Restoration of a 50 Year Old Preacher Curl Bench

Gather some cleaning supplies. Just clean off filth first. God only knows what’s on it. Clean as best you can, spider feces, dog feces, human feces. Dead bugs, stains, dirt. I bought the preacher curl for $9.99 at a thrift store. Gym quality probably would now retail for over $229.00. It’s the real deal, maybe a York from about 1972? Real leather. Then sand it down by hand as best you can. Then use the cleaning supplies to clean off the rust powder.

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The tools

Use what you can find or buy. Get hand sanders, it’s easier.

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The pads

I used leather cleaner. Wiped it down on both sides including the wood.

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The frame end view

You’ll want flat black paint. It’s very old school and provide a fine sandy grip.

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The frame side view

Paint wherever you see light rust. Then paint everywhere. Clean the bolts with some glass cleaner fluid. Then when it dries, clean it with something like WD-40.

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Sticky Pads

The floor pads add a nice touch.

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The final product

You will then have to reattach the pads and clean 🧼 the chemical filth off of your hands. I prefer Lava soap. Rips paint right off your hands.

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Cleaning Products

Total time about and hour and a half if you use fans to dry the paint 🎨. Ventilate well or you will die.

How to Get Your Masters Degree

Assumptions: You will do your Masters onsite at the University and not Remote. You live near the University.

1. Do any prerequisites now. Suppose you never took Stats or Linear Algebra or whatever classes you need. Sign up for Community College. That’s right… Community College. Or a reputable online program.

2. If you are going to do a thesis, get a general idea of what you want to research and write about now.

3. If you are weak or rusty on a topic, take some free online refresher course that actually makes you do work. Buy used books or get PDFs of the topic on which you wish to be refreshed. (Sentence not ended with a preposition.) Don’t do this during the terms you are taking your prerequisites.

4. Refresh on stats. You will be crushed with them. Refresh on scholarly paper writing. Maybe find a few one-shot seminars or workshops on the topic.

5. Don’t apply right away. Visit the school. Get an inquiry going so you know the admissions staff. Do a few sample applications but don’t submit yet.

6. Line up tutors for subjects upon which you are weak.

7. Line up funding. If you are military get the GI Bill or other funding. See if there are specific grants for your flavor of human. See if your company pays for school.

8. If your company doesn’t pay for school, you may have to go the slow route. See if the school will let you take one class per term, but no classes in the summer. This way you are only paying for two classes a year. It give you six years to pay for your degree.

9. Figure out how you will get to and from school and where you will park if needed.

10. Get a good laptop. Not a tablet. Avoid Macs if you are in math, engineering, computer or information science. Don’t bring a toy 🧸 to school. Make sure you have at least a three-four year warranty.

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My graduate research office.
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Wonderful on campus amenities. 🤢
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The indoor track. Use the University gym and resources.

11. Assume you finish the pre-requisites. Sign up for a GRE prep course. Do at least one course that is in person. Focus on your weak points. If your writing is shitty, take some writing courses. If you suck at logic, get some logic puzzle books and work them cover to cover. Do lots and lots of practice problems.

12. After your complete the GRE and are accepted, you may have a few months before you start. Go to any orientations and tours, libraries, research, registrar.

13. Spend this dead 💀 time studying towards your first class. Get the syllabus and books if possible and start reading through them.

14. If you are in a technical Masters, get your computer configured for the software you will need. Make sure your computer has the RAM and storage and virtualization capability you will need. Make sure you have video adapters (dongles) as you will have to present. Get any online storage or repos set up ahead of time.

15. Get a student membership to any professional society associated with your Masters.

16. On the first day, be prepared to take notes. Be low-key and cordial to classmates, don’t be territorial or competitive. You will be on many group projects. You need friends not rivals. Try to get to class early so you can pick a seat near the electric outlet, so your computer doesn’t die. Also have a six outlet power cord, as you will need to be wired in for three hour classes.

17. Follow classroom rules of etiquette. Don’t be on your phone or have earphones in like a douchebag asshole. Bring water or a drink in your backpack. Get any on-campus vending  cards for food and making copies.

