Wondering about wild grapes

Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Wondering about wizards.

Have you ever been called a wizard by anyone?  What did they mean by that?  Most mean that you are very smart and and can do things that others can not do.  It is a compliment.  But in reality, a wizard is the male counterpart of a witch.  Did I just say "in reality"?  That may not be an accurate statement, because I believe that they are just fictional characters.  So, is it really a compliment to be referred to as a male witch?

Now with my long white hair an long white beard, I sort of look like a wizard.


Now Merlin was a good wizard.  So, I imagine that there is both good and evil wizards just as there are good and evil people without any magical skills.  So, all you good wizards out there, have a great day, you hear?

Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Wondering about the moon over water.

They say that there is nothing more romantic than a beautiful big full moon.  I have to admit that it is a beautiful sight (even if you are not a werewolf).  Old wives' tales say that even more babies are born on nights with a full moon.  I may have to research that because I am not quite sure that is true, but I do believe that a lot of those babies are conceived on nights with a full moon (grin).

The full moon by itself is beautiful but when it casts it light over a body of water, it is doubly beautiful.  Here are a couple of pictures to show you what I mean:

And this one:

OK, now tell me if you see the difference between the two pictures above.  Yep, in the upper the one the moon left a trail of light across the water and in the second one, the moon is reflected like a mirror would do.  Now, can you explain why this is true?

Wow, you guys are smart this morning!  You are right.  In the top picture the water surface is choppy and each little ripple reflects an image of the moon.  Since the picture was taken at a distance, all those images meld together to produce a smear of light.  But, in the the second picture, the water is smooth so it actually acts like mirror and reflects the scene in its entirety.  Which picture do you think has more beauty?  I would pick the top one.  In fact, awhile back I made a small painting of the moon over the water.  Now I know that this painting is incorrect.  Can you see what is wrong?

The reflection path of the moon should be straighter and slightly elliptical.  I show it just getting wider as it comes toward the viewer.  Well, at least I got the rough water part correct.  Guess I should though this painting away and do it over correctly.  Now, all of you have a great day, you hear?

Monday, July 29, 2013

Wondering about trumpet vines.

All over my place we have lots of trumpet vines climbing up trees, bushes, and other vines.  I noticed some hanging up over the dogs' fence.  Some may call them a nuisance, but I think they are another of Mother Natures beautiful things in her garden here on Earth.  As you know from some of my older blogs, I just love wild flowers.  They are special because no one planted them and they take care of themselves; they are wild.  These flowering vines are not rare, in fact they grow all over the southeastern U.S.    I am not the only one that likes them.  The first English colonist loved their beauty and therefore, the plant made its way back to England.  How about I show you some pictures that I just took:

As you can see, they are in different stages of bloom on the same vine.  I took all these pictures from the same place.  The colors vary from orange to crimson, depending on the age of the bloom.  I hope you enjoyed a little beauty from my back yard today and that it helped to make your day just a little bit brighter.  So, have a great day, you hear?

Sunday, July 28, 2013

Wondering about working moms.

There are a lot of good reasons for a mother of young children to need to work.  Probably the biggest is reason is if she does not have a husband.  Maybe he died, or left them, or was incarcerated, or for some other reason.  Being a single mom would not be easy.

There is a day care center close to my home and they are very, very busy.  I guess I am old fashioned but I believe that a child's parents are the ones that should raise him or her.  The first five or six years are when the bond between both parents and the child is cemented.  When we first got married, my wife worked, then when she was expecting our first child, she quite and has never went back to being employed again.  She raised both our sons and took great care of me.  We sure were not rich but we got by and now that I look back on that time, it was really great and I believe that we both were happy.

Many will not agree with me, and I know that I should not judge people.  Like I said at the beginning, there are a lot of good reasons that a mother must work, but if it is not a necessity and just to have more stuff and to live in a fancier house or have a fancy car or to keep up with the Joneses or . . . etc, I don't believe they should do it.  I know that a lot of you ladies out there have raised a family and had a working career.  Some can handle it just fine and some rely way too much on others to raise their family for them.  Now, have a great Sunday, you hear?

Saturday, July 27, 2013

Wondering about school and herd mentality.

Some animals and some fish gather together in groups and the group takes on a life of its own.  They all go the same direction, they all turn at the same time, they all speed up or slow down at the same time, and they all seem to think alike.  Yes, we see that in fish and animals all the time and, I am sorry to say, we see it in people all the time, too.  It can be seen in mobs, rock concert attendees, the fashions people wear, the hairstyles, etc.  I could go on and on but you get the point.

