Thursday, September 28, 2006

New Computer

Yipee! I got my new computer last week! A computer that works ... well, ... like a computer! The screen isn't pink and the F key actually types Fs!!! And it hasn't randomly shut down on me!

Friday, September 22, 2006

In Memoriam

One year ago today I lost a dear friend

Sometimes when I am driving I will mistake my jingling keys for his collar

He would have loved our recent Autumn weather and my walks with Cecilia.

Although he left far too soon and before Cecilia was born, he guarded her before birth. He would have loved to play with her now and she would have loved to pet him and grab those soft golden ears.

One year later, I can't forget him and still miss him.

Tuesday, September 19, 2006

Is EVERYTHING Business now?

I spoke to my mom for a half hour or so this morning. She is doing well. She can walk down a hall and eat but she is still in pain and her stomach is very sensitive.

She recalled to me her transfer from the hospial to the facility where she will receive physical therapy for the next 5 days or so. She could have been transferred by wheelchair to my dad's car and he driven her but it was thought better to have her moved by stretcher and driven by ambulance. In hindsight, the car would probably have been better.

The EMTs were a couple of young men and they brought the stretcher up to her room. She gently shifted herself onto the stretcher and then, without proper care, the young men lifted up the side railings of the stretcher. My mom had not properly centered herself first and the side railing went into her incision. Needless to say, the tears just began falling. Whose wouldn't?

Now, after wheeling her down to the ambulance, she asked them what route they were taking to the facility. Now the quickest and easiest route from the hospital to the facility was to head south and then directly west and it would have been a flat 4 miles taking about 10 minutes. Instead, they drove north, then west passing the facility, then heading south and then east driving 5.5 miles and taking at least 20-30 minutes depending on traffic. My dad left the hospital after the ambulance left with my mom (he went back up stairs to get the rest of her stuff) and he arrived at the facility and was waiting 10 minutes before she got there!

Now, I suppose one could try the excuse that these two young men just had no clue where they were going, but after my mom told them in the ambulance which ways they should take and argued with them about how they were taking the longest route possible, upon arriving, she heard one of them tell the other, "5.5."

Is anything not just a business now? These young men drove the longest possible route (without looking like they were completely lost) with complete disregard for my mom in pain in a bumpy ambulance so they could collect more miles. I suppose it is more disturbing than all the doctors and pharmacutical companies who push every drug on patients regardless of possible negative effects. But I for one find it sick and appauling that these two young men could hear and see my mom in pain in the ambulance while she is telling them to go a shorter route and they go a longer one, causing her more pain, soley so they will get more $$$.

Unfortunately, in a society where unborn children are mercilessly slaughtered, the family degraded and disregarded, and drugs more imporatant than health, we can only expect to see more of this type of behavior where no person is regarded higher than the almighty dollar.

Friday, September 15, 2006

Personal Reflections on Islam

Okay, I know just in typing this I will have many people upset at me but it is something I've wanted to type for a while now.

Everyone has probably heard about the Pope offending Muslims, unintentionally of course.

Now, if someone came up to me and said, "overeating makes you fat," why in the world would I react in rage to their comment by pigging out? It makes no sense unless I am not a human being functioning on a rational level but simply responding on my emotions in a tantrum-like manner to something I did not like.

So, the Pope tries to make the point that religious beliefs are never an excuse for violence and what happens? Muslims react enraged with violence.

Personally I see this as evidence of my personal belief regarding Islam for a while now. Now, let me be clear...

I hope those are clear to avoid misconception. I've known people who were very nice, not terrorists in the slightest, and were indeed proud to be Muslims. I am NOT speaking about them or any like them. However, given history and recent political events, I have come to believe that Islam has a natural tendency to being interpreted and used for evil and recent headlines support my belief.

I find it childishly absurd that Muslims react so violently to any "insult" even if it happens to be true. I've never heard of a people being so sensitive as to throw violent tantrums because someone disagreed with them.

And this is not only true of the fanatical terrorists, either, as the media demonstrates - it is quite a number of Muslims.

I sincerely hope the Pope does not apologize simply because HE DID NOTHING WRONG! He quoted a historical fact for the purpose of demonstrating a personal and Catholic belief - that religion never be used to justify violence.

