Category Archives: Personal

It is easier for a camel….

This image is from a website entitled Un discipulo de Dali? The title is quite apt as the artist, Vladimir Kush, is clearly a disciple of Salvador Dali and, one might suggest, an heir and successor to the great surrealist, as well. Check out the site; the work is quite lovely.
Surreal image of camels passing through the eye of a needle.


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Filed under Other Blogs, Personal

My Dad

May I reminisce for a moment about my dad …

He was 38 years old when he killed himself in an single-vehicle automobile accident.  Just a couple months shy of his 39th birthday.

He was devilishly handsome.  I have photos of him in his army uniform from WW2, his high school graduation form, and a picture of him in a plaid sportcoat with his fedora at a rakish angle taken just a few months before he died.

He was a drunk.  I didn’t know that at the time, but later-in-life conversations with my mother revealed that.  The night before he died, they had been at a party and he’d had too much to drink and they’d argued and so he’d driven off in a huff — “Going back to Kansas” — and never
made it.

He was fun.  I have these 4-year-old and 5-year-old memories of being in my dad’s T-Bird with him, he would let me shift the gears.  We went hiking in the desert, he and my late older brother.  He taught me about the desert and about boating on Lake Mead.  We had an electric train set that always went around the Christmas Tree — we put tinsel on the tracks and it made sparks when the train went over it.  (Of course, tinsel was metal in those days, not mylar.)

He was an accountant, a CPA, president of the state CPA association.  He was smart.  He did audits of the casinos for the state of Nevada.  On Saturday mornings he would take me with him to the casinos to pick up the weekly books for review (we let my mom sleep in on Saturdays).  I remember the people in the casinos.  Early Saturday mornings, dressed in long elegant evening gowns and tuxedos — you don’t see that now!  I met Joe E Brown, Joe Lewis … hell, I’ve even met the Rat Pack … somewhere there is a picture of me at four years of age sitting on Sammy Davis Jr’s lap.   My dad was a very early civil rights advocate — he was a fan of “Negro” entertainers — Cab Calloway was his favorite band leader — and thought it wrong they were excluded from the Vegas hotels and casinos.  So he and colleagues invested in and built a hotel casino named “The Monte Carlo” where blacks weren’t excluded.  Of course, it was in some ways both ahead of and behind its times and failed and he lost a ton of money.

He was a war hero.  I have his purple heart and his bronze star citations from WW2.  He was a corporal in the artillery and was badly wounded doing his job as a forward spotter.

He was my dad.  I only got to know him a little bit.  I wish I’d had more time with him.  Hell, I wish I’d had more time with my mom, who died in 1999, with my brother who died in 1993, and with my stepdad who died in 2004.  But mostly, I wish my kids had known their grandfather.

My man I know named Adrian O’Connor owns a B&B in the town of Doolin in Co. Clare, Ireland, and is a folk musician.  I believe he was born in England of an Irish immigrant father.  He sings this really great song about returning to Ireland with his father; I think he wrote it.  It makes me tear up whenever I listen to Adrian sing it.   I never had the chance to return home with my dad.  If you have the chance, talk to your folks, go home with them, listen to their stories, cherish them.  Because once the chance to do so is gone, “sure, it’s lost and gone for ever.” (as Phil Coulter sings in “The Town I Loved So Well”).

Thanks for letting me ramble on….

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Bubble Shooter

OK … I admit it … this is really stupid.

A friend sent me the URL for Bubble Shooter and warned that it is a “time waster.”

She was right!

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Filed under Just for Fun, Personal

Sunday Morning at Home

It’s very strange to be sitting in my den at 8:00 a.m. on a Sunday morning!

The past two days, northeastern Ohio received a considerable about of snowfall – nearly 20″ in our area.  This is not large for some areas, but for us, at the end of the winter season (with the municipalities run out of road salt), this is a load!  Three local counties, including our own, either ordered or requested that people stay off the roads — emergency traffic only.

So, like our neighbors the United Church of Christ congregation, the Foursquare Gospel chapel,  the Lutheran parish, and others … we canceled our morning services.  (An evening service is as yet undecided.)

For a clergy person, sitting home on a Sunday morning doing nothing is bizarre!  In a few minutes, my wife will probably get up — we will read the Daily Office together (which we do every other day of the week), and then we will watch one of the Sunday morning TV news-and-talk shows (probably CBS’s Sunday Morning).

This is, I suppose, how many of the 80% of Americans who don’t attend religious services spend their Sunday mornings.

I have to admit that I can understand why people would prefer to laze about, relax, not jump out of bed, shower, shave, down a quick cup of java, and rush off to church.  (To say nothing of getting the kids out of bed on yet another morning….)  Yes, I can understand that.

