Zip Lock Bag Trick

This one has been making the rounds.  It’s a pesticide free way to keep the flies away at a picnic. In theory it should work with anything with “Compound Eyes” but I’ve only heard it brought up with flies.   Worse comes to worse, it’s a cheap and easy trick and may give you something to say when the conversation flags!  Of course you could also hang a disco ball outside but they’re a little more expensive. 

ZIP LOCK BAG – Good tip!

We went with friends to Sweety Pies on Sunday for breakfast and sat in the patio section beside the house.   We happened to notice zip lock baggies pinned to a post and a wall.  The bags were half filled with water, each contained 4 pennies, and they were zipped shut.  Naturally we were curious!  Ms. Sweety told us that these baggies kept the flies away!  So naturally we were even more curious!  We actually watched some flies come in the open window, stand around on the window sill, and then fly out again.  And there were no flies in the eating area!  This morning I checked this out on Google.  Below are comments on this fly control idea.  I’m now a believer!
  Zip-lock water bags

Ann Says:
I tried the ziplock bag and pennies this weekend.. I have a horse trailer.  The flies were bad while I was camping. I put the baggie with pennies above the door of the LQ. NOT ONE FLY came in the trailer. The horse trailer part had many. Not sure why it works but it does!

Danielle Martin Says:

Fill a ziplock bag with water and 5 or 6 pennies and hang it in the problem area. In my case it was a particular window in my home. It had a slight passage way for insects. Every since I have done that, it has kept flies and wasps away. Some say that wasps and flies mistake the bag for some other insect nest and are threatened.

Maggie Says:

I swear by the plastic bag of water trick. I have them on porch and basement.  We saw these in  Northeast Mo.  at an Amish grocery store & have used them since. They say it works because a fly sees a reflection & won’t come around.

 DJ Says:

Regarding the science behind zip log bags of water? My research found that the millions of molecules of water presents its own prism effect and given that flies have a lot of eyes, to them it’s like a zillion disco balls reflecting light, colors and movement in a dizzying manner. When you figure that flies are prey for many other bugs, animals, birds, etc., they simply won’t take the risk of being around that much perceived action. I moved to a rural area and thought these “hillbillies” were just yanking my city boy chain but I tried it and it worked immediately! We went from hundreds of flies to seeing the occasional one, but he didn’t hang around long.

The Irish Prostitute – Humor

Ok, it’s a bit edgy of a subject for me to post, but since there are no “Bad Words” why not?

The Irish Prostitute 

The Irish daughter had not been home for over five years. Upon her return, her father cursed her heavily saying, “Where have ye been all this time, child?  Why did ye not write to us, not even a line? Why didn’t ye call? Can ye not understand what ye put yer old Mother through?”

The girl, crying, replied, “Sniff,….Dad….I became a prostitute…”

“Ye what? Out of here ye shameless harlot! Sinner! You’re a disgrace to this Catholic family!”

“OK, Dad– As ye wish, but I just came back to give Mum this luxurious fur coat, title deed to a ten bedroom mansion plus a £1million bank account. For me little brother, this gold Rolex. And for ye, Daddy, the sparkling new Mercedes Limited Edition convertible parked outside plus a membership to the golf & country club…(takes a breath)… And an invitation for ye all to spend New Year’s Eve on board my new yacht in the Riviera .”

“Now what was it ye said ye had become?”
Asks Dad.

Girl, crying again, “Sniff sniff… A prostitute, Daddy! Sniff, sniff.”

“Oh! Be Jesus! Ye scared me half to death, Girl!
I thought ye said a Protestant.
Come here and give yer old Dad a hug!.

Random Yellow Flower Background Picture

The other day Father John needed a camera to take some video for his church.   We went out and bought a camera, not really all that high end, but suited to the task.  Along with it was bought a 16GB memory chip that it turned out that the camera truly hated. 

I put it in the camera and pressed record and between 22 and 33 seconds later it would simply lock up with a message that the chip was too slow.  Strange. 

My own chip worked. So we realized camera good, chip bad, and returned it.

