Wednesday, January 19, 2022

The Mystery of Four Dolls in M.E. DePalma Park Leads To A Doll Show In Wilton Manors

 When you live in South Florida, a little bit of color can surprise you.

You grow used to all the green here and I suppose that the flowers have a color palate that can grow familiar.   As you walk through the day you get to see a lot of green and a lot of spots of color.

That is what caught my eye.  The colors were wrong for the little park near home.  A bright little bit of the rainbow seated on a giant metal butterfly.

That park has flowers every month of the year, and lately it has been taken care of with some serious amounts of landscaping to clear out some of the overgrown plants.

So when The Girls appeared on the bench I was surprised.  They "popped" where they were.

Walking Mr Dog over to have a look I was being smiled at by them.  

So I smiled back, and asked Mr Dog "What's That?".

He smiled too.

I shrugged and thought they won't be there tomorrow but guess what?  Here they were.

They must have woke up during the witching hour and flew over to the little plinth in the middle of the little park so they can watch over things.

After a little poking around, my little flight of fancy leads to a Doll Show.  It turns out that our local gallery, the Art Gallery 21 is having a fund raiser event and sale.  On Saturday, January 22, 2022, from 10 AM to 1PM you can see these little girls as well and more, and help a good cause here in town.  There is a lot more information on their direct link, here, than I could possibly give in this format.

They will have exhibits of dolls of many kinds and eras as well as a family friendly space for creators of dolls and their fashions.  A perfect time for you or those who love the creativity and beauty of these figures.

But yes, my own little mystery has been solved.

Sunday, January 16, 2022

What the dog say when it hit a tree? Bark.

What a morning..

What a morning... I was following an ambulance when I noticed a small metal box sitting on the rear bumper.
When the ambulance turned right the box flew off and landed on the side of the road against the curb.
I of course pulled over and snagged the box.
When I opened the box there was a human toe packed in ice inside it.
I called the the nearest hospital and explained what I had found.
The lady on the phone said “Yes, the ambulance had just arrived minus the box”.
I gave her my location and asked if they were going to send another ambulance to collect it?
 The lady replied “No, we’ll just send a toe truck.”

And since it was a weird morning, I may as well give you a two-fer!

A dad buys a lie detector

He tells his son. This will beep whenever you lie. Where where you?

The son says "I was at school" the lie detector beeps.

The son says "ok, I was at the cinema with my friends" the lie detector beeps.

He says OK I WAS AT MY FRIENDS HOUSE!!! we where drinking and doing drugs" the lie detector does not beep.

The dad says "COME ON!!! WHEN I WAS YOUR AGE, I NEVER DID ANYTHING LIKE THAT!!! I was at the park with my friends" the lie detector beeps.

The mom says " he really is your son" the lie detector beeps once more...

Saturday, January 15, 2022

What is a computer’s favorite snack? Computer chips.

Yesterday I was at the park.  It's got an interesting vibe sometimes.  An airport was built during WWII, it was cut back to being only a civil airport so the neighbors would not have to put up with Jets landing (it doesn't work) and a golf course was put in place.  The trail came around the outside of the place and it's a bunch of Skaters, Bikers, Joggers, and Walkers.  Works well if you just keep right except to pass.

I got back from my marathon skate (26.77 mi) and was sitting there on the front bumper of my Jeep and a Golfer matter of fact said with Canadian Accented English: "You look tired."   "Yep, just did a marathon"  "Wow, how long was that?"  "Six laps".

All very matter of fact and like this happens every day.  In fact, yes, conversations like this do.

Interesting vibe.

An 80-year old Italian man goes to the doctor for a check-up.
The doctor is amazed at what good shape the guy is in and asks, ‟How do you stay in such great physical condition?”
‟I am Italian and I am a golfer,” says the old guy,‟ and that's why I am in such good shape. I'm up well before daylight and out golfing up and down the fairways. Have a glass of vino, and all is well.”

‟Well,” says the doctor, ‟I'm sure that helps, but there's got to be more to it. How old was your Dad when he died?”
‟Who said my Dad's dead?”

