Wondering about wild grapes

Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Almost got to go wandering.

I was planning to go for short trip, maybe out to central Texas just to get out of the house and also try to burn out some of that old diesel that I bought back last Thanksgiving.  I still have a half a tank, so must have only put less than 400 miles on it.  It holds a hundred gallons but I don't know what kind of fuel mileage I am getting.  Actually, it was probably a lot less since I have only taken it on a couple of short trips and all the other miles were back and forth to get tires or repairs or service or something; all local trips with a lot of idling.  The longest trip I took was up 59 a ways to meet up with Sixbears and his wife and his dog when he was in Texas visiting his in-laws.  I will have to postpone any trip right now because I got an email with another job to do.

We found out that an old friend who lives in Pennsylvania was back in the area visiting her family that lives only a few miles from me.  She lives near my Aunt (the one we send cards to) and we met her at the flea market last year when she was down here baby sitting her grand-kids.  Last July, when we were up in Pennsylvania, we stopped and at their produce farm and had a great visit.  I showed a picture of them and told about visiting with her and her husband on this old blog: http://dizzydick.blogspot.com/2011/08/reviewing-my-wandering-part-1.html

Remember I told you that I only had a couple of paying jobs this year and liked it like that?  It is nice to get a few now and then to keep me in practice and to get a little pocket change.  This is a fabrication design job that I did earlier this year and my customer's customer decided to change everything.  It sounds simple enough but involves almost a complete redraw except for a lot of the details. I will first have to redo the solid model so that I can project new fabrication drawing and they can get this job done.  OK, maybe next week I can take a drive somewhere.  You all have a great day and try to stay cool, you hear?

Monday, July 30, 2012

Wondering about "book review" blog postings.

I got spammed yesterday with 30 blog postings showing up on my Blogger Dashboard.  Each one was from "roy at Book Review".  I have never heard of his blog and he is not listed in my favorites.  So how did all these blog postings show up on my dashboard?  I looked into it a little bit further.  I clicked on the highlighted part of "roy at Book Review" (which was the "Book Review" part) and it took me to his site which gave an in depth review of the book.  But what caught my attention was up at the top where it shows you what site you are on, it said I was on "frannbro.blogspot.com".  That site is or was Frann Brother's site who was building a sand bag house near Terrilingua.  It appears that she stopped blogging and some spammer is now using her site and getting listed on the dashboard of all those who used to read her blog; or she got a new part time job (grin).

Now tell me, what good is it doing this Roy fellow to flood a site with book reviews?  Is he getting paid a certain amount for each review he posts?  So far, I haven't detected anything else devious that it has done other than to have filled up a large part of my dashboard.  This is the second time I have received spam from a blog site that is idle or abandoned.  It seems these spammers search for sites that have not been used for awhile and take them over.  I guess I must live a protected life, because I have no idea what so ever would make a person want to do that if it were not for some monetary reason.  If it were out of meanness, he would have put something nasty in it.  If he wanted to get attention; well he got it out of me.  Hope I didn't make his day but I want all you out there to have a great day, you hear?

Sunday, July 29, 2012

Wondering about ???

Hey, I wonder about everything, but this morning I don't have any particular subject to wonder about.  I seem to have woken up earlier this morning with an empty head.  Of course there are a lot of people who know me say that my head is empty most of the time.  Well yes!!!  I pour it all out in my blogs everyday.  What do they expect?  For that matter, what do you expect from a blog that you read?  Which types do you prefer?

I like all types.  Of course I like humorous ones, and the ones that tell about the writers everyday life and travels.  I think most everyone loves to laugh and so, I suppose, the humorous ones are at the top of the list.  But a person's everyday experiences and travels can be humorous at times.  So I suppose a perfect blog would be one that tells of a person's life and experiences in a humorous way.  I also like blogs that tell me things I didn't know.  Now that isn't too hard for bloggers to do since I really don't know much, I just think I do.  I always like to hear strange facts about almost any subject, especially the ones I know little about.  I guess that I could say I enjoy reading all blogs, but only have time for a few.

Some of the blogs I follow are listed on my blog post.  I wonder why all the blogs I follow are not listed there?  I need to take a course on Google Blogger so I can understand it better and know how to do more things and do them better.  But for now, I think I will just wonder about all those things I don't know anything about, or maybe just wander on down to the flea market this morning.  I guess it is because of all the heat this summer, but Saturday's are really dead at the flea market.  There are 5 to 10 times the vendors there on Sunday than on Saturday.  I think that they should hold them in the middle of the week just for us retired old folks, what you think?  OK, I guess you could tell that I didn't have anything important to say today.  So let's hear from you on what you like to see in a blog.  Of course I will probably not change anything since I am an old curmudgeon; oh, I guess you already knew that.  Now, you all try to have a great day and I will too.

Saturday, July 28, 2012

Wondering why I can't sing anymore.

I used to be able to sing pretty good, but now I don't seem to be able to.  Oh, I can still sing a little, but it doesn't sound near as good.  Maybe it is because I haven't really sang much in the last 40 years.  When I was young, like way back in high school, I sang in the church choir, I sang in a barbershop quartet, and I sang in a gospel quartet.  I sang tenor in the choir and lead in the quartets.  When I went off to Penn State, one of the first things I did was try out for their meditation chapel choir.  Maybe tenors were hard to find at the time, but after the tryout, I was asked to join the European traveling choir, the highest honer one could have and the members at that time were usually picked from the best of the University main choir who's members were picket from the meditation chapel choir.  I told them that I was honored but could not afford to go to Europe, so they put me in the main choir.  I loved to sing and especially in a choir or a quartet.  Solos were OK, but I much preferred the blending of voices.  I had a much better blending voice than a solo voice.  Now, the only way I sound good is to sing solo so low that I can't be heard.

