I’d be a millionaire.. if I wasn’t so badly paid.

As a Consultant, this is the sort of thing that you have to be very careful to watch out for – The Law Of Unintended Consequences.

 

The Consultant

A timeless lesson on how Consultants can make a difference.

Last week, we took some friends out to a new restaurant, and noticed that the waiter who took our order carried a spoon in his shirt pocket. It seemed a little strange. When the busboy brought our water and utensils, I noticed he also had a spoon in his shirt pocket. Then I looked around saw that all the staff had spoons in their pockets.

When the waiter came back to serve our soup I asked, “Why the spoon?” Well,” he explained, “the restaurant’s owners hired Kurt Salmon Associates to revamp all our processes. After several months of analysis, they concluded that the spoon is the most frequently dropped utensil. It represents a drop frequency of approximately 3 spoons per table per hour. If our personnel are better prepared, we can reduce the number of trips back to the kitchen and save 15 man-hours per shift.”

As luck would have it, I dropped my spoon and he was able to replace it with his spare. “I’ll get another spoon next time I go to the kitchen instead of making an extra trip to get it right now.” I was impressed.

I also noticed that there was a string hanging out of the waiter’s fly. Looking around, I noticed that all the waiters had the same string hanging from their flies. So before he walked off, I asked the waiter, “Excuse me, but can you tell me why you have that string right there?”

“Oh, certainly!” Then he lowered his voice. “Not everyone is so observant. That consulting firm I mentioned also found out that we can save time in the restroom. By tying this string to the tip of you know what, we can pull it out without touching it and eliminate the need to wash our hands, shortening the time spent in the restroom by 76.39%.”

“After you get it out, how do you put it back?”

Well,” he whispered, “I don’t know about the others, but I use the spoon.”

Did you hear about the invention of the wheel? They say it started a revolution.

I’m betting that my friends in England will enjoy this.

To the rest of my European readers… Sorry!

 

A German, an Italian, a Frenchman and an Englishman are having a philosophical debate.

The question arises: What separates man from the animals?

“Technology,” says the German. “Other creatures have tools, yet none can match the heights of engineering we have accomplished. It is our industry that separates us from the beasts.”

“I disagree,” announces the Italian. “It is our food. The creatures of the wild eat, but they do not cook. Humans on the other hand, create amazing dishes and new combination that make eating a most enjoyable experience.”

“I say it’s art,” decides the Frenchman. “No other being can create art. From our earliest days we have painted, and now we sculpt, write and compose as well. The wild animals cannot ever know what it is like to cry over a beautiful piece of art.”

All three now look towards the Englishman, expecting his answer. He takes a long sip of tea before answering.

“The Channel.”

 

Wag Right For Yes, Left For Maybe Not, or How I Talk To My Dog In The Predawn Hours

There was this BBC Article that made a splash a while back.  It said that dogs are like people, their brains are wired with a preference to sides.  Left Hand and Right Hand.

There’s a difference.

With dogs, it’s Right Hand is Pleasing, Left Hand is Unsure.

Human says nice things to me and I understand so my tail wags towards the right.

Human says something I don’t like or don’t understand, I’ll wag my tail towards the left because my human is great.

Or something approaching that.

But hey, we can work with that, right, Rack?

Rack being my McNab SuperDog(TM).

The first walk of the day can be as much as two and a half hours before dawn here.  Sometimes I am even awake at that ludicrous hour.  Four-Stupid-Go-Back-To-Bed-O’Clock-You-Moron is what my watch can say.  I almost never sleep in until sunrise.

It seems that the stupid is strong in my head at that time because I tend to talk with Rack at that hour more than I do when it’s a little later.

I may not be as lucid as I would normally be later on in the day, but this works.

I go on about our circuit of the city, walking around in a big loop and I’m muttering along.  Why not, the only person awake at that hour is my dog, and perhaps the cleaning crew in the stores and bars here.

Nobody seems to mind.

I do have to be careful when I’m talking and telling jokes and generally muttering along because Rack listens.

