Saturday, 24 May 2008

Moses and Jesus did not have a clue

Moses and Jesus did not live in a condominium complex. It was easy for them to say “love your neighbour as yourself”. It’s hard for me!

The single story condo. in which I live is part of a triplex. I am at one end, my good pal Dave Foster at the other.

In the middle is E.T. She and I share a drive way.

Her car port is filled with junk. Old food, trash, styrofoam coolers, overflowing ash trays, empty plastic bottles, a computer key board, etc etc - you name it - it is there.

I have nine pots filled with shrubs to shield me from the view.

She simply ignores every warning from the Condo. Association. She will not clear up.

She will sit outside for “ages” scrutinising every guest who arrives at my home. I think of her as Madame Defarge, sans knitting.

When she is mad at me, she is out of control. Once, when I asked her not to use my water hose without asking me first, she sat outside for hours.

She sat outside and she sang, in a loud voice, and for a long time

She sang “He is an ass-hole, he is a jerk. But I will never bow to him. I will never kiss his ass”.

She once angrily complained to me because “my leaves” had been blown to her side of the car-port.

I heard various noises during last night. I thought that they were caused by my cats - exploring.

I awoke too early today, at 3:45 a.m., and wandered outside for a cigarette. I jumped out of my skin when E.T. greeted me. She asked for a cigarette. I gave her three.

I walked two hours later. Still she sat outside. Then I gardened for an hour. Finally she told me of her plight. She had locked herself out of her home, and her spare house keys were locked in her car.

She had been outside for 10 hours. I asked how I could help.

Then came the tussle.

She said:

“No, I could not call the Police Department”.


“No, I could not call a locksmith“.

But she wanted me to lend her a Credit Card, so that she could add minutes to her mobile ‘phone. “Then” she explained, “she could call her car rescue service, who would come to unlock her car, wherein were her house keys”.

Given her history of instability, I was unwilling to do this.

But I hit upon an idea. I would go to a local drug store, and purchase a $10 “top up” card for her ‘phone.

She agreed to this, and also asked me to buy her some cigarettes. She gave me a long and confusing “stream of consciousness” statement as to which brand I should buy.

In due course I got the “top up” card, and the cigarettes. She reimbursed me with some cash she had in her pocket. A bit later she received the help she needed and re-entered her home.

Here’s the shame. I did not help her in order to “love my neighbour as myself”.

I helped to “get her off my back”.

Moses and Jesus did not have a clue on this one.

Friday, 23 May 2008

And now for something completely different

The following is not by me. I "stole" it from a Blog entitled "Let me tell you all about it sweetie"

A couple of days ago, a co-worker mentioned a few words that I pronounce differently than they do here in Central Missourah. Here, they spend "qwahders", ride "hahrses", and worship the "Lawrd".

See, I grew up in Southern Ohio, and I quickly learned upon venturing outside of the area that the dialect is peculiar to that part of the country. Contrary to what you may think, Southern Ohioans are NOT “hillbillies”. Hillbillies live further south. We are “hilljacks” and proudly so, but not uppity like Northern Ohioans.

I came across this list of Southern Ohio expressions that I thought you’ns might like. I have to admit that they are painfully accurate. Enjoy!

Piller: Soft cushion used to rest the head, as in, "I sure am tarred… can you'ns git me another piller for ma' head?" (variation: can also be pronounced as "pilla").

Waffle: Refering to the female spouse, as in "Don't git up, my waffle git a beer for ya!".

Poet: To dispense liquid, as in "Is that moonshine? Just poet in my glass".

Tar: Round rubber object used on an automobile to enable motion, as in "Did you take that old tar off'n your car? Don't thow it out, plant some petunias in it!".

Poke: a bag or sack used for carrying items, as in "Just put my Winstons in a poke".

Klumbus: The capital city of Ohio, as in "We're a takin a day trip up to Klumbus to eat at the Red Lobster".

Tuesdee: The second day of the work week, as in "It's Tuesdee, and my check hain't cleared yet".

Carry: To transport, as in "Can you'ns carry me to the store in your car?"

Sensuous: as in, "Sensuous gittin' up anyways, can you refill my moonshine?"

Aig: what a hen lays

Aints: small insects, as in, "He's got aints in his paints".

Arn: Appliance used for removing wrinkles, as in, "Don't bother me, I've got lots of arnin' to do and ma diet pill's wearin' off!".

