Bougainvillea And Tiny Frogs Tell Me It Is Time To Plant

When I was a child, I had a neighbor, Mrs. Alderfer.

She fascinated me.  Of my own parents generation, she lived differently than we did.  Her own creativity in her own suburban New Jersey lifestyle was evidenced in her garden in the backyard, on the slope to the creek, where she grew things where she could fill the table, make preserves, and entertain herself.

I think she taught me by osmosis.  My own yard is now chock full of containers that I use to grow new plants for my own yard.  Her use of a Cold Frame was something I had noticed every year as she insisted it was time to plant.  The Cold Frame looked like a window that was placed over the soil to warm it, to rush the season.  Plants would go into the ground in South Jersey in Mid-April, and harvest in Late Summer and Fall.

I was out in my yard doing my morning inspection of the drip-feed irrigation system.  My pots were happy and healthy and I had to move the one Coleus plant that insisted on growing and shading my plants in that Nursery Pot.  I staked it upright gently and noticed that I had a bit of work to do.  

Last year’s cuttings were ready to go into the ground.  Those cuttings were showing new growth and flowers.  I was sticking some Bougainvillea cuttings in that pot as well as directly in the soil around this time last year.  The cuttings were blooming on their own.  I have been doing this every year for a number of years.  The arbors in my backyard are getting refilled slowly by this.

The “Happy Little Plants” are growing, and the Nursery Pot was sheltering a couple species of plants that are due to do some replenishing of new hedges and arbors for the future.

If you want to sit under a tree in your old age, plant the tree when you are young.

Living in my nursery pot was a wee little frog who has adopted that spot.  It was a baby tree frog, and is welcome as they are entertaining to watch.  That particular Bougainvillea leaf that it is resting on is has the more rare salmon colored flowers and the mother plant is being turned slowly into mulch by the termites that moved in years ago.  It still flowers but I will be cutting it well back to get more propagation for next year.

Growing plants for your yard is a hopeful task.  You look forward to the future and how many plants you will receive, how many that will “take”, how many that you can enjoy.  Bougainvillea propagates easily, but slowly, as well as the Podocarpus and the Crotons that are so very popular in South Florida.  

If you have one, you can make more.

Since last year’s cuttings are happily blooming, then it is decidedly time to get the ladder out, climb up and get some new cuttings from the green growths, and start next year’s home for wee little frogs.

The circle of life does beckon.  It may be early up North, but here in Tropical-Adjacent South Florida, we are ready.

I have an eclipse joke but it gets kind of dark.

Since it is sunday I thought I might give you a St Peter At The Gate Joke.  Yes, you will get the format, but the twist is at the end.

 Of course Sundays tend to be twisted so there you go!

 A young engaged couple were very much looking forward to their marriage.

One Sunday afternoon they went out for a drive in the country, and had a terrible head-on collision with a heavy truck.

Suddenly they found themselves unexpectedly at heaven’s gates, to the surprise of St Peter also. “How come you two are here?” he asked, “You weren’t due here for another fifty years?”

They explained what they thought had happened, the horror of the oncoming truck on the wrong side of the road. They had been so looking forward to their wedding, to their new home and to married life together. “Would it still be possible,” they asked, “for us still to get married in heaven?”

St Peter was stumped. “Marriage is usually ‘till death us do part’, he explained. Once couples arrive here, they usually don’t want to remain married, but just good friends. There isn’t really marriage in heaven.”

“But we were so looking forward to married life together. Can we not have that opportunity?” they asked.

“Well,” said St Peter, “I’ll have to go and ask the Boss and then find you a priest to perform your wedding. Can you just wait around a bit until I come back?”

So they hung around waiting. An hour went past. Another hour, Several hours. No sign of Peter. Other saints came to see to the queues forming and check in those qualifying. But no Peter. In earth time a day, then a week went past, Finally, after the terrestrial equivalent of a month St Peter returned. “Good news!” he said, “I’ve got permission and it’s all arranged for you!”

But the young couple had been reconsidering. Marriage on earth is usually for 20, 30, 40, 50, 60, at a limit 70 years. To actually remain married for all eternity might be just too long. They might tire of each other. So they both explained this to St Peter and then asked him:

“If we do get married, would it also be possible to get divorced in heaven?”

