Friday, April 29, 2005

50 Million downloads!

Firefox has reached their 50 millionth download! In my opinion, Firefox is the best web browser around, no spyware, no adware, no popups, no trojans. I've been using them almost exclusively for about 8 months and I totally believe they are the best browser on the market, bar none. And the best part about it? It's free! Get yours today!

Here's a cool little survey to see what type accent you have, pretty interesting.

Your Linguistic Profile:

75% General American English

20% Yankee

5% Upper Midwestern

0% Dixie

0% Midwestern

Thursday, April 28, 2005

I've Arrived

A couple from Minneapolis decided to go to Florida to thaw out during one particularly icy winter. They planned to stay at the very same hotel where they spent their honeymoon 20 years earlier. Because of hectic schedules, it was difficult to coordinate their travel schedules. So, the husband left Minnesota and flew to Florida on Thursday, with his wife flying down the following day. The husband checked into the hotel. There was a computer in his room, so he decided to send an e-mail to his wife. However, he accidentally left out one letter in her email address, and without realizing his error, he sent the e-mail.

Meanwhile, somewhere in Houston, a widow had just returned home from her husband's funeral. He was a minister of many years who was called home to glory following a sudden heart attack The widow decided to check her e-mail expecting messages of condolence from relatives and friends.

After reading the first message, she fainted. The widow's son rushed into the room, found his mother on the floor, and saw the computer
screen which read:

To: My Loving Wife

Subject: I've Arrived
Date: 16 January 2004
I know you're surprised to hear from me. They have computers here now and you are allowed to send e-mails to your loved ones. I've just arrived and have been checked in. I see that everything has been prepared for your arrival tomorrow. Looking forward to seeing you then!

Hope your journey is as uneventful as mine was.

P. S. Sure is hot down here

Monday, April 25, 2005

Black Crabs

If you go down to the beach early in the morning you can find black crabs. You can put them in your bucket and continue walking on the beach. Now those crabs start thinking, 'we are bumping around in this little bucket making a lot of noise but going nowhere.' Eventually, one crab looks up and thinks, 'There's a whole new world up there. If I could just get my foot up over the edge, I could get out, get my freedom and see the world in my own way.' So he stretches up, pushes a little, and sure enough, gets one foot over the edge. But just as he is about to tip the balance and go over the edge --- a crab from the bottom of the bucket reaches up and pulls him back down. Instead of encouraging him and seeing how they could help each other get to freedom one by one, they pull anyone attempting to get out back down into that confining bucket where death will come quickly.

Unfortunately, many of us live around a bunch of black crabs, ready to ridicule any new idea we have and just as eager to pull us back down to their level of performance. I have found that one of the key characteristics of successful people is that they hang around people who are performing at the level at which they want to perform. There will always be naysayers and whiners; avoid them. Find winners and spend time with them!

Wednesday, April 20, 2005

On Benedict XVI

Michael Novak wrote a great piece on the new pope Benedict XVI for the New York Times today, even though it is entitled "Rome's Radical Conservative" it is a very fair portrayal of the man chosen to lead the Roman Catholic Church's one billion members. Here it is.

Tuesday, April 19, 2005

Habemus Papam!

We have a pope! In one of the shortest conclaves in years, the college of cardinals has elected Joseph Cardinal Ratzinger as the new Pope Benedict XVI. Here is a short video clip on the announcement from the Vatican. Myway News has a good article on the election, and The Pope Blog has a ton of info on Cardinal Ratzinger and his election to the highest office in the Church.
The sense of elation knowing that we now have a pope, that the Church is no longer without a Shepard, and that this pope is very similar to John Paul II in his views is very comforting.
Cardinal Ratzinger was thought to be a top candidate by most, as he has plenty of experience in the Vatican, residing there since 1981 and heading up the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, as well as being elected dean of the college of cardinals in 2002. He is very well read and versed as was JPII, speaking 10 languages. His critics say he if far to strict and will alienate those who disagree with those Church teachings which he upholds. His supporters say he will continue to keep the Churches teachings of today streamlined with that of the past in matters of pastoral care.
Here is his greeting and blessing to the whole Church:

"Dear brothers and sisters, after our great pope, John Paul II, the cardinals have elected me, a simple, humble worker in God's vineyard. I am consoled by the fact that the Lord knows how to work and how to act, even with insufficient tools, and I especially trust in your prayers.
"In the joy of the resurrected Lord, trustful of his permanent help, we go ahead, sure that God will help. And Mary, his most beloved mother, stands on our side."

He then delivered his first "Urbi at Orbi" ("for the city and for the world") papal blessing, after which the crowd in St. Peter's Square chanted, "Viva il papa," or "Long live the pope."

Sunday, April 17, 2005

The Papal Bracket

With the start of the conclave to elect the next pope just hours away, a very good friend emailed me this very funny interpretation of how the process of elimination might work out.

Friday, April 15, 2005

We've Reached A New Low

This Makes me sick, I can't believe the Holy Eucharist could be so desacrated like this, just one more sign that the apocolypse is coming soon! Here is an online petition to ebay to stop this type of attrocity.

