Wednesday, January 31, 2018

Rye Beer Bread Recipe

I needed bread in the house.

I wanted something different.

I was actually thinking about the Rye bagels I used to get as a kid in Cherry Hill, NJ. 

If you couldn't get a good, proper, and Kosher bagel in Cherry Hill, you couldn't get it. 

Say what you will about NJ, but South Jersey was different, and you could get great Kosher there.  I would go to the Bagel Place on Chapel and Kings Highway and talk to Mrs H there, and she would get my bagels. 

Mrs H is long gone, I moved away, and I understand there's still "A" Bagel Place there, although I am not sure if it is still using her recipes so maybe it isn't or maybe it really "Is" THE Bagel Place.  I'll leave it to someone up there in Jersey to find out for me.

Another quirk about South Jersey was that you could get excellent Ethnic food there.  Being that close to Philly, I think it was a requirement.

But that Rye Bread.  I knew I would never make a proper Jewish Rye bread, because there's just a certain something about a loaf of bread with that little sticker on the side.

This was close.

It was good.  Had a proper chewy body to it.  Everyone who had some of this loaf commented about it, long and loud.

I will certainly make it again.

Oh - and it was one of those "why not" moments.

I was a cup down on the flour and simply poured in as an add-in a cup of Rye Flour.

The recipe below... Substitute 1 cup Rye Flour (or more to taste) to get this awesome loaf of bread.


For "Sponge" or "Poolish":
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons of yeast
  • 1/2 cup all purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup warm water - 100 degrees F or 40 degrees C
  • you may need a few drops more water depending on conditions

For the rest of the bread:
  • 4 Cups All Purpose Flour - Substitute 1 cup Rye for Rye Bread
  • 12 ounce bottle of ROOM TEMPERATURE Beer, your choice
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons table salt
  • you may need extra water depending on your conditions

For Dusting:
  • Cornmeal for dusting the pan and Parchment Paper
  • Flour for dusting the loaf


I used a stand mixer and it's bowl to prepare this recipe, Poolish and Dough, but you may choose to use a large mixing bowl and your hands.  This dough will be sticky and result in a silky smooth dough - so enjoy the texture.  I did finish this out on the counter by hand.


  • To your mixing bowl add yeast, flour, and warm water.
  • Mix the ingredients with fork or whisk.
  • The resulting mix will be like a pancake batter, it should stir easily.  
  • Add an extra tablespoon of water if needed.
  • Allow your Poolish to brew in a warm place for 30 minutes.
  • My own warm place is inside a cold oven with the light on.
Making the dough

  • To your mixing bowl and the Poolish add the Beer, Flour, and Salt one by one.
  • Mix the dough by hand or with a dough hook until it is even and pulls away from the walls of the bowl.
  • The dough will be sticky and thick.
  • Cover the dough with a wet towel, and place back in your warm place for two hours or until it is at least doubled in size.
Forming the Loaf

  • Scrape your dough out of the bowl with your hands or spatula.
  • Place the dough onto the floured board and dust well with more flour.
  • Roll the dough out into a loaf shape.
  • The dough should be silky and a little sticky.
  • You may divide the dough into two loaves for convenience.
  • Move each loaf onto a baking sheet that is generously dusted with cornmeal.
  • Dust the top of the loaves with more flour,
  • Return your loaves to the warm place for another half hour or more.

Baking your loaf
  • Preheat the oven to 425F with a pan of water for humidity.
  • Slash some slits in the top of the loaf to allow growth.
  • Bake each loaf for 30 minutes or until they sound hollow when thumped.
  • Allow your bread to cool before serving. 

Or don't allow your bread to cool.  I couldn't wait, this stuff was amazing!

Sunday, January 28, 2018

What vegetable is always burnt? Chard.

After having spent time emptying the dishwasher, making coffee, making dog food, of course I am thinking about making breakfast. 

Just like this wonderful lady! 

The Drunk Man comes home at 3am completely wasted.

Staggering into everything he knocks over the tv, breaks all of the china, and passes out on the floor.

The next morning he wakes up tucked into bed, with a rose and an I love you note beside the bed.

The man walks cautiously into the kitchen, where he smells bacon and eggs being cooked. He cautiously sits at the table and tells his wife good morning.

