Wondering about wild grapes

Monday, March 31, 2014

Wondering About Condiments, Again.

"Do you want a little food with those condiments?"  My answer to that question would be, maybe a little.  Yep, I do love my condiments, all kinds of condiments, and yes, I blogged about this subject before, but it was back in 2009 and any readers of my blog that haven't been reading it for that long has probably missed it.  Here is a link to that blog:

So, what are my favorite condiments?  Let's start with salads.  I do use the standard vinegar and oil, but also add agave to sweeten it and onion salt and salt to spice it up some.  I also love avocadoes.  I put chopped onions, onion powder, and salt on them.  Oh, they are so good and the onions sure do compliment them.  Another fruit that I love is kiwi.  Guess what, I don't put any condiments on them.

I guess my list of condiments that I like and keep handy would be Miracle Whip, Heinz Ketchup, horseradish or horseradish sauce, hot sauce, salt and pepper, agave, and I also use butter and almond butter as a condiment.  I put butter, almond butter, and salt in hot oatmeal and that makes me a great breakfast.

I do not eat peanut butter.  Peanuts are not nuts, they are legumes that grow under ground and are always contaminated with mico-toxins from mold.  Anything with peanuts in it is not good for you.  Take my word for it, and I used to raise my own peanuts and did love to eat them, raw, boiled, or roasted, that is, until I found out how bad they are for you.  Just remember, real nuts grow on trees, not under ground.  Back then, a fellow moved here from Philadelphia, Pennsylvania and when he heard that I grew peanuts, he wanted to come over and see my peanut tree.  I actually thought about tying some peanuts to a tree, but then after I quit laughing, I explained to him how peanuts grow.  Now, you all throw away your peanut butter, get some almond butter, and have a great day, you hear?

Sunday, March 30, 2014

Wandering Through the Rabbits.

I was talking to my son on the phone and he told me he got a new rabbit or maybe it was two.  I got that CRS and can't remember stuff too well, but boy can I remember back 50 or 60 years ago real well.  Anyway, I said I would be down to see them, so I walked down to his place.  The next two pictures show the two that we talked about:

Since I was down there and had my camera, I thought that I would take a few more pictures.  This bunny decided to turn around and head to the back of the cage just as I took the picture:
 To give you an idea just how large these giant rabbits are (some are Flemish Giants), they average about three feet long when they stretch out.  My son raises some, buys some, trades for  some and then he shows some.  His rabbits win shows and that lets you know that they are well bred and raised.

They are not all brown or grey.  They come in all kinds of designs and colorations.  This one is grey and white:
 And this one is black and white:
He has between 30 and 40 of them and he is constantly building new pens.  He has constructed all the pens himself.  They are very well made and the slots (for 2x4's) look perfect.  He made the slots with one of his many chain saws:

The next two picture show you some more of his pens:

One day he put a harness on one of the giant rabbits and took it into Petco and everyone, even the clerks, loved it and wanted their picture taken with the huge bunny.  They are very soft and nice to pet.  Some of them do bite and I am sure they could give you a good hard swift kick.  But mostly, they like to be petted and my son handles them quite often and they are used to it. 
Now he is talking about going into worm farming from the byproducts of rabbit raising.  He is even thinking about fish farming.  I think rabbits and worms would be enough to keep a man busy and they do pay a profit that could be a source of income for his retirement.   There, you got the blue ribbon guided tour of the wabbit wancher rabbit farm, so now you can go and have a great day, today, you hear?  

Saturday, March 29, 2014

Wondering About Federal Highways.

There are a lot of different types of roads in the United States.  There are federal highways, state highways, county roads, township roads, private roads, lanes, jeep trails, long driveways. . . you get the idea.  Did you know who builds the roads designated as federal highways and have route signs similar to these:

(The difference in the two on the right is that the 1961 sign was just the white shield with the black number and the 1970 sign was square and included the black frame.)

They say they are U.S. roads but they are always maintained by state or local governments.  This all started way back in 1926.  It is a rule of thumb that generally the odd numbered roads run north and south and even numbered roads run east and west.  The lowest numbers are in the east and the north.

