Saturday, July 25, 2009


The 500th post since I deleted my old blog a year ago.

More yard

This was the side yard a couple of months ago. The "wildflowers" were twice as tall day before yesterday.

Yesterday the neighbor leveled it and took out the stuff that would break the mower.
I spread some grass seed hoping the rain would come this far east. It didn't. Now I will probably get hoards of starlings. Exercise and protein supplements for the cats?

Friday, July 24, 2009

More Friday cat blogging

Supper time but Jellico is standoffish.

They were rewarded with some chicken - their favorite.

Kinetic sculpture at Berkshire Botanical Garden

This was my favorite of the kinetic scultures at Berkshire Botanical Garden.

Others are on my Facebook video page.

Friday cat blogging

Tommie looks at me while having a bit of a standoff with Jellico.
Meanwhile PuddyTat wonders why I'm sticking the camera out the kitchen window.
Jellico will run if I open the door so I opened the window to take the picture of the boys.

Friday shuffle

1. Alexander: Jesus Met the Woman at the Well - Chanticleer
2. Bugle Call Rag - Glenn Miller Orchestra
3. Hold Your Head Up - Argent
4. Twilight Time - Platters
5. Never Be Anyone Else But You - Ricky Nelson
6. The Masochism Tango - Tom Lehrer
7. Zingaro - Ali Ryerson
8. Elgar: Whither I Find You - Finzi Singers
9. A World Without Love - Peter and Gordon
10. Brahms: Symphony 1 - Berlin Philharmonic

Thursday, July 23, 2009

BCF Week 1 2009 photos

are posted here. This was in Sheffield, MA at The Berkshire School.

Photos from the Berkshire Choral Festival weeks in Montreal and last year are here.

My name is not Those People

Hat tip to FranIAm on Facebook.

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Earworm inspires question

One of the lyrics we sang last week was:
Oh, Lord of Lords, how majestic is your name o'er all the earth. Oh, Lord, we praise your name. We magnify your name. Prince of Peace, Mighty God, how majestic is your name, oh Lord! King of kings and Lord of Lords for ever and ever Hallelujah. And he shall reign for ever and ever. Oh, Lord, our God!
Over and over and over and over for 5 minutes. Needless to say it has become a persistent earworm.

I'm not a fan of "praise" music. I wonder why we should praise Jesus at all. Or even Godde for that matter. They are who or what they are and seem to not need reinforcement. Thanks, yes, but adulation of the names?

My opinion of the Bible is that it is a go and do manual for living successfully in community. Should we be standing around getting carried away by pounding rhythms and redundant melodies or should we be out taking care of others?

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Hanging out

The cats seem to be happy that I'm home. Tommie, Dudie and PuddyTat watched as I unloaded birdseed from the car and fed the winged creatures.

More daylilies today

How to never be wrong


Monday, July 20, 2009

And on GC 2009

Obviously - see week's postings below - I was not able to follow every nuance of General Convention. Nevertheless, as does everyone else, I have a few barely supported opinions garnered from what I did have time to read.

I am greatly disappointed in our bishop Sean Rowe who voted against inclusion of all the baptized in all the orders of TEC. I find clericalism disgusting and very unChristlike so I was really irritated to read the following which admittedly contains the opinion of the writer:

Then a bit of a blockbuster, Bishop Sean Rowe of Northwestern Pennsylvania, (the youngest bishop in the House) supported by Bishop Kirk Smith of Arizona want the resolution discharged (killed.) Rowe says legislation doesn't work. What he offers sure plays to me as a sweeping attack on the House of Deputies authority. Smith says the bishops should do a pastoral letter. (Maybe it is just the fact that I am helping hte House of Deputies with media, but this seems disrespectful of the Deputies.... Another attempt to disenfranchise them for the governance of their church.) Most of the debate seems to be going against it.

The Bishop of Hawaii, Fitzpatrick, speaks in favor of discharge, as does Doyle of Texas.

it is very hard for me to see this as anything other than an attempt to assert the authority of the bishops and the bishops only on this matter.

Rowe asks for a roll call on the discharge vote. This feels like an effort to run out the clock. What possible reason can there be for getting this vote on the record. It is of no lasting significance.

Halfway through, the move to discharge is losing 42-19. The vote isn't over, but 55 no votes are already in, so I'd say the move to discharge fails. Final now 42-94-1, the motion fails

You can read the entire live blogging article at The Lead. +Gene also mentioned his action tho not by name.

Fortunately, those who try to live by the Gospel and love Godde and others unconditionally and leave judgment to Godde prevailed. I pray for the people who seem to worship Jesus but refuse to do as he taught. That is a divide which may never be crossed except by the individuals who eventually get it. May there be many more of them/us soon.

The concept that sexuality can cause schism among Christ's people is amazing. The Anglican Communion has been no real communion for quite awhile - ever since the first bishop decided the others present were not worthy of his sharing the eucharist. As if it were his invitation to issue. I'd like to say a pox on the men who are so pure and holy and knowledgeable about Godde that they can't stoop to Jesus's level and share his meal with someone. But I'd rather pray they grow in the knowledge and love of Godde. Tempting however...

I seriously doubt that many butts in the pews care much about sexuality until the clergy stir them up. I'm not too fond of clergy sometimes, in case you never noticed. In general the people are ok but they get corrupted by the collar?

The budget seems to reflect a bunker mentality. That never works. A budget needs vision. Most people will not pour money into a sinking ship. TEC is not sinking. There is now a clear way ahead. TEC is for all people. Period. No more hatred or exclusion. What a gift! What a vision! Why not aim for it? If you aim for the floor, you may shoot yourself in the foot. Is that what TEC expects?

