Sunday, May 15, 2022

How many introverts does it take to change a lightbulb? Why does it have to be a group activity?

 

A bakery owner hired a young female shop assistant who liked to wear very short skirts and thong panties.


One day a young man enters the store, glances at the shop assistant and at the loaves of bread behind the counter.
Noticing her short skirt and the location of the raisin bread, he has a brilliant idea.
"I'd like some raisin bread please," the man says.
 

The shop assistant nods and climbs up a ladder to reach the raisin bread located on the very top shelf.
The man, standing almost directly beneath her, was provided with an excellent view, just as he had thought he would.
 

When she descends the ladder, he decides that he had better get two loaves.
As the shop assistant retrieves the second loaf of bread, one of the other male customers notices what's going on and requests his own loaf of raisin bread.
 

After many trips she is tired and irritated and begins to wonder, "Why the unusual interest in the raisin bread?"
Atop the ladder one more time, she looks down and glares at the men standing below.
 

Then, she notices an elderly man standing amongst the crowd. Thinking that she can save herself another trip, she yells at the elderly man, "Is it raisin for you too?"
 "No," stammers the old man, "but it's quivering a little."

Saturday, May 14, 2022

I was shocked when I found out my toaster was not waterproof.

On the one hand, doing a blog means you are kind of being a know it all.  On the other hand, with the internet at your fingertips, everyone can be a know it all.

Come on, I know you have thought that before.  I know it!


Spelling

The teacher announced that to practice spelling, each member of the class would say what their fathers did for a living and then spell the occupation.

Mary went first. "My Dad is a baker, b-a-k-e-r, and if he were here, he would give everyone a cookie."

Next came Tommy. "My dad is a banker, b-a-n-k-e-r, and if he were here, he'd give each of us a quarter."

Third came Jimmy. "My dad is an electrician.'' But after struggling through a number of attempts to spell the word, the teacher asked him to sit and think about it for a moment while she called on someone else.

She then turned to Johnny. "My dad's a bookie, b-o-o-k-i-e," Johnny said. "And if he were here, he'd lay you 8 to 5 that Jimmy ain't never gonna spell electrician."

Wednesday, May 11, 2022

Is it a Sport Watch or an Electronic Handcuff? Gear up appropriately to analyze your athletic performance.

As I sit here with two watches on, I am asking myself is a sport watch useful or an electronic handcuff?

I honestly think that both yes and no can be equally valid.

On the other hand, when I am speaking as an athlete's trainer, I insist that the most important piece of electronics to a person who is highly attuned to their workout performance is a good kitchen scale that measures weights down to the gram.  Garbage in, Garbage out, you know. 

Once upon a time, I started to workout.  Many people "start".  Some continue.  I am not pointing a finger here, I'm not judging.  I will say that eventually, you will get to the point where you realize that you need to keep records of what you are doing.  A pencil and paper can be enough.  I still have my weightlifting card from when I was working out every morning before work where I marked down which exercise, how many set/reps/weight I would do.

In a way that card takes the place of that smart watch on my left wrist.  A complex workout with weights absolutely needs you to record keep, and unless you're one of those "Eidetic Memory" people, it's just simpler.

For anything outdoors, for a very long time, I was able to just keep records in my head.

I used to run at Valley Forge National Park in Pennsylvania.  It had a challenging course, 5 miles, up and down hills, around trees, that sort of thing.  I made it a point to find out where 10 km was and would run from my car, once around the park, up to the monument, and back and was done.  I went at my own pace and the only thing I needed outside of clothes was my pocket shortwave radio which I would ironically listen to the BBC World Service. 

Yes, in the same lands that the Revolutionary Soldiers camped.  I found it strange, but my needs were modest.

I transitioned to riding a bike and I found that I wanted to maintain a pace.  Finish my course in so many minutes.  I could do that with a watch, so I used equipment I had, a dependable old watch.

It took a licking and kept on ticking.  Or beeped to keep my pace.

Eventually I found my love for Inline Skating.  Rollerblading to the "normies".  I took to that easily and being what the fratboys at the university called "GDI" or independent, I would skate alone, all the while talking to the team members in Philadelphia and listening to what they were saying for training tips and taking mental notes.

Distance got longerSpeeds increasedWorkouts stretched from the Art Museum out to the suburbs.  I eventually left the city for a course I carved in the suburbs on the Schuylkill River Trail.  With repeats, it was a 33 mile trail that I would do three times a week.  I was skating 100 miles a week, 162km.

Hypermarathons being a 3 hour and a half workout, I found I needed things to do while my mind just turned off while skating.  The shortwave was switched out for an MP3 player.  That old watch was switched out for a heart rate monitor.  I used to skate at a steady heart rate of 173 to 183 bpm, faster if I was climbing, slower on the way home.  The trail there is a Rails To Trails route that had a 1% grade.  So skating west meant you were climbing a gentle hill for the first hour and a half, then turning back meant you had a gentle assist going from Perkiomen to Valley Forge, Norristown, and Conshohocken.

Yes, the names in that part of Pennsylvania are strange.

What happens is that you are watching heart rate climb on the watch like a speedometer, and your time would increase or decrease and give you a rough speed.  4 minute miles on inline skates over an hour are reasonable if you are trained well.

While I was, I was also wondering if there was a way to improve on my own mental math.

I eventually moved down here.  When I broke my shoulder on a freak accident involving a seed pod shattering under my boot and slamming me into the pavement, we discovered that my resting heart rate had become scary fast.

Yes, that was what the Urgent Care doc said.  Since I could not find my old school HR monitor, I went shopping.

You see along with the skating, I also was power walking and biking around this part of South Florida.  Walks were easy to measure, once up and down the main street of this city.  Biking I did by distance as well.  

But being the competitive athlete that now had to go from one discipline of performance to another of Physical Therapy, it was requiring that I strap myself into something that gave me full and immediate feedback.  Distance by GPS, Heart Rate by a strap got graduated to this watch that I now found I have to wear all day and night.  Because I wore it at night, I got feedback that I am sleeping better than my waking at 515 in the morning would make me believe.

I'm also on a feedback loop where the health insurance company would give me a discount in what we pay if I performed certain workouts.

I learned I am walking 4 to 5 miles a day.  The dog gets walked a lot and it keeps him sane.  I'm monitoring my heart rate on that because the software computes a calorie burn.   Resting heart rate is "low" but I'm doing a lot so the Doctor laughs and says we don't have to do a stress test. 

Skating with the watch means that every mile of the half marathon I did yesterday vibrated my wrist and I got to see the split speed.  That's the speed you did for the last split, or mile.

I guess it is every KM out in the rest of the world.  Go run and tell me what you see, I'm too busy with seeing if all this Bio-metric information is useful.  I think so.  I am getting first person information in real time.  I am also noticing that the watch's GPS does not match the phone's GPS and being very particular in my record keeping, I will need to find a reconciliation between all of that.  In other words "A Man With One Clock Knows The Time, A Man With Two Is Never Really Sure"!

My own little Bluetooth cloud will talk to all the software.  I'm drawing a route in either Strava or Runkeeper that is fairly accurate to within a couple meters (yes, I know metric but 'Merica is not metric friendly even if our imperial measurements are defined in metric). 

But strapped in I will remain.  My three sports, walk/skate/bike all are measured by the watch.  The Watch will pay for my kickbacks of about $20 per month.  While the watch is a birthday present that I am very happy to receive, (Thanks Craig!) it will continue to pay for things like the upgraded skates and the GoPro knockoff I got a while back.  Insurance rebates are a wonderful thing.

I'm not sponsored any more, although I was semi professional and sponsored by a skate shop when there was money in the sport.

It's not exactly easy to find skate parts at the high end so spending money has to be done carefully, and you have to know exactly where to shop and wait for just the right deal.  If you know of a shop with cheap 110mm 85a (or harder) wheels,you can help by telling me!  Wheels are a consumable part that wear out in about 500-600 miles, and cost $80 a set.

So while all that happiness is true, the timing works out well enough to replace wheels and bearings that the shop used to send along free when I needed them.

It all gives me a good excuse to keep the electronic handcuffs on every minute of the day except when I am in the shower.

Which is where I'm headed after today's maintenance Half-Marathon.

On yer left!

Sunday, May 8, 2022

I found a book on how to avoid procrastination... I think I'll read it tomorrow.

Yesterday I spent on the road.   We were able to get to the destination without a hitch, but coming home was an utter mess.  If you check the map of South Florida, there are two main roads to get from Fort Lauderdale to Naples across the Everglades.  Tamiami Trail and I-75. 

Basically if you are on I-75 like we were, and someone has an accident ahead of you, you are stuck like we were until people start turning around illegally and you backtrack your way home.  I had my first 100 mile Detour. 

