Wondering about wild grapes

Tuesday, September 29, 2015

The Beginning of a Great Engine.

Today I am going to talk about the fellow who invented a great engine of a type that is used world wide still today.  This fellow's name is Rudolf Diesel and with a name like that I bet you can guess what he invented.  No, he didn't write the book about Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer.  His first name is spelled differently.  He invented the Diesel engine.  Diesel engines are a real workhorse.  I have a Caterpillar Diesel in the rear of my motorhome and it is a great engine.

Mr. Diesel patented his engine design on February 28th, 1892.  I would have to say that his invention actually changed the world.  Too bad that when he was on a ship traveling to England for the ground breaking of a new diesel engine plant, he fell or was pushed off the ship.  There were rumors that it was not an accident.  Of course, we will never know.  Now, you all have a great day, you hear?

Monday, September 28, 2015

Wondering About Poisonous Plants.

My last blog posting was about a poisonous animal.  I think just to be fair I should also post about poisonous plants.  Yep, there are a lot more plants that can do you in than there are mammals.  Here is a list that I found on:

No. 10  -  Wisteria

The entire plant is poisonous.  It is beautiful but don't eat any part of it.

No. 9  -  Foxglove            
The leaves of Foxglove are a commercial source of the heart drug digitalis.  If you are having a heart attack, chew on some of its leaves. . or better yet, get to the emergency room. 

No. 8 - Hydrangea.    

It looks like both the leaves and the flowers would be yummy, but please don't try them unless you want a belly ache and maybe even go into a coma.

Lily-of-the-valley, plant, flower, poisonous plant. No. 7 - Lily-of-the-valley.

This plant, if eaten, causes severe stomach distress and maybe a slow or irregular heart beat.

Anthurium, plants, poisonous plants, No. 6 - Anthurium.

This plant will give you a painful burning in the mouth and even swelling and blisters can occur.

Chrysanthemum, plants, flowers, poisonous plantsNo. 5 - Chrysanthemum

Some plant these to keep rabbits away.  The flower heads are somewhat toxic to us if eaten but touching them can make you itch and swell up.

Oleander, flower, plant, poison, poisonous plant, toxic, No, 4 - Oleander

This whole plant is poisonous.  Even breathing the smoke if they are burned can be a problem.  But they are pretty.

Ficus, plant, poison, poisonous plant, toxic, No. 3 - Ficus

I never heard of this plant, but it isn't too dangerous.  Contact with it or the sap will irritate your skin and it will itch and fall off. . . your skin, not the leaves.

Rhododendron, plant, flower, plant poison, flower poison, toxic, No. 2 - Rhododendron

The leaves are toxic and so it the honey that is made from the nectar.  It causes increased salivation, vomiting, diarrhea, etc.  It could slow your heart rate and put you into a coma.

Narcissus, flower, plant, poison, toxic, No. 1 - Narcissus  

If you confuse them for onions and eat the bulbs, you will wish you hadn't.  Probably will not kill you but you may wish you were dead (grin)

All the above plants are beautiful, of course, to look at only.  If you have a young child that chews on everything or a dog, be extra careful of these pretty posies.  Now, smell the roses and have a great day, you hear?

Sunday, September 27, 2015

Wondering About Solenodons.

 See this ugly looking jaw bone?  Do you know the longest front tooth in this jaw has a groove in it and rattlesnake type venom runs down that slot into what ever victim this animal decides to bite:

This is only one of two mammals that are poisonous and the other one may not exist.  This one exists (although some thought it went extinct since it was living among the dinosaurs) and I bet you think that the owners of this type jaw and poison must be really mean, ugly looking critters.  Well they are small, about two pounds, and some may say they are cute.  I am not one of those who thinks they are cute.  The next five pictures show what the animal looks like: 

If you ever come across one of these "cute" little creatures, be sure to give it a wide berth.  There are two species of them.  The one lives close to us.  The one is found in the wilds of Cuba and the other in Haiti.  These animals are also endangered and may go extinct.  But it fooled the scientists before and I bet it could do it again.  Now don't run out and try to buy one for a household pet, but rather, have a great day, you hear?

