December 5, 2012
I use Facebook and have loved keeping in touch with friends and family via that outlet. I'm not all that interested in updating my socialization methods and haven't moved beyond Facebook to contact others. I don't have a Google + account; I'm not on LinkedIn; and I don't Tweet my irrelevant thoughts on Twitter.
According to USA Today, I'm being outdone by the 85 year old Pope. I do know that the # mark is something special at Twitter, but I don't care enough to really learn about it. Roman Catholic Pope Benedict XVI can be followed at #askpontifex beginning December 12. He already has 200,000 followers. (I've been on Facebook for years and have less than 200 friends.)
What is hoped for is that Catholics will post questions regarding their faith and the Pope, who isn't personally going to be sitting at a computer, will respond. He has apparently had a Twitter account previously and those posting in his name have issued "pearls of wisdom" from his speeches. This will continue to happen, said Archbishop Claudio Maria Celli, president of the Vatican department for communication.
The Pope has written several bestselling books already. He has written them out long hand on paper and supposedly others put them into a format conducive to publication. Twitter will be much the same. Greg Burke, a former Fox News journalist and now senior Vatican adviser for communications has assured everyone concerned that "nobody is going to be putting words into his mouth. All words will be the Pope's words."
The Pope's Tweets will be translated into several languages: Spanish, French, Arabic, Polish, Italian, Portuguese, and German.
The Vatican is also going to launch a new mobile app for smartphones by the end of the year. The app will be free from iTunes and will be offering free e-books, too. "The Pope App" will allow users to follow papal Masses and other events in real time. Also available will be inside the Vatican peeks via webcams.
The Pope made a reference to a social media outlet earlier this year without specifically mentioning Twitter. He wrote that "concise phrases, often no longer than a verse from the Bible," can convey "profound thoughts." This seems to allude to the 140 characters of a Tweet.
This past year, the Vatican also sponsored a conference for bloggers from around the globe and last month US Bishops also got on the bandwagon in Baltimore.
Twitter is happy to host the pontiff and stated that many religious entities use their forum to broadcast to their communities.
There is nothing to say that one must be Catholic at all or a practicing Catholic specifically to join the Pope on Twitter or download the Pope App. Would you be interested in such a thing?
Do you have any social media connections with specific religious people? Do you follow on Twitter or Facebook your church or spiritual leaders? Would you follow a different religion in order to see what is going on inside other faiths?
If you have no religious affiliation, would this interest you at all? Would you like to see what the Pope has to say or what is going on inside the Vatican?
Isn't it worth $1 a month to you to keep RGQ in your mailbox? Please click the link and direct your contribution to keep RGQ going.Today's Quotes
No sadness is greater than in misery to rehearse memories of joy. - Dante Alighieri
Some of you say religion makes people happy. So does laughing gas. - Clarence Darrow
Before performing a baptism, the priest approached the young father and said solemnly, "Baptism is a serious step. Are you prepared for it?"
"I think so," the man replied. "My wife has made appetizers and we have a caterer coming to provide plenty of cookies and cakes for all of our guests."
"I don't mean that," the priest responded. "I mean, are you prepared spiritually?"
"Oh, sure," came the reply. "I've got a keg of beer and a case of whiskey."
I pay no attention whatever to anybody's praise or blame. I simply follow my own feelings.
One must not make oneself cheap here - that is a cardinal point - or else one is done. Whoever is most impertinent has the best chance.
When I am traveling in a carriage, or walking after a good meal, or during the night when I cannot sleep; it is on such occasions that ideas flow best and most abundantly. - all from Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, Austrian composer who died on this day in 1791
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Speak right up!
A song from the Ides of March came out in late 1969 and made it's way up the charts to #2 in 1970 when Blood Sweat and Tears recorded it. It went like this:
Hey well, I'm a friendly stranger in a black Sedan
Won't you hop inside my car?
