Rick's Ramblings

You have found Rick's Ramblings, a Web Log.

I have been writing in this space for a few years now. Visit the archives to get a feel for my style.

Thanks for visiting one of my creative outlets! Please send me an e-mail, or add a comment to any post.

More Rick Umali web sites at:

Yahoo! Geocities
Lycos Tripod
The World
My Own Domain

Email: rickumali@gmail.com

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Saturday, December 21, 2002
Our VCR started malfunctioning tonight. We put in a tape, and after playing a few seconds, the VCR promptly began eating it. We put in three tapes to convince ourselves that this was a real problem.

Since our daughter watches a ton of videos (most notably the Teletubbies), we couldn't bear to have a day without a VCR. So at 8:45PM, I trudged out to Circuit City to buy a VCR.

Our old VCR, a Sharp H942U, was originally purchased in September 1995. I was astonished to find out it was that old. The new VCR, a Panasonic PVV4522, was $70.00. While I don't have the receipt for the Sharp VCR, I can bet it was close to $100. In fact, at Circuit City, it was hard to find VCRs over the $100 range.

The new VCR has the ability to set its own time (!) and it has A/V jacks on the front (no more fishing around the back). I installed it in one shot. It was short but dusty work. I played a tape (crossing my fingers), and it played fine. I went through the menus, and jogged forwards and backwards through a tape. The auto clock setting was somewhat disconcerting. The old VCR wouldn't let you into its menus unless you set the date and time first.

I like the new VCR. If it lasts as long as the Sharp, I'll be pleased.


Friday, December 20, 2002
December 18 marked the 15th anniversary of the Perl computer language. My pictures of Mia web pages are generated using Perl.


Wednesday, December 18, 2002
The past week's news was dominated by the church scandal. Since I live in Greater Boston, the center of the controversy, it's the lead news. Cardinal Bernard Law's trip to the Vatican last week was closely watched. Of course, it has come to an end for him. Bishop Richard Lennon has been assigned to the Diocese of Boston as the apostolic administrator, until the Pope appoints a new archbishop.

Over the past months leading up to the past week, I have quietly accepted the difficulties of the Catholic church in Boston. As a practicing Catholic, I was just hoping it would all "work out." While others sought to join groups to make changes, I quietly attended mass. When I read last week that Fr. Francis Daley, the pastor of my church, was one of 58 Boston priests who signed the letter asking Law to resign, I rethought the issues again.

At Sunday mass last week, the Eucharistic Prayer was amended: Bishop Lennon's name was used in place of Cardinal Law's name. The changes are occurring. Today, the Vatican approved the sex-abuse policy proposed by the Bishops of the United States. The changes are slowly happening.

I believe it will be many years, perhaps a whole generation or two before the scandal recedes in memory. So much has been hidden for so long. I have commented earlier that Cardinal Law shouldn't step down, but after months of assault from the media, from the faithful, from the priesthood, and from the many disparate groups who have disavowed him, I'm beginning to think that perhaps his leaving will start the healing process. His leaving will allow the church "to move forward." At least I hope so.





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