Sunday, July 31, 2016

An Art Thief Broke Into The Louvre

Through careful studying of the building plans and months of meticulous planning, he was able to evade all the security and stole several priceless paintings.

He then loaded the paintings into his van parked nearby. Just as he was about to leave, he heard the alarm go off in the building.

Without a moment's hesitation, he kicked the van into high gear and sped away. However, his van ran out of gas less than 5 minutes later, and he was caught and arrested by the police.

"I don't understand", Said the police officer. "How could you plan all that so carefully, yet forget to fill up your gas tank?"

To which the thief replied: "But monsieur! Zat is exactly why I stole ze paintings! I had no Monet, to buy Degas, to make ze Van Gogh!"

Saturday, July 30, 2016

Excuse me, Sir...

Excuse me Sir, how much have you had to drink tonight?

A cop waited outside a popular pub hoping to nab a drink-driver.
At closing time, as everyone came out, he spotted his potential quarry.

The man was so obviously inebriated that he could barely walk.
He stumbled around the parking lot for a few minutes looking for his car.

After trying his keys on five others, he finally found his own vehicle.
 He sat in the car a good 10 minutes as the other pub patrons left.

He turned his lights on, then off.
He started to pull forward into the grass, then stopped.

Finally, when his was the last car, he pulled out onto the road and started to drive away.

The cop, waiting for this, turned on his lights and pulled the man over.

He administered the breathalyzer test and, to his great surprise, the man easily passed.

The cop was dumbfounded.

'This equipment must be broken,' exclaimed the policeman.
'I doubt it,' said the man. 'Tonight I'm the designated decoy.'

Wednesday, July 27, 2016

Why Does FPL Want To Ruin My Pizza?

Sundays.  They have turned into Pizza Day.

Specifically, one half 7 cheese, one half 7 cheese with Mushroom, Sun Dried Tomatoes, and Grilled Onions.

Made from scratch.  Scratch Crust, Scratch Sauce, and the toppings are my own mix.

I have this pizza recipe down.  The dough is Pat's Pizza Dough.  The recipe comes from my sister.  She had it in a recipe book that she was given when she got married back in The Nineties.  I sat at her table with a stack of little square pieces of paper and wrote a whole bunch of recipes down and kept them. 

I still have the original square paper for this.  It's faded, water spotted, stained, and just about everything else you can think of that can happen to a piece of paper after some 20 plus years.  But the recipe is bullet proof.  Never fails.

Oh sure, I have adjusted it for Florida Conditions.  Bad water that comes out of the tap slightly brown and tastes like it has been sitting in a garden hose in the heat.  Flour that is commercial high grade, and rather thirsty and seems to like brown water.

Instead of what the recipe says, I've bumped it up to 12 ounces of water.  I know what the dough "feels" like when it is right.  Every experienced cook has a recipe they do By Eye and get right.

Pizza is mine.

In fact, I'll put my own pizza up against anyone else's on the island now. 

The dough makes 1400 calories of bread, I weigh that in grams, divide by 10, reserve 30 percent and that makes one crust.  The cheese is exactly 6 ounces.  Sauce is exactly 7 ounces and is a home developed clone of the best sauce on the island from a closed Pizza Shop.  Yield is a pizza that is just about 1000 calories total depending on whether I go with 30% or 33% of the dough.

The point of that is I Know This Recipe.  It goes well with a single beer for Sunday Lunch.

I start this all at 9 AM.  Make the dough, weigh and separate it out.  This pizza was 30% crust, allowing me to make 6 rolls out of the remainder.  101 grams per roll.

It got rolled out and allowed to rise in a protected place.

11:30, I put the pizza together.  The vegetables were sauteed to drive out the moisture. Cheese mixed.  Sauce layered, followed by the cheese, and finally the veg.

I reached into the refrigerator, grabbed a fine ale, and sat down to enjoy a brief rest as the oven came up to temperature.

About 20 minutes later I hear the oven snap.  "It's ready!  I guess I should get up.  The pizza will be ready in ..."

BOOM.  I hear that apocalyptic sound of a "Pew" as capacitors in all the appliances discharge.  The fans stop.  It is silent except the ticking of the mechanical clocks.

