Saturday, February 17, 2018

My parents told me ANYONE could become president. I didn't know it was a warning.

A man who'd just died is delivered to a local mortuary and he's wearing an expensive, expertly tailored black suit.

The mortician asks the deceased's wife how she would like the body dressed, pointing out that the man does look good in the black suit he is already wearing.
The widow, however, says that she always thought her husband looked his best in blue, and that she wants him in a blue suit. She gives the mortician a blank check and says, 'I don't care what it costs, but please have my husband in a blue suit for the viewing.'

The woman returns the next day and to her delight, she finds her husband dressed in a gorgeous blue suit with a subtle chalk stripe; the suit fits him perfectly.

She says to the mortician, 'Whatever this cost, I'm very satisfied.. You did an excellent job and I'm very grateful. How much did you spend?'
To her astonishment, the mortician presents her with the blank check, 'There's no charge.'

'No, really, I must compensate you for the cost of that exquisite blue suit,' she says.
'Honestly, ma'am,' the mortician says, 'it cost nothing. You see, a deceased gentleman of about your husband's size was brought in shortly after you left yesterday, and he was wearing an attractive blue suit. I asked his wife if she minded him going to his grave wearing a black suit instead, and she said it made no difference as long as he looked nice.'

'So I just switched the heads.'

Wednesday, February 14, 2018

Peanut and Banana Sandwich by Squirrel

To quote a wise man from San Juan, Costa Rica:

We live in the tropics.  If you drop a seed on the ground, it will grow.

I noticed that here years ago when I moved in.  People have plants dripping with plants dripping with more plants.

If you don't want a giant mess in your yard, if you're looking for something a bit groomed, don't blink.  That "clean" look takes a lot of work here in Florida.

I could go a while before weeding my backyard in Philadelphia.  The soil was somewhat fertile, but things took their time to grow.  Sun angle up there is 14 degrees lower at any given moment than it is here so it will be proportionally less effective, proportionally less bright.

I have a yard inspection every morning, on a clear morning, at 7:30.  I have to inspect the irrigation systems, clear out the palm fronds, remove any debris that falls from the trees into the pools, and basically police the perimeters of the yard.

I have help with me.  Mr Dog, my one and only Dingus, Rack the SuperDog (TM)  will follow me around the yard, and go into places that my own nearly two meter height will not fit.

I found out that he will answer to Dingus because when someone does something a bit wrong, a bit silly, and a bit dumb, I have a habit of calling them a Dingus for doing it. 

I am not exactly sure that it is even officially a Word according to the O.E.D., or Webster, or anyone else, but I use it.

Frequently. 

So much so that my Dog adopted it as one of his names.   He figured out that he is Mr Dog early on, so why should I be surprised?

Stepping outside, we hear chattering and rustling in the Utility Easement behind the property.  It is, predictably, very thick with plantings, even though Rack goes back there for relaxation.  Yes, we shall call it Relaxation.  As in Rest Stop at mile marker 108.

I see something grey flash in my right eye and go on about my own business.  Spray the Milkweed for Aphids.  Wiggle the drip-feed water bubblers to clear them from any debris inside that blocks the flow.  Inspecting the pots in the backyard is a daily occurrence.

I get to the banana tree that I have been babying and think "What on earth is going on back there" when I spot that the tree had been planted itself. 

There was a peanut.  Wedged deeply enough that it would have to be removed or else I'd have a Peanut and Banana sandwich there about chest height.

Then I woke up.  I realized what was going on.  The chattering got more insistent, so I walked to the corner of the yard.  Deep Jungle, or what passes for it here in Florida.

I had Squirrels.  Arguing.  Loudly.  For dominance.  Who knew?  I thought they were a peaceful species.

Squirrels arguing was like a pillow fight with Marshmallows.  Nobody really was going to get hurt but they were really going at it full blast.  It looked like a Cartoon.

