Wednesday, February 1, 2023

Cedarwood Soap, Caramel, and Sea Breeze Memories from the Jersey Shore

The day started out like a typical workout day:

Dog walk, Coffee, Spanish, Carboload, out to the park before 9AM.

I seem to enjoy going around in large lazy circles on plastic wheels with ceramic bearings.  Ceramic, like your coffee mug made out of Sapphires.

Long story, I won't go into that here.

I was out at Mills Pond Park in Fort Lauderdale.  If you aren't from the area, this is the same park that Jackass did some scenes for their own insanity.  Jumps and leaps over partially submerged ramps is not my preferred way to get Beta Endorphins.

I did my 18.7 miles for the day and came home.  That would be 30.09 KM if you're counting.  Good day for a workout too, temps in the high 70s, light winds, bright sun... that sort of thing.  Even the grounds were watered in a way I could get through them.

Kids, don't try this at home.  I have Ceramic Bearings in my boots so I CAN get them wet.  If you try that with "regular" skates, they will rust solid before you can get them cleaned at home.

After having lunch it was time to clean up.  Shower time, Coach!  I selected some music to play on the speaker and set the volume.

Classic Disco Mix.  I was feeling retro today.  I do that frequently.

One other thing I do frequently is make my own soap.  I have been for a few years now.  I do it so I can dial in the quality I demand, the scents I want, and just the right amount of moisturizing.  It works well and it helps me work through the chemistry that I aced in High School.  The teacher was a big stoner and used to give us labs that we would finish while he went out and "relaxed" with the math teacher for a bit.

He also knew that I was there and would help people out.  I used to get 99.5% or better of theoretical results on my Chem labs. 

So my soap is down to a science as well.  I have a couple scents that I like but this one... well it gave me a flash back to childhood.

It was a "Cedarwood" scented bar. 

If you are a Jersey Boy like I am, and no I don't mean like those Noo Yawk Idiots that go and do the Jersey Shore nonsense on TV, you know the scents of the Boardwalk.

I mean "Boardwalk" as in Atlantic City.  I also mean "boardwalk" as in Ocean City.  Both in New Jersey.  Almost everyone there were from South Jersey and Philly anyway since we were inconvenient for the New Yorkers to get that far South.

It's "Boardwalk" in AC.  And ONLY in AC.  Because someone named Board built the thing.  Anywhere else it should be in lower case. 

There's a "scent" to that part of the Jersey Shore.  Think Cotton Candy, Popcorn, Caramel from the Salt Water Taffy, Roasting Peanuts, and when you walk into a store, Cedar.

A quirk of these Boardwalk and boardwalk shops was that you could find trinkets all made of Cedar.  Smelled like "Mom's Cedar Chest". 

And so does that soap.

There I was finishing up soaping my head with Cedarwood Soap, and I tend to not send that stuff out when I make bricks since it's for me.  On pops Bonnie Pointer singing her heart out that "Heaven Must Have Sent ... You Baby, For Only Meeeee"!. 

I'm getting a childhood flashback.  Sitting in Dad's Old Buick Limited.  It became mine after he died.  The timing is a bit odd since I'm conflating a couple Jersey Shore Memories, but stick with me. 

When you're driving a Big Old Buick down US 30 towards ACY you hit a curve around Pomona NJ.  That's where you get that smell from the Jersey Shore.  First dad would say "Hey smell that salt air" to us, and we'd breathe deeply.  In the summer he would switch off the air conditioning in the big car so we could smell it.  Pomona was where the "thermocline" was and the temperature would drop a solid 10 Degrees F on the right day and you got nice and cool.

Then as you got closer to your destination you would catch that smell from the shops.  I swear they pump that stuff out the windows of the shops so you would be dragged in.  It's like being near a Cinnamon bun place in a mall, Remember Malls?

Of course we would go in there and get some stuff to give our pre-teen selves a sugar high and head to the water to look for shells and clams and lay out for a "couple-a-hours".

Down-a-shore we would go.  Dig a hole, hit the water table in less than a hand's depth, and build a drain for it to get to the ocean and you would have a sand castle with a moat.

I was in that shower, warm water, cedar scented soap, and finishing up with Bonnie Pointer singing.  It all reminds me of when we piled into that Buick later those two weeks between High School and College for a vacation.  Me and my buddies in a cheap hotel room doing the last gasp of childhood.  We drove down and hit that spot in Pomona and rolled down the windows and took it all in.

