Velma sent this one to me this week and I liked it so much after reading it, I thought it was a great way to end out the year.   After all, who doesn’t like watching someone else get confused?


Everyone should start carrying $2 bills!  I am STILL laughing!!   I think we need to quit saving our $2 bills and bring them out in public.  The younger generation doesn’t even know they exist.


On my way home from work, I stopped at Taco Bell for a quick bite to eat.  In my billfold are a $50 bill and a $2 bill.   I figure that with a $2 bill, I can get something to eat and  not have to worry about anyone getting irritated at me for  trying to break a $50 bill.

Me:   ‘Hi, I’d like one seven-layer burrito please, to  go.’
Server:    ‘That’ll  be $1.04.  Eat in?’
Me:   ‘No, it’s to go.’  At this point, I open my  billfold and hand him the $2 bill.  He looks at it kind  of funny.
Server:  ‘Uh, hang on a sec, I’ll be right back.’ 

He goes to talk to his manager, who is still within my earshot.  The following conversation occurs between the two of them:

Server:  ‘Hey, you ever see a $2 bill?’
Manager:  ‘No.  A what?’
Server:  ‘A $2 bill.  This guy just gave it to me…’ 
Manager:  ‘Ask for something else. There’s no such thing as a $2 bill.’
Server: ‘Yeah, thought so.  ‘He comes back to me and says, ‘We don’t  take these.  Do you have anything else?’
Me:   ‘Just this fifty.  You don’t take $2 bills?   Why?’
Server:  ‘I  don’t know.’ 
Me:   ‘See here where it says legal tender?’ 
Server:  ‘Yeah.’ 
Me:   ‘So, why won’t you take it?’
Server:  ‘Well, hang on a sec.’

He goes back to his manager, who has  been watching me like I’m a shoplifter, and says to him, ‘He  says I have to take it.’

Manager:  ‘Doesn’t he have anything else?’
Server:  ‘Yeah, a fifty.  I’ll get it and you can open the safe and get change.
Manager:  ‘I’m not opening the safe with him in here.’ 
Server:   ‘What should I do?’
Manager:  ‘Tell him to come back later when he has real money.’ 
Server:   ‘I can’t tell him that!  You tell him.’ 
Manager:  ‘Just  tell him.’
Server:  ‘No way!  This is weird.  I’m going in back. 

The manager approaches me and says, ‘I’m sorry, but, we don’t take big bills this time of  night.’ 
Me:   ‘It’s only seven o’clock!  Well then, here’s a two dollar bill.’
Manager:  ‘We  don’t take those, either.’
Me:   ‘Why not?’
Manager: ‘I  think you know why.’ 
Me:  ‘No  really, tell me why.’
Manager: ‘Please leave before I call mall security.’
Me:   ‘Excuse me?’
Manager:  ‘Please  leave before I call mall security.’ 
Me: ‘What on earth for?’
Manager:  ‘Please,  sir.’
Me:   ‘Uh, go ahead, call them.’
Manager:   ‘Would you please just leave?’
Me:    ‘No.’
Manager:   ‘Fine  — have it your way then.’
Me:   ‘Hey, that’s Burger King, isn’t it?’

At this point, he backs away from me and calls mall security on the phone around the corner.  I have two people staring at me from the dining area, and I begin laughing out loud, just  for effect.  A few minutes later this 45-year-oldish guy comes in. 

Guard:   ‘Yeah, Mike, what’s up?’
Manager (whispering):  ‘This guy is trying to give me some (pause) funny money.’ 
Guard:   ‘No kidding! What?’
Manager:  ‘Get this.  A two dollar bill.’ 
Guard  (incredulous):  ‘Why would a guy fake a two dollar  bill?’ 
Manager:  ‘I  don’t know.  He’s kinda weird.  He says the only  other thing he has is a fifty.’
Guard:   ‘Oh, so the fifty’s fake!’
Manager:   ‘No,  the two dollar bill is.’
Guard:   ‘Why would he fake a two dollar bill?’ 
Manager:   ‘I don’t know!  Can you talk to him, and get him out of  here?’ 
Guard:   ‘Yeah.’