With a huge smile on her face she asks if he would like 2 pieces of bacon or 4 this morning.

The man says 4 please. But what happened last night?

The wife proceeded to tell him what happened...

Wife: Well you walked in drunk at 3am.. You broke our tv.. destroyed our china... and passed out on the floor.

Husband: Then why are you treating me so well this morning!?

Wife: Well, when I went to pull your pants off to bring you to bed.. You were kicking and screaming.. telling me NO NO, I'm married!

TV: $150 ... China $450 ... Saying the right thing at the right time... Priceless!

Saturday, January 27, 2018

I’m seriously thinking about re-marrying my ex-wife but I’m pretty sure she’ll figure out I’m just after my money.

Two jokes that go well together. 

Or so my mind thinks after having my grey matter fried doing Spanish Language Training and banging it against the wall!

A man picks up a phone in the mall...

A man picks up and answers a phone in a mall. A woman is on the other end.

"Hello darling" she says," I recently saw a necklace in a catalog and I want it, so do you mind if i use your credit card?"

"How expensive is it?" the man says.
"Just $1200."
"That cheap? Hell, get four of them for you so you can wear a different one each season."

"You're so generous honey. Oh, I also want a ring."
"How expensive?"
"Um, only $5000."
"Get two, one for each hand."

"Thank you! Oh, and I also want a new car, it's $40000."
"Sure, why not."
"I love you so much dear! I gotta go, bye."

After that the man looks around the mall and loudly asks, "Did anyone drop a phone?"

Wednesday, January 24, 2018

Coffee and Backups don't mix well, or how I broke and rebuilt my Debian Linux install in two hours

Maybe the universe wanted me to slow down.
Maybe I just wanted a second mug of coffee.

Or maybe my fascination with automation went a little too far.

I never used Mac OS for long.  Their walled garden approach of curated software just wasn't for me.  Too limited.  I don't care for handcuffs, whether they're steel or lined with "mink".

I got away from Windows when the current approach of Microsoft insisting that You Are The Product with Windows 10 and putting in "Telemetry" so they can know how their software is doing.  You agreed to it when you clicked through the user license.

Spyware.  It is offensive.  They watch everything you are doing. 

So here I am on Debian Linux.  Happy. 

Linux does not hold your hand.  It doesn't make happy noises at you.  It does the job extremely well if you are a casual user who just wants to surf the web. 

It does not advertise at you in exchange for spying on you while you look at news, sports, or weather.  I'm looking at you Windows.

It has its own drawbacks.

Linux isn't great with cutting edge, absolutely new out of the bleeding edge hardware.  Battery management is a bit lackluster, battery life is reduced on Linux as they work to improve the drivers.

It can run some Windows software if you know what you are doing in WINE, and it can even run Windows in its own box if you want to be fancy.   But to be fair, you can run Linux on a Windows computer using the same sort of software.  It's called a Virtual Machine, and that's pretty cool. 

Basically "Yo dawg, I heard you like computers, so I put a computer inside your computer, so you can run computers".

I have done the same with Windows in a Virtual Machine many times but I keep an old machine with Windows 8.1 gathering dust under the furniture for an emergency.  I also have the entire complete environment that I was using on my old Windows XP install back when I started the blog.  I can run it, virtually, on my Linux computer.

But never mind that...

All that software has to be backed up no matter what you run, right?

You are backing things up aren't you?

You aren't?  I will let you decide if you are being brave, or just stupid, and leave it at that.

I will put up with the quirks in Debian Linux in exchange for stability, when I don't break it.  My one computer has been Hibernated 170 times as of last night in a little more than 180 days and is still stable.  I don't reboot when I don't have to.

I back things up, about twice a week.  I don't have to do it so frequently, but I do "Author Content" like this blog, as well as Video and Audio, Graphics, and my laptop does duty as a TV/Radio/Graphics Arts studio on multiple levels.

On Linux, all that software is free.  That also includes my office software, but you go on paying for Microsoft office. 

Backing up your computer on Linux is fairly painless.  When I am through, the end result is a complete clone of what I have on the computer.  Remove the hard drive, swap in the external drive, and I am back running with just one file system check "fsck /dev/sda" and a reboot.

