Saturday, November 22, 2008

A Visit To Scheels

I doubt that any of my friends and family "back east" have heard of Scheels, a sporting goods store chain based mainly in the Midwest (they have five stores in Iowa). Their Sparks Marina store is their furthest venture west. It's within walking distance from our apartment, and it hasn't even been open two months.

I have seen shopping malls that are smaller than this Scheels. It has a full-size Ferris wheel in the middle of it! And two full levels of everything for just about every type of sport.

Each of the two main entrances has a large overhead aquarium, one fresh water, one saltwater.

The sportswear department even has RAVENS jerseys (Ray Lewis and Ed Reed)! It also carries more U. of Nevada stuff than the actual U of N bookstore.

There are at least three shoe departments: one for men, one for women, and one for hiking. Their supplies of camping gear, fishing equipment, and ski stuff are all quite large.

And there are plenty of games to play! We enjoyed the shooting gallery, not unlike the one in Rehoboth Beach we used to play when we were kids. LC shot the birds on top of the model building a few times.

Which reminds me: the most stunning thing about this Scheels is that it has GUNS. Lots of guns. Shotguns, rifles, handguns, pearl-handled six-shooters, you name it. I figure that must be why there are no Scheelses in Maryland!

And on top of all that, there's a fudge and Italian ice store as well. Lots of sugar-free fudge too!

Just seeing everything in Scheels takes a couple hours; it's easy to get lost. Scheels definitely meets the American criteria (voiced by Steve Czaban) of "We want it, we want it now, and we want a lot of it."

See some pics here.

Monday, November 17, 2008

Take It Like A Man

I'm so done with the homosexualist activists who won't take the rejection of California's Prop 8 "like a man," as it were. Whiners. I mean, if I have to accept that Obama beat McCain, why can't they accept the fact that they were beaten in a fair fight (really, an UNfair fight when you consider how much opponents of 8 outspent the supporters) by those who just might not see the world the same way they do?

All this rage is buried in the fiction that denial of marriage to homosexuals is somehow a denial of civil rights. But the explanation is simple: Marriage between two people of the same sex simply does not exist, even if they go through all the motions (see also: "ordination" of "women priests"). It is no more real than a man wanting to marry a 12-year-old, a man marrying an animal, or a man marrying two women (yet). What they really want is government to force sanction of their immoral lifestyle upon those like me who disagree. Nothing like a little postmodern one-way tolerance.

Besides, let's say for a moment that the premise of same-sex marriage is real. I'm sure that disrupting churches, vandalizing churches and temples, and assaulting and harassing those who voted for Prop 8 will really draw nationwide support to their cause. That's not what Martin Luther King advocated in his civil rights campaign, and I think those from his era should denounce this immature homosexualist behavior, especially given how it's been directed at blacks who dared support Prop 8.

In line with my previous post, I'm not writing this out of rage. I do know homosexuals, and I hold nothing against them personally. But for me to sit back and say nothing means I have no problem with what's going on ("Qui tacet consentiret" - "He who is silent gives consent").

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Concession

I want to thank those of you who have commented on my recent political rants, especially Sharnina and Chenoa, both of whom I know and respect. It sometimes takes a while for me to admit I'm wrong, not unlike Fonzie.

If you want to know what I think of our president-elect, read those other posts; I'm not going to chew my cabbage twice, and my opinion hasn't changed. But I concede that my referring to him as "B. Hussein" (which, BTW, wasn't all that original) was childish, and I was wrong to do so. I certainly haven't liked the denigrating ways in which I've seen people refer to George W. Bush over the past eight years, but two wrongs don't make a right.

I may steer clear of politics on here for a while, especially if I can't write about it at least semi-dispassionately. I don't have the right to provoke others just because I get upset by being provoked, or worse, I go looking to be provoked. I'm a passionate guy (ya think?), and I just need to figure out where to channel it. And the last thing I want to do is chase away my friends of any political stripe just because I'm Upset.

Besides, how do I feel after all this "catharsis?" Not very good, I can assure you.

Posts like this, this, this, this, and this spoke volumes of truth to me, even if I didn't want to hear the truth. Read them if you can. So I also thank Dymphna, Marilena, Joe of St. Therese, and Drusilla (by way of Dawn Eden).

Like the old song says, don't give up on me . . . I'm still worth one more try. :-)

You Did Say "Change," Didn't You?

So how is it that B. Hussein Obama has three notable ex-Clintonistas on his transition team (did I forget any)? Namely:

  • John Podesta, former senior Clinton advisor and White House chief of staff turned chief of the B. Hussein transition team
  • Rahm Emanuel, former senior Clinton advisor turned future White House chief of staff
  • Jamie Gorelick, former Clinton deputy attorney general turned possible AG candidate
How's that "change" working out? Did Hillary approve? And most importantly, can we start calling the president-elect "Clinton 44?"

