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!  🙂

THE ITALIAN WEDDING TEST

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, www.dailysteals.com 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 http://www.dailysteals.com 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.

Computer Procurement and One Single White Flower

Ok so say you listened.

You decided that you wanted to get a piece of hardware and make sure everything will work well together.  You put it all together and what if it actually does not work?

That’s the problem when “Standards” aren’t Standard.

You see, I ran into that problem yesterday.

Father John here in Wilton Manors and his partner Father Larry run a church, New Divine Mercy.  I help them out with their technology needs, and we have decided that they need a proper video camera and tripod to do some enhancements to their web page.  I put that page together, and there are videos on it, and we would like to add some more for a more personal touch.  

Yesterday we went shopping.  We got a great buy on a video camera, picked up an appropriate Class 10 memory chip, 16 GB of course, and a beautiful “professional grade” tripod.   I’m really quite amazed at the tripod, that thing is built like it is cut from a slab of granite.

Everything should just fall together and work, right?

It didn’t turn out that way.

The Tripod is perfect, the camera is wonderful.  They work together well.  I charged the internal battery on the camera and did a test movie.  It ran for 22 seconds and …

Stopped.

Scratching my head, I did it again.

The definition of insanity according to Benjamin Franklin is appropriate here:

The definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over and expecting different results.

(I looked it up, the link is here, it isn’t Einstein)

I tried the video around 10 or so times tweaking various settings and got the same results so I decided to try something different.  I placed my own 8GB chip in the camera and try it over.

Success.   I got a 10 minute video of me walking around my back yard, filming my dog pee on the grass (she does this when on camera) and looking at the pretty flowers.  Ooooh.

So thinking that it was the chip that we got for the video camera, I placed it in my own still camera and we went for the 5pm Dog Walk around Wilton Manors.   I was snapping pictures all over the place, and using the “questionable” memory chip, got the result in this post.

What is going on is that the video camera does not recognize the new 16GB memory chip.  My own still camera does recognize the chip.  Both cameras recognize my smaller 8GB chip.  For now, the video camera has my chip and I have Father John’s larger chip but my intent is to pay the third visit to the computer store in two days and make a swap.

Seems that that memory chip should just be a bad memory.  As far as the video camera is concerned, it is.

Class 10 SDHC Chip to the Rescue

What’s this technobabble and why the clouds?

I blew up my memory chip for the camera a while back and had to get a new one.  Had because I simply did not have one to use for the camera, the other one was in use for documents and was way too small for the task.

As in 128 MB.  I can blow through that in a good session of picture taking.

As prices are dropping, there simply is no reason to compromise on speed.   Before I have mentioned the slower memory sticks and how to tell what you need for your camera.  Class 2 should be avoided, Class 6 is good for Photos, Class 10 is the best.   When I priced it all out, I was able to get an 8GB Class 10 chip for my camera for $10. 

I could have gone larger but this is for the camera and I’d be tempted to use it as a drive in the little laptop.

Why this need for speed? 

Plug in a slow chip and take a picture.  Immediately try to take another.

Go ahead I’ll wait.

And wait… and wait.

That happened at Stonewall.  I tried to take a picture of a friend on a balcony.  The first picture was fouled up, so I focused and waited.  It took a full 30 seconds for the camera to write out the picture to the slow class 2 chip. 

I ordered this Class 10 chip and waited for it to get here.  Eagerly I took the chip out and put it in my camera and went out for a dog walk.  I was taking pictures for no particular purpose, enjoying the act of trying to capture something without trying hard.  Out of those pictures, there were actually a few that are worth sharing, so I’ll have them out here.   The nice thing was that my “refresh” rate – the time between pictures, is drastically better.  The time now is well less than five seconds.   Seeing that I may refocus and reposition the shot between taking pictures, that five seconds is more reasonable.

So remember, research your purchase – Speed kills in a car but:

In a Camera, Speed is your best friend!