“Look here,” said Peter, by now exasperated, “It’s taken me a month to find a priest in heaven. How the blazes do you think I’m ever going to find a lawyer?
—-
A man gets stopped by a game warden with his basket full of fish.

Warden: do you have a permit for all these fish?

Man: no sir. These are all my pet fish

Warden: your pet fish? How’s that?

Man: well, every night I take all my pet fish for a walk to the lake, I let them swim for about a half hour, and then I whistle and they all come back and jump in my basket and we go home. We do this every night.

Warden: well that’s just a crock of lies!!

Man: here, I’ll show you… (releases the fish into the lake).

Warden: well this I gotta see!! (5 minutes later…)

Warden: well??

Man: what?

Warden: the fish!! Where’s your pet fish??

Man: what fish??

My neighbor and I are having a land dispute. Well, it’s actually more of a ground beef.

 I am afraid that these two here… well they passed the laugh out loud test.  I guess it is because I didn’t finish my coffee who knows!

A rich couple was going out for the evening.

The lady of the house decided to give the butler, Throckmorton, the night off.

She said they would be home very late and he should just enjoy his evening.

As it turned out, the wife did not have a good time at the party, so she came home early. She walked into the house and eyed Throckmorton sitting alone in the dining room. She called for him to follow her. She led him to the master bedroom. She closed and locked the door. She looked at him and smiled.

‟Throckmorton. Take off my dress.” He did so, carefully.

‟Throckmorton. Take off my stockings and garter.” He silently obeyed her.

‟Throckmorton. Remove my bra and panties.” The tension mounted as he complied.

Finally, she looked at him and said, ‟Throckmorton. If I ever catch you wearing my clothes again, you are fired.”

And now, for a second one!

I was on my lunch break at the job site, and we were all complaining about how our boss still owed us for the last job. I overheard one of the old carpenters on his cell phone….

“$1000? Sure honey, if you like it so much, then buy the coat”

I thought, “how can this old guy afford a $1000 coat for his wife? We aren’t even getting paid.”

He continued, “The new BMW? Well, if you must have it, darling, make sure you get it fully loaded. $125,000? That’s fine.”

I thought, “Wow this guy is loaded… Lucky wife, driving around in a new $125k car in a new $1000 sweater. There is NO WAY he can afford that on our salary.”

The conversation continued, “The house you like came on the market? Well how much is it? 800,000? See if they will accept $775,000”

We were all confused and in disbelief as he ended the call.

He turned and faced the rest of the crew and said, “If anyone sees the boss, tell him I found his phone, his wife called, and I QUIT!”

Inauguration Day 2021, Finally Time To Fly Dad’s Flag

You know when you want to say something but are not quite sure how to say it?

Welcome to my world at the moment.

It isn’t a case of mere writer’s block but more of a how on earth do you phrase this.

Oh sure, I can blather away and it will get lost in the hive-noise of the internet.  A few people will see it and it will fade away.

But here’s our story.

You see, Dad died back in the 70s.  He was interred at a veteran’s cemetery near our home in New Jersey.  World War II, served in the South Pacific, fought at the Battle of Manila.  I grew up seeing some of those pictures of Manila that looked like it was bombed to see how bad the rubble bounced.

He only ever really spoke in broad generalities to me about that time.  That was his way.  I can see that it effected him deeply, but he carried those stories with him for his whole life.

When the funeral was over with, we came home with the ceremonial flag and it remained with us.  Mom passed later and she got the veteran’s benefit of being interred in the same grave as Dad.  When we were told of this, I remember saying that she would like it that way.

I ended up with the flag and it came with me to South Florida.  I was given a rather nice triangular case as a present that I still proudly have.  

Only problem is that the case in the picture now has no glass.   Today for the picture, I noticed everything was dusty and I took  it into the bathroom to clean it.  The triangular piece of glass slipped from the case and crashed on the floor into a bazillion pieces.  I have had that for at least 20 years now.  I will have to look for some glass for it at the hardware store.  Maybe some plastic instead.

One thing I never did was to fly that flag.  There was never a real reason to. It never felt right.

Mom’s house did not have the flag pole.  It never felt right.  After all, We had Nixon, the original Watergate criminal, as well as the echos of Ford and the response in Carter.  Reagan was just as terrible as anyone else, if not worse with Iran-contra, and the complete mismanagement of domestic problems such as AIDS and the beginning of the deterioration of domestic infrastructure and industry that followed through Bush Sr.  Industry left the US because of policies caused by these incompetents.  

