Saturday, 22 October 2016

An excellent lunch at the Green Zebra cafe, St. Armand Circle, Sarasota FL

My good friend Diana and I had lunch at the Green Zebra Cafe  at St. Armand Circle, Sarasota on Friday 21st Ocrtober '16


It's a great place for "healthy" foods  (with many vegetarian, vegan, and gluten free options.)

Diana had
No.36 Chicken Pesto Sandwich $10
Grilled Chicken Breast, Tomato. Muenster,
Homemade Pesto Sauce

I  chose  

No.42 Turkey Louise Sandwich $10
Turkey Pastrami, Swiss cheese, Tomato, Lettuce, Sundried Tomato, Pesto

Our sandwiches were utterly delicious, served as they were on ciabatta rolls,  

Diana and I agreed that the sandwiches, excellent as they are,  were a bit too big!

Next time we'll order one sandwich and one salad to share.

If this weren't enough, after lunch I ordered a Cappuccino.

I solemnly declare that it was the finest and most delicious Cappuccino that I have drunk in at least twenty years.   

Stock /photo'  (not from the Green Zebra)

Friday, 21 October 2016

Sad news from Wilkes-Barre PA.

I am not sad because these lads are for Trump.   That is their right and prerogative.

I am sad that these lads (12th grade?) failed English 101.

If they are old enough to vote they should also be old enough to understand elementary English grammar.

Some of Trump's supporters ARE deplorable

...  and he does nothing but encourage them

A flyer distributed by New Mexico Republicans to presumed Democratic voters. It's  an attempt at intimidation  -  clearly illegal under Federal law.

NOW, IF ONLY MY REPUBLICAN FRIENDS OF THE DWIGHT D. EISENHOWER and the GEORGE H.W.BUSH type, (and I have many) would reject and resist the pseudo-Republicanism of Donld Trump and his ilk.

Wednesday, 19 October 2016

Tuesday, 18 October 2016

So, I will be preaching at a Church named St. David's next week......

.... it's St. David's Episcopal Church in South Yarmouth, MA

It is named for  Saint Dafydd , the Patron Saint of Wales.

As I have thought about my impending visit to St. David's in South Yarmouth, I have mused upon the beauty of the Welsh language as it is spoken or sung.  I have not needed to understand the language in order to enjoy it  (although it would be lovely if I could speak some Welsh).

Here are a few samples of singing in Welsh -  published here to give you goosebumps.

(1)  Gwahoddiad  ( In English "I hear Thy welcome voice").

(2)  The Welsh "National Anthem"  -  stirring indeed. Makes me teary eyed when they break into harmony.

(3)  "Myfanwy"   another tear-jerker

(4) "David of the White Rock"  (which I sang in English when I was in 5th Grade.  Even then it haunted me).



(a)  Should you visit Brittany you would find many towns and villages which have names which could well be in Wales.   The Bretons and the Welsh have similar cultural, linguistic  and ethnic heritages. I was once at a Choral Concert in Roscoff,  Brittany.  When I closed my eyes and listened to the music I imagined that I was in Wales.

(b)  The Welsh language has survived in spite of the best efforts of Wales's English overlords to stamp it out for many centuries, right up until the mid 20th Century,

When you rob a people of their language, you also rob them of their history.

(c) When I asked my Mum why Welsh people were so disliked in our home City of Bristol (across the Severn Estuary from Wales)  she told me that "they" came to Bristol in the 1920/1930 depression and took "English jobs".

Such has been the complaint about every immigrant group --  "they are taking our jobs",

In this case the English residents of Bristol and the "immigrants" from Wales were each citizens of the same United Kingdom..  Go figure!

(d)  If all you know about Wales is based on the 1941 film "How Green Was My Family'  you need re-education.    The film itself is sentimental clap-trap.

Monday, 17 October 2016

My partisan reaction to a dreadful event.

The GOP office in Hillsborough, Orange County, N.C. was firebombed on Sunday night.  It was a dreadful and unconscionable attack.

It was not only an attack against a particular office.  It was an attack on Civil Society.

Presidential candidate Hillary Rodham Clinton tweeted the following, and the North Carolina Republicans responded graciously

Early Sunday evening the Clinton campaign tweeted a note of sympathy.
"The attack on the Orange County HQ @NCGOP office is horrific and unacceptable. Very grateful that everyone is safe."
The North Carolina Republican Party tweeted its appreciation in response.
"Thank you for your thoughts & prayers, Sec. @HillaryClinton."
Hillary Clinton's statement and the GOP response are perfect examples of a way in which Civil Society can, should, and must  be created and grown,

This is what Presidential candidate Donald Trump tweeted 

Animals representing Hillary Clinton and Dems in North Carolina just firebombed our office in Orange County because we are winning @NCGOP
Mr. Trump said this with no clear evidence that " Hillary Clinton and Dems in North Carolina"  had any part in the heinous fire bombing.  It's called "shooting from the hip", and it does nothing to help us create a "more perfect Union", and a more Civil Society.



Democrats in North Carolina were quick in the ball.  They crowd-sourced a fund raiser which raised more than $13,000 to help Orange County Republicans repair their office.

That is gracious and generous.  It is a great example of "reaching across the aisle" with an act of goodwill.


Whatever are the results of the General Election on Nov 8th I pray that Hillary's tweet, and the gracious response of N.C.  Republicans  will be the matrix we use as we strive for a "more perfect Union".

Partisan as I am, I believe that Mr, Trump is more likely to set us at each each other's throats than to bring us together.

Sunday, 16 October 2016

Wisdom from a man whose last name I forget.

His first name was Bill.

I met him at a retreat center called Kirkridge in  Pennsylvania  back in ?.

Was it in 1991, or 1995, I cannot even remember the year.

I know that the month was January for every year in that  month Kirkridge hosted a retreat for Christian gay men.

Bill was from Chicago.  He was a delightful man  (and of course I had a crush on him).

It was a safe crush because he had a boyfriend back in Illinois -  a relationship which I respected.

But we stayed in touch by 'phone.

I remember one call in which I laid out all my frustrations at being an Episcopal Rector in Pittsfield. MA.

Bill cut to the quick.  He said "Remember Michael that you are a human being, not a human doing".

Good Lord above, I needed that!

After this when I had not heard from Bill in a while I called him. The 'phone was answered by an unfamiliar voice.

I asked to speak to Bill.  The response was silence until the person at the other end asked "and who are you?"  (It was Bill's partner).

I explained who I was.  Fortunately Bill had talked to him about me.

Then came the bitter blow.    This good man Bill had been killed in a car accident on a Christmas Eve, when his car had hit a patch of ice.

I wept buckets. His bereaved partner wept too.

Dear Ann P. of Pittsfield MA will  remember that I made a late night 'phone call to her and blubbered away on the 'phone, knowing that she had a good and non-judgmental ear.  (Thank you Ann).

All these years later I am sad that I cannot remember Bill's last name.    I am sad that I have lost the only photo' of Bill which I once had. I can see him in my mind's eye.

Even as I write I have tears in my eyes.

Even as I write I am grateful for Bill's wisdom, and for Ann's listening ear.

He said  "Remember Michael that you are a human being, not a human doing". Good Lord above, I needed that!