Monday, December 31, 2012

Christmas Train 2012

Here is a video of the train under my Christmas tree. Thanks to Joe Horner for once again adding the buildings, trees, and snow effects.

Thursday, December 6, 2012

The Problem with Politics Today

I have argued that we should do away with presidential primaries and return to smoke-filled rooms and conventions the outcome of which the outcome is not already  determined weeks before the convention opens. However, I had not realized that these sensible proposals, however helpful they may be in themselves, are inadequate. Then I saw this photo and attached caption which clearly illustrate what is missing from our political conventions: a really loud pipe organ. Seated at the controls is a lady who knows how to silence unruly delegates and blowhard orators. Happy Days Are Here Again. Let 'er rip.

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Caeli Deus sanctissime

Here is another hymn for Vespers. I am not totally satisfied with the translation of the first verse. But I am stuck.

Caeli Deus sanctissime,
qui lucidum centrum poli
candore pingis igneo
augens decori lumine.

Most holy God of heaven high,
Who made the circle of the sky:
You paint it now with burning light,
To make it greater and more bright;

Quarto die qui flammeam
solis rotam constituens,
lunae ministras ordini,
vagos recursus siderum,

Who, on the fourth day, set aflame
The sun’s great wheel, and rule the same, 
The phases of the moon you guide,
And stars that wander far and wide,

Ut noctibus, vel lumini
diremptionis terminum,
primordiis et mensium
signum dares notissimum:

To give both night and day a line
Dividing dark from light: a sign
Most evident to sight and sense,
To mark the months as they commence.

Illumina cor hominum,
absterge sordes mentium,
resolve culpae vinculum,
everte moles criminum.

Illuminate the hearts of men,
Their unclean minds make pure again.
Untie the chains of guilt within,
Cast down the heaped-up hills of sin.

Praesta, Pater piissime,
Patrique compar Unice,
cum Spiritu Paraclito
regnans per omne saeculum.

Grant it, dear Father, ever one
With Christ our Lord, your only Son,
And with the Spirit equally,
Ruling for all eternity. Amen.

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Pergata mundo nuntiat

This is the hymn for Lauds on Tuesday of week three of the psalter (today!).
I took a stab at translating it in September.

Pergrata mundo nuntiat
aurora solis spicula,
res et colore vestiens
iam cuncta dat nitescere.

Dawn to the world glad tidings brings,
The arrows of the sun, the rays
That clothe in color all good things,
As all the world is set ablaze.

Qui sol per aevum praenites,
O Christe, nobis vividus,
ad te cernentes vertimur,
te gestientes perfrui.

O Jesus Christ, the living Sun,
In every age our one true light!
We see the dawn and turn to you,
Exulting in your presence bright.

Tu Patris es scientia
Verbumque per quod omnia
miro refulgent ordine
mentesque nostras attrahunt.

O Word through whom all things were made,
Through you may we the Father know;
Created things that draw our gaze
Through you their wondrous order show.

Da lucis ut nos filii
sic ambulemus impigri,
ut Patris usque gratiam
mores et actus exprimant.

Help us that we, as sons of light,
May walk with such a steady pace,
That all we do may represent
The image of the Father’s grace.

Sincera praesta ut profluant
ex ore nostro iugiter,
et veritatis dulcibus
ut excitemur gaudiis.

Let nothing from our lips be heard
But honest words unceasingly,
That by the truth we may be stirred –
By sweetness and sincerity.

Sit, Christe, rex piissime,
tibi Patrique gloria
cum Spiritu Paraclito,
in sempiterna secula. Amen.

To you, O Christ, most kindly King
And to the Father glory be,
As to the Spirit Paraclete,
In ev'ry age, eternally. Amen.

Copyright 2012 Thomas Buffer

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Wisconsin spirit

The Fine Arts Building, Chicago

Not to have visited the Fine Arts Building in Chicago is not quite equivalent to having wasted your life entirely, but it comes close. Clear proof that the Fine Arts Building violates many apparent laws of the known universe will be found in these posts from Yelp:

I can recommend Performer's Music (9th floor), the best sheet music store I have ever seen, but not the largest -- think about it-- as well as Selected Works, the bookstore on the 2nd floor (beware of cat). SW also sells used sheet music.

Friday, September 21, 2012

Immense caeli conditor

While I am on sabbatical I have turned my hand once more to the translation of Breviary hymns. The goal is an accurate translation that is poetic and singable. And it has to rhyme. Today's hymn, which refers to the setting up of a firmament between the waters above and waters below on the second day of creation, is fittingly sung on the second day of the week (Monday) in weeks one and three of Ordinary Time.

