Papal Letter to Irish Catholics...The letter I posted yesterday is intended to be read during Mass today at each Irish Church. Let's hope parents decide to leave small children home today, as it is mighty, mighty long. It's also written in that remarkable tongue known as "Pope-speak", which I think is what you get when dozens of Bishops, Cardinals and a Pope...each having different native tongues...collectively write a letter. Maybe it flows better in Latin. Regardless, I'm not entirely sure that it will have desired effect. The days of the "Command and Control" Church are over, and this scandal will continue to have legs long into the future. In fact, about the only substantive thing that I think could be done by the Pope to truly have a positive impact would be for Cardinal Brady to be removed. That would signal that accountability runs all the way up the Church hierarchy. Look for that to happen on December 31st...of never.
Senator Mellow Gets Cold Feet...I read earlier this week that Senator Mellow suddenly got ill and was unable to participate in a live town hall meeting to be televised on WVIA (the local PBS affiliate). I don't blame him though: the sight and sound of it all would have been just painful and frustrating. For anyone who thinks that it would have actually made a difference, please email me, as I have a unique Nigeria-based investment for you to consider. All kidding aside, Senator Mellow has already told us that sitting on the boards of organizations he has a hand in regulating isn't a conflict of interest. His representatives have already told us that renting an office (at an inflated rate) from yourself doesn't raise any ethics concerns & certainly writing over a hundred grand in checks to "cash" is something that we all do. Bottom line: it would have been simply more bull from a man who believes that he is entitled to have things like theaters named after him (for spending our money, no less).
I Love Spring...I just want to mention that, for the record. It almost makes it worth waiting through Winter. Unfortunately it will be another month before I can safely start planting flowers outside.
Cars...I continue to ponder what kind of car to buy. In contrast of another member of my family who, on a lark, stopped by a dealership, found something they liked and did the deal, I instead will spend months analyzing models and pondering what I really want and need. Right now I have a list of about 10 different vehicle types that I'm considering; I'm hoping to whittle that down to about three or four before I actually start shopping in May or so. I'm reasonable sure that the car will not be new (you get crushed on depreciation, so I like to buy them about a year old), relatively small, good on gas, have a positive track-record for dependability and will most definitely have a sunroof. I wanted a sunroof last time I bought a car, but I ended up taking one without it. I've regretted that ever since. Not this time.
Counting Down the Minutes...until this phase of the health care debate is over with. If it passes, I suspect that some will claim that the end-times are near. I suspect that similar sentiments were expressed with the Social Security Act was passed, when the Voting Rights Act was passed and when fluoride started to be added to drinking water. As for me, I simply want health care costs to stop increasing at four times the rate of inflation.
Infrastructure Improvement...of a more personal sort should arrive later this week in the form of a far better roof-mounted antenna for my Sirius satellite radio home receiver. Right now I have a standard home antenna that is basically sitting on my front porch, complete with wire fished through a window sill. The new set-up will involve my mounting the equipment on the eave of a roof and then running a line into my basement for internal distribution from there to two separate wall jacks. Now Howard Stern needs to re-sign for another five years and all will be well.