Sunday, June 28, 2015

Hymns



The hymnody at our parish had a theme today.  Most --  perhaps all --  of us had last week's judicial legerdemain in mind and what it will mean for our church and our nation.  Our priest gave a thoughtful sermon on the subject. And our music director clearly had it in mind.  The London Philharmonic Choir in the video above only sings two verses.  We sang all four.

1 Once to ev'ry man and nation
Comes the moment to decide,
In the strife of truth and falsehood,
For the good or evil side;
Some great cause, some great decision,
Off'ring each the bloom or blight,
And the choice goes by forever
'Twixt that darkness and that light.  
2 Then to side with truth is noble,
When we share her wretched crust,
Ere her cause bring fame and profit,
And 'tis prosperous to be just;
Then it is the brave man chooses
While the coward stands aside.
Till the multitude make virtue
Of the faith they had denied.  
3 By the light of burning martyrs,
Christ, Thy bleeding feet we track,
Toiling up new Calv'ries ever
With the cross that turns not back;
New occasions teach new duties,
Ancient values test our youth;
They must upward still and onward,
Who would keep abreast of truth.  
4 Tho' the cause of evil prosper,
Yet the truth alone is strong;
Tho' her portion be the scaffold,
And upon the throne be wrong;
Yet that scaffold sways the future,
And, behind the dim unknown,
Standeth God within the shadow,
Keeping watch above His own.

Monday, June 22, 2015

Hacking . . . or something

When is hacking not hacking?  When it's subcontracting.

Do you remember the news story of a couple of weeks ago wherein it was revealed that the government data base giving the details of everyone who is or ever was a government employee or contractor had been hacked?  It seems it wasn't hacked.

Department of Homeland Security Assistant Secretary for Cybersecurity Dr. Andy Ozment testified that encryption would "not have helped in this case" because the attackers had gained valid user credentials to the systems that they attacked—likely through social engineering. And because of the lack of multifactor authentication on these systems, the attackers would have been able to use those credentials at will to access systems from within and potentially even from outside the network.

Lots more interesting -- not to say appalling -- stuff at Ars Technica here. Including this in the penultimate paragraph:

A consultant who did some work with a company contracted by OPM to manage personnel records for a number of agencies told Ars that he found the Unix systems administrator for the project "was in Argentina and his co-worker was physically located in the [People's Republic of China]. Both had direct access to every row of data in every database: they were root. Another team that worked with these databases had at its head two team members with PRC passports. I know that because I challenged them personally and revoked their privileges. From my perspective, OPM compromised this information more than three years ago and my take on the current breach is 'so what's new?'"

And what other security issues have been subcontracted to the People's Republic of China?

[Originally cited to this article by Jerry Pournelle's excellent site.  Alas, I don't see how to link to the precise paragraph in question.  So here's the page.  Start scrolling.]

Sunday, June 07, 2015

Thieves

An ancient altar stone was stolen the other day.  It has no intrinsic value,  no value at all outside of its original location.  Stolen just for the meanness of it.

The altar stone of Gougane-Barra.


Friday, May 29, 2015

The Twenty-Ninth of May . . . .

. . . . which day is Royal Oak Day or sometimes Oak-Apple Day.



The tune is an old English jig called "The 29th of May" and commemorates on this day the restoration of the Monarchy after the Cromwellian devastation.  The 29th of May was chosen as it was the birthday of King Charles II.


"Parliament had ordered the 29 of May, the King's birthday, to be for ever kept as a day of thanksgiving for our redemption from tyranny and the King's return to his Government, he entering London that day." 

Wikipedia explains here why "Royal Oak" day rather than restoration day.   Some of the customs surrounding the day which still remain in England are given here.  Those in the mood for a longer read might want to look at what Chambers has to say about today; you can find it here.

It's all to no end,
For the times will not mend
Till the king enjoys his own again.


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Wednesday, May 27, 2015

Veiled



A very charming little video and worth a look.  

But.  