I threw that errant peanut into the corner hoping the squirrels would break it up and move on, but it wasn't enough.  I was within a yard of them as they're running up and down the telephone pole and the palms and the bamboo back there. 

Realizing that I am taller than my banana tree without the peanut, I had to back up.  They were running on the outside of the plants back there instead of back in the brush, and I was concerned that they'd mistake my own self for a tree.

Luckily I was dressed in Blue, not Green.  Squirrels are not terribly smart.

Shrugging, I thought to get involved.   I clapped my hands loudly.

They stopped for a second.  Then I got cursed out in whatever Rodential Squirrelish Language that they use here that I am not aware of.

Back to it they went.  Running up and down the pole when one of them, the smaller of the two, ran back to the other side of the yard, up my banana tree, looked around then ran off into the distance.

Argument was over.  It was now about time for the drip-feed irrigation to stop for the day.  Today's Squirrel War had ended.  Who knows who was victorious, whether it was about a Peanut and Banana Sandwich, or whether anyone really cared.

Peace was once again supreme in my strange little yard full of constrained banana trees, Bonsai, and cultivated plants.  Rack got to my side, leaned into my right leg, and looked up.

"Yes, boy, it's time to go inside.  Coffee is calling."

Sunday, February 11, 2018

Don't live backwards. It's evil.

Men Will Try Anything!


A salesman checked into a futuristic hotel in Tokyo Japan.

Realizing he needed a haircut before the next day's meeting he called down to the desk clerk to ask if there was a barber on the premises. 'I'm afraid not, sir,' the clerk told him apologetically, 'but down the hall from your room is a vending machine that should serve your purposes.'

Skeptical but intrigued, the salesman located the machine, inserted $15.00, and stuck his head into the opening, at which time the machine started to buzz and whirl. Fifteen seconds later the salesman pulled out his head and surveyed his reflection, which reflected the best haircut of his life.

Two feet away was another machine with a sign that read, 'Manicures, $20.00'. 'Why not?' thought the salesman.

He paid the money, inserted his hands into the slot, and the machine started to buzz and whirl. Fifteen seconds later he pulled out his hands and they were perfectly manicured.

The next machine had a sign that read, 'This Machine Provides a Service Men Need When Away from Their Wives, 50 Cents.'

The salesman looked both ways, put fifty cents in the machine, unzipped his fly, and with some anticipation, stuck his manhood into the opening. When the machine started buzzing, the guy let out a shriek of agony and almost passed out. Fifteen seconds later it shut off.

With trembling hands, the salesman was able to withdraw his tender unit..... which now had a button sewn neatly on the end!

Saturday, February 10, 2018

Roses are gray, violets are gray, everything is gray. I'm a dog.

From my friend John H. on FB

Sounds like a RamblingMoose story .....

As a bagpiper, I play many gigs. Recently I was asked by a funeral director to play at a graveside service for a homeless man. He had no family or friends, so the service was to be at a pauper's cemetery in the Nova Scotia back country.

As I was not familiar with the backwoods, I got lost and, being a typical man, I didn't stop for directions.

I finally arrived an hour late and saw the funeral guy had evidently gone and the hearse was nowhere in sight.

There were only the diggers and crew left and they were eating lunch. I felt badly and apologized to the men for being late.

I went to the side of the grave and looked down and the vault lid was already in place. I didn't know what else to do, so I started to play.

The workers put down their lunches and began to gather around.  I played out my heart and soul for this man with no family and friends. I played like I've never played before for this homeless man.

And as I played "Amazing Grace", the workers began to weep. They wept, I wept, we all wept together. When I finished, I packed up my bagpipes and started for my car. Though my head was hung low, my heart was full.

As I opened the door to my car, I heard one of the workers say, "I never seen anything like that before, and I've been putting in septic tanks for twenty years."

Wednesday, February 7, 2018

Rack Can’t Help Fix A Cellphone, or Can He?


I’m that guy. I can repair a piece of electronics down to “the board level” and replace the components that are on it.

