Wondering about wild grapes

Saturday, December 31, 2011

Wondering; What the Heck Is It?

Ok, my wife found something yesterday that I am not sure I understand what it is.  Maybe you all can help figure this thing out.  A picture is worth a thousand words, so before I get the first 500 words written, I will show you a picture:

OK, is it a worm, or a creature from outer space, or a mutation, or something genetically altered, or just a figment of my imagination.  Have you ever seen anything like this before?  How about another view:
Would it help if I told you where my wife found it?  OK, it was found inside a vegetable.  Does that help?  How about another picture:
You want more information?  OK, it was found inside a sweet green pepper that I had in my salad last evening.  Here is the final picture I took before it attacked me:
Yes, it was inside a green peeper. After I finished my salad I went and got my camera and took the above pictures so if we were to disappear, there would be some clue as to what happened (grin). After I took the pictures, to protect my wife and dogs, I did the bravest thing; I ate it!! Funny, it tasted just like a green sweet pepper. I wonder if genetically altering it had anything to do with the strange shape inside. I wonder what they used in the alteration, maybe snake or fish or worm or eel genetic material. Your guess is as good as mine.

OK, I got to go. I am starting to turn green and I have the urge to coil up. Oh my!! The buttons are ripping off my shirt. I’m tuning into the hulk!! . . . Ok, maybe I just ate too much salad. I am a little full.

You all have a great New Year’s Eve and be safe if you party. I will try to go to bed early, but usually the neighbors put off so many fire works that I can’t get to sleep. Happy New Year!!!

Friday, December 30, 2011

Wondering about the speed of light.

Since Einstein, everyone believed that nothing could go faster than light, except the money in my pocket. I am not going to bore you with the details, and I got lots to do today; rush jobs for two customers. I am simply going to tell you that a bunch of physicists in Europe fired neutrinos (I believe I talked about neutrinos before) from Geneva, Switzerland to Gran Sasso, Italy through mostly solid rock. They checked and rechecked but kept coming up with a speed that was faster than the speed of light! They got to their destination only 17-millionth of a second earlier than the speed of light, but as any policeman will tell you, “any thing over the speed limit is breaking the law. . .”

So, what does that mean to us? Well, we could be able to receive a message before it was sent. Yep, time travel. We are entering into an era of time when old sci-fi fiction is becoming a reality. Neutrinos seem to be able to pass through anything unscathed and without a noticeable drop in speed. But I wonder, maybe they act a little like sound. Sound travels faster through solids than it does through air. Of course, sound is wave and neutrinos are particles.

Oh well, now that I got my head to spinning, I better get to my work before I get too dizzy. You all have a great day today, and for some of you, the last day of work this year.

Thursday, December 29, 2011

Wondering more about “the” tree.

Back a couple of days ago on my blog Cutting Down a Tree, I was asked by jimkabob if it was an oak. I told him I thought it was because most of the leaves on the ground were oak leaves. Then I remembered my old blog posting about that tree; Wondering what is attacking my trees. In that blog, if you look at the last picture posted, you can zoom in and see the leaves. They are small leaves, completely different than oak leaves. And no, they are not live oak leaves, since the tree looses its leaves every year. Then I saw on the blog So Far From Heaven by Old Jules pictures of a tree that was cut down. It looked just like the one I had to cut down. He called it a Texas Ebony tree. Here is a link to his site (Important Updates From the Middle of Nowhere – Breaking News)

So, I would say that the tree that damaged my new motor-home was a Texas Ebony tree. The inside was really pretty. Too bad it was growing where it was and leaning over my driveway. To save that tree I would have had to cut down a dozen or more just to move my drive way, and that would not make sense.

I apologize to jimkabob for giving him the wrong answer. You all have a great day now, you hear?

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Wondering About Our Language Degeneration

“May all good men hear the sound of my voice and respond to my pleas!” This first sentence was soon replaced with “Hey You” or just “Help”. Now it is “Ho”. It seems to me that our wonderful language, that can paint beautiful pictures, has degenerated to the point that a whole paragraph can be said in a word or two. So some of you may say this is progress. Yes, I suppose it is, but it is not as beautiful. I believe that our smart phones, tablets, etc. have contributed to the abbreviated language by the way people text and send messages. I had the texting part of my cell phone turned off. I didn’t want to receive a text and sure didn’t want to send one. If they want to communicate with me on a phone, they should talk! Now, I love email but I don’t use any of those texting abbreviations. In fact, I don’t know what most of them mean. I write my emails like I talk (maybe not the best grammar in the world and without a spell checker, usually miss-spelled) with full sentences and paragraphs. To do otherwise would be to show disrespect to the person I am communicating with.

Maybe I am old fashioned. Maybe I am just stuck in a rut. Maybe I ought to listen to “hip-hop” or “rap”. Hell No, I am who I am and change is not easy for me. No, I don’t write in the fancy old prose, but I do enjoy hearing it and reading it.

Well, got a rush job finished for my old favorite customer yesterday and have to go see the new customer again this morning. Hope I can get his project finished up soon. Like I said before, if I had known it would have taken so long (been two months now), I would have not taken on the project. Still have some things I have to take care of on the new RV before I can hit the road.

You all have a great day now, you hear?

