Wondering about wild grapes

Sunday, August 31, 2014

Wondering About Flea Market Treasures.

As you know from reading my blogs, my wife and I enjoy going to the flea market on weekends.  I especially like to go to chat with the people but she likes to go to find treasures.  Funny thing, it never fails, she always finds something that has to go home with us.  This weekend was no exception.  A retired fellow who cleans out houses for families, always has a lot of treasures and today was no exception.  My wife found a couple of things that came from Europe.  This first one is from Holland:

Maybe some of you world wide travelers out there can answer my questions about this calendar.  It appears to be a calendar to me, but I can't make sense out of the way it is set up.  Looks like in Europe they have up to seven weeks in a month.  It looks more like the ones I am used to if you lay it on its side, but then the numbers are harder to read.  Is this the normal way calendars are printed over there?
OK, she also bought this folding measuring stick from the same guy.

It seemed a little strange to me at first glance.  It didn't end at 3 or 4 feet, in fact it didn't even end at an even inch.  What the heck is going on.  Then I realized it came from Europe so it must be metric and sure enough, when I turned it over, it ended in one meter:
Here is a complete view of the metric side:

Yep, the one side is marked "METER" at the beginning of the rule:

And the other side is marked "LONDON" for the English side.

I have never seen a folding scale, or for that matter, any scale that was marked "LONDON".  Does that mean that other parts of England use a different scale and this one is only good in London?

Oh wait a minute.  It was made in Germany.  OK, I guess one side is to be used only in Germany and the other in London.

Now, I suppose Interpol will be after me because I have this measuring device in the U.S.A?  Don't tell them where I live, OK?  I guess I better hide out the rest of the day, but I want you all to have a great day beyond what can be measured by any measuring device, you hear?

Saturday, August 30, 2014

Wondering About Elvis's Twin.

How many of you know that Elvis Presley had a twin brother?  In fact, they were identical twins.  Elvis's twin brother's name was Jesse Garon Presley.  Jesse was stillborn thirty-five minutes before Elvis was born.  Makes me wonder how history would have changed if both twin boys had survived.  I bet that they would have made a great duo, singing duets and with a lot more of that shaking going on.  Yep, he sure did a lot of pelvic shaking which gave him the nickname of "Elvis the Pelvis".

Then again, maybe they would have gone off on some pursuit other than music.  They may have gone into sports or business or other options, but I doubt it.  I bet they both would have pursued a music career.  Music was part of their environment.

Elvis deeply loved his mother and the worst moment in his life was the death of his mother, Gladys.  They say he was never the same after her death.  I liked a lot of his music but especially loved his gospel music.  One last point, he had a Native American (Indian) ancestor.  Her name was Morning Dove White.  What do think was his best recording?  My vote would go to "In The Ghetto".  Now you all have a great day, you hear?

Friday, August 29, 2014

Wondering About Fly Farmers.

There are a lot of flying farmers and ranchers out there who use airplanes or helicopters to get around their property fast and to keep track of their livestock or to spray fields.

No, that is not the kind of fly farmer I am going to talk about.  This is what the farmer I am talking about raises:
Actually, they don't raise adult flies, they raise maggots like these: 
 And like these:

Maggots are a huge source of high protein food for animals. . . and yes for people, too.  Now, take a good look at the last two pictures.  Don't they look real appetizing???  Enjoy your lunch today and by all means, have a great day, you hear?

Thursday, August 28, 2014

Wondering About the Planets' Orbits.

Most all orbiting objects move in an elliptical orbit.  First, let me explain what an ellipse is.  Maybe a picture would be better:
Let us say that you draw a vertical line and a horizontal line.  Now, place three pins along the horizontal line, one at the center and the other two equal distances from the center on the horizontal line.  If you attach a string that is longer than the distance between the two pins to one pin (F1 in the above view) and the other end of the string to the other pin (F2), you can then use a pencil to draw an ellipse as shown above.  Now, what happens if you move the two focal points out or in?  Yep the ellipse changes shape.  Now, if you move both pins into the center where the lines cross, you will get a circle.  A circle is an ellipse with a common focal point.

