Wednesday, December 30, 2020

Making English Muffins Is Not Hard


I will say that if you can't do without a specific brand or a specific taste... go to the market and buy them.  

But I'm finding that to make something that resembles a good and fresh English Muffin, it is probably one of the fastest way to get dough to become bread out there.

The wrinkles are simple.  This is all about the process, not the recipe.  Last time I made these, I used a "Jewish Rye Bread" recipe that was a vigorous rise due to the Bread And Butter Pickle Juice that was added to make them tart.

After I eat some of this Rye Bread that I have been enjoying, I will piece together the recipe and pass it on but...

First find a dough that you like as bread.  The typical recipe that we all expect with Nooks And Crannies is a Sourdough recipe.  You will want a recipe that has a long rise time which means you make the dough today, place it covered in your refrigerator, and then make it later.  12 hours to a day later.

Then the next day, shaping and rising happens.  The commercial muffins are approximately 60 Grams in weight after cooking.  That's about 2.1 ounces 'Merican.  Get a cookie sheet, cover it with parchment paper.  Then oil that sheet well.  You won't be using it to bake, merely to rise the dough.  Open your oven and make sure you took everything out there and then close it.  Turn on the light.  Leave the light on.  Close the oven door.

 If your oven is like mine, it will maintain a 100-110F 40-45C temperature just from the light bulb.  Think "EZ Bake Oven".  Great place to get your Yeasties to have a good start!

Get a dough ball of around 60 Grams and flatten it to a palm sized disc.  Place that disc on your oiled cookie sheet.  Repeat as needed.  You will end up with a cookie sheet coated with about a dozen discs that are ready to go into that oven for the rise.  My rise took 2 hours with a room temperature dough, colder doughs from the refrigerator will take longer.

... But they do taste a lot better and more complex!

Check in on your dough every half hour, and you are ready to bake when they double in size.

The cooking process is a bit different.  Under your stove where the skillets and dome lids live, find a large skillet with a matching lid.  A 12 Inch/30 CM skillet would be fine.  These muffins need room around them to cook.  

Oil the skillet generously, and dust the oil lightly with either corn meal or flour.  

Preheat the skillet on Medium Low Heat.  

When the skillet is up to temperature, place a few of the muffins on the skillet with room to roam, and cover with the dome lid.  The muffins-to-be should be gently removed from the cookie sheet so that they deflate as little as possible.  

Begin to check the muffins after 2 minutes, and every 30 to 60 seconds thereafter.  When the one side looks golden brown and toasted, flip them and repeat.  I found that the first batch took a lot longer (about 6 minutes) per side than the last batch (3 minutes) per side.

Golden Brown is perfect.  The picture was from the last batches I made.  

The basic theory is that you're browning the crust and steaming the entire muffin with the lid covered.  

It is very similar to the Hotteoks (Korean Donuts) that I make from time to time which are basically just English Muffins filled with a little jelly.  In fact, I'd suggest for a little treat just make one or two of these into Hotteoks for later.

Sunday, December 27, 2020

National Sarcasm Society: Like we need your support...

Ok, so I am definitely late on this one, but since I discovered it, and you probably have not taken your decorations down yet, here you go!


On the night of Christmas Eve, Santa was having a really hard time.

He was furious because nothing was going right.

A couple of elves had crashed his sleigh, the reindeers were covered in eggnog, and Mrs. Claus was being a ho ho ho.

Then, to top it all off, Santa had sent little angel hours ago to find a tree and he was still gone.

“Gah, the bastard still isn’t back yet!”

But then, a miracle happened! At the stroke of midnight, the angel comes back with the tree.

“Hey fat man! Where do you want me to put this tree,” asks the little angel.

At this moment, Santa had a brilliant idea.

So, boys and girls, that’s how the tradition of putting angels on top of trees came to be.

Saturday, December 26, 2020

I just bought some synonym rolls. They taste just like the ones Grammar used to make.

 Having just had a friend wish me seasonings greetings I could not resist.  I do hope his day isn't too salty!

How Drunk Are You?

One night a police officer was staking out a particularly rowdy bar for possible DUI violations.
At closing time, he saw a fellow stumble out of the bar, trip on the curb and try his keys on five different cars before he found his. 

The man sat in the front seat fumbling around with his keys for several minutes.
Meanwhile, all the other patrons left the bar and drove off.
Finally he started his engine and began to pull away.

The police officer was waiting for him.
As soon as he pulled onto the street, the officer stopped him, read him his rights and administered the breathalyzer test to determine his blood-alcohol content.

The results showed a reading of 0.0.

The puzzled officer demanded to know how that could be.
The driver replied, “Tonight I’m the designated decoy.”

Friday, December 25, 2020

Happy Holidays from Ramblingmoose

Happy Holidays from me and my house to you and yours. 

May your 2021 be happy, and especially healthy in this difficult time.

It is early and we're already preparing the midday feast of roast chicken with stuffing and probably other oddball veg.  I'm thinking I'll be chewing off my leg somewhere around 10:30.

So if you see me hobbling around here, it was a good one.  Doggone stuff already smells good at 9AM!

Oh, the picture?  It is dated 2018.  I rather like it but a helpful hint here, don't depend on online services to keep your pictures or even your data.  Google of all things lost a good 10 percent of the pictures I had on here since 2009. 

Always keep a backup!  Or If you don't have it, you may lose it!

Wednesday, December 23, 2020

Kool Aid at night or on the trails for a workout? Sure why not!

In my own absurd life, my life of irony, I found myself laughing in the mirror.   I guess this started years ago.

I am a Distance inline skater, a rollerblader.  Unabashed, have been since 1993.

A workout for me is short if it is 10 miles.  Longer, Faster, Further.  I don't "jump things", don't do "Ollies" or Grinds.   If you do, great, I'm more than happy to sit on the sidelines and let you have fun. I really enjoy someone who is dancing on a trail on "Quads" in an artistic fashion.

It is a growing sport, we all bring something to the table, or to the park.

But going out for an hour and a half or more means I'm doing things differently.  On a long workout I'm carrying water and snacks.  Not wanting to run into a sugar crash, it's more than one snack usually if I go past two hours.

I did notice a while ago that caffeine is my friend.  I'd skate faster and further when I'd have coffee that morning.  About an extra 10% faster.  

Although I am fast enough for people on bikes to congratulate my speed, there are times that that extra horsepower (Moose Power?) is not welcome.

After that workout, I figured out that having coffee or caffeinated soda isn't the best at 8PM if you want to get to bed at 10:30, earlier if it is a sunrise workout.  A Red Bull may give you wings, but I've gone airborne without one of those little cans of evil sweetness.

Anyone who is training at a high level, especially if they are over 30, will go through this micromanagement and modification of their diet at some point.

But there are times you are thirsty at night, right?  

This is where the weird OCD hits.

You see I got bored with the ice water at my side.  No reason other than I wanted something different.   I found Decaf Coffee or Iced Tea to be a bit repetitive.  Since every last calorie counts in a training diet, what do you do?

The answer?  Kool-aid.  Specifically with saccharine.

Yes, a big 6'4" 220 pound man got started bending down like a Giraffe at a water hole with widely spaced legs to the lower shelves at the market to get the packets that he had as a child.  No, it's not a case of regression or middle aged crazy.  They put them there so the toddlers you are dragging through the Winn-Dixie can see them.

You see, I learned to enjoy Sharkleberry Fin.  Or Pineapple.  Or Watermelon flavor.  While it is easy to find, there are only so many times you can drink Tropical Punch.  I had hit the wrong button online and instead of getting a small selection of packets of this day glow powder, I ended up getting a fist sized cube of mixed packets, 100 of them ... all at once.

Then again, if you toss a packet of that stuff into a white cake mix, you end up with a Tropical Punch Flavored Cake.  

Great for a snack on a long haul workout, right?  I'm planning on trying that next time I make a cake, should be great for a laugh.

Yes, I really do find it ironic that a big beefy guy like me is drinking a pink kid's drink for a Sport Drink.  Or by choice at night before bed.

With helmet and skates, I'm about 7 feet tall, and in the water bottles that I have in the Fanny Pack, might just be a Blue liquid that looks like Windex and tastes like a freezer pop from your childhood.  Yes, a Fanny Pack does have its place and its place is strapped on backwards around my waist coming at you around 15 MPH.