Why is it that someone who thinks for himself or herself is considered a rogue?  I always thought that I did my things my way and didn't conform to what others did.  I will always remember way back when I was a kid and was sitting on the old store's porch steps in a very small town where my Grandparents lived listening to two residents of the town.  One was a a young college graduate who thought he knew everything and the other was the old town bum (and drunk, when he could find, steel, or afford a bottle).   The young guy said that he was a non-conformist and wouldn't go along with multitudes.  He kept going on and on about how independent he was and that he was his own man.  The old drunk just said one thing to him that shut him up instantly.  He said "so why don't you wear your pants backwards?"  Whether we like it or not or think we are special, in most ways we are just another member of the herd or just another anchovy in the school.  We may all be different in some ways but we are all the same in other ways.

I hope I didn't burst your bubble.  You just may not be as special or unique as you think.  But to me, all of you are very, very special and unique, so I sure hope all of you have a nice day.

Friday, July 26, 2013

Wondering about large numbers.

There are a lot of things that come in large numbers and many things which require large numbers to describe.  For a lot of us, the first thing that pops into our minds is the United States' national debt.  Yep, that is a really big number.  Just after midnight this morning it was $16,741,754,783,053.84 and climbing every minute.  OK, I can't imagine that large of a number so let's put it into some kind of perspective.  The estimated population of the U.S. is 316,324,462 so that means each man, women, and child that is a citizen owes $52,925.89.  Hope you all have deep pockets!!

Of course I am a little different than most, I think of space when someone mentions big numbers.  Remember back when the Hubble Space Telescope took its famous "deep field" picture.  It had to be a very long exposure time to get a picture like this and could only be done from space.  Why?  Because the Earth rotates and ground based telescopes can only stay focused on an object or area for a limited length of time whereas from space, it can be infinite.  Here is the old deep field picture:

Let's talk numbers.  There are more than 10,000 galaxies visible in this photo alone.  That alone boggles my mind but this picture was only a very tiny bit of the sky.  So there must be hundreds of millions or billions or trillions or. . . of them.  Each galaxy holds millions of stars.  Most stars have planets and a small percentage of them could be conducive to life.  There just has to be some form of life out there somewhere.  What do you think?  The trouble is, the distances are just way too great to ever find out.  Now, you all have a great day, it is Friday you know.

Thursday, July 25, 2013

Wondering about new growth.

Nature is always trying to renew and beautify her Earth where man has left his ugly marks.  That is happening all around you, all you have to do is look for it.  Can't find any examples?  OK, I will show you one, thought that you would never ask (grin).  Oh, you didn't ask?  Well, I am going to show you anyway.  First, let me show you a picture of the tool that Nature used in my example:

 And here is a picture of the man made pile of cut brush.  Can you see the purple flowers in the foreground?

This next picture is a little closer.  Some people would call them weeds but I call them beautiful.  They are simple and uncomplicated, but do brighten up an otherwise dreary background.

I hope these wild flowers also brightened up you world, at least for a little while.

Change of subject;  A friend of ours in Pennsylvania requested to see some more of the cards that my wife has been making.  Usually, she makes one a day and we mail that one so there is never a lot of her cards laying around.  This week, however, she was busy working on new cards and also decorating the back of the envelopes.  OK, Erma, here is a picture that she just took to show you:

Wish we still had the one that we mailed yesterday.  It had owls all over it.  The theme was about owls having a party, Whoo, Whoo.

OK, now you all have a hoot today, you hear?

Wednesday, July 24, 2013

Wondering about the dark side.

It seems that most everybody and every thing has a dark side.  There was a TV show with that name that ran from the fall of 1984 until July of 1988.  There were also around that time a lot of similar shows, like The Twilight Zone, Night Gallery, The Outer Limits, Tales From the Crypt, etc.  Do you remember any of them?  I do and I watch any reruns that may show up on TV.

OK, I am not talking about a TV show, I am talking about something that a very limited number of people have seen.  I am talking about the dark side of our moon.  You see, the moon is locked into a syncronous orbit with the earth so that same face is always pointing towards us.  In other words, it rotates on its axis once for every one time the earth rotates on its axis.  So, we only get to see the one face of the moon.

