Friday, November 30, 2001

Thank God that there are still some Bible believing Christians!Citrus: Mayor banishes Satan from Inglis Check out the pictures on the wall behind her. She may in fact be an Elvis worshipper!

Thursday, November 29, 2001

I learned something new today. Do not use Ticketmaster, if you want to get the best possible tickets to an event. I continually was told by Ticketmaster that the best seats available for the Bucs game were in the nosebleed section. When I called the stadium I was able to get excellent field level seats and for a total of thirty dollars less. Go figure!
The annual trip is on! This weekend I'll be getting together with friends Brian and Tony to see the Tampa Bay Bucs play the Bengals. This has become something of a tradition in at least it's tenth year, I think. It started as a FL-GA game weekend, but over the past three years it has been the Jaguar/Bengal weekend, FL-Vanderbilt weekend, and then this year the Buccaneer/Bengal weekend. Brian who lives near Tampa will see the Bucs live for the first time this year, it is impossible to see them at home.
The weather looks to be in the 50's for Sunday, but I did hear one forecast today that called for snow on Saturday. Fingers are crossed.
This is a rather amusing picture. It is a man inside of a machine designed to give dogs a bath. He is inside of it receiving one himself, proving the safety of the device. Those enterprising Indians, what will they think of next?

Wednesday, November 28, 2001

Here is software that allows you to watch any movie at your comfort level. It will "mask" anything that would make you uncomfortable. Funny, I haven't heard more about this.
Here is what we have all been waiting for, just imagining working out can increase muscle mass, says a new study you can read about here.

My take on the FOX show "24" is how long can you drag a day out anyway? Does anyone sleep or does everyone stay up for 24 hrs? I think I've watched about as much of it as I can take.

Tuesday, November 27, 2001

Christmas urban legends are fairly interesting, especially the ones that are false. Check them out here.
mdubruiel.jpgJust when you think the Bucs are dead, they go and beat the Rams, at home! It'll make this weekend's game at Cincinnati a little more interesting if I end up there.

Monday, November 26, 2001

After checking several online weather, it is rather inconclusive as to what the weather will be like in Cincinnati this weekend. The range is anywhere between 55 (which would be nice) to the high 30's (which would not be nice), from sunny to snowing. So I guess I'll have to wait another day or two until there is some sort of agreement.
The Ten Top Warped Toys list compiled by an Episcopal priest is an entertaining if not disturbing read. Fr. Christopher Rose lists the following, along with his comments:
2001 Warped Toy List:

1.- Bounce n' Shake Wacky Mike from movie Monsters Inc., by Disney's Pixar. Ages four and up.

Children violently interact to hurt, cause pain to lovable Mike character. Highly and sadly interactively violent. What were they thinking when they designed this toy?

2.- Electronic Stretch Screamers by Manley Toy Quest. Ages five and up.

How far can you stretch your monster? Listen to him scream. Puss comes out of the head when squeezed.

3.- Resident Evil: William Birkin and Sherry set, based on the Sony Playstation video game. Ages eight and up.

As Birkin continues to mutate he will seek out suitable subjects for implantation of his G-virus embryo. He is drawn to his daughter Sherry, whose compatible genetic code makes her the perfect specimen. . . .

The list researchers say this toy borders on promoting incest.

4.- Finishing Moves, World Wrestling Federation action figures by Jakks Pacific. Lita versus Bubba Ray Dudley. Parental guidance suggested.

Male figure has tongue hanging out, with his head between female action figure's legs. Sexually suggestive.

5.- Fisher Price Mummy King Play Set by Mattel Toys. Ages three and up.

Action figure's mask shoots off, fists shoot off. Frightening action figure for a toddler.

6.- Max Steel N-Tek Adventure Pack: Explosives by Mattel Toys. Ages four and up.

Realistic set demonstrates explosives as an innocent, fun plaything.

7.- Monsters Inc. Splatter Dome by Disney's Pixar and Hasbro. Ages five and up.