Let me tell you, even knowing all this, I can get lost.  Do you know I got lost one time in a town so small that it only had a couple of red lights?  Yep, but I didn't go too far the wrong way before I figured it out.  But then once I went the wrong way a whole state before I realized I was heading west instead of east.  My excuse was that it was a cloudy day.  Best reason I could come with in short notice.  Now, I bet none of you have ever been lost, right?  So, make all the correct turns today, follow the correct route signs, and have a great day, you hear?

Friday, March 28, 2014

Where is the RV and Who is in its Spot?

I just looked outside and there is no RV in the spot where the RV usually sits.  Dang, it only left a short time ago and already a couple of things are trying to take its parking spot.  Here is a picture of the two culprits caught red handed.
 Did you see them both?  Well maybe the next enlarged picture will show it better:
 Yep, the old khaki Jeep and Mr. or Mrs. or Miss Rabbit have taken over.  So where is the RV?
Well, it is at the RV's version of a plastic surgeon.  It has a lot of damage to it.  The drivers side was damaged on my last trip when the Jeep I was towing blew a tire.   Then, the last time I drove it into the driveway, I side swiped a tree.

My son cut down the tree that made it difficult to get the RV around the curve in my driveway.  It wasn't the one I hit but it was the one that really caused it.  In the following picture, the light colored area to the left is sawdust from where that tree was standing.  The tree you see at the left is the one that I hit.
Here is a close-up.  It is hard to see, but there are three scrapes on the tree to the left.  The bottom one is what got the basement doors.  The two above (hard to see in this picture) took out the power awning supports, the chrome trim, and a lot of other stuff.  The top of the tree got the vent cover in the bathroom. 

So, while the RV is in seeing the RV plastic surgeon, the Jeep and the rabbit can have its spot.  I am sure it is OK with it.  Now, I hope you all have a great day today, you hear?

Thursday, March 27, 2014

Wondering About the Yellow Season.

We are officially in the "Yellow Season" here in Cut and Shoot, Texas.  There are a lot of us hacking, sneezing, coughing, and wiping running eyes and running noses.  Everything is covered in yellow pollen.  OK, I suppose you want some proof, well here are some pictures that I took.  This first one is when I was going out the driveway:
 Even after driving down the road a few miles and returning, some of the pollen still clung to the Jeep:
 And some on the Jeep's roof:
 And some on the Jeep's left front looking back:

I am sure all of you, where ever you live, have a "yellow season", too, but at different times of the year.  Tell me the general area where you live and if you have a "yellow" season or any other color season and when is it.  I suppose some would be in the summer, some in the fall and some may not have any at all.  I am not sure if the pollen comes from the pines or the oaks.  I always blamed it on the pines, but am really not sure.  Now, hope all of you can breathe easy without sneezing or coughing or hacking or sniffling, and that you all have a great day, you hear?

Wednesday, March 26, 2014

Wondering about a Couple of Vehicles.

I am wondering about Jaguar and Land Rover today.  Why?  Funny you should ask, but since you did, I will tell you.  Ford Motor Company announced its sale of Jaguar and Land Rover to India's Tata on this day back 2008 for $2.3 billion, which was less than half what Ford had originally paid for the two.  Why did they do that?  The auto industry had been suffering through a sales slump and I guess that Ford needed the money more than the right to make those two brands.

This made me wonder where the two vehicles got their start in the first place.  I will start with the Jaguar.  It started from the Swallow Sidecar Company which was founded in 1922 in England.  They made motorcycle side cars and was renamed SS Cars Ltd and in 1935, its first Jaguar automobile (the SS Jaguar 100) was launched.  After World War II, since the letters "SS" had an evil connotation, they changed their name to Jaguar Cars Ltd.

The XK-120 made its debut and was capable of speeds up to 120 mph or so.  This was in 1948.  Now, this information really surprised me since I had no idea that a production car capable of those speeds existed that early.

The other vehicle I am wondering about is the Land Rover which made its appearance in 1948.  How did it come about?  Maurice Wilks used an old American-made Willy-Overland Jeep to do work around his farm in England.  The Jeep had mechanical problems and so he designed a more reliable vehicle, meant for use on farms so that the farmer would have something more versatile than a tractor.  It was boxy, had four wheel drive and a canvas top.  The Land Rover was so popular that they spread all over the world.  Ford Motor Company acquired Land Rover back in 2000 for 2.7 million dollars.  So now you know some more useless information which you may never use, but try to have a great day today anyway, you hear?

Tuesday, March 25, 2014

Wondering about the First Passenger Carrying RR.

