The enemy of art is the absence of limitations. --Orson Welles

Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Tim Kelemen, Town of Campbell, Wisconsin: Police Chief

 From the Daily Caller:

A police chief in Wisconsin pleaded no contest Friday to a charge that he signed a local tea party leader up on gay dating, pornography and federal health care websites.
Prosecutors charged Town of Campbell Police Chief Tim Kelemen earlier this month with one misdemeanor count of unlawful use of a computerized communication system…
Should be fired.

Monday, July 28, 2014

Please. Shut up.

I have lived this.

...Fans of classical music are widely perceived as cultured and sophisticated and unfailingly polite, but this is an urban myth. The savage, conscienceless, blue-haired ladies who attend the afternoon concerts at Avery Fisher Hall will break your legs in the mad stampede for the exits at the end of Handel’s Messiah. People routinely bring sandwiches and soda and coffee into the concert hall, fan themselves with their programs, crinkle paper bags, and take an hour to unwrap the foil-entwined lozenges they should have popped into their mouths at intermission. They giggle and whisper and refuse to turn off their cell phones and just generally behave like slobs...

Saturday, December 21, 2013

Pet Peeve

Retailers that jamb every single piece of sale clothing on a few racks. (I'm looking at you, Carson's and Macy's.)

Monday, December 16, 2013

Ban

This:

I am all in favor of a ban on cell phone usage on planes — by the airlines. I would not want to fly any airline that allowed someone to gab in the seat next to me. But I am mystified as to how this is the subject of federal legislation.

more here.

Sunday, December 15, 2013

Lepton-like

I was looking around the web to find how to identify the pumpkin I am baking (saving the seeds, you know) and came across this:

A major research institution has recently announced the discovery of the heaviest element yet known to science. The new element has been named governmentium.

Governmentium has one neutron, 12 assistant neutrons, 75 deputy neutrons, and 11 assistant deputy neutrons, giving it an atomic mass of 312. These 312 particles are held together by forces called morons, which are surrounded by vast quantities of lepton-like particles called peons.

the rest is here.

Saturday, December 14, 2013

Friday, December 13, 2013

St Herman of Alaska (and All America)

St Herman, pray for us!

St Herman came from a family of merchants of Serpukhov, a city of the Moscow diocese. His name before he was tonsured, and his family name are not known. There is a possibility, however, that his baptismal name was Gerasimus. He had a great zeal for piety from his youth, and he entered monastic life at sixteen. (This was in 1772, if we assume that Herman was born in 1756, although sometimes 1760 is given as the date of his birth.) First he entered the Trinity-Sergius Hermitage which was located near the Gulf of Finland on the Peterhof Road, about 15 versts (about 10 miles) from St Petersburg. He also spent time at at Sarov, where he first met Fr Nazarius, who became his Elder at Valaam. Later, St Herman followed him to Sanaxar where St Theodore (February 19) was their igumen. 

[snip]

In the second half of the eighteenth century the borders of Holy Russia expanded to the north. In those years Russian merchants discovered the Aleutian Islands which formed in the Pacific Ocean a chain from the eastern shares of Kamchatka to the western shares of North America. With the opening of these islands there was revealed the sacred necessity to illumine with the light of the Gospel the native inhabitants. With the blessing of the Holy Synod, Metropolitan Gabriel gave to the Elder Nazarius the task of selecting capable persons from the brethern of Valaam for this holy endeavor. Ten men were selected, and among them was Father Herman. The chosen men left Valaam for the place of their great appointment in 1793. The members of this historical mission were: Archimandrite Joseph (Bolotoff), Hieromonks Juvenal, Macarius, Athanasius, Stephen and Nectarius, Hierodeacons Nectarius and Stephen, and the monks Joasaph, and Herman.

