My View For Awhile: EXILE!

I’m at the airport because I have to leave The Cupboard Under The Stairs.

The Powers That Be are switching off the power that is.   No electricity.

No, it’s not because I didn’t pay my power bill.

It’s about building inspection or … something.  A likely story.

So, I’m taking it on the road during the days the power is off.

Early flight.

It had a harrowing start.

I was on my way and realized I had forgotten my phone (aka The Precious).   I contemplated leaving anyway, but the blog has been under DoS attack recently which requires that I do server things to get it working.  Also, I make plans on the fly.   Given that Delta is so often late, we went home and we fetched it, Precious, yes we did. That meant a somewhat swifter trip to the airport than usual.   I managed to get to the gate a couple minutes before boarding because, as usual, Delta was – surprise – late.

This process guaranteed that I need less coffee this morning.

The experience demonstrates how attached – nay, rather – hooked we at these days on our gizmos.   There are times when I purposely leave my phone at home as I run errands or go for a social engagement.  But I confess to a certain uneasiness when I go out the door and The Precious isn’t in sight.

Imagine the disfunction that will result when the whole Grid collapses and people are suddenly without electricity.  

On that note, I will now fire up my Kindle and plug in my noise reducing earbuds.



Meanwhile, happily landed (softly), my bag having been the first on the conveyor even as I walked up, Uber having been summoned and met, I opened my email on the nearly forgotten Precious, to find photos from Gammarelli in Rome.  (Try that in Latin!)

They are cutting fabric for the GREEN set!

Remember the chasuble and cope?

Here come the rest.

These will be spectacular.

On the way into LGA we were on the approach that took us up the Hudson.  I usually get a starboard window when coming here, just in case. 

Not in order… obviously.

The Met!  Where I’ll be later, hopefully.



And since the traffic is horrid we, driving through Queens, passed a sign with some Latin.

I like the Latin and the sentiment, though I doubt I’ll ever go there.

About Fr. John Zuhlsdorf

Fr. Z is the guy who runs this blog. o{]:¬)
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  1. The Masked Chicken says:

    I, still, have my slide rule. Analog rules!

    The Chicken

  2. JimRB says:

    This post caused me to genuinely laugh aloud, and to change my iPhone’s name in settings to The Precious.

    Given that I read this while also listening to the audiobook version of The Two Towers during my semiannual revisiting of Tolkien’s works, it gave me even more joy.

  3. Kathleen10 says:

    haha, The Precious. Many people have The Precious.
    I am grateful technology does not really interest me. I still have a flip phone, rejecting a smart phone completely. It’s my concession to have the flip phone. I’m glad I don’t like technology. You’re right, when the grid goes down, people are going to go insane.
    How do you like not being able to select your seat on Delta. Happy travels.

  4. Have a good trip.
    I panic when I don’t have my phone. Its nuts. I can barely remember how we lived without mobile phones.

    And to think that a guy on a horse and 2 lamps in the church tower amassed the American revolutionaries as the British arrived. Yes. I’d say as a civilization we have devolved from the ability to communicate. Which means, well, we really aren’t civilized anymore, are we?

    And I wonder that after all the travel and waiting for airplanes, TSA and mortal threats, maybe a horse would be better all around.

  5. alanphipps says:

    You’re very brave to use the seatback pouches for things; I’ve seen people put used tissues and other trash in them *shudder*.

  6. alanphipps: Yes I know. It all gets a thorough cleansing. Airplanes are … blech!

  7. dans0622 says:

    Was in LGA one time. Truly an unforgettable experience as it was my first encounter with time travel. “So, this is what airports used to look like.”

  8. lgreen515 says:

    Oh, Father Z., your Precious. LOL!

  9. Pnkn says:

    Are you sure that ALL the power was shut off, or perhaps you were singled out ?

    I have a generic question: what do vestments cost such as are pictured cost ?

  10. KateD says:

    We went to look at a home recently and lost cell service 15 min away from the house. My husband had been riddled with texts and calls prior to and during the drive out….He was mid call at a crucial point in a conversation when service was lost. A brief period of colorful language followed.

    For the whole time we were there we engaged in undistracted conversation. It was awesome!….On the drive home, his phone exploded again. That much stress just can’t be healthy.

    Can you imagine having to rely on a land line, and if you were out taking care of the animals or in the yard gardening…people would just have to (gasp) try again later…..remember those days? Definitely a selling point, if ya ask me! Plus land lines still work during a power outage!

  11. un-ionized says:

    KateD, I guess I have the Lifestyle to Envy. I don’t have to ever go anywhere beyond a 4-5 hour drive. Kyocera Tracfone for outgoing calls only (has all the possible AAA numbers in it). No TV. Landline with answering machine. I do have a hotspot for emailing from my laptop though. Bad me. I should try smoke signals from the patio instead I guess. You can come over and help with the blanket waving part!

