Friday, 24 May 2019

It's Not About the Barbecue dammit.

Monday 27th May 2019.  Memorial Day  (U.S.A.)

(with thanks to Karen N, Chris G, Mark D, and Mitch H who reminded me of some important truths)



Memorial Day is an official U.S. Federal Holiday. It's a day off work for some (but not for those who work in retail or in hospitality).

In the colder northern States it's reckoned to be the start of the summer barbecue season  -  just another holiday.  But it's not about the barbecue dammit!  

Here's what it is about




Memorial Day  (first known as Decoration Day - when the graves of  those killed in the Civil War were decorated);was popularly known as Memorial Day; and later given that name by official acts of first the State of New York, and later the Federal Government (1967).

The first Memorial Day (as officially recognised by the U.S. Congress) took place in Waterloo, N.Y. in 1866.  A Waterloo Pharmacist said that it was all very well to celebrate the courage of living soldiers from the Civil War, but shouldn't there also be a solemn commemoration of those who were killed in that war.


Thus it should be that the first duty of patriotic Americans next Monday should be a solemn (and perhaps prayerful) reflection on the terrible cost of War:   young women and men cut down in the prime of life; all too many spouses, children, parents, siblings and dear friends left bereft and with a lifetime of grief.

The terrible cost of war:

620,000 military deaths  (Confederate and Union soldiers mowed down  in the War between the States). 

58.200 American military deaths in the Viet Nam war. 1.1 million North Vietnamese and Viet Cong deaths

8.5 to 9.7 Million military deaths in World War I.  

AGAIN    Thus it should be that the first duty of patriotic Americans next Monday should be a solemn (and perhaps prayerful) reflection on the terrible cost of War

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As you think and pray I remind you of what is sometimes called (in an Orwellian way) Collateral Damage.

In World War One. Ten million civilian deaths

In Vietnam. Two million civilian deaths in north and south.

In World War Two and the blitz of the the U.K.  43,000 civilian deaths.

In  World War Two British Fire Bombings of Hamburg and Dresden (militarily unnecessary) 66,600 civilian deaths, many burned alive.

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ENJOY YOUR MONDAY BBQ

Thursday, 23 May 2019

The most dangerous verse in the Bible

Genesis 1:26-28 King James Version (KJV)

26 And God said, Let us make man in our image, after our likeness: and let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over the cattle, and over all the earth, and over every creeping thing that creepeth upon the earth.



I am reading a biography of William Tecumseh Sherman ( "Fierce Patriot. The Tangled Lives of William Tecumseh Sherman"  Robert L O'Connell, Random House, 2015).
Many Americans will have heard of Sherman: brilliant Union Army General, hater and subsequent scourger of the Confederacy, despiser of American Indians (he wanted them eliminated), disdainer of Negro (the word used then) slaves and former slaves -  he was at best a reluctant abolitionist. 
What many do not know is that he was the government appointed "commander in chief"  for the construction of the trans-continental railroad. 
He faced major obstacles  including (a) the presence of the great plains Indians who lands would be needed for the "development" which was certain to accompany the new rail road.  For Sherman, the Indians were expendable.  (b) the massive herds of Bison (essential for the Indians' "economy" and way of life.

Massive herds of Bison?  No problem, for the Bible says that we are to have dominion over them.
Thus, with Sherman's encouragement, THREE MILLION Bison were killed between 1872 and 1874.
Having dominion - a doctrine which has led to our present environmental disaster. 
Human arrogance (rooted in the Bible) has led us to believe that we can do whatever we will with what we call "nature". 
We have this strange idea that we are not a part of the environment,  that we are not a part of nature,  that somehow we stand outside the natural world,  that somehow we are not a part of the environment.
As we despoil and destroy the environment, so we also despoil and destroy ourselves.

For another and more life giving understand of "dominion"  please see this:

(Of course I do not endorse every word  - but.. THREE MILLION Bison were killed between 1872 and 1874.






Tuesday, 21 May 2019

The Povey Connection. Some fine members of my family who have birthdays in May.



7th  Evelyn Maud dec'd (my mother)

8th  Richard (my nephew)

19th  Sarah  (Sally) dec'd   (my "Nanny",  the only grandparent I knew.)  She was born when Victoria was Queen.

