Showing posts from November 1, 2009

Wolseley: down memory lane

On looking through some old photo’ albums today I came across a poor quality picture of a car.(see below) It is the second car I owned, a Wolseley 1500.  I bought it circa 1970 from a dear friend, Geraldine R Humpidge, who died in 1991 aged 94.  I would have been 47 years old in the year she died, so our friendship was indeed inter-generational. Wolseley was never a major British car manufacturer.  It made “nice cars for the middle classes”, and for a long time it was the preferred car for Police use.  (Old British films with a police theme will often show a Wolseley police car.)  Wolesley  was eventually absorbed by the “Nuffield Group” (Morris, M.G., Riley etc). The blue Wolseley 1500 which I owned  (registration 403 ABX) was a winner.  Despite its boxy and un-aerodynamic shape it could move.  I once drove it at 100 mph on the M4 Motorway.  It had a nifty enough engine (1500 cc, hence the unimaginative name of the car)  and a very responsive shift-stick, 4 speed gear box. Best of all, th…

Evil in the Supermarket

A few years ago when I lived in Medford, MA, I realised that I was being assailed with unwelcome noise at my local drug store. It was that loud “muzak” noise. I asked the counter clerk if it bothered her, and she replied that she was so used to it that she hardly noticed it.

Just last week I was at the neighbourhood dry cleaners. As I walked from my car to the store I noticed “the sound of silence”.

Right next door to the dry cleaners there was one of those “rent to own” furniture and appliance businesses. (Those are the businesses which rip off the poor by charging such exorbitant monthly rental amounts that the person who “rents to own” ends up by paying two to three times the cost of (say) a dining room set).

Most of the rent to own firms have outdoor sound systems which blare very loud music and company propaganda 24/7/52.

Last week, mercy me, there was no noise pollution at the store next to the dry cleaners. That rent to own business had gone out of business. I commented o…

Food and Shelter

I wrote a piece earlier in the week which reflected on my sense that I live a very privileged life. I truly hope that I will never take this for granted.

Part of my privilege is in having a pleasant retirement at aged 65.   

My dad never got to retire; he died when he was 63 years old.  

 For billions of the world’s citizens the word “retirement” has no context and therefore no meaning.

So I am called to be grateful.  But gratitude without subsequent action is hollow.  That’s why the Church places such emphasis in her teaching to Christians regarding stewardship and justice.

As a good old prayer from the Book of Common Prayer puts it, we ask that we shall show forth God’s praise (gratitude) not only with our lips, but in our lives (stewardship and justice).

I’ve had a wonderful time today.  Using the privilege of free time in retirement I drove two friends to the excellent Museum of Fine Arts in Saint Petersburg.  After our enjoyment of the Museum the three of us ate an excellent restaurant…

Help. There are squatters on my bed.


Republican premature ejaculators - Democratic long term lovers.

‘Twas about a year ago that Barack Obama was elected to be our President.

It is less than a year since he assumed the Presidency.

But already the dumbdits(dumb pundits) are telling us that his presidency has failed.

The dumbdits have no sense of history, no sense that the “change we need” cannot be achieved overnight.

We must understand that the ultra right wing wise-asses - Rush Limbaugh, Glen Beck, Bill O’Reilly et al are (politically speaking) “fast food junkies”, as was President George W Bush, who declared “mission accomplished” before it ever truly began.

I prefer the slow cooking of my President, as exemplified by his careful and long marinating of our next steps in Afghanistan.

To change the metaphor:-

Limbaugh, O’Reilly, Beck, and Bush are political premature ejaculators.

Barack Obama is a long term lover!

Modern times

When I left my home yesterday morning to go to Church it was to discover that my car’s engine would not start.

My pal Ben lives very nearby, so I was able to wander over to his home, and borrow his car for my trip to and from Church.

Just as soon as I arrived home I called “Triple A”. Their mechanic arrived promptly, and jump-started my car. I ran the engine for about 20 minutes. And two hours later the car was good to go.

This was not the case when I tried to use the car this morning. The engine would not start. It was then that I remembered that my Hyundai extended warranty plan allowed for free towing to the dealership, so I made a 'phone call and arranged a tow for later in the day.

In the meantime I walked to a stop to take a ‘bus to my Dentist’s Office for an 11:00 a.m. appointment. ‘Bus fares for seniors in Sarasota are all of 35 cents.

I never mind taking a ‘bus, just so long as I remember the cardinal rule which is “avoid eye contact with other passengers”. Failure to…

Maturity. A splendid statement from the family of a 15 years old woman who was brutally gang-raped.

Statement from Richmond High School rape victim's family:

"STOP THE VIOLENCE! Please do not respond to this tragic event by promoting hatred or by causing more pain. We have had enough violence already in this place. If you need to express your outrage, please channel your anger into positive action. Volunteer at a school. Go help a neighbor. Be courageous in speaking the truth and in holding people accountable. Work toward changing the atmosphere in our schools and in this community so that this kind of thing never happens again.

Please do not let this happen again!"

Newtown Churches See also Oct 31st '09 posting