Wondering about wild grapes

Wednesday, April 30, 2014

Wondering About April 30th.

I love to search for interesting things that happened back in history, and if they happened on the same month and day as today, that makes them more special to me.  There are always a lot of things to choose from but I am only going to list two.  The big one is that the United States bought what became known as the Louisiana Purchase on this day back in 1803.  This large tract of land was purchased from France.  This really enlarged the United States.  Check out the map:
As you can see, it just about doubled the size of existing eastern states.
Another thing was that Hitler died on this date back in 1945.  He wanted to be doubly sure that he got the job done so he both swallowed a capsule of cyanide capsule and then shooting himself in the head.  Yep, he got it done, for sure.
Now, you all have a great day today, you hear?

Tuesday, April 29, 2014

Wondering About an Unknown and a Bush

We have a white flowery bush that grows all over our place.  So, I figure it must be wild or a tame species that adapted to the wild.  It has a fairly strong smell that bothers my wife.  So, of course there is one growing right next to the steps to our door and the deck:

The wild grape vines are trying to crowd it out, but if the bushes and vines in other areas of my place are any indication, this battle will go on and on and on and there may never be a winner.  I am going to have to cut both back before they force me off my property.

Now, I have a mystery.  Maybe you all can solve it.  The other day, my wife and I got in the Jeep to head out and when I started to move I heard a thump. . . thump. . . thump, so I stopped and looked under and all over the Jeep.  I didn't see anything wrong, so went out the driveway and onto the road.  Now it was going thump-thump-thump.  The faster I would go the faster the thump-thump got.  I figured it was the constant velocity joint, a u-joint, the drive shaft, a wheel bearing or something else that was going to cost me time and money.  Limped back home by going around the block.  Got out and looked it over again.  This time I found this stuck to the face of the tread on my left front tire.  I have never seen anything like it and have no idea what it is or where it came from.  The Jeep was fine when I parked it the day before and then the next day this way glued to the tread.  What the heck is it and where did it come from.
I hope you all can solve the mystery.  I give up.  All I know is that it is rubber and it had attached itself to my tire.  But what really blows my mind is that it wasn't there when I parked the Jeep, but it must have been.  Maybe this could be one of Hermit Jim's mysteries.  Now, you all have a great day, you hear?

Monday, April 28, 2014

Wondering About Living Stones

Did any of you ever see rocks that were alive?  I sure never did, that I know of.  I mean, I don't go around and poke at every rock or stone that I see and listen if it says "Ouch", and I have never seen any stones or rocks just running through the woods (but I have seen some tumbling down steep hills).  But, yes, there is such a thing as living rocks.  Of course Living Rocks or Living Stones are just common names, sort of like nick-names, for plants in the Lithops family.  Here is a picture of some growing in a flower pot:

To get an idea of their size, I found a blog posting that showed their size in comparison to a match head.  Check it out here: http://plant-whisperer.blogspot.com/2012/10/lithops-size-comparison.html  And here is a close-up of one, along with a small, blooming one:

Yes, rocks can bloom and the one above was not the only one.  Here are a couple more blooms to admire:

So, you still don't believe that a rock can be alive?  Well, there is one sure way to prove beyond a shadow of a doubt. . . cut it open:


Nature can produce things that we could never imagine.  I would say that the these plants fit into that category.  Now, you all have a great day today, you hear?

Sunday, April 27, 2014

Wondering about Toothpastes

There is a lot of toothpaste varieties and brands sold in the this country.  The toothpaste isle in Wal-Mart is quite long.  There are just so many to choose from and even more if you throw in tooth powder.  I use different brands.  Right now I have both Colgate and Tom's:

But I have been known to use other brands at times including:

And many others.  But, this following add caught my eye.  I bet this would be a good toothpaste for both before retiring at night and when you get up in the morning.  Like the add says, "Why fight oral hygiene - enjoy it!
So, now let us know what you use and/or prefer and make sure you all have a great day, you hear?

Saturday, April 26, 2014

Wondering About Fellow Worker from the Past.

Went to the flea market again this morning, as usual for a Saturday morning.  This time we ran into an old acquaintance.  We hadn't talked to him in many years.  He and I, in the past, worked together in the engineering department of a small forge shop.  Of course I had to have my picture taken with him.
  I am the one with the cowboy hat and white shirt.  I saw him last week, and thought that it may have been George, but since I hadn't seen him in many years, I wasn't sure just how he would have aged.  Today, he was there again so my wife and I stopped him and sure enough it was the guy we knew in the past.  We both look a little different than we did way back then and he said he noticed me last week but wasn't sure that it was me.  It was a good day at the flea market and see, it is amazing what you can find there, even old friends from the past.  Now, you all have a great day, you hear?