Lets be fair, some of the components are beyond me, smaller than a grain of sand. But the larger things are possible.

If I go out and buy a piece of electronics, I look into how repairable it is. I’ve replaced volume controls on a transistor radio, and the USB port on an external hard drive case.

I guess I was lucky that time, everything was spaced out just so.

Some of that can take a small forever to fix too, but I will give it all a try.

Once the warranty is up, I’m going to at least look inside the case of something.

In this case, it was much more involved. “It” was my HTC One M9 Cellphone. “It” was also rated “Very Difficult” to work on by www.ifixit.com and that was fair.

You see these days, you find things sealed up, glued together and made so that you the owner never have a chance of putting a knob back on something. Specifically I am thinking of anything that comes out of Apple these days.

It’s also why I don’t use Apple laptops. I’ve had to replace bits on my own Thinkpads, Dell, and HP computers. There’s a limit with those too, but I demand the ability to easily replace the hard drive and the memory.

Try that on a Mac. I’ll wait.

Didn’t think so!

I waited for the house to be empty. Had to. Humans being social, they demand attention. Since the replacement of the battery on iFixIt was rated "Very Difficult" and at 30 minutes, I knew that I would probably have to take double the time to put a new battery in the phone.

It took a half hour alone to find the tools to do the job, and I have the tools. We keep them here specifically to do this sort of thing.

Started the whole mess at about 10:30. It would give me time to get it done, shower before lunch, and do it in a leisurely manner.

Nope.

That first half hour of very carefully taking off the plastic fascia, and a few very strange screws had me stressed.

Then the wet nose happened.

Rack was checking in. He padded across the tile floor in the quiet house without my knowing. I had a tickle at my elbow and looked over at the familiar black and white face.

Then I glanced at the clock. 11:30. I frittered away an hour getting tools, and a plastic sliver off the top of my phone.

Oh and two “T5” Torx screws from the top of the thing. I wasn’t completely lost.

Basically I was taking it slow. It’s a beautiful piece of hardware, but it’s ridiculously difficult to work with.  In comparison, my older Samsung Galaxy S4 snaps open with a plastic cover in the back I can run a fingernail under.  The battery is user replaceable as well as my SIM and my memory chip.  Done in seconds.

I took the rest of the time to Noon to get the entire case open and splayed out in front of me.

Sighing, I got up and let Rack out for a walk in the back yard, and to make my lunch.

Lunch, Shower, and back at it in about a half hour.

The disassembly of the phone is a fourteen step process.
Remove screws.
Remove antenna wires.
Remove ribbon cables held in by ZIF connectors.
Lift motherboard.
Remove battery.

It was about 3 in the afternoon before I had the thing disassembled and reassembled.

Each half hour I had a wet nose looking in on me. I guess that I was worried, Rack probably smelled it. He’d come in, look in on me, sit down, make me clear my head.

I’m glad he did. Oh he can’t handle a screwdriver or a soldering iron. He doesn’t have opposable thumbs. But he did serve a very good purpose.

He made me pause and look around. These pieces are so small that in some cases I used another cell phone to take a picture, zoom in, and look at it.

As a result Rack stopped me from having total vision failure from eye strain induced by bad design and teeny tiny itsy bitsy electronic parts.

Well, great! Time for a Smoke Test. You know, press the magic button and see if it comes on?

Oddly enough I had bumped it trying to seal the back and the phone came on before it was snapped in place.

Camera did not work. Flashlight did not work.

Rack came back. I paid attention to him. Set that phone down. I couldn’t see the monitor without
being right on top of the thing now.

When Rack left, I pried it all apart and re-seated all the connections.

Success! I could tighten those screws down and begin to charge the battery.

That half hour repair took me six hours.

Including lunch and a shower and letting Rack out when he needed it.

I think I needed that pause more than he did but I’m not letting him know that.

Trust In Dog, They Know.

That’s a mantra here. There’s a certain something that having a Herding Dog around the house will enhance. They learn. More importantly, they learn YOU. They also know when you need a distraction.