The emphasis on veils exclusively is in my experience misplaced.  When I was a boy, a very long time ago, to be sure, women did not wear veils in church.  They wore proper hats. School girls in the younger grades had little beanies (zuchetti?) that co-ordinated with their school uniforms.  But adult women wore hats.  There may have been a little round piece of lace no bigger than a saucer in the handbag for purposes of "making a visit".  But for Sunday Mass it was a hat and not a veil.

Perhaps the mantilla reigned south of the border but it didn't in my parish.


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Wednesday, May 13, 2015

Rogation Sunday -- with a Marian Connection for May

Bl. John Henry Newman Catholic Church: Rogation Sunday Procession from Ordinary Time Productions on Vimeo.

The visual was our procession last Sunday . . . the audio, um, wasn't.  The videographers were kind enough to say that this was because  the audio equipment couldn't pick up the sound from where they were.

O.K.

On behalf of the schola, we are mollified.


Tuesday, May 05, 2015

The May Procession and the Queen of the May

There are still a few May processions about but not very many.  And I doubt there are many as well-populated as they used to be.  These were filmed in Inchicore in Ireland.  Alas they were filmed long ago and are silent.  So you might want to click on the final one first and listen to Canon Sydney McEwen while viewing the earlier.








[Addendum:  This link should've been here at the beginning but I lost track of it and only found it now, and rather by accident at that.  It'll give you a short history of the Inchicore May Day Procession.]

Studying Latin

Not just for the neo-Pelagian liturgically obsessive, it would seem.


5 May -- St Pius V

Today in the traditional Roman Rite: the feast of S Pius V, the  pope of Lepanto and Quo Primum . . . and also of that very unfortunate decree releasing English Catholics from their obedience to Queen Elizabeth I, which unleashed a wave of persecution and arguably brought no-one back to the Catholic faith. Although, almost half a millennium later, it does remind those who need reminding that even the best of popes can make serious errors of prudential judgement.

A collect and a hymn for Pope S Pius.



Friday, May 01, 2015

The Smallest Chapel in the British Isles

It's the Costello Memorial Chapel at 16 feet long by 12 feet wide.

 The Costello Memorial Chapel was erected by Edward Costello to mark his devotion to his wife, who died in 1877 at the age of 46. Mr Costello had been a substantial farmer at Dromore a few miles from Carrick, but had moved to the town during the early part of the 1800’s and set himself up in business. He was widely known as a man of great kindness and charity and was partly instrumental in bringing the Marist order of nuns to the town. 
On the death of his wife, Mary Josephine, he had work on the memorial Chapel started. It was to be both a monument to his love and a last resting place for his wife and himself. The little building was dedicated on April 22, 1879 and after the consecration ceremony, the body of Mrs Costello was placed in a sunken space to the left of the entrance, and covered over with a thick slab of specially made glass. The body, which was interred in a metal coffin, had been embalmed when Mrs Costello died, and had been cared for in the interim by the Marist nuns. Mr Costello himself died in March 1891, and his remains also in a metal coffin were placed in a sunken space to the right of the entrance. A thick glass lid was placed over this vault too, and today the inscriptions on both coffins can be read with the aid of a torch. Mass was celebrated in the chapel on every first Friday from the time of its consecration to Mr Costello’s death, but no religious service has taken place in it since.

More here.   And when you get there, do click on the link to photographs.



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An Lía Fáil


Genesis 28:x-xxii:
10 Meanwhile Jacob had left Bersabee, and was on his way to Haran. 11 There was a place he reached as nightfall overtook him, so that he must lie down and rest; so he took one of the stones that lay around him, to make a pillow of it, and went to sleep. 12 He dreamed that he saw a ladder standing on the earth, with its top reaching up into heaven; a stairway for the angels of God to go up and come down. 13 Over this ladder the Lord himself leaned down, and spoke to Jacob, I am the Lord, he said, the God of thy father Abraham, the God of Isaac; this ground on which thou liest sleeping is my gift to thee and to thy posterity. 14 Thy race shall be countless as the dust of the earth; to west and east, to north and south thou shalt overflow thy frontiers, till all the families on earth find a blessing in thee, and in this race of thine. 15 I myself will watch over thee wherever thou goest, and bring thee back to this land again; before I have done with thee, all my promises to thee shall be fulfilled.
16 When he awoke from his dream, Jacob said to himself, Why, this is the Lord’s dwelling-place, and I slept here unaware of it! 17 And he shuddered; What a fearsome place is this! said he. This can be nothing other than the house of God; this is the gate of Heaven. 18 So it was that, when he rose in the morning, Jacob took the stone which had been his pillow, and set it up there as a monument, and poured oil upon it; 19 and he called the place Bethel, the House of God, that was called Luza till then. 20 And there he took a vow; If God will be with me, he said, and watch over me on this journey of mine, and give me bread to eat and clothes to cover my back, 21 till at last I return safe to my father’s house, then the Lord shall be my God. 22 This stone, too, which I have set up as a monument, shall be called the House of God. And of all the gifts thou sendest me, a tenth part shall be the offering I make thee.
More, as the bards would have it.