Friday, April 25, 2014

Wondering About the Hubble Space Telescope.

Twenty-four years ago yesterday (1990), the Hubble Space Telescope was launched from the Space Shuttle Discovery.  Can you believe it has been that long ago?  Everyone was so excited and couldn't wait to see its first images.  Oops, something was wrong!!  It was taking blurry pictures.  Its main mirror was not ground correctly and it seemed to have been a huge waste of time, money, and effort.  It had been planned for a very long time.  In fact, way back in 1923, way before the "space age", space telescopes were proposed.

Hubble is the only telescope designed to be serviced in space by astronauts, and as it turned out, a good thing.  There were five missions sent to repair it.  I, for one, am sure glad it got fixed.  It gave us the first telescopic detailed views of distant space objects from above the earth's atmosphere.  That opened up a great new way for us to see things we only dreamed of seeing.  It didn't have the huge collection surface mirrors that ground base telescopes have but it didn't have to correct for looking through the thick and shifting atmosphere.  So, a day late "happy birthday" to the Hubble Space Telescope.  Now, you all have a great day today, you hear?

Thursday, April 24, 2014

Wondering about Phoebe Ann Moses.

A little girl was born on August 13th of 1860 named Phoebe Ann Moses.  I am sure we have all heard of her.  What, you say you haven't heard of her?  Well, she married Frank E. Butler.  OK now, does her married name help.  She married Frank after beating him in a shooting contest.  Butler missed his 25th shot and thus, lost the match but he gained a wife.  They started courting after the match and got married on August 23, 1876.  Yep, I am talking about Annie Oakley.
I believe it was on this date back in 1885 that she joined the Buffalo Bill's Wild West show.  She was known as Little Sure Shot.  The first time she ever fired a rifle, she shot a squirrel through the head.

 I don't believe I need to go on any more about her ability with firearms.  She didn't have an easy youth because her father passed away and she turned to hunting and trapping game to sell, the only way she knew how to get by.

Did you know that Sitting Bull was her adopted father?  She must have really liked him.  There is so much more to tell about this talented lady, but I am going to stop here.  Now, you all have a great day, you hear?


Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Wondering About a Tree.

I took a walk up the driveway and around the dogs' yard.  I noticed that, even this late in the year, stuff is still blooming like this honeysuckle.
 Beside the dogs' yard is a tree that I have no idea what it is.  I thought that the leaves looked like it would be some variety of ash, but I have not been able to find an ash with this kind of bloom, fruit, or whatever it is:

Here is a close up of what I am talking about.  You can see the stuff hanging down along with leaves.  Can any of you tell me what it is?

OK, Sharon of the odd essay blog:
http://theoddessay.blogspot.com/, can you identify this tree?  You are familiar with Texas flora, right?  From the looks of the leaves, I would have said it was a ash or nut tree but then those hangy down  things appeared, which I have never seen before.  Maybe they will turn into long green worms which will then turn into little green men which will then take over the world. . . Oh my gosh!!  Maybe I need to cut this tree down and burn every seed and leaf. . . Maybe it is too late and I am already infected and am going to turn green and shrink. . . . Now, be careful which tree you walk by today and keep your windows closed at night.  Better to be safe than sorry.  And of course, have a great day, you hear?

Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Happy Earth Day.

Hope you all are enjoying this year's Earth Day.  I guess since we live here, we should have at least one day a year to remind us what a great place it is.  It is the best place by far to live in this solar system, in fact it is the only planet that is capable of sustaining life in our solar system.  To me, that makes this watery blue, white, and brown ball something really special.  Here is a picture of the Earth Day flag:

We only have this one beautiful ball to live on so we better start taking better care of it.  But, no matter how well we treat it, one of these days the sun will expand and either burn us up or kick us out of the neighborhood.  Either way, it will not be a very happy ending.  Until that time, let us try to take a little better care of it.  I am guilty of leaving a pretty heavy carbon footprint on the old girl, but I am too old to change now.  It is too hard to teach us old dogs new tricks.  I am going to leave it up to the younger generation to save the Earth's ecosystem so that they, too, will have a future.  So, you all have a great Earth Day, you hear?

Monday, April 21, 2014

Wondering About The Battle of San Jacinto.

Sam Houston defeated the Mexican Army and captured Santa Anna at San Jacinto on this day back in 1836 and thus, freed Texas from Mexican rule.  I have been to the location of the battle where a rag-tag group of Texan volunteers took on Santa Anna's well armed and trained army:
 Today, there is very impressive monument at the site:
 At the very top is the Texas "Lone Star":
 Near the monument is the Battleship Texas which fought in both World War I and World War II.  Two symbols of Texas freedom:
 I found this picture showing the space shuttle Endeavour flying over the San Jacinto monument.  A little old with a little new.  But in reality, the shuttle is now a part of history, too.
If you are ever in the area, stop and see the monument and the battle ship.
It has been such fantastic weather here lately and it seems to be continuing.  I sure am enjoying it and I sure hope you all enjoy your day today, you hear?

