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Book ratings explained:

* I didn't like it | ** It was OK | *** I liked it | **** I really liked it | ***** I loved it

Friday, December 31, 2004

St. Serge & St. Bacchus: When Marriage Between Gays Was a Rite

The very idea of a Christian homosexual marriage seems incredible. Yet after a twelve year search of Catholic and Orthodox church archives Yale history professor John Boswell has discovered that a type of Christian homosexual “marriage” did exist as late as the 18th century.

Contrary to myth, Christianity’s concept of marriage has not been set in stone since the days of Christ, but has evolved as a concept and as a ritual.

Professor Boswell discovered that in addition to heterosexual marriage ceremonies in ancient church liturgical documents (and clearly separate from other types of non-marital blessings of adopted children or land) were ceremonies called, among other titles, the “Office of Same Sex Union” (10th and 11th century Greek) or the “Order for Uniting Two Men” (11th and 12th century).

These ceremonies had all the contemporary symbols of a marriage: a community gathered in a church, a blessing of the couple before the altar, their right hands joined as at heterosexual marriages, the participation of a priest, the taking of the Eucharist, a wedding banquet afterwards. All of which are shown in contemporary drawings of the same sex union of Byzantine Emperor Basil I (867-886) and his companion John. Such homosexual unions also took place in Ireland in the late 12th / early 13th century, as the chronicler Gerald of Wales (Geraldus Cambrensis) has recorded.


I was reading Wonkette when I spotted an article entitled Tsunami Relief and the Homosexual Agenda. I was . . . too outraged to be outraged? . . . horrified? . . . I'm not sure what I was but speechless is definitely part of it. I don't know why I'm always so surprised by hatred, but I am. The relevant part of my horrified speechless outrage is this flyer (from The Raw Story) put out by the Westboro Baptist Church.

I feel . . . unclean, as if I've been submerged in raw sewage.

Thursday, December 30, 2004

A new menu option

I've added a new menu option - Disaster Relief. It takes you to a page which lists various organizations that are accepting donations for the relief / recovery effort in South & Southeast Asia. It is a work in progress.
Whispers of the Dead (Sister Fidelma, #15)Whispers of the Dead by Peter Tremayne
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Link to

FoxTrot by Bill Amend

Boys will be boys!

(If the title link has gone out of date, click here for the saved image.)

Urban Legends Reference Pages: Holidays (New Year's superstitious)

Until I married, I'd never practiced any sort of New Year related superstitious act, but my ex's family were of the 'eat black-eyed peas on New Year's Day' variety. Even after 10 years of divorce, I still eat black-eyed peas on New Year's Day.

Wednesday, December 29, 2004


I made a donation to the Red Cross this morning to help with the diaster relief.

I still cannot comprehend the magnitude of the diaster. The number of deaths in Indonesia alone are more than the total population of the town in which I live.

Update: You can donate to the Red Cross through

Hey, audience!

Guess what I found? Ded Bob's Web Paj! Sometimes I'm just unbelievably dimwitted, and no, I do not need you to make a crack about that, oh Best Friend of mine. It only occurred to me today to google Ded Bob to see if he had a site. He does and he also has the lyrics for . . .

Rudolph the Road-kill Reindeer

Rudolf the Red-Nosed Reindeer
Used to have a shiny nose
Now if you were to see it
You would say it's stiff and froze

All of the other reindeer
Look before they cross the lane
They saw the snowplow coming
At least there wasn't any pain

On that foggy Christmas Eve
Santa came to say
Even thoough we'll miss our friend
Tonight we're eating venisen

Then how the reindeer loved him
As they ate their christmas deer
Rudolf the Road-kill Reindeer
Not a bit of gristle here!

There you are, oh Best Friend of mine. Just for you and just because you asked. (Please note the spelling mistakes in the lyrics are not mine but come directly from Ded Bob's lyric paj.)

Yahoo! News - Court Backs Firing of Waitress Without Makeup

In a 2-1 decision, a three-judge panel of the U.S. 9th Circuit Court of Appeals upheld a lower court ruling in favor of Harrah's. All three judges are males appointed by Democratic presidents.

"We have previously held that grooming and appearance standards that apply differently to women and men do not constitute discrimination on the basis of sex," Judge Wallace Tashima wrote for the majority.

Don't you just love the justification for gender discrimination posited by the judge?