You see this part of Florida, Wilton Manors, Fort Lauderdale, and Oakland Park is in Broward County.  The East side.of the county was built up first and it was built to the edge of the Everglades National Park until no more room at the inn.

Florida is full.  If you're moving here from somewhere else, don't think it is an open place of palm trees and wading birds.  It is, but those places are usually redneck, infested with evil things like alligators, mosquitoes that would carry off a large car, and Republicans.  Swamp People.

Broward is nice.  It's diverse, having lots of interesting people from lots of interesting cultures, and everyone is from somewhere else.   The Native Floridians here are comparatively few on the ground.

But all that demographic nonsense?  You see what happens is that every so often we get, yes, a Hurricane.  The last one that hit here was Wilma in 2006, and we're overdue.  

The telephone poles look like they were here before Wilma.  You may ask, how can I tell?  Simple, they all seem to lean slightly to one side.  They're almost all sun-bleached on the South side as well.  Southern exposure here is redundant, they're kind of a grey color.   I know, I'm looking at one now.

Motley assortment of old beat up infrastructure.  Old Beat Up Infrastructure fails.  Randomly and spectacularly at times. 

That would be that boom I was talking about.  It happened as I was just out of my chair and took my very first step across the living room to the kitchen.

What caused it was a two or three year old repair to a High Voltage wire on a pole about 100 feet from my house.  We were told it was "done badly" and "it just let go". 

I walked into the kitchen.  Oven temperature was 450. It was dropping.  I slid the pizza in anyway, and went into the living room.

"I really don't want to finish this off in the grill."

Crappy infrastructure means we have backup plans here.  In places where the weather is more gentle, like, say New Jersey in my sister's native Cherry Hill, you talk about power outages, but they never last more than two hours or so.

My friend works for the power company in Atlanta.  When I tell him what I go through here with the power, he shudders and says "Southern Company would never accept that sort of failure rate" and then segue into a long conversation about how awful the power is here in Florida.

When I moved here, I lost two computers because of the twice daily "Power Pops" I get. 

Trust me, it really is that bad.

Six minutes passed.  The pizza was actually done.  A wee bit under, but since I opened the oven, I lost the rest of my heat.  It was now down to around 300F. 

"Well, lunch is served.  I'll put the rolls on the grill."

The pizza was actually quite good, better than most here.  But it wasn't exactly a crispy cracker crust I obsess over.

Freaking FPL. 

I go outside and put the rolls on the grill and close the lid.  I know exactly where to turn the knobs to get the grill to heat to 430F. 

Setting the timer for 11 minutes, I come back later.

The first rolls are done.  Surprisingly good looking for something that was cooked under the Lanai.  I put in the second set.   They come out perfect too.

Actually the grill hot spots, so I will remember next time to put bricks in the grill to keep the cookie sheet up off the actual grill work.

"Now what?"  We were without power.  Full but no power.

"Luckily the house has hurricane glass and new roof.  We'll have to see".

The day went up to 92F here.  I watched the indoor temperature inch up a degree an hour or so.  It started at 76, and by 5PM it was up to 84. 

We had some small battery operated fans for when it was warmest, but it served to remind me that while we do have a generator, it won't power the Air Conditioning in the house without some more work.  Yes, we've got more hurricane prep to do or else it's pile the dog and the parrot in the Jeep and drive North in case of a power outage.

Wilma did that.  My block was without power for two weeks.  I was told this over and over.  Two weeks of sitting on a floor and using D Batteries to power a small battery powered fan in an emergency is not fun.

So please, FPL, fix your infrastructure.  I don't want to get used to baking rolls on a grill.  

Sunday, July 24, 2016

How Did You Die?

Two men waiting at the pearly gates strike up a conversation.

How'd you die?" the first man asks the second.

"I froze to death," says the second.
 "That's awful," says the first man.

"How does it feel to freeze to death?"
"It's very uncomfortable at first," says the second man. "You get the shakes, and you get pains in all your fingers and toes. But eventually, it's a very calm way to go. You get numb and you kind of drift off, as if you're sleeping. How about you, how did you die?"

