Wondering about wild grapes

Thursday, July 31, 2014

Wondering, How Hot It Can Be

Tomorrow will be August, which I believe is one of the warmest months in the northern hemisphere.  But, did you know the hottest temperature ever recorded on Earth happened over 101 years ago on July 10, 1913.  So, where was this record set and how hot was the record?  Inside the present-day Death Valley National Park, it reached 134 degrees Fahrenheit!!  Now, that is what I call Hot, Hot, Hot!!
This dog seems to know the secret of keeping cool.  It is keeping your ears cool and your whole body feels cool.  Seems to work for Basset Hounds, and I have a fan next to where I sit, so I guess it works for me, too.

 Of course kids know how to get cooled off.  Water and kids go together on hot days:
Of course, no matter how hard we try, sometimes we just can't get cooled off:
Now, stay in the AC and keep cool, you hear?

Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Wondering About the VW.

On this day back in 2003, the last of the original Volkswagen Beetles was produced.  Before than, stating after World War II, they produced 21,529,464 of the classic Beetles.  My wife's uncle brought one back from Germany years ago after a vacation there.  It wound up being owned by my Dad and I drove it a few times.  It was a great car for ice and snow.  With the motor in the back, it had great traction on ice but when you tried to turn to either side, it would keep on going straight.  A little more weight on the front wheels would have helped.

It was all Adolf Hitler's fault.  He requested that a small, inexpensive, but tough and reliable, car be made that would satisfy the needs of the German people.  That was back in 1939.  In 1960 the Beetle was the top-selling import in America.  Here are a couple of VWs that are of the same vintage as the one I was talking about above:

Did you notice the small rear window?  It is newer than the ones with a split rear window but older than the ones with the large rear window.  This is the style we had and the one below is the color that we had:
These cars bring back a lot of good memories for me, so it is fitting that I post about the last production day of the Beetle.  Now, you all have a great day, you hear?

Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Not a Good Post Teday.

Not a good post today.  This morning my wife had a doctor's appointment and after we got home I spent the rest of the day trying to find the pictures I wanted to put on my blog.  Couldn't find them.  I just wouldn't give up and I didn't find them, so no blog and a mostly wasted day.  Maybe tomorrow will bring a better blog posting from me. . . and then maybe it will be a worse blog.  You will just have to tune in and see (grin).  But, even though it is a bad blog, I want you all to have a great day, you hear?

Monday, July 28, 2014

Wondering About the Dangers of Wild Food.

I used to be a Euell Gibbons fan.  I read two of his books and I would go out and find lots of things to eat in the wild.  The two books I read were "Stalking the Wild Asparagus" and "Stalking the Blue-Eyed Scallop".  You would be surprised what all I ate.  Some was pretty good, but some others. . . not so good.

There are a lot of wild plants that look similar, but one is edible and one is poisonous.  For example, the Wild Carrot or Queen Ann's Lace, is very similar to Poison-Hemlock.  Poison-Hemlock is not related to the Hemlock tree. I have eaten the wild carrot.  Here is a picture of the Queen Ann's Lace (wild carrot):

And this next picture is poison hemlock, the one containing a potent poison:

You may recall your history that Socrates, back in 399 BC took poison hemlock to commit suicide.  It worked!!  So, be real careful if you want to try eating wild plants.  Some will kill you.

This is the first book that I read by Euell Gibbons:

And this is the second of his books that I read:

I used to spend vacations on the Outer Banks of N.C.  Both those books came in handy and the search for the wild foods was the most enjoyable.  This all took place many years ago when I was living in Pennsylvania.  PA was a great place to forage for wild food.  There was a lot of varieties available.  Now, you all be careful what you eat because I want you to have a great day, you hear?

Sunday, July 27, 2014

Wondering About Martha Custis?

I know you all have heard about Martha Custis.  Well, maybe you know her by her maiden name of Martha Dandridge?  Or maybe Martha Custis Washington?  Or Martha Dandridge Custis Washington?  Or by her nickname of "Lady Washington"?  Yes, I am talking about the first First Lady.

