Wondering about wild grapes

Monday, September 30, 2013

Wondering about Jack-O-Lanterns.

It is hard to believe, but when tomorrow comes it will be October all ready.  When I lived up north October meant a lot of things to me, the main ones being beautiful colored leaves, hunting season, and of course Halloween.  My wonderful and talented wife must have had October and Halloween on her mind last night as she sat in her chair working on a card and envelope to send to my Aunt in the nursing home up in Pennsylvania.  I thought it was so very good that I just had to share it with you.  She didn't think it was that good, but I sure did.  I guess I will let you decide if it is good or not.

I opened it up and scanned it for you all.  This first picture is of the outside of the card, showing both the front (on the right) and the back (on the right).

Going to pick out the pumpkin that is just perfect takes a lot of looking, but the ones in the picture above all look pretty good to me.  What do you think?

OK, we picked out the perfect one. Then we turned it from a thing of beauty into something hideous and scary.  Now it is a Jack-O-Lantern and it's main purpose is scare you.


And of course she had to decorate an envelope with a bunch of really scary Jack-O-Lanterns.  Look!!  They are still on the vine and they just ripped themselves out of the pumpkin patch and are chasing you. . . RUN   RUN  Run for your lives!!!

So now that I got you shook up, try to relax anyway and have a great day, you hear?  I have to go and write a poem for this card.

Trouble requested that I show the poem, too.  It is not one of my better ones.  For some reason my artistic and rhyming side wasn't awake yet (grin)  Hey, that is as good of an excuse I can come up with at this time.  Here is the dumb poem:

Pumpkins to Jack-O-Lanterns


There are both good and evil people.

Some are strange but others are evil.


The same is true for country bumpkins.

Who are those who raise these orange pumpkins.


Some pretty pumpkins make a U-turn.

Turning into a Jack-O-Lantern.


Instead of making some yummy pies.

Makes scary faces to haunt your eyes.


But these are friendly and won’t say boo.

They want to see a smile, not scare you.

Sunday, September 29, 2013

Wondering if things really change through the ages.

I was glancing through one of my reference books (yes, even though I search the Internet, I still prefer hard copy books) and found a couple of quotes that got me to wondering if things have really changed that much through the ages.  For instance, here is a quote by Aristophanes (c. 450 B.C. - c. 385 B.C.) where he stated: "These impossible women!  How they do get around us!  The poet was right: can't live with them, or without them."  Now, don't all you women out there start throwing things at me.  I want you to know that I love women, one in particular.  But you all must agree that this next quote by Ovid (43 B.C. - A.D. 18) is still correct today: "A woman is a creature that's always shopping."

My lady loves to shop at Hobby Lobby, Michael's, and shoe stores.  She also likes to go to the shoe department in Academy which I don't mind because I wonder around the rest of that large store looking through the camping, hunting, fishing, boating, and firearms departments while she is happily trying on shoes.

Other things which we take for granted as being a product of modern society were in use long ago.  Roman women were wearing bikinis by the first century B.C. and the Romans had apartment blocks. plate glass windows, and toilets that flushed.  Actually, in case you want to know, the earliest known indoor toilets with sewage-disposal systems were on the Orkney Islands of Scotland in about 2800 B.C.  Also, keeping to this subject, the Greeks had showers with piped-in water during the fourth century B.C., and the Chinese had toilet paper by A.D. 589.  All these hygienic advances didn't begin appearing in America until about 150 years ago.  Just goes to show you that what's old will become new again.  Now, you all enjoy your Sunday and have a great day, you hear?

Saturday, September 28, 2013

Wondering about some strange stories.

Most of us go through life living in a world made up of solids, liquids, and gasses.  Atoms group together and made molecules that group together to make the gasses.  Some go even further to make the liquids and the solids.  But then there is the super-natural world.  That world is visited by some a lot more than by others.  I, for one, don't get to visit that place much, but I do know people who do or have.  But, I am getting off the track.

What first comes to your minds when you think of super natural things is ghosts?  Would it be ole Casper, who I wrote a blog posting about awhile back?

No, I mean real ghosts or poltergeists.  Actually I mean ghost.  A poltergeist is is neither a ghost nor a haunting.  They are caused by the unconscious mind of a living person, usually under some kind of stress.  Where as a ghost is the spirit of a person supposedly caught between this plane of existence and the next.  They are suppose to be intelligent beings that are quite capable of interacting with the living.
I found this picture in my Ripley's Believe It or Not book.  I also found the same picture on the Internet.  It was easier to copy the one from the Internet than go to the trouble of scanning a page of book.  This photograph of Mary Todd Lincoln was taken many years after Abraham Lincoln's death.  So who is that standing behind her? 
I suppose the photographer could have tampered with the picture.  It would have been a lot harder way back then before Photo-Shop was in existence.  I did a recent blog about seeing images of faces in wall paper designs but this picture goes a little further than that.  Part of the image spills over onto Mary Todd's shoulders.
OK, I will leave it up to you all.  What do you think?  Is it fake or is it real?  I tend to lean toward the fake side but I better be careful, Old Abe never lied and he just may come visit me to make sure I know it was him in truth. . . So, if you don't hear from me tomorrow, I may still be in shock, or still running , or even worse (grin).  Now don't you have too spooky a day but enjoy the first day of this weekend, you hear?

