Several weeks ago my parish priest gave a sermon I disagreed with.

Father’s argument was about evangelization and was related to the Gospel that day wherein Jesus was not accepted by those in his home town.  He related an anecdote from his youth where some Catholic missionaries came to his hometown and went door to door preaching the good news in a manner similar to the Mormons.  Unsurprisingly the missionaries received about the same reception that the Mormons get in their travels.

Father expanded saying that we are called upon to evangelize, but not by standing on the street corner and yelling at passerbys.  He said that God dwells within us and the best evangelization is to live our lives in a manner showing faith, hope and charity.

I agree with everything Father says.  I have no intention of going door-to-door or standing in a park on a box.  Nor do I think I am called to.  I also think that the best way to proselytize is to be a good Christian.  No problems there.  My issue is that I think my priest has let us off too easily.

His advice is too passive.  There has to be a medium between the two ends.  Somewhere active.

Some people are called to speak out about their faith.  We shouldn’t just shake our heads at the missionaries that go door-to-door.  We should find some admiration for them, hope we could be them and wish that doors don’t close so easily.  Maybe this is only the role of a few, but that is pretty neat.

Maybe some are called to write.  To spread the word actively.

Those probably aren’t me either.  But there are still ways to be more active.

Maybe the next step down is to speak up when Catholicism gets slagged.  Heck, speak up when any religion gets slagged, but speak up.  I read a Chesterton quote today:

The word ‘heresy’ not only means no longer being wrong; it practically means being clear-headed and courageous. The word ‘orthodoxy’ not only no longer means being right; it practically means being wrong. All this can mean one thing, and one thing only. It means that people care less for whether they are philosophically right.
 The world is even more secular and divisive than in GK’s day.  I’m not saying to go out and pick fights. But just not to let something just pass you by.
And if that is too much to at least be willing to go out and say that you are a Catholic.
I figure we are called up to one level beyond where we are comfortable.
The best idea is still to follow the priest’s advice.  Live a life that clearly shows your faith.  But don’t just try and be a good person.  Do something to let folks know why you are a good person.
Note: I’ve seen a lot of people being obnoxious and claiming that the reason is similar to what I’m calling for above.  Obviously, that defeats the purpose…

Blog Check – Brought to you by the Silver Spur Saloon

Wow – no blog in a week.  And I was all whiny and stuff in the last one.  Zowie.

Work is good.  A lot of issues have been resolved.  Life goes forward and so does our project.

No issues getting out of bed.  But I did fall down on Friday.  I was at work and the crew helped me up.  I think falling either broke my brace or the break caused my fall.  I didn’t notice until last night but one of the buckles holding the straps was cracked and didn’t hold anymore.  So I got that fixed today.

It is ironic, but I started to feel much better after taking a tumble.  I fell and it was fine, but still obviously more real than the house hunt and workplace stress I was under.  Emotionally that is.  Physically I bruised my tailbone and it ached until Sunday morning.  🙂  You’d think there is enough padding there.

I think I’ve decided not to buy the house.  I think I’ve decided to buy a house in that complex, but not the one I saw.  I’ll wait until one I like comes up on the market.  And I need to get my stuff together and figure out how much money I have to spend.  The issue will be doing nothing.  I’m best at doing that.

Why no blog?  I’m reading the bleeding Wheel of Time and it occupies my every moment.  I’ve finished 4 books in two weeks.  In balance I haven’t even finished last week’s comics yet…  but I should get those done tonight so I’m not in the hole!

My pet peeves started to show up in book 3 and the first 250 pages of book 4 annoyed me.  But there is still enough happening per book to make it engaging.  But far less does happen in book four… I also think that the extreme length of book four (1000 pages) is what drives slightly smaller books in the next few, but the downside is that we start to miss out on POV characters in each book and have to recover time frames in the next…

I also finished the game 10,000,000 on my IPad.  6 hours of time (5:57 actually).  It is awesome.  Pauly recommended it.  But his game had a bug so I passed him long ago.  My final score was 14,000,000.

Saw the Expendables 2 on Sunday.  If you liked the first, the second if way better.  Less touchy feely scenes, more action.  More cute in jokes.  More action.  And Chuck Norris?  Coolest ever.  And the big climax?  everyone is in it.  A warning though – the movie is very silly.  Some of the injokes are very corny.  The action scenes are beyond over the top.  Don’t check your brain at the door.  Leave it at home.  Locked in a box.  In your closet.

The title is my own classic PR injoke…

Weekly Recap

I shouldn’t blog when I’m in such a lousy mood. Today sucked.

The good this week.  There was a bunch of it, but most of it escapes my memory now.

Mom and Tim came back from holiday.  They had a quiet relaxing time.  Tim came over Wednesday with a giant comic stack.  That was cool.  It is comic day again tomorrow and I haven’t yet depleted it.

But Pauly also came over Wednesday.  So the three of us played a quick game of Arkham.  Oh, was it a disaster.  But fun.