Thursday, September 24, 2015

Wondering About an Old General Store.

I got to remembering about an old general store that I used to spend a lot of time inside and also sitting out on the steps just talking to others who were also sitting out on the steps.  This little store was the only store in a small railroad town in Pennsylvania.  It had a cracker barrel and pot bellied stove to keep the chill off in the winter time.  All those who were sitting on the steps would move inside in cold weather and warm their hands and feet at that old pot bellied stove.  Here are a couple of pictures of pot bellied stoves:

Actually the one I am talking about looked more like this one:

That little store was across the street from my grandparents house.  It was also up the tracks from the roundhouse where the locomotives were stored waiting for their turn to pull railroad cars where ever they had to go.  This little store and the conversations of those sitting on the steps or around the stove were a learning thing for me and an experience I will never forget.  Boy do I yearn for those good old days.  Now, even though we all have to live in today, make sure that today is a great day for all of you, you hear?

Monday, September 21, 2015

Wondering About Jack Larson.

I bet if you watched TV back in the 1950's, you saw this fellow.  His name is Jack Larson and I am sorry to say that he passed away yesterday at the age of 87.  Have you figured out what character he played ?

He played Jimmy Olsen, the newspaper reporter that was friends with Clark Kent, another reporter who led a secret life as Superman.  Now do you remember him?

The show ran on TV from 1952 through 1958:

This last picture is of the original cast of the Superman show.  From left to right:

Perry White - - - played by John Hamilton
Superman - - - played by George Reeves
Unidentified mother and daughter
Lois Lane - - - played first by Noel Neill and then by Phillis Coates
Jimmy Olsen - - - played by Jack Larson.

This is one of those shows that showed that good always wins out over evil, unlike a lot of the stuff on TV these days.  Now tell me, how many of you remember that old show or am I the only one in blogger land old enough to remember it?  Now, don't go flying all around without the aid of an airplane nor bend steel with your bare hands, but have a great day, you hear?

Sunday, September 20, 2015

A Couple of Dinosaurs.

Today I am going to write about a couple of dinosaurs.  Everyone likes them and there are dinosaurs toys for kids.  Yep, we started liking them when we were young.  There have been many movies about them, most, if not all, have not been very accurate.

The two I am going to talk about are the Stegosaurus:

And the Tyrannosaurus Rex:

The first one above, the Stegosaurus, was a large, plant-eating dinosaur.  It lived 150.8 to 155.7 million years ago and roamed mostly in western North America.  It wasn't too smart, probably because it had small brain about the size and shape of a hot dog.  Those strange looking plates running down its back actually had blood vessels in them and thus (maybe) they were used to control the beast's body temperature.

The bottom picture above is the well know Tyrannosaurus Rex which was one of the largest meat eating dinosaurs.  It could bite off huge chunks of meat with its 4-foot long jaw lined with sharp, conical teeth.  Oh yes, did you know that its fore-arms were so short that they wouldn't reach its mouth.  So, your guess is as good as mine at what they were used for.  Now, stay out of this dinosaur's way so that you can have a good day, you hear?  

Saturday, September 19, 2015

Some More Jokes, Enjoy.

Jokes again today.

Here are some Bill Gates quotes that I think are funny:

"I failed in some subjects in exam, but my friend passed in all.  Now he is an engineer in Microsoft and I am the owner of Microsoft"

And this one about Bill Gates in restaurant:

After eating, he gave $5.00 to the waiter as a tip.  The waiter had a strange expression on his face after the tip.  Gates noticed and asked "What Happened"?
Waiter:  "I'm just amazed because on the same table your son gave a tip of $500.00 and you, his father, richest man in the world only gave five bucks. . .?
Gates smiled & replied with meaningful words, "He is a son of the world's richest man, but I am the son of a wood cutter. . . "

OK, enough of that.  How about a joke that I also found on the internet while I was searching for Bill Gates stuff?  I got a laugh out of it and hope you do, too.