Friday, September 27, 2013

Wondering why I didn't know the geography.

I found an interesting article about how one baby escaped death during the Johnstown Flood or the Great Flood of 1889.  This infant floated all the way from Johnstown to Pittsburgh on the floor boards of a ruined house.  That is a distance of 75 miles.  I lived in Pennsylvania for the first 36 years or so of my life, so I thought that I knew the area pretty well, especially the rivers.  I spent many a happy day and night on the Allegheny, canoeing, boating, swimming, fishing, and most anything else connected to the river.  Both sets of my grandparents lived along the river, although in different towns.  Therefore, when I read the above story I said that just can't be, I thought that any river going through Johnstown would flow south or east toward the Atlantic ocean.

I then dug out my trusty road atlas and looked at the pages that showed the areas between Johnstown and Pittsburgh.  Low and behold, there are rivers that connect the two towns.  Amazing!!  Why didn't I know that?  I guess that just goes to show that even if we are well acquainted with an area or things, we just may not know everything about them.  That goes for people, too.

It is hard to imagine the devastation a flood of that magnitude and with all that water released at one time can do.  I found a couple of pictures on the Internet that may help to show damage caused.  This first one is of the dam that gave away:

And this one is a picture of where the town used to be.  Unbelievable!!

Now, you all keep yourselves and your powder dry and have wonderful day, you hear?

Thursday, September 26, 2013

Wondering about Jonah and whales.

The first reported event of a whale swallowing someone and later spitting him out was in the Old Testament of the Bible.  I am sure we have all heard the story of Jonah being swallowed by a whale.  Well, let me tell you, he wasn't the last.  You don't believe me?  Well I will give you a couple of examples.

This was reported by the Boston Post back in 1771.  It was about an American harpooner named Jenkins.  A sperm whale bit his whaling boat in half with one bite and swallowed poor Jenkins.  I guess he wasn't to the whale's liking cause it spit him right out.  I wonder if ole Jenkins changed his profession.

Then a hundred and twenty years later, 35 year old James Bartley, who was a seamen on the whaler Star of the East, was swallowed by a sperm whale.  The whale was badly wounded by harpoons and was found dead floating on the surface the next day.  The crew hoisted it aboard and sliced it open to find Barley in its stomach.  He was unconscious but till breathing.  He remembered seeing "a big ribbed canopy of light pink and white and a wall of soft flesh surrounding him and hemming in it".  Then he found himself  inside a water-filled sack among fish, some of which were still alive.

Just in case you questioned Jonah's story, the other two should prove that it is very possible to survive being swallowed by a whale.  I will just take their word for it and try to stay in shallow water.  I don't care to be swallowed.  Now, you all have a great day today and don't get swallowed by a whale, you hear?

Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Wondering what these could be?

I am wondering if you can guess what is in this first picture.  To me, it looks like some fancy gold embossing on pure white linen or silk.  What would be your first quick impression?  Oh go ahead, take a guess, you may be right.


I sure do hope you guessed the right answer without looking down here below the picture for the answer.  OK, I will tell you without any more hesitation.  It is a picture taken by a space craft orbiting Mars and the picture is of Mar's south pole which defrosts each time summer comes to that region of the Red Planet.  Ice sheet pits ringed with gold-colored dust appear where frozen carbon dioxide changes directly into gas.  In a few months from when this picture was taken, cold temperatures again will freeze out the carbon dioxide.  The above came directly out of Astronomy, the magazine.

OK, how about another picture, this time of our moon?  This last picture is the west wall of Aristarchus Crater:
Sorry about the line down the right side of the picture.  That is the seam in my magazine.  Just didn't want you to think that there was a telephone pole on mars!!  You want a closer look, just click on the pictures to enlarge them.  Now, back here on Earth, I have an appointment with the eye doctor this morning, so have to go get ready but I also want you all to have a great day, you hear?

Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Wondering about James Dean's car.

Some of us are old enough to remember James Dean and the car that he was killed in.  That event happened way back in September of 1955.  But, what ever happened to his death car?  Some believed that it carried a curse.  I am going to explain why and then want you all to decide.  Dean was driving 80 mph when he was killed in a head on collision.  There were no signs of him attempting to avert the collision.  Can only wonder why since he was an expert driver.  Now it starts to get a little weird.

Fans of James Dean were the first to be injured when they tried to collect souvenirs from the wreckage.  Then a garage mechanic had both of his legs broken when Dean's car fell on him as he was trying to restore it.  Then one doctor was killed and another badly injured after they bought parts from Dean's car and installed them on their own race cars.  Another man purchased the two undamaged tires and installed them on his own car.  Yep, you guessed it, they both blew out at the same time causing a wreck which put the guy in the hospital  Then the California Highway patrol planned to use the remains of the car in an auto safety show but a fire broke out the night before destroying every car but Dean's.

