Monday, December 26, 2011

So, that was Christmas.

And we're back .... though probably not for long.

As you probably well know, there is more than enough stuff to do during the holidays. So much stuff that it's rather hard to believe that we actually get anything done. The phrase "I need a vacation from my vacation" is something we can all relate to, at least once in our lives.

In my case, I have no idea how my next few days shall go.  So, the blog may suffer some touch and go moments.  I had wanted to do a blog index. Something where someone could sit down, open the blog (in a permalink in the right side column) and see everything from 2011.

However, can you imagine how much work that is?  We're talking about nearly 200 posts from this year alone.

How can that be, you ask?

I'm so glad you asked.

You remember back in the middle of the year, just after Lent and Easter week? I was doing two blogs a day, three days a week, and a music blog on Thursdays, and a week in review every Friday.  That's over eighty blogs right there ... I say about 80 because 1) I can't remember how long I did it for, 2) nor can I remember how many days I may have missed one.

And, for the record, the Lent, and the Easter posting was about 31 blogs right there. And, never again!

I suspect that, by the second week in January, we'll be on track again.

Here's hoping.

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Celtic Christmas, a music blog with Lindsey Stirling

Tis the week before Christmas, and all through the house, we're going to close up the blog early -- can't you hear the mouse?

However, before I abandon everyone to their last minute Christmas shopping -- and you forgot aunt Shelly, didn't you? -- a little bit of Christmas music is in order.

Last week, we had Silent Night, by Lindsey Stirling.  This week, we're going a little bit more Irish.  If you haven't figured it out from Maureen McGrail, and Sean Ryan, and Scott Murphy as characters in my novel, I'm a little bit Irish. About 50% if you want to bicker.

So, it should come as no surprise that today's "God rest ye merry Gentlemen" is going to be a little Irish....

With Lindsey Stirling.

And, the Carol of the Bells

And Happy Hanukkah to all, and to all a good night.

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Catholic review. The war on Christmas, Kim Jong-il, Sherlock Holmes, and the WBC

I've had an interesting little month. Because I have a new job....

On, I'm now their Catholic columnist.

Yes, I write on self defense and on Catholicism. I'm a strange, strange man.

However, it shouldn't be too much of a surprise. After all, many of my articles on this blog acted as articles for the Examiner column.

In fact, my first column was one of my first articles from this past Lent.  Catholic cannibals: Explaining the eucharist. Yes, Catholics are cannibals. Live with it. :)

If you are a long term reader, you might remember that I was allowed an interview with Murder in the Vatican author Ann Margaret Lewis.  It is now a four part article on -- mainly because Examiner doesn't like long columns. In fact, you can start the Interview right here.  Parts twothree and four are attached.  As is my Review of Murder in the Vatican.

There was also an Interview with "Infinite Space Infinite God II" editor Karina Fabian.  That was only a II part article.  The Review of "Infinite Space Infinite God II," one part only

And there were a few other articles that readers of this blog might know.
Mr. Phelps, David Koresh called, he wants to chat;... 
Fred Phelps, you are disavowed. 
“You're going to Hell.... Not.” I'm Catholic, not Dante 
Japan, and the Christian vlogger - 2011 Catholic... 

Then there was some new material. I wanted to explain December 8th, feast of the immaculate conception, to "normal" people.  Also, I wanted to explain why they were Rewriting the Catholic mass -- yes, they are, and they did.

Last week, there was an odd thing of North Korea versus Christmas. -- and then Kim Jong-il died. Huh.

And then, The war on Christmas came to New Jersey. I can't make this stuff up

Fulton Sheen, New York saint? Yes, New York might have a saint buried in the city limits. Who knew?

I'll see you all again tomorrow. We're not done yet

Monday, December 12, 2011

Music blog: Silent night, by Lindsey Stirling.

I do not do sweet and touching.

But for this, I'll make an exception.  Silent night, done by last week's Lindsey Stirling.

And, just so you don't feel jipped, have another ... not Christmas music, but it'll do, I think.

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Extremists, Atheists, and Jesus Freaks.

In previous articles having to do with politics, I have described myself as apathetic, or left or right depending on where the jury is from. I hate all politics, so I could be summed up as fair and mentally unbalanced.

What about religion? The same rules apply.

If anyone is familiar with the George Carlin routine [link rated R for language] about religion, it involves him talking about the Invisible Man in the Sky, and He Wants MONEY. When I first saw it, I thought it was hilarious. A nice little parody of the Catholic church when he was growing up.

Then I discovered that it's what he believed. Him, Bill Maher, and a whole bunch of other people.

Now, it could be that I'm a snob. My BA in philosophy might as well have been in Catholic philosophy. My father with the PhD in catholic Philosophy taught me more about the faith than my Catholic schools ever did. I get the impression that if my education mirrored George Carlin's, I'd turn out much like him. I would like to think that I could do my own research to learn what was going on, but who knows.

Atheists do not annoy me. Seriously. Two of my friends are atheists. One was my best friend before she went crazy with extremist politics—I was going crazy with PhD studies at the time, so that didn't help either.

My other atheist acquaintance is the primary artist for this website, Matt. He says he's a militant atheist. I disagree. If only because I've met militant atheists, and they have hated my guts for no other reason than I am religious. They couldn't do something reasonable like get to know me and my personality quirks before they hated me.

And I love those hate-filled nutjobs. Truly I do. They're amusing. If only because they spend a lot of them telling me what I think. It's sort of like my political article. I try to tell people what I believe politically, and from one sentence (usually a half sentence) they leap to amazing conclusions about what I think, what I believe, and why I believe it. They're funny as heck.

Then again, I may have a strange sense of humor.

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Music blog: Lindsey Stirling, epic violin

If you don't know of the violinist Lindsey Stirling, you're missing out.

But, since even I only heard of her about a week or two ago, you probably haven't missed too much. Thankfully, she's up on Youtube.

Short version: I've never seen a woman dance and jump around while playing a violin.  Well, not since the last time I saw Celtic Women.

The long version: try this video.  If you're not familiar with the tune, it's the main theme to the Legend of Zelda video games. If you have no idea of what a "Zelda" is, don't worry about it. It's fantasy, and it usually involves swords. Just play the video

Of the various and sundry videos Stirling has up, it was hard to pick what else I wanted to post....

However, this one has her moonwalking as she plays the violin.

This girl is awesome. And cute.