Sunday, February 27, 2022

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

I don't know why they call pessimism bad.  After all, if anything can go wrong, it will is both Murphy's Law is prevalent and quoted all over the place. 

However, this does sort of fit when you are doing something you don't completely have control over.

A man of Pessimism

A young man was soon to be drafted for the military. He knew that there was no getting out of the draft, so he chose instead to enlist so that he could at least choose his branch of service.

His girlfriend wanted him to be seen as a hero and she told him that she always found paratroopers to be the epitome of heroism. The young man protested, but eventually relented and he was accepted as a paratrooper.

After much intensive training, he and his class readied inside the plane for their first jump. The instructor spoke to them saying, "troops, as you jump from the plane, you will wait five seconds, reach with your right hand over your left hip and pull the rip cord. If the shoot fails to deploy, you will reach with your left hand over your right hip and deploy the backup parachute. When you make it to the ground, there will be trucks waiting to take you back to base."

At this point the young man is very nervous, but against his better judgment he follows the rest of the troops and jumps from the plane. Not waiting at all, he reaches over his left hip and pulls the ripcord. Nothing happens. He immediately reaches over and pulls the other ripcord. Once again, nothing happens.

As the young man speeds by the other troops on the way to the ground they heard him saying, "uh-huh, and I bet those trucks won't be down there either."

Saturday, February 26, 2022

I asked the sodium if it was a popular element. It said Na.

 This is just one of those that I read this morning, feet up on the couch, music on the speakers, laughing I said "oh that's dark".

So I thought hey, lets foist it on the world!  :)  Enjoy!

Little Johnny's neighbours had a baby.

Unfortunately, the baby was born without ears. So when the mother and new baby came home from the hospital, Johnny's family was invited over to see the baby.

Before they left their house, Little Johnny's dad had a talk with him and explained that the baby had no ears.

His dad also told him that if he so much as mentioned anything about the baby's missing ears or even said the word "ears" he would get the spanking of his life when they came back home.

Little Johnny told his dad he understood completely.

So when Johnny looked in the crib he said, "What a beautiful baby." The mother said, "Why, thank you, Little Johnny."

Johnny said, "He has beautiful little feet and beautiful little hands, a cute little nose and really beautiful eyes.

Can he see?" Yes", the mother replied, "we are so thankful; the Doctor said he will have 20/20 vision."

"That's great," said Little Johnny

"'Cuz he'd be done for if he needed glasses

Wednesday, February 23, 2022

The I Don't Need A Clock Project Where I Build A Clock

I swear I don't need a clock.

Where I sit, I can spot at least six of the things.  If you are of voting age, and live on your own, I'm sure you have too many of them as well.

But they do entertain me.  I have always liked to have more than one around and I do watch to keep them as close to accurate as possible.

For a while I was getting them in Mystery Boxes and I think that is where I decided to simply throw my hands up and put batteries in all of them all at once.

There is no such thing as a quiet moment here.


But the conversation was ringing in my ears about a skill I felt needed sharpening.

I needed to practice my soldering, and I got online and was shopping.

Dangerous thing to do I know.

I searched for the simplest electronics kit I could find that would do something useful.

Radios were another thing I have too many of and they were a bit complex.
Nobody needs a Tesla Coil.
I didn't want a model car or something like that.

I kept coming across these LED clocks.  Throwing my hands in the air I found a two-fer clock that had only about ten different components.

Oh why not, lets do it.  Two for the price of $7.

You do get what you pay for, this one is only 24 hour display and only 4 digits.  I'd have liked a seconds display and in the US, it's pretty much strictly a 12 hour AM/PM world.

Don't get me started about Metric vs Imperial, I switch back and forth, and both have their uses.  Nutrition it is easier to estimate calories my multiplying ounces by 1.1.  Try that with grams.

At any rate, Saturday I got all the bits and pieces together, sat down and started.   It only took me about 90 minutes to build this little thing.  Once I settled in and shook off the "Suggestions" that were coming from someone else in the house about needing to solder things, that is.

