This is a picture of the Nations First Permanent Pride Flag installation, or so I have been told.  It stands on Wilton Drive, across from City Hall, in Jaycee Park. Taken June 14, 2016 at around 2 in the afternoon.

About a week after it was installed, the murders happened in Orlando at The Pulse bar.  Now the flag is at half staff along with all the other flags that were seen on Wilton Drive.

It was described by John Oliver as The Most Florida Thing That Could Ever Be.  A Latino night at a gay bar in the theme park capitol of the world.

Or very close to that.

It was a closeted man, hyper religious, and hyper authoritarian.  He had a profile on a gay dating app called Grindr.  Whether he used it to date or to look for victims, we don’t know yet.

 

Probably both I would expect.

 

We do know he basically hated everyone, according to what his boss said in the interview that I saw.

I will not Pray For Orlando.  It was religion and prayer that got us to where we are.  Had this murderer been following a Religion of Peace, he would not have killed.  His own personal version of the particular religion that he did follow was a twisted relic of evil once his hateful mind got through with it.

I will leave it up to you to judge.  I simply will never support someone elected to office who supports the possession of those sorts of weapons.  They are designed to tenderize their victims and turn them into hamburger before the victim hits the ground.  They are designed to kill people more effectively.  They have no place in this world.

It is long past time to act.  If Sandy Hook and 20 children dying there, and Columbine’s massacre weren’t I doubt this will be acted on either.  It probably is too profitable for the paid off class of people to want to anger the NRA.

Enough praying.  Time to pass some meaningful gun control laws in this country and where ever else needed.  If the laws are there already, why aren’t you people enforcing them?

Lead, Follow, or Get Out Of The Way.

A Blonde Asks For A Loan

I have to admit, I like this one.  It isn’t your usual “Blonde Joke”.

 

 

A blonde woman walks into a bank in NYC before going on vacation and asks for a $5,000 loan.

The banker asks, “Okay, miss, is there anything you would like to use as collateral?”

The woman says, “Yes, of course. I’ll use my Rolls Royce.”

The banker, stunned, asks, “A $250,000 Rolls Royce? Really?”

The woman is completely positive. She hands over the keys, as the bankers and loan officers laugh at her. They check her credentials, make sure she is the title owner. Everything checks out. They park it in their underground garage for two weeks.

When she comes back, she pays off the $5,000 loan as well as the $15.41 interest.

The loan officer says, “Miss, we are very appreciative of your business with us, but I have one question. We looked you up and found out that you are a multi-millionaire. Why would you want to borrow $5,000?”

The woman replies, “Where else in New York City can I park my car for two weeks for only $15.41 and expect it to be there when I return?”

A Woman Awakes In The Middle Of The Night

A Woman awakes in the middle of the night and finds her husband is not in bed.

She puts on her robe and goes downstairs to look for him.

She finds him sitting at the kitchen table with a cup of hot cocoa in front of him.

He appears to be in deep thought, just staring at the wall.

She watches as he wipes away a tear from his eye. “What’s the matter, dear?” she whispers as she steps into the room…. “Why are you down here at this time of night!?”

The husband looks up from his drink, “It’s the 20th Anniversary of the day we met.” She can’t believe he has remembered and starts to tear up. The husband continues, “Do you remember 20 years ago when we started dating? I was 18 and you were only 15,” he said solemnly.

Once again, the wife is touched to tears thinking that her husband is so caring and sensitive. “Yes, I do” she replies. The husband pauses……. The words were not coming easily. “Do you remember when your father caught us in the back seat of my car?”

“Yes, I remember” said the wife, lowering herself into a chair beside him.

The husband continued. “Do you remember when he shoved the shotgun in my face and said, Either you marry my daughter or I will make sure you spend the next 20 years in prison?”

“I remember that, too” she replied softly… He sighed as he wiped another tear away from his cheek and said, “I would have gotten out today.”