Sunday, April 20, 2014

Happy Easter and Out of this World Pictures

First and foremost, let me wish you a very Happy Easter and hope you remember that it just isn't about colored eggs and candy.  Now, let me show you some pictures of some of the many wondrous, beautiful, and spectacular things that reside in our great universe that we are so blessed to be living in.

This nebula has an unusual yellow and white spot in the center and to me, the center white area looks like a face.  I wonder if it could be the reflection of the face of the creator?  What ever it is, to me it looks out of place, very interesting, and awe inspiring.

I zoomed in to get a closer look but this is as clear a view as I could get.  Any closer and it becomes too fuzzy.

This next picture below is probably the most famous one that the Hubble Space Telescope took.  Everyone interested in astronomy has heard of the Eagle Nebula or Pillars of Creation.

How about a view of just the top of the left column in the above picture:

 This is such a huge gas cloud that it is beyond my comprehension.  It is fifty light years across.

The Eagle Nebula isn't the only huge gas cloud out there.  There are many of them and they give birth to many new stars.  Here is a picture of another huge gas cloud.
Some time we humans have the tendency to look in areas and at things that we should not look at.  This last picture shows a gas cloud that wasn't very happy that we took its picture and gave us the universal sign of disgust (grin).

Now, don't let that last picture ruin your day, but have a really great Easter and always be in awe of the creation of our Maker, you hear?

Saturday, April 19, 2014

Wondering if I am Daffy.

Some people think I am a little daffy.  Well, that may be but it is because they don't understand my sense of humor.  Then, not too many people do.  I do try to see the humor in everything, and I suppose, I am a little daffy at times.

Now, this reminds me of Daffy Duck.  Daffy Duck was created on this date back 1937 at Warner Brothers (to compete with Disney) and has been entertaining us ever since, sometimes by using a big wooden mallet on poor ole Porky Pig.  At other times ole Daffy seemed quite confused:


 At other times he was quite confident and in control:
 Daffy was brought to you by Looney Tunes, A Warner Bros. Cartoon:

That's all folks.  Now, you all look for the humor in things and along with me, wish Daffy a Happy Birthday and have yourselves a great day, you hear?

Friday, April 18, 2014

Wondering About a Trip to Mars.

They say that the person has already been born who will walk on Mars.  But what I wonder is why we just don't go there now with a manned mission.  We have the technology, and I am not talking about the old, slow chemical propelled rockets.  With today's technology, a trip to Mars would probably be death sentence.  First off, it would take at least six to nine months to get there and during that trip you would get dosed with the radiation equivalent to a whole body CT scan every five to six days.  Now that would sure increase your chances of cancer, wouldn't it?  Once you get there, you would have to then wait up to two years for Earth and Mars to be close enough for your return trip. 

A fellow named Franklin Diaz has come up with a better propulsion system.  He has built plasma rocket engines and these, he believes, will shorten the trip to the red planet to less than six weeks.  Now we are talking!!  That is a lot better than six to nine months that it would now take.

Once we get there, we will find that it isn't a very habitable or friendly place to be.  There is an extremely thin atmosphere and lots of red dust.  It looks like a red desert:
I think if I were to take such a long trip, I would prefer to go somewhere where there is trees, and grass, and flowers, and wildlife, and blue skies.  Of course, if I had a chance to go to Mars, or the Moon, or just up in an orbit around Earth, I would jump at the chance.  But at my age, I could never endure the rigorous training that astronauts go through.  So, if any of you get to go, please send me a post card, you hear?

Thursday, April 17, 2014

Wondering About Apollo 13.

On this day back in 1970, these famous words were spoken by the Apollo 13 crew, "Houton,we have a problem".  This mission to the moon was launched on April eleventh and was on its way there on seventeenth when an oxygen tank blew up and severely damaged the craft.  There was no alternative but to continue to the moon, go around it, and try to return to earth.  This was a very serious event and it sent mission control into a frenzy, but they finally worked out a way to bring the crippled craft safely back home.  It was not easy, but they managed to pull it off.  I would say that mission control were the real heroes in this emergency.  But the capsule's occupants, Lovel, Swigert, and Haise played a sugnificant part and also were heroes.

I sure remember that event and I wonder how many of you who were old enough to also remember it?  Let me know.  Now, I hope you all have a great day here on Earth, you hear?