The planets' orbits are basically an ellipse but they are more like circles with the sun offset to one side.  Anyway, so what causes the planets to orbit in this offset circle or ellipse?  Any object coming into the gravity field of star, or black hole, or any object larger than they are and gets caught in that objects gravity will be slung into an elliptical orbit.  The speed of the smaller object is highest when it is closest to the larger object and slows down enough as it gets further away to allow the gravity of the larger object to swing it back around.  So, most objects start their orbits in an elliptical fashion which determines the way it travels around the main object from then on.

Alright, before I start talking in circles or ellipses, I better quit and say, you have a great day, you hear?

Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Wondering About Cape Hatteras.

Back in the mid 1960's we lived in Pennsylvania and started spending all our vacations on the Outer Banks of North Carolina.  Some years we would go for two weeks in the summer and a week around Thanksgiving time.  I loved the ocean, the beach, the surf fishing, and the sight seeing.  We usually rented a cottage in either Kitty Hawk or Nag's Head or Kill Devil Hills.  Later on, we took the pop-up camper to Oregon Inlet camp grounds in the fall of the year when the temperatures had cooled off.

Not only was that area a lot of sand and sea fun, it also had a lot of history in both the Revolutionary War and the Civil War.  There were a couple of deep water inlets from the Atlantic into the Pamlico Sound.  These were quite important during the Civil War.  The Confederacy defended them with all they could and the Union had ships off shore that bombarded the forts that guarded the inlets, because if the Union war ships could get through and control the inlets, the Confederacy would lose its two main shipping lanes and the Union would then be able to do more damage to the mainland.  Here is a map of that era showing the forts located on the islands:
Here is a plaque that tells about the battle.  You can click on it to enlarge it and then read about the bombardment.  BTW, this battle began back on this day in 1861.

One of the most famous lighthouses is located at Cape Hatteras.  I bet most all of you have seen pictures of it.  I have been to the top of it a couple of times:

The Union was very lucky that the bombardment worked so well.  Why?  Because the Union soldiers got their powder wet when they waded ashore and couldn't reload their rifles, but the Confederate troops gave up after being pounded by the Union ship's big guns.  War is hell, but a civil war fought between people from the same country, even brothers against brothers, is the worst of all possible wars.  I hope that there is and always will be peace in all of your lives, you hear?

Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Wondering About Stilts.

I had a pair of stilts when I was a boy.  They were pretty tall and I had to stand on the porch steps to get on them.  Boy, did I feel like I was getting up in the world while walking around on those stilts.  I was pretty good at it, too.  They were home made, I believe, but I don't remember who made them for me.  It may have been my dad, but it also may have been one of my uncles.  My memory is a little sketchy on who made them, but I would bet it was my Uncle Bub.

Stilts come in all shapes and sizes.  Some are worn by workers who are painting ceilings or have to reach high places for their work.  Here is a vintage picture of a girl and a boy on their stilts. 

This next picture is also a vintage picture, but this fellow is using stilts to reach wires that need repaired.

Not only did workers use stilts back in the "good old days", they still use them today.  Of course, they are of a more modern design:

I really loved the pair of stilts that I had.  They were very similar to the ones in this picture:
Although mine were a little more embellished, they were of the basic design as shown above.  I had a lot of fun on those stilts.  Now, I am wondering why it was so much fun?  Have any of you ever had stilts?  If so, tell us about them and if, you too, thought that they were a lot fun.  Now I hope you all get up in the world and have a great day, too, you hear?

Monday, August 25, 2014

Wondering Why Some Push Their Luck.

Did you ever notice that when some people accomplish something a little special, they think that they can do anything?  Or if someone wins a couple of bucks on a slot machine, they will spend all their winnings and trying to hit it again saying, "heck, I hit it once I should be able to do it again".  That gambler only risked his money, but some risk their lives.  Here is a case in point:

On this day back in 1875, a 27-year old Englishman named Matthew Webb, successfully swam the English Channel.  He was the first known person to do so.  He should have stopped there, but the success must have went to his head and he believed his swimming powers could defeat any body of water.  He, his wife and his children, came to the U.S.A and he planned to swim the stretch of river below Niagara Falls which had very dangerous rapids and a huge whirlpool.  He had it all figured out in his own mind.  But, the river had other ideas.

