Monday, December 31, 2001

Still cold here, but that is hardly a headline in the middle of the winter. Currently it is 15 degrees outside but an incredible toasty 72.9 inside. The vacation is down to the final two days, and I have not accomplished a whole lot, but then isn't that what vacation is supposed to be for...doing nothing. Snow continues to fall but it is not accumulating so we still have just a slight covering.

Sunday, December 30, 2001

Amy, Joseph and I saw Kate and Leopold yesterday. It was a fairly good movie. Joseph slept through most of it but once he awoke he started talking rather loudly, necessitating a walk with Amy.



During the showing of Ali, which we saw a few days ago. He talked a lot more and Amy and I both took turns walking with him in the halls.
It was 9 degrees here this morning and bone chilling cold yesterday. What a difference a week makes.
If the Bucs end up winning the Super Bowl this year it will be the same way that the Ravens won it last year, ugly. Brad Johnson has to be one of the worst quarterbacks in the NFL, a reincarnation of Trent Dilfer if you will.

Saturday, December 29, 2001

I spent most of the day, yesterday asleep from a variation of cold medication and the cold itself. I'm still trying to gauge my condition today which seems to be much improved.
I watched The Greatest last night and it followed Ali scene for scene with very few minor variations. So I guess Ali is really just a remake.

Thursday, December 27, 2001

Don't waste yo' money! Saw the movie Ali last night and it was pretty bad. Basically a long drawn out music video, it was very low on dialogue and what there was you probably remember from Ali's endless media appearances over the year. The movie begins as though Casius Clay just appears on the scene, no mention that he had fought in the Olympics for the US and then moves along like a civil rights march.



Two items of note from the movie. The fight scenes were true to form. Basically Ali was beat to death but always remained standing, so he won! Secondly, Jon Voight's portrayal of Howard Cossell was so bad that it was almost good, after awhile.

Wednesday, December 26, 2001

Monday, December 24, 2001

We'll have a white Christmas! Started snowing yesterday afternoon and everything is now white!

Sunday, December 23, 2001

It actually was warm enough to play basketball outside yesterday. But alas if the weather forecast is correct, that is probably over with for the next three months. Rain changing to snow is the forecast for today and it only gets worst as the highs forecast for Christmas are barely 20 degrees.
There are still a few items that I need to pick up to finish my Christmas shopping. It'll be interesting to see if any of them have been marked down in today's sales.
It turns out that saying the Rosary is just as beneficial as all of those eastern methods of trying to get the always over active body relaxed. In other words saying the rosary on a regular basis is not only helpful to your spiritual life, it also is good for your health. You'll read about the study in the British papers here.

Friday, December 21, 2001

My latest book review of Cardinal Hume books hit the wire today, so it should appear it in your local Catholic paper sometime in the next two weeks.

Thursday, December 20, 2001

This story caught my attention from another site which had it under the heading, "Only in Kentucky" and rated it "Stupid." It is a tale of patriotism gone awry.
Rain won the day, although there was some sleet here also.



We have very clean carpets at home, but the front porch roof is dangling without its support thanks to the carpet cleaning guy backing into it. Thankfully there is no snow piled up on top of it! Hopefully it will be fixed today or tomorrow.



Last day of work for me this year! Although I'll have to spend a good part of my holiday writing a draft of the next book which is actually due to the publisher in 10 days.

Wednesday, December 19, 2001

We put up our tree last night, which is so perfect that it looks fake. We rearranged the living/dining room a little to make it work (with the addition of the baby's space) and it look's nice and usable.
More rain or snow today? Everything points to yet another day of rain, although two radio stations this morning predicted an inch of snow today. We'll know who is right in a few hours.

Tuesday, December 18, 2001

I've been very negligent the past few days in posting. I'd like to say that I had been incredibly busy but that would be a stretch. But here is what has transpired.



Bought a Christmas tree yesterday for $25 (it was marked $45), from the same lot that we bought the tree from last year for $65. It was drizzling this year, last year there was ample snow on the ground. The tree is a great shape, nearly perfect. It'll go up soon, probably today.



Bought a cell phone the other day and yesterday in trying to determine certain gift needs used it in a store talking to Amy, thus doing what I have condemned others for doing rather routinely for the past six or seven years. Oh well, "consistency is the hobgobblin of small minds," (Emerson, I believe).



I was watching the Jacksonville-Cleveland
game when the near riot erupted over the officiating. Even though I'm a Jaguar fan and glad that they won--the call made after another play had been run--sucked as does NFL officiating in general. These guys went on strike, demanding higher pay and have been horrible ever since--sort of like most of the high priced players.



Piano recital last night, Katie did a fine job. Overall it seemed to move a lot quicker than last year's which took place during a rather substantial snowstorm.



Sent out some Christmas cards and packages the other day. The packages went out at one of those "mailbox" places. What a ripoff! They charged $8 for a box, $4 for the material (read a few packing peanuts), and another $4 to place the items in the box--doing all of the above without ever mentioning that I was being charged for any of it. Of course none of it will get there on time, but that is a given.



Saturday, December 15, 2001

It rained a very cold rain here all day yesterday. For awhile in the morning we were without power. In the late afternoon the rain started to mix with a little snow. Now, today, a thick fog has set in.



Off to find a Christmas tree today and to mail some packages.

Thursday, December 13, 2001

Amy and I both will be signing copies of our new books (which will be out by then) at the Religious Book Trade Expo in Chicago this upcoming May.
Ah, yes, it was speaking engagements...



Amy and I will be doing workshops (separate) and roundtables at the NCCE national conference in St. Louis this next June.



I will be speaking at a national conference for Catholic writers in Steubenville in September. My tentative title..."Jesus bent down and started to write"



I will be appearing on Johnnette Benkovic's radio program on January 9th and speaking at St. Anthony's Catholic Bookstore in Tampa, FL the same evening around 6:30.



I'm also trying to arrange something at the National Shrine of the Our Lady Queen of the Universe.
I just noticed that a third entry that I made yesterday was never posted. I have a very vague recollection of what it was that I posted and I know it involved several links. Hmmm.

Wednesday, December 12, 2001

According to this Washington Times piece, the American Taliban has told inteligence that terrorists plan a biological attack on the United States at the conclusion of Ramadan (this Sunday). He also claims that a third wave attack will destroy the United States.
I paid $.92 for gas this morning. I'll be satisfied when it is back down around $.69, it'll make up for all those time this summer when it was $1.98.

