When I walk into an Orthodox Church… one is immediately aware that one has stepped into the presence of what Saint Paul would call the whole family in heaven and earth. You have stepped into the precincts of heaven!
Thomas Howard

«— Son of YAWN
—» Pruning

Designed for Sex

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Touchstone Archives: Designed for Sex

Midnight. Shelly is getting herself drunk so that she can bring herself to go home with the strange man seated next to her at the bar. One o’clock. Steven is busy downloading pornographic images of children from Internet bulletin boards. Two o’clock. Marjorie, who used to spend every Friday night in bed with a different man, has been binging and purging since eleven. Three o’clock. Pablo stares through the darkness at the ceiling, wondering how to convince his girlfriend to have an abortion. Four o’clock. After partying all night, Jesse takes another man home, not mentioning that he tests positive for an incurable STD. Five o’clock. Lisa is in the bathroom, cutting herself delicately with a razor. This isn’t what my generation expected when it invented the sexual revolution.

An excellent article which ends with this great closer:

These principles are the real reason for the commands and prohibitions contained in traditional sexual morality. Honor your parents. Care for your children. Save sex for marriage. Make marriage fruitful. Be faithful to your spouse.

Let the sexual revolution bury the sexual revolution. Having finished revolving, we arrive back where we started. What your mother—no, what your grandmother—no, what your great-grandmother told you was right all along. These are the natural laws of sex.

H/T: Reader Andrew, who just celebrated two years of marriage.

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Filed under: — Basil @ 11:04 pm

«— Brother Roger’s Murder Evokes Shock, Dismay
—» Designed for Sex

Son of YAWN

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Millenium FalconThis will sound mean and insensitive, so I apologize at the beginning. But, really. I hear lots of adjectives, but where’s the product? Dmitri and Michael Heilemann have fashioned a new thing so bold, new and daring, they don’t even know what to say. Except to throw out a lot of phrases like, “It’s nothing like you’ve ever seen,” and “Nobody’s ever done anything like this before.” If Binary Bonsai’s new look is K2, then let’s just call it “Son of Kubrick.” And, if that’s really what it is, then naming it after the second tallest mountain and calling it by a new noun (“modification”) because the existing nouns (“theme” and “template”) don’t say enough won’t cover up the fact that it’s just the son of — YAWN. Where was I? Oh, son of Kubr — YAWN.

Here’s what I need:

Screenshots.
If Binary Bonsai’s Kubrickesque look is not the showroom model, I need to see what’s supposed to be so great. (Of course, if BB’s look is the showroom — YAWN. Man, I’m getting sleepy. Eh? OK, the “Chocolate Raspberry” look sported by Sillyness Spelled Wrong Intentionally is slightly more interesting than Kubrick or the Son of Kubrick on BB. Not enough for me to download it, though. Personally, I’ve always thought chocolate and raspberry a yucky combo, anyway.)
Descriptions.
Telling me it’s whiz-bang and brand-new, and the product of a lot of work means nothing if you don’t tell me what’s so blinkin’ special about it. (Of course, if it’s really just Son of Kubrick, don’t bother. Unless that backend is like a Hemi inside a beat-up old Cadillac Sedan DeVille. “She may not look like much, kid, but she’s got it where it counts,” as Han Solo spake about the Millenium Falcon.)

Just a little humorous prodding, guys. Seriously, I know you guys are hard workers, and usually produce very good stuff. So, let’s get the marketing going. No way I’m going to put in a “mod” on a live blog unless I’ve got a little more info.

Oh, and I only got two hours of sleep last night, so now it really is time for some nappy-nap.

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Filed under: — Basil @ 3:28 pm

«— Orthodox Word Podcast
—» Son of YAWN

Brother Roger’s Murder Evokes Shock, Dismay

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Update: Patriarch Alexis II of Moscow and All Russia prays for the repose of Br. Roger’s soul

Guardian Unlimited: Taize Religious Community Founder Slain

Though I did not know Frere Roger personally, I find myself shocked beyond words to learn of his murder — and during vespers, no less. Other, abler writers have competently noted his life history and related the Roman Pontiff’s dismayed reaction. Bishop Seraphim (Sigrist) has published a characteristically poetic elegy for Br. Roger’s passing.

Though ecumene means something different to the Orthodox East than it does to Western Christians, so numb to schism and theological argument, still my heart felt the motivation behind Taizé and Br. Roger’s life and mission. With his unwavering emphasis on love to the exclusion of all other considerations (so typical of French Christianity after the war — one calls to mind St Mary Skobtsova of Paris), he worked for unity among Christians. For decades, the Taizé Community he founded continued to attract youth looking for a faith whose talk walked, an amazing feat in any age but particularly for recent generations so preoccupied with style rather than substance.

His unerring commitment to love as a lifestyle makes the news of his murder so bizarre and shocking. The Pope, as a symbol of so much entirely unrelated to his person, one can almost imagine being cut down — but this fragile, soft-spoken monk? The thought refuses to be formed in my mind.

