Tuesday, November 30, 2010


You may notice a comment on the previous blog about the funeral of Fr. Redemptus Short, OCD. Although I had not heard that he had died (thank you for the update, Elizabeth), I was thinking about him yesterday. That is because it was the feast of his patron saint. Here is a brief note about Redemptus and his companion.

Blessed Denis & Redemptus - Martyrs (1638): Denis of the Nativity, priest, whose secular name was Pierre Berthelot, was born at Honfleur (France) in 1600. He was cartographer and naval commander in the service of the French and Portuguese crowns, but in 1635 became a Discaled Carmelite at Goa. It was also at Goa that Thomas Rodriguez da Cunha, born in Portugal in 1598, had been professed as a lay brother under the name of Redemptus of the Cross in 1615. They were sent together to Sumatra, where they were martyred on November 29, 1638 at Achen.

Fr. Redemptus was, I believe, the oldest friar in the Province. He was a very compassionate man and much beloved by many people. I used to say that when he died, we would have to have the funeral in the Milwaukee Brewer's stadium to accommodate all the people who would want to be there.

May his soul, and the soul of all the faithful departed, through the mercy of God rest in peace.

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

A touch of the absurd

I had occasion today to look up my books on Amazon.com. I was amused to see that the Elijah book, which sells for $9.95 brand new, can be purchased as a used book from a couple of places for about $28.

Make sense to anyone?

Tom suggested it may be that it is a rare book. (What did he mean by that?)

I suggested they might be autographed copies, which would certainly make them much more valuable.

Neither he nor the cats were impressed with that suggestion.

I also note that the Gratian book is apparently not available used -- I am sure people cannot bear to part with it! And the John murder mystery is available used at only slightly more than its full $12.95.

Oh, well.

We wish you a Merry Martha!

Last year Tom and I became so amused at the Martha Steward Christmas programs that we went a little crazy trying to mock her with our Christmas packaging. This year we have laughed at her pre-Thanksgiving Day ideas for the "perfect apple pie" and so on. Our own turkey day celebration will be small -- just Tom, Peter, the cats and me gathered around a 9-pound turkey -- and very non-Martha-esque.

On the other hand ...

Steve Payne got the following email from his sister. Steve, as some of you recall, is head of a Catholic spirituality institute in Nairobi, and his sister Marcia and her family are here in the States. Steve mentioned that Thanksgiving -- not a Kenyan holiday -- is one of the times of year that makes him nostalgic for family and home. But Marcia's note has made him feel better about missing it this year. Enjoy!
Subject: Last Minute Thanksgiving Dinner Changes
Dear Family & Friends,

I know that you were eager to accept our family's invitation to Thanksgiving dinner when you found out that the famous Martha Stewart would be joining us. However, due to scheduling conflicts beyond her control, Ms. Stewart finds that she is unable to grace our table this year. With that in mind, there will be a few minor changes regarding the meal and decor, as outlined below. Please be aware of them, and adjust your appetite and dress appropriately. Thank you

1) Our driveway will not be lined with homemade, paper bag luminaries. After several trial runs and two visits from the fire department, it was decided that, no matter how cleverly done, rows of flaming lunch sacks do not have the desired welcoming effect.

2) Once inside, please note that the entry space will not be decorated with swags of Indian corn and fall foliage. Instead, we included our dog in decorating by having him track in colorful autumn leaves from the back yard. The mud was his idea.

3) The dining table will not be covered with expensive linens, fancy china, or crystal goblets. If possible, we will use dishes that match and everyone will get a fork. Since this is Thanksgiving, we will refrain from using the paper Sponge Bob dinner plates, the leftover Halloween napkins, and our plastic cup collection.

4) Our centerpiece will not be a tower of fresh fruit and flowers. Instead we will be proudly displaying a hedgehog-like decoration hand-crafted from the finest construction paper and pine cones. The artist assures me it is a turkey, albeit one without wings, legs, or a beak.

