Thursday, August 28, 2008

 
With the return to good weather here in New Hampshire, we’ve produced a total of 107 kw of electricity so far from our photovoltaic array. Because the footings for it were placed further north than planned, the panels are shaded more in the early morning and late afternoon that we had hoped. The trees we cut had been calculated for the more southerly location.


At 3pm there's already considerable shade on the panels.

So during our annual Labor Day Work and Play Weekend for all our gay friends, we’ll be cutting some more trees away from the sides of the array to let more light in and increase our daily output. I think we have the capacity to generate at least 300kw a month if we clear enough to guarantee unshaded light for at least 8 hours a day.

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Now that the actual presidential campaign is starting, I’m thoroughly sick of the whole process, suffering from a bad case of campaign fatigue. These people have been dominating the news and TV for a year and a half--and for what?

Some commentators are saying that the American people still need to see the real Barack Obama, not just the articulate visionary. And even after 18 months +or- of hard campaigning it’s only in the last couple of months that the real John McCain, the progressively less and less admirable—even tolerable—human being has begun to emerge. So what was the purpose of everybody rushing to throw their hats into the ring and start pressing the flesh all around the country less than half way through Bush’s second term if not to show us who they really are?

I think I’ve mentioned this before, but I’d very like much to see an officially established starting date for presidential campaigns. But I’m just cynical (or realistic) enough, however, to know that if such a limited campaign season ever were to be established, politicians would immediately find ways to subvert it.

What worries me is that with the precedent of this election’s endless campaign, including the mad rush of states to reschedule their primaries earlier and earlier, we may someday see a president take the oath of office on January 20 and politicians hopeful of succeeding him or her announce their candidacy on January 21.

However, there’s no questioning the historic importance of Barack Obama’s acceptance speech and I’ll certainly be watching. I couldn’t help thinking, if only Coretta Scott King had lived long enough to see an African American accept the nomination of his party for president on the exact 45th anniversary of her husband’s “I have a dream” speech on the Mall in DC. What an atmosphere there would have been had she been present tonight to see it happen.

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Ah, how fleeting is fame! The beauty pageant of the year is off:

Priest cancels nun beauty contest

An Italian priest who said he wanted to hold the world's first beauty contest for nuns has decided to cancel the project, saying he was misunderstood. Antonio Rungi said he had never intended to put sisters on the catwalk, but had wanted to erase a stereotype of them as being old and dour.

"Nuns are - above all - women, and beauty is a gift from God," he told Italy's Corriere della Sera newspaper before he cancelled the project.

He had wanted to hold the contest online on his internet blog. He had expected around 1000 nuns to enter the contest to choose “Sister Italia.” In particular, Nuns from Latin America, especially Brazil, were being urged to enter.


Father Rungi said he changed his mind after the local religious authorities expressed their displeasure. "My superiors were not happy. The local bishop was not happy, but they did not understand me either," Father Rungi told Reuters news agency from the town of Mondragone, near Naples.

"It was interpreted as more of a physical thing," he said. "Now, no one is saying that nuns can't be beautiful, but I was thinking about something more complete." He said he had intended to showcase the good works that nuns do, especially in education and health care, so as to boost interest in religious vocations.

"We have to draw more attention to the world of nuns, who are often not sufficiently appreciated by society," he wrote in his blog.


Fr. Rungi [inset] is either officially or unofficially the Vatican’s chosen publicist/modern image representative.

At the beginning of this month, Reuters reported that he decided to combat the fact that vacationers leave church behind when they go on holiday by taking church to the vacationers.

Fr. Rungi had a 96 foot inflatable "church" placed on a beach located on the Adriatic coast. From that church priests heard confessions. In the evenings, as a complement to the Sacrament of Penance there was a group of four or five singing about God.

The inflatable church had been attempted last month in Sardinia, but high winds foiled the effort.

Exactly how youthful, hip and modern Fr. Rungi’s portable churches and proposed beauty pageant are going to come across to the younger generation of Catholics remains to be seen. Interestingly, the pope chose an old rather than a young man to implement the program. Perhaps he feared that a young priest would be a little too wild and, well, YOUNG--not in line with traditional Catholic leadership by aged, reactionary types.


But if you’re in the mood for some Vatican eye candy, there’s always the Calendario Romano, the annual calendar that features many hunky, handsome young priests. It's sold at religious stores in Rome and elsewhere (wanna bet how many of those calendars are hanging next to the beds of highly placed cardinals and bishops worldwide?).


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The Wit and Wisdom of George W. Bush AND Dan Quayle

<< In my sentences I go where no man has gone before.



>> It’s not pollution that is hurting the environment, it’s the impurities in our air and water that are doing it.

Comments:
How is it possible that I didn't know about a calendar of clerics? I have only one thing to say: praise be to Cthulhu!

Personally, I'd really like to see a pageant featuring Brazilian priests.
 
How does the output of the solar panels compare to your household needs? Is it enough to power the house? Are you making enough to light the state? :)

That calendar of priests always puzzled me. What's the point? Yes, they're hotties, but isn't it encouraging thoughts that the church is supposed to oppose? Or am I missing something?
 
I had a copy of the Calendario Romano! It was beauuuutiful! And I'd say it was actually Ratzinger who put the kabbash on the Beauty Contest because he will be the only clergy wearing couture!

The campaign fatigue is a bit much but Obama's speech was a needed energy injection. Don't worry. It's almost over.

Also with Christmas starting before Halloween, I'm sure on November 5th someone will announce their candidacy for the next election. ;)
 
My favorite Obama-ism:

"What I was suggesting -- you're absolutely right that John McCain has not talked about my Muslim faith..."
 
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