A Song In My Heart

After my morning offering I heard this hymn.  It stayed with me all day.  Our Blessed Sacrament choir sings it during communion occasionally.  This is the best version I could find on YouTube, but our choir does it even better.  I did not know that it is from a '70's musical, Celebrate Life!

In Remembrance
(Ragan Courtney and Buryl Red)

In remembrance of Me eat this bread
In remembrance of Me drink this wine
In remembrance of Me pray for the time
When God's own will is done

In remembrance of me heal the sick
In remembrance of me feed the poor
In remembrance of me open the door
And let your brother in, let him in

Take eat and be comforted
Drink and remember too
That this is my body and precious blood
Shed for you, shed for you

In remembrance of me always love
In remembrance of me don't look above
But in your heart, in your heart
Look in your heart for God

Do this in remembrance of Me
Do this in remembrance of Me
In remembrance of Me 


A.N. Wilson on the Kindle

From an interview by William Skidelsky in the Guardian/Observer, AN Wilson: 'Everyone writes in Tolstoy's shadow' :
Do you have a Kindle?
I do, but funnily enough it's very difficult to get any books on it you actually want. The first thing I thought I'd put on it was Froude's Life of Carlyle, which is one of my favourite biographies, but it's quite impossible. Then you try to download the Pléiade Proust rather than some crap Proust and you can't. Then I downloaded the complete works of Yeats, and the poems give out halfway through. So I think it's of very limited use. It's fine for aeroplanes and trains but it won't replace the dear old book.
Is the e-reader the new "mass-market paperback"?  The NYT e-book bestseller list certainly suggests it.  Top downloads currently include the pornographic fan-fiction Twilight series spin-off, the Fifty Shades trilogy, which the library is so far declining to purchase in print.


"But they are not the Me myself"

An old woman called this morning, trying to remember a poem.  She thought it might be Whitman.  It listed various disasters, ending with something like, "but that is not me."

She was right.  It was Walt Whitman's Song of Myself.

...People I meet, the effect upon me of my early life or the ward and city I live in, or the nation,
The latest dates, discoveries, inventions, societies, authors old and new,
My dinner, dress, associates, looks, compliments, dues,
The real or fancied indifference of some man or woman I love,
The sickness of one of my folks or of myself, or ill-doing or loss or lack of money, or depressions or exaltations,
Battles, the horrors of fratricidal war, the fever of doubtful news, the fitful events;
These come to me days and nights and go from me again,
But they are not the Me myself.


Down With The Old Canoe

I found this fascinating and amusing article in this week's New Yorker magazine, Unsinkable:  Why we can't let go of the Titanic, by Daniel Mendelsohn, a look at the cultural history of the Titanic in literature and film.

The fake newspaper headline from The Onion's book, "Our Dumb Century", says it all, World's Largest Metaphor Hits Iceberg.


The "Java Station" Returns, Titanic Fever

The county's computer techs have replaced five of the twenty-three public-access PC's on the second floor with Pano box workstations.  It is a trial to see if they will work using the server at the courthouse, or if a server is needed in the library.  These "thin client" workstations run virtual machine "instances" of Microsoft XP from a single server, vastly reducing the amount of maintenance required by herds of PC's.

Library branches that are new or that have been recently remodeled have already been using these.  We are excited about the changeover.  Users are unable to install software on them.  They have no CD/DVD or floppy drives, accepting only USB devices.  Viruses will be reduced dramatically.

They run on Java, hence the title of this post.  The first public-access computers in Adult Services were ten Sun Java Stations in the late 'nineties.  They weren't very usable, but as welcome as the Windows PC's that replaced them were, the PC's brought with them all the problems that come with keeping dozens of individual computers running in a public-access environment.

I've seen a lot of interest and news coverage around the hundredth anniversary of the sinking of the RMS Titanic on 15 April, 1912.  There was an interesting article in Sunday's New York Times comparing the accommodations on the Titanic with those of today's cruise ships.  A coworker showed me the History Channel's "real time" tweets from passengers and crew.  A group of young people at my wife's office went together to see the re-release of James Cameron's Titanic.