I got pictures, got candy, I'm a lovable man
And I can take you to the nearest star
I'm your vehicle, baby
I'll take you anywhere you wanna go
I'm your vehicle, woman
But I'm not sure that you know
That I love ya (love ya)
I need ya (need ya)
I want ya, got to have you, child
Great God in heaven, you know I love you
Chemists refer to a catalyst as a vehicle sometimes. To get a reaction in the way you want it to go, a proper catalyst will do it. Sure, other catalysts will get reactions as well, but not necessarily the way it is preferred. The proper vehicle will get it done the proper way.
Often, when I am out geocaching, I drive my car. It is a vehicle that I can rely upon. I can get from where I am to the next cache in style and relative comfort. What I can't do is travel rough roads, rutted access lanes, or go off-road in any way shape or form. My car is a low-slung, sporty convertible that is fairly sure-footed, but one gopher hole will render it immobile. I rely on friends when I need to do the cross country thing. They are my vehicle to a proper vehicle.
People are social animals. Much like apes, dogs, and others, we need to be with others of our kind. Cities were created due to this instinctual reaction. Interaction between individuals is the vehicle for whatever end result is desired. Whether it is a supply of fresh food, quantities of needed parts or supplies to make something, or simply creature comforts, we rely on others to provide access to things we cannot. They become our vehicle to what we want or need.
RGQ is one of my vehicles. Each is a way to reach out for something I need. RGQ is an outlet for a creative aspect of my personality. Why I feel the need to write is beyond me, but the need is there. I look forward to every issue with excitement and dread. Dread because I don't always have a focused topic. Excitement because I usually come up with a thought that makes sense to me. Then, I sometimes receive a reaction from the readers via a comment that shows me I have harmonized with my fellow human beings in a small way.
Geocaching is one of my vehicles. I get to interact with my friends by going out looking for a pill bottle under a pile of sticks in a park. The resulting "find" is anticlimactic as the true point of the whole thing is the camaraderie we share. Using a multi-billion dollar satellite system to find a piece of Tupperware hidden in the woods is simply a vehicle to the end result of having fun.
My work is a vehicle. Whether it is my career that affords me the wherewithal to have a nice place to live and have more than a few "extras", or the part-time job that has supplemented that when the economy took a turn for the worse. I have established some new relationships with others in the process. Although there is little off-work interaction desired by most, there has been some expansion of my relationships from this vehicle as well.
Here's your quiz:
What vehicles do you use?
What interaction would you consider a hidden vehicle?
Would you use a "vehicle" if it wasn't mutually beneficial?
Vehicles - How To Get From Point A To Point B
Cliff (the High-Tech Redneck who doesn't rate a fancy 'signature pic')BJ's Ponderings
A Gift of Giving
Looking forward to Christmas 1995, to me, described a paradox. How can one enjoy Christmas when their loving spouse recently passed away from cancer, and yet Christmas is a time for celebration..
I had a friend, recently divorced, who was going through his first Christmas without his children that he loved so dearly. I called my friend and invited him over to my house for Christmas. He didn't seem overly thrilled, but had nothing else to do. I did the same for another divorced person who had a day without family or friends. I told them to dress nice but withheld my plans from them.
The three of us, at my house, made Christmas canes from pipe cleaners, and after an hour I told my friends to get in my van, as I had a surprise for them.
So off we went.
First stop, a nursing home, left few dry eyes. We visited the ones who had no company, prayed with them and left them little Christmas canes and some candy. One lady, feeling really bad, asked us to pray for her. So we prayed with our hands on her body, and we felt a Power hard to describe.
Second stop, Presbyterian hospital ...cancer wing. First you need to understand how hospitals work with the sick. If possible, patients are sent home for the holidays. The ones remaining in the hospital live too far, are too ill, or have no support from family or friends. About 1/2 of the cancer wing was deserted.
We visited the staff and gave them candy and our little Christmas canes, then we visited the dying and ill. How can one describe being humbled? The patients asked for our prayers. We visited with every patient in the wing. We left the patients with a smile. When we left the hospital, we had nothing else left to give, but we received much. Our emotions were drained, we were exhausted, in tears but felt elevated to a 'high' impossible to describe. We all thought "But for the grace of God'...
Last stop. We visited my wife's grave, decorated it, placed candles and sang Silent Night. Our voices were quivering because we found Christmas that day. We gave all we had to give, and it cost us about five hours of our time and about two dollars in pipe cleaners and candy. I said a silent prayer of thanks to my wife for teaching me to give.