Just like on Windows or Mac, you need an external hard drive.  USB 3 for the speed, please, and it has to be at least as large as your internal hard drive.

From that point onwards it is just technique.

Technique was what I was lacking on that Saturday. 

You see, I wrote a script for the computer to follow.  The script works if everything is correct and in place.  It backs up my chip where I save my personal writings to the hard drive, then backs up the hard drive.  Then to take it one step further it updates the computer's software, checks to see if there are any spies lurking on the hard drive by scanning for viruses and root kits.  Finally it plays a chime to tell me that it was finished and you were a good person for running it.

Well maybe not that last bit but it is complete.

I also got a little slick and simply told it to do everything without waiting.  Should not have done that.  It's a lot to stand on its own with the stack of old hardware that I use on a daily basis.

Oh the hardware works, but the wet-ware doesn't always.

I set the thing going, stood up and just as it started to run to backup the disk, it barfed.

The clone of the hard disk, the actual backup, failed when I bumped the cable and it fell out of the front of the "Destination" disk.

Then it went ahead and updated the operating system, and did all that other stuff.


When it ended I had a computer that showed me everything that I had done wrong to it over the last couple weeks by not starting up again.

I was presented with a black screen telling me that the boot process had stopped and I should try again.

I did, and it repeated itself.

Linux is one of the last refuges of the computer tinkerer.  If you like to do that sort of thing, you can tweak to your heart's content.  Mine looks a lot like Windows 7.  I could just as easily make it into something that looks identical to a Mac, but I want speed.  It runs about twice as fast as this same computer runs under Windows, so I have it.

When I went to enable the second video chip inside the computer, I followed an old guide on how to do it and predictably it had failed.  That was what showed when I booted the computer.

So Linux kiddies like myself, don't go and over-automate.   Step by step.  Sure, your machine CAN do it, but if you're sitting at a desk, wanting another mug of coffee, be certain not to knock the cable out of your backup drive because if the next step is a full upgrade of your computer, you may just be stuffed.

However annoying as all that is... it's a fast fix.

I reinstalled the operating system, Debian Linux 9, in about 15 minutes.
Brought it up to date in another 30 minutes.
Copied over my "home directories" in another 90 minutes.  It was massive.

Computer back to normal from a bare bones install in about 2 hours.
A few more tweaks to get file sharing working, and making it able to play DVDs.

Lesson learned, slow down.

Oh and if you're following along and wondering, the specifics are here since I use this as a scratch pad for my memory.

My computer's C Drive shows up on /dev/sda with operating system on /dev/sda1, swap on /dev/sda5

The backup D Drive shows up on /dev/sdb and will be a perfect clone of the computer.

The syntax of the clone is one line run as root (administrator for windows people)

dd if=/dev/sda of=/dev/sdb conv=noerror,sync status=progress

Just copy the chip to a place on the hard drive manually first.

*sigh*  And don't get a mug of coffee by putting your hand on your back up drive when you get out of the chair!

If you will excuse me, now, I have a mug of coffee to make.  Some home roasted Guatemala Huehuetenango that I roasted last week.  Should be just perfect this morning.


Sunday, January 21, 2018

Why did the poorly made shoe go to confession? Because it had a bad sole!

Once again, bringing you the best in bad puns, Dad Jokes, and humor your preteen kid might groan at...

Hey, I like this crap too!

You just might have to explain this one to a Pre-teen.  Or not, they're more advanced than I was back when I was a kid.

Miss Beatrice, the church organist, was in her 80s

Though never married, she was admired for her sweetness and kindness to all.

One afternoon the pastor came to call on her and she showed him into her quaint sitting room. Miss Beatrice invited him to have a seat while she prepared tea.

As he sat facing her old Hammond organ, the young minister noticed a glass bowl sitting on top of it. The bowl was filled with water, and in the water floated of all things, a condom!

When she returned with tea and scones, they began to chat. The pastor tried to stifle his curiosity about the bowl of water and its strange floater, but soon it got the better of him and he could no longer resist.

'Miss Beatrice', he said, 'I wonder if you would tell me about this?', as he pointed to the bowl.

'Oh, yes,' she replied, 'Isn't it wonderful? I was walking through the park a few months ago and I found this little package on the ground. The directions said to place it on the organ, keep it wet, and that it would prevent the spread of disease.'

