At Home He's a Tourist

He fills his head with culture/ He gives himself an ulcer.

Saturday, May 15, 2004


Tour de Tejas will come through El Llano Estacado. The official site.


Looks like the movie theater cancelled "Dogville." Figures. Oh well, back to my DVDs.


Vatican document discourages Catholic-Muslim marriages, particularly between Muslim men and Catholic women. I don't think I could marry a committed non-Christian--the potential for conflict would be too great--but I could probably get along with someone indifferent to organized religion, especially if she were hot.

The document indicates several points of commonality between Roman Catholicism and Islam, like a belief in God, daily prayer, fasting, charity, pilgrimage and "the fight against injustice."

At the same time, it gently chides Muslims for faltering on the issue of human rights.

"We hope there will be, on the part of our Muslim brothers and sisters," its authors write, "a growing awareness that fundamental liberties, the inviolable rights of the person, the equal dignity of man and woman, the democratic principle of government and the healthy lay character of the state are principles that cannot be surrendered."

Islam is 1400 years old. At that age, Catholicism was not exactly a staunch defender of women's rights, democracy, or the secularization of the state; in fact, it didn't really become so until the Second Vatican Council some five hundred years later. Although the Vatican certainly has the right to admonish Muslims to adopt some modernist principles, it shouldn't hold its breath.

Friday, May 14, 2004


Near-beer may offer same cardiac benefits as the real thing.

Just two cups of coffee could have a damaging effect on the brains of recovering stroke patients.

Bored, bored, bored....At least there's a snooty foreign film coming to Lubbock this weekend. And I'm keeping myself busy with reading. I've finished The Lord of the Rings, which I enjoyed almost as much as when I first read it in seventh grade. This time, of course, I was more aware of its Catholic motifs. Galadriel is a type of the BVM, and the elven lembas, or "waybread," which though "it did not satisfy desire," yet "fed the will and gave strength to endure," is a Middle Earth Eucharist. (Compare "waybread" with "viaticum", the Latin name for the Eucharist when taken at the point of death.) Anyway, now I'm going to try The Silmarillion for the third time. Previously I found its lofty prose as impassible as Caradhras, but I would like to think I'm more patient now.

At work things are slowing down too. I managed to spend all of the FY2003-2004 budget, thanks to the music prof requesting 15-CD collections of Bach organ fugues and similar items. I've also finished going through a massive pile of textbooks given to the school district as promotional copies from the publishers, and passed along to us for the use of our education students. Since we don't do much ordering during the off season, I'll have to find some other collection development project to work on.


Lindstrom, Martin. Brandchild: insights into the minds of today's global kids and their relationships with brands. Kogan Page, 2003.

Choice: "the authors, highly experienced professionals who have written other well-received publications, provide practical explanations pertaining to this generation's definition, perception, and acceptance of global brands. The analysis is written in a nontechnical manner and provides excellent insights and explanations of "tween" behavior. Recommended. Public; academic, upper-division undergraduate and up; and practitioner collections." Booklist: “Although the book is aimed at marketers, parents and educators—and tweens themselves—will find much fascinating information here.” Library Journal: “provides a global yet intimate picture of tweens in the world today. While little concrete information is provided about the study itself, the firsthand observations and brand-name case studies offer a window into a group about whom many of us know very little. Obviously, this book will quickly become dated, but it gives current marketers the information they need to target the youth market. Recommended for marketing collections in both academic and public libraries.” Brand Management: “There is no denying the thoroughness and scope of the research that underpins Brandchild.” Marketing Research: “descriptive and interpretive rant…It is both a fascinating and practical read...will provoke fresh thinking and provide a clearer understanding of what is happening with youth today.”

Thursday, May 13, 2004


Bremer, Francis J. John Winthrop: America’s Forgotten Founding Father. Oxford, $35.

