Sunday, December 31, 2023

A little year's end naval gazing and more silliness.

 The sharp eyed of you out there will notice that I missed yesterday's post.  So here I am.  Apparently there are more "Science Experiments" in the refrigerator that need to be purged.  I basically slept the day away and when I did wake up I lay on the couch listening to music and watching bad sitcoms.

It's a good day to do that, look around and clear out things.

Since it is the last day of the year and I'm up early enough to hear reports from Kiribati's first of the year New Year's celebrations, and Auckland NZ and Sydney Harbour are both getting ready to fire them off, I'll celebrate in my own way with a little half caff and my feet up on the coffee table.

It's about all the energy I have after last week. 

For those of you who enjoy my little blog, and it will probably never light the world on fire, I thank you for listening to me on my soap box and welcome you back for more. 

As always, Bill.

First, a little food of questionable origins:

So Julius Caesar has a fencing instructor to teach him swordplay techniques

But what Caesar doesn’t know is that his fencing instructor comes from a tribe of cannibals in a far off land.

Eventually, y’know, Caesar’s assassinated and who should happen by his lifeless bloodied body but his old fencing instructor, who gives in to his culinary impulses and starts carving the dead dictator up and popping the pieces in a roasting pan. 

Someone comes across this scene and reacts appropriately: with horrified questions.

And the fencing instructor says in reply: “Hey hey hey, relax. I come not to parry Caesar, but to braise him.”

Since some of you love your cats, here you go.  I can't get near them, way too allergic, but I can understand that everyone, two legged and four, needs a friend.

On the first day of creation, God created the cat

On the second day of creation, He created the human to selflessly serve the cat

On the third day, He created the tuna, the mice, and the inferior animals of the Earth to serve as potential food for the cat

On the fourth day, He created honest toil so that man could labour long an hard to fulfill the need of the cat

On the fifth day, He created the ball of yarn, the feather-on-a-stick thingie, and catnip so the cat may or may not be entertained

On the sixth day, He created veterinary science to keep the cat healthy and the man broke

And on the seventh day, He tried to sleep but the cat woke Him up at 5 am

Wednesday, December 27, 2023

The Attack Onion or Food Poisoning Happens Even When You Overcook Your Food

They say "Write What You Know".  I think I'm there.  Take this all tongue in cheek because I certainly am.  I'm willing to take a bullet for comedy!

Figuratively of course.  Despite the fuss and bluster, really, I'm pretty harmless.  I just look big and hairy scary. 

I lost a day and it was due to an attack onion.  I also lost 3 pounds in 18 hours which is frankly shocking.

I had read about how if an onion is in a refrigerator "too long" it can pick up whatever nasties are in it and not let go until it is in you.  I think that was what happened.

Without going into the specific results, if your onion looks anything but what it should, be safe and toss it.  Mine was quite old and even after cooking the daylights out of the diced bits in a skillet, I must not have gone far enough.

By the time it was done, I was empty.  Lost a rather good Banana Apple Smoothie, Breakfast sandwich, and my coffee.  It only took all damn day.

It could have been worse, I'm sure.  I was watching Radar all morning and due to a rainy overnight, and lingering clouds, I could have been at the park in the middle of a workout instead of at the comfort of home hugging the porcelain god as someone here was holding my hair, figuratively, by going out and getting me Cotter Pins and things to help settle my insides.

That bike thing again.  See I was procrastinating all morning.  I Knew I wanted to get my bike back to perfect so I had taken the time up until this all fired up and removed the brakes and re-sanded the brake shoes.  Oh and wash down the discs with alcohol so their nice and shiny.  We like shiny discs, just like your car's front brakes.  Stop good.  Too many Karens on the trails not watching themselves and going against traffic. 

In the middle of all of this I get a call from the local hospital asking about a billing mistake.  Their mistake.  I asked "Did you apply the secondary insurance?" while I was in the middle of a sick attack and said "You're calling someone who was just in to your hospital for a procedure, you will get the info and apply it and I won't have the pleasure of your voice in the middle of gastric upset again, will I". 

He agreed, got everything he needed, and rang off.

So hey, I experienced what I would have actually gone through had I had this kind of situation before I had retired.  You see I worked for a middle of the road kind of University.  Loved my clients, loved some of my co workers but the internal organization was so toxic I tossed myself out, retired early and we moved to South Florida so we could reject the Hustle Culture and the people who get promoted because they were too incompetent to be an actual productive person.  I would call in periodically with "Food Poisoning" so I could de-stress and wind down.  Never on Monday or Friday though.  That would be suspicious.

Yeah, Suspicious.  That is what I'll call it. 

It's now Wednesday Morning.  I'm on the mend.  No more hugging the Porcelain God.  I have spare cotter pins for the bike and all the meds I need to make nice with my inners.  I'm also debating whether I feel like I have enough horsepower to go to the wonderful Asian Market across the county so I can get my Oolong Tea in a lovely brown tin and some of those amazing sweets they have.  I have a thing for a Ginger Coconut Candy that I just can't make at home.

Sunday, December 24, 2023

Apparently I snore so loudly that it manages to scare everyone else in my car.

 I really hope you don't know someone like this, but I think in reality ... you do.

A guy comes home from a business trip earlier than expected

This sends his wife into a panic. “Quick! Go stand in the corner like a statue. He’s so dumb, he’ll think you’re a piece of art.” She yells at her lover, pushing him to the darkened corner of the den.

As she predicted, her husband walked in, noticed the ‘statue’, asked her about it, had some dinner, watched TV for a while and eventually the couple went to bed. Afraid to move, the man stayed perfectly still the entire time.

Around midnight, the husband came out of the bedroom, and made two sandwiches. He walked over to the ‘statue’ and handed one of them to it, saying “I was stuck at the Smith’s house like this for hours… least she could’ve done was to offer me a sandwich.”

Saturday, December 23, 2023

What kind of tree does toothpaste grow on? Toiletries

 I must be getting more cynical lately.  I see this story and think "Yeah, I'd do that too!".

A woman cheats on her husband after years of happy marriage

Realizing her mistake, she starts praying to God. "Lord, I know what I did was wrong, but my marriage is the only thing that gives my life purpose and joy. Please, don't let my husband find out."

Suddenly she hears a voice from above: "Okay my child, it will be, but on one condition: years from now, you will die by drowning."

The woman hesitates at first but then responds, "Alright Lord, if it means he'll never find out, then so be it."

The next years of her life are happy and wonderful. She starts a successful business and lives in comfort with her husband, however she continues to cheat on him many times, having forgotten her conversation with God.

One day she decides to book herself a vacation on a cruise ship. A few days into the voyage, a loud BOOM rocks the cruise ship, and it starts to sink. Suddenly remembering her agreement with God, she is struck with grief and begins frantically praying to God again:

"God, you're not gonna drown an entire cruise ship full of people because of me, right?"

She hears a familiar voice: "Are you kidding me? I've been working to gather all you cheaters here for years."

Wednesday, December 20, 2023

The surprise goody box!

Having an irritating day? 

Wait until the Goody Box gets here.

Thanks, Pat!  You do know what I like even after my having moved to Florida 17 years ago.

Actually I have lived in this particular house longer than I have anywhere else so go fig!

Had gotten out after getting a new battery for the car and went gone out for a drive.  Do that in South Florida and it will convince you that a sports car is pointless.   I see too much of those around here sitting in traffic being frustrated.  Went 25 miles and never got over 45 even on the Interstate.

Meh.  Pointless rant aside, it's always nice to have something show up as a surprise on the door step.  Rack didn't even announce it's approach, which is a surprise.  A win for playing music in the house I guess.

Me?  I'm running late this holiday season.  I still haven't mailed anything out.  Had some major things to get through this month and well, I'm on the bench, Coach. 

So to you and yours, have a wonderful holiday season, which ever holiday you celebrate.

Now, I'm going to the kitchen and have a wee bit of chocolate.  Don't tell anyone.

Sunday, December 17, 2023

My wife wanted to go on vacation, but I wanted a staycation. In the end, we settled it with an altercation.

All I have to say is sometimes a story is just worth the read.

A guy sees a sign in front of a house that says "Talking Dog: $10:

He walks up to the gate, and there's a beautiful labrador retriever in the front yard.

