Saturday, 9 April 2016

For Sunday Christians

Via Mark D

This  is actually not a Bonhoeffer quote, but a paraphrase of one of Bonhoeffer's principles that Eric Metaxas wrote in his biography of Bonhoeffer that has often been mistakenly attributed to Bonhoeffer himself.


Friday, 8 April 2016

There are only three classes of people in our world.

1.  Those who believe that Marmite is not simply the best invention since sliced bread, but that it was the greatest invention before sliced bread.

2, Those who hate Marmite with a passion greater than that of  the North Carolina Legislatures and Governor and their hatred of LGBT people.

3. Those who have never heard of Marmite (approx. 7.3 billion people).

Take a guess as to which group I belong as you read this account of my lunch today.


Eureka Brand "Graniac" Organic Bread (from California).


Sharp Cheddar Cheese made from grass fed cows in New Zealand.

A thin smear of MARMITE  from England, on the bread and under the cheese.

Yes, it was some utterly divine CHEESE ON TOAST.

Not my photo', but one from Google Images.

Fabulous lunch.  Horrible Carbon imprint,

Sarasota: Trash, broken sidewalks, and unfriendly pedestrian crossings.

I live in the City of Sarasota (and also in Sarasota County).  Both City and County are pretty high on themselves: apt to boast about our  amenities, our beaches,  our cultural life, our "high end " houses and condominiums.  and our  attractiveness to tourists.

If we have some traffic problems, both City and County assert that new or widened roads will solve that problem (for drivers but not for pedestrians).

If there is a wee bit of undeveloped land (especially within the City boundaries) it MUST be used to build luxury condos, or hotels, or fancy restaurants and the like.

Meanwhile we in the lower middle class or working class areas are all but ignored by the "powers that be".

( And God help homeless people who have no place to stay).

This neglect of we "ordinary people" became clear to me this morning.

My car was at the fabulous and trustworthy "Sam's Auto"  (17th and Lockwood Ridge) for some brake work,

I could have picked it up on Wednesday evening (6th April 2016) when the work had been done,

Instead I chose retrieve my car this morning and  to walk to Sam's before the heat of the day.

I set out for this approx 1.5 mile walk. I noted three things about which most drivers are in ignorance.

1.  The large amount of trash and litter on or near the sidewalks.  One bit of wetland looked a bit like a town dump.

2, The wretched condition of sidewalks, some badly damaged, others sinking into the ground, yet others being pushed up by tree roots.  Lord help some pedestrian with a shopping cart, or a parent with a pram or baby buggy, or a disabled person with a wheelchair or an electric scooter.

3. The inadequate timing of  push button controlled pedestrian crossing - leaving the walker to wait for up to two minutes to get a "cross now" signal.  (One such crossing is at the intersection of 17th Street and Lockwood Ridge Road.  The signal to "walk" (going west) is also at an intersection for a right turn only lane for cars. I waited there with two young cyclists, but our cross now signal coincided with a right turn filter.  Not one damn car would stop to allow us to cross, and we had to wait for a whole new cycle of the traffic lights before we once again got a cross now signal.

Like Sarasota, cities throughout the world are built to favour trucks and cars over an against walkers or cyclists.  There are simply too many cars.  They are choking the life out of the city.


We have a fair to middling 'bus service in SRQ. I've investigated various routes.  I discovered that I would have to take two buses to get to my Dentist. I'd have a long wait between buses and (for example) should I have an 8:30 a.m. appointment I'd be there half an hour early, and I would have to wait outside until the office opened -  God help me if it was raining.

OR I'd have to take three buses to get to my Church, and even then I could not arrive on time.


I walk a lot with my dog, always in the Glen Oaks Ridge community (which has no sidewalks) and in the Glen Oaks Manor community which has well maintained sidewalks.

I've found that I can get about six months or less worth of wear from my walking shoes.  I must have an odd gait -  see the heels of the shoes I discarded yesterday(on side of each shoe hardly worn, the other side worn right down to the upper.

I bought new walking shoes yesterday.  Do you know how hard it us to find men's shoes sized 8 1/2 Wide?  At Kohl's University Parkway store there were only two pairs of suitable shoes in that size.

Where there are shoes there is a shoe box.  The one I got yesterday now has a permanent resident.