18. Set up your computer files by subject with sub categories. Back it up online. Use your university email for school and organize it by class, admin, finance, etc.

19. Make sure you are paid up ahead of time for school so you have no problems.

20. Always go to GSA and Professor office hours in the first two weeks to get oriented. You may need the GSA a lot. Keep a good relationship.

21. Never bitch about a shitty grade. This isn’t college. This is for serious professionals. Figure out why and where you fucked up. It’s always your goddamned fault, so shut up 🤐 and learn from your mistakes.

22. Try to get into a study group, especially for major exams. Someone will always know something you don’t.

23. Be a contributor in group projects. Never get mad at a slacker. There will be one in every group. They may be a leader in the next project.

24. Pace yourself. Study hard. Never give up even if your scores  aren’t what you hoped. It’s different in every class.

25. Take copious notes. It prevents you from falling asleep. Start projects the day they are assigned.

26. Start all writing assignments early. You have to edit the hell out of them. Citations are critical you have to avoid plagiarism rules.

27. Coding, engineering and science assignments must be started early. You will have to be clean and precise in your work. Bullshit won’t suffice. The Rand Corporation, DOD and the NIH don’t want bullshit poorly sourced work and sloppy experimental technique. You are smart enough or you wouldn’t be there. Follow the guidelines and rubrics and you will be OK.

28. Be humble and be a team player even if you are smart enough to be the best, or your classmates and professors will find ways to humiliate you. Your professors already have PhD’s, they aren’t impressed with self-important douchebags.

29. Enjoy the moment. Academia can be fun. Enjoy campus life. Go to free lectures on your topics. Go to Masters mixers and Friday night get togethers at your school.

30. I have an article on how to get your thesis done. I will re-post it soon.

31. If you work, take off the day before your final or mid-term to study all day. The day of your exam, take off at least the afternoon if your course is in the evening.

32. Get practice exams and work them hard. Review the failed parts of each test you fucked up. Get to know the answer intimately.

33. My advice isn’t all inclusive. Read other people’s experience or watch videos about the Masters experience.

Peace be the Botendaddy

Prediction: Within ten years none of these businesses will exist

I am a futurist!

Ted Talks

Chain Coffee shops

Google

Amazon

Facebook

Twitter

Oracle

Cisco

Dell

Tech Contracting Companies

Tech contractors

Uber

Lyft

Sears

K-Mart

J.C. Penny’s

Best Buy

McAfee and Norton

Apple

United Airlines

Marriott

Mega-bus

Big box hardware stores

Big box department stores

Big box clothing stores

Big box pharmacies

Most chain restaurants and fast food joints

Free email

Free online storage

Vaping stores

Marijuana and CBD suppliers

Drone Delivery

Fast food delivery

Self-Service gas stations

Electric cars

Hybrid cars

Electric bikes

Bike lanes

Driverless Cars

Online gaming

Online gambling

Legalized gambling

Lotteries

Gambling casinos

Peace be the Botendaddy

How to spin vinyl: 78’s

There are four speeds of phonograph Records:

16, 33, 45 and 78.

They’re actually 16-2/3 and 33-1/3.

16’s were intended for long-playing voice records like books or instructional records. 16 is basically now non-existent. When was the last time you saw a model T?

The platter sizes are 7-45, 10-78 and 12-33.

Apparently Chrysler had a very hardened anti-shock thick-platter 33-1/3 7 inch record phonograph player for in-car use. Unfortunately it would be another decade before 8-track made in car music selection possible.

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Platter size adjuster

On most record players you have to set both rpm and platter size.

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45, 78 and 33 from left to right

You can only stack platters of the same size and rpm. If you stack more than two 33’s you will get slip.

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Three very old but pristine 78’s

Never stack 78’s as they are very old and could break. I don’t think 78’s are made of vinyl. Possibly Bakelite or shellac, but I don’t know.

16’s came somewhere after 78’s I think on the old victrolas the max speed was pre-set so if you hand-cranked it kept a consistent speed. It may have had a winding spring system like an old watch.

The 78’s were next. They spin really really fast and only last about four minutes per side. These records above are from circa 1935-40. They had perfect sound. Very smooth play at 78.

