Wednesday, July 24, 2024

Rack, Have We Taught You How To Lie? Teaching an old McNab Dog new tricks.

Rack is getting older now.  We've had him since 2012, at this point we think he's going to be 13 in September 2014. 

He was a very fearful dog.  Terrified of just about anything. 

In fact, I got him to stop "Counter Surfing" by leaving metal bowls on the counters balanced close to the edge.  One wet nose later, one hit the floor and he tried to run out of the kitchen to get away from the clattering din.  It looked like a cartoon character trying to escape.

Some dogs don't get a good grip on the floor right away, and that was our boy Rack.

Now, they will tell you that if you can't train a McNab Dog, you can't train a dog.  I find that to be completely true.   He's amazingly easy to train.  He picks up things both simple and complex and is smarter than some folks.

Just ask me about my one neighbor if you get me aside some day.

But he is getting older.  He has had a bout with cancer in the Anal Gland.   Yes, butt cancer.  If you don't laugh, you will cry.

However he seems to be handling it well, no real issues other than the surgery changed his scent.  It's stronger. 

Being older also means that he's going to have a weaker bladder.  Doggy Depends are a pain to use and he's not ready for that.

What we did was to ask him what he wants, literally.

"Rack! Do you want to go out back?"

If he needs the tree, he will get up and walk to the back door.  On there, I have a string with some elephant bells.  They were from my sister's wedding years ago, and I keep them here.  Rack will go to the back door and ring the bells.  They aren't loud but I will know when he wants out.

There are places where he can go out and empty his bladder, privately.

Since we are in Florida, the sun on a black and white dog, will make him quite hot.  On coming back in, he hits the water bowl and drinks up.  Then off to his corner for some quiet time on the cool tile in the corner near my rocker.

I'm normally off my rocker, but this starts the cycle again. 

I have learned that after two hours to ask if he wants out.  He is smart enough to know when he wants out.  If he doesn't he will hesitate.

This is the thing about a McNab.  They live to work, they live to please their people.  Since I am Big People here, he will go out regardless of whether he needs it or not.

However, this has been corrupted.  We taught the little guy how to lie. 

If he really does not have to go out to the tree, he will do a quick circuit of the yard and haul back to the door.   Usually faster than I can get out of the back room. 

I will wave him back out to the tree and he will go.  But he will not do anything.

If I wave him again, he knows that he can go around the corner, out of sight, and after a short count, he will trot back.  Knowing that he did not do what I asked, his demeanor is just a little bit subdued.

Yes, he lied.
Yes, he knows he did.
Yes, on some level even he is ashamed of telling a fib.

Ok, it's a fib.  But if I get involved in doing something else... well I may not have time to make you comfortable you furry little dingus.

See, a McNab is more like a non verbal child.  They hear you, they learn, and they always have their own agenda.  The agenda is to please you, because you are their job.

I have said that if I were to do it over, I'd have talking buttons.  On the other hand if I did... he'd be talking my ears off.  Most likely at 2 in the morning, but he would know how to get his point across. 

I was out for my workout today, and it's time for our lunch routine.  We have to respect the process.  The process is feed Rack, then he comes back into the kitchen and looks expectant.  I say "Show me what you want".  He always walks me over to the high cabinet over the oven where I keep his cookies and looks at it.  "Here, do you want your cookies?" I ask as I try to get him to take the entire closed bag.

Of course silly human, I am not allowed to have the whole bag, so lets move to the next step.

Picking out a small cookie I toss it to him so that he can catch it in air.  Then I count out three more and put them into his "cookie ball" so he knows that they are there.  I may have him wave or down or other little useful tricks and then hand him the ball and send him on his way.

We are not done yet.  It gives me time to start cooking my own food, but when he comes back, he wants out to the back yard.  Asking me for out by ringing the bell, I let him out.

Yes, it is July and Noon, and Sunny so I know he will have water and ...

You know the drill.  Respect the process.  Two hours later:

"Rack!  Lets go out back!"

Sunday, July 21, 2024

What do you call a skydiving cow? High Steaks

 A Wee bit late, but I have "Green Numbers" today.  When I record my workouts, if I hit 26.2 miles on the bike, the numbers show as bold and green. And if you are reading this on the wordpress mirror, I forgot to hit "Publish" so you're getting two little gems for the day.

