16 October 2007

I Second That

Some of the stuff that you post is actually interesting. Scary as that may sound.

10 October 2007

keep posting

Well I for one think you should just keep posting whatever is on your mind and dont worry about whether it's 'poetic' enough or whatever. Just put it down because we're interested. Or I am anyway. Cheers, Eddie

07 October 2007

An English Apocalypse

The end of all things will be on Wednesday afternoon After tea. Mr Peterson, in his second best charcoal suit will be accosted by Caphrael, a Prince of Hell (who will be recognisable by the smell of old eggs) Mr P. will cry “Bugger me” and drop his briefcase. Death, War, Famine and the other member of the band (you know the one, his name escapes me) Will run amok in Camden market And overturn three stalls of leather goods And upset some arrangements Of ersatz Gucci handbags. A Tube driver Aghast for all the strange apparitions And in a foam-fuelled frenzy will lose control And drive his Piccadilly train Very slowly From Holborn to King’s Cross London Underground will announce delays Due to a power outage at Liverpool Street. Leviathan, in full sea monster regalia Will arrive five minutes behind schedule And eat Tower Bridge The dead will rise in Smithfield Angels will be seen in Highbury Hellfire will rain on a third of Bloomsbury Bloody hail over Hyde Park A six-point earthquake in the City All in all, London will experience more chaos than is typical for teatime on Wednesday. Then will come the end, and suddenly: The Son of Man coming on all the clouds of heaven. The cherry red doubledeckers will burn like paper models Before Christ the Tiger.
—Gabriel Olearnik (with permission) From http://www.dappledthings.org/

04 October 2007

Eternal rest grant unto him, Lord...

...and let light perpetual shine on him. May he rest in peace. My dad died the 4th of October, 2006 in Hilo, Hawai'i. I will ask the priest to say Mass for his soul today. jj

30 September 2007

Enough is enough

I stopped sending my newsletter because I became increasingly embarrassed at (1) my infrequency of writing; (2) the undoubted fact that for many what I wrote was irrelevant. I said, "I will start a blog. I will go the way of the world! For if I blog, I can write as much as I want and NOBODY HAS TO READ IT!" Unfortunately some did - they told me so. So then I thought I had better try to write things worth reading. Then I discovered that doing so took as much time as before - assuming I ever did manage that. Pride. It is pride that says, "better write nothing than write badly." OK, I give up. I will write more frequently, and just as badly. For the moment, this is all I have time for - but be warned. More is to come. OK, not quite all. I am already regretting my agreement to play in the University Orchestra's up-coming concert that includes Beethoven's 3rd Symphony, the 'Eroica.' I haven't time for this sort of thing! But I was flattered by being asked at all - and then by being offered pay! A pittance, to be sure, only enough to cover expenses, but still... They want to give me money?? Well! This sheds new light on things :-) Farewell - but not good-bye. I shall return.

21 July 2007

Life in the far north

Last week-end (14-15 July) was the end of School Holidays, and Susan thought it would be nice if, instead of our usual Sunday afternoon with Eddie and Eveline, we offered to stay up at their house for the week-end so they could get away by themselves for a couple of nights. So we did that. Sue picked me up on Friday (the 13th :-)) and Eddie and Ev took off for parts unknown (well, actually, a well-enough known hotel in Auckland). Warm! Eddie and Eveline have a heat pump. It is now a must-have for Susan. Budgeting may make this a somewhat distant prospect, but I must admit it was lovely. What Sue really wants for our house is a heat pump combined with a 'DVS' - Distributed Ventilation System. You put the heat pump in your main room, and then have a system that sucks warm dry air into the cool wet back rooms - hey, presto! No more weeping windows or mildew! Well, it is lovely and we congratulate them. Anyway, we had a lovely time with Eddie's kids - Robyn (8 years old), Jonny (6), and Julian (5). We have had them stay at our house in the past but this worked much better. At our house there is 'nothing to do.' At their house they are on their home turf. On the Saturday Susan took them to see 'Shrek 3' (I had an appointment at the University at that time).