Before it went back I took the memory chip with me for a walk around town and took random pictures.  Anyone with any experience taking pictures will come up with a good one from time to time.  In this case, the picture was nothing more than some small, low growing, native plants in the local M.E. De Palma Park near the house.  I was pretending to be Mr Tourist and taking pictures of all sorts of pictures with no real rhyme or reason so I could “exercise” the chip. 

It went back, Father John has a new chip that the camera likes, and we will be taking some movies for the web site. 

I still have the test shots, and this is one of them.  After cropping out weeds, it’s remarkably even in its randomness.

Chaos the Hearing Protecting Parrot and Glenn Miller

26 years of sharing a house with this Parrot and I should know better.

Starting off the day with my Glenn Miller addiction reawakened by a friend online, I turned on the internet radio and selected a Swing music station on Sirius XM.  It’s about the only reason why I bother with Sirius because their modern dance format stations are way too tightly programmed with small variety. 

I made sure the volume on the radio was low enough to keep my old feathered friend quiet.   Oscar will get loud and “sing” along with what ever was in the house at the moment so he’s my hearing protector.  It is a challenge to balance listening volume with the noises of the room at a level that won’t trip the Parrot Alarm.

Heading into the Kitchen I knew I was done for.

There was not enough coffee for the day.  Sure, there were enough Grounds roasted the day before to make one mug, but not enough for the second.  Putting 1/2 cup of green beans into the popcorn popper, the lid was replaced and a deep breath was drawn.

It was going to get loud.

Just after the 7AM noise limits it was safe to turn everything on.  The kettle warmed to boil water for Mug One as the beans were beginning to roast in the Popper.  Glenn Miller was now drowned out. 

Hello!  Hello!  BreakerBreakerBreakerBREAKER!  (jungle noices) (unintelligeable grumbles) BahBahBahBahWOOWOO!

In for a penny, in for a pound!

May as well entertain the dog, the parrot is now at full volume.

Grabbing the almost empty peanut butter jar sets Lettie off barking.  It’s a large plastic jar that I have scraped almost all of the peanut butter out of.  The top is screwed down way too tightly for her to easily get off.  It also is way too large for her to grab comfortably.

Place the jar on the floor among the symphony of the growing popper, the jungle noises, and the Glenn Miller winding down in the next room, I am treated to my beautiful “Non Barky” dog begging for her “toy”.

My foot goes down toward the jar (BARK!) and with toe of the sneaker, I tread downward on the plastic.   It spins madly and careens off of the wall and under the now totally excited dog who is trying hard to keep up with the random motion.  Parrot is now loudly chattering “here we go! here we go!” and the water on the kettle now is at a full boil screaming into the morning.

Pour out two cups boiling water exactly into the waiting coffee grounds, stir quickly to break the surface tension and reach over to replace the kettle on the stove to cool.

Looking over at Mrs Dog, it is time to take one then another step toward the peanut butter jar.  Sensing that, Lettie barks off 3 loud MWOOFS! and the jar is set into another drunken drive around the floor tiles.   Oscar is loving it and laughs a loud cartoonish laugh. 

At this point the noise level hits its final crescendo as the timer goes off and the popcorn popper is unplugged.  Beans are poured onto a plate to cool, Oscar goes silent in a sudden stop, and I can actually hear Ella Mae Morse singing sweetly to me from over top of the stove.

Giving the coffee one last stir, Lettie’s peanut butter jar is now spun one last time giving her one last reason to bark at it rolling around on the floor. 

The house goes quiet.  It is time to have the morning coffee.  After all, 10 minutes have gone by.

I Hate Baths

This is one of the many things that turns my beloved McNab Dog into Cujo the Evil Dog From Hell.

This weekend was Bath Weekend.  In fact it was about 2 weeks late.  Life got in the way, there was a lot going on especially on the weekends and it slipped.

Kevin got back from vacation up North and was volunteered to do the task.  You see, I’ve had this same view before.  Get Lettie’s head wet and she gets angry fast.   Not necessarily Angry, but Fearful.  A fearful intelligent dog is a challenge.  A McNab Dog being a breed derived from the Border Collies specifically for Intelligence makes for an interesting life.