Security Guard walks over to me  and……

Guard: ‘Mike here tells me you have some fake bills you’re  trying to use.’ 
Me:    ‘Uh, no.’
Guard:   ‘Lemme see ’em.’
Me:   ‘Why?’
Guard:   ‘Do you want me to get the cops in here?’

At this point I am ready to say, ‘ Sure, please!’ but I want to eat, so I say, ‘I’m just trying to buy a burrito and pay for it with this two dollar bill. I put the bill up near his face, and he flinches like I’m taking a swing at him.   He takes the bill, turns it over a few times in his hands, and he says, ‘Hey, Mike, what’s wrong with this  bill?’

Manager: ‘It’s  fake.’ 
Guard:   ‘It doesn’t look fake to me.’

Manager:  ‘But it’s a two dollar bill.’
Guard:   ‘Yeah? ‘
Manager:  ‘Well, there’s no such thing, is there?’

The security guard and I both look at him like he’s an idiot and it dawns on the guy that he has no clue and is an idiot.  So, it turns out that my burrito was free, and he threw in a small drink and some of those cinnamon thingies, too.  It made me want to get a whole stack of two dollar bills just to see  what happens when I try to buy stuff. 

Just think… those two will be voting soon!!?!


Too late, we already have a nation full of  them

Good Riddance 2011

Count me among those people.

The ones who are saying Good Riddance. 
Economy Collapse.
Republican Party Candidates that fit in well with Neo Fascist Beliefs.
Democrat Party that has slid to the right of the Republican Party of Pre Reagan era.
Housing Bubble.
$2 “Convenience Fees” from Clueless Capitalists.
Shaky Euro.
Jobs sent overseas by the 1%.
The 1% NOT sent overseas.
Tea Party morons.
Irradiated Fukushima caused by a Tsunami.
Hurricane in New Jersey and New England.

The whole year has been a Santorum of filth. 
(Don’t look up the meaning of Santorum if you are of a weak constitution.  Trust me!)

I’m looking forward to 2012 working out some of that garbage.

A much better 2012 because of:

Obama’s Second Term! 
The European Economy looks like it will stabilize.
There is a strong “Save The Euro” movement.
People are Pissed Off everywhere:
   Arab Spring.
   Peaceful Protests.
   Occupy Movement.
   Fewer Dictators.
Housing Prices seemingly have bottomed out in the US and the UK.
Growing awareness of our problems and a sense that we really can fix them.

It’s a start.  See you in 2012.  I have a Canned Post for tomorrow.  Besides, they’re already setting up for the New Years Eve celebration in the parking lot in front of the bars.  That’s becoming a tradition here.  Our own little Times Square…

Hey Monarchs, You Are Eating Yourself Out Of House And Home

Just the day before there was this daily dog walk.  I was walking past the M.E. DePalma Park and there was a small stand of Mexican Milkweed.  This seems to be the time of year in South Florida that the native species are all going to seed.

That is a good thing, time to drop seed so that they are going to grow more next year.

I may be wrong, it just seemed to me that a lot of the “Natives” there had tufts of fluff and were leaving seeds all over the place.

I decided to help them.

One of the seed pods of the Mexican Milkweed had burst open and the breezes had begun to scatter the seeds.  I took a sample of the seeds and became Johnny Appleseed.  Blowing into the tufts in my hand the breezes took the seeds and blew them down the block to hopefully find a place not grassed over and wild enough to grow.

Yesterday morning, walking around my yard I noticed that the caterpillars were all over the place trying to find a bit of sun to warm their little bodies.  Unfortunately the little bit of green you see above is about all that was left on each stick.  I plant the Milkweed in my yard because I like having the Butterflies here.  Many times, I will look out the window and a Black and Orange beauty floats by.

Unfortunately for them, they tend to lay their eggs all over my two pots of Milkweeds.  The plants have all their leaves eaten then the caterpillars are pretty much done for.  I’ve never seen them eat anything else.

The pot that I took this picture from had so many caterpillars on the plant that I gave up counting. 

I’d say that Johnny Milkweedseed has a bit of work to do.

Kill A Plant For The Holidays?

Call this Before And After.

The Before would be the sad looking pile of sticks in front.  That’s a Poinsettia plant that someone left literally on the side of the road.  Courtesy of them and my 6 AM dog walk, it now rests in the foreground of this shot.