I love the railroads.  In past blog posts I have told you that I come from a railroading family.  Both my grandfathers worked for the railroads, and I worked for rail car builders for many, many years.  So, when I found that on this day in history back in 1807, that the Swansea and Mumbles Railway became the first passenger carrying railroad, I just had to blog about it.  It was located in Swansea, West Glamorgan, Wales.  It operated from 1804 until 1960.

Back when it closed, it had been operating longer than any other.  It holds the world record for the most forms of ways to get traction than any other railroad.  It used horse-drawn, sail power, steam power, electric power, petrol and diesel as sources of power.

This is the only picture I could find on the Internet:
It was first used to carry limestone from the quarries.  From the picture above, I would surmise that it quickly turned to carrying passengers.  Did you notice that there is only one horse pulling it?  Heavy loads move a lot easier on rails than they would over land and rail tracks were usually laid as level as possible, going around hills instead of over them.  Compare the above picture to all you have ever seen of the western stagecoaches used in the U.S. way back when.  They had at least four horses pulling them.  It is so much easier to move something on rails than over ground.  Now, you all have a great day today, you hear?

Monday, March 24, 2014

Wondering about Breakfast Cereal.

 They say that breakfast is the most important meal of the day.  That may be right but a lot of people with jobs to get to don't always have time to fix and eat a good meal for breakfast before heading out the door.  Steak and eggs sound really good to me for breakfast. . . . and for lunch. . . . and for supper, or anytime.  But in reality, most of us just have cereal for breakfast.
I usually have rolled oats.  Well, I see now that Quaker just calls them "Quaker Oats".  The rolled oats are mixed with the proper amount of water in a micro-proof bowl and heated until they puff way up and almost overflow the bowl.  I do that two or three times to make sure they are nice and soft and fluffy.  I then put almond butter, butter, and agave for sweetener.  Yum, yum, good!!
Sometimes, if I am in a hurry for breakfast or maybe in the evening when I am watching TV and get hungry, I mix up another type of "breakfast" treat.  I mix Rice Checks cereal with vanilla yogurt and cranberry juice.  Oh, this is just so, so good!!  Sometimes I just skip the cereal and just mixt the cranberry juice with the vanilla yogurt.  That is a wonderful sweet-tart taste.  Try it sometime.
Of course, if you get up and say, "Holy Crap, what am I going to have for breakfast", I guess you could just have some Holy Crap:

No, this is not a joke.  Holy Crap is a real cereal.  I believe that it was first marketed on the west coast.  Not sure if it is available around here.  Have any of you ever seen it or tried it?  If so, give us a report.  I, for one, would like to know.  Now, Holy Crap, it is time I end this blog, so you all have a great day, you hear?

Sunday, March 23, 2014

Wondering About Some Babies.

My wife is making babies.  Is it cigar time?

No, I don't mean she is having babies, she is working with a bunch of cloth babies that she purchased at the flea market awhile back.  Most all of them were faceless, hairless, and just cloth colored, although there were a couple of black ones.

She stained them with coffee to get flesh tones and rubbed them with cinnamon to color and also to make them smell good.  She then sewed button eyes on their faces and hair on their heads.  She then made simple clothes for them to wear.  Yesterday, we bought a couple of nice big carts and she put all her new dolls in one of them.  So here is a picture of them happily riding in the cart. (To give you an idea of size, the cart is 16 inches wide by 30" long.)
As you can see, there are finished dolls and some only in the process.  She even crocheted a hat for one of them.  Now, that is a bunch of kids.  They say that kids are cheaper by the dozen, but there are more than a dozen riding in that cart.  Well, at least they seam happy and I want you all to also be happy and have a great day, you hear?

Saturday, March 22, 2014

Wondering about Pictures of the Moon

I love to look up at night and see the moon.  I don't know why, maybe it casts a spell on me or mesmerizes me, but I like looking at the moon.  Therefore, sometimes I try to take pictures of it.  Most of the time they don't turn out.  I will blame it on my cheap pocket digital camera.  Now, when I was out in West Texas at the Davis Mountains State Park, my old pocket digital camera lost its charge and I forgot to bring along my charger.  So, I dug out my Canon Power Shot A1200.  It takes two AA batteries, so I didn't have to worry about charging it.  I had a lot of spare batteries.