There were some wonderful affirmations coming from GC. There were some wonderful programs that will go unfunded and unimplemented. Sad. I think there should be a limit to the number of terms a deputy can serve. Say 3 - one to learn the ropes, one to work and one to help pass on to the next generation. Perhaps every diocese should be required to include one person - lay or clergy - under the age of 30? Tradition has rarely served the church well and tradition is embedded in long term service in any field.

Well, I may have other thoughts but that's it for now. I rejoice that TEC voted for inclusion and the recognition that the church must serve the community or die especially where the laws permit marriage between two people who love each other and seek to commit their lives to each other. The rest of it and our bishop, well, I'll share the eucharist with anyone. It is not my place to choose.

Sunday, July 19, 2009

Thruway thoughts

Today I drove the Thruway from the Taconic to the Pennsylvania line. Whenever I transverse that highway I have many memories pop into my head. I've been going to the Berkshire Choral Festival since 1985 using that route for most of those journeys. This year I have been on portions of it several times. Here is what ran thru my thruway thoughts today.

I love the Taconic in good weather. It is a lovely drive and there is rarely anyone else at the tollgate, especially when I'm eastbound.

I wish I could have visited FranIAm today in Albany. Oh well, there is next year.

When Glenn was still at the cathedral in Albany, I would sometimes leave BCF early enough to attend mass then have lunch with him - before Karen. When they married, they invited me to sing with the choir which I did.

During the wedding festivities, I stayed with a gal in Schenectady whose name I can't recall at the moment. Sorry. On my way east last week, I visited a college friend Lynn near there. When a portion of the Thruway collapsed awhile back, I had driven over it only a few hours before and still recall where it was.

A number of years ago I drove recording equipment from Amherst, MA to Denver, CO for a friend who was recording the organ works of Langlais in the churches where he performed. The first night out I stayed at a Motel 6 in Utica. There were two rather large friendly ladies at the desk who welcomed me. Painted on a block wall on one side of the driveway was a message that there will be no noise after 11 pm. Around midnight there was noise and suddenly a big voice reminded the rowdies that they know the rules and there was quiet immediately. The next morning I commented that they run a tight ship. The same ladies just smiled.

On the way to Montreal I visited friends in the vicinity of Utica and saw the church he leads in downtown Utica. I was too late to attend the eucharist as I stayed to hear the recording of the first half of the concert so I just waved as I went by. I waved at lots of people today. New memories and old.

Many years ago I hauled my Sunfish behind my TR4A to a race at Cazenovia Lake which seemed more like a large pothole to me. I met some wonderful people who appeared here and there afterward too.

My father owned and I learned to sail Lightning 1182 whose keel was laid in Skaneateles the same year mine was. It had a double planked cypress hull and weighed 900 pounds which is why I could sail it single handedly in fairly strong winds.

Awhile ago I attended the Long Island Choral Festival and met a lovely gal from Rochester but lost touch with her. A few years later I had an opportunity to attend one rehearsal for the Verdi Requiem in Rochester before singing tenor at Chautauqua. I found my friend's email and hoped it worked then spent the night with her renewing a precious friendship.

A month ago I drove thru Buffalo to Fort Erie to get my Nexus pass which was very useful going to and from Montreal. I have other Buffalo memories but they are too many to detail.

Among the Buffalo memories are the folks at Holy Trinity Lutheran. I knew a number of people in that choir because they were also BCF people. One was a special friend who lived in East Aurora. I was sad to see his name on the list of people for whom the requiem would be sung last year.

Coming farther west, I always have to chuckle when I pass Silver Creek. I met a gal in summer choir at Westminster Choir College before I was a student who was from that town. She was always annoyed that I pronounced it Silver Crick. And still do.

Years ago I crewed on a 40 foot Rhodes 27 out of Erie Yacht Club. We always used the Dunkirk stacks as a landmark. I still look for them for some unknown reason only now from the highway side.

Dunkirk used to have a restaurant that served all the lobster you could eat. On the way back from a meeting in Buffalo with coworkers one time, we stopped there. I had way too much to eat and drink. I will never forget the headache.

The Dunkirk exit is also the one to take to experience the New York State Summer School for the Arts performances which I did once.

Lots of associations with the Westfield/Mayville exit. Jay lives in Mayville now. And of course that is the exit for Chautauqua. Many stories there.

And then there is Westfield. A bunch of us had sailed from Erie to Barcelona Harbor. There was a restaurant in Westfield which, again, served all the lobster you could eat and we ate and drank well. Another memorable headache for me and it wasn't the lobster. One of the men in the fleet had had a financial problem with the owner of the restaurant. After the 15 or so of us had eaten, we left. That's how he collected on his bill.

The Thruway holds lots of memories for me. Helps during the long drive.

Sunday morning at BCF

Dawn and time to pack the car and get on the road.
The concert was inspiring.

A regret expressed last year was that we meet people we learn to love yet may never see again. I had that problem last year and was surprised, pleasantly, in Montreal. In Sheffield I met some people with whom I have sung but had never conversed and would like to continue the conversations. Yea. Many "new" and "old" friends will also attend the 4th week in 2010. I'm already excited about next year.

So now it is back to reality. I came home to a trashed shed. The raccoons figured out how to open the door. Fortunately I was almost out of birdseed so they didn't get much reward for overturning the three garbage cans. I didn't appreciate the destroyed floor lamp or the general mess they left. I'll do more damage assessment tomorrow. The doors are tied together now.

All five cats greeted me. That was nice.