Having read that article while trying to clear out my folder of web links, I will say that this time, it stuck in mind.

Rack is one of the happiest dogs out there that I have ever met.  He’s constantly wagging his tail.  If your dog, whether a herding dog or not, does not have a tail, you are missing something.

We’d be walking along and I’d ask him what he sees.  Sometimes I know already, its’ that cute Border Collie “teen” girl down the way. He’ll wag right because he really likes her even if he’s now a full adult and she isn’t quite.

Other times, I ask, and he isn’t sure, so he wags left.

He heard someone talking and recognized the voice, but heard some banging as well, so it started wag right then left.

There are some incredibly badly trained dogs around here.  He’s now learned how to spot them.  Some are seen every day or so and he knows them by scent.  After all, Dogs are primarily led by their noses.  If he catches that scent or hears their bark, the tail wag stops completely.

Just this morning, an hour and a half before dawn since I slept in a bit, I said “when we get home, we’re going to open up some of that new food.  You like that new food, don’t you?”

Well at this point I knew he was listening.  He looked back and did that dog-smile with mouth agape and wagged strongly to the right.

Trust in Dog, they know what they want.

I am sure it won’t work for everyone.  Some people just never figured out a strong bond with their dogs.  Other dogs are just too happy for words and you can’t really convince them to say “no” to anything.  Not us, he knows.

Last night I wanted a late snacek.  A piece of cheese off that block of Jarlsberg that I use in my Mac and Cheese.  It tastes like Swiss and has a strong scent to it.

Rack was laying down and asleep.  I had carved off three slices of the cheese and sat down in the chair.

About mid way through the first slice, he stood up.  Deciding to come over, he wanted some but was definitely not sure whether he should beg for it.  After all we have a no begging policy here that is unevenly enforced.

Wag left.  Wag strongly left.

Definitely unsure but since I did not chase him off, that shifted to an equal wag, then a decidedly strong wag right.

He had his head wedged between my leg and the arm of the chair.

“Rack what do you want?”

He really wanted that cheese.  Strong wag right.

“You know you should not be begging!”  Wag Left.  Strong wag left.  Walked away practicing Avoidance.

I finished part 1 of 3.  Setting the rest of the cheese on the handrest of the laptop, it was out of sight.  Not that that matters to dogs, mind you.

He walked over to his mat and instead of sitting on it, he sat next to it boring holes through me with twin brown laser beams.  His tail was back to wagging right.

I took a tiny piece of cheese rind and sat it on the arm of the chair.

I had some fool idea that a high value treat like a morsel of Jarlsberg was going to work for training him to stay put.

It was gone in a flash.

“Are you sure you don’t have some Labrador Retriever in you?”

I don’t think he understood that but definite Wag Right behavior there.  He was convinced that he was getting more cheese.

He would be right.  But only when I finished.

I did give him that cheese eventually but this just goes to prove.  If you watch your dog closely, and learn what he is saying to you, you may be able to have a conversation with them.

You just have to listen.

 Wag Right!

What do you call 100 rabbits walking backwards? A receding hare line.

This “hole” one came out of left field. Or rather, it ended up that way because I wasn’t expecting the ending on it at all.

 
A man is walking in the forest and finds a GIANT hole in the ground…

Wanting to see how deep it is, he finds a small stone and throws it in

He listens for it to land but doesn’t hear anything…

“Geez that’s deep” he thinks, and begins looking for for an even bigger stone to try with

He finds a good sized boulder and tosses it in..

Once again, he doesn’t hear anything

Dumbstruck he looks around and finally he finds this huge log which he manages to lug over and push in

While he’s listening for it to land, all of the sudden, this goat comes running like a bat out of hell and runs right past him and jumps right in the hole!

Shaken, scared, and feeling like he’s in the Twilight Zone, the man runs out of the forest

As he’s walking out, he comes across a farmer..