Make and destroy gooey creations, including a teddy bear. Children are able to act out their anger and frustration destructively in guise of fun, with no consequences.

8.- Lord of the Rings Orc Overseer by Toy Biz. Ages five and up.

Orc Overseer can whip newborn Urak Hai as he rises out of his birthing sac. Toy depicts sado-masochism, encouraging child to whip deformed newborn being.

9.- Oh Deer - The Super Dooper Reindeer Pooper by Midlon Foods Inc. Ages three and up.

Jelly bean toy inappropriate for sale in children's toy store. . . . Insensitive and offensive to Christians celebrating Christmas. Offensive to secular holiday season.

10.- Stan Winston Creatures by Stan Winston Creatures. How to make a monster; the visitor; Queen of the lair. Ages five and up.

Graphic depictions of gore, mutilation, pain, suffering, with highly questionable value as playthings for five-year-olds.

List compiled by Rev. Christopher Rose and others at Grace Episcopal Church. Available at www.gracehartford.org.

I was planning on attending the Bucs-Bengals game this Sunday in Cincinnatti, but the latest forecast projects a high of 34 degrees at kickoff...So likely I won't be there!.
Thanks to the Big 12 teams losing, Florida is very much in the National Championship race again. A big game with TN loomes this Saturday...(even bigger since everything is on the line).
I was sick on Saturday and Sunday, spending both days watching football with a splitting headache and the feeling that I was about to vomit. Thankfully the bug which has already hit Amy, David and now me (strangely weeks apart from each other) seems to have passed.

Thursday, November 22, 2001

Happy Thanksgivng! Hopefully you have a lot to be thankful for this year!
We had a nice meal last night at Biaggi's in Fort Wayne with Amy's Father and his friend. Joseph entertained the staff as usual, but I'm sure when they saw the mess he left behind they were not as amused. Biaggi's is an Italian restaraunt that is present in IL, MN, IA, NE and of course Fort Wayne.

Wednesday, November 21, 2001

These nuns have the right idea..., read the story here.
Inside the Vatican, a National Geographic look, premieres tonight on PBS.
There is an amusing photo here of the president about to pardon the White House turkey.
A pleasant diversion in an age of critics for every taste. Here a state by state critique of the design used by US states on their quarters that have been released thus far is presented. I disagree that NH's choice of the old man of the mountains resembles some sort of lung disease, but all in all a funny read. In fact the whole site of Brunching Shuttlecocks is rather entertaining!
This is an amusing piece dealing with Bud Selig the baseball commissioner's plan to reduce the number of baseball teams in Major League Baseball. Caple imagines what would happen if Bud ruled the USA.

Tuesday, November 20, 2001

This is an interesting follow-up to one of the fake items that was circulating the internet after the September 11th events, namely relating to the guy on the roof of the World Trade Center, now know on the internet as "tourist guy." Here you will find the real "tourist guy," along with the original photo (minus the plane) and several other shots taken the same day.
The strange NFL season continues...If you look below you will find that of my NFL picks for this past week, the one that struck me as strange (I couldn't figure out why I had picked the Vikings) turns out to be the only one that I had correct.

Monday, November 19, 2001

First, my review of the new theater which is operated by Rave Motion Pictures, in a word: Excellent! As they advertise, plenty of room, built high, big screens, no waiting at the concession stands and a great sound system. They also started the movie on time.
I was there to see the Harry Potter movie. Since I had not read any of the books, I did not suffer the usual letdown that the screenplay doesn't live up to the book. I liked the story, it reminded me of most British stories which seem to be preoccupied with orphans rising above it all (one thinks of Dickens). It also reminded me alot of monasticism and how people on the outside of a monastery imagine all types of wizardry to be going on behind the walls of a monastery and monastic school. All in all a fun movie and not the explosion of the occult that I have read on some Christian and Catholic sites claiming it to be. It is more likely those who see evil in everything that are into the occult (perhaps without even knowing it)!