"Hello, how are you?" says the dog.

"Oh my goodness. You really can talk!"

"Yep, sure can," says the dog.

"So what's your story?" he asks.

"Well, I discovered I could talk when I was a puppy, so I contacted the local police to see if I could work for them undercover. They hired me to catch drug dealers. All I had to do was hang around and listen to them talk because no one suspects a dog of anything."

"That's amazing," the guy says.

"Yeah, then the FBI heard about me so they hired me to catch terrorists. I uncovered a number of plots just by laying at the feet of the leaders and listening to them talk."

"Wow! That's incredible."

"After that INTERPOL called and I worked for a while catching spies. I exposed quite a number of them and protected our country."

"You're really something!"

"Yeah, now I'm retired. I get to breed whenever I want, and I have a great life."

The guy goes to the door and the owner answers.

"I saw your sign. I'd like to buy the dog," he says.

The owner nods.

"But tell me, he has an incredible life story. Why are you selling him so cheap?"

"Because he's a damn liar. He never did any of that stuff!

Saturday, December 16, 2023

What did the man do when he had the opportunity to win a free hot dog? He relished it.

It's a really crazy weather week here in So Flo.  All the flakes are blowing around, all the snowbirds are hiding.  High winds, rains, and power outages.  

Since the weather is so crap, here's a two-fer for you.  I'm going to go and make more coffee.

Grandma pig is growing old.

She doesn’t want to worry her grandchildren, so she makes something up for the parents.
The kids watch as Grandma is taken away.

“Where is grandma going?” asks a pig.
“Grandma is sick. They’re gonna help her. You won’t see her again for a long time though.” Dad replies.

A week later, the piglets see Grandma’s body being taken to the farmhouse.
“Dad! Dad! They’re taking away Grandma! Isn’t she still sick?”

Dad thinks and replies,
“She’s all better now. I might even say she’s cured.”

Voodoo ...

A ghost seeks out a voodo priest. He wants to return to life, so that he can save his family. The voodoo priest feeling sympathetic to ghost's plight, acquiesces.

The ceremony begins. The ghost slowly regains his body. His head takes physical form but as soon as his neck appears, a powerful voodoo god bursts forth.

The diety thunders "How dare you disrupt the natural order ..!"

The ghost pleading before the diety, explains his reasons.

The diety softens and says "Your transgression is pardoned but only if you quit while you're a head."

Wednesday, December 13, 2023

Rack and the Delivery Guys - A 12 Year Old Dog Finds His Voice Every Day At The Same Time


If you are here during a certain hour, it gets loud.

Don't try to take a nap on the couch, it won't work.

Which hour is it?  It's the Delivery Hour.

We somehow have all the major delivery services come right about the same time.  It actually used to be delivery plus trash pick up and recycling but the City changed refuse haulers.

I'm going to be a bit vague around which hour that is.  After all, I can plan on being here when a delivery is coming.  If I am here there's almost a zero chance that whatever it is will actually get where it is going.

Now the issue isn't the deliveries.  Getting Fedex/Amazon/The Mail/UPS all within about a half hour is great.  You can watch hilarity ensue when they are all shuffling down the block in a sort of Brownian Motion that you would see in one of those sand picture frames.

You know, the things you would see at a store in an odd place, pick up and flip, and watch the sand percolate through bubbles to the lowest place in the frame?

That's what we do with all of the trucks.

The issue is that someone is finding his voice.  After 12 years, Rack, the McNab SuperDog(TM) is getting "quirky".

That also means I get to have a conversation with a dog.  My dog.  Generally, it works well too.

He spends the day, or at least the time I am home and in My Big Green Chair at my elbow.  If he isn't there sleeping it does not particularly feel right so I go look for him.  Usually it's because I'm irritated at something and my energy is not quite where it should be.

This particular day, I was in the kitchen doing Tasks.  This time it was setting  timer for a battery charger, and starting to decant a load of sticky rice into containers for the freezer.  I spend a lot of time making this sort of "Meta Food", that is food that goes to make other food.

Kind of like "Cheese Food" is food that Cheese eats.  Or maybe not.

The rice goes into the dog food, and that tells me that I will have to make beans for the dog food... You get the idea, it keeps me honest and my freezer filled.

But this was an interruption.  I heard a low grumble.

"Rack!  It's OK! Go back into your corner!"
"Go on!  Go into the corner!  It's the Postie, he's your buddy!"

Rack slinks into the corner, slowly and curls up.  Postie delivers the mail.  I bag 20 ounces of rice for future dog food.

"Now what?, Rack go back into the corner, nobody there for you to growl at!"

UPS truck this time.  I look out the front windows at the big brown thing.
Grumble... mrowow!
"Shh, Rack, they're bringing you things"
Grumble gets more like distant thunder, quieter and more broken in time.
"Go on, back to the corner where your bed is"

He slinks back. 
I'm back in the kitchen getting two more 20 ounce bags of rice away and I start to hear a slam and some rattling outside.  Rack is in the corner but looking up.
Grumble.  Distant thunder quality.
Two twin brown eyes staring at me, from the gloom, not happy but now looking for info.  Amazon this time, the last of them for the day.

It is something we go through every day.  He will "deescalate" the conversation if I am actively talking to him but if we aren't managing his expectations it gets quite loud.

I had been rescued the other day from a Doctor's Office, and as we were leaving, the tire pressure alert went off on the car.  We went directly to the car dealer courtesy of "Run Flat Tires" that actually work as advertised, go figure that one out!

What the dealer now does is pay for an uber drop off instead of paying staff to run people home.  I keep hearing my aunt and uncle from Queens NYC saying in that characteristic accent "Oh No! I could never do that with a gypsy cab!".

But it's on someone else's dime, and we did get home.

Now, Rack doing his thing. For some reason he can tell when anyone who lives here comes in front of the house.  He can also tell when anyone who does NOT live here comes up in front of the house.

We pulled up in a recent vintage Toyota Tacoma Truck that smelled of various smoking materiel.  Before I could even get out of the car door, Rack was having a nervous breakdown, barking up a storm that would make the Guardians of Hell, Cerberus, proud.

I just laughed hearing him through Hurricane Glass, a Truck door, and a quietly playing radio and thought nobody was there to slow him down.

As soon as my boots hit the ground, Rack went quiet and into the characteristic Happy Dance that dogs do when they see their people. 

I guess dogs need to be managed.  I know I do too.

Sunday, December 10, 2023

I sabotaged an origami competition. The judges are waiting to see what unfolds.

A guy with a sense of humor and a woman who has had enough is a thunderstorm in the making.

A woman, cranky because her husband was late coming home again, decided to leave a note, saying, "I've had enough and have left you. Don't bother coming after me.” Then she hid under the bed to see his reaction.

After a short while, the husband comes home and she could hear him in the kitchen before he comes into the bedroom.

She could see him walk towards the dresser and pick up the note.

After a few minutes, he wrote something on it before picking up the phone and calling someone.

"She's finally gone...yeah I know, about bloody time, I'm coming to see you, put on that sexy French nightie. I love you...can't wait to see you...we'll do all the naughty things you like."

He hung up, grabbed his keys and left.

She heard the car drive off as she came out from under the bed.

Seething with rage and with tears in her eyes she grabbed the note to see what he wrote...

"I can see your feet. We're outta bread: be back in five minutes.”

Saturday, December 9, 2023

I'm writing a book on reverse psychology. Please don't read it.


A guy dies and is standing before St. Peter at the Gates of Heaven.
St. Peter tells him, “We’re getting REALLY full in here, so please tell me something that you have done in your life that’s completely unselfish and deserving of getting into Heaven.”

The guy says, “Well, one day I was driving along a back road when I came across a young woman that was being threatened by a group of bikers. I got in between them and the woman and said, ‘If you want you to touch her, you’ll have to kill me first.
St. Peter says, “Wow, that’s pretty unselfish and caring of your fellow human! When did this happen?”

The guy responds with, “About five minutes ago.”

I bought a straight jacket the other day, and I'm starting to regret it.
I thought it would be a good look, but I just can't pull it off.

I removed the shells from my racing snails to help them go faster
It only made them more sluggish.

Wednesday, December 6, 2023

Bananas by the Sidewalk

I was texting my sister while out on a walk. 

