Sunday, December 30, 2018

My New Year revolution is to never use autocorrect again.

Remember, fellow babies!  Always be very very specific when you give directions. 

I knew someone who thought that the blue lines on a map were secret roads and could be used as short cuts.  Tell that to someone who tried to drive on the Delaware River!

Something for that cough

The pharmacist needed a short break from the register so he left his son in charge: “just put on the coat and act like you know what you are doing. Ring up the sales as listed. What ever you do, DO NOT give anyone advice. I’ll be back soon”

After a few minutes, a man approached the “pharmacist” for some advice.

“I need something for this cough. It has kept me up all night, I’m exhausted. My wife says I’m keeping her up, as well”.

The man appeared quite tired, and the pharmacists’ son knew ‘just the thing’ to give the ailing man.

“Here you go sir. Take two tablespoons of this, and it will cure what ails you.” He rang up the elixir, and the man thanked him, and immediately took a swig.

About a half hour later, the pharmacist/father returned to the pharmacy.

“How did things go?”, he asked his son, “I see you made some sales,”

“Father, all went well. I did, however, give away some advice, though. An extremely tired man came in with a terrible cough. I couldn’t help but giving him something that would work”

“What did you tell him?” The pharmacist worried...

“I told him two tablespoons of cod liver oil would cure that cough immediately.”, replied the son.

“COD LIVER OIL!! that’s no cough elixir! That will do nothing for his cough!!” The pharmacist began to break a sweat, knowing surely he would be hearing from this irate customer in the next few days..

“Father, you are incorrect! Over there, through the window! See the man, holding on tight to the light pole with his legs crossed tight? That joker ain’t gonna cough any time soon!!”

Saturday, December 29, 2018

I ordered a chicken and an egg from Amazon... I'll let you know.

I see these beasts all over the neighborhood. 


Since someone is feeding them around here, they are breeding.  Or a more accurate way to describe that is that since we're overrun with ducks, she's feeing the foxes.

Remember, fellow babies, if you're buying food for the ducks, you're feeding the ducks to the foxes.

But that is neither here nor there.    Just keep them out from under my Jeep.  They're lousy at cleaning up after themselves!

A man walks into a bar with 3 ducks under his arms...

He places each one on a stool, orders beers for each and himself, then heads to the toilet.

The bartender has seen it all, but figured he'd ask the duck's how they're doing. As he sets the beer in front of the first duck he asked his name, how he is and what he did today?

Duck responds: My name's Huey and I'm great because I've been outside playing in puddles all day!

Second duck responds: My name's Dewey and I'm great too because we've been outside playing in puddles all day!

He goes to the third duck and says, "I guess your name is Louie?"

Third duck says, "No, my name is puddles. Don't ask me about my damn day!"

Wednesday, December 26, 2018

Happy New Years a little bit early from

I know,
I know,


Yes, it's only December 26th. 

So why am I wishing Happy New Years on Black Friday?

Because I am avoiding shopping malls, driving, and being in stores at all costs.

All those people, on the road, with gift cards in hand.

Running hither and yon screeching into parking spaces.

Hey, South Florida makes Boston look like pikers in aggressive driving contests.

I'll be around town today, walking the dog, patching pool scoops, and transplanting things.

I have a friend who gave me a Milkweed Cage here in town that I need to let know that I put some Green Onions in his pot and am ready to return the thing to him.

The Cage is fixed and doing its thing protecting the plants.

The pot is on my front porch.  Four green onions are in the pot ready for cooking.  Just leave a thumb length of bulb in order to keep your perpetual onions growing.

At any rate.

South Florida being basically, weird, has already started the wind up for the great page turning of 2019.  Yes Happy New Years now if you're drunk and need a place to pass out, go use the bar parking lot.  I don't want to have to use the hose on a drunk at 5AM when I go to take Rack for a walk.

If you are going out on amateur night, paying too much for a champagne toast at midnight at a restaurant you normally would not go to, go lightly.  After all, this whole week, if you are driving at night... you are a target both for other drivers and for the police.

Yes, Drunk Drivers, those of us who are not on the road hope "The Rozzers" catch you.

