Monday, February 28, 2011

Here we go again

Appt. at the Gemelli tomorrow.


Cool art link

This just in, Vatican web designers have brainstorm, do something right.

Check this neat 360 panorama view of the Sistine Chapel.

(Actually, now that I think of it, I guess if the view is for every direction in three dimensions, it would be way more than 360 degrees. But I'm not math-girl, so anyone who knows can drop a note in the commbox.)

Cool huh? And the resolution is pretty good, I thought.

Andrew Cusack,

on the Irish election,
"salutes the voters of Ireland for replacing a right-wing government dependent on a bunch of left-wing nutters to stay in power with a different right-wing government dependent upon a different bunch of left-wing nutters to stay in power."


Wednesday, February 23, 2011

It's all in the details

Just been enjoying a rousing game of "Quote the pope" with a bunch of Trads on Facebook, all arguing about lying in defence of innocent lives.

I won't bore you with too much of all that backing and forthing, (everyone's talking about it...put "Lila Rose" and "Lying" into Google), but one friend just made a comment that about summs up my total lack of patience with all this sort of stuff these days:

"When I argue with certain Catholics, I feel as though I'm debating with Star Wars nerds, or arguing with a fanatic about comic book origin lore:

'Wolverine didn't have bone claws before Weapon X! He only had a healing factor.'

'Yes he did, didn't you see Wolverine Origins #2? Right there. Bone Claws.'..."


Everyone knows that Superman's ability to fly is a capacity of his super strength.

"It is an extension of his ability to leap tall buildings, an ability he derives from exposure to Earth's yellow sun."

"Oh yeah? Then how does he fly at night?"

"A combination of the moon's solar reflection and the energy storage capacity of Kryptonian skin cells..."

Well, du-uh!


Was Jacqui Smith grown in a vat?

I've just finished reading a rather fun series of sci-fi novels in which a mad scientist attempts to replace the human race with his new improved species that he grows himself in vats. (Yes yes, a standard sci-fi trope, but I prefer to think of it as 'classic') One of the characteristics of the mad scientist's new race is that they know nothing about human procreation (well, you wouldn't, would you?).

I never thought it could be actually happening, however, until I read this today about Labour's Home Secretary, Jacqui Smith.

"In an interview with the Radio Times to publicise a documentary she has made for Radio 5 Live on the subject, Ms. Smith admits that, despite overseeing legislation outlawing violent and bestial pornography, she found it “quite shocking” to learn of the ubiquity of online porn.

I thought the attraction of porn was that it’s illicit: you go into a private shop to buy a DVD,” she told the magazine. “But what the internet has done is to open up free, hard pornography to anybody of any age. I found that quite shocking.”

She thinks the attraction of porn is that it's illicit...

A mistake anyone grown in a tank could make.


Homer... wisdom! let us be attentive...

"All right brain, you don't like me, and I don't like you. But let's just get me through this, and I can get back to killing you with beer."

"Shut up, brain, or I'll stab you with a Q-tip."


Memento Mori

Doctor's appt. today.

The result? Not that great actually. More doctors next week.


Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Such duty as the subject owes the prince, Even such a woman oweth to her husband

Thy husband is thy lord, thy life, thy keeper,
Thy head, thy sovereign; one that cares for thee,
And for thy maintenance commits his body
To painful labour both by sea and land,
To watch the night in storms, the day in cold,
Whilst thou liest warm at home, secure and safe;
And craves no other tribute at thy hands
But love, fair looks and true obedience;
Too little payment for so great a debt.

Monday, February 21, 2011

NewChurch in Ireland

indulges in yet another empty, self-serving publicity stunt holds a "repentance service" for abused children.

These "liturgies of repentance" seem to be all the rage...

It reminds me of a conversation I had a few months ago with a young fellow who had for some years attended an Irish seminary. He named the institution, and, being full of wine and myself, I made bold to dive right into the heart of the conversation.

"Ah ____ seminary eh? So tell me, how many of the faculty there are active homosexuals?"

Without missing a beat, and with perfect, unflustered equanimity, my young acquaintance said, "Well, I can't speak personally for active..."


Breaking: Leftist coup being staged... Milwaukee.