As is my habit, I tend to pepper conversations on text with pictures here and there.  The thing is that I forget that for many people, I live where they vacation.

The climate in my native Philadelphia is quite different than here.  Things here just don't grow that much further north.  I'm not "true" tropics, we probably can't grow Durian here or Cacao.  I do know that neighbors have managed to grow coffee in their yards, and that surprises me because it can get blistering hot in August.

Just ask my Jeep.  I had repairs to make on it over the summer and I practically melted under the car.

"Oh look at the palm trees!  I would love looking at them all day long!"
I said "Oh yes, I forgot they don't grow up there." 

My sister is in USDA Zone 7b, and there are about six kinds of palms that will grow there, very slowly, and only if the conditions there are just right.  If I ever can find the seeds for a Saw Palmetto or a Chinese Fan Palm, she's getting them.

We're walking along and I'm attempting to hold a text conversation with her.  Attempting - I'm terrible at texting as my hands are large, and I need a full keyboard to do that right.

I'm being asked if that was my neighborhood, and yes, it was only a block from my house. 

Mind you we have a palm that started in a pot as a weed, and it's now about 20 feet tall.  Personally I have not been able to shake the nickname that was told to me - bottle brush.  They do sort of look like a bottle brush or a feather duster, but that does not detract from their beauty.

I did remember a neighbor another block away has a small stand of Bananas growing in the front yard.  I took a picture of them and she was quite surprised.

"you mean you have bananas growing near you?  WOW!"
"Yes we do.  Just like the ones you have on the table.  And yes, I have had one or two before.  Quite tasty too"

I just would not grow them in the front yard.  If I did, I would probably never get any as fruit trees grown in exposed areas tend to be picked over by people other than the property owner.

I do have a banana growing in the back yard in a pot that I think will go into the ground back there.  Since I will eat every banana I can get, I may as well.  Plus it will look quite nice growing next to the Mango Tree that I crop every year for Mango Jelly.

Everywhere has it's own kind of beauty.  Maple Trees in the North with Peaches and Pears and Apples where my sister is.  Our Tropical fruit.  You may as well enjoy what you have at your fingertips.  After all, the yard doesn't have to be filled with shade trees, that would just be bananas!

Sunday, December 3, 2023

Why did the house go to the doctors? It had window pains.

Sundays are for early days at the park, a two-fer, and doing oddball things.  Lets do oddball things together.

A naked man walks into the doctors office and says says, “doc, I think I’m going crazy”.
Doctor replies, “I can clearly see you’re nuts"

Polar bear hunting

A man is having trouble with a polar bear roaming around his remote cabin, so he calls up a famous polar bear behavior expert to ask about the best way of trapping or killing it.

“First, you have to wait for winter. You have a river or pond near your property?”

“I do,” the man acknowledges.

“Good. So what you do is, once it freezes over, drill a big hole in the ice. Then get a can of peas - any brand will do - and sprinkle them around the edges of the hole. Polar bears love canned peas.”

“And what then?”

“Then when the bear comes to take a pea, kick him in the ice hole.”

Saturday, December 2, 2023

I got kicked out of mime school. It must've been something I said.

How about something a bit ageist for a Saturday Morning?  It used to be never trust anyone over 30, then never trust anyone under 30, and now it's just OK Boomer.

They're all toxic so never mind all that nonsense and just enjoy and remember we all get there sooner or later.

Sharing is caring.

The old man placed an order for one hamburger, French fries, and a drink. He unwrapped the plain hamburger and carefully cut in half, placing one half in front of his wife.

He then carefully counted out the French fries, dividing them into two piles and neatly placed one pile in front of his wife. He took a sip of the drink, his wife took a sip and then set the cup down between them.

As he began to eat his few bites of hamburger, the people around them were looking over and whispering. Obviously they were thinking, ‘That poor old couple-all they can afford is one meal for the two of them.’

As the man began to eat his fries a young man came to the table and politely offered to buy another meal for the old couple. The old man said, they were just fine-they were used to sharing everything. People closer to the table noticed the little old lady hadn't eaten a bite. She sat there watching her husband eat and occasionally taking turns sipping the drink.

Again, the young man came over and begged them to let him buy another meal for them. This time the old woman said, "No, thank you, we are used to sharing everything."

Finally, as the old man finished and was wiping his face neatly with the napkin, the young man again came over to the little old lady who had yet to eat a single bite of food and asked, "What is it you are waiting for?" She answered, "My turn for the teeth."

Wednesday, November 29, 2023

My Doctor thinks I am on a First Name Basis with The Gods Of Valhalla

I was laying on a table having stickers put all over my chest for a visit.

We got into a conversation that had me laughing by the end. 

I have a minor procedure scheduled that required a bunch of tests.  This EKG was the last of them

But he did say that for anyone over 40 it's possible you may need a stress test, over 50 a periodic one is strongly suggested.

I pulled my phone out and rattled off the statistics of my last workout.

Sunday was a Marathon on the bike.  Specifically it was:

26.68 miles.
2 Hours 16 Minutes with one break - Stop, start, set up, water stop, etc.
1 Hour 56 Minutes under power.  (Yes, I get a rest stop with cookies too.)
Max Heart Rate 166 BPM
Average Heart Rate 148 BPM
Calories Burned 1719.
VO2 Max was 80% of the workout.

Blah blah blah.

So he asked me if Thor was doing well.
It degraded from there.  We were both laughing.

"Hey you helped me, when do you want to start training?"

He checked my resting VO2 - 99% and then said  "You did hear me say that I walked past my gym on the way to the bus stop?"

"No sunrise workouts for you?  I guess the 3 miles walking a day is a little much too?"
"Yeah may be a bit much."
"It's Philly people.  We walk everywhere, even after we leave."
"I'm from Chicago and we don't."
"I was there on Xmas one year.  So cold the moisture froze solid in my nose!"

It was that kind of conversation.

Basically any kind of training can give results at any age.  You do need to stick with them and take a balanced and systemic outlook.  However long it took you to get where you are, you can come back from it and usually do so in less time that it took you to get there.

Doctors visits are amusing to me.  I usually start giving them fitness advice.  Proportions of Protein/Fat/Carb in meals, Calorie counts. 

Irony is that I am chowing down on lunch chock full of processed cheese, square fish, and there is a nice  Key Lime Pie dessert coming my way. 

Those 3000 calories a day on an off day need to balance off the calorie deficit I see when I do workout.

Meanwhile my Dog, Rack the McNab SuperDog(TM), is looking at me with that "I Too Would Like Lunch" look.

He gets 3 meals a day and it's home made.

Never feed your dog something out of a bag.  It's not good for them.  Lettie always got high quality from a bag and died from a food recall as a result.

Remember a Food Recall in human food is because someone got sick.  A Food Recall in Dog Food is because dogs died.

And since I don't want to go through syringe feeding Rack, he gets homemade and has always for years now.

As for the Gods of Valhalla?  I missed Thor, he was out with a Grecian Goddess somewhere, don't tell Hera.  I did see Athena over the weekend.  Beautiful as always.  Mercury is my trainer and I aspire to be his substitute on occasions.

Sunday, November 26, 2023

Did you hear they arrested the devil? Yeah, they got him on possession.

 Yes, I'm late.  Did a Marathon on the bike at the park.  Felt good too.  Not anywhere near as strenuous as running, but it will do nicely.

I feel like this lady at the moment.  Between the runner's high, and knowing that there's food in the kitchen, I should be looking for things right now.

The missing earring

A police officer, on his nightly patrol, sees a woman staring at the sidewalk and wandering in circles. He walks over to her and says, "Can I help you?"
"I lost an earring," she replies, showing him the other one.

After helping her look for twenty minutes, he asks, "Are you sure you lost it here?"
"No, I was near 5th and Main when I noticed it missing."

He stared at her for a moment, confused. "That's three blocks away. Why are you looking here?"
Without looking up, she replied, "Because the lighting is better."

Saturday, November 25, 2023

Hear about the new restaurant called Karma? There’s no menu: You get what you deserve.

Ladies, this one is for you.   After passing so many spandex wearing bikers it makes me appreciate the difference.

One day, God asked Adam how things were going with Eve.
Adam: Pretty good, I guess.
God: You seem to be holding back. Do you have any questions?

