Wondering about wild grapes

Saturday, March 31, 2012

Wondering about distances and Easter eggs.

Yesterday I talked a little bit about black holes and in a comment that Ben in Texas left, he said he gets dizzy thinking about the distances.  I would think that no one could actually comprehend the distances.  Any planet that could possibly support life would be hundreds of thousands or millions or billions of light years away,  Why just our own back yard, our galaxy is up to a couple of hundred thousand light years across.
Now, just to help explain just how far a light year is, get your calculators out and make sure I am doing the calculations correctly.  Fist, we have to know the speed of light; which is 186282.397 miles per second.  (I use the speed of light, which is also the speed of radio waves in space, to calculate the length of antennae for different ham band radio frequencies.  Of course the radio waves travel slightly slower in different materials)
186282.397 miles per second is a big number, but that is only how far it travels in a second.  Above, we are talking in light years, how far it travels in a year.  OK Ben, let me put it in perspective by easing up on the light year:
In one second:  186282.4 miles
In one minute:   11176944.0 miles
In on hour:         670616640 miles
In one day:          16,094,799,360 miles
And in on year - - I don’t have room for all the zeros.

I hope this gives you an idea of the vastness of space is and so far, everything (except some neutrinos) has the speed of light as a speed limit.  Therefore, I don’t think the probability of being visited by aliens is very high.  But you never can tell.

Now, a little on the bright side; Easter is coming up a week from tomorrow and I want to be among the first to give you an Easter card.  Just click the link below:

You all have a great day now, slow down and watch you speed, you hear?

Friday, March 30, 2012

Wandering about black holes.

First an update on the tires.  The tire place made record time getting the six large 22.5 inch tires replaced with new ones.  I made it there just before another RV pulled up.  Most of the bays were full of 18 wheelers so he had to wait behind me to get in.  We struck up a conversation and he said that he had retired and his wife was going to retire this coming week.  They had sold their house and had been living in the RV for almost a year now.  Already being full timers and after his wife retires in a few days, they have nothing to hold them any where and plan to hit the road and enjoy their retirements.  There you go folks, another full time RVing couple joining your ranks.

I got wondering about black holes and I keep coming up with questions.  Do you know that as early as the late 18th century a couple of scientists separately figured that a star could be so massive that not even light could escape?  A couple of hundred years later, Einstein’s theories showed this to be possible.  How do you study something you can not see?  Well, by the way things around it are acting.  In a binary system where two stars are locked together, one can be a neutron star or a black hole.  Both are strange creatures, but how the heck can you tell a large neutron star from a small stellar mass black hole?  Well, when the unknown object feeds off its partner, the gasses heat up and put off X-rays and when the material hits the surface of a neutron star, there is an X-ray burst.  If it were a black hole, there would be no burst since the gas would enter the event horizon after which nothing would escape.  Another way is to calculate the mass of the unseen object by the way it affects its partner star.

These small stellar mass black holes are tiny babies compared to the monsters that live at the center of galaxies.  They can be millions to billions of solar masses in size.  They are detected by X-rays, gamma ray bursts, etc. but the easy way is to observe the action of any stars in close proximity to the suspected object.  I am not going any deeper into black holes because up until recently, it was hard to prove their existence.  I, however, question their name.  Yes, they are black, but I don’t think of them as holes.  They have to be the densest object imaginable, so how could they be called “holes”.  Granted, no one knows what lurks behind the event horizon or what really goes on in there.  I, for one, don’t think the answer will ever be discovered, at least not by us humans.
Now I don’t want your day to be black, so you all have a good, bright day now, you hear?

Thursday, March 29, 2012

Wandering to tire place and tooth update.

I got a call yesterday afternoon that the six tires for my RV are in, so will be heading up there this morning to get them installed.  It is raining some and if the ground gets too wet, I will not be able to get back in here the way I usually come in by swinging wide in the field off the driveway.  My drive way comes straight back from the road a hundred yards or so to my gate.  At the gate there is a choice.  You can either make a ninety degree turn to the left or go through the gate then make a sweeping turn to the left.  Since I have to back the RV in beside the house for the electric cable to reach the pole with the 50 amp box, I usually swing wide in the front field and make that ninety degree turn which wraps around and the loop inside the gate.  I pull around like I am heading back out and then just back in.  I don’t know if I come in the other direction if I would have room to turn around.  Either way, it will be back home, whether it is hooked up to 120 power or not.

My tooth (or rather where my tooth was) bled all day yesterday and is seeping a little this morning.  My cheek is swollen.  You see, a small end of one root broke off and it had attached itself to the bone.  It took the dentist a long, long time trying to get it out.  He was just about to give up and was telling me that I would probably have to come back Monday for surgery when, thank goodness, it finally started to loosen up.  Another few minutes and he got it all.  It was the top molar at the very rear of my top jaw.  I am glad it is gone.  I am planning on having a better day today than I did yesterday, so I want you all to have a great day, too, you hear?

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Wondering about a portable wifi.

