Wondering about wild grapes

Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Happy New Year and Trying to Fly.

Sure hope 2014 turns out to be a wonderful year for all of you out there in Blogger Land.  A new year is supposed to bring new hope for the future.  Let us hope this coming year will do just that.  But, I always remember what my ole Dad always told me when I was feeling depressed.  He would say, "Son, nothing is ever so bad. . . that it can't get worse!!".  I will always remember that, then when things get better, I am pleasantly surprised (grin).

Last Friday I went out to load the two full garbage cans into the back of the Jeep to take them down to the road for pick-up and I had a little unexpected flight.  When will I ever learn that man was never made to fly on his own (well, maybe Superman could)?  You see, I was carrying two full plastic garbage cans, one in each hand, and when I took the first step to go down the porch stairs, something happened and I found myself and the cans flying through the air heading for the ground below.  Here is a couple of pictures of the porch stairs:

And of course, this picture is looking down them.  I fell right down the middle of them:

Thank goodness I was carrying those cans because I landed on them and they broke my fall.  Even though the whole experience was traumatic to my old body, it sure could have been a lot worse.

After what seemed to me to be forever, I finally seemed to have shaken my cold and cough.  Oops, I just coughed.  Oh well,  I guess I have almost shaken off my cough.  Now, you all have a great day today, you hear?

Saturday, December 28, 2013

Wondering about taking some time off.

Don't have anything to say today.  I think I will take today off and tomorrow and maybe even the next day.  So don't worry if you don't see my post for a couple of days.  Now, you all have a couple of great days, you hear?

Friday, December 27, 2013

Wondering about State Parks.

I live in Texas.  Texas has about a hundred state parks.  Some full service and some not.  I have been to a few and would like to visit others.  If I am going to stay somewhere for a few days, I would much prefer a state park to an RV resort.  Don't get me wrong, I like RV parks and have stayed at a lot of them.  Some for just overnight stops and some I have stayed awhile because they were close to where I wanted to visit.  It seems to me that the state parks have a lot more space between camp sites than RV parks do.  RV parks are there only to make money whereas state parks are there for the use of the citizens.  And yes, there is an entrance fee and or a site fee.  I buy a Texas State Park Pass every year which does away with the entry fee.

Texas is divided into four unique areas.  They are the Gulf Coastal Plains, the Interior Lowlands, the Great Plains, and the Basin and Mountain Range areas.  There is a lot of nothing in parts of Texas.  You can drive for hours and not see any signs of civilizations.  I live in the Coastal Plains area but drive through the great plains area to get to the Davis Mountains, which I do like.  I do need to get back out there soon.  There are more trails to explore.  My short stay there last March was not enough time to walk all the trails.  The wild life is also impressive.  OK, I guess you can tell I have cabin fever and still trying to get rid of this dang cough.  Now, you all have a great day, you hear?

Thursday, December 26, 2013

The Day After Christmas.

OK, it is now the day after Christmas.  It is a let-down day for a lot of people who make a big fuss about the commercial side of the Holiday.  So, like I have wondered in the past, I wonder what all happened in history on this date.  As I discovered, a lot more than I would have thought.  How about I start with some of the newest and work back in time.

2002 - The first cloned human baby was born.

1998 - Iraq announced that it would fire on U.S. and British warplanes that patrol the skies over Iraq. (Go ahead, make my day!)

1996 - Six-year-old beauty queen JonBenet Ramsey was found murdered.

1986 - "Search for Tomorrow" (a show that I and my Mom watched) was seen for the last time on CBS-TV after a run of 35 years.

1982 - The Man of the Year in "TIME" magazine was a computer.

1974 - Comedian Jack Benny died at age 80.

1954 - "The Shadow" aired on radio for the last time.  (Another show I listened too)

1917 - During World War I, the U.S. government took over operation of the nation's railroads.  (This scares me, if it was done in the past and they got away with it, where could it have gone from there.)

1898 - Marie and Pierre Curie discovered radium.

1865 - The coffee percolator was patented by James H. Mason.

1620 - The Pilgrim Fathers landed at New Plymouth, MA, to found Plymouth Colony, with John Carver as Governor.

This list of things done on this day over the years is my Christmas gift to you.  Hope you all had a great and merry Christmas.  Now, you all have a great day today, you hear?

Wednesday, December 25, 2013

Merry Christmas.

Hope you all had a great Christmas morning and the rest of the day will just keep on getting better.  We had a great time this morning.  My wife bought a bunch of toys for our three pups and put them in paper bags with their names on them.  Of course our oldest (the one who is so intelligent it is scary) had hers opened first and then moved on and helped the other two open theirs.  They had such an exciting morning that they are all now just laying around sleeping.  Me?  I got my present yesterday when I got the new battery for my laptop, and by the way, it is working just fine.  My wife?  Well, she has me and the dogs to love her, what else could she possibly want??

OK, I am going to get one more present.  My wife has some Louisiana white boudin sausage on cooking and I will feast on it with a couple of fried eggs on the side.  Now that is a feast for anytime.  Just love that stuff!!!  Now, have a great Christmas day and share the love, you hear? 

Tuesday, December 24, 2013

I want to get something and get rid of something.

Just wanted you all to know that I am alive, but not kicking very high.  I seem to cough most all the time.  That makes it hard to get a good night's sleep.  I will try to get a battery for my laptop today, typing with one finger on this tablet doesn't get it for me.  I want a full size keyboard.  So, I will venture out this Christmas eve and see what I can find.  Got to go out,anyway to get a refill of my thyroid medication.  A new computer battery, if I can find one, will be my Christmas present to myself.

