Wondering about wild grapes

Thursday, February 21, 2019

Air Brakes, etc.

What do I think about airbrakes?  Well, I love them.  My motorhome (RV) has them and I believe that they are the safest brakes you can have on a vehicle.  Why?  Well, first of all, let me compare them to hydraulic brakes.  Hydraulic brakes work fine, but have their faults compared to air brakes.

The main difference is, with hydraulic brakes you have to supply hydraulic pressure to the brake pads to slow or stop your vehicle.  More than one thing are involved, so there are a lot of things that can go wrong.  With air brakes, the brakes are on when no air is supplied and off when air is supplied to them.  So. if the system fails or gets a leak, the brakes come on.  So, that is why I believe that they are the safest.

Another advantage to air brakes, is that when you park the vehicle and pull the parking brake, the air is vented.  Yep, you can hear the rushing air leaving the system.  Since it takes air pressure to release the brakes, all the brakes would be on when there is no pressure to hold them open.

I also have Jake brakes on my rig.  A Jake brake (or a Jacobs brake) is actually an engine brake.  It is a compression release engine brake which opens exhaust valves in the cylinders after the compression stroke.  This releases the compressed gas in the cylinders, slowing the vehicle.  That process can be quite noisy.  I remember seeing signs in sleepy little towns that read "No Jake Brakes".  Let me tell you, they are a wonderful thing to have when you are coming down off a mountain on a steep, windy road.  Let me know if you have ever driven a vehicle equipped with air brakes and Jake brakes and have a great day, you hear?



Monday, February 18, 2019

We Pronounce Words Different

Everyone in the world whose first language is English doesn't pronounce the same words the same.  I guess you could say that there are different English dialects.  Just here in the US, there are quite a few different dialects.  I am sure that you can tell the difference from a southerner to someone form the northeast or from the Midwest, or from any other different area.

I remember when I was sixteen years old my Uncle took his family and me on a long trip across North America.  Every area where we stopped, I noticed that the locals had their own way of speaking English.  Once, when we were a couple of thousand of miles away from home, one lady asked me if I were from Butler, PA.  I said yes, that I lived about eight miles south of Butler and then I asked her how she knew that.  She said by the way I talk and pronounce words.  Dang, up until then, I thought it was every one else that talked strange.

Even when I grew up and had been working for quite a few years, I took a new job near Detroit, Michigan.  Canada was just across the river and was easy to get to.  Also, it was shorter to drive across Canada to New York than through the US.  I don't remember why my boss and I were going there, but the officials at the border told me, as we crossed the river and entered Canada, that I was from Western Pennsylvania, even though I had Michigan plates on my car.  I told him he was right that western PA was where I was born and raised and lived for over 30 years, but then I asked how he knew that.  He said by the way I talk and the words I use.  Can't fool those border guards.

Since I have lived in Pennsylvania, Michigan, North Carolina, and Texas, my dialect must be pretty confusing.  BTW, when I first started to work in Michigan, I couldn't understand my boss.  He told me to go check the ruff or the rough or ???  Luckily, there was a co-worker nearby that translated it to me as "go check the roof".  Yep, language is not my best subject.  Now, don't fall off your ruff and have a great day, you hear?

Saturday, February 16, 2019

I Did Try It.

On my last post I stated that I was planning to count the days backwards to see if I could get any younger.  Well, just for your information, it didn't work.  That was my last resort so I am just going to live with the idea that I am getting old and it just may be better than the alternative (grin).

I have a lot of the signs of aging.  My hair has turned a silvery grey along with my beard, etc.  It seems that all of the hair on my legs has disappeared and then, magically, reappeared on my stomach.  And speaking of my stomach, it must not know that my body has quit growing because it sure hasn't.  I can't say that I am out of shape because I have a lot of different shapes that I didn't used to have.  But, as long as my brain and my typing abilities don't give up, I will keep on blogging whether you like it or not (grin).  Now, you all stay young and have a great day, you hear?

Thursday, February 14, 2019

Dang, I Am Getting Old

Yep, I sure am getting old.  Today is my birthday and I guess that it is time to start counting backwards.  Do you think that would make me younger.  Yes, I was born on Valentine's Day, so now you know where I get all my charm (grin).  I have seen a lot and been through a lot since I was born.  Because I was born in 1943, World War Two was going on and my Dad was an MP in the Army.  I can remember my Mother holding me up and showing me a picture of my Dad a lot so that I would remember him when he got home.

My cousin was born two days before Christmas and I used to have a neighbor when I was kid who was born on Christmas day.  The trouble with being born on or near Christmas is that you are not going to get a lot of gifts for both.  My neighbor used to complain that she would get things that usually come in pairs (like shoes, socks, gloves, etc.) with one wrapped up with a Happy Birthday tag and the other wrapped up with a Merry Christmas tag.  Now, you all have a great day, I sure do plan to.


Friday, February 8, 2019

Street Number Sign - Gone

Back a few years ago, my wife was getting packages delivered by UPS and to make sure they could find my place, she suggested I put our street number on a sign so they could find us.  Our home is not visible from the road, just the long drive way which disappears from sight before it gets to our home.  Therefore, I got a couple of 4x4's and a 1x12.  I made stencils of our street number using Auto Cad to create the type of numbers I wanted on the sign.  The stenciled numbers were just a little bit shorter than width of the board.  I painted the board white and stenciled the numbers in black.  I dug holes with a post hole digger and put the sign up.

That was quite a few years ago and that sign served us well, that is, until yesterday.  Somebody ran into it an broke it off at the ground.  Here is a picture I took of it:

Of course, I could get busy and make a new one, but I don't feel like doing that right now and, if this was a deliberate act, they will just do it again.  My daughter-in-law suggested that, since there is a day-care center across the street from my driveway, a school bus or truck may have backed up out of their parking lot and crossed the road and hit the sign and didn't even know it.  Well, it doesn't matter who or what did it, it is done gone for now.  Now, you all drive safely and have a great day, you hear?

Wednesday, February 6, 2019

My Ponds Are Full


It was a warm afternoon with highs in the low 80's but that will change this coming Friday morning when a front blows through here lowing the high temps of Friday at only 40 degrees.  I decided to take advantage of the warm weather and take a walk around my property.  It has been awhile since I have done so.

I found that all the rain we have had has filled all my ponds and more so.  Yep, some low laying areas have also filled with water.  There is still plenty of dry ground for me to walk around the place and never getting my shoes wet.

 Here are some pictures I took today:





I made a big circle around all that open wet area.  The two ponds have swollen and overflowed but I still had dry land on the perimeters.  Those trees in the background have a trail I use that is behind them.  My daughter-in-law's ducks have been enjoying all the wet areas.  In fact, one followed me for 80 yards before going back to the water.  I feel good having got some exercise today.  Sure beats walking around Wal-Mart. . . .  Now, you all enjoy what is left of this fine day, you hear?

Monday, February 4, 2019

One Less Duck

I was in our dogs' fenced in back yard and noticed something white in the thicket.  It reminded me of ice or snow, but not down here in the warm East Texas.  So, I got a little closer and, dang, it was feathers.  Yes, a whole lot of white feathers.  Here, take a look for yourselves:

Yep, something had duck for dinner.  I don't know what it was, but we have all sorts of wildlife around here that would be glad to feast on a duck walking in the woods after dark.  Or maybe, something caught it down around the chicken and duck coops and dragged it up here to feast in private.  Earlier, I published a blog with pictures from my son's game cameras, and if you remember, there were a lot of pictures of different predators.  Yep, it is a dangerous world out there in the jungle (grin).  But I want you all have a great evening, you hear?