Safflower and Milkweed

Why do you want to grow those things again?

Because they’re DIFFERENT!

But they look like weeds, the thorns on the leaves pinch, and then the flowers dry up and …

I said they’re different.  Besides, we’ve got the seeds.  Why not grow weird plants?

I have basil growing in my garden so I can make pizza.  Green onion in pots make so much that even I can’t eat it all.  My Rosemary has grown into a carpet of green.  I have banana plants in a pot that are taller than I am by a solid two feet that I need to break into separate pots for gifts. I can’t give away my spare coleus or mango trees.  There are peanuts growing all over the place…

Yes, PEANUTS!  As in Jimmy Carter’s pride

And the conversation petered off at the end.  People let their artichokes grow all the time and they end up with a big purple poof that looks like the yellow safflower blossoms.

Beauty is where you find it.  No, I mean YOU find it.  I may not agree, so don’t let that hold you back.  Be creative.  Grow what you like, especially if you like it on a pizza.

Gardening here is simple, drop a seed, it grows.  It may grow out of control.  Up North, that hardy Asparagus Fern you grow in your bathroom.  Down here, it is a noxious and invasive weed.  I can’t understand why someone wants all those thorns growing inside their house anyway.

But they like it.  *sigh*

So I’ll grow a few more oil seeds in my garden.  The flower bloomed, and stayed intact. I put the dried flower in a plastic bag, rolled it between my hands, and got more seeds.

You might ask where I get safflower seeds?  We ordered something electronic online.  It showed up saying that it was shipped from Bahrain of all places.

Bahrain?  Don’t they usually sell products in barrels?  Crude Oil?  Safflower oil too I guess.  There has to be a reason why you live where you do for centuries, so enjoy.

I put some seeds in the front garden and watched.  Landscapers came by and raked them up.  I put more seeds down and will “box” them off with old roof tiles.  They are good at figuring that all out.

I hope.

As for the Milkweed, well it was in the pot first.  It made it to the seed pod because the Monarchs never discovered it.  I carpet bombed the neighborhood with milkweed seeds where ever they were left to grow from the last time I did that.  The butterflies will enjoy that,  they’re back already eating the daylights out of what is in my yard.

Now, if I can only figure out how to squeeze inside my hedge so I can plant that variegated hibiscus to fill in some bare spots, I may be getting my flowers back!

Why are horses lousy dancers? Because they have two left feet!

 

A man goes into a jewelry store on his lunch hour to buy his mistress a necklace.
After looking at a few, he decides on a very expensive diamond pendant.

“Is this for your wife?” the clerk asks as she wraps it in the finest paper.
The man turns to see his wife entering the store, out on her daily errands, and replies to the clerk, “It is now.”

 

I want to invest in massage parlors
I’ve heard that their turnover rate is pretty high.

Nah, bakeries are on the rise.
Selling, like, hotcakes. And their turnover rate can be even higher.
I mean, there’s a lot of dough in it.
I’m just rolling with what the stocks tell me.
I had all these puns just baking in my head.
Now I can have pizza mind.

 

A farmer sees a boy walking down his drive with something in his hand

The farmer says “boy what you got in your hand”?
boy says Chicken wire, I’m Gnna catch me some chickens……
farmer says “you can’t catch chickens with that chicken wire….

the boy comes walking back after a bit…
has 6 chickens in the chicken wire…

Next day..farmer sees the boy…”boy what you got in your hands”?
Boy says “Duct Tape” Gonna go catch me some ducks….
farmer says “boy you can’t catch no ducks with that”….
the boy comes walking back after a bit….has 8 ducks wrapped in the duct tape…

Next day…farmer sees the boy…”boy what you got in your hands”? Boy says “Pussy Willows”….farmer says “hold on, let me get my hat”

The kid comes back later with about a dozen cats and one very disappointed old man.

 

An elderly couple walk into a fast food restaurant…

They order one hamburger, one order of fries and one drink.