The doctor is amazed. ‟You mean you're 80 years old and your Dad's still alive. How old is he?”
‟He's 100 years old,” says the old Italian golfer. ‟In fact he golfed with me this morning, and then we went to the topless beach for a walk, that's why he is still alive… he is Italian and he's a golfer too.”

‟Well,” the doctor says, ‟that's great, but I'm sure there's more to it than that. How about your Dad's Dad? How old was he when he died?”
‟Who said my grandpa's dead?”

Stunned, the doctor asks, ‟You mean you're 80 years old and your grandfather's still living! Incredible, how old is he?”
‟He's 118 years old,” says the old Italian golfer.

The doctor is getting frustrated at this point, ‟So, I guess he went golfing with you this morning too?”
‟No. Grandpa couldn't go this morning because he's getting married today.”

At this point the doctor is close to losing it. ‟Getting married! Why would a 118 year-old guy want to get married?”
‟Who said he wanted to?”

Wednesday, January 12, 2022

Endurance Skaters, if you aren't on Big Wheels, you should be. I am loving my 110mm Wheels!

Oh that Internet Disclaimer?   I am not sponsored by anyone at this time, and have not been for years since the sport collapsed.  Everything here is my opinion and only mine.  Don't like my opinions you can close the browser and move on.  Furthermore, there is risk to inline skating and I accept that risk and I accept that you will make the decision to carve and grind at your own risk.

Yep, I joined the 110mm Wheel Club. 

While that sounds like Mrs Meslar's 4 o'Clock club in second grade for kids who were too chatty, you need this.

Basically a carnival of errors happened to me when I upgraded to the first new inline skates I had since 2003.

During the dark days of Lockdownsylvania, I got to shopping.   I've always been partial to Rollerblade branded skates.  For me personally, and the endurance skating I do, they "just fit".

Mind you, I look at skates the same way I look at cars and computers - Good Skates Are Bought, Great Skates Are Built.

I went shopping, by which I obsessively combed the markets for The Next Great Thing.  It was summer and I was skating on worn out skates from 2003.  Soft Boot Skates do not last "that long".  Oh sure, if you want to be running around the neighborhood cul-de-sac with the kids, they work fine for your friendly Weekend Warrior Workout, but if you want to do serious distance, I have always found that you needed some serious support.

By which I mean, I've just skated my 23,004th mile.  My goal is once around the world at the equator.  I've only got 1900 miles left.  

I skate Forward, Far, and Fast.

Not going to try doing that on some soft boot that flexes as I throw myself into a curve at a 4 minute mile.  

I did settle on a modern boot.  Rollerblade Twister Edge X 80mm wheels. 

And like that internet warning above, first time out, I shattered my clavicle on a freak occurrence of hitting a shell of a seed pod at 15 MPH and then the ground in rapid succession.  22,704 miles and my first break.


So it turned out that I had time to consider my purchase.  Rigid boot with a modern liner.  Some of the best wheels I have ever skated on since I started on top of that hill in Philadelphia in 1993.  ILQ7 Hybrid Ceramic bearings.  I have heat molded the boot to fit my own proportions and tweak them whenever I do a marathon.

I was fast, it was fast and I never had a warning when I came to on the ground on the trail.

I would not stop skating.  Every time I went to the Orthopedic surgeon, I said "Ok, Doc, Can I skate?".  

Finally he said yes.

I noticed when I got back to the trails a couple things.  

I was as fast as I ever was, but there were others who were faster.   I attributed it to my uneven luck on this trail and I vowed to take more care.  

However I also noticed that "That Dude" flying down the trail at a sustained speed that made my 4-5 minute mile pace look slow.  His wheels were almost the size of CDs instead of my Chocolate Chip Cookie sized 80MM RB Hydrogen Supremes.

My wheels were the best that I ever had skated on but they were small.

I began to research what has happened in the skating marketplace broadly and it was interesting. 

Wheel sizes began to grow.  That meant that while your height stayed the same you moved up away from the pavement by an inch or so.  It's enough to throw your geometry off and require you to retrain your own self.  

