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?

Saturday, May 4, 2019

A skeleton walks into a pub and he asks for a pint and a mop.

Ladies, I think you just may get a chuckle out of this one...



20-Year double-blind university study in Sweden on the effects of diet on sex drive

Have you heard about this new study?

Researchers in Sweden tracked 2,000 couples from the moment they first started dating out to twenty (20) years forward.

Obviously, most of the couples ended up getting divorced, but their behavior and health was still tracked throughout the study.

There were many interesting findings, all available in the Swedish Journal of Human Sexuality and Reproductive Health. Yet, the one that caught everyone’s attention was the effect one particular kind of food had almost exclusively on women.

Regardless if women ate a lot or just a few bites of this food, practically all women in the study, across all ages, ethnic backgrounds and controlling for other factors, exhibited significant increases in total body fat percentage and a simultaneous nearly total loss of their sex drive.

The culprit food? Wedding cake.

Wednesday, May 1, 2019

Distro Hopping is pointless because the Answer Is Always Debian

If you have an Axe, and you replace the handle.
Later you replace the blade.
Sharpen the blade again.
Chop the wood for the fireplace this winter.

But... Is it the same Axe?

There are indeed options.  Alternatives, even with computers.  That's what this is all about.

"This" is "Distrohopping".

Think of it as remodeling your computer instead of your bathroom - which is a very small area that results in your emptying your bank account into a small hole in the floor where all your money turns to sh... sewage.

Windows and Mac people don't really understand the concept, but it is more like the ultimate theme.

You see, I actually enjoy tweaking things on my computer.  I have the freedom to tweak away.  Change fonts, colors, even the entire way that the work flow happens on the thing.

I expect everything to just work.  Why not, I've got the tools.  I can change almost everything.

I stopped running Windows when I found out that Microsoft gave themselves the right to watch every little thing that I am doing on my computer.   Since they are not paying me for that right, I dumped Windows.

On the spot.  "F" that spyware.

Not completely sure how Mac fits in that, however I finally got the chance to play around with the Apple operating system and found its rigidity never fit with my innate curiosity.

So here I am on Linux.  Debian Linux to it's friends.  BSD People know what I am talking about when I refer to absolute control, so come close, little cousins, lets laugh at the normies.

I have a spare laptop.  Still quite useable, an i3 with 4 GB soldered in.  That is all it will ever be, and it was bequeathed to me when a friend passed.  So we shall call this machine David as a result, In His Honour.

David doesn't get used too much.  It is the slowest "i" machine I have here, but with the right operating system it will run quite fast enough to be useable.

By the right operating system, I mean a Distribution of Linux.  I did try a version of BSD called Nomad BSD that boots from a stick.  It says that it never touches your hardware, which is intriguing and it does show promise.

Since BSD is even less used than Linux in the home market (Less than 1% vs about 2-3%) it is inherently more secure due to "Security by Obscurity".

But I digress.

I run Debian Linux on my computers.  It is Utterly Stable.  As in that granite counter top that some have will chip before my Debian computer will crash.  Stability comes from the Debian Foundation testing the ever loving daylights out of it.  I got tired of instability along with Windows' snooping, and settled in on Debian.

Stability comes with older, more stable software due to all that testing, but it can be quite old to be on what is called "Debian Stable".  That is a problem for some people who want newer and more cutting edge software, but that is easily solved by installing "Debian Testing".  It's the last (arbitrary last) time Debian moved the "Unstable" version to save it off.

As of this date, Debian Testing is the "Release Candidate" for the next version of Debian.  I am running that every day on two computers.  Still stable, still no problems.

Since Testing is what many other foundations use for their own base to spawn off a software library for their own Distribution, Testing is much more stable than many other distributions efforts.

In fact, the largest distributions, Ubuntu, Linux Mint, and many others are all derived from that.

Ok, enough background.

I wanted a change for David.  Ubuntu just recently went to their newest version called Disco Dingo, and since I still unironically listen to Classic Disco, I chuckled at that name and installed it.

Except it had no way to hibernate David.  David is also a laptop and a mere "suspend" is worthless.  Write the data to disc (or SSD in my case) and turn the thing off so you are not wearing out the batteries.

Ubuntu is the base for Linux Mint.  The hibernate issue is a requirement so any distribution without hibernate is a "Non-Starter" for me.  

Ubuntu?  Fix that.  It works in Debian Stable and Debian Testing.  You being arbitrary because "Some Systems May Crash So We Turned Hibernate Off" is an explanation on the order of having your child paint their younger sibling with Peanut Butter because they liked it.

It Does Not Work Because You Broke It, So Fix It.

That leaves Linux Mint off the table too as well as anything based on Ubuntu or derivatives including the alphabet soup of versions.

If you're counting, this is Ubuntu, Xubuntu, Lubuntu, Linux Mint, plus some other newer distributions like MXLinux and a few others that the names slipped my mind.

Yes, I can install another version of linux on a laptop in 15 to 30 minutes while watching old bad sitcoms at night, and I have, and I got bored with it.

Another thing I require is a fast interface.  I settled on XFCE4 because it looks like the versions of windows, broadly, before they went insane and decided everything should be giant ugly blocks and resemble something like Legos On Acid.  

My usual configuration of XFCE4 looks like Windows 7 once I get through with it, Base fonts are usually something that looks like the London Underground with a font called "Gill Sans".

Helvetica and Arial, as fonts, both look like hell.  A Lower Case Letter L and an Upper Case Letter I should look very distinct.   With Helvetica, it does not.  It irks the daylights out of me, along with the strange spacing between the letters (Kerning) and other very subtle things that some people have grown used to without realizing it.

So after churning through the top ten Debian Derived Distros, I tried CentOS.  It's a Community Based option that is the shared version of the same software that runs on all the servers.  At least all the Linux Based ones that aren't running Debian.

It was what I started with on Linux around 2000, give or take a few years.  I had a Pentium 3 Mobile laptop that I kept on the couch in my house in Philly down in the living room that was still useable in 2013 or so when CentOS dropped all support for that particular version.  Centos 3 I think.  Maybe Centos 4.  I forget.

But, CentOS is not geared towards you - or me.

It's a place to rest my head.  To hang my Skating Helmet I guess.  You see, while it is a Server Operating System, and I could do some serious web development on that little computer, it has a major problem.

The last version of CentOS 7 was announced, and while they have a long term support for it, they do not have an upgrade path for it.

Even Windows 2000 had an upgrade that you could run to get to XP, 7, 8 (ick), 8.1 (UGLY still) and that obscene spyware that is called Windows 10.

So it's a stop gap.  I wanted something different.  I'll continue all that searching later.