The world has finally completed it's journey to the Dark Side of the Weird.

Arabs are demonstrating in the streets for freedom and democracy (if the MSM is to be, you know...) and the hard left in the US, in the person of Wisconsin's public employees union, the state Democrats and the President, are attempting to overturn by force a democratically elected government.

...the President of the United States’ re-election campaign is involved in coordinating the protests in Wisconsin and are organizing similar protests in other States.

Um, my American chorus can correct me if I'm mistaken, but aren't there Big Rules about the President mixing it up in the outcome of state elections? Aren't they supposed to keep their noses out of it? Or at least try to be discreet about interfering in state politics...


Fundamentally unsound

Islamic person suddenly goes insane, grabs big knife and starts randomly attacking people and cars on the road.

I think I'm not the only one to point it out, but this is what happens when you try to believe logically contradictory things.

This is why I think most Islamic people are insane. Or go insane eventually, once they are taken out of the "Islamic world" where efforts are made to paper over the cracks in their universe. They come to the countries that were founded on The Real, where effect is assumed to follow cause (for example). The contrast becomes acute and they start realising that they believe things that make no sense, and go nuts.

Think I'm making it up or being facetious?

Ever read Nietzsche

As Jeeves once warned his beloved employer, "You would not enjoy Nietzsche sir. He is fundamentally unsound."


Friday, February 18, 2011

OK, bye!

Don't let the door hit y'all on the way out.


A distinction without a difference

I wrote this some time ago.

I'm not saying that it is in any way more relevant now to anything or anyone whatsoever than it was before.

"I'm not pro-abortion. I'm pro-choice!" How many times have pro-life advocates come across this indignant exclamation? Vian has here presented the quintessential "liberal Catholic" position (perhaps not unconnected to the secular humanist position), that the best, highest, most moral stance is that there must never, under any circumstances be "confrontation." There is no greater evil than to take an "ideological position." Peace in our time, and at any cost.

It sounds fine, to some, when we are talking about abortion, a subject upon which there is much moral disagreement. But try changing the discussion just a little. Imagine for a moment we are talking about moral evils upon which there is no dispute. Can there be a non-confrontational position on genocide? Imagine for a moment the editor of the Vatican's newspaper praising Barack Obama for his non-confrontational stand on slavery. On rape. On wife battery.

When a person says, "I'm pro-choice," he is trying to find a middle point between two things that are simply opposed, an obvious intellectual squirm.

But let us examine the "pro-choice" assertion. Say a person were to tell you that he is "pro-choice" on slavery. He would say, with a noble lift of the brow perhaps, "I don't like slavery. I don't feel it is right for me to own another human being. But I also don't believe that it is my right to impose my personal beliefs on another. I believe in personal choice. It is between a man and his god whether he should own a slave".

It is obvious, isn't it? The thing chosen must be moral before the concept of being "pro-choice" can also be moral. For Vian to say that Barack Obama is merely "pro-choice," and to imply that this is a position superior to the "ideological" pro-life stand, he is, first, kowtowing to the abortion industry who invented the slogan to soothe troubled consciences, and second, but most importantly, he is saying that abortion is a moral thing to choose.

In championing the pro-life position, we simply say that between life and death, there is no third thing. You are either alive or you are not. Abortion kills or it does not. It is morally permissible or it is not. There are simply some things that do not admit of a "neutral" third position. Between these two opposed possibilities, there can only be "confrontation," distasteful as that may be to some sensibilities.

In fact, Obama's (and presumably Vian's) ideological ancestors did actually make precisely that argument about slavery.

Something that is not, for obvious reasons, widely admitted these days is that it was the Democrats who argued for the continued existence of legal slavery in the Union. I am ready to be corrected by my American readers, but was it not exactly opposition to slavery upon which the Republican party was founded?

The Lincoln/Douglas debates are still famous (among the segment of the US population still interested in reading books) because in it, the Democrat candidate for the presidency, Stephen Douglas, argued that slavery should remain legal on the same principle that would later be used to defend a woman's "choice" to kill her child.