It wasn't until the space progam made it possible to see the other side of the moon that we got the chance to see "the other side", and yes, it is different.  Just in case you haven't had the chance to zoom around the moon, I thought that I would show you a picture from Astronomy magazine what both sides look like and you can compare them:

As you can see, the dark side of the moon is actually brighter than the near side.  Why?  Because the once molten mantle (the layer just under the crust) is much thinner than the other side and it allowed the molten stuff to pour out of meteor impact craters and smooth out the surface.  Now, I hope I didn't ruin the romantic impression that the full moon gives you, but try to have a great day (and night - but look up at the moon) you hear?

Tuesday, July 23, 2013

Wondering about a dragonfly.

We have a couple of ponds (and in wet seasons, a swamp) on our place and of course all that goes with them; like mosquitoes and dragonflies.  Dragonflies eat mosquitoes and dragonfly nymphs eat mosquito larva, among other things.  Depending on the species, they can live from one to six months.  There are many, many different species of them.  The one that lives on my place I have never seen anywhere else.  I am sure they exist in many other locations.  Take a look at this picture I took of one and tell me if any of you have ever seen this variety, and if so, where.

I further cropped the picture to give you a close up view.  The automatic focus of the camera kept wanting to focus on the grass and ground behind the fence other than on the fly, so it is a little blurry.  Sorry I couldn't get a better picture.

I have been wanting to take pictures of these for a long time now, so when I saw this one on the dog's fence, I went in and got my camera.  It was nice enough to wait there for me.  Now, you all have a great day today, you hear?

Monday, July 22, 2013

Wondering about our electronic age dogs.

We have three dogs left and two of them are getting up in years.  The two females (one is the oldest dog and the other is the youngest, the male is in between) are into this electronic age; the male, not so much.  The youngest one spends a lot of her leisure time watching the monitor which is connected to our outside security cameras.  She alerts the others to any stray dogs (or other animals) that may pass by.  They all watch it when we leave the house.  My wife was outside yesterday and they kept close track of where she was and when they saw her come up the steps to the deck, they all ran to the door to greet her.

Our oldest one watches TV.  We haven't as yet caught up with the new style digital TVs, but just have an old 32 inch cathode ray tube type that weighs a ton or two.  I have read where it stated that dogs can't see that type of TV because most of them need about 70 images per second to see a continuous film but we humans only need about 16 to 20.  All my TVs are of the old style as is the security monitor.  Both the females watch the monitor and only the oldest one watches the TV and barks at other dogs, but not other animals, when seen on the TV.  This proves that she sees it as a moving film and recognizes what it is showing.

As I said above, my wife walked outside early last evening and the female pups ran to watch her in the monitor.  They seem to know exactly what they are seeing on it and where it is that the views are coming from.  How do I know this?  Well, last night they watched my wife on the monitor go outside, turn left and walk out of site.  They ran to the sliding glass doors on the rear of the house to meet her there instead of the door that she went out of.  Animals are more intelligent than we generally give them credit for, except maybe our male.  But like most boys, he only has one thing on his mind. . . , well, maybe two things.  The second is food.  So have a great day and hope our dogs see you all in our monitor some day, you hear.

Sunday, July 21, 2013

Wondering about the Voyagers.

No, this post is not about any of my RV trips, but rather about the two Voyager space crafts, which are the first to "go where none has gone before".  They were launched back in the summer of 1977 and was designed to last five years.  They have out lived the planned life and are still going strong sending back new and exciting discoveries.  This first picture depicts its flyby of Saturn.

Forgive the quality of the pictures but the only ones I could find were just thumb nails and I had to enlarge them a lot just to get to this size.  This next picture shows what one of the space craft looks like.  (You can't call them satellites because they don't orbit anything.")

In this last picture, it shows the two spacecraft at the edge of our helio system and about to enter the "bow shock" area where the interstellar winds equal the solar winds.  A boundary that no craft from Earth has ever passed before.

Sorry about the quality of the pictures and the fact that it is hard to make out the nomenclature.

Now for the top ten things that they discovered and/or studied in more depth and clarity than ever before.

1.  Volcanoes on Jupiter's moon Io.

2.  Jupiter's turbulent atmosphere.

3.  An ocean within Europa?

4.  The Io torus.

5.  Saturns' ring structure.

6.  Titan's atmosphere.

7.  Neptune's Great Dark Spot.

8.  Neptune's supersonic winds.

9.  Geysers on Triton.

and 10.  The edge of the solar system.

Most of this information seems old to us now, but remember these crafts were launched back in 1977 and did make wondrous new discoveries.  If any of you would like any additional information about any of the above, you can ask me and I will tell you, if I know the answer.  And if any of you are planning that long of a trip, I hope you have a really, really big suitcase!!  So, better stay on Earth and have a very nice day, you hear?

