Friday, 9 November 2012

More than nothing


The wonderful woman who cleaned my house had to quit because of health problems.  I miss her.

In her absence I have decided to be my own house cleaner.

All well and good but there is a  factor in retirement  ---  the thought that  “I can do that tomorrow”.

 Retirement is a friend of procrastinators!

On the upside  I  have decided that I should not procrastinate on house cleaning. So I am tackling one room a day. That makes it easy.

On the downside, now that I am the cleaner my “house proud tendencies” and perfectionism is  re-emerging.

Some of that is O.K. 

 I decided on Tuesday last to wash my bedroom, bathroom and kitchen cabinet doors.  I hadn't realised how dirty they had become (they were not part of my house cleaner’s responsibilities).

Murphy’s Oil Soap did the trick.

On the other hand I tend to see dust and dirt everywhere, and I have “to keep a nice house” after all!

I have large glass sliding doors between my sitting/dining room and the lanai.  Damn it’s hard to keep them smear free. “Windex” is fairly useless.  Today I tried a mixture of white vinegar and water, spraying that onto the glass doors, and wiping it down with newspaper. ‘Tis an old and fairly effective trick which worked quite well.

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In one of my peregrinations (I love that word) with Penne today I came across my dear octogenarian friend Betty.  She is an ex-marine, and retains a feisty spirit.

After mutual greetings Betty said “Michael, I am on top of the world”. “How so?” I asked.  “The election” she said, “President Obama!

Well, ya never know, and since Betty and I have never discussed politics (though we have chatted about sex, and religion) I had no idea of her political leanings.

She is so happy that our President has been re-elected, and we share the conviction that Michelle Obama and Barack Obama are a class act”.

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If I’d been a father I would have been one of those “helicopter parents” -  the ones that always hover over their children, checking on their progress and encouraging them on.

I know that because I have helicopterish tendencies about my dog. I worry about her too much. I don’t like to leave her alone for much more than four hours.

If I have to be out of my home for longer than that I leave her with a neighbour (for pay).

I am to be out of town for a while next Tuesday (visiting family members who will be in the St. Petersburg FL area on vacation).

Alas my dog sitting neighbour will be on vacation next week.

What to do?

“Kill two birds with one stone” is the answer.

So I booked Penne in for a much needed bath and nail trimming next Tuesday.

She’ll be safe and sound at the vet’s office whilst I am out of town.

The poor creature shakes and trembles when I take her into the vet’s office.  Even worse, she “freaks out” when her nails have to be trimmed. So I will have to give her a sedative before I leave the house and take her to the vet.

That’s helicopter parenting for you.

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There is another lump on my brow, right next to the place where a Squamous cell carcinoma was surgically removed a few weeks ago.

I am sure that I now face more surgery.

Fortunately I have a routine appointment with my Dermatologist on Nov 12th.  I will insist that she takes a sample of this lump for biopsy.  Better to be safe than sorry.

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Bill is a pal who lives in the adjoining community called “Glen Oaks Manor”.  He is a rabid liberal (yeah!) and a good photographer.

He took the picture early last Wednesday, and titled it “The Morning After”.

It’s taken from his side of the two communities. It depicts the pond behind my home, with “Old Glory” (at the Bobby Jones Golf Complex) in the background.

Bill and I rejoice that on “the morning after” Barak Obama was re-elected as our President.




Wednesday, 7 November 2012

This is not a rant


I heard second hand that one of my Massachusetts readers loves my rants.  Of course I like writing them, but I have not ranted since October 30th (the day I voted).

 More than enough has been said by others

So this is not a rant.

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As I walked out for the second time this morning (hooray for the end of daylight savings time, and for cooler weather) my pal Bill drove by, just as I was greeting Dominic, another walker.

With the election result in mind I gave Bill a big “thumbs up” which he reciprocated, even as he grinned from ear to ear.

I know nothing about Dominic’s political convictions, so I said “Bill and I are both members of the Democratic Party and we are pleased about the election”.

Dominic responded “did Obama win?” “Yes” I said.

Then Dom danced a little jig.  He went on to say that he had not watched T.V. last night because his anxiety levels goes up and up whilst watching the results.

I was glad to be the first to give him the news, and heartened to learn that I am not the only one who “hates” election night.

In a similar vein, my friend R.E. who lives in Somerville posted on Facebook this morning that she stayed in bed for an extra fifteen minutes this morning so that she could put off knowing the result .... in case it had gone “the wrong way”

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President Obama’s re-election is remarkable given the intense opposition he has faced in four years: from

1. Republicans in the House and Senate have placed every conceivable roadblock in his way.

2. Extremely wealthy Americans (e.g. Sheldon Adelson and the Koch brothers) who  have thrown multi-millions of dollars in campaigns to defeat Obama.

 (Isn't  it  strange that Republicans always say “you can’t solve problems by throwing money at them – unless “their problem” is a Democratic President!).

3. The American Roman Catholic hierarchy, and Christian fundamentalists (the tail which wags the evangelical dog)  which did their best to instruct their adherents how to vote.

4. The wacky fringe called the “Tea Party” which espoused all manner of conspiracy theories in fanatical opposition to our President.  (I heard a Tea Party woman in Ohio saying that Obama was “a Muslim, and atheist and a communist” (go figure) and that Gov. Romney was a “christian” (it’s not so long ago that evangelicals described the Mormon religion as a “cult”).

5.The attempts which were made to suppress  voters in various States.

Despite all this (and much more) the President never lost his dignity, and he prevailed in the election.

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My cousin Janet in England asked “are you happy this morning?” I replied “happy but not ecstatic”.

I am happy because:

1. I believe that the President has restored a sense of dignity to the Presidency -  something which Presidents Bush and Clinton ignored in their attempts to be “good ole boys” of the left and of the right.