14 June 2007

Helen and her children

And also the beached ship in Newcastle. Johnny just went up to visit her and put some pictures on his web site. http://www.nzjohn.com/Site/Family%20Photos.html

29 May 2007

re: Anniversaries

I think this is my first post on you blog dad.... shudder This is a response to the previous entry, I would comment but I don't seem to be able to! First - Johnny plans to compress all the video I took into one lower res stream and put that on the web, so you will only have to download one enormous file to relive and enjoy the experience of your wedding anniversary! Joy... Secondly - it was lots of fun, we all had a good time, so thanks for putting up with us all. thats all :)

28 May 2007

Adam

The Pukekohe early commute 'bus to Auckland has a strange spiritual power. It appears to form its regulars into a kind of family. Once we actually had a 'bus Christmas barbecue, attended by two or three of our drivers as well as passengers. Well, I suppose this is not unusual. People thrown regularly together become a kind of community. And like every community, it recognises its members - and its non-members. You know what it's like. The new face shows up. There is a vague sort of stirring of the common mind that is the Body of the 'Bus. Is this just some casual dropper-in? Probably. Will he know better than to sit in one the reserved seats - the seat that each regular has long made his own, like the reserved pew in Church? Ah! There he is today, too. Hmm... This is the third time we have seen him. A kind of unspoken alertness now exists. Will this newcomer be assimilated into The Group, or will he hold himself aloof for weeks or even months, not knowing the Communion of the 'Bus. I know my duty. I am the Senior Member (not to mention Senior Citizen) of the 'bus. I have been riding the 'bus for 22 years now. It is my job first to begin to bring the new guy into the fold - like the pseudopod of the amoeba that makes first contact of the new object that will eventually be absorbed into the Communal Mind. Adam - for he is the latest arrival - is from the Philippines. He is a computer programmer so we can talk shop together a bit. He lives quite close to us in Pukekohe, with his wife and three children. He only arrived in New Zealand in March and is working on his application for Permanent Residence. And he is one of Jehovah's Witnesses. That I only learn after knowing him for some time. He sees me sitting with my breviary saying my morning prayers. He seems me make the sign of the Cross from time to time. He knows I am a Catholic. As he is a Filipino, I assume the same of him, that at least he was brought up Catholic, and though I have not seen him at Mass in Pukekohe, perhaps he is not practising, or he may go to the 10AM Mass instead of the 8AM - those with families often do. No. He asks me about my religion. And he tells me of his. Those of you who are not Jehovah's Witnesses will know the start of heart I feel when he asks if he can come over sometime to get to know us. Well, if any of you are JW's, you probably know as well :-) He does ask. Well, of course, what can I say? Certainly, we would be glad to have him over. Come Sunday morning, for morning tea. Bring your wife and children! So he did. Well, he only brought one child - his youngest, named (spelling unknown!) Madelle, maybe 7 or 8 years old, and his wife (again spelled by sound) Lovi. We had a pleasant time, but I must confess it is frustrating trying to discuss religion with Jehovah's Witnesses. They appear to have a few fixed parts of the Bible that are pins on which all hangs. These are interpreted literally. E.g. Ecclesiastes 9:5 says that the dead know nothing. This proves that there is no possibility of conscious life for the dead. Other Biblical texts which appear to point to something else - e.g. the story of the Rich Man and Lazarus - are metaphorical. So I cannot say we had much of a discussion. But I was intrigued to know how and why he had become a member of the Witnesses. There was much to his story, but my inference was the what fundamentally attracted him was the very loose morality he saw around him, and sometimes amongst Catholic friends - and the very real and laudable high moral standards of the Witnesses. And this ought to be both humbling for those of us who know of moral laxness within our own Christian communions (if we are Christian), and proper praise for what Jehovah's Witnesses have achieved, despite what I think a deplorable confusion regarding the truth of God that is their theology. I hope that Adam and his family and we will be able to get into some discussions of greater depth sometime. And I hope he will feel welcome in the Pukekohe Omnibus Society. Any of you should consider this an invitation to join.

