Sunday, July 21, 2019

I’m addicted to break fluid. Don’t worry, I can stop at any time.

This kind of story.  Well, of course it made me laugh, but a sly laugh.  You see, it's important to listen, no matter who or what you are or what you think you are.


After all someone may just be able to teach you something.




The DEA search an old man's farm.

A DEA agent rolls up to a farm and speaks to the old farmer: "Sir we have received an anonymous tip off that you may be storing illegal drugs on your property. I have a warrant here to search your entire farm."

The farmer replies: "This is outrageous! I'm just a poor old man trying to earn a living, I have nothing to do with drugs. Get off my property."

At this the DEA agent becomes annoyed and pulls out the warrant: "Sir this warrant allows me search this entire property, if you attempt to hinder my investigation, you will be put under arrest."

The farmer, accepting defeat, replies: "Ok fine, search all you want, I won't get in your way. Oh, but whatever you do, don't go into that far field over there."

The DEA explodes with anger at this, gets right up in the farmer's face waving his warrant: "I AM AN OFFICER OF THE LAW! THIS WARRANT GIVES ME THE POWER TO SEARCH EVERY INCH OF THIS FARM, AND THAT'S WHAT i'M GONNA DO. NOTHING CAN STOP ME!"

So the farmer gives up and lets the agent carry out his investigation. After some time the agent has searched almost all of the property and found nothing illegal. The only place left to search was the far field the farmer had warned him about. As the DEA agent is walking towards it, the old farmer chimes in again: "Officer I am only saying this for your own good, do not go into that field."

The DEA agent explodes again: "I WON'T TELL YOU AGAIN OLD MAN. I HAVE A WARRANT AND I WILL GO WHERE I WANT!"

The farmer is calm and just replies: "Ok, don't say you weren't warned."

So the DEA agent climbs the fence into the field. He searches around and again finds nothing. Determined not to be defeated, the agent walks to the very far end of the field in hopes of finding something. Seconds later the farmer sees him running back towards him in a massive panic, and the farmer knew exactly why. His massive bull Bruce lived in that field, and he was a grumpy old bull. The DEA agent shouts at the farmer: "HELP! PLEASE HELP ME!"

The farmer shouts over to him: QUICKLY!, SHOW HIM YOUR WARRANT!"

Saturday, July 20, 2019

What is an attempted murder? A very small group of crows.


I have a well earned reputation of liking jokes that are harmless, silly, and full of puns.

This is one of those stories.  Then again, it's also a long one.




A farmer named Carl finds a baby giraffe

A farmer named Carl was driving down the road when he saw a box on the side of the road. Carl pulled over and was shocked to see that inside the box there was a baby giraffe. Carl leaned down and said “holy crap, how did you get here little buddy?”. To his astonishment, the giraffe looked up and said “howdy! my name is Jerry, I’m not sure how I got here”. Carl agreed that he would take Jerry home and try to figure out where he came from and give him a place to sleep for the night.

Carl and Jerry immediately took to each other. It was clear that Jerry has suffered some type of head injury and couldn’t remember anything before Carl picking him up. Over the next few weeks, Carl helped nurse Jerry back to health, and after some deliberation, decided that he would adopt Jerry the giraffe and let him live on his farm with the other animals.

Years went by and Carl and Jerry became the best of friends. On Jerry’s 8th birthday, Carl asked Jerry what he would want to do on his birthday. Jerry decided that he had always wanted to go to the movies. Every time they had thought about going before, they declined going because of, you know, Jerrys large neck blocking everyone’s view. Carl agreed that they would get there early so they could sit in the last row and not disturb any of the other movie goers.

Before going to the movie, Carl brought out a large sheet cake to celebrate Jerry’s birthday. Jerry, who was never allowed to have cake before, immediately ate the entire cake in three quick bites. Carl was bummed that he didn’t get any cake, but cut Jerry some slack because it was his birthday and he had never had cake before. At this point, Jerry had grown quite large and Carl also quickly realized that he should have gotten a bigger cake.

Off to the movies they went, Jerry sitting on a trailer towed behind Carl’s pickup truck. Jerry had to crouch over completely to get through the front door, but just barely made it into the theater lobby. Once in the theater, Jerry got a sudden head rush from all of the sugar in the birthday cake, and began to get dizzy. He spun around several times, and flopped over the popcorn counter nearly crushing the server and breaking the glass candy display in the process.

The manager of the theater came running out after hearing the commotion. The manager looked at Carl and pointing his finger directly at Jerry said, “Sir, does this animal belong to you?”

Carl responded: “Yes, sir. His name is Jerry and this is his first time at the movies”

The manager shook his head and looking over at Jerry said “you will have to pay for a new counter, and you can’t leave that lyin around here”.

Carl replied “Oh sir, that’s not a lyin, it’s a giraffe”

Wednesday, July 17, 2019

New Black Ice Trail at Pompano Airpark

They have been working on this since April.  Planning stage was of course, before that.

But, it's finally at a point where it's interesting.  It being the trail at Pompano Airpark.

The entire trail is 4.5 miles plus another mile or so on the south side of the park that parallels the main trail. 

For a Biker, that's a bit of a short run.  I used to get in 50 miles in a workout which just was a logistic nightmare, imagine going 11 times around this little loop for a weekend excursion.

I'm surprised when I see joggers running the entire trail in the heat we get here, but then again I used to run 10K at Valley Forge National Park in Pennsylvania so I shouldn't second guess someone else's workouts.

Walkers do segments of this trail as well.  Some even the entire trail. 

I have even seen a few, very few, skateboards but this isn't really their thing.

Well good for you folks, it's a good workout.

Why is this exciting enough for me to ramble on about it? 
Why is this just so totally Droolworthy?

Think about skating in a rink.  If you're on the old school quads, it's on a rink.  Polished floors of either wood or concrete.  Flat as a plank, smooth as a pancake.

Or the other way around.

Point is that it is a very specific sort of a place.

Inline skating is done outdoors.  Usually on some truly horrendous surfaces.  Sometimes on city streets.

You really can't skate on streets in South Florida.  The cars will hunt you down for sport.  Trust me, it has happened more than once to me.

There is a scene of skating at the beach.  Personally, I can't see that, but admittedly I have a different goal when I am out.  Way too crowded, the surface is either textured concrete or bricks.  Can't get any speed out of that.

Now, consider Endurance or Distance Skating.  I used to skate 33 miles, three times a week, all at 15mph average for my workouts.  Can't really do that here. 

However with this trail, I can do some distance.  That 4.5 mile loop I was talking about.



The City of Pompano Beach decided it was time to resurface the trail.  I've skated on worse but I won't argue it could easily have been justified.  I certainly won't miss the divots caused by subsidence at the Four Mile Mark or those repaired strips under the pavement in the second mile.

They're all gone.

It's currently 2.5 miles all in one trail, plus an extra "bonus" mile on the other side of the south side of the park.

But it is smooth.  I mean SMOOTH!  As smooth as some rinks I have skated.  Polished.

Oh sure, it's flat as a pancake just like the rest of South Florida up to Titusville.  I've forgotten what it is like to skate on a hill since I moved here.  But this is like stepping onto an interstate highway after driving off road for so many years.

Must have been.  Every time I checked my heart rate while I skated it last, I was up above 180 BPM because I was skating so fast on it without thinking.



So if you do come to South Florida looking for a safer place to skate than at the beach, bring a lot of water.  They do need to get the water stops sorted out.  A part of the improvements is to add restrooms at the beginning of the trail at NE 10th and Federal Highway.

Besides, that sun is almost directly overhead and in our humidity and heat it gets difficult to make that run between the too few water stops.

But you will enjoy it.  How often do you get to skate black ice for 2.5 miles uninterrupted.

Now when they do the other two miles of the trails, it will be rather nice until the sun eats that asphalt away.

Sunday, July 14, 2019

What kind of wine comes in a Box? Cardbordeaux

Yesterday was animals, and so is today.  Dogs and Penguins!

Oh and it's a two-fer since they're both modestly sized.



A man visits the house of a new acquaintance.

In the gate to the yard there is a "Beware of Dog" sign and he starts hearing barks.
He gets in and locks the gate behind him while he hears the barks getting louder.
Looking all around him he can't see a dog so he goes to the door while the barks seem to get closer.

At the last second he sees a tiny dog where he was just about to step.
Getting in the house he asks his friend "why do you have a "Beware of Dog" sign if the dog is so small"
"Do you know how many people stepped on him before I got the sign?"





So a guy stops at a stop sign and he sees a car full of penguins next to him.