I wanted to take a picture of the moon.  The clear mountain air made it look real close.  Here are three pictures that I took of the moon as seen in the day time from Davis Mountains State Park with my Canon.

The above three were taken on different nights.

The following two pictures were attempted at home, at night, and with my FUJIFILM pocket camera.  It didn't do too good and I couldn't seem to hold it still enough even when I braced it next to the wall.  I thought it would be a good picture with the moon shining through the trees, but they didn't turn out to my expectations.

OK, I will quit mooning you all and let you go and have a great day, you hear?

Friday, March 21, 2014

Wondering About the Proof.

"I don't believe you, show me the proof!!"  I am sure you have heard the preceding with someone demanding the proof.  But guess what, that ain't the proof I am talking about.  Although I don't drink now, I did in the past and I know people who do.  So I bet you have guessed it by now that I am wondering about the proof, or alcoholic content of some beverages.

What exactly is proof and where did it get started.  Proof is a way to measure alcoholic content of spirits and the proof is double what he alcohol percentage is.  If something is 45% alcohol, it is 90 proof.  That is what it is today, but when it got started, it was a little different.

It seems that gun powder dissolved in water will not ignite, but if there is enough alcohol in that water, it will ignite.  So way back when, they proved that the drink they were selling or making was what the buyers wanted by lighting it on fire.  If it burned, it was proof that there was enough alcohol in it to make the buyer happy.  Now, don't imbibe too heavily so that you can have a great day, you hear?

Thursday, March 20, 2014

Wondering About Tiny Flowers.

Yesterday, I took my digital camera and walked around near the house.  I had noticed some tiny little flowers popping up all over the place and I wanted to try and get some pictures of some.  To give an idea of the size, I placed a quarter near the flowers that I wanted to photograph.

Aren't these little flowers cute?

I think that these were really different and very beautiful:

The last three pictures were taken the day before.  I didn't put a quarter in these three files, so don't spend your time looking for it.

The blooms in the last two pictures will soon turn into yummy dewberries:

It pays to take the time to look at the beauty in little things.  Yes, the grandeur of the rocky mountains and the wonder of the night sky that stretches above us are awe inspiring, but so can the small, simple things and anyone who can see can enjoy them.  Now, you all have a very enjoyable day, you hear? 

Wednesday, March 19, 2014

Wondering Aboout John DeLorean

So, why should I wonder about John DeLorean today?  Well, it is because on this day in 2005 he died at age 80 in New Jersey.  How do I know this?  I got most of my information from www.history.com .  Do any of you remember the car he designed and built?  The DeLorean was a gull-wing sports car that was made popular in the movie, "Back to the Future".  Here is a picture of John DeLorean with his famous car:

And here is a picture showing it from the rear:

And guess what?  They even made a stretch limo:

Yes, everyone connects his name to the above famous (or infamous) car that he designed.  But, did you know that he also worked for Packard?  Later he moved to General Motors and where he was credited with developing the first muscle car, the Pontiac GTO.  Didn't the Beach Boys sing about that car?

For someone that was born back in 1925, he sure designed futuristic vehicles that were way ahead of their time.  I guess he really needed a time traveling car, like in the movies.  Now, if you have a DeLorean, take it out for a drive today and hope you don't go way ahead in the future or way back in the past, but stay here in the now and have a great day, you hear?

Tuesday, March 18, 2014

Wondering about the five states of matter.

I have been wondering about the five states of matter.  Does it really matter?  Well it matters to me.  (Now, wasn't that clever of me working the word matter in three times with two different meanings - grin.)  OK, how many of you can name them?  I could quickly name three but then came up with a fourth, but then I found out that there may be more.

Let's see, everyone knows the three states of matter: solids, liquids, and gas.  The fourth one is plasma.  Everyone is familiar with the first three, and since I worked around fabrication industries, I have seen plasma cutting machines.  For those of you who don't know what plasma is (not blood plasma), I will try to explain.  A plasma is cloud of electrically charged atomic nuclei (ions) and electrons.  But then, the scientists have come up with a fifth state of matter which they named the Bose-Einstein condensate in honor of the two who wrote a scientific paper about the phenomenon.

The following graphs represent this phenomenon:

The first graph at the left is just before the appearance of a Bose-Einstein condensate.  The middle graph is just after the appearance of the condensate and the last one on the right is after further evaporation, leaving a sample of nearly pure condensate.

