Monthly Archives: June 2007 — It’s Not Paranoia When They’re Out to Get You!

Mwahaha! They said I was mad, mad! But I showed them!

*cough, wipe off flecks of spit*

I managed to get in touch with a Time Warner/Road Runner support guy who knew what he was doing and wasn’t telling me he could do nothing because my only phone is VoIP, and my system runs Windows 98. (Albeit SE.)  We also didn’t get cut off this time by the evil phone gremlins (or gremlines) like the last support guy who knew what he was doing.

So we ran some tests, and all proved to be as I’d said. My modem’s fine, my settings are fine, my cable line’s fine, my uploading’s fine, and I can get just about everything downloaded fine… as long as it doesn’t go through Chicago and Unfortunately, at least half of pretty much everything (including Google) goes that way, because is one of the Internet backbone companies. The other half (stuff out east, or in Europe) goes through in Washington DC, and seems to be fine; my speed is normal.

The big questions are: Why am I affected like this? Why are my Google packets taking the same (bad) route all the time? Why aren’t other people on the same Road Runner server being affected the same way (or at least, aren’t complaining about it)?

Stay tuned for the next chapter in this thrilling mystery. If downloads fast enough, that is. 🙂

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Elpis, Poet and Mother of the Church

Apparently, the poet Boethius’ wife was also a poet. Her name was Elpis, and she wrote the original version of one of the breviary hymns for today (Ss. Peter and Paul, who were brutally executed on this day in history). Check it out!

Aurea luce et decore roseo,
lux lucis, omne perfudisti
saeculum, decorans caelos
inclito martyrio hac sacra die,
quae dat reis veniam.

Golden daylight, rosy, bright and lovely,
Light of lights that pours through all the world,
Decking the heavens for this holy day
of famous martyrs, which He gives
as a thing of favor.

Ianitor caeli, doctor orbis
pariter, iudices saecli, vera
mundi lumina, per crucem
alter, alter ense triumphans,
vitae senatum laureati possident.

Gatekeeper of heaven, teacher of the globe —
together, ages’ judges, (and) true lights of the world;
one through the cross, the other through the sword,
both triumphing — in Life’s senate,
they sit laurel-crowned.

O Roma felix, quae tantorum principum
es purpurata pretioso sanguine, non laude
tua, sed ipsorum meritis
excellis omnem mundi

O lucky Rome that’s dyed in purple
with two such leaders’ precious blood —
not for your praise, but through their deserts,
you excel all of the world
in excellence and beauty.

Olivae binae pietatis unicae,
fide devotos, spe robustos
maxime, fonte repletos
caritatis geminae post mortem
carnis impetrate vivere.

Two olive trees unique in piety,
devoted faith, the strongest hope —
twin fountains filled up brimful with love —
when flesh is dead, God grants your prayers
and makes you live.

Sit Trinitati sempiterna gloria,
honor, potestas atque iubilatio,
in unitate, cui manet imperium
ex tunc et modo per aeterna
saecula. Amen.

Endless glory be unto the Trinity,
honor, power, joy to God in unity,
who holds in His hand imperial command
both then and now and evermore
through eternal centuries. Amen.

The translation’s my own, and I was trying to make it semi-singable. (I thought up a little tune.)

UPDATE: Actually, the Gregorian chant tune is pretty easy to come by. It turned out I actually had a copy sitting around. Also, it turns out that many scholars seriously doubt that Elpis was the author, but apparently part of the poem is on her tomb or whatever, so authorship attached to her. Shrug. If they don’t know who wrote it, I’d think Elpis is as good a name for the author as Anon.


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Concoction: Chocolate Banana Yogurt Pudding

You can use plain or vanilla yogurt to make instant pudding. (Apparently this is an old diet trick and some people eat pudding for breakfast like this; but I’d never heard of it before.)

The good thing is that your pudding isn’t very likely to spoil. The bad thing is that you have to be very careful about mixing the ingredients to prevent little bits of mix staying dry.

For this concoction, I used a 32 oz package of vanilla yogurt and two small low-fat pudding mix boxes: 1 chocolate and 1 devil’s food. I also squished up 3 overripe bananas. (Using them up was pretty much the point of this concoction.)

The pudding tasted almost totally vanilla-y at first, which surprised me a great deal. However, after sitting in the refrigerator all night, the chocolate flavor became very strong — stronger than normal, and definitely yummier. The banana flavor was also very good, but I think I could have used more bananas to balance out the chocolate flavor. I think the devil’s food flavor worked out quite well with banana.