“Hey, just so you know, there is an absolute abyss in those woods back there” the man tells the farmer

“Never mind that, have you seen a goat by chance?” the farmer asks

“Uhhh, yes, as a matter of fact I did. In fact this goat ran as fast as you would ever imagine and jumped right in that hole I was talking about!!”

“Nah, that couldn’t have been my goat”, says the farmer.

“My goat was tied to a log”

What would a pirate say on his 80th birthday? “Aye matey!”.

Hey?  Wasn’t Talk Like A Pirate Day the other day?  Arrrr!

 

I own a series of vending macines

You know, in parks and stuff, you can get a coke, ginger ale, fanta, etc.

Business was going really well, so well I had to hire a guy to help. Right after I hired him though, sales plummeted.

Trying to figure out why, I went to a few of my machines. The snacks were fine, but the drinks had a weird noise coming from them, like a wailing, crying. It was disconcerting, and I didn’t blame people for not buying.

The next month was terrible. I spent thousands having techs look at the machines, switching out the cans, nothing worked. Sales plummeted more, and I didn’t have any answers.

At the end of my rope I decided to follow my new guy around as he restocked the machines. I found out every machine he would go to, he JAMMED as many cans and bottles as he could in, filling the machines to the brim. I finally found the problem.

When you squeeze coke, fanta and ginger ale in the machines so tight, of course they start crying-

They become soda pressed.

Espresso Brittle in about 10 Minutes

I have always said that if you don’t have a good Ethnic Market near where you live, Move.

When I lived in Philadelphia, I would shop Asian Markets heavily.  Chinese, Japanese, Thai.  That also went for the markets that specialized in Latin Groceries.

Go to the source.

As a result, I have a taste for “weird” candies.  One in particular is a small hard candy that is made in Japan that tastes like coffee.  Not too strong, not too sweet.

Unfortunately, it wasn’t exactly easy to find this in South Florida.  I’ve found a good Asian Market that sells my Japanese Candy, as well as Durian, Porcelain, Kitchen Ware, and of course, my Oolong Tea.  I may have to go to North Miami Beach on NE 163rd street for it, but it’s worth the trip.

What does that have to do with my Espresso Brittle?

This candy tastes exactly like it.

I was making a pot of it, someone “repossessed” it and took it to his office where he reported that “The whole damn office is buzzing on this stuff”.  I have to laugh because the entire batch has about the caffeine of 1/4 cup of coffee.  If you eat an entire batch, it’s less than 1000 calories.  You’ll be sick of it before you put on weight or get buzzed on anything but the sugar.

The trick is that you use either decaf or half caff for the candy.  If you want high test, go for it there really isn’t a lot of coffee in it.  For the recipe you only use 1 tablespoon of the stuff.  One Scoop of grounds – your choice!

Ingredients:

  • 1 Cup (238mL) Granulated Sugar
  • 1 Tablespoon (5 grams by weight) Finely Ground Coffee Grounds (your choice)
  • 2 Tablespoons (1/2 ounce or 14g) of ROOM TEMPERATURE butter
  • 2 Ounces (59mL) water

Prepare Ingredients: 

  • Butter is room temperature and cut down into small pieces.
  • Coffee grounds are fine to espresso grind.
  • Grease a large cookie sheet or line with aluminium foil that has been oiled or greased.

 

Process:

  1. Place 1 cup of sugar into 2 quart/liter or larger sauce pan
  2. Add to sauce pan 2 ounces (59mL) of water and stir until sugar is evenly dissolved.
  3. Turn on heat to medium high.
  4. Continue to stir or slosh the mixture while it comes to a boil.
  5. Cook the mixture until it turns an appropriate tan color.
  6. Add the butter and the coffee grounds quickly and stir the mixture until it is even.
  7. Remove the sauce pan from the heat and pour onto the cookie sheet evenly.
  8. Allow to cool and break apart before serving.

 

Resulting candy, I have found, to be quite thin and shatters into pieces for easy eating but the pieces will be sharp.

Enjoy!

My friend: What Rhymes With Orange? Me: It Doesn’t.

