Wednesday, June 20, 2018

How to Break Your Dog Using Generic Store-Brand Cereal

I'm on a quest.

You see, every time I go to the market, I buy a different brand of Generic Cereal.   The stuff that looks like if you planted it in the backyard, you would get a bagel growing.  Bagel Seeds.

I mean, Cheerios look like bagel seeds, so you end up getting ... well never mind, that simile is stretched to its breaking point.

However you could do worse.  One Gram Of Sugar, It's Not A Lot.  Per serving that is.  I'm taller than average, so I have one and a half grams in my own Moose Sized Servings.

However, Rack, The McNab SuperDog (TM) knows though that I can be a soft touch.

He follows me around the kitchen and watches.  Since the world is not sized for my own Six-Foot-Four-Inch-One-Hundred-Ninety-Three-Centimeter, 220-Pound-One-Hundred-Kilo frame, I drop things.  Constantly.  Reach into the ice bin in the fridge and I get my five cubes for coffee and drop one.

That hardened into a ritual where he hears the freezer door open, listen for the rattle of my right hand grabbing those cubes, and he gets up and pads into there and waits.

Which is to say I get twin laser beams of brown eyes staring a hole through me.

First mug of coffee ONLY.  I merely say when I hear him get up, "Nope", and he sits down when I go in for the second mug of coffee.

Being a dog of a lifetime. he currently speaks English well enough that I am learning Spanish to avoid him knowing when I am doing something.  Yeah right, he has figured out that he can also go into the kitchen when I am getting a snack.  Bilingual dog in the making.  What's next, sign language?

Like those Bagel Seeds.   Generic, of course.

The Generic ones come in various kinds.  The best tasting ones are the ones with mostly oats, and wheat instead of only oats.  The "real" cheerios are Gluten Free and taste like cardboard, only cardboard.  Ok, not quite so bad, they taste like Only Oats which can be fine in making oatmeal with milk and a blob of lemon curd on top and ...


But the Generic-with-wheat fake-Cheerios that I like taste sweeter.  No more added sugar, I hope, but I'll eat them out of hand standing in the middle of the kitchen dropping them on my damn boot as they roll under the refrigerator.

Being a dog, he's also part vacuum cleaner.  He'll trot in there and vacuum up the things.

Being me, I upgraded him.  Once.

I took a handful of the bagel seeds and put them in his bowl.   Add milk.  Just a splash.

Now, my dog, is broke.   This dog who has the genetics of being the smartest creature in the pasture has learned that I have the power of milk.

Yes, you guessed it.  He won't eat them if I don't put the milk over them and merely gives me That Stare.

"Where's my milk?!?!?!"

Indeed.  "I didn't even give myself any milk!"

I ignored him and put the cereal away.  He walked to his hiding corner next to my big green chair and waited.

When I finally sat down he decided it was not going to happen, fifteen minutes later, and had his treat without milk.

I have GOT to stop feeding this dog people food!

It's bad enough that he knows that the rawhides are stored within reach of my desk.

He'll do the same thing.  Walk to my left elbow.  Wag his tail for attention.  Stare holes in me, wait for me to ask "What?  Show me!".  Pad over to the rawhide bag and then lasers.

A beggar of my own creation!

Sunday, June 17, 2018

Why was the fishing show so successful? They had a great cast

Proper Etiquettes

During one of her daily classes, a teacher trying to teach good manners, asked her students the following question:

"Michael, if you were on a date having dinner with a nice young lady, how would you tell her that you have to go to the bathroom?

Michael said, "Just a minute I have to go pee." The teacher responded by saying, "That would be rude and impolite. What about you Sherman, how would you say it?" Sherman said, "I am sorry, but I really need to go to the bathroom. I'll be right back."

"That's better, but it's still not very nice to say the word bathroom at the dinner table. And you, little Edward, can you use your brain for once and show us your good manners?"

"I would say: Darling, may I please be excused for a moment? I have to shake hands with a very dear friend of mine, who I hope to introduce you to after dinner."

Saturday, June 16, 2018

I want to tell you a joke about procrastination. . . tomorrow.

A family is driving in their car on a holiday.

A frog crosses the road and the husband, who is driving, is able to stop the car. He gets out an takes the frog and carries him to the side of the road.

Frog is grateful, thanks the man for saving his life, and tells him that he will grant him a wish.

The man says, "please make my dog win the next dog race."

Frog asks to look at the dog which jumps out of the car. The frog notices that the dog has only got three legs and tells the man that he thinks it is almost impossible to fulfill his wish and asks that the man will tell him another wish.

The man says, "Well, then please help that my wife will win the next beauty contest in the area."

Frog asks him to tell his wife to get out of the car. Wife comes out of the car and approaches the frog. The frog looks at the man and says, "Could I please have another look at the dog?"


Wednesday, June 13, 2018

Baking or Soap Making it could be Engineering Tolerances that are causing you problems

I was an electronics geek back when I was a teen. 

Everything in Electronics had a percentage of tolerance engineered in.  Any particular theoretical Resistor may have been intended to be 220K, but in reality it had a 10 % tolerance built in and could have been as much as  22K off.  Say 200 Ohm to 242K ohm. 

And since everything else had a 10% tolerance it just may work!  After all, analog electronics always had a trimming capacitor or potentiometer somewhere to tune the circuit to make it all work.

I have a habit of scaling recipes.  That Engineering Tolerance can get in the way.

It makes too much, cut the recipe down.  If it doesn't make enough, double it.

In fact, my favorite bread recipe, Pat's Pizza Dough works great in thirds.  I can take that third and make a rather nice sized pizza for two or a couple rolls for sandwiches and it works well.

My preferred way to make a pizza crust is to toss the ingredients into a bag, add an extra teaspoon or tablespoon to texture, and squish it around until it is properly mixed and kneaded.

What if I want one single roll?

No, seriously, just one.  After all you're not eating two rolls at a time, right?  It may not turn out just right.

After all, you took a recipe that you cut down from 3 cups to 1 cup, and it worked out right, but what about going smaller.

Metric measurements may help.  

But here is the rub.  Many recipes were converted from very old measurements and work well in one specific climate, but move them they don't work.  Others were converted into Metric measurements and are rounded up or down.

I have seen conversion factors varying between 28 and 30 grams to the ounce where the official measurement is 28.35 (by my search) grams to the ounce.

28 and lets-call-it-a-third grams to the ounce.

(See what I did there?  Added an Engineering Tolerance?)

Have you ever accurately measured one gram in a kitchen?   - No.
How about 1/3 of a gram.  - No.
Does it matter? - Maybe.

"Cooking" may not be effected.  Your measurements can be a little off when you're making a roast from Grandma's recipe but "it's the way we like it" would be the answer.

Baking, well that can be finicky.  I'm just not going to try to figure out 9.45 Grams of anything.  My scale is not THAT accurate, and frankly that's only the 1/3 ounce.  A single roll needs 1/9th of a teaspoon of salt and of sugar. 

Settle down, if you go up or down slightly, it should still work but you probably have a freezer that would take the other two rolls if you went to the 1/3rd recipe.

My point is that it is a rare kitchen that can measure in tiny fractions of a gram.  If it is. it is probably cooking something that you would see in Breaking Bad.

After all, I remember my high school chemistry very well and used to get ridiculously accurate measurements in a true Laboratory with balance scales and graduated cylinders and Scientific House weights and measures, and MY kitchen is not equipped!

Since my High School Chem teacher was a stoner, learning Chemistry well was self-preservation around all those possibly toxic ingredients.

The one gram weight was, by the way, a small square of brass that was about the size of a quarter of a common postage stamp.  Now cut that down to a third.

Just stop right there.  My point is with food, it just might not be a problem and you can always have leftovers since that oven isn't exactly free to run.

But soap?  Don't try this at home kiddies!

The size reduction... Soap Making is easy but take your time with measurements.

You see, making larger batches of soap seem to be fine.  Bread Loaf sized batches mean that you can do your measurements in ounces and your kitchen scale will be happy to oblige.  Use Grams if you like and be more precise.   Anything over 500 Grams or a Pound (you choose) and the numbers get nice and round.

Since you are using less than 100% of the Lye you need in the recipe to leave things nice and moisturized after washing  your hide with it, coming in a wee bit low makes things happy. 

My first batch was at 96%.  That soap was so good that my skin problem cleared up.  Add to it that I only ever use Human Food Grade Ingredients for making soap and you can really see why.

Then I got "creative".  "Lets make One Single Bar Of Soap." I said, in earnest!  "After all, how difficult can it be?"

Hah!  You jest.

You see, the measurement came in wanting a fraction of a gram of lye. 8.45 grams, to be specific.

No.  Just no. 

Since different oils have different properties, I fiddled with the soap calculator web page and came up with a combination that ended up being exactly 8.00 grams of Lye, even round numbered gram amounts of oils, and 17 1/2 grams of water.

Why such small amounts?  I wanted One Single Bar of Soap that was going to be 3 ounces. 

Actually I wanted two of them but one had scent and the other did not.

