Attorney in the Del.

Reporting on life in Wilmington, Delaware, a small city in a small state. (Note: Unless otherwise stated, all photos on this blog are Copyright 2006, Michael Collins, and cannot be used without permission.)

Thursday, March 30, 2006

Slippery Slope

One of the refreshing things about Wrigley Field, at least when I first arrived in Chicago in the summer of 2002, was the near total absence of advertisements inside the ballpark. I spent much of the 90's attending games in Baltimore's Camden Yards, where one of the trademark features of the new stadium was the "Hit It Here" Maryland Lotto advertisement on the rightfield wall...the one with the finger pointing at the bullseye. Obviously, the keepers of the Yard were not averse to advertising, even on the field of play. From the JumboTron in centerfield, around the lower fascade of the upper deck, to the blaring PA announcer, an evening in Oriole Park was part baseball, part gratuitous plugging of this product or that.

Wrigley Field was different. Not only was there almost no adversting visible from the seats, the PA system was non-intrusive. When a tag was made at second, an improbable diving catch gloved in the outfield, or a home run blasted onto Waveland, fans made a lot of noise on their own without the assistance of a hockey-style, bass-heavy soundtrack. Not choo choo train sounds. No pulsating techno beats. No scoreboard urging the crowd to get LOUD. Just a pure baseball experience.

But that's all changing now, as even the geriatric stadiums try to compete in the 2000s with the noisier, brattier, trendier baby ballparks. Old timers will point to the day the turned on the lights at Wrigley as the day modernity stuck its foot in the door and started a quickening decline into the typical MTV version of a day at the park. I remember my disappointment when in 2004, the Cubs added small video scoreboards to the upper deck fascades, and the trademark hand-operated scoreboard. These scoreboards showed names of players and stats, scores, and the ball/strike count. More nefariously, however, the scoreboard also showed...gulp...advertisements between innings...and even digital John Deere lawn mower races. I was appalled. What I loved most about the Wrigley experience was already disappearing only two years after I moved to the Windy City.

Now this.

The Cubs announced today that the newly renovated Wrigley Field bleachers will be officially named the "Bud Light bleachers."

"The Cubs are one of the most storied teams in baseball, with a tremendously loyal fan base and one of the greatest venues in all of sports. We're excited to offer this new feature – the Bud Light Bleachers – to Cubs fans," said Tony Ponturo, vice president, Global Media and Sports Marketing, Anheuser-Busch Inc. in a statement.

Excuse my while I spit out my Old Style! This renovation gets worse every day. First they banned standing room seats in the bleachers as they added new rows and handicapped accessibility. And now, in addition to adding a trendy OF restaurant (I hope the old concession stands that once faithfully sold me beers through a four hour rain delay still survive), they are selling out everything Wrigley Field stands for in modern baseball (i.e. the anti-modern) by giving the bleachers a corporate name! (And before you point out to me that Wrigley Field is named after a flipping chewing gum company, chew on this: the Wrigley company doesn't get a dime from the stadium name.) And they'd better leave the stadium name alone. At this point, changing the stadium name would be as shocking as renaming Chicago "Bubble Yum City."

Yeah, I'm a purist and an old school type. I don't like change all that much. I should just accept that time marches on, and in 2006, the Cubs might need a "Bud Light Bleachers" to make sure they still have enough money to overpay a team that won't make the playoffs. But it's still depressing. Sigh.

In the new bleachers, I guess it only would makes sense to push ahead with more corporate sponsorships. What better way to relieve oneself after a few Bud Lights in the Bud Light Bleachers, than to head to one of the Old Style Troughs in the men's room.

It's only appropriate considering what many say Old Style tastes like.

Maintaining A Cultural Identity

With the recent furor over the Muslim cartoons in Denmark and the calls for death in Afghanistan for conversion to Christianity, many have wondered what would happen in the United States if U.S. Muslims started demanding that some of the more radical components of Sharia law (Islamic law) trump our Western legal system.

I agree with Richard John Neuhaus of First Things, that the following outlook would probably best suit the situation:

In the course of his remarks, Mr. Steyn cites one of my favorite stories about the limits of multiculturalism.

In a more culturally confident age, the British in India were faced with the practice of “suttee”–the tradition of burning widows on the funeral pyres of their husbands. Gen. Sir Charles Napier was impeccably multicultural: “You say that it is your custom to burn widows. Very well. We also have a custom: When men burn a woman alive, we tie a rope around their necks, and we hang them. Build your funeral pyre; beside it, my carpenters will build a gallows. You may follow your custom. And then we will follow ours.”

