July 26, 2014

A letter from Paul to whom?

Quick Bible trivia question: Can you name all of the books of the New Testament that were written by Paul? Yes, he basically wrote about half of the New Testament, and that fact came into play after I went to confession the other day.

When you seek the sacrament of reconciliation, it's really important to pay close attention to the penance that the priest gives you. Don't let this happen to you:

For my penance, the priest told me to say three Our Fathers, three Hail Marys and three Glory Bes. No problem. That's easy to remember and a penance I can do immediate after leaving the confessional. But that wasn't all.

The priest said, "Also for your penance I want you to read the letter of Paul to..."

Immediately at that point I focused hard because I expected him to give me a specific chapter and verse(s) to read, so I wanted to make sure I remembered exactly what he said. The next thing I remembered him saying was, "Chapter 1." Great, I thought, that's easy to remember. I'll read it later today.

Here's the problem. I was concentrating so much on which chapter to read that I had no idea which letter of Paul he said. So to make sure I did my proper penance, I figured I'd have to read chapter 1 of every book that Paul wrote.

Gee, that narrows it down to just a few:

  • Romans
  • 1 Corinthians
  • 2 Corinthians
  • Galatians
  • Ephesians
  • Philippians
  • Colossians
  • 1 Thessalonians
  • 2 Thessalonians
  • 1 Timothy
  • 2 Timothy
  • Titus
  • Philemon

Did I forget any?

I actually didn't end up needing to read chapter 1 of all of them. After reading just a few, it became quite obvious which one the priest had in mind.

Thanks be to God.

[Courtesy: catholiclane.com]

 

 

July 25, 2014

7 Quick Takes - Vol. 82 (Skinny toe, holy texting, super sunscreen and more)

--- 1 ---

"Who's got my skinny toe?" I'm reliving my childhood now that I've discovered that someone has posted to YouTube clips from the Scary Spooky Stories record that I had as a kid in the 70s. And now my (almost) eight-year-old daughter likes the strange and not really very scary stories too. What does this have to do with a skinny toe? Listen for yourself:

--- 2 ---

Do you want to know how out of touch I am with pop culture? When Weird Al Yankovic released his new music videos recently, the only tune I recognized was the parody of a Crosby, Stills & Nash song.

 

--- 3 ---

It's amusing to think that adults have actually been frantically searching for Coke bottles with their names on them. I suppose you can market pretty much any product, call it "limited edition" and then sit back and watch people go crazy to find it. If you find a Coke with "Adam" on it, I'm not interested. Go ahead and drink it then toss the bottle into the recycle bin.

 

--- 4 ---

I have to admit that I once was very excited about a Coke contest. At some point in the late 70s or early 80s there was a contest where Coke put a single letter inside the cap, and you'd win a t-shirt or something if you had the right caps to spell Coca-Cola. I remember that the letter L was hard to find. My brother and I had many, many caps. But usually all we could spell was "Coca-Co_a."

 

--- 5 ---

Wasn't there also a beer company contest with talking cans about 20 years ago? Maybe it was Coors Light. The idea was that if you had a winning can, it would say "You win!" when you opened it. I never won that one either.

 

--- 6 ---

It's nice to see people incorporate technology into their faith. On Relevant Radio I heard about this story in The Boston Globe about a shrine that has a text hotline for prayer requests.

The texting brother [Courtesy: The Boston Globe]

 

--- 7 ---

I'm a big proponent of using sunscreen. Watch out; the sun will kill you! I appreciated this sketch tweeted by children's author Sandra Boynton:

It reminds me of something a comedian said back when the craze of having higher SPF ratings on sunscreen began. I don't remember who said it, but it was funny: "If you need SPF 100 then you have no business even being in the sun!"

For more Quick Takes, visit Conversion Diary (or this week at svellerella.com).

 

 

 

 

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July 18, 2014

7 Quick Takes - Vol. 81 (Funny Fulton, dreadful derby, Lego crotch and more)

--- 1 ---

Don't you just love a priest with a great sense of humor? At Mass on Sunday, the priest recalled a brilliantly clever comment made by the late Archbishop Fulton Sheen who won two Emmy awards for his TV show in the 1950s. At his acceptance speech, Sheen said he wanted to pay tribute to his writers: Matthew, Mark, Luke and John.

[Courtesy: Wikipedia.com]

 

--- 2 ---

Where was Catholic baseball camp when I was a kid? Actually, it wouldn't have mattered since I was neither Catholic nor athletic when I was growing up. But the other day on Relevant Radio I heard a great interview about former Major League Baseball (MLB) player Mike Sweeney's Catholic Baseball Camp. On the website it says that Sweeney, "wanted to create an authentically Catholic three-day baseball camp/retreat where kids will see their baseball skills improve and their faith come alive."

 

--- 3 ---

This year's MLB All Star Game brought back painful memories of 2010 for me. The game itself wasn't painful that year, but my health certainly was. It just happened to be the time when I suffered an especially bad case of adult chicken pox. If you'd like to help me relive the moment, check out last year's entry.

 

--- 4 ---

It's been years since I last watched the Homerun Derby the night before the All Star Game, and I wasn't interested in it again this year. It just seems like such a fake made-for-TV event the way ESPN drags it out for three hours. I'd be happy to watch a real baseball game for three hours. But unless they trim the Homerun Derby to about an hour, I'm not in the mood to watch.