Saturday, July 20, 2013

Wondering about zombies.

Some mornings I feel like a zombie, I think.  But really, I am not sure what a zombie feels like.  If they are really the walking dead, then maybe they don't "feel" at all.  Have any of you ever met a zombie?  I never have and am not sure if I want to, no matter how much I wonder about them!!  So, what is a zombie?  Are they really real?  I will try to answer those two questions.

From my Dictionary of World Folklore: "A zombie is a human whose soul is stolen by black magic and thus becomes lifeless and is buried.  His murderer then exhumes the body and gains a useful slave with no will except that of its master, which he imposes on it."  There are other definitions but this is the most popular.  That answers the first question.

The answer to the second question, are they really real, is not so straight forward.  I guess the answer is "maybe".  My folklore book goes on to say, "It is thought that voodoo priests may actually perform such an operation, effectively at least, by giving their victims a strong poison which results in a death-like coma.  The 'corpse' is exhumed some hours after the burial, before he or she can suffocate and when the effects of the poison wear off may be given a hallucinogenic plant to eat before being used for slave labour."  So you decide for yourselves if they are real or not.  So, don't be a zombie today and try to have a great day, its the start of the weekend you know.

Friday, July 19, 2013

Wondering about my wife's trip to the doctors.

My wife made a visit to her doctor last Tuesday and I did tell you about it on my blog.  She got a phone call yesterday from the nurse telling her about some of the results of her blood test.  Some things were OK, some so-so, but two were bad.  One, which could be fixed easily is that her thyroid test showed a need to bump up the dosage of thyroid medication.  They want to switch her off her Armour to Synthroid which she, a while back, started on and had bad reaction to it.  All they need to do is write a prescription for a stronger dose or double the amount of pills she is now taking.  No, they don't seem to want to do that.  Oh yes, I know, they are working for the drug companies and don't get any points for prescribing Armour, which is a by-product of the meat industry.

To make matters even worse, the nurse told her that she tested positive for ANA (antinuclear antibodies).  She said to see a specialist but when she told the nurse that we had no insurance other than medicare, she didn't refer her to anyone.  So, we will have to find a rheumatolagist on our own.  I guess if you want something done right you either have to do it yourself or find the someone who will do it your way.  Yes, of course, our way IS the right way, always!!  Now, all we have to do is convince the doctors that we are right.  This is an example of our great health care system.  Now all of you stay healthy and have a great day, you hear?

Thursday, July 18, 2013

Wondering about reality.

I watched a show last night about reality hosted by Morgan Freeman.  He is a wonderful narrator and a tall, impressive man but soft spoken and easy to listen to.  I don't know when the TV show was filmed but I believe it was fairly recent.  The show is "Through the Worm Hole" and if nothing else, it will make you think.

Last night's toppic was reality.  What is real and what isn't?  Now, that would seem pretty straight forward, right?  Wrong!!  That question is really hard to answer especially if you delve into quantum physics.  You know, where a particle can be in two places at one time!!  And particles and things act differently when observed than when not, something like the way people act (grin).

So, what is real and what is not?  What is solid and what is but an illusion?  These questions are just too deep for me to answer this early in the morning (grin).  Phew, got out of that easy enough. . .  There are a lot of things we could think up to answer that question.  It just may come down to the fact that nothing is real.  We may just be a figment of the Creator's imagination.  Now, you all have a real (or imagined) great day now, you hear?

Wednesday, July 17, 2013

Wondering about Brer Rabbit.

How many of you are old enough to have had Uncle Remus read to you when you were small?  And then it may have been one of the first books you learned how to read?  Well, maybe not the full blown version but a simplified book for kids.  That was the origin of "don't throw me in the brier patch".  Yep, ole Brer Rabbit begged to have any thing done to him after he was caught except "don't throw me into the brier patch".  Of course the brier patch was his home and he was safe and sound in there.

Now be honest, don't study on it, just come out and tell me if you know what the word "brer" means.  You know, like brer rabbit.  I never knew.  Yeah, I know, I ain't the brightest light bulb in the house, but I just thought it had something to do with the brier patch only spelled in German or Hungarian or Rabbit or . . .  OK, I was a little boy but that impression stuck until today when I found out it meant "brother".  So ole Remus was telling about brother rabbit.  OK, go ahead and laugh at me, but I learned something today and all you who knew that didn't.  So there!!  Now maybe I ought to go back and read some more kid's books.  I am going through my second childhood, right?  Well maybe not yet, so far, I don't need diapers. . . Now you all have a great day and stay out of the brier patch, you hear?