One is done, I still have another.

So why did I get a two pack?  I have never finished a soldering project on an actual printed circuit board that was successful.  It's a rite of passage.  Me against the electronic world.

Now, if I could find a really cool circuit to build, maybe a shortwave radio?  Vacuum Tubes?  I know, I don't need one of those either but if I am going to do it, oh never mind!

Sunday, February 20, 2022

I just heard that they're not making yardsticks any longer.

I could use that right now.  I have a parrot screaming at me for attention and well, kindly turn it down from 11 to a 5 please?

A man joins a monastery and takes a vow of silence.

As part of his vow, he can come before the Abbot once every five years and say whatever he wants, but it can only be two words long.

Five years come and go and the man stands before the Abbot . They ask if he has anything to say and he responds "Bad Food." He is then dismissed and returns to his duties.

Five more years pass and the man stands before the Abbot again. This time, he says "Hard Beds." He is dismissed and returns to his duties.

Another five years pass and the man stands before the Abbot and says "I Quit."

The Abbot responds "Well, I can't say I'm surprised. You've done nothing but complain since you got here."



And since I am feeling generous, here's another one to enjoy!

While on a trip in Europe, the farmer from Texas was driving through Ireland.
He came to a farm and saw a man repairing a fence by the road.
The Texan stopped and asked the man if this was his farm.
Oh yes answered the Irish farmer, everything you see from the river down there to the hills up there is mine.
The Texan smiled and said – well on my farm back in Texas I can drive my car the whole day without reaching the other side.

Now it was the Irish mans turn to smile while he said - Oh, I used to have a car like that too.

Saturday, February 19, 2022

What is a cow's preferred drink? Moo-nshine.

So as the neighbors are getting up at the crack of pre-dawn and piling into the Pickup Truck Caravan to go fishing, there's always the story of the one that got away.

Personally I prefer mine on a bun with a bit of cheese and tartar sauce but you do you!

A fisherman catches a golden fish, and when he was about to put the fish into the net, the fish speaks to him:

    I will fulfill a single wish of yours so please let me go.

    Interesting, let me think a bit.

After few minutes of silence the fisherman continues:

    My country is poor and small. Make it large and powerful again.

    I am just a fish and not a god, so I can't do that. Wish something reasonable please.

    Ok, let my country have a wonder like Egyptian Pyramids, so everyone comes to visit it.

    Man, I told you, it's too big for me. You should ask for something smaller.

The fisherman pulls out three photos from his pocket and says:

    Ok, I understand. Here are the photos of my three daughters. Make it so that at least one of them gets married.

The fish looks at the photos a bit and says:

    What were you saying earlier about the Egyptian Pyramids?

Wednesday, February 16, 2022

The Mangoes are Back... With A Second Blooming Inflorescence

It has been "Weird" for a couple years now.  The world went upside down a while back and those of us who have been preaching about things changing since childhood are right.

Whether you like it or not.

The weather where I grew up in South Jersey by the time I moved out in the 1990s was basically what had been winter weather in North Carolina, broadly. 

Now that the science is indisputable, instead of getting offended and blaming one class of people or another (It's really the oil companies and the car companies' faults if you ask me) I have but one answer.

Plant A Tree.  Today, tomorrow, forever, keep planting trees.   

That lefty-looney who you called a tree hugger was right, get over yourself.  After you're gone your great grand-kids will say "Hey they weren't all bad, now go and pick some fruit"!

At any rate, I did.  You see years ago, I had a co-worker.  A beautiful island woman from Jamaica who told me a story in that Big Sister Voice that everyone in their then 20s longs to hear.  She said that "Back in J-A" we plant trees by the road so that people could reach up in season and have a meal.  She said you'll never eat them all, and I guess in a city you may be right.

I have noticed here in South Florida people were way too grabby and would go into your yard and empty your trees of fruit so I have to assume that the trees she planted were near a wall and only some of the fruit was exposed to the passers by.