Tuesday, December 11, 2001

When I was 16 or 17 and was climbing Meeting House Hill once with a friend, I was almost shot. Standing at the rocky top of that small mountain with my friend, we both heard the sound of gun shots and then I felt my hair part as something went whizzing by at incredible speed. A few minutes later, David Stephens and Bucky Dean showed up with their guns. They were out shooting at squirrels and in the process had almost killed a person, me.



Bucky Dean died a few years ago (an accident I think), he was only in his 40's. Today, I hear that his best friend David Stephens has died, ironically in a hunting accident. I worked with both as a young man and they were both good men. Sadly they are both no longer on this earth.

Monday, December 10, 2001

Here is an interesting fact that puts the bogus Heismann Trophy award that went to Eric Crouch the other night into perspective: "Florida backup quarterback Brock Berlin, who mostly played during fourth quarter garbage time this season, had more touchdown passes than Heisman winner Eric Crouch had all season, 9-7."

Sunday, December 9, 2001

If there were a playoff in NCAA college football, like there is in every other NCAA college sport, including football at the lower divisions we would be getting ready for the playoffs to begin. The top 16 teams would begin playing, 16 vs. 1, 15 vs. 2 and on down. There would be no controversy and all of the top teams would have an equal opportunity to proove who is the best team in the country by beating the other best teams from around the country. As it is we are stuck with a system where 1 or 2 losses throw you out of the picture.

Those in favor of the current system say that it makes every game count, as though every game still would not count to make the final cut in a system that had a playoff.

What they mean is, that every game from the first to the last counts as much. This is unfortunate. College football does not have a "preseason" and early games in the season are often "rough" with teams still gelling. Not all teams play in conference championships, where a team has to replay a team they have already beaten earlier and where seldom are the two best teams in the conference even playing each other for the title (last night's SEC championship game would be an example # 2 vs. # 20--while both Florida #6 and Georgia are ranked ahead of LSU neither of them could play in the championship because they both are in the same geographical region as TN). In a sense the whole BCS and college championship is meaningless as it exist now. It is simply a matter of the whim of pollsters and the luck of what type of season a particular conference has.

The other major problem with the current system is that you have games where everything is on the line for one team and nothing is on the line for the other. The past three weeks have been filled with these type of games and in almost every case the team that was an underdog won because quite frankly they played "loose." The only team to escape these upsets was Miami and it only escaped because both times they were on the verge of being upset their oponents suddenly choked, because suddenly they felt the pressure of being on the verge of doing something "big."

One can only hope that the Bowls will suffer from incredibly low turn out this year. Because they have become even more meaningless in the world of the BCS. By creating a pseudo "championship game" there no longer is any intrigue about the bowl games where a "national champion" might emerge from anyone of the many bowl games if enough teams are upset. It may happen that the only way to save the "bowls" is to make them the spots of "playoff games." Hopefully this will happen and happen soon.

Saturday, December 8, 2001

We did the walk to Bethlehem last night at the First Christian Church (Disciples of Christ). It was interesting and gave pause to reflect. Katie enjoyed the bazaar that they had constructed in the Church basement. Joseph was fascinated by all the outdoor time he was afforded.

Friday, December 7, 2001

mdubruiel.jpg

The Cross at Ground Zero by Fr. Benedict Groeschel is now available atOur Sunday Visitor It arrived in the warehouse on Tuesday. The whole process from concept to warehouse took about six weeks.
I watched the College Football Awards last night on ESPN which continuously highlighted how great Rex Grossman was throughout the show, but he took no awards. Instead someone who is a running back at the quarterback position did.

Thursday, December 6, 2001

You can also buy my book online at Walmart.com now.
I am featured in this article that appeared in The Tidings some months ago. The Tidings is the Catholic newspaper for the Archdiocese of Los Angeles. I had forgotten that I had done the phone interview for the piece and only found it one day while doing a search to see if anyone was writing anything about my book online.

Wednesday, December 5, 2001

Hooray for Amazon! They have gone the next step for an online bookstore, by allowing you to visually pick up the book, see the cover and back covers up close, and then to view the inside of the book!



This leads me to suggest a few Christmas gifts...



In a time of anxiety, a return to prayer can soothe the troubled soul. For all of the anxious people on your list I suggest (Mention Your Request Here) The Church's Most Powerful Novenas...by me. By clicking on the title you can check out both the cover and the novena to the Infant Jesus of Prague.



For the male who has everything and you'd like to gives something thoughtful, I suggest Latin Sayings for Spiritual Growth..again check out the inside of the book. This is a nice hard cover book and it is relatively inexpensive on Amazon!



For that special woman, I suggest an excellent hardcover gift book of spiritual meditations for women, Grace-Filled Moments. Unfortunately there is no view of the inside of this book which is truly beautiful, hopefully they will update this soon!



For your children, I suggest a beautiful book on the lives of the saints, Loyola Kids Book of Saints by my wife Amy. Unfortunately there is no inside pictures of this book either, but the cover will give you some idea of the art that is inside.





Tuesday, December 4, 2001

Monday Night Football stinks! Starts way too late, has way too many comercials, sideline reporters either can't speak English or wear too much eyeshadow, one of the three announcers knows nothing about football and in general the whole premise is that you are watching because you are not a football fan. Last night the game wasn't over until 12:30, way too late for anyone who has a job. The lowly Jaguars blew a 14 point lead and ended up losing by 7
I've posted the book cover to my new book that will be released in March on my web page. Go to my web page and click on the my books link to see it.
Of course it is that time of the year to contemplate card and gift giving. To see what the President is sending for his Christmas card this year click here. For a list of "different" gifts, check out Dave Barry's column in the Miami Herald here.

Monday, December 3, 2001

We went to Mass on Sunday at Mother of God Church in Covington. Not only is this a beautiful church, but the liturgy was also very well done. The music was classical, the readings were expertly delivered and everything moved at a nice pace. There wasn't the usual never ending ad libbing and the focus was clearly all on God. Perhaps the beautiful environment is responsible, but more likely it is the people that make up the parish who were the friendliest I have ever encountered anywhere.
The big hype today is the revealing of IT. You can see a detailed picture of IT here.
I've returned from my journeys to Cincinnati and watching the puny Bucs master the even punier Bengals in an overtime win. It was a whirlwind weekend. I drove to Indianapolis to pick up my friend Brian Butterly who was flying in from Florida on Saturday. Then we drove to Covington, KY to meet up with Tony Fragapane (from NY) who had just finished a privat retreat at St. Meinrad in southern IN. After checking into the hotel we headed over to Willie's Sports Bar to watch the TN-FL game.