She had four children, but none that I know of after she became Mrs. Washington.  The children, as far as we know, were fathered by Daniel Parke Custis, who she married back on May 15, 1750 at age 18.  Daniel was about 20 years older than she was.  Her first husband died 7 years after they were married, which left her a rich young widow at only 25 years old.  Part of what she inherited was 85 slaves.  Martha passed away on May 22, 1802 at the age of 70.  Her four grandchildren inherited Martha's slaves.

Now see, you have heard of Martha Custis.  How many of you knew who she was?  I sure didn't, but then, I am not a student of politics or politicians.

On a side note, I missed my family reunion this year up in Pennsylvania, it was yesterday.  My motorhome is still in the shop and I didn't want to attempt the 1400 miles trip up there in the jeep with all our stuff and the three dogs.  They did call me from the reunion and I got to talk to a few of my cousins.  I sure did appreciate that.  Now, you all have a great day today, you hear?

Saturday, July 26, 2014

Wondering. . . It Happened Again.

Yes, it has happened before, but that was few years ago.  OK, let me explain.  Today, I was at the flea market and I was talking to one of the vendors and he asked me if I remembered a weekend or so ago when he brought his granddaughter along with him.  I said that I did.  He said that when I showed up, she went over to him and ask him if I were ZZ TOP.  He told her to go ask him yourself.  She was too shy, I guess, because she didn't ask me.  If she had, of course I would say yes, but not to tell anyone (grin).  There was another vendor at the flea market who always called me that when I was near his table.
But the first time was when I was on a trip back to my home town in Pennsylvania.  My buddy brought his guitar and came to the RV-Park and I got my guitar and we sat outside and did some picking and grinning.  The fellow in the RV next to me, stopped me when we were driving out in the Jeep to visit relatives.  He said, "Do you play a guitar?"  I said that I did.  He then said, "Are you from Texas?"  Again I said I was.  Then he pointed at me and said, "ZZ-Top, right?"  And of course I said yes and drove off. Back then I was a lot younger and I suppose I did resemble ZZ-Top.

But today, I am a lot older and I don't look as much like them as I used to.  Her is a "selfie" I took.  What do you all think?
I hope my ugly face didn't ruin your day, but please, try to have a great day anyway, you hear?

Friday, July 25, 2014

Wondering About the Word "Well".

The word "well" is a simple one syllable four letter word but it really isn't that simple.  It can be used many ways with different meanings.  The first thing that comes to mind for we who live in the country is a deep, dark, hole in the ground where we get our water. You all may want to check out Hermit Jim's blog, Coffee with the Hermit (http://hermitjim.blogspot.com/) to read about the Spooner Well.  For all the other definitions (way too many for me to post here), go to this website: http://www.thefreedictionary.com/well

What bothers me is when it is used way too often at the beginning of sentence:  Well, I don't care.  Well, ain't you special.  Well, let me tell you.  And many more.  It just makes me sick and then I don't feel well.  Yep the quality of your health and being also can be stated using this word.   Stairwells are used in tall buildings, but hopefully they don't fill with water.  Well, I could go on and on but I think you are getting the point.  Feel free to tell me some of your favorite ways to use the word "well" and what it means in that use.  Now, don't fall down the stairwell, just get a drink of water from the well, and stay well, you hear?

Thursday, July 24, 2014

Wondering What the Typical Guy Would Do?

I just got to wondering what the typical guy would do if his buddy was in danger.  Would he risk his life to save his buddy?  Would he go as far as giving his life to save his buddy?  Or would he run away and do nothing?  The following is a joke that sort of explains what I mean:

Two campers are walking through the woods when a huge brown bear suddenly appears in the clearing about 50 feet in front of them. The bear sees the campers and begins to head toward them. The first guys drops his backpack, digs out a pair of sneakers, and frantically begins to put them on. The second guys says, "What are you doing? Sneakers won’t help you outrun that bear." "I don't need to outrun the bear," the first guy says. "I just need to outrun you."

