It’s The Calm Before The Hurricane Prep Day

When I got up today, it was 4:15AM.  All was silent.  I closed my eyes thinking I can probably get more sleep.

I got into that Lets Open The Eyes And Check The Clock Every Ten Minutes thing.

Didn’t work, got out of bed before my normal Stupid O’Clock at 4:40.

Then I pulled my earplugs out of my ears and started getting ready for the dog walk.

It still was silent.  The house was quieter than normal.

Getting out the front door before 5AM there was no wind. Nothing.  Still as a Tomb.

Rack, the McNab SuperDog (TM) pulled me out onto the front lawn.

Still.  I looked up.  Very few clouds.  Stars.

After the weeks, and more than one, that we have been having, not seeing clouds in the skies felt odd.

Oh sure, I could find my friend the hunter.  Orion still had his belt to the South and East of the house.  A bright star was shining at me from the lower left of Orion.

But No Clouds.

Very strange.  I was looking for that “Bow Shock” line of clouds from Hurricane Matthew that was at that point just leaving the far eastern point of Cuba, but nothing.

This is that last day.  One last brilliantly clear day that you get before a Hurricane.  The storms seem to pull all the air toward it, the barometric pressure begins to drop, and you have time.

I already got Propane and Gasoline.  With one I can cook, even bake bread.  With the other I can drive out of South Florida if I have to or simply run the generators to keep the fridge going.

Mentally, I have noted that since the highs have already dropped below 90, it will be annoying, but we can make do with windows open.  After all, living in a three story “Farm House” in Philadelphia for years with no Air Conditioning, we made do, and sometimes it hit triple digits.

Think 40C or 104.  Once.  In Philly Humidity.  *SHUDDER*!

So I am hoping the winds won’t knock out the power.  We still haven’t tested generators to run the house, only individual appliances.

There is more than the expected water. Three cases of bottled water plus four gallons of water in one Quart Mason Jars.  I emptied my canning supplies and filled them with filtered water.

We’re expected to get “Hurricane Force Winds”.  Something more than 73MPH.  110KPH give or take a K.

After all, I am only 2.2 miles West of the ocean.  3 Km.   I could walk it as long as I had comfortable shoes and time.

Many others are not prepared as well, and my heart goes out to them.  My immediate neighbor’s house has no storm shutters and “regular” float glass windows.   I expect to hear that he will have broken windows.  More than one.

With luck his roof won’t end up in my swimming pool.

Besides, the fringes of a Hurricane bring with it “Embedded Tornadoes”.

The weather radio has been an endless loop of hurricane preparation hints.  Most of them have been done here.

I hope that if you are reading this and will be effected, anywhere from the Florida Keys to South Carolina, you have made your preparation and will be finishing soon.

As for me I have a very few things to do:

Finish the laundry since no power means no clean clothes.

Get Aunt Betty’s table and chairs off the front porch and tied down since plastic table and chairs make wonderful flying objects.

Move the last few prized plants under cover like Larry’s Bonsai.

Finally publish this and put together for the blog next week, a “warrant canary” to say Yep, I’m still offline.

Good luck South Florida.  Matthew is an unwelcome guest.  At least this storm will stir up the ocean enough to make the next hurricane much less vigorous.  Cold water will be brought to the surface and this should be the end of the season, or close to it.

But I keep thinking that no matter what, it won’t matter.  What will happen will happen.

Since my 446 day Duolingo streak will probably end tomorrow or the day after,

Qué será, será. What Will Be, Will Be.

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Oops.

So I messed up last week.

I have a habit of senting out one article a week, plus a joke that I stole from other places on Saturday and Sunday.

I got out of sync.  I’m used to the Blogger software, and while WordPress gives me much better control over what is going out to the world, I missed one simple thing.

The “schedule” button.

So last week, I sent out two articles.  The recipe went out last week along with one about my dog Rack sleeping on the floor.

