Weekend 557.1

“Let us not hesitate to give pride of place to silent daily prayer in the solitude of our room. In a perfect symbiosis with the cloisters of monasteries, it is necessary to experience an intimate relationship with God in the sanctuary of our room and to fight the good fight of faith through prayer and silence. Today, in this pagan would besotted with idols that boasts of the most abominable sins, God himself demands through the mouth of the prophet Isaiah that we go into our rooms to keep ourselves safe from all contamination and all slavery of sin, but especially to pray intensely with a view to our conversion: ‘Come, my people, enter your chambers, and shut your doors behind you; hide yourselves for a little while…. For behold, the Lord is coming forth out of his place to punish the inhabitants of earth…. Or let them lay hold of my protection, let them make peace with me’ (Is 26:20-21; 27:5). We can become true contemplatives by living in peace with God if our houses become temples of God.” — Cardinal Sarah

Orval Abbey in Belgium

Stained glass windows in the chapel of the bishops, executed by Boquet, after the cartoons of Miss Mara Weemaes, who, for the same oratory, also made two frescoes. Discreetly historiated stained-glass windows, simple illuminations in short, illustrating themes from the life of Notre-Dame, they provide this chapel with maximum clarity.

The Abbey of Orval, in Belgium’s Ardennes Forest, is truly a place of mystery. The name “Orval” means “Valley of Gold”.

Source: Quarterly review of sacred art published by the Benedictines of the Abbey of Saint-Andre (1947)

Limestone Roof Photo Archives
Orval Abbey

Weekend 556.0

I just finished maintenance on Playmobil365.com. My tribute project celebrating the 40th Anniversary of Playmobil is 9 years old! Updates included link hygiene, comment culling, platform hardening, etc. The BIGGEST update was retrofitting categories to EVERY post. This was an old ambition and finally used some downtime to tackle. There are a couple of vignettes and now you can easily isolate the posts and photos related to those stories. All of this was done as early preparation for a 10-year anniversary project (details soon).

If you’ve never visited Playmobil365.com there are tons of tributes to classic video games (Pac-Man and Sid Meijer’s Pirates), 80s bands and artists like A-ha, Pink Floyd, The Cure, Paul Simon and Howard Jones, Disney animation, artists, imagineers and theme park attractions, football clubs like Southampton, Morecambe, and Metz, writers like J.R.R. Tolkien and C.S. Lewis, Jeff Bridges via TRON and The Big Lebowski, places like London and Bermuda, and Hayao Miyazaki, Makoto Shinkai, and Haruki Murakami and FINALLY pop culture references like the nod to Garth Marenghi and Stanley Kubrick.

DM me if you can name the movie tribute to Miyazaki and Shinkai and the book title of the tribute to Murakami.

>>> BONUS: Sweet, sweet, sweet tyre pron.

Speaking of…

There have been some significant 20th and 50th Anniversaries the last few years- Naruto, Kingdom Hearts, NY Islanders, and Walt Disney World.

Weekend 555.0

“The monastic tradition calls ‘Great Silence’ the nocturnal atmosphere of peace that is supported to reign in the communal areas, as well as in each cell, generally from Compline until Prime, so that each one can be alone with God. But each person ought to create and build for himself an interior cloister, ‘a wall and a bulwark’, a private desert, so as to meet God there in solitude and silence.” — Cardinal Robert Sarah

Orval Abbey in Belgium

2022: Year-in-review

A couple of paragraphs to close out 2022. This is the year I said goodbye to London and put an exclamation point on Kingdom Hearts. I spent a night in Gettysburg and a couple more in Paris. I crossed the English Channel via the Eurostar. I read the Brothers York and Faith of Our Fathers. I saw the Wilton Diptych at the British Museum and watched the Southampton Saints WIN under the lights against the Norwich Canaries. I tracked down stained-glass in Hereford from a Christmas card given to my mom and dad by our parish priest. I hiked to Towton, outside York, to visit a battlefield that was pivotal in the War of the Roses. I toured all of the northern cathedrals- York, Durham, and Lincoln. I also travelled to the very edge of Empire for a weekend in Penzance and Lands End. There were a couple of more Saints matches, including a memorable one in Cambridge for the Carabao Cup. There were three Championship League matches in Stoke, Norwich, and Sunderland. I hosted my brother in the spring and we went to Southampton, London, and Ramsgate. I also caught Football: Designing the Beautiful Game at the Design Museum before it closed.

My last couple of weekend trips in England were to Coventry, Exeter, and Bath. One of the highlights of the year was mass at the Cathedral Church St John the Baptist in Norwich.

My BIG birthday was at PNC Arena to see my beloved NY Islanders put a hurt on the Hartford Whalers Carolina Hurricanes and I was at the Bridgeport Islanders home opener. I also went to a Bridgeport Islanders game to celebrate the 50th Anniversary of the NY Islanders.

Thames River Ride (1986) by Harper Goff. Scan is from The Art of Walt Disney World Resort

Kingdom Hearts Unanswered Questions

Sora, listen. The power of waking isn’t to go chase hearts around! Even if you do locate Kairi, you might never come home to us again.

(1) What is the wild card Luxord gave Sora for?

Sora: What’s this?
Luxord: A wild card. You’ve earned it. Hang on to it.
Luxord: Could turn the tables.
Sora: Play ya again someday, when we’re just guys.

(2) Who is Nameless Star in The Final World?

(3) Who is the fifteen-year-old girl that Lea and Saïx were visiting in Radiant Garden?

(4) Will Kairi’s Grandmother have a significant role in future titles?

(5) Why are Terra, Aqua, and Ventus in the Realm of Darkness?

(6) Who killed Strelitzia? (CBR.com)”

(7) What is Kairi dreaming about in the laboratory of Ansem the Wise?

(8) Master or Masters, Yozora, Xigbar, Pete, and Maleficent oh my.

Kingdom Hearts III