Wondering about wild grapes

Tuesday, June 30, 2015

Don't Tread On Me. . .?

No, I don't mean the early American slogan and flag.
Just take a look at the leaf below and then tell me if you would want to tread on this leaf if it were laying on the ground? 

Just think if there were a whole forest of these trees and those trees shed their leaves and you had to walk through it in your bare feet!!  Oh my, I shudder to even think of it.

OK, you don't like the red thorns on your leaves, then how about yellow thorns?
Just to prove that they are not all that bad, they also have small, pretty blooms.  You know, to me, that doesn't seem to make them any more loving and I wouldn't want to try to pick a bouquet of them. 

The next time you take a walk in the woods, just be thankful that you are not in Madagascar, where they are native.  If you were, I guess that you could wear steel toed shoes that also had steel soles.  Now, try not to step on any thorns but rather have a great day, you hear?

BTW, the name of that plant is a Porcupine Tomato.

Monday, June 29, 2015

Wondering About Nelson Eddy

A hundred and fourteen years ago, Nelson Eddy was born on this date.  No, I am old but not old enough to remember when he was born but do remember some of his music.  He passed away in 1967, so if you are old enough to be retired, I am sure you have heard of him.  He also was a movie star and did 19 films, of course they were musicals.

Here is a list of some of his songs that you may remember:
     The Ghost Riders In The Sky
     The Surrey With the Fringe On Top
     Indian Love Call
     Oh, What A Beautiful Morning
     And many more. . .     

I hope I have brought back some old memories for some of you.  It seems to me that after the sense of smell, music comes in a close second for activating memories of long ago. . . or not so long ago.  I sure hope all your memories are good ones, and have a great day, you hear?

Saturday, June 27, 2015

Wondering About Ceres.

Ceres is found in the asteroid belt and is the largest object in that mass of rocks and asteroids.  This belt circles the sun between Mars and Jupiter.  It is the 5th orbiting large body from the sun, as this following pictures show:

This next picture shows both the Asteroid Belt where Ceres is located and the Kuiper Belt out past Neptune which Pluto and Makemake are part of it.  Our solar system is quite large with a lot of planets, minor planets, asteroids, and comets.

So now you have an idea where Ceres is located in respect to Earth.  There was a recent flyby and pictures taken from our Dawn space craft.  A couple pictures showed very unexpected, and thus strange, lights coming from a crater.  There is one large gathering of light in the center and some lesser dense lights between the center and the rim.  Here, see for yourselves: 

Ceres has only a 291 mile radius (582 mile diameter) and orbits the sun every 1680 days.  Not a very large object but those lights are a huge surprise that it held for our probes.  OK, now tell me what you think is causing those lights.  Could it be an alien outpost for studying us here on Earth or is it some natural phenomenon?  Now, don't let this worry you, but have a great day any way, you hear? 

Friday, June 26, 2015

Just a Short Observation

Coming back from purchasing our groceries and supplies, we came up beside a large white colored truck and on the side it said "Twomenandatruck".  Their website is twomenandatruck.com in case you are interested.

Now my wife said that if a couple of women bought the company, all they would have to do is take a little white paint and paint over the letter "t", the first letter in the name and then it wold be "womenandatruck".  I thought that was great idea she came up with, don't you think?  Now, you all have a great day, you hear?

Wednesday, June 24, 2015

Tree Update

All the trees that we wanted cut down are down and all the cut wood has been carried away.  They did a great job and cleaned up afterward.  I would use them again and I may need to one of these days.  Just wanted to give you all an update.

Click on the pictures to enlarge them and have a great day, you hear?

Tuesday, June 23, 2015

Estimates On Tree Removal

In my blog posting on June 20, 2015, I told about my son cutting down that huge oak tree that was partly dead and was dropping dead limbs on the neighbor's property.  Well, it fell in my driveway.  Since my driveway is a loop, I could still get in and out, so there was no rush in getting it removed.  My daughter-in-law called two tree cutting places to get quotes.  One came this morning and one is due to come later this afternoon.  We want a total of three trees cut down.  That one is a definite and also will let which ever one does it, do all three.  Any of you want some good red oak logs to cut up into lumber?

