30 April 2007

29 April 2007

A HUGE thank you to an anonymous archpriest in the catacombs!

When going to a foreign country, I highly recommend contacting a priest in that area, as they can straighten out many errant misconceptions that you may have gotten from the Internet and can help you with your various connections on your travel itinerary! My doing so has helped me a lot for any future travel plans I make, as I know which color cabs I can take and which ferry ports to go to. Invaluable!

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28 April 2007

The Impression I Get: Mighty Mighty Bosstones

Have you ever been close to tragedy,
or been close to folks who have?
Have you ever felt the pain so powerful,
so heavy you collapse?
No? Well…

I've never had to knock on wood,
but I know someone who has.
Which makes me wonder if I could,
it makes me wonder if I…
Never had to knock on wood,
and I'm glad I haven't yet.
Because I'm sure it isn't good,
that's the impression that I get.

Have you ever felt the odds stacked up so high,
you need a strength most don't possess?
Or has it come down to do or die,
you've got to rise above the rest?
No? Well…

I've never had to knock on wood,
but I know someone who has.
Which makes me wonder if I could,
it makes me wonder if I…
Never had to knock on wood,
and I'm glad I haven't yet.
Because I'm sure it isn't good,
that's the impression that I get.

I'm not a coward, I've just never been tested.
I'd like to think that if I was, I would pass.
Look at the tested, and think there but for the grace go I.
Might be a coward, I'm afraid of what I might find out.

I've never had to knock on wood,
but I know someone who has.
Which makes me wonder if I could.
It makes me wonder if I…
Never had to knock on wood,
and I'm glad I haven't yet.
Because I'm sure it isn't good,
that's the impression that I get.

Never had… I'd better knock on wood,
'cause I know someone who has.
Which makes me wonder if I could,
it makes me wonder if I…
Never had… I'd better knock on wood,
'cause I'm sure it isn't good.
And I'm glad I haven't yet,
that's the impression that I get.

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Rapid Eye Movement Too

When the day is long and the night, the night is yours alone,
when you're sure you've had enough of this life, well hang on.
Don't let yourself go, everybody cries and everybody hurts sometimes.

Sometimes everything is wrong. Now its time to sing along.
When your day is night alone, (hold on, hold on,)
if you feel like letting go, (hold on,)
when you think you've had too much of this life, well hang on.

Everybody hurts. Take comfort in your friends.
Everybody hurts. Don't throw your hand. oh, no. Don't throw your hand.
If you feel like you're alone, no, no, no, you are not alone.

If you're on your own in this life, the days and nights are long,
when you think you've had too much of this life to hang on.

Well, everybody hurts sometimes,
everybody cries. and everybody hurts sometimes.
And everybody hurts sometimes. so, hold on, hold on.
Hold on, hold on. hold on, hold on. hold on, hold on.

Hold on, hold on. hold on, hold on. hold on, hold on.
(Everybody hurts. You are not alone.)

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27 April 2007

The apple sure does not fall far from the tree

Imitation is the most sincere form of flattery? Does forgery count? If so then the excommunicated Retired Archbishop GREGORY of Denver and Colorado is really trying to flatter Metropolitan VALENTINE of Suzdal and Vladimir by both continuing to have a site claiming to be ROAC and on that page having forgeries about Vladyka among his various character assassinations on his so-called Orthodox Christian web site. Character assassinations on a church web site are the realm of vagantes and not true Orthodox Christianity. You would never see such vile things on a true Orthodox Christian Church site like http://wwwrpac.ru/ or http://www.thegreekorthodoxchurch.com/.

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Rapid Eye Movement Won

Oh, life is bigger…
It's bigger than you.
And you are not me.
The lengths that I will go to…
The distance in your eyes…
Oh no, I've said too much.
I set it up.



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A dish best served cold should never be served hot!

Just saying.

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Believe only half of what you see and nothing you hear

Have you ever had something errantly ascribed to you that you really, really wish you had written? Have you ever errantly written something that you really, really wish had been ascribed to someone else? Sometimes it really is both what was said, as well as who said it. Other times neither matter because you just could not really give a care whatever they think or say.