The 33’s came next. They were large platters at slow speed. Hence, Long Play (LP) You could put a collection of tracks on each side of an LP. 78’s were only one song per side.

Finally came the 45. Nothing explains the bizarre oversized hole 🕳  in the middle. Maybe it was to cut back on weight. To compensate, you need either a thick tube adapter you fit over the spindle or a shaky plastic semi-flexible insert. You could stack a bunch of 45’s. That was the invention of true DJ’ing and also the jukebox.

Some modern turntables allow spin in both directions 🧭. This is for DJ’s and turntablists.

You can find an old record player at thrift stores. Then try to find records that are not cracked and don’t have deep scratches or excessive wear. Albums should contain all original sleeves and inserts. Try to find artists you’ve never heard of.

Then start spinning vinyl!

Peace be the Botendaddy

 

Review: David S. Pumpkins – a Smashing Success

Finally something on SNL that wasn’t over-politicized crap 💩. See, the problem with blatant political humor, whether on the left or on the right, is that it often assumes that we are too stupid to get the message. That is SNL’s problem, it often becomes unfunny propaganda.

At any rate, for those of you who didn’t get the joke, it was very similar to Ren & Stimpy’s send up of stupid 1950s cartoons where cat chases mouse 🐁  and dog 🐕 chases cat 🐈  ad infinitum, in contrast to the rather sophisticated and humorous Warner Bros. cartoons that could be viewed on two levels: adult and child 👶.

The 1950´s cartoons were literally marketed to the lowest common denominator… or in other words: they were shitty.

Many of the traditional holiday 👶 children’s cartoon specials really were just intended to come up with some kind of a concept to get all the kids to tune in so that they could buy products marketed through the commercials.

Of course, it is a business and they have to pay 💰 their own freight 🚂 but the old holiday specials were just blatant merchandising with a sketchy cartoon premise.

I had the luxury of never seeing the previous David S Pumpkins skit, but I have since seen it. I didn’t even know that the skit or character existed. Thus, when I saw the special, on SNL, I figured I would give it a minute. It reminded me of the old SNL Smigel cartoons like Ace and Gary, the Ambiguously Gay Duo; and of course it was delightfully mindless and idiotic.

I got the joke regards David S Pumpkins 🎃 . In case you didn’t get the joke, you probably didn’t like the cartoon.

I thought it was pretty entertaining and I believe people will be talking about it for the next 30 years. Kids may even put their shitty sour raisins into pumpkins 🎃 in the hope that it will magically change into delicious 😋 candy 🍭.

The other thing I want to mention while I’m here, is what was up with all those Beatle albums which totally drowned out all of the vocals? It was some idiotic, failed attempt to make it work with quadraphonic stereo. We couldn’t hear 👂 shit. What were we paying for? Doo-doo?

A word to the wise – technologist 👩‍💻 s, whenever you try to be to clever or too tricky about your new technology, it invariably ends up being useless dog 🐕 crap 💩 . Lesson: don’t screw around and try to do stuff like Blu-ray.

Nobody wanted Blu-ray and nobody bought a Blu-ray, thank God. Were we really expected to examine every DVD label and every DVD player label to make sure it was compatible? Just no.

Blu-ray was one of the dumbest ideas of all time, just like the stupid drowned out Beatles vocals, just like New Coke,  just don’t do it, just do normal.

Bonus review. So the Danny Kaye album? I have no idea what this was. I knew of him more as an actor. Some kind of comedic songs. Mildly entertaining.

The Glen Miller LP was a collection of orchestral versions of Broadway 🎭 hits. I really hate Broadway 🎭  but this Album is easy to listen to while working out 🏋️.

The Sinatra 33 was actually excruciatingly boring. I’m not a fan of Sinatra, I’ll admit,  but this was really tortuously dull. The songs were all seemingly contrived for the sole purpose of writing a filler song.

P.S. Some record players can’t detect the size or speed of the record so you have to set 7-10-12 size for 45-78-33 speed.

”Hazelnut Latté?”