It would appear that it is a Muslim belief that if anyone says or does anything to offend you, then you are justified in getting angry to the point of burning, exploding, igniting, shooting, etc. until you feel vindicated. And it does not appear that this belief is held only by Osama Bin Laden and his cronies but by a fair amount if not all of the Muslim world. And such a belief is, indeed, evil. Hence my belief that Islam has a natual propensity towards evil.

I don't know about you, but I know which religion I prefer to hold.

Prayer Request

Please keep my mother in your prayers as she recovers from hip surgery. The surgery went well but it will be a long, slow and painful recovery.

Also please keep a friend, C., in prayer as she will be having neck surgery Sept. 27th.

Thank you.

Wednesday, September 13, 2006

Crapola in a Box

Cecilia and I were walking around the Columbia mall today since it was raining outside and we browsed the KBToystore. I saw a toy that seemed to resemble a toy my brothers and I had when we were young. The one we had was a long rectangular toy with 4 different doors on top and four different devices along the front, one for each door. The devices, when activated either by pushing, turning, flipping, etc., popped open the door on top and a small head of Mickey or Elmo or some other character popped up. The toy I saw today did not have any well-known characters but the idea was the same - four different devices to open four different doors. Curious, I activated all four doors but was surprised when I saw that the four heads that popped up were bobble heads, the springs of which I could see along their "necks." I thought, "geez, my daughter would open each door and make a beeline for heads and pull those things off in no time."

It seems that many of the toys companies push on little children nowadays are basically cheap crap not intended to last very long but always costs too much. I don't mind buying toys, but I at least want them to be of such quality as to last through at least a few children. I'm not saying all modern toys are crapola in a box, but it seems to me that the toy stores push quite number of them.

Monday, September 11, 2006

In Memoriam

On September 11, 2001, 2996 people were brutally murdered by Islamic fanaticals in New York, Pennsylvania, and Washington, D.C. Please take a moment today to pray for all those who died, all who lost loved ones and the capture and justice of Osama Bin Laden.

May the souls of the faithfully departed through the mercy of God rest in peace.

Sunday, September 10, 2006

Sexualizing Six Year Olds!

The Drudge Report had this article linked to their website: Retailers Peddle Padded Bras for Girls.

Upon looking at the story I was disgusted to read that some stores are actually selling PADDED BRAs for girls as young as SIX years old! Now, even if you disregard the plague of pedophilia and child pornography in this world, to allow a child to wear such clothing naturally inclines anyone to regard them more as sexual beings or even sexual objects, including themselves.

When asked about this, one distributor replied:
"The idea of the padding is for girls to be discreet as they develop," a spokeswoman said.

"It is more about hiding what you have got than showing it off. It is certainly not there to make children look like they have breasts."

Since when do 6,7,8,9,or 10 year olds need padding to "hide what they've got?" Furthermore, since when do 6-10 year olds have anything to hide? Target also defended the products.

It amazes me how some adults seem to think the best way to treat children is to completely ignore their childhood and fast forward through any innocence and push them straight into adulthood. Absolutely Shameful!

Saturday, September 09, 2006

The Dangers of Day Care

I visit a message board occassionally and this morning there was a message that a baby born in August of 2005 had died:

"katie is now in heaven died sept 6th she was the smartest and most beautiful little girl in the world she was a very happy and enegetic baby who had just begun to walk i dont understand why she died i dropped her off at daycare and was called 7 hours later to be told she had stopped breathing she had gone down for a nap to never be awoken im so mad and upset an cant stop crying this was the first time she was in daycare in her life and had only been their for a week and half and never took a bottle well since she was breastfed but they didnt bother checking on her for almost 3-4 hours from what the sheriff said their doing a full investigation i just cant imagine everyday is going to be with out her she is survived by her big brother whos only 2 and 1/2 and mommy"

I can't imagine what Katie's mom is going through. But it is stories like hers and like this one that make me refuse to ever put any child of mine in any day care. I'm not saying accidents can't happen at home or with a child's parent or that SIDS cannot stike at any time or place. But how much more attentive would a parent be to his or her own children rather than a complete stranger who simply gets paid to. For a parent's own child, there is so much more invested than any amount of $$$. A parent invests not only time, money, energy, effort, etc. in his or her own child but also a part of himself or herself. Just as there is no way any day care provider could take the place of a parent to that baby, there is no way any day care provider could care for that child the way its own parent could.