Speaking of fun disasters, Friday night gaming… Tim, Dano, Rob and myself.  It would be spoilers to talk about what happened, but it forms a crucial part of the fabric of the campaign.  It was great fun and horrible at the same time.

I’ve started to reread the Wheel of Time.  Finished book 1 and I’ll be done book 2 today or tomorrow morning.  It is astounding how much happens in book 1.  And how little of the quirks that eventually come to annoy me are present.  I really, really like The Eye of the World.  It is far from a perfect book, but it still has everything that made me love this series to begin with.

OK.  Bad.

First I’ve been having trouble getting out of bed in the morning.  Nothing show stopping yet, but I often fall asleep worried that I’ll be able to rise in the morning.  First I lever myself into a seated position.  I was having trouble with that earlier this year, but I’ve adjusted how I do it and I’m not having issues any more.  Next I stand just enough to straighten my right leg.  The farther out in front of me my leg is the easier this is, but the harder it makes the next step.  If it is too close some days I just don’t seem strong enough to stand up that far.  So there is a middle ground, but it seems to move from day to day.  Sometimes it takes two go’s to do step 2.  Third I use my right leg as a lever to push myself upright and eventually also straighten my left leg and my back.  If my right leg is too far out, this 3rd step becomes impossible.  When I have issues in the morning, it is generally because my leg is too far out.  I have a block that keeps it from sliding, but that block shifts over time.  Also my mattress slides back so it needs straightening.  Finally, because step 2 is sometimes easier than others sometimes I just need it farther out in order to stand.  Last week it always took 3-4 tries to complete step 3.  It is also the riskiest since failing here could result in falling.  Failing steps 1 and 2 mostly mean I’m just stuck in bed.

Monday morning I adjusted all the furniture in the room slightly to try to solve the problem.  When I went to bed Monday night I was even more worried than normal since I might have adjusted things too much.  But it was just right and getting up today went very well.

I’ve now had trouble getting up from everywhere: my bed, my chair, my washroom, my scooter and my chair at work.  In this last year, I’m really starting to worry that I’m going to need to make some substantial changes to maintain any independence.

So Monday night I looked at a new house.  Really it was kinda lousy.  It seemed much smaller than my current place.  It wasn’t a corner unit and had much less light.  I’m not sure where my piano would fit and I don’t think all the comics and games would go in easily (although the spare room is pretty comparable).  But it has the advantage of being in a building with a home care program.  I’d be able to get help with standing – more than I do now.  But it also needs some substantial renovations to get it ready.  I want to be able to also have it ready for a time when maybe I can’t stand at all too.  So in addition to a standing lift also having some transfer lifts.

Anyway it is a big thing and I hate making big changes.  Or even thinking about them.  So that was stressing me out today.  (and the standing thing for most of the week before).

Then the weather today was lousy.

Finally, what could go wrong at work did go wrong at work.  At this point I want ONE day with no issues or escalations or people problems or vendor issues or tricky decisions.   We also may have had vacations cancelled.  Since I’m about the only one in the office that hasn’t taken any yet that really sucks.  Plus if I move forward with this house thing I’ll need a ton of time off to organize it.

Finally, The Pharmacy Speechcraft program asked me to participate again this year.  They also want me to give the model speech on the opening day.  This is the example of what a good speech should be.  Since I haven’t been speaking regularly for two years this is something I’m not prepared for.  Expect at least two blogs in the upcoming two weeks to deal with the speech development.

That was a much more substantial recap than normal.

The Media sometimes sucks

On Monday, we lost a soccer game to the States.  It sucked.  One of the American goals can be directly attributed to two calls made by the referee in the match.

This post isn’t about the calls or ref bias or whether that cost us the game.  (For reference, IMO, Cruddy, within the ref’s discretion and displayed no bias, it was a tying goal not the whole game).

After the game the media asked the Canadian captain, Christine Sinclair, “How do you feel about the loss?  Did you have an problem with the ref”ing?  Did you agree with the calls? ”  Sinclair had just lost the opportunity for a gold or silver medal.  She was devastated.  She obviously has a bias about the calls – there is no way for her to be objective.

She answered that she didn’t think the calls were fair.  It was an honest, but not media savvy answer.

The next night, the main CTV anchor, Brian Williams, was going over the issue with his soccer expert. FIFA has since announced that they were investigating Canada for occurrences after the match – the assumption was investigating Sinclair for unsportsmanlike conduct for her comments.  He pushed the commentator to state that FIFA was biased against Canada because the only reason for announcing the investigation was to erode Canada’s ability to focus on the next game.

OK.  Here’s what I didn’t like.  First, post-game interviews with athletes after a loss.  “How do you feel?  What will you do next?”  These are horrible questions.  First, before the event the athlete isn’t thinking about what they will do if they lose – that is negative thinking.  Second, they feel crappy.  Beyond their ability to put into words.  The question seems more likely to try and draw tears than get a useful quote.  Third, planning their future life five minutes after the loss is likely not their focus either.

In this specific instance, the media actively pursued getting Sinclair to say something controversial.  They pushed.  In a highly emotional state, I’m not surprised that Sinclair made some unwise remarks.  But she showed more control than I would have.  If FIFA ever does fine anyone it should be CTV.