Tuesday, July 16, 2013

Wandering to the doctor's office.

No, I don't have an appointment but my wife does.  No, she is not sick.  You see, we are both on very low doses of Armour Thyroid medication and she ran out of refills and needs to get a blood test to see if the thyroid hormone levels have changed any.  I had my test a few weeks ago and I stayed the same.  I guess the doc's business is slow and he needs to make a house payment or something, so they will not refill her prescription unless she comes in and sees them.  Sounds like they got a good thing going, wouldn't you say?

Too bad doctors only know how to treat the symptoms of a disease and not the disease itself.  Antibiotics are the only thing that treats illnesses.  There are a lot of natural remedies that work a lot better and are less stressful on your body.  We used to have a doctor who would use the best of both worlds.  Now that doctor really did know how to treat both the symptoms and the disease.  Too bad she retired and moved to Arizona.  Sure do miss that doctor and she saved both me and my wife.  Hope all of you are very healthy and that you all have a great day, you hear?

Monday, July 15, 2013

Wondering about a flower card.

I thought that you would like to see the latest card my wife made.  As I told you before, she makes and sends one to my Aunt in a Pennsylvania nursing home every week-day but she works on them every day.  In fact she is sitting in her recliner working on one as I write this blog.  Here is a picture that I took of one she made yesterday to send today:
Yes, they are three dimensional.  I took a picture of it at an angle so that you could see that the petals of the flowers stand out:

And of course, she needed an envelope to put it in:

 This is just a small sampling of the cards she makes.  If you want to see the hundreds that she has made, I guess you will just have to go to Pennsylvania and visit my Aunt.  Hope these flowers brightened up day.  I now have to get busy and write a poem to go with this card.  Even though this is Monday, have a great day anyway, you hear?

Sunday, July 14, 2013

Wondering about El Dorado.

Hey, I like gold, don't you?  It is bright and shiny and and never tarnishes like other metals, even silver.  You just got to like something like that.  It is even a sport for me.  Yep, I like to hunt for gold in the wild.  It is hard to catch but the chase is worth it.  I belong to the G.P.A.A.  which stands for Gold Prospectors of America Association.  It is a great organization and does a lot to preserve places where amateur prospectors can go and hunt for gold.  They also hold "outings" where its members can come and enjoy both the fellowship of other members and join in on the group digs where they divide up what ever is found with all in attendance.

OK, got a little off the subject.  Now, who was El Dorado?  Yes, he was a real person.  He was a South American tribal chief who rubbed oil all over his body and then dusted himself with gold dust.  Talk about over accessorizing!!  Not just a gold ring or  necklace, but gold all over.  OK, just sit back, relax, and dream of El Dorado but most importantly, have a great day, you hear?

Saturday, July 13, 2013

Wondering about Comet ISON.

I have been wondering about Comet ISON ever since I first heard about it awhile back, and so have a lot astronomers.  The reason everyone is wondering about it is because comets are on the unpredictable side.  The path is predictable but the brightness is not.  Some say it will be the brightest comet seen by anybody alive today.  Now that is saying something!!  I remember seeing a couple of pretty bright and large comets in my life and they were not very many years ago.  There was Hale-Bopp, Hyakkutake, West, and a few more.  Now they are predicting that comet ISON may outshine all the ones that I have seen before.  That means it will be quite impressive, since some of the ones I have seen have been very bright.

It will be its brightest this coming Autumn, so we will just have to wait and see how bright it decides to be.  Some say it will be as bright as a full moon.  No, not as large, just as bright.  Now, that would be spectacular but as I said before, they are unpredictable and seem to have a mind of their own.  I, for one, am looking forward to seeing it at its brightest.  Yes, of course I will let you know more about it as it gets closer to the sun.  As my Granddad always said as we were driving off after visiting with him, "Keep looking upwards".  And, have a great day, you hear?

tely, Comet ISON w

Friday, July 12, 2013

Last trip to groomer and my catch of the day.