'Do you know I haven't had the flu all winter.'

Saturday, January 20, 2018

My brother picked up a fight with me and threw me on the street. The joke's on him, the police fined him for littering.

I guess in this case, they're Alaska Police.

The day after his wife disappeared in a kayaking accident, an Anchorage man answered the door to find two grim-faced Alaska State Troopers.

"We're sorry Mr. Wilkens, but we have some information about your wife." said one trooper... "Tell me, please! Did you find her?" Wilkens shouted.

The troopers looked at each other. One said, "We have some bad news, some good news, and some really great news. Which do you want to hear first?"

Fearing the worst, an ashen Mr. Wilkens said, "Give me the bad news first."

The trooper said, "I'm sorry to tell you, sir, but this morning we found your wife's body in Kachemak Bay..."

"Oh my God!" exclaimed Wilkens. Swallowing hard, he asked, "Well, what's the good news?"

The trooper continued, "When we pulled her up, she had 12 twenty-five pound King crabs and 6 good-size Dungeness crabs clinging to her and we feel you are entitled to a share in the catch."

Stunned, Mr. Wilkens demanded, "If that's the good news, what's the great news?"

The trooper said, "We're going to pull her up again tomorrow.."

Wednesday, January 17, 2018

Using Aftermarket 18650 Lithium Batteries in a Rechargeable Garden Tool

Let me start out with saying the lawyer words:

This is at your own risk.

The batteries I am using are Lithium Ion batteries scavenged from (one or more) laptops.  If you puncture, overheat, or otherwise damage one of these batteries it is possible that they may catch fire.

Do not short circuit these batteries.  Use a charger designed for these batteries specifically.

This is at your own risk.

The Science Words:

The batteries were scavenged from laptops, and you can get 18650 batteries online that will be of full capacity.  I am using scavenged batteries because I had a couple old laptops that were going to be recycled.

From what I have learned, you can not charge these Lithium batteries in series.  Connected as a block, the batteries will overheat when charged and they may catch fire.  The circuitry in a laptop will charge the individual cells separately.

They are 3.7 VDC cells, which makes them attractive for this project.  The saw took 14.4 VDC which is four cells.  I had 4 2 cell blocks which gave me more amperage to push into the saw.

I get around all the warnings doing it this way because the cells can be removed, and charged individually in a charger made for 18650 Lithium Ion batteries.

Or so it says when I bought it from a Chinese Supplier - and we all know how trustworthy Chinese Suppliers can be.

Or not.

Sarcasm aside, here's how I did it.

I had a Saw that was given to me as an oddball item.  No battery pack, No Charger.

I had all these batteries.

I ordered the battery holder (that black thing with the blue cells in them) for emergency purposes.

Connecting four batteries gives me 14.4 VDC so I was able to test the saw by connecting the terminals directly.  The motor worked.

Waiting for a reason to heat up the hot glue gun, I decided to do this one sunday morning.  It took me about an hour.

Step 1 disassembly.

Remove all screws and set the mechanicals aside.  I was lucky that the parts did not fall out onto the table when I went to open the saw, and nothing was plastic welded together.

Luckily, the electronics were simple, and the plug into which the original battery pack was to fit was obvious.  I could slide that connector out and solder my battery pack to that connector permanently, glue the battery pack in place, and screw things back together.

The placement of the new battery pack was by eyeball, and made sense to me.  Your placement will probably vary.  See my last picture for what I'm getting at.

Step 2 solder the connection.

I realized I could thread the two wires from the battery pack through the air vents in the side of the saw without drilling holes.  Of course, if you are modifying a different tool, your placement will vary.

Using Hot Glue, I was able to attach the battery holder to the side of the saw and only covered up one of the multiple screw holes on the side.

When that was placed, then I could connect the block's wires to the Red, Positive connector to the Saw's Electronics with Solder.  Red-to-red - to keep the polarity of my connections correct.

I then did the same for the Black, Negative connection.  Again, Black-to-Black to keep the polarity of my connections correct.

I did a test to make sure that the wires were soldered to the connector block like in the picture above.  The motor groaned to life, the wires held, and I noted that the batteries needed a charge.

I then disconnected all of the batteries and wrangled the connector block back into place, seated the wires, and screwed the Saw back together.

