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Silent Cal had a lot to say

(h/t TAC)

About the Declaration there is a finality that is exceedingly restful. It is often asserted that the world has made a great deal of progress since 1776, that we have had new thoughts and new experiences which have given us a great advance over the people of that day, and that we may therefore very well discard their conclusions for something more modern. But that reasoning can not be applied to this great charter. If all men are created equal, that is final. If they are endowed with inalienable rights, that is final. If governments derive their just powers from the consent of the governed, that is final. No advance, no progress can be made beyond these propositions. If anyone wishes to deny their truth or their soundness, the only direction in which he can proceed historically is not forward, but backward toward the time when there was no equality, no rights of the individual, no rule of the people. Those who wish to proceed in that direction can not lay claim to progress. They are reactionary. Their ideas are not more modern, but more ancient, than those of the Revolutionary fathers.
-Calvin Coolidge

Posted via LiveJournal app for iPad.

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Behold your son

My in-laws have a little summer house down the shore in Delaware, so most weekends in the summer that I am not working, we find ourselves down there. A few weekends ago, I went to mass one Sunday morning with Ben. Ben is at the age where the idea of sitting still holds absolutely no interest for him. Going to church with him usually involves taking him out to the vestibule of the church, where there are usually things like icons and pictures to distract him. The church that we were in that day has a large statue of the Virgin Mary holding Jesus as a child on her lap.

As we were walking around the vestibule, I pointed out the statue of Mary, and asked Ben "Who is that?" He looked up, thought for a second, and said, "Mary!" I then pointed to Jesus, again asking who that was. Again, he thought for a second, and answered, "Ben!"

That's our boy.

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Today

Sorry, can't think of a snappier title right now. I had a good day at work today. I am not in the NICU currently, so I did some work in our outpatient area, checking up on preemies who have gone home. The ones I saw today are doing well, which is always good. The rest of the day was pretty low key. I took Derek to karate, and played with Ben on the playground while he had his class. The weather here has been nice the past few days, and should be this weekend as well.

The Phillies lost tonight, evening the best of five game series with the Cardinals a two apiece. The last three games have been close, only decided by one or two runs. If I wasn't a a Phillies fan, I would be marveling at how tight a series it has been. I didn't watch much of the game, as I was out of the house for most of it. It was probably for the best, as it was not one of their best played games.

If the Phils do lose the final game, we'll hear a lot from disappointed fans using every sports cliche known to man- they choked, the didn't want it as much, etc. ad nauseam. The truth is that the difference between a 90 win team and a 102 win team is not all that vast. Three bad games in the course of a 162 game season is no big deal, three bad games in a five game playoff series is everything. The outcomes in baseball are not just a function of effort: the difference between a fly ball and a home run is often the difference in a fraction of a difference in the time of starting a swing of the bat. As overblown as professional sports are, and how silly it may seem to get caught up in the athletic struggle of multi-millionaires, one can learn some valuable lessons: no matter how prepared you are, no matter how hard you try, sometimes the difference between success and failure depends on factors out of your control.

Nevertheless, Roy Halladay is pitching on Friday. I still like our chances.

Go Big or Go Home

When I watch sports, I want to see big plays. I love seeing a three run home run, or a catch made on a deep post play for a touchdown. Which is probably why my favorite football and baseball players are Desean Jackson and Ryan Howard- when they succeed, the do so in a big way. WHich is the whole reason why I find sports fascinating to begin with: appreciating feats of athletic talent that are far beyond me.

And that Roy Halladay is pretty good too.

Hello everyone. I hope you are well. I think of you often, even if I don't post often.

Khristos Voskrese

Happy Easter, everyone.