Wheels got harder.  Great, so those creaky little 70mm purple wheels I started on in 1993 grew to 80mm almost immediately but they went from 90A durometer on the "cheap" wheels to 90A durometer on the "expensive" wheels.  In other words, if you wanted performance, the wheel manufacturers realized that you wanted to roll, and to roll you need harder wheels.

The blister packed wheels you found at the big box stores were typically much softer at 72-78A.  Blister Pack typically means junk so your mileage may vary.

Wheel Count varied.  You had different mounts.  Traditional frames would be either 4 or 5 wheels per frame.  Now you had Trinity mounts and Tri skates with only 3 wheels spread further apart.  Old School wheels were spaced 1 MM apart, tri skates were much further apart, sometimes inches.  The spacing is sorting itself out still in the market.  A Three Wheeled Skate has it's own benefits like taking the junk on the trails much smoother.

So I gradually realized what I had to do.  I wanted four wheels for the stability.  I had skated on racing skates so I was used to the longer frame and since I am quite tall at 193CM 6'4", Longer frames gave me more balance.

I wanted bigger wheels.  I didn't want to "go up one size" but I also did not want to go to the largest that I commonly found.  I have seen skate frames for wheels as large as 150MM which is just too much for "trail use".  I compromised at 110MM because this was the largest frame that I could find a steel framed after market add on brake for.

Sure I could T-Stop and Power Stop but I'd leave that to Bill Stoppard up in Toronto or Ricardo Lino in Portugal.  I may consider going to the North Shore Marathon in a year or so but I would not do it on worn out wheels that have their inner edges worn down too early.

Besides folks, a separate brake is a LOT cheaper to replace than four wheels at $12 up to USD per wheel!

So everything being a compromise what did I gain?

Speed and Stability.

I noticed that immediately I lost a minute off my split times.  I toned that down because that tree is still there and I don't want to hit a seed pod but I'm also able to hit some of the trail junk and glide over top of it. 

Yes, stability.  The trail I have been using at Pompano Beach Airpark has these things that the Internet calls "Murder Bumps".  Those yellow things with the bumps on them at the intersections so blind folks can navigate.  They're made out of Fiberglas and if you hit them wrong you fall and hit the bricks.

Been there, done that, don't want to do it again!

Guess what?  There was one pair at the park that I could not bring myself to roll over.  So I tried it at a very low speed and with the 110mm wheels... I just flew over them.  I was shocked how smooth these skates are.  While they are not perfect, it's not an automatic end to the day if they hit some of the mulch that gets kicked up on mowing days.  This is where a big wheeled tri skate will have a benefit.  Trail junk can get caught easily between my four wheels where a tri has the extra space and will just pass the stuff on.  Fresh wheels on a four wheel inline frame are spaced at only 1mm between the wheels, not much room for mulch.

One other weird plus is that since you are higher off the ground, your bearings are further up as well.  Why is that a plus?  You stay dryer, and any water in a steel framed bearing race will rust them out almost immediately.  I got caught out yesterday in a rainstorm and had to skate back 3 miles in the wet.  I did slow to kick up less water at the very least.  When I checked the bearings this morning they were giving me acceptable free spin times.

If your 80mm big-box store blister packed wheels were bad because they were too soft, the new steel bearings that came with them will rust because you stepped into the grass on a dewy morning.

So that's where I am.  110 MM wheels, steel framed brake bolted to a light weight aluminum racing frame.  That is all bolted to the bottom of my RB Twister X boot.  

I just got back from a rained-out workout today.  It was disappointing.  Last time I skated before that, I skated 27 miles, a proper hyper-marathon.  Today... Only 16.33 miles. 


So take my word for it, once you train yourself you will love the upgrade.  Get the 110MM wheels and the longer frame.  Yes, you will turn like a truck.  Or Articulated Lorry if you're in England.  But they are smooth unlike anything you skated.

Now if you are out for "agro" and want to do tricks you can't do that on 110s.  It won't work.  Stick with your 60s or less and grind to your heart's content.  But me?  I'll have the music on to something really fast and skate the miles away.

See you on the trails!

Sunday, January 9, 2022

What’s worse than finding a worm in your apple? Finding half a worm.