Peace be the Botendaddy

 

All music has a story: Mendelssohn’s Rondo Cappriccioso Opus Quattorze

It was on the 8-Track.

I never knew the name of the piece of music 🎶 until yesterday.

After all those years. I did not know what it was called.

Then I was listening 👂 to public radio 📻.

The music 🎶 was on. I waited until they announced it. ‘Mendelssohn’s Rondo Capriccioso Opus XIV’.

Rondo was written in 1830 by Mendelssohn. His motivation was basically experimental. He tried to have it published in Germany, but his price tag was too high. It may have been written for his first love: Delphine von Schauroth per Muswrite – Allan Beggerow. He eventually got it published in Austria and England. See Felix Mendelssohn Bartholdy: Rondo capriccioso for piano op. 14 Also read John Palmer’s wonderful discussion at All Music dot Com

An ancient mystery was solved. I remembered being in the car 🚗 with my dad. I would shove the 8-track in and listen 👂 to my parents’ classical music 🎶.

They also had Bizet and a few I don’t remember now. I’ve been playing their old LP’s while I work out 🏋. Three albums at a time.

We had a good 😊 family while it lasted.

Then it all went to hell. Empires Fall. The Magnificent Ambersons. The Fall of the House of Usher.

As the poet Frost said:

‘Nothing gold can stay.’

Peace be the Botendaddy

Review: The Best of Joan Baez – Squire Records 1963 LP

I was working out in the basement, when I saw the stack of records that I retrieved from my mother’s apartment after she had died.

I played the Simon and Garfunkel, The Moonlight Sonata, The Herb Alpert Whipped Cream and other Delights (On my list of the top 10 American albums of all time).

I love the grainy sound, the rhythmic, repeating, scratching of the vinyl LP.

I love to start sentences with ‘I’ because I don’t follow anyone else’s rules of style. I’m not a writer, I’m a critic. I can do whatever I want.

I pick up ‘The Best of Joan Baez Album’ from 1963 and I take it out of the Album. I place it on the spindle with great care. Then I go to ‘auto’ so I don’t scratch it.

The Best of Joan Baez Squire Records 1963

I don’t talk about my mother often. She was a feminist, old school New Deal, JFK, Gene McCarthy, liberal, Unitarian. She sat in the lunch counter protests in North Carolina back in the late 50’s. But, she came by her beliefs sincerely.

I remember my mother and dad putting on these great dinner parties for the other professors at the University. My dad was chairman of his department. He was a WWII Veteran. They all revered him. He started out as an Archeologist/Paleontologist before he drifted into Anthro and Sociology. My mom was an Anthropologist. Sure Soc. and Anthro. were irrelevant until we started screwing around with other cultures we couldn’t comprehend, then Soc. and Anthro were suddenly relevant again. Oh Well.

I say, at any rate, we had a great family, like the Magnificent Ambersons, The House of Usher, Rosebud, you get the picture, Empires Fall. And when my dad died, we fell. The entire extended family imploded along with it. We were cast into the world on many dark passages and bright days, but that Joan Baez album survived:

I remember my mother singing ‘On the Banks of the Ohio’ when I was a little boy in Cooperstown, Oneonta, Ithaca. Joan Baez has such a crystal-clear, haunting, brilliant voice in this rendition. She’s much better than you can ever imagine if you have not yet heard her music.

I remember listening to this very same album ‘Oh! What a Beautiful City’. I hadn’t heard the song since forever. It brought me back to those idyllic days when we were a respected united family with a great upstate New York house.

I must mention finally, ‘So Soon in the Morning’ with Bill Wood. It brings away all the despair and hopelessness we have from time to time. I wish I had listened to it more often and I wish I had remembered my mother more fondly before it became too late.

I wonder, will my daughter have some memento of me many years in the future? Will she remember me fondly? I don’t know.

I sit here in my musty basement gym, listening to the final grainy rhythmic scratching as the Album comes to an end.

Peace be the Botendaddy

Movie Review: Soylent Green and the Great Dystopian Epics of the 1970’s

Soylent Green

Heston, Robinson.

“I love you Sol.”

“I love you Thorn.”

More gay subtext then ever seen before or since in a non-gay film.

