Thursday, June 30, 2011

Perfect Coffee with no Electricity - Picture

Ok, I'm stretching the truth and there's a back story.

Someone said that if we get hit by a hurricane I'm going to be a wreck without coffee.  I'm not "quite" that badly addicted to it.  I drink Half Caff anyway, and the picture below has one of those 16 ounce mugs that I have two of.  Works out to two regular coffee cups worth of caffeine so I'm managing that.

First off toss your percolator or your Mr Coffee.   One recirculates everything to make it bitter, the other introduces flavors through a filter.

The way I do it is seriously old-school.  Like Byzantine.  I basically use the "Turkish Method".  The coffee is absolutely fresh, in fact that popcorn popper was roasting some regular coffee beans while I was making the first mug of the day.

While I have to use electric to roast the coffee, I can cheat here and say that since I have a battery inverter, I can do it in the car.  Kevin's car even has a 120VAC outlet in the back that we used to make mashed potatoes in once in a power cut.

So I get fresh beans.  Now how to actually make the coffee.

Boil at least 2 cups of water.  Starbucks makes lousy over roasted coffee, but they're right about one thing - if the coffee sits more than 20 minutes, it's gone off.  Pass it off to a less discerning character since the flavor faded.  Same thing about the beans that you bought in your local supermarket.  If the beans are more than 3 weeks old, the flavor has begun to change.  Vacuum packing only slows the inevitable.

While you're waiting on the water to fully boil, put four scoops of espresso ground coffee grounds into the pot.  Yes, Four.  I use two regular and two decaf.

I also add three packets of Sweet N Low and one tablespoon of coffee creamer to the empty coffee mug.

Pour exactly 2 measured cups of boiling water into the measuring cup.  I use a plastic cup because it's handy and I have some non-scientific belief that it adjusts the temperature of the water down to the 190F that is supposed to be the holy freaking nirvana of coffee brewing.

Immediately pour the water into the grounds.  Set your timer to 4:30 Seconds.  Exactly.  Begin to stir.  Your coffee grounds should bubble to the top.   Stirring will break the oxygen bubbles off of the grounds so they will sink.   You do not need to stir constantly.  I typically stir it enough to get the stuff spinning, and do so three times over the next two and a half minutes.

Allow the coffee to rest for the last two minutes.   By now all of the grounds will have sunk to the bottom.  If not, you either just pulled the beans out of the roaster or they're seriously old and dried out.  Like more than three weeks old.  Spoiled Coffee is lighter.  Freshly roasted will not have evaporated all of the CO2 so it will be lighter.   If you let the beans sit for a day as ground, on the second day you will have the best taste.  On the second day the coffee will have rested, biblically so, and be more dense.  Since I only roast about 4 days worth at a shot, it will be in the "sweet spot" always.

Now that the timer has sounded, turn it off, and get your permanent filter.  The one I use is from an old one shot coffee maker, but any permanent filter will do since the filter medium is "inert" and flavorless.

Hold the filter over the mug and without burning yourself, pour the coffee from the pot into the mug.

You burned yourself?  I did say not to...

Now stir the remaining coffee and enjoy after emptying the grounds from the permanent filter and pot into the trash bin or over your garden once they cool.

You see you can do this on a camp stove or in a kitchen.  I just did earlier and it turned out great.

After all, my gas grill out back has a gas burner on it and I can put the tea kettle on the thing for my boiling water!

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Certified Wildlife Habitat - Picture

Near me is a little park.  M.E. DePalma Park.  Too small to be a "workout" park, it excels at being a showcase for Native Species.

In the park is this little map in a stand.  The map says that it shows where the Certified Wildlife Habitats are in Wilton Manors.

Apparently this little lizard thought it was an appropriate place to try to catch the waning sun that rainy day.

Wildlife on the Certified Habitat Map.  I guess, they were right, if you build it, they will come.

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Border Collie Vs 5 Pound Peanut Butter Jar - Picture

Border Collies and related dogs like my Mc Nab Dog are said to be the dog that returns to the shelters in the highest proportions of all breeds.  

They require mental stimulation. 

You find yourself looking for ways to keep them occupied just like a child because if you don't they have been known to "tear the place up". 

I've been very lucky with my Lettie.   She has lived with me since I got her in 2002 roughly at Thanksgiving and I've always lived within walking distance of shopping districts.  My choice, I prefer the mental stimulation of new people as well as she does. 

So what do you do?  In my case, long walks work.  Three times a day, three miles total with her.  Just ask the Police here in Wilton Manors - they're friendly folks and most of them wave hello as I'm well known for walking around the place.

When you get home how do you keep her happy?  Plenty of soft toys are a start but dogs do like a challenge and a good chew.   Also a treat here and there.   Peanut butter.  High protein and good for you.  Part of my breakfast today was a little Peanut Butter on some saltines.

We get the stuff in five pound jars, larger than the little jars you get in the supermarket, from GFS.   If you have a GFS in the area, who ever they're sourcing their Chunky Peanut Butter from is giving us an excellent treat because I swear by the stuff!

But what to do with the jars when you're through?  The Parrot watches me eat the stuff and begs.   Lettie shows up and glues herself to my right calf wanting some too.  It's a large jar, and sturdy too... but it's too big to carry so I'll stuff a few dog biscuits inside, shake them around to get some of the "leftover" peanut butter out and give her one a day.

So now we're at a week and a half since there were about 10 dog biscuits in that jar soaking up Peanut Butter. 

It sat on my room divider in clear view of the parrot who gave up trying to open it because the jar was SO big.

Lettie's too polite to climb on the furniture to grab the Jar so it sat there.  Taunting her to give up the peanutty goodness inside for a solid week and a half, it was watched and guarded by her.

It's also clearly within reach, sitting on the laptop mat. 

I finally decided on day 12 that it was time and gave it to her.   This jar as you can see can't really be carried by a 47 pound dog who is too polite to shred it just yet.

I set the jar on the ground on it's side.  Put my size 11 shoe on the jar from the side and gave it a push to make it squirt out from the bottom of my foot. 

At that point, Mrs Dog went into a Border Collie Frenzy! 

The jar was rolling along but not moving very far until friction slowed it enough to get a purchase on the floor and allowed it to roll out of sight.

Usually under the table.

Meanwhile the low friction of the floor plus the low friction of the plastic jar meant that little Mrs No Thumbs Dog couldn't grasp the silly thing.  She'd be chasing it all over the place.

Bat at it with one paw and it would shoot under her legs and under the table.   Another paw would knock it over to me and of course I'd squirt the thing across the room with my shoe.

We had kept up with this for days.  Literally a week.  She never did get the jar open.   The lid was way too big for her to get in her mouth, and eventually she'd begun to cool towards it.

Eventually she'd figured out that she could just carry the thing around the house but didn't realize that if she had chewed the lid off she'd have the prize inside.

Needless to say if the peanut butter jar was in play, I was actively watching and participating in the fun.

Finally she did get into the Jar.  

What happened was she got so frustrated at the whole process of  "Keep Away" that she started to yip at the silly thing.  This got me more excited by the process and instead of popping the jar from under my foot, I managed to step on the lid.  