Thursday, April 30, 2015

Found While Looking for Something Else



All sorts of folks on Facebook and Twitter inform me every Thursday that it is "Throwback Thursday" and they then proceed to post something from their distant past.  Or somebody's distant past.

Reluctant as I am to participate in popular memes, that nevertheless seems as good an excuse as any to put up something from the 78th Fraser Highlanders Pipe Band's past:  from almost 3 decades ago, one of the most exciting pipe band tracks ever recorded.  The set consists of  The Fair Maid of Barra, The Gold Ring, and The Clumsy Lover.  The track is taken from the "Live in Ireland" album, which album you can still get from iTunes for less than I paid for the double LP album all those years ago.

(Yes, that is Richard Parkes in the picture.  The original poster used a picture of FMM rather than the 78ths.)



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First World Unintended Consequences

A more charitable man than I would probably be ashamed of himself for finding this as funny as I do.  Imagine, there's probably even some poor sod of a fanboy with "Apple" tattooed on his wrist.

And while we're on the subject, you might want to take a look at this.  A decade and a half old and truer than ever, which regression will be noted here.



Saturday, April 25, 2015

All Indications Are You Might as Well

Embedded image permalink

Found on this gentleman's Twitter feed:   @Stuart1927    The sign seems to be referring to the upcoming British elections on May 7.  We have another couple of years to go here in the Benighted States . . . so there should be plenty of time to have our copies printed up.

Saturday, April 18, 2015

Distractions

Somehow -- I've even forgotten what I was originally looking for -- I arrived at this article in the Daily Mail.  If you click on it, you'll see a dozen or so photographs of a highly detailed and thoroughly fascinating scale model or diorama of the battle of Waterloo.  I loitered there for far too long;  loads of very detailed pictures.  But even so I need to go back and try to find some of the pipers.

And the 2d battalion the 44th regiment of foot was there.  An English regiment, so no pipers.  But since my great, great, great, grandfather was in that battalion at that time, I presume he was there, too. Haven't noticed any family resemblances amongst the model figures, though.   Yet.



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Thursday, April 16, 2015

Pope Benedict XVI - His 88th Birthday Today



Die Familie-Rehm sings something Bavarian for the Holy Father's 85th birthday in this clip, showing mostly the father and the sehr schön Elisabeth, although there are glimpses of her mother and sister.

A very happy and blessed birthday to the Pope Emeritus and Dominus conservet eum et vivificet eum . . . .



Tuesday, April 07, 2015

From the Morning Paper

Blog posts should really include links to the referenced material.  I don't think it's statutory yet, but failure to do so seems to be synonymous with moral laxity.

Nevertheless, I will continue.  The reference is to an advertisement and they don't include print advertisements in the paper's web edition.  So you'll have to trust me.  The advertisement was for a mausoleum in, I think, Orange County.  I know; I should've paid attention to name and location.  But  I didn't.  I was so struck by the amenities in this establishment, for this "affordable prestige" mausoleum provided 24/7 "climate-controlled comfort".  Isn't that wonderful?   You or your loved one can decompose in perfect climate-controlled comfort for all eterni- . . . um, well, no I don't suppose for all eternity.  But for a very long time.  At least until the outfit goes belly-up and someone dumps you in a landfill and redevelops the property into luxury apartments.

I should've saved the advertisement.  Maybe they'll re-run it next week.