I have had a Verizon USB air card for many, many years.  Got it a long time ago when I got my first laptop and wanted to travel with my travel trailer but still be able to get email and send and receive engineering drawings so that I could, if necessary, do some work while away.  It sure came in handy many times.  As you know, the last short trip I took, my blog didn’t get posted because I couldn’t get my air card to work with Windows 7.  Last week I went to the Verizon store and they told me to go to their web-site and download the latest programs, which I did.  That did not work either, because Windows 7 kept telling me that it could not find any device.  So, yesterday, I took both our laptops up to the Verizon store along with my air card to see if they could get it to work.  They said that they could but why not get one of their portable wifi units instead.  The big advantage was that you could run four or five units off the same little device that could fit in my shirt pocket.  Now, since both my wife and I have Toshiba tablets that we both prefer to use over a computer, that sounded like a good idea.  They were having a special on them and I purchased one along with some insurance that would replace it if it got damaged.  Last night my wife and I tried it out.  We turned our main wifi off and turned on this new little gadget, laid it on a table and we both used our tablets and computers.  Love it!!  It will work great while traveling and my wife can be on her tablet while we are going down the road.  Also makes a great back-up in case the DSL line goes out.
I guess you would like to see what I am talking about, so here are a couple of pictures:

I put a quarter next to it to give you a perspective of the size.  Here is another view showing that it is thin enough to fit in my shirt pocket:

Not sure how long the battery lasts, but it was only half charged when we purchased it and it ran a lot of hours last night and it still has lots of life in it.  For all you RVers out there, you may want to consider one of these.  Of course you all probably have one and I am just now discovering them.

I have to get ready to go to the dentist.  I may get some teeth pulled.  I don’t believe in root canals, since that leaves a dead object (a tooth) in you and the body will try to reject it causing all kinds of trouble.  We know from experience!!  You all have a great day now, you hear?

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Wondering if I can get everything done.

This week is going to be a very busy one.  I have so much to take care of.  I have another bad tooth or two and have a dentist’s appointment.  I ordered tires for the motor-home.  It takes 275/70 R 22.5 tires and six of them cost more than my first brand new car which was an Oldsmobile 88 convertible.  But that was a long, long time ago; back in the ‘60s.  I also have been having trouble with our two laptops, the new one which has Windows 7 and the old one which I put Windows 7 on.  The problem is that neither of them will recognize my air card.  I went to the Verizon store and they told me to go to their web-site and download the updated programs, which I did and it still does not recognize the USB air card.  I am going to take both laptops to the Verizon store and I’m going to sit there until they figure it out.
I am also going to replace both front tires on the Jeep, since I did some damage to the one when the steering wheel got locked while I was towing it.  I have a lot of other important things on my calendar for this week, all need done soon.  I think I will also try to get my big scope back in the house today.  I sure do enjoy it when it is set up outside, but dread taking it out and bringing it in.
Have you all been following the fishing expeditions of Billy Bob and Barney?  They have both have been having way too much fun.  Wish I were there with them.  But for now, you all have a great day now, you hear?

Monday, March 26, 2012

Wondering about wild flowers and the night sky.

I have a post office box at our local post office and usually six days a week my wife and I go get the mail.  We always come back home the “back way”.  Each time for the last few weeks, we have seen a fellow’s front field just filled with blue bonnets and Indian paint brushes.  For some reason I never have my camera.  Saturday, when coming back from the flea market we stopped at the post office and came home the usual route via the back way.  I had my camera in my pocket and was ready to get some pictures.  This field is on a corner and when I pulled up to the stop sign, I saw that some people had climbed through the fence and were walking through this “private” field.  Anyway, I rolled the passenger side window down, handed the camera to my wife and said take a couple of pictures, which she did.  Here are those pictures:

Saturday, I lugged all the pieces to my big telescope out and got it all assembled.  Spent the last of Saturday and the last of Sunday looking at the sky.  Since I sat it up on the deck on the east side of my house and with all the tall trees all around, I had a very limited patch of sky to see.  I took a pair of binoculars and walked around to the front yard (looking west) and looked at the beautiful naked eye trio that was on display.  The beautiful thin crescent moon, along with extremely bright Venus and spectacular Jupiter were putting on a great show.  Back on east side, Mars was gleaming with a reddish glow at about a magnitude of -1.1.  Mars must have been blushing about something.  In respect to each other, Jupiter was twice as bright as Mars at -2.1 and Venus was trice as bright as Jupiter with a -4.4.
I put the scope on Mars, almost too bright to view.  Used a oxygen-2 filter and that helped some.  I also swung the scope over to Orion before I looked at Mars.  The Orion Nebula never ceases to amaze me, I can look at it for a long time without getting tired of the view.  It was beautiful with and without the O2 filter.  I watched it again last night until it disappeared behind the roof of my house.  If that scope wasn’t so heavy, I would move it to the front of the house, there is a lot more going on to the west, but my back is still hurting from putting it outside.  I believe the manufacturer said it was 265 pounds and of course the three major parts are not the same weight so some are a little lighter than a third and some heavier.
Please, if you haven’t gone out after dark the last few evenings, just take a few minutes, let your eyes adjust to the dark, take a pair of binoculars if you have them, and go out just after it gets dark and look at the beauty in the night sky at this time.  Now, you all have a great day, you hear?

Sunday, March 25, 2012

Wandering to Huntsville SP, more pictures.