That's British Slang for the cops... or so I have been told.

I'm already hearing fireworks at night which will scare the poop back into you if you're my dog.


Well happy new years anyway folks, I'm going to duck and cover!

Sunday, December 23, 2018

What did one German say to the other German? I don't know. I don't speak German.

Sister Stanislaus was my French teacher in High School and was a wonderful woman.

She kept trying to get us to have an appreciation of some of the finer things of French Culture.

One of them was the whole Hunchback Story.  I never really "got" it, thinking it just seemed gloomy and depressing.

No matter what Disney will do to the story, that is.

The Hunchback of Notre Dame

There once was a man who went by the name of The Hunchback of Notre Dame.
Every morning and every afternoon he would go to the top of his tall bell tower and ring the bell.

But he was getting old and it was getting too hard on his body.
So he decided to put up advertisements for a new bell boy.

One day when the Hunchback was sipping his tea at the top of his belltower he heard a knock on his door, on hearing this he climbed down his stairs and opened to door where a young man was stood,
"Hi, I'm here for the bell ringer job"
he said "Very good then follow me" the Hunchback replied as he beckoned him to follow.

As they got to the bell the Hunchback said he was going to demonstrate how to ring the bell.
He pulls it back, pushes it fowards and takes a step to the side and the bell makes a huge DING sound.

Then it was the boys turn. He pulled it back, pushed it foward, but stood still, and the bell came back and hit him smack bang in the face, DING, which knocked him all the way down the tower.

The Hunchback thought he'd better go check on him.

So he went all the way down his stairs and by the time he got to the bottom a crowed had formed.

A police officer came up to the Hunchback and said, "Do you know this kid?"

To which the Hunchback replied "No, but his face rings a bell."

Saturday, December 22, 2018

I took an antibiotic, and now I feel like I died a little inside.

Well, after all that is how they work, sort-of, right?

As I sit here sipping my coffee, here's another one.

A woman was in bed with her lover when she heard her husband opening the front door

"Hurry!" she said, "stand in the corner." She quickly rubbed baby oil all over him and then she dusted him with talcum powder. "Don't move until I tell you to," she whispered. "Just pretend you're a statue."

"What's this, honey?" the husband inquired as he entered the room.

"Oh, it's just a statue," she replied nonchalantly. "The Smiths bought one for their bedroom. I liked it so much, I got one for us too."

No more was said about the statue, not even later that night when they went to sleep. Around two in the morning the husband got out of bed, went to the kitchen and returned a while later with a sandwich and a glass of milk.

"Here," he said to the 'statue', "eat something. I stood like an idiot at the Smiths' for three days and nobody offered me as much as a glass of water."

Wednesday, December 19, 2018

Happy Holidays From Rack and

So sure, I could mess with my schedule and put this picture up, when, next Tuesday? 

What fun is that?   I really do like how this picture came out.

Besides, that's for New Years.  Thanks Calendar Cartel for not straightening out the dates! 


What this was is actually the end of a dog walk.

I have three dog walks per day, as you should if you have a dog.  Rack being the superior McNab SuperDog, (TM), that he is, he has plenty of quirks.

He speaks English,
He tells time,
He has a map of the neighborhood in his brain.
He may even be learning Spanish - I have to be careful with the phrase "Estoy Listo" because "I Am Ready" is a phrase I may want to keep close to my chest.

Here is the story as I see it.  Even if I am reading too much into it, well, I have been told that I can tell a story well.

We left, as normal, from the house, and went out to walk the block.

"Rack, this is your walk, take me where you want to go."  Wag Right.

When a dog wags right, what you said or did pleases him.  He feels in control of the situation and confident.

When a dog wags left, he may still be pleased but he isn't completely in control of things.  I get that when I tell him "Go Poop" and he's not ready.

He really does like to be talked to.

Rack did take me on a "modified" walk.  I have a very set pattern of blocks I walk at that time of evening.  Probably because I try to avoid the bars, don't want to disturb the patrons at the Italian Restaurant, and I want to avoid noise and other distractions.

