Archive for May, 2012

Thoughts on Pentecost

Wednesday, May 30th, 2012

This past Sunday was Pentecost, a holiday on the Catholic calendar that falls fifty days after Easter Sunday.

From Acts 2, American Standard Version:

And when the day of Pentecost was now come, they were all together in one place.

2 And suddenly there came from heaven a sound as of the rushing of a mighty wind, and it filled all the house where they were sitting.

3 And there appeared unto them tongues parting asunder, like as of fire; and it sat upon each one of them.

4 And they were all filled with the Holy Spirit, and began to speak with other tongues, as the Spirit gave them utterance.

5 Now there were dwelling at Jerusalem Jews, devout men, from every nation under heaven.

6 And when this sound was heard, the multitude came together, and were confounded, because that every man heard them speaking in his own language.

Now, the obvious message here is that the Holy Spirit is capable of acting like a sort of celestial Google Translate; the apostles went out into public and were able to preach to the Jewish pilgrims of many nations, with each of them hearing the speech in their own native tongue.

I don’t think that’s the real moral, though. I’ve been thinking about this all week, and I think that the real miracle is that anyone in Jerusalem was willing to listen to the apostles at all. Think about it; this was a dozen recluses, followers of an obscure cult leader who had been put to death by the state less than two months earlier. But when they went out into public and preached his message, dozens of people from all over the world stopped what they were doing to listen. It’s a metaphor for being willing to listen, with an open mind, and evaluate something on its merits without ignoring a speaker out of hand.

Considering we live in a nation split into two roughly equal camps determined to ignore and belittle one another, it might be a good lesson to keep in mind for this election year.

Memorial Day

Tuesday, May 29th, 2012

I hope everyone had an enjoyable Memorial Day weekend. Personally, I celebrated in the traditional manner of my people – by eating hot dogs, drinking Genny, and washing a station wagon in the driveway with a garden hose.


Cycle Economics

Thursday, May 24th, 2012

From this article at Forbes:

New data highlight that bicyclists in the United States save at least $4.6 billion a year by riding instead of driving.

You can just go ahead and put that in my bank account, DOT. Thanks.

Working Mother

Tuesday, May 22nd, 2012

In the current issue of “Working Mother” magazine, I imagine in celebration of the upcoming Father’s Day holiday, there’s an article about things that mothers can learn from how fathers interact with their kids. The lead-in from the table of contents is, without exaggeration, “Sure, we know we do everything better, but you might be surprised what you can learn from Daddy.”

WTF? This is blatantly sexist claptrap, right? The “all dads are morons” meme in popular culture drives me crazy.

Thoughts on Graduation

Thursday, May 17th, 2012

So, I graduated last night. It was interesting.

I really hope that Canisius posts a video of the commencement ceremony. Some highlights:

  • The commencement speaker managed to spend a sizable chunk of his speech telling us how important it is to financially support the college, now that we are alumni. The audience for this just spent somewhere in the neighborhood of $30k, at least, to get to this point. Apparently, not enough. Then again, the commencement speaker was the head of the local PBS affiliate; it’s entirely possible that begging for money is just an instinct that kicks in when he sees a crowd.
  • This was balanced by the president of the college telling us that we’re graduating into a terribly economy anyway, and good luck with finding a job in the Mad Max times that we’re all living in now. The Thunderdome is the new law. He said we were lucky to be graduating from Canisius, though, because apparently a degree from a regional liberal arts college is a valuable credential in the New Economy. I’m not sure if he actually believes that or if he’s just being nice.
  • There were a staggering number of people graduating from the School of Education. Hundreds. Probably fifty or sixty in physical education alone. No wonder I know so many unemployed teachers; the market has got to be completely flooded.
  • Apparently Canisius now offers a degree program in Applied Nutrition. So, if you’ve ever considered getting yourself deeply in debt to have your eating prowess certified, now’s your chance.

Anyway, it’s been three tough years, but I’m done. And I’m glad. I may go back to school at some point in the future, but for now, I plan on spending those two nights a week I was in class with my sons, instead. And I couldn’t be happier.


Shirt Designs 2012

Thursday, May 17th, 2012

Here are the submissions that I received for this year’s SAPS shirt design. Each one is tagged with a name, which corresponds to an entry in the voting booth. To vote for your favorite, go to the end of this post and make your selection. Please don’t just post your vote as a comment, because then I don’t know whether or not you also used the voting booth. Please note that each of the images in this post is a thumbnail; if you’d like to see more detail, where available, just click on the picture and a larger version will load.

Whichever design has the most votes by midnight on May 31 will be the winner, and will go on the t-shirts that Super Atomic Pedal Squadron wears in this year’s ride.

So, without further ado, here’s our contestants:




Fallout Gear

Please, pass the URL for this far and wide – email, Facebook, etc. Not only is it good publicity for the team, and a good chance for fundraising, but I’d like to get a lot of input and a lot of votes. And I’m sure that some of you are dying for a chance to stuff the ballot box.

What should be the 2012 SAPS shirt design for Ride for Roswell?

  • Dinosaur (67%, 18 Votes)
  • Fallout Gear (19%, 5 Votes)
  • Chainring (15%, 4 Votes)
  • SAPS Atom (0%, 0 Votes)

Total Voters: 27

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One Thousand Steps

Tuesday, May 15th, 2012

Beer and Failure

Wednesday, May 9th, 2012

From the fine website, “Cracked”: 5 Tips for Pairing Beer with Failure. #1 about made me spit out my coffee. Enjoy.

Security Footage

Tuesday, May 8th, 2012

Check out the video attached to this Buffalo News story.

Pretty impressive video quality on those blue light cameras, eh?

Financial Sector

Monday, May 7th, 2012

Last night, I was watching an episode of Frontline about the recent economic crisis. One of the early facts they mentioned was that the financial sector is not only the single largest component of the American economy, but that it’s fully twice the size of American manufacturing.

How strange is it that shuffling money around in a databank somewhere is twice as lucrative as actually producing something of tangible value?

This is a postmodern world, to be sure.