The whole scenario changes if that buddy is a family member, like a son, or a father, or a brother.  Then a person would be more willing to risk or lay down his life for the other.  But should there be a difference?  Shouldn't we treat everyone like a brother?  If we did the world would never see another war, right?  No, I don't think so.  Brothers have been known to fight each other.  Didn't Cain kill Abel?

I don't mean to depress you, but as long as humans act like humans there will always be strife and wars.  You would think that by now we would realize that war is not a good means to an end.  When will mankind ever learn.  Let me check to see if my guns are loaded. . . and have a great, peaceful day, you hear?

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Wondering About Music.

Music is a big part of my life.  I love the music shows on RFD TV.
That should give you a hint of what kind of music I enjoy, not that I don't have some appreciation for most music types, some a lot less than others.  Yep, bluegrass and the older country music is what I like, although some old popular stuff is good, too.  When I sit down and pick up my guitar, I have no idea what I will start playing.  Just sort of start and a song I know comes to mind.  I have told you before that I like to play along with some of the music TV shows on RFD TV.  It is surprising just how simple some of them are, but then there are others, for the life of me, I can't figure out.

I found an Internet site that listed "The Top Ten Best Country Songs of All Time".  Can you guess what is on the top of the list?  I will let you wonder for awhile, because I am going to start at the bottom.

#10. - "Before He Cheats" by Carrie Underwood.
  For some reason, I don't recognize this song, but like I said, I am more into Bluegrass.

#9  -  "Crazy" by Patsy Cline.
  I do remember that one and also I thought it was a great song and very well done by Patsy.

#8  -  "Friends In Low Places" by Garth Brooks.
  Yes, that was a good song but I was never much of a Garth Brooks fan.

#7  -  "Where I Come From" by Alan Jackson.
  That was a good song but I liked some of his other ones as much if not better.

#6  -  "I will Always Love You" by Dolly Parton.
  That one and Jolene were two of many great songs that she did.

#5  -  "Ring of Fire" by Johnny Cash.
  He made so many great hits that I would be hard pressed to say which one I would say is the best.

#4  -  "A Country Boy Can Survive" by Hank Williams, Jr.
  I liked the line where he spit tobacco juice in the bad guy's eye.

#3  -  "Song of the South" by Alabama.
  Another group that had many great hits, but this one was one of the best.

#2  -  "Love Story" by Taylor Swift.
  Don't believe I remember this song nor do I remember Taylor Swift.  Must have been popular after I completely switched to bluegrass.  My satellite radio is stuck on the bluegrass station.

#1  -  "He Stopped Loving Her Today" by George Jones.
  George had an unique voice that you immediately, when heard, knew it was George.  And I also thought his wife, Tammy Wynette, had a great voice.  Here is a picture of Tammy:

 Saw her in person.  Such an unique voice!!  Loved to listen to here and her most famous song, "Stand by Your Man".  Now, did you guess the number one song?  I bet you all have songs running through your heads by now, right?  I have.  Now, you all have a great day, you hear?

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Wondering About Half of the James Brothers.

Who do you think of when the James Brothers are mentioned?  Now be honest.  I bet the first one that comes to mind is Jesse.  OK, which one do you think was the most cold blooded killer?  Well, I suppose that title could be bestowed on both of them, but most people today would answer that it was Jesse.  If they think of Frank at all, they think of him as the better brother.  But Frank was a cold blooded killer.  You wouldn't think that from this picture postcard of Frank at the gate of the James family farm, where he sold admission to the farm of a half buck a person.  He looks more like an old preacher than and old outlaw and killer:

The above was originally a black and white photo taken at the family farm three months before Frank's death and was later colored and turned into a postcard.  The picture was taken in 1914.

During a bank robbery, a teller stood in his way to get at the money in the vault, and Frank had hit him with the butt of his gun.  The teller was trying to get up, his head bleeding from his hit on the head, and Frank shot him dead, only because that fellow had hindered Frank from getting into the vault.  Yep, I guess Frank had a temper.  Fighting as raiders for the south during the Civil War, gave him a lot training for his life of crime.  Now you all be good boys and girls and have a great day today, you hear?

