During last Sunday's televised mass, Bishop Edward Burns of the Catholic Diocese of Dallas, gave a very interesting homily. Instead of talking about the gospel reading, he instead gave a lecture on the different parts or rites of the Mass.
To give some examples, he explains why the priest or bishop say what they say. And why the clergy responds the way they do. Most of it is based on the Bible of course, and he cites specific passages as it relates to them.
He explains the offertory and what is really being offered during that time — spoiler, we are offering ourselves.
It is Jesus in fact that you seek when you dream of happiness; he is waiting for you when nothing else you find satisfies you; he is the beauty to which you are so attracted; it is he who provokes you with that thirst for fullness that will not let you settle for compromise; it is he who urges you to shed the masks of a false life; it is he who reads in your hearts your most genuine choices, the choices that others try to stifle. It is Jesus who stirs in you the desire to do something great with your lives, the will to follow an ideal, the refusal to allow yourselves to be grounded down by mediocrity, the courage to commit yourselves humbly and patiently to improving yourselves and society, making the world more human and more fraternal.
It's been over a month since my last music log. What with the digital declutter and all. Anyway, it's time for another one. I've got two hard hitting head-bang inducing rock songs in this music log. Both tracks deliver great messages to their listeners. Let's get started.
First up is the song “Justified” by one of my favorite bands, A Day To Remember. This song is a great reminder for all of us to stop being judgemental of other people. Especially those with a different set of beliefs than ours. If your set of beliefs or religion has you looking down at other people who believe differently, then there's something wrong there.
Just as an example, Jesus said, “Love your neighbors as yourself.” Note that He didn't say to love them only if they believe what you believe. He said to love them as you love yourself.
Anyway, I don't want to sound like I'm preaching in this music log. Here are some of the song's lyrics. This is a great rock song from start to finish.
Burn me alive
If you feel that's justified
I need more than faith
To see you on the other side, the other side
Can you hear me?
The lowly one
Do ya fear me?
You righteous ones
During my second digital declutter, I found that I had a lot more time to tinker with my websites. And so I did. Here are some of the updates I've made to this site during that time.
Blazor WASM Search App
I've got a new Search app for this journal. It is a Blazor Web Assembly app. So, basically a .NET app written in C# that runs as a client-side web application. And it loads much faster than my previous Search app hosted on Glitch. That's because it is a static site hosted on Netlify. Which means it's always up and running. There is an initial load where your browser downloads the .NET DLLs. But after that, it should load pretty quickly next time you use it.
I took away the link to get a Random post from this journal. I did so because it had a slot machine feel to it. Watching The Social Dilemma reminded me of the slot machine nature of it. But my main reason for removing it, was because it took so long to load at times. This stood in stark contrast to how fast this Write.as powered site loads. I can redo it as a Blazor Web Assembly app, but that's not a priority right now. Maybe something to tinker with in the future.
This post first appeared on my dev blog at dinobansigan.com. It was published back in 01/28/2019. I've updated the post and moved it here as it was not really a software development or tech related post.
A few days ago I heard an ad on TV that said something like, “people say less is more, but more is REALLY MORE!” Obviously, the intent of that ad is to get you to spend more money. We live in a world where people are judged by their material possessions. The narrative being, if you have more, then you are living a better life compared to everyone else around you. That is ridiculous.
My second digital declutter officially ends tomorrow. There's a lot to unpack from this latest declutter, but that will come in time. This post is to address some changes I'm making going forward.
First — I'm tentatively setting this journal back to Public. This means my posts will once again show up on the read.write.as feed. But...
Second — I'm no longer going to check the read.write.as feed. So, if you respond to a post of mine with a post that shows up on the feed, I have no way of knowing about it. For any questions, comments or concerns, I highly suggest leaving me a message or sending me an email. There's also some more ways of reaching me listed in my Contact page.
It is unfortunate, since I was one of those who happily participated in conversations over the read.write.as feed. But for now, I'm choosing to prioritize my mental health over it. I'm doing this for my own sanity.
Meanwhile, my email inboxes have been getting unwieldy. The number of unread posts on my Feedly account keeps on growing. I have not been reading books as much as I used to. I have not been learning new skills. I'm starting to get exhausted because I feel like I'm in a race to do lots of stuff, even if nobody is asking me to do them.
Recent posts I've read have made me question whether this is the best use of my time and my reader's time. I've started to wonder whether I've been producing something of value for myself and my readers. I wonder if maybe I'm just going through the motions. Like trying to look productive, even though I'm not. If that's the case, then I'm just wasting everyone's time, mine included.
I know I just recently wrote a music log post. And I don't usually do them in quick succession. Not to mention, I don't usually write posts on Sundays. But ever since I heard a wonderful rendition of Dan Schutte's “You Are Near” in the televised Mass I was watching, I have been wanting to do a Sunday Music Log post. What was holding me back, was finding a similar rendition of the song that I could share online. I couldn't find one, so I sort of gave up on the idea.
Then in today's Mass, Dave and Lauren Moore, the couple who sings in the televised Sunday Masses that I watch, sang a beautiful rendition of “I Am The Bread Of Life”. Once again I was filled with this urge to write a Sunday Music Log post. I went on to the Catholic Diocese of Dallas website to find a way to contact the diocese. I wanted to ask them if they have recorded videos of the songs that Dave and Lauren Moore sang in Mass. It turns out, the diocese has a YouTube channel where they uploaded recordings of the televised Masses I've been watching. Within those videos are the exact rendition of the songs that I watched, and now want to share.
So, first up is this beautiful rendition of Dan Schutte's “You Are Near”. The song starts at around the 48:22 mark.
This song brings back good memories. Memories of me as a kid singing it in Mass at school. Memories of me playing the guitar, while our group of altar servers sang this song in Mass. It's such a beautiful song with beautiful lyrics, I hope you enjoy it as much as I do.
Where can I run from your love?
If I climb to the heavens you are there
If I fly to the sunrise
Or sail beyond the sea
Still I’d find you there
O Lord, I know you are near
Standing always at my side
You guard me from the foe
And you lead me in ways everlasting
Walking is increasingly mediated by technological gadgets worn on wrists or gripped in hands. We spend an increasing amount of time ‘screening’ the world – taking in most of life through a contracted frame that captures objects of immediate interest. To live with eyes on the screen is to be attached, stuck in the frame, taking in what is presented to us and re-presented to us again. But representation – even in fine-grained pixilation – is not experience. To experience is to perceive. When we look at a screen, we might see something, but we don’t perceive. To live life through representations is to live passively, to receive rather than to experience.
I am so grateful that I discovered the IndieWeb. Owning my content and posting my thoughts on my own site instead of a silo like Twitter gives me real freedom. I can decide how my thoughts are displayed (I like to make them available to everyone without advertising), I can edit them and they stay available for as long as I want.
It's a rather gloomy Friday. But I welcome the cooler temperatures, if only to get away from the Texas summer heat. Time for another music log then. Today's music log features rock covers of some popular hits.
Note that I'm trying something new in this music log. In addition to the embedded YouTube videos, I also added song links. This gives readers more options to listen or even purchase a song. They are not affiliate links. I do not get paid whatsoever if you decide to click on one of those links. I just thought of adding them to support the artists.
First up is “Mirrors” by Our Last Night. I've said it before and I'll say it again, the band Our Last Night makes some of the best rock covers I've heard. This is no exception. This a great rock cover of Justin Timberlake's hit song “Mirrors”.