A half gallon of that stuff goes long enough that I can have some at night.  

Isn't Variety the Spice of Life?   Even if that spice is in a packet with a cartoon character based on an anthropomorphic apex predator.

Don't get me started talking about the Sea Cap'n that I had to wrestle for that baggie of cereal that I'm Crunching through for the snack next time.

Sometimes what you got fed as a kid, or were feeding your kids, has a different and secondary purpose.  In my case it is weirding out the normies, like me.

Sunday, December 20, 2020

Why did the kid cross the amusement park? To get to the other ride.


A policeman goes home to his wife in the evening after work. 

Exhausted, he enters the dark bedroom and strips out of his uniform, leaving it on the floor. 

He looks for the light switch but figures his wife is laying in bed and decides not to disturb her. 

Just before he's about to get into bed, his wife speaks:

    Honey, can you run down to the corner shop and buy bread, so I can make breakfast for the kids tomorrow?

-Fine, but you should have mentioned earlier - says the husband while putting the uniform on again

He runs down to the shop, gets the bread and exchanges small talk with the guy at the counter

New job? - asks the cashier

Nah, why do you ask?

Ah, I could have sworn you were a policeman, but that's definitely a fireman uniform.

Saturday, December 19, 2020

I tried to rain on your parade... but I mist.

 This reminds me of one of the first off road trips I ever did in my Jeep.  

See, there's a series of roads in the NJ Pine Barrens, they're fire trails to allow the trucks to get back there to put out the summer fires that happen.  People have a nasty habit of not putting out camp fires of course.

I was out there in an open area in my old CJ7, just hooning around and enjoying the time when I managed to get the Jeep stuck. 

Solid ground, no mud, packed earth field.

So how did I do it?  Yours truly managed to get the most capable off road vehicle stuck by getting the transfer case stuck on a rock.   Yes, the entire car was suspended in mid air. 

Not very bright, Bill.

Look at the window. There's an old ghost's face there!!!!!!!

Two guys left the bar after a long night of drinking, jumped in the car and started it up.
After a couple of minutes, an old man appeared in the passenger window and tapped lightly.

The passenger screamed "Look at the window. There's an old ghost's face there!"

The driver speed up, but the old man's face stayed in the window.

The passenger rolled his window down part way and, scared out of his wits, said "What do you want?"
The old man softly replied "You got any tobacco?"

The passenger handed the old man a cigarette and yelled "Step on it" to the driver, rolling up the window in terror.

A few minutes later they calmed down and started laughing again.

The driver said "I don't know what happened, but don't worry; the speedometer says we're doing 80 now".

All of a sudden there was a light tapping on the window and the old man reappeared.

"There he is again!" the passenger yelled.
He rolled down the window and shakily said "Yes?" "Do you have a light?" the old man quietly asked.
The passenger threw a lighter out the window saying "Step on it!"

They were driving about 100mph, trying to forget what they had just seen and heard, when all of a sudden there came some more tapping.

"Oh my God! He's back!"

The passenger rolled down the window and screamed in stark terror "WHAT NOW?"
The old man gently replied "You want some help getting out of the mud?"

Wednesday, December 16, 2020

Rough Night On Wilton Drive

We were out at the Dog Hour.

At this time of year, that means after 5 but before 5:30 because it's dark that early here.

Trust me, if you ever want to get to meet people, get a dog.  They require 3 walks a day, and you will see many of the same people out there for that time for the life of that dog.  Besides, if you are wondering about what your dog is thinking, you will learn fast that they will tell you.

Rack certainly does.

I have been walking my dogs at that time since I moved here years ago.  I get to see it all, and I have seen it all.

Recently the Wilton Art group have been putting up an art installation of what looks like from the ground wrought iron pieces of art meant to resemble some aspect of living here.  I will say they catch my eye, simply because they are so distinctive.  New or not, you notice an alligator lifting a drink to the sky and saluting the crowd.

In Philadelphia's Center City, there is a well known tradition or requirement of any new construction spending 1% towards public and accessible art.  It's something I supported here, and mention widely when I speak to people about improving our own little Island City.

In our case, Rack the McNab SuperDog (TM) did not mind my looking at these.  I stopped to take the picture, as we paused the walk and he got some more attention.

I hear the phrase squealed across five lanes of traffic "OOOOH!  A DOG!" more times than I care to, so I made it a point not to dawdle.

Having had someone decide that my own front lawn was a perfect place to "Sleep It Off", I think I see what they were illustrating in wire frame.

I still get a chuckle out of the local police when I mention that last episode.  I wonder if the sleeper's girlfriend let him back in the house.  He borrowed her car, lost it and his cell phone, and curled up under the palm tree in the front yard.

So now, up and down the drive, on select light poles near you, you will see pictures and slogans of what you may see here from time to time.  Just stay socially distant, and don't make too much noise at 2AM when the bars close, OK?

Sunday, December 13, 2020

I just invented a DIY surgery kit. It’s called Suture Self.

 Well, ok, so I enjoyed putting out short stories yesterday, why not do it again? 

A man experiences severe pain in his eyes but couldn't point out why.

The pain worsened over a few weeks and his eyes would swell and redden.

He consulted a doctor. He asked the patient to sit down and not panic.

''once I examine you, you'll be prescribed the medicine and treatment and it'll be fine soon.''

The doctor offered him tea, and the man agreed.

As the man sipped tea, the doctor looked and him wide-eyed with a weird expression on his face.

''Next time you have tea, please remove the spoon before-hand.''

An off-duty soldier is riding the train.

When the train reaches its first stop a general walks in and the soldier stood up.

"At ease soldier, sit down.", said the general.

The train reached its second stop and again the soldier stood up.

The general once again said, "At ease soldier, sit down."

The train reached its third stop and again the soldier stood up.

The general said, "You don't have to salute every time we reach a stop."

The soldier said, "I'm trying to get off, I missed my stop 2 stations ago."

Reckless Driving

A man was driving on the highway when all of a sudden he had to swerve to avoid a box falling off the truck that was in front of him.

Seconds later, a police office pulled him over for reckless driving.

As the officer was writing the ticket, the driver noticed the box he'd avoided had been full of nails and tacks.

"I had to swerve otherwise I'd have run over those and blown my tires!" he protested.

"OK," replied the officer, as he ripped up the ticket, "but I'm still bringing you in."

"What for?!"

"Tacks evasion."

Saturday, December 12, 2020

What did the cat say when it fell of the couch? MeeOUCh

 I must be feeling generous.  I have three short jokes for you today.  Kind of a Badump Dum Tss kind of a day!

A frog telephones the Psychic Hotline.
His Personal Psychic Advisor tells him, “You are going to meet a beautiful young girl who will want to know everything about you.”
The frog is thrilled! “This is great! Will I meet her at a party?”
“No,” says his advisor, “in her biology class.”

Steve was at the Bob's house until late and when time came to go he faced a hellish rain.
Bob took pity on him and said "You cannot go home with weather like that. You might as well sleep over. Steve agreed.

As Bob was done preparing the bed he started searching for Steve not finding him anywhere.
After more than an hour, there was a ring at the doors.
Bob opened the doors and sees Steve soaking wet outside.

"Where have you been?" asks Bob, "I though you would stay to sleep."

- "I will. I just went home to get pajamas."

Dolphins go bald, too. Tough for humans to notice, but dolphins notice... Anyway...

Understandably, they start getting a little down in the dumps recognizing the loss of their youth and feeling a profound sense of their own mortality.

In a moment of clarity, one dolphin says to his buddy, “Hey compadre, we don’t have to just accept this as our new normal, ya know? What with modern fashion and technology these days… we can do something about this!”

So they went out and bought matching hairpieces. They were toupees in a pod.

Wednesday, December 9, 2020

Two Yellow Cattleya Orchid Flowers

One of the nicer things about South Florida is how easy it is to grow just about anything that a Northerner would consider "Exotic".  

I am too far south for northern fruit trees.  No Apples, Pears, or Cranberries here, I grow Orange, Mango, Lemon, and Banana in my yard.

Too many Banana.  They spread.  I have three pots of that stuff and if you are nearby...

