Sunday, August 31, 2014

Hands Sitting

BCP 815 and weirdness 
long hours before dawn
Sunday morning

This low, wide Cafe’ Godiva cup with its saucer is best for this sitting spot. Stable, it won’t turn over here on the sofa next to me. If it does anyway, I'll turn the cushion over before Linda comes downstairs.

Life Is Good, too good to miss, even downstairs alone in the wee hours.

CFB is Better. even when your teams lose, tho all mine didn’t - MGoBlue. Christmas Season is December. College Football Season is Labor Day through November, then when you mope that it’s all over, bowl games start. Let’s see you beat that with your bag of toys and one night stand, Santa Claus. 

Church is Best when there’s a baptism, as this morning. Moses & the Burning Bush, water from the River Jordan, Mary Ellen & Stacey at bat, and the mice at play.

This is a democracy: folks in Ferguson can change everything if they vote. Everything but human hearts. Even hearts in Time.

Alas, the ISIS news looks unthinkably like we need to open the gun cabinet we locked 69 years ago, Babylon. Let the bashful lead, follow, or get out of the way. 

In 2514, when Diana Gabaldonsdottr writes Son of Outlander, will those who travel back to 2114 find Alan benWeisman collecting plastic Coke bottles.

Prayer isn’t answered by saying O God, you made us in your own image and redeemed us through Jesus your Son: Look with compassion on the whole human family; take away the arrogance and hatred which infect our hearts; break down the walls that separate us; unite us in bonds of love; and work through our struggle and confusion to accomplish your purposes on earth; that, in your good time, all nations and races may serve you in harmony around your heavenly throne; through Jesus Christ our Lord Amen but by those who get off their hands. 

God has no hands but our hands to do his work today; God has no feet but our feet to lead others in his way; God has no voice but our voice to tell others how he died; And, God has no help but our help to lead them to his side. Annie Johnson Flint adapted from Teresa of Avila. 

Saturday, August 30, 2014



Saturday morning, not comfortable out here waiting for the newspaper, tolerable but temperature 79F, humidity 90%, wind 0 mph, not really comfortable. Back porch thermometer doesn’t say 79 its red line stands at 84, but I guarantee the humidity is at least 90, maybe higher right here on the Bay, and not a breath of air. 

Here on the downstairs front porch the greenery shields them from this exact sitting spot, but on the south channel, other side of the Bay, are two green navigation lights that flash alternately. From here they appear to be twins, right next to each other, I’m wondering if they are. My chart isn’t on the computer desktop where I keep it, maybe I didn’t transfer it to this computer, I only look at it now and then, it must be on the white MacBook. Wondering about those twin lights, maybe I’ll check it out later and solve that fact. It’s a fact that's only a mystery from here, depends on how you look at things, doesn’t it. Like two stars that are almost touching each other but when you get there are lightyears apart.  

Living right here on the Bay the navigation lights can become obsessive, and do, and have, and sometimes are, and even appear in dreams, including last night waking me hyperventilating, WTH was that all about. Wondering if I should relocate inland: that condo in Scottsdale that Linda’s parents owned in the late 1960s, we never should have sold that place. Winters in the desert were a heaven of color in bloom, summers breathtakingly hot and so dry that when you climbed out of the swimming pool, even at night, you were dry before you could get to your towel. Sometimes Linda, Malinda and Jody (he tolerated that name until we arrived in Columbus, when he informed us it’s Joe not Jody) would fly to Phoenix to visit a week or so, then I would drive over from San Diego to get them. Car radio, Thunderbird sedan with center-opening doors 
and oh man was that Ford V8 a fast, smooth highway machine, would be blaring country music. One of my favorites was Ernest Tubb and the Texas Troubadors. When I was a boy we called it hillbilly music.

Anymore I don’t like country music or listen, it drags me down! Whap, there’s the paper.

Aw, Billy Byrd now.

Friday, August 29, 2014

Say It With Flowers

Say it with flowers

The thing is, see, not I, never to begin a letter, email or blog post with I because it starts off already egocentric and boring even to oneself. But I’ll be switched if I’ll be hitched, no I’ll be dandelion if I expected that. First off was my own fault for failing to know what was going on with the SEC Network. Gardenia dandelion it to heliotrope. So I fiddled around searching, signed up for ESPN online, found that I had to access it via my internet provider which ComCast cooperates but Knology Now Known As WOW doesn’t, so I tried via Verizon and got mixed up forgetting names and passwords, changed passwords, got that settled, went to access the game, forgot the new password I’d just set, glanced up at the OleMiss game on the TV just as across the bottom scrolled the disaster from Columbia, so just went downstairs for two hotdogs and a Heineken and came back up hoping Boise State could overcome that 3 to 7. Except did you see that sickening interception in the end zone they looked fairly promising until into the second half, when the rest of my evening went to the Bad Place. 

I'm not an Ole Miss fan.

Its not about you, Bubba. 

Well, it sure seemed like it last night. What a fuchsia boliviana disaster. I may be SEC, but it’s limited to two teams, and whose big idea was it to let Texas A&M into our stratosphere anyway. We are not finished regretting that, this is just the beginning, it wasn’t Manziel after all.

What the hell. No, what the heliotrope. Well, when it comes to flowers it’s the thought that counts.

W with no +

Thursday, August 28, 2014

Glass of Wine on the Dock at Sunset

Glass of Wine on the Dock at Sunset Musing 

When we were at the University of Michigan we lived in a “housing project” sort of place, long buildings divided into apartments such as were built here in PC during WW2 to house industrial workers and military families. Wainwright Housing was one, Annie B. Sale Housing another, and there may have been more, because our Panama City population exploded during the War. Tyndall Field, the shipyard, the Navy Base, and there was a Coast Guard Station on the Cove side of Tarpon Dock Bridge on Massalina Bayou.