He asks 'What's up with all the penguins?'

The other guy answers, 'I don't know. I stopped at a light and then all these penguins jumped in my car. I don't know what to do with them.'

'Maybe you should take them to the zoo.'

The other guy says 'That's a great idea!' and drives off.

A week later the same guy pulled up to the same light and sees the guy from last week with his car full of penguins again.

'I thought your were going to take the penguins to the zoo?'

'I did, and we had a great time! This week were going to the beach!'

Saturday, July 13, 2019

Why do you never see Elephants hiding in trees? Because they're really good at it.



So walking through the neighborhood every day, I see a lot of dog walkers.  Some are incredibly trained - badly.  Including the Wanna-Be Dog Trainer at the end of the block whose dogs have a nasty habit of leaping the fence and coming after us.

On the other hand, I have met some incredibly well trained dogs.  Rack has a way to go, he's over eager to meet people but does not have a mean bone in his body.

I had a neighbor with a 160 pound Rottweiler that was named "D. O. G."  Yes, It's said that "Dio-Gee".  He's gone now but as a result I have good memories of the breed. 

I bet these folks have the same thing to say about Rotties.





A robber crawls through the window of an empty house.

He begins stuffing jewelry into a pillow case, but is interrupted by a voice saying "Jesus is watching you."

He is freaked out, of course, but decides that checking it out with a flashlight would attract people. He makes a vow that this will be his last job, and continues emptying the box.

"Jesus is watching you." The voice came again, even louder this time.

The robber decides he's has enough, and turns on his flashlight before sweeping it around the room. It eventually came across a beautiful parrot.

"Oi, were you the one talking?" The robber asks angrily.

"Yes. My name is Moses." The parrot replies.

The robber begins to laugh at the absurdity of the situation. "What kind of people name their parrot Moses?"

"The same kind who name their rottweiler Jesus."

Wednesday, July 10, 2019

Banana Leaves With A Side of Sparkle

6 months of Desert, 6 months of torrential rain.

That's our climate.  I did see a map once that said that Fort Lauderdale and coastal Broward County are considered a Rainforest Climate according to the Koppen criteria.

It never freezes here, but it gets damn close.

The rains just finally opened up this week.  They got so strong and so commonplace, even though they're late, that my dog is going through Panic Attacks going out at night.

I will say that it's probably due to the combination of Rain, Thunder, and Fireworks that happen this week.  If I had a place way out away from everyone, we would be there.

The nice thing is that when you get up in the morning, the world is washed clean.  You have the streets scoured of anything that was killed on them over the last few months, the dust runs off to the soil, and the air smells cleaner than usual.

Where I am, 2 1/2 miles or about 4 K from the ocean, there isn't much pollution coming from the east.  What we do get are dust clouds from the Sahara Desert.

Seriously. 

As in every time I take the Jeep out I have to hose it down.

As in I just spent an hour dusting the room divider of that stuff.

Going out into the morning makes you see why things are green and lush.  My plants are loving this weather.  I'm liking going out after a rain storm and seeing temperatures edging down towards what passes for cool here.

The plants are dusted clean, and usually there's a mist covering their leaves.

That is what caught my eye.  I was walking around my yard picking up things.  In the corner of my eye, my Banana Tree sparkled this morning.  Like one of those cartoons when you see things cleaned and you hear "ping ping PING!".

The leaves were misted with tiny jewels of water droplets.  Each droplet catching the light like a band of that reflective paint.  Some bending the light and giving me a show.

I've said it before, if you look, you can even find beauty in your own back yard and in your own pots.

In this case, I caught it, even if it did have to be enhanced by the sun in the golden hour after sunrise.

Sunday, July 7, 2019

How do you confuse an idiot? Purple!


A Sunday School Story for Sunday?  Yes, sometimes I actually hit the right day for these things.  I will say I consider myself fortunate to never have experienced that particular form of Indoctrination personally.


But it is a cute story nonetheless.




A little boy came home with his parents from church one Sunday. He seemed a little depressed, so his mother asked him if something happened in Sunday school class that he would like to talk about.

He told his mother “Well, we were singing songs and the teacher made us sing about a poor bear named Gladly that needed glasses and I can’t stop thinking about him.
She said he was cross-eyed and I feel bad for him.

The mother couldn’t understand why the teacher would teach such a song in Sunday school, so she decided to call her.

To the woman’s amazement, the teacher said she only taught hymns that morning.
Then the teacher began laughing out loud and said to the mother, “I know what Jeffrey’s’ talking about! We learned the hymn ‘Gladly The Cross I’d Bear'”.

Saturday, July 6, 2019

When chemists die they Barium.

While this is a "Wife" joke, and there are far too many of them, I have always appreciated what I associate with Jewish Humor.  There's a certain cadence and rhythm to the joke and a certain understated playfulness in this one.

Or not.  Maybe I'm wrong.  Couldn't hurt to tell a joke, right?    Like the line about Chicken Soup for a cold:  Doesn't help, couldn't hurt.





































































An elderly couple had traveled to Jerusalem.

During their travel to Jerusalem, the wife had suddenly died of heart attack.

The doctor told the husband, "It will cost roughly $100,000 for you to bring your wife back to your own country and hold a funeral there or $100 dollars to hold a funeral here in Jerusalem. Which one do you chose?"

The husband, after hours of thinking, replied to the doctor.

"I will bring her back to my county and bury her there."

The doctor who is surprised at such choice despite the cost, asked the husband why.

The husband replied, "Some long haired dude died here long time ago and came back to life in 3 days, and I'm afraid of, that."


Wednesday, July 3, 2019

Welcome to Florida, we have overly friendly wildlife.

The first time wildlife encountered me was in my very own backyard.

I've been fascinated by the various lizards that roam around the place here.  Standing in the yard I spotted a rather common lizard.  Something scared it.

Might have been me, I have that effect on some people, and some wildlife.

Might not have been.

The lizard ran onto my shoe, then right up my leg.

And up the pant leg.

I've heard of ants in my pants but never a lizard on my lizard.

I've had posionous toads hop onto my foot while I was picking up after my dog.

I've had more Iguanas turn up in the Bougainvillias and Hibiscus in the yard than I care to count.

Nasty creatures, Iguanas.  No reason for them to be here at all.

Seventeen Ducks making more ducks on my front porch.

This was a much more gentle encounter.

A normal five in the evening Dog Walk.  It's been really quite intensely hot.  90 to 95 in brilliant sun.

Walking around the block and heading toward home, a "something" fluttered around my head and landed on my friend's arm.

A rather beautiful Butterfly.  Mostly black winged, some iridescent blue spots.

Basic Black.  Everyone looks better in basic black.

Being a butterfly, it was completely harmless, and it paid a rather long visit walking around my friends T-shirt, up one arm, down the other and hanging out.

As soon as it started it was over when the little creature went on its way.

I guess it wanted a bit of a rest.

Sunday, June 30, 2019

Why do the shoes always lose?! Because of defeat!

Sunday Morning.  Banging my head against Spanish tests on line.  It gets frustrating if the "construct" isn't explained easily enough that you can grasp it.


You know.  It's not Why Can't Johnny Learn, but more like Why Can't The Teacher Make Themselves Understood.

So that may be a bit harsh, but I needed a break.  Screaming at the computer does not help...

But laughing at it does.  








A priest, pastor, and clergyman are sitting in a boat, fishing.

Around 7p.m. , it starts to get dark and the three have to get to shore.
Unfortunately , they hit a rock while rowing back and the boat springs a leak.
The 3 begin sinking.

The clergyman and priest begin freaking out, but then the pastor says, "guys, relax! We have faith in Jesus, remember?
If we pray to Jesus with true faith that Jesus will protect us, we can walk on water!"

The pastor prays, and then gets out of the boat.
The priest and clergyman watch in awe as he walks across the water and safely reaches the shore.

The priest says, "If God protected him, He will protect me, too!".
He prays, and proceeds to exit the boat and walk safely across the water to join the pastor on the shore.

The clergyman says, "Well, if they can do it, I can do it too!".
So he prays, and gets out of the boat, only to begin sinking.

As the priest and pastor watch the clergyman's head become surrounded by water, they look at each other and the pastor asks a single question.

"Do you think we should have told him where the rocks were?"


Saturday, June 29, 2019

A family member told me that my sausage puns are dreadful but I've told wurst.

See here's the thing.  That phrase You Are What You Eat is becoming more and more proven as we go on.  Food here in the US is generally free of strange accidental things like bugs and dirt, but unfortunately is chock full of sugar and artificial chemicals. 