Living with anyone requires your learning their rhythms and working through their strengths and weaknesses.  I don’t know where she got this utter disdain for bath time but I’m very happy to pass that one chore on to someone who is willing and brave enough to complete the task.   Were it me, she’s got a “party hat” for just such occasions.

We survived yet another weekend of teeth and terror, and the next one will be only 3 weeks away. 

Can’t Wait. – Another Successful Web Implementation Project Complete

Between doing Video Shoots and Website Upgrades for New Divine Mercy Church as well as functioning as their Webmaster and Project Manager, I was busy working on a new website for the Central Area Neighborhood Association for Wilton Manors.

Today, all the technical details were completed and the website for CANA went live.

This is the fifth website that I have created for organizations using the Google Sites technology.  Google Sites is a great way to get a basic website up and running, especially for Not For Profits as those organizations have been granted free space on Google’s Servers.  I have heard that they may or may not begin charging for that service in the future, and I have heard that it may or may not go Fee Based. 

The benefit of using the technology is that it is completely “Cloud Based”.   Got a small organization and you don’t want to have to worry about whether you have a dedicated server architecture built in an office server closet?  This works for you since Sites is hosted by Google.  You get access to a limited number of free services such as Google Docs, Gmail accounts, and other things so in theory you can completely run an organization virtually without ever buying a corporate computer.  Feel like making a change on a website from your laptop on vacation in a far flung corner of the world – you can do it if you have internet.

I wouldn’t personally put any financial information on a “web app” but that’s my security preference, you may not agree.

At any rate, CANA has their web site, it’s up and running.

The other sites I have created were for the Joe Angelo for Mayor Campaign, the Celeste Ellich for Commissioner Campaign, New Divine Mercy Church, as well as working on my blog

I am also the Social Media Director for Wilton Manors Main Street helping to voice their public presence on Facebook and on their blog.  I also have worked on their current webpage that is expected to go through some changes and a refresh soon.

Having done web development as a Programmer and as a Project Manager as well as doing Implementation of Websites, Large Scale implementation of Legacy systems, and Accounting Systems help in rounding out that list. 

I’m also That Guy that people call up for help with their PCs since I’ve implemented more desktop systems than I would care to count.  I’ve also implemented Servers running Windows Server 2003 and 2007,  implemented SQL Server (various versions) as well as created servers running Linux and the LAMP Stack.

The Lamp Stack is a set of technologies that will allow you to serve out web pages to the world as well as function as a regular file server as needed and it’s all free.

Most of that stuff can run “virtually” and on a computer using VMWare or Microsoft Virtual PC.

Not a bad cover letter, I may have to use this since I’ve done this and more.

A Weekend of Cooking

This weekend was all about the kitchen.

I enjoy cooking, I enjoy baking.   That’s obvious from the blog and if you have ever spoken to me.  I didn’t realize just how much time I spent in the preparation of food this weekend.

Saturday I wanted a burger.  But to have a burger, I had to have something to go with it.  That meant a trip to the Green Market and Whole Foods.  We were going to make a Beef and Vegetable soup on Sunday so that meant while there, Kevin picked up some ground beef.   While he was gone, I cleaned the grill, got the rolls set aside, and found my way into the kitchen.  As he rolled into the front door, there were more fresh rolls to go into the freezer.  Ok, so take the pound of ground beef and make four measured 1/4 pound burgers out of the 90% beef.  Warm the grill up to make sure all the grease was burned off, toss the burgers on the grill and babysit the thing.  The burgers we made were well done by the book at 160F while the beans finished in the oven.

Sunday morning early, the base for the beef and vegetable soup was being made.  I started to panic as the refrigerator was crammed solid with food and the freezer now had the leftover burgers that were cooked for later meals.  Luckily the burgers froze well and stack like cordwood inside little nooks and crannies because we will need the space.

