Wondering about wild grapes

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Wondering if that was really a complement.

Do you remember my blog back when I told about a women in Wal-Mart looking my way and yelling that there is Wild Bill Hickok? Here is a link to it Clicky Here.

After I figured out she was looking at me, I took it as a compliment. After looking back on it, I am not sure it was, but I am still going to take it as a compliment.

That day I was dressed in Western attire, cowboy hat and boots, western shirt, vest, and blue jeans. Now yesterday, I was back in Wal-Mart. This time I just had on a pair of old jeans (you know, the kind with holes starting to form in them) and an old very relaxed flannel shirt. Of course I did have my boots and hat on, but I still looked a little rag tagged.

My wife and I were checking out when another employee was setting up at the isle next to us, getting ready to open that register. She looked over at me and said “you look distinguished”. I tipped my hat, bowed to her, and said “thank you mam”. I thought that it was a real compliment. After reflecting on the word distinguished, I am not so sure. Aren’t most “distinguished” men either real old or dead? Guess I better pinch myself or look into a mirror.

There are all kinds of definitions of that word, but the one that stands out is being different. That I am, for sure. They say some people march to a different drummer, heck, I don’t even hear the drummer. . . and the older I get, the more I do things my way. Like, when I turned 65 years old, I decided to quit cutting both my hair and my beard. Maybe that is why I look like Wild Bill or distinguished? What do you think?

Monday, November 29, 2010

Cards for Someone Special

If you have read my blogs in the past, you will know how talented my wife is, especially when it comes to crafts. She crochets, paints, creates new and beautiful things from old stuff, and makes one of kind and very beautiful greeting cards. These are no ordinary cards, but unique three dimensional pieces of art.

She comes up with some great ideas for designs. Each card is a theme and tells its own story. It may take a few days to complete one, especially if she has to wait for the glue and / or paint to dry between operations.

These cards also range in size from small and thin enough to fit into a standard card envelope up to really thick and heavy ones that must go into larger padded envelopes. No matter the size, they are all very special and unique and remind me of small scrap books that can be sent by mail as greeting cards.

I am not sure how it all got started. It probably began when she ran out of things to paint flowers on and started painting them on cards and also on the envelopes. They turned out really well and that led to bigger and greater things; one of a kind three dimensional, textured cards with attached items that were designed around a particular theme.

Now the story gets interesting and personal. I have only one Aunt left in my family. She is a wonderful, caring person with a great sense of humor. Earlier this year, she fell and broke her upper leg near where it became a hip. They operated on her and used screws to reconnect the bone to the hip, and that led to a long recovery process, first in the hospital, then at a nursing home, and finally at home. She seemed to be getting along fine until the screws came loose or broke or something. That put her back down and unable to walk. She is now scheduled for a hip replacement in a few weeks, but because of her age and other problems, the docs are waiting until a few days before the scheduled operation date to decide if she is able to go through the procedure.

Anyway, back when this all started with my Aunt, my wife started making cards to send to her. My wife would design and make the cards and after they were done, I would look at them and then write a poem or rhyme for each card. We made a good team and my Aunt really loved the cards. This card making blossomed into an on going project that my wife enjoys doing.

My cousin called and told me that her mother waits everyday for the mail to see if there is another card for her. My wife tries to send one every few days. We are so glad that our efforts have given someone in pain a few minutes of pleasure. We hope that they brighten up her world.

No, I don’t have any pictures of the cards.

Sunday, November 28, 2010

Wondering where things go.

Dang, I had this idea for my blog this morning, but it would need a couple of pictures to complement the story. Now, I know that I scanned those pictures. I even remember sending them via email to a relative. So, all I needed to do is look on my computer and use them. Right? Wrong!! I went all through the C-drive and the D-drive. Spent a lot of time doing that this morning and could not find it.

Then I remembered that in the past I used my old computer for scanning and email up until it wouldn’t boot up anymore. Had a computer technician come out to service it. He got it up and working and the next time I turned it back on, it would not boot up. That was money down the drain. Sure wish I could get it up and running long enough to get my pictures off it and on the external back up drive.

I have two hard-drives on all my computers, except the lap-top. On the one I am trying to get to boot up, the main hard drive is a SCSI drive and the other is a plain IHD hard drive. I just use the second one for storage and the SCSI for programs.

I go into my BIOS and make sure the SCSI is listed, save the changes, and for some reason it will not boot up and some times it seems to revert back to the wrong SCSI selection. Then the boot up says that there are no SCSI drives attached. No matter what I do with the BIOS set-up, it just comes back with this message: “PRESS A KEY TO REBOOT”. Ok, I am tired of this vicious cycle.

