Saturday, December 25, 2010

Friday, December 24, 2010

Thanks, everso, Bill

It is oranger than it shows on my screen. Perfect for my house.

Friday shuffle at Christmas

1. God Rest Ye Merry, Gentlemen - Rascal Flatts
2. Elves - Christine Lavin
3. Angelus ad Virginem - Taverner Consort
4. O Holy Night - Straight No Chaser
5. Joy to the World - The Klezmonauts
6. In Nativitatem Domini Nostri Jesu Christi - Jennifer Larmore
7. Quelle est cette odeur agréable? - Westminster Choir
8. Silent Night/Away in a Manger - Joey Misculin
9. It Came Upon Midnight Clear - Galliard Brass Ensemble
10. Gloria tibi Domine - Bach Choir Pittsburgh

Sunday, December 19, 2010

The bishop visited

Our bishop visited this morning. He had an excellent sermon on grace. Since I was Eucharistic Minister and cantor for the Taize, I didn't take any photos during the service. There are more from coffee hour at the church's blog.

The Taize chant is the most difficult one I've sung - Wait for the Lord whose day is near. I have it in extended form in Finale with the soprano and alto parts underneath. If anyone needs it I can send it. I messed it up a couple of weeks ago because I forgot I had done this. Glad I checked my computer last night!

Friday cat blogging on Sunday

The lobsters had a little Christmas gathering last night at Hank's house. This is one of the two cats he serves. Had me sneezing all evening but that's life.

Friday, December 17, 2010

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Snowy sunset

The setting sun on the way to Pittsburgh in the snow.

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

10 Reasons to Reject the Anglican Covenant

Ten Reasons Why the Proposed
Anglican Covenant Is a Bad Idea

  1. The proposed Anglican Covenant would transform a vibrant, cooperative, fellowship of churches into a contentious, centralized aggregation of churches designed to reduce diversity and initiative. The Covenant would institutionalize the “Instruments of Unity” as never before and would give extraordinary power to the newly enhanced Standing Committee.

  2. Under the Covenant, churches will be inhibited from undertaking new evangelical or mission initiatives for fear of offending other Communion churches and becoming embroiled in the disciplinary mechanisms set up by the Covenant.

  3. The centralization of authority envisioned by the proposed Covenant is cumbersome, costly, and undemocratic. In an era in which power and authority are being distributed in many organizations in order to achieve greater efficiency, responsiveness, and accountability, what has been proposed for the Communion seems out of step with current thinking regarding large organizations.

  4. Although the proposed Covenant is offered as a mechanism to achieve unity, its immediate effect is to create divisions. Churches that cannot or will not adopt the Covenant automatically become second-class members of the Communion. The inevitable application of the disciplinary provisions of Section 4 will likely further distinguish between “full” members of the Communion and less-than-full members.

  5. The proposed Covenant is dangerously vague. Sections 1–3 of the Covenant, which are seen by many as innocuous, leave much room for divergent interpretations. Section 4 makes it all too easy for any church to “ask questions” about the actions of another, which may then be subjected to unspecified “relational consequences.” There is no sure measure of what behaviour is likely to be acceptable, no checks provided against unreasonable complaints, and no guarantee that “consequences” (i.e., punishments) meted out will be commensurate with the alleged offence.

  6. The proposed Covenant runs counter to the gospel imperative of not judging others. It is all too easy for Communion churches to complain about the sins of their sister churches while ignoring or diverting attention from their own failures to live out the Gospel.

  7. The proposed Covenant encourages premature ending of debate. Rather than taking the advice of Gamaliel (Acts 5:38–39) and seeing how controversial matters play out, the Covenant evidences an eagerness to “settle” them. This is an unfortunate temptation to which the Communion seems subject. It has too quickly concluded that “homosexual practice” is “incompatible with Scripture” and that adopting the Covenant is “the only way forward,” neither of which is either intuitively obvious or universally agreed upon.