He said, in a nutshell, that while he would not own slaves, and it should not be something that right-thinking people should want, there is no way to judge a man's personal beliefs and to legislate against slavery would be an unjust imposition of the state in his personal affairs. Or an imposition of the federal law into state law, if I recall it correctly.

Douglas proposed "peace in our time" on slavery and lost.

And it is often conveniently forgotten that Lincoln was the Republican candidate.

Not sure how it would go today, however.

You see, slavery was a deeply "divisive" issue, (as our Democrat/liberal Catholic friends would say today)...

"Uniformity in the local laws and institutions of the different States is neither possible or desirable. If uniformity had been adopted when the Government was established, it must inevitably have been the uniformity of slavery everywhere, or else the uniformity of negro citizenship and negro equality everywhere..."

So, if I were, purely hypothetically, examining the pro-choice vs. pro-abortion issue in, say for argument's sake, a civil court, I might ask the self-described personally-opposed-but, "pro-choice" person, "What choice, exactly, are you defending?"

If the person answered, "The choice to have an abortion," I might then be inclined to ask, "But isn't this the thing you have just said you are against?"

"Oh yes, of course, abortion is terrible."

"Why is it terrible?"

"Well...err...ummm...Well, it's, ahhh,





Dear Vatican, please stop helping. Thanks.

So, remember that thing that Paolo Rodari said was absolutely, definitely for sure not happening?

Well, some people are so reassured by the information from "Vatican sources" that they're circulating a petition.

A petition.


Yeah. That'll convince 'em...

An Appeal to the Holy Father, Pope Benedict XVI, Pertaining to the Instruction/Clarification of the Motu Proprio Summorum Pontificum
Most Holy Father, we the undersigned:

1. Express our profound gratitude to Your Holiness for your personal liturgical example to the Universal Church. You are a true homo liturgicus whose love for the sacred liturgy is an inspiration; it teaches more clearly than words the centrality of the liturgy in the life of the Church.

2. Thank Your Holiness for your gift to the Church of your 2007 Motu Proprio Summorum Pontificum. Since 2007 it has brought forth many fruits, including greater unity in the Church of Christ and a widespread enrichment of the liturgical life of the Church.

3. Note with sadness the continuing and real opposition to the implementation of Summorum Pontificum in many dioceses and on the part of many members of the hierarchy, the suffering and distress this continues to cause many of Christ’s faithful and the obstacle this opposition is to an effective reconciliation within the Church.

4. Note with anxiety the apparent signs that a forthcoming Instruction on Summorum Pontificum will, in some way, take away from what you have legally established in that Motu Proprio and from its wide application in the generous spirit so eloquently explained by Your Holiness in the letter accompanying it: “Let us generously open our hearts and make room for everything that the faith itself allows.”

5. Express our grave concern that any restrictive measures would cause scandal, disunity and suffering in the Church and would frustrate the reconciliation you so earnestly desire, as well as impede further liturgical renewal and development in continuity with Tradition, which is already so great a fruit of your pontificate.

6. Express our hope, our desire and our urgent appeal that the good Your Holiness personally initiated through Summorum Pontificum not be allowed to be hindered by such restrictions.

7. Turn to you with filial trust and as obedient sons and daughters, Most Holy Father, and ask that you urgently consider our concerns and intervene if you judge it necessary.

8. Assure Your Holiness of our continuing prayers, of our deep affection and of our loyalty.

Sign here, if it amuses you.


Ah, it brings me back, so it does...

Mid-80s Nerdpop. Thomas Dolby, Europa and the Pirate Twins...


Thursday, February 17, 2011


Scrolling down, I noticed that things have been pretty sparse around here for the last few weeks. With even less actual writing.

Sorry about that.

Still pretty... preoccupied with other things.

I'll get back to you soon, I'm sure.


Music for the court of the Four Sovereigns

What they play on quiet evenings at Cair Paravel.


and still more.

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Business as usual, then...

The always indispensable Paolo Rodari tells us that the "Vatican is trying to water down the implementing decree of the motu proprio Summorum Pontificum".

(Always good news from behind the Walls, eh?)