If you want to use this as a pie, you will have to use less yogurt. But I don’t know if it will ever set like a pudding pie normally does. (That was my original intention, but it worked out too gloppy.) I would bet it is very good frozen, however; and I am testing that tonight.

The major problem is that the pudding, though very good, looks scarily gloppy — it doesn’t have that pudding sheen one expects. If you put Cool Whip on it or some other topping, this will not be a problem.

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Concoction: Bailey’s Irish Cream and Kahlua

Apparently, one is supposed to construct a White Russian with equal parts Kahlua and cream, and then twice as much vodka over it all. One of my coworkers sent a friend to get him one, but the barkeep misheard the recipe and gave him equal parts Kahlua and Bailey’s Irish Cream plus twice as much vodka. (One might perhaps call this powerful drink an Irish Russian?)

I saw all this, and figured a small glass of equal parts Kahlua and Bailey’s would be pretty good. It was. It was still pretty powerful, though the Kahlua kept me quite awake!

(This must not have been the first time someone has misheard or been inspired. This recipe for a Kahlua Mudslide is equal parts vodka, Kahlua, and Bailey’s, with twice as much CREAM. Probably a lot safer and better for your calcium, although undoubtedly fattening. Putting ice into the drink seems a bit cruel to the liqueur, however. Just keep your Bailey’s in the fridge for a bit before you serve it, if you like the flavor brought out by cold.)


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Sermon 7, On the Sacrosanct Sacrament of the Eucharist by St. Albert the Great

Now that I’ve finally worked my way through the editor’s preface (Also in Latin! Ack!) of this book, I’m a lot more confident that it’s really by St. Albert and not just “some Scholastic guy”. If it is some Scholastic guy, he’s a guy who corrects the manuscript copy, with sewn-on medieval Post-It note equivalents, in Albert’s handwriting. So here’s more of my translation.

Sermon 7.
Of the form of donation in which the veiled Body of Christ is given.

Come, eat my bread,” etc. as in the first sermon. “How can he give us his flesh to gnaw?” John 5:53. Special theme: “It is good to hide the mystery [sacramentum] of a king.” Tobias 12:7.

The second principle about the sacrament of the Lord’s body to be noted is the form of the donation. And about that, three things are to be considered:

I. That the Lord gives His body, veiled.
II. That He gives it veiled under the species of bread.
III. That He gives it under the species of wheat bread.

The first thing to be considered about the form of donation of the Lord’s Body is that it is given veiled, not bare, according to the well-known passage, Revelation 2:17 — “I will give the hidden manna“, as if celestial food were veiled. But because from this human perception is deterred and amazed, with another it is seen and with another it is ordered to believe, a fourfold reason for this veil from the wisdom of God can be assigned:

the vileness of the evil,
the faith of the good,
the instruction of morals,
the weakness of all.

Of the first two, here it can be told; of the others, in their turn.

The first reason why the Lord gives His Body veiled, is the vileness of the crooked, which he drives out; so it is veiled, like an injured eye, so that it is covered from the sun and whatever other light. And in this, most benignly, the mercy of the Savior spends time with them. Indeed, if the crooked saw the Body bare, and this being gnawed by the faithful, they would be scandalized from this same aspect, and triply destroyed badly, clearly: in the heart, through horror; in the tongue, through detraction; in the soul, through spiritual death.

Of the first destruction, John 6:56, where the Lord says, “My flesh is real food, and my blood real drink.” It goes on (John 6:67): “After this, many of the disciples left and went back“, as if shrinking back from the words of eating flesh. Ambrose: “By chance you might say, ‘What kind of flesh is true, what kind of blood is true? What likeness do I see? I don’t see truth in blood.’ Pay attention. When Christ’s disciples heard that he would give his flesh for chewing, and would give his blood for drinking, they slipped away. Peter alone said, ‘You have the words of eternal life, and how would I go back?’ Not many would say this; therefore, it was veiled for a certain horror of gore, but the grace of redemption remains; for that reason, you receive the sacrament in a certain likeness, but you obtain the grace and power of its real nature.”*

* De sacram. lib. VI. c. 1. Migne, S. l. tom. 16. col. 454. (cf. Decr. Grat.
P. III. Dist. II. c. 69).

