Tuesday, January 31, 2006

All Your Courts Are Belong to Us

Just have to post this one from Der Tommissar.

The wave is starting to wash over the US as well, God willing.

Monday, January 30, 2006

Strongbad teaches technology

Looks like I'd better go find another line of work. Now I'm competing with Strongbad.

Three-Question Personality Test

Hmmmm. Derived from the MBTI apparently.

Your Personality Is

Rational (NT)

You are both logical and creative. You are full of ideas.
You are so rational that you analyze everything. This drives people a little crazy!

Intelligence is important to you. You always like to be around smart people.
In fact, you're often a little short with people who don't impress you mentally.

You seem distant to some - but it's usually because you're deep in thought.
Those who understand you best are fellow Rationals.

In love, you tend to approach things with logic. You seek a compatible mate - who is also very intelligent.

At work, you tend to gravitate toward idea building careers - like programming, medicine, or academia.

With others, you are very honest and direct. People often can't take your criticism well.

As far as your looks go, you're coasting on what you were born with. You think fashion is silly.

On weekends, you spend most of your time thinking, experimenting with new ideas, or learning new things.

I've almost always scored as an INTP or INTF (the I/E and P/F being borderline).

The interesting thing (to me, surely not to anyone else) is that I started in academia, moved into tech writing with a smidge of coding, and am slowly making my way back toward academia.<.p>

Wednesday, January 25, 2006

Waves over Canada.

Heh heh.

Patrick Coffin has some dire warnings for those wailers and gnashers of teeth in the Great White North.

Uh oh.

My favorite?

"* Disguised as curlers looking for a bonspiel, US troop formations have begun outside Canadian cities. Be very afraid."

I made a curling joke one Sunday when I got up during the end-of-Mass announcements to ask for support for the foodbank I run.

**chirp chirp**

(Note to self—no more curling jokes for US audiences.)

The new Papal Encyclical is here! The new Papal Encyclical is here!

Pope Benedict XVI's first encyclical is finally here. You can read the text of Deus Caritas Est from the Vatican's web site.

One of the things I noted about our late Holy father John Paul II's encyclicals is that the style seems to me a bit verbose, circular (not logically, but thematically and structurally), and parenthetical. That's not to say that his words weren't profound—merely that the style wasn't as direct as I would've preferred. My experience as a technical writer no doubt colors my preferences here.

Anyway, I've noticed that Pope Benedict seems to have a much more direct style. The first three paragraphs of the encyclical seem to reflect this characteristic as well. I can't wait to dive in (and will have to have to restrain myself to keep my mind on my work today).

UPDATE: Gerald Augustinus does a bit of an explication of the letter on his blog, The Cafeteria Is Closed.

Tuesday, January 24, 2006

A review? Just maybe.

I just finished reading Anne Rice's Christ the Lord. I will likely post a review of sorts in a day or two. I could dig deep into the guts of the novel and explore what I think are the internal contradictions and/or consistencies with Catholic doctrine, but I think to do so would be to completely to miss the point of the book.

Stay tuned...

Sunday, January 22, 2006

Apologetics and the Web

For those few who've dropped by before, you might've noticed a small change in the masthead. During morning prayer, I came across this reading in 1 Peter, and it helped me to put my ambivalence about Internet apologetics into a frame of reference.

I've enagaged in a number of discussions with non-Catholics, liberal Catholics, and traditionalist Catholics on various message boards and blogs, and I've simply stopped posting in forums. I don't think I do a poor job presenting the doctrines of our faith, but I do find that such dialogues (if they can be called such) too frequently devolve into arguing for the sake or argument rather than for the glory of God. It makes sense that people who feel passionately about their faith would argue vehemently for it, but I can't help feeling that far too often we lose the correct spirit. It's far easier to do in writing than it is when you have to look someone in the eye and talk to them as a real, live person. I've left off of Internet apologetics almost entirely because this medium just seems to invite cranks and snipers.

At the same time, I want to engage where I can. I'll try to share a bit more of what's happened in my life, how I got here from where I was, and where I hope to be going (in the short term, naturally). I'm also going to do my best to put Mark Brumley's suggestions from How Not to Share your Faith into practice.

Pax Christi.

Wednesday, January 18, 2006

Which Saint be the Coidman

Not sure I should admit this. However, my wife's confirmation name is Joan, so I don't feel too bad.

You are Joan of Arc! You don't really want to hurt
anyone, but if they attack your friends or your
country and no-one else will stand up to fight
them, you head into the battle. Beware though,
conviction tends to get you killed.

Which Saint Are You?
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Prayers for JanJan's daughter

JanJan at WITH ISSUE is asking for prayers for her daughter who's teaching in a rough spot in Capetown. Please add her to your daily intentions tonight and tomorrow.

Whassup wid da Coidman?

I didn't fulfill my promise to blog more over the holidays. Instead I decided to do something I haven't done in several years—I took a lengthy vacation (lengthy being a week or more). I read, played games, worked out, ate, and essentially ignored work.