I still like to sit down, pick up my Ovation guitar, and pick and sing a little.  I guess everyone around my house has gotten used to it.  The dogs don't howl and the wife doesn't stick her fingers in her ears, but they just seem to ignore it and maybe it will go away.  Now, since I can't hear myself from the outside, I really don't know how bad I sound.  Therefore, I have purchased a couple of things that may help.  I got an electronic recorder form Best Buy that I can play back through it or through my computer.  My wife wanted to stop at a yard sale and I found an old portable cassette tape recorder.  Now, I just have to record myself, play it back, and then determine if I should only play and sing when I am all alone or if dogs and people could actually stand to hear it.  You all hum a tune and have a great day, you hear?

Friday, July 27, 2012

Wondering about wild grapes

I noticed the wild grapes are getting ripe around my place.  I am not positive but I think they are Mustang Grapes.  They are quite large and very sweet when ripe.  The birds and wild animals love them as do I.  For some reason when you walk by a vine, pick a couple, and eat them right there, they seem to taste the best.  Maybe it is just like when the food always tastes the better cooked on an open camp fire.  I took a few pictures yesterday to show you.  Here is one:

And an other showing more of them:

This one is with my hand holding them to give you an idea of the size of the grapes:

And finally, I stepped back and took a picture showing more of them:

I have to keep cutting back the ones that grow near my house.  They keep trying to encroach on my deck and steps.  I hate to keep cutting them, but have to do it or they will take over and we and my home may never be found again.  So, if I miss writing too many blogs without letting you know what I am up to, maybe you better organize a searching party and bring machetes and chain saws before it is too late (grin).  I guess I will just have to wander back out there and eat some of those big fat ripe ones before the wildlife gets them all.  In the mean time, you all have yourselves a very sweet day now, you hear?

Thursday, July 26, 2012

Wondering why I am always hitting in the yard.

If you have been following my blog you know the first night I brought my just purchased motor-home home, I hit a tree and damaged the long power awning.  That finally got fixed.  I also, while backing up, sideswiped an electric pole.  That damage I fixed myself.  If you remember, I purchased a new lawn tractor not too long ago.  No, I didn't hit the lawn tractor with the motor-home, at least not yet.  I was cutting my front half acre and my neighbor was cutting his place.  He had just bought one of those zero turn lawn mowers that you steer with levers.  We pulled up beside each other and talked about our new lawn toys.  I told him I looked at one of those but didn't want all that stuff flying up in my face.  He said that was a problem but was going to mount a truck mud flap on the front as a shield.  After our discussion, we both took off mowing.

After I mowed almost all of the front, I only had a corner behind a pine tree to cut.  It was where my neighbor's fence met up with mine and it was only two tractor widths wide, not enough room to swing around.  I usually just pull beside my fence and stop at his, back up and move over and run in again.  Since I had been cutting the larger open area, I had the cruse control on.  All you have to do to turn it off is step on the forward or reverse pedals.  The tractor has a hydraulic drive system which makes everything simple.  Now remember, I only have about two hours on the tachometer, so this tractor is still "new" to me.

I came mowing in along my fence still in cruse control and when I just about reached the corner, I stepped on what I thought was the reverse pedal.  It didn't stop, so I stomped on it again and it still didn't stop!!  Then I realized I was stomping on the forward pedal and by that time I was sitting on top of my neighbor's knocked down fence.  I backed off and observed the damage.  I broke both his corner post and another post that the diagonal rail went to.  It was a wire mesh fence and since I hit between the posts, I did not do any damage to my tractor.  I went and told him what happened and he said not to worry about it.  I do, so I dragged a couple of fence posts over there and left them for him.  These are big posts, about eight feet long and look like small electric poles; they will not be knocked down as easily as his old ones.  When my wife and I were leaving to go to town to pick up my blood pressure medicine prescription, I saw him in his front yard working on something.  I stopped to tell him about the posts that I was leaving there for him and found out he was working on a pipe from his well that he had hit with his mower.  Not a good day for cutting grass for either of us.  Guess we were like two boys with new toys (grin).  OK, now you all have a great day and maybe you shouldn't cut any grass today, you hear?

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Wondering about the stars.

When one looks up at the sky at night and sees all the glorious things that are out there, he wants to have a closer look either by telescope, unmanned probe, or going there in person.  The last part is pretty impractical.  The distances are so huge that they can't easily be comprehended even by those who study such things.  Yes, the other planets that share our star (the sun) are accessible to man although not hospitable nor that easy to reach.  The closest star to Earth is Proxima Centauri and it is about 4.22 light years away; that's 24.7 trillion miles away.  That doesn't sound that far considering that most all others are a lot further away but just try to comprehend that distance.  It is 25000 miles around the Earth at the equator, so just divide 25000 into 24.7 trillion. . . Oh wait, my calculator doesn't go that high, it doesn't have enough numbers before the decimal point.  But, let us look at that distance and see if man could get there in one lifetime.  It is possible, but it would take a lifetime; there would be no return trip.

Humans first left our planet back in 1961, that was the year I graduated from high school.  Eight years after that a lot of guys walked around on the moon.  Since 1972 the closest man has got to another planet is low earth orbit.  Sounds like we are going backwards instead of forwards.  But, some say, it costs too much.  It did cost a lot but look at all the side affects it had and all the things that we take for granted today were a spin off of the trips into space.

The big problem is the huge distances.  Even traveling at the speed of light, man could never live long enough to reach anything really interesting.  Can you imagine being on a trip to our nearest star?  Even at that distance you would have to wait eight and half years to get a reply to a radio transmission.  Talk about a long drawn out conversation.  Things get to be impractical if not impossible when you even think about traveling that far.  And just think of the price of gas (grin).  Now you all have a great day and don't stray too far from home, you hear?

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Wondering about Billy Bob's flashlight.

I read Billy Bob's blog yesterday where he told about finding a flashlight at a flea market that didn't work.  Here it is in his own words:
 Sit'n there on this table is a cool look'n flashlight what says "Police" on the side it. Now this is got to be a good 'un. Rechargable batter, 2 chargers, and adjustable high intensity beam of blind'n light. I wheeled and dealed an' got that sucker for $15....yee ha. I could be on DirecTV on one them barter programs. Well anyhows....the damn thing don't work. "Sucker".