Of the second of them,* where the Lord says, “The bread that I will give is my flesh for the life of the world. The Jews quarrelled, saying to each other: How can he give us his flesh to chew?‘” (John 6:52-53) This kind of quarrel, murmur, and detraction is from the naked chewing of the Body of Christ, and therefore it should be veiled. Psalm 54:13 — “If he who have hated me had spoken evil against me, I would perhaps have hidden myself from him. Truly, you, a man of one mind with me, my guide and my familiar friend, who took sweetmeats at the same time as me.

Of the third, Numbers 4:19 — “Aaron and his sons will go in; they shall appoint work“, that is, they will wrap up the mysteries. “Do not let others out of any curiosity see the things that are in the sanctuary before they are hidden; otherwise, they will die.” 1 Kings 6:19 (1 Samuel 6:19) — “The Lord struck down many, because they had seen the Ark of the Lord“, because of course it was not permitted them to see it exposed. The Ark is a figure of the Lord’s Body, which is veiled for the evil, that they will not spiritually die if they see it bared; for this reason of their blindness, they think it is a fantasy. Ecclesiasticus 3:22-23 — “Do not be curious about many of His works; for it is not necessary for you to see with your eyes those things that are hidden.”

The second reason that the Lord gives His Body veiled, is the faith of the good. And this reason can be divided into three which they examine — here veiled, as is known: the true existence of faith, the first remedy of infidelity, the service of faith.
First, it examines the true existence of faith, that the Body of Christ is veiled. Hebrews 11:1 — “Faith is…the evidence of things that are not seen.” Augustine said exactly this: “Faith is to believe what you do not see”, that is, you have believed in the Word of God about hidden things, that it is true, although you do not see them with your eyes. For of the things which we see, we have knowledge more than we have faith. 1 Peter 1:8 — “He is Christ, in whom now you believe that do not see.

* John 6:52.
** Tract. 40 in Joan. c. 8. Migne, s. l. tom. 35. col. 1690.

The second considers the first remedy for infidelity, so that the Body of Christ is veiled, to that extent it would be a fit method of penalty for the guilt of infidelity. From whence, as the First Parents’ unbelief began from listening to the devil’s words that were urging a food that held, in a way, veiled Death, and in that they had empty delight of their senses, so it fits that the faith would have begun being saved by listening to the words of the Savior, urging a food holding hidden true life, and in which our senses would be lovingly deceived, before hearing, so that it is known that faith is from that same hearing, and not from seeing or the other senses; but hearing, through Christ’s word.

This is figured beautifully in Genesis 26 in Jacob’s blessing, where Isaac’s senses are deceived, supposing he felt Esau while he felt a likeness of him, which was Jacob veiled. From which we will have understood that in this figure of the Lord’s Body are four persons: that is, Isaac, Rebecca, Jacob, and Esau.

Isaac and Rebecca, who are a male and a female, represent the two natures in us (that is, body and soul). The male, who was more in the habit of being conspicuous and exerted more on the outside, represented the exterior of a man (that is, our body with its senses); the woman who rules the family living at home is the type of the interior of a man (that is, the faithful soul), which manages its salvation and the care of others.  The good and handsome Jacob who lives in a tent [tabernacle] and whom Rebecca (that is, the faithful soul) loves, represents the true Body of Christ. Esau, whom Isaac (that is, the body) loves and who enjoys his food, is the type of the substance of bread with its accidents: that is, color, flavor, and the rest.

So therefore, Isaac, (as it were, the outer man) that is the priest, has to bless Esau (that is, the bread); Esau (that is, the substance of the bread) withdraws, but the likeness of Esau — robes with his smell, hairy hides, tasty food — (that is, the accidents of the bread and its likeness — that is, color, flavor, odor) the strength remains around Jacob (that is, the Body of Christ). From whence Isaac (that is, our body) was deceived in all his senses.

First, Isaac’s foggy sight (that is, the weakness of our body) was deceived there, because it supposes it has Esau (that is, bread) before its eyes, and has his very same robes (that is, the species of bread), but  under them hides the veiled Jacob (that is, the Body of Christ). Second, Isaac’s taste is deceived there (that is, our body’s), because he supposes he tastes and eats Esau’s food (that is, the bread), and tastes a likeness of the same. Third, Isaac’s sense of smell is deceived there (that is, our body’s), because he supposes he smells Esau (that is, bread) who really is not there; but he smells the smell of his clothes (that is, the form of bread) which Jacob is wearing (that is, the body of Christ is veiled). Fourth, Isaac’s sense of touch is deceived (that is, our body’s), because he supposes that he touches Esau (that is, bread), and feels hair in the likeness of Esau’s (that is, the likeness or species of bread), who is Jacob veiled (that is, the Body of Christ).