Anyway, here, just like anywhere, if you go into a big box "hardware" store and look around in their garden section, they have some oddball plants.  They taunt you in their little packaging and implore you to take a chance.

And here, those sad little packages are typically Orchids.  They hang from hooks on a display  with a picture of the flower that they would love to become if you would just adopt them and bring them home.

It worked, we did.  And it worked, they grew.  

In fact, I have a bit too green of a thumb.  I have baskets of orchids hanging all over the back yard from spots under a drip feed irrigation.  One of those orchids was a gift from the real estate agent when we bought the house back in 2006.

Come to think of it, most of the plantings in this yard are from cuttings from other plants.  I've mentioned before that I have a habit of doing that.  My Podocarpus Hedge is all from cuttings, although they grow slowly.  I have some hibiscus that the Iguanas actually avoid for some reason and I'm running with that.  

Bloom where you are planted, besides nobody wants to live in a pot! (except these plants)

The reality of that is that an Orchid will live from the nutrients that are washed down by the rain into their roots.  The soil is Orchid Bark, and the rain and mists that I use to water these beauties will rot the baskets that they live in.  About once every six months, I have to remove those plants from their homes, and repot them.  Most of the time I end up with more plants than I started with, so there's a constant supply of beauty to enjoy.  Just like that little bug on the left bloom is doing there.

Sunday, December 6, 2020

I turned the fan off because I was cold. Everyone in the helicopter was shocked!

 Ok, I know people like that.  I'm cold, turn off the fan.... And... BOOM!


Somewhere in a back road

My vehicle stopped working.
I open the hood to see if I could see any trouble. 

While I was looking into the motor, I heard a voice and said "it's the distributor, you have a bad one"
I responded while trying to see who said that "do you really think so?"

But there was nobody there except a white horse with a black spot on the forehead.
I said "hello" then the horse came closer and looking into my motor he said "it's the distributor you have a bad one".

I could not believe what I saw so I started running until I came into a small pub.
I went in there were a few locals there. 

I told the bartender what happened.
Everyone in the pub starting laughing.

The bartender looked at me and ask "was it a white horse with a black spot in the forehead?
To which I responded "YES! YES! That's the one!"

The bartender then said " oh that's Ralph don't listen to him, he doesn't know anything about mechanics"

Saturday, December 5, 2020

Therapist: you need to stop talking to yourself. You're doing it right now.

 In reading this I was picturing myself standing in a small market in a small town in a rural area where I didn't speak the language.  Then again I don't see anyone traveling very far any time soon.   Of course, living in South Florida it is not required to know anything other than English, but if you know a wee bit of Spanish, you will make someone incredibly happy if you tell them Muchas Gracias.

And aren't we all here to make ourselves and others happy?

A Russian lady married an English gentleman and they lived in London .

She was not very proficient in English, but did manage to communicate with her husband. The real problem arose whenever she had to shop for groceries.

One day, she went to the butcher and wanted to buy chicken legs. She didn't know how to put forward her request, so, in desperation, clucked like a chicken and raised her skirt to show her legs, knees and a bit of thigh. Her butcher got the message and gave her the chicken legs.

Next week she needed to get chicken breast, again she didn't know how to say it, so she clucked like a chicken and revealed a bit of her bra by unbuttoning her top to show the butcher. The butcher understood again and gave her some chicken breasts.

On the 3rd week, the poor lady needed to buy sausages. Unable to find a way to communicate this, she brought her husband to the store...

Wednesday, December 2, 2020

Peekaboo, Lizard!

The thing about wildlife photography is you have to be at the right place and at the right time.

Or just scratch that and have things jump out at you.

I have a stand of Bamboo in the backyard that I keep using for "Things... Useful Things".  In this particular case, it is being used as a mount for some solar lights.

Solar lights are generally garbage now, the batteries don't tend to last because they are not using the right metal for a contact for the batteries.  That metal rusts and the lights die.  Or the UV in the sunlight over the years will cloud the plastic over the charging cell.


But I was walking past the place where I had the mount getting ready to put the light on top when this little critter looked out to say hello.  

Note to self, don't leave an open spot at the top of a piece of bamboo if you don't want it colonized.  Lizards are fine, but red ants... noooo!

Sunday, November 29, 2020

Which animal aced our Elementary Algebra exam? The g-raph.

On a Sunday what do I have for you?  Three short but sweet jokes!


Mrs Matthews, the 4th-grade teacher, posed the following problem to one of her classes.

A wealthy man dies and leaves 10 million dollars. 1/5 go to his wife, 1/5 goes to his son, 1/4 to his butler and the rest to charity. Now, what does each get?

After a long silence in the classroom, little Harry answered, "A lawyer!"

A Russian, went to USA for an eye check up
The Doctor shows the letters on the board: CZWXNQSTAZKY

Doctor: Can you read this ?
Russian: Read ??? I even know this guy, he’s my cousin.

$25 haircut

A balding man went into a barber’s shop and asked how much it would be for a haircut.
“Twenty-five dollars,” said the barber.
“Twenty-five dollars, that’s crazy!” exclaimed the man.
“I’ve hardly got any hair. How can it be that expensive?”
The barber explained, “It’s $5 for the actual cut and $20 for the search fee.”

Saturday, November 28, 2020

I wrote a book on Reverse Psychology. Don't buy it!

A man gets pulled over at a DUI checkpoint...

A man is driving home from a party with his wife and son.
They get pulled over at a DUI checkpoint and the policeman gives the man the breathalizer test.
The machine beeps and the policeman asks the man to step out of the car.

‟Bull!”, he exclaims in response. ‟I haven’t had a single drop! The machine is obviously broken, test it on my wife!”

The policeman reluctantly agrees as the man does not seem intoxicated.
As the wife is blowing into the breathalizer, it beeps again and shows that she is drunk as well.

‟See? It does not work! You can even test my 4-year-old son!”

So the 4-year-old kid takes the breathalizer test and whaddaya know, it says he’s drunk as well.
‟As I said it is broken, you should get it checked.”

The policeman is left puzzled, he apologises and lets the man on his way.

As they start driving along again, the man turns to his wife and says:
‟You see that? I told you it won’t hurt to give the kid a taste.”

Wednesday, November 25, 2020

Rack, I should have named you Alexa or Your Dog Always Is Listening

 Knowing what I do about Computer Security, I won't have any smart speakers like Alexa or the rest in the house.

They work by listening to you, every second of the day, every room they are in.

Since nobody outside of the manufacturer knows what they are doing with the information, I'll pass.

It seems to me that it is beyond creepy, like having a horror movie take place in your house and you invited it in.

We're Heeeere!

However I realized I did exactly that with Rack, the Mc Nab SuperDog (TM).

It is amazing how many little things that our little black and white tape recorder has picked up over the years.

He learned a while ago that he gets an ice cube in the morning from me only when I have my first mug of coffee.  Not the second one, just the first.  I don't like taking the chance that he may chip a tooth having that treat, so I do limit them.

But it is more than that.  After all, he only comes out now for that first cube, past that he has learned not to ask.

He sleeps on a pad that is wrapped in a blanket next to my chair in the living room during the day.  At night he's on a dog bed that he ignores and sticks his head in the closet to limit the amount of noises he has to contend with.  It was a very windy night last night and lately and I have found him curled into a dogball sleeping next to my inline skates and the gear box that I keep there.  Quiet and secure I guess, dogs like smelling things, I just hope I'm not going to be judged by a wet nose by some sporting gear I have used to propel myself 22,207 miles, to date.

The stuff has to be treated with care and being next to you for all that time... well you get the picture.

The other night he was laying there as we had on the TV.  That's normal after dinner, we sit back and watch crusty old Re-Runs.  That particular night was Petticoat Junction.  Kate was telling "Dog" "Good BOY!".  I heard a thump.   He was quite happily asleep and wagging his tail against the floor boards.

We call that "Command Shrapnel" when a comment "explodes" and he does what he's told.  In this case he got hit by Kate's praise.

And it happens frequently.

Mr Dog was doing a "Perimeter Search" of the house and walked by the TV.   As he glanced up at it on his way to the door, another "Good Dog" came out of the speakers.  He smiled, wagged his tail and walked to snoop the door.

