Saturday, 24 September 2016

My life (2000 - 2006) catches up on me.

Between 2000 and 2006 I was the Rector at St. James's Church in Porter Square, Cambridge, MA,

My home was in Medford, MA.

To get to my Church office from home  (and vice-versa)  I drove through Somerville, MA.

Some local streets in Sarasota, FL remind me of those years and the almost daily journeys I took.





What a hoot!

What a Palaver/Palavi and other silliness

My smart 'phone has that voice to text feature for Voice Mail.

I like it because instead of listening to long voice mails over and over again, I can read them at one "swell foop".

Voice to text has its funny side. What it hears and what it writes depends on the diction and accent  of the caller.

By now I am used to reading "Mr Posey"  (for Povey).

The office manager at my veterinarian's office must have a difficult accent, for her voice to text messages consistently refer to me as Mr. Palavi.

Perhaps in truth I am Sr. Giovanni Micheli Palavi.

Now there's a name I would gladly own!


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I have Savings and Checking Accounts at our local Everence Federal Credit Union. The local branch is in Sarasota's Amish/Mennonite area know as Pinecraft.

(Yes, we have a population of Amish and Mennonite people in SRQ.  Google "Pinecraft, Sarasota" for more information).


Our local Everence Branch getting ready for their annual Pie Contest.  Amish and Mennonite Christians are INTO PIE (sturdy food for farmers and farm workers)

EVERENCE used to be called "Mennonite Financial Services".   I like to bank with them because their business plan has a heavy emphasis on Bible-based stewardship of creation

I looked at my Everence  savings account on line the other day, to discover that I had been given a credit of $ 125 from a source unknown to me.

TURNS OUT that this credit had been posted to my account  in error - most likely because of a mis-placed digit in account numbers.

I reported this to the Everence staff who  were grateful for my honesty.  I said "it's easy to be honest about $125, add a few zeroes and I'd be in Paris by now!"

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Meanwhile down at the Winn-Dixie Supermarket on "the south trail"


my check-out clerk/cashier was convulsed with hiccups. Before we'd greeted each other I let out a loud "boo" which made her jump.   Her hiccups ended.

Thursday, 22 September 2016

Hear ye, hear ye

No blog entry today, but please read the Weingarten  post I have placed on Facebook.

This man speaks the truth!

Wednesday, 21 September 2016

So long Ada

I'd noted that my sixteen years old cat Ada was getting very skinny. At the end of August  I took her to the Veterinarian who, (after taking blood and urine samples and having them tested), determined that she was suffering from Hyper-active Thyroid syndrome (quite common in older cats).

I decided not to place her on meds.  (which would have ameliorated but not cured her condition).

Since Labor Day I have lavished her with love and attention, and given her every bit of food she wanted.

Last Sunday I noted that her condition had declined and that she was under stress, and therefore distressed.

So today I allowed the Veterinarian to administer first a sedative, and then that "shot" which would end her life.

The Veterinarian and the Technician were so sweet and gentle.  I hugged and caressed Ada through the sedative shot, but did not stay with her to "the end".

I'd thought that I would cry.  I didn't, but I am very sad.

When Ada came to live with me (2007?) she was shy and skittish.  She would hide under my bed when visitors arrived.

Once she knew that she was in a safe place she blossomed. and insisted that it was the duty of any and all visitors to pick her up and lavish her with attention .

She became an important part of the Sarasota Povey family:-  Jmp, and  Penne (the best dog in the Universe!), and Adelaide, (my other beautiful black cat).

I know that I made the best decision today.  I am not weepy, but I am sad.

Even as I write this Adelaide  is demanding special attention as only cats can!  She will get it!

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Sweet Ada the other day, aged 16.  Down to 4 1/2 lbs. from her normal 10 lbs.

Tuesday, 20 September 2016

Why does the modern Republican Party hate the environment? (and why is the Democratic party so wimpy?)

FIRST  if you are a friend of mine who is a Republican I am not attacking you personally.

