Sunday, May 29, 2022

What kind of shoes does a spy wear? Sneakers

I have not flown since the early 2000s.  Around 2003 I think.  I'm not fond of it at all and it has only gotten worse.  Pouring my 6'4" (193cm) 190 pound (86Kg) athletically fit frame into one of those buckboard crowded seats won't happen if I can avoid it.  I tell my friends Up North "If you want me up there, either cough up for First Class Round Trip or it's going to be a long drive!"

On the other hand the flight crew generally has the reputation of being very professional.



An airline pilot was scheduled to take a flight from New York to Los Angeles. The weather was too bad in New York to allow his usual on time departure. The weather in New York finally cleared and the pilot asked for his departure clearance. He was very dismayed to hear that he had another delay due to the increased traffic now leaving New York.

Sometime later he finally received his clearance and decided he would try to make up the time lost by asking for a direct route to Los Angeles. Halfway across the country he was told to turn due South. Knowing that this turn would now throw him further behind schedule he inquired, quite agitated, to the controller for the reason of the turn off course. The controller replied that the turn was for noise abatement.

The pilot was infuriated and said to the controller, "Look buddy, I am already way behind schedule with all the delays you guys have given me today. I really don't see how I could be causing a noise problem when I am over 6 miles above the earth!"

The controller answered in a calm voice, "Apparently, Captain, you have never heard the noise of two 747's colliding.”

Saturday, May 28, 2022

How much does a chimney cost? It's on the house

 I have never had the pleasure of driving through Tennessee.  I have gone through the coastal south here and I suspect it's similar just much more hilly.  

Then again Pennsylvania has it's own charm.  After all it's where you regularly hear stories about deer running into your car.  Stopped at a stop sign.  Causing about $3000 of damage...

A guy is driving somewhere in Tennessee

He is riding along and a hog runs into the street and gets hit. The man is shocked, so he gets out and calls the police.

"Hi I need to report that I just hit a pig in the road." He says nervously, unsure of what to do. The other person on the phone asks for the location and he gives it to them. The dispatcher then says "We also need your address please."

"Why do you need that?"

"Well in our city, hogs are protected and hitting one constitutes a civil offense. We will have to send you a fine in the mail."

The man immediately hangs up the phone and continues driving

4 days later he goes outside to check the mail and he sees a fine from the same city in Tennessee.

He then stomps his foot angrily and says "That damn pig squealed on me!"

Wednesday, May 25, 2022

The Second Most Important Workout Tool Is A Water Bottle

I have often said the most important fitness tool is a good kitchen scale.

This time of year has convinced me that the second most important fitness tool is the Water Bottle.

No, Seriously!  Hear me out!

So right now, fellow athletes, I'm in a rebuilding phase.  I was on low power for three months due to sports injuries.  My Dr. told me to "Go! Live Your Life!  Just remain upright!".

Upright I am.

Three months ago I started skating again on the "Bunny Slope" of a trail here.  Mills Pond Park in Fort Lauderdale.  It's a big circle with two "legs" off of it at odd angles.  Absolutely flat and hardly ever used when I am out there so I had it to myself.  All of about 2 miles (3K) if you stretch it, and since there is construction, well folks, I tried.

I built the distance up to around 16 miles and am starting to look for something a little more entertaining.

But "Go! Live Your Life!" means that I pursue all the cross training I was doing before.  In January, I skated a marathon a week with the totals around 50 miles.  Biked about 25 miles a week.  Walked 4 to 5 miles a day.  

Metric people, that's 80K, 40K, and around 7 or 8K respectively.

I had stopped biking, completely, and just now went for an hour bike ride.  10.06 miles, I guess 16K.

Here's where that second most important tool comes in.

In the interim we went from what we call winter here to what most of the rest of the Western World would call "OMG You Want Me To Do What In That Soup?" conditions.

People in India or Australia would simply shrug and say "I hear you bro!" and get back to what they're doing.  Think Thailand in the Summer.  Europeans?  LOL, you COULD do it, but you would have to train for the heat.

Here in South Florida, Beach Adjacent Wilton Manors.  Humid is the summer norm.  It does get hot here, but it gets hotter in my native South Jersey, near Philadelphia.

The story I tell about the heat in Philly is that the "Rocky Steps" at the Art Museum are a beautiful place to cool down.  It's an athletic hangout, and I used it frequently there on my skate workouts.  The trail loop there was a comfortable 8.6 miles (Hmmm... Math...) I call it just under 14K.  Water stops all over the place.  I miss that park.

As was my normal way, I skated from March 1 until the trails were covered in Ice in December.  This particular day was high summer.  I had on my headphones and got curious, this was pre-mobile internet days.  Tuned on the all news station, the first one in the country and reputation says it was the first in the world.  I heard "KYW News Time 5 o'clock.  The temperature is 99 Degrees".

I stood up and chuckled and skated another lap of the park.  17 miles total plus a fraction.

KYW is an unlistenable mess that is the most popular radio station there because everyone wants to know the weather and traffic.  But I swear they put commercials on their commercials.

That 99 Degrees, or 37C was coupled with someone used to skating intensely at 183 BPM average with plenty of water.  I used to drink in motion while skating frequently.

I have never seen anything over 96F here in the 15 years I have lived here.

So now I am in my rebuilding cycle.  The weather was like standing behind someone in a shower.  Sure I can think of ways that can be fun but on skates it became a slog.  After the second time I stopped back at my car, I had run out of water bottles that I could take so I went home.  The limiting factor was how much I could drink since there were no water stops easily accessible.  Oh they had stops, but since it was in the construction zone you had to risk your life for a drink.