UPDATE: And now here's Greg Craig, whose foremost accomplishment for the Clinton White House was sending Elian Gonzalez back to a miserable life Cuba at gunpoint.

Those were the days.

Monday, November 10, 2008

Gregory, the Lovable Turkey!

Gregory has become fascinated with what's on my computer monitor. He loves watching me play Facebook's Bowling Buddies:


and otherwise he just likes to follow the cursor.

At Angie Goff's suggestion, I took a shot of him checking out her blog:


and lo, he was featured in this edition!

So why a turkey?

Because he very nearly made me late for work by waiting for my bedroom door to open, darting under our bed, and refusing to come out!

Friday, November 07, 2008

Just A Little Bragging, Soccer-Wise

All four of us older siblings played soccer at some time in our lives, mostly in elementary school (Shrine of the Little Flower) for the Catholic Youth Organization (CYO) leagues. I wish I still had an optical scanner so I could show you my CYO 8-10 team. Despite the name, Little Flower teams had a fearsome reputation in those leagues, and many local, collegiate, and even national soccer stars came from Little Flower. Alas, Little Flower is no more. I would go on to serve as manager of Loyola High's soccer team that upset a superior Gilman side in 1981 for the championship (thank you, Fr. (now Mr.) Tom Koliss, Pat Regan and Robby Watson, wherever you are!).

Of course, our parents attended our games and most of our practices, for which I thank them. Beyond them, we can credit our time in soccer to two men, and this is the real point of my post.

The first was a fellow named Vernon Reese. He started the CYO leagues in Baltimore in the early 1950s, and they grew to over 160 teams at one point. He was my optician, and until just a couple years ago, his son was my optometrist.

Gene Ringsdorf was the other man. An avid soccer player, he also was an effective organizer of leagues not only in Baltimore, but throughout the country as a member and eventual president of the U.S. Soccer Federation. If you or your kids played high school soccer, Gene Ringsdorf laid a lot of the groundwork for you. He also helped establish the North American Soccer League, the first attempt at a national soccer league in the U.S. He was also a representative to the international soccer organization FIFA. And well into his eighties, he was still helping as an administrator for amateur leagues in Baltimore. As a sidebar, he was ative in the Holy Name Society and the Knights of Columbus, and had the honor of receiving the Eucharist from Pope John Paul the Great at Camden Yards in 1995.

Just over five years ago, Gene Ringsdorf died at age 91. He was my last living grandparent. God rest his soul, and all the souls of the faithful departed.

Both Gene Ringsdorf and Vernon Reese are in the National Soccer Hall of Fame in Oneonta, NY, a short drive from some other HoF in Cooperstown that I've heard about.

As for me, I wouldn't mind being a soccer referee someday. I just need to get the offside rule down.

Wednesday, November 05, 2008

One piece of good news

Congrats to the righteous of Californica, who rose up and told activist homosexualists and judges to take a hike (again!) by supporting Proposition 8. Maybe there is hope for the Golden State after all.

Naturally, since said homosexualists can't win at the ballot box, they're going back to their allies in the courts. So much for the will of the people.

Tuesday, November 04, 2008

Wednesday Morning Quarterback: Not Surprising, But Still Sad

I called it some weeks ago.

Go crazy, Democrats.
Go crazy, pro-aborts.
Go crazy, Marxist income redistributors.
Go crazy, union thugs.
Go crazy, aging radical building bombers.

So B. Hussein Obama's style has won out over John McCain's confusing substance, and I do in all seriousness congratulate him on being the first (half-)African-American voted in as President. But, while I also have to give B. Hussein credit for running a smooth campaign, the ineptitude of McCain can't be overstated.

Here are ten observations:

  1. As much as I hate seeing it, whoever designed B. Hussein's "O" logo should be well compensated for it; it was a smashing success.
  2. B. Hussein and the Democrats succeeded more than I thought they would by painting George W. Bush as an albatross around McCain's neck. (If Bush could have run a third term, I would have voted for him. There, I've said it.)
  3. Therefore, McCain was very much on the defensive, running not just against B. Hussein, but against Bush. The twenty-some persent of Bush supporters didn't know what to think.
  4. The financial meltdown of September and October all but insured this election for B. Hussein. While banks were starting to go under in September, McCain insisted on talking about Senate earmarks, about which no one cared anymore.
  5. Said crisis took McCain's trump card, foreign policy, off the table. B. Hussein wasn't hurt at all by his refusal to back the Iraq surge, nor by his inexperience in foreign matters.
  6. It also blunted the effect of Joe the Plumber. All of a sudden, taking millions from the rich didn't seem like such a bad idea anymore.
  7. How inept was McCain? He worried too much about the mainstream media (which was unapologetically in the tank for B. Hussein from the beginning) saying he was running a negative campaign and just never took the gloves off. Nor did he have a coherent attack plan on B. Hussein, nor did he fight off his attacks very well.
  8. The only reason McCain got as many votes as he did from the conservative base was his naming of Sarah Palin as his running mate. Social conservatives like me were marginalized.
  9. McCain inexplicably muzzled Palin for most of the campaign, letting all those who criticized her lack of experience (while not harping on B. Hussein's similar dearth) and got their information on her via Saturday Night Live rule the day.
  10. By reneging on his pledge not to accept public funding (and McCain not making an issue of it), B. Hussein's war chest swelled to amounts that Lehman Brothers wouldn't mind having these days. "Hey, John, remember McCain-Feingold? How's that working out for ya?"
So now we will hear the usual fluff about "coming together." Phooey. Four years ago (or eight following the fractious Florida election), how many Democrats were saying they had to unite under Bush? Not very many. And I'll be damned if I'm going to roll over and play dead while B. Hussein tries to ram through the Freedom of Choice Act, which he promised would be first on his agenda.