Chiny: an Asian country

Deppity: assistant to the Shurf.

Fanger: digits of the hand, as in, "put that rang on ma fanger".

Furred: to be dismissed from employment.

Flar: a member of the flora family, as in, "who sent you them purdy flars?".

Hail: the underworld, as in, "You'ns can go to HAIL!".

Hern: belonging to a female, as in, "that ain't his'n, it's hern!".

Liberry: place to check out books, as in, "can you carry me to the Liberry?"

Oral: a lubricant, as in, "your car needs some oral".

Pank: a pale red color.

Purdy: attractive, as in, "she's as purdy as a pitcher".

Rah Cheer: here, as in, "sit down Rah Cheer and I'll git you some moonshine".

Roont: destroyed, as in, "this drought has roont my crops".

Skeered: frightened, as in, "that coon pert near skeered me to death!"

War: a thin round band of metal, as in, "is that a bobbed war fence?"

Worsh: to cleanse, as in, "It's Saturdee, go worsh yourself off".

Yurp: A continent including France, Spain and Italy.

Nekkid: Without clothes, as in, "She's as neekid as a jay-bird".

Spearmint: What scientists do.

Tal: What you use to dry off after a shower, as in, "You can get pretty candy stripe tals in boxes of Breeze"!

Uhmurkin: Resident of the United States. (Also "Murkin")

Ignert: Not smart, as in, "He sure is ignert. He didn't know Chiny is part of Asia".

Bard: Past tense of "borrow".

Farn: From another country, as in, "He's not an Uhmurkin, he's farn".

Retard: Stopped working, as in "As soon as I git to be 65, I'm a gonna be retard".

Daints: A formal event, as in, "Let's go to the square daints!"

Parmor: An automated device for cutting grass.

Tire: A tall structure, as in "If you'ns ever get to Yurp, you'ns kin visit the Eiffel Tire".

Tarnaida: Cyclone, as in "A tarnaida went through that trailer park and left $1 million in improvements."

Phrasin: Cold, as in "It's phrasin out here!"

Mill: Libations, as in, "Lits go to the Taco del Casa and grab a mill."

Igle: A symbol of America. Also used to refer to a club: "Ize down at the Igle's last night gettin' a beer."

Thursday, 22 May 2008

School Misery (7)

I’ve entitled this series “School Misery”, for when I was attending Fairfield Grammar School, it indeed was a miserable time. But my memories sometimes belie this.

Other Old Fairfieldians have told me something similar. They hated F.G.S. whilst they were there, but look back with fond memories.

I suppose that we chiefly remember the teachers, an odd, but mostly dedicated group.

I have previously mentioned “Gadger” Gay and Dot Worthington. F.G.S. pupils delighted in the nick-names we assigned to our teachers.

Senior Master, Mr. Jervis, was of course “Jerry”. I seem to remember that he walked with a slight limp, and that he swanned around the School wearing an Academic Robe. He was never one of my classroom teachers, and I haven’t the slightest idea of his teaching subject, but he seemed affable enough.

Mr. Parrott, who taught Geography, was one of my favourites, (don’t ask me why!). He, of course, was known to the students as “Polly”. I can even now see him teaching us about the regions of industrial Great Britain, with coal in Yorkshire, Nottinghamshire and Wales, cotton in Lancashire, wool in Yorkshire, and ship building on the Clyde and Tyne. It’s an industrial scenario long since gone.

Then there was Mr. Hayes. He taught Physics and Chemistry. Guess what we called him? “Gabby” of course.

I remember being seated on a high stool in the chemistry lab, with its test tubes and Bunsen burners. “Gabby” would walk around as he lectured, and whenever he passed behind me, he would poke his finger through an unravelled seam in my blazer, right by my arm pit.

One day I could take it no more, so I turned and shoved him.

He said not a word; I was not disciplined; and he never did it again.