James Candy Barrel Bank

Oh hi, Pat!  Haven’t heard from you in a while, how are you?

Yep, Kevin got back fine, no problem.  He took the Auto Train and slept in a tiny room that was 4 by 8 feet.  My closet is longer and a little bit wider in the big bedroom.

It was a lot better trip than we had when you and I were kids trying to sleep in one of those silly airplane style semi-reclining seats. 

Right, well he went up to visit his mom for her birthday and spend some time with her.  Longwood Gardens, a couple nice restaurants, and made it all the way to Cape May just like the song.

He sure did bring back that Salt Water Taffy!  In fact he brought back a barrel bank just like we had every year when Dad would take us down to Atlantic City for the day before the Casinos moved in and wrecked the boardwalk.  That’s why when I went for a day trip, I’d go to Ocean City, NJ.  Yes, the Methodists have kept it fairly old school and you can still get a good funnel cake or fresh peanuts – or at least you could back in 2005 when I was there last.

That bank?   I’m going to keep mine!  It turns out that James Candy and Fralingers are the same company although I think we knew that.  They’re discontinuing the banks so if you want a little piece of our childhood, you had better get Down-a-Shore and pretend to be a Shoobie for a day.  Pick one up and enjoy, they’re not expensive, after all they’re made out of Papier Mache

Sure, you know the salt water taffy at the Jersey Shore blows away any other kind!  The stuff just over on the other side of the Delaware River in Rehoboth or in Ocean City MD just doesn’t taste right and they don’t make it soft like James Candy does.  I had some in Cape Cod Mass that was just horrible, like old tub caulk!

No I’m not in the habit of chewing that stuff, silly!

But the neatest thing is that they’re still making those weird old flavors like they used to!  Anise, Molasses, Teaberry… yeah!  I mean where else but the Jersey Shore!  Just like old times walking down the Boardwalk and biting into one of those wonderful Lemon Salt Water Taffys and you had to be careful because you would have sand on your fingers.

Yes, Atlantic City is the real Boardwalk, the rest are just imitations but even that has changed since they blew up all those wonderful old resort hotels.  The city itself is a bit scary but the tourist trap, er tourist areas are safe. 

Sure, I had what they call Salt Water Taffy here in Florida.  Hard as a rock and salty as a pretzel.  Scary stuff right?

At least they still make it like they used to at the Jersey Shore.  “Cut to fit the mouth” like they say!

Oh that bank?  Did I tell you some clown running an auction house wanted $50 for a barrel bank and the box with it?  Yeah isn’t that a riot?  You can still get them for now for $12 so move fast.  Oh and have some vanilla custard for me while you’re at it – you know, from the stand at 9th street in Ocean City!  Watch for the Sea Gulls if you’re going to have fries, those birds are fierce!

My Parrot Won’t Let Me Watch Holmes Inspection on HGTV

I guess the title says it all. 

I’ve had this parrot since 1986.  25 years or so.  He’s “opening” up since we moved here.  They are interesting creatures, and I don’t know what kind of treatment he got when I got him way back then but he was always very standoffish.  Now he’s bonding, and shows excitement when I walk into the house.  He also calls to me when he wants attention by saying hello as well as other behavioral quirks.

If you have ever had a parrot or for that matter any other bird, you know that they can be loud.  There are certain times of day when they have the “Call To Flock”, within an hour either side of sun up or sun down, when they’re louder than the rest of the day.  You get to understand that timing and realize that unless you want a Parrot Accompaniment with what ever you’re listening to in the house, you keep the volume down.

You see, my Parrot, Oscar is a Hearing Protector.  If it’s too loud he gets louder.

I learned a long time ago that if Oscar is “singing” along to the music, it’s time to turn the volume down.

Having just upgraded to a new HDTV, or having someone upgrade me, I’ve gotten used to where I can put the volume so it does not trip the Parrot Accompanyment on.  Years of practice has made me very aware of volume in the room.  There’s always something on, but if Oscar’s chattering, I turn it down until Oscar shuts up.