So either make your own from safe ingredients, or suffer the consequences.

Just like this person here.








My friend has intestinal problems.

However, he's found that eating certain kinds of food helps. Normally, he keeps them all to himself, but the other day he got really sick and had nothing to eat, so I offered to pick him up some groceries.

"Sure thing... Could you get some apples, beans, and alphabet soup?"

Now, apples and beans I'd heard help with his particular set of problems, but the soup was news to me. I didn't comment on it at time, though, since I figured he probably just wanted something quick to eat that wouldn't hurt his intestines.

So I go to the store, pick up these groceries, and drive them straight to his house. I go in to set them down, and he immediately asks for some of the soup. I figure the poor guy must be starving, so I go ahead and heat some up and bring it to him.

Soon as I do, be chugs it down and immediately runs off to the bathroom. When he comes back, he tells me he's feeling much better.

"Great news, but how did that work?"

"Ah, turns out I just needed a good vowel movement."

Wednesday, June 26, 2019

The Square Pot, Or How Eric's Planter is Becoming A Herb Farm

A while back, a local friend, Eric, gave me a bunch of planters.

He was moving from his apartment only a few blocks away to another one a little further out.  That old place had a patio area where he could have his planters, and raised an interesting collection of flowers and milkweed. 

I also got most of his milkweed and it's out in my backyard under various cover so that some gets eaten to sticks by hungry Monarch Butterflies, but not all of it.

He did have this one nicer planter.  It is a square on top, almost a cube.  He wanted it back once he landed and since I have the room, I was going to hang onto it for him when he came calling for it.

I did wait a while, but he never asked for it back after settling in.

Typical to my own quirky behavior, if I have a spare planter, it will get used.

I moved it out to my front porch and clipped a few cuttings off my Ruellia.  I have rather a lot of Ruellia, and it does spread somewhat, so there's a small background noise of me cutting plants and debating Throw Or Cut.

This was one of those days.  Smiling I said "Lets make a planter for Eric". 

Ruellia Cuttings will mope and look dead or dying for a month but almost always snap back alive with generous watering.  Just snip the cutting below a knuckle where the leaves come out and you're golden.  The Ruellia was only planted on one half of the planter and I was going to put something else in there.

Basil.  I have a lot of the stuff, and as a result I also have a lot of seeds.  Two weeks later the Basil has started to sprout.

Mind you, I wandered out there looking over the pot a morning later and was having breakfast.  Some Canteloupe with seeds fell out of the bowl and landed in a corner.  Weirdly, the Canteloupe sprouted.

I really have no idea if I will manage to get anything out of the Canteloupe but this weird little garden will be in that spot for a while.   If the vines do grow up and out of the pot, I can let them grow into my garden in front of it.

This all comes from the theory of when something nice happens, even for a small while, do something nice in return.

The other day I contacted Eric and told him this story and he generously told me to keep it as he doesn't have space.

It's taken root here I guess, purple flowers blooming every single day and the Basil that was meant to go into someone else's tomato sauce will go into mine. 

Who doesn't like Fresh Basil!?

So Thanks, Eric, I'm out to put more cuttings in that pot. 

Sunday, June 23, 2019

I got a new dry erase board at work. It's remarkable!

You really do have to be careful when you speak. 


While I try, I have managed to confuse myself in two languages.

This is one of those stories.





Two students are late for school, so their teacher sends them to the principal's office.

The first boy enters and sits down. The principal asks him why he was late, to which the boy responds, "I was throwing sticks in the lake." The principal, new at the school, thinks to himself, "Boy, this school sure is strict - that's not really worth an offense worth going to the principal's office over. Heck, I loved doing things like that when I was a kid!" Pretending to be dead serious so that the boy might shape up a little, he slowly says, "Well, knock it off and get to class on time from now on. You won't get off as easy if I see you back in here after this." The boy furiously nods his head and practically sprints out of the office.

As soon as the door closes, the other boy comes in after him and sits down in front of the principal's desk. The principal asks him why he's late, and he gives the exact same response - he was throwing sticks in the lake. A bit annoyed now, but understanding that the boys were just enjoying themselves together, and reminiscing on his own youth, the principal tells him, "I'll let you off the hook this time, but go to class and come to school on time. You're here to learn - don't squander your opportunities by goofing off." The student, now red in the face, gives a faint "Yes" and leaves the office. Satisfied, the principal smiles, leans back in his chair, and thinks to himself, "These kids aren't so bad. I think I'll like it here."

No sooner than the instant he finishes that thought, the door swings open for a third time, and a boy who looks to be about as old as the other two slowly walks into the office, soaking wet, completely disheveled and tracking mud everywhere he steps. He gets to the chair the other students sat at before him, angrily grumbles to himself, and sits down in a huff, furiously staring at the tiled floor. The principal, a bit fed up at this point, but still not wanting to be overly harsh, jokingly says, "Let me guess: throwing sticks in the lake with your friends, and you bit off a little more than you could chew?"

The boy, seething, snaps, "No - I'm Sticks."

Saturday, June 22, 2019

A toothpick saw a hedgehog. “Oh wow, a bus.” It says.

See, when you need help, sometimes you just get someone to show up just at the nick of time.




So my mom decided to sell her house, but she’d always promised she’d get the boulder out of her front yard.

It was an eyesore, but she couldn’t handle it herself. I was still in college, so on a long weekend, I loaded all the guys I could in my car, drove the 11 hours home.

We borrowed a truck, backed it right up, and tried to lift it. We couldn’t move it.

So I called in all the old high school friends I could reach. It still wouldn’t budge.

So we get scientific, try to wedge a metal beam from the garage under it, and slip an old tool chest in as a fulcrum, hoping to pry it loose.

The beam bends, and the tool chest actually snaps.

By now, it’s been a few hours, most of the group is ready to give up, and the pizza and drinks I’d offered and running out, when I see Nate pull in next door.
He was our neighbor’s son, rarely showed up to visit her, but felt like a godsend at that moment.

I convinced myself one more man would make a difference, which seems a little less crazy when you know Nate.
He’s 6’8", and pure muscle.
He holds back when shaking hands so he doesn’t hurt people, and still feels like he’s going to crush you hand.
He grabbed me by the arm to pull me out of the way of a speeding car once, and they had to put the arm in a cast, because his grip broke it.
Saved my life at least.
Plus, Nate is a landscaper, and I figured he might have trick to help us.

So I thought with everyone and Nate, we got this. I ask Nate for help with the boulder, start waving everyone else over.

Only Nate doesn’t wait for us.

He just grabs the boulder and pops it up into the truck.

And that’s how I learned a valuable lesson: better Nate than lever.

Wednesday, June 19, 2019

Meet Mothra, My Mystery Moth

I keep telling those folks Up North that Florida has weird wildlife.

Ball Pythons and other snakes in the Everglades.
Iguanas grazing in my backyard.
Those damn Muscovy Ducks all over the place.

This is much more benign.

I've grown accustomed to seeing large flocks of birds around town.  Green parrots shrieking at Dawn and Sunset call to flock.  Flocks of white Snowy Egrets hunting for grubs in the yards around here and sometimes standing on the roof of a car from time to time. 

So when I see large things flapping around my front yard, I tend to only give them passing notice. 

It rained for a couple days straight this week.  The first sunny day we have Zebra Mosquitoes that can carry you off.  The second one it's the dance of the Dragonflies that dine on those evil creatures.  All the while it's Zebra and Swallowtail Butterflies and my Monarch Butterflies dining on the flowers.

This was a bit of a shock.

Moths in my mind are wee little coin sized creatures.   They silently fly around eating things that they can get at but are never too numerous.  It isn't a case of running for the hills, it's more like, "Oh. There's a Moth."

I thought there was yet-another bird confused and fluttering on the front porch. 

Nope.  I finally looked up from my Big Green Chair where I was practicing my Spanish and taking tests and I saw this total Unit of a Moth.

I mean huge.

As in the size of your hand.  Flip your hand over and look at the palm.  Then have your fingers touch each other at the outstretched flat tips. 

Six inches, 15 CM of absolute moth. 

I have never seen a beast like this.

I allowed its privacy while it could probably see me.

Buenos tardes, senor, como estas?
Good afternoon Mr Moth.

Or Mrs, I don't know how to tell.

I did get curious, so next trip off my perch, I walked out front with the camera and did the tourist thing.

It visited me for a day and a half and one moment it was gone.  Flapped its bird sized wings and flew off into the Florida Sunset.

