Tuesday, 12 December 2017

Enough Already! (and fit me for heaven?)

Nov 30th  Heart Specialists of Sarasota

Dec 4th Routine Blood Draw for my Primary Care Physician.

Dec 6th  Dermatologist

Dec 7th Colonoscopy and Endoscopy

Dec 15th Vascular Surgeon

Dec 18th Dermatological Surgeon for yet more Mohs surgery.

Not to  mention visits to a Podiatrist and to my Dentist.

Maybe god is making me fit for heaven to live with god there (from Christmas Hymn!)

Not to mention the billing.  I will get three bills from Suncoast Endoscopy alone.  One for the Surgeon, one for the Anesthesia team, one from the Pathologist.

Medicare and United Health Care will pick up most of the charges, but I will be left with (small I hope) co-pays.

Single Payer anyone?  NO.  According to the loony American Right Wing (our current Lords and Masters) single payer is Socialistic.

Thoughtful Americans know that the Right Wing Claim is

Indeed it could and should be good and efficient business practice.   

Monday, 11 December 2017

The old Salt (and Priest), a splendid woman, and a new friend.

We visited the Chrismans this afternoon.

They are: 

Jack - an Episcopal Priest and U.S. Navy Captain (Ret.).

Donna - a fabulous and wise woman.

We were:

jmp, and the fabulous, splendid, unforgettable recently adopted Izzy.


Jack and Donna agree with me in saying that Izzy is both handsome and loving.

Jack holds the leash, Izzy looks adoringly at Donna, whilst I take the photo'


ohfirgoodnisssake (!)   

Why should I have been so fortunate as to adopt Izzy from HSSC? .  She is  bringing such joy to my life.


Sunday, 10 December 2017


Brisk long walk with Izzy at 6:00 a.m.  Cold by our standards  (43f).

It was an oatmeal and banana breakfast ,kind of day.

Another walk at 8:00; yet another at 10:00.  Izzy loves to walk and it's good for me.

Good visit with my friend Bob L. at his assisted living facility in Bradenton.

Had a  yearning for a Meatball Sub (or was it a Grinder, or a Hoagie, or a Hero?), so indulged and got one at Publix Supermarket.

So very unhealthy -  and soooo good!

Tried to walk it off with  another good walk with Izzy at Sarasota's Nathan Benderson Park.  She loved it -  so many new smells.

Nathan Benderson Park

Back home for a long nap, then one more walk with my fabulous beast.

Lovely dinner hosted by Bill and Pat at their home with other good friends:  Chris and Greg; John and Gordon, Rick and John; and Dennis and David.  "How good and pleasant it is when brothers live together in unity"  (Psalms).

Back at home at about 8:00 p.m. took Izzy for her final pee walk.  She literally dragged me up the driveway at the home of  my neighbours Jesse and Bill
I rang their doorbell. They were delighted to see us and pressed me not very hard to have a glass of wine.  

They adore Izzy and were glad that she decided to drop in for lots of TLC!  They are her local uncles.

All this, and no Church on a Sunday!   Don't tell anyone.

The wonderful Izzy sits as she waits for a treat,.  She is so darned gorgeous,

Gwen Okes Manner speling

Unofficial sign on a dog poop box at Glen Oaks Manor

Friday, 8 December 2017

When "texting" solves a problem.

When it comes to communications I am still a bit antediluvian I use e-mail far more than texting.

Unlike my younger family members who invariably text rather than-mail I do not have hyperactive thumbs (the stylus on the smart phone helps me a lot!), and I do not know many of the short cuts( it took me ages to figure out that lol meant "laughing out loud", not "lots of love".

BUT texting is not just for the young.

I learned on Thursday that texting can be a boon for hard of hearing and deaf folks.

As I was being prepped for my treatments I overheard the fifty something man in the next cubicle.  It turned out that his mother had been designated to drive him home after his procedure.  He said to the Nurse Anesthetist "There is no point in phoning my mother, she is very deaf.  I will text her when you have cleared me to leave".

WOW, texting is a useful tool for the deaf or hard of hearing in any age group.

Now I hope that someone could design an app by which sermons etc could automatically be translated into texts for the benefit of deaf or hard of hearing worshipers, especially those for whom even the best loop system is not good enough.