Saturday, November 17, 2001

mdubruiel.jpgThis week's picks, made in a hurry (which may be good or bad) and of course against the line: Maryland, Michigan State, Iowa State and Florida for college games. Seattle, Minnesota (why did I pick them?), Miami, St. Louis and Denver for the pro games.
I had a very pleasant birthday watching the Florida-Florida State basketball game at a new sports bar in town with Amy and Joseph. Thankfully they built this place in two separate sections: a smoking and non-smoking. You can actually go in watch the game, eat a nice meal and not smell like you just did a stint as Santa Claus, climbing in and out of chimneys all night. Florida won by 21 points!
The big event in the bar was not the Florida-Florida State nor my birthday, but the viewing of the Texas Tech basketball game versus William and Mary. The manager told me that 400 people wanted to watch that game, but no one seemed all that interested in it from my vantage point. Texas Tech crushed William and Mary if you are interested.

Friday, November 16, 2001

mdubruiel.jpgFinished! For the last two weeks I have been consumed with getting this project finished. Thanks to modern technology (namely e-mail and cell phones) the task has been accomplished. You can order a copy of the book which will be warehoused the first week of December by clicking on the book and going to the book page of Our Sunday Visitor.
Today is my birthday. I share this day with the Roman Emperor who was indirectly responsible for the execution of the Savior of the World, a great Jazz muscian, the Penquin and numerous other entertainment figures. Here is the list:
42 -BC- Tiberius Cesar 2nd Roman emperor (14-37 AD)
1766 Rodolphe Kreutzer France, composer/virtuoso violinist (Paris Conserv)
1873 W(illiam) C(hristopher) Handy Alabama, jazz star (St Louis Blues)
1888 Burnet Corwin Tuthill NYC, composer (Laurentia)
1888 Clinton Golden Pennsylvania founder (United Steelworkers of America)
1889 George S Kaufman Pittsburgh PA, playwright (This is Show Business)
1895 Michael Arlen Armenia, English writer (An American Verdict)
1895 Paul Hindemith Hanau Germany, composer (Tutti Funtchen)
1896 Lawrence Tibbett Bakersfield CA, baritone (Metropolitan 1923-50)
1899 Mary Margaret McBride Paris MO, radio personality (WOR-AM, NYC)
19-- Charles Jay Hammer actor (Guiding Light)
19-- Dan Shor NYC, actor (Blue & Gray, Cagney & Lacey)
19-- Eddie Castrodad actor (Alan-Dads)
19-- Jay Kerr Del Rio TX, actor (Wizards & Warriors)
1904 Eddie Condon Goodland IN, jazz guitarist (Eddie Condon's Floor Show)
1908 Burgess Meredith Cleveland Ohio, actor (Mr Novak, Penguin-Batman, Rocky)
1916 Daws Butler Toledo Ohio, cartoon voice (Elroy Jetson)
1922 Royal Dano NYC, actor (Red Badge of Courage, Cocaine Wars, House II)
1928 Clu Gulager Holdenville OK, actor (Virginian, Survivors, Tall Man)
1930 Chinua Achebe Nigerian writer (Christmas in Biafra)
1933 Guy Stockwell NYC, actor (Chris-Adventures in Paradise)
1935 Elizabeth Drew journalist (Politics & Money: The Road to Corruption)
1941 Ann Dore McLaughlin US Secretary of Labor (1987- )
1942 Donna McKechnie Pontiac Michigan, actress/dancer (Company)
1944 Joanna Pettet London, actress (Knots Landing, Cry of the Innocent)
1945 Martine van Hamel Belgium, ballerina (NYC Ballet Co)
1948 Steve Railsback actor (Blue Monkey, Green Monkey, Escape 2000)
1950 Carl J Meade Illinois, Major USAF/astronaut (STS 38, sk:STS-50)
1950 David Leisure actor (Joe Isuzu, Airplane, Charley-Empty Nest)
1953 Griff Rhys Jones British humorist/actor (Morons From Outer Space)
1956 Terry Labonte, NASCAR Champion, driver
1958 Marg Helgenberger North Bend NB, actress (China Beach, Ryan's Hope)
1963 Zina Garrison Houston, tennis player (1988 Olympics Gold, Bronze)
1964 Dwight Gooden pitcher (NY Mets)
1966 Tammy Lauren San Diego CA, actress (Angie, Out of the Blue)
1966 Tricia Cast Medford NY, actress (Amanda-Bad News Bear, Young & Restless)
1967 Lisa Bonet San Francisco CA, actress (Cosby Show, Different World, Angel Heart)
1969 Bryan Abrams vocalist (Color Me Badd-I Want to Sex You Up)
1970 Martha Plimpton actress (Goonies, Mosquito Coast)
1971 Donald Wolf computer game creator
1979 Michael Faustino actor (brother of David)

