Wondering about wild grapes

Thursday, April 28, 2016

Most Dangerous?

If someone asks, "what is the most dangerous thing", there could be a multitude of answers.  First, there should be some limits stated in this question.  Do they mean, the most dangerous thing in the universe, or our solar system, or our Earth, or our neighbor hood, or where?  Each of these places could have their own separate answers.

OK, I will rephrase my question.  What is most dangerous on Earth?  Now, that too is way too broad of a question.  The answer to this second question could be war, radiation dangers, the freeways, the jungles, the deserts, nuclear war, etc., or this:

Well, let's try again.  What is the most dangerous creature on Earth?  Well, that narrows it down some, but not quite enough.  An answer to that question, and the one at the top of the list, would be mankind.  Other answers could range from the small (bacteria, microbes, etc.)  to the medium sized (snakes, bees, scorpions, rabid animals, etc.) to large sized (rhinos, elephants, tigers, lions, mean bulls, a sumo wrestler, etc.).

Well, I don't think any of the above is the answer.  There are a lot of things that are venomous and/or poisonous.  Most all venomous things are living creatures that inject their venom into their victims.  Poisonous things can transfer their poison by touch or if you eat them.  My choice of most dangerous fits the last kind.

Yep, it is a pretty little frog that comes in a lot of different colors, a Poison Dart Frog that lives in Central and South America.  Isn't it cute?  Just don't ever pick it up with your bare hands.  It is not venomous, but it is very, very poisonous.  Its skin is covered by a very deadly poison, an alkaloid toxin. that prevents the nerves of what ever it bites from transmitting signals to its muscles.  That leaves the muscles in an inactive state of contraction, thus stopping the heart from beating.  Some native people in areas where this frog is found, use its poison on darts and/or arrows.  I guess that would keep a wounded animal from escaping.   This cute frog has enough venom to kill about 10,000 mice and from 10 to 20 humans.  This puts a different meaning to the phrase (you can look, but don't touch).  Now, be careful what you pick up and have a great day, you hear?

Wednesday, April 27, 2016

R.R. Tracks Next to My House?

I got rudely awakened from a deep sleep by a fast train going past my bedroom window!!  Then, as I shook the sleep from my brain, I realized that there were no railroad tracks anywhere near my property.

Yep, you guessed it, it was very high winds.   We have had small tornadoes wander across our property before, so I know what they sound like and it sounded just like that.  According to the news weatherman on TV this morning, we had 60 mph guests of wind as the storm front passed over us and also quite a few small tornadoes.  Since the front line stretched at an angle with the north end a lot further east than the south end, Houston didn't get it for another couple of hours (about 07:00).

I did take a short nap on the couch, and tried to comfort my oldest pup who is deathly afraid of anything that goes boom or bang and with all the lightning in the area, there was a lot of thunder.  But, today dawned bright and sunny, we survived the storm, and it is going to be a great day and I hope your day will be great, too, you hear?

Tuesday, April 26, 2016

Not So Perfect Vision.

I have worn glasses for almost as long as I can remember.  I believe I got my first pair of glasses early in grade school.  I can't remember if it was first grade or later.  No, I wasn't this young:

I don't know if my astigmatism was from birth or from a burning marshmallow that got stuck in my eye and melted all over it.  Yep, we were all roasting them on a campfire and the one in front of me had hers catch fire.  She jerked it back off the fire and it flew over her shoulder into my eye.  What a hot, burning mess.

A few years later, I was laying on my back loving the warm summer sun.  For some reason, I pulled my T-shirt up over my heard and what a surprise.  Looking through the tiny holes that the weaving of the shirt created, I could see things perfectly.  Yes, if you punch a tiny pin hole through a piece of heavy paper, you can see small things more clearly.  Don't believe me?  Try it.  While looking through that pin hole, move the thing you are looking at closer or further away to find the correct focal length.  Yep, it works.

I have heard that back in antiquity, that glasses with a single pinhole were used to see small things clearly.  Today's modern pinhole glasses are quite different; they have many, many holes.  Here is a picture of modern ones:

I had cataract operations, where they implanted new lenses.  I chose to have long distance vision, so still have to wear reading glasses to read, blog on my computer, or see anything clearly at close range.  My glasses work better than a hole in some paper, but the hole has come in handy at times when I forgot my reading glasses.  Now, keep looking around and take in all that beauty that this world and this universe has given to us and have a great day, you hear?

Monday, April 25, 2016

Completed Puzzles.

We like jigsaw puzzles and every now and then we buy some and put them together.  Well, my wife does most of the puzzles and I only help out every now and then.  Well, she finished a couple up and I took some pictures of them before they get taken apart, put back in their boxes, and maybe worked again or passed on to someone else.  These two puzzles fit nicely on our card table.

And look, they both came in the same box.  Yes, the pieces to both puzzles were mixed up together in that one box.  So, it wasn't like doing two puzzles, but one big one. . . . OK, it was like doing two different puzzles, we just had to figure out which pieces went to which puzzle.

