Tuesday, March 16, 2004

Another good day today, but a long one. My wife lost her jury duty mail. The county courthouse left a message last night telling her she only needed to report if her notice was numbered between 1 and 130. Needless to say, it was a morning of rousting the troops out of bed early-early and driving into the city. After dropping off the good citizen, Brittany and I just had time to park the car a few blocks away, note the federal building, police headquarters ("We're okay, Dad; we're not doing anything wrong.") and city hall before meeting my dear wife on the front steps informing us she was relieved of duty. Then it was back to the parish to finish my column for the bulletin, and gather all the stuff for today's meetings at the chancery that I forgot yesterday in my rush to get home for Anita's allergy shots. Then shooting halfway downtown for two planning meetings at the chancery for this year's National Lay Ministry Conference locally sponsored in part by our diocese's Center for Pastoral Life and Ministry Center. Brittany loyally remained as my "assistant," which essentially meant she kept very quiet and occupied by practicing cursive writing and playing with her stuffed kitten and technicolor four-inch pony. In between conferences the chancery staff invited us to join them for a weekly soup and salad lunch. I think mac & cheese at Applebee's would have been a favored choice in some quarters, but salad, "o'chili," and green angel food cake was enough of a hit. A nice walk and spin on the swing set in Hyde Park after lunch kept me awake for my second meeting. After that, I dropped off my wife and child at the big public library across the state line in Johnson County. While in the neighborhood, I visited a coin store/pawn shop, and picked up an 1861 Indian cent, a key missing slot in my collection, which now lacks only 23 dates and types. Given that the 1877 cent is now valued at $1000 in F12 condition, I think it will be a long wait till I get the full set. Chronicles of Narnia is now on dvd, which my wife snapped up at the library. I found three books, including a collection of alternate history short stories (what if the Nazis won, what if the Confederacy won -- speculative things like that). Picked up Philip Dick's 1960 award-winning novel, The Man In The High Castle, which I read when I was a teen. Also Lonely Planets: The Natural Philosophy of Alien Life by astronomer David Grinspoon. Grinspoon is an excellent science writer. His book on Venus is superb. Time to dart upstairs and watch some Narnia with my wife.

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