He was doing quite well until the river narrowed and then he was caught in the rapids.  He would be dragged under the surface three times and then bob up hundreds of feet from where he went under.  On down a ways he came upon the huge whirlpool.  It sucked him in and he disappeared.  After seconds, minutes and hours passed, and he didn't come up, they figured he had disappeared for ever and would never be found again.  Not so, five days later a fisherman found Matthew's gashed and bruised and dead body.  The whirlpool had held him for quite a long time before spitting him out.  I guess Mr. Webb pushed his luck just a little too far.  In fact, I think he pushed it way too far, what do you think?  Now, don't any of you push your luck too far, but have a great day, you hear?

Sunday, August 24, 2014

Wondering About Asterisms.

There is a difference between asterisms, asteroids, and hemorrhoids.  How many of you know what the difference is?  Well, it hurts when you sit on hemorrhoids, asteroids could hit you on the head, and you have all seen asterisms.  If any of you have ever looked up after dark, I bet you have seen some asterisms.  In fact, I will go out on a limb and bet every one of you have seen at least one asterism.

I guess for those who are not sure what an asterism is, I will give you the definition.  "An asterism is a pattern of stars seen in Earth's night sky."  OK, does that help at all?  How about some examples.  I bet everyone has seen the big and little dippers, right?  Well, at least everyone but those who live close to the south pole.  Both of those are asterisms that belong to larger constellations, Ursa Major and Ursa Minor.  This picture will show the asterism (brighter) and the complete constellation:

Yes, it is the great bear, but most people only see the dipper.  There are a lot more, but I believe this one can be identified by most everyone.  So, from now on, do not call the dippers constellations, because they are only part of a constellations.  Some asterisms are part of multiple constellations.  They are the pictures in the night sky.  Now, you all have a great day and a great night, you hear? 

Saturday, August 23, 2014

Wondering When the RV Will Return.

It seems like my RV has been in the shop for ages, and actually, it has been!!  Here is a link to the my post back on March 28th just after I put the RV in the shop.
In 5 more days it will be five months that it has been sitting in there waiting to be fixed.  They said the holdup was getting the compartment doors made to replace the damaged ones.  I bet it doesn't take five months to build a complete motorhome from scratch let alone a few small doors!!  Now they tell me that they have to replace the drivers side window and panel below it, since its seal leaks and lets moisture into the windows electric motor and shorts it out.  I am really missing it, but then too, it has been summer here in Texas and not the most comfortable time of year to be camping.

For those of you who are not familiar with my Dutch Star, I went back to pplmotorhomes.com archives to find their advertisement of it that they posted on line with pictures and descriptions:
I still can't make any definite trip plans because I am not sure when I will get it back.  Sure hope it is soon.  Even if I don't take a trip, I like to have it sitting in my driveway where I can see it.  Since I have three dogs in my home, sometimes when company comes, we visit with them in the RV.  I always keep it plugged in to my 50 amp outlet and run the AC's in the summer and the heat in the winter.  Now, you all have a great day, you hear?

Friday, August 22, 2014

Wondering About a Driverless Car

If you have ever driven in Houston's rush hour traffic, you would believe that a large percentage of those cars didn't have any drivers, especially the way the car acts.  They swerve in and out and if you try to be safe and don't tailgate the guy in front of you, someone will swerve in to take that small car size vacant area.  This is all happening at speeds from 70 to 80 mph.  I am glad I do not have to do that and only did for a few years.  Of course everything comes to a screeching stop if there is a fender bender and instantly backs up for miles and miles.  Please, if you ever have to go to Houston, don't try to get there during a rush hour.  Now, if you live in Houston and work in the suburbs, you got it made.  I had a boss one time who lived in Houston and worked just east of Conroe.  It worked for him.