BBC NEWS | Asia-Pacific | Wave toll 'could exceed 100,000'

Indonesia: 36,268
Sri Lanka: 21,715
India: 6,974
Thailand: 1,516
Somalia: 100
Tanzania: 10
Maldives: 52
Malaysia: 44
Burma: 30
Seychelles: 3
Bangladesh: 2
Kenya: 1

Millions long for immortality

"Millions long for immortality who don't know what to do with themselves on a rainy Sunday afternoon." -- Susan Ertz

He who will not reason

"He who will not reason is a bigot; he who cannot is a fool; and he who dares not is a slave." -- Sir William Drummond

A bore is

"A bore is a man who deprives you of solitude without providing you with company." -- Gian Vincenzo Gravina

Monday, December 27, 2004

Turn the Other Chick (Chicks in Chainmail, #5)Turn the Other Chick by Esther M. Friesner
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

If you've read any of the other "Chicks" books, you'll know the kind of humorous stories included in this volume. There isn't any story that really stands out as exceptional, but there was one that I did enjoy more than any of the others. It was Jody Lynn Nye's Defender of the Small. It's a story of a mercenary hired by some cats to protect them from some abusive townsfolk who do not appreciate the worth of a cat.

Can I recommend this book? Not really unless you are already familiar with the other "Chicks" books. If you're not, start with Chicks in Chainmail. That one is the best for getting your feet wet.

Link to


BBC NEWS | Science/Nature | Camera scoops amazing Orion snaps

BBC NEWS | In Depth | At-a-glance: Countries hit

There's really not much one can say about the death and devastation wrought by the tsumanis.

Saturday, December 25, 2004

Sun's out

And the snow is starting to melt.

The front of my house

Looking up my street.

Looing up my street

Looking down my street.

Looking down my street

This is the pattern the melting snow falling out of my magnolia tree made under the tree. Everywhere else the snow is flat and smooth and under the tree it is pocked and pitted. It looks like hundreds of little feet went walking across the snow.

Melt pattern in the snow under my magnolia tree

White Christmas: footprints

And last, but not least, my footprints leading down the driveway so you can see how deep the snow was.

My footprints in the snow

White Christmas: my neighborhood

My neighborhood

Standing in the road and looking down the street.

Standing in the road and looking up the street.

Snow covered trees down the street from me.

Snow covered trees

Snow covered trees

The view looking toward the new bank.

The view in the other direction.

The slush in the intersection of my street and another.

White Christmas: the view from my front yard

This is what I see when I look out my front door.

The view of the neighbor's house from my front door

And this is the poor palmetto complete with raccoon tracks next to it.

The palmetto in my front yard with raccoon tracks beside it

The raccoon tracks leading off to the shrubbery separating my yard from the right hand neighbor's yard.

Moor raccoon tracks going off into some shrubbery

Looing down the street while standing in the middle of my driveway.

Looking down the street

My snow covered house and front yard.

Snow covered house and yard

The walk leading to my front door.

The walk leading to my front door

White Christmas: the view in my backyard

These are all snaps I took standing just outside my back door on the stoop under the eaves. The snow on the roof is already starting to melt as are patches on the ground. I don't know how much longer we will have a White Christmas.

Snow covered shrubbery along by back fence

Snow covered shrubbery along my back fence

Snow covered shrubbery along my back fence

Snow piled at the base of some trees in my backyard

Snow covered shrubbery

Friday, December 24, 2004

The Really Great Blizzard of '04

And the snow just keeps falling. Everything is covered in white.

The snow out my front door.
The snow out my front door

The poor palmetto in my front yard.

My front lawn.
My front lawn

Looking down the street.
Looking at the snow falling in the street

Footprints in the snow.
Footprints in the snow

The feet that made the footprints.
My feet and footprints in the snow

My front walk and the shrub next to it.
Snow covered front walk and the shrub next to it

The Great Blizzard of '04

Looking down the street while it is illuminated by headlights coming towards me.

Looking at the snow covered street

Looking at the snow covered street

And an artistic photo of two cars passing in the snow in the night.

Two cars passing in the snow in the night

And another shot of the poor palmetto covered in snow.

Plametto covered in snow

There was a raccoon watching me take these pictures. Unfortunately, he surprised me as much as I surprised him when I turned around and saw him so I didn't get a snap of him. I suspect he's one of the family of 'coons that lives in my attic.

Footprints in the snow

Footprints in the snow by my front door

Footprints in the snow looking up my driveway

Footprints in the snow looking down my driveway