When I was through, the same measurements gave me two bars through two separate preparations of ingredients.

Bar one was 86 Grams.
Bar two was 79 Grams.

From the same measurements.

Bar one was fine and made the house smell like peppermint, and that was intentional.

Bar two had no scent and a sheen of "something" clear on top.  I don't know if it was oil or water but it all "digested" into the bar and was (semi) solid the next day.

Don't ask, I have no idea why.

They are both curing until they are ready to use.  Bar One will probably be too strongly scented and Bar Two might be harsh.  I won't know until I use them.

So if you're wondering why it does not work out when you do all that weird calculations and get different results, well, you made a measuring mistake and it happens.

Go with larger batches next time.  I will.  My mold will make six bars of soap, each 3 ounces.  I will calculate 21 ounces and see what I get.  I'll let you know how that worked out.

Sunday, June 10, 2018

Why did the snake exterminator cross the road? To get to the adder cide.

A redneck calls up the White House...
Redneck: I’d like to sign me up to be the next President of the United States!

Receptionist: What are you, an idiot?
Redneck: I dunno, is that required?


The latest report from Mars indicates the presence of large ring structures of precious stones and a dusting of glitter almost everywhere

Apparently, efforts are underway to tiara-form the planet.




A man was standing in front of his bathroom mirror shaving
His young son came in the room and said: "Dad, when I grow up I want to be just like you!"

The man puffed up his chest proudly and asked: "Why's that son?"
His son replied: "So I can have a son just like me"




So what do you do?
I sell prosthetic limbs to various countries.

So you're like a med rep, but for amputees?
I prefer international arms dealer.



A bear walks into a bar and says, "give me a whiskey and.... cola."

"Why the big pause?" asks the bartender.
The bear then answered. "I'm not sure, I was born with them."


A gentleman walks into a store tells the sales associate “I need an anniversary gift. Do you have any perfume?”
Lady shows him a bottle, he asks “how much?”
She replies “$50”.

He asks for a cheaper bottle.
She shows him another bottle.

“How much?”, “$20” she replied.
He asks again “anything cheaper?

She shows him a mirror.

Saturday, June 9, 2018

My boss ordered me to take a diversity awareness program. I shouldn't have said I was lactose intolerant.

Three construction workers have had it with their sandwiches...

Three construction workers have had it with their sandwiches being the same for the last 20 years!

So they struck a deal, if their wives make them same sandwiches yet again, tomorrow, they're gonna throw themselves off the building.

So tomorrow comes, and one opens his lunchbox, sees the same sandwich, and jumps to his death. The second one opens his lunchbox, same story, jumps. And the third one opens his, sees another same sandwich as yesterday, and jumps off to his demise.

At their funeral, the first construction worker's wife cries, and through her tears says "He should have told me, I would have made him a different sandwich".
The second wife totally devastated whimpers "He never complained about his sandwich, I should have known...", and continues crying.
And the third one cries "Oh what an idiot I married, he made his own sandwiches"

Wednesday, June 6, 2018

Florida Is No Place If You Hate Spiders

I'm up early.  Usually about early enough to get a good long dog walk in and feed both of us before dawn even struggles to send first light over the hedge.

Being tall, you should thank me.  It is a public service that I do.

What service would that be, you ask?

I clear spider webs from the walks and paths of this town.

Terrified of spiders?

I am not, in fact, generally I ignore them.  Their purpose is to eat the creatures that I do not care for like the mosquitoes and gnats.

Yes, this being the tropics, or tropics adjacent - depending on your definition, we do have mosquitoes.  Legions of the blasted creatures.  Evil blood sucking things.

This being the tropics here in South Florida, everything grows.   Fast.  Quick.  Assertively.

That sidewalk I depend on has palm fronds on it, every block, that I have to dodge.  You may not, but I most certainly do.

If the frond wasn't there yesterday, it's here today.  People don't tend to clear walkways to seven feet or 2 and a half meters, or what ever measure your area thinks is traditionally appropriate.

Sometimes I may help that along, but it can be a lot of work trimming leaves.

That open area is where the spider web clearing comes along.

Sorry, Charlotte, but your web was in my way.  I'll be sure to take a bit home with me in my hair
or on my arms or clothes.  Thanks, but I really don't need that.

Getting in to feed the dog, I brush myself down looking for hitchhikers and calling it good, I prepare for a later foray into the yard.

The 7:30AM yard inspection is just after sunrise by a bit.  As they say "Lather, Rinse, Repeat" and I am back outside trying to avoid bugs.

That has its own reward.  This is more human scaled agriculture, or rather my own human scaled.  I look over closely the plants I do want in the yard, remove those I don't and sometimes spot something.

In this case, Bougainvillea.  It blooms almost all year around.  I can't think of when it isn't blooming.  If you get just the right angle, it makes for quite a nice display.

If you don't just remember that those things will bite you with the spikes on the limbs.

I never work on a bougainvillea without a little blood loss.

Not from the spiders, but the spines.  Spiders are everywhere, even if you don't see them in the flowers.

Go eat a mosquito, spider, I'll leave you alone.


Sunday, June 3, 2018

My favourite word is "confidential". I can't tell you why.

I'm watching my neighbor who owns a pair of apartment buildings walk around on his roof.  We're commenting "Careful, if you fall through that roof, who will you sue?"  


So of course this one is appropriate.


Some bloke wants to become a lawyer

The guy (lets call him John) has been dreaming about being the greatest lawyer in the state for years, and has spent the past half a decade working super hard at law school to achieve this goal.

One day, he gets an interview for a highly successful law firm called "Anderson and Nelson At Law" which has an opening for a new lawyer position.

So on the big day, John gets dressed in a sharp and finely tailored suit and drives out to the firm's building. He finally gets there about 15 minutes early, but he can't find a parking space. He drives around the building a few times but still doesn't find one.

About 10 minutes pass and he starts to panic, this was his dream! It took him months to have his resume accepted by a firm, and he is worried it may take much longer for another to accept if he misses this interview slot.

As he drives around the building, he starts to pray to God for a parking space.

"God, I don't know if you exist or not. But I promise, if you give me a parking space right now I'll go to church every Sunday, I'll give 25% of my income to charity and I'll start being a better man."

All of a sudden, a car pulls in front of him and he notices an open parking space.

He says: "Oh, nevermind God! There's one now!"

Saturday, June 2, 2018

I'm giving away my roof for free! Don't worry, it's on the house.

A filthy rich Florida man decided that he wanted to throw a party and invited all of his buddies and neighbors. He also invited Leroy, the only redneck in the neighborhood.

He held the party around the pool in the backyard of his mansion. Leroy was having a good time drinking, dancing, eating shrimp, oysters and BBQ and flirting with all the women.

At the height of the party, the host said, 'I have a 10 foot man-eating gator in my pool and I'll give a million dollars to anyone who has the nerve to jump in.'
The words were barely out of his mouth when there was a loud splash.

Everyone turned around and saw Leroy in the pool!

Leroy was fighting the gator and kicking its ass! Leroy was jabbing it in the eyes with his thumbs, throwing punches, head butts and choke holds, biting the gator on the tail and flipping it through the air like some kind of judo instructor.

The water was churning and splashing everywhere. Both Leroy and the gator were screaming and raising hell. Finally Leroy strangled the gator and let it float to the top like a dime store goldfish. Leroy then slowly climbed out of the pool.

Everybody was just staring at him in disbelief.
Finally the host says, 'Well, Leroy, I reckon I owe you a million dollars.

'No, that's okay. I don't want it,' said Leroy.

The rich man said, 'Man, I have to give you something. You won the bet. How about half a million bucks then?'

No thanks, I don't want it,' answered Leroy.

The host said, 'Come on, I insist on giving you something! That was amazing!
How about a new Porsche and a Rolex and some stock options?'

Again Leroy said no.

Confused, the rich man asked, 'Well, Leroy, then what do you want?'
Leroy said, 'I want the name of the sumbich who pushed me in the pool!'

Wednesday, May 30, 2018

wakeonlan - remotely starting another computer

This is something I have been using for literally decades.  Since I have been setting this up in my home office, I am reminded that some people just may not have an idea this exists, and that they almost certainly have it on their computers.  Just a matter of turning it on.

I would have my "big" machine in a room away from where I was seated, then I'd wander off and sit on the couch with the little machine. Then I would need something on the big machine across the network. Since it was typically on my third floor it was impractical to take the laptop upstairs when the TV was on in the downstairs living room. To make it handy I wanted to turn that beast on so I could play music in the kitchen or read a document I have on it on my little machine. This little trick would let me do it.

"Wake On Lan" is simple conceptually. You send a "Magic Packet" to another computer on your network, or across the internet. The packet talks to the ethernet card, some wifi cards reportedly work but I have never figured that bit out. When the packet gets there, the computer turns itself on.

Think "Magic Bullet" to wake the computer sleeping at home while you are at work.