The lid split cleanly in two and she went to town.  The prize of the Peanut Butter was hers!  After around three weeks, she FINALLY had her joy of peanut butter.   The jar was too small to fit over her head so she only managed to get about 1/2 of the brown gooey treasure out and into her.

She's not used to people food, I keep her on a strict diet, more strict than I keep myself on in fact.  So one thing to concern yourself with, Peanut Butter Is A Rich Food for a Dog.  Just watch out because the next morning, long after the jar was in the trash can, I woke having to clean up after a bit of "dog sick".

Next time, I'll do a better job of getting the peanut butter out of the jar.  You see there's another jar of Chunky in the cupboard and there's only about 1 pound in 5 left.  Good stuff though, We're going to make another trip to GFS...

Monday, June 27, 2011

Meat Lover's Vegetarian Lasagna Recipe

I'm a carnivore.  I have a godmother and her husband who are more evolved than I am and they're vegetarians.  If you have read this blog more than once, you also know that I tend to cook.   We've made this particular recipe with vegetarian "meat" crumbles and you would not know that those brown specs in there aren't meat.

On the other hand if you're still craving browned cow bits in your food, you can change it to browned burger meat and you'll get your fix.

The one thing that I will say is that Vegetarian Friendly Cheese tends to be of a higher quality than "regular" mass market cheese.  The Mass Market stuff has an enzyme called Rennet which comes from the gut of the cow where as there are really some fine alternatives that are better for your overall health.  So when I'm able, I use rennet free cheese.   It's a small victory for quality over crud.

Meat Lover's Vegetarian Lasagna


1 lb frozen vegetarian crumbles (or ground beef substitute)
2 cloves garlic
2 T parsley flakes
2 T basil
1 ½ t salt
4 cups low sodium canned tomatoes (put in blender to crush)
24 oz tomato paste

End of sauce

1 box lasagna  (not the pre-cooked or non-cook version)

3 cups creamed cottage cheese (part skim)
Egg beaters equal to 2 eggs
2 t salt
½ t pepper
2 T parsley flakes
½ cup freshly grated parmesan cheese
1 lb mozzarella cheese sliced thin.

Brown vegetarian crumbles in a large pot breaking up with a fork in a little olive oil

Add remaining sauce items and simmer uncovered for 45 minute stirring occasionally.  This can be done a day ahead of time.  In fact,  I recommend it.

Final Assembly.
Cook the lasagna noodles following the instructions on the box.
Rinse with cold water to cool
Mix up the filling mixture

Pour in 1 tablespoon of olive oil into the bottom of a 13 x 9 x 2 lasagna dish
Take a papertowel and coat the entire surface of the inside of the dish with the oil removing the excess (to keep everything from sticking)

Put a thin layer of sauce on the bottom of the dish
Place half the noodles over the sauce overlapping slightly
Spread half the cottage cheese mixture over the noodles
Add half the mozzarella cheese and then cover with half the sauce.

Repeat the whole thing for another layer

Bake in 375 degree oven for 30 minutes.  Let stand for 15 minute to firm up before serving.

Sunday, June 26, 2011


I can't call this one humor but it is from Velma.

Life is all about perspective, and sometimes you need a small nudge to see things that way.  On those days that things seem the worst, this could be a good thing to read.  Maybe those "things" are really inconsequential.  Always allow yourself the option to be objective.  You may come out of that objectivity with a totally new view of life.


One day, a financially comfortable father decided to take his son to the country, with the purpose of showing him how poor people live, and that the son could understand the value of things, and realize how fortunate they were.

They stayed overnight at a very humble family's farm for 1 day and 1 night..  As the trip ended, and during their return home, the father asks his son:

So what did you think of the trip?  It was great, dad!  Did you see how poor and needy some people have to live?  Yes!  And what did you learn?

I saw that we have one dog in the house, but they have four. We have a huge swimming pool, but they have a river that never ever ends.  We have imported lamps in the patio, they have the stars.  Our backyard ends at the fence, but theirs goes on and on into the horizon. Especially though, dad, I saw that they have time to talk to each other and live as a family.  You and Mom have to work all day, and I hardly see you both!

As the conversation ended, the father remained silent, and his son added:  Thanks Dad, for showing me how rich we could be!!

-- Author Unknown

Saturday, June 25, 2011

A Lesson

A while back, Velma sent me this allegory about life.   She did promise to send me another picture, but since I have this one and enjoy seeing it, I'll use it! I have to say I try to live by this, but being human sometimes I miss the mark.  Still it's a wonderful goal to strive for.

A Lesson


A mouse looked through the crack in the wall to see the farmer and his wife open a  package. "What food might this contain?"  The mouse wondered.  He was devastated to discover it was a  mousetrap

Retreating  to the farmyard, the mouse proclaimed this warning:  "There  is a mousetrap in the house! There is a mousetrap in the house!"

The chicken clucked and scratched, raised her head and said, "Mr. Mouse, I can tell  this is a grave concern to you, but it is of no consequence to me. I cannot be bothered by it."

The mouse turned to the pig and told him, "There is a mousetrap in the house! There is a mousetrap in the house!"

The pig sympathized, but said, "I am so very sorry, Mr. Mouse, but there is nothing I can do about it but pray.. Be assured you are in my prayers."

The mouse turned to the cow and said, "There is a mousetrap in the house!   There is a mousetrap in the house!

The cow said, "Wow, Mr. Mouse. I'm sorry for you, but it's no skin off my nose.."

So, the mouse returned to the house, head down and dejected, to face the farmer's mousetrap ... Alone ...

That very night a sound was heard throughout the  house --  the  sound of  a  mousetrap catching its prey.   The farmer's wife rushed to see what was caught. In the darkness, she did not see it. It was a venomous snake whose tail was caught in the trap.

The snake bit the farmer's wife...The farmer rushed her to the hospital.  When she returned home she still had a fever. Everyone knows you treat a fever with fresh chicken soup.

So the farmer took his hatchet to the farmyard for the soup's main ingredient:

But his wife's sickness continued. Friends and neighbors came to sit with her around the clock. 

To feed them, the farmer butchered the pig.  But, alas, the farmer's wife did not get well...  She died.

So many people came for her funeral that the farmer had the cow slaughtered to provide enough meat for all of them for the funeral luncheon.

And the mouse looked upon it all from his crack in the wall with great sadness.

So, the next time you hear someone is facing a problem and you think it doesn't concern you, remember --- When one of us is threatened, we are all at risk.   We are all involved in this journey called life.   We must keep an eye out for one another and make an extra effort to encourage one another.       

Friday, June 24, 2011

Stonewall Parade Pictures

Woo Hoo Pictures are working today! 

Ok folks here are some more pictures from the Stonewall Parade 2011.

You know, it just wouldn't be the same without a long line of Motorcycles in the parade.  This one is from the Stonewall Knights. 

Yes, I want my motorcycle back.  Not in South Florida!

Rex, you look like you're having a blast on that bike!  I should have hopped on the back or at least sat on the thing when it was in my driveway later!

I'm not exactly sure which specific band played as they marched past.   I looked at Roy's profile on Facebook and didn't find the "right" name so I'll just say "South Florida Pride Marching Band" since that was what I saw on the shirts when I zoomed in on that clarinet...

