Thursday, April 28, 2005

Slow Blogging Ahead

I am taking a brief hiatus from blogging while I finish up some stuff. Schoolwork is progressing quite well (my image retrieval paper is halfway done and our lesson plan has been outlined), but work will be very busy for the next week and there is all of that moving stuff to do.

I hope you don't miss me too much ;)

Wednesday, April 27, 2005

The countdown

I apologize for the lack of posts, but there is a lot going on.

What I have left to do:

  • 20 days in this house
  • 7 days of work
  • 3 classes
  • 1 20-page paper
  • 1 presentation
  • 2 articles to edit
  • copyright to obtain
  • 1 house to pack, with
    • 29 boxes of books, plus those we have acquired in the past 3 years
    • 1 broken clothes washer
    • assorted living room and dining room furniture
    • a cat who hates to travel
Lists always make me feel better. Ahhhhhh.

Monday, April 25, 2005

New on my blogroll

If you thought that I had a lot of Pope pictures on my blog......check out The Commonplace Book of Zadok the Roman

Be not afraid

And so, today, with great strength and great conviction, on the basis of long personal experience of life, I say to you, dear young people: Do not be afraid of Christ! He takes nothing away, and he gives you everything. When we give ourselves to him, we receive a hundredfold in return. Yes, open, open wide the doors to Christ – and you will find true life. Amen.

Full text of Pope Benedict's homily from the installation mass here.

Pope prayed not to be elected

As reported in these news stories being linked to everywhere, Pope Benedict prayed that he would not be elected pope. He viewed the idea of being elected pope as a "guillotine," and he prayed that he would be spared selection. An interesting image, that.

He is admitting all of his failings today -- when he arrived late for a meeting with German pilgrims, he said, ""Germans are used to punctuality. I'm already very Italian."

Charlie I speaks

Notre Dame football coach Charile Weis was on Live this morning with Regis and Kelly. I was impressed with his poise in this type of environment. He answered all of the questions well, including Kelly'squestion about academic standards.

Yes, Notre Dame has tough admissions criteria, but that means that he has smarter players. And smarter players coached well are better players. Academic standards do not hurt Notre Dame.

He did not promise anything except that his players will always be prepared.

He compared coaching at the high school, college, and professional levels. As a championship coach at two of those levels (one Jersey state high school championship and four Super Bowl rings), he knows how to win. Now we just have to see if Notre Dame remembers how to win.

Yes, I watch Live. And yes, I planned my chores this morning so that I would be near the television for his interview. And yes, I am annoyed that I have been at Notre Dame while the New England Patriots have been the dominant force in professional football, and I'll be in New England as Notre Dame returns to dominance.

Go Irish!

Sunday, April 24, 2005

One more thing to like

The Pope loves cats.

And the NYT says that he drinks a lot of lemonade.

In other words, the more human side of the Pope is beginning to come out. A couple who he married last summer comments that he is personable and pastoral.

And it looks like most of us have missed the obvious -- the Pope's birthday is the feast day of St. Benedict Joseph Labre. I'll post more on this saint later when I find out more about him. I find it very interesting that his baptismal name and reign name come from the same saint.

Yet another Pope picture

I know this is overkill, but this one made me laugh so much.

Caption:"there's no place like rome, there's no place like rome"
[HT: Summa Mamas]

Richard Lawrence Cohen is getting signs from God

...or maybe from the Devil.

For a moment he was conviced that God was telling him to post pictures on his blog. Then, having saved himself through human reason, he realizes that it must have been Satan himself that had been telling him.

A brilliant post from one of the most interesting blogs out there. It really is worth a read.

Pet Diaries

A day in the life of a dog and a cat. [via Yippe-Ki-Yay!]

I'm winning!

Thus far, I'm in the lead for the "What is the Pope thinking" contest at Space Station K9.

He is still accepting entries..... I know that y'all can do better than that!

A winter's walk in April

Snow Duck
Originally uploaded by Reprehriestless.
I took more pictures on campus this morning. The tulip trees were covered in a beautiful layer of snow.

The ducks and geese didn't seem to mind though.

We have the best friends in the world

Shower Baloons
Originally uploaded by Reprehriestless.
A bunch of our friends threw a shower for us yesterday. It was unexpected and wonderful.

I would say that our wonderful friends are another thing I'll miss when we move, but we'd lose them even if we were staying. All of 'em (even the locals) are also moving on this spring or summer.

Sinners unhappy with new pope

In a headline from the Grand Forks Herald. [via Best of the Web]

Saturday, April 23, 2005

"Let's see Pope Benedict XVI draw up the perfect play on thrd-and-long"

Now that Pope Benedict XVI has assumed the most important position in the Roman Catholic Church, attention can return to the occupant of the second.