Mind you, there are steps to get this to work.:

You have to turn it on in your BIOS.
Ok, better said, you have to find out where it is in the pages of your BIOS, then turn it on.
If you have ever seen your BIOS, and know what's up in there, you probably are in a small minority of people, but trust me there are good things there.

You look for a prompt that says "Enable Wake On Lan" and make sure it says yes or is turned on or "selected", then save and reboot the computer.

That computer must be using a wired connection to the internet - an ethernet connection must be used and not Wifi, although I have seen that some people have managed to get this to work on Wifi.

Technically that's all you need on the "distant" computer you want to wake up, however you do need a few bits of information.

Every network card has a "MAC Address". Think of it as a telephone number. That network card, and only that network card has that specific number. I have mine, you have yours. Same thing as the phone number on your phone, or your IMEI number on the phone. You and only you have THAT number. It may also be in your BIOS, but every BIOS may vary.

You feed it into a wee little program and it fires off a magic packet to your network.

The packet wanders around your network and the ethernet card is listening. If that packet matches the address on the card, the card will wake up the computer from hibernation or turn it on with a "cold boot".

Then you can get your "stuff".

The business of across the internet is a bit more complex. You actually would have to punch a hole in your firewall for the purpose, and this is beyond this posting of "Hey look at this cool stuff".

RaspberryPi users, sorry, you can't wake a Pi across the network, and I really wish you could! The hardware is built more simply, and the Ethernet port actually sit on the USB Bus.

For Linux users (and BSD) with Debian XFCE, you can find out your MAC Address by looking at the connection information when you right click on the Network Connections icon in the status bar or in the Settings, Network Connections on the applications menu. Right click on the Wired Connection you have hooked up. Look for "Hardware Address:: and you will find a number that looks like 01:23:45:67:89:AB

Windows users, check your hardware manager under My Computer.

Mac, sorry, one isn't handy to me but the base commands should be there under your network manager.

Look for the Mac Address, again it's six pairs of Hex numerals that look like 01:23:45:67:89:ab, and write them down.

To test, hibernate or shut "this" distant computer down. Then go to the "other" computer, and launch a Wake On LAN Client. There are many, and they are generally free. Mine is called "wakeonlan" on Linux. It runs at a command line (gasp!) by typing (horrors!) in "wakeonlan 01:23:45:67:89:ab".  You can easily encapsulate it in a bash shell, of course.

Then after a short pause, the computer turns itself on and presents itself at a login prompt.

Your network shares will be available on that machine, or you can use Remote Desktop or VNC to use it directly from where you sit.

Wake on Lan clients are available:
Linux - called wakeonlan and is available by "apt install wakeonlan" in Debian.
Windows - there are a bunch of them that are available here.
Mac OSX - wakeonlan is available here.

Sunday, May 27, 2018

I went bowling with my son yesterday... Next time I'll use a bowling ball, however he was a good sport. It's a shame he went on strike, I guess I'll have to pick up a spare.

When I read this one this morning, I got a big smile on my face.  Ladies just might like this one!





Compliments

This 60 year old woman is naked, jumping up and down on her bed laughing and singing.

Her husband walks into the bedroom and sees her.

He watches her awhile then says, "You look ridiculous, what on earth are you doing?"

She says, "I just got my checkup and my doctor says I have the breasts of an eighteen-year-old."

She starts laughing and jumping again.

He says, "Yeah, right. And what did he say about your 60 year-old ass?"

She says, "Well, your name never came up."



As for this second one?  Everyone has something to be laughed at!




A dad buys a lie detector machine and waits for his son to come home

When the son comes home:
Dad - So you were at school right?

Son - yeah
Lie Detector - BEEP

Son - Okay, okay I was at the cinema with my friends
Lie Detector - BEEP

Son - ....I was having a few beers with my friends

Dad - What??? When I was your age I NEVER touched alcohol
Lie Detector - BEEP

Mom - Hahahaha! Well honey, he IS your son
Lie Detector - BEEP

Saturday, May 26, 2018

What do you call a group of musicians with wives? A hus-band.

Oh I don't know why, maybe it is the rain, but this one made me laugh out loud.  Let's go have a beer!


Mr Singh walks into a bar in London

He orders 3 glasses of beer and sits in the back of the room, drinking a sip out of each one in turn.

When he finishes, he comes back to the bar counter and orders 3 more.

The bartender asks him, "You know, beer goes flat after I fill it in the glass; it would taste better if you buy one at a time."

Mr. Singh replies, "Well, you see, I have two brothers. One is in Dubai , the other in Canada and I'm here in London . When they left home, we promised that we'll drink this way to remember the days when we drank together."

The bartender admits this is a nice custom and leaves it there.

Mr. Singh became a regular in the bar and would always drink the same way. He'd order 3 Beers and drink them in turn.
One day, he came in and ordered only 2 Beers. All the other regulars notice and fall silent.

When he comes back to the bar for the second round, the bar tender says, "I don't want to intrude on your grief, but I wanted to offer my sincere condolences on your great loss."

Mr. Singh looked confused for a moment, and then he laughs.... "Oh, no,"
He said, "Everyone's fine; both my brothers are alive. The only thing is...
I have quit drinking"!!!

Wednesday, May 23, 2018

Frog In The Shutter

Once upon a time, there was a house.

The house had some truly awful windows.

They leaked air when the wind blew.  They leaked water when it rained.  They were more complex than necessary.  In an air conditioned house, they were expensive.  In winter, it was colder than necessary.

They had to go.

They did go, but the problem was that in that weird construction, and all that complexity, there was a guest sheltering there at night.  My tree frogs.

When the windows were gone, they were evicted.  

I hoped that they would come back, but they never did.

Tree frogs are gentle and harmless.  They will eat bugs and nasty bite-y creatures that you don't want living close to you.  These frogs are mainly quiet, and just hide near you asking nothing but a hiding place to sleep.

There was a single return the other day for two separate nights. 

A much smaller tree frog than the previous ones perched itself in the shutter of my front bedroom.

It didn't mind us, we didn't mind it.  Of course getting a picture was a requirement.

We live much closer to wildlife here than we did up north, and that is quite fine.  I could do without the iguanas jumping into my swimming pool at dawn, and the ducks are a major nuisance these days.  If I ever have to mop duck droppings that were tracked into the house again, it will be too soon.  It's been a while since a gecko decided to try to hunt inside, and the patented Gecko Safe Removal Tool is going dusty.

But as for the frogs, well they don't come by that often. 

Sunday, May 20, 2018

Why was the fishing show so successful? They had a great cast

Ok, this is so dumb and so wrong... that I just laughed out loud when I read it.






You must be single...

A woman was shopping at her local supermarket where she selected: a half-gallon of 2% milk, a carton of eggs, a quart of orange juice, a head of romaine lettuce, a 2 lb. can of coffee, and a 1 lb. package of bacon.

As she was unloading her items onto the conveyor belt to check out, a drunk standing behind her was watching.

While the cashier was ringing up her purchases, the drunk calmly stated, "You must be single."

The woman was a bit startled by this proclamation, but she was intrigued by the derelict's intuition, since she was indeed single. She looked at her six items on the belt and saw nothing particularly unusual about her selections that could have tipped of the drunk to her marital status.

Curiosity getting the better of her, she said, "Well, you know what, you're absolutely correct. But how on Earth did you know that?"

The drunk replied, "'Cuz you're ugly."

Saturday, May 19, 2018

Who is this General Failure? And why is he reading my external hdd?

Having been in a university library far many more hours than I could count, I can see how this would be a disruption.



A guy asked a girl in a library,

“Do you mind if I sit beside you”? The girl answered with a loud voice,

"I DON’T WANT TO SPEND THE NIGHT WITH YOU!!!" All the students in the library started staring at the guy and he was embarrassed.

After a couple of minutes, the girl walked quietly to the guy’s table and she told him “I study psychology and I know what a man is thinking, I guess you felt embarrassed, right?”

The guy responded with a loud voice: "$200 JUST FOR ONE NIGHT!? THAT’S TOO MUCH!!!"

And all the people in the library looked at the girl in shock and the guy whispered in her ears; “I study Law and I know how to make someone feel guilty"



You've had a bad day but...

The parachute company says you'll get a full refund.

The flesh eating virus barely touched your other arm.

Imagine what would have happened if your ex-wife had a good lawyer.

The fertility drugs worked 4 times better than expected.

The insurance company said they will pay the full book value of $455 for your 1966 Corvette.

At least the operation was partially successful.

Don't worry about who the real father is, your son's chances of getting a full scholarship just increased significantly!


Wednesday, May 16, 2018

Have You Ever Really Looked At A Coleus Flower?

I spend a lot of time in my garden.

At 7:30, every single morning, I have an alarm set.  It tells me that I have to go outside to the yard to inspect the irrigation system.

There's a ritual here.

I stand up, put some water into the French Press coffee mug I have and call Rack The McNab SuperDog if he isn't paying attention.

Usually he has beat me to the back door by now.  Only if there is an active thunderstorm will he hold back.

I open the sliding glass door with a "Hi Oscar" to the parrot, and walk outside.