The Wells Fargo Wagon - I'm glad they're keeping this tradition alive.  So are the ladies up front.  The lady in orange on the right has a massive smile on her face and just looked so happy to be here to share the time with us!

True to their roots, The Wells Fargo Wagon is led by a smiling Cowboy and a team of horses.   Looks like a fun group of folks there!

Some beautiful woodwork and details on that Stage Coach.  These folks are having a blast!

The float from the Florida AIDS Walk came by.  I couldn't resist taking a picture of this big guy!  There's still work to do, and he's helping us remember.

Equality Florida came out to support Stonewall and Wilton Manors.  In this Republicant led, Tea-bagger infested state we have a LONG way to go before everyone is free and equal!

Some amazing Asian dancers and their non-Asian friends came by with some beautiful costumes.

Latino Pride stops by with their Carnival inspired costumes showing the flags of many Latin nations and the diversity of Wilton Manors.

At the end of the parade is the float from The Alibi in Wilton Manors.   After that, the tradition is to have the rainbow flag unfurl from one end of Wilton Drive to the others.   These folks are starting the display of color for all to see.

From one end of Wilton Drive to the other, the entire drive is covered by a mile of Rainbow Flag.   Everyone is invited to take part of the celebration no matter who or what you are.

Welcome to Wilton Manors...


Thursday, June 23, 2011

Yes, The Pavement is Hot on the First Day of Summer

I have written long about this subject, how Mrs Dog is a Mc Nab Dog

A Mc Nab Dog is a special kind of Border Collie.   While that's an inexact description, for the most part folks will see her and think she's a BC.  These dogs were derived from the Border Collie Line, but they were bred for intelligence.  She's my shadow, she's my friend, she's my protector.  If I'm having a bad day and need a cheer up, she comes by and insists I give her attention.   If I'm feeling 'up' she comes by with the toys and we make some noise. 

This dog is so intelligent that I can't spell things to confuse her because she will figure them out and then what do you do?   I use some very indirect and inexact language to describe things because if I am trying to decide where to go, she'll try to guide me there.   If it's a Long Walk, we're doing the entire Wilton Drive.  If I want Peanut Butter, she's going to try to invite herself for some.

I always cave on that one, she gets to lick the butter knife clean more often than not before I put it into the dishwasher.

The day I'm writing this piece was the First Day of Summer.  June 21st, 2011.  It was late in the afternoon, and the sun was still brilliant in the sky.  Air temp 91 and not a cloud in the sky.

We walked to the front door after the door bell rang and I had a short chat with my neighbor Lisa about this and that.  After Lisa left, Lettie walked out to the driveway and stood there watching things go by.   My driveway has some aging black top on it, so it is more grey than black, but those stones got warm.

That was when I noticed it... Lettie, my Mc Nab Dog, smartest of all breeds was doing something I haven't seen since the last National Geographic special on Lizards.   This dog was lifting first one paw then the next to keep them cool.  Black dog, Black top, Hot feet and instead of moving the five feet east to the grass, she was standing there cycling through her feet one at a time at first.   As time progressed, she went to alternating two feet at a time.   I knew that these dogs were stable on their feet but this was a bit much.

She's also an Older Dog, almost 11 and having been through two strokes, She is beginning to act Older as well.  I was calling to her in a conversational tone to come inside.

Since she was facing down the driveway and I was behind her on the porch, she also could not see me come up behind her to get her to come inside.  When she did, I did the universal hand signal of a crooked finger to get her to follow and she came in the house.

Luckily I have a quiet street, but this is something to watch.  I know she understands the concept of Traffic since she was an Ex-Stray, but now without full hearing and age creeping up on her, it may be the best thing to keep her on the leash instead of letting her visit with Lisa on the front porch.   After all, all it takes is one fool driving down the street too fast and tragedy would ensue.

Residential streets are full of children, folks, so if you're in my neighborhood of Wilton Manors, slow down.   I swear, I could live a very comfortable life writing tickets at the stop sign near the house that is ignored at night...

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Posting Number 666

Apparently I have a blog that is "Possessed"!

I started writing a posting about the Stonewall Parade.  I've got a bunch of pictures to share.  A really good one of a friend (Rex) and some others.  

I've got them sitting on my daily driver laptop, all set up for Blog Posting and Size.

I went to Blogger to sign in here.   Blogger is conspiring with me to slow down for the day, or the thing is possessed. 

You see this is Posting number 666.  It's the "Devil Posting"!


So we're going to have to wait another day.   You see I tried it on my daily driver in Firefox.
I tried it on my daily driver in Internet Explorer 8.  Ick.
I then got fancy and tried it again in both.

Didn't work did it or else you'd be looking at the Wells Fargo Wagon and a woman who truly looks happy to be in the parade holding a sign in support both of Stonewall and of her company. 

Other than having the song from the Music Man going through my head "Oh the Wells Fargo Wagon is a COMIN'...", I can't share the picture of the cowboy walking past the stage coach.

There's one of the band walking by that will have to wait for another day.  

I may have hit against a wall here, so I'll be looking into that late this afternoon.  After all, Fr John's coming by to work on some pictures for the website, and I have some jobs to apply to.

Sorry folks, this is a "Lemonade" posting.

Got some Blue Curacao to put in there?  Makes you much happy with a shot in the lemonade, mon.

Funny thing is that I am sitting here with a wry smile laughing that after all of that, then going through Remote Desktop to my other computer and trying to do the post there as well, I'm still bedeviled by not being able to show you more of the parade.

There's always tomorrow.  If not, there is another Dog posting coming up.  


On the whole, the experience I have with has been great.  I'm sure there's a code monkey somewhere that slipped.  Probably left a module of code out in something and I stumbled across it.   After all, there are 347 pictures posted over the last almost 2 years and 666 articles.  I might be bumping up against a limitation.

Interesting coincidence though.  The Devil Posting failed on me.   Hmmmmmmm.... Poltergeist?  Ghost in the Machine?

Boo, indeed!

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Stonewall Parade Luminaries - Picture

In the Stonewall Street Festival and Parade, there was something new.  There was a sense of history for a change.  Sure, it's a party.  But the idea was to show where we all were and where we were going.  For once it was not strictly an excuse to act crazy and insane but a chance to reflect.   There were the receptions complete with the history timeline, the AIDS Quilt, and other items.

Of the items there were these posters of "Luminary Couples".  The call went out to get some gay or lesbian couples who have been together more than 20 years.  Consider that time frame.  It goes back into the time period where people were hunted down because of who they dared to call their most important person.  Back to a time of persecution.  Some couples went back before that, there was a couple who had 48 years together.  48 years ago was a world away, and thankfully for the many minority communities, that life is long gone in most of the country.  

It still hangs on in the minds of some repressive individuals and some backwards areas in the nation.  Everyone knows of some backwoods areas that "you wouldn't want to live in" because of the unaccepting mindsets. 

In the big cities there are corporations that you don't want to work in because they have not learned that to embrace diversity means that you will attract the best and brightest.   To embrace diversity means to accept everyone's strengths and work to help everyone past their weaknesses.   It is a competitive advantage both in business and when you go home.   Look at the top 100 best business lists and you will see a strong statement accepting the diversity in their hiring and in their Mission Statement.  Look at the lists of cities that are the best to live in and you find a vibrant community filled with people bringing their best and brightest to the game and feeling that they are welcomed there, not shunned because of their differences.