Charlie I.

Jason Kelly of the South Bend Tribune wrote the funniest sports column I have ever read -- "Mitre by Adidas, doctrine by Charlie I." Writing about the fans' "faith that Notre Dame football will rise again," he somehow managed to tread the line between obnoxiousness and humor without ever once stepping over the line.

You can't lose with line like:

  • "Maybe that explains the relative haste of the conclave in Rome. Pick a Pope before kickoff, before the first audience with Charlie Weis."
  • "His sermons on offense and how to execute it have made believers of players and prayerful fans alike during this spring season of rebirth."
  • "Rooted in the doctrine of moving the chains, the principles Weis espouses in his encyclicals satisfy both conservatives and liberals. As Rev. Michael Heintz noted in a Michiana Point of View column Wednesday, a good Catholic should aspire to defy such simplistic, superficial labels anyway."
  • "While the College of Cardinals selected a man described as the "defender of the faith" from Germany, Notre Dame chose a man of offense from Jersey."
  • "Like pilgrims to the stain that resembles the Virgin Mary on a Chicago underpass, devoted Irish followers also believe they see the reflection of that holy coaching trinity in Weis."

Man-o-man am I going to miss reading the Tribune sports page every morning.

Friday, April 22, 2005

Benedict's twins

I missed a few good photo-posts about the Pope while I was away on my internet diet.

He has been compared to the Emperor (by SSK9 and others):

To Touchdown Jesus (by the Library Despot)

And even to Hannibal Lecter (by Pablo72)

My favorite, though, is the "New pope lays out Cardinal Law" headline at Space Station K9.

A habit and a hobby, but not an addiction

As I promised, it has been just over 48 hours since I last read a blog, comic strip, editorial or box score on the web. The only deviation was to naviagate to Space Station K9 and Library Despot in order to verify addresses for my blogroll.

I like reading blogs. Some, like Mirror of Justice, cause me to think. Others, like The Anchoress, cause me to reflect. Then there's Space Station K9 which twists my face into contortions, and Daily Kos which makes me want to scream. Boing Boing just alerts me to wonderful things, and Matthew Yglesias allows me to see things from a different perspective. They all broaden my horizons in ways that the mainstream media rarely does.

I am not an addict. I suffered no withdrawal symptoms, and I was able to fill my days quite well without my daily dose of the blogosphere. Now that I know that I can do without it I'll get back to reading. I am now 23 posts behind at Professor Bainbridge and 17 behind at Althouse (I won't even look to see how many Instapundit posts I've missed).

I'm glad to be back.

The end of an era

With only three weeks left in my degree program, this is probably the last time that I will stay up all night writing a paper. There is something almost wistful about this moment; it is another of those many "lasts" I will experience over the next few weeks.

With a cat on my lap, tunes on my headphones, and a pot of coffe ready, I am looking forward to an exciting evening of paper-writing bliss. Oh yeah!


  • 12:07 -- I have organized my notes and sources, written a detailed outline, and decided on relevant examples for the paper on image retrieval. The cat is a really good study-buddy. I have not moved from this spot because she is snuggled up so nicely on my lap. I wouldn't want to disturb her sleep....
  • 12:35 -- So much for productivity. I got a little distracted and set this up. Don't expect any updates for the next few weeks, but I do have a lot of Grover pics to upload. Alrighty -- back to work!
  • 1:36 -- Assessment Assignment complete and emailed to partners.
    Back to the image retrieval paper. The goal is to have a draft that I can submit for critiques.
  • 2:49 -- I am starting to get sleepy and my shoulders are getting tight. The cat is still curled up on my lap (looking a lot like this). This paper has the potential to be really good.
  • 3:36 -- I have a complete draft! It is really not worth going to sleep at this point, so I will start in on the presentation for my other class.
  • 3:51 -- Blogging is taking the place of solitare in my paper-writing routine. It is pretty amazing that I have been sitting at a computer four straight hours (minus one tea-and-crackers break at 2:30) and have not played a single game nor read a single blog. LAUNCHcast has helped too. Jimmy Buffett's "A Pirate Looks at Forty" is on the 'phones right now. "My occupational hazard be, my occupation just not around. I feel like I've drowned, gonna head up town." [5:07 -- I guess I had hit a slightly hyper-point at 3:51]
  • 4:41 -- I am done with schoolwork for the day (or at least until class starts). Thank you for sharing this experience with me. It has been fun!
Some of you may be wondering why I would go entirely without sleep on Thursday instead of spreading the work more evenly accross the week. There are several reasons for this, all of which have been learned through experience.