 This first picture is where he cut the tree:

This next one is looking from stump up to the top of the fallen tree:

And another picture looking out the driveway:

This one is looking down the driveway, the opposite of the one above:

He also tried to pull the downed tree away with both his F350 4x4 truck and with the big tractor.  They both just dug deep holes in the driveway:

That is one heavy tree, for sure.  You know, I think that I will just stand off to the side and watch the professionals do it.  Now you all have a great day, you hear?

Monday, June 22, 2015

Got Bonked!!

I turned my laptop on this morning, and a big page popped up that said all my files would be locked and there is nothing I could do to unlock them except pay this company or person or what ever some money.  I immediately shut it off and threw it in the Jeep and my wife and I headed for town.  Dropped it off at a computer repair shop and then we headed for Wal-Mart to get some needed supplies.  After we were through at Wal-Mart we stopped back at the computer place and they had it repaired, up and running, the malware cleaned off, and a new virus protection program installed all for a little over a hundred bucks.  I would much rather pay the computer repair shop the money than to send it to those hackers (who try to ransom your computer) from where ever they may be.  The repair shop said most are either from China or Russia.  Now, I wonder how long it will stay repaired.

They told me that it came as an attachment to an email and I guess that I didn't even have to open the email to get infected, but not sure.  I now I have to decide what to reload on this computer.  I know I will need an email program and Google is already on here, so I may reload I.E., which I used to use all the time.  I don't think that I will reload any of my engineering programs, and not sure if I can without a key number to open it.

I sure hope none of you ever have this problem.  The computer repair guy said it is about the worst one you could get, that it infected every file on a computer.  The only thing that can be done is to wipe the hard-drive clean and start over.  Dang, not sure what all I lost since I haven't backed this thing up for a couple of years.  My bad!!  OK, I hope you have a better day then I have had, you hear?

Sunday, June 21, 2015

Happy Father's Day.

I want to wish all the fathers out there a very happy father's day.  Now, since I am a father, I am going to take today off. . . .

Have a great day, you hear?

Saturday, June 20, 2015

Electric Problem Fixed. A Strange Fish? Twins?

Yep, I am going to try and cover three subjects this morning.  Wish me luck. . . (grin)

Yesterday, my son cut down a tree that was partly dead and dying and dropping dead limbs over the fence onto our neighbor's property.  He had two cables attached to it and to his Ford F-350 4x4 and to his big tractor.  But, as you would expect, things didn't go according to plan.  For some unknown reason, it fell parallel to the fence and part of it landed on the fence and its top few branches hit the top uninsulated power line and started arcing and smoking.  So, I called the power company because that tree was hot; my son got shocked from it.

That sounds simple, right??  No, I was on the phone for quite awhile.  First, had to go through computer generated questions (and nowhere was there a place to say it was an emergency).  Finally, I got an option to talk to a real person.  Yep, you guessed it, another long "on hold" until I finally got someone to talk to.  They were real helpful and said luckily they had a crew working late not far from me and they would come and take care of the problem, which they did:

With that taken care of last night, and with the electric back on (and the AC), we got back to a normal life.  Of course I had to dream about fishing and catching a huge sting ray:

Yes, I know it is a leaf, but it looks like a sting ray to me.  I guess I need to go fishing, it has been too long since I have.

Today, a friend of ours stopped by.  He is the one that owns a twin to my Jeep.  They are identical except his is not four wheel drive.  They wanted their picture taken together (yes, I know I have posted the two of them together in the past, but they insisted).

OK, had enough excitement and enough being out in the humidity.  I reached out with my hand to grab a mosquito that was buzzing me and just got a handful of water. . . Now, you all stay cool and dry and have a great day, you hear?

Friday, June 19, 2015

I Have Trouble with Words.

I have been speaking, writing, and thinking with the American English language for over 70 years now and you would think that I should have it figured out . . . but I don't.  One of the things that get to me are words that have completely opposite meanings.  Can you think of any?  Here are a few examples:

"Cleaver"  That word could mean an instrument that cuts stuff into two or more pieces but it could also mean some one who clings to something or another person.

"Left"  And I am not talking about direction, but a couple of other definitions.  Left can be used as "After I left the room there was no one left."