That coffee mug gets emptied into the garden with a chuckle.   I've been told "it's Gardener's Gold and must not be wasted.  Parts of my garden is more than half coffee grounds and the rest is that beach sand that passes for soil here.

But I do have to go out, inspect the swimming pool and make sure that the pots are getting watered.  They have a short, ten minute time period, where the irrigation pump is dribbling water into the orchids, mangos, various cuttings, onions, and green onions, and all the rest of the things that I have in a little terra cotta prison.

They get drip fed their water, and I walk around and enjoy them.

It also is what the photographers know as the Golden Hour.  The sun is up, now in mid May, but not up so much as to be harsh.  There's a golden glow on everything.  Shadows are prominent.  Flowers are back-lit to a brilliance that the noon sun's harshness would overpower.

Everything is burnished in gold.

If you are fortunate, you will get to see this.  Just at the right time, just at the right angle, simple things become amazing.  The forgettable becomes something to remember.

I was fortunate that day.

Inspecting the Milkweed plants that were being turned into stumps by baby Monarch caterpillars, I looked closely at every single pot.  I wanted to know if my green onion was going to be the temporary home for a pupa, as it has happened before.

My showy leaves on my involuntary coleus were shining.  Usually their reds, greens, and yellows were more muted, but this particular morning, at this particular time, they were radiating a glowing show of colors.  My friendly office plants that insist on dropping seeds into pots that I would rather not have them in so thickly were singing a chorus of beauty.

Then I spotted it.  The Inflorescence.  Coleus bloom dozens of little pale purple and lavender flowers on a flower spike, called an inflorescence.  This one inflorescence was backlit perfectly.

I had to remind Rack that I had pictures to take, this was too good to miss.

When I got back inside, I looked at the tiny flower.  There were hairs that were radiating as if they were shine lines on a comic drawing.

I had taken the time to smell the Coleus flowers and it showed me a side of it that I have never expected.

Sometimes, the very things that you have in abundance that have faded to become mundane, can be so beautiful you have a new appreciation for them.

They're all over my yard.  I have been pulling them up and tossing them in the thick tangle that is the utility easement behind the pool.  They taunt me by growing even back there in the shade.

I guess that if they can grow in a ninth floor north facing single pane window in a cold Philadelphia winter, they can gather enough sunlight to grow here in the riverine wetness that is South Florida.

And if you are lucky enough, you just may be treated to their shine.


Sunday, May 13, 2018

What's the difference between a diameter and radius? A radius.

Ok, so how often do you hear a one liner about Geometry?

Anyway...


A Taxi passenger tapped the driver on the shoulder to ask him a question.

The driver screamed, lost control of the car, nearly hit a bus, went up on the footpath, and stopped inches from a shop window.

For a second everything went quiet in the cab, then the driver said, "Look mate, don’t ever do that again. You scared the daylights out of me!"

The passenger apologized and said, "I didn’t realize that a little tap would scare you so much."

The driver replied, "Sorry, it’s not really your fault. Today is my first day as an taxi driver – I’ve been driving a funeral van for the last 25 years."





Here's another one for the road...


I was a new Army basic trainee at Fort McClellan, and one requirement was a demanding 12-mile march. We got started at 6 a.m. and were pumped up for the trek.

An hour later, feeling the heavy load of our packs, we wondered if the end would ever come.

"Men," our sergeant yelled, "you're doing a fine job. We've already covered four miles!"
Revitalized, we picked up the pace.

"And," continued Sarge, "we should reach the starting point any minute now."

Saturday, May 12, 2018

Dancers use 5, 6, 7, 8... because musicians use 1, 2, 3, 4

One for the ladies, and a short one for the guys


A woman hears a noise

She thinks it's and intruder and decides to call the cops.
The dispatch officer asks her if she saw anything.

She replies she only heard it but that she is sure someone is in her house because she can hear footsteps.
The dispatch said that they would send the next available officer but that they were a little occupied at the moment and the closest officer was about 45 minutes away but will be on their way soon. The officer tells the woman to hide and stay quiet and disconnects the call.

The women in fear for her life cant believe what she just heard. There is someone in her house and now she is alone. So the woman picks up the phone again and dials the police once more.

The same dispatch officer picks up.

WOMAN: "I am the woman that just called regarding the person inside my home."

DO: "Yes, man. Are you still safe?"

WOMAN: "Yes, I was calling to actually tell you do not worry about sending an officer anymore, just an ambulance please. I shot and killed the man intruding in my home."

DO: "Wait..."

The woman hangs the phone up. 5 minutes later she hears a knock at her door. It's the police.

They begin to ask where is the man that has been shot is at?
 The woman says no man has been shot.

The officer says we were told there had been a man shot .
The woman says yeah I was also told you were 45 minutes away.



Women are like razors guys use them to look more manly

Wednesday, May 9, 2018

A Beginner's Notes On Soap Making

I had one of my frequent writer's block wanting to write about something else.  This stuff kept floating back into my consciousness and I figured why not let it out.

It's basic info - meant to help me later, but if you are considering trying this on your own, you will probably find a few details that could make life easier for you.

And this is not exhaustive, I'm most likely leaving a detail here or there out of what I am writing since I am still learning this.

If you have ever gone to a flea market and saw someone with boxes of soap to sell, it's probably one of three processes to make the stuff.

If you can bake from scratch, anything, I'd wager you can do this.  Just be careful, lye can be dangerous.

Basically Soap Making is one of three processes.

Melt and Pour.  This isn't what I do.  You go to a arts and crafts store, buy a brick of this clear stuff, melt it down, add scent and color, pour it into a mold, and call it done.  That is all.  It usually has a brilliant color and a pleasant looking result, and it works well enough.  But you're not really "Making" soap so much as re-batching someone else's work.

Cold Process Castile Soap.  I've done this and got excellent results.  My very first batch was this soap.  You mix your oils together, add them to a cooled down mixture of Lye and water.  Stir constantly until it begins to thicken and moving your spoon through the mix will leave a trace of your path through it.  This is referred to as Trace.  It will still be liquid when you pour this into a mold.  Unmold and slice this tomorrow, and allow it to air dry and cure.  I allowed my soap a month to cure.

Hot Process Castile Soap.  I did this to make a bread loaf sized block of soap that I sliced about four hours later.  You mix your oils up and warm them to the temperature of the Lye and Water mix (140F or so).  Then add them together in a double boiler, and stir until trace begins.  Pour into molds, and allow to firm up before slicing.  This should be ready to use a week later or so.  The heat speeds up things greatly.  If your soap is firming up in the pot, pour into a mold immediately.

Castile Soap is named after the Kingdom of Castile, a precursor to Spain, where it was popularized like other similar soaps.  There were people there that realized you can make soap out of Oilve Oil, Water, and Lye.  This formula came about separately, elsewhere, before the Spaniards got it, but they popularized it in Western Europe.  My second batch was strictly that recipe and, as expected, it did not foam up for me well. It was an excellent cleansing soap.

Yes, I know I am oversimplifying that story.  This is a damn long article.

Recipe.  Look around your house for what oils you have that you want in your soap.  My first batch was all out of date oils.  I fed them into a "Lye Calculator" and it told me what I could do and how much water/lye mix I could add to my oils to make this into soap.  To the fraction of an ounce - or to the gram. Absolutely use the Lye Calculator!  It makes this recipe stuff into Child's Play.

Then refer to the next link for what properties you want in the soap...

Different oils will change the properties of the soap.  Olive Oil makes for a firm soap but does not foam well at high concentrations (over 50%).  Coconut Oil will aid in foaming.  Shea Butter or Shea Nut Oil will make for a moisturizing soap and you only need about 10% so it goes a long way.

My first soap was a mix of every old oil I had in the house that was past its sell by date.  Olive, Coconut, Corn, Safflower, Shea Nut Oil, and perhaps others.  That "mutt" had less than 50% of Olive oil.  I ended up with a pure white bar of soap that made huge amounts of lather.

Lye.  Lye is caustic.  Nasty stuff.  It can be used as drain cleaner.  ALWAYS wear eye protection while working with lye.  ALWAYS, even you!  Even ME!  Long sleeved shirts and long pants are recommended.  Cover up.

Don't let this scare you, you should be able to do this.

What you need is 100% Lye Drain Cleaner with zero additives.  It must say 100% Lye or Sodium Hydroxide.  If the package specificially says For Soap Making, that will work well instead of Drain Cleaner.

I paid just under $6 a pound with tax at an old line hardware store.  You can get it cheaper in bulk, however you are using it a few ounces a time per batch and it will degrade if it picks up moisture from the environment.

Work with Lye under a stove hood that vents outdoors, or preferrably work with it outdoors.   The fumes that Lye makes when added to Water are poisonous and will burn.

Yes, do this outdoors if you can.  I did in a well ventilated area.

If you are well prepared, you can use ice instead of water, freezing the correct amount and adding the lye to the ice to counteract the heat the lye will give off.  This will allow you to add the mixture to the oils quicker since the two liquids should be within 20F/11C of each other to minimize risk of any flare up.