I took a closer picture of the bottle caps puzzle.  Sorry, the light blurred part of it:

This second picture is of the other puzzle and it has quite a scene.  There were a lot of everything in that picture puzzle;  a train, tunnel, woods, lake, sky, flowers, and balloons. 

Well, that is the way we have been spending our time, my wife, more than me.  Now I hope today doesn't bring you any unsolved puzzles that you can't solve, just have a great day, you hear?

Sunday, April 24, 2016

Happy Birthday to a Telescope.

Happy Birthday, Hubble.  No, I don't mean the man named Edwin Hubble, I mean the space telescope that was named after him.  Yes, it is 26 years old today, as of 09:25 this morning; the time of lift-off of the STS-31 launch vehicle (the space shuttle's 31st launch) that carried the satellite into orbit.  Do you know, since then, there have been five missions to correct problems and to service it?

When first launched, the pictures it took and sent back to Mission Control were distorted, so four more missions were launched to correct and service the telescope.  The fifth mission to the Hubble was cancelled for safety reasons after the Columbia broke apart and scattered pieces across several states.  Oh yes, above, I did say that there were five missions.  Yes, there was another one, the last.  It was 41 months later that STS-114 serviced the Hubble Space Telescope. 

Hubble orbits the Earth every 97 minutes (actually every 96.5 minutes) at a height of 347 miles and speeding along at 4.66 miles per second.  Oh dang, why don't I just copy and past some of Hubble's info:

  • Launched: Apr 24, 1990
  • Orbital height: 347 miles (559 km)
  • Orbital speed: 4.66 miles/s (7.50 km/s)
  • Weight: 24,493 pound (11,110 kg)
  • Orbital period: 96.50 minutes
  • Launch vehicle: STS-31

  • Here is picture of a shuttle being launched:

    And here it is, doing its job out in a high orbit around Earth:

    Now, how about a few of the pictures that the Hubble Space Telescope sent back to us on Earth:

    The Hubble Space Telescope could last for years, sending us back wondrous pictures until  2030 or 2040 and maybe beyond.  I don't know about you, but on this day, Hubble's Birthday, I would like to wish it a happy birthday and many, many more.  Now, you all have a great day, you hear?

    Friday, April 22, 2016

    A Bloom and Working Together

    One of my wife's plants are blooming again.  She has taken cuttings of the original and started more of these and I believe this is one from a cutting.  These blooms always please my eyes:

    Nothing is impossible if everyone works together as a team.  Don't believe me?  Just watch ants.

    I was walking out my driveway this morning and noticed a line across it.  Now my driveway is made of crushed cement and after driving on it for years, it has become very hard packed.  Well something made that line and, yep you guessed it, it was ants.  I suspect that they traveled back and forth quite often and probably got tired of being run over by vehicles, so they dug a trench.  Yep, now a heavy laden tire can roll over it with no effect or a foot can press down on it and not interrupt their travels.

    This just goes to show us what all can be done when every member of the society or group or family cooperates.  We all could move mountains or make trenches.  Here is a closer look at the ants thoroughfare:

    Now, you all cooperate with each other to make sure you all have a great day, you hear?


    I just went back out and checked on the ants.  I had a hard time finding them again and when I did I discovered that they were putting a roof on top of their road.  In other words, they were turning it into a tunnel.

    Thursday, April 21, 2016

    My Dad and the Colonel

    My Dad was in the Army during WW2.  Just before his platoon got shipped out, my Dad came down with an intravenous block.  The veins on his stomach stuck out so far they were about the size of his fingers.  It was serious but it could have saved his life.  His platoon was shipped out and deployed in Bataan and many did not return.

    After he got released from the hospital, they made him an MP (Military Police).  Doing his duties as such, he pulled up on his military motorcycle and stopped it in front of the base hospital.  The Colonel came by in a mean mood and yelled at my Dad for parking it there.  He said to move it immediately and take the shortest route possible to the other end of the hospital.  The hospital was a long, narrow building with an aisle down the center with beds on both sides.  So, my Dad fired up the bike and followed orders to the letter and took the shortest route right down the aisle of that hospital with the guys in the beds cheering him on.  The Colonel just walked away because he knew that my Dad did exactly as ordered.

    That act did not go over very well with the Colonel and he was closely watching my Dad, just waiting for him to make a mistake.  One day my Dad was on duty guarding the gate which was in view of the Colonels office.  A couple of soldiers came to the gate to get signed out.  My Dad checked them over and their attire agreed with the uniform of the day, so he let them go.  His phone rang and it was the Colonel who told my Dad to stop those men that they were not in proper uniform.  My Dad called them back, looked over the sheet that listed the uniform of the day, and told them to go on and enjoy themselves.

    This made the Colonel so mad that he dropped everything and stormed out of the office, tromped over to the gate, and started yelling and threatening my Dad.  My dad then proceeded to arrest the Colonel because in his haste to bawl out my Dad, he forgot to put his cap on and thus was out of uniform.  From that day on, that Colonel never bothered my Dad again.  Now, I hope everyone is in proper uniform and make sure you all have a great day, you hear?