Adam: Well, why did you make her so much more beautiful than me?
God: So you would enjoy looking at her.

Adam: And why did you make her skin so much softer than mine?
God: So you would enjoy touching her.

Adam: And why did you make her smell so much better than me?
God: So you would want to be around her all the time. You see, Adam, I made Eve just for you, to make you happy.

Adam: Then why did you make her so stupid?
God: Well Adam, if I had made her any smarter, she never would have slept with a guy like you.

Wednesday, November 22, 2023

Making Grapefruit Curd - Perfect for Breakfast or Pie Filling

I really dislike Grapefruit.  When I last went to the market, I grabbed a bag of them that I thought were Oranges and went on my way. 

So this is a way to use them if you really want something sweet and gently tart.  Unfortunately for me though, I still have seven of the things left - the recipe only used One Grapefruit where it would be between 1.5 to 3 Lemons.

Yes, this is a variation on making Lemon Curd.  Lemon Curd is basically the filling to a Lemon Meringue Pie, with some tweaks here and there.  The recipe can be made with any Citrus that you have on hand, but frankly my favorite is with Grapefruit.

A wrinkle with this recipe is that you want to zest the fruit and cook the recipe with it, but probably would be best to remove the zest before the final cooking.  How I would achieve this is cook it until everything is blended and the butter is melted, then run the mix through a strainer.  After it is strained, continue cooking the ingredients to the magic temperature of 185F or 85C.

From ingredients to table took about 15 minutes since my butter was frozen.

Ingredients for this are 1/2 of my original recipe but I will repeat them here, adjusted for size.

  • 1 Grapefruit, Zested and Juiced (About a quarter cup juice)
  • 3/4 cup (170g) granulated Sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/2 stick unsalted butter (2 Ounces, 60g)  - Room Temperature and cut into small pieces


  • To a microwave safe bowl, add all your ingredients.
  • Stir the ingredients until smooth or run them through a blender.
  • Place Microwave Safe bowl in microwave and cook on High for 30 seconds.
  • Stir ingredients thoroughly to prevent hot spots.
  • Repeat the microwave and stir cycle until the temperature at least reaches 185F (85C).
  • The Grapefruit Curd will begin to noticeably thicken when you reach temperature.
  • Again, Do not allow to boil but make sure you hit that magic temperature of 185F/85C.
  • Pour the finished product into jars and refrigerate or run through strainer to capture any lemon zest or egg that might cause lumps.

Sunday, November 19, 2023

I used to walk up to the counter and the bartender would know my by name. Now it’s my pharmacist.

Time to go out for the sunday workout.  Planning on a biking marathon, like usual.  Catch me if you can!

 In a doctors office

Woman: “Doctor, how is he? Any news?”

Doctor: “Well the important thing is, he’s going to be fine.”

Woman: “Oh thank God!”

Doctor: “But, you must prepare yourself, the head trauma he sustained has had certain effects on his personality.

Woman: “Oh no!”

Doctor: “Yes, You see he’s damaged the center on the brain responsible for making comparisons and judgements. And one effect of this, for instance, is I’m afraid he’s incapable now of finding anything funny.”

Woman: “Really?”

Doctor: “Yes I’m afraid so. It’s completely removed his sense of humor. But, on the other hand, it does mean that he’s entirely at peace with his situation. Without judgement, he simply can’t comprehend that there’s anything he should feel dissatisfied about.

Woman: “So... you’re telling me-”

Doctor: “Yes, that’s right madam. He’s serious, but not critical.”

Saturday, November 18, 2023

I never wash the floor. It's beneath me.

 If, at first, you don't succeed... I would not recommend skydiving.

A man went skydiving for the first time.
The pilot went to find the man’s wife. “I’ve got some bad news, some good news, some even worse news and some better news.”
“Oh, my gosh...what happened?”

“Your husband fell out of the plane.
The good news is that he had a parachute on.
The worse news is that the parachute didn’t open.”

The wife had nearly fainted from shock.
“The better news is that we hadn’t taken off yet.”

So a sky diver jumps at 10,000 feet but his ‘chute malfunctions and he augers in.
When his jump buddy breaks the news to the dead guy’s girlfriend she sobs, “Did . . . did he say my name before he died?”
The jump buddy says, “Yeah, if your name is AAAAAAAAAUUUGGGGGHHHH!”

The primary rule with skydiving is this: when the people look like ants you don’t pull the cord,when the ants look like people you pull the cord.

Wednesday, November 15, 2023

Just a Power Washed Morning at the Park

They say Orange Skies in the Morning, Sailors take Warning.  Orange Skies At Night, Sailor's Delight.

There's some truth to that.  Even if my own pop meteorology came to mind in my driveway that morning.  Or Popped In my mind if you must.

It was a pretty sunrise.  I may as well enjoy them because if I am up before the dawn, I can schedule a workout. 

That is, I can schedule a workout once I check radar.

Weather here is a weird beast.  Rain can come from any direction, and at any time.  Typically the winds blow from East to West.  Off the Ocean, onto the Land.  There is a noticeable increase in the breezes around 10 or 11 in the morning. 

I have to watch because if I am out there doing my own thing, it effects me strongly. 

Oh I have managed to insulate myself from most of the slop by upgrading my skates to ceramic bearings and learning how to rework the brakes on the bike after a rain.  Ceramic bearings won't rust at the drop of a drop and a quick sanding of the brake pads on my bike will save me at least $50 at a bike shop, no matter how competent she is.

Got out though, after the dog walk.  I loaded the Jeep up, strapped the bike to the back and headed to the park.  Pompano Air Park is a 4.5 mile square.  Basically a square mile of airplanes coming and going, and occasionally you see the Goodyear Blimp.  But once you are there you get a clear view of the land to the opposite side.  One mile off give or take a few meters.  A Km and 6 tenths plus or minus a few feet.

Go enjoy myself at about 15.25 MPH average for the first hour.


I got out and felt drops on my arm.  Mind you, I'm ok with being out in the rain and I'm dressed in Biker's Spandex Compression shorts and jersey.   On the bike I'm hard to miss.  But none of that stuff will get damaged in the rain or by the rain.  I do ride fast enough to feel the drops hit me like someone throwing sand at me so I try to avoid that.  Plus water on a disc brake on a bike does what it does to your car - interferes with stopping.

I took the high road though.  Get the workout in as well as I could.  I decided that it was easier to draft another biker for a change.  I'm fast enough that I am at the top of the food chain with intermediate bikers.  The next step would be get the crazy expensive bike made out of Carbon Fiber and frankly that defeats the purpose.  I do it for Cardio and for Cross Training so that when I want to inline skate, I have not lost muscle tone.

It works.  I won't humble brag but having a resting heart rate as low as I do is a nice bonus.

So this big dude, I had wondered about his performance on the trails before.  It turns out that he's a better cyclist than I thought.  He's basically at my level.  Don't judge a book by a cover fast.  I should know, I followed him for the better part of an hour, at my own normal speeds.

Thing about sports is that while you are really competing against your own self, your own capacity, your own capabilities, you notice The Next Guy.  Especially if you see that person about 3 times a week.

I guess I needed that bit of a mental adjustment.  I am happy with my progress in two sports, I should be, I do it enough.  But when you see that Next Guy and get a chance to judge your own performance, it gives you a reset.

Like I said, I'm a big guy.  A Fit 6'4" and 188 pounds.  When I was skating back in the good old days, a friend on the team kept pushing me to get faster.  I asked "I'm flattered but I'm not there yet"  He responded that the team needs an anchor to draft behind.  I wasn't completely sure that was for me but now I understand it. 

I took the day off and drafted the big guy in front of me.  While it is true that if you aren't the lead dog, the view never changes, it's also that lead dog who gets wet. 

Once I had my mid workout water stop at 16 miles, I found out how much I appreciated not being the lead that day.  Back getting pressure washed by weather for that last lap and a half to get my normal every day 22 plus miles.

So stay dry however you can.  We're under flood watches and even the city would prefer if we didn't overload the sewers and the pumping stations.  The rain from yesterday was over 6 inches or about 15 cm.  It's raining now and Mr Dog got a late second walk because I didn't want to get pressure washed again.

Maybe tomorrow.  I'll look across the park at the trails on the far side and see clear skies instead of grey blobs raining down and forcing me to turn around. 

