Saturday, 22 October 2011

Sarasota Pride 22nd October 2011


Sarasota Pride in an event, rather than a parade.  It used to be semi-private, but last year and this we moved to a downtown park.  


St. Boniface Church had a table at Pride for the very first time -  thanks to our Assistant Rector Andrea Taylor.

We were very well received and we able to have some good conversation with passers by about the love of God.

It was also heartening to see some of the straight families from Church who stopped by with their children to wish us well.

'Twas a lovely sunny, but not too hot day, and attracted many folks. 

 It was a privilege to be there and to be a witness to the grace of the Lord Jesus Christ.



1:00 - 2:00 p.m. team








The man on the left is also in the photo behind him, with Bishop Gene Robinson

Some of you know the man in the hat

Michael Povey with our Interim Rector, Dean Taylor

Sarasota Mayor Suzanne Attwell in the Dunking Booth

Friday, 21 October 2011

Fool Nabed and Black Bean Soup

Our Mum used to make wonderful lamb or beef stews for Saturday lunch in the winter days in England.  I still remember going to the butcher’s shop to buy “best end of neck of lamb” -  very bony indeed, but the basis of a good lamb stew.  

She also made “doughboys” (dumplings) to add to the stews  -  I never cared much for them!

But I cannot remember that Mum ever made soup.  The soups we ate were usually out of a can  -- Heinz’ tomato soup being the staple.

Nowadays I make my own soups.  I find that canned soups are far too salty for my taste.  

One of my favourites is Black Bean Soup.  I use a recipe (available via the internet)  which you’ll find by searching for “Black Bean Soup – Panera Bread style”.

I change one thing on this recipe.  I used store bought vegetable stock instead of chicken bouillon cubes. The stock has much less sodium than has the cubes. 

I made a batch of this a week ago, and had a bowlful for lunch on five consecutive days.  (To be truthful, it was better than the version of black bean soup which is available at the Panera Bread chain).

Fava Beans are high on the list of my favourite foods.  The “fresh beans-in-the pod” used to be hard to find in these United States, but they appear on the shelves of good supermarkets more and more these days.

In the U.K. we know them as “Broad Beans”.  

In France they are called “Fève” – and there they are sometimes eaten raw – dipped in a wee bit of salt.

I have discovered that Fava Beans are well liked in the Near East.  

With that in mind I brewed up some “Fool Nabed” – (an Egyptian soup made from Fava Beans) earlier this week. I used canned beans.

The result was (shall I say) “just O.K.”.  What might have been bland was rescued by the good flavour of the cumin which is part of the recipe.  I suspect that it would have been better had I started with fresh or dried beans.

(The internet is a good source for Fool Nabed recipes).

Homemade Black bean soup anyone? 

Homemade Fava bean soup anyone? 

“SOUPER!”:  and better than any soup out of a can.


Thursday, 20 October 2011

A tale of two shop clerks (assistants)

I shop for odds and ends at a local B.P. gas station and convenience store.  The manager is an affable chap, and one of the store clerks is a delightful woman who is always pleasant, even when under pressure.

  (I found out that she is a single mother with a handicapped child, and I noticed that she often looks so very tired -  there’s the American dream for you).

The store is always busy. It offers beer at very low prices.  I have been told that it has the biggest sales of beer in the region- and that would not surprise me.

This convenience store has recently hired a new clerk/assistant whose name is David.  He tends to be on the surly side. 

I have been keeping an eye on his approach to customers.  He extends his right arm with his hand facing down.  Then, without uttering a word, he wags his bent index finger in the direction of the next in line.

He waited on me the other day.  I was annoyed when he wagged that finger at me.  Before I could think I said (in a very calm voice) “Don’t wag your finger at me, it’s very rude.  Please say ‘may I help you’”.



He apologised without reserve.  I hope that I have helped him to move towards better customer service.

My favourite local supermarket has also made a new hire.  He is a kid aged 16/17.  He is at least 6’ tall.  This kid is always cheerful.  He always has a smile.  He is filled with enthusiasm.

The supermarket issues polo shirts to its employees -  they are in a fairly nice shade of green,  

So I began to call this new clerk/assistant  (to his face) “the jolly green giant”.

When he most recently attended to me I used the name on his badge and said “Hi Graham”.

He asked “why did you not call me the jolly green giant”.

I responded “well I was not sure if you liked that”.  “I love it”, he said, “and what’s your name'.  

My first response was to say that you can call me “the plumpish old man”.  He giggled and then I apprised him that my name is Michael.

It’s not hard to discern that my shopping at the supermarket is a pleasure.



Wednesday, 19 October 2011

Inexact medicine and isolation.

So I had the “Photodynamic Blue Light Therapy” to treat the “Actinic Keratoses” on my face.  It was all quite simple.

At 10:00 I signed the consent for treatment form which included the amazingly honest phrase “remember that medicine is not an exact science”.

Next my face was daubed with “Levulan” and I retired to the Doctor’s waiting room and browsed my New Yorker magazine for an hour.

After that hour I returned to her office and sat in the “Blue Light Machine”  for exactly 16 minutes and 40 seconds. 

I had to wear goggles, so I phantasised that I was an ace pilot in World War I. ( I’ve read too many Peanuts cartoons).
 
The treatment was painless, apart from some very mild stinging.