  12. Mike says:


    Whatever the sentiments of Wisconsinites, we Nationals fans tend to be tempered in our sentiments toward the Mets (notwithstanding the shortcomings of their ownership) because of our mutual hatred of the dirty Phillies. De gustibus, etc.

  13. When the grid goes down, don’t forget your Baofeng…when all else fails, amateur radio (and it may be morse code) gets through…just sayin’…

  14. Elizabeth D says:

    I was at a good talk at the SPTDB yesterday and Msgr B said during his remarks that he had been living in one of the brand new apartments for a while and that it is very nice and he encouraged people to consider renting there.

  15. A priest who often says our Latin Mass up in Newburgh, NY brought a similar brand new set of floral (white/pink/gold) Gammarelli vestments for Easter Day Mass. I was taken aback because other than for a bit of ribbon in the shape of a cross on the burse & maniple there was no other Christian symbol such as a cross or IHS or what-have-you.
    I’d never thought about vestments too hard before. I guess then there’s no strict guidelines for what they should look like other than color and shape?
    Always a pleasure to check in at your blog!

  16. benedetta says:

    That material is wonderful, Father. How beautiful for the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass and for all the souls who assist. Thank you for the interesting photo update on the work of the artisans of beautiful vestments.

    Also, in a similar vein, I am sure I am not alone in my enjoyment these days of your ever changing new spiffy banners on the blog! It’s been really fun to log on to a new surprise every time! I expect that must have taken considerable work. It really cheers up my day to see those, thanks for those as well!

  17. frjim4321 says:

    Have a safe trip and thanks for the pictures.

  18. Maltese says:

    My kids would lose their minds if they were without power to charge their iPhones, iPads, etc., for ONE DAY. They know I’m that crazy-dad, who believes that someday soon a major cyber-attack might depower an entire city (and I’m not that crazy, since Ted Koppell is in my camp.) The more reliant we are on gadgets, the more vulnerable we are. My grandparents had chickens in their yard, in the middle of Albuquerque, NM, during the Great Depression. I urge the few souls reading this to get some survival skills, a stock of non-perishable food, a couple of guns, and brace for the potential worse.

  19. Matt Robare says:


    That’s clearly Yankee Stadium.

    You know, I think I’d get along okay without a smartphone. Take away my Kindle and I’d be one unhappy camper, though. At least we’ll still have books after the grid goes. And then civilization can rise again and, as Douglas Adams said, there will be moist lemon-scented napkinettes once more.

  20. stephen c says:

    Hey, Saint John Paul II the Good gave wonderful addresses at both Yankee Stadium and Shea Stadium (where the Mets played). And who can’t like the only baseball team ever – and maybe the only professional sports team ever – that chose for itself the same name that both the biggest local opera company and the biggest local art museum had also chosen? (In NY, the Met is the opera company, the Met is shorthand for the big museum, and the Mets are, to many, right or wrong, a beloved baseball team).

  21. pannw says:

    Oh, my. Is that gentleman wearing cuff links? With a pinstripe suit? To work? Wonderful! Civilization hasn’t fallen yet. And what beautiful work.

    The Precious…haha! And The Cupboard Under the Stairs, too. Nice! Beautiful vestments…and agree with benedetta, I love the changing headers. Fr. Z’s, an oasis of joy and peace in a desert of gloomy news. Thanks, Father.

    As to blech-y airplanes, I saw a horrifying video on just how germy they are. As one who could easily succumb to severe germaphobia, I choose to believe that it is a good way to build immunity, or I’d never go anywhere! Have a good trip.

  22. JustaSinner says:

    Something tells me Prince didn’t get to confession last week. You’re right, Fr. Z., you never know…

  23. Semper Gumby says:

    Great Tolkienesque moment Fr. Z. Happy travels. And good point Bryan D. Boyle.

    Here’s a piece of post-apocalyptic fiction involving travel and radios. Hope no one finds it too grim. To set it up, it’s a few years after an EMP attack and Mark and his friend Fr. Tom are travelling by canoe to the Lake Superior area where Archbishop Z will consecrate Fr. Tom the new bishop of the Diocese of the Lower Ohio Valley. It’s a bit condensed for the combox.
    In the forested hills of southern Indiana the morning sun burned away the fog shrouding the Wabash River. A blue heron took flight, skimming the water near four canoes paddled by eight men. In the lead canoe Mark looked back, something he did every several minutes, checking that he had three canoes and six men behind him. He shifted Fr. Tom’s Mass kit and rifle underneath a strap securing their trading supplies and resumed paddling.

    Soon they rounded a bend, and the men stopped paddling and floated downstream, staring at a ruined village on the Illinois side of the river. Weeds and vines partially obscured charred beams, broken windows, and collapsed walls. The silence was unnerving. Rope hung from several logs stuck in the ground like totems, and in a clearing next to the river stood a section of stone wall. A rooster stirred somewhere in the shadows under the trees. Mark handed his binoculars without a word to Fr. Tom.