Probably the same WW2 origin to our home in Ann Arbor, but when we lived in that housing project it was mostly families of graduate students. The buildings were on the street and behind on the west side was a huge open grassy area for kids to play. The last month before summer 1963, because we had orders to Japan and would gone three years, Linda came home to PC with Malinda (just turning 5) and Joe (2 1/2) so the grandparents could enjoy them. Alone at sunset, I would go out to the grassy field with a beer or glass of wine, a folding chair, pad and pen, watch the sun go down, and discover that every man with a glass of wine is a poet at sunset. A poet or a theologian. Or a lover.

From time to time I’ve wished I had a dock here for sunset wine and musing, but all my neighbors have docks and when hurricanes storm across the Bay, parts of my neighbors’ docks, sometimes large sections, end up in my front yard; so I’ve learned to be happy with just MLP and my iPad and my folding chair with a cup holder. 

Bay, sky, Shell Island, what’s coming and going through The Pass, green navigation light, sunset off to my right, and very occasionally the sound of the Star Spangled Banner from Tyndall Field across the water, make me no better a poet at soon-79 than at 27, though I have another half-century of roads not taken to contemplate and wonder what if and thank you, Robert Frost. 

CFB Season again and we can go back to college yet one more time again. Seldom watch the Gators, because it hurts as excruciatingly to see them lose now as it did sixty years ago. But I’m also MGoBlue. PennState from the years in Harrisburg when and where Joe Paterno was state hero. Whoever is playing Florida State. Always South Carolina not only because of Amy but because of the coach who put the Gators and SEC on top. The man can still get a standing ovation in The Swamp even when he comes to fight, and I hope that always happens for him.

6/5 Central, Texas A&M at South Carolina Go Gamecocks

Back to sunset and the night sky. What about the Big Picture. I’m thinking about the end of Act I in Our Town. Mr. Webb says good night to Emily, who is still awake and at her window, while across the way Rebecca and George continue to chat and look at the sky. Rebecca mentions a letter that her friend Jane once received. Rebecca recalls that the letter was addressed to “Jane Crofut; The Crofut Farm; Grover’s Corners; Sutton County; New Hampshire; United States of America; Continent of North America; Western Hemisphere; the Earth; the Solar System; the Universe; the Mind of God.” George marvels and the Stage Manager announces a break. As for me, while theologizing that God is loving specks on specks in infinite universes across the breadth of His Mind, I’m looking at that green light and remembering a Peanuts scene a friend sent me when our Patty died five years ago. What is there, really?

Cup of coffee on the front screen porch waiting for sunrise is the same sort of musing, but predawn coffee doesn’t lubricate the mind as well as wine at sunset.


Thanks, Norm, ever so much!

Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Wilhelm or William?

Blogging possibilities are illimitable for intriguing oneself or for fatiguing self and others. Unless there is a hurricane in the Gulf, for example, to comment constantly on the weather, which this morning seems nonexistent, just a Florida Gulf Coast muggy morning not nearly so delightful as yesterday. I guess it wasn’t autumn after all. Here on the downstairs front porch waiting for the carrier to toss the PCNH while the sprinklers shift to different zones hoping to get me: each lawn sprinkler system has its demon, each head its own pixie.

It’s not PC to say the paper boy, anymore it’s the carrier. Same with the mail man.

In the blackness there’s that long-legged bird doing its squawking sound, from where, can’t tell. Yesterday when I went down to the Bay it flew with a huge protest out of a pine tree, more often I see it wandering down front, fishing just off my beach. This is a brown bird, not the white one. 

So what then? Yesterday’s primary? I haven’t looked again this morning for upsets, but no surprises last night. Give it up, some of you, unless you just like your name on little signs, and going round the Wednesday morning after to collect them. I trust the majority of folks are happy though, that’s the way with a democracy. Or at least various pluralities should be tentatively satisfied. Until November.

Not me. Oh, with the election primary, I’m good, but yesterday’s TWP had a headline that world leaders have lost confidence in our WH to take command and lead the way against ISIS. I didn't read the article but admit to preferring John McCain to lead such a war, not Romney what the hell does he know about war, but McCain because the situation has gone off extremely critical and John knows better the meaning of all out and how to proceed and what to drop, and critical is where we have arrived because of stupid Tuesdays in decades past. Stop it, Bubba, lest you offend someone.

Have not scanned news online this morning, or opened email. Today: pay a couple of bills, start sermon thought for Sunday, open my new book that the Easter Bunny left on the front porch yesterday. W. Wrede on the Messianic Secret in Mark. Das Messiasgeheimnis in den Evangelien published 1901 but my German is so bad that I have the English translation not published until seventy years later, J.C.G. Grieg, 1971. Seeing that Wrede (is it William or Wilhelm, make up your mind) is credited with opening that box -- and seeing that throughout Year B we read Mark and I intend that we read and discuss Mark in my Tuesday morning Bible seminar, after reading and discussing the Gospel of Thomas -- I might as well read Wrede. Supposedly also, in the book Wrede argues persuasively that Jesus‘ itinerary was not historical but the evangelist’s literary construct for purposes of his agenda, and I’m intrigued. Everyone else can be fatigued, I couldn’t care less.  


Little scratchy this morning are we, Sonny Boy? 

Tuesday, August 26, 2014


Goodness, four:fifteen, late again today, not seven o’clock as yesterday, still later than my Usual. And a special Goodness for a repeat of yesterday’s temperature, pleasantly cool down by the Bay as I went down to get Linda’s PCNH, and pretty good up here on my upstairs front porch. Can’t see anything yet though, only darkness. The city’s street lamp is an extra half-moon. Off to the east and south, that green navigation light winking at me from across the Bay: what a tease. I'm not going there, cut it out.