It doesn't get any better.  Again bound for Salinas in a truck, the driver lost control of the truck that was carrying it.  He lost his life instantly.  As if it didn't want to go to Salinas, Dean's car rolled off that truck.  And if that isn't enough to convince you, the next time they tried to show it, the car, now welded back together, broke apart into eleven pieces.  Now for the surprise (or not) ending.  The Florida police were going to take the car for a safety display.  All the parts were carefully crated and loaded onto a truck to take them to the show.  It just plain disappeared, never to be seen again.  So where did all the eleven pieces go?  Could this car really have a curse attached to it?  Your guess is as good as mine and I would like to hear your guess.  Now let's hope you are not or ever will be under a curse or a black cloud, but have a very great day, you hear?

Monday, September 23, 2013

Wondering about Spearment and Tennis Balls.

I just got to wondering if your Spearmint loses its flavour on the bed post over night, do tennis balls lose their bounce in time?  Well, the simple answer to this question is "yes", but, how much and how fast?  Let us get brand specific.  From now on, I am going to talk about Wilson Tennis Balls.

After they are manufactured, they are packed in pressurized cans to enable the balls to keep their bounce.  After opening a can, the rebound of the balls decreases over time due to pressure loss.  The lose rate is about .032 to .038 inches (just a slightly over thirty second of an inch) per day.  Therefore, if your can of tennis balls has been opened for a month, they will lose about an inch of bounce.  So, after awhile, a second use must be found for them or you could just throw them away.  If I throw one, my dogs will run after it and bring it back.  So, not only do they bounce but they return to thrower. . .

How did Wilson Tennis Balls get its name?  Funny you should ask that.  Way back in 1913 a Chicago based meat packing firm Schwartzchild and Sulzberger created the Ashland Mfg Company as a subsidiary to sell violin strings, surgical sutures, and strings for tennis racquets which are all by-products of animal guts.  It soon branched out to making sporting goods including tennis racquets.  In 1914, a New York banking firm took over the company and selected Tom Wilson to manage the company.  The reason they picked Wilson was because they were planning to name the company Wilson and Company to cash in on president Woodrow Wilson's popularity.  It has changed its name and ownership a few times since then.  As Paul Harvey said, "Now you know the rest of the story".  This information didn't come from Paul Harvey, but from Joey Greens Magic Brands book.  As always, have a great day, you hear?

Sunday, September 22, 2013

Wondering about a good read.

Finding time to read is a little hard in my busy life of sitting on the couch, petting my dogs, watching TV,  writing and reading blogs, playing computer games, going to the post office, and trying to work in at least three meals a day.  Then every now and then we have to go get supplies and, of course a visit or two a week to the flea market, mainly to visit with people we have met there and, of course, maybe find a treasure or at least something useful.  So, I take time just after I crawl into bed to read a book.

The book I choose to read has all kinds of story plots, from love stories, to war stories, to murder, to adultery, to hate, to adventure, etc. with many different charactors, from leaders, to followers, to kings, to paupers, to families, to homosexuals, to the rich, and to the poor.  It has just about any love or adventure story in it that you could want.  But most of all, it is a guide, a road map to life and death and faith.  This book, of course, is the Bible.

The Bible is the most sold book in history with over  2.5 billion copies printed.  Now, I wonder if it is the most read?  Let's hope so.  I have read it over and over and over many times and each time I discover something new.  My favorite way of reading it is one night I read out of the old testiment and the next night I read out of the new testiment.  It is surprising just how many times something I read the night before in the one fits perfectly with what I read the next night in the other.  No matter what your preference is in reading material, you will find it somewhere in the Bible.

Some people worship on Saturday, the saboth, while others worship on Sunday, the first day of the week when Jesus rose from the grave.  I don't believe that the day is important.  We should live every day as if it were your last day on this earth, and one of these days, it will be.  Have a great Sunday and feel free to worship any way and any day you want to and have a great day taday, you hear?

Saturday, September 21, 2013

Wondering and "Counting flowers on the wall".

Do you remember the Statler Brothers hit back in 1969, Counting Flowers on the Wall?  I don't think I have ever done that but it does remind me of times past and homes with all that fancy wallpaper.  My Grandparents' home had some of that fancy wallpaper and I can remember back when I was a kid I would try to find pictures and faces and such hidden in the designs in the wallpaper.  Even to this day, I do the same thing.  In fact, just the other day I noticed a face in a design on a wall.  No, I don't think I need to see a shrink because it didn't talk to me and I didn't talk to it.

I took a picture of the wall.  I wonder if you can see the same face that I did?  In fact I was able to pick out more than one but one in particular stood out to me.  Let's see what you see in this wall design.  I also wrote a poem to go with it and it goes like this:

Did you ever sit and stare at walls?
Plain wallpaper without any scrawls.
But the kind with some fancy designs,
and then pick out faces in the lines?
Here is one where I found one,
hunt for it and have some fun:

Well, did you see any faces?  No?  Well look again, I can make out several of them.  OK, maybe my imagination is running a little wild, but there is one large one that is hard to miss.
OK, did you give up?
Pour coffee in your cup.
Sit down and take some time,
Just look for the orange line. 

Now that I have proved to you that I am a little odd, don't go running off screaming, just stick around and do some more Wondering and Wandering with Dizzy, you hear?

Friday, September 20, 2013

Wondering about Miracle Whip Salad Dressing.