"Trim"  To cut away is to trim the tree but to add decorations to a tree is also to trim a tree.

"Fast"  I will hold it fast or it will run away fast.

"Weathered"  To hold your ground, like "I weathered the storm" or it could mean worn away, like the weathered old fence post. . .

"Off"  I had to turn off the burglar alarm after it went off.

"Clip"  You can cut off (clip off) or put together (clip together).

I guess that there are just some words you can't take out of context if you want to know what they mean.

Now tell me some of your favorites and make sure you have a great day, you hear?

Wednesday, June 17, 2015

Wondering About Four Fun Facts.

1.   Can you guess what the world's best-selling musical instrument is?  I will let you think about that and will post the answer near the end of this blog.

2.   By the time you reach 72, you'll have eaten about 35 tons of food.

OK, I will take this one personally, since I am 72 years old.  First, let me say I am not over-weight, but at 5'-11" tall and 177 pounds, I think I am about right.  BUT, I like to eat and I bet I have eaten way more than 35 tons.  A lot of those tons consisted of ice-cream (grin).

3.   1/4 of Americans have been on television.

Yep, I believe that one, too.  I have been on TV, not just seen, but heard when I was interviewed for the G.P.A.A while on a gold prospecting outing.

4.   A family of people with blue skin lived in Kentucky for many generations.

I sure didn't know that it got cold enough in Kentucky to turn anyone blue, let alone a whole family and for multiple generations.

That is all I am going to post today, don't want to bore you with useless facts just because I love useless facts.  Oh yes, before I forget, the harmonica is the world's best selling musical instrument.  I would have guessed the Jew's harp, but I guess I did have a harmonica but didn't have a Jew's harp that I can remember.

Before I leave you all, my wife suggests that you check out this site:  Icollect247.com.  Our friend sells stuff on that site, too.  Here is a link to his site:  http://www.icollect247.com/lonestarpicker Now, you all have a great day, you hear?

Monday, June 15, 2015

Pictures For "TROUBLEnTX"

Yesterday in the comments to my blog posting, TROUBLEnTX  asked to see some pictures of our swamp.  So, today I walked down and took a few pictures to post here for Ms. Trouble.  We are expecting a lot of rain in the next few days in our area.  In fact, some weathermen are predicting we could get up to ten inches of rain, but I would think that would be in locations closest to the coast.  But I am sure we will get our share and then some.  So, the pictures I took today and posted below will be the "before" the rain pictures and after the rains are over, I will take more pictures from the same spots and they will be the "after" the rain pictures.

Here are the before pictures:

And this last one is an enlargement of the one above to make sure you saw that there was some water in the low laying land below the dam.
There you go, Trouble.  Hope you enjoyed them.  Now, I will just sit back and wait for all the rain and I hope you all have a great day, you hear?

Sunday, June 14, 2015

Diamonds Growing From the Trees.

I just went out and took some pictures of a pine tree next to my deck that looked like it had diamonds growing on it.  The way the sun was hitting the water droplets, it looked just like the tree was sprinkled with diamonds or glitter.  The close up at the top of this posting shows the sparkle quite well.

Below, are four more pictures of the same tree (remember, you can click on them to enlarge them):

As I have said before many times, there is so much beauty in Mother Nature and all you have to do is look for it.  Most of the time, you don't have to look very far or very hard.  Now, you all have a great day, you hear?

Saturday, June 13, 2015

Wondering About Race Cars

My oh my, how times and race cars have changed.  Did you know that on this date back in 1895 that the first car race (that we know of) was held in France.  The route was 732 mile course and it was completed in just under 49 hours with an average break-neck speed of just under 15 miles per hour.  The winner's engine was a two-cylinder, four-horsepower one that turned 750 rpm.  Racing has come a long way from then.

The average speed at the Daytona 500 is 175 mph and the top lap speed was 185.041 mph.  Now, if you have been reading my blogs for awhile you know that I prefer drag racing and used to attend the Top Fuel Drag Races when they came to the Houston area.  Back when I first started going to them and watching them on TV, the top speeds at the quarter mile were getting over 300 mph and after multiple injuries and the death of Scott Kalitta (see video), they shortened the distance from a quarter of a mile (1320 feet) by 320 feet to only 1000 feet to try to keep the top speeds down.  That didn't work.  Heck, at the eighth of a mile, they are already going over 280 mph and still reach speeds of 330 mph in a thousand feet, the fastest accelerating land vehicles in the world.  Check out three my old blog posting about when I was at the drag races.