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Cutting Down a Tree

Remember my blog when I told you that a tree on the curve of my drive way reached out and squashed my power awning?  Well my son and I reached out and cut it down.  Actually, my son did 99 percent of the work.  I am going to give you a picture story of the process.  This first picture shows me leaning against the notorious tree and in the back ground you can see the dent in the awning:

My son collects chain saws and he brought three of them to the party:

That was quick.  One tree down.  “Timber!!!”

Now for the hard work; getting the big boy out to chop it up:

My son using the big Stihl:

Finishing the cut:

And here I am, standing where the tree used to be.

Last, a picture of the stump and the piece cut off it to make it as low to the ground as possible.  Aren’t the colors pretty?  It was extremely hard wood:

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

Monday, December 26, 2011

Wondering if new gadgets can be a step back.

If you read my daily blog, you know that both my wife and I got new Toshiba tablets, and it has been a learning experience, but we both really like them. I have discovered one thing about them that tries to push me back into the dark ages. It is the key board on them. I can type 50 to 60 words per minute, but I have to rest my two index fingers on the keys, my left hand finger on the “F” and my right hand finger on the “J”. That is the way I learned way back when I was in high school; way before computers were nothing but science fiction and the first ones were humongous and used punch cards. That does not work on the tablets since touching the screen is the way you communicate with them and the screen is very sensitive to a touch. So, I can’t rest my index fingers on the key board. I have switched to the Columbus method (find a key and land on it).

Do you know because of the over 50 years of typing my way, I don’t know where any of the keys are located. The way I type, it is just automatic. I seem to know where every key is located and never look at the keyboard. Now that I am trying to type two finger style, I have discovered that the location of the keys don’t make sense and I have a lot of trouble finding the ones I want to use. I guess I will just have to lean to type without resting my index fingers on the screen. But sometimes I am holding the tablet and want to type in something, and then I have to use one hand. I guess I will learn the location of them eventually with practice. Maybe I can become a one finger speed typist. Of course if I would use two fingers I could really fly, right? It is funny that after all these years of typing; I have to learn the keyboard all over again.

You all have a great day now, you hear?

Sunday, December 25, 2011

Merry Christmas to All

Hope you all had a wonderful Christmas morning. I decided to sleep in and when I finally got up, I laid down on the couch and used my tablet to read and post comments on blogs. I am beginning to really like that tablet. My wife was right when she insisted that I get one. It is so easy to use anywhere; anywhere that is where there is a Wi-Fi signal. Of course you can still use it without a signal; you just can’t get on the internet or send and receive e-mails. The only problem is that it will not take my air-card.

Everyone knows about the Christmas Star, but do you know that there was a star that made history this year? It was the first time ever anyone has ever detected a star being eaten by a black hole. The feast lasted quite awhile and this is the first time that it was caught in the act and probably the only time in one’s lifetime. It is quite rare to be able to detect the act. Everything has to be just right. The jets given off by the black hole while devouring the star had to be pointed at us or we would have never known. And, of course someone had to be watching and that person had to have the knowledge to know what he was seeing.

Yes Virginia, there are black holes and they can and do eat stars!! You all relax and have a wonderful Christmas day. Hope you all got what you asked for, I did. We got badly needed rain and we couldn’t have received a better gift. You all have a great day now, you hear?

Saturday, December 24, 2011

Remembering the last snow.

OK, it is Christmas Eve and according to all the cards and movies, there should be snow, but since I moved from the north east to the Gulf coast of Texas, I have seen very little snow.  In fact, I can only remember a couple of times in the last 20 years.  The latest one was just a slight dusting on December 11, 2008.  Here is a picture of that:

The one before that happened on Christmas morning back in 2004 when I had a travel trailer and we were set up at Galveston State Park.  We woke up Christmas morning to this:

I guess these pictures are my Christmas card to you all.  Have a blessed and joyful Christmas.

Friday, December 23, 2011

Wondering about old keys.

There is something mystifying and magical about old keys.  The locks they opened are long forgotten as were the things, places, or people that they the locks protected or kept secured.  Old keys fascinate me; I love to think or imagine what they were used for and what the people who used them were like.  We could make up stories about each old key, but I bet the real stories would be more fascinating or maybe the keys were just used for everyday mundane things, like the keys I use daily.  That is probably the case, but it is more interesting to believe that they were used in special romantic or adventurous ways.  Here is a picture of some of my old keys, what do you think they were used for?

There is something mystifying and magical about old keys.  The locks they opened are long forgotten as were the things, places, or people that they the locks protected or kept secured.  Old keys fascinate me; I love to think or imagine what they were used for and what the people who used them were like.  We could make up stories about each old key, but I bet the real stories would be more fascinating or maybe the keys were just used for everyday mundane things, like the keys I use daily.  That is probably the case, but it is more interesting to believe that they were used in special romantic or adventurous ways.  Here is a picture of some of my old keys, what do you think they were used for?

Thursday, December 22, 2011

Still fighting with the computers.

Still having some problems but I think I have most of them solved. The big thing now is email. I can not get my email nor can my wife get her email. There is no email program on either of the laptops now. I purchased Office Home and Student, but it does not have Outlook on it. I will have to go back today and see if I can get one with Outlook.

