Wondering about wild grapes

Friday, May 31, 2013

Saga Continues - Willy Bub and Carney Go Fishing.

As I promised, I have a second instalment of the Willy Bub and Carney Show.  This time, they have decided to go fishing.  Willy Bub wants to go to a big ole lake and Carney wants to go to the bigger Gulf of Mexico.  So, how the heck will they decide which place they will go.  Carney says that salt water fishing is always full of surprises cause there is so many varieties of fish that can be caught but Willy Bub (who is plenty salty enough) says there is nothing more exciting than catching a big ole bass and having him dance all over the lake.  He also reminds Carney that his kayak has only one seat but the blow up blubber boat is just a big hole in the water and two people and a dog could flop into it and paddle in circles all day long.  Carney then told Willy Bub that in the yak, as Carney was paddling, Willy Bub could ride up front by straddling it like riding a horse and the dog could stay at home.  So they decided to flip the dog, Madie Say, and if she landed on her feet they would go in the yak and if she landed on her back they would go in the blubber boat and if she landed on either side, each would take their own floating device and go wherever the heck they wanted to.  So, now they are chasing Madie Say around trying to catch her so they can flip the dog but Madie Say is thinking that the only flipping she is going to do is flip them the bird!!

Well ole Madie Say won out.  With all the extra strenuous activity that Carney and Willy Bub did chasing that dog around, they both were just way too pooped out to even think about fishing, whether it be in a lake or the Gulf.  In fact, they were way to tired out to even go play a round of golf.  So Madie Say and the Gorilla (you remember the gorilla from the the first "not so true story" that I posted the day before yesterday?) went to the golf course and played a round, then stopped at a pond and caught some fish and then just to round out the day, did a little serf fishing.

I just can't figure out why Willy Bub and Carney didn't just do both the fresh and the salt water fishing.  The fresh water fishing sure wouldn't take long at all.  You see, Willy Bub was used to the way that the hill billies fish in West Virginia.  Their favorite lure is a big ole stick of dynamite!!  Speaking of dynamite, you all have a dynamite day, you hear?

Thursday, May 30, 2013

Wondering about paper cups, etc.

There was quite a few comments on my yesterdays blog, so maybe a sequel is in order; but not today, though.  Keep tuned in for the continuing sega of Carney and Willy Bub when they decide to go on a fishing trip together.  But for today, I have a couple of other subjects I want to talk about.  The first subject is paper and plastic drinking cups.  Why are they tapered, you know, wide at the top and narrow at the bottom?  I have and have seen a lot of glasses that have straight sides.  I never had any trouble drinking from them.  Well, a little reseach tells me that it is a space saving design for marketing and storing.  The taperd shape allows them to be stacked (nested together) and that saves space on the display shelf and for shipping which both save money.  It is like the old saying, if you want to know why something is like it is, just follow the money trail.

As you probably know, I like to try to find the origins of saying that we now use but have no idea what they originally mean.  Today I am going to look into the origin of the saying that describes someone who just had their 10 minutes in the spot light and disappeared into obscurity shortly after.  The phrase is "Flash in the pan".  As in, he was just a flash in the pan.  Now, be honest, what is the first thing that pops into your mind when you hear this phrase.  I suppose for a cook it would be the ignition of a grease fire in his frying pan, but for people who have ever fired an old style flint lock rifle, another definition comes to mind.

The saying came from the gun powder in the pan that ignites (flashes) when the hammer holding the piece of flint strikes the plate creating sparks.  The first thing that happens is a flash of the powder in the pan (the area holding a small amount of gun powder) which is suppose to enter through a hole in the side of the barrel and ignite the main charge of powder firing the rifle.  If, for some reason like the hole being plugged with burnt powder, the gun will not fire and there will only be a flash in the pan and nothing else.  OK, you all keep your powder dry and have a great day, you hear?

Wednesday, May 29, 2013

A not so true story.

In the story you are about to hear, the names are changed to protect the Innocent, just in case any of you are Innocent.  Any similarity of names to real blogger people is purely coincidental.  Any location where any of these blogger people are located is also purely coincidental.  In fact everything that may sound familiar or not, are all coincidental.  This story is purely fiction and you might say it is a figment of my imagination.  I was going to check with my lawyer to make sure any of the fictitious persons not named in this blog posting could not sue me, but he wanted paid for the advice.  Actually, I didn't even call him cause I figured he would want paid for his advice.  Anyway, how could a fictitious person who presumably does not exist, sue me.  OK, got that all settled so here is the story.

Once upon a time in a Texas south eastern city near the Gulf of Mexico, there lived two great golfers.  The elder of the two was named Willy Bub, a tall skinny guy, and the other was named Carney, a short heavy guy, or something that sounds like those two names.  Anyway, they were always in friendly competition, whether they were fishing or golfing or eating or . . . you get the idea.  Carney had some fancy new fangled clubs and Willy Bub didn't.  So Willy Bub, who didn't want to be outdone, sat down with his dog Madie Say to make plans for winning the great Gulf Coast Golf Tournament.