Choice: “outstanding and readable…This first rate study will have a wide readership. Essential.” Library Journal: “impressive, scholarly analysis…Most Winthrop biographers have ignored the first 42 years of his life, but [not] Bremer…Draws on ten years of exhaustive research into original archives…surpasses the shorter versions…Highly recommended for all academic and larger public libraries.” Publishers Weekly: “adds tremendously to our understanding of this pivotal figure, eloquently reminding us in a rich, magisterial biography how much Winthrop contributed to the founding of the colonies…exhaustive detail…vividly recreates the religious and political reform movements in early 17th-century England…definitive.” First Things: “Bremer’s comprehensive biography of John Winthrop rests of prodigious research in both English and American sources and is a fitting climax to a productive academic career…The Winthrop of Bremer’s biography is not markedly different from the figure portrayed in Edmund Morgan’s landmark volume. Only we have more Winthrop here, more insight into the rock from which he was hewn, more reasons to admire his wisdom, and more opportunity to reflect on Puritanism at its best.”Chicago Review: “A formidable volume embodying much original research.”Kirkus: “Richly researched…overflows with information…One of Bremer’s great achievements is to add flesh to the previous, skeletal portraits of Winthrop’s life in England before he sailed west in 1630…Unfortunately, Bremer’s prose is not always commensurate with his sterling research. Each chapter begins with a superfluous ‘vignette’ that clutters rather than clarifies, the figurative language rarely strays from the conventional, and an epilogue offers mostly platitudes. Still, despite some stylistic flaws, this scholarly makeover adds considerable color to Winthrop’s wan cheeks.” William and Mary Quarterly: “rich and detailed. The research is thorough, the writing clear and at times even elegant…Some topics Bremer addresses in cursory fashion. He seems relatively uninterested in the roel of women in Winthrop’s life…Race seems similarly uninteresting to Bremer…Rather surprisingly, given Bremer’s own interest, religions’ treatment in these pages includes a number of odd gaffes. Despite these difficulties, the biography has much to recommend it.” Magill Book Reviews: “Nonspecialist readers are likely to find the book somewhat slow-paced and factually overburdened. Bremer enlivens his account, however, by prefacing each chapter with a vignette that imaginatively evokes a significant scene, replete with vivid sensory details, from his subject’s life.”

Wednesday, May 12, 2004


Karkkainen, Veli-Matti. Pneumatology. Baker.

Library Journal: “Stepchild of the Trinity, the Holy Spirit is frequently ignored in theology or indifferently understood, but this far-reaching study by Finnish theologian Kärkkäinen should go a long way toward curing that neglect. Per his subtitle, the author touches on various perspectives of the Holy Spirit, including Orthodox, Pentecostal, and Catholic, and grounds the book in a firm understanding of Christian Scripture passages relevant to the questions a Christian believer might have. For most collections, especially where interest in Christian theology is strong.” Choice: “Kärkkäinen offers a revealing survey of biblical, historical, and contemporary perspectives on Christian understandings of the Holy Spirit. The author evenhandedly and sensitively describes a breathtakingly broad range of people and movements. Recommended for upper-division undergraduates through professionals." Journal of Pentecostal Theology: “the introduction to pneumatology which we need…comprehensive…clear even when explaining difficult ideas…” Theological Studies: “an excellent survey of contemporary reflection on the theology of the Holy Spirit…Even advanced students and professionals in the field may find helpful refernces in these pages. The book is clear and succinct without being simplistic…A limitation of the book is the absence of critical evaluation…” Asian Journal of Pentecostal Studies: “lucid and balanced. Karkkainen has managed to take a massive topic and summarize it without glossing over the different positions…insightful and comprehensive…I was surprised at the exclusion of any discussions from the Reformed tradition, Wesleyan tradition, or any recent Pneumatology specifically coming from these traditions.” Pneuma: “an interesting read for those concerned and a valuable resource for teachers desiring a good introduction to this doctrine. One feature is its fair but concise treatment of various theologians and traditions…While the brevity of the entire work is admirable, I would have liked to see more depth and detail in his discussion of these theologians…It seems odd that an examination of John Wesley is absent…an investigation of the Reformed tradition and its influence on pneumatology is also missing.”


Wayne State University librarian is a championship rally car racer in her spare time. Quote to irritate lipstick librarians: "On this day, she is conservatively dressed in a black-skirted suit with a turquoise blouse. She also wears glasses. It's a look many would expect from someone who works as collection development and management coordinator for social sciences, humanities and fine arts."