Lye Discount or Superfat.  There is a trick to making moisturizing soap.  What you are doing is making a Chemical Reaction called "Saponification".  The Lye and Water mix will react with the fats in the oils to make soap.  If you follow the recipe you can choose to have a discounted amount of Lye (Lye Discount) or not.  A Lye Discount results in leaving some of the oils unconsumed by the chemical reaction and your skin may appreciate it.  I used a 4% lye discount on my first two batches, but will reduce that in the future.

Fragrances.   Optional.  I used Rosemary essence in mine which was unnecessary but pleasant.  There are different calculations for when you add the essences depending on which of the three kinds of soap you are making.  They are available on the Lye Calculator that I keep referring to. Add after you get Trace.

Other Ingredients.  My second batch I used no water.  Substituting milk for water meant that it would be more of a moisturizing bar since there are proteins, solids, and fat in the milk that would not be saponified.  Glycerin is used in making Melt and Pour soap base.

Preservatives are typically added so that you do not get the "Dreaded Orange Spots" on the bars.  One of the bars from my first batch of Cold Process had some of the Dreaded Orange Spots.  They are mold.  I cut the mold out and used that bar immediately.  This is stopped by adding preservatives to the mix when you go to form your bars or your cake.  I still have to research that for my next soaps.

Supplies.  Your utensils can be silicone, plastic, wood, or stainless steel.  Whatever you use for soap making should be separate from the normal baking supplies because of cross-contamination.  Wood will absorb the soap and the mixes so I personally won't use it.

Goggles for working with Lye are required.

You will want a stick blender, again at the thrift stores.  I got mine for $8, and ended up saving that new one for later since the older one I had in the house would be sacrificed for soap making.  You can use a stick blender to mix the soap mix until it is ready to trace.  At that point you can pour the soap into the mold.  Making soap will be tough on a stick blender so if it gets too hot, let the thing cool down.

A silicone soap mold that has multiple molds is an excellent suggestion, however if you are making a large "ingot" of soap that will be sliced down later, I found my silicone bread loaf pan will hold 40 ounces of soap and will be used for that on my next large batch.

Line the bottoms of your flat bottomed molds with parchment paper.  Yes, and you will thank me later.   You will also want to tap those molds to let trapped air float upwards  and out of your soap.

Go to a Thrift Store or Dollar Store or Pound Shop for as many supplies as you can get.   I spent $8 and got all my mixing spoons, many molds, and a gallon (4 liter) stock pot for this process.  Buying retail for this process is a bit spendy - take advantage of the thrift stores.

Absolutely you will need an electronic gram scale.  It should do both grams/kilos and ounces/pounds.  Which ever measurements that you are more used to using, do use them.  Smaller batches I have found are best done in grams, larger in ounces.  Round numbers are easier to work with after all.

Curing.   Times will vary due to how hot/humid/drafty the room is that you are curing your soap.  Hot Process soap will cure much faster, and I was able to use my hot process soap in a week.   I allowed my Cold Process soap to cure 5 weeks.  Curing allows the excess water in the soap to evaporate and produce a much more firm bar.  It also mellows the causticity of the soap because the Saponification process does not stop when you pour it out of the pot and into the mold at trace.

An excellent way to test for curing is to segregate one specific bar of soap for this test.  Weigh it In Grams as soon as it is ready to be set in a frame to cure.  Write the weight down.  Repeat this every second day (or so).  When the weight stops dropping, the soap is cured and ready for use.

Sensitive Skin issues.  Here's the disclaimer.  I am not a doctor, nor do I give medical advice.  This is merely what I have noticed from using this soap exclusively for two months now

I love this soap.  There's nothing in this stuff that I didn't put into it. 

Your results may vary since if you have skin problems, you may be allergic to your ingredients, you could have something that irritates the eczema, or you may be lucky like me and have it just about completely clear up any problems you have.  I noticed a week after switching over to the hot process soap (90% olive oil, 10% shea nut oil) that my skin was softer, my hair was softer, my eczema was clearing, and I was even getting a better shave.
Don't take my word for it, but do go into this intelligently.  If you are allergic to Coconut Oil, do not use it because the allergens may still be there.  You can use a very long list of oils to make this soap.  I did the first time, and the second time was simpler.  Both soaps cleaned the same.  My skin is much better than it was.

So it may work for you, it may not.  Like I said, eczema is a very tricky beast.  I never thought I would find a soap that worked better than Ivory.  My hands do not burn when I handle the homemade soap.

Conclusion. The best suggestion I can give is that if you do try this, make a small batch first.   A bath sized soap bar is between 3 and 5 ounces.  You can scale the batch down to make one single soap bar.  That is about 3 ounces of oil plus water and lye.

Find a Soap Calculator and use it make the calculations and proportions for you and your particular preferences, needs, and mixes of oils.  I could not calculate a soap recipe for the life of me, but I don't have to.  It's a matter of fiddling with the numbers until I get what I want.  My first batch was 20 ounces, the second was 45.  You don't have to do things the same way every time.   I'm sticking with tiny one bar (5 ounce) batches until I find the soap for me.

After all, it really is all about getting what you want.  If you can't do better than what you find in the market, why bother?  On the other hand, there's a great feeling of satisfaction of walking down that soap aisle and thinking "Nah, I can do better!".

Good luck!

Sunday, May 6, 2018

Name a word with a letter in it. Envelope

So there was this man.

He was a from Portugal and every time he had to go somewhere, he would knock on the door.

His friends were intrigued by this and one day they finally decided to ask hy he didn't use the bell. "I don't know why, but there's something about bells that I just can't stand."

Later that day he a competition about you could knock on doors faster and he thought "Finally I found something just for someone like me"

And he was right.

He went in and started competing and nothing could stand in his way. He practiced day and night and went to every competition he could and noone could stand in his way to becoming the best and fastest door knocker in the world.

Then he was finally good enough.

He got to the world finnal and was against his nemesis. Both knocked vigourasly at rate of 500 knocks per minute.

And then he won, his hate for bells had finally amounted to something after all those years of misery.

It was worth it because he won a NoBell prize.

Saturday, May 5, 2018

What country is next to USA? USB

The king of the insect kingdom is feeling depressed...

So he asks his advisors for help. The king says, "Oh, advisors, I am feeling quite sad. Our life is so short as insects and we don't do anything but work!"

The advisors tell him that he needs to find the best joke ever to cheer him up. The king thinks this is a good idea so he travels the kingdom to the different tribes in search of the joke. Each tribe knows only one joke that they have kept for years.

First, he goes to the Super Beetles tribe and asks them for their joke. They start saying, "There was a man who really likes this nun on a bus..." The king says, "Already heard it!" and leaves.

Next, he goes to the Large Ladybugs tribe. They tell him, "A fancy restaurant is hiring a new pianist..." The king says, "Already heard it!" and leaves.

Finally, he goes to the Monstrous Mosquito tribe and they tell him, "A man named Dave tells his boss that everyone knows him..." The king says, "Already heard it!" and leaves.

He dejectedly returns home and tells his advisors that all of the jokes have been told before. The advisors consult their sacred textbooks and find what they were looking for.

"Aha! We know who has the best joke now! The real joke lies with the Come Ants!

Wednesday, May 2, 2018

Even if you Backup your computer, it may not be enough.

Have you ever gotten so deep into a project that you got lost?

In my case this was trying to get something called Remote Desktop working on the main computer.

It showed me the errors of my ways. 

Hmm, seems like I need an Amen here, doesn't it?

See, I'm trying to set up a clean environment here.  One where I can work for a client without it getting all mixed up with "my" stuff. 

My stuff being Web Development, Video Authoring, Audio Authoring, and general nonsense and "futzing" around on the computer.

I have one machine that I use for almost everything "mine" called "moose".
I have another computer that I will use for the client work called "caribou".

Yes, everything here is named after moose.  Rudolph, Caribou, Moose, and "MoosePi".

It's all handmedown stuff.  The newest one is a year or two old, and my "big" laptop is older than five years old.

Linux installed on everything runs faster than you would expect.

Now there's a piece of software called "Remote Desktop" that should help - "xrdp".  The default behavior isn't what I want.  This exists on Linux, as well as Windows, and is a pay for option on the Mac just like everything on the Mac.

If you ever played with a Raspberry Pi, they're doing it right for what I need on that wee little computer. 

The Pi will have something called a VNC Server, and it even has a pleasant blue icon on the desktop control strip.  You tell it you want to be able to share the desktop, and you go to your other computer and can control it from the couch.  It presents what you were doing "over there" on it. 

It's presenting the "console session" to you.

However while doing support, there's a different program.  xrdp on Linux.  It works just like Remote Desktop on Windows.  It creates a fresh, clean session for you to work with.

I'm on the trail of figuring all that out.  Unfortunately, I bit myself with this one.

I want the "me" computer to present the console session.  xrdp doesn't do that.  It can be configured to do that.  I did it years ago on other software. 

As in back in the 1990s.  Yes, I've been using Linux since the mid 1990s.

