Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Getting older

Hi Folks

Recently, I was told I needed more work at figuring things out.  I was then summarily launched into a project with very few tools.  I had to 'figure things out'.

It was a huge challenge for me.  The project involved several things which are almost entirely new to me, including learning from the user guides provided for computer programs.

I quickly realized that computer program user guides are not always particularly well written, or well indexed.

After losing a major part of my work because I did not properly save a file (due to my inattention and my difficulty with program interface), the trial work I finally submitted was not very good.

I then had a few days away, so I mulled some things over.

Being told that I needed work on figuring things out carried a little sting.  The more I thought about it, the more I realized that the words were very true.

I have a Blackberry on which I send and receive calls and the rare, awkward text message.  I also play Sudoku.  I haven't figured out anything else.

I have a nearly new computer purchased for my work purposes (like the aforementioned project) for which I have not made recovery disks.  Didn't figure that out, either.

For many reasons, I've become much too good at either delegating challenges I face, or just ignoring them.

So it's true.  I need more work at figuring things out.

In the Book of the Acts of the Apostles, we hear the Ethiopian Eunuch ask "How can I (learn) unless someone teaches me?"  He was referring to Scripture, but the same could be applied to nearly anything else.

In the Gospel of Matthew, we are told "Ask and we shall receive, knock and it shall be opened."

One thing I am very glad to not have to figure out, is Catholicism.  Despite destructive action from within and without for two millennia, it is still leading us to a deeper knowledge of God through His Son, Jesus.  Not having to figure out just what the Church expects, leaves us with the spiritual energy to go deeper.  We don't have to be our own Pope!

Whew.  If I have trouble figuring out a computer program, how on earth could I expect to figure out God?

Sunday, June 27, 2010

It's a Strange Strange World

I was recently captive on a 5 hour jet flight.  Our young son, who was accompanying me, quickly discovered that he could get programmes here that he cannot get at home.  Being a long flight, I let him watch.

Something occurred to me as we watched a well-intended children's music programme which is hosted by some very silly looking adults.

The world of children seems almost designed to create confusion.  We see examples of sexualized childhood all over the place.  No attempt seems to be made to respect a child's latent period (regarding sexual development).

 We have kids who are growing up with silly adults...adults dressed up as children, or in strange costumes which don't actually attempt to hide that there is a person inside...as role models.

So, to summarize:  our kids are being forced to behave like adults before they're ready, but which adults are they supposed to emulate?  The ones dressed up as bananas?

I can't think, off the top of my head, of a children's program in which adults look and behave as adults.  I'm sure there must be one somewhere.

This caused me to think back to when I was a child, in the early days of children's television.

Mr. Dressup.  Captain Kangaroo.  Friendly Giant, Romper Room...Adults dressed, and for the most part behaved, as adults.   And children appeared as children.

I'm not sure where I"m going with this, except to suggest that people be aware of what your children are watching.  I know that's been said before.  But if some thought that children's programming was unhealthy 40 years ago, I can only imagine what they'd say now.

Saturday, June 12, 2010

Sweet Violets


I was just out spending a few minutes weeding my fledgling flower garden.   Violets have become the bane of my existence.

They are spoken of poetically, and I suppose for the two and a half hours (per blossom...) in which they are actually in bloom, they are pretty, nicely scented (although you need quite a handful to catch that scent) and delicate looking, they are worthy of poetry.

The rest of the time they are a nuisance!  They spread both by seed and by tuber. I have spent two seasons now trying to get them out of my flower bed, where left to themselves over the past ?? years they have done their best to choke out everything else.

Today, I recalled something my grandmother once said.  She commented on the irony that girls named Violet tended to be, well, strongly built.  Not at all delicate.

As I continue to roust the purple peril from my flower bed, I think having strong girls named Violet is perfectly appropriate.

But I would rather consider the lilies...

Prayer request

Hi Folks

My friend Greg is being ordained to the priesthood today.  As you know, the vocation for which he has been chosen is not an easy one.

Please pray for him, and for all priests!

Wednesday, June 02, 2010

Laughter, the Best Medicine?

Happy Wednesday!

We had a busy weekend last weekend.  Still recovering!

On Saturday, I sold my Catholic books at a women's conference.  I sold some great books.  I also heard some good speakers.

And then there was the 'Laughter Yoga" lady.  Yikes.

It was a Catholic Conference.  Yoga is considered 'New Age' and Catholics are not to dabble in any New Age activities.

Laughter Yoga is a form of Yoga (hasyayoga) in which the practitioner induces laughter in himself, not necessarily at the stimulus of humour.

The effect of being in a room full of people forcing themselves to laugh (under the tutelage of a certified teacher) was rather creepy.  It reminded me of those scenes in some old movies were a person is having a dream sequence or a memory where a group of people is pointing at the dreamer and laughing.

It claims to have many health benefits.  It can reduce high blood pressure, relieve stress, improve diabetes, reduces depression, increases oxygenation of the blood, releases endorphins...

As Catholics, we are to give pride of place to Gregorian Chant during liturgy.  We can chant at home, too.
Guess what?  Health benefits will ensue...lower stress, increased oxygen in the blood, increased muscle tone, reduced depression...and we're praying at the same time!

I hope it was ignorance, and not will, that had someone invite a yoga practitioner to a Catholic women's conference.  Why would someone assume they had to look elsewhere for health benefits.

It annoys me that something as basic as laughter could be associated with spiritual practices.  It's a bit like what's happened to rainbows.