"I had a massive head injury," says the first man. "You see, I was sure my wife was cheating on me, so one day I showed up at home unexpectedly. I ran up to the bedroom, and found her alone, knitting. I ran down to the basement, but no one has hiding there, either. I ran up to the second floor, but no one was hiding there either. I ran as fast as I could to the attic, and just as I hit the top step, I tripped, fell three flights of stairs, and landed square on the back of my head. Dead."

The second man shakes his head, "That's so ironic," he says.

"What do you mean?" asks the first man. "If you had only stopped to look in the freezer, we'd both still be alive."

Saturday, July 23, 2016

Bacon Tree!

There are two guys who have been lost in the desert for weeks, and they're at death's door. As they stumble on, hoping for salvation in the form of an oasis or something similar, they suddenly spy, through the heat haze, a tree off in the distance.

As they get closer, they can see that the tree is draped with rasher upon rasher of bacon. There's smoked bacon, crispy bacon, life-giving juicy nearly-raw bacon, all sorts.

"Oh my, John," says the first bloke. "It's a bacon tree! We're saved!" "You're right!" says John.
So John goes on ahead and runs up to the tree salivating at the prospect of food. But as he gets to within five feet of the tree, there's the sound of machine gun fire, and he is shot down in a hail of bullets.

His friend quickly drops down on the sand, and calls across to the dying John.

"John, John! What on earth happened?"

With his dying breath John calls out

"It's not a Bacon Tree"

"It's a Ham Bush"

Wednesday, July 20, 2016

Skip It I'll Wait For December

Lately Florida Weather has been odd.

Granted, Wilton Manors is in a Heat Shadow of Downtown Fort Lauderdale.  Storms come from any given direction, and they tend to separate around us.  The Thunderstorms that used to be so predictable will skip over us and rain on neighboring towns.

They can be dramatic to watch.  Giant anvil headed things floating past the window, slowly.  Sometimes lightning will spark and cause a great bass note to arrive some time later.

Flash and Count... One One Thousand, Two One Thousand, Three One Thousand, Four One Thou... BOOM! That was close.

The dog hates those.  Rack, The McNab SuperDog(TM) may be intelligent but he truly turns into a shivering ball of fur in a corner when those storms come through.

When I am walking East on Wilton Drive, an hour or so before sunrise, I see them off in the distance.  Like a picket line, they must be just off shore, a couple miles apart, regularly spaced like a hair comb with a few missing teeth.

Anyone who takes a picture from time to time gets the idea of taking The Perfect Beach Picture.  You know the "Postcard" shot I am talking about.  The beach should be deserted.  Sunrise hasn't yet happened, but it is close.  The clouds are backlit and glowing gold, brass, and copper on the bottom and sides.  The skies themselves are turning from purple to a lighter blue.  The seas are a mill pond calm with only a few splashes here and there.  The beach sand is a welcoming place.  Warm and coppery in the morning light.

Get your camera out, tripod, take that picture.

That's it, I'll have the worlds best picture of Fort Lauderdale Beach! 

Fire off a few more in case that doesn't look quite right.

Play with focusing and timing if the camera will allow it and see what you can see.

Seagulls give more drama, why aren't there seagulls?

All this was running through my head.  Rack was with me.  I'm at the midpoint of my walk talking to another person who is up at stupid o'clock getting his morning walk in.

I flash back to the house and think the Jeep has gas, it's not blocked in the driveway, and I'm not too worn out from the walk.  I could do this!

Then I realize that no, I couldn't.  I'd have to get to the beach quickly, avoid traffic, with all my gear.  Get down there within 30 minutes.  Find parking, it is free until 8AM down in Hollywood, who knows what those people charge in Lauderdale.  Cart all that machinery out to the beach, set it all up, and maybe get a few shots.

All of this running through my head as I look at my watch.  Sunrise was in 30 minutes.  Too late.  Would have to plan this better, get up even earlier.  The people here are used to seeing me walk my dog at this hour.  Walking around there aren't that many people up and about at 5AM give or take a few.  A half hour earlier and hopefully everyone would be in bed so we could get our walk in uninterrupted.


Then go through the logistics to get to the beach.

Ugh.  There has to be a better way.