Then again, there is always Friday, huh?

Sunday, November 12, 2023

What's brown and sticky? A stick.

Since it is Saturday night right now, and I am formatting this, weather permitting, I'll be carving big lazy circles around a big old gas bag at 15 mph.

So since it is Sunday, here's a little bit of heaven.

 Getting into heaven

A man comes home after 5 years in the army, his wife says “I had a son while you were away, he’s yours”. The child looks 2 years old at most so the husband tried to argue that it can’t be his but his wife refuses to budge. 

After days of drinking and nagging the man loses it, grabs a gun and shoots his wife then Himself.

The man wakes up in heaven being greeted by St Peter. Peter looks through his good and bad deeds and says “you were a great man who saved many lives in the army but it also says you killed your wife and yourself. This is a tough one so I need to ask god for help with this”.

The man goes to see god and explains his story, god asks the man “wait, what planet are you from”?

The man replies “Earth”, god says “he’s good, let him through”.
Peter says “god don’t you need more time to think about this”?
God replies “Peter, people from earth are really weird. I’ve never even been to Earth and people have been telling me for 2k years that I have a son there”

Saturday, November 11, 2023

Did you hear about the superhero who was bitten by a radioactive lawyer? He got the power of attorney

Ok, this might be a bit of a dated story, after all you need to have a certain level of intelligence to build a house.  Besides, those Nail Guns are wild to use, but ...

Two idiots are building a house

They just finished the framing and are starting to nail siding on to the house. While one holds the siding,the other drives the nails into it.

The guy holding the siding watches as his buddy with the hammer picks up a nail out if the box, hammers it in, picks up another nail out if the box, throws it over his shoulder, picks up a nail from the box, nails it in, picks up another nail, and throws it over his shoulder, and repeats the process.

"What are you doing? You're throwing away half the nails we bought." Asks the guy holding up the siding.

"I can't use them," answers his buddy with the hammer "they're pointed on the wrong end."

"You idiot!" Exclams his partner, "those are for the other side of the house!"

Wednesday, November 8, 2023

Downtown Fort Lauderdale from Level Six


I repeat this frequently.

Always bring a camera.

Of course now that everyone has a camera on their phone, and that everyone is bringing their into the bathroom to help them in pooping, it isn't so rare to have one with you.

Is it?

Anyway, I was at a parking garage getting ready for an appointment that particular Monday Morning.  I was warned to get there early, the earlier the better.

Having a soft top Jeep Wrangler means I am always nervous about where I leave the thing, and never leave anything in it of value.  "It's a Jeep Thing" works well here, but when the neighbor leaves the roof down on his Mustang and the car running, it has me looking to make sure all is well.

No really, it's more like "It's A Convertible Thing, You Wouldn't Understand".

I was nervous about finding parking at all, not knowing how far up I had to go.  Eventually I got to the sixth level.  You may find that annoying but really I had relaxed.

The reputation is that the lower levels get people going through cars, and the further up you go, the less likely that is.

Getting out of the car, I walked to the elevator, looked out and saw this view.

"Ooh, I need a picture!"

Much better than doing the restaurant photo of your food that was the thing for a while, I bring you a whole city.

Sunday, November 5, 2023

Where I work they put names on the sandwiches, today I had one called Kevin.

 I know someone who would like that title if he ever sees it.

A priest dies and arrives in heaven. Here, a couple of angels greet him, shake his hand, and welcome him.

A few moments later, a drunken Peruvian bus driver appears. He is welcomed with a celebration, fireworks, and God himself comes to welcome him.

At this point, the priest, somewhat offended, approaches God and says, 'Excuse me, I served the church and your name for an entire lifetime, and I am welcomed worse than this man?'

God responds, 'Your church was never full, my child, but when this man was driving on the streets of Peru, people prayed like never before.'

A woman lost her cat named Love

She was frantically searching the entire house, trying to find her beloved pet. It was getting dark and the woman worried the cat might have gotten out.

She threw on a bathrobe, stepped into her slippers, and went out into the yard, calling for her cat. When there was no reply she began running up and down the down the street.

Tears were streaming down her face, her make-up was running, and her hair was disheveled. A police officer saw her, took in her state, and hurried over to see if she needed help.

The officer approaches her. "Ma'am, are you right? Do you need help?"
The desperate woman grabs him by the shirt and nods furiously. "Yes officer, I need you help badly. I'm looking for Love."

He arrests her on the spot.

My grandfather swore by adding a spoonful of gunpowder to his tea every morning
to help him live longer, and it worked: he lived to the ripe old age of ninety-seven.

He left a widow, two children, fourteen grandchildren and a fifty-foot crater where the crematorium used to be..

Saturday, November 4, 2023

Why is declaring yourself the monarch of the moon a bad idea? You'd have no air apparent.

Getting over a cold means you lose time.  I am putting this out there early but I swear I lost a day in there somewhere!  So have a triple-play.

I saw an adopted kid on the street.
I walk up to him and ask him "Are you adopted?"
He replies "Yes, I am what gave me away"
I responded "Your parents"

A 70 year old man wants to marry a 25 year old woman.
His lawyer is trying to talk him out of it. After an hour of arguing with his client for the lawyer says, “Do whatever you want, but I warn you, these May/December weddings often end in death!”
That stops the older man for a second. He stops, ponders, and finally says, “Well - If she dies, she dies!”

A girl and a boy are locked out of their house. They can't find any way in, so the girl leans forward and starts talking to the door lock... "Hey door lock you're looking nice today, why don't you go ahead and let us in."

The door magically unlocks itself. The boy is shocked, "how did you do that?!?"
The girl replies, "communication is KEY."

Wednesday, November 1, 2023

Rack, you are an over eager dingus.

Dogs are funny creatures.  They just want to please.  In fact I will say that humans probably don't deserve them.  The number of people who abandon dogs in places because (Insert Lame Excuse Here) is too damn high.

Mine is no exception.  Rack is a McNab SuperDog (TM).  I phrase it that way because every time I doubt what he's onto, there's a reason for it.

We got him before the little speaking discs became easy to find.  If we had them, he'd take to them immediately.  Even at 12 years old, I'm thinking it may be worthwhile to get a starter set and see what we can get him to say. 

Mind you this is a smallish house, and adding more things to it will just make the place sink into the ground more.

But the idea of having your dog tell you what they want is not uncommon.  I have said many times that I don't teach him tricks, I teach him behaviors. 

He has specific routes, and he knows what they area called, and he will pursue them once started.  If I don't "set" the route when we leave the house, he will take us to the block behind the house, walk to a specific property at a specific spot, then turn around and go home.

That doesn't always work for us, but I do have the ability to say "This Way" and it tells him we have a change of plans coming up.  If I say "The Drive" it's a specific route and we go to Wilton Drive based on the direction he is heading at the moment to complete the route.

At the front door, he has to get his leash.  It is attached to a harness that is somewhat complex to get on to him.  He has to have it on his neck then needs to step through it to put it on so that I can latch it secure.  He figured out that since we're doing all of that, he's got to get his foot in the air.  Depending on how excited or awake he is, it can be one pass to get it on, or if he's over stimulated that foot is waving like a piece of grass in a tornado.

Did I say he likes his walks?

He's also learned that mid morning, I tend to let him out.  It's about when I come home from a workout, or when the breakfast has been burned off and I need another 200 calories to "get to lunch".  Being a dog, he has also learned to manipulate me.  About every hour he's up at the back door.  I can tell because he's not here and is back at the door rattling the little bells we have hanging on a rope there.  They're from my sister's wedding and I have a string of them on each door to the house.

However if I am involved or just don't need to get those 200 calories, I can tell him "No, Later" and he stops begging.  Usually he stops for about an hour.  He really does not need to be outside all morning, as there is no source of water back there but the pool and I"d rather he not drink that.  Leaving a bowl out there means I'm breeding mosquitoes so that won't happen.

I suppose that if I were to actually have those little speech buttons, and programmed them and him to speak, I'd have him asking "Out Back" or "Cookie Ball" all the time.  Maybe it is better for domestic tranquility to not have them.  Who knows?

Basically there is a layer of intelligence to a Non Human Animal that we don't know about.  I would say that it is to our loss.  If I can have a conversation with Rack that is primarily non verbal, I suspect that there are other creatures out there that would be talking to us something like Doctor Dolittle.

