Saturday, 21 September 2013

Breaking Florida Law?

It's probably against the law to complain about  the summer weather in south west Florida, but here I go,

We've had daytime temps of + 90f  (+32c) since June, with nighttime temps of +70f (+21c), and it's getting a bit wearisome.

We are on average, thus I have lived with this summer temps since 2006.  But my friend Ron T suggests that the older we get the more the heat becomes bothersome.  I agree with him.

Penne does not care.  Thus we have to take walks in the heart of the day.  It seems that the hotter the day the more she engages in "grass inspection".

We return home with Penne all unconcerned, whilst I hate the smell of my own sweat, and then "towel down" and apply lavish amounts of talcum powder or deodorant.

'Tis good that I live alone!

On the bright side  -  I can set my a/c at 80f  (26c) since my home is well insulated and I am not in and out all day. Thus my home is cool but not chilly.

And I can save money by using a minimum of water heating.  If I turn on my water heater for half an hour it provides me with enough warm water for two days worth of showers - starting with warm, going soon to tepid, and even sooner to cold.

I heat water in a tea kettle to wash my dishes, and I do my laundry in cold water (why not?)

I suppose that this is all to be preferred viz-a-viz New England winter blizzards.

Nonetheless, I look forward to the cooler days of autumn in Florida,

Friday, 20 September 2013

Raining and pouring

What a month

1.  I had problems  with my kitchen under-sink drainage.  My local plumber's from the Unique Service Company fixed them at a cost of $174 -  and for the first time since 2006 my sinks drain well.

2.  I knew that I needed two new tires/'tyres for my2006 car.  My super local and independent service station (Sam's Auto) took care of this and also recommended a wheel alignment and tyre balance; a flushing of the transmission fluids,  and various other flushings and replacements - at a total cost of $700.

3. Now my desk top computer has refused to open, and needs work. At the very least it will cost $100 (if the problem has to do with the on/off switch),  But if the mother board is shot I'll have a much higher bill. (I am using my slow and clunky Notebook to post this)

4.  I can jiggle my bills and use a credit card to take care of these unexpected expenses,

5,  But if I were a single mother with two children; who has an "old banger" of a car which she needs for her two jobs; and who does not have a credit card; and who lives in a run down apartment  ----  well all these "if's"  would be daunting. 

That's the bit which the Tories and Republicans just don't get,.

Wednesday, 18 September 2013

A.A.Milne deprived

I grew up with no knowledge of  the author A.A. Milne (1882-1956).

My parents never read to me  from him, and he was never mentioned in my Infants and Junior Schools.

Thus I was deprived of Winnie-the-Pooh, Eeyore, Tigger etc.  I was not harmed by this deprivation.

In fact when I was at Seminary (St. John's College, Nottingham U.K.) and met men and women who were Winnie-the-Pooh devotees I began to understand that A.A. Milne's works were rather "precious" , and that they appealed chiefly to the privileged British middle classes, and not to working class folks such as I.

I understand that in these United States A.A. Milne had a greater appeal and audience, but even here his followers are chiefly amongst the educated middle classes (and Disney devotees).

The American author Anne Lamott references one of A.A. Milne's  bits of doggerel in her wonderful 1997 novel "Crooked Little Heart".  It's the one which begins "James James Morrison Morrison Weatherby George Dupree" (entitled "Disobedience)

I looked it up (see below)  to find that it is a beautifully silly  poem which I had never before encountered.
In the meantime I am enjoying some of Anne Lamott's gorgeously crafted novels. More about that tomorrow.

James James
Morrison Morrison
Weatherby George Dupree
Took great
Care of his Mother,
Though he was only three.
James James Said to his Mother,
"Mother," he said, said he;
"You must never go down
to the end of the town,
if you don't go down with me."

James James
Morrison's Mother
Put on a golden gown.
James James Morrison's Mother
Drove to the end of the town.
James James Morrison's Mother
Said to herself, said she:
"I can get right down
to the end of the town
and be back in time for tea."

King John
Put up a notice,

  James James
Morrison Morrison
(Commonly known as Jim)
Told his
Other relations
Not to go blaming him.
James James
Said to his Mother,
"Mother," he said, said he:
"You must never go down to the end of the town
without consulting me."

James James
Morrison's mother
Hasn't been heard of since.
King John said he was sorry,
So did the Queen and Prince.
King John
(Somebody told me)
Said to a man he knew:
If people go down to the end of the town, well,
what can anyone do?"

(Now then, very softly)
W.G.Du P.
Took great
C/O his M*****
Though he was only 3.
J.J. said to his M*****
"M*****," he said, said he:

Monday, 16 September 2013

A joke


 Job Interview:

Human Resources Manager:  "What is your greatest weakness?"

Old Man :  "Honesty."

Human Resources Manager:  "I don't think honesty is a weakness."

Old Man :  "I don't give a shit what you think."

(With hanks to Pam for sending this to me, and apologies to those who have seen this previously)

Sunday, 15 September 2013

Mary's Luti's Gospel meditation

(Mary was a colleague in Cambridge MA)

Happy Sin

Luke 15:7 I tell you truly, there will be more rejoicing in heaven over one sinner who repents than over ninety-nine righteous people who have no need to repent.

Reflection by Mary Luti

Jesus says that God is much happier when we sin and repent than when we don't. So maybe it’s good that the lamb went astray. If it hadn’t, neither the shepherd nor God would have known the unique delight Jesus speaks of.

Since repenting makes heaven so all-fired happy, maybe we should sin a lot more. Then, when we’re done, we could say, “Oops, sorry!”, electrifying Paradise with that special thrill.

Well, we could do that, but it’s probably not what Jesus had in mind. And yet he seems to say that there are worse things we could do than sin, worse things we could be than bad. We could strive to be better people—the sort of better people who believe they are better than other people. We could go out of our way to avoid icky sinners, putting cold, contemptuous miles between us and them.

To sin, go astray, do harm, fall flat on our willful faces—none of that’s good exactly, but at least it’s real. At least it doesn’t separate or distinguish us from anybody else. At least it makes for human solidarity. And any kind of solidarity is better than distance, exclusion, and contempt.

Besides, if we didn’t sin, God would just stay home and read the paper all day instead of lighting out into the canyons and brambles of life to find us by the whimpers of our lost and shivering hearts. It’s wrong to say that sin repels God. Sin is a God Magnet. Wherever there’s a sinner with a sin, God is there.

So yes, by all means, we should be sad and sorry for our sins. But we should be grateful and glad for our sins, too. Think where we’d be without them.

PrayerSearching Shepherd, it’s weirdly paradoxical and maybe even a little wrong to thank you for my sins, but I do. Without them, I’m lost. With them, I’m found. Praise to you forever. Amen.