Sure.  Procrastinate.  December.   Sunrise is much later then.  I could drive down there, have my pick of beaches.  They would all be deserted then.  Even the snowbirds would be asleep.

Just remember if you're in the car from midnight to 5AM, there is probable cause that you have been drinking...

But Officer! Photography Equipment!  Pictures!

So I stand near the house in the middle of the street.  May as well take a test photo, it is just about the right time of day for it.  Looks good on the little bitty screen I'll have to check it inside on the laptop in big format (TM).

Yuck.  Grainy.  Digital Photography is showing its limits again.  Maybe I'll just blow it off until the next generation of cameras.

Or December when the later sunrises happen.

Don't know.  Procrastination for the win!

Sunday, July 17, 2016

An Elderly Man Lay Dying In His Bed...

An elderly man lay dying in his bed. In death's agony, he suddenly smelled the aroma of his favourite chocolate chip cookies wafting up the stairs.

He gathered his remaining strength, and lifted himself from the bed. Leaning against the wall, he slowly made his way out of the bedroom, and with even greater effort forced himself down the stairs, gripping the railing with both hands, he crawled downstairs.

With laboured breath, he leaned against the door-frame, gazing into the kitchen. Were it not for death's agony, he would have thought himself already in heaven: there, spread out upon waxed paper on the kitchen table were literally hundreds of his favourite chocolate chip cookies.

 Was it heaven? Or was it one final act of heroic love from his devoted wife, seeing to it that he left this world a happy man?

Mustering one great final effort, he threw himself toward the table, landing on his knees in a rumpled posture.

His parched lips parted: the wondrous taste of the cookie was already in his mouth, seemingly bringing him back to life. The aged and withered hand trembled on its way to a cookie at the edge of the table, when it was suddenly smacked with a spatula by his wife.

"Stay out of those," she said, "they're for the funeral."

Saturday, July 16, 2016

Mafia Attorney

A Mafia Godfather finds out that his bookkeeper has cheated him out of ten million bucks. His bookkeeper is deaf. That was the reason he got the job in the first place. It was assumed that a deaf bookkeeper would not hear anything that he might have to testify about in court.

When the Godfather goes to confront the bookkeeper about his missing $10 million, he brings along his attorney, who knows sign language.

The Godfather tells the lawyer, "Ask him where the 10 million bucks he embezzled from me is."
The attorney, using sign language, asks the bookkeeper where the money is.
The bookkeeper signs back , "I don't know what you are talking about."

The attorney tells the Godfather, "He says he doesn't know what you're talking about."
The Godfather pulls out a pistol, puts it the bookkeeper's temple and says, "Ask him again!"

The attorney signs to the bookkeeper, "He'll kill you if you don't tell him!"
The bookkeeper signs back, "OK! You win! The money is in a brown briefcase, buried behind the shed in my cousin Enzo's backyard in Queens!"
The Godfather asks the attorney, "Well, what'd he say?"

The attorney replies, "He says you don't have the guts to pull the trigger."

Wednesday, July 13, 2016

Basic Lime Cilantro Salsa in Five Minutes

The hardest part of making fresh salsa is getting the ingredients.

I mean, you have to schlep to the store.  You have to get out of the house and actually go out into Public!


Then you have to get the stuff!  (Yikes)

I was buying salsa in a jar when I went to the market and I thought to myself, I'm an excellent cook, I know what I am doing, I have amazingly sharp and deadly knives to chop and mince my vegetables, I can make cakes from scratch and wash them down with my coffee that I roast in my own kitchen...

So why not make some basic salsa?

Yeah I know, I'll get off the soap box and stop patting myself on the back.

Thing is that I needed a chunky salsa.  I have been making these big dinner servings of Bean and Cheese Quesadillas lately.  Very high quality food, no "junk" added.  It could be made vegan if I wanted, although I'm fine with it not being vegan.  It could be made Non-Vegetarian if I tossed some meat in it, but I like the way this tastes without adding beef or anything else.

That plus more food than a "regular person" can eat ends up being only 500 calories so I can justify washing it down with a beer.

