Wondering about wild grapes

Friday, January 29, 2016

George W. Bush was Right.

Back on this date in 2002, president George W. Bush during his State of the Union Address, first used the phrase "axis of evil" to describe the countries of  Iran, Iraq, and North Korea.  Maybe he was comparing them to the original axis of WW2, Germany, Italy, and Japan.  President George W. Bush believed that to precipitate U.S. troop pullout would lead to increased chaos, bloodshed, and eventual terrorist victories. Given the recent dramatic events in Iraq, it looks like Mr. Bush knew what he was talking about.  To read more on that subject, go to this link.

Well, I would say that his prediction was dead on and it has all come to pass.  I liked him as a president and as a person.  I didn't know that he was also a fortune teller (grin).  He showed compassion to the military men and especially to the wounded and would visit them at their bedsides in the hospitals.  The more one looks back and reviews his terms in office, the more we realize that he was mostly right.

I didn't mean to make this post sound political, but since it was about what he said in his State of the Union Address, it had to have some politics mixed in with it.  Now, have a great day, you hear? 

Wednesday, January 27, 2016

Dignitaries that Live with Me.

I got three dignitaries that live at my house and allow me to serve them.  They just got back from the beauty parlor and they look and smell wonderful.  It sure is nice having those dignitaries here.

Before I go any further, let me break down the word dignitaries.  "Dig" means to remove something to get to what is under it.  You know, like when you dig through a pile of clothes in your dresser drawer to find that special shirt or dig through a lot of information to find a certain fact.  Well my pups that live with me like to dig in the dirt and through a pile of toys or what ever.

The middle part of that word is "ni" which stands for nickel.  I guess a dignitary is worth his weight in nickels, at least.  So, I may just have three very valuable pups.  At least they make me feel like I am a rich man and with their love and companionship, I am a very rich man.  They are the salt of my life and they add spice to an otherwise boring live.  Not that I have anything against being bored, as long as it is in my rocking/recliner with a pup beside me.

The last part of that word is "tarries".  That means to stay or linger in one place.  Yes, I hope they tarry with me until I am no longer.  There is no reason to not tarry here.  My wife even cooks gourmet food for them, and let me tell you, they were in quite a hurry to get back from the groomer's today to get their home cooked meal, even if it was a couple of hours or so late.  So now you know why they are dignitaries.

I remember way back when I was in school, they had some man come and speak to us in the auditorium.  He was introduced as an expert and he said he didn't like being called that.  He explained that if you took that word (expert) in two parts it would say ex-spurt and the meaning of ex means past and the meaning of spurt is a drip under pressure, so expert means a past drip under pressure.  Sometimes it is interesting to look deeper into what seems to be simple words.  Now have a great day, you hear?

Monday, January 25, 2016

Binary Star Systems

Look up on a clear night and you see millions of points of light.  You may think that most of these points of light are made by a star.  Well, you would be wrong.  At least four of every point of light that you see are from binary star systems.  You know, I read that this morning and had to go back and read that again.  That is very hard to believe but that is what the astronomers have predicted.

So, you may ask, what is a binary star system.  Well, a binary star system is where two stars close to each other also orbit each other.  Some of these systems have more than two stars, but then it wouldn't be called a binary (meaning two) system, would it?

Most of these systems are stable but some are not.  The picture below depicts the path of two stars swirling closer and closer and closer to each other, until they combine, probably with a big bang or a nova, and if they are huge enough, with a super nova.

two white dwarf stars orbit one another every 321 seconds

Well I learned something new today.  I have always said that a day is wasted if you don't learn something new, and let me tell you, I have wasted a lot of days (grin).  Now you all have a great day, you hear?

Sunday, January 24, 2016

Dang, It's Cold!!

We have been having some pretty cool weather at my place.  This morning it got down to 32 degrees.  Hey, that is freezing cold!!  Doesn't last long enough to hurt anything.  It is suppose to get into the upper 60's later to day, which is closer to normal.

Well, I guess you guessed I have nothing to talk about this morning, so relied on the weather.  Yes, I am really boring this morning along with being on the chilly side.  I hope I can come up with an interesting blog posting for tomorrow.

If you have read this blog this far, you must be bored, too.  Well, maybe I ain't bored, I just don't have anything to say.  So, why have I typed all the above words just to say so??  Yes, you are right, it is because I am bored, too.  Now, just because I am bored, doesn't mean you shouldn't have a very great day, you hear?

Friday, January 22, 2016

Oh Mother

We all have or had a mother.  I was so very lucky to have had such a great Mom.  But my Mom is not what this blog posting is about.  It is about our English language and all the words it has that can mean mother.  Let's see, what all did I call my mother.  Well,  usually I just called her Mom but when I was younger, I called her Mommy.  Of course I pronounced them like the words mummy or mum.