No, really, if I walk past Bona Italian Restaurant, it causes a ripple of people talking and pointing at my dog.  There is a waitress in there that loves him, as well as one or two of the owners, and I really don't want to stop business just for a walk around town.

He does, however, and he took me past the restaurant.

After a few cookies and some attention, we wandered on a different route until we got back here.

As we approached, I said "Rack go wait at the door and let me get a picture".

He did ... Just That.  Walked to the door and waited.  Ok, he knows more English than I thought.

I got the picture you see, however, any photographer will tell you - always take a second.  I wanted to play with flash and settings and re-compose the shot.

This one isn't perfect, I could have adjusted settings, but this is as close to perfect as I could get all the way to the palm trees hiding above the house.

He thought I was fussing too much and he came over to see. 

Looking up at me as if to say "are you alright?  Did you get this figured out yet?"
I responded "Why don't you go back to the door so I can get another?" in a conversational tone.

He did!  Wow that is one smart dog!

I ended up using the first shot but this dog always impresses me.

Now that he's gaining confidence, he's getting a bit too assertive at the door.   We have to work at that bark, he's authoritative enough to have me jump out of my skin inside!

So Happy Holidays to one and all, no matter where in the world you are, no matter what holidays you celebrate.

Thanks for stopping by over these years.

Rack and the rest of us at

Sunday, December 16, 2018

Stop signs are red, traffic lights are green, I ride a bicycle, and have no idea what that means.

Being a skater once again, I know what it means to have people on bikes that do not know how to follow the rules of the road or the trails...

But that's a very different story than this one.

A poor old lady was forced to sell her valuables to avoid eviction.

As she rummaged through her dusty belongings, she came across a dull copper kettle. Intrigued by it’s possible value the old woman dusted it off and BAM! A genie erupted from its neck.

The genie says “I have seen your plights, and will grant you three wishes.”

The woman, astounded, thinks for a moment and says “age has taken its toll on me. I wish to be young and beautiful once more.”

BAM! In a sudden flash the old woman emerged, a ravishing young woman.

Thrilled by her success the woman says “genie I want to live a life of grandeur! To be rich!”

BAM! With a snap of the genies fingers the room swirled and transformed into a great hall. Her once broken cottage had become a mansion. Upon looking down the woman noticed her worn clothing had been replaced with a stunning dress, and shining heels.

While she marveled at this outcome the genie stood solemnly and said “you have one wish left.”

The woman thought about this for a while and then felt a slight brush against her leg. It was her old cat, frightened by the buildings transformation.

The woman looked up at the genie and said “this cat has been faithfully with me for all my years. Please, transform him into a human man, so that we may spend many happy days together!”

BAM! In a blinding flash the cat had vanished. Standing in his place was a tall, dark-haired, handsome young man.

Immediately enamored by her new love, the woman fell into his arms. The genie, his work complete, disappeared. As she gazed into his eyes, he drew her close and whispered

“Too bad you had me neutered.”

Saturday, December 15, 2018

Why has nobody invented a belt with a watch on it? Because it’d be a waist of time.

Ever felt like you're overlooked?  Surplus?  Supernumerary, like this guy? 

Yeah, I like that word... Supernumerary!

Anyway, nothing like hiding in Plane Sight.   Like this airplane!

A very distinguished lady was on a plane arriving from Switzerland.

A very distinguished lady was on a plane arriving from Switzerland. She found herself seated next to a nice priest whom she asked: "Excuse me Father, could I ask a favour?"

"Of course my child, What can I do for you?"

"Here is the problem, I bought myself a new sophisticated hair remover gadget for which I paid an enormous sum of money. I have really gone over the declaration limits and I am worried that they will confiscate it at customs. Do you think you could hide it under your cassock?"

"Of course I could, my child, but you must realize that I cannot lie."

"You have such an honest face Father, I am sure they will not ask you any questions", and she gave him the "hair remover".

The aircraft arrived at its destination. When the priest presented himself to customs he was asked, "Father, do you have anything to declare?"

"From the top of my head to my sash, I have nothing to declare, my son, he replied.

