Showing posts from August 17, 2014

Un-shaggy dog tales (with a feline coda)

My sweet and dear dog Penne (pronounced "Penny") is not at all shaggy as you can see But here are some un-shaggy dog tales. 1.  When we take our first walk at about 6:15 a.m. I have to take a detour of about 100 yards so that I can get a copy of our local paper the "Sarasota Herald-Tribune" from a vending box.  (Of course I could subscribe to the paper, but I have a semi-perverse delight in dropping my 75 cents in the box). For reasons which I do not understand and cannot explain,  Penne is reluctant to take this detour. I have to tug her along.  But once I have gotten the paper and begin to re-trace our steps, Penne perks up and resumes her normal pace. 2. We frequently walk around a local pond. From time to time Penne will stop in her tracks and gaze across the other side of the pond, maybe 150 yards away.  Here is the sequence: jmp "Penne, what are you looking at?" No response. Penne continues to stare. jmp  "Penne, that's another dog" No …

A family who were cut off from the modern world for 40 years.

More beauty (or "when I was a tourist")

When I was in England in 2009 I took a couple of days off to visit the County of Dorset.  Though not well known by tourists it is a gorgeous part of England.  If  I were a rich man I would choose to live somewhere in Dorset.
A word of instruction to my American readers:
1.  Dorset is a county, but it is never known as Dorset-shire.(nor are Essex, Norfolk, Suffolk, Kent, Surrey, Sussex etc.  Not every County is a shire).
2.  The word "shire" (as in Gloucestershire) is pronounced "shure", not "shyre". 3. But when referring to English counties as a group they are (or were)  called "the shyres". Have I confused American readers?  I damn well hope so! Back to 2009 1. I went to Dorset to enjoy the lovely countryside (see pictures below), but more especially to visit Tolpuddle:  see This is the home of men who were not (strictly speaking) "martyrs",  but who were entirely important in the history of workers wh…

Beauty in the English Countryside

(via Anglotopia) Check out this lovely photo of mist covering the fields and woodland and the undulating landscape near Pildson Pen in Dorset in the early morning. Pilsdon Pen is a 277 metre (909 ft) hill in Dorset in South West England, situated at the north end of the Marshwood Vale in the West Dorset administrative district, approximately 4.5 miles (7.2 km) west of Beaminster. It is Dorset’s second highest point and has panoramic views extending for many miles. It was bequeathed to the National Trust by the Pinney family in 1982.

The United States entered World War I because of the sinking of the Lusitania right? WRONG

 "Nothing Less Than War" (Justus D Doenecke, The University Press of Kentucky 2011) is "a new history of America's Entry Into World War I".

It is a magnificent book, one which I read with interest and pleasure, and through which I learned so much.

Before I say more, here is my disclaimer. Not only do I admire Justus Doenecke as a writer, lecturer and historian. but I  know him and his wife Carol. They worship at All Angels by the Sea Episcopal Church on Longboat Key - a parish at which I have often preached and presided at the Eucharist.  I respect and like them at this more personal level.

"Nothing Less Than War" is probably the most comprehensive account of all the events which led up to  the American entry into WW I.

For starters the book dispels a myth which is widely held: America entered the war because of the sinking of the Lusitania. How often I have heard that myth, how often have I parroted it! 

But the Lusitania affair was settled between th…

I know what it meant to say, but this is what it actually said: (giggles)

Quote from my church bulletin this morning, re a youth group sponsored car wash.
"Drive your car back to the Boniface Center after the 10:00 a.m. service where you will be eagerly met by young smiling faces ready to wash your car for a donation".