Thursday, 7 December 2017

In Praise Of

Suncoast Endoscopy on Hawthorne St, Sarasota where I had my Colonoscopy and Endoscopy this morning.

It's a great clinic.  The staff are efficient, friendly and caring.

My surgeon is the best.

Dr. Stephen Kucera.

I was there this morning at 7:00 a.m. (my appointed time), thanks to my good pal and driver Bill Byers.

I was prepped well by clerks, nurses and nurse anesthetists and wheeled in for the procedure at 8:13 a.m. (the time I had been promised),

I like Dr. Kucera., and was cheeky enough to greet him as Stephen.  I ventured that this might be our last encounter since Suncoast Endoscopy and my Health Insurance Company are in dispute.

He responded by saying that he might be on the streets in a few years when his job will have been taken over by Robots.

"Maybe I'll then be directing people to their local pawn shop" were his words.

I replied "How do you spell that word, p-a-w-n or p-o-r-n?"  At which point every one in the room cracked up.

Then I was out of it, thanks to intravenous anesthesia, and woke up a minute later (in truth forty five minutes later) by staff who were encouraging me to fart.  ( What a pleasure, it's an art form for the Povey men!).

In due course Dr. Kucera arrived at my bedside with the good news that the colonoscopy revealed just two small polyps, and the endoscopy showed no signs of Barrett's  Reflux disease. I won't need a re-visit for at least three years.

Staff members fed me crackers and apple juice, and then good ole Bill Byers arrived to drive me home.

In the meantime my ever wonderful dog Izzy basked in the care of neighbours Jesse and Bill (a different Bill). They love her almost as much as I do, after only ten days since I, Izzy and they first met her.

Izzy is a wonderful dog - a worthy successor to my fabulous Penne.


Just as soon....

Just as soon as I get back from Dr. Rotor Rooter  (probably at about 11:00 this morning)  I will have my first meal since Wednesday evening, (vegetable broth and lemon Jello which I ingested today  [ not together] cannot be described as  meals.

It will be this carrot and ginger soup which  I made on Thursday.

Wednesday, 6 December 2017

Playing Fast and Loose

My twenty for hour FAST  has begun.

It won't be that dire as I am allowed:

Jello (Jelly in the UK) (but not red coloured)

Black Coffee


In truth I am allowed any clear liquid.  (Does Vodka Count?)


Then it's off to Doctor Rotor-Rooter tomorrow morning.

Tuesday, 5 December 2017

There was an election today - I voted.

My Tee Shirt is not badly stained -  it's a trick of the light

Florida House of Representatives District 72

Last September the incumbent representative Alex Miller (R)  resigned.  Under State Law (or the State Constitution) Governor Rick Scott called for a special election to fill the vacant seat. The special election is slated for February 13th 2018.

The local Republicans have  nominated without contest James (I don't want to talk to the press or attend public forums) Buchanan, 

 He is a son of Vernon (money bags) Buchanan (R) our local Representative  in the national House of Representative.

The local Libertarians have nominated  (also without contest) Alison Foxhall, well known to Libertarians in Florida.

The local Democratic Party could not agree on a single nominee. That's why today we had a Restricted Primary Election (open to registered Democrats alone).  (Some States have Open Primaries in which persons can vote irrespective of party affiliation).

The winner of today's Democratic Party primary will face Buchanan and Foxhall in the February special election.

Today we Democratic Party members had to choose between Margaret Good, a traditional mainstream democrat (think Hillary Clinton), and Ruta Jounari a progressive  democrat (think Bernie Sanders). 

I refuse to disclose how I voted.

Primary elections are good in that they enable Jane and John Doe to have a voice in the nomination processes (which vary from State to State).

But they are very expensive to mount , and they attract only the most die hard of voters. (It's most likely that only about 20% of registered Sarasota Democrats will have voted in today's Primary.


This little lesson in Civics originated in a pleasant  conversation I had with a very nice young Clerk /Cashier at our local Publix Supermarket, who was intrigued by my "I Voted" sticker.

She was unaware that we had a Primary election today. Indeed she had never heard of Primary elections

We had a gentle conversation about civics, elections and the like. I hope that I conveyed clear and correct information to her, whiteout being patronising or pompous.

Monday, 4 December 2017

Oh Lucky's Man ( I am not so sure)

Lucky's Market is a Colorado rooted company which recently opened a store in Sarasota, with trumpet fanfares and a Military Guard of Honour.