5.6 ounces of rice fried with salsa, cumin, and chili powder is only 200 calories, plus an ounce of cheese, one corn tortilla, and 100 calories worth of canned refried beans.

(ok, so the salsa isn't zero calories, and I do add about 4 ounces of salsa to it)

But it's the salsa that I'm going on about.  This is basic.  This is something you can throw together when you need some because you ran out.  It's also fresh and without any weird chemicals, so if you're into eating healthy and light, you end up with a lot of the stuff and can justify it. 

Oh and since I'm not adding any oil or anything heavy, it's calorie count is very low.

The process is simple: 

  • Chop all your vegetables up to a rough chop.  (see picture above)
  • Mash the Tomatoes with a fork so that they are partially broken up.  
  • Add lime juice for flavor and preservative. 
  • Store in the fridge and use promptly. 
  • When I make this I tend to keep it in a large plastic bag and smash the Salsa up to make sure it is tenderized
  • It kept a week for me and was still fine in the refrigerator

  • 1/2 to 3/4 sweet or white onion, roughly chopped
  • 3 tomatoes, roughly chopped
  • 1/2 cup cilantro, roughly chopped and to taste
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 teaspoon Lime Juice, or to taste 
  • Optional: 1 or 2 Finely Chopped or Minced Jalapeno Peppers
  • Optional: 1 Bell Pepper, Roughly Chopped

For the ingredients:

I hate "heat" so I leave the Jalapeno out.  I know, it's Salsa, and it adds flavor, but I can't bring myself to do that. 

Also some people can't abide Cilantro.  It's a genetic thing, I get it.  Some folks think it tastes like soap.  Personally I don't.  I have that "mutation" that makes Cilantro taste wonderful.  So leave it out if you like.

Bottom line, this is a BASIC Salsa recipe.  You can toss in any amount of ingredients and have fun with it. 

After all, if YOU like it, then it's a wonderful thing, right?

Sunday, July 10, 2016


There was a priest in a church, listening to people's confessions. One day, a boy came up to him.

"Father, forgive me, for I have sinned," the boy said.
"Okay, what is your confession?" the priest asked.

"I threw peanuts down the drain"
The priest was very confused, nevetherless, he forgave the boy of his sins, and the boy went off.

After the boy, a girl came up to the the priest.
"Father, forgive me, for I have sinned," she said.
"Okay, whats your confession?" the priest asked.

"I threw peanuts down the drain."
Again, the priest was very confused, but he forgave the girl and the girl went off, happy.

This "throwing of peanuts" confession went on for the entire day, until a boy, bruised and beaten, showed up.
"Let me guess, you threw peanuts down the drain," the priest said.

The response was, "Father, I am Peanuts."

Saturday, July 9, 2016

Forgiving Your Enemies

I do try to post jokes that at least put a smile on my face.  This one had me laugh out loud too.  Hope it does it for you...

Forgiving your enemies

After a long sermon, the priest asks his parishioners if they are ready to forgive their enemies. About half of the people in the congregation raise their hands.

The priest talks for another 20 minutes and at the end asks the same question. This time, 80 percent of the parishioners raise their hands.

The priest then talks for 15 more minutes and asks if the parishioners are ready to forgive their enemies. This time everyone raises their hands, except for the little old lady in the back.

"Mrs. Johnson, are you not ready to forgive your enemies?" asks the priest.
"I don't have any" says Mrs. Johnson.

"That is amazing. How old are you?"
"I'm 93."

"Will you please go to the altar and explain to all of us how anybody could make it to 93 years old without having any enemies?"

Mrs. Johnson gets up and goes to the altar. As she's facing the congregation, she says,
"Simple, I outlived those bastards!"

Wednesday, July 6, 2016

Maple Coated Nuts In The Crock Pot Recipe

I have a habit of talking to my friends about cooking.  I am not a cook, nor a baker, just an enthusiast.  I do it sometimes when I have made a new recipe that I particularly enjoyed, or one that challenged me and gave me a feeling of accomplishment.

I was in a conversation with a lady I knew when I lived Up North where the tundra thaws out from time to time, Philadelphia.  We segued into what to make for dinner and desserts.  I commented that I had made this recipe below that is nothing more than Maple Syrup coated salted nuts.  It was beyond simple, and I made it in the crock pot.