Can’t find a job?  Living in Mom’s Basement? Blame them.  Elections have consequences.

Sanity reigned and we had Clinton and his booming economy and the surplus that he ended with, but that still did not seem like a good enough reason to fly that flag.  There was too much static on the horizon.

We then got the abysmal Bush Jr whose complete mismanagement of international affairs before 9/11 led to that particular tragedy.  After invasion and war, and 8 years of him came to an end unlike the war that is still going on.

With Obama we begun to get hope.  Things started to change for the better. However with the misinformation that was flowing into the country, things were also calcifying into two separate camps.

Then the Twice Impeached Trump.  I never thought I would see someone who the scholars would judge as the worst president since Nixon and Bush Jr combined, but here we are.  Worst President Ever is what I read over and over.  

As I write this he still is not out of office.

So today, as of this publishing, at 12:01 PM we get Mr. Biden and Mrs. Harris inaugurated as president and vice president. 

I will raise Dad’s flag in honor of that.  I think he would have appreciated that.  

While I have never met either person, I will say that people like me who rode the trains into Philadelphia have told many stories of how good a person Mr Biden is, and how he actually cared.  I’ve heard more than once that if you spoke to him of a problem, and he was able, you might get a knock on your door from someone from the government who was truly there to help.

I have only ever heard good stories of Kamala Harris since I have only ever visited California once.   Her words during the debates seemed intelligent and gave hope of a plan to get us out of the morass we are in.  So nice to hear an educated woman speak.

We need their help now.  It’s a long way back but at 12:01 PM, I’ll be celebrating and hoping for the best.

Good luck, we all need it.

The adjective for metal is metallic, but not so for iron, which is ironic.

This is about the Daddiest Dad Joke I could find about a cemetery.  And yeah I have told an abbreviated version of it many times.

While we are on the subject, whose idea was it to make the word Abbreviated so blasted long?



When Beethoven passed away, he was buried in a churchyard.


A couple days later, the town drunk was walking through the cemetery and heard some strange noise coming from the area where Beethoven was buried. 

Terrified, the drunk ran and got the priest to come and listen to it. The priest bent close to the grave and heard some faint, unrecognizable music coming from the grave. 

Frightened, the priest ran and got the town magistrate.

When the magistrate arrived, he bent his ear to the grave, listened for a moment, and said, “Ah, yes, that’s Beethoven’s Ninth Symphony, being played backwards.”

He listened a while longer, and said, “There’s the Eighth Symphony, and it’s backwards, too. Most puzzling.” So the magistrate kept listening; “There’s the Seventh… the Sixth… the Fifth…”

Suddenly the realization of what was happening dawned on the magistrate; he stood up and announced to the crowd that had gathered in the cemetery, “My fellow citizens, there’s nothing to worry about. It’s just Beethoven decomposing.”

I have an eclipse joke but it gets kind of dark.

This one is a bit short so I gave you a Two-Fer.  The first one is just so wonderfully dumb that you can tell it anywhere.   The other one is here because I am thinking we really do need to go to the market this weekend!

 
3 guys in a desert…


One day traveling thru Death Valley, I saw 3 guys stranded in the heat: Joe, Moe, Doh. I noticed Joe was holding a bucket filled with water, Moe a bag full of cash, and Doh with just a car door. I stopped and asked Joe, why are you carrying water?

Joe: “If I get hot, I can drink this water.” Makes sense, so I asked Moe why are you carrying bag full of money?

Moe: “If I get hot, maybe I can buy some water from Joe.” Also makes sense, then I asked Doh, why are you carrying just a car door?

Doh: “Well, if I get hot, I’ll just roll down the window.”

And… since that was a short joke…


New Supermarket

A new supermarket opened in Phoenix. It has an automatic water mister to keep the produce fresh. Just before it goes on, you hear the sound of distant thunder and the smell of fresh rain.

When you pass the milk cases, you hear cows mooing and you experience the scent of fresh mown hay.

In the meat department there is the aroma of charcoal grilled steaks with onions.

When you approach the egg case, you hear hens cluck and cackle, and the air is filled with the pleasing aroma of bacon and eggs frying.

The bread department features the tantalizing smell of fresh baked bread and cookies.

I don’t buy toilet paper there anymore.

Debian Linux and iOS – Taming the iPhone with Documents By Reddle to use YOUR data on YOUR iDevice

Let me get this out in the open, unlike any iPhone or unrooted Android…

I hate Apple’s iOS.

They took a product called BSD, cut it down to suit, then locked it down so hard that if you truly know what you want to get done, you are hamstrung.

I used an “Ancient” Samsung Galaxy S4 from 2013 from 2014 until November 23, 2020.  Rest in pieces old friend.  When I fell off my skates after 22,217 miles I finally broke my first bone.  I also broke my S4.  It boots, but won’t “Hold The Tower” and disconnects due to sim error.  I may revisit this later, but for now I have bigger problems.

Over the years I have been given a bunch of “extra” iPhones as every year, Apple forces their sheep to Buy! New! Shiny! And! Not! Use! Old! Crap!

Yeah, right.  A year ago that Old! Crap! was New! Shiny!  Isn’t planned obsolescence wonderful?

Did I say I use Linux?  Almost Always.   I have someone in the house who insists that I do my taxes on Turbo Tax, and that’s the only time I ever boot a dusty Windows 8.1 computer.

I had to set up my latest iPhone, an iPhone 7 Plus.  Rather pretty hardware, I will say, but all that experience configuring the phone gave me some stiff requirements.

I author Video,

I author Audio,

I author Photography.

You have seen all of these if you follow my blog.

I require the phone to be open as another computer share on my network, and fully accessible to my user and others in the house.

Apple has locked me out of all of that.  The LineageOS I used on the S4 allowed that and the ability to block any ads with ad blockers in Firefox plus a hosts file that I could edit at will. 

While iPhone won’t let me block the ads with a hosts file, I did find a work around.

I needed a new work around because I had this nonsense working on the iPhone before but they broke compatibility with my software.  There’s an active contempt in Apple’s hive mind for anything not aligned with their view of how anything iOS is “supposed” to be used.

Step 1.
Solution: For ad blocking, install and use “DNSCloak“.

It pushes all your traffic through a piece of software called a VPN that is configurable.  I can even import my hosts file from the computer I am using right now to write to you.  This is what I did and I almost never see an ad.  In fact, it is quite jarring when I do.

I did select “doh.tlarap.org” and I changed that easily plus enhance it with my own rules.

Step 2.

I require the ability to read from and write media to my network computers at will.  Apple says you can’t do that because the Dead Black Turtlenecked God decreed utter simplicity.

(Ooh! Was that Thunder?)

What a crock.  Every app now needs a back button.  Some depend on your home button if it exists.  Others have a “Back” link at random places in their apps.  Lax standardization.  Really just freakin’ give me a break!

If I ever get the chance, I will find his grave and poop on it.  My Phone, My Rules.  If there are any limitations I will remove them.  Linux says everything is a file.  I expect the same full access and I demand compliance.

Solution:  Install and use “Documents by Readdle“. 

What Documents gives you is a “file manager” to access your files (Pictures, Videos, Music, PDF, whatever).  You tell it to find the data. It imports it into iTunes.  You use your data however you want, it won’t judge.

It is a trivial program to use.  Assuming you have your data somewhere it can reach, it’s a matter of setting up the “Connections” to your data.  That can be on a local Windows SMB share, on iCloud, Dropbox, Google Drive, Box, One Drive, SharePoint, or Yandex Disk.  

It makes connection, shows you what you have there, and allows you to import it or do whatever you want.   Play and Delete I am particularly fond of.

It saves me a heck of a lot of time doing surfs to Spotify/Soundcloud/etc and playing the music I want to play from the web.  I really don’t want to launch Firefox to surf radio.garden to play some obscure to the US station in Port of Spain, Trinidad or Ensenada, Mexico to get some music to jam to when I get back on my inline skates.   Having my own content locally is so much easier, and I can park things anywhere I have access to.

I told my friend she was drawing her eyebrows too high. She looked surprised

 This seems to be a good example of Boomer Humor.  The “Younger” people out there seem to simply not understand why “Tha Boomerz” find this marriage tension style of humor funny.

For the most part I agree with them, however this is at once Boomer Humor and also funny enough to get me to laugh while I was drinking coffee this morning.