While the base was being cooked, it allowed Mrs Dog to be bathed whether she wanted to or not.  Cantankerous old dog fearfully snapped and drew blood on Kevin’s hand, while I was out back taking pictures. 

No, I really don’t like to give her a bath.  Those teeth are still sharp.

More burgers got onto the grill for lunch, and a side dish of Baked Beans Which Are Really Better On The Second Day ended up in the microwave… pulling six perfect Medium pink burgers off the grill, there’s five more discs of Cow in the freezer.

Oh Steer you did not die in vain!

Now my kitchen exploded. 

After lunch back into the kitchen first slicing down a potato into chunks, then an onion, then half a bag of carrots and a couple celery stalks.  All of that got staged to go into the pot with the beef stock when the bone came out.

Soup bones?  Yes they do sell them still, you have to ask.  The meat tastes amazing when it is cooked with all that stuff, add some thyme and other spices and boil it to the right consistency.

The result was a giant stock pot of five and a half quarts worth of amazing beef vegetable soup that fed Kevin, Me, the family across the street both Sunday and Today.

So how did that fall into Monday?

You always overbuy.


In his rush we ended up with a basketball in the refrigerator that only got half used.


What do you do with the stuff?

No, I won’t eat that much Cole Slaw, I don’t like the stuff THAT much.  There’s a reason why they serve it in little sample cups!

We had the presence of mind to slice that whole head of cabbage down into shreds.  The result was a giant mound of pale green stuff with only a little taste.  It went into the crock pot to cover a ham bone that had been in the freezer since the last time I bought a ham on special, bone in.  Honey cured ham.  Yum.  Makes great sandwiches and it’s cheap.

So sitting in the crock pot is a ham bone, giant mountain of cabbage, a bag of green beans, a bag of carrots, and about a quart of water.   All of this was sliced and assembled in 15 minutes while making breakfast on Monday morning.

Press go.

Three hours later it has just begun to relax, the lid of the crock pot had settled down onto the mass of green and finally closed.

I added a can of Pineapple chunks and the juice to the mess to help break it all down…

There’s still an onion and a potato that should go in there but it may not make it.  The pot’s overflowing. 

The bounty of vegetables is all over the place, on the microwave, in the freezer and refrigerator, two giant tan tubers of potato blocking the microwave, two flat Vidalia Onions leaning against the coffee pot.

If this mess turns out, it’s going to be interesting.   After all, it was nothing more than vegetables that were going to go to waste due to overbuying and a leftover ham bone that I couldn’t bear to toss out.

The best recipes sometimes are nothing more than a happy accident.  Random amounts of food that were cooked together with crossed fingers.  It’s either that or they end up in the trash bin and that would be a shame.

Hopefully this giant mess of food, around 10 quarts of soup, will get into the freezer.  If it gets there, hope for gentle weather.  It would be a shame if a power cut hit due to a tropical storm.

At least frozen bricks of soup help to keep the freezer cold.

My Favourite Animal – Humor

This joke made me hungry.  Then again life makes me hungry.   So enjoy this tasty bit of humor!
My Favourite Animal

I remember back in grade 2 when our teacher asked us what our favorite animal was, and I said, “Fried chicken.”

She said I wasn’t funny, but she couldn’t have been right, because everyone else in the class laughed.

My parents told me to always be truthful and honest, and I am. Fried chicken is my favorite animal. I told my dad what happened, and he said my teacher was probably a member of PETA. He said they love animals very much.  I do, too. Especially, chicken, pork and beef. Anyway, my teacher sent me to the principal’s office. I told him what happened, and he laughed, too. Then he told me not to do it again.

The next day in class my teacher asked me what my favorite live animal was.  I told her it was chicken. She asked me why, just like she’d asked the other children.  So I told her it was because you could make them into fried chicken.  She sent me back to the principal’s office again. He laughed, and told me not to do it again.I don’t understand. My parents taught me to be honest, but my teacher doesn’t like it when I am.

Today, my teacher asked us to tell her what famous person we admire most.  I told her, “Colonel Sanders.”

Guess where I am…???

