Saturday, April 23, 2005

I've been having trouble trying to post the past week, so I apologize for not being here.

It's been a fairly productive week here at Chez Chaput. We broke down and bought a new propane grill, so we can get rid of the old rusted charcoal one in the back. If you happen to hear of a major fire in the Dyker Heights area of Brooklyn this summer, look for my name in the police report.

Discovered recently that I have a ganglion cyst on my right ring finger. Doctors tell me that it may go away on it's own, but could then come back periodically. I'd be better off, they say, to have it removed surgically. The hand specialist said it had to be done in the hospital, a simple procedure but my finger would be wrapped up for up to ten days. Hard to get much typing done, I guess. So I've decided to hold off until Donna and I get back from our California adventure in June. I think I can survive until then. :-)

Tuesday, April 19, 2005

I was listening to CBS TV on my Walkman and heard that Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger of Germany has juat been elected the newest Pope today by the College of Cardinals. He has chosen the name Benedict XVI, which will, I'm sure, be debated and discussed quite a bit.

Apparently he was close to the late John Paul II, so his choice was not totally unexpected. I don't forsee any drastic change in the Roman Catholic church's policies in the near future, but rather an re-entrenchment to very conservative values.

Not being a practicing Catholic any longer this doesn't have an immediate effect on me one way or the other. It will be fascinating to learn more about this man in the next few days & weeks.

I joked with my wife that this particular Cardinal will probably go the Sgt. Schultz route over questions about what he did during WWII. "I knew nothing! I saw nothing!"

Yeah, that's probably not very nice, but that's why we have blogs, right?

Wednesday, April 13, 2005

It appears to be a battle between bird lovers (re: dirty disgusting birds, I might add) and cat lovers in Wisconsin. Whose side is PETA on this time? :-)

Apparently residents in that state are being asked to allow 'licensed, hunters' to shoot cats in order to cut down on the population.

Seriously, I can't believe that there are ...okay, I take that back...I'm NOT surprised that there are actually people out there who would like to have open season on kitty cats. The answer, in my humble opinion, is to spade or neuter the animals (capturing them when you can and releasing if necessary, although adoption would be preferable) thereby keeping the future feline population under control.

I think allowing folks to shoot the animals opens up all sorts of horrific possibilities. The murder of household pets, to name just one.

Tuesday, April 12, 2005

I normally don't post the same item on both this blog and over on SHOT'S SHACK, but decided to make an exception today.

This is from internal e-mail sent to all staff at the Queens Library:
Tuesday, April 12, is NATIONAL LIBRARY WORKERS DAY, as designated by the American Library Association, and timed to occur during National Library Week. It is intended to recognize nearly 400,000 special people whose efforts in libraries across the U.S. serve the public’s need for information and literacy.

Hat's off to my fellow Librarians, the clerical staff, pages and volunteers who serve the public here in New York and around the nation. We don't get nearly enough pay, but we do our job for millions of American each day.

Monday, April 11, 2005

Had a very relaxing weekend, even if I did have to spend part of Saturday working. We went out to Staten Island to return some gifts and I picked up a new jacket. Donna broke down and let me buy her the new Catherine Crier book on the Scott/Laci Peterson trial.

We decided to have some harmless entertainment last night, so we watched SUPERVOLCANO on the Discovery Channel. The premise was an eruption at Yellowstone Park, which some scientists have predicted is very possible in our lifetimes. It was followed by a report on that very issue hosted by Tom Brokaw. Actually both were pretty interesting, if the movie very predictable. The Science Channel is running another show on the Yellowstone volcano later this week.

Oh, it was funny to learn of the arrest of THE APPRENTICE cast member Chris Shelton, known for his temper. Word is that he freaked out at the Hard Rock in Tampa, Florida over the cover charge. Apparently he felt he should have the $20 waived. Think he'll be "FIRED"?

Thursday, April 07, 2005

I was sorry to read of the passing of Dale Messick today, at the age of 98. Her long-running comic strip "Brenda Starr, Reporter" was once published in over 200 daily newspapers. When she began working in the 1930s the field was pretty much a male world has died at age 98. "Brenda Starr" began as a Sunday only strip, and later became a daily. The strip is now produced by writer June Brigman and artist Mary Schmich. Ms. Messick both wrote and drew the strip for decades, until she gave the job over to Ramona Fradon and Linda Sutter in 1980.

I had a chance to see Ms. Messick at a San Diego comic convention in the mid-1970s. She appeared on a panel dedicated to Milton Caniff, but spoke of her own early experiences in the industry. I remember her as very entertaining and obviously enjoying the attention and affection of her many fans.

Condolences to her family on this sad occasion.

Wednesday, April 06, 2005

Rob Kall over at OpEdNews.Com (link on the Left) has some interesting opinion pieces regarding Pope John Paul II. The comments of Prof. Matthew Fox point out some of the things which the media has not mentioned, or mentioned only in passing the past week, despite giving hours and hours of coverage to the Pontiff's dying days and funeral arrangements.

I have to admit to mixed feelings about the whole thing myself. There is no denying the charisma the man had, nor the hardships he had to overcome throughout his life. He also inspired a great many folks to think about things like Iraq, the death penalty, etc. which they might have not considered before. On the other hand, the media is all to willing to forget some of the other things the pontiff proclaimed and pushed ahead in the quarter of a century as the leader of the Catholic Church.

The essays over on OpEdNews remind us of the conservative and sometimes backwards leaning ideas that the late John Paul promoted. As with all things it never hurts to remember the flaws along with the good things as we mourn his passing. Like all of us, the Pope was a human being capable of mistakes.

Tuesday, April 05, 2005

I spent a great part of the past weekend glued to the set watching coverage of Pope John Paul II. Among the hours of sameness there were some bright spots. I was fascinated to learn something of the younger priests inspired by the Pope, especially those American students in the Vatican seminary. They are far more conservative than one might think, holding to the beliefs and teachings of John Paul rather than the more liberal leanings of many U.S. Catholics.
It will be interesting to see how evangelical they are in the coming years and if they are able to maintain the discipline they seem to have at this point.

It was also interesting to hear and see reports on some of the possible successors to the Pope. Although many of the priests and theologians interviewed warned that you can never really be sure who the Cardinals would choose. Many feel that they would go with some one older, to ensure that the reign would be relatively short, giving the Holy See a chance to see how things settle. John Paul II was such a charismatic individual that it is not likely that next Pope could equal his personal appeal.

Certainly interesting times to be a Catholic, even a lapsed one!

Sunday, April 03, 2005

I could not help thinking as I watched the televised 'death watch' from the Vatican, of my own mother's passing. Her last few days were spent in the home of my younger sister, with the aid of a hospice care giver. The priest from her parish came to give her the Prayer for the Sick (which we used to call last rites in the Catholic faith), and even though she had been waking only occassionally she did respond with an amen a couple of times, before going back to sleep.

I'm what is commonly called a 'lapsed Catholic' attending mass only for funerals and weddings. I've never been terribly religious, even as a teenager, despite years of attending mass with my parents and my mother's best efforts. Still I can't help but feel touched by the outpouring of genuine sorrow.

This is so different from the political posturing we witnessed during the period when Terri Schiavo lay in her hospital bed.