Wandering to the Baytown “Royal Purple” race track-Part 2


That is enough about speed, time to slow down and just rock here in my rocking chair.  Now, you all have a great day, you hear?

Friday, June 12, 2015

Everyone Wants a Good Set of Teeth

Nothing brightens a smile than a great set of teeth.  Those pearly whites do make a smile sparkle and it sure does help when those teeth are straight, in line, and supported by nice pink gums.  Don't you agree?  You know, something like this:

Ok, I confess.  Those teeth are not in any human's mouth.  So, what kind of creature has such nice teeth.  Well, it isn't a person, nor an animal.  It isn't any warm blooded creature, it is a fish.  A Sheepshead:
Words just can not explain exactly what these teeth look like so I will shut up stop writing and let you just look at the pictures below:

Now, the next time you chow down on a big fish dinner, you can think about this fish's teeth and. . . and have a great day, you hear?

Thursday, June 11, 2015

Things To Brighten Your Smile

There are a lot of things that can brighten your smile.  For me, seeing those I love (either two legged or four legged) would have to be on the top of my list.  Yes, there are lots of other thing things that put a smile on my lips; a good joke, a funny situation (and yes, I laugh at myself a lot), antics of animals, and life in general.  Yes, I do see humor in almost every aspect of life.  Let's face it, it is a lot better to smile and laugh than to frown and cry.

Oh yes, I cry.  I cry for the loss of a loved one and at very sad movies.  I don't believe that it makes me any less of a man.  Then there are times when I am laughing at something that every one else is crying about.  I have found out that if you look hard enough, you can find humor in anything.  It also helps to have a sick sense of humor and a good imagination, which I have been accused of a few times in the past.

There are other things to brighten your smile, like lipstick and toothpaste.  Now dang it!!  Don't even think that I use lipstick.  The only lipstick I have ever used was ChapStick.  That product was useful way back when I lived up north in the cold, dry winter air and also anytime of year in the western deserts.  Now, I want all of you to keep a great big smile on your faces and have a great day, you hear?

Wednesday, June 10, 2015

Button, Button, Who's Got the Button?

"Button, button, who's got the button?"  Remember that old children's game?  I do, but I am really old.  That was a game back when kids had to come up with ways to entertain themselves.  They didn't have TV, store bought games, the Internet, but somehow we always seemed to have a good time.  And guess what, we even went outside and played!!  Yep, when I was a kid, I spent a lot of time in the woods.  Always loved nature and would spend most of my days, summer and winter, in the woods.

OK, I am getting off the subject I want to write about, buttons.  My wife likes buttons and has a lot of them, but now she decided to make some of her own.  She went to Michaels and Hobby Lobby and found the right clay, formed some buttons, and baked them in the oven.  I decided to take a couple of pictures of them to put on this blog.  Here is the first picture that I took:

Then I just turned them around and took another picture:

Don't forget, you can pick on the pictures to enlarge them.  I think she did a great job.  Not only are they different colors, they also have different shapes and are different sizes.  I kind of like the square camo ones.  Now go find some friends and a button so you can play button, button, who's got the button and have a great day, you hear?

Tuesday, June 9, 2015

Just some dumb trivia for today.

Have any of you ever heard of "DNA level C"?  Oh come on now, I am sure all of you have heard of it.  OK, you don't think so?  Then just read it backwards, it spells a town in Ohio and Texas and maybe some more I don't know about.  Hey, like I said in the title, it may be a little on the dumb side.

Do any of you know where Winston Churchill was born?  No, I don't mean what country or town.  Give up?  He was born in a ladies room during a dance.  At least that is what I found when searching stuff for this blog posting.

OK, are you batting a thousand?  Then maybe you can try this one; How fast does a normal raindrop fall?  I would never have guessed it was this slow.  They only fall at seven miles per hour.  I guess that is when the wind is not blowing.  Heck, I have been hit in the face with some raindrops that I figured left welts.

