that of faith and morals and when one looks out over the history of the Church this has been the case since the time of the Apostles.

Tuesday, January 24, 2006

Salty and a bit crude....but jack threatened to kill me if I didn't post it in it's entirety

You can lead a horse to water. Jack Bauer can make him drink.

If Jack Bauer was in a room with Hitler, Stalin, and Nina Meyers, and he had a gun with 2 bullets, he'd shoot Nina twice.

If you wake up in the morning, it's because Jack Bauer spared your life.

Upon hearing that he was played by Kiefer Sutherland, Jack Bauer killed Sutherland. Jack Bauer gets played by no man.

Every time you maturbate Jack Bauer kills a terrorist. Not beacuase you masurbated, but because that is how often he kills terrorists.

Osama bin Laden's recent proposal for truce is a direct result of him finding out that Jack Bauer is, in fact, still alive.

Jack Bauer once forgot where he put his keys. He then spent the next half-hour torturing himself until he gave up the location of the keys. He then tried to kill himself for breaking, but killed 12 terrorists instead for the sake of the mission, he could not die.

Jack Bauer was never addicted to heroin. Heroin was addicted to Jack Bauer.

1.6 billion Chinese are angry with Jack Bauer. Sounds like a fair fight.

Jack Bauer killed 93 people in just 4 days time. Wait, that is a real fact.

Superman wears Jack Bauer pajamas.

Jack Bauer doesn't miss. If he didn't hit you it's because he was shooting at another terrorist twelve miles away.

Jack Bauer's favorite color is severe terror alert red. His second favorite color is violet, but just because it sounds like violent.

If Jack and MacGyver were locked in a room together, Jack would make a bomb out of MacGyver and get out.

Jack Bauer played Russian Roulette with a fully loaded gun and won.

Lets get one thing straight, the only reason you are conscious right now is because Jack Bauer does not feel like carrying you.

Jack Bauer is the leading cause of death in Middle Eastern men.

When life gave Jack Bauer lemons, he used them to kill terrorists. Jack Bauer ****ing hates lemonade.

When you open a can of whoop-a$$, Jack Bauer jumps out.

Killing Jack Bauer doesn't make him dead. It just makes him angry.

Jack Bauer got Hellen Keller to talk.

The quickest way to a man's heart is through Jack Bauer's gun.

Jack Bauer let the dogs out.

It would only take 1 bullet for Jack Bauer to kill 50 Cent.

Jack Bauer can get McDonald's breakfast after 10:30.

Simon Says should be renamed to Jack Bauer Says because if Jack Bauer says something then you better friggin do it.

When the boogie man goes to sleep, he checks his closet for Jack Bauer.

If Jack says "I just want to talk to him/her" and that him/her is you... well amigo, you're ****ed.
Jack Bauer once won a game of Connect 4 in 3 moves.

Jack Bauer's family threw him a surprise birthday party when he was a child.

Sunday, January 22, 2006

You may notice that I have added a few links to the links at the right. I think they were needed given conversations I've had and things I've read. There is a great disconnect between Catholics and Protestants, particulary those Protestants who adopt the term fundamentalist. Naturally, this all stems out of the Reformation, which in its intent was to rid the Catholic Church of well documented abuses. There existed and still exists today a small, yet vocal minority that is very Anti-Catholic. You may have seen these people on television, or outside Catholic Churches in your community handing out tracts and engaging those exiting churches in discussions. Many times, the Catholic is left scratching their heads and wondering if what these peope say is true. It is a shortcoming of the Catholic Church to properly instruct "cradle" Catholics on what the Church really believes. The problem is that over time many of the Anti-Catholic stances have also creeped in mainline Protestant denominations. So what we get are many Protestants believing falsehoods about Catholic doctrine.

I will be the first one to step forward and say I was raised in the Catholic Church and never understood properly the teachings. Fortunately for me, I have wonderful friends who got me reading the Bible and studying Church history and initially even I accepted many of these misconceptions. However the more I study, the more I find where things somewhere along the line got twisted up, leading to current misconceptions by some Protestants.