The After would be the plant behind it in the shade.  That’s Last Year’s Poinsettia.  Someone left that one in a dumpster.  It was in the same shape as the sad pile of sticks in the foreground in the little pot.

Both of them will rest under my Orchids getting watered daily on the run off from the drip feed irrigation lines that we have installed.  It won’t take a year but the one you see here will end up as healthy as the one from last year.

Honestly folks, it isn’t that hard to do.  When you get a plant check it at least twice a week to see if it needs water.  In an office, more frequently may even be worth it.   The pretty red, pink or white leaves will stay on the plant longer and having it there will show the person who gave it to you that you really did care for the gesture you made.

Just don’t leave it outside on a day that the temperature drops near freezing.  They don’t like that.

I have a habit of collecting plants.  I have ever since I was a wee loudmouthed brat.  Now, I have a whole back yard to fill.  In reality not a whole back yard.   The collection is getting unwieldy, but it is pretty in its own right. 

All but the citrus trees.  They’re starting to look sad.  There’s something back there eating them.  I’m thinking I may have to start spraying those again. 

It’s a challenge.  A welcome one but a challenge.

So really, why do foods fall out of fashion?

So really, why do foods fall out of fashion? 

I understand that things are regional.  Tomatoes are just better if they’re grown in South Jersey in someone’s back yard.   Oranges taste better if you pick them from the tree in your yard in Florida or California and aren’t injected with dyes.

I was reading this entertaining article about Tomato Aspic a good friend sent me.  I’ve never had this stuff, and she described it as a Congealed Bloody Mary.

You’re not winning me over with that one!  I never did like “Bloodies”.  In fact, I’d really avoid those like the plague at a brunch preferring the much sweeter Mimosa – OJ and Champagne. 

The article gave the history of the dish in an entertaining fashion, I’ve read her writings occasionally and enjoy her style, but still … Bloody Mary?   Thanks, I’ll pass. 

By the time I finished the article I had noticed that there were some things listed in there that I had never had before moving to Florida.  Green Bean Casserole?  Yep, my neighbor brought that over a month or two ago and I am waiting for the fridge to clear some of the holiday treats before I defrost that.  Mini Marshmallows in Lime Green Jello?  Ok, that one I’ve had before.  I think it is universal.  Doesn’t take much thought and just about every Non Cook can make it.  Usually it had a can of “fruit salad” dumped into it with neon red Maraschino Cherries.

I’d pick out the cherries.   Love those little sugar bombs to this day.  My sister sends me a box of those little sugary bombs that are wrapped in Chocolate for Xmas each year.  We look enjoy and forward to that one.  Since Jersey was one of those weird places that you couldn’t get them in Brandy, the Cherry Cordials were the G Rated kind.  I’ve had the ones in Brandy and THOSE are a “big boy” treat if you can find them!

Pat was extra generous this year, I got the G Rated ones in Milk and Dark chocolate. Yum!

If I had served the “Mini Marshmallow” dish at a party, everyone would look at it, laugh and some would pick at the stuff.  While reviled, it would be nibbled at and almost universally missing from the buffet table by the end of the meal. 

Mind you I’m not brave enough to try to serve that one.  I’ll stick with my baked goods.

After pondering it all, I came to the reason that was implied in the article… Make what you like and if someone makes a rude comment about it, they are welcome to wear it home.

I’ll just pass on the Tomato Aspic.  I’m brave but not quite that brave!

Thanks M.E. I got a great smile out of that article. 

I never did come up with a conclusion but does there have to be a reason for everything?

My Very First Boil Water Order

It started with a Knock On The Door.

No, no “Black Hawk Helicopters In The Night”.  You’ve been watching too much bad TV.

My neighbor across the street asked me if I had any water pressure as they were going to prepare for the next day’s holiday dinner.   It was December 24th, and she had work to do!

So I walked to the sink and turned on the spigot.  Just a trickle.  This would be interesting.

I put a big container under the trickle and captured 1/2 gallon of the last of the tap water.  Running through my head was the old BBC drama about nuclear war in Sheffield England called “Threads”.  The city was ruined by bombs.  The protagonist walks to the tap and gets that same trickle as it runs out.  I look out the Kitchen Window and think I’m in a much better place.  After all, I still had glass in my windows and this was just a minor inconvenience as the trickle stops and becomes a sucking sound.