Maybe Google has the answer for commuters or for people who just don't care to drive.  Yep, they came up with a driverless car.  Yes, I know that there have been driverless cars tried in the past, but most were slow and all had problems.  This latest one from Google may be the one that will work.  It was designed to be able to go ten miles per hour above the speed limit.  That should keep them from causing a slow down on highways.  Here is what they look like, ain't it cute?

It looks like it has a face.  Two eyes, a nose, and a mouth.  So what do you think about it?

How would you like to hear some of the comments that were made when Discover (the magazine) asked readers to name it.  Here are some replies that were printed in the September 2014 Discover:

"Birth Control"
"Tortuga (turtle)"
"G.G. (for Google Getalong)"
"Herbie S-1"
"Car with a perturbed look on it's face"
"The Google Spurt"
"Mini Pig"

OK, can you think of some better names?  If so, list them with your comments.  Now be careful out there on the roads, you just never know who is not driving!!  But, just try to have a great day, anyway.

Thursday, August 21, 2014

Wondering - Woke Up to the Sound of. . .

I woke up this morning to the sound of a chain saw.  The first thing I thought of was that my son was cutting down a dying tree along my driveway that will have to come down sometime, since it could fall on the neighbors property.  I had asked him to do it and he said he would.  Remember my post about him cutting the tree down that damaged my RV?  Here is a link to that older post: http://dizzydick.blogspot.com/2011/12/cutting-down-tree.html

OK, I got up and took a look.  It was the power company and they were cutting the dead trees that were threatening their power lines.  You see, way back when my son moved onto my property, I had to give the power company a right of way so that they could run power lines down to my son's house.

They did wake me, but it was way past time to get up.  Even though they did wake me, I am sure glad they are cutting those trees down.  I was planning to call the power company about them and now they have saved me the trouble.  We are serviced by an electric co-op and I couldn't be more pleased with them.  Now, you all have a great day and sleep in if you want to, you hear?

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Wondering, it Sure Feels Better.

Got my old Jeep Liberty back this morning.  Sure feels good to have that sturdy feel under me when driving down the road.  I don't know if it is because it is a four wheel drive and the springs are stronger for off road driving or if it is just built better than that rental car.  I am sure my Jeep has had a lot better care than the rental.  Now, don't get me wrong, the rental car served its purpose and it was a good car, it just wasn't a Jeep.  Like I said yesterday, my Jeep is ten years old and still going strong.

It has a V-6 engine in it and has all the power and get-up-and-go that I need and maybe more than I need.  The gas mileage ain't the greatest but like I told someone awhile back, it just went 2600 miles on one tank of gas.  I did fail to mention that it was being towed behind the motorhome. (grin)  The engine should still be in great shape but there may be some wear to the wheel bearings and differentials, since they turn when being towed.

Now a lot of RVers call their towed vehicle "a toad".  My Jeep does not like to be called a toad.  It says if you call me a toad, kiss my tail pipe and I will turn into a handsome prince or princess, which ever suits you.  I bet it wouldn't like to be called a dingy, either.  Now, what do you call the vehicle you tow behind your RV?  What ever, just have a great day, you hear?

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Wondering About Jeep Service.

My Jeep Liberty is now ten years old.  It has, and continues to be a great dependable vehicle that has given me very little trouble.  I took it in this morning for its scheduled service.  They plugged a tablet into it and said it needed a lot of stuff done.  I was about ready to shoot that tablet!!  As far as I know, they have never done that before.  Maybe that dang thing is pre-programed to find all kinds of problems.  The service guy started reading of the list.  That list looked like Santa's long list of bad kids. . .

