Showing posts from April, 2005

Ann Coulter??!!??

I couldn't believe my eyes when I saw Ann Coulter on the cover of Time this past week. I promptly threw the magazine directly in the trash can. I've been disappointed with Time over the past year anyway, and putting Agonizing Ann on the cover cemented my decision to avoid the magazine in the future. Why not just put Michael Savage or Michael Moore on the cover? I don't mind seeing controversial figures on the cover of time, or even evil figures. However, when controversial figures that are controversial in such an annoying manner as Coulter begin to make the cover of national magazines----ugh!! There is nothing interesting about someone who is obnoxious for the simple purpose of gaining and maintaining recognition. Good riddance to Time magazine in my household!

German Cardinal Becomes Pope Benedict XVI

Yahoo! News - German Cardinal Becomes Pope Benedict XVI

Some quick thoughts:

I'm glad and a little surprised that the new Pope is not an Italian. This being said, I'm not that concerned about the ethnicity of the Pope. Most countries would like to see one of their own elected. However, the reasoning is usually nostalgiac, and not concerning much thought to the purpose of the office. For example, many wished for an African or South American Pope. Whie I am certainly not opposed to either of these, my opinion is that the ethnicity of the pope should be toward the bottom of the list of "qualities" for choosing someone to lead the church. Of course, an African or South American Pope could energize the population of those continents, and grow the church. At the same time, "growth" is not necessarily what the church needs.

I know a little bit about Cardinal Ratzinger from reading Pope John Paul II's biography. The key word here is "little." …

Military confusion

I've never been able to keep military rank straight, and after reviewing this entry from, I understand why. It's confusing! The different armed forces have different terminology, not to mention the different terminology used from country to country, or from era to era. I've read my share of military fiction, and I still can't keep straight who ranks above who in a military chain of command. About all I know for sure is a general is at the top and a private is at the bottom. Anyway, I think this "cheat sheet" from will help me out. I'm currently reading Heller's Catch-22, and I'm having a difficult time with the various military ranks of the characters.

Stinky beauty

In the Kansas City area, one of the most conspicuous signs of spring are the beautiful white blooms of the decorative Bradford and Cleveland Pear trees. Many yards have one or several of these trees. Our yard is home to two of these trees. They truly are a bright and beautiful sign of God's creative beauty. The problem is, THEY STINK TO HIGH HEAVEN. Man, I feel like I need to wear an oxygen mask when I get too near them. Why can't they smell like lilacs or roses? Of all the hideous smells of the natural world, most of which emanate from the human body, the smell of a blooming decorative pear tree ranks toward the top of the list.

Health & Fitness Progress Report

It is now the beginning of April. We have witnessed one-quarter of the year 2005 sneak into history. I thought I would take the opportunity to reflect on my ongoing and never-ending resolution to get fit and live a healthy lifestyle.

I've made considerable progress since this post in February, especially on the fitness front. Unfortunately, my dietary habits leave much to be desired. While I've gone through a few isolated periods of following the Weight Watchers plan and even attended a few of the meetings, my body weight has been creeping northward.

My goal is to weigh 200 lbs by the time our new son arrives, tentatively scheduled around the latter half of July. The problem is, I made this my goal when I weighed about 225 a few months ago. Now, I weigh about 240 lbs, with only 3 months to go until our new bundle of joy arrives. I still think that I can do it, but I've got to get serious about eating better.

As noted, my gym attendance and other activity has been good. At the…
Pope John Paul II


"It is finished."

John Paul II: May 18, 1920 - April 2, 2005

A day of prayer, grief and hope

It has been a long, emotional and ultimately exhausting day as I've followed nearly minute by minute the news of Pope John Paul II's imminent death.

Earlier today at lunchtime I was moved to tears as I attended a mass at the cathedral in downtown Kansas City. It was a strange experience, as the presiding priest informed us after mass that the pope had died. I traveled back to work under this impression, where I subsequently found out that the Vatican had denied the report of his death. As I left the cathedral, I was interviewed by channel 9 news. It was all quite surreal. When the mass ended, I sank into a pew and wept along with others in the chapel. It was a feeling of profound sadness, yet also joy as I celebrated the end of the pope's suffering. As it was, it was all a bit premature. Although I would have appreciated the poetry of being at mass when the pope died, it was not to be. I'm still glad I attended. I prayed for the pope's spirit during his suffering an…