Never mind that that is inexact and may not be truthfully 162KM out of my way to get the last six miles (10KM) to Civilization, what it is is a single point of failure.

That single point of failure is not as much of a cock-up as this little story is.



The local charity observes that it had never received a donation from the city’s most successful lawyer.

So a volunteer paid the lawyer a visit in his office. She started the conversation by saying “Our research shows that even though your annual income is about two million, you don’t give a penny to charity. Wouldn’t you like to give something back to your community?”

The lawyer replies, “First, did your research also show that my mother is slowly dying from a painful illness, and the costs to cure it are way beyond her ability to pay?”

Embarrassed, she mumbles, “Uh.. no.”

“Secondly,” says the lawyer, “did you research show that my brother, a disabled veteran, is blind and confined to wheelchair and is unable to support his wife and four children?”

The volunteer begins to stammer an apology but is cut off by the lawyer.

“Thirdly, did your research also show that my sister’s husband died in a car accident, leaving her penniless with a mortgage and three children?”

The humiliated volunteer, completely beaten, says: “I’m so sorry. I had no idea.”

An then the lawyer says, “So, if i didn’t give any money to them what makes you think I’d give any to you?”

Saturday, May 7, 2022

If it's not about elephants, it's irrelephant. But what if it's about ants? Pertinant.

Just saying here, if you can eat it on Thursday, you can have it on Friday....

Cooking steak...

Each Friday night after work, Bubba would fire up his outdoor grill and cook a venison steak.
But all of Bubba's neighbors were Catholic....and since it was Lent, they were forbidden from eating meat on Friday.
The delicious aroma from the grilled venison steaks was causing such a problem for the Catholic faithful that they finally talked to their priest.

The Priest came to visit Bubba and suggested that he become a Catholic.
After several classes and much study, Bubba attended Mass .and as the priest sprinkled holy water over him, he said, 'You were born a Baptist, and raised a Baptist, but now you are a Catholic.'

Bubba's neighbors were greatly relieved, until Friday night arrived, and the wonderful aroma of grilled venison again filled the neighborhood.
The Priest was called immediately by the neighbors and as he rushed into Bubba's yard clutching a rosary preparing to scold him, he stopped and watched in amazement.
There stood Bubba, clutching a small bottle of holy water which he carefully sprinkled over the grilling meat and chanted:

"You wuz born a deer, you wuz raised a deer, but now you is a catfish."


Wednesday, May 4, 2022

Ok, Which One Of You Abandoned An Unused Pilates Ball Near My House?

 I am staring at a giant waist high bouncy grey ball and I just ...

Well I really don't know what I will do with it.

You see it happened a couple weeks back.  Early in the morning, well before sunrise, in the middle of an intersection, under a light, sat a box.

I phrase it that way because it was so absurd.

My neighborhood gets little traffic just before dawn.  There's no reason to be here, it is cut off from the world.  "You don't get there from here" is a good description.

I am up at 515AM as normal and by the time I get out to walk Rack the McNab SuperDog(TM), it's still quite dark.  I wave hello to the guy walking his cat, yes they do that here I guess to save on kitty litter, and continue East.

As I go on, I spot the box sitting there like someone wanted someone else to find it.  That would be me.  Everyone else looked at it in the small hours and scratched their head and probably assumed it was trash.

Yours Truly wondered why someone made a spectacle of putting it square in the middle of one of the few well lit intersections around.

South Florida needs more street lights and more sidewalks.  It would be safer.

I mean Square In The Middle Of it. 

I lifted the box and laughed that it was full, and opened it.  It had never been opened before.  "Fell off da truck" if youse aks me.

I got the thing home after the early morning mile and it sat on the coffee table until I opened it up.  Everything was wrapped in Number Two Plastic hoping to be recycled.  I read the instructions laughing that I needed instructions to inflate a giant pilates ball.

I actually did.  The inflator that came with it was not exactly self explanatory but it did work.

I inflated the thing thinking that I would put it in the pool and use it like a float.

Fifteen minutes of flexing my quadriceps muscles later, I laughed at my own naive thoughts.

You see, that monster would not even roll into the hallway let alone out to fit through the back door to the pool.

I started asking people what on earth do you need one for.  I'd get shrugs and "Its For Your Core".

I'm an endurance athlete.  My core is fine.  My doctor thinks I am in good enough shape that he won't give me a stress test.  Fine, I don't want to run on a treadmill either as they are not fun.

So for now, I have a roughly meter in diameter charcoal bouncy ball sitting on my rocking chair.  I sat on the thing a couple times, and fell off.  I don't bounce as well as that ball does and if I want it in the pool I'll have to deflate it and re-inflate it for that task.

I probably won't.

I will ask you though:  Just why would someone need a giant grey pilates ball outside of a gym anyway?

Maybe I'll bounce on it later.   I have a 10 plus inline skate workout to get to today at Mills Pond Park in Fort Lauderdale.  The Bunny Slope of skate workouts but that's where I am at today.

I will probably just shrug and laugh at it for now.

Sunday, May 1, 2022

My lawyer used to say "Where there is a will, theres gonna be a dead guy soon."

 We have been trying to keep up with Better Call Saul lately, speaking of Wills.  Not exactly an easy show to watch if you want "cute" is it?


Keeping with this particular theme, have a cat.



A woman went on vacation, leaving her husband behind along with the cat.
Before she left, she told him to take extra special care of her cat.

The next day she called her husband and asked if the cat was all right.

Her husband said: The cat just died.

She burst into tears and said: How could you be so blunt? Why couldn't you have broken the news gradually!

    Today, you could have said that it was playing on the roof;
    Tomorrow, you could have said that it fell off and had broken its leg;
    Then on the third day, you could have said that the poor thing had passed away in the night.

You could have been more sensitive about the whole thing. By the way, how is my mom?

Husband: She is playing on the roof...

Saturday, April 30, 2022

I forgot to shave my sundial yesterday, hence the five o'clock shadow

 Since there have been a lot of short jokes lately, I figured I'd put some here.

Five of them!





Neighbor: “I’ll have you know our lawyer has a $50,000 retainer!”
Me: “Wow, how bad are his teeth?”



A guy walks into a bar and orders a beer.
"I picked up a bag of gummy worms today. I've got to say I don't really understand their marketing strategy. The bag says 'no artificial flavors.'" the guy says.
"I'm just curious who buys a bag of gummy worms hoping they taste as close to real worms as possible?"





An older man was riding his moped in a snowstorm to visit a priest to tell him that his 12th child had been born that day. Since the man was old and had a bit of trouble hearing, he thought ahead to what the priest would say so he could answer him.

”First he’ll say hello and then he’ll probably ask me how I managed to get there in such a snowstorm.”

When the man reached the priest’s house, the following conversation was had:

Priest: Hello

Old man: Hello

Priest: How have you managed to father twelve children already?

Old man: There’s nothing to it, just strap in your beanie and helmet, and ride the old girl as fast as you can.




Man eater

So was at a bar last night and saw this fat chick wearing a shirt that said, "Caution, I'm a maneater". I walked up to the girl and timidly said, "Excuse me, Miss...about your shirt."

She interrupted me before I could continue and furiously shouted, "Oh let me guess, you're here to make a comment about how I'm so fat and how I actually eat men. I can't help my weight you know. I have feelings too and your comments can really hurt."

I looked at her, confused and said,"That's actually not what I was going to say at all."

"Oh…" she replied as a smile started to come across her face. "What were you going to say?"

"That's not how you spell manatee."



A park ranger catches a hunter in the act of eating a spotted owl. Feathers and bones surround his campfire.

The ranger says, "The spotted owl is a highly endangered species. Killing one is a federal crime."

The man says, "Yes, I admit that I killed and ate that owl. However, in my defense, I was lost in the wilderness for three days and frankly I was starving. The bird flew directly at me; I raised my gun and I fired. I didn't have time to identify the species. I am genuinely sorry. When I get home, I promise to make a significant donation to the Environmental Defense Fund, and I promise to never do it again."

The ranger thinks about it and says, "Well, under the circumstances I guess we could let you off with a warning. But, I'm curious: what did it taste like?"

The guy answers, "Oh, a bit like bald eagle."

Wednesday, April 27, 2022

Remodeling The Kitchen Created a Perfect Place To Make Soap and Roast Coffee


 When I was in High School, I found that I had an aptitude for Chemistry.

The teacher was a stoner and disconnected from the subject, so I became that annoying kid who just "knew" the answers.   I'd have results on the labs that were within a tiny fraction of the expected yield when through.  Of course I aced the course despite what ever else was going on in my life, I've been amused by that.