Sipping my Iced Tea.  "Weird freaky wildlife we've got here.  Most of it is introduced.  That's a story for another day."

Sunday, June 16, 2019

Why can’t a bicycle stand on its own ? Because it’s two tired.

After a burglary a store owner calls the police. After they arrive one officer takes the owner aside to ask about what happened:

"How tall was the perp'", the officer asked. "He was about six foot", the owner replied.

"Did he have any distinguishing characteristics?" "Well, he did have a large mole on his cheek."

"Interesting. What was he wearing?" "He was wearing a suit."

"A suit, you say? What was his demeanor like?", the officer continued. "I can't really say."

Suddenly the officer got out his ticket book. "I hate to do this, but I'm going to have to write you a ticket."

"Why?" The store owner looked at him in shock.

"Well, it's the missed demeanor of course."




And two Boomerang one liners since I don't know what to do with them!


What do you call a boomerang that doesn't come back?  A stick.
One day I forgot how to throw a boomerang but then it hit me!

Saturday, June 15, 2019

What do you call a confused pig? Hamboozled.

Sitting watching an early morning rain,  wondering if the city will get its Pride celebration off the ground or will it be washed out.




Not that you have to be involved at any level but when a Pride Celebration is scheduled for a place just two blocks away from your living room, you will have a party. 



Or you just can sit in and let others have fun.



As for me, I have been tasked with making Lunch today, so it's going to be a very very busy day.  

...If I can get that dough started!

Whatever you do today, hopefully it will be Positive, Uplifting, and Proud.  

Enjoy yourself, no matter what.




Three men walking in a desert

Three men are walking in a desert when they stumble across a wizard next to a magical slide ‘Slide down this ride shout out the name of your favorite drink’ the wizard commands

The three men question his logic but never the less the first man climbs to the top of the slide and begins to slide down ‘Coke’ the man shouts and to his amazement he winds up in a pool of coke The second man is already at the top as he slides down he yells ‘Fanta’ and he too ends up in a pool of his favorite beverage.

The last man is up at the top of the slide is is a lot dumber then his comrades and is known for being idiotic sooooo when he is sliding down forgetting about what he is doing and enjoying himself he screams ‘weeeeeeeeeee’

Splash!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Well I don’t know what you were expecting

Wednesday, June 12, 2019

Raspberry Pi - How to clone your boot chip and backup your system

Basically, I came to the conclusion that I needed to use my Linux Desktop to do a clone of my Raspberry Pi.  Windows has different tools, Mac has some of the same tools and I believe dd is available under terminal. 

I'm not a Mac or Windows Guy, I use Debian Linux, exclusively.

The lay of the land is
  • Host Computer running Linux
  • Sufficient space on the internal hard drive
  • A chip reader to connect the chip to the USB chain of the host computer

So you have a credit card sized computer.  The little computer that could.

You decided to do some things to it and perhaps got your feet wet using Linux.

Good for you.  That's one good use for a Raspberry Pi.

It's a machine that is best used for learning.  Doing weird projects like you see all over the place. 

I have the second "use case" for it here.  It's a great Print Server.  I turn it on, my Linux desktop sees it, and I can print to it.

All that requires some customization of the machine, installing CUPS, maybe some other things like using it as a small data server with SAMBA.

You got your machine stable but did you back it up?

After all, if you're playing with RTL-SDR and want to look at some amateur radio using the Pi to serve the radio out from where the antenna is, it will take more customization that you won't want to lose.

Ok, so since the Raspberry Pi can run off a couple rechargeable batteries or a wall wart, it's getting put out in the shed and is now nice and stable but the second situation comes to mind for backing it up.

Debian and Raspbian will be upgraded to the next version "very soon".  There's no rush for that, the old stable will be maintained for a few years, I mean Linux isn't managed like Windows is, is it?

Even though the next version, Testing, is stable enough to use as a daily driver like I do, you really do want to back that machine before you upgrade in case you do it wrong.

One final reason to back up is that the Raspberry Pi occasionally corrupts the litlle SDHC chip that has the Operating System on it due to static electricity, power pops and so forth.  That is how the hardware is constructed, you can't avoid power instability without filters or battery backups.

Get the picture?

Here is how I do a backup, and when I am done, I have an .ISO file that I can write out to a different chip.

  • First shut down and power off the Pi.
  • Remove the Pi's Boot Chip and put it in your USB Chip Reader.
  • Make sure your Linux Host Computer is turned on, and booted.
  • Navigate to the directory you want to store your .ISO image with Terminal under Root.
  • Plug the USB Chip Reader with the chip into the USB Port.
  • From the Root Prompt run "dmesg".  dmesg will scroll very quickly all the console information, but what you are looking for is a message that says that you plugged in something to /dev/sdb or similar.  In my case, it came up on /dev/sdd .  The messages that I got when I plugged the chip in are below.
[132387.203934] usb 3-2: new SuperSpeed Gen 1 USB device number 8 using xhci_hcd
[132387.224573] usb 3-2: New USB device found, idVendor=05e3, idProduct=0749, bcdDevice=15.32
[132387.224577] usb 3-2: New USB device strings: Mfr=3, Product=4, SerialNumber=2
[132387.224579] usb 3-2: Product: USB3.0 Card Reader
[132387.224580] usb 3-2: Manufacturer: Generic
[132387.224582] usb 3-2: SerialNumber: 000000001532
[132387.227673] usb-storage 3-2:1.0: USB Mass Storage device detected
[132387.263161] scsi host2: usb-storage 3-2:1.0
[132388.282897] scsi 2:0:0:0: Direct-Access     Generic  STORAGE DEVICE   1532 PQ: 0 ANSI: 6
[132388.286984] sd 2:0:0:0: Attached scsi generic sg3 type 0
[132388.679099] sd 2:0:0:0: [sdd] 31116288 512-byte logical blocks: (15.9 GB/14.8 GiB)
[132388.679447] sd 2:0:0:0: [sdd] Write Protect is off
[132388.679450] sd 2:0:0:0: [sdd] Mode Sense: 21 00 00 00
[132388.679775] sd 2:0:0:0: [sdd] Write cache: disabled, read cache: enabled, doesn't support DPO or FUA
[132388.686945]  sdd: sdd1 sdd2 < sdd5 sdd6 sdd7 >
[132388.688860] sd 2:0:0:0: [sdd] Attached SCSI removable disk


  • The command to do the backup is a simple dd command.  This command will be creating a file called raspberrypibackup.iso in the present working directory.  Assuming your linux host saw the USB stick as /dev/sdb the command is following:

          dd if=/dev/sdb of=raspberrypibackup.iso conv=noerror,sync status=progress

Really that is it.  Just issue that command, walk away.  It took about an hour for me to do this al, plenty of time to do something else.

Or just go have a coffee.

When it is complete you will have your backup ISO and you can copy that back out to a chip or just leave the file on your hard disc as an archive.

The restore is the same dd command with the if and of parameters swapped:

          dd if=raspberrypibackup.iso of=/dev/sdb conv=noerror,sync status=progress

Sunday, June 9, 2019

Two men walk into a bar. You would think the second one would have seen it coming.





Love Drunk People

A man and his wife are awakened at 3 a.m. by a loud pounding on the door. The man gets up and goes to the door where a drunken stranger, standing in the pouring rain, is asking for a push.

'Not a chance,' says the husband 'it's three in the morning!' He slams the door and returns to bed.

'Who was that?' asks his wife.

'Just some drunk guy asking for a push,' he answers.

'Did you help him?' she asks.

'No, I did not, its three in the morning and its pouring with rain out there!'.

'Well you do have a short memory,' says his wife. 'Cant you remember about three months ago when we broke down, and those two guys helped us? I think you should help him, and you should be ashamed of yourself!'

The man does as he is told, gets dressed, and goes out into the pouring rain.

He calls out into the dark, 'Hello, are you still there?'

'Yes,' comes back the answer.

'Do you still need a push?' calls out the husband.

'Yes, please!' comes the reply from the dark.

'Where are you?' asks the husband.

'Over here on the swing,' replies the drunk.

Saturday, June 8, 2019

A family member told me that my sausage puns are dreadful but I've told wurst.

I can't think of a better topic for today.  Lunch I will be grilling some Sweet Italian Sausage.  Pork of course. 

Like Anthony Bourdain says, Pork is a gift from God.


Now Hiring

A dog sees a "Now hiring" poster outside of a computer store. The poster reads:
"Must be able to type. Must be able to program. And must be bilingual. We are an equal opportunity employer."