I gain efficiency by working in long chunks of time because I am able to focus my energy. I am able to complete a thought before getting up and less time is wasted reminding myself of what I did during my last work session. My schedule during the rest of the week is so split up by work, errands, and other commitments that I rarely get the chance to set aside two consecutive hours anytime before 11pm.

Additionally, I have learned that I am less affected by one sleepless night than I am by the accumulation of nights with very little sleep. Take for instance, two weeks in which I get 50 hours of sleep.

Week 1777701210
Week 25555398

I get the same amount of sleep in both weeks, but will be a happier and more productive warillever in Week 1. In Week 2, the compounded lack of sleep would leave me grumpy and utterly unproductive by Wednesday. Granted, the Week 1 senario leaves me utterly wiped on Friday, but as I have previously mentioned, when I am exhausted I find a long sleep very refreshing.
  • 9:04 -- I have no idea why there is all of that space before the table. Probably some sort of HTML issue, because I hand-coded the table. Sorry :(
  • 9:11 -- I fixed it. Blogger interprets "enter" as a linebreak even though it does not display that way in HTML view. This blog is testing the limits of my HTML and CSS knowledge!

Thursday, April 21, 2005

A Blogger question

Does anyone know why Blogger sets the date and time of a post based on when you start writing instead of when you finish? For example, I started the last post at 7:22, but finished at 8:37 because I had to leave it aside for 45 minutes. I had to manually change the time.

Is there any way to change this?

First official words

In his address to the College of Cardinals yesterday, Pope Benedict outlined his goals for his pontificate.

"The Church today must revive within herself an awareness of the task to present the world again with the voice of the One Who said: 'I am the light of the world; he who follows me will not walk in darkness but will have the light of life.' In undertaking his ministry, the new Pope knows that his task is to bring the light of Christ to shine before the men and women of today: not his own light but that of Christ.

"With this awareness, I address myself to everyone, even to those who follow other religions or who are simply seeking an answer to the fundamental questions of life and have not yet found it. I address everyone with simplicity and affection, to assure them that the Church wants to continue to build an open and sincere dialogue with them, in a search for the true good of mankind and of society.

"From God I invoke unity and peace for the human family and declare the willingness of all Catholics to cooperate for true social development, one that respects the dignity of all human beings.

"I will make every effort and dedicate myself to pursuing the promising dialogue that my predecessors began with various civilizations, because it is mutual understanding that gives rise to conditions for a better future for everyone.

"I am particularly thinking of young people. To them, the privileged interlocutors of John Paul II, I send an affectionate embrace in the hope, God willing, of meeting them at Cologne on the occasion of the next World Youth Day. With you, dear young people, I will continue to maintain a dialogue, listening to your expectations in an attempt to help you meet ever more profoundly the living, ever young, Christ.

This is exciting stuff! Yes, all of of it is a continuation of what has come before, but that itself is exciting. As he acknowledges, the Pope's task is to "bring the light of Christ to shine before the men and women of today: not his own light but that of Christ."

Thus far, he has been far from his "Rottweiler"image. The message is one of unity and hope, dialogue and entusiasm. I hope that it is accepted as such.

I am particularly happy to hear that he will continue the World Youth Day tradition that his predecessor started. That his first World Youth Day will be in Germany is especially fortuitous. We can only pray that he will be able to spark a Christian awakening in Germany and Europe.

Since I am not reading blogs today, I am not sure what others have said about this address. Maybe it is better that way.

Framed [scribble]

Originally uploaded by warillever.

Le mieux est l'ennemi du bien

In case you hadn't noticed, I just added a blogroll to the page. It is over there on the right, below the "previous posts."

I had been working on it for a few days but had not yet published it because it was not perfect. I'll fix it when I can, but decided that something was better than nothing.

Football as religion and religion as football

Much has been written about the religious nature of football at Notre Dame. Football weekends are rife with ritual and ceremony. The very excitement lays in the predictability of events. Meredith Foley describes this aspect of Irish football in a 2001 essay:

At Notre Dame the religious ritual aspects of the football game are somewhat muted, but they can still be discerned by the careful observer. Prayers are typically said before, after and during the game. For example, the team attends Mass before the game, fans join hands and pray at crucial moments during the game, and Masses are said at multiple locations on campus immediately after the contest. Very often after the games one of my friends who is a Eucharistic Minister will dash out of the stadium to serve in the Stepan Center service 45 minutes after the game. She tells me that these Masses are also always filled with football fans and the presiding priest rarely fails to mention the day's game in either his homily or opening and concluding remarks.