Each player could have one and only one partner.  So both of them found a partner to fill out his team of two.  The two teams made a foursome, what ever that is.  Now this Carney was no dummy and he wasn't a bad golfer either.  He found a golf pro who was free the day of "THE BIG TEE OFF".  Now Willy Bub and Madie Say were at whits end.  They thought and thought and thought, and finally Madie Say came up with a bright idea.  She had a friend and this friend had a Gorilla that he trained to hit golf balls.  So Willy Bub and Madie Say went to see this guy and his Gorilla.

The Gorilla's owner was glad to show off his pet.  He told the Gorilla to hit the golf ball.  The Gorilla grabbed a wood and WHAM!!!  He it 500 yards!!  Willy Bub couldn't believe his eyes.  Now he was going to really beat that old chubby Carney.  So he called up Carney and made a date to hit the greens the next day and told him to bring on his golf pro partner, that he had found a pretty good partner himself.

To make a long story short, all four showed up and they all teed off.  Carney and Willy Bub made so so drives.  The golf pro almost made it to the green on the first 400 yard hole.  Then the Gorilla teed off and the ball went 400 yards and landed within two feet of the cup.  Boy was Willy Bub happy!!!  So, the Gorilla gets up there, takes a putter, and.. and.. and.. WHAM!!  even with a putter he hits that ball just under 300 yards.  Carney is laughing and Willy Bub bends his club over the Gorilla's head.  This makes the Gorilla really, really mad.  The rest of the story is just to gory to tell.  Now you all have great day you hear, even you two, Carney and Willy Bub.

Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Wondering about mimosa and bucks.

Last evening as the sun was setting, I took two pictures of a couple different mimosa shrubs that grow around my place.  The light wasn't very good but I still think they are a bright and joyful view to look upon.  This first one was just behind the dog's back yard:

This one was in the shade behind where the motor-home is parked:
 Sorry about the lighting.

I got wondering how the dollar bill became known as a buck.  Anyone care to guess?  This is what my book, IMPONDERABLES, has to say about it and it also explains the expression, "pas the buck".

"Buck has meant "male deeer" since the year 1000 in England and has meant "a dollar" in Ameria since 1856.  Despite the time gap, the two meanings are closely linked.  In the early eighteenth century, traders and hunters used buckskin as a basic unit of trade.  Any frontiersman who possessed many buckskins was considered a wealthy man.
   How did buck come to mean specifically one dollar?  In the early West, poker was the diversion of choice.  A marker or counter was placed to the left of the dealer to indicate who was the next to deal.  This marker was traditionally called the buck, because the first markers were buckhorn knives.  But in the Old West, silver dollars (i.e., one dollar) instead of knives were used as bucks.
   The buck as poker counter yeilds the expression pass the buck, a favorite of politicians and bureaucrats everywhere, who usually are more than happy to evade responsibility for governing, dealing poker, or just about anything else, which was why it was surprising to hear Harry Truman, an admitted poker player, announce, "The buck stops here.""

 The above came from my book, but I watched a show on the History channel that had a segment on this subject and said just about the same thing.  When the buck or buck-knive stopped at you, you had the responsibility for the deal.  So, now you know what happens when the buck stops at you and what you are suppose to do. . . No, heck, don't take responsibility, pass the buck (grin).  Now have a great day, you hear?

Monday, May 27, 2013

Wondering about long distances.

I have driven about 3000 miles on a single trip.  It took me a few weeks, since I was in no hurry and stayed a few places along the way for a spell.  It is around 3000 miles across the US from Sea to Sea.  But that is a drop in the bucket for a world traveler.  It is about 25000 miles around the Earth at the equator.  It takes the Earth around 24 hours to make one revolution, so it is spinning (at the equator) about a thousand miles an hour.  Any distance is minuscule compared to distance in space.  Just look how long it took to get to the moon and then to mars even with the Viking missions.

The Voyager 1 space probe that was launched 35 years ago is just now about to leave our solar system.  How long would a "space ship" take just to get to the nearest star.  What about the prospects of getting to another galaxy?  I wonder why we would want to since we will never explore our own Milky Way.  The distances are just way too great.

So, you may ask, just how big do galaxies get.  The record breaker so far is NGC 6872.  Here is picture of it:

The distance between the tips of its two arms is 522,000 light years.  Even if you could travel at half the speed of light, it would take 261,000 years to make that trip.  Could you imagine packing up your RV for a trip that far?!?!?  In my humble opinion, man is destined to spend the future in our own little solar system or very near by.  Maybe by the time that the Earth becomes unliveable, we will have perfected huge space stations or space cities that could keep civilization going.  Of course by the time that is necessary, we may be an extinct species.  Hey, it is Monday, make the best of it, you hear?

Sunday, May 26, 2013

Let's get down to brass tacks.