I will start with the groomer.  He isn't a young pup but more like my age or a year or two older, so, I guess he has the right to hang it up if he wants to.  I have posted blogs about him before with all the birds he once raised and his kennel where he raised different breeds of dogs.  He is where our Chang Le came from.  Our pups didn't care at all if he was leaving, they just wanted to go home.  I must say that they do love him and Muffin always wants to give him kisses and she is the one that gives him the hardest time.  Muffin is very stubborn and she trains you instead of you training her.  Here is a picture of our three pups waiting to go home:

And of course a picture of the dog's groomer:

He looks pretty good and we hope he has a long and happy retirement.  He is the fellow that died on the way to the hospital and after they got him there they got him revived.  I don't think any of the docs knew what went wrong.  He sure is in good shape for a guy that died a couple of years ago.  BTW, he still smokes a lot.  I guess he figures "why should I quit now".

OK, I went fishing yesterday.  OK, it was only fishing around at a yard sale and here is what I caught.  It sure put up a fight:

In the above picture, my wife was kind enough to cut off the part of my head where my forehead is enlarging (grin).  She also wanted to take another one in the shade.  She was afraid that the hot, bright sun would wash out the details in the picture.  So, here is one she took in the shade:

Eat you heart out Barney and Billy Bob, I am such a good fisherman I can catch a fish at a yard sale.  Let me see you beat that!!!

Thursday, July 11, 2013

Wondering why I am being hunted?

I have a real huge problem even though it involves little people.  You see, Santa's elves are hunting me and chasing me with blood in their eye.  Hey!!  IT WAS AN ACCIDENT!!!

I suppose that some explaining needs to be done about now.  OK, I fired up the little John Deere yesterday and drove it down to my front lot.  The grass was pretty tall and it sure did need cut.  I thought I did a pretty good job but I did run over a real little guy dressed in a red suit trimmed in white.  When I hit him and the multiple rotary blades got to him, it kicked up a big red and white mist which seemed to just hang there in the air.  It sort of smelled like pine and mistletoe.  Wow, what the heck did I just hit!!  I am telling you the truth, I didn't know it was Santa!!

The elves didn't believe me and I don't think you do either; therefore, I will post some unpleasant pictures.  Any of you with a week stomach or children under 12 shouldn't look.  Here is what I saw when I made the turn and headed back toward my house.  See, I told you it was hard to see and I didn't know what it was, so I circled it in orange:


This next picture shows what was left of him.  His hat made it though the ordeal unscathed but the white fluffy stuff must have his beard, hair, or stuffing:

Do you think you can stand to take a closer look?  If so, here it is in all its gore:

Now I got to run, those dang elves are closing in on me.  Anyway it is grooming day for the pups.  More about that on another blog.  If you see me running by followed by some really short people in pointed caps, please don't tell them where I have gone.  Now, have a nice day and don't pout about poor old Santa, you hear?

Wednesday, July 10, 2013

Wondering about an old saying.

I was watching the television show "Storage Wars" last night.  Yes, my wife and I enjoy shows like that.  We also watch "Shipping Wars" and "Pawn Stars" and "The Pickers".  Anyway, they beeped out the word "balls" when one of the guys said "balls to the wall".  Why?  Didn't they know the origin or the meaning of that phrase?  Do you?  If not I will tell you, if you do, I will tell you anyway.

The most modern meaning was what I think of when it is used.  Pushing a throttle lever to the maximum.  Like in an airplane or a boat.  During the air battles in WW2, the pilots used that term to indicate that they were going as fast as possible.  In most boats there are two levers and most have a ball on the top to hold on to.  The throttle lever is pushed forward as far as it goes for full throttle.  The same in airplanes, the throttle lever is shoved to the wall for full power.

OK, that saying has been around longer than there were airplanes.  So what do you think it meant way back then?  On steam engines there is a mechanical regulator that is actually a pair of balls mounted to a hinged lever arm which, as it spins more rapidly, forces the balls out to near horizontal, or pointing to the walls of the boiler room.  Hence, balls to the wall meant full throttle, thus full speed.  So when ever we go full speed or as fast as we can and push it to our limit, we are going balls to the wall.  Of course, I don't believe in doing that anymore.  Takes too much energy (grin).  Now, take it easy but if you have to go balls to the wall today, be careful and be safe, you hear?

Tuesday, July 9, 2013

No post today.

No problem, just brain dead (grin).  Can't think of a subject to blog about, so am going to take the day off.  You all have a great day, you hear?

Monday, July 8, 2013

My wife's shades of greys.

I have posted before some of the wonderful cards that my wife makes for my Aunt who is in a nursing home.  She mails one each weekday (the only time our post office is open for business) and therefore, has to be quite creative when coming up with new ideas.  Sometimes I help her out and make some, mostly using my computer and an AutoCAD program.  And yes, I can insert pictures, etc. into an AutoCAD drawing.  I then print it out on card stock and cut to size.  I cheat, but my wife makes them by hand.  Not only does she draw with her ink pens on the card, but also on the envelope to match.  The drawing on the envelope is like a preview of the card inside.