The most infamous of these works is Boettner's Roman Catholicism. It has become heavily relied upon by many anti-Catholics. However, the scholarship of this tome is as best second-rate (the soft cover chimes in at just shy of 500 pages and contains....about 12 footnotes). Pick up a copy for yourself and take a look and a read (if you can keep from throwing up or the urge to use the pages for TP on your next wilderness journey or when you run out at home).

So in the interest of trying to clear up misconceptions, I've added links to the Vatican, the Catholic Catechism, and just for fun Catholic Canon Law. Research for yourself and draw your own conclusions. I've done some and I'll be posting some of these in the future from time to time. Whether you are a Protestant who isn't sure what Catholics believe or if you're a Catholic and don't know what you believe, never take anything at face value, do the research yourself with discerning scholarship.


Saturday, January 21, 2006

Ladies and Gentlemen, Boys and Girls, Children of All Ages,

I present to you the funniest website of all time: Men Who Look Like Kenny Rogers

Also right now on PBS (yes I am one of those people who watch PBS), I am watching Celtic Women....a great show with lot's of Irish Lasses singing, and a most remarkable arrangement of The Ashoken Farewell (aka the theme from Ken Burn's miniseries, The Civil War). It's the funny thing about PBS, they show the best shows during fundraising know contribute $74 dollars and we'll send you a free $15 CD that is available in local stores. I can't knock them for it, especially the $250 donation getting 2 tickets and backstage meet & greet in Houston in April with the Celtic Women...hmmmm, best not to dwell on it, temptation to spend money and all.

Some of my hockey equipment arrived today, so bad ass KoHo pads and a black helmet with a chrome grill, it's sharp looking. All I need now are pants, gloves, a few sticks and some protective gear for those sensitive areas. Last night I skated for about 1 hr and 30 minutes, I'll admit it's most ice time in about a month and my legs are still feeling it. I do love skating, once I get to a certain point those endorphins kick in, the body goes on automatic pilot, and I can just think and the rest of the world slips away.

Speaking of hockey, hat's off to the Women Engineers at the 'Tute, RPI's first women's D-I season so far has resulted in a 13-2-2 record. Way to go ladies, better than the men and showing that some quality is there even with the ratio.

Well after a stressful week, I'm going to finish watching the Celtic Women, watch a movie, then go to bed.

Thursday, January 19, 2006



AP- Theo Epstein is rejoining the Boston Red Sox, 2 1/2 months after he turned down a three-year, $4.5 million offer to remain as general manager.
Epstein and Red Sox management issued a joint statement Thursday saying he will return to the organization full-time, but they did not say in what capacity Epstein would rejoin the team. His return had been rumored almost since the day he slipped out of Fenway Park wearing a borrowed gorilla costume to avoid the media.
"As you know, we have spoken frequently during the last 10 weeks. We have engaged in healthy, spirited debates about what it will take over the long-term for the Red Sox to remain a great organization and, in fact, become a more effective organization in philosophy, approaches and ideals," the statement said.
"Ironically, Theo's departure has brought us closer together in many respects, and, thanks to these conversations, we now enjoy the bonds of a shared vision for the organizations future that did not exist on October 31. With this vision in place, Theo will return to the Red Sox in a full-time baseball operations capacity, details of which will be announced next week."
The statement came from Epstein, principal owner John Henry, chairman Tom Werner, president Larry Lucchino and Epstein.



Dear Theo,


Thank You,

The Nation

Tuesday, January 17, 2006

A minister told his congregation, "Next week I plan to preach about the sin of lying. To help you understand my sermon, I want you all to read Mark 17."The following Sunday, as he prepared to deliver his sermon, the minister asked for a show of hands. He wanted to know how many had read Mark 17. Every hand went up.
The minister smiled and said, "Mark has only 16 chapters. I will now proceed with my sermon on the sin of lying."


