Saturday, 10 August 2013


The big yellowy/green blob from my leaking shaving cream can is getting ready to take over my house.

Thursday, 8 August 2013

Christian concern? Altruism? Self Interest?

My neighbour  "x"  who has been close to death twice in recent months was discharged from the hospital today. She was sent home from the hospital by taxi. She can barely walk.

I first knew about this when the taxi driver rapped on my door and asked if I had a key to my neighbour's home.  I did not.

Thanks to the great cooperation of the taxi driver (a patient saint indeed), and the president of our condo association, we were able to move "x"  into the coolness of our clubhouse until we were able to get to the spare door key which is held (in a safe) in our clubhouse office.

All this involved three mad dashes in my car. In the last journey the condo association president and I drove "x"  back to her home from the clubhouse and opened the door.

 (The first task was  to clear out a ton of mail which was making it almost impossible to push the door open. This mail pile included many unpaid bills).

I have never seen such a messy house.  What's worse is that there was no food in the house, and no electricity.

What to do?

I called a very fine woman who has in the past been very helpful and kind to "x".

This woman (understandably) was unable to offer help, partly because she has endured a great deal of verbal abuse from "x", and partly because she and her husband are  more than busy with  full time jobs and with four children.

My good neighbour B made some soup with crackers and melon  etc so that "x" would not be hungry overnight.  I will take "x" some fast food for her breakfast in the morning.

"X"'s brothers live in Detroit.  I called one of them and he told me that a visiting nurse will call upon her  tomorrow.

Oh I do so hope that will happen.

I cannot believe that she can live alone without daily care.

 I know that we her neighbours do not have the time, ability  and legal rights to give her the care she needs.

My best hope is that the visiting nurse and a social worker will be able to persuade the Courts that E needs a  legal guardian.  (See )

I do not claim to have any altruism or even Christian charity in this case.

My motivation to help "x" is based on self interest.

(1) It is not in my best interests to have a neighbour who lives in squalor and who could die for lack of care.

(2) Her plight reminds me to make preparation for those days to come when I will be unable to "take care of myself".

Wednesday, 7 August 2013

A Christian protest against the oppression of the poor (2)

The modern oppression of the poor  is nothing new. 

Here is a protest from the New Testament letter of 

James  (First or Second Centuries A.D.)

James 5

5Come now, you rich people, weep and wail for the miseries that are coming to you. 2Your riches have rotted, and your clothes are moth-eaten. 3Your gold and silver have rusted, and their rust will be evidence against you, and it will eat your flesh like fire. You have laid up treasure* for the last days. 4Listen! The wages of the labourers who mowed your fields, which you kept back by fraud, cry out, and the cries of the harvesters have reached the ears of the Lord of hosts. 5You have lived on the earth in luxury and in pleasure; you have fattened your hearts on a day of slaughter. 6You have condemned and murdered the righteous one, who does not resist you.

Tuesday, 6 August 2013

A Christian protest against the oppression of the poor

The modern oppression of the poor  is nothing new.

In the 14th Century a  Church of England Priest named John Ball raised this question:

When Adam delved and Eve span, Who was then the gentleman?

John Ball went on to say:

 "From the beginning all men by nature were created alike, and our bondage or servitude came in by the unjust oppression of naughty men. For if God would have had any bondmen from the beginning, he would have appointed who should be bond, and who free. And therefore I exhort you to consider that now the time is come, appointed to us by God, in which ye may (if ye will) cast off the yoke of bondage, and recover liberty."


Monday, 5 August 2013

Beauty and the Boots

My first cousin Chris, with his wife Susan and their daughter Gracie have recently been on holiday in the Torbay area of England.

Chris took this great photo' (just a few days ago)


I am fairly certain that the steam train is operated by

.....  and it is a cool photo'


My "cousin by marriage" Kippy Altini lives on Staten Island, N.Y.  but she hails from Newfoundland.

She recently posted this creative and amusing picture of Newfie art -  "What to do with old rubber boots"

And the boots

Sunday, 4 August 2013

Nobody is in charge - we cooperate

"Early to bed and early to rise".   That's me.

I am healthy, I am not wealthy, and I am by no means wise.

I am most often in bed by 8:00 p.m. (sometimes as early as 7:00).. A late night for me is 9:30 p.m..  And I sleep well  (often through the night with nary a bathroom trip).

So, I am up early:   4:30 a.m. is the norm.

Senior cat Ada knows this. She lets out one load miaow outside my bedroom door at precisely 4:30.  If I need 10 or so extra minutes of shut-eye I call out "oh go away"  and she does.

But if I choose to  arise, both cats and my dog "know it".

They know my routine.  

First  I take a trip to the bathroom.  Then I  turn the computer on.  Next I make my bed, and have a second bathroom trip.

Throughout this routine the cats are waiting patiently outside my bedroom door. When I open it, Penne comes bounding and singing towards me, ready for her early morning half-biscuit. As I move to the kitchen to get it, the cats follow all ready for their day-break snacks  (two each of those little "Temptations" treats).

Coffee pot on, I go outside for my first smoke of the day.  The cats invariably wait just inside the front door

.  As I get back into the house, Ada runs to her bed, but Adelaide stalks down the hallway, tail erect as she leads me to the Lanai door which I am obliged to open.

With my first cup of coffee in hand I got back to my room to check for e-mail and look at various newspapers on line.  This is a sign for Penne who comes bounding into my room and then leaps up onto my bed.

I arise from my chair, move towards the bed, and her tail begins to wag. I  sweet-talk her. She gets all squirrely and bashful at the same time,  wiggling her torso and then moving to her side all ready for a belly rub.

At about 6:30 I am ready for the first walk of the day with Penne.  She knows this is imminent just as soon as I change from my sleep clothes (tee shirt and gym shorts) and into my walking clothes.  Off the bed she leaps, and then waits by the front door - her tail wagging like a heliocopter rotor!

The walk over,  I go to the bin which hold Penne's dry food to make her breakfast.

 Just as soon as I open the bin, the cats come strolling into the kitchen - they know that their breakfast  will be next.

The cats scoff down their little breakfast (a teaspoon full of canned food each), but Penne sometimes waits an hour or more before she eats her first meal.

"Nobody is in charge" I said - "we cooperate".

That's what I think!  The beasts know that they are running the show!

And so it goes. 

 Penne should be named "Shadow", for wherever I am she want to be.

1, If I am using the computer she gets onto my bed.

2, If I am reading in the sitting room, she gets on to her bed.  (But when I use the vacuum cleaner she gets as far away from me as is possible!).

3. If I say "let's go in the car" she positively sings and dances until she is able to leap up into her back seat.

4. If I am leaving her at home I never say anything, but I turn on the T.V. or radio and give her a half biscuit.

She gives me that canine baleful look, and then rests on her bed, front legs all stretched out and her head between those legs.  She often saves her biscuit until I return

The day winds down.  

At 4:30 p.m. precisely the cats march into the kitchen. They know that this is the appointed time for their afternoon canned food treat.

After my supper I am usually back on line. When Penne hears the "ping" as the computer shuts down she leaves my room. She knows that it's my bed time.

Oddly enough she does not go to her bed, but she hides behind a chair, always standing and never lying down.  That's my instruction to give her the final sweet talk and ear rub of the day. I take it that she goes to her bed at "lights out", but I do not know if this is the case.

I've come to the belief that pets such as mine have both intelligence, memory and knowledge.  I refuse to believe that their behaviour in solely instinctive.   They know.

But as I said:  "Nobody is in charge - we cooperate".  

(oh yeah?)