I love Miracle Whip.  I can't remember when I didn't like it and I use it on just about anything.  Even way back when I was a kid I had to have my Miracle Whip.  Mayo is good, but I prefer Miracle Whip.  My wife says that I consume way too much of it and that my blood is being replaced with it.  Well, if that is the case, I am still not going to quit eating it, I will just stay where it is warm, maybe that will keep my blood thin enough so that my old heart can manage to force it through my Miracle Whip coated arteries.  Hey, that can't be too bad.  Doesn't it have preservatives in it?  If so, I am good for another 70 years, right?

How about a little history.  Way back in the eighteenth century, a French fellow discovered a Spanish condiment made of raw egg yolk and olive oil in the port town of Mahon on the island of Minocra (where ever that is).  He returned home with the recipe and called it "Sauce of Mahon".  The French chiefs renamed it "mayhonnaise" which since has morphed into mayonnaise.

To make a long story short, Hellmann's took over the market here and thus Kraft had to come up with something to compete with them.  They introduced their mayonnaise in 1930.  Then came the Depression and mayonnaise was a luxury item so Kraft introduced Miracle Whip, and it has been the best-selling salad dressing in the U.S. since 1933.  So, I ain't the only one with Miracle Whip in my veins. . . Now, slather some on what ever you like and sit back and have a great day, you hear?

Thursday, September 19, 2013

Wondering about . . . What?

Every now and then, back when I was new at blogging, I would blindly open my big dictionary and, keeping my eyes closed, touch the page with my finger. Whatever word was under my finger, I would write my blog posting about it.  (for example, see my blog posting: http://dizzydick.blogspot.com/2010/08/words.html )  I actually learned a few things when I did that.  But I am not going to do that today.  I was just wondering what word I use the most.  Well, since my hearing went bad and especially when I am not wearing my hearing aids, I would say that the word I use most is "what".

The word "what" is a fascinating word with a lot meanings and uses.  It can be used as a noun, adverb, adjective, conjunction and interjection.  And then there are (my favorite) the idioms.  What's an idiom, you may ask?  Well, I looked it up and this is what it says an idiom is:   is a combination of words that has a figurative meaning, due to its common usage.  Here are some examples:

So What?
     an expression of disinterest or contempt.
What For?
     either a question of why or a scolding or punishment.
But What
     this is informal for who or what.
Say What?
     slang for "What's that you say?"
What Have You
     other things of the same kind.

There is also a contractions (what's) for either "what is" or "what does", depending on how it is used in a sentence.

So now you know what word I use the most.  Now, you all tell me what word you use the most and also have a great day, you hear?

Wednesday, September 18, 2013

Wondering About Teaberry

I grew up in Western Pennsylvania and we had a camp our family went to located near Tionestsa.  I loved that camp and have so many wonderful memories of being there, both as a kid and as an adult.  Next time I get back up to that area I would like to revisit it.  Just thinking about it brings back memories of long hikes.  While walking along we would pick teaberry leaves and chew on them for a little refreshment.  I don't remember eating the berries, but I may have also done that.  That plant was just so pleasing to my taste.  Here is picture I found on the internet of the plant I am talking about:

Since my taste buds enjoyed the teaberry plant, I therefore enjoyed Clark's Teaberry Chewing Gum.  I guess that is why I was so thrilled when one of our class trips was a tour of Clark's Teaberry Gum Factory in Pittsburgh.  I still remember the smell of that place, it was like heaven to me.  They had big vats of gum being stirred by a huge machine.  Oh how sweet it was. . .  By the way, the Clark's Candy factory was accross the street.  We didn't get to tour it.
You do know that there are a lot of other uses for chewing gum, don't you?  Yep, a lot more than I want to take the time to write about, so here is an abbreviated list:
Fix eyeglasses.
Retrieve small articles that have fallen down a drain.
Improvise caulking compound.
Temporary fix for loose pane of glass.
Fix cracks in flower pots or a wall.
Adhere bathroom plastic tiles.
Lure crabs or maybe even for a fish bait.
I am sure you can come up with some more great suggestions for its use.  Now, you all have a great day today, you hear?


Tuesday, September 17, 2013

Wondering about SPAM.

I like SPAM.  No, not the junk stuff you get through your email, but the canned stuff you eat.

I am sure that most, if not all, of you have eaten it as have many through out the world.  Now, I just wonder how much you know about it?  Well, of course I am going to tell you all about it.  How do I know?  Why of course, I found a book at the flea market this weekend that has all kinds of uses for stuff other than what it was designed or made for.  The book is:

The most amazing thing is just how many cans of SPAM have been sold.  Way back on March 22, 1994, Hormel Foods celebrated the production  of its five billionth can of SPAM.  Laid end to end, that many cans would circle the Earth twelve and a half times.  Wow!!

Spam can be prepared many, many ways but it has uses other than food.  For example, SPAM can be used as a furniture polish, to steam-proof bathroom mirrors, and it makes a great fish bait.  It has been around for quite a long time.  It was invented in 1937.  I am not sure just how it got its name but some think it was a contraction of the two words, spiced ham.  I love SPAM but because I take medication for elevated blood pressure, my wife says I shouldn't eat it.  Well, at least I hope you all had a good breakfast of SPAM and eggs and toast and butter with jam and. . . oh you know, have a good day today, you hear?

Monday, September 16, 2013

I Did It, I passed!