19 May 2007

Anniversaries

Susan and I try to get together with Eddie and Eveline once a month. Usually we drive up to their house, it being easier for them than bringing Robyn, Jonathan, and Julian down here and trying to think of something for them to do. When we see them, I usually make the date for the next visit, and in April, when they were here for Easter (one of the times when they come our way), I started thinking about dates in May. A Sunday is our usual get-together day, and - ahah! - the Sunday that suited best for May was the 20th, which happened to be our wedding anniversary. Well, that's a nice coincidence. So we will come up to see Eddie and Eveline on the 20th. I would have been smarter not to have mentioned the significance of the date - well, smarter if I wanted to avoid what I think of as fuss, and what others call fun. Eddie and Eveline decided they wanted some fun. "We," they decided, "are going to take Dad and Mum and some others out to dinner!" As the plan - or plot - developed, at became this:
  • Members of the group = Eddie and Eveline and children; Susan and me; Ka'ai and Lincoln (her boyfriend); Johnny, who was going to come over from Sydney; Noel and Jenny Surrey and Irene Farrell, who are our closest friends.
  • We would go to Valentine's for lunch

Well, seeing I am outnumbered, I succumb with as good a grace as my black heart permits. However, I am not excited about Valentine's. It's one of these buffet, all-you-can-eat-for-twenty-bucks places. However, we would all show up, eat, talk a bit, and then go home. Susan and Johnny talked on the 'phone about it and thought that it would be more fun (and less fuss) if we were able to have something at home - catered, so that it was still Eddie and Eveline's shout (Americanese: 'treat'). This should save money as well.

Which, after considerable backing and filling, is what happened. We had a lovely time. Eddie, showing his cruel streak, took some videos on his digital camera, which Johnny, even more cruelly, has put onto his own web site at http://www.nzjohn.com/Movies/1.MPG and http://www.nzjohn.com/Movies/2.MPG. Warning! These are huge files - about 100MB each - so do not attempt to download or view them if you are on a slow or limited connexion. They are also not all of what Eddie took. Be thankful for small favours.

25 April 2007

hey daddy-oh

hi dad,finally managed to get around to logging onto your blog,looks good and I hope to sometime today write a bit more.It's been raining heaps here which is uncommon but good for the State.I have forgotten what it's like to live in NZ where it seems to rain constantly,Australians are pretty spoilt.Robert has today off,yay,so we might go for coffe at our local(Supply) later on this avo.I am looking at a home tomorrow to rent which is on our street,Mum,you walked past it and said that you liked the windows,do you remember that one?Anyway,it has gor a pool and extra bedrooms so here's hoping.Off to read an article by Naomi Woolf about fascism in the States,didn't know there was!Lots of love,Hells

20 April 2007

Eucharistic Convention

Those who know us know that we attend the great annual gathering of Auckland Catholics known as the ("Eucharistic Convention"). The first convention happened the week-end after Easter - Divine Mercy week-end - in 1994, at a time when we did not even know what the future might hold for us as regards the Catholic Church. We attended the Convention in 1995, when we were on our way into the Church and already in RCIA, and were a bit bewildered by it all. We have attended each convention since then, barring one a couple of years ago, when my orchestra had a concert that week-end. I think each year that perhaps this will be our last. The speakers don't always sound that engaging. It takes a fair effort to make it - time off work, money spent, arranging where to stay. Each year after the convention I cannot imagine not going. It is true that not all of the speakers are equally exciting. I will only mention one this year, though as I say it, the memory of others comes crowding in, and "Oh, you must mention him," or "Well she, at least, cannot go unremarked" - still, I am not going to retail the whole event here! Michael Pervan was for many years a sign writer in Auckland. Perhaps he still is. But what he is par excellence is an iconographer. He wrote (he would not want me to say 'drew') an icon of Our Lord on stage during his 40 minutes at the convention. "Well," I hear you say, "that must have been interesting." I have not the words to convey what it was; 'interesting' is utterly inadequate. Michael began with a clean, almost man-sized, sheet of paper on an easel. He had, he said, prepared some of it beforehand. What we saw was all white, with a covering of another piece of paper that left a head-and-bust sized hole. What he had prepared was a border around the outside with lettering. He began with the eyes. He drew two dots for the pupils. All this time he was talking. He spoke of Genesis chapter 1, of the Light that existed before the sun and the moon; of the Eighth Day, the Day of Resurrection, of ... well, let me say that I was utterly gripped by what he did, and said, and that so, I think, must the audience have been, from the reaction at the end. During the whole of it he prayed, in the intervals between his comments, "Lord Jesus Christ, Son and Likeness of the Living God, have mercy on me, a sinner" - and got us all praying, softly, with him. At the end he announced that he would donate it for the highest bidding to the poorest congregation represented amongst us. A congregation of mostly Samoan nuns was the recipient. He did not tell us who made the bid. He has been commissioned to make icons for our Cathedral which is being refurbished. I was stunned. We will certainly go next year.