All my life I have heard people say that it is time to "get down to brass tacks" meaning that it was time to get down to business.  I haven't heard it as much lately and more from the older generation.  Maybe some of the old saying are dying out.  But it makes me wonder how the heck that saying got started.  Well, a quick look into my book "IMPONDERABLES", gave me the answer.  I had no idea how it got started and I wonder how many of you knew.

Back "in the day" of years gone by, when people purchased fabric, the vendor had placed brass tacks into the counter at intervals of exactly one yard.  So, when selling material by the yard, it was measured out between those brass tacks and the buyer made sure it "got down to those brass tacks".  Now, I thought that was interesting and probably couln't go on another day without knowing this (grin).  But, you know, usuless knowledge makes you stand out in a crowd. . . Now, you all have a great and blessed Sunday, you hear?

Saturday, May 25, 2013

Some far out numbers

I like math and I like astronomy and I like numbers.  So, I figured I would make this blog about numbers, way out in space numbers.  I was thinking of making it a quiz.  You know, match the number to the event, but just thought that it is the weekend and I sure wouldn't want you all to over work, especially on a holiday weekend.  So, where should I start?

How about I start out with one that is impressive, but it really doesn't matter that much.  What is the number of entries in a new star catalog of the Milky Way's galactic bulge?  Hey, your right!  Now how the heck did you know it is 84,095,284.  If you guessed the right number I want you to pick my next Lotto number.

OK, so you were good at guessing big numbers, how about percentages.  What do you think the pecentage is that the likelyhood that dark energy is really the reason that the universe is expanding?  Dang, you got that right, too.  It is 99.996%.  You must be reading ahead, now that is cheating (grin).

This is a multiple choice one, but I put the correct answers after the magnitudes.  Different stars shine at different intensities as seen here on earth.  The nearest star is the brightest; we call it the Sun.  I did not list the sun below, just stars.  Brightness is measured in magnitudes where the smaller the number the brighter the star.  I will list the magnitude range followed by the number of stars:

-1.5 to -0.51    -    2
-0.5 to 0.49      -    6
-0.5 to 1.49      -   14
1.5  to  2.49     -    71
2.5  to  3.49     -   190
3.5  to  4.49     -    610
4.5  to  5.49     -   1929
5.5  to  6.49     -   5946

Like Trouble would say, ho hum.

OK, the last one.  How about the number 50?  That would be the number of years ago that NASA's Mariner 2 flew by Venus.  Did I put you all to sleep?  Sorry about that, but I find numbers interesting and sometimes, exciting.  Maybe I ought to get out more, what do you think.  Now, you all have a wonderful holiday weekend, you hear?

Friday, May 24, 2013

It was a very good day.

Yesterday was a very good day!!  Not only was it my wife's birthday but my cousin and her husband went out of their way to stop and see us.  We had a wonderful visit, but way too short.  Too bad it couldn't have lasted for a few more days.  But we are glad for their visit.  We met them at Luby's restaurant, had a good lunch, and then headed over to my place.  We decided to sit in my motor-home instead of in the house.  That way we wouldn't be bothered by our three dogs and they hadn't seen our newest RV, so we sat in it and had a great visit.  Here is a picture of my wife (on the right) and my cousin Carol.

My cousin's husband is a really nice guy.  Hey Barney, he is a golfer and plays all the time.  They are both older than I am, so why do I look older than they do?

 Another picture of my cousin and my wife:
And of course I had to get into a picture with my cousin.  For some reason, I could not enlarge this picture like I did with the ones above.  Anyway, you don't need to see me any closer.  It would hurt your eyes.

It was a very good day and we didn't tell them it was my wife's birthday until after we had eaten and were having a great time visiting.  Too bad they couldn't stay longer, but we really enjoyed the time we had together.  Now, I hope you all have a great day today, you hear?

Thursday, May 23, 2013

Getting out of state visitors today

I am all excited.  My cousin and her husband, who I haven't seen in a few years, had driven to Texas from their home in Pennsylvania to visit their son and other relatives and friends.  They are going out of their way to stop by and see me before they head to Atlanta for other visits.  I expect them some time this morning.  I only have two cousins that are older than I am.  She and her older sister are the two.  We all grew up in wonderful families and in wonderful times.  I look back on my youth and realize at the time I didn't know how great I had it.  Well, actually, I did realize it but not to the extent that I do now as I look back.

Well, today is garbage pick-up day and I need to carry a couple of extra full cans down to the road.  I am too stubbern to load them in the Jeep and drive them down.  Anyway, I need the exercise.  Going to cut this short, have things to do.  Not only am I getting the company, it is also my Wife's birthday.  Sure can't wait to see my visitors.  Now, I hope all of you have as good a day as I expect to.

Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Wondering about the tuning fork.