At this point, I think perhaps I should have considered going into Chem.  The science of the subject, at least for Organic Chem and for the basics, were rather well defined and followed a logical path.

I haven't used it all that much since University, except in one rather unusual hobby.  Soap making.

Making soap is not something that happens often.  Within my friends I can not think of anyone who does this.  Soap is readily available in markets, and some of it is very high quality.  By the time you become fully an adult, sometimes in your 30s or even your 40s, you've found something that you like and stick with it.

Lately, there has been a proliferation of alternate choices in markets and you can find things that your childhood self would have been confused with.

When we remodeled this house, we remodeled the Kitchen.  The old saying of Never Paint Your Kitchen is true - one change to a Kitchen cascades into replacing appliances, redesigning the walls... by the time you are done, you have re-tiled your entire house and are having a discussion with a Project Manager about something you never heard of before called a "Make Up Fan". 

For the uninformed, a Make Up Fan is something that gets turned on to equalize pressure in your house when you turn on the ventilation fans in the bathroom or your kitchen. 

Who Knew?

But we created a kitchen that is perfect for making soap.  I, of course, save shipping boxes so that I can line the area creating a shield for our rather nice new walls, but the ventilation over the stove creates such a draft that that Make Up Fan does double duty.  I can actually roast coffee indoors, something that relegated me to the backyard. 

Standing on the front porch making soap with blue nitrile gloves, a visor, and stirring chemicals looks awfully "Breaking Bad" even if it is completely innocent.

Making Soap on the other hand is a process that is greatly improved.  No, I do not recommend remodeling your house just to make soap or roast coffee indoors, but if I create a stove hood, and am warming oils to an arbitrary temperature of "Ouch that's hot" instead of "Instant Burning Skin" and then marrying a Witches' Brew of a precisely measured Water, Ice, and Lye, the resulting chemical gasses can go outside where they get diluted by the predictable breezes from the ocean to the east.

If I roast coffee, the neighbors know because it smells of a medium-light roasted Guatemalan single Origin.  If I make soap, typically it smells of Orange or Cloves or perhaps Cedar-wood.

Personally I am quite fond of the Cedar-wood soap that I make.  It smells like you're taking a shower in a forest.  Rosemary, Cedar, and other woody scents are nice in a humid enclosure like a shower with the mister turned on.

Also, since it takes at least a week if not months for the soap to properly cure, it takes over a spot in my house to air-dry.  I tend to make it in large batches of 3 or more pounds, a Kilo and a half are not uncommon, and my basic recipe is 50 ounces.

Add-ins are done at the end of the process, but have to be prepared first.  Oatmeal, Coffee, or some other abrasive are ground and set aside.  An ounce or two of scents are measured and poured off as essential oils in a glass jar.

Don't use plastic "Solo Cups" for a quick measure as I have had Essential Oils dissolve the plastic into a red stain in the bottom of the old sink.

Plastic has its place, and the trend away from 32 ounce drink cups in a fast food restaurant have me asking my friends for their large cups so I can make soap.  This way a Single Use Plastic gets used again before being disposed of, Properly.

Since I am getting low on the stuff again, it's time to consider making more... after I roast some more coffee... I'm getting low on that as well.



Sunday, April 24, 2022

What do you call someone who is from Hamburg? A Hamburger.

Yep, it's a sunday, and I guess you can say this is a sunday themed story.  On the other hand, since it's the weekend, I'm sure you can tell there's a twist at the end.

Any Sacramental Wine anyone?


Peter and Paul were about to graduate seminary together


Best friends Peter and Paul were about to graduate seminary together. While Peter was very smart, Paul had a difficult time with schoolwork, so Peter would let him copy his homework to make sure he could pass his classes.

As the time approached for their interview with the bishop, Paul was very nervous. "What if I don’t know how to answer him?" he asked his friend.

"Don’t worry," Peter replied, "our interviews are the same day, and he’ll ask us the same questions. I’ll go first, just stand with your ear to the keyhole and listen to what I say. When it’s your turn, just repeat my answers, and you’ll be fine!"

The day arrived, and Peter went into the bishop’s office first. After some initial small talk, the bishop said "Look, Peter, I just have one question to ask you. Let’s say you are performing the act of communion, and while you are holding the chalice, a fly lands in the sacramental wine. What do you do?"

"Well, Father," Peter responded, "I would carefully remove him, squeeze off any excess liquid, take him outside, and ceremonially burn him."

"That’s an excellent answer," said the bishop, "you are clearly a great priest!"

"Not yet, Father," Peter replied, "but someday, under your guidance and direction, I will be."

After Peter had completed his interview, it was Paul’s turn. The bishop engaged in small talk, then got to the point.

"Paul," he said, "I just have one question for you. You are performing the rite of baptism, and the baby boy slips from your hands into the baptismal font. What do you do?"

"Well, Father," Paul responded, "I would carefully remove him, squeeze off any excess liquid, take him outside, and ceremonially burn him."
 

Horrified, the bishop exclaimed, "That’s terrible! You aren’t a priest, you’re an imbecile!"

"Not yet, Father," Paul replied, "but someday, under your guidance and direction, I will be."


Saturday, April 23, 2022

What did the big flower say to the littler flower? Hi, bud!

I get up well before dawn.  I have the entire town to myself when I go to the Dog Walk.  On the other hand  I have to get there before I can have my solace. 
 
Oscar has been getting in a habit of  talking at me.  Mind you a parrot gets really insistent if you are busy so you have to answer.

Or. Else.


The Old Macaw

A man goes to a pet store looking for a fun pet for his family. There are the typical candidates, kittens, puppies, fish, hamsters, but off in the corner is an old macaw. He asks the owner what the deal is, and the owner replies that the macaw has actually been adopted several times, but he always gets returned within a week because no one really wants him. The man knows that his wife and daughter really want to do some good with this new pet, and this poor old bird seems like just the noble charity case for them all, so he pays the pet store owner and takes him home.

Things are fine for about a half hour, but then the wife evidently got too close to the macaw’s cage, and he squawked, “Get away from me!” and he began to swear at her repeatedly.

The daughter, understandably confused and frightened, started to cry, and the macaw demanded that someone shut her up, and began to curse at the daughter as well.

The father stepped in, but wasn’t sure what to do. It didn’t really make sense to get into a vulgar shouting match with a bird, and he wasn’t about to try to hurt the animal in front of his family, but something had to be done. Acting out of desperation, he grabbed the animal and just stuffed him in the freezer and sealed the door shut with some duct tape.

The bird didn’t like this at all, and his squawked intensified, bolstered by the use of unending swear words, some even from languages that none of them spoke, likely from some of his previous owners. The freezer shook and the squawking went on for about three minutes, until, quite suddenly, everything went silent and the room was peaceful once again.

The father was unsure what had happened, but thought it best to wait a couple minutes before opening the freezer, just to be safe. When he finally did, the macaw stepped out, and for some reason his entire character had changed.

The bird hopped down to the floor, averting his eyes from the father, and apologized sincerely for his behavior. He then turned to the wife, and then the daughter, apologizing to each of them individually and in turn for how he had treated them. For the rest of the afternoon he was as much of a model citizen as any macaw could be expected to be, and the family began to enjoy his company, in spite of how it had begun.

That night, after the wife and daughter had gone to bed, the father was turning out the lights and saying goodnight to the bird, who said goodnight back. Before the father went upstairs to bed, the bird said something else, “Sir, I am sincerely grateful that you have given me a second chance, and I promise that you will not have to tolerate any misbehavior like that ever again… But, if I may ask just one question, I have to know… What did the chicken do?”

Wednesday, April 20, 2022

Honey Pork Roast in the Crock Pot

Pork Shoulder or Pork Loin is really truly easy to make in a crock pot.

Pick your seasonings, pick your marinade, give it 6 to 8 hours on low, enjoy.

I'm basically lazy when it comes to the Pork Shoulder that I enjoy.  Usually, I slather some Barbecue Sauce on a 3 to 4 pound slab of Pork, and let it sit in the refrigerator over night.  Then the next day, mid morning, I empty that bag into the crock pot and press low and walk away.

I get good results, but often you want to mix it up.

On this blog I have many recipes, and many are for Pork.  The one I have been making for ten years for Pork Carnitas is simplicity itself, and from what I can tell is authentic.

Of course, I'm an Anglo from Cherry Hill, NJ so what do I know other than it tastes just about the same as I get in the Mexican restaurants here in South Florida.

This was a recipe I found elsewhere on the internet, and tried.  I wanted a change of pace and found this was pretty good. 

So like all the recipes I try, here it is with a picture of the results above.  Again, Simplicity itself.