Basquaise

Holy Thursday came and went without incident. I attended prayers that night, but by the time I got home from work on Friday, we were not able to make it to Good Friday services. My wife is Ukrainian Catholic, so we have been attending her parish since we got married. I haven't officially changed rites, and due to certain future events I may or may not, but that's a story for another day. The Byzantine rite does Holy Thursday and Good Friday a bit differently- the services are vespers services, with the reading of the passion gospels. Adoration is different as well- adoration before the Blessed Sacrament is not done in the eastern churches, so adoration is before a large icon of Christ in the tomb. I went with Derek, and taught him how to say the rosary. He took to it very well too- no complaining or protesting. Sitting for an hour for nothing to do but pray has a remarkable effect on clearing the mind- if I know you in any capacity, odds are I prayed for you today.

Holy Saturday is a day of abstention in the eastern church, so I made roast fish basquaise for dinner tonight, again from the Anthony Bourdain cookbook, using a whole branzino. It is a remarkably simple recipe, using onions, peppers, lemon juice, and white wine. It came out well, and was very tender.

It really is interesting to see the dichotomy in popular culture between Christmas and Easter. Other than some vague allusions to spring as being a time of rebirth, it's difficult to take a holiday that involves God dying and turning it into something tepid and inoffensive. Nobody invokes the "spirit of Easter" when giving candy to the kids. I think it has a lot to do with how we view death, and what comes after. The whole concept of "salvation" seems to escape most people, whose views fall into one of two categories: either death is the end of your existence, so do the most good/enjoy yourself while you can, or else everyone is going to heaven no matter what. What the Church actually teaches is considerably different from either of these, and more difficult to accept.

Blechs

Work was crappy today for a variety of reasons. I don't really feel comfortable elaborating, but needless to say I haven't felt this bad about events there for a long time. My wife and kids are down the shore, as this week is spring break for them. I miss them, but it's good that they're spending some relaxing time down there.

In other news, I made veal with mushrooms for dinner tonight. A big part of this recipe is veal stock, which I made the Anthony Bourdain way. The stock seemed a bit weak, but I only used about three pounds of bones. Tony's recipe is annoyingly non-specific about things like that, so I kind of winged it. I made some demi-glace out of it last night, and I think that helped it. I got the veal loin at the Reading Terminal market on Saturday, only I didn't ask about the price per pound before the butcher started preparing it, thinking "How much could it possibly be? It's only about two pounds of meat."

Quite a bit, as it turns out. The thing set me back about $60, including the bones. Oh well. At least the meat was tasty.

San Giuseppe

This weekend has been relatively low key, and also without kids. Derek is with his dad, and Ben spent the day with my in-laws as the went to visit my father-in-law's mother. She has never met Ben, so it was nice that she got to spend some time with him. S and I went out to breakfast, and then spent an exciting day of doing the taxes and laundry. To be honest, it was really boring without the kids around.

We then went shopping at Whole Foods, and had lunch there as well. We managed to not break the bank either, which was a first for any shopping trip at that store. This particular Whole Foods has a beer/wine bar, so we had a beer after we were done shopping. If only every shopping experience ended that way.

We went to church tonight, and met up with my in-laws and Ben. He was pretty wound up after spending most of the day in the car, so we sat up the choir loft and gave him some room to run around. After mass was over, we went out to dinner, at a restaurant in Philly we haven't been to in a while. I had pork ribs in a tamarind barbecue sauce, with some Brussels sprouts, mashed potatoes and cornbread. After we got home, S wasn't feeling well, so she went to bed early. I wasn't all that tired, so I decided to look up recipes for cream puffs. St. Joseph's feast day was yesterday, and I can remember my mother making them on St. Joseph's day. So now I'm making cream puffs and watching Old School. I'll make the filling tomorrow, but at least the shells will be already done. Just another Saturday night in the neighborhood.

Leave the Cannoli

MY somewhat hectic last two weeks are coming to a close after tomorrow. I am on call tomorrow, but after that I won't be on another weekend for a while, which is nice after three weekends of call on at least some of those days. I should turn in soon, but I'm not that tired just yet. I'm watching The Godfather, which I must have seen a hundred times. Oddly, I've never seen Godfather II all the way through,which is considered by many to be the better movie.

The weather here has been a bit more mild lately. With luck, we will escape any more large snowstorms before winter ends.

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