Isaac was wise, but he was deceived in his judgment of recognizing Esau. So our outer man is deceived in our senses’ judgment of the bread of the altar, except in hearing. Hence he says, “The voice is the voice of Jacob, but the hands are Esau’s.” The hands that I touch are Esau’s; nothing more false. The voice that I hear saying “I AM” is the voice of Jacob; nothing more true. Likewise, the Sacrament that I touch is the substance of bread; nothing more false. The voice of Christ saying “This is My Body”; nothing more true.

First, therefore, it is considered the remedy for faithlessness that the Body of Christ is given veiled, so that because the senses of the First Parents delighted vainly in food of perdition, our bodies’ senses are deceived by the food of blessing, in the image of Isaac; yet even so, Rebecca, (that is, the faithful soul) was not deceived in her faith. She believed, in fact, Jacob to be holy in the real blessing, (that is, the Body of Christ) veiled in the likeness of Esau (that is, the substance of bread).

[Second point not in book, unless it’s Rebecca.]

Third, it weighs the merit of faith that the Body of Christ is veiled, because, as Gregory says: “Faith does not have merit when human reason provides experience” sufficient to supply it.

* In Evang. hom. 26, n. 1. Migne, S. l. tom. 76. col. 1197.

Therefore, the Lord wills to give His Body veiled, because to believe His Word more than our senses in this has great merit. John 20:29 — “Blessed are they who do not see and yet believe.” The merit of their faith or the fruit of their merit is threefold: the full wealth of spiritual goods, a sufficiency of temporal ones, an overflowing of eternal ones.

Thus Rebecca prays (that is, the faithful soul), “May this curse be upon me, my son“, that is, this threefold blessing: “God give you the dew of heaven” (that’s the first) “and of the fat of the land” (that’s the second), “abundance of grain, wine, and oil” (that’s the third).

Of the first, John 7:38 — “‘Whoever believes in me…out of his belly shall flow rivers of living water.’ Now this he said of the Spirit, which those who believed in Him would receive.” Hosea 14:6 — “I will be as the dew, and Israel spring up like the lily.

Of the second, Hebrews 11:33 — “The saints through faith conquered kingdoms… obtained promises….” — that is, temporal goods. Isaiah 1:19 — “If you be willing and listen to me, you will eat the good things of the land.” Matthew 6:33 — “First, seek the Kingdom of God” (believing rightly) “and His justice” (living justly) “and all these things shall be added to you.

Of the third, 1 Peter 1:9 — “Believing in Christ, whom you have not seen, you shall rejoice in untellable and glorified joy, receiving the end of your faith — the salvation of your souls.” Proverbs 1:33 — “Whoever listens to me shall rest without terror, and enjoy abundance without fear of evil things.” Amen.

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Get Your Motu Running

Apparently, the Pope’s motu proprio widening Catholics’ access to the old “Tridentine” Mass is going to come out on July 7, along with a four page letter from the Pope explaining it.

Vatican sources say that of course this has nothing to do with the annual celebration in Pamplona of the translation of St. Fermin’s relics to their current resting place, aka the Running of the Bulls, and that the motu will not be printed on red cloth. Highly placed Vatican sources who just happen to be Irish say that it’s time for the festival of St. Maolruain to be celebrated with house-to-house visits, jigs, and drinking, as it was before the no-fun Dominicans suppressed the patteran. Even more highly placed sources claimed that it was designed to get some street cred and devotion for “mein homey Blessed Pope Benedict XI, yo.”

The document will allegedly allow any priest to offer Mass and other sacraments according to the old Tridentine rubrics, if requested by thirty people. If the bishop objects, he will have to take the case to a Vatican commission. This is the opposite of the present procedure, which forced individual priests to appeal to the Vatican if the bishop denied them permission. Some bishops say that this is unfair and against tradition and their rights. Vatican officials and many Catholic mothers point out that so was the method of removal of traditional Mass formats unfair and against tradition, and so was your blocking of petitions for traditional Mass, and we didn’t see you bishops complaining back then or being particularly democratic; so don’t cry us a river, you’re getting a much better deal now than anybody else did then.