I am loving the tablets. I read all your blogs and some from links off your sites on my tablet this morning. It is easier for me to write my blog on my old computer with the full size keyboard or my new laptop, which also a full size keyboard. But here I sit in front of my old desk top and it is still making funny noises, but old habits are hard to break. I have not yet figured out how to post comments from the tablet. Since I had to use a G-mail account to work with the tablet, it doesn’t seem to recognize my Google blog account sign in. I will eventually get everything sorted out and up and running just the way we want them to. In the mean time, I will just skip from one to the other to the other to the other and do what ever I can. Got to run in town and get the program with Outlook on it.

But, before I go I want to let you all know that we got three lines of thunderstorms through here in the middle of the night and it rained quite hard during all three giving us some much needed water. So, you all have a great day now, you here.

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Wondering if it is because of my age?

What am I talking about? Everything!! My body is slowing down along with my mind. I get over whelmed trying to figure out all these new electronic gadgets we have been getting. Things seemed a lot simpler and I could understand and fix things that went wrong back in the good old DOS days. Heck, with DOS I knew what was going on inside my computer and could write little batch files to do things. Now, it seems to be a throw-a-way world where you toss out the old and install the new.

Sorry if I seem to be complaining today, it is just that getting new tablets, new operating systems on the old lap-top, the new lap-top, and trying to help a couple who just bought two computers and can’t get either of them to work is starting to over whelm me. I like to learn new things, but not a lot at a time. It takes awhile to sink in. I am getting there, since I seem to have a break in my “paying” job. This reminds me, I need to get my new lap-top loaded up with the software I use when working.

That “paying” job was not good for my health. It interfered with me getting out and walking. I need exercise to keep my blood pressure within reasonable limits. It doesn’t do me any good, health wise, to sit in front of a computer for hours and hours and hours at a time.

Then there is the motor-home that needs some attention before we can get out on the road for a trip. The fresh water tanks will need flushed out and sanitized, it will need loaded up with the necessary things, and a lot of small things that always need to be done. Speaking of getting something done, I need to start loading software on to my new lap-top so that I can start using it if I get more work. So, for now I will just say adios and you all have a great day, you hear?

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Wondering about computers and ferns that grow on trees.

I will try to get this posted before my computer crashes again. My wife and I went into town yesterday to one of my favorite stores, Office Depot. I was planning to purchase Windows 7 Pro to put on our old Del lap top which now has Vista and will not run some of my engineering software. Of course while we were in there my wife suggested that I get a tablet like hers, so I agreed. Then I happened to ask the very helpful salesman about a laptop that would run my programs. He said that he only had one that could handle solid modeling well, so of course I had to purchase it but I needed its Windows 7 to be upgraded to the professional version. He said that he could install it on both so I rushed home and returned with the other old laptop to get it updated. Now, I will have two laptops that can run my programs. That is better, since I will want to be traveling in my new toy as much as possible and if I have to do some work, why not have a good laptop that can handle it?

On another subject, did you ever see ferns growing out of trees? Back on the south west side of my property there is a huge tree that way up on the top of most of its big limbs there are small ferns growing. I noticed this many years ago and it didn’t seem to affect the tree any; that is, until this year of the drought. The tree died and some of that bark has fallen to the ground. I picked up a piece and took a picture of it while I was holding it. You can see the small ferns which used to have a birds’ eye view of everything. I don’t know if they and the tree had a symbiotic relationship or if the ferns where just parasites. Do any of you know? Here is the picture:

Sorry for not commenting on all your blogs, but until I solve this computer problem, (should be this afternoon when I get them back) I will not be able to stay on line for very long. I do read all your blogs from my new tablet, but have a lot to learn on using it. So far I like it, and it does a great job showing pictures from a thumb (flash) drive. Got it up and running last night. Now my wife and I both have tablets. It is about time that we move into the modern world.

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

Sunday, December 18, 2011

Wondering about useless emotions.

We all have enough emotions; love, hate, fear, sadness, amazement; just to name a few. So, why add to the list with ones that are useless? What do I call useless emotions? Most of the emotions that I consider useful are those that affect other people, things, or places and those that protect us. The ones that I consider useless are those that only affect yourself and do not protect you or make you happy and satisfied. The one that tops my useless list is embarrassment. I feel something like the comment The Flying Tortoise left on my blog yesterday when he said: “I felt stupid once DD but decided it was just silly... now I just feel happy...”. That is the reason I never feel embarrassed. I just use my sense of humor and laugh at myself along with everyone else.

Let us all just stay happy like Keith, and see the humor and beauty in all things. You all have a great day now, you hear?

Saturday, December 17, 2011

Answer from Blue Bell

Remember my blog about finding an unknown object in a bowl of ice cream that I was eating: Wondering about the prize in the container.  I had asked them to let me know what they found out and they did so.  I got a letter from them explaining what it was, and it turned out that it was not their fault at all; it was mine.
Let me explain.  I don’t use our better set of eating utensils (can’t call them silverware cause they are not silver) because I don’t want to bend a spoon, since they have thin handles where they attach to the spoon part.  I use a “cheap” set which seem to be stronger.  Well, a few of days before I found the foreign part in my ice cream, I remember bending one of the cheap spoons when I was getting myself a bowl of that dreamy stuff.  I didn’t see any pieces fall off, but then I wasn’t looking for any.  Just got mad at that spoon, threw it away, got another one, and had my evening treat.  It wasn’t the next bowl, but a couple of bowls later when I found the part.  That part came from that spoon that I bent a few treats ago.  Here is a picture of part of the letter that I got showing the part and the type spoon it came from.  I also laid one of my spoons on the letter so you can compare.  Sure enough, it all matches up.  They even sent the part back to me.