The dog takes the poster in his mouth, and walks in. The manager spots the dog, and decides to humour it, pulling up a chair and a computer with a word processor. "Alright, if you want to work here, you need to first write a letter," and leaves the room.

30 minutes later, he comes back in, and the dog has typed out a completely error-free letter.

"Well, I'll be. This is a smart dog. But can he program?" he asks himself.
20 minutes pass, and the dog has made a perfectly running website for the store.

He looks, shocked, at the dog, and finally speaks. "Look, I know you have the qualifications, but, well... you're a dog."
The dog nudges the words "We are an equal opportunity employer." on the poster, and the manager sighs.

"There's no way you're bilingual."
The dog looks him in the eyes, and says, "Meow."

Wednesday, June 5, 2019

Radar O'Reilly Taught Me, I Taught My Dog Rack

Back when it was on the first time, it was a massively popular TV show.

Even today it is heavily watched on some of those channels that specializes in old shows.

The last episode of MASH was watched by half of the TVs tuned at the moment.  If your neighbor was watching something else, you were watching MASH.

I watched a fair amount of the show over the years.  I had friends who were active duty military, and one in specific that served in Korea.  I couldn't tell you what he did over there since he closed up when he came home.  He told me very clearly that there was an ongoing "shooting war" over there at the time, but it isn't publicized.

I did watch enough MASH to have picked up some of the jargon of the shows, and use some of it to this day.  If something looks confused I quote Radar O'Reilly by saying "It doesn't look like Mom's Nash".

One other thing I got in the habit of saying was "Incoming!" when someone was approaching.  The house, me, doesn't matter.  I'd fire off "Incoming" and usually whoever I was with would realize that we're about to be joined.

Well.  That someone does not have to be two legged.

Rack.  My "Respect The Process" furry tape recorder who knows that I am going out to the back yard at 7:30 AM for Yard Inspection because I either move my feet from the ottoman or I put the wireless keyboard on the table.  He's learned the secret of "Incoming!".

Actually he's learned all too well.

You see if I say "Incoming!" He trots over to the large hurricane glass front door window and starts grumbling if he sees someone.   If he likes the person, or dog, he'll stand there and whine or wag his tail.

It's become a game.   Not teasing the dog, that is, but seeing just exactly what he will go on alert at the front door with.

Sure, Radar has trained me, and I have trained the dog, but the dog has also trained us back.

I've learned that if I say Hello like I'm actually greeting someone at the door, he does an Incoming! alert regardless.

Too bad because I have a habit of talking at my computer as well and Rack isn't that selective.

Incoming!, Hello, OK, Who's that?, and quite a few others will get him up off his mat and to the door.  Just don't use those words in conversation, especially if he's asleep.

So the other night I was actually watching MASH.  We found it, and are watching the series from Season 1 Episode 1, at the rate of a couple episodes a week.

In the very first episode though, Hilarity Ensued.

Out on the street in front of the house was someone walking their dog, and someone else across the street.  Rack didn't know any of them.

He didn't care, he had fallen asleep, next to my chair.  The picture of Domestic Bliss, I sat on my big green chair in the corner of the room, and Rack snored.

As the show introduced characters, Radar O'Reilly was there, and said "Incoming!".  As they explained on the TV what that meant to them, get ready for incoming choppers and some busy hours, My Dog Went into Action.

Dingus.

He stood up, and went on full alert, barking the sleep away.

"WOO WOO WOO..."
I said, laughing, "Rack, Shaddap, go look!"

He ripped tires across the living room scrabbling for purchase and traction.  Four paws does not mean Four Wheel Drive sure footedness.

He collided with the coffee table, knocking a few papers into the air.

At this point we were all just kind of in shock laughing away as he slipped around to the door.  It was really only about a few heartbeats.

The Choppers were landing, Hawkeye and Trapper John were getting prepped for surgery.

Rack spotted the Interlopers, and went full stupid.

"WOO WOO WOO..."
I said "Damnit, you're a McNab not a yapper, shaddap!"

He started to calm down to a grumble with "MROWMROWmrow mlum mlum" coming from the front door.

The people on the street looked at the door from 50 feet off or so confused as to why he was being so radical, and began to disperse.

"Rack, Enough!"

He finally went quiet and off to the mat to repeat.

All this because a 30 or so year old TV show went to make a plot point.

So I'll ask you.  If you do come by for a visit, try not to use "Incoming!".  Or "Hello" or "OK"...

Or never mind, he's got to learn not to overreact.

But that Doorbell?  It's off limits, OK?

"WOO WOO WOO!!!!"


Sunday, June 2, 2019

What type of tea is not in outer space? Gravitea!

This is one of those stories that I was told years ago.  I am pretty sure it was told by a teacher in the university trying to explain something deep to us and realizing he was losing us, he segued into this story.




But yes, it's a good point.



First-year students at Med School were receiving their first anatomy class with a real dead human body.

They all gathered around the surgery table with the body covered with a white sheet. The professor started the class by telling them,

"In medicine, it is necessary to have 2 important qualities as a doctor: The first is that you not be disgusted by anything involving the human body." As an example, the Professor pulled back the sheet, stuck his finger in the butt of the corpse, withdrew it, and stuck his finger in his mouth.

Go ahead and do the same thing," he told his students. The students freaked out, hesitated for several minutes, but eventually took turns sticking a finger in the butt of the dead body and sucking on it.

When everyone finished, the Professor looked at them and told them: "The second most important quality is observation. I stuck in my middle finger and sucked on my index finger.

Now, "LEARN TO PAY ATTENTION!"

Saturday, June 1, 2019

Do you want to be successful in life . . . . Read More.

I have to say these two came out of left field.


First off, I am or will be okay.

I had a terrible accident yesterday after work, but I am doing better now.
I decided to go horseback riding, which I haven't done in quite a while.
Well, I got on the horse and started out slow, and then we went a little faster, and then we were going as fast as the horse could go.
All of a sudden I fell off and caught my foot in the stirrup and the horse was dragging me around in a circle.
It wouldn't stop, it just kept going around and around.
Thank goodness the store manager at K-Mart came out and unplugged the carousel.


Furthermore....


A man goes to get a haircut, and the barber starts to make friendly conversation with him.
Barber: So the other day, I was mowing the lawn because my kid was at work and couldn’t do it. My neighbor was taking a walk, and came up to me and we started talking.

Neighbor: It’s a nice day out, isn’t it?
Barber: Yeah, but it’s a little harder to enjoy because I’m a bit sweaty. I’ve been mowing the lawn for about 4 hours now.

Neighbor: But your yard isn’t even that big, how does it take you that long?
Barber: Well, to be fair, I can only use one shaver at a time.

Wednesday, May 29, 2019

Hotteoks Or Korean Donuts in the Park for After An Inline Skate Workout

Yeah.  I'm an Outlier.

One of those people who enjoys something you personally don't or something you don't expect that person should.

You know, the one person who listens to Classic Obscure Disco but not Bee Gees or Donna Summer in 2019.

Who is inline skating and regularly has workouts that burn a measured 1600 calories.

I'm the guy who prefers food from other cultures as well.

Heck, I'm driving a 16 year old Manual Transmission Jeep Wrangler because I LIKE it!

I could go on but I wear that Outlier tag with pride.

The thing is that I went out skating and found that while I was burning all those calories, I needed something to bring my blood sugar back to normal quickly.

So I made Korean Donuts again.  Hotteoks.  Again.

I think it is safe to say that I was probably the only person in my city plus some of the surrounding cities who makes these things.

I had "extra dough" when I was making Pizza for Memorial Day, so I thought this would be a perfect time to tame the Post Workout Blood Sugar Crash.  After all, food left in the car has to be temperature stable, won't spoil, won't spill, and so forth.

"Energy Bars" would work but they're usually chock full of weird preservatives to make them "Shelf Stable".

Hotteoks could sit on my Jeep's passenger seat inside a plastic bag with my Skates and Pads while I go to my workout, and wait for when I need them there or inside my pack.

If you reduce it to the absolute minimum it's a Cinnamon and Brown Sugar filling inside of a dough ball that is pressed into an oiled skillet until it is cooked, then flipped.  Two ingredients.

Sure, the dough has to be a good one.  Like almost everything here, I use my sister's Pizza Dough recipe that is linked here.   I made that recipe on the dough cycle of my bread maker with 10 ounces of water.

The filling was a "common" teaspoon of packed Brown Sugar plus 1/2 measured Cinnamon. Cinnamon Sugar is traditional but you can use Jelly or Custard if you wish.