Don't get me wrong, I love my tablet and it is great for searching the internet and reading blogs, but not so great for typing more than a few words.  A tablet has its place and is easy to carry around, but as far as I am cocerned, will never replace the computer.

Miss Belinda had the flu and says she is feeling some better.  That gives me hope for a recovery, soon.  Now you all have a wonderful and blesses Christmas Eve and Christmas Day, yo hear?

Tuesday, December 17, 2013

Wondering why my computer died

Went to turn my computer on this morning and nothing, nadda, not even a blink.  So, I plugged it into the commercial power, and again, nothing.  I believe this time my battery bit the dust.  OK, I remember last time I thought that I needed a battery and went to the battery selling place only to find out that I hadn't put the battery in correctly.  So, remembering that, I removed the battery and replaced it.  Even after multiple tries, it still is deader than a door nail.  OK, how dead is a door nail?  A good subject for a future blog.

There is a strange illness affecting our county.  Of all the cofirmed cases in the local hospital, only two have survived. I wonder if my lap-top caught that flu?  I wonder if that is what my wife and 
I have?  I am feeling a lot better today.  It just takes time.  Hope all of you are feelin fine and, please, you all have a great day, you hear?

Monday, December 16, 2013

Wondering about a Prize Fighter.

Back when I was growing up, if we walked into door, we would say that it felt like Rocky Marciano had punched us.  As far as I know, he never lost a fight.  He retired from boxing at the age of 33, undefeated!!  He wasn't a huge man.  He stood 5'11" tall and weighed in at 185 pounds.  He fought in 49 professional bouts and won 43 three of them by knockout and only six by points.  I would think twice about getting in the ring with him, for sure, although I would think twice about getting in the ring with anyone!!

I couldn't come up with any real good pictures, but this looks like one when he was getting started:

 And maybe this one after he had been around for awhile.  Why do I say that?  His nose on this second picture looks like it has been hit a lot more times than the nose on the picture above.

To us boys growing up about that time, he as truly an idol.  Every boy wanted to be able to fight like Rocky.  This picture shows the flattened nose a little better:

And an action picture is needed to finish off the blog:

Rocky was a man's man, not just a boy's idol.  By the way, his real name was Rocco Francis Marciano.  His last name was altered some to make it easier to pronounce.  I am having a fight with a bout of flu and I feel like I tried to go a round with Rocky. . . Anyway, you all have a great day, you hear?

Sunday, December 15, 2013

Wondering where I'm going to put it all?

As I have told you before, we try to go to the flea market on the weekends.  Usually if we bring home anything it fits in my wife's "shopping" bag or a small plastic bag.  Not so today.  Let me start from the beginning.  We did our usual walk through and the wife bought a few dollar items.  She said that she wanted to go inside.  (They have a huge inside flea market mall sort of thing with lots of booths.)  One of her friends has a booth right inside the door.  I said OK, but I would sit in the car and wait.  I put the seat back and turned on the radio and shut my eyes.  It seemed like only minutes when the passenger side door opened and it was her returning.  Wow, I thought, that didn't take long.  Well think again, you wise old sage.  (I am old and probably smell like sage - wise?  Not so much.)  She said to drive around to the end of the building facing the road.  I inquired for what reason and she said that she bought a couple of things and I could load them in the back of my Jeep.  Now, we have an old 2004 Jeep Liberty and there ain't much room behind the rear seat.  So after I drove over there, I laid the rear of the back seat down so that there would be more room.

I got a few of the things into my Jeep, but we gave up and she called our son.  He has a big full size truck, a Ford F350 with a double cab.  He showed up and we got everything home.  Then the fun began.  Where was she going to put them.  I brought some in the side door and some in the front door and some in the back door.  I used my two wheel dolly where I could, but some of that stuff was really heavy.  I am now three inches shorter than I was before I lugged that stuff into the house.  Yea, I know, you want pictures.

A book case on the right, a table/cabinet in front, and a high back bench behind on the left.

 Did you see the gargoyle in the above picture?  Yep, the one that was in the tree that my son cut down.  I guess it figured since we took his home tree away from him, he would squat in some of our new stuff.

 Here is a closer picture:

 And a different view from a different angle:

 This is the bench.  Let me tell you, it is HEAVY!!  And it is built very strong.  It had to be to with stand the juggling and zig-zag walking it in the house on two of its legs on one end.  There are places I couldn't use the two wheeled cart.

That is all the pictures.  Everything is in the house and placed where the wife wants them.  I hope she doesn't change her mind.  I had no idea of where they would fit, but guess what, she got them in and they fit and all is well.  Beautiful day today.  Now you all have a great day today, you hear?

Saturday, December 14, 2013

Wondering about a Missing Tree.

The day before yesterday, I posted a blog about a dangerous tree that had ants in it and the ants attacked my wife.  Well, we are both proud to announce that that tree is no longer growing there.  Go back to it if your memory needs refreshed or if you missed it:
Wondering about a Dangerous Tree.
My son came up yesterday with a couple of his chain saws (he collects Stihl chain saws) and before I could it out to see what was going on, he had it down.  This is all that is left of it:

He cut it down and then, using the long bar saw, cut it off as flush to the ground as possible.  The picture below shows the final slice:

He then drug it out to our front lot.  He says out there he will have more room to cut it up and load it in his truck.  It is a Live Oak, of course now it is a dead or dying live oak.

This tree has had a hard life.  It must have been hit with lightning at one time, and then the hurricane probably did a pruning job on it.  It looks like part of the main section was damaged some time ago.

Now, when returning from a trip, I will not have to back up to complete the turn into the rest of my driveway.  I will be able to pull right through and then back up into my parking spot, where you see it sitting at this time.

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

Friday, December 13, 2013

Wondering about Wise Old Owls.

