Tuesday, November 27

A word or two, if you please, about Ebay. An ingenious idea and a deservedly successful venture. There's a piece in Tuesday's Salon about the current CEO and the series of sound decisions that have left Ebay as one of the few internet "retailers" to turn a profit. And a hefty one.

Here's why I like Ebay: Because of Ebay, I was finally, after years of frustrated agony, able to get my parents decent gifts. The first was a couple of years ago when I found a biography of Hugh Bensen, the early 20th century Catholic writer, for my mother. She loved it. Last Christmas, I got a lot of old Latin and French missals, which she liked very much. The Christmas before, I spent a couple of months monitering auctions and picked up three postcards of landmarks for each of their youths and young adulthood - Paris, Texas, and the University of Texas for my dad, and Maine and the University of Arizona for my mother. Sure, I could have snagged any of these through online stores dealing in books or postcards, but you know - it's all on Ebay, eventually, it's simple to search and monitor, even without any effort. You tell the site what you're looking for and it tells you when something matching your needs comes up. It's ingenious.

When I was in Lakeland in my 1920's bungalow, I had a black, white and red kitchen. It was very easy to find vintage stuff to match: vintage red and black cannisters, a red and black tea kettle, and so on.

Now it's clothes I'm after. Joseph's toes recently started peeking through the feet of his sleepers, and I really didn't feel like spending much on stuff he'd only outgrow in another two months. Nor do I have time for yard sales. So it's on to Ebay, and within a couple of hours, I've got 8 good quality, very gently used sleepers (Carter's and such) for about fifteen dollars, total, including shipping. Can't beat it if you tried.
Here we are again back to our old night-owl tricks. I guess I should expect it. Joseph slept quite a bit today, enabling me to write two columns, and do a little bit on my Advent booklet, Prove It Prayer, and the Tolkein article. I also made a sort of chicken cordon bleu for dinner. But, as the babies know, there's only so many hours in the day or night a child can be expected to sleep. One must make up for lost play time somehow!

We have a new baby corrall. You know - the kind they have on Rugrats - a fence you can set up on the floor. It's more spacious than a playpen and gives the impression, to the dumb babies at least, that they're not imprisoned. So far, Joseph isn't fooled.

Well, this is interesting for those of you interested in such things, at least. One of the feast days today is of a legendary figure named Josaphat (how he stays on the calendar is an interesting question). The basic story is an apparent Christianized re-telling of the life of the Buddha, and was quite popular during the Middle Ages.
HBO is planning a film on Philo Farnsworth, one of the inventors of television. I only mention it because Farnsworth spent some about thirty years in Fort Wayne from the 1930's to the 1960's, and did some important work on his invention right here. Here's some information. See...Indiana's about more than corn!
I had a delightful interview with Joseph Pearce, author of the books noted below. Mr. Pearce, currently a Writer-in-Residence at Ave Maria College in Ann Arbor, made his strong case for The Lord of the Rings as a "theological thriller" and a strong tool of evangelization, as well.

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