Banana Leaves In The Morning Sun and a Ground Water Shower

I have a routine around here.

Once I’ve gotten back into the house after a 45 minute dog walk in the morning, I put coffee together.  It’s after the dog has been fed, he gets food first simply because he’s a painfully slow eater and I end up tapping the food bowl to keep him focused.

He is smaller than he would normally be because food is such a low priority.  That means that I end up being his hunger signal, twice a day.  The old school “take the bowl away if he doesn’t eat” doesn’t work and is merely cruel, he would simply stop eating out of fear and acceptance of “This is how it is”.

But once the food is in him and I have had my coffee, it still is a while to sunrise.

At 7AM, the irrigation system kicks in for a half hour.

“Rack!  Want to go out back?”

Did I even need to ask?  He’s standing at the door nodding his head “Yes!” like I’m a fool that should get out of his way.

Yes, I do have a dog who knows how to say “Yes”.  He’s a McNab.  If you can’t train a McNab you don’t deserve to have a dog.

This is the low flow drip feed irrigation that is a maintenance chore.  Every day I have to go out and inspect the hoses and feeds to make sure that all the plants are getting water.  If I see water dribbling out of the individual head, I’m moving to the next one.  If you don’t blow out the lines frequently things clog.  If you do, you are treated to a slug of mud that collects in the most distant part of the system like where my flowers are growing.

Lines the thickness of over cooked spaghetti made of black plastic, sliding onto compression fittings pierced into larger black plastic water lines.  It all ties into a thicker PVC Pipe somewhere that hooks into the valve that is computer controlled.

It isn’t what I would call complex, just involved and fiddly.

Why “Fiddly”?  Because plastic is something that changes in the environment.  It eventually dries out due to UV Light exposure and will crack because of that and the pressure changes that happen during the day when the lines are “charged”.

That was where I got in trouble.

I noticed the spray out of the connector at one of the orchids that is growing into the wood on the fence.

Saying to Rack “I’ll get back to that”, I walked into the yard.  Rack was at my feet because he was herding me to convince me to go inside.  There must have been a trash can lid slammed somewhere in Downtown Fort Lauderdale, two miles away, and he heard it.

“Deal, dog, you need the exposure to noises” and the FEC train was coming up from Miami.  You can hear the whistle a couple miles off and it brings the people up North the Brazilian Oranges they think they are getting from Florida.

Yes, they are coming from Florida.

No, they aren’t all grown here.  That is why you can get orange juice in October.

I make a round of the yard.

 

My Bamboo cuttings are coming in, I will have five plants back by the fence in the utility easement.

 

The Poinsettia is growing so well that last year’s red leaves are covered completely and it is about hip high.

 

My Podocarpus cuttings are doing well, there is bright green growth on the tips.

…And then I spotted the Banana.  I have one original pot, and two cuttings I am getting going for no good reason.  I have nowhere to put them but I like saying that I can grow the things.  But I was standing on the West side of the plant that moment.  The sun had just cleared the tree line and the fences to the East.  The irrigation and the morning dew had done their thing as well, leaving large drops of mist on the surface of the leaves.

This has to be why I grow the stuff.  Gardening.  The light refracting off of hundreds of beads of water causing rainbows and sparkles in the morning.

 

Looking at and marveling at the improbability of it all, I realized it was time to fix that one line.  The rest of the irrigation was running perfectly, which is a rarity.  Usually something somewhere has clogged on a daily basis.

 

In order to have irrigation lines that crack, clog, and spray, first you have to invent the universe.  (Apologies to Carl Sagan)

I walked to the wet wall, slowing my pace on the slick wood deck.  Reaching through the spikes of the bougainvillea that scratched my arm bloody, I just touched the connector.  It was at that point where I was immediately standing under the Niagara Falls.