The laptop runs well on Centos but it won't stay there.  I'm considering a BSD for it, but not just yet.

The other problem I have with Centos is that it uses a different piece of software to install software called YUM.  They also have a newer package manager, but it also has the same problem that I see and it's called Dependency Hell.

It is what happens when you get a circular reference while installing software.

A game is written.  It needs something to manage the way a sprite works or how it gets information into it.  That is in a library.  It requires a very specific version.  So installing the game requires you install both, Manually. 

By Hand.

But... Debian (any version) does not require that.  The Debian Foundation made very sure that it just works.

Period.

So why fuss with YUM (or DNF) and Dependency Hell.

Especially when Debian has the same software library that everybody else has and I can install what I like on it.

All that just proved what the meme says.  When installing Linux, if you have any questions:

"The Answer Is Always Debian"

Seriously, anything I want for the home, for a server, for a laptop, The Answer Is Always Debian.
  • Server to write web pages?  LAMP using Debian.
  • Wordpress Server?   LAMP with Wordpress using Debian.
  • Graphics Work?  Debian.  In fact, it comes out of the box with Inkscape for vector grapics and GIMP for very fine photoshop work, as well as Krita and others.
  • How about Video Processing?  Debian.  Install Flowblade for Video Editing, Handbrake for Transcoding.
  • Um...Word or Excel and the rest of Office?  Debian.  Libre Office is extremely stable.
  • An old Windows Program?  Debian.  Add WINE and you can run some, but not all, Windows programs once you figure out the configuration.
  • File Server?  Debian, install and configure Samba.
  • Learn Spanish? Watch Video? Listen to the Radio?  Debian.  Doing all that right now.
  • How about DOS?  Debian.  DOS Box works great.
Haven't you got this down yet?  

Actually the exception people always bring up is Windows Games.  Some of them run on WINE, others via Steam.  I don't play those.  Too busy, just check that list above and ... you get the picture - with graphics, labels, and effects added.

I won't go on here.  I have a feeling that little machine, David, will eventually end up with Sid, because Debian Sid is cutting edge, more up to date than Ubuntu or what ever flavor of the month that people are enamored with on this week, and because it is a Debian flavor, it will be more stable than you should expect.

Just be aware when they upgrade software, it could break.  All the names for the different versions of Debian are from the movies Toy Story.  Sid is the neighbor kid that breaks all the toys.  Debian Sid could break your toy (computer) so do a backup before you proceed with an update or an upgrade.

Yes, even Debian Stable should be backed up, and I do it once a week.  After all I do author content, like this blather.

Yes, you should too, even if your preferred "distro" is Windows.
Even you Windows people.

Ick.

So I ended up going full circle.  I started on Centos, went "elsewhere" and put Centos on David.  I will get frustrated with it when I can't play FreeCiv because I can't find some obscure library because YUM (or DNF) is not very tasty.  I'll eventually give in and install Debian Sid, type in sudo apt install freeciv, it will install, it will work because:

The Answer is Always Debian.

So why did I distro hop again?  Because I have the memory sticks and the time to actually "Play with" my computers instead of "Play on" them!

Sunday, April 28, 2019

What do you get if you cross Titanic with Sixth Sense? Icy dead people!

Wow, that's a weird one, but since I laughed when I saw it, I may as well share my wierdness.

After all, that is what a Blog is all about. 

Sharing is caring!



And since I am letting my freak flag fly, here's one for you from the front porch.





A young boys logic

An old man is sitting on his porch just enjoying the summer morning air.
As he is sitting in his rocking chair he sees a young boy walking up the sidewalk pulling his little red wagon, in which is a roll of duck tape.
The old man calls out "young man, where are you heading with that duck tape?"
The young boy replays (with a tone suggesting the answer should be obvious) "I'm headed to catch some ducks... Would you like to join me?"
The old man chuckles a bit to himself at the young boys logic and says "No thank you young man, you enjoy yourself."

With that the little boy continues on his way.

The old man stays in his rocking chair because it's an exceptionally nice morning and after about an hour, here comes the little boy headed the other way with his wagon.
The old man takes notice to the boy and in the wagon there are several ducks struggling to free themselves from a wad of duck tape.

This image causes the old man to call out... "young man, where did you get them ducks at?"
To which the young boy repays "I just used my duck tape" and continues on his way.

The next morning, the old man is in his rocking chair again, and again here comes the boy.
He is pulling his red wagon only this time there is chicken wire in the back.

The old man calls out "boy, were are you going with that chicken wire?"
To which the boy replies "I'm headed to catch some chickens... want to join me?"
Again the old man declines and the boy continues on his way.

Again, about an hour later, here comes the boy, red wagon filled with chickens struggling in chicken wire.
The old man calls out "how ever did you get those chickens?"
To which the boy repays "with the chicken wire!" And continues walking.

The next morning the old man is on his porch waiting to see if the young boy will pass by again.
Up the sidewalk come the young boy with his wagon and the old man suddenly jumps to his feet..." young man is that pussy willow in the back of your wagon?"
"Yes" replays the boy.
"Let me grab my coat" exclaims the old man!

Saturday, April 27, 2019

Why can't you hear a pterodactyl using the bathroom? Because the 'p' is silent.




Usually, it's the longer ones that I like the most, but this one... it's short and sweet.





Two teenagers, Fred and Joe, meet after school.

Fred is all excited: “Man, I was at the most awesome party this weekend! We went to this dude’s house and guy had toilets made of pure gold!”

“No way!”

“Yes way,” insists Fred, “come with me and check it out for yourself if you don’t believe me.”

Twenty minutes later they’re ringing the doorbell at the place. A middle-aged lady opens the door.

Fred eagerly asks her, “Hi! I’m sorry to bother you but there was a party at your house yesterday and my friend doesn’t believe that you have toilet bowls of pure gold!”

The lady looks at him for a moment and then yells into the inside of the house, “Roger, the pig that crapped in your trombone is here!”

Wednesday, April 24, 2019

Taking a Break From Windsurfing on Eight Wheels

I have a couple very hard and fast rules.

Never in the rain.
Never in the damp.
Never if the wind was more than a 20 MPH gust.

Call that last one 30 KPH for the metrically endowed.

I had a routine that I fell into back in the days when inline skating was hot.

Which was to say that everyone, their grandmother, and their dog was on some sort of wheeled contrivance at the time.  Yes, the wonderful time that was the 1990s.

While many of us found ourselves on inline skates, others looked upon it and laughed.

I used it as a sport.  Big time for me.  Most of my dry and calm weekends were spent with my cruising skates on.  I'd be wearing a groove in the trails in and around the fabled city of Philadelphia and all the way out to west of Valley Forge. 