5) We will be dining somewhat later than planned. However, our daughter will entertain you while you wait. I'm sure she will be happy to share every choice comment her mother made regarding Thanksgiving, pilgrims, stuffing choices, the turkey hotline, and especially her husband. Pleaseremember that most of these comments were made at 7:00 A.M. upon discovering that said husband had only remembered to pull the turkey from the freezer at 6:00 A.M., and that the thing was still hard enough to cut diamonds.

6) As an accompaniment to our daughter's recital of these events, I will play a recording of Native American tribal drumming. Curiously, the tribal drumming sounds a great deal like a frozen turkey in a clothes dryer, but that only enhances the holiday appropriateness. If our daughter should mention that we don't own a recording of Native American tribal drumming, ignore her. She's only nine; what does she know?

7) A dainty silver bell will not be rung to announce the start of our feast. We have chosen to keep our traditional method of assembling when the smoke alarm goes off.

8) There will be no formal seating arrangement. When the smoke alarm sounds, please gather around the table and sit where you like. In the spirit of harmony, we will ask all the children to sit at a separate table. In a separate room. Next door. And I would like to take this opportunity toremind our younger diners that "passing the rolls" is neither a football play nor an excuse to bean your cousin in the head with bread.

9) The turkey will not be carved at the table. I know you have seen the Norman Rockwell image of one person carving a turkey in front of a crowd of appreciative onlookers. Such a scene may occur somewhere in America, but it won't be happening at our dinner table. For safety reasons, theturkey will be carved in the kitchen at a private ceremony. I stress "private," meaning Do Not, under any circumstances, enter the kitchen to laugh at me. Do not send small, unsuspecting children, or older, helpful grandparents into the kitchen to check on my progress. I have a very large, very sharp knife. The turkey is unarmed. It stands to reason that I will eventually win the battle. When I do, we will eat.

10) For the duration of the meal, we will refer to the gravy by its lesser-known name: Kraft Cheese Sauce. If a young diner questions you regarding the origins or makeup of the Kraft Cheese Sauce, smile kindly and say that you know the answer, but it's a secret that can't be revealed to them until they are 18.

11) Instead of offering a choice among 12 different scrumptious desserts, we will be serving the traditional pumpkin pie, garnished with whipped cream and dog tongue marks. You still have a choice: take it or leave it.

That concludes our list of alterations. Again, I apologize that Martha will not be joining us this year.

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Go, Sam Houston!

There is an article on Huffington Post about student debt, in which they list 13 schools that will not leave you in the financial dump.

The Project on Student Debt's recent report (PDF) on student debt and the class of 2009 examined which schools left their students owing the most money -- and which schools left students with their pockets a little fuller.

According to the report, members of the class of 2009 graduated school owing an average of $24,000 -- a six percent increase from the previous year.

If you're looking for a college that won't break the bank, gaze westward: most of the low-debt schools can be found in the on the left side of the Mississippi. Below, we outline the 13 institutions that had the lowest per-student debt averages last year.
I note that Sam Houston State University was on the list, with students leaving with an average debt of $6,196.

So congratulations to all you Dodd SHSU graduates out there!

Monday, November 22, 2010

November 23


There are 31,536,000 seconds in a year.

Make them all count!

(Roses are nice, too.)

Sunday, November 21, 2010


Mitzvah (Hebrew: מצוה‎ "commandment") is a word used in Judaism to refer to the 613 commandments given in the Torah and the seven rabbinic commandments instituted later for a total of 620. The term can also refer to the fulfillment of a mitzvah. The term mitzvah has also come to express an act of human kindness. According to the teachings of Judaism, all moral laws are, or are derived from, divine commandments.

In the monastery, it was our custom to go through our closets the week before Thanksgiving and to select items that we wanted to donate to St. Vincent de Paul or Goodwill. Tom and I do this several times a year, and this is one of those times. Besides the closets, we are taking the opportunity this year to do something similar to the sadly-in-need-of-cleaning basement.