I was standing at a vendor's table where a fellow was returning a little flashlight.  The vendor gave him back his money and the fellow stomped away.  I asked the vendor what was wrong with the flashlight and he said that the guy probably forgot to open it up and take the paper out that kept the batteries from running down.  He then opened it up, removed the paper, and low and behold it worked.  I said that I would buy it and he said I could have it for half price or something like that, so I took it.  It has worked very, very well for me.  It is surprisingly bright.  If you don't need one that casts a long, narrow beam of light, then this one is more than perfect.  It lights up most of the dog's yard at night.  I would have never even thought of buying it if that other guy had not been making such a fuss about how bad it was.  Here, let me show you what it is like.  

The quarter is there to give you a feel for the size of the flash light.  It is quite compact.  This next picture shows the 14 LED bulbs that produce the bright light:

And of course the rear end:

When you open it up you will see that it operates on three triple A batteries that go into a neat three battery holder.  This cartridge then can be put easily into the flash light.  For only a couple of bucks, I think I made a good purchase.

Sorry Billy Bob, I know it is easy to get stuck with some junk from a flea market.  I have had it happen to me and so has my wife.  So join the crowd, but at least it gave you (and now me) a subject to blog about (grin).  You all have an enlightened and a great day now, you hear?

Monday, July 23, 2012

OK, it's Monday, so what?

For those of us who are retired or semi-retired, Monday is just another day except the flea market is not open.  So, like I do most every day, I started thinking of places to go and places I have been.  Having a means of camping whether it be a tent and sleeping bag or a diesel pusher motor home, we all can get to see the same scenery.  Actually, the people with the tents and sleeping bags get to see places and things the others could only dream of.  Just ask someone like Gypsy who has hiked the Appalachian Trail.

One of the places that I thought very scenic, was the drive from Apache Junction to Tortilla Flatts in Arizona.  Along the way you drive by Canyon Lake.  Up until that time, I thought Arizona was nothing but mountains and desert.  Where the heck did all this water come from and isn't it absolutely beautiful?  Here are a couple of pictures I took when there:

This is no small lake.  At the far end there is a huge marina with some very large boats.  I have no idea how they got those huge boats in there, since the only road to the area is narrow and very windy with sharp turns and steep drop-offs.  Arizona has a lot of different scenes.  If you get tired of the flat desert, go to the mountains.  If you get tired of the desolation, go to a big city.  If you get tired of the arid, parched land, go to the lakes.  If you get tired of all the sights, go dig for gold.  OK, now I want to go to Arizona.  Think that I will wait until cooler weather.  The Gold Prospectors Association of America have two "common digs" at their site which is the old ghost town of Stanton.  I have been there twice, once at the outing held at the end of the year and once ant the one held around Easter time.  I enjoyed both times and really want to get back there again.  The people are so friendly and it is so much fun sitting around and talking with people who have the same interest.  And of course, a side benefit is the gold you get.  Now have a golden day, you hear?

Sunday, July 22, 2012

Just a quick check-in.

My son went on a weekend motorcycle trip with a few of his friends out to central Texas.  He is due back today but one of his hobbies is raising and showing beautiful show rabbits.  He has a lot of them and a couple of dogs.  So twice a day I have to take care of them, which I did this morning.  We had a fairly severe storm come through here just before mid-night and one of the rabbits somehow stomped hard enough to put a big dent in the bottom of the cage which allowed it to kick open the door.  Thank goodness the cages are inside his dogs' fenced in yard.  I couldn't get it cornered so I let the dogs out to help.  His dogs will not hurt the rabbits, in fact he has one trained to stay indoors with the dogs.  Finally caught it and tried to repair the cage, so I am running late and my wife is moving toward the door;  flea market day, you know.  So I am going to keep this short and just ask you to have a great day today, you hear?

Saturday, July 21, 2012

Wondering about re-purposing and green art.

My wife just has to be making something or creating something artsy.  She is a multi-talanted  gal who has to be doing something creative when she is not on the QVC web site.  Of course she can do her artistic projects while watching QVC on the TV.  Last night she finished a project which took a lot longer than it should since she didn't have a circle cutter and had to cut all those circles out by hand.

I was getting excited when I saw her gathering up some road maps.  I figured that maybe she was ready to go on an extended RV trip.  Boy was I wrong!!  She was destroying those maps!!!  But I have to admit, she made some interesting looking art work out of them.  Here, see for your self:

I know she used more than one map.  I think one was Ohio because I see Cleveland on Lake Erie on one of the circles.  I should have known she didn't want to take a road trip in the RV, so she was destroying the maps!!!  OK, now that we got that straight, here is a close up view of a section of her project:

My wife wanted me to tell you that she got the idea from Favecrafts.com and that she didn't think it up herself.  She usually comes up with her own ideas and they have turned into some great pieces of re-purposed or green art.  Now, you all have a great day and do something artsy, you hear?

Friday, July 20, 2012

Wondering about copycat TV shows.

Have you ever noticed if a TV show is very successful you get a whole bunch of spin-offs or copycat shows?  This seems to happen in shows of all different themes but lately there has been an explosion in reality picker, pawn-shop, and storage auction shows.  The pawn shop shows all started with Pawn Stars located in Las Vegas, and now there is a Cajun Pawn Stars show from Louisiana,  Hard Core Pawn Show of the American Jewelry and Loan located on 8-Mile Road in Detroit, to name a few and other spin off shows that show restorations for these pawn stores.  The picker shows started with the American Pickers with Frank and Mike and now they even have the Canadian Pickers (Cash Cowboys), and a couple of girls out looking for junk to turn into art furniture or something.  Then there are the storage locker auctions.  I know of a few of them.  Now, what makes all these shows so popular?  My wife and I were sitting here watching one last night and I ask her why we enjoy these shows.  It seems that after a while you get to know the characters in the show and want to see what they are up to or you like to see what the junk that some people pawn or store is worth.  Hey, you never know, you may have a multi-million dollar piece of junk in that bottom drawer or sitting in a corner or hanging on the wall.  Now me, all my junk is worth billions and I am keeping it, so there!!! (grin)  Now, if I were smart, I could take all this junk, sell it, and finish my life being filthy rich.  Now that sounds like plan to me, what do you all think?