I had a tuning fork that I used to use to tune my guitar.  I would bump it on my leg to get it vibrating and then place the handle end on the face of my guitar and it would amplify the sound and I could then tune that one string that matched the fork's tone.  Then I used that one tuned string to tune the rest of the strings.  I also had a pitch pipe but always thought that the tuning fork was more accurate.  I now have retired both the pitch pipe and the tuning fork for a more accurate and quicker electronic one that clips on the end and the little lights light up to let you know if you are in tune, sharp, or flat.  Here is a picture of a typical tuning fork:

 By now you all know that I am really interested in space and astronomy.  Yes, Billy Bob, I am spaced out, way out.  So, when someone mentions a tuning fork, the Hubble Tuning Fork comes to mind.  What, you may ask, is a Hubble Tuning Fork?  Well, it really isn't a tuning fork but rather it is graph of the different types of galaxies.  The handle starts off with the most simple elliptical Galaxy which is really more like ball or circle.  It then procedes through the ellipticals and then into the spirals.  Artists and movie makers seem to protray all galaxies as spirals in the art and on the screen.  Check the galaxy tuning fork out below:

We live in a large, beautiful spiral but our home planet is way out on one of the arms.  That is why we can see most of our own galaxy.  It is that creamy, bright path of light through a clear, dark night that you can see.  Since we live far out on an arm, we are moving through space much, much faster than the other suns (stars) which reside closer to the center.

Now, I suppose you are going to ask me if our galaxy is spinning clockwise or counter clockwise.  Well, that entirely depends on which side of the galaxy you are looking at.  You know, if you could see into the back side of a clock, it would appear to be moving counter clockwise, right?  Now, enjoy your ride through space and have yourselves a very great day, you hear?

Tuesday, May 21, 2013

The heartbreak in Moore, OK.

It is unimaginable what a tornado that size can do!!  The destruction and death and injury was terrible!!  My heart breaks for those who lost love ones.  A school and a medical center was hit hard.  That means children and old people seemed to be targeted.  I have been in and near a few tornadoes, but none of them were as huge as the monster that hit Moore, OK.

I have heard that at least twenty children were killed when the tornado hit the school.  Loosing anyone you love is hard to take but loosing a child is the hardest.  I know, I lost a son in an highway accident.  Let us all pray for the survivers that they will have the strength to get through this nightmare.  I know it is hard after what happened, but you all try to have a good day, you hear?

Monday, May 20, 2013

Got my grass cut.

I decided that maybe I should cut my grass.  It sure has been growing fast lately.  I fired up my lawn tractor and cut the front half acre in just a few minutes.  That finishid I started on my front yard along my driveway.  That takes a lot longer trying to weave in and out thorugh the many oak trees.  After cutting most of it, I parked the tractor and got out the trusty lawn mower.  It hadn't been run in a long time.  I filled it up with gas and dang, it actually started on the second pull.  I then cut the fenced in dog's yard and the small areas behind my house.  To finish up, I still have a lot of trimming and mowing to do, but I figured it will only grow back so maybe I will get to that part the next time the parts that I did mow, need mowing again.  Now, that sounds logical to me.  Don't you agree?

I was going to write about the meteor strike on the moon last night but six bears of http://sixbearsinthewoods.blogspot.com/ beat me to it.  You can click on the above link, go there, and see his blog and all our comments.  Since I commented on his blog, I will not say any more here on this subject.

Is it warm yet where you all live?  The last few days here have been in the low to mid 90's.  It isn't the heat that bothers me, it is the combination of heat and high humidy that gets to you.  I often wondered why temperatures in the 80's and mid to low 90's felt hot to us humans when our "normal" body temperature is 98.6 degrees.  My mind's logic tells me that anything cooler than body temperature should feel cool to us.  It doesn't!!  Can anyone explain that to me?  Now, keep your cool and keep your heads down in case of any more incoming rocks from space, and have yourselves a very special and happy Monday, you hear?

UPDATE:  I found this video that shows the impact of the meteor hitting the moon.  You may want to watch it: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DqrJ4cW6Z4c

Sunday, May 19, 2013

Wondering about Witch Hazel.

First, let me ask if any of you are having trouble with Blogger?  I sure am.  It started yesterday.  I usually use Firefox for my browser but it wouldn't work right, then I tried Chrome and it didn't work right, so here I am, back writing it with IE ( Windows Internet Explorer).  Can't seem to fix the problem.  Just glad I have all the other options and at least one of them seems to be working.

Now, back to wondering about Witch Hazel.  I just love the stuff.  The smell of it seems to relax me.  I splash it on every morning and at night just before I go to bed.  I believe that years ago it was used as Cologne along with the medicinal purposes.  It is an astringent and a common treatment for hemorrhoids.  As I am sure you know, an astringent shrinks things.

Some species of it are native to America and the natives here made good use of the shrub called Witch Hazel.  They boiled the bark and the small limbs.  Although it is called a shrub, some grow to 20 or 30 feet tall.  It also produces flowers and sometimes the shrub can be seen with both fruit and flowers on it.  As far as I am concerned, as long as the stores don't run out of it, I will keep on splashing it on.  It is suppose to shrink things but so far it hasn't shrunk my tummy much if at all (grin).  Now you all slap some on your face and have a wonderful day today, you hear?