Tuesday, March 28, 2006

Baby Names

We've received quite a few name suggestions for our upcoming baby. We've heard all the weird celebrity baby names. We've been surrounded by the little Tristans, Kaitlyns, and Connors of our peers.

But sometimes you come across names that are really unique. I had one such experience today. In an article about the Muslim cartoon flap, I happened across the the name of the U.N. Human Rights Commission's special rapporteur: Doudou Diene.

Hmm. I think I'll remove that one from consideration.

Daylight Savings Time

This weekend marks the first time many parts of Indiana will turn their clocks forward in recognition of Daylight Savings Time. Nearly the entire state, prior to this year, never had to change their clocks. Part of the year the state was on Central Time, the other part East Coast Time. Legislators, after many recent failures, finally passed a bill last spring giving the state its first mandatory taste of DST...and you would think they authorized they invasion of Ohio. The hysterics are part genuine disgust, part cynical politics (the flames fanned by the Democrats...really, do they stand for anything but cynicism?).

Republicans in the State House, with the urging of the new Republican governor Mitch Daniels, spearheaded the effort to move to DST. By virtue of a last second reversal of votes, passage of the bill succeeded as the legislative session's clock struck midnight. Outrage ensued in many places, and, if you can believe it, lingers nearly a year later. It's not that the legislature actually removed or added an hour to the day twice a year, they only changed how we tell "time," which is an artificial measure in the first place. Did I mention that this abominable time change will only occur twice a year? I probably didn't have to because you know that. In fact, with the exception of a couple remote spots out West, everyone in this country goes through the drill of changing all their clocks each fall and spring. And guess what? The sun is always out the basically same amount of time during the day before and after the time change. So what's the big deal?

So I say to those Indianans who will, for the first time in their lives change their clocks this week, welcome to the club. Some things in life are worth a level of outrage. This isn't one of them. Save your energy for the day the governor masses the National Guard on the Ohio border.

Early Candidate for Breakthrough of the Century

Heart friendly bacon? Bring it on!

A microscopic worm may be the key to heart-friendly bacon.

Geneticists have mixed DNA from the roundworm C. elegans and pigs to produce swine with significant amounts of omega-3 fatty acids -- the kind believed to stave off heart disease.

Researchers hope they can improve the technique in pork and do the same in chickens and cows.

Monday, March 27, 2006

Time Out!

I've watched probably too much college basketball the last couple of weeks. March Madness has taken hold. (And let me just say congratulations to the Maryland women's team, which only moments ago beat Utah to reach their first Final Four since 1989.) Somehow I missed the big George Mason/UConn game yesterday, but have otherwise seen enough last second three pointers, upsets, and dejected Duke players walking off the court for the last time to be very satisfied with this year's postseason.

That being said, there is one thing that drives me crazy about college basketball (besides the spate of annoying Coach K commercials): the sudden rash of time outs called while players are leaping out of bounds, rolling around on the floor after loose balls, and otherwise falling, jumping or squirming somewhere on the court. Time out!

There once was a time when, if a player was teetering out of bounds and called a time out to preserve possession of the ball, the announcers would declare it a "heads up play" and state that the kid was obviously a "student of game" or some such platitude. Now every time a player is off balance, surrounded by defenders, or diving after a loose ball, he automatically calls a time out. No matter what the situation, what stage of the game, or how valuable the time out, you can be certain to see two or three of these wasted time outs every game. Not every possession is equal, but time out callers don't seem to think that way.

I think the rule that allows players to call these time outs should be changed. Mainly because they annoy me. But there is a reason for that (besides the fact that Duke probably calls more of these pointless timeouts than anyone): these time outs are the lazy player's best friend. It takes more skill to save a ball that is going out of bounds than to make a T with one's hands while leaping out of bounds. It takes more skill to catch a ball bouncing out of bounds and throwing it hard off an opponent to preserve a possession, than it does to call time. It takes more strength to scrum for a loose ball than to call time out as soon as the ball just gets into one's possession. It's lazy. It's boring. And now that everyone does it no matter the situation, it's annoying.

If I could, I would change the rules to require that, with the exception of the last two minutes of each half (if that), a player must have both feet firmly on the floor when calling time out. No more time outs while in the air or prone on the hardwood. This would force players to make better decisions with the ball, and remove the lazy player's crutch. Time outs are a precious commodity that should not be wasted. But that's not the point. Players should be forced to make plays, not be given an out to avoid making them.