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Monday, March 23, 2015

Found While Looking for Something Else

The Lord says this: "Everyone who divorces his wife and marries another commits adultery, and he who marries a woman divorced from her husband commits adultery." [Luke 16:18] 
You, however, divorce your wife as if you had every right to do so and you are not afraid of doing her an injury.  You believe it is permissible because the natural law does not forbid it. 
But the law of God does forbid it!  And you, without being disobedient to human law, ought also to fear God.  Listen to his law:  "What God has joined together, let no man put asunder." [Matt. 19:6] 
It is not of any great importance whether you commit adultery openly or under the guise of 'marriage'.  There is one difference only:  the fault committed on the pretext of principle is more serious than that which is committed secretly. 
-- St Ambrose
On the Gospel of St Luke, 8, 2 (PL15, 1765)

Found in Drinking from  the Hidden Fountain: A Patristic Breviary, Ancient Wisdom for Today's World,  by Thomas Spidlik, Cistercian Publications, 1993.



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Saturday, March 21, 2015

Culture of Death Advances Apace


One despairs of influencing the Sacramento Home for the Criminally Insane for good.  But I suppose it does behoove us to let them know that not everyone in this state thinks killing someone is the solution to every problem.

Thursday, March 19, 2015

Rummaging Through the Tune Archive.



I did a funeral this afternoon and re-discovered an old favourite tune.   At this service all the family wanted from the pipes was to lead the procession from the mortuary chapel to the gravesite.  I don't do that very often and the last couple of times the family specifically wanted Amazing Grace, which I can do, but it isn't much of a processional.

So I paged through a couple of tune books and there in my big, black binder full of xeroxes and hand-scribbled scores was Lord Lovat's Lament, which I haven't done since, oh, maybe Clan Donnachaidh Band days, i.e., back in the late '80s or early '90s.  And it's a great little tune, very melodic.  It works well both as a very slow air and as a proper quick step.  I probably played it somewhere in between.  (You can't slow march a congregation of civilian mourners, now can you.  Not with a motorized hearse on your tail, anyway.)  The tempo was indeed slower than the folks in the video above, although I really like the tempo they've chosen.

What a beautiful little tune that is.  That has to go back into the standard repertoire.

(Hmm.  I wonder how it works on the  melodeon.)


[ADDENDUM: It works a treat on the melodeon; at least it does on my C/G]

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Tuesday, March 10, 2015

That Synod Again

Herewith a cogent piece of analysis from Fr Jackson of the Priestly Fraternity of St Peter on the prep document for that Synod.  (He is not, you'll be happy to know, best pleased.)
It's here in pdf format.

(H/T to Kirk, who sent along the link.)

Thursday, March 05, 2015

Myriam's Story



[H/T to The Remnant]

Friday, February 20, 2015

Who Loves America

It's hard to tell.

It seems that saying somebody - especially a politician - doesn't love America is The Worst Thing in the World.

Except when it isn't.

Video meliora posts a nice analysis here.

Thursday, February 19, 2015

Nigerian bishop: US won’t help us fight Boko Haram because of their population control agenda in Africa

Disappointed, but not surprised.

A Catholic bishop in Nigeria is charging that the US government’s dedication to population control and pro-homosexual “cultural imperialism” in Africa is the reason that the Obama administration is dragging its heels in offering military support for the fight against the militant Islamist group Boko Haram.
Bishop Emmanuel Badejo of Oyo told the online Catholic magazine Aleteia that there is “a complicity also in the West in what is happening.”
“I take it all back to the agenda of population control,” he told Aleteia’s Diane Montagna. The bishop’s interview took place as Rome and the Italian government stepped up security measures amidst threats by Islamic militants.

Read the rest.

(Couldn't the headline also read "Obama Wants Fewer Blacks"?  Interesting world.)

Their Last Words: "Lord Jesus Christ"

The brother of two of the 21 Coptic Christians murdered in Libya last week has thanked their killers for including the men's declaration of faith in the video they made of their beheadings. 
Speaking on a live prayer and worship programme on Christian channel SAT-7 ARABIC yesterday, Beshir Kamel said that he was proud of his brothers Bishoy Estafanos Kamel (25) and Samuel Estafanos Kamel (23) because they were "a badge of honour to Christianity". 
Harrowing scenes of the murders have been seen around the world. The last words of some of those killed were "Lord Jesus Christ".

