David Ancell's Virtual Home

Watch Out, Midwest

  /   Wednesday, January 31, 2007   /   Comments(0)

I just checked the State of Missouri’s database of license holders, and I found my license to practice pharmacy was finally listed. I had taken the test in late December, and I’m glad to see that everything is finally there.

On February 9th, I will take the jurisprudence exam for Kansas, and hopefully it will result in another license being issued. I found something interesting in the regulations as I was looking through them and downloading them. Assisting in a suicide is actually listed as grounds for disciplinary action against one’s license. I’m glad to see this one.

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The Christian Courtship Book

  /   Tuesday, January 30, 2007   /   Comments(0)

If I had to recommend one book on relationships, it’s Christian Courtship in an Oversexed World by Fr. TG Morrow. This book is very thorough in its treatment of the topic, and it teaches chastity without teaching prudishness.

Fr. Morrow goes into the purpose of love, gives tips for courtship, and even gives some marriage advice for people to start thinking about beforehand. He tells it like it is, giving both the spiritual and practical consequences of not being chaste. He even does all of this without getting into the “don’t even shake hands until you are married” prudish approach that some books on courtship go into. In other words, develop the genuine virtue of chastity.

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Negative Three Cents

  /   Saturday, January 27, 2007   /   Comments(0)

I just got a bill from one of my credit cards for negative three cents. Yes, you saw that right. I hadn’t used this card in a long time, so it has long had a zero balance. Apparently, there was a class-action suit against the company, and so I was awarded three cents. Now, if only the penny bubble-gum machines would start accepting credit cards, I could reap the fruits of membership.

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Is Anyone Surprised?

  /   Wednesday, January 24, 2007   /   Comments(0)

I just read this review of Windows Vista. I doubt that Vista would impress me. The review suggests that it isn’t bad, but it isn’t exactly a compelling upgrade, either. That’s too bad considering it has been five years since the last major upgrade. This was my favorite line:

Compared with Mac OS X 10.4, Windows Vista feels clunky and not very intuitive, almost as though it’s still based on DOS (or at least the internal logic that made up DOS).

Of course, Mac OS X is based on Unix, which I believe is older than DOS, but Apple really does seem to put good features into it. Mac OS X Leopard is showing that it will have some visible new features. That’s what I plan to spend money on.

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Tech I Am Stuck On

  /   Tuesday, January 23, 2007   /   Comments(0)

Okay, I’ve decided to talk about what I do have these days. For one thing, I’ve bought a Sirius radio. I’m now addicted to EWTN radio. We don’t have a station in Memphis, so I’ve never had it before. It’s great. In fact, I think I like it better than their television. Then again, we don’t exactly have that on basic cable either. There is a station, but it is shared with the “higher education” channel.

I’ve been doing recordings, both of my own stuff and of RCIA, as a hobby for some time now. I’ve gone from hooking up a standard PC microphone straight into a laptop to using real professional or at least prosumer equipment. I can’t believe what I’ve learned. Lately, I’ve been playing with a Mackie Satellite. It’s great for me to record my podcast and then take the pod to record something at a church.

My wish list item that I will share with you is an 80 GB iPod. I’ve almost filled up the 20 GB. Since it looks like there isn’t going to be a new iPod other than the iPhone for a while, I may eventually stop holding out for an iPod with a user-replaceable battery. Why would I need 80 GB? I download a lot of talks that are an hour or so long, and they take up more space than an individual song does.

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Tech Predictions for David Ancell

  /   Tuesday, January 23, 2007   /   Comments(0)

David Carnoy of CNET makes his tech predictions for 2007. Just for fun, I had to make my own “judgments” based on the predictions.

Personally, I think the iPhone, PSP3, and HD DVD and Blu Ray are too expensive to be worth their price for me. I’d rather upgrade my podcast equipment or something that I can really use. I’m a big fan of the old arcade-game collections, and I doubt that many of those are going to be big PSP3-only games.

Windows Vista . . . . hmmmm. I must say that I never fully realized the poor quality of Microsoft’s operating system until I bought my first Macintosh last summer. There’s a reason I bought a MacBook Pro just a couple of weeks after buying the iMac. I can actually multitask on these babies. Try checking your e-mail on Windows XP while saving an hour-long WAV file that you recorded at 24-bit. I did, and I realized soon afterward that I had made a mistake. I might go ahead and upgrade my Windows Media Center to Vista after a little while, but part of the reason that I’m willing to do that is that I don’t use it as much as I used to. If it stops working, not much is lost.

Granted, I don’t expect Vista to be a total disaster. Sure, you’ll hear reports about how someone’s goldfish experienced spontaneous combustion after the person installed Vista. However, most people’s experience won’t be quite so drastic. My thought is that I don’t expect it to be much better, and I would guess that eventually people will realize this and be much less likely to upgrade.

I have my own wish list, but I’m not sure if people would laugh if I post it. Right now, I really need to stop buying stuff for a while anyway. One can only fit so much in my apartment, and a little delayed gratification wouldn’t kill me.

