Saturday, 14 February 2015

Glorious light

The late afternoon sun reflected off the pond at the back of my home, last Thursday 12th February 2015
 
 
 
 

Friday, 13 February 2015

When Limeys and Limeophiles gather for lunch.

My English born friend Muriel (from Oldham, Lancashire), and my American friends, Jack and Donna (true Anglophiles who lived in England for about seven years) came to my home for lunch today.

I cooked some Kippers on a griddle (with a bit of butter),  ( if you have not eaten kippers you have not lived);  and served them with grilled tomatoes, poached eggs, boiled red potatoes (with butter and parsley) , and with the  British "Heinz" brand baked beans in tomato sauce (well loved in the U.K. and probably also in Ireland).

It was a feast fit for Kings (or at least for all  those who are  Limeys, or Limeophiles, or Scots, or Irish, or Welsh).

Muriel, Jack and Donna declared themselves to be delighted with this lunch.  Indeed it worked out well, and our lunch-time conversation was funny, loving and gentle.

(Dessert was a good cuppa tea, and some Jaffa  Cakes).

If you are mystified look up "Kippers" and "Jaffa Cakes" on Wikipedia -  and then give thanks for British/Irish cuisine.

Thursday, 12 February 2015

"Kippers" - SHARING THE STINK

I met Jack C (ex-U.S. Navy Captain, and now a retired  Anglican Priest) at St. Boniface Church in SRQ.

Although Jack and I are at the opposite ends of the spectrum in our political  convictions, we have become firm friends.   That friendship embraces Jack's wife Donna.

After Jack's retirement from the U.S. Navy he and Donna spent  not a few years in the U.K. where he trained for ordination, was ordained, and served as a Priest in the Diocese of Ely (Cambridgeshire U.K ).

In due course Jack and Donna returned to the U.S.A., where Jack served in a parish in Newport, R.I..

There they met Muriel Q, a fabulous woman who hails from Oldham, Lancashire, U.K.

Jack, Donna, Muriel and I washed up in Sarasota at different times -  but we connected with each other at St. Boniface Church, SRQ.

The four of us are enamored with "Kippers" (Kippered Herrings)   as befits two Limeys and two Anglophiles.

With that in mind I ordered Kippers from an outfit which is based in the Chesapeake Bay (in Maryland), and invited Jack, Donna and Muriel to join me for a Kipper lunch on Feb 13th.  They accepted my invitation without reserve. We'll scoff the Kippers  alongside  boiled and buttered red potatoes, and  green peas.

But "dearie me", I bought far too many Kippers for the four of us.

So I have shared this  excess of kippers with my friends:

1)  Neil and Sue P. They are from Exeter in Devonshire UK.  Neil is the Director of Music at  St. Boniface Church, SRQ.

2) Diana and Fred E.  Diana is an Englishwoman who was born in India.  Her husband Fred and I were colleagues in the Diocese of Western Massachusetts. We re-connected when Diana and Fred re-located in retirement  to the nearby Longboat  Key, FL

3).  My "bestie" Ben M:  born and raised in New York City; world traveled; lover of fine foods - including Kippers, (and more or less an omnivore!).

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I am SHARING THE STINK (Kippers are pungent).

WISH YOU WERE HERE!
 
OR
 
WISH  YOU WERE HERE?
 
 
 
 


Wednesday, 11 February 2015

A good business: I complained and they responded. (Sam's Auto, Sarasota, FL) (and strange behaviour)

I have been doing business with Sam's Auto here in Sarasota for a number of years.  Their "shop" is about 1 1/2 miles from my home, and they do great work.  They have a well deserved good reputation.

Last Friday I took my vehicle in to get a new passenger side headlight bulb  because the low beam was not working.

Sam's replaced the bulb, and also checked my other lights (in the process of which they discovered that the rear number plate/tag light were also duds).  They replace them.

I paid the bill, and when I got home I went into a minor state of shock because the labour charge was $94.95  (less a discount of 10% because I am an AAA member).

Even so, the resultant charge of $85.46 seemed high for such simple and uncomplicated work.

I was back at Sam's today for a scheduled oil change, so I questioned the labour charge from last Friday.

They explained that they time jobs by on tenth per hour; and said that the replacement of the headlight bulb took three tenths of an hour, as did the checking of all my lights, and the replacement of the number plate/tag lights:  a total of nine tenths of an hour.

Three tenths of an hour = eighteen  minutes. 

It was hard for me to believe that each of these simple tasks took eighteen minutes.

