Location: Iowa, United States

61 years old (pretty old for a blogger) proud to be a grandpa

Thursday, March 26, 2009

A great quote on the value of music

Here's an excerpt from a recent speech by Karl Paulnack, Director of Music at the Boston Conservatory. Full speech at: http://www.arsviva.org/something_important.html

"Some of you may know Samuel Barber’s heartwrenchingly beautiful piece Adagio for Strings. If you don’t know it by that name, then some of you may know it as the background music which accompanied the Oliver Stone movie Platoon, a film about the Vietnam War. If you know that piece of music either way, you know it has the ability to crack your heart open like a walnut; it can make you cry over sadness you didn’t know you had."
"...I have come to understand that music is not part of “arts and entertainment” as the newspaper section would have us believe. It’s not a luxury, a lavish thing that we fund from leftovers of our budgets, not a plaything or an amusement or a pass time. Music is a basic need of human survival. Music is one of the ways we make sense of our lives, one of the ways in which we express feelings when we have no words, a way for us to understand things with our hearts when we cannot with our minds.

Friday, March 06, 2009

Here's an interesting idea for your next funeral


Friday, January 30, 2009

I agree with this

Editorial by Kruathhamer well worth reading.

Saturday, January 10, 2009

Perpetual Adolescence

Here are the last two paragraphs of an essay by Joseph Epstein that struck a chord with me. If you want to see the entire essay, go here.

"At a certain point in American life, the young ceased to be viewed as a transient class and youth as a phase of life through which everyone soon passed. Instead, youthfulness was vaunted and carried a special moral status. Adolescence triumphed, becoming a permanent condition. As one grew older, one was presented with two choices, to seem an old fogey for attempting to live according to one's own standard of adulthood, or to go with the flow and adapt some variant of pulling one's long gray hair back into a ponytail, struggling into the spandex shorts, working on those abs, and ending one's days among the Rip Van With-Its. Not, I think, a handsome set of alternatives.

"The greatest sins, Santayana thought, are those that set out to strangle human nature. This is of course what is being done in cultivating perpetual adolescence, while putting off maturity for as long as possible. Maturity provides a more articulated sense of the ebb and flow, the ups and downs, of life, a more subtly reticulated graph of human possibility. Above all, it values a clear and fit conception of reality. Maturity is ever cognizant that the clock is running, life is finite, and among the greatest mistakes is to believe otherwise. Maturity doesn't exclude playfulness or high humor. Far from it. The mature understand that the bitterest joke of all is that the quickest way to grow old lies in the hopeless attempt to stay forever young.

Friday, January 09, 2009


Everything else aside, what's the deal with "The Office of the President-Elect"?

Monday, October 20, 2008

Funny, Funny Bit

Here's one of the most creative comedy bits I've ever seen. I was browsing youtube and ran across it -- I remember seeing it years ago (possibly when it first came out in 1954)but I think I appreciate it more nowadays.
In case you're pretty young, it's Sid Caesar and Nannette Fabray.

Wednesday, October 08, 2008

(Long) Quote of the Day

The affirmation of moral principles is not within the competence of formal empirical methods. While not denying the validity of such methods, but at the same time not restricting its viewpoint to them, moral theology, faithful to the supernatural sense of the faith, takes into account first and foremost the spiritual dimension of the human heart and its vocation to divine love.
In fact, while the behavioral sciences, like all experimental sciences, develop an empirical and statistical concept of "normality," faith teaches that this normality itself bears the traces of a fall from man's original situation--in other words, it is affected by sin. Only Christian faith points out to man the way to return to "the beginning" (Math: 19:8), a way which is often quite different from that of empirical normality. Hence the behavioral sciences, despite the great value of the information which they provide, cannot be considered decisive indications of moral norms. it is the Gospel which reveals the full truth about man and his moral journey, and thus enlightens and admonishes sinners; it proclaims to them God's mercy, which is constantly at work to preserve them both from despair at their inability fully to know and keep God's law and from the presumption that they can be saved without merit. God also reminds sinners of the joy of forgiveness, which alone grants the strength to see in the moral law a liberating truth....a path of life. Pope John Paul II