It is also significant that touchdowns and point-after kicks are made into the open arms of the Jesus mural on the library. The religious message of the mural is that spiritually Jesus draws humanity to salvation with His outstretched arms just as He guides the Domers to success in the stadium. This undercurrent of meaning is what makes the sport such serious business for Domers. Heads may not literally roll after a losing contest, but certainly the faces of innumerable fans will be either raised or downcast for the following week depending on the outcome of the contest.

The combination of football and religion is not limited to Domers' feeling toward football; they often treat religion like a sporting event. People get genuinely 'fired up' about their team, and the recent selection of a new pope was no different. At each whiff of smoke during the conclave, people ran to televisions as if to watch the score. Brendan Loy describes the scene at ND Law Scool on Tuesday, and I can assure you that the rest of campus was doing the same thing.

There is a tradition of hanging signs out of dorm windows in the week preceding a home football game. These signs are usually made of bed sheets with painted messages. Some of these signs are ornate (like Zahm's "Here come the Irish" or Carroll's "Go Irish"). Others are crude or rude, or funny.

Campus Ministry still managed to surprise me, though, with their pro-pope sign.


Wednesday, April 20, 2005

Is he making fun of me?

I get the feeling that that guy at Space Station K9 hasn't appreciated my thoughts on the power of the Holy Spirit.

"The Force" and Pope Benedict

(and I only noticed because I was adding SSK9 to my blogroll)

A woman who reads

(stolen from an anonymous poster on a chat board. If this is copyrighted, I apologize)

A couple goes on vacation to a fishing resort in northern Minnesota.
The husband likes to fish at the crack of dawn. The wife likes to read.

One morning the husband returns after several hours of fishing and
decides to take a nap. Although not familiar with the lake, the wife
decides to take the boat out. She motors out a short distance, anchors
and continues to read her book.

Along comes a game warden in his boat. He pulls up alongside the woman
and says, "Good morning, Ma'am. What are you doing?"

"Reading a book," she replies. (thinking isn't that obvious?)

"You're in a restricted fishing area", he informs her.

"I'm sorry officer, but I'm not fishing, I'm reading.

"Yes, but you have all the equipment. For all I know you could start at
any moment. I'll have to take you in and write you up.

"If you do, I'll have to charge you with sexual assault," says the

"But I have not even touched you," says the game warden.

"That's true, but you have all the equipment. For all I know you could
start at any moment."

"Have a nice day ma'am," and he left.

Never argue with a woman who reads. It is likely she can also think.

The blogs aren't the problem.......

I have not read a single blog today, yet I have still not been very productive. I think it may be that dreaded disease -- senioritis.

My symptoms are classic -- laziness, procrastination, and apathy toward schoolwork. As any of you that know me probably know, this is not the normal me.

Unlike a high school senior who has already been admitted to college, my "senioritis" is not caused by complacency. Like a high school senior, however, I am trying my darndest to make the most of the time I have left with the people I've come to like here.

Alrighty -- back to work. I might as well make the most of what is left of that as well.

Which one is a warillever?

..and is she reprehriestless?

Or is THIS a warillever?

A Spring walk






"Couldn't you start smoking or doing crack?"

My husband thinks that I am addicted to reading blogs. To prove him wrong, I will go without reading ANY blogs for the next 48 hours. This means no Althouse, no Instapundit, and no Anchoress. To make it a real test of my willpower I will also refrain from reading WSJ's Best of the Web, the New York Times, CNN , or even

You can ask me how I am doing on Friday morning, but don't bother posting it in your blog -- I won't read it!

Tuesday, April 19, 2005

What matters

Here it is in the Pope's own words: [full homily from Monday's mass available from Vatican Radio]

How many winds of doctrine we have known in recent decades, how many ideological currents, how many ways of thinking… The small boat of thought of many Christians has often been tossed about by these waves – thrown from one extreme to the other: from Marxism to liberalism, even to libertinism; from collectivism to radical individualism; from atheism to a vague religious mysticism; from agnosticism to syncretism, and so forth. Every day new sects are created and what Saint Paul says about human trickery comes true, with cunning which tries to draw those into error (cf Eph 4, 14). Having a clear faith, based on the Creed of the Church, is often labeled today as a fundamentalism. Whereas, relativism, which is letting oneself be tossed and “swept along by every wind of teaching”, looks like the only attitude (acceptable) to today’s standards. We are moving towards a dictatorship of relativism which does not recognize anything as for certain and which has as its highest goal one’s own ego and one’s own desires.

However, we have a different goal: the Son of God, true man.
If this is your mission, Pope Benedict VXI, you will have a hard road in front of you. But it is a fight worth fighting -- the fight for the One Eternal Truth.