Now I feel a little stupid, but it isn’t the first time and it will not be the last.  I can be really stupid some times, but maybe not as many times as my wife says I am. . . you all have a great day and don’t do anything stupid, you hear?  Leave the stupid up to me, I am good at it.

Friday, December 16, 2011

I’m singing that dang computer trouble blues.

Yeah, my trusty old computer hasn’t healed its self yet, in fact it is getting worse. Video screen goes fuzzy in about three hours or so of use. Not good when I am trying to finish up this project. I did get the main part done and have two minor parts to do yet. They may seem minor compared to the first part of the project, but they still take some time. I will have to take some time to either get this computer fixed or buy a new one. I always have my computers custom built for me to do the type of work I do. I would not know what kind to buy off the shelf. I always have had two hard drives. I like to keep my programs separate from my files. May have to go “shopping” soon.

Another thing that gets me upset is back-up drives. Everyone that I have ever used, I have had to back up things manually. They always want to back up the C-drive and that is not necessary, since all my files are on the D-drive. Programs can be re-loaded but the files will be lost if drive-D bites the dust. If you are legal, you should have the original program discs to reload your programs. Even so, I always back up both hard drives, which reminds me; maybe I should do that now before this thing crashes again.

Got to get back to work now while the computer is up and running. You all have a great day now, you hear?

Thursday, December 15, 2011

Autumn Color On My Place

Before I get into this blog that TROUBLEnTX requested yesterday, I would like to ask Spud to read my reply to his comment and let me know if you agree or disagree. Thanks.

Now TROUBLE here are pictures of the fall color around my place. It is heavily overcast, so they will not be as bright as they could be if the sun were shining. But any picture is better than no picture. Now keep in mind that most of the color is from oak trees. That is the part that is unusual. The trash trees always turn pretty colors in the fall, but the oaks don’t usually and if they do, they don’t change all at once like this year. So, here are the pictures that I took this morning:

Hope you enjoyed the color, sorry it was such a dark day, but it in the 70’s and suppose to get up to near 80 today with a chance of rain.  Believe the rain part when I see it.  You all have a great day now, you hear?

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Wondering about this and that.

I have just been wondering about a lot of things; where should I start?  Remember my blog a couple days ago about “Wondering which one is the monster”?  Well that monster is now purring like a sweet little kitten. My wife just loves her new tablet, now that it is set up right. She says she has no reason to get on her laptop anymore and that the tablet is so much faster and easier. An added benefit is that it doesn’t bother her eyes like the laptop does. I am sure glad that she likes it and is finally happy with it.

I was also wondering about our sun’s cycle. Our sun usually goes through an eleven year cycle of maximum and minimum sun spots. The cycle we are in now is supposed to peak in 2013, but there is evidence that the cycle is weakening and the next few cycles may not have a maximum. This could seriously affect our climate and weather. I guess change is the only thing that can be considered a constant. This will also screw up world wide ham radio transmissions.

I was talking to a neighbor yesterday and I mentioned that in the over 30 years that I have lived in Texas, this is the most beautiful fall color that I have ever seen. Not one of those 30 years even came close. The oak trees are gorgeous. The long drought and then some late autumn rain must have had some kind of affect on them. I don’t know what the reason is, but who cares; I am enjoying the autumn colors. In another week or so the leaves should be falling. This morning didn’t feel like autumn, the low was only 64 degrees.

You all have a great day now, you hear?

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Wondering how many planets are out there. . .

It was not too long ago that astronomers discovered the first planet orbiting a star other than our own star, the Sun. Wow, the whole world was excited to hear the news and wondered what the planet was like and if it had life. Hate to tell you but those people should have known that the first planet to be discovered would have to a huge one and not capable of life as we know it. The first planets discovered were all very, very huge with close, fast orbits around their star. They were nick-named fast Jupiters. It wasn’t until a few years later that planets were discovered orbiting in their stars “habitable zone”; that is the area where liquid water can exist on a planet.

Just lately it was announced that astronomers have just discovered 50 new planets around stars and that 16 of these are super-Earths (planets like ours only larger) and that one is in its star’s habitable zone. We have come a long way in our ability to find smaller and smaller planets way out there. From that humble start back a few years ago with the discovery of the first exoplanet (one from a solar system other than ours) up until now a lot of planets have been found. In fact, astronomers now know of 700 such exoplanets.

You all have a great day orbiting around our own star, you hear?

Monday, December 12, 2011

Wondering when I will ever get done.

I am still working on that “rush” job. I started this small job way back on November 5th and it turned out not to be such a small job. I have worked every day except the day I purchased the Class-A and last Friday, when I took it in to get the oil and filters changed in the main engine and the generator. That, of course took longer than expected. At 09:00 I got started getting ready to take the RV down to Camperland, located just south of Conroe. Got it running and disconnected and made it down there by 10:00. They said it would take two hours, but by noon they had not finished and the guy that was doing the work went on lunch break for an hour. Finally got it done and headed back to the house. It was easy getting it out. Just make sure everything was unhooked, open the gate, and go. Getting back in was a different story.