Not earth shattering, but it amuses me to see a dog wake up, and have his tongue dried out and have to lick the saliva to get it all “right” for a bit.

He’s doing it right now as I slap this out.

The parrot, Oscar, is being way too active across the room and he’s knocking things over.  Will have to do something about that!

“OSCAR! Go Home!”

There, Much better.

Anyway, if you are curious, that recipe for the nuts?  It’s excellent.  I made it twice since then, sent some up North with someone for snacks.

If you want something different, add either raisins or craisins to it, and it tastes like the fruit mix in a Fruit and Nut Bar.  I would say about 1/2 cup.

Melt chocolate and you know what I am going to be doing with the crock pot next time it is clean.

Anyway that’s it for this ramble.  I’ve got a salsa recipe for next week that is really very simple…

Next week on as http://www.ramblingmoose.com turns…

Ok, Folks, Here is Where I go off Daily postings.

Yep, you read it right.

If you noticed, I tended for a very long time to post here at 10AM.

That changed to “before” 10AM, whenever I got to “releasing” it onto the blog and Facebook.

Then lately it has been early, 7AM.

Why?

Life got busy.  Very busy.  My consulting got formal.  I have a learning curve that I am deeply embedded in that I need to concentrate in.

Like a student in exam time, I have to give myself the option to skip postings if I need the time.

If I’m getting home after 7PM some nights, and up at 5AM, it leaves little time to sit down and write.

Now, truthfully, I could be briefer, I could write three in a row on a Sunday, and I could find more jokes.

Jokes are easy, just find one, clean out the dirty words, and post them.

But that isn’t me.

So when I come up with something that I feel is important, I’ll write about it.

There are a few more jokes on the weekends through October, and I’ll try to put at least one article up here a week, but I need a break.

I’m sure some will not care, others may care deeply, and still more will say “meh”.

After all, there are a bazillion blogs out there that started, ran their course, and ended.   Mine had a good run, five years and a little more than 2200 posts.

But I have to take a breather.

For Now.

I would rather step away than put hack postings here.  I’m way too goal oriented for that sort of thing.

So for now, Keep an eye out.  After all there may be a reason for me to bend an ear!

2203 Posts? Yep it kept ticking for five years!

This blog.  It’s been a part of me for five years.

I started it with a hello world post.  Everyone seems to.  You find your way back to it if you are interested.

I actually found that I enjoy writing.  I do get wordy, some of these posts are over 1200 words.  Almost all of them are off the top of my head.

Things got slower after a while.  You know, that New Blog Smell wore off.  I was writing about things that happened here in Wilton Manors, and the City Government scene.  I had to stop going to the commission meetings after a while, they were going well into the night and frankly I fall asleep at 10pm on a late night.  Doing that in the commission chambers when the meeting ended at 11pm would be sending the wrong message.

And I am actually quite in awe of the job that the commissioners do here, on average.  If you pay attention to your own city government, you’ll find a few rotten apples here and there and a couple decisions you can’t stand.

No comment there about specifics.

But since this is an “Anniversary Post” for the 2200th posting that happened over the weekend, I figured I’d do the old school Top Ten List of all times.  Since everyone seems to hit the same postings over and again, why not?

So from the most popular post to the 10th most popular post, here it is.

Most popular post:  The Gold Medal Flour Biscuit Recipe.  Trust me, this is an excellent recipe, I use it all the time when I want to show off.  If I really want to show off, I make home churned butter by putting the cream in the food processor and running it for 5 minutes or until I have butter and buttermilk in there.  Works like a champ!

#2:  Two Cycle Engine Repair – I replaced a primer bulb on a weedeater and apparently I did a good job of it since I still use the machine, 4 years later.

#3:  Simply Hired and the User Experience -The website simplyhired.com is not one of my favorites, and I wrote why and showed why they need to change.  They did incorporate a few changes of mine, and continue to change.

#4:  Puns and One Liner Weekend – A List of puns.  I really debated long and hard about posting Jokes here.  Then I realized that people actually enjoy the silly things and this blog gets hit heavily for them.