There are other words that could be used, also.  For example, some mothers are called just "ma" or by a name close to what I used, "mamma", or like the old song "mammy". 

The word can also be a verb, like when you say "she will mommy you".  That means pamper, care for, look after, etc.  Now, if you change the "o" in mommy to a "u", it means something altogether different.  Now, how about you telling us what you called your mother and also, make sure you have a great day, you hear?

Wednesday, January 20, 2016

Views of Our Solar System

I found a website that posted 116 slides.  Pictures taken throughout our solar system.  I found it quite interesting and I thought you would, too.  To make it easy for you, click on the link below and after you get to the site, pan down to the very bottom.  There you will find the pictures.  Just pick on the arrow at the side of a slide to go to the next one, etc., etc.

I hope you enjoyed the pictures.  Now have a great day, you hear?

Monday, January 18, 2016

How About Some Funny Words.

There are a lot of funny sounding words, some I am familiar with and some I am not.  Let me start with saying that we all have heard of macadam roads, right?  I drove on lots of them in my life.  The name came from the guy who invented it, Mr. McAdam.  This got stretched a little into macadam.  Yes, I am quite familiar with that term but "Unremacadamized"?  This one is easy, it means "Having not been repaved with macadam".

There are a lot of words that I know the meaning.  Here are a few examples:
Blunderbuss - A gun with a flared muzzle.
Cantankerous - (this is what I can be) Testy, grumpy.
Collywobbles - Butterflies in the stomach.
Comeuppance - Just reward.
Discombobulate - To confuse.
Donnybrook - Melee or riot.
Doozy - Something really great.
Filibuster - Refusal to give up the floor in a debate.
Fuddy-duddy - Old fashioned, mild mannered person.
Gobbledygook - Nonsense, balderdash.
Hocus-pocus - Deceitful sleight of hand.
Hoosegow - A jail or prison.
Vomitory - An exit or outlet.
and, of course, Lickety-split, Maverick, Mollycoddle, Namby-pamby, Nincompoop, Ornery, Rambunctious, Rigmarole, Skedaddle, and Skullduggery.

These are the ones that I have heard and have probably used a few or more times during my life time.  Just in case you are interested, a much larger list can be found at this website:

Now I know you all have used lots of funny words, some may only be heard in certain geographic areas, others are universal.  Let me hear some of your favorites and have a great day, you hear?

Saturday, January 16, 2016

Cleared Some Brush.

My son asked me if I would like to have some of the thick brush removed from behind my house.  I said OK, and he brought his big John Deere up and pushed over some trees and pulled out some thick bushes and took the front end loader and pushed his way through the under brush.  He didn't have time to finish and said when he got the chance he would come up and finish the job.  I helped the best I could with some trimmers.  This area was so thick that I couldn't walk through it.

He didn't have much time but wanted to get the heavy stuff out of the way and then he will come back and get rid of all the remaining brush and then work the soil and plant grass seed there.  Yes, I thanked him and I believe it will much nicer now.  It is nice to have a son that would do this for me.  Now, you all have a great day, you hear?


Thursday, January 14, 2016

Do Your Dogs have Nicknames?

How many of you have dogs as pets or family members?  I bet a lot of you do and I bet there are a lot like me where the dogs live in the homes.  Our pups are so spoiled, but that was not their fault.  My wife even cooks for them and right now the oldest one is telling my wife it is time to get up out of her recliner and get the food cooking.  It is time to eat. . . of course with my pups, anytime is time to eat.

Now, the title to this blog is about nicknames for dogs.  No, we don't really have nicknames for our pups but I got thinking what nickname would be appropriate for each of them.  I am sure several would fit each pup, so I may have a problem coming up with the best.

Let me start with the oldest and smartest, Muffin (or Muffy for short).  I would have to give her the nickname of "Boss".  Yep, she IS the boss of this household and keeps the other two in line and lets my wife and I know exactly what she wants.  Like right now, she is telling us that it is time to eat.  Yes, my wife cooks for our dogs.  She usually cooks a lot at one time and stores what is left over in the refrigerator to be heated up for their dinner the next day.

The second in command is our male, Chang Le.  He could be a show dog and struts around as proud as a peacock.  I guess if he had a nickname, it would have to be "Pretty Boy".

And then there is the youngest, who was handed to my wife with her papers on a trip to Pennsylvania and was told that the dogs name was Gizmo (Gizzy).  That made the third Shih Tzu.  So, what should her nickname be?  How about "The Kid", or as I sometimes call her, "Trouble".  Yep, she is really full of energy and gets into everything.  She is trouble waiting to happen, but she can be lots of fun.  We also call her the "shredder", since she likes to chew up paper.