I give up for now. . .

I am wondering, can I take the second hard drive out of this computer and stick it in a different one? Would it work or would it mess up the other one? I am so very ignorant about all this stuff.

Saturday, November 27, 2010

Wondering how nick-names develop & other things.

I got to thinking about some of the names I have been called in the past. Some where not so nice, so we will just overlook them (grin). What I mean is nicknames. My proper first name is Richard and my proper middle name is Milton. I was named after my Father and one of my uncles. I would guess that the common nicknames would be Rick or Dick for Richard and Milt or Milty for Milton. Well, my Dad’s name was Richard and he went by Dick and my uncle’s name was Milton but he went by Bub. So guess what, when I was little, they called me Dicky Bub.

Well, I never sort of liked that nickname, thought it made me sound like a baby. That is, until I moved to Texas, and it fit right in. Have you heard of the club Billy-Bob’s in Fort Worth? Well now, I found a home, by golly. Dicky-Bub fit right in with all those Billy-Bobs, Jim-Bobs, and Bubbas. In fact, I felt right proud of my nickname.

Now, I have a second nickname that I like equally well. I have told you before that I am an amateur radio operator (ham) and my call sign is wb3dzy. Well, the other hams that I know decided that the suffix of my call reminded them of dizzy, so they started calling me Dizzy-Dick. That name has also stuck with me, and I think it fits, too.

Found a couple of old pictures that had mildew on them. I scanned them and put them in a program where I could change pixel colors and fixed them. This first picture is of me, Dicky Bub when I was a child:

The next one is three generations of men, my Grandpa, my Dad, and me:

I am the oldest male cousin, but there are two girl cousins who were older than I was. Here is picture of the three of us on one of their visits to our home. Bonnie, Carol, and me:

Changing the subject, it was really cold here this morning!!!! Fist frost of the year, and it was 27 degrees at my place. It stayed below freezing for about 3 hours. Right now it is pushing 50 degrees after the sun has been up for awhile. It is now about 10:00 am. Here is a picture of my Jeep with frost on it:

And here is a railing on the steps from my deck. It too, has frost, although it is harder to see.

Hope all of you enjoyed your Thanksgiving and will relax the rest of the weekend.

Friday, November 26, 2010

Wondering about Black Friday.

Well, today is Black Friday. Sounds kind of ominous doesn’t it? Well, it sort of suits here. A cold front came through last night dropping our temperatures by over 40 degrees, Brrrrrr. And to add insult to injury, it is cloudy and drizzling rain. Just what a “black” Friday should be, right?

I guess I am wrong. I must live a sheltered life, because up until this year, I had never heard of “Black Friday”. Yes, I knew for years about the idiots standing in line all night to get into the stores to get the few bargain priced items, and that all the malls and stores where crowded that day. That is why I rarely ventured out the day after Thanksgiving.

Well, this black Friday thing got me curious, and when I get curious, I go to the Internet and usually “WikipediA”. As always, I got my information. It seems that the term has been around for a long, long time, but the meaning it has for the day after Thanksgiving was started in Philadelphia in 1966. It was named by the police and here is some of what Wikipedia had to say about it:

” The day's name originated in Philadelphia, where it originally was used to describe the heavy and disruptive pedestrian and vehicle traffic which would occur on the day after Thanksgiving. Use of the term began by 1966 and began to see broader use outside Philadelphia around 1975. Later an alternative explanation began to be offered: that "Black Friday" indicates the period during which retailers are turning a profit, or "in the black."”

Well, I learned something, hope you did, too. But maybe I am the only person in the world that didn’t know about “black Friday”. No, that isn’t correct, my wife never heard of it before, either.
So, have a good Black Friday. . . .

Thursday, November 25, 2010

I’m Wondering, is Fall Coming?

Well, it is about that time of year when the leaves start to turn colors and fall off the trees. Around here, that color is usually brown with a tint of yellow or red, but mostly brown. A few of the Oaks are dropping their leaves now, but some are still green. My property has mostly oaks, pine, sweet gum, and black tupelo. None of these trees give much color and the ones that do, don’t change color at the same time. I do have a couple of small maples, but they are hidden in the back corner of the property.

The leaves are completely down around the middle of December. That is, the leaves that are going to come down. The Live Oak trees keep their leaves year round along with a lot of shrubs and bushes.