A couple had two little boys, ages 8 and 10, who were excessively mischievous. They were always getting into trouble and their parents knew that, if any mischief occurred in their town, their sons were probably involved.
They boys' mother heard that a clergyman in town had been successful in disciplining children, so she asked if he would speak with her boys. The clergyman agreed, but asked to see them individually. So the mother sent her 8-year-old first, in the morning, with the older boy to see the clergyman in the afternoon.
The clergyman, a huge man with a booming voice, sat the younger boy down and asked him sternly, "Where is God?".
They boy's mouth dropped open, but he made no response, sitting there with his mouth hanging open, wide-eyed. So the clergyman repeated the question in an even sterner tone, "Where is God!!?" Again the boy made no attempt to answer. So the clergyman raised his voice even more and shook his finger in the boy's face and bellowed, "WHERE IS GOD!?"
The boy screamed and bolted from the room, ran directly home and dove into his closet, slamming the door behind him. When his older brother found him in the closet, he asked, "What happened?"
The younger brother, gasping for breath, replied, "We are in BIG trouble this time, dude. God is missing - and they think WE did it!"

Saturday, January 14, 2006

Champs Decide to let Someone Else Have Some Fun

Besides Does Anyone Really Want to Drive to Ford Field in ghetto Detroit?

The King is Dead, Long Live the King

And so ends the 2005-2006 edition of the New England Patriots who have gone the way of the every other team trying to win three straight Super Bowls, short. Credit the Denver Broncos, they're a good team with a great running game, the one thing the Patriots lacked this year. Running the football and not making mistakes is so crucial in the NFL playoffs and points of turnovers make the difference, tonight was proof of that old cardinal rule. I knew deep down the run would end this year, the running game wasn't there and hasn't been all year. The defense came together after Teddy came back, the offense rode that right arm all year. The thing I am most proud of though, even when down, these Pats don't quit. They keep fighting and keep clawing, they have heart.
Am I disappointed I won't be able to see my beloved Patriots keep playing towards history, you bet I am. See I lose interest in the playoffs once my teams are out of the post season. So now I don't care about the next few weeks, to me, the season is over. Time to get ready for baseball season and NASCAR, which will get going in about a month.
Fumbles, fumbles, fumbles...sloppy un-Patriotic football and me without any whiskey. Thank you Coaches, thank you players for another great year, a little short of the ultimate goal.
And so we go back to the bottom of the mountain, lick the wounds and heal the injuries that come with playing more games in the last 4 years than any other team in the NFL. It catches up with the body. Sure the year is over, but the heart keeps beating, they'll be back and hungry and looking for another trophy. The heart of a champion still beats in New England, mark these words...they will be back and there will be a reckoning, tell the rest the league they're coming next year, and hell will folllow with them.

As for the 2005-2006 season only one thing left to do:

On the bright side...Pitchers and Catchers Report to Ft. Myers on February 18. No centerfielder, no shortstop, a disgruntled leftfielder. Should be interesting.

Aggie baseball starts Feburary 10.

Saturday, January 07, 2006

This is a first for this blog, a book recommendation for my readers. While on vacation I was able to get my hands on the book One, Holy, Catholic, And Apostolic by Kenneth D. Whitehead. I found it to be quite interesting as it delved into the history of the Church from about 100 AD- 500 AD. So we're talking the early Church from the first/second generation of Christians being used as a starting point. It delves into the heresies of the times and how the early Church dealt with them.

What struck me as most interesting was the concept of the apostolic Church and what was meant by that idea when the Nicene Creed was adopted during the Ecumencical Council at Constantinople. It also shows how the concept of an apostolic Church was accepted by Christians and all members of the early Church and was really not questioned as a model for the Church until the Reformation after which point many denominations which separated their communion from the Bishop of Rome adopted an understanding of apostolic as meaning apostle-like, while still clinging to the Nicene Creed in their churches. The one question the text raises in my mind, is why do denominations who do not claim apostolic succession in the intent that the writers of the Nicene Creed intended still cling to it when they do not believe it? It is a very dangerous game to playing by doing so I would think.

The book also shows how the Bishop of Rome, from the early days of the Church did hold a special place in the church. It explains the Catholic argument for the importance of the Holy See from a very historical perspective. It is very interesting to see how the Bishop of Rome was held in high regard, even a higher regard than the Bishops of Antioch and Alexandria, both holding claim to being established by the Apostle Peter.

It's a very good read that roots itself in a very historical approach. I'm sure some readers will disagree with the thesis of the text and others will be in agreement with it, but it is still a very good read, deep and rich with lot's to learn about no matter what perspective you read it from. So if you have a chance and want some good reading, pick it and up and enjoy.

