Wednesday, June 28, 2023

Got a Convertible? Where Do You Keep Your Sunblock? In my Jeep of course!

Having a convertible car means you adjust how you use it.

Convertible meaning your roof is usually vinyl on a frame.  In my case it also means the windows are held on the car with velcro and zippers and made of something resembling industrial Cling Film.

Saran Wrap for the American readers.

I've driven Jeep Wranglers since 1996.  I'm tall, they fit me well.  They also have terrible gas mileage by today's standards.  The best I ever did was 23 MPG on the overseas highway from Key Largo to Key West.  It was because I had a tail wind and I was pushed there. 

Aerodynamics of a Cow indeed.

But you do tend never to keep anything in the car.  It will get opened and the contents inspected for "value" by a nefarious character who should be removed from society.

I'll leave that to you how to translate that into more direct slang.

My own Jeep is pretty much theft proof.  Why?  It has a manual transmission. 

Because I like it that way.

I tend to only drive to two places, both are parks, for workouts. 

I guess others don't want to ride in something that is noisy, inefficient, and at 22 years old, smells slightly of dog, sweat, and sunblock.

I guess I need to spray some febreeze in it. 

Getting back from a workout in South Florida means you're going to be hot, you're going to sweat.

Apparently I'm beginning to forget that first rule of "never leave anything in the car". 

Both parks have signs up that say "Secure your valuables".

I respond "Where?". 

Oh I am sure I'll be selling it some day for a soulless thing with more computing power than the entire NASA Moon Shot program that reports your use of "their" car back home.  It's one reason why I haven't got anything newer, I value my privacy.

So why have I gotten to the point when I am looking for the Sunblock, the first place I look for it is in the footwell of the Jeep?

Simple, it isn't really all that valuable and I only ever use it at the parks.

I met someone once with a beautiful early Ford Mustang Convertible.  First version so what is that, 1963 or 1964?  Doesn't really matter.   He had the car in Los Angeles during the 1990s.  He never locked it.  His response was that if they want the car better not to damage the thing.

I am not that bold, and the lock it and pocket the keys maxim is way too well ingrained with me.

But it certainly passes through my mind, even if I can't figure out why someone would break into a 22 year old Jeep Wrangler just to steal some Sunblock and perhaps a cigarette lighter USB charger.

Ok, that Cigarette Lighter Charger is the best in the world, have at it!

Bah humbug, just leave my Jeep alone.  You can't drive the thing anyway.  It has a stick shift.

I won't tell you about the Kill Switch I have hidden under the dash...

Actually the worst thing that happened to the car was the neighbor's cat decided to crack the roof when it insisted on sleeping on that.  Um, No.  When the owner died, that cat disappeared.  I still don't know where it is.  An Outdoor Cat does not exist, it is just a stray.

So don't do what I do and store your sunblock in your car.  I always park in the shade and it will be fine, but it may draw nefarious characters.  That would be a bad thing.

Sunday, June 25, 2023

How does a flower whistle? Through its tulips!


Frank and Fiona Lames were very upstanding citizens.

They worked very normal 9-5s, were involved in the community, and cheered for [insert reader’s favorite sports team].

The lovely couple had two teenage children: Felicity and Felix. The two youngsters were nothing like their parents. They went were pranksters and miscreants, always getting up to no good.

One day, Frank and Fiona awoke to the sound of police knocking wildly on their door.

After opening the door, a red-faced, angry cop started shouting at Frank: “Mr. Lames! This town has had it with your children. Are you aware that City Hall is engulfed in flames? The fire department has been at it for hours trying to quell the fire. We know it had to have been one of your kids who lit the building on fire.”

Frank was in shock. He and Fiona had tried all their lives to keep their children in good conduct and be upstanding citizens. But he knew. His children were the only ones in town that would do something so devious.

“Well,” asked the cop. “Which one did it? Was it your daughter?”

“N-no,” stammered Frank, ashamed. He knew his children well enough.

“It wouldn’t have been our daughter.

It must have been arson.”

Saturday, June 24, 2023

Did you hear about the existential pirate? Me thinks, therefore me arrrr!

 As I sit here watching the sunrise paint the east side of houses golden, I think of you, my friends and give you this wee little story.  About what a Scot will wear under his Kilt.

Since that was short, a second wee little story all stuffed full of peas and cabbage.