Good coffee, Italian roast. The Kona is almost gone, so I'm rationing it out. Who knows, maybe someone will bring me a can of that for my birthday in two weeks. 

Tuesday, for my walk in the Cove with Robert, seven o’clock. Counting breakfast after it’ll be two hours. A stop to visit friends I still love and will always miss; well, not always, eh? Hey that’s a nice light breeze, an early autumn would be fair after the brutal summer, but the weather also is a tease. I’m thinking still a month before it’s safe to settle in happy about the weather, and may the Evil Eye not be reading over my shoulder with a tropical storm in his backpack.

Kristen heads off back to university later this morning, a college senior, she’s all grown up, why have my girls done this to me? My friends who are enjoying sons and daughters at home might bless themselves by giving thanks for a child, a person who passes through your life on their way to becoming an adult, which is what Time is all about. What about Eternity: what is heaven like? A tiny girl holds out her arms to me and says “picka me up, Daddy.”

Green right departing.


Monday, August 25, 2014

Heaven: cool breeze, clear sky, ship passing, green light

Not to say the sleeping habits of the aged, more our nocturnal erraticisms innit. Maybe it’s actually making up for, IDK. Saturday evening my head was on the pillow by seven:thirty and awake at 12:19, downstairs drinking coffee before 12:30. Last night light out after watching Mike on the lawyers’ call-in program, I didn’t know Mike took a turn on the show but as always he was the neatest, coolest and sharpest but the sound was mute because Linda was asleep and I couldn’t follow the conversation via the subtitles however Mike is one of my heroes so I watched anyway; then this morning Linda sits on the edge of the bed watching to make sure the Bubba is still breathing (oh rats) then says what’s going on, it’s seven o’clock. 

What has happened? Here am I, Lord, on an August morn, sleeping till seven o'clock and now sitting on my upstairs front screen porch looking out across St. Andrews Bay at Shell Island and in a light, comfortable, even cool, breeze. Maybe the Bubba is not breathing, this is as heavenly as anyone could ever get, maybe I am in heaven. No, I don’t hear the Anglican Chant, so obviously this is not heaven and I’m still alive.  

O Lord, our heavenly Father, almighty and everlasting God,
who hast safely brought us to the beginning of this new day:
Defend us in the same with thy mighty power; and grant that
this day we fall into no sin, neither run into any kind of
danger; but that all our doings being ordered by thy governance, we may do always what is righteous in thy sight; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen. (BCP)
Incoming: a ship moving east in the far channel, in a couple minutes she will pass me in the near channel heading west to the Port, yep there she goes, a container vessel heavily laden.
Actually, maybe this is heaven. Where’s that green channel marker, Lord?


Sunday, August 24, 2014

Don't have a hissyfit

Don't get yourself into a tizzy

(this morning I won't be at HNEC as usual because I'm filling in for Father Chuck at St. Thomas by the Sea, Laguna Beach. Chuck is recuperating from injuries in a car crash last weekend.)

Matthew 16:13-20 (KJV) Confession of Peter
13 When Jesus came into the coasts of Caesarea Philippi, he asked his disciples, saying, Whom do men say that I the Son of man am? 14 And they said, Some say that thou art John the Baptist: some, Elias; and others, Jeremias, or one of the prophets. 15 He saith unto them, But whom say ye that I am? 16 And Simon Peter answered and said, Thou art the Christ, the Son of the living God. 17 And Jesus answered and said unto him, Blessed art thou, Simon Barjona: for flesh and blood hath not revealed it unto thee, but my Father which is in heaven. 18 And I say also unto thee, That thou art Peter, and upon this rock I will build my church; and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it. 19 And I will give unto thee the keys of the kingdom of heaven: and whatsoever thou shalt bind on earth shall be bound in heaven: and whatsoever thou shalt loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven. 20 Then charged he his disciples that they should tell no man that he was Jesus the Christ.

Above is our gospel reading for today. Matthew 16 takes it over from Mark 8, where it is somewhat problematic for understanding in light of Mark’s theme and agenda, which late 19th / early 20th century German Lutheran professor and theologian Wilhelm Wrede called das Messiasgeheimnis, which has come to us in English as the messianic mystery or the messianic secret. Matthew expands on Mark right off the bat by 

  • changing “who do men say that I am?” to “who do men say the Son of Man is??
  • expanding Peter’s response from “You are the Christ” to “You are the Christ, the Son of the living God.”
  • adding Jesus’ response to Peter from no words to “Blessed art thou, Simon Barjona: for flesh and blood hath not revealed it unto thee, but my Father which is in heaven. 18 And I say also unto thee, That thou art Peter, and upon this rock I will build my church; and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it. 19 And I will give unto thee the keys of the kingdom of heaven: and whatsoever thou shalt bind on earth shall be bound in heaven: and whatsoever thou shalt loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven,” which does not appear at all in Mark's original. 
What’s going on? 

Wonderfully, and as we might expect, scholars do not agree. The first issue is within Mark, at least a couple of things. For Jesus to center attention to himself, a self-effacing, humble man, seems out of character. Another, Peter knowing who Jesus was is counter to the Geheimnis that Mark features from start to finish for what are to me, clearly reasons of inspiring his frustratred hearers to dash out and proclaim Christ crucified and raised. For another, Peter knowing and confessing before the Transfiguration, which comes next but has not happened yet, seems asynchronous within Mark's own story. For still another, some scholars, take them or leave them, point out that use of the title Messiah (Christ, xristos) for Jesus is post-Easter, also asynchronous. These same issues come over into Matthew, who seems to have written perhaps a generation after Mark (c.a. 65-70 A.D.) when the fledgling Christian church was growing and needing divine sanction for its developing authority structure, with interesting implications for text criticism. 

