Sunday, September 11, 2011

Weirdest Day Of Fishing Ever!

I've heard of salmon jumping into boats but . . Four black-tailed Sitka deer were pulled from the icy waters of Stephens Passage, Alaska, by a group of locals on Tom Satre's 62-foot charter vessel. The four juvenile Sitka black-tailed deer swam directly toward the boat.

Once the deer reached the boat, the four began to circle the boat, looking directly at the humans on board. Clearly, the bucks were distressed. With help, the typically skittish and absolutely wild animals came willingly onto the boat. Once onboard, they collapsed with exhaustion, shivering.

Here the rescued bucks rest on the back of Tom Satre's boat, the Alaska Quest. All four deer were transported to Taku Harbor. Once the group reached the dock, the first buck that had been pulled from the water hopped onto the dock, looked back, then leapt into the harbor, swam to shore, and disappeared into the forest. After a bit of prodding and assistance from the humans, two others followed suit, but one deer needed more help.......


Here he is being transported by Tom Satre:


Tom, Anna and Tim Satre help the last of the "button" bucks to its feet.

They did not know how long the deer had been in the icy waters or if there had been others who did not survive. The good Samaritans (humans) describe their experience as "one of those defining moments in life." I'm sure it was for the deer, as well.

Saturday, February 5, 2011

Friday, January 28, 2011

Remember Today

High Flight

Oh! I have slipped the surly bonds of Earth
And danced the skies on laughter-silvered wings;
Sunward I've climbed, and joined the tumbling mirth
Of sun-split clouds, — and done a hundred things
You have not dreamed of — wheeled and soared and swung
High in the sunlit silence. Hov'ring there,
I've chased the shouting wind along, and flung
My eager craft through footless halls of air. . . .

Up, up the long, delirious burning blue
I've topped the wind-swept heights with easy grace
Where never lark, or ever eagle flew —
And, while with silent, lifting mind I've trod
The high untrespassed sanctity of space,
Put out my hand, and touched the face of God.

— John Gillespie Magee, Jr

This is the poem that Ronald Reagan quoted from when consoling a nation after the loss of the brave crew of the Challenger. Today, 25 years later, it still holds true.

Saturday, September 11, 2010

God's Priest - Hero of 9/11

Father Mychal F. Judge was the son of Irish Catholic immigrants from County Leitrim on May 11, 1933, the firstborn of a pair of fraternal twins. With his twin sister Dympna and his older sister Erin, he grew up in Brooklyn, N.Y. during the Great Depression.

His lifelong affinity for the poor began at a young age; he often gave his only quarter to beggars on the street.At the age of six, he watched his father die of a slow and painful illness. To compensate for his father's inability to work, Judge shined shoes at New York Penn Station from where he would visit St. Francis of Assisi Church on West 31st Street. Seeing the Franciscan friars there, "I realized that I didn't care for material things," he later said, "I knew then that I wanted to be a friar."

In 1948, at the age of 15, Judge began the formation process to enter the Franciscan community. He trained at three seminaries in New York, New Jersey, and New Hampshire before receiving his BA degree from St. Bonaventure University. He completed his training and was ordained a priest at Holy Name College in Washington, DC in 1961. Upon entering the Order of Friars Minor, he took the religious name of Mychal.

From 1961 to 1986, Judge served at St. Anthony Shrine in Boston, St. Joseph Parish in East Rutherford, NJ, Sacred Heart Parish in Rochelle Park, NJ, and St. Joseph Parish in West Milford, NJ. For three years he served as assistant to the president at Siena College in Loudonville, NY. In 1986, he was assigned to the Monastery of St. Francis of Assisi Church on West 31st Street, New York, where he lived and worked until his death in 2001. Around 1971, Judge became an alcoholic, although he never showed obvious signs. In 1978, with the support of Alcoholics Anonymous, he became sober and continued to share his personal story of alcoholism to help others facing addiction.

In 1992, Judge was appointed Chaplain of the Fire Department of New York. As chaplain, he offered encouragement and prayers at fires, rescues, and hospitals, and counseled firefighters and their families, often working 16 hour days. "His whole ministry was about love. Mychal loved the fire department and they loved him."