I had to move the Class-C motor-home, which meant disconnecting it and moving it way up the driveway almost to the gate. (I have an elongated loop section of drive way near my house.) Then I had to move the Jeep, since it was sitting in my front yard where I have to pull up in to make my three or four back-ups to get the new one wrapped around and back in its parking spot. Had my wife come out with the walkie-talkies and help me get past that leaning tree. That took a few back-ups and pull forwards to clear it. BTW, a tree guy is supposed to call me about taking down that three. My wife says she does not want me to do it. Don’t know why, I have cut down lots of trees. I used to pound a stick in the ground and try to drop the tree I was cutting onto the stick. Hit it almost all of the time, even if the tree was leaning another direction. Now she says I am too old. I just want you to know I am not too old, but I am getting lazy so will have the guy give me a quote. If it is close to the price of new chain saw, I will go with him; a lot easier, right?

I guess I took a long way around just to say I got to get to work. I want to finish this project up this week. (Yeah, famous last words) You all have a great new week now, you hear?

Sunday, December 11, 2011

Wondering which on is the “Monster”.

The day before we got the chance to purchase the Class-A we wanted, my wife bought a Toshiba Tablet, the big one that had an USB port, a removable battery, a big screen, and lots of extras. Then the next day we went down to South Houston and spent the whole day purchasing the RV and getting some minor things fixed before we took it home. Because of all that was going on, her new tablet never got set up correctly from the beginning and after everything settled down, she finally tried to get it set up properly. She could use the internet; of course the first site she looked at was QVC. Played a few games, etc. It worked fine on most sites but she couldn’t use it for email or download more apps, nor could she get it registered.

She had tried everything and nothing would work, it wouldn’t even take the serial number which is required to register it. She worked with it hour after hour, day after day, and got so frustrated she was ready to pull her hair out. But worse, it was turning her into a monster, and I don’t mean the Cookie Monster. She was getting so frustrated that it upset both our lives. She even said that the dang thing was turning her into a monster. I told her that I would take her back to where we purchased it and get help, but she would have to wait until I could find the time to do it. You know I was going to find the time, just to get rid of “The Monster” and I am not talking about the tablet.

One of my favorite stores is Office Depot and that is where we purchased the tablet. We went back there yesterday and they were so very helpful and got the thing straightened out. It took them quite a long time to do so, because the two techs that were helping her had trouble figuring out why it wouldn’t work right. This story has a happy ending. They got the problem figured out, the “Monster” shrunk down to her old self and size, the tablet works great according to the ex-monster, and they wouldn’t even accept a tip even though it took up a lot of their time. No charge and it works like a new one – wait, it IS a new one. Office Depot is still my favorite store.

You all have a good day and shrink all your monsters, you hear?

Saturday, December 10, 2011

Wondering about speed.

Did you ever stop to think just how fast things move? I actually move pretty slowly, but there are slower things, like snails and the rate that a tree grows and the movement of tectonic plates, unless they build up pressure and move all at once – Earth Quake! But most things are faster than I am, except back when I had my 1957 Chevy Convertible with the souped up engine that would turn over 8000 rpm’s. Then I was fast!!! But there are a lot of things a lot faster than that. Really? Yeah, really!

The planet we live on is no slow poke. It moves along its orbit at about 18.5 miles per second; that is 66,600 miles per hour. If it speeded up it would move further away from the sun and if it slowed down, it would move closer to the sun. So far, there has been nothing to make it speed up that I know of but there have been some small things that may have slowed it up a tad. Anything traveling in our own orbit can neither catch us nor can we catch them. Therefore, any other object in out orbit would pose no threat of collision with us, unlike cars going down the road in the same lane.

Now we got that settled, but how do we get hit with stuff. Everything that hits us is moving in another direction from somewhere else in the universe or is in some kind of elongated elliptical orbit, like comets from the Oort Cloud. Also, something can be in the same orbit but may be going in the opposite direction and then can hit us head on at twice our speed. (Like some meteor showers do)

Everything, and I mean EVERYTHING, is moving, from large bodies down to atoms and particles. So, what is the maximum speed limit? It has always been thought to be the speed of light, and so far it has not been proven wrong that I know of. Some things, like very distant galaxies appear to be moving away from us at more than the speed of light. How could this be? Well, one explanation is that they are moving really fast, but of course they are not but if they were it would be no where near the speed of light. The actual space between them and us is expanding at a terrific speed. I don’t think it is expanding more than the speed of light, but if you were standing half way between the distant galaxies and the earth, both would be moving away under the speed of light, but standing on earth the apparent speed is doubled. Am I making myself clear? No? Ok, sorry.

You all have a nice SLOW day now, you hear?

Friday, December 9, 2011

Wondering about fall color this year.