May we, in this crazy but special time of year learn from the Teacher of teachers, Giving IS better than receiving. Merry Christmas to all, and a happy new year.
B.J. CassadyKirsten's Krazy Kaleidoscope
"Things ain't what they used to be and probably never was."
~ Will Rogers ~
This piece was originally published as a "15 Minutes of Fame" segment in the days before I signed on a regular RGQ writer. I wrote it just days after my son was diagnosed with autism in 2007, and I thought I'd share it here today. Reading it reminds me of how overwhelmed I felt at the time, and it brings home how far we have come since then.
It's funny how one word can change so much. A single word has had the power to shake up my world so completely that I find myself having to revise all of my perceptions, my hopes and my expectations for me and my family. I feel as if I am in a snow-globe that has been shaken, and I am still waiting for the snow to settle. But unlike a snow-globe where everything stays the same, when my snow has settled, the landscape will have been changed. All because of one word.
Before this word came along and shook up my world, my son George was a typical little boy who had a speech delay. We took him to speech therapy sessions and enrolled him in a language-enriched preschool. We did everything that we could to open up the world of language to him.
And now - following a month of focused sessions with highly skilled specialists - George has been formally diagnosed with autism. And that word - autism - means that he is no longer a child with a delay. He is now a child with a disability who is going to have special needs throughout his school years. He is going to have to work harder and for longer, and he is going to have more difficulties along the way, in order to achieve the same things as other children.
When I look at him, I know that he is still the same sweet, affectionate boy that he was a few days ago. No diagnosis in the world can change the beauty of his smiles or the spontaneity of his hugs. My heart twists when I think of the hand he has been dealt and the obstacles he is going to have to overcome.
Lack of information is not a problem. If anything, the volume of information is a problem. There is so much out there, and at this point I am having a problem sifting out the useful information. I am still trying to work out what this all means, not only for George, but also for me and my husband, and for George's little brother. Right now, the information I am getting is giving me more questions than answers.
I am hoping that the levels of anxiety and anguish I am experiencing are symptomatic of the fact that we only got this diagnosis three days ago. I need to be strong for my boys - both of them - and so I am hoping this fog will clear soon so we can move forward in a productive and positive way.
I am appealing to readers who can in any way identify with what I am going through. I need know how to tell what information will help. I need to know how long it will be before I stop dissolving into tears with no warning. More than anything, I need to know that my little boy is going to be OK. Even if he is never quite the same as everyone else, I want him to be OK.
Now, what on earth could go wrong with this? Getting a free shot gun with your wedding rings has a certain, I don't know, red neck appeal?
Harold van Beek, an Iowa jewelry store owner is trying to appeal to the man who hates hunting for jewelry, but loves giving Bambi a ticket to the next world. I can just imagine the ceremony. I mean, in your traditional shot gun wedding, it is the would be father-in-law who carries armament. Now the groom can show up with his own weapon -- yeah, I know, the bride would be disappointed if he didn't have one --. It's just that now, if things go wrong, there can be a family style shoot out. Talk about a lively reception!
I'm going to go Mr. Van Beek one better. I offer a package for people whose divorces are uncontested. I charge a smaller amount if the couple can reach agreements about child custody, support, property, debt division and the usual disputes. Since the recession, and the advent of self representation and the Internet, my uncontested divorce offer doesn't enjoy the same popularity it once did. Now, thanks to Mr. Van Beek, I'm developing a new marketing campaign.
If you can agree on all of your issues, my low price still applies. However, if you get into a fight, or you and your lawyer honk me off, I will treat you to a field trip one of you will never forget. You can flip a coin to decide who goes first, but you won't know for what until the fun begins.
I can just imagine it. We show up in Judgipoo's court, and he asks his usual, "have you two tried to settle your case?"
Opposing counsel: "No, but Miss Uttermohlen said our clients could figure things out in an open field if they're willing to flip a coin."
Judgipoo: "And how does she propose to have you do that?"
Opposing counsel: "I don't know. She said something about 20 paces. She also said it would be a real blast for the loser."