21st Imogen (my niece)

21st Stuart (my nephew in law)

22nd Sam  (my nephew)

26th Elizabeth Anne  (my twin sister)

Monday, 20 May 2019

Are you a Christian?




Via Tess P.


Image may contain: 1 person, beard, meme and hat, text that says 'AN AMISH MAN WAS ONCE ASKED BY A TOURIST IF He WAS A CHRISTIAN? HIS REPLY WAS, "YOU'L HAVE TO ASK MY NEIGHBOR.'

Early Morning Light, 19th May 2019

The early morning light is tender.  Photo's taken between 6:15 and 7:15 a.m., one at Bayfront Park, the others at Arlington Park.





"I'm walking with Zion, beautiful, beautiful Zion"












Never seen one here.






Spanish Moss looking like an outdoors Chihuly.

Sunday, 19 May 2019

Saturday, 18 May 2019

The Experiment Continues

Back in the dark ages one of the seasonal pleasures of life was to go "black berrying".  There were still pockets of rural land in Bristol (the Clay Bottom area being one) where the berries grew wild and free.

When they were ripe, sweet and juicy we would harvest some in small pails and try not to eat then all before we got home (all purple/ black fingers, lips and tongues!)

Then Mum would make Blackberry and Apple Pie (or Crumble) one of the best known blending of fruits and flavours in the entire Universe - so to speak.


Wild blackberries. The last time I saw and ate them was in Normandy (circa 1996)  when members of my family and I rented a small cottage in a quiet country lane, far from even a village or hamlet.

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Then "someone" decided that we had a right to seasonal fruits year round.  We took the bait and now expect and eat fruits and vegetables which are grown and harvested (before they are ripe) thousands of miles away.

"Big-Agri" is in charge. 

The largest and darn near monopolistic  manufacturer (I use the word purposefully) of soft fruits in north America is called 
"D-scr-ll".  They have hybridized and genetically changed soft fruits (raspberries, strawberries, blackberries, blueberries), so that we can indulge in strawberry shortcake in December should we so wish.

These soft fruits look good. But that's about it.  They are neither sweet nor juicy.  Why bother?  Isn't the point of soft fruit to delight the palate, and to enjoy the tickle of juice as it rolls down the chin?

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I can talk the talk, but I do not always walk the walk.  

So I bought a couple of apples and some "D-scr-lls" blackberries so that I could go back into memory land, subtract sixty years from my age, and make some Blackberry and Apple Crisp.

It warn't bad.  But it warn't great (I added too much sugar to the fruit.)

Give me another ten years and I'll perfect my experiments in Fruit Crisps!"









Friday, 17 May 2019

On the Lighter Side- A Bit Of Silliness



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Silly -  but in these days Chuck would not be working for the Government, but for one of the unpatriotic, greedy, money-grubbing  and disloyal Oligarchs who are now running and ruining  our Country.

Thursday, 16 May 2019

I Didn't Have a Pie Dish

I've done so very little baking over the years ---

partly because I've never taken the time to learn how to make pastry/crust (my fault),

partly because I know that any crust I made would be utterly inferior to that which my oldest sister makes (it melts in your mouth) -  I always "demand" her apple pie when I go home to England!  She obliges with a smile,

partly because my aging kitchen in SRQ is notably short of counter space on which to roll out pastry -  excuses, excuses! my Mum made excellent pastry crust when kitchen counter space had not even been invented!

I've occasionally bought those supermarket frozen crusts and found them to be -  well "crummy".

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So this morning, with rhubarb and apples at hand I decided to make a R and A Crisp.

Lordy, lordy, I didn't even own an an oven proof pie dish.

So I bought one..


It cost me the princely sum of $2.79 (yes, $2.79!) at my local Publix Supermarket  (I came across a one day sale).

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I made the crisp.


Rhubarb and Apple with an oats, brown sugar, melted butter and flour topping.

Looks good eh?  It was slightly  over cooked so the pie edges were a bit hard, but were also chewy and caramely.


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If the proof of the pudding is in the eating I need say no more!


YUM!

My rhubarb and apple Crisp, with vanilla ice cream.  Who could ask for anything more?


Wednesday, 15 May 2019

My mistake and the U.K. House of Commons.

I thought for a moment that I was near the U.K. House of Commons ****




Then I came to myself and realised that I was at Detwiler's Farm Market in SRQ,  and that they were selling rhubarb, lovely rhubarb, not often seen in local markets.