Thursday, April 14, 2005

Funeral For The Pope

I've just returned home from Rome for the Holy Father's funeral and I must say that it was absolutely amazing! It certainly was not an easy trip, between the airlines losing my bag for 5 days and being forced to wear the same clothes for the duration, waiting in line for un-Godly hours just to catch a glimpse of JPII lying in state, or standing in line for even more hours to get into the piazza for the funeral. But even amidst it all it was one of the most incredible experiences I've ever had.

The faith of the people I met was simply awe inspiring. There was Margret Young from Texas who I had the privilege of sharing a seat next to on my flight over. Margret is a nurse from Houston who just hopped on a plane when she heard the news even though she had no idea where she was going to stay when getting there. She insisted that I take her copy of the the Pieta prayer book as I had forgotten mine.
There was the lady who worked in the tavola caldo where I ate the morning after the viewing who wanted to know all about my experience seeing him as she didn't have the opportunity to go because of work. She was as excited as I've ever seen anyone when I showed her the pictures of the Pope that I had taken with my camera phone.
There was the woman from Spain who had come with her 3 young sons just to be part of this monumental occurrence. There were students from Australia, a businessman from Ireland, a couple from France, and hundreds of thousands of Polish who came to pay their last respects to their fellow countryman.

Amidst the signs of 'Subito Santo', the chants of 'Giovanni Paolo', and the outpouring of emotion and support for our beloved Pope I came to realize that this really is what Catholicism is all about, unity. Language and cultural barriers were broken all because of this one man who had done so much for so many.

Through out it all I learned a great deal of patience and trust in God. The most personal and heartfelt experience happened to me while coming out of one of the many churches I visited. There was a young boy, no more than 11 years old who was begging for money for his mother whom he said could not work as she had no eye. I of course was suspicious of the story as there are beggars on every corner and next to every church. So I went inside and said a few quick prayers then began to walk out. The boy was still there begging. I began to feel sorry for him so I told him I couldn't give him any money but I would take him to get something to eat. We proceeded to walk to the closest shop for a slice of pizza and drink. After purchasing the food for him I went on my way. About an hour later I myself began to feel the pangs of hunger so I walked into the nearest store front for a slice of pizza. Well, as it turned out they were just about to close so instead of the lady forcing me to give up my last euros for a slice of pizza, she gave me a whole pizza pie for free! I was overcome by emotion as I thought about how close I was to walking away from the boy, on turning my back on someone in need, and how through my unselfish act God had turned around and given me five times what I had given that child.

That one experience alone made the whole trip worthwhile. Of course all the sightseeing, the great food, attending a live soccer game was just icing on the cake. The pictures I took are not nearly what they should be as I was relegated to using a disposable camera and my cell phone for pictures since my digital was still under repair. But you take what you can get and deal with the rest and that's what makes life exciting!


Wednesday, April 13, 2005

An Irish Joke

A good Irishman, John O"Reilly, met regularly with his toastmasters club. One evening they were hitting the Guinness Stout & Jameson and having a contest about who could make the best toast for their wife. John O"Reilly hoisted his Guiness and said, " Here 's to spending the rest of my life between the legs of me wife!" That won him the top prize for the best toast of the night. John went home and told his wife, Mary," I won the prize for the best toast of the night." Mary said," Aye, and tell me what was your winnin' toast me darlin?" John replied," Here's to spending the rest of me life, sitting in church beside me wife." "Oh, that is very nice indeed, John, I can see why you won!" Mary said. The next day Mary ran into one of John's toasting buddies on the street corner. The man chuckled leeringly and said, "So Mary... John won the prize the other night with a toast about you." Mary said: "Aye and I was a bit surprised meself! You know, he's only been there twice!!! Once he fell asleep, and the other time I had to pull him by the ears to make him come..."

Tuesday, April 5, 2005

To Rome I Go!

I am off to the Eternal City this afternoon for the funeral Mass of the Holy Father, John Paul II, which will be held on Friday at 10:00 AM local time, 3:00 AM EST. Unfortunately my digital camera is under repair right now so I'm forced to take along a couple of the faithful disposable ones, so needless to say it will be awhile before I am able to put the pictures from the funeral online.

On another note, the Personal Democracy Forum has reported that San Francisco may try to regulate blogs by forcing all bloggers in the area to register and report costs incurred that exceed $1000. This sounds like just another form of censorship to me.

Saturday, April 2, 2005

It Is Finished.....

Apr 2, 3:01 PM (ET)

VATICAN CITY (AP) - Pope John Paul II, the Polish pontiff who led the Roman Catholic Church for more than a quarter century and became history's most-traveled pope, has died at 84, the Vatican announced in an e-mail Saturday.

His Holiness

Please pray for the pope in his failing condition. The Vatican has reported that the Supreme Pontiff's condition has worsened, as thousands of Catholics hold vigil outside St. Peter's.

Friday, April 1, 2005

John Paul II

As many know the Holy Father is not doing so well, his failing health is a cause for concern within the Church. While reading Michelle Malkin's blog today she had a great article posted by Mark Thiessen titled "The Blessed Sounds of Silence". It is one of the best pieces I've read on JPII in a very long time. Another blog of note is Capital Region People. There is always something interesting posted there.