"Resource Guarding" so I don't escape I think.  He can't have that.

But there is a lot of that Command Shrapnel.

At 7:30 AM, the irrigation systems fire up.  The orchids have to be misted every morning and I go out to inspect them.  Yard Inspection time.  I put my keyboard on the table, rinse out the coffee mug french press and then walk out to do a lap of the yard.

It used to be just putting the keyboard would get him up.  He's learned the Art of Subtlety.

The Keyboard was apparently not a 100% sure fire lock that I'd be getting up.  I may just be doing Me Things and had to get that old IBM Model M clicky monster from 1992 off my lap.  

Rack has learned to wait for the irrigation pump to turn on.  Not every day.  He knows that Thursday and Sunday we have three zones that turn on.  Every other day it is only the 7:30 AM watering.  Zone Three is the only one he gets up for.

I'm amused and amazed.

The third thing is that apparently my brushing my teeth on an evening shortly after dinner is a signal that I am going somewhere.  Specifically.  

Mind you, I do it a couple times a day.  I'm home, if I am in there and want to freshen up, it is not a big deal, but usually, apparently, in the evening, I wait until I leave.

If it is just after dinner, there's the possibility of a Ride.   As in "RIDE!  IN THE CAR!!!!!".

We've been going down to Dairy Belle for some of the good soft serve ice cream about twice a month.  Dania Beach is a bit of a haul, so he gets that RIDE! and gets to experience the world.  But it is not every week, it is typically on random days, and he has not quite worked out the pattern. 

So I get the campaign.  The Twin Brown Laser Beam Eyes, the erect ears, the pacing, and perhaps the whining.

If we are not going anywhere, I piece it together and say "Nope, Rack, Stay Home And Watch The House."  Repeatedly.  Until I grab Mask, Sanitizer, Keys... you get the picture.

But since sometimes, it's a haul for that Vanilla Soft Serve With Caramel Sauce on top, he Campaigns.

If it is a yes, I tell him "Go get your leash".  The stupid ensues at that point.  He loses his mind in excitement.   He isn't calm enough to go to the back room on top of his crate that he refuses to use, nor does he think he is allowed to do so.  So we get 45 pounds of black and white dog running full speed to the heavy glass door in front, then back to the crate, repeatedly.  

All the while he is speaking in tongues and trying to calm down enough to follow orders.

"Rack, you'd never make a good police dog" I tell him and let him off the hook by grabbing his harness and leash.

All this from my using a toothbrush at a strange hour.

Yes, I should have named you Alexa.

Now, if you will excuse me, it may be one of his better days, but he is still a dog.  He got it wrong.  They're working on the duplex across the street and a truck arrived.  It wasn't the white panel "Free Candy" van that shows, it was a pickup truck delivering two stackable washers for the units.

The places may have everything but he's still going to ask $500 a month too much for them.

Sunday, November 22, 2020

I like my cheese to be like my clothes and my scissors. Sharp.

I never was a religious man, but for some reason this fits well on a Sunday Morning.  Even down to being able to tell it to all audiences.



Noah's Ark

"How does my new toupee look?" Noah asks his family. "Honest opinions only."

His son says, "It looks great, Dad!"

His wife says, "It looks totally realistic!"

His uncle says, "It looks like something crawled up and died there."

Lo and behold, Noah throws his uncle over the side of the ark, never to be seen again. Coming to his senses, he apologizes, then turns to the animals. "And how does my outfit look? Honest opinions only."

The horse says, "Great! The colors really go together."

The parrot says, "I couldn't have said it better myself."

The unicorn says, "Bozo called, he wants his tie back."

Saturday, November 21, 2020

People who make awful jokes get sent to the punitentiary.

It's a two-fer of shorter jokes.  I have to say though that that first one is a little catty story that had me laughing out loud.


 A man goes on trial for calling the Duchess a pig. 

The judge finds him guilty of slander and explains that if he ever calls the Duchess a pig again he’ll be severely punished. 

The man then says to the judge, “If I can’t call the Duchess a pig, would I still get punished for calling a pig Duchess?”

The judge publicly rules that he can indeed call a pig Duchess.

On his way out of the courtroom, the man walks by the royal plaintiff, tips his hat, and says “Good day, Duchess.”


Our booking office had three phones. 
One day during lunch, I was responsible for answering all of them. 
It was a constant repeat of “May I help you?” or “Will you hold?” 
I guess I got confused because I surprised one man on the other end of the line when I answered his call with, “May I hold you?”  

Wednesday, November 18, 2020

The Ginger Flower That Jumped Out To Have It's Picture Taken

I have quite a lot of this ornamental Ginger.  I don't believe that it is edible, even if I don't spray pesticides on it.

I have a small bit of the ginger from the market growing slowly in the front garden.  Actually the slowly is the most important part of that phrase since it is not doing enough to be worth keeping in the spot.

This stuff was given to me by the neighbor when he had to pull it out of its planter box.  It has a nasty habit of being a bit vigorous in a garden.  

For now it's out by the shed, growing under the orchids in semi shade.  I have to trim it regularly since it's grown eye level through the orchid pots.

This particular piece had sprouted that bloom and I meant to get a picture of it.  First the wind moved it, then not enough light, then ... well you get the idea.  

I tried One Last Time for a photo and even that one wasn't good.  Too bad because right after I took that picture I had cut the stem from the plant and meant to throw it away.

Weirdly it was out in the yard where I left it earlier, red-pink bloom saying "Picture Please!" so I stuck it in a pot and fired off this one.

Funny how that can happen, right?

Sunday, November 15, 2020

Did you know that protons have mass? I didn't even know they were Catholic!

 Having just finished up my Spanish tests for the day, I wonder just how well I could get through a day if I were in some small town in Latin America and all I had at my disposal was that language.  Regular is also a Spanish Word, but while it means regular as in English, it may also mean mediocre or merely average, and not in a good way.

A Priest was about to finish his tour of duty, and was leaving his Mission in the jungle after spending years teaching the natives. Suddenly he realized that the one thing he never taught them was how to speak English.

So he takes the chief for a walk in the forest. He points to a tree and says to the chief, "This is a tree." The chief looks at the tree and grunts, "Tree." The Priest is pleased with the response.

They walk a little further and he points to a rock and says, "This is a rock." Hearing this, the chief looks and grunts, "Rock." The Priest was really getting enthusiastic about the results when he hears a rustling in the bushes. As they peek over the top, he sees a couple of natives in the midst of heavy sexual activity.

The Priest is really flustered and quickly responds, "Man riding a bike." The chief looks at the couple briefly, pulls out his blowgun and kills them.

The Priest goes ballistic and yells at the chief that he has spent years teaching them how to be civilized and be kind to each other, so how could he kill these people in cold blood that way? The chief replied, "My bike."

Saturday, November 14, 2020

Why does a chicken coop have two doors? If it had four doors it would be a chicken sedan.

Having just witnessed the joy of an internet troll using the ultimate weapon of a gif, this wee little story is perfectly describing the experience.

A retired gentleman went to the social security office to apply for Social Security.

The woman behind the counter asked him for his driver’s license to verify his age.

He looked in his pockets and realized he had left his wallet at home. He told the woman that he was very sorry but he seemed to have left his wallet at home. “I will have to go home and come back later.”

The woman says, “Unbutton your shirt.” So he opens his shirt revealing curly silver hair. She says, “That silver hair on your chest is proof enough for me” and she processed his Social Security application.

When he gets home, the man excitedly tells his wife about his experience at the social security office.

She says, “You should have dropped your pants. You might have gotten disability too.”

Wednesday, November 11, 2020

Diagnosing Hardware Problems with Samsung Galaxy S4 and Similar with SIM, USB, WIFI, and Proximity Sensor Daughter Cards

With electronics that are "User Serviceable" sometimes things come loose.  That is what happened with my phone.  The result of my own following this process is that it's working fairly normally for an 8 year old phone that goes through some serious abuse.


I was given a Samsung Galaxy S4 about 7 years ago.  This cellphone was amazing, flexible
and still reasonably fast to this day.  Thanks, Craig!


The original Operating System stopped being supported by Samsung almost immediately, and about 3 years or so, apps were not supporting the version of the OS that came with it.  The solution was to unlock, root, and install LineageOS on it.