As I promised yesterday, I am posting a few more picture from are quick couple of hours visit to Huntsville State Park.  We took a walk out toward the west end of Raven Lake and we spotted some wildlife.  Here is a picture of the west end:
I saw one large object swimming a few inches below the surface, but couldn’t make out what it was.  It could have been a small alligator or a big, long fish.  I don’t know if they have gar in there, but it could have been an Alligator Gar.  They are a quite common fish in this area.  Here is picture that I found on the internet that shows an example of an Alligator Gar:
We didn’t walk the whole way to the end of the lake where most of the lily pads are, but there are some small ones scattered all along the shore:
Of course any pond, lake, or river in this area has a lot turtles:

There were a lot of small, diving ducks.  I decided to get a picture of one:
Oops!!  Just missed him,  He dove so quick I didn’t realize that I had missed him.  I snapped the picture of it swimming by and looked up and it was gone.  So I looked back at the picture and saw I was just a little late pulling the trigger.  OK, I would just wait him or her out.  Wow, I didn’t know that they could hold their breath that long and go that far under water.  But when he popped up I was ready for him:
I suppose if that had not worked, I could have gone and knocked on his door:

Although we didn’t see any other wildlife other than some ravens and other birds, we did see signs of some past activity.  

I am not sure what started this weaving job.  I have heard that some birds weave their nests.  But this was mighty big stuff for a bird to handle, so the only possible conclusion that I could come up with is that it was one of those Big Foot creatures that wonder the big thicket and the piney woods of East Texas.  I probably should have picked it up and brought it home as a trophy, but I felt like I was being watched and decided that maybe what ever it was that was weaving that palmetto didn’t just quit, but we disturbed it and it was just off in the thicket watching and waiting.  Or maybe it was a trap set to catch some curious invader for their supper.  Just can never tell, so left it untouched.  That was probably the right choice, seeing that I still able to write a blog about it. (grin).
Hey, you all have a great day now you hear?

Saturday, March 24, 2012

Wandering to Huntsville State Park (1st time this year).

It was just so nice a day, (it couldn’t have been any nicer) we had to get out awhile.  So, we headed up to Huntsville State Park, which is only a little over a half hours drive from my place.  Took some pictures.  The first one was of a kayak set up for fishing.  The owner was sitting on his tail gate rigging some lures, so of course I had to stop and talk to him.  He was retired and likes to kayak fish fresh and salt water both.  Told me a few good stories.  He had a wheeled contraption to move and handle the boat and the truck was especially fixed up to carry it.

This is a pic of the Lake Raven looking east from the dock and boat ramp:

And looking west:

And just to prove that I am still alive and was there:

There were a lot flowers blooming:

This picture is a little late for St. Patrick’s Day:

This was a tall bright yellow one:

This last one is sort of a mixture of a couple different flowers and a fern:

Well, that is about half the pictures.  I will put the other half on tomorrow of some ducks, turtles, etc.  None of the many alligators were spotted.  Sorry I am late today, but by the time I got the pictures off the camera and edited, it was time to head off to the flea market.  By the way, I purchased a new tarp there today.  I am planning on getting my big old telescope out and don’t intend to bring it back in for a couple of nights.  Too much trouble, so need something to cover over it.
So, until tomorrow, you all have a great day now, you hear.

Friday, March 23, 2012

Swamp and Old RV updates

Although the “swamp” is not completely full, it is the fullest I have seen it in years.  It is within a foot or so of the breast of the dam.  I got pictures, OK?  This first picture is of the deepest part, the hole that I dug with the tractor.  Remember the drought pictures; it was the last to dry out.  It was also the hole that “the pig” drowned in.  Now, you can’t even tell it is there, so I circled it with yellow:

This next picture is the old part looking south:

I suppose you noticed the green scum on the water?  Well, it ain’t scum; it is an accumulation of small floating plants:

And a close up:

The next one is of the old part looking south:

And again, the old part, but looking west.  That peninsula is where the Nutria used to live before the drought.  Wonder what happened to them and if they survived, where did they go?

And the last one, looking north, back over the old part:

Now for an update on my class-C motor-home.  The pending sale finally went through.  It took quite awhile for the buyers to get their financing.  But now, I don’t have to worry about it any more.  I came down in price and also paid for a few things to be fixed.  It is a relief that it found a home and I hope the new buyers enjoy it as much as we did.
You all have a great day now, you hear?

Thursday, March 22, 2012

Wondering about the crazy weather and my pups.

Back where I was born and raised, in Western Pennsylvania, they are having a lot warmer weather lately than we have been experiencing here in the Houston area of East Texas.  Again today they are going to be in the 80’s.  When I got up this morning it was only in the upper 40’s.  It is now 08:04 and the outside temperature is 49 degrees.  Of course it is suppose to be a beautiful day and the weatherman gave it a 10!!  In fact, for the nest week or more it is going to be just lovely here in Texas.
Yesterday, Trouble asked in her comment on my blog to see pictures of my pups after the one was shaved.  Well, she was shaved a month ago, not yesterday.  But, I took pictures of all three of them last night, just for you Trouble. First, let me remind you what Ginger Muffin looked like with all her hair:

And the picture that I took last night:

And here is a picture of Mr. Chang Le:

And last is the Shih-Tzu that we rescued when she was a puppy.  She is not in full coat yet, but had been shaved back a few months ago:

I know that some people don’t like to see blogs that post pictures of pets and children, but every once in awhile, I need to post pictures of our pets which are also our children.
You all have a great day and if you have pets, give them a hug or an extra pat on the head today, you hear?

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Wandering to other sites.

