Monday, July 06, 2009

CC has been with me for 1 year

CC was adopted June 22, 2008 and has been such a joy!

Here she was June 28, 2008.

And here she was July 13, 2008.

Her name CC stands for Cher Chien, French for dear dog.
CC loves people!

Here are some of CC's friends:

Kate-lynn, Kayla, Sabrina, "the artist", and her best furbuddy Petunia.

A few months ago CC got her inner cheek swabbed for a genetic test to see what breeds she might have in her. This is the result:

It's hard to imagine that CC has Newfoundland in her!

Whatever this sweet dog, originally from Tennessee,

was made from, the result is a precious and loved CHER CHIEN.

Tuesday, September 11, 2007


My faithful dog, my wonderful little buddy, George passed away Sunday afternoon.

I would like to remember the day I adopted him from the County Kennel. That was the first time I saw him, about 3 months old, small, mostly black with brown feet. I never knew what breed he was, although he had characteristics of a Border Terrier, and ears like a Beagle.

He has been my companion since Feb. 22, 1994. Yes, his name was eponymous.

I remember as a growing young dog, how easily he could catch a tennis ball on the fly.

I remember taking him for walks up and down the drive.

Around the house you cannot imagine a more gentle dog. At his heaviest he was about 30 pounds.

He liked to go for rides. After Chris died in 1998, his was the passenger seat in the Plymouth. He came to Catechism with me. Occasionally he went with me to visit shut-ins, especially the ones who gave him pizza.

He reached maturity. He was always an even-tempered dog. He responded to the "r word," especially the question, "Is there a rabbit?"

Occasionally he had to let me know that there was a deer in the yard at 3:00 AM.

He remained very graceful through his declining years. I remember getting "senior" dog food, some extra trips to the vet, and eventually a canine cardiologist. The last year of his life he was getting nine pills a day.

He went peacefully at home. He knew I was nearby. He lay down in the living room and did not get up. I often referred to him as "my little trooper."

George was almost 14 years old when he slipped away. I like to think of him as romping through a celestial meadow.

Monday, July 30, 2007

The Rockford Institute

I spent a very pleasant week in Rockford, Illinois, in mid July. Evey year at that time The Rockford Institute conducts a program, officially called The Regnery Lectures, but everyone involved refers to it as "Summer School."
This year the topic was The Stuarts and the English Civil war. Readings involved The Pilgrim's Progress, Paradise Lost, David Hume's history, poems of the time, Lord Clarendon's history, Hobbes and Locke.

There were some parallels with the American experience. The Puritans settled in New England, while the Anglicans tended to settle the South. Yet one wonders how much the Scots had to do with the whole thing, and whether the Jacobites could have brought about a different kind of England.

Was the English Civil War the first "philosophical" rather than "religious" war? One could ask a similar question about the original jihad, in which another iconoclastic movement tried to convert the world to abstraction. It did not succeed. The Puritans did. Their decisive victory over Christianity led to Hobbes' Leviathan. Yes, I did mean "Christianity," because after that war Christianity ceased to be a factor in English public policy. Hume would never have accepted such a philosophy, because reason can provide no values. Like all philosophers, Hobbes imported his values from pre-reflective sources, whether custom, revelation, personal interest, or projected common interest. Unlike Hume he did not acknowledge that.

The first king to be beheaded was not Louis XVI, it was Charles I, one of the better monarchs.
It is impossible to view Cromwell in a positive light. You don't have to be Irish to find him abominable. I'm glad that most people know little of him except for the brief comment in Gray's Elegy. It is a fitting one.

The evening meals were provided, Tuesday shish kabobs at the Institute office, Wednesday a buffet at the Irish Rose Saloon, Thursday another buffet at the Arboretum, followed by poetry readings, and Friday an Italian dinner at Altamore's. Saturday evening we were at Thomas Fleming's house for a cook-out.

We had wonderful presenters, in fact some of you may know Aaron Wolf who gave the talk on Bunyan. He is a Lutheran home-schooler.

Tuesday, July 03, 2007

On critical thinking

Do our schools teach children to think critically? I have heard some rather bizarre accounts, including one in which students were taught "kindness" as a form of critical thinking. To set the record straight, kindness is a value, not a thought process. So let me outline what true critical thought consists of, so we may discuss the matter with common definition of terms.

There are five parts to critical thought:

1. Consistency, which asks:

a) Does this hapopen every time?
b) Does everyone tell the story the same way?
c) Does this word always mean this?

2. Relevance, which asks:
a) Can we use all of the given facts?
b) Are we using the right tool?
c) Are we in the mainstream?