Back when we got the last pup, we had another older dog named Buttons.  She was my "secretary" when I was working.  Always beside me.  I miss her and remembering her still brings a tear to my eye.  It seems I have always had a dog or two.  Had a Boxer, Bassett Hounds, Beagles, a Cocker Spaniel, and yes they were all very special to me.  Let me hear about the pets that you have had and loved and that were extra special to you.  Now, have a great day, you hear?

Tuesday, January 12, 2016

I Get Confused. . .

Have you ever taken a relaxing drive, just driving along on a nice sunny day surrounded by other cars and trucks and such?  Then someone in the car yells, "Watch out for that car!!".  Well, my immediate response is "What car??".   By then, what ever was meant by that dire warning, if it materialized, had evaporated.  Yep, that happened to me today and I still don't know what car my passenger meant.  Well I guess I got through that crises without a scratch.

I would say that I lived through that old saying, when you remain calm and peaceful when those all around you are screaming with terror, you just may not know the whole story.  Sometimes ignorance is bliss.  Haven't you heard someone say "what you don't know won't hurt you"?  I don't believe that at all.  I want to know what is going on around me at all times.  In fact, I would prefer if it were possible, to know what is going on everywhere.  Of course, if knowing would make me get up out of my rocker/recliner, maybe you could put off telling me until I decide to get up on my own (grin).  This reminds of the old joke about the fellow who said, "I want to die peacefully in my sleep like my grandpa did, not screaming like the other passengers in the car he was driving".  Now don't you fall asleep while driving, that would ruin your day and I want you all to have a great day, you hear?

Monday, January 11, 2016

Where is Stuff Made

"In the beginning, God created the heaven and the earth... After that, everything else was Made in China."

I can remember a few years after the war, that saying was "everything else was Made in Japan".

OK, so where is most of the worlds goods made?  Actually that is not the question I want to ask.  I want to ask what country makes the most goods that are exported to other countries.  Oh yes, I answered this question in the first sentence of my blog posting.  Yes, it is China.  The U.S.A. imports a lot of stuff from a lot of countries.  The top few are China, Mexico, Japan, Germany, and a lot more, including Taiwan and India.  Also, South America ships a lot of goods to us including fruits and vegetables.  Yes, I would say we are a consumer nation.  Maybe that is why the US dollar is known and sought after all over the world.  As of lately, that seems to be changing.  I sure hope it doesn't change too fast or while I am still alive.  I don't know about you, but I like living in the number one best country in the world.  Some may think other countries, like Switzerland, Norway, etc. may be as good if not better, but my vote still goes to the good ole U.S.A. and living in Texas is an additional benefit.  Of course it may even get better after the next presidential election.  'Nuff Said.  You all have a great day, you hear? 

Sunday, January 10, 2016

What Was The Best Year to Live In?

What year do you think was the best one to be alive in?  Yes, I am sure it would be exciting to live in the old wild west, or when dinosaurs walked the land, or the years of the knights of the Round Table and King Richard, or the roaring 20's, but for all around living, which year do you think it would be?

I would say for me the late 40's (after the war) and the whole of the 50's were great in my world, but every year had some really great times and some bad times.  We have to learn to take some bad with the good.  How else would we be able to recognize the good if we didn't have any bad to compare it with?

In my case, it was family and friends that made my life so great.  Yes, I was an only child but we would visit relatives quite often and I got to play with my cousins.  My mother came from a rather large family, there were six of them (seven if one hadn't died very early in life shortly after she was born), and we visited with as many as possible almost every week or so.  The exceptions were the ones that had moved to other states.  I really, really feel blessed for such a wonderful life and especially for such a wonderful childhood.

What triggered the writing of this blog was this headline I read this morning:

Click on the link above and read it for yourselves.  Then tell me if you agree or not.  Now let us know what your best year was to be alive and the reason.  You know, today ain't too bad to be alive, is it?  Let me put it this way, I am very, very glad to be alive today.  Now you all have a great day, you hear?

Friday, January 8, 2016

A Storm Just Passed Through.

Yep, we had a thunder and lightening storm pass through here a little while ago.  My oldest pup is deathly afraid of anything that goes bang.  Yes, she is the one that had a tough time on New Years Eve.  Thunder storms also make her shake uncontrollably.  She was laying beside me in my rocker/recliner and she shook so hard it felt like a vibrating chair.  No amount of consoling helps.  Just the silence after the storm, then she settles down.  She is now sleeping soundly, well maybe not soundless since she snores, beside me and seems quite content.  I feel so helpless when this happens.  Nothing I do, petting her, holding her tight, or telling her all is OK, seems to help.

Way back when I was in college, I got a call from my Mom and Dad letting me know that my beloved Boxer dog had died of a heart attack during a thunder storm.  I am so worried that the same thing will happen to my rocking chair buddy.  She is getting up in years and I am not sure how many thunder storms she can take.  You know, maybe she is tougher than I think she is.