It seems to me that the oak trees are showing a lot more color this fall than I have remembered them doing.  Do you suppose it has something to do with the drought and the rains we had in the last half of November?  In years past, it seemed to me that each oak tree changed color on their own schedule and not all at the same time.  Not that way this year.  Although they don’t get brightly colored, there is color tones to the brown they are turning; mostly a red tone to the brown.  Let’s see, that would be a rust color, right?  Here are a few pictures I took around the house:

Got to go get the newest addition motor-home ready to take down and get the oil and filters changed in the engine and the generator. Since I don’t know how many miles have been on the engine or hours on the generator since the last oil change, want its life with me to start off with fresh oil and filters. I know nothing at all about diesels, and I thought the gal told me on the phone when I made the appointment that it would take 12 gallons of oil. Wow, now that is a lot unless she meant to say quarts. I guess with that big of an oil reservoir, you could go quite a few miles before changing it. I didn’t get any information on the engine, but I did get info on the generator. Going to use Rotella oil. Everyone says that is one of the best. Anyone out there now what is recommended for a Cat engine? Too late to change oil types now, appointment is in two hours. That reminds me, I got to get going and get things ready.

BTW, I had to go to Houston yesterday to meet with my customer and agree on what was needed to finish up this job. We both seem to be satisfied with the answer. Have a great Friday, you hear?

Thursday, December 8, 2011

Wondering about a cat story

I was reading Billy Bob’s blog and he was talking about a mean blue-eyed cat. He got some comments that told of injuries caused by cats. This caused me to remember what happened to a co-worker’s wife one day years ago. I have never forgotten what he said happened and I can picture it in my mind. Ok, enough prelude, here is the story, short and sweet.

My friend and his wife loved cats and was owned by several. One warm, sunny day his wife had been out in the back yard getting some sun. She was dressed in nothing but a skimpy bikini. She had just returned to the house when the front door bell rang. She headed to the door with her trusty cat beside her. When she opened the door, there stood a woman with a big dog on a leash by her side. My friend’s cat hissed and climbed up his wife’s mostly naked body and perched on her shoulder. The cat really tore her up trying to get to a safe place away from the dog. I imagine she still has scares. It just gives me shivers to think of that story. If you have ever had a cat sink its claws into you deep enough to support its weight, you know what I am talking about.

I am not even going to mention how cold it got last night. I will just say it was a hard freeze and stayed in the mid 20’s for many hours and is more like New England than the Gulf Coast of Texas. You all have great day now and keep warm, you hear?

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Wondering when this job will ever end.

I have been working on this “rush” job for the last 34 days in a row. Long hours and things I want and need to do waiting for me. This customer wants to have three of these units in the field by the end of this year. The design of the basic unit is done, but not all the fabrication drawings are complete yet. There are still a lot of things that go on this unit that I don’t even have started yet and there is only three more weeks in this year. Most fabrication shops in this area have a back-log and I don’t see how this all is going to have a happy ending for my customer and I am getting burnt out. Dang, I really wanted to get down to Rockport to see Barney and Billy Bob before they left, but it isn’t looking too good at this moment. Maybe it is because I woke up knowing I have too much to do and not enough time to do it in.

Don’t get me wrong. I appreciate the work and I do like to work, but I don’t like to rush I don’t like to work on the same thing every day for over a month. But, I did say I would try to help this customer out, and my word is good. I just didn’t realize what all it was going to involve. OK, got to get back to the old grinding wheel. By the way, it is really cold here this morning – like 28 degrees!! You all have a great day now, you hear?

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Wondering about curb feelers.

How many of you are old enough to remember “curb feelers”? I sure am, even had them on my first car, a 1955 DeSoto. They sure did remind you when you got near the curb. I don’t remember if they came on new cars or if you had to add them after you had the vehicle. Dang, just thinking about that old car brings back a lot of memories as does thinking about the second vehicle I had, a ’57 Chevy convertible.

OK, back on the subject, curb feelers. I woke up this morning thinking about a way to install something like curb feelers on that motor- home I just bought. You know, a few sticking out in vulnerable places, like the bottom left and right rear, the mid height left and right rear, the top left and right rear, the mid section left and right and top and bottom, the front left and right and top and bottom, and a few scattered over the air conditioners and the front and rear of the roof. Phew!!! Glad I got through all that, did you? If I did attach “curb feelers” in all the vulnerable and hard to see places, it would look like a porcupine for sure, but I bet I wouldn’t squash into another tree.

OK, I got to get back on that paying (hopefully paying) job so I can start learning the important things I need to know to drive that new house around a bit. Called last week to make an appointment at the local RV place to get the oil and filters changed. I guess they don’t get diesels in much cause they said they had a guy that comes in an does it and they have called a couple of times wanting model numbers and other information so they can order the filters, oil, etc. They have not as yet called and given me a date that they can do it. Guess I should have planned to take it on down toward Houston to a dealer that handles Newmars like mine.

Hey, you all have a great day now, you hear?

Monday, December 5, 2011

Wondering where the drought went.

I can honestly say that it doesn’t look like drought conditions this morning. Yesterday morning, the front blew in and with it came cool air and drizzle. The rain was so light that if you ran fast enough you could get from the car to the porch without getting wet. I admit, a few times it rained a little harder than that. Then a little before 05:00 this morning, a good strong rain hit accompanied by thunder and lightning. Well, to be exact, it would have to have been lightning and thunder. You can’t have thunder unless you have lightning first. So why do most people say “thunder and lightning”? Now say it real fast and see which way you normally say it. Let us know, I am curious. Maybe I am the only one that says it backwards.