About the only thing that gives off bright fall colors are the trash trees and bushes. One in particular was imported from China as an ornamental tree, but the birds scattered the seeds and it is everywhere now. It is also very fast growing once it gets established. There is one next to my driveway that I cut off at the ground every year or two and it grow back. This year it only grew about six feet, but some years I swear that it grows faster than that. The picture below is a sample of some of the leaves off this type of tree, the Chinese Tallow. Notice that it can be red, orange, yellow, or green all on the same clump of small trees.

Go with me as I reminisce a bit about back when I was a youngen in the early 1950’s and it was the fall of the year in western Pennsylvania. There was always something about the Fall of the year that got my blood flowing. The smells of the leaves and the woods and of course all the goodies in the picnic basket.

A picnic basket was packed, a folding table was put in the car trunk, my Mom, Dad, and I would pile into the old car and go pick up my grandparents. We would ride up into the hills and mountains and be in awe of all the beauty of autumn. The hills looked like a patchwork quilt with every color you could think of.

Around lunch time we would find a place to pull over and we would have the finest tasting meal you could ever want. Being out in the woods, surrounded by all that beauty, with the smells and sights, and being with the people that you really loved; a person couldn’t ask for a better feast. There was always a variety of food and lots of it, but I would always start out with my favorite – a peanut-butter and pickle sandwich. I preferred candied dill, but any sweet pickle would do. No accounting for taste, right?

Speaking of my strange tastes, my Dad introduced me to the culinary art of putting horseradish sauce on chocolate cake. Sounds terrible, doesn’t it? It was good. Something about the sweet of cake and the sour of the vinegar in the sauce and the tang of the horseradish that just livens it up. Not bad. You know, I haven’t had that combination in years. I have had horseradish, but no chocolate cake.

You all have a happy Thanksgiving. . .

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Wondering if we should be worried.

Yes, there are lots of things to worry about, but here is one that most people don’t think about or don’t know about. I am thinking about something that could be very dangerous to life on Earth, an exploding star.

Oh, but you say stars, except for our sun, are way far away. Well, that is a true statement, but let me tell you the story of The Crab Nebula or M1 as Messier described it.

M1 happened not too long ago. Back in 1054 the Chinese recorded a new brilliant star that could even be seen in the daytime for a few weeks and dimmed after a couple of years. This was the light caused by a humongous explosion when a star ended its life about 6500 years earlier. Yep, took a long time for that light to reach Earth, so it must have been a huge bang.
That exploding star left a huge nebula, called the crab nebula. Here is a picture of what it looks like now (actually we are looking back 6500 years):

This nebula is expanding at 930 miles a second!! Do the math. In other words, it expands 30 billion miles per year, right? Dang, I hope it slows down before it gets here, what you think?

As it is now seen in the heavens, it is 10 light years across. It is actually a beautiful telescopic sight and presents no known danger.

What I think about is that it is 10 light years across. The brightest star in the sky, Sirius, is about 10 light years away and there are a dozen stars a lot closer than Sirius. What would happen if one of those went nova (BANG), and grew to 10 light years across. We sure wouldn’t need headlights to drive at night.

Actually, the deadly particles released by a nova even a lot further away than Sirius would cause havoc here on Earth. Betelgeuse, a red giant star is on its last stages of life. It is a lot further away, but closer than anything else that ever went bump in the night.

Now, sleep tight tonight. I hope this will not cause you any night mares (grin) (grin) (grin).
OK, to ease your mind some, most of the close by stars are too small to explode. For a nova to happen, a star has to be pretty large, and its gravity must become much stronger than the outward force caused by its nuclear fire in the center of the star. Then it collapses on itself and explodes. Most stars are like our sun and will just puff up, throw off layers of gas, and finally end up a glowing cinder.

Of course, when our sun does that, it will be the end of the Earth as we know it and definitely the end of all life. Our sun may get large enough to swallow Earth. If not, it will either burn it to a cinder or kick it out of the solar system. By that time, we should have already visited other planets or created space stations that are self sustained that we can live in. Who knows if human life can exist for that long without doing itself in.

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Wondering about tent worms

Was walking around the other day and I noticed where I had an old step ladder leaning up against a bbq unit, there was a vine that was between them that didn't look quite right. On closer inspection, I saw a bunch of caterpillars. They look like tent caterpillars to me, but could be wrong, since there is no sign of a tent or web. Maybe they are all bunching up for the winter, although the last few days have been in the 80's or high 70's. Maybe they know because of the shorter daylight? If you know for sure what they are let me know. I have never seen them bunch up like this:

Well, to my surprise, when I turned to head back to the house, I spotted this other bunch hiding behind a limb:

I moved the limb away to expose them and took another picture:

There are not as many in this bunch as in the first one I saw. I wonder why there are two bunches so close to each other when they could have all bunched up together? Maybe they disagree on politics, religion, etc. Or maybe they are the Hatfield and McCoys. Or maybe they feel that being separated gives them more of chance of survival if one group is discovered. Wonder how may other bunches of them are around that area that I did not see? Don't forget, you can click on the pictures to enlarge them.

