Thursday, July 24, 2008

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Pie Jesu

Pie Jesu, qui tollis peccata mundi
dona eis requiem.

Agnus Dei, qui tollis peccata mundi
dona eis requiem sempiternam.

(Merciful Jesus, who takes away the sins of the world, grant them rest.

O Lamb of God, who takes away the sins of the world,
grant them eternal rest.)

Share the Road

Bikes are a great way to get around, but South Bend and the surrounding areas could do more to make it less hazardous. Yesterday I biked to Osceola, about 9 miles from my apartment, and encountered not a single bike lane. I'm not above riding on a sidewalk if one is provided and the road is narrow and busy enough, but even the few sidewalks I encountered were in such bad shape I was better off on the road.

Last week a South Bend man on a bike was injured in a hit and run on Cleveland Rd. He died from the injuries on Monday, leaving a wife and four young children.

I hope his death wakes up locals to the need for better bike infrastructure, since it is a fairly popular form of transportation around here. Meanwhile, I think it's time I stop putting off the purchase of a helmet.

Thursday, July 17, 2008

Fun with herbs

One of my favorite things about not winter is fresh herbs, particularly basil. Basil leaves make an excellent garnish on everything from fried eggplant (which I made last Friday) to corn from the frozen veggie section (a regular in my apartment). Once you get used to the full, sweet flavor of the fresh stuff, it's hard to feel the same way about dried basil. The problem with basil, though, is that 40 degrees and a strong breeze will kill it; it doesn't do winters (or even late falls) very well. This summer my basil plant is growing spectacularly (thanks to daily waterings and plenty of full sun), and I was trying to find a way to preserve some of that bounty for the winter. [That's the basil AFTER I cut off about a third of it. Also a zinnia--ain't it cute?] Here's one excellent method I came across:

Gather 3-5 branches of basil, 2-4 stems of fresh mint, a few sprigs of parsley, and a small handful of fresh oregano. Rinse them all,shake dry, and de-stem. Dump all the leaves in a blender and blend on high. Add chopped or crushed garlic to taste. Add extra virgin olive oil and blend until it turns into a paste. Add grated Parmesan cheese and continue to blend. You'll need a lot of cheese-probably at least a cup, and you may need to add some more oil to keep the consistency. I also added a bit of garlic salt, but I think I wouldn't next time. Some people also like pine nuts or other kinds of nuts, but I didn't have any. I'm sure it's good. I've also heard of adding lemon juice.[clockwise from top: parsley, catnip, thyme, oregano, garlic chives]

The resulting pesto is excellent over pasta or on just about any form of carbohydrate you can think of. I mixed mine with some vermicelli and topped it with a few of the cherry tomatoes off my tomato plant. It made an excellent side for the broiled salmon. I poured the leftover pesto into an ice tray. When it's frozen I'll remove it to a freezer bag and in the winter I can just add a cube to a pot of pasta for a taste of fresh summer! I can't wait for my basil plant to regrow so I can make another batch![To the left of the tomato plant is the mint that has crept in from the neighbor's yard. I'm not complaining.]

Saturday, July 12, 2008

Pretty pictures

Go treat your eyes to the pictures at Light and high beauty, Brendan's photoblog. Seriously, it's good stuff.

Friday, July 11, 2008

The Best Advocate

I've taken to listening Tim Keller's sermons in the car and at the gym sometimes. Unfortunately they have to be purchased, but they are well worth the money. Lately I've been listening to Keller's series on Hebrews. This excerpt is one I listen to over and over again. I don't think it will ever get old:
When I first became a Christian, I heard of this, that Jesus Christ intercedes for us before the Father, and it was of no comfort to me at all, and one of the reasons was it sounded bizarre. And it was also of no comfort to me, partly because, I think, of some of the ways in which I had seen lawyers profiled in court. And because of what I saw in some of those high profile trials, I really misunderstood what this was all about. And here’s what I thought was happening, and here’s why it wasn’t any comfort to me:

I figured every day Jesus came before the Father with a kind of case load. And He’ll pull out a folder, “Keller.” So He looks up and He says, “Ah, yes, Father, You know all these promises he says he’s made to change and change, and he’s doing it again anyway… But please give him a break. For My sake… Give him one more chance. I know he means well. This one more time, this could be it, and You owe me—I went to Earth and all those things. So, pretty please, I ask for mercy for my client. I throw myself on the mercy of the court.”

And then I expected, I guess, that the Father would say, “Well, all right.”

And here’s the reason why that was of no comfort to me: Because I understood that what Jesus was doing—if that’s the intercessory work of Jesus Christ—spinning to get mercy out of the Father, I thought to myself, how long can He keep that up? Because why wouldn’t one day finally the Father—there’s no particular reason why one day the Father couldn’t just say, “Look, he’s a minister now! It’s too late. I’ve had it—he can’t keep doing things like this.”

But that’s not at all the kind of advocate Jesus is. You see, an effective attorney doesn’t just wheedle and cajole and emotionally manipulate the jury and the judge—sometimes that might work, but actually, frankly, how long can you keep that up? An effective attorney has a case. And according to this passage [Hebrew 7], Jesus Christ is not up there asking for mercy. When you ask for mercy, that means you’ve lost the case. Do you know what He’s up there doing? Look, verse 27 and 28: "Unlike the other high priests who does not need to offer sacrifices day after day first for his own sins and then for the sins of the people, rather, He sacrificed for their sins once for all when He offered Himself.”

This is what Jesus is saying, as it were (it’s metaphorical, but I’ll get to that in a second): “Father, You demand justice. You are a just God. And my friends here, the people on whose behalf I’m speaking, are guilty. But I have made payment—there is my blood—and it would be unjust to get two payments for the same debt. Therefore because I’ve made payment for this debt, I am not here asking for mercy for my brothers and sisters. I am not here asking for mercy—I demand justice. Your very justice, Your very righteousness demands Your complete embrace and acceptance of them throughout eternity.”

That’s an infallible case! The book of Isaiah says that righteousness and justice, the divine justice and righteousness of God is inexorable so that the mountains are like dust in a scale by comparison.

Why she's named Athena

I have a new kitten. I have been told that it isn't quite appropriate to name such a cute little fuzzhead for the goddess of war. Ha! I'm sure Puck has a few thoughts on the subject.

Saturday, July 05, 2008


Beginning with the July 08 bar examination, applicants may not use or have in their possession or at or near their testing seats pens, pencils, or other writing instruments, including highlighters and markers, OTHER THAN the pens and pencils distributed by the Board at the time of the examination. All other pens, pencils, and writing instruments must be placed away from applicants in the space designated by proctors at the front of the test room, along with purses, bags, backpacks, study materials and other personal possessions that are permitted in the test room. On Tuesday, each applicant will receive 2 pens for answering the essay portions of the exam; if both pens fail, replacements will be provided. On Wednesday, each applicant will receive 2 pencils for answering the MBE. Manual sharpeners will be available at the proctor table, and replacement pencils will be available as well.