Sorry about that!

We like Green Numbers.

Anyway... If you would like a little bit of "edge", here you go.  I'm off to rehydrate.  Remember, no matter where you are, rehydration is important!

A magical mall where men are sold is built on a street. It has seven floors. If you go up one floor and don't find a man there, you can't go down. A woman goes in.

There is a sign on the second floor that says: “The men have jobs.”
Then she sees a sign that points to the third floor: “On the third floor: The men have jobs and want children.”

The woman goes upstairs. Then she thinks to herself: “Oh, one stick will still work!” She continues walking. A sign there reads: “The men have jobs, want children and look good.”

Then she says to herself: “I’ll go up one more floor!” She goes up. It says: “The men have jobs, want children, look good and do housework”. The woman then wonders what is waiting for her on the next floor. She moves on. On the sixth floor it says: “The men have jobs, want children, look good, do housework and have a romantic streak.”

The woman can't stand it and goes to the next floor. It says: “This floor just shows that women are impossible to please.”

A magical mall selling women opens across the street. Same rules. On the second floor: “The women are horny”. On the third floor: “The women are horny and doing housework.” No man has ever set foot on the floors above.

Saturday, July 20, 2024

Why do cows wear bells? Because their horns don't work.

Since there is a cow joke for the topic, here's something farm related.

For the Ladies...

A 65 year old married couple are sitting in their home and suddenly, the woman says:

"I want to tell you something. Go to the barn, go to the farthest bale of hay and bring what is there."

So the man goes to the barn, goes to the bale of hay and behind it, he finds a box with 3 eggs and 100 000 dollars inside. He brings it to the home, and the wife says:

"Every time we made love for the 45 years we have been married, and I wasn't satisfied with it, I put an egg into the box..."

So the husband is happy that in 45 years, she didn't like it only three times, but wonders what does the 100 000 dollars mean. And the wife continues:

"...And each time there were 12 eggs in the box, I went to the market and sold them!"

Wednesday, July 17, 2024

Apparently, I'm getting a reputation at a golf pro shop for a sport I don't participate in.

 I might be getting a reputation.

I was sitting on the bumper of my Jeep.  I do that twice a workout, after every 9 miles on the trails.  On the bike it takes about 35 minutes, or at least it did last time out.

It was a short workout, only 23 miles.

No, it's not a "humble brag".  Before shattering the second clavicle, I was doing four marathons a week, two on the bike, two on the inline skates. 

I have a theory.  It's more like a rule of thumb, but follow along:

For me, at my own pace, at my own weight and so forth....

Walking is the base amount of effort.  You walk along and do your thing and cover your distance and are happy.

Next is Running.  That initiates the rule of 2/3.  It takes you 2/3 the effort to walk that distance instead of running at your normal endurance pace.  Hmm 3/2 works too I guess.  50% more effort.

It's not scientific, it's only what I have noticed over multiple decades of endurance workouts.

Then comes biking.  This I can actually measure because now that I have the tech to do things scientifically, the sport watch tells me that it's 1800-1900 calories to the marathon.  That is actually a hyper-marathon since I tend to do 28 to 30 miles, and the numbers calculate out at a steady ratio.  66 per mile.

Finally Inline Skating.  I have skated for more than 24,500 miles total.  Each time I would do a marathon, my own calorie count came in at around 100 calories per mile.  There is that magic ratio again.  3/2 or 2/3 depending on how you "Math".

The conversation with a "park regular" went that way.  I was explaining that yes, biking in the soup we call weather in high summer in South Florida is taxing, and yes, that is why I am up at 515AM and on the bike before 730AM.  I prefer not working out at 92F and 75% humidity, but I have done so.

"I couldn't do it".
I said "Yes you could, you just have to 'train up' to the ability." 

He was over 60, good heart, and no other infirmities.  It would take time but it was achievable.

"I'll stick to golf I guess".
"Sure, at least you're out there with a workout you can do.  Hit 'em Straight!"

He wandered off to the pro shop.  I finished my water and cookies.  Some folks have power bars, I'm lazy and bring some easy to make Shortbread cookies.  Only 3 ingredients and I need more.  The butter is thawing on the counter.

After re-tuning the music to something a little more ... aggressive, I mounted the bike and rolled up to the pro shop myself.  I can get Ice and filtered water there.

I had some Uplifting Trance on the headphones as I was getting a handful of ice for the second water bottle and refilling it with water.  The manager at the shop started asking me about "this theory" and how accurate is it.

I have been doing "cardio" for decades, and since it is all endurance, it's all very stable.  Speed in a calm day is predictable, distance will be predictable, as long as conditions remain the same.  I even know that at 60-120 minutes past sunrise, the winds shift and get stronger off the ocean.  If I am planning on a 23 mile bike ride, I will get about 1400 calories burned, a 28 mile hyper marathon should be around 1850.

"How about Golf?" He asked.
"I never tried it, I'd have to do a round with the sport watch on."

At this point we had a bit of a crowd around and I slipped into Trainer's Mode. 

"I guess walk the course and get a measurement, it should come in higher than a walk and lower than running.  For me I'd guess around 400 calories per hour."

Just a guess.

It really does reduce to a systemic set of equations, at least for me.  All the way back-in-the-day to running 10Km around Valley Forge National Park with the radio tuned ironically to BBC World Service. 

Since it's raining though, I'm going to sit here and watch it fall.   Rack just trotted to his hiding place under the table since it dared to rain and he's watching me to see if I can make it stop.

Sunday, July 14, 2024

Why didn’t the sick guy get the joke? It flu over his head

Having just got back from a Sunday 28.1 mile workout on the bike, I was noticing the demographics of who plays golf at a municipal course and thought this might be typically "Inappropriate".

 Okay so there’s a guy named Jerry…

Jerry works as a hit man and works contract to contract.
He doesn’t know who hires him, it’s all confidential.

One day Jerry gets this really odd contract for a hit on these three senior citizens in an old folks home.
He’s not sure why someone would want three elders dead, but he accepts the job.
He figures he could probably easily sneak in after dark and smother them in their sleep so it looks like a natural death.

When he arrives, he’s surprised to see that they are actually expecting him.
Turns out they were the ones who contracted him, and they wanted to go out in a spectacular fashion unlike any other person slowly dying of old age.

After much deliberation, Jerry reluctantly agreed and killed the three elders per their request.

The next day, Jerry mentions his recent contract with some other hit men, and they found the story to be quite entertaining with the surprise twist and all.
From then on they always referred to that story as the Jerry-Hat-Trick.

Saturday, July 13, 2024

Singing in the shower is great! until you get soap in your mouth then it's a soap opera!

Hmm, that reminds me that my soap supply is getting low and I'm getting a gallon of coconut oil to make more today.  60% Olive oil, 30% Coconut oil, 10% Shea butter in 4 pound bricks.

I may have to schedule more kitchen time!

A lady was intrigued by these alligator boots she’s heard about

She went to a shoe store and asked for it but was taken aback by the sheer price. “Why on earth would this pair of shoes cost 40 times more than any regular shoes?” She exclaimed.
Offended by the lady’s ignorance, the storekeeper snapped at her, “If you want it cheap, go and fetch the ‘gator yourself!”
“Fine! I’ll do it!” Yelled the lady as she walked outside and slammed the door shut.

After a few minutes, the shopkeeper felt bad and wanted to find the lady and apologize.
He went to look for her, and finally found her in a river, wrestling an alligator.
On the river side, two alligators laid dead.
After a short struggle, the lady managed to defeat the third alligator and lifted its entire body out of the river.
“Damn it!” She exclaimed. “This one’s not wearing boots either!”

Wednesday, July 10, 2024

Graham Cracker Pie Crust Recipe

This seems to be the same recipe everywhere, and I am finally breaking down and doing it.  I had some small aluminum cups that needed to be used in the kitchen, so I made small pie shells out of this.

You can turn your toddler onto this.
You can make this with no electrical mixers, although a food processor is best.
You can do this completely by hand.

Melt your butter.
Break your Graham Crackers down into a mealy flour.
You can blast them in a food processor or put them into a plastic bag and use a rolling pin on top.