Judgipoo: "Miss Uttermohlen, what is TJ, The Golden Retreiver carrying in his mouth?"
Lucille: "Oh, just an extra clip or two. Not everybody has good aim."
Judgipoo: "Cool! I can skip the hearing and get in some golf."
Lucille: "Tee up! Just don't give my little secret away. The Supreme Court may think it is a bit unorthodox."
Judgipoo: "I must say, I like your method. It always works. Why I've played more golf since you changed your advertising than I've ever gotten to play before. I'm also impressed with how often your client comes out ahead, and how many estates you seem to be filing."
As I said before, what possibly could go wrong? It would do wonders for my stats! Why, we could eliminate the need for appeals courts altogether! I can see the ad! Want a divorce? Lucille will give your spouse an offer he can't refuse more than once.
Phew! I always have the weirdest dreams when I eat my own cooking right before bed.
Odds and Ends - The Moon - Did you know that it would take 398,110 full moons to equal the brightness of the sun; that roughly 300,000 craters wider than 1 km are thought to be on the moon's near side alone; that there is a "Who's Who on the Moon," listing the names of all formations (craters, hilltops, etc); that the temperature at the lunar equator ranges from an extremely low minus 280 degrees F at night to a very high 260 degrees F in the daytime, and that in some deep craters near the moon's poles, the temperature is always near minus 400 degrees F; that during a lunar eclipse, as the moon moves into the Earth's shadow, the surface temperature can plunge about 500 degrees F in less than 90 minutes; and that President Nixon received a lunar watch from inventer Kenneth Franklin that could only be used on the moon. Huh! Was he trying to tell us something?
Thanks for your limericks. Try this one -
I once stuffed my sister in a tire...
Hints: Here's a great new rhyming/composition tool. http://www.writerhymes.com/
There's also a great rhyming dictionary at http://www.rhymezone.com/
Limerick rules. http://freespace.virgin.net/merrick.sheldon/limerickrules.htm
My sister climbed down the old well
To retrieve her brand new cell
Phone that had fallen
So in the well she was crawlin'
And Lassie ran back to tell.
- Sharon in Round Rock, Texas
My sister climbed down the old well
I promised I wouldn't tell
Then I heard a splash
So I made a dash
For a rope to throw when she fell.
- Sharon in Round Rock, Texas
My sister climbed down the old well
Looking for a place to chill
She couldn't climb up
In the well she was stuck
Until way past the dinner bell.
- Sharon in Round Rock, Texas
My sister climbed down the old well.....
There is a sad tale to tell....
She was after her cat....
Can you imagine that?
She climbed down right after he fell.
My sister climbed down the old well.....
Does this kinda ring a bell?
She said it wouldn't hurt.....
To take out more dirt.....
She thought she could dig it up to sell.
"You don't have bad luck. The reason that bad things
happen to you is because you're a dumbass!" (FB)Reader Comments
Re: Death Sucks
My thoughts and prayers are with you, Bruce. I am moved and deeply sorry for your loss. - Skeeter
I was so sorry to read your story of the loss of your son, and it's accompanying nightmare. I'm holding you in the Light, sending you a cyberhug, and offering my sincere condolences.
