Saturday, 15 August 2015

Apostrophe's and Exclamation Mark's!!!!!

"Team Wilson" a local Realtor business sent a couple of dogsbodies into our neighbourhood yesterday to place "doorknob hanging" flyers at each of our Villas.

I reminded them that our Condominium Association forbids solicitation (as shown on our two entrance signs).

They responded that they were not soliciting, rather they were inviting us to two "open houses" which are taking place tomorrow.

"That's a fine line", I thought, "disingenuous indeed".

I made it my business this morning to remove the flyers from four neighboring Villas whose owners are away for the summer.  If left on the door knob, the flyers could be a sure sign to bad people that the Villa is a sure bet for burglary.


The flyers read:

You're invited!
Open Villa's Sunday
the 16th from 1-4

Two Amazing Updated Villa's
in Glen Oaks Ridge.

The obverse of the flyer has two photo's.
One bears the text:

Amazing Updated Lake View Villa!

The other reads:

Private Updated Villa on Belleflower
Street with View of Golf Course!


As I wrote ---   Apostrophe's and Exclamation Mark's!!!!!


( We do not allow solicitation because many of our owners are frail and elderly,  and there is more than one con-artist out there.)


P.S.  I changed my computer's browser from Google Chrome to Mozilla Firefox.  Now I can again upload photo's.

One of the amazing (!!) owners's !!! at Glen Oaks Ridge!!!!  

Friday, 14 August 2015

A lunch-time treat

As I ate my lunch today  (August 14th) I was given a marvelous treat -  the sight of  Sandhill Cranes  walking  just outside my Lanai, not more than 8' from where I was seated.

These gorgeous creatures usually walk in threes:-  female, male, and chick, (Sandhills mate for life).

There were just two today -  I  think  that one was an adult, and the other a chick.

It was a beautiful sight.

Their walk is so stately:- measured and calm. 

Their walk is so gracious: - never slouching, but exhibiting immense dignity.

Their walk is utterly unhurried: - they "take time to smell the roses", or to feast on a grub or a seed in the grass beneath their feet.


The two Sandhill Cranes who delighted me today also moved my imagination.

That imagination took me back some eighty years. 

 I imagined an elderly English couple,  way back in the 1930's,  as they take  a gentle stroll around (let's say), Green Park, in London, U.K.

Can't you just see this imaginary  couple:   Stately, measured, calm, dignified, and  unhurried in their peregrination; just like those Sandhills?

Thursday, 13 August 2015

G B H (Not Grievous Bodily Harm, nor Great Bodily Harm, nor Great Blue Hills) but ...............

GBH  can refer to the crimes of Grievous Bodily Harm (or Great Bodily Harm).  It can also refer to the Great Blue Hills, south of Boston, MA (from which the public radio and television stations WGBH  get their name).

................. in this case GBH does not refer to any of the above -  it's an abbreviation for the Great Blue Heron.

The first time I saw a Great Blue Heron was in the mid-1990's when I was on a sponsored walk for "a good cause".  As we walked alongside  the valley of the Hoosic River, just south of the town of Adams, Massachusetts, we saw a Great Blue Heron in flight.

It was, for me, one of those "wow" moments.  I was seeing sheer beauty.

My next Great Blue Heron sighting was on the beach in Pensacola, FL. in 2006.   It was a windy day.  The heron, feathers all-a-ruffled had its head down.  It looked as woe-be-gone as an ageing Soviet soldier would,  if he or she were commanded to be present on a snowy day  at one of those endless Red Square Parades.


My colleague in Western Massachusetts days, Noel B, now serves in East Greenwich, CT.   She is a great observer of birds and water-fowl at a park called Scalloptown.

Noel is also a fine photographer.  I enjoy her pictures and narrative on Facebook.

She wrote yesterday of the screaming match when one Great Blue Heron flew into the territory of another.

I could "hear" the sound.  Great Blue Herons are beautiful in flight, and ugly in sound. 

Their "call" resembles the sound of Florence Foster Jenkins singing an operatic aria, even as she is being dragged down a tin roof, claw hammer in hand.



I see one Great Blue Heron or another,  "pond-side"  almost every day.  He or she is always alone.

I have never seen a Great Blue Heron "pair".   I have never seen a Great Blue Heron chick.

Where do they mate?  Where do they nest?  Who raises the chicks?

These are genuine questions.    Please respond if you know about such matters.