After all, I've already been told by feral parrots here "Hello!" and "Shut Up!" when I said hello to them.

Now if I could just get the iguanas to leave my hibiscus alone and to move the ducks along, it would be a bonus.

Sunday, October 29, 2023

Me and my son are getting glasses today. And after that? We'll see.

Since it is Sunday, and I have already had my marathon on the bike, then upgraded this computer to Debian 13 (Trixie), now it is time to tempt fate with a little god-ish story.

God woke up with an unholy hangover.

He was rubbing His temples as one of His angels knocked gently on the door.

“Enter if you must!” God shouted.

"Sorry to disturb You, Sir," the angel said hesitantly. "But I wanted to congratulate you on yesterday's creations. For the most part, they were spectacular!"

"What…?" God mumbled blearily. The angel held up a clipboard.

"This majestic creature you named ferret! It's as if a rodent became a dog!" The angel manifested one for the Lord to behold. "So cute!”

God groaned.

The angel disintegrated the ferret and hastily flipped the page.

"And this one was graced with the name 'kangaroo,” said the angel. “Anf look here! You put a little pocket on its belly so it could hold its baby on the outside!"

God grunted and snatched the clipboard, flipping several pages before stopping suddenly, frozen in shock.

“And what in My name do We have here...?"

The angel glanced over his shoulder. "Oh, um...."

He shuffled uncomfortably. "This was just before You passed out, and we were worried You'd be upset about its creation. But You seemed to like it! You were very adamant about naming it--"

"I WASN'T NAMING IT!" God bellowed in disgust. "I saw a beaver mating a duck and I told it to stop!!"

The angel's eyes widened. "OHH, that makes much more sense now," he said, glancing at the clipboard. "All You kept shouting was “Pulloutapuss! Pulloutapuss!”

Saturday, October 28, 2023

What do you call someone who gets turned on by every naked person they see ? A showerhead!

Since I got my Jeep back, and since the conversation "How is Bill?" "Hungry" is pretty accurate...

A wife was making a breakfast of fried eggs for her husband.
Suddenly, her husband burst into the kitchen. "Careful," he said, "CAREFUL! Put in some more butter! Oh my gosh! You're cooking too many at once.

TOO MANY! Turn them!
TURN THEM NOW! We need more butter.
Oh my gosh!
WHERE are we going to get MORE BUTTER?
They're going to STICK!
Careful. CAREFUL! I said be CAREFUL!
You NEVER listen to me when you're cooking!
Never! Turn them! Hurry up! Are you CRAZY?
Have you LOST your mind?
Don't forget to salt them. You know you always forget to salt them. Use the! Salt.
The wife stared at him. "What in the world is wrong with you? You think I don't know how to fry a couple of eggs?"
The husband calmly replied, "I just wanted to show you what it feels like when I'm driving."

If you don't like how that sounds, just flip around the pronouns!  ;-)

Wednesday, October 25, 2023

A Sunrise Step Onto The Yard

 This is one of those things where it's just something I like.

Every time I walk out of the front door, after I gather myself and the rest together, I step into the front yard.  Oh yes, we all do I suppose. 

Onto the grass, look up.  What do we see?

The first walk it is still decidedly dark so I look for "My" stars.  There are two that I am following across the sky.  They come in with the moon and work their way up high from over the beach to over the Mango tree and then to rest.  I have been wondering if I am not just staring up at a constellation of satellites, but it has kept me entertained at 5:30 in the morning.

The second walk is right around sunrise.  If it is timed right, it can be spectacular.  This particular morning was burnished in color.  Step out onto the driveway and turn toward the distantly rising sun.  It was currently out in the Atlantic, maybe over the Bahamas, Mon.

Rack was raring to go for his walk, but I pulled rank so that I could frame the picture.  I have others that are perfect for framing inside the house.  I'm not sure if it will ever get there, but that is the intent. 

On the other hand, there is my Involuntary Palm Tree.  That particular tree, front and center in my garden island, was a "weed" tree that got started in a pot in back by the pool.  By the time I got ready to pull the thing, it refused to be pulled.  It was also about waist high, so I decided to let it stay.  It's now over 20 feet tall.

It also framed the sunrise quite nicely.  Along with the yard's candle on the lamppost, I spent a bit of time being chided by my faithful sidekick, Rack, The McNab SuperDog (TM) to get on our way.

Just another picture and I got what I wanted.  A bit of a commune with the sunrise and we went on our way for our mile.

The other two walks are at dinner when everyone is out and about, and the final walk of the day where I get to see an occasional shooting star coming in hot from the ocean.

Don't forget to make a wish.

Sunday, October 22, 2023

I can't understand how people are fine with eating hot dogs. I think they're just offal!

 Was looking at a couple of pictures of some things that "We Used To Do Back In The Day" and saw a picture of someone setting out a plate of hot dogs using white bread for the rolls.  First, only if "Mom Didn't Go Shopping".  And Second... toast the damn things! 

Oh and they had better be Kosher Hot dogs.  Those are the bomb!  I don't feel so bad about eating floor sweepings if they're made with pride.

I can think of about 49 people this applies to.  Give or take...

There was a gaming addict, a senator, and a show-off standing in front of the gates of heaven

The three of them then entered through the gate, following the signs, and arrived at a room where many people were queuing up. Suddenly, God appeared out of nowhere and said, 'Heaven is now overcrowded, so in order to be able to enter here, you will have to speak your true thoughts about yourselves in front of the magic mirror inside this room. If you speak the truth, you will be allowed inside. But if you lie, you will go to hell.'

After a long wait in line, the three of them finally took their turn. The gaming addict went in first and told the mirror that he believed he had truly overcome his addiction to games. Poof! The gaming addict was sent to hell. He was actually just trying to suppress his desire for gaming but hadn't really overcome it.

The senator entered next, with a smug expression on his face, and said, 'I think I'm very handsome and I do my job well.' Poof! The senator went to hell just like the gaming addict. He did a lot, but everything is so terrible.

Lastly, only the show-off remained. Without any nervousness, he walked in and shouted, 'I think...'

Poof! The show-off went straight to hell.

He had never truly known what thinking was.

Saturday, October 21, 2023

Where do you find a cow with no legs? Right where you left it.

I must have had too many close calls on the bike this week when I was setting aside these little pearls.  Judge?  Cop Stop?  Cop on Break?  Maybe so.  The roads are for the brave!

As a judge I was sentencing criminal defendants when I saw a vaguely familiar face. I reviewed his record and found that the man was a career criminal, except for a five-year period in which there were no convictions.

"Milton," I asked, puzzled, "how is it you were able to stay out of trouble for those five years?"
"I was in prison," he answered. "You should know that—you were the one who sent me there."

"That's not possible," I said. "I wasn't even a judge then."
"No, you weren't the judge," the defendant countered, smiling mischievously. "You were my lawyer."

A cop stops a motorist. "Sir, you were playing a trombone while driving. Do you know how dangerous that is?!"
"No, but if you hum a few bars, I'll fake it."

Two policemen go to a restaurant for lunch

Suddenly, one of the two takes his meal, crosses the street and sits down on the ground next to the road.

The other one is puzzled, but very hungry, so he finishes his lunch.

Later in the car, the curiosity gets the better of him and he asks: “Why did you cross the road and sit on the ground to eat your lunch?”

“Oh, you know I was at the dentist just this morning. I have this tooth that really hurts right here and when I asked the doctor, he said that I should eat on the other side.”

Wednesday, October 18, 2023

Being Stranded With A Bike Convinced Me That Commuting On One In South Florida Is A Pipe Dream

 This really is not a story about workouts but I will admit it, I am aggressive with them.

After all, I do like the buzz of the runner's high. 

Off to the big park I am going every other day.  One lap is about 4.5 miles, 5 makes a good workout, 6 makes a marathon.  That 5 laps around the park is 22.24 miles, at least it was today.

I stop at the car for a water stop after 3 laps.  13.33 miles, give or take a few feet.  A wee bit more than a half marathon.  I'll sit on the bumper of my old soldier, my 2002 Jeep Wrangler X and sip water and eat 200 calories of cookies.  Up again until I am done.