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25 April 2007

Orthodox Books and Icons for CHEAP!

Portable Iconostasis Ikon or Icon set from 15th Century
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Large Russian Wall Crucifix with Iconography
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IKON LOT of Russian/Greek Orthodox Christian Icons

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Elders of Optina Book Series + Elder Zosima of Siberia
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LOT: Orthodox Christian Service Books for Clergy/Laity

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LOT: Gospel and Epistle Lectionary, 4 Commentaries (HC)
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The Bible and the Holy Fathers SERIES by Johanna Manley

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The PHILOKALIA: The Complete Text Compiled by Sts...
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The COMPLETE Little Russian Philokalia: All 5 Volumes!!
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The Great Synaxaristes of the Orthodox Church

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The SYNAXARION: The Lives of the Saints of the Church

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Microsoft Office:mac 2001 w/ Word, Excel, PowerPoint...

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24 April 2007

255 what?

Although perhaps it is a fluke, after working out today I weighed in at 255, which is 2 pounds lighter than yesterday before my workout. It is a digital scale, so I am hoping that it is legit and I keep losing weight quickly. (^_^)

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23 down, 58 to go!

On this Monday evening's weigh-in I was down to 257#. Last week I was 260# and when I started all of this, I was 280#. If I can keep up this kind of progress, I can be under 200# in only 20 weeks! As a reminder, my goal is 199# by November 22th, 2007

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22 April 2007

There is Something in the Water in Guangdong Province, China!

This is from China Daily, the official English language periodical of the People's Republic of China:Twins pose for a group photo at a party of the first "Guangzhou Twins Festival" held in Guangzhou, south China's Guangdong Province, April 22, 2007. More than 20,000 pairs of twins live in Guangdong, and about 100 pairs participated in the gathering.

Another cute set of twins from the gathering:


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WTH was I going to blog?

I had something great to blog about, but I have completely forgot what it was now. LOL!

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21 April 2007

2 Steps Away From Check Mate?

I am not a great Chess player, but I do enjoy playing from time to time, especially when I have numerous moves planned well in advance and my opponent arrogantly refuses to admit to his mistakes. This current game of Chess, where 1 person plays each piece began in December. I am the white king, the weakest and most vulnerable piece on the board. During Holy Week, thanks to the black bishop and the bishop's pawn, my side was down to my king and 2 knights. It looked like checkmate was inevitable for my king as I slyly reclaimed a rook which went unnoticed by my opponent. Interestingly, my knights are ones that my sides gained by taking my opponent's 2 knights. During Pascha, my side got the white bishop back, the very white bishop which the black team thought they had taken for good. Last night, just when moves were made so that the black bishop and the bishops' pawn could be knocked off the board in 2 moves, thanks to my reclaimed white bishop, my opponent cried, "Check!" My king was not in check, but was exactly where I wanted him to be. I wondered what the punishment for calling "Check" falsely was and here is the answer from the official rules: " When done on purpose, then an arbiter could punish you, as this would be a case of distracting the opponent, and/or making unreasonable claims." That seems fair to me, especially since the white bishop is the designated arbiter! We are 2 moves away from checkmate and either white or black could win, but it is all in the hands of an arbiter now, now matter how loud my opponent screams, "Check!" Exciting times for me and my 2 knights, and the many spectators rooting us on.

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20 April 2007

I am on the same diet as Rush Limbaugh!

I am no fan of Rush Limbaugh, and only catch a half hour or so after his show after the less-neocon Glen Beck Show is over. Today during that over-run before the alarm-clock-radio went off, someone called Rush to ask how he was losing all his weight so successfully.

Rush declared he was simply eating less. Trying to eat between 1200-1400 calories a day, 800 if he was not hungry a dinner time. Almost the exact same thing as me. Of course, I am adding exercise too.

One thing that Mr. Limbaugh mentioned that might be good for others who diet, is that is almost impossible to lose weight when drinking adult beverages. Alcohol is turned in to sugar which makes insulin. Insulin needs to be made to start weight gain. I am not much of a drinker, and have not even had red or pink wine (my adult beverage of choice)in some time, so it is not something I need to worry about.

