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Below are the 20 most recent journal entries recorded in Mike's LiveJournal:

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    Saturday, June 14th, 2036
    8:51 pm
    Chesterton's influence
    Just to keep this at the top of my LJ...

    First, this is not only my personal LiveJournal, but also one about G.K. Chesterton (it is simply easier to use one LJ for both purposes, rather than to have two separate LiveJournals). So expect quite a few posts about G.K. Chesterton in addition to my own regular posts.

    So, do you wish to learn more about my favorite author? :-)

    The influence of G.K. Chesterton (and other interesting facts)
    Tuesday, January 21st, 2014
    8:11 am
    "Holy Terror: The First Great Radio Hoax"

    A good article about the 1926 "radio hoax" on the BBC by Fr. Ronald Knox.

    An extract from the article:

    The resulting script is peppered with stylistic tics and outright jokes, which Knox evidently assumed would alert his listeners not to take it too seriously. I've rigorously excised all those jokes from the account of the broadcast opening this piece to try and duplicate the sensationalist impression most listeners seem to have taken away. But just look at the tip-offs they missed:

    * Knox uses comedy names for all the characters mentioned in his report: Mr Popplebury, Sir Theophilus Gooch, Miss Joy Gush and Mr Wotherspoon. Any one of these names may be thought ridiculous enough, but taken together, they're a clear indication that something fishy's going on.

    * Knox also gives his characters ludicrous jobs. The rioters' ringleader Mr Popplebury, for example, gets nine mentions in the report, and is described every time as “Secretary of the National Movement for Abolishing Theatre Queues”. Why would such a trivial figure be leading this serious unrest? The unfortunate Mr Wotherspoon is described as “Minister of Traffic”, a post which - as Knox later pointed out to his critics - did not exist.

    * In parodying the BBC's news style of the day, Knox often gives the same piece of information twice, first in the active voice and then the passive. For example: “The crowd in Trafalgar Square is now assuming threatening dimensions. Threatening dimensions are now being assumed by the crowd which has gathered in Trafalgar Square”. He pushes this to the point of absurdity by using it six times in a very short piece.

    * In copying the BBC's determination to educate its listeners, Knox often slips in a passage of unwanted historical detail before returning abruptly to the subject at hand. On the Houses of Parliament, for example, he says: “The building is made of magnesian limestone from Yorkshire, a material which is unfortunately liable to rapid decay. At present, in any case, it is being demolished with trench mortars.”

    * Knox breaks up reports of the riot with parodies of other BBC news content, including the arrival of a spectacularly vacuous American film star at Southampton. He also includes a weather forecast which announces the weather will be “fine generally, with occasional showers in the South and a continuous downpour in the North”. Winds, he adds, will be “violent” in England and “assume the dimensions of a hurricane” in Scotland. But otherwise fine.

    * Sir Theophilus Gooch's death in Trafalgar Square - and the far more serious news that his BBC talk will now have to be cancelled - is followed by a short biographical sketch. “He very soon attracted the notice of his employers,” Knox says. “However, nothing was proved, and Sir Theophilus retired with a considerable fortune.”

    * Following the collapse of Big Ben, Knox explains twice that Greenwich Time will instead be given from Edinburgh on “Uncle Leslie's repeating watch”.

    * After the sensational news that Mr Wotherspoon has been hanged from a lamp-post in the Vauxhall Bridge Road, Knox sets listeners up to expect a vital correction. Dragging their expectation out as far as he dares, and with fulsome apologies on behalf of the BBC, he finally admits that it was actually a tramway post.

    * When Popplebury's mob reach the BBC, Knox announces breathlessly that they have entered the waiting room, where calm is instantly restored. “They are reading copies of the Radio Times,” he explains. “Goodnight, everybody. Goodnight.”
    Wednesday, January 15th, 2014
    10:48 am
    One lesson I am having to learn at the moment is trying to take one moment at a time, "sanctifying the present moment"...It's something that I have especially had to learn the last few days (which explains why I have been absent from LiveJournal recently).