We will take some clothes over to St. Vinnie's this week. But the basement is calling for more attention. I have suggested that we divide things into four categories:
1) Things that should be trashed. Period.
2) Things that we want to keep.
3) Things that will be boxed up for family to look at when they are here for Christmas to see what they want to take home with them. We have lots of sleeping bags, blankets and bed linens, folks. I even have a couple of full size (not queen) electric mattress pads to make sleeping cozy in the winter. There are also boxes of things that belong to the kids that they will want to go through and select what they want to keep. Hint, hint: That means things you want to keep in YOUR OWN space, not junk you want us to keep cluttering up our basement. Things no one claims will be added to what we have already put into the fourth category, which is ..
4) Things to donate to St. Vinnie's or some such thing. Likely-looking books, for example will be donated to the library for the next book sale.

NB: We will make exceptions for things that someone plans to take away in the relatively near future. After all, there is only so much room in a car.
How does that sound?

And anyone else who is looking for a mitzvah, I am sure there are lots of groups who are looking for contributions to help those less fortunate during these difficult economic times.

Saturday, November 20, 2010

November Saturday

1) Deer season opened this morning. Tom reported hearing a bunch of shots around dawn but nothing since.

2) We did a bit of Christmas shopping -- some online, some in actual stores. We did make some phone calls that saved us a fruitless trip to Madison, and I think we are mostly done for the season as far as buying gifts. Now comes the wrapping and all that.

3) Tom and Peter decided to clean and hook up an old Nintendo they had unburied down in the basement. They inserted all the games they could find for a while. This looks like one of those projects that is way more fun working on than playing with once it is done. And what is it with those annoying arcade game sounds?

4) Tom and I watched an old Roy Rogers Show this afternoon, complete with Dale Evans, Pat Brady and Nellybelle and Bullet (Roy's wonder dog!) Truly amazing to think that we stayed glued to our television sets on Saturday afternoons watching this. Bullet, the wonder dog, was a cheap imitation of Rin Tin Tin, I think. Pat Brady was campy comic (?) relief. As for his jeep, Nellybelle, well, what can I say? Trigger, on the other hand, did manage to maintain his dignity throughout it all.
(Denver Pyle, who later played Uncle Jesse on The Dukes of Hazard played an exceptionally laconic mountain man in the episode we watched. I recognized the name in the credits, but mistakenly thought it referred to Bob Denver, the actor who played Maynard G. Krebs -- everyone's favorite beatnik from The Many Loves of Dobie Gillis -- and, more famously, Gilligan.)
5) Did I mention I did the dishes?

The must-have gift of 2010!

Okay. The mere fact that this product exists speaks volumes, right? On the other hand, Peter suggested that it should at least have a vacuum attachment. Like a Flowbee?

And if the guy did his own hair with this thing, that is not much of an advertisement, because his hairline does not look too great.

At any rate, we did not get anyone a Mangroomer, rechargeable or not. You guys will just have to get a friend to do the honors.

BTW, this thing is available at Target and Walmart. Just in case you really want or need one.

Friday, November 19, 2010

So NOT a happy camper!

So I jump up from the dinner table and rush over to the bank -- not my regular bank, BTW -- to cash in the CD that just matured.

"I'm sorry, but we don't have anyone here who can do that."

Me, puzzled, but after all it is Friday evening, although well within their stated hours of business: "Tomorrow?" They are also open on Saturday, so I figure I can come over in the morning.

""Unfortunately, we won't have anyone who will be able to do that tomorrow."

Me, not so happy: "Well, when?"

"You'll have to come back on Monday."

They open on weekdays at 10:00, well after I am at work. And although they are "open" until 7:00 in the evening Monday through Friday, they apparently are not "open" for cashing in CDs or who knows what else, although I never noticed any signs to that effect anywhere.

