What, Me Worry?

Haven't we met before?
Haven’t we met before?

Here’s an interesting article which posits that dogs, and indeed most non-human animals, lack “episodic memory:”

In defining episodic memory, Endel Tulving argued that it is unique to humans. Experience influences all animals. Most mammals and birds can build complex sets of knowledge or semantic memory. You and I also remember the experience of learning these complex sets of information. Dogs don’t.

In other words, if a dog has a bad day, they’ll forget all about it tomorrow. They have for their patron saint the insouciant Alfred E. Newman: they don’t worry about it.

During Lent, it’s easy to get down on oneself. Rummaging through the dark recesses of my conscience I find plenty of ammunition to hurl at myself which, if I’m not careful, can lead to despair. In this respect at least, I must learn from dogs.

Spiritual progress can only be made when we embrace the lessons of yesterday, but leave yesterday behind. It’s impossible to walk forward when you’re looking back over your shoulder all the time.


Did You Hear What Happened??

sirenI dunno, it probably snowed. Why? Did you hear something?

I’m sorry, but if I titled this post “A Lenten Reflection,” you wouldn’t have opened it, amirite? Stay with me though. I promise it’ll be worth your time.

So after shoveling the global-warming off the driveway this morning, I closed the garage door and turned to watch if there was any daylight showing through under the gasket. If it did, that would mean I hadn’t gotten all the ice off the apron. So what? Well, since the garage faces north, snow blows through the gap into the garage, you see.

Hey, wait! Come back! I’ve got a point, I promise!

Continue reading “Did You Hear What Happened??”

So, this is a thing.

"I'm so hip, I have trouble seeing over my pelvis."  ~Zaphod Beeblebrox
“I’m so hip, I have trouble seeing over my pelvis.”
~Zaphod Beeblebrox

Speaking of pilgrimages, apparently the type of people who wear porkpie hats, drink artisinal beer, and only listen to obscure music exclusively on vinyl or reel-to-reel, have made the Portland International Airport (PDX) somewhat of a hipster mecca…in an ironic way of course.


Because the northwest corner of the US is home to high-tech, free-thinkers, and the world’s largest private bookstore with Portland as its epicenter?

Um, no.

It’s because of the carpet. Verily, I doth shit thee nary a whit.

Continue reading “So, this is a thing.”

Happy Belated Birthday Abe!

abraham-lincolnYesterday, ahem, was our 16th president’s birthday.

Living in the Land of Lincoln—ironically the most corrupt state in the union, for which he gave his life—I would be remiss in not posting a remembrance of one of our nation’s greatest men…and yet here we are a day late.


One of the most moving experiences I ever had was standing in front of the cenotaph in his tomb at Oak Ridge Cemetery in Springfield to pay my respects. He is interred with his wife and boys near him. I remember feeling that he would probably be uncomfortable with the enormity and elaborateness of the monument, but at the same time, I’m sure he would understand that it is as much for us as for him.

This is not his original resting place. That is a very humble tomb cut into a hillside elsewhere on the grounds. If you ever find yourself in Springfield, make a point of visiting his house—it’s still there, just as he left it when leaving for Washington—but make sure to visit his tomb.

Ask him to pray for us, because our country desperately needs men like him now.

Odds & Ends

oddsends[UPDATE: I am reliably informed that my rant about OSU’s hats and t-shirts should more appropriately be directed toward the CFP people and Nike. Nevertheless, it’s still fun to bust on Urban whenever and wherever possible.]

First off, congratulations to Ohio State University on winning the College Football National Championship. Great season, inspired play, hurray for the B1G, and all that.

But…[oh well, haters gotta hate]

What’s the deal with the hats and t-shirts? “Undisputed National Champions?”

Really? Are you afraid someone might call your championship into question? What’s up Urban? Feeling insecure?

To paraphrase Denzel Washington, “Nuts gotta be nuts.”

In other news…

Pope Francis I declared 2015 to be the Year of Consecrated Life in order to draw the Church’s attention to those who serve God as consecrated religious, and to pray for vocations to the religious life. It coincides with the 50th anniversary of Perfectae Caritatis, a decree on religious life.

Continue reading “Odds & Ends”

Papa’s Got a New Ride

Happy New Year! I hope your holidays were pleasant and safe, and that easing back into work and the long, dreary, trudge to Easter isn’t too painful.

I should write greeting cards.

But that’s not why you called. Behold, the Papal Harley!

pope-emeritus-2013harley-davidson-flstc-heritage-softailclassic-pope-benedict-xvi-3I’m not an HD fanboy myself, but considering how inherently dangerous motorcycling can be, it probably doesn’t hurt to have a bike blessed by the Pope.

Funny. Seems a Ducati or Moto Guzzi would be more appropriate.

Oh wait…

Ducati already has an endorsement deal with the devil.

Don’t ask me which one I’d rather have.



Just Stop It!

There is a never-ending supply of stuff in the news that causes me to break out in a nasty, swelling rash, but this stands on its own. Here’s a key excerpt [emphasis mine]:

Angelina Jolie’s entire family recently stepped out on the red carpet to support their mother’s new movie, Unbroken. The couple’s oldest biological child, who was assigned female at birth, joined brothers Maddox and Pax wearing sharp suits and short haircuts.

Pitt and Jolie have been fairly open over the years about Shiloh’s interest in all things considered masculine. In an interview with Oprah in 2008, Brad Pitt discussed how Shiloh wanted to be called John.

The eight-year-old’s family fully supports their decision to self-identify — from an affinity for suits and ties to shorter hair to the name change.

In my day, such girls were called “tomboys.” It’s perfectly natural for some girls to dig the same stuff little boys do; that’s what makes ’em cool. However, when their hippy-dippy, gender-bending, draw-no-lines parents start using the child to advance a clearly anti-human (yeah, I went there) agenda, then I gotta yell.

We can have a discussion about people who have a same-sex attraction. There are lots of reasons for it and many ways to cope with it but, and let me say this very clearly, GENDER IS NOT SOMETHING ONE CAN CHOOSE.

Give the kid a a copy of Grey’s Anatomy, tell her to go to the bathroom, drop trou, and check for herself. You are a boy or you are a girl, dammit!

Playing silly games with terms like “gender-assignation” is just another signpost on society’s road to hell. We are already too comfortable with choosing who is a valid human being and who is not, as evidenced by the abortion of over 700,000 infants in 2011, and that’s only counting legal abortions—as if legality has anything to do with murder. And let’s not forget the growing euthanasia rights movement.

It’s all part of the same disease. The same one the first human being suffered from: I know better than the God who made me.

Just stop.


Happy Holidays from East Lansing!

200px-MSU_Seal_2010.svg[Watch the trolls come out of the woodwork on this one.]

The gentle sound of the Red Cedar rushing under the tourist ducks, MSU’s renowned carillon echoing across campus, brings a tear to my eye. It awakens fond memories of Christmas hymns wafting through the frosty air, our comforting companion as we hurried through snow covered gardens and under the ancient oaks to class.

<sigh> Yes, I’m a sentimental sap.

Here then is a Christmas Card from my beloved Alma Mater, one of the most beautiful college campuses anywhere! Oh, and it’s a damn fine school too!

So from all of Spartan Nation, Merry Christmas and Go Green!

Continue reading “Happy Holidays from East Lansing!”