Since I am an athlete, I will say that Pork, if done right, is very lean, fairly low in calories, and high in protein.  Despite its reputation, it is also low in fat.  In the case of Pork Tenderloin, it is supposed to be "next to" Fat Free.

My own Nutritionist leanings aside, here is the recipe:

Ingredients:  For 3 to 4 pounds of Pork Loin


Marinade:

Dry:

  • 2 Tablespoons of Minced Garlic
  • 2 Tablespoons of Dried Basil
  • 2 Tablespoons of Dried Oregano
  • 1/2 teaspoon of Black Pepper
  • 3/4 teaspoon of Salt
  • 3/4 Cup of (good) Grated Parmesan Cheese


Wet:

  • 1/2 Cup of Honey
  • 1/4 Cup of Soy Sauce
  • 2 Tablespoons of (good) Olive Oil



Process:

  • Put the Pork Loin in the Crock Pot fat side up.
  • In a mid sized bowl, add all of the dry ingredients, and mix with a fork.
  • To that mid sized bowl, add all of the wet ingredients, and mix until even.  The Honey may benefit by being microwaved briefly to help.
  • Pour the sauce over the top of the Pork Loin, allowing the liquid to run over the sides.
  • Lift the Pork lightly to allow it to be wet on the bottom during cooking.
  • Cook your Pork Covered for at least 6 hours (I went 8 hours) in the crock pot basting the top periodically.
  • Remove the pork and set on a large plate temporarily, reserving the liquid for reduction on the stove to form a sauce or gravy.
  • The Pork may be shredded or served in slices.
  • Pour the reduced sauce on top of the Pork and Enjoy!

Sunday, April 17, 2022

Do you guys wanna hear a joke about Iowa? Never mind, it’s probably too corny.

 Been there once in the winter.  DAMN cold.  You saw empty fields and hog sheds everywhere.  Des Moines was kind of nice though.
 

Slow learner

"How did it happen? " the doctor asked the middle-aged farmhand as he set the man's broken leg. 


"Well, doc, 25 years ago... "
Never mind the past! Tell me how you broke your leg this morning.

"Like I was saying... 25 years ago, when I first started working on the farm, that night, right after I'd gone to bed, the farmer's beautiful daughter came into my room. She asked me if there was anything I wanted. I said, "No, everything is fine.

"Are you sure? " she asked.
"I'm sure," I said.

"Isn't there anything I can do for you??? " she wanted to know.
"I reckon not," I replied.

"Excuse me," said the doctor, "What the hell does this story have to do with your broken leg?!?!?
"Well, this morning," the farmhand explained, "when it dawned on me what she meant, I fell off the roof! "

Saturday, April 16, 2022

What kind of dinosaur likes to sleep? A stega-snore-us.

They say that you don't become an expert at something until you have done it for 10000 hours.  Think about how long that actually is and then your first job is not quite as bad as you remember it.

Or Is It?



Freddy turned up to his first day at the funeral home. He was learning the ropes from Jimmy who had been working as a funeral director for the last 4 years. All was going well until they put the first coffin into the back of the hearse.

Jimmy said, "Freddy, ok. It's in the right spot. Now take it out."

Freddy took the coffin out.

Jimmy said, "Alright Freddy, put it back in the car."

Freddy followed the order.

Jimmy said, "Ok. It's in the right spot. Now take it out again."

Freddy took the coffin out. Confused.

Jimmy said, "Alright Freddy, put it back in the hearse."

Freddy - wondering if he was being pranked - stared angrily at Jimmy.

Jimmy said, "Oh yeah Freddy it's your first day. I want you to get this right so we have to rehearse it a few times."

Wednesday, April 13, 2022

Moving To A New Machine In Debian Linux With Encryption

 The back story (I promise it will be short):

When Bill told me that he was leaving his native South Florida for Knoxville area, I had two thoughts: Why?  and I'll find a Computer for you.

When asked about them he immediately said that he wanted Linux instead of Windows which truly surprised me.  Linux is about 3% of the home market, Windows is about 88%.  May as well have the best, right?

So I had an i3 machine that runs beautifully on Debian Linux, but at 4GB of memory, it is not suited to have Windows on it.

Also, this machine has to be encrypted since we don't know how bad the crime is up there in his new neighborhood.  If the machine gets stolen no personal information will be found.  The entire computer is encrypted.  Boot sector (GRUB), the operating system, and his own home directory.

Finishing this showed me the need for me to migrate to a similar setup.  I had a faster machine than the one I was using that was idle, and if I could encrypt a machine for a friend, I could encrypt a machine for me.

Standard Internet Warranty Applies:  You do this at your own risk.  While I expect these instructions to be complete, that may be because I wrote them to my own level of expertise and it is possible I skipped over something.  Read them completely and if you do not understand them then find someone to help you.  Nobody at Ramblingmoose takes any responsibility for what you are about to do.  Linux is very user friendly but it is very choosy about who its friends are.

Good luck!

 

How I did it:

Download Debian Live.  Specifically in this case debian-live-11.2.0-amd64-xfce+nonfree.iso . 

Since that version is obsolete but will be updated by the installer, THIS LINK points to (currently) version 11.3.0.  If you don't like XFCE, you can pick your own DE.

When the download was complete, I plugged in a memory stick of 4GB plus and dd the file as root:
    dd if=debian-live-11.2.0-amd64-xfce+nonfree.iso of=/dev/sdb conv=noerror,sync status=progress

I wanted Live, and I wanted non free.  Debian's goals of "libre" software are all well and good, but to use Wifi means you pretty much have to have proprietary "blobs" in your library.

That version will boot the new machine into a "live" version of the operating system that allowed me to step through the installer in a graphical environment.

Sure character based works, but it confused me as to where I could find the encryption part.

Backup the old machine FIRST:

After that finished, Boot the new machine with that stick and while waiting for that, begin to backup the old machine to an external drive that is sufficient to hold the /home directory as well as a couple specific files that will be saved to the /home directory FIRST.

1) Go into synaptic on the old machine and create a Manifest text file to be imported.
   File, Save Markings As, Click the box at the bottom "Save Full State, and write the file out" .
2) Go into Firefox and any other browsers and save the bookmark links into a json file.
    Bookmarks, Manage Bookmarks, Import and Backup, Backup,  and Create your File.

Copy the entire /home tree from your "old" computer to an external drive. 
Make certain that you have enough room for everything including the two files you just created.


Debian Install Steps:

I actually repeated the install a couple times before I got it right, since there are always wrinkles.  I am writing this as I do a "test install" for the blogs.  Steps will be written as I do them, and I will note the ones that I personally find important. 

Welcome:
From the first Main Menu, Select Debian GNU/Linux Live.
Allow the machine to come to a desktop.
Sign onto a Wifi Network or Connect to Ethernet so the installer will get the latest software.
Double click to launch "Install Debian".
"Welcome to the Calamares Installer for Debian 11 (Bullseye)." screen will show.
Select your language (American English for me).
Click Next.

Location:
Select your location (Region: America and Zone: New York).
Select your system language (American English).
Select your number and date format (American English, United States).
     -The prior three can be changed within XFCE's settings app on the Applications Menu.
Click Next.

Keyboard:
Keyboard Model can be changed, although I have good luck with the one that gets selected by Debian.
Test the keyboard if you feel that is necessary.
Click Next.

Partitions:
I will select Erase Disc to delete all data from the destination hard drive, you may not have the same priorities - think this one through to fit your personal needs!
I am encrypting the entire disc so I will click "Encrypt System".
That opens up the place to enter in the password for the system and change the graphic to allow you to see what it intends to do on your computer.
Verify the Boot Loader Location is on the intended drive - usually /dev/sda
Click Next.

Users:

Enter your name: it will create a tree for this user under /home
Enter your login name: should be the same as the first for a home user.
The Name of the Computer on the network. 
    -Must not be the same as another machine on your network.
Choose your password and enter it twice.
Login Automatically without a password.
    -If you click this box it will allow you to get into your machine with only a "GRUB" password in the boot sector.  I select this entry personally.
Click Next.

Summary:
It allows you to see what you have told the installer to do.
Review this information and if you are ready to install and perhaps erase your hard drive.
Click Install.

Install:
Go make a drink.  It will be enough time while it goes out and creates your new computer.
If you get back and the screen is locked, user and password are:
    User = user
    Password = live


On reboot:
Enter the Password you gave the installer at the "Enter Passphrase" prompt in GRUB.
Hit enter, it will take time to decrypt the boot sector.
The grub menu will come up and the computer will continue to boot.
You will see the Debian logo and "cryptsetup: luks-.... set up successfully" message.