Friday, March 24, 2006

What To Do When Faced With Alligators

Hugh Hewitt and James Lileks discuss modern survival tactics:

HH: No, they don't. Now I've got to move to important stuff. The number of avalanche deaths in this country has risen dramatically to thirty a year, and 90% of them are men. And the Men's Health writer who wrote about this couldn't figure out why that is. I wonder why do you think that nine out of ten avalanche victims are men?

JL: (laughing) Because women are smart enough not to go climbing the stupid things. I'm waiting for the rash of avalanches that kill sharks, because that will combine all these things together. You know, the shark attacks on the rise, avalanches are on the rise. If we can get the avalanches to kill the sharks, I think we'll be fine.

HH: That would be good. Now Matt Sutter couldn't get tornado out of his head or ears, because he, on March 12th, went for a ride in a tornado. "It's a pretty awkward record to have," he said about the longest known ride in a torado on record. Interesting?

JL: (laughing) I wasn't sure that they were actually keeping records of the number of people who have survived being picked up. If I saw a tornado deposit somebody in my front yard, I would just have all of my friends get down on their knees and speak in little, tiny, high voices, to make the guy think he'd landed in Munchkinland or something.

HH: (laughing) Okay, from the AP in Bonita Springs, Florida. Someone knocking at her door in a gated community earlier this week, she looked out to see an unwelcome visitor on her front stoop, an 8 foot alligator. The bull gator had wandered up from the pond behind the house, and had a bloody lip from banging its head against the door. What do you do, James Lileks?

JL: Well, instantly, you call your husband and the appearance of a man will trigger an avalanche, apparently, and the avalanche will kill the alligator.

(Photo taken by Mike C in the Florida Everglades, January 2003.)

Wednesday, March 22, 2006

Fighting Fire

My older brother is a fireman in Wilmington, NC. This series of photos may be of interest to him and everyone else who still thinks that being a fireman is cool.

Another Reason To Hate The Yankees

The New York Yankees try to censor the opposition by sending in the lawyers:

Mike Moorby hates the Yankees. And except for the fact that they haven't won the World Series for five straight seasons (Moorby loves that about them), the Yankees keep giving him reasons to hate them.

Now, they're messing with a little bit of his livelihood.

Moorby, a 38-year-old financial advisor from New Jersey, proudly admits that he feels as good when he sees the Yankees lose as he did when he saw the Red Sox win it all in 2004. In fact, he hates the Yankees so much that he started a side business, creating memorabilia for other pinstripe haters. Inspired by the pain of Aaron Boone's home run that prevented his Red Sox, yet again, from reaching the World Series in 2003, Moorby drew up a logo that features the interlocking letters "YH" (Yankee Hater) with devil horns.

Not surprisingly, the baseball establishment in New York didn't take kindly to Moorby's Yankee Hater merchandise. He says staying in business has meant tearing up a cease-and-desist letter from Major League Baseball; and he claims he has spent all his profits, appropriately, fighting the Yankees themselves, who opposed his trademark application that used the stylized Yankees "Y" in it. If things stay on schedule, final proceedings concerning the merit of Moorby's trademark will go before the Trademark Trial and Appeal Board before the end of the year.

To this, I say, God bless Mike Moorby. And good luck!

Sunday, March 19, 2006

It's All Over But The Crying

With last night's loss to Gonzaga, Mike Davis's coaching tenure at Indiana comes to an end. No longer will be lead a group of candy-caned pants players onto the floor of any arena...unless his next coaching stop is at a school for barbers. Until then, he'll have only his TV to cry, whine and complain to. Enjoy, coach.

Mike Davis: Boo-hoo. Indiana at Purdue. February 14, 2004.

Saturday, March 18, 2006

It's A Small State After All

One of the things they tried to drill into our heads in the bar review and professional responsibility classes last summer and fall, is that Delaware is a small state, so an attorney must always be on guard to protect his professional reputation. No matter where you are, the panelists scolded, you never know what judge, politician, or fellow attorney may also be in attendance, so one should always be on his/her best behavior when in public in the state.

Never was this advice more apparent than yesterday. All by chance, I: 1) walked out of St. Patrick's Day mass a step in front of US Senator Joe Biden, 2) ate breakfast at the same table as US Senator Tom Carper, and 3) walked past Delaware Supreme Court Justice Randy Holland as I returned from lunch. Last week I just happened to walk past the mayor of Wilmington on the way to work. None of these things ever came close to happening when I lived or worked in Maryland, Illinois or DC.

