Friday, October 31, 2008

Friday Red Mr. Peanut Bank And Gallito Mescalito Blogging: Hallowe'en Edition

Boy, Blogger is crap tonight! It's been a battle to get this loaded!

I know I should go all out for the blog's second anniversary, but: It's low-production values night at Friday Red Mr. Peanut Bank and Gallito Mescalito Blogging!

Oh, scary! No narrative or dialogue tonight. Just everyone showing off their spooky Hallowe'en costumes! Guess who is wearing which poorly constructed mask! And, yes, the cat went for two masks.

I'm a porn star!

Hey! You can't knock 'em all outta da park!
The Lovely Mona and I spent our Hallowe'en as we usually do: watching the classic Rocky Horror Picture Show!

Parade Practice

It's marching season here in Panamá. The National Holidays begin on Monday, but there will be lottsa marchin' mañana y Domingo.

When I arrived at la Parroquia this morning, a group of drums, glockenspiels and baton twirlers were getting ready to practice. I grabbed some quick photos of them waiting for their teacher.

Miss Dickens covers her face in a show of false modesty

Headin' down the road

Oh Yeah, It's Hallowe'en

We don't do Hallowe'en here in Panama. Back in the days of the Canal Zone they did Trick or Treat, but I don't think the celebration really moved very far outside of the Zone. When the Lovely Mona and I first came to Panama way back in 1999, we lived in Paraíso, a former Silver-roll town and we would get a few kids on Hallowe'en. Our neighbor, Mrs. Manning, used to send her grandchildren up to the house to collect her Hallowe'en candy. But now we live in Chanís and we don't get Trick or Treaters, which is fine, as we don't have any candy.

This is my favorite Punkin' Pitchure, and I posts it every year I loves me some punkin' violence!

Friday Random Top Ten

Ya pushes "shuffle" and ya takes yer chances. . .

1. Must You Throw Dirt In My Face? Elvis Costello
2. Noises For The Leg Bonzo Dog Do Dah Band
3. Responsory@6, Caligaverunt oculi mei Westminster Abbey Choir/Abbey Consort - Martin Neary
4. Crime In The Desert Brian Eno & John Cale
5. New Angels Of Promise David Bowie
6. Flash Pan Hunter/Intro Tom Waits
7. Go To The Mirror, Boy! The Who
8. All You Ever Think About Is Sex Sparks
9. Airbag Radiohead
10. Remake Remodel Roxy Music

We've got two interesting instrumental pieces: Noises For The Leg and Flash Pan Hunter/Intro. Sparks makes its second appearance in so many weeks; better keep an eye on iTunes. WARNING: The Elvis video may make one sea sick. The final song (and video) are classic, classic, classic! I must admit that I didn't expect to find much of this list on YouTube, but that shows what I know!

Please add your lists in the comments

Wingnut Crazy!

For the past eight years, the Right Wing has accused sane those who oppose George W. Bush and his policies of suffering from "Bush Derangement Syndrome." Actually, they seem to have stopped using that phrase since almost everyone nowadays despises Bush and his policies. However, there are some folks who still support him: insane McCain supporters (yes, I realize this is redundant). But few are as insane as Pam Geller. I dare you, heck, I DOUBLE-DOG DARE YOU to read this crazy article! This is your Hallowe'en scare!

Some of you are aware that there are wingnuts who believe that Barack Obama was not born in the U.S.A. and can not be president, but Ms. Geller, who has also made this claim, has this new theory, which now means that Obama IS estadoünidense.
Unfortunately, this stuff will only get worse when Obama is elected.

Two Years!

Today Padre Mickey's Dance Party is two years old. We started, as most blogs do, as a "Z" level blog, and, in a mere two years, have clawed our way all the way up to "V" level blog! We have a nice little community here, especially on Friday nights, and the Lovely Mona and I thank you for being Dance Party denizens. I do have one question: Who is the reader in "Surprise, AZ?" Great name for a town!

Thursday, October 30, 2008

Light Blogging

This is a photo of our good telephone!