So lately I’ve gotten into the Holmes shows on HGTV.  There’s a lot of great information on construction on these programs, the content is excellent.  I’m a bit of a DIYer around the house, if I think I can fix something I’ll attempt it.  After all if it is broken and I break it, then it had to be fixed anyway right? Well more often than not, I am successful and it is the instruction that I have gotten from programs like Holmes on Homes and others that have made be get better at that sort of craft.

My cooking and baking articles here are at a level that is a direct result of watching the Food Channel and specifically Sunny Anderson and Giada DiLaurentiis and other programming and deciding that I want to try those recipes.  My favorite food shows are when Sunny Anderson brings her friends in to “help” or when Giada DiLaurentiis brings in her wonderfully “unhinged” Aunt Raffi.  That’s how it is, if you cook and have help in the kitchen it is almost always a more enjoyable situation as long as you don’t get “too much” help.

The thing is that these shows are all running up against that balancing act of how loud I can put the TV before Oscar decides to talk back at the screen.   Sunny Anderson and Giada DiLaurentiis are fine.  The volume is not too loud at a conversational tone and the background music seems to add an air to the programming that does not distract from the presentation.

Holmes on Homes, the older program was like this.  He would bring in his team, help a family out with some very heavy duty construction on a small problem created by a bad contractor and then fix it.  By fix it, I mean sometimes gutting the room down to the support beams and then rebuild the place.   If I had a contractor, I’d want this guy!  There’s a lot of information in his shows and it makes me wonder whether our Canadian Cousins have any decent construction contractors up in Toronto at all. 

Fast forward to the current show, Holmes Inspection.   Now he brings on his affable team including his family members and other contractors to do this same work.  He’s upgraded the show with some animations that show what is happening at this particular part of the house reconstruction.  The graphics are usually very useful and show in detail how this part of the structure is being changed.

Great, he’s back, he’s got a team, he’s showing the family who live there and how they’re being effected by the incompetent contractors and the job will be done and done right.

So what’s the problem?

Remember that parrot?  Oscar?   He’s the problem.  You see there’s background music on this show.  A constant drone of a guitar riff.   So far why the complaints?  Watch the show and you’ll see.  Most of the time, if you have music on a TV show, it will be in the background.  If you notice it, it is too loud and will detract from the message.

In the case of Holmes Inspection, the volume level of that snarling guitar riff is equal to or greater than the people speaking.  So the volume of the show has to be turned up to try to actually pick out what Damon and the rest are saying.  It’s a shame because here is an excellent show with a great crew and a lot of truly good information about contracting and home repair that is getting lost because you have a first year film student that cranked up the volume of a bad music track.

Once you notice that, then you start to look at the problems of a given show.  The “Warts and All” syndrome where if you don’t have a problem with something, you enjoy it “warts and all” but if you do, those problems become all that much more apparent.

I found myself yelling at the TV saying “Why Are You Showing Me This Filler!” more often than not.  They’ll show a person working on a particular piece of construction.  For example, you have a contractor explaining how badly a railing was installed in the house and why he’s about to replace the risers and how he goes about doing it.  Then they cut to him doing it.  Normally they’ll fade to the next aspect of the construction, but to make it even more edgy, they zoom the camera into the Drill Bit going into the wood and amp up the snarling guitar while they stop zooming in and slow the video down to slow motion.  I suspect they eat up another 2 or 3 minutes of content or more each episode by showing me a drill bit chewing up some wood or a jackhammer slowly breaking up concrete. 

At this point, Oscar’s yelling because I’m yelling at the TV.

So I have pretty much stopped watching Holmes Inspection as a result.  Too bad, because with a few minor tweaks it could be a great source of how to fix your house. 

I can’t watch it with the volume turned down, I even tried turning off the Subwoofer on the TV Sound Bar and the background ‘music’ is still too loud.   I guess I’ll just have to move on. 

It’s just way too intrusive.