So since the documentation for this product does not tell you how to do this "Remote Assistance" method, I tweaked.

And Tweaked.
And Tweaked "my" laptop.

You get the picture. 

Then I realized that I lost track of time.  Two and a Half weeks of Tweaks meant that I really should reboot the computer instead of hibernate.  See where I was at.

Got to the familiar login screen, hit enter.
Flashed a black screen and was placed

at the login screen - again.  I was in a login loop.  I had tweaked myself out of a working laptop.  I Had Killed Moose.

At least I had a good back up from 2 and a half weeks ago. 

Just copy "My stuff" from the current laptop drive to the back up and reboot.

Nah.  Didn't work quite right.  Other things got in the way, but my library of thousands of pictures, hundreds of which I took this year for my blog and for my own entertainment are safe.

Client work is safe.

Web stuff is safe.

But the machine itself is ... wobbly and needs some attention.

Want to know where I will be?  Sitting at my desk, grinding my gears, and growling.

Bottom line, folks - always do a back up. 

Luckily in my case, the backup is a full clone of the computer.  I think I botched it when I copied my "home directory" over and that introduced instability due to permissions.

We will see.  Doing a full reload of the computer is an afternoon affair.  Faster than you might expect so "fixing" this machine might be harder than starting over from scratch.

Still don't have Remote Assistance working, but Remote Desktop does.

Not that I want that, but you take the good with the bad.

*shrug*  I guess the gator got my shoe.

Back to the grind.  Stay Tuned.  Enough of this Naval Gazing!  I have work to do!

If I ever get things stable, I'll have to try again with this whole project.  Or not.  It's for convenience, not life or death.

Sunday, April 29, 2018

Spring is here. I'm so excited I wet my plants!

I can't say that I want to watch Bullfighting, but there's a certain Karma to this one.


A young man stopped at a local restaurant after a day of roaming around in Mexico.

While sipping his tequila, he noticed a sizzling, scrumptious-looking platter being served at the next table.

It looked good.

It smelled good.

He asked the waiter, "What is that you just served?"

The waiter replied, "Ah senor, you have excellent taste! Those are bull's testicles from the bull fight this morning. A delicacy!"

The visitor, though momentarily daunted, said, "What the heck, I'm on holiday down here! Bring me an order!

The waiter replied, "I am so sorry senor. There is only one serving per day because there is only one bull fight each morning. If you come early tomorrow and place your order, we will be sure to save you this delicacy!"

The next morning, the man returned, placed his order, and then that evening was served the one and only special delicacy of the day.

After a few bites, and inspecting the contents of his platter, he called to the waiter and said, "These are delicious, but they are much, much smaller than the ones I saw you serve yesterday!"

The waiter shrugged his shoulders and replied, "Si, Senor. Sometimes the bull he wins."

Saturday, April 28, 2018

I went bowling with my son yesterday... Next time I'll use a bowling bowl, however he was a good sport. It's a shame he went on strike, I guess I'll have to pick up a spare.

One afternoon three women were out shopping with their three young kids. Before leaving, they happen to notice a fortune-teller shop across the mall. Two of the women thought it would be a fun way to end their outing while the third one was a bit more skeptical. After a moment of debating, they all agree to go in.

As they entered the shop they were greeted by the Miss Catarina.

    Miss Catarina: Welcome, my beautiful friends! I would like for you to join me on a wonderful adventure into your minds.

The two women were excited for the experience while the skeptical one rolled her eyes. Miss Catarina acknowledge the gesture.

    Miss Catarina: I see we have a disbeliever in the room. In what way would I be able to lessen your uncertainty?

Skeptical Woman: How about you start by guessing our names.

    Miss Catarina: And that is exactly what I will do! However, uncovering the names of you three would be way too simple for Miss Catarina. One may say I overheard you addressing each other during a recent debate about coming in here. (She says with a smirk)

The faces of the other two women were filled with amazement.

    Miss Catarina: I will predict the names of your children and explain some history behind why it was chosen!

Thinking that there could be no way that she would know, the skeptical woman agreed. Miss Catarina starts with the first two.

    Miss Catarina: Hello my little Princess, your name has to be Penelope!

The first woman was stun while Penelope looked to her mom confused.

    Miss Catarina: I see you are confused my child, but be no more. You would most likely recognize your name as Penny! It is short for Penelope! Do you know why your name is Penny? It’s because your mommy loves collecting money! All kinds of money! Old money, new money and even foreign money!

The first two women cheered while confirming that it is correct. The third woman was a bit shocked but still skeptical.

    Miss Catarina: It was nice meeting you, Penelope!

She then moves to the second child.

    Miss Catarina: Hello my little Angel. You must be Lillian!

    Lillian: Yes! But everyone calls me Lilly!

    Miss Catarina: And I bet that is because your mommy loves flowers! All types of flowers! Wild flowers, house flowers and even exotic flower!

The two women confirmed with excitement! But now the skeptical woman is concern.

    Miss Catarina: It’s a pleasure meeting you, Lillian.

Saving the best for last, she walks over to the third child.

    Miss Catarina: And you my handsome Prince. Your name is the most fitting of all!

While feeling embarrassed, the skeptical woman cuts off Miss Catarina.

    Skeptical Woman: I’ve had enough! My son and I do not want to hear what you have to say! We’re leaving!

While looking at the sad little boy getting taken out the shop, Miss Catarina shouts to him.

    Miss Catarina: You have a wonderful day, Richard!

Wednesday, April 25, 2018

Yes, You can sell your car from your living room recliner, but why would you want to? Especially if it is a Jeep Wrangler.

A Jeep Wrangler is a funny thing.

I never get into that car without having a big silly grin on my face.  They are just that fun to drive.

Mine isn't particularly modified, other than what I did for every other car.  I always bump the size up on the tires "one size" than the manufacturer shipped it with because it almost always makes the car much better to drive.  Handling is improved.

In my case, it made the speedometer more accurate.  But that's an aside.

It's not one of those mudder Jeeps that you see where your eyes are looking at it's bumper.  But I do take care of it.

For a car that is 16 years old, you wouldn't know it.  They hold their value and I won't let this one slide through my fingers.

As a Jeep Wrangler X TJ is the last gasp of AMC Engineering, it's built to last.  I could rebuild the thing in my driveway.  The motor is a 4 Liter Push-rod Inline Six Cylinder hooked to a five speed manual transmission. 

2002 with only 47,000 miles.

Oh and I've been driving Jeeps since 1996, so yeah I like them.

So do others.  They hold their values and they're in great demand like few other cars.  "Classic" Jeep Cherokee drivers are in the same boat.  In fact, they're the same car, different body.

When I see an article on a car forum about them, I'm bound to look.  This one in particular caught my attention and had me laughing.

Two guys, of course, talking about Jeeps.  That link has the video I'm talking about.

"Jeep Chicks" do exist, and they're wonderful and rare creatures who always, without a doubt, are worth getting to know.

But here were two guys.  Self appointed "experts" who were bloggers for www.jalopnik.com which can be an entertaining site to begin with.

Mind you, neither of them have ever owned a Jeep Wrangler, but hey that's why they are "experts" and writing about the cars right?

Um, Yeah.

One guy was in love with the Wranglers.  Smart Guy.  Talking about how we always seem to enjoy being in the beasts and going on about our business and occasionally taking our cars on adventures and ... you get the picture.

The other one was saying Land Rover was the best and Jeeps blah, and so forth.  Ranting about Angry Faced Jeeps and "Jeep Bros".

Yeah, Self Appointed Expert. 

Neither owned one. 

I remember the Land Rovers that they're talking about in the video.  The lines I remember the most were "British Engineering" and "Buy One for Wash, One for Wear" - meaning they broke down frequently and were rarely trustworthy. 

You couldn't give me one.

Never did I have a problem with that Jeep, but I have had to tow-rope a Land Rover out of a stuck spot once or twice.

Sitting in my recliner, laughing at this video, and waiting for the time to take the dog for his walk, someone pulls into my driveway.

He's looking at the Jeep.  I sit up.

He spots me.  He's in a posh-ass Mercedes Benz.  The kind of car you make rude comments about because the driving style is ... over privileged.  You know the kind.  You think "I'm not letting him in" on the interstate.

That kind of guy. 

Roof down, bald head glistening in the afternoon sun.

And he's gesturing me to come out and talk to him.

Did I mention Over-Privileged and Mercedes Benz?  Of A Certain Age (Over 50)? 

Yeah, you know the type.

And he's gesturing to me to come out and pointing at my Jeep.

I unroll myself out of the chair to my full length, and walk out to the front porch.

Before I step out of the house I hear "You sellin' that Jeep?!?!"

I'll admit the car is cherry.  Not a thing wrong with it, but "Nope, it's not for sale".

This is how weirdly random it is.  The guy is driving down the street and looking at Jeep Wranglers and saw me in the window looking at a video about Jeep Wranglers, and wanted to buy mine.

Huh?

"I saw the sign in the window and wanted to know".

"Oh The Sign".  That explains it.