Related links:

Last but not least, I am dumbfounded to learn that Madonna falling off a horse and P. Diddly dropping the “P” make headlines on Google News, but the senseless murder of one of the world’s most influential religious leaders does not.

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Filed under: — Basil @ 11:24 am

«— Ouchie
—» Brother Roger’s Murder Evokes Shock, Dismay

Orthodox Word Podcast

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I’ve been meaning to blog about this for quite some time now, but apparently Journeyman James beat me to it: Annunciation Orthodox Church (Greek Archdiocese) of Akron, Ohio, has a podcast[?] of Orthodox readings (Scriptures, hymns, synaxaria[?]). The content of the readings, unsurprisingly, can all be found in one place at the Greek Archdiocesan website “Online Chapel.”

Link: http://www.annunciationakron.org/podcast/orthodoxword.xml

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Filed under: — Basil @ 7:11 am

«— Sheehan Backstory
—» Orthodox Word Podcast

Ouchie

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Not sure how it happened, but I have a corneal ulcer.

Last week, I woke up after a day of duty, and my eye was irritated and felt like perhaps a blood vessel had popped or something. I’d had the mid-watch (the midnight watch from 11:30 pm to 3:30 am) and hadn’t gotten much sleep; I also had little sleep the previous night. So, I chalked it up to stress.

The next day, my eye was still irritated, and it felt like some foreign material, like an eyelash or a grain of sand, had lodged itself in my eye. So, I went to see Doc. He had me irrigate it and gave me some erythromycin antibiotic cream ointment to put in it.

Five days later, it still feels like hell. My eye is sensitive to light now, and my vision is somewhat blurry. Doc (who is actually a highly trained corpsman) referred me to the optometrist, who put me SIQ. She dilated my eye and gave me a more powerful liquid antibiotic that I’ve been dropping into my eyes every couple of hours.

Apparently, when an injured eye doesn’t heal properly, the iris will spasm, which causes the blurry vision and photosensitivity. Curiously, even with the blurry vision, both eyes were still at least 20/20. Amazing. Also, this will probably leave a scar, which means very little since it isn’t in my field of vision and is on the part of the cornea just up under the eyelid.

I’ll keep you updated. I tried to take some pictures, but none of them really came out very good. It would have been gross, anyway.

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Filed under: — Basil @ 10:32 pm

«— Destroyer Dwarfs Barge
—» Ouchie

Sheehan Backstory

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The rest of the story about Cindy Sheehan

“Dead soldier’s mom wants answers,” the headlines say – but they don’t ask tough questions.
Cincinnati Enquirer

Original article on Sheehan republished

“I now know he’s sincere about wanting freedom for the Iraqis,” Cindy said after their meeting. “I know he’s sorry and feels some pain for our loss. And I know he’s a man of faith.”
Vacaville Reporter

More on Sheehan from local paper

Patrick Sheehan has declined to comment publicly about his wife’s efforts.

His family, however, issued terse e-mailed comments on Thursday.

“We do not agree with the political motivations and publicity tactics of Cindy Sheehan. She now appears to be promoting her own personal agenda and notoriety at the expense of her son’s good name and reputation,” read the e-mail signed by Casey’s aunt, Cherie Quartarolo, on behalf of his paternal grandparents, aunts, uncles and cousins.

“The Sheehan family lost our beloved Casey in the Iraq War and we have been silently, respectfully grieving,” the e-mail stated. “The rest of the Sheehan family supports the troops, our country and our president, silently, with prayer and respect.”

Mrs. Sheehan’s response, from the beginning of the article:

The protesting 48-year-old mother …[noted] her in-laws who were “disagreeing with me in strong terms, which is totally okay with me, because they barely knew Casey.”
Vacaville Reporter

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Filed under: — Basil @ 9:22 am

«— Frist’s Flop: Some Implications in the NYT Article
—» Sheehan Backstory

Destroyer Dwarfs Barge

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DDG 71 – 3

Originally uploaded by Kevin Basil.

Destroyers are small ships by comparison to cruisers and carriers, but they can still dwarf smaller vessels like barges and patrol craft. Believe it or not, this is the first surface ship I’ve seen since joining the Navy in February 2004.

My dad was surface navy. He served as a parachute rigger on USS Kitty Hawk (CV 63) and at the testing facility at China Lake. Then, from 1980 until his retirment in 1992, he served as a chaplain at a series of commands on the east coast and in Okinawa, Japan.

When we were stationed at Charleston, SC, in the mid-80’s, my dad took me aboard one of the destroyers he served aboard (he was technically attached as chaplain for the squadron). This probably marks one of the most important childhood moments that made Navy life attractive to me after being laid off from Lexmark.

Hopefully, I’ll get to tour this baby and report back.

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Filed under: — Basil @ 12:45 pm