  8. The notion that we need to make “forceful” the “bonds of affection” is fundamentally flawed. If we need force and coercion to maintain relationships between Communion churches, there is no true affection, and the very foundation of the proposed Covenant is fraudulent.

  9. The proposed “Covenant” seems more like a treaty, contract, or instrument of surrender than a covenant. In the ecclesiastical context, a covenant is usually thought of as an agreement undertaken in joy and in an atmosphere of trust—baptismal and marriage covenants come to mind. The proposed Anglican Covenant, on the other hand, is advanced in an atmosphere of anger, fear, and distrust, and with the threat of dire consequences if it is not adopted.

  10. The proposed Covenant is not the only way forward; there are better options. The Anglican Communion would be better served by remaining a single-tier fellowship of churches, allowing disaffected members to leave if they must, while keeping the door open for their return. Any alternative position cedes too much power to those willing to intimidate by threatening to walk away.

It may be helpful to think of the reasons given above in terms of one-word descriptions. The ten reasons describe the Covenant as
  1. Radical
  2. Reactionary
  3. Impractical
  4. Divisive
  5. Vague
  6. Judgemental
  7. Impetuous
  8. Insincere
  9. Misnamed
  10. Suboptimal
Copied from here.

Monday, December 13, 2010

Snow 12.13.10

The bay has disappeared as have the "tracks".
The birds are feeding. You can see the corner of the blue ladder which will have to be used shortly as the satellite signal is breaking up. The oil tank was filled this morning. Ouch but should be ok till fall unless the winter is bitter cold.
Took this earlier this morning before the snow started in earnest.
These are embiggenable.

Friday, December 10, 2010

Friday shuffle

1. Episcopal Campaign Song - Mark Giroux
2. Cry Me a River - Susan Boyle
3. The Cats of Cash - Garrison Keillor and Frederica Von Stade
4. Chesky: The Agnostic, Resurrection - David Chesky
5. Mascagni: Regina Caeli - Ave Maria University
6. Schumann: To Thee Old Cause - Bernstein, NY Philharmonic
7. Berlioz: Requiem, Rex tremendae - Norrington
8. Bruckner: Vexilla Regis
9. Britten: A Boy was Born, Herod - Sixteen
10. Persichetti: Woodcutter - Mendelssohn Club of Philadelphia
Mostly classical this time because I was looking for items that don't appear regularly if ever. I get tired of the way iTunes and the iPhone handle "shuffle". I get the same stuff over and over. I have 2707 "songs" but I keep getting the same "albums" over and over. Frustrating. Next week, if I do this, I'll do Christmas. I skip those the rest of the year.

Thursday, December 9, 2010

Temporary respite?

But clouding up again. Temperature was 6° when I got up. Now up to 27°. Need one "warm" day to wash the cats' blankets. Probably tomorrow.

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Still snowing

Two views out the front window. Yes, those are icicles.

The view out the back door.
The view out the kitchen window.

Monday, December 6, 2010


I watched the Prop 8 hearing today. The lawyer for Prop 8 had nothing to say basically. As with the original trial, I could see no legitimate defense of their position.

The National Organization for Marriage (not really) condemned one of the judges today. His wife is the executive director of the ACLU in California therefore he can't be impartial. In other words, he may be able to weigh the evidence and come to an intelligent conclusion that may disagree with the unChristian hatred NOM espouses therefore he needs to recuse himself.

Yesterday I read an article about Gene Robinson planning to remain on the public stage after retiring. The comments are revealing. People who have never met Gene or heard him speak simply hate him for no reason.

People who are anti-homosexual/lgbt/"queer"/etc. have little or no idea what they are talking about and have little if any interest in learning more about the subject. They may say they have many "friends" who are lgbt but they don't approve of their "lifestyle" so are they really "friends"? They say they love their lgbt neighbors but they believe lgbt's choose to love people of the same sex and can choose to fall in love with people of the opposite sex. They deny same sex families the stability of legal marriage even tho they preach that marriage is of the ultimate importance. They say their Bible condemns same sex love while ignoring Jesus's teaching that we should love all. Oh, yes, "loving" means trying to get lgbts to change their Godde-given nature.