    My father, who had been a mechanic for about forty years and was the hardest working man I ever knew, is unable to work now, due to various physical problems (a bulging disc in his back, all the cartilage is gone from his knee, he is blind in one eye, etc.). But the only trade he ever knew was being a mechanic (i.e., for industrial sewing machines in factories). He has been trying to get disability, but they have been playing games with him for over two years now, pretending he can still work (which is nonsense). Since reality is quite different from what the government thinks, in that he really can't work, my sister and I have been living with my parents, trying to earn enough money to pay bills and so forth, until my father is able to take early retirement in April of next year. It has been difficult, but certainly manageable.

    But now my sister will have to be leaving. She has an opportunity to finally regain custody of her son, but in order to do so she will have to move, as reluctant as she is to do so. But she (rightly) thinks she has to take advantage of this opportunity, since she might not get another. But since she is moving, that means we will have to rely on my income alone. Since there are not really any good jobs around here that I can do, I have been having to work at a Dollar General. While I do have a full-time job there, still, it goes without saying it isn't exactly the highest paying job in the world, and so finances are definitely going to be tight. We are fortunate enough to own where we live (a small mobile home), so that is one bill we do not need to worry about, but there are plenty of others, and we're going to have to cut back even more. (We're going to try to keep the Internet, if at all possible, however.)

    Moreover, the car recently went out (as in, it would be cheaper to buy a new car than to fix our old one). So that means we have no car at the moment (and there's not really any public transportation around here). Thankfully, I live within walking distance of work, and hopefully with my income tax money when I get it my family can get some type of used car that runs, but still...

    Anyway, not to try to bore you too much, but I was just wishing to explain the situation a little that we find ourselves in, and ask for your prayers. They would be greatly appreciated. Thanks!
    Monday, January 6th, 2014
    8:01 am
    Not good....My family's car went out yesterday. :-( At least my parents were able to make it home before it completely went out, a blessing considering the type of weather that we are experiencing now. Still, it will be difficult to deal with.
    Thursday, January 2nd, 2014
    11:39 pm
    A new year....Perhaps I need to (again :-) ) try to use LiveJournal.
    Wednesday, July 20th, 2011
    12:17 am
    Why, yes, I *have* been negligent in updating my LJ. lol.

    My sister has come down to live with my family in Kentucky, at least for a while. Other than that, not much happening...

    I did recently read a book that I enjoyed greatly. Dion: The Wanderer Talks Truth, written by Dion DiMucci (and helped by Mike Aquilina). It gives his own story of coming to faith in Christ (and a return to his Catholic roots). One passage I particularly loved in the book, that I wished to share. (There were many others as well, but..).

    This one is about the nature of love, that I thought was awesome:

    That's what earthly loves are built to do. They prepare us for God's love. They prepare us for the God who is Love. Sometimes they do it by making us wait for a long time; they stretch our hearts and increase our capacity to give and receive. Sometimes they do it by breaking our hearts, so God can give us a new one.

    Love is not just the stuff of daydreams and sighing. It's going back to school.

    And we learn along the way that love is all about sacrifice- sacrificing myself for sake of the one I love. Love is a school of sacrifice, where we learn how to be like Jesus, because sacrifice is the essence of his life. He gave himself up for the one he loved, and that one is you. That one is me.

    Go read the Letter to the Hebrews. Jesus is the great high priest of the new covenant, and he offers everything he's got to God the Father. He's a priest, and so he offers a sacrifice.

    That's love. Our dreams of love draw us out of ourselves, first maybe when we're teenagers as we see a lovely person like Gina Lollobrigida on the silver screen. We dream of a date, but it's still a dream of getting, and the object remains an object, like a Martin guitar, only better.

    But love insists on schooling us, if we'll let it. Through marriage and parenting and even deep friendship, we grow until that lower-case love goes capital on us. Sometimes it happens slowly, with progress you hardly notice. Sometimes it happens suddenly, because of some great shock, or some great joy, or even the sudden intervention of Jesus in your life. (I've had my share of all three.)

    We learn to offer ourselves for the sake of someone else, just as Jesus did. Maybe it seems at first that it's not going to be pleasant. We don't want to give. We want to get something out of love. But we learn over time that sacrifice is the only way to happiness.
    Monday, June 20th, 2011
    3:14 am
    D'oh! Haven't been updating/commenting on LJ lately because...um....well, you see...OK, I have no good excuse. :-)

    Except that I've been spending a lot of time the last few days reading a very good book I came across, called The Last Superstition: A Refutation of the New Atheism by Edward Feser.