I say groove because it was about 30 miles per workout.  Lord, Europeans, I can't Math... 1.6 Times 30, er... I make that 48 K's give or take a meter.

Peak was 54 miles in a single morning, 200 miles in a week.

But Geography is your friend sometimes. 

The trail, Schuylkill River Rails to Trails trail, or
similar was built on an old railroad line.  That means that the road was flat with a one degree rise or less for the most part and along the river.  Oriented on a Northwest to Southeast direction it also was in a valley.  That focused the wind down along the river.  It was always windier in the valley than it was just outside of it and if the wind was right, you could skate out fighting the winds and use that same wind home to Windsurf back.

I did that often.  I fell into the habit of bringing along two liters of water, about 400 calories of snacks, and looking forward to that mid workout rest in Oaks, PA right over the Perkiomen Creek.  It was a hangout there and you'd meet up with us regulars.  Bikers would continue out to the Reading (PA) trail, or stop with us and chat for a while.

This was where I had met up on the way back with a Deer that stopped me dead in the
middle of the trail.  Just West of Valley Forge in a beautiful forested area before you hit the big power lines, it spotted me, I spotted him.  He was just off the trail, moved to the middle of it, and approached. 

Yes, a Deer.   Came to visit me.  Looking in those big brown eyes, I said hello, and asked "what would you like to do?  Feel like a bit of a run?".

It did.  With that wind at my back, a clean trail, I started off.   The buck joined me and we trotted along for about a solid mile, er, K and a half or so, toward the water stop at Valley Forge.  He veered off and watched me go on my way. 

The rest of that ride was very gently downhill and very gently breezy.  I windsurfed back to the parking lot just within the city of Philadelphia where the trail turned to gravel towards Manayunk and Center City.

Freaky huh?

While it has to be one of those "things were just right" occasions in Pennsylvania for me to be able to windsurf, especially with a torso tall tawny buck trotting along for the ride, here in South Florida it is much more commonplace.

The trail at the Pompano Airpark is laid out in a slightly more than a mile per side square.  We predictably get a wind off the ocean here.  East To West.  That means that you windsurf one side of that square, are cooled on two sides, and get to battle the winds on the fourth.

I've been known to peak out at about a 20MPH (30Ks) on my skates, especially with the winds at my back.  It's a broad back, I have to have a broad chair, and my favorite Poang Chair is as wide as I am at the shoulders.

Got the picture?

The trail is best done heading West on the southern side of that square to give you a boost from the breezes on the first leg to give you a good Warm Up Mile.  This particular day, winds just below my own speed limit, I managed to stand bolt upright instead of the more normal racing skate crouch to avoid the wind.

I captured that wind and flew down the trail.   Really all I had to do was get going and it was a free ride toward that western edge and the 90 degree turn that I had to brake to get around.

Falling on skates is not fun, I've done it too many times.

Luckily the wind was just a bit more North of West that day, and I got a boost out heading northbound on that second leg.

Sitting on the bench I had just enough of a runner's high to smile at what I had just done.  It was a second hop actually, this was my second time around the square, and come April, that second mile on the park would be closed for repaving.

Looking back, south, at the scene it was what I consider heaven.

You see anywhere I would travel to since I started skating in 1992, I would plan to take the inline skates with me.  Most of these trails are about a car lane wide, split down the middle.  Nondescript grey asphalt, and a great place to get a runner's high.

Hence the smile.

Not a bad place to sit in the sun and enjoy a half liter of water before getting up to finish the last lap.

Getting my heart rate down from cruising at 173 BPM, to about 140, I stood up and thought I could refill the water at the three and a half mile water stop before heading home.

A good day on skates is better than just about anything else I can think of.   No wonder why people are coming back into the sport.

Sunday, April 21, 2019

Why shouldn't you write with a broken pencil? Because it's pointless.

It's amusing to look at my stats on this blog.  It's never going to light the world on fire, but I will say that these dumps of jokes on the weekends tend to get read heavily after the first day. 

I started putting these up on weekends when I was still writing every single day.  I've kept the practice up, and I have people sending me jokes and one liners.  If it makes me smile or laugh, I save them and put them here.

Wednesdays, I do some original writing but between you and me, I do feel somewhat tapped out.

However, for today, I'm going to do some one liners.  The file I keep here on my desktop is getting a bit full of them.



I heard the Dalai Lama has a gambling problem - he just loves Tibet.

Dreaming in color is just a pigment of your imagination.

French People are so hardcore.  They eat pain for breakfast.

I couldn't afford new glasses so I bought a monocle - now I've got 1920 vision.

Back when I worked in mortuary sales I got the top burner award.

Two priests argued over who would serve communion. It was quite an altarcation.

The farmer brought a bucket of milk to church so it could be pastorized.

Are people born with photographic memories or do they take time to develop?

I relabeled all the jars in my mom's spice rack.  I'm not in trouble yet, but the thyme is cumin.

The two pianists had a good marriage. They always were in a chord.

After buying a new sail for my boat, Amazon told me it was too late to cancel my order.  That sail has shipped.

Just saw an excellent play about fishing.... it had a good cast.

I tried calling the tinnitus helpline. There was no answer. It just kept ringing.

Saturday, April 20, 2019

What do you call an intelligent idiot? An oxymoron

A redneck twofer?  Yeah that's what I have for you here!


A good old Alabama boy won a bass boat in a raffle drawing

He brought it home and his wife looks at him and says, "What you gonna do with that? There ain't no water deep enough to float a boat within 100 miles of here."
He says, "I won it and I'm a gonna keep it."

His brother came over to visit several days later. He sees the wife and asks where his brother is?
She says, "He's out there in his bass boat", pointing to the field behind the house.
The brother heads out behind the house and sees his brother in the middle of a big field sitting in a bass boat with a fishing rod in his hand.

He yells out to him, "What are you doin?"
His brother replies, "I'm fishin'. What does it look like I'm a doin'?"

His brother yells, "It's people like you that give people from Alabama a bad name, makin' everybody think we're stupid.
If I could swim, I'd come out there and whip your ass!"




Rednecks in NYC

A redneck and his son visit New York City for the first time. They walk into a hotel and see an elevator.

"What's that thing, pa?" the redneck kid asks.

"I got no idea junior" the redneck dad says.

Just then, the doors open and an elderly woman steps in. The doors close. A few second later the doors open again and a beautiful young blonde steps out.

"Damn," the redneck dad says. "I still got no idea what that thing is but you shove your ma in there right now!"

Wednesday, April 17, 2019

The Yogurt Recipe That Brings My Dog To The Kitchen

First, the recipe.

