Oct 31, 2011

Who Changed the Lyrics?

I love hearing The Star Spangled Banner sung at the beginning of ball games. I listened to several renditions before the recent World Series games (go Cards!!!) and I heard, then heard again, what sounded like "through the perilous fight..." and I was sure I misheard. I looked at the closed captioning and it also said "perilous fight."

What? It was "perilous flight" when I learned the song back in the 60s. Did I learn it wrong?

Wikipedia says "fight."

usa-flag-site.org says "fight."

says "fight."

But who knows if the second and third got their info from the first? Teachers don't let students use Wiki as a source for a research paper, because they're often wrong.

Like now.

More research is in order, and I'll post an update when I have an answer.

What puzzle has you researching an answer today?

Oct 30, 2011

Shepherd Me, O God

One of my favorite hymns is "Shepherd Me, O God" by Marty Haugen. It's not just about grieving, although it is appropriate for a funeral. The phrase "from death into life" has implications for the living as well. How do we get out of the thoughts, actions, habits, and mindsets that bring death to our spiritual condition? We need help. We need direction. We need a shepherd.

Humility is what allows us to ask for help. Here are Marty Haugen's lyrics. Below is a youtube link to an awesome vocal. Enjoy.


"Shepherd me, O God, beyond my wants, beyond my fears, from death into life."

"God is my shepherd, so nothing shall I want,
I rest in the meadows of faithfulness and love,
I walk by the quiet waters of peace.

Gently you raise me and heal my weary soul,
you lead me by pathways of righteousness and truth,
my spirit shall sing the music of your name."

"Though I should wander the valley of death,
I fear no evil, for you are at my side, your rod and
your staff, my comfort and my hope."

"You have set me a banquet of love, in the face of hatred,
crowning me with love beyond my pow'r to hold."

"Surely your kindness and mercy follow me all the days of my life;
I will dwell in the house of my God forever-more."


link to video

Shepherd me, O God, beyond my wants, beyond my fears, from death into life. Amen!

From what do you need shepherding today?

Oct 24, 2011

Tribute to My Brother

Hankie alert. I have never read a better tribute to a brother.

My Brother
by Dan

He was my best friend.
He was my evil twin.
He was my alter ego.
He was my guardian angel.

You know the little cartoon devil that sits on your left shoulder? And the angel that sits on your right? Tom could find a way to be either, and often at the same time. When he predicted we were going to get in trouble, darned if he wasn't right!

On a summer day, he was in his element. There was always going to be some fun. Tom, in fact, had a special genius for fun. In a previous life he was Abner Doubleday. One summer day, he invented a game using my baseball bat, chunks of concrete and a highway under construction. Funny, he always included my baseball bat for that kind of stuff. But the entertainment value was always worth the price of admission. Following him for one summer day, you could get to know the man.

He probably invented disc golf. I remember playing it with him for the first time at least 25 years ago. Now they build courses for the game. Tom's games never had to be complicated, though. A mostly round rock and a target of any kind was fodder for a new game design. Very creative. Can you make a rock skip 12 times? Tom could. And we'd take turns trying for 13 until the sun went down.

The most improbable things fascinated him. How long it takes to boil beer out of a bottle cap in a camp fire (answer: about 3 beers). The color of a leech when dipped in alcohol (answer: white). Tom, the scientist.

Once, as if to prove to God and me that he was a versatile fellow, he fired up a bulldozer on a construction site. He was 15. He moved it about 3 feet, and shut it down. Mission accomplished.
He was a very competitive person in the play world, and a cooperative one in the business world. He introduced me to one of his customers, who he obviously got along with real well, even as he was kicking that customer's butt in a trivia game. Some customers have a problem with that. Tom was too easy to play with.

Some of his shuffelboard throws defied gravity.

He was in his element also in family matters. He could quote the house rules by the time he was 4. And didn't mind enforcing them either. Sometimes he would use mom words and dad voices. Bizarre, scary even, but effective. He was the oldest. He knew when it was up to him. He always had that responsibility thing going on.

Many of his best insights were after our bedtime. Maybe he thought better in the dark. Most times I was glad to stay up and chat. I learned about his experiences that way. Who he rode with that day, what they saw. How he felt.

He was an Eagle Scout. A trailblazer of the highest order.

He knew how to beat me. I may have been a better golfer, I'll never know, because he psyched me out every time. Okay, maybe he was a better golfer. I enjoyed every game I ever played with Tom. Monopoly. Touch football, Parcheesi, Jarts. We were bowling when 10 pound balls were too heavy, and our shoe sizes had just started over. And bowling was 10 cents a line.
I wanted him on my team. We all did. He was a winner.

He could put 99 tree frogs in a minnow bucket and get it across the Canadian border (with the border guard's blessing, no less). You can't teach talent like that. You are born with it.

There was the time "we" sold my Buffalo Nickel collection, because who the heck would ever think that a nickel folder was worth more than a pile of nickels. Better we spend them at the hobby shop. Besides, that last one I needed to complete the collection wasn't going to materialize any time soon. I've never been much of a collector, but I do collect memories. This and all my memories of Tom are worth every coin in the Denver Mint.

There are many stories of Tom, and I promise keep telling them. If you know some good Tom stories, please add them to mine.
He has no doubt, by now, challenged Saint Peter to a game of "Stretch" using pocket knives; and probably has The Apostles scheduled for a game of "Acey Deucy" by tomorrow night.

We are blessed by the memories he has left us, and we will all miss him. I hope we all remember him as the caring, loving person, a great friend, brother, and family man. I do, but I especially like to recall the summer fun. Don't tell Dad about the bulldozer.

Please join me in the celebration of Tom.

With love,

His Brother Dan

Oct 4, 2011

Slow Down!

The constellation Orion has been in the sky for thousands of years. I always look for the belt, the 3 stars in a row, to find it in the sky in the fall & early winter months, in the wee hours as I pick up my morning paper off the driveway.

Well, for 20 years or so I've looked for it. Before that, I didn't know it was there. I didn't think about it. It was always there, but I didn't have time to look. That is, until I was 9 months pregnant and had to trot out to get the morning paper with a porch covered in ice and snow. I sloooowly went out for my paper, and as I slowed down, I looked at the stars. I thought, "Hey, cool! Those same stars will still be there, and my unborn child will be looking at them long after I'm gone."

It was beautiful and majestic. I wished I'd noticed it sooner.

I'm glad it's not too late.

There are some changes coming in the Liturgy of the Catholic Church. ("The" Church.) The beauty and majesty of the original translations has been watered down post-Vatican II, and they're bringing back the beauty and majesty of the original.

People are so used to reciting the prayers by rote. As they read the new missal, they will now be forced to slow down and think about what they're saying. They'll be forced to think about something they've been too busy to notice before....

H'mmm. Not a bad thing.

What will you slow down to notice today?