SECOND  if you are a friend of mine who is a Republican I wish that you would do your best to move your party away from its radical nihilism, and back to its conservative roots.

THIRD  if you are a friend of mine who favours the Democratic party, don't get smug. (More on this tomorrow!).

For now the fact is that the official Republican party despises the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), and would abolish it at the drop of a hat.

A TRUMP  Presidency would support that.

Even now, in a Republican dominated national legislature, the EPA  is severely and dangerously underfunded (with the sad compliance of President Obama who caved in and agreed to the notoriously bad "Sequestration" fiscal policy).

I submit that in the interests of National Security, and for the benefit  of generations yet to come we should spend at least as much on environmental protection as we do on military preparedness.

After all, of what use will be our military might if our great grandchildren are not assured of safe drinking water, clean air, and sufficient food, The stakes are that high.

A picture is worth a thousand words.  Here are some which illustrate our present dire circumstances, some of which would been mitigated by a strong, efficient and well funded EPA.


Floods in Baton Rouge LA

Oil spill on Alabama beach\

Overflow from a contaminated retention pond at a Central Florida Surface  Phosphate  mine.

Contaminated waste (some of it radioactive) rushes into a Central Florida "sinkhole".  This waste might well seep through Florida's Limestone sub-strata and into our aquifers.

Algae bloom on the Florida coast, most likely created as a  result of our profligate use  of phosphates in fertilizers.

Natural Gas pipeline explosion near Appomattox, VA


Natural Gas pipeline explosion  near San Bruno (N.M.)  causing seven deaths and  the destruction of 37 homes.

Oil pipeline break in Shelby County, AL,  As a result of this, we in the south east may find that our gas/petrol  prices may increase by about 15 cents a gallon.  The price to mother nature is incalculable.



 NOW DO YOU UNDERSTAND AND SUPPORT THE STANDING ROCK ACTION AGAINST an OIL PIPELINE THROUGH THEIR SACRED TERRITORY,







Our Native American mentors and teachers help us to understand that no oil pipe line should trump the vital need for safe (sacred) water.

I trust their wisdom and judgment far more than the temporizing of Republican Party policies which disdain environmental wisdom in favor of  their ideology.

I trust their wisdom and judgment far more than the timidity of Democratic Party policies.



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For more information see




https://youtu.be/kuZcx2zEo4k


http://www.yesmagazine.org/people-power/3-reasons-the-standing-rock-sioux-can-stop-the-dakota-access-pipeline-20160822

Monday, 19 September 2016

To shock the DECENT. To shame the DEPLORABLE




I received the following yesterday by e-mail. It came from a friend who lives a goodly distance from my home.
There was no greeting at the beginning, and no salutation at the end. It is reproduced exactly as I received it.

The sender is a Christian - an Episcopalian.  His politics are as deeply reactionary as mine are progressive. I have asked him not to send me right wing messages, because it will not change my mind, and it only makes me angry, and sad that such a man who I have known for forty years persists in forwarding me such material.

This one "took the biscuit".  Here's the e-mail.   My comments are in red (below)


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The Crusades have finally started

They're getting to be known - and rejected. The Crusades have finally started as predicted.

The  first countries to ban Islam:

See how the world is acting fast on the threat posed by Islam and its barbaric Sharia Law.

Japan has always refused Muslims to live permanently in their country and they cannot own any real estate or any type of business, and have banned any worship of Islam. Any Muslim tourist caught spreading the word of Islam will be deported immediately, including all family members.

Cuba rejects plans for first mosque.

The African nation of Angola and several other nations have officially banned Islam.

Record number of Muslims,  (over 2,000) deported from Norway as a way of fighting crime.  Since these Muslim criminals have been deported, crime has dropped by a staggering 72%. Prison Officials are reporting that nearly half of their jail cells are now vacant, Courtrooms nearly empty, Police now free to attend to other matters, mainly traffic offenses to keep their roads and highways safe and assisting the public in as many ways as they can.