It's a small state. I'm now convinced.

Baby Class

On Wednesday night, we attended an introductory baby class. The class advertised that it would show us about child safety, how to swaddle a baby, and how to give the new baby a bath. We did learn those things. But the instructor initially focused on 45 minute-long slideshow I'd like to call: "Be Prepared: Your Baby Will Look Gross And There's Nothing You Can Do About It." Slide after slide of puffy faces, oblong heads, red or purplish or cheesy skin, slime, blotches, zits, etc.

They didn't say anything about whether barf bags are available in the delivery room. I'm kidding, as nasty as the baby may look sliding out of the womb, I'm sure (once they clean him/her up) I won't be able to put him/her down. Less than two months and counting.

Thursday, March 16, 2006

Happy March Madness

My Final Four:

Ohio State


UConn over Texas

Listen, I know this Final Four is a little out there, but you can't win the pools by picking the same teams as everyone else. As much as I hate to say this, Go Huskies!

Goose Killer

Even though what he did is technically against the law (and also an accident), I'll be 75% of the country has sympathy for this man. I know 99.9% of golfers probably do.

Like a lot of homeowners, Larry Tomko has grown weary of geese. He's tired of scraping poop from his driveway with a snow shovel. He's fed up with boorish geese gobbling millet he leaves for chickadees. He feels overrun when dozens of the feathery transients loll in the pond a few steps from his yard.

When his frustration brims, Tomko has run out his front door waving his arms and shouting at the geese. Sometimes he launches bottle rockets at them. About 10 years ago, he started firing pellets from an old air rifle at the geese. They would squawk and flee.

Then on Feb. 26, he killed one, accidentally, sort of, with the pellet gun.

Tuesday, March 14, 2006

What Is It? The Answer

The answer to the "What Is It?" photo I posted a while back is: a dead cactus. Surprising, the ribs of a cactus look a lot like wood when they dry out. Being an East Coast native, I am not often in contact with cacti, and for some reason always expected that a cactus would decay a lot like a rotten watermelon or some other fruit.

Cacti, as I was told in my grade school science classes, hold a lot of water. A person could tear the fleshy insides out, if stranded in a desert, and suck out the moisture. I always imagined this characteristic would make the inside of a cactus something like a watermelon. And watermelons are only protected by a thick, but fragile, shell. Wouldn't a cactus be similar? I was not disabused of this notion a couple years ago when I plugged two straight tee shots into a cactus on a Tucson golf course. I didn't see any sign of an inner wooden skeleton as my two balls disappeared into newly minted holes with a 'thump.'

As you can see by these photos, a dead cactus has a pretty sturdy rib structure that grows from the ground up, giving the cactus a strong inner framework. Some of these puppies grow to over 30 feet tall, so, like a tree, a wooden structure would well suit those cacti that reach abnormal heights. That's your biology lesson for the day.

Cactus Skeleton. Camelback Mountain, Phoenix, AZ. February 21, 2006.

Friday, March 10, 2006

We Need More Kids Like Him

A 17-year old sent a letter to the editor of our local News Journal defending the president and vice president. His letter concludes:

I am willing to wager that the majority of Delawareans who get their information from this sorry excuse for a newspaper have barely enough brainpower to govern their own lives, let alone governing a nation of almost 300 million.

Ouch. Read the whole thing.

Judge: You're An Idiot

In law school, professors made the point more than once that writing skill is one of the most valuable tools of an attorney possesses. Why? Because this might happen to you.

Before the court is a motion entitled “Defendant’s Motion to Discharge Response to Plaintiff’s Response to Defendant’s Response Opposing Objection to Discharge.” As background, this adversary was commenced on December 14, 2005 with the filing of the plaintiff’s complaint objecting to the debtor’s discharge. Defendant answered the complaint on January 12, 2006. Plaintiff responded to the Defendant’s answer on January 26, 2006. On February 3, 2006, Defendant filed the above entitled motion. The court cannot determine the substance, if any, of the Defendant’s legal argument, nor can the court even ascertain the relief that the Defendant is requesting. The Defendant’s motion is accordingly denied for being incomprehensible. 1

1 Or, in the words of the competition judge to Adam Sandler’s title character in the movie, “Billy Madison,” after Billy Madison had responded to a question with an answer that sounded superficially reasonable but lacked any substance,

Mr. Madison, what you've just said is one of the most insanely idiotic things I've ever heard. At no point in your rambling, incoherent response was there anything that could even be considered a rational thought. Everyone in this room is now dumber for having listened to it. I award you no points, and may God have mercy on your soul.