Thursday, July 19, 2012

Wondering about a “Redneck Horn”.

Last Saturday morning when I was going through the flea market, at the first table we stopped at I found something that I just could not live without.  It is a “Redneck Horn”.  Here are a couple of pictures of it, one of the front and one of the back:

Actually, in this case a picture is not worth a thousand words.  Every time you push the button you hear a guy loudly yelling not so nice things about the driver in front of him.  Let me tell you, this thing has really entertained me (and the wife whether she would admit it or not).  Just for the heck of it without my wife expecting it, I push the horn’s button.  It brightens up our world.  Now, I wish that there were a way to connect it to a really loud speaker outside the vehicle where it could be used to inform the driver ahead of me what he is doing wrong.  Maybe it is a good thing I haven’t figured a way of doing that.  I would really get myself in trouble.  Guess I will just have to put it in my pocket and take a walk around town and push the button when I get behind someone.  What do you think?  I guess my nose is already too big and ugly and it doesn’t need to be made worse by someone’s fist, right?  I sure wish you could hear it; you would be laughing along with me.  I did buy a digital recorder the other day, but have not tried to figure out how to use it.  It says that it records both MP3 and WAV.  Having lived about seven decades, I understand tape recorders but this is my first digital one.  The instruction book seems to be written in a strange language.  Maybe I need to find a teenager to translate it for me.  I figure they must be abbreviations for something.  Let me take a wild guess.  The MP3 must be Music Player number three, right?  And the WAV must be What Awful Vibrations; am I right again?  I will tell you what.  After I get it figured out (the recorder), I will try to post an example.  Then again I may not (grin).  Now, you all have a great day and I got to go take the garbage down to the road.

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Wondering about ice jams on the Allegheny River.

Back many, many years ago, when I lived in Pennsylvania, some winters were so cold that the rivers froze over with two to three feet of ice.  In the Spring when the temperatures had warmed up, this thick ice started to break up.  It did so not just because of the warming weather but also because of all the extra runoff it was getting from the melting snows upstream.  Sometimes it would break up and go out a little at a time, the down-river end first and then work up river.  That was the neat and easy way.  Sometimes it all seemed to crack up in huge chunks and all the chunks wanted to get down stream at the same time.  Anywhere the river made a turn the ice would start to build up on the outside of the curve and if enough piled up, it would cause an ice jam.  This would work as an efficient dam and back up the water and the ice.  Presto!!  You got an ice jam.  As most of you know, water is not compressible (under normal circumstances) and the hydraulic force of the water shoving the ice would pick up bridges and move or crush any houses or structures too close to the river bank.

I am not sure, but I may have posted these pictures before.  Anyway, I am going to post them again since I just made a card and wrote a dumb poem for my Aunt.  Here are the pictures:

And just in case you really want to get bored, here is the poem:

Ice Jam on Allegheny

Here is plenty of ice to cool you down.
Now don’t you think that it is?
If and when it all melts someone could drown.
If it melts fast in a whiz.

So just chip off small chunks to keep you cool.
And close your eyes and just dream
Of ice and snow in the season of Yule
Better than leaving off steam.

Cover up with blankets and close your eyes
And take a comfy, warm nap.
Dream of the ice and see how the heat flies.
Like on a mountain ice cap.

I am sure that I have bored you or made you laugh at my silly attempt to write a poem, but remember, I have to write a different poem five times a week on what ever subject is depicted on the cards that either my wife or I make.  So, you all have a great day now, you hear?

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Wondering about Christmas in July.

I have heard about Christmas in July many times but just never gave it any thought.  Then yesterday morning I actually thought that Santa had come and dropped off my present here in July or just did so a few months early to make sure he had time to make all his rounds.  He is getting older you know.  Either way I was really excited.  You see it is like this.  I walked outside and this is what I saw:

Then I realized that my Son had asked me one time if he could park his Harley up here at my house when he was away since he was having trouble with intruders and he had other stuff in the storage shed and the bike wouldn’t fit in there at this time.  Of course I said OK.

I thought that I heard a motorcycle when I was writing my blog yesterday morning but didn’t give it much thought since my son usually rides one to work.  So I didn’t even look up at the monitor for my security cameras but just kept on typing away on my laptop.  It just so happened that where he parked it was right between the field of view of two of my cameras.  So later when I walked outside I saw the bike.  Nah, I didn’t believe that Santa had brought it for me, especially since there were no keys in the ignition; dang it!!  I then slightly adjusted the one camera so that I could keep an eye on it.

I unloaded the mower that I bought the other day and took it out of the box and got it all assembled, put oil in it, and was going to gas it up when I read where you are supposed to use unleaded fuel only.  Where the heck do you get unleaded fuel?  Years ago when I lived up in Pennsylvania Amaco had white gas as their premium.  So I just dumped some of the gas I had in the can into it (it looked almost white-grin) and it ran.  Where do you get “white” gasoline here in Texas?  After I got it together and all the fluids in it, I fired it up.  It started on the first pull and it was then that I realized I had bought a self-propelled model.  I didn’t want a self-propelled model but I guess it will be OK.  I got the dog’s yard cut and then it started to look like rain and my wife said that I should cover our Son’s bike and the new mower.  I told her that rain would not hurt either the bike or the mower, but guess what?  Yep, they are covered with a tarp, both of them.  Now you all have a great day and I hope Santa brings you a nice surprise, you hear?

Monday, July 16, 2012

Wondering about my digital pictures.