I have a neighbor across the street.  Same year Jeep that has been left out in the rain with the roof off for as long as he lived there.  Someone came by and opened his door and took the door tops off the car. 

So I put a sign in my windows that says "Look up, You are on Camera, and there is nothing in the Car". 

The neighbor keeps the doors unlocked.  It made it easy for them to walk off with pieces from the car.  I can take the doors off the Jeep for extra breezes and less car if I like.  One bolt per door and I'm done.

My car is locked, has an alarm, and is on three video cameras.  Idiots who steal live everywhere.

I explained all of this to the Man Of A Certain Age with a sense of amusement.  All the while chuckling in my head at the pure strangeness of the situation.

"I Can't sell that Jeep. I wouldn't be able to get another one that nice, they aren't making them like that any more!  Sorry, he's not for sale."

Yes, He.  DJ as in Darth Jeep.  Unlike a car that is a rolling computer room on wheels, a Jeep Wrangler truly has a personality.  He's got a black body, tan roof.  Black and tan like I like my beer.  Nice HD Radio that also plays my phone with a cable and ... just basic mild mods that you would not notice unless you look very close.  Nothing out of the ordinary.

It's one of the last cars that doesn't have insane amounts of things that interfere with your enjoyment of the vehicle.  No On-Star or other nosy nonsense that listens in on what you are doing.  The computer in the car is mild and does not interfere with what you want to do.  The transmission is a 5 speed manual, I'll shift when I damn well feel like it.

Oh and I get 23MPG highway which is pretty good for a car that just makes me smile.  "Beep Beep! I'm a Jeep"

Besides, since nobody who isn't a truck driver can drive a stick shift, so the worlds least secure vehicle is safe in a mall parking lot in a questionable area.

He pulled off and blew through the stop sign on the corner.  I shook my head at him and the situation and went into the house laughing.

The next day I took that Jeep out for a drive, again.  No destination, just driving around.  "I can't sell you, it's like selling a good friend!"  I had my dog Rack in the car.  He looked up confused.

Mind you, my dog Rack is not so sure of the Jeep.  It's a little too real to ride around in a car with windows made of Cling Film and held in place with velcro and zippers.  You hear the next car a little too loudly, and the wind noise is a bit intense above 65.  But the speed limit here is 65 MPH on the highway and why would you want to go faster than that anyway.  Just keep up with traffic and let others get the speeding ticket.

Pulling back into the driveway I hear myself saying "I couldn't sell this car.  It's just too damn good, too much fun, and I can't see myself stepping down to a used Toyota!"

If you have ever been at sunset in a Jeep Wrangler on the Seven Mile Bridge with the roof down, stars coming out overhead, and the warm tropical breezes caressing your body, you will know why.  

I hope to make that trip again some day...

Yes, You can sell your car from your living room recliner, but why would you want to?  Especially if it is a Jeep Wrangler.

Sunday, April 22, 2018

How many birds does it take to change a light bulb? Toucan do it.

Ahhh...

age will get us all....  Momento Mori!



A little boy and his grandfather are raking leaves in the yard, when the boy sees an earthworm trying to get back into its hole…


He says, "Grandpa, I bet I can put that worm back in that hole!"

The grandfather replies, "I'll bet you five dollars you can't. It's too wiggly and limp to put back in that little hole."

The little boy runs into the house and comes back out with a can of hair spray.

He sprays the worm until it is straight and stiff as a board.

The boy then proceeds to put the worm back into the hole.

The grandfather hands the little boy five dollars, grabs the hair spray and runs into the house.

Thirty minutes later, the grandfather comes back out and hands the boy another five dollars.

The little boy says, "Grandpa, you already gave me five dollars."

The grandfather replies, "I know. That's from your Grandma."

Saturday, April 21, 2018

If a three-legged cow is called lean beef, and a no-legged cow is called ground beef, what do you call a two-legged cow? Your mom

Many may need a map for this one.  I got a laugh knowing the lay of the land somewhat.



The hare and the tortoise

The hare and the tortoise were having a rematch. This time, they decided to race through Europe, starting with London. The plan was to race to Dover, get the ferry across, and go along the French coast, across Belgium, Germany, and head north through Denmark.

The hare figured that his fur would keep him warm, so he decided to keep going north through Scandinavia, assuming it'd get too cold for the tortoise who would give up.

The tortoise had everything he needed stored in his shell, so he was prepared for the cold since the shell was his home.

They eventually get to Sweden, and the hare is struggling. He doesn't want to risk falling asleep this time, so he decides to hitch hike in a lorry. The lorry is headed to the ferry port towards St Petersburg.

The next day on the ferry, the Hare receives a text message from the tortoise saying he's won, and asking where the hare is. Confused as they still have the rest of Europe to cover, the hare asks for proof. The tortoise replies back with a picture of himself at Harparanda with the caption: "see? I'm at the Finnish line!"

Wednesday, April 18, 2018

Debian and Raspbian - Installing a CUPS Print Server and a Proprietary P1102W Print Driver on Linux

The problem was simple.  My printer.  HP LaserJet Professional P1102W.

The solution is a Raspberry Pi Model 3B and a fair amount of configuration.

Thanks, Craig for the (slice of) Pi.

This is how I got it to work on Debian Linux and on the RaspberryPi using Raspbian.  It is not an exhaustive step by step, but I did take notes while doing this because like anything, I will probably need to do this Yet Again.  If So, Maybe I will republish.  Stay Tuned.

The technology starts below at "The Setting" if you just want tech support.

The Back Story.  

Printers are just an annoyance at best in the Small Home Office setting, and this one is no exception.   It is a stripped down laser printer.  It comes with Wifi, and USB interface.  It has a power button, a wifi button, and an X button that I am assuming that will cancel this particular print job.

Since Printer Drivers are usually large to massive beasts that sit inside your computer and eat CPU cycles while only delivering very infrequent work, I avoid installing them. 

However, this printer needs proprietary drivers.  Linux had it in the installation software asking for the blasted things, and most Linux people hate proprietary drivers.

Myself included.

So if the printer does not need the driver to find your wifi, then don't install the driver and see if it works without.

Mine did not.  It wouldn't see my network with wifi and password which means it had to use USB.  I didn't want USB plugged into my computer(s) all the time which means I would have to use a print server.  I didn't want to sacrifice a laptop to that job, so mostly it sat.

If your network has a password to get onto it, you will definitely have problems unless you have ethernet on the printer unlike mine.
It was actually easier for me to send the print file on a PDF to a friend so he could print at work.

Thanks, Kevin.

The Law Of Unintended Consequences.

If you do one thing, you often have something happen that you did not expect or want.

In my case, it's all positive, it's good.

That little computer will become a file server with the addition of SAMBA and a line in the fstab file.  I've done that a couple times and since I made the decision to have a server in the house, the RaspberryPi will function as a "Departmental Server" with its four USB 2.0 Ports, three are available.

Documentation on that to come later when I get working on it all.  I'm happy to have printing working for now.

The Setting.

I was following the Debian Wiki Guide for SystemPrinting at https://wiki.debian.org/SystemPrinting

Setting up the Pi:

Pi has Raspbian installed via noobs, and is up to date.
Pi is booted to desktop and useable via VNC.
Terminal open as root on the Pi.
Printer is not connected to USB.
Printer is HPLaserJet P1102w.

So basically I have a teeny little $35 computer running something that I installed a derviative of Debian Linux called Raspbian.  I used the Raspberry Pi Foundation's recommended installation of Raspbian using Noobs.

Yes, I followed their steps to install Raspbian.
Yes, Raspbian was "vanilla and up to date" by the end of this process.
The Pi saw my network, and I enabled bluetooth, printing, sharing of the desktop via VNC, and that is it.
I did all my prep work on the Pi using the tools linked in the start menu and confirmed with Raspberry Pi Config.

Mind you I would not want to use it as my main machine, but it works well as a print server and allows me to do basic things like surf a few tabs and have a concurrent running game of Freeciv going.

Massive world, playing as Incas, on Easy against 5 AIs if you want to know.


The steps to get the software on the Pi:

In terminal as Root:
     apt install task-print-server

Plug printer into USB and reboot.

On the Pi, surf http:\localhost:631 to see the CUPS home page

Clicked Adding Printer

It wanted logon credentials
    used pi and default password - "raspberry"
    I later changed the default password to something less public and generic.

It immediately said that I was not authorized in the print queue, in CUPS.

I found this exchange on Debian's Forums https://bugs.debian.org/cgi-bin/bugreport.cgi?bug=616718 that said that you have to add the user in Terminal as Root.
  • adduser root lpadmin
  • adduser pi lpadmin
Refreshed the page at http://localhost:631/admin

Got the Add Printer Dialog
     tick box Local Printers,
              HP Printer (HPLIP)     click Continue

I discovered that my Printer was not powered on.
    The printer has a nasty habit of turning itself off every couple minutes to save power.
Turn printer back on.
Returned to the Administration tab.
Clicked Add Printer
Under Local Printers,
    tick box that had my printer name listed as a USB printer
Clicked Continue


Filled in the optional information for name/description/location
    Clicked Share This Printer
    Clicked Continue

Waited for CUPS on http://LocalHost:631 for a bit

Verified the Printer Model Number and Ignored "requires proprietary plug in"
     (more on this later)
Clicked Add Printer



Set Printer Options
     Verified Media Size, Printout Mode, Media Type and Source
     Click Set Default Options

Got a message that it was set correctly.

