Wondering about wild grapes

Saturday, January 31, 2015

Wondering About Some Newly Discovered Planets.

I am not talking about planets in our own solar system, but I am talking about exoplanets.  Exoplanets are planets that orbit stars other than our sun, or a stellar remnant, or a brown dwarf.  There have been more than 1800 of them discovered and about half of that number have been discovered just in this past year.  About a half a dozen of them may be Earth like, although they thought that maybe two more would fit that category except on further observations, those two turned out to be just sunspots on their star.   I am going to list the new found planets with a short description:

      Even though this planet has a really big name, it is only about the size of our Earth, it has an Earth like orbit, in a double-star system.  Dang!!  I wonder if it harbors life of any kind??

GU Psc b
     This planet set the record this year for the greatest distance from its star.  It orbits around 200 billion miles away from its host star or about 2000 times the distance from our Earth to the Sun.  It is also massive, about the size of a dozen Jupiters.

     This planet is a "mega-Earth", having 17 times the Earth's mass.

      This one could be special.  You see, it is in the "Goldilocks" zone where it is not too hot nor is it too cold for liquid water to exist.  This could be the friendliest-to-life exoplanet found so far.

       This planet has a huge wobble.  Because of this wobble, it dips above and below the plane of its star's orbit in an eleven year cycle.  Earth takes 112,000 years to complete such a wobble.

Kapteyn b
        This planet could be the one where even advanced life could exist.  Why?  It is more than twice Earth's age and can have liquid water.  Life would have had many extra billions of years to develop.  But so far, we have not been able to prove it one way or the other.

I suppose, if you are not interested in our universe and what all is in it, you were bored with my post today, but if you are like I am and get excited about new discoveries out there in our universe, then you probably not bored and hopefully you learned something.  Now have a great day and a great weekend, you hear?

BTW, I got most of this information from the January/February 2015 Discover, a magazine that I subscribe to.

Friday, January 30, 2015

Wondering About Some Strange Pictures.

There are a lot of strange things happening in this universe that seem improbable if not impossible.  Because of my limited resources and time, I didn't find what all I was looking for so will continue to look off and on for the possibility of a future blog posting.  I did, however, find some interesting pictures and will show you three of them today.

As far as I am concerned, nature creates the most beautiful things and scenes.  I think you will see in this first picture below that Mother Nature is trying to throw a cover over one of her tall mountains to keep it nice and warm. . .

Mountains are not the only thing that is decorated by Mother Nature.  Check out the next picture with such delicate and beautiful ice forms floating on the water.  Not just one or two but thousands.

OK now, this last picture is really weird.  At first glance it looks like a flying saucer hovering over building that we would presume is just underneath it.  Wow that would be scary to look up and see a big disc just over your roof top!!

OK, do you want to know what I think it is?  No!!  Too bad, I am going to tell you anyway.  I think it is a water tower.  If you disagree or agree with me, let me know either way and why.  OK, now Scotty is just about to beam me up so I gotta gooooooooooooooooooooooo.........

Thursday, January 29, 2015

Wondering About the Guinness Book of Records.

I wonder how many of you have used the Guinness Book of Records to settle some argument or just to verify some facts or even to see what all made it into the book?  First of all, why was the book published in the first place?  Well, it was originally published by Guinness Breweries as a reference for settling bar arguments.  According to what I found on www.funfactz.com, "Its roots date back to 1951, when Sir Hugh Beaver, the managing director of Guinness Breweries was out on a hunting trip and missed a shot.  Subsequently, he got into a heated argument over what was the fastest game bird in Europe."

He tried to settle the argument by looking up information and couldn't find a reference, so he then realized a need for a quick and accurate information book on world records.  At the time, there was a London-based agency that dealt with facts and figures run by Norris and Ross McWhirter and Beaver commissioned them to publish their book, which hit the shelves in 1954.  Then the next year, 1955, it went to the top of the British bestseller lists.

I guess now, the internet holds a lot more information than that book does, but there is something more solid getting information from something you hold in your hands and turn the pages.  Of course, I guess I would first use the internet to search for information.  How about all of you? (Or for you southern speaking people, how about you all?)  Now, you all have a great day today, you all hear?