The old man unwraps the plain hamburger and carefully cuts it in half. He places one half in front of his wife. He then carefully counts out the fries, dividing them into two piles and neatly placing one pile in front of his wife. He takes a sip of the drink, his wife takes a sip and then sets the cup down between them. As he begins to eat his few bites of hamburger, the people around them keep looking over and whispering “That poor old couple — all they can afford is one meal for the two of them.”

As the man begins to eat his fries a young man comes to the table. He politely offers to buy another meal for the old couple. The old man replies that they’re just fine — they’re just used to sharing everything.

The surrounding people noticed the little old lady hadn’t eaten a bite. She sits there watching her husband eat and occasionally taking turns sipping the drink.

Again the young man comes over and begs them to let him buy another meal for them.

This time the old woman says “No, thank you, we are used to sharing everything.”

As the old man finishes and was wipes his face neatly with the napkin, the young man again comes over to the little old lady who had yet to eat a single bite of food and asks “May I ask what is it you are waiting for?”

The old woman answers… “THE TEETH.”

 

I was at the mall yesterday and there was a girl with a really tight t-shirt that said: “Guess”.

I’m thinking that “Implants” was the wrong thing to say…

 

 

A student walks into a bar

He sulks into the nearest stool. The bartender comes over and asks “What’s wrong, did you fail a test?”

The Student looks up at him and says “Yeah, I want to be a lawyer, but I went straight from my BAR exam to here because I knew I failed and I feel like drinking my problems away.”

The bartender felt sorry for the kid, but refused to serve him, saying “I don’t serve people when I know they’re bar hopping.”

 

 

What do dolphins bake with? All porpoise flour.

A woman gets on a bus with her baby.

The bus driver says: ‘Ugh, that’s the ugliest baby I’ve ever seen!’

The woman walks to the rear of the bus and sits down, fuming.

She says to a man next to her: ‘The driver just insulted me!’

The man quickly replies ‘You go up there and tell that bastard off. Go on, I’ll hold your monkey for you.’

 

A priest is drowning in the middle of the ocean. His faith in God is extensive, so he prays for God to save him. Not long after, a man in a fishing boat plines up to him and tells the priest to get in his boat. The priest says, “No! I’m waiting for God to save me!” and the boatman drives off.

Suddenly, the priest notices an entire cruise ship he never saw before! They lower someone down in a lifeboat and throw out a lifeline. The priest rejects it, saying “No! I prayed to God to save me!” The boats float away, and they’re gone before the priest even realizes it.

After a while, the priest notices a helicopter coming towards him! It has a crucifix on its side and, when it’s above him, drops a rope for him to climb. One of his priest brothers and a woman he’s never seen before with golden hair look down and yell at him to climb up. He says, “No, brother! I’m waiting for God to save me!” before the priest notices, the helicopter is gone and he drowns.

Once in Heaven, the priest walks up to God as says, “You, damnit! Why didn’t you save me?!”

God says, “Really? I sent two boats and a helicopter!”

 

Forrest Gump and his girlfriend goes to a bar…And Forrest asks his girl what she would like to drink?

She answers: Rum Forrest Rum.

 

Grandmother gets a new doctor.

The doctor that had been seeing this 80 year old woman finally retired, at her next checkup her new doctor told her to bring all of her medicines that have been prescribed to her.

As the new doctor was going through them his eyes grew wide as he realized this grandmother had a prescription for birth control pills.

“Mrs. Smith, do you realize these are Birth Control pills?”

“Yes. They help me sleep at night.”

“Mrs. Smith, I assure you that there is absolutely nothing in these that could possibly help you sleep.”

The elderly woman reached out and patted the young Doctor’s knee. “Yes dear, I know that. But, every morning I grind one up and mix it in the glass of orange juice that my 16 year old granddaughter drinks. Believe me, it definitely helps me sleep at night.”

 

An engineer, a physicist and a mathematicians have to build a fence around a flock of sheep, using as little material as possible.

The engineer forms the flock into a circular shape and constructs a fence around it.

The physicist builds a fence with an infinite diameter and pulls it together until it fits around the flock.

The mathematicians thinks for a while, then builds a fence around himself and defines himself as being outside.