The pressure was so high that it sent a stream of ground water up over my head.  Luckily for me it missed me until it hit the roof.  The backsplash was as intense as my shower head in the bathroom.  The water was now running down my head, into my eyes, and on the shirt.  Down the roof it dripped under the Lanai roof and onto the kitchen window.

“Damnit, I just cleaned that thing!”  It was a solid 20 feet from where I was standing, a good room away.

I reached over, clipped off the end of the water line, jammed it back onto the connector and the deluge stopped.

“All I needed was soap and I could have had a shower!” I mused

Rack looked at me as if to say “Am I safe?  Can we go in?  Are you through playing with the water yet?”

“Yes, soon, yes” would have been my answers.

Mom said don’t play with the water.  This is my way to do that.  I just would prefer not to do it every single morning.  Even if it does get me up looking at the beauty that can be found in just about any suburban back yard.

The Man Who Loved Tractors

There once was a man who loved tractors, I mean he absolutely LOVED them.

He had tractor models, tractor wallpaper, remote control miniature tractors, tractor board games, even some tractor porn(which is not easy to find mind you).

The only thing that even came close to his love for tractors, was the love he felt for his wife. His high school sweetheart, who didn’t mind his infatuation with tractors one bit. She didn’t even mind the role play where she would dress as a tractor, he would dress as a farmer, and he would take her for a “ride”.

Sadly his wife was struck one day, a tractor fell off the back of a transport truck. She didn’t die until he was at her side in the hospital. Her dying words “don’t blame the tractor honey” and with that she headed to the big farm in the sky.

Sadly, he did blame the tractor, he hated them now with all his mind, body, and soul. He went home and destroyed ALL his tractor related items, the toys, his wifes tractor suit, and even his collection of tractor porn.

He put it all in a pile and burned it in the yard.

What ever didn’t burn enough to his liking was thrown into a woodchipper.

 

He then went inside, rarely leaving his home, for 8 years. Finally on the 8th anniversary of his darling wifes death he decided it was time to get back out in the dating world, plus the cute cashier at the grocery store had been asking him out for a while now, he called her out to dinner.

 

The restaurant he choose ended up being quite nice, good food, good service, great decor. But there was one problem, it was EXTREMELY smoky. So smoky that his date, being an asthmatic, was having some trouble breathing.

 

After noticing her displeasure, and trouble breathing, he started breathing in. I mean REALLY breathing in. Inhaling with such force that all the smoke quickly left the dining room, and went into his lungs. When the room was void of smoke he stepped outside and released it all into the night.

 

When he rejoined his date she asked “how on earth did you do that?” to which he replied, “I’m an extractor fan.”

Once Upon A Time, There were Three Kingdoms All Bordering a Single Lake

For centuries, these kingdoms had fought over an island in the middle of that lake.

One day, they decided to have it out, once and for all.

The first kingdom was quite rich, and sent an army of 25 knights, each with three squires.The night before the battle, the knights jousted and cavorted as their squires polished armor, cooked food, and sharpened weapons.

The second kingdom was not so wealthy, and sent only 10 knights, each with 2 squires. The night before the battle, the knights cavorted and sharpened their weapons as the squires polished armor and prepared dinner.

The third kingdom was very poor, and only sent one elderly knight with his sole squire. The night before the battle, the knight sharpened his weapon, while the squire, using a looped rope, slung a pot high over the fire to cook while he prepared the knight’s armor.

The next day, the battle began. All the knights of the first two kingdoms had cavorted a bit too much (one should never cavort while sharpening weapons and jousting) and could not fight. The squire of the third kingdom could not rouse the elderly knight in time for combat.

So, in the absence of the knights, the squires fought. The battle raged well into the late hours, but when the dust finally settled, a solitary figure limped from the carnage. The lone squire from the third kingdom dragged himself away, beaten, bloodied, but victorious.

And it just goes to prove, the squire of the high pot and noose is equal to the sum of the squires of the other two sides.