Two dudes living together in harmony.

Gayest outfits ever seen. Like stonewall meets 1920’s Bolsciewieckz.

Gay cop outfits with little scarves.

Gay old dude with phony live in girlfriend.

Gayish Chuck Connors bodyguard.

Gay assassin.

Most icky, stinky girlies are known as ‘furniture ‘ that come with the apartments.

Call boxes but no cellphones. Everyone has hardline phones. Cops have old revolvers.

But books have all but disappeared, not due to computers but due to lack of paper.

The epic peaceful death scene of Thorn with Classical Music and the epic pictures a natural world that no longer existed because of macho, jingoistic, running dog, kapitalist, sex-crazed, patriarchal, racist, sexist, over populating polluters…

The people scooper scene.

The meal scene.

The conveyor belt scene.

The stairway scene.

People… see the f@&king film.

Anyone who is not blind or clinically mentally retarded doesn’t think this is a brilliant four star film? It still stands up in 2017.

“Soylent Green is People!”

“It’s a cookbook!”

Silent Running

Huey Dewey and Louie the duck- like robots and a psycho Bruce Dern. Evil sex-crazed, fascist kapitalists destroy the environment. The last vestiges of the environment are sent into space to be saved. (See Starlost – rather awesome series actually)

Andromeda Strain

Awesome early Crichton

“Caper One this is Vandal Decca.”

Muscular, sexist, homophobic, sex-crazed, patriarchal Kapitalists get bio weapons from outer space.

Smart Doctors and scientists save the universe.

A Clockwork Orange

“There was me that is Alex, and my three droogs, Pete, Georgie, Dim, .”

Evil, jingoistic, running-dog Kapitalists ruin the world by trying to put violent sociopaths in prison.

Awesome Russian used as slang. Tolchok, ultra-violence, razooka, devotchka.

The killing the filthy old Simka with the penis statue scene.

‘Come and get one in the yarbles!’

The Molokai Vellocet milkbar scene.

The ‘can you spare some cutter me brothers’ scene.

Billy Jack

Fake Indian, Special Forces, Kung Fu Master defends the Bolsciewieck freedom school against the sex-crazed, raping, patriarchal townies and Kapitalists.

“One Tin Soldier rides away!”

Logan’s Run

Some kind of future dystopia with Michael York.

Omega Man

Zombie Apocolypse caused by jingoistic, hegemonic, Kapitalists spreading disease. Heston dies again.

Westworld

Kapitist running dog oppressive chauvinists destroy the world with evil robots. Awesome Yul Brynner role.

Sleeper

Kapitalists destroy the world of the future (see Idiocracy for reference)

Planet of the Apes

Revenge of the races repressed by the Kapitalist hegemonic slavemasters with even more racist ape metaphor and Heston dies.

Slaughterhouse Five

Brilliant adaptation of Vonnegut’s novel.

“Billy Pilgrim has become unstuck in time.

Peace be the Botendaddy

I hate TED Talks

“I just hate them, yon Botendaddy. They are an insult to my intelligence. I hate even more when someone tells me I have to watch them. They are stupid, condescending drivel.”

It was the Stalker. We were at the gym. She was pretty, successful, intelligent. Her body was spectacular, lithe, glistening, firm… you get the picture. Too bad she was insane, like a Ted talk.

“I’ve stopped doing sit-ups. I don’t know why, I just don’t do them anymore. They seem meaningless, like Ted talks.”

I lay on the floor, not wanting to do a sit-up.

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The Gym

“Your photos are stupid, they have nothing to do with the articles most of the time, they are irrelevant and mindless, and likely out of date, like Ted talks.”

I pondered for a moment, still without doing a single sit-up.

“My photos, yon *hot* stalker-girl? Who told you to hang out with me? It’s your own fault, really. Even I don’t like me. I’m like a Ted talk, stupid, condescending, irrelevant, mindless, doesn’t deliver on promises, boring and when you are done, you wasted ten minutes of your life that you will never get back.”

I thus quod.

”Botendaddy, when you were a kid, was there something that you thought was novel and cool 😎 and then something else came along that made you disdain it, yea embarrassed that you ever liked it in the first place?”