A journalist is writing an article about the trend for Scottish men to wear tights under their kilts

She walks up to an old man on the streets of Glasgow and asks 'excuse me, do you ever wear a kilt?'
'Aye, about once a week or so you'll catch me in a kilt.'

'Well when you wear a kilt, do you wear tights underneath?'
'Aye, every time I've worn a kilt for the past three years I make sure to put on tights.'

'I see, why did you only start doing that three years ago?'
'Well lass, was about three years ago that my wife found a pair of tights in the back of my car.'

And since that was short...

Mrs. Goldberg and Mrs. Ginsburg used to be great friends, but eventually they drifted apart

Years later, they bump into each other in the supermarket.

Mrs. Ginsburg says “It’s so great to see you! Tell me, how is Mr. Goldberg?”

Mrs. Goldberg replies “Well you won’t believe what I have to tell you! A few days ago I was making a pot of soup, and it was delicious but I thought it needed some vegetables. So I called to my husband, ‘Solly, go down to the vegetable patch and pick me a nice big cabbage!’ He went it into the garden but didn’t come back for an hour, so eventually I went to check on him, and would you believe it, he’d dropped down dead of a heart attack!”

Mrs. Ginsburg gasps and says “That’s awful! What on earth did you do?”

Mrs. Goldberg replies “Well I did what I had to - I opened a can of peas.”

Wednesday, June 21, 2023

Recipe to make Cream Cheese in about 15 minutes.

 I'll keep the editorializing down.

But this stuff is good.  Real good.  The flavor really "Pops"!

Here in South Florida this recipe actually is cheaper than buying it at the market. More importantly I prefer the flavor of this recipe to the silver bricks from the market!  Win-Win!

The result is a softer and whipped Cream Cheese but unmistakably Cream Cheese nonetheless.

Just chill it overnight and you will get something firmer than "Neufchatel" and softer than your favorite silver brick.  And when I say salt is optional, I used none on the first batch and it was good, shook a salt shaker over the second one and it was still good.  Both tasted rich and creamy just like you like it.

Have some with some Homemade Mango Jam and you'll see why this is here.

Ingredients - Recipe can easily be doubled, tripled, or more.  A Gallon/4 Liters will make roughly 1 pound/450g.  Smaller batches like this one mean less waste, larger will feed a family - you choose!

  • 1 Quart/Liter of Milk.  I used 2% Milk.
  • 4 Tablespoons of Vinegar.  White Vinegar will give you the traditional taste.
  • 1 Tablespoon of Margarine or Butter to be blended in at the second step.
  • Optional - A Pinch of Salt to taste.


Process - it is simple and took me about 15 minutes.

Step 1:

  • Heat milk to almost boiling.  190F or 90C is sufficient.
  • Add up to 4 tablespoons one at a time while stirring.
    Do not stop stirring until the milk stops curdling - it will be obvious.
  • NOTE:  You can stop adding Vinegar when the Cream Cheese curdles out of the milk.  My last batch only took 2 tablespoons of White Vinegar.

Step 2:

  • Using a mesh strainer, drain off the liquid and keep the solids.
  • Return the solids to your Sauce Pan.
  • Add Butter or Margarine.
  • Add Optional Salt to taste.

Step 3:

  • Gently heat the Cream Cheese 110F-150F 45C-55C and stir vigorously.
  • NOTE: I used an electric whisk because there will be only about 1/2 cup of Cream Cheese.   If you make a large amount of this recipe, you can place it in a blender and use it to render the Cream Cheese smooth and silky!  The heat will be your friend but don't burn things.

Sunday, June 18, 2023

Did you hear about the lawyer who got pulled over? They did not use attorney signal.

 While I have had my share of injuries in both of my sports in the past.  Not to worry, I'm fine.

On the other hand I can actually see something like this craziness happening around here.  Instant a-hole?  Just add alcohol!

Well, I'm in the emergency room.

I'm not sure how many bones are broken so today is not a good day.
I decided to go horseback riding.
Something I haven't done in many many years !!!.
It turned out to be a big mistake!
I got on the horse and started out slowly, but then we went a little faster; before I knew it, we were going as fast as the horse could go.
I couldn't take the pace and fell off, but caught my foot in the stirrup with the horse dragging me.
It just wouldn't stop!
Thankfully the manager at the toy store came out and unplugged the machine.
He actually had the nerve to take the rest of my change so I wouldn't attempt to ride the Elephant...