Getting news these days is easier, you just don’t have to worry for the talking heads to lie to you on the one eyed babysitter, you can get your misinformation like everyone else, online.  In my case, I sat back in the comfy chair and checked my Facebook news feed. 

Once I got the thing back to where it belonged – Chronological Order that is.   Hey Zuckerberg, nice try but whatever algorithm you’re using to sort things into a “news feed” is useless. 

Friends were making comments that there was no water pressure throughout North Broward County.   It turned out that Wilton Manors, Oakland Park and Fort Lauderdale were effected by a water main break in Oakland Park and we were going to have no pressure for a couple hours that night.

I still had two cases of those bottles on hand, turned off the ice maker since there was a full bin, and plenty to spare for me, the dog, and the parrot.

Water here usually has a brown tinge to it and it took me a while to get used to thinking that was “normal”.  No wonder why Floridians drink so much filtered and bottled water.

When growing up, I never gave it much thought.  I lived in Cherry Hill, NJ.  Water was always there, crystal clear, and some of the best stuff I have ever had from the tap anywhere even if it did smell slightly of Chlorine.

Let me say that again.  Anywhere.

We never had any weird water main breaks or for that matter power outages.  Sure, it would get cold but you just don’t get things like Hurricanes, or at least you didn’t until this year when Irene paid the Jersey Shore a visit.  

The next morning I tested the tap and it was back to normal for about five seconds.  Then out came a burp of air and water that looked like someone dumped chalk into the tap.  It came out white for a bit then went for what passes for clear.

Boil Water Order in effect until Monday.  At that point it was a day away, this was Xmas and I had a day to get through.

No problem there right?  You have to boil water anyway to make coffee, especially in a french press.  Except a boil water order means if it goes in you, it has to boil at a rolling boil for a solid minute minimum.   It still is brown but it comes out with all the nasties dead.

Everyone likes dead nasties, right?

They taste better that way.   A little e-coli will ruin your day.   A lot will kill you.

They’re planning on lifting the boil water order at noon today.  The stuff in the tap can go “on me, not in me” so showers and laundry are fine.  

On the other hand, to do your toothbrushing you have an interesting dance to do. 

It’s all rather amusing…

First, assuming there is no bottled water in the house, you have to boil water and let it boil for a solid minute.

Second Rinse the Tooth brush and do your normal brushing.  This is over the kitchen sink, right?  After all, you’ll be needing that kettle full of water to go through the motions of cleaning the brush and rinsing.

Now that you’re through, how do you rinse?  After all the water was boiling just three minutes ago.  Did you reserve some from the last batch?   You’ll find yourself boiling a lot of water just to go through the motions.

This morning when I went to make coffee, I found myself at the kettle three different times.   Once for Coffee, Once for Tea, Once for me for later.

I could have opened the bottled water, but why?   After all, it gives me an excuse to make more coffee.

So if I look really, REALLY awake, you’ll know why!

Happy Howl-a-Days 2011

Have a Happy Howl-A-Days from Lettie the Well Lit Dog!

Oh the picture?   Sure, you want a story…

You see I was going to take this shot for a couple days and last night I thought why not do it now before the dog walk.  I unwound the battery powered LED lights from the little Charlie Brown tree I have here and then wrapped the lights around the dog.

Lettie is a very intelligent animal with a very “soft” personality.  By that I mean she only does well if you speak softly to her, don’t get upset, be gentle and maintain routine.   She dislikes “weird”.  She will growl at things as simple as being pet “wrong”. 

This was going to be a challenge.

As soon as I wrapped the lights around her, very loosely I might add, she went into pouty dog mode.  She kept coming back to me as if to hide.   Dad, don’t make me look like this.  Take it off.  NOW! 

Trying to get her to sit was a trial.   She had to be put into the right pose.  She would not stay there and immediately got up and came over as if to say “Hey big guy, this stuff looks stupid, take it off now!”

I nudged her backwards.
She came to me.
I pushed her onto her sit position.
She came to me.
I put her on her Mat.
She came to me.
I walked over to get a little distance to frame the shot.
She came to me.

So after about 20 pictures, none of which worked well, you have the results.