The one Luminary Couple I am honored to know the best is that of Fathers Larry Turner and Father John Joseph Reid.  38 years together.  They have lived through intolerance in South Boston to settle here and take up God's Work in the Recovery Community and to help with the homeless while also tending to the spiritual needs of those who are fortunate to find them in their small chapel in Wilton Manors. 

You can find out more about their church on their website, that of New Divine Mercy.  I have been fortunate enough to work with Father John and Father Larry on their website and to help them out with their technology needs as their Project Manager as needs arise.  They also have a video channel on YouTube so they can reach further than just here in South Florida.  They are a fascinating couple, and if you are looking for an amazing experience, surf their web page, find the information and go pay a visit to their church for Mass.  They are truly doing God's Work as well as being good friends to me and the rest of us here in South Florida.

John and Larry were chosen to ride along in the Parade, so I made certain to have my trusty and very creaky camera at the ready. 

As John later told the story, they were given the chance to ride in the parade but God had other plans.  Just as Larry and John got close to where I was standing in front of the announcer's podium, the 1969 Eldorado blew a water hose and all of the antifreeze came out of the car in a gush.   I had literally taken this picture at the moment the water hose blew.  Thank God for slow digital cameras...

It was at this point where the crowd got together and pushed the 45 year old car down to the next entryway and to safety.

Now what to do?

Anyone reading this who knows Father John and Larry, knows they're pretty unflappable.  You see, John and Larry got out of the car and walked the entire parade route.  They were the Luminaries on Foot. 

Father John later made a comment on his Facebook page that said it much better than I can:

I didnt understand it at first but God wanted us to be out amongst the people where they could see us and as we walked along, people along the route were very responsive with applause and thanks.

We were the only priests walking the length of the parade route and we did it to show that there are Catholic priests who profess that God loves everyone and that we are there for both Gay and Straight. It was an awesome moment for Father Larry and myself. It had to take God to get that caddilac to start smoking to get us out where we belong, out on the street with his people. And the bottom line is its not about us, its about Him. 

Love ya all Father John Joseph and Father Larry

Monday, June 20, 2011

Stonewall Parade and Festival Pictures 2011

In case you haven't heard, there was a party last night.  Wilton Manors hosted at least 25000 people on Wilton Drive for the 2011 Stonewall Street Festival and Parade.

For a large crowd, it was a well behaved one, and the decorations were all over the place.  This was the Manor Bar Complex just before the parade arrived

Rosie's had a stage set up with dancing as always.  The folks there were enjoying the vibe and the music.

Showing that everyone deserves to be accepted, the PFLAG of Fort Lauderdale Group shows up in force!

Sunday, June 19, 2011

The Queen And Dolly Go To Heaven - Humor

Who doesn't love Queen Elizabeth and Dolly Parton?  I mean come on, they're both wonderful "characters" in their own right. 

When Velma sent me this joke, I could not resist saving it for a weekend posting so enjoy!

The Queen & Dolly Go To Heaven!

Queen Elizabeth and Dolly Parton die on the same day and they both go before an Angel to find out if they'll be admitted to Heaven.

Unfortunately, there's only one space left that day,
So the Angel must decide which of them gets in.
The Angel asks Dolly if there's some particular
Reason why she should go to Heaven.

Dolly takes off her top and says, 'Look at these,
They're the most perfect breasts God ever created,
And I'm sure it will please God to be able to see
Them every day, for eternity.'

The Angel thanks Dolly, and asks Her Majesty
The same question. The Queen takes a bottle of
Perrier out of her purse, drinks it down.

Then, wees into a toilet and pulls the lever.

The Angel says, 'OK, your Majesty, you may go in.'
Dolly is outraged and asks, 'What was that all about?
I show you two of God's own perfect creations and
You turn me down. She wees into a toilet and she gets in!
Would you explain that to me?'

'Sorry, Dolly,' says the Angel, 'but even in Heaven,

A Royal Flush
Beats a Pair -
No Matter How Big They Are.

Saturday, June 18, 2011

The Calm Before the Party

Walking around Wilton Drive at 6AM, I was struck at how many preparations were staged for the coming Stonewall Street Festival.   It really did look like the calm before the storm. 

At 6AM on a given Saturday morning, there usually is next to nothing going on.  I expect quiet.  I could have had it if I hadn't been listening to a Historical Biography on the iPod and probably would have had a better walk. 

Not that anything went awry, but I had noticed that the lines were being drawn for tonight and tomorrow.  There were barricades at most intersections waiting to be deployed, caution tape was up, and signs saying 'No Overnight Parking' were quite common.

Continuing past the Gables at Wilton Park I was reminded of the party last night.  It was a reception that was held from 6pm onward in one of the unoccupied commercial spaces thanks to the generosity of the Gables Company.  They're a wonderful neighbor and are truly going out of their way here to help out to make things better.   From what I saw of their development in Mizner Park in Boca Raton, Gables have succeeded. 

Once we come out of our Republican Induced Second Great Depression, hopefully those will be the first shops to fill.  Seeing them now shows their quality of construction and the location is excellent in the heart of Wilton Manors.

The reception was for the Stonewall Museum here in Florida and I was glad to see it.  It had pictures of gay and lesbian couples who have beat the odds and managed to stay together for 20 and more years, with one couple having around 48 years together.  Quite a difficult thing to manage when the country you are in is outwardly hostile to your relationship.

In the back of the rather large space was a timeline showing the highlights of the Civil Rights struggle for Equality that the long push Gay Rights has become.  Back to the 1800s and through to the current day, you could read about the days before Stonewall, the AIDS pandemic and how people have banded together, both gay and straight allies for a common goal. 

I was glad and surprised to finally get to see one particular display that I have only seen in pictures.  Actually, I have seen the Names Project AIDS Quilt in display before.  It has always been moving, the 3 by 6 foot slabs of cloth roughly the same size as a grave with some graphics to illustrate the departed's life.

In the case of one particular piece of the quilt, I was stuck to my place standing for quite a while.  I have seen this particular quilt many times, the graphics popped out at me with the name "Joseph E Panko" in bold white letters on the lower left corner.   For some reason that piece has stopped me in my tracks before in print in many places and I have finally gotten a chance by some random circumstance to see it in person.  I've seen this particular quilt in books, in media, and on posters and now on the wall. 

It got me thinking back to the dozens of friends who passed before, in waves in the 90s and earlier in the 80s before the medications that finally hit the market gave them a hope to live a bit longer.  Whenever that happens, I think of my cousin Wayne who died back in the early years before there was any treatment or hope.

At that time it was a death sentence.  He died in the first 500 in this country in New York City in the early 80s.  Back then nobody knew how it was transmitted, how to cure it, or even what to do about it.  There was panic and confusion, typical when people don't have a clue how to act, unfortunate to say the least whenever it happens.

It has been years since Wayne passed, he'd be in his late 50s now.  He was the first of many people who I knew who "had it" and died from it.  More will go in the future, although the rate of people coming down with it seems to be slowing. 