In New York, Judge was also well known for ministering to the homeless, the hungry, recovering alcoholics, people with AIDS, the sick, injured, and grieving, immigrants, gays and lesbians, and those alienated by the Church.

For example, Judge once gave the winter coat off his back to a homeless woman in the street, later saying, "She needed it more than me." When he anointed a man who was dying of AIDS, the man asked him, "Do you think God hates me?" Judge just picked him up, kissed him, and silently rocked him in his arms.

Even before his death, many considered Judge to be a living saint for his extraordinary works of charity and his deep spirituality. While praying, Judge would sometimes "become so lost in God, as if lost in a trance, that he'd be shocked to find several hours had passed." 

"He achieved an extraordinary degree of union with the divine," said Judge's former spiritual director, Fr. John McNeill. "We knew we were dealing with someone directly in line with God."

Upon hearing the news that the World Trade Center had been hit, Judge rushed to the site. He was met by the Mayor of New York, Rudolph Giuliani, who asked him to pray for the city and its victims. Judge administered last rites to some lying on the streets, then entered the lobby of the World Trade Center north tower where an emergency command post was organized. There he continued offering aid and prayers for the rescuers, the injured and dead.

When the south tower collapsed at 9:59 AM, debris went flying through the north tower lobby, killing many inside, including Judge. At the moment he was struck in the head and killed, Judge was repeatedly praying aloud, "Jesus, please end this right now! God please end this!"

Shortly after his death, firefighters found Judge's body and carried it out of the north lobby. This event was captured in the documentary film 9/11, shot by Jules and Gedeon Naudet. Shannon Stapleton, photographer from Reuters, photographed Judge's body being carried out of the rubble by five men. It became one of the most famous images related to 9/11.

Father Judge's body bag was labeled "Victim 0001," recognized as the first official victim of the September 11, 2001 attacks. Former President Bill Clinton was among the 3,000 people who attended his funeral, held on September 15 at St. Francis of Assisi Church in Manhattan. It was presided over by Cardinal Edward Egan. Clinton said his death was "a special loss. We should live his life as an example of what has to prevail." Judge was buried at Holy Sepulchre Cemetery in Totowa, New Jersey. On October 11, 2001 Brendan Fay organized A "Month's Mind Memorial" in Good Shepard Chapel, General Theological Seminary, New York. It was an evening of prayer, stories, and traditional Irish music.

Some Catholic leaders recognize Judge as a de facto saint.  His helmet was presented to Pope John Paul II. France awarded him the L├ęgion d'honneur. The U.S. Congress nominated him for a Presidential Medal of Freedom. In 2002, the City of New York renamed a portion of West 31st Street "Father Mychal F. Judge Street", and christened a commuter boat "The Father Mychal Judge Ferry".  Alvernia University, a private independent college in the Franciscan tradition in Reading, Pennsylvania, named a new residence hall in honor of Judge.

The Father Mychal Judge Walk of Remembrance takes place every year in New York around the 9/11 anniversary. It begins with a Mass at St. Francis Church on West 31st Street, then proceeds to the site of Ground Zero, retracing Judge's final journey and praying along the way. Every September 11, there is also a Mass in memory of Mychal Judge in Boston, attended by many who lost family members on 9/11.


“But when the Son of Man comes in his glory, and all the angels with him, then he will sit upon his glorious throne. All the nations will be gathered in his presence, and he will separate the people as a shepherd separates the sheep from the goats. He will place the sheep at his right hand and the goats at his left.
“Then the King will say to those on his right, ‘Come, you who are blessed by my Father, inherit the Kingdom prepared for you from the creation of the world. For I was hungry, and you fed me. I was thirsty, and you gave me a drink. I was a stranger, and you invited me into your home. I was naked, and you gave me clothing. I was sick, and you cared for me. I was in prison, and you visited me.’
“Then these righteous ones will reply, ‘Lord, when did we ever see you hungry and feed you? Or thirsty and give you something to drink? Or a stranger and show you hospitality? Or naked and give you clothing? When did we ever see you sick or in prison and visit you?’