Step 3 the finished product.

Once I seated the wires inside the saw back in their original channels, I could close the unit up back as normal.

After it was placed back together, I tested the saw once again and everything worked.


Step 4 Why I did it this way instead of getting a battery pack.

So yeah I could have thrown money at this saw.  The thing was that I knew that I would not need it much.  Having a lot of these batteries around, as well as the battery packs from last Hurricane Season, I knew that I could rig a lot of this sort of thing together.

I had a couple of other tools in the shed that I could have done this with, but the Saw was the only oddball that ran at 14.4VDC.  The other tools were powered by 18VDC and we had gotten a charger and a battery for them.

So my red saw being the only odd man out was going to get "hacked".

Safety would dictate not doing it this way, but I do have the batteries, and I did have a little better than basic knowledge of electronics being able to replace individual components on an electronic appliance.

"I do board level repairs" on electronics, when they are readily apparent as to what needs to be replaced.  This kind of a mod is trivial.

It rendered it "more safe" because the batteries are taken out of the unit and charged separately.

But ultimately this kind of thing is at your own risk since it is what a pharmaceutical would call an Off Label Use of the product.

But really ....

Sunday, January 14, 2018

Today in church they asked what a Bishop does. Apparently “move diagonally” wasn't the answer they were looking for.

Hungry?  You won't be after this...


A tour bus driver is driving with a bus load of seniors down a highway when he is tapped on his shoulder by a little old lady.
She offers him a handful of peanuts, which he gratefully munches up.

After about 15 minutes, she taps him on his shoulder again and she hands him another handful of peanuts.
She repeats this gesture about five more times.

When she is about to hand him another batch again he asks the little old lady, ‘Why don’t you eat the peanuts yourself?’
‘We can’t chew them because we’ve no teeth’, she replied.

The puzzled driver asks, ‘Why do you buy them then?’
The old lady replied, ‘We just love the chocolate around them.’

Saturday, January 13, 2018

Where does Poland keep its armies? Up its sleevies.

I don't care for Ethnic Jokes, so I don't generally put them here.  Not that the topic was anything but your basic pun. 

Basically, I have a couple hard and fast rules.  Has to be "broadcastable" on US TV even in a repressed area such as your basic republican red state.

Dad Jokes are good for me.  Your basic dumb pun works great.

Oh and it has to make me laugh, and that's not really a test.  I laugh often.

A man walks into a bar.

The barman asks "Why the long face?"
The man replies "I just found out my wife is sleeping with another man. So I have decided I'm going to drink myself to death."

The barman looks shocked and says "I'm sorry I can't help you commit suicide at all let alone in my pub!"
The man asks "Well what would you do in my situation?"

The barman leans in and says "If I found out a guy was sleeping with my wife I wouldn't sit around feeling sorry for myself, I'd kill the guy."
The man jumps up from his stool and shouts "That's a great idea! Thanks!" and runs out of the pub.

A couple hours goes by and the barman is starting to get nervous when the man walks back into the pub with a smile on his face.

"Did you kill the guy?" The barman asks nervously.
"Nope! I slept with your wife. Whiskey please.”

Wednesday, January 10, 2018

Teaching Rack to Eat - A Slow Eater Gets Much Better With Water and Heat.

Rack is a fascinating character.

My dog, Rack, has some quirks.  Some of those quirks are endearing.  He greets me in the house, despite other people living there, first.

Mind you since I'm the one that tends to grab the heaviest bags from the back of the car, that's not always comfortable.  That wet nose has found itself in places it never should have been.

He sleeps in his bed, but only until I have drifted to sleep.  Many nights, in the glow of the clocks and

Dogs live by their noses, and will curl up next to their favorite people, and barring that, their clothes so
that they are comforted by the scent.
lights in the bedroom, I open an eye and see that he's moved to the bath mat I keep next to the bed and my boots.  I would have thought it is more comfortable in his bed that is chock full of foam rubber, but he'd rather curl up on a flat mat next to my shoes and my bed. 

Ok, Boy, as long as you don't chew anything.

But one of those quirks has bothered me since day one, and is something I will have to watch for the rest of his time. 

Food.  He's a terrible eater. 