I've been catching back up on work, and I'm not taking a class this semester, so now I have no excuse. Okay, that's not true. I do have an excuse, which I'll get to in a moment. However, I will try to be more diligent.

So whassup?

- Finally got the Christian rock band going. I burned CDs of the covers we'll be doing. Once we get a handle on everyone's style, we can start to write some originals.

- Got my first report card from Holy Apostles a few weeks ago. Got my final exam yesterday. I'm okay with the final grade but not so happy with my exam grade. My biggest complaint is that I'd like to understand the reason for the exam grade, but I can't read the comments. However, I dose of humility is not a bad thing for me. I'll most likely take another class during the summer session and attempt to regularize my attendance after that. This semester, though, would've been a bear because...

- We made an offer on a house, and it has been accepted contingent on the inspection. We'll need to paint and recarpet before we can move in (heavy smokers), and the timing for closing is particularly bad. I have to be in San Diego for a good part of the week after closing. Anyway, please pray for us and a smooth closing.

I do have a request for you all, though. One of my fellow kung-fu practitioners, a Catholic and retired USAF pilot recently lost his neice. She graduated from the USAF Academy last spring and was in pilot training in September, where she was critically injured in a training flight. She crawled out of the wrreckage with burns over 60% of her body. She fought for the last 3 months but finally passed away last week. Please pray for her soul and for her family'shealing.

Finally, instead of focusing on work and closing on this house, I've volunteered myself to substitute in the cathedral's chancel choir next week. I'll be reading at the compline service next Wednesday (1/25) at 6:00 PM and standing in for my dad the following Sunday (1/29) for 8:00 AM Mass. If you're in Boise then, drop in and say hello. I'll be the one in the red cassock and white surplice.

Friday, January 13, 2006

Comment Secret Code Meme

Tagged for the first time by Anonymous Teacher Person over at Scrutinies. Here's the meme:

Create a post with these directions as your text. Comment on the post by creating an acronym for your blog from the "type this secret code to be allowed to comment" letters.

Got it? Add a comment to your OWN post. I'm tagging Julie D., JanJan, Albertus Minimus, and Der Tommissar (who appears to be slacking off lately on the blogging).

Wednesday, January 11, 2006

Chalcedon Compliant

Thank goodness.

You scored as Chalcedon compliant. You are Chalcedon compliant. Congratulations, you're not a heretic. You believe that Jesus is truly God and truly man and like us in every respect, apart from sin. Officially approved in 451.

Chalcedon compliant




























Are you a heretic?
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HT to G. Thomas Fitzpatrick at Recta Ratio

Tuesday, January 10, 2006

Music: a Confession

Okay, I'm one of the first to complain about chinga-chinga choirs (sorry, contemporary choirs) and their "liturgical" music. Frankly, I see most of these choirs as excuses for people to either perform in a nonprofessional environment or for people who don't really play all that well to get up there with their guitar (or string bass, autoharp, or zither) and strum the same annoying pattern.

No really, it's universal, just like Darwin's song (ching a-ching a-chinga, ching a-ching a-chinga).

I know that sounds really uncharitable, and I sometimes feel a twinge of guilt for feeling that way, but as a former music student and professional musician, these choirs grate on me. But I also think that the job of a cantor is to serve, not to perform, and that's how I see these contemporary choirs—as performers.

I love chant and other more traditional liturgical music. I frequently substitute as a reader or singer for the Renaissance chancel choir that my dad sponsors (mostly for Vespers or Compline services), and I must confess that I sometimes sing parts during congregational singing at Mass, even though I'm not in the choir. By the way, we should be having Compline tomorrow evening and on 1/25. If your in the Boise area, come on down to St. John's at 6:00 PM.

So where's the confession (other than that I'm a music snob)?

I love alternative Christian rock, and I love to play alternative and hard rock. I played in nightclub acts for a number of years, and I just love the energy. I'd love even more to put that energy to good use for Christ.

Mind you, as much as I love to rock out, I do NOT think this music belongs in the liturgy. I think it's appalling when music liturgists turn Mass or any other service into a performance. Liturgical music should be about worship, not performance. And there's plenty of room outside of Mass or Liturgy of the Hours for these other styles.

I'm hoping this new project I'm working on will give me an outlet for some of that energy.

Anyway, I've been listening to a new band, Gretchen, out of Tennesee. They describe themselves as "Heavy-Melodic-Happy-Gothic-Chic-Rock." Mia Richards, the lead singer and bass player, reminds me of the singer for the Canadian band, the Headpins. I'm also a big Skillet fan (or panhead as Skillet fans are apparently called). And I can't leave out Kutless. They come through Boise regularly. Plumb is also a regular on my playlist.

I also like some of the more mainstream Christian rock acts like Building 429, Casting Crowns, Lifehouse, and Switchfoot.