I want to thank all my new followers.  I hope that I will not be a disappointment to you.  I have been known to be the cause of a few disappointments throughout my life and have been disappointed a few times my self by my self or by others or about things in general.  But, I always try to look at the bright side, you know, like what my Dad used to tell me, “Nothing is so bad it can’t get worse”!!!  Yeh, I know, I mentioned that before.  I have posted 588 times and I am old, you don’t expect me to remember everything that I have posted in the past.  Sometimes I don’t remember what I just posted.
Speaking of past postings, I went back the other day and looked at some of them.  I think my blog has been slowly declining in the quality of its contents.  I guess I need to get out and about, take some more trips, do something different other than going to doctors, dentists, etc.  There are so many fabulous, entertaining, and educational blogs out there I am so blessed with all you who follow and comment.  I appreciate you all very much and it keeps me wanting to keep up my blog and try to make it more interesting and fun and maybe a little educational.
I am spending some time joining other sites as a follower.  You all, each and every one of you, have such interesting things to share.  There are so many, that if I read all of them that I wanted to every day, I would get nothing else done and thus have nothing new to blog about; kind of catch 22 thing.  I am going to go read and maybe join some more blogs, so you all have a great day now, you hear

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Wondering if it will be a Wet Dog Day

Today is dog grooming day.  All three have an appointment this morning.  It seems it rains or threatens to rain the last few months on the day of their appointments.  Even a freshly groomed dog that has to go “out” when it is raining gets un-groomed rather quickly, like in seconds.  They not only get wet, but they pick up every leaf, every seed pod, anything that will stick and get tangled in their long hair.   Oh well, since the front hit here at 07:30, maybe it will be out of here before the pups are ready to come home.  My oldest one is so very scared of thunder or anything that goes bang or boom.  She just shakes uncontrollably.  The TV guy is predicting 2 to 4 inches.  I would think that this front will finally bring the drought to an official end.  I would have figured that the last heavy rain that we had would have done that, but the number crunchers say no.  I guess it doesn’t matter how wet the ground is, or how many streets are flooded in Houston, but if the number of inches don’t reach some magic number, it ain’t over.  As far as I am concerned, it was over here the last big rain we had.
Don’t have much to say this morning, but since I got in trouble causing some worry among other bloggers when I couldn’t post for a couple of days, I will try to post even if I don’t have anything to say.  But, as you can see, I can say nothing and still use a lot of words.  That sounds like the definition of a politician.  Oh please!!!  NO – NO!!  Not me!
You all have a good day today and if you live in central or east Texas, try to keep your powder dry, you hear?

Monday, March 19, 2012

Wondering how it started so quick.

I have been threatening to cut the dogs’ yard for weeks now, but have been putting it off because I figured that the old lawn mower would need some maintenance.  I just couldn’t put it off any longer; the weeds were much taller than the dogs.  So, I went out and tried to pull my old lawn mower back from where it had been sitting all winter.  Dang, it seemed to be stuck, so I tried to lift it up.  OH DANG, FIRE ANTS!!!  (BTW, I do use “dang” for 95% of my cussing)  Yep, they used my lawn mower as a shelter from the rain.  Just what I needed, a few billion mad fire ants!
I finally got the lawn mower pulled out from beside the porch to an open area, bumped it up and down a few times, and then remembered that I didn’t get any gas for it.  I opened the gas cap and checked, and there was just a hint of gas in the bottom.  I looked around and found an old gas can.  Yep, it had a few inches of gas in it.  I smelled it and it didn’t smell like gasoline should.  Oh well, it was all I had and I didn’t want to go for gas.  I dumped it in the tank, put the gas cap back on, and yanked the starter cord.  It didn’t even sputter, so I yanked it again.  I couldn’t believe it; it started right up on the second pull!!  I must have done something right when I rebuilt the carburetor over a year ago.  Do you remember that blog?  Here is a link: http://dizzydick.blogspot.com/2010/10/mower-resurrection.html  The dogs seem a lot happier about going out now, so I will change the oil in the mower and go get some fresh gasoline and if I feel like it, I will cut some grass.  Well not for a few days, the weather man says it is going to get real stormy around here.
You all have a great day now, you hear?

Sunday, March 18, 2012

Wandering to Leggett to meet Sixbears

Sorry I missed a couple of days’ blogging, but I had loaded Window’s 7 on both our laptops and it refused to find the Wi-Fi hot spots.  Neither would it accept my Verizon air card.  I will have to do some checking on this problem before I hit the road the next time.
We usually have some problem pop up and this trip was no exception.  Somehow the key in the ignition of the Jeep didn’t get turned far enough to unlock the steering and the front wheels were turned slightly to the left.  After we had gone over 20 miles or so a truck past us and the guy pointed down and back.  OK, I figured something was amiss, so I pulled over.  I walked all around the RV and couldn’t see anything.  Then I noticed the front tires on the Jeep had the tread ripped off of them on right side of the tire.  That is when I discovered the problem.  I think I will purchase two new tires and put the least damaged one on as a spare.  My spare looks new but it is 8 years old and weather cracked.
We got to Eagles Rest RV Park late in the afternoon on Thursday.  It is very nice and the people who run it are fantastic.  It has a stocked lake with bass, catfish, and everything else.  It also has shooting ranges for both a rifle and handguns.  The shorter handgun shooting range has retrievable targets on wire pulleys so you don’t have to walk down the range to retrieve them.
After we arrived we telephoned Sixbears and he said that he would be free the next morning and he and his lovely wife would come see us at the park.  My wife and I were excited about meeting them and since they live in New Hampshire, I would doubt that we would bump into them very often.
First I will show you some roses growing at the park:

And looking past the roses at my RV:

The next day was wonderful.  Sixbears, his wife, and dog Brownie came for our face to face visit.  It was just so fantastic meeting such wonderful and interesting people.  After the first few words out of his mouth, I new that I would really like that guy.  The only down side of the visit was two of our three dogs did not care for visitors.  I was so ashamed at my “children” for their almost constant barking.  I sure hope they didn’t upset our three guests.  Brownie was just so good, whish our dogs would have been.  They just are not used to getting company.
Anyway, how about some pictures?  Here is the Sixbears family:

And of course I had to get in one of the pictures:

And there perfectly behaved dog, Brownie:

We had no problem getting home yesterday afternoon.  Even swung into the flea market and I picked up a great book on birds.  All told, it was a great few days and if you ever have a chance to meet Sixbears and his family, do so.  They are just fantastic people.  Now you all have a great day today, you hear?

Thursday, March 15, 2012

Wondering about Witch Hazel.

There are numerous uses for this old and very useful product, but if you are interested in them, you can look them up on the internet.  I just love the stuff, used it multiple times a day on my face and body.  No, it hasn’t made me handsome or even close, but it feels so good and I just can’t get enough of its smell.  I do not know what it is about its smell, but it is my favorite smell of anything I know.  Now I also love the smell of my favorite foods cooking when I am hungry and the smell of good coffee brewing; but Witch Hazel also relaxes me.  I splash it on before I go to bed at night with a double dose on my mustache, hoping the aroma will last a little longer.  For some reason, it never seems to last very long.  But, they say it is good for the complexion and I need any help I can get (grin).
How many of you use Witch Hazel and what do you use it for.  Years ago, I discovered it worked very well to reduce the pain, itch, and swelling of minor hemorrhoids, among other things.  It also helps the complexion and sooths minor scrapes and abrasions.  Like aspirin, it is (or was originally) a natural product.  If I could get the smell concentrated enough to last a lot longer I would use it as cologne.  Actually, I now use at as a cologne most days.
You all have a great day now, you hear?

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Wondering what these are?

The other day my wife discovered a couple of things in her kitchen that, at first, she wondered what they were.  She showed them to me and of course I “wondered” about them.  Sometimes our first impressions can be wrong and some times they can be right.  Now, I am going to show a couple of pictures and before you read below each one, let us know what your first quick impression was.  Some of you will be right and maybe some will be wrong.  Here is the first picture:

My first impression (and my wife’s, too) was that it is a claw or foot off some kind of animal.  If it were green instead of white, I would be looking for some crashed flying saucers.  I couldn’t understand why it was mostly white and then I realized it was a piece of paper towel that had been wet, probably used to scrub something.  Yep, it is part of a paper towel.  I don’t think you could form that good of a claw if you really tried.  To me, that is what makes it amazing!
OK, are you ready for another one?  This one should be a little easier:

Both my wife and I thought at first it was an old orange peel; that is until we picked it up and felt the weight then we turned it over and this is what we saw:

Yep, it is part of geode.  I, for the life of me, can’t ever remember getting that.  I do not know where it came from or why it just sort of showed up.  OH Yes, now I got it figured out!!  It is part of the flying saucer that crashed and the only remains were the little “white” guy’s hand and a part of the saucer’s outer shell.  Boy am I glad I got that all figured out, now you all have a great day, if you can while watching the sky and your kitchen for little green white men, you hear?

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Swamp Update – After the Rain.

Yesterday I took a walk around the swamp.  What a difference from last summer, since for awhile, there wasn’t a damp spot in it anywhere.  Now it is within two feet of spilling over.  It is the fullest I have seen it in a few years.  OK, yes I got pictures and as the wise man said, pictures are worth a thousand words.  So, here are some pictures that I took yesterday.
This first one is of the “old” part looking north-west:

From same location looking more to the north:

Moving to the north and looking to the west:

Standing at the north end looking to the south:

Moving to the west and looking back to the south-east:

I walked on to the west looking south and this is the “newer” part.  By new, I mean I dug a deep hole in this area after I moved on to the place.  The swamp is so full now you can not tell where the “hole” is.

The frogs were so happy last night that they were singing to the top of their lungs.  I love the night sounds here this time of the year.  It relaxes me more than anything else can do.  Now you all have a great day now, you hear?

Monday, March 12, 2012

A wet weekend.

By Sunday afternoon, I could see water every way I looked.  It was like living on an island, well sort of.  We had a lot of rain and since my new rain gauge is still laying here in my office, I don’t know how much we got but more than I have seen in a long, long time.  It was the perfect rain, not hitting all at once and passing by, but it rained most of the weekend and everything got a good soaking.  I haven’t been down to the back of my swamp to see if it actually got full but I do know it must be a lot fuller than it was the last time I looked.  With all this rain, the TV weather people say that the drought is still not officially broken.  I am sure this weekend did a lot to improve conditions and being a slow steady rain, it had a chance to soak in.
The tree pollen was bad before it started to rain and the rain washed most of it out of the air and off the vehicles.  I don’t know if the trees are still putting off pollen, but if they are, everything will be yellow again.  This is the time of year when everyone drives a yellow vehicle (grin).
As you can see, I don’t have anything too important to talk or wonder about, so for now I will just wish you all ado.  You all have a great week now, you hear?