Changing the subject, Ben stated this in his blog that he posted this morning, "Been noticing that on several blogs I follow, the authors are cutting way back on postings!! HEY GUYS!!! What the hell the rest of us supposed to read?" OK, Ben, are you happy now?

Now, I better go out and figure out how to get rid of those caterpillars and see if I can find any more of them. You all have a good day.

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Dogs to Vets

It is that time again, when the dogs have to go to the vets and get their shots and check-ups. Hope all will be found well. We will be taking two in this morning and the male in tomorrow morning.

I have not missed a day with my blog since I started back in July. Yesterday's blog was number 125. I am going to take a break writing every day. Have too many things that are piling up that need attention. I know you will understand. I promise to fit a few new blogs into my list of things that need done. Maybe I can come up with some better ideas and pictures.

Thank you all who view and comment on my blog. I do so appreciate it, it makes my day. Thank you.

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Some Problems when Wandering with Pets

We have pets and have wandered around to places far from home, as I would think that a lot of you have done, too. We have traveled with dogs with and without an RV.

Our first adventures traveling with a dog was way back when we had a pop-up camping trailer, two young boys, and a Basset Hound. That was our first taste of RVing and although there were times when we had problems, overall, we enjoyed it. One Basset Hound was not too much trouble and we had two young boys to keep her occupied.

A tornado put an end to that camper while we were living near Justin, TX. It got flipped end over end and pretty much came apart except for the box part. That ended our RVing for many years, 23 or 24 years at least. We still traveled with dogs, but had to stay overnight in motels. Some allowed pets, some charged extra, and some; well you just had to sneak them in and out. Either way, staying in motels with pets is not a pleasant experience. Taking them out when they have to go and keeping them quiet is quite a chore.

Had our three cats in a motel room once, and that was not fun. They did not like it at all and told us about it by yelling their heads off. Tried to keep them quiet but that was impossible. Thought for sure we would get kicked out that night, but didn’t.

The subject of grass burrs, sand burrs, etc came up with Gypsy
the other day. These kinds of things can be a huge problem, especially with long haired dogs that have under-coats. Yep, you guessed it, like ours do.

Grass burrs and sand burrs are tough to get out and they are really sharp – OUCH!! Hate them and they seem to be in every road-side park and RV park that we have ever stopped in, except a few in climates where the burrs don’t grow.

Pecan trees leave a lot of debris that get tangled up and embedded in the fur of our dogs. We stopped at an RV park that used to be a pecan orchard. Spent hours and hours trying to get that stuff out of them.

Another tree that is a huge problem is cedar. My one dog ran out in a grove of cedar trees and just stopped moving. I called her and she still didn’t move, just turned her head and looked at me. She always did everything I asked of her, so knew something was wrong. When I got to her, her whole underneath, from belly to all four legs and tail, was tightly packed with old cedar needles. Again, it took hours and hours to get them out.

When you travel with pets, make sure they keep getting the same food and water as they do at home. Some dogs get upset when they drink strange water. We always carry bottled water for our dogs. You also have to be careful when they go out. Do not let them eat or drink anything out side.

We went from pop-up camper, to a bumper pull travel trailer, to a class-C motor-home, and I believe the dogs are much more comfortable in the motor-home. They have more room to move around and like to lay on the couch and on our laps. They also give me exercise. I get to walk them one at a time every time we stop.

They can be a problem and a lot of extra work, but the pleasures and love that they bring us is well worth it all. All my pets have been a large part of our family.

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Wandering to Lake Whitney State Park

We visited Lake Whitney State Park in 2003 and 2004. Our visit coincided with a star party that I attended and have posted a blog showing pictures of the star party before. This time, I want to show you some of the State Park.

This picture is our camping spot. There is water and electric at the site and a couple of dump stations if needed. The sites are spacious and shaded. The only problem we had was with grass burrs. Remember, we have long haired dogs.

Of course, the wildlife came to check us out.

This is the entrance to the Nature Walk. I took lots of pictures, more than I have space for here. It was a beautiful walk and even though it was not very long, it went through different environments.