In essence, the blog mentioned above, the decree instead of giving a greater impetus to the Motu proprio explaining how to implement it to the bishops in the best way, would say that the old liturgy is just a concession to the "traditionalists" in recognition of their particular sensitivity. Still ... makers of this dilution would be Monsignor Charles Scicluna, promoter of justice in Malta under the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, and Cardinal Antonio Canizares Llovera, prefect of the Congregation for Divine Worship

But, have no fear, apparently it's all untrue:

I have personally made the necessary checks and I can say that, according to sources inside the Vatican, the information given above "is entirely without foundation." The implementing decree is null and Canizares and Scicluna are not working in that direction.

The Pontifical Commission Ecclesia Dei, which is now chaired by the prefect of the Doctrine of the Faith, Cardinal William Joseph Levada, has already prepared the text of the decree, is waiting for the difficult work of translation to be finished, and expects to publish all (provided that the translations do not suffer delays) before Easter.

You'll forgive my scepticism if I say that I will wait and see...


Monday, February 14, 2011

English Catholic bishops thunder against latest attacks on marriage, religious freedom...

oh wait...


Cats are cool

I've got to get Winnie one of these feather-on-a-stick toys.

Winnie and I have been experimenting with rolled-up balls of newspaper lately. She likes them better than the string because when I toss one to her, it keeps moving and makes a cool mouse-like skritchy-skritchy noise. And the lightest touch on her part sends it skritchy-skritchying across the marble floors. Much better than the string-and-clothes-peg toy, though she still appreciates a little cat-angling now and then.

The rolled-up paper balls are such a hit that I woke up in the middle of the night the other night to hear her scampering madly down the hall after one, and when I come home from work I often find the latest one torn into little shreds and scattered all over the floor. It's the best use I can think of for the International Herald Tribune.

I was worried for a while that she wasn't being lively enough now that we don't have access to a garden for her. She's taken to sitting in front of the bay window and looking longingly out into the umbrella pines in the back garden and watching the birds. I think she thinks they're mocking her. I feel so guilty.

I love my apartment, and I love my cat, and I know it would be the height of nuttiness to move just so she can go out and catch birds...


They do furnish a room...

Thanks, Hank, for the kind gift. They arrived in the office today.

I'm going to have to start pruning my Amazon wishlist, so many of you have sent stuff from it.

Thanks go out also to the Duckfan for the Spiritual Conferences of Fr. Faber, (we have rarified tastes, don't we?) and to Bonnie J for This War is the Passion by Caryll Houselander and Andrew M. for the Maddy Prior collection.

Things continue a little weird for the moment. It has turned out to be extremely difficult to get medical coverage as a resident in Italy, and it looks like I will have to go back to England for a bit. I hope for not more than a week or so. So, Hank, no, I'm afraid that bookcases (that I had all picked out at Mercatino) are going to have to wait, since all my spare dosh is going to pay medical bills, which is something of a novelty for this Canuckistani. I'm not over my head (yet) but between the loss of the roommate('s rent), a 300 Euro electricity bill and doctors' bills, I can't really see any more home decor coming in for a while. Art classes have also had to be suspended for the time being.


better than cancer, hey?

So, yay!


Friday, February 11, 2011

Like seeing something secret

that we were never meant to see.

Yea, the darkness hideth not from thee;
but the night shineth as the day:
the darkness and the light are both alike to thee.

For thou hast possessed my reins:
thou hast covered me in my mother's womb.

I will praise thee;
for I am fearfully and wonderfully made:
marvellous are thy works;
and that my soul knoweth right well.

My substance was not hid from thee,
when I was made in secret,
and curiously wrought in the lowest parts of the earth.

Thine eyes did see my substance, yet being unperfect;
and in thy book all my members were written,
which in continuance were fashioned,
when as yet there was none of them.

How precious also are thy thoughts unto me,
O God! how great is the sum of them!

When I was a kid in Victoria, we had ads on tv that told you not to go digging around in your garden until you'd figured out where the gas lines were. I think the Yellow Pages had an ad that gave you a number at City Hall to call to find out where all the dangerous underground stuff was in case you electrocuted yourself while trying to put in the bulbs.

Well, around here, you find much more interesting things...

A rich cache of ancient Roman statues representing a troubled imperial dynasty has been unearthed on the outskirts of Rome, according to Italy’s Ministry of Cultural Heritage.