Saturday, May 18, 2013

Wondering about some more old sayings.

Have you ever been told to "pipe down"?  I heard that from my Mother when I was a young man.  Now, I wonder how it got to mean "be quiet".  Well, actually it came from the sailing ships and the Navy.  They used a whistle that could produce different tones to give orders (signals) to the crew and one such signal was to hit the bunks (or hammocks) and be quiet and go to sleep.  I believe they still use it today, although I don't know for sure.  If any of you do know for sure, please give me a "cut and dried" explanation.

Speaking of "cut and dried", where do you think that pharse originated?  Well, it came from the sixteenth century when physicians preferred dispensing herbs that were already "cut and dried".  Why?  Because, dried herbs are both more concentrated and more uniform in strength.

Now don't get mad at me and "read the riot act".  OK, where did "read the riot act" phrase come from?  It got started back in 1716 when King George 1 of England started it.  It was a law that made it illegal for twelve or more people to congregate together and "disturb the peace."  OK, now you know the origans of a few common phases, so go ahead and have a great day, you hear?

Friday, May 17, 2013

Wondering, it was a long way to come to visit.

I happened to notice John Wells latest post on:

He showed Carl the rooster checking out a rabbit.  I wonder if Carl scared it so bad it ran all the way to my house to be comforted by another cottontail.  I pulled in my driveway and saw these two rabbits at the edge it:

 Can't see them?  OK, here is blow-up showing the two of them.  They are looking in opposite directions.  Maybe they are working as a team.  You know, "you watch that way and I will watch this way".

I wonder if they are a "couple"?  If so, maybe we will have a lot more wabbits around.

My son raises show rabbits and his back yard is full of cages and rabbits of all sizes, shapes, and colors.  Some have huge ears that hang down and look like a hound dog.  Some are small and can fit in you hand and some are huge.  Here are a few pics of some of his many rabbits:

I took these pictures off his Facebook page.    He really enjoys his bunnies.  Did you know that they can be trained to use a litter box and can be kept in your home as you would a cat (or dog)?  Now, you all have a great day today, you hear?


Thursday, May 16, 2013

Wondering about the terrible storms near Dallas.

Woke up this morning to the news that multiple tornadoes devastated an area near Cleburne, Texas.  That is the area where Windybob of http://windybob.blogspot.com/ lives and very near where Ole Ben of http://benntexas.blogspot.com/ (An Older Texan Remembers) used to live before he passed away.  I can't find Windybob's telephone number so I sent him an email.  I hope his old email address is still the one he uses.  Am anxious to hear back from him.

I have been very close to too many tornadoes and so far have been really lucky.  One, when I lived north of Fort Worth, just missed my house by a few feet but hit my storage building and spread the contents for miles.  I know what they sound like and that sound sends chills up your spine, for sure.  I have heard of some that where so strong that they ripped the paving off of roads and not only took the homes but picked up some of the slabs they were built on.  That kind of power is unimaginable!!

I sure do hope that the sky is clear and the day is nice and sunny for all of you today so that you all can have a nice day, you hear? 

Wednesday, May 15, 2013

Has anyone ever told you that the Jones live "High on the Hog"?  That is a very common phrase which means that the Jones (or who ever you are talking about) live and eat very well.  In other words, they have lots of money and live the life that all that money can provide.  I often wondered what that meant, but I guess it just means that they can afford the more expensive cuts of meat.  So, I guess the tenderlions, or back strap or what every you prefer to call that meat on either side of the rear spine, is the more expensive and tender cut.  I sure do like that cut of meat, especially when taken from a fresh killed deer.

Speaking of pork, have any of you had the opportunity to eat some genuine Italian Prosciutto?  Way back a few years after we got married, a friend of my Father-in-law's gave him one and he in turn gave it to us.  It didn't need refregerated and it was hard as a rock.  You had to work at it to get a piece sliced off and then your jaw muscles got a good wookout, but it was sure worth it.  Yum, yum!!!  Of course it was a little on the salty side, but as I just said, yum, yum.  Now, you all have yourselves a great day, you hear?

Tuesday, May 14, 2013

Wondering about the truth in advertising.

Reading advertisements and watching them on TV, I have realized that they are biased. Well, dah!!  They are advertisements, not product reviews.  They are designed to be biased and to influence you into purchasing there fantastic product with all the whistles and bells that is so much better than any other on the market.  But let me tell you the cold, hard facts.  They stretch the truth or all the great whistles and bells are actually extras that you have to pay extra for.

Let me give a couple of examples that all of you may have run into a time or two.  If you are reading this, you are using a computer of some sort, be it a desktop, a laptop, a tablet, or a smart phone.  My wife decided that it may be time to get a new computer of some description.  The ones that are advertised for what seems like a very fair price turn out to be a hunk of almost worthless plastic and wires with a small viewing screen and had no extra capabilities.  The sells person then showed her what she really wanted in the first place but of course it is not on sell and costs many fold more than the reasonably priced one.