    Perhaps I will come up with a better review of it soon, but right now I will just say that it is probably the best non-GKC book I've read through in the last couple of years (i.e., since reading Life of Christ by Fulton Sheen). As the title indicates, it does take on the claims of the new atheists, and certainly I did find that helpful (especially since I was admittedly very weak in many places as far as that topic is concerned, not really having done much reading in that area). However, the reason I bought it was not so much for apologetical purposes as rather the fact that since the manner it approaches them is from a philosophical perspective (the author being a Thomist), it in essence gives an overview of many major elements within Thomistic philosophy and the classical Western philosophical tradition. In other words, quite apart from apologetics purposes, I found it extremely valuable for the philosophical portions, and that is indeed the main reason I wanted to buy it. It was certainly more than worth the price.

    (The author, btw, has a blog that I think I linked to before, but... http://edwardfeser.blogspot.com )

    In other news, I was finally able to catch up with my teacher (he's been out of town a lot lately, working on projects at his mother's house, so it was hard setting up a meeting). He was able to give me a lot of valuable help with various things, and so hopefully I can get stuff going in the right direction finally for a job search. lol. Prayers would be appreciated for that still. Thanks!
    Friday, June 10th, 2011
    5:50 pm
    Do you desire security? Here you have it. The Lord says to you, "I will never abandon you, I will always be with you" If a good man made you such a promise, you would trust him. God makes it, and do you doubt? Do you seek a support more sure than the word of God, which is infallible? Surely, He has made the promise, He has written it, He has pledged His word for it, it is most certain. -St. Augustine

    I have neglected LJ the last couple of days. Oops! Anyway, not having paid attention for a while, I was surprised to see that the Cardinals (at the moment anyway) have the best record in the major leagues....Wow. lol


    To get caught up with things to be grateful for.Collapse )
    Tuesday, June 7th, 2011
    4:48 pm
    OK, since I didn't update yesterday, I have two things I need to express gratitude for today. :-)

    Well, yesterday I had an appointment with someone involved in the "job club" I had joined to help me get ideas on a job search, starting to put together a resume, and so forth. Especially I was grateful that the person that helped me was actually the person who was the human resources manager at the factory I worked at before it closed down. So even though I didn't know the first thing I needed to put on a resume as related to what is (for all practical purposes) the only job I ever had, she was of course familiar with what I had done, and knew exactly what I needed to include on my resume. :-)

    The second thing I am grateful for is that today I was able to have a couple small burritos that I enjoy to eat. It is, of course, a comparitively small thing, but it is precisely of such innumerable small things that we are so often blessed, and yet can easily overlook. So it's good to remember those as well. :-)

    OK, don't know what else to write at the moment, so....Perhaps I'll have something later. lol.
    Sunday, June 5th, 2011
    10:28 pm
    Albert Pujols: back-to-back days with walk off home runs in extra innings. And against the Cubs, making it even sweeter! Perhaps the real Albert is back? :-)

    Oh. I should perhaps start turning this into a real blog post. Um, yes. OK. lol. One thing I had been planning to do is start making lists of things I'm thankful for each week. But, I started thinking today to perhaps do something a little different. That is, simply to try to think (or "thank", if you will) of one thing each day I was grateful for instead of making a list each week. It would, indeed, perhaps be easier for me to go about in that manner (though, of course, if I go a couple days or so without updating, I would then list two or three things to be grateful for when I updated again, depending on the number of days I hadn't updated). Anyway, I was thinking about the Albert Pujols home run for today, but I suppose I should try something different. lol.

    So instead, the thing that I am grateful for today is church this morning. Or, to be more specific, for what my church celebrated this morning: the Ascension of Christ. It is always wonderful to celebrate that. :-) All too often it is easy to focus on the crucifixion/Resurrection (rightly so), but then neglect the Ascension. Yet the Ascension of our Lord was crucial as well, as He became our great High Priest. As the letter to the Hebrews puts it: "For Christ has entered, not into a sanctuary made with hands, a copy of the true one, but into heaven itself, now to appear in the presence of God on our behalf." (Hebrews 9:24). Moreover, we have the promise that was given at the ascension: "...This Jesus, who was taken up from you into heaven, will come in the same way as you saw him go into heaven." (Acts 1:11) Pretty important things as well, no?