Second hand Macbook - cheap!

Slightly scratched screen - F4 key seems stuck: http://video.google.com/videoplay?docid=2469928627183918026

19 April 2007

Ka'ai

I first met my niece Ka'ai - my sister Robin's daughter and first child - in September, 1978. Well, perhaps 'met' is not quite apt here, implying a certain level of parity between the parties. At the time I was, or was about to become, 36 years old. Ka'ai had not yet attained the grand age of 1 year, being about 8 months old. But, still, I count the beginning of our acquaintance from that point. I suppose our relationship could be said to have languished somewhat for the next several years - about 24, in fact. In September of 2002 I visited my family in Hawai'i and did indeed meet Ka'ai then - and again on my visit in 2003 (with Susan), and when I went alone in 2005, as my mother was very ill. Ka'ai has returned the favour. She is now living at our house. Ka'ai enrolled as an MSc student in geology at the University of Auckland this semester. She arrived in New Zealand on, I think, the 13th of January of this year - and which was, I believe, her birthday! The connexion with New Zealand is through her boyfriend, who was born in New Zealand, although he spent much of his life in Hawai'i - in Pa'auilo, in fact, where Ka'ai grew up. Ka'ai was able to stay with his mother in Auckland's North Shore for a while when she came, but is now enjoying the commute to and from Auckland on the 'bus, both to attend University and to work at her part-time job. Welcome! It has been great getting to know you better than I did in 1978 :-)

07 April 2007

Holy Saturday

From an ancient homily for Holy Saturday The Lord’s descent into the underworld Something strange is happening – there is a great silence on earth today, a great silence and stillness. The whole earth keeps silence because the King is asleep. The earth trembled and is still because God has fallen asleep in the flesh and he has raised up all who have slept ever since the world began. God has died in the flesh and hell trembles with fear. He has gone to search for our first parent, as for a lost sheep. Greatly desiring to visit those who live in darkness and in the shadow of death, he has gone to free from sorrow the captives Adam and Eve, he who is both God and the son of Eve. The Lord approached them bearing the cross, the weapon that had won him the victory. At the sight of him Adam, the first man he had created, struck his breast in terror and cried out to everyone: “My Lord be with you all”. Christ answered him: “And with your spirit”. He took him by the hand and raised him up, saying: “Awake, O sleeper, and rise from the dead, and Christ will give you light”. I am your God, who for your sake have become your son. Out of love for you and for your descendants I now by my own authority command all who are held in bondage to come forth, all who are in darkness to be enlightened, all who are sleeping to arise. I order you, O sleeper, to awake. I did not create you to be held a prisoner in hell. Rise from the dead, for I am the life of the dead. Rise up, work of my hands, you who were created in my image. Rise, let us leave this place, for you are in me and I am in you; together we form only one person and we cannot be separated. For your sake I, your God, became your son; I, the Lord, took the form of a slave; I, whose home is above the heavens, descended to the earth and beneath the earth. For your sake, for the sake of man, I became like a man without help, free among the dead. For the sake of you, who left a garden, I was betrayed to the Jews in a garden, and I was crucified in a garden. See on my face the spittle I received in order to restore to you the life I once breathed into you. See there the marks of the blows I received in order to refashion your warped nature in my image. On my back see the marks of the scourging I endured to remove the burden of sin that weighs upon your back. See my hands, nailed firmly to a tree, for you who once wickedly stretched out your hand to a tree. I slept on the cross and a sword pierced my side for you who slept in paradise and brought forth Eve from your side. My side has healed the pain in yours. My sleep will rouse you from your sleep in hell. The sword that pierced me has sheathed the sword that was turned against you. Rise, let us leave this place. The enemy led you out of the earthly paradise. I will not restore you to that paradise, but I will enthrone you in heaven. I forbade you the tree that was only a symbol of life, but see, I who am life itself am now one with you. I appointed cherubim to guard you as slaves are guarded, but now I make them worship you as God. The throne formed by cherubim awaits you, its bearers swift and eager. The bridal chamber is adorned, the banquet is ready, the eternal dwelling places are prepared, the treasure houses of all good things lie open. The kingdom of heaven has been prepared for you from all eternity.