In Germany alone in the last year there were 81 violent attacks targeting mosques.

Austrian police arrested 13 men targeting suspected jihad recruiters.

A Chinese court sends 22 Muslim Imams to jail for 16 to 20 years for spreading Islam hatred and have executed eighteen jihadists;


China campaigns against Separatism (disallowing  Islamist to have their own separate state). Muslim prayers banned in government buildings and schools in Xinjiang (Western China).

Hundreds of Muslim families prepared to leave China for their own safety and return back to their own Middle Eastern countries.

Muslim refugees beginning to realize that they are not welcome in Christian countries because of their violent ways and the continuing Wars in Syria and Iraq whipped up by the hideous ISIS who are murdering young children and using  mothers and daughters as sex slaves.

British Home Secretary prepares to introduce 'Anti-social Behavior Order' for extremists and strip dual nationals of their Citizenship.  Deportation laws also being prepared.

The Czech Republic blatantly refuses Islam in their country, regarding it as evil.

Alabama - A new controversial amendment that will ban the recognition of "foreign laws which would include Sharia law".

16 other States have all Introduced Legislation to Ban Sharia Law.

North  Carolina bans Islamic "Sharia Law" in the State, regarding it now as a criminal offense.


The Polish Defense League issues a warning to Muslims.

Many Muslims in Northern Ireland have announced plans to leave the country to avoid anti-Islamic violence by Irish locals. The Announcement comes after an attack on groups of Muslims in  the city of Belfast, Groups of Irish locals went berserk and bashed teenage Muslim gangs who were referring to young Irish girls as sluts and should be all gang raped, according to Islam and ''Sharia  Law"

 Even hospital staff were reluctant to treat the battered Muslim patients, the majority were given the Band-Aid treatment and sent home with staff muttering ''Good Riddance''.

Dutch MP's call for removal of all mosques in  the Netherlands.


One Member of the Dutch Parliament said: "We want to  clean Netherlands of Islam". 


Dutch MP Machiel De Graaf spoke on behalf of the Party for Freedom when he said, "All mosques in the Netherlands should be shut down. Without Islam, the Netherlands would be a wonderful safe country to live in, as it was before the arrival of  Muslim refugees''.
 


Please share this e-mail with your family and friends if you agree. 



I'm more than happy to forward this on - maybe I'm more of a realist than a racist?

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MAJOR PROBLEMS!

(a) The "article"  is anonymous. Any writer with integrity would have been more than willing to add his or her name. Anonymity is cowardly.

(2)  The "article" makes many assertions, but it never names the sources for them.  Responsible writers names their sources.

AND



(1) The word "Crusade" is problematic.  It plays directly into the claims of militant and violent Muslims  (a tiny proportion of the multi-faceted Islamic world)  that the West  is bound and determined to destroy Islam.  

The internet world is multi-national and porous, so it's more than likely that this article  has already come to the attention of militant and violent Muslim groups, enabling them to say "here is proof that the West wants to destroy us.  

(I call that "giving comfort to the enemy").

(2) The claim about Japan's response to Islam  is demonstrably false.

See this  http://www.snopes.com/muslims-in-japan/

(3)  It is distinctly odd that right wingers would cite Cuba as a good example of "how to deal with Muslims" - Cuba indeed, with a repressive government which is hated by all conservatives?!  (I wonder if the Cuban regime has also halted the construction of Christian Churches?)

(4) NORWAY  has deported 2,000 Muslims and the crime rate has dropped by 72%?

What is the source for the figure of  2,000 deportations? (I'm just asking!).  

But it's the percentage claim which is most problematic for it does not give a base number for comparison .  In other words is the claimed 72% drop based on a reported crime figure of 10,000, or 1,000, or 100?

(5)  CHINA  

The writer seems to be unaware that China has had an indigenous Muslim population for about 1,400 years

see   https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Islam_in_China

To where will they be deported?

