Friday, October 29, 2010

Please welcome into this world Molly Marie.

fun facts:
she was born in room 7 at 11:07
weighed in at 7lbs. 7 oz.
our 7th Grandchild.
One big ball of buttery goodness

Mom and babe are doing well.
A Defense of Baby Worship by our Uncle Gilbert

The two facts which attract almost every normal person to children are, first, that they are very serious, and, secondly, that they are in consequence very happy. They are jolly with the completeness which is possible only in the absence of humour. The most unfathomable schools and sages have never attained to the gravity which dwells in the eyes of a baby of three months old. It is the gravity of astonishment at the universe, and astonishment at the universe is not mysticism, but a transcendent common-sense. The fascination of children lies in this: that with each of them all things are remade, and the universe is put again upon its trial. As we walk the streets and see below us those delightful bulbous heads, three times too big for the body, which mark these human mushrooms, we ought always primarily to remember that within every one of these heads there is a new universe, as new as it was on the seventh day of creation. In each of those orbs there is a new system of stars, new grass, new cities, a new sea.

There is always in the healthy mind an obscure prompting that religion teaches us rather to dig than to climb; that if we could once understand the common clay of earth we should understand everything. Similarly, we have the sentiment that if we could destroy custom at a blow and see the stars as a child sees them, we should need no other apocalypse. This is the great truth which has always lain at the back of baby-worship, and which will support it to the end. Maturity, with its endless energies and aspirations, may easily be convinced that it will find new things to appreciate; but it will never be convinced, at bottom, that it has properly appreciated what it has got. We may scale the heavens and find new stars innumerable, but there is still the new star we have not found--that on which we were born.

But the influence of children goes further than its first trifling effort of remaking heaven and earth. It forces us actually to remodel our conduct in accordance with this revolutionary theory of the marvellousness of all things. We do (even when we are perfectly simple or ignorant)--we do actually treat talking in children as marvellous, walking in children as marvellous, common intelligence in children as marvellous. The cynical philosopher fancies he has a victory in this matter--that he can laugh when he shows that the words or antics of the child, so much admired by its worshippers, are common enough. The fact is that this is precisely where baby-worship is so profoundly right. Any words and any antics in a lump of clay are wonderful, the child's words and antics are wonderful, and it is only fair to say that the philosopher's words and antics are equally wonderful.

The truth is that it is our attitude towards children that is right, and our attitude towards grown-up people that is wrong. Our attitude towards our equals in age consists in a servile solemnity, overlying a considerable degree of indifference or disdain. Our attitude towards children consists in a condescending indulgence, overlying an unfathomable respect. We bow to grown people, take off our hats to them, refrain from contradicting them flatly, but we do not appreciate them properly. We make puppets of children, lecture them, pull their hair, and reverence, love, and fear them. When we reverence anything in the mature, it is their virtues or their wisdom, and this is an easy matter. But we reverence the faults and follies of children.

We should probably come considerably nearer to the true conception of things if we treated all grown-up persons, of all titles and types, with precisely that dark affection and dazed respect with which we treat the infantile limitations. A child has a difficulty in achieving the miracle of speech, consequently we find his blunders almost as marvellous as his accuracy. If we only adopted the same attitude towards Premiers and Chancellors of the Exchequer, if we genially encouraged their stammering and delightful attempts at human speech, we should be in a far more wise and tolerant temper. A child has a knack of making experiments in life, generally healthy in motive, but often intolerable in a domestic commonwealth. If we only treated all commercial buccaneers and bumptious tyrants on the same terms, if we gently chided their brutalities as rather quaint mistakes in the conduct of life, if we simply told them that they would 'understand when they were older,' we should probably be adopting the best and most crushing attitude towards the weaknesses of humanity. In our relations to children we prove that the paradox is entirely true, that it is possible to combine an amnesty that verges on contempt with a worship that verges upon terror. We forgive children with the same kind of blasphemous gentleness with which Omar Khayyam forgave the Omnipotent.

The essential rectitude of our view of children lies in the fact that we feel them and their ways to be supernatural while, for some mysterious reason, we do not feel ourselves or our own ways to be supernatural. The very smallness of children makes it possible to regard them as marvels; we seem to be dealing with a new race, only to be seen through a microscope. I doubt if anyone of any tenderness or imagination can see the hand of a child and not be a little frightened of it. It is awful to think of the essential human energy moving so tiny a thing; it is like imagining that human nature could live in the wing of a butterfly or the leaf of a tree. When we look upon lives so human and yet so small, we feel as if we ourselves were enlarged to an embarrassing bigness of stature. We feel the same kind of obligation to these creatures that a deity might feel if he had created something that he could not understand.

But the humorous look of children is perhaps the most endearing of all the bonds that hold the Cosmos together. Their top-heavy dignity is more touching than any humility; their solemnity gives us more hope for all things than a thousand carnivals of optimism; their large and lustrous eyes seem to hold all the stars in their astonishment; their fascinating absence of nose seems to give to us the most perfect hint of the humour that awaits us in the kingdom of heaven.

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Relativism to its logical conclusion

In the beginning it was Religion is just superstition so "keep your rosaries off my ovaries" now it is science that is just superstition so "keep your chromosome off my ovum".

Opinion is ALL that matters.

"The modern mind will accept nothing on authority, but will accept anything on no authority. Say that the Bible or the Pope says so and it will be dismissed without further examination. But preface your remark with “I think I heard somewhere,” or, try but fail to remember the name of some professor who might have said “such-and-such,” and it will be immediately accepted as an unshakable fact."- GKC

Friday, October 22, 2010

News from the United Catholic Geek Front.

In Peter Freeman's Article God and the Geeks he mentions the graphic novels of Gene Luen Yang.
(I am a geek but not a consumer of graphic novels so if any of you are what do you think of this guy?)

Peter also mention J. R. Tolkien's work. Aside from that he makes an excellent point on Catholics today in the media and that we should not put aside our faith in the art creation process.
"But the question is a serious one for geek culture: Is there a way to convert all that time spent re-watching Star Wars, reading fan fiction, and playing epic video games into something greater than entertainment?"

Yes we need more writers like Gilbert, Lewis, and Belloc.

People unafraid to write from the Truth in order to get published.

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

pop quiz

In general the results of this quiz had sad results. As Catholics many have forgotten we are to be counter cultural. And yet more know who the greatest left handed pitcher was but can not tell you who the Beloved Apostle is.
Chesterton wrote a lot on the fallacy of comparative religion but i will leave you with this one.

"Impartiality is a pompous name for indifference, which is an elegant name for ignorance." GKC

Take the test and see how you do. I got one wrong.

results of the report are here

Friday, October 15, 2010

A review of Table Gype

A while back I mentioned Table Gype as a good idea for a tournament at the Chesterton Conference. At the time that was only speculation for I had not played it yet.

I now have this game and highly recommend it to those of you who enjoy playing board games with friends and family.

I know some of you out there have contact with Dale Ahlquist so see if you can get a Table Gype tournament going next year. Add a tankard of beer and some muffins to the night and a good time will be had by all.

While Table Gype is reminiscent of classic abstract strategy games such as Chinese Checkers, it features several elements that make it stand out from other board games. It is played on a cloth mat, and the lines on the board are made to look like they were drawn with white chalk, (something Gilbert always carried in his pocket). The playing pieces are in fact fat colored dice, which get rolled over whenever they are jumped - an effect that limits long-range strategic planning. The side of the dice that is up determines how that piece can move.

The faces of the playing pieces, which Chesterton referred to as "mysterious and significant shapes," are all taken from Chesterton's writings, such as Fire, Swords, and a Tree. The most wildly moving piece is a Hat, and every die has the chance of becoming the dreaded Gype's Ear when rolled. Four of Chesterton's quotations regarding games and playing decorate the board, and several more quotes appear in the rule book. One of the rules that me think of Chesterton is “…it is not polite to touch another player's piece in the course of the game.” It is not forbidden just not polite, something that was mentioned several times the last time I played it with my kids.

The game also has variations; one is for those who don’t like or can’t handle the random element such as small children.

The game is for 2-4 players and is most exciting with 3-4 players.

The only reason I gave it 4-1/2 out of five stars is that when I first received this game in the mail I was ready to play but there is some assembly required. This however was blessing in disguise. While my daughter was putting it together I read the rules. When I was done she was done and we played. It turned out to be an "inconvenience rightly considered". Also as a former marketing director I was not thrilled with the packaging. But hey, you don’t play the box.

Uncle Chestnut's Table Gype is available for purchase from,

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Wierd Science

The following video was made by the Canadian Wildlife Service. I have now heard several American scientists are scrambling for Obama stimulus dollars to replicate this experiment.

Monday, October 11, 2010

He is a sane man who can have tragedy in his heart and comedy in his head. GKC

An Irishman moves into a tiny hamlet in County Kerry, walks into the pub and promptly orders three beers.

The bartender raises his eyebrows, but serves the man three beers, which he drinks quietly at a table, alone.

An hour later, the man has finished the three beers and orders three more.

This happens yet again.

The next evening the man again orders and drinks three beers at a time, several times. Soon the entire town is whispering about the Man Who Orders Three Beers.

Finally, a week later, the bartender broaches the subject on behalf of the town. "I don't mean to pry, but folks around here are wondering why you always order three beers?"

'Tis odd, isn't it?" the man replies, "You see, I have two brothers, and one went to America, and the other to Australia. We promised each other that we would always order an extra two beers whenever we drank as a way of keeping up the family bond."

The bartender and the whole town was pleased with this answer, and soon the Man Who Orders Three Beers became a local celebrity and source of pride to the hamlet, even to the extent that out-of-towners would come to watch him drink.

Then, one day, the man comes in and orders only two beers. The bartender pours them with a heavy heart. This continues for the rest of the evening - he orders only two beers. The word flies around town. Prayers are offered for the soul of one of the brothers.

The next day, the bartender says to the man, "Folks around here, me first of all, want to offer condolences to you for the death of your brother. You know-the two beers and all..."

The man ponders this for a moment, then replies, "You'll be happy to hear that my two brothers are alive and well... It's just that I, myself, have decided to give up drinking for Lent."

I entered the hospital on Oct 1st for a semi-serious procedure. It turned into a serious one so instead of a short stay I was there most of last week. I used that time and this time as an opportunity for Redemptive suffering.

As my Mom would tell me, “offer it up.”

It’s not that I recommend that kind of retreat for anyone but I know some great work was done.
The fruits of which I will never see this side of the great divide.

Wednesday, October 06, 2010

More NY election clerihews

"The right to wed," said Andrew Cuomo,
"should be granted to all members of the genus homo.
But I can't be bothered with the right to wed
the woman who shares my bed."

No one says Carl Paladino
is overly fond of vino.
But he does seem to like barking
and parking.

Tuesday, October 05, 2010

NY election clerihews

Carl Paladino
downed a cappuccino
then threatened to kill
unless he got a refill

The aim of Andrew Cuomo
is to be New York's majordomo.
If that's the way things go
it means four more years of the status quo.