And yet, I don’t understand it, because right now for me there is something missing.  The fellowship, the music, the liturgy of Holy Communion, the sense of connection with God and with men and women who share that connection … that’s what’s missing.  An easy morning with the television and the newspaper simply cannot take the place of that connection.

Sunday morning at home just doesn’t compare with Sunday morning at church!

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Filed under Anglican Comment, Anglican Stuff, Christian Stuff, Episcopal, Personal, Theology

Dishonest Punditry Sickens Me!

CNN “political ticker” blog is reporting that Rush Limbaugh is urging his “ditto-heads” to vote cross party lines, participate in the Democratic Primaries in Texas, Ohio, and elsewhere, and vote for Hillary Clinton:

(CNN) – As Hillary Clinton battles to keep her presidential bid alive, she may be getting help from an unlikely source: conservative radio host Rush Limbaugh.

Limbaugh has been actively urging his Texas listeners to cross over and vote for Clinton in that state’s open primary Tuesday, arguing it helps the Republicans if the Democratic race remains unsettled for weeks to come.

“I want Hillary to stay in this…this is too good a soap opera,” Limbaugh told fellow conservative talk-show host Laura Ingraham on Fox News Friday. He reiterated the comments on his Monday show and replayed the exchange with Ingram. (The entire CNN blog entry can be found here.)

A few decades ago when I was in school, we were taught in civics classes that when we got old enough to vote, we should “vote our consciences” and cast our ballots on the basis of our convictions. That’s what I still believe. Democracy works when voters do so. When voters manipulate the system by doing otherwise, by crossing party lines and voting for the other party’s weaker (or perceived to be weaker) candidate … when they do as Limbaugh is urging, democracy does not work. It is perverted.

Rush Limbaugh likes to claim he is some sort of outstanding patriot. In my opinion, he is anything but! In urging the sort of electoral conduct described in the CNN blog, he displays a lack of patriotism, a cynical disrespect of the institutions of our republic, and a contempt for our country and its democratic ideals.  His suggestion is punditry at its worst.  It is dishonest and it is sickening.

If you are voting in a primary today, I hope you will vote your conscience, vote your convictions. Don’t try to manipulate the process. Let the process work, even if it works eventually to a result contrary to your own politics. That’s the nature of a true democracy!


Filed under Personal, Political Comment

My Day: A Haiku Quintet

Friday afternoon,
My day off spent reading books:
Celtic history.

Overcast sky,
Not raining but dreary,
A cold afternoon.

I moved furniture:
The change reinvigorates
the fall-weary soul.

Cocker spaniels,
My two black and blonde puppies
Asleep on carpet.

Gaelic religion;
Interior designing;
And sleeping canines.

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Filed under Personal, Poetry

Early Winter Benedicite

Sing, windblown rain,
Sing the praises of your Creator,
Sing, rain-sodden wind,
Sing the praises of your Creator,
Sing, rain-soaked earth,
Sing the praises of your Creator,
Sing, icy sidewalk,
Sing the praises of your Creator.

In winter damp, cold and clammy,
‘Gainst bitter breeze, I make my way.
Cocker spaniels running happy,
Gladden my heart this joyless day.

Sing, prancing puppies,
Sing the praises of your Creator,
Sing, joyous dogs,
Sing the praises of your Creator,
Sing, frightened bird,
Sing the praises of your Creator,
Sing, groundhog fat,
Sing the praises of your Creator.

Creatures unseen the dogs reveal,
Flushed-out bird flies headlong away.
Something furry flees with a squeal,
As in the breeze the bare trees sway.

Sing, creaking limbs,
Sing the praises of your Creator,
Sing, brittle leaves,
Sing the praises of your Creator,
Sing, frozen bark,
Sing the praises of your Creator,
Sing, withered blooms,
Sing the praises of your Creator.

Bare, wet branches cracking, leaves gone,
The trees silent stand in dark array.
The last leaves blow across the lawn
This grey and soggy winter’s day.

Sing, blowing leaves,
Sing the praises of your Creator,
Sing, dying grasses,
Sing the praises of your Creator,
Sing, beck’ning home,
Sing the praises of your Creator.

Turning back now, the dogs and I,
Toward the beck’ning warmth of home,
Out from under the dark’ning sky,
Sheltered, protected in the gloam.

Sing, twilight sky,
Sing the praises of your Creator,
Sing, hearth and home,
Sing the praises of your Creator,
Sing, prancing puppies,
Sing the praises of your Creator,
Sing, joyous dogs,
Sing the praises of your Creator.

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Filed under Christian Stuff, Personal, Poetry