The beginning of the trail:

After walking through the forest of small trees and mesquite, it opened up to fields of cacti:

And then we entered the woods again:
This is a different type of woods than the one we first entered. It is full of large, beautiful old trees.

Along the way, there are rest areas to relax, sip a little water, and enjoy nature.

The trail finally winds down to the edge of a small part Lake Whitney.

As we start back up, we can still see the lake.

And we go back down for a last close look at the water's edge.

Further along the trail loop we come across a picturesque walking bridge.

And for the final picture, a typical view of the trail through the mature forest.

This is a large park, with its own airport and borders on the large Lake Whitney. One of many wonderful parks across the country. Would like to go to all of them.

Have a good day.

Monday, November 15, 2010

Wondering what makes a good salesman.

I was just sitting there watching HEE-HAW last night. (see my old blog: http://dizzydick.blogspot.com/2010/10/wandering-about-hee-haw.html ) Yea, I watch it every chance I get, so call me an old hay seed, go right ahead, I don’t care. . .

Anyway, there was a one line joke that stuck in my head. One of those perky HEE-HAW girls said, “He could sell the feathers off of a rubber chicken”. Of course I laughed, wouldn’t you? Then they had that skit where Junior Samples plays a used car salesman. So, I got wondering, what does make a good salesman. . .?

My Dad was a salesman, although he called himself just an “order taker”. He worked for the H.J. Heinz Co. and sold to all the independent grocery stores in and around our area. Everyone liked my Dad and I worshiped the ground that he walked on. He was honest and put the good of his customers’ ahead of any sell. You can not be unsuccessful for long if you do that.

So what makes a good salesman? First of all, he / she have to be a likable person. Someone who genuinely likes and respects other people. Most of us can see through an act or a front that some put on. You know the type of salesman I am talking about; the one that doesn’t give a hoot about you but just loves your money. Known a few of those.

I have seen sales people act bored, or act like they are doing you a favor and they are tired of it, or just simply are greedy and would do or say anything to make the sale. Then there are the ones that are more interested in making sure that you, the customer, gets what he wants and needs without going over budget. This last type is what I call a good salesman. They have to get to know a little about you first to make sure that they sell you what you really need at a price that you can afford.

I have known salesmen like that, but it seems they are becoming fewer and further between now a days. Customers today, with the internet, should be much better informed and should know the price range and quality of a product before he attempts to purchase it.

I tried to be a sales person in the past. My opening line was, “You don’t want this do you?” Most of the time the answer was “no”. I then studied and got a real estate salesman’s license and tried to sell real estate part time. Good thing I didn’t give up my full-time job. I would always point out all the faults with the properties. They appreciated it and I actually sold one or two listings, but decided that selling was not for me.

Enough of that. I watched the final NHRA Top Fuel Drag Race of the season. Up until this last weekend, no racer had enough points to clinch the national championship. So, it was all decided this weekend.

The Pro-Stock championship was won by Anderson during the time trials the day before the actual race. John Force came from behind in the Top Fuel Funny Car category to win his 15th National Championship, more than any other driver and at 61 years old, he was also the oldest driver to ever win.

On the other end of the spectrum was LE Tonglet, a 20 year old rooky who came behind to win the Pro-Stock Motorcycle category award. The youngest to do so.

In the Top Fuel Dragster category, Larry Dixon won.
Congratulations to all the winners, and thank you to all the drivers who made this season the greatest racing event ever.

Sunday, November 14, 2010

Wondering about the Ocean

One of the blogs I follow is Old Fat Man Adventures. Barney travels a lot of places but usually ends up on the Gulf coast for the winter. He is now in Rockport, TX and other than living through some cold and/or wet spells; he seems to enjoy the sea and all the things that can be done in, on, and around it.

My wife and I used to spend a month over Christmas at Galveston State Park. It was no further to my customers’ locations than from home and I could, if necessary, work anywhere on my laptop. So it didn’t interfere with my work, but the holiday seasons were always slow (work wise) for me. We did this for three years in a row. One year it snowed on Christmas. See my old blog: http://dizzydick.blogspot.com/2010/07/weather-records.html

Here are some more pictures of the area on the days after the snow went away and it warmed up. This first one is of a couple of the dogs looking out the window of the RV at the beach:

The next two pictures were taken on a foggy morning:

And of course you have to have a sun-set:

And a typical beach picture:

The last is looking out the window:

As you can guess, we too love the salt water. Well guess what, salt is not the most abundant chemical in sea water, chlorine is. Here is the break-down if you are interested. Chlorine is about 19 ppt, then sodium at 11 ppt, then sulfate at 2.7 ppt, then magnesium at 1.3 ppt, then calcium at 0.4 ppt, and then potassium at 04 ppt.