Enjoy your holiday folks, I’m going to start wrapping up all the LED lights.   It seems the dog doesn’t really like them after all!

What Is Celibacy – Humor

This one is especially timely for me at least.  I’ve been baking bread since 7am today.   The house is full of cookie sheets with Dough Balls rising to become rolls later on.

What is Celibacy?

Celibacy can be a choice in life, or a condition imposed by circumstances.

While attending a Marriage Weekend, Frank and his wife Ann listened to the instructor declare, “It is essential that husbands and wives know the things that are important to each other.”

He then addressed the men.  “Can you name and describe your wife’s favorite flower?”

Frank leaned over, touched Ann’s arm gently, and whispered, “Gold Medal-All-Purpose, Isn’t it?”

And thus began Frank’s life of celibacy.


Another Reason Why I am Staying with T-Mobile

Definitely not a rant, I’ve found T-Mobile to be consistently easy to deal with.  After hearing horror stories about people with their iDevices on their AT&T accounts, I’m hanging on for as long as it works for me.  I’ve been an account holder there since 2005 when I came to the store at Broward and Federal in Downtown Fort Lauderdale on vacation just so I could get a phone with a Broward County Area Code.

Long story there, some time I may share it.

Yesterday I forgot to turn the phone on.  Not very bright but hey that’s life.  I reached into my pocket as I was going to change into shorts since it’s been nice here the last week, and turned it on. 

That was when it happened. 

The Deluge of Texts.

You see if you try to text my phone, it won’t work.  I have all messaging turned off.   It’s blocked.  Call me instead.  If you’re so rushed that you can’t say hello then you aren’t really devoting the time that is necessary to those around you.  Plus you’re reaching into my pocket and taking away some cash.  Stop it, I don’t have enough money as it is and if you do go through with it you will have a very irate and bent out of shape Moose looking down at you with all of 6’4″ and 223 pounds yelling at you like a Drill Instructor.

I *CAN* Play a D.I. on TV.  Trust me.  It’s not a good idea.

I could rant on about texting, I just don’t think it’s a good idea either.  You do, fine, that’s your thing. 

Text me and I’ll do rude things to you with a Festivus Pole.  Seeing that today is the day

Those four texts were spam.  Since I have messages blocked they should not have gotten through.  At all.  Ever.  Something strange was happening.  My phone number is a repetitive series of numbers, very easy to remember, so what happens is that random people have used it as theirs in “nosy” forms.  When I get a wrong number it is usually strange and entertaining.

Like the one time that someone tried to insist that I have a Lexus and that I needed to make payments on it.

No, I have a Jeep, as the readers of this blog know.

Never mind… Time to start calling T-Mo’s Customer Care Line.   All … Day… Long.

Turns out my phone lost its programming for the quick call code of #611.  It went into a black hole and never came out.

*Grumble*  I tried that number all day at random intervals instead of doing the right thing and going online and finding the direct toll free number – 877-746-0909 and talking to them directly.

I just programmed that in my phone.  Makes it easier if I have to call again.   I say “if” since I have had to call T-Mobile exactly 3 times since February 2005. 


Pretty much trouble free.

So after calling that line all day yesterday, I went onto the website and found the number, then said “Dispute Messages” and “Yes” into the phone and spoke with a very helpful person.  

We chatted for about 10 minutes about how I have an old phone, the general service, and other things. She said that there’s now a super-duper block for that sort of nasty spam that I got and there are no charges on it and I’m golden.   I also qualify for a $5 discount on my existing plan as well as I’m qualified for a new free phone or discount on another. 

I’ve always carried “Dumb Phones”.  They’re much smaller and sturdier.   If I’m on skates and fall, I don’t want a fragile little iPhone to have a cracked screen.  The little Nokia that I have isn’t much but it’s lasted more than 2 years and isn’t showing any wear despite being dropped more times than I care to count.  Remember that if you’re all dressed up in skate gear, you’re desperately limited on what you can carry.  It’s hot, you need to carry at least two water bottles, car keys, wallet, power bars and much much more.  An iPhone may be thin but it just would not survive next to all that necessary “crap” for long.  I’m an Elite Inline Skater, but even I fall from time to time.  Small and tough is best.  If I could find a MilSpec phone that is built for heavy duty I’d probably jump on that if I could justify the cost.