I pondered in a literary way.

”When I was a kid 🧒, I loved Mad Magazine, I thought 💭 it was funny, irreverent, cutting-edge, then I discovered National Lampoon. Lampoon was crude, vicious, unrepentant with no mincing of words in It’s ugly humor. After that, Mad Magazine looked like a stupid comic for little kids and I didn’t love it anymore. Like TED talks. Once you realize how juvenile and what an insult to our collective intelligence TEd talks are, you will never watch them again.”

I robustly pontificated.

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Even ducks hate Ted talks

“I do sit-ups, it gives me more definition on my girlie-abs. Do you like what you doth see, old man? Do you want some of this. Do you want this bod-y? Do you want this sexy bodd-eeeeee?” She was shouting in a sing-song voice.

I looked around, everyone had their stupid earbuds in, drowning out the world. But none of them were listening to music, they were all listening to Ted Talks! Oh the horror! Is there balm in Gilead?

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Lincoln hated Ted Talks

The Stalker came over and straddled me on the filthy gym-mat while I was still thinking about situps.

“You could f&%k me right here, yon Botendaddy and no-one would even notice with their ear-buds in. They are cut off from the world.”

“Iced Vanilla Latte?”

Peace be the Botendaddy

Tesseracts and the Fourth Dimension

I was sitting on a bench overlooking Montreal from on top of Mont Royal. The Adirondacks loomed in the distance.

“You know, Librarian, you can’t explain an abnormal situation to people who are used to normalcy.”

It was cold but dry. I liked the cold, she did not.

“What in the hell are you talking about?”

“Let’s say you work somewhere that your boss is literally insane, a psycho, they torment you every day. If you try to explain the situation to someone who works in a normal environment with sane, professional people, your friend will give you advice that only works in a normal place.”

The Librarian looked through one of the 25 cents pay-magnifiers.

“OK, example…”

“OK, in the Army we had this commander who ran the unit like a cult, never gave anyone any free time, micro-managed everything down to the lowest level, demanded inane time-wasting reports and asked mindless questions about idiotic minutiae. Not an evil person, but either OCD or quite insane. So if you explained it to someone from another unit, they cocked their head like a dog who doesn’t understand human speech.”

I put my jacket around the Librarian because she looked cold.

“Maybe I get it, I don’t know.”

“Like in Bosnia, I could be walking side by side with the Canadian and I would get threatening look or even verbal threats. The Canadian had no awareness at all because it wasn’t directed at him. Or the psycho boss I had at work who timed how long I spent in the bathroom and every time I asked for direction she would say I shouldn’t have to tell you your job, and we would have to guess the agenda.”

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Ducks have no idea what you are saying to them

“And?”

“Like in Twilight Zone when the little girl went into the Fourth Dimension or when the officers of the Caine went to visit Admiral Halsey. You can’t explain the inexplicable to people who only have normal as a reference. You can’t go over your crazy boss’ head if his boss or HR thinks your boss is wonderful.”

“Maybe…”

“OK, a tesseract is a cube in the fourth dimension. You can’t describe it to a person in the third dimension. It would be like explaining a cube to Flat Stanley, there is no frame of reference.”

“Conclusion?”

“It’s about advice. The person who lives in normalcy always tries to give advice to the person who lives in crazy world. The advice giver doesn’t understand that the rules are totally different. If you’ve never worked for an irrational boss how can you give advice to the person who works for a crazy boss who is supported by even crazier management? If you’ve always been thin, how do you give weight loss advice to someone who has always been fat? If you run a five minute mile how do you give advice to someone who just started running, has bad knees and runs a thirteen-minute Mile?”

“I get it, crazy world has a totally different set of rules. Roberts Rules of Order don’t apply to street gangs, terrorists don’t follow the Geneva Convention and there is no Marquis of Queensberry Rules in a bar fight. You can’t give advice if you don’t know what the fuck you are talking about.”

“Correctamundo, hence the tesseract.”

“Shut up and f@&k me, you useless f&$cking idiot.”

Latte?

Peace be the Botendaddy