Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Thoughts While Washing Dishes

It was a dishes perfect storm: Anne-Marie had been baking and we had guests for dinner. When Anne-Marie bakes all the dishes in the house are involved. We had seven kids under 10, five of them girls. Guess how many cups I washed?

Answer: all of them.

Pascal's Wager for Children

I thought this a great idea to put the fear of hell into children, not a fun, roll-the-dice kind of game, but the stern, scowling, vitriolic lecture kind of game. I just like the sound of it.

Re-Writing the 'Secret Talk for Men'

Many of you will have read this talk I gave to the guys at OLSWA this passed winter. A friends said that she had recommended it to a brother-in-law. I was flattered, but couldn't help thinking to myself, "Um, it's the secret talk for men!"

But the mention of it reminded me how heavy a responsibility it is to presume to teach on life issues. I am going to re-read it, and expand on it especially to comprehend more varied scenarios. I think the essence of the talk is sound: the sexual sharing is important in a marriage, crucial to a happy marriage, men and women experience love and sex very differently, equal attention to both experiences is a must. In the past things were considered according to the man's experience of it, but today the opposite is the case with hazardous repercussions for the marriage. Anyway, stay tuned for the rewrite.

Our Great Parish

I take it for granted. Why do I do that? I just forget how dire is the situation in most of the parishes in Canada. A friend from another parish attended ours yesterday, and afterwards said to me excitedly, "I forget how great it is to be Catholic!"

Movies I Will Never See

As you will have discerned, I am not the most discriminating of Christian movie-goers. My favourites are zombie flicks. I am going to write my own zombie book some day. But we all have principles, even zombie fans. One of mine is I'm not seeing certain movies because the world tells me that I should. I was the guy who first saw Jurassic Park ten years after it came out. Why? Just cuz. Now, it was a good movie. I am the guy who saw Pulp Fiction perhaps fifteen years after it came out. Terrible movie, highly overrated. You know, I've never seen The Godfather, nor Roots. No reason why I haven't, other than too long, I guess. And I've never seen more than 10 minutes of Shrek, nor a single minute of Harry Potter. My reasons aren't necessarily doctrinal, but antipathy of boredom.

Now I am going to exercise my passive-aggression against society with Avatar. I'm told there's nothing wrong with it. But frankly I'm sick of the 'man is the enemy of the planet' nonsense. Wasn't Wall-e the dumbest movie ever? So James Cameron will have to wait 20 years to get my $5. Imagine the interest on that. The interest on the money, I mean; the movie will likely earn little interest. That's my bon mot for the day.

How do I calculate the interest on $5 over twenty years? At 5% I'll have $5.25 after the first year, and then $5.51 after the second, but how do I compound it for 20 years?

No Laughing in the Library, Please!

I pointed out that to be well-rounded OLSWA's library must even stocks books of humor. We have Maciel's Christ is My Life.

Incidentally,, the best clearinghouse for used books in my experience, lists 30 copies of that work, starting at $1.00. Awkward. But well worth the side-splitting fun. Now I'm sad.

Speaking of Books

I finished The Light of the Mind: Augustine's Theory of Knowledge, by Ronald Nash. I was a short book, but nearly every word was important. You don't often read books like that. I read the last three chapters which deal with Augustine's doctrine of 'illumination' twice, and will likely do so again. Nash considers Augustine's to be an 'ontologist' position, against Gilson. I guess the next thing to do is read Gilson's Christian Philosophy of St. Augustine. Nash recommends Bourke's Augustine's View of Reality. Both Gilson and Bourke contributed to the Pontifical Institute of Medieval Studies in Toronto, where I spent many an hour reading from its amazing collection.

I am now reading Augustine's City of God: A Reader's Guide, by Gerard O'Daly now, which is okay so far (I have a feeling it'll pick up) and Ancient Israel: Its Life and Institutions, by Roland de Vaux, which I am really enjoying. I am about to re-read the Epic of Gilgamesh. I love stuff like that. I love the ancient Ancient World.

When I go to adoration I usually bring with me vol. 1 of Augustine's, Homilies on the Gospel of John. It is amazing. I mean homilies like you'll see no where else. I highly recommend.

Christology? Hmm?

I mentioned that I'll be a-teachin' away again this year at OLSWA. I'm not sure what yet - other than, of course, 'Thomistic Thought' and 'Biblical History'. I am gleefully dreaming of 'Christology' and what texts I'd use for it, like a little boy on Christmas Eve.

This is the end of 'Thoughts While Washing Dishes'.


Biking in Barry's Bay

You wish you lived here. I thank God every time I am out on the road that I get to live in a place like this.

This is the top of Biernacki Mountain Road. It is one hard trek getting to the top.

It's hard to get a sense of how steep and long a road it is to the top.

So after heading up to the top of Biernacki Mountain, I decided to go along Siberia Road for a while. It is a lovely cruise. It is not a very busy road at all. However, I did have a run in, believe it or not, about 20 minutes down, near a street called "Pipe Dream Lane." I saw a little bird run across the road. One of those 'eating birds' - a quail - attacked me! I am not joking. She looked like this:

I know it was a she because after she ran across my path (right to left) I looked to the right and saw about a half dozen of her chicks. As I was gazing upon them, I heard a flapping sound closing in on me. I turned to see the quail making a fly-by at me, then land and run about a foot or two in front of my front wheel. I was about to run her over. She finally veered off to the side and I kept on my merry way, knowing that by the time I stopped to take a picture they'd be long gone into the woods.

Here's a picture of the general area where it happened:

If you live in the city you'll have no idea how peaceful a bike ride you can get around here. I took this picture because of the hill in the background. See how steep an incline it is. There are hills like that all over the Madawaska Valley.

This picture doesn't do justice to the surreal dinosaur marsh that I found here:

This is how far I went. I just want a record of it, so I can go even further next time:

You can get to Combermere (the home of Madonna House and Michael O'Brien!!) if you go further down Siberia and turn left, but you can't go north (where the sign is pointing) back onto Highway 60, I'm told.

Thanks for coming on my ride with me. I bet I burned more calories than you did, though.

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