Saturday, June 17, 2023

What do you call a fish that wears a bowtie? Sofishticated.

 While I "get" this bit of "boomer humor" I kind of feel sorry for her...

Husband dies...

When he gets to heaven he enters the Pearly Gates, so excited to be there.

A few years later his wife dies and gets to heaven.

Once she gets through the Gates, she sees her husband and starts charging toward him with her arms extended seeking his embrace that she longed for the past few years, exclaiming, "Oh, darling how I've missed you and longed for this moment!"

The husband dodges her extended arms saying, "Woahhhh woman, the contract was until death!"

So I'll give you a palate cleanser and a "two-fer".  Maybe this one is a bit more your liking!

A man opened a zoo and was attracting tourists from all over the world. The most popular exhibit was the giraffes, but every night, the giraffes would manage to escape their enclosures.

The zoo owner thought the giraffes jumped over the fence, so he raised the fence up to 2 metres tall. But the giraffes still escaped. Puzzled, the owner raised the fence up to 3 metres tall. And yet the giraffes kept escaping.

Over the next couple of weeks, the owner managed to raise the fence up to 20 metres tall. His efforts were in vain, however, as the giraffes were still escaping every day. He was perplexed and proud at the same time; he owned the world's first giraffes that could jump over 20 metres high.

He kept raising the fence in order to try to keep the giraffes inside. By this time, he had attracted quite a crowd. One onlooker said to another,

"I bet you he'll make the fence over a kilometre tall if he keeps forgetting to shut the blasted gate."

Wednesday, June 14, 2023

Wednesdays are a day off the trails but busy as always. So let's naval gaze and look at some recipes.

 If this is a Day Off, how did I get so busy?

Was up at 515am. Ok, so for me, that is normal.  Got to walk the dog, get home, make coffee, start breakfast.

But today being Wednesday, I got started on "Things".

Before Sunrise I managed to get the dishwasher started, laundry started, and make a giant pot of Rice.  Need that to start on the dog food that the ingredients are thawing.

In case you are wondering - 2 parts water to a full boil with a little bit of olive oil on top.  1 part rice poured over top.  Stir and bring to full boil, then place lid on it.  Forget about the pot for an hour and you don't need a rice cooker.

But that big pot will get used for making dog food later so the rice has to be frozen and portion packed.

I tell people I am a 1950s homemaker.  I roast coffee, make soap, make and home can jelly and jam.  I am on a quest to make cream cheese - if it works I will put that recipe up here because I have no real long term memory.

You should not either.  Not with baking.  Sure, some things can be a little forgiving - like the Magic Shell I dropped online earlier.  That depends on the quality of the baking chips.  Good quality chocolate pieces need more Coconut Oil to help it get more melty, the cheaper flavored things like Butterscotch need less.  If it is waxy, add less to the mix.

But anything with a process and precise, like baking bread or making soap, require a proper recipe.

Excuse me, the washer wants my attention!

Hmmm, dishwasher's done too.

Oh well this way I've always got plenty of Mango Jelly and clean dishes to have it on.  Clean dishes are important.

Last year we had a long and late Mango season.  Into August there were still fruit falling from the trees.  A Freshly Fallen Mango can be one of the sweetest fruits you have ever had.  I chunked those mangoes up into 4 cup bags, and froze them.  Still had enough to make a batch a year later when I was chunking up this years early windfallen fruit.

If ever I get a chance and finish all that mango goodness, I really do want to try that recipe with peaches.  They have the same texture as a mango does.

If not, have you ever had a Mango Tart?  Basically a fruit pie made with Mango Jelly.  I have a lot of the stuff, and it's really nice on a Graham Cracker Crust.  I Know what I will have for my dessert after lunch.  It works incredibly well with the Lemon Curd recipe I have too.

All that athleticism is really just an excuse for me to eat sweets, right?  Don't tell anyone my secret!

I guess it's time to hop to it, right?  That coffee isn't going to roast itself and I can be a terror on full caff.  I am out of decaf and the regular is getting low.