The other interesting note that Rush had to say was that the first 7-10 days of the diet are the worst as you usually do not start losing weight until after that with week or two. Most people give up in the first 2 weeks because they do not see immediate results.

He did not say what prompted him to start losing, but he said just one day you realize you need to. It can be caused by a girlfriend, a doctor, a family member, etc. saying something or just experiencing someone going through a weight-caused medical issue, or you just wake up and want to do it.

So I guess for one day, for one segment of the Rush Limbaugh Show, I was a ditto-head. Rush is right in what he said about dieting today folks.

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19 April 2007

... and if you do not wake-up first, you DIE!

I call bullocks on this myth. I once had a dream where I was on a very tall structure and I was pushed off or something and I consequently fell to my death. Yes, I died in my dream. My soul got up and just looked at my dead body as people came running up to it. At first I was confused, why did everyone think I was dead? Then I realized it was because I was dead. What a weird feeling. Anyway, at least for me*, I can die in my dreams and still awake to find myself alive, albeit a little bit freaked out.

Of course, supposedly due to allergies, I have always had weird dreams. Once when I was about 7, I was having a dream where a monster was killing and eating many of my friends on the street I lived on. Suddenly a translucent staircase appeared and I ran up it and opened the door at the other end. Opening the door made me wake up for a split second.

I instantly was back asleep and closing the door in my dream. I ran down the stairs and yelled at all of my friends that it was okay, they could let the monster eat them, because this was nothing but one of my dreams.

They did not seem convinced. Then again neither would I if anything similar ever happened in real life. LOL!

*Your mileage may vary, so please do not attempt this and blame me if you die. You sleep and dream at your own risk.

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Most things get better with time, why not handwriting?

Chen SiFang, one of the people in China I communicate with, is trying to learn English, and has me write emails in English, and has those emails translated in to Chinese and uses them to learn English. Then Chen SiFang will write me back and have the reply translated back in to English and studies both copies to learn even more.

In April I added some fun to the communication by sending a postcard from a local tourist area to SiFang every Monday. The first one just arrived today. I wrote the address in Chinese and English to ensure both the USPS and Chinese Post Office could deliver it.

I was afraid my Chinese would be very bad, but in fact Chen SiFang said that my Chinese writing was better than most Chinese people, and that I must practice often. LOL! Actually it was my first time writing Chinese, but it took me a long time, so perhaps that is why it was so good: I took my time writing it to key the Chinese characters. Much like how many elementary school students have such nice printing, but when they are adults it is very bust again.

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18 April 2007

Seven Deadly Sins and Seven Virtues

As a child, I learned the Seven Deadly Sins from the pages of my SHAZAM! comic books featuring the Original Captain Marvel. I have heard that today they have changed the list of vices in SHAZAM! recently, for those that may not know, here are the Seven Deadly Sins as defined in 6th Century Christianity and their polar opposite Seven Virtues.
  1. Lust Chastity/Purity
  2. Gluttony Abstinence/Abstinence
  3. Greed Liberality/Generosity
  4. Sloth Diligence/Ethics
  5. Wrath/Anger Patience/Peace
  6. Envy Kindness
  7. Pride Humility/Modesty
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Diet and Exercise Part Deux

First off, let me be completely honest, I am LAZY! I have been since I was young and while I admit it as a truth, it is not something I am particularly proud of. So some people might think that if I wanted to lose weight, I would do the weak man way of having my stomach stapled and fat removed.

But please, if you do not have the willpower to lose the weight in the first place, how are you going to have the willpower to not gain it all back after surgery? I am not looking for a quick fix but actually going for a lifestyle change. I want to lose weight, build muscle and remain that way.

Will I succeed? Will I fail and return to my lazy, gluttonous self? I sure hope not, but a surgery cannot prevent that either. Each day I wake up and feel better about how I feel and look, the way my clothes fit, the increased energy and stamina, and for now, at least, that is a strong motivation, especially knowing I did it myself, and did not lazily pay someone to do it for me.

