Got my digital SLR camera back. Only $185 worth of damage – ouch. Problem was that the auto-focus points were no longer picking up focus. No clear indication of what exactly went wrong; I’m going to email them for a part list.
I must hand it to the extremely excellent job Canon’s official repair service did. I’ve had a lens and 2 cameras fixed by them over the years and each time the item comes back almost better than new – especially in cleaning and tuning up. They are hands down the most excellent repair service I’ve dealt with. What’s cool is that it’s back in just enough time for the tulip fields to bloom. Time to get shooting!
I have increasingly notice how useless and downright harmful the terms conservative and liberal are. In the political arena, religious matters, or wherever.
I, for one, plan to ban their use from my vocabulary. What does it mean to be conservative? To be a liberal? The best I’ve ever heard of is that it is a title under which we lump our favorite agendas and favorite demons. If I were to ask 20 people the definition of those terms and what one would classify under each title, each person would likely put their own favorite issue(s) under whichever one they wish to alienate or affirm. These labels often turn into firebrands upon which we like to point fingers and make tongue-wagging generalities. When someone starts saying ‘conservative’ or ‘liberal’ anything, I find that it’s usually an attempt to be divisive, polarizing, and as vague as possible. Even more harmful is to use these terms to classify people.
When I hear a person using these terms, I have yet to see it convince the person they are talking too if they are of a differing opinion. I think it’s because we all can see the broad generalities they are appealing to and not actually saying anything about the real truth of the matter. If someone is wrong about a viewpoint then the argument should be directed to correct the particular viewpoint or argue that one topic. Making a blanket statements they are liberal or conservative seeks to lump a person with tags they cannot really fall under.
Is a whole person’s viewpoint really conservative or liberal? At best we could use the term with the one stance or topic. We are all far too complex of people to be satisfied with such foolishly simple terms and harmful judgments based on one position. Far more often I find that the real reason people are so polarized or set on a particular topic is because they have personally been hurt or carry a lot of emotional, spiritual, or mental baggage with the topic that was never healed. Often this pain or anger is carried subconsciously.
One of the best deacons I’ve ever met lives by the creed that it is only through loving relationship that any conversion happens. I have come to believe more and more this is true. Love implies relationship. Unless we are willing to be in a genuine relationship with the other person, to really listen to their concerns and work with the questions *together*, we are not loving anyone. Without love, there is no change. God brought salvation to this world through the very real and human person of Jesus. He didn’t do it from ‘on high’ but from real, human relationship and that is an example we should take to heart.
One does not deny there is wrong or evil in our understandings, but one needs to affirm that there is good in the person first. It is the the power of real, loving relationship that correction and change can happen. One is far more likely to listen to someone that they know cares for them and listens to them than yelling at them with labels.
We have a new pope – pope Benedict XVI. What an amazing selection – Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger. The seminarians were going nuts up here at the election. We just got out of mass and the bells announcing the new pope started – most of us were really surprised at the speed which they elected the new pope. We ran down to the TV room and started watching the coverage – classes were immediately canceled. It was amazing timing today, because we had just got out of mass where 20 new deacon candidates had just signed and announced their public candidacy oaths for deaconate ordination. Anyway, a lot of guys were going crazy (in a good way) cheering and hooting when they announced it was Ratzinger – a German cardinal who had been in the office for Catholic doctrine. I too was very moved and joyful at this selection. While a complete analysis is too long – here’s my general take:
He’s an excellent successor to John Paul II. Ratzinger was John Paul’s right-hand-man for the last 20 some years and very holy. Many of our instructors have met, studied, or worked with him. Expect his papacy to be very similar to John Paul’s – but I don’t know if he’ll be quite the exuberant public face/world traveler as John Paul. On a theological front, by picking the name Benedict and from having read a number of his articles, expect his papacy to be marked by strong support for the traditional Catholic stances on topics such as the priesthood, marriage, sexuality, the mass, etc; probably more so than John Paul’s papacy. Clarification and affirmation of Catholic doctrine will probably be the place he will be most active in – since this is what his job has been for so long now. Clearly, these are generalities, and the realities will obviously have yet to unfold. Thanks to God for sending us such a soul to help shepherd His church. He’ll be needing our prayers, and I for one know mine will be with him.
An amazing project: Postsecret.
People write a secret on a postcard, a secret they have never told anyone, and mail it to this guy who puts them on his website. They are amazing and extremely revealing about what people are carrying around with them. Sometimes they are happy things, but often they are secrets and problems that are really are destroying them.
One of the most amazing things of being here at the seminary (but is true of the church universal) is that we are in a ‘hospital for souls’. I can say that I have uncovered and pulled up all kinds of things from my own past that I’d never told anyone or realized were affecting my decisions. The worst part about mistakes, tragedies, and pain from our past is that until they find healing, we become trapped under their weight and influence. They secretly and subtly influence our decision making and loving others.
We are not really free in our life until we have found some peace and healing with them. As I was examining my own freedom and how my own life is going, I got exposed to theosophic prayer – which is a way of bringing Christ into our pasts and help heal those things that we still blame ourselves for or have trouble letting go of. It is interesting that Christ is present not only today, but through all time. He can, and is, and was present for all the things that happened in our life. He is willing to journey to those places with us now that we are ready to receive the healing from those events of our past. It’s been an amazing experience of growth and healing that I’m still journeying through.
It’s just fascinating that in a modern world where we deny religion and God, people still have a craving for the very things that confession provides.
Ugh, this is the most addictive little game. Cool music too.
The camera seems to have sustained $180 worth of damage; but no detailed part-list or cause as of yet. Pro Photo in Portland is having their Canon discount days this weekend. I checked out their 10-22EFS lens and it was really great. If you want wide-angle on the digital SLR world, this is your baby. I was even considering selling my excellent 17-40L to buy it.
Now if I could only get the 20 page paper, and a 10 page research paper done this weekend…
I had to ship my digital rebel in for repairs because it died. I loaned it to a friend, because he was thinking of buying one; but it just stopped powering up. No idea. I was evaluating the Canon 20D at the time, and man oh man, that camera is really the bomb. I have to say that it is a huge step up from the 300D, it made me really salivate, but I just couldn’t justify the cost. Now, perhaps, the decision might be made for me. On the fun side, it’s great when things die just outside the warranty. 🙂
I got into the Oregonian front page article on the pope’s death this last Sunday. I interviewed with a friend of mine, Shelby Oppel Wood at the Oregonian. I hadn’t seen her for almost 3 years; since the last article she did on me. She’s a fun person to talk with and you can find the article here.
I went and saw Jean-Paul Sartre’s existential philosophical play ‘No Exit’ at Imago Theatre. It was really, really great.
It is a play about 3 people who are in hell; and hell consists of a room on a tilting floor. A 17′ stage floor is suspended at one central point. When one actor moves, the whole set tips and the other players must counteract that move to keep the floor balanced. It’s so very cleaver a play because there is great dialog, but there is just as much communication going on through the fact actors moving around raise each other up, balance each other, or sink depending on how they are in relation to each other on the floor. It’s only open until this weekend, but I would highly recommend it.
There is talk of making gMail ‘officially released’ soon. I still have 50 free gmail invites, if any of you would like to get onto the best eMail system with amazing features and now 2gb of storage while its still 100% free, let me know and I’ll send you an invite.