We had to endure several baseketball games first, that CBS seemed to deem as more important than the start of the TN-FL game. We were surrounded by other Florida fans and most of us stared in disbelief at the way the game went in the first quarter, wondering where Florida's defense was. Yet in the second quarter Florida seemed in control, scoring 20 unanswered points and all seemed headed in the direction that everyone expected.



But, that was not to be the case. Although a close game, (and Spurrier hardly ever wins close games), ultimately for whatever reason Florida's defensive play was even more absent from the second half of the game. We had plenty of entertainment at the Sports Bar though. One very drunk Gator tipped Brian's large beer over, and then late in the game after Florida missed a two-point conversion attempt that would have tied the game, came over and encouraged us that Spurrier should go for it on fourth down. He was crestfallen when we explained to him that they had just missed the extra point. Oh well, as they say, "same ole gators."



Sunday, we ventured to the new Paul Brown Stadium. We had good seats but it was rather cold in the First Quarter of the game until the sun started to shine on us. After that point it was actually very comfortable. This stadium which was okay, has a rather unfinished quality about it. It is very basic and seems as though they didn't have enough money to add anything to it. As far as a place to watch a game, it was fine.



The Bucs won, but after watching Florida and TN moving the ball up and down the field the day before, this game was incredibly boring. Brad Johnson is a horrible quarterback and I can't see the Bucs doing anything with him at the helm. But of course, what do I know?



After the game Tony headed back to New York, while I drove Brian back to Indianapolis to catch his plane. Then back home around 8:30 to the happy Vols and little Joseph.

Saturday, December 1, 2001

Friday, November 30, 2001

Thank God that there are still some Bible believing Christians!Citrus: Mayor banishes Satan from Inglis Check out the pictures on the wall behind her. She may in fact be an Elvis worshipper!

Thursday, November 29, 2001

I learned something new today. Do not use Ticketmaster, if you want to get the best possible tickets to an event. I continually was told by Ticketmaster that the best seats available for the Bucs game were in the nosebleed section. When I called the stadium I was able to get excellent field level seats and for a total of thirty dollars less. Go figure!
The annual trip is on! This weekend I'll be getting together with friends Brian and Tony to see the Tampa Bay Bucs play the Bengals. This has become something of a tradition in at least it's tenth year, I think. It started as a FL-GA game weekend, but over the past three years it has been the Jaguar/Bengal weekend, FL-Vanderbilt weekend, and then this year the Buccaneer/Bengal weekend. Brian who lives near Tampa will see the Bucs live for the first time this year, it is impossible to see them at home.

The weather looks to be in the 50's for Sunday, but I did hear one forecast today that called for snow on Saturday. Fingers are crossed.
This is a rather amusing picture. It is a man inside of a machine designed to give dogs a bath. He is inside of it receiving one himself, proving the safety of the device. Those enterprising Indians, what will they think of next?

Wednesday, November 28, 2001

Here is software that allows you to watch any movie at your comfort level. It will "mask" anything that would make you uncomfortable. Funny, I haven't heard more about this.
Here is what we have all been waiting for, just imagining working out can increase muscle mass, says a new study you can read about here.



My take on the FOX show "24" is how long can you drag a day out anyway? Does anyone sleep or does everyone stay up for 24 hrs? I think I've watched about as much of it as I can take.

Tuesday, November 27, 2001

Christmas urban legends are fairly interesting, especially the ones that are false. Check them out here.
mdubruiel.jpgJust when you think the Bucs are dead, they go and beat the Rams, at home! It'll make this weekend's game at Cincinnati a little more interesting if I end up there.

Monday, November 26, 2001

After checking several online weather, it is rather inconclusive as to what the weather will be like in Cincinnati this weekend. The range is anywhere between 55 (which would be nice) to the high 30's (which would not be nice), from sunny to snowing. So I guess I'll have to wait another day or two until there is some sort of agreement.
The Ten Top Warped Toys list compiled by an Episcopal priest is an entertaining if not disturbing read. Fr. Christopher Rose lists the following, along with his comments:

2001 Warped Toy List:



1.- Bounce n' Shake Wacky Mike from movie Monsters Inc., by Disney's Pixar. Ages four and up.



Children violently interact to hurt, cause pain to lovable Mike character. Highly and sadly interactively violent. What were they thinking when they designed this toy?



2.- Electronic Stretch Screamers by Manley Toy Quest. Ages five and up.



How far can you stretch your monster? Listen to him scream. Puss comes out of the head when squeezed.



3.- Resident Evil: William Birkin and Sherry set, based on the Sony Playstation video game. Ages eight and up.



As Birkin continues to mutate he will seek out suitable subjects for implantation of his G-virus embryo. He is drawn to his daughter Sherry, whose compatible genetic code makes her the perfect specimen. . . .



The list researchers say this toy borders on promoting incest.



4.- Finishing Moves, World Wrestling Federation action figures by Jakks Pacific. Lita versus Bubba Ray Dudley. Parental guidance suggested.



Male figure has tongue hanging out, with his head between female action figure's legs. Sexually suggestive.



5.- Fisher Price Mummy King Play Set by Mattel Toys. Ages three and up.



Action figure's mask shoots off, fists shoot off. Frightening action figure for a toddler.



6.- Max Steel N-Tek Adventure Pack: Explosives by Mattel Toys. Ages four and up.



Realistic set demonstrates explosives as an innocent, fun plaything.



7.- Monsters Inc. Splatter Dome by Disney's Pixar and Hasbro. Ages five and up.



Make and destroy gooey creations, including a teddy bear. Children are able to act out their anger and frustration destructively in guise of fun, with no consequences.



8.- Lord of the Rings Orc Overseer by Toy Biz. Ages five and up.



Orc Overseer can whip newborn Urak Hai as he rises out of his birthing sac. Toy depicts sado-masochism, encouraging child to whip deformed newborn being.



9.- Oh Deer - The Super Dooper Reindeer Pooper by Midlon Foods Inc. Ages three and up.



