finding Jesus?

You can understand why Jesus would want to hide from guys like that. Courtesy of George Takei on Facebook. (Yep, it’s that George Takei.)

(If you’re not getting it, look closely at the curtain on the left.)

fountain of light

We normally have a table-top fountain in our bedroom. We’ve had a few over the years. The most recent one we’ve had for several years, and it was getting clogged and sluggish. A few months back, we moved it out and replaced it with the vaporizer because of the cold, dry nights we were having, and how itchy we were getting.

But we can only go so long without a fountain in the bedroom, so I started looking. I found one on Amazon (for not that much money) that looked marvelous. It had a lighted rotating globe with imitation tiffany-like stained glass and glassy pebbles at the base. I ordered it and set it up as soon as it arrived. If anything it exceeded our expectations.

The sound of the water and the light of the rotating globe: it’s very soothing and relaxing at the end of the day.

same words, opposite meanings

I’ve written about this before. “The event was sanctioned by the national organization.” “He was sanctioned for his actions.”

When the Obama administration first started talking about no-cost birth control, my emails from Planned Parenthood talked about “no copay” prescriptions. Now that could either mean “it’s not covered, you pay the full cost yourself,” or “there is no out-of-pocket cost to you.” You had to notice the positive tone of the emails to infer that they were referring to the latter.

A Facebook friend checked in at Starbucks and wrote, “Just chilling.” In that context you knew what he meant, as you would if he had written “just chillin'” even without checking in at an espresso shop. But what if he had written “Just chilling” without that context? He could have had the same mellow meaning in mind, or he could have meant, “What the Republicans want to do to women’s reproductive health rights is just chilling.”

Is it any wonder why non-native speakers sometimes have so much trouble with our idioms?

Sacred Music Friday: Nunc Dimittis

One of the things I liked about the Lutheran liturgy is that when we didn’t end the service with “Thank the Lord and sing his praise…” we would use “Nunc Dimittis.”

Lord, now you let your servant go in peace; Your word has been fulfilled.
My eyes have seen the salvation You have prepared in the sight of every people,
A light to reveal you to the nations and the glory of your people, Israel.

This is a marvelous setting of that piece, courtesy of, of course, Unapologetically Episcopalian.

internet radio

No doubt it’s true that a stressful work life can help induce us in moments of weakness to make purchases that we would perhaps not otherwise have made. And perhaps there’s an element of that to this purchase. At the same time, I think this was a purchase with some real practical value, and out of which I am getting a lot of use.

The radio reception inside the house here in Gilroy is pretty scratchy. And it doesn’t always make sense to fire up the desktop to listen online, especially during the day while I’m working on my company laptop. When I am at the desktop and listening to music, I’m always having to shift whichever streaming app I’m using out of the way.

The solution: an Internet radio. It plugs directly into the router (or I could have used WiFi), and I can manage my station list via my Web browser. It works just fine with my wireless audio transmitter, so we can listen from any place in the house we have wireless speakers.

Actually quite a useful purchase. Even more so than I anticipated, in fact.

word usage: “wasted”

Every so often a word grabs my attention and I delve into its meaning and usage. One of the songs that is on the playlist at The Bridge on Sirius-XM is the old Crosby, Stills & Nash tune, “Wasted on the Way.” It got me thinking about “wasted.”

They sing about the “time we have wasted on the way.” Knowing the era and knowing the group, I think that this has to be code for “we were wasted on the way.” In this particular usage we think of “wasted” as meaning “intoxicated” or “stoned.” I checked American Heritage 5, Merriam Webster, and Wordnik, and they all confirmed that. They also omitted a meaning I believe to be in use: “hung over,” or “wiped out after a binge from the previous night.” As in David Wells saying he pitched his perfect game “wasted.” At least at the time of the event the guys on sports talk radio were saying that Wells had to have meant he was hung over, not that he was drunk while pitching the game. I’ve never been in a major league clubhouse, but I’ve been a baseball fan since I was a kid, and this is certainly consistent with my understanding of major leaguers and their habits.

What’s your experience of the usage of the word?

An aside: If you’ve never checked out Wordnik, you might want to. It gives definitions from multiple dictionaries, plus examples of the use of the word from various sources. Very cool.

seeing right prevail

Given the ongoing effort to balance the California state budget and reduce the federal deficit on the backs of the poor and underprivileged, I found this comforting and inspiring:

Vulnerable God,
you challenge the powers that rule this world
through the needy, the compassionate,
and those who are filled with longing.
Make us hunger and thirst to see right prevail,
and single-minded in seeking peace;
that we may see your face
and be satisfied in you,
through Jesus Christ, Amen.

a collect by Janet Morley, All Desires Known: Inclusive Prayers for Worship and Meditation, courtesy of Jane Redmont.


I’ve always been a big fan of improvisation. When I was in college I was regularly in attendance at the performances of Karma Pie, the Claremont Colleges improv group of the era.

On the old TV show Smooth Jazz Television, host Cameron Smith’s signoff was “Life is a lot like jazz…it’s best when you improvise.”

That’s how I am in the kitchen. You may remember a few years ago I bought a netbook computer (remember those pre-tablet things?) and expended a great deal of effort to digitize all of my recipes and put them into Living Cookbook on the netbook. But really, I am not a recipe kind of person. I’m like the improv performer who takes a word suggested by the audience and runs with it.

Saturday I wanted to do something different for dinner, so I pulled out the netbook. I went to the chicken section and saw Basque Chicken. I noted that the main seasoning was smoked paprika. I ignored the rest of the recipe and shut down the computer. I then put together a chicken dish of my own making that used smoked paprika. But it worked. Terry loved it.

I’m not an actor or a jazz musician, but in the kitchen I improvise much more than I follow the script or the score.

Sacred Music Friday: Bach – Magnificat in D

Bach: Magnificat in D (Choir “Magnificat”), Academy of St Martin-in-the-Fields, courtesy of Unapologetically Episcopalian.

the UPS truck

This would be Tasha…