By which I mean I'm not doing much blogging, not that this will be a post about light. But you knew that, right?

Our telephone line has been out since Sunday, but for some odd reason the internet line works sporadically. This makes it a bit tough to do much blogging or even reading email here at la Rectoría. So I can't guarantee that there will be a Friday Red Mr. Peanut Bank and Gallito Mescalito Blogging episode tomorrow, or, if one does appear, it may be a classic episode. Just a heads-up. I do have internet access at la oficina en la iglesia, but I don't do much blogging from there.

Thank you for your patience.

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

McCain Campaign Is Hitting Its Stride

He's got us right where he wants us!


We've just had eight years of tax cuts for the rich, and there aren't more jobs. Anyone paying attention knows that the economy is in the crapper. Why do John McCain and his Evil Twin, George W. Bush, continue to claim that tax cuts for corporations and re-distributing the wealth to the richest 1% is the way to save the economy? It doesn't work; it hasn't worked. You've got to be totally hypmotized to believe such blather.

As for Barack Obama being a Communist; well, I've never seen him at our meetings!

Monday, October 27, 2008

Presidential Candidates and Telephone Technology: A Comparison


Breaking News

Hey everybody, remember what Senator Criminal Republican Ted Stevens says: "The internet is not a truck. . . it's a series of tubes!"

And a conviction is not a campaign endorsement, it's a ticket to prison!
One more Republican convicted of a crime.
Why are Bush and Cheney still walking around free?

Oh! Look!

Birds of a feather!

Sunday, October 26, 2008

Saturday Night at St. Simon's

I tried to post this last night but Blogger was not cooperating

Last night Saturday night the Lovely Mona and I went to Gamboa to St. Simon's Episcopal Church to participate in their Patronal Festival. The Bishop was there, of course. Padre Nelson Edwards and Wesley Scott have been doing a lot of renovation in the church; they replaced the Sacristy door, the renovated both rest rooms, and they made a new cross and new sign for the exterior of the building.

We started the service outside so that Bishop Murray could bless the new cross. It's October in Gamboa so the rain fell hard during the service. The rain was so loud on the zinc roof that Padre Nelson and I had to move from the chancel to the front pew so that we could hear the bishop preach! Bishop Murray went about the building blessing all the new stuff. After the service we had a delightful repast, with a chicken pie, one of the Lovely Mona's incredible salads, empanadas, and sorril, a drink made from the buds of a cousin of the hibiscus. It was made just right with plenty of ginger.

Here are some photos:

New Sacristy door

New sign

Blessing the new cross

The congregation witnesses the blessing

Censing the altar

Bishop Murray and Padre Nelson

Kitchen Crew

Padre Mickey and Homer Welsh

Mr. Greaves and Mr. Rodney (Mr. Rodney was our neighbor when we lived in Paraíso, as were the Welshes)

Mrs. Scott

Mrs. Welsh

Mariella Edwards, esposa de Padre Nelson

Friday, October 24, 2008

Friday Red Mr. Peanut Bank and Gallito Mescalito Blogging

Tune: The Immortal Mickey Mouse Club Theme. Please, sing a long! (except for those of you too young to remember this classic. Too bad for you! Well, okay, here it is on YouTube NOW you can sing a long!

Whose the Guy fer President
We know will save the day?
B-A-R A-C-K O-B-A-M-A!

Who will clean-up all the mess
Left by George Dubyah Bushay?
B-A-R A-C-K O-B-A-M-A!





Forever let us hold our banner high!

Come along and join the throng
And save the U-S-A!
B-A-R A-C-K O-B-A-M-A!

I'm Padre Mickey and I approved this message. Waddaya gonna do about it?

I think it's quite obvious that our Lighting Person had the night off!

Friday Random Top Ten

Ya pushes "shuffle" and ya takes yer chances. . .