They Disagree

It looks like Kos and Andrew Sullivan disagree with the selection of Joseph Cardinal Ratzinger as the 265th pope of the Catholic Church.

Not surprising, but disappointing nonetheless.

Professor Bainbridge has a (not-so charitable) refutation of Sullivan's post. Amy Welborn has an explanation of why they (and others) care.

My take? Because of the very things that Kos and Sullivan hate. Because as an insitution, the Church has managed to stay real in a day and age when we are cynical about everything. Because the Church does not make decisions based on daily polling numbers and is willing to stand up for what matters. Because, depite the assumption of atheism, one billion people worldwide consider themself Catholic.

UPDATE: A round-up on negativity at the Daily Standard.

Habemus Papam!

Habemus Papam

Wikipedia has an entry already.

Monday, April 18, 2005

Pray the vote

I'm with you SSK9

My first outside link!

Only two weeks blogging and I have been noticed! Not for my brilliant commentary or magnificent art, but for my strange name. Such is life I guess.

McGehee's Yippe-Ki-Yay is rising in the ecosystem, and decided to share the wealth:

Obviously every link helps though, and TTLB doesn’t value the high-traffic links over the others, so I’m going to single out another blog for a special show of gratitude, just because it caught my eye in the referral logs: reprehriestless warillever—whatever that means. But it’s not like I can talk; as some may recall, this blog used to be called blogoSFERICS.
Now if I could just figure out how to do trackbacks, I'd be a real member of this communty. I'll make sure to add my "Blog Person" logo to the sidebar tonight.

Some background

As I published the last post I realized that not all of you are "up to speed" with our adoption situation. My husband and I are planning on adopting two children from Russia. If everything happens according to the current plan we will be the parents of a three-year-old boy and one-year old girl by fall.

If you want a blow-by-blow account of one family's experience with adopting from Russia, check out the Stratton's Adoption Journey. Our experience has been much like theirs, except that we've been at it longer (we signed with our agency in January 2004; they in August 2004), and they are farther along in the process (they already travelled on trip one).

This process has taken a lot more time, effort, and psychic energy than I could ever have imagined. There have been some serious lowpoints, but I am continually bouyed by the image of these two children in our arms.

The power of the spirit

Michael Novak explains the role of the Holy Spirit in the conclave: [via Open Book]

And so, when Catholics speak of the "Holy Spirit" playing a role in the conclave, don't try to imagine a puppeteer pulling strings. The better image is that of the novelist, creating free, living, breathing, conflicted characters who make choices, and in doing so tell with these choices a magnificent story of liberty. The novelist who plays puppeteer convinces few readers that his characters are real. Real artistry lies in creating characters who are free, and who act from within the depths of their own liberty. So it is with the Artistry of the Holy Spirit in the theater of the conclaves down the centuries — a free God, Who chooses to be honored by the flawed efforts of free humans to respond to Him in their own liberty.
I addition, check out the comments on the Open Book post. In particlar, see Neil's comment (also posted at Catholic Sensibility [sorry no permalinks -- scroll to April 16]). When we pray that the Cardinals receive the enlightenment of the Holy Spirit, we ask
"that they share in nothing less than the fellowship in love of the Holy Trinity even as they deliberate in the Sistine Chapel of the Apostolic Palace. We ask God that this happens as they receive the “fullness” of the Spirit through deciding to lead lives marked by a Christlike purity and generosity. We ask that, “led by the Spirit,” their vote proclaims good news to the poor and oppressed and that it expresses a hope for redemption with all of creation. We ask that they experience intense joy through the stirrings of the Spirit. This is more than praying for a magical force or for simple sincerity. But nothing is impossible for God."
As you can probably tell, I am fascinated by the interplay between the Holy Spirit and free will. The papal selection process has brought this dichotomy to our collective attention, but it is evident in our daily lives. In particular I think about our path to parenthood and wonder if all of the delays are some sort of message. Is God telling us that this is not what we should be doing?

For now, I am confident that we are doing the right thing. The right thing for us, the right thing for the children, and the right thing morally. We have thought about it, prayed about it, and talked to others about it. We have done our due diligence, now it is time to trust God. Right?


Originally uploaded by Reprehriestless.
Not only are my daffodils and tulips in bloom, but I have spent the morning putting winter clothes away.

I'll miss my flower garden, but am excited to start in on a new one. What are your favorite spring flowers?

Sunday, April 17, 2005


My eyes are bigger than my keyboard.

I have sixty-two blog posts and news articles bookmarked in my Bloglines account. This is not healthy for me or for anyone who bothers to read this drivel. I will link to a few, then clean my plate for new stuff as it comes up.