When we moved in here there is (currently, still) a massive mango tree on the nearby corner.
  I have permission from the property owner to take as much as I want, and I do, and it leaves a lot there. 

Oh and there's a helpful recipe for Mango Jelly in that link... I think I need it myself!

Remembering all of this, I planted an orange tree that is still here in the wrong spot.  Then my own Mango.

My own mango tree is in my back yard.  Away from everything and prying eyes.  I've only gotten a couple pounds out of it each year but it has paid for itself even at the bargain basement prices you see at a yard sale.

This year it flowered early and put out a few measly inflorescences so I thought it was going to be a bad Mango year and ignored it.   Every year when picked, I "lower" the tree to my height and it looks like a hat rack.  The tree mopes the next year and I get few fruit.

This year was going to be one of those same years but I had a surprise.  There are flower spikes coming out literally all over the place.  Like twice or three times the amount of usual.

So since I have two bags of Mango Puree in the freezer, I'll be having that with my morning meals and the fresh fruit should be here by spring.

Stay tuned.

Sunday, February 13, 2022

What did the cat with a new outfit say? “Check meowt!”

So I'm sitting here watching a rain front come through.  Yes, thunderstorms and lightning very very frightening, right?  Well... it's just a front, we'll all get through that.  No worries, but it did give me a reason to put up a two-fer while I wait for a break in the clouds.

There was this guy who found an ancient book.
In that book he read that dolphins live forever if you feed them the meat of an eagle.

Some time later he came across a very sick eagle and thought: It's gonna die soon anyway, might as well take it to the dolphins at the local zoo to see if what's in the book is actually true.
At night he climbed over a wall to get into the zoo – and found himself right in the lion enclosure!
He managed to escape the lions by jumping over them and then climbing up a tree.

He was later arrested and charged with smuggling ill eagle goods over state lions for immortal porpoises.

And... since that was so short, here's another cringy joke!

I saw a homeless man

I asked him if I gave him $20, would he buy beer? He said no he hadn't had a beer in years.

Then I asked if I give him $20 would he buy car parts? He again said no, he got rid of his race car 15 years ago.

So then I said I'll do him better than $20. I'll take him home get him all cleaned up, get my wife to cook a fantastic meal for him, then bring him back & still give him $20.

He asked whether she'd get mad, but it really didn't matter. I just wanted her to see what happens to a man when he stops drinking & building race cars.

Saturday, February 12, 2022

My doctor said I have a bad case of the sequels. So then I asked him "What happens next?"

 I have heard the phrase Fake It Until You Make It many times.  I guess that is the flip side of Practice Makes Perfect but it is quite cynical. 

The incredible trainer

It was a busy day at the bar. A lot of costumers were enjoying their breakfast. Until the door slammed open.
A shady trench coat with an almost as shady wearer appeared in the door frame, a big bulge in both pockets. He approached the counter, as silent as the entire bar, exchanging glares with the customers.
He made a straight line to the barman, to whom he then asked "I am hungry. I can't pay a cappuccino and a croissant with money. But... I can show you something amazing. Deal?"

The barman pondered the offer for a second and then replied "Well, if you can entertain my customers, you have a deal, sir."

The man opened his right pocket, to take out a tiny replica of a piano. From the left one, he took out an hamster, placing both on the counter. the hamster, after sniffing the keys for a second, sat on the little stool in front of the piano, after which he started hitting the keys with incredible proficiency. The witnesses in the bar couldn't believe their senses. the hamster was playing the moonlight sonata.

At first, people believed it must have been a trick. They tried to ask the hamster for different songs, and if it was in the hamster's repertoire, he delivered with ease. He knew some ragtime, classical music, even some pop songs. People were ecstatic, so the barman was more than happy to gift the man a croissant, a cappuccino, some liquor, a slice of cake, anything to keep that wonderful hamster performing in his bar.

After a while the man was satisfied of the food provided, so he left, saying that maybe he'll come back again for another show.

The voice that the man could come again spread in the town, and the following days the bar was brimming with customers. Nobody saw him the following day, neither the second, nor the following week, until...