I’m not certain whether I posted this one before so I added a short one at the bottom in case I did!

A guy was on his boat fishing in a pond…

…and caught way over the bag limit. He was heading back to the dock when the game warden stopped him and asked to check what he caught.
The warden opens the fishermen’s cooler and sees that the guy has surpassed his limit by about 20 fish.
The warden tells the man he has too many fish and he is going to cite the fishermen.
The fishermen says “No, you see these are my pet fish. I didn’t catch them I called them to me”.
The warden doesn’t believe the guy, and so the fishermen tells the warden he will show him.
The guy dumps the cooler of fish in the water.

The warden waits a minute and says to the guy “ok now call the fish back”. … “What fish?”

A mugger

Late one night, a mugger wearing a ski mask jumped into the path of a well-dressed man and stuck a gun in his ribs.
“Give me your money,” he demanded.
Indignant, the affluent man replied, “You can’t do this, I’m a United States Congressman!”
“In that case,” replied the mugger, “give me MY money.”

What do you call a failed astronaut? A cosmo-NOT!

The Red Indian chief just died right before the winter, after ruling for 40 years. His son became the new chief.

According to the tradition, to prove his worth as the leader, he has to correctly speculate how cold would be the winter this year.

With his guidance, people will gather right amount of wood for the whole winter season before it starts.

 

So, in the morning, without knowing what to say, the new chief told everybody that there would be somewhat moderate cold this year, so they don’t need a lot of wood.

Everyone from the village went to the forest to chop the trees and gather wood.

However, the new chief became really nervous about what he said. So he sneaked into the nearest town and bought a small radio to get the local weather forecast.

 

That night, tuning the radio, he heard that the weather guy is saying, this year the winter will be cold and asking everyone to get prepared for it.

Hearing this, the new chief decided to gather some more wood, just to be in the safe side.

 

The next day, he gathered everyone and told them to gather some more, as the winter would be colder than he anticipated earlier.

That night, he again turned on the radio and to his dismay, he found out that now the radio is saying this season will be much colder.

 

So, the next day he asked everyone to chop some more. Again, at night he found out with sheer frustration that the radio is saying, this year the temperature would reach the lowest among the last few years.

So, he told his people to get more wood. This time, he found that the radio is saying, this year the temperature would reach such low that it would break any previous record.

 

Hearing this, he went berserk and stormed to the radio office, and asked the weather guy, what is your problem? Why are you changing the forecast every single day?

The weather guy replied, okay, we actually guess the severity of the winter from the amount of wood the Red Indians gather. This year, they started nice and slow and we broadcasted that it would be a moderate winter, then they increased speed and we assumed it would be a little more cold; but now, now they are cutting down the whole forest!

Upgrading Kraft Dinner To Mac and Port Wine Cheese

If you want a TL/DR just skip to the bottom of the article.

This was where my Hurricane Prep, Bulk Shopping, and Training Diet OCD collided.

What came out of it was a truly intriguing recipe.

First, The Hurricane Prep.

Every year we’d get food that is room temp stable.   Add water, and if you are lucky, you have something edible.  Ok, we’re not talking the Cordon Bleu here, but stuff you can eat in a No Electricity And Power Down situation.

We have a grill, we have a burner, and they run off a Propane Bottle.

Therefore I can boil water and grill if I need to.  Fried Sausage and Eggs on the Lanai served with a fine dusting of storm damage!

While our own prep got more elaborate over the years to when Irma hit and we had no electricity for two weeks, I was able to count on Electricity from the generator.  At least enough electricity to power the fridge.  Run it for an hour, power off for three.   We tested that out a year ago.

Second, Who said you have to follow the recipe on the box?

A lot of mixes are excellent on their own.  There’s a specific Sourdough Bread mix that I can’t find anymore that was simply perfect.  Add water, knead, put in pan and bake.  Krusteaz Sourdough Bread Mix.

There are others that are a bit … lacking.