3. Structure and sequence, which asks:
a) Does A depend upon B?
b) Do we have to do something else first?
c) What will happen if we do this?

4. Authority, which asks:
a) Who says so? Where?
b) Why should we believe this authority?
c) Does another authority contradict this?

5. The last part is interpretation. It doesn't exactly ask questions, but seeks to integrate known facts, theories, and opinions into systems. If no existing systems seem to include them, one should attempt to construct a new system based on them. We might summarize interpretation with the question, "What does this mean?"

Tuesday, June 19, 2007

Texas Trip

It was a four day weekend. I flew down on Friday, and back on Monday, both afternoon flights so there was no rushing.

I stayed at the Best Western in Lake Worth, 15 miles from my niece's house. She had her father and step-mother, her step-daughter and her husband, her son Robby and his wife, Carolina, whom I had never met, and thier 5 month old daughter, Carolita. Robby's brother and sister, Wayne and Angel, my niece's former ward, Nicki, his wife, Misty, and their one year old son, Dylan. Then there were the step-daughter's children, Adian and Aria Holland, seven and two respectively. Craig and Cheri had all these people there.

We had the Baptismal ceremony at Hope Lutheran Church in Reno, just west of Azle. It was at 2:00 in the afternoon. The people weren't there, nor was the pastor. Cheri had made preparations, and I had brought my hymn to make copies for everybody.

There were four candidates: Adian and Aria, Dylan, and Carolita. I did the agenda from memory, since the only resources available were LBW. Four children received the Sacrament of regeneration. Afterward, Cheri had ice cream punch and cake for everybody.

In one of those inexpressible moments, I, the senior family member, held Carolita, the youngest family member, in my arms. She was the only blood relative that I baptized that afternoon. Dylan is Cheri's grandson in all but blood, and the others are her step-grandchilren. It was too bad that Dick and Peggy couldn't be there. They would have loved it.

Monday, April 16, 2007

Good reading

I want to urge everyone to read Srdja Trifkovic's column, A Tale of Two Cabals, in thos month's Chronicles.

I am not writing this to summarize the article. No summary could do it justice. But there are some practical things to be said, of which I would like to alert you.

First, our emphasis must be on our Christian - European identity. That identity can be found more frequently in the U. S. A. than any other place. We cannot tolerate multi-culturalism, which is a slap in the face to true Christianity.

Second, we must be aware that in anything that really counts there isn't a dime's worth of difference between the Republicans and the Democrats. We must rise above the secondary and tertiary "issues" which they insist on debating, and focus on what they will not allow to be debated. George Bush knows what words will push the buttons of "conservative Christians," but in what really matters, he has nothing but false platitudes.

Third, understand that Islam worships the devil. The god of the Koran is known mainly by negation, by violent opposition to all that is incarnational of God, by rejection of the Gospel and the history of Israel, by substituting an abstract particularlity for the concrete, incarnational particularities of Judaism and Christianity. One of their god's attributes is "the merciful," no doubt, but remember, the false prophet has horns like a Lamb but speaks like a dragon.

Fourth, understand that main-line Christianity also worships the devil, which is why it has so little opposition to Islam. Main-line Christianity has no more love for the Gospel than Islam. When it mentions the word "Gospel," it usually means something Marxist.

Fifth, and finally, understand that "evangelical Christianity" also worships the devil, rejecting all that is incarnational in the Church and her history, emphasizing hyper-individualism, ignoring all the centuries between the New Testament and the present, which is why it tolerates female clergy, seeks "growth" at the expense of truth, experience at the expense of clear witness, and post-modern subjectivism at the expense of knowing the reality of the cross and resurrection.

Friday, March 30, 2007

New RML Season

Next week the 2007 RML season begins in earnest. The Pelicans are ready with a fairly good team, although we are in a tough division.

Our starting pitching is solid with John Lackey, Aaron Cook, Cliff Lee, Aaron Sele, Horacio Ramirez, John Lester, and Brett Tomko. The closer is J. J. Putz, with a bullpen that includes Mike Gonzalez, Josh Hancock, Scott Downs, Latroy Hawkins, Dan Kolb, and Tomko.

Our line-up is better than it has been for quite a while. At first we platoon Sean Casey and Wes Helms, we have Ronnie Belliard at second, Ronnie Cedeno and Abraham Nunez at short, Mark Bellhorn and Omar Infante at third, Melky Cabrera in right field, Gary Matthews in center, Brady Clark and Bobby Kielty in left, Miguel Olivo and Ryan Doumit behind the plate, dhs are Frank Catalanotto and Ryan Garko, and extra outfielders are Gabe Kapler and Chris Denofrio.

But as I said, we're in a tough division.