Now we know how it is Acquired.  That first A of AIDS.  We all have been well educated on how yet people still come down with it.  The "kids coming up" these days are educated from an earlier age about these sort of things as well as their sexuality simply because they have to.   Unless they're from a traditional area, there is no reason not to know.

It's a lot to carry on your shoulders, but in the history of human kind, there have been epidemics and each went through the same sociological steps from fear to acceptance to cure.   We're waiting for a cure.  Telling someone to play safe is trite, and abstinence is a non starter of a joke. 

So walking out of that place I just had to think that parking issues and getting people together to celebrate civil rights wins and to party was only a mere sliver of what this is all about.

It is of course a time for people to get together with their own kind and with their allies outside of the community.  Hopefully it will be more than just a party.

Friday, June 17, 2011

Caribbean Honey-Spiced Chicken with Mango

Yes, I am still on That Mango Kick.  The tree around the corner is still producing fruit as are many others in the area.  So what do you do with your extra Mango other than puree it and freeze it for smoothies in later months?

This recipe should help.  

If you're tired of the fruit, keep in mind it's 70 calories for 3.5 ounces.  This morning I had a bowl of 15 ounces of Mango Chunks for breakfast.  Lots of fiber in all of that. 

Now the variations are:

1) I always leave out the Jalapenos.  We tried the recipe once with it and agreed that the heat was unwelcome.  It just did not taste right to us with it.

2) If you want a really good smoothie, follow the recipe for the honey/lemon/mango mix.  Pour into a glass chilled.  Enjoy.  

Caribbean Honey-Spiced Chicken with Mango

Description: Caribbean Honey-Spiced Chicken with Mango

Makes 4 servings

    1/4 cup honey
    1/4 cup fresh lemon juice
    2 teaspoons freshly grated lemon peel
    1 ripe mango, peeled and diced
    1 small onion, peeled and quartered
    2 fresh jalapeno peppers, halved and seeded
    2 teaspoons paprika
    2 teaspoons vegetable oil
    1-1/2 teaspoons garlic salt
    1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
    1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
    1/2 teaspoon ground allspice
    4 boneless, skinless chicken breast halves
    1 Tablespoon vegetable oil

In a small bowl, combine honey, lemon juice and lemon peel; whisk until well blended. Remove 1/4 cup of mixture to food processor container; set aside. Add mango to honey-lemon mixture in bowl; toss to coat. Store in refrigerator. Add onion, jalapenos, paprika, oil, garlic salt, cinnamon, pepper and allspice to honey-lemon mixture in a food processor container. Process until very finely chopped, scrape down sides when necessary. Spread mixture evenly over both sides of chicken breasts. Spread oil in a 13 x 9-inch baking pan. Arrange chicken breasts in pan. Bake at 375°F for 25 to 30 minutes or until cooked through. Remove chicken to serving platter; top with reserved mango.

Prep Time: 15 minutes

Bake Time: 30 minutes

Thursday, June 16, 2011

Nine Months Later

I was sitting here with a busy, hectic morning after being on the phone like I am now... and then Velma to the rescue.  On the other hand, reading a Velma Joke to a Recruiter to explain what I was laughing at was a first!


Nine Months Later...

Jack decided to go skiing with his buddy, Bob. They loaded up Jack's minivan and headed north. After driving for a few hours, they got caught in a terrible blizzard. They pulled into a nearby farm house and asked the attractive lady who answered the door if they could spend the night.

"I realize it's terrible weather out there and I have this huge house all to myself, but I'm recently widowed," she explained, "and I'm afraid the neighbors will talk if I let you stay in my house."

"Not to worry," Jack said, "we'll be happy to sleep in the barn, and if the weather breaks, we'll be gone at first light."

The lady agreed and the two men found their way to the barn and settled in for the night. Come morning, the weather had cleared and they got on their way and enjoyed a great weekend of skiing.

About nine months later, Jack got an unexpected letter from an attorney.  It took him a few minutes to figure it out, but he finally determined that it was from the attorney of that attractive widow he met on the ski weekend.

He dropped in on his friend Bob and asked: "Bob, do you remember that good- looking widow from the farm we stayed at on our ski holiday up north?"

"Yes, I do."

"Did you happen to get up in the middle of the night, go up to the house and fool around with her?"

"Yes," he said, a little embarrassed about being found out. "I have to say I did."

"And did you happen to use my name instead of telling her your name?"

Bob's face turned red and he said, "Yeah, sorry buddy, I'm afraid I did. Why do you ask?"

"No need to apologize, Bob. She just died and left me everything!"

And you thought the ending would be different, didn't you!!!

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Crispy Smoked South Florida Anyone?

Going through the online routine this morning I saw that we made the Weather Channel's web page.

Not me, but South Florida. 

An interesting statistic is that we should expect 21 inches of rain in the first half of the year so far.  May and June are "Wet Season" months so the rains should set up and we would be greening up.

Nope.  Try again.

It has been a very dry year here so far.  I'm waiting for the water mismanagement district to start lowering Lake O because Hurricane Season is here, and instead of fixing that levee system, they lower the levels early.  While they're thinking about that I'm seeing pictures of canals that have dried up.  You can walk across one of those straight ribbons of water that you see running parallel to the major roads in South Florida. 

The reason?  We had all of four inches of rain all year.  


No wonder why my yard has dry patches and there's a layer of dust over everything.  Not much you can do about that but wait it all out. 

Specifically, wait it all out and conserve water use.

It hasn't been terribly hot here, in fact it has been "seasonable" or a few degrees cooler than normal.  It is all relative when you think about it, but we should have temps in the mid 90s now, where they have been down to the low to mid 90s instead.  Lets split a few hairs while we are at it.

The last time it got this dry, the Everglades begun to burn.   We had a major thunderstorm cell just miss us last night with 70 MPH gusts and while that can be entertaining, it did nothing to my dry grass.  The lightning must have ignited a few blazes since this morning when I walked outside, there was the distinct smell of smoke and instead of a bright yellow sun rising over the big hotels at the beach, it was an orange blob.

Luckily all of my flowers in pots are on "Drip Feed" irrigation so they won't be harmed unless the well out back goes dry, but the grass is a different story. 

Hopefully we'll get the normal patterns again, what ever they may be. 

It used to be at this time you could set your watch by the 4pm storms.  They'd percolate up, rain for 20 minutes and move on late afternoon.  Good time to get off the beach.

Now the storms are more infrequent and when they do fall, you could get rain in the back yard and not in the front. 

A 30 Percent Chance of Rain means there is a 100 Percent Chance that 30 percent of us will get wet.

The rest will still have dust on the hood of their cars in the morning.

Well... here's hoping a light tropical wave parks just south of Lake O and brings the Everglades back.  Nobody wants that burning!

...and send a little T Storm our way, the Island City is looking a little parched.

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Careful, That USB Drive Isn't Perfect

I grabbed the chip out of the camera today to see what I had in store.  There are a couple of the usual pictures of lizards in weird places, my dog looking cute, night shots, and other things around town.

Looking at the chip in the reader, I used Windows Explorer to go through to the directory to find all the 84 megs worth of pics on the little 512 meg chip that I thought I had.