Rack, You Don’t Get Your Ice Cube Until The Second Mug Of Coffee

The deal with a McNab Dog is that if you can’t train one, you can’t train a dog.

They’re “Gentle Souls”, terrible picks for hunting dogs.  I’ve been told that about mine, and I have seen it born out on the McNab boards on Facebook and other places.  I may be wrong, but Rack being my second one, I don’t think so.

Don’t raise your voice, Don’t yell, don’t… you get the picture.  They like things fairly calm.

Think Border Collies that can Relax.  Mine is curled up in the corner next to me.  Flattened out like a pancake, yipping and running in his sleep like he does almost every day.  All the fun and none of the twitchiness you see in other smart breeds.

They watch what you do.  Intently.  If I get up and go to use the bathroom, he will walk over to the door and sit outside of it until he hears that I am finished.  I’ll hear his tags chime as he walks away.

If he could speak, he would be saying “Just checking in on you, Dad”.

While he never quite got the “Show Me” behavior, he does have my routine down.  Show Me was where I would tell my old girl Lettie to show me what she wanted and she would go there and point at it with her snout.  It wasn’t always food or water either.  Once I had something on my shoe and it bothered her so she made sure that I knew it before I went into the house.
A real Dog Of A Life Time.  Rack has big shoes to fill and he’s doing pretty well to fill them at that.

Things have an order to him.  He’s like a Business Analyst.  There is a process to things. Everything must be done in a certain way and at a certain time.  He has learned not to bark at the UPS Truck loudly.  Loud is reserved for people at the door.  He has a quiet “woof” to do the truck just to let me know.

We have our routine.  He waters the sign post near the house while I look up and stare at Mars near the Moon, or the clouds on the horizon over the Ocean in the predawn hours.  We have our route of about a mile and a half in the morning, and he holds me to it.  Every turn is mapped out and I have no doubt he could make it home on his own as long as he doesn’t get spooked by the evil 50 Bus or a Diesel powered Cube Truck.

We come home, he gets fed, I get fed, I get online for my routine while sipping coffee.

I have told him that he doesn’t get an ice cube then so he wanders off and goes off duty for a while.  Herding Dogs need a job.  If they don’t have one, they will make one for themselves.  Ranchers out west know this, and I certainly have become my own dog’s job.

Later it is time for breakfast.  The sun has long since come up, we’ve gone out back and done a perimeter search and examined the Zone 3 Drip Feed Irrigation that is overwatering my plants.

I get all the ingredients out and make whatever it is that I choose to have, and this always varies.

Rack has not shown up yet to beg.  I’ve been in the refrigerator, the freezer, boiled water, poured cereal. He may have walked through, glanced up to see what I am doing, but it is more of a “Hi, I’m Here, I’m Doing My Job, I’ll be back when you need me” thing.

Coffee is a ritual.  Boiling water hits 21 grams of espresso grind coffee beans.  If I roast them and they’re not commercial coffee, it’s always a Medium Light roast.  Three packets Sweet N Low, two and a half measured teaspoons of creamer.

Yes.  Two and a Half.  Not Three.

I have a 22 ounce French Press coffee mug, steep the grounds for five minutes.  I have added about 16 ounces of water, maybe less – it is a By Eye measurement.  Then I finish off the coffee.

Here is where I get Rack’s attention.

Borrowed from Facebook

Open the freezer door.  I reach for the first ice cube and there is the chiming of the dog tags.  I get six cubes – five for me, one for Rack.

I try to be slick but we both know that won’t work.

I start adding the cubes to the coffee to bring the temperature and levels to where I can just drink it and:

“Hi Rack, What do you want?”

Twin brown eyes staring intensely at my hands give away his desires.

I hand over the prize.  He gets his ice cube of the day.  Happy place for a dog to be.

As he walks away I say with a smile “Boy, you have a cushy life here!”.

He rounds the corner with a quick wag of the tail and goes back to crunching the cubes.

I swear this dog speaks English.