Friday, October 31, 2008

A Tough Week

On Sunday, October 26, after Liz and I went to St. Mary's for the first time in many weeks, we drove back to Heart Lake for what was intended to be our last regular trip of the season. After conversation on Monday with our contractor, we have determined that we will make another trip (either a day trip or overnight) within the next couple of weeks.

Monday night it started to snow. We were planning to close up Tuesday anyway, and return by way of Binghamton, but weather conditions in the morning determined us to skip the Binghamton part. I drained the water and we loaded the car and were on the road before 11:30 am. The trip took eight hours (normally it takes around three hours.) I went almost direct from the car to a board meeting which lasted until 11:00 pm.

On Wednesday my computer died. Since I use a high powered laptop instead of a desktop, there are complicated issues around repair and recovery. I don't have a current backup of my data -- my backups are at least four months out of date.

Right now I am using Liz's laptop, so for current things I am ok, but I did an awful lot of data entry over the summer -- mostly family history and other genealogy data. I don't want to have to redo all of that. Also my Quicken files -- although I could reconstruct them from paper records I certainly don't want to. There are pictures, however, for which there is no backup or way to recover them except from the hard drive.

I think my problem is that Windows is corrupted, but I am not geeky enough to be able to tell. I don't want to spend hundreds of dollars for data recovery if I can do it myself, but I also don't want to risk losing my data. So I am actively researching theissue before I do anything. More later.

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Home Turf

I have been seeing where the links took me. I started on Saturday at Mimi's Wounded Bird and Wednesday I ended up at JaneR's Acts of Hope. Along the way I hit several blogs that were at least somewhat familiar to me.

When I looked at JaneR's bogroll, I found myself using, for the second time in this exercise, the expression "home turf." Let me explain. I am by temperament more of a lurker thatn a participant in blog conversations. I only really started looking at blogs with any consistency during the spring and summer of 2006, in the lead up to General Convention that year. I soon zeroed in on a small set of blogs that I read faithfully -- in fact, at first only two -- Father Jake Stops The World and Of Course I Could Be Wrong. At those sites I became familiar with the comments of a numbers of people who comment, or did at that time. These folks constitute the core of what I think of as "home turf."

Some of them are listed on my blogroll, but that roll is sorely out of date. I have slowly been adjusting it, but that takes a degree of concentration and discernment that exceeds what I can muster right now.

I began this blog two years ago with a post on October 23, 2006, in which I said "Yesterday I went to my home church, St. Mary's, for the first time in more than 12 weeks." Once again, it's been twelve weeks since I have been at St. Mary's. I won't be there this Sunday either. St. Mary's is truly my home church -- I first went there 50 years ago, in 1958 -- most likely my first Sunday there was November 16, 1958 -- so I am just four weeks away from my fiftieth anniversary. The reason I won't make it to St. Mary's this Sunday is that there are strong reasons for Liz and I to remain at Heart Lake for a day longer than we had planned.

Heart Lake is also home turf to me. I was conceived within 100 yards of the desk where I am writing this. I know that, because when I came out to them in the spring of 1958, my parents, for some reason, told me. This year we have been here since the beginning of July and were planning to shut down this Saturday, October 18. As it happens, though, we are having some landscaping done and it will go on through Sunday, so we have decided to stay on until Monday morning.

Finally, Morningside Gardens and our apartment is another home turf to me. I'll be back there on Monday and will be based there for the next seven to eight months. I'm eager to be home -- and at the same time sorry to leave here.

But back to home turf on the intertubes -- that travels with me.

More links

I decided not to linger over Andrew Plus -- most of his recent posts are more serious than I want to tackle right now. So I'll move on to the blogroll. At the top is A Blogspotting Anglican Episcopalian, so I'll go there. For a change I think I'll scroll down to see who has commented on a post. The first comment I find is by The Wayward Episcopalian whom I have already visited. The next two comments (on a post about Anne Holmes Redding, the priest who has become a muslim) are from people who seem interesting in their own pright, but don't have blogs that interest me right now. Next are two comments on a post about Father Geoff Farrow -- the first is a reference to the fact that Grandmere Mimi has posted on the topic and the second is from someone without a blog.

Moving on, I find no other comments without going to "older posts", so I go over to the blogroll. The first entry is A Guy in thePew, Chuck Blanchard, whose current posts are understandably political. He picked up from another site a wonderful bumper sticker: Micah 6:8, Obama '08. On reflection, he states that he has reservations about it, for good reason, but I think that this particular bumper sticker does not point towards a theocracy. In any case, I checked out the blogroll at A Guy in the Pew and the first real bog that I had not visited in this cycle was Caught By The Light, by Richard Helmer. Richard's most recent post is a sermon from a few weeks ago, so I move on again, to Acts of Hope by JaneR. Here I am back on home turf, for reasons I'll go into in my next post.

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Following the links

Sunday mornig, October 12, I was all set to continue blogging about following links. However, I got distracted into setting up "My Blog List" and "Blogs I Follow." I need to do a lot more housekeeping on the blog and I will do that over the next few weeks (or, to be honest, possibly the next few months.)

On Monday, October 13th, Liz and I went Binghamton for errands and to visit relatives. This morning, we're back at the lake with just a few more days until we have to close up for the year. But I have some time, so I'll go back to following the links.

