Saturday, 28 October 2017

Gloomy SRQ Day

This is not typical weather for Sarasota even on October. .  It's raining, it's chilly, and it's gloomy.

I am making the best of it on my lanai, by reading a book about the Basque people.

From somewhere near by I can hear a band.  Is it from  Faith Presbyterian Church,  or is it from  S. Jude's Roman Catholic Church.  It matters not.

St. Jude's R.C.

Faith Presbyterian


The Band is playing some of the Beatles' Classics.   It's a good sound.  My mind has drifted back to those days when the Beatles' Music was considered to be avante-garde and a bit risky.

Now it is recognized as brilliantly classic.

Their music was a feast for my ears on this gloomy day.

Skulduggery between two brothers whose last name is entirely known in English speaking countries.

I have been engrossed in this book (Pantheon Books 2017).

It's a gripping tale of the Kellogg brothers -  John Henry (1852-1943), and Will Keith (1860 - 1951).

John Henry was spotted and destined for greatness  by Ellen Harmon White ("Prophetess" and founder of the Seventh Day Adventist) and her husband James White. They mentored him and sponsored his education at Bellevue Hospital Medical College.  They prepared him to be the Director of their Sanatorium in Battle Creek, MI.

J.H. Kellogg emerged as a masterful surgeon, a brilliant diagnostician, and a powerful advocate of meat free healthy diets.

Brilliant as he was, JHK was an arrogant despot. He eventually wrestled control of the San from the General Conference of the Seventh Day Adventist Church, and it became his fiefdom.  He was excommunicated by the SDA's for his pains.

Brilliant as he was as a Surgeon, Diagnostician, and far sighted dietician, JHK also has some quirky and dangerous ideas.   He saw indigestion and masturbation  as major actors against human health. He and his wife almost certainly did not consummate their marriage, and slept in separate roomsfrom day one of their marriage.

Quite disastrously JHK also became a fervent advocate for the pseudo-science of eugenics.

John Henry Kellogg

He treated his younger brother Will Keith Kellogg  with contempt and cruelty even through WK was the business brains of the San.

 In due course WKK, separated from JHK,  (in a law suit which reached the Michigan Supreme Court), was declared  to be the sole owner of the Kellogg Company which we all now know.

Some of us will remember the days when the W.K. Kellogg signature was reproduced on boxes of Kelloggs Corn Flakes.

John Henry Kellogg with all his brilliance (and quirkiness) was a failure as a business manager, largely because he was a dictatorial control freak.  He lost control of the San and was mortified because some of the new leaders smoked cigarettes and ate meat. The San went belly up. It became a military hospital during WWII and is now a Federal Government building in Battle Creek

Will Keith Kellogg when out from under his brother's thumb turned the Kellogg Corn Flake Company into an outstanding success.  He knew how to run a business and he was a genius at advertising and marketing. His enormous wealth was used to create the Kellogg charitable foundation.

The brothers feuded throughout their lives and never reconciled. JHK did write a letter of contrition to WKK but the latter did nott read it until after his older brother's death.

My copy of "The Kelloggs - The Battling Brothers of Battle Creek" will be returned to the Sarasota County Library system today.  It is an intriguing tale, and an excellent read.

Not the most attractive name for a breakfast cereal.


(In 1928, Battle Creek Sanitarium expanded with a fourteen-story tower, built across the street from the main sanitarium. This tower went into receivership in 1933, while the sanitarium continued to operate from its main facility. In 1942, the U. S. Army purchased the tower and established the Percy Jones General Hospital; the hospital closed permanently in 1953 and one year later became the Battle Creek Federal Center { squib from Wikipedia]) 

Wednesday, 25 October 2017

In with the new

Since my 2006 Hyundai Santa Fe could no longer be trusted (sudden and uncontrollable acceleration problems - very dangerous ) I bought my first new car since about 1981 .

It's a 2017 Kia Forte -  $5,000 off for an end of season model.

A bargain?  I hope so.  The bank and I will own it for three years, then it will be all mine.

( I rented a Forte a few years ago when I was in Connecticut for the ordination of Ian Douglas as Bishop of Connecticut. I liked the car then, so it was my obvious choice now).

No bells and whistles, but it will serve me well.

The Sunset Kia (Sarasota) Manager asked me if I was excited to get a new car.  I replied "no".  He countered "then a car is no more than a means of transportation for you". He got it right.

One the other hand the AAA Auto Insurance man in Tampa was bursting with enthusiasm about my choice.. He also  had once rented a Kia Forte and said that I had made a good choice.

Of course I wish that I could rely on public transportation, but that is next to impossible in Sarasota.

So, on the whole, I am glad (but not excited) to have a new set of wheels.

Adieu (or good riddance)

Some will remember that I had a scary incident last month whilst driving my 2006 Hyundai Santa Fe. I was driving west from Beneva on Bee Ridge Rd when the car developed a malevolent mind of its own and began a uncontrollable acceleration.

At a bit of a risk to myself and to cars being driven east on Bee Ridge I shot left into Nelson Ave, and then into the Church of the Palms parking lot where I turned off the ignition and applied the emergency brake.  I skidded to a halt, with no damage except to my rattled nerves.

This sudden acceleration has happened three or four times since, but it was not until my return from the U.K. that I was able to have the car checked at my local and totally reliable Sam's Auto Repairs on 17th St/Lockwood Ridge Rd.

The Manager (a really decent bloke) check various auto forum sites and discovered that this problem has happened to other Hyundai Cars; that there is no known fix; and that Hyundai has not ordered a recall, suggesting that this is an "operator problem".

See this from an auto forum I checked.

My Santa Fe is a 2006 model which I bought in early 2007. It is now a potential dangerous vehicle.

It's probably worth no more than $500 in a trade-in after which its fate will be in a retired autos nursing home.

So off I'll set today, looking for a low mileage pre-owned car. Much as I hate the thought of monthly payments I cannot risk life and limb in my now unreliable Santa Fe.