Wednesday, September 18, 2019

Belling The Cat or How A Jingle Bell Helps A Mobility Scooter be More Mobile

I came to the conclusion that I had to bell the cat.   Santa needed to be invited to town in September.

We all have our moments, but this maxim that I have was illustrated to me perfectly clearly, when I took a friend to a supermarket.

You see that friend broke his foot.  He's recovering from an emergency freak accident where the bone broke for no apparent reason. 

Since he was in London, he got much better care than he would have gotten here in the US where even the doctors were amazed at the quality of care of the NHS.

I am thinking that had it happened in Philly, NYC, or LA he may have had a chance of a similar level of care, but at this point we'd be talking about selling his house to pay for it.

Thanks to the NHS (National Health Service) in the UK, he came home with a pair of shiny crutches, a cast on his leg, and a really fascinating collection of screws and stays to stabilize his bones.

We don't know why nor will we ever know why it happened.

One thing he did not get was a scooter.  NHS does not supply them nor did his US Insurance since Insurance is not here to serve you so much as to try to keep as much of your money as possible while giving you the absolute minimum of care.

However, he did not have to pay a dime on the NHS.  At. All.

I just may move to Vermont or Southern California when I truly retire so I can have a walk across the border for my future meds in Canada or Mexico, but that's a different story.

We have all seen these contraptions where you kneel on it and glide along to where you are going.

I'm afraid of that damn thing, he's faster than I am while walking.

But he is also just this side of silent on it.

Since as my maxim goes, Other People Don't Believe Society's Rules Apply To Them, I went along as Security.  Being as tall as I am, people may not notice him but they surely won't miss me and I can run interference.

As it was we both got crowded out of places we wanted to go.  My heart goes out to the wheelchair bound and the blind.  If we had trouble with all of this, I can only imagine what they go through.

So I had a brainstorm.  I belled the cat.

Not literally, don't get your animal rights in a twist.

I put a jingle bell on the front of his scooter.

While going through his paces, now you can tell he's coming.  He jingles.

Yes, I finally found a use for those over large jingle bells I found one holiday season and set aside.  It's September and I have no pressing need for a golf ball sized bell, let alone two. 

Taking a small piece of Copper Wire, I tied the things to his basket.

Yes, they have baskets, that is where you put your crap when you get out of the easy chair and scoot to the kitchen to do dishes, get your snacks, or use El BaƱo to get rid of same snacks.

It was helpful.  When he went to his next appointment, the bells were cheerily announcing his presence at a subliminal level and he had an easier time of it.

Next time if it happens, I swear I'm going to a toy store and getting a squeaky horn and some tassels.  The horn will shock people awake from their phones.

The Tassels is just because.  May as well have a sense of humor with it.   The horn should be as outrageous a color as possible since if you're going to look silly, Own It!

Sunday, September 15, 2019

A lawyer walks into a bar. He should have ducked.

There are a few professions that get no respect.  Lawyers are one.

Even Shakespeare got into the game, however that specific quote didn't really mean what we think it did.  "The first thing we do, let's kill all the lawyers" is actually said by a criminal in how to improve a country.

In other words, how to make a place better is to remove all the laws.  

Or as it was once explained to me, If you want Anarchy just get rid of the Lawyers.

Since it's a Sunday Morning that's a little deep so I'll just lob these two lawyer related jokes over the fence for your enjoyment, neighbor.




An engineer dies and goes to hell.


When he gets down there and starts going through his punishment he get really tired of the constantly bad living conditions, so he starts working.

He makes an industrial air conditioner and gets the temperature under control.

He makes some industrial mining machines and clears the forced labor punishments.

He overhauls the living situations with an entire city of high rise apartments.

Eventually God looks down and notices that he’ll is no longer, well, hell. He calls the devil up to explain what’s going on so the devil tells him, “I got an engineer, it’s awesome!”

God exclaims “An engineer!? I’m sorry that was a mistake you need to send him to heaven where he belongs.”

The devil laughs and tells him no.

God says “don’t make me sue you over this.”

The devil starts cackling and asks “Where are YOU going to get a lawyer!”

God cooly replies “All the good ones argued their way out of hell.”




Lawyer in a car accident


A lawyer opened the door of his BMW, when suddenly a car came along and hit the door, ripping it off completely. When the police arrived at the scene, the lawyer was complaining bitterly about the damage to his precious BMW.

“Officer, look what they’ve done to my Beemer!” he whined.