More here. . . although you might want to push the mute button on your pc before you go there and avoid the annoying video advert in the corner.

Tuesday, February 17, 2015

Just in Case

It doesn't seem likely that anyone who bothers to stop by this little corner of the 'net hasn't already seen this at Rorate Cæli and a few other places, but I suppose it's possible.

So just in case, this bit of news in the continuing passion of the Franciscans of the Immaculate is worth linking.

"Justice has been done!"  it ends.  Well.  Some justice, to be sure.  So much as the secular courts can give anyway.  But there's more to be done.  Maybe even some mercy.

("Mercy".  Hmmm.  Where've I heard that before?)

[ADDENDUM:  The plot thickens: no apology, but a contradiction of the above.  Rorate Cæli publishes it here.]


Saturday, February 07, 2015

Some Piping for the Weekend



Padraig McGovern playing more regulators than, well, anyone.  Leo Rowsome used to go to town on the regulators but I never saw him do it only heard recordings; don't know if he did it like this.  This is gorgeous stuff regardless.

[Tnx to Pete Stewart and the LBPS FB site for pointing out this video.]

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William Wordsworth, call your office

"Supermarkets in Britain have reportedly been asked to make sure daffodils are kept separate from fruit and vegetables in a bid to prevent customers mistakenly eating the poisonous plants" it says here.

Um, O.K.


[Addendum:  Oh, all right, all right.  The Wordsworth reference is here.]



Thursday, February 05, 2015

A Salutary Warning

Not a fan of Mickey D's on the whole.  But sometimes if one is hungry enough, it's fast and edible, if not tasty.

And now one will never be hungry enough.


(In-N-Out is, of course, far better.  But, alas, everyone knows that.  So the lines are always around the block.  There's always something.)




Saturday, January 31, 2015

1st Vespers of Septuagesima Sunday

Benedicamus Domino, Alleluia, Alleluia!
Deo Gratias, Alleluia, Alleluia!

Today the Liturgy says farewell to "Alleluia" until Holy Saturday.

The Inn had this to say a decade ago:

The medieval Church had several ceremonies of Farewell to the Alleluia which took place on the eve of Septuagesima. From Dom Gueranger:  
The farewell to the Alleluia, in the Middle Ages, varied in the different Churches. Here, it was an affectionate enthusiasm, speaking the beauty of the celestial word; there, it was a heart-felt regret at the departure of the much-loved companion of all their prayers.  
We begin with two antiphons, which would seem to be of Roman origin. We find them in the Antiphonarium of Saint Cornelius of Compiegne, published by Dom Denys de Sainte Marthe. They are a farewell to Alleluia made by our Catholic forefathers in the ninth century; they express, too, the hope of its coming back, as soon as the Resurrection of Jesus shall have brightened up the firmament of the Church.  
ANT. Angelus Domini bonus comitetur tecum, Alleluia, et bene disponat itineri tuo, ut iterum cum gaudio revertaris ad nos, Alleluia, Alleluia.
ANT. May the good angel of the Lord accompany thee, Alleluia, and give thee a good journey, that thou mayst come back to us in joy, Alleluia.  
ANT. Alleluia, mane apud nos hodie, et crastina proficisceris, Alleluia ; et dum ortus fuerit dies, ambulabis vias tuas, Alleluia, Alleluia, Alleluia.
ANT. Alleluia, abide with us today, and tomorrow thou shalt set forth, Alleluia ; and when the day shall have risen, thou shalt proceed on thy way, Alleluia, Alleluia, Alleluuia.


From the Gothic Church of Spain, an anthem: 

Ibis, Alleluia. Prosperum iter habebis Alleluia; et iterum cum gaudio revertaris ad nos, Alleluia. In manibus enim suis portabunt te: ne unquam offendas ad lapidem pedem tuum. Et iterum cum gaudio revertaris ad nos, Alleluia.
Thou shalt go, Alleluia; thy journey shall be prosperous, Alleluia; and again come back to us with joy, Alleluia. For they shall bear thee up in their hands, lest at any time thou dash thy foot against a stone. And again come back to us with joy, Alleluia. 
There's more here (although some of the links therein, alas, have died the death.)