Doesn't the same thing seem to happen when you decide to shop for a new vehicle.  They got all those "extras" on them that it about doubles the base price.  It is impossible to order a bare bone model from the factory or order one with the whistles you want to blow and the bells you want to ring.  Back in the day, I used to order the exact vehicle I wanted.  The only draw back was you had to wait for it to be built.  It seems anymore, the only choice you have is what is already built and shipped.  That means, of course, you have to compromise.  Hope you all have a great day today, you hear?

Monday, May 13, 2013

Wondering about a neat TV show.

America's Secret Slang is a show that I like.  It takes some common slang word that we use today and goes back to its roots.  It is amazing just where some of these words came from.  My wife recorded a series of them and I was watching them this morning.  They were so interesting that I almost forgot to post a blog.  For instance, the one I just now watched explained how the term "bought the farm" came from.  As you probably know, in wartime, it meant to be killed in action.  So, how did that buy the farm?  Well, at that time, the US provided a $10,000 life insurance policy on all the soldiers and back then that was about what it took to "buy the farm".

This show keeps your attention.  It tells how the ladies of the evening got the name "hooker", to how "egg on your face" got started, to "gung ho", to "hill billy", to boon dock, to many, many more.  I love shows like this and I actually learn something.  Now how could it get better than that? (grin).  Now, you all have yourself a great Monday, you hear?

Sunday, May 12, 2013

Wondering where I store my telescopes.

I have been asked where I store my telescopes when they are not in use.  They wonder if I have a special building or even one that has a dome or a removable roof.  I tell them that I have so many trees on my place that I have to set the scope up in different places to see different parts of the sky.  So during  each night of viewing, I set it up where I can see the part of the night sky I want to see that night.  Remember, the Earth is turning, so as time passes, different sky objects (mostly IFO's - Identified Flying Objects) come into view but some of the stuff I have to look up laterUsually I have a plan for what I want to see, but sometimes, I just slowly scan the sky to see unexpected things.

OK, back to the storage of my scopes when not in use.  Since our TVs are in the family room and the bed room, we seldom use the living room except for company.  So, the living room has become the unofficial storage room for my telescopes.  This is really not to my wife's liking and when we do get company, I have had them ask why I have a hot water tank in the living room.  I really do need to hang some plastic piping on the big scope (grin).

In the picture below, I have put a yellow "X" on the three different scopes.  The one on the left is a small reflector, the next one to the right is a refractor, and of course the one to the far right is the big Dobsonian reflector.

Ok, now you know where I store my telescopes.  Don't forget, just because you may not have a telescope, you can still see a lot with binoculars or the naked eye.  The trick is to stay outside in the dark long enough for your eyes to dilate.  But you have to go look!!  Now you all have a great Mother's Day, you hear?

Saturday, May 11, 2013

Wondering about old sayings, again.

There are a lot of old sayings that I wonder where they came from and if the meanings have changed over the years.  Some can be easily explained and some can not.  I got thinking last night about the phrase "tie the knot" and how the meaning of that became "getting married".  I came to the conclusion that no one knows absolutely for sure where it came from.  One theory is that it pertained to tying the knots to form the support in the wedding bed.  Another was that the bride's dress had knots on it that others plucked off for luck in their future romantic endeavors.  Take a look here: 

Last night a storm front came through the area.  They were predicting severe weather but none materialized around my area, just some scattered lighting and a some needed rain.  Of course it cleared off so we can go to the flea market (grin).  But my old female pup shakes uncontrollably when anything goes bang or boom.  We even gave here some "calming" medicine but nothing seems to help.  So, I didn't get all my beauty sleep and at least for today I have an excuse for being ugly.  Now, I hope all you beautiful readers of  my blog have a very nice day, you hear?

Friday, May 10, 2013

Wondering about hair.

I like  hair, that is why I have long hair and a beard and we have Shih Tzu dogs that have lots and lots and lots of hair.  All animals have hair at some point and in some form in their life even if it is fuzz on a newborn whale or the spines on a porcupine.  Even insects can have hair.  The leg hairs on hunting spiders and crickets act like ears picking up sound vibrations.

Tiny human hairs in our lungs and nasal passages can taste the air and sweep out impurities.  These hairs are slow to die.  Pathologists have noticed that nasal cilia contine to pulse for up to 21 hours after their human has died.

Just shampooed hair is lovely but dirty may be better.  Oily hair absorbs the air pollutant ozone seven times more than clean hair.  So don't wash your hair, let it clean the air (grin).  Of course there is also good things to say about the absence of hair.  Less maintenance comes to mind first but there are others.  If you live in warm climates or stay in heated building most of the year, the warmth from you hair is not needed.  Of course if you are an astronaut hair is a nuisance for sure.  In the absence of  gravity it just hangs in all directions.  Guess either being bald or having an "Afro" would be best for living in zero gravity.  This blog was based on an article in DISCOVER magazine.  Now, go brush your lovely locks and have a great day, you hear?