Jelly bean toy inappropriate for sale in children's toy store. . . . Insensitive and offensive to Christians celebrating Christmas. Offensive to secular holiday season.



10.- Stan Winston Creatures by Stan Winston Creatures. How to make a monster; the visitor; Queen of the lair. Ages five and up.



Graphic depictions of gore, mutilation, pain, suffering, with highly questionable value as playthings for five-year-olds.



List compiled by Rev. Christopher Rose and others at Grace Episcopal Church. Available at www.gracehartford.org.



I was planning on attending the Bucs-Bengals game this Sunday in Cincinnatti, but the latest forecast projects a high of 34 degrees at kickoff...So likely I won't be there!.
Thanks to the Big 12 teams losing, Florida is very much in the National Championship race again. A big game with TN loomes this Saturday...(even bigger since everything is on the line).
I was sick on Saturday and Sunday, spending both days watching football with a splitting headache and the feeling that I was about to vomit. Thankfully the bug which has already hit Amy, David and now me (strangely weeks apart from each other) seems to have passed.

Thursday, November 22, 2001

Happy Thanksgivng! Hopefully you have a lot to be thankful for this year!
We had a nice meal last night at Biaggi's in Fort Wayne with Amy's Father and his friend. Joseph entertained the staff as usual, but I'm sure when they saw the mess he left behind they were not as amused. Biaggi's is an Italian restaraunt that is present in IL, MN, IA, NE and of course Fort Wayne.

Wednesday, November 21, 2001

These nuns have the right idea..., read the story here.
Inside the Vatican, a National Geographic look, premieres tonight on PBS.
There is an amusing photo here of the president about to pardon the White House turkey.
A pleasant diversion in an age of critics for every taste. Here a state by state critique of the design used by US states on their quarters that have been released thus far is presented. I disagree that NH's choice of the old man of the mountains resembles some sort of lung disease, but all in all a funny read. In fact the whole site of Brunching Shuttlecocks is rather entertaining!
This is an amusing piece dealing with Bud Selig the baseball commissioner's plan to reduce the number of baseball teams in Major League Baseball. Caple imagines what would happen if Bud ruled the USA.

Tuesday, November 20, 2001

This is an interesting follow-up to one of the fake items that was circulating the internet after the September 11th events, namely relating to the guy on the roof of the World Trade Center, now know on the internet as "tourist guy." Here you will find the real "tourist guy," along with the original photo (minus the plane) and several other shots taken the same day.
The strange NFL season continues...If you look below you will find that of my NFL picks for this past week, the one that struck me as strange (I couldn't figure out why I had picked the Vikings) turns out to be the only one that I had correct.

Monday, November 19, 2001

First, my review of the new theater which is operated by Rave Motion Pictures, in a word: Excellent! As they advertise, plenty of room, built high, big screens, no waiting at the concession stands and a great sound system. They also started the movie on time.

I was there to see the Harry Potter movie. Since I had not read any of the books, I did not suffer the usual letdown that the screenplay doesn't live up to the book. I liked the story, it reminded me of most British stories which seem to be preoccupied with orphans rising above it all (one thinks of Dickens). It also reminded me alot of monasticism and how people on the outside of a monastery imagine all types of wizardry to be going on behind the walls of a monastery and monastic school. All in all a fun movie and not the explosion of the occult that I have read on some Christian and Catholic sites claiming it to be. It is more likely those who see evil in everything that are into the occult (perhaps without even knowing it)!

Saturday, November 17, 2001

mdubruiel.jpgThis week's picks, made in a hurry (which may be good or bad) and of course against the line: Maryland, Michigan State, Iowa State and Florida for college games. Seattle, Minnesota (why did I pick them?), Miami, St. Louis and Denver for the pro games.
I had a very pleasant birthday watching the Florida-Florida State basketball game at a new sports bar in town with Amy and Joseph. Thankfully they built this place in two separate sections: a smoking and non-smoking. You can actually go in watch the game, eat a nice meal and not smell like you just did a stint as Santa Claus, climbing in and out of chimneys all night. Florida won by 21 points!

The big event in the bar was not the Florida-Florida State nor my birthday, but the viewing of the Texas Tech basketball game versus William and Mary. The manager told me that 400 people wanted to watch that game, but no one seemed all that interested in it from my vantage point. Texas Tech crushed William and Mary if you are interested.

Friday, November 16, 2001

mdubruiel.jpgFinished! For the last two weeks I have been consumed with getting this project finished. Thanks to modern technology (namely e-mail and cell phones) the task has been accomplished. You can order a copy of the book which will be warehoused the first week of December by clicking on the book and going to the book page of Our Sunday Visitor.
Today is my birthday. I share this day with the Roman Emperor who was indirectly responsible for the execution of the Savior of the World, a great Jazz muscian, the Penquin and numerous other entertainment figures. Here is the list:

42 -BC- Tiberius Cesar 2nd Roman emperor (14-37 AD)

1766 Rodolphe Kreutzer France, composer/virtuoso violinist (Paris Conserv)

1873 W(illiam) C(hristopher) Handy Alabama, jazz star (St Louis Blues)

1888 Burnet Corwin Tuthill NYC, composer (Laurentia)

1888 Clinton Golden Pennsylvania founder (United Steelworkers of America)

1889 George S Kaufman Pittsburgh PA, playwright (This is Show Business)

1895 Michael Arlen Armenia, English writer (An American Verdict)

1895 Paul Hindemith Hanau Germany, composer (Tutti Funtchen)

1896 Lawrence Tibbett Bakersfield CA, baritone (Metropolitan 1923-50)

1899 Mary Margaret McBride Paris MO, radio personality (WOR-AM, NYC)

19-- Charles Jay Hammer actor (Guiding Light)

19-- Dan Shor NYC, actor (Blue & Gray, Cagney & Lacey)

19-- Eddie Castrodad actor (Alan-Dads)

19-- Jay Kerr Del Rio TX, actor (Wizards & Warriors)

