Happy Birthday Pat

Hey, Happy Birthday!

No, I didn’t tell anyone which one this is.

Yep, sure is, welcome to the dark side.

Hey, there are a couple of those Dark Side birthdays, right?

What’s that?  Going out tonight for a special dinner?

Hope so, no everything’s pretty much the same here.

Where’s he taking you again?

Never been, but I’ve been away for a while.

It must have opened before I left.

It sounds real nice, I know how you like that kind of restaurant.

Yep, six years.

Was just looking back at some of those old pics. 

If I find some I’ll scan them and send you the cleaned up versions, but you have more of those than I do here.

Not too many made it here in the big move.

Nope, newest one of him was when he was 16.  I still have that pic in the frame you gave me all those years ago.  Mom’s pic and Aunt Betty too. 

Glad to hear he’s OK too.

No, Betty’s pic was one she sent all of us in that little frame.

Yes,  I know you’re a Jersey Girl.

Well maybe some day you’ll come down for a visit.  We have the room.  It would be tight but just like old times.

Sure you will, you never liked all that ice either.  Snow can be pretty but ice?  Yuck.

Yeah I know, got over it.  Like we say “In my drink, not on my lawn”.

Ok, good to hear from you too.  Glad all’s well up there.  Don’t be a stranger!

The Jamaican Lawyer – Humor

 I’m not quite sure why this would be specifically a “Jamaican Lawyer”, but in the joke’s defence, I can certainly see every Jamaican I’ve ever known using this kind of logic.


So stir up some Callaloo and serve it with some Jerked Chicken, here’s a little joke for you!

The Jamaican Lawyer

A Jamaican-born lawyer defending a man in New York accused of burglary tried this creative defense:

“My client merely inserted his arm into the window and removed a few trifling articles. His arm is not himself, and I fail to see how you can punish the whole individual for an offence committed by his limb.”

“Well put,” the judge replied. “Using your logic, I sentence the defendant’s arm to 5 year’s imprisonment. He can accompany it or not, as he chooses.”

The defendant smiled.

With his lawyer’s assistance he detached his artificial limb, laid it on the bench, and walked out.

…Don’t mess with a Jamaican!

Alligators in the Pool For a Party? Only In Florida!

I guess this has to be called “Weird Florida”.

I grew up hearing how weird New Jersey was, but frankly it’s pretty normal.  There were some amazingly beautiful areas once you got away from the inner ring suburbs of New York, and Philly.  We did have the Jersey Devil, some folks thought I was him, but no.

Here in Florida we’ve got some really strange critters.   People seem to feel they need to have exotic creatures around them that don’t belong here.  Dogs and Cats don’t exactly fit in our ecosystem either but we tend to make an exception.

Then there are those who thought it would be a good idea to keep an iguana in the house.  Eventually they escape and now you have them running around eating Bougainvilleas bare.  Apparently to an Iguana, Bougainvillea are addictive.  Iguana Crack.  I find them in the pool when they start to breed beyond a certain level and frankly now that they’re back I’m looking forward to a good strong cold snap.

But those aren’t natives, and they don’t belong in my pool.

There’s always someone who will try to tame the un-tameable.  Those folks I just keep a healthy distance from.  You never know when something like that will bite.  

Like a gator.  You know, Alligator.   There’s a guy over in John’s Pass on the west side of the state who rents one of them out.  Apparently, the creature is tame enough to swim in the pool, intentionally.  With your nine year old daughter.

I wonder if he wants an iguana or twelve?

So the gator is tame enough to swim with the kids in the pool, with its mouth taped shut of course.  It supposedly likes it too.   I know my own dog doesn’t like the pool but there are some that do, so I can accept that.

I guess this is one of those Shrug And Move On things for me.  While it isn’t exactly natural for a gator to chose a swimming pool instead of a nice warm swamp, it easily has a way of letting you know if it doesn’t like it.  (SNAP!) 

