Sunday, April 28, 2013

Some Piping (and dancing) for the Weekend

Last November the memsahib and I were at the annual dancing weekend put on by the San Francisco branch of the RSCDS. There was Scottish country dancing from Friday evening through Sunday morning at Asilomar on the Monterey peninsula.

The clip above shows the Reel of the 51st Highland Division being danced at the ball on Saturday night to music from Fiddlesticks & Ivory with Ron Wallace standing in on pipes.   If you want to skip the brief, i.e., dance instructions, and go right to the music, move the cursor up 60 seconds.   I meant to post this some time ago but after being shown it by the man who filmed it, I couldn't find it again.  Seems I was searching for The Reel of the 51st when I should've been searching for  RSCDS Asilomar. 

Those of you who already know what I look like shouldn't have too much trouble locating your servant off on the left rank.  And, no, Mary wasn't my partner for this one.  She was up in the balcony with a friend of ours, the one who, in fact, took this video with a wee Samsung camera phone.

(The Reel of the 51st has an interesting history.  You can find a short version here and a slightly longer one here.)

Friday, April 26, 2013

No Priests Allowed

It's not bad enough that the deranged wing of the Mahometan persuasion wants to blow you up.

We learn in this morning's WSJ that the City of Boston would also like to make sure that you leave this earth without the sacraments.

The heart-wrenching photographs taken in the moments after the Boston Marathon bombings show the blue-and-yellow jackets of volunteers, police officers, fire fighters, emergency medical technicians, even a three-foot-high blue M&M. Conspicuously absent are any clerical collars or images of pastoral care.

This was not for lack of proximity. Close to the bombing site are Trinity Episcopal Church, Old South Church and St. Clement Eucharistic Shrine, all on Boylston Street. When the priests at St. Clement's, three blocks away, heard the explosions, they gathered sacramental oils and hurried to the scene in hopes of anointing the injured and, if necessary, administering last rites, the final of seven Catholic sacraments. But the priests, who belong to the order Oblates of the Virgin Mary, weren't allowed at the scene.

 I suppose you have to be a Catholic to find that more outrageous than the bombing itself.  But I am and I do.

One more thing especially for those who don't click the link above and read the entire article:

But it is a poignant irony that Martin Richard, the 8-year-old boy who died on Boylston Street, was a Catholic who had received his first Communion just last year. As Martin lay dying, priests were only yards away, beyond the police tape, unable to reach him to administer last rites—

Friday, April 05, 2013

Some Piping for the Weekend

It's been a while since some weekend piping showed up on The Inn.  Just this morning I ran across this clip of the City of Invercargill Highland Pipe Band and their winning street march performance in New Zealand.  It's almost eight minutes of hornpipes beautifully played while on the march.  A really impressive piece of business.


"To be up-to-date is a paltry ambition except in an almanac."
-G.K. Chesterton in "The Philosopher"

Wednesday, April 03, 2013

Breviaryomancy. . .sort of

I started my doing my taxes today.

And the following reading was appointed for today in Fr Stallaert's Little Breviary:

Extract from the works of Pope Saint Gregory

It may well be asked why Peter, who was a fisherman before his conversion, after his conversion went back to fishing.  Why did he turn again to that which he had forsaken, when he who is Truth itself had said: "No one who looks behind him, when he has once put his hand to the plough, is fitted for the kingdom of God"?
If we examine the question carefully we shall soon see the answer: without any doubt if the business pursued before conversion was honest there was no sin in returning to it after conversion.  We know that Peter was a  fisherman, but Matthew was a tax-gatherer.  After his conversion Peter went back to his fishing.  Matthew, however,  did not resume his work in the customs-house, for it is one thing to gain a living by fishing, quite another to amass riches by drawing profit from tax-collecting.
There are indeed many kinds of business which it is difficult if not impossible to carry on without sin, and, once converted, a man should not return to anything that will involve him in sin.

Yes, yes, I know.  I don't suppose the IRS is quite the same thing.  Still, it made a nice break from form 1040.