Thursday, November 15, 2001

This is a strange one, both the NJ and NY lotteries had the same winning three numbers on November 12th the day that American Airlines Flight# 587 crashed in Queens. Can you guess what the three numbers were? 5, 8, and 7! Talk about a weird coincidence. Read about it here on the Urban Legends Reference Pages

Wednesday, November 14, 2001

Joseph gave me a good finger to the eye last night that essentially blinded me in that eye until about an hour ago (some 12 hours after the original event). Never underestimate the strength of the weak.
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I've been working over the past few weeks on a quick book that Our Sunday Visitor will release the first week of December entitled The Cross at Ground Zero by Father Benedict Groeschel, C.F.R. This has required transcriptions, emails, faxes, and endless phone calls to bring together in a very short time. I just finished reading the page proofs and I'm happy with the results.

Tuesday, November 13, 2001

Today is the Feast day of Saint Frances Xavier Cabrini. Mother Cabrini was from Italy but lived, worked and died as a missionary sister in our country. She is the Patron Saint of Immigrants. There is a beautiful shrine dedicated to her in Chicago at the Columbus Hospital where she died (not as a patient but in her residence which was adjacent to the hospital). In this time where some immigrants not doubt are finding it difficult because they happen to share features or dialect of suspected terrorists, it is a good time to invoke Mother Cabrini's intercession that we might always accept the strangers we encounter as Christ.

While researching links to attach to this piece, I have learned that Columbus Hospital has closed in Chicago. It seems that the plans for the building are still up in the air, although one plan calls for the Hospital to be torn down with the exception of the Mother Cabrini Chapel and shrine. This is sad news.
For the paranoia file. I heard this morning on the radio that a maintenance truck had been stolen on October 15th from an agency that has access to all New York airports. Could it be that someone with evil intent did something to the American Airlines' plane that went down in Queens yesterday?

On the other hand, even if it was not a terrorist attack, I'm not sure how if it was mechanical failure it is supposed to restore confidence in the airline industry. If anything in my case it lessens it.

Sunday, November 11, 2001

I believe for only the second time this season, all three Florida NFL teams won. And I won with my college picks yesterday!!!
The mighty Gators were in fact mighty last night...
Under the continuing headline: How the Democrats tried to Steal the 2000 election or How to Devise ways to count ballots after the election, let me add yet another, I don't care! The story is set to break how media people have paid tons of money to count hanging chads and others such devices to recount votes that didn't turn out in hugely Democrat counties in Florida where ignorant Democrats who are illiterate voted for Pat Buchannan in large numbers because the Democrat Supervisor of Elections in that county designed a poor ballot. If you care you can read about this here. Although the slant will be slightly different.

Saturday, November 10, 2001

I spent 3 1/2 hours this morning moving leaves from one side of the house to the other. It is amazing how many leaves exist on any one treeand for such a short time.

The Gator basketball team lost a tough one last night, but it is still the time of the year when most teams are playing exhibition games. Brent Nelson continues to drive me nuts with his out of control play.

Dick Vitale mentioned the church that my mother attends both nights the Gator's played on ESPN. In fact Dick Vitale basically said everything that he said on Thursday night, again on Friday night.