Thursday, May 9, 2013

Dog Grooming Day

Today is dog grooming day.  Loaded up the three pups and dropped them off at the groomer.  Then, my wife said that she would like to drop in on Hobby Lobby, so we did.  I sat in the car listening to a radio station that was playing classic country.  If I can't find blue grass, my second choice is classic country.  My satellite radio is tuned to blue grass music, but I don't have a satellite radio in my Jeep.  Just have the typical AM and FM radio.  Good enough for this old country boy.

Sorry, I just don't have anything to say today.  Some days I am dumber than other days, if that is possible.  This is one of my real dumb days.  Now, you all have a great day today, you hear?

Wednesday, May 8, 2013

Wondering about ice.

Ice is an amazing substance!!  It defies the laws of physics.  Not only is the solid phase of water amazing, water itself is also amazing.  They both have traits that break the rules.

Let me start with water.  You have been taught for years that heat rises.  Just look at a hot air balloon.  The warmer something gets the less dense it is and therefore lighter.  Water acts in a similar way by becoming more dense as it cools until it reaches 39.2 degrees Fahrenheit where it starts to expand instead of shrink.  Water is most dense at this temperature, so as it cools down toward the freezing mark, it become less dense and heads upward to the surface.

At first look, this doesn't make much sense, but if ice froze from the bottom up, it would be a bad situation for aquatic life.  Even worse, since the surface is exposed to the cold air, it would freeze first and then sink to the bottom taking everything with it.  God and mother nature have changed the physical properties of freezing water to preserve life in ponds and rivers.  The solid phase of water (ice) is less dense than the liquid phase.  It also makes it easier to ice skate if the ice is on the top (grin).  Now I hope there is no ice on your ponds this late in the season but only in your drinks. You all have a great day today, you hear?

Tuesday, May 7, 2013

Wondering what a really big telescope looks like?

You know I like astronomy and that I have several telescopes, the biggest one has a 16" diameter mirror.  Remember these pictures from one of my older posts:

  That is a fairly large scope for backyard use but of course it doesn't compare with the larger professional ones used by astronomers.  They have some really large scopes, but none of these optical scopes can compare with large radio scopes.  Well, mine is sure tiny compared to some of the radio scopes that are active today.  Like this one, the Arecibo Radio Telescope, at Arecibo, Puerto Rico. It is 1000 feet (305 m) across, that is over three football fields!!

Now the Chinese have decided to build one and of course it must be the biggest in the world.  Here is what they are planning:

It is a 500 meter dish; that is over 1500 feet across.  Notice it will have six towers to support the focal point receiver whereas the one in Porto Rico only has three.  At least this is peaceful scientific achievement.

Monday, May 6, 2013

Wow, what a coincidence!!  There was a TV show on this morning that explained the origin of many of the words and sayings that we use today which meant something quite different at the start but evolved into what they are today.  I would have had a lot more examples had I seen this show before I wrote yesterday's blog.  It was a very interesting show.  My wife recorded it so I will go back and watch it again, take some notes, and maybe blog about it.

Not much new around here.  Did go to the flea market this weekend, even though the early morning hours felt more like Winter than late Spring.  It got down to the low 40's but warmed up rather fast to the 70's.  As we were getting ready to leave, we discovered that this old Studebaker had parked behind out Jeep.  Nice looking old truck:

 Here is a close-up of the name:

 And that lady with the leopard hat on admiring it is my lovely wife:

The flea market was really busy even though there were other things going on around the area.  Vendors spilled out into the parking lot.  The place was really buzzing, but that is not uncommon on nice days.  Speaking of nice days, you all have a great one today, you hear?

Sunday, May 5, 2013

Wondering about the "heebie jeebies" and our moon.

Heebie jeebies and the moon are really not related unless you get the shakes when the moon is full and your hair and snout start to grow and . . . oops, now how did I get on the subject of werewolves?  Let me start with the heebie jeebies which, by the way, means getting the shakes over something.  But where in the heck did it originate?  Why in a cartoon, of course.  Cartooist Billy de Beck, who created Barney Google, coined that phrase and two others; "hotsy totsy" and "horse feathers".  At my old age, I can remember these sayings but never knew where they came from.  Well horse feathers!!  Now I know and so do you.

Now about the moon.  Some people wonder why what looks to us as a half of moon is called a quarter moon?  Well, because the moon is half lit when it is a quarter around its phase.  The moon "waxes and wanes" and remember, it has a full phase and a dark phase.

Speaking of the moon, how many of you know its real or scientific name.  The moons of all the other planets have names, so what is the name of our moon.  Now think hard, I am sure you know its real name, in fact I am willing to bet on it.  Give up?  Its real scientific name is. . . . ready for this? . . . "The Moon".  Yep, it has no other name than moon.  Sometimes it is referred to as Earth's moon just to differentiate it from the moons of other planets, but its name is just "moon".  Now go howl at the moon and get the heebie jeebies and have a good day, you hear?

Saturday, May 4, 2013

Wondering about the word "I".