Monday, July 21, 2014

Wondering About the Space Shuttles.

Yesterday, I talked about man's first landing on the moon.  Today, I am going to continue along with more of the space program, today's subject is the space shuttles.  They were a very important part in the U.S. of A's space program, although Challenger on its 10th mission, broke apart shortly after its lift-off.  I remember seeing this horrible picture on TV of the end of Challenger and the astronauts aboard:

That slowed down the space program for awhile but it did resume.  The launch of the shuttle was a mighty thing to behold.  I sure wish I could have seen a launch in person:

Those two solid fuel boosters sure did light up the sky and get the shuttle off the Earth's surface:

It had huge cargo doors that opened to release its cargo, like a satellite, or to service a satellite (like the Hubble Space Telescope) or retrieve one, like the Hubble Space Telescope:

And another picture of the shuttle in space with its cargo doors wide open:

It even serviced the space station.  Also, during the shuttles reign, they carried more than 350 people into space and flew more than five hundred million miles.  They were retired so that NASA could focus on deep-space exploration.  It was on this day, back in 2011, that the shuttle program completed its final mission of 135 flights.  Dang, I would have never guessed that they flew that many missions.

Sorry I am late with this posting, had things to do.  Better late than never, right.  Now, you all have a great evening, you hear?

Sunday, July 20, 2014

Wondering About a Moon Landing.

I couldn't resist.  Had to blog about what happened on the moon back in 1969 on this date.  Yep, man first stepped on the moon.  And guess what?  They didn't find any green cheese anywhere.  So there went that age old theory.  Neil Armstrong was the man who left the first foot prints on our moon.  For those of us who remember it and watched it on TV, it seems like it was only a few dozen years ago, or so, because it stuck in our minds.  But, it was forty-five (45) years ago today!  Wow, how time flies!!

Did you know that Armstrong's Mother's only real fear was that the moon's crust wouldn't support the weight of a man and that her son would sink into the moon's surface, so when he stepped off the lander's ladder, Neil twice tested the surface with his weight.  He was a good son and listened to his Mom.  After his famous "first words" on the moon, he got down to business and reported back on the moon's surface: "The surface is fine and powdery.  I can pick it up loosely with my toe.  It does adhere in fine layers like powdered charcoal to the sole and sides of my boots.  I only go in a small fraction of an inch, maybe an eighth of an inch, but I can see the footprints of my boots and the treads in the fine sandy particles."

So, what do you think were the first words spoken from the moon over the radio to Earth?  I probably would have a said "dang, how did I get myself in this situation..." The first words were from Buzz and the very first word was "Beautiful. . .".

By the way, maybe the reason he said it was a huge leap for mankind is because the landing was made so softly that the legs didn't collapse as far as they were suppose to and the bottom rung of the ladder was three and half feet above the surface.  A salute Neil and Buzz.  In my mind they are hero's.  Now, keep your feet planted on the Earth's surface and have a great day, you hear?

Saturday, July 19, 2014

Wondering About Doc Holiday.

In 1879, on this date, the famous (or infamous) gunfighter of the old west, Doc Holiday shoots and kills his first man after that guy shot up Doc's saloon.  I watch the Western Channel on TV and they have a lot of the old "cowboy" shows.  One of these shows is "Wyatt Earp".  On this show Doc killed lots of bad guys, but in real life it has been verified that he only had eight shootouts and only killed two men, not the very many that the TV show and the movies tell of.

Here is the way www.history.com/this-day-in history tells about it his first killing:

On this day in 1879, a former army scout named Mike Gordon tried to persuade one of Holliday's saloon girls to quit her job and run away with him. When she refused, Gordon became infuriated. He went out to the street and began to fire bullets randomly into the saloon. He didn't have a chance to do much damage–after the second shot, Holliday calmly stepped out of the saloon and dropped Gordon with a single bullet. Gordon died the next day.    