1904 Eddie Condon Goodland IN, jazz guitarist (Eddie Condon's Floor Show)

1908 Burgess Meredith Cleveland Ohio, actor (Mr Novak, Penguin-Batman, Rocky)

1916 Daws Butler Toledo Ohio, cartoon voice (Elroy Jetson)

1922 Royal Dano NYC, actor (Red Badge of Courage, Cocaine Wars, House II)

1928 Clu Gulager Holdenville OK, actor (Virginian, Survivors, Tall Man)

1930 Chinua Achebe Nigerian writer (Christmas in Biafra)

1933 Guy Stockwell NYC, actor (Chris-Adventures in Paradise)

1935 Elizabeth Drew journalist (Politics & Money: The Road to Corruption)

1941 Ann Dore McLaughlin US Secretary of Labor (1987- )

1942 Donna McKechnie Pontiac Michigan, actress/dancer (Company)

1944 Joanna Pettet London, actress (Knots Landing, Cry of the Innocent)

1945 Martine van Hamel Belgium, ballerina (NYC Ballet Co)

1948 Steve Railsback actor (Blue Monkey, Green Monkey, Escape 2000)

1950 Carl J Meade Illinois, Major USAF/astronaut (STS 38, sk:STS-50)

1950 David Leisure actor (Joe Isuzu, Airplane, Charley-Empty Nest)

1953 Griff Rhys Jones British humorist/actor (Morons From Outer Space)

1956 Terry Labonte, NASCAR Champion, driver

1958 Marg Helgenberger North Bend NB, actress (China Beach, Ryan's Hope)

1963 Zina Garrison Houston, tennis player (1988 Olympics Gold, Bronze)

1964 Dwight Gooden pitcher (NY Mets)

1966 Tammy Lauren San Diego CA, actress (Angie, Out of the Blue)

1966 Tricia Cast Medford NY, actress (Amanda-Bad News Bear, Young & Restless)

1967 Lisa Bonet San Francisco CA, actress (Cosby Show, Different World, Angel Heart)

1969 Bryan Abrams vocalist (Color Me Badd-I Want to Sex You Up)

1970 Martha Plimpton actress (Goonies, Mosquito Coast)

1971 Donald Wolf computer game creator

1979 Michael Faustino actor (brother of David)

Thursday, November 15, 2001

This is a strange one, both the NJ and NY lotteries had the same winning three numbers on November 12th the day that American Airlines Flight# 587 crashed in Queens. Can you guess what the three numbers were? 5, 8, and 7! Talk about a weird coincidence. Read about it here on the Urban Legends Reference Pages

Wednesday, November 14, 2001

Joseph gave me a good finger to the eye last night that essentially blinded me in that eye until about an hour ago (some 12 hours after the original event). Never underestimate the strength of the weak.
mdubruiel.jpg

I've been working over the past few weeks on a quick book that Our Sunday Visitor will release the first week of December entitled The Cross at Ground Zero by Father Benedict Groeschel, C.F.R. This has required transcriptions, emails, faxes, and endless phone calls to bring together in a very short time. I just finished reading the page proofs and I'm happy with the results.

Tuesday, November 13, 2001

Today is the Feast day of Saint Frances Xavier Cabrini. Mother Cabrini was from Italy but lived, worked and died as a missionary sister in our country. She is the Patron Saint of Immigrants. There is a beautiful shrine dedicated to her in Chicago at the Columbus Hospital where she died (not as a patient but in her residence which was adjacent to the hospital). In this time where some immigrants not doubt are finding it difficult because they happen to share features or dialect of suspected terrorists, it is a good time to invoke Mother Cabrini's intercession that we might always accept the strangers we encounter as Christ.



While researching links to attach to this piece, I have learned that Columbus Hospital has closed in Chicago. It seems that the plans for the building are still up in the air, although one plan calls for the Hospital to be torn down with the exception of the Mother Cabrini Chapel and shrine. This is sad news.
For the paranoia file. I heard this morning on the radio that a maintenance truck had been stolen on October 15th from an agency that has access to all New York airports. Could it be that someone with evil intent did something to the American Airlines' plane that went down in Queens yesterday?



On the other hand, even if it was not a terrorist attack, I'm not sure how if it was mechanical failure it is supposed to restore confidence in the airline industry. If anything in my case it lessens it.

Sunday, November 11, 2001

I believe for only the second time this season, all three Florida NFL teams won. And I won with my college picks yesterday!!!
The mighty Gators were in fact mighty last night...
Under the continuing headline: How the Democrats tried to Steal the 2000 election or How to Devise ways to count ballots after the election, let me add yet another, I don't care! The story is set to break how media people have paid tons of money to count hanging chads and others such devices to recount votes that didn't turn out in hugely Democrat counties in Florida where ignorant Democrats who are illiterate voted for Pat Buchannan in large numbers because the Democrat Supervisor of Elections in that county designed a poor ballot. If you care you can read about this here. Although the slant will be slightly different.

Saturday, November 10, 2001

I spent 3 1/2 hours this morning moving leaves from one side of the house to the other. It is amazing how many leaves exist on any one treeand for such a short time.



The Gator basketball team lost a tough one last night, but it is still the time of the year when most teams are playing exhibition games. Brent Nelson continues to drive me nuts with his out of control play.



Dick Vitale mentioned the church that my mother attends both nights the Gator's played on ESPN. In fact Dick Vitale basically said everything that he said on Thursday night, again on Friday night.

Friday, November 9, 2001

My book received an Imprimatur, (certifying that it is free from doctrinal error), today! Also Fr. Andrew Apostoli, C.F.R. has agreed to write a Preface for the book. Fr. Andrew is promoting the cause for Futon Sheen to be canonized a saint.



We had an actual fire alarm go off and we all had to evacuate the building today. A smoke alarm went off when smoke started entering the back part of the building from above where they are tarring the roof. Fire trucks came, but the CNN Breaking News helicopter never showed up.
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Here are my picks, all against the line: Iowa, Miss.State, Florida, North Carolina State for college picks and Miami, Green Bay, Pittsburgh, San Francisco and Tampa Bay in the pros.

Thursday, November 8, 2001

I finished reading through the Cardinal Hume books, the best is the worst titled: Basil in Blunderland. He explains the reasons for the title in the introduction but I can think of a thousand titles that would have been better. In a game of hide and seek with two children he reveals theology in a very simple manner and then at the end concludes that we are all playing hide and seek with God.
Had a busy night and day. I picked up Dwight Longenecker at the airport last night and then had dinner with him. Today devoted the morning to him and then I was in meetings all afternoon.

Wednesday, November 7, 2001

This is a cool place to leave your prayer petitions,Carmelites of Indianapolis. I found it while researching material for a book that we are releasing in a few weeks.