Materials:

Seed Yogurt: Go to the store, buy yourself a small container of plain unsweetened and unflavored yogurt that you enjoy.  There are multiple types, each culture has a different flavor.  But make certain that it says "Active Cultures" or what ever your nation says for active or live bacteria in this yogurt.   I personally use a "Greek Yogurt" and what I make with it tastes just about like what came out of the Seed Yogurt Cup.

Even better, if you have a neighbor that has a yogurt that they have been making out of their own cultures, get a couple tablespoons of that.  It's bound to be better than anything commercial.

Jar for your yogurt:  Get an appropriate jar with a sealable lid.  Approximately a quart/liter in size.  Sterilize the jar - wash and make sure it is as clean as you can get.  You don't want this stuff to spoil.  I use a Mason Jar with a wide mouth and a large plastic lid.  This jar must fit in your microwave.

Milk.  I use 2%.  Whole will taste better but will give more calories.  Skim Milk will taste "milder".  The Calorie Count will be the same as that of the milk that goes into it.  It's up to you. 



Process:

Add milk to your jar until it is about 3/4 filled.  750mL or 3 cups.  Or so - it does not have to be exact.  My Mason Jars have vertical lines on the side that I fill to the top of, below the narrowing for the neck.   You just want it to have some room for bubbles to form if it goes to boil in the microwave.

Heat the milk slowly to at least 180F/82C.  This can be done in a sauce pan if you do not have a microwave.  I heat the milk in the Mason Jar, in the microwave at High or Full Power for 4 minutes, then give it 30 second bursts until it begins to bubble.  This will kill off anything that will make things spoil.

Pour the milk into the Mason Jar.
Move the Mason Jar to a warm spot in the kitchen, on the counter where it won't be disturbed..
Allow the milk to cool for about two hours in the Mason Jar.

When the milk is below 105F/40C, add two tablespoons of the plain yogurt that you got for this purpose.
This is your Seed Yogurt.
Finish the rest of the seed yogurt, I suggest with either honey or a good jam.  This is your treat for the job.

Stir the seed yogurt vigorously into the milk.
Cover the Mason Jar with your lid, and allow it to sit at least one day.

Check the Mason Jar periodically.  It will be done when the yogurt begins to gel when you tip the container to the side.

Refrigerate and use within about a week. 

Remember - since you already made the stuff here, you can take a spoon or three of your current batch and use for seed yogurt for the next batch.  The taste will change over time, certain bacterias will express themselves stronger or weaker within the food.  If you don't like that, go get more seed yogurt at the stores.

So... about my dog?

Rack, the McNab SuperDog sits on his mat in the corner next to my recliner.  It's off in the distance so he can't see what is going on in the kitchen from that spot.

There's just enough noise in the house that I personally would not be paying that close attention to what goes on in the kitchen, but I would be wrong to ignore that completely.  Ceiling fans and clocks are all making a constant racket.

In fact, just putting on noise cancelling headphones is a nice change of pace from hearing all that din.

Rack does not need that.

There are certain noises that get him up from the corner and to the kitchen.  If I grab ice cubes, he comes in asking for one.  Luckily he is not brave enough to take liberty to press on the ice dispenser on the refrigerator.

He will get one when I make my first mug of coffee, but only the first one.  The second one he stays put and ignores whatever else is going on.

Or so you think.

Certain kitchen noises may make him pay attention like crumpling a chip bag or rattling the doors on things in there but this is one thing that sends him running to the kitchen.

I store the Mason Jar with the plastic top and the wide mouth on the "Breakfast Shelf" in the fridge.  I'm tall, 193CM/6'4" and it's at chest height.

Nudging the jelly, yeast, and cottage cheese aside, I grab that yogurt jar.  If he's in the room, he expects some.

But I tend to play tricks on my dog as it keeps his mind going.

Waiting for him to be in the corner, out of site, I get the Yogurt Jar out of the fridge.  Since I move things in and out frequently, he hasn't figured out that specific jar's noise.

Quietly stepping out, I see he's not watching and blissfully sleeping.

Turn the lid just a quarter turn and he leaps off his bed and runs to the kitchen sliding into my right leg with a skid.

Mind you he's not a Labrador Retriever but this is the closest to the Lab Feeding Frenzy that I get with my own McNab Dog.

He then gets his 1/2 cup of yogurt in his bowl.

It's gone so far that I can't use the word Yogurt in the house without having 46 pounds of black dog with white tips and highlights glued to my leg.

So yes, if you want the Yogurt for your recipes that will make the dogs come running, this is how you make the stuff.  The only time I buy yogurt is for seed if the original spoils.

Sunday, April 14, 2019

What do you call a hen looking at lettuce? Chicken sees her salad!

Today, we're having a chicken dinner.  Every part of that bird will be used.  Once the meal is done, chicken noodle soup will be made, so basically we'll have food for at least two weeks.

By the end of this, I'm going to be quite tired of chicken soup.







Paul Revere’s Chicken

Paul Revere has a chicken named Gallo. When the American Revolution was well underway, he spent several nights training the chicken secretly in his barn. When he finally felt Gallo was ready, he brought it with him to the Sons of Liberty. At first, they laughed.

“Well, now, laugh if you want, but this here is a highly trained chicken, and Gallo here will help us win the war!”

They laughed some more. One of the men spoke up, “What kind of name is Gallo, anyways?”

“Italian” said Paul Revere. A man from Italy traded it for some silver work I did for him.” He set the chicken down. “But as I said, this bird here is *highly trained!”

Another man spoke up. “Trained for what? To lay an egg in the king?” Again more laughter.

“No!” Revere was growing impatient. “Gallo here is trained to sniff out British sympathizers!”

“Lies!” Several men called out.

“It’s true, I tell you! Just wait until you see my Italian Chicken catch a Tory!”

Saturday, April 13, 2019

If I had a dollar for everytime a woman found me unattractive...I wouldn't be unattractive.

After shopping around on Amazon with a gift card someone gave me at xmas, I started getting bombarded with all sorts of suggestions from them for things that are a bit spendy. 

I guess you can't window shop online.  "Because you looked at this skate boot, here is this rutabaga!" emails are just weird.

It was a little strange sitting there seeing things and thinking about the punch line to this joke over and over and then finding this online.







Worst customer service ever!

I experienced the WORST customer service this morning.
I don't want to mention the name of the store because I'm not sure how I'm going to proceed.

Last night I bought something. I paid cash for it. I took it home and found out it didn't work.

So this morning, less than 12 hours later, I took it back and asked if I could get a refund.
The cashier told me NO even though I still had the receipt.
I asked if I could get a replacement or a store credit instead.
Again she said NO!

