Monthly Archives: April 2015

Hooray for the Bishop of Honolulu!

Bishop Larry Silva is going to restore the proper order of the Sacraments of Initiation:

first, Baptism;
second, Confirmation;
third, Confession and Communion.

Apparently, the bishop is also getting rid of lengthy “service program” requirements to make kids “earn” the Sacrament of Confirmation. This has been getting ridiculous, as many parishes require up to two years of “volunteer” work, and make life difficult for kids who’ve just moved in. Some actually dare to require the parents to do service hours too, which is getting beyond ridiculous and into slavery. (When I was a kid, we did maybe six hours of service hours but it wasn’t portrayed as some absolute requirement; and even that was hard to fit into the family schedule.)

Sacraments are free gifts from God. We prepare for them, but we can never earn them.

There will still be service programs as part of youth ministry. But now kids will be able to really volunteer, not be serving under threat of not receiving basic Sacraments.

As Bishop Silva says, “We believe that Confirmation gives the gifts of the Holy Spirit — wisdom, understanding, counsel, fortitude, knowledge, piety and the fear of the Lord. Young people need these gifts as they grow up, not when they are nearly done growing up.

Hip hip hurray!

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The Age of Adaline Is a Brilliant, Fun, Life-Affirming Movie

I really really enjoyed The Age of Adaline. It’s also a really really girly romantic movie, so it’s a good thing I went with a female friend. (Probably a good romantic date movie too… but this is sooooo female-targeted that it’s not funny. Sorry, guys who don’t want to watch a chick flick. Although guys who want to watch Blake Lively looking gorgeous are in luck!)

The concept is that there’s an immortal, ageless woman running around San Francisco, just trying to live life inconspicuously with her dog and her job. But then she meets this cute young guy, sparks fly, and she’s in trouble. But a good kind of trouble. Complications ensue.

Be aware of the following things:

1. The movie has a questionable immortality idea. Well, that’s not surprising, because we don’t have any scientific backing for immortality. Handwave this.

2. At one point, Adaline has an action escape scene which is probably impossible with the given piece of technology. Handwave this. It must be an alternate universe.

3. Do not be afraid that anything really squicky or Lazarus Long-like will happen. But be aware that Adaline doesn’t keep strictly to no-sex-before-marriage. It’s PG, though.

4. There’s a happy ending. This isn’t a downer movie.

5. You will definitely see some scenes and lines you’ve never seen before in a movie! Heh!

Towards the very end, you will probably see the ending coming before it actually happens; but it will be a happy ending! Yay!

Adaline is a roll with teeth, and Blake Lively does a great job with it. Michiel Huisman does a great job portraying a geeky hunk with the nice trick of being persistent and self-confident without being creepy. (Although he also does some sad puppy looks.) Ellen Burstyn and Harrison Ford show why they make the big bucks, and Kathy Baker does some awesome stuff as the wife of Harrison Ford’s character.

All the other actors definitely know what they’re doing, and even tiny roles are allowed to be rounded and intriguing. The dialogue and acting are really fun and interesting, and you can tell that the hairstylists, costumers, and makeup artists had a ball. The people who made this obviously love the cityscape of old San Francisco and the forests of Northern California.

If anybody tells you this isn’t a good movie, they are a bunch of grumpypants. Honestly, this is fun stuff. Go watch it and come out smiling.

Bonus Catholic content: Adaline gets married at Old St. Mary’s in San Francisco, which is a Catholic church. I’m guessing the groom was the Catholic one, though, because we never see Adaline or her daughter doing any other Catholic things.

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The Secret of Heinlein’s Number of the Beast

I’d never seen this analysis before. It’s a much better explanation than most, and I do plan to reread Number of the Beast with this in mind.

(And I did catch the anagrams, but apparently I missed the important bits. In my defense, it must be more than twenty years since I’ve read Number of the Beast!)

The nice thing is that this actually makes a lot more sense of the Revelation imagery, if Heinlein was also proposing a narrative structure driven by good and evil, truth and lie parallels.

While you’re at it, please pray for the soul of David Potter, aka “Gharlane of Eddore.” He was one of the great lights of Usenet back in the day, and I always looked forward to his postings.

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For Those of Us Who Don’t Have Facebook

Snippets from John Ringo’s Monster Hunter International fanfic novels, which now are going to be published as official canon fic.

Yeah, I don’t know that forum site, either. I have no idea why a radio show forum is the best info I could find on this. But that’s what search engines are for.

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Also, People Are Getting Really Passive-Aggressive This Year

So the other week, Will Shetterly announces that he’s tired of SJW junk again, and will quit blogging about it and responding to the crazy people. (Bear in mind that he’s really far on the left, btw. But he’s older-school left.)

Someone posts, claiming that she is using an all new handle to do so, because she is afraid of retaliation. From Will Shetterly. And that she really doesn’t mean to hurt him, but he needs to get himself mental help because he says hurtful things. Then this poster also fails to recognize an obvious joke or two, and goes on to imply darkly that Shetterly’s wife is in danger or is about to leave him.

See, now, that’s ridiculous. Sometimes the man’s a jerk, but he’s not one of these mobbing types. And you don’t complain about somebody else being hurtful while trying your best to shove the knife in. (Waaaaay far below the belt, too.)

Sigh. I miss the days of straightforward flame wars. This passive-aggressive stuff is just embarrassing to watch. No honor to it at all.

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Hell-Roaring Mike Healy: American Catholic

His daddy was a poor Irish laborer. His mama was a Georgia slave. This meant the kids were legally slaves.

When the dad became a rich planter, he sent all his kids up north for their schooling. The boys went to Holy Cross College. The girls went up to Quebec.

His brothers became a bishop, a Jesuit president of Georgetown University, a businessman, and a seminary director. One of his sisters married, another joined a nursing order, and the third became a Mother Superior.

And Hell-Roaring Mike Healy?

He was the youngest, and he went to sea.

There he worked his way up to captain, and later became “the greatest man in America,” the man who guarded Alaska’s coasts for twenty years.

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Crikey, People Are Stupid This Year.

I just saw someone declare in the comments section of a blog that no soldier returning from Vietnam was ever spit upon.

He was immediately pointed to documentation of soldiers being spit upon when returning from Vietnam.

He then said it was all false memory or lying.

Basically, his argument was that it didn’t happen, because I heard it didn’t happen, and you can’t change my mind unless I actually feel the dripping spittle for myself.

That’s not skepticism, my friend. That’s refusing to know.

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