Actually, I am not talking about real live owls, I am talking about some really old owls that as long as I can remember, where used for Christmas trimmings.  The first time I saw them was on my Grandpararnts' Christmas tree.  It was us grandkids' job every year to find the owls in Grandma's tree.  Then, some how, my Mom inherited them.  My mother was the real Mother Christmas.  She went all out every year with all kinds of decorations not stopping at just a tree.  Always had wreathes, manger scenes, two electric train set-ups, at least two trees, beautiful wrapped presents, etc.  Anything pertaining to Christmas, and my Mom was into it.  So, of course, she started hiding them in our tree.

Now, since my wife and I are their guardians for awhile, they show up in many places at different times of year.  Since we haven't had a Christmas tree in many years, my wife hid them in her two grape vine trees that she had made.  I haven't seen the owls in quite awhile until yesterday, I saw them hiding out by the kitchen sink on a set of corner shelves we got at the flea market last week.  I guess I better show you a picture of one of the owls so you have some idea what they look like:

 And yes, his twin was on the shelf below.  Now I am satisfied that they have found a great nesting place where they can see outside, watch us and the dogs, and we can keep a loving eye on them:

I suppose all families have a favorite trimming or trinket or something that has been passed down through generation after generation.  Decorations and such usually come from our mothers and grandmothers and firearms seem to come from our fathers and grandfathers.  I know that my Dad's fishing and hunting stuff mean so much to me.  I am a very sentimental person and things that have great memories are important to me.  Do you have anything like my owls that have been passed down to you along with memories?  If not, feel free to share in some of mine, I have many, many more that I can share.  Now, you all have a great day today, you hear?

Thursday, December 12, 2013

Wondering about a Dangerous Tree.

My wife was attacked by a mean ole tree.  Well, actually she was attacked by what lived in that tree and it took her awhile to get over all the bites.  But, I am getting ahead of myself.  She went out to get pictures of the fall leaves.  Yes, our fall color is at its peak the second or third week of December and sometimes later.  The oaks will not turn color for awhile yet and the live oaks never do.  Here is here first picture.  The tree with the yellow leaves is sweet gum.

She found this tree that has seen its better days.  I think it was struck by lightning but just didn't give up.  You can see the new small limbs coming off it.

 Not only does it look bad, it is located in such a place on the curve of my driveway that it makes bringing the motorhome in to its parking place a chore.  If I judge everything just perfect, I can get in on one pass.  This is the exception other than the rule.  I usually have to back up and then  I can get by it on the second try.

This tree also contains ants, and the ants are what attacked my wife.  All she was trying to do was get a picture of the gargoyle that calls that tree home.  So, when she got close enough to get a good picture of the gargoyle, the ants that were protecting him made a mass charge toward my wife.

She ran into the house shedding clothes along the way.  All those ant bites bothered her for a couple of days.  They seem to all charge at once but not a single ant will bite until the lead sees that enough of them are on the victim and then the leader yells, "BITE"!!!  And they all bite at once, all hundreds or thousands of them.  Texas fire ants are one thing you shouldn't fool with and always give them a wide berth and what ever you do, don't disturb them.  They have a fiery disposition and a fiery bite that leaves burning welts on your skin.

Anyway, I have to give her credit for getting the picture at all costs.  How many spouses of bloggers would go to that much trouble to get a couple of pictures for their mate's blog?  I thought her idea was a good one so I posted it here today.  What do you think?

A health update:  feel a lot better today, but had a bad night.  Coughed continually all night.  Still coughing some but try not to since my diaphragm is quite sore from all the coughing last night.  I just may have to take a nap today.  Now, hope you all are feeling great and haven't been attacked by any gargoyles or fire ants or anything bad, and have a great day, you hear?

Wednesday, December 11, 2013

Wondering about Scary Things.

Yeah, I know it ain't October and it ain't Halloween, but since I have been "under the weather" with this flu crud, I decided I was going to search the Internet and see if I could find a few people who looked scarier and worse than I do right now.  Yesterday, my wife said I didn't look too good.  Well now, that was a shot to my ego!!  Here I thought I was a combination of Mr. Wonderful and Mr. America.  No, I really didn't think that either.  I know what I must look like cause I feel like I was run through that ringer on the old washing machines I was talking about yesterday and haven't been hung out to dry yet.

So, in order to make myself feel a little bit better, I searched the Internet for pictures of people that look as bad as I do.  The first one I came across was of these (ahem) ladies.  Now ain't they sweet?

 When I am not feeling well, I sometimes feel like I am child again and just want to snuggle up in my blankie.  Now, which one of the three below do you think looks like me?

 Now this next little guy looks mighty tough!!  I think I will give him and his car a wide berth:

 This is what I looked like when I got up to go to the bathroom last night and I kept turning around to make sure the angel of death wasn't following me, something like the picture below:

 Now, after I get feeling better we will all go outside and dance around. . . maybe not.  I will just let these odd guys do the dancing:

 OK, I feel better already.  Oh no, I ain't going to say that out loud.  Then I would have to get up off the couch and do something (grin).  Now, I hope you are all well and enjoying life, so have a great day, you hear?
Almost forgot, here is the site where these pictures came from:

Tuesday, December 10, 2013

Wondering if I am on the mends?

I feel a little better today, but the day is not over yet.  I kinda feel like the clothes going through the ringer in my Mother's washing machine when I was a kid.  Now, should I hang myself out to dry?  Do any of you remember clothes washing day way back when?  My job was getting out the clothes line poles.  My Dad's job was putting up the clothes line.  The line zigzagged back and forth across part of their back yard.  She always said that laundry didn't smell clean until it was hung outside.  Now, of course, that was back before air pollution got so bad (grin).