I spent all morning downloading all the pictures from my camera chips to my laptop.  There is still more pictures on my desk top than I have found on these chips.  This sounds like a mystery to me.  Maybe some of the missing pictures were taken with one of my other cameras, either the old one that stored pictures on floppy disks or the newer one that uses a different size chip.  I just have to get all my ducks (chips) in a row and figure this out.  I want all my pictures saved somewhere, preferably in one spot so I can easily access and in another spot where they will be saved as back-ups.  You wouldn’t believe how many small floppy disks I have laying around with pictures on them from my first old digital camera.  I bet that old camera still works, but it is much too big to fit in my shirt pocket and it doesn’t take near the quality pictures as do the newer ones.  Digital cameras along with a lot of electronics become obsolete in a very short time.  My Dad and Mom had a box camera (any of you remember them) that they used for years and years until finally my dad got an Argus (believe it was C4) and that was a great camera.  I had a lot of slides from it and back in 1959 when I went with my Uncle and Aunt on our “western” trip.  I was allowed to take that camera along so that I could record some of my trip on slides, which I did and I really liked that camera.  I prefer the digital age to the film, but film had a quality that digital has a hard time achieving.  No, I would never go back to film.  I also had one of those cameras that would print out pictures a few seconds after you took the shot.  No it wasn’t a Polaroid, it was the one that Polaroid sued and won and after that I couldn’t buy film for it.

I bought a new lawn mower, a push type rotary.  It is very similar to the old one.  It is still in the back of the Jeep, so since it is not raining this morning, I am going to go get it out, unpack it, assemble whatever needs assembled, and see if I can get it running.  I gave up on the old one, could only keep it running for a few minutes.  I had to cut the dog’s yard with an old electric Weed Eater.  Sorry for just rambling on this morning but I do hope you all have a great day and a great week, you hear?

Sunday, July 15, 2012

Wondering about my RV’s refrigerator.

After reading Barney’s blog (Old Fat Man Adventuresabout the slide to control the temperature of refrigerator units in RVs, I decided to go out this morning and look at my refrigerator.  I first looked into the two freezer compartments and didn't see any fins:

Then I opened up the lower portion and low and behold, there were fins there they were along with the “thermistor” that the linked blog (Wandrinwas talking about.  I have an arrow pointing to it:

I took a picture of the front of it closed with the doors shut:

And an enlarged view showing the name of the unit:

Mine has the same adjustment, so now thanks to the two blogs mentioned above; I will know how to adjust the temperature in my unit if needed.  Thanks guys, any and all information is useful to some of us now and to most of us sooner or later.  Now, you all have a great day, you hear.

Saturday, July 14, 2012

Wondering about a subject to write about.

I am moving really slow this morning; not just physically but mentally.  Just couldn’t seem to get myself up out of bed and moving.  Still moving slow.  I guess that all the gloomy, rainy days we have been experiencing in this area has got me down.  Sort of like the short, dark days of winter when I lived in Pennsylvania.  But then, if it snowed, it would brighten up things.  I don’t really expect any snow here and maybe it is a good thing because about ten inches of snow is equal to one inch of rain.  With all the rain East Texas has been having it would burry us in many, many feet of snow, and believe me, the buildings down here couldn’t stand all that weight.  Rain runs off roofs but snow does not always do so.  It seems that we are at this moment having a break in the rain.  The radar shows a lot of smaller rain cells moving through the area instead of a front or line of storms.  With a lot of smaller rain cells, there is a chance that they will miss us, but they are like a shotgun pattern, the chance of getting hit with one of them is still quite high.  Even with the showers around the area, we will still head on down to the flea market and look around.  All the outside tables are under roof and unless it is really raining hard or high winds with blowing rain, there should be some vendors set up.  Of course we could always go inside the main building, which we haven’t done for quite some time.  OK, let go and get ready to head out.  Got a couple of things to get done first and will be heading out in a half hour or less.  And of course, there is always tomorrow.  Now you have a great day and keep your powder dry, you hear?

Friday, July 13, 2012

Wondering about Curiosity.

First, I would like to mention that today is the third Friday the thirteenth this year.  I wonder what numerologists would think of that, or anyone who wonders about the numbers three and thirteen.  OK, back to the subject, Curiosity.  I am always curious but I am not talking about that.  Do any of you remember what took place back on November 26, 2011?  No, it wasn’t when I brought home my new RV; that happened a few days after the twenty-sixth.  A rocket lifted off Cape Canaveral that was carrying a new, updated Mars rover called Curiosity.  This trip to Mars is just about over.  It is due to land on Mars in the early hours of August sixth.  Remember the two twin rovers, Spirit and Opportunity?  They awed us with wonderful close up views of what the Martian surface looked like and they could travel around taking pictures and samples.  But they were limited in what all they could do because of their size.  Instead of toy sized rovers like the previous three (remember Sojourner back in 1997), this one will be the size of an automobile and with a lot more capability to test what it finds and to go further and faster to find these things.  It is designed to last one Martian year, about two of ours, but should go on a lot longer than that.  Landing something that large and heavy on Mars will be no easy task.  If any of the many stages malfunctions, it will be all over before it can get started.  So let us all cross our fingers and hope to wake up on August sixth to the news that it landed successfully.  And I sure hope all of you have a very successful Friday and a great weekend, you hear?

Thursday, July 12, 2012

Wondering about the rain.

We had a lot of rain the last few days and last night some really heavy thunder-storms came through here.  It woke me up and of course scared my oldest dog half to death.  The rain came down in bucket-fulls dumping a considerable amount of rain.  The heavy stuff started about 04:30 and lasted for way over an hour.  Therefore, when I did get back to a semi-sleep, I slept in.  That is why I am a little late writing this blog this morning.  Now, if I had to do some research or post pictures, it would be much later.  This heavy rain made me wonder just how much extra weight the rain water added to the land.  So let me grab my calculator and see what I can come up with.  When I design large tanks I use the formula that says one gallon of water equals 231 cubic inches; useful for designing tanks but of no use to answering my question.  OK, I think this one will work: one cubic foot of water equals 62.4245 pounds.  Yep, that is the one I need, so let me see what it looks like when I plug numbers into it.  For every square foot that has one inch of water on it would weigh 62.4245 divided by 12, or 5.202 pounds per square foot.  I have 12 acres and there are 43,560 square feet per acre, I have approximately 522,720 square feet.  So, for every inch of rain that fell, I received 2,719,189 pounds of rain and we got at least 1.5 to 2.0 inches, so at 1.5 inches that would be 4,078,784 pounds or almost 2040 tons of rain just on my place.  Now, I would have never, ever have guessed that much weight has fallen in just a couple of hours, and I still hear thunder so may get more.  We are already under flash flood warnings.  Feel free to check my math, I just hurried through the figures, but bet I am close.  You all have a great day and don’t get burdened down with tons and tons of rain, you hear?

