Showing posts from September 28, 2008

Blog Sabbatical

This blog will take a sabbatical.

Check in again on Oct 13th or 14th (2008)

This and that

My older cat Ada has been unwell.

She has been using the Litter Box about every half hour, and this morning she left spots of blood on the ceramic hall tiles.

I feared the worst, but after a day at the Veterenarians it was discoverd that she has an U.T. infection. The vet administered a single shot of anti-biotics. That should take care of matters.

When I brought her home she gobbled down a whole mess of cat food - the poor cat had been hungry all day long.

As one who was formerly indifferent to cats I suprised myself at the depth of my concern for dear Ada.

And Adelaide, my younger cat was mewing all day long. I like to think that she missed her "sister" cat.

I'll be in Delray Beach (on the east coast of FL) next week. The following is a "canned" press release which will tell you what I'll be about.

After Sunday 5th you'll not see a blog entry from me for a week.

Nor will I be able to respond to any e-mails.


One year on

A year ago today my friend Bruce Wirtz died, aged only 72.

I miss him dreadfully.

One of the chief reasons for my retirement to Sarasota was that Bruce was here, together with his wonderful partner Ben.

Now Bruce is no longer with us.

So I pal around with Ben (aged 84). We see each other most days, and we are good for each other.

I am still upset that Bruce died.

I am very grateful for Ben’s friendship.

Horse feathers (thank you "MASH") and the real stuff

I met a Farrier today. He lives in Bradenton, FL, and has a mobile forge. He serves the many horses in this area.

He volunteered at Res. House and I was his “trainer”.
It’s been a long time since I heard the word “Farrier”, and our encounter brought back many memories.

There was a Forge and a Blacksmith (Smithy) near to the school, Eastville Junior Mixed School, which I attended between 1953 and 1955. Even then we knew that the Farrier’s art was fast disappearing.

But we still saw the occasional horse and cart on Devon Road. Every now and then a Mounted Policeman might pass by.

Our neighbour Mr. Hurkett (across the street) had a keen ear for horses’ hoofs.

Whenever he heard such he would rush outside with a shovel and wheel cart. He would hope for “hors d’oeuvres” (horse droppings) with which he would fertilise his backyard crop of rhubarb.

Back then (1949 – 1955) we thought that he was crazy. Now I know that he was wise.

Farriers, backyard crops, and horse manure are good.

You hear…

The Phantom of the Opera

The Phantom of the Opera in the American political and financial crisis is Ronald Wilson Reagan. We are haunted by his ghost.

Ronald Wilson Reagan claimed all too much credit for the breakup of the Soviet Union. His jubilation was premature. A newly confident and oil/gas rich Russia rises to claim its Soviet era hegemony.

Ronald Reagan taught us that big Government was the problem. He allowed us to believe that taxes were in and of themselves a bad thing. He was the apostle of the de-regulation of the so-called free market. He lived and breathed myths about such matters as Evil Empires and Welfare Queens. He cared not one fig about the AIDS crisis which emerged in his Presidency. He nominated the most dreadful Associate Justice of the Supreme Court, Anton Scalia. He ran up record national deficits, surpassed only by those of his disciple George Walker Bush.

George Herbert Walker Bush followed Reagan’s economic myths (and was undone when he was forced to raise taxes - we all had read h…

Telling Secrets: The Anglo Files

In the face of recession

At the local Publix Market this afternoon I bumped into Randy, a Mennonite Minister who sometimes volunteers at Resurrection House.

He is a gentle and sweet man who lives up to the very best of Mennonite traditions.

We chatted about his congregation and he related that last Sunday they had an informal conversation regarding their common fears on the cusp of a Presidential election, and with the American economy in the tank.

(Unemployment is all around, and all too many houses have been abandoned, or are in foreclosure – you know the story wherever you live).

We agreed that our response as Christians is that we will share. However hard the times become (and they will become harder) – we will share.

We will share food, and money, and bedrooms before our sisters and brothers become homeless or destitute.
We will share our fears.
We will share our hope in Christ Jesus.
We will share our laughter.

And we will remember, that to a greater or lesser extent, we have all benefited from the mock prospe…

All Angels Church this morning, and F.W.Faber

F.W. Faber 1814-1863 was an Anglican Clergyman, who became a Roman Catholic in the 19th Century “Catholic Revival” in England.

We heard one of his hymns at All Angels on Longboat Key this morning. More about this later.

Faber (even as a Roman Catholic) was capable of the most evangelical sentiments.

For instance take this text from his hymn known either as “Souls of Men why will ye scatter, like a crowd of frightened sheep?” or “There’s a wideness in God’s mercy.

For the love of God is broader than the measure of man's mind,
and the heart of the Eternal is most wonderfully kind.
But we make his love too narrow by false limits of our own;
and we magnify its strictness with a zeal he will not own.

Magnifying the strictness of God’s love is the besetting sin of both Catholic and Evangelical expression of Christianity. Faber got it right!

But Faber could also be very sentimental. See for example the last four lines of “Souls of Men".

If our love were but more simple,
we should take h…