Although he lived a dangerous life of drinking, gambling, and gun fighting, he managed to survive to die of tuberculosis in a health resort in Colorado in 1887.  He couldn't believe that he would end up having a peaceful end and not dying "with his boots on" because of the violent life that he lived, so his last words were "This is funny".

Now, you all have a great day, you hear?

Friday, July 18, 2014

Wondering About Brenda Lee.

If any of you are near my age, I bet you remember that little bundle of dynamite, the young singer Brenda Lee.  She was just 15 years old when her song, "I'm Sorry" went number one on this date back in 1960.  At 15 years old, she was already an experienced singer.  She got her big break when she was eleven years old when she met Red Foley, a country music star.  He invited her on stage and had her sing "Jambalaya", a Hank Williams song.  She got three encores and was on her way to stardom.

Then four years later, on this date, her song went number one on the charts.

Four years later, she had another big hit, "Sweet Nothin's".  It didn't go number one, but did make it to number 4 in early 1960.  During that decade, she earned 40 hits.  I sure don't remember that many.  But I do recall a couple of Christmas hits she had, like "Jingle Bell Rock" and "Rockin' Around The Christmas Tree"

She was born on December 11, 1944 in Atlanta, Georgia.  She only grew to a height of 4'-9" tall.  Here is a more recent picture of her:
I bet you all, if you are anywhere near my age, will go through the day humming some of her songs, or if not humming them, they will be going through you mind.  Dang, I can almost hear her singing "Sweet Nothin's".  Now, have a great day, you hear?

Thursday, July 17, 2014

Wondering About "Wrong Way" Corrigan.

I have been accused of being a "Wrong Way" Corrigan many times and once I did go the wrong way through a whole state.  So, I got wondering exactly how Douglas Corrigan got his nickname.  I am sure that most of you had heard his nickname or like me, be accused of being "one".

It was on this date back in 1938 when Douglas Corrigan (He did not as yet have the famous nickname) took off from Floyd Bennett field in Brooklyn, New York, supposedly to make his return flight back home.  He flew an airplane that he salvaged from a trash heap, rebuilt, and modified for long distance flight, nonstop from Texas to New York.  Not long after he took off, supposedly to return to Texas, he made an hundred and eighty degree turn and disappeared in clouds.  And guess what, twenty-eight hours later he landed in Ireland.  Here is the front page of the New York Post:
When he landed in Dublin, the first thing he said was, "Just got in from New York.  Where am I?"  His excuse was that he lost his direction in the clouds and that his compass wasn't working properly.  The authorities didn't believe him and took his license away, but Corrigan stuck to his statement, which gave him his famous nick-name.

Because of public outcry, his license was reinstated, but he returned to the U.S. aboard a ship.  He became a national celebrity.

Now try not to get lost or go the wrong way today, but have a really great day, you hear?

Wednesday, July 16, 2014

Wondering about apple seeds and the UK.

"An apple a day will keep the doctor away", is an old saying based on the health benefits of apples.  But did you know that these healthy apples also contain cyanide that when consumed turns to hydrogen cyanide.  You know, the same stuff the Nazis used in their gas chambers.  Now you don't have to quit eating apples, but I wouldn't recommend that you chew up the seeds.  According to my research, the human body is quite able to handle very small amounts of cyanide, but chewing  a handful of apple seeds would kill you.   Now I wouldn't recommend that any of you test this.
What is the proper name of the UK?  Is it England, or Britain, or what?  Well heck, I am forgetting to list Ireland, Scotland, Wells, etc.  I bet Klahanie of http://klahanie.blogspot.com could answer these questions.  Here is a map of the United Kingdom:

The Map below shows all the areas that were once controlled by the United Kingdom.  In other words, it is a map of their kingdom.  Now, they don't control near as much but at one time, they were an empire! 

Well, that is jut a little geography lesson for today.  I probably didn't post anything that you didn't already know.  Any additions or corrections will be gladly accepted.  Now, you all have a great day where ever you are, you hear?