The door of the bar was flung open again, the same shady trench coat, only with an ulterior bulge in the chest pocket. The scene was the same as last time, only that the people had to make a corridor to let the man reach the counter. Before the man could say anything, the barman said "If you can put up a performance here again , you can eat whatever you want. On the house".

Without saying anything, the man took out the hamster and the piano from the pockets, but then he also extracted a frog from the front pocket of the coat.

The hamster wiggled his paws and then looked at the frog. The frog stood on her back legs, a tiny mike in her hands. A little nod to the hamster, and the performance begun. The hamster played a new yet familiar song, and the frog started to sing, with the voice of a talented star "Do you ever feel... like a plastic bag...". She started to dance on the stage while she was singing, an awesome rendition of ' Katy Perry - Firework '. The hamster kept playing the melody to perfection, much to the cheer and amusement of the customers.

"Boom boom boom. Even brighter than the moon moon moon!" the frog ended the song, stopping to jump and landing back on four legs like nothing happened. the crowd went absolutely bananas. 

A man, with a curious pair of mustaches, ran to the trench coat man and said " Sir I am a talent scout. I'd like to purchase your frog. I offer you a million, right here right now, in cash, for her." He opened a suitcase full of money right in his face. "Hmm, five millions and she's yours" the trainer replied. "three, last offer" the scout shouted. "Deal" the trainer agreed. Two muscular body guards reached them, with a contract, already filled, and two other suitcases full of money. After they hastily completed the transaction and they ensured the money had been deposited at the bank, they rushed out with the frog to never be seen again

The barman, shocked by the scene, then asked the man "Sorry to say it man, but you got scammed. Three millions? That frog is like an endless gold mine. They are going to make 20 times, maybe 40 times more money than that..."

"Nah, the frog was in playback" the trainer admitted " It's just that the hamster is also good at ventriloquism"

Wednesday, February 9, 2022

Wilton Manors Sunrise

Every morning routine differs.  Mine is changing lately.  

This particular day I had gotten to a point, well before dawn, that I decided to wrestle with a virtual owl and practice Spanish.   Nothing out of the ordinary there, I've been doing that for about nine years now.  I can read it, write it, and listen to Spanish language media frequently.

In the Covid Era, going out to a mall to practice  is not something that I plan on doing, but I will say sitting in a chair in a waiting room yesterday brought out an observation.  There was an older Spanish Speaking couple next to me chattering quietly back and forth and I thought it would be fortunate that they don't actually understand the TV on the front wall with the Morning Chuckle-heads of Choice playing because they wouldn't have to be assaulted by the drivel.  

... But yes, of course, listen in, I did.  It is South Florida after all, and just because the big guy sitting next to you in a chili pepper "Hawaiian" shirt is an Anglo, it doesn't mean he can't follow you.  It just means he's lost in thought and in his own world.   Go on Abuelo y Abuela, live your best life even if you said that the TV was stupid.

Sitting in the chair, I am debating what to do to be active.  There are only so many things you can do when the sun has yet to crack the sky open.  However, people were doing that, going out and walking dogs is usually the first thing that I spot.  A Neighbor walks past seeing my laptop's glow and looks away sheepishly.

Then the Joggers start.  There is nothing odd about that, the traffic levels here are low enough in the morning that my specific block gets a lot of people enjoying a little morning cardio burn.  I've done that myself quite a few times.  I am way too physically active to want to sit in that same chair, still forever, and prefer to enjoy my own burn.

However, this particular morning, it was a new Jogger.  At least that was what I thought he was doing.  Wrapped in brightly colored "Tech" fabrics, he came around the corner from the South.  I spotted him and then made it a point to watch.  Flailing his arms like one of those fan powered arm waving displays, he stopped.  Or rather he paused in front of my mailbox bouncing around as much as he could without actually going anywhere.

In a flash of activity, he presented a phone then looked up at the sky and snapped a picture. 

Just like that he was gone.   It was like a fireball of activity had appeared then ran off.   Flapping arms as he went.