The short story here is that I have a 8 year old (2013) era cellphone with an operating system that is being actively supported and is a week old as of this day's writing.

That is important because Google is no longer going to support the certificates that are necessary to use the phone on the web.  

Lineage, with a rooted and unlocked phone will fix that.

It began developing problems when it hit the pavement on an inline skating accident.

It lost the ability to sense where my face was (Proximity Sensor), the USB port was disconnecting from my computer, and later the S4 was reporting that there was no SIM in the phone.

There is a simple test, and since the hardware is easy to diagnose, I have replaced all three pieces with new.

This phone is built like a desktop computer with cards that plug into sockets. 

That test is to open the case of the phone, and re-seat each connector for the daughter cards onto the motherboard and see if that helps.

It may not, or it may completely solve the problem.

The connectors are easy to spot on the S4, and even on the S5 and earlier you may have luck following this procedure.

Your Mileage May Vary and the Standard Internet Warranty Applies: takes no responsibility for any repairs that you may attempt or fail to complete.  While I make my best effort to make sure that the information presented here is complete and accurate, it is at your own risk.

You can find the parts, if they are in stock, on Amazon and other locations.  The phone itself is available on Ebay running about $20-50 a piece if you catch the right auction.

I personally may grab one, while it is an 8 year old phone, this thing purrs like a kitten.

The basic procedure is simple:

Power off the phone, perform a full shutdown.

Remove your phone from the case you put it in.

Pry the back off the phone and set it aside.

Remove the battery.

Remove the SIM.

Remove your Memory Chip.

(Remember when you could do all that and not have to have some so-called genius do that for you?)

Remove all nine screws from the back of the phone.

Separate the grey plastic speaker assembly and larger "mid frame" from the phone by separating them with a Spudger or a Guitar Pick.  Do not use metal or a screwdriver, you will have a bad time as it can be too aggressive and may break some components.

Locate the grey rectangular connectors highlighted on the picture below and push GENTLY to reseat them in the sockets on the motherboard.   (Remember, at your own risk?  This is where you have to be careful.)

The numbers are as follows:
1 and 2 are the Proximity Sensor and Earspeaker not sure of order since it is a small board with the two components.

3 Honestly... not certain.  Check to make sure it's seated.

4 SIM and Memory Chip 

5 USB Connector

6 One end of the Antenna Wire

At this point if you test the phone and find that it is behaving well, reassemble the phone and go on your way.  

If the camera is dead, that can be accessed by removing the two screws that hold down the motherboard and re-seating it from behind.  

A Full Disassembly of that order is beyond the scope of this article.


To Remove the SIM and Memory Chip daughter board, use that Guitar Pick.  Disconnect the SIM and Chip Reader board from the motherboard.  Pry from the memory chip side, gently but firmly.  Continue working your way toward your right where the SIM is.  The usual procedure is to use a Heat Gun or Hairdryer to loosen the adhesive to make the socket assembly peel off the board easier, however mine was old enough that I could get the board off with some insistent pressure.

Once removed, connect the SIM and Chip daughter board at the socket on the motherboard, peel the blue tab off the back to expose the black sticky adhesive and carefully align the assembly on the board where the old one was.   Press down to join the adhesive and board to the motherboard - remember that the adhesive is intended to go one way and if it is not set in the right place, you may have problems.

Sunday, November 8, 2020

Cosmetic surgery used to be such a taboo subject.. now everyone talks about botox and no one raises an eyebrow

 Ok so yesterday I blamed the joke on CNN.

Today, I found a joke that is attributed to CNN.

You be the judge!

One of the first cosmetic surgery patients died today.

He was 95. CNN interviewed Dr. Phil Raymond, the grandson of the surgeon who had performed the operation, and who had followed the patient throughout his long life.

Dr. Raymond: Mr. Johnson was born without eyelids.. Back in the day, the situation was serious. Everyone expected that the baby would go blind.

Anderson Cooper: But your grandfather found a solution?

Dr. R: Yes. Necessity is the mother of invention. He circumcised the little boy, and used his foreskin to build two eyelids. It was the first plastic microsurgery ever performed on an infant.

AC: And it worked.

Dr. R.: Yes, but not immediately. It took a year or so for the vestigial muscles of the ocular orbits to learn how to move the eyelids, but eventually everything worked fine.

AC: Until the end of his long life.

Dr. R.: Yes, he lived a long, normal, sighted life. Although everyone always said that he looked a bit cockeyed.

Saturday, November 7, 2020

Sergeant: I didn’t see you at camouflage practice this morning Private! Private: Yes Sir! Thank you sir!

I don't know about you but refreshing CNN on the browser every hour or three for the last week has me thinking that there are too many lawyers in the world, among other things.


A dying wish

A man spoke to each of his three sons when he sent them to college.

"I feel it's my duty to provide you with the best possible education, and you do not owe me anything for that.
However, I want you to appreciate it.
As a gesture of appreciation, please each put $1,000 into my coffin when I die".

And so it happened.

His sons became a doctor, a financial planner, and a lawyer, each successful financially.

When their father died and they saw him in the coffin, they remembered his wish.

First, the doctor stacked 10 crisp $100 bills onto the chest of the deceased.

Next, the financial planner placed $1,000 there in 20 crisp $50 bills.

Finally, it was the heartbroken lawyer's turn.

He slowly reached into his pocket, removed his chequebook, wrote a check for $3,000, put it into his father's coffin, and took the $2,000 cash.

Wednesday, November 4, 2020

Be Prepared and Wrap Your Wallet In Plastic

Boy Scouts say Be Prepared.  I usually am.  I'm the guy who keeps an eye out for things and  stores them until I need them   I've put things aside for later use, neatly, until I need them all my life.  

I end up with "projects".   Some of them are even finished!

Having had an entire day shot because the winds were up, too high to skate, followed by the same thing the next day, I've been chewing through projects.

Since we are all burned out on what the election will bring, that's a project I personally finished back in October.  Less said about all that the better, however I didn't want to get too far from the house that day.  

Can't skate today either, and with "base winds over 20, and gusts over 30" for the second day in a row, I'll wait.

But that skating thing.  See, when I was in Philadelphia, I called myself an elite skater.  100 miles a week (162 KM) from April to October.  It changed the way you look at things.

I was constantly either skating or preparing for it.  Weightlifting five days a week in a University Gym.  Nice thing about skating a 33 mile workout was that that piece of chocolate cake you eyed on the neighbor's table walking into the restaurant would be a necessity and not a maybe or a cheat.  

When I explained that to a dear friend who was a Restaurateur, she smiled and brought my big slab of cake that one night with extra whipped cream on top!

Here I'm purposely holding my distance down until covid is over and life gets back to normal, whatever that may be.

Two times ago I went out for a workout and it was strange.

We had high winds the night before, and I was able to get out to the park.  Any times we have winds in South Florida, it can be anything over 20 MPH (Call it 30 KPH).  Expect tree limbs and seeds and general "mulch" blown onto an asphalt sidewalk about three times wider than my shoulders are at average.  Not much room to move to avoid an emergency.

Emergencies happen when your wheels are almost rock hard and you hit a stick, trust me!

I had decided to go out and enjoy it anyway.  But I wanted to inspect the skates.  If you are out and about, you have to prepare and bring with you two bottles of water (one liter) and more in the car since if you are at a park and there is a water fountain, understand that at night when you are snug in your bed, the water is still there.

It becomes a shower for the homeless.  You decide.  I'll carry my own, thanks.

I bent down and put each skate on my opposite leg, checked that the bolts were tight, and went on my way.

No problems, I hold my bolts in place with a small snip of duct tape so I can pull them apart easily.

Going on my way I noticed that I was wet.  Granted, at my level, about 25-30 calories burned in a minute on average, I expect to be wet, sweat is normal.

This wasn't warm, though.  I was getting cold water draining out of the fanny pack that I wear backwards so I can reach it easily. 

What happened is that I hadn't tightened the bottles enough and water leaked out and soaked everything.  The tools were not a problem, they've gotten wet before.

While moving, I unzipped the pack and looked at the bottles.   I lost about a quarter of the water in both bottles, so call it about a half of a soda can of ice water got sprayed.  