Wednesday, 6 April 2016

A bawdy song was bowdlerized and my father chortled

Back in the days before television (my parents bought our first one in about 1960 when I was aged 16 one channel only, the BBC!) ) much of our life centred around the wireless. In  those days there was no commercial radio, but we were blessed with the utterly fabulous BBC radio.

On Friday evening Mum, Dad and the older members of our family would gather around to listen to the BBC Light Programme  for a live broadcast called "Friday Night Is Music Night".

I am both surprised and delighted to discover that "Friday Night Is Music Night" yet survives, see:

One Friday night the male vocalist began to sing "Oh dear, what can the matter be?" - a naughty version of the song "Johnny's so long at the Fair".

What?  Was the prim and proper BBC about to broadcast a bawdy song? - "Three (or seven) old ladies stuck in the Lavatory"  (see text below)

Fear not.  The text was a bowdlerized version - suitable for tender ears - about three (or seven) old ladies who were "nattering happily"

What I remember most is that my Dad chortled with glee when he realised that we were about to hear a sanitized version of the naughty song. It was not that he was a prude.  It was that he was amused at the BBC's re-write.

I can still hear Dad's chortle, for which I am grateful,


The naughty words (there are many variants)

A rendition of the naughty words.


The lavatory was of course a public convenience,

Tuesday, 5 April 2016

Oh glory!

There is a hoary old story of the woman who had a patch of weed infested land next to her home.

Over the years, with patience and hard labour she transformed this plot into a gorgeous flower garden, a source of joy for all her neighbours.

One such neighbour stopped by one day and said "that's a beautiful garden you and God have made".

The woman replied  "Yes, but you should have seen it when God alone took care of it".

Religious folks will often ascribe the beauty of our world to God alone.

I submit that just as humans have despoiled our planet and polluted it beyond repair (so it would seem), they have also enhanced natural beauty by their own endeavours.

Here are four examples.  Two are  the beauty of a blood moon enhanced by the railway line which appears to lead into it, and by S.W. Florida's "Sunshine Skyway Bridge"   Two are of rainbows,  (how we all love rainbows),  whose beauty is enhanced by urban landscapes.

Moon over the Sunshine Skyway Bridge,

Railway line, mist and moon (taken somewhere in the U.K)  and found by me on Facebook

Rainbow near the Greenbank area of Bristol, U.K. Photo' by my cousin Janet who lives in wee Lodge inside Greenbank Cemetery.

Rainbow over my home City of Bristol, U.K., descending into the St. Werburghs area. Photo' from the Bristol Post newspaper., most likely taken on the same day as Janet's rainbow,

If the (ancient) Greeks are to be believed........

"If the (ancient) Greeks are to be believed we are not happy because it is summer - it is summer because we are happy."

( Quotation from page 55 in the novel by Kathy Giuffre "The Drunken Spelunkers Guide To Plato"  -  John F. Blair, Publisher, Winston-Salem, N.C.)

Sunday, 3 April 2016

How to spend 219 + of these

Penne and I went to see her Veterinarian last Friday.

She'd been itching and scratching a lot, and there were signs that her left ear was again infected.

There is a slight infection in that ear, but it at the outer edge and has not moved down to the ear canal.

Her itching and scratching?   Well her skins is in good shape and there are no fleas, so we are guessing that Penne is allergic to the tow or the pollen which is all around us.

It was also time for her (triennial?) anti-rabies shot and for a fecal float.

We will use ear drops, and a canine anti-histamine.

Despite these ailments, as the Vet's technician noted Penne is in remarkably good shape for a fourteen year old.

And the $219?

Examination                $57
Rabies Vaccination       $44
Fecal Float                   $35
Ear Drops                    $32
Anti-histamine              $33

Plus (purchased on the day home) $9 for pill pockets, and by mail to the County Animal Services Dept $10 for her annual licence,

She is worth it.  But I think that the Humane Society should warn potential adopters that pet health care can be very expensive,


  Penne was gentle and calm when the Vet. examined her left (infected) ear.   But she resisted mightily when he tried to examine her right (and not infected) right ear.

When I massage her ear after applying the drops she makes deep throated "uuum" sound, as if to say "I know this is good for me".