My son took a day of vacation and drove my motor home and me up to Huntsville, TX so that I could take the driving road test to get my class-B license which a person needs here in Texas to operate a motor vehicle whose gross vehicle weight (GVW) is over 26,000 pounds.  My son has a CDL.  I don't need a CDL (Commercial Driving License) to drive a non-commercial privately owned vehicle.  I passed the written test back a few weeks ago and today was my appointment to take the road test.  I am happy to report that I passed the test.  Now I can drive my RV legally.  I didn't know I was breaking the law until a fellow in an RV park that I had stopped at mentioned it.  Then my son asked me if I had one.  Therefore, now that I know, (and more so, because my wife now knows!) I had to take the tests.

On the way home to celebrate, I had my son pull into the Cracker Barrel restaurant.  I had biscuits and gravy.  They are one of the few who are RV and Trucker friendly with long pull through parking areas.  From the restaurant I drove the rest of the way home.  About three miles from my home, we were stopped by a motorcycle policemen who was escorting another large load down the road.  On yesterday's blog I showed pictures from the news web-site of the large ones we saw yesterday.  This one is quite a bit smaller, but still pretty big.  While I was waiting for them to get past, I took a few pictures.  These are mine and not from the news site:

Of course they had to raise the wires:

They sure do have a lot of tires on their vehicle to handle all the weight:

In my motor-home, I sit up even with most 18 wheelers and look the driver straight in the eye.  So, knowing that, you then can get a better idea of just how tall this load is:

Don't forget, you should be able to click on the pictures to enlarge them if you want to.  Now, you all have a great day today, you hear?

Sunday, September 15, 2013

Wondering about a 'Super Load'.

It started out as a typical Friday as my wife and I were heading for town, then we were surprised to see a huge tank trying to get through the intersection of highway 105 east and the north east loop 336 that goes around Conroe. When you get to see something like that, you don't mind the holdup of traffic.  We followed the procession up the Loop until they turned off to skirt around town.  No way could they get that thing through town without disrupting everything for hours.  I was lucky enough to have a front row seat to the spectacle.  The unlucky thing is, although I always carry my camera with me, I didn't have it that day.  I sure did miss some good shots of a strange load.

Then, last night, my wife said that as she was looking at the local newspaper on line, she saw an article with pictures of exactly what we saw.  Now I have pictures that I can show you along with a link to the news story.  There was a crew that accompanied the tank whose job it was to hold up any overhead wires that may not clear the top of the huge tank.  Wouldn't it be fun to be the guys riding up in the buckets?

Yes, of course, they had a police escort which stopped traffic when necessary.

 Another shot of the guys holding up the wires and lights.

The picture below show just how long this tank is:

If you are interested in reading the news article, here is a link to it: CLICK HERE   

My guess is that it is a cracking tower.  The load started in Baytown and I wonder if it was made over seas, like in China, or if it was made in Baytown.  It has been a long time since I have been in Baytown and don't remember any place that makes tanks, but that doesn't mean that there isn't any.  Sure hope your day today turns out great, you hear?

Saturday, September 14, 2013

Wondering about the real old time cowboys.

I love cowboy shows and you usually find my TV tuned to the Western channel.  About 99 percent of those shows are just fiction, the figment of a writer's imagination.  The History channel has the more accurate accounts of the old west.  I found a book (yes, at the flea market) titled "Cowboys of the Wild West" by Russell Freedman dated 1985. What made this book special to me is that except for one map and a couple of drawings, this book is stuffed full of actual pictures of real life cowboys. I thought that you may be interested in seeing a few samples of these pictures.

The first thing I am going to show you is a map that shows the trails that the the herds took, mostly to the railroads but also to other destinations.  I knew that the herds went to railroad towns like Dodge City and Abiliene but I didn't know about the other railroad towns and I sure didn't know that they went the whole way up to Fort Buford which is close to Canada.  I learned something from this map and hope you will, too.

This next picture is of the most important part of the trail drive; the chuck wagon.  I suppose the cows came in second. . .

The second most important thing on the trail was the bed rolls.  The movies show cowboys bedding down using their saddle as a pillow and the saddle blanket to lay on.  The real cowboys wanted it a little bit softer.  They had bags filled with feathers, down, and or cotton.  When rolled up, they were too big to carry on the back of their horse, so they were loaded into wagons.

This is a picture of the main street of Dodge City.  It faces the railroad tracks, which was the source of its main income.  Doesn't look like the Dodge City of the TV show where Matt Dillon was marshal, does it?

That era of the trail drives didn't last too long.  One of the reasons that it didn't was barbed wire:

I tend to think that it would be fun to be one of those old time cowboys and take a trail to Dodge City.  In reality, it was hard, dirty, work with long hours and little pay.  What pay they got was usually wasted away in Dodge City or one of the other destinations on wine, women, and song.  Now, get a long little doggies and have a great day, what ever your destination is, you hear?

Friday, September 13, 2013

Wondering what exactly these mushrooms are?