The other two pups aren't bothered at all by thunder storms.  They are not as intelligent as my older pup is.  Maybe it pays not to be too smart.  Maybe that is why I ain't afraid of thunder storms (unless they are spinning off tornadoes).  Or I would rather think it is because of my Mother.  My Mom was terrified of storms but would never show it in front of me when I was growing up.  She would tell me to look out at the storm, that it was beautiful.  It worked.  Thanks Mom.  Now I hope all your skies are blue with no black clouds.  Have a great day, you hear?

Thursday, January 7, 2016

Aviary in my Back Yard.

I looked out the kitchen window this morning at the bird feeder and at piles of bird feed that I put on the ground in three different places. There were lots and lots of birds out there.  There were a dozen or so cardinals out there along with a lot of other small sparrow like birds.

Since I have had that feeder up, I have seen quite a variety of birds, from Black Cap Chickadees and Tufted Titmice to Cardinals and Blue Jays, and even large black crows.  And, before you ask, no, I didn't take any pictures.  Trying to take pictures through the screen does not work out very well.

Just now, my wife said that there were squirrels out there.  Yep, they just love the bird feed.  They shovel it in their mouths with both their front paws.  Doesn't take them long to finish off a pile of bird feed.  I went out and ran them off.  They didn't want to go and I actually had to take a few quick steps toward them.  I guess they don't remember getting plinked with my BB pistol.  I know it didn't hurt them, so I guess they are just laughing at the stupid human trying to scare them off with a toy gun.  Maybe they forgot that this human just loves the taste of squirrel. . .

OK, now don't let your day go to the birds, but have a great day, you hear?


Tuesday, January 5, 2016

Habitable Zones for Planets.

If I were to ask you for your definition of a solar system's "habitable zone", what would your answer be?  Quick, what comes to mind?  Let me know.

So what is the definition that astronomers use to describe it.  Well, it is simple.  It is the zone where planets orbit and can have liquid water on them, at least part of the time.  That weeds out a lot of planets but not as many if the definition was that they had to have liquid water on them.  No, they don't need to have water and they don't need to be inhabited.  They only need to be orbiting at a distance from their star (sun) that the climate is not too hot nor too cold to have liquid water.  Does this make sense to you?  I tried to describe it as best as I could.

So, if astronomers were searching for signs of life somewhere where our probes have not reached or may never reach, they could eliminate any of the planets that are not in the "habitable zone".  Of course, we must also assume that the life we are looking for is similar to what we are used to here on Earth.  Life could take other unusual forms and may not be carbon based as is all life here on Earth.  They may be silicon based, or some other chemical base.  Or they may be alive in some other way, a way we can not imagine.  I don't care what my readers are made of, I like each and every one of you and I want you all to have a great day, you hear?

Sunday, January 3, 2016

I Remember 48 States.

How many of you are old enough to have lived in the United States when there were only 48 states?  I was and I remember when the last two states, Hawaii and Alaska, were admitted into the Union.  OK, now let me test your memory.  Tell me which one was first and when did they become states.

Do you need a hint?  I was in high school when they were admitted.  Does that help you?  No?  So I assume that you could use another hint.  OK, they were both admitted in the same year, 1959.  Did that help any?  OK, I will tell you the answer and I want you to tell me how many knew the answer.
OK, here is the answer.  Alaska was first.  It became a state on January 3rd, 1959 and Hawaii on March 18th, 1959.  You know, I really should have known these dates, because they were historic events that happened in my teenage years.  Of course back then I was a teenage boy and girls and cars were probably on top of my list of interests.  Now, let me know if you remember these two events and please have a great day, you hear?

Friday, January 1, 2016

What Will 2016 Be Like.

I wonder what the new year, 2016, will bring.  It was cloudy, damp, and raining here when the new year arrived, which was alright with me.  The rain eased my fear of fire ignited by all the fireworks going off all around my property, so to me, it was a blessing.

So, what will this new year bring us.  I looked out the window this morning, after putting out the bird feeders and a few piles of bird seed on the ground.  What I saw pleasured me.  There were a pair of doves feeding on the seed that I put on the ground, so I figured it was a sign of a peaceful year to come.  Then my hopes were dashed when the two doves started fighting over the food.  Why, I wondered, when there was more than enough for all of them and the piles were scattered far enough apart.

Oh well, why should I let a couple of doves predict what kind of year I will have.  Whatever comes this year, I am sure we all will be able to take it in stride and hopefully without bickering between ourselves.  Bickering and fighting doesn't solve a thing.  Take those two doves, the fight didn't help either of them, because when the one flew away to get out of the squabble, the other took off to follow it.  Doves are supposed to be a sign of peace.  The cardinals are always chasing each other away and fighting, maybe that is because when they look at each other they see red. . . OK, no fighting today, just have a great day, you hear?