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Diet and Exercise

Recently, I have lowered my caloric intake in order to lose weight. I likewise am exercising regularly to help in this. Since I have been limiting my meals (not including drinks) to 300 calories or less and eating 4 meals a day (it is recommended that I eat 5 or 6 meals, but I just cannot do that!). So without drinks that takes me to 1200 calories, and with drinks probably 1600 calories give or take 100 calories or so.

Wondering what my caloric intake should be, I used a calorie calculator and it said with light activity, I should consume 2,900-3,100 calories a day to maintain my current weight. As of this weekend I have lost 20 pounds, and clothes are fitting loosely now. Please keep me in your prayers as I continue this diet and new exercise additions. My goal it to be under 200 pounds by Thanksgiving 2007.

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17 April 2007

A Good Day For a New Razor!


As some of you know, I had a full beard for about 6 years and recently had it cut off. As such, shaving is an all new experience. Well I only had one blade cartridge left in my old razor from 1998 and when I went to the store, it seems they no longer carry the regular Gillette Mach3 blades. Luckily the new, improved 6-blade massaging razor, the Gillette Fusion Power Phantom was on sale for less than $10.00, so I bought it. This one one sweet razor. I usually get razor or shave bumps on my neck, where my beard hair it curlier, but with this razor I have found no irritation on my skin even hours later. I highly recommend this blade for anyone looking for a new razor! They also claim that each blade can last almost 3 weeks which seems incredible!

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16 April 2007

My Brother the Author

Today he wrote another great article that I would like to share with you all.
As I sit here and watch the news and read the internet about the horrible events that happened this morning in Virginia I continue to hear people play the blame game. In times like this we as a society need quick answers and closure. We are driven largely by emotion and wish to do what we can to feel safe again.
One of the common themes that I hear echoing with some in the news is "we have too many guns. We need to get control of this issue."

It is times like this that we as a society willingly give up our rights in order to try to feel safe. This is driven by emotions and not by logic and reason. When someone is determined to take life or break a moral law, please don't think that breaking a new gun regulation will deter them or any other criminal.

Please read a this Quote from MsNBC:
"Myth No. 10. “School violence is rampant.”

It may seem so, with media attention focused on a spate of school shootings. In fact, school shootings are extremely rare. Even including the more common violence that is gang-related or dispute-related, only 12 to 20 homicides a year occur in the 100,000 schools in the U.S. In general, school assaults and other violence have dropped by nearly half in the past decade.

http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/15111438/ Click to view the complete article.

These actions are tragedies and we need to have proper rational responses. Also the media in our society sadly is a great promoter of tragedy and everyone needs to be the first one to get the scoop even if it is unreliable. It seems ratings are more important in today's society than the age old comforts of compassion and true sincere condolences.

Today truly shows that those with an agenda will exploit any opportunity they can. Not to target anyone in particular but did you notice the politicians that may be running for President in the near future were some of the first people to get on the airwaves to be seen knowing that half of America was riveted to the TV. The fake emotion was so thick that even a dolt could see through it.
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Selling stuff CHEAP!

Saint Basil of Kineshma Russian Orthodox Christian Church Mission has been closed, so our loss is your gain! Before I put them on eBay I am offering the books and icons to my friends. See the lists at http://EuphrosynosCafe.com/forum/viewtopic.php?t=7767 and http://EuphrosynosCafe.com/forum/viewtopic.php?t=7768


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15 April 2007

Sweet Chinese Bedding Deal I Found Today!

I was looking for bedding online and found the following deal that some of my frugal friends may appreciate. At Domestications, they have some really sweet comforter sets from only $29.99 and sheet sets from only $9.99! It also appears that even when you buy these sale items, that you are offered a Domestications credit card which gives you 10% off your purchase and allows you to pay in 3 monthly payment with no extra or hidden fees. What a deal! Personally, my favorite two designs are the following:



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13 April 2007

Disasters that God Allows and Introspection of Sinful Lives

When Saint Nicholas the Wonderworker Russian Orthodox Church (ROCOR) burned down in Stratford, CT, one thing that really touched me was how the pastor of the Church mentioned that God allowed it to happen because of their own sins. This humbleness really shows how Orthodox Christians always are looking to improve themselves and should quickly admit their sins.