I'm sorry but I don't accept any of it. Regardless of the intended message, the antis hate/fear homosexuals and others with "nonstandard" sexual attraction. There is no legitimate defense of homophobia and homohatred. It is based on ignorance and fear primarily promoted by pseudoChristian religionists.

So they know an lgbt person whose behavior is destructive. Are there no straights with destructive behavior? So there is a gay man who spends too much time in bars perhaps picking up one night stands. No straight man ever does that - let alone a married one? So some same sex couples split after a period of time together. Ever hear of divorce? Children fare best in families with two parents. So why do straights divorce so often leaving kids with a single mother who can barely support them let alone parent "perfectly"? Shouldn't everyone support same sex marriage to provide children with a stable household? How would the marriage of a same sex couple ruin someone else's straight marriage anyhow? A straight who doesn't fully support the rights of lgbts yet claims to not be prejudiced is lying. It is that simple. I'm tired of it.

PS: I love Ted Olson! David Boies is a little too stiff for my taste but Ted seems so honest, so real.

Sunday, December 5, 2010

Three's a crowd

Left to right: LittleOne, Dude and PuddyTat. Dudie displaced PT overnight. This morning he got hungry at the wrong time and PT retook her box. So Dude just moved in with LittleOne who was not pleased. When I got home from church I put a heating pad in a box on the 2nd shelf and PuddyTat took it over. It should actually be warmer than these boxes because it only has one opening. But she can't see me from below. The only thing I don't like about having Dude on the roof is his unwillingness to leave and inclination to pee everywhere. We went thru that last year. Ugh. If he starts to do that again, I'll physically remove him when he is on the roof. He is the only cat I can sometimes pick up.

For now, Dude and LO are in the upper boxes and PT is below. Tim is in her foam in the canoe. Tommie is in his blanket burrow in the barn. Somebody - Lady or Jellico - is in the new large box made in case Lady has kittens in the barn. Somebody else is in a blanket on the loveseat in the barn. I do not feed the cats in the barn but I do have a heated water dish there. And three litter boxes.

And we have maybe 6 inches of snow with lots more predicted. I've been plowed once tho I didn't need it yet. There is plenty of food for me, the felines and the feathered friends. I could get snowed in happily but probably won't.

Saturday, December 4, 2010

Friday shuffle on Saturday

1. Anything Goes - Harpers Bizarre
2. I'm Telling You Now - Freddie & The Dreamers
3. Carulli: Concerto for Guitar, Allegro - Karl Scheit
4. Easy Living - Stan Getz
5. In the Mood - Glenn Miller Orchestra
6. Haydn: Creation, Und Gott Sprach... - Davis, London
7. Black Magic Woman - Santana
8. Butterfly - Rajaton
9. Jamaica Farewell - Harry Belafonte
10. Stift Heiligenkreuz Bells - Cistercian Monks

Monday, November 29, 2010

Late November clouds

I took this in town then went on toward Greenville.
The cloud kept its basic shape.
Then the cloud spread out over the sky. The one below is a continuation of this photo.

Friday, November 26, 2010

Thanksgiving 2010 (and Friday dog blogging)

This year, I journeyed to Princeton, NJ to spend Thanksgiving with a friend who was dogsitting. At 9:50 on Thursday morning I read a Facebook message from Frances Slade, conductor of Princeton Pro Musica, asking me to come to the 10 am rehearsal and sing the community Thanksgiving service at the Princeton University Chapel. Since we were in Princeton rather than Cranbury, I was only a few minutes late and got there toward the end of warmups.

This is the window with the party horns at the rear of the U Chapel.
There was a very short procession of religious, university and government people.
Eric Plutz was the organist. Those folks were the sopranos and, I think basses. Frances is barely visible in the lower left of the photo.