Not good for the pulpit lest people in the pew be horrified, hyperventilating, fanning and fainting, these are nonetheless great topics for Sunday School or Tuesday morning Bible seminar. 


Saturday, August 23, 2014

Don't say His Name, Harry

One of many joys of this electronic age and the internet is the seemingly infinite availability of free resources, things that have been written over the years and down through the ages of history. Walking on my treadmill, which I detest, I have read several Shakespeare plays (I’m not his fan but he beats staring at the clock) and novels of Charles Dickens: typically, one chapter is a decent workout for me. I’m not especially a Dickens fan either, though the romanticism of several is touching. And Mr. Pickwick’s exciting adventures all while dealing with the unwanted affections and eventual lawsuit of his landlady, who thought he was proposing that they marry and live and love together when all he was asking was permission to have a manservant in his apartments; and Pickwick lost in court and, as well as finding other rooms, was found guilty and had to pay the lady a substantial fine for leading her on. Well, Little Dorrit is pretty sappy with the time in debtors prison, and Dickens goes on and on and on and on chapter after chapter after chapter after chapter because he was earning his living by writing serials for newspaper publication. 

But anyone who ever loved and lost in their youth might like Great Expectations and its final scene when the long lost beloved Estella unexpectedly shows back up in Pip’s life in his later years and they walk off into the moonlight. “I took her hand in mine, and we went out of the ruined place; and, as the morning mists had risen long ago when I first left the forge, so the evening mists were rising now, and in all the broad expanse of tranquil light they showed to me, I saw no shadow of another parting from her.”

Anyone harboring a teenage daydream in their waning years has got to love Pip and Estella. Go for it, Mr. Pip, and all free online.

Today it wouldn't be necessary to buy all these pricey textbooks, practically anything I ever had to read in theological seminary is now available on the web. And one no longer must own a costly encyclopedia, or if it comes down to it even a dictionary or thesaurus, because thoughts and words and names can be looked up instantly online quicker than turning pages and running one’s finger down the letter by letter descending alphabet of word lists. There was a time when I had to plan special trips to the library to do research for sermons, or, when I was in business, dig out information for my Australian and Canadian clients. No more.

And it is enormous fun discovering things to share with my Sunday School class and folks in my Tuesday morning Bible Seminar. Yale University has a wide range of online courses that include the course lectures by their professors, which one can either read the transcript or watch the professor lecture, virtually being there in the classroom even while students ask and the professor answers questions. I have done both the Old Testament course, taught by a Jewish scholar, and the New Testament course, interestingly enough taught by a professor who grew up in a literalist fundamentalist church, and admits to now being an Episcopalian.

Bother, where was I going? Oh yes, Bible Gateway is the most wonderful online resource imaginable, with translations in every language including a couple dozen English, several Hebrew Bibles and four Greek New Testaments; including at least one TR where one can compare, for example, the text of the KJV with later translations from better and more ancient sources, enlightening, for example, questions about the so-called Johannine Comma. And Peter Kirby’s Early Jewish Writings and especially his Early Christian Writings with it’s  scholarly essay on each book of the Bible and many excellent links, may be my second most useful online resource. EssWord, rambling again, TomBo.      

At BibleGateway, the Orthodox Jewish Bible, completed by Phillip Goble in 2002, is an English language version that applies Yiddish and Hasidic cultural expressions to the Messianic Bible, with some fascinating yields. Tomorrow’s story, for example, of the background, conception, birth and rearing of Moses, reads quaintly in the OJB as though Harry Golden's mother were reading it to him at bedtime. And our liturgical response to that opening story in Exodus, Psalm 124. Read the psalm below. 

Hashem, BTW, is the Jewish name for God (whose name YHWH is too sacred to speak) that one speaks when one is not in a worship environment (where one would say Adonai instead of YHWH) and one needs to make very damnable sure that one does not accidentally slip up and commit the stoneable sacrilege of saying The Name aloud. The OJB is very neat:

Tehillim 124 Orthodox Jewish Bible (OJB)
124 (Shir HaMa’alot, [Song of Ascents] of Dovid). If it had not been Hashem Who was lanu (for us, on our side), now may Yisroel say;
If it had not been Hashem Who was lanu, when adam (man) rose up against us;
Then they had swallowed us up chayyim (alive); when their wrath was kindled against us;
Then the mayim would have overwhelmed us, the torrent would have swept over nafsheinu (our nefesh); (Shir HaMa’alot, [Song of
Then the mayim hazedonim (treacherous waters) would have swept over nafsheinu (our nefesh).
Baruch Hashem, Who hath not given us up as a prey to their shinayim (teeth).
Nafsheinu (our nefesh) is escaped as a tzippor (bird) out of the pach (snare of the fowlers); the pach is broken, and we are escaped.
Ezreinu (our help) B’Shem Hashem Oseh Shomayim vaAretz.

I might add, Glory to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit: as it was in the beginning, is now, and will be forever. Amen.


Friday, August 22, 2014

Biff!! Pow!!! But!!

Trivia notes that the predawn temperature has for weeks been 80F to 82F unchanging and threatening. Each day differs in discomfort. During yesterday’s walk the body was unbearably sticky sweaty even during breakfast in the cool breeze at Bayou Joe’s, returning home straight to the shower. Today's heat index: 115F. Discomfort? Trivia. People are dying. Hating. In a world of murderous hatred, my life is self-centered trivia. 

But political correctness is a multifaceted brilliant cut diamonique. What is seen vice what is. On this side, from my facet I sympathize, believing I understand the seven decade history that brought Gaza, Hamas and the West Bank to this bitter morning: I am millennia shortsighted, TeeComeLately. Their warring and bitter hatred are from everlasting and even the Holocaust is but a chapter. Yes, stop the slaughter, but for Israel to negotiate truce with Hamas is to trim the claws of a madman whose declared sole purpose is eradication, there is no peace with him, history is where it is, not where we might have it, his children terrorists in waiting for generations to come and blessed are the peacemakers are delusional. Hopeful, well-meaning, not to say fools, but oblivious or turning blind eye, deaf ear. Is it time for the once and for all to settle Hamas, IDK, neither do you. Am I changing sides? No, watching, contemplating, maybe seeing. Why? Why now? 