I always feel warm and fuzzy when I think back to my youth.  Not that I didn't have problems, I sure enough did.  They said I had rheumatic fever twice and would be left with a heart murmur.  Well, I wasn't.  I owe my growing up healthy to my Mom.  She took real good care of me.  You see, they didn't think she could have a baby, but I surprised everyone, being born to a woman past her prime.  I had to be born by Caesarean section.  Then while my Mom was still in the hospital, a blood clot went through her heart and lungs.  They said she was very, very lucky to have survived that.  My Mom said that it caused some serious pain.

Yep, I am an only child and yep, my Mom spoiled me.  But she taught me well and I think I turned out not too much of a spoiled brat.  You see, she taught me to share my toys.  I always took real good care of my toys but when I shared them, the other brats messed them all up.  Some of the ones that I didn't share, I saved and gave to my sons.  They finished the job of messing them all up.  Now, the sun is finally shining and I want you all to have a great day, you hear?

Monday, December 9, 2013

Wondering about a Bottle Factory

I posted before about Foxburg and the first town down the Allegheny River, Parker, Pennsylvania.  Since both sets of my Grandparents lived along that River (one set in Phillipston and one set in Foxburg), I got to see both places and the near by towns quite often.  When my Dad drove us to Foxburg, we went through Parker.  Parker was sort of divided in two.  The upper part started way up on the river hill and extended down and along the river.  There was a glass plant along the river that made bottles and, I think, jars.  That was the days before everything came in plastic.  Back then, plastic was the exception other than the rule.  I was back there a few years ago and took some pictures, but I don't have any of the old factory.  This factory is the Wightman Bottle & Glass Mfg. Co.  It is located on the lower part of town along the river.  That area was called Parker's Landing.

By the way, Parker had the distinction of being the "Smallest City in the U.S.A.  Parker was incorporated as a city on March first, 1873, back during the Pennsylvania oil boom.

Sorry I am so late getting this posted but I have been really sick.  It started on Friday and kept getting worse up through today.  If I don't start feeling better in a few days I will have to go to the doctor.  My hematologist told me to see him or my family doctor if I even got a sniffle, since I was diagnosed with a form of leukemia.  Well I got more than just a sniffle or two and, no, I haven't called the doctor.  I am not one to be running to doctors.  Guess I am just stubborn.  What can they do for a bad cold, anyway?  Hope all of you are well and have a great day, you hear?

Sunday, December 8, 2013

Wondering if Santa will upgrade his sleigh?

In this day and age, maybe old Saint Nick should think about updating his sleigh.  For one thing, he needs all the money he can get to acquire supplies for toy making and if he could save a little on fuel costs for the sleigh, with all the miles he travels, it would be a significant amount.  Let's take a look at the options he has opened to him.

We will look at these options and then compare the costs of operation to his "old school" reindeer powered sleigh, or should I say his sleigh pulled by reindeer.

1)   The rage today is for electric powered cars, so lets look at that option first.  American electric cars use liquid-cooled lithium-ion batteries.  Since the sleigh flies through the air and there is no road friction or such, we will estimate that he would get the equivalent of 105 mpg and at a cost of $0.125 per kilowatt-hour, doing the math, it would cost him four cents per mile.  Not bad, but where will he find a charging station?

2)   Since we are on the topic of electric powered, how about solar.  To fit up the sleigh with solar panels that would do the job, it would cost from a hundred grand up to a million.  But then Santa would have to fly in the day time.  Not a good option for him.

3)   So now, lets look at the good old internal combustion engine.  Well, let us say he would get 50 mpg and would require 92,000 gallons (magical sleighs have huge fuel tanks) at $3.75 per gallon, that would be 7.5 cents per mile.  Of course, that depends on the fluctuating cost of crude oil.

4)   OK, let's go nuclear.  Cost of fuel used per mile would be negligible, BUT, the weight of the shielding required would make this choice of fuel impractical.

5)   Let me see, oh yes, how about a balloon?  The balloon would be expensive and you would be totally controlled by the wind direction.  I have heard that sometimes it is best to go with the wind, but not for Santa.

6)   I can't forget coal power, since both my grandpas worked on the railroad back in the steam days.  Anyway, Santa already carries coal on board for all the bad boys and girls, and he just wouldn't have room for any additional coal to use as fuel.

7)   As promised, here is the cost of a reindeer powered sleigh.  The fuel is basically just vegetation which comes to about 0.006 cents per mile.  But, they also have to be fed and cared for all year long.

Well, which fuel do you think would be the best and which one do you think would be the worse choice?  BTW, this blog was based on an article in Discover by Jim Sullivan.  Now you all be good boys and girls and let Santa save the coal for someone else, you hear?

Saturday, December 7, 2013

Wondering about a Fishing Story.

I suppose that every one who has ever tried to catch fish has some stories to tell.  Whether it was the one that got away, or the one mounted on the wall, or the lunker that you ate.  I got lot's of stories but I think, to save all of you from reading all my many exploits in the sport of fishing, I am just going to tell you about the big bass that thought he got away.  Now, this is true story with no embellishments added.  I couldn't make up a story like this.

Back many years ago when I lived in Pennsylvania, a family that were friends of mine, went camping at Kinzua Dam and lake at a boat only access camping spot.  There they pulled a canoe behind their motor-boat and set up a huge tent and made a comfortable camp to fish from.  I was very happy and felt privileged that they invited me to go with them.  One day, I took the canoe and went out fishing around the bend.  Boom, I got a fantastic hit from a big bass.  I was using ultra light gear so had a real fight on my hands.  I thought that I was winning the battle when all of a sudden the line became taut.  What the??  I kept it tight and pulled the canoe toward where the line went.  I went very, very easy so as not to break the line.  In still water, it doesn't take much effort to move a boat and even less for a canoe.