Thursday, January 15, 2015

If We Lived in a Civilized Country. . . .

I've wondered about this since the demonstrations first started and I wondered where all the brave investigative reporters went to.  It takes money to come up with all those professionally designed and printed banners and signs.  And yet the press seemed utterly uninterested.  Now we know where the money came from:  government grants and George Soros.  And we can guess why the press was uninterested.



G. K. Chesterton on Marriage

This is from the July/August 2014 number of Gilbert, which they put into a question and answer format.  The topic is, shall we say, synodically relevant.

The questioner wanted the marriage to be a standard commercial contract.  Said GKC:

Now I quite understand this commercial theory of marriage, but I thought I had at least made it clear that it is not my theory of marriage. I contrasted marriage with a mere contract; I said it was not a mere contract, or even a mere promise, in the sense that it is the ordinary basis of mere contract. I said it was something which is more than a promise, and is called a vow. Two people make a unique and absolute agreement, not to exchange this or that, but to share everything, including any evil that may befall either.   Personally I think people's heads must be very dull and their hearts very dead, in the days when the very thought of so absolute and audacious an adventure does not move them like a trumpet. But it is not a question here of what I feel, but of what I said. I said the vow was a unique thing, distinct from a contract or even a promise. 

And then the questioner wants to tweak the text of the vows to make them a tad more modern.   ("Obedience?"   "'til death us do part?"  Seriously?)  GKC saith:

It never seems to occur to you that others might omit the wedding. What is the point of the ceremony except that it involves the vow? What is the point of the vow except that it involves vowing something dramatic and final? Why walk all the way to a church in order to say that you will retain a connection as long as you find it convenient? Why stand in front of an altar to announce that you will enjoy somebody's society as long as you find it enjoyable?   You talk of reasons for omitting some of the words, without realising that it is an even better reason for omitting all the words. In fact the proof that the vow is what I describe, and what you apparently cannot even imagine, a unique thing not to be confounded with a contract, can be found in the very fact that the vow becomes verbally ridiculous when it is thus verbally amended. The daring dogmatic terms of the promise become ludicrous in the face of the timidity and triviality of the thing promised.  To say "I swear to God, in the face of this congregation as I shall answer at the dreadful day of judgment, that Maria and I will be friends until we quarrel" is a thing of which the very diction implies the derision. It is like saying, "In the name of the angels and archangels and the whole company of heaven, I think I prefer Turkish to Egyptian cigarettes:' or "Crying aloud on the everlasting mercy, I confess I have grave doubts about whether sardines are good for me:'
  
Obviously nobody would ever have invented such a ceremony, or invented any ceremony to celebrate such a promise. Men would merely have done what they liked, as millions of healthy men have done, without any ceremony at all. Divorce and re-marriage are simply a heavy and hypocritical masquerade for free love and no marriage. 

Tuesday, January 06, 2015

The Roll of Honor


For your edification and encouragement:

The list of Republican congressmen who voted against Cryin' Charlie.



Epiphany


It's the real feast of the Epiphany today, the day after 12th Night.  The USSRCCB, or whatever they're calling themselves this season, says otherwise.  But it's today.  Not last Sunday.   As we have mentioned before, if you eliminate the 12th day of Christmas, you've got no 12  drummers drumming.  That means the 11 pipers piping will rush the tempo.  Then the 9 ladies dancing will lose the beat and stomp off in a huff.  There are serious social consequences to messing about with the 12 days of Christmas.

More seriously, there are poems, hymns, and lovely pictures concerning Epiphanytide over at Recta Ratio;  you can find them here.


Monday, January 05, 2015

Rosebud

The nanny state strikes again.  The Evil Plague stalking the land this time is sledding.  Yeah, sledding, i.e., sliding down hill on a snow covered slope of some kind.  Not, to be sure, a prohibition that is likely to have much impact here in the southeastern corner of L.A. county, where we have neither hills nor snow. But another indication of which way the wind blows in this country.