Friday, November 09, 2001

My book received an Imprimatur, (certifying that it is free from doctrinal error), today! Also Fr. Andrew Apostoli, C.F.R. has agreed to write a Preface for the book. Fr. Andrew is promoting the cause for Futon Sheen to be canonized a saint.

We had an actual fire alarm go off and we all had to evacuate the building today. A smoke alarm went off when smoke started entering the back part of the building from above where they are tarring the roof. Fire trucks came, but the CNN Breaking News helicopter never showed up.
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Here are my picks, all against the line: Iowa, Miss.State, Florida, North Carolina State for college picks and Miami, Green Bay, Pittsburgh, San Francisco and Tampa Bay in the pros.

Thursday, November 08, 2001

I finished reading through the Cardinal Hume books, the best is the worst titled: Basil in Blunderland. He explains the reasons for the title in the introduction but I can think of a thousand titles that would have been better. In a game of hide and seek with two children he reveals theology in a very simple manner and then at the end concludes that we are all playing hide and seek with God.
Had a busy night and day. I picked up Dwight Longenecker at the airport last night and then had dinner with him. Today devoted the morning to him and then I was in meetings all afternoon.

Wednesday, November 07, 2001

This is a cool place to leave your prayer petitions,Carmelites of Indianapolis. I found it while researching material for a book that we are releasing in a few weeks.

I have often found that the religious communities online provide a great source of prayer power. Most religious have places where you can leave prayer requests. I'll try to post a different site now and then.

Tuesday, November 06, 2001

From an email:

YOU KNOW YOU ARE FROM New Hampshire IF:
1. Your idea of a traffic jam is ten cars waiting to pass a tractor on the highway.
2. "Vacation" means going to the White Mountains for the weekend.
3. You measure distance in hours.
4. You know several people who have hit moose more than once.
5. You often switch from "heat" to "A/C” in the same day.
6. You use a down comforter in the summer.
7. Your grandparents drive at 65 mph through 13 feet of snow during a raging blizzard, without flinching.
8. You see people wearing hunting clothes at social events.
9. You install security lights on your house and garage and leave them both unlocked.
10. You think of the major food groups as moose meat, beer, fish, and berries.
11. You carry jumper cables in your car and your girlfriend knows how to use them.
12. There are 4 empty cars running in the parking lot at the convenience store at any given time.
13. You design your kid's Halloween costume to fit over a snowsuit.
14. Driving is better in the winter because the potholes are filled with snow.
15. You think sexy lingerie is a tube socks and flannel pajamas.
16. You know all 4 seasons: almost wintah, wintah, still wintah and construction.
17. You actually understand these jokes and forward them to all your friends from New Hampshire.

I finished reading Mystery of Love by Cardinal Basil Hume last night. It is a short book of meditations that has some truly wonderful insights such as:
1. We experience the Image of God in another person whenever they do something loving or affectionate toward us.
2. The problem of evil cannot be explained only meditated upon by reflecting on the crucifixion of Jesus.
The book is very enjoyable and even though I read it straight through it really would be better read in small bites.

Monday, November 05, 2001

I'm not sure this is evidence of any prophetic powers or not, but I did tell my wife repeatedly that "Bob Paterson" wouldn't last long. The ads were so horrible that everytime they aired I was overwhelmed with a feeling that this show had no chance of making it. Turns out I was right...albeit a few weeks into the season. Read about the demise of the show here.
Anyone need someone with good creative intuition?
Think you are up on current events? Take the daily news quiz on the NY Times site. I scored 80% today, missed the question about Microsoft.
For the paranoia file--another Greyhound bus crashes. Read about it here.

Saturday, November 03, 2001

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Here are my picks, all against the line: Penn. St., Northwestern, Ole Miss, LSU, Kentucky, and FL State.

Friday, November 02, 2001

Today is the Feast of All Souls, a day to pray for all who have died. There is no one in the United States who does more to promote devotion, (read attention to the needs of), than Susan Tassone. If you have not heard of her, there is an interview posted here. Here is a book review of her first book "Way of the Cross for the Holy Souls of Purgatory." She has also recently released another book, "Praying in the Presence of Our Lord for the Holy Souls." Fr. Benedict Groeschel ordered 500 copies of that book to hand to out those left behind in the wake of the September 11 disaster in New York.