The water was so clear in that lake that you could see quite a ways down.  So, I could see the submerged tree and that big bass and the line wrapped around multiple branches.  That ole bass just zigzagged back and fourth and up and down through all those limbs.  No way was I going pull him (or her) out of there.  So I broke the line and went back to camp.  I didn't mention what happened.  After a short break, I changed into my swim trunks and told them I was going back out in the canoe and catch a fish by hand, since I couldn't get one with a pole, line, and lure.

To shorten this story, I dove down, got the bass, brought it back to camp at the amazement and awe of my friends.  We had it for supper and it sure was goooood.  The next day I broke down and admitted to what really happened.  Now, this IS a true fishing story.  Now, you all stay warm and keep your powder dry and have a great day, you hear?

Friday, December 6, 2013

Wondering about new bills.

The bank gave (not for free, of course) me new hundred dollar bills.  I thought they were giving me play money.  I asked the teller if they were really real.  She assured me that they were but they have been redesigned.  They sure have been, and redesigned is an understatement.  Completely changed would suit a lot better.

The first thing I noticed was the bright blue raised line running vertical near the center of the bill: 
 (Note: these are sample pictures of low quality so they can not be used to counterfeit any bills.)

This blue ribbon on the front has three dimensional images that move when you tilt the bill back and forth.  It is really neat and would be hard to counterfeit.

The inkwell just to the right of the blue ribbon has a picture of the Liberty Bell imprinted on it.  The bell will change color when the bill is tilted back and forth:

 On the far right, if you hold the bill to the light, you will see faint image of Ben Franklin.  You can see this image from either side of the bill or note or what ever you call them:

There are other security features that are on the older bills that have also been used to secure this new bill.  I still say that the look and feel of it reminds me of play money or foreign money.  Maybe once they get circulated and folded and crumpled and dirty and just plain used, they will get the old "feel" back.  What do you think?  Now, you know that you readers are worth a million of those bills to me, so have a great day, you hear?

Thursday, December 5, 2013

Wondering about The Bermuda Triangle.

I started wondering about the Bermuda Triangle mysteries.  Why?  Well, because on today's date, but back in 1945, was when the squadron of five Navy Avenger torpedo-bombers never returned from that area, thus helping to cement the legend of that area where strange disappearances had been happening.  It was a training crew and even though the leader was lost and disoriented, a garbled radio transmission overheard one of the students ask, "why don't we just fly west?" .  So, why didn't they?

Did you notice that I used the phrase "cement the legend"?  The reason is that strange things and disappearances have been going on in that area for many, many years.  Sailing vessels have disappeared and some found just sailing on their own with no crew.  

 Also, a DC3 passenger plane disappeared in that area.

When did this phenomena start?  The earliest event that I could find was in 1918 when the Cyclops disappeared without a trace.  This was no little boat, it was 542 feet long.

So, do you believe in a curse or evil or whatever going on in that area?  I don't.  I believe it is a dangerous area, but not because of any super natural or evil spell.  The water is relatively shallow, compared to ocean depths, and there are severe, fast forming storms that can come and go very quickly.  This combination can be very treacherous.  So, let me hear your thoughts on the subject.

BTW, when I got up this morning it was in the 70's and now it is down to 52 and dropping.  Now, you all keep dry and warm and have a great day, you hear?

Wednesday, December 4, 2013

Wondering about my school locations.

When I was growing up we lived in the country.  When I first started to school, although they had a school that had all the modern conveniences, the first three grades started out in the old one room (converted to three room) school house with no plumbing and with outhouses (one for the boys and one for the girls) out back.  I went through all 12 grades in the same school system but in three different school buildings.  All three of these were located in interesting and/or historical places.

The location of the schools where I attended from first through ninth grade were located in the town of Nixon.  No, it wasn't named for the infamous president.  (but he did visit the little town one time.)  It was very small, but had an airport and I remember DC-3s just missing the chimneys on the school.

Then after the school systems in the area consolidated and built a new high school, we were bussed to just outside of Saxonburg.  That little town had quite a history.  The inventor of woven wire cable and the suspension bridge, John Roebling, founded Saxonburg.  I attended a class reunion a few years back that was held in Saxonburg at the museum and learned a few things about the town that I didn't know.  It had artifacts from KDKA's transmitter (large tubes and equipment) which was broadcast from that area.  The area was also home to a nuclear research facility where they built a 450 MeV proton synchrocyclotron in 1946 which stayed active up into the mid 1970's. 

After graduating from high school, I was off to Penn State for a couple of years.  OK, that was just a little history of where all I went to school when I was growing up.  I enjoyed school and now I want you to enjoy yourselves and have a great day, you hear? 

Tuesday, December 3, 2013

Wondering about the "Consumer Age".

Have you ever thought of the consumer age and when it began?  I have lived all my life in the consumer age.  So, what really is the consumer age and how do you define it?  It began when most families could afford to buy things other than necessities.  Radio to some extent, but mostly television is what gave the consumer age a kick start.  Advertisement and selling on the air quickly did away with the door to door sells people.

When I was a young boy, I can remember sells people coming to the house.  Vacuum sweeper salesmen seemed to be everywhere.  They would come in your house and dump a pile of dirt in the middle of your living room floor and then demonstrate their state of the art cleaner that was way better than their competitor's units.  One story I heard back then was one of those guys came to the old farm house where a widow lady lived and started off by dumping that pile of dirt in the middle of her rug and stating that he would eat it if his unit couldn't clean it all up.  She just asked him if he would like mayo or ketchup with it, since they didn't have electricity at the farm!!