Wednesday, January 28, 2015

Wondering About the Age of Rulers.

I got wondering about the ages of rulers throughout history; you know, like who was the youngest and who was the oldest.  So, let's start with England.  The youngest was Mary, Queen of Scots.  She became queen at the at the age of six days old in 1542.  Now that is starting them young, for sure!!

OK, but what about the boys?  Well, the youngest King was Henry VI, who was 8 months and 25 days old.  I guess it takes us boys a little longer to mature than the gals (grin).

Elsewhere in the world, there were also some young rulers.  I would say that the very youngest sworn in as ruler had to be Shah Shapur II back in the year 309.  Persian nobles, according to the legend, placed a crown upon the belly of King Hormizd II's widow.  She was carrying a baby and the fetus was crowned King!!  Now, I want to know how they knew it was a boy???  There were other's who were crowned the day they were born, but I believe no others were crowned before birth.

OK, I sure hope my royal loyal readers enjoyed this blog.  But you know you are royal in my eyes.  Now, have a beautiful and royal day, you all hear?

Tuesday, January 27, 2015

Wondering About a Great Magazine.

When I was a kid, I remember my parents subscribed to the National Geographic magazine.  They never threw an issue away.  I spent a lot of time looking through those magazines and after my Dad passed away and my Mom decided to sell the house and move into an apartment because the house and land were too much for her to take care of, I got all those National Geographics.  I again spent many an hour looking through those wonderful magazines.  Then they went to a neighbor who was a retired colonel and just loved to read things like that.  The last I saw them, they were in a wheelbarrow heading away to the neighbor's house.  I will leave you with a picture of the 125th year anniversary issue.  Now have a great day, you hear?

Sunday, January 25, 2015

Son Made Us Raised Gardens.

Well, actually, he made us raised beds to plant with vegetables or flowers or both.  It is getting close to planting time and we wanted the new beds to have time to settle and weather a bit.  OK, I suppose you want to see some pictures?  OK, since you asked, this first one is of my son dumping dirt into the frames.  BTW, he also brought up one of his chain saws and cut the poles to fit. 

The two frames he made and the one on the left already full of good top soil:

And a closer picture of my son on his John Deere:

The tractor sitting in our drive way:

His wonderful wife came up and visited with my wife and I while her husband, our son, was working on the raised beds.  After he was done, she climbed aboard the tractor and was ready to head home.

And here they are riding off into the sunset. . . well, actually they were heading east, but you get the picture:

Here is a picture of the finished beds:

So, have any of you got your garden plots ready for planting?  Around here they plant potatoes on or before my birthday, which is Valentines Day.  Now you all have a great day, you hear?

Saturday, January 24, 2015

Wondering Aboout a Pet Peeve.

As you may have guessed, I have a bunch of pet peeves, but for brevity reasons I will only talk about one of them tonight.  If you have been following my blog postings you know I like to watch old westerns on TV.

Because I don't hear quite as well as I did decades ago, I put on the closed caption and can read along as the actors talk.  Well, I have noticed a couple of times during a western when the Indians were speaking in their own language that the closed captions just said that they were speaking in "a foreign language".  Heck, the white folks were speaking in a foreign language, English, and the Indians were speaking in Native American.  So, which language is foreign in America, English or American Indian?  Isn't England a foreign country and didn't America fight and win its freedom from the English?  So, what do you think?  Do I have the right to be slightly peeved?  Now, have good evening, you hear? 

Friday, January 23, 2015

Wondering About Putnisite.

I bet most of you have never heard of Putnisite.  I actually only came across that word this morning when I was leafing through my newest edition (January/February) of Discover.  It was number 96 of the top 100 stories of 2014.  The reason it caught my attention was the picture posted.  It was a beautiful purple against a green background.