The key word is "Thought". 

You see, Windows 7 can't see what's on the chip.

Lately I've gone through some odd problems.  The laptop is new.  I've only had it for 2 months.  Nice little thing, it does everything I need even if it is a year old.  So I trust it.

The problem seems to be the peripherals that I plug into it. 

The machine is small, a 12 inch "convertible tablet" so it can go everywhere.  Keyboard and touch screen that let me do some really interesting things with it.  It has HDMI so I have used it along with an external wireless keyboard and mouse to do presentations on the TV simply by plugging in the cable and the transmitter.  I then have a big monitor that I can show things on.   There are larger but this does the job perfectly.

So as I am plugging things in and taking them out I expect everything to work without question.

That was perhaps a bit naive.  You see you have to be careful with technology.  If you have static, especially, you can have your hardware die well before its time.

I think that is what happened with my little 512 Meg Chip.

My "big green chair" has a fuzzy synthetic cover on it.  I go to stand up and of course that builds up a charge.  Walk over to the dog and she's grounded.  You hear a SNAP! and the dog is blinking at you as to why you did that you mean biped.

Now, while you annoy the dog with your static, think of what you are doing to that little electronic device.  It's much better for both dog, electronics and loved ones if you reach over to the lamp, hold onto the metal base and then stand up.  Will you remember every time? I doubt it, but those times you remember, your dog and everyone else around you will thank you. 

Those static shocks are annoying.  I'm just "shocked" that I can get them here in Florida where the house is kept at 80F and 50 Percent Humidity during the day.   The poang chair under the ceiling fan is quite comfy, thank you!

Ok now to apologize to the dog...

Monday, June 13, 2011

Wilton Drive Gets New Businesses

One of the most common complaints about Wilton Drive is that there aren't enough parking spaces.   The problem isn't that there aren't enough spaces, there are not enough free spaces or enough spaces at peak hours.

What happened is that businesses which operate outside of "Bar Time" get a free ride with parking.  If you're on The Drive, you have the entire parking lot at Hagen plus the metered spots on the entirety of Wilton Drive, plus the spaces at the Shoppes and even at Publix if you want to park there.

For the most part, if I remember right, parking is free.  If you are here outside of metered hours, it's fairly cheap by big city standards.  $.50 an hour vs the $1.25 an hour I had to pay in Downtown Fort Lauderdale at a meter last Thursday.

Parking should not be a problem for a business that services the off peak people - daytime users of Wilton Drive.  Ever.   (to paraphrase Mythbusters)

So what kind of businesses will best be served by opening on Wilton Drive in the short run? 

Three new businesses popped up recently.  Actually one expanded and one is new.  They both are "daytime friendly" businesses.   There is never a problem during a weekday of finding parking on Wilton Drive since every time I walk down the drive on an afternoon - it's fairly empty.

First, the Real Estate Office at the corner of NE 6th and Wilton Drive had expanded.   Castelli Real Estate spilled over into the adjacent bay and added desks for quite a few new Realtors.  This says that while the market is misbehaving, there's a lot of life left in Wilton Manors Real Estate.  In fact the house next to mine was actually in a bidding war and closed around 25% higher than asking price.  This was most likely due to lack of supply more than anything else.  More people moving in means a better environment all around and the particular person who moved in next door is doing a nice job in reversing the decline that that house has seen over the last four years.

Thanks, Jack!

Second, just south of Belle Isle in the new multi-story condo, a new barber shop is set to open.  This will be roughly the fourth on the drive, but more power to you!  The thing is that there are some available spaces on the property and plenty of open parking on the drive.  The location is directly across the street from The Manor so there could easily be a number of folks who will notice it and come back to the Drive to patronize the place.

The more businesses that area open in the early evening and into the night time Bar Hours, the better Wilton Manors will be.  After all, a well lit store with people inside is a draw.  Closed stores, no matter what, mean people will go to their destination and not consider coming back.

The restaurant that opened up within the last month, Rodeo, is a prime example.   The place serves Southwestern cuisine, and was packed when we walked past yesterday at 1PM.  Past the lunch hour on a Sunday and the restaurant was stuffed full of people.  No problem with parking at all, plenty of happy customers and an enticing new addition to the drive.

There is no centralized organization that has control over what businesses come into an address.   For the most part, if you pass Wilton Manors zoning ordinance you can open up any sort of business and hope for the best.  The trick is to look at Wilton Drive for what it is *now* and complement what is there.  You'll then have a better chance of staying open a year later.

Sunday, June 12, 2011

Saying Grace

Velma sent me this one.  I wouldn't call it a joke, more of something to get you thinking. 

A call to smell the roses.  You can't be "on" all the time, although we all would like to be.   Sometimes you just have to have dessert first.  Sometimes it's best to step outside of your role and your box and just cut loose a little bit.

Saying Grace...                

Last week I took my children to a restaurant, my six-year-old son asked if he could say grace. As we bowed our heads he said, "God is good. God is great.  Thank you for the food, and I would even thank you more if mom gets us ice cream for dessert. and Liberty and justice for all! Amen!"

Along with the laughter from the other customers nearby I heard a woman remark, "That's what's wrong with this country. Kids today don't even know how to pray. asking God for ice-cream! Why, I never!

Hearing this, my son burst into tears and asked me, "Did I do it wrong?   Is God mad at me?"  As I held him and assured him that he had done a terrific job and God was certainly not mad at him, an elderly gentleman approached the table.  He winked at my son and said, "I happen to know that God thought that was a great prayer."

"Really?" my son asked.

"Cross my heart," the man replied. Then in a theatrical whisper he added  (indicating the woman whose remark had started this whole thing), "Too bad she never asks God for ice cream. A little ice cream is good for the soul sometimes."

Naturally, I bought my kids ice cream at the end of the meal. My son stared at his for a moment and then did something I will remember the rest of my life. He picked up his sundae and without a word, walked over and placed it in front of the woman. With a big smile he told her, "Here, this is for you.  Ice cream is good for the soul sometimes; and my soul is good already."

The End

I loved this story!  

Sometimes we all need some ice cream...

Saturday, June 11, 2011

I Wish You Enough

This was sent to me by my good friend Diane.  I've gotten it before, and the story had been told to me a number of times.  Each time I hear or read it, it touches me.  A good story for a contemplative mood.

Seeing it again gives me the chance to share it here.

I Wish You Enough

Recently I overheard a Father and daughter in their last moments together at the airport. They had announced the departure. 

Standing near the security gate, they hugged and the Father said, 'I love you, and I wish you enough.' 

The daughter replied, 'Dad, our life together has been more than  enough. Your love is all I ever needed. I wish you enough, too, Dad.'

They kissed and the daughter left.  The Father walked over to the window where I was seated. Standing there I could see he wanted and needed to cry. I tried not to intrude on his privacy, but he welcomed me in by asking, 'Did you ever say good-bye to someone knowing it would be forever?' 

'Yes, I have,' I replied. 'Forgive me for asking, but why is this a forever good-bye?'.

'I am old, and she lives so far away. I have challenges ahead and the reality is - the next trip back will be for my funeral,' he said. 

'When you were saying good-bye, I heard you say, 'I wish you enough.' May I ask what that means?'

