Our Lady of Fatima... Pray for us.
Our Lady of the Blessed Sacrament... Hear us.
Our Lady of the Rosary... Strengthen us.

Monday, May 30, 2011


    USA Flag

This weekend, as we celebrate Memorial Day, we remember our fallen heroes, who gave the last full measure of devotion to preserve our liberty.  And we thank you.


Day is done,
gone the sun,
From the hills,
from the lake,
From the skies.
All is well,
safely rest,
God is nigh.

Go to sleep,
peaceful sleep,
May the soldier
or sailor,
God keep.
On the land
or the deep,
Safe in sleep.

Love, good night,
Must thou go,
When the day,
And the night
Need thee so?
All is well.
Speedeth all
To their rest.

Fades the light;
And afar
Goeth day,
And the stars
Shineth bright.
Fare thee well,
Day has gone,
Night is on.

Thanks and praise,
For our days,
'Neath the sun,
'Neath the stars,
'Neath the sky.
As we go,
This we know...
God is nigh.

Friday, May 27, 2011

Funny Guy Friday... Don't get on the bus!

    Last Saturday, Cheryl and I planned to go on a date---just the two of us for a nice quiet dinner and perhaps some live music afterward.
    I was driving home from a baseball game when I got a call from a friend telling me that another friend had rented a bus for the night as a present to his wife. He suggested that we meet them at the restaurant or in downtown Annapolis after dinner. Sounded great---we could enjoy everyone's company and not be tied to the bus.
    When I got home Cheryl advised that the couple with the bus called and we were supposed to be invited onto the bus. Wait a second, let's not be too hasty here, the bus means we are like kidnap victims, only able to leave when our captors decide. Lets not be held hostage by the bus. Hell no--- I won't go!
    Too bad, she advised, you will go, and the bus will be here in ten minutes. It will be good, you can drink without having to worry about driving.
    Apparently, something I have done or said has given her the idea that I could not turn down an opportunity to get pounded without the responsibility of driving.  Mind you, in over twenty years of knowing me, she has never seen me drunk. I have never been much of a drinker, and at this point in my life, if I had more than a couple, I would probably pass out before I got drunk.
   Anyway, Cheryl was already dressed for our date---looking beautiful, I might add---but I was covered in baseball field dirt. I quickly showered and shaved and ironed a shirt---all in less than ten minutes. I was unbelievable.
   The bus came and we jumped on. We were then greeted with a chorus of compliments... and by we, I mean Cheryl. Wow, Cheryl, I can't believe you pulled it all together in ten minutes!  If that ever happened to me, I could never pull it together in ten minutes! You probably wear a dress every day! I knew, if anyone could pull it together, it would be you! Wait a second, I was the unbelievable one---not her.
    Does my wife have an alter ego that I am not aware of? These folks treated her like she was June Cleaver. Her being ready, in a dress and all, was dumb luck. Any other day, any other week, any other month, she would have been wearing a pair of sweats, one of my t-shirts and a pair of clonky shoes. Of course her hair would be pulled back, secured with her ever present pencil. I bust my hump to get ready in ten minutes and she gets the accolades. Not fair, not fair at all.
    Dinner was excellent and once we were done, it was off----in the bus----to downtown Annapolis. The first place we went had a cover charge. There was a bar right next door that served the same beer without a cover charge. Easy decision, but one of our group knew the  owners of the first bar and wanted to go to that bar. There were about 15 of us and they were charging $5 a head. Initially, the bouncer chummed up to me and said that he could get us all in for $40. This was about half of the normal cover charge, but we thought that no cover charge to drink the same beer was a better idea.
    On a side note, what a rip off cover charges are. You pay just to get in the door. Once inside, you get the unique opportunity to pay for the beer that they sell. You have to pay them money just to spend more money! I digress.
    After one round of drinks in the no-cover bar, the woman who knew the other bar owners advised us that she talked to the bouncer and he was down to $30. I reckon she got a better deal because she is ten dollars prettier than I am. With the additional discount, we did decide to go to that bar. That is when the "fun" began.
    Inside, there was a group of four guys and one girl---a sister, I later found out---in the same little area where we were standing. After about thirty minutes, one of the guys put his arm around one of the women we were with. She gently advised him that she was a mother of four, but he did not seem to be deterred---she is a very lovely lady. At this point her husband came up and advised that she is not only a mother of four, but a wife of one---him! Both handled it pretty well, but it looked like they were jawing at each other---I was right there and they were not. They actually had a somewhat friendly exchange that went on for about five minutes.
   Twenty minutes went by and the same fellow tried the same move on another one of the attractive woman with our group. Needless to say, this resulted in a similar exchange with her husband. So far our hero was 0 for 2.
   The guy was a bit drunk and a bit friendly but otherwise harmless. I spoke to one of his buddies who volunteered that he saw the second one coming "from a mile away" and was going to intervene to stop it but thought better of it----his buddy was about to be shot down again by a second married woman with kids---how funny was that. What are friends for?
   Several minutes went by and this guy was still standing around us at the bar, talking with his buddies and scouting out the bar for his next target of affection. As I stood there and watched, I got more and more upset---in fact, I got mad. I had to stand there for more than an hour, watching this drunk hit on all of the lovely married ladies. Talking to them, putting his arm around them, invading their space. I had seen enough---I could not take it anymore. Why hasn't he taken his shot at my wife. 
    She's pretty, she's nice, she's smart, she's funny---what's wrong with her? I thought she looked great. Is it possible that I'm wrong about her? Why isn't he putting his hands all over my wife? What am I missing?
    I told Cheryl to show a little leg, and take a lap around the bar, but she refused. I told her to go buy the guy a drink. Again, a blank stare from her. What, you never bought a guy a drink before?  
    I could not help myself, I had to know what it was that he did not see in my wife, so I approached him and asked.
    He was a bit hard to understand, but what I think he said made perfect sense. It turns out that he remembered seeing her get off of the bus earlier in the evening, and there was no way he was going to even attempt to get hooked up with a woman who was held captive by a bus.
    It turns out that even the drunks know not to get on the bus!

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Israel, instability, and so much more...

Part 1...

Part 2...

Part 3...

     With firm reliance on Divine Providence, I pledge my life, my fortune and my sacred honor.  In the end... we know who wins.

God be with you Israel...

Psalm 111
Hallelujah. I will praise the LORD with all my heart in the assembled congregation of the upright.
Great are the works of the LORD, to be treasured for all their delights.
Majestic and glorious is your work, your wise design endures forever.
You won renown for your wondrous deeds; gracious and merciful is the LORD.
You gave food to those who fear you, mindful of your covenant forever.
You showed powerful deeds to your people, giving them the lands of the nations.
The works of your hands are right and true, reliable all your decrees,
Established forever and ever, to be observed with loyalty and care.
You sent deliverance to your people, ratified your covenant forever; holy and awesome is your name.
The fear of the LORD is the beginning of wisdom; prudent are all who live by it. Your praise endures forever.

Psalm 112
Hallelujah! Happy are those who fear the LORD, who greatly delight in God's commands.
Their descendants shall be mighty in the land, generation upright and blessed.
Wealth and riches shall be in their homes; their prosperity shall endure forever.
They shine through the darkness, a light for the upright; they are gracious, merciful, and just.
All goes well for those gracious in lending, who conduct their affairs with justice.
They shall never be shaken; the just shall be remembered forever.
They shall not fear an ill report; their hearts are steadfast, trusting the LORD.
Their hearts are tranquil, without fear, till at last they look down on their foes.
Lavishly they give to the poor; their prosperity shall endure forever; their horn shall be exalted in honor.
The wicked shall be angry to see this; they will gnash their teeth and waste away; the desires of the wicked come to nothing.

Psalm 114
When Israel came forth from Egypt, the house of Jacob from an alien people,
Judah became God's holy place, Israel, God's domain.
The sea beheld and fled; the Jordan turned back.
The mountains skipped like rams; the hills, like lambs of the flock.
Why was it, sea, that you fled? Jordan, that you turned back?
You mountains, that you skipped like rams? You hills, like lambs of the flock?
Tremble, earth, before the Lord, before the God of Jacob,
Who turned rock into pools of water, stone into flowing springs.

     To God be the the glory. God be with you Israel. Now and forevermore.

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Day of Prayer for Catholics in China...

     From Catholic Culture...
     "Pope Benedict XVI composed this prayer to Our Lady of Sheshan, following up on his decision to make May 24 a special day of prayer for the Church in China.
     "In his message to the Chinese faithful, released in May 2007, the Holy Father asked the worldwide Church to join in prayer for Chinese Catholicism on May 24. That date is the feast of Our Lady Help of Christians. In China, devotion to the Virgin Mary centers on the shrine of Our Lady of Sheshan, in Shanghai.
     Virgin Most Holy, Mother of the Incarnate Word and our Mother, venerated in the Shrine of Sheshan under the title “Help of Christians”, the entire Church in China looks to you with devout affection. We come before you today to implore your protection. Look upon the People of God and, with a mother’s care, guide them along the paths of truth and love, so that they may always be a leaven of harmonious coexistence among all citizens.
     When you obediently said “yes” in the house of Nazareth, you allowed God’s eternal Son to take flesh in your virginal womb and thus to begin in history the work of our redemption. You willingly and generously cooperated in that work, allowing the sword of pain to pierce your soul, until the supreme hour of the Cross, when you kept watch on Calvary, standing beside your Son, who died that we might live.
      From that moment, you became, in a new way, the Mother of all those who receive your Son Jesus in faith and choose to follow in his footsteps by taking up his Cross. Mother of hope, in the darkness of Holy Saturday you journeyed with unfailing trust towards the dawn of Easter. Grant that your children may discern at all times, even those that are darkest, the signs of God’s loving presence.
      Our Lady of Sheshan, sustain all those in China, who, amid their daily trials, continue to believe, to hope, to love. May they never be afraid to speak of Jesus to the world, and of the world to Jesus.
     In the statue overlooking the Shrine you lift your Son on high, offering him to the world with open arms in a gesture of love. Help Catholics always to be credible witnesses to this love, ever clinging to the rock of Peter on which the Church is built. Mother of China and all Asia, pray for us, now and for ever. Amen!
Prayer Source: The Vatican

Monday, May 23, 2011

Mary... Queen of Apostles...

     Today is the celebration of Mary, Queen of Apostles.
     Here is an explanation from Catholic Culture.
    "Devotion to Mary as Queen of Apostles is one of the oldest devotions in the Church. After Christ and with Christ, Mary is the Apostle.
     "Mary is Queen of Apostles because she was chosen to be the Mother of Jesus Christ and to give him to the world; she was made the apostles' Mother and our own by our Savior on the cross. She was with the apostles while awaiting the descent of the Holy Spirit, obtaining for them the abundance of supernatural graces they received on Pentecost. The most holy Virgin was and always will be the wellspring for every apostolate. 
     "She exercised a universal apostolate, one so vast that it embraced all others. The apostolate of prayer, the apostolate of good example, the apostolate of suffering--Mary fulfilled them all. Other people have practiced certain teachings of the Gospel; Mary lived them all. Mary is full of grace, and we draw from her abundance.
     All Hail Mary. Full of Grace.

     Apostolates are groups of lay Christian faithful, working in coordination with the Church, whose mission is both to lead non-believers to the faith, and to instruct, strengthen, and encourage the faithful to a more fervent life.

Saturday, May 21, 2011

And now, to indulge my romantic side...

     How great is this video, from Creative Minority Report.
     Such a cute couple. I wish them every blessing.

Friday, May 20, 2011

"A foreign policy blunder of epic proportions"... He doesn't speak for me...

     Yesterday, President Obama threw Israel under the bus.
     “The United States believes that negotiations should result in two states with permanent Palestinian borders with Israel, Jordan and Egypt; and permanent Israeli borders with Palestine.  We believe the borders of Israel and Palestine should be based on the 1967 lines with mutually agreed swaps so that secure and recognized borders are established for both states,” Obama said.
     “The Palestinian people must have the right to govern themselves and reach their full potential in a sovereign and contiguous state. I’m aware that these steps alone will not resolve the conflict because two wrenching and emotional issues will remain:  The future of Jerusalem and the fate of Palestinian refugees. But moving forward now on the basis of territory and security provides a foundation to resolve those two issues in a way that is just and fair.” he continued.
     Israel uses the extra land as a buffer against their neighbors who have vowed to destroy them. And by destroy, I mean kill. Exterminate. Wipe off the face of the earth. 
     The Arabs have continually used that territory as a staging area to launch their attacks against Israel. Without the buffer, Israel could not defend herself.  
     The president's proposed Israel would only be about 8-12 miles wide. Un. De. Fend. Able.
     Some are asking, “Why would the president of the United States find it reasonable to destabilize the only stable country in the entire region?  Why would he do that."
     President Obama said in his statement, "The United States believes..." He means he believes.
     He does not speak for me.
     Florida Congressman Allen West stated, "It's time for the American people to stand by our strongest ally, the Jewish State of Israel, and reject this foreign policy blunder of epic proportions." Read more from Allen West here, from Romantic Poet.
     Andrew McCarthy has a great piece here, from the National Review.
     Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu had this to say. I pray that our president will listen to him, and take his words to heart.

Funny Girl Friday... Our girl Grace guest blogs this week...

     And now, a message from Funny Guy...
     Funny Girl makes a comeback this week as Gracie takes another crack at guest writing. She did not go anywhere glamorous like New York City this time, just our kitchen. Unfortunately, she was moved to write about the sights she saw there, just as she had about New York City. 
     This is quite an endorsement for homeschooling. 
     When you finish reading, say a prayer for Cheryl and the kids----and me! Enjoy!  

    "I" before "e" except after "c" and in sounding like "ay," as in neighbor and... gay? 
     Two days ago I skipped was sick, and stayed home from school. I had a one-on-two encounter with my mom and little brother, Noah, as they went through their normal homeschool routine. (I, too, will be homeschooled in the fall.)
     I woke up and came downstairs to get breakfast, and found that my mom and Noah had already started school. Hmmm, this homeschool thing is a bit more structured than I  had thought. I sat down on the couch to observe them in their “natural habitat.” 
     Things were off to a pretty good start. Noah was working on a math test (who knew homeschoolers took tests? I’m beginning to rethink my desire to go along with this), and Mom was putting some markers away. Noah had been doing pretty well with his lessons. 
     As the morning progressed, I, too, was learning a few lessons... like the fact that Noah has the attention span of a goldfish (which, by the way is only about three seconds). The conversation went a little bit like this :
Noah: Hey Grace you want to see some of my new cartoons I’ve been working on?
Mom: No, Noah. Finish your math test...
Noah: Oh yeah! Sorry mom...
Mom: Its ok, just finish your test.
three seconds later...
Noah: Oooh oooh!! It’s 10:00 (Noah then proceeded to run through the house to look at all the clocks. This is an on-the-hour-event at our house.)
Mom: Hey, Noah...How’s that math test coming?
Noah: Oh right, sorry!
three seconds later...
Noah: Hey Grace, you want me to show you my science notebook?
Mom: Noah! Sit down and finish your test! NOW! 
three seconds later...

     ...You get the drift. This went on for some time and a ten question math test took over an hour and a half to finish.  
     The second thing I learned is that Noah cannot spell. After his math test, he was writing in his science journal about a huge turtle we had seen in our yard. He spelled neighborhood wrong, and so my mom made a list of “eigh” words. She had asked him if he could think of any other words that had that sound. He replied with a giggle and said, ”I have a word, but I don’t want to say it out loud.” 
     I had a sneaking suspicion of what the word in his head could be, but I kept my mouth shut and let my mom handle it. She told him to tell her the word, and that he would not get in trouble for saying it out loud. Noah burst out laughing and was able to stop in between giggles to scream... GAY!  
     My mom and I could not help but laugh. Mom told Noah that you don’t spell it g-e-i-g-h, and explained that that’s the gay way of spelling it. Now, at this point, I’m thinking to myself... Hmm, so is this really what goes on all day when it’s just Mom and Noah? But the show was just beginning...
     While he was still working on his science journal, he misspelled the word turtle... spelling it... turdle. Again, I couldn’t help myself from laughing as my mom explained to Noah that a turdle is “a little piece of poopy,” and he certainly did not see THAT in our front yard! 
     Homeschooling is way more entertaining than I ever thought it would be. But the show still wasn’t over. Noah did a repeat of the math test, only with his science journal. He got up every few seconds. Now I understand what his old teacher was talking about when she said he had trouble staying on task. 
     I have to admit this was all starting to get a bit annoying, and it was obvious that my mom was getting frustrated with Noah. This became clear to me when she looked at the clock and turned to me and said, "At 12:00, I can start drinking!” 
     Two thoughts crossed my mind when she said that. One was that if she starts drinking at noon when only homeschooling Noah, then I don’t even want to know what time she’ll start drinking next year when she’s homeschooling ALL THREE OF US. My second thought was PHEW!  I thought she was always acting so frazzled because of something I did!
     When my mom first decided to homeschool, my dad had his doubts, but I am here to assure him that we will all be just fine... except maybe him... and our pet turdle.

Saturday, May 14, 2011

Funny Guy Friday... Happy Birthday, Matthew...

   It was about 11 years ago and Cheryl and I had a scheduled appointment at St. Joseph's Hospital in Towson for the birth of our second child. Cheryl was overdue and they scheduled her for a delivery on May 8th.
   When we got to the hospital, everything went well. We checked in and got settled into our room and the nurse seemed really nice. She asked me how involved I wanted to be and I told her I wanted to be minimally involved. In fact, I may have mentioned that I longed for the days when dads hung out at the bar across the street, waiting for the call that they had a new son or daughter. Not that I didn't want to be there, it is just that I......... didn't want to be there. Those types of things tend to make me kind of queasy. I saw a whole new side of my wife at Grace's c-section delivery----her inside---and I did not want to repeat that episode.
    So I just told the nurse that I was there to offer my support and coach her on to victory.
    Go Cheryl!!! I may even have given the half-hearted fist pump.
    Anyway, after several hours of sitting and waiting, they started the process of inducing the delivery. Things started slowly, but then started to move at a pretty rapid pace. I had my chair all ready, faced away from all of the activity at the one end of the bed.
    When it came time for Cheryl to start pushing, the nurse advised that they were short-staffed, and mentioned that I may need to offer some assistance. Really? How does passing out offer any assistance?
    Anyway, as Cheryl began to push, the nurse asked me to grab a leg. I wondered whose leg I was supposed to grab? There were only three people in the room: my legs were fine, the nurse's legs seemed to be working and Cheryl was just laying there doing nothing and did not even need to use her legs. Then the nurse grabbed one of Cheryl's legs and gestured to me to do the same thing. Wait a second, sister... I am "low to no" involvement... Remember our little conversation about being in the bar across the street?
    It was at this point that Nurse Grab a Leg, yelled at me to GRAB A LEG! It turns out that she was was not nice at all. At this point, Cheryl actually grinned at the whole episode, which was pretty remarkable because, as I recall, she had a lot of stuff on her plate at that time. The fact of the matter was that she did not want me grabbing a leg any more than I wanted to grab a leg---but I did grab a leg.
    The pushing went on for a few hours. It was rough... I was exhausted. Unfortunately, the baby was turned in such a way that he would not come down the shoot. It was at this time the doctor said that he would have to do an episiotomy and use the forceps. Now I had a general idea of what all that was, but was a bit fuzzy on the specifics. You see, I did not pay much attention during the birthing classes.
    Nurse Grab a Leg assured me that our doctor was the best at using the forceps. Then they brought in some very large salad tongs, and I asked, "What are those for?" They were the forceps. 
    NO WAY. I was not a doctor, but I could not see how those things could have been used in the way that I thought they were planning on using them. Oh yes they were-----and it was about at this time that I witnessed my first and, hopefully, my last episiotomy. I won't go into the details, but it was all that I had feared.
    I would point out that I was a trooper and I did not pass out. I would like to take credit for that but the only reason I did not pass out was because Cheryl was able to keep my breathing steady, she fed me ice chips and she gave me a nice lower back massage. Thankfully, she did  pay attention during birthing classes.
    Nurse Grab a Leg was correct, the doctor was a master with the forceps, and as he brought out the baby, I thought to myself, Wow, what a boy!
    It turned out, I had been looking at the imbilical chord. It was a boy, but just not as much of a boy as I had first thought.
    The doctor asked me if I wanted to cut the cord. I did do it, but I always thought that was kind of a weird thing to do. I mean, I never ask my clients if they would like to ask the last question at a trial.
    So now, we have a great son who just turned eleven. He is one of the nicest, sweetest people that you could ever meet. Here are eleven things that you may not know about Matthew:
   #1 Matthew is an overachiever. When he gets nervous, he not only bites his fingernails, he bites his whole finger.
   #2 He can withstand extremely cold water temperatures. He swims in the ocean in April and May when the water is freezing. It is so cold, it hurts my feet. Polar Bear plunge anyone?
   #3 He is very self-conscious about odd things, like when he is afraid to drop in on his good friends without calling first... but he will go to school dressed like a leprechaun to deliver a speech with an Irish brogue.
    #4 After every game he plays, he will ask me what my favorite play of the game was. He will ask what was my second, third, fourth favorite thing, until I mention something that he did. I rarely ever give him any credit, so this goes on for the entire drive home.
    #5 He can take a shower in six seconds, unless Sportscenter's Top Ten is coming on, and then he can take one in four seconds.
    #6 If you catch him at the exact right time, you may see a Michael Jackson type dance move. It is like a bird watcher who catches a glimpse of a rare bird. He ain't bad either.
    #7 He gives thoughtful gifts, although he spends more money on his mom than on his dad.  She gets expensive jewelry and I get a fungo bat. I must admit that I probably get more use out of the fungo bat than she gets out of the jewelry.
    #8 His little brother can beat him up, but only because he kindly won't fight back. However, you should see him on that rare occasion when he gets fed up with his older sister----Look out!  Think of Bruce Banner becoming the Incredible Hulk. You wouldn't like me when I'm angry.   
    #9 He is a great travel companion. Good things happen when you are with him, like a no-hitter at Fenway Park. It was a very cool night.
    #10 He gets little beads of sweat under his eyes while doing the simplest things, like eating breakfast. It's cute!
     And the # 11 thing that you probably do know about Matthew is that he is a boy of faith, he is a great friend, a great brother and and a great son. We love you more than you could possibly know and we are very proud of the young man that you are.
    Happy birthday, Bud!

Sunday, May 8, 2011

Happy Birthday Matthew...

     Today, you are eleven. You have always been a great son and a blessing!
     Here are eleven things I love about you, in no particular order...
     You are kind ~ You are thoughtful ~ You are funny ~ You give great hugs ~ You are humble ~ You love to play and have fun ~ Your gifts are always so thoughtful ~ You are faith-filled, and you love to serve on the altar ~ You are loving to your brother and sister ~ You are respectful and always appreciative ~ And last, but not least, let's face it, you are just plain cute!
      I thank God that He has blessed us with you for our son. I love you. Happy Birthday, Matthew.

Friday, May 6, 2011

Funny Guy Friday... Aren't Youth Sports Great?...

    I have grown up around sports and think that, for the most part, I keep things in the right perspective. 
    I have my moments when I get agitated with the 10-year-olds that I coach, as Cheryl was quick to point out after our big win a couple of nights ago---but I digress. 
    Today's FGF is both funny and sad, as it is a real life example of how adults can get a bit too hung up on youth sports. 
     I have a five year old nephew who is playing T-ball. My little man is sweet and funny and just wants to have a chance to grab the ball.  He isn't going to throw anybody out once he gets it, in fact, he may even throw it up in the air just for fun, but what the heck, he's five.
     After two games of playing every inning in right field, my sister-in-law approached the coach and asked if he were planning on ever moving the kids around. This is when all the fun began. 
    Coach Knight (not his real name, just one that I came up with) cut her off and said he would think about it. The next day the team received the following email: 
   Game 1 is officially in the books. The team produced 8 outs tonight which was a huge accomplishment. After words [sic], the coach of the other team thanked me for the scrimmage last week. The game was a wake up call for his players and coaches. It was clear by their performance tonight that they improved greatly within a week.  
    I want to discuss a matter that I thought was made clear at the meet in greet [sic]. Under no circumstance will I or any of my assistant coaches be told how to coach this team. Personally, I have coached for 15 years, coaching a variety of sports from pee-wee up to the collegiate level. On this team, the players will be placed in positions that will benefit the team and provide the greatest opportunity for the player to excel. If a player is limited to a specific position then so be it. I’d rather have them walk away from the season learning one thing than exposing them to every position and learning nothing. If this philosophy is unacceptable for you or your child I will gladly reach out to the other teams who may be able to accommodate your needs. If I hear nothing prior to the next game, I will assume we are all on the same page.
    Wow, quite a coaching philosophy for a bunch of five year olds. I offered up my own response for my sister-in-law to consider. I thought I would share it with the class.
Coach Knight,
Hello, I am an uncle to one of the boys on your T-ball team and I too have coached at various levels including T-Ball, Coach Pitch, 10s, 11s, 12s, 13s, 14s and High School.  I have had the pleasure of coaching kids that have played at the collegiate level, and have had at least three players that I have coached drafted by professional teams, including my own nephew. I too have played at the collegiate level. I have had an opportunity to read your email and have a few observations. 
    First, I would hazard a guess that 11 of your 12 players have no idea whether or not they are playing in positions that benefit the team. In fact, most of your little soldiers have no idea if you win or lose, and only care about the snack after the game. Personally, I prefer chips and a fruity Capri Sun. 
   What it really comes down to is that you and your assistant coaches care about winning and losing. I could be wrong, but I think that you all may be compensating for some shortcoming in your own athletic life.
   Second, I am sure that all the other coaches in your league appreciate getting a good pounding by the juggernaut that you lead. After a good beat down, the opposing coaches have the once in a lifetime opportunity to break down the tape of you and your assistant coaches coaching the boys of summer on to victory. In fact, I am thinking of coming out to shadow your staff to see if I can pick up a few pointers.  I will say it now---on behalf of all of the coaches in your league and Bette Midler----Thank you! Thank you! Thank the Baseball gods for you! The wind beneath our flyballs! 
Third, sometimes, believe it or not, kids have some success at a position that they do not normally play. This success leads to them wanting to come back for more. What a concept---the idea that the kids have fun and enjoy the game and want to come back for more. But another way you can look at it is if  some of the scrubby kids mess up, you get the pleasure of benching them. What fun!
    Fourth, in all of my dealings with kids that play baseball in high school or college, I have never, ever heard one of them talk about their years playing T-ball. I've heard them talk about playing on the slip-and-slide at baseball camp, but never about winning the coveted T-ball world series. 
   Fifth, it is T-ball. They do not even keep score, for goodness sakes. Get over yourself.
   Finally, if they learn only one thing this year, just one thing, it should be that baseball can be fun. Sometimes picking daisies at second base is more fun than picking daisies in right field.
   Thank you for your time and commitment to the team. 
   Well, it turns out that my nephew was able to work himself into a trade. He is no longer on Coach Knight's squad, but will be playing for Coach Day (another made up name---clever aren't I), a nice woman who plays the kids at every position, and probably provides some kick-ass snacks. 
    The best part of the story is that my nephew gets two uniforms.  You go boy---you may never win a game, but you will go away fat and happy and maybe, just maybe, you will want to come out and play again tomorrow.  Have fun my man! 

Thursday, May 5, 2011

Regina Coeli... Queen of Heaven

     It is tradition to say the Regina Coeli at noon during the Easter Season.
     The "V" is for "verse," and is said by the prayer leader; the "R" is for "response," and is said in reply.

Queen of Heaven
V. Queen of Heaven, rejoice, alleluia.
R. For He whom you did merit to bear, alleluia.
V. Has risen, as he said, alleluia.
R. Pray for us to God, alleluia.
V. Rejoice and be glad, O Virgin Mary, alleluia.
R. For the Lord has truly risen, alleluia.

Let us pray. O God, who gave joy to the world through the resurrection of Thy Son, our Lord Jesus Christ, grant we beseech Thee: that through the intercession of the Virgin Mary, His Mother, we may obtain the joys of everlasting life. Through the same Christ our Lord. Amen.

In Latin...
Regina Caeli
Regina caeli, laetare, alleluia.
Quia quem meruisti portare, alleluia.
sicut dixit, alleluia,
Ora pro nobis Deum, alleluia. 
Gaude et laetare, Virgo Maria, alleluia. 
Quia surrexit Dominus vere, alleluia.

Oremus. Deus, qui per resurrectionem Filii tui, Domini nostri Iesu Christi, mundum laetificare dignatus es: praesta, quaesumus, ut per eius Genitricem Virginem Mariam, perpetuae capiamus gaudia vitae. Per eundem Christum Dominum nostrum. Amen.

Monday, May 2, 2011

And the crowd cheered...

     Life is a series of contrasts, if you are looking for them.
     The news broke last night that Osama Bin Laden had finally been killed by American forces. Have you seen the propaganda media coverage?
     Large groups of Americans amassed together cheering wildly. Numerous newspaper publications declared in their headlines, "We got the B------," and, "Rot in H---."
     Really? Is that who we are?
     I saw the crowds and thought, Isn't that what the Islamic radicals do? My husband commented that the only thing missing were machine guns firing in the air. Those people looked like cattle to me. Tomorrow, there will be another group of students assembled together to shout down capitalism, or spending cuts. We have already seen it.
     It's not that I'm a fan of Bin Laden, it's just that I believe we have to put this whole thing in perspective. He is just one strand of a much, much larger web of destroyers. Good, they got him, but there are plenty more vipers in the snake pit.
     After all, remember the objectives of the attacks of September 11...
     Hit the Twin Towers... Destroy our financial system. There are plenty of people in power here in America and abroad actively working on that one: The Fed monetizing our debt; Congress's unlimited spending; anti-capitalist union and community organizing against the banks to bring about their downfall and that of the free market... just to name a few.
     Hit the Pentagon... Destroy our military might. One only needs to see the way in which our military is being stretched, isolated, and surrounded in the Middle East to wonder whether this will inevitably be accomplished by our own hand anyway. At the very least, our armed forces are being used for supranational objectives that have nothing to do with defending America.
     Hit the Capitol... Destroy our government system. Hasn't that been happening for about a hundred years anyway, under the progressives? This president, as with a long line of progressives before him, is a statist, believing in central planning, expansive government, and limited freedom. Exactly the opposite of what this country was founded to be. This president is a post-American globalist. Be sure, our system of government is being dismantled from within.
     So why is there so much jubilation?
     I am quietly satisfied that the earth is rid of Osama Bin Laden. He was a deranged mass-murderer with a following. I am grateful to our armed forces for working to protect us. But I feel no desire to jump up and down in the public square.
     What has really changed since 9/11?
     Terrorism still runs rampant worldwide. We still have enemies we deny. The site of the Twin Towers remains a pit. We can't even admit anymore that we are at war with radical Islamists. They plan to destroy us, yet we are supporting them politically and militarily in Libya and elsewhere: read Muslim Brotherhood. See my sidebar under Who Would Destroy America. In fact, read what else is in my sidebar, especially, The Muslim Brotherhood's Plan for AmericaThe Coming Insurrection, and STORM, among others.
     Our southern border is a mess, with terrorism by drug cartels, some Iranian infiltrated, running rampant there without any action to stop it. A terrorist handbook promoting suicide bombers was found in the Arizona desert a few weeks ago, and the terrorist weapon of choice, an IED (improvised explosive device), was found on a Texas bridge last Sunday.
     Then there's ecomomic terrorism. A plot is underway to destroy the banks and the market. Additionally, this administration is deliberately destroying our currency, by printing and spending. Grand theft of your savings. Moreover, they have hamstrung our businesses and our natural resources, and unnecessarily driven up the price of gas. They are burning corn for fuel, thus driving up the price of food. Inflation is here, and is going to get worse. And on and on.
     In in the end, who be holding the mortgages to all of the property when homeowners and businesses cannot make their payments? The government.
     So, Bin Laden is dead. Do you think our troubles are over? We are certainly less free now then ever before. And more in danger.
     Contrasts. We celebrate as if we are home-free. In fact, we are far from it.
     Ironically, yesterday, was Divine Mercy Sunday. And the crowd cheered.
     I paused to think about that, when I saw the headline, "Justice has been done."
     I was reminded that with His mercy, God will also bring His perfect justice, at the appointed times.
     These problems we face are overwhelming to me. Neither our SEALS teams (no matter how brave and successful), nor any new crop of freshmen congressmen can fix what's wrong. The solution is not political.
     This is a battle of spirits. A battle between good and evil. And the tentacles are far reaching. Way beyond some secret compound in Pakistan.
     I always pray, God, You make these kings. Please unmake them.
     Lord. Show us your mercy and your justice.
     Jesus, I trust in You. Only in You.
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