I do have a pair of old iPhones.   The environment is interesting, but the hardware is fragile.  So I use it to listen to web radio on the wifi network here, as well as use the messaging client to text to one or two very specific people.  After all, it’s now on my terms.   My Terms mean Texting is Not An Always Thing.  It isn’t “Mission Critical”.  I don’t want to be meeting with someone and have a BONG! go off and be compelled to break concentration to answer a “Whatcha Doin” text from someone who isn’t there.  

Gawd I’m on that again.  Needless to say, the iPhone stays home.

So for $8 a month minus my $5 discount for a net of $3 I can get web access on the next phone.   Or not.  Don’t know.  I really do need small, light and tough more than glowy, fancy and web enabled.

But we will look into all of that next week.   I’ll be having a chat with that friendly person on the T-Mobile customer care line about upgrading and so forth after I have a chance to look it all over.

After all, my old school dumb phone is still working and will continue working for a couple more years.

Oh and those texts?  They’re repeated below in all their glory.  These are sleazy companies that would do this sort of thing.  After all 9.99 can’t be worth what ever service they are providing per month. 

72407 Ur IQ score is waiting! Reply YES to this message to see how smart u r now! $9.99 per month stop 2end

72407 Repeat above

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A Good Barbecue Table Sauce and an Average Pulled Pork

I was looking for the worlds simplest barbecue sauce recipe.  I found the one below.  It actually isn’t bad, it’s got a strong flavor but it is specifically called a “Table Sauce”.  This is the stuff you see in a squeeze bottle that you pour over your barbecue in a restaurant or a picnic table.  This isn’t the stuff you put in the pot to cook your pulled pork.  It was too watery for that.   To really get the right flavor for your meal, you would want to use 1/2 of this sauce in the crock pot, and reduce the rest of the sauce to a “catsup like consistency”. 

I wanted no cook, I got no cook.  It didn’t mean that it would be right to put 4 pounds of pork in a crock pot, add the sauce below, and walk away.   That’s what I did.   The pork was… acceptable but wasn’t exceptional.  

Then again, it’s an Emeril Recipe.  I’ve found Emeril’s recipes to be “Not For Me”.  Either too spicy or too salty or like this not quite right for what I was doing.  That’s my mistake.  The recipe I have below I will save, but I will also remember to keep it on the table, not on the pork.

Here’s the sauce:

Barbecue Sauce:

    1 cup apple cider vinegar
    1 cup ketchup
    3 tablespoons packed dark brown sugar
    1 tablespoon yellow mustard
    1 tablespoon molasses
    1 teaspoon salt
    1/2 teaspoon dried crushed red pepper

In a bowl, combine all the ingredients and whisk well to dissolve the sugar. Place in a squeeze bottle and dress the pulled pork sandwiches to taste.

Notice the last sentence?  Dress the sandwiches to taste?  I didn’t do that.  My Fault, and I will Eat My Mistake.   After all it came out “acceptable”.

You can see the pot before I pressed go.  So beautiful and so much promise.  First of all, add 4 pounds of Pork to your crock pot.  I sliced it down the middle just to make it more manageable.  I added the sauce which in reality was twice as much as I needed for the actual cooking.  Then I covered it all up and allowed it to marinade overnight.  No real reason, just my preference.

The next morning, 6AM to be exact, I put the crock in the heater and pressed Low and 10 Hours on the crock pot.

I would say that was about 2 hours too long.  It is my first time cooking a batch of Pulled Pork this way.  Remember, cooking in one of those crock pots is supposed to be fool proof, but this fool got in the way. 

A strong hint is to put the meat in the pot, then starting around hour 4, flip it every half hour or so and test the temperature and texture.  160F seems to be the happy temperature for pork, you may want to research it since lately I’ve seen as low as 140F for a roast or chops.

I did have this last night for dinner.  It went well with my home made rolls.  Definitely worth the effort but technique is what got in the way.  Hey, I’m not a professional chef, but I could play one on TV!

Remember, Table Sauce for the table, you will want something a bit thicker for the crock pot since the meats will cook in their own juices.

For the vegetarians in my family like my Godmother up in Wellington, I’d be interested in trying this with some Tofu and vegetables.  It would make an interesting Vegetarian stew.