But that "X" was important.  It denoted that I have a manual transmission.

Except today that manual transmission quit.  Rather, what happened is that the clutch went to the floor and did not engage.  You need a clutch.  It must engage, Number One!

Just about 2 miles south of the park is a Jeep dealer.  I had to drive past it on the way home.  Or rather I will finish the drive after they repair it because it got that far and I had to start the car in gear with the key.

I know.  Terrible for the starter.

As I was talking to service advisor, I was asked how would I get home.  I pointed to the back of the car and shrugged.  "On that bike?"  "Yes, it's only 6 miles.  Ten Km".

They thought I was riding up Everest, or reacted like that.  I had seen the course and I can do 6 miles in a half hour on a bad day. 

I got the bike off the car and started riding once I got all my timers and cameras going.

You see here's the rub.  It's an American City.  In fact I started in Pompano Beach, Florida and drove through Fort Lauderdale, Florida to get home and both cities have won the "All American City Award" at one time or another.

What that means is bicycle trails are an after thought.  The speed limit was 45 MPH/72KPH.  There really is no way that 185 pound me on a 50 pound bike with all the accoutrements would be safe on the on again-off again bike trail that is on that road.  I was much safer plodding along on the sidewalk.  The few times I dropped to the bike lane I felt very exposed and very threatened.

I am asked by the Chief of Police here what I would do to make the roads safer for cycling.  That is the point, it can't be the way it is here.  I can't see how anyone would consider riding that road in anything but an emergency like it was for me today.  Sure the distance was trivial, I could ride from my house to the park, do laps, ride home.  The point would be that it is questionable whether I would survive more than a few trips.

Being on a 6 lane highway with high speeds would require physically separating the bike lane off.  Use a curb to stop cars from going onto that lane.  Upgrade sidewalks to take up that bike lane, and mark it so that you could be safe with rumble strips on the traffic side.  Then perhaps lower the speed from 45 to 35. 

None of that will happen.  Political will is not really there for that.  Widening sidewalks to sacrifice traffic lanes would be a massive fight.  Distances here are way too large to say today we will live like we are in London, Manhattan, or Hong Kong.  There aren't dedicated buses and bus lanes to take up the slack.  The major North-South route here, Interstate 95, is a nightmare to drive.  In fact one of the things you learn as a local is to avoid I-95 at all costs, and use US-1/Federal Highway and other surface routes to get to where you are going.

The very same road I used to get back from the car dealer.

So the idea of turning to that road to commute on a bike is simply put, madness.  South Florida was not designed for bicycles.  There are some roads that are better than others, but converting a major highway over where ingress and egress of cars is paramount is just not practice-able.   There may be better places for a bike lane but commuting on US1 is probably best left to a car, even one with a bad clutch master cylinder.

My own day ended with a calculated 28.32 miles.  45.58 KM ("in new money" as the Brits might call it).  A Hyper Marathon.  I got home and we will leave it at that.  We can improve but until I see some major improvements, I'll simply hold my tongue and hope for the best.  Besides, I have to get my car back and that is another 10K up that same Federal Highway that freaked me out

If you are visiting South Florida, and need a place to cycle, this map will help.  It's from the county, and has markings all over it to show you where to go.  I suggest Pompano Airpark - no Gators, plenty of trail-hogs to yell at, and very few car crossings.  For inline skating, try Mills Pond - much lower use road and plenty of facilities.

Keep Right Except to Pass!
On yer left!

Sunday, October 15, 2023

The Human Cannonball act will not be returning to the circus. They can’t find a man of the right caliber.

Ok, so I escaped real early today.  Before dawn.  Biked a marathon and now I'm back, baby!  And I guess I am channeling my inner Bender too!

 The loan officer

Once there was a loan officer named Patty Mack who worked at a large bank. One day, a frog hopped into the bank and asked to borrow some money. Ms. Mack thought she could get rid of him by asking for collateral.

The frog left, then a few hours later, hopped back in with a plastic figurine of Mick Jagger. "Will this work?" he asked. "It's a statue of my dad."

Ms. Mack wasn't sure what to make of this, so she brought the bank president over. "Is this sufficient for collateral?" she asked. "What is it, anyway?"

The bank president said, "it's a knick-knack, Patty Mack. Give the frog a loan. His old man's a Rolling Stone!"

Saturday, October 14, 2023

As a 6' 4" person alot of people would ask "wow! You're tall! Do you play basketball?" At some point I started to reply "wow... your short, do you play miniature golf?"

This kind of thing happens in IT all the time.  Names can be a bit tough, and trying to force everyone into a one size fits all can lead to "hilarious" results.

A middle manager was called into HR for a harmless ice breaker.

"Do you know why you've been sent here? One of your new employees, Gina, has levied sexual harassment allegations against you". The stern HR rep asserted.

"What!? Gina!? Oh god, no this must be a mistake! I've only known her for a few days!" The manager replied perplexed and shocked.

"Well, I have her complaint right here. She says that you had her and your other new employees engage in an ice breaker that she said was inappropriate and that you made her feel uncomfortable by pressuring her to partake in it." The rep coldly continued.

"I've done this ice breaker with all my new employees for over 15 years!" The manager proclaimed.

"Why don't you tell me how this ice breaker works." The rep suggested.

"Gladly! I want all my new hires to get an idea where everyone came from. So, I have people make little nicknames for themselves; they say the abbreviation of the state they grew up in followed by their name. So, for example, I grew up in from Connecticut, so I started us off as CT-Bob!" The manager stammers as he explains to the unsatisfied HR rep.

"There was NY-Adam, NJ-Rosa, CA-Devon; you get the idea. We went around the room until we got to Gina. She said she didn't want to play and I thought she was just being shy, so I kept insisting she did. I eventually let her skip after she kept refusing, but I had no idea Gina felt uncomfortable let alone sexually harassed!" The manager desperately plead.

The HR rep looked down at the complaint again, cracked a smile, and said "Well, Bob, maybe it's because Gina grew up in Virginia."

Wednesday, October 11, 2023

Batch Video Conversion to MKV Using Linux and FFMPEG Without Extra Software

Background.  I'm a dual sport athlete.  I use a trail camera extensively.  It runs about 90 minutes on a charge and in that short time, it generates 15 GB of .MOV video. I can't really justify keeping that much data so I need a way to transcode from one format into .MKV using .h265

Note:  The levels that are set by flags produce a file that "sounds good to me" without overmodulation or lowering in quality.  My hearing is not perfect.  Judge for yourself.  The software I wrote works for me.

Requirements are: 

  • Linux.  Windows people this isn't for you.  Mac, I don't know.
  • ffmpeg.  The workhorse that does the conversion. (line 16)
  • mplayer.  Command line mp3 player for when file is done. (line 17)
  • One mp3 file.  I am sure you have one somewhere.
  • bash.  This is where the magic happens under terminal.
  • video file for conversion.  

Copy this script and save it in your home directory as .

# flags in ffmpeg from;
# and
# tweaks to quality and normalization are in
declare VAR1=$1;
declare VAR2=$VAR1.h265.mkv;
declare BEGIN=$( date '+%F_%H:%M:%S' )
# clear;
echo "Input File: >"$VAR1"<";
echo "Output File: >"$VAR2"<";
echo "started at " $BEGIN;
echo ;
echo ;
sleep 1;
ffmpeg -avoid_negative_ts make_zero -i "$VAR1" -filter:a "dynaudnorm=p=0.85:s=0" -c:v libx265 -vf scale=1920:1080 -vtag hvc1 "$VAR2";
mplayer play /home/bill/Bike-ring-bell.mp3;
echo "Converted " $VAR1 " to " $VAR2;
echo ;
echo ;
declare END=$( date '+%F_%H:%M:%S' )
echo "started at " $BEGIN;
echo "  ended at " $END;

Make the script executable by graphical means or "chmod 775 ~/"

Open terminal in the directory you wish to do your work.

