All Hallow’s Eve

Things I’ll tell my kids about Halloween:
1. “Hallow” means to “sanctify and venerate.” Tonight is the vigil for venerating the saints and our beloved dead who are in heaven.
3. Legend has it that during this vigil of All Saint’s Day, the veil between Purgatory and earth is made thinner and the souls of the dead become more visible. Hence the association of All Hallow’s Eve with ghouls and ghosts….
4. Trick or treating started as “souling” where children and the poor would go door to door asking for food in exchange for singing and praying for the dead of the households. All Catholics should demand prayers from their Trick or Treaters. :)
5. “Harvest Festivals” set up as alternatives to Halloween are really more similar to the pagan feast of Samhain (a Celtic Harvest celebration) than the All Hallow’s Eve of Christian tradition. Ironic, huh?
6. Halloween, kind of like Christmas, is a fundamentally Christian holiday that has picked up pagan, secular, and commercial baggage over the years. Most of the bad stuff has been created by opportunistic marketers trying to make a buck.
7. Unlike centuries ago, we have the luxury of laughing at fear and superstition. Our faith makes lasting fear unnecessary. The fact that fright is fun on Halloween speaks to the power of God’s saving grace.

Traditionally, you can obtain a partial indulgence for the souls of your loved ones by reciting this prayer from Psalm 130. Pray early and often.

De Profundis

Out of the depths I cry to You, O Lord; Lord, hear my voice.
Let Your ears be attentive to my voice in supplication.
If You, O Lord, mark iniquities, Lord, who can stand?
But with You is forgiveness, that You may be revered.
I trust in the Lord; my soul trusts in His word.
My soul waits for the Lord more than sentinels wait for the dawn.
More than sentinels wait for the dawn, let Israel wait for the Lord,
For with the Lord is kindness and with Him is plenteous redemption;
And He will redeem Israel from all their iniquities.

Waiting for the movers to arrive

This is my new blog space.  I lost my lease on the old domain name and I decided to move my old blog onto a hosted WordPress platform.

That, and I figured it was time to quit freeloading off of Matt Mullenweg, who has been quite nice to let me store Overflow on his  server for over eight years. I decided to quit being so much of a freeloader and support him with my dollars.

Back when Matt was still at the University of Houston Downtown, he offered to his fellow Houston bloggers free hosting on his personal server to anyone who would be willing to try this new blog software he wrote called “WordPress.” I was tired of Blogger anyway and was eyeing a change to Moveable Type, but I wanted to help this enterprising kid get off the ground.

He was one of these guys who seemed to have the formula for success (and I don’t just say this in hindsight.) He was whip-smart but self-deprecating, creative, kind, and very charismatic. He had a diverse set of interests like Jazz, political science, nd photography. All those things are hallmarks of the kind of guy you just know is going to be successful. Not necessarily always famous, but successful.

And so that’s my only “I knew him when” story. I tried to buy Matt a beer for rehosting my blog, but he didn’t drink, so I bought him lunch instead. I got to see him play Jazz. He graciously came to a couple of my ill-fated but fun Bad Art Nights. And I accumulated over 1400 blog posts on his dime over the years.

All before he became that Matt Mullenweg.

And, as a final kindness as I file into line amongst his millions of happy customers, he is having one of his people move my baggage from Overflow to this new blog. I’ve been blogging since, well the days when Geocities was the coolest way to self publish on the web. Before the word “blog” was coined. I have twelve years of my life chronicled on Matt’s personal server, my family history, my weird ideas, my geekery, the chronicles of my adoptions and my marriage. Quite a bit of history.

And, as one of the very first WordPress blogs ever, Overflow was historic in another small sense as well. I guess this means I’d better not let it go to seed now.

So I’m just waiting for the movers — a nice guy named Otto — to move me in to the new digs. Paid my first year’s rent. Now I guess I need to think of things to write.