Yesterday, I noticed a couple of cute mushrooms beside the steps that go down into the dogs' fenced in back yard.  I have some mushroom books somewhere that allows me to identify almost any fungus, but like anything that you need or want at the time, I am not sure where they are.  For now, the best I can come up with by Internet search is "Green-gilled Lepiota (Chlorophyllum molybdites) mushrooms".  If any of you know for sure what they are, let me know and when (or if) I can locate my old books, I will do the same.  Here are a couple of pictures I took of them:


According to the Internet, some mushrooms that look similar to these are poisonous.  I do not take any chances with my pups, so after discovering them, I immediately pulled them out and tossed them over the fence.  I have heard of dogs eating wild mushrooms and then dying.  Be careful which ones you (or your pets) consume so that all of you can have a great day, you hear?

Thursday, September 12, 2013

Wondering about planetary nebula.

I should explain to those who don't know, what a planetary nebula is.  First of all, it is not a planet, but a lot of them look like planets and back in the old days were mistaken as such.  Yep, you guessed it, that is where the name came from.  What they are is stars at the end of their lives.

The way it dies depends on the size of the star.  The largest stars end life with really big bang!!  They explode sending dust and gas and stuff out through the universe.  Some just puff up at the end, consuming and searing any planets that may be orbiting it.  Most probably that is the way our sun will die and it should grow to the size of Earth's orbit.  Yep, it will either burn us up or kick us out of the solar system.  Not a happy time for ole Mother Earth.

Stars seem to put on a beautiful show as they die.  Some leave behind what we call planetary nebulae.  I am going to give you a little test.  Below, I will post some pictures.  They will all be of planetary nebulae except for one.  That one will be a galaxy.  See if you can pick out the real galaxy.





Good luck on my little spaced out test but do enjoy the beauty of our universe and have your self a very great day, you hear?

Wednesday, September 11, 2013

Wondering about my early childhood and my grandpa.

My last two blog postings of things in my past have got me wondering about things even further back in my past.  So, this morning I got out an old box of pictures and started going through them.  About a third of the way through the box I came across some pictures of me when I was quite young.

This first picture is of my grandpa (my Mother's Dad) holding me.  He was the one that worked as an engineer on the PRR.  I just love and cherish this picture.  He was a great man!!  By the way, do you see the down-spout on the corner of the house that takes water from the roof gutters and stores it in a wooden rain barrel?  I remember that one of the things they used rain water for was to wash their hair.  They had multiple rain barrels.  This great man lived until I was grown up and on my own.

OK, let's go back a little further in time.  This next picture is of me getting a little sun.  Since I see suspenders on the fellow in the background, I will assume it is my Grandpa who always wore suspenders.


Since both sets of my grandparents lived along the Allegheny River, (my Dad's parents lived in Foxburg and my Mom's parents, where these pictures were taken, lived in Phillipston) it would be good if I knew how to swim.  So, this last picture is me practicing my swimming style:
In case I haven't mentioned it before, I had the best childhood (except for some illnesses) that anyone could possibly have.  Why?  Because I had the greatest parents and grandparents in the world!!  I was just so lucky to be born into such great families.  Now, you all have a great day today, you hear?

Tuesday, September 10, 2013

Wondering about my first employment.

My first job was a chicken cooker for Kentucky Fried Chicken.  That was more of a temporary job on summer vacations.  When I got a call from a good friend who said if I wanted a job at the huge Pullman-Standard rail car manufacturing facility in Butler, PA to be at the employment office first thing in the morning and his uncle, who was a foreman there, would have me hired.  Of course I was there first thing in the morning waiting for the office to open up.  There were really only two big companies in my area, one was Armco Steel and the other was Pullman.

I got hired in and worked the first two years in the labor gang, which gave me a complete over view of all the workings of the huge plant.  I was told at the time that Pullman's rail car building plant was the second largest building under one roof in the U.S.  It was huge and while in the labor gang I even had to work on the roof.  From up there you could get the view of the entire building and it was huge.  After a couple of years the guys said I should put my resume in the office since I had a couple of years of college.  I went to Penn State for two years and was planning to go back after I and my family could get enough money for the tuition and living there.  To make a long story short, I got an offer to work in the Die, Tool, Jig & Fixture design department and I didn't leave Pullman for 17 years until I got an offer in Michigan that I couldn't refuse.  Thanks to what I learned working at Pullman, it allowed me to do the design work that I have loved doing for the rest of my working life.  In fact, I didn't actually retire until I reached the age of 70.

What, you may ask, prompted me to write this blog?  Well the fact is when I was digging around looking for the pictures I put on yesterday's blog, I came across this picture of all of us who worked together in the office of Pullman-Standard:

Can you pick me out of that group?  Four of the seven of us have passed away.  I do want to say that all of them were and are a great bunch of guys.

Well, were you able to pick me out?  I will give you a clue if you didn't.  I hated to wear a tie and I can not remember the last time I wore one.  I will wear a Bolo tie, but never a necktie.  Sorry if I am boring you with my memories, but I want you to have a great day, you hear?

Monday, September 9, 2013

Wondering about my Dad's big buck.

I come from an "outdoors" family.  They loved camping, hiking, fishing, and hunting.  All of the above gave them a great excuse to be out in the woods.  I grew up feeling the same way, although I do not hunt anymore.  When I was just a small child, I can remember the family getting together and building the camp which was later known as "Trails End".  To get to it, you had to take a wooded lane for about a mile which first went through two gates.  Our family spent lots of time there throughout the year.