To make a long story short, they wanted a grand or so to service it.  I told them to skip the alignment part so I got it down to eight hundred.  Still an awful lot as far as I am concerned.  They have a building on their lot that is occupied by Enterprise car rental and the Jeep service man said that they would take care of the rental cost.  So, I drove home in a dark blue Nissan Versa. 
I told him the least he could have done was let me have a car that was made in America.  After getting home, I looked it up and dang, they do make them here.  In fact, they make them here, in Mexico, and in Japan.  Anyway, it is transportation if needed.  I sure hope they get my Jeep back to me today, but I have my doubts.  Tomorrow morning is grooming day for the pups and one condition of the rental was, "No Pets".  I guess I better call today and change the appointment.  Now, you all have a great day, you hear?

Monday, August 18, 2014

Wondering About an External Hard Drive

I got digging around in the stuff that I removed from my office to decide what gets put back in and what gets discarded.  I didn't get too far because right there on top of the pile was something I purchased a few years ago and so far haven't used it.  I found an external hard drive.  Here is a picture of the box I found:

And here is a picture I found on the Internet:

 I have a few old computers lying around and it would be easier to take the hard drives out of them and view them on my laptop using the above adapter.  That way, I don't have to mess around with monitors and cables and such, just plug this unit into an USB port on my laptop and browse the hard drive.  Sounds like a plan to me, of course I am not going to rush into anything.  Heck, it may involve some work getting the old computers apart.  Of course my curiosity will get the best of me and I will have to see what is on some of the old hard drives.  Most will probably just have old AutoCAD and Inventor drawing files.  But then, I may also find some interesting stuff, like pictures that I have forgotten about.  Now, you all keep your hard drives spinning and have a great day, you hear? 

Sunday, August 17, 2014

Wondering Why the Heat affected Me and the Memorial Wall.

No, it wasn't excessively hot nor was the humidity out of the ordinary for this time of year here in this area.  The temperature now is in the mid 90's but this morning it was in the upper 80's and warmed to the low 90's.  For some reason, it got to me when we at the flea market.  I was dragging.  My skin was cool and clammy and I wasn't feeling all that great.  I told my wife and she told me to go into the air-conditioned building where the snack bar is located and get a drink.  I did, and I got a big ole cup of ice and put unsweetened tea in it.  After slowly drinking it, I started to feel much better.  I am now in my air-conditioned home, sitting on the couch with a running fan pointing at me.  This is my normal place to sit and my unpleasant experience at the flea market is now just becoming a memory.
My wife found a GI JOE item there this morning.  It was the Vietnam Wall Memorial:

The above picture is one I borrowed off the Internet to show you what it should look like.  She got the box and the wall, but no GI Joe.  I guess he went home or something.

We got it home and put fresh batteries in it and dang, it worked!!  It lit up, so I took a picture of it to show you what it looks like when lighted:
I think it looks great!!  Now, you all have a great day, you hear?

Saturday, August 16, 2014

Wondering About Proms.

High school proms are and were a special event.  In fact, Disney even has dolls depicting that event.  Here is a picture of one of them that I got off the Internet:
I was going through some things that I had moved out of my "office" and found some old pictures of my wife's and my prom.  We went to two of them, the first was my Junior prom.  Here is a picture of us when I picked her up at her parents' home:
Notice that I had a short, neat hair cut.  Now didn't we make a cute couple?  Then we were off to the junior prom.  The decorations included empty bottles sitting around on the tables: 
 Then the next year was my last prom, the senior prom.  It was a year later and we were both a year older and of course the hair styles changed:

Now wasn't that a sweet picture?  Now you all are not getting off that easy, I have one more picture of the prom:
Just think how long my wife and I have been a couple!  We were married a few years later and have been married for over 50 years.  My wife still looks great but me, not so much.  I am old and grey.  Hey, one of us has to age (grin).  Now, how many of you remember your proms?  Did you marry your prom date?
I hope I brought back some pleasant memories for you all.  They were for me.  Now, I want you all to have a great day, you hear? 

Friday, August 15, 2014

Wondering About Modern Gadgets.