Did you know that there are about one million bacterial cells in a typical cubic centimeter of ocean water (and I bet a lot more off Galveston). The total amount of bacteria in the oceans weigh more than 240 billion African elephants!!! That is 240 Billion, WOW!!! Not sure if I will ever swim in the ocean again. . .

Saturday, November 13, 2010

On The Flying Tortoise blog yesterday, I posted this comment: "If you get some of that in a bottle, send it my way. . ."

Well The Flying Tortoise is a man who likes to please, so I believed he tried to get that beauty in a bottle for me but found out that it was impossible. So, he did the nest best thing. He made me beautiful and personalized label that I could put on my own bottle. Here is the label:

Did you read the label? It was a wonderful surprise and I am now searching for just the right bottle to put the label on. It will have to be a really special bottle to have this special label applied to it.

Now I have my own little piece of a Kaiaua Sunrise. Thank you Keith Levy!!!

Friday, November 12, 2010

Wondering About Mushrooms

Boy do I have a treat for you today!! I was looking through my files of pictures and found some that my wife had taken. One time she decided that there was real beauty in mushrooms and decided to go out on our property and take pictures of all she could find. There is not near enough space on this blog to show them all to you, but for your pleasure, I will give you a sample.

Almost all of these pictures were taken back in the year 2000. I believe my wife did a really terrific job on these photos. I am not going to take the time to look up the names of the mushrooms, this is not to be a scientific post, but one to show you the beauty that my wife discovered in our own "back yard".

She even took multiple pictures at different times of the day and different days of the same mushroom to show how they develop and fade (sometimes melt) away. This first picture was this mushrooms peak. I have her pictures of the rest of its life, but this posting is only going to be on the beauty of them.

Just scroll on down. I will not comment on any until the end.

I hope that you enjoyed my wife's mushroom pictures. I liked them so much, I made some paintings of some of them and would like to paint more. Of course, her pictures are much, much better than my paintings.
Thanks for stopping by my blog.

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Wondering about the Price of Gold

Wow!!!! Gold is now over $1400.00 per ounce. I would have never dreamed it would get that high. I don’t think it has reached its peak yet. But once our country and the world gets back to a better financial situation, the price of gold will then level off and will probably fall. But I believe people will always have more faith in the value of gold than in any governments printed currency.

I have an old friend and school classmate who invested in gold throughout the years. Needless to say, he is quite wealthy today, even more so than he was a couple of weeks ago.

I will tell you one thing; I am getting itchy to go gold prospecting. I told you all about my first gold prospecting trip that I took way back in 2003. Did you forget? Well here is the link to it:

And while you are at it, I did another blog on the ghost town of Stanton, AZ. That is where the G.P.A.A. holds two “group digs” each year; one at the very end of the year and one around Easter time. Here is a link to that blog in case you want to refresh your memory:

The price of gold is getting to the level where it is worth spending some money and time to try and find some. The best metal detector that can be purchased for prospecting use is the Minelab. Of course they are real proud of them and a fellow like me who only goes prospecting once every few years can’t justify a cost any where near what they cost. Don’t believe me? Here is price list of three of their units:

Minelab GPX4500 Metal Detector $4750.00
Minelab E-TRAC Metal Detector $1498.95
Minelab GPX 5000 Metal Detector $5595.00

I have an old cheap metal detector that so far has only found me a bunch of bullets, nails, beer can pull tabs, and rattlesnakes. Of course any metal detector is better than no metal detector.

I really love gold prospecting. It is like hunting and fishing, the hunt is the part that we enjoy and the getting is just the end of the hunt. But with gold prospecting, the end of the hunt is a pot of gold, or a nugget, or like me, a bag full of metal trash.

When hunting or fishing that deer steak or that fillet of fish you had for supper cost you one heck of lot more than the best beef steak or fish fillet that you buy at the best restaurant. So the prize you get is not weighed by monetary value, just like gold prospecting. My pocket full of metal trash didn’t pay for the trip, but unlike hunting or fishing, it is possible for gold prospecting to pay off big. A lady I was talking to back on my 2003 trip showed me a $2000.00 nugget she had just found, and that was at fairly low gold prices. One fellow I talked to found over $10,000.00 worth the week before. So, sometimes there is a pot at the end of the rainbow.

