Saturday, 8 October 2016

A sexual predator for President of the U.S.A?

When William Jefferson Clinton was first running for President there were various published stories about his predation on women when he was Governor of Arkansas.

I, to my shame, "wrote off these reports" as bilge from the right wing.

I was so wrong.  When his sleazy behaviour in the White House became a matter of fact, I believed and said out loud that he should resign.

He is still not a hero for me,  In fact I voted for Barack Obama and not for Hillary Clinton in the 2008 primaries because I dreaded the thought that WJC could become too close to the White House.

Now in 2016 we have another sexual predator  (verified by his own words, not by rumours) who wishes to become the President of my beloved United States of America,

It is hard for me to understand why any decent Republican or Democrat would even think of voting for him. Do we really want or need another sexual predator in the White House.

I am shocked beyond belief that "moralistically conservative" evangelical Christians are rushing to support this man

Hillary Rodham Clinton could so easily have bailed on Bill.  We would all have had deep understanding and appreciation had she done so.

Buy she chose to stay and rebuild her marriage. What a conservative thing to do.

So I will vote for her  -  even though she is a  not flaming liberal as am I

It is not the case that she is "liberal"  [ Her foreign policy stance  (Neo Con), and her stance on the economy (Neo Lib) are classic conservative mainstream orthodoxies -  Reagan, Bush 1, Clinton, Bush 2, and even Obama. ]

I will vote for her because a person who is faithful to an errant spouse is much more likely to be faithful to the American Constitution than a person who boasts of his infidelity.

Friday, 7 October 2016

Thursday, 6 October 2016

My friend Lee Y and our Taco adventure.

I met Lee through our mutual friend Diana E.

She  (Lee)  is a delightful (and as wee bit frail) woman who lives here in SRQ at a fine retirement community called "Plymouth Harbour".

Earlier this year I met Lee after one of her hospital appointments, with the express intention of treating her to lunch, and then driving her home.

We had a good  lunch at the "First Watch" breakfast and lunch cafe at the intersection of Bee Ridge Rd and Cattlemen Rd.  After lunch as  we made our way through the parking lot we passed a "Taco Bell" fast food joint.

Lee exclaimed  "oh, I love Taco Bell". I promised that I would take her to a Taco Bell, a promise that I fulfilled yesterday.  It was my first ever visit to a Taco Bell.

I learned that this fast food chain had been founded by a man whose last name was "Bell".  The name "Taco Bell" now  makes some kind of sense to me.

The one we visited was all but empty, but there seemed to be a good-ish drive up business.  The interior decor was devoid of any decorations.  It clearly was a place in which "eat and run".

Lee ordered a "Taco Supreme". It was not good - (half hot and half cold).

I had a Quesadilla, It was O.K.

The food was marginally adequate (but we weren't paying much!)

There was  (unlike McDonald's) no smell of  grease.  I got the impression that all the "food" arrives pre-cooked and frozen, and is heated in a microwave,

Poor Lee.  Years ago she had eaten a perfectly delicious "Taco Supreme" at a Taco Bell in Cincinnati. That's why, earlier in the year,  she had exclaimed "oh, I love Taco Bell".

Yesterday she was a bit embarrassed that she had recommended  Taco Bell to me. Her food had not matched her memory.

It didn't matter.  For we enjoyed an hour long conversation as we ate.

The decor and the food were utterly bland.  

Our conversation was lively and spicy. That was the point of our get-together.


Tuesday, 4 October 2016

Out with the old.( with thanks to SRQ's Mullets Appliances I recommend them)

Farewell to my old Frigidaire Stove.  It has probably been in my Condo. for twenty or more years. Certainly before I inherited when I moved to SRQ ten years ago.


Welcome to my new G.E. range.  It is basic  with nothing fancy..

It was affordable.


I bought it at the family owned "Mullets Appliances"  on Clark Road here in SRQ.  I was so pleased that the salesman did not put me under pressure to buy something fancier and more expensive. (It turned out that he was Nate Mullet: a family member).

My new range arrived today.  It was "out with the old", and "in with the new" in less than 40 minutes.

When all was done I asked the lead installer "what is it like to work for Mullets?" 

He replied "Wonderful, Good pay, good benefits, and a 401k retirement plan".


His response made me so happy to learn that local capitalistic business can have  an eye for justice, and a policy that respects and rewards the workers who help the business to prosper.

I AM GLAD that I spent my meager dollars at an enlightened  local business

YIPPEE for local traders

Sunday, 2 October 2016

Friendship, retirement and the joy of connecting.

On of the chief joys of retirement is that it affords time and space to connect with dear and long time friends.

Thus it was that this afternoon I 'phoned my dear and trusty friend the Revd,. Gwen W. Sears.

I first met Gwen   back in 1975 when she was one of the trainers for my summer ministry in the Episcopal Diocese of Western Massachusetts.

(I was in between my junior and senior years at St. John's College, Nottingham, UK.)

Soon after I returned from the U.K. to Western Mass in 1976 (as a newly minted Deacon) [there's  a long story here!]  Gwen and I were both members of the Christian Education Committee of the Diocese of Western Massachusetts.

We were both Deputies to the Episcopal Church General Convention in New Orleans (1982), by which time Gwen had been ordained as Deacon.

We took time out to have dinner at the "Spaghetti Factory", and I remember saying "Gwen, I'd love to know you better".

Little did we know that by 1984 I would become the Rector at St. Stephen's, Pittsfield, MA, where Gwen was the Deacon.

There followed sixteen years of shared ministry at St. Stephens's, during which time I learned so much from Gwen.

BESIDES which my dear Gwen got to know many of my family members in her visits to the U.K., and they got to know her when they visited me in the U.S.A,

Such a transatlantic blessing!


Gwen and I chatted on the 'phone for 68 minutes this afternoon.

Our conversation was deep and loving:  a great experience  of  friendship, retirement and the joy of connecting.

It has been put this way:

“Oh, the comfort — the inexpressible comfort of feeling safe with a person — having neither to weigh thoughts nor measure words, but pouring them all right out, just as they are, chaff and grain together; certain that a faithful hand will take and sift them, keep what is worth keeping, and then with the breath of kindness blow the rest away.”

Not by George Elliott as often claimed, but  by Dinah Maria Mulock CraikA Life for a Life.

The Revd. Gwen Sears has that faithful hand.  Thanks be to God.