1. No Language In Our Lungs XTC
2. Spread Outkast
3. Whizz Kid Mott The Hoople
4. Little Acorns The White Stripes
5. Vergine santa, d'ognigratia piena (Palestrina) The Hilliard Ensemble
6. Another Man's Vine Tom Waits
7. Looks, Looks, Looks Sparks
8. This Must Be The Place (Naïve Melody) Talking Heads
9. Who Killed Bambi? Ten Pole Tudor
10. Automatic Stop The Strokes

Well, the ol' iTunes Shuffle is all over the place today. We open with my all time favorite song by XTC. The Outkast song is nasty, as one would expect, but the dancing in the video is great. Mott the Hoople makes their debut on the list (I just downloaded the album Saturday) with a song featuring a great, four-note synth solo on a Moog with those wonderful, fat-sounding ring oscillators. The White Stripes song contains one of my favorite lyrics: Be like the squirrel, girl, be like the squirrel, ow, ow, ow. Give it a whirl, girl, be like the squirrel, ow, ow, ow. It don' git better'n dat. Palestrina is totally out of place. Tom Waits is always welcome, followed by one obscure Sparks song (I heard that! Waddaya mean "All Sparks songs are obscure"?). A pretty song by the Talking Heads, and a noisy song by Ten Pole Tudor (from The Great Rock 'N' Roll Swindle), and it all comes to an automatic stop with the Strokes song ends.
Er, I don't think that's the Strokes in the video, but that IS their recording.

Please share your top tens in the comments.

Thursday, October 23, 2008

Everybody Sing Along!

Nicked from

Feast of St. James of Jerusalem, Brother of our Lord, First Bishop of Jerusalem, and Martyr

Grant, O God, that, following the example of your servant James the Just, brother of our Lord, your Church may give itself continually to prayer and to the reconciliation of all who are at variance and enmity; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and for ever. Amen.

Let’s talk about siblings; not everyone has brothers and sisters, but if you do, I have a question: Did you always get along with your brothers and sisters? If your family is like most families, I would say 'probably not.' Usually there is some sibling rivalry in a family and there can be some competition between the children; competition for the attention of the parents, competition in the area of school work, competition in sports and winning awards. I am the eldest of four children, and the birth order is boy-girl-boy-girl, and there is eighteen months between my sister Melanie and I and eighteen months between Melanie and Jim and then four years between Jim and Marcella. Melanie and I are close in age and close in interests and close in abilities. We are both musicians, we both work in churches, and we have similar tastes in art, literature, music and politics. We are both rather competitive and always have been so. When I was trying to learn my multiplication tables, Melanie was right there paying attention and actually learning them. That's just normal sibling rivalry. Maybe your relationship with your siblings is similar, and maybe they think that you overshadow them or you thing that they overshadow you. I think that this is pretty normal in sibling relationships. But imagine having a brother who calls himself "the Son of Man," who wanders around the country, attracting crowds, healing the sick, bringing sight to the blind, preaching forgiveness of sins and proclaiming the coming of the Reign of God. Talk about overshadowing! How do you compete with someone like that?

Today is the Feast of St. James of Jerusalem, the brother of our Lord, Jesus Christ. James was one of Jesus' four brothers, but we don't know about birth order; some traditions each that the brothers and sisters mentioned in the gospels were Joseph's children from a previous marriage or that they were actually Jesus' cousins. These are good explanations for those who believe that Mary was "ever virgin." Personally, it seems more probable to me that Joseph and Mary had a normal marriage and produced several children. From what we read in the gospels, it seems that Jesus and his family didn't really get along that well; do your remember the story of Mary sending his brothers after him because the family was worried that he was crazy? Did Jesus say to his brothers, "Tell Mom I'll be there once I'm finished talking with these folks"? No, he said, "Who is my mother? Who are my brothers? Everyone who works for the Reign of God is my mother and sister and brother." That answer wouldn't have gone over well with my mother! We don't know what James told his mother back home about what Jesus was doing; we don't know if he told her that Jesus was alright and that he was only doing the will of God. We know that Jesus wasn't well received back home because everyone knew him, but we don't know if his brothers and sisters were part of the unreceptive group. We do know that James was an important leader in the Early Church along with Peter, and we know from Paul's writings and from the Acts of the Apostles that James was the head of the Church in Jerusalem. It was James whom Paul visited when in Jerusalem, and it was James who, after hearing of Paul's mission to the Gentiles decided that the Gentiles would not have to adhere to the Mosiac covenant and be circumcised but adhere to the Noachian covenant, avoiding sexual promiscuity, not eating food sacrificed to idols, and not eating meat from animals which had been strangled, or meat which still had blood in it. We also know that James was one of those to whom Jesus appeared after the Resurrection.