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Computer in the Shop

My lap-top is in the shop suffering from a broken hinge that connects the 'puter to the screen in the lid.  So I am using my tablet to post until the lap-top is fixed.  It takes awhile to pick each letter with one finger, so will keep this short.  I sure do miss it but the weather is great and I am going to have a great day and want you to have a great day, too, you hear?

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Wondering About Tax Day.

Today is TAX DAY!!!  I usually have my taxes done and sent in long before the due date, but not this year.  I guess I will be making a trip to the post office today.  Do you know before 1913 there was no income tax?  The government got its money mainly through excise taxes.  But thanks to Abraham Lincoln, not now!!  Well, I figure the best way to get through this day is to see the humor in it.  OK, you don't see any humor in it?  You have to look real, real, real hard.  Now, do you see the humor. . . NO?  OK, I guess you need some cartoons to help.

 Does the above picture look like you today?

Take a look at the following form and let us know which Filing Status you checked on your return:
 The lesser of two evils?

OK, hope this made your tax day go a little better by putting a grin on your face.  It worked for me.  Now, got to run to the post office and I hope you all survive tax day in good shape, you hear?

Monday, April 14, 2014

Wondering Why I Didn't Answer and Other Things?

The first thing on the agenda today is to apologize for not answering your comments back on my blog posted on April 8th of this year.  Forgive me for that and all of you who did comment, you can now go back and see my replies to your comments, which I just posted.  For quick reference, here is a link to that post:

I got wondering this morning, if I asked you what the difference is between EMF (electromotive force) and voltage, what would your answers be?

  Then I wondered what I would say the difference would be.  I guess I would say that EMF would be the highest figure because it represents the highest amount of potential that could possibly exist in a circuit and a voltage would be the reading of the actual potential between any two points in a circuit.  But what caused this potential?  More electrons in one part of a circuit than in another.  Mother Nature loves a balance in everything and is always trying to correct things to get to that balance.  That is why we get a current flow from high potential to low, she is trying to even things up.

Well now, I hope my blog posting this morning was not too shocking.  Just don't touch bare wires. . . and have a great day, you hear?

Sunday, April 13, 2014

Wondering about a Great Dinner.

My wife made a great dinner last night and I sure did enjoy myself eating it.  In fact, it was so tasty that I had two huge, piled high, plates of it.  Before dinner, my poor plate looked like this:
My plate was as empty as my stomach.  Believe me, after smelling that big turkey breast baking in the oven, my stomach was calling out to be fed.  "Feed me!!  Feed me!!"  Yep, it yelled so loud it scared the dogs. . . (grin).  But let me tell you, it was sure worth waiting for.  I piled my first plate nice and full as I did for my second:

Now tell me, wouldn't you love to dive into that plate of food?  I sure did and went back for another plate full just as full as the first.  Dang, I wanted a third but my stomach was just too dang full.  So, for lunch today I had turkey breast sandwiches.  Now I can't wait until supper, but she will probably have something different.  BTW, I am sure you know by now that I love to eat!!  I hope you all have plenty of good food to eat today which goes a long way for having a great day, you hear?

Saturday, April 12, 2014

Wondering, Do You Want a Frog in your Milk?

Milk is drank all over the world and therefore, I would imagine that the whole world has problems keeping their milk fresh after it leaves the cow (or goat or whatever).  Not everyone around the world has a refrigerator or ice box or even ice.  If you didn't have a way of keeping your milk cold, how would you go about keeping it fresh?
It was reported that people living in Russia and Finland would drop living frogs in milk to keep it fresh.  OK, you may never drink milk again. . . actually, it has been many, many years since I have drank milk.  I prefer to get my milk in ice-cream (grin).
Sometimes these odd customs, when checked out by science, have some basis after all and this one is no exception.  The Moscow State University did some research and discovered that amphibians' skin secretions are loaded with peptides.  These peptides are antimicrobial compounds and they are as potent against Salmonella and Staphylococcus bacteria as prescription antibiotics.  So, now I am going to have to learn how to milk a frog's skin.  While I try to figure that out I want you all to have a great day, you hear?

Friday, April 11, 2014

Wondering What You Look Like in the Morning.

I would think we all should look our best when we wake up from a good night's sleep.  Right?  Well, that does make sense but it is not always true.  Some of us wake up looking like this:

Now, if you think that is bad, there is a sea creature that doesn't look too scary when it is sleeping.  It just looks like a benign, nondescript, lump or pod sticking up from the ocean floor.  See the picture below?  Doesn't look too scary now, does it?

But, when it awakens it is a different story.  It sort of reminds me of me when I first wake up in the morning.
Now, I know you don't ever look as bad as me in the morning.  I don't think this world could take too many of us that look like the little fellow above when he wakes up.  In fact, I believe all my readers wake up bright and cheery with anticipation of all the great things that you all will be experiencing today.  Now, you all just have a great day today, you hear?