I have often found that the religious communities online provide a great source of prayer power. Most religious have places where you can leave prayer requests. I'll try to post a different site now and then.

Tuesday, November 6, 2001

From an email:



YOU KNOW YOU ARE FROM New Hampshire IF:

1. Your idea of a traffic jam is ten cars waiting to pass a tractor on the highway.

2. "Vacation" means going to the White Mountains for the weekend.

3. You measure distance in hours.

4. You know several people who have hit moose more than once.

5. You often switch from "heat" to "A/C” in the same day.

6. You use a down comforter in the summer.

7. Your grandparents drive at 65 mph through 13 feet of snow during a raging blizzard, without flinching.

8. You see people wearing hunting clothes at social events.

9. You install security lights on your house and garage and leave them both unlocked.

10. You think of the major food groups as moose meat, beer, fish, and berries.

11. You carry jumper cables in your car and your girlfriend knows how to use them.

12. There are 4 empty cars running in the parking lot at the convenience store at any given time.

13. You design your kid's Halloween costume to fit over a snowsuit.

14. Driving is better in the winter because the potholes are filled with snow.

15. You think sexy lingerie is a tube socks and flannel pajamas.

16. You know all 4 seasons: almost wintah, wintah, still wintah and construction.

17. You actually understand these jokes and forward them to all your friends from New Hampshire.


I finished reading Mystery of Love by Cardinal Basil Hume last night. It is a short book of meditations that has some truly wonderful insights such as:

1. We experience the Image of God in another person whenever they do something loving or affectionate toward us.

2. The problem of evil cannot be explained only meditated upon by reflecting on the crucifixion of Jesus.

The book is very enjoyable and even though I read it straight through it really would be better read in small bites.

Monday, November 5, 2001

I'm not sure this is evidence of any prophetic powers or not, but I did tell my wife repeatedly that "Bob Paterson" wouldn't last long. The ads were so horrible that everytime they aired I was overwhelmed with a feeling that this show had no chance of making it. Turns out I was right...albeit a few weeks into the season. Read about the demise of the show here.

Anyone need someone with good creative intuition?
Think you are up on current events? Take the daily news quiz on the NY Times site. I scored 80% today, missed the question about Microsoft.
For the paranoia file--another Greyhound bus crashes. Read about it here.

Saturday, November 3, 2001

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Here are my picks, all against the line: Penn. St., Northwestern, Ole Miss, LSU, Kentucky, and FL State.

Friday, November 2, 2001

Today is the Feast of All Souls, a day to pray for all who have died. There is no one in the United States who does more to promote devotion, (read attention to the needs of), than Susan Tassone. If you have not heard of her, there is an interview posted here. Here is a book review of her first book "Way of the Cross for the Holy Souls of Purgatory." She has also recently released another book, "Praying in the Presence of Our Lord for the Holy Souls." Fr. Benedict Groeschel ordered 500 copies of that book to hand to out those left behind in the wake of the September 11 disaster in New York.



Remember to pray for all who have died today.

Thursday, November 1, 2001

Here is another interesting site. TheKFF State Health Facts Online also allows you to compare various health statistics between States. For example NH has one of the highest cancer rates in the country. Indiana has a higher percentage of smokers than MN. Utah has the highest birth rate; Vermont has the lowest.
Your Nation is a great site if you want to compare two countries. For example you will find that the life expectancy for men and women in Afghanistan is 46 point something while in the United States it is 76 point something. All the information here is from the CIA World Factbook.
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The Great Christian Feast-Halloween



This is one of those thoughts that comes to you in a moment of clarity with such force that you wonder how it could be that everyone just doesn't see the truth of it.

Last night when I made one of my few trips to the door to hand out candy, it just hit me. There I was confronted with a skull painted white on the face of an African American, who was standing there holding open a bag, expecting something from me.

A home invasion? No.

Trick or Treat!

I gladly obliged his request with a handful of candy and he turned and went on his merry way to join the other hordes of beggars that flooded our streets.

I had just fulfilled the mandate of the Gospel of Jesus Christ! I had just welcomed Him in the guise of the hungry, "When I was hungry, you gave me something to eat." Matthew 25!

"When did we see you Lord?"

"Whenever you did it to the least of my brethren, you did it to me."

Is there anytime left in our year when Americans are so blatantly Christian, welcoming the strangers that come to their door? Is there anytime that we reward those who on purpose try to repulse us by their costumes?

Yet the thought that it is better to give than receive dominates this day and truly the day fulfills its purpose of being the eve of All Saints Day! For if we are ever to join the saints we must learn to make everyday Halloween!

So that today when we meet those we might otherwise demonize, we give what we have freely as though we were meeting Christ Himself in the streets (and if we believe the Gospel message we are in fact meeting him)!

I used to joke that strangers could in fact be demons, (this was when the angel rage was in full swing and I use to make the point that yes a stranger might be an angel but who is to say if it is a good one or a bad one--sort of a twist of the Glenda the Good Witch's question to Dorothy in the Wizard of OZ, "Are you a good witch or a bad witch?"), but I would ask you to reflect on Halloween a bit more with me.

If we give to the stranger, indeed we welcome them as Christ. But if we look at the stranger only as someone who has something to give and we judge them based on that we are apt to conclude that all strangers are demons!

For example if we start viewing every middle eastern looking Arab that we do not know personally as a terrorist we are forgoing an opportunity to see them as Christ (who happened to be of middle eastern descent). Abraham was visited by three strangers (one would presume of middle eastern descent) and he fed them--they turned out to be angels and they gave him a blessing! But let's suppose that we in fact do come across some terrorists in our daily activities. What if our interaction with them, seeing them as Christ and giving them whatever we have to give at that moment (even if it is only a smile of acceptance) led them to change their whole way of viewing Americans?

It is sad to think that a day that is the perfect example of what it means to be a Christian has been protested by so many Christians in this country. Do they read the Gospels?

No one is celebrating or worshipping demons on Halloween. The children who dress up in their costumes are playacting and giving the individual behind every door an opportunity to imitate Christ.

It is also sad that many miss the point in the other direction. They overdo it in the name of "everyone else is doing it" and light their houses up as though it is Christmas, rather than encountering the little masked Christs in the darkness the way it is intended to happen and does happen in daily lives. The vacuous nature of their souls demands making a show of their giving. Sadly they have already received their reward--the empty praise of their neighbors and friends.