 

Two retired gentlemen meet while sunning themselves on the beach

They get to talking about themselves.

One says, “I was in the retail business. I started out with a tiny clothing shop, and through a lifetime of long hours and hard work, built my way up to a nice department store. Things got tough when the chain stores started moving in. Then, tragedy. A fire wiped me out. Luckily, the insurance was enough to cover my losses and then some. Rather than start over, I decided to retire to Florida a little earlier than I planned.”

The other guy said, “My story is much the same. I was in manufacturing, and built my way up from a tiny shop in my garage to a big factory. I too find myself here as the result of disaster. There was a massive flood that destroyed my inventory and equipment. I couldn’t face starting from scratch, and when the insurance offered a generous settlement I took it and started my new life here.”

The first guy leans in and whispers, “How do you start a flood?”

 

A recent warning to Drivers in England.

Drivers be aware. The Highways Agency found over 200 dead crows on the A421, near the Northampton roundabout recently, and there was concern that they may have died from Avian Flu. A Pathologist examined the remains of all the crows, and, to everyone’s relief, confirmed the problem was NOT Avian Flu.

The cause of death appeared to be from vehicular impacts. However, during analysis it was noted that varying colours of paints appeared on the bird’s beaks and claws. By analysing these paint residues it was found that 98% of the crows had been killed by impact with motorbikes, while only 2% were killed by cars.

The Agency then hired an Ornithological Behaviourist to determine if there was a cause for the disproportionate percentages of motorbike kills versus car kills. The Ornithological Behaviourist quickly concluded that when crows eat road kill, they always have a look-out crow to warn of danger. They discovered that while all the lookout crows could shout “Cah”, not a single one could shout “bike”

 

There’s this guy who goes and buys a loaf of bread right? And at the shop the employee asks the guy if he wants a bag or not.

The guy thinks a little while…and then says yes please, baguette.

 

A man was riding on a full bus minding his own business when the gorgeous woman next to him started to breast-feed her baby.

The baby wouldn’t take it so she said, “Come on sweetie, eat it all up or I’ll have to give it to this nice man next to us.”

Five minutes later the baby was still not feeding, so she said, “Come on, honey. Take it or I’ll give it to this nice man here.”

A few minutes later the anxious man blurted out, “Come on kid. Make up your mind! I was supposed to get off four stops ago!”

Goodbye, David Clarke

I told myself I wouldn’t write this.  I had already said my goodbyes in a few ways, made my comments, and as is normal these days I made some comments on your facebook feed.

Then I saw this picture of you on a pass through my picture collection.

It must have been what was in the back of my mind when I wrote on facebook that day.  It’s exactly what you’d do.

You’d park yourself in the backyard under my umbrella.  Next to the pool, you would go out there “Not To Smoke” but you would anyway.  You were the only person allowed to smoke on the property but never in the house.

Bringing your cup of tea out there, it became Your Spot.  You could look across the pool at the tropical plantings secure in the knowledge that they were tended to by someone else.  You were taking a break from your duties.  I guess we could call you a Concierge because you were always doing something for someone in some weirdly random way.  I was always surprised to find out some of the things you would do.

My backyard was your refuge from all of those duties.  You came here, occasionally but not frequently enough, to get away from all that happy nonsense of the life you chose during the week we met.

I have known you since, as best as I can tell, February 1987.  We met when I vacationed there and you had just landed from London.  It was a vacation from that life, but you would make it permanent.  A lucky break or three gave you just enough to be able to set roots down and you could live there.  Maybe I have the timing off one way or another but that is my best guess.

We kept in contact excluding a gap in time.  One chance meeting I was walking into the market some time around February 1992 and there you were coming out.

It was like old times.  We did not lose contact again.

You visited us in Philadelphia.  You enjoyed my own neighborhood of Chestnut Hill as much as we did.  I was told it looked just like the English countryside town that you came from.  It was “Very English”.  When you were there, I didn’t tell you that the shop owners took you to heart.  When you left they would occasionally ask when you were coming back.

Later we moved to Wilton Manors, Florida.  It’s a full 190 miles away and a long four hour drive from you in Key West.  I was warned that it was one way in and one out and traffic could completely block.  People could have a 10 hour trip through the keys because “The Sysco Truck broke down” or overturned or some dumb tourist cut in front of it.  All were plausible.  None happened when I went down there.

Just watch your speed driving the Keys.  They will ticket in some places at one MPH over.

My visits were a mirror of yours.  Take over a room, drop the suit cases, and relax before a long wander through town to see how much things changed.  Key West changed completely over the years.  Wilton Manors less so.

Every visit I would spend fixing your computers.  I was happy when you got a Mac because then you wouldn’t get those Windows viruses.  Then the virus writers targeted Mac and you would get them there.  I remember you had a literal stack of machines and every one would end up used up and set under the bed in the spare room waiting for care because Virus.

Stop clicking on links in emails, please.

Well now there are no more links to click.

No more Mangos to duck from the trees.

No more check ins.

Someone else will feed the cat that visits you on your porch for food and sometimes come in for a short visit.

You died suddenly of natural causes on July 29 2017.

I didn’t find out until after I called you and left a message, worried.

Four minutes later someone on your facebook feed confirmed it.

The stories went back and forth.  You never completely hide from friends.  Now it is much easier for friends to talk.  We shared details of how you were planning to come here but kept missing the trip because you were feeling badly, twice in the week before.  Each time this happened I’d implore you to visit the doctor.  You would become more strident about my coming to visit.  I think we know why now.

I had a wonderful chat with your friends, even in your home town.

You were so very proud of that town, Winsford, England.  When I showed you how to virtually walk down the street there you were “gobsmacked”.  So was I.  I would love to see it myself but probably never will get there, just like  at this point I doubt I’ll get back to Key West.

I captured that picture of the big stone church and put it on your computers every time I set one up for you.

In fact there were three computers here for you to look at.  All with the picture of that church in Winsford, England.

We would go through those pictures and virtually visit your town with the old show To The Manor Born on the TV.  We watched that series so many times that we could quote dialog along with Audrey and the Rest.  All those old comedy shows that you’d bring along, some I had seen, some not, and always a very enjoyable time.

You are and now were more than a friend, you were a big brother from another mother.  You will be missed.

Goodbye David.

A Short Collection of Science Jokes

A neutron walks into a bar and asks the bartender, “How much for a drink?” “For you, sir, no charge!”

What’s 2 times 2? Physicist: “After some measurements I am fairly sure it is somewhere between 3.81 and 4.13!” Mathematician: “After some consideration I can now prove that the solution exists!” Engineer: “4, obviously, but lets make it 5, just to be on the safe side.”

Three logicians walk into a bar. “You all want a beer?” the bartender asks. “I don’t know,” says the first logician. “I don’t know either,” says the second logician. Says the third logician, “If that’s the case, then we all want a beer.”

Atom 1: “I think I lost one of my electrons somewhere.” Atom 2: “Are you sure?” Atom 1: ”Yes, I’m positive!”

A neutrino walks through a bar.

A photon checks into a hotel. “Do you need help with your luggage?” the clerk asks. “No thanks, I’m travelling light.”

A mathematician walks into a bar. “I’ll have a pint, and then half a pint and then a quarter of a pint and then an eighth of a pint-” The bartender, who is also a mathematician, interrupts him, “Two pints, coming right up!”

 

A biologist, a physicist and a mathematician travel together by train. Right after entering Scotland they see a black sheep standing on top of a hill.

“Look at that,” says the biologist. “Apparently the sheep in Scotland are black.”

“Nonsense!” says the physicist. “All we can say for sure is that there is one sheep in Scotland that’s black.”

“I am afraid you are both wrong,” the mathematician explains. “The only thing that is certain is that there is a sheep in Scotland, which is black on at least one side.”

 

There are two types of people in the world. Those who can extrapolate from from incomplete data.

What is the value of the contour integral around Western Europe? Zero, all the Poles are in Eastern Europe.

Why were the Romans so bad at algebra? They always ended up with X equals 10.

“I never get any good data. Sometimes I think the particle accelerator hates me.” “Never anthropomorphize machines. They hate that.”

So The Beatles Go To America For The First Time

They go to a currency exchange place by the airport and the ask for (along with a decent sum of cash) some of each type of coin so that they could be familiarized with the currency.

They’re rich enough that they don’t have to skimp out on the number of coins they get, so the cashier gives them four rolls of each type of coin–pennies, nickels, dimes, and quarters. Sure, maybe it was overkill, but they were in America, where bigger meant better, so they didn’t mind.

The Beatles were not a particularly rich sort before their big break, so it may not be surprising that they went from withdrawing no money at the bank to withdrawing a lot of it, leaving no middle room to go there asking for coins. It was, in fact, the first time any of them had seen a coin roll.

“Look at this!” said Paul, “That’s a bloody line of quarters! A quarter line! And all the other coins are in lines too!”

The cashier tried to explain coin rolls, but the Beatles were already so overjoyed with this discovery that they didn’t hear and kept on calling them coin lines.

They walk out and get in a car with a driver that was waiting for them–Ringo in the front, George in the back left, Paul in the back right, and John in the middle.

They put the money in the middle of the car, in the little bit of space between driver and passenger seat. There’s no pocket there, as the car is from the sixties, but it shouldn’t really matter–after all, they’re worth a lot more than their money is.

They drive out of the airport when, all of a sudden, a car traveling in the opposite direction identifies them and tries to swerve in front of them to stop the car. The Beatles speed up to counter, and they end up colliding head-on.

Majestically, three of the Beatles are unscathed as well as the driver. But the fourth–John, who was sitting directly behind the money, took the full brunt of the blow. The quarters, nickels, and dimes drove into his chest before bouncing back down to the floor of the car, but the penny rolls were launched in such a trajectory that they lodged themselves into various facial features.

When the initial shock died down, Ringo asked, “John, are you okay?” But John couldn’t hear or see him–those appendages were blocked off.

“Aaa-argh!” shouted Lennon, “Penny lines are in my ears and in my eyes!”

Snail on Tree

In the yard, there is a little garden.

The little garden is an island afloat on a sea of grassy green.

In the middle of that island is an old snag of a tree.

I can’t bring myself to cut it down.  It’s old, it’s moth-eaten, and it’s partly dead.  But the parts of that old snag are quite thoroughly alive.

The old snag is a bottle brush tree.  It puts out red flowers that look like a bottle brush from time to time.  So I cut the dead spots off and leave the thing be.  I’m overdue for cutting more dead spots off that tree.  Because of those dead branches, I also have lots of air plants, Tillandsia, growing on the bark.

It is its own little ecosystem.

Spanish Moss, ants, birds.  It’s full of life even if the tree can’t decide what to do.

After a rain, much of that life is forced to the surface.  You can go out there and watch the lizards crawl over it and poach a few insects.  That is their place in life, to keep the pests down.

They don’t seem to mind being watched anyway.

But on the bark this one day was a snail.  They usually are seen stuck to a window or a post or some other vertical object.  When they are there, normally, they are not alive.  In fact it is rare that I see one out in the open like this particular day.

A little piece of Escargot trailing a shell that looks like a fancy chocolate, right there in the open, on my half alive tree.

Sure, I could cut it all down but what is the point.  I already have a palm tree next to it.  I did not plant that palm.  It ‘involuntarily’ grew in my pot in the back yard, and took it over.  Most likely thanks to some errant bird that left the seed when it was getting ready to fly from my Sea Grape tree in the back yard.  I did not weed the palm until I realized it was too late so I cut the pot away from the plant and dragged the root ball to the front yard where I figured I would need it.

The blasted palm tree is now more than 15 feet tall.

So it’s all a nice little family.  Half dead bottle brush tree.  Out sized palm tree.  Some red screw palms and another clump of green ones on the other side.

And the chocolate shelled snail lives there happily as well.

We will just call it a garden, uplight the palm, and call it done.  May as well.  You get some interesting visitors from time to time, you know.