Saturday, 19 January 2019

The best cup of coffee in twelve years (go sulk in a corner Starbucks, Dunkin' Donuts, Panera Bread & Co)

I have long lamented the lack of  a good coffee house in Sarasota.

But acting  on a tip from a dog walking pal I was with my neighbour and friend Barbara B at PERQ (1821 Hillview St -  just around the corner from South Osprey St.)

Oh my goodness, I had the best cup of coffee I've had in oh so many years.  The very fist sip delighted my palate and made me realise that the offerings from the supermarket which are my regular morning beverage are (may I say) cr-p!

The menu is a wee bit arcane, but co-owner Keith Zolner talked Barbara and me through our choices.

Mine (pictured above) was made with coffee grown in Guatemala.  It was exquisite!

I asked Keith Zolner if PERQ used "Fair Trade" beans.

No,  but PERQ buys its beans (I think by using a broker) directly from farmers in various lands, thus ensuring that the farmers are not slaves to "Big Coffee",  but instead get a good return for their hard work.

Twelve hours later I am still salivating at the memory of the superb coffee I drank this morning.

Friday, 18 January 2019

I've become one of those people who bothers and annoys you...........

.....when you are in a check out line in a the supermarket and the person at the front of the line can't get it right.

I was that person today.

I was trying to use the debit/credit card machine at a local market.

Attempt # 1  I removed the card before the clerk/cashier had processed the button on the till which indicates that the purchase is complete. 

Attempt # 2  All went well until when the screen asked me to confirm the amount I pressed "No" instead of "Yes".

Attempt # 3.  I pressed all the buttons with success, but removed the card too soon.

By this time I knew that I had been pegged as a decrepit old man! 

But the clerk/cashier (a smiling Mennonite/Amish young woman - I could tell by her head covering) had evidently learned to be graciously patient - probably through listening to long and dreary sermons from decrepit old preachers - was utterly patient with me.

Attempt # 4.  I took it very slowly and with a smile 

Hey Presto - fourth time a charm!

I turned to the clerk/cashier and her trainee, and to the four people in line behind me and said  (with a grin on my face) "I'm sorry, but I don't get out very often".

There were smiles and laughter all around.

Thursday, 17 January 2019

Wise words (and then some supporting silliness)

Q. What did Harry Emerson Fosdick say about (God's)  holy love?

A. “God is not a cosmic bellboy for whom we can press a button to get things done.”


Wednesday, 16 January 2019

U.S.A. East Coast Winter

Ice skating on Boston Common.   Gorgeous picture by Julianne T.


Chilly day soup in S.W. Florida -  its was 45 f this morning - tough by our standards!  Gloves, sweats etc essential for my 5:00 a.m. walk with Zion.

Pulled some home made soup out of the freezer for lunch.  I thought that it was fish stew - turned out to be split pea and ham soup  (with various and sundry other veggies). Pretty darn good!

Monday, 14 January 2019

My heart aches for my Motherland (and my adopted land)

Unless British Prime Minister opts for yet another delay, the U.K. Parliament's House of Commons will vote on Jan 15th  2019 on her proposals for the withdrawal of the U.K. from the European Union.

Her proposals are the least worst,  (The worst being a no deal  and unilateral exit.)

It is unlikely that her plan will be approved by Parliament.

* Hard line Tory Brexiteers will have none of it.

* Northern Ireland "Unionist" M.P.'s (Protestant to the core) oppose it because it will enshrine a soft customs border between Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland, but a hard customs border between North Ireland and the rest of the U.K.

* Scots and Welsh nationalists will have no truck with Brexit.

* Many Labour Party M.P.'s will vote against it because they have always been sceptical about the E.U.  They have dreams of a socialist E.U. - highly unlikely as many member States move to the right. The Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn has offered no alternative vision to Theresa May's proposals -  he comes across as a political technician not as a visionary leader.


I think that Brexit is a terrible idea.  Having said that, what do my tea leaves tell me if Prime Minister May's plan get voted down?

Will she resign, and if so, who will the Tory Party elect as her successor as leader?  (Most likely a hard-Brexiteer).

Will any new Tory Party leader command a majority in the House of Commons?  (Very unlikely).

Will the Queen invite any such  new leader to form a Government (that's how it works in the U.K.)

Will there be a second referendum to re-visit the Brexit question? That's extremely unlikely.  A second referendum is likely to be more divisive than the first.

Will there be a General Election?  Could be, but any new Parliament is as likely to be as divided and fragmented as is the present one. No party is likely to command an overall majority in the House of Commons.

It's all gloom and doom for this British born expatriate.  I see no possible good outcome from Tuesday's House of Commons vote.

Maybe the U.K has become ungovernable.  Under Trump the same is likely for the U.S.A.

Two of the "Great Powers" of 1945 are transmuting into Banana Republics in 2019.

Sunday, 13 January 2019

(The check/cheque) IS IN THE MAIL/POST (part 1)

Just over a year ago my friend Rick P gave me a one year (2018) subscription to The New Yorker.  What a fine gift.

Although I have fuss-pot tendencies I didn't have a spread sheet on which to mark the safe arrival of each weekly issue (or the two annual editions which each cover two weeks).

So what a surprise when two editions arrived in my mail box on Friday  11th Jan 2019.

Where the blazes have these been since July and October?  Did someone find them in a dusty corner of a sorting office, or hidden away in a mail van?

I'll never know.