See… a gator in a pool… It really happened.

If you would like to read more, Bay News 9 has the whole article and more pictures like the one above.  I’m just going to wander off, scratch my head in mild amusement, and make more coffee.

Since the state Wildlife Commission is looking into this, they’ll determine if cruelty is happening to the gator.  As for me, I’m willing to let that go its course.

The 6AM Gecko Hunt

We were out for a walk that morning.  The sun hadn’t yet risen completely and the morning clouds were lit a brilliant red from below. 

I was standing at the foot of the drive looking at the spectacle when I began to be pulled toward the front door by Mrs Dog.  Half asleep, not having had the first of my coffee, I was surprised at her insistence.  Something was amiss and we had to get to that front porch and do it quickly.

By the time I had rounded the car and navigated past the planter, I saw a dark flash retreat as the lighting came up to full.  I wasn’t quite sure what little critter was hiding in the door jamb but I had my suspicions.

Mrs Dog knew right off the bat, it was her old archenemy, the Gecko.

I pulled out my flashlight and focused the beam to the broadest setting.  That meant that instead of it being a pin spot, the equivalent of a 75 watt light bulb was spread broad so it wouldn’t completely blind the creatures of the night.

Spotting the tail of the little pink lizard hanging over the top of the door, I knew that I would have to try to convince it to move or else there’d be another inhabitant of the living room today.

Stepping back to the garden, I found a leaf that had fallen from the screw palm and used it to tickle the Gecko.   It didn’t work.   They’re very shy creatures and they usually try to hide.  I’ve had them try to hide on my legs and head up into my shorts before so I do know what I’m talking about.

Thankfully they’re more amusing than anything else.  No teeth so even if you do find a particularly cantankerous lizard, it’s harmless.  I’m told little girls will get them to bite their earlobes sometimes to have Gecko Earrings, but I have never seen that first hand.

Without trying to harm this little pink creature, I knew that I would either have to be more aggressive with my Screw Palm Leaf Weapon, or just open the door and hope that when it’s deciding to move, it’s going to move out and not in.

Fifty Fifty Shot, right?

At this point things began to happen quickly.

The door opened slightly. 

The dog had never lost sight of where the creature was. 
She may be old, have dodgy kidneys, and a weak thyroid, but her eyes are perfect.

Hearing the bark was the first thing that told me that the Gecko had moved.  

Feeling it hit my forearm first, I began to recoil slightly, being startled.

The Gecko didn’t like that and bounced onto the door.

Now, the dog was jumping at the door as the little translucent creature was running away.   Right into the door jamb.  This time it was behind the hinges.   It’s little pink brain furiously looking for an escape from the insistent dog and the curious human, it ran to the highest hinge. 

I could have closed the door and been done with the predawn drama, but that would be needlessly cruel. Besides, these creatures give me an enormous amount of entertainment simply by their being around.

I bent down to unlatch the dog from her harness, and gestured for her to go indoors.   She did but that merely gave her a view of the gecko in the morning gloom.


Shaddap Dog you’ll wake the neighbors!

Wielding the almost forgotten Screw Palm leaf, I tickled the gecko again.  It had the common sense to run away from the leaf and around the door to the outside.  Blocking the dog who was trying to get a purchase on the floor and looking like Wile E Coyote, Super Genius, I quickly shut the door.

Drama averted, nobody harmed except the dog who finally collided with the door with a soft thump.

Time for Coffee everyone, nothing to see here, lets move on!

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So, how did you start YOUR day?

What did you do with your old Smartphone

After reading this article on Lifehacker, I was left smiling.

So very much bile and grief.

Ok, so you have a smartphone.  It’s older than your contract.  Get it unlocked.   You can even do that with your AT&T Phones.  Mostly, anyway.  There are some phones that are simply hardwired to be with the company you got it from.

My being the king of electronic repurposing, there area a lot of uses that you can get out of the little beasts.