 

--- 5 ---

It's no surprise that the founder and CEO of the Jersey Mike's restaurant company is from New Jersey. But as I was sipping my drink, I was surprised to read on the cup that his name is Peter, not Mike. I guess "Jersey Peter's" wouldn't sound as cool.

 

--- 6 ---

I've heard people use the expression "throw meat on the barbie" when referring to barbecuing. But my 20-month old had a new idea: throwing Barbie into the (toy) oven:

 

--- 7 ---

Pardon me for concluding my Quick Takes with some low-brow humor. We attended a kids' birthday party where they played a game of pin the head on the Lego guy (a variation of pin the tail on the donkey). Perhaps I was the only one there who was amused that one kid unknowingly gave the robot a loincloth:

For more Quick Takes, visit Conversion Diary.

 

 

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July 11, 2014

7 Quick Takes - Vol. 80 (Deadly door, holy dunking, restroom bliss and more)

--- 1 ---

I don't know anything about torsion springs, but apparently if you go anywhere near one you face sudden, immediate and painful death. The torsion spring broke on our garage door the other night. This was far beyond my level of do-it-yourselfness, so we hired someone to replace the spring. According to the internet, replacing a torsion spring is extremely hazardous, so much so that one instruction manual had to divide the peril into three categories:

[Courtesy: overheaddoor.com]

 

--- 2 ---

My family had a quiet and peaceful 4th of July. In fact, no fireworks. We visited relatives about three hours away, and since there were thunderstorms on and off all evening, and our kids were tuckered out from playing with their cousin, we didn't venture out. And that was okay with me. As an introvert I'm perfectly content to not have to fight the crowds before, during and after a big fireworks show.

 

--- 3 ---

During that trip we took our 20-month old to get her first haircut. We didn't have this same experience with our older daughter, because back when she was that age she was undergoing chemotherapy and had lost her hair. So her first haircut didn't happen until a couple of years later.

[Second daughter's first haircut]

 

--- 4 ---

I had always thought that intinction was not an acceptable way to administer Holy Communion in the Catholic Church. I figured there was a no dunking rule. But that's exactly how it was done when we went to Mass out of town on Sunday. Later I checked with the authorities (U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops), and intinction is acceptable as long as specific rules are followed, such as not allowing the communicant to actually do the intinction. Only the priest, deacon or extraordinary minister of Holy Communion can dip the host into the cup and then place it onto the tongue of the recipient.

 

--- 5 ---

People all over Texas (and beyond?) talk about how exciting it is to stop at Buc-ee's gas stations/convenience stores when they travel. I went to one for the first time near Houston last weekend. If you love the idea of shopping while getting gas during a road trip (I don't) then I can see why you'd enjoy this place. It was almost as large as a big-box retail store. But what really impressed me was the men's room. I'd never seen such a large and reasonably clean public restroom before. And having hand sanitizer dispensers next to every urinal and toilet was an added bonus.

 

--- 6 ---

Quick question: If you could be a magical creature, what would you be? Sounds like a ridiculous question to me, but interviewers are actually posing this question to job applicants, or at least one of them. My wife was in a mall food court and heard this question as she passed by a table where someone was conducting a job interview. My answer would be a rabbit so a magician could pull me out of his hat. Do I get the job?

 

--- 7 ---

I have to give credit to the Fitbit people for standing behind their products. My trusty Fitbit Flex which I bought back in August suddenly started dying, so Fitbit sent me a free replacement. Keeping track of steps has become somewhat addictive. Pardon me while I go pace around the living room to make sure I hit my goals for the day.

For more Quick Takes, visit Conversion Diary.

 

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July 4, 2014

7 Quick Takes - Vol. 79 (Laughable label, bobbleheadless, salty humor and more)


Here's a good one for the funny warning label file. Usually warning labels are written (or at least approved) by lawyers. But the label on this children's swimming pool ball clearly was written by an overprotective parent.




I didn't get caught up in the World Cup excitement this year, except for one thing I saw in a sporting goods store. I don't know anything about fashion, but this is one ugly shoe.




There's something missing from many pet stores: pets. As a parent who has used pet stores as makeshift zoos to entertain his kids on many occasions, I've noticed that major pet stores are carrying fewer and fewer animals. At the Petco last weekend, all we saw were a few fish, birds, rodents and an angry, profane customer.


[One of the few pets in the Petco]




Babies and Bobbleheads don't mix. I'm not a collector, but a have a few Bobbleheads around the house. The other day, my 20-month-old daughter accidentally beheaded Nolan Ryan.


[Sorry, Nolan]

When my older daughter was little, she decapitated Jim Deshaies.

[Sorry, JD]


And it's not just the kids. A couple of years ago I accidentally executed Chipper Jones.

[Sorry, Chipper]

Who knew that blessed salt could save time before meals? My (almost) eight-year-old daughter was admiring a bag of salt that had been blessed by a priest and said, "If we cook our food with blessed salt then we won't have a pray before meals."


Usually making a major purchase gives a buyer some angst. But I felt quite peaceful as I initiated the tuition payment for my daughter's new Catholic school. It'll be worth every penny.



Have a safe and happy 4th of July.
Please join me in praying that people's illegal fireworks won't set off a brush fire in my neighborhood or yours.

For more Quick Takes, visit Conversion Diary.

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