At this point you will be at your new desktop.
Enter your Wifi password or make sure that Ethernet is working.

To Restore:
Once your backup on the old computer is complete, unmount the drive and plug it into the new computer.
Hopefully it is all USB 3.0 because the restore took me about 8 minutes to complete.
Click on Applications and Launch Terminal.
In Terminal enter root by "sudo su" and enter your user's password.
To copy the data back enter "thunar /home &".
Yes you will have to do this via root, and once complete, you will have to change things to make your new system "accept" the old data:
  1) copy the backup data to the /home directory.
  2) NOTE!:  If you encounter any conflicts where thunar finds a duplicate file, "skip all" is the correct response.  If not, you will render your system intact but your data will be locked in odd and subtle ways.
3) when the copy is finished, you will have to reclaim the files permissions to be correct for your end user.
Assuming you are "bill", as root:
A) cd /home
B) chown -R bill *
C) chown -R bill .*
D) chgrp -R bill*
E) chgrp -R bill .*

This may be overkill but this way I got ownership of my home tree including everything in my ~/.cache directory and any important .conf files.  I also had a message present itself saying that I can't move something into trash because of permissions, this will avoid that.
 

At this point you should be "non destructively" on your new machine, with your old machine still intact.  The new machine should be very close to what you left.  Mine was.


Enjoy!

Sunday, April 10, 2022

I started memorizing the digits of pi. Then I realized it was irrational.

 Two robbers were robbing a liquor store when one robber grabs a bottle and asks the other robber "Is this whiskey?"

The other says "Yeah but not as whiskey as wobbing a bank".




A girl from the country

I met a girl from the country a few months back and I think I'm in love.
She is so kind and interesting.
Her name is Sue named after her mother.
She has a great family, they live on a farm and have all sorts of cool hobbies and jobs.
She grew up riding horses and taking care of animals, doesn't she sound amazing?
Her parents were so kind when I first met them, so welcoming!
The most interesting thing I've learned about her recently, is that her dad has trained her to take care of bees.
Right when she told me that I knew she was a keeper.

Saturday, April 9, 2022

Where did Joe go after getting lost on a minefield? Everywhere.

Hmmm... that's kind of dark....

But this little gem isn't!



An attorney arrived home late, after a very tough day trying to get a stay of execution.

His last minute plea for clemency to the Governor had failed and he was feeling worn out and depressed.

As soon as he walked through the door at home, his wife started on him about, "What time of night to be getting home is this? Where have you been? Dinner is cold and I'm not reheating it." And on and on and on.

Too shattered to play his usual role in this familiar ritual, he poured himself a shot of whiskey and headed off for a long hot soak in the tub, pursued by the predictable sarcastic remarks as he dragged himself up the stairs.

While he was in the bath, the phone rang. The wife answered and was told that her husband's client, James Wright, had been granted a stay of execution after all. Wright would not be hanged tonight.

Finally realizing what a terrible day he must have had, she decided to go upstairs and give him the good news.

As she opened the bathroom door, she was greeted by the sight of her husband, bent over naked, drying his legs and feet.

"They're not hanging Wright tonight," she said.

He whirled around and screamed, "FOR THE LOVE OF GOD, WOMAN, DON'T YOU EVER STOP?!"

Wednesday, April 6, 2022

Rack Visits The Easter Unicorn


 Have you ever walked around your area and found something that had you think "Well, that's just weird"?

The more that I look at this display, cute and colorful as it may be, the more odd it looks to me.

Mind you I do like the colors.  It's cute and whimsical.  There are two Unicorns, although one of them was laying down on the job of bringing cheer to passersby when I walked past a second time the day after.

There is a giant inflatable Easter Egg or four on top of a Plinth that says Happy Easter.

I would be very scared of the bird that laid a four foot tall egg, whether mythical or not.

Anthropomorphic Fictional Beasts aside, just exactly where do you find a Unicorn, let alone a Unicorn with a Yellow Horn.  Not just one, but two of these Unicorns too!  And they landed in this front yard next to a frighteningly out of scale collection of eggs, enough to make a huge omelete for the entire town no doubt.

I have to wonder what kind of beast laid a four foot tall egg no matter what it tastes like.  Figuring that a chicken is about a foot tall, and an egg is about two inches tall, you have to scale up this egg 24 times to be proportional.

What ever chicken laid those four foot tall eggs would have to be about 24 feet tall.  And just think of the thickness of the shell that the eggs would have to have in order to keep the egg goo inside!  How many bags of sugar would I need to make a meringue out of just one of those four foot tall eggs?

Just how heavy would that egg be that would be laid by a 24 foot tall chicken?  More than a car or even an SUV I bet.  The house the display is next to is only about half the size of that as it is.

No, this flight of fancy is perhaps a bit too much for my normally logical brain to manage.  24 foot chickens scratching like a giant Godzilla over Tokyo, this chicken would be scratching for some truly giant worms... or would it settle for a Unicorn instead because a 24 foot tall chicken would most likely need a number of two foot long earthworms for food.

I can tell you we have some pretty long Ball Pythons here in South Florida, but I have never seen any two foot long earthworms.

Sorry Rack, I don't think that these Unicorns are going to be coming out to see you very soon!

Sunday, April 3, 2022

How is inflating a balloon similar to a conflict? As it is basically blowing things out of proportions.

Once upon a time, I went to Drexel University.  I will never forget how heinous taking Statistics 1 was there.  Once upon a time there was a professor who made it his mission to really mess with students by teaching the subject in such a manner that an average score on exams was around 5%.  As a result the Statistics 2 professor spent a significant amount of time re-teaching the basics each term.  Rather difficult when each term was 10 weeks.

Why?  Because a student broke his daughter's heart in a relationship so every future student would suffer as a result.   What a useless waste of oxygen that professor was.    To this day I think the university should refund the tuition of any student that had that "Doctor" and am hopeful that he's long gone.

At any rate, that came flooding back when I read this one this morning, but hey I actually kind of like the story here.


 
Five friends were so confident about passing the finals that on the weekend, they decided to go for a picnic. They had a great time.

However, after all the partying, they spent all Sunday sleeping and didn't make it back to college until early Monday morning.

Rather than taking the finals then, they decided to find their professor after the final and explain to him, why they missed it.

They said that they had gone to an Old Age home in the nearest town to spend some time with the people there and then planned to come back and study for the finals.

Unfortunately, they had a flat tire on the way back, didn't have a spare, and couldn't get help for a long time. As a result, they missed the final.

The professor thought it over and then told them, they could take the finals the following day. The guys were elated and relieved. They studied all night and then went in the next day, at the time they were told.

He placed them in separate rooms and handed each of them a test booklet, then asked them to begin. They looked at the first question and it was the easiest in their entire syllabus, worth 5 points.

"Cool", they thought at the same time, each one in their separate rooms. "This is going to be easy."

Each finished the problem and then turned to the second page. On the second page was written, "Which tire?", for 95 points.

Saturday, April 2, 2022

Did you see that movie with the bugs living together in an apartment? It's about ten ants.

I would say that this is a familiar joke with a really good story lead in.  You will see what I mean if you don't skip to the end.

 

 A horse in a barn was listening to some rock and roll on the radio...

And he was inspired. The guitarist was masterful, and the horse knew, then and there, that he needed to play guitar. More than anything he'd ever needed before.

So he calls up his buddy, who is a guitar teacher, and asks his buddy to help him learn guitar. The horse takes to it quickly and practices every day until he is just as good as the guys on the radio.

One day, while the horse was playing, the chicken overhears and is inspired, too. The chicken hops over to the horse and starts pecking at a bucket, creating a beat that perfectly accompanies the horse's guitar. The horse and the chicken play together every day for weeks. The chicken even found a drum set out back, and the two began making really phenomenal music.

A cow had been coming by to listen to the horse and the chicken play, and one day, she was inspired, too. She rooted around the back of the barn and pulled out a piano, and without a second thought, and nary a piano lesson to her name, integrated seamlessly with the horse and the chicken.

Now the horse, the chicken and the cow played some of the greatest rock and roll music anyone had ever heard. And, wouldn't you know it, a music producer just happened to visit the farm one day and heard the animals jamming out. He went to them with contracts and signed them that day.

The horse, the chicken, the cow and the producer wound up touring the country. They played everywhere and the people loved them. You could hardly turn the radio on without hearing one of their songs. The producer acted as manager and always made sure every gig ran smoothly and all their needs were met. It was a great arrangement, and everyone was very happy.

Then, one day, the horse got a phone call. His mother was very sick, and she asked the horse to come home to visit. So the horse tells the band and producer he needs to leave for a few days, but he'd meet them at their next concert.

