Saturday, 12 May 2018

The unloved Love Bugs are back



It was maybe eight to ten years ago when I first encountered Love Bugs.  I was driving back to Sarasota from Arcadia.  My windscreen and the front of my car was splattered with with the dead bodies of these flies.

(Brother Martyn, this might have been on your first visit here when we were driving back from the Arcadia Royal Air Force ceremony on Memorial Day).

I was advised to use a scrubbing brush and water to get rid of them as soon as possible  - under the belief that their bodily fluids could cause harm to the paint work.

Love Bug visitations have been few and far between since then. But they are back in force this year.

They are not harmful to humans, but they are high on our nuisance factor list.

I think that we need these nuisances to remind us that we are not in control of everything. 

And there is a bonus side:  "Car Wash businesses love them".



(A spoof view of Sarasota from space in these Love Bug infestation days.)

More about Love Bugs here

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lovebug


Friday, 11 May 2018

I call it Gorgon

There is a strange and wonderful Cactus in a "planting circle" at the end of my street.  I  do not know its botanical name, so I call it Gorgon.

It is odd and wonderful.









Thursday, 10 May 2018

Dedicated to beauty

My immediate neighbour  (just across the street)  is tireless as he creates beauty through the art and skill of Topiary.

He will often get home from work and spend up to three hours as he perfects his art.

He sometimes uses old fashioned shears (a lovely clip-clip sound), and sometimes uses electric clippers (a wretched sound).

I try to be patient about the noisy clippers because the end result is terrific.
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Some see a rather ordinary shrub.  He sees the potential for beauty.

Such a lovely gift to our neighborhood.










Wednesday, 9 May 2018

Oh Them Love Apples




Our local Detwiler's Farm Market had heirloom love apples (a.k.a. tomatoes) on sale at ++  99 c per pound today.

Such a treat. Unlike most supermarket tomatoes which are hybridized  for looks and consistent size  and not much else  -(they are flavourless), these beauties have delicate and tender skins, sweet and abundant pulp, and flesh which is ripe.

I checked the label at the store and saw that the marketing label was "Southern Sweets".  It was not until I got home that I noticed that Southern Sweets are grown not here in Florida, but in Guatemala.

++  Heirloom tomatoes grown in Guatemala and on sale in Florida for 99c lb?   There is something wrong with this picture. We cannot get locally grown tomatoes at that price.

I do not believe that they were loss leaders, or else they would have been displayed at the very front of the store.

Perhaps there was a surplus at Tampa's Fruit and Vegetable wholesale market, and Detwiler's scooped them up at or below cost.

The tomatoes are delicious, but I have been bothered all day.  I ask myself "under what working conditions, and at what low wages for farm labourers can tomatoes be grown and harvested in Central America, and be transported here to be sold at a ridiculously low price?

Is this a matter of actual or virtual slave labour?

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We've had such modern day slavery not far from Sarasota in Immokalee FL   Check the video 

https://youtu.be/zBc4cOg9-ks






Tuesday, 8 May 2018

Giggle while you sleep


I yell in my sleep
I talk in my sleep
I walk in my sleep

.....and oh yes indeed, I laugh in my sleep.

I did so last night (May 7/8).

I had a dream in which my Pittsfield, MA friend Joe R. (he now lives in London, U.K.).  Joe  (not a photographer by trade) wanted to create a photo' shoot of me at the intersection of Holmes Rd. and the Pittsfield/Lenox Rd.,  (dreams can be very specific).

I did not want to do this and struggled to find a way out.

I said  "I'd find it very difficult "  - and then I ran out  of words, but recovered my wits and added  "to get my nose out of the bag"

Complete sentence: "I'd find it very difficult to get my nose out of the bag".

That sentence makes no sense now, and it certainly made no sense in  my dream.

So much so that I started to laugh in the dream, my laughter woke me up, and the more I thought how silly this was, the more I laughed.  I had to take a little walk in my bedroom to shake off the laughter.







Monday, 7 May 2018

I am my own broadcaster. Tune in to WJMP

I have been at this blog "Povey Prattle"  for more than ten years. During that time I have made 3,400 posts. So what!   (see below) 

I have transfered many of the posts to Face book.






A number of years ago one of my brothers ventured that in retirement my blog has become my pulpit.  That may be the case, but like most pulpits it's not done much good.

After all, my post about the Feline Mandolin Orchestra I created had ten times as many likes as all of my religious and political posts put together.

O.K.  There was no Feline Mandolin Orchestra, but you get what I mean.

However my brother was on to something.  As a radio commentator about the social media said a few years ago, we have become our own broadcasters (hence "WJMP").

That commentator was on to something, but I think that the word should have been narrow-casters.

For on Face book we post a bit about the sadnesses in our lives  (my dog died, or my ancient grandmother died), and we are assured of gracious and loving comments.

And we  post a lot about the great successes of our lives (my spouse is amazing and we have a stupendous marriage, or my children are utterly cute and brilliant, or look at our holiday pictures, or can you imagine how wonderful this restaurant with an ocean view is?)

But God forbid that our posts might indicate that married life is difficult, or that we eat out a lot but cannot really afford it, or my tenth grader's life is a mess.

For the name of the game is success, and if you are succeeding then I ought to be matching you in family, personal and social life.

So what!   In my case what do all these posts and page views mean? I am in peril if I interpret these numbers as an indication of my worth as a family member, a human being, a friend, or a Christian. As Canon Ed Rodman of the Diocese of Massachusetts often said to would be Priests "Don't believe your own propaganda".

What I am writing today was inspired by last weekend's NPR radio show "The Hidden Brain"  in which Rachel Leonard talks about how via Face book she became a prisoner of her own making.

If you will,  please take thirty or forty minutes to listen to her powerful tale.


https://www.npr.org/2017/10/27/560293602/radio-replay-prisons-of-our-own-making



May 7th 2018





The 105th anniversary of my mother's birth.