Monday, January 02, 2006

Old Man Goes Old School in Patriots Regular Season Finale

By JIMMY GOLEN, AP Sports Writer

For 21 years, Doug Flutie's career has been defined by one play. Now the "Hail Flutie" has its historic bookend.

The 43-year-old Patriots backup converted the NFL's first successful drop kick since 1941, making an extra point in the fourth quarter of the Miami Dolphins' mostly meaningless 28-26 victory Sunday over New England.

"I think Doug deserves it," said usually dour Patriots coach Bill Belichick, who broke into a wide smile when his sprightly quarterback split the uprights off one bounce. "He is a guy that adds a lot to this game of football, has added a lot through his great career - running, passing and now kicking.

"He's got a skill and we got a chance to let him use it, and I am happy for him. First time since '41," said Belichick, a football historian who last month brought out a leather helmet in his media session. "It might be 60 years again, too."

According to the Pro Football Hall of Fame website, the league's last drop kick for points was on Dec. 21, 1941 - two weeks after the bombing of Pearl Harbor - when Ray (Scooter) McLean converted for the Chicago Bears to beat the New York Giants 37-9 in the NFL championship game.

"Flutie might have been there the last time it happened," placekicker Adam Vinatieri joked.
The ball was more round until 1934, making the bounce more predictable. And the rules were changed to require the kicker to be behind the line of scrimmage, relegating the drop kick to a riskier version of a place kick or extra point.

But when a broadcaster Chris Berman mentioned to Belichick that he'd seen Flutie drop kick, the coach called his quarterback into his office and asked if he could do it.

"I said, 'I could do it,"' Flutie said. "There's no real application for it, but I could do it."

A native of nearby Natick, Flutie won the Heisman Trophy at Boston College after connecting with Gerard Phelan on a 48-yard touchdown pass to beat Miami as time expired. That is his signature play - and one of the most memorable in college football history.

With the Patriots already happy with their playoff seeding, Tom Brady sat out most of the game so Matt Cassel, who's usually No. 3 behind Flutie, could get some snaps. He hit Tim Dwight for a nine-yard touchdown with 6:10 left, and Flutie came onto the field with the kicking unit.
"It sort of screwed me up," said Dolphins coach Nick Saban, who needed a timeout to get things straight. "I couldn't figure out what was going on. They had a quarterback in, four tight ends and a receiver and there was no kicker."

Flutie took his position for a regular shotgun snap, then retreated to the 12 yard-line to await the ball; he caught the ball, dropped it to the grass and kicked it off the short hop straight through the uprights. After getting a hug on the field by his teammates, Flutie ran off to embrace Belichick.

Even Saban appreciated the moment.

"I was kind of pleased to know that somebody can still drop kick," Saban said. "Man, when I was a kid we all practised that. Thought it was a lost art.
"But," he added, "you know Flutie showed his age on that one."

The 1984 Heisman winner went into the USFL and the NFL, but only achieved stardom in the Canadian Football League, where he was a three-time Grey Cup champion and six-time Most Outstanding Player. He returned to the NFL in 1998 and played three years with Buffalo and four with San Diego before returning to New England for a second stint with the Patriots.
He hasn't said he will retire, but the impression that this is his final season was reinforced by Belichick's post-game valedictory.

"It's possible, but I'm not going to rule anything out," Flutie said. "But if that ends up being my last play, it wouldn't be bad."


He's gone from the Hail Mary to beat Miami to a dropkick in an NFL game. For some reason an old country song comes to mind..."Drop Kick me Jesus Thru the Goal Post of Life." At 43, Flutie seemingly is taking that literally.

Sunday, January 01, 2006

Begin the journey in drear, dark night,
The darkness broken by slivers of light
From twinkling stars and the moon's day flight.

Somewhere in that darkness, a day breaks anew.
Slipping through time like a silent canoe,
Quieter than a lambs soft mew.

Speaking in silence to the world of men,
Yet shouting the promise of newness again
Reminding us to remember all that has been.

Quiet travellers go on their way,
Seeking their destination and the break of day.
In this early hour the Earth has her say.

In symphonic splendor the heavens ablaze,
Upon the new era we fix our steady gaze,
On the promise, and wonder, and all that amaze

Lest not forget the tired and least,
All things alighted when they head on back East.