    All right, perhaps I will have more of an update tomorrow. :-)

    Also, I ask for prayers for a friend of mine going through a very difficult situation at the moment. Such prayers are very important. Thank-you!
    Wednesday, June 1st, 2011
    6:33 pm
    I suppose with the start of a new month, I'm actually going to start keeping track of what I have been reading. I hadn't done that in a while. D'oh! Oh, well. :-)

    In other news, what is perhaps of no interest to anyone else (and therefore I would understand people skipping), but it is to me is that today is the 20th anniversary of when I first started collecting collecting baseball cards. On this day in 1991, when I saw packs of cards on sale at Wal-Mart for a quarter each, for some reason I asked my mother to buy me a pack. Little did she know. lol. I have hardly bought any new cards in many years, but I have kept the ones I had from before. No real expensive cards, really, and even many of the ones I have now are not the best of shape. (Not that they are terrible shape, but by definition "mint condition" is strict, and since I collected as a hobby, not an investment...). That said, I still have my collection, which when I had counted before was over 51,000 cards (albeit a lot of doubles, etc.)

    Interestingly enough, it was my interest in baseball cards that led to my interest in baseball (and from thence to other sports), not vice versa. And while since I moved from the St. Louis area I have not been able to follow baseball as much as I would like, in all other respects my love of baseball is as strong as ever.
    Saturday, May 28th, 2011
    6:23 pm
    No need to read this post. :-) It is simply a comment I wished to post on a friend's LJ that got too long, so I'm making a post instead....

    GKC recommendationsCollapse )
    Wednesday, May 25th, 2011
    11:22 pm
    Found this through a friend's blog, and thought it was funny. :-)

    11:16 pm
    John Henry Newman
    Just decided to do a post on a writer *not* named Chesterton [everyone falls down in shock], mainly just to record it so I have it ready at a moment's notice if I need to reference it later. I don't expect anyone to read the rest of this post, obviously, but I do wish to have it written right now.

    Anyway, I have discovered some interesting facts about Blessed John Henry Cardinal Newman, who is my third favorite writer ever (it is a tossup between him and Archbishop Fulton Sheen). Cardinal Newman was just within the last couple years beatified by Pope Benedict XVI, and his writings are so valuable, both in the realm of apologetics as well as more pastoral writings, for Christians of all types that I would highly recommend him, though obviously he also has Catholic specific writings as well. (Unfortunately, I have read comparitively little of Newman's writing, but based on what I have, he was a "gold mine", so I need to do so now.) But while naturally I think of Newman from his apologetics standpoint, and even more importantly from his more pastoral writings (especially his Parochial and Plain Sermons), he was also one of the greatest writers of the English language, I believe. Here are the opinions of three others about Newman, that is, the opinions of James Joyce, Oscar Wilde, and Winston ChurchillCollapse )

    BTW, here is a website with Newman's writings, including Parochial and Plain Sermons (written during his Anglican period), if anyone is interested:

    Works of John Henry Newman
    Sunday, May 22nd, 2011
    7:10 pm
    Well, got a few days of it being sunny before the rain decided to return, at least....though I agree with my dad: we need to build an ark. lol.

    No, I have not really done much today. This morning I went to church, and this afternoon I took a nap (since I was up late last night). In between (and afterwards) just on the Internet, since the weather was not exactly well suited for going outside and walking about.

    One thing that just recently occured to me, however, is that now that I live in a quieter neighborhood, I am able to start reading books online again. When I had tried before where I used to live, it was difficult because of the noise that certain neighbors would make all day and night, so it was difficult to concentrate. But now that is not a problem (thankfully!). Reading online books which are in the public domain, besides being cheaper, also gives a much bigger selection, so I will take advantage of it! :-) So on the recommendation of a friend, I read Around the World in Eighty Days last night, and am currently reading through 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea. I also have another book by the same author recommended by another friend that I hope to read as well. Then perhaps I can start reading some Dickens books. Any recommendations there?

    OK, yeah, so I don't have much to really write, so instead of taking up more of your friends page, I'll stop now. :-) Hope everyone has a wonderful evening!
    Friday, May 20th, 2011
    10:39 pm
    Journalist: How many people work in the Vatican?