Sunday, March 11, 2012

Wondering about waist veggie oil

One of the blogs I follow is http://sixbearsinthewoods.blogspot.com/ and he has converted his truck and his new repurposed ambulance to run on waste vegetable oil.  From what I understand from reading his blogs, he usually gets it for free from restaurants and fast food places.  It is a good system and makes good use of the used vegetable oils.  I have heard of this before, in fact I saw a TV show where someone had converted a Class-C diesel motor-home to run on vegetable oil.  As far as I understand it (and that isn’t very far) the biggest problem is keeping it in liquid form in cold weather.  Of course there is some converting to do and tank heaters to install, but as long as you can get access to free used veggie oil, it is a great way to save money and still have fuel for powering a vehicle.
Of course other people and industries want used vegetable oil for their purposes.  I just heard the other day that the companies that make bars of soap are the biggest consumers of waste vegetable oil.  So, I guess people with waste oil powered vehicles have a little competition from big businesses which can afford to pay more for it if it ever gets scarce.  Although with the number of fast food places, I doubt that it will ever come to that.
You all have a great day now, you hear?

Saturday, March 10, 2012

Wondering about fishing

Fishing is one of my favorite sports.  I like most all kinds of fishing, but prefer the more active types.  I suppose my favorite is sneaking around the shallows close to shore in my canoe during a moonless night casting to the edge of shore with surface plugs trying to entice a huge hog bass to come out of the water and smash my lure.  Wow!!  Talk about excitement.  There is nothing better than that!!  Even when the fishing is slow, the beauty of the night, its sounds and sights are very relaxing and enjoyable on their own.  For some reason, old age I guess or laziness, I have not been fishing in years.  I guess the main reason is I don’t have anyone to go fishing with anymore who likes to fish out of canoes at night.  I guess my love for it was taught to me by my Dad who used to take me night fishing in the upper Allegheny River when I was a boy and we continued to do it when we could after I grew up.  Later, I found a good friend who would go with me at night.  I miss that type of fishing and have not done any of it for many, many years.
Fishing dates back many millenniums.  Fish were a food staple of many ancient people.  But recently, I read a short article that (so far) told of the discovery of the world’s oldest deep-sea fishermen.  Digging in a cave on an island off the north shore of Australia, a researcher found hand made hooks and many fish bones, some of tuna and sharks which were off shore, deep sea fish.  What is surprising to me is the age of these artifacts.  They were determined to be 42,000 years old.  Not only did these ancient people have good sea worthy boats, but since The Bass Pro Shop hadn’t opened yet, they had to make their own hooks, lines, and any other equipment that they needed.  Their fishing success was not just a hobby but a means to stay alive and eat well.
Dang, now I want to go fishing.  Yes, my pond/swamp is pretty full now but it will take years to get the big bass back.  So, for now, you all have a great Saturday and relax and enjoy yourselves, you hear?

Friday, March 9, 2012

Wondering about the things my dad said.

My dad was a good, wise, and kind man and even when I was a kid, I understood that.  He was the happiest when he was outdoors in the woods, fields, lakes, rivers, and streams.  He loved to hunt and fish, and to him (and me) it was being out there that counted, not the kill or the catch but the time enjoyed outdoors.  He also gave me great advice to live by.  The one that I remember and use the most is “It’s not so bad that it can’t get worse”.  I first heard that when I was a kid and came to him either heart broken over a loss or any problem.  Made me think; and you know, he was right.  I wrote a song about that back 20 some years ago but forgot it and can’t find where I wrote it down.
One of the other things he always told me was “no matter what I did in life, sweeping floors or cleaning toilets, do the best dang job you can possibly do”.  Well, when I got hired on at Pullman-Standard, I worked in the labor gang and along with digging ditches, cleaning the paint shop and exhaust vents, coming in early when it snowed to clean the railroad tracks and thaw the switches, I also swept floors and cleaned toilets, and I did the best dang job I could do.  I worked in the labor gang for a couple of years, and decided to put my resume in to the car engineering group.  I guess they didn’t need anybody, but the head of die, tool, jig and fixture (manufacturing engineering) department found my resume, checked on my work ethics, and the rest is history.  With some college background and my will to learn and work hard, I did very well there and learned a lot that would serve me all my life (and still does).  I worked for Pullman-Standard for 17 years.  I was reminded about Pullman because my friends sent me three Butler Eagle newspapers that had memories and history of the old Pullman plant which was housed in the longest building in the world.
OK, an update on my class-C motor-home.  PPL has it on line, but I see there were a few mistakes so I sent them off an email this morning correcting the errors.  Whether they will update the add or not, we will see.  If you want to take a look, here is a link to there add:  http://www.pplmotorhomes.com/classc/2005-Sunseeker-21133.htm
Now, wish me luck in quickly selling the unit and you all have a great day now, you hear?

Thursday, March 8, 2012

Wondering if you have seen Mars.

I sure hope you have taken a few minutes out of your busy evenings to take a look at Mars this month.  It is the brightest it has been in a couple of years and if you look to the east just after it gets dark, it will be the brightest “star” in that part of the sky.  As the hours go by it climbs high in the sky and of course it has that reddish shade to it.  Take a look, it is easy to spot.  If you look west you will see Saturn and Venus, both a little brighter than mars.  A good time for planet watchers.
It is suppose to be a wet few days around here with predictions of rain in excess of three inches.  Since it is quite warm, didn’t get much below 70 last night if at all, the frogs have been yelling so loud that they drown out most all other natural noises and a lot of man made ones, too.  With the frogs and owls serenading, it reinforces the reasons I like living here.  This morning I saw a pair of ducks circling and then landing.  Soon we should have some baby ducks.
I am not going to ramble on any more in today’s blog since I really have nothing else to say.  So, you all have a great day now, you hear?

