May 1st, 2012
No Work * No School * No Shopping * No Banking
May 1st, 2012
No Work * No School * No Shopping * No Banking
With our move to Kankakee rapidly approaching, I was more than a little concerned about the fact that we’ll no longer have the St. Louis sports channels in our Cable lineup.
Problem solved. Thanks, MLB.TV.
I’m looking forward to another great season of baseball from the World Champion St. Louis Cardinals.
On February 7th of 2005, I plugged a microphone into the side of my notebook and began reading the Scriptures for the day. Seven years later, Verbum Domini is the longest-running Catholic Podcast on the Net.
It was actually the second expressly Catholic Podcast. My pal Jayson Franklin began producing The Catholic Cast shortly after Christmas of 2004. Alas, Jayson ceased production in July of that same year.
Father Roderick Vonhögen’s The Catholic Insider came along in April of 2005, and after it a flood of others, including The Saintcast, The Rosary Army Podcast, Catholic Rockers, Tupelo Catholic, Catholic Family and so many more.
In those early days of Podcasting, we still hadn’t figured out precisely what the medium was. Was it broadcasting? Was it blogging? There was a lot of experimentation going on, and issues relating to copyright and licensing were still very much up in the air.
On Wednesday, September 7th of 2005, I received a “cease and desist” email from the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops. From the beginning, I had been reading from the New American Bible, to which the USCCB held copyright. The permissions page on their Website at the time allowed text from the NAB to be used in radio or television broadcasts, and the Lectionary Readings for the day to be used without license for “one time use.” There was language which required permission for use “in a sound or video recording” but I believed that to mean audio tapes, CDs, DVDs, etc. – not Podcasts. I did comply immediately with their order, using the Douay-Rheims version for a time and then gaining permission from the U.S. Council of Churches to use their Revised Standard Version for Catholics. The ornery side of me still counts is as something of a badge of honor to have received a C&D from the Bishops.
Joel Anderson of A Klingon Word From The Word approached me in October or November of 2005, and asked if I could use some help with the Podcast. He became the first guest lector for the program and has continued reading for it over the years. James Jerskey followed shortly thereafter, then the Sweeney family. Today there are many other lectors who have joined in this volunteer effort to bring the Scriptures to life each day.
In February of 2007 after two years of producing Verbum Domini, I decided that it was time to place it in someone else’s care. There were several reasons for this decision. Part of it was a desire to keep the program independent from advertising. I was going to work for an online media company that appended ads to their content and I thought there might be a conflict if I were to host the program elsewhere. Also, I had already drawn quite a bit of fire from politically conservative Catholics during those first two years over my own left-leaning outspokenness. I did not want that to become a distraction or a hindrance for listeners. My friend Greg Willits worked to bring the program under the auspices of SQPN. It has remained under their care ever since.
It is hard to believe that five years have passed since that time. Verbum Domini remains an important part of my daily devotional life, and to that of thousands of others around the world. I’m thankful to the volunteers who read and produce and coordinate the effort, particularly to David Sweeney who has taken the lead these many years. They remain in my prayers.
It gives me a great deal of pleasure to think back on those early days of Podcasting. We didn’t know what we were doing. We were just doing it. We had grand notions that we were changing the world, and it was quite an experience.
There are tens of thousands of Podcasts listed at iTunes these days. Giant old media companies have gotten into the mix and giant new media companies have been created around the technology. Despite that, individuals with something to say can still plug a mic into the side of a notebook – or grab a video camera, or pick up a smart phone – and say it, with the likelihood of reaching thousands and the possibility of reaching millions.
Is that cool, or what?
Today we celebrate St. Bridget of Kildare, “Mary of the Gael.”
Here’s my weblog entry from four years ago:
Scotsman John Duncan painted this depiction of St. Bridget in 1917. She is the patron of newborns, blacksmiths, milkmaids and poets. Her feast day in the Catholic Church is February 1st, but traditions for “Bridie’s Day” predate Christianity. In Celtic lore, Bridget was the Triple Goddess – poet, smith and healer. She was associated with the Feast of the Lactating Ewes (Imbolc) marking the impending return of Springtime. Bridget is still, to this day, represented by the equal-limbed cross (which symbolized the Sun in the old religions). Candles and hearth are other obvious representations.
Catholic tradition tells us that she had a vision of the Nativity and was mystically transported across space and time to adore the Christ Child.
Whatever your faith or beliefs, this time of year presents an opportunity for renewal – and if ever we could use a fresh start, we could certainly use one now.
Those words still ring true for me.
Today is also, not merely coincidentally, the anniversary of the day that Claudia and I chose for our wedding nine years ago. From the beginning, our marriage has been under Bridget’s patronage. I cannot help but feel blessed to be building a life with my true love, and I am so grateful that she and I found our way to each other. When one considers the seemingly infinite span of possibilities, such occurrences are a wonder.
One of the things that I like best about the Kindle is that I can keep a wide variety of reading material at my fingertips. I find that I read more, because I can steal ten minutes here and there (taking a break at midday, waiting in the car for my daughter to be dismissed from school, etc.), and I don’t have to choose ahead of time what I’ll be reading. If I don’t have time to dig into a chapter of something difficult or laborious, I can read a poem or magazine article. If something isn’t holding my attention for whatever reason, I can move on to something else. My friend, Joel Anderson, calls this “Kindle Assisted Attention Deficit Disorder” but I actually think that the device helps me to keep my attention focused. It’s not like reading on the Web where there are constant distractions, and it’s not like being trapped in a room with a single volume (say, War and Peace).
In any case, I thought that from time to time I’d share some of the things that I’m reading. Most of these will be available for Kindle. Many of them will be available free-of-charge, either in the Public Domain, free to Amazon Prime members, or available from a lending library. I might occasionally share my own thoughts on what I’m reading as well, but would encourage you to read for yourself.
Also, I’d love to know what you’re reading. Feel free to post comments with observations, recommendations or a simple bibliography.
Here’s what I’ve been reading this past week.
Ten Days That Shook The World – John Reed’s masterpiece gives us a firsthand account of Red October.
Leaves of Grass – Walt Whitman sings for soul and body in the finest free-verse America has ever seen.
A People’s History of the United States – From Columbus to the War on Terror, Howard Zinn presents the unvarnished truth. Highly recommended…
Black Flame: The Revolutionary Class Politics of Anarchism and Syndicalism – I have been woefully ignorant concerning the Socialists and Anarchists, and am determined to correct this deficiency in my education during 2012. This book is a very tough read, but I’m finding it worthwhile. Essential study on an important topic from authors Lucien Van Der Walt and Michael Schmidt…
2600 Magazine: The Hacker Quarterly – An old favorite…
From Our House To Yours:
May This Holiday Season Find You Happy, Healthy, Secure and Free
Best Wishes for the New Year
To all who served in the war in Iraq, I say, simply, thank you – and welcome home.