That feels so much better! With that done, I should be able to comment thoughtfully on a few issues in the near future.

On Ebay

A Paperclip shaped like the Pope's hat is for sale at Ebay. The Eucharist blessed by the Pope has thankfully been removed.

There are just so many

reprehriestless warillever -- Your source for papal humor.

Mcgeheezone is begging for links, and he deserves a million for the "Secret Vatican Document #221,653,478,095,748,968:

"In order that the number of Cardinal electors be not more than 120, the following Cardinals shall be excluded:

  1. Bernard Cardinal Law and Roger Cardinal Mahoney. [missed it by that much! --ed.]
  2. .........
  3. Whichever one of you geeks has been going around saying, “I love the smell of white smoke in the morning—it smells like ... victory.”
  4. All Cardinals who have let their eyebrows grow so long that they can tie them up in ribbons, which they shouldn’t do because it’s undignified.
  5. The entire Vatican City Olympic rhythmic gymnastics team."
HT: Wizbang

Bring out the brooms....

...I think we call that a sweep.

The Red Sox record improves to 7-5, and only 1 game out of the AL East lead.

Wow this is strange! Messages in the folder

Another dorky librarian-link. Google Talk searches for the words you enter, adds the next word, prints that, then searches for the full string minus the first word. It continues like that until you tell it to stop. The title of the post comes from my first try at it.

Google talk
Google Hack
Douwe Osinga

An Office With a View

Originally uploaded by Reprehriestless.
This picture was taken from the study in our house. There is a whole lotta roof going on out our back window.

When bloggers give too much information

One of the things that I like about reading blogs is that they are personal. Even the most serious of bloggers give little snippets of information that make us remember that these are, in fact, humans writing these posts. Glenn Reynolds at Instapundit did some "hospiblogging" while his wife was hospitalized; Ann Althouse posts pictures of her strolls and simulblogs American Idol.

There is a line, however. I did not need to know how Andrew Sullivan spends his mornings, or what Michael Stephens wears at the gym. I promise not to do that to you unless I really feel the need to gross you out that day.

Wrong Again

I posted earlier that the selection of the next pope is "not for me or any other human to make," implying that the Holy Spirit would do the selecting.

I stand corrected. When asked about this in 1997, Cardinal Ratzinger responded:

“I would not say so, in the sense that the Holy Spirit picks out the pope. ... I would say that the Spirit does not exactly take control of the affair, but rather like a good educator, as it were, leaves us much space, much freedom, without entirely abandoning us. Thus the Spirit’s role should be understood in a much more elastic sense, not that he dictates the candidate for whom one must vote. Probably the only assurance he offers is that the thing cannot be totally ruined.”
To say that the Holy Spirit elects would be to deny the cardinals' free will. As I have already acknowledged, I don't quite understand free will. I do, however, have faith that the Church will survive. As one of Amy Welborn's reader's noted,
"even during the reigns of the worst popes, the Faith was always preserved, and my understanding is that the preservation of the Faith is the protection to us offered by the Holy Spirit. I assume that's what Cdl Ratzinger means when he says the thing cannot be totally ruined."
Let us pray for the cardinals on the eve of this conclave.

Protecting the Cat's Honor

My cat is in love. Well, not in love, but in heat. She has been jumping from window to window screaming bloody murder for the past five days. This is typical behavior for her, except in this case, one of the boy-cats in the neighborhood has been reciprocating. Julio (the boy-cat) has been following her from window to window. Staring. And staring. And staring. I am starting to have nightmares about his eyes.

Janice is an indoor cat. Other than when "in the mood," she has no interest in going outside. Her favorite pasttimes are chasing milk-jug rings and lounging on her wool blanket. When Julio is around, however, she turns into a rolling, screaming hormone-driven machine.

Late Thursday night, there was a break in the screaming. "Hmmm... Janice must be catnapping," we thought. We should have known better. When we went to the basement to close the window that was open for ventilation, we found that the screen had been pryed open. Screwing window shutThere were clawmarks on both sides, so they used teamwork to open it.

Now some of you may now be thinking "awww.....such a cute romantic story!" Then you don't know cats. It seems that they were looking for different things in a relationship. When I got outside, Julio was chasing Janice. Janice was hissing and clawing to get him away.

The second picture is my husband screwing the screen into place. Unless that %^&* cat has opposible thumbs and a screwdriver, he is not getting back into our house.

God bless us when we have a teenage daughter!

Friday, April 15, 2005

Fun With Stylesheets

I am done playing with the template (for now).

Leave me a comment if you love it, hate it, or have any suggestions for cleaning it up. In particular, I am wondering how to minimize the space between posts.

