Thursday, November 30, 2006

¡Viva Las Vegas!

NCCYM, here we come! It's 4:xx a.m. and Orin and Erin are heading out the door - see y'all there (except the ones we won't)!

Wednesday, November 29, 2006

Colbert on Pope, Ecumenism

Whether one agrees or disagrees with the content, there's a lot in this bit that is very funny:

Tuesday, November 28, 2006

Look Out Vegas,

Here We Come:

They'll never know what hit 'em...

The Faith of a Child

Oddwalk often tells stories of child-like faith, often connected to songs such as In My Heart or Let the Children Come to Me.

Gene of APeX writes at his blog of a 7th-grader exhibiting just that sort of trust.

Go! Read!

Monday, November 27, 2006

So, It's Orin & Erin's 2nd Anniversary!

Office Space - the thriller

Oddwalk has long been fans of the movie Office Space.

In this clip, someone has recut a trailer to make it look like it's a suspense-thriller instead of a comedy. Enjoy:

Sunday, November 26, 2006

How well do you know your Oddwalk?

Click the leaderboard to take the quiz, then come back and see how your result compares. All the answers to the quiz can be found on our main site, the Oddblog, or our MySpace page.

Create your own friendquiz here

Update, 11/29:

So, um...

There was an error with the quiz which has now been fixed. Everyone who answered C on the last question, add 10 points to your score...

Everyone who answered B and got credit, you can keep the points for believing Keytars are totally awesome.

Friday, November 24, 2006

Helping Those in Need

Orin's wife, Erin Hammond, coordinated a Thanksgiving luncheon for the homeless, poor, and elderly of the area that was hosted at St. Luke's Catholic Church in Belleville, IL. On site and through pick-ups and deliveries, they served about 700 people all told between 11am and 1pm on Thanksgiving day.

The Belleville News-Democrat stopped by to check out the happenings and do a nice little write-up — please read their story online here.

On a personal note, Orin is quite proud of Erin — she was mentored into the program last year, and this year it was completely her baby. Way to go!

Also, see if you can find Orin in the picture — it's subtle, but he's in there, and yes, that's all the larger the picture was, at least on-line! Unfortunately, no picture of Erin.

Often when I or others pray before meals, we speak of "being mindful of those who go without" — be that physical nourishment, spirirual nourishment, or just companionship. This truly was a day to be more than just mindful.

PS - St. Luke's was Shannon's parish growing up, is featured on the cover of our newest CD, and this room, the one in the picture, was the site of our CD release concert/World Series Game 1 party.

Thursday, November 23, 2006

Wednesday, November 22, 2006

St. Cecilia, Patron of Musicians

“Liturgical action is given a more noble form when sacred rites are solemnized in song, with the assistance of sacred ministers and the active participation of the people."
Constitution on the Sacred Liturgy, no. 112

Read more about St. Cecilia here (If it's still Nov. 22; if not, just google*)!

Also, don't forget to check out "Sing a New Song to the Lord (Psalm 98)" on the left sidebar!

*PS - Oddwalk earns a few pennies every time someone googles from our home page - when you think of it, could you make us a few pennies?

Tuesday, November 21, 2006

Oddwalk (de)Composing

Check the Gcast ("Audio Blog Posts") thingy on the left to listen to a rough recording of a setting of Psalm 98 that Shannon (and Orin) are working on...

Something to ponder

An unattributed quote in Orin's Theology of Worship reading at Aquinas this week:

"People know what they do. People frequently know why they do what they do. People don't often know what they do does."

"I am old enough to know better!"

In his book, Forgotten Among the Lilies – Learning To Love Beyond Our Fears, the popular and wise Ronald Rolheiser, OMI, paraphrases the opening lines of Fr. Carlo Carretto’s love letter addressed to the Church, the visible institutional Church.

