Showing posts from June 20, 2010


Now that the U.S.A. team has been eliminated from the FIFA World Cup I wonder if the recent American interest in “Association Football” will fade away.

What Americans invariably call “soccer” is, in the U.K., most appropriately called “association football”. It is the game which is played according to association rules.

There are other forms of “football”. There is “rugby football” This is a game which is chiefly played in the U.K, in Ireland, in France, in the Republic of South Africa, and in New Zealand and Australia.

Believe it or not, there are two forms of rugby football played in England. There is the internationally played rugby – technically known as “rugby union”. This is a 15 person a side game.

But there is also “rugby league”. This game has 13 players on each side. It is mostly played in the north of England, especially in Yorkshire and Lancashire.

In the “olden days” rugby league was a semi-professional game, whilst rugby union was strictly for amateurs. Rugby lea…

Bizzare,and then Beautiful.

Those who know me well also know that I have vivid dreams, which I most often remember. Last night was no exception. My first remembered dream was bizarre. In the dream I was with a very lovely young woman with gorgeous blonde hair.  She was so sad.  She told me that her friends had said that “she was a crocodile”. In the dream I held her close and assured her that she was not a crocodile.  But I could not convince her. Later in last night’s dream world I was in a Church. There I listened to a soprano who was singing a tune which I thought to be entirely and utterly beautiful. This second dream repeated itself.  But this time around, there were others with me.  We all began to sob at the sheer beauty of the voice, and of the song.  I was sobbing in my sleep. Who the hell knows the “meaning” of such dreams?  My best guess is that my unconscious was sorting out two themes:  first that which is destructive in my life viz “the crocodile”; second that which is creative in my life viz “the song …

"Sex and Religion": random thoughts as I walked today.

Religious ardour and sexual desire are closely linked.

Sexuality and spirituality are next door neighbours in the human soul.

We use the same words for both spirituality and sexuality, viz;passion, coldness, longing, desire, faithfulness, unfaithfulness, committed, casual, duty, joy.

Sexuality is a gift from God. It is a gift to be treasured, and therefore to be enjoyed wisely..

Spirituality is a human response to God. It is an attitude to be matured.

Un-treasured sexuality and immature spirituality are signposts towards danger in the Christian community.
Parishioners have crushes on their pastors. (These parishioners often have immature spiritualities).

Pastors have affairs with parishioners. (These pastors often have un-disciplined sexualities). 

Priests who molest children often have rigid spiritualities, and retarded sexualities.

My "own made" headlines for 23rd June 2010

Tough budget in the United Kingdom. Change of leadership in Australia? 100f  temperatures in Sarasota today. Gulf of Mexico oil well spewing more and more – no end in sight. Gabby American General quits (should he have been fired?). jmp reading biography of Marshall Petain. In many places anger abounds. Worldwide joy at an all time low. Pope and Archbishop of Canterbury are increasingly irrelevant. Leaders should stop covering their asses. Over-population is the world’s #1 problem. U.S.A. and England survive for the while:  “gooooaaaal”

Ralph Zupancec - a wonderful man.

Ralph and Marjorie Zupanec became my friends in their later years.

I was privileged to know Marjorie Zupanec from 1984 when I became the Rector of her Church – St. Stephen’s, Pittsfield, Ma - until her death in 2005.

Likewise I knew her husband Ralph from 1984 until a few days ago when he died. I last saw Ralph in 2006 when I had dinner with him in Charlotte, N.C. on my drive down from Massachusetts to Florida.

Ralph’s obituary was published in the Berkshire Eagle on June 20th 2010. I read it today, and gave thanks to God for this man and his wife, now united in death.

What a blessing that I enjoyed the friendship of this couple for 20+ years.

Here is Ralph’s obit. I have highlighted in yellow the bit which speaks most wonderfully of this fabulous man. Who would not want words like these to be spoken of them?!

Ralph Zupanec, M.D.

1913 - 2010

PITTSFIELD - Ralph Zupanec, M.D., of Charlotte, N.C., formerly of Pittsfield, died on June 17, 2010 at the age of 96.

Dr. Zupanec was born on …

What is wrong with this picture? (2)

Last Wednesday, 16th June 2010 I drove over to “Detwilers Farm Market” (on Palmer Boulevard, Sarasota - about 4 miles from my home) to stock up on fruit and vegetables. The Detwilers are a Mennonite family. They run this excellent source of produce. I bought: 1 lb parsnips; 1.37 lb green peppers; 1.59 lb Georgia peaches; 0.99 lb yellow tomatoes; 2.07 lb red tomatoes; and 0.42 lbs Vidalia onions. For all of the above I spent $9.60. This is all excellent and first class produce.  The vegetables are sufficient for at least five meals.  The peaches are sweet and juicy, they “dribble down your chin” The Detwilers are an honourable family and I delight to do business with them (it’s great to know the owner’s first name!). But there is something wrong with this picture.  It is the absurdly low cost of approx 7 ½   lbs of produce. I cannot believe that the farmers made much profit on all this produce, (except perhaps on the economies of scale). I am sure that the (mostly immigrant) workers who pluc…

What is wrong with this picture?

There is nothing that is intrinsically wrong with this picture. It’s of a garden bench which I bought to enhance my front entrance patio.

“Some assembly required” were the dreaded words on the carton, but I managed to get the thing together in about an hour. And it looks very good.

What is “wrong” is that I paid just fifty bucks ($50) for the bench at my local “Big Lots” – “a bargain indeed”.

But..... please consider the following.

1. The cost of the raw materials, and the wages of those who mined the iron, or cut the wood.

2. The cost of moving those raw materials to the Chinese factory.

3. The use of electricity in changing the raw materials into a “ready to assemble” bench. The wages of the Chinese workers who turned raw materials into a bench.

4. The use of carbon based fuels to move this item from the factory to the sea port; from the Chinese sea port to an American port.

5. The use of gas/petrol/diesel oil to take the bench from an American port to a warehouse, and thence to m…