 I have been using the oven's dehydrate cycle to make snacks.  Some are great, others are not so.  When I have the process down, I'll let you know.  I've got a big ol' bag of Gala Apples on the counter waiting for me to find the Mandolin Slicer to make chips though so it's coming the first free afternoon I get.

For Now... No worms!

A woman is walking through the park when she sees a very attractive man sitting on a park bench. He's reading a book and eating some fruit out of a Tupperware container. Slowly the woman gathers the courage to go ask the man out...

So, she walks over and takes a seat next to him on the bench, turns to him and says, "Sorry to bother you. I know this may be a little forward but I would love to grab coffee with you some time."

Flattered, the man responds, "Sure... but what makes you so certain you and I would get along so well?"

"Well..." the woman says. "A couple things, actually. I noticed you were wearing an Iron Maiden t-shirt. Iron Maiden are my favorite band of all time. When they went on their reunion tour in 1999, my parents took me to see them in Cleveland. I was 12 years old and it was the first concert I ever went to. I absolutely love Iron Maiden."

The man can't believe it.

"I saw them play Cleveland in '99! First concert I ever went to on my own. My best friend Jimmy Spitz and I told our parents we were sleeping at each others' houses, snuck out, took a bus into the city and saw them play at the Plain Dealer Pavillion!"

Naturally, they're both shocked.

"If that isn't weird enough..." says the woman. "I noticed you're reading Mark Twain. I was a communications major in university and I actually wrote my thesis on Mark Twain and how he used satire as a lens to comment on current events of the time, comparing him to satirical news sources of today. He's my favorite author."

Now the man is really taken aback, "Get out of here! I was an English major in university! I specialized in 19th century American literature and this is like my fourth or fifth time reading Tom Sawyer, I absolutely love Mark Twain."

They both can't believe it...this has got to be a match made in heaven.

"Ok..." the woman says. "Well, buckle up because here's the icing on the cake. I noticed you're eating a prune. Prunes are my absolute favorite fruit. When I was a kid, my grandfather lived on a farm. He had an orchard that mainly grew apples and some lemons, but he knew how much my sister and I loved prunes so he kept a couple of plum trees. Every year at the end of the summer, we'd go up and harvest the plums with him. He'd dry them and by the time we'd go back to his place for Thanksgiving he'd always have those prunes saved just for us. They're my favorite fruit! I love prunes, you're eating a prune, this has got to be fate. What do you say?"

The man puts down his fruit and responds,

"It's a date!"

Saturday, January 8, 2022

What building in your town has the most stories? The public library.

 If your town does not have a vibrant public library, you probably should move.  After all, how else will we learn once the zombie apocalypse happens and your internet goes dark?

Vintage comedy

At a wine merchant, the regular taster died and the director started looking for a new one to hire.
A drunkard, with a ragged, dirty look came in to apply for the position.

The director of the winery wondered how to send him away. He gave him a glass to drink.

The drunk tried it and said: "It's a Muscat, three years old, grown on a north slope, matured in steel containers. Low grade but acceptable”.

"That's correct”, said the boss.

Another glass: "It's a cabernet, eight years old, a south-western slope, oak barrels, matured at 8 degrees. Requires three more years for finest results”.


A third glass: ''It's a pinot blanc champagne, high grade and exclusive”, calmly said the drunk.

The director was astonished.

He winked at his secretary, secretly suggesting something.

She left the room and came back in with a glass of "wee".

The alcoholic tried it.

"It's a blonde, 26 years old, three months pregnant and - if I don't get the job - I'll name the father”

Wednesday, January 5, 2022

Time to plant Milkweed for the Butterflies again now that I was given my seeds.

It's January, just after the New Years week.  After that week where nobody really knows what they are doing and if they should be I have been puttering around the house.  The idea is to find things.

Or rather to FIND things.

You see we have been in the house since November, and just getting things back to where they should be.  All those things that are stored in boxes and put away for just the right time?  Well most of that is just stuff you're storing for the trash can anyway and can go out.

You have to either put it to use in a small 1200 square foot 110 square meter house, or you have to find a way to store it.  It might explain why there are just so many of those buildings around here converted into storage lockers.

Nice business.  Just pay someone else to keep the old socks you want to use to polish furniture for when you finally find the can of polish you bought so long ago that there's dust on the can.

No, not my way.  But imagine my surprise when I was presented with a ratty looking bag full of seeds that I have saved over the years.  Basil, Nasturtiums, Zinnia, and Hibiscus.  

There was also a bag full of Milkweed seeds.  You see, the Monarchs are so aggressive at feeding on the milkweed here that I never get any seeds from the plants.  I have taken to planting them under things and between plants so the little butterflies don't find them.  

I was given a frame by a friend that I can wrap in a mesh to keep the butterflies out but the mesh lasted only a season and then it degrades in the Florida Sun.

So I'm back to tossing Milkweed in the garden, taking cuttings, and hiding seeds again.

Just not in the house.  It's way too small for that, especially since we managed to remodel.

So in the best interests of domestic tranquility and general neatness, it is time to plant.  Actually if you are a gardener and you want new plants, January is a great time in South Florida to start.  Just remember to put up edging so the landscapers don't pull them all up.  That is a very different story indeed.

Sunday, January 2, 2022

How are false teeth like stars? They come out at night.

 I heard a joke from someone once that said that the Thermos is the smartest thing you can own.  It knows to keep the hot things hot and when to keep the cold things cold.

Let me tell you that little silver thermos that looks like a beer bottle that I put ice water in is just wonderful but the looks I get in traffic when I drink from it at a stop light would melt your cubes!

Daryl was sitting in his house when came a loud knock on his door.
He went to the door and a salesman was standing there with an unfamiliar object in his hand.
“What’s that?” asked Daryl. “It’s a Thermos.”

Intrigued, Daryl asked, “What does it do?”

Shifting into the sales pitch he said, “This little jewel is amazing. It keeps hot things hot and cold things cold.”

After some discussion Daryl purchased one thinking it would really help with his lunch situation at work. The next day he arrived at the construction site carrying his new Thermos.

The other employees noticing Daryl’s new item asked, “Whatcha got there?”

Daryl proudly held up his new purchase and said, “It’s a Thermos. It keeps hot things hot and cold things cold.”

“What ya’ got in it?”

“Three cups of coffee and a popsicle!”

Saturday, January 1, 2022

Happy New Year from Bill at Ramblingmoose

So Happy New Years Anyway right? 

With all the drama that the last two years gave us, I'm hoping for a quiet one this year.  We all have our own personal list of losses going on, just living and breathing will give you some chance for pause.

I was just looking at a list of things that I keep on a spreadsheet and my own workout schedule got interrupted a couple times due to various factors.   That's pretty minor in the grand scheme of things, but it does illustrate the point.

So go hug your loved ones, pet your dog or cat or whatever you consider your pet.  Stop and smell the roses.  Take picture of the blimp flying overhead.  Watch the ISS float in the night sky.

No matter what, I hope you will be back here same time next year to enjoy whatever it is that you enjoy safely.  I've already seen some predawn nonsense involving someone passed out in front of a bar, and someone else considering running across five traffic lanes to greet my dog.

Yeah, crazy I know, right?

Come on back next year and see if I recycle this picture yet again!

Happy New Year for 2022.

Wednesday, December 29, 2021

Betty's Vinca Blooms By The Pool

 Somehow this fits.

Once upon a time I had an Aunt.  She moved into Century Village down here for the winters instead of staying in New York in the cold.  

Happily, I visited her, and at the end of one visit she told me to take some of her flowers.  I did and they grew here happily.

She was going.  Somehow I knew she would not come back and she was leaving me with these as a token.

Perhaps a bit too happily, now they're in strange spots all over my yard.

Fitting to the memory of my Aunt, they're tough.  Betty's Flowers are showing up in cracks in the pavement by the pool and blooming.

I've been told that the flowers I chose are considered Invasive.  Vincas.  I don't care.  I see them and I smile.  I think of my long gone friend and these little plants and enjoy the memories.

Thanks, Betty, for the memories.