Because ISIS is precisely more of the same that makes me suddenly see Hamas/Israel as a picture-in-picture with America on the big screen. To merely stop ISIS at the dam is trimming fingernails. Bombing enemy’s soldiers on the front line, tearing down his statue and declaring victory is the warfare of fools, we have stood on the flight deck and waved that vee. To stop an enemy is only to destroy his economic support, obliterate his industrial base and wreck his logistics train. ISIS has declared permanent war on us, as Hamas on Israel. We do not need a short term solution, we will fight only the ISIS front line at our national peril, but I wonder if our leadership is that timid. Reluctance is understandable, timidity is suicidal. Martin is right, are you listening, Barry? 

Batman, come.

And Ferguson? I can and do sympathize, though with what seems to me a reasonable viewpoint; but it is not possible for me a white man to understand that reason is not the issue, being is the issue, trust is the issue, the issue is existential and I am not and have never been. I may and do despise the media for their incendiary phrase “unarmed black teenager shot down by a white policeman” and they have stirred my contempt for freedom of the press, but I am not there, no policeman ever pulled up beside me downtown shouting, “Get the f--- out of the street” as a normal, usual, accepted and acceptable way of dealing with me, I haven’t lived there, I don’t know how my quick temper might respond, though certainly not blessed are the meek, likely the scene would be ugly, not unlikely turn deadly. I may and do contemn the Missouri governor, a contemptible political hack screeching "a vigorous prosecution must now be pursued" before investigation is done. But white, I am not on the other side of being. From my pov and life I’ve deeply respected authority and the police, but my life experience is not being treated negatively by a public official only because of my color, it isn’t possible for me to understand, it just isn’t. I just have to watch.

And yet, if is the Ferguson police force, I wonder why, in a town 70% black why there is a white mayor and white police force? Whose fault is that? Who didn't care enough to vote, but only to demonstrate.

Lost and wondering where I am and where I'm headed. Johnny Nash and me.


Thursday, August 21, 2014

Life: Take with Food

Life: Take with Food

What’s happening on this end? Series of things, eh, each different, at this hour all forgettably zilch. Usual evening close of day is fruit for supper, never meat. Empty dehumidifier. Half hour to hour on computer upstairs, load Linda’s crossword puzzles, NYT, WP, USAToday, and one called Daily that its software messes up half the time and it won’t load, plus on Monday a weekly that comes “easy, medium, hard” print those out and deliver to the lady of the manor. Next, really super important stuff on which Time can’t be wasted predawn when the brain works. Study cars from favorite era 1920s and 30s up to early 40s (do you know why Buick alone of GM cars didn’t adopt Fisher Body’s “Turret Top” in 1935? well, I do, and there’s a trick question that goes along with that, and both questions will be on St. Peter’s exam at the pearly gate, probably an essay question too, not your multiple choice stuff  so you’d better get with it if you want to be Saved, and that's your spiritual advice from here this morning), check out Dilbert, Calvin & Hobbes, Cul-de-Sac, Get Fuzzy, Doonesbury, Rudy Park, Candorville. Now and then Two Cows and a Chicken. Alternately instead of web browsing, read in bed until Linda startles me awake saying, “why don’t you just turn out the light?” which happened last night at 8:15. 

Why the line “... , never meat”? Because such as the delicious spicy taco salad with glass of malbec for supper at church last evening dependably wakens me by two a.m. with it’s the big one Elizabeth I’m comin’ to ya, honey heartburn, so generally only fruit for supper. Now and then a tomato sandwich if there's a bright ripe red tomato, but not often, because I like it with lots of mayonnaise. This stage of life is memorable specifically because I remember when my father got to this point in digestion and no longer could eat meat at night. So, heavier protein at breakfast, sometimes at lunch with red wine and a vegetable. Supper? fruit. Linda may eat cottage cheese: I love cottage cheese, especially with milk and sugar, but have memories of that day when our next door neighbor Commander Don McCarthy’s wife telephoned Linda and asked, “do you know Tom is rolling on the grass in your backyard?” and Linda said, “oh yes, he’s just passing kidney stones.” I recently read that Don went on to vice admiral.    

There’s today's lesson in growing old. Here’s the other lesson in aging. Take your heart meds after your morning walk, not before. Tuesday morning I had to cancel the long walk with Robert, not because we had a funeral later Tuesday morning, but because I had gulped the meds at six, and 30 minutes later BP had dropped so low I was too dizzy to go outside in the humid heat to walk. So take with food as the label says.  

So what else is new? Harry Golden wrote. Email from Norm. Email from Bill Fuller, hope to see Bill & Ann at St T church this fall and winter, also Phil & Sheree. Linda scans a newspaper article and says, “I don’t understand about NASCAR, lots of people going around in circles.” OK, just for that I don’t understand about Pinterest. Or this circular business of aging, and anybody who thinks it’s not a business hasn’t been here yet.




Wednesday, August 20, 2014

not to esteem

OK, I’m standing up. Everybody who wonders uneasily if what’s going on in Ferguson, Missouri is -- other -- stand up.

Like a dog emerging from a muddy bayou, from college years on and all my life I worked hard to shake it,

and diligently to keep shed of it -- my Old South upbringing and pov -- and I have succeeded, I have gardenia well succeeded: there is not a racist wart on me or racist bone within me. But I find myself wondering what the Fed is up to and my politically incorrect wondering is filling me with self-doubt and self-loathing: I am not on a side, why this dis-ease?