Here is their tale.


I was in the area of the new Lucky's Market today, so I stopped in.

I was underwhelmed. The store is almost as messy as our local three store  Detwiller's Farm Markets.

The prices were not great.

( I was pleased to see that most of the produce was not pre-packaged on styrofoam trays or sealed in plastic bags)

Unless I am missing something I'll stick with Trader Joe's.

CAVEAT 1.  I have a number of friends named Joe, but not a single one named Lucky!

CAVEAT 2.  Lucky's Market is the one Supermarket I know at which you can by a slice or two of Pizza, and some Beer to consume as you shop.  The shopping carts have cup-holders!

What a cunning plan to keep you in the store for an extended time.

CAVEAT 3 . Lucky's, Fresh Market, Whole Foods, Trader Joe's etc are the luxuries for those of us who live in upscale Urban areas. Rural Americans may perchance have an IGA  or a Piggly-Wiggly in a nearby town or township.




P.S.   ***   (I lied about the fanfares  and the Guard of Honour)).

( I was in the area to use a Bureau De Change at the Siesta Mall.  It's at the concierge desk  (use entrance by Talbots).

Sarasota friends note that there is a Bureau at this Mall, and also at the University Town Abomination Mall.

( stock photo', not one of the local Bureaus)

Sunday, 3 December 2017

Myths and musings

The first English settlers on what became the Plymouth Bay Colony were not Puritans.  They are more correctly described as "Separatists" (or Brownists), those who wanted to separate from the Church of England because they believed it to be utterly un-reformable.  The voyagers were identified  them as "Saints" (the Separatists), and "Strangers" (those others who sought a new life in a new land).

The later Massachusetts Bay Colony was a commercial venture,  many  of its investors were Puritans (those who wanted to stay in the Church of England so that it would be "purified" according to their lights). They gave up on  that hope  (but there are still Anglicans who would refer to themselves as Puritan).

The story of the landing on Plymouth Rock is also a myth. It was popularised in a poem  by Felicia Hemans (1793-1835) a poet who identified herself as Welsh (her adopted country). Hemans also wrote the poem "Casablanca" with its well known opening lines "The boy stood on the burning deck".

My Dad used to recite  "The boy stood on the burning deck, his feet were covered in blisters. He had no trousers to put on, so he had to borrow his sister's",  Ha!

No one referred to to those early colonists as "Pilgrim Fathers" until Daniel Webster used the term in an oration given in 1820!

( Sources for the above from Bills Bryson's "Made in America",  (Black Swan Books, 1988).


Izzy ....

...continues to delight me and my neighbors.  She loves people.  We have walked for two hours today, so I can be excused for not working on the treadmill at the Gym. She laps up the affection bestowed on her by other walkers who (to my delight) admire her good looks and her response to their attention.  They all agree that she is  handsome and loving. 

When she is more "at home" we'll work with a Trainer to deal with some of her leash aggression.

A friend ventured that it will be at least nine months before she is fully at home with me. He's probably right


You all know that I hate to waste leftovers. So I cooked some leftover cabbage, onion, carrots and lentils in vegetable broth,

Then I pureed it and took some to my 93 years old friend Betty. She is legally blind and I vntured to her that she could heat the soup, and then drink it from a mug.

You'd have thought that I'd given her a million dollars!


The week ahead (blah!).

Monday morning - early fast before a blood draw ordered by my Primary Care Physician.

Tuesday Eat drink and be merry,

Wednesday a routine appointment with my Dermatologist, and a whole day fast and purging  in preparation for Thursday.

Thursday a colonoscopy and endoscopy (beginning at 7:00 a..m.).  Apart from the purging more or less a piece of cake.

Friday eat more, drink more, and be merrier.

Izzy and me

So as I fiddled and farted around on my computer she snoozed and snored on her day bed. Such good fortune to adopt this super dog. I was in the area this morning so I stopped by the Humane Society of Sarasota County. As I entered the staff were worried in case I had a problem. They were so happy when I told them that Izzy has been the perfect adoptee. They liked her so much (she was one of their favourites) and they were grateful that I took her by for a "success" visitation.

Saturday, 2 December 2017


No wonder.  Jesus was born in Sarasota.