Finding this reply strange, the customs officer asked, "And from the sash down, what do you have?"

The priest replied, "I have there a marvellous little instrument destined for use by women, but which has never been used."

Breaking out in laughter, the customs officer said, "Go ahead Father. Next!"

Wednesday, December 12, 2018

Skating with the Goodyear Blimp at the Pompano Airpark

A couple miles north of me, a couple miles in from the ocean in Pompano Beach, FL is the Pompano Airpark.

When they carved up the flat swampy ground and drained the soon to be populated area of South Florida, there was this large plot of land that was once out where nobody lived. 

People eventually back-filled their lives into the area, there are homes surrounding the park in the large sprawl that is what is the metropolitan area.

Goodyear got there first and bought that plot before we all moved in.  They put in an airport, landing strip and the hangar for the Goodyear Blimp.  There are two that I know of, the other being in California.  San Diego I believe but I could be wrong.

It's more than a square mile of land serving light aircraft and the worlds largest flying billboard, the Goodyear Blimp.

When I was growing up in South Jersey, we only ever saw it once or twice so it was a curiosity.

Moving here, I have put that plot of land to my own uses, skating on the "black ice" trail that encircles the Hangar and the civil airport.

It is 4.6 miles around, if you are needing a place to skate here that you won't get hunted down by the ferocious drivers.

If Boston has the reputation where driving is a contact sport, they need to come down here and see how hunting down others is really done. 

That is why I went back to the Airpark.  I had some moron from Townhouse Isles in Wilton Manors pass me on NE 7th Avenue more than once in an all fired rush to get out to whatever their lives had in store for them, and as a result nearly take my own life with them.

Trust me, don't skate or bike on the roads in South Florida, it's dangerous.  This coming from someone who has ridden a motorcycle in Manhattan, drives a Jeep Wrangler, and skates a lot.

But, the Airpark and its trail is safer.  Even if it is a bit short at 4.6 miles, and totally flat, you can get miles in.

I needed to get back skating because, while it is not fashionable, inline skating is probably the
best sport for me that I can come up with.  You might have a different one, go and enjoy, but after skating 21,000 miles since 1992, this is mine.

I did notice that when I started that workout, the blimp was practicing maneuvers, and that can be entertaining.  Once sitting on a bench near the end of the landing strip, I watched that giant cigar coming in for a landing at what looked close to a 45 degree angle.  In the wind.

Snapping a picture, I started skating around the trail.   The hangar sits at the midway point, 2 miles in, and there's a shaded portion at mile marker 1.  When I came out of the shaded portion, I noticed the blimp hanging overhead coming into the approach for landing, along with a small civil fixed aircraft.  At that same time, there was a bird heading into the view.  Most likely flushed out by the fans that push that blimp around, no doubt.

This was not going to be a fast workout.  I had for all intents and purposes, stopped skating a few years ago, rolled to a stop.  It was much more fun to skate with the team, and there just weren't any people around.

Life moved on and, Life is better on 8 or 10 wheels.  Someone else in the neighborhood knows that too because slowly more people started dusting off their skates and are skating around town.

By the time I got to where I wanted to turn around, after all this was a "Get Reacquainted" workout, I got to the back of the hangar.  I'm right around 2 to 2.5 miles anyway, and I wanted to see what was going on.

Well really, I was trying to skate at my old competition speeds and my fitness levels weren't up to cruising at 16 mph (4 minute mile) so I slowed to stop at the back of the Hangar.

Sitting there on the ground, visible through the fence and the back door of the hangar was the blimp being stowed after a landing.

Cool!  Firing off a couple more pictures, I left with a grin.

I needed that pause.  While I did finish the lap plus a half mile, this workout told me I slacked too much, too long.

So Instead of doing my usual training workouts of 33 miles at a shot, yes, three times a week, I am doing a 5 mile loop, and starting over.

After all, you can't skate 100 miles in a week if you don't skate 5 first.  I'm back at a steady pace, skating the airpark and wearing out my wheels.

We all need a sport, this is mine.