No, seriously,   Caffeine is a performance enhancing drug.  It works like an oxygen uptake enhancer.  So if you are an athlete, getting a good amount of caffeine in your system can help you.  Sort of like that blood doping that you hear about but on the cheap and not as crazy as the olympic athletes are trying to get away with.

And at my age, well over 40, I need all the help I can get.

Usually with 3 sweets, and 4 cream to a tankard.

Sunday, June 11, 2023

What do you call a highly intellectual dinosaur? A thesaurus.

I may as well jump on the bandwagon with this one.  If you are a regular reader of this blog (the few that you are) I am sure you can see why I would like this particular gift on a Sunday morning...

A phone rings at the Robertson estate.
Hello? Hi, I'd like to speak with Pat Robertson
Oh, sorry to inform you that he has passed.
Click. Again the phone rings. Hello?
(Obviously the same person):
Hi, is Pat Robertson there?
I'm sorry to say he is no more.
Click. Phone rings again.
Hello? (Same voice) Hi, can you get Pat Robertson for me?
Sir, as I told you before, he is gone!
Click. Again ring ring
Hi, can Pat Robertson come to the phone?
Listen, you little XXXX, I told you he's dead. D.E.A.D. Don't you understand that?
Oh, I understand all right.
Then why do you keep calling!?!
I just like to hear that he is dead!

And now that I got that out of my system, here's little Johnny at his first job....

Little Johnny gets his first job working at a truck stop

A trucker comes in and says, “Alright, I’d like to have three flat tires, a couple running boards and a pair of headlights.”

Little Johnny didn’t want to appear stupid, so he goes to the kitchen and says to the cook, “This guy out there says he wants three flat tires, a coupe of running boards and a pair of headlights. What does he think this is, an auto parts store?”

“No,” says the cook. “The flat tires are pancakes, the running boards are bacon, and the headlights are eggs sunny side up.”

Little Johnny nods his head and scoops out a big bowl of chili and brings it out to the trucker.

The trucker says, “Hey, kid. What’s the chili for?”

“Well, while you’re waiting for your flat tires, running boards and headlights, I thought you might want to fill up in some gas!”

Saturday, June 10, 2023

Did you hear about the duck who got a nose job? He didn't like the bill.

Hey so it's a weekend, yet again.  So what do I have for you?  A triple play of shorts!

A string takes a seat at a bar and orders.
Bartender: you a string?

String: …yeah…
Bartender: we don’t serve strings here

Defeated, the string leaves.
Outside, he peels back some of his ends and twists the filaments around and through one-another.

He goes back.
Has a seat…

Bartender: we don’t serve strings here, ARE YOU A STRING?!?
String: I’m a frayed knot.

A psychiatrist is testing his patients.

He asks the first one "what is 4+2?" The patient replies "potato"
The doctor is disappointed and moves on to the next one.
He asks the second one "what is 4+2?" the patient replies "5000"
The doctor is disappointed and moves on to the next one.
He asks the third one "what is 4+2?" the patient replies "6"
The doctor is impressed. "That's correct! you're making progress. how did you figure it out?"
The patient replies, "well doctor i just added potato + 5000 and got 6"

There was this young Norwegian man who always loved to go for hikes. Everyday he'd walk along the hillside, look down at the inlet below no matter rain, sleet or snow. Some years later he got a nice dog and he'd go for long walks high in the clouds just to smell the salty air and toss the ball with the his pup. As he aged the people in the town warned him about going for hikes so often and in bad weather. Until one day it finally happened...he slipped in the rain and fell off a cliffs edge into the water below.

you know what they say: you live by the fjord, you die by the fjord.

Wednesday, June 7, 2023

Massive Downpours are an awful way to Hydrate on your Workout but Wet Season Waits for Nobody.

I really should know better.
It is the Wet Season here.
I feel like a drowned rat.
My Jeep looks like a drowned rat.
The bike is clean at least.

It was raining South of the airport.  We never even got a "Duck and Cover" alert on the weather radio.

I am (usually) very good at predicting weather here.  See the storm.  Plot the vector it moves on.  Add a little bit of "error" to the vector.  Live your life.

I went to the park.  It's an 8 mile drive.  Long enough to be an annoyance but not too far really.  I prefer to bike at Pompano Airpark simply because it's not exposed to traffic.  I used to inline skate there but after breaking one, then the other clavicle, I won't go back for that.

Groom your damn trails and don't obstruct them.

I got there and looked up at a cloud deck rolling in.  Heard thunder.  Checked Radar again.  Still not a problem.  I thought we'd get "clipped" and I could avoid it by doing the park backwards.

I park at the southeast corner of a big square, so I thought go North, then West.

I stopped at halfway and realized my heart monitor was at half speed.  Take the thing off, allow it to reset and sync itself with my heart.  I'm feeling the wind pick up, then go into hyper speed.

When I saw Dorothy's house fly overhead I knew it was a problem.

Heart rate monitor synced, I got back on the bike.

Riding about the length of the house, about 50 feet, I hit the rain.


Or rather it hit me.

Grey out conditions.  My speed was down due to weather and winds already, so having it drop into single digits (First MPH, then the other KPH) was not a surprise.

I used to ride a motorcycle.   Once in my stupid-twenties I rode a motorcycle across Pennsylvania and Ohio to visit a friend in Ann Arbor Michigan.  In the rain across Ohio to Toledo.  When you ride at highway speeds, rain feels like someone is throwing gravel at you.  It can be painful.

This was like that.

I think it was a "Microburst" storm because, even as big as I am, I nearly got knocked off the bike.

By the time I got to the turn at the last mile, my shoe was full of water.  I don't mean wet, I mean as full as a coffee mug before the first sip.

The pickup truck flying through the rain had a mean streak in him.  He sprayed so much water at me, that I was forced into a wobble and nearly fell on the way back.

Getting back to the Jeep, I mounted the bike on the back of the car and laughed at myself.

I'm used to getting caught in The Weather.  Heat, sometimes a shower, sometimes conditions catch you and you end up having a bit of a "Challenge" getting where you want to go.

I took off my saturated cycle jersey and rang all that water out.  Thrown onto the car mat on the passenger side, I started unloading the bike into the car.  The bike bag that sits on the upper bar was completely dry inside, I was pleased at that.  A clip fell off of the bike that held a cable in place.  No worries there, I was waiting on a shipment of black zip ties to replace them anyway.

I texted my loved ones that I am coming home and started the car.  There was a puddle inside the car that was draining into the carpets.  It is Florida, I can just leave it in the sun and hope it dries.

Naw, it rained when I got home and off and on that whole afternoon.  No sun today.  I'll put the Jeep in the sun tomorrow morning.

I think it's that park.  I have two sports that I do, and I am outside a lot.  Inline Skating and Cycling.  A Normal Workout is more than two hours for me. Just not today.

Today I came home and dried off.

So?  How was your workout?  Got your hydration levels right?

Sunday, June 4, 2023

Why don't scientists trust atoms? Because they make up everything!

 While this is one for the ladies (I hope) I liked it simply because I just came in after checking the brake fluid levels in my clutch reservoir.

It was fine, and the Jeep will roll for another day.

May your day have as many points as this guy!

A change of careers

A gynecologist was bored with his job and decided he wanted a new career.
He went back to college and decided to become a mechanic.
After aching most of his courses, he found himself at the final exam.
For his final exam, he has to rebuild an engine and reinstall it in the car.
He completed the task, and turned it in to the teacher.
A week later he checked the status to see what grade he got on the test, a possible 100 points.
To his amazement, the teacher gave him 500 points for his final.
He thought it was a typo and contacted the teacher for clarification.
The teacher assured him the test was graded correctly.
How can this be he asked?
The teacher replied "you rebuilt the engine paint attention to all torque specs and clearances perfectly".
For this I have you 100 points.
You got 400 points extra credit for doing it all through the tailpipe.

Saturday, June 3, 2023

Why did everyone complain about the country of Iceland? It wasn't actually Chile!

 Today I have an errand.  Then I have to start canning some Mango Jam.  Should keep me busy and honest.  You know, all that Inner Peace stuff?

Inner Peace

If you can start the day without caffeine,

If you can always be cheerful, ignoring aches and pains,

If you can resist complaining and boring people with your troubles,

If you can eat the same food every day and be grateful for it,

If you can understand when your loved ones are too busy to give you any time,

If you can take criticism and blame without resentment,

If you can conquer tension without medical help,

If you can relax without alcohol,

If you can sleep without the aid of drugs,

Then You Are Probably The Family Dog!

And you thought I was going to get all spiritual ...