Into my wallet it soaked.  Fabric wallet.  Where the money and the car insurance and registration was.

Yep.  All 7 feet of me with gear was dripping water onto my cotton shorts where it looked like I had An Accident.

Shrug.  No accident, just not prepared quite right.

So the solution is this time the wallet, the tools, and the surgical tape I carry will be wrapped up.

Yes, Surgical Tape.  Long workouts cause hot spots and blisters.

On top of it all, I had to hide under a big mango tree at Kevin's Bench near the Goodyear Blimp Base when another gullywasher of a thunderstorm fired up.  Sit it out, it's two miles to home, and you have work to do later to dry everything out!

But.  On the way out to the park the last time I got a curious look when I pulled a wallet out of a plastic bag that was shoved in my pack.  Looming over the counter, I got out the cash and said "40 on pump 6 please!", got on my way.

Repeat the whole thing when I went to get the 10 back in change in a few.

So be prepared, but remember, if you are on a workout, you still have to interact with people.  Make sure your money stays dry, nobody wants wet twenties even if it is only ice water.

It had dried!  Trust me, I swear it was dry!

Sunday, November 1, 2020

I'm getting revenge for the Titanic one ice-cube in my drink at a time.

I used to ride the trains in Philadelphia all the time.  In fact, I moved to places specifically so I could walk to the stations.  Then when it was off season for inline skating and I needed an aerobic buzz, I'd get off the train a couple stops early and walk the extra mile  .

There were times when it was less than perfect.  If the system had a problem and I had to stand, if it was too crowded, that sort of thing.  This seems to be one of those kind of trips.


 Fred mistakenly gets on a bus full of war veterans, but upon discovering it is going his way, decides to stay on for the ride...

He sits down next to a guy that jerks his head to the left every few seconds, over and over. This really starts to get on Fred's nerves so he asks him, "What the hell is wrong with you?"

The reply is, "l got this in the war."

Fred finds this pretty annoying so he switches seats. The next guy he sits by has uncontrollable spastic twitches in his right leg, causing him to kick the seat in front of him, and even kicks Fred a few times. So, Fred asks him, "What the hell is wrong with you?"

Again the answer is, "l got this in the war."

Fred moves. The next guy poor Fred sits by begins erratically flailing his left hand. Fred says, "Let me guess, you got that in the war."

"No, l got it out of my nose. Now I can't get it off of my hand."

Saturday, October 31, 2020

My son was getting super stressed learning about decimals. I guess you could say it was getting pretty tenths.

A doctor was telling a colleague about a patient who had come in from a terrible car accident.

"They were losing a lot of blood and had to be operated on right away. 

The other passengers from the accident came in with them, but were mostly unharmed. 

As I saw to the patient, a nurse got information from the others involved in the accident, apparently a brother and sister, Augustus and Beatrice Coulomb, who were driving with their friend when they crashed in the rain. 

We were very low on the blood needed for their friend, but thankfully the brother and sister were both universal donors."

The colleague asked, "So which one did you get the blood from, the brother or the sister?"

The doctor shrugged and replied, "A little from Coulomb, A; a little from Coulomb, B."


Since that was a bit short, here is a bonus!


A man flying on a plane noticed that this one woman in the other aisle had a terrible-looking baby.

Ugly baby. I mean, a bad-looking baby. The woman caught him staring, and she says, “What are you looking at?” He said, “I’m looking at that ugly baby. That’s a hell of a kid you got there. Don’t worry, no one will steal THAT baby.”

The woman took this as an offence. She calls for the stewardess and points at the man...

“That man just insulted me. I don’t have to pay all this money for a plane to be insulted like this.”

The stewardess goes, “I deeply apologize madam. I would be delighted to help arrange your seating. We have a spot up in First Class where we can give you a free meal. And maybe we can find a banana for your monkey.”

Wednesday, October 28, 2020

Kevin's Pizza Sauce or To Make The Best Pizza On The Island, You Need The Best Sauce

When I moved to South Florida I was surprised how mediocre the pizza here was.  Flat sauces, tasteless cheeses, and crusts that were more like the cardboard the box was made from.

We all went on a tear looking for the best pizza shop around.

I never found one like the pizza shops I had in Philadelphia, and the New Yorkers I know here all said the same as me.

Applying our own stubborn knowledge, we found a recipe that surpassed the best here, and some of the best up there.   Crusts can be fiddly and cheese mixes are personal, I use 2-3 parts low moisture Mozarella to 1 part Parmesan.  

Once tweaked to your personal tastes, this sauce I would put up against any sauce in any pizza parlor that is in business.


  • 10 ounces of Tomato Passata - Pureed Strained Roma Tomatoes will do in a pinch.
  • 1/2 large onion - Depending on how sweet, reduce the amount to about 1/4 onion to taste.
  • 26 ounce Can of San Marzano Tomatoes
  • 2 tablespoons chopped garlic
  • Olive oil 

Ingredients for Spice Mix:

  • 1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1/4 teaspoon dried thyme
  • 1/4 teaspoon dried basil
  • 1/8 teaspoon red pepper flakes
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper


Into saucepan add 2 tablespoons olive oil and tomato passata.
Into Cuisinart, Food Mill, Blender or Similar add onion, garlic, and tomatoes only from Can of San Marzano tomatoes while reserving the liquid.
Puree until very smooth.

Take leftover sauce from San Marzano Tomatoes and empty into saucepan
Empty Cuisinart into saucepan.

Bring all ingredients in saucepan to slow boil.
Turn down to simmer.

Add Spice Mix to saucepan
Reduce until you have enough for 2 pizzas or so. 

Your sauce should be fairly thick.  It will take a long time to go to get about 14 ounces of sauce.

The longer you reduce this or any cooked sauce, the better it will taste!  

Mom would leave a pot of sauce on all weekend.  

Trust in Mom!

Sunday, October 25, 2020

Will glass coffins ever catch on? Remains to be seen.

It is a two-fer today.   Since they're always a variation on a theme, that theme today is what made me laugh when I was half asleep.


A bus gets in to a terrible crash.

Everybody inside dies and goes to Heaven. At the gates of Heaven, God is there to greet them. He says to the first person, “Before you get in to Heaven, I can grant you one wish.”

The first person in line says, “Well, I wish I was pretty.” God then grants this wish and let’s her in to Heaven.

The next person in line is also granted a wish and also says “I wish I could be pretty.”

When she says this, the person at the very end of the line starts to chuckle.

Everyone in the line thinks that the first two people had a good wish and they also wish to be pretty. As they make their wishes, the person at the back of the line starts to burst into laughter. When it’s finally his turn, God says “And what do you wish for?”

He says, “I wish they were all ugly again”


A man was at the grocery store when he suddenly notices an attractive woman waving at him.

She smiles and says hello.

The man is puzzled and can't recall where he knows her from.

He says, "Do you know me?"

The woman replies, "You’re the father of one of my kids."

The man's mind is racing and he goes back to the only time he was unfaithful to his wife.

He says, "My God, are you the stripper from my bachelor party that I made love to on the pool table with all my buddies watching while your partner whipped my butt with a wet cucumber?"

She pauses and says calmly, "No, I’m your son’s elementary teacher."

Saturday, October 24, 2020

What do you call a steak that's well done? A misteak.

If you are tired, like I am of things getting more expensive and lining the One Percent's pockets, you will probably smile at this one like I did.



A 70-year-old woman chose to remain overnight in a costly hotel as a treat for her birthday.

The following morning, she was appalled when the desk clerk gave her a bill for $250.00. She requested to know why the charge was too high.

"It's a nice hotel, but the rooms certainly aren't worth $250.00 for just an overnight stay! I didn't even have breakfast," she told the clerk.

The clerk clarified that $250.00 is the standard rate. At that point, the older lady insisted on talking with the manager.

The manager showed up and explained that the hotel "has an Olympic-sized pool and a huge conference center which are available for use."

"But I didn't use them," the old woman said.

"Well, they are here, and you could have," he replied.

The manager proceeded with that she could likewise have seen one of the in-hotel shows for which the hotel is famous.

"We have the best entertainers from the world over performing here," he said.

"But I didn't go to any of those shows," she said.

The manager replied, "Well, we have them, and you could have."