The Italian Wedding Test – Humor

The key is that if I’m sent a joke and laugh at it the second time I read it, It’s going up here!  This one was sent to me by our own Diane Cline here in Wilton Manors and it is exactly the kind of joke she tells when you see her in an event.  No wonder why I enjoy her company whenever I get the pleasure.

Besides… having Italians in my family, I can post this!  🙂


I was a very happy man. My wonderful girlfriend and I had been dating for over a year, and so we  decided to get married. There was only one little thing bothering me…It was her beautiful younger sister.

My prospective sister-in-law was twenty-two, wore very tight miniskirts, and generally was bra-less. She would regularly bend down when she was near me, and I always got more than a nice view. It had to be deliberate. Because she never did it when she was near anyone else.

One day her ‘little’ sister called and asked me to come over to check the wedding invitations. She was alone when I arrived, and she whispered to me that she had feelings and desires for me that she couldn’t overcome.

She told me that she wanted me just once before I got married and committed my life to her sister.

Well, I was in total shock, and couldn’t say a word.

She said, ‘I’m going upstairs to my bedroom, and if you want one last wild fling, just come up and get me.’

I was stunned and frozen in shock as I watched her go up the stairs. I stood there for a moment, then turned and made a beeline straight to the front door. I opened the door, and headed straight towards my car.

Lord… And behold, my entire future family was standing outside, all clapping!

With tears in his eyes, my father-in-law hugged me and said, ‘We are very happy that you have passed our little test. We couldn’t ask for a better man for our daughter. Welcome to the family.’

 And the moral of this story is:

Always keep your condoms in your car.

DailySteals and Customer Service

They did me right.

I’m that guy who looks for the “buys” online.  I have to make the Eagle scream on the back of the quarter.   If I’m making a recommendation about price on some item, I’ve looked for it elsewhere for a better price.  I usually don’t suffer buyer’s remorse since I simply don’t have a lot of money to throw around on luxury items and trinkets.

Recently I hit a close out site, and bought a Garmin RoadTrip 4030.  The item takes your iPod or other iThing and allows you to broadcast the sound through an FM Radio.  I use those things in a lot of different ways, and they’re very flexible.  This way, I’m able to broadcast what I’m listening on the internet or on my iPod through the house and out into the back yard.  These “FM Modulators” typically have a range of 10 to 30 feet and it’s just enough to get the signal out to the pool.

I’d hate to soak my iPod.

Assuming you get the item, it’s one of those things you plug into the cigarette lighter, slap your iPod or iPhone into it and you rebroadcast into your car radio.  That would be the intended purpose.

I got the unit and I had a few surprises.

First, it was missing a piece that meant it couldn’t be used in the car.  The kit should have come with two shafts that would be screwed together and form a rigid mount.  I was missing one of the shafts.  I guess I didn’t get shafted.

Ok, bad pun but you know you all were thinking the same thing!

The other was that the electronics would unsnap from the mount and you now have a little modulator in its own box.  Along with the cables that I did not expect, this whole thing becomes very flexible since I can plug it into any USB power source.  I have an adapter for the wall or the car, so now I have my very own FM radio station.  Covers my house and an itty bitty piece of the front yard.

It turns out that it’s just powerful enough to be clear in the bathroom too so the electronics are great.  Because of the way it’s all hooked together, I can also use it as a microphone input for a PA System.  I May Need That Sunday.

After seeing that I was missing the piece I debated whether contacting the company for a replacement part, after all It Was Only Five Bucks.

I decided to log into the web page and comment.  They emailed me back in a couple hours and asked for a picture showing what I needed.  You see here, it’s that yellow circled piece.

When they saw that picture, they almost immediately emailed back and credited my account for the Five Bucks.

I can’t ask for a better outcome.  It probably cost them that much to ship the item in the first case.   The electronics will be put to use both in the house broadcasting music (my intent) and perhaps as a PA system if I need it.

After all, Mr Microphone may be a toy, this thing could do the job clearly.

So if you’re looking for a closeout, I suggest surfing and checking it out once a day.  You may find something you need, and if you need help, Nicolette will be there to help you out.