Details from the Washington Times.


Chess

Well, here's an interesting bit of information.  It seems Isabella the Catholic had a major influence on the rules of chess.  Originally the queen was not only not the key piece in the game but wasn't even the queen.  I suppose I thought, insofar as I thought about it at all, that the rules of chess came fully formed from the mind of God into the hands of . . . um, well I guess Adam.  It could fill in the hours when he wasn't earning his bread by the sweat of his brow.

In any event, Mrs Vidal gives you the whole story here.



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The Jean Arthur TV Movie Alert Service



The Jean Arthur TV Movie Alert Service has a marathon for you today:  beginning at 5:00 p.m. PST on TCM there are five Jean Arthur movies on offer, four of the best and one, well, O.K.  (History is Made at Night is actually pretty good, but it can't hold a candle to Mr Deeds, The More the Merrier, Mr Smith, or You Can't Take it With You.)  It begins with Mr Deeds Goes to Town.

Crank up the recording devices.



Saturday, January 03, 2015

Prayer at the New Year

A sobering plea for prayer from Msgr Pope of the Archdiocese of Washington:

We are very close to the new year, 2015 AD. And most of us at the new year have it in mind to pray for the future year not only for ourselves, but also for our family, country, and culture. With that in mind, there is something of an admonition to us all that I would share from Scripture. For while we look to the new year with hope, we do well to soberly assess the warnings of God that are seemingly more applicable than ever. Above all we must pray so as to avoid the otherwise necessary chastisements of God and the inevitability of ruin at our own hand if we do not soon repent. 
We have good reason to have concern for what we have come to call Western culture. . . .

The rest is here.   And many thanks to OnePeterFive for the citation.

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Thursday, January 01, 2015

A Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year

On holy days being merry and happy:

The way in which religious mysteries are mixed with merry-making is very shocking to some people -- especially. . . .to the people who do not believe in the religious mysteries.  Sceptics are so very sensitive on the point of reverence. . . . .I could not but smile at the thought of those who have again been trying to prove to me that religion has no function but to make men sad.  Those who gradually built up the ancient customs of mankind had a better sense of proportion and decoration. They knew, if only by instinct, how things grave and gay can be combined and distributed, and where flippancy is fitting and where solemnity fits in with it; what contrast will best bring out a real severity, and what is the psychological meaning of that profound phrase "comic relief". . . . .
-G.K. Chesterton, June 19, 1926

Christmas here was merry -- the gravy came out splendidly you'll be delighted to know.  Thanksgiving, um, not so much.  The giblets got misplaced.   Don't ask how.  They just did.  But the Christmas gravy was a triumph, if I do say so myself.  (You do remember that I am the gravy-chef?)  Herself does the rest of the dinner so it goes without saying that that went very well indeed.

The new year's celebration could only have been lower-key if we'd slept through it, which we sometimes do.  We actually had two celebratory options - the local RSCDS branch had a hogmanay dance and the parish had a gathering at Father's house - but herself wasn't feeling up to going out in the cold so we didn't go anywhere.  Yes, cold.  I realize 36° fahrenheit is hardly noticeable to Chicagoans, Canadians, New Yorkers and such but here in the not-quite-tropical-but-we-can-see-it-from-here southeastern corner of L.A. county that is eye-crossingly cold. So instead we just enjoyed each other's company.

I was sitting in the kitchen listening to the radio and doing the crossword puzzle when the gentleman down the street with the IQ of eight ounces of yogurt set off his explosive device* to signalize the arrival of the new year.  I then quietly played Auld Lang Syne on the melodeon.   And so to bed.


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*The technical definition of the point at which an illegal firework becomes an explosive device I will leave to the courts.  For purposes of The Inn, I have, as you will have noted, made my own decision.



Oh, one more thing:

Faustum et Felicem annum MMDCCLXVIII A.U.C !
annum bis millesimum septingentesimum sexagesimum octavum ab. urbe condita 
-swiped from VoxRomana, in particular her Twitter feed.

Monday, December 29, 2014

Somebody Got a Lump of Coal in his Stocking

Odds are, he's not in for a very happy new year either.