This is an announcement from  a local Lutheran Church (which shall be nameless) as published in the Sarasota Herald Tribune Saturday 2nd December.

"Prepare for the celebration of Jesus' birth on Wednesday evening in Advent"

So now you know.

Friday, 1 December 2017

Any old fool

Any old fool, Christian or not, President of the U.S.A. or not can say Merry Christmas.

It's a gracious and inoffensive enough greeting which is devoid of religious meaning.

Perhaps among themselves  Christian Disciples should say


Thursday, 30 November 2017

Physicians Surgeons etc

I saw a P.A. at Heart Specialists of Sarasota today.

An EKG revealed that my heart rate is good (as is my blood pressure),

Therefore I am cleared to be "topped and tailed" at Florida Digestive Health Specialists next Thursday (an Endoscopy and a Colonoscopy).

I should be so lucky!

Wednesday, 29 November 2017

The learning curve (and my dog, the Dry Humper)

Izzy did so well last night.  She went to her crate to sleep without protest.  She slept well, and snored loudly.

She walks well, we have been out and about a lot today.

We came across "Shorty" a Scotty Dog who belong to my neighbours.  They had met yesterday without incident.

But today Izzy pinned Shorty to the ground.  Shorty's owner and I pulled the dogs apart. Neither of them were hurt, but as I pulled Izzy back I fell to the ground, bashing my head on the pavement, scraping my elbow, and losing my dignity.

Shorty's owner was very gracious about this.

Note to self: recognise that Izzy sees small animals as prey.  Be utterly careful as you introduce her to Adelaide the cat, and never leave them in the same room when you are out of the house.  (The two beasts have not yet met face to face).

After the incident with Shorty I hastened to buy a harness for Izzy. This helps me to control her better without putting pressure on her neck.

That's the learning curve. But she is otherwise a sweetheart;  full of affection, and amenable to instruction.

She is crazy about the two standard Poodles and the two Black Labs which belong to my friend Rick and John.  We met tonight.  Izzy enjoyed  sniffing  the private parts of Vuitton (a male unfixed Poodle) and Annie (a fixed Black Lab.) As she did so she made those "humping" motions which we associate with Male canines.

She did the same later when I visited my neighbours Jesse and Bill.  They had met Izzy on the street s arwe and wanted to get to know her. Of course she delighted them with her affection. They too have been looking for a rescue dog at HSSC.  They were sorry that I had pipped them to the post in adopting Izzy.  They think that she is fine,

Izzy found a a stuffed animal which had belonged to their dog "Ginger".(Ginger was with them when they moved into Glen Oaks Ridge. She was crazy about my temporarily adopted Greyhound "Ben". Ginger had a huge tunour and had to be euthanised).

Anyway, Izzy found the stuffed toy, and tossed her into the air as if the toy were a captured Squirrel (Catahoula Leopard dogs are hunters). Then Izzy began those humping motions which we associate with male dogs.

So I have a bi-sexual and sex obsessed pooch!

By the way, Catahoulas have webbed feet,  All the better for hunting in marshes.

About her bandanna.  It's courtesy of Subaru  Autos.  They support Humane Societies and pick out certain photogenic? dogs for a gift package. Izzy was one of those. Before I left HSSC our photo' was taken with the Subaru  gift box in plain view.

Perhaps we'll become advertising icons, You never know

Subaru Gift Box

Humane Society website pic.

At home in my kitchen.  She knows how to sit on command.

She found my former dog Penne's Squeaky toy and shredded it

So far, so very good

Day bed  (in my bedroom)


We are winning each other's hearts by the minute!

Izzy is deeply affectionate, and want to be near me at all times.  I dare to think that she already knows that she is set for life.

I introduced her to her crate bit by bit, 30 - 60 seconds at a time.  She seemed to be very comfortable.

 Later on I told her to "go into your crate", and she did so with alacrity. I left her there for 15 minutes.

Even later I crated her again and left the house for twenty minutes. That worked well.

She already knew the command to "sit", now I am teaching her to "stay".  She is very teachable.

Even later I said "on your bed" (the one near my computer), and there she is, perfectly comfortable.

She and the cat have not met.  I am keeping Adelaide on the Lanai for the while. Izzy wants to meet her, but that will have to wait since Adelaide hisses at the very sight of her.  This too shall pass.