Kraft Mac and Cheese Dinner is one of them.  It’s also known by other names as Kraft Dinner or KD.  It isn’t bad, but it does taste a bit too salty and the Day Glow Orange powder that you add to the meal is kind of flavorless – other than salt.

So I improvised.

My own diet is 600 calories per meal plus 200 calories each meal for dessert.  I am an active and somewhat fit man, and my weight is stable.  The numbers on the box imply, if I am reading it right, that a box packaged as is is 750 Calories.

Add 100 calories for a tablespoon of butter and 30 for 2 ounces of milk, it nets to 880 as prepared.

So I took the KD, added one tablespoon of butter only.  Right there, I am cutting calories off the box.  They say As Prepared, the recipe is 1200 Calories.

Now add back.

I would have to have something else and split the KD in two to make it work with my “training diet”.

I thought that I could increase the calories to 1200 and therefore have two meals.  How to do that?

I had some small sausages and some cheese to a total of 300 calories.

Basically that did tend to grow, and I went “On the high side” when I made it last but I made it incredible.

Third:  The Port Wine Mac and Cheese.

Those wine and cheese parties are usually a red wine paired with the cheese.  If you want Port or Red Wine, you need a sharp cheese.

The Sausage was deleted.

I started adding back.

The last time I made this, I made it with an ounce of Feta, another of Parmesan, and an ounce of Jarlsberg.

The Feta and Parm are sharp.  The Jarlsberg is slightly sharp, and it gives back chewy texture I needed.

Then I added in an ounce of Port Wine.  Specifically some 10 year old aged Tawny Port that was really quite excellent on its own.

If you are counting with me, that’s 1300 calories.  Yeah I slipped by 100 calories.  I’ll keep that in mind for later.

Remember kids: 100 Calories a Day means A Pound Heavier in a Year!

The result?  Oh my that extra 50 calories per serving was worth it!  The meal tasted like a less salty version of the Port Wine spread you get at a better market.

So we will do it again and it was just as good second day.

Now, Presented as a Recipe:

Ingredients at room temp to allow for proper melting in saucepan:

 

1 Box of Kraft Macaroni and Cheese Dinner – or your favorite equivalent.

1 Tablespoon (1/2 ounce or 14g) – Unsalted Butter, room temp.

2 Tablespoons (1 ounce or 30mL) – Port Wine or other Red Wine, room temp.

2 Ounces (56mL) – Milk, room temp.

3 Ounces – Sharp Cheese, Grated or Cubed, room temp.  

Your Choice of Cheeses – I used:

1 ounce Feta Crumbles

1 ounce grated fresh Parmesan

1 ounce Jarlsberg grated or diced finely

Process:

  • Boil your noodles from the package for about 7 minutes or until tender.
  • Drain noodles and return them to the saucepan.
  • Add Butter and allow to begin to melt in the bottom of the pan.
  • Add Cheese Powder Package and stir to mix.
  • Add the three cheeses to the sauce pan and stir to mix.
  • When the Cheeses and the butter have melted, add milk to the pan.
  • Finally, add the Port Wine to the mix and stir until smooth.

What do you call a convoy of trucks hauling cheddar? A cheesy pickup line.

Ok, this one here… it is just an evil joke! I really do need to find some different ones.

 

A bus full of senators and deputies crashed and felled down a cliff.

A man happened to be walking by when the accident took place.

The man immediately started to bury all the senators and deputies involved in the accident.

A few minutes later, the police showed up on site.

Cop: What happened?! Where’s everyone?!

Man: I buried them.

Cop: What?! None of them survived?

Man: Well some of them said they were still alive and stuff like that but you know how politicians are, I didn’t believe them.

 

I can’t just let that one be the only joke today so here’s another evil one for you to cringe at!

 

Proposal

A married couple are out one night at a dance club.
There’s a guy on the dance floor giving it large: break dancing, moon walking, back flips, the works.

The wife turns to her husband and says, “See that guy? Twenty years ago he proposed to me and I turned him down.”
The husband says, “Looks like he’s still celebrating!”