IDK, possibly because.

Possibly because are we developing a federal police state, in our system of powers reserved isn’t there local, county and state government and that will look objectively into what happened and deal with calm justice not in sop to angry mob fired by a phrase that the media love casting like sand into fighting dogs? Not on a side, neither am I getting on a side, simply it is dis-easing to read that Washington is rushing to Ferguson to see whether there is basis to summon a grand jury to indict and prosecute federal charges anyway against a city police officer for shooting a man whom autopsy indicates was charging him. 

Excessive shots fired? Agreed, or did the man keep coming, keep charging and the officer panic and keep shooting? IDK.   

Not yet wrought, something -- other  -- something dis-easingly -- federal -- forming in the bottom silt, emerging? To take charge of us? What? 

Growing up in an century when we watched strong central governments operate throughout Europe, South America, Africa and Asia, I never appreciated a single one of them. I will disappreciate one at home even more. But here it comes.


Tuesday, August 19, 2014


Time in a Bottle

Mornings after checking out the daily word, (fungible) I scroll down to the “thought for today.” Some are more profound than others, this one not so much, but proverbial. “There is only one way to achieve happiness on this terrestrial ball, and that is to have either a clear conscience or none at all.” -Ogden Nash, poet (1902-1971). Even if Nash is right, I don’t necessarily agree or find it so, but I’d certainly never admit that.

These years, my best morning getting up time seems to be a quarter-hour either side of 3:30. Just so this morning. Linda must have been snoring again and not wanting to bother me, because she’s in what she calls her “snoring room”, the bedroom on the far opposite corner of the house, NW vice SE where I am. Not so pretty good, this nevertheless means I can make coffee upstairs, open the blind in the door by the bed and watch for the PCNH carrier as I sip coffee and type Nonsense. I stuck my head out to test the day only to be covered over with muggy.

The typing is pretty good now. Thoroughly a cheapskate with myself (I’ve always resented me when I bought myself a new car, for example, and usually not kept it long but soon got rid of it in favor of my favorite, which is a creampuff jalopy such as the 1999 Buick Century the Cramers found for me, a neat little car and by far not my first older Buick over the past sixty years of car ownership), I’ve been wanting but not needing so not buying, one of the MacBooks with the illuminated keyboard. But to get a new computer, unless one is Ogden’s man who can find happiness without conscience by borrowing one that some fool isn’t minding, one must pay for it, and for me that’s an agonizing thought (paying, not borrowing). However, we needed to replace Kristen’s computer a couple weeks ago, and that step was eased in that I could take her old one, which has lighted keys. Now I can lie stretched out here in a half-dark bedroom and type comfortably. 

I’m into used computers and used cars.     

The main and only worry about writing a daily blog post is they find out you’re as deranged as they are. Words are a barometer, a thermometer, they can take your pulse, plot your devolution, check your temperature. Mind, that they’re gunning for you is no sign you’re paranoid, it’s them, the lot of ‘em. The proof: I’m not the one who reads this Nonsense, that’s the red flag, the real gauge of sanity. Not who writes it: who reads it.

Investigation reported on ABC news. Food Trucks: how clean are they? To mind? Every evening we were in port, just as the sailors were being piped to a healthy Navy supper on the mess deck, a food truck would come rolling down the pier offering an alternative, the word would be passed “the Navy Exchange Canteen is now on the pier” and the chow line would evaporate. I once, but only once, heard over the 1MC, “The roach coach is making its approach.”  

If I’m destined to be a religious person of sorts, it’s pretty much The Episcopal Church for me. Within limits. As well as being true to my heritage, TEC aka ECUSA is the only church I know, besides maybe UCC, where you can’t get blasted for theological heresy (as nobody knows what if anything is orthodox in this box) but you can get blown out of the water for being politically incorrect. However the benefit of age is that anyone who doesn’t like it can lump it. Or stuff it. And with the march of time, the age is about to get worse.

Not to be indelicate, but the autopsy issue in Missouri brings to mind Judges 19:29. Everybody wants a piece and will keep examining until they get the results they demand. In Bible scholarship it’s called eisegesis. ὁ ἀναγινώσκων νοείτω. What are the Feds after? 

So far this morning I’ve scanned the email, read only Anu Garg, but not opened any of the online newspapers. 

If this time-turner really worked, or if Jim Croce hadn’t gotten into that airplane that day, I’d take us back to 2000 and we’d never have gotten into this mess in the first place. We certainly wouldn’t be where we are today, that's fer sure, that's fer dang sure.  ὁ ἀναγινώσκων νοείτω.

PCNH is at the end of the concrete path, so I'm outta here.

The salt air hits this Florida Native in the face like a breath of heaven. Speaking of which, there's that green light across the Bay. Jim Croce, where are you when we need you?

Heaven: salt air, Anglican Chant, and that red Duesenberg touring car on the circular drive in front of my mansion. Time. Or after.

Monday, August 18, 2014

I Voted

 When I was a boy is a common theme that should either have quotation marks around it or be in italics, but it’s my blog and it doesn’t. When I was a boy it was inconceivable that a local seafood restaurant would not have mullet on the menu, nowadays you have to search one out. Gene’s or Captain’s. Fish Net in Lynn Haven had delicious mullet for years but last time we were there none available and the time before that they were terrible, so like a cold day in hell. Well, maybe if we hear different. Catfish Pad in Tallahassee. Oyster Barn on Bayou Texar in Pensacola, I’m having the last of Linda’s mullet from there for breakfast -- with corn bread, dense delicious cornbread. I’m no longer a hushpuppies fan, you get rocks anymore. Mullet and cornbread.