What kind of person is a "quidnunc"?  Well, he or she is a person who is eager to know the latest news and gossip.  (I guess that could also define us bloggers.)

Now I will leave you with this last one about a fellow named Arnold Schonberg who suffered from trikaidecphobia which is the fear of the number 13.  Would you believe that he died 13 minutes from midnight on Friday the 13th.

OK, what are your fears or do you have some trivia that we should hear?  My greatest fear is losing any of my loved ones, two legged and four legged.

Monday, June 8, 2015

Wow, and This Actually Happened.

Head-on collisions on the highways are always bad and never have a happy ending.  But what is worse would be if they were actually head-on collisions.  Am I making sense?  I guess not.  Well, maybe this article that I found on the internet will explain:

"Two West German motorists had an all-too-literal head-on collision in heavy fog near the small town of Guetersloh. Each was guiding his car at a snail's pace near the center of the road. At the moment of impact their heads were both out of the windows when they smacked together. Both men were hospitalized with severe head injuries. Their cars weren't scratched."

And I also found this one on how to get rid of a nosy, thieving, bad neighbor:

"Hitting on the novel idea that he could end his wife's incessant nagging by giving her a good scare, Hungarian Jake Fen built an elaborate harness to make it look as if he had hanged himself. When his wife came home and saw him she fainted. Hearing a disturbance a neighbor came over and, finding what she thought were two corpses, seized the opportunity to loot the place. As she was leaving the room, her arms laden, the outraged and suspended Mr. Fen kicked her stoutly in the backside. This so surprised the lady
that she dropped dead of a heart attack. Happily, Mr. Fen was acquitted of manslaughter and he and his wife were reconciled."

There is actually nothing I can add to these true stories, except to tell you to have a great day, you hear?

Sunday, June 7, 2015

"When the Moon Hits Your Eye. . ."

"When the moon hits your eye like a big pizza pie, that's amore."  Remember that song?  Remember who sang it?  I do and it was Dean Martin that sang it.  He was a singer, an actor, and a comedian.  I remember him very well as the straight half of the Dean Martin and Jerry Lewis show.

Why am I talking about Dean Martin today, well he was born on this day back in 1917.  (He passed away on December 25, 1995 at the age of 78)  I guess all that booze he consumed and the wild parties with the "Rat Pack", kept him going and going and going.  OK, do you remember the "Rat Pack"?  There were different rat packs but the one I remember was the 1960's version which included along with Dean Martin; Frank Sinatra, Sammy Davis, Jr., Peter Lawford, and Joey Bishop.  Did you know that the Rat Pack were friends with John F. Kennedy and campaigned for him?  There are just so many stories about this group, but I am going to let you all remember them for yourselves.  Now be careful, because when the moon hits your eye like big pizza pie. . . that would be an awful mess, for sure.  Now, hum that song for the rest of the day, but make sure you also have a great day, you hear?

Saturday, June 6, 2015

Sticks and Stones. . .Words Can Hurt, Too.

You have heard that old saying that "Sticks and stones can brake my bones but words can never hurt me".  Well, that is not necessarily true, sometimes words can really hurt you.  I found an instance from back in September 21st 1987 about a misprint in the paper that almost cost a man his life.  Actually, it was a computer that put this man in jeopardy.  This guy was a Mafia loan collector and a New York paper's spelling checker didn't like the original which called him a "ruthless enforcer" and it changed it to "ruthless informer"!!

Of course the paper published a retraction and an apology, but I wonder if it was quick enough to save this "ruthless informer"??  Or maybe that paper just wanted to get rid of a really bad guy??  So, I wonder what other terrible things a computer error could cause?  I know I have made some bad errors that I didn't catch in time, but none that could be classified as deadly.  Have any of you?  Now, watch what the spelling checker does and have a great day, you hear.

Friday, June 5, 2015

Things That Glitter May Be Gold.

Yes, things that glitter just may be gold.  Have any of you ever gone prospecting?  I have a couple of times and I just loved it.  It is an excuse to spend time out in nature and who knows, you may just find some of that elusive shiny soft metal.
 I not only have a couple of gold pans (colored green so the gold is easier to see) but I also have a metal detector.  I have not been too good at finding gold on my own, so that is why a long time ago I joined the G.P.A.A. (Gold Prospectors of America Association).  I only went to two of their "outings" where we all participated in the common dig and on our "free time" we could do our own prospecting.