Most likely depicting members of the Severan dynasty, the statues were found by a team of archaeologists excavating a Roman villa along the Via Anagnina.

"We first saw a white nape, belonging to a Roman matron. Then, the head of a child emerged, then another male head and one more,” archaeologist Magda Fossati of Rome’s archaeological superintendency told the daily La Repubblica (click here for more photos of the discovery).

Indeed, buried all together in a basin at the center of the villa’s atrium, there were six finely sculpted statue fragments.

“The statues date to the third century A.D. We are talking of a bust, two male heads, a woman head, a girl head and a life-size statue possibly representing a naked god Zeus,” the ministry of culture said in a statement.

According to the archaeologists, the clothes and the hairstyles of the sculptures indicate that the statuary represents members of the Severan imperial dynasty.

Ruling the Roman empire from 193 to 235, the dynasty was founded by Libyan-born Lucius Septimius Severus.

They were digging around a place that has been designated by the City as a park.

Cool, huh?

More pics here.


Jojo answers Peter Singer

My friend Jojo Ruba, who's been doing this stuff as a long as I have, who took Scott Klusendorf's Pro-Life 101 training seminars and co-founded the Canadian Centre for Bioethical Reform, answers Singer's nihilistic worldview.

That worldview is the same one that has taken over nearly all medical ethics in nearly all western countries.


Wednesday, February 09, 2011

Lachrimae Antiquae by John Dowland

Baroque Wednesday...

Though I must say that today, I'm really in no Baroque mood.

More like...

Hi Paul!!!

This just in the commbox from Paul Szabo, the best thing that ever happened to the Liberal Party of Canada:

Dear Ms. White,

That was a fun Canada Day in Mississauga with Rick Mercer.

There is no Bill I worked harder against than the Repro Tech Act. It still is not fully implemented due to the several amendments I had passed.

As far as the impact on me as an MP,I was subsequently voted hardest working MP for 3 Years in a row, ranked number 1 in speaking in the House over the past 5 years and Chaired the Ethics Committee for 3 years (including the Mulroney / Schreiber hearings and other large investigations). I am now on Finance Committee and doing my job and promoting a national, public cord blood bank which is much needed.

As a prolife MP I have spent some equity but I have always spoken for something, no against. People know I am a catholic and my position on issues have always reflected my religious, morale and family values. After 17 years in Parliament, my integrity is still intact and that is important to me.


Paul Szabo BSc, MBA, FCA, MP

HJW responds:

Hi Paul!

You've got no bigger fan in the EU than me. And I'll stand you to a drink any time you come for a visit to Rome.

But it might not be a good idea to let anyone know you read me.



Wow, whatever you do, don't look up "uterine fibroid" on Google images...



Don't know why,

but suddenly, I feel like celebrating

What better for that than the B52s?


Tuesday, February 08, 2011

Well, that was exciting

You never know how you are going to react to medical people telling you that you don't have cancer and aren't going to die.

My own reaction this week was pretty good, I thought.

Thought 1:
Dang. That means I have to go back to worrying about not having a roommate. (And, generally, that crappy old life will continue as normal. Boo.)

Thought 2:
How am I going to spin this into my next Remnant article and make some money off it?

Thought 3:
Oh! Great! Now I'll have enough time to do the Belvedere Torso in art class. Yay!

Then I had two questions:

1: What the hell is a "fibroid" anyway? and

2: Do you think they will give it to me in a jar to take home when I have it out?



Sunday, February 06, 2011

I'm becoming a heathen

Maybe I'm just becoming a heathen, but the first thing I thought when I looked at the pic above (stolen from Fr. Tim's blog) was, "That dress is ridiculous for working in the field. The least she should do is tuck the hem into her belt and roll back those dumb sleeves..."

I blame living in Italy. I heard Rome did the same thing to Luther.


Thursday, February 03, 2011

Yeah, that happens around here

A friend on facebook comments,
So, I thought I'd just duck into St. Peter's after work last night. It was packed because the Pope was about to celebrate Vespers, which I really should have considered beforehand, but hadn't. I just waited ten minutes, watched His Holiness process by ten feet away, and then went home.