It did raise my curiosity and I am glad I got up out of the chair and looked.   One of the more beautiful sunrise cloud displays I have seen in quite a while.  

And way down the street, just at the corner turning out of sight, was this jogger.  Still flailing his arms, he was gone.

This is the kind of place where the middle aged redneck down the block might be using a skateboard to get to where he would want to go, or your dawn jogger might be flailing their arms wildly, but I have to admit, that kind of quirkiness is why I live here.

One Morning's Sunrise is Beautiful.  Just like the day before or the day after.  Beauty is all around you, just look.

Sunday, February 6, 2022

Did you hear the one about the guy who fell into a lens grinder? He made a spectacle of himself.

I have to say the last time I was having a rough night's sleep I never expected something like this!

Always be nice

A man is in bed with his wife when there is a rat-a-tat-tat on the door.
He rolls over and looks at his clock, and it's half past three in the morning. "I'm not getting out of bed at this time of night," he thinks, and rolls over.
Then, a louder knock follows. "Aren't you going to answer that?" says his wife.

So he drags himself out of bed and goes downstairs. He opens the door and there is man standing at the door. It didn't take the homeowner long to realize the man was drunk.
"Hi there," slurs the stranger. "Can you give me a push?"
"No, get lost. It's half past three. I was in bed," says the man and slams the door.

He goes back up to bed and tells his wife what happened and she says, "Dave, that wasn't very nice of you. Remember that night we broke down in the pouring rain on the way to pick the kids up from the baby sitter and you had to knock on that man's house to get us started again? What would have happened if he'd told us to get lost?"
"But the guy was drunk," says the husband.
"It doesn't matter," says the wife. "He needs our help and it would be the Christian thing to help him."

So the husband gets out of bed again, gets dressed, and goes downstairs. He opens the door, and not being able to see the stranger anywhere shouts, "Hey, do you still want a push??"
He hears a voice cry out, "Yeah please."
So, still being unable to see the stranger he shouts, "Where are you?"
And the stranger replies, "I'm over here, in your swing."

Saturday, February 5, 2022

What do you call a dog serving on a submarine? A subwoofer

 I have been waiting for the right time for this one.  Today the little old lady around the corner called the fire department.  There's a tree on our mutual neighbor's property that grew into the power wires and started to "singe".  The FD called the power company and they gave the tree a hair cut.  It's now only got leaves on the side away from the wires.  Good.  It's been engineered correctly.  Funny to hear about things when people do something stupid like plant Brunswick Palms near the power wires.

An Engineer dies and goes to hell. He's hot and miserable, so he decides to take action. The A/C has been busted for a long time, so he fixes it. Things cool down quickly.

The moving walkway motor jammed, so he unjams it. People can get from place to place more easily.

The TV was grainy and unclear, so he fixes the connection to the Satellite dish and now they get hundreds of high def channels.

One day, God decides to look down on Hell to see how his grand design is working out and notices that everyone is happy and enjoying umbrella drinks. He asks the Devil what's going on?

The Devil replies, "Things are great down here since you sent us that engineer."

"What?? An engineer? I didn't send you one of those, that must have been a mistake. Send him back up right this minute."

The Devil responds, "No way! We are going to keep our engineer. We like this guy."

God demands, "If you don't send him to me immediately, I'll sue!"

The Devil laughs. "Where are YOU going to get a lawyer?"

Wednesday, February 2, 2022

A New iPhone Means I Still Dislike Apple

I have a very strong dislike of Apple products and their walled garden full of weeds.

So why am I using an iPhone, along with its stupid rules of capitalization? Since the hardware, gorgeous though it may be, has the life of a Mayfly, I won't be for long and I am extremely careful with technology.

Well it's a long story.  I was given one many versions back and I have to say that I will not buy one on my own.  I truly dislike how their hardware begrudgingly works with the rest of the world.