Oh yes, I know that title can include a whole lot of things, but lately a lot of our modern gadgets have us pulling our hair out!!  There have been a lot of things quit or malfunction around here lately.  My wireless printer, copier, scanner decided it didn't want to talk to my computer, or maybe the computer didn't want to talk to it.  I even took my computer and held it right next to the printer, but nothing happened.  So then I decided to connect it directly and went to get a USB cable, knowing I had lots of them, but do you believe that I couldn't find even one of them.  You see, all my office stuff was moved out of the office so that a new floor could be put down and I have never moved the crap back in there. . . maybe tomorrow or the next day or the next week or the next month or the next year or ....

My wife, my son, and I have satellite radios which are all on our account.  We got one new radio to replace one that malfunctioned and the day before yesterday, we went to town to buy a dock to play it in.  The store in Conroe didn't have one but called the one in The Woodlands and that store did, so we went down there and got it.  We brought it home and all worked well until we called in had the other one turned off.  Well, wouldn't you know it, they did turn her old one off but they turned my radio off, too.  My wife called today, and would you believe that it took an hour and a half on the phone with someone in another country to try and get it all straightened out.  It wouldn't work so now we had to pay for a new unit.  This one will come complete with the radio and dock, so it should work.  But, I am not going to bet the farm on it. . . So, I guess now we have to go to town and get a printer, copier, scanner unit to replace the one that got mad at my computer and will not talk to it.  I am losing enough hair as it is and sure don't want to pull any more out.  I sure hope all of you have a great day, you hear?

Thursday, August 14, 2014

Wondering About Bales of Hay.

Hey, I was just wondering about hay.  Yesterday my neighbor baled the hay that was grown on his field that borders my property.  He had cut it awhile back and then had it raked into rows for the baling machine.  It was a hot, sunny day yesterday and I would think a good time to bail it while everything is dry.  This morning, I took a couple of pictures which, of course, I will share with you.
I was standing on my property when I took both pictures.  In the next picture, you can see a grassy road along the side of the field.  Just on this side of the road is the border of our properties.  There property is mostly open whereas our property is mostly wooded, except for the swamp.

OK, got to go.  Have things to do and am also expecting an insurance adjuster to show up this morning.  Remember the broken pipes and fittings under my house?  You all have a great day, you hear?

PS, I went back and corrected my spelling of bales.  Sorry, I was never a good speller.

Wednesday, August 13, 2014

Wondering About Music from the 50's and 60's.

Last night, the Houston's Public Broadcasting Channel (PBS) had a program about the music of the 50's and 60's.  This was one of their shows (telethon?) to raise operating capital.  Wow, did it bring back memories.  You see, that was the time period when I was growing up.  I graduated from high school in the spring of 1961, so I listened to and danced to that vintage of music.

I bet there are some of my followers who can remember that era.  Yes, most all of you are younger than I am, but no matter what your age, a lot of you will like that vintage of pop music.

How many of you remember "Hound Dog"?  You know, "You ain't nothing but a hound dog, cry'n all the time."  Now, can you remember who recorded it the first time?  It was recorded for the very first time on this date back in 1953.  It was a smash hit and was number one on the R&B charts for seven weeks.  If you said Elvis, you would be wrong.  It was recorded the first time by Big Mama Thornton and the Johnny Otis Band.  Yeh, me too, I never heard of her or the band.  Maybe I did when I was young and forgot.  Elvis did record it and it did produce a huge hit for him, but he heard it for the first time when in Las Vegas when he heard Freddie Bell, who changed some of the lyrics and added "Cryin' all the time" and You ain't never caught a rabbit".  So the song evolved and went through different performers and recordings until Elvis did the version that everyone knows today.

I still have that 50's and 60's music going through my head from last night's show along with a lot of memories that hearing those songs produced.  Loved it!! Now, I hope all of you hum a pretty tune and have a wonderful day, you hear?

Tuesday, August 12, 2014

Wondering About a Guitar.

I finally bought something at the flea market.  Well, actually, I didn't buy it from a vendor there, but from a guy I know.  He said he had it in his vehicle and had not played it in a lot of years, so wanted to sell it.  He told me the amount he was offered for it and turned down and I jokingly told him I would offer the same amount.  Dang, he accepted, saying this way he knew it would have a good home.  So now I have two real good guitars.  The one on the left is my old reliable Ovation and the one on the right is a Fender flat top acoustical, the new member to the household:

It still has the protective film on the pick guard.  Since I finger-pick, that is not necessary for me, but I will leave it on.  This next picture is of the back of the guitars.  Big difference there:

The formed parabolic back on the Ovation is great for sound but not near as pretty as the woodwork on the Fender.