Besides, it is a well told story, and those are always fun to read.

See if you agree, I have to get a towel for my keyboard.



James is walking on a downtown street one day, and he happens to see his old high school friend, Harry, a little ways up ahead.


“Harry, Harry, how are you?” he greets his old buddy after getting his attention.

“Not so good,” says Harry.

“Why, what happened?” James queries.

“Well,” Harry says, “I just went bankrupt and I’ve still got to feed my family. I don’t know what I’m going to do.”

“Could have been worse,” James replies calmly. “Could have been worse.”

A month or so later, James again encounters Harry, in a restaurant. “And how are things now?” he asks.

“Terrible!” says Harry. “Our house burned down last night.”

“Could have been worse,” says James, again with total aplomb, and goes about his business.

A month later, James runs into Harry a third time. “Well, how goes it?” he inquires.

“Oh!” says Harry. “Things just get worse and worse. It’s one tragedy after another! Now my wife has left me!”

James nods his head and gives his usual optimistic-seeming little smile, accompanied by his usual words: “Could’ve been worse.”

This time, Harry grabs James by the shoulders. “Wait a minute!” he says. “I’m not gonna let you off so easy this time. Three times in the past few months we’ve run into one another, and every time I’ve told you the latest disaster in my life. Every time you say the same thing: ‘Could have been worse.’ This time, for God’s sake, Harry, I want you to tell me: how in Heaven’s name could it have been any worse?”

James looks at Harry with the same little wisp of a smile. “Could have been worse,” he says. “Could have happened to me.”

Why did the boy throw butter at the window? To see the butter fly.

In my backyard I have pots of plants, everywhere. Some of them have Milkweed. It never really gets very big or very lush because the Butterflies use it for a diner. That’s great since that’s what it’s there for. Even if there are just sticks left, the monarchs like it.

My Wife found out that our Dog (a Schnauzer) could hardly hear, so she took it to the Veterinarian…….

The Vet found that the problem was Hair in the Dog’s Ears.

He cleaned both ears, and the Dog could then hear fine.

The Vet then proceeded to tell Andrea that, if she wanted to keep this from recurring, she should go to the store and get some “Veet” hair remover and rub it in the Dog’s Ears once a month.

Andrea went to the store and bought some “Veet” hair remover.

At the register, the Pharmacist told her,

“If you’re going to use this under your Arms, don’t use Deodorant for a few days.”

*Andrea said, “I’m not using it under my arms.”

The Pharmacist said,

“If you’re using it on your Legs, don’t use Body Lotion for a couple of days.”

Andrea replied, “I’m not using it on my Legs either”.

If you must know, I’m using it on my Schnauzer.”

The Pharmacist said,

“Well, stay off your Bicycle for at least a Week”.

50000 Miles in 18 Years in a 2002 Jeep Wrangler, 45 Minutes to Air Up 5 Tires

I don’t drive the Jeep as much as I would like.

I’ve had it since Chrysler was taken over and then neglected by Daimler, right around Xmas 2002.

Give or take a few weeks.   I’m sure I could find the specifics but it isn’t really that important.

They had “Zero Point Zero Financing” and I really hated that the earlier Jeep I had had an Automatic Transmission.

To me, it needed a stick.

I have been driving Jeep Wranglers, and the CJ7 I had back in the day, longer than anything else.

It just fits.

I have plenty of room.  It’s thirsty but I don’t go that far.  2778 miles in a year on average.

But every time I get in it, I smile.  Sure, it’s basic and primitive, but it is beyond fun to drive.

This is the “Bulletproof Combination” of that car.  4.0 Inline Six Cylinder, 5 speed Manual transmission.  Soft top if I want to have the sun bleach my hair and tan my skin on the way home from where ever I want to go.

Like I said, I don’t drive it often.  I was working behind the TV set next to the window and when I stood up, I noticed through the living room window that one tire was low.  It meant I had to get into the car and drive somewhere to get the air back in the tires.  When I got “there” the air pump was not working no matter how I begged.

On the way home, I noticed I was very close to 50K so I got the phone out and took a picture.

Really, I should not take pictures while driving.  40 MPH in a Jeep and I was just due to shift up into the next gear.