What brought back great memories of this camp was a set of impressive antlers from a deer that my Dad bagged hunting from that camp.  Here is a picture of the antlers that my friend had mounted on a wall hanging plaque for me.

 This is a heavy rack and it has a lot of points.  I am not sure how many points it has because I am not sure how long a point has to be to count.  I have been told if you can hang a keyring on it, it can be counted as a point.  My Dad always only took credit for 17 points but other people have said that there is a lot more.  Either way, it is impressive to me.

I went and searched my boxes of old pictures this morning and finally came up with some original photos of the day he got this big buck.  Any of you who can not stand to look at dead animals and are vegetarians, you can stop reading here:


For the rest of you, I scanned the old pictures.  This first one shows the buck with our camp (Trails End) in the background:

The last picture has my Dad in it, too.  I am not sure who the little boy is.  I don't believe it is me.  I think it is my cousin Bob.  I do not remember being there and I was a little older than the boy in that picture.

I really love looking at old pictures and they bring back a lot of pleasant memories.  Other than some illnesses that kept me down for awhile, I probably had the best childhood of any one.  I give thanks everyday for the family I was born into.  Now, you all have yourselves a very great Monday, you hear?

Sunday, September 8, 2013

Wondering about Bob Ross and my dog's new hat.

I think clouds are beautiful.  Every time my wife and I see some beautiful clouds, she says that Bob Ross is up in heaven painting his clouds again.  His TV shows are still being run on PBS stations.  Remember Bob Ross?

I took the next two pictures while standing on my deck and looking west over the roof of my home.  I thought the way the lighting hit the clouds made them stand out.  Maybe I will try to paint them some day.



As we were driving down the road, I saw clouds of a different pattern and took this shot through the windshield of my Jeep: 

Our oldest pup, Ginger Muffin, wanted to try on some hats.  My wife found a small one (for dolls, I think) and let her try it on.  Muffy thought she looked quite charming and posed for this picture.  Don't you agree that she is charming?
Now, for all you charming people out there, I hope all your clouds stay puffy and white and that you all have a great day, you hear?

Saturday, September 7, 2013

Wondering about words not in the dictionary.

Have you ever used words that can't be found in the dictionary?  I sure have!!  Bet you have, too.  Some times we shorten words or combine them or just plain make them up to suit the situation.  Heck, I use them all the time.  No, I don't usually use them when I am writing but just when I am talking.

Let me explain what I am talking about.  Didja know that there are words like "didja"?  Just in case some of you don't know, "didja" means "did you".  I will make all these words I am talking about today in red so right off you will know which ones they are.  Wow, wadda you going to think of these words?  Yep, "wadda" is another one which means "what are", like in wadda you doing tonight.

Are you getting bored with this posting yet.  Well hang in there, I will only do a couple more.  Sorta shorten it up a bit.  And "sorta" means "sort of" or something like that.  OK, I promise, just lemme do one more.  I guess I would say that "lemme" means "let me".  Not sure if I am correct on all the above.  Please feel free to correct me or add some of your own.  So lemme wish you a happy Saturday, you hear?

Friday, September 6, 2013

Wondering about exoplanets.

I wonder about almost anything but our universe is near the top of my list if not at the top.  There are so many unimaginable things going on out there.  Today, I am going to touch on exoplanets.  The definition of an exoplnet is one that is not in our solar system.  And guess what, there are a lot of them!!  So far, astronomers have found nearly 1,000 of them.  It seems that most stars out there have some kind of stuff around them.  It could be just dust that is not thick enough to coalesce or hasn't had the time needed to do so.  It is rare in deed to find a star without something orbiting around it.

Want to see some exoplanets?  If any are visible they would be very small dots and the glare of their sun would make it as hard to see as "a firefly next to a search light".  Most have been detected from the wobble they give to their parent star as they orbit it.  So, the next best thing is artists renditions of what the planet would look like.  So here are a couple of examples.  This first one is of Kepler 35 which is a binary star system with planets.

  Yes, there are systems that have multiple stars and in some, the planet or planets orbit around both stars and in some rare cases the planet may orbit around just one of them.

But the most common are systems similar to our own.  Some have multiple planets and some seem to have only one.  The picture below is another artist's rendition of what a typical exoplanet system would look like.

Out of millions and billions and. . .  a lot of star systems out there, there has to be some planets just like earth.  Astronomers have found a lot of possible places where life as we know it could exist, but the huge question is, "does it?".  I hope I have given you all something to wonder about today.  It is Friday, you know, so have a great TGIF day, you hear?

Thursday, September 5, 2013

Wondering what you where doing on Oct. 30, 1938.

What where you doing on October 30th of 1938?  Well, I for one, had not been born yet.  Therefore, I can only imagine what I would have been doing.  On that date in the United States, there was mass hysteria!!  A lot of people thought that the end had come.  Many hugged their loved ones and grabbed their guns.  Some prayed, some cried, some hid under their beds, and some just grinned and enjoyed the show.

What show am I talking about?  It was Orson Well's "War of the Worlds".  I believe that they gave a disclaimer before the show stating that it was fiction but many must not have heard it or ignored it or just got carried away with the great way it was presented and the talent of Orson.  He made it sound real!!

