Showing posts from January 12, 2014


Here are some recent  Facebook comments from two of my younger friends in Pittsfield, MA.

One could not sleep. She wrote:

"R.I.P to my sleep schedule. I can literally feel the bags under my eyes growing darker."

The other was under great stress.  She wrote:

"I am quite literally at the end of my rope."


I hope that the first friend could not feel actual bags under her eyes.  I trust that the second friend was not at the end of any rope.

The first friend meant "Figuratively speaking there are bags under my eyes"

The second friend meant "Figuratively speaking I am at the end of my rope"


But of course very few English speaking people would  say "Figuratively speaking"  at the beginning of such statements. It sounds rather awkward

English speaking people should say "There are bags under my…

Who is "you" in Alex Sink's political commercial?

Who is "you" in Alex Sink's political commercial?
Alex Sink (D) is running to be elected as the representative of Florida's 13th Congressional district.

I do not live in that district -   I cannot vote for her or for any other candidate in that district.

Nevertheless I am in the same television market as is the 13th Congressional district, Thus I see and hear her commercials.

In one of these she says "I've always got things done by working with people youdon't agree with".

I ask: ---  "who is you?" in Alex Sink's commercial?

Traveling out side of the U.S. An important precaution.

The recent compromising of shoppers' credit cards  at our Target stores has led to my greater awareness of American laziness and ineptitude in the matter of credit/debit card fraud.

I have learned that American businesses and banks still rely on the old fashioned magnetic strip on credit and debit cards.  This makes them very vulnerable to fraud.

The rest of the world  (see Forbes Magazine quote and chart below) has long since moved to the more secure "Chip and Pin", or EMV technology.

In fact, some American travelers are discovering that their credit cards will be rejected for point of sale transactions (gas, hotel, travel, retail stores etc.)  (see Wikipedia article below).

God willing I'll be traveling outside the U.S.A. later this year. With that in mind I contacted the administrator of my Visa card, the Bank of America.

To my intense comfort I learned that B of A is one of the few Financial institutions which will issue a chip and pin cards upon request.


I hate it when that happens

As I was ironing a shirt yesterday a tiny wound on my left thumb opened up and squirted blood all over the shirt.

I hate it when that happens.
On Monday evening when I was out of the house the cats had a roustabout and knocked a small glass dish from a side table in  my sitting room to the floor.  It shattered.

I hate it when that happens.
The cats are under house arrest and on a bread and water diet.  That'll learn 'em.

I took an egg out of the carton this morning in order to make an omelet/omelette.  I dropped the egg.
I hate it when that happens As I walked around the pond today I saw two gorgeous sand hill cranes engaged in beautiful dance. They took it in turns to flap their wings very gently, and then jumped up off the ground to a height of three feet. I love it when that happens 

Should Auld Aquaintance

Lunch at the Crap Trap II in Ellenton FL today, with Tom and Sue Smith of Pittsfield MA.

We have not seen each other since 2000, so it was a good reunion (and the calamari,  and crab meat quesadilla we shared were both very good)

Wild and wonderful days in Pittsfield (MA) (and other places).

I received an e-mail just a while ago from a Pittsfield, MA parishioner.  She wrote
"Michael----just got off the phone with Anita McConnell..... she wondered if I was still in touch with you and if you remember her.  She worked with you distributing condoms at local bars as part of the "love carefully" campaign through the Red Cross.....she remembers being quite impressed that you would be such a visible partner in this necessary effort to spread the word.  I told her that you would most likely recall that episode in your Pittsfield life! Claudia"
Well, goodness gracious me!  I had not forgotten that campaign, but I had not thought about it in many years.  Of course I remember Anita, and I also remember the look of panic and shock on a bartender's face when I marched into a local tavern, wearing my clerical collar, and asked him to place a bowl of condoms (and some literature) on the bar.  He agreed to do so.

On a similar note, I received a Facebook message fro…

Three woman and three deaths

As I browed the obituaries one day last week I read of the death of a woman in Naples FL, some 120 miles south of SRQ.  Her last name was sufficiently unusual that it "leapt out" at me.

I knew her.  I knew her late husband.  They lived very near me in a Massachusetts city where I was once a Rector.  They named themselves as Episcopalians, but I cannot remember ever seeing them in Church, not even for Easter or Christmas.

He was a businessman.  If you have heard of type A personalities, then know that he was an A super plus. He was demanding, imperious, rude and often angry.  His wife was not far behind in personality types.

Came the day that he died.  I was summoned to their condominium to discuss his "state funeral" in my parish.  As I drove to the condo I thought "what in heaven's name can I say about this man by way of eulogy. Will I have to lie through my teeth?"

I was let off the hook.  This was because Type A personalities have a way of arrangin…