Regardless of what facility he recommended, the older lady would just answer, "But I didn't use it!"

The manager then countered with his standard reaction. After several minutes of contending with him, she chose to pay.

The manager was shocked when she gave the check to him. "But madam, this check is for only $50.00," he said.

"That is right. I charged you $200.00 for sleeping with me," the old lady replied.

"But I didn't!" the manager shouted.

"Well, too bad, I was here, and you could have."

Wednesday, October 21, 2020

Homemade Ant Bait for Sugar Loving Pests.

The recipe is simple.


3 to 4 tablespoons (42 to 56 ml) hot water

1 tablespoon of Borax

4 tablespoons of common granulated Sugar

A wide mouth jar with a top that seals "Reasonably well".  I suggest a jelly jar.


This needs hot water to mix all the ingredients.

Use oven mitts so you don't burn yourself.

Add the hot water to the empty jar.

Add the 4 Tablespoons of Sugar to the water.

Stir or shake until the simple syrup is made.

Add 1 Tablespoon of Borax to the liquid.

Stir or shake until the mix is complete.  It will be clear when you are done.

The Use:

I place a few drops to a teaspoon in an old bottle cap.  

The mixture will be about as thick as a maple syrup. 

Do not "Fill" the cap as the ants will need a way to get to the liquid to feed.

Place the cap near or on the ant trails and allow them to feed.

While the mixture is reasonably safe to handle, do not use consume or drink this as you will be eating borax which is used in the laundry to assist whitening and cleaning of your clothes. "Not For Internal Use" (or external use I would assume).

Even though some toys like "Slime" are made with Borax, Don't eat the stuff.

The Story is simple.  There was an ant bloom coming in from next door and we sprayed and put down ant bait.  That kept them away for a while, but we are in the wet season so every time it rained, they came back.

This worked on multiple species of ants, in my garden and seems to work by causing a "Colony Collapse".  They feed on the bait, take it back to the colony to share and it sickens them until the colony can no longer support itself or the queen.  Then they "disappear".

This works on pests that eat sugar and sweets of which are many species. 

Since this is so amazingly cheap to make, I always try this before spraying.  It just requires patience for it to work.

Sunday, October 18, 2020

Our wedding was beautiful. Even the cake was in tiers.

 A life insurance agent was completing an application and got to the part on health history. 

He asked his client how his grandfather died. 

This was his client´s startling answer. "I want to die in my sleep like my grandfather...Not screaming and yelling like the passengers in his car."

A lemon, a potato and a pea had a tough week at the grocery store so they decided to let off some steam with a bar crawl at the weekend.

They had a great time, hitting bar after bar, knocking back drinks, but being so genetically different, the alcohol affected them each in different ways: the lemon got very acidic and refluxy; the potato, being a big starchy chap, took the booze in his stride; while the little pea reacted to all the sugar and started to get a touch hyperactive.

At the end of the night, the three friends found themselves leaving a bar at the top of a tall hill, when all of a sudden the pea started bouncing up and down excitedly: "Lads! Lads! I've got a great idea! We’re all vaguely round in shape, let's not get a cab home, let's just roll down the hill!" and before the others could protest he was off - shooting down the hill at a rate of knots.

The lemon lurched after him, but soon started listing violently from side to side as he went, owing to his oval shape, which did nothing for his unsettled stomach. With a sigh, the potato trundled along slowly behind.

By the time the potato had bounced his way to the bottom of the hill, the lemon was spewing lemon juice all over the pavement, but the pea was already jumping up and down again "that was great, that was great, let's do it again!".

The lemon was now chundering up pips with the acid, but the pea didn't seem to care "Come on! let's go again, that was great!".

The potato turned to him and said "Easy peasy, lemon's queasy."

Saturday, October 17, 2020

What do you call cheese made out of clay? Terracottage cheese!

It's a Triple Play of three jokes today!




Trying to work out which new mattress to buy

So I'm looking to buy a new mattress right... the old one is about two decades old! and it's seen better days. I've been hunting around, looking left and right, do I go to a store, do I buy one online, do I buy one that gets posted that comes in a box or gets delivered by a truck. Do I get memory foam, fabric, cotton stuffing, do I get one with foam springs or the traditional coil type? I think I've found the one I want, it's cheap, looks good, comes in a box etc.

I'm completely ready to buy it now after six hours of solid research but then I figured I'd sleep on it...

I saw a Pirate walking down the street,

Being that it's halloween, I normally wouldn't think twice about it, however there was a distinct difference between this pirate and any other I had seen before.
He had a large steering wheel attached to his belt buckle.
I must say that I was intrigued so I approached this pirate and politely asked "excuse me, Mr. Pirate. What's the steering wheel on the front of your outfit supposed to be for?"
To which he replies : "ARRRRR, I don't know matey, But it's Drivin' me nuts".

Anything you want

My wife left for work this morning, and almost immediately I got a call from my next door neighbour telling me to come around quick as she needed my help.

So, I knock on her door, and she opens the door in a robe and immediately drags me into the living room. She then drops the robe to reveal she is completely naked. As my mouth hangs open she says: “Everything you can see between my legs is yours”

Rubbing my hands in anticipation I drop to my knees and say: “Right, I’ll have your TV, Stereo, Coffee Table, soda, fireplace...”

Wednesday, October 14, 2020

Three Thousand Posts on

I guess people still read this, although it's amusing to think that I must have a knack for technical writing.

What I mean is that I've had this blog since at least 2009, and while I am doing one original post on Wednesday Mornings (Eastern) and two Joke posts on the weekend, it's these posts that I wrote while doing something "involved" with tech.

I mean tech broadly, because I could get all wordy about plastering or caulking, and without caulking you will ruin your walls.

Walls are important.

Over the last month, I have gotten quite a few reads on this blog, and while my own needs are stable at the moment, when I do need to figure something out, I put it here.

So here are the top ten for my blog, worldwide, for the last 30 days.  The first five get hit every single day.

1)  How to get Tap To Click back on Debian 10.  I use Linux exclusively.  You should too.  My laptop is from 2014 and the thing is faster than most.  If it were using windows like it came with, it would be crawling and full of "cruft" on Windows 8.  But with Debian, it flys!  The reality is that under Debian Linux, a 12 year old Core 2 Duo laptop with 4GB of memory is fast enough for most home use.  I do video and audio editing, and more on my 6 year old laptop.

2) Installing a Backing Rod.  I will be doing this again.  I'm in the middle of plastering cracks in the bathroom, and once I'm through, I will start caulking the crack between the wall and the tub.

3) Tips for Syringe Feeding Your Dog With Chronic Renal Failure.  When a dog is ready to go, they will tell you.  Lettie did.  We think we kept her alive an extra year doing this.  She finally simply stopped me from doing this any further when she was ready.  She put her paw on my hand when I sat down with the syringe and looked deeply into my eyes. 

This was the all time article I have written, with over 6100 reads.

4) Gold Medal Flour - Extraordinary Buttermilk Biscuits Recipe.  I put this recipe up because I kept losing it.  A really good biscuit (shortbread, not a sweet treat for my British Friends).  

5) Ruined Your Cream Cheese In The Freezer - Here's Your Fix.  Cream Cheese does not like to be frozen but it can be brought back to life if you slipped up.  I'll have mine with some Nova Lox and a good Toasted Sesame Bagel as my Jewish friends taught me to enjoy, but that takes a long drive for me.

6) The Broken Poang Story or You Want To Drive Across The County For a Bolt?.  As tall as I am, these chairs fit my frame perfectly.  I'm writing this seated in a Poang Rocker that I was given for my last birthday.  Thanks!

7) Propagating Ruellia, The Mexican Petunia.  Real Easy, and if you have a warm climate, you can do this.

8) Mango Jam Recipe, Fresh From the Bread Machine.  Mango Jam is amazing, truly easy to make, and if you can home can, you'll have it all year.  

9) Pat's Pizza Dough Recipe.  When my sister got married, she was given a bread baking recipe book.  I hand wrote this onto a small square of paper and still have that.  It is a good recipe, I use it frequently, and it's best if you make it after dinner and slow rise it in the fridge overnight.