As you probably know, you only have ten days to cash in a matured CD or it rolls over and you have to wait until it matures next time -- in this case, November 2011. So time is ticking.

"I work," I told her. "How am I supposed to get this done if you don't have anyone around who can handle it except during normal work hours?"

No reply.

So I am NOT a happy camper.

As it turns out, I have off next Wednesday and will probably be able to do it then. But what if the ten day grace period had been up tomorrow or Sunday? Or Monday or Tuesday?

At any rate, I will call on Monday to make sure I can take care of it Wednesday. If this were my regular bank, I know I would be able to get all this done easily. So no more fooling around with Citizens Community Federal. I got the CD there only because Peter worked there at the time, and I wanted to throw a little business his way. Not long after I bought the thing, their online banking system started refusing to let me on to check up on what was happening. Should have known then ...

No good deed goes unpunished!

One step forward ...

I got a nice letter from the Provincial saying that he has consulted with his Council and will soon send the Generalate in Rome a request for my separation from the Order. This is not a big priority in Rome, I don't imagine, but at least things are moving.

On the other hand, due to likely changes in Wisconsin laws, I am having to have some legal work done for things like power-of-attorney and my will and so on. I have a CD that has just matured, and that will pay for it. At least that is my hope.

Otherwise, things are autumnal. Days and nights are colder. It is dark earlier, thanks to Standard Time. When the bookmobile goes out on Tuesday evenings, we now do so in the dark. That is my usual 10-hour day, but doing the last couple of hours in the dark makes it seem even longer.

Tom has finished up with the track crew over at the railroad. I think his next big project is trying to straighten out the basement. And I think he is going to be working on getting the security for the Canadian Pacific's Holiday Train, which will be visiting the Dells December 9. You may recall that every year the employees of Canadian Pacific run a train through up here and one in Canada, bringing a show to small cities and towns to raise money and food for local food pantry programs. The little railroad contributes to the effort by arranging for security to make sure no small children (or foolish adults) get dangerously close to the train itself. I helped with it one year. COLD AS COULD BE! This year it comes on a Thursday and I will be on my bookmobile rounds.

No big plans for Thanksgiving. Peter's girlfriend will be home for the holidays from Connecticut, and we expect not to see much of him over the next week. But Christmas and its visitors are just a few weeks away ...

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Bavarian Lutherans

"Turn it over to God and let him worry."
Martin Luther

Green Lantern is on the way ...

"In brightest day, in blackest night
No evil shall escape my sight
Let those who worship evil's might
Beware my power, Green Lantern's light!"

Cool! As a kid, I always wanted one of those rings.

Sunday, November 14, 2010


The dark-eyed juncoes are back in force. They are all over the back yard today, along with blue jays and woodpeckers, checking out the bird feeders.

There were some tiny snowflakes in the air today. Nothing to get excited about, but there they were nonetheless.

Tom got the mailbox fixed (so the snow plows won't knock it over) and the outside faucets ready to resist the freezes.

I did laundry, vacuumed, mopped the kitchen, did dishes, did dishes, did dishes.

Peter went to work out and then went over for a short work day.

Sundance and Cassidy curled up like enormous furry pillbugs and napped.

Did I mention I did dishes?

Saturday, November 13, 2010

Soggy Saturday, snowy Sunday?

Today was chilly and rainy, but tomorrow is threatening to be showers-mixed-with-snow. There is only a 30% chance, but that lasts all day long. Ick!

Today John went over to the railroad to fiddle around before attending the board meeting. Tom and I braved the messy weather and took off for Madison. We did a little shopping (looking) and then decided that the Christmas shopping frenzy must have hit Wisconsin already. The mall parking lots were bejammed and bejumbled, so we skipped that and went to have Indian food down near the Capitol. Along the way we discovered that the Badgers were playing a home game and the sidewalks were filled with folks wearing red sweatshirts, hoodies and raingear. It was not yet one o'clock, and it looked like the crowd was already leaving the stadium.