“You lawyers are so materialistic, you make me sick!” retorted the officer, “You’re so worried about your stupid BMW, that you didn’t even notice that your left arm was ripped off!”

“Oh my god,” replied the lawyer, finally noticing the bloody left shoulder where his arm once was, “Where’s my Rolex!”

Saturday, September 14, 2019

A Baker's Dozen of Themed One LIners

When you get people sending you jokes, you rapidly get a collection.  Like all collections sometimes you get some patterns and groups.  Variations on a theme.

My Jokes file is getting a bit long at this point so I collected a few of these themes and put them out for your "enjoyment".

I do have a habit of liking "Dad Jokes" or "Groaners" so these should run pretty quickly for you.





Why do ducks make bad babysitters?  Because they use fowl language!
Why did the Time Traveler run away from the park?  The first time he went to one he ran over his grandpa while getting chased by a pair of ducks....
A doctor walks into a bar.  He should have ducked.
Two men walk into a bar. . . “Doors over here,” says man number 3.
A perfectionist walks in to a bar.  He walks out again because the bar wasn't set high enough.




How did the vacuum cleaner die.  It bit the dust.
How do you cure a peanut allergy?  Give them peanuts.
How do churches acquire holy water?  They boil the hell out of it.




Doctor, doctor I think I’m turning into a cat.  Don’t ask meow.
I got my cat to cut my grass today.  Such a good lawn meower.
Gave my cat a bath.  I gave my cat a bath the other day… they love it. He sat there, he enjoyed it, and  it was fun for me too. The fur would stick to my tongue, but other than that…
I have a bird feeder in my garden.  It's also a cat feeder.




Why did the chicken cross the road?  Because it wanted to challenge the powers of the establishment, which makes him not chicken at all if you ask me.

Wednesday, September 11, 2019

Remember

On September 11, 2001, I was sitting in my office.

I had recently ended my morning call to my rather competent client, and hadn't yet gone to do battle for my client with my rather incompetent management at work.

Things started getting strange out in the hall outside my door.  It was a buzz that was unnatural.   One of those moments that remains in your mind a long time afterwords.

Internet access got slow.

My immediate boss came in and asked me to check the news.

That was how I learned that thousands of people were in the process of being murdered by a terrorist attack in NYC, The Pentagon, and Pennsylvania.

Suddenly my incompetent management problems at a University on North Broad Street in Philadelphia became even more unimportant than they were before, it became a September Tenth Problem.

Later we had heard of this once ever commercial put out by Budweiser Beer.  This went out on the Super Bowl in 2001 during Half Time.

I missed it.  Then as now, I aggressively skip commercials.

If I see a commercial there's going to be a compelling reason for me to watch it.

As much as I try not to share Youtube links, here it is in case you have not seen it.

Sunday, September 8, 2019

I took a video of my shoe yesterday. It was some pretty good footage.

Yep, it's a two-fer.  Haircuts and Lawyers.  Or is it?  reality is that both of these subjects are prime fodder for someone to twist into a story with a punch line at the end.


Not me though, it's an early sunday morning and I need to go to skate! 




How long before I can get a haircut?

This guy sticks his head into a barber shop and asks, "How long before I can get a haircut?" . The barber looks around the shop and says, "About 2 hours". The guy leaves.

A few days later the same guy sticks his head in the door and asks , "How long before I can get a haircut?" The barber looks around the shop full of customers and says, "About 2 hours". The guy leaves.

A week later the same guy sticks his head in the door and asks , "How long before I can get a haircut?" The barber looks around the shop and says, "About an hour and a half". The guy leaves.

The barber looks over at a friend in the shop and says "Hey Bill, follow that guy and see where he goes". Bill comes back laughing hysterically after a while.

The barber asks "Bill, Where did he go when he left here?" Bill looked up and said, "To your house."



A guy calls a law office...

A guy calls a law office and says: "I want to talk to my lawyer."

The receptionist replies, "I`m sorry, but he died last week."

The next day the guy phones again and asks the same question. The receptionist replies, "I told you yesterday, he died last week."

The next day the guy calls again and asks to speak to his lawyer. By this time the receptionist is getting annoyed and says, "I keep telling you, your lawyer died last week. Why do you keep calling?"

And the guy says, "Because I just love hearing it."

Saturday, September 7, 2019

Someone calls you a contrarian. How do you prove ‘em wrong? By agreeing.

One thing I have learned, if someone is in a position of wealth or power, they generally are at least clueless or lacking in common sense.


Sure they have specialized knowledge, but generally they aren't the kind of person you want to associate with during your own personal time, without some sort of "reason".  It's not normally completely a free association without strings attached.


This is the kind of thing I've seen in an office.  So for me it's more of a strange flashback sort of thing than a joke.




The CEO

A young executive was leaving the office at 6 p.m. when he found the CEO standing in front of a shredder with a piece of paper in his hand.

"Listen," said the CEO, "this is a very sensitive and important document, and my secretary has left. Can you make this thing work?"

"Certainly," said the young executive. He turned the machine on, inserted the paper, and pressed the start button.

"Excellent, excellent!" said the CEO, as his paper disappeared inside the machine. "I just need one copy."





On the other hand, Job Interviews are never a positive experience.  I've been on both sides of the table and frankly it seems like you are trying to either be or dodge the gatekeepers.

So I got a certain smile with this next one





Job Interview

- How was your job interview yesterday?

- Well, I entered the office, found a man sitting on a large black leather chair with feet resting on the table... He pointed towards his Laptop, asked me to take it and go outside, then come back and try to sell him the laptop.. He thought himself as actor Leonardo Di Caprio of "The Wolf of Wall Street" movie.. So I took the laptop and left..

- Left...!! Then what? -Nothing 30 minutes later he called me up... begging me to return his laptop to him coz all his work and important documents were in it..
So I asked him: Will you buy it ??

Wednesday, September 4, 2019

Dorian's Florida Sunset

The storm in South Florida was minimal.

It did however ruin Grand Bahama.

I saw a before/after map of the island where about 1/2 of the place was underwater.  There were videos of utterly demolished places with a random wall standing and other videos of where people were standing knee deep on their second floor as flood waters were turning their couches into pool floaties.

Watching the coverage on Bahamian National TV at ZNSBahamas.com you could hear the desperation in the voices of the callers.

And this storm isn't finished.  It's heading for the Carolinas.  Finish your storm prep up there, don't wait.

Even though it is currently a Category 2 storm, it can still wreck your day.

These storms are a way for the environment to move excess heat from the ocean into the atmosphere.  The explanation I heard was that this mechanism was a partial reason why Dorian stalled out over Grand Bahama.  The heat of the Bahamian ocean got lifted into the upper atmosphere and got dumped into North Carolina and broke down the steering currents.

All this caused an upwelling of the cold water in the deeper parts of the ocean and slowly weakened the storm until it got a nudge from the environment and started it moving North again.

After two days.  Imagine a category 5 storm sitting on your house unleashing the hounds of hell for two solid days.

Relief efforts are beginning.  The Major Cruise Lines pledged support.  Carnival and Royal Caribbean both have pledged direct efforts.  Disney has already announced relief efforts.  I'll expect to hear more as the days go forth.

If you can't give to the Bahamas Red Cross or go there directly in a Flotilla like I heard my neighbors were going to do, consider shopping those companies that are supporting the efforts and let them know why you are.

For now, there are four storms in the Atlantic, one more in the Gulf.  The season does not end until December 1 so we can have this happen again in a week or two.

Sunday, September 1, 2019

Where do wunderkind go to drink? The Wunderbar!

I have always been fascinated by languages.  Both human languages and computer languages.  They all serve a basic purpose:  to exchange information and to give instruction.

 Some of the more interesting human languages have a host of sounds that you are not going to run across in English and European languages like the click languages in southern Africa.  Each Click is a different letter, and some of these same languages have a number of different clicks.




An anthropologist visits a local translator in Zimbabwe.

"I'd like to set up a meeting with the nearby Xhosa tribe," he says. "But I haven't had any luck finding them. Can you help me send a message?"

The translator smiles. "Ah yes, it is difficult to find them. This particular tribe has little interest in Westerners. But they will still meet with you. All you need to do is head to a specific plateau, and wait there after saying this phrase." He uttered a series of Xhosa syllables and clicking sounds. The anthropologist took careful note of the phrase and thanked him.

On his way, he became slightly lost but eventually came upon a plateau fitting the description. He stood on the edge and proceeded to make the clicking sounds. A few moments later, a woman from the tribe arrived. He smiled and began to introduce himself, but the woman suddenly started flirting and rubbing herself all over him.

Unsure what to do next, the anthropologist froze, but a few moments later, the translator appeared and shooed her away.

"This is the wrong plateau, my friend," he laughed. "This is a meeting place for prostitutes!"

"Oh, I'm terribly sorry...." the anthropologist began.

"It's perfectly fine, my friend. Just be more careful what you click on, you could have gotten a virus!"

Saturday, August 31, 2019

What do your dog and your cell phone have in common? They both have Collar ID.

It's a two-fer.  Why?  They go together.  That and the second one is stuck in my head for the second damn day and working my last nerve as an "earworm". 

But they're cute.  Enjoy. 




A policeman knocked on my door this morning, but I just locked it and sat there in complete silence.

After 20 seconds he knocked again, but I just continued to ignore it.

The knocks got louder and more frequent but I was determined not to move in the hope that he would just go away.

Then he decided to look through the window. He shouted, “Do you think I’m stupid? I can see you in there, sir. Open the door.”

I said, “You’re not coming in mate!”

He said, “I don’t want to come in, I just want you to step out of the car.”




A cop just stopped me for jaywalking and then tasered me after exchanging a few words...

Police: Turn around.

Me: Every now and then I get a little bit lonely and you’re never coming round...

Police: TURN AROUND!!

Me: BRIGHT EYES, Every now and then I fall apart. And you I need you now tonight, and I need you more than ev--AHHHHHH!




See!  Now you're humming it too!

Wednesday, August 28, 2019

How it got to be Kevin Puryear's Bench at Pompano Airpark

For me, the story starts well after things were in play.

You see, I restarted a regular habit of my own, then took it on the road.

I have started skating on a regular basis this year, and that meant I was going to Pompano Airpark.  I’d go, skate, fall down, and generally beat myself into a pulp while thoroughly enjoying the exercise.

I’m going twice a week, as early in the day as I can get out there, to skate a 9 mile workout. It is a great way to burn upwards of 1500 calories, and get some beta endorphins.

I guess being as big as I am, almost 7 feet on skates with helmet, the beta endorphins would soften my own appearance.

Going along on the trail, I’d have a big goofy grin on my face, while I am in my cocoon of music on the headphones.

I became a regular. People would recognize me, smile and wave.

There was one person in specific who hung out at the 1.5 mile water stop.  It’s a small stand of shade trees surrounding a water fountain and three green metal benches.  Since the park really needs more water stops, this stop became a bit of a hangout.

I noticed as I was skating by, heading past the big Goodyear blimp hangar, there was one person curiously asking me the time.

Frequently.

“What Time You Got? Is it 9 O’Clock yet?” I’d hear.
“Um sure!” Glancing at my watch.
“Have a great morning!”

I’d be confused as he was generally very friendly even if his outward appearance was on the rather scruffy side and led me to believe that he might be homeless.

As I’m going through this year, I’m testing out old equipment to prove that I can continue to use it, or that I should “retire” it.  Trust me, skates don’t age well, and my newest pair is over 15 years old.

One of those test workouts, I had to stop at that water stop.  By that I meant I was in desperate need of a rest since the skates being tested had me burning almost twice my usual “burn rate” in calories.  I was exhausted.

He was there.  Still pleasant as usual.

I got my drink and he waited.  As soon as I had finished “Is it 9 o’clock yet? You enjoying yourself?”

“Oh yes, I am!”  I fibbed, but people never want to hear bad news.  After all my third wheel had swollen and was forcing me to take way too many rests than usual.

I guess I had made a new friend.  Every time in the future, I’d hear him cheer me on or shout a loud Hello! as I passed.

This was what he did.  He would hang out with the people working out at the park.  Some more athletic than others, always greeted by him.

I grew to expect to see him there, then grew to look forward to him.  He just was there, being pleasant, sitting under the trees, never threatening, just enjoying being there as everyone would come and go.

Later, usually late morning, he’d wander off.  I never saw where he went to but I figured he had another place to go and more people to see.

Local Color is what I call something like this.  Someone who does something unexpected that brings a bit of character to the area.

I realized after a while that he had gone missing and I didn’t know why.  My mid lap greeting was gone.  Since I tended not to stop often at that water stop, I never learned why.

Except one day a small memorial cropped up on his bench.  Right where he always sat, closest to the trail on the southernmost bench.

The story explained that he had been struck by the Brightline train on June 10, 2019.  His family had invited everyone to his service and his funeral to say goodbye.

It turns out that he was an uncle, a brother, and a friend to his family and they said he will be missed.

I was telling this story to my own family the other day and realized that yes, he would be missed.  I missed seeing him there on what I had taken to calling Kevin’s Bench.

It is now two months after he died.  The little memorial is still there.  I still look every time I pass there.

Kevin has gone, we at the park still remember.

You never really know who you touch in life or how you effect others by your actions.

Sometimes those effected don’t realize that they were until you've gone.