Latin Catholic by birth, Byzantine Catholic by the grace of God.
Pro: Restoration of the Holy and Universal Christian Roman Empire.
Caveat: The author makes no claim to being an exemplar of Catholicism or Monarchism (or blogging).
Under the patronage of St. George. Please view at 1024x768.

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Location: Upstate, New York, United States

Wednesday, October 26, 2005

CIV DAY '05 DIARY - 4:07PM

What a day so far!

The phone was busted at EB Games, and yesterday their shipment didn't arrive. Was there with a pile of angry, vicious moms, as the assistant manager had to run through yesterday's and today's shipments (10 boxes worth), to look for our goods.

Apparently, there is some new Nintendo DS out that all the kids want, so the soccer moms all sharpened their fingernails when the shipment didn't come in yesterday. Thankfully, she first hit upon the Civilization box.

Then, we waited as she had to log in all 90 items before selling anything from that box. Agonizing.

Finally got my Collector's Edition and bought the hint book (not a usual practice, more just for the bedside Civ reading it'll provide). Squealed like a girl once in the car.

Opted to give Saladin a try for my first run-through. Got it handed to me by Tokugawa about two hours later in the Dark Ages/Early Middle Ages. Strategy is completely different now.

Also, my PC is more than up to the challenge (For W: game requires a P4, 1.8 HZ, 512 RAM, 1.7 gigs free), but my graphics cards doesn't have "T&L," whatever that is. Thus, currently playing on the low graphics setting. Bummer.

In a strange coincidence from enjoying a Shatner album this morning, Leonard Nimoy does voice-over work! Wow!

Taking a shower next, finally. Then out to pick up libations for the evening. Generally a beer man; but might opt for something special tonight, maybe Akavit-and-soda (seltzer, not Pepsi, duh!).

Wife will be home at 5 or 5:30pm. She'll want me to waste time doing something like cooking dinner, or spending time with her.

Note to self: Cash in sobriety chips from CivAnon. Make sure to call my sponsor.

CIV DAY '05 DIARY - 10:58AM

Still now answer at EB Games. Occasionally, a busy signal.

To calm the jitters, put on William Shatner's outstanding album of masculine angst, "The Transformed Man," and started a Civilization strength versus game conditions chart (I.E. large world favors expansionist, young world {mountainous} favors creative, etc.). Will be leaving shortly to bother them in person if no one picks up. Shipments, however, don't usually arrive until 1pm EST.

Note to self: Put dibs on any Civ standees. The Rome: Total War one needs a friend.

CIV DAY '05 DIARY - 10:12AM

Had a good round of R:TW:BI. Playing currently as the Eastern Roman Empire. Cicero reminded me that infinite wealth is the sinew of war. Thank you, sensei. Just managed to smash the Sassanids this morning, but one of my Christian generals took advantage of Zoroastrian unrest in the former Persian lands, and revolted. Note to self: Next time, enslave the Zoroastrians.

Have foregone the shower for now. Telemarketer called and broke my concentration. Spent 10 minutes with the guinea pigs.

Business hours for EB Games rolled around 12 minutes ago. No one answering the phone. Getting nervous.

CIV DAY '05 DIARY - 8:24AM

Happy Civ Day '05!

Today is the release of Civilization 4; we only get such a heady day every five or six years.

Took the day off of work, but woke at the same time, 7:30 am. Read the latest Civ news and just put on a pot of coffee.

About to play some Rome: Total War: Barbarian Invasion to limber up my wargaming skills, then, planning a shower, if I get to it.

Wednesday, October 12, 2005

New photos on Defunct Products Post

Eagle Snacks.

Monday, October 10, 2005

Mass among the bourgeois barbarians

A social event forced me to a Novus cOrdo on Saturday. Horrifying! Outside of the regular decay I expect, women on the altar, the CirKiss of Peace, priest facing the congregation, pre and mid-Mass congregational yakking, acolettes, charismatic palm-up posture, "lay ministers" and recipients grubbing the Eucharist with their fingers, and the constant use of the words "fellowship" and "community," there were other frightening moments that really did scare me.

  • The only time the priest was ad orientam was when he held the basket o' cash from the collection over his head and gesticulated with it. Is this the Temple of Mammon? Creepy.
  • Although the ancient, glowing white marble altar was still intact with a working tabernacle, the Body of Christ was placed in a side altar by a fat woman in hip-hugger jeans. Extra creepy.
  • Before a mid-Mass baptism, the priest asked us to turn around and face the baptistry, putting our backs to the tabernacle for his song-and-dance version of the sacrament. Super creepy.
  • The celebrant relaxed during Communion, and allowed the concelebrant and the aforementioned jean-wearing woman to "hand out" the Eucharist while he lounged. Downright heebie-jeebie creepy.

At least I was able to buy a sweet pair of sacrificial doves in the back of the church. Only two sheckels a piece! Okay, now I'm pulling your leg. They were four sheckels.

After Mass, my father was driving me to the next item on the day's itinerary, and I tried to keep the subject on our upcoming dinner. But he had to ask ... ask what I thought. I told him it was the most decadent liturgy I'd ever witnessed.