Could something like that happen today?  Yes it could!!  It happens all the time.  No, I don't mean world envasion by aliens, but what I guess you could call mini-mania.  How many of you remember the toilet paper shortage scare of December 19th, 1973?  It all started from a Johnny Carson joke.  Here is what he said: "You know what's disappearing from the supermaket shelves?  Toilet paper.  There's an acute shortage of toilet paper in the United States."  The next day there was a rush to the stores and it did disappear form the shelves.  Dang, we almost had to go back to corn cobs (grin).  I am sure you can think of other things that have caused mini-manias and if so, tell us.  But for now, hide from the aliens but also try to have a great day, you hear?

Wednesday, September 4, 2013

Wondering about a friendly ghost.

Ghosts are suppose to be scary but what about Casper, the friendly ghost?  I am sure you all have all heard about Casper.  Not only is he friendly but but he is also cute:

Now who could be afraid of Casper?  Now, I wonder who he was before he died?  The sad part of the story is that he was probably a young boy having fun and maybe chased a ball out on a busy street and . . . .

Who knows, the writers of the original story (Seymour V. Reit and Joe Oriole) never said.  Most of us thought that this billowy puff of friendliness originated in comic books but that isn't the case.  Way back in 1945, only two years after I was born, Casper first appeared in a short cartoon but he didn't have a name at that time.

The first cartoon didn't make much of splash but the second one entitled "There's Good Boos Tonight" released in 1948 started the Casper phenomena.  I am glad it did.  I always enjoyed those cartoons and still do.  Yes, no matter how old a man gets, there is a small part of him that is still a boy.  Please don't become a ghost anytime soon but have a great day today, you hear?

Tuesday, September 3, 2013

Wondering about ear lobes.

Have you ever wondered why we have earlobes.  Now don't tell me that we have them so that there is a good place to hang earrings!!  I have earlobes but they have never had ear rings hanging from them.  Doesn't most all the parts of the body have some particular use?  Over time the body parts that have no use anymore seem to disappear.  So why do we have earlobes?  They must be important or genetics would have changed them or removed them.  They are not the part of the ear that collects and funnels the sound waves into the ear canal.  So, what are they for?  I have no idea.  I sure would like to hear from you all on what you think their purpose is.

I don't believe anyone knows.  Some speculation is that maybe we used to run around on all fours and they would hang down over the ear canal protecting it.  Now that doesn't make much sense to me.  They would have to walk upside down on their hands for that to work.  All those great minds can't say they don't know, they just have to come up with some reason no matter how far fetched it is.  Now that starts me to wondering; what is the origin of the term "far fetched"?  Now, you all have a great day and walk upright but let your ear lobes hang down.  In other words, just be your natural self and have a very great day, you hear?

Monday, September 2, 2013

Wondering about Labor Day

First, I want to wish all of you a very happy Labor Day and a safe one.  What ever you do on this holiday, whether out on the roads, boating, visiting friends and relatives, or just staying home, be safe and enjoy it.  Holidays haven't meant a lot to me for a long time except maybe they were good days to stay at home and off the roads.  For many years I worked for myself and if I was working on a job or project, I would work on it every day whether it was a holiday or a weekend until it was finished.  Now, for me, every day is a holiday, if I want it to be.

Now, I started wondering how long has this holiday been in existence.  People have been doing labor for as long as there has been people.  Of course, I am sure there were many lazy people that never did work of any kind.  I actually have known some of them.  From what I can find out, the first Labor Day was celebrated back in September of 1882 in New York City.  I believe the Central Labor Union planned this first labor day with a parade and all.

Enjoy the holiday, be safe, and let us know what you will be doing to celebrate this year's Labor Day, you hear?

Sunday, September 1, 2013

Wondering about using numbers.

We all use numbers.  Numbers are an important part of every one's life.  What would we do without numbers?  Well, I suppose we could use the alphabet.  The letter "C" could represent 3 and "D" could be 4.  Then "CC" would be 29 and "DD" would be 30 and "CCC" would be 55 and "DDD" would be 56.  For some reason, I don't think this method of counting would work out very well.  I know I would have a big problem if some one asked me to pay DDJ dollars for something I wanted to buy.  Gee, and I bet you thought that Roman Numerals were complicated.  I think, for the most part, I will stick with the good old Arabic way of counting and numbering things.

Even Arabic numbers get out of hand and beyond comprehension; well beyond my comprehension, anyway.  I pretty much under stand the number of miles from my place to town or the post office or even to Arizona or Pennsylvania.  I can even grasp the distance to the moon and sun.  You know, like the old joke goes:  "It is closer to the moon than it is to Arizona 'cause I can see the moon from here but I can't see Arizona from here".  The distance to the outer planets gets a little harder to grasp as is the distance to the nearest star.  After that, it just becomes numbers, numbers without actual understanding of the distance.  If you think that is far, think again.  Light from the furthest edge of the expanding universe will never reach us unless the universe stops expanding and implodes.  That my friends, is a scary thought.  Well, as far as numbers go, I have taken up enough of your time.  But, before you go, may I suggest that any of you with children or grandchildren in school read http://orangejeepdad.blogspot.com/ .  Now, you all have a great day today, you hear?