The horse went home and saw his mother, and she was indeed very sick. She ended up dying shortly after, and the horse was devastated. He loved his mother, and wasn't at all prepared for her death.

The horse took care of what he could and prepared to fly back to his band at their next stop when he got another phone call. Their tour bus had been in a deadly accident, and the chicken, the cow and the producer had died.

The horse was dumbstruck. Such misfortune was unimaginable and he felt himself break inside. He had nothing left: his mother was gone and his career was over. He had lost his best friends and didn't know what to do next, so, in his depression, he decided to drink himself to death.

So the horse walks into a bar and the bartender asks, "Hey, pal. Why the long face?"

Wednesday, March 30, 2022

How I Make A Perfect Mug Of Coffee

First of all, this is really "subjective".

What I do makes an amazing mug of coffee to my own preferences and standards.  I won't get coffee when I am out because it never tastes as good as it does at home.

But... I was asked by an online friend just exactly how I make my own perfect cup of coffee.  The Best On The Island, so to speak.

First of all, I roast my own beans.  I'm controlling the roast very closely, somewhat obsessively.  This maintains the highest of quality.  It's subjective again, but it is exactly what I like.  I roast a "Single Origin" Guatemalan green coffee bean from a specific region to "Just Past First Crack".  At this point I have been doing my own roasting since about 2008 so I have that process down pat.

So the main thing is that if you like that stuff you bought in the supermarket, stick to it.  I'll keep my own comments to a minimum but I will say that coffee that is pre-ground goes off flavor starting in two weeks especially if exposed to the air.  Commercially Pre-roasted may not last quite as long as expected since it may have been roasted months ago. 

Second, get a grinder and an electronic scale at the thrift shop.  While you are at it, you may need a second one for spices.  If you grind the beans for coffee just before you brew it, you will have a more complex flavor.  I typically only grind enough coffee for two or three days at a time and then keep those grounds in a metal airtight container.

Third, use a French Press for brewing.  Even better if you can drink from it, but a French Press is what I use.  It allows your beans to brew completely and fully.  My French Press is the mug you see in these pictures, and I've had this one for about 12 years now.  I'll use it until it breaks.  It's lined so it keeps the coffee warm and drinkable for hours, the mug I am working on right now is an hour old and it still is warm.  My "mug" holds about 22 ounces of brew, max. 

Fourth, Temperature is crucial.  I have had to make coffee with the power out in the house and really it's just a matter of bringing the water to the right temperature.  However the water I use is always 200F/93C.  My electric kettle has a helpful thermometer on the side and I pull it from the power at 196F/90C.  By the time I walk it across the room it hits 200F.

Why is temperature crucial?  I found that if I pour the water over the beans at a full boil, the resulting coffee is acidic and bitter.  Colder than that and it is weak.  200F is the sweet spot and I get a good brew every time.

Fifth, use the correct amount of beans for the amount of water.  For my mug it is exactly 21 grams.  For those who look at grams and glaze over, it is exactly one quarter cup dry of espresso grind coffee.  You get more flavor when your beans are ground to the consistency of a rough flour.  Nothing more rough than corn meal.  Typical "Italian Espresso Grind".  If you have a thick grit then you are wasting your time. I did say you need a grinder!

I obsessively make 17 ounces of coffee.  The reason is that it is 440ml/15oz to 454ml/16oz of water for the brew plus three ice cubes to cool it to drinking temperature bringing the amount to 500 ml of coffee.  Yes, that is an even half liter.  For those of us who are metrically impaired, it means you can use one typical sport bottle of water brought to temperature, minus a bit.  I always do the pour over with the french press on the scale set to grams.  It gets the numbers right but if you don't have a scale, you can eye ball it easily this way.  Even using a sauce pan or a kettle on a fire, it is foolproof.

Finally before you go too far, you will want sweetener and creamer to taste.  I find it's two packets of saccharine and two rounded teaspoons of coffee creamer powder.  I occasionally use real cream but that tends to just add fat and calories, and the saccharine in the pink packets will dissolve better without rotting your teeth.

So the "recipe" is simple:

454 ml Hot Water at 200F/93C.
21g or 1/4 cup level of GOOD espresso grind coffee grounds
2 packets of sweetener
2 rounded teaspoons of creamer
3 ice cubes to serve.

Process is just as simple:

Add grounds, saccharine, and creamer to the French Press.
Bring water to temperature and add to French Press.
Serve with 3 ice cubes

I won't complain if you add cocoa for Mocha or a dusting of Pumpkin Spice

Sunday, March 27, 2022

What do you call a Finn who dies? Finnished.

I tried, really I did.  I had no luck playing instruments.   Oh, I'm good, in fact excellent, at editing audio and video on the laptop running Linux.  I have cleaned more static pops from audio tapes and edited unwanted segments out of video tapes.  But instruments are a no go.

On the other hand...




A man went into a music shop looking for a new instrument.

The owner introduced him to a lot of different instruments: flutes, trumpets, drums and guitars but none of them caught the man's interest.

The man nearly gives up when he spots a saxophone hanging in the corner. He tries it and it really has that sound he was looking for, except it lacks something he can't quite put his finger on.

Man: "I really like this saxophone, but can you do something to improve the sound, perhaps make it more rock'n'roll?"

Owner: "Well I guess I could hook you up to this amplifier?"

Man: "yea that would be great, but what I really want is for the saxophone itself to have that rock'n'roll feeling"

Owner: "I think I've got just the thing!"

So the owner takes the saxophone into the back and comes back some time later. Now the saxophone is fitted with a guitar neck, pick-ups and a cool classic rock paint job.

Owner: "I had some spare parts lying around from an old Fender Stratocaster, so I've modified your saxophone to get that feeling you were after. What do you think?"

The man is besides himself with joy, pays right away and begins to leave to take his new instrument home with him and begin his new career as a rock musician.

Owner: "Hang on! Before you leave. Would you like me to register your new purchase to your name? saves a lot of trouble if there's any problems down the line."

Man: "No way! I'm not gonna bring a registered Sax-o-Fender into my house!"

Saturday, March 26, 2022

A hole was found in the local nudist colony’s wall. Police are looking into it.

I will say that I have a stubborn streak.  When I'm right, I'm right.  When I'm wrong, why did you ask me to do that?




A pair of hunters went moose hunting and chartered a small plane to carry them.

At the end of the day, they had bagged six moose and were about to load them in the plane.

The pilot disagreed with them, saying the plane could only take four safely.

The hunters argued, saying that last year, the pilot had allowed them to carry all six onboard on the same plane.

Rectuantly, the pilot agreed to have all six loaded. But the plane couldn't make it and crashed.

Climbing out of the wreckage, one hunter turned to the other and asked, "Do you remember this place"?

"Yes", replied the other. "This is the same place where we crashed last year".

Wednesday, March 23, 2022

Dogs Don't Escape When They Are Treated Well, Your Runner Is Your Fault.

Your dog or cat or iguana or House Moose or whatever you have is your responsibility.

Not mine.

I would say that's the basis of pet care.  If you forget that, you probably should not have a dog or any other pet.

Get a stuffed animal from the toy store.  It's easier.

On the other hand, at 4AM, four-o'clock-in-the-morning, no matter how smart your dog is and no matter how well you trained it, I'm surprised it woke me up.

You see, I sleep with ear plugs.  I have my own dog.  He will tell me if someone is on the property.

In fact my own dog, Rack the McNab SuperDog(TM), lets me regularly know if the Postie or UPS or Fed(Arrow)Ex is here.  In his sleep he waits to see if I need him and will wake and grumble at them when they arrive.

When he's asleep, If I even say OK and start to get up, he gets confused and grumbles at me but that is neither here nor there.  He's inside my house and belongs here.

That may be the point. 

Instead of saying train your dog, maybe part of that is learning how to train yourself.

Case in Point, Kobe.

I think he is owned by basketball fans.  My own attitude is that if I am sitting on a couch or a chair and watching it on TV it is not sports, it is entertainment.  My doctor agrees and so does my last set of "numbers" from my last blood work. 

If you're, well, alive, your body would do best if you got off the couch and did your own favorite sport.  Or find your favorite sport if you haven't.

Usually I get grumbled at by this point in a discussion but there's a point to be made.

Your dog won't run away from home if your dog is happy there. 

What happened was a bit of a story in itself.  The Dog Training Aspect is simple.  I walk my herding dog, a McNab which is a similar breed to the much more common Border Collie, a minimum of 3 miles a day in a neighborhood that is chock full of curiosities and people to meet and grass to sniff.