Tom asked, "Where are they going? The stadium is back that way."

I said the weather was either too crummy for them to stay or else one team or the other was doing so well there was no point in hanging around. Turns out the Badgers were trouncing Indiana -- 83 to 20. It was the most points a Big Ten team had put together in a single game since 1950. No wonder people just went home and got out of the rain.

Anyway, we had a nice lunch at Maharani. I love Indian food and we can't get it in the Dells area. We stumbled onto Maharani quite by accident some months back, only to discover it is consistently ranked as one of the best places in Madison for Indian cuisine. They have a very reasonably priced lunch buffet. For me, a buffet is best, because I can never remember exactly what I liked last time. This way I get a chance to recognize things that look familiar and try a small bit of new items from the ever-changing offerings. Great! Tom's one complaint would be that the servers sometimes neglect to bring a basket of naan, a wonderful thin bread. Today looked like we were not going to get any again, but soon a basket arrived with several pieces still quite warm from the oven.

Afterward we walked a a half dozen blocks to visit the Wisconsin Veterans Museum. It is not large, but the exhibits are informative and well designed. They took us from the Civil War through the Persian Gulf. A bit somber, but appropriate for two days after Veterans Day.

We then stopped into the museum shop at the Wisconsin Historical Museum. We had already seen the exhibits there, so we just wandered around the shop a bit. They had the new book about H.H. Bennett, the famouse photographer whose work put the Dells on the tourist map back in the 19th century. This volume, H.H. Bennet, Photographer: His American Landscape, is dedicated to our friend, Debbie Kinder (one of Bennett's descendants) and the Stewards of the Dells of the Wisconsin River, a group that Tom and I both belong to and for whom he donates his time and talent in a number of ways. On our way back to the car we ran into more Badger fans trudging home.

Then we headed back home the long way ourselves, under gloomy skies and occasional spurts of drizzle. Tom is over at Peg and Rich's taking care of Miss Molly (and probably dozing in front of the television.) Peter has been watching some UFC program on the 100 best fights all night. I read a little and am ready to hit the hay. But it is only 8:00 PM!

At least I am in the house, warm and dry. It is not even drizzling at the moment, but it is 37 (2.77 C) outside. Maybe I'll push a snoring Sundance over and crawl under the covers anyway.

The Liberry

This past week at the library, we have been closed to the public so we could catch up on inventory, shifting books around, printing legible spine labels, processing new DVDs and all sorts of other things. Yesterday we had the annual Volunteer Appreciation Dinner. During the presentation we learned the following facts about our little library. Now we all realize that, although the normal population of our service area is under 10,000 people, we get lots of tourists through here in the summer. Of course, they mainly use only the computers, since they do not have library cards for our area. And I also realize that we are one of only 250 libraries nation-wide (yes, the entire United States) that is ranked as a Star Library by the American Library Association. (This is our third year in a row! We are one of four in Wisconsin.) So we are better than average. But just to give you an idea of the use that a public library gets these days ...

1) In 2009 1,722 residents applied for library cards. (Again, note that our total service area population -- the folks who can actually obtain a card -- is about 10,000.)

2) 7,965 residents now have library cards and identify Kilbourn Public Library as their main library. If you have a card but go without using it for a couple of years, you are removed from the tabulation, so these are folks who use the library at least occasionally.

3) Over 1,100 children participated in the 2009 Summer Library Reading Program. There is a complicated formula to figure this out, but the folks who study these things, say that this amounts to over a million dollars in value to the community. Kids who read in the summer maintain their level of reading proficiency, meaning teachers do not have to take as much time catching them back up in the fall. By the end of elementary school, summer readers are about two years ahead of those who do not read in the summer. And those non-readers have a very hard time ever catching up in any of their courses, because no matter what you study, even math and computers, you have to be able to READ. And the summer reading programs at the library have no direct fees attached.

4) Residents checked out over 100,000 items from our library in 2009, an increase of more than 7% over 2008.