I asked to talk to a manager as I'm really not happy, and I explained that I had just bought the item, got it home and it didn't work.
The manager just smiled and told me to my face that I was OUT OF LUCK!
No refund. No replacement. No store credit. Grrrrrrrrr.

I am so pissed. I am NEVER buying another lottery ticket there again!

Wednesday, April 10, 2019

The Anatomy of a Severe Wipeout On Inline Skates - Or Why I Am Selective About Who I Train

I am sitting in the middle of my living room on the most comfortable chair in the house for my current condition, an Ikea Poang from the early part of the century.  It's proportioned for a man of my size, a fit 6' 4" or 193 CM man.  The Recliner, a Lazy Boy, won't do.  I need full support.

It's because I wiped out last week.   Bad.  I have skated 21,000 miles.  33,800 Km.  Add a few hundred miles for what I have done since January.  Most of that was in marathon workouts, as much as 50 miles a day and 200 a week.

I have trained people, and been paid for the pleasure.  The sport now is down to a core of us who truly love it, a few new folks, and a lot of people staring at their skates and wondering if they can again.

Yes, you can, but pay attention. 

If I can fall, so can you.

So getting to an elite level in any sport means concentration, repetition, and a little bit of skill.  The first thing I tell anyone interested in skating, including Inline Skating is "You WILL fall".

Included in that is you will get hurt to some degree, learn how to take it, I can tell you what I do, but you won't fall enough to develop that muscle memory to stop major damage unless you do it a lot.

If you make it past about 1000 miles, you probably will be able to be a skater for life.  It's an awesome exercise, makes your heart unbeatably strong, lowers your resting rate from a normal 72 to a very leisurable level.  Mine was 42 resting when I was competing.  My doctors always asked.

But losing concentration is bad.  Really bad.

I'm now returning to a regular level of workouts.  Not a marathon, but a more leisurely 20 miles a week.  Heart rate is dropping, weight is dropping, clothes are changing.

No really, the pant legs get very tight as the waist gets loose.  You have to go up a pant size.  Yes, it's strange.

Most of those miles are with earplugs screwed in my ears.  It blocks out wind noise, and I already have enough ringing in my ears.  It always is fast music since my heart rate while exercising will synchronize with the music and you get this fascinating runner's high where it can even be an out of the body experience.

Competing I had a runner's high from April through November every year.  Runner's high make you really mellow.  I mean amazingly "chill".

I can be kind of intense normally, rather competitive.  Always have been even if it is focused towards specific behaviors and challenges.

When I was skating I pushed myself hard.  Competing I would cruise at more than 15 MPH on skates.  Good music will add another 10 percent.  I would schedule my first rest and water stop at an hour in, minimum, and then every half hour thereafter whether I needed it or not.

Armin Van Buuren, Classic Disco, lately some Mexican NorteƱo or Grupera music too.  The fast music is awesome when cruising, you just have to trust me. 

The trail here is a 4.5 mile square aligned on the compass rose or close to it.  My broad back would catch the wind coming off the ocean and if it's with me, I can wind-skate and peak speeds are as high as 20 MPH without really breaking a sweat. 

Well it caught me, without my realizing it.  I came around the corner, and noted a barricade way off in the distance.  I looked down to check the music, and all the sudden I clipped that barricade.  The wind had pushed me to full speed and one foot grabbed the one corner.

I went down hard on my tailbone.

Being at peak speed is a funny thing.  Your muscle groups are doing their things, they're working hard to move your mass along.

Hitting the ground sent a shockwave through each one of those groups.  When my body stopped sliding and the world came back into light as well as color, I could tell you exactly where each muscle group was on my body because they were all shrieking in pain.

Left and right side of the neck, lower back, right upper leg rear, every one of those abs that are hiding behind Thanksgiving Dinner of years past, Pectoral muscles.

Every blessed muscle that I worked so hard since the accidents that threatened to turn me into a quadriplegic in my teens and again in my early 30s screamed to taunt me.

About the time I was able to reboot myself, I saw an older man and his workout partner.  The first one was talking to me to try to get my head going again, the second had his bike shoe on my left foot's boot front wheel to stop me from sliding my leg.

I did an assay.  Yes, my muscles were screaming in pain, focus was returning, however nothing was broken, my own First Aid certification from years past told me that.

These two French Canadians helped me back on my feet after too long and I was able to skate the two miles back to the Jeep and get home.   They may drive strangely on our roads, but they are always helpful and polite.

When asked why did I fall I said "I was distracted by the music and I was trying to translate a song from Spanish into English".

I need to leave the Spanish tracks at home I guess.   Maybe stick to instrumentals?  That and pay better attention when I skate.

After all, if I can screw up that badly, then so can you.

While nothing is broken, it took me four days to get flexible enough to be able to do a full look over my own body.  This was one of those falls that make you look like Nick Nolte in the first scenes of North Dallas Forty where this utterly worn out football player is shown slowly lowering himself into a tub of water while cutaway scenes of him getting slammed on a football gridiron over and over show you why you may want to consider a non impact sport.

My lower back has a deep black bruise where my body made first contact with asphalt.

Skating is non impact, unless you fall.  And hey, you can get a tiddly stuck in your eye if you are too competitive in Tiddly Winks too, right?

It took four days to be fully mobile, for the muscle groups to be smooth enough that I was able to roll in bed without screaming out in agony, for my digestive tract to relax and be "regular".

Never had that happen before.

But anyone in any sport, especially at a beginners level or an elite level can injure themselves.

Take an elite level participant starting over and you just might want to leave the music off and at home.

The skates, helmet, pads, and skate pack all hit the floor.  Everything but the skate boots made it into the closet.  I left the skates out to tell myself I will be on the trail again.  Just not today.  Maybe the day after tomorrow.  Maybe next week.

That's the thing.  Recuperate like you need to but get on the trail.  Besides, I have a 25 year old Xmas dinner to work off next time out.

A minute on your lips, a decade on your hips, a workout leaves it on the trail. 

Trust me on that one.  All at 100 calories per mile at my level.

So how about it?  Ready for that training session?  Yeah, give me about a week, I'll be starting out slow.

Sunday, April 7, 2019

My friend got mugged yesterday. He had to call the cups.



A small-town preacher was known for getting around town on his bicycle.
One day, a neighbor noticed him walking and asked him about his missing bike.

The preacher said, "Can you believe someone stole it?!"
The man replied, "I have an idea. On Sunday, give a sermon on the Ten Commandments. When you get to Thou Shalt Not Steal, really rail on it, and the thief is sure to feel guilty and return your bike."
The preacher agreed and went on his way.

A week later, the neighbor again ran into the preacher, reunited with his bike.