#5: GFS Marketplace Review – GFS Is a Wholesale marketer of foods and restaurant supplies.  They also sell directly to the public.  I’m quite happy with the store, but their coupons truly annoy me.  The software that they use to create the coupons, on your PC, require that software be installed.  Since nobody has told me what that does on my machine, I can’t say I trust the software.  BUT the place is really quite good, and the staff is friendly.

Rounding out the rest of the top 10:

#6:  An Impatiens Flower Picture – This variety is no longer sold and went extinct.  Impatiens are now larger.

#7:  Jewfish Creek Bridge Picture – The view you get when you enter the Florida Keys.  This is what I think of as the “border” although I may not be technically correct.

#8: Canning 1, Pineapple 0 – Although I am a good cook, sometimes my recipies don’t work!

#9:  Hotmail Annoyance: Turning off Hotmail’s former interface behavior of hotkeys.  I hated hotmail, and I hatie Outlook so much more.  Microsoft has turned evil since Ballmer left.  I can’t believe I am saying nice things about Ballmer since he was the punchline to a joke but there you have it.

Finally

#10: Sister Mary Ann’s Gasoline – Yes, another joke.  Apparently loads of folks liked her story!

Rude Blog? Blogger is OK With That Again

One morning, I was sitting in my comfy bouncy chair, living my G Rated life.  Music playing, the dog by my side, the parrot chattering.

I open up my dashboard thingy after having made a purdy pixture for you folks to look at as well as a backstory.

There are plenty of sites that are nothing more than a picture a day or a list of them.  I look at those as well, they’re great to fill up your computer for when the screensaver kicks in.  I must have close to a gig of them, who knows!

There was a nag link at the top of the page.  I rarely look at them anyway, most folks don’t look at nags I suspect.  Twenty years of being trained to ignore adverts or simply blocking them in my case, and you get that way.

The link pointed me to a page that was titled “An update on the Blogger porn content policy“.

I laughed.  Out loud even.

I may be noisy, but I have never posted that kind of content here.  I could.  It’s legal.  At least it is at this point in history, tomorrow could change that.

The original change in policy was fielded to gauge reaction I suspect.  The reality is that “rude” is in the eye of the beholder.  There are some people who look at this blog every single day, others less frequently.  I know of one person who complains about it loudly, although never to my face.  Apparently I cut a little close to the bone in one or more comments about them.

No, I won’t say who.

But.

Never anything that would even be considered a Hard Parental Guidance Rating, at least in my mind.  If it would get past the censors on the big three TV networks in the more enlightened parts of this backwards sliding country that I live in, I will post it.

Apparently I can now.  Well thanks, I can let my artistic nude flag fly I guess.  It’s not for me, but it is for many people.

There are plenty of blogs out there that have restricted or adult content.  Some are simply to excite the reader, for however long it takes them to finish their visit.  Others are to educate about health or perhaps anthropological issues.  After all, teenage children would keep select copies of the National Geographic under their beds for private reading back in the day.  It was actually a plot point at the beginning of the movie Porkys II.  While seeming random, the plot of that movie is strangely parallel to the whole discussion of whether rude content should be allowed in the movie or not.


That sort of excitement is easy to find.  The educational sites are more important, and that is why the internet exists in the first place – to share information among people who are interconnected no matter how distant.

There was a great amount of noise, digital ink, and whinging done in a short period of time, and Google, Inc. have decided that the Blogger policy on Porn will not be changed.

It doesn’t really effect me here, I’ll continue to write the kind of things that Mrs Grundy in her small town may be interested in reading, but if you need that kind of medical or anatomical information that is hosted on a blog somewhere and somehow connected with Google and Blogger, it will be safe.

Sure, I’m vague, but I don’t need that sort of information right now.  The last time I went for “medical” information it was to diagnose my brake problem on my Jeep Wrangler.