For years, the classic popular account was Walter Lord's A Night to Remember.  It was made into a film in 1958, starring Kenneth More, and this film still provides my mental picture of the event.


He Has Shown the Strength of His Arm

By Holy Saturday, I was ready for Lent to end.  It can wear you down.  Friday night, after Stations of the Cross in the afternoon and the Good Friday liturgy including the Veneration of the Cross in the evening, I had gruesome dreams.

Watching our cat, Claudius, in the front yard, I chatted with G., our neighbor across the street.  I said that I'd had a sore arm, and I wasn't sure I could crank my lawn mower.  Last week's rains had made the grass grow, and the neighborhood had echoed with the noise of mowers and leaf blowers.  G. had mowed on Friday, and I felt guilty.  G. demonstrated his back exercise in reply, and we swapped the names of our chiropractors.  Aches and pains, the news of geezers.

R. and I went out to Sahara, a Middle Eastern restaurant, for supper:  spinach pie for her, a chicken pita wrap and Greek salad for me.  We went home, changed into our best, and left early for the three-hour Easter Vigil Mass.  Father H., who is from Spain, sang beautifully the Exultet.  We had a large number of candidates for adult baptism, including what appeared to be a whole family.  One woman, 50-ish, wearing a shag cut with a touch of gray, looked to have "been around the block".  I felt a connection with her, and wished her joy at her new beginning.

I meant to cut the grass on Sunday, but I worried about my right arm.  I had strained it lifting rental books overhead to store on high shelves, and though it felt better, I wondered if  starting the lawn mower, cold and unused over the winter, might be too much.  Again and again I pulled the cord.  I decided to let it warm up in the sun for a little while, and after that it roared to life.  I mowed, edged the curb, raked the leaves out of the storm drain.  Mission accomplished!

For our Easter dinner I grilled lamb chops on the back patio, while R. prepared baked potatoes, roasted asparagus, and a salad with sweet, perfectly ripe cherry tomatoes from New Leaf Market.

We talked about how glad we were that Lent was over, and about how hard the legislative session had been.  Then we said the rosary and listened to Easter chants on Millennium of Music.  It is finished.



The Florida Legislature finally "sine die'd", last week, adjourning after a special session on redistricting following the regular session.  R. was finally unchained from her desk after several grueling months.

We both had last Friday off, after an eleven-day stretch for me with only Monday off.  It was our 32nd wedding anniversary, but all we both wanted was an afternoon nap.  Our "32nd anniversary snooze", we joked.  Anyway, it was a Lenten Friday, so feasting was not in order.

We had our naps, and made it to evening Mass, followed by a Lenten Light Supper, (grilled cheese sandwich, tomato soup, salad), Stations of the Cross and a Benediction.  We planned to dine out on Saturday.

But the next day R. wasn't feeling well, with a sore throat and no appetite.  Pollen?  We weren't sure. I had pollen symptoms too, an aching head and chest.

I had prepared for Confession, to be ready for Holy Week, so I went to do that at three.  I was surprised to find myself among only young people of college age or in their twenties.  Father Tim was hearing confessions, a new priest and a young man himself, an ex-Marine.  It was good to unburden myself, and to be absolved of my sins.

R. prepared a simple supper of spaghetti and clams, and we listened to Prairie Home Companion, watching afterward The Way to Life on EWTN, about a young man who discerns a vocation on the road to Santiago de Compostela.

My penance was to meditate on the Passion, so I read the Passion narrative in the Gospel of St. Mark.  What struck me were the things that seemed beyond the knowledge of the disciples, the anointing of Jesus by the woman with the alabaster jar, the mysterious arrangements for the colt for him to ride into Jerusalem, and for the Upper Room where he held the Last Supper., and the role of Joseph of Arimathea in arranging for his burial.