So if I catch a whiff of my own private stash of Cedarwood soap I just may be thinking of Ninth Street Beach in Ocean City, NJ and if the radio is playing just the right track, I'll be smiling.

Hey, youse wanna go downashore?  Just watch for those seagulls, they'll steal yer food right from yer hand!

Sunday, January 29, 2023

I tried to come up with a joke about restraining orders. But this is as close as I’m allowed to get.

I am pretty sure I will get a groan or three out of this one.  But... don't you just love it when you take someone at their word and well things don't turn out quite right?

A little girl was in church with her mother when she started feeling ill. "Mommy," she said, "can we leave now?"

"No" her mother replied.

"Well, I think I'm gonna be sick, Momma!"

"Then go out the front door and around to the back of the church and then behind a bush."

After about 60 seconds the little girl returned to her seat.

"Were you sick?" her mom asked.


"How could you have gone all the way to the back of the church and returned so quickly?"

"I didn't have to go out of the church, Mommy. They have a box next to the front door that says, 'For the Sick'."

Saturday, January 28, 2023

I accidentally took my cat's medication... Don't ask meow.

This reminds me how heinous office parties are in reality.   Remember, you are being judged.  Well that and HR is not there for you.

A small startup company announces they will be holding an employee costume party to celebrate the end of their first fiscal year in business.

The theme of the party is “Past and Present” to celebrate the work that has been done while also looking forward to the years to come. To further expand on the theme they encourage all employees to bring family members if they would like to, children included. They even announce they will even be giving away a prize for the most creative costume!

The day of the party arrives and everyone is in attendance, including the CEO of the company, Catherine.

As she’s mingling with employees, she comes across one employee with a particularly interesting costume. They are wearing a full cat outfit as well as makeup with wrinkles and gray hairs.

“So what are you supposed to be?” asks the CEO.

“I’m you!” responds the employee. “I’m you in the future… old ‘Cat’”.

The CEO laughs and thanks the employee for their creativity and work on the costume.

The employee’s young daughter then walks up to join their parent, also dressed as a cat, but without the wrinkles or gray hair.

“Do you know what I’m dressed up as?” asks the girl.

It immediately clicks as the CEO recognizes what the girl’s costume is.

“Why, you’ve gotta be kitten me!”

Wednesday, January 25, 2023

Maybe putting Sports Tape over the Check Engine Light will work but Apple Broke My ODB II

Like all Blog postings, this is my opinion.  Take it at its face value.  I may be full of garbage and misinformation, but I don't think so.  I am certainly glossing over the details as I am just too annoyed to dig too deeply.  Your Standard Internet Warranty Applies.  Your mileage may vary. 


So at one point Apple made the decision to use a newer protocol.

This is not a new story, they keep doing that and they get their hands slapped by the Europeans.  It creates E-Waste and forces people to bend to their will by getting a new i-Thing.

Remember when all i-Things had that wide connector?  Go to any thrift store and you will be able to find, most likely, all sorts of iPod Docks and electronics that sold for upwards of hundreds of dollars when new for under $10

I guess my own Open Source mindset does not fit with their Proprietary mindset.

This may read like an episode of James Burke's Connections, a fine TV show in its own right, and I highly recommend it even if it is 1970s era color.

You see I have inline skates.  In fact I am under 100 miles of a career total of 24,000 miles.  My goal is at least 25,000 miles because that is the distance of the equator plus a comfortable margin.

With that sort of distance, I measure my skates in seasons and multiple thousands of miles.  If I can't get at least 3 years out of them, I consider them junk and get new from another brand.  I tend to get Rollerblade Brand skates.  I have been on their skates since the early 2000s.

No, I am not sponsored any longer but if someone wanted to get me to review skates, I am certainly capable of putting out an unbiased review.

Blatant begging aside, Skates tend to be expensive if you are using them as a recreational sport instead of pro or semi-pro as I was.  There's that whole debate between Soft and Hard Boot for distance skaters and I learned early that the reason why a Soft Boot is only $100 where a Hard Boot of any quality starts at $200 and doesn't get really good until you hit a minimum of $300, as a rule of thumb.

I will wear through a Soft Boot skate in about a season or between 1000 and 2000 miles.   Same with a Skate Liner inside of a Hard Boot but I can replace a Liner for about $100 in the secondary markets.

Since I had a credit at a skate shop the last time I wore down my liner, it made it cheaper to go with a new RB Cruiser.  My net was under $50.  YOINK!  I'm not competing against anyone or anything but "yesterday" so why not go with something a little less spendy.