I'm not blaming parents who do use day care. There are circumstances when it may very well be necessary. However, personally, if was merely a matter of dollars and cents, no amount could outweigh the risk of something like this happening to one of my own children. No amount could be worth it.

Sunday, September 03, 2006

Marriage as Witness

His Holiness on Marriage as Witness:

I think we priests can learn from married couples, from their suffering and sacrifice. Often we think that only celibacy is sacrifice. But in getting to learn the sacrifices of married persons - think of raising children, the problems that arise from that, the fears, the suffering, the ailments, rebelliousness, or just think of the first years of having children, with sleepless nights attending to crying babies - there is much we can learn from their sacrifices, and our own sacrifices.

Together with them we can learn how beautiful it is to mature in suffering and to work for the sake of others. Don Pennazza, you have cited the Vatican Council which affirmed that Matrimony is a sacrament to save others - above all, this means, to save the other, the spouse, husband or wife, but also the children and ultimately, the community. Even we priests are able to mature in our encounters with our married parishioners.

Weekend Six

From Patrick's The Weekender

1. What was the last charity you donated something to? How long ago did you make your last donation?

Actually, ironically enough, it was the Tepeyac Family Center. Last month. (I didn't count our parish church as that is a weekly given.)

2. Describe the worst weather event/national disaster that you experienced firsthand.

Well, I think in terms of an overall event it had to be Hurricane Andrew, but Hurricane Frances was a peach too.

3. Did the experience you just described change you in any way, (or if you've never experienced such an event firsthand, do you think it would change you significantly)?

It taught me how to be properly prepared and handle such events and gave me one more reason I prefer to live further north.

4. Take the quiz: What subjects should you have studied in school?

Your Learning Style: Unconventional and Insightful

You are very intuitive and ingenious. You're attracted to any field of study that lets you break the rules.

You Should Study:

Art history
Comparative religions
Eastern religion

5. Did you actually study or major in any of the courses suggested by the quiz?

Yep, my major as an undergrad was Philosophy. I also took courses in Education, Theology, Art and Architecture.

6. What's your current screen saver? How long have you had it, and what do you like best about it?

It is a simple Windows one that I update monthly that says "Cecilia is 7 Months Old!" and it rotates around.

Friday, September 01, 2006

Washington Post Article on Tepeyac Center

An article appeared in the Washington Post yesterday on medical offices blending health and faith.

The OB/GYN office mentioned in the article, the Tepeyac Family Center, is where my OB/GYN practices. In fact it was Dr. Fisk at Tepeyac who delivered Cecilia.

Here was my letter:

Mr. Stein,

I read your article on and would like to comment. I am a patient of Tepeyac Family Center and greatly enjoyed all my visits there last year and earlier this year during my first pregnancy and have continued to be grateful to them for a wonderful delivery of my daughter last January. But I’d like to explain why I sought them out as my doctors.

Several years ago, when I was away at college, I sought out a local doctor because my throat was bothering me and, due to a history of being very susceptible to strep throat, I wanted to get it checked. Even though I was only going there for a throat ailment, the doctor tried to put me on birth control pills. I declined because I don’t believe in contraception but the doctor persisted on encouraging me to get them. I never went back. A couple of years later I went to a doctor for an illness and the subject came up that I had just gotten engaged. The doctor asked if I was on any contraception and when I said no, she simply said, “well we will get you on some.” Not only did the doctor not ask me if I wanted contraception, she arrogantly assumed I would not want children once I got married. I have even had my endocrinologist, whose only concern should have been my thyroid gland, encourage me to get on the pill.

I would like to point out that while your article mentions the concern that medical centers combining health and faith do not inform the patients of all their options, I have never once had a doctor try to push the pill or some other form of contraception on me and also mention Natural Family Planning. Not once did any of the three doctors I referred to above mention NFP as an option and I have to wonder how many doctors out there do. While I am sorry some patients feel “rubbed the wrong way” or “judged” by such practices as Tepeyac’s, there are, unfortunately, just as many who have felt the same way by doctors who do push contraceptives.

Doctors who encourage patients to take contraception or have abortions believe these things are okay or good. Doctors who don’t pray for or with their patients believe prayer isn’t necessary or doesn’t help. Every doctor practices according to what he or she believes. If a patient believes contraception is a good thing and they want to be on it, they should go to a doctor who believes likewise. I go to a doctor who believes as I do that contraception and abortion are anything but good and it is important that such doctors continue to practice their beliefs for those like me.