Media sources and many baby boomers insist that the older format of Mass involved the priest turning his back on the people, not everyone praying toward the risen Christ who will be returning from the east just as He ascended in that direction. Theologian Justin Martyr protested this interpretation saying, “Are you on crack? He hath set his tabernacle in the sun: and he, as a bridegroom coming out of his bride chamber, hath rejoiced as a giant to run the way.” He also pointed out that Christian churches and graves have always been supposed to be oriented toward the east; and that he should know, because he’s a pretty dang early Christian.

In other news, Jews pray away from the back wall, not toward Jerusalem; and Muslims pray away from the opposite side of Mecca, around the globe’s curvature.

The move is widely blamed on the nostalgia for the old days of young Catholics whose parents weren’t even born in 1963, and never mind how that can be nostalgia. Other Catholics say they don’t personally care, but it’s a fair move and should make a lot of other people happy, unlike that silly teen rock Mass. Also, older Catholics who applaud the move say that it’s about darned time they got some use out of those Missals they bought in 1962.

Catholics whose Missals were confiscated at parochial school in 1963 by scary guitar-playing nuns are considering a class action suit to get their property back, especially their “prayer card collection which was stuffed inside the front cover. One of them was from my great-grandfather’s funeral. Geez, how will I ever get a copy of that?” Unfortunately, lawyers say it will be difficult to trace the scary guitar-playing nuns, as many of them became scary married ex-nuns in 1969, and then progressed to becoming scary new agey ex-wives by 1972.

Justin Martyr, Cecilia, Perpetua, Felicitas, and other illegal Roman immigrants say that this is the first step toward fighting discrimination against them in the so-called Latin Rite of Catholicism. “They say it’s the Latin Rite, but then they ban everything Latin,” said Cecilia, last name not provided. “They forget all the great artistic works that are their heritage, because they find them embarrassing. They put our statues and pictures in the basement closet. Heck, they don’t want to see us in church at all, not even on the stained glass. It’s like they want to forget where they come from.”

Ita, puella,” (You go, girl) agreed Felicitas. “They don’t want to be reminded of the catacombs, the tenements, the arena. They’ve sold out to the culture, and they just want to fit in. Even polyphony is just too street.”

“Of course, this sacrifices the convenience and unity of sharing a common language across nations and centuries ,” said Justin. “Philosophers and theologians throughout time used to be able to argue points easily, from primary sources. Today’s philosophy professors are often unable to comprehend the foundation texts of their own subject. Not that they actually want to learn anything, of course, since they think they know better than anyone else who ever lived. But Americans can’t even find editions of works on natural law that influenced their own Constitution, because everybody here is so bigoted against Latin….”

The interview was interrupted by a swarm of scary reiki practitioners, wielding Buddhist singing bowls and insisting that Mass be in a language they could understand.


Reporters were advised to consult the Curt Jester’s list of cliches for the construction of their motu stories.


Obligatory parody filk:

Get your motu running
Head down to your parish
Pick up thirty friends now
And you’ll have a happy day

Looks like it’s really gonna happen
Hear the Mass in a justice place
Say Kyries three times three, and
Explode into grace

Like God’s only begotten child,
We were born, born to be mild.
We eat of Him to live;
We’re never gonna die.

Born to be mild…
Born to be mild, yeah.


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That Slooooow Thing

The slow download speeds have persisted all weekend, even after I rebooted my modem. (Didn’t think it was a modem problem.) I can reach Yahoo super-quick; stuff in England is pretty fast if it doesn’t use Google; but anything Google is still slooooooower than molasses. I can’t even reach the page of my ISP/cable company.
My upload speeds are not affected, AFAIK or can tell.

I have spoken to tech support at my cable company. They provided one competent technician who wanted to help and knew alternate ways to do it (who of course got knocked off the line) and one idiot who couldn’t deal with the fact that I actually use their phone service and not a cellphone, 98SE and not XP, or anything else. I tried to tell him that it was something on their end, not the modem. No joy.

I have no evidence that this has to do with my cable company’s adoption of the (cool if it worked well, but it doesn’t) technique called packet shaping. I will give them a bit more time to fix this (and a few more chances to find the competent guy again) before I move to another ISP. But honestly, I see no reason not to get out, if I’m not going to get what I paid for from now on.


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