"So the sermon worked, I see!"
The preacher answered, "Apparently so! I got to Thou Shalt Not Commit Adultery and remembered where I left my bike."



And since I am feeling Generous today, here's a second one for a Two-Fer.




I used to work as a coast guard. There's one rescue mission that sticks in my memory.

A ship carrying a huge haul of industrial strength glue got into trouble just off the coast where I was stationed.

The weather was the worst I'd seen it, and one of the containers of glue had fallen from height and smashed into the hull, covering a number of the crew members in glue and knocking them overboard.

Luckily, they managed to cling to some nearby weather floats whilst the ship went down, but by the time we got to them, the glue that had covered them had set, and we couldn't detach them from the floats. After a long struggle we eventually got them free, but it was the most difficult rescue I was ever involved with.


That was the mission that separated the men from the buoys.

Saturday, April 6, 2019

My suitcase started crying when I picked it up. I was carrying emotional baggage.

A man is lost in the Sahara desert when he stumbles upon a magic lamp...

He rubs the lamp and a genie pops out!

The genie says that he will grant the man only one wish, and that he has to pick from three choices. He can either be the richest man in the world, the most popular man in the world, or the wisest man in the world.

The man says "We all know that money does not bring happiness, and that popularity just makes you a slave to the whims of others, but wisdom is everlasting. I want to be the wisest man in the world."

The Genie goes "poof" and suddenly the man's face assumes a serene expression. He sits down, rubbing his chin in thought. Then he looks towards the genie and says, "I should have taken the money".




Personally, I think that last guy should have used his wisdom constructively and he'd be as rich as he wants to be, but that's just me!




And since there are SO many Genie Jokes, here's another one. 


Three brothers have been traveling in a desert

The heat was too intense, if they didn’t find shelter immediately they would die

All of a sudden the first brother, the oldest, finds a lamp. Without hesitation he rubs it only for a genie to appear moments later

The genies shouts, “Ah! I awaken once more! You three men shall each get a wish.”

Excitedly, the first brother shouts, “I WISH I WAS HOME WITH MY WIFE!”

In a poof of smoke he disappears. The genie granted his wish

The second brother scratches his head and says, “I wish I was back home too, with a big glass of ice water!”

The genie grants his wish too, he is sent back home.

The youngest brother looks around and sees that his brothers have vanished. His expression turns sullen and he says with a frown, “Genie, I’m kinda lonely now. Can you bring my brothers back?”

Wednesday, April 3, 2019

In Florida Even Your House Gets Sunburn

We've been here long enough, it's time to do some home repairs.

Yeah, don't start on the kitchen.  Replacing a kitchen towel may mean a $30,000 upgrade and color change there. 

It's hard to find a good carpenter, and once you do, you don't tell the neighbors until the job is almost done and you're satisfied with the results.

We'll let you know...

So the squat box of rocks that has weathered a couple hurricanes, more tropical storms, countless thunderstorms and sunny days needs a bit of care.  That soffit that is in the back of the house has made me nervous for years, and my carpentry skills are not up to that job.

It makes you look around.  Take stock of things.

With the sun beating down on the house most days of the year, things get exposed.  Just like I did.

The other day I was out skating.  I do that.  I have been doing that for 21,000 miles, 30,000 Km, 25 years... It was one of those low humidity days where there was just blue in the sky.  The Orb has chased the clouds away.  Sunglasses required.

My short 9 mile workout was fun, the winds were just enough to cool, not to challenge.   I got back in the Jeep and realized that I Got Sun. 

Up North in Philadelphia, I would do 30 to 55 mile workouts without sunblock and never think twice.  Down here, I won't do that again.  The sunblock sits in my skate bag and exposed areas will get that.

Driving home I notice that the front hoods of cars and roofs are often bleached and faded, although mine is not, luckily.

All that sun you folks come down here to experience takes a toll.

Under the lanai, the paint has faded the least.  We took a picture of that to the paint store, they made a guess at the color, and found a very close match of the current state.  Then ran that picture through a reverse-aging process and found something that looks very dark.  In the light, they look quite a bit different to what has been bleached now.

Then again, I see my own hair going a bit blond due to that same sun when I am skating.  I'll wear a helmet, I promise, especially since there's a lot of chaff on the trail lately.

Personally, I would prefer pure white on the house and blue trim, but that would make it look like a refugee from Santorini in Greece. 

On the other hand... maybe painting the entire house in the same rust color from the ground water we water the house with might be a good idea.  

Hmmmm.....

Just remember if you can't use sunblock, you're going to have to paint it. 

...Even your own sorry hide!

Sunday, March 31, 2019

How do you round up 500 old cows? Put up a bingo sign.

Sam signs up with the army and gets sent on basic training...

When they are handing out rifles, he is at the back of the line and they run out just before they get to him.

The Sergeant gives him a stick and tell him to just pretend it's a rifle.

So our hero goes running through the mock battle pointing his stick and yelling, "Bangidy, bang, bang, bang. Bangidy, bang, bang, bang."

The next week, they start bayonet training. Again Sam is at the end of the line and again they run out just before they get to him.

The Sergeant tells him to just pretend he has a bayonet at the end of his pretend rifle. So Sam goes running through the mock battle with his stick yelling, "Bangidy, bang, bang, bang. Stabidy, stab, stab,stab."

Well the unit finished basic training and gets called up to go into real battle.

Our hapless hero finds himself eventually on a landing craft, hitting the beach.

Unfortunately, they have never given him a real rifle and he still has his stick. He is wondering what in the heck he is going to do.

As the unit fights his way inland, Sam mindlessly points his stick at an enemy soldier standing on a hill and yells, "Bangidy, bang, bang, bang."

To his amazement, the enemy soldier falls over dead! So he
aims his stick at another and yells, "Bangidy, bang, bang, bang."

And that enemy falls over dead!

Now our hero is running madly along, pointing his stick at any enemy soldier he sees, yelling "Bangidy, bang, bang, bang."

Enemy soldiers are dropping like flies! An enemy jumps out from a bush beside him.

Sam points his stick and yells, "Stabidy, stab, stab, stab." The
other guy drops and writhes in pain.

All of a sudden an enemy soldier comes walking slowly along a path.

Sam carefully aims his stick at the soldier and yells, "Bangidy,
bang, bang, bang." But the enemy soldier just keeps coming.

Sam tries again, "Bangidy, bang, bang, bang!" Nothing. As the enemy soldier gets closer, Sam cries out, "Stabidy, stab, stab, stab."

But the enemy soldier runs right over him, crushing him.

As Sam lies dying, he hears the enemy soldier muttering, "Tankidy, tank, tank, tank."