UPDATE (4/17): D'oh! I apologize for not checking in Firefox/Netscape. Changing from an absolute position to "float" solved that issue. I also changed the link colors in the sidebar to make it easier on Kevin's eyes. But,sorry Ruth, the color scheme is staying.

Thursday, April 14, 2005

We win!

We have a losing record (4-5), but we beat the Yankees again!!

I Heart the Wall Street Journal

In a review of The Cube and the Cathedral, Brian Carney discusses declining church attendance in Europe:

"Practicing Christianity in Europe today enjoys a status not dissimilar to smoking marijuana or engaging in unorthodox sexual activities--few people mind if you do so in private, but you are expected not to talk about it or ask others whether they do it too."

On the Same Theme

The silliest computer animation ever -- Chicago's NBC5 shows us what it will be like as the cardinals choose the next pope. Description here.

Peggy Noonan also imagines what it will be like for the Cardinals to decide. Despite the lack of graphics, I think that her article is more illuminating. An unnamed cardinal tries to make some sense of the public outpouring at Pope John Paul II's death. He thinks, "Maybe God was telling us something." The crux of her argument (put into the words of an imaginary elderly cardinal) is

"the new pontiff must have a holy soul. He must be a man who prays to God, is led by God, loves God above all. And here's the great problem for us: this person may not be the most charming or accessible person in the world."
I think she may have it there. There are no character, personality, or intellectual criteria. There is no polictical or geographic balance needed. We need a pope with a holy soul. And only the Holy Spirit knows who that is.

In this blog have given links to Papal Brackets, betting parlors, and guessing games. You will not hear any guesses or preferences from me, though. That decision is not for me or any other human to make. I just pray that the cardinals will be able to discern what the Holy Spirit is telling them.

Another Papal Link

Since I have posted two irreverant Pope-picking links (this and this), I should offer some balance and tell you about the Pope-U-Lator. Though tongue-in-cheek, it is informative, respectful, and very funny.

My excuse

Blogging has been slow the last few days because I have been working on more technical issues. I thought about moving to WordPress for the added features, but am not yet sure whether it is worth the effort. For now, please bear with me while I make aesthetic changes.

I know that the current colors are obnoxious, but it fits this blog better than brown did.

Cat Blogging


I took a survey which says that my "Linguistic profile is:

  • 40% General American English
  • 40% Yankee
  • 15% Dixie
  • 5% Upper Midwestern
  • 0% Midwestern
Hmmmmm.... I guess I really must stick out.


Originally uploaded by warillever.

Wednesday, April 13, 2005

A Preview

I am new to this blogging thing and the ideas come faster than the ability to do anything about them. So that I don' forget, I'll write a few of my ideas down.

  • My Blogheros -- is it coincidence that most of the blogs I read are written by men, but my favorites are written by women?
  • Our Future Children-- why don't I write about the very thing that consumes most of my time and energy?
  • The Faithful -- how the media fundamentally misunderstands Christians
  • Secular Dogma -- yeah.
  • Why I love the Midwest -- a self-explanatory title
I am counting on y'all (my faithful readers) to hold me to this.

Tuesday, April 12, 2005

This is just a test

This is just a test of the Blogger email submission system.
If this had been a real entry, angst would have been displayed here.
This is just a test.

UPDATE: Email submission obviously worked. This is a very good thing. Commence celebrating.

Monday, April 11, 2005

The stressmeter edges ever higher

Our house is back on the market.

Know anyone interested in a four bedroom charmer?

Today's painting brought to you by the the color brown

Originally uploaded by warillever.

The Red Sox win the home opener

against the Evil Empire itself!
Story here.

People will bet on anything...

Peter has better odds than Clement or Stephen?
[via Open Book]

UPDATE (4/14/05): According to Professor Bainbridge, Pope Gregory XIV declared in 1951 that it is an excommunicable sin to bet on anything "concerning the election of a pope, the duration of a pontificate, or the creation of new cardinals." Am I promoting sin by linking to it?

Sunday, April 10, 2005

Memory Effect

Repeatedly recharging batteries before they are completely depleted leads to a phenomenon called "memory effect." This is easily solved by allowing the battery to totally discharge before charging again.

My body had fallen into a sad state of memory effect last week. Like a cordless phone on its charger for several hours each night, sleep had stopped recharging me very effectively.

As anyone who saw me on Friday can attest, my batteries were totally drained by Friday. The 27 hours of sleep I have gotten since has really charged me up, though. Maybe I need to pull all-nighters more often.......

"I can't keep track of all of the things I am supposed to be worrying about" says my blessed husband.

This was in response to my admonition that he "not worry so much" when the car would not start this morning. The good car, not the one that has been broken for weeks.