How much I must criticize you, my church and yet how much I love you!
You have made me suffer more than anyone and yet I owe you more that I owe anyone.
I should like to see you destroyed and yet I need your presence.
You have given me much scandal and yet you alone have made me understand holiness.
Never in the world have I seen anything more obscurantist, more compromised, more false, yet never have I touched anything more pure, more generous or more beautiful.
Countless times I have felt like slamming the door of my soul in your face – and yet, every night, I have prayed that I might die in your arms!
No, I cannot be free of you, for I am one with you, even if not completely you.
Then too – where should I go?
To build another church?
But I cannot build another church without the same defects, for they are my own defects.
And again, if I were to build another church, it would be my church, not Christ’s church.
No, I am old enough. I know better!

Monday, November 20, 2006

Caption Contest

Post in the comments your best caption for this picture:

Sometimes you just want a practical solution

Bubba went to a psychiatrist. "I've got problems. Everytime I go to bed I think there's somebody under it. I'm scared. I think I'm going crazy."

"Just put yourself in my hands for one year," said the doctor. "Come talk to me three times a week, and we should be able to get rid of those fears."

"How much do you charge?" "Eighty dollars per visit," replied the doctor. "I'll sleep on it," said Bubba. Six months later the doctor met Bubba on the street.

"Why didn't you ever come to see about those fears you were having?" asked the psychiatrist

"Well, eighty bucks a visit three times a week for a year is an awful lot of money! A bartender cured me for $10. I was so happy to have saved all that money I went and bought me a new pickup!"

"Is that so! And how, may I ask, did a bartender cure you?"

"He told me to cut the legs off the bed! - Ain't nobody under there now!!!"

Saturday, November 18, 2006

Jammin' Johns! (or, "Music to your Rear")

An anonymous reader tipped us off to this extremely necessary product every Oddwalk fan (and every member of Oddwalk too) should have...

Many questions arise:

1) How did this person happen to come upon this product?
2) Why did this person instantly think of us?
3) Which one should we get?

Make sure to check it out yourselves, and let us know!

Our toilet goes to 11!

(Spinal Tap, anyone?)

Friday, November 17, 2006

Your Prayers Are Needed

Last week, a police officer in Belleville, Illinois was shot in the face while carrying out a raid on a home. That police officer, Jon Brough, is a parishioner at my home parish of St. Luke in Belleville, and is someone I've known most of my life.

While he survived the shooting, and several hours of surgery that followed, Sgt. Brough is permanently blinded. Furthermore, his sense of smell will be permanently affected, and he has years of facial reconstructive surgeries ahead of him.

At a minimum, Sgt. Brough and his family need our prayers. If you would like to do more, please click on the title above and search the main page of the Belleville News-Democrat for ways to donate money. Anything you can do will help.


Thursday, November 16, 2006

Behold the Oddwalk...Guitar

As you might have expected by now, American Airlines has not found my guitar. If you aren't up on this story, click here.

Seeing no other choice, I went through a local music store and found a guitar that I really liked. I've used it a few times and am already in love with it. It sounds great and it has a built-in tuner. Woo Hoo!

Ladies and gentlemen, I have a guitar again. You are free to end your prayer vigils.

Monday, November 13, 2006


"Fr. Willmar was saing Mass and he was having trouble. He said, 'There's something wrong with this mic.' And Sr. Arvonne said, 'And also with you.'"

—From a Garrison Keillor Story, quote seen in the NCR

Friday, November 10, 2006

The dog's name is Mary

Here's an email I (Orin) got from my dad the other day. Yes, this is the entire email:

Hi Orin and Erin. Just to let you know that Erick was elected mayor and the
dog next door got 5 votes. DAD

You see, in my hometown of Tyler, Minnesota, no one had filed to run for mayor by the filiing deadline - no one really wanted the job. My folks' neighbor put a sign out in his front yard that his dog Mary was running for mayor. Eventually, a friend of mine from high school, Erick Harper, decided to run, along with a couple other guys, as a write-in candidate.

This is Erick. You can see a little more about his victory and other exciting aspects of Tyler, Minnesota life here at the Tyler Tribute web page (that's the weekly newspaper).