Wednesday, 12 August 2015

The Highlight Of My Day: What it was not, and what it was.

It was not my meeting at St. Boniface Church on Siesta Key, FL  to review pastoral concerns alongside  the Revds. Eric Cooter and Ralph McGimpsey, though that was useful.


It was not  my visit to the Veterinarian with Penne.  I took her there because I was worried about her laboured breathing, and her loss of energy.

The Vet determined that her temperature was perfect, and that her heart and lungs sounded good.  He "supposed" that she might have arthritis, and prescribed a medication to deal with it. I have my doubts.

He did not say what he may well have thought.  It is that my thirteen year old Penne is afflicted with OAPS: ........

Over Anxious Parental Syndrome.


In fact  The Highlight Of My Day was driving my two legally blind friends:  Ben aged 91, and  Betty aged 92,  to TOTAL WINE where they could lay in fresh and abundant stocks of Bourbon, Gin, Vodka and Rum.  

These two  smart nonagenarians  know very well that hard liquor is an effective remedy and curative for Macular Degeneration.  Please join me in a rueful and hearty giggle.

As for me, I did not purchase so much as a bottle of tonic or soda water at TOTAL WINE.  But I was more than glad to be a chauffer and guide for Ben and Betty.

Terrible Tuesdays

On Tuesdays of each week the so-called Landscapers visit my community (Glen Oaks Ridge), and the neighbouring community (Glen Oaks Manor).

It's a day for ear plugs.

First the mowers, then the trimmers, then the edgers, then the grass and leaf blowers.   I can look forward to ten hours of horrid noise.

The landscaping companies use those enormous ride-on mowing machines, equipped as they are with two stroke engines:  notorious for their noise and their stinking exhaust fumes.

The company which services my community also uses a "ride-on" leaf and glass blower.  It sounds like a Sherman Tank (sans tracks) being driven down the street.  It's a ghastly noise.  This machine is also highly inefficient.   I watched as one driver took three passes on my driveway, yet still left "un-blown" grass.

See my Facebook page for photo's of these noise making, fume spewing machines,

The noise on "Terrible Tuesdays" sets me on edge.

The machines they use are based on late 19th Century technology. They are big, inefficient,  clumsy, and horribly noisy.

Why is it that in this high-tech age the lawn mowing machines are so primitive?  Is it beyond the wit of engineers and designers to create  quiet, eco-friendly lawn care machines?

Beyond that edge,  I get very angry as I consider the lives of the workers.

Most of them are immigrants from Mexico (whether legal or undocumented I do not know, nor do I care).

They are paid $8 per hour, ( or $12 per hour if they are the truck drivers -  and such drivers are few and far between for most landscaping companies).

It seems that in Florida such workers have  no mandatory legal health-care protections, which means (for example)  that their employer is not bound to issue ear-plugs or face masks: thus building up future health care problems.

They work for up to ten hours per-day in hot and steamy weather.  Should it be a rainy day when lawn mowing is impossible -  then they do not earn a single cent.

Let's suppose that a worker is lucky enough to get the standard 40 hour week.  (That would unlikely in Florida's rainy season).

She or he would net about $320 per week (before deductions for social security and income tax). He or she would have no health care insurance.

He or she would  be more than lucky to find an apartment  at a monthly  rental of less than $800 per month, i.e  about 80%  of income.

That is why our essential immigrant workers are deserving of  our support.  They do the work which we distain.  They are under-paid and under-protected.

Monday, 10 August 2015

Bit and bobs from Facebook friends.

Since I am not able to upload pictures to this blog I am trying to load them via Tumblr.

See below for these bits and bobs, taken from Facebook postings by Jack Chrisman and Barbara Ford-Coates.

Sunday, 9 August 2015

Gratitude - St. . Boniface Church, Siesta Key, FL

Following a "little local difficulty" during which our former Rector inexplicably decided to exclude all the retired clerics from all ministries, our Bishop, the Rt. Revd. Dabney T. Smith "restored" the Revd. Ralph McGimsey and me to pastoral duties.

Thus, now that the Rector has "moved one" I was able to share the Holy Communion with parishioner (and former Warden) Carl Hye-Knudsen at the Hawthorne Village Rehabilitation Centre today.

Carl and I were so happy to see each other.

I am sorry that the former Rector took such an arbitrary and odd decision.

I wish him well in the next phase of his ministry.

I am so grateful that Bishop Smith has enabled me and Ralph to be restored as 'ministers in retirement"