05 October 2005

Fresh Air Scrutinizes Gays and the Priesthood

In light of the forthcoming Vatican ruling to ban homosexuals from Catholic seminaries, Terry Gross of Fresh Air is interviewing two priests this afternoon, one gay and the other a long-time friend of Pope Benedict XVI.

At least on of the interviews will be available online, but both will air this afternoon beginning at 3 PM EST on your local NPR station. You can also listen through iTunes Radio on WNYC-FM at 3, or on WNYC-AM at 7 PM.

What to do with a blog

When one gets a blog the question inevitably arises as to what one does with said blog. I have decided in part to make my blog an ongoing series of updates on my conversion to Roman Catholicism. I am currently a part of an RCIA (Rite of Christian Initiation for Adults) group at my local parish (the Cathedral of the Sacred Heart here in Richmond, Va.). I hope eventually to outline all of my reasons for converting, but ultimately the only reason that anyone ever "crosses the Tiber" is because the Holy Spirit is leading them to do so. So I feel it must be with me. I was told, however, that the rite of initiation is a process of discernment, wherein one discerns whether or not the Holy Spirit is guiding one into Catholicism. Despite the fact that I want to say that the answer is, "Yes, of course!" I must admit that it is necessary for me to be humble and wait on the Lord for Him to exercise His will in my life rather than attempt to barge into the Church and exert my own will in the guise of obedience. My guess is is that it only seems tricky.

03 October 2005

Fixed gear mania

For reasons about which I myself am unclear, I have decided to get a track bike. For those of you not in the know, a track bike is a road bike with only one gear. This gear is "fixed," which means--as near as I can figure--that the drive train is permanently engaged. You cannot coast on a fixed gear as you might on a regular bike because the pedals will turn of their own volition. Also, track bikes are not usually equipped with breaks, breaking being incompatible with coolness. The rider stops the bike by pedalling backwards. These bikes were originally intended (and are still used) for velodrome racing, but they have also become chic among bicycle messengers. Apparently the stripped down aesthetic appeals to their alternative-culture lifestyle. Or maybe it is more convenient. Or perhaps both.

The stripped down aesthetic is certainly what appeals to me. Also the stripped down price, since fixies are available for like half the price of a multi-gear road bike. I have narrowed my choice down to two, so far as I can see at the moment: A Bianchi Pista or a Raleigh Rush Hour. The difference between the two bikes seems almost indicipherable, although the distinction probably lies in that esoteric bicycling concept, "geometry."

The whole thing has become something of an obsession with me of late. My guess is that once I actually get one of these bikes, then the obsession will really begin.

But in the meantime, these totally crazy people on their fixies should keep you entertained.