For instance, elsewhere on the site, you can see a picture of other neighbors of mine growing up, Lorraine and Mervil Knudsen, trying to vote at the high school gym:

I'm not sure who the elction worker is. Sorry.

There's also an interesting story on the 1939 time capsule discovered at the old hospital building which was recently torn down, about a block from where I grew up.


Thursday, November 9, 2006

Babies! Babies! Babies!

New life is all around us! Oddwalk would like to congratulate several family members and friends on their new babies:

-Elizabeth Leahy, a cousin of Shannon, and her husband Brendan welcomed their son, Griffin.

-Kim Distler, another cousin of Shannon, and her husband Greg welcomed Molly.

-Ricky and Tania Willmann, friends of the Oddwalk family, welcomed Richard Craig, whom they will call Craig.

Congratulations to all! You are in our prayers.

Wednesday, November 8, 2006

New Oddwalk Web Banner

If anyone wants to link to us (we're very popular, you know), that's always more than welcome. A text link is fine, but you can always use our logo (top-left of the page) or this new web banner:

Make sure to click on it first to get the higher-quality, right-sized version - Cheers!

Coodies, and another Treo-loving Catholic artist

Ryan Meyers is a Catholic musician and absolutely loves his treo! Orin has blogged here often about his...

Ryan wrote about one particular game he plays on his that I've been looking for for a long time, mostly because my wife Erin now also has a treo and loves loves loves an old Nintendo game, Dr. Mario.

He found a version called Coodies and it looks like this:

If you see this before I get home, honey, don't worry, I'll beam it too you. : )

Culture Gap between Rome and America

"Another classic instance [of the culture gap] is differing attitudes towards law. For Anglo-Saxons, law is a lowest common denominator of civil behavior, and hence we assume that laws are meant to be obeyed. If we find that people aren’t obeying a given law, it’s a problem, and we either crack down or change the law. In Mediterranean cultures, on the other hand, law is more an expression of an ideal, and there’s tremendous room for subjectivity in interpretation and application in a concrete set of circumstances. Anyone who’s ever driven the streets of an Italian city knows what I’m talking about. The bar tends to be set high, with the implicit understanding that most people, most of the time, will far short to varying degrees."

Read more of John Allen's balanced and thought-provoking column here.

Tuesday, November 7, 2006

David and the Pope

Our friend David Muñoz,

that's him on the left,

sent us a couple picture of the Pope visiting the Gregorian (in Rome), the school where he (and many others) are studying. David will be ordained a Priest for the Oblates of Mary Immaculate someday (that's the religious order that owns and operates the Shrine where Orin ministers).

David writes, "...just wanted to update you on a great event. The pope went to visit the Gregorian last Friday. I was able to get close enough as he exited to take a picture so I send some to you. The first pic happened because we were bored out of our minds waiting for two hours for the pope to arrive. He thanked the Jesuits for their great work in universities (Erin's probably happy)."

Voting for the Common Good

Happy election day, everyone.

Even if you're not voting, this is worth a read.

Monday, November 6, 2006

Why St. Louis fans are the best in baseball

When the Pope asked St. Louis Cardinals outfielder Joseph "Ducky" Medwick what he did for a living during a World War II visit to the Vatican, Medwick replied, "Your Holiness, I'm Joseph Medwick. I, too, used to be a Cardinal."

Read more here! (from Washington University in St. Louis' student newspaper)

Sunday, November 5, 2006

Oddwalk Keytar lends a hand

One of Orin's other hats in life is being assistant director of the Saint Louis Chamber Chorus. The group is recording a CD over these next few nights, at Our Lady of Sorrows, in South St. Louis city. A call went out to the chorus members as the producer wished to have a simple, small keyboard to use to check that the chorus was staying on pitch, etc. Orin brought his trusty keytar to the rescue. It was dark back where the producer was, but here are a couple pics:

Philip (director), Martha (accompanist), and Gary (the producer)'s arm

The keytar, obviously integral to each succesful take.