I know that it is hard to understand this phenomenon, but for me to understand it better, I had to write about it.  Science fascinates me and there is just so much stuff that we humans do not know and may never know, but at least we try to learn what ever we can and strive to understand the mysterious.  Now, don't let your condensation evaporate and have a really great day, you hear?

Monday, March 17, 2014

Well, first let me wish you all a happy St. Patrick's Day.  So, who was St. Patrick anyway?  If you are like me, you really don't know very much about him.  I got curious this morning and spent way too much time reading about him.  But first, do you know how the shamrock got associated with St. Patrick's Day?

He was born and raised in Britain in the 4th century where, at the age of 16, he was kidnapped and enslaved by Irish raiders.  Six years later he escaped and became a priest in Britain.  Then later, he chose to return to Ireland as a missionary to spread Christianity to the pagans there.

So, how does this explain the connection to the shamrock?  The answer to that is that, according to folklore, he used a shamrock to explain the Christian concept of Trinity to the Irish people.  I guess because it has three leaves attached at the same point at the top of a stem. 
OK, but where did the green beer come from???

I am going to leave you with the following Irish joke, so have  great St. Patrick's Day, you hear?
On a fine St. Patrick's Day afternoon, Brian O'Malley stumbled into his local tavern for a refreshing pint. After the bartender served him a tall glass of Guinness, he turned and noticed that the man seated next to him was staring at an empty glass, so Brian ordered him a drink.
"Was that a Guinness you're drinking?" asked Brian.
"Yes, sir," replied the man.
"I can't believe it! I'm drinking Guinness too! Bartender, a Guinness for my new friend!"
The bartender obliged and the men continued their conversation.
"Where are you from, sir," asked Brian to the man.
"I was born and raised in Dublin," he explained.
"Well, I'll be. I'm from Dublin too!" exclaimed Brian.
"To Dublin!" they toast.
"Where did you go to school?" asked Brian.
"I went to St. Mary's Academy," replied the man. "I graduated in '72"
"I can't believe it! I too went to St. Mary's and graduated in '72!"
Their conversation continues as another patron walks into the tavern.
"What's new around here today?" the patron asks the bartender.
"Not much," the bartender says. "The O'Malley twins are drunk again."

Sunday, March 16, 2014

The Frogs Were Deafening.

Wow!!!  The frogs on my place were yelling their heads off last night.  We had a grey, rainy day ahead of the cool front that was moving in and the frogs seemed to really enjoy it.  I think it is just wonderful to step outside and be serenaded by frogs and owls.  I really like living here. . . most of the time.

Now, that got me wondering what all was yelling.  The owls were easy to identify, they were barred owls.

But then there were the frogs.  Now they were deafening!!  And not so easy to identify.  The bull frogs are easy to identify, but I didn't hear any of them last night.  May not be quite warm enough for them yet.  But the smaller ones, the ones we call "Spring Peepers" were hard at it.  The one below, I have seen at different places around my property and resting in the daytime on my buildings and things:

  I can not identify which ones I was hearing but they could have been some of the below:

But there always has to be a control.  This bird is doing its part in keeping the frogs from taking over the world.  I hope he doesn't do too good of a joy because without my frogs, there would be a lot more mosquitoes bothering me.

And yes, I borrowed all the above pictures from the Internet.  Now, you all have a great day and try not to croak, you hear?

Saturday, March 15, 2014

Wondering What Is Wrong with this Picture.

I got in a hurry the other day.  Pulled my boots on and something didn't feel right.  So I took a look and guess what?

I had started to pull the second one on before I realized that I had put the first one on the wrong foot.  Yep, I had the left boot on the right foot.  I can't figure out how I did that, except I have a wide short foot and therefore I have wide boots.
I got a good laugh at myself and took a picture.  Hey, if the boot fits, wear it!!  Well, it fit, but I wouldn't want to walk too far with them that way.  They didn't feel very comfortable at all.
Now, don't tell me you have never done anything stupid!!  I do stupid stuff all the time.  I figure you have to be real intelligent to do really stupid stuff.  So if that is the case, I must be pretty smart (grin).  Let me hear of some of the simple stupid stuff you have done.  I have done a lot of stupid stuff in my 71 years.  But no matter, just have a great day, you hear?