    The river bent again and the ruins faded behind. Fr. Tom paddled slowly as Mark picked up his journal. Five days into the trip and Mark had some thirty pages of notes- anything of interest along the river from game trails to an abandoned and rusting freight train. Mark finished his sketch of the village and closed the journal.

    Fr. Tom handed the binoculars back, “What do you think?”

    Mark tapped his pen on the journal. “The rock wall is stained by some fluid, brown maybe red. There are remnants of something, or someone, at the bases of the logs.” Mark paused. “It’s a little far from the Islamist compound south of St. Louis. The Viking gang active last year probably wouldn’t have destroyed the docks and boathouse. Doesn’t seem to be the National Guard squad that went rogue. There was odd graffiti painted on several walls.”

    “Sigils,” Fr. Tom said. “Occult symbols.”

    “I’ve got pretty good sketches. So maybe Santa Muerte, the narco cult. We’re near public forestland.”

    “Maybe,” mused Fr. Tom. “Satanists sometimes use isolated farmhouses. Maybe the village was their victim. See any cat skeletons?”



    “No, but really Father.”

    “There was one on its side in the village. Occult groups such as Palo Mayombe. They used ’em. Before the Pulse mostly for animal-sacrifice stew. Now…” Fr. Tom paddled slowly. “Could be syncretism- narco cult and something diabolical combined.”

    Mark paddled a bit. “At noon we’ll radio this back home. This ruin is at least four months old but the cult is probably still out there in southern Illinois somewhere.”

    The men paddled steadily the rest of the morning. Around noon, twenty miles or so downstream from the ruins, they grounded their canoes on a small island mid-river not far from where the Wabash emptied into the Ohio.

    Two men stood security. Two others threw a coil of wire over a tree to make a longwire short-wave radio antenna. Morse code usually worked well even at long distances and poor atmospheric conditions. Some isolated villages in southern Indiana would also receive their Morse Code transmission using 1920s-style crystal radios. At river’s edge, Fr. Tom emptied one of the canoes of its trade goods- crystal radio sets, reading glasses, a book on the World War II Bielski brothers partisan group, heirloom seeds, homemade soaps- and prepared for Mass. Fr. Tom also emptied the canoe of the gifts for a Catholic community on the Ohio- Catholic homeschooling books, Latin language books, and liturgical supplies. Just as St. John Paul II did in Poland as a priest in the 1950s, Fr. Tom would use an overturned canoe for an altar and two oars lashed together for a cross.

    Mark sat on a fallen tree, writing in his journal. He opened his map. A destroyed village on the Wabash, probably by some occult group. Occasional radio reports of trouble on the Mississippi. They might have to find an overland route to Lake Superior.

  24. JARay says:

    What is a power-out? I have a mobile phone which I look at from time to time to see if it needs re-charging. I only have it for emergencies. My landline phone is better and cheaper. But then…I live in Australia.

  25. Grumpy Beggar says:

    The Masked Chicken says:
    “I, still, have my slide rule. Analog rules!”

    The Chicken

    . . . was weened on analog audio reel to reel recording myself – just before the digital changeover hit. The transition wasn’t that easy for me . . . I had always tried to keep it reel.

    Like un-ionized , no TV. But I think it’s more budget-related in my case.

    I’m still using a Not So Precious basically so people can contact me (no danger of Gollum coming to steal it while it’s charging -that’s for sure!).
    But sometimes I help out in a friend of mine’s office – emailing him his office messages which he subsequently picks up on his smartphone. . . .touch screen, HD pics,quotes,scans,HD videos,vocal messages instantly converted to texts, tunes. . . and the list goes on – really amazing all that can be done with a smartphone.

    I wonder if they’re going to be the next big threat to us . . . whether people are going to want to start marrying their smartphones once they can program them to cook, keep house, take out the garbage, and most importantly of all , to concede a point in a heated argument . . .

  26. Tom says:

    Went in for surgery in Jan., leaving Precious behind quite by mistake. When I came to in the afternoon I realized I didn’t know anyone’s phone number anymore!

  27. un-ionized says:

    Tom, remember phone books? I’m still in one! For most people it’s the only time we get to see our name in print.

  28. Semper Gumby says:

    Hat tip to The Chicken for mentioning slide rules. It then occurred to me that those nifty solar calculators probably have a shelf life- in the real world and fictional plots.

  29. Semper Gumby says:

    Maltese: Well said, and great line about Ted Koppel.

  30. Charivari Rob says:

    I like the aerial baseball photo. You nearly had four spots where Hall of Famers played in the one frame.

    In addition to the current Yankee Stadium… (I’m not 100% sure that any current Hall-of-Famer played any games there – but give it a couple of years)

    …you’ve got half of the footprint of the former stadium (pre/post-renovation), half of the park field where Rod Carew was scouted & signed (not by the Yankees, grumble grumble), and if you had a little more of the Manhattan side of the Harlem River you’d have the site of the Polo Grounds.

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