OK, I suppose you want to see a couple of them.  Being it was just the weekend, she got a couple made up ahead of time.  Here is the first one:

And of course the envelope that goes with it:


And another one:

 With its envelope:

Now, a picture of the pens that inspired the title to this blog:

Now, one of these needs mailed today and it needs a poem.  So, I better get busy and write at least one.  What is a card without a verse or two.  By the way, my wife just finished another card, but since I am at the end of writing this posting I am going to be a meanie and not scan and post it.  Yes, like I have said before, I am lazy.  Now, for all you poor souls who have to return to work today, I hope you have a good one.  Just think, to us retired folks, a holiday is just another day; every day is a holiday (grin).  Now, have a great day anyway, you hear?

Sunday, July 7, 2013

Wondering how to skin a cat.

OK, now that I have upset a few people maybe I better clarify what my title really means.  First, let me ask how many of you have heard or used the saying "there is more than one way to skin a cat"?  I also wonder how many of you thought that saying meant to skin a kitty cat?  Well, you are wrong!  That old saying was about skinning catfish, right?  Yes and no.  Yes it was in the southern states of the U.S.A., but elsewhere in the world it meant other things.  Mark Twain wrote in 1855: "she was wise, subtle, and knew more than one way to skin a cat".

I have never skinned a four legged cat, so I have no idea how many ways there are to do it.  I have, although, when I was in grade school about a hundred or so years ago, used one to rub a glass rod to show the effects of static electricity.  Just remember that when you start a project, there are multiple ways of doing it, so maybe you should not get started on anything that requires work, but just sit down and see how many other ways there are of doing it; you know, how many ways to skin a cat.  Just have a good day, you hear?

Saturday, July 6, 2013

Wondering about gravitational lensing.

Did you know that gravity can affect light?  Well it sure can and because of that, astronomers have used this phenomenon to detect light from very, very distant galaxies.  How, you may ask?  Well, a galaxy in line with a more distant galaxy will smear the more distant one's light all around the nearer one.  It will make a perfect halo circle of light if the two are perfectly aligned, but if they are not quite in line, the halo of smeared light is not so perfect.  OK, want to see some examples?  First, let me show you picture that will explain what I am talking about.  Irrelevant stuff was removed from this picture to show the process more clearly:

This next picture was taken by the Hubble Space Telescope and shows actual lensing of a distant galaxy.  It smeared the light from the distant galaxy almost in a perfect circle around the closer one:

Just in case you want some more examples to look at, here are eight more:

Hope you enjoyed seeing some of the wonders of our universe.  Of course the biggest wonder of all are all you readers of my blog.  So, have yourself a very great day, you hear?

Friday, July 5, 2013

Wonder if they got a bang for their buck.

I guess around here it is a contest to see who gets the biggest bang for his buck. . . literally!!  It sounded like I was surrounded by world war three or maybe all the neighbors were fighting off alien invaders before they could land.  I don't think that last night or New Years Eve would be a good time for a friendly visit from some advanced civilization.  They would think that they were under attack and fire back.  I live on a twelve acre parcel of land and there is a forty acre field in front of my place, so I do not have any real close neighbors.  Up until last night, I had forgot just how many people live around my place and all of them must have a lot of money to burn blow up by spending it on fireworks.  If I had all the money that was blown up last night I could retire. . . wait a minute, I am retired!!  I have to admit that some of them were quite beautiful.  I walked outside and up my driveway a ways and watched a couple or so go off in the sky.  Almost looked professional.

If it were not for my oldest dog, I would not be bothered by them.  But, she shakes so bad and then pants real hard I get worried that her heart can't take take it.  I took her into the bedroom and tried to get her settled down but she made the bed shake like a vibrating bed and she kept feeding it quarters (grin).  My cousin told me that he was told by people that have tried the Thunder shirts for dogs, that they really do not work.  I would think a pair of stereo ear phones playing "how much is that doggie in the window" would work a lot better.  Dang, maybe I ought to market that idea. . . Nah, that would take too much work.  Of course I have been tempted to purchase thousands of dollars worth of the loudest fireworks I can find and put them off early in the mornings of July 5th and January 1st.  That thought keeps me going (grin).  Now, have a great fifth. . . no, not the bottle, the day, you hear?