Consider it a way to make a Hot Pocket and stuff it with Pizza Fillings or your favorite Sandwich Fillings.   PB&J anyone?

I'm getting ahead of myself here.

Process:
  1. Line a cookie sheet with aluminum foil.
  2. Oil the cookie sheet so that the dough balls will not stick.
  3. Prepare your Pizza Dough.  Pat's Pizza Dough works well in a Bread Machine.  
  4. Divide the Pizza Dough into eight pieces.  This was 90 grams or about 3 ounces measured.
  5. Roll each piece of dough into a ball, then flatten to a palm sized disc.
  6. Spoon into the center of each dough disc One Teaspoon of Brown Sugar.
  7. Spoon on top of the Brown Sugar 1/2 Teaspoon of Cinnamon.
  8. Turn the Hotteok into a dumpling by pinching the sides closed and rotating. 
  9. Set the Hotteok onto the oiled cookie sheet with the pinched side down.
  10. Oil a skillet generously and heat to Medium.
  11. Put the Hotteok down onto the oil and press down with an oiled spatula allowing it to spread out.
  12. Cook the Hotteok until it is golden brown, then flip and repeat until both sides are done.
  13. Re-oil the spatula and skillet as needed and repeat for the rest of the Hotteoks.

Enjoy while warm or reheat in the microwave!

Oh and have a good workout, meet me on the trails and I'll tell you the story of when ...

Sunday, May 26, 2019

Just found out I've got a twin brother... I'm beside myself.

See, this is the kind of thing I would have done.  It's my weird sense of humor.

Little Johnny

Little Johnny’s next door neighbor had a baby. Unfortunately, the little baby was born with no ears. When they arrived home from the hospital, the parents invited Little Johnny’s family to come over and see their new baby.

Little Johnny’s parents were very afraid their son would have a wise crack to say about the baby. So, Little Johnny’s dad had a long talk with Little Johnny before going to the neighbors. He said, “Now, son…that poor baby was born without any ears. I want you to be on your best behavior and not say one word about his ears, or I’m really going to spank your butt when we get back home.” I promise not to mention his ears at all,” said Little Johnny.

At the neighbors home, Little Johnny leaned over the crib and touched the baby’s hand. He looked at it’s mother and said, “Oh, what a beautiful little baby!” The mother, who had braced herself for Johnny’s comment, was pleasantly surprised and said, “Thank you very much, Little Johnny.” He then said,” This baby has perfect little hands and perfect little feet.

Why, just look at his pretty little eyes! Did his doctor say he can see good? The mother a bit bewildered, hesitantly replies “Why, yes… his doctor said he has 20/20 vision, why do you ask?”

Little Johnny said, “Well, it’s a good thing, cause he’d be stuffed if he needed to wear glasses.”

Saturday, May 25, 2019

If life gives you melons... You're probably dyslexic.

A clean joke that is a bit edgy?  Oh yeah, just read on!




An old lady decides to go to the new butcher shop that just opened in town

So she walks in, the butcher welcomes her with a big smile

- "Welcome, what can I do for you today"

- "I'll need 400 grams of ham please"

The butcher goes to his ham, get his chopper, does a clear cut in one go, put it on the scale : 400.0g. The old lady says :

- "You got lucky here"

- "Please ma'am, I'm a professional"

- "Ok then, next I'd like 582 grams of lamb leg."

The butcher smiles, goes to the lamb legs, chose one, rise his chopper and BAM, clear cut, put on the scale : 582g.

The old lady is impressed. At this moment, a man runs in the chop with a newborn in his arms and says :

- "My wife just gave birth in the car, and we need to know how much the baby weighs..."

- "I'd say 3.451 kg" says the butcher.

- " No he is much smaller than that, I'd say 2.9kg max" replies the old lady.

So the butcher offers : "We'll ask my apprentice to weigh the baby on our high precision scale, if he is under 3kg, you'll get your meat for free. That way it will be fair"
He calls his apprentice from the back and asks him to take the baby to the scale outback and come back with his weight.

The apprentice takes the baby and goes to the back shop. He comes back 5 min later and says
- "882 grams !"

So everybody is like "Wait that's impossible"
- "I swear ! 882 grams, emptied and boned !"

Wednesday, May 22, 2019

A Smart Dog to Knows What To Do With a Drunk

There is just something about having a smart breed of dog.

No matter what, they learn. If you allow them to, they will learn you.  They will focus on you like a laser.  They're adaptable.

When I got my dog, Rack the McNab SuperDog (TM), his spirit was crushed.

His fear level was over the top, and the first time I ever moved a trash can with him along, he flattened on the ground and shivered.

He's past that, well past that.

In fact he did something I saw my Lettie, the McNab and Border Collie cross do before him that shows just how well they watch.

You see, there are some breeders of dogs that have a closed mind.  A dog is for a task they will tell you.  If you don't exhibit what their definition of that task is, then they won't recommend that dog to you and may not sell you the dog.

Many herding breed dog breeders are that way.  I don't agree with that at all.

Yes, a herding breed dog needs a job.  Actually, scratch that, ALL dogs need a job.  After all, deep down, a dog is a wolf in fancy clothes.

In our case, Rack's job is me.  He treats me as a pack leader, or rather his pack leader, and his job is to watch over and support me in what I do.

Never sell a dog short, because if it does not live up to your expectations, it's probably because you aren't making your needs understood.

I'm at the point where if I speak to him in English, I simply expect him to understand.  I just have to make sure I use what I personally consider Dog Command Words and he will get them right.

He also speaks English.  As in, if I am saying to someone that I want to go to a specific place next, he goes there without being directed.

I was out walking him and we needed newspapers.  I said "Lets go to the drive and get them then".

He did.  No muss and no fuss.

One of his favorite things in the world is a Ride In The Car!  As in I can't say it strongly enough in text how much he likes a Ride in The Car.  He loses his mind.  I have to tell him "Sorry, you get to stay home and watch the house, Rack" to get him to calm down if he is not coming along.  Otherwise he does "math" to figure out whether he's included if I go out.

The other morning, we went out for a walk an hour before sunrise.  That's normal.  I have a set route.  I have a set routine.  We know it well.  If I say "you need your leash" he goes to his crate and waits for me to get the thing or he will come back there if I am standing there and flip the harness over his nose in order to get me going.

We left the block and headed into the darkness to the little M.E. DePalma Park near the house.

I'm walking in my pre-dawn haze and all the sudden Rack is in front of me and won't move.

That is the herding dog signal for "Human, stop, danger is ahead".

Lettie did it once and there was a wild animal up ahead.  She would not allow me to go until danger was past.

In this case, Rack spotted something very strange.

A Foot.

In the flowers.

Yes, a foot. 

He told me I was not going somewhere until I acknowledged it.

"What the actual hell is this?"
Rack went Off Duty.

I realized it wasn't just a disembodied foot.
It was a body.

Then I realized from 10 feet away, literally, it wasn't a body, it was a person.   Male, under 40, about 5'10" in "Bar Clothes".

Snoring.

Smelling a thick haze of alcohol from down wind, I realized that it was a drunk who passed out in the flowers in the park.  He was about 1000 feet from the bars, staggered off, found the park and collapsed into a drunken heap.

Don't light a match, there will be an explosion level of Alcohol on the Wind. 

I muttered to myself "All a part of living in a tourist area", and then I touched the instep of his foot with my right boot.

Yes, bare foot.  His shoes had been knocked off and ended up somewhere else.  Maybe even back in the bar, who knows.

I have been trained in First Aid and maintained my certification for about 20 years.  There are courses for that and literally the first thing they tell you is that "You are under no obligation to act".

So I acted.

Actually the drunk groaned, pulled his foot away, and rolled over.  Made a rather nice pillow out of the flowers there and went back to snoring.

Sheesh, yet another drunk.

Rack realized the danger had passed, and I was just... well I realized I wasn't able to help him any more.

I left the guy to sleep it off.  It was an hour and a half to sunrise and I really didn't want to try to help hoist some guy to his feet so he could sleep it off.

Besides, the sprinklers are scheduled to come on shortly in that park.  If he hasn't awakened by then, the ground water would make sure he did.

"Rack come on, let him sleep it off."

We left.  Rack had gotten bored with it all.  The drunk was in what I felt was a safe place for the time being, and we had our own drama to finish with.

After all, you can't fix stupid. 

If you want to live your life like a Jimmy Buffett song where you "threw off your flip flops" in a park in South Florida, just make sure it's a safe spot to pass out.