5) Our library put on over 270 special programs in 2009, 85 for adults and 185 for children. Again, there was no charge to participate in these programs, and about 1,500 adults and almost 3,000 children took part.
Although the Bookmobile is not considered or counted as a special program, I note that the Bookmobile annually makes over 1,200 visits to day care centers and elementary schools, and over 1,200 visits to nursing homes and housing for the elderly as well.
6) Our public access computers were used over 28,000 times in 2009. More and more people using our computers are doing so to find jobs or to fill out job applications that they can only do online. Many of these people do not have their own computers, and even those who do in this rural area, only have dial-up connections, which make it impossible for them to download the information they need or to complete the application process from home.

7) In Wisconsin, studies indicate that, for every dollar SPENT on public libraries (not including school or university libraries), residents get a return of over four dollars. So a great investment!

And, of course, it pays my salary and, as the L'Oreal folks say, "I'm worth it!"

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Angry speech

I saw a quote the other day -- can't remember from whom -- that went something like, "Speak in anger and you will give the best speech you will ever regret."

In Twelve Step programs they talk about exercising restraint of tongue and pen. I have to admit that I have started to write about many things that make me angry and then come to my senses before putting them out there for anyone to see. As they say, the internet is forever. Anyway, this is not a place for me to express anger and certainly not a place to generate conflict by expressing my opinions about all sorts of things.

I do want to confess, though, that yesterday I snapped at someone about something that was not really all that important. I apologized immediately and she assured me it was no big deal. But I felt bad anyway, partly because I am sure the anger was misdirected. I was not mad at her -- she just happened to be sitting there when the anger overflowed.

Not anything I am proud of, that's for sure.

I had a chat with Barry about it today. As he pointed out, there are things I can do nothing about -- we are very big on the serenity to accept the things we cannot change, you know -- but that doesn't mean I don't have feelings about them. Strong feelings, even.

So it seems I need to find some appropriate time/place/manner to express those feelings. Otherwise I can lash out at totally innocent bystanders.

A co-worker yesterday was sharing her frustration about something at work. After I said something about that situation, she laughed and told me that that I always find a very polite way to put things. I told her that actually I am a bit like Dr. David Banner on the old Incredible Hulk program. In the opening credits, Bill Bixby -- as Banner -- says, "Don't get me angry. You wouldn't like me when I'm angry."

I don't turn green, but ...

Sunday, November 7, 2010

Next time you are in a mall, who knows what may happen?

As usual, you may have to click on the arrow and let this run through first, then replay it so you get it without interruptions.

Our friend Michelangelo sent this.

Well, coming back down to (Wisconsin) earth...

Last week the "Check Engine" light in the Vibe flashed on. Yesterday morning, I took it in and found out that they will have to replace a defective oxygen sensor. Total is going to run me about $500. More annoying is that I had to leave the car there for the weekend, so the work can be done Monday when the part arrives. So I am here at the house without wheels. (Tom generously offered to let me use his truck, but it is a standard transmission and I have nowhere in particular to go anyway.)

Peter will give me a ride to work tomorrow (Monday) morning, and Tom will pick me up at the end of the day. The service department at the auto dealer keeps late hours, and if all goes well, I should be able to get the car tomorrow evening. At least this week, due to inventory, I am working normal 8-to-5 days. Often I don't even get off work until 8:15 Monday evenings. Glad I won't have to deal with that!

John Dauphin will be staying with us this week and next so that he and Tom can oversee the work crews replacing railroad ties at the Riverside & Great Northern. Tom just came off an intense (and successful) campaign workload, and he could probably have used another week or two to recover from that. But no good deed goes unpunished, and he did volunteer to do this railroad thing.

Nice day today -- we may actually have several good days in the 60s before it turns cold and rainy again on Friday. I swept leaves out of the garage and off the front porch today. Now if the wind will cooperate and blow them away from the house ...