Besides, the kind of excitement that the 1950s teenager found in National Geographic is so prevalent and so easy to come by these days for free online, that you just don’t need me taking pictures of body parts and slamming them up in 16 million colors with my website URL hidden semi-discretely on them.

I’ll remain here, G rated, for all the world to see.

You may return to your regularly scheduled rude websites now, Google‘s fine with it.

Some People Have A Memory, I Have A Blog

Going through the list of old posts on this blog, I noticed that there is a weird counter intuitive pattern.

I have commented about how I put recipes on here because I want to be able to get to them.  We have a recipe box.  It is the size of a microwave.  I mean this is more than the card file that “mom used to have”, this thing is a beast.

Now, mind you, it does serve two people with two very different cooking styles.  Every fall, for example, when it comes time to bake Fruitcakes, we dig down to the bottom of the box.  Finding the recipe, we place an order for the candied fruit, and wait.  When the fruit arrives, we make up these cakes.  They’re nothing like anything you would find in a supermarket. 

At least in a larger supermarket.  Those things are cloyingly sweet and gooey. 

Homemade fruitcakes are rich and sweet but in a savory and almost spicy way.  That was the original recipe.  Not the gloppy stuff you find at a roadside tourist trap in the south.

Trust me it’s a different world I’m talking about.

But that’s the thing.  Since it is a box, the recipe you haven’t used is always buried under the flotsam of baking.  My own recipes, pre-blog, were printed out and saved into a book.  Then, I started to “print” them to PDF files and saved them on my chip, a 128gb postage stamp sized memory chip.  I can move that between machines, and old copies of the files sit on servers now.  Since there are so many I threw up my hands and moved the best online.

So the blog serves as a mental scratchpad. 

Any task like that I tend to write up. 

Thinking that nobody really wants to read about my recipes, I would cast them off to the four winds like the milkweed seeds that I casually tossed over the fence that one day.

Shhh, don’t tell anyone.

But you see, that’s the weird thing.  The postings that I think are so much filler are the ones that the internet seems to like.  My recipe for Gold Medal Self-Rising Biscuits gets hit more than any other blog posting in the four-plus-years that I’ve been at this.

The stories about my McNab Superdog, Rack, get hit heavily too.  Apparently there really is an attraction for those feel good stories coupled with a picture of an admittedly good looking dog.

What was all this navel gazing about anyway, you ask? 

Simple.  I ran out of bagels.  I ran out of biscuits.  So I needed to make more over the weekend.  That caused a cascade of things.  Pizza Dough was made, risen, then half of it is rolled.  The remainder goes into Pretzel rolls

Serendipity is that act of finding something you wanted more than what you were looking for in the first place.  In my case, it’s Challah Bread.

In March.  Sure, it’s not traditional to have Challah in March, but Mom got it all the time and called it Jewish Egg Bread, and we loved it with peanut butter and jelly, or toasted with butter.

Buttah?

No, Mom’s accent wasn’t “Like Buttah”, but she did have a funny way of saying things.  “Jew-eesh Aig Bread” was how that came out along with her Zs that came out “D’Zs”.  I guess if you spoke only Italian until 7 you’d have an accent too, even if you did have an appreciation for proper Italian foods and sauce that you start on Saturday for Sunday’s dinner.

Don’t judge me.  I still say “Crick” for creek from time to time…

Even if I am not planning on churning butter for those biscuits, and settling for Cream Biscuits, I was going to do some serious cooking.  Since there was Char Siu Pork in the crock pot, there’s extra ginger.  Can’t waste Ginger since it is too good, so why not make Crystalline Ginger?  While that’s simmering there’s always time to make Lemon Curd since there are two Meyer Lemons in the fridge.

Recipes aside, those jokes that I feel a little guilty about posting always get hit heavily after the immediate posting.  They save me from Writer’s Block, and I haven’t had to do any during the week.  But if I ever get completely blocked, or have somewhere to go in an emergency in the morning, you’ll see one during the week.