Know your fitness level and know your body.  I can easily skate 8 miles per bottle of water.  You may not be that fit even at the slow pace I purposely have been maintaining .  For your best results, bring more than you need and rest frequently.

Endurance workouts are mostly "Logistics".  You have planning to do if you are going to do a 3 hour hyper-marathon.  Even a 10K you need to plan for on inline skates.

Runners are a very different story.

I would skate 30 miles in Pennsylvania and never have a problem because that trail lent itself to it.  Not so much here.

So make sure you properly hydrate.  Higher humidity will limit your ability to cool down.  Higher temperatures will make it more likely that you will feel it.  Consider working out early in the morning, in the evening, or even at night if you can manage the lighting.

Sure this all is a basic thing, but we all need to look out for each other from time to time.

Oh and that thermos you have had for 15 years in the kitchen, unused?  Dig it out from the back of the cabinet and toss it in the car with Ice Water next time you're out in 90 degree (32C plus) and hydrate to your heart's content.

Your Heart will love you for it, and you can keep your distance up.

Hey!  On Yer Left!

Sunday, May 22, 2022

Why do most obstetricians quit when they're 45? Because they have a midwife crisis.

A farmer moved into town

After getting settled in the new town, a farmer went to church for the first time.

He found that the people in the church gossiped and shunned him for his poor appearance.

After the service, the preacher went to the farmer and told him that "In this town, we get dressed up for church."

"But I am but a humble farmer with no better clothes than these. What shall I do?"
"Pray to God" the priest replied. "He will tell you what to do."

The next week the farmer came back to church wearing different clothes, but they were no better than the other set of clothes he had on before. The priest interrupted the service to berate the farmer.
"Didn't I tell you to ask God what to wear to come here?"
"Yes sir you did."

"And did you do that?"
"Yes sir I did."

"And what did God tell you to wear?"
"Well to be honest father, he didn't know. He said he's never been in this church before."

Saturday, May 21, 2022

I sent my hearing aids out for repair three weeks ago. I haven’t heard anything since!

 Close shave

A man enters a barber shop for a shave.

While the barber is foaming him up, he mentions the problems he has getting a close shave around the cheeks.

"I have just the thing," says the barber taking a small wooden ball from a nearby drawer.

"Just place this between your cheek and gum. "The client places the ball in his mouth and the barber proceeds with the closest shave the man has ever experienced. After a few strokes the client asks in garbled speech. "And what if I swallow it?

"No problem," says the barber. "Just bring it back tomorrow like everyone else does. "

...---... ...---... ...---... ...---... ...---... ...---... ...---... ...---...

A magician was working on a cruise ship in the Caribbean.

The audience was new each week, so he always did the same tricks. The problem was, the captains pet parrot saw all the shows an led began to understand how the magician did every trick.

It started squawking in the middle of the show, “Look, it's not the same hat! Look, he's hiding flowers under the table! Hey, why are all the cards the axe of spades?"

The magician was furious, but, as it was the captain's parrot, there wasn't much he could do about it.

Then, one day, the cruise shop ran aground and sank. The magician found himself cast adrift on a piece of wood with the parrot. They glared at each other but said nothing.

Finally, the parrot said, "Ok, I give up. Where's the boat?"

Wednesday, May 18, 2022

Instead Of Flowers, It Looks Like I Am Growing PVC Pipe

I think I am growing more sections of PVC pipe in my garden than I am flowers from seed.

I have always been able to grow from seed.  I have had basil growing in the garden that would have made my Italian side of the family proud.  That's not exactly an easy task in South Florida since the climate is not exactly friendly to it.  On the other hand, I remember summers in my own native South Jersey were hotter than I have ever seen it get here in Broward County since I moved here in 2006.

In other words they said don't.  I ignored them.

I have nursery pots all over the property.  They get watered on the drip feed irrigation or simply from being under other pots that are.  I know certain places in the yard are more secure than other, so things that are tender like little shoots from seed are normally started from seed in a pot under the orchids.

I was lulled into a false sense of security.  When I went to plant Zinnia, I just scattered the seeds in random spots.  When they were dropped in the pots, some actually have gotten to about a hand's length high.  Whether I get blooms or not is up to the ages.

I have aggressive landscapers, so anything I want to be safe, I have taken to making rings out of some reasonably large PVC pipe that was scrounged out of a neighbor's pool installation project.  It's obvious something is there, and the landscapers avoid them.  There is now a progression of size of things to allow things to grow.

However there's something else out there turning my tender shoots into a salad. 

Don't let me catch you, I'll send you to your next reality.

So in various places in the garden, the shoots would get a little obvious that something is there and it would then disappear.   If it was on a Friday, I'd have a talk with the landscapers.   Last time it was mid week that they vanished.

Next step, I raised the wall on that.  Went to a longer piece of pipe, and now I am waiting to see if the seeds I dropped in there can grow.

When I was a child I had a habit of growing Marigolds out of season.  They would grow in a thimble sized pot that was under a larger pot with only one hole for light.  I would get a tiny flower out of that which was amazing to me.  "Bonsai Marigolds"?  Who knew!

So I expect this foot long piece of grey PVC to work out.

On the other hand, I am off to the yard to get a few "contractor's pots" and put some flowers in that.   May as well, I got the mulch at the park, the soil from the big box store, and lots of seeds from people that know that I like a challenge. 

Cover me... I'm going in!

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!


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...