Archive for Smokey

Of Wine, Windmills and . . . Nuclear Power?

Recently, on a lovely Saturday afternoon, during a business trip to France, I had the opportunity to wind through the French country side and join in the annual Beaujolais Wine Festival. The festival starts on the third Thursday in November, where by law, the wine is released at 12:01 am, and just weeks after the grapes have been harvested. The celebration is marked with fireworks, music, and, of course, plenty of wine tasting. The Beaujolais region is about 34 miles long from north to south and about 9 miles wide and home to nearly 4,000 vineyards. What I found most

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Living in a World of Delusion, Part II

While writing my last blog entry, Living in a World of Delusion, I recalled an iconic scene from the classic 1999 science fiction film The Matrix. In the scene Morpheus holds a little capsule in each of his palms and proposes a choice to Neo. “This is your last chance. After this there is no turning back. You take the blue pill-the story ends, you wake up in bed and believe whatever you want to believe. You take the red pill-you stay in Wonderland, and I show you how deep the rabbit hole goes. Remember, all I’m offering is the

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Living in a World of Delusion

“You are here because you have failed in humility, in self disciple. You would not make the act of submission which is the price of sanity. .. You believe that reality is something objective, external existing in its own right. You also believe that the nature of reality is self-evident. When you delude yourself into thinking that you see something, you assume that everyone else sees the same thing as you. But I tell you Winston, that reality is not external. Reality exists in the human mind, and nowhere else. Not in the individual mind, which can make mistakes, and

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Innovation + Abortion = Stagnation

I recently attended a week long technical symposium which, normally, I find myself too busy to take the time to indulge. However, I realized that I had managed to let a decade slip by without connecting with peers outside of my immediate circle. So this year, I decided to reconnect and get inspired. In addition to an impressive forum of technical presentations the symposium hosted a rather large trade show. By about mid-week, I had had my fill of technical papers and so decided to stretch my legs and spend the rest of the day walking the show floor. This

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1=Pysanka, 2 or more=Pysanky

Last Thursday I frequented a favorite lunch stop, a Ukrainian delicatessen known for their variety of delicious handmade sausages. Upon entering the store, my eye was immediately drawn to a sales kiosk set up with a beautiful display of pysanky (Ukrainian Easter eggs). In years past this kiosk was manned by teenagers fundraising for their youth group. This year, however, it was being operated by members of Minnesota Maidan, to raise funds for those caught in war torn Ukraine. As I began to browse through the collection of beautiful eggs I couldn’t help but linger on the photos posted along

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Charitable Accountability

There is a time in the liturgical calendar, sometime after the close of Advent and the start of Lent, when I perceive a slight uneasiness as I enter church. On a somewhat subconscious level, I find myself panning the worship space looking for the large projector screen which announces the start of the Archdiocese annual appeal for funding. Don’t get me wrong, it’s not the appeal for money that bothers me, for years my wife and I have been a tithing family and like many we can attest to the blessings that this practice has brought. What bothers me is

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What ever happened to “Safe, Legal & Rare”?

A few years ago I presented a paper to the Junto titled, “Seeing is Believing”. At that time our country was confronted with the horrors of the abortion industry during the trial of Kermit Gosnell. In the paper I pondered the words of former abortionist Dr. Bernard Nathenson (author of the film Silent Scream) “America won’t reject abortion until it sees abortion”. Thankfully, in the Gosnell case, seeing the truth caused the jury, including nine pro-abortion jurors, to convict him of the murder of an expectant mother and the killing three babies who were born alive. Additionally, the publicity of

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Spurious Language

While reading Timshell’s recent post Words Have Meaning, it reminded me of an article I came across in the National Catholic Register regarding the specious terminology used in conjunction with stem cells. They focused on the recent stories of two sports heroes who were used to grab headlines. The first was legendary hockey player Gordie Howe who apparently made a remarkable recovery from a stroke after receiving a stem cell treatment in Tijuana, Mexico. The media initially reported that “only adult stem cells were used in the injections”. However, a tenacious sports reporter, Brent Schrotenboer, from USA Today, revealed that

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Sanctifying Your Work With The Angelus

Last Sunday, I heard a very inspiring homily focusing on the first reading, 1 Kings 19: 4-8. It really cut directly into my attitude as I was preparing to enter a second work week that was going to be totally devoted to meetings. I’m sure a lot of people can relate to weeks where from sunup Monday to close of business on Friday, you are sequestered with a group of colleagues in an overly cooled meeting room. During these events, I try not be thoroughly rude and actually pay attention when someone else is the presenter. Of course I pay

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True Charity?

My job requires that I travel quit frequently and I have taken the habit of seeking out local Catholic Churches in which to spend time with the Lord in the presence of the Blessed Sacrament. While recently visiting a church in Pittsburgh, my solitude was broken by a male voice repeatedly barking out, “Raffle tickets, raffle tickets for sale!” Upon leaving the chapel, I discovered a parishioner standing at the busy street corner alongside a new Dodge 2015 Dart. He was selling tickets to any and all passersby who wished to exchange their money for the opportunity to win. To

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