Why mullet for a blogpost? Should I write that a ridiculous indictment couldn’t happen to a nicer guy than Rick Perry? We are strange people, Americans, jerked around, led by the media like brainless cows with a rope through the nose. Are they still fighting ISIS in Iraq, why no headlines about that? What’s that fool with the green hat doing in Afghanistan, why no news from there? But no, media are leading us, we’re being led compliantly through the streets of Missouri where a stupid trigger happy cop shot a punk bully cigar thief six times for jaywalking so the media could create the racism event of the millennium. The media will stay as long as there's tanks, teargas smoke, the sound of gunshot, and somebody running away from a smashed shop window with a television set. 

But hey, what about my early ballot? When I was a boy here you registered Democrat otherwise you couldn’t vote when the decisions were made. Besides, when I was a boy Republicans were despised yankees still down here with their carpetbags. Navy years I switched to GOP but bailed when Ron in an incomprehensibly stupid and culturally uncomprehending move sent Marines to Lebanon, I bailed even before they were slaughtered that horrible night, so now I get a blue ballot for the primary. My ballot, what’s this? Three spots to vote on? Jim Fensom’s easy for judge, check. Lawyer buddies suggested which one for AG, check. But what’s this -> -> hey, I remember this guy, first they told me to vote for him for governor now the same guys who told me to vote for him then are telling me no he was a terrible governor don’t vote for him now, but the same guys who told me not to vote for him then are telling me to vote for him now because he’ll be a great governor, they’re all nuts so I voted for Nan. Why wasn’t Gwen on my ballot, I’ve been a Bob Graham fan for as long as I can remember. Oops, I’ve showed my cards.

Looks like my Tuesday morning Bible class made up yesterday, by the time I finished my chicken drumstick and left church, eight or ten folks had signed up. Instead of evening, they wanted a morning class again, so fine with me. Starts Tuesday, September 2, day after Labor Day. Start gathering between 9:30 and 10:00 for coffee/tea/snack and to meet and visit with each other. As before, class will convene with prayer promptly at 10:05 and adjourn promptly at 11:15 so folks can get on about lunch and their day. No particular church membership is required, all are invited and welcome. 


Sunday, August 17, 2014


How odd to wake at 4:42 feeling guilty about oversleeping. No matter as it’s not my morning to preach. Grandfather Nature reminds me of my age by insisting I not snuggle back down to make an even five o’clock of it, but rise this instant. Rise and hurry, if not shine. 

Water dripping off the roof, and the street’s soaked, stepping out into still a slight drizzle, so pop the umbrella open for the walk down the concrete steps and path, dodging the sprinkler that knows me by name and crouches for me. Newspaper’s not there yet, the carrier evidently enjoying Sunday morning by starting a bit late, or maybe it takes longer to roll the larger paper and stuff it in the plastic wrap. No matter. A smallcraft speeds by in the near channel, headed east, visible by its red port light. Green channel marker beyond, but I’m good.

Coffee. This morning my first cup of the cylinder of 100% Kona from WholeFoods our last trip to Tallahassee. It’s fine, though I’m no coffee connoisseur. 80F again by the back porch thermometer as I go out to check for the flashing red light on the dash of Kristen’s car to signal her home safe, parked in the carport on the other side of Linda’s. And the PCNH is not on the Calhoun side as it is now and then.

Draw another cup of Kona and back out front with cup and computer to wait on the front porch, but there’s the paper this time. The sprinkler is off now but the green navigation light flashes on forever, searing the mind. Where's the boat? She's passed on. 

Why is the weather so absolutely constant as to wait for me every morning at 80F for weeks on end -- ? Eighty and too muggy to sit on the front porch (the weather, not me). Maybe late next month after my birthday, mornings of autumn leaves and cool. The age cometh and now is when the true thinker always wonders if this will be the sleep from which to awaken elsewhere. 

Rally Day at my wonderful church today, fried chicken dinner after the second service, and sign up for my Tuesday morning Bible study. It starts the day after Labor Day, and Sunday School starts the following Sunday. Fellowship and fun all.


Saturday, August 16, 2014

Favorite Child

Favorite Child

Somewhere far beyond these ages of ages, Being that in the Fourth Dimension is the Eternal Word at Will, reflects, or reflected, or will reflect -- {tense matters not, as tense, a concept of the human social construct of Time, cannot exist without height, depth and breadth which in that Somewhere are not} -- reflects on the human experiment that, conceived as homoioúsios, nearly made it in that one, favorite, beloved universe. They loved and were loved. They laughed and wept and stormed and raged and fought, were conceived, born, lived and died, but always loved with Us, whom they sometimes erroneously perceived as dispassionate. The humans will be completed, and our Creator, who in a flash of Time and a burst of flame said YHWH, “tell them Being sent you”, will grieve for us, all the conceived, the named, the unnamed, the lived, the died, the never born but eternally loved, the known but to God, the legion, speck on a speck.

A dozen and some years ago, Time magazine -- I saved the issue, it’s around here somewhere -- ran a front cover and feature article on the end of the universe. That would be our particular universe and Earth, our speck under heaven. The scientists envisioned in a billion, billion, billion years, the Big Bang (ours that is, our speck on a speck universe) slowing, dying, cooling, until finally at absolute zero, ceasing to exist. 

There were, are, and ever shall be others in the Mind of God. But we will have been God’s favorite, the apple of God's eye. You, Λεγιὼν, and even Θωμᾶς, speck on a speck, beloved one and all, deeply grieved for what was and for what might have been.

Perhaps the Being will say us again in God’s own time.  

For everything there is a season, and a time for every matter under heaven:

a time to be born, and a time to die;
a time to plant, and a time to pluck up what is planted;

a time to kill, and a time to heal;
a time to break down, and a time to build up;

a time to weep, and a time to laugh;
a time to mourn, and a time to dance;

a time to cast away stones, and a time to gather stones together;
a time to embrace, and a time to refrain from embracing;

a time to seek, and a time to lose;
a time to keep, and a time to cast away;

a time to rend, and a time to sew;
a time to keep silence, and a time to speak;

a time to love, and a time to hate;
a time for war, and a time for peace.