 The icing on the cake is that it came with a genuine Fender case:

See, it even has "Fender" written on it:
Thanks to this friend, I now have the best of both acoustic worlds, at least I think so and that is all that matters, right?  You all have a great day and if you ever come to visit, I have an extra guitar you can play. . . then we can have a duet.  Now strum a pretty tune and have a great day, you hear?

Monday, August 11, 2014

Wondering About a Traffic Jam

Yesterday I told you that we were going to go see the widow of our friend that had just passed away, and then head back to Conroe to the funeral home to see another friend laid out there.  We had a long visit with his wife and daughter and then left to head for the funeral home.  They live in a housing development off Calvary Road.  I was going to take I-45 back south to Conroe, but changed my mind and decided to cross over I-45 and go south on highway 75 and go home first to freshen up before heading in to the funeral home.  As we approached the interstate on Calvary Road, traffic was backed way up.  As we inched closer, saw that the interstate was jammed up and traffic was at a stand still, and everyone northbound was exiting to get on 75 north.  Wow, what a mess.  I haven't seen it that bad since hurricane Ike was going to hit and everyone was getting the heck out of town.

We did find out what the trouble was.  A fellow ran into the back of an eighteen wheeler that had broke down and was parked on the side of the road.  It was a fatality and the authorities had the north bound lane temporarily shut down.  Here are some pictures from the Conroe Courier:

It was reported by another driver, that he was texting.  That just goes to show you what can happen when you take your eyes off the road while driving for only an instant.  I don't text.  I still have an old small flip phone that doesn't text or receive text.  I made sure it was all turned off.  Now, you all be safe out there if you have to hit the road, even for a short drive, and have a great day, you hear?

Sunday, August 10, 2014

Wondering Why We Are Affected.

The full moon seems to have an effect on people and animals. It seems more babies are born and more people die when the moon is full or nearly full.  They also say it is for lovers, too.

Well let me tell you, it sure seems to be correct.  This full moon may have brought on a lot of births or maybe some conceptions, but I can attest that it seemed to bring on a lot of deaths.  We have two friends that have died and we will be leaving here to go to the home of one of them.  We were just up to visit with him the other day and since Hospice was there, I figured the end was near.  When I left we shook hands goodbye and I believe we both knew it would be the last time, the last goodbye.  We got a phone call this morning.  His wife told us he had passed during the night, at least he didn't suffer long.

We will be going back up there to express our condolences to his wife and adopted son.  Then, we will head back to Conroe and stop at the funeral home to see another friend that passed on.  This will not be the most pleasant Sunday I have had, but we all have to die sometime, and it is a time to remember them and support their families.  So, that dang "Super Moon" was not as good of a thing as I thought.  I hope it treated you better, but try to have a great day, you hear?

Saturday, August 9, 2014

Wondering About a Couple of Oddities.

 Our son took my wife (his mom) and me (his dad) out to lunch the other day.  I, of course, over ate.  Hey, we went to Golden Coral and that is an all you can eat buffet.  So, aren't you supposed to eat all you can eat?  My wife tells me that two fully loaded plates was too much.  Oh well, I enjoyed myself and I believe everyone else did, too.

On the way home, my son stopped at the Northern Tool Store.  That is the store where he bought all his solar panel stuff.  They had just about anything a guy could want.  They even had this machine:

Then, this morning, we went to the flea market.  I saw this cute hand-held sewing machine:

No, I didn't buy it, but I did buy one thing.  I bought a flat-top Fender Guitar along with a really nice case.  Now my Ovation has a friend or another one to compete with.  After I have had it for awhile, I will let you know which one I like the best.  My Ovation will be really hard to beat.