One of the fun things about living in Rome is running into the Pope by accident.

Thank God for the EU!

Did you know that the EU invented cognac? (Cheese too, apparently, but I think it's probably too humble to mention it.)

France's new Europe Minister Laurent Wauquiez ... told a meeting of the National Interprofessional Bureau of Cognac (which, it must be said, is a fantastic name) that without the EU there would be no....cognac. Mr. Wauquiez said:

Europe has protected cognac. For example, on the Chinese market, Europe has allowed us to force the Chinese to recognise cognac and protect it [...] If Europe hadn't been there, there's no doubt that we would no longer have cognac.

That's right, no EU, no cognac.
Because market demand has ABSOLUTELY NOTHING to do with whether a product gets made and distributed...

Wednesday, February 02, 2011

Couldn't have said it better myself...

John Allen is lining up opinion on the Joan Chittister side of the Church who are objecting to The Beatification.

One of whom is Benedictine Fr. Anscar Chupungco, secretary of the Philippine bishops’ Episcopal Commission on Liturgy, who, on the plus side,
pointed out the late pope’s focus on integrating local customs and cultural traditions into the liturgy.

“I dare call him ‘father of liturgical inculturation,’ ” said Chupungco. “I would like to regard his beatification as an affirmation of his liturgical ministry to the local churches outside the Western Hemisphere."

You're not alone there, Father. He certainly was the darling of the bongos and liturgical dance crowd.

New Springtime! Rah rah rah!

Everybody keep clapping...



Gave up Purcell Wednesdays for a while because I ran out of Purcell on Youtube.

But we can maybe change it to Baroque Wednesdays and expand a little.

The first time I heard Allegri's Miserere was in an Anglican Church in Halifax and it knocked me right off my pew.

After that, I got used to it a bit at the Toronto Oratory where they do it every year for Tenebrae. The Oratory has a pretty respectable sacred music choir, but when I asked Fr. Dan once who was going to do the four high Cs, he said no one in the regular choir could do it.

"We have to bring in a stunt soprano for that one."

I remember one year the stunt soprano didn't show up for some reason and we had it without the Cs. Fr. Robinson didn't look pleased.


More on 'the Canadian accent'

This is Newfoundland.

So, as I was saying, no such thing as a "Canadian" accent.

Get. Out. Of. The. Way

Today I told a young lady thinking of coming to live in Italy that it's not all gelatos and piazzas. A lot of living in Italy is aggravation generated by the incredible multitude of little things that Italians do that drive Anglos utterly and completely screaming-at-invisible-people insane.

One of the big ones is the thing they have about walking five abreast on the sidewalk at that pace usually performed by soldiers at state funerals, or stopping entirely to stand and think about life. They don't get out of your way when you are walking up to them either. Ten of them, standing around the door of the coffee bar smoking and chewing the fat. They see you coming. They can't miss you. But, where in all the civilised Anglo world, they would automatically move over the ten inches you require to get by without being forced to shove them into traffic aside, the Italians just continue to stand there as if you live in a parallel universe and they can't see you because you're foreign.

And I'm someone who thinks Torontonians walk too slow...



Like, OMG! what's "Habeas corpus" anyway?

So, yesterday, I got to do one of my very most favourite things in the whole wide world.

I got to read Hansard! Woot!

And my confidence in the sober and responsible government of David Cameron's appointees continues unshaken.

Lord Vinson (who is one of those newfangled fake "Lords" Tony Blair invented) told the Ministrix of State for Security, "...hundreds of UK citizens are being compelled to appear before any EU court without the merit of the often frivolous charges being first assessed. They can be locked up without pre-trial.

"Is she not concerned that this totally overrides the ancient liberties of the British citizen enshrined in Magna Carta and habeas corpus? Will she assure the House that this will be resolved? It really is time that we started to say no to damaging EU legislation."

Another fake "Lord" (but real lawyer) rose to say, "Does not the Minister agree that habeas corpus is a process and not a principle? It is designed to make sure that a person who is in custody is there legally. If a European arrest warrant has been issued improperly, a writ of habeas corpus will succeed and, if not, it will fail. It is a simple issue and there is no conflict between the principles..."