30 March 2007

Triple J

A small intro as to who I am. Most of you will know who I am but for those that don't here goes. I carry the following crosses beyond the obvious ones. I am the blog owners oldest son, have his raving conservative beliefs (not nearly enough my father would contend) BUT am as my father so lovingly reminds me I am now a suit. I will be turning 32 this year God help me. Never thought I would get this far considering the crazys I am related to. But oh well I am almost there. I work in Sydney, Australia doing as my father has already mentioned SAM work. My biggest contract so far is doing all the license compliance work for Autodesk. Think architects (cad software) and movies like The Lord of the Rings. So if you know of any naughty people in ANZ please let me know. Almost any business is good business. My father of course will be dry wrenching now realzing that his eldest has basically become a suit and WORSE STILL a salesman. Oh well, dad you will cope. That is all from me for now. JJJ

Human Rights is a Communist plot.

Christian morality without the tommyrot!

27 March 2007

Elise

I have mentioned Elise from time to time in this newsletter as my friend who has tried for years to get pregnant. She succeeded. She has just given birth to twin boys – Callum and Lachlan. She is now coming to terms with the shock, at age 36, of her first child being in fact her first children. I am sure she will manage. She may not be so sure herself.

Hokianga

On the 13th of January, 1838, at Totara Point on the northern side of the Hokianga Harbour, Marist Father Jean Baptiste Pompallier, first Vicar Apostolic to the newly-created Vicariate of Western Oceania, celebrated Mass. This was on the third day after his arrival in New Zealand and was the first Mass to be said here. On Sunday the 14th of January, 2007 Susan and I – with a number of other persons – went to Mass in the Hokianga. We were actually at a marae near Totara Point due to weather issues. The Hokianga, like the east coast of the North Island, is one of the places where the Māori language is definitely alive and well. The Mass was over two hours long, was mostly in Māori, and was followed by a meal at the marae. My children will be interested to know that we stayed the Saturday night with the Van Boxels who now live in Opononi on the Hokianga, and the Sunday night on the way home with Irene Farrell’s sister in Dargaville. All in all, we had a wonderful time, and if we can, I think we will go again next year.

Goldfish

We bought our house in September, 1984. The front yard had, and still has, a fishpond, with goldfish in it. I must say we have paid it very little attention indeed. Every year or so I take a rake and drag some of the accumulation of weed out of it. Once I think Eddie and I dredged the bottom a bit, to get some of the muck out. Occasionally we look into it. There are fish. Or there is a fish. I was never too sure. Certainly there was at least one goldfish. Is it the same fish, after 22 years? Well, who can say? Goldfish live a long time, they say. Google tells me the Guinness Record is a 49-year-old goldfish. Maybe they are breeding. A few days ago I looked into the pond and was startled to see a black goldfish. Well, I suppose it cannot properly be called a goldfish. Its body, fins, etc match those of the gold goldfish (if that is not a pleonasm), but it is, I suppose, a very dark grey or dark brown. It took several sightings to convince myself (and Susan) that I was not imagining it. The fact that that fish had been there, apparently for more than 22 years testifies to how little attention we have given the pond. Now I must confess that from 1964 until 1968, roughly, I used to have many, many fish – though no goldfish. I raised tropical fish in Berkeley and then in Honolulu. Edna will remember this time in our life with, no doubt, mixed feelings. We had something over 15 tanks for much of that time. I sold fish regularly to the local pet fish wholesaler which at least helped pay for the hobby.