I'm still breaking the thing in.  Heat Bold the Hard Boot Shell with an industrial strength hairdryer looking thing (Heat Gun) and skate.  Repeat until comfort is achieved. 

I am down to one hot spot.

Here's where James Burke's Connections come in.

New Skate has Hot Spot.  Last workout I raised a blister on the tip of the right ankle.

That means I need Sports Tape.  This is a tape that is easy to find and commonplace in many sports.  If you move your body against anything abrasive, you will eventually get a blister if there is slop.  Put the tape against you and it gives you a thick skin.

The Tape is in the back of the Drug Store as well as online.  "Sports Tape" or "Athletic Tape" is seen most normally in a Football Trainer's Room or Boxing Ring.

But for me it was a mile away at the store so I had to get in the car.

Someone at one point had to build the Jeep but that's a much different level of connections.

Since the last time back from the Park I noticed that it was being a typical Jeep and threw a Check Engine Light.  Many Jeepers will fix that by covering it by a bit of electrical tape, but my own New Jersey German Italian heritage demands I find out why instead of hiding it.

The perfect use for the ODB II adapter.  Plug it in, sync it with the phone, it gives you the reason.

No.  Apple I hate you.  You changed the spec on the current phones and it broke my ODB 2.  I have to either get a new Low Power adapter or find the older phone the software is installed on and that should sync.

See, Apple ticked me off.  That is the connection. The end result is I have to spend more money.  Bad. Apple is breaking compatibility.

Apple's walled garden is why I love Linux.  Oh sure, Mac OS is shiny and based on a bastardized version of BSD which is a cousin of Linux, but it is just that weird OS that promises to be more secure but ends up being weird and while promising that it is more secure, the Europeans have found that the derivative that became iOS in your shiny little iPhone is phoning home information whether or not you tell it not to.

GAH! I hate Apple Products.  I use them because I get them as cast-offs.

Don't even get me started about how when you open one up to replace the battery it mucks up the GPS so that you now go from a 1% or less error over a 2 hour workout to a 10% error over 15 miles.

Yeah, no thanks.  Even if I can go to a Mall (remember those?) and have a "Professional" at the "Apple Store" replace the battery for an ever increasing fee.

Please don't miss my typed in sneer, it's there.

When I got into my car here at the house, I looked it up.  If you are getting your OBD II adapter, they now specifically say for Android vs Android and IOS.  As the picture above says, make sure that it is at least compatible with Bluetooth 4.0 or newer.

There's your connection.  Apple Broke it.

Sure, the adapter is only $12 but now, instead of having the reason why the Check Engine Light glowing amber on my dash, I have to wait until I get a new ODB reader.

Bite Me Apple, you're Rotten.

End of /Rant.

Sunday, January 22, 2023

What starts with B and is full of B? A beehive!

I try to keep these stories to a certain standard.  They have to have made me laugh when I found them, and they have to have made me laugh when I go to post them here.

This one succeeds.  A Bit "British" but it succeeds. 

A priest and a nun are caught in a blizzard.

They find a deserted cabin and take shelter.

They find a sleeping bag, a bed, and a pile of blankets.

The priest, being a gentleman, offers the nun the bed and takes the sleeping bag for himself.

As they get tucked in for the night the nun calls out,

- "Father, Father I'm cold!"

So the priest gets up and puts another blanket on the nun.

- "Is that better Sister?" he asks.

- "Yes Father, much better," she replies.

So he gets back in his sleeping bag and starts to nod off when she again calls out with,

- "Father I'm still cold!"

So once again the priest gets up and puts another blanket on her, ensuring she is tucked into the bed well.

- "Is that better Sister?" he asks.

- "Oh yes Father, that's much better," she says.

So the priest gets himself back into the sleeping bag and this time is just starting to dream when he wakes up to her call of,

- "Father, Father I'm just so cold!"

The priest thinks long about this and finally says,

- "Sister, we are in the middle of nowhere in a blizzard. No one but you, myself, and the lord himself will ever know what happens here this night. How about, just for this night, we act as though we were married?"

The nun thinks on this for a minute, she can't help but admit to herself she's been curious, and finally answers with a tentative,

- "OK Father, just for tonight, we will act as though we are married."

So the Father replies,

- "Get up and get your own damned blanket ya cow!" and rolls over to fall asleep.

Saturday, January 21, 2023

What is a car’s favorite artist? Van Gogh.