~/ "path to the file to be converted"

Run Time Process: 

The script will report back the following info:

  • Input File name that is working with.
  • Start time and date.
  • Pause for a second.
  • A lot of info that ffmpeg puts out with what it is doing to your file.
  • DURATION: has the length of time your input file is in Hours:Minutes:Seconds:Fraction
  • A Running Time Count will show until finished.
At the end:
  • The MP3 file you asked to be played in the script when done will sound off.
  • Output file will be created in the directory you ran
  • Converted message telling you input and output file names.
  • Start and end time for the conversion.
Further info:
  • can be added to another bash script for added flexibility.
  • Since my trail cam puts out 4 large files per workout, I simply added all four commands to a file with line 1 being #! /bin/bash to invoke the interpreter.
  • It plays an MP3 file at the end of each individual conversion. 
  • If you are going to create a batch file to run multiple files, you can add a line to play a different file to let you know that your conversion job has ended.
  • Or not.  A # character in column 1 in each line will comment out the line.
  • Output file name can be tailored in line 7 to not have the .h265.mkv extension if needed.

ffmpeg (line 16):

  • -avoid_negative_ts - will smooth over input file problems
  • make_zero - will correct the errors found to a zero in the time count in the video
  • -i "$VAR1" - use input file as stored in $VAR1
  • -filter a: - tells ffmpeg to process using the following filters
  • dynaudnorm - Normalize sound volume
  • p=0.85 - Maximum volume will be 85% to avoid distortion
  • s=0 - maintain audio quality as input file and do not compress
  • -c:v libx265 - create output file using h265
  • -vf scale=1920:1080 - scale to a maximum video of 1920 x 1080
  • vtag hvc1 "$VAR2" - create the output file named in $VAR2

Sunday, October 8, 2023

I used to have a pet cigarette because I couldn’t afford a dog. Every night I would take her out for a drag.

Cigarettes are one of the more pointless drugs if you ask me.  They accelerate your heart through your life, addict you, then give you cancer.

I'll stay off the soap box here.

As an athlete, I tend to be very aware of the effects of foods and drugs on performance.  I tell people that the world is not ready for me on caffeine, it will enhance my own performance on inline skates by up to a MEASURED 10%.

On that note, I'm going to the park today if I can get the cars moved around in the driveway.  I have a tankard of rather excellent half-caff to burn off.

A man went to the doctor.

He said, "Doc, you gotta check my leg. Something's wrong. Just put your ear up to my thigh, you'll hear it!"

The doctor cautiously placed his ear to the man's thigh only to hear, "Gimme 20 bucks, I really need 20 bucks."

"I've never seen or heard anything like this before, how long has this been going on?" The doctor asked.

"That's nothing Doc. put your ear to my knee." The doctor put his ear to the man's knee and heard it say "Man, I really need 10 bucks, just lend me 10 bucks!!"

"Sir, I really don't know what to tell you. I've never seen anything like this." The doctor was dumbfounded.

"Wait Doc, that's not it. There's more, just put your ear up to my ankle," the man urged him.
The doctor did as the man said and was blown away to hear his ankle plead, "Please, I just need 5 bucks. Lend me 5 bucks please if you can."

"I have no idea what to tell you," the doctor said.

"There's nothing about it in my books," he said as he frantically searched all his medical reference books.

"I can make a well educated guess though. Based on life and all my previous experience I can tell you that your leg appears to be broke in three places."

Saturday, October 7, 2023

What did the train mom say to her train son who did not want to eat? Chew chew!

If it weren't for the Navajo Code Talkers during the Second World War, the results might be different.  Navajo language is complex and not known widely outside of the Navajo community, so during the war there were soldiers from the tribe who worked in radio rooms through out to pass information.  Since the Germans didn't speak Navajo, the aid of the Navajo nation was highly valuable to our efforts.  

When NASA was preparing for the Apollo project, they did some astronaut training on a Navajo Indian reservation.

One day, a Navajo elder and his son were herding sheep and came across the space crew. The old man, who only spoke Navajo, asked a question, which the son translated, “What are the guys in the big suits doing?”

A member of the crew said they were practicing for their trip to the moon. The old man got really excited and asked if he could send a message to the moon with the astronauts.

Recognizing a promotional opportunity for the spin-doctors, the NASA folks found a tape recorder.

After the old man recorded his message, they asked the son to translate. He refused. So the NASA reps brought the tape to the reservation, where the rest of the tribe listened and laughed, but refused to translate the elder’s message to the moon.

Finally, NASA called in an official government translator. He reported that the moon message said: “Watch out for these guys; they’ve come to steal your land.”

Wednesday, October 4, 2023

When you are in The Zone your mind goes to Hibiscus Flowers

Funny where your mind goes when you're in the zone.

See I have been doing endurance workouts for so long that I tell people I never get out of the "Runner's High".   This morning was a 20.13 mile bike ride. says it's 32.4 km. 

When I first started working out, it was in college.  My parents did not really understand why I started at all, but I did.  I would get tired walking up a three block hill to the dorms.  Tired was a code word for Asthma.

To this day I am convinced that my asthma was from sitting on the couch and never really exercising my lungs as well as having allergies from dust to cats to who knows what else. 

Making it a point to cut out of the diet anything that was perceived to be unhealthy, I eventually got things to a science.  That includes finding out what I needed to eat and drink to lose weight.  75 pounds during the four years I was at campus.  Having the gym was a god send, I was able to work through some severe injuries and by the time I graduated and moved out, I was able to run 10km 3 times a week at Valley Forge National Park near my home in Pennsylvania.

If you are familiar with the place, there is this one hill I was proud of being able to run up.  The trail has a 30% grade.  All this from a kid who was picked last for any sport in school, and pretty much rightfully so.  The Any Size Fits All approach to public education in Cherry Hill NJ meant you did what the meat of the bell curve would do whether you could do it or not.

Can you tell I hated what passed for "Gym Class" in school?  Colossal waste of time for me.  I asked for weightlifting, I was told to run around outside.  Give up.

It really isn't "Why can't Johnny learn" it is more like "Why can't teacher teach". 

So taking life into my own hands I have had a lifetime of sports that I can do "all my life".  Biking was today, but I am within 500 miles of Inline Skating once around the world at the equator worth of distance.  Lifetime goal of 25,000 miles.

To paraphrase Peter Griffin on Family Guy "Left Foot, Right Foot, Eventually you get somewhere".

As I was riding around town in large 4 mile circles, of course my mind drifted through all that.  "On Yer Left!" I announced more than once as I rode past people and it wasn't even sunrise yet.

A beautiful experience, riding a bike through your chosen city as the sun comes up.  The clouds shifting from black to grey, through the rainbow, to white.  The sun painting the skies blue, the trees sway in the breezes, the parrots chattering in the trees.

Eventually people woke and went about their day and I continued riding around in large lazy circles.  Pausing for a cookie on the seats in front of City Hall, I met with others.  I acted like a fool dressed in technicolor polyester.  Cooling down for that break, I get back out for two more large lazy circles. 

You would think that you get tired but there's a dissociative aspect to being on an endurance workout.  I was on the bike actively for more than an hour and a half.  I knew that the body needed a rest, but I did not feel the pain or discomfort.  It was more like I was observing it from the outside.  When I am on the skates and get into this zone, I call it "Skate: The Movie".  Literally you disconnect and watch that body of yours roll through its paces.  Sure you are tired, but you don't "Feel Tired".  

But you do slow down.  I try to keep the speed at a good pace.  The little man who announces in the headphones tells me my heart rate, and I am aware of good bad or indifferent.  I perform well over what a doctor thinks is where my heart should be at for someone of "My Age".  That average has been as high as 160, within the last week, when I am at the better trail, around town I have to slow down and the average today was down to 145.

Like a speedometer in traffic I guess.

While all that is going on I am thinking "What will I write" "Do I have any pictures?" and other things completely disconnected from the task at hand.

I figure that Hibiscus picture is new, I'll use that.  It's pretty and I like it.

Riding through the traffic I notice that the high school drop offs have stopped, and it is late.  I get a text that recycling was picked up, which is a shame since I didn't put it out. 

But all said and done, it's a good day to get your butt off the couch and burn 1500 calories.  A bit light, if it were on skates that would be 2100 calories - biking is easier than skating is due to mechanical advantages.

Biking is good for cross training.  Inline skating will overbuild your outside fibers of your legs, biking will balance that out by building the center fibers.  They do work well together, and had I known that while competitively riding 100 miles per week, I would have been better at my sport.

Oh well, Live and Learn.  When all is said and done, it's time for more coffee and more flower pictures.