I think from now on, today, I am going to stay inside out of the heat and humidity.  The heat was starting to get to me.  Now, you all have a great day, you hear?

Friday, August 8, 2014

Wondering About the Perigee-Syzgy Moon.

The what you say?  I said the perigee-syzgy moon.  That is the scientific term given to the largest full moon during the year.  But the common name is a lot more descriptive.  People have the tendency to call anything that is bigger or brighter or better, "super" and the moon is no exception.  When the moon appears the biggest it will be in a year, it is called the Supper Moon.  That will happen real soon, in fact it will happen on August 10th.  Yep on August 10th at 2:00 pm EDT the moon will be the closest and brightest for the year, but since it is in the middle of afternoon, we will not see it.  So, here is a picture that shows the SuperMoon and the MiniMoon that happened last year:
 You know, I bet no one will notice, even a few hours afterward when it gets dark.  Yes, it will appear big and bright, but how could you tell if it is bigger or brighter than the last full moon?  Could you remember exactly how big and bright the last one was?  Any normal person couldn't.  But I would suggest that you at least go out on the 10th and take a look.  If you are in a location where the moon rises after dark, it will appear the largest as it comes up.

Here is another picture that shows the 14% difference in apparent size between Perigee and Apogee (The closest its orbit comes to Earth and the furthest its orbit gets from Earth):

Well anyway, don't get moon struck but have a great day, you hear?

Thursday, August 7, 2014

Wondering if a Solar Eclipse Could Save Lives.

After reading my title, you are probably wondering if I have lost my mind; how could a solar eclipse save lives?  I may have lost my mind, in fact I may have lost it many times in various places, but even so, an eclipse did save lives.
An English fellow, who immigrated in 1832 to the U.S., was a prominent astronomer and joined the U.S. Coast and Geodetic Survey.  According to www.history.com, he "studied the large-scale geography of California, Oregon, and Washington".  At that time in history and in that area, he was always in Indian territory.  In 1869, he planned to take another scientific trip to the Chilkat Valley.  He was warned that earlier the Chilkat Indians had been angered by earlier white-man provocation, but he went anyway.  Here is an old picture of the Chilkat:

 He met with the tribe and didn't get a very warm welcome.  Since he knew astronomy, he knew that a solar eclipse was due and predicted that the sun would be blocked the following day.  To the Chief's and all the Indians' surprise and awe, it happened just as Davidson predicted.  That put him in good standing with the tribe and he went on with his surveys.  The eclipse not only saved the project, it saved his life, too.

Here is another picture of the Chilkat Indians:
OK, you may wonder why I put this on my blog today.  Yep, it happened on this day back in 1869.  George Davidson died in 1911 and up until his death, he continued to be a prominent member of the scientific community.  Now, I hope all the Indians you meet will be friendly, and have yourselves a great day, you hear?

Wednesday, August 6, 2014

Wondering About a Strange Growth and a Visitor.

I noticed a strange looking growth on a limb of a small oak tree.  What do you think it is?  Some sort of fungus?

They kind of resemble pinkish orange cherries, but they are not.  It was definitely an oak tree, see the leaves.

I then had a surprise visitor.  It was my cousin Grace, from Kansas.  We grew up together, along with all my other cousins, in Pennsylvania.  She now resides in Kansas and came to Houston to visit with her son, who was kind enough to bring her up to Cut and Shoot to visit me.

Of course I took her to my son's place to visit the Wabbit Wanch.  Here she is just after petting a bunny:
Her son took a picture of the two of us: 
Then my wife and son joined us and her son took another picture.  Now, I realize that no one took a picture with him in it, dang! 

Remember my blogs about all the cards and poems we sent to my Aunt in the nursing home?  Well, this lady is one of her daughters.  She lives in a town in Kansas that a few years back was nearly wiped off the map with a huge tornado.  Her house was one of the very few that were undamaged.  She said she opened her front door after the storm passed and all the homes were leveled!  The neighbors were starting to crawl out of their basements.  I had a great day yesterday and now I want you all to have a great day, you hear?