Rhubarb, lovely rhubarb!  

I am not much of a baker but I plan to use the rhubarb I bought today, together with some apples,  to make rhubarb and apple crisp.  If it turns out well you'll see a picture tomorrow.

If it flops then we'll never speak of this again!

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But why did I think that I was near the U.K. House of Commons and why  **** "a load of rhubarb".

There is a story that in crowd scenes in a movie,the background actors appear to be chatting but in fact they are simply saying "rhubarb, rhubarb".

Hence,  in the U.K.,  when folks spout nonsense about all and everything, it is said that they are spouting "a load of rhubarb", especially when that nonsense is uttered in the House of Commons.  

I confused the rhubarb at Detwilers with the the chatter of the House of Commons (and of the U.S. Senate and House).

  





Monday, 13 May 2019

My Poster doppelgänger - RABBI POVEY


My Sarasota friend David S. spotted a poster at The Ringling.  He thinks that one of the characters looks a bit like  me.  I agree! 






I call it Rabbi Povey!

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Here is the full poster.



Sunday, 12 May 2019

Beauty In The Eye Of The Beholder, and maybe you too!








Canine/Human Shadows.  Arlington Park, early morning Saturday 11th May 2019

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Dew covered cobweb.  Glen Oaks Manor, Sarasota.  6:35 a.m. 12th May 2019


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Intense focus, Arlington Park Sarasota, 7:20 a.m. 12th May 2019


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Object of focus, Arlington Park Sarasota, 7:20 a.m. 12th May 2019




Saturday, 11 May 2019

A Most Disturbing Encounter

Arlington Park  - The Meadow, 6:45 a.m. May 11th 2019

At the north eastern corner of Arlington Park, not far from the parking lot,  is an open area which I call The Meadow.

On Friday afternoon at about 4:00 a twenty something woman was walking across the meadow with two small dogs, both off leash.

One of the dogs came racing towards Zion.  

There are two "free range" dog areas in the park, one for small dogs, the other for large dogs.  In other areas dogs are required to be leashed.

This makes sense inasmuch as you might well think that your dog/s are friendly and harmless, but you cannot be sure about the other dogs which they might encounter.

SO  I said (in a quiet and low toned voice) "Ma'am your dogs should be leashed.  (Maybe I should have kept my mouth shut!).

She replied "I will not take instructions from you".

I responded with "I am not giving you instructions, I am simply reminding you of the City regulations".

The woman could/would not give up.  As I walked away she screamed  (truly screamed) "and you are smoking, filling the air with tobacco fumes".  

Point well taken, but a bit of a non sequitur.

I walked on in silence.  I kept my counsel.  Then she yelled at me again:  

"Why don't you take something and stick it up your ass with the other stuff that is there?"

Again I walked on in silence, resisting  smart replies;  but of course I was disturbed. 

'tis all very sad, and  a wee bit scary. Why is it that folks treat Public Space as if it were their Private Space? c.f . "Road Rage"

and why is it that the governing motif of our era is anger,   from left and from right?

Psalm 37 has it right: 
"Refrain from anger and turn from wrath; do not fret—it leads only to evil".
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After all that, here is a bit of beauty from my early Saturday 11th May walk at Arlington Park.



Arlington Park, 11th May 2019 (two photo's).  Early morning sun with canine and human shadows.




Friday, 10 May 2019

He Was Totally "Wasted"

Arlington Park Sarasota,  9th May 2019, 4:15 p.m.

He was totally wasted.  "He" being a fifty something man, shirtless, black pants (trousers), cast on his right arm -  prostrate on the ground near the water fountain.

He was on his mobile 'phone, blabbering incoherently, unable to rise to his feet.

As Zion and I walked by I asked if I should call an ambulance. "They're on their way" he mumbled.

I walked on, then turned back.  It was clear that the emergency services were not on the way, so I called 911.

I lost the call but the dispatcher called me back within a minute.  I gave her the details.

Within four minutes a County fire truck, a County ambulance, and three City police vehicles arrived -  (three Police vehicles? - well they never know what they could encounter - back-up is important).

These men (and they were all males) treated the wasted man with grace and respect.  They got him to his feet, walked him to the ambulance, and took him presumably to the drunk tank, or to the hospital.