I do believe that it especially was the advent of the TV that spurred consumerism.  The potential customers could actually see, in their own homes, the stuff being used in an environment that resembled their own homes.  What do you think?  Do you know that there was a commercial TV station broadcasting in the U.S. in 1941?  Heck, I wasn't born until 1943.  OK, let's all go to the store and buy something and I sure hope you have a great day, you hear?

Monday, December 2, 2013

Wondering about Dodder.

We had two sons, we never had a dodder.  No, I mean daughter.  See, I told you I was bad speller.  Hey, wait a minute, maybe I will write about dodder, if that is OK with you.

How many of you know what dodder is?  I have to be honest, this morning is the first I have ever heard of it (that I can remember).  I came across it while browsing through my Dictionary of World Folklore for some story to dazzle my readers.  Instead, I found dodder.  It perked my interest so I had to research it a little further.

Dodder is a plant that is common to North America.  It is a parasitic climbing vine that bores its tentacles into its host and sucks out nutrients so it can survive.  The reason it was in the book I mentioned above, was the belief that, since it absorbs the healthful power and essence of its host, it would do the same to humans.  It was also believed that if you threw a piece of dodder backwards over your shoulder toward a loved one, and it thrives where it lands, so will the affair.

I also searched the Internet and found some pictures of it:

Now, don't you think that is nasty looking stuff?  I dislike most parasites, plants and people.  They steal the life force and resources that the hosts have worked hard to acquire and save. I know that none of you are parasites, so I wish you all a great day today, you hear?

Sunday, December 1, 2013

Wondering about some Exotic Pets.

Some people like to own pets that are special or exotic; something unique that no one else has.  Well, I got some exotic pets for you, but you may not be able to get them until 20 or so years from now.  Let me explain what I am talking about.

Do you remember my blog posting "Wondering what to have for Thanksgiving"?  Well, if you remember a futuristic company called Dino-Dish would sell a kit to allow you to grow your own dinosaur meat.  Well, a little further into the future there may be another company called DADE which will sell you a Dial-A-De-Extinction Kit.  (found this article in Discover magazine titled 2033 Holiday Gift Guide by Gemma Tarlach. - got to give credit where credit is due.) This future kit supposedly will include DNA and a tutorial on how to find and catch the living animal you'll be using as a host breeder.  I am sure this could cause a lot of turmoil with both your neighbors and Mother Nature.  So, you should also be allowed to purchase insurance to cover any damage your new exotic pet may do to the environment.

OK, if you could, which extinct dino would you order as a pet and why?  Would you want a tiny, gentle one, a large vegetarian, or a huge meat eater which would be the terror of your neighborhood?  Now I hope you can out-run any dino pets that got loose and that you will also have a great day today, you hear?

Saturday, November 30, 2013

Wondering why I am late posting.

I am a little late posting.  Sorry if you missed me but more sorry if you didn't (grin).  Anyway, I will explain.  First of all, I slept in this morning and only had time to grab a bite to eat before leaving for the flea market.  One of our flea market friends' dad (who is also a vendor) was in the hospital with breathing problems.  It was his son who we went to see at the funeral home.  I mentioned this in a past blog, http://dizzydick.blogspot.com/2013/11/wondering-to-funeral-home.html

He believes that he caught the same infection that just killed his son.  He seemed very good today and was very talkative.  Told us a lot of stories from his past.  It was a very enjoyable visit and I learned a lot from him.  We visited for a few hours.  He also got some good news that his wife was told she could go home Monday morning if she is still improving and he hopes that he can go home with her.  We hope he can, too.  We also hope that we brightened up his day.

Weather is warm and sunny today, a beautiful day.  Hope you all have a beautiful day, too.  Now, you have a great day, you hear?

Friday, November 29, 2013

Wondering about favorite words.

What is your favorite word?  What is your least favorite word.  Maybe I should just ask what word do you use the most.  Since I became rather hard of hearing and especially when I don't have my hearing aids in, my most used word is "what".  Now for least favorite word.  My wife's least favorite word is "what".  Yep, she gets tired of hearing me say it over and over and over again.  I guess to me nice, from now on I should not use that word so much, but rather just say, "yes dear".  Yes, I know that could be really dangerous.  OK, hold on for a few seconds, I got to go do something. . .


OK, I am back.  I just remembered that I didn't have my hearing aids in.  I went and put them in.  Now I will be able to hear all your great comments. . . wait a minute, I guess I just read your comments, it is the wife's comments that I will now be able to hear.

It is bright and sunny today, but a little on the cool side earlier this morning.  How could such a beautiful day be labeled "Black" Friday?  I think it should have been named "Green" Friday for all the money that the stores will be raking in today.  They will not be getting any of my money today.  Now, you all have a bright black Friday, you hear?

Thursday, November 28, 2013

Wondering about Thanksgiving.

I want to wish everyone a wonderful Thanksgiving.  Some of us have to look harder than others, but we all have something to be thankful for.  It is very important to take time to count our blessings and I, for one, have more blessings than I can count.  I sure hope you all do, too.  I am loved by friends and family.  I am blessed with lots of wonderful and loving cousins.  All my wonderful Aunts and Uncles have passed away, my Aunt just passed away and she was the last of my family's generation, the last of an era that produced real people capable of handling the world's problems without complaining.

Thanksgiving has been celebrated for years.  It supposedly started in 1621 when the Pilgrims celebrated it at Plymouth Rock.  Then in 1863 President Lincoln proclaimed it a national holiday and was celebrated the last Thursday of the month of November.  Then in 1941, it was set as the fourth Thursday.  That way, when there are five Thursdays in the month, there will not be any confusion.  And yes, there could be five Thursdays in November, in case you are curious.  Now, don't eat too much. . . oh heck, go ahead, if you can't eat too much on Thanksgiving when can you?  So, have a great Thanksgiving, you hear?

Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Wondering to the funeral home.

A sad trip.  An acquaintance or ours passed away way too soon at the age of 57.  He died of a serious infection.  It just so happened that his dad was in the same hospital but one floor above his son.  They were kind enough to wheel him down to his son's room so he could be with him when he passed.  So sad!!  Then, I just found out last night that his mother was also taken to the hospital.  This was not a good week for this family.  I got to meet some of his out of state relatives.  They really seem to be a fine family and I feel so sad about their loss and the trouble they are going through.

I just don't have anything else to say, except that you all have a great day, you hear?

Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Wondeing again about past presidents.

I thought it would interesting to delve into some history of our past presidents.  They all have had interesting stories told about them, some true and probably some not so true.  Some came from relatively unknown families, but most had a family history of either politics, or some other occupation that was highly visible to the public.

Take President Franklin Roosevelt for example.  FDR was related to William Howard Taft, Theodore Roosevelt, Benjamin Harrison, Ulysses S. Grant, Zachary Taylor, William Henry Harrison, Martin Van Buren, John Quincy Adams, James Madison, John Adams, and George Washington.  Seems strange, but FDR and his relatives controlled the presidency for about one-third of its existence.

How many remember Reagan? and his Reaganizms?  I, personally, liked him and enjoyed listening to him.  But, there have been times when his actions were just plain laughable.  For instance, one such time was when he and Nancy (both of which, by the way, had multiple face lifts) attended church at an Episcopal church service in Virginia.  As they were about to take communion, Nancy asked Mike Deaver, "Are those people drinking out of the same cup?"  He had to explain to her that they would be given wafers first and they would dip it into the cup.  President Reagan couldn't hear those instructions and was asking "What? What?" To which Nancy responded , "Ron, just do exactly as I do."  As the wafers were passed by she took one, dipped it in the chalice, and accidentally dropped it in the wine.  Reagan promptly took his wafer, dipped it, and dropped it into the wine as well.  The preacher moved on, shaking his head, and staring at the blobs of gunk floating in his wine.

I guess it shows that even presidents are human and some more than others.  It is cold (upper 30's) and raining.  Not a good day to be out walking, so will stay in most of the day.  Now, you all stay dry and warm and have a great day, you hear?

Monday, November 25, 2013

Wondering about Motors.

I got wondering about motors for motor vehicles.  I have had quite a few different vehicles in my life and thus quite a few different motors.  I would imagine that all of you have owned multiple motors.  Just how many different motors have you all owned?  I got wondering about how many different vehicle motors I have had.  I am going to exclude motors like the Briggs and Stratton that were on lawn mowers or the Evinrude and Mercury motors for outboard boats.  Have had motors on motorcycles, too, but not going to include them.  Just multi-wheeled highway vehicle motors.

The first question that comes to mind is what was your first car?  Mine was a 1955 Desoto similar to the one pictured below except mine was a four door sedan, but it was the same color:

I believe it had a hemi engine in it.  It had an automatic transmission but only had a couple of gears, like low and high.  Therefore, it was a little sluggish off the line, so to speak.  I really liked that car.

I have had GMC, Chrysler, and Ford products and therefore their motors.  I have told you before about my '57 Chevy convertible.  I have had V-6, V-8, V-10, and even one to four cylinder engines on bikes.  But, all through my life I have had only gasoline engines.  Then I got my last RV.  It has a Cat Diesel engine in it.  Now, I must say, that engine really impresses me.  My RV has a GVW of
26,600 and, therefore, need a big engine.  I can set the cruise control for sixty mph and it will stay there, rock solid, on sixty up and down the hills and mountains, and that is towing my Jeep Liberty.  Now they tell me that Caterpillar does not make engines for vehicles any more, just stationary engines.  That is quite a loss to the new RV buyers.

What motor is in your RV or truck or car?  Do you remember your first one?  Bundle up, it is still COLD outside and have a great day, you hear?

Sunday, November 24, 2013

Wondering what to have for Thanksgiving.

Thanksgiving is coming up, so what are you planning to have for that customary yearly feast?  Turkey and all the trimmings is the traditional dish.  But wouldn't it be challenging to come up with something special?  I mean really special, like something that you have never ever had and probably never even dreamed of having.  How about some stakes or a roast from some extinct dinosaurs?

What!?!?!?  I bet you thought you read that wrong or that I am finally loosing my mind, right?  Actually, there is a place where you can get some dinosaur meat.  And no, it ain't from an ancient beast that was dug out of the ice in some glacier.  There is actually a company that sells a kit named, "Dino Dish Grow "N" Harvest Kit".  Now Dino-Dish, from the makers of this year's highly anticipated Dial-A-De-Extinction, allows home cooks to print stem cells of a select extinct animals, choose which cut they want and then grow their own dinosaur meat.  The kit includes a pocket 3-D printer, stem cell starter, and tabletop lidded meatbox that is temperature and humidity controlled.  At this time kits are available for five different dinosaurs.  Of course, you know, it probably tastes like chicken (grin).

Now that I have made you hungry (or sick to your stomach), enjoy lunch and have a great day, you hear?

Saturday, November 23, 2013

Wondering about some Ancient Inventions.

We seem to underestimate the mental capacity of humans that lived hundreds or thousands of years ago.  The fact is, we are no smarter than they were, we just have the advantage of thousands of years of history to learn from, but it seems some people have to learn everything for themselves.  There is no evidence at all that the human brain has evolved at all during the last fifty thousand years!  Do you know that some of the things that we attribute to modern times were actually invented back many, many years ago?