And if it is true that "Muslim prayers (have been) banned in government buildings and schools in Xinjiang (Western China) is it not very probable that Christian prayers have also been banned in such places?

(By the way  - how come that conservative/reactionary Americans cite the repressive Chinese regime as a model for our freedoms?)

My list goes on!   How amazing it is that right wing Christians cite violence against Muslims in Northern Ireland, as if it were commendable.

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I am not naive. As a Christian I deplore all internecine violence whether it  be sponsored by Christians, Jews, Muslims, Hindus or idiots.

I especially deplore any  ad ho·mi·nem attacks on Jews, Christians, Hindus or Muslims.


I am particularly saddened  when my Christian friends give voice and support to anti-Islamic sentiments and are too careless, lazy or prejudiced  to search out the facts.


I refuse to allow my patriotism to be measured by crap such as this


"If you lack patriotism towards your beloved Christian country, and lack Guts then simply click on delete" 










In my opinion: "Bill Bryson, the London Daily Mail, and me."





The American author Bill Bryson  (now a dual citizen of the U.S.A. and the U.K.) entered the consciousness of many British and American readers upon the 1995 publication of his tender, affectionate and sometimes funny book "Notes From a Small Island".

The book was music to the ears of those Brits who love to be adored by Americans; and to the ears of American Anglophiles.



Twenty years on, Mr. Bryson (who has lived in the U.K. for many years),  revisited the Small Island and wrote "The Road to Little Dribbling" (Doubleday 2015).



The book was disappointing to me.   I thought it to be  "Notes From a Small Island"  revisited, without the charm of the 1995 book.

I read "The Road to Little Dribbling" without great pleasure.

He revels in the charm of small towns and villages,  BUT......

He visits the small towns and villages as starting or ending places for his extraordinarily wonderful walks, or because they are en route.  He apparently has next to no interest in the people who live in these places -  they are useful to him merely to direct him to a decent pub where he can down a few pints, or for a tea shop or a cafe where he can drink a good cup of tea (and moan about the dry or stale cake which comes with it).

What's the ;point of tourism without any significant encounters with the locals?  In one instance Bryce reports nicely about a conversation he had with locals in a pub in Fishguard, otherwise he majors in comments about grumpy shopkeepers.

He prefers those small towns and cities which have Cathedrals and/or Colleges,;  or are on the coast, i.e. places which have prosperous and well educated residents. (Salcomb, Lytham St. Anne's, Durham etc).

He adores the (mostly English and Welsh) coastlines and inland landscapes, but has nothing to say about rural poverty,  or the deprivations of those who struggle to make a ,living in "quaint seaside towns" , especially off-season.

He treats Scotland as if it were a more or less disposable appendix.

He is utterly dismissive regarding those towns and cities which have been devastated as a a result of the economic and political changes as instituted by the perfectly dreadful U.K. Premier Margaret Thatcher  (e,g, Lowestoft [my mother's birthplace); or  Grimsby, or Barrow-in-Furness, or Milford Haven, or Dover, or Fishguard).

He laments the decline of British industry, but is blind to the decisions of the British oligarchs who at the drop of a hat will move a business from (say) Wolverhampton to (say) Malaysia -  with no loyalty to anything except their personal prosperity.

It's not that I want "The Road to Little Dribbling" to be a political tract.  It is that I wish that  Mr. Bryson would clear his eyes and ears of the tourists'  romantic and unhistorical ideas of "Merrie Olde England".  After all, he has lived in the U.K. for long enough.  He knows better.

When it comes down to it  "The Road to Little Dribbling"  left me the impression that  Mr. Bryson writes like a "Daily Mail reader/Little Britain/ Home Counties Smug/ Romantic Tory".

His is a book by the comfortably middle class author, for the comfortable middle class reader.


There is humour at the end of Bryson's pen.

But I  did  laugh when he related the time he was at the Firth of Forth and was hoping that someone would ask if it were his first visit so that he could reply "No, this is my fourth or fifth visit to the Firth of Forth" (was that one-liner original to him?)