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A Scary Statistic

  /   Monday, January 22, 2007   /   Comments(0)

Half of all deaths in the world are due to abortion. There have been 64 times more people killed by abortion than in all of the wars the United States has ever fought. This comes to you from the Family Life Center. I heard it on Faith and Family radio which is produced by the center. You can order a CD of the broadcast on the website. You will probably eventually be able to listen online by clicking on the January 18th show on this page. The link is dead right now, but hopefully the file will be posted soon.

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Unprotected

  /   Monday, January 22, 2007   /   Comments(0)

I always find stories of secular writers who have managed to demonstrate what the Catholic Church has known all along to be very fascinating. Perhaps some of you have read about the former Dr. Anonymous who is now known to be Dr. Miriam Grossman of UCLA. She is not someone who could be described as a pro-life activist by any stretch of the imagination.

However, let’s look at the interview in the National Review article that I have linked to. Dr. Grossman wrote about how political correctness has allowed her profession to ignore the effects of the on-campus sexual activity on the people engaging in it. Dr. Grossman herself doesn’t appear to be a chastity advocate, but maybe some day she will be. She is at least asking that we are at least giving people appropriate information for whatever choice they make.

This book may cause her to lose esteem among colleagues or even lose her job. Some may cite political correctness, and this is no doubt a huge element of the problem. However, I have to think that a large part of the problem is that those in charge of most secular (or even most Catholic institutions which are practically secular anyway) have the wrong idea about the well-being of their students. Granted, the students are technically adults, but in today’s culture, we are often not fully prepared to be adults. It’s appropriate to allow people to make some mistakes so that they can understand the consequences, but there are limits.

Let me cite a case in point. A few months ago, I got an e-mail from my alma mater, the University of Mississippi. The University was beginning a new “get tough” policy on alcohol violations. Were they doing this in response to rampant alcohol abuse that was no doubt well-known at the time that I was in school. No, it was in response to the alcohol-related death of university police officer Robert Langley. No, Officer Langley wasn’t abusing alcohol as far as I know, but, rather, the person responsible for his death was. My point is that it took the death of a police officer for the University to issue the policy. This problem existed long before then, and I refuse to believe that something couldn’t have been done about it.

Granted, the job isn’t just the job of the administrators. One reason why people may seek consolation in alcohol or in basically anonymous intimate encounters is our isolation from God and from each other. Many people may be together and appear to be having a great time at a party. However, how much fun can we really be having together with some bass booming so loudly that we can’t hear each other talk and with many so darn drunk that they don’t know who they are talking to? Dr. Grossman has uncovered an important aspect of the problem. Doing so has led many people, and may one day lead Dr. Grossman, to the answer.

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March for Life

  /   Monday, January 22, 2007   /   Comments(0)

Here on the anniversary of the criminally insane Roe vs. Wade, the annual March for Life is taking place in Washington DC. I’m off work for one more day (must go back tomorrow), and I’m listening to Kresta in the Afternoon on my Sirius radio where Teresa Tomeo is being interviewed by a substitute host. The news is good.

Teresa has indicated that there are many, many young people at the March for Life. In fact, she says she’s old compared to most of the people she sees there. Compare that to the last pro-abortion “March for Women’s Lives” (sic!!!). The majority of people seen there were part of a dying group. They were, in Tomeo’s words, the “burn-your-bra” 1960’s feminists. It’s sad that in over forty years they still haven’t figured out that there ideas are leading them nowhere. She mentioned that they even bussed in union people who had nothing to do with their movement to pad their numbers.

There’s more . . . I’ve heard several reports on EWTN radio that Silent No More Awareness and Rachel’s Vineyard are present. Many are giving their stories of how abortion has hurt them. Thank God they are there to tell the truth and to let people know that there is help after an abortion. I wonder if the secular media, to which I have not paid a lot of attention, is giving these people the time of day.

Please note carefully my choice of words here. I have said that this is a “hopeful” thing. It gives me hope, but I could not call it a cause for celebration. After all, it’s a sad thing that we still have to be marching for life. We must pray for the day when abortion is ended. Still, the fact that so many are there gives hope that it will be within my lifetime.

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Time to Be Pro-Life

  /   Sunday, January 21, 2007   /   Comments(0)

If we support nothing else, it is imperative that we support the pro-life cause. As someone who was born after the criminally insane Roe vs. Wade decision, I’m grateful that I wasn’t aborted. It’s not that I think my parents were considering it. I’m pretty sure they weren’t. However, they could have if they had wanted to.

I hope that there are parishes out there with really active pro-life groups. The one at my parish does do some things, but they are very small. Another parish has only three people on their committee. What is going on? Is the pastor not promoting it enough or supporting it enough? We must get together to fight this abomination!

In other news, I have a podcast that is in post-production that I hope to post tomorrow. I didn’t even intend for it to be a specifically pro-life podcast, but it is certainly relevant. Please check my podcast page for it when you can.

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