Thursday, November 24, 2005

Giving Thanks

Today may we appreciate this food and remember those who are hungry.
May we appreciate our family and friends and remember those who are alone.
May we appreciate our health and remember those who are sick.
May we appreciate the freedoms we have and remember those who suffer injustice and tyranny.
Peace on earth. Amen.

--attributed to Beliefnet member LisetteFC

For each new morning with its light,
For rest and shelter of the night,
For health and food,
For love and friends,
For everything Thy goodness sends.
Father in heaven,
We thank thee.

--Ralph Waldo Emerson

Divine Spirit of all there is, we thank you for this opportunity to gather together in one another's company. We thank you for the light you bring to this family gathering.

Please grant us the vision to see the highest in one another, and grant us the opportunity to continue to be there for each other in good times, as well as not-so-great-times.

Give us strength and fortitude to ride the tides of change, and empower us always to be nurturing and loving with one another. Open our spiritual eyes that we may see one another for who we truly are... and love one other in the same spirit.

May sadness, disappointment and anger be minimal; may happiness, positive thoughts and good experiences together be bountiful. May we always cope, and hope, with each other... with grace.

We thank the Divine for this delicious dinner, prepared with love. May all consumed here tonight fill us with health and well-being. Amen.

--Rev. Laurie Sue Brockway

Some hae meat and canna eat,
And some wad eat that want it;
But we hae meat, and we can eat,
And sae the Lord be thankit.

--Robert Burns

Monday, November 21, 2005

Middle (and slightly later) English Recipe Blogging

Thanksgiving edition. What the Pilgrims might have served at Plymouth if our present Thanksgiving customs (which actually originated during the Romantic era) had been observed in the 1620's:

Capoun or gos farced.--Take Percely, & Swynys grece, or Sewet of a schepe, & parboyle hem to-gederys til þey ben tendyr; þan take harde yolkys of Eyroun, & choppe for-with; caste þer-to Pouder Pepir, Gyngere, Canel, Safroun, & Salt, & grapis in tyme of yere, & clowys y-nowe; & for defawte of grapis, Oynons, fyrst wil y-boylid, & afterward alle to-choppyd, & so stuffe hym & roste hym, & serue hym forth. And if þe lust, take a litil Porke y-sode, & al to-choppe hit smal a-mong þat oþer; for it wol be þe better, & namely for þe Capoun. [1439]

Sauce for a gos.--Take percelye, grapis, clowes of garleke, and salte, and put it in þe goos, and lete roste. And whanne þe goos is y-now, schake out þat is wiþ-in, and put al in a mortre, and do þer-to .iij. harde yolkes of egges; and grynd al to-gedre, and tempre it vp wiþ verious, and caste it upon the goos in a faire chargeour, & so serue it forth. [1439]

Sauce for Capons or Turky Fowles. -- Take Onions and slice them thin, and boyle them in faire water till they be boyled drye, and put some of the gravie unto them and pepper grose beaten. [1591]

Sauce for a Turkie. -- Take faire water and set it over the fire, then slice good store of Onions and put into it, and also Pepper and Salt, and good store of the gravy that comes from the Turkie, and boyle them very well together: then put to it a few fine crummes of grated bread to thicken it; a very little Sugar and some Vinegar, and so serve it up with the Turkey. [1623]

Stewed pompion. -- But the Housewives manner is to slice them when ripe, and cut them into dice, and so fill a pot with them of two or three Gallons, and stew them upon a gentle fire a whole day, and as they sink, they fill again with fresh Pompions, not putting any liquor to them; and when it is stew'd enough, it will look like bak'd Apples; this they Dish, putting Butter to it, and a little Vinegar, (with some Spice, as Ginger, &c.) which makes it tart like an Apple, and so serve it up to be eaten with Fish or Flesh: It provokes Urine extreamly and is very windy. [before 1674. Note: “Pompion” is pumpkin or squash.]

Pease pottage. -- Take the best old pease you can get, wash and boil them in fair water, when they boil scum them, and put in a piece of interlarded bacon about two pound, put in also a bundle of mince, or other sweet herbs; boil them not too thick, serve the bacon on sippets in thin slices, and pour on the broth. [1666]

Saturday, November 19, 2005

Unitarian Controversy redux

Today marks the 122nd meeting of the oldest annual rivalry in college football, known simply as "The Game", between Unitarian Harvard and Congregationalist Yale. Yale leads Harvard 63-49-9 in the series, but Harvard has won the last four.

Watch it on TV in most major media markets. Check your local listings for stations and times.

(Click on the titles of the fight songs below to listen. Or, alternatively, if you happen to be one who suffers from that characteristic Unitarian arrogance known inside the Beltway and on Wall Street as the "Harvard attitude", you can find life-changing relief here.)

Ten Thousand Men of Harvard
A. Putnam, H '18

Illegitimum non carborundum;
Domine salvum fac.
Illegitimum non Carborundum;
Domine salvum fac.
Gaudeamus igitur!
Veritas non sequitur?
Illegitimum non carborundum -- ipso facto!

Ten thousand men of Harvard want vict'ry today,
For they know that o'er old Eli
Fair Harvard holds sway.
So then we'll conquer old Eli's men,
And when the game ends, we'll sing again:
Ten thousand men of Harvard gained vict'ry today!

Down the Field
C.W. O'Conner, Y '04 Law, and Stanleigh P. Friedman, Y '05

March, march on down the field, fighting for Eli,
Break through the crimson line, their strength to defy;
We'll give a long cheer for Eli's men,
We're here to win again.
Harvard's team may fight to the end, but Yale will win.