This must be a rare gem because it was first discovered by a Western Australian mining company in 2006.  Now ain't that purty:
How about one that is more on the blue side:
Remember I told you above that it was first discovered in 2006?  Well, after eight years of analysis it was announced earlier this year that it is an unknown substance and would be named Putnisite in honor of Christine and Andrew Putnis.  Putnisite has both style and substance.  According to the article in Discover, "The shimmering mineral has an otherworldly look, and while most new minerals are chemically or structurally related to other known minerals or synthetic compounds, putnisite is unique on both fronts."
So, every now and then there is something new under the sun. . . well maybe not, because this stuff was not under the sun, it was below ground level.  Yep, that is why a mining company discovered it.
Now you all have a great day, you hear?

Thursday, January 22, 2015

Satellite TV Guy Was Here Yesterday.

I wrote this blog posting yesterday and for some dumb reason, I forgot to hit the publish button or I did hit the button and it didn't publish, anyway.  So, I will put it below and then I will follow it with a little more useless information.  The following, in red, is what I wrote yesterday:

The Dish Satellite guy is here to update my boxes and antenna.  He is now on the roof.  He said he was going to start with replacing the old antenna so that I could get the high definition signal.  I told him I didn't have any have any high definition televisions, but he said that you probably would in the future.

OK, all is done and I have a new antenna and two new tuning boxes (DVRs).  He told us we could even receive the programs on our computers and tablets while traveling.  There is a place on the internet where we can get that mobile programming.  First, though, we will have to download a special app to do that.

Lunch is almost ready and I sure don't want to be late answering the dinner bell.  Eating is one of my favorite things to do.  So, you all have a great day, you hear?

OK, now for today's question.  How many of you know what a "Mechanical Paradox Orrery" is?  OK, for those who do, when was the first one made and by whom?

First, an Orrery is a mechanical interpretation of the sun, earth, and moon and the first one was built back in 1750 by a Scottish Astronomer named James Ferguson for use in his lectures about the solar system.  Here is picture of an interpretation of that original Orrery:

 And here is a picture of a working model:

 OK, now you have a lot more useless information to clutter up your mind.  Now, if you really want to see a cluttered up mind, take a look at mine. (grin)  Now, you all have a great day, you hear?


Tuesday, January 20, 2015

Wondering About Death Valley Days.

My wife and I love watching the old TV shows, like the black and white versions of Gunsmoke, Death Valley Days, Bat Masterson, Wyatt Earp, etc.   The Death Valley Days that we have been watching was narrated by the Old Ranger and the newer ones by Ronald Reagan, who also acted in quite a few of them.  Here is a picture of the twenty mule team that pulled the borax and water wagons:
And a picture of the Old Ranger:
Now, they have colorized the show and it looks like this:
And then Ronald Reagan took over for the Old Ranger:
Both as narrator and actor:
And while I am at it, here is a color picture of the twenty mule team and wagons:
 How many of you remember that show?  How many of you remember their sponsor, Twenty Mule Team Borax?  I like the Western Channel because of all the older shows that it broadcasts.  I would say that it is my favorite channel and my wife's favorite channel is QVC.  Oh well, I can't win them all (grin).  Now you all tell me what some of your favorite shows are and make sure that you all have a great day, you hear?

Monday, January 19, 2015

Wondering About Two Kinds of Zeppelins.

There maybe many kinds of zeppelins, but I can only think of two kinds this morning.  The one is heavy and the other is light.  I think I will start with the light one.  Yep, it is even lighter than air.  It was back in World War I when the world first started hearing about them.  In fact, it was in January 1915 that Germany sent three zeppelins on a two-day bombing mission over England.  Here are some pictures of them.

 These next two look to me like they are huge!!  Notice that they have two gondolas under them.  I have seen pictures of some that had cargo space inside the main structure of the zeppelin.

The heavy one is lead (actually it is "led"), now that is heavy (or they are led around).  Have you ever heard of the led-Zeppelin?  I don't know much about them, other than they were a singing group.  Since they didn't record any country-western or bluegrass music, I have never heard them that I know of.  OK, here are a couple of pictures of them:

Even though I have posted pictures of a rock music group, my satellite radio is always sitting on the bluegrass station.  Now, you all listen to what ever music you like best and have a great day, you hear?

Saturday, January 17, 2015

Wondering About a Beautiful Flower.