There was a solo handbell ringer at the service - Hyosang Park. She was excellent. I know you can't see her very well. Neither could I. She was accompanied by Akiko Hosaki on the piano.

This is Erasmus, our charge. He is a gorgeous, HUGE, ivory colored golden retriever.
We had a scary incident this morning just before I left. Erasmus has arthritis in his hips - he's 11, I think. The deck was wet and slippery and he lost his footing when he bounded out of the house ending up lying flat on his tummy with his back legs splayed out behind him. He wouldn't move. I massaged his legs and hips and rolled him over, back and forth then pulled his back end off the deck so he could stand more steadily and easily which he eventually did then went back into the house. We let him rest a bit then I took him out on the leash via the carpeted steps. He did his business and didn't want to come back in but I needed to get on the road. Nothing worse than a pet problem when the owners are away! And there was no way the two of us could have carried that dog. He is too large and too heavy. I called on the way home and she had walked him with success. Whew!
There was a little slush on my windshield after the Thanksgiving service. When I left this morning Princeton was warm and wet. On the way home, however, the rain and mist stopped and the last half of the journey was in chilly sunshine. This is one view I always look forward to on I-80 - what appears after a long downhill run between cliffs.
Other than the episode this morning, the brief vacation was good. Good food. Good company. Good traveling. Good dog. Good Thanksgiving.
And lots to be thankful for.

Sunday, November 21, 2010

Nighttime 11.21.10

The moon was behind thin clouds tonight making trying to photograph it irresistible.

This is my neighbor's woodstove which heats their water and their house. The light illuminating the smoke is behind one of the trees on the right.
The third photo is the only one taken with flash on which is why they are a little blurry.

Saturday, November 13, 2010

Friday cat blogging on Saturday

PuddyTat staked out a place under the feeders hoping for a protein supplement. There were some grey feathers scattered around so somebody must have caught a chickadee.
Dude watched Tom and LittleOne have a bit of a scuffle.
Lady watched too.
Jellico just watched me wondering if he should run.
Tim went about her own business.
LittleOne stretched out after the encounter with Tom.
Tom kept an eye on him.
Eventually they settled near each other.
Tim won't drink well water if there is rainwater pooled somewhere.
It was another lovely day in the neighborhood.

Friday, November 12, 2010

Sale at Holy Cross

The Episcopal Church of the Holy Cross is having a rummage sale tomorrow - 13 November 2010, 9 till 4 or so. If you are in the neighborhood, check it out. Some really nice stuff and very reasonable prices.


Friday shuffle

1. A Horse With No Name - America
2. Tchaikovsky: Piano Concerto #1, Allegro non troppo... - Richter, Karajan
3. A Groovy Kind of Love - Mindbenders
4. Callejon Del Muro (Minera) - Paco De Lucia
5. Ain't No Mountain High Enough - Diana Ross
6. Cherished - Dusty Springfield
7. Phibbs: Rainland - Bach Choir Pittsburgh
8. Just a Little - Beau Brummels
9. On The Street Where You Live - Vic Damone
10. At The End - Leon Morris and Buzz Busby

Thursday, November 11, 2010

This is November?

Shirley and I went walking today. This is a field up at the nature preserve near Linesville. You can't see it in this photo but there is a deer carcass in the field. We could see some birds on the carcass including a huge brown one but we couldn't see them well.
This is a closer view. Sorry I couldn't get a better photo. A lady with a huge telescope appeared and said it was an immature bald eagle and a couple of crows. Shirley had never seen an eagle before. We walked the nature path and found a bunch of people with telescopes watching when we got back. An adult eagle was on the carcass so the first lady let Shirley look thru her scope. There were more than a dozen other eagles, mostly young ones, in trees in the neighborhood. It was very exciting for Shirley. I enjoy seeing the eagles but see them often enough to not get excited.
Then we walked my neighborhood woods. This is the north entrance to our bay.
This is a pond north of our bay.
This is the view from what used to be a party cliff up the lake.
It certainly was a gorgeous day in the neighborhood, especially for mid November.