Here is a picture of the gold that we found and later divided up on one of the outings:
And enlarged some:

OK, that is ancient history and so is the following.
Did you know the Executive Order issued on April 5th, 1933 stated that all Americans were to turn over all gold coin, gold bullion, and gold certificates to a Federal reserve Bank, branch or agency, or to any member of the Federal Reserve System?  Here, I will paste the order so you can read what ever part of it you want to.  (Click to enlarge it if you want to read the fine print.)
Of course I am not old enough to remember this.  I was born ten years after that order.  Now all you readers are gold to me and I want you to have a golden day, you hear?

Thursday, June 4, 2015

Never Expected This.

I saw something this morning that I never would have expected.  Although we have not seen any hummingbirds for quite awhile, we still put out the hummingbird feeder.  I just happened to walk by the window and I looked out to see a Green Anole drinking the sweet red nectar out of the feeder.  He was hanging upside down and really going at it.

Of course I rushed to get my camera but by the time I got back (only a few seconds) it was climbing backwards up the feeder, turned around, and climbed up on the top of the feeder and then crawled over the feeder support, down the porch roof post, and across the railing to attend to other business or to sleep off the sugary lunch.  And here I thought that they ate insects only.  I guess even a Green Anole can have a sweet tooth.

Since I didn't get the pictures that I wanted, I did the next best thing.  I found some on the Internet and just in case you don't know what a Green Anole is, I will post a couple of them here:


Maybe I can get a picture of them later, or not.  Either way, I want you to have a great day, you hear?

Wednesday, June 3, 2015

Let's Go For A Walk

 I like to go for walks and walking is good for you.  How about all you readers out there, do you like to go for walks?  The two kids in the picture below seem to be enjoying their walk.  Yes, walking can be fun, interesting, good exercise, and lets us see things we wouldn't see just sitting at home.  Also, some places are a lot easier to walk than others.  Barney, of the Old Fat Man Adventures does a lot of walking and, thus sees things that most of us have not and never will see.  Of course sometimes he cheats and rides his bicycle (grin).

How many of you remember Ed White?  Does that name ring any bells?  Well he took a walk that went down in history on this day back in 1965, being the first American astronaut to take a space walk.  He was having so much fun he didn't want to quit and return to the capsule.  Here is a clipping from a newspaper:

At that time in space history, the astronauts were attached to the space capsule by a gold plated umbilical cord.
Those first years of men in space were exciting, and dangerous, too.  In fact, Ed White died in a fire/explosion while training right here on earth.  I think I will do all my walking on terra firma, how about you?  Now, you all have a great day, you hear? 

Tuesday, June 2, 2015

Getting Tired of Hearing About Bruce Jenner.

I sure am getting tired of hearing about Bruce Jenner's change from a man to a woman.  He and the news media are making a big thing about it and I think it is sickening and unnatural.  But then, I found out that it does occur in nature.  Here is one example:

"The striped mittenfish, a deepwater species recently discovered in the Java Sea, can change its sex at will by turning its entire body inside out"

I believe that this is a myth, because I have found no other place that tells about it.  So no, I don't think there is such a thing, but if there were, it would have a nickname of Bruce and Mr., or is it Ms., Jenner would keep one as a pet.
OK, I have nothing more to say on this subject.  Now, you all try and have a great day, you hear?

Monday, June 1, 2015

Wondering About Limnic Eruptions.

Have you ever heard of limnic eruptions?  I never have, that is, not until today when I accidently had a page pop up about it.  I have heard of lake turn-overs but have never witnessed any.  This is what a lake looks like after a limnic eruption or lake overturn:
This next picture shows an overturn in progress:

This last picture shows a before and after a limnic eruption:

 If my ponds turn over, I have not noticed.  Sometimes there is a lot of aquatic plant remains floating on top, and of course there has been times when it gets partially covered with duck weed.  OK, maybe I am the only one that never heard of limnic eruptions, but I did learn something in researching for this blog.  Now, you all turn over and have a great day, you hear?