Thursday, 31 May 2012

Big business is a con job.

Do you remember the days when “sales” were truly sales.  Twice or three times a year there would be genuine reductions in store prices, when the traders reduced their prices. They did so to clear their shelves and thus make room for more seasonal items.

These days everything is on “sale” all the time.  There are “sales” for New Year’s Day, for Presidents’ Day, for Mothers’ Day, for Memorial Day etc., etc., etc.

There are “sales’ just about every weekend.

It’s all a big con.

Take for instance the retailers of furniture.  In their world every item is always “on sale”.  Their newspaper inserts proclaim “60% off”, or “30% off”.

I need to ask “a percentage off what original price?”

Pray tell me “60% of what original price?”, or “30% of what sticker price?”


The Supermarkets also try to con us. They lure us with their “two for the price of one” specials.  All well and good, but they do not tell us that they have inflated the price of the single product. This means that our “bargain” is often less than it seems.  Or it means that the market is trying to “palm off” items which are not selling well.


Speaking of cons:   have you bought a new or used car recently?  To enter a car showroom is to be besieged by an array of lies, mistruths and prevarications.  The sales person will, with great skill, persuade you that she or he has your best interests in mind, and that she or he is fonder of you than is your grandmother
It’s only when you have signed the papers, gotten home and read the ”small print” that you realise that the car dealership has screwed you.

Despite all this, the right wing in America touts the “business model” as the solution to our governmental and economic woes.

Fair enough for those “blind followers of the blind” in the “free markets” who are happy enough to be conned.

Unfair enough for those who lost their life saving in the Savings and Loans debacle, or in the failure of Enron, or in the collapse of Lehman Brothers and Baring Brothers, or in the recent J.P. Morgan Stanley fraud.

Wednesday, 30 May 2012

Fly tipping

Some very unpleasant fly-tipping (about 50 yards from my home)

Our guess is that some "outside elements" (!) stopped by late at night,  did some net fishing, drank some beers, and then decided that the fish were disposable.


Whilst this was not exactly "fly tipping"  I thought that my U.S.A. friends might like to see the words as defined in the U.K).

Tuesday, 29 May 2012

My dog has made a friend

When I adopted my delightful terrier/retriever mix dog Penne three years ago, I discovered that she was “not very good” with other dogs.

Soon after I adopted her a wee dog named “Gizmo” (a mutt who is mostly Griffon Bishcon) sniffed at Penne’s hind quarters.  She reacted with aggression.

Penne has often “stiffened up” when we have encountered other dogs of all manner of breeds.

But Penne has often gotten very animated as we have walked in the neighbourhood when she has encountered Basil, a very handsome male Shar-pei,.

Penne has also gotten very excited when she has sniffed the places where Basil has peed, and has added her own “calling card”. (Sorry to be so graphic).

I came to the conclusion that either Penne was afraid of Basil, or that she liked him.

After a couple of chats with Basil’s owner, he and I agreed that we should allow the dogs to meet.

It happened this afternoon.  Penne stood still when she saw Basil.  But her tail was a-wagging.

Basil ambled over and began to lick Penne’s face.  Penne’s tail wagged more and more -  like a helicopter rotor.  She began to play with Basil.

Whoop-dee-doo  -----  my dog has found a friend.

This photo’ of a Shar-pei is from the web – it is not a photo’ of Basil.

Monday, 28 May 2012

A bit of silliness via Grace Church (Episcopal) New Bedford MA


10) The Preacher announces the
sermon is from Galatians ... and you
check the table of contents.

9) You think Abraham, Isaac & Jacob
may have had a few hit songs during
the 60's.

8) You open to the Gospel of Luke and
a WWII Savings Bond falls out.

7) Your favorite Old Testament
Patriarch is Hercules.

6) A small family of woodchucks has
taken up residence in the Psalms of
your Bible.

5) You become frustrated because
Charlton Heston isn't listed in either
the Concordance or the Table of

4) Catching the kids reading the Song
of Solomon, you demand: "Who
gave you this stuff?"

3) You think the Minor Prophets
worked in the quarries.

2) You keep falling for it every time
when Pastor tells you to turn to First

And the number one sign you may not be
reading your Bible enough:

1) The kids keep asking too many
questions about your usual bedtime
story: "Jonah the Shepherd Boy and
His Ark of Many Colors."

Sunday, 27 May 2012

Wow - thanks for great birthday celebrations.

I love my birthday, and try to celebrate it with gusto.  It’s the one day in each year which I can claim as a “me-day”.

I was born on 26th May 1944. I am a “Gemini”, and indeed I have a twin sister.

26th May is also the “Saints’ Day” for Augustine of Canterbury, the first ever Archbishop of Canterbury.

One time, maybe 20 years ago,  I happened to be in Canterbury, U.K. on 26th May.  It was cool to be able to attend an early morning Eucharist that day at Canterbury Cathedral.  It was celebrated in a Chapel in the under croft of the Cathedral.

What fun it was to be in that venerable Cathedral on my birthday, and for an Eucharist which commemorated St. Augustine.

I have celebrated my birthday so very well this year.

Thursday 24th saw me at a local restaurant with some of my gay buddies. A feisty and well loved waitress (Kay) bought out a nice slice of cheese-cake avec candle after dinner for my pleasure.

Friday 25th I had a few friends chez moi for drinks and nibbles.

Saturday 26th my friends Ben and Bob hosted a wee celebration for me.

Monday 28th (Memorial Day in these United States) will see me at the home of my SRQ friends Jack and Donna for a bit of lunch to close my birthday celebrations (for this year!).

For once I am glad for Facebook’s timeline. It made me so very grateful to read so very many birthday greetings from Facebook friends. Thank you.

If “God spares me” I’ll reach soixante-neuf in 2013.    I can’t wait!