Wednesday, 21 May 2008

This is Florida (Bradenton is a Town which is immediately north of SRQ)

By Michael A. Scarcella Published Wednesday, May 21, 2008 at 4:30 a.m.
Last updated Wednesday, May 21, 2008 at 2:31 a.m.
BRADENTON — Justin Terrell Claudio was just walking down the street Tuesday when a Bradenton police officer drove up.
The officer tried to question Claudio, according to a report, because the 18-year-old was walking the wrong way down the street.
A chase resulted when Claudio ran, and the situation ended with Claudio getting arrested and the officer cutting his hand while climbing a fence in pursuit.
The case has raised questions among some in the Manatee legal community who wonder why police are stopping people for something as minor as simply walking the wrong way on a residential street.
They say the police crossed a line, harassing a teenager who had not committed a crime. Wrong-way walking is a civil infraction in Florida that would have gotten Claudio a ticket, if anything.
Several defense attorneys said they doubt many people know the rare law that requires pedestrians to face oncoming traffic while walking where no sidewalks are present.
"Every day our county is looking more and more like a police state," defense attorney Charles M. Britt III said. Claudio "made them mad. They had no other justification to arrest him. This was contempt of cop."
Even Bradenton Police Chief Michael Radzilowski said he did not know wrong-way walking was a violation.
Still, he defended the traffic stop on a pedestrian, saying an officer can approach a person on the street anytime for any reason.
Radzilowski made a point, however, to say that his officers are not aggressively confronting people who are walking on the wrong side of the road.
"I can assure the public we are not out there stopping people unless there is an underlying reason for the officer to approach," Radzilowski said. "We use every law at our disposal to make our neighborhoods safe."
Radzilowski called the arrest "good police work," saying that officers knew Claudio had been arrested before on drug charges in the same neighborhood.
Police did not find any drugs or weapons on Claudio, and there was no indication he was doing anything wrong before the confrontation other than wrong-way walking. Another man who was with Claudio was walking on the opposite side; he was not detained.
Britt and other attorneys questioned the use of police resources in chasing down wrong-way walkers when there was no evidence any crime had been, or was about to be, committed.
"It's antics like these that cause the general public to distrust law enforcement," said defense attorney Christopher Pratt. "This is ridiculous."
Pedestrians are required, when practical, to walk facing into traffic if there are no sidewalks, according to state law. The law is meant to protect the safety of the walking public by having a pedestrian face oncoming traffic.
Claudio was given a $48.50 ticket last week for the same violation in the same neighborhood, just blocks from his house. The officer who wrote that ticket was one of the officers involved in the foot chase early Tuesday. Claudio has not paid the fine.
Claudio was walking north in the 2000 block of 13th Street West, where there are no sidewalks. Walkers and bicyclists are common on this stretch of road, just off a bustling commercial strip on 14th Street West.
Claudio, a teenager who police arrested on cocaine possession charges in the same block months earlier, reportedly ran from Officer Anthony Ramdath. The officer sprinted after Claudio, demanding that he stop. Ramdath injured his palm trying to jump over a metal fence during the chase shortly after 1 a.m.
Police arrested Claudio on misdemeanor charges of obstruction and culpable negligence. Running away from officers, police said, exposed Ramdath to injury. Ramdath, police said, would not have hurt his hand, which did not require medical attention, if Claudio had not run.
It was not known Tuesday why Claudio ran. In April, Claudio's driver's license was suspended for two years for a felony-level drug conviction. Claudio is a high school drop-out and unemployed, his mother said. She questioned the police stop, but also said she wants her son to turn his life around.
Bradenton police took heat last November after an officer stopped a man for jaywalking on 14th Street West one night. The man refused to sign a ticket and was jailed for more than a month.
Claudio is not the first person Ramdath, a Bradenton police officer since 2005, has stopped for a pedestrian violation. In February, Ramdath stopped a walker named Jason Daniel Pires, 33, who police said was leaving a "known drug house" in the 2000 block of 12th Street West. Pires was arrested on a possession charge. He said he did not consent to a search.
His attorney, Jennifer Joynt-Sanchez, challenged the police stop, saying police had no lawful ground to detain Pires.
But Circuit Judge Debra Johnes Riva ruled the stop was lawful, and Pires pleaded no contest in April to a possession charge and was sentenced to a year of probation.
"If you are dealing drugs, you should walk on the right side of the road," Radzilowski said.

Tuesday, 20 May 2008

But why Ted?

My brother Martyn was explaining the “six degrees of separation” idea to his son, my nephew Sam, (soon to be 12 years old).

Martyn told Sam that I had met Archbishop Desmond Tutu. He went on to ask Sam to think about all the “famous” people who had also met the Archbishop.

