Thursday, December 31, 2015

The Priest on the Hoverboard Incident.

The headline on CNN read, Filipino priest reprimanded for Christmas Eve hoverboard stunt. At USA Today, it was Priest suspended for riding a hoverboard during Christmas Eve Mass.

The long and short of it is a priest in the Philippines was suspended for riding a hoverboard up an aisle during Christmas Eve Mass.

Comments on the Youtube video below argue that it was not a hoverboard. That's pretty much beside the point, however.

The Diocese of San Pablo, where the priest is located, has issued a statement, which said, in part:

The Eucharist demands utmost respect and reverence. It is the Memorial of the Lord’s Sacrifice. It is the source and summit of Christian life. It is the Church’s highest form of worship. Consequently, it is not a personal celebration where one can capriciously introduce something to get the attention of the people.

Three cheers for the Bishop in the Diocese of San Pablo. He were absolutely right in his suspension of the priest.

Thankfully, the priest has acknowledged that his action was wrong and has promised that it will not happen again.

Naturally, many people commenting on Facebook saw nothing wrong with the priest riding the hoverboard during Mass. As others have rightfully pointed out, anyone who does not have a problem with this does not have a proper understanding of the Catholic Mass and the Holy Eucharist.

Wednesday, December 30, 2015

Further "Early Thoughts on '2015 in Review' ".

Coming up on the new year, I suppose now's the time to take up new projects or renew the ones where I've backslid these past several months. Yesterday, I posted my first blog post in ages. While I'm on a roll, I may as well expand on some of what was written it that post.

First, the photograph. When I published what I had written, I had originally not included a photo. I didn't feel as if I had one that fit the mood of the post. However, when I attempted to put the link to the post onto Facebook, a really horrible and completely unrelated photo would show up to accompany the link. (it was the photo I used on the blog for a post about Sinead O'Conner's third wedding). I added the photo now on the blog post in the hope that it would show up on FB. No such luck.

The photo accompanying this post is one that I took just a few minutes ago to show the results of the current workout routine described in yesterday's blog post. Believe it or not, I actually felt that I was smiling during the taking of the photo.

I mentioned yesterday that I had read 37 books this year with the possibility of finishing number 38 before the New Year arrives. It's doubtful. I'm currently reading two books - both are books I've read before. Of the 37 books I've finished reading this year, all 37 are e-books, most freebies from Project Gutenberg or their Australian website for books out of copyright in Australia yet still under U.S. copyright.

Of the two I'm now reading, one is an ebook and one is a traditional hardcover book. I do have to keep some books around in case I want to read and my battery is low on my Android. The two books are:
Write Away, by Elizabeth George (the hard cover, which I read once before in 2013) and in e book,
Dracula by Bram Stoker.
I'm sure it's been thirty years since I last read Dracula and I've forgotten quite a lot of what's written. We know there aren't too many movies which accurately follow the novel to the letter.

I was motivated to read Dracula again after having just finished Sheridan Le Fanu's vampire story, Carmilla. I'd also downloaded other e books of Le Fanu's work, but none could hold my interest.

I'm not sure which direction my reading will take in 2016 once I've finished reading Dracula. I've downloaded Frankenstein, although I feel as if it hasn't been that long ago since I've reread that classic (can't find it listed in any of the book lists I've kept since 2012).

I'm thinking of rereading Sinclair's been thirty years or longer since I read his work. I'm also thinking of The Memoirs of William T Sherman and The Narrative of William W. Brown, a Fugitive Slave.

One thing is certain, with Project Gutenberg, I'll never run out of reading material.

Tuesday, December 29, 2015

Early thoughts on "2015 in Review".

Before moving to Philippines, there were certain changes which I planned to make upon arriving here. These changes included a plan to get back into a daily exercise routine and a plan to write more often.

Anyone looking at this blog can see how well the latter worked out.

I have been, however, successful in making changes in my diet and my exercise habits.

I underwent a modest medical exam in June of this year when I received my Philippine driver's license so I know the weight given on the license was measured on that day.....88 kilos. Since that time, I have lost 11 kilos, due largely to a change of diet. I have developed a regular exercise routine, but I credit the loss to the diet, rather than the increased amount of daily exercise.

For what it's worth, here is a breakdown of my current exercise routine:

On Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays, I walk 1 kilometer to a gym near the public market in Sibulan. At the gym, I've been doing weight training - hitting all the upper body muscle groups in one, hour long session. After the workout, I walk the 1 kilometer back home.

On Tuesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays, I've taken off from the weight training and have instead, walked 3 kilometers each of those mornings.

It's my plan now to make adjustments in that routine. Rather than go to the gym three days a week, I'll be going four days a week, splitting the muscle groups worked on those days. Once I begin this new schedule, I will work legs, back and biceps on Mondays and Thursdays then working chest, shoulders and triceps on Tuesdays and Friday with Wednesday and the weekend as rest days.

Because there will be four "weight" days, my "walk-only" days will drop from three to two; I'll still observe Sunday as a day of rest. I don't want to decrease the number of kilometers (or miles) I walk every week, so I will increase the "walk-only" distance from 3 kilometers a day to 4 kilometers.

It really doesn't take too much time out of my day to get this exercise done. I'm always up with the sun - which comes mighty early in Philippines. I've still plenty of time left to spend on my writing. I don't know if I'd classify this as a New Year's resolution, but I really do need to take some time every day to work on that.

Although it's not a proper excuse, I could put this slackness in my writing down to the fact that I don't really have an office where I can work in seclusion. Space is limited in this two bedroom apartment.

I know, that's not a good reason.

On a more positive note, I have managed to set aside time to read; I've read 37 books this year, with the possibility of finishing number 38 before December 31st. This year, I'll continue my annual listing of the books I've read on the first day of the new year. Looking back at the list from  January 1, 2015, where I put down the 31 books I read in 2014, I see this year will top that number.