30 January 2012

Thomas's Third Birthday

The day begins with oatmeal (Thomas's choice) and the first of the birthday presents. Thomas the Tank Engine DVDs exclusively in German. It's time for him to start picking up some of the language around here.

After lunch we went to the zoo. Every time we've gone to the zoo (which is fairly frequently) over the past year, Maria has ridden a pony and Thomas has been told "you have to wait until you're three." Well, the big day finally came - the day on which Thomas could ride a pony - and we discovered too late that Monday is the ponies' day off. So, we'll have to go again next week on a day other than Monday. Fortunately, Thomas bore the disappointment well and we enjoyed the rest of the zoo.

After dinner (Thomas requested Schnitzel and Fries) he got to unwrap another present, this one from Papou and Grandma. Edmund was kind enough to help out with the business of unwrapping. Then, finally, a very cool train-cake.

Happy Birthday, Big Guy!

29 January 2012

Uncle Will

Best wishes from all of us. Maria sends her special love. Thomas asks if you are a girl. Edmund offers you his cereal spoon (used). Have a great day!

25 January 2012

Hello, Prince Fielder!

Well, how does this one strike us, Tiger fans? Will the lineup look something like this?

Austin Jackson CF
Brennen Boesch RF
Miguel Cabrera DH
Prince Fielder 1B
Delmon Young LF
Jhonny Peralta SS
Alex Avila C
Raburn / Santiago 2B
Inge / Kelly 3B

The real fun will begin next year, however, when Victor Martinez returns. With him back in the DH role full-time, and Prince at 1B, Miguel will have to transition either back to 3B (Inge's contract will be up after this year) or perhaps out to LF (Young's contract will also be up).

Or, do you get creative already this year? Which is the better defensive alignment? Cabrera at 3B, Inge/Kelly in LF, and Young at DH? Or Young in LF, Inge/Kelly at 3B, and Cabrera at DH? It boils down to this, I think: Which is the bigger defensive liability? Young in LF? He's painful to watch out there. Or Cabrera at 3B? He used to play there, but he has gotten quite a bit larger since then. You also have to consider that pitchers like Porcello and Fister depend upon ground ball outs, so infield defense might be more important than outfield, and we are already dealing with Peralta (limited range) and Raburn (at least sometimes) in the middle of the infield.

Update: upon further reflection, I've decided that I would like to see Cabrera give LF a try. You don't want to insult your best hitter by moving him to DH so early in his career, and he must be at least as good as Delmon out there. I mean, we've played Magglio in RF for years and it hasn't killed us. This way you can also keep Inge at 3B, which is all the more important now that defense has become such a question with this signing. So, here's what I'm thinking (notice the perfect R/L alternation all the way down the list):

A. Jackson CF
B. Boesch RF
M. Cabrera LF
P. Fielder 1B
D. Young DH
A. Avila C
J. Peralta SS
R. Santiago 2B
B. Inge 3B

21 January 2012


Thomas's first day of Kindergarten

Apparently we need better locks on the cupboards

Edmund out in the first (minuscule) snowfall

Maria was pretty excited about it though

Looks like a regular expedition

Caught napping

18 January 2012

New Blackfriars

Cover image for Vol. 93 Issue 1043
I just received some rather fun and exciting news today. New Blackfriars, the Journal of the English Province of the Dominican Order, has agreed to publish an essay I composed last year on the subject of the disagreement between Ratzinger and Aquinas over the date of the Last Supper. Ratzinger says that it happened on the 13th day of the month of Nisan (which would mean that it wasn't really a proper Jewish Passover meal). Aquinas holds that it happened on the 14th of Nisan (I agree). 

17 January 2012

Lock Down Mode

Dear friends and family and all such as stop by to look at pictures here from time to time. Due to the fact that I have a number of applications going out these next few months to universities and places of employment I have decided to lock up access, so far as I am able, to as much of my personal information as exists on the internet. There is no particular concern or problem. I just don't want potential professors or employers google-ing my name and then scrolling through my blog posts or facebook page.

I have sent an email to as many of you as I have in my address book, letting you know that you can email me to request access to the blog. Sorry for the additional inconvenience.

06 January 2012

Feast of the Epiphany of Our Lord

The kids dressed up as the three kings for the epiphany. Here are some of the pictures.

03 January 2012

Happy New Year!

Here is a selection of pictures from our recent trip to Belgium for the wedding reception of some friends who got married this past Summer in Michigan. We left Maria and Thomas with their Aunt Katie, but took Edmund with us on an 11 hour train ride from Vienna to Brussels. We spent the first night there, and then went on to Ghent the next morning. The artistic highlight of the trip was the Ghent Altarpiece, which we saw in the cathedral there, but the city itself was beautiful as well.



That same afternoon, we got back on the train to head to Brugges, where we would spend our second night. Our first view of the city was at night. The market square was beautifully lit up, with an ice rink set up in the center. The next day we spent some more time wandering Brugges before going to the wedding reception in Kortrijk. After that it was up again early the next day, back to Brussels, and then onto the long train ride back to Vienna.

Market Square

Belgian Beer Shop


Town Hall