The Hon. Ministrix giggled, stuck the tip of her little finger in the corner of her mouth and said, "My Lords, in this House of legal eagles I hesitate, as a non-lawyer, to get on to the grounds, but I understand that the principle of habeas corpus is indeed a legal remedy against unlawful detention...." (Oh good. So glad you know about it.)

"It is therefore right to say that the European arrest warrant in principle is compliant."

Well, it's obvious, right? Since it is a principle, the EAW simply must be compliant...because,like y'know, if it weren't then it wouldn't be y'know... like compliant or anything...innit?

I could almost hear her flipping her hair back and forth with her fingers while the grownups talked about all this boring legal stuff...

Reports that while the Lords were debating, the Ministrix of Security for the Home Office sent a text to her gir'friends saying, "I mean, OMG! wht language is that even? Latin?!"

remain unconfirmed.


Well, today's the day, I guess

It's time to take the tree down. Pack up the Nativity Set. Get the lights down.

Yes, I realise that you've enjoyed nearly two months of that fresh pine scent - and weirding out all your neo-con Catholic friends - but even for Trads, the liturgical year must move on.

It's Tree-Down Day.

(On the upside, the Church, realising that people are a little down on Tree-Down Day, makes today one of its souvenir days. If you go to Mass today ... translated to the following Sunday in Novusordoland, of course ... you get to take home a candle! And tomorrow, you take it back to church to get your throat blessed...See? It's fun!)

Cannonball Kat says she's a little bummed about Tree-Down Day, but I made a suggestion.

The Church these days is all about "creating new traditions" right? What about doing a tree for every other holiday?

I know someone in Vancouver who got a potted tree and solved the problem by having a tree for every holiday. The Valentine's Day tree. The Battle of Lepanto tree. The Commemoration of the Assassination of Julius Caesar tree...

Imagine the possibilities.


Holy cow!

I want to be HER when I grow up...

(And it's not every day that I would consider suspending my rules about women voting.)


didja catch that bit with the five-pin bowling? For the Yanks among us...

it's a Canadian thing.

I bowled a lot of five-pin with my grandma in Parksville when I was a kid.

Oh, and at exactly 5:57, 6:10 and 6:19, the balding guy singing on Rick's right? I think that's Paul Szabo, the Liberal MP who did the most to help us on the Human Reproductive Tehnologies Act that I spent two of the most difficult years of my life trying to stop. (Failed, of course, but that's politics.)

Yes, you read that right... a pro-life Liberal.

(Yeah, I thought it was weird then too.)

Paul's a decent guy and seems to have more than the usual two functioning neurons that the Liberal Party issues its MPs with. His opposition to the demons party leadership's favourite bill cost him, too. I think he narrowly escaped getting bumped off the ticket in the next election. And I'm pretty sure he's going to spend the rest of his career as a backbencher, but there are worse things.

Oh man! I can't believe I'm sitting in Italy having a Day O' Nostalgia for Canadian politics. I need to go sit in a piazza and sip a cappuccino or something.


Why Canadians ought to go extinct

Aaaaand this year's Darwin Award goes to


Let's give a big hand to the country that sends its bear taggers out to tag bears equipped with a Snow. Shovel.

I have some friends in Toronto, people who are otherwise highly competent and intelligent ... advanced degrees in really hard, grown-up, guy stuff like electrical engineering...who go canoeing in Northern Ontario...yes, Land 'O Bears...

Without. A. Gun.

And yes, they were stalked by a bear. A big scary, meat-eating wild animal.

I asked, "Did you leave your gun in the canoe? Is that why you were so scared?"

I got a blank look, "Gun?"




English people are hilarious about snow. My friend in Germany has the use of quite a nice solid German car, quite reliable and safe to drive on ice. When I visited, I suggested we go drive around and look at the pretty countryside. He said,... "Oh, we can't. The car's totally covered in snow..."

It was INCHES deep, you see.

I taught him that day how to use a *broom* to take the snow off the car and a pancake flipper to scrape his windshield. He was amazed.

Then I had to teach him how to get the car out of the sloped driveway.

Also, want to know what a Newfie sounds like? Rick Mercer.