We went on our way.   "Come on Rack let's go". 

Off we went.

My morning walk is a 30 minute loop around town.  We came, We saw, We watered a tree or three, and We came back.

But Rack, knew what I was saying when I said "Let's go to the park".  He took me right there.
The drunk tourist had moved on, as did the sprinklers.

When I said "Ok, we're done, lets go home and get you your food." He looked up at me.

"Hungry, boy?"  With a wag or three, he knew where to go.  Back home.  No more drunks, we're done.

Sunday, May 19, 2019

Don't you hate it when they put a movie in between my TV adverts.

I seem to have picked up a couple food-oriented followers since lately I've been on a food bend.  The method and technology behind it all can be quite interesting, after all. 

Just tweak your process just a bit and you have a totally different dish.  That is especially obvious when cooking pork. 

You can go from BBQ Pulled Pork, which is one of my favorites, to shoe leather just in a matter of degrees of cooking.  

It used to be that you always had to cook pork well because the production methods in the US meant you had to cook out any nasties that were in the meat.  Since the farmers cleaned up their act, even the government has dropped the recommended temperature for cooking lean pork depending on the cut. 

I was researching recipes and found one that recommended 110F for a first cook of a pork chop in a crock pot, then follow up by a sear to bring internal temp to 135F and a rest to serve it at 140F. 

A bit surprising to me when you consider that I come from the generation that thought that a pork chop was meant to be shoe leather, and therefore we would pass.

A bit of a long lead in for a story about a pig farmer isn't it?



My buddy, who's a pig farmer, was having some marital troubles. His wife was threatening to leave him.

He called me up and asked my advice. I said "look I'm a chef, why don't I come over and cook you both an incredible breakfast from the produce from your farm, and we can talk things through over a delicious meal". He agreed and I headed over.

The breakfast was perfect, and the conversation was long but cathartic. They seemed to iron some issues out and I left the room a couple of times so they could be alone.

He eventually came out and said "thanks so much, I really think we've turned a corner after today. I don't have much to give you as a thank you, but as a token of my appreciation, please take this bag of salt-cured pork. "

I'm happy to say I saved his bacon.

Saturday, May 18, 2019

When someone says hold your horses... They’re telling you to be stable

I grew up in a large suburb.  It felt a bit sterile at times.
I moved to a large city.  It was nice but most certainly what you make of it.
Moving to what I consider a small town, It can be interesting.  It's not what you know, it's who you know.






Tom, fresh out of law school, got a job in a small town

The first day on the job he was shown around the town by his boss Paul. At the end of the tour he asked his boss where he could buy alcohol should he want any to which Paul replied: "Well, around here we make our own, have you ever tried moonshine?"

"No, but that's illegal, aren't you afraid of being caught?" asked Tom. "Everyone here does it, so we don't worry to much about that" Paul said.

Tom nodded to the grocery store where the manager was out front, "You're telling me he makes moonshine?" "Of course" replied Paul, "Where do you think we get our supplies?"

Tom pointed to the carshop nearby with a mechanic taking a smoke outside, "And he makes moonshine as well?" "Of course" replied Paul, "Who do you think sets up and repairs the equipment for us?"

Tom pointed to the bakery where a sweet old lady was making cookies, "What about her?" "Of course" replied Paul, "Who do you think made the recipe perfect?"

Amused, Tom pointed to the priest who was watering the front lawn of the church, "Surely the priest doesn't make moonshine?" "Of course" replied Paul, "Sunday School is where the young ones learn it. They're the biggest producers in town"

At that moment the Sheriff passed them in his patrol car, and Tom looked at Paul and asked "Of all people, the sheriff doesn't make moonshine does he? "No no no… Of course not." replied Paul. "He buys his from me".

Wednesday, May 15, 2019

Skip The Stone, You Really Need a Pizza Steel For a Crispy Crust

I'm on a pizza "jag" lately.

Yesterday, Saturday, I made a pizza.  That in itself isn't all that out of the ordinary.  It was so good that I was requested to make yet-another one.

I tell people that I make the best pizza on the island, and that is not me breaking my own arm by patting myself on the back.  Of course it is a bit of a Co-Evolutional comment - I make what I consider the best pizza because it is what I like.

But.

I have also been making this since I was a teenager and constantly refining the results.  The first meal I ever made for someone else after moving out of Mom's House was a pizza for my then college roommate in the dorms at the university.   It's been onward and upwards ever since.

The crust and the sauce have their own recipes here on my blog.  A proper Neapolitan pizza is simple.  Crust, a sauce made of reduced tomatoes with minimal seasoning, mozzarella cheese, and cooked in a high temperature oven until the cheese just begins to toast.

Anything else is embellishment to your own personal standards.

But that temperature is important since you have to get the heat up high enough to basically toast the bottom, even fry it, and get a crispy bottom.

I hate a soggy bottom.

I have tried Pizza Stones and they don't stand up to my own abuse.   Since they are usually an un-glazed terracotta, the second time you use them, the water you used to clean it the last time begins to boil, expand, and it will begin it's journey to cracking.   I get about 3 uses out of a stone.

Living in Florida, keeping anything sterile is imperative since you don't want creatures coming in and dining off your cookware.   Ants, and worse.

So that Pizza Steel?

Yeah, that.

If you don't have one, or have an idea what it is, you can substitute an old school cast iron skillet.  I would say a minimum of 9 inches, 22 CM or so.

If my math is right.  Bigger if you have it.

The skillet must not have anything other than bare metal and "seasoning".  Plastic, Wood, non stick coatings are all forbidden.   You will be cooking your pizza as hot as you can get the oven, 500F/260C or more.   Even a backyard grill can be used.   Anything THAT hot will catch fire, burn, scorch.

Leave the "Teflon" and other coatings alone.   Oil your surfaces well.

But what is a Pizza Steel?

Simply put it is a cookie sheet sized sheet of cast iron that is as thick as grandma's cast iron skillet.   It is "bigger" than the skillet and that is the benefit.   It gives you the room to grow.    Room to roam and roll out your dough.

They are flexible, this isn't just a kitchen gadget that sits rusting in a corner until you want a pizza next month.  If they are large enough, a proper pizza steel can be used to make eggs, pancakes, and other items as a griddle.   They even benefit from the use since they need to be seasoned like any other cast iron implement with oil.

How I use mine?

First, I cheat.  I lay out aluminum foil on the steel to give me a work surface.   Removing the foil that is now marked up to size, I oil up the steel and the foil.  It's a bit overkill but I want to make sure the bottom of my crusts are nice and crispy, like a cracker.  If I have done it right, the pizza and the foil slide off the steel when I need them out of the oven, then the foil will allow the pizza to simply slide off the oil and corn meal like a cushion.

Second I use corn meal.   I dust the oiled aluminum foil with a generous layer of corn meal to give it a nice non stick surface.  That allows the pizza to roll off the foil like it is on a bed of ball bearings.

Third, I roll the crust out to size.  This is important because since I use a yeast-risen dough I have to give it time to rise.  Once to size, I slide the foil and crust back on top of the steel, close the oven and turn on the light.   Yes, cold oven.  One or Two hours later, the yeast has risen, the oven is a warm day by the sea for them, and you get a nice thickness.

Finally to cook the thing.   Slide the risen pizza crust onto an inverted cookie sheet and build your pizza.   Sauce, Cheese Mix, and Toppings.  My cheese comes premixed but I add more freshly grated Parmesan and a little Feta for sharpness.   Typically I add only Mushrooms and some chopped Basil on top but that varies.

The Pizza is now done, waiting to cook on the cookie sheet and foil.  The oven is closed and heated as hot as I can get it.  500F is the marking on the oven, but the oven's thermostat stopped being accurate well before we bought the house in 2006. 

Allow the oven time to come to temperature, and the thermal mass of all that cast iron in the Pizza Steel will take time to warm.   Allow a little extra time since you want that steel to be "good and hot".

When you are ready, you can put the Cookie Sheet next to the Steel and pick up the "leading edge" of the foil.  Slide that soon to be pizza onto the very hot pizza steel making very sure not to burn your hand.

At this point I have found in my own oven that 6 minutes at 500F Plus will give me the results I want - slightly caramelized and toasted cheese, a crispy bottom, and a wonderful meal.

Yes, I'm obsessed, but I do make the best pizza in town.  Yes, better than that shop.  And the one on the corner.  Oh and the sauce is better too. 

So there.  Good luck.  It just takes prep work.