Tuesday, May 11, 2004


Study suggests that taking smaller doses of caffeine throughout the day keeps one alert more effectively than taking a large dose only in the morning. My homegrown techninque, though, is to combine the two approaches by drinking big mugs of coffee from sunup to sundown.


Ghosh, Kantik. The Wycliffite Heresy: Authority and the Interpretation of Texts. Cambridge, $65.

Renaissance Quarterly: “Ghosh’s book is highly readable, and he presents his argument lucidly…a valuable addition to Wyclif/Lollard studies.” Anglican Theological Review: “a very good book…The keen perceptions which Kantik Ghosh offers in his work of careful scholarship, so meticulously researched and documented, will be of much assistance to scholars.” Medium Aevum: “a learned and passionate book…Two of Ghosh’s qualities are his ability to convey the wood of intellectual history and the trees of Wyclif’s arguments at once, and the engaged skepticism with which he views those arguments…He earns the right to his skepticism by the care with which he reads both Wyclif’s opponents…One might object to some aspects of the book’s narration of events…But this is an absorbing, intelligent, and self-aware book.” History: Review of New Books: “complicated language…not for the fainthearted…Ghosh’s knowledge of the subject, coupled with a scholarly apparatus that includes copious documentation and a bibliography…will undoubtedly endear the book to an audience composed primarily of scholars and students with some knowledge of hermeneutics. A less erudite audience will find it ponderous, pedantic, and stilted…Those reservations aside, The Wycliffite Heresy will be a valuable addition to the scholarship of the area and era.”

Monday, May 10, 2004


Here's another good bossa nova guitar site. Not only does he give detailed chord charts for a fair number of classic songs, the author also has a few tutorials on how to play like Joao Gilberto.


McGerr, Michael. A Fierce Discontent: The Rise and fall of the Progressive Movement in America, 1870-1920. Free Press.

Publishers Weekly: “McGerr hits all the usual notes associated with the Progressive era…It is his vivid portrait of turn-of-the-century America, however, that separates this book from the pack. Expertly weaving an array of vignettes and themes throughout his narrative, McGerr pulls into focus a period in American history too often blurred by the rapid pace of social, political and cultural change…history at its best…truly a remarkable effort.” Library Journal: “a detailed and readable study….offers a fascinating description…Highly recommended.” Kirkus: “Highly accessible…a lucid overview.” Booklist: “fresh and incisive...vigorous and compelling…” History: Review of New Books: “has a clear and lively style and avoids analytic terms currently in use by professional historians…” Nation: “consistently intelligent, superbly crafted…If there’s a flaw in McGerr’s thoughtful stdy, it’s his virtual silence about party politics.”
Foreign Affairs: “flawed but useful…a better understanding of the limits of Progressivism than more conventionally liberal historians…Yet McGerr’s nostalgic radicalism creates blind spots of his own.” First Things: “McGerr has gathered an impressive amount of information about the Progressive movement of the early twentieth century…But on his own evidence, Progressives neither accomplished nor attempted what he says they did…His key analytical model…has been a commonplace since the 1950s…tacked-on conclusion…Advice to readers: garner the data, ignore the analysis.”

Sunday, May 09, 2004


Another one from Mars Audiac Quintet...

Guitar chords for Stereolab, "International Colouring Contest"


Cmaj7/G Gm7 Cm/G Gmaj7 [x2]

Verse: [same chord progression as intro]

into outer space with lucia pamela
the moon is the place where there's space for lucia
into outer space with lucia pamela
the moon is the place where there's place for lucia


Bb Gmaj7
before armstrong took his steps

Bb G
she'd been there with friends

Cmaj7 Am7
they took all instruments and

Bb Am7 G
recorded on the moon

Cmaj7 Am7
gathered variety of sound

Bb Am7 G
from where the air is different

Intro instrumental


i'm so full of ideas
and here is a good one
lucia has a dream
a dream that comes in colour of
international colouring
for your entry she's waiting


into outer space with lucia pamela
the moon is the place where there's space for lucia
into outer space with lucia pamela
the moon is the place where there's space for lucia

Intro with "ba-ba-ba-da" for lyrics