Many dogs are too fast.  They eat so fast that they bloat and you end up turning the bowl over, or get a Maze bowl to force them to slow down.

Lettie was fine, although she was a bit too quick on snacks.  Just watch your fingers, she thought her snout was shorter than it actually was.

In Rack's case, Food is an Afterthought.

He has severe food allergies.  Grain and Poultry are a definite no.  We went through quite a few meals followed by projectile "Soft Serve" and diarrhea until we figured that out.

Cheap food is full of grain.  Dogs don't need grain.  They are omnivores, but more toward being a carnivore than we are.  So cut out the grain.  Chickens and Turkeys eat grains.  So whatever was in that grain gets stored in the muscle tissue, and whatever else, that is used to make the dog food and more "Soft Serve".

We found a couple of foods that he could eat safely, but the damage was done.  He gets extremely picky.

Since one of the foods was a dry kibble, he would take as much as a half hour or more to eat on a normal feeding.  Twice a day and I was spending an hour tapping and shaking the food bowl to motivate him to eat. I would get frustrated, start nagging him to eat.

Not good.  Nobody likes to be nagged.

So I hit on an idea.

Take the food in the bowl, ours is purple plastic, and add an ounce of water or so.  Just enough to puddle a little bit in the bottom of the bowl.  Coat all of the food with the water.  Shake and stir it around.

Then microwave it for 15 seconds.  Just enough to warm things.

The last dry day he had was 27 minutes of crunching.  Lettie would have had that done in short order and ask for more.

The first wet day he was done so fast that I had to do a double take.  It took three minutes.

So the rule is that he gets bored and needs variety.

The main rule is that even just an ounce of water to warm and soak things is a help.

Reading this you may say to "Give him 10 minutes then remove the food, he'll eat when he's hungry".

No.  "I mean are you stupid? No."

I have a dog with a very low prey drive, and a very low food drive.  He will starve himself.  As in "I'll lose 20% of my body weight and still ignore that food."

It simply is not a priority and removing food from a dog is unnecessarily cruel.  Better to try something positive and see if you can change things.

Of course we're also dealing with a dog who was still growing when I got him from the rescue, so he

You see, Puppies are wonderful and beautiful balls of love.  However taking a dog away from Mom means that it does not learn what is acceptable in a pack.  Feeding is one of those things that is effected and you end up with a painfully fussy dog. 

He was almost certainly taken from his mother early and not socialized properly. 

When your pup is in a pack of 8 brothers and sisters, you eat or you go hungry.  Being picky means failure to thrive.  If you aren't taught that lesson, it may linger.

In our case it did.

So a little water, and 15 minutes in the microwave may just do the trick.  It did with us.

Sunday, January 7, 2018

My Town Is So Small that our crazy cat lady only has one cat.

Yesterday two dogs.

Today, A Cat and a Dog.

Yes, you could say this is a dog of a joke.

Sniffing Dog

A man boards a plane and is seated next to an Air Marshall and his ‘sniffing dog’. Soon, the plane takes off and the Marshall says, “Sniffer, search.” The dog walks along the aisle, and stops next to a woman. He then returns to his seat and puts a paw on the Marshall’s arm.
“Good boy,” says the Marshall.

“What happened?” asks the man.
“That woman is in possession of marijuana. We’ll arrest her when we land.”

Once again, Sniffer searches the aisles. He stops beside a man, then returns to his seat, and places two paws on the Marshall’s arm.
“That man is carrying cocaine,” the Marshall explains.

The dog walks up the aisle again, then races back, jumps into his seat, and poops all over it.
“What’s going on?!” demands the man.
The Marshall nervously replies, “He just found a bomb!”

Saturday, January 6, 2018

Jokes are like puppies. If you have to pull them apart to see how they work, they’re not as fun.

Yeah I know nasty little groaner for the topic here today.  It's similar to a Groucho Marx joke:

Outside of a dog, a book is a man's best friend. Inside of a dog it's too dark to read.

Too bad the TV doesn't rerun those old Marx Brothers' movies here any more!

A boy is walking home with groceries and his border collie and he comes across a pool of toxic waste.
Absolutely shocked at this sight, he dropped his groceries and let go of his dog.
His dog wasn't the smartest, and it jumped into the toxic waste.
The boy's groceries also fell in.