What that does is that he has a map in his furry black and white head of the lay of the land.  If he sees the bridge "Off the Island" he knows not to cross because I've told him so.  He only crosses the highway early in the morning and before the traffic comes because he's been told.  He has an area mapped out where he knows every single block and a few outside of that.  He can get home if left to his own devices.  He is so smart he looks both ways before crossing the street!

A side benefit is that he knows that he has friends here in the neighborhood and when they say hello, he will squeak a hello noise back at them.

Repeat after me: "AWW HOW ADORABLE!!!".

At 4AM he's by my bed waiting for me to stir.  If there is a problem he knows how to wake me, and I am not an easy rouse. 

This particular 4AM, it wasn't my dog Rack but Kobe, the neighbor's little mix breed, that woke us.

He had been walking around the neighborhood.  The best we can figure is that Kobe had been forgotten in the yard when the owners went to sleep.

While that is (ahem) "Regrettable", I'm flattered that Kobe chose my house to awaken.  I consider it a backhanded complement even if that little dude is screaming for "More".  Kobe is bored out of his furry head and his owners need to be less distracted.

I'm sure that I'll speak with the owners, eventually, once I am actually ... awake and this is a bit more in the past.

You see how it all happened was Kobe came to my house.  He's actually done that more than once.  My yard semi-adjoins their yard.  Kobe being a wee little 20 pounder can't jump the fence and he's gotten himself into the yard that actually is against my property more than once.  Rack hears him rattling around and I end up having to get involved getting him home.

Both dogs.
More than once.

Once I speak with them, I'll have to find out what the story is.  The little guy needs a bit more training and attention and I'm home all day doing who knows what.

So if there's a takeaway from all my blather, it might be this.

Make sure your dog is inside at night.  Your neighbors won't want a visit at 4AM when something wakes your dog and he stands at my bedroom window barking at my window to wake up.  Your dog is smart enough to find me to help him get home when you probably forgot him.

The dream I had about skating with the dog next to me on a long workout was a little strange and fits perfectly with my mind set of what actually happens on a Special Dog Workout.

Just keep the speed down, distance down, and bring extra water.  They're sprinters and not endurance athletes like I am.

When I opened the door, called out "Kobe", the little dude just trotted over to me, walked inside and over to Rack's water, had a drink and sat down at my feet.  He looked up at me, as if to ask "Ok here I am, take me home".

I did, more than once.

Sunday, March 20, 2022

Which is faster, hot or cold? Hot. You can catch a cold.

You know, life is easier in Science Fiction.  You go to the sick bay.  Bones waggles a salt shaker over your chest as the wall goes beep-boop in time with your heart.  You lay on a weird chain mail sheet covered bed.  But everyone is healthy and running marathons in the Holodeck.

I may have came close to a copyright infringement with that description but I'll call it Fair Use.

Oh and, there are these two old folks.



Jacob, age 92, and Beth, age 89, are excited about their decision to get married.

They go for a stroll to discuss the wedding and on the way they pass a chemist. Jacob suggests they go in.

Jacob addresses the man behind the counter: "Are you the owner?"... The pharmacist answers "Yes".

Jacob: "We're about to get married. Do you sell heart medication?" Pharmacist: "Of course we do."

Jacob: "How about medicine for circulation?"

Pharmacist: "All kinds."

Jacob: "Medicine for rheumatism, scoliosis?"

Pharmacist: "Definitely."

Jacob:" Medicine for memory problems, arthritis, jaundices?"

Pharmacist: "Yes, a large variety..... the works!"

Jacob: "What about vitamins, sleeping pills, antidotes for Parkinson's Disease?"

Pharmacist: "Absolutely."

Jacob:" You sell wheelchairs and walkers?"

Pharmacist: "All speeds and sizes. Why do you ask? Is there something I can help you with?"

Jacob says to the pharmacist:: "We'd like to nominate your store as our Bridal Gift Shop Registry”

Saturday, March 19, 2022

I wanna have a smoking hot bod for once in my life. That’s why I’ve decided on cremation!

 Whoa!  Where did that one come from!  :)

Well with the dark humor, I may as well double down and use this one I found.  Don't worry, it's not too sad!

Or maybe...




A guy was going on vacation and didn't have anyone to take care of his beloved cat

So he had to leave her with his notoriously irresponsible friend. The very first day the friend left the door open and Muffin ran out and and got hit by a car and killed.

The guy called his friend the next day to see how Muffin was doing and he said "Oh, sorry, the cat's dead. Got hit by a car".

The guy was heartbroken and furious with his friend "Jesus! You know I loved that cat! Couldn't you be a little more understanding?"
"Like how?" his friend replied.

"Well, I don't know! You could have broke the news to me with a little more empathy and not just blasted me with it like that! Like you could have said today when I called, ' Joe I'm really sorry, Muffin climbed up on the roof and I can't get her to come down'. Then tomorrow something like 'Oh, Joe, Muffin fell off the roof and she's at the hospital' then maybe the next day 'I'm so sorry Joe, Muffin passed away.' That way it wouldn't be such a shock!"

"Oh, I get it." the friend said. "Sorry."

"And Joe, I have some other bad news for you. Um..., your grandmother climbed up on the roof and I can't get her to come down".

Wednesday, March 16, 2022

Soft Snickerdoodles - Or Discovering a New Cookie Recipe can be Fun

This was a cookie I had always heard of but never tried until I was in the Middle Aged Crazy years.

Yes, I am rebelling by discovering new foods.  You reap the rewards.

In this specific case, the Snickerdoodle is really simple, the hardest part is waiting for the butter to come up to room temperature with the eggs.  I keep both in my refrigerator and it does take forever when you want to bake NOW to wait for this stuff.

Since I am usually up at 5AM, that's the solution - plan to bake an hour or so before dawn, two hours before breakfast.  That way everything is ready for or after breakfast.


Ingredients:

Dough:

  • 1 cup butter
  • 1 1/2 cups sugar
  • 2 large eggs
  • 2 3/4 cups flour
  • 2 teaspoons cream of tartar
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt



Coating:

  • 3 tablespoons sugar
  • 3 teaspoons cinnamon


Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 350°F/175C.
  2. Mix butter, 1 1/2 cups sugar and eggs thoroughly in a large bowl.
  3. Combine flour, cream of tartar, baking soda and salt in a separate bowl.
  4. Blend dry ingredients into butter mixture.
  5. Chill dough, and chill an ungreased cookie sheet for about 10-15 minutes in the fridge.
  • Meanwhile, mix 3 tablespoons sugar, and 3 teaspoons cinnamon in a small bowl.
  1. Scoop 1 inch globs of dough into the sugar and cinnamon mixture.
  2. Coat by gently rolling balls of the soft dough in the sugar mixture.
  3. Place on chilled ungreased cookie sheet, and bake 12-15 minutes.
  4. Remove from cookie sheet immediately to cool.

Sunday, March 13, 2022

A scientist tried to make gum out of eggs. It was an egg spearmint.

So, did you set your clocks ahead in the US?  Some parts of the world have decided this whole daylight saving time is silly, in my mind, rightfully so.

Come on folks, pick one and stick with it!!!!




John gets extremely drunk with his friends at a hotel.
After they're done, he can barely stand up. He gets in a cab and says to the driver, slurring, "Take me to the nearest hotel."
The driver looks at him, confused. "You're literally outside a hotel."
John, being very, very, drunk, replies, "Oh, really? We're already here? Wow, this cab has gotta be the fastest thing on earth!" He pulls out a 20 dollar bill and says, "Here, but next time, don't drive so fast!"



A doctor and a lawyer were talking at a party. However, their conversation was constantly interrupted by people describing their ailments and asking the doctor for free medical advice.

After an hour of this, the exasperated doctor asked the lawyer, "What do you do to stop people from asking you for legal advice when you're out of the office?"

"I give it to them," replied the lawyer, "and then I send them a bill."

The doctor was shocked, but agreed to give it a try. The next day, still feeling slightly guilty, the doctor prepared the bills.

When he went to place them in his mailbox, he found a bill from the lawyer.





Bach, the great composer, was having a difficult time writing new music.

With 20 kids in the house, it was hard for him to find quiet time to work.

So he decided to find a quiet place outdoors, and found a small shed in the woods. Unfortunately, it was so far from his home, that by the time he got there and started writing, it was time to go back home for lunch.

His wife came up with an idea, and started packing him sandwiches and snacks in a small bag to take with him. Brilliant!

And to this day, we can thank her for one of history's greatest inventions, the Bach's Lunch.

Saturday, March 12, 2022

I'm a 21-year-old multimillionaire. Here's how I did it. When on the internet, I lie.

You know... that title is about the same as the old meme "On the internet, nobody knows you're a dog".






A Desperate Prayer

A grandfather takes his grandchildren to the beach.