Two degrees of separation for me, via Desmond Tutu, to so many humble, or notorious, or brave people.

And I’ve also met former Archbishop of Canterbury, George Carey when he was a teacher at my Seminary - St. John’s Theological College, Nottingham, U.K. Just think of all his contacts, from whom I also have two degrees of separation.

Come to think of it, my first Director of Ordinands, the late Canon Geoffrey Paul, was the father of Jane Paul, who is now Jane Williams, wife of the present Archbishop of Canterbury. Now here are some multitudinous degrees of separation twixt me and the world!

Some years ago I met Senator Edward Kennedy. He was the speaker at a graduation ceremony for students of the Berkshire Community College in Pittsfield, MA. I was on the platform to give the invocation and blessing. Ted Kennedy and I shook hands.

Lord only knows to whom I was connected through that handshake. John F. Kennedy and Bobbie Kennedy to say the most.

Now Ed. Kennedy is in the Massachusetts General Hospital, stricken with a brain tumour.

This beloved “son of Massachusetts”; this marvellously effective U.S. Senator; this Liberal Lion for whom the entire USA ought to be utterly grateful; this child of God has a brain tumour.

And I, who once shook his hand, feel a dreadful sadness.

“No man is an Island, entire of itself”

Monday, 19 May 2008

Rain and Bush

It rained here today. “So what?” you may ask. Except in the case of those who live in the Atlanta, GA area. They understand drought.

And we are in our second year of much less than normal rainfall in South West Florida. It has not rained in two months. So we needed rain.

May is our driest month, and there was no rainfall in the forecast. Nonetheless I was awakened at 3:45 a.m. today by a huge thunder and lightning storm. I went outside, simply to enjoy the rain.

(I discovered later that just about everyone I met during the day had been awakened by “a blitz” of a thunderstorm)

And rain it did. Heavily for two hours, and then a more gentle soaking rain for another nine.

It will not make much of a dent in our drought, but how good it was to see and feel rain!


None of my blog readers are likely to mistake me for a Repuglican! So the following (courtesy of my “cousin by marriage” (Kippy) will not surprise you)

Here are some pertinent observations most Americans now agree with.

1) (On an infant's shirt): Already smarter than Bush

2) 1/20/09: End of an Error

3) That's OK, I Wasn't Using My Civil Liberties Anyway

4) Let's Fix Democracy in THIS Country First

5) If You Want a Nation Ruled By Religion, Move to Iran

6) Bush. Like a Rock. Only Dumber.

7) You Can't Be Pro-War And Pro-Life At The Same Time

8) If You Can Read This, You're Not Our President

9) Of Course It Hurts: You're Getting Screwed by an Elephant

10) Hey, Bush Supporters: Embarrassed Yet?

11) George Bush: Creating the Terrorists Our Kids Will Have to Fight

12) Impeachment: It's Not Just for Blowjobs Anymore

14) America: One Nation, Under Surveillance

15) They Call Him 'W' So He Can Spell It

16) Which God Do You Kill For?

17) Cheney/Satan '08

18) Jail to the Chief

19) Who Would Jesus Torture?

20) No, Seriously, Why Did We Invade

21) Bush: God's Way of Proving Intelligent Design is Full Of Crap

23) Bad president! No Banana.

24) We Need a President Who's Fluent In At Least One Language

25) We're Making Enemies Faster Than We Can Kill Them

27) Rich Man's War, Poor Man's Blood

28) Is It Vietnam Yet?

29) Bush Doesn't Care About American People, Either

30) Where Are We Going? And Why Are We In This Hand Basket?

31) You Elected Him. You Deserve Him.

32) Frodo Failed. Bush Has the Ring.

33) Impeach Cheney First

34) Dubya, Your Dad Shoulda Pulled Out, Too

35) When Bush Took Office, Gas Was $1.46

Sunday, 18 May 2008

A-A-A- etc

I was at St. Boniface Church on Longboat Key for the Eucharist this morning.

The preacher was Andrea Taylor, a good friend of mine, We knew each other in Massachusetts. Her Trinity Sunday deserved an A+

I sat with Adrian and Anno. I got to know Anno at Res. House. She and Adrian are a delightful couple. It’s great to simply sit in a pew with good people - Bueno Hente.

Adelaide (Noble), and Ada (Happy) continue to bring me much joy.

It’s been an A-O.K. Day.