I'm not into hiphop, but I know of at least one Catholic hip-hop group that's getting some exposure (Point 5 Covenant). I also have to put in a plug for Phatmass Phorum. I try to stay away from message boards these days, but I did like the spirit of the people on this board. It's an interesting blend of orthodox Catholics and hip-hop.

Monday, January 09, 2006


Pray for ChristopherSly and his return to the faith.

Thursday, January 05, 2006

Best blonde joke ever.

Okay, I wasn't going to post this, but it's every where—the best (or meanest) blonde joke ever.

UPDATE: As Albertus Minimus pointed out, my link points to a trackback, which points to nothing. My apologies. I'm still getting a hang of this here blogging technology.

False Memories for Jan Jan

If you haven't already picked up on this quasi-meme, AND if you haven't already read Janjan's incredible conversion story, head on over to WITH ISSUE and post a false memory. Her blog is also a great place to find out about what's going on in the Holy Land (that is, what the MSM is conveniently ignoring).

Oh, BTW, you can also leave a memory here.

What's with the blog name?

Nobody has asked, but why should that stop me from indulging in my natural inclination to overexplain myself?

I orginally called this blog "Musings of a Theocoid." First, I should explain that I have had numerous nicknames bestowed upon me that some how involve the syllable "coid" (for example, coidman, Billicoid, coidilicles). I could go into the history, but it's complex. So when it came time to come up with a blogging identity, that factor sort of fell into place. I know that some folks don't like anonymous people on blogs, websites, or email lists, but I have my reasons, and I'm perfectly willing to be open with people who really want to know me outside of my blogging persona.

So, back to the name... er... or the name change.

It appears that everyone muses. And has musings. And thinks it's somehow interesting to label his or her musings as such. And so after a few weeks of treading the blogosphere, I thought my blog name to be deficient. Okay, not just deficient, but lame... as in limping.

I don't know if the current name is any better, but it does reflect a bit of my sense of humor, and it comes right out of my professional world. I've worked as a technical communicator for the last 12 years, and one of the most ironic statements I've ever had to put into a document is the name I've used for this blog: This space intentionally left blank. In the tech comm world, this clause is used to indicate that a document is not actually missing data but actually has an intentionally palced blank page (usually on the left side of the book on the back of the final page of a chapter). So the obvious problem is that once you have put someting on a page, it's no longer blank.

Hence this blog. It's a space that could be left blank, and maybe it SHOULD be blank. However, occasionally I post something, and it's no longer blank.

I think you should blame this entire post on my postmodernist literary education. I promise I'll try not to be such a sophist in the future.

Wednesday, January 04, 2006

What Sad Rejected Super Hero Are You?

What Sad Rejected Super Hero Are You?

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You're GLUTTONOUS MAN! Born with the bizzare power to spread his massive beer gut out over several miles, Gluttonous Man is able to crush any threat that comes near him. Also any homes, schools, businessess, roads, trees, wildlife, small children, basically anything in his way. But his aim is getting better. It's not easy controlling a giant expanding stomach ya know.

HT to Happy Catholic. Looks like I might be in the running to be her sidekick.

Rethinking my place in the blogosphere

I know my blogo-biological niche has been pegged by TTLB, but I feel the need to redefine my conceptual place here in St. Blogs.

I started this blog at the beginning of my theology studies to record my thoughts about what I was reading and watching. I still intend to use this venue for that purpose. However, I'm currently laying off the studies for a semester while I prepare to move into a new home. So now I need to decide what to do with this here blog.

I'm not really keen to share my opinion on every subject. To put it indelicately (and unoriginally), opinions are like a**holes—everyone has one. I'm also hesitant to open myself up to drive-by bloggings, as seems to be the trend at Chez Shea. I simply don't have the time, energy, or desire to bother with polemicists of any stripe.

I'm also not interested in providing another Catholic news portal. There are enough good ones (real and not so real) that I don't see a point. I also have a day job that does not entail research for writing projects (unless they're technical writing projects). So don't come looking to me for the latest from the Catholic rumor mill.

So, I guess the next question would be, why the heck do I have a blog?

Feel free to help me answer that question in my combox.

P.S. Looks like my test grades are in for Philosophy for Theologians, and I managed a not-too-shabby grade. I could've done better, but then, I it's been a few years since grad school, and I didn't have to work full time back then. Anyhoo, I know, at least, that I'm not a theology washout. Once we get this here home-purchase thingee situated, I hope to take a class on patristics or St. Thomas.

I hope 2006 brings you all much joy!

Fancy brigade? String band? What's the diff?

Der Tomissar at Donegal Express is a bit depressed because he missed a bit of mummery.

He was offering blogroll honors for anyone who could explain the difference between a fancy brigade and a string band. Having never been exposed to much mummery, I could only report what I could find on the Web. If anyone wants to answer his challenge, head on over to the Donegal Express.

Alles klar, Herr Tommissar.