R. G. Williams, H '11, and S. B. Steel, H '11

With Crimson in triumph flashing
Mid the strains of victory,
Poor Eli’s hopes we are dashing
Into blue obscurity.
Resistless our team sweeps goalward
With the fury of the blast;
We’ll fight for the name of Harvard
‘Til the last white line is passed.

Bingo, That's the Lingo
Cole Porter, Y '13

Bingo, Bingo,
Bingo, Bingo, Bingo,
That's the lingo,
Eli is bound to win.
There's to be a victory,
So watch the team begin!
B-B-B-Bingo, Bingo, Harvard's team cannot prevail,
Fight! Fight! Fight with all your might for Bingo, Bingo,
Eli Yale!

Sunday, November 13, 2005

The Google Yourself Meme

Thanks to Pearlbear for this one.

There's apparently a new meme making the rounds. Google "[your name] needs" and list the first ten things that pop up.

Fausto needs...

1. to remind Sete that black bit = good, green bit = bad.
2. more assistance to get this going.
3. to write a journal.
4. our help to ensure that quality, Catholic education will continue for our children and future generations.
5. to win the tenth stage of this 1952 Tour to put himself back on track.
6. the datasets by the end of this year as his subcontractor is funded only until February.
7. to upbloat it NOW! NOW!
8. to escape from reality but not with LSD.
9. to learn to love himself again, as admittedly corny as that sounds.
10. to be pushed in the area of critical thinking.

In contrast, when Fausto uses his real name, he finds that he needs...

1. Help from Maryland Players.
2. Mozilla.
3. Nude Models.
4. to get out more.
5. to backoff and grow his eyebrows in a bit.
6. a place to stay at a moderate price.
7. access to all seven sites.
8. no introduction.
9. whatever his issues, to get over them.
10. the practice.

Saturday, November 12, 2005

Another Remembrance

Before we leave Veterans'/Armistice/Remembrance Day behind for another year, here's one more reflection. Click the link to listen. ("The Last Post" is the British bugler's equivalent of America's "Taps". "The Flowers of the Forest" is the Scottish piper's equivalent, and the link is to the wistful words of the song.)

No Man's Land
Eric Bogle

Well, how do you do, Private William McBride?
Do you mind if I sit here down by your graveside
And rest for awhile 'neath the warm summer sun?
I've been walking all day now, and I'm nearly done.
I see by your gravestone you were only nineteen
When you joined the glorious fallen in 1916;
Well I hope you died quick and I hope you died clean,
Or, young Willie McBride, was it slow and obscene?

Did they beat the drums slowly?
Did they sound the fifes lowly?
Did the rifles fire o'er you
As they lowered you down?
Did the bugles sing
"The Last Post" in chorus?
Did the pipes play
"The Flowers Of The Forest"?

Did you leave a wife or a sweetheart behind?
In some faithful heart is your memory enshrined?
And though you died back in 1916,
In that loyal heart are you forever nineteen?
Or are you a stranger without even a name,
Enclosed there forever behind some glass pane,
In an old photograph, torn and battered and stained,
And fading to yellow in a brown leather frame?

Did they beat the drums slowly?
Did they sound the fifes lowly?
Did the rifles fire o'er you
As they lowered you down?
Did the bugles sing
"The Last Post" in chorus?
Did the pipes play
"The Flowers Of The Forest"?

The sun's shining now on these green fields of France,
The warm summer breeze makes the red poppies dance,
The trenches have vanished long under the plow;
There's no gas, no barbed wire, there're no guns firing now.
But here in this graveyard it's still No Man's Land:
The countless white crosses in mute witness stand
To man's blind indifference to his fellow man,
And a whole generation who were butchered and damned.

Did they beat the drums slowly?
Did they sound the fifes lowly?
Did the rifles fire o'er you
As they lowered you down?
Did the bugles sing
"The Last Post" in chorus?
Did the pipes play
"The Flowers Of The Forest"?

I can't help wonder now, Willie McBride,
Do all those who lie with you know why they died?
Did you really believe when they told you the cause,
Did you really believe that this war would end wars?
For the sorrow, the suffering, the glory, the pain,
The killing and dying, were all done in vain,
For, young Willie McBride, it's all happened again,
And again, and again, and again, and again.

Did they beat the drums slowly?
Did they sound the fifes lowly?
Did the rifles fire o'er you
As they lowered you down?
Did the bugles sing
"The Last Post" in chorus?
Did the pipes play
"The Flowers Of The Forest"?

Friday, November 11, 2005

Friday Cat Blogging

(I tried to tell PeaceBang, but she didn't answer the phone.)

They Gave Everything for Us

In Flanders fields the poppies blow
Between the crosses, row on row
That mark our place; and in the sky
The larks, still bravely singing, fly
Scarce heard amid the guns below.

We are the Dead. Short days ago
We lived, felt dawn, saw sunset glow,
Loved and were loved, and now we lie
In Flanders fields.

Take up our quarrel with the foe:
To you from failing hands we throw
The torch; be yours to hold it high.
If ye break faith with us who die
We shall not sleep, though poppies grow
In Flanders fields.

--John McCrae

What quarrel, against which foe, what torch, will you carry on their behalf, knowing how they carried yours?

Tuesday, November 01, 2005

Reflection at Samhain

Hartley Coleridge

The mellow year is hasting to its close:
The little birds have almost sung their last,
Their small notes twitter in the dreary blast --
That shrill-piped harbinger of early snows; --
The patient beauty of the scentless rose,
Oft with the morn's hoar crystal quaintly glassed,
Hangs a pale mourner for the summer past,
And makes a little summer where it grows; --
In the chill sunbeam of the faint brief day
The dusky waters shudder as they shine;
The russet leaves obstruct the straggling way
Of oozy brooks, which no deep banks define,
And the gaunt woods, in ragged, scant array,
Wrap their old limbs with sombre ivy-twine.