Deciphering motions like the one presented here wastes valuable chamber staff time, and invites this sort of footnote.

Hoops Odds And Ends

I was reading the latest issue of ESPN Magazine and came across a couple notable blurbs.

1) Ben Affleck and Matt Damon are producing a movie about DeMatha HS basketball coach Morgan Wootten. Wootten is recognized almost unanimously as the best high school basketball coach ever. I won't disagree. Wootten's stats as a coach are silly. Five national championships, 31 conference championships, 1,274 wins and 192 losses.

Wootten actually coached briefly at my high school during the 1950's under the tutelage of legendary St. John's coach Joe Gallagher (himself a winner of over 800 HS basketball games). He also graduated from the University of Maryland, a fellow Terp. And he's a wonderful human being.

That being said, I hate DeMatha. DeMatha is like the Duke of DC basketball. They always win. Wootten's Stags regularly captured the Catholic league hoops title in DC. My alma mater usually put up a good fight, but the trophies were rare. DeMatha wins in everything else: football, baseball, hockey, you name it. They are an area powerhouse in sports, and rarely have a down year in any of them.

So I'm pretty ecstatic about this new Affleck/Damon venture. Considering the Affleck reverse Midas Touch, I expect the movie to be pretty awful. And anything stupid with DeMatha's name attached is alright by me. Sorry, Coach.

2) I may not agree with former veep candidate John Edward's politics, but I can't argue with this exchange regarding Duke's Coach K:

Edwards: He's a really good coach.
The Mag: Better than Roy Williams?
Edwards: Nope. Or Dean Smith.
The Mag: Matt Doherty?
Edwards: He's not better than any of the above.

It could be tough to vote against him next time.

Thursday, March 09, 2006

Fantasy Baseball

Saturday morning I'm making my first foray into fantasy baseball since 1998 when I managed the Sacrificial Slams from perennial cellar-dweller to a respectable second place finish. Back in those days, I was mocked for picking such duds as Gabe Kapler and Ryan Glynn with high picks, and refusing to play the Yankees on my roster...even in a year when they contended for the World Series trophy. Yes, my methods may be unconventional, but I get results. Well, a result. I haven't been back to fantasy baseball since that single magical season in 1998.

Now I'm back, and boy do I know nothing about baseball in 2006. I worshipped baseball as a kid. I played as much as I could, collected baseball cards, pursued autographs, considered the games I attended as some of the highlights of childhood. I owned a book of baseball data that was so thick it could double as a stool. My mind was full of worthless baseball stats and anecdotes. In college I made it a point to buy tickets to at least ten games a year at Camden Yards. While my friends were out partying, you could often find me in my dorm room watching the "When It Was A Game" series on cable (OK...if I had some money, I probably wouldn't have been quite that lame). I loved baseball.

Now, I don't know who the heck plays the game anymore. From the headlines, it seems like a lot of cheaters. Cal Ripken and Tony Gwynn retired a few years back, and with them, what seems like the last vestigages of class in the game. Maybe Derek Jeter deserves some credit, but I won't give it to him because he plays for the Yankees. That's just a rule.

Beyond the cheating, I just can't identify half the players in the game anymore. Being an adult is no fun that way. All the diversions I loved as a kid are crowded out now by concerns about family, bills, taxes, and other energy draining and not fun worries. All these matters crowd out the time I might better spend checking out batting averages, stolen bases, trade rumors, and home run totals.

Maybe by joining a fantasy league, I can get back a little bit of that youthful exuberance. I'm already starting to feel it a little bit. My eyes are set on Cleveland Indians OF Coco Crisp. Hehe. "Coco Crisp" is a person's name. Hilarious! I have to have him.

What Is It?

I snapped this photo while on a hike in Phoenix. Want to guess the identity of the thing in the foreground? Answer later.

Camelback Mountain. Phoenix, AZ. February 21, 2006.

Tuesday, March 07, 2006

R.I.P. Kirby Puckett

There once was a time I was a pretty big Minnesota Twins fan. Conveniently, it was during their dynasty years of the late 80's, early 90's when Gary Gaetti, Kent Hrbek, Dan Gladden, Greg Gagne, and Joe Morris hit, fielded, and pitched their ways to two World Series championships. The real star of the show, however, was Kirby Puckett. The squat outfielder stood at only 5'8" but swung his bat and flashed his leather with enough success to eventually earn induction into the MLB Hall of Fame. Kirby was one of my favorite players, and I was saddened to learn, in 1996, that he had to retire at age 36 due to the onset of blindness in one of his eyes, a victim of glaucoma.