Blessings, - herm
Bruce, you know my heart breaks for you. There are no words effective enough to pass along just how deeply I care for and about you and your family. I wish the distance weren't an issue else I would be there with and for you. I cannot fathom the loss you and your wife are feeling, but you can count on my meditations including a request for the sorrow you are experiencing to be eased and your hearts be filled with loving memories of your son. Peace be with you both, and also with the rest of your family. - Cliff
My heart is with you, Bruce. - Ranina
Bruce--I'm so sorry to hear about your son. We parents are not supposed to outlive our children, especially when their deaths are so hard and cause them so much suffering. He sounds like a good and loving child, a credit to his family and upbringing. His life seems to have brought you joy and happiness, and I guess we can't ask for much more than that from our children. My prayers go with your family. - Ruth in WA
My deepest condolences on the loss of your son. There is something wrong with a world where a parent outlives a child, but knowing that doesn't seem to help. My prayers are with you and your family. - Peg
Bruce, I am so terribly sorry. I have no words to express how much my heart aches for you. Please accept my condolences. - Patti
Peace favor you and your family. So sorry. - Jay
I'm so sorry for your loss. It's a sad day. - Richard
I'm sitting at my desk bawling.....I am so sorry for your loss, Bruce. We are not meant to bury our children. Sending hugs to you and your family. Rest in peace, Pat. - Marsha in Michigan
We are privileged to know how special a child of ours is sometimes after we've lost him (or her in my case). It's a crushing blow at first, a little less as time goes on, but the love he had for you will never leave your heart. I wish you loads of hugs from friends. They help ease the pain. And I add this virtual hug from one who has been there. - Nancy L in Ohio
Bruce, I am so terribly sorry for your loss. Your son was a fine man and you will always have wonderful memories of him. You and your family are in my thoughts and prayers. - Sharon in Texas
Bruce, my heart is breaking for you and your family. What hell he had to go through, and for you all to have to watch it, and be unable to do anything to help, had to be like living in the middle of a Stephen King novel.
Your son may not be in pain anymore, but you and your family are...please be gentle with yourselves. And you have us to vent to. - OhioKat
It doesn't matter who it is, someone who yu have loved is always going to be missed. I'm truly sorry, Bruce. There aren't adequate words to express my empathy. - Lucille
I can relate. My previous spouse, a hero in her own way, passed sept 10th, 1998 from cancer. Seldom does a day go by, that I do not miss her or think of her. She was too young at 48, she was supposed to last six months after her diagnosis, but lived and I mean lived eight and a half years. She laughed, loved and grew during that time, not allowing the cancer to take away her spirituality, her love, her soul. I held her as she crossed over and she smiled and said `good bye' to me, breaking my heart and yet leaving me with peace for her. Going through this journey with her enabled me to treasure each day in a way I never could before. I never take anything for granted each day IS a gift. Love is to be treasured, family and friends are to be honored. - BJ
Just want to tell you how very sorry I am for the loss of your son. I'm praying for healing for you and your family. This will hurt for a very long time, but I hope the wonderful memories will comfort you. - Mare in Mare-land
Oh, Bruce, the phrase, "I'm sorry for your loss" seems pathetically inadequate. My heart breaks for you and your family, and all I can do is send thoughts of love and peace out into the universe for you. I wish I lived closer to you to be able to offer some practical help, but if there's anything I can do, anything at all, just let me know. Thank you for being so brave as to share this story with us, and I hope you know that we are all here for you. - Kirsten
My heart is breaking for you, Bruce I am so, so sorry for your loss!
I think your son is about my son's age and I just can't imagine the pain you're suffering. My prayers are with you and your family. - Illinois Mary
Bruce- My heart aches for you, your wife and all who loved your son. I can only imagine your pain and I pray that you find peace and comfort in the days to come. R.I.P Pat :( - Davon
Bruce, I am so very sorry to read about your son. Please accept my condolences. - Noella
Bruce, after a lot of thinking and meditating, I realized something. You and your wife have been blessed with something I have not. You both had the pleasure of knowing Pat. I didn't even have the pleasure of meeting him. You both had the ultimate pleasure of having a loving relationship with him. And, the best thing yet, you both have a multitude of memories of things you experienced together. Damn, but you two are about the luckiest people on the planet! - Cliff
My deepest condolences, the world has lost a wonderful man. I can't imagine the pain you must feel . Thank you so very much for sharing this with us. - "Patrushka"
[I read each and every response before publication, and I can only say thank you to all for your caring words. They really do mean a lot to me and to my wife.
There are a couple of things I'd like to share. We were going through the nasty business of creating memorial cards for the service, and I searched for an appropriate poem or verse that could be included. We all settled on this one.
Miss Me - But Let Me Go
When I come to the end of the road,
And the sun has set for me,
I want no rites in a gloom-filled room,
Why cry for a soul set free?
Miss me a little--but not too long,
And not with your head bowed low.
Remember the love that we once shared,
Miss me--but let me go.
For this is a journey that we all must take,
And each must go alone.