According to Clement of Alexandria, as quoted by Bishop Eusebius, the first historian of the Church, James was the first bishop of Jerusalem. James was a very important figure to the Jewish Christians and his importance is reflected in chapter 12 of the Gospel of Thomas, an early gospel which was not accepted by the Church. It is a collection of sayings of Jesus, and chapter 12 reads: The disciples said to Jesus, "We know that you are going to leave us. Who will be our leader?" Jesus said to them, "No matter where you are, you are to go to James the Just, for whose sake heaven and earth came into being."

According to the Jewish party in the Early Church, James represented Israel, and this is reflected in that passage. James was called the Just or Righteous because of his strict adherence to the Torah. According to Clement of Alexandria, James was: Holy from birth; he drank no wine or intoxicating liquor and ate no animal food; no razor came near his head; he did not smear himself with oil and took no baths. He alone was permitted to enter the Holy Place (Holy of Holies in the Temple), for his garments were not of wool but of linen. He used to enter the Sanctuary alone, and was often found on his knees beseeching forgiveness for the people, so that his knees grew hard like a camel's from his continually bending them in worship of God and beseeching forgiveness for the people. Because of his unsurpassable righteousness he was called the Righteous and bulwark of the People. If it is true that he entered the Holy of Holies, then James was a High Priest of the Temple, which was an important position within the community, both Jewish and Christian (It would also mean that he did take baths, as a ritual bath on the part of the priest is an aspect of the Yom Kippur liturgy). According to Josephus, the Jewish historian of the first century, James was well respected by Jews and Christians because of his righteousness. Some traditions, especially those of the Ebionites, a first-century Jewish-Christian sect, taught that James performed miracles just like Jesus.

I mentioned earlier that the family of Jesus wasn't always supportive of his ministry; we know from scripture that they worried that he might have been a bit crazy, and his brothers were sent by their mother to bring him home. Was James one of the brothers sent to fetch Jesus? Did he think that his brother was behaving strangely by wandering all over Galilee healing and preaching? We don't know what James thought at the time but we do know that he came to accept his brother as Lord. According ot St. Paul, Jesus appeared to James after the Resurrection, and if James had harbored any doubts about his brother's ministry, rest assured that they were swept away by this appearance! The experience was so life-changing that, although James remained a strict follower of the Torah, he also became the leader of the Church in Jerusalem, the first Church. James, just like his brother, was a strong defender and supporter of the poor, as was the Jerusalem Church. The name Ebionites, can be translated to mean "the poor." Paul collected donations for the poor, and these funds were sent back to James and the Church in Jerusalem.

Jesus was executed with the support of the religious authorities of Jerusalem, and according to both Josephus and Clement, as quoted by Eusebius in Historia Ecclesiastica, James, the brother of Jesus, was also murdered as a result of pressure from the religious authorities. According to Eusebius, James' example and his righteous life had convinced others, even members of the ruling class, that Jesus was the Christ, the Messiah, and the Scribes and Pharisees were afraid that all the people would accept Jesus as Lord. So, at the Feast of the Passover during the year 62, the Scribes and Pharisees asked James to stand on the Temple parapet so that everyone could see and hear him tell the facts about Jesus, since, as the Scribes and Pharisees said, "the people have gone astray after Jesus." James stood on the parapet, and the Scribes and Pharisees shouted to him: "Righteous One, whose word we are all obliged to accept, the people are going astray after Jesus who was crucified; so tell us, what is meant by 'the door of Jesus?'" And James answered in a loud voice, "Why do you question me about the Son of Man? I tell you, He is sitting in heaven at the right hand of the Great Power, and He will come on the clouds of heaven." And many people believed, and began to shout, "Hosannah to the Son of David!" So now the Scribes and Pharisees were worried and thought, "we really made a mistake putting him up there. We better throw him down so that they will be frightened and not believe him." So they began to shout, "Oh no! Even the Righteous One has gone astray!" and someone pushed James off the parapet and he fell down to the ground. Then they said, "Let us stone James the Righteous" because he was still alive after his fall. While the stones rained upon him, James got to his knees and prayed aloud: "I beseech thee, Lord God and Father, forgive them; they do not know what they are doing." While the stones were falling like rain upon James, the descendants of Rechab, a priestly family, shouted, "Stop! What are you doing? The Righteous One is praying for you!" Then one of the mob took a fuller's club, which was used to beat out the clothes, and brought it down on James' head, and James died a martyr's death. According to Eusebius’ version of the story, James was buried on the spot, by the Sanctuary, until the destruction of the Temple. According to this account, some believed that the siege of Vespasian and the Jewish War, which culminated in the destruction of the Temple and Jerusalem, were the vengeance of God for the murder of James.

Back in 2002 there was quite a stir caused by an announcement by Hershel Shanks of the Biblical Archeological Review that an ossory, or bone box, had been discovered which was dated to the first century and bore the inscription Ya'akov bar Yosef akhui diYeshua which translates as James, son of Joseph, brother of Jesus, in Aramaic. It appears that the ossory is probably not authentic, but it certainly was an interesting find!

The word 'martyr' means 'witness,' and James was a witness. He witnessed his brother's ministry, and he was a witness of an appearance of the Resurrected Jesus. His life was a witness to the people of Jerusalem; his strict adherence to the Torah was proof of his righteousness, but he was also able to understand that the Law was not for all, and he realized that the Law would be a burden for the Gentile converts. He understood that to work for the Reign of God meant to speak for, defend, and support the poor, and he did this as Bishop of Jerusalem. He was the brother of Jesus, and as family, probably knew Jesus better than most; even though, at one time, he may have shared the doubts of his family about his brother's sanity, he did believe, and was blessed with a post-Resurrection appearance. He believed his brother's message about the coming of the Reign of God, and he was faithful to this message unto death. The lives of the saints are examples to us all, and the deaths of the martyrs made the church grow. Tertullian, an African leader of the Church in the second century said, "the blood of the martyrs is the seed of the Church." James was a bishop, an Apostle, and a Martyr, and he is an example to all of us, and today we celebrate his life and his death.May we keep the memory of James and of all the saints and martyrs as important examples always.

Icon written by the Rev. Tobias Stanislaus Haller, BSG, Dance Party Guy

Toles Gets It Right Again!

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Economics Primer for Estadoünidense

Let The Change Begin!

The Lovely Mona and I have cast our ballots and put them in the mail. Unlike the Lovely Mona, I never received my Absentee Ballot, so I voted using the Federal Write-in Absentee Ballot, which one downloads from the innertoobs n' stuff. It's a bit of a pain writing in all that stuff, especially all them Propositions for the California Ballot, but worth it. And if my Absentee Ballot arrives before November 4, I can vote it and send it in and it will be counted instead of the FWAB, which is kinda like voting twice but isn't because they only count one ballot. Vote early and vote often, I always say!

So even though I don't get to experience the thrill of standing in line waiting to use them punch-thangs or have my vote challenged or all the other cool stuff people who actually go to the polls git ta doo (I'm trying to sound like a Populist instead of the over-educated, foodie elitist that I am), and even though I don't get one of those "I voted" stickers for my forehead, I've done my part for the future of the U.S.A. and the world. So I award my self the following:

And of course

I See You!

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