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Wondering how long it will take to sell

I got the Class-C motor-home down to PPL without any major incident.  For any of you who have ever driven through Houston, you know that there will always be a close call or at least hectic driving conditions somewhere along the line.  Yesterday was no exception but all told, the traffic was not too bad, at least it was bearable with no major back-ups.  (Just small, short duration ones)  I can’t say enough good things about PPL and the friendly people there.  The one major thing that makes it so friendly and easy to deal with is that no one there is on commission, so they can’t get greedy and try to sell you more than you want.  They don’t try to push any extras on you, although they offer what all is available but a simple no on your part and they move on to other things.  Since January 1, 2011, they have sold 1925 RVs.  That is a lot of RVs.  You search their website for any RV that you may be interested in and when you go down there and walk in the door, you tell the girl at the desk what you want to look at and she gives you a map of the lot and highlights the ones you are interested in and tells you to go take a look at them or any others you see that interest you.  No sales person comes with you.  If you find something you are interested in, you come back to the office and meet with a sells person who will help answer all your questions.  I know that there is a lot of RVers out there in blogger land or ones who want to become RVers or upgrade or just sell one.  I highly recommend that you at least look at their web-page at http://www.pplmotorhomes.com.  They get customers and RVs to sell from all over the United States.  All the units are cared for.  Any with generators get them started and run every week and all motor home get the main engine started and run every week to keep up batteries, etc.
OK, enough unsolicited advertisement.  Here are two pictures I took of the RV in my driveway ready to head for Houston:

Just before I left to come home, I snapped another picture of it at PPL.  The sign in the window says that it is not for sale.  After it was appraised, I had to complete the paper work, and they are going to repair a couple of minor things and give it (free to me) a $450.00 wash, wax, and interior cleaning.  Dang, if I had known that, I wouldn’t have taken time to wash it myself.

Wow, now I have room in my driveway to park the Jeep next to the house and if anybody with an RV comes to visit, I have both 30 and 50 amp service, along with water, available for their stay.  Now I hope that it will sell quickly.  I decided to let it go for less than low book price to speed up the process and to give someone a good deal.  You all have a great day now, you hear?

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Wondering what its next life will be.

I am kind of sad this morning.  I have an appointment to take my Class-C down to PPL Moterhomes to put it on their lot for them to sell it.  It is sort of like losing an old friend or taking your pet to the vet to be put down.  No, actually it is like taking your pet to the pound in hopes a wonderful, loving family will adopt it.  So, this morning may be our last ride together.  Actually, I hope it does sell and to some family who will have as much fun with it as we did.  It was a good RV and of course my wife and I hate to see it go.
OK, I got to get going, so you all have a great day.

Monday, March 5, 2012

It’s Monday and I am wondering.

Yep, I am wondering what this week will bring.  Everything is up in the air until I make some telephone calls.  One thing for sure, I want to get the class-C motor-home down to PPL and up for sell.  I will call them today and make an appointment.  I washed it off and it looks pretty good and only have a few things left to remove from it.  After I get it down there, my calendar for the week opens up and I will then be able to plan other things that need done.
The weather man last night said that rain will be moving in Wednesday night and stick around for three days or so, therefore, if there is anything that needs done outside, I will have to get a jump on it.  I did notice that my son cut the front lot.  It looks a lot better, now I need to cut around my house.  The grass and weeds are getting quite tall.  My poor little dogs are having trouble “going out”, if you know what I mean.
Sorry I don’t have much to say or a good story for you today.  Just wanted to post so you know I am still around.  You all have a good day now, you hear?

Sunday, March 4, 2012

Wondering how many good people there are?

Sometimes, in this hectic and selfish world where it seems that most everyone has blinders on and only think of them selves, a story comes to light showing just how wrong the first part this sentence is.  Something happened to my cousin and he sent me an email telling me about it.  I am going to cut and past his email below for you all to read, enjoy, and feel good.  Here it is:

A story about truth in advertizing:
Yesterday I had to do a service call at a branch bank in a small town up near West Virginia. The AC unit was up on the flat roof of the building and after I got my big extension ladder finally in place, I climbed up and found there was nothing to tie the ladder off to, just a flat roof and not even a plumbing vent. It was a nice sunny day so I went to the ac unit, pulled off a panel and was doing what I came to do when it suddenly got very windy. I was trying to keep the panel from blowing away when I heard a loud crash. I knew right away the wind had blown the ladder over in the parking lot and had probably came down on someone's BMW or worse, somebody. I went to the edge and saw it had fallen in a parking space where one of the bank tellers had just pulled out of just minutes before. I was glad it didn't hit anything or anybody. Then I realized I'm stuck up here on the roof. What are you going to do? Call the fire dept to get you down? Damn! I'm too old for this type of work. Just then this old guy with a Vietnam Veteran cap on came walking (limping) across the parking lot.  He said he heard the ladder fall and he'd try to set it back up for me, but it was too heavy so I had him throw the rope up and I pulled the top up while he set the bottom of the ladder. I thanked him, I was really grateful and wanted to get down and shake his hand and thank him proper, but by the time I got the ladder steady and climbed down, he was gone.    I finished up, loaded up and headed out of town. On the way out I saw a large mural  painted on the side of one of the buildings in town, it said "Pearisburg, Small Town, Good People!"