Finally, after the fact, CTV looked to be actively trying to create more controversy in an already controversial situation.  FIFA may be dividing the team’s efforts, but so was CTV in continuing the discussion.

Their behaviour during almost all our losses in other events has been similar and unpalatable.

I liked Simon Whitfield’s response to the “future plans” question after his loss.  “I’m going on a dinner date with my wife tonight.  And tomorrow a date in the park.”  Good answer to a bad question.

2012 Action Movie Rankings

I’ve seen a couple action movies this year.  I’ve decided to rank them.

Remain to be seen this summer:

The Expendables 2

Must See:

The Dark Knight Rises
The Avengers
John Carter
The hunger games
The Amazing Spider man

Not a waste of money:

Snow White and the Huntsman
Total Recall
Pirates band of misfits
Men in Black 3

Not good but has moments:

This means War
Underworld awakenings
Man on a Ledge


Wrath of the Titans

Run in the other Direction:

Abraham Lincoln vampire Hunter

Re-Wee Cap-kly

Hey the Olympics are on.  I watched sports on tv.  5 of our medals were won while I watched the appropriate games.

I’ve even found myself enraptured by sports I don’t normally enjoy like soccer and tennis.

My Mom and brother were out of town.  Partying in the Kootenays.  Sounds like they are cool and had fun.

I read the latest Joe Aberbrombie book, Heroes.  It has been in my read pile for awhile.  They are well written, suspenseful and exciting, but I don’t actually like them very much.  There is a bleakness in the writing.  And a clash about a message of the horrors of war and their presentation in graphic detail.  (Think of a Paul Verhoeven movie like Robocop or Starship Troopers).

Now I will read Eye of the World.  Starting tomorrow since I can’t thread a way to my bookcase right now.

Speaking of Paul Verhoeven movies, I saw the remake of Total Recall with Dave on Sunday.  The original was better, but I still enjoyed it.  The earlier movie’s vision of Mars was filled with interesting details from one side of the screen to the other.  This remake doesn’t have the same exuberance.

Books, movies, Olympics.  Ah gaming night…

We played Ora et Labora.  This session worked much better than the first time I played.  I was the only repeat player.  All three players were engaged and working through the whole game.  It was a lot of fun.  My explanation of the rules sucked though.  Small group – both the summer lull and the post gaming weekend lull and a long weekend lull.  I thought it was fortunate that there were three of us.

That is all.

Oh and we landed a robot on Mars.  Cool.

Go Canada!

Critical Analysis of the Dark Knight Rises

There is a pretty nifty analysis of TDKR here.  It is full of spoilers.  So don’t read unless you have the seen the movie or don’t care.

The writer’s analysis of the theme’s of the movie are mostly spot on.  I can’t find much fault there.  His analysis of superhero movies as a whole though is seriously flawed.  Flawed I say!

First he equates what he likes with what is a better movie.  He dismissed such other films as Avengers and Spider-Man.  He says that we can now end the film genre as a whole because Dark Knight Rises completes it.

Bah.  Bah I say.  A good movie is a challenge to make a better one.  (Although not traditionally in Hollywood were they will try and remake the same one…)  It isn’t a reason to stop.  And it may be true that super-hero movies have moved into the traditional summer action movie role and can often charitably e called mindless entertainment.  But all the super hero movies this summer also tried to be more.    Avengers was the most spectacle for spectacle’s sake, but,darn, it did it so successfully.

Second, he mistakes grim with good.  Bah.  Bah I say.  I love a grim movie as much as the next guy, but there isn’t a problem with being fun too.  Critical acclaim and fun don’t often go hand in hand.  For instance very few Academy Award winners are comedies.  Taking oneself too seriously is more often a flaw than a virtue.  I’m pretty happy we had some more upbeat movies to balance The Batman this summer.

Third,  he tries to make it sound like Hollywood is on a journey of discovery with these pictures.  Campy and funny to serious and grim.  Cheap and throw away to giant budget epics.  Little characterization and theme to lots of both.  Bah.  Bah I say.  What is interesting about this summer’s superhero pics is how they all rely on new material rather than just crib from the comic book source material.  But the elements are all still coming from comics.  There isn’t anything new here.  Film is still just walking in the steps of its source here.  And this journey, if there is one, is one that comics have made there and back already.

Finally he praises the iconoclastic too highly.  Reviewers see a lot of movies.  IMO, it causes them to value the new experience overly much.   Bah.  Bah I say.  Newness is only one element of a successful film.  Just one.  Taking existing pieces and putting them together in a way that seems new is just as cool.  In fact, I’d argue that that is what TDKR does really.

Avengers and TDKR brought thousands of people into theatres.  I see no problem in having them leave feeling entertained.  I certainly did from both movies.  TDKR was more challenging, but not highly so.  I appreciated that to, but it is a flavour not a mandatory element.

Anywho, that is what I think about that.  Hopefully this isn’t too vague.  I’m still avoiding spoiliers.