2. I am grateful for Pres. Obama’s success in bringing health care reform into law; for his steady as she goes” approach to the economy; for his affirmation of women, gays, immigrants etc.  Gov. Romney would have tried to reverse all this.

 I am not ecstatic because:

1. I am disappointed that Pres. Obama has said little about the misery of the poor (are we all middle class now?), and has been less than active in his advocacy for African Americans and Native Americans.

2. I am deeply opposed to his use of drones as instruments of military and foreign policy.   He has also set back the cause of civil rights and privacy for all Americans. J. Edgar Hoover would be proud of him.

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Therefore I voted for the President whilst holding my nose.

He is hardly a radical but the option of a Romney presidency was unthinkable.

 So I am happy, but not ecstatic at Barack Obama’s re-election.

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Meanwhile I salute friends such as Pat A in North Carolina, Anne M in Massachusetts and Paula J  in Ohio who, even as I sat on the sidelines, worked like beavers to ensure Obama’s re-election.


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In Florida

State-wide we returned Bill Nelson (D) to the U.S. Senate, that is good.

Locally, (I forget that I live in the Republican minded Sarasota County).  Here we returned two Republican hacks: Ray Pilon to the Statehouse in Tallahassee, and Vern Buchanan to the House of Representatives in Washington D.C.

On the other hand in this county (and throughout the State) we rejected some odious proposals to change our Constitution.  Most notably the voters said NO to (1) a proposal to recall three Florida Supreme Court Justices [this was a ploy by our Repuglican Governor to stack the Court with his cronies], (2) a bogus “religious freedom” amendment, (3) an anti-abortion proposal, and (4) a silly proposal to reject Obama’s Health Care Reforms.

Even Republican voter (mostly) voted against these amendments – demonstrating that some voters can indeed see the wood from the trees.


So: my glass is more filled than empty even though I am an incorrigible lefty.



Tuesday, 6 November 2012

Cadillac, Ford and Food

CADILLAC/FORD

One of my regular readers pointed out that the "Big Ole Ford" in my pictures from the Auto Show (see yesterday) was in fact a "Big Ole Cadillac".  Good spot!

By the way - I had vague memories of reading about Auburn Cars, but had never before seen one.
Handsome little auto eh?

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FOOD (1)

Another regular reader was a bit distressed to see the photo' of the pig on a spit.

I think it wise not to tell her about an experience I had when visiting Greece in 1999 with my friend Michael Vono  (now Bishop of the Rio Grande).

We were in Delphi (home of the ancient gods [they  were much more exciting than our Jewish/Christian/Muslim God])  (lol)

Our fabulous tour guide reminded us that it was April 23rd (St. George's Day).

This Englishman did not need the reminder -  as "St. George" is also  the English patron saint.

The tour guide told us that we were but a few kilometers from a small town called "St. George". She asked if we would like to spend a wee time there to enjoy the festival.

That was a no-brainer, so off we went.

The town was busy.

There were old men who were getting drunk, trying to dance, and shooting off rifles into the air.

There were young Greeks wearing national costume -  so beautiful, so lovely.

There were rows of black clad widows, chatting amongst themselves and commenting on what they saw.

There were at least twenty whole lambs or sheep being roasted on spits over coal fires.

Whole lambs. Whole sheep.

Doubtless you know that when you roast a lamb or sheep on a spit the entrails cook first. 

 Thus it was that good folks offered  us bits of liver, kidney (or other inner parts) which they brought out on trays.

DELICIOUS!  (Much tastier than hot dogs!).

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FOOD (2)

I came across a menu for "Healing Cabbage Soup" a few years ago.  I am not sure about the "healing" bit, but the soup (sauteed onions, vegetable stock, diced and sliced plum tomatoes, seasonings, half a cabbage - shredded and chopped) is a winner.  I made some late last week.

All well and good, but "what to do" with the other half of the cabbage?

The obvious answer is to make cole slaw.

That's what I did this afternoon.

The recipe includes chopped cabbage,  a grated carrot, a chopped "Granny Smith" apple, some chopped red pepper, and two chopped green onions (spring onions in the U.K.).

The kicker is the sauce. 1/3 cup mayonnaise (Duke's of course); 1/3 cup brown sugar; the juice of half a lemon - all mixed up and blended into the veggies.

DELICIOUS! Much better than "store bought" Cole Slaw.

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FOOD (3)

I bought the red pepper at my favourite local supermarket "Sweetbay"

Sweet Bay is a sister company of the the Maine based Hannaford Supermarket chain, which in turn is owned by the Belgian "Delhaize Group".  (We trade in an international market).

I am quite a fan of Sweetbay, but my loyalty was tested today.  The one red pepper I bought was all wrapped up in plastic.  



This packaging  is utterly unnecessary and very wasteful.  Fie on Sweetbay/Hannafords/ Delhaize Group. (I will write them).

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FOOD (4)

Do be in touch with me ( retiredpove at comcast.net ) if you woud like the recipes for the cabbage soup or the coleslaw


Monday, 5 November 2012

Car Show in Southside Area of SRQ 2

1936 Auburn

1959 FIAT

Behemoth Chevy

Big ole Ford

Bruuum!  Old Corvette 
Ford Ice Cream Truck 1

Ford Ice Cream Truck 2

Gleaming Chevy

Chevy?

Pig on a spit. 'Twill be "pulled pork' later in the day

Sunday, 4 November 2012

Car Show in Southside Area of SRQ

Yesterday a Chalk Festival.

Today a Car Show.

Here are some of the British Cars I saw this morning.  (I'll post American Cars tomorrow.)

1949 Jaguar

Add caption

Another Morgan Plus 8

Jag

MG

Another MG

Morris Van

Triumph

When a Rolls wasa Rolls