Now didn’t get give you a pleasant glow and warm feeling?  It did me.  That sign was true, there was truth in that advertising!  Now you all have a great day and see if you can give someone a needed hand today, you hear?

Saturday, March 3, 2012

Washing RV and wondering about online shopping channels.

I decided to take advantage of the summer type weather and started to wash my old motor-home yesterday.  Around here, if something sits for more than a few hours, mold starts to grow on it, well, it seems like it anyway.  Got the step ladder out, a bucket of soapy water, and the last of my B.O.S.S. (Best Of the Super Sponges) sponges and started on the passenger side.  Wouldn’t you know it, about a half hour into my scrubbing, it started to rain.  Actually, the rain didn’t hurt anything and since it was quite warm, it actually felt good.  It was not a heavy rain, but it sort of misted of and on for a short time.  I got all that one side done, the rear, and most of the front when my old body just plumb gave out.  Enough for one day, will try to finish it this afternoon when it warms back up.
I got wondering about the “shopping on line” TV channels that have become so popular.  I can remember a long time ago, (you know, back when there were only a couple of channels you could get) my Dad and I were discussing English TV channels when we heard a news report that the English channel that was watched the most was nothing but all advertising.  I could not imagine that!!  Advertisements, for me, where just bothersome interruptions to my favorite TV shows.  Well, things have gone full circle, now my wife watches QVC and HSN and I still can’t understand it (grin).  I will look at it for a couple of minutes if they have something that interests me, but can not keep watching them pitch the same item for a half hour.  I guess I am the exception, maybe even a little strange... Right?
Now, you all have a great day, you hear?  Unless you live in the southeast part of the county were all those tornadic storms are going through, then just be careful and safe.

Friday, March 2, 2012

As my friend said “Blog material you didn’t need”.

My friend was right, this is blog material that I didn’t need or want.  Yesterday, late in the noon hour, we started out to the post office, but before we got into the Jeep, we heard sirens approaching.  The emergency vehicles turned on to the road we live off of, so we waited to see where they were heading.  The first fire truck stopped at the fourth house past my driveway to the east.  Then I could see the smoke coming from their house.  The owners of this house own the property that borders part of the east edge of my place, close to where my son has his place.
It sounded like more fire fighting support was on the way, so we headed on down to the post office.  On our way back, we went the long way around the block and came past the site of the fire.  It didn’t look good, smoke was coming out the eves all around the roof and there must have been close to a dozen emergency vehicles there.
We got past and pulled in to my place and parked.  My wife and I walked down toward my son’s place to get a better look.  Although it looked like it had not flared up too bad, it sure didn’t look good.  Lots of smoke, crackling and some loud “bangs” were coming from the inside.  The heat must have been exploding stuff and maybe ammunition or fireworks were going off.  Don’t know what exactly was exploding.  We walked back up to our house to get my camera, but just then my son’s girl friend and her father came driving up the driveway from my son’s house.  They said that they were there feeding his animals.  We got talking and they wanted to see the new motor-home, so I didn’t get pictures.
I always hate to see or hear of homes burning.  Even if everyone escapes along with the pets, things are lost that can never be replaced.  The home that burned was not a big expensive place but it was someone’s castle.  I don’t know the people that live there, don’t even know their name.  I do know that the man is or was a guard at the Huntsville prison.  Hope to find out more about it today.
Now you all have a great day, you hear?

Thursday, March 1, 2012

Tornado Outbreak!!

Heard on the TV this morning about all the tornadoes that occurred overnight.  According to Fox News, “At least 16 tornados were reported from Nebraska and Kansas across southern Missouri to Illinois and Kentucky.”  People died!!  My sympathies and sadness go out to all affected by these unusual storms.  Storm outbreaks like this seldom happen this time of year, but the weather has been strange.  Yesterday it was 80 degrees and over night got down around 70.  This is extremely warm, especially the abnormally high low temperature, for this time of year and it is suppose to be above 80 for today and tomorrow.  The sun never came out yesterday.  If it had, it would have probably hit 90.  So far today the sun has not shown its face, but it is still quite warm.  I sure hope none of my blog readers were affected by the adverse weather conditions.  Let me know what the weather has been like in your areas.
I got a lot done on the Class-C and it is about ready to take down to PPL to see if they can sell it.  I disconnected all the antennae and snaked the coaxial cable back out of where it was run from the outside to the radios inside.  I had both HF and VHF/UHF antennae to remove.  Also, I had run heavy wires from the house batteries up to the “cockpit” to have a good, clean source of 12 volt power for the radios.  It took quite awhile to remove all that.  It was snaked thorough, over, under, inside, outside and every which way to keep it protected and routed to the radios.  Now, about all there is to do is remove a few personal things still in it and sweep it out.  I told you in another blog about making up an electric cable for the tail lights, turn signals, and brake lights in an older blog, so all I need to do is put the Blue Ox tow bar into the receiver, hook it to the Jeep, plug in the electric cable to the RV and the Jeep, and I am set to go.
We will miss the class-C.  It was and still is a great motor-home.  Now, you all have a great day and I got to go take the garbage down to the road for pick up.