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.

Known any saints? RIP Yvette Robison

27 09 2012

Working with, and knowing, extremely gifted and wonderful people has been one of the great blessings of my life.

A tiny group of these people – say 3 or 4 – are those I describe as the most inspiring people I’ve personally known. Their vision and grace are palpable and extraordinary. You can feel the gentle and powerful spirit pour out of them. They’re people for whom you’d gladly lay down your life. They are living saints or, if you’ll excuse the respectful irreverence “Saints Alive.”

I DIDN’T know Mother Teresa, but I imagine she was one of these people.

And the moment I met Ms. Yvette Robison at North Sarasota Library, I felt with certainty that she was one of them, too. She and the Sarasota Public Library System didn’t hire me at that interview. But the possibility of working on her team was so gratifying that I began at North Sarasota Library as a volunteer in July of 2011.

To be hired later on in a different capacity, onto that same awesome team, under Yvette’s leadership, was a gift on which no value can be placed.
Ms. Yvette passed away last Sunday, succumbing to a bout with cancer that was not her first rodeo.
We learned that her entire 2 years at the helm with us was a journey fraught with medical challenges. We never knew that she sometimes emailed us while undergoing treatments.

We are unanimously committed to continuing to grow her vision of North Sarasota Library as “the I-Zone: Intelligence, Integrity and Inspiration.” Her leadership gifts were of the very highest quality.
Working for her, and with her,was never, ever a labor.

She’s earned a respite and I cheer myself at the loss by imagining how much my Dad will appreciate the opportunity to meet her.
For the Sarasota Herald Tribune obit of Ms. Yvette with a lovely photo, please visit:

And please treasure the moments of perfection in your lives when you were fortunate to bask in the glow of grace emanating from a living saint.



The only thing that’s permanent

21 05 2012


Ah, yes… what else? Change.

Changing jobs, losing people from our lives, adding new people to our lives.

This must be a very creative, if not apparently productive, time. My dreams are vivid. They’re also as weighty as my waking time. They appear to occupy as much psychic space and time as conscious existence.

Is there a threshold that presages this state? Do we require a critical mass of change before our unconscious can step to the fore? Is the best, or safest, way to navigate these times simply to remain very still at the center of it all?

Stay tuned for progress in this area…

Slings and Arrows (of a lack of fortune)

9 11 2011

Please forgive me for quoting Hamlet (“…slings and arrows…”) in connection with sailing.

The slings of which I speak are those of the travelift at the boatyard which are used to launch and retrieve a vessel from the water.

Prices are relative like time and space were to Einstein

The cost of the improvements and maintenance on Bellatrix added up to more than the combined purchase price of several other boats I’ve owned. But with the help of my friend Dr. Jim Andrews, she sailed and motored through small craft warning conditions from Pine Island to Sarasota this past weekend.

Rather than sitting “on the hard” she’s now tied up at a dock 15 minutes from my residence. Any time I have a couple of hours, she and I can be out  plying the waters of Sarasota Bay and the Gulf of Mexico. And if a potential buyer wishes to inspect her, I’m not subject to the limited hours of the boatyard and to the buyers’  disappointment at viewing a work-in-progress.

I’m oddly gratified despite having spent an outrageous amount of capital I can scarcely afford to lose. The expense brings me careening closer to destitute status at a time when I’ve been unable to gain regular employment in over a year. But if I go down in flames, I’ll have done so with my priorities intact, I guess.

Perhaps I’ll be a poster child for the power of prayer because about all I can do is pray for a windfall.

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