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Wondering about experts.

Experts are everywhere.  They are dedicated people that have spent their whole lives studying one subject.  This subject could be the study of just one species, or just one elusive reaction in chemistry or physics, or a search for answers in almost any subject.  Without these dedicated experts, we could still be in the dark ages.  Of course there are other kinds of experts; the kind that just think that they are “experts” and some others who pretend to be to get attention.  I am far from being an expert in any field and the older I get the further I get from being an expert at anything except maybe being a curmudgeon.   If I practice enough, maybe I can get that right, but just don’t tell me how to do it, dang it!!  OK, back on the subject.  One day someone called me an expert at something [which I was, by the way (grin)].  I told them that is not a compliment.  They asked, “Why wasn’t it?”  So I had to tell them.  First, you have to break the work down into two sections.  The first section is “EX” and that means “past”.  The next section sounds like “SPURT”, and that is “a drip under pressure”.  I didn’t want to be “a past drip under pressure”.  I have also heard that it could be a guy with a suitcase a long way from home.  Either way, these definitions are not all that charming.  But who cares, I know I am an expert at almost everything (grin) and that is what counts.  Now you all go out and practice being experts for the rest of the week and of course have a good day today, you hear?  BTW, I am heading for eight hundred, because today is my seven hundred and first blog posting.

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Wondering about cicadas.

Three cicadas crawled out of the ground and up the skirting on my deck.

There they changed from underground living to a life of flight.  Living most of their lives underground from birth, I could only imagine what a thrill it would be to burst out of their old skin and newly formed wings, fly away to sing their distinctive song and of course mate and lay eggs for another cycle.  Cicada (I have always called them locust but a true locust is a flying grass-hopper), depending on their species have varying life spans.  Some only live a short period, most of it under ground.  The average is about five years but I am sure you have heard of the seventeen year locust.  These long and varying life spans insure their continued existence.  Here is a picture of all three of them:

I know that they live off the sap of trees and bushes, but they are a unique species and I always enjoy seeing their old exoskeletons (I would think that is what they are called) and these three came out of the ground near my deck.  I only heard them one time, but in the high humidity and high heat, I don’t spend a whole lot of time outside working.  I am one of the spoiled people that Sixbears was talking about the other day, especially when it comes to air conditioning.  Maybe I am just getting old.  Anyway, have any of you had any cicada show up around your place so far this summer?  You all have a great day now and try to stay cool, you hear? 

Monday, July 9, 2012

Wondering about my wife’s shoes.

What is it about some women and their love for shoes and shopping for shoes?  One of the things my wife loves doing is shopping and especially shopping for shoes.  Why she can spend hours and hours trying on shoes and what for?  She already has more shoes than she needs.  I am trying to remember when I bought the pair of cowboy boots that I wear every day.  Let’s see, I got them resoled a year or so ago.  I wore them to my class reunion back in 2008, but I don’t remember when I bought them.  I am thinking that maybe later this year or next I may buy another pair.  That should last me the rest of my life, right?  OK, back to the wife and her shoes.  The first stop was the outlet mall and she spent some time in a shoe store there while I sat in the car working Sudoku puzzles.  She didn’t buy anything, isn’t it wonderful that she enjoys shopping more than buying?  She said that we should go to the Academy  sporting goods store so that I could look at guns, fishing stuff, kayaks, clothes, tents, and other outdoors or sporting goods stuff while she looked for some shoes.  Academy is a huge store and believe me when I say I looked at everything they had in the store and finally went back to the women’s shoe section to see if my wife found what she wanted.  Well I was pleasantly surprised that she had narrowed here search down to two pairs of shoes and she asked my opinion.  To expedite matters I told her I liked them both and to go ahead and get them both, which she did.  She said that the loud colored pair felt so good on her feet and that she never had a pair that felt that good.  The other pair wasn’t so fancy but felt pretty good, too.  So, she was happy and I was happy and we headed for home.  Oh yes, I suppose I should show you pictures:

Check out the soles on the fancy one:

And here two pictures showing side views of both pairs:

Of course we also went to the flea market and I didn’t see anything I couldn’t live without, but my wife brought home this reproduction sign that she liked:

Did you notice the seams in the back of the stockings?  Oh for the good old days, or maybe not.  Now you all have a good start to this week, you hear?

Sunday, July 8, 2012

Wondering about the Wampus Cat.

I started camping at a very early age, long before I was old enough to start school.  Now don’t get all excited, I was with my parents and other relatives.  I have pictures to prove it, but don’t have the time this morning to dig them out, scan them, and post them; maybe some other day.  Anyway, our family (Grandparents, Parents, and Uncles and Aunts on my Mother’s side) built a camp at the end of a road that followed a creek named Bull Run, (I think that was its name) near Fryburg and Tionesta, Pennsylvania.  The road went through the woods and two gates.  Since it was at the end of the road (not much more than a path) they named the camp, “Trail’s End”.  I loved that place and was always so happy when my parents took me there.  It was such fun but it was also scary.  Why, you ask?  Because of the Wampus Cat and the bears, but especially because of the Wampus Cat.  From as long as I can remember, the older folks told us kids terrible stories about the Wampus Cat.  I must admit, that after I got older, I too, told those stories to the younger cousins.  But my Grandpa and my Uncles could do a much better and believable job of telling the stories and scaring the younger camping generation.  But believe me, without those Wampus Cat stories and others like them, camping for us kids would not have been such a wonderful and exciting experience.  (Google Wampus Cat for more information)  I guess humans like to be scared, that is why there are “haunted houses”, scary rides, and such at amusement parks and carnivals.  I believe that wild, scary tales of the deep woods are a huge part of camping, especially if you are young enough to believe all of it.  Now, don’t let the Wampus Cat get you and have a great day now, you hear?