Friday, November 3, 2006

Where Am I?

This past weekend, Oddwalk had the great fortune of being booked into two dioceses, Ogdensburg, NY, and Sioux City, IA. While we consider ouselves blessed, arranging travel for those few days was a bit crazy. It would have been even crazier, but Orin was only able to make our booking in Iowa on Sunday. Here is a summary of the weekend:

On Friday, October 27th, I flew from St. Louis' Lambert Airport, through Chicago O'Hare, to Ottowa International Airport. That's right, Canada. I then rented a car and suddenly discovered that my first ever experience in Canada shouldn't have involved navigating the roads by myself as well. After a lot of driving around in circles, I headed about 50 miles south to the Canada/U.S. border, got the O.K. to cross and entered the U.S. in Ogdesburg. This was also the location for the youth rally the next day. Due to the fabulous directions provided by Yahoo! Maps, I proceeded to turn what should have been a ten minute drive to the conference center into a 45 minute drive. Thanks Yahoo!

I finally arrived at Wadhams Hall, the site for the event the next day, in time to catch the last three innings of game 5 of the World Series; the Cardinals World Championship-clinching game 5 that is. Suddenly, I felt much better about the whole day.

The event the next day went really well. Rose Morgan, and the rest event organizers, were anticipating a low turnout. This was based on a total of eight registrations that came in by the deadline date, eleven days earlier. When the final numbers were tallied on the day of the rally, they had been blessed with an attendance of over 250 youth and adults. God is truly good! Thanks to all of the diocesan staff and event organizers who stuck with the event even through an anticipated low turnout.

When I was done speaking at 3:15pm, I had about 15 minutes to pack up my stuff, talk to a few people, sell some merchandise, and get on the road back to Ottawa. Once on the road, I raced up to Ottawa, turned the car in, and barely got checked in on time for my 6:05pm flight. During that span of time, Orin finished the wedding he was playing for and pointed his car (wife and all) toward Omaha, Nebraska.

From Ottawa, I flew through O'Hare to Omaha's Epply Airfield. The plan was for me to get my bags and meet Orin and Erin at the airport. All but the bags part worked out perfectly. When I got to baggage claim, my two bags hadn't shown up. When I say "two bags", what I really mean is one suitcase and one guitar. My guitar didn't arrive! AHHH! The baggage office told me that the bags would likely come on the morning flight from Chicago and they would be delivered to me. All I could do was pray.

Orin and Erin picked me up and the three of us traveled about two hours north to Le Mars, IA, home of Blue Bunny Ice Cream.

The next day came but the bags didn't. Therefore, armed a new wardrobe from Wal-Mart and a borrowed guitar (thanks Heath), Orin and I keynoted the youth rally for the Diocese of Sioux City, IA. The event drew almost 800 teens from all over the diocese and was highlighted by Mass with Bishop Nickless and performances by SevenGlory and Heath McNease. It was a wonderful day and Oddwalk felt blessed to be part of it. Kudos to Jessica LeFleur, the diocesan staff, and all of the volunteers for engineering such a wonderful opportunity for the teens to learn what it means to be "Catholic to the Core".

After a dip in the hot tub and pool on Sunday night, the Oddwalk "party-on-wheels" headed for home. After a brief stop at Epply Airfield to pick up my suitcase, (still no guitar...they think it's lost for good) we drove 450 miles to my house where my wife Erin treated us to a wonderful dinner and dessert.

It was a very crazy, but a truly wonderful weekend. God has blessed this ministry abundantly!

Yay God!

Wednesday, November 1, 2006

2 Month Old Future Keytar God!

"I'll synthesize your face off...someday!"

For more on Noah, Madeleine, and all the Cernekas, click...


For all the Saints

Bet you didn't know it had 11 verses! Here's #10:
But lo! there breaks a yet more glorious day;
The saints triumphant rise in bright array;
The King of glory passes on His way.
Alleluia, Alleluia!