I got home and let him sit in the driveway.  Having to get the portable air compressor out on that afternoon meant I wanted to try it out with the power pack.  Nope.  Snapped the circuit breaker immediately.

As it was, each tire would take 5 to 10 minutes to air up.

I pushed the car forward and settled in to sit around doing nothing for the better part of the hour.  Wait, check the watch, lather, rinse, repeat.

It gave me time to think.

Jeep needs a bath.  Too much dust on it from the beach 2 1/2 miles away, the Bahamas, and the Sahara across the ocean.

Check the air, move to the next tire.

Wave at the neighbor.

Check the Mailbox.

Sit on the front bumper and stare at my boots.

Check the air, move to the next tire.

The air compressor is getting warm.

Started thinking.  Some day I really do want to go back to visit New Jersey.  Sure, North Jersey is one ugly city and you can see the pollution from that and New York when you approach New Brunswick, exit 9 on the Jersey Turnpike.

But I am from South Jersey.  Life is different there.  The air is cleaner.  Not clean, simply cleaner.  After all, at 40 Degrees North, the air flows from the Midwest Cities and drops the pollution on Philadelphia. Allergies are quite common.

My allergies vanished when I moved to Florida.  It’s dusty but the air is always clean until the Everglades start burning.

I do want to go back.  I have a few trips I want to make.  Out to the Pine Barrens.  Beautiful pine forests, cedar creeks, hiking trails, and maybe drive the Jeep to the top of Apple Pie Hill to look at the stars.

Once you could climb the fire tower up to the outlook and look around.  Well over the tops of the trees, at night you could see Atlantic City, Philadelphia in the distance, and way up there on a very clear night, you could just make out New York City.

Can’t do all that on flat tires can you?

With Covid, you can’t do it at all.  It is also 1200 miles from here so visiting my Sister, Friends, and Family as well as climbing a muddy fire tower in the wilderness is off the table.

Check the air, move to the next tire.

Might want to check the other tires while I am at it.

Spare has no air.  Pressed the air pressure gauge to it and it didn’t move.

Can’t replace a flat with a dead tire, that will take more time.

Back out to the front of the car.

Lock the house doors, I need to start the car after this tire hits 30 PSI.

Check the air, move to the next tire.

Wandering around the yard is getting boring.  Sit back on the front bumper and watch the parrots screeching in the trees, the buzzards making lazy circles on the updrafts North of downtown Fort Lauderdale.

“Hey Buzzards!  We’re not dead yet!”  Seriously they must be “Pinin’ for the Fjords” or something.

It’s time for the spare.  Last to go.

I plugged the now hot compressor in to the spare, sat the compressor on top of it, and settled in on the bumper.

Bumpers are important.  If your bumper does not stick out past the nose of the car enough a simple tap in a parking lot will cause thousands of dollars of Sheet Metal damage.

I figure this one will take about 15 minutes.  I started the motor.

The Jeep roared to life and settled in on a smooth idle.

50,000 miles and not a problem.

I know this car like the back of my hand.  Many cars at this age are rusting in a junk yard.  Jeeps don’t.  They hold their value.  The motors were designed in the 1950s or 1960s by Willys/Kaiser.  Then a merger to form AMC.  American Motors.  Limped along into the 1980s and got swallowed up by Chrysler.  Chrysler was mortally wounded by the “merger of equals” with Daimler Benz.

Became Daimler Chrysler.  As the joke went “How do you say the name of the company?  Daimler, the Chrysler is silent.”

Then with Fiat to become FCA, and the pending merger with Peugeot and who knows what else.

Meanwhile, I inspect the tubes, the belts, the tires.  I’ve fixed one of the most maddening problems with Jeeps.  The Check Engine light will come on and you may or may not get A Code.

I found my problem with a finger length piece of tube that cracked and was replaced.  A truly competent young woman helped me diagnose what I needed at Autozone up on Oakland Park Blvd.

Helpful hint – if you are in a place where a woman is working and it is “non-traditional” for her to be there… Always, Always, Always go to the woman.  She knew her stuff.

Nothing wrong with my Jeep that a bucket of soapy water could not fix.  I may wash off the dust from the Sahara Desert off the car an ocean away, but not today.

Today, smile on my face, it is time to take the Jeep for a lap around town.

Beep!  Beep!  I’m A Jeep!  I wonder how long it will take to get to 100,000 miles?