They’re playing in the sand when suddenly, a massive wave comes and pulls the smallest grandson out into the water. Panicked, the grandfather prays to God. “Oh God, please bring him back! Please let him live, in your mercy. I'll do anything and worship you forever!”

Almost immediately, an even bigger wave bursts out of the ocean, setting the little boy down right at his grandfather’s feet.

He scoops him up in a huge hug, crying with relief. Then he stares up at the sky and says, “He had a hat.”



Air Postal Service

A man sets down three pieces of luggage at a very famous International Airlines (that shall not be named) check-in counter and says, "I want the brown bag to go to London, the black one to go to Paris," he said. "And keep the third bag here till my return from Australia next week for pick up."

The check-in clerk blinked. A supervisor standing behind him overheard the request and came up. "I am sorry sir, but we are not the post office," he said, "we can't do that."

"Why not?" the irate passenger said, raising his voice, "That's what you did the last time!"



A group of friends were hiking a mountain and were planning on having a picnic up there..

One of the friends stutters a lot on the starts of sentences... On the way up he kept saying "w-w-w-w-w-w-w-w-w-" until they made it to the top of the mountain he was finally able to say "We forgot our food", everyone got mad and sad and started their way back down.

The joke doesn't end here... on the way down he kept saying "J-j-j-j-j-j-j-j-j-j..." until they made it to where they had parked their car he was finally able to say "Just kidding".

Wednesday, March 9, 2022

I Solved The Great Toilet Paper Roll Debate. It Goes Both Ways!

I'm that guy.  I like to see the world burn.  When I go to a party, I find the bathroom and turn the toilet paper roll around just to see if someone notices.

When I lived with someone and I noticed that I was being the one who was always caught putting a new roll on the holder... I put it on "wrong".

I don't care about conventions or patents or what yo' Mama said.  I'll do what I feel like doing in my own house.

So all that grumbling aside, I had recently lived through a major remodeling of my house.

By that I mean strip some walls to the studs, pull all the floors up, paint everything.

The other day I finished the last of the toilet bowl cleaner and the new bottle was covered in construction dust from the summer, so yes, there are corners that I am still cleaning up after.

They pulled the walls off the bathroom and removed the tub so I won't be doing any more write ups about how to repair a gap in the tub and wall, or similar.  We went so far that we discovered subterranean termites had formed a mud tunnel to the studs and that one of the studs in the bathroom was basically paper board and old dead termites.

If your tub is leaking or there's a crack in the wall you will end up having termites, it's a matter of time.  By that time, installing a backer rod will help but only temporarily.  You really should find out why the tub is sagging.

In Florida there are two kinds of people - Those who have Termites, and Those who WILL have Termites.  Give it time.

The team came through and started asking us some very basic questions and eventually it came to the toilet paper holder.  The bathroom is not a large room, I can stand and touch both walls in one direction.  We wanted to save every inch we could, or centimeter since I can do both.  We opted for a two gang toilet paper holder.

Yes, Two Rolls of Toilet Paper on display at one time! 

And yes, you guessed it, I have one roll "over the top" and the other "around the back".

Because I like to see the world burn.

Yes, it will annoy someone with OCD.
Yes, you are welcome to "fix" the direction to the "right" way.
No, I won't stop mounting rolls "wrong".
No, it does not bother me.

So enjoy this picture.  It should annoy someone out there in internet land.

Sunday, March 6, 2022

The Mailman just told me a joke. It wasn't that funny, but it was delivered really well.

 Maybe I should have saved this one for Easter but the timing is about right... Nothing like a somewhat offensive joke for Sunday, huh?



Two brothers start up a company that manufactures nails, one is in charge of sales and the other marketing.
They needed a commercial, so the one in charge of marketing got to work.

A few weeks later he excitedly shows the footage to his brother.
It starts with a wide shot of a mob of people on a hill, and zooms in.
Eventually it is clear there are angry people, Roman soldiers, and 3 men on a cross, it zooms in further to one of the men who is Jesus.
The shot zooms in even further to one of the nails in Jesus’ hand and on the head of the nail it reads “MURPHY’S NAILS”.
The brother in charge of sales is in shock for a few moments before exploding, “you IDIOT now our nails are associated with the crucifixion of Jesus, fix this immediately or we are ruined!”
His brother apologizes saying “sorry brother, give me a few days and I will fix this don’t worry!”.

Two days later the brother in charge of marketing tells his brother that he has fixed the commercial and it is ready to broadcast.
It starts again with a wide shot of a mob of people, as it zooms in there are angry citizens and Roman soldiers chasing a figure in bloody robes that is clearly a depiction of Jesus.
It finally zooms in on a lone Roman Centurion who shrugs at the camera and says “we should have used Murphy’s Nails”.

Saturday, March 5, 2022

I hope I never get addicted to skiing but it's a slippery slope

I hate the cold weather.  I don't mind watching it on TV but I hope never to be somewhere at the same time there is snow or ice on the ground again.  I'll leave that to "y'all up North"!

 

 Revenge of the penguins

There is this large group of penguins living their peaceful, penguin lives.

One day, a ship crashes and sinks nearby. A polar bear swims to the ice from the sinking ship and quickly falls asleep, obviously exhausted from his ordeal.

The penguins, having never seen a polar bear, think nothing of it and go about their daily routines.

When the polar bear wakes up, he is hungry and starts eating penguins. This, as you would expect, causes concern amongst the colony.

After a few days of this carnage, the penguins have a meeting. Their leader says, "We need to cut a big hole in the ice where there is no water beneath it." For penguins, this was a difficult task, but they trusted in their leader. It took a while, but they cut the large hole.

"Now, we need to gather a bunch of fish and put it around the hole." The penguins were not happy to be catching fish for them not to eat, but they completed the task.

"What was the purpose of this?" asked one penguin. "He will eat the fish, then eat all of us!"

The leader says, "When the bear is eating the fish, he will be bent way over, next to the edge of the void we created. We will simply walk up behind him and kick him right in the ice hole!"

Wednesday, March 2, 2022

Planting Basil, Replenishing the Milkweed, and Sneaking In An Extra Dog Walk


 I'm still picking up the house from the interior remodel we had done over the fall.  

It's not the highest of priorities, we had the holidays and some other more pressing projects in between.  

I came back from an appointment today and rapidly got bored.  You can only watch so much news until it warps your brain.

There is a box that is camping out on my table.  Well, really, mom's table but that brown furniture has a habit of getting passed along.  Solid Maple drop leaf table in the dining room with a box on top.  It has strange items in it and the box exists because I ordered some things once and realized it was a great way to corral some home improvement items together.

White glue,
Sandpaper,
Shipping Tape,
Tiny Paint Brushes...

That sort of thing.  A Party in the Home Improvement Store's Aisle kind of stuff.

It also had an old worn plastic bag in it.  That bag has gold in it in the form of my collected seeds.


Flower seeds from a good friend's celebration of life.
Some Basil seeds, and trust me, you want fresh basil on your pizza.
Bell Pepper seeds from a particularly tasty orange bell pepper years back.
And my stash of Mexican Milkweed seeds.

I got a Bright Idea.  I get those.  Particularly in the arm pit of an afternoon when the weather is nice and I'm sitting around looking to do creative things.

I grabbed the Basil and the Milkweed and had a walk around the property.  The property has drip feed irrigation all around.  I use that because it can be depended upon to be legal to water plants with this even in a drought in the dry season.  Typically where I have a pot under irrigation, I have a second one lower so that it can catch the overflow.  The pots are a playground for me to dump cuttings and seeds.  The ones on the ground tend to be propagation and the higher ones are where the Orchids grow.


It makes for a nice display when the plants are in bloom, and an ecological display for when they are not.

I started walking around looking into pots and dropping seeds.  Since the Monarchs can't eat Basil, I was able to mix the Milkweed in with them.  Like the Corn-Beans-Squash three sisters, there are certain things that just work.

I get my beans and corn from the market anyway.

So among my weeds are some seeds.  I'll have Basil to go with the pizza and the Monarchs which are currently in chrysalis will have food for the future little wrigglies.


Since I was not able to use all my Milkweed, I'll pass some on to the nature preserve at M. E. DePalma park on the next dog walk.  There are a few little milkweed plants there and you never have milkweed for long!

And who knows.  The last time I found an "Air Plant", Tillandsia, it had a seed pod that was ripe.   That kept me entertained on a long walk around town and through the park setting rare species seeds back into an appropriate habitat.  I know that they survived because strangely there are some more air plants around here than there were before.

Bottom line is if you like air, plant a tree.
If you want to fight climate change, plant a tree.
Just plant a damn tree regardless!