I Packed the Graham Cracker mixed with Butter and Sugar using a tablespoon, then evened it out with my fingers.  It had a modeling clay consistency and formed the sides well.

If you are using an 8 or 9 inch pie shell, this should be done with a square bottomed cup to form the bottom evenly as well.

Ingredients: Makes one 8 or 9 inch pie crust.

  • 1 1/2 cup of Graham Cracker Crumbs.
  • 1/3 cup of Granulated/Table Sugar.
  • 6 Tablespoons of melted unsalted butter.
  • Optionally add a small amount of cinnamon or vanilla.  (or not!)


  • Mix all three ingredients evenly.  Best to use a food processor or be patient.
  • Pack the mix into the bottom of your pie pan/ramekins and work them up the walls if needed to form a shell.
  • Packing can be done with a small measuring cup or your fingers.
  • Bake at 350 for 10 minutes.
  • Allow to fully cool before using.

Sunday, July 7, 2024

What is the most groundbreaking invention of all time? A shovel

High Summer here in South Florida with heat emergencies and all those duck and cover warnings here.  I'm sure it's the same right up the coast and inland too.

Remember to hydrate, folks!

 In the dead of winter a magical little leprechaun snuck it's way into a village house to escape the cold

The lady of the house caught him in her bedroom and tried to shoo him out with a straw broom. The leprechaun refused to leave, and said "I'm not going back out there, it's bloody freezing!"

The lady of the house told him she doesn't care. And to get out. The leprechaun gets mad and says that if she doesn't stop hitting him with a broom, he'll use his magic to turn her husband into a hippopotamus. The lady keeps swatting at him, and the leprechaun said "That's it!" and his eyes glow red. But nothing happens to the man in bed nearby.

And the leprechaun says "I don't understand. Why didn't your husband turn into a hippopotamus?"

And the lady of the house says "Who said that's my husband?"

Saturday, July 6, 2024

What kind of soap does a pig use? Hogwash.

A bit of dark humor for the morning?

A lady went into the pharmacy, right up to the pharmacist, looked straight into his eyes, and said "I would like to buy some cyanide."
The pharmacist asked, "Why in the world do you need cyanide?"

The lady : "I need it to poison my husband."
The pharmacists eyes got big and he exclaimed : "Lord have mercy! I can't give you cyanide to kill your husband! That's against the law! I'll lose my license! They'll throw both of us in jail! All kinds of bad things will happen. Absolutely not! You CANNOT have any cyanide!"

The lady reached into her purse and pulled out a picture of her husband in bed with the pharmacist's wife.
The pharmacist looked at the picture and replied : "Oh Well now That's different. You didn't tell me you had a prescription."

Wednesday, July 3, 2024

Shortbread Cookies With Only Three Ingredients - Perfect for your Mid-Workout Break

Why did I say mid-workout break? 

Basically I've got the afterburners going, and need the fuel.  My workouts are two plus hours of cardio.  After an hour I sit on the bumper of my Jeep and have a cookie and a thermos of ice cold water.

For athletes, keeping fueled up is important, and I am at the point where I have a get out of jail free card to eat junk once I hit my Macro Nutrients.

So you folks benefit with me finding new and easy recipes.

First - All ingredients are to be room temperature.  Butter has to be creamed.

Second - Once the cookie dough is made, throw it into the refrigerator and get it cold.  It rolls out better that way!


  1. 2 Sticks of ROOM TEMPERATURE Butter (One Cup, 8 Ounces).  I use unsalted.
  2. 1/2 Cup Sugar (Powdered but granulated or other will work.)
  3. 2 Cups All Purpose Flour


  1. Cream Butter in mixer.
  2. Add in your Sugar to mixer.
  3. Add in the Flour to mixer.
  4. Get everything smooth and evenly mixed.
  5. Chill dough in refrigerator until firm.
  6. Roll out dough on well floured surface to about 1/2 inch thick.  (a little more than 1 CM).
  7. Preheat Oven to 350F, Medium, 180C.
  8. Place Cookies onto Parchment Paper or Silpat.

Baking: This is done by eye, but bake for 15-20 minutes, until the edges start to turn a little tan.  Or to taste.  I'm not your boss, just your recipe book!  :)