I also am begrudgingly using a smartphone at all.  I have very little use for them and the intense spying that goes on in almost all of the software makes me question why anyone uses them.  I am listening to a stream of music that keeps getting interrupted because their software can't get back to their ad server.  Tough.

There are many stories of people having a conversation with their phones in their pockets at a party and the next day they get ads for the topic of conversation.

Mind you, I never experience that because I block every single ad I can manage to in my own personal life.  Web pages run better, load faster, and are much less "creepy" when you figure out how to block ads.  

I'm not against people getting paid for what they put out there, but there is way too much risk of having "bad things" happen to you since ads are now a vector for all sorts of nastiness happening.  Viruses, spyware, and Trojans have all been found pushed in an ad and since I'm not buying, I'm not having them.

Since people have been lulled into complacency with Apple's mantra of "Join us in our walled garden and we will protect you", they also block you from maintaining your own phone.

What I mean by this is that that iThing in your pocket is a computer.  Apple was fond of saying it's a supercomputer which may or may not be fair.  But when they created it, they did some   things that change how they work.  They now do not work well at all as a computer on the network.  You certainly can buy an app that will allow you to read what you have on your network, I have written about that in the past.  But "normal" tools to do "normal" things are something that they seem to want you to pay for and do not work "out of the box".

For example, the hosts file does not exist in a normal form on the phone.  Hosts is simply a list of urls, addresses, that are being redirected to a different place.  There are reasons to stop you from doing that such as an app going in and writing its own information at the top of the file thereby directing all traffic to where the app intends.  This happens for various reasons, almost none are in your benefit.

So I run software to stop such nefarious activities.

Next when you get a new phone, you have to go out and relearn how to use it.  The processor is newer/faster/better, the camera is newer/faster/better, just go and enjoy.

I went out and took a bunch of pictures.  They came back in a newer format called HEIC.  Not old fashioned JPG or PNG which is what all my current tools are.  So I got torpedoed and had to find a tool to convert them to the older format so I could work for them today.

Am I being a Luddite and staying with the old formats?  Probably not permanently.  I have my way of doing things, and Apple is getting in the way of it.  Torpedoed me.  It won't matter much, if this does not go viral it won't get read by more than a room full of people.

One of the first things I learned in Software Development is never "force" a change without allowing the old workflows to exist.

They allowed them, but they made you try their way first.  To go back to the old and comfortable you have to opt out of their change.  

For now, I've opted out.  Back to making JPGs on the phone.

No home button on the phone because the dead guy in the black turtleneck would appreciate the minimalism.  You have gestures, use those. I have a gesture right here, extending middle finger and ...

No headphone jack because of the dead guy.  But it's better he would say, and so would Apple's management.





Bluetooth audio is not as clean as a cheap wired headphone unless you buy their expensive high end headphones and I would wager that they still are not at the level of the $5 plug in headphones that you used to be able to get back to the days of the Sony Walkman.

Oh and you can buy a leash so that the multiple-hundred-dollar high end ear buds don't get lost and you end up with one with you and another one that had fallen under the Blarney Stone when you bent over to kiss the thing on your trip to Ireland.  Now you have the "wire" without the benefit of the clean connection and with added expense too!

Can you tell I'm not a fan?  I have lost an earbud or two during a workout and found them all, but as active as I am, having to stop my workout and hunt will break my work flow.


Have I missed the point?  No, technology exists to serve you and I, not the other way around.  When I go to put the boots on to do the next workout, the boots will get me to do my 27 miles, and if the headphones don't work or I am served ads on that phone, I am reassured that the phone will work under the water hazard that I skate past because I flung it in there.

But hey the headphones can still get to the phone in the pond because it's water resistant and UN-repairable because that's the way that the minimalists want it.  

And I can skate around that pond because someone decided that an old school asphalt trail goes around it and my cobbled together Rollerblade boot mated really nicely to some Solomon 5x80mm frames for some interesting cruising skates.  None of those specific things were made during the same decade let alone during this one.

Interoperability?  Interconnectivity?  Open Standards?  

Wow, what a concept!

The phone is completely optional.   End Rant.