One day in the men's locker room at a gym, a man answers a cell phone ringing, "Hun, I stopped at the mall and I found this awesome fur coat for sale I was wondering, can I get it?" The man looks grim and asks, "How much does it cost sweetie?" the wife replies "Its only a thousand, please???" He looks regretfully and says "Sure, why not hunny" The wife replies, "Thanks hun! awesome!... Ohh baby I just remembered that one SUV I wanted, I drove by the Mercedes-Benz dealer and they are having a huge sale! can I get it?" The man, appearing overwhelmed and confused, asks "how much are they asking for it?" The wife replies, "oh, its about 120k....???" The man quickly replies "Fine sweetie if your gonna spend that much I want it with ALL the options" the wife, very happy and thanking him, says "ok hunny ill see ya when I get home!" The man hangs up the phone, with a funny grin on his face, he turns around facing the 3 other men changing near him and he asks " Do you guys have any idea who's cell phone this might be?"

I hope you enjoyed today's fun stuff.  I have fun finding it and putting it on here.  Now, you all have a great day, you hear?

Wednesday, September 16, 2015

A Short Quiz.

I am going to give you a short quiz and at the end, I will give you the answers.  To make it even easier, it will be a true or false quiz.  OK, are you ready, do you have your pencils sharpened and have spares, no cheating allowed, and it will be a timed test.  OK, maybe not a timed test, you can take as long as you want.  Just let us know how well you scored.

1)  There are more atoms in a glass of water than glasses of water in all the oceans on earth.

2)   Speaking of that glass of water, the probability of it containing a molecule of water that also passed though a dinosaur is almost 100%.

3)   You can't hum while holding your nose.  OK, let go of your nose. . .

4)   Robin Mahfood (could that be street language for "robing my food") is the CEO of Food For The Poor.

5)   The water that Lake Superior holds could cover all of North and South America in one foot of water.

6)   It takes Pluto a long time to orbit the sun.  In fact, it never made a full orbit from the time it was discovered to when it was declassified as a planet.

7)   For you baseball fans. . . The last time the Cubs won the world series, Alaska, Arizona, Hawaii, and New Mexico were not yet states yet.

8)   Humans share 59% of their DNA with bananas.

9)   Mammoths went extinct 1000 years after the Egyptians finished building the Great Pyramid.

10)  North Korea and Finland are separated by one country.

11)  The unicorn is the national animal of Scotland.

12)  Betty White is actually older than sliced bread.

13)  Not once in the Humpty Dumpty nursery rhyme does it mention that he is an egg.

14)  Oxford University is older than the Aztec Empire.

15)  Hippo milk is pink.

16)  Russia has a larger surface area than does Pluto.

(All the above statements are true)

BTW, I got all this information from here.  Now be careful, after reading all these facts your brain may be much heavier and you may require a neck brace to keep your head upright, but even so, I want you to have a great day, you hear?

Tuesday, September 15, 2015

Is It Grin Time?

I thought that it has been long enough since I posted some jokes, so I am going to try to put a grin on your faces this morning and hope it stays there all day long.  I will not hold you in suspense any longer, so here are some jokes.  Enjoy:

How do we know the Indians were the first people in North America?
They had reservations.

What bird can lift the most?
A crane.

What can you hold without ever touching it?
A conversation.

What clothes does a house wear?

What do you get if you cross an insect with the Easter rabbit?
Bugs Bunny.

What lies on its back, one hundred feet in the air?
A dead centipede.

What do you call a guy who's born in Columbus, grows up in Cleveland, and then dies in Cincinnati?

Why does the Easter Bunny have a shiny nose?
His powder puff is on the wrong end.

Why was Cinderella thrown off the basketball team?
She ran away from the ball.

Why were the teacher's eyes crossed?

She couldn't control her pupils

I got these short jokes from:

OK, hold that smile and share it with everyone you see today and of course, that will help you have a great day, you hear?

Monday, September 14, 2015

Why and Which Way Do Planets Spin?

Let me limit this question to our Solar System, in which we are the third planet from our star, the Sun.  I am also going to exclude Pluto because it is not considered a major planet.  See my older blog about it:  http://dizzydick.blogspot.com/2015/07/a-trip-to-pluto.html

OK, what is left are the major planets and guess what, they all spin in the same direction.  Does that seem logical to you in a universe that is quite diverse and everything seems to go its own way?  If you think about it awhile, it does make sense.  Let me explain as best I can with my limited knowledge of the wonders of this universe.

Way back in time, yep, even back more years than I am old and that is lot!!, the solar system was nothing but a dust cloud.  I guess that is what happens when the Angels sweep off the streets of Heaven.  This huge cloud of dust was hit by a huge shock wave, probably from a nearby supernova.  This shock wave caused the cloud of dust to collapse.  The collapsing caused its own gravitational forces to pull it into a flat, spinning disk.  Everything that was forming in this spinning disk took on the same angular momentum and thus all spun in the same direction.

OK, for all you who are astronomy students, you will say "hold on a minute, all the planets do not spin in the same direction".  Yep, they would be correct.  The two exceptions are Venus and Uranus.  The most popular theory is that they were probably hit hard with many collisions with asteroids.  Dang, maybe they should have done what I did the last time I had asteroids, I used Preparation H (grin).

You may also ask why they haven't stopped spinning?  Well, there have been no external forces applied to them to stop it and in space, there is nothing there to cause friction.  It would take another huge collision to change or stop the rotation, and anything that huge, we would not passing by our Earth.  Sometimes these huge space rocks are not choosy what they hit.  Yes, this universe is a violent and strange place, for sure.  Now, don't worry, the chance of this happening are not very big.  Just relax and have a great day and a great Monday, you hear?

Sunday, September 13, 2015

Four Disgusting Pictures

Have you ever seen pictures that you thought were really disgusting?  Yep, there are a lot of them and through the benefits of the internet, I am going to post four of them for you now.  You just can't take disgusting in big doses, it just ain't good for you to get too much at one time.  So here are the four that I picked for today.
OK, before you get too upset about this first picture, I should tell you that they are not human.  Nope, they are melted remnants from a fire at a wax museum in London.  It still isn't a pretty sight, is it?

This next one was a real person.  She was all dressed up, even had on white gloves, for her last big step.  She either jumped or was pushed out of an upper window or off of the roof of a tall building landing on the roof of a car parked below.  Suicides are a real unnecessary waste of human life.  There is always other options, but of course my old Dad always told me that "nothing is so bad that it can't get worse".

If the two pictures above were not enough to disgust you than maybe a great big bat will do the trick:

Have you ever see a bat that big?  Now, I want you all to think about that huge bat when you lay down in your bed to go to sleep tonight.  Better keep your windows closed (grin).

Don't have room in your garage for both your new Ferrari and your old pick-up truck?  Problem solved.  Just park the truck on top of the Ferrari:

Now I sure hope I didn't make you too disgusted, but would rather you make sure you have a great day, you hear?

Saturday, September 12, 2015

Tree Trimming Today.

My wife suggested that I go out to the front lot and trim the pine trees that were intruding over the fence into the neighbor's yard.  I did the cutting and the wife drug the cut limbs over to a pile away from the fence.  Went fairly well except that I had just eaten a huge lunch and was very, very full and the sun was very, very hot.  This caused me to heat up a little more than I like and was really glad to get that job done and get back into the house and grab a big glass of water.  And yes, the air-conditioning really felt good.  It took me a little while but started to feel good again.

I am either getting spoiled or getting old or both.  Just can't seem to do the things I used to, especially in the heat of the day.  I can get the work done, but have to pace myself.  Now don't any of you over do it in the heat of the day but have a great day, you hear?