He began to smile. 'That's a wish that has been handed down from other generations. My parents used to say it to everyone.' He paused a moment and looked up as if trying to remember it in detail, and he smiled even more. 'When we said, 'I wish you enough,' we were wanting the other person to have a life  filled with just enough good things to sustain them.' Then turning toward me, he shared the following as if he were reciting it from memory.

I wish you enough sun to keep your attitude bright no matter how grey the day may appear.

I wish you enough rain to appreciate the sun even more. 

I wish you enough happiness to keep your spirit alive and everlasting.

I wish you enough pain so that even the smallest of joys in life may appear bigger.

I wish you enough gain to satisfy your wanting.
I wish you enough loss to appreciate all that you possess. 

I wish you enough hellos to get you through the final good-bye.

He then began to cry and walked  away.

They say it takes a minute to find a special person, an hour to appreciate them, a day to love them; but then an entire life to forget them.

Friday, June 10, 2011

Tanga.Com and the Bounty of Glucosamine

I am an athlete, among my many other talents.

I have skated on inline skates 21,000 miles and yes I have counted them being one of those rigid people who only skated on measured courses. 

I used to be a runner.  I would run 10K 3 times a week at Valley Forge National Park.  I'd power myself up and down hills on the trail there and faithfully be out running into the winter cold or the summer heat.

I guess it comes with the territory, I have some creaky knees.  Being 6'4" tall, I've been told you will have some joint issues.

I have been taking Glucosamine for years, and when my dog had her last stroke they put her on the stuff because she's going to be 11 in November.

Some say it does not work.  I insist it does.  My last injury caused my one knee to lock up with pain and I had troubles walking.   So I got on the Glucosamine at 1000MG per meal and the pain slowly went away.  My dog got much more moblie after being on it and I suggested it to someone here who has a very old dog who now has much more energy.

Your Mileage May Vary.  It May Not Work For You.  The article in the link above suggests it works, it also suggests that it doesn't work.  When I saw a 14 year old tumor laden Black Lab dog go from barely being able to move to almost puppy like energy, I was sold.   Actually I was sold a long time ago so I'll keep on taking it.

On the other hand, while I am subject to the placebo effect, my dog is not.

So I keep the stuff on hand and pop two tablets with each meal and Lettie thinks they're treats because they're sweet.

I got low on them and ordered a couple month supply from a website and thought nothing of it.  Later I ran across a "Good Deal" at for the glucosamine.  It was $11 a bottle and for the dosage I was taking I thought it would be nice to try it.   After all I was saving a few dollars on something I will use.

The delivery was a bit slow, I thought, and just when I began to get concerned I got a curious email.  You see, Tanga got overstocked.  For each bottle ordered they were shipping a case.

I read that three or more times and thought, I ordered four bottles!  Four times 24 is 96!  They can't be serious!

They were.   I got two cases on Wednesday and hoped that would be the end of it.  After all it goes bad in December 2012 so I could use a good share of it and maybe give some to some folks.  A chance to do a good deed again for some folks not so well off.

Yesterday I got another two cases.  I even said to the Fed-EX driver "I wonder what my partner ordered?".  No, it was my name on the rather heavy box and I was confused.   The driver got back in the truck after picking up the two boxes of someone else's treasures that had spilled out onto the grey asphalt and sped off.

Puncturing the box I got into the packing material and found ... The Other Two Cases of Glucosamine!

Yes, I have a bounty of the stuff.  I've given some to my neighbor across the street and have some more earmarked for some folks with joint problems that could use it but I now have a tower of Glucosamine in my kitchen.

I'm amused.  I seem to have gotten the jackpot here. 

I've figured out that every so often does this sort of thing, they ship out overstocks and you get a lot of what you ordered instead of one.  It's actually a pleasant surprise, and I'll find homes for the extras, after all if I use one whole case of the stuff it will be a lot.  Most of it has already been earmarked.

So if you see me bouncing along, the glucosamine is working!  I'm still checking for their daily deals, and sometimes they have some good ones.  If you're looking for a good Deal A Day site, I recommend them highly.  After all you may get a bounty of glucosamine yourself!

Thursday, June 9, 2011

One Pound Four Ounce Breakfast from the Sky - Picture

Lettie and I were just finishing our first walk of the day.  She was tiring from her Mile and a Quarter patrol and perimeter search of Wilton Drive and perked as we rounded the corner back to the house.

We heard it fall from the sky.  Rustling leaves as it descended, the sound of a heavenly breakfast hit the ground with a loud THUD. 

I say we heard it because I didn't see it from the distance until this particular Manna From Heaven rolled to a stop close to the street.

I saw it close up and thought this was a monster, a big one and bound to be extra sweet and juicy.  Picking it up from the beach sand that passes for soil, I noticed that this was one of those Softball Sized Treats that you get often in a good year.   This has not been a good year for Mango, most have been small and in the 3 to 5 ounce range for this particular Hagen Mango Tree.

I'm fortunate to like these things because there are so many falling from the sky that I'm able to smell them a block away.  The ants are doing a better job cleaning them up than I am, and since it's in a semi public location rather in my back yard, I stop by with the dog when I can.

Walking the last few steps to the house, I saw my neighbor Scott walking to his electricians work.  He smiled as he saw me tossing it into the air in my left hand as I reached into my right to get the MP3 Player out of my pocket.  I said merely "Breakfast" with a smile and pulled out the player to silence the audio book.  Thinking it was a pocket knife Scott laughed and said "You must be hungry!".  We laughed and I brought it inside to clean up. 

I was hungry, and this beauty made for a wonderful breakfast.  In case you're curious, that one Mango at a Pound and a Quarter works out to be around 300 calories itself.   They're 70 calories to 3 /12 ounces.  To keep a big guy like me moving, it's a lot of Mangoes.   I consider it a diet food.  By the time you cram 12 ounces of Mango down your gullet, you're really not looking for any other food to add to it.

Oh and why the deal with the Hagen Mango?  What's so special when they're so big?

Hagen has been consistently the most sweet of the fruits with a deep orange inside that is unlike any other.   The bigger they are, the sweeter they are as well.   The candy shop would be hard pressed to have anything quite this good.

I looked forward to growing my own orange tree, and have enjoyed the ones that I have gotten from the yard.  If you haven't had the pleasure of picking your own fruit at the peak of ripeness, find a way to do it.  You'll be glad you did.  City folks don't generally have that luxury.

Add to all of that the relative exotic aspect of having a wonderful treat like a 30 foot tall Mango Tree dropping fruit sometimes in excess of one and a half pound and the child like glee of a foodie will come out in the best of us.

If I could only get that damn banana tree out of the pot in the back yard I'd have some banana for my cereal some day.  In the mean time, add a serving of oatmeal to the mango and puree or mash well.   Wait for it to get moist and you've got a full meal.

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Some Random Thoughts from a Profile - Humor

I was chatting with someone the other day online and happened to glance at the profile.  It was one of those long walls of text and I thought here is someone as wordy as I am.  

It was a series of random thoughts and by the time I found myself at the end I was chuckling at them.   I borrowed them and here they are.  Of course what good is a list of random rants without a swipe at Wal-Mart to start off with...

Wal-Mart. Lowering prices and American standards for years!
-Ever think that they are the reason kids are more obese than ever??
-They have great low prices on all your favorite junk food so you can buy twice as much!  Could there be a connection?
-If Wal-Mart has low prices "always" why did they need to begin a program of "Price matching" competitors. Always means always and they should remove that from their stores and trucks because apparently it is not true! Or change it to "Always, unless you find out we are liars" !!!

These are some things that go through my mind when the power goes out:

-If garlic makes food so great, why is garlic breath bad?
-Ever been in a parking garage and looked up and thought about how much weight is sitting above your head?
-Why do so many people get so attached to their cell phones??(they have so many pictures together with it!!)
-What happened to A and B size batteries?
-Ever sit at a red light and think how much trust we put into those lights, that they are not green on all sides one of the times you are flying through?
-What does it mean "Someone left the cake out in the rain" ?
-What would people use if the word "dozens" didnt exist?
-If only the good die young, why would I want to be good?

Things that annoy me:
-Car alarms that have to beep or honk the horn when armed or disarmed. Especially at 2 in the morning.
-People who dont use turn signals when 4 others are waiting for them to pass.
-Overuse of hand sanitizer. Really?? I know people that insisted it be used when they were required to use a finger print scanner to clock in/out. But have no problem putting their finger on the elevator buttons. Who knows what was on the last persons finger that touched that! I never use the stuff.

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Facebook Privacy - Facial Recognition

This is bordering on the creepy.  Luckily you can turn it off.

So why the creepy?  

What it does is that if you have a picture up on Facebook the new setting suggests that this picture that someone uploaded is you.  Got that? 

Let me try again.  Someone took a picture of a group of people.  Say in an amusement park.  You happen to be in the background.  You don't know these folks but there you are.   Facebook looks at the picture and scans its database.  This stranger from somewhere else now is suggested to tag it with your identity.

Now it's starting to sound creepy and James Bond -ish. 

So someone you don't know, have never met has decided this is you.   Since Facebook does not require your permission for someone else to tag your pictures, you have to be watching the status page of Facebook to know if it has happened.   If you turn your head the wrong way some days, you miss a page full of information.

We all know Facebook is a massive privacy hole, the governments are using it to track people.  Fair enough, you or I aren't doing anything that we should worry about, but if you are someone who has a restraining order against someone it's possible that you could have that person drop by for an unwanted visit.

For safety's sake of those who may be less able to take care of themselves then, it's a good reason to switch this off.

Here is how:

Log into Facebook
Go to the Facebook Privacy Settings on the upper right of the page and click on the link.
Click on Customize Settings
Find the grouping of "Things Others Share"
Find the option of "Suggest photos of me to friends" and click on "Edit Settings".

You will get a light box pop up that will describe the "feature" and by default it is enabled.  Naughty Facebook.   If you click on the "Enabled" Button you will be allowed to turn it off.   Then click OK.

I did.  It's just too creepy.

Monday, June 6, 2011

Facebook Observations

First you hear about this New Thing.  Facebook.

You can reconnect with people.
You can reconnect with lost loves and family members.
You can look into old neighborhoods and old friends.
You hear about all that buzz and want to join.

Log in, start answering nosy questions, and "Like" things.

It's all marketing.  Everything on there is going on to a big database, no different than google in actuality.  If you want your privacy you have to spend cash and stay off line.

We can't do that now, there are too many financial benefits to being online and connected.

Even those of us who are financially not so very well off can find a way to pay for their internet connection and their computers simply by shopping online.  In some European areas, it's considered a civil right to be online.

All the while on Facebook you are connecting.  First with your closest friends and family.  Then with your most important things like the companies you deal with and your favorite actors, actresses, artists, and other notables.  

I was reading my Facebook Status Screen this morning in a break from "things".  I've got some video work and I have to be the Budget Analyst today for someone who I did some work for way back when so I thought I'd check in and see what's up.

I try to be very careful who I "Friend" and who I "Like".  If you're a Facebook Friend of mine, I've actually thought it through and you're there by choice.   There is only one person in the world who I have completely blocked from any and all access to my postings.  I've got a moderate amount of friends on there, and I prefer not to have to keep after it every moment of the day.  An occasional glance is sufficient to keep up with the statuses of all the Technology Blogs, Personal Updates, and other News Items I have on there.  I use Facebook now more as a feed on the world at large.  It makes it easier for me than to have to hop onto the technology journals daily that I need to stay on top of Programming, Computer Hardware, Computer Software, Science... well you get the idea!

One interesting thing occurred to me just now.  It's the modern day equivalent, the Facebook Version, of "You never know someone until you live with them".  I have a few people who I friended because I ran into them in a social or political event.  I don't really know them but it's best to stay connected just in case. I realized that I looked forward to this person's status updates.  The person who will remain nameless (because in reality there are more than one) puts up postings from their life that are actually interesting.  Their view may not be something that I agree with, and everyone who reads this blog realizes that I have my own off the wall opinions, but every time that the person posts something I have this "Oooh Look At This!" thought and eagerly read the post.

It doesn't happen with everyone, some folks are content to sit in the background and just glance.  Some of my dearest friends are on Facebook and hardly use it.  I'm on it every day in background because my routine of looking for work, web development, social media, and technology training require that I stay as current as I can. 

I may be underemployed, but it doesn't mean I'm watching TV all day.

I consider it an honor to experience other's differences and diversity and to be invited to do so.  To this I humbly say thank you for inviting me to press my nose up to the glass around your lives.  It doesn't necessarily mean that I agree with you and your opinions, but merely that I find them so very fascinating.

Yes, another posting of the obvious, I suppose, but isn't that what blogging is all about?  After all, a blog post is merely a status update on Facebook, and on here they tend to be long winded in comparison to the 430 characters there.

So enjoy your stay and I promise I'll clean the nose print off the glass. . . Here!  Let me get that!

Sunday, June 5, 2011

I'll Do Anything You Want for $20 - Humor

I guess you know I love a good joke.  This one was not from Velma, it was sent to me by a friend Scott up in Philly.   Thanks, Scott, and everyone else, Enjoy!

There are female jokes and there are unisex jokes.   Here is a joke I consider a true female joke. 

I offer it to you in the hopes that women will love it and men will pass it along to a woman who will love it!

A woman was sitting at a bar enjoying an after work cocktail with her girlfriends when Steven, a tall,  exceptionally handsome, extremely sexy, middle-aged man entered. He was so striking that the woman could not take her eyes off him.

This seasoned yet playful heartthrob noticed her overly  attentive stare and walked directly toward her.  (As any man would.) Before she could offer her apologies for staring so rudely, he leaned over and whispered to her, "I'll do anything, absolutely anything, that you want me to do, no  matter how kinky, for  $20.00.. on one condition..."

Flabbergasted but intrigued, the woman asked what the  condition was. The man replied, "You have to tell me what you want me to do in just three  words."

The woman considered his proposition for a moment, and then slowly removed $20 bill from her purse, which she pressed into the man's hand along with her address. She looked deeply and passionately into his eyes, barely concealing her  anticipation and excitement, and slowly and meaningfully  said....

"Clean my house."