It's all a part of the Master's plan,
A step on the road to home.
When you are lonely and sick of heart,
Go to the friends we know,
And bury your sorrows in doing good deeds,
Miss Me - But Let Me Go!
We see the message as positive and uplifting rather than somber. I only hope all of us can live up to the wisdom it contains.
The other thing I'd like to share is just as important. We all lose someone and have friends who have as well, and this is relevant to how to interact with the family suffering the loss.
"Please don't avoid me. You can't catch my grief. My world is painful, and when you are too afraid to call me or visit or say anything, you isolate me at a time when I most need to be cared about. If you don't know what to say, just come over, give me a hug or touch my arm, and gently say, 'I'm sorry.' You can even say, 'I just don't know what to say, but I care, and want you to know that'." - Virginia A. Simpson, Troy Michigan TCF newsletter
Never hesitate to express your condolences to a grieving friend. It's good advice to remember. All those who reached out have followed it, and it's honestly greatly appreciated. The love, compassion, and concern they convey is very evident. - Bruce]
Re: Christmas Music
I began working in a hardware store last March. I had anticipated hearing Christmas music early, and I was not disappointed. Black Friday (does anyone besides me know why it is called that?) was the debut of constant Christmas music.
It has gotten so gnawing on our ears and nerves, we began listening to see when the whole repertoire would start over. As I work 5 or 6 hours on a work day, I could not tell when the program began to repeat. All I know was the songs were being repeated as the same ones I heard the day before were playing again.
One of my co-workers had been working a full day's shift. He had been there for 7 hours and proudly proclaimed that it was a 7 hour loop. I'll take his word for it. I'm just grateful that I work part-time. - Cliff
I boycott Christmas music. And decorations. And parades. And, I especially boycott Santa Claus. And, trees do not belong in the house. - herm (AKA The Grinch)
Just last Saturday at the grocery store I mentioned this to the poor clerk, who will have to endure 30 more days of that stuff. She grinned and nodded. Wouldn't it be nice if there was a Law that said they had to divide Christmas music into two parts - secular and religious, and play only secular stuff until December 22 or so? Especially since way too many pop singers-who-can't-reach-those-notes insist on recording a few of the finest classical pieces and record their terrible inventions. When you've sung in church choirs and CAN reach those high notes clearly, know Handel's Messiah almost completely, and treasure the best old records for the operatic quality of good singers, You would prefer stuff like Grandma Got Run Over By a Reindeer, or at least nothing more nostalgic than Silver Bells as you shop. Sunday paper said this is a marketing ploy to make you feel guilty so you'll buy more stuff. I think they're nuts! It makes me want to run from that store as fast as I can get out of there.
'Tis the season to be nice to all clerks and check-out people. I can't imagine having to work under such conditions for a whole month non-stop! - Nancy L in Ohio
I have taken to listening to Celtic Christmas music...it doesn't really sound so "Christmasy", and besides, it gives me an excuse (like I really need one) to listen to one of my favorite forms of music. I also like jazz and blues Christmas music. But to listen all day, every day, from Nov 1 til Dec. 25??? No Thank You!!!!! When I worked retail, it about drove me nuts. Now that I don't have to be subjected to it like that, I look forward to hearing it more. But not for 18 hours straight, til Christmas Eve at 6 PM. - OhioKat
I have felt that way since the 60's. Why tie up essential services and facilities with such trivia? Legalize it like they have with alcohol and obtain the revenue from it the cartels have been enjoying. Maybe we could get this severe deficit under control with tax revenue from state controlled drug sales. - Cliff
Where could one obtain a copy of that song? - Herm
We do take multiple trips to the same place, usually the store because we forgot something the first time or two! Where we live we have to travel several hours in different directions to reach cities large enough to have multiple places to shop. Sometimes, if we aren't pressed for time we wander a different route to check things out, longer routes, usually. I don't zone out on long trips, I go to sleep. Couldn't even stay awake going across town in Oklahoma, at times. (We lived in a big city and it could take an hour or more at times to get to the other side.) What can I say, riding in a car makes me sleepy! Except when I have to keep the hubs awake, no fun for me! - Ruth in WA
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