Saturday, November 6, 2010


Ted suggested Guanajuato as a retirement possibility, but I am still intrigued by the charms of Lake Chapala. The village of Ajijic (pronounced ah-hee-HEEK), population about 15,000, is supposed to be very a friendly and accepting community. I found this listing for a rental there, without too much effort. What do you think?


Price: $950 US per month. Available Immediately.

Two bedrooms, two baths, one block from the carretera. Off street parking with auto-gate, completely furnished with fireplace, washer and dryer, high speed wireless Internet,Telmex phone (local calls only), BBQ pit, water filtration system, as well as a king size bed in the master bedroon.

This villa has 2 televisions, DVD player, cable (Telecable) lots of books, outside bar with a nice comfortable swing, small breakfast table out side in the porch, nice front yard with an orange tree. Fully furnished throughout.

The price includes: Wireless Internet, local phone, utilities, gas, water, cable TV, Magic Jack phone with free calls to the US, gardener, maid (five days per week).
Here are some pictures.

This is the entrance at the front. It is a gated property with an electric gate opener and off street parking.

This shows the front of the house with the mountains in the background.

This is the front yard/garden.

The living room...

and the living room fireplace.

I am not saying we would rent this place, but it gives you an idea of what is available for a thousand a month. I can dream anyway ...

Friday, November 5, 2010

Or south?

Although I haven't been there since the mid-1970's, Lake Chapala outside Guadalajara would be a nice place to live. The climate is pleasant and relatively mild, the city of Guadalajara is delightful -- second largest in Mexico and in many ways much more livable than Mexico City itself. Lots of US citizens retire there, especially military people from what I understand. (There are an estimated 50,000 US retirees resident in the area.) You can buy a home there, but return to the States periodically and retain your citizenship here. Cost of living is lower than here. It is possible to buy into the national health care plan for only about $200 a year.That provides for ordinary needs, although major medical expenses are not covered. Nonetheless, one can purchase private insurance for that at rates far lower than here in the States, and the medical care in a city like Guadalajara is considered quite good. You can do without owning a car, because public transportation is readily available.

The big drawback, of course, is that the drug violence that is rampant in Mexico also affects Guadalajara to some extent despite it not being a border town. On the other hand, there is violence everywhere one goes these days, and it is not like Lake Cahapala is the Old West. Even in Wisconsin Dells, we have drug-related deaths. And low-level violence at the local bars in particular is a constant issue. Not that we go to bars, of course, and those problems usually stay at the bars.

When I was there the first time in 1974, I thought it would be a lovely place to retire. I think there are even a couple of Carmelite monasteries in the area, and there may even be some friars I know. Certainly I know a friar originally from there, Fr. Luis Jorge, although I believe he teaches in Rome now.

Thursday, November 4, 2010

And speaking of further north ...

Highs in the 40's, lows in the low 20's today and tomorrow. Then it climbs back into the 50's. But the dread thought of snow is upon us!

Oh, Canada!

Rich and Peggy are in Canada for a few months (?) for Rich's work. They took their dog, but Tom and I (way mostly Tom) are taking care of Miss Molly the cat and tending other odds and ends for them while they are away.

Speaking of Canada, I heard recently that if you have $50,000 and a graduate degree, you can expedite the immigration process. Well, IM-migration to Canada, E-migration from elsewhere. Supposedly the same for almost any Commonwealth nation. I had thought about moving to Canada after I left the monastery, but I figured I was too old and too poor to do it. Of course, now I might be able to afford it. Not sure if that means it would COST you $50,000 up front, 'cause that would be way over the top! I assumed from the way the guy said it that you needed to prove you had that amount of cash to show that you were not going to become a drain on the local economy. But who knows? Not that I am likely to move even further north ...

On the other hand, I have a friend (US citizen) who is married to someone from the UK, and they want to move back to his home country. She is finding it a struggle to get a visa, even though her husband is a UK citizen. So be sure and do your research people! And say a prayer for my friend and her husband.