We've had three or four short walks; goodness gracious she is so strong, and longing to chase the squirrels!

A bit later we went for a long walk  (there will many, many others).  We met Rick and John with their four dogs  (two Labrador Retrievers and two Standard Poodles). A five way love fest ensued.  I am so relived that Izzy seems to be comfortable with other dogs.

On that long walk I encountered eleven  neighbours.  Izzy greeted each and every one with great affection. They are each agreed that she is a handsome and loving dog.

I think that I have a winner.


Izzy took to her night bed (in a crate) and slept the night through with nairy a whimper, but boy does she snore!

We took a short early walk.  She peed as she was supposed to!

Later we had a long walk, this was the chance for her to poop, and she did.

Thank goodness she is house trained.

Izzy walks with her nose to the ground, and her ears always up. She is a hunting/herding dog.  The word has gone out with the squirrel colony "run, hide, Izzy is in the neighbourhood".

When I am at my desk she loves to rest her head on my leg as she presses her chest into my thigh. When I've had enough of this I direct her to her day bed where she is right now, tuckered out after her ,long walk.

Snoozing after her long morning walk.

Tuesday, 28 November 2017

Here she is!

Her name is Izzy  (much to the amusement of my sister in law of the same name,who met her at the Humane Society the other week).

She is 40 lbs, a Catahoula Leopard, three years old.She is very energetic, and very loving.

Hail and farewell at the Humane Society

When we got home I put a few treats into her cage and bed.  She entered immediately, and proceeded to rest!

A bit later she found Penne's toy  "Baby", and took it staright to her bed.

Monday, 27 November 2017

Watch this space 2

Another teaser.

All will be revealed Tuesday afternoon or evening.

Sunday, 26 November 2017

Saturday, 25 November 2017

In which jmp gets snarky, and "Father Christmas" (a.k.a. "Santa Claus"P) nails it.

It's all very wearisome that at this time of year Christian fundamentalists and right-wing nincompoops get their knickers in a twist and tell us either that there is a "War on Christmas", or remind us to "Keep Christ in Christmas".

It's all a bit of nonsense.  There is no war on Christmas.  Not because Christians are faithful in their witness but because retailers, hoteliers, airlines, petrol (gas) stations and the like wouldn't stand for it.

A war on Christmas it would the case only if Christians were ordered by the authorities to close their buildings and refrain from any religious observances at Christmas-tide.

A word to my Christian friends.  Have you every noted that the Gospels are not terribly interested in the birth of Jesus?  Only Luke mentions it. Matthews account of the three wise man is not about the birth of Jesus, it's there to "fulfill" the prophecy  "out of Egypt have a called my son.  The four Evangelists would be astonished at our modern day Christian obsession with Christmas.  They are much more concerned with the life and teaching of Jesus of Nazareth his passion and resurrection.

.  A certain class of Christians lament something which is not true! They claim  that we are not allowed to say "Merry Christmas"  (and that we must say "Happy Holidays). They whine that Christmas trees must now be called "Holiday Trees". (How many Christmas Trees are there in the Bible?"

So now for the snarky bit.   Naughty me noted that our local big fundamentalist Church is not having a Christmas Gift Market.  Ooops!

Hoist by there own petared

I tend to be on Father Christmas/Santa's side on this one.

Friday, 24 November 2017

Leftovers - the best part of Thanksgiving

Turkey Soup in the Making

Turkey Breast and Cranberry Relish Sandwich

Thursday, 23 November 2017

A good day was had by all, a love affair, and another great hymn for this time of year.

Brother Andy and Sister in Law Izzy were at my home for a Thanksgiving Dinner.  They were joined by my friend and neighbour Ed Green.  A and I return to the U.K. tomorrow  (boo hoo!)

Izzy and Adelaide had a mutual love affair. Izzy also liked Andy.  Brother in Law Bernard, and Niece Beth will be envious. They were also sweet on Adelaide when they visited me from the U.K.

Thanksgiving Dinner (courtesy of Fresh Market) was excellent.  Turkey, Mashed Potatoes, Corn Bread SoufflĂ© (delicious), Green Beans with Bacon, Stuffing and Gravy were excellent  (better than I could have cooked) and without all the fuss and bother.  It was first glass, all I had to do was to heat it.