Yesterday, he died of a stroke at age 45. It's even sadder when one of your childhood heroes leaves this earth.

In seventh grade, a friend of mine invited me to an Orioles game against the Twins. I had only been living in Maryland for three years, so I hadn't pledged my allegiance to the O's yet. I was more excited to see the Twins, who that fall would win the World Series. Better yet, my buddy's family knew Gary "The Rat" Gaetti, who played the hot corner for Minnesota. In inducing me to come to the game (wasn't too hard), my friend told me Gaetti promised he would have pizza with us afterwards. The chance to meet a major league baseball player was too much to resist.

As I recall, the Twins won that night. We headed to the team hotel to catch up with Gaetti. He met us in the lobby and we all sat down for a chat. I was talking to a real baseball player! I asked him about the condition of the field at Memorial Stadium, which stadiums he liked the best, how he became an MLBer. He patiently answered all my questions. For a 12 year old, this was some seriously cool stuff!

But the real highlight of the night for me, was when I heard the door open behind me and Kirby Puckett walked right past me through the lobby and hopped on an elevator. He was close enough to touch! Talking to Gary Gaetti was fun, but there was Kirby Puckett right over there!!

Eventually Gaetti informed us he was pretty wiped out from the game and would have to cancel our dinner plans. We thanked him for meeting us. I never asked for an autograph because I was just happy to have spent 20 minutes with a pro baseball player whose attention was focused on me. But just as much as I remember those twenty minutes, I remember the 20 seconds where I was in the same room as the great Kirby Puckett. RIP.

Monday, March 06, 2006

In the Shadow of the Mountain

High atop Camelback Mountain just outside Scottsdale, AZ, the shadow of the mountain forms a near perfect sillouette of a stylized triangular mountain. For the people in its shadow, dawns arrives a little later in the morning than for most.

The Camel's Hump. Phoenix, AZ. February 21, 2006.

Free Riders

There is a lesson in this post for both adults and teenaged kids (yes, kids, regardless of what you think, there is a major distinction). The lesson for adults is the obvious point of the post. You can find the lesson for teenagers be reading the next two paragraphs:

Being a parent costs one economically. Although we socialize some cost, such as education, parents pay most of the cost of raising a child. Parents also lose out in non-monetary ways such as in a loss of flexibility in when and where they work. If an individual sets out to maximize his lifetime income, avoiding having children would be step one.

In our atomized society, children do not provide a boost in status, networking or security that offsets their very real cost. I think this economic loss may explain why many people shy away from having children. Many people simply do not want the loss of status that will come from having their disposable income consumed by rug rats.

Having been around teenagers quite a bit the last couple of weeks, and seeing how they consider every rule laid down by their parents as an affront to their "lives," I urge them consider the paragraphs above. It is not the parents that are ruining your lives, it is you who are ruining theirs!

Thursday, March 02, 2006

Dry Times

Obviously in an environment as dry as the desert not everything survives. The Phoenix area hadn't seen rain in 130 days by the time we left. There were casualties.

Dead Tree. Sedona, AZ. February 22, 2006.

Coach K Kommercials

For the Duke haters and otherwise ACC fans out there, click here for some komedy at the expense of everyone's most despised college hoops coach (he's mine!).

Red Rock

On this cold, wintery day in Wilmington, DE, it's nice to think back on vacation. The sun, the warm temps, the incredible scenery...

Formations. Sedona, AZ. February 22, 2006.

Telling It Like It Is

Ed of Captain's Quarters has some words for those who seek to change some of the core teachings of the Catholic Church to suit their own fancy:

And here's the real point -- Catholicism is not mandatory.

Members of a faith join or remain because they believe in the truth of the teachings and tenets of the sect. If they disagree with the basic tenets, they should leave and find a sect in which they do believe. The Catholic Church may not have the right to tell people how to vote -- but they certainly have the right to tell people about the truth as they see it and to bar those who openly disagree with their teachings. There exists no right to access to the Eucharist except as the Church defines it. And those who commit grave offenses in the eyes of the Church have put themselves in a position of being denied access to communion.

Read the whole thing. Ed includes some interesting early words of the Christian founders on the sin of abortion that are worth internalizing.

Also, see the good professor who imparts the proper perspective to put on your Lenten sacrifices. My check will be in the mail soon.