It’s not a weirdly bark at anything that moves thing. He actually knows when there’s too much going on, time to take a break.

There’s that wet nose.

Postie coming by and you’re involved in something? “Moof.” Rack says. Pay attention. Go get the mail, there’s a wee little box in there as long as some circulars and a J. Peterman catalog.

Like I said, Trust In Dog, They Know.

Now the Parrot? He’s shady. Needs to be watched over. He’s got his eye on the woodwork in this house...

Sunday, February 4, 2018

What do you call a disrespectful chicken? A rudester.



Diogenes' thug Life

Plato was discoursing on his theory of ideas and, pointing to the cups on the table before him, said while there are many cups in the world, there is only one `idea’ of a cup, and this cupness precedes the existence of all particular cups.

“I can see the cups on the table,” said Diogenes, “but I can’t see the 'cupness'”.

“That’s because you have the eyes to see the cup,” said Plato, “but”, tapping his head with his forefinger, “you don’t have the intellect with which to comprehend `cupness’.”

Diogenes walked up to the table, examined a cup and, looking inside, asked, “Is it empty?” Plato nodded. “Where is the 'emptiness' which precedes this empty cup?” asked Diogenes.

Plato allowed himself a few moments to collect his thoughts, but Diogenes reached over and, tapping Plato’s head with his finger, said “I think you will find here is the 'emptiness'.

Saturday, February 3, 2018

Did you hear the one about the speed bump and the cymbal? Ba-dum, tish.

Seems to me that both of these are old Borscht Belt jokes, but who am I to judge?


A midwife calls a doctor

“Doctor she’s been in labor for 36 hours we need to do a c section.” “Not so fast,” says the doctor “there’s one more thing to try”

He goes to the obviously pained mother to be and says “what do you call maids in space.”

After the woman gives him a blank stare the doctor says “Vacuum cleaners”

Upon hearing this joke the woman cringes so hard that she expels the healthy crying baby.

Relieved the new mother says “Thank you doctor but that’s the worst joke I ever heard”

The doctor smiled and said “the punchline sucks but the delivery was perfect”

Wednesday, January 31, 2018

Rye Beer Bread Recipe

I needed bread in the house.

I wanted something different.

I was actually thinking about the Rye bagels I used to get as a kid in Cherry Hill, NJ. 

If you couldn't get a good, proper, and Kosher bagel in Cherry Hill, you couldn't get it. 

Say what you will about NJ, but South Jersey was different, and you could get great Kosher there.  I would go to the Bagel Place on Chapel and Kings Highway and talk to Mrs H there, and she would get my bagels. 

Mrs H is long gone, I moved away, and I understand there's still "A" Bagel Place there, although I am not sure if it is still using her recipes so maybe it isn't or maybe it really "Is" THE Bagel Place.  I'll leave it to someone up there in Jersey to find out for me.

Another quirk about South Jersey was that you could get excellent Ethnic food there.  Being that close to Philly, I think it was a requirement.

But that Rye Bread.  I knew I would never make a proper Jewish Rye bread, because there's just a certain something about a loaf of bread with that little sticker on the side.

This was close.

It was good.  Had a proper chewy body to it.  Everyone who had some of this loaf commented about it, long and loud.

I will certainly make it again.

Oh - and it was one of those "why not" moments.

I was a cup down on the flour and simply poured in as an add-in a cup of Rye Flour.

The recipe below... Substitute 1 cup Rye Flour (or more to taste) to get this awesome loaf of bread.


Ingredients:

For "Sponge" or "Poolish":
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons of yeast
  • 1/2 cup all purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup warm water - 100 degrees F or 40 degrees C
  • you may need a few drops more water depending on conditions

For the rest of the bread:
  • 4 Cups All Purpose Flour - Substitute 1 cup Rye for Rye Bread
  • 12 ounce bottle of ROOM TEMPERATURE Beer, your choice
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons table salt
  • you may need extra water depending on your conditions

For Dusting:
  • Cornmeal for dusting the pan and Parchment Paper
  • Flour for dusting the loaf


Process:

I used a stand mixer and it's bowl to prepare this recipe, Poolish and Dough, but you may choose to use a large mixing bowl and your hands.  This dough will be sticky and result in a silky smooth dough - so enjoy the texture.  I did finish this out on the counter by hand.