You do know that it takes sound almost 5 seconds to travel a mile. At sea level it takes about 4.6875 seconds to travel a mile. So, if you see a flash, you can count the seconds and know how far away the lightning is and therefore, the major part of the storm. I do the “one thousand one, one thousand two, one thousand three, one thousand four, and put one finger up, then say it over again and put the second finger up, and so on and so forth. The time it takes to extend a finger makes up the extra 0.6975 seconds (grin). At my age I need the fingers to keep track of the miles. Works for me, so you try it when you have the next thunder storm; or is it a lightning storm?

You all have a great Monday, you hear?

Sunday, December 4, 2011

Wondering what the video problem is?

My computer is acting up. Not a good time for it to do so, since I am still working on this “rush” job. I do need to get it finished up this week. Let me tell you all what is happening and you tell me what to do to fix it, other than purchasing another computer. I think it is the video card and that can be replaced fairly easily. Or do different computers and operating systems take different cards. I use computers, I don’t work on them.

The video starts out just fine when I turn on the computer. In fact, it stays OK almost all day, and then it starts to get blurry. It gets so bad I can’t see where to close or save the programs I have opened. That caused me some lost time when I couldn’t save the drawing that was up. I had left the room to watch a TV show and came back in and the video screen was a jumble of colors. Sort of like if you took a fine tooth comb and scraped it across a wet painting.

Let me know what you think and what you would do to quickly solve the problem. Got to get working while I can see the screen. May take a quick trip to the flea market, even though it is threatening rain. I think I will shut the computer system down for a rest if I do leave for awhile. You all have a great day now, you hear?

Saturday, December 3, 2011

Wondering when the leaves will change.

Actually, it is too early for the leaves to change color here. Some of the Chinese Tallow are turning their pretty red, yellow, and orange. That is the only thing that they are good for, autumn color. The hardwoods turn color and drop their leaves beginning after the second week in December. Most all of the leaves will be down by the end of the year, except for the Live Oak and the trees that died during the drought. I don’t think there will be much color this fall except for the trash trees. Actually, there never really is, especially if you are used to the beautiful color in the autumn in Pennsylvania. The peak of the color there is usually the second or third week of October.

Woke up this morning to balmy, humid weather. This morning low temperature was in the mid 60’s. Since I didn’t watch any news yesterday, I don’t know what the high is supposed to be. My wife tells me that California had 130 mph winds and they will even affect the middle part of the United States. Santa Anna winds, I believe they are called.

Quick now, how high do you have to count to find a number that when spelled out has an “a” in it? It only took me a second or two to answer that, how long did it take you? Hope there is none of you out there still counting; 1, 2. 3. 4. . . . You all have a great day now, you hear?

Friday, December 2, 2011

Wondering, where can I park my Jeep?

I only have 12 acres here, but I would think that would be enough room to park my Jeep.  Well, since it IS a Jeep, it can be parked anywhere, although my wife said I was leaving ruts in the yard and what is left of the grass.  Now don’t get me wrong, I am really not complaining, just trying to think up subject for today’s blog (grin).  My Class-C motor home is now taking up the spot where my Jeep usually parks:
I needed to park both units in that area in order to be able to reach the power pole and get them plugged in to shore power. I will gladly live with this little inconvenience just to have that blue and grey monster parked at my place (grin).

I promised to show you a better picture of the awning damage, so here it is:

And while I am at it, here is a picture of the driver’s side of the unit:
OK, I promise, no more pictures of my new toy.  Now I got to get back to work.  You all have a great day now, you hear?  It is Friday, you know.

Thursday, December 1, 2011

I Got It!!

What did I get? Let me tell you, it was a rough road. Every time I tried to buy this RV that I wanted, someone beat me to it and it was then listed as “sale pending”. That happen a few times and then one day I saw it back listed “for sale”. I called the salesman and he said he was sorry, that there was someone right at that moment trying to make a deal. Well, he called back the next day and said the guy couldn’t get financing and/or couldn’t reach a trade in agreement. So I jumped on it. Now I am a proud owner of my first class-A motor-home! It was a hassle getting it ready to go and we didn’t get out of the sales lot, which is located on the far south side of Houston, until 17:00, putting us smack dab in the middle of rush hour and I had to drive it the whole way through Houston and then on home. For the first time I ever drove a class-A, I had to learn real quick in traffic like that.

It was way after dark when we got near home and of course the fuel tank looked like it was almost empty, so I stopped and filled the tank. It is suppose to hold a hundred gallons, but only took 75. Still, at the cost of diesel, that put a dent in my wallet for sure. I never wanted a diesel, but after finding this unit that had every single thing on or in it that we had on our “wish list”, plus a lot more, I bit the bullet and got the diesel. They do seem to be built better.

Here are a couple of pictures of the inside that were taken by the RV sales place:
Of course, being dark and all, I managed to squash the big expensive automatic power awning on a tree trying to make the last curve in my drive way. Remember that tree that had the woodpecker holes in it? That’s the one, it leans out over the drive way and since it was dark, I couldn’t see in my mirror. Dang it anyway!!  As soon as I find someone with a chainsaw, that tree will be gone.