Then I drove home.  

I have to be under voluntary house arrest for two days so as to avoid the sun whilst the old pre-cancerous cells die, and the new cells grow. 

Seven hours later I observe some inflammation on parts of my face -  an indication that the treatment is working.  Next there will be some peeling, and within a few days my face should be as soft as a baby’s bum.

Modern medicine -   (however inexact)  – is amazing.  I rejoice in the progress and improvements which science has enabled, and I deeply regret that all too many American fundamentalist Christians are determinedly anti-scientific.

But for now I am at home and being obedient to the medical advice to stay inside for 48 hours after the treatment.  Suddenly my world has shrunk to about 1500 square yards of space.  I cannot go outside to walk; I cannot make an impulsive drive to the supermarket; I cannot take care of some yard work. I cannot walk with my dog.

 This too shall pass.

So on this day I have read a lot, and will read more.  A few friends have called to enquire about my treatment.  A good friend (Ben) stopped by for a while. 

I have been a wee bit bored.

My brief isolation has led to think about the lives of many elderly people who live alone, and are too frail to venture outdoors without assistance.   I know that many of them are bored beyond belief in their prolonged isolation. They hate the idea of living in a Nursing Home, and they long to die.

It’s odd to think that the inexact science of modern medicine has created a host of folks who are sustained by pills and procedures, but whose souls and spirits have already died.  What a fate.


Medicine and medical procedures apart, the hardest part for me is that I miss my lovely dog Penne.  She is with her occasional sitters Ron and Lee.  They will take good care of her.

But as soon as the sun sets on Thursday evening I will drive to their house and bring my fabulous pooch home.

Inexact medicine and isolation.

So I had the “Photodynamic Blue Light Therapy” to treat the “Actinic Keratoses” on my face.  It was all quite simple.

At 10:00 I signed the consent for treatment form which included the amazingly honest phrase “remember that medicine is not an exact science”.

Next my face was daubed with “Levulan” and I retired to the Doctor’s waiting room and browsed my New Yorker magazine for an hour.

After that hour I returned to her office and sat in the “Blue Light Machine”  for exactly 16 minutes and 40 seconds. 

I had to wear goggles, so I phantasised that I was an ace pilot in World War I. ( I’ve read too many Peanuts cartoons).
 
The treatment was painless, apart from some very mild stinging.

Then I drove home.  

I have to be under voluntary house arrest for two days so as to avoid the sun whilst the old pre-cancerous cells die, and the new cells grow. 

Seven hours later I observe some inflammation on parts of my face -  an indication that the treatment is working.  Next there will be some peeling, and within a few days my face should be as soft as a baby’s bum.

Modern medicine -   (however inexact)  – is amazing.  I rejoice in the progress and improvements which science has enabled, and I deeply regret that all too many American fundamentalist Christians are determinedly anti-scientific.

But for now I am at home and being obedient to the medical advice to stay inside for 48 hours after the treatment.  Suddenly my world has shrunk to about 1500 square yards of space.  I cannot go outside to walk; I cannot make an impulsive drive to the supermarket; I cannot take care of some yard work. I cannot walk with my dog.

 This too shall pass.

So on this day I have read a lot, and will read more.  A few friends have called to enquire about my treatment.  A good friend (Ben) stopped by for a while. 

I have been a wee bit bored.

My brief isolation has led to think about the lives of many elderly people who live alone, and are too frail to venture outdoors without assistance.   I know that many of them are bored beyond belief in their prolonged isolation. They hate the idea of living in a Nursing Home, and they long to die.

It’s odd to think that the inexact science of modern medicine has created a host of folks who are sustained by pills and procedures, but whose souls and spirits have already died.  What a fate.


Medicine and medical procedures apart, the hardest part for me is that I miss my lovely dog Penne.  She is with her occasional sitters Ron and Lee.  They will take good care of her.

But as soon as the sun sets on Thursday evening I will drive to their house and bring my fabulous pooch home.

Tuesday, 18 October 2011

Buzzed

I had my hair “buzzed” today in preparation for tomorrow’s “Photodynamic Blue Light Therapy” to treat the “Actinic Keratoses” on my pate and on my neck.  


(See an earlier blog entry for details of this treatment).  


That’s one truth.






Another truth is that I like my “buzzed” look - even though my friends and family members greet it with polite derision.

Monday, 17 October 2011

Musings on a a cooler day (2)

MUSINGS

1.South West Airlines and Air Tran are merging  ( I am not making this up).  I’d love for the merged airline to be called SWAT


2. I buy treats for my cats.  One packet advertises  "Beef Tenderloin Flavour”, another “Tuna Flavour”, yet another is “Backyard Cookout – Chicken, Liver and Beef Flavours”.   (***)

I am not sure that my cats know the difference.  But these little treats must be coated with some attractively tasting substance, for as soon as I even touch a packet, the cats come running.

( I think that it’s the same substance that they put on Doritos).

3. On a carton of orange juice emblazoned in large type  (more than once) are the words “Fresh Florida Squeezed”.  Must be good eh, if it’s from Florida.  But note that it only ever says “Florida Squeezed”, never “Florida Grown”.  Leads me to think that the oranges come from places other that Florida.  I’m just saying.

(***)  I lied.  This is the United States so it reads "flavor"

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