Tuesday, July 15, 2014

Wondering About the First Ford.

Did you know that on this day back in 1903 that Ford Motor Company took its first order for a gasoline powered automobile.  It was a dentist (Ernst Pfenning from Chicago) that laid out the $850.00 bucks for a two-cylinder Model-A.  That was the humble beginning of Ford Motor Company.  Here is a picture of a Model-A, it was not much more than a steerable buggy with a small motor and small seat, but the very first one had a back seat (but that was a special order) and most didn't have a back seat and looked like this:

Mr. Ford found eleven other people who would purchase stock in his company and one of those investors owned a 50x250 foot factory building and Ford started production in that building in June of 1903.  About a month later, on this date, they got their first order.

Then came the famous Model T in 1908 and that put Ford on top of the automobile industry.  It was in production from 1908 until 1927 with a few improvements along the way:
 Some had cloth tops, some had hard tops, but the first ones didn't have a top.  Now I just want you to know that this all took place way before my time.  I may be old, but not that old!!

I bet most of us sometime in the past has owned a Ford product.  My Granddad had a 1940 Ford.  That was the first car I drove, other than my Dad's DeSoto.  You all be careful out there in your horseless carriages and have a great day, you hear? 

Monday, July 14, 2014

Wondering About This Weekend's Fleamarket Finds.

First of all, I had personal business to take care of this morning, and right after lunch we went and got groceries.  Didn't have time to write a blog until now.  Sorry I am late.

As always, we went to the local flea market this past weekend.  I got a small toy for myself and my wife brought home a lot of things.  I thought I would show you what I bought and a few of the things she got.  I picked up sportsman's thermometer:
 I am sure that it would work for most people, except there ain't enough snow down here in Texas to ski and I don't drink, golf, or work.  OK, that leaves stay in bed or go hunting or fishing.  Sounds like a pretty good plan to me.  What do you think?

My wife bought a lot of things and among them were four shadow boxes.  I could only lay my hands on three of them, I don't know where the fourth one is.  Its subject was pigs.  This first picture shows one about marriage:
 This next one is a baby teddy bear in a basket:
 This last one is a sprinkling can with flowers in it:

I don't know what she paid for the shadow boxes but I do know she really got a bargain on battery powered candles with timers.  Each one was in its own package and the bulb flickers.  I found them on the Internet and they were selling for $15.00 to $20.00 and she only paid ten cents a piece.  Here is a picture of one of the candles:

OK, that about covers our flea market finds for this week.  Of course there was a lot of good conversations and a whole lot of other treasures to look at.  Now you all have a great day, you hear?

Sunday, July 13, 2014

Got Up Wondering About. . .

Funny thing, I woke up this morning wondering.  What was I wondering about?  That is the strange part.  I was wondering how a red-neck cleans his in house toilet, if he has one.  Well, I imagine a real redneck would first remove the lid and seat, take them outside, and wash them with a power washer.  Maybe some, who's neck is a little redder than the others would just power wash the whole thing while it is still in the house.  He could also wrap rags around a Weed Eater or just throw in some soap and a cat and shut the lid.

  I guess the next time I run into Jeff Foxworthy, I will have to ask him.  Here are a couple of Jeff's redneck jokes:

"You've been married three times and still have the same in-laws."

"You think Possum is 'The Other White Meat'."

"If you can burp and say your name at the same time, you're shur'nuff  a redneck.

OK, enough of Foxworthy, but I have a few more pictures for your enlightenment.  This next picture is of a redneck swimming pool:
 And what does the well dressed female redneck where when she goes out:
I wonder if she borrowed that piece of clothing from her boyfriend?
OK, so where does a rich redneck live and what does he drive?  Well, a picture is worth a thousand words:

Now I want to tell you that I am not a redneck;  I am more of a hillbilly.  Remember, although I have lived in Texas for thirty some years, I came from the hills of western Pennsylvania.  Now, all you rednecks and hillbillies out there, have yourselves a really great day, you hear?