Saturday, March 30, 2019

What do you call a bike trail for crazy people? A cycle path

My base route in Philadelphia for workouts was a 9 mile loop from Falls Bridge to the Art Museum and back.  It is an absolutely beautiful place to spend time walking, talking to people, seeing the sites. 

I used to chuckle at and cheer on the tourists running up the Art Museum Steps to do the Rocky Run and jump up and down at the top.   Yes, they did that every day!

A visit is highly recommended if you are in town and don't want to do touristy things. 

I would get on my skates, do three plus laps of the park, and see all sorts of things there.

One afternoon, I saw a police car sitting on Kelly Drive just south of Falls Bridge talking to some older guys who had just hauled in a Catfish.  The fish was at least six feet long.  If you told me it was longer I would have believed you.

Kind of a shock as I didn't realize there was anything actually living in the Schuylkill River around the year 2000.

I definitely miss Fairmount Park.  "If I hit the lottery", I'm buying a summer house just off that park so I can skate there again.

But ... At any rate, this was in my mind when I found this story.



Old man fishing truth stretching


Two old men were sitting around the coffee shop one morning sharing fishing tales as they sipped their coffee.

One man man was notorious for stretching the truth on his catches. He always had to top everyone’s stories.

The other old man was telling about him catching a 60lb catfish and how it took him 2 hours fighting it and it suddenly snapped off at the bank only to escape after all the struggle of landing it.

The other old man chimes in and said “yeahhhh well I was fishing the other morning and I felt a heavy bite so I slowly reeled and set the hook set so hard it nearly snapped my rod!”

The first guy rolls his eyes and replies “ oh sure here we go again”.

He resumes his story and said he fought the beast for 4 hours dragging it up from the bottom until he finally saw something surface.
He pulled and pulled and ripped it on the bank of the shore.
He couldn’t believe what it was. He said ”It was a lantern!”.

The other old man didn’t seem that impressed and said “ok so you snagged an old rusty lantern off the bottom? Big deal?”

The old man replies “ yeah but the weirdest thing was it was still lit!”

Wednesday, March 27, 2019

Got a Dog? You Are Being Watched. Got a Herding Dog? Better Respect The Process.

Every so often, you hear this story.   For me it was the other day on BBC, this is a similar story if you want video.  In fact, the story is so common that if you do a search on "Breast Cancer Dog", you will find many videos and stories on this subject

The story went that there was a woman who has a dog.  A great dog, a Rescue Dog, friendly, they bonded deeply, and they integrated each other deeply into each other's lives.

So what she described is what you normally call a Shadow Dog.  They follow you every where.  

In my case, Rack is a Shadow Dog, but being a McNab, he does it differently.  He places
himself strategically so that he can see where I am and what I am doing, no matter who else is in the house.

Get the picture?   Good, here's where it gets intriguing.

This lady noticed a difference in her dog's moods.  The dog became less bouncy.  Less energetic.  More reserved. 

Of course, dogs have moods just like you or I, and the longer I have my own boy here, the more often I realize that he does things for a reason.

That "reason" is what was causing the mood swings.   She was getting ready to take the dog into the vet to see if there was anything at all wrong with the dog when she noticed something odd.

We're all used to having our dogs sniff around.  Mine took an interest in a bit of road rash I have on my left arm that took a little too long to heal.  He sniffed that spot every time he came over for a visit during a perimeter search in the house.  So I paid more attention to it, washed it out more often and more thoroughly than usual.  When it healed, he lost interest.

Here is the parallel.  The lady's dog sniffed her chest more than normal, and realized that the dog was sniffing one specific breast.  Since she was in the UK she was able to get the care she needed, and found out that there was breast cancer developing in that breast.

The dog saved her life, and this is one of many cases where that story works out for the best. 

Really, I have said it before many times and I shall say it again "Trust In Dog".

I have a routine.  It's very fixed in the way things are done.   I suppose I live an ordered and orderly life, although if you saw my kitchen you would disagree.

Things happen the same way daily because I have figured out that best process and the best order.  You would expect that of someone like me, a Project Manager.   We do that, we plan, we watch processes for the best outcome and tweak them and tune them like a fine piece of machinery.

However, my own ordered life is noticed by Rack down to the last detail.

He knows not to ask for an ice cube after the first one is given in the morning.  We walk, come home, I feed him and then he goes to his bed tucked away in a corner.   I then putter in the kitchen making up a mug of French Press coffee and drop five, not four or six, ice cubes in the press to bring it to a perfect temperature.

Rack knows that when I go into the freezer to come but only when called.  He gets his prize, I get my coffee, and since it is usually well before sunrise, I settle in to sip coffee and work on learning Spanish, getting caught up, and getting started.

At 7:30AM every day, whether it is raining or not, the irrigation system comes on.  It is on a timer and must run to water the orchids and fruit trees in pots.  Regardless of weather since some of these pots require a specific watering schedule, I have to go outside.

By this time, He's either needing to visit the large palm tree out back or wants to just get out for a break and a romp.  I'm not completely sure which, or both.

When I am ready, I put my keyboard away, and immediately I hear Rack doing his "Downward Dog" yoga stretch, and then a furious trot behind me to the back door.

Every blessed day.
Without fail.

RunRunRunSkid.

"Ok Rack, I am coming." 

Rinsing out that French Press mug, I get to the door.  Rack invites himself outside, first.  I dump the grounds in the garden and go about my Yard Inspection.

It is every day.

Every.

Even during Irma's aftermath, I maintained that schedule, although since the power was out or running on a generator, I used that time to scoop debris out of the pool or just do gardening.

But Rack was there.  Watching over what I was doing and insisting on being there.

When he has had enough of marking the perimeter outside, He comes back and tries to nudge me back indoors.

It's that process thing.  One step after another, respect the process.  In order.

Now if he starts sniffing any specific part of your body, pay attention.


Sunday, March 24, 2019

What do you need for a movie about broken bones? An awesome cast

Three short and sweet.  Sounds like my coffee with three pink packets plus cream.



When I was out today, I saw a phone on the table outside a coffee shop that had been left there, so I pocketed it. It started to ring....

I took it out of my pocket and the caller I.D. said 'Mom'.

I put it back on the table and slowly backed away.

How did she know I was up to no good?



What should I do?

A guy goes running into his doctor's office.

"Doctor! Doctor! Help me! I can't control my bladder. I pee all the time, everywhere I go. What should I do?"

"Well, the first thing to do is ... get off my rug!"




A man goes to see a fortune teller.

She begins "your name is Steve", "wrong".
"Your favourite colour is green", "wrong".
"You have a dead uncle who passed away 2 years ago", "wrong".
"Your wife's name is Carol", "wrong".
"You have 2 children named John and Christian", "wrong".
"You are a painte...", "wrong".