Sunday, December 9, 2018

There's no better time to add insult to injury than when you're signing a cast

Something tells me that this guy is a stay at home dad for some other reasons, but hey, I'm not judging!

I'm a stay at home dad and a writer

.. and every day at 3:15 my grade school daughter comes home and tells me what she did that day. Followed by my wife, complaining about inter-office drama and her "workload". And not to sound indifferent or an asshole, but I usually feign empathy or excitement.

But this week I found it impossible. I was lashing out with abrasive reactions like, "Oooh, Tommy held your hand and you got a 80 on your math test? .. whoopty doo" (mockingly)

I felt unwell and told my therapist everything that occurred over the phone and was expecting to hear "blah blah resentment, blah blah lack of power," but he replied, "You are constipated."

I quickly went back to apologize to my wife and tell her what my therapist said.

"Honey, I'm so sorry I reacted like that, my therapist said I'm constipated," I started.

    * sigh * She replied, "Every writer gets a block here and there.. but you've always been full of crap."

Saturday, December 8, 2018

I heard that Apple is making a car. I wonder if it has Windows.

Personally, about that title... I hope not, the car would spy on you and crash, often.  Then again, I haven't used Mac or Windows in over 6 months at this point.  I guess I should see if those machines start!

Anyway...  Remember, folks, it is very important to be clear in what you ask for.  I can see that in learning Spanish, I get words flipped around often.  Oh and accent can be the difference between "año" (a year) and ano (something rude, butt we all have one). 

(Oooh!  I see what he's doing there!)

3 T-Rex stumbled upon a Magic Lamp and began rubbing the Lamp, summoning a Genie.

Genie: “Alright, since I can only grant 3 wishes and there are 3 of you, each of you gets 1 wish each!”

The 3 T-Rex were excited to hear the news as they were starving all day. This was their chance to feast like the kings!

T-Rex #1: “Alright, my wish is to have one big ol’ juicy piece of meat, the finest you can grant!”

The genie then granted the first T-Rex’s wish and down came one big ol’ juicy piece of meat.

The first T-Rex then realized he missed his opportunity to ask for a multitude of meats so he had to settle on just one piece of meat.

The second T-Rex realized the mistake of the first T-Rex and with that in mind, he walked up to the Genie.

T-Rex #2: “Alright, my wish is to be showered in meat, as many as possible!”

The genie then granted the second T-Rex’s wish and down came not one, but a hundreds of pieces of meat.

The second T-Rex then realized his own mistake of not asking for the juiciest and finest pieces of meat, so the second T-Rex had to settle on average tasting meat.

The third T-Rex realized the mistake of the first two and formulated his wish accordingly.

The third T-Rex thought to himself, “there’s no way I could possibly mess up like the other two.”

The third T-Rex began walking up to the Genie to ask for his wish.

T-Rex #3: “Alright, my wish is to have a meatier shower!”

Wednesday, December 5, 2018

Badblocks - Conclusively Diagnosing a Harddrive with Linux

I was presented with a computer hard drive that "died". 

Since it was a SSD and useful size of 500 GB, I really did not want to throw it out.

Step 1 was to use FSCK to check the device.  Similar to CHKDSK on windows.  The drive was clean.  fsck -y /dev/sdc1

Step 2 was to clone my existing drive to it to test whether DD would detect problems.  The drive was clean. dd if=/dev/sda of=/dev/sdc conv=noerror,sync status=progress

Step 3 was to realize there had to be a better way.


It came on my Debian distribution.  Oh and "free" since I am using Linux for everything here.  If you are running Windows or Mac, download a "live" disk of Linux, find instructions on how to boot from a live computer and give it a go. 

What it will do is conclusively, and exhaustively test a hard drive by writing a pattern to it, byte by byte.  Then badblock will compare to see if it actually wrote onto the hard drive.

The end of my story is that drive was perfect, and I recommended to the client a replacement of the computer.  They did not want the drive back, and since the computer was "past the warranty" it was recycled.

Badblock is not generally recommended to be used to do a read only test.  Everywhere I have seen suggests using badblock to destructively test a hard drive.