Friday, September 11, 2015

Waiting on New Batteries

My two engine batteries in my RV have died.  The service man showed up yesterday and checked them out.  He got the information off of them and checked and there were two in stock back at the store.  So, he said he would be here this morning around 08:00 to replace the old ones with new ones.  Also, it seems that the latch that locks the battery slide tray in place is broken.  Not sure how that can be fixed or if the the batteries can be replaced.

He said that they were five years old and that is about the expected life time for them.  Really?  It seems to me that back in the good old days batteries lasted a lot longer than that.  Since my Jeep is ten years old and on its second battery, I guess it is time for a new one for it, too.

There is a lot of rain around the area.  I hope it holds off until after the battery man gets here, so he can complete the battery switch.  Nothing seems to be simple anymore!!  Hope you all have a great day, you hear?

Wednesday, September 9, 2015

Wondering About 1913 Buffalo Nickles

I got wondering about buffalo nickles.  Did you know that in 1913 there were two different designs coined and released into circulation?  That seemed odd to me and of course I had to check a little further and discovered the reason.  Can you guess what it was?

The first picture is of an early 1913 stamping of the nickle:

This next picture is also of a 1913 nickle but a later stamping.  Can you see the difference?

The difference was on the back of the coin.  The coin on the left was the early stamping and the one on the right was the later stamping.  

The buffalo in the first stamping was shown standing on a raised mound.  The later stamping shows a little bit of the mound but has a raised line underneath just above where it says "FIVE CENTS". That raised line was put in to help protect the inscription of "FIVE CENTS" from wear and thus to help keep it readable for a longer time.

Isn't it amazing what one learns just by browsing the internet.  Yep, I found the above information at:

Go to that site if you want to read more about the two types of 1913 Buffalo Nickles.  Now, you all have a great day, you hear?

I just noticed that John Wells posted about the buffalo nickel, also.  Great minds think alike, (grin).  Now you wouldn't believe that I stole his idea, do you???

Sunday, September 6, 2015

Son Made the Trip to New Job.

 It was a long trip from his home here in Texas to the North Shore of Alaska, but he made it.  He posted some pictures on Facebook and I am re-posting them here on my blog.

This first picture is looking down on some very rugged mountains.  Wow!!  I sure would like to explore down there, but now I am too old for an adventure like that.

The last leg of his journey was in a propeller driven plane and the weather was not too clear.  In fact, they went back out over the arctic ocean and circled and did figure eights and circled and. . . (you get the picture) until the clouds parted enough to be able to make a landing.  The airport up there is only operated under VFR (Visual Flight Rules), since there is no tower.  In fact, there isn't much of anything there.

This next picture shows a shadow on the clouds of the plane he was in.

He made it safe and sound and he took this picture from the window in his room:

The only thing missing in this picture is a big moose or a muskox.  Her is a picture of Alaskan muskoxen in their defensive formation.  This picture was taken in the 1930's.

They have been re-introduced into Alaska 

So, as you can see from this map of where the Muskox ranges are located, and that there should be some of them along the Alaskan North Slope.  Of course there are both Polar Bears and Grizzly Bears in that area, too.  It is an interesting area, for sure.  Now, think about all that crisp, cool air up there and try to stay cool.  It is going to be a week of upper 90's here in East Texas, but try and have a great day, you hear?

Friday, September 4, 2015

Son Called Last Night.

Yep, got a call from our son last night and my wife talked to him for quite awhile.  He has a layover in Anchorage and that gave him a chance to buy some odds and ends that he will need when he gets to the North Shore.

He posted some pictures he took out the window of the plane as it took off.  He took some good pictures and one was of Lake Conroe.  Of course he was fairly high by then but not as high as he would be cruising most of the way.  He said the sky was really blue at 40,000 feet.

Oh yes, and here are his insulated work boots:

Last night he said the weather was great at Anchorage.  If I remember correctly, he said it was 50 degrees and very comfortable.  You want to bet it doesn't stay that nice do you?  Shucks, we miss him already!!  Now, you all have a great day, you hear?