Getting flustered the woman asks "What in bloody hell do you do then?"
"I investigate fraud".

Saturday, March 23, 2019

What do monkey police do to monkeys who drink and drive? They put them behind monkey bars.

Monkeys?  Everyone likes monkeys, right?  Cute little antics, almost human-like on a good day?

Have more monkeys!


A hat maker was trying to sell his hats on a hot summers day. 

After having no luck for 4 hours under the sun, he decided to take a short rest underneath a gigantic tree. He set his briefcase of hats down, took one out to cover his face, and laid down on the grass. With the shade from his hat and the warmth of the ground beneath him, he felt drowsy and quickly fell asleep. When he woke up an hour later, he was startled to find that his briefcase was open, and his hats were missing.

He then heard a curious sound above him. only to notice that the tree was filled with chatty monkeys all wearing his hats! He quickly tried offering them sticks or dropped fruits in exchange for his hats, but the monkeys seemed to only make fun of him. Furious, he threw a stick at one of the monkeys, which resulted in a shower of thrown sticks back at him. Ducking for cover, he backed off to another nearby tree where he thew his hat down in frustration. To his amazement, the monkeys, seemingly copying him, threw their hats down as well! He quickly picked up his hats and ran away.

The hat maker went on to have a very successful business, getting married and having many children and eventually grandchildren. He passed on his knowledge of the trade to his oldest son before retiring, who upheld the family business and eventually passed it on to his oldest son as was tradition.

A few generations passed, and the new owner and grandson of the hat maker was selling hats on a hot day, when he too decided to take a short rest underneath a very similar tree. 

One thing lead to another, and he found himself waking up to his hats having been stolen by monkeys! However, he remembered the old story his grandfather had told him about outwitting some monkeys, and threw his hat down. A single monkey climbed down the tree and took the hat before making a rude gesture and scurrying back up. Stumped and enraged, he screamed at the monkey.

The monkey replied: "Hey idiot, you're not the only one with a grandfather".

Wednesday, March 20, 2019

Rum Raisins - How to make them for baking

This isn't so much of a recipe as it could be called a kitchen hack.

There isn't a picture this time because it looked like pebbles in some murky brown water, but you'll get the idea.  Really it is that simple.  You just have to let things soak and sit for a day.

It's so easy that it's one of those things you do while waiting for the kettle to boil.

Rum Raisin

Get a 2 cup or 1/2 liter container - or larger.  Feel free to double this recipe with a larger container if needed.  You want extra "room" so you can shake the mixture every so often.

Raisins, your choice - 1/2 cup or 4 ounces or 225 ml
Rum, your choice - 1/2 cup or 4 ounces or 225 ml

This will scale up or scale down based on your needs.  The trick is to make sure that the raisins are all covered by rum.

When you go to use the rum raisins, strain them with a sieve or mesh.  But reserve the extra rum because the now-brown rum tastes awesome straight up or on ice.

... or on ice cream.


To use the raisins in Tapioca Pudding or Oatmeal Raisin cookies, use the strained raisins as you would with any other wet raisins.  They will change the taste of your baked goods, and in a normal sized serving of Tapioca, you will get between 1/2 to one ounce of rum.

If you're a tea totaller or "On Recovery", substitute water or grape juice.

This also works with any dried fruit within reason.  I'm thinking dried Mangoes next time I go to the shops, or perhaps Apricots.

Sunday, March 17, 2019

I quit my job at the helium gas factory. I refused to be spoken to in that tone of voice!

With all due respect...


I believe that it is technically a Helium Gas Mine.  The helium collects at the top of a pocket or a cave underground.  Water seeks its own level, just like helium does.  




Two friends Bob and Frank are lost deep in the jungle when they encounter a tribe of blood thirsty cannibals.

They are surrounded by dozens of the fierce blood thirsty warriors armed with clubs and spears. The leader of the warriors approaches the two friends and informs them they are trespassing on sacred land and unless they can prove they are descendants of the Gods they will be killed and eaten.

Bob and Frank realize they have little choice but agree they will attempt any test to try to save their lives.

The chief warrior brings them a bowl full of angry fire ants and drops three small seeds into the bowl. He informs them they must put their lips in the bowl and suck as hard as they can. If they manage to suck up all three seeds without sucking up an ant then the tribe would know they must be sent from the Gods.

Bob looks wearily at Frank but knowing they have no other options he puts his lips in the bowl and sucks hard. He immediately gets a mouth full of ants and screams in pain as they bite away at the inside of his mouth. Frank now even more nervous takes his turn and to his dismay also receives a nasty mouthful of the viscous buggers.

The warriors leap to their feet and surround the friends, “Now you must die” declares the chieftain. Just as the first spear is raised to Franks throat he screams “Tria-Gan!” The warriors stop dead in their tracks. “What did you say” asked the chief. “Tria-Gan” yelled frank again. Immediately the chief and his warriors turned and fled into the forest.

“Holy shit” said Bob “What did you just say and how did you know it would work?”

“Well” said Frank, “my Mother always told me if at first you don’t suck seeds try Tria-Gan.”

Saturday, March 16, 2019

Why do chicken coops have 2 doors? If they had 4 doors they'd be chicken sedans

Ok, Car Manufacturers.  A Coupe in US English is a car with two doors.
A Sedan in US English is a car with four doors.
Mixing the two is bad US English.

As usual, I refuse to play along with that folly.

But since that really was all about chicken coops and not chicken coupes I will soldier onward and continue shouting at the ocean, Harald.





A man from Maine heads to Florida for a weekend trip.
The man’s wife is coming to see him the next day.

He checks into a hotel room and opens his laptop.
He sends her a brief email to let her know he got to his destination safely.

Unfortunately, he makes a typo in the address and the email is sent to the elderly wife of a minister who had recently passed away.

When the grieving widow checks her email later that day, she lets out a scream and falls to the floor.

Her children come rushing in to find the following on her screen:

Dearest Wife,
I have just arrived. Everything is prepared for your arrival tomorrow. Can’t wait to see you.
Your loving Husband

P.S. : It sure is hot down here!



An old man goes to a restaurant.

He sits down and orders his favorite bowl of soup.

After a small wait the waiter returns with his bowl of soup.

A few minutes go by and the waiter returns and asks the older gentleman how his soup his.

“It’s ice cold” says the man. “Impossible!” Says the waiter “I watched the chef pour it straight from the pot on the stove”

This exchange goes on for quite a while, until finally the old man says “if you don’t believe me just try it”

The waiter throws his hands up and says “fine! Give me your spoon”

The old man smiles looks down at his bowl and says “ahaaaaa, you forgot my spoon”