Poolish/Sponge

  • To your mixing bowl add yeast, flour, and warm water.
  • Mix the ingredients with fork or whisk.
  • The resulting mix will be like a pancake batter, it should stir easily.  
  • Add an extra tablespoon of water if needed.
  • Allow your Poolish to brew in a warm place for 30 minutes.
  • My own warm place is inside a cold oven with the light on.
Making the dough

  • To your mixing bowl and the Poolish add the Beer, Flour, and Salt one by one.
  • Mix the dough by hand or with a dough hook until it is even and pulls away from the walls of the bowl.
  • The dough will be sticky and thick.
  • Cover the dough with a wet towel, and place back in your warm place for two hours or until it is at least doubled in size.
Forming the Loaf

  • Scrape your dough out of the bowl with your hands or spatula.
  • Place the dough onto the floured board and dust well with more flour.
  • Roll the dough out into a loaf shape.
  • The dough should be silky and a little sticky.
  • You may divide the dough into two loaves for convenience.
  • Move each loaf onto a baking sheet that is generously dusted with cornmeal.
  • Dust the top of the loaves with more flour,
  • Return your loaves to the warm place for another half hour or more.

Baking your loaf
  • Preheat the oven to 425F with a pan of water for humidity.
  • Slash some slits in the top of the loaf to allow growth.
  • Bake each loaf for 30 minutes or until they sound hollow when thumped.
  • Allow your bread to cool before serving. 

Or don't allow your bread to cool.  I couldn't wait, this stuff was amazing!

Sunday, January 28, 2018

What vegetable is always burnt? Chard.

After having spent time emptying the dishwasher, making coffee, making dog food, of course I am thinking about making breakfast. 

Just like this wonderful lady! 


The Drunk Man comes home at 3am completely wasted.

Staggering into everything he knocks over the tv, breaks all of the china, and passes out on the floor.

The next morning he wakes up tucked into bed, with a rose and an I love you note beside the bed.

The man walks cautiously into the kitchen, where he smells bacon and eggs being cooked. He cautiously sits at the table and tells his wife good morning.

With a huge smile on her face she asks if he would like 2 pieces of bacon or 4 this morning.

The man says 4 please. But what happened last night?

The wife proceeded to tell him what happened...

Wife: Well you walked in drunk at 3am.. You broke our tv.. destroyed our china... and passed out on the floor.

Husband: Then why are you treating me so well this morning!?

Wife: Well, when I went to pull your pants off to bring you to bed.. You were kicking and screaming.. telling me NO NO, I'm married!

TV: $150 ... China $450 ... Saying the right thing at the right time... Priceless!

Saturday, January 27, 2018

I’m seriously thinking about re-marrying my ex-wife but I’m pretty sure she’ll figure out I’m just after my money.

Two jokes that go well together. 

Or so my mind thinks after having my grey matter fried doing Spanish Language Training and banging it against the wall!


A man picks up a phone in the mall...

A man picks up and answers a phone in a mall. A woman is on the other end.

"Hello darling" she says," I recently saw a necklace in a catalog and I want it, so do you mind if i use your credit card?"

"How expensive is it?" the man says.
"Just $1200."
"That cheap? Hell, get four of them for you so you can wear a different one each season."

"You're so generous honey. Oh, I also want a ring."
"How expensive?"
"Um, only $5000."
"Get two, one for each hand."

"Thank you! Oh, and I also want a new car, it's $40000."
"Sure, why not."
"I love you so much dear! I gotta go, bye."

After that the man looks around the mall and loudly asks, "Did anyone drop a phone?"