Sunday, May 12, 2019

Nose jokes stink but eye jokes are cornea

There is an art to finding jokes that are clean enough to tell in front of a general audience.  You know, when there are kids present, you don't want to be telling the more coarse stories and lose half of your audience.

Sure, the kids will get it but the parents will fah-reek out!

So I tend to specialize in "Dad Jokes" on the weekend.

When do you know a joke is a dad joke?
When the punchline becomes apparent.

When does the punchline become apparent?
After the delivery.





A young boy enters a barber shop.

The barber whispers to his customer, “This is the dumbest kid in the world. Watch while I prove it to you.”

The barber puts a dollar bill in one hand and two quarters in the other, then calls the boy over and asks, “Which do you want, son?” The boy takes the quarters and leaves.

“What did I tell you?” said the barber. “That kid never learns!”

Later, when the customer leaves, he sees the same young boy coming out of the ice cream parlor.

“Hey, son! May I ask you a question? Why did you take the quarters instead of the dollar bill?”

The boy licked his cone and replied:
“Because the day I take the dollar the game is over!”

Saturday, May 11, 2019

What does a clock do when it's hungry? It goes back four seconds.

So here's the deal with this one.  It's a pun.

Hate Puns?  They hate you too, but this one is a good one.   It got me laughing when I read it first, and read it again this morning.

I hope you enjoy it because I have pizza dough to make!  Yum. 

Here's your tasty story about Crows.


Crows aren’t so smart after all

The South Carolina Dept of Transportation found over 200 dead crows on highways recently, and there was a concern that they may have died from Avian Flu.

A Pathologist examined the remains of all the crows, and, to everyone's relief, confirmed the problem was NOT Avian Flu.

The cause of death appeared to be from vehicular impacts.

However, during analysis it was noted that varying colours of paints appeared on the ...bird's beaks and claws.

By analysing these paint residues it was found that 98% of the crows had been killed by impact with motorbikes, while only 2% were killed by cars.

The Agency then hired an Ornithological Behaviourist to determine if there was a cause for the disproportionate percentages of motorbike kills versus car kills.

The Ornithological Behaviourist quickly concluded that when crows eat road kill, they always have a look-out crow to warn of danger.

They discovered that while all the lookout crows could shout "Cah", not a single one could shout "bike"

Wednesday, May 8, 2019

Don't Let Your Fashion Choice Effect Us, Dress For That Workout And Leave The Spandex at Home

There's something called a shower thought.

Go take a shower and try not to think about this.  I'll wait.

Didn't work did it?

It's the mental equivalent to an ear-worm, a musical piece that gets locked into your mind on a loop.  "This is the song that never ends" is a good one.

My shower thought is that your fashion needs to not intrude on my space.

No, I don't mean the appropriate clothing that you see in appropriate places.  Australians call bathing suits on men "Budgie Smugglers because it looks like you stuffed a budgie, parakeet to those of us in Los Estados Unidos, down your shorts and are walking around with it down there.

There's another shower thought for you ...

Well, here's the deal.  I'm well known for getting up very early.   I have to force myself to stay in bed until after 5AM, an hour or two before sunrise here in South Florida.  It helps me get things done, and in fact I get more done before sunrise than many people do all day.

Yeah, seriously.

I got in the habit while working out.   The formerly asthmatic teen got into his 30s an athlete by running, then biking, then inline skating with everyone else who joined the fad.

Not a fad for me, I found that my long legs made this the sport I was built for. 

I could run a 10K but it would bore me and blow out my knees, and did so multiple times.

Biking?  I'd need to go 50 miles to get in the same workout I could do on skates in 30.  Besides, who wants to fight traffic for 50 miles when it is tough enough to do it for 30.

I learned full well that if I got up at 5, I could be at the park, Fairmount Park in Philadelphia, where the roads were closed on Weekends until Noon, and get in a workout from 6AM until.

But it was a shared resource.  Meaning you had to literally fight for space at times. 

The Nineties were a weird time.  People on Skates sharing the road with Bikers who demanded you be off "their" roads while they were making fashion statements in artificial fibers such as polyester and spandex.

Yeah we skaters and runners called them Spandex Wearing Freaks as they rode from the Art Museum to the Falls Bridge and back again over and over screaming at others to get off "their" roads.

So the bikers were in a pack.  5 to 50 of them in one large pack, getting their workout in while you had to fear for your life no matter what your workout was. 

Mom, don't bring the kid and stroller down to West River Drive.  It's just too unsafe.

But there's another problem with that. 

No, I don't mean the "Boob Walks" of people for a various charity walking 6 miles and feeling all chuffed because a penny on the dollar went to a Good Cause.

Oh, it's that ratio of return on investment that made that so laughable, not the fact that these boobs were out there walking to save the mud skippers or to publicize the use of cotton, or what ever cause they thought you needed to be involved in to the detriment of your weekend.

Penny on a dollar?  Yeah, I'll read to my own nephew instead, thanks.  If you ever are in Philly, the United Way has a better office than you ever will have.  The Palace On The Parkway for the Parasites On The Parkway. 

I will never...

You get 50 arrogant people on bikes riding 25MPH around people who they don't believe belong on THEIR planet, and a good proportion of them will be wearing workout clothes.

Spandex and Polyester, again.

Another reason why those boobs were laughable.

You see, Spandex, being a synthetic, will pick up your "funk" faster than if you pushed a nose into your "junk".

After 50 of them get going, and 25 or so are sweaty and getting "funky".  No, I don't mean in the good way as if it is a Parliament-Funkadelic song, I mean stanky.

Now, you are standing at that water fountain that is midway between The Art Museum and Falls Bridge and they're coming.  Taking over both the trail and the street, hauling their self-absorbed, and non absorbent selves past you at an unsafe speed.

Wait.  Oh about 30 seconds go by and you smell them passing by.

Hurl.

Well luckily most of the regular workout people know of this effect, but these rarefied people on Their streets, getting in Their workouts don't know that their stank is being passed onto those of us who are not participating.

Fast forward.

It's Present Day.  Or 20 years from now, assuming that those Rarefied Bikers are still wearing Spandex and other non natural fibers of course.

Stupid Sexy Flanders.

Actually it was this morning.  I was up at 5AM, on my walk and midway, I was on Wilton Drive.

I expect this won't be going on 20 years from now because the drive will be narrowed and not so convenient for people to cut through to get from point A to point B.

But for now... I really don't think they got the Memo.

I'm walking my boy Rack, the McNab SuperDog (TM) south on Wilton Drive.  An hour and a half before sunrise give or take a few.  I hear a familiar hissing sound of chain on gears and overly loud voices talking about some nonsense.  

After all, before 6AM, anything a loud voice says is bound to be nonsense.

I see a cluster of spandex wearing frea... er bikers coming my way. 

My PTSD Flashback to the late 90s comes to mind.

Yep.  Stanky Spandex Bikers pushing towards illegal speeds riding on Wilton Drive.   The decidedly rank scent of a bicycle rider who definitely needs to run through the shower and burn his spandex wafts on the little air that is moving predawn hits me.

No breezes, too many bikers, yep, it's a weird flashback brought forward to this day by someone whose hygiene is more equivalent to the homeless guy who they looked down their collective noses at when they rode through downtown Fort Lauderdale fifteen minutes and three miles ago.

So remember, fellow babies, friends don't let friends wear spandex in public.   What you do in your own house is your own business, but if you're going to stank up the trails, the rest of us are going to know it!

Oh and yoga stretch pants at the mall?  Yeah, we're looking at you too.   You really aren't as lean as you think.

Sunday, May 5, 2019

I was gonna make a joke about pancakes but it's pretty crepe.

Mexicans and Mayonnaise

Most people don't know that in 1912, Hellmann's mayonnaise was manufactured in England. In fact, the Titanic was carrying 12,000 jars of the condiment scheduled for delivery in Vera Cruz, Mexico, which was to have been the next port of call for the great ship after its stop in New York.

This would have been the largest single shipment of mayonnaise ever delivered to Mexico.

But as we know, the great ship did not make it to New York. The ship hit an iceberg and sank, and the cargo was lost forever.

The people of Mexico, who were crazy about mayonnaise, and were eagerly awaiting its delivery, were disconsolate at the loss. Their anguish was so great that they declared a National Day of Mourning, which they still observe to this day.

The National Day of Mourning occurs each year on May 5th and is known, of course, as Sinko de Mayo.



Especially appropriate today, May 5th.   Even if the day is a bigger deal here in the US than it is con mis amigos mexicanos. 

Tengo mi cerveza para mi almuerzo.  Y tu?