I protested this, and reminded them that we had "lost" at least ten minutes as we awaited the delivery of a bulb from the local Autoparts store.

I had a gentle and friendly tussle with the front desk clerk/assistant.  After a few minutes he asked "what can we do to make you happy?"    I suggested a $25 reduction in last Friday's bill.  He countered with "we'll make it $30".

 Sam's reduced the bill for today's oil change (which includes topping up of fluids; changing oil and oil filter; checking the air pressure in tyres/tires) by $30.

Smiles all around.

 Honour was even.

I like Sam's Auto.

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Incidentally  as I waited for the oil change to be done I sat in the six-chair waiting area.

A woman who was seated to my right started to chat with another woman who was on my left, (at right angles). They talked across me.
.
The other two customers conversed about rats.

The woman to my left was at Sam's because rats had chewed  some electrical cables in her car).  I was not party to this conversation since

I was reading the "New Yorker"  which I had taken with me to kill time


But even as was ignoring the conversation and  reading my "New Yorker", the woman who was seated to my right,  all out of the blue,  patted my stomach and asked: "do you have a problem with rats?"

I found this to be a bit bizarre, a bit odd, and a bit funny/humorous.




Tuesday, 10 February 2015

Eating Out: Good food, great friends. (And an SRQ Restaurant recommendation)

I rarely go out to restaurants for dinner, so this evening's visit to "Kacey's Seafood and More" on Fruitville Road in  Sarasota was a treat.
 
The great friends were Alan R, Seth W and Alan C.  The four of us had not been together in an age.  It was wonderful to be with these dear brothers/friends, to share our news, and to bask in our mutual respect, admiration and love.
 
Alan R is the Deacon at St. Boniface Church.  He is deeply respected in the congregation for his faithful and selfless service in the Church, and to his late wife who suffered a long and debilitating illness.
 
The good food was at Kacey's, which is located in a nondescript plaza on Fruitville Rd, just about two miles from my home.
 
It's the tourist season so the restaurant was all but full when we arrived at 6:00, (though we were able to get a table immediately), and there were still people in line when we left at 8:00.
 
The food was first class.  We started by sharing a bowl of "Cincinnati Chili" (very good).  Two had shrimp and grits, one had seared tuna and shrimp, I had crab cakes, with a side of 'slaw.
 
We each were more than pleased with our meal.
 
I was particularly impressed with our waitress.  She was wonderfully attentive without fussing over us -  a true professional - who earned and received an appropriate tip.
 
Kacey's is on the south side of Fruitville Road, east of McIntosh and west of Honore.
 
 
 
'Twas a wonderful evening, and I feel happy and blessed.

Monday, 9 February 2015

These may help you through any hard times ahead.


Via a friend in Pittsfield, MA

 
AMAZINGLY SIMPLE HOME REMEDIES (That Really Work!)
1. AVOID CUTTING YOURSELF WHEN SLICING VEGETABLES BY GETTING SOMEONE
ELSE TO HOLD THE VEGETABLES WHILE YOU SLICE.

2. AVOID ARGUMENTS WITH OTHERS ABOUT LIFTING THE TOILET SEAT BY
USING THE SINK.

3. FOR HIGH BLOOD PRESSURE SUFFERERS ~ SIMPLY CUT YOURSELF AND BLEED FOR
A FEW MINUTES, THUS REDUCING THE PRESSURE ON YOUR VEINS.  REMEMBER TO
USE A TIMER.

4. A MOUSE TRAP PLACED ON TOP OF YOUR ALARM CLOCK WILL PREVENT YOU FROM ROLLING OVER AND GOING BACK TO SLEEP AFTER YOU HIT THE SNOOZE BUTTON.

5. IF YOU HAVE A BAD COUGH, TAKE A LARGE DOSE OF LAXATIVES. THEN YOU'LL
BE AFRAID TO COUGH.

6. YOU ONLY NEED TWO TOOLS IN LIFE - WD-40 AND DUCT TAPE. IF IT DOESN'T
MOVE AND SHOULD, USE THE WD-40. IF IT SHOULDN'T MOVE AND DOES, USE THE
DUCT TAPE.

7. IF YOU CAN'T FIX IT WITH A HAMMER, YOU'VE GOT AN ELECTRICAL PROBLEM.

DAILY THOUGHT:
SOME PEOPLE ARE LIKE SLINKIES - NOT REALLY GOOD FOR ANYTHING BUT THEY
BRING A SMILE TO YOUR FACE WHEN PUSHED DOWN THE STAIRS.