Our daughter-in-law gave us a beautiful flower for Christmas this year.  It is really something special and we have been enjoying it.  Since Christmas, the buds have broken open and it began to bloom, spilling out some of the most beautiful red color possible.  It is called a Giant Amaryllis.  Here are a couple of pictures that I took of it.  This first one was only two day's ago:
 And the rest of the pictures I took just a few minutes ago:

Now tell me, ain't they beautiful??

Just trying to put some beauty into yours and my world and I sure do hope that you all have a great day, you hear?

Friday, January 16, 2015

I Now Have a Piano

I always loved a piano  As a small boy, as I told you in a previous blog, I used to pound on my grandparents' and my Uncle's pianos every time I got the chance.  As of today, I now own a piano and the piano was delivered just a few minutes ago.  I didn't waste any time trying it out.  Even though I can't play, it sure did sound good to me.  Here is a picture of it sitting in my living room:

Now, I wonder if the dogs will howl bark when I try to play it.  Yes I did try it out, but the dogs weren't quite sure what to think.  I guess that I will have to teach them to sing along.  Right?

Have a great day, I am going to.

Wednesday, January 14, 2015

Wondering About a Nagging Cough.

I have been under the weather for a spell.  Came down with the flu right after Christmas and now I am left with a nagging cough.  It seems to be getting a little better, so I hope to be over it soon.

Guess what I bought today.  I bought a used piano.  No, I don't have it yet but it is supposed to be delivered tomorrow.  It is paid for and now I am making a place in my living room for it.  Now, I suppose your nest question is if I can play it.  No, I can't.  But I always wanted one and tomorrow I will have one.  My grandparents had one and my Uncle had one at the farm.  When I was a kid, I used to sit at them for hours and try to make some kind of music.  OK, now I am going to be a kid again. . . at least for a couple of hours, OK?

I didn't have my camera along today, so I don't have any pictures to show you.  He said that he was going to email me some but I haven't got any yet.  When or if I do today, I will add a picture to this post.  But for now, you all have a great day, you hear?

OK, I got a picture that he found in that locker unit that had the piano in it.  Here it is:

I blanked out the face of the little girl that was in the picture.  I don't know who she is and want to protect her privacy.

I just added this picture that I took of the piano at the storage locker:

  After I get it delivered, I will be able to take some better pictures.  The last I heard, it may come tomorrow, if he can get his helpers together.  Have a great evening, you hear?

Monday, January 12, 2015

Wondering About Amos "n" Andy.

How many of you remember the Amos "n" Andy show?  I do.  I guess that makes me really old. . . but I am sure some of you look old enough to have been on the Mayflower. . . nah, you all are young compared to me (grin).  Just in case you are interested, that show is older than I am.  It started on radio as a nightly serial from 1928 to 1943, then weekly from 1943 through 1955, and as a nightly disc-jockey program from 1954 through 1960.

A television version ran on CBS from 1951 through 1953:
And of course the actors that played in the TV show: 

But here is a picture of the actors that played in the radio show, Freeman Gosden (Amos) and Charles Correll (Andy):
What is wrong with this picture??  Oh yes, they are white.  Back  then, a lot of white people played black people, both on stage and on the radio.  And by the way, the original Amos n Andy debuted on Chicago radio on this day back in 1926.  Now you all have a great day, even if you aren't old enough to remember Amos "n" Andy, you hear?

Sunday, January 11, 2015

Wondering About Budgies.

You all know what Budgies are, don't you?  Why of course you do, whether you know it or not.  No, I ain't talking about horse drawn buggies:
 Nor am I talking about baby buggies:

So, what are budgies?  Budgies are Parakeets.  All wild budgies were green/yellow.

Through breeding in captivity, blue and white ones were added and later on even more colors.

I had one when I was a kid and yes, it did talk some.  A couple that my parents knew had one.  The wife was real religious and the husband, not so much.  He really enjoyed teaching that parakeet to swear.  And he would really get his jollies when his wife was talking on the phone to the preacher and the bird would land on her shoulder next to the phone and start swearing a blue streak.  Gee, I wonder what ever happened to that parakeet?