Saturday, July 7, 2012

It looks like things are looking up.

My wife seems to be getting better.  She has taken charge of her own recovery and since then she has felt a lot better.  To refresh your memory, she had a couple of cracked ribs and torn cartilage where they attach to the vertebrae with possible hairline cracks in the vertebrae.  The MD told her it would take 10 to 12 weeks for it to heal and that there was nothing he could do for it except give her pain pills, which she refused.  She decided to take matters into her own hands and we went to a health food store and she purchased some strontium which she takes in the morning and liquid calcium with D3 in it that she takes at night.  They should not be taken together at the same time.  Strontium strengthens thinning bones, which my wife has.  It should only be taken if you know you have bone loss, which the X-rays of her back revealed.  She also found one of those stretchable wraps that you wrap around your lower back for support and that has also helped her a lot.  So, the really great news is that last night she attempted to get into the RV.  She succeeded; this is the first time she has been able to get up five steps up into the RV since she has been injured.  It wasn’t easy and it wasn’t without some pain, but she made it.  Now, if she doesn’t overdo it, she can only get better and maybe we can get the RV out and burn some of that old diesel that I bought the first night I brought it home.  Yes, we did take it out a few times, once to meet with Sixbears when he was visiting his in-laws in East Texas, once to a local RV park to try it out, and of course a few times I took it for maintenance, repairs and new tires.  It has a hundred gallon tank and I still have half a tank left.  Of course I purchased that 100 gallons back when diesel was $4.00 per gallon.  Well, I just thought you would like to hear the good news about my wife’s recovery and I hope you all have a great day now, you hear?

Friday, July 6, 2012

Wondering about an old song.

As I told you all before, my wife and I create cards and poems to send to my last surviving Aunt who is in a nursing home in Pennsylvania.  A card gets sent every week day.  Usually my wife makes the cards since she is the best artist and I write the poems.  Yesterday she asked me to come up with a humorous card.  I had no idea what to make, then riding home from the post office yesterday, a thought hit me.  For some reason the song “Dead Skunk in the Middle of the Road” started running through my head.  Maybe it is because there are usually several of them stinking up the road.  That was a very popular song back in the 1970’s.  That is what I read when I looked it up to see when it was popular.  I thought it was earlier than that, but I have been known to be wrong on several occasions and this was one of them.  So, I made a card on that subject for my Aunt and I thought since it is such beautiful and pleasant subject, I should share it with my readers.  I will show you the four sides to the card.  The first is the front:

This next one is the right side of the card when after you open it up:

This next one is the left side of the card when it is open:

And of course I had to put something on the back:

I must admit that I didn’t take the pictures or paint them; I just took them off the internet.  I only make one card of each kind and only mail it to my Aunt.  I am not sure if it is funny or not or just plain stinky.  Now you all have a great day now and stay away from the skunks, you hear?

Thursday, July 5, 2012

Wondering about blog comments.

I have been wondering what the general consensus is in the blogging world about comments and replying to comments.  The first question is do you comment on blogs.  I know that some people just read them and do not comment.  Some of these people have never signed up for a Google account and therefore cannot comment, so I know I will not be hearing from any of you, unless you are an anonymous commenter.  Then there are the ones who rarely comment unless the blog they are reading really hits a nerve or a very happy memory or something that triggers their involvement and therefore they reply.  Third are the ones who have joined a blog as a follower, but only comment once in a while or never.  You can follow a blog and never comment, but at least the blog’s author knows you do view the blog once in a while since you took the effort to become a follower.  And then there are the ever faithful, the ones who always read your blog and comment quite often.  I always try to comment everyday on the blogs I read but don’t always have the time and sometimes I don’t have anything worthwhile to say.  Not having anything worthwhile to say doesn’t always stop me from commenting, or for that matter, writing a blog.

OK, now let’s see what you think about replying to comments posted on your blog.  Do you ignore them or do you read them but never reply at all?  There are some who seem to just reply to some specific comments but not to others.  And then there are the ones who try to reply to everyone’s comments.  I have also seen, and do at times myself, comments to replies to comments.  Sometimes it gets to be a conversation in itself, but isn’t that what the blogging world is all about; the interaction, sharing, and trading of ideas and experiences?  I always try to post comments and I reply to comments posted on my blog.  Sometimes when things happen or when traveling I don’t, but I usually do try.  I have gone back to some of my past blogs and have found that I missed a comment or didn’t reply to some, but that is rare and there is no law that says I have to answer all, but I do try.  So tell me what you think about comments and replies and have a great day, you hear?

Wednesday, July 4, 2012

Have a great 4th of July.

I really feel bad for my oldest dog.  She had a rough night and so did I.  The dang neighbors were putting of the loudest aerial fireworks that I have ever heard that were not put on by public organizations.  These neighbors must have spent a fortune on them.  What I don’t understand is why they waited until after 22:00 to start putting them off and didn’t stop until around midnight.  I guess it took them that long to get drunk enough to do so.  OK, I shouldn’t say things I can’t prove, but since the dogs and I get up fairly early and that my oldest one is deathly afraid of things that go “bang or boom”, we had a rough night and I got up this morning in a bad mood.  I even thought about firing up the RV and moving it down next to their place about 05:00 this morning and test my duel air horns.  Gee, they may take a lot of testing.  No, wouldn’t do that for two reasons; first, it would disturb the other neighbors and second, it would not be a nice thing to do. OK, I got that out of my system, and now I feel much better, thank you.  Of course, it will probably happen all over again tonight or until their money runs out.