My dad is a Roman deacon neo-Catholic (and let's keep our comments genteel, please), and pointed out that he noticed the celebrant sitting-out Communion, and also that it's against the rubrics to speak "Let us proclaim the mystery of faith," if you aren't going to chant it. "But decadent? Certainly Guy is just being his hyperbolizing self," his body language conveyed.

But I was quite honestly stunned and offended at the whole mess, and shuddered when a Catholic clergyman, who is honest despite his rose-colored glasses, wasn't horrified along with me.


The lunatics are running the asylum, and everyone else has been institutionalized so long, they've ceased to realize there's a sane world outside.

God is angry - he must be. Complete disrespect of The Holy One is going to bring down terrible punishment, unless our situation already is The Lord of Sabaoth's rod on our backs.

If this is our divinely appointed scourging, or if it's still on the way, better we get it here on Earth than elsewhere.

Wednesday, October 05, 2005

Happy Birthday, Porcupine!

Just a quick post to say "Happy Birthday!" to one of my childhood heroes, Larry Fine, who turns 103 today.

He was Louis Feinberg by birth. These days, probably my second favorite Jew, after William Shatner.

And no, Christ doesn't count.

Monday, October 03, 2005

Dionysius (tangentially, wimpy angels)

Today is the Eastern feast day of Dionysius the Areopagite.

The classic saints are the most fun. An Athenian, converted by St. Paul, claimed to have seen an eclipse from Egypt when Christ died, may or may not have been martyred by fire in Paris, has mulitple names ... and the dating and authorship of his writing are in doubt.

It seems more likely he was actually beheaded.

From "The Celestial Hierarchy:"

That Divine and Celestial matters are fittingly revealed even through unlike symbols:

"I consider, then, that in the first place we must explain our conception of the purpose of each Hierarchy and the good conferred by each upon its followers; secondly we must celebrate the Celestial Hierarchies as they are revealed in the Scriptures; and finally we must say under what holy figures the descriptions in the sacred writings portray those Celestial Orders, and to what kind of purity we ought to be guided through those forms lest we, like the many, should impiously suppose that those Celestial and Divine Intelligences are many-footed or many-faced beings, or formed with the brutishness of oxen, or the savageness of lions, or the curved beaks of eagles, or the feathers of birds, or should imagine that they are some kind of fiery wheels above the heavens, or material thrones upon which the Supreme Deity may recline, or many-coloured horses, or commanders of armies, or whatever else of symbolic description has been given to us in the various sacred images of the Scriptures."

Old-school angel characterizations are much niftier, too, than our own. The many-eyed, many winged beings of yore evoke much more than the soft, chubby, sandy-blonde she-males that pass for angels today.

I'm a little soft, a touch chubby, and sandy brunette, (but rather masculine, I must say), and I love me, but angels shouldn't look that way.

Saturday, October 01, 2005

One year left

Today is my 29th birthday, the celebration of almost three decades of deep mediocrity. When you're thirty, it's no longer cute to be muddled. Thus I have one year left to at least put myself in some direction.

At 29, I'm a right-thinking Catholic frequently deeply lacking in right-action. Sitting out Communion once or twice a month is no fun. My confessors sometimes think me overscrupulous about it, but no one ever went to Hell for not receiving the Sacrament. They sure have for doing it unworthily.

At 29, 70% of my income goes to debt reduction: House, car, student loans, two failed entrepeneurial ventures, and the only really frivolous purchase I've ever made, a king-size bed. At least I never got bitten by the credit card bug. I'm not going backwards or forwards, and I look to be treading water for the forseeable future.

At 29, I've never had a job I've found satisfying or interesting for more than 20 hours a week. I almost completely lack the "reward system" in my brain for my career. I find war games satisfying, also a good liturgy, reading, and of course the guinea pigs, but I just can't get excited about working for other people, and have no inherent interest in the wealth it generates, qua wealth. If I didn't need to eat and pay my debts, I could really sit around all day in holey socks on my porch and read and smoke cigars and drink coffee.

And then there are those issues that have even less place on a public blog than the above do. But we'll just leave them be.

At 30, one year from today, if I am still so deeply, mournfully, painfully mediocre, I may just start popping out kids (which is another thing overdue), collect public assistance, and really just sit around all day doing nothing. Sell the house, get a dirty apartment, sit on the stoop, and let the welfare checks buy nuggets for my guinea pigs, and generic mac-and-cheese for my ten kids.

But it's the "on-the-fence" of it that kills me. Rich and poor are happy where they are because they are sure of their position. They know what they are, and they are content, even the ones who won't admit it. I've got impressive wealth and ghetto poverty in my extended family and both sides really do know they belong there. It's the particular agony of the middle class to see wealth and see destitution and know that things really could go either way.

Even worse, I'm also "middle-class" spiritually. I can see myself being a saint, and I can see myself dragged off to Hell. It's enough to drive one to drink (more), but that'd just be another thing to confess. And I have no excuses, save for a proven familial streak of "the crazies;" I'm too well-educated to plead ignorance before The Lord.

So if you could spare a prayer for me today (and my wife), I would be much obliged.