Ernest (Arlen) Saves Thanksgiving…

28 11 2014

One of my principal mottos is “done is good.” For this Thanksgiving, it was particularly important.

We’d known for some time the dishwasher and food disposal would need replacing,

but things came to a head this past weekend — dishwasher leaking out onto the kitchen floor and food disposal frozen and limiting drainage down the kitchen sink.

Alas! The kitchen would be unusable to prepare the Thanksgiving Feast

So we bit the bullet and got a deal on a new dishwasher and disposal (and sink and faucet in the bargain).

But for an old guy to be under the counter and all over the floor installing these appliances is an invitation to creaky stiffness.

And voila! By Wednesday night everything was installed and operational – leaks resolved and ready to go.


I confess to some sexist guilt around how manly this made me feel…  but it felt damned good.


with dishwasher





sink and faucet




Then, now and looking forward

3 09 2013

On Tuesday, September 10, we’re holding a Civil Rights commemoration at North Sarasota Library starting at 6 PM (with singing of Freedom Songs starting at 5:40 PM while people are arriving).

The impetus to gather people was mainly the upcoming 50th Anniversary of the bombing of the 16th Street Baptist Church in Birmingham, AL, in which Addie Mae Collins, Denise McNair, Cynthia Wesley and Carol Robertson lost their lives. But with the current attacks on voting rights since the Supreme Court gutted the Voting Rights Act of 1965 (like the Voter Purges here in Florida), Civil Rights are as immediate and pressing now as they have ever been.

Here’s the flyer –
Sept 10 event poster corrected draft

We’re fortunate that County Commissioner Carolyn Mason will join us to read some of her original poetry, and we have young people from the neighborhood involved, and we’re fortunate that all the available seats have already been reserved (and we’ll be maintaining a waiting list, to fill in spaces for those who can’t make it that night). If you can’t be there, WSLR (96.5 FM Community Radio in Sarasota) is slated to record audio of the event and broadcast it on the actual September 15th Anniversary of the tragedy.

We’re working to join the threads, the generations, and the purpose all together.

19 07 2013

This is a human disaster in the making. Pray, write, protest, holler, jump up and down, boycott and do whatever you can, please.

Miami-Dade County Public Library – “County may shutter 42 libraries, lay off 260 employees”

15 07 2013

In solidarity with the working families and citizens in need, as well as with library staff, in Miami-Dade County, I offer this link to a newspaper article that “mysteriously disappeared” from the paper’s web site before too many people saw it…

Praying the leaders of Miami-Dade County come to their senses, practice some human compassion for those who need the services of the library on a daily basis, and find a way to avoid this potential tragedy and horrible nightmare.

Undergraduate sunset

5 07 2013

More precisely, the sun is setting on my son’s undergraduate career. But he’s dragging it out as long as possible. And I don’t blame him.

Nolan E. Bensen graduated this past May from New College of Florida here in Sarasota. It’s a very special place with a unique culture that I believe approaches the ideal in undergraduate education. But more on that another time.

Nolan took some time off from college and had to earn his way back to his current position of achievement. He returned in a much better place to appreciate the possibilities at New College and he’s leaving there with goals that’ll probably contribute to a career path and a vocation. He’s bonded with many friends and contributed to the learning community in which he earned his undergraduate degree.

The sun setting on a major chapter from somebody's life.

The sun setting on a major chapter from somebody’s life.

Although he graduated in May, he’s still on campus working for the summer. In August, he’ll relocate to New York City to attend graduate school at Columbia University.

I took the sunset photo as his student colleagues were crossing the stage to shake the hand of the New College president and receive their diplomas. I hoped he’d like to see some time how the sunset looked while he was graduating. And I look forward to seeing what new chapters dawn for Nolan in the months and years ahead. But it’s a poignant end to a happy time during which my son was enthusiastically excelling in the same town where I’m living. It may never be so easy to enjoy seeing him again. His accessibility will certainly be more limited. And the energies will continue to eddy and swirl in the wake of his departure…

Working the “12 things happy people do differently”

20 01 2012

Perhaps we can benefit from reminders of some good advice?

On a LinkedIn post, I clicked to read “The 12 things happy people do differently.” They were cited on somebody’s blog: Marc and Angel Hack Life.

Many are counterintuitive. Some are a bit reminiscent of 12 steps from Alcoholics Anonmymous. But, you know what? I was pretty happy to already be practicing most of them. I found additional comfort in making greater effort with the rest. So thank you, Mr. Blogster, for passing that along.

Starting the year off on a positive note

And,, pictured above, are some of the results. My partner Carolyn captured this moment following an early January holiday gathering with my children Nolan and Gwynneth. They enjoyed watching a pod of small porpoises playing under the bow of my sailboat Bellatrix (still for sale – in case you know anyone) and I savored a very rare day with both of them.

It may, or may not, be related to enjoying 2 actual job interviews in the past 2 weeks. In the first one, I lost out to somebody with 18 years of job experience beyond my own. But I have a decent shot at the one I enjoyed earlier today. An offer and possible acceptance of a full-time position will be posted here, should it occur.

Until then, I’ll just keep working those 12 things and apprehending any positive stimuli I can sense.

Best wishes to all for a better year in 2012 than 2011, whatever that may mean to you.

“Hold me closer, Tiny Camper”

22 11 2011

I love this little camper.

Drive up, climb in and drift off to dreamland

She’s comfy for an individual, or for 2 people who really like each other. 🙂

At less than 500 lbs, she can be towed by either a motorcycle or car or truck. Her shape is that of the American classic “teardrop” but she’s factory-made. She’s a 2009 and I purchased her new from a dealer in March of 2011 (used her only twice and stored her indoors).

As I have no plans (or availability) to use her, and as I can really use the dough-re-mi, I’m placing her on the market for a lucky soul who might get some use out of her.

Here’s the link to the CraigsList ad I’ve placed for her:  If you know anyone who might enjoy her, please refer them?

If she’s, as once described, a “pod” then 2 people in her might be “as cozy as 2 peas in a pod.” 🙂

What you'd see behind her on the highway

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