    Pope John XXIII: Oh, about half of them, I suppose.
    _____________________

    I wrote the following a few months ago (in November, I believe) but since I was away from LiveJournal at the time, I never posted it then. So I've decided to put it on here right now, so I don't lose it. lol. (Er, referring to this writing, that is. As for my sanity, I lost that a long time ago. lol.)

    Nothing to see here, move along...Collapse )
    Thursday, May 19th, 2011
    11:10 pm
    "The Frog" by Hilaire Belloc
    "Be patient with everyone, but above all with yourself. Do not lose courage in considering your own imperfections but instantly set about remedying them - every day begin the task anew."

    -St. Francis de Sales

    While looking for another poem by Hilaire Belloc on Youtube this evening, I came across this one of his, read by Whoopi Goldberg. :-)

    Monday, May 16th, 2011
    4:57 pm
    Oops! Been a little slack lately, not simply in posting, but even in visiting LJ. D'oh! I apologize for that. But at least now I should do better. At least for the moment. I graduated Saturday morning. Though I don't know what I'm going to do yet now...
    Sunday, April 24th, 2011
    4:35 pm
    Happy Easter!
    Happy Easter to everyone!

    Well, I am getting closer to finishing my gift for my friend that I described in my last post (hopefully I will be done within a week or so), and so I will be on here a little more often soon, I hope. In the meantime, since it is Easter....

    "And in the end of the sabbath, when it began to dawn towards the first day of the week, came Mary Magdalen and the other Mary, to see the sepulchre. And behold there was a great earthquake. For an angel of the Lord descended from heaven, and coming, rolled back the stone, and sat upon it. And his countenance was as lightning, and his raiment as snow. And for fear of him, the guards were struck with terror, and became as dead men. And the angel answering, said to the women: Fear not you; for I know that you seek Jesus who was crucified. He is not here, for he is risen, as he said. Come, and see the place where the Lord was laid. And going quickly, tell ye his disciples that he is risen: and behold he will go before you into Galilee; there you shall see him. Lo, I have foretold it to you. And they went out quickly from the sepulchre with fear and great joy, running to tell his disciples. And behold Jesus met them, saying: All hail. But they came up and took hold of his feet, and adored him. Then Jesus said to them: Fear not. Go, tell my brethren that they go into Galilee, there they shall see me."

    Matthew 28:1-10


    "They took the body down from the cross and one of the few rich men among the first Christians obtained permission to bury it in a rock tomb in his garden; the Romans setting a military guard lest there should be some riot and attempt to recover the body. There was once more a natural symbolism in these natural proceedings; it was well that the tomb should be sealed with all the secrecy of ancient eastern sepulture and guarded by the authority of the Caesars. For in that second cavern the whole of that great and glorious humanity which we call antiquity was gathered up and covered over; and in that place it was buried. It was the end of a very great thing called human history; the history that was merely human. The mythologies and the philosophies were buried there, the gods and the heroes and the sages. In the great Roman phrase, they had lived. But as they could only live, so they could only die; and they were dead.

    "On the third day the friends of Christ coming at daybreak to the place found the grave empty and the stone rolled away. In varying ways they realised the new wonder; but even they hardly realised that the world had died in the night. What they were looking at was the first day of a new creation, with a new heaven and a new earth; and in a semblance of the gardener God walked again in the garden, in the cool not of the evening but the dawn."

    -G.K. Chesterton, The Everlasting Man (1925)
    Saturday, April 9th, 2011
    6:14 pm
    OK, another post....but nothing to update! lol. This past week I was off of school, and I've been spending most of that time, working on a certain "project" (a gift for my best friend), which has been consuming most of my spare time the last two and a half weeks, and which I still probably won't finish until late next month (assuming no setbacks). I can't say what it is, because although my friend doesn't really follow LiveJournal much (being on Facebook) and likely won't even see this post, still, she *does* have an LJ, and it would be just my luck she would see this post, and it would ruin the surprise. (How's that for a run-on sentence? lol.) And while I know there are filters on LJ, I haven't ever used one before, so...

    OK, like I said, nothing to update, really, but I had to post something...

    Hope you all have a wonderful week!
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