Friday, August 15, 2014

Same Tune

Do you know the mullet man, the mullet man, the mullet man?
Do you know the mullet man, who casts on St. A. Bay?

Same tune, second verse, couldn't be better, could be worse -- how?

Choices, every morning thoughts and choices about what to think on. Sometimes while the mind ruminates, the fingers dance along robbing the mind’s prerogative. 

From my vocation, this should be a holy corner, but it isn’t, maybe later, eh? Maybe not. Thoughts returning,

  • in the near channel just now, a large boat, not ship, passing offshore in the pitch black predawn darkness, its long row of lights along the side looking for all the world like cabin lights on Mark Twain's riverboat. Or the SS Tarpon: I snapped a pic but it didn’t take, maybe it wasn’t real, maybe --- naaah
  • “15” the little square declares, looking closer, AUGUST 15 it says. Someone’s birthday, how old? IDK. Someone who remembers 9/11 but not Pearl Harbor? That would describe most everybody but me.
  • yesterday morning my six-monthly checkup was fine. Later I was so happy that I had gone to Cleveland and not let nature take its course four years ago: took Kristen to Gene’s Oyster Bar for lunch. We shared four dozen, one dozen baked with cheese, three dozen steamed, add Tabasco at will or won’t. Ordered a mullet basket takeout to take home for Linda, but they had no mullet. As she opened our oysters in front of us the lady looked out the window and said, “Oh, here comes the mullet man right off the Bay, do you still want that mullet basket?” (duh) We took our take-out, oyster basket for us, mullet sides for Linda, two fish, backbone, tails and all. I always munch the crispy fried mullet tails, and yesterday Kristen had her first ever fried mullet backbone -- “How do you eat that, Papa? -- I’ll show you. --- want to try one? -- Sure.” We're Panama City natives, baby!! We munched our fried oysters as we drove around Millville, then home to St. Andrews. I’ll bet the mullet man cast for those right here in front of my house, he sometimes does. One day as he came ashore I asked, “Do any good?” Him: “Yep, got 38.” Me: “You can’t eat 38 fish for lunch, what do you do with ‘em?” Him: “I provide mullet to the little cafes around here.” 
  • Linda eats only the filet, pulls off the skin. !!!!! the best part of mullet is the skin, fried, salty and oily. Comes to mullet, I waste nothin’ but the head.
  • Friday -- we’re going to Pensacola this morning, and I mean to have oysters and mullet for lunch again today.
  • Hacked? Yesterday I got a friend request on FB. Thought that person was already a friend, but accepted anyway. Turned out some spammer had hacked her FB page, which came out when the Real Her told all her friends “that isn’t me, don’t accept”. Same here: I have never asked anyone to be my FB friend, never, not once, I may accept but I do not ask, so if anyone gets a friend request from me, it’s fake, phony, a hacker, turn it down.
  • But but but. Had enough, or let the fingers ramble about self-discipline in a police officer? Any cop has the right to shoot a man who’s struggling with him, fighting to get his gun, in the fight injuries him sufficient to go to hospital for treatment. But police officer training should instill the discipline to overcome the rush of adrenaline, fear, and anger if the man backs off. Any prospective cop who can’t pass that psychological drill of anger control shouldn’t wear a badge. A cool head is everything. But the mob rage, smashing, burning and looting in FergusonMo wasn’t justice, but reverse racism. But so is the media’s ongoing gasoline on the fire headline “police officer who shot unarmed black teen.” But was the kid going for the officer’s gun, or not? But arresting reporters “for trespassing” -- in McDonalds? But but but but My but. Anybody else’s buts?   
  • Stirs a quip from Cove School days. “Hey, is that your face? Nobody else’s but.” yuk yuk
  • Had a second FB friend request yesterday. Stranger but looked harmless and with a couple of friends in common so accepted. Now I’m getting ads, feeds, and comments from some dance site. criminy. corblimey.
When all is said and done -- and it is -- not signing this one.

Anon... going off into the Friday. 

Thursday, August 14, 2014

The Thrill Starts with the Grill

Beats me why in recent years we are seeing all these new cars with the huge open mouths. It’s supposed to be “hot” I suppose, an enormous air scoop gulping aspiration on the race track or something, what a crock, what a load of it. Both foreign cars and American cars have succumbed to the trendy. 

They’re even doing it in China, above, the new Beijing E-Series. Hopefully the fad will fade soon enough. Not soon enough for me.

The first suggestion of such that I remember is the Edsel, the car FoMoCo brought out in 1957 for a couple of reasons. 

It was to fill a supposed price gap between Ford and Mercury, and it honored Henry Ford’s only son Edsel, father of Henry Ford II. 

The first Edsel cars were offered in two body series and price ranges, the cheaper a Ford body finished as an Edsel, the more expensive a Mercury body finished as an Edsel. The convertible was really nice. From the side.

Collector items today, the cars were fine same as any other Ford product, but the styling was widely ridiculed, became a laughingstock, so they didn’t sell, were discontinued after only three or four model years, and Edsel became an icon for failure. 

Today’s cars with the huge black hole instead of a front grill remind me of Edsel.

However, there is one car that, though not for many long years a Chrysler enthusiast, I could get into and drive across the heavens, a 2015 Dodge sedan V8 with 707 horsepower. Yep, a cool sedan!

Mine is parked in that garage out back beside the 1970 Oldsmobile Cutlass, where I keep a couple of dream cars. I’ll never know why I let that Olds get away from me. So a 707 hp Dodge hemi V8? Maybe. Mine is red. Dream on.