Let us take a metal that has been used and associated with modern man, say aluminum for instance.  Archaeologists have found aluminum ornaments in a tomb of a Chinese soldier who died in the year 297.  And what about gun powder?  We picture the ancient people fighting with stone tools and wooden spears.  No, I am not saying that they came up with guns in that year, but they did discover gunpowder.  In a quirk of fate, they were trying to come up with an elixir of immortality when they discovered something that has caused enumerable deaths throughout history.

I just thought that you may get a kick out of some of this information.  It is wet and cool out there today, so keep your powder dry and have a great day anyway, you hear?

Friday, November 22, 2013

A Fall Overcast Day

Yesterday was mostly overcast, which is unusual for here, and guess what?  This morning there is a line of thunderstorms going through.  This disturbance is being caused by a cold front which is passing trough our area.  The temperatures will be way below normal.  Here is the  forecast for the next seven days:

It is going to be a cold, wet next few days.  It is way too early in the season for such cool temperatures.

I took a walk around my driveway yesterday and, even though it was cloudy, tried to get some pictures of the fall colors.  All the oak trees are still green but some of the other hardwoods are changes colors.  So, come, take a short walk with me.

Color foliage next to the RV:

 And looking northeast:

 And just looking up:

 Looking on down my driveway toward my son's home:

 Love the black limbs among the colored and green leaves:

 And this last one looking back toward where my RV is parked:
Now that wasn't a very long walk, was it?  It didn't tire me out at all.  The thunderstorms are rolling through and my oldest pup is terrified of them and is snuggled up to me and shaking like a vibrator.  She has a hard time on New Year's Eve and around the Fourth of July when they sell fireworks here in Texas.  Seems we have a lot of neighbors who must save their money all year to stock up on fireworks just for those two nights.  I get more bang out of seeing the way Mother Nature paints the leaves.  Now, you all take a second look at all the beauty around you and have a great day, you hear?

Thursday, November 21, 2013

Wondering about Old Presidents.

I got wondering about some of our past presidents.  The first thing I discovered was that some of them had different names than they were born with.  Some were only a little different but some quite a bit more.  For example:

Bill Clinton - born William Jefferson Blythe III

Gerald Ford - born Leslie Lynch King

Dwight David Eisenhower - born David Dwight Eisenhower

Calvin Coolidge - born John Calvin Coolidge

Woodrow Wilson - born Thomas Woodrow Wilson

Grover Cleveland - born Stephen Grover Cleveland

Ulysses S. Grant - born Hiram Ulysses Grant

The first two on this list were really different.  Did you know that President Abraham Lincoln was the first non-Christian president?  Also, three presidents had little or no schooling.  They are Andrew Jackson, Zachary Taylor, and Andrew Johnson.

Did you know that two people who eventually became president avoided the draft?  During the Civil War, Grover Cleveland was drafted but paid a substitute $150 to take his place, which was legal at the time.  Also, Bill Clinton avoided the draft during the Vietnam war by going to college in England.

There are just way too many stories to tell about the presidents of the U.S. and it would take way too many blog postings to cover them all.  So, I will stop at these for now and hope that you all have a great day, you hear

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Wondering about Neanderthals

Have you ever been called a Neanderthal?  It is supposed to be a derogatory remark.  But weren't they the ones that taught modern man how to use tools?  Yes, but they are never thought of as teachers.  What are your opinions of neanderthals?

I was reading about the fossils that were unearthed near Dmanisi, Georgia.  No, not the state of Georgia, but the Country of Georgia.  Here is a picture of one of the skulls they found:

He is staring right at you!!  So, you may wonder what he would look like if he were alive.  Well, it just so happens that I found an illustration that an artist did, showing how they may have appeared.

When we hear the term "Neanderthal", we think of a dim witted brute that is bent over, dragging their knuckles on the ground.  But that isn't the case.  They walked straight up, just like we do.  So, why do we have that impression of them?  Well, it just so happens that one of the first discovered remains that were reconstructed was bent over with a severe case arthritis. I bet you didn't know that, I didn't.

They were good artists but were not good talkers, since their vocal chords were incapable of making a lot of the vowel sounds.  But they did paint the walls of their caves and themselves.  Now, you know if someone calls you a Neanderthal, you can stand up straight and have a great day?

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Wondering - Finding an old friend.

This last weekend at the flea market, my wife found an old friend.  They hadn't talked or seen each other since my wife was a young girl.

Well, actually, it was not a person but a doll.  It was a doll that she had long, long ago.  Oops! I shouldn't have said that.  No, it wasn't that long ago. . .

It was like meeting a new friend that had fallen on hard times.  She was a mess.  She was really dirty and her clothes were filthy.  So far my wife has washed the doll's clothes three times.  She says that she now has to order some special shampoo and some new clothes and some new shoes and some. . . well, you get the idea.  This bargain doll is not going to be such a bargain after all.

I guess I will show you the doll's picture.  This was after she was given a bath:

 Her nail polish is wearing off and will need redone:

But her toenails seem to OK.

My wife is now on the Internet shopping for doll clothes and accessories.  This IS going to be expensive.  She says that just the underwear will cost eighteen dollars and of course all well dress Miss Revlon dolls have to wear a lot more than that.  There are lots and lots of accessories, too.

My wife also brought home this little fellow.  The first thing was to give him a bath, too:

My wife is still looking at the accessory catalog on line and she is naming off all she needs to get.  Glory be, this is going to cost me an arm and a leg for sure.  Any of you want to donate? (grin)

At one time, my wife was into doll collecting big time.  She had over a thousand.  She about gave them away by selling a whole car load of them to another collector that was drooling from the mouth.  Hey, we all have to have our fun and my beautiful wife deserves dolls if she wants them.  Now, you all have a doll-ichious day, you hear?