The election of B. Hussein also reveals the current sorry state of the GOP with no Reagan, no Gingrich, no DeLay, no Bob Dole (and now no Libby Dole either!), and no Karl Rove. Meanwhile, the Dems are riding high with B. Hussein, Nancy Pelosi, and Dingy Harry. I hope conservatives can regroup with or without the GOP.

Anyway, it's a great day for Team Donkey. It's a hangover for Team Elephant. Pass me the Alka-Seltzer.

Monday, November 03, 2008

Admonishment

Before moving out here to Reno/Sparks, I knew nothing about Fr. John Corapi, SOLT (Society of Our Lady of the Most Holy Trinity). I'd heard fellow Catholics talking about him, but since Maryland has no real Catholic radio to speak of, I'd never heard Fr. Corapi preach. Now, with Catholic radio on the air here, I can hear him regularly (I generally don't listen to online radio; out of sight, out of mind.)

Wow. Fr. Corapi doesn't mince any words. He has a thundering voice that commands respect, and he's been through a lot, having dealt with addictions before his conversion and ordination.

I've already heard a couple times his talk on admonishing sinners. He cited specifically Ezekiel 33: 7-9:

You, son of man, I have appointed watchman for the house of Israel; when you hear me say anything, you shall warn them for me. If I tell the wicked man that he shall surely die, and you do not speak out to dissuade the wicked man from his way, he (the wicked man) shall die for his guilt, but I will hold you responsible for his death. But if you warn the wicked man, trying to turn him from his way, and he refuses to turn from his way, he shall die for his guilt, but you shall save yourself.
This, however, has been replaced by the Postmodern Testament, which says in the Letter to the Politically Correct 3:4,
You shall show tolerance for what anyone does, for tolerance is the highest virtue. You don't want to be known as a hypocrite, do you? If you declare anything as wrong or sinful, you are being judgmental and you shall be labeled a bigot, a prig, a homophobe, a Puritannical prude . . .
To which G.K. Chesterton says, "Tolerance is the virtue of the man without convictions."

Like Ezekiel, Fr. Corapi is charging me with warning the wicked of their sinful ways not in order to show moral superiority, but to keep them from the above-mentioned fate. As Ezekiel continues in verse 11:
As I live, says the Lord GOD, I swear I take no pleasure in the death of the wicked man, but rather in the wicked man's conversion, that he may live. Turn, turn from your evil ways! Why should you die, O house of Israel?
That says to me my own sins and sinfulness are what condemn me, not God Himself.

As an example of this admonition, some time ago I mentioned St. Dominic Savio. In that post I quoted the following, adding emphasis here:
Everyone in the school saw from the way he prayed that this boy was different. He greatly loved all the boys, and even though he was younger, he used to worry about them. He was afraid that they would lose the grace of God by sinning.
I know I don't care that much . . . yet. And my heart has to be in the right place, or I will come off as self-righteous.

God, grant me the grace to admonish the sinner for their -- and Your -- sake, not mine. Amen!

Saturday, November 01, 2008

Basil and Gregory


On the heels of the tragic news we received last night, we paid a visit to the new Nevada Humane Society pet adoption center in Reno. We walked out with our new orange tabby kittens, Basil (right) and Gregory! Because it was All Saints' Day, we decided upon the names from the rolls of saints. It turns out that Basil and Gregory were contemporaries.

They're both playful and rambunctious. We're keeping them in the bathroom for now, but they love to escape and hide!

It'll be nice to have cats again. They make a house (or an apartment) a home.

More pics here.

You've Got To Be Kidding!

It's bad enough to have put down all three of our cats over the last 18 months.

Now comes the devastating news that the kitten we were going to acquire from LC's best friend's daughter somehow fractured one of her vertebrae and had to be euthanized also. She was a climber and may have fell off the headboard of the bed or something. We had named her Genevieve after I had confused the patron saint of cats (St. Gertrude; St. Genevieve is the patroness of Paris).

Sure, we can easily adopt a cat out here, but this really hurts.