Don’t get me wrong, I love fire-works and I should have got dressed and gone outside and watched the display.  I just get upset when something makes my oldest dog start shaking so bad and that I was powerless to stop it or comfort her.  Back years ago, I had a Boxer that was the same way and during my first year in college I got a phone call that she died during a thunderstorm.  I guess her old heart just couldn’t take it anymore.  That is what really worries me about my Ginger Muffin, especially now that she is getting older.  OK, forgive me for ranting and raving, I guess I really am getting to be a crotchety old man.  You all have great day now and go and enjoy the fire-works tonight, you hear?

Tuesday, July 3, 2012

Wondering about tents.

The other day on Gypsy’s blog, she was talking about tent camping.  To me, there is something so peaceful yet a little spooky about sleeping in a tent in the middle of no-where.  When I was a young boy and when I was about to start grade school, my parents moved to the country.  I grew up living next to the woods and since I was an only child, I spent a lot of time in those woods.  My Dad had two army pup tent halves, put them together, and put up a two man pup tent located up next to those woods that I loved so much.  He showed me how to trench it so that when it rained, the water would not come into the tent.  I spent a lot of hours in that tent, both in the day time and at night.  Sometimes my buddy would come up and we would play in it and if allowed, would spend the night.  That was a long time ago and tents have sure changed since then.  After I was grown with a family, I still liked to spend time in a tent.  I went “boat access only” tent camping with some good friends of mine and had a wonderful time.  The first RV I had was a pop-up tent camper.  I posted a blog about it last year.  Here is a link to it:  http://dizzydick.blogspot.com/2011/01/wondering-about-my-first-rv.html .  We used it a lot and my whole family enjoyed it.  Of course there are always some problems that pop up when you are camping or on the road, but nothing catastrophic happened and we always got home safe.  We had lots of good times in that old Pop-Up.  Today’s tents are much more sophisticated.  I was looking at an article in my “Gold Prospectors” magazine about tents that attached to or become part of your vehicle.  They even have some that attached to the rear of small SUV’s and use part of the rear storage area as part of the living area in the tent and it is completely off the ground and some go to the ground for more head room.  Your choice of whether you want up off the ground in heavily infested rattle snake country or down on the ground with them so that you have more room to jump up and down on them if they want to move in with you.  There are a lot of new and unique designs out there that are compatible with most any type of vehicle or use.  Gypsy, you should have no trouble finding one that suits you, but the only trouble I see is trying to decide which of the many different designs you may want.  You all have a great day now, you hear?

Monday, July 2, 2012

Wondering about a really nice couple.

Yesterday I told you about a couple who are vendors at the flea market and told you that I would write more about their interesting lives.  As I told you before, the fellow rebuilds and restores old VW Beetles and Busses and also he restores old travel trailers.  They then use them to go to various flea markets around this corner of Texas, like Ole Security, Winnie, Livingston, etc.  They will be in Winnie next weekend.  These two seem like a wonderful couple and are very interesting people.  Here is a picture of them along with my wife:

I talked awhile with him on Sunday and learned a lot.  At flea markets you get to know all about people, where they have been, what they have done, etc. and most of the time you do not even know their names.  I now know a lot about this fellow but he never told me his name and I never asked him.  Now to think about it, he wouldn’t know my name either.  Names are not important, right?  They are just convenient tags so you can get some one’s attention or send them mail or for the government to send you IRS forms.  Of all the other things that this guy has done in his life, I find him being the pilot of blimps to be one of the most fascinating.  He flew blimps in California and then he flew the Good Year blimp when it was hangered here in Houston.  He told me that the two different blimps had different controls.  He told me how the light display for advertising worked the old way and then the new easy way after it was computerized.  He told me that they had to replace the bulbs in the computerized display quite often and had to use ladder trucks to reach and replace the bad bulbs.  I remember that blimp coming over my house at night with that sign a blazing.  It made quite an impressive site.  They moved it up to Ohio quite a few years ago.  It is now back at Goodyear’s home site.  It has been missed.  Every time I drive south on I-45 north and get down past the Woodlands and into Spring, I always look to the west to get a glimpse of the blimp or the blimp station.  It is not there now, been built over with commercial stuff.  What a pity, I miss seeing it.  Now you all have a happy, safe holiday week, you hear?

Sunday, July 1, 2012

Wondering if the guitar case will show up today.

As I mentioned in my blog yesterday a vendor at the flea market promised me last week that this weekend he would bring me a case made for my deep dish Ovation guitar.  Like I said I have one that works but it is getting worn out.  He didn’t show up yesterday, but during the summer, only a fraction of the vendors show up on Saturday but Sunday is a different story; it is then packed with vendors.  They figure that since the heat in the summer is hard to take and since Sunday draws a much larger crowd than Saturday, if they are only going to set up one day it would be more productive to set up on Sunday.  Of course there is always an exception to that rule.  One of our favorite and also the most successful outside vendor has started coming only on Saturday.  After he retired from the business world, he started his own business of cleaning out homes.  He then sorts through the stuff and saves the good stuff to sell.  He has done very well and sometimes he discovers real treasures.

There are all types of people that sell at the market and we have become friends with some of them.  Would you believe that some are even older than we are?  One of these, a wonderful lady, is having a birthday so my wife is wrapping up a Mickey Mouse doll for her.  No, my wife didn’t get it from the flea market, but she did get it from a yard sale (grin).  This couple is quite active.  The husband restores old Volkswagen cars and busses.  He also restores old vintage travel trailers.  They not only come to our local flea market, but use some of their restored RV’s to travel to other flea markets when the spirit moves them.  They seem to be a wonderful couple and enjoy visiting with them.  Visiting with the people is the main reason we go to the flea market although my wife is more into looking for treasures than I am.  I only buy what I figure I need now or can use now.  At my age, you don’t collect things or buy things to sell at a higher price in the future because ninety percent or more of my life is behind me.  Now you all have a great day and maybe we will see you at the flea market someday, somewhere.