My suggestion is to go gold prospecting only if you like to prospect. The reason is that your chances of striking it rich are not all that good, but your chances of finding some gold are high. Of course, you have to look for gold in the right places, and that takes learning and practice.

May there always be color in your pan.

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Wandering to town and back – Shopping

This is more or less a follow-up of yesterday’s blog. My last comment on my blog yesterday stated that I had purchased a vest and a couple of shirts. Since I do not have another good subject for today, I thought that I would just show you my purchases. I don’t usually go on a buying spree, so this is sort of unusual, but I have to admit, a lot of fun.

Here is a picture of all of my purchases:
Three new shirts and a brown leather vest. I already have a brown cowboy hat that will go nicely with the vest.

The following three items were purchased yesterday:

And this pin-striped purplish shirt was bought the day before:

Also, the day before, I purchased this down filled vest to keep me warm on cold days:

I have not yet worn any of them, but did try them on to make sure they fit before I removed the tags. Found a tag on one of the shirts that said it had a one year guarantee. I guess that is, if I change its oil and do the required maintenance (washing).

My wife and I stopped by the local Super Wal-Mart to pick up a few things and a lady customer looked up and saw me coming and with a loud voice yelled, “There is Wild Bill Hickok!” I looked behind me and no one was there, she was looking at me!! I had my cowboy hat on and I guess my white beard and long white hair must have made me resemble Ole Wild Bill. I told her that I wasn’t Wild, just Dizzy. That really got her going. It took a good 15 minutes to get away from here, but it was fun for both of us. I am the type of guy who will stop and talk to anyone.

You all have a good day now, you hear?

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Wondering about vests.

I personally love vests. Not necessarily the kind that comes with a suit, since I don’t wear a complete suit anymore. Maybe wear a suit coat but will still have my jeans on with it. I did that way before it was the style.

There are a lot of different types and styles of vests. Some of the differences are because of the intended use. There is a big difference between one for dress-up and one for warm-up. For instance, I just purchased a down filled vest. They are nice to put on when I go out early on cool mornings. The theory is that if you keep the trunk or main part of your body warm, the rest will take care of them selves, unless the temperature is way below freezing and you are going to be exposed for a long period of time. Most of the time, a vest is all I need to feel comfortable in the cold.

My Grandpa had a wool vest that was quite warm. I had that for many years and wore it hunting sometimes when it was really cold. It seems that vests were more popular and there were a wider variety of them back in the “good old days”. Maybe my taste in clothes is my desire to go back to those “good old days”. I also love vintage western wear. Vests combine the two.

I was looking for a dress-up vest. You know, one like the old time gamblers used to wear. I want a blue and green paisley front and dark back. Would accept other colors and designs, but want something bright and colorful. They are hard to find and maybe I will have to purchase one from an “one line” western store. Found a couple of sources and one was located in Eastern Pennsylvania. There is something wrong with this picture. Here I am in Texas and can’t find an old style western vest and they have them in Eastern PA????

I may also get a plain colored one, like a brown leather vest. Sometimes a plain vest will set off a fancy colored western shirt, and a fancy vest can be worn with a single colored shirt.

Speaking of shirts, all my shirts have had snaps instead of buttons for as long as I can remember. Well actually, it has only been for about the last 35 years or so. I can remember things from way back in my life, it is the things that happened a few minutes ago that I forget, like where did I lay my glasses or keys or what else was I going to say . . .

Monday, November 8, 2010

Wondering Why I Did That

OK, here I am, all stiff and sore again. Why do I do that to myself? Well, I usually have a good reason, but not always. This time I think I do have a good reason.

You see, it is like this. Many years ago when I wanted to get back into camping, a fellow sold me a truck camper made for small trucks. At the time I had a Ford Ranger that my son had bought and then couldn’t pay for it, so I took it over.

Anyway, I get it on the truck and get it home. On the short trip home, I noticed that it rubbed on the roof of the truck's cab. Not good, so when I got home I borrowed a set of jacks to get it off the truck. These jacks were owned by another buddy and they were long pipes with a base to keep them standing upright. Had a wide bracket assembly that caught on the edge of the slide-in camper. This bracket would slide up and down the pipe controlled by a cable and a rotary ratchet type hand operated winch.

I got it lifted up enough to drive out from under it. Purchased some treated 1 x 4’s and attached 6 or 7 of them to the bottom of the slide in camper. This lifted it up three quarters of an inch or so, plenty to clear the truck’s cab roof.