I have not flown since ... wow, the early 2000s?  In my case, it is not fear, it's all that garbage that has happened in the air industry since then.  Between Nickel and Dime-ing you to death to get you in a seat, then seats that someone who is 6'4" does not fit in, and having to take your shoes off before you get there? 

Thanks, I'll drive my Jeep and if I can't, I won't go.

A timid little man was terrified of flying, and was on a long distance trip.

He was on his first ever flight, and he had the window seat. Besides him sat a giant man, heavily tattooed, and not smelling the cleanest.

After the plane took off, the timid little fellow soon found himself feeling sick. But he didn't know how to get past the large fellow that sat between him and the way to the bathroom, especially because his neighbor was now fast asleep.

Suddenly it was too late, he couldn't help himself, and he got sick all over the other man. He frantically tried to wipe up the mess, hoping the giant wouldn't wake up.

Despite his best efforts, he noticed the man stirring, and his eyes opened. Thinking quickly, the timid little man smiled and said, "Are you feeling better now?"

Wednesday, January 18, 2023

So why heat the house when you can heat the potatoes?

I'm glad I have Impact Glass.  Typically called Hurricane Glass, it's a step or three below "Bullet Proof" but it is nice and solid.  Not only does it muffle sounds from outside, but it blocks the winds dead in their tracks.

The house used to have Jalousie Windows, slats of glass that were designed to let the winds flow through.  They work great in warm climate if you are trying to cool the place naturally, but if you are trying to use an HVAC system (Heater or Air Conditioning) you are also heating or cooling the outside.  The breezes used to leak through the house like a sieve.

So when you snowbirds hear a Floridian complain, they may not even have a heater in their house.

On the other hand, when you guys leave on Monday, kindly pack your weather in the overhead compartments with you.

For the most part, the weather moderates in about a week.  It is January after all.  This is what passes for winter.  We get a week of just barely above freezing with 34F/1C as the bottom of it then it's a long slog into the 90s by summer.

Summer hits and I am up at 5 in the morning trying to get in a workout before things get too hot in August.

Today was absolutely perfect for either of my two outdoor sports, Inline Skating or Cycling.  Light winds, a high in the mid afternoon in the mid 70s, that's about 25 of your Celsius. 

Remember, Fahrenheit is what your skin feels, Celsius is what water feels.

But here I was indoors and my toes were cold.  Don't ask, I had the heat on to a blistering 71F/22C.

How did I solve it?  Potatoes.  You see I tell people all the time, you always need extra roasted goods, more bread, perhaps a roast chicken.  Make one on a cold day.

The heater in this house is about as powerful as a blow dryer in Brighton, UK.  1200 Watts and 240 Volts.  I'm sure I will get corrected on that, but it's good enough for this prattle. 

So why heat the house when you can heat the potatoes?  At least I'll have hot potatoes for my dinner tonight.  A little cream cheese on top to add protein, a dusting of spices or some Barbecue sauce, and I'm happy.  Nice side for my Roast Pork.  Curried Potatoes anyone?

In case you are curious, it's at 450F/230C for 2 hours or until tender.  The leftovers may get used in a recipe I saw on a Cooking Show.  Seems you can pull the potatoes apart, then fry the wee little bite sized irregular chunks in hot oil and have crispy chunked potatoes.

Or rather I can.  It is mid afternoon and I'm hungry.  Since I burned breakfast and lunch in my morning workout, I'm looking at a caloric deficit for the day.  Light Cardio for me is 21 miles on the bicycle.

So enjoy your day.  I'm playing with my food like Mom warned me not to do when I was a wee brat.  But I'm playing with a purpose. 

Sunday, January 15, 2023

Why did the crab cross the road? It didnt, it used the sidewalk.

Sitting here watching the sun come up, palm trees sway in the breezes that are starting to set up, and hoping for that warm weather to return.  Hoodie Sweatshirts are in fashion this weekend here in Greater South Florida!

Little Jhonny was an only child.

After hearing from his friends that had younger siblings how fun it was to take care, play, and sometimes pick on them, he got extremely jealous and began to wish very badly for a little brother.

So everyday he would beg his parents for them to have another baby. His parents, however, really didn't want another child, so they always refused. But at some point, little Jhonny's dad got tired of being constantly pestered, so he decided to make something up for him:

"Son, you actually DO have a little brother!"

"What? No way!"

"It's true! It's just that your schedules never match!"

"What? What does that mean?"

"Well, it means that while he's here at home, you're at school. And while you're sleeping, we are playing with him. Got it? He stays with us almost as much as you do, but you never run into each other!"