There have been moves lately among some Catholics to have children dress up as saints-- this may be a fine thing to do on All Saints day but it totally misses the point of Halloween. We will never be saints, nor will we imitate them, until we open the door everyday and welcome the ghouls we encounter as though they are Christ.

Wednesday, October 31, 2001

During lunch today, I saw Batman riding on the Bat Bike and a witch chasing her tall pointed black hat down the street. She had a green face!
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I updated my web site a bit, but it needs a good Saturday morning of changes. There is a recent photo of Joseph on the Joseph pictures link and one of him and I on the homepage.
Today is All Saints Eve, known popularly as Halloween. There will be a full moon tonight, the first time in 46 years. Supposedly it will be an orangish moon that will resemble a jack-o-latern, and there is one story that links this orangish moon with the origin of the jack-o-laterns.

Tuesday, October 30, 2001

Wisdom from above

I overheard this from the janitor this morning, as he was perched precariously overhead fixing a broken light fixture. According to his brother, who is an avid squirrel hunter, we are going to have a bad winter. This information is based on the fact that his brother says, the hides of the squirrels that he's shot so far this year are tougher than he has ever seen. We'll see if this bears out.

He also is talking about someone who is mentally ill and violent, but I'm not sure if he is still talking about his brother or someone else.

Monday, October 29, 2001

The Messenger, the Catholic newspaper for the Diocese of Covington, KY is the first newspaper to publish my recent CNS review.
Evidently the American Red Cross, has some responsibility for the therapy dogs. Read Therapy Dogs Lift Spirits at Ground Zero
My talk went well, although I tried to cover way to much material for the time allotted. I think I just had too much bottled up inside of me so that when I began talking I was letting it all come out: temptation, the devil, our mission in life, God, the side roads that life can take us on, etc.
My football picks weren't the greatest but all the right teams won.
One of the stranger stories over the weekend involves "therapy dogs" brought to the memorial service for the victims of the WTC. Lucianne.com has a photo here. Somehow if I had suffered the incredible loss that these people have, I doubt I would appreciate the presence of some counselor presenting me with a slobering poodle. I think it just goes to show how little counselers can cope with grief themselves.

Saturday, October 27, 2001

My college picks today:

Ohio State -6, S. Carolina +7, Mississippi +7 and Florida +17, also Iowa +6 and Maryland +7.
Amy and I are both speaking at different times today at Spiritfest. I'm speaking on Discernment of Spirits with a special concentration on fear and anxiety.

Friday, October 26, 2001

It is snowing here this morning. Not your blizzard variety, but more the spitting snow fluries type. Nonetheless a harbinger of things to come and still October.



Time changes just about everywhere this Sunday but here. Although are clocks will not be manipulated in anyway on Sunday we will notice the change since we will no longer be on Central time but on Eastern. I prefer Central by the way.

Thursday, October 25, 2001

Here is a site with the mother lode of images relating to the current war and events of the past month. Some of the stuff is graphic and obviously not for children.
I found the words to one of my favorite poems online today. It is by G. Stuttart Kennedy and it was written around World War II, I believe. I also believe the original title was "When Jesus Came to Birmingham" referring to the Birmingham in England not Alabama.



When Jesus Came to our Town



When Jesus came to Golgotha

They hung Him on a tree.

They drove great nails through hands and feet

And made a Calvary.



They crowned Him with a crown of thorns,

Red were His wounds and deep.

For those were crude and cruel days

And human flesh was cheap.



But when Jesus came to our town

They only passed Him by.

They never hurt a hair of Him

They only let Him die.



For men had grown more tender.

They wouldn’t cause Him pain.

They just passed on down the street

And left Him in the rain.



Still Jesus prayed, “Forgive them,

They know not what they do.”

And still it rained the winter rain

That soaked Him through and through.



The crowd went by and left Him there

Without a soul to see.

And Jesus knelt against the wall

And sighed for Calvary.




G. Stuttart Kennedy



I learned about this site from Josh Quittner's column in Time Magazine. It is called Strategic Forecasting and includes an accurate assessment of what is going on or went on yesterday.

Wednesday, October 24, 2001

Do you ever get the notion that we are not getting all of the news anymore? There have been two rather curious incidents involving crop dusting planes in the past week that have not made any news on the cable news networks. One involved a barge and pleasure craft and another involves a coast guard base. I heard Andrea Mitchell say that the government is trying to downplay all of the attacks that are much more widespread than anyone cares to say, but shouldn't reporters be reporting it?
Talk about change. Today the temperature outside is 73 degrees. Tomorrow the high is supposed to be 47 degrees and by Saturday the high will only reach 37 degrees. Right now we are under a severe storm watch, because the temperature doesn't change that drastically without some violence. A few minutes ago I was booted from weather.com because it said millions were trying to view the site. So we take a break from the anxiety of anthrax and terrorist bombings to fear the ever present threat that nature presents to humanity.

Tuesday, October 23, 2001

The Spirit Daily site continues to come up with a new visionary or mystic almost everyday that has predicted World War III or an attack on New York or in the case of Eileen George (today's mystic) both.

Monday, October 22, 2001

I've noticed that our weather is calling for snow this Saturday. It is a balmy 61 degrees today!
The annual Keene Pumpkin Festival is this upcoming weekend. Last year they had over 23, 727 jack-o-laterns there. They are hoping ot break the record this year. I was born in Keene and grew up in nearby Winchester and was made aware of the festival (which began in 1991) when I saw a piece on it last year on CNN. The population of Keene is 25,000 so it could happen this year that there will be more pumpkins than people there!
Last night Joseph (my son) made his first internet video appearance so that his grandparents could see how much he has grown. Using Yahoo Messenger which is very usable and highly recommended, my parents were able to see and talk to Joseph. For his part he was a bit confused as to why voices were coming out of the computer and never did quite figure out what was going on.
You may notice that almost all of my pro-picks (see below) were incorrect. Oh well, you can't win them all.

Sunday, October 21, 2001

There are several new rumors posted at snopes.com including one that they claim is true about someone (who looks like they could be from the Middle East) buying over $35,000.00 in candy. Evidently since snopes.com claims this is true, the FBI is investigating the story. It also says that the man used a fake card and paid in cash.



This is the latest in a number of terror related Halloween stories. If you go to the site, click on Rumors of War .
I was a winner on Saturday! Check out my college picks they were all correct!