No, I wasn’t going anywhere with this.  Other than the kitchen.  That’s what happens when you need to do some cooking and your recipe file is online.  You start finding things you forgot you knew how to do.

Now, does anyone have any good ideas of what to do with Ginger Simple Syrup?  Pancakes perhaps?

Happy Blog Day, 2000 Postings Or So

Yeah so I might be a day or two early on this.

There are a couple posts already in the chamber so I’ll do this today.

2000 postings.  The blog has been around for a while.  Who knows how much longer.  Basically as long as I have ideas, I’ll post them.

A view inside my empty head about this though.  I make it a point to not strictly “Reblog” things.  Copy and paste.   If I do something, the recipes are an excellent example, I try my best to add to them and explain how I did it.

Otherwise it’s just navel gazing and narcisistic.

But, people do love those recipes.

I have a small “first read” audience.   I haven’t been posting it in my own facebook feed because frankly that sort of thing gets boring.  I have a group with some people who wanted to be a part of it.  They’ll get my blather and a direct link to today’s article.

The “second read” audience fall into my grasp mainly via Google and other search engines.

That shows in what the top five articles are for the blog since I started.

And I do try very hard not to revisit topics unless I can add something to it.  I got something wrong?  Time for a new post.  Got something right?  Let it rest.  Dunno, maybe that’s just the way I am

The Gold Medal Biscuit recipe.  Apparently people are searching for biscuits and coming here to read the recipe.  Probably the best biscuit I have ever made.  The secret is in the butter.  Now, if you want to make something obscene, toss a biscuit in the skillet and pan fry them like a donut.

Mmmm Donuts!

Two Cycle Engine Repair.  Say what you will about this blog, I’ve got depth.  If I can write about replacing the bulb on a string trimmer one day, a recipe the next, and photography the third… well you get the idea.  I’m That Guy.  Show me an adult man who doesn’t at least glance at the pile of crap your neighbor tosses out and wonders if he can fix that thing, and I’ll show you a man who has lost his soul.

That goes for many women I know too.

Simply Hired User Experience.  Believe it or not, people get paid quite a lot to do this sort of systems analysis and user experience analysis on large websites.  In the case of Simply Hired, they changed their format.  It still stinks.  Maybe I will write another blog article on how clunky it is now that they reskinned it to look all “kewl!”.

Or not.

The Impatiens Picture.  I do a lot of Photography.  Or you could say I do a lot of what passes for Photography if you’re a hack at it.  No matter what you think of how well, or how badly I take pictures, this single picture is the most popular one here in Ramblingmoose and http://www.southernmostmoose.com 

I have been told that all of the small Impatiens have died.  Literally, everywhere.  The same flower exists but they’re a taller variety.  The little ones everyone loved?  Gone.

And finally, rounding out my top five:

The Jewfish Bridge picture in the Florida Keys. This is the first “real” bridge you hit when you’re going to the Keys.  It’s dramatic and a beautiful view.  It’s really difficult to not get a picture that you will like.  Then you roll into Key Largo and start about 100 miles worth of driving in slower highways before you get to Key West.  My suggestion is to time it to hit the Seven Mile Bridge at sunset in a convertible. 

No, you may not borrow my Jeep.

That’s it for today.  Enough navel gazing.  I don’t have any oranges left.

As for how much longer will I keep doing this?  As long as I have time, ideas, and things I think may be interesting to my friends and family.  I don’t guarantee it will go on forever.  I don’t even guarantee it will happen tomorrow, after all I did  miss a day once. 

One Single Day.

If you really do enjoy this, feel free to complement me.  If you’ve got an idea for a topic, let me know.  If it sparks my curiosity, I’ll write about it.

Like the jokes.  The “first read” audience generally does not like my jokes.  Guess what?  They’re popular.  The number 7 article is about Puns and One Liners.

So I’ll keep posting those on the weekends for now.  If I get a better idea, then I can always push the jokes off for a day!