Thursday, July 4, 2013

Wondering about my wife's latest art work.

My wife is a very talented lady.  Not just in one or two things but in all kinds of art.  She likes to paint, draw, crochet, cut and paste, and most every other thing pertaining to art.  As I have told you before, we make cards to send everyday to my Aunt who is now living in a nursing home.  I should say my wife makes the cards because I have made very few of them.  I just write the poetry (short witty ones) to put in the cards.

I thought that you would like to see some of my wife's work.  She is a private person and I will probably get in trouble when she reads my blog.  I just thought that I would share a couple of examples of her work.  The first picture is of the the last thing she crocheted.  It is a proto-type for a throw rug and is only thirty inches wide, to give you some perspective:

And yes, I laid it on the king size bed that my wife made a crocheted cover for.

Below, is an envelope waiting on a card.  In no time, with her ink pens a flying, she draws on the back of the envelopes.  Don't you think she does a great job?

You all have a happy Fourth of July and don't get too big of a bang out of it.  Just have a great day, you hear?

Wednesday, July 3, 2013

Wondering how dry it is and a sells technique.

How dry is it here?  Well, it is so dry, even the weeds are wilting!!  Don't believe me?  Well take a look for yourself:

I took a walk around the place after supper last evening.  So many things were wilting and some dying.  The swamp still has water in it but not very much.  I saw one turtle and a great blue heron flew off when I approached part of the swamp from the woods.  No, I wasn't quick enough to get pictures of either of them.
Last week we were in Wal-Mart and we started off browsing the book section.  I noticed two books side by side and thought to myself that they were using a great marketing plan.  Here is a picture I took of the two books:

You see, the first book you come to tells you how to be a zombie.  So, I would imagine, a lot of wanna be zombies have bought that book and now there are a lot more zombies running around the neighborhood than there use to be.  So, they put The Zombie Survival Guide right next to it to help all us non zombies stay human and alive.  Now tell me, don't you think that is a great marketing technique?  By the way, I didn't purchase either.  Now, try not to wilt or become a zombie or both and have yourselves a really great day today, you hear?

Tuesday, July 2, 2013

Wondering about bugs.

Bugs are everywhere and there are a lot of them.  True bugs make up about 25,000 different species.  They have adapted to life here on earth rather well and will probably be the last living things left at the end.  Most bugs live on plant saps and fruit juices but there are some that live on the body fluids of other insects, animals, and us.  I really don't like to play host to any bug that wants to eat me!!  But, they are quick and persistent and do sometimes get their fill of me; or to be more correct, my body fluid.

I heard of study one time on cockroaches.  They were even able to withstand very high concentrations of radioactivity.  Just think, if there ever was a nuclear war, cockroaches would be one of the few species to survive unharmed!!  At least the ones outside of ground zero.  Bugs were here before man and probably will be here after man.  But, on the negative side, they are relatively short lived.  No, not the species but the individuals.  So, keep on slapping those pesky mosquitoes who are trying to feast on your body fluids and try to have a very nice day, you hear?

Monday, July 1, 2013

Wondering about fire ants.

I have a lot of fire ants on my place.  They can be a nuisance and a danger.  They seem to be attracted to electricity.  They have jammed up the points on the solenoid for the pump on my well leaving me without water.  This has happened more than once.  I have seen a bunch of them dead trying to get in an electric outlet female plug.  You would think that they would learn.  There is always a bunch of dead ones, not just one or two.  Maybe it goes like this:  One ant dares another to stick its foot in the socket.  He does and it fries him as he tries to get back out and all his buddies grab hold of him to try and pull him free.  Does that sound right.

They also have the bad habit of sneaking up your pant leg.  No, not just one but a hundred or so.  No, they don't bite, at least not yet.  After the whole platoon gets in position the master sergeant yells out the order to BITE!!  And they all bite at once.  I had a friend that wound up in the hospital after a camping trip when he laid out his sleeping bag too close to a hidden ant hill.  He had hundreds of bites.  Let me correct that, he had hundreds of stings.  Yes, they do sting.  They hold on to you with their legs and mouth and then jab their stinger into you.  Oh what joy. . .

They were accidentally introduced near Mobile, Alabama and since they were from South America, they had no natural enemies and spread like wild fire.  They have spread east to North Carolina, north to Tennessee and Arkansas and west to the plains of Texas.  The only thing that slows them down is a severe drought.  Next time you go through Mobile, you can thank them for the fire ants.  Now try to not get bitten stung and have a great day, you hear?