“And the King will say, ‘I tell you the truth, when you did it to one of the least of these my brothers and sisters, you were doing it to me!’

Matthew 25:31-40

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Will Work For Food

I feel like I should blog, although in truth I've really got nothing.  It's Wednesday (cleverly disguised as Tuesday), work is a tad more stressful than it should be (hopefully it will calm down on a 5-day work week), all the normal stuff.

And then I happened across this picture, and it just says it all.
Good night ladies and gentlemen!

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Holy Cow I'm an Adult! WHEN DID THAT HAPPEN????

For exercise I've taken to bike riding around the Wekiva sidewalk network.  I'm not up to Dany or AJ biking standards by any stretch of the imagination, but it's a decent way to stay in some kind of shape (other than "couch potatoe" which Elizabeth assures me is NOT a shape).

As I was riding today, feeling the cool breeze (yes, cool, it rained) on my face, I started to think back to when Pete, Jason, Kevin, Coker, Dave, and me would ride those same sidewalks to get where we needed to go.  We could cut over to Kevin's, to Larissa's (which was, as I recall, a favorite stop), even out to Todd and Daniel's.  Seeing the pieces of sidewalk that ran toward's Jennifer Estates, that cut out towards Bent Oak, I enjoying the fond memories.  Back then I was much more fearless.  You eat it on a bike then, you brush off the grass stains (maybe blood) and keep going.

And then suddenly it hit me.  Those fun, fond memories of riding the sidewalks as a young (pre car) teenager...are 20 years old!!!!  Reality hit like a brick wall: I am an adult.  The people I rode with are adults too.  We're married, some of have kids, we all have careers (not jobs, careers), we own houses, cars...

I enjoyed the rest of the ride, but it just wasn't the same.  I was cruising the same hills, same sidewalks, but now I was thinking about it.  Applying the brakes at times because I don't heal in five minutes any more.  My wife does NOT think it's cool that I jump some crazy sidewalk hump and wipe out in the grass (grass stains BAD).

So today is the day that I realized, fully and truly, that I am an adult.  And I guess I'm okay with that.  Dagnabbit!

What REAL Floridians Already Know!

Map of Florida

Finally, a true map of Florida that explains this weird, but wonderful state. Those of you who live in Florida will recognize it, and those who don’t have been warned!!!

You know you're a Floridian if....

Socks are only for bowling. 

You never use an umbrella because the rain will be over in five minutes. 

A good parking place has nothing to do with distance from the store, but everything to do with shade. 
Your winter coat is made of denim. 

You can tell the difference between fire ant bites and mosquito bites. 
You're younger than thirty but some of your friends are over 65. 

Anything under 70 degrees is chilly. 

You've driven through Yeehaw Junction. 

You know that no other grocery store can compare to Publix.  

Every other house in your neighborhood had blue roofs in 2004-2005.  
You know that anything under a Category 3 just isn't worth waking up for. 

You dread love bug season. 

You are on a first name basis with the Hurricane list. You don't say "Hurricane Charley" or "Hurricane Frances".   You know them as Andrew, Bonnie, Charley, Dennis, Emily , Frances , Ivan, Jeanne, Wilma.  

You know what a snowbird is and when they'll leave. 

You think a six-foot alligator is actually pretty average. 
When you say "Down South", you mean Key West . 

Flip-flops are everyday wear. Shoes are for business meetings and church, but you HAVE worn flip flops to church before. 

You have a drawer full of bathing suits, and one sweatshirt. 
You get annoyed at the tourists who feed seagulls. 

A mountain is any hill 100 feet above sea level. 

You know that the four seasons really are: Hurricane season, love bug season, tourist season and summer.   
You've hosted a hurricane party.
You can pronounce Okeechobee, Kissimmee , Withlacoochee , Thonotosassa, Micanopy, Chassahowitzka, and Pithlachascotee. 

You understand why it's better to have a friend with a boat, than have a boat yourself. 

You were 25 when you first met someone who couldn't swim. 

You've worn shorts and used the A/C on Christmas and New Years. 

You already know all of this!