Perform a few test jobs by printing out nonsense from a text editor.

Page refreshed to show the print queue for the Printer
Printer did not print with "Filter Failure" message, jobs sitting in Queue
  • Note, the proprietary plug referenced earlier is something that some printers need, that is handled after I got things configured.  I'm a bit out of order but I was successful.  If your printer does not require the proprietary plug in, you don't have to worry about this.  This Filter Failure is how I knew it was time to get that Proprietary Plug In Installed.

To Install the Proprietary Plug In:

I ran in terminal - sudo hp-setup -i

For installing plug-in the prompts I answered were
  • 0 (zero) for USB printer
  • d for download - download had error "Unable to receive key from Keyserver"
  • y yes to install
  • Yes to accept the stupid meaningless EULA
  • Y to agree that "this PPD file appears to be the correct one"
  • Enter a location description "Tucked In A Corner Somewhere"
  • Entered through "additional information for this printer"
  • Y to print a test page

At this point I was finished as far as the Pi was concerned.  The Pi would work as a print server for my network.  All I had to do was to go onto the client machine and add a printer.

Adding a Printer on another computer on the network using Debian with XFCE4 looked similar to doing the same task on any other Operating System, if you have used a printer, you have done this before.  On "this" computer, it is in the Applications menu (start), Settings, Print Settings.  Sign on with your handy Root password, click Add, then find your printer.

If you get stuck, I suggest you drop me a line other than "Why are you so tall" or "Who cut your hair, man?" and I can answer some basic questions.  At this point, this document has gotten long enough for a blog article.

If it did work for you, great, let me know!

Saturday, April 14, 2018

Some guy just tried to make a chemistry joke. He got no reaction.

Unfaithful Husband

A wife was beginning to suspect that her husband had become unfaithful, coming home at odd hours of the night with the excuse that he was out playing cards with friends.

One night the couple had plans for a masquerade party, but as the husband was getting ready the wife mentioned that she was not feeling well and would stay home that night. The husband tried to convince her that she would feel better once she got there but, unable to change her mind, he ended up going by himself.

After about an hour the wife got her costume out and hailed a cab to the party. Her husband had never seen her outfit before so she had the unique opportunity to observe his behavior when she wasn't around. Upon entering the party she saw him mingling with scantily clad women, flirting, and being friendlier than she was comfortable with. Rather than ousting him in the moment, she hung back to see if he would go any further.

After a while the dance floor began to fill up, and she watched as her husband approached several women and began dancing with them in a very vulgar manner, groping several and kissing a few. At this point the wife decided that she would catch him firsthand, and moved to his general vicinity.

As expected, her husband approached her from behind and began grinding and touching her in all ways imaginable. After several minutes she suggested that they go someplace more private, and led him to a pantry where he had is way with her. After he was finished, she told him she needed to freshen up in the bathroom and sneakily exited the party, heading home to prepare herself for the confrontation that would take place when he returned.

After a few hours her husband came home. As he approached their bed, she pretended to wake up. "How was your night?" she asked, ready to catch him in his lie.

"It was a great night," replied the husband. "But I'm beat and need to get some rest."

"Before you go to bed, may I ask if you did anything you shouldn't have at the party?"

"The party was actually pretty boring by myself, so I ended up catching a bus to play cards with the guys soon after arriving. As luck would have it, my driver was just about to get off his shift so I lent him my costume and gave him the address!"

Do you know why I don't eat at Applebees or Chilis? Because I'm old enough to microwave my own food.



Ahh, just love laughing at out of control situations like this... how about you?




Randy staggered home very late after another evening with his drinking buddies

He took off his shoes to avoid waking his wife, Kathleen.

He tiptoed as quietly as he could toward the stairs leading to their upstairs bedroom, but misjudged the bottom step. As he caught himself by grabbing the banister, his body swung around and he landed heavily on his rump. A whiskey bottle in each back pocket broke and made the landing especially painful.

Managing not to yell, Randy sprung up, pulled down his pants, and looked in the hall mirror to see that his butt cheeks were cut and bleeding. He managed to quietly find a full box of Band-Aids and began putting a Band-Aid as best he could on each place he saw blood.

He then hid the now almost empty Band-Aid box and shuffled and stumbled his way to bed.

In the morning, Randy woke up with searing pain in both his head and butt and Kathleen staring at him from across the room.

She said, ‘You were drunk again last night, weren’t you?’

Randy said, ‘Why would you say such a mean thing?’

‘Well,’ Kathleen said, ‘it could be the open front door, it could be the broken glass at the bottom of the stairs, it could be the drops of blood trailing through the house, it could be your bloodshot eyes, but mostly ……. it’s all those Band-Aids stuck on the hall mirror.

Wednesday, April 11, 2018

Training your Fearful Dog - Rack Rides In The Jeep and gets a Bonus Tornado Warning

I'm sitting here with my foot up on the arm of the couch like I am not supposed to do.   I catch myself doing it and put my foot on the floor.

Why?

We just had a massive storm come through.  It's strange because April is the driest month.  There was a confirmed Tornado touchdown in downtown Fort Lauderdale, and confirmed touchdown at the Airport in Fort Lauderdale, or Hollywood.

Mind you, this is strange, and the last major storm that we had approaching this was back last year before the end of Hurricane Season.  I guess November or October.

Driest Month.   At least my grass will get watered.

You see that's the thing.  All these atmospherics and the worst of it is that I'm stuck inside at the Dog Walk Hour with Rack next to me.  He's not freaking out and shivering, just laying there on guard.

Much better than he was.

I still have video on one of my servers somewhere of Lettie, who predated him, running from room to room in my old house in a T Storm in Philadelphia barking at the skies at every thunder clap.

Rack is too laid back for that.   That is a good thing.

As terrified and fearful as he is, there are things that he just will push the fear aside and do.  That is something that speaks volumes.  You see, some dogs never get past their fears.  They sit in a corner and shiver at the slightest provocation.

I know some people like that.

One thing Rack likes is a Ride In The Car.

To say like is a gross mis-understatement.  It's like the world likes its electrical gadgets and its internal combustion engines - an addiction that thinking people, even here in the US know, will come to an end... or else.  That's the thing about Science, it is true whether you believe it or not.

Period.

If I mention that I want to go for a ride in the car in any context, Rack will proceed to speak in
tongues, vibrate, make unintelligible noises, and generally lose his ... cool.

Since I only drive my own car very rarely, and normally to keep the battery charged, it only gets out about once a week.

Now, on his best day, Rack is still a dog.  I'm not delusional, but McNab Dog is as intelligent as many children I have met.  Toddlers not being very focused, and a good herding dog will be.

If I say lets go for a ride in the car, he is at the door, speaking in tongues.  I open the door and he's out to the regular car.  A Sedan.  And will sit next to His Door waiting to go in.  It's not all smooth sailing, if a truck gets too close, he dive bombs into the back wheel wells and hides.

On the other hand, I say "Lets Go For A Ride In The Jeep" and he is torn.  He understands the Jeep-ness of the situation and isn't quite so excited.

The last time I invited him to the land of Jeep, because as you know, anything else is just a car,
he took me up on it.   He walked to the Jeep and gave it the suspicious eye.  Opening the door he hesitated to step in but in he did go.  Parked himself on the Passenger seat and proceeded to give the look of fear that you see in dogs that are excited and terrified at the same time.

I drove out of the driveway and down the street to the first major intersection and he was fine.  I give him what he needs, a way to find success.

In this case it was to go for a ten mile circuit of the area and back.  Nothing special.  About 16 or so KM.

He managed to even relax.  Having him on two lane roads helped since there were few large trucks with evil diesel engines.  He will avoid those even on a walk.  He will try to tear my arm out of its socket trying to get away from those.

Once a few years back on a similar loop, he dove under my feet on the Interstate 95 which was actually terrifying especially since I need both feet to pilot the car.

Manual Transmission which means here in the US it won't get stolen.

In the intervening years, he's had plenty of exposure and while it didn't look like it mattered, it did.

The solution is to keep exposing your dog in safe and small ways to things they dislike.  Eat some of your peas, kid, they're good for you.

Rack found out, they are good for you, and he got to actually enjoy a ride in the Jeep.  He was
still tense, but visibly happier at the end of the experience.

At this point "Do you want to go for a ride in the Jeep" is not a sentence of fear, but an invitation for excitement.  Sure he wishes it was a conventional sedan, but here he can go with Dad In A Ride In The Jeep!

And isn't that all a kid wants?  Even furry kids?

Now that the rain has stopped... Hey Rack, Hungry yet?  Time to eat!

Good boy!  Gooood Boy!