This came just twelve hours after the new washing machine spewed water all over the laundry room. The new washer we bought to replace the old washer, which broke just before the clothes dryer burned, but just after the first car broke.

Why is he stressed again?

What I want to say about Pope John Paul II

Links to express what I am not articulate enough to say in my own words:

  • Cardinal Ratzinger's homily
  • The Vatican's memorial site. Also note that the Vatican main page is very sparse right now -- Pope John Paul II's heraldry has been removed.
  • An explanation of the ceremony from the Anchoress.
  • The story of the American seminarian who read the second reading at the funeral.
  • A tribute from a Jesuit seminanrian
  • A tribute in t-shirt form
I will post more as I find them.

Friday, April 08, 2005

Mood Indicator

Originally uploaded by warillever.


A fitting celebration for a great man -- John Paul the Great.

Misspelled Art

Senioritis... or maybe not

...if it was true senioritis I would not be writing a paper right now.

Maybe I should just pray to St. Expeditus, the patron saint against procrastination.

UPDATE (1:40am): I am making slow progress. Do you know what is more boring than attending a dull presentation? Writing about said dull presentation. Fortunately, I have motivation to finish this paper in a timely fashion -- I will be done and showered in time to watch the Pope's funeral on television. More on that later.

UPDATE (2:31 am): Done! Now just a quick shower, adn I am ready for the day.

Thursday, April 07, 2005

Ransom Note

Originally uploaded by warillever.
This was created using Web of letters.

I wanted to add this picture to the previous post, but can't figure out how.....

Obligatory Librarian Links

Not because everyone else is linking to them, but because they are pretty cool:

Google satellite images -- here is Boston and here is Washington, DC
Yagoohoogle -- searches Yahoo and Google simultaneously
Web ransom notes -- type in letters; Web of Letters chooses images from the web to spell it out
The funniest blog ever [via Althouse]

My question for God

God created each of us. He created each of us for a reason.

But then He went and subverted His own creation – He gave us free will without telling us what we are supposed to do with it.

This question kind of underlies everything, so God – if you are reading this – please leave some answers in the comments section. Or if it’s better for you, just flash a big bolt of lightning down when I’m heading in the wrong direction. I just need some assistance now and again.

Wednesday, April 06, 2005

An antidote the Kos-quoting below: Powerline notes that the New York Times could not find a single person who liked the Pope.

So inappropriate.....

Yet very funny
[via DailyKos]

UPDATE (4/10/05): I'm not the only one! And more (4/11/05).

A Patron Saint for Blogging

Because the Fiddling Librarian wanted to know.......

Professor Bainbridge at Mirror of Justice discusses the candidates for patron saint of blogging.

Some scribbles

Originally uploaded by warillever.

I'm a happy girl today

The Warillever is happy.


Is it the spectacular weather? No, but I do appreciate the sun now and again.
Has something good happened? Not particularly.

Then why am I so happy?

Because I decided to be. As the bard tells us, "there is nothing either good or bad, But thinking makes it so." Someone once taught me that smiling can make a person happy; the very act of flexing your face muscles triggers some sort of biochemical reaction that gets the real emotion going. Consider it like priming a water pump or push-starting a car. This sounds way too simplistic, and I have no scientific proof to offer you. All I can tell you is that it works.

Unlike Denmark, my life is no prison. In fact, I have a pretty nice gig going -- I have good health, a gorgeous husband, a close family, great friends, and a warm cat (who is currently curled up on my lap). But even with all this going for me, the small injustices of daily life still manage to get me down at times. There are times when I want to yell and scream and curl up into a ball all at once. It is then that I invoke the 24 Hour Rule.

The 24 Hour Rule states that no one event or circumstance is allowed to consume my emotions for more than 24 hours. In the first 24 hours I may cry, complain, or whine. I do not stop myself from being annoyed, angry, hurt, or upset. Once the 24th hour elapses, however, that event or circumstance becomes a simple fact of life. It exists, but it no longer carries the same emotional weight.

UPDATE (4/10/05): Links added. As a new blogger, I reserve the right to learn as I go...

It’s not about me

It’s about us.

I could just as easily write my journal in a notebook, Word document, or password protected webpage. But then I’d lose y’all – those people that I have come to know and love during the great Midwestern Adventure. And I like you too much for that.

I have moved several times, and each time I leave with a promise to “keep in touch." I have never been very good at following through. This time, I am starting early, and leaving a mechanism in place.

Now on to the real entries....

Tuesday, April 05, 2005

A first post

As many of you may know, I have resisted blogging for a long time. I had my reasons, but have decided at long last to open my life to public view.