10) I Hate Apple, or Reclaiming Local Access to Pictures in iOS 14.  So the deal is that I take a lot of pictures with my phone.  I use the phone like a computer and not like a little tiny etch-a-sketch like most do.  If I can't plug it into my Linux computer, and get the pictures off easily, it is worthless to me.  This gave me basic access to the pictures.  I still don't like living in Steve Jobs' walled garden  and would vastly prefer an unlocked and rooted Android Phone.  But for now...

So that would be it.  I will continue writing regularly as long as I have something to say.  I think there are some things I need to do that are long enough to be worthy of repeating here, I'm not fond of saying things that are just a lot of hot air. 

Sunday, October 11, 2020

What's in the middle of a coconut? The letter o.

You know, I'm not too fond of the wealthy.  Every time I have run into one, they demand preferential treatment and basically give some nasty attitude.   My normal comment is that kind of person should be taxed out of existence.   After all, it worked and worked well for Denmark.


 A mean, yet wealthy women's husband dies...

She goes to the preacher in the town and tells him, "I want you to preach my husband's funeral. I also want you to call him a saint."
The preacher shakes his head slightly and says, "ma'am, I cant do that. He wasn't known as a good man around these parts..."
"I will give a check right now for $50,000. But you must say he was a righteous saint."
The preacher thinks for a minute and agrees.

The day of the funeral comes and the preacher goes before the small crowd.
He says, "This man was a wicked man. He lied, he stole, he ignore the widows and orphans. He belittled the people around him and made everyone who met him to hate him."
He looked at the irate widow and smirked, "but compared to his wife he was truly a righteous saint."



And since we can't travel, why not dream of the idea.  Maybe a short hop from Fort Lauderdale to Freeport, Bahamas?

Jerry was at a marriage seminar, and the leader of the seminar, a lady, was asking everybody how long they were married for. When it was Jerry’s turn Jerry said that he was married for almost 50 years.

“Wow” the leader gushed “that’s amazing, perhaps you can take a few minutes to share some insights with everybody, how you stay married to the same woman for so long.

“Well,” Jerry said after thinking for a few moments, “I try to treat her nice, buy her presents, take her on trips…………. and best of all, for our 25th anniversary I took her to the Bahamas.”

“Well that’s really beautiful, and a true inspiration for all of us” the lady said “maybe you can tell us what you are going to do for your 50th anniversary” she said with a smile

“Well” Jerry said “I’m thinking of going back to the Bahamas to pick her up.”

Saturday, October 10, 2020

I had a date last night and I really enjoyed it. Tonight I'm going to have a fig!

Haven't you looked at your pet, dog, cat or other trusted companion and said: "I wish I could have just 30 minutes to be able to talk with them and have them understand?"

I think this scientist took this a bit too seriously.

A brilliant scientist successfully creates a lifelike deer cyborg.

Dr. Holmes, after many years of biotechnological research, finally succeeded in his secret project, using funds diverted from his research grant. Because the project needed to be kept off the records, Dr. Holmes kept the deer at home.

The cyborg would grow and develop just as a normal fawn would, but it would have the mental capacity of a human being. Dr. Holmes instantly took a liking to the young deer, who he considered to be the son he had never had. He nurtured it tenderly and provided the fawn with all he desired.

Once the deer had begun to mature, Dr. Holmes decided it was time to begin homeschooling the young buck. He taught him to read, write, and speak. Next, he taught him basic arithmetic. Of course, Dr. Holmes decided to teach him science as well.

They started with geology. Unlike the other subjects, the deer struggled from the get-go, failing to grasp any of the basic concepts. One day, the doctor announced a pop quiz. He would hold up a picture of a rock, and the deer would have to identify it. The first rock was a light tan rock.

“Is it an igneous rock?” asked the young buck.

The doctor shook his head.

“Hmm, metamorphic?” the deer tried again.

The doctor shook his head once more. Dr. Holmes then looked at his creation, sighed, and said disappointingly, “It’s sedimentary, my deer bot son.”

Wednesday, October 7, 2020

Insecticidal Soap or Engine Cleaner Recipe

(Recipe at end)

There's an old ethnic joke that I will clean up for you.

How do you know there is no ice in that country?

The little old lady with the recipe died.

Why the joke?  I tend to be that little old lady.  Other than being male, 6'4" and not really all that old aside, I have a habit of collecting odd helpful recipes and things that can be really helpful.

The garden picture shows it.   That is directly in front of my patio.  There mixed among the weeds and the Croton, I have some Basil.  Fresh basil is easy to grow, and unfortunately I am not the only one who likes it.  Mine got infested with mites.

The leaves on the basil that are curly and not "regular" are the ones where the mites were, and I didn't want to bomb the garden with persistent chemicals that would render the plants useless to use on the Pizza that I grow it for.

Insecticidal soap is apparently trivial to make.  It doesn't really have to be anything specific.  I use "Blue Dawn" dish detergent.  If you can use it to cut the grease on your dishes, you can use it on the food that goes onto the dishes. 

Or under the leaves.  

I have been using this recipe (below) for a while now, and it has reduced the number of mites, scale insect, and other nasties that want to eat my crop before I do.

But why the engine picture?  I got a wild hair, and sprayed it all over the motor.   That motor is a 18 year old Jeep Wrangler 4.0 Liter inline 6 cylinder that was smelling like old motor oil when I would park it.  Since I did the last oil change myself and managed to get some of the oil on the surfaces, I also decided to do a very rare spray of that insecticidal soap solution.   Allowed it to sit for about five minutes, and it cut the grease in there quite well, if I do say so myself.

On the other hand, while I may be a little crazy to use the stuff that way, I won't do it often since I am concerned that that may be a bit too aggressive.

I really don't recommend it to be used for that, but it did work.

Use it on your engine at your own risk.  I will use it on my Basil for my own pizza.


5 mL or 1 teaspoon Blue Dawn Dishwashing liquid.

450 mL or 16 Oz of water.


Add the water to an empty and clean spray bottle.

Add the Dawn Dishwashing Liquid.

Mix and use as needed.

Don't forget to rinse after application.  Nobody wants soapy vegetables and fruit.

Sunday, October 4, 2020

Wanna hear a joke about ghosts? That's the spirit!

A bumblebee suddenly wakes up in a cold sweat, realizing he has overslept and is about to miss his connecting flight home after a successful overseas business trip.

He makes a mad rush to the airport, suitcase in one hand, passport and airline ticket in the other. His tie flaps loose in the breeze, his shirt wrinkled and untucked, with his face covered in bushy bumblebee beard stubble.

He recklessly flies into the main entrance, nearly knocking over a family of four along the way. He pushes his way through the crowd, rushing to the front of the line.

Finally, at the counter, he cuts in front of an elderly woman holding a frequent flyer card, knocking her purse to the floor.

Struggling to catch his breath, he frantically shoves his ticket and passport towards the airline employee. "I'm sorry sir" says the woman behind the counter in a stern tone. "But there's no way I can let you in like that!"

Impatient and frustrated, the bee exclaims loudly "AND JUST WHY NOT!? I need to make it to my meeting in the United States, and it starts in six and a half hours! I had to stay in a god-awful hotel because my connecting flight was cancelled last night, I'm not going to have time to stop home and see my wife and kids before I get into the office, and my career depends on closing this deal by today!"

"I understand sir, but-" the woman starts to explain before being cut off mid-sentence. "This is the international gate to the United States, is it not!?" the bumblebee demands.

"Yes sir, but-"

“And this is the line for the flight specifically for bumblebees, is it not!?" he yells, voice growing louder and more impatient.

"Yes sir, that's correct. But you-"

“Then tell me" he shrieks, interrupting her once more. "Why will you not let me board my connecting flight already!? Is it because I stink of sweat? Because I'm unprepared and underdressed? Because there's something wrong with my passport or ticket!?"

"Sir!" She booms loudly, ensuring he can hear her over his own frantic words. "I cannot let you in because you flew in the door upside down!"

"I-uh..." he suddenly hesitates, speechless for the first time as he realises his feet are dangling in the air, his head aiming towards the floor. "Oh... oh my God, I'm so sorry. Please, accept my apologies!"

His face blushed red with embarrassment, he quickly leaves the same way he came in.

He then flips over right-side up, goes back in, and successfully connects into the U.S. bee port.