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Good Morning Nanty Glo!
Friday, March 30 2001

The chicken coop and the worldwide web

After the remarks about computers and work on Tuesday, it occurred to me that itself might be a good topic for discussion here. But I'm eager to return to discussing music...so maybe we can come back to that later. Before turning from work, however, lest I forget, one more riff.

In a sense, the Nanty Glo Home Page, and especially this endeavor to publish this daily Jonal, is the outgrowth of a “vision” I had once in the chicken coop on the farm, at about age 14. It was actually more daydream than vision, born of youthful yearning, but the fact that the fantasy came to some fruition may elevate it a little.

The chicken coop had long since been cleared of any chickens and by now was used for storage, though there were still chicken lice visible in the feathers and other evidence of their former residence. The storage was mainly old lumber from other outbuildings like the chickencoop which, by now, had been torn down. Dad assigned me the job of turning the lumber into kindling, a day of chopping wood, a day of daydreaming and aspiring for anything other than chopping wood.

It turned out to be a productive day, however. Always a dreamer.... I fancied myself a follower of Joseph, my favorite Old Testament character. One of the seminal moments in all literature and biblical theology is the moment when Joseph rediscovers, decades later, the older brothers who sold him into slavery and instead of punishing them declares: “you meant it for evil, but God meant it for good.” Joseph's dreams, which first earned the hatred of his older brothers, eventually saved both Egypt and Israel.

Always the dreamer, one of my favorite dream topics was communications. I wanted to be a printer so I could be a publisher, so I could be an author. But I knew printing technology was prohibitively expensive, so I dreamed about ways to circumvent it. To be able to present my thoughts in attractive and portable format. To reach anyone willing to reach out and receive it. I worked on that for the rest of my life. But when the Internet got mature enough to support community newspapers like the ones I was editing in the mid-'90's, all the pieces were readily available, and affordable. My life's work became possible in a previously only dreamed-of way. So much so that, although my first worldwide web project was part of my job description as executive editor of the Times Newspaper Group, when that job was eliminated I opted to continue it in slightly altered form, but to a more appreciative audience. That's where we meet today.

Webmaster Jon Kennedy

Very Punny

7. A group of chess enthusiasts checked into a hotel and were standing in the lobby discussing their recent tournament victories. After about an hour, the manager came out of the office and asked them to disperse. "But why?" they asked, as they moved off. “Because,” he said, “I can't stand chess nuts boasting in an open foyer.”

8. A woman has twins, and gives them up for adoption. One of them goes to a family in Egypt and is named “Amal.” The other goes to a family in Spain; they name him “Juan.” Years later, Juan sends a picture of himself to his birth mother. Upon receiving the picture, she tells her husband that she wishes she also had a picture of Amal. Her husband responds, "They're twins! If you've seen Juan, you've seen Amal.”

Sent by John Sardell

Lenten meditation

I fell among thieves by my reasonings,
I was robbed by my wretched mind.
Greatly stricken and wounded in soul,
Naked of grace, I lie upon the road of life.

The priest saw my hopeless wounds and passed me by,
the Levite knew my disease and turned away.
But in Thy love for man Thou wast pleased
To stoop down to me, O Christ God,
Not by the Road of Samaria,
But from the flesh of Mary.

Grant me healing by pouring out on me
Thy great mercy. I now lie wounded and lifeless,
As if I had left Jerusalem, the way of Thy Divine Commandments,
And had reached the Passions of Jericho,
Reveling in the impious glory of earthly pursuits.

As if my reasonings had become thieves
And robbed me of my garments of sonship by grace.
The priest came by, and seeing my corpse, passed me by;
The levite too saw and departed.
But do Thou, O Lord, unspeakably Incarnate of the Virgin,
Bind up my wounds as if with healing ointment, O Christ God,
By the flood of blood and water which streamed Salvation
From Thy side.

Join me to the heavenly choir,
Since Thou art compassionate.
I have forsaken the splendor of virtues by my own will through my sin.
But by Thy condescension, O Word of God,
I am clothed in that splendor again.
Thou didst not despise me, even when I was wounded
By evil passions.
And trampled on the way like a transgressor.

Thou didst keep me safe by Thy mighty strength.
Thou hast granted me Thy protection, O merciful Lord.

From vespers of the fifth week of Great Lent

Sent by Christopher Haas

Lenten thoughts (i.e., pertaining to repentance and spiritual growth, from any faith-community perspective) are solicited from readers.

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