Remember to pray for all who have died today.

Thursday, November 01, 2001

Here is another interesting site. TheKFF State Health Facts Online also allows you to compare various health statistics between States. For example NH has one of the highest cancer rates in the country. Indiana has a higher percentage of smokers than MN. Utah has the highest birth rate; Vermont has the lowest.
Your Nation is a great site if you want to compare two countries. For example you will find that the life expectancy for men and women in Afghanistan is 46 point something while in the United States it is 76 point something. All the information here is from the CIA World Factbook.
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The Great Christian Feast-Halloween

This is one of those thoughts that comes to you in a moment of clarity with such force that you wonder how it could be that everyone just doesn't see the truth of it.
Last night when I made one of my few trips to the door to hand out candy, it just hit me. There I was confronted with a skull painted white on the face of an African American, who was standing there holding open a bag, expecting something from me.
A home invasion? No.
Trick or Treat!
I gladly obliged his request with a handful of candy and he turned and went on his merry way to join the other hordes of beggars that flooded our streets.
I had just fulfilled the mandate of the Gospel of Jesus Christ! I had just welcomed Him in the guise of the hungry, "When I was hungry, you gave me something to eat." Matthew 25!
"When did we see you Lord?"
"Whenever you did it to the least of my brethren, you did it to me."
Is there anytime left in our year when Americans are so blatantly Christian, welcoming the strangers that come to their door? Is there anytime that we reward those who on purpose try to repulse us by their costumes?
Yet the thought that it is better to give than receive dominates this day and truly the day fulfills its purpose of being the eve of All Saints Day! For if we are ever to join the saints we must learn to make everyday Halloween!
So that today when we meet those we might otherwise demonize, we give what we have freely as though we were meeting Christ Himself in the streets (and if we believe the Gospel message we are in fact meeting him)!
I used to joke that strangers could in fact be demons, (this was when the angel rage was in full swing and I use to make the point that yes a stranger might be an angel but who is to say if it is a good one or a bad one--sort of a twist of the Glenda the Good Witch's question to Dorothy in the Wizard of OZ, "Are you a good witch or a bad witch?"), but I would ask you to reflect on Halloween a bit more with me.
If we give to the stranger, indeed we welcome them as Christ. But if we look at the stranger only as someone who has something to give and we judge them based on that we are apt to conclude that all strangers are demons!
For example if we start viewing every middle eastern looking Arab that we do not know personally as a terrorist we are forgoing an opportunity to see them as Christ (who happened to be of middle eastern descent). Abraham was visited by three strangers (one would presume of middle eastern descent) and he fed them--they turned out to be angels and they gave him a blessing! But let's suppose that we in fact do come across some terrorists in our daily activities. What if our interaction with them, seeing them as Christ and giving them whatever we have to give at that moment (even if it is only a smile of acceptance) led them to change their whole way of viewing Americans?
It is sad to think that a day that is the perfect example of what it means to be a Christian has been protested by so many Christians in this country. Do they read the Gospels?
No one is celebrating or worshipping demons on Halloween. The children who dress up in their costumes are playacting and giving the individual behind every door an opportunity to imitate Christ.
It is also sad that many miss the point in the other direction. They overdo it in the name of "everyone else is doing it" and light their houses up as though it is Christmas, rather than encountering the little masked Christs in the darkness the way it is intended to happen and does happen in daily lives. The vacuous nature of their souls demands making a show of their giving. Sadly they have already received their reward--the empty praise of their neighbors and friends.
There have been moves lately among some Catholics to have children dress up as saints-- this may be a fine thing to do on All Saints day but it totally misses the point of Halloween. We will never be saints, nor will we imitate them, until we open the door everyday and welcome the ghouls we encounter as though they are Christ.