After finally recovering, the boy called the cops to report both his dogs death and the toxic waste.
When the cleanup crew arrived, they thanked the boy for reporting the spill, and apologised because they couldn't find his dog.

However they did find that his watermelon had grown a snout and tail, and seemed to look like his dog.
Suddenly, the watermelon started barking and running around.
Somehow the watermelon he had bought and his dog had combined.
He picked up the watermelon/border collie and hugged it, and it licked him back.

He embraced the melon-collie

Wednesday, January 3, 2018

The Colder The Weather, The Tighter The Dogball

Cold is relative.

No really, it is.

You ask someone who lives in a place where they get wild swings of temperature when you don't, they may tell you you're crazy.

But if your dog gets cold, it gets cold, no matter where you are.

In my case, my dog got cold, and so did my relatives.  Rack, the McNab SuperDog (TM), handles it in style.  He simply rolls up into a dogball and parks himself in the corner.

He does it wrong, but he doesn't care.

Last night, watching an old sitcom, I saw the ritual of the nest.  I've got a mat for him to lay on to protect him from the cold slab that the house is built upon.  Yes, I know, Cold is Relative.  In this case, it's relative enough for me to be wearing a pair of Doc Martins any time I am not in bed, or a shower, or shaving in front of a mirror.

But that's normal for me.

The one time I tried to put my own Docs on my dog's feet, he looked up at me with all knowing brown eyes and basically told me I was an idiot.  Taking one foot out of each shoe, he slipped away.

Good for me, I was able to finish dressing.  Sitting on the edge of the bed means that I generally have a 46 pound, badger black and white dog weaving his frame in and out of my legs.  Like a cat.  Which I can't.  I'm allergic to cats.  That's why we have a dog.   A Good Dog indeed.

Who's a good boy?  Hmmm?  You are!

So as he's pawing on a mat that has to weigh as much as a bag of flour, not having much luck, and basically making a mess, he manages to roll it up into a ball.  Then, Plop! He's settling in next to it to sleep.

That Dog Sniffing His Tail position that McNab Dog owners are so familiar with.  The tighter the dogball, the colder the weather.

But cold is all relative.  My relatives.  One in the Philadelphia Area, My Sister Pat at least doesn't laugh
at me when I tell her it's cold out.  She does remind me that while I may be feeling cold and it's 50, I also went to Kelly Drive and would have a skate workout when there was ice on the trails in a T Shirt and Boxer shorts with a sweatshirt if it was windy.

Just a short workout, mind you, only 9 miles, but you can do it too.  Come on, it was only 25, and I wasn't crazy.  Really I wasn't.

The other one is in the middle of the great plains.  The Middle of Nebraska.  Les Nessman's dream state.  Where it was minus-freaking-25 Farenfreakingheit.  Too Freaking Cold.

So cold that it doesn't make too much sense to take the effort to convert the temp to Celsius because it is roughly the same.  And my mind may be going from all that cold anyway because I could be getting the temperature wrong, oh never mind, let me have my damn coffee, it's too cold to think about that!

Replace Freaking with whatever intensifier you wish.  I have one in mind.  Four bold letters.  Describes the situation perfectly.  Survival gear to go to the mailbox cold.

No.  Just No.  I'll take solace in that it will only get colder here, and we're expecting two degrees above freezing.  Yes, 38F or 2C.

So this is the dry season.  How I know is that it has been raining for two days in a row, and my banana tree sprouted a flower that just popped open.  Just in time for near freezing temperatures.

The storm forms in the Caribbean, where the water is still warm, relatively.  It does that pirouette dance to spin up into what my Sister will be calling a Nor'Easter, and wondering if it will get above freezing before the storm hits there.

Dunno, Pat, I remember once riding my motorcycle this time of year through the NJ Pine Barrens with just a T Shirt and Jeans because it was 70 with snow banks on the side of the road and ice patches in the shadows.

Dress for the Slide, not the Ride.

So it's all relative.  I will hide from my cold.  You hide from your cold.  Here, have some coffee.

Did I tell you that the freeze line is 8 miles north of me?  Yeah, Clint Moore Road in Boca Raton according to the National Weather Service is as far south as freezing temps get.

Take that Boca!  Hah!