Of course I would not create envy, nor would I want to "rub it in" for friends and family members in colder winter climes (ahem!), but I knew that you'd like to know that I enjoyed lunch out of doors today.
I was at the Dry Dock Water Front Grill on the intra-coastal side of Longboat Key, FL see
I ate "Fish and Chips" (for the first time since I was in the U.K. last May/June).
The fish (haddock?) was entirely delicious, cooked as it was in a light batter.
The coleslaw was no more than "O.K.". (I find that most restaurant coleslaws have too much mayonnaise, and not enough seasoning. This was the case today. - I prefer my home-made 'slaw).
The chips - well what to say about the chips?
Chips (french fries) should be crispy and brown on the outside, and fluffy in the middle. I know that, 'cause my Mum's chips were the best ever. Maybe it was because she deep fried them in lard.
The chips at the Dry Dock looked good, but there was no crunch on the outside, and no fluffy texture inside. I should not fault the "Dry Dock" alone, for such is the sad case for most restaurant "fries" in the U.S.A. - and even for the chips I had in the U.K. last summer.
Bring back "twice-fried" in lard chips will be my next crusade!
My nonagenarian friend Betty M has not been well for about three weeks. She's had intense abdominal pain, with an accompanying lack of appetite. Her primary care physician, (a good, competent, and caring man), has been unable to find the reason for her malady.
With no relief in sight, and at the urging of Betty's neighbour (Linda), Betty went to the E.R. yesterday.
Betty called me from the E.R. to tell me about this, and to let me know that she had been admitted to the hospital.
So, of course, I visited her today.
Today the "Front Desk" people at the Sarasota Memorial Hospital told me at first that that Betty was not in their data base; and then they said that she had had been discharged. This seemed to be very unlikely, so I 'phoned Betty.
She assured me that she had not been discharged, and that she was in Room 413.
I relayed this to the front desk staff member who checked the computer records again, and told me that Betty was indeed in Room 413.
I trudged endless corridors, took a lift (elevator), trudged more corridors and (almost) got to room 413. Except that 413 is in a section devoted for folks recovering from day surgery.
A staff member on that unit, trying her best to help me, called the admitting folks, only to be told that Betty was not in their data base.
"But she is", I protested, "I talked to her a wee while ago". The gracious staff member said, "maybe she is in a room near to the E.R. Some of those rooms have numbers in the 400 range".
I was grateful, so once again I trudged endless corridors, took a lift (elevator), trudged more corridors
until I found the E.R. There I had to wear a face mask in order to ask a simple question, viz "are there rooms in the 400 range near here?" There are/were not.
I loped back to the front desk, and asked again where I might find Betty. The young man on duty checked the data base, and told me that Betty M was not in their records. I protested and said "but she is here, I talked with her earlier".
He asked "could she be registered under her maiden name?" I thought this to be unlikely since she had tied the knot some seventy years ago.
He asked if I knew her date of birth - that being another way of checking the data base.
I responded by saying that I would check it by 'phoning Betty. That I did.
Betty gave me her d.o.b. and then asked "Michael, are you at S.M.H.?"
Indeed I was.
Betty said "but I am not at S.M.H., I am at Doctors Hospital".
DUH. The C.E.O. of "Stupid Inc." (one John Michael Povey) was in the wrong hospital,
Earlier this year I wrote a blog about my modest investment account, (sponsored by the Church Pension Fund and administered by Fidelity Investments).
I stated that F.I. had confused me with another investor (remember Mary Gilligan?), and that F.I. seemed unable to correct their own mistake
You may remember that the Church Pension Fund computer system had trolled my blog entry, (because I had mentioned CPF in the title), and had contacted me by e-mail to offer their assistance in "righting the wrong".
You will also remember that I had mixed feelings about CPF's trolling of my blog.
Now I have discovered that Episcopal Relief and Development also trolls the internet to search for items which mention them. (To be truthful, I mentioned Episcopal Relief and Development in my title to see if this would happen).
Indeed it did. I received the following today in an e-mail. ( I wondered if I should open the e-mail on account of the exotic and wonderful name of the author - fearing that it might be harmful spam).
greetings to you and your loved ones. I thank you for your previous support of
our work in the Middle East.
Your recent blog
post was brought to my attention this morning. I would like to apologize
profusely for this oversight in not keeping your name off of Episcopal Relief
& Development’s general mailing list. I’m currently researching on my end
where the breakdown occurred internally. In the meantime, I have just made sure
your record has been removed from our mailing list.
Your feedback is
invaluable to us. One of our goals is to be as efficient as possible and if
there’s any way for us to save money with fundraising costs, then we are all for
Again, I thank
you for your past support and greatly appreciate your assistance in making us a
Now I live in a world in which "no secrets are hid". Every e-mail I write, every website I visit, every blog I compose, is out there in cyberspace for ever. Nothing can be expunged or deleted. It is all "eternally accessible".
Which means that a myriad of national security agencies (in this and other lands) are able to read my e-mails; to search my blog; to check the sites I have visited, and to access my financial records.
That is both amazing and fear-inducing.
We (supposedly) have national security. This means that I have personal insecurity.
Au contraire - earlier this year I mailed donations to Sarasota's "ALL FAITHS FOOD BANK", and later on to our "CAT DEPOT": (in each case in honour of the neighbours who had taken care of my cats whilst I was out of town) .
When I mailed the checks/cheques I stated the reason for my gift, and asked "do not place me on your mailing list"
The Food Bank and the Cat Depot have honoured that request.
So, as you might guess, I have much warmer feelings about our Food Bank and about our Cat Charity than I have about ERD and about AMNESTY INTERNATIONAL.
I am far more likely to give to the local charities who do not place me on eternal mailings lists, than to the national/international charities which bombard me with request after request for yet another donation.
I am reading an article in the 1st Dec 2014 edition of the New Yorker about the promising research regarding a new therapy for persons with Crohn's disease.
Odd as it may seem, this can involve the injection of another person's stool into the colon of a Crohn's sufferer, (fecal transplants, or "fecal microbiota transplantation").
You'll probably be able to find the article on line: "The Excrement Experiment" by Emily Eakin.
This passage caught my attention:
"Science writers love to cite the freakish fact that for every one of our cells we are hosts to ten microbial ones, and nowhere are there as many as in our digestive tracts, which house about a hundred billion bacteria, fungi, viruses, and other tiny creatures. (As one gastroenterologist put it to me, (the author) with only mild exaggeration, 'We are ten percent human and ninety percent poo'"