I have bought two more fish and put them in the pond. I hope I haven’t actually overpopulated the pond. One limit on the population of a closed-cycle fish container (e.g. a fish tank or fish pond) is the oxygen level. For a tank without a pump to keep water moving past the surface area, the rule of thumb is one square foot of surface area per body-inch of fish. The pond is about four foot across so I suppose its surface area is on the order of 12 square feet. Those fish look like they are maybe three inches long in the body. Or perhaps a little longer… Hmm… Anyway, with four fish in there, it is much easier now to see one. If they breed, on the other hand…

Cuckoo!

My children – and those who have been in my home – will know of our cuckoo clock. It was given us as a wedding present in 1972 and lived in our houses in Honolulu, Auckland, Yap, and finally in Pukekohe. Over the years it got more and more difficult to keep going, and finally, about two years ago, it gave up the ghost and went to Cuckoo Heaven. Resurrection is always a hope, however. Adele let it be known that she treasured the memory of the cuckoo clock, and that if we did not get it repaired, she would still like to have it. I did a bit of googling around and found that there was a place in Auckland that repaired such things, so Susan took the clock there. Poor Mr. Laird! He did repair the clock, but it took him 21 months – mostly waiting for parts, but also delayed twice because of two serious accidents he himself had – one involving stepping into a manhole. Anyway, the clock is almost repaired now. It is in our dining room at present and works fine, except that it only cuckoos once on the hour, so Susan will take it back to Mr. Laird next week. I feel sure he will restore it to full cuckoo glory. I look forward to another 30+ years of happy cuckooing.

Johnny…

…has a new job, or at least he no longer has his old job. Yesterday, the 5th of January, was his last day at the old job. His new job does not start for, I think, a couple of weeks, so I suppose one may consider him as in retirement at present. The new company sells software for managing the assets and software licensing for large companies. For some reason not readily comprehensible to us who may be classed as part of the geek class, Johnny finds topics like software licensing interesting. He is rapt about his new job. My son, the lawyer – my son, the suit!

Merry Christmas!

A succession of five years beginning and ending in a leap year will advance the calendar by exactly one week, and so in such a succession, dates on the first and last year of the succession will fall on the same day of the week. This is because a leap year advances the date two week-days. Two leaps years plus four normal intervening years equals seven days. Oh, all right, I will spare you the remainder of the calculations. Suffice it to say that Christmas Eve fell on a Sunday in 1995, again in 2000, and again in 2006. The next time this will happen will be in 2017, and then in 2023, and so on in a repeating pattern of 5, 6, 11, and 6 year intervals. That 5 + 6 + 11 + 6 = the number of years in a leap year cycle times the number of days in a week is not accidental, and the wiseacres amongst you may like to point out that the pattern will be messed when passing 2100, 2200, and 2300, but not across 2400 – but I don’t care! Huh? Oh, you were wondering what this had to do with Christmas. You weren’t? Well, you should have been. Only that it was on Christmas Eve, Sunday the 24th of December, 1995 that we (except Johnny, who was in Seattle by then) were received into the Catholic Church, so this year Christmas Eve was the 11th anniversary of that to-us momentous event. This coincidence will not recur for another 11 years. Oh, yes, so what, indeed! But I thought it was amusing to do the maths. Johnny came over from Sydney on the 21st and we had a wonderful 11 days (there’s that number again!) with him, doing lots of things (too many, he and we sometimes thought). On Christmas Day we went up to Eddie’s and Eveline’s house in Helensville. On Thursday the 28th we drove down to Paeroa (world famous in New Zealand - http://www.lp.co.nz/home.htm) to see Radiant Rachel. That’s a family code and Johnny’s siblings will know who I mean. Johnny tracked her down and she is a mother now. On Saturday the 30th we went to the Franklin Zoo and generally had fun whilst he was here.

Happy New Year!

Just so you won't think I have been totally idle since my last newsletter, here is the first of several paragraphs from what was going to be the next one: I wonder when the years will cease to be named as full numbers (“two thousand and seven”) and begin to be named as two two-digit numbers (“twenty-oh-seven”). Maybe never! I think I have a tendency to name the first nine years of the twentieth century (think about it!) by saying “nineteen hundred and seven” rather than “nineteen-oh-seven,” but certainly from nineteen-ten on there is no ‘hundred’ in there. Perhaps in three years we will say “twenty-ten” but there does seem to be something in that locution that strikes one as odd (or even, as you might say). Anyway, happy new year to you all. I am writing this on my mother’s 92nd birthday – 5th January, 2007 – happy birthday, mum! I suppose I do not make a great deal of anniversaries, really – they seem a bit arbitrary, after all – but they do have emotional punch. This is the year I will turn 65, once an iconic age, though no longer. In New Zealand, at least, they cannot require you to retire at any particular age. That would be ageism, you see. They have to demonstrate that you are no longer competent. I am tempted to observe that if that were sufficient, I would have lost my job long ago, but I hope that would only be a joke. Anyway, last year some government department or other decreed that anyone under the age of 45 could not receive full retirement benefits until age 68, so I suppose they are trying to compensate for the terrifying actuarial fact that if people are not going to have children, there will be no one to support the old, so the old had better plan on keeping working. Me, I know how I hope to retire. One day – when I am about 92, I trust – one of my co-workers will go to the boss, and say, “Gerry, jj is lying in the server room under one of the servers. Now he does that from time to time, but he has been there for three days now, and is beginning to smell. I think he has finally retired!” But Susan tells me that when I am 65 I am eligible for a pittance from the government trough, and that I don’t have to quit work to get it. I just have to pay tax on it as regular income so long as my other income is over … well, over some level or other. And I think I get senior citizen discounts, too! 65 still counts for something!

Blog Name

Okay John, I didn't know what you were going to name this Blog. I like it. I like it a lot. I also like the format. I am sitting here thinking of all the people we might reach through this and I am smiling. Maybe some of our kids will also contribute. Susan J.

The Unquiet Heart

"...inquietum est cor nostrum, donec requiescat in Te." - perhaps the most famous quote from St Augustine. "...our heart is restless, until it rests in Thee." I have succumbed at last. You have been liberated. Eight or nine years ago I decided to send out monthly e-mailings, mainly to my now-scattered children, but including a few friends, aimed at passing around family news, the odd commentary on ... well, whatever struck my fancy ... and ending with some attempted meditation on matters close to the heart. Monthly has been a distant dream for two or three years. Busy? Yes. But there has been another reason. The list of spam victims grew. I became increasingly aware that many, perhaps most, had no desire to receive the mailings, but were too polite to say so. Some months ago I decided that I would join the great masses of self-publishers and create a blog. "Everybody's doing it, Mum!" Yeah, well... Anyway, I have. That way those who wished to look (both of you!) could. Those who didn't ... needn't. I have mulled over the name for some weeks. Finally, last night, in prayer out at the Tyburn's Monastery, I thought that I would name it after Augustine's bon mot and call it "The Unquiet Heart." "Oh, but," I thought, "surely the point is that in coming to Christ, my heart has come to rest! That's not such a good name." Well, yes and no. My heart can only rest in Christ. My heart should only rest in Christ. In prayer I had to acknowledge that I am still pretty restless. I had already, at that point, spent a good part of my prayer time searching (fruitlessly) for a passage in my New Testament that was irrelevant to my current prayer time. So - "The Unquiet Heart" it is. And desiring the URL to be nice and Latinate, I thought, "corinquietum" sounded nice. But someone else has it. Well, luckily Latin word order isn't very strict, so it is http://inquietumcor.blogspot.com/ Come and join me. I can't say how often I will post things. If you use an RSS/Atom feed, you can just subscribe. http://reader.google.com is the one I use and very simple. Talk to you later! :-) jj