[snip]



In America Father Herman chose as his place of habitation Spruce Island, which he called New Valaam. This island is separted by a strait about a mile and a quarter wide from Kodiak Island on which had been built a wooden monastery for the residence of the members of the mission, and a wooden church dedicated to the Resurrection of the Savior. (New Valaam was named for Valaam on Lake Ladoga, the monastery from which Father Herman came to America. It is interesting to note that Valaam is also located on an island, although, this island is in a fresh water lake, whereas, Spruce Island is on the Pacific Ocean, although near other islands and the Alaskan mainland.)

Spruce Island is not large, and is almost completely covered by a forest. Almost through its middle a small brook flows to the sea. Herman selected this picturesque island for the location of his hermitage. He dug a cave out of the ground with his own hands, and in it he lived his first full summer. For winter there was built for him a cell near the cave, in which he lived until his death. The cave was converted by him into a place for his burial. A wooden chapel, and a wooden house to be used as a schoolhouse and a guest house were built not too distant from his cell. A garden was laid out in front of his cell. For more than forty years Father Herman lived here.

Father Herman himself spaded the garden, planted potatoes and cabbage and various vegetables in it. For winter, he preserved mushrooms, salting or drying them. He obtained salt from sea water. It is said that a wicker basket in which the Elder carried seaweed from the shore, was so large that it was difficult for one person to carry. The seaweed was used for fertilizing the soil. But to the astonishment of all, Father Herman carried a basket filled with seaweed for a long distance without any help at all. By chance his disciple, Gerasimus, saw him one winter night carrying a large log which normally would be carried by four men; and he was bare footed. So the Elder worked, and everything that he acquired as a result of his immeasurable labors was used to feed and clothe orphans, and also for books for his students.
His clothes were the same for winter as for summer. He did not wear a shirt; instead he wore a smock of deer skin, which he did not take off for several years at a time, nor did he change it, so that the fur in it was completely worn away, and the leather became glossy. Then there were his boots or shoes, cassock, an ancient and faded cassock (riasa) full of patchwork, and his klobuk. He went everywhere in these clothes, and at all times; in the rain, in snowstorms, and during the coldest freezing weather. In this, Father Herman followed the example of many Eastern Ascetic Fathers and monks who showed the greatest concern for the welfare and needs of others. Yet, they themselves wore the oldest possible clothes to show their great humility before God, and their contempt for worldly things.

A small bench covered with a time-worn deerskin served as Father Herman’s bed. He used two bricks for a pillow; these were hidden from visitors by a skin or a shirt. There was no blanket. Instead, he covered himself with a wooden board which lay on the stove. This board Father Herman, himself called his blanket, and he willed that it be used to cover his remains; it was as long as he was tall. “During my stay in the cell of Father Herman,” writes the creole Constantine Larionov, “I, a sinner, sat on his ‘blanket’-and I consider this the acme of my fortune!” (‘creole’ is the name by which the Russians referred to the children of mixed marriages of native Indians of Alaska, Eskimo and Aleuts with Russians.)

On the occasions when Father Herman was the guest of administrators of the American Company and in the course of their soul-saving talks he sat up with them until midnight. He never spent the night with them, but regardless of the weather he always returned to his hermitage. If for some extraordinary reason it was necessary for him to spend the night away from his cell, then in the morning the bed which had been prepared for him would be found untouched; the Elder not having slept at all. The same was true in his hermitage where having spent the night in talks, he never rested.

The Elder ate very little. As a guest, he scarcely tasted the food, and remained without dinner. In his call his dinner consisted of a very small portion of a small fish or some vegetables.
His body, emaciated as a result of his labors, his vigils, and fasting, was crushed by chains which weighed about sixteen pounds. These chains are kept to this day in the chapel.
 
Telling of these deeds of Father Herman, his disciple, the Aleut lgnaty Aligyaga, added, “Yes, Apa led a very hard life, and no one can imitate his life!” (Apa, Aleutian word means Elder or grandfather, and it is a name indicative of the great affection in which he was held).

Read the article in its entirety here.