Although I know of no major sins involved in that church fire, I have heard of other churches that have burned down and through investigations sins have come out like a priest secretly dating a parishioner and other uncanonical acts.

It all reminds me that when misfortune falls on me to think what I could do to better my life and what sins I may be guilty of and things I should change. And of course, never try to cover up or lie about what gets exposed because of an incident that God allowed to happen to us.

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Always a bummer when someone cannot control their passions

It is always a bummer when we have to ban a clergyman at the Saint Euphrosynos Cafe forum, but sadly, sometimes when someone's conscience gets pricked, they act out in less than Christian ways and step so far over the line that the posters demand that the moderators ban the person in question. Sadly it happened again today, and it is never a happy thing to do.

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Weather in Zhuhai, Guangdong, China



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12 April 2007

Did you learn about this in school?

I did not. The Eight-Nation Alliance from Wikipedia:

Citing the necessity of protecting their citizens, these eight foreign countries sent troops to quell the rebels. But the true motives behind it were the opportunity of further access to the Chinese market, expansion of their colonies, and exploitation of the Chinese.

Troops of the eight countries (Austria-Hungary, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, Russia, the United Kingdom, and the United States) arrived, entered and occupied Beijing on August 14, 1900. Empress Dowager Cixi, the Emperor, and higher officials fled the Imperial Palace for Xi'an, and sent Li Hongzhang for peace talks.

During their occupation of China, they ransacked many houses and committed various atrocities against civilians, including rape and murder.

Troops and participants of the Eight-Nation Alliance were largely responsible for the ransacking and pillaging of many historical artifacts of Chinese nationalist origin, such as those found in the Summer Palace, and instigated the burning of many prominent Chinese buildings.

...

On September 7, 1901, the Qing court was compelled to sign the "Boxer Protocol", also known as Peace Agreement between the Eight-Nation Alliance and China. The protocol ordered the execution of ten high-ranking officials linked to the outbreak, and other officials who were found guilty for the slaughter of Westerners in China.

China was fined war reparations of 450,000,000 tael of fine silver (around 74,062,500 pounds, or 333 million US dollars), for the loss that it caused. The reparation would be paid within 39 years, and would be 982,238,150 taels with interests (4% per year) included. The sum of reparation was estimated by the Chinese population (roughly 450 million in 1900), to let each Chinese pay one tael. Chinese custom income and salt tax were enlisted as guarantee of the reparation. Russia got 30% of the reparation, Germany got 20%; the US share was 7%.

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10 April 2007

Has the name of this blog changed?

For those wondering, the answer is no. Since I am learning Mandarin Chinese, I have just changed the language of the title and description to Mandarin.

The title is and will always be "Insane Ramblings … and Orthodox Ecclesiology" which it has been since 2003. The description is a little different, but it roughly reads as "Blog about life, liberty and religion. Once lost, but recently rediscovered."

Any other questions? Feel free to ask. I am sure there are plenty! LOL!

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09 April 2007

Truly He Is Risen!

Christ is Risen!

Dear Friends in Christ,

Due to your prayers, my grandfather indeed has survived and improved enough to see all his children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren. He has improved and has come out of both the critical and serious conditions and while death is not expected to be imminent anymore, no one expect him to make it through the end of the year. That being said, the almost miraculous recovery to the point the he was able to spend Pascha with his family and engage in good conversations is a relief to us all, as we all got a chance to say good-bye and it will no longer be a shock when he reposes. My grandfather and I both thank you all for your prayers.

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05 April 2007

Urgent Prayer Request

Kalo Anastasi!

Dear in Christ,

I just got a call from my mom in tears that my grandfather, Durward, has made a turn for the worse. He was in the hospital for heart issues which he had seemingly recovered from. His blood pressure is going down, his temperature is going down, and his kidneys are shutting down too. I will probably not be able to get to his bedside before he reposes, and although he is not Orthodox I ask for prayers for the repose of his soul please.

Deacon Nikolai

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04 April 2007

Closed Temporarily

This blog started in 2003 and ended in 2004. Will it return? Check back often. Until then, enjoy some spam! :-p

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