Immense caeli conditor,
qui, mixta ne confunderent,
aquae fluenta dividens,
caelum dedisti limitem,
Boundless Creator, wise and great,
Who made the sky to separate
Waters above from those below,
Lest one into the other flow,
Firmans locum caelestibus,
simulque terrae rivulis,
ut unda flammas temperet,
terrae solum ne dissipet: 
You made one place for clouds and rain,
And one for river, stream, and plain,
That water might the heat allay,
Lest earth dry up and blow away.
Infunde nunc, piissime,
donum perennis gratiae,
fraudis novae ne casibus
nos error atterat vetus.
Into our hearts with kindness pour
The gift of grace forevermore,
Lest ancient wrong find some new way
To snare your flock and make them stray
Lucem fides inveniat,
sic luminis iubar ferat;
haec vana cuncta terreat,
hanc falsa nulla comprimant
So may our faith discover light,
And bear aloft its lantern bright.
This light deceit cannot abide,
Nor empty words its splendor hide.
Praesta, Pater piissime,
Patrique compar Unice,
cum Spiritu Paraclito
regnans per omne saeculum. Amen
Grant it, dear Father, ever one
With Christ our Lord, your only Son,
And with the Spirit equally,
Ruling for all eternity. Amen.

Copyright 2012 Thomas Buffer

Tuesday, July 31, 2012

just passing through

I made a brief excursion to the railroad crossing at Cooke Rd in north Columbus to wave at Nickel Plate 765 as she passed through on Monday.

Watch "NKP 765 in Columbus Ohio" on YouTube

Tuesday, July 3, 2012

This is perfectly safe

I had to find a way to climb the mast to re-attach the lower shroud- which had  tumbled to the deck during my previous sail due to a failed cotter pin. Behold my solution. I now understand why sailors in the days of old used to say, " keep one hand for yourself and one for the ship."

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Mariological Society of America

Just kicked off the 63rd annual meeting of the Mariiological Society of America. Keynote speaker Fr. Andrew Apostoli is speaking about the Servant of God. Archbishop Fulton J. Sheen. Our hosts are the good monks of Mt Angel Oregon.

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Meditating on Mary

A writer for our Sunday Visitor asked me for some commentary on Pope John Paul II's encyclical Redemptoris Mater. See the resulting article at this link:

Meditating on Mary


Saturday, May 12, 2012

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Train to Nowhere

Seen today in Newark, Ohio. Anyone know why this car is parked here?

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Get Ready!

Took advantage of the unusually warm weather to pay a visit to the boat, currently on the hard. There was a fine breeze too. Took the outboard and batteries home for servicing. Looking forward to an early launch this year.

Saturday, February 25, 2012

Euro-english -- and Latin

For those not familiar with my rants on the topic, when I say "Euro-english" I refer to a curious linguistic phenomenon that results  when a European whose first language is not English translates his thoughts into English. It can also come into being when a novice  English-speaker makes a too-literal translation (I can show you some embarrassing examples from my younger days). The result is something neither English nor Italian/French/Portugese/Spanish, but some kind of third reality, a linguistic shopwindow mannequin that appears human but cannot speak to us. Today's example is a treat: a Euro-english defense of the study of Latin. The author is trying to tell us that a thorough knowledge of Latin will give us a direct access to our cultural and spiritual past. And then he says this::
A signal of an intellectual heritage too vast, fruitful and rooted to let it be imagined any caesura of its roots.
Plenty of irony here. We are being told that we need more young folks studying Latin. I could not agree more. But how can we learn enough Latin to get inside the heads of Cicero and Aquinas if we don't know enough English and Italian to make a decent translation of a short essay by Celso Morga Iruzubieta?

I remember walking past gelato shops in Rome that advertised "PROPER PRODUCTION" which was their attempt at translating the Italian produzione propria = homemade. I can tolerate that sort of thing in the window of an ice cream shop, but I expect more from  L'Osservatore Romano.

You can read the whole essay by CMI  here

Thursday, January 26, 2012

Have you ever

Seen an uglier light fixture? It looks like something seen in a petri dish in the path lab.

Monday, January 23, 2012

Another victim

The Clarmont restaurant closes after 65 years
I used to go to the Clarmont once in a while. After enjoying a great steak, one could purchase and enjoy a fine cigar right there inside the restaurant.
Then the government outlawed smoking in restaurants.
The Clarmont took a hit but soldiered on.
Then the government subsidized ethanol, and the price of beef went up. Last year the corn crop was poor, and the price of animal-based protein rose even more.
Something had to give. And it wasn't the government. It was the Clarmont.

Sunday, January 8, 2012

Last Train Video of the Season

As Christmas is nearly over I wanted to put up one video of both trains running, before I dismantle the Christmas scene. I know that no one will be so overly curious as to ask why the freight train goes past the station while the passenger train does not. Be assured that there are very good technical reasons for this. Really.