Saturday, 15 September 2018

Harry Belafonte nails it.


Only those who are determined to be ignorant, or those who have decided to be racist will take issue with Mr. Belafonte.



Friday, 14 September 2018

Thursday, 13 September 2018

I didn't have my camera, and I am glad.

Arlington Park, Sarasota, 4:00 p.m. 13th September.

Oh joy!  Oh delight!   Two Roseate Spoonbills in this urban park, foraging for goodies in the flooded grassland.  They are utterly gorgeous.

My first thought was "darn it, I don't have my camera".

Then I thought again,  "enjoy this beauty in and of itself for this brief time, not in order to get a good photo'"

My mind went to Paul Gerhardt's marvelous evening hymn  "The duteous day now closeth"  and to these particular words:


And we, this marvel seeing,
Forget our selfish being,
For joy of beauty not our own.





Tuesday, 11 September 2018

Season of mists and mellow fruitfulness (Keats)

From "my park".




Female Muscovy Duck teaches her second flock of the season that sodden ground is a great place for worms and bugs.




The Ibises know this too.  They share their sodden grassy area at Arlington Park with a lonely Muscovy male. I call Ibises the "Combine Harvester" birds.    They work a wormy/buggy area as a team, advancing together.  They are skittish of humans. I am about ten yards away from this group.  They are already moving away from me.  (Happens to me at parties with other human beings too!)  😉

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No great autumnal leaves in South West Florida. but the mellow fruitfulness of the shrubs with their berries has a tender beauty.




Sunday, 9 September 2018

New York Times' abysmal failure

For many years the New York Times has been regarded as the American Newspaper of Record.

"All the news that's fit to print" has been the N.Y.T.'s proud banner


That banner has been defiled by the the decision of the Times's Editor to print the following anonymous editorial.  (Don't bother to read it).

https://www.nytimes.com/2018/09/05/opinion/trump-white-house-anonymous-resistance.html

To be sure it is fascinating and titillating, worthy of the worst tabloids (did anyone say the London Daily Mail?!), but shameful for the once venerable Times.

Shameful for its anonymity.

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Those of us such as Bruce Lomas, Mary Luti, and other godly pastors, ministers, bishops, preachers and teachers (and me!) are familiar with the anonymous letters which arrived in the mail or were smuggled onto our desks.

Those letters were always critical of aspects of our ministry, and most often they purported to represent the concerns not only of the author but also of  "other concerned parishioners".

Of course they could be hurtful but their fate was clear.  Into the shredder or waste paper bin.

For it was impossible to have a conversation or any fruitful engagement with Mr/Mrs/Ms Anonymous.

Strange that the New York Times was unable to grasp the simple principle that anonymity is cowardly crap.  It leads to no good and fruitful understanding.




'Cause Pepperidge Farm Remembers (and I got it all wrong)


When I came to the U.S.A in 1976  I was assigned to a small congregation in the already declining paper mill town of Fitchburg, MA.

The congregation took me sight unseen on the recommendation of the then Bishop of Western Massachusetts, Alexander D. Stewart.

I was provided with a tiny and comfortable apartment and a serviceable V.W. Beetle. 

I was entranced by American T.V. and watched a lot of  N.B.C. from Boston  (until 1995 on WBZ)  from the Today show with Tom Brokaw, Jane Pauley and Gene Shallitt, to the nightly news (with that marvelous correspondent Douglas Kiker), and the Tonight Show with Johnnie Carson.

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I especially remember the Pepperidge Farm commercials.  Here is one from about 1978

https://youtu.be/0M_5eCNuric


I believed that Pepperidge Farms was a family owned farm and bakery, not far away from Fitchburg in southern New Hampshire!

Last week I bought some Pepperidge Farm frozen dinner rolls. (I never know when five of my favourite friends might show up for dinner all uninvited so it's good to be prepared).

The wrappers amused me


What makes them French?  In what sense are they artisanal or hand crafted?  Does stone baking make all the difference?



The artisanal and hand crafted bit seems to be no more that the "hand scoring" of each roll before baking.

But all my cynicism was abated when I learned that those skillful bakers on that small farm in New Hampshire smile a little as they think of me discovering the crisp, golden crust and soft, moist inside.

God bless each and every one of them.