Sunday, August 31, 2014

Thought o' the Ding Dong Day

If you do not forgive someone who hurt you, you make them a martyr.

Wednesday, August 27, 2014

It's a Dog's Life . . .

. . . and it's a dog's instinct.


Recently, my youngest blue Weimaraner, Mac, has been on a roll.  Most of the summer he had to spend with his leg in a splint after he ran onto something sharp and managed to sever a major vessel, as well as all the ligaments in his foot.  Now that he is better, I take him for walks on my property to strengthen his foot.  So far:  two rabbits, one mole.  The last rabbit was this evening.  Sam, my other Weim, is sulking because Mac's not sharing.

But I was surprised when someone who is a Facebook friend admonished me last weekend.  "You shouldn't let your dogs kill things!"

"Why not?  It is part of their instinct."

"Because they are supposed to be domesticated animals!  You're undoing their domestication!"

Now, I used to have a great dog, my Dante, the Wonder Schanuzer.  He was a Standard Schnauzer, not a miniature one, and his breed was specifically used by German farmers as an all-purpose farm dog: herding, draft, protection, and . . . keeping the vermin down.  That never undid the breed's domestication.  Indeed, I am sure the Irish farmers were quite happy to see their wolfhounds do their job, just as Afrikaners in South Africa appreciated the Rhodesian Ridgeback keeping them from becoming a lion's dinner.  We had an episode when the neighbor's rabbit got loose in our yard in Santa Ana - and Dante neatly dispatched it.  Just as he did other critters here in Tennessee for the time he lived here.

So, today was a good day for Mac.  And he's a good boy.

Thought o' the Ding Dong Day

If you break a promise to yourself, it becomes easier to break promises to others.

Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Happy National Dog Day



Went for an evening walk tonight with my two Weims, Sam (top) and Mac (bottom).

For a moment, I thought I saw my late rescue Schnauzer, Dante, in the grass, but it was just one of these two and the way the light was hitting.  Or was it?

Maybe Dante had come back for a moment for National Dog Day.  I miss him

Monday, August 25, 2014

My ALS Ice Bucket Challenge

I don't need to tell anyone about the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge.

But it is a hard sell for Catholics - or any person - who is pro-life.  The organization that benefits from it in the United States is ALSA.org and they use embryonic stem cell research in their fight to eradicate ALS.  This is not said to cast asprsion on them or anyone who sends them a donation, but simply to explain that the use of embryonic stem cells precludes the involvement of those for whom life begins at conception, since in order to harvest the stem cells, the embryos are destroyed.

BUT . . . there are alternatives.  Organizations like the John Paul II Medical Institute do not use embryonic stem cells.  Furthermore, an organization like the St. Jude Children's Research Hospital is doing clinical trials on adult stem cells (usually extracted from a person;s bone marrow) that will benefit the fight against ALS and other diseases.

Is the Ice Bucket Challenge silly?  Of course it is.  Proverbs teaches us "A joyful heart brings good health to the body, but a depressed soul dries the bones."  Every once in a while - and especially when there are so many things going on to try a person's sanity in the world - some levity is needed to bring laughs and support a worthy cause.

So I posted on Facebook, "Hey, fellow pro-lifers, we can do this, too!"  I challenged anyone to do it - and if they did it, I would follow suit.

Darn that Tim Hirota.

So I got out my camera and placed my fat self down.  Here is my video.  It is long because I flaunt the rules that say you only get to call out three people and make sure a group of people coast-to-coast get tagged with this - if you want to see the actual ice water dump, fast forward to 07:52 in the video.

If you want a recap of who got called out:

Kari Lopez
Janet Earl
The Knoxville Frassati Fellowship
Fr. John Moneypenny and the seminarians of the Diocese of Orange
Fr. Ed Becker
Austin Walsh
Stacy Cockrell
Meesh Willms Silveri
Fr. Erik Richtsteig
Paul Brown
Joseph Tremblay
Gregory Martin
Peter Koretzky
Jonathan Koretzky
Sarah Schamel
Colin O'Brien
Deirdre McQuade
Katrina Fernandez

Now, if you were called out, remember:

1.  You don't HAVE to dump a bucket of ice water on your head; you can be suave as heck like Patrick Stewart and write the check (presumably, you write a bigger one for forgoing the ice water) - but do something, for the fun of it;

2.  Whether you dump the ice water or not, a donation - even a modest sum, like the price of that Starbucks latte or a lunch at In-N-Out - is requested to an organization that does not use embryonic stem cells.  If you think enough money has been raised for ALS, pick a charity.  Me, I am sending my donation to St. Jude's.

3.  Call out people who have not been challenged already.  Use Catholic guilt, if needed.

4.  Please send me a link to your videos. . . unless, of course, I am filming it, because my offer to local people is that I will come and videotape their Ice Bucket Challenge.

5.  St. Paul says, "We are fools for Christ's sake."  I mean, anyone want to do a "St. Francis of Assisi Challenge" and strip down to your birthday suit?  Didn't think so . . .

And after doing this, I have issued myself a personal challenge - to drop the weight I have put on.  So this morning I did a mile swim, freestyle.

See this space in a year for a follow up video . . .

P.S. - I apologize for the crappy rotoscoping job on the vid, but I only had so much time . . .

Saturday, August 23, 2014

Itsy Bitsy Spider

So I was walking in my woods with my dogs when I met this fellow.  I got some pictures . . .



But also caught him in action.


The Itsy Bitsy Spider from Stephanie Richer Photography on Vimeo.

And this one by my kitchen door . . .