Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Odds N Ends

So I was performing the most ugly and depressing task of the year. No, not doing taxes, dredging through all my files looking for, well, misfiled, tax receipts that were not put in the accordion tax folder. As you know my mind is filled constantly with great thoughts so small mistakes will happen. So I found this ditty in the "God" file. Yes I have a file with the heading "God" and I am sure I will hear about it on a date certain in the future.

"What!, you put Me between the Auto Insurance file and the Fidelity Diversified International Mutual Fund folder? I couldn't go first? I couldn't be put at the beginning of the drawer? Not important enough to you, Heh?"

Can I say, "Sorry God, don't take it so personally." Can you say "personally" to God? Need help here.

Anyway, I found this poem in the "God" file and thought it would apply for this winter - whether you live in New Hampshire or not. I have no idea where it came from so cannot attribute to whoever wrote it.

It's winter in New Hampshire
And the gentle breezes blow
Seventy miles an hour
At thirty-five below.

Oh how I love New Hampshire
When the snow's up to your butt
You take a breath of winter
And your nose gets frozen shut.

Yes, the weather here is wonderful
So I guess I'll hang around
I could never leave new Hampshire
I'm frozen to the ground!


Here's a question you never want to ask. "How old am I?"

So I woke up yesterday and started on my first cup of coffee with the newspaper. I was reading about an article on Baby Boomer financial net worth from ages 45 to 69. 45 years old? Someone would have to have been born in the late 60s to be 45. Isn't the definition of a Baby Boomer someone born during or 10 years after WWII? I may have missed it, but I don't remember a birth spike during the Nixon administration. I mentioned this to Donna and pointed out I was very happy to be turning 65 this April.

"You're not going to be 65 this April", said wife Donna.
"Of course I am, don't you think I know how old I am?"
"Apparently not".
"I was born in 1947. I'm 64!"
"No, you're' 63 right now - do the math."

I didn't have pencil and paper and with only 1/2 cup of joe in me, I found mathematical calculation beyond reach, but not the laptop, so I fired it up and goggled, "How old am I". It brought me to a Mathkids site, punched in the DOB and behold - 63 going on 64!
It even tells me how old I am in weeks, months, and seconds. There's a lesson here someplace; just not sure what it is.

With the same cup of coffee, I tuned into CNN and a crawl came on that indicated the advent of a new phone app for Catholic confessions. As with most banners; just headlines; no details. So with the laptop already fired up, I googled and received sketchy information on the new smart phone application. For $1.99 you can download a "practice" confession of sins with a questionnaire and different acts of contrition. I am not making this up. I guess this is for people who can't differentiate between the minor sins like wearing the color blue with the color green and the really bad ones like premeditated murder, buying one of those foreign compacts that look like a wood shim on wheels, or worse, if you're a woman, having one of those handbags that can contain everything you've ever purchased plus a cord of firewood - then swinging it helter skelter in the checkout line at the local supermarket with all the force of a demolition ball and chain against the side of a crumbling skyscraper. It's not a handbag, it's checked baggage...don't get me started.

In my experience, going to confession is one of the most difficult parts of the Faith. Who wants to tell anyone, let alone God, their sins, but tell we must (see John 20:21-22, 2nd Corinthian 5:18, or my personal favorite because it is the simplest, Matthew 16:19). Whenever I'm around a bunch of whinny baby boomers (probably the 45 year olds) complaining about how things "used to be", I think of the people in church waiting for confession on a Saturday afternoon. If you walk into a Catholic Church, any Catholic Church on that afternoon, you will see people of all ages; young parents with their kids in tow, geezers like me, and most heartening, high schoolers and college age kids. These people's presence demonstrate a triumphant of love and humility over complacency and ego. They all try to get closer to God and humble themselves. It is not easy and must be particularly hard for the younger ones trying to find their way in life, their first instinct is to lean against themselves as their only support. To my mind, they are involved in a heroic act. You want a hero - don't look to Indiana Jones, look to Joe Jones walking into the Confessional. So, unlike the 45 year olds, I think we are doing just fine.

Just hope the phone app helps and not hurts. It will be another reason I won't be getting a smart phone since I'm always looking for a plan B. I can see myself doing the app then taking my time about actually going to Confession. I hope there aren't many Catholics like me. If there are, in about six months, I can visualize the Priest giving a short homily called, "Smart Phone Sins Stink (To High Heaven)." We'll see.

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