"Ohhhhhh! So then he's like my other daddy."

Saturday, January 14, 2023

Dentists make a living from people with bad teeth. Why would you use a toothpaste that 9/10 dentist recommend?

 While there is a certain kind of cynical logic in that topic, all I have to say is go brush your teeth, frequently!  

After a party, a guy finds himself invited to the home of a girl he's just met for the first time. She shows him into the living room, and tells him to make himself at home while she goes to the kitchen to make them some drinks.

He notices a cute jar on a bookshelf, and picks it up to take a closer look. Just at that moment the girl walks back in, so he asks her, "What's this?"

"Oh," she says, "My dad's ashes are in there." .

"I'm terribly sorry," he says, "I didn't know..."

"It bothers me and mom too," she says, "my old man is just too lazy to go to the kitchen to get an ashtray.

And since that one is a bit on the short side, you can keep warm with this one. 

A rookie cop is at an intersection.

While he’s at the red light, he sees a street sign that reads: “WATCH FOR PEDESTRIANS”
A few seconds later he notices a lady walking across the street along the zebra crossing.

He honks his horn to stop her, rolls down his window and asks: “Ma’am, are you a pedestrian?”
The woman, confused at the purpose of the cop’s question, replies “yes, officer.”

The cop proceeds to take out his pen and notepad and promptly asks “So, which part of Pedestria are you from?”

Wednesday, January 11, 2023

Windows 7, 8, and 8.1? End of Life. As for me "I don't do windows".

Windows 8.1 start screen from
Picture it. 10PM, January 9, 2023.

I just had let my dog out to water the mango tree for the last time in the evening.  I was sitting on the edge of my bed in a pair of black boxer brief shorts.

Yes, boxers, not briefs.

I had done something I rarely do.  I started Windows Update.

Mind you, I'm not certain I got the software I told it to download.  I am no longer a Windows person.

That computer and the one I am using right now are older.  As in this one has a sticker on its bottom that says Windows 8 Pro.  I'd put the date some time in 20-Teens.  The one I updated was older.  Early 20-Teens.  Windows 8.1 was released to Manufacture as of October 2013 according to this Wikipedia article.

That old machine with the Windows on it is my only machine with Windows.  It pre-dates Windows 8.1  I think it was the original ugly block land of Windows 8.  That was about a year before on October 2012.  Hideous, huh?

I Don't Do Windows.  It runs like a "Lead Sled".

I'm on that slightly newer machine that is purring along running a current copy of Debian Linux.  Never a problem.  Never a quirk.  It Just Works.

Windows?  Meh. That's what I use to download Debian.

I used to be quite strong in diagnosing problems in it but when Windows 8 came along, it started to have far too many "Phone Home" issues for my own personal tastes.  I began to wean myself off of it around 2013 and really only use it for the annual slog through tax season.

Hmm... Maybe I need to look into that.  My taxes will be fairly simple anyway.

At any rate, If you need help keeping your old computer going, you have a few choices.

First, you can buy a new machine and an external hard drive.  Copy your stuff onto the hard drive from the old machine, then get used to which ever operating system you choose on your new one.  Windows 11 or perhaps a Mac.  Copy your stuff onto the new one and live there.

Second, you can ignore the "Consequences could be Dire" crowd and get lots of exposure to exploits.  Don't take that machine to the coffee shop.  Once you leave home with that you're bound to eventually get hacked.  Limit your surfing on that machine as well.  I think I heard that they are planning on stopping virus scanner updates there too.

Third, do what I did.  I backed my needed stuff up, then installed Linux on the machine.  I have an encrypted hard drive, a desktop that I have made to look like my old Windows 7 desktop so it is pleasantly familiar, and when I get a newer "Corporate Handmedown", I can repeat my own install routine and have a new-to-me computer in about 2 hours.

I have done that upgrade twice within the last year.  Each time took about 2 hours.

If it weren't for my own sports and nutrition interests I'd be using Linux on an older phone and telling the hackers and both Apple and Google to kiss my fuzzy butt.  I use very few apps on the phone anyway because I find all that walking blindly into a phone pole because social media bleeped at me very pointless.  The software that talks to my sports watch however is very important. 

After all, I am at 23,867 miles total career miles on my inline skates.  Having that watch makes counting distances so much more simple.

So good luck with whatever you do.  I can help you to the right direction with safeguarding your data, I still consider myself very security aware.  But as for Windows?

Image of Hazel from TV Guide
Like the Hazel the Maid might say: "I don't do Windows."