Warning: This will destroy any data on the drive if you use the "-w" flag. 

This is also a way to securely wipe the data since you can tell badblock to do a number of passes using the -p flag.  For 1 Pass include -p 1 in the entry.  Five passes is -p 5 .

Set aside a block of time to do this.  My drive was on USB 3.0 and it took 29 Hours to complete.  YMMV!  Use USB 3 if you can, or plug it directly into the computer.

Step 1 - Connect the offending drive into a USB drive container, plug it into the testing computer, and power it on.

Step 2 - As Root, run "dmesg" in Terminal.  It will tell you at the end that you plugged a drive into your computer, what the device name is such as /dev/sdc,  and the block size of the drive in bytes.

Step 3 - Run the command.  Running this with the "-w" flag will destroy any data on the drive.

Final Warning - RUNNING THIS COMMAND WILL DESTROY ANY DATA ON THE DRIVE.   Badblock will refuse to run if the drive is mounted, so you may have to turn the drive off, and back on, to make sure the drive is unmounted. 

The Command that will wipe all data and conclusively test the drive for me was:

badblock -w -p 1 -b 512 -c 1024 -s /dev/sdc

First, if you see the picture at the top, I should have used 512 and not 4096.  It simply means that Badblock was a bit less efficient.  See the line in the picture that starts "[224902.607064]".

Second the -c 1024 seems unnecessary since it is testing 1024 blocks at a time.  64 is default.

Third since I did not specify the "-e" flag, it was to run to finish or report an error and terminate.  That was intentional.  If you have a lot of errors already on the drive, you can estimate the errors and list them in a text file to be used in badblocks to skip those. 

If you wanted to get fancy.

Mine ran to end of job and finished with a simple "Reading and comparing: done" message.

I now have a new-to-me 500GB SSD.  Yay for me, right?

Oh and that weird "^[[15~" stuff was from when I dropped my keyboard about 6 plus hours into the whole thing.  It spewed garbage into the terminal session but kept running.

Sunday, December 2, 2018

New personal best today! Most consecutive days lived.

A tough old cowboy from Texas counseled his granddaughter that if she wanted to live a long life, the secret was to sprinkle a pinch of gun powder on her oatmeal every morning.

The granddaughter did this religiously until the age of 103, when she died.

She left behind 14 children, 30 grandchildren, 45 great-grandchildren, 25 great-great-grandchildren, and a 40-foot hole where the crematorium used to be.

A farmer was picking apples when he heard a noise from his pond. He walks over and sees three young women skinny dipping.

They notice him and crouch in the water up to their shoulders. “Go away! Stop spying on us!”

The farmer says “Sorry ladies, but I didn’t come out here to see you naked.”

Holding up his apple bucket he says “I came to feed the alligator.”

Saturday, December 1, 2018

Why has nobody invented a belt with a watch on it? Because it’d be a waist of time.

A group of vegetables were robbing a bank

A group of vegetables were robbing the Bank of America, in the beginning their theft was going well they had everything under control and were looking to end the operation as they managed to get all the money they need.

But unfortunately for them the police arrived soon after and they got into a lockdown with the robbers in the bank and the police waiting outside ready to capture.

The veggies managed to use a couple of the bank employees as hostages to make a deal with the police to let them leave the bank in turn for letting them go. So the police trying to make sure everybody is safe agreed to the veggies' deal and they got the hostages back and let them go in return.

Obviously afterwards the police trying to not let the criminals escape they began to chase the vegetables.

After a a while the police finally managed to capture the vegetables and brought them back to investigate all the group members. There were 3 of them in total, the first veggie and the guy who seemed to be leader was a cucumber after discussing with him for a bit they decided it was best to move on the the next guy as he wasn't revealing any information.

The next veggie was a tomato he seemed to be very hot headed and also very strong it was fairly obvious on why he partook in the operation but he was so angry that he wasn't saying anything.

Finally the last veggie was the spinach, he seemed fairly weak and didn't seem very intimidating so the police were very confused about why he was there and he replied

"No one expects the spinach in question."

(Ok, so if you don't get this one, Think Monty Python)