Utterly impressive!  Even a poor sad drunk was afforded dignity.


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Before I could "tut tut"with all manner of class prejudice about a totally wasted drunk in the Park, I remembered a middle class, well educated friend who got so wasted at a dinner party that his partner and I had to walk him home, one of us on each arm.


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Kudos and thanks for our Public servants in the City of Sarasota,  and in Sarasota County.

Thursday, 9 May 2019

WE CAN DO IT! (NALC FOOD DRIVE)

The National Association Of Letter Carriers  (NALC) is sponsoring its annual Food Drive this Saturday, May 11th.




This is the largest one day Food Drive in the United States.

I am always disappointed at the low level of response. 

Surely it is not too difficult to leave a bag of non perishable foods by your mail box, and thus make a small effort to help Stamp Out Hunger.

I always leave bags of Breakfast Cereals  ( Children don't long for Rice and Beans for Breakfast!) in the hope that some dear children will have a reasonably good start to the day.


Of course this is not the height of generosity on my part (I spent more on dinner out with friend yesterday), but I suppose that it is better than nothing.

Wednesday, 8 May 2019

Stay Away From My Kids



Each morning Zion and I get harassed and dive-bombed by this (Mocking?) Bird near the archway entrance to Bayfront Park.  There must be a nest nearby.

Poor Z. get so confused.  He hears a whoosh over his head, but by the time he looks around the has bird flown away.

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Since about 30% of Face Book postings are about cats, and 20% about food here is my dinner pic.



This was at The Rosemary on N. Orange last night, May 7th.  Fillet mignon large shrimp, baked potato and asparagus, (preceded by a crisp green salad, and followed by Key Lime Pie), and one bottle of wine for every two guests, all for $30.

It's a fund raising dinner for the West Coast Black Theatre Troupe (the wine having been donated to the Rosemary to support the cause).

Truly delicious food, and all for a good cause.

Every Monday and Tuesday in May, reservations required. 

And yes, it's at The Rosemary and not at the companion Rosemary and Thyme restaurant)

Tuesday, 7 May 2019

May 7th A Great Day To Be Born

Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky



Johannes Brahms





Evelyn Maud Finch  (birth name) a.k.a. my Mum


Now abideth in memory Peter, Johannes and Evelyn.  

But the greatest of these is Mum.

Monday, 6 May 2019

My tear ducts fill easily

At Arlington Park today.


Zion and I encountered L. (aged about two) as he was taking a tour of the park in his baby buggie,

As Z. and I grew near to L. and his Mom the wee lad cried out "Doggie, doggie".

Then the boy and the dog had a love fest!




Of course this brought tears to my eyes.

When I said goodbye, young L. cried out "Thank You".

What a charmer!

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That's not all.  As we'd entered the Park we'd met a Sarasota Police Officer ** who had been on foot patrol in the Park.  She too had had a love fest with Zion.

He truly is a "dog for all seasons".  It makes me so happy that my beloved Z. brings pleasure to so many people.

** Arlington Park is generally  a safe place, but rumour has it that a sad, bad,  and pathetic man exposes his private parts there.  So the foot patrols by the Sarasota P.D.  will deter this horrid and perverted behaviour  and help to make the Park safe for all people.

  Thank you Sarasota Police Dept.

Not only is is it not getting better, it is getting worse.

The following is from a friend of mine, a talented woman who lives in P...., MA.  I respect her greatly.  She is doing her work  (and she does it well) and she has to put up with this shit. Grrh   I am so damn angry. 

"I’ve been busting my ass for this  group all weekend, working 12+ hour days, only to be referred to as the colored girl. Despite the fact that I’m wearing a name tag with my full fucking name. Ugh!"

Sunday, 5 May 2019

NEEDED. (1) A demolition crew, (2) A low tech solution.


I bought an ink cartridge for my printer today.    I could have used a demolition crew to tear apart the utterly wasteful packaging.

There must surely be a more environmental and consumer friendly way of packing the cartridges.  

And why is printer ink so expensive?  $27 is an outrageous price.

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I walk a lot in Bayfront Park and Arlington Park, and gladly share the pathways with cyclists.

Some (not many) issue an oral warning when they are about to pass me.

Next to none have considered an old fashioned and low tech device to warn walkers that they are about to pass.


They are probably too expensive!