When I left off I was looking at Noble Wolf's Blog List. The first, that is -- most recent -- entry was for Counterlight's Peculiars which i was intending to go to next anyway. I first met Counterlight at Father Jake's, before Jake stopped stopping the world. On Saturday, Counterlight had a great post called No More Martyrs on the occasion of the tenth anniversary of the death of Matthew Shepherd.

Counterlight has been blogging since June of this year -- he's been commenting on other blogs for much longer. Perhaps in a later post I will linger longer over individual blogs -- today, however, I'll move on. In Counterlight's "Blog Friends and Favorite Links," the first I haven't visited recently is The Three Legged Stool --its name identifies it as Anglican. It turns out to be the blog of James, another name well know from comments on other blogs. At The Three Legged Stool, James has a post n the convention of the Diocese of Western Louisiana. In accordance with my aim here, I will move on.

Starting at the bottom of The Three Legged Stool's "Links of Interest," I find The Wayward Episcopalian -- a blog by a senior at Dartmouth College. His most recent post is on a visit of the Presiding Bishop and the Diocesan, Bishops Katharine and Gene, to the Dartmouth campus. He can be forgiven for calling Bishop Katharine "Very Reverend" rather than "Most Reverend." I move on, as usual.

At the bottom of "Episcopal Links and Blogs" at The Wayward Episcopalian, I find The Reverend Boy, another blogger known to me. I wasn't going to, but I left a comment there. And now I'll move on.

At the top of the Reverend Boy's Blogroll is Andrew Plus, the blog of a priest in the Diocese of Bethlehem, the diocese where I am physically located right now. It's getting late in the day and I'm tired, so I'll start off the next post with Andrew.

Saturday, October 11, 2008

Surfing Blogs

My silence over the past few weeks does not mean that I have been hibernating. Liz and I have been busy in many spheres -- in the past two weeks we have been in New York (and St. Louis) more than we have at Heart Lake. On Thursday, we came back to Heart Lake for ten days -- the end of our season for 2008. Every day, I check a few blogs --but outside pressures have occupied me and I have not found the time to write a coherent blog post. This morning, I do have some time and I am taking a new tack -- I'm going to blog as I surf.

First, I like to check the news -- today I went to Thinking Anglicans first and found coverage of the events in the Diocese of Pittsburgh. Next I went to The Lead at Episcopal Cafe. There was coverage there of the hearings in the California Supreme Court on a church property case in the Diocese of Los Angeles. Then I checked in on Mark Harris at Preludium -- Mark seems to be marking time and has not had anything new since October 8th.

Over at Mimi's Wounded Bird I found a link to new blog called Father Geoff Farrow -- the name of its author, a courageous Roman Catholic priest in California who is defying the hierarchy and urging people to vote against Proposition 8 (which would ban gay marriage in the state.) It was this blog and its comments that inspired this post on following the links. One of the commenters on Father Geoff's blog was Michael-in-Norfolk, who has a blog of that name. Michael is a gay lawyer in Virginia who came out in mid-life. His blog has posts dating back to 2006 -- his recent posts (apart from daily"male beauty") deal mostly with politics and are anti McCain and Palin.

I decided to check out Michael's blogroll. The first link was to 1Body2Souls -A Gay Confession. This turns out to be a gay Indian man who describes himself as "living as a straight guy." He tells us that "being gay is punishable by law in India." He signs his posts Manav Desh and his blog is liberally sprinkled with pictures of guys. I found his blogroll too hard to follow so I tried the next on Michael's blog roll: Aman Yala, written by Sandouri Dean Bey(who signs himself Dean) and described as "reflections of a gay Greek-American musician in search of a hamam." The final post on this blog was dated Septemeber 27. A look at the archive list indicated that this was September 2007. I went to the comments on this last post and found the name Christopher. I thought it might be someone I recognized so I clicked on it and was led to Betwixt and Between. This is a blog I have visited before. Christopher is a gay Episcopal lay person in San Pablo, California, partnered with a German Lutheran pastor. He is a Benedictine Oblate-Novice and I have sometimes wondered if he is acquainted with Liz's (and thus my) aunt, Adele Hanson, who lives in Berkeley and is associated with a Benedictine Community in Oakland. Christopher's posts are generally llong, serious, and well thought out. His blogroll is also long and includes some blogs that have Morningsider on their rolls. He also has a section "Queer Takes" and links, for example to Boys Are Ugly But So Cute -- the personal blog of a very young man named Ryan.

For reasons I don't want to elaborate on, I decided not to follow that path any longer. I slept on it, and in the morning (Saturday the 11th) I decided to go back to Father Geoff's blog. In an open letter to his parish community Father Geoff said that he has been suspended as a priest by his bishop. When I checked, the first comment was by Brian R whose name I didn't recognize but who is gay Australian Anglican whose blog Noble Wolf has links to many of the blogs I normally read. Brian also has a post on the Last Night of The Proms which endears him to me.

I shouldn't be surprised that if I started with Wounded Bird I would end up back on home turf, so I am bowing to the inevitable. In the next installment I will visit one of the blogs on Brian's roll that is not that familiar to me (though the blogger, as a matter of fact, is familiar to me from comment threads.)