Saturday, 27 April 2013

Party boy.

Last evening I was at an informal dinner party to meet and greet the new Rector at St. Boniface Church, Siesta Key, FL  the Revd. John Hall FL, together with his spouse Jean Hall. 
The parish footed the bill for the fine meal.  St. Boniface’s Assistant Rector Andrea Taylor  and her husband Jonathan were the hosts.
The other guests were six of the seven retired clerics who hang out at St. Boniface church, and their spouses.
Despite the facts that I do not have a spouse, and am no longer active in Sunday ministries at St B’s, Andi Taylor was cool enough to make sure that I was included.  That made me very happy, and I enjoyed the evening.

This evening I was a guest at the home of my friends Elliott and Jesse to celebrate Elliot’s 83rd birthday.  Both he and Jess have been in very poor health during the past year and it was great that they were well enough to have a party.

‘Twas terrific to be at the party with Elliot and Jess, and with pals such as Bob Lewis, Bob Morse, Gordon Cory, John Vogel, Bill Byers and Patrick Cosgrove each of whom I see on a regular basis.

But it was even better to be with my dear friends Mary and Marjorie, Janet and Maggie, and Alice and Irene – folks who I like very much but rarely get to see.

Friday, 26 April 2013

Sarasota political fail

Mr. Dorfman is running to be elected as a Sarasota City Commissioner.  He want to take Sarasota to the next level, but he does not make it clear if this is a level up or a level down.

Interesting to note that this mailing is sponsored by a group in Orlando, i.e. not a local group. Who are his backers? They  are known as "Citizens for a Better Florida, Inc". How many of them are Sarasotans?

Mr Dorfman at one and the same time claims to be a "longtime resident", but also says that he has called Sarasota home for nearly eight years?  (Eight years = longtime?)

We are invited to call Mr. Dorfman, but his flyer does not include a phone #

Thursday, 25 April 2013


In retirement it is all too easy to put off various housekeeping tasks with the thought "I can do that tomorrow".

Today I realised that "I can do that tomorrow" can lead to many "tomorrows".

So I decided that today was tomorrow, and that I should wash, dry and iron my curtains which have been gathering dust and  grime for many a day.

In fact, I have not washed them since May 2011 when I did so in anticipation of the visit of my brother Martyn and his son Sam.

(They did not notice!).

So all those over 700 "tomorrows" ended "today".  I have beautifully  washed, dried and ironed curtains.

Phew -  the next "curtain washing tomorrow"  will be in 2015

Wednesday, 24 April 2013

Critters: a follow up posting from April 14th 2013

Critters 2.

So, having heard the patter of tiny feet in my attic, I summoned the handyman at the Glen Oaks Ridge Association (GORA) to my home. His name is Larry.

Larry came to my home on April 16th and set up a “sticky trap” in the attic.

On April 17th he discovered that some smart rat or other had simply flipped the sticky trap over.

So he tried again on April 177h - by re-setting the sticky trap and adding a spring loaded trap which he baited with a goodly amount of peanut butter.

But my rats are smart.  One of them had managed to trip the spring loaded trap, and eat the peanut butter without being trapped.

So on Friday April 19th Larry reset the traps, and secured them to the attic floor with very strong sticky tape.

When he returned to my home on Monday April 22nd he inspected the attic traps and found nothing..
Both he and I were frustrated.

Yesterday morning - (April 23rd) - at about 5:45 a.m.)  I heard a great kerfuffle from my hall  way.

Then Junior Cat Adelaide came rushing thro’ my home with a rat in her jaws. . She had captured it in the kitchen closet where I keep a trash can.

Senior cat Ada and Penne tried to join in the fray, but I cut them off at the pass to prevent what might have been mayhem (two cats and a dog chasing one rat?)

Luckily Adelaide, rat in mouth ran into the lanai, where I was able to isolate them from the rest of the house.  About an hour later there was one proud cat and one dead rat.

I lavished praise on Adelaide and gave her a much appreciated reward:  I allowed her to go outside and hunt for a while - flouting the GORA rules.

Larry reports that he was able to trap a mouse in the home two door away in the triplex. 

He also went into the middle home, where the owner told him that she had seen rats running around.  (Larry said that the home was a perfect breeding place for rodents, and I was not surprised.)  

The pictures below of the outside of that home will give you a clue as to what mess might well be inside.

I saw Larry today, and he reported that three rats had been trapped next door.

He’s also sealed any possible  place on the perimeter of the triplex which might have provided an entrance hole for rats and mice.