Have you ever wondered about the word "I" and also why is it capitalized and the "m" in me is not nor either is the "y" in you ?  Of course I have, I wonder about a lot of things.  Well, I have an answer for you.  It isn't because we think of ourselves at a much higher level than we do of other people.  No, it all began back many years ago with your friendly neighborhood printer.  It all had to do with setting print.

First, let me tell you that the first person back in Middle English was expressed with the word "ich".  It was eventually shortened to "i" in lowercase.  Printers had a hard time setting the lower case "i".  The letter was dropped unintentionally or it would run together with an other word.  To solve this problem, the printers started using the upper case "I" instead.  The practice stuck and to this day a capital "I" is used to mean me or you in the first person.  Now, I wonder why you very rarely hear about that "second" person?

Now I am going to head off to the flea market with my lovely wife.  I haven't been there  for many weeks.  My wife went with my son last Sunday when I was at the Top Fuel Drag races.  Don't forget, have a great day today, you hear?  BTW I think we may have broken a record low temperature here today.  It got down to 38 degrees at 06:30 this morning but it is warming up fast, it is now 43 at 08:15.

Friday, May 3, 2013

Wandering back home.

  The trip back home went a lot smoother than the trip out.  We had no breakdowns coming home and there was a lot to see.  The road north out of Ft. Davis was a beautiful drive and I highly recommend it if you are anywhere close.  These first few pictures were taken on that drive.  I also posted some on an older blog, remember the cowboy pictures

 Enlarge the one above and the one below by clicking on them.  Take notice of the rock formations, especially the one above.

 We then got on I-10 and headed east.  After awhile the pups needed walking and so did I, so we pulled off at a rest stop.  Here we are parked with a pyramid shaped mountain in the background.

The rest stop had one Ocotillo plant and it only had two blossoms on it.  But, I just had to get a picture of it.  I just love seeing this plant in bloom.  The first time we were in Terlingua, they were all in full bloom.

The above picture needed enlarging.  Notice this is an example of the beauty and the beast.  The flowers are beautiful but the sharp spines can give you a nasty puncture.

 This is the other blossom on this lone plant.

 And off down the road again heading east.  See that cup sitting on the dash?  That empty cup road a few hundred miles just sitting there.  Gives you an idea of how nice a ride the air-ride system on this coach works.  But when it lets you down like it did on the way out, it costs time and money.

 Thanks for riding along on the way home.  Remember when we left for the trip I showed a picture of our front lot and how nice the grass was cut.  Well guess what, it looks like a wild field now and needs some attention soon.  The cold front came though last night dropping the temps way down into the mid 40's .  I think that broke some kind of record around here.  Now, have a great day, stay warm, and most of all, stay happy, you hear?

Thursday, May 2, 2013

Wandering on foot up a mountain.

I do want to share with you my walk up a mountain when I was in Davis Mountains State Park.  You can drive up this mountain (which I did and showed you on a previous blog), but half way up gives a more in depth understanding, feeling, and views than you get from inside a vehicle.  I was actually surprised that I made it up as far as I did.  The only reason I didn't go further was because it was almost lunch time and I DO NOT like to miss any meals.  Coming back down was much harder on me than going up.  My knees did not like coming back down.

Here are a few of the pictures that I took while going up the trail.  The trail was well marked and had very nice bridges across the deep ravines.

 On some of the steepest parts they put logs across the trail and filled in behind them, making the trail a wide set of stairs:

 As you can see in this next picture, the canyon drops off close to the edge of the trail:

 This next picture was looking back down the trail from where I took the picture above.

 On this next picture I want you to notice a couple of things.  First, at the upper right you can see the camping area.  And if you look closely on the side of the hill sloping up to where I was standing when I took this picture, you can make out the trail as it made switch-backs back and forth on its way up this steep side of the mountain.

 And another typical picture of the trail.  I thought it was beautiful and exhilarating!

 OK, I suppose you need proof that it was actually me who hiked up that trail.  So, I took a self portrait.  If my arm had been a little longer you would have seen a broader view (grin).

I know you are probably getting bored with pictures from my last trip, but guess what?  I got lots more. . . grin!!

We are suppose to go from summer to winter sometime today.  It is now almost 80 degrees but a cold front is suppose to lower the temperatures down into the lower 40's or upper 30's.  Just can't believe that can happen this time of year in East Texas.  Now, you all just have yourselves a very great day today, you hear? 

Wednesday, May 1, 2013

Wondering who that visitor was.

We had a visitor the other day.  Actually two visitors.  They are friends of my son.  I thought that maybe you all would enjoy seeing my visitors.

Why the goggles, you may ask?  Well, she and her owner both like to ride behind my son on his Harley.  Now, don't you think that is a cute little pup? 

 Her name is Saphera.  She is quite the active pup.

This last picture shows her with her "mom". 

I don't know and wonder how so much energy can be packed into such a little space.  I hope you all enjoyed these "cute" pictures.  Now, you all have yourself a great day today, you hear?