You will want to remove the SIM.   That’s the little chip that tells the phone to talk to the cell towers.  If you managed to get it unlocked, you still can use it for “Old Times Sake” or just give/sell/pass it on to someone else.  But that SIM is required in the new phone to make it work like a phone.

Some of the things I use my hand-me-down smartphones for are:

One of them is unlocked.   I use it when my “real” phone is dead.  Swap in my SIM and now I’m back on the air.  You can even use it when you’re in a bad neighborhood so you don’t lose the “good phone”.

Load it up like an iPod and walk around listening to the same tracks over and over because I can’t stand having iTunes on my laptop phoning home every couple hours.   At least that is easier to deal with on Android.  Fewer programs to “manage” my music preferences.

Download a copy of Magic Jack for emergencies.  You can make free phone calls in the US using your Wifi and this software.

I keep one on the nightstand for when I wake up.  Since the “regular” phone is on charge, I turn this thing on and use it to check up on Radar/Weather/News/etc. 

Internet Radio is great when you have a wifi-only no-longer phone smartphone.  I use a program called TuneIn and can listen to all those streams or radio stations from outside of the house when I’m tired and want something new.

No, this isn’t earth shattering news.  But it is better than tossing it in a drawer and then in the trash in a few months.  May as well use the thing, after all you paid for it, and really you paid quite a lot for it.

Lettie’s Burgers

When it comes to hamburgers, I have a simple recipe:

Meat, Heat, and Eat.

I don’t want salt.  Never really cared for it.
Keep your pepper.  Jalapenos are an obscenity.
Cheese belongs ON the burger, not IN it.
Same with Onions.

On the other hand, I’ve found that since my dog, Lettie, has been diagnosed with Chronic Renal Failure, I have to be flexible with what I feed her.

We tried the Boiled Burger Meat with Rice.   She ignored it.
We tried Pan Fried Burgers and Grilled Burgers.  She liked those, but they were too high in protein to do more than 4 ounces a day.
The Vet suggested Tofu.  She hated that and bared her teeth at it.

So I started playing with recipes and even found a way that I could use the Tofu and not have it change the taste.  If you’re looking for a way to experiment with Tofu, this is a good start.

Here is what I came up with:

2 Pounds  Burger Meat.  I used 75% lean, AKA Don’t Eat This At Home.
1/2 Cup Bread Crumbs
1/2 pound firm Tofu
2 Whole Eggs

Place Burger Meat in large mixing bowl.
Crack two eggs over top of the Burger Meat.
Crumble tofu over top of the Burger Meat.
Mix all ingredients together well.
Add Bread Crumbs to meat and mix together well.

The Bread Crumbs should be added separately after the other ingredients are evenly mixed.   They will help to soak up some of the extra moisture from the Tofu.

These burgers will grill well, the texture will be lighter than a “plain burger” with no additives.  Any burger’s texture will vary based on the amount of additives and moisture that are in the mix, so make sure that you watch over them while cooking. 

I grilled mine on a propane grill that was turned to the maximum setting and got the results you see below.  2 Ounce Burgers… with two 4 Ounce Burgers for me later.

Clear your Sinuses in 20 Seconds

Ok, this is a quick and dirty one.  I read about this trick over the weekend and just tried it.  Frankly it’s one of those things that I don’t need here in Florida since I’m only 2 miles from the ocean and the breezes keep the nasties away.  I wish I knew about this when I lived in New Jersey and everyone else’s pollution kept floating overhead.

1)  Take your finger.  Any finger.  Place it between your eyebrows and press for 20 seconds.

2) Press your tongue flat against the roof of your mouth at the same time.

3) Within 20 seconds you should feel your sinuses at least start to clear.

4) Repeat as needed.

I tried it this morning and… excuse me, I’ll be needing a tissue in a bit.

If you want to see the write up on it in Reddit, check out this link.