Showing posts from December 28, 2008

Fort DeSoto County Parl

My Brasilian guest drove today to Fort DeSota County Park, to visit withCaulfield, my Cambridge friend who is visiting her parents at North Redington Beach.

This County Park (1263 acres) is one of my favourite spots. It is utterly unspoiled territory with nary a condominium in view.

There one can picnic, fish, swim, walk, kayak, camp and cycle – or simply lounge.

The park has excellent and clean toilet/shower areas; more than adequate parking; and a pristine beach.

Mary has been to Brasil on a number of occasions, and she speaks excellent Portugese.

So this was a great opportunity for my guest to speak his native tongue; for Mary to practice her Portugese; and for me to be unusually silent.

We walked the beach, and I “paddled” up to my knees, having forgotten to take bathing trunks.

The others were smarter planners and they, in their “bathers”, plunged into the chilly Gulf of Mexico.

The three of us enjoyed the beach, the sea, our conversations, and a picnic lunch.

Here are a few pics from tod…

Good start

Sunshine Skyway Bridge 1

Sunshine Skyway Bridge 2

Para-surfers Tampa Bay New Year's Day 2009

It was a good start to 2009 for some friends and for me
We trolled over to St. Petersburg

We had a nice trip.

We stopped at a rest area at the north end of the Sunshine Skyway Bridge and there enjoyed the sight of para- surfers. See pics above.

All this was on January 1st. Ah Florida.

Whilst much of the northern hemisphere shivers, we bask in the sun. It was 78F/26C today.

Forgive me if I gloat!

But I am grateful. Thanks be to “whatever” this is the best time of my life - so far.


Why gay rights are not special rights

3 arrested in N. California gang rape of lesbian

Thu Jan 1, 2:59 PM EST

One man and two teens have been arrested on suspicion of gang-raping a woman last month in the San Francisco Bay area while allegedly taunting her for being a lesbian, police said Thursday as they searched for a fourth suspect.

Officers arrested Humberto Hernandez Salvador at his Richmond home Wednesday night, Richmond police Lt. Mark Gagan said. The 31-year-old is being held without bail on gang rape, kidnapping and carjacking charges.

Police on Wednesday also arrested a 15-year-old Richmond boy and a 16-year-old Hercules boy, who were being held at a juvenile detention center on similar charges. Their names were not released.

Police would not detail each person's alleged involvement in the attack but said tips from local residents led to the arrests.

Investigators are still seeking 21-year-old Josue Gonzalez, who had prior addresses in San Rafael and Richmond, on a $1 million arrest warrant for gang rape, kidnapp…

Patriotism is not enough ( 2 )

Regular readers of this blog will have realised that I take a very dim view of tribalism and nationalism.

I mention both tribe and nation because those of us in the western, more or less Christian lands see our world and ourselves in terms of national identity.

We do not understand or appreciate other more eastern lands where loyalty to clan or tribe comes far ahead of loyalty to nation.

Westerners are in fact clannish and tribal
. We identify with our clan (nuclear family, extended family, circle of immediate friends etc); and with our tribe (people who share our religious, political or vocational lives), but these clans and tribes are fluid, and are mostly subverted to our national loyalties.

In other (say Muslim or Hindu) cultures, the loyalty to clan and tribe trumps all others.

A healthy sense of clannish, tribal or national identity is important insofar as it provides social glue by which we are moulded into peoples. A sense of shared history, traditions and values is vital if we ar…

Patriotism is not enough (Nurse Edith Cavell)

( see

re Edith Cavell)

As I walked this morning an old English patriotic song came into my mind. I learned to sing it at school.

It reads:

Here's a health unto her Majesty,
With a fal la la la la la la,
Confusion to her enemies,
With a fal lal la la la la la la.
And he that will not drink her health,
I wish him neither wit nor wealth,
Nor yet a rope to hang himself.
With a fal lal la la la la la la la la,
With a fal lal la la la la la.

It was probably written to celebrate the Coronation of Charles II as King of Scotland. He was crowned King of Scots at Scone on 1 January 1651.

Charles was also King of England, but these were the days before the Kingdoms of Scotland and England were joined to form what we now call the “United Kingdom”.

(Remember that Charles was a “Stuart”, those dismal Scottish Monarchs who inherited the English Throne upon the death of the last Tudor Monarch, Elizabeth I. [She was succeeded by James (Stuart) the first James of Engl…

The Wealthy and the Workers

My guest does not let the grass grow under his feet. He hustled himself to many restaurants, seeking a job. He found one at Cafe L’Europe on St. Armand’s’ Circle in SRQ, eight days after his arrival in the USA (He has a work permit and all that jazz).

St. Armand’s Circle is the upscale area of SRQ. Cafe L’Europe is one of the most upscale restaurants on the Circle.

He started work yesterday (Dec 28TH) at 10:00 a.m. It fell to my lot to meet him at the end of his shift. That was late at night.

I arrived at St. Armand’s Circle just before 10:00 p.m. The circle was filled with the wealthy. They shopped even at 10 o’clock at night.

And I was surprised, if not shocked because:

There were so many pre-teen and teens in their “packs”, swarming around and hanging out at the ice cream parlours, sans adults.

There were so many adults speaking languages other than English. It seems that SRQ is a favourite destination for wealthy Indians, Latin Americans, and Eastern Europeans.

And there…

Beaufort SC Christmas 2008

Salt marsh at sunset

The Pinkham's home

Barbara and Don Hauler

Chip and Charles Pinkham

Chris Pinkham looking cool in his new shades

His Dad trying to look cool

Donald R Hauler

Mark and Lindsay Hauler, Chris Pinkham

Marcia Hauler, Wendy Pinkham, Barbara and Don Hauler

Sweet potatoes with pecan "Christmas Tree"

The perfect turkey

Our quarters

Anchored yachts at Beaufort

St. Helena's Church, Beaufort

Antebellum Mansion, Beaufort

Lighthouse, Hunting Beach

Tidal Marsh near Pinkham home

The following are of various tidal marshes, and of Hunting Island Beach

Shrimp Boats

Tree skeleton

Where old trees go to die