I had just got out from under the camper when the cable broke on one of the jacks, the one on the side I was on. It knocked me down but since I was only under the part that fit over the sides of the truck, it spared me from any serious injury, but the camper did not fare so well. The pipe went through the side and also up through the roof.

I patched up the holes as well as I could, put new cables on the jacks, and put it back on the truck. Moved it over out of the way and jacked it back up and removed it from the truck. There it sat all these years. When hurricane Ike came through, a tree fell on part of it. It had just become a storage place for junk.

I had a man come to pick up some scrap metal and also some trash. While he was here, I had him drag that old camper out into a clear area. He told me to burn it as is; that would save a lot of work and cost. Since we were then under a burn ban, we hade to wait.

I got thinking about burning it and decided against it. Too many things that would put pollution in the air and also a lot of screws and metal parts (it had aluminum paneling on the outside) that would leave a real mess. So, three days ago, I started tearing it apart. I made two piles, one burnable and the other trash / scrap.

On the third day, yesterday, I guess I pushed myself too hard. I had turned it upside down and had it all disassembled except for the roof. I was already tired, but with only the roof to go, why quit now? Getting the wood off the metal roof proved to be a tougher job than expected.

Bent over with a crowbar and claw hammer, trying to get the wood, etc. removed from the roof got my lower back a hurting. I was just too stubborn to quit that close to being done. Then I couldn’t stand up. Oooops !!! Now I went and done it!!! My lower left back, ouch. . . Must have pulled a muscle that attaches to the hip bone. This morning, I am still hurting and can’t lean over. Not fun, but it is my own fault. I am wondering when I will ever learn . . . .

Sunday, November 7, 2010

Wondering about Bluegrass Music

I just love bluegrass music, especially gospel bluegrass, which, by the way, I am listening to right now, being that it is Sunday morning. It seems that bluegrass music is getting more popular every day. That may or may not be a good thing.

It is good because the more popular it gets, because of competition, the bluegrass bands get better and more are formed. Bluegrass festivals are becoming more popular and thus, more abundant. There are more places to listen to bluegrass and more opportunities to see it performed either live or on TV or radio.

It is bad because the more popular it gets, the better the chance that it could loose what makes it so great and unique; its roots. I have seen it happen to county-western music. C&W music now sounds more like rock than country. It was a slow process, but because of the need to increase its listening audience it left its true roots. I sure hope bluegrass does not do this, although I have heard some new groups that are leaning that way.

I consider “western” music the type that the Sons of the Pioneers, Gene Autry, Roy Rodgers and Dale Evens, and of course Bob Wills and his “Texas Swing” sound did. I consider “country” music to be first off, bluegrass. But for the sake of this blog, let us put bluegrass in a category all its own. Country music is the Wilburn Brothers, Eddy Arnold, Loretta Lynn, Porter Wagoner, George Jones, Tammy Wynette, and I could go on and on, but you get where I am coming from.

I have a satellite radio that never leaves the bluegrass station and I watch bluegrass shows on TV. The RFDTV channel has quite a few bluegrass shows and a lot of classic country music shows. Click here to see their web-site. Then click on the tab labeled “on RFD-TV” and then click on “music & entertainment” and a whole list of TV shows will come up. The Cumberland Highlanders and Reno’s Old Time Music Festival are two of the bluegrass programs that I watch every Saturday night.

Don’t get me wrong, I like all the music programs, especially the Bluegrass, the County & Western, and Gospel. If you have access to the RFD-TV channel, check it out. There are a lot of unique shows on that channel. It is not just for the farmer or rancher, but for all the family to watch together.

Saturday, November 6, 2010

Wondering about Grandpa’s retirement

First, remember my blog on Thursday Nov. 4th, Wondering about my Mother, when I talked about some of things my Mother did? Remember the part where I told you about her last hike up the mountain to see the “cat rocks” even though she had a broken foot? Well, I just found an old picture taken way back when. It has my Dad and my Mom and Mom’s sister, who they nicknamed “Pet” in it and they are at the “cat rocks”. This may have been before my parents were married or just after.

OK, now about my Grandpa’s retirement day. It was kind of sad since he loved his job as an engineer. This first picture is of him walking back from the train yard and turn table where they turned the engines around. It is in a small town called Phillipston and the river you see on the right is the Allegheny River.

This next picture is of him standing beside his engine:

This one is my Grandpa coming up the path to his house on his last day:

This next picture is my Grandpa and my Mother on the right (his left) and her sister, Pet, on the other side:

And of course I will leave you with a picture of both my Grandpa and my Grandma: