Bullet Journal year one

Bullet Journal year one

Bullet Journal – year one

bullet journal year one

my first Bullet Journal entry/task list, 19-Jan-2017

Bullet Journal – year one

The concept of keeping a “Bullet Journal” was all the rage this time last year. As my friends began to take up the style, I thought I’d give it a try. I’d been back-and-forth with paper versus electronic task lists for a couple of years. New apps, new systems come and go. I needed something I could stick with.

The key aspect of the Bullet Journal – often shortened to BuJo – is that it’s forgiving. The BuJo starts blank. You can set it up this week in one style, shifting to another next week.

This was an opportunity. I like the Franklin-Covey system for task management. A-B-C, 1-2-3 worked for me. The world changed since I started that system around 1989. BuJo brought me back to it.

Weekly layout, daily details

I now set up a two-page weekly layout, with a monthly calendar, sections for Monday though Sunday, next to the calendar. Then I have general task topics, such as Writing, Blogging, Podcasts, Personal, etc. Each day, I take tasks from the weekly layout, move them into a daily list, then prioritize that. Notes about the day go below that, onto multiple pages, if necessary.

Managing the writing

bullet journal year one

Standard Moleskine – Dragon’s writing notebook!

Bullet Journal year one started with me adding writing notes as part of the daily BuJo pages. I’ve decided to change that up. I’ll finish Trusted Talents (the second novel in the Bayou Talents series) in the day-to-day BuJo. The third Dragons novel, Dragon’s Defiance, now has its own notebook. Well, it’s the start of a “dragons” Moleskine. Third Talents will go that way as well. Other writing projects will start in the regular BuJo.

Will three notebooks be a problem? probably not. If something comes to me for one of the two main universes, I can note it in the daily notebook and transcribe to the project notebook.

Starting a new daily notebook

bullet journal year one

Old and New – 2017 BuJo Moleskine, 2018 BuJo Moo Notebook

I decided to buy new Moo cards for NOLA History Guy just after New Year’s. When I placed the order, the company offered me their “Moo Notebook” for a discount. I grabbed it this morning and declared it to be the continuation of the BuJo for 2018!

bullet journal year one

Moo Notebook binding

The Moo notebook has an interesting binding, making it easier to lay flat.

And, we’re off!

Military Parade – maybe it’s not a bad idea

Military Parade in DC?

military parade

US Army Old Guard Fife and Drum Corps (courtesy Spc. Van Der Weide/U.S. Army)

Military Parade in DC?

Yeah, I wasn’t impressed when Donnie declared he wants a Red Square-style parade. We’re not a culture of tanks and missiles. I want a military parade, though.

military parade

Sentinel, Tomb of the Unknowns, Arlington National Cemetery (courtesy Wikimedia Commons user Eric Chan)

We fetishize military deaths in the United States. I attribute this to two main factors. First, the Puritan roots of the United States. We demand focus on the afterlife. We honor the dead more than the living. Are Forces are not better fighters for that. Let’s cheer them while they’re still with us!

Factor number two focuses around Arlington National Cemetery. The center of military ceremony in many Western countries is the royal palace. There’s Buckingham Palace in London, palaces in Oslo, and Stockholm, and the Vatican, to name a few. We don’t have a royal family in the United States. Our focus is on the dead. Turning the Custis-Lee Plantation into hallowed ground made for an interesting compromise. It gave the Union a way to ceremonially seal the victory over the Southern rebellion. It also raised the leader of the rebels up to a lofty position in our country’s military tradition and heritage. It’s an honorable and distinguished thing to do. Still, it focuses on death and the dead more than we should. ‘

Honoring the living

military parade

The United States Navy Ceremonial Guard and the United States Air Force Honor Guard are reviewed by Chinese Vice President Xi Jinping, during a Joint Services arrival ceremony at the Pentagon, 14 Feb. 2012. (Courtesy U.S. Navy Petty Officer 1st Class Chad J. McNeeley)

To facilitate the honoring of military dead, each branch of the service maintains an honor guard in the DC area. The US Army has the Third Regiment, The Old Guard. The Old Guard includes the Caisson Platoon and Escort Platoons, that bear the bodies of our deceased military men and women to their resting places at Arlington. The regiment also includes other units that honor the living, such as the Commander In Chief’s Guard,  and the Old Guard Fife and Drum Corps.

military parade

US 1st Cavalry Horse Detachment (courtesy Pfc. Rebekah Lampman, U.S. Army)

And that’s not all! There’s the 1st Cavalry Division Horse Cavalry Detachment, part of the 1st Cavalry Division, posted at Fort Hood, in Texas. The Navy has the Naval Ceremonial Guard, Marines are first to fight, but they also have the United States Marine Corps Battle Color Detachment, which includes the USMC Silent Drill Team. There’s the USAF and the US Coast Guard Honor Guards as well. Therefore, we have the personnel for a grand parade!

Don’t forget the USS Constitution, up in Charles Town, Boston! Bring the crew, dressed in their War of 1812-era uniforms down for a parade!

Here’s a list of military ceremonial units.

Martial Music

military parade

US Navy Ceremonial Band (courtesy Chief Musician Stephen W. Hassay)

So, there are the bands! In addition to the Old Guard Fife and Drums, each service has a band in the DC area. Many bases and posts also have excellent bands. Put the DC bands on the street! Bring the service academy bands to DC. Have a contest among the other bands. Let them audition for spots in a grand parade.

Flyovers!

military parade

USAF Thunderbirds (courtesy Airman 1st Class Tammie Ramsouer)

Fly the planes! Bring on the US Navy Blue Angels and the USAF Thunderbirds! While the jets fly, don’t forget the Army’s Golden Knights!

Focus on our Forces

military parade

Let helicopter pilots CAPT Daniel Hall and CAPT Vincent Franchino march proud!

So, celebrate the men and women of our Forces, before we put them in the ground! Honor their families! Maybe let some of the spouses and children march/ride in a parade!

Display diversity! Parade people of color, parade gay couples and our TG military personnel! They deserve it more than missiles.

#Timesup transition means #whypipo must change

#Timesup transition means #whypipo must change

#Timesup Transition

transitioning to #timesup

#Timesup Transition

The #metoo movement shined a huge spotlight on the treatment of women in the US. #Timesup transition begins with a change in political action. Personal stories morph into that action.

The Golden Globes are a forum for political activism. This year, that took the form of #timesup. This is a huge step in our national discourse. Hollywood takes on patriarchy and racism. The #metoo groundswell went well beyond the cathartic stories told by individuals. While this was good, it didn’t really break out past individuals.

White people need to insert/assert themselves

When people of color are brought to the forefront of any issue, white people tend to bristle a bit. The #metoo stories were overwhelmingly from white women. Weinstein didn’t even dignify allegations from women of color. The #timesup efforts deliberately carry #metoo that step further, turning the follow-spot away from the white people. As expected, white people pushed back.

transitioning to #timesup

Rinku Sen (@rinkuwrites)

Rinku Sen (@rinkuwrites) is the publisher of Colorlines.com. She wrote a piece for The Nation on #timesup. It dropped last Tuesday. So, Sen makes a number of important points on what she calls the “lefty critique” of #timesup. The list of “critiques” she offers is things is interesting. They’re things one hears from folks critical of “Hollywood.” This writer offers more.

Breaking the binary

Sen argues we’re “trapped in binaries.” It’s a good point. Therefore, transitioning to #timesup happens with broader perspective. So few things are either-or. Binary thinking avoids nuance. She returns the nuance:

No one knows exactly what formula will ward off the authoritarianism looming over our country and the world, but that formula probably doesn’t include the word “only.” There should and will be many tactical experiments in this period of political, cultural, and spiritual churn. Critique is easy. Actually running such an experiment is hard.

Absolutely. Either this or this doesn’t work. Many issues need nuance. Let’s try new approaches.

So, how does this apply to transitioning to #timesup?

Sen explains #timesup thusly:

#TimesUp is grounded in a progressive movement where racial justice, feminism, and workers’ rights meet. For years, organizations have worked to change the national narrative around work, violence, immigration, policing, and many other issues. Understanding that policy and politics were inadequate to the transformational task at hand, they added cultural change to their toolkit.

The #timesup movement expands progressive activism. Sen nails it upfront. She adds racial justice to white activism.

Cultural change

I regularly use the hashtag #checkyourprivilege in conversations. #Timesup integrates this. We must change the culture of white privilege.  We must change white people on the Left. Therefore, we’ll have a lot of tough conversations. It means hurt feelings. People will (gasp!) unfriend on social media. Cultural change means white folks need to catch up.

Slate’s Hit Parade – The destruction of the single

Slate’s Hit Parade – The destruction of the single

Slate’s Hit Parade podcast


“Here Comes the Sun” – the most-sold Beatles song on iTunes

Slate’s Hit Parade – How the labels destroyed the single

Slate’s Hit Parade podcast is now separate from their “Culture Gabfest” pod, and that’s a good thing. In the series’ fifth drop, the subject is the single. The recording industry hated singles, not because they didn’t make money. They hated them because they didn’t make enough money. Listeners wanted the music they heard on the radio. The labels wanted more retail sales. The way to get more money out of consumers was to sell them albums rather than singles. Problem was, a lot of albums only had the one or two good tracks that ended up as singles. The other eight-ish tracks on the album just weren’t interesting. The industry’s solution: don’t sell singles, force the public to buy the album.

The strategy worked. You wanted that Joni Mitchell tune you heard on the radio? Go buy her “Court and Spark” album. Same for artists from The Beatles to Nirvana and Pearl Jam. The industry refused to sell the tunes on the radio as singles for decades. Listen to the pod, it’s fascinating.

Singles vs Albums

Slate's Hit Parade

Alanis Morisette’s “You Oughta Know” – lots of radio play, never a single

I never bought singles, mainly because I appropriated the family stereo at an early age. I bought albums by Emerson, Lake, and Palmer, Yes, and The Beatles when I was in seventh grade. My sisters had a record player and were content with 45 RPM singles. Not me. I’m not sure if my personal rejection of the single was because of any marketing strategy on part of the industry. I’m just one of those mutants that liked the “album tracks” better than the “single track” on an LP. Take Boston’s debut album, for example. “More Than A Feeling” was the big-radio tune when the album dropped in the fall of 1976. I always liked “Peace of Mind” better. No way I would’ve purchased a Boston 45 RPM, as a result. Of course, I listened to so much “head rock,” ELP, Yes, King Crimson, etc., that didn’t lend itself to the single format.

“Cassingles” and “Single CDs”

The pod’s discussion of these formats fascinated me. All these years, I never thought releasing a single-on-cassette or a single-tune CD was a thing. The connection of format to Billboard’s “Hot 100” chart made them important. I never cared. For me, it was about buying the album, then recording it to a tape for the car, then later, the Walkman. The CD, while pricey, appealed to audiophile-me.

The pod ends with the karma that was Napster and iTunes, and how the greed of the recording industry pretty much destroyed it. In that section, one tidbit caught my ear, that “Here Comes the Sun” became the best-selling tune from The Beatles’ catalog when it was placed on Apple’s music sales site. It was never released as a single, but became their best-selling single. I wonder if it was the label that kept the tune off the Hot 100 (by not releasing it as a single), or if it was Lennon and McCartney.

Independent Pod

I’m very pleased that Hit Parade is now a stand-alone podcast, and look forward to future eps.

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Mychal Judge – Gay Saint?

Mychal Judge – Gay Saint?

mychal judge gay saint

FDNY memorial to department chaplain Fr. Mychal Judge, OFM (courtesy Commons user BrillLyle)

 

Is Mychal Judge a “Gay Saint”?

It’s called a “cause” when Catholics put a person forward for canonization. The “cause” of Fr. Mychal Judge, OFM, moves forward to Pope Francis. While the Church maintains that it’s difficult to become a saint, Pope Francis expanded the paths to sainthood. This profile of Judge, by Ruth Graham in Slate.com, explains how the Franciscan friar and 9/11 hero is now eligible for this designation.

Prior to Pope Francis, there were two paths to sainthood. One was Martyrdom. A martyr is one who gives their life for their faith. The second was “Confessor,” the more complicated path. These are the causes with all the rules and regulations. A “confessor” becomes a saint when “miracles” happen based on this person’s intercession with God. So, the “confessor” path is a difficult one.

Oblatio Vitae

This July, Pope Francis created a new path to sainthood. As Graham explains it:

But in July, the Vatican announced that it had expanded its criteria for sainthood, creating a new category for people who willingly sacrifice their lives for others: oblatio vitae, the “offering of life.” This new category of saints does not need to have been killed directly because of their faith, and they need display only “ordinary” virtue. As Mathew Schmalz, a religious studies professor at the College of the Holy Cross in Massachusetts, put it, “Now saints can be persons who lead a fairly ordinary life until an extraordinary moment of supreme self-sacrifice.” It’s a category that seemed custom-built for Judge.

While the Vatican will no doubt admit that this category exists for Judge, it really does seem this way. Of course, there are a number of other folks who fit these criteria. It’s important to remember, to canonize someone means the Church declares, this person is in heaven with God. That’s a bold claim, coming from mortals. Naturally, they want to be as certain as they possibly can. Catholics and other students of the process of canonization will find this all interesting.

Judge offered his life

The article is a splendid profile of a complex man. Judge did indeed offer his life, particularly in service to AIDS victims in New York. Like those who worked with lepers in earlier times, Judge embraces those dying of AIDS-related conditions, offering comfort and spiritual support. Judge was a gay man, and had a long-term relationship with a nurse who also lived in Manhattan, Al Alvarado. Judge, his friends, and those championing his cause, maintain that he remained true to his priestly vow of celibacy. Like many straight priests who have intimate relationships with women, they see no problem with Judge’s relationship with Alvarado.

Fr. Judge is a man Catholics can easily look up to. And pray to.