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.