Here is a picture of where I let it sit for the first night. I didn’t want to try to maneuver it around in the dark and I was exhausted from the long day.
And close up of the awning damage (I will get better pictures today when the sun gets above the trees.
And one more I took while standing on the porch.
Yesterday, we moved it into its berth or home parking place and got it plugged in to the electric. Then I parked the Class-C next to it, between it and the house, and was able to plug it into the electric, also. All worked out, so far.

Now, I got to get busy on a paying job that needs completed by next week. So you all have a great day, you hear?

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

An answer to one of my wonderings.

A few days ago I posted a blog about the holes in one of my trees. http://dizzydick.blogspot.com/2011/11/wondering-what-is-attacking-my-trees.html

Almost everyone said it looked like woodpeckers and Ben sent me an email with the information to contact my County Extension Agent. I sent to her the pictures via email and she wrote back and said that she forwarded my question on to the cause of the holes to the Horticulture Agent. Does anyone want to change their vote before I give you the answer?

Well, most of you were correct and I was wrong. Here is the answer I got back from the Agent: “This is a common problem here in Montgomery County. A type of wood pecker called a sapsucker is causing this damage. It does not usually cause the tree any problem.” So, there you have it; the expert has spoken.

I should have cut that tree down. It has since caused a big problem for me. I will explain in a later blog post, maybe, if I don’t forget. . .

I had a very, very busy day yesterday and didn’t get a chance to reply to all your comments until this morning. Sorry for that.

You all have a great day now, you hear?

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Wondering about the prize in the container.

Ok, we all remember as kids buying a box of Cracker-Jacks and having that wonderful anticipation of finding the prize. You know, all the boxes came with a prize. Some were better than others and if my memory is serving me correctly, it seems that way, way back when I was small, the prizes were a lot better. Now, I wonder if they just got cheaper over the years or if they seemed so much better to me when I was younger. Which do you think it was?

I believe that I have mentioned in past blogs that I have one weakness, or I suppose you could call it a vice. (OK, maybe I have more than one but I can’t think of any others right now.) My weakness is for Blue Bell Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough Ice Cream:

Oh my, just looking at the carton makes my mouth water.  (Slurp, slurp.)  So, you ask, what does my favorite ice cream have to do with Cracker-Jacks?  Well, I am getting around to telling what they have in common.  I done did find a prize in the ice cream.  I was sitting on the couch watching TV last night and eating what was left of the ice cream.  Why is it that the very last bite in the container always tastes the best?  Anyway, I bit down on something hard.  I just figured that it was a piece of ice, so bit a little harder and OUCH, it was not ice.  Got it dug out of my mouth and cleaned it up and found it was a bright shiny piece of metal, probably 304 stainless steel, since that is what the food industry uses.  Don’t believe me, well I took pictures.  Take a look at these:

I called the Blue Bell Corporate Office and talked to a nice lady. I first told her that I believed that I have single handedly kept them in business for the last few years, and that I loved their ice cream. Then I told her that I found a little prize in the last half gallon and went on to explain what it was and that I could send them pictures; I figured they would want to know. She said that they did want to know and will send me an envelope to put it in and return it to them so that they could figure out where it came from or what it came off of.

Now that I finished that half gallon, I guess I will have to go get another. Think I may be more careful before I swallow from now on. It didn’t upset me. I know things break and their ice cream is of the highest quality. Can’t wait to dig into another container, but really don’t want to find any prizes.

You all have a great day now, you hear?

Monday, November 28, 2011

Wondering about a wild flower and swamp update

I walked around the place and found an unusual small blue fuzzy flower.  I thought that it was pretty and thought maybe you would like to see it, too.

I also checked the status of the swamp since we had a couple of rains this month.  As you can see, there is just enough water in the two deepest places to just cover where the huge drought cracks were located:

We saw Conroe Penny set up at the flea market. Hope she survived the cold and the wind and sold a bunch of stuff. I took a picture of her, but I will send it to her and she can post it if she wants to.

It is down right cold here this morning. It is now at 30 degrees on the nose. First freezing weather this season, and the last for awhile or until the next arctic front comes through. Up north in the Dallas-Ft. Worth area, there is nothing between the North Pole and there except a few strands of barbed wire. I know, because I used to live up north of Ft. Worth.

You all have a great day now, you hear?

Sunday, November 27, 2011

Wondering about nothing in particular

Yesterday started out in the 70’s and ended up in the low 50’s. And it rained most of the day. I will not complain about the rain, can use all we can get. This morning it was 45 degrees. With the wind blowing, that is cold, but the sky is nothing but blue. It is going to be a nice, but cool, day.

I see that Lake Conroe Penny is going to set up at the same flea market that my wife and I go to every weekend that we are home. Will have to stop by her table and say “Howdy”. She picked a cool and windy day to set up there for the first time. I hope she has a warm jacket and I hope she sell everything she has.

Not much new going on this weekend. Still working on that same project. I am now seeing the light at the end of the tunnel. Of course, that is if my customer doesn’t find something else he wants in a hurry. Not going to complain too much, it is good to keep my hand in the work so that I don’t get rusty and I can always use a little extra money.

You all have a good day now, you hear?