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Books and Burbs

Friends of Padre Steve’s World,

“He can’t come out until he resembles the man that I married.” Carol Peterson, Carrie Fisher in The Burbs.

As always I am reading even though at work I have been extraordinarily busy. Last night I finished Christopher Clark’s tome The Sleepwalkers: How Europe Went to War in 1914 and began reading David Halberstam’s The Best and the Brightest and Nicholas Stargardt’s The German War: A Nation Under Arms, 1939-1945. Today I also received in the mail a copy of a book that I used to cut my 7th period Geometry class in order to read in my high school library, Theodore Roscoe’s United States Destroyer Operations in World War II.

Clark’s book is exceptional and needs to be read alongside other titles dealing with the same era including Barbara Tuchman’s The Guns of August. I have read many of Halberstam’s other books and as always his work is deeply engrossing. I’ll make a full report when I am done with it but it is a myth buster. Stargardt’s book is also hard to put down and between the two books I have about a thousand pages of reading ahead of me. At lunchtime I am reading Tony Judt’s I’ll Fares the Land. I think that should get me through the first week of December. Roscoe’s Destroyer Operations is a gem for anyone who appreciates the sacrifices made by the Tin Can sailors of the U.S. Navy in the Second Ward War. It too is some 500 pages long but it is to be savored like a really nice Irish Single Malt Whiskey just before bed. Of course I have some other books in my book stack to read, but these are the current ones on top.

Tonight I am watching one of my favorite movies, The Burbs starring Tom Hanks and the late Carrie Fisher. If there is a cinematic couple that is me and Judy it is the characters portrayed by Hanks and Fisher in that film. Honestly I cannot ever not laugh watching the movie. Judy agrees that Carrie Fisher’s character is her, the true voice of reason.

So until tomorrow,

Peace,

Padre Steve+

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Filed under books and literature, film, Loose thoughts and musings, movies

Random Musings-Dos De Mayo, Flu Precautions gone wild Baseball and the Burbs

Today we had a little get together with some friends to celebrate Dos De Mayo.  It was a nice gathering, plenty of great food, good beer and nice conversation.  After folks had left our friends Diane and Tim made a late appearance after the evening Mass.  It was good to spend a couple of hours with them as well.

We were informed that to take no chances regarding the Swine Flu that the Diocese of Richmond has imposed a number of rules regarding the liturgy.  During the Peace there will be no shaking hands, hugging, kissing, snuggling or heavy petting.  Instead parishioners will make a slight bow to each other kind of like those in a Japanese War Movie.  This is not all, during the Lord’s Prayer there will be no hand holding.  While I am a proponent of taking the potential threat of H1N1 seriously, see my previous posts in which I castigate people who don’t,  I don’t think that these steps would stop the spread of H1N1 in any parish.  First there is the whole airborne nature of the virus: “cough cough hack” and all those germs go floating through the church looking for a nice set of young wet lungs to take up residence.  But to totally defeat anything else that they are doing the diocese is still serving communion under two species.  For Protestants that is the bread and the wine, common cup style.  Thus there is a “cough cough and hack” and into the cup goes a nice H1N1 “loogie,” a really sweet addition to the Communion Rite.

Now I don’t propose going to ludicrous speed just yet, the threat while real still needs evaluation.  The problem is when people go to ludicrous speed like the Richmond Diocese they look stupid if the virus is not as bad as first thought. People tend to get angry at those who inconvenienced them and then get careless regarding future threats.  It’s like calling wolf.  If the wolf isn’t there then people start to ignore future warnings.  That is when the trouble begins.  People over react to a threat and if it is not as bad then they get ignored the next time when they are actually right about the threat.   I see this attitude already showing up and the full extent of this outbreak is not even known.  No as I told a person at work, I don’t want any outbreak right now.  I want this to go away.  My reason is really not that noble.  I’m sorry, it’s baseball season and for the first time in my life I have a season ticket.  I’ll be darned if I want an outbreak now.   This thing better be less widespread and potent.

Speaking of baseball the day was not good for my teams.  The Giants and O’s both lost as did the Tides.  The A’s are currently losing in the bottom of the 4th to Seattle.  I guess it could be worse…I could be a Met’s fan. Tomorrow is a new day, but a loss in May counts the same as a loss in September.  The Tides come back in town Monday for a 4 game series with the Columbus Clippers who are now affiliated with the Cleveland Indians. The weather could make things interesting, a pretty good chance of showers each day.

I got my final grade for my last class prior to comprehensive exams in my Masters Degree in Military History at American Military University.  It has been a good course of study.  My concentration was in World War Two, but other required classes got me interested in counter-insurgency.  I did a lot of work dealing with the French in Indo-China and Algeria and the United States in the Philippine War of 1899-1902 and in Vietnam.  That turn prepared me well for my tour in Iraq working with the advisers to the Iraqi 1st and 7th Divisions, 2nd Border Brigade, Police and Highway Patrol in Al Anbar Province.  I completed the class program keeping a 4.0 GPA the entire program.  I have lost track of the amount of papers, posts and readings that I have done in the past three years.  At the same time I feel much more well rounded for the effort.  This is another step to achieving a Masters in History which I had to delay back in 1983.  If things go as I think I will start the comprehensives in June.  My grade posted too late to register for May.  It is probably for the best as I will be traveling out to assist my parents the middle of this month.

I finished the evening by watching the movie The Burbs starring Tom Hanks, Bruce Dern and Carrie Fisher.  It is about a neighborhood gone mad.  I love watching it.  Tonight I caught it while channel surfing on HBO.  Tom Hanks and his friends go to ludicrous speed in trying to figure out if new neighbors led by Henry Gibson are mass murderers.   It is a fun movie and I think that Carrie Fisher looks great in it.

Anyway, have a great night.

Peace, Steve+

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Filed under Baseball, healthcare, History, iraq,afghanistan, Loose thoughts and musings