Not very clear picture of Adelaide and the rat (taken through the sliding doors to the Lanai)

One not quite dead rat - it was twitching when I took this picture


Neighbour's car port 1

Neighbour's car port 2

Neighbour's car port 3

The GORA Board has repeatedly demanded that my neighbour should "keep the rules" and clean up this area, but to no avail.  She could be fined by the GORA Board but that would not be helpful for under Florida's Condo. laws there is no provision for  Condo. Associations to enforce and collect those fines.  So if any owner chooses not to pay a fine "thare ain't much we can do about it". (Of course the Florida laws  are designed to protect owners from arbitrary, capricious or "revenge" fining by Condo. Boards)

This is the hole in the drywall of the storage closet through which the rat made entry. I suspect that it was created by a plumber some time ago (before I moved in) so that she/he could work on the water pipe.  I am not planning to seal it for a while - cos if there are rats still in the attic I want this hole to be a red carpet for their entrance, and a fine hunting space for Adelaide.

Monday, 22 April 2013

From John Glenn? Yes, but which one?

The following article  has been posted on Facebook, and has been attributed to John Glenn.
Do not be misled.  It's not from John Glenn the U.S. Navy Test Pilot, Astronaut, U.S. Senator, and Presidential candidate.

It's from another John Glenn who hails from Tacoma, WA  viz

So read it for what it's worth, (not much in  my opinion) but realise that it's not from the more famous John Glenn.

“I don't want to know his name. I don't want to see his face. I don't want to know his life's history, his back-story, who his family is, where he went to school, or what he liked to do in his spare time. I don't want to know what "cause", if any, he was fighting for. I don't want to know why he did it, or may have done it, or what possessed him to carry out his actions. I don't want to know. Because that's what he really wants. I'll be damned if I'm going to give him what he wants.

Put him on trial, but don't cover it. Tell me when you decide to jail him for three lifetimes - because that number matters. That's the number of lives he has to now pay for. That's all I want to know about him. Nothing else.

Instead, tell me about the first responders who ran towards the fray, within seconds, fearless. Tell me about the ones wearing the yellow volunteer jacket, or the neon police vest, or even the ones in the regular everyday t-shirt who became a helper. Tell me the story about the first responder who held gauze over a wound until they made it to the hospital. Tell me the story about the volunteer who held the hand of the injured spectator until they got into the ambulance. In six months, tell me the story of those who lost a limb, who beat the odds, pulled through countless surgeries, and are learning to walk again. Tell me the story about the love, the compassion, and the never-ending support of thousands, millions, of people who support the victims here. Tell me their stories. Tell me everything you can, because they are the ones that matter. Tell me of the good that they have done, are doing, and will continue to do, regardless of... No, not regardless of, in spite of. In spite of that someone who would do them harm. Because that's what freedom in this country means. It means coming together in the hardest of times, even in the face of unfathomable adversity, to make life better for all those around us.

Tell me the good stories. That's all I want to hear. Please like and share"

Sunday, 21 April 2013

Back at "work" today.

I was back at my old game today as I officiated at the celebration and blessing of the marriage of Lauren Carol Taylor and Robert Jason Steinkuehler.

We were at the Powel Crosley Mansion in Sarasota, FL

Lauren and Rob are from Chicago.

I first met Lauren on 13th April 2013, and Rob on 20th April 2013.

So, why was I officiating at the ceremony today?

‘Twas because when the couple decided to get wed in Sarasota the Pastor who’d promised to officiate withdrew.

Lauren was lamenting about this to her friend Libby Jones.

Libby said “the Priest who officiated at my marriage to Sam Gillen in Pittsfield, MA back in 1997 now lives in Sarasota , maybe he can help”

So help I did.  Here are some  “snaps”.

jmp, Lauren and Rob (1). On the east side of the intra-coastal waterway, Longboat Key in the background.

jmp, Lauren and Rob (2). On the east side of the intra-coastal waterway, Longboat Key in the background.

Sam and Libby Gillen, jmp  today

I officiated at Sam and Libby's wedding in 1997.  I baptised their two children:   "Gigi" (Grace Gillen)  (in Amherst MA) and Theo (on Cape Cod) 

I stayed with Libby's brother Derrick at his home in Los Angeles en route to Vietnam earlier this year.

Libby and Derrick's mom (Dr. Grace Jones) is one of my beloved friends.  She is about to retire from her position as President of the Three Rivers Community College in Norwich, CT