Of course I forgot to take photo's, all except for  the Fruit Tart (with a custardy sauce on a sort of short-bread base). Yum, Yum.

I eschewed the traditional Pumpkin Pie (which I don't particularly like) in favour of this tart.


Neil Page, the Former Director of Music at St. Boniface Church, in response to my posting about "We Gather Together", reminded me of the superb hymn for Thanksgiving (USA) or Harvest Thanksgiving (UK), (and other times).

It's a strong and vigorous  text by Fred Pratt Green (1930-2000) a Methodist Minister, who wrote 300 hymns in his retirement years.

(Note the strong rhyming e.g. "caring/despairing/sharing", and "astound us/confound us/ has found us")

The hymn is at its best when paired by the tune "East Acklam" an equally vigorous and strong tune  by Francis Jackson, (1917 - ), former Master of Music at York Minster.

Green was from Lancashire, Jackson is a Yorkshire-man.  The Battle of the Roses is over in this hymn and tune.


recorded at Pershore Abbey, U.K.

Thanks Neil.

A hymn for Thanksgiving.

Perhaps the best know Thanksgiving Hymn, certainly one of my favourites.

The following taken from a You Tube site "Your Church" throws light on the meaning of the words.

This is a wonderful, traditional Christian Hymn written originally by Adrianus Valerius as a patriotic song in 1597 to celebrate the Dutch victory over Spanish forces in the Battle of Turnhout. The Catholic King Phllip II of Spain, whom the Dutch were fighting, had forbidden the Protestants to gather for worship. Here are the lyrics: We gather together to ask the Lord's blessing; He chastens and hastens His will to make known. The wicked oppressing now cease from distressing. Sing praises to His Name; He forgets not His own. Beside us to guide us, our God with us joining, Ordaining, maintaining His kingdom divine; So from the beginning the fight we were winning; Thou, Lord, were at our side, all glory be Thine! We all do extol Thee, Thou Leader triumphant, And pray that Thou still our Defender will be. Let Thy congregation escape tribulation; Thy Name be ever praised! O Lord, make us free!


Wednesday, 22 November 2017

Fun (but no games) in the air today

Andy, Izzy and I took a Helicopter Ride today. It was terrific.

We took off from the back end of Sarasota Airport  (near Tallevast Road), using the services of Florida Suncoast Helicopters ( http://floridasuncoasthelicopters.com ), a business which sells helicopters, services them, houses them for clients, and offers tours for the public.

From the airport we flew due west across the inter-coastal to Longboat Key just about where the old Colony Beach and Tennis Resort was.  (President George W. Bush stayed there the night before he read to students at Sarasota's Emma Booker Elementary School.  It was whilst he was at the school that he heard the report of the second plane hitting the World Trade Center on 9/11).

Then we flew south looking at Longboat Key, St. Armand's Key, Lido Key, Siesta Key and then Casey Key, all to our east.

We then flew north up the inter-coastal with the Keys to our west and the mainland to our east.

We didn't fly in straight lines. Our good Pilot (named Mike) swooped here and there so that we could look at Manatees, a Shark, and Dolphins in the water below.

Izzy and Andy have been here for almost two weeks, so they were able to recognize the south and north drawbridges from the mainland to Siesta Key; Siesta Village; and Turtles on the Bay where we ate last night. Mike also swooped around so that they could see from the air the Condo Unit  they are  renting.

We saw Stephen King's home on Casey Key; and the homes of Jerry Springer and Brian Johnson (of the band AC/DC fame)  on Bird Key.

See from the air I was shocked to see how much the various Keys (except Casey) are overdeveloped. This is not apparent when driving on the Gulf of Mexico Drive (LBK), or Siesta Drive, Higel Road SK).

The following photo's are not great.  Note to self  "next time take a real camera, and don't depend on an I-Pad").

Our "Bird". The same one on which I flew about flew when I treated my nephew Sam and his buddy Toby to a flight about six years ago.

Brother Andy to the left of the Pilot in the front seats.

Longboat Key and the Golf Course (Golf by the Gulf)

The Passenger Terminals  at SRQ Airport.

The authentic 'copter from a Batman movie.  "Garaged" at Florida Suncoast Helicopters, and still  flyable.

A flight with Florida Suncoast Helicopters could be just the treat for your next SRQ visitors.