Saturday, October 20, 2001

Okay, here they are my weekly football picks. First I like Fresno State to get beat this week, actually I'd like all of the unbeaten college teams to get beat, but I'm fairly confident that Fresno State will lose even though they are highly favored. Why? Because I watched the end of the game last night--Friday Night Football (that isn't high school)!



For Saturday...Tennessee by 1, LSU by 2, Illinois by 4 and Iowa by 10.



For Sunday...Denver by 3, Kansas City by 3, NY Giants by 3 and Detroit to cover 7 and the game to be under 36 points.



Bonus pick---Sterling Marlin wins the NASCAR race.

Friday, October 19, 2001

You may have heard about Publishers Clearing House having a new promotion where they are sending out samples of soap powder, talk about bad timing. Speaking of Clearing Houses, check out the picture of the Terrorist Clearing House here.
Warren Zevon's latest album, "Life'll Kill Ya" has passed the one year test, meaning I like it more and more every time I listen to it. Zevon writes lyrics unlike anyone else and the whole album makes great listening if you are in an apocalyptic mood. I would recommend "Fistful of Rain" for this week. A sample of the song...

"When your grasp has exceeded your reach

And you put all your faith

In a figure of speech

You've heard all the answers

But the questions remain

Grab a hold of that fistful of rain "
The mighty Jaguars looked mighty bad last night, I guess there window of opportunity has been slammed shut. I doubt Tom Coughlin will be back next year, and I'm sure they will clean house at the end of the season.



Still no word on what the white powder discovered here was. It has been sent to some lab and we should know by the end of the day. No one seems to think that it is anything but foot powder or the like.
There are some pertinent images, some funny others more serious posted at the following sites: Statue of Liberty holding a gun and America as a child here, a poster comparing the Bin Laden to O.J. here, an image of Bin Laden relaxing at home while a storm is brewing outside here, a pig fighter jet here, and finally a preview of the 2002 Chrysler New Yorker here. All are posted on The Pat White Show pages. Pat White is local Ft. Wayne radio talk show host.
There was a huge solar flare eruption earlier this morning, which may lead to quite a show in the sky tonight. Read all about the eruption and the rest of the weather up there in space here. The weather here is mild today, although if I was still in Florida today would be rather cold. It is all a matter of perspective.

Thursday, October 18, 2001

If you haven't seen it yet, there is a picture and story of the photograph of the "devil's face" that seems to have appeared in the smoke of the World Trade Center as it was burning. Worth a look.
We now officially share in the anthrax paranoia here. Yesterday, while I was at a different location on retreat, they discovered a white powder on the floor of one of the bathrooms. Several employees were taken to the doctor and we'll find out later today exactly what the powder was (my guess is soap).



What struck me on retreat yesterday? Stolen blessings--like the one Jacob received from Isaac that should have gone to Esau. I'll have to spend some time figuring out why, but I think I know.



Frost is covering the ground here this morning...and we had a rank of wood delivered yesterday (some say "rick", I say "rank"). The lawn is covered with leaves even though our trees both in front and in back of the house still have very green leaves. But leaves blow where they will.



Wednesday, October 17, 2001

I'm on retreat today with the rest of the staff at work. We are having it at a large convent that although not abandoned yet, is surrounded by gravestones. The order was once a vibrant community that for the most part taught in schools in the southwest. Now it is hard to figure out what they do, (I've asked them before and been met with blank stares).



Perhaps that is the purpose of the retreat for us too. To figure out what it is that we are doing. Some people have a real sense of mission in their lives but most do not--unless making money is a mission. Having a mission gives meaning and purpose to life. Our mission is seldom what we think it is at the start but it seems that our original inklings are often a hint of what it is to be.

Tuesday, October 16, 2001

I am now writing book reviews for the Catholic News Service which is a syndication service. Check out your local Catholic newspaper in the near future and you should find them.



The Feast of St. Luke (who wrote my favorite Gospel and the Acts of the Apostles) is this Thursday. A story out today says that they think that his relics in Padua, Italy are in fact truly his.
For those of you who are joining the paranoia of the present moment and want to check out whether the latest rumor is true or not, I recommend checking out the Urban Legends Reference page and clicking on Rumors of War. It is updated daily and sometimes it has actually added to my paranoia by alerting me to true rumors that I wasn't even aware of until reading about it there.



For those who want to increase their paranoia check out the Debka page. Here you will find that not only is India attacking Pakistan, but Russia is getting ready to invade Kabul, and China is massing it's troops to the north. All setting the stage for World War (the last, it's all over, III).



For those of you who would like a more spiritual paranoia check out the Spirit Daily page. Here you will find that everything that has happened was predicted by several mystics and that there are even worst things on the horizon. A caveat to this, which I think is on there page somewhere is the disappointing Third Secret of Fatima. You may recall that when the Vatican released it they said that referred to events in the past. The pope walking with halting step, half trembling through the ruins of a big city, half in ruins and coming to a cross and then he is shot with bullets and arrows. Looking at the ruins of the World Trade Center and the steel cross in the midst called to mind the secret. Also of course the pope's current state seems to mimic the details of the secret. One wonders if the pope will die a natural death or he too will be the victim of a terrorist? This story seems indicates that he is high on their list of targets.

I have finally finished the rough draft of Praying in the Presence of the Lord with Fulton J. Sheen which will be released in March 2002. I finished going through the book at a Eucharistic Adoration chapel that is in an abandoned convent at our parish. Since the purpose of the book is to accompany prayer, I felt that I needed to be in the right environment. Two reflections on the experience.



First, I am very happy with my contributions to the book as well as my editorial choices in what I have drawn from Bishop Sheen's writings. The book is a mix of his thought and my commentary upon it. Reading through the book in the presence of Our Lord I left the chapel with a deep sense of peace.



Secondly, although some of the material was written by Bishop Sheen over 70 years ago it is amazing how relevant it is to the present hour. I think the book will do a lot to introducing Bishop Sheen to a whole new crowd of admirers. If you don't know much about him, I would suggest visiting the site that is dedictated to a preliminary investigation into his life to examine the possibility of his canonization at the Friends of Archbishop Sheen site.



I also hightly recommend a new biography on Bishop Sheen written by Thomas Reeves that is great.



Now I have to get to work on a book on the Mass that I am writing that will be out next September.