Bryson tells of the time he was at a Motorway services area on the M 4 near Bristol.  He thought that he'd be entering a cafeteria style restaurant where he could get a hearty meal.He laments that such Motorway cafeterias have gone the way of the Dodo, to be replaced by Food Courts.

(Let me tell you that the food in those cafeterias was uniformly mediocre and over-priced. We only ate there as a utilitarian last resort. 

I was at one of the Food Courts on the M 4 earlier this year.  It was noisy and busy  (what else would one expect - we were alongside the M 4, not next to a gently flowing river eating from  picnic basket).  

There were several choices of fast food establishments, and also a mini-mart where one could get a very decent sandwich or some fruit etc for "take out". I was able to get an cup of quite excellent coffee jmp.) 

Back to the book.  Having lamented the disappearance of the expected cafeteria, Bryson gets funny again about what he ate.  He says that it was "a biscuit filled with whatever they could find that was foodlike and bright yellow -  I think it was called a Breakfast Crudwich - accompanied by a little bag of Potato Greasies and watery coffee on a paper cup"

Oh go ahead and borrow the book.  It won't harm you.  You'll most likely be utterly entertained since Mr. Bryson is a veritable font of historical trivia.

Note that I have not ranted on my Blog for aeons, and I knew you were all anxious to hear my bloviations one more time.

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AND ME...

I met Bill Bryson back in 2005 when I was in London with my friend Joe S.

Joe had secured two tickets for a BBC recording of a programme called "Bookclub", with compere James Naughtie.

Bryson was his guest, and in the pre-recording reception  (wine and cheese courtesy of the Beeb) he proved to be  pleasant, affable, and unassuming.

Naughtie gave us various directions and instructions about the protocols for the recording, and reminded us sternly to turn off our mobile 'phones.

Three minutes into the recording we all heard the ring of a mobile 'phone.  The studio audience and the engineers in the recording booth "lost it"  when we realised that the owner of the "un-turned-off" 'phone was James Naughtie himself.

(Ahem  I asked a question of Bill Bryce in the Q & A part of the programme, and "ahem again" it was included in the edited broadcast.)   You might be able to hear it by following the link below.


http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/p00f8kww


Sunday, 18 September 2016

So, instead of Bread and Wine. it was Biscuits with Gravy this morning.

Regular readers will know that I goofed-off from attending Church this morning. You can have too much of a good thing!

Instead I went out for breakfast with five good pals.

Although I have lived in the South  (of the U.S.A.) for more than ten years I have never eaten a staple of Southern breakfasts, i.e. "Biscuits with Gravy".  

see    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Biscuits_and_gravy


( I suspect that this article tells the truth, but not the whole truth.  My intuition leads me to believe that "Biscuits with Gravy" was first developed by slaves, and later by black share-croppers -  a meal rich in carbs and fat to set a person up for hard labour in the Plantations and later in the meager plots alloted to share-croppers).

(How often we air-brush out from our tales of American history the experience, customs and cuisine of Slaves, and that of former slaves after emancipation (if there ever was complete emancipation).)

So I had my first ever Biscuits with Gravy today at a local Cafe.

Stock photo'  -  not a pic of my breakfast.


The gravy was delicious.  

The biscuit was a bit flat and dense.  I had anticipated a more granular and crumbly biscuit,  But I ate and enjoyed it, with a tasty side of sausage patties.

Ten hours later I am still "full up".  Those creators of Biscuits with Gravy as a morning meal were on to something wise and delicious as the first meal of the day, sustenance for twelve or so hours of toil in the fields and plantations.

 







You won't see me in Church today

St. Boniface Church, Siesta Key, FL


I was at St. Boniface Church last week on Sunday, Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday.

That's more than enough for one week.

Instead I'll be going out for breakfast with five of my local friends.

Will it be cheese grits, or biscuits with gravy?