Yes, I know, I shouldn't tell a story unless I know the ending, but I didn't have anything else in mind today and I would only be guessing about what happened to it and I am sure you all may have an idea of what happened to it.  Now, I hope your day doesn't go to the birds, but rather, have a great day, you hear?

Friday, January 9, 2015

Wondering About the First Robin.

We have been having some ugly, rainy, cold weather here lately.  Right now it is only 36 degrees outside with a light rain.  Makes it somewhat on the miserable side to be outside doing things.  At least I got my exercise in by carrying the garbage can down to the road for pickup later today. (I hope)  Sometimes they come on schedule and sometimes they just don't come.  Don't tell me to switch garbage pick-up companies because since WM (Waste Management) stopped service in my area because of too few customers, there has only been two choices, the company I am using now or take the stuff to the dump myself at a cost of $120.00 per visit and I only have a Jeep Liberty and can't carry much at all.

The weather didn't affect the birds coming to the feeders.  There were a lot of them.  I don't mean 5, 10, or 15, I mean 50 or 100 or more.  All kinds, all sizes, all colors.  But what really made our day was the spotting of the first robin.  Yep, just one robin.  Maybe he was a straggler and was just real late heading south or maybe he wanted to be the early bird and get the worm and was the first to head back north.  Either way, we enjoyed seeing him and hope that he wasn't too lost.  Normally, we see very few robins here, especially individuals.  When we do see them, they are usually in huge flocks of hundreds or thousands and they only stop over for very short periods of time, so it was really unusual seeing one lone robin in the back yard.  I hope it was a good omen of an early Spring.  Now, you all have a great day, you hear?

Thursday, January 8, 2015

Wondering About Some Useless Facts.

I got wondering about some useless facts.  Yep, they may be useless but they are fun and interesting, so I guess that makes them useful for something, right?  Well I am going to make use out of some of them by putting them in my blog.  OK, here is the first one:  No!!  Let me make it a little more interesting.  Instead of just listing the facts, I am going to make it a test.  I will list the questions and then at the end of the post I will list the correct answers.  You will be on your honor system to report how many you got right.

1.   What is a necropsy?

2.   What does karoke mean in Japan?

3.   Where is the geographical center of North America?

4.   What percentage of the world's mail does the the U.S. Post Office handle?

5.   Which is hotter, the surface of the sun or a lightning bolt?

6.   What is the longest word typed with only the left hand?

7.   What is the only continent that doesn't have land areas below sea level?

8.   What Piece of Marilyn Monroe's clothing was sold for $14,000.00.

9.   What is a "palindrome"?

10.  What is the only English word that ends in "amt"?

OK, just ten simple questions that you all should know, right? Well, let us just see how smart you all are.  Below are the correct answers.  Now, tell us how many of them did you get right?

1.   A necropsy is an autopsy on animals.

2.   Karoke means empty orchestra in Japan.

3.   Rygby, North Dakota is at the center.

4.   43 percent.

5.   A lightning bolt can be up to five times hotter than the sun's surface.

6.   Stewardesses.

7.   Antarctica.

8.   Her bra, worn in the film "Some Like It Hot".

9.   A word or sentence that is the same front and back, like racecar or kayak.

10.  Dreamt.

Hope you all enjoyed this little quiz and that you all got them all correct.  Please let us know how well you did and no matter what your score, I hope you all had a great time taking the quiz and that you will have a great day, today, you hear?

Wednesday, January 7, 2015

Wondering About Seeing Faces in Things.

I have always been able to see faces in things, especially wall paper designs.  So, I figured I would search the Internet and try to find pictures of things that look like faces.  I found a lot so instead of rambling on here, I will just post the pictures.  BTW, my wife and I are still not up to par but both of us are much better.  Here are the pictures and I hope you get a chuckle out of them and maybe a cringe out some others:


Apple Man:

Hugging carrots:

Green pepper faces:

Skulls growing on trees:

Now, this old washer or dryer or whatever it is, sure looks like it is on its last legs or at least is sick and ready to throw-up. 

And some vegetable can be real monsters, like this red bell pepper.  Look, it has a crown, so it must be royalty of some sort:

And if that is not scary enough, how about this one:

So, from now on, you better be real nice to all vegetables, you hear?