This will turn your house into one of my favorite memories of Summer at the Jersey Shore, going into Planters Peanuts, and the smell in there.  My house smelled of gently roasting salted nuts for the rest of the day.

She immediately got interested since she loves slightly salty sweets, and nuts.  If it is as easy as I say it was then she wants the recipe and a narrative so she could do it herself.

The thing is that the picture showing a piddling quarter of a container tells you just how good these were.  They were amazing!

So here you go:  Here is the Process:

  • Mix together the wet ingredients - Maple Syrup, Vanilla Extract, and Salt in a large mixing bowl.  A two quart mixing bowl works perfectly for that.
  • Fold in two cups of mixed nuts and mix the entire mass well until all are coated.  
  • Prepare the crock pot out.  Coat the bottom of a large crock pot with coconut oil.  Wipe off the excess with a paper towel.  
  • Add the nut mixture to the crock pot and smooth out to one layer of nuts.
  • Turn on the crock pot at high heat, and cover it.
  • Every 30 minutes, stir the nut mixture and level it back off.
  • After 1 hour 30 minutes, you should be done, however it is a judgment call as to whether the coating is "dry enough.  Mine was a little bit sticky but I would not say it was "wet".
  • Spread out onto a sheet of parchment paper or similar, and allow to cool and dry. 
  • I ate mine within a week but you could go longer.


  • 2 ounces of Maple Syrup.  I used "real" but that fake pancake Pole Syrup or Honey SHOULD work.
  • 1 teaspoon of Salt - or to taste if you are watching your salt intake
  • 1 teaspoon of Vanilla Extract
  • 2 cups of unsalted mixed nuts - your preference, I used 1 1/4 cup Walnut halves, 3/4 Peanuts.
  • Coconut Oil to coat the crock pot

Sunday, July 3, 2016

3 Men on a Plane and a Marriage Joke

I'm not exactly sure why they picked these particular nationalities in this joke.  It's one of those grade school jokes that if you have a pre-teen around they'll love.

As for me, I'll just go make a bean quesadillo and leave it at that!

Three Men get onto a plane

One is English, one is French and the other is German.

The English man drops a stone, the french drops a knife and the German drops a bomb

When the English man gets back his Dad is in the garden crying. He asks why. His Dad says "Me and your Mother were gardening when a stone dropped from the sky and killed her.

When the French man gets back his Dad is in the garden crying. He asks why. His Dad says "Me and your Mother were gardening when a knife dropped from the sky and killed her.

When the German man gets back his Dad is in the garden Laughing. He asks why. His Dad says "I farted and Steve next door exploded!!!"

And a Marriage Joke that amused me

My husband and I couldn’t decide which jacket to buy our granddaughter, so we asked the young salesman.
“If you were buying a jacket for your girlfriend,” I said, “what would you get?”
“A bulletproof one,” he said. “I’m married.”

Saturday, July 2, 2016

A Texan, Donald Trump, And a New Mexican are Walking Along And Find A Gold Lamp

They all immediately grab for it, and each get a hand on it.

As they each struggle to take it from the other two, a genie pops out. The genie says, "You have woken me from my slumber, and I shall give you three wishes. Since you each have a hand on the lamp, you will get one wish a piece."

The Donald Trump goes first. He says, "I want all the Mexicans permanently out of the United States and back in Mexico."
 "So it shall be," replies the genie, and suddenly every single Mexican is gone from the US and back in Mexico.

The Texan then shouts, "I'm next. You're telling me that all the Mexicans are gone from the US?"
"Yes," replies the genie.

The Texan replies, "OK,I want a 500 foot tall wall around the entire state of Texas so nothing can get in or out."
"So it shall be," replies the genie. Suddenly, a wall begins rising from the ground around the borders of Texas, and the Texan yells out with happiness.

Lastly, it was the New Mexican's turn. He thinks for a moment, and then asks the genie, "you're saying there is now a 500 foot wall all around Texas and nothing can get in or out?"

"Yes," replies the genie, "what is your wish?"
The New Mexican then says to the genie with a huge smile, "fill it with water."