Friday, August 28, 2009

Friday Reverie

Danny Update 281449

No dramatic changes have occurred in TS Danny since the last post. The storm is gaining neither strength nor intensity as it clears the Florida Straits, entering the Gulf Stream waters off of the Carolinas. This is the zone which could have provided Danny the energy to enter the hurricane category. For now, and over the next 48 hours, the storm is expected to remain a marginal Tropical Storm. Both Computer and Ensemble models place a potential landfall between Eastern Rhode Island and Chatham, MA.
Barry, Michelle and the kids are beyond the reach of the storm as they left this morning. As for Suburbia Majora and the Potomac Watershed, I see a wet weekend with a few thunder rumbles thrown in for good measure.
Time to consider a good book or some DVD's as outside hijinks will probably be sufficiently rained out.

Thursday, August 27, 2009

Cooking with the catbird

Cooking is one of my minor passions... Manga and enjoy!

Danny Update 271335

Tropical Storm Danny is still brewing out in the subtropical Atlantic between the Bahamas and Bermuda, packing 50 knot winds. He's no Katrina but but a storm to be reckoned with. Current computer modeling continues to show Danny steering well east of the Potomac watershed, though there's a swath of coast between Rhode Island and Chatham, MA that are still at risk for hosting a Hurricane Party this weekend.

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

A Quiet Moment on a Wednesday

In the 1989, I found the Band Iona after reading a sketchy review of their first project in Charisma Magazine. I was on the heels of a time when the Contemporary Christian Music scene was awash with dreck. Many (Though certainly not all) of the acts out there were merely "sanctified alternatives" to the acts playing the FM top 40 formats. This was perfect for those who dug the sounds on the top 40 charts, but were being brow-beaten by the supersaints who demonstrated their disdain at any turn. Of course too, were the uber-sanctified supersaints who lumped Steve Camp in with the likes of Ozzy, Ratt and Sheena Easton. But then there was Iona.

Sincere worship seemed to course through Celtic strains as old as Eden. They didn't entertain as much as their music took you to that place of peace where the children could commune with their Father. A place to think and meditate... A place of adoration.

Danny Update 261755

The latest data on TS Danny sis out for consumption. As for Suburbia Majora and the Potomac Watershed, the outlook has slightly improved as the projected track has it farther offshore than this morning. It looks as though the storm has a high probability of a landfall between Long Beach, NY (Long Island) and Chatham, MA. Oh well Barry, looks like the vacation may well get rained on. But then again... We can always Hope for Change.

There's Do'ins Afoot...

I'm certain that Grammarians far and near are shuddering as they read the title of this post. Truth be told, it's not mine. No, it comes from the sixth season of "The Simpsons", in the "Lemon of Troy" episode. Seems in that episode that the residents of Springfield seemed to have a doppelganger in Shelbyville. In this we heard the analogue of Homer, when realizing that the lemon tree was being rescued, says to his son, "Come on son, there's do'ins afoot". Great episode, but as so often the case... I digress.

A spoiler by the name of Tropical Storm Danny has organized itself out of its former tropical wave and now may have plans for our weekend. Unless it takes a left turn, it should only be a rain event in Suburbia Majora. GFS and Ensemble meteorological modeling applications are placing Danny with a potential landfall between Sandy Hook, NY and central/eastern Long Island, NY. I know that Long Island has taken it on the chin in the past but I'm not sure about the "Five Boroughs". This will be one to watch as we slide towards Friday and beyond.

Sunday, August 23, 2009

Sunday, August 23rd

From the Book of Common Prayer:

Grant, O merciful God, that your Church, being gathered together in unity by your Holy Spirit, may show forth your power among all peoples, to the glory of your Name; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. Amen.

I love the Book of Common Prayer and the focus it provides for worship. Today's collect places our focus on unity within God's Holy Church. Consider the thought rolled up within this prayer... Our Lord's Holy Church, speaking in one voice, praying as one body and worshipping as one heart, that they would become a conduit and channel for the Spirit of God to become manifest within our world. BOO-Ya!!!

There is a tenet of Islam which I find highly admirable (OK youse, just settle down a minute.) This tenet is the concept of the Ummah. Like Christianity, Islam is not a monolith. There are at least three major veins of Islam, Sunni, Shia, and Sufi that have tenets and teachings that differ greatly. These schools have debated tenets of their faith for centuries and are at loggerheads over many issues. Yet, at the first sense of an insult or blasphemy against the faith, they will set aside their issues and demonstrate a united front against the offender.

Like Islam, Christianity is no monolith, having many factions and flavors that vary in ways beyond the scope of the Catbird Seat. Now, work with me for a moment... What if Christ's church could for a moment, speak with one voice? When an "atheist du jour" or some blasphemous artist purposefully offends the collective soul of Christendom, that we could respond to that affront in one voice?

Face it church, we're a group that shoots its own wounded and can't abide sitting next to another saint who might hold a different Bible translation, or sings from a different hymnal. Let's not even touch skin color or heritage...

As long as we cling to petty shibboleths, we will not acquire the Spirit's Fire. We'll be nothing more than toothless old dogs in the eyes of the world.

If ever there was a time to rise and stand shoulder to shoulder, and heart to heart, that time would be now... Selah

Thursday, August 20, 2009

In Thursday's Vesper Light...

From the Book of Common Prayer...
O Gracious Light Phos hilaron

O gracious light,
pure brightness of the everliving Father in heaven,
O Jesus Christ, holy and blessed!

Now as we come to the setting of the sun,
and our eyes behold the vesper light,
we sing your praises, O God: Father, Son, and Holy Spirit.

You are worthy at all times to be praised by happy voices,
O Son of God, O Giver of Life,
and to be glorified through all the worlds.
The sun sets on a steamy August evening in Suburbia Majora. For all of our labors, all our striving and all our hopes; Have we grown in the grace of our Lord and Savior today? Have we journeyed farther on the highway of the higher calling of our master?
We Pray...

Lord, you are high and exalted, and in you there is no shadow and no guile. Forgive us in those places where we've failed you today. Blot out those moments where we've placed ourselves ahead of others, and where our desires displaced your Holy will.
Grant us, through your Son Christ Jesus, divine rest according to the promise of your servant David. For those whom you love, you grant rest. Remind us too that though we make our beds in the depths, you are with us. Your mighty hand protects us and your Holy Spirit encircles us.
Be glorified in the name of the Father, Son and Holy Spirit. Amen

Sleep well Saints

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Tuesday Chuckles

I got a kick out of this one... It may be 100 degrees out there in Suburba Majora, but its not too hot to smile...

Monday, August 17, 2009

On the Bleeding Edge of the Workweek

Funny, the lyrics of this tune by Shawn McDonald mirror my morning prayers today. This guy has a great sound that to me, is mildly reflective of Sting. You can hear a crisper studio version of this psalm by clicking here.

Saturday, August 15, 2009

Traveling Music for a Saturday

Its time to hit pike, departing sultry Fort Lauderdale and return to Suburbia Majora. One thing that struck me almost immediately was the absence of the coconut palms I knew as a kid down here. I learned that they were knocked out but a blight carried by pigeons. Heck of a thing.

Friday Reverie II

Two great tunes to roll through 'yer coconut at the end of a full week. I had discovered Nik Kershaw while living in Germany back in the mid-eighties. Chris Rea is a Brit with the gift of smooth jazz who has been by an large, under appreciated. His tune, On the Beach, kinda feels like Ft Lauderdale on a sultry summer evening.

Friday Reverie

Friday, August 07, 2009

On the Feast of John Mason Neale

From the Book of Common Prayer...
Grant, O God, that in all time of our testing we may know your presence and obey your will; that, following the example of your servant John Mason Neale, we may with integrity and courage accomplish what you give us to do, and endure what you give us to bear; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. Amen.
I've got to confess that I get some real enjoyment in studying the Anglican Liturgical Calendar. While ya' come across many familiar names of saints, martyrs and others, you also tend to come across the "who is this?" John Mason Neale falls into the latter category. John Mason Neale was a nineteenth century Anglican Priest and composer who unknown to most, has left a lasting mark on our culture. The priest has a special place in my heart as he too, was a guy that couldn't get his head around higher mathematics.

Father Neale served the Anglican Church during the emergence of the Oxford Movement, a thrust to restore "high church" worship within the Church of England, and other Anglican bodies. Despite the majesty of high church worship, many within the body, laity and clergy alike regarded the movement with suspicion. Some even considered Oxford movement members as "agents of Rome" (WOW, sounds like a plot from a Jack Chick comic...) Father Neale wasn't spared any persecution shared by his fellow travelers. In fact, the priest was inhibited for fourteen years and was nearly stoned at a funeral. Our God was with Father Neale as his witness shined above the troubles and even his most strident opponents were reconciled to the man.

Now what about Father Neale's thumbprint on our culture? Well if yer' like me, your a fool for Christmas and traditional Christmas music (No Rudolph allowed here). The priest composed carols like "Good Christian Men Rejoice" and "Good King Wenceslas". Additionally he translated, the mighty Advent carol "O Come, Emmanuel".

Father John Mason Neale's legacy should encourage us to slough on, regardless of adversity. Those things which we do today do matter and will be remembered in that Day of the Lord. What we do today may well impact lives for generations to come. Think about it; have you been filled with a sense of awe while listening to or singing O Come Emmanuel?

Introducing... Catbird TV

Thursday, August 06, 2009


A timeless tune while you're waiting for the sandman to call...

Wednesday, August 05, 2009

August 6, 1945: 0814 Hours

Mrs. Enola G. Tibbets could have very easily lived out her life in complete ubiquity. That is, if her son Paul had chose to give his B-29 Super Fortress another name. He didn't and now at 0814 hours, she and two other Super Fortresses, Necessary Evil and The Great Artiste, were cruising high in the Troposphere above mainland Japan. In sixty seconds, the world most of our grandparents knew would be irrevocably changed. In the next 57 seconds, 130 pounds of enriched uranium dove towards the earth to its appointment 2,000 feet above Hiroshima. In the next moment, 80,000 souls would vanish from our planet along with most of a Japanese industrial city. An equal number were gravely injured. Another 200,000 souls would perish in the ensuing five years, a direct result of the "little boy" who visited on the morning of the sixth.

Sixty four years ago today, the grim boogeyman that stalked the babyboomers was born. Save for Nagasaki, this dark genie was been kept in its grim bottle. Still, we grew up in the bomb's shadow, and the shadow of the ever present image of the Fallout Shelter sign. Those signs have either disappeared or have now rusted beyond recognition. Even movies like "The Day After" have a faint nostalgic feel for some.

I fear that as August 6, 1945 fades into the history texts, the naked horror of nuclear war fades with it. Yet today, despots, terrorists and their ilk are scrambling to amass their own stash of nuclear weapons. the grainy photographs from Hiroshima and Nagasaki have no meaning to these dark souls. Too, I feel that there are too many who fail to comprehend the dire consequences of Jihadists obtaining even a relatively low yield nuclear device.

Pray for Peace, Stay Awake, Stay Frosty